DEAR POLITICIANS: IF YOU CAN’T WALK THE WALK, DON’T TALK THE TALK

I’m not really a political person. And by that I mean I avoid politics like I avoid anchovies on pizza. I will straight up toss a conversation in the trash without a second thought. Because politics are evil. They tear people apart. This side, that side, the middle. Who cares? What do the sides even do anymore other than use their resources and energy trying to block the opposite side? It feels more like an offensive line than a government unit. That’s a football term for my non-sport fans. The offensive line has one job – protect the quarterback. Let no one get to him and if they try to, level them. 

Which works great in football! It makes sense since you’re trying to win a game. A game that doesn’t impact millions of peoples’ access to healthcare. Or educational initiatives. Or the environment. Or tax cuts. It does impact the economy, though. In a positive way by bringing people into your city. Similar to how Hamilton can make any town a booming metropolis just by showing up. We, the people, want entertainment. 

It’s not even politics itself that I have an issue with. Democracy is a good thing and I value my right to vote. What I do have questions about is our current approach to politics. Specifically during elections. Maybe it was a dream I had, but I thought there used to be a time when political ads would focus on the candidate that approved them instead of the person they were running against. Did I make that up? Doesn’t really matter – the point is I can’t stand whatever finger pointing game is happening on my tv right now. Sally said this. Jill did that. Karen, well she’s a Karen, are you really surprised? I don’t care! What are you going to do?!

Anyone can be good at tattling on someone else. That was a lesson you learned at some point in elementary school. A social right of passage, so to speak. One way, or another, you learned that no one likes a tattler. We all have to live with our actions, we don’t need someone else calling us out all righteously like they’re a perfect porcelain doll. So, anyways, we have these adults vying to lead our country just straight up tattling on each other. Like four year olds.

Is it too much to ask for honesty and transparency out of a leader? Feels pretty reasonable considering the startup world is founded on those principles. If I vote for this person, will they continue to simply tattle on all the people who told them no or got in their way? What even is their running platform? What issues are they standing for, or against? I honestly don’t know. If elected, what will you do for me? Your constituent. Does it line up with what I was hoping to support for the next four(ish) years? Again, it’s very hard to tell. Kind of like trying to read a book with nothing but blank pages. Isn’t communication a requirement for this type of leadership (even though it is ROCKET SCIENCE)? Why can’t you communicate with me, via a tv ad, about why I should vote for you? Not why I shouldn’t vote for the other person. There’s a major difference. 

All those questions aside, if elected why can’t you follow through on most of what you promised? Oh, right, because the starting defense from the other side has put their top talent on the front lines to prevent you from scoring. I think it might be an issue of side A versus side B. The side lines are blurry anyways. Besides, it’s 2020, how are we still stuck in such an archaic party system? On the flip side, it’s 2020 and I don’t know who gave both the Republicans, the Democrats, and every independent party in between, my phone number, but if I get another political text I might run straight into a brick wall and flush my phone down the toilet.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR COLLEGE: I ALREADY SOLD YOU MY SOUL, I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE YOU

I miss college. All of the social activities, sporting events, parties, friendships, constant eating, freedom, and the general lack of real responsibilities. It was a great time. Sure, occasionally there were unfortunate obligations like class and exams and homework, but for the most part it was awesome. What I don’t miss is the amount of bills that I knew, but didn’t really know, I was racking up. That should really be part of the high school curriculum – financial planning. What are loans? What is debt? What are bills? What does the health insurance paperwork mean? How do you file taxes? So many actually helpful things that could be taught.

Because now I have these monthly payments that are no fun at all to make. They most certainly are not awesome or a great time. So many other things I would like to do with that part of my paycheck, like travel, shop, drink, eat, have an experience, donate to charity, etc. Literally anything other than paying back the school that gave me a piece of paper. Go to college, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll get an education, they said. This way you can get a job, they said. It’s going to cost you everything, they didn’t say. Did I go? Yes. Was it fun? Most of the time. Did I get an education? Yes, but not the kind they probably had in mind. Was it the magic door to getting a job? Haha, absolutely not. Did selling my organs on the black market cover the cost? No, no – it was way more.

So, in other words, I spent all this money to get a job in the field that someone printed on a piece of paper. Some call it a diploma, but I would think that to be considered a big, fancy diploma, then they could have at least printed it on glossy paper. I mean, at this point, you can just add an extra $10 or so to my bill. I won’t even know. Ironically, what I do now could not be further from my field of study. And I’m not the only one. At some point, I was informed that employers care more about seeing that you can finish something. I feel like there are a lot of cheaper ways to do this…but clearly I’m in the minority on this one.

All of this is annoying, and frustrating, but in hindsight, I should have expected it when they asked me to pay a registration deposit and give them rights to my first-born child to attend. Alright, fine, that’s on me and my teenage innocence. What I’m not a fan of, nope too passive…what I absolutely loathe, is when they have the audacity to call me and ask for a donation. I’m sorry, I know you have my records still because you always seem to find my new address to spam with letters. So you would know that I am paying you. Still. From all those years ago when I actually was there. I’m what one would call, a mandatory donor. I wouldn’t say I have a giving spirit towards my alma mater, but more of an, I’d like to maintain a respectable credit score and not get audited type of spirit.

It would make slightly more sense if you asked me for money after I finished paying off my loans. Then, at least, I would be contributing nothing on a monthly basis so it would make sense that I might want to keep that bleeding train of dolla, dolla bills going. Because an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Honestly, the things I plan on doing with all that extra cash each month is not nearly as generous or productive as donating to support the education system. Might as well keep on giving. But now you’ve pissed me off. We both know that if I could afford to donate, I would have paid off my loans. Or simply chosen to pay for school upfront. Either way, I should not be the target demographic for the donor office student cold-callers.

Let’s take a quick second to break down why I’ve been a donor for so long:

  • Air is free everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Meals can be relatively affordable, depending on your choices, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Learning is free, or reasonably priced (unless you’re in private school, but if that’s the case, this post is not for you)…except on college campuses
  • Nature is free to enjoy everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Sports are free to watch (as long as your friends with someone who pays) everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Hobbies vary in price, but can be pretty cheap, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Exercise can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Reading can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses

Seems like there’s the issue. You want to wake up today? $427 fee. You want to eat lunch? $28.37 fee. You want to walk on our sidewalks everyday? $13,078 fee. You want to buy books? $5,396 fee. You sneezed? $4.76 fee. You want to submit an assignment on our Wi-Fi and use our mandatory online portal? $28,340 fee. So, to answer your question, do I want to donate today? Bye, Felicia!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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COMMUNICATION IS ROCKET SCIENCE

When did talking to people get so hard? Has it always been this way? Or is this another thing millennials have ruined? Seems like it used to be easier – back before cell phones, and online dating, and airplanes, and the Internet, and indoor plumbing, and sliced bread … you get it. I have some theories on why, which I know you are oh so curious to hear, so ready or not, here they come!

  1. The Grass is Always Greener – I don’t believe this has changed at all since the dawn of humanity. Everything seems so darn peachy for everyone else so maybe it just feels like they were better communicators when in reality they sucked too
  2. Simpler Times – maybe they were better communicators because some of the obstacles that exist today were so not a thing. Looking at you King Boo
  3. Adapt and Survive – hard to have bad communication when the only way you can do it is face to face or via a letter that takes weeks to arrive. It’s easy to hide behind a screen. Hard to avoid tough questions when you’re staring someone in the eyes
  4. Can’t Make Something From Nothing – maybe they just didn’t talk to each other. Like ever. Was that a thing? Socializing?

Regardless, whatever happened along the way, we have become absolutely awful at communicating. With co-workers. With friends. With enemies. With significant others. With family. With our pets. With ourselves. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but despite all the technological advancements, we still can’t read someone’s mind. What?! I know, I know, it seems strange given that our cars drive themselves and our watches can call people. We also can’t put thoughts into someone else’s mind. No matter how bad you want them to say or do something, ultimately they control their own thoughts and actions. How can this be?! That would be weird if that happened. Pretty sure that would take dictatorship to a whole new level. 

Ok, all-knowing TRP. How can we fix this verbal crisis?’ First of all, I’m flattered that you think of me as all-knowing. But in other shocking news, I also tend to suck at communicating. Despite my attempts to find the perfect way to approach awkward, stressful, or frustrating situations, I have come to the realization that they’re all unique. Which is a bit annoying, if I’m honest. Honesty does seem to be the one constant that works well, though! Just be real with people. It’s not that hard – I promise. Do you like someone? Tell them. Are you frustrated with a coworker? Talk it out. Wish your mom would stop telling everyone your business? Let her know!

But don’t be rude about it. There are two ways to be honest. One that lets the other person know how you feel / where you stand in a way that is productive and initiates conversation by acknowledging your part in the situation. The other lets someone know how you feel / where you stand, but in an aggressive way that comes off as blame and puts them in a defensive mode.

As much as communication sucks, it’s always going to be a part of life. So you better figure out how to do it in a way that doesn’t make everyone hate you. And please, please, don’t be that person who hides behind a screen and thinks that makes it alright to troll everyone and their mothers. No one likes that person. Finally, don’t run away from your hard conversations. Embrace them. Will it work out for you? Who knows – maybe, maybe not, but it will make you a better person. Hopefully. Don’t quote me on that.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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