NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, NEW SHOES, NEW DO

Fireworks, parties, friends, family, good food, better liquor, poor decisions – I’m talking about New Year’s! When the calendar resets and not so subtly reminds us to do the same with our lives. Snarky little devil that Father Time is. What was the arbitrary decision behind a 365, 12 month calendar year? Something about the Earth orbiting the Sun? In my professional opinion, just because the Earth starts over doesn’t mean I have to. Besides, the Earth just keeps going in circles and nothing changes, which seems like the complete opposite of everything we celebrate with a new year and a chance to start fresh down an entirely different path?

According to its all-knowing Wikipedia page, a New Year’s Resolution is ‘a tradition … in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.’ Ok, wow, that seems deep and highly targeted at all of the bad choices we have made at some point in our lives … why don’t we ever make resolutions like “I am the sh*t, I effing love myself, haters gon hate, this year I’m focusing on continuing to slay like the bad mamma jamma that I am

Aside from the questionable decisions I make on a daily basis, I’m basically living my best life. Aren’t we all, though? If a stranger came up to you, or stalked you on social media, you most likely wouldn’t slog through some sob story about your confidence levels and your entry-level position in a field completely unrelated to your degree or how your significant other doesn’t text you back fast enough and you’re having doubts about the whole relationship and on and on and on. NO! Because that stranger would leave your sorry page for something more exciting. We are selfish creatures by nature. Don’t believe me? You 100% thought of yourself telling someone that story while reading this paragraph.

So we show and tell our highlight reel to seem “fine” and “happy”. To make our closest friends, family, and random followers jealous. Life is funny like that. Enter the New Year celebrations and Father Time. You won’t openly address your failures or frustrations from the past year, so an entire holiday was created to celebrate just that. Oh, you didn’t find a job, that’s ok! Make it your resolution! I see, you wanted to stop dating f-boys, but you got lonely. Never fear, New Year’s is here! Makes total sense that you wanted to eat healthier, but it was cheaper and easier to just go with the processed stuff. I forgive you, and so does the calendar – resolution that sucker up! 

And so we all start off so strong: next year I’m going to cure cancer, solve world hunger, find my self-esteem, enjoy a life full of inner peace, lose every ounce of fat on my body, and get 10 different suitors for marriage. Super easy! Enter January 2: you know, I don’t want to stretch myself too thin so I’ll stick to positive affirmations and starting a workout routine. Oh the resolve that we all have. Research has shown that only 8% of people accomplish their resolutions. 8%?! Pretty sure that’s about the amount of real meat in a McDonald’s chicken nugget. What happens to the other 92% of us? Natural selection, that’s what.

If you’ve never seen one of those really informative documentaries on space and all it’s gajillion galaxies narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, let me summarize quickly so we are all on the same page moving forward: basically, you’re not special. Moving on … so the universe is supposedly infinite and we all exist in multiple different dimensions of reality. Do we subconsciously know this and are we simply chasing after the version of us that we want? What does that version of me set as a resolution? To keep moving further ahead? What a ho! I am you and you are me so we should both want to achieve bliss together, right? 

I’m starting to feel a bit like a conspiracy theorist so that seems like a good resolution for the upcoming year: stop overthinking stupid things I have no control over. I bet that will get me solidly through MLK day. After that, well if history is a good indicator, I’ll be one of the 92 percenters that give up and go back to the comfort of my current life – constantly confused about how the world works and why it is that way.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who sticks to their New Year’s resolutions then you should follow their example and try to boost our success numbers. Clearly they are doing something right and we can all learn from them. Thanks for reading!


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IF 2020 HAD PLAYED NICE

Never in my life have I been more excited for a new year. I think that’s probably a true statement for most people on Earth at this moment. This has been the year from hell. Can’t say I’d be overly surprised if 2020 became another numerical symbol for the devil moving forward. Because evidence lines up there. Was Lucifer just bored? Was there not enough evil in the world as is? Was the American obesity crisis ending? 

Not sure we’ll ever get answers, but to end the year on a more hopeful note let’s take a moment to imagine what would have happened if 2020 had played nice. Basically if COVID-19 simply wasn’t a thing. At all. If it was sent to the disease graveyard. Better yet, if it had never been born. Is that too harsh? My gut says no considering it’s current murder spree. And what’s with this incubation period? It’s bad enough being more contagious than cooties and it could be squatting in your body for up to 14 days until you show symptoms? That is natural BS on a whole new level.

Anyways, we all know what 2020 took from us. Loved ones, friends, celebrity crushes, role models, jobs, relationships, peace of mind, the gym, toilet paper, large gatherings, March Madness, sanity, etc. Let’s travel back in time to early January, though. Before the first sign and change the course of the year to be more normal. Since normal is the only thing I pray for now. Side tangent: remember when being normal was basic? And not so desirable? Mmkay I see you Mother Nature flipping the status quo here.

I think for starters, we would still have Black Mamba with us. Was that technically a COVID casualty? No, but it was a 2020 terror event and one that really started a seismic domino or events. Plus, who doesn’t want more Kobe in their life? Less specifically, February would have rolled around and the majority of us would already be back on the couch eating our sadness for not following our new year resolutions. March Madness would have been one for the ages. Of course, some Cinderellas would have been present, but I think we would have seen a stacked, yet somewhat predictable, Final Four, and a well deserved champion.

Instead of being on some weird, maybe this is temporary, 14 day partial kind of not really enforced shutdown in April, we would have been hunting Easter Eggs and living our spring break fantasies. The Masters would have gone off smoothly at a beautiful, spring kissed Augusta National. May would have brought graduation season, wedding season, another bomb celebration of mom, and of course the ultimate summer kickoff weekend. Full of alcohol, cookouts, friends, family, and poor decisions. Then summer would have hit as it always does. With welcome arms because ready or not, it’s vacation season! All those trips from extravagant to low key would have helped you relax and reset.

The NBA Finals would have dragged on for way too long per usual. Fourth of July would have been fireworks filled and American pride would have been high. Even if for a brief moment. August would still have been overrated, but, in hindsight, a return to school would have been a fun thing for everyone to look forward to. No more unexpected homeschooling. Football season would have started with all the hype and a whole lot of hope for your team’s performance. Labor Day would have given us that first, it’s no longer summer so here’s a day to embrace the fall, holiday. 

Then the fall would have come in strong as we participated in the classics: pumpkin patches, apple picking, tailgating, basketball season, etc. with pumpkin flavored everything. Halloween was on a Saturday so the whole weekend would have been absolutely lit! The election still would have been a thing, but probably wouldn’t have felt as life or death. Maybe more of a hey let’s make sure our voice is heard by voting kind of deal as it traditionally is. 

As we switched gears into the debate around how early is too early to listen to holiday music, the excitement for the end of year use them or lose them vacation days would be approaching. Thanksgiving would have seen family gatherings and a shared meal in person all over the country. We would have wrapped up with another way too social December leading up to the best holiday season of the year. Gift exchanges, holiday parties, light shows, plays, shopping, eating, drinking, laughing, etc. all of it in person and lived to the max. Prepping for the new year in the same way as usual – by thinking of what “change” we want to “permanently” make in our lives for January of the next year.

How nice does that sound? It used to feel monotonous sometimes, but honestly that sounds so absolutely incredible right now I’d give a lot to get that back. It’s funny how something like a global pandemic can put some things in perspective. For example, despite all of the sadness and frustration from this year, there have been some incredible moments from it. All the extra time at home with your pets and loved ones. The ridiculous speed at which the world switched to virtual work mode making the nomad lifestyle attainable for all. How people have stepped up to help each other. Voter turnout was at an all time high. I think our compassion levels grew 3 sizes over the year. We’ve learned that toilet paper does not need to be hoarded – trust the production process. But most importantly, every single generation is now almost tech savvy! Which is a huge win for the world. 

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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LIFE LESSONS FROM COLLEGE

Let’s talk about all the times I use my degree today. Ok, that was fun, moving on. Remember college? Move in with a stranger, who will obviously become your best friend, after a touch of drama, a dorm room bigger than your kitchen at home, classes like once a month, and classy parties where everyone accepts you immediately and you eventually become the hottest human on campus within a week. No? Not your experience? That must just be the Hollywood portrayal, I guess.

What about actual college? The real life version. College was amazing – on the weekends when there were millions of hours to work on my Monday assignments and I had zero cares about anything. I learned so much from my time there. Socially. Also academically, but that has yet to transfer very applicably to life. If we look past the price tag that could buy the entire Tesla S3X lineup, there were some very valuable takeaways:

Everything Has Strings Attached

Just because they give you plastic cups, t-shirts, food, USB chargers, stress toys, pens, etc. every day of the week doesn’t mean it’s free. That’s what your student fees are providing so you better take ALL of it to maximize your investment.

There Are Two Kinds of Smart

Social smart and book smart. One understands that you don’t start to get ready for the party until the party has started and the other arrives exactly on time. Neither is “correct”, but one gets invited back and one doesn’t.

FOMO AKA Networking

Every single event, officially sponsored or not, is an opportunity to network. Career Fair? Yes, duh. Governor’s Ball? Definitely. Class? Sure. Tailgating? Of course. A frat party? Oh, absolutely. Never say no and you’ll have a slightly better chance of landing a big boy / girl job after graduating.

Sleep is Overrated

Who has time to sleep when you have to learn an entire semester’s worth of material in one night? You just have to pass through the ‘I’m tired’ phase into the ‘just kidding, I can stay awake forever’ phase. No caffeine needed, just an airhorn and good friends.

There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Tailgate

If you forget any portion of the tailgate triangle you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t know what the tailgate triangle is, then you tailgate wrong for sure. Alcohol, Food, Games.

Everyone Has a Clique

College is the best time to find your people. Social smart, book smart, tailgater, tailgate attempter – doesn’t matter! Everyone has a clique and everyone’s clique is the best. Find what works for you.

Basic Survival Needs Are All Mental

If you’re an “adult” in college, why do we still have to ask to take a bathroom break? Guess I’ll just hold it and hope I don’t get a UTI. You want to breathe? That’s fine, it costs $3 per inhale. Oh, you’re thirsty because it’s a billion degrees outside and you’ve been standing in a stadium all day? Water is $45 a bottle 🙂

Weekend 24 Hours and Weekday 24 Hours are Not the Same

A day on the weekend supposedly has 24 hours, but somehow ends in about a quarter of the time as a weekday? Alright, Father Time, I see you, and I don’t appreciate what you’re doing here. If you could just flip that equation, that would be great.

If You’re Bored, You’re Doing it Wrong

There is never not something to do. Maybe you just need to look harder? Or, maybe whatever is happening doesn’t interest you? Well, that’s what friends and Netflix are for – make your own adventure.

Hollywood Is a Liar

My college experience was … very different … from how all the shows and movies made it seem. You actually have to go to class, and, even if you don’t, they still take your money, but kick you out. Nobody on TV has “class”, what is this BS?

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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BACK-TO-SCHOOL SURVIVAL PLAYLIST

Can we all agree that back-to-school shopping is the best thing about actually going back to school? Your parents are happy because everything is (slightly) cheaper than it was in July and you’re happy because you’re about to roll up on day 1 like a freaking rockstar in your fresh clothes and accessories with the tags still on it. Back in my day, which was longer ago than I’m comfortable admitting to the Internet, we always got new spiral notebooks (because the composition ones were so last generation), super fancy pens/pencils/highlighters/markers/anything that marks a piece of paper basically, the good erasers (the ones for the art students that could erase anything – including the bad memories of having to erase the entire writing test and start over because you realized at the end it had nothing to do with the ridiculous given prompt), some sort of binder, at least one new outfit, and if we were lucky, a new backpack. By lucky, clearly I mean if we were clever enough to “wear out” our one from the previous year with the rigorous demands of learning.

Today, however, I’m assuming the children roll up on hoverboards with their smart backpacks containing the latest, greatest smartphone, tablet, and TI calculator (the ones that essentially pass math for you). Most likely with a smartwatch on their wrist, and shoes that cost more than my grocery bill. Nothing makes you feel less successful than seeing a child have better style, and technology, than you … a hard-working, money making adult. It’s fine, whatever, I’m over it. At least I can drive myself to Target whenever I want and buy all of the Chewy Chips Ahoy for “sharing” with others. And by others I clearly mean my mouth and my stomach.  

So with all the back-to-school excitement, everyone needs a hype playlist to set the mood for not only the first day, but the whole first week. Then reality sets in and just getting dressed in the morning is a struggle, so the next 175(ish) days are just going to be what they are. There are certain rules when creating said playlist, though:

  1. The playlist must last at least your entire commute, but preferably from the time you begin getting dressed until the bell rings for the first class and you’ll get detention if you don’t turn it off
  2. The playlist theme must center around how you are the sh*t and no one can tell you different
  3. The sub-theme must center around how you make your own way, don’t worry about the haters who think you’ll never make it (including the counselor from last year who is all like ‘graduation isn’t guaranteed, you have to meet minimum grade requirements to walk and proceed to the next grade ’… blah, blah, blah I’ll write my own story thank you)
  4. The first song needs to have a solid beat that you could / have danced to at some point. Preferably it makes you want to dance in a way that will shock some people who don’t know the real you
  5. The last song needs to have a parting message about actually getting sh*t done so you can end it and be like ‘I’m about to own this school year, ready or not, HERE I COME
  6. The songs in between need to be a balance of a good beat and lyrics that you can get behind. What does that mean? Essentially, those lyrics should be motivational quotes bouncing around in your head to get that quick hype hit in the middle of History class

It’s that simple really. Look at all the insanely successful people in the world and I would bet at some point they listened to a song and got inspired. I have zero evidence that any of them did a specific back-to-school playlist, but who’s to say you can’t be the first? For all you podcast addicts out there, take the same rules and apply them to podcasts. Since those tend to be slightly longer, you can do it over a week, or you can put all of them on triple time and try to still get the same inspiration from them … your choice.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who makes great playlists, maybe hit them up because a mediocre playlist could result in a mediocre year and nobody wants that. Thanks for reading!


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