You won’t get everything you want. Not everything will work out. And that’s ok.

At this point in my life, I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve been rejected.

It’s a pretty humbling experience being rejected for the things that you want in your life: love, jobs, opportunities and more.

At a moment in history when it feels like people are pushing back from the notion that they even could be rejected from what they want, I would like to argue that the experience of being rejected is even more important than ever.

Rejection makes you tough.

Rejection gives you balls.

Not the real ones. The metaphorical balls of a person who has to learn how to dig in deeper, consider doing something a different way, or re-imagine how to reach goals that they hope to achieve because they failed the first time.

Do you remember when you experienced your first epic rejection?

For many people, it could be the experience of getting a rejection letter from the college that you had to get into. For me, it was Northwestern in Chicago. I actually was accepted by the other six colleges that I applied to. However, I got a big fat “no” from Northwestern, and it hurt.

Did that rejection end my world? No. I worked with the cards that I was dealt and ended up going to a university in the same conference and receiving an excellent education. I don’t wonder about “what if?” Because that ship has sailed.

Don’t focus on the “what if?”

Many people who experience rejection focus on the “what if?”

They ask themselves “what if I had married that guy/girl?” Well, you didn’t. You experienced something else instead.

Asking yourself “what if I had gone to Colombia instead of Australia?” is pointless. You didn’t.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

In fact, I would love to share some of the moments of rejection that I’ve experienced. Time to get real.

  • I auditioned for the Denver Broncos Cheerleading squad two or three times. One of those times I made it to the second or third round (it has been awhile) I didn’t get it.
  • I auditioned for the Denver Nuggets dance squad. I was rocking it out when the girl next to me fell, so I helped her get up. She got up and kept dancing. She moved forward to the next round. I didn’t.
  • I remember wanting to date this one guy who just didn’t seem to be that into me. We hooked up. Ahem. He still didn’t want to date me.
  • I’ve pitched a session or panel to a conference that I attend yearly. I still haven’t had a session picked. Plus, I’ve never won an award from that community and I still continue to attend and smile.

These experiences have taught me to manage these situations with short and long-term solutions. In the short-term, it’s perfectly fine to be devastated about an outcome that hasn’t worked out the way that you expected.

But it doesn’t help to sit around asking yourself “what if?” all the time. You’ll be much better off in the long run if you acknowledge the experiences you have had and dwell less on the rejection.

Grit and resilience through rejection.

Rejection is basically the other side of the reality that not everything will go your way. That’s a really good thing.

Suck it up buttercup, life doesn’t always work the way you want it to.

But that doesn’t mean you give up. It’s important to embrace strategies that will help you cope during those moments when you get kicked in the pants by life.

Keep things in perspective. Most people in the U.S. experience First World Problem rejections. We get rejected for the types of things that are beyond the dreams of most people. At the end of the day, you still have running water, electricity, and clothes on your back.

Understand that this is just one moment in time. Other opportunities to be accepted or rejected will continue to present themselves to you each and every day.

Embrace the experience, even if it’s painful. There is an old saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved before.” Rejection basically is an experience that people have when they put themselves out there and open themselves to the reality of a well-lived life.

Rejection opens new paths

I don’t regret falling in love with past loves that didn’t work out.

I am now able to look back at different relationships that didn’t work out and acknowledge my part in the breakdown of each relationship.

I’m also able to reflect on most of those relationships and remember the good and the bad without feeling upset about how those relationships ended. With time I’ve learned that every relationship has a season and that the ones that didn’t work weren’t meant to be.

I think of the jobs that I didn’t get and am amazed by how happy I am now that they didn’t work out.

Rejection has made me a much more empathetic, relatable, and thoughtful person. I’m sure if everything had always worked the way that I wanted it to when rejection finally knocked at my door I would have been devastated and ill-equipped to deal with it.

Finally, if you’re having a hard time dealing with rejection, check out the following celebrity stories: Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Jim Lee.

Remember, rejection offers a person two different opportunities: to become dejected or create fuel for the “next” thing.

What will you decide to do the next time you’re rejected?

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Liking your BFF’s post on Facebook isn’t the same thing as sitting down and talking to them. Get out there and connect with the people in your life.

Sometimes it feels like there is not enough time in the day to manage your own life. Let alone dealing with maintaining healthy friendships.

Scroll through your Facebook and look at your real life friends. You know the ones who held your hair back after you drank too much after the last break up. Just Facebooking those friends on occasion with a Like or a comment is not enough to keep those ties strong.

In super-connnected, cyber life that we lead, it has become easier and easier to slip into habits that change a deep and long-standing friendship into something that’s a bit superficial and hashtagable.
For those of us who take adulting seriously, we understand the importance of maintaining and nurturing the people in our life even though life often feels like it’s conspiring to keep friends apart. It’s important to remain close to friends as you move through life.

If you’re trying to figure out how to get your friendships back on track here are some simple and effective strategies that re-ignite a waning friendship:

Prioritize your friendships.

This feels so obvious, but prioritizing your friendships will create a willingness to put in the work needed to maintain the most important relationships in your life.

I wish that I could tell you that good friendships are easy to nurture, but they’re not. Friends get married, kids arrive, people get dogs, go into debt. Basically, life freaking happens and throws a metaphorical wrench into every relationship that you’re in.

As an adult not only do you have to prioritize the relationships that you’re in, you also have to figure out what “season” your friendship is in.

Sometimes you’re at the end of a wonderful friendship and it’s time to let go of that person and move on. There are other moments in a friendship when you may end up taking a break for a while but are able to reconnect later on with very little effort. Recognizing the stage that your friendship is currently in will help you to prioritize which friendships you should really be focusing on.

It can help you remain close to friends that match where you’re at right now.

Plan friend dates.

This may sound weird, but plan friend dates.

Sometimes friends get into habits that doom their friendship. If you’re always doing the same things, switch it up.

Instead of happy hour, participate in a Graffiti Run, compete against one another on opposing trivia teams, go to a corn maze, or check out your town in a way that is different from what you usually do when you hang out together. Remember, variety is the spice of life (and friendships too).

You might be surprised at how these dates can help you remain close to friends that matter most. It’s all about making time for the important people in your life.

Travel with friends.

Travel together or visit another if your friends live far from you.

My best friend, who basically is my sister from another mister, is English. She lives in London, is married and has kids. This friendship is a priority to both of us, but the reality is that our realities have changed and we live far away from one another.

Because of this, we prioritize visiting one another either in the States or in Europe. We’ve traveled together numerous times throughout the years and many of out trips resemble The Hangover movies. Even though she has kids.

When you travel with friends, the roles that exist in your “real” lives cease to exist. How can they when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and freaked out about the locals who have decided to help you out?

Create new memories with your friends that are special and specific to experiences that only you’ve experienced together (like a trip).

What happens when you have kids?

I love kids, but many people aren’t excited about them. Figuring out how to remain close to friends after they start having mini-humans is one of the big challenges of life.

When your friends begin having kids that may signal a huge change in how you interact.

After living in Europe, I have a very different view on interacting with friends with kids. Kids are always welcome. I make it clear to my friends that I’m flexible (because one day I will have kids too) and what I’ve found is that by being flexible I’m able to see my friends more.

I’ve also noticed that many of these friends suggest kids free events because they aren’t just parents. They’re people, too, and sometimes they need a break.

Be up front with your friends.

Finally, be clear about what you want from your friends.

Communicate what you expect from people in your life. They’re not mind-readers.  If you’re not clear about what you want from your friends, you’re setting yourself (and them) up for failure. If you’re fine seeing someone every once in awhile because you have work, kids, a spouse and extended family, go ahead and own it.

If you’re the type of person who needs a lot more one on one time with friends create opportunities to connect that are easy wins for everyone. Have realistic expectations of how the friendship should flow and remember to be kind with one another.

In an increasingly cyber world, it’s becoming obvious that it’s important to deepen our “in real life” friendships.

There’s no substitute for the real thing.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

The things you do each day are draining your finances. Here are the things you need to stop doing. Now.

There is a mind-numbing range of mindless and expensive habits that get in the way of creating long-term and sustainable financial success. 

Let’s be honest. Most of us have financial habits that we have fallen into blindly because we’re not honest about the habits that may be getting in the way of our financial future.

The following three habits are so expensive that it may be time to kick them to the curb:

Fake hair.

The first one is tied to self-esteem. I totally get it, but your expensive fake hair habit is making you broke.

My hair broke off really badly and I needed a way to feel good about myself so I started wearing fake hair. Fortunately, this isn’t that big a deal, but my hair loss was a demoralizing experience.

I accepted that to get a great fake hair look that I would have to pay through the nose and so I paid big bucks (for me) to achieve the right look.

Like me, there are a lot of women who are dealing with hair loss or just would like to achieve a different look and spend way too much on their fake hair. I didn’t realize I had this habit and felt like I managed the expense really well.

I would stretch the times between getting an expensive weave and would try to consistently care for my fake hair with constant TLC.

But, what I didn’t realize was that I was paying too much for weaves and fun lace-front wigs and I discovered that I could get the same look for 75% less than what I was spending.

Instead of paying between $175-$200 for a weave or lace-front wig (including shipping), I discovered that there are inexpensive options that create the same look for less!

I discovered the amazing world of YouTube low-cost wig reviews. There were wigs that looked the same as what I was buying before, but for $30. It was a life-changing information.

I jumped on that savings, I still feel good about myself, and my wallet loves me for it.

Recreational pot habit.

One of the most expensive habits of all is a pot habit. You should break the weekly pot habit ASAP. 

Hey, I’m not judging you. I’m from Colorado. But that legal bud is not cheap.

If you’re smoking a bowl a couple of times a week, getting the newest in pot-related gear, and snacking like it’s going out of style, it may be time to do an audit of how much you’re spending on your legal weed.

According to the Colorado Pot Guide, the cost of an ounce of pot ranges between $100-$300 dollars depending on where you purchase it.

If you purchase just one ounce a month you’re spending $1200-$3600 in pot each year. That’s almost like shoving $20 bills into your bong and smoking it up. And, we haven’t even factored in the snacking costs.

For many people who embrace the 420 life, the expense may not always be top of mind. And, I’m not saying what you should or shouldn’t do. But your pot habit can be painful to your bottom line.

Instead of always having a reserve at home perhaps you could just indulge at your favorite concert like everyone else does?

When factoring in the cost of pot also consider the potential for losing your job if your employer does drug checks. In Colorado, employers have the right to terminate employment for off-the-job cannabis consumption, even if it’s medicinal.

Lack of research before purchases.

The first two expensive habits were pretty specific. This one, though, applies to most people.

Many of us make big (and small) purchases without doing research. I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference doing basic research on my purchases has made to my finances. I’ve discovered that there is always a deal to be found on any item I want to buy.

For example, if you hope to purchase a car, spend some time researching the following: gas mileage, if the car has had any recalls, cost for maintaining it, and if there is a place where you could buy it for less than the listed price.

There is no reason to purchase clothing at the listed price. It always goes on sale. By researching ways to get rebates on spending, savings apps, and places where you could purchase the same items at a discounted price.

Research doesn’t have to be an annoying and onerous process. And it’s at the heart of how I have been able to save substantial amounts of money on trips, shopping, and even my home purchase.

Once you kick your expensive habits to the curb, you will be more likely to have more money to spend on things that really matter to you.

What are your expensive habits? How do you plan to break them? Let us know at the #Adulting community on Facebook.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Broad perspectives enhance understanding of life. Live abroad at least once in your life and fine-tune your empathy.

When I was in high school I had a fascination with all things French.

I joined the French club. I learned to speak the language. I loved the show Les Misérables. There was something so romantic, so different about France, that I had to go there.

Sadly, I didn’t have any money.

Travel to another country.

It wouldn’t happen until several years later after college that I would travel overseas and live abroad.

It’s true that when I was a young girl I lived in Japan for two years. However, a small child doesn’t comprehend the experience of otherness that being in another country makes you feel. A small child doesn’t have the same response as an adult.

Being a young adult in a foreign country, a young American in a foreign country, was very exciting and humbling.

Living abroad is an experience that every young American should have because it helps develop an awareness of our place in the world.

Live abroad and see how the world sees us.

At the time that I write this post, we have just experienced a highly contentious Presidential election and a tough year. The U.S. has a new President and, as is the case with each new president, their vision of the world and the United State’s place in it will guide and shape their policy.

These new policies affect people. Young Americans, for the most part, live very wealthy lives compared to many people around the world. Our homes are bigger, we have electricity, and with the exception of Flint, Michigan, most of us have clean water.

We’ve experienced very little civil disruption, we have plenty of food, and most people have access to the internet.

It’s not like that everywhere.

We grow up with stories of how just and fair the U.S. is and when we step outside of our bubble we are presented with an alternative view of the history that we’ve been told our whole lives.

Leaving the U.S. to live abroad forces one to answer questions that we might not typically be asked.

We discover that some countries and citizens absolutely love the U.S. and other countries… not so much.

Travel puts us face-to-face with people who are affected by the decisions that our country makes (good or bad). When you’re faced with people who are affected by policies that we feel are in our best interest, we are compelled to defend or refute a policy with a depth of reflection that we may not normally tap into during our day to day lives in the U.S.

For many young travelers being presented with a negative or positive view of the U.S. may catch you off-guard. And you may find yourself wondering if everything that we’ve been told about our country is a lie.

Not necessarily, but how one group sees a geopolitical situation may be completely different from how another group perceives it.

When you live abroad, you see the way others see us. And that’s not a bad thing. We should have more understanding with other people from other countries.

Live abroad and become “the other.”

Living in a foreign country forces people into an experience of otherness. As a person of color, I’ve been the only black person in a class or a group (on many occasions). But there are many people who’ve never had the experience of being “the other.” It can be a shocking, disturbing and somewhat disorienting experience.

Young Americans need that experience so that they can develop empathy and develop a worldliness that can only be discovered through travel and a deeper curiosity about who and what is around us.

Young Americans need to travel abroad because not everything is about us. And to learn that life lesson, we have to venture beyond our borders. Those adventures foster a curiosity about the world that might fuel other adventures.

That curiosity about the world and willingness to explore it as a younger person will serve you well later in life if you go into international business or politics.

In recent election cycles, voters expressed concern about candidates lacking global awareness because they hadn’t traveled or lived abroad.  From a job perspective, international businesses look at global awareness through the lens of actual time spent living and exploring other places.

But, if developing a global awareness isn’t enough to entice you to live abroad, maybe the following reason will be enough: travel abroad because you can.

While you’re still single, have no kids, and basically have the least amount of responsibilities that you will ever have during your life. Of course, you can travel abroad at any age, but that first time when you have very little to lose and everything to gain, that first experience is everything.

For some people, that one experience will be enough. For others (like myself) that first trip will become addictive. And, each trip has grown my global awareness, my awareness of my role as an American citizen, and fed my lust for adventure.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Stop bitching about how old you are. Instead, get out there and enjoy life. Living a full life has nothing to do with age.

If you’re reading this post that means that you’re alive.

And, with every day you’re alive, it means you’re getting a little bit older.every.single.day.

Every. Single. Day.

To be honest, I didn’t focus on my (or other people’s) ages as I grew up. In fact, I really don’t care how old or young people are — with the exception of people that I’m dating.

Are you insecure about your age?

The older I get, the more I notice how other people put their age insecurities on me and the people around them.

You know what I mean. The person who talks about how old they are getting all the freaking time.  They drop their age into conversations with awkward precision during moments when you just don’t care.

Now, let’s be clear. I’m not saying that aging as a process doesn’t freak me out from time to time. It does. Sometimes, looking at my own mortality through the lens of my own aging body has me catch my breath in surprise.

But referring to how old you are in comparison to colleagues, or other people that you’re around, conveys an insecurity about your age that I don’t want to deal with.

We’re lucky to age the way we do in America.

I have my own insecurities. Yes, it’s true. Because I’m human. However, I also realize my American aging issues represent a First World Problem. People my age in other countries are considered bordering on elderly.  I realize I’m surrounded by people living a long and fruitful life because of access to good quality health care, clean air, and constant access to food.

I know how lucky I am. And, in those moments I hear my friends freaking out about some issue concerning their age I want to commiserate. But I also want to scream. Get over yourself. Deal with it. We all get it. Let it go. Get surgery.

We are all afraid of aging.

This is just a fact. I’ve just decided to face my aging fears head on. And, as a woman, there are additional fears that come up. Like leaving family planning too late.  But, hey, there was a lady in Germany who had quadruplets at 63 years old. Anything is possible.

I do prefer to have kids before the age of 63, though.

Age insecurities don’t help anyone.

Focus on living your best life.

My point is that instead of focusing on aging I’ve decided to focus on living my best life.

I have friends of all ages and they all give me life! My older friends show me that life doesn’t end at 27 years old. They are traveling the world, volunteering, politically active, and even starting families later in life. They are also studying, teaching, and continuously curious about the world around them. This constant curiosity about life-in-general is truly contagious.

These folks don’t have age insecurities. They get out there and live life to the fullest, without worrying about whether or not they are doing things “age-appropriate.”

My younger friends keep me in the loop about pop-culture, some technical things (even though I seem to know more), and push me to remain curious and aware of different things around me.

Every day I wake up I’m thankful and I don’t care how old I am as long as I’m still living. Each day I focus on living my life to the fullest. I speak to strangers, I tilt my face up to the sky, I practice gratitude, and I try to be kind to others.

I don’t take anything for granted.

As I write this post, I’m recalling a scary moment that happened earlier in the day. I was driving from the mountains when a giant truck raced in front of the car behind me. It was obvious that he didn’t expect to see my car in front of the other one.

He almost hit me. And, if he had, I don’t think I would have escaped that crash uninjured. Maybe not even alive. As I watched the truck speed past me, I began to shake because in that moment my life had flashed in front of my eyes.

Each day is a gift.

I don’t want to live a life of fear bound by age insecurities. I plan on continuing to push myself to grow as a human being. There are several goals that I still have pending on my list:

  • Become fluent in Spanish! I have a pretty decent grasp of it, but I would like to become fluent in Spanish by the end of this year. If Celine Dion could learn English in 4 months, I’m sure I could improve my Spanish by the end of the year.
  • Be in another music video. I was an extra in an R Kelly video. Seriously. I would love to be an extra in another music video. I need to start looking for an opportunity.
  • Live abroad for awhile. I’ve lived abroad several times before, but I feeling the call to go again. Will keep you posted.
  • Run a half marathon. Because a full marathon is too much.

I still have other dreams and goals. I have a lot of living to do.

Stop worrying about your age, whether you’re 20 or 50. Just live with passion, love fiercely, and be kind to yourself. Getting old is a wonderful thing, especially when you consider the alternative.

What do you hope to accomplish in life? What are your goals — no matter your age? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

As long as you are shameless at pinching pennies and strangers don’t creep you out, you can make bank with the sharing economy.

One of the best developments for people’s money in the digital age is the ability to take advantage of the sharing economy. You can hack your way to substantial budget savings.

When I discovered that I could save money with a few simple strategies and my phone, I drank the kool-aid to begin hacking my savings, and you should too.

Are you still paying full-price?

If you’re paying full price for anything, I have to ask: how much money you’re making to leave cash on the table? The best thing about the sharing economy is that you are rewarded for talking about your favorite goods and services.

You get discounts, access to promos, and a host of other budget-saving perks. Thanks to the rise of the sharing economy, you can do more while spending less.

What is the sharing economy?

When we talk about the sharing economy let’s talk about what that actually means. It’s a system that allows citizen/consumers to share: their own skills, actual homes, cares, or affiliate links to save money or make money through collaboration.

It’s the best thing ever.

I love the sharing economy and hope you’ll embrace it like I have.

How to save money with the sharing economy.

Let’s walk through the process of saving your money the sharing economy way.

First, it pains me to ask this, but, do you have a smartphone? Not everyone is a millennial. You just may be the one random person who is a holdout or from a different generation stopping by to see what Adulting is all about.

Ok, now that we’ve established that your technology is from this century let’s ease into some of the easiest ways you can share your way to savings. 

Figure out your money habits. Ask yourself (and be honest): are you a shopper, a saver, or a mix of both? Do you love to travel? Or do you stay home? By asking yourself these questions you’re better able to scout out the right apps and websites that will help you save your money.

I lean towards the spending side of things so I had to find sharing economy tools that help me manage that habit and save me money at the same time.

Download the right tools.

Now that you’ve figured out your money habits, download the Honey extension to Chrome.

I love Honey! Basically, it finds coupon codes and applies them to before you finalize your purchase. How is this a part of the sharing economy?

While Honey is a little outside of what I will talk about later but part of the sharing economy is to share information with your friends and family.  Basically, one of the most important components to the sharing economy is sharing ways that people can save or make more money with cool digital tools.

You can also download other extensions and tools like Ebates and Swagbucks. These tools can help you pocket a little extra change each time you buy.

Evangelize your favorite tools.

Next, become a cheerleader for your favorite apps, products, or resources.

Companies want you to become evangelists for their products. They have created affiliate programs for their customers to share shoutouts about their favorite products and companies. The customer (you) receives either credit towards future purchases or cash. Nice.

A couple of years ago I discovered that ThredUp.com (an online consignment store) had an affiliate program and I was able to share my way to almost $2,000 in clothing credit. Yep, that was a lot of clothing and I ended up buying clothes for my friend’s kids.

If you’re curious about whether or not your favorite product or company has an affiliate program, go to your personal profile for the product or service and see if there is an affiliate link. Companies like Ibotta, Digit, Ebates, and more all provide an affiliate link to members who sign up to use their product.

Stop by the library.

The next stop in slashing your budget is checking out your local library.

Yep, it’s a little geeky, but some libraries have begun a program called “The Library of Things.” Basically, you can check out items that you would normally purchase. I am currently on the waitlist for a GoPro. Some libraries allow patrons to check out sewing machines, videos, and projectors. The list goes on.

Bartering.

There are also bartering communities and sharing systems where members pay a small fee to check out an item that they would use infrequently.

Maybe you’re about to do a small remodeling project and need a piece of equipment to work on this project. Instead of buying that equipment for a couple of hundred dollars, you could rent it for a nominal fee.

Grow your income in the sharing economy.

Are you broke and you’re a great driver and not creeped out by strangers? 

Driving for Uber or Lyft may be a great way to grow your income. Likewise, you can open up your home as an Airbnb host and make money by hosting guests to your town.

There are tons of ways to make a little extra scratch with the sharing economy.

Perhaps the best thing about the sharing economy is the ease at which you can be rewarded for sharing your strengths, your time, or your home. You work hard for your money, don’t throw it away, and have fun while your discover all the ways that you can save or make money in today’s sharing economy.

You work hard for your money; don’t throw it away. Have fun while you discover all the ways that you can save or make money in today’s sharing economy.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

2016 really felt like the worst. Now that it’s over, we can breathe a sigh of relief. But was it really that bad? Are we just drama queens?

Many of us had just begun the process of putting our holiday decorations away and enjoying the beginning of 2016 when we heard the news: David Bowie died two days after his birthday.

It caught us off guard. We didn’t even know that he was sick.

WTH?

Collectively, we began mourning his beautiful music and the effect that his music had on our lives. The Thin White Duke was gone.

Celebrity deaths were everywhere in 2016.

As the year continued, it felt like 2016 had it in for us. Many of the people who were part of the tapestry of our lives weren’t going to get out of 2016 alive.

Prince, Mohammed Ali, Alan Rickman (Snape from The Harry Potter Series), Gene Wilder, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, and Fidel Castro. The alarming thing is that this is the short list.

And let’s not forget the late-year tragedy of losing Princess Leia/General Organa. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

It didn’t feel like we were drama queens as we continued to wrack up more losses even until the very end of 2016. It felt like the obvious response to emotional stress.

Was this the worst presidential election ever?

On top of all of the people dying, we were inundated by the constant sharing of the dulcet tones of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton making their cases for the presidency.

All day long. We couldn’t escape them, online, on TV on our cell phones, and any other place we found ourselves browsing for information. And we couldn’t escape friends and family talking about politics.

As we moved further into 2016 it began to feel like we were under fire.

Or, was our perception of what was going on in our world skewed by the constant availability of news, newsfeeds, and friends sharing things that would otherwise slip our notice?

Was our belief that 2016 had been a crappy year a result of the skillful targeting of Facebook ads and fake news stories? Was the real issue with 2016 that we had too much information available to us at all times?

Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss.

I found that, compared to other years, 2016 did feel like an exceptionally difficult year. And, as I wrote this post I decided to reflect on this. Was 2016, in fact, a difficult year? Or was there something else going on that I didn’t want to admit?

Are we all just a bunch of drama queens?

Life happens.

Life isn’t always easy. It’s messy, chaotic, and it’s not always pretty. Life is a gift, but it’s a gift that comes with the following reality: life is balanced out by death.

And, without being too morbid, death happens when you least expect it.

But 2016 was rough not just because of the beloved celebrities who passed away. It was rough because it felt like our way of life was dying. To me, it felt like the spirit of America in the way that we knew it was going away and maybe that was what was what we were having a collective reaction to.

And, let’s also be honest, as we get older our awareness of the mortality of the people in our lives becomes more acute.

We’re a lot more aware of the threats to our own lives and safety and with the ability to: Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Excessive amounts of frightening information leaves us shaking in our boots.

We begin holding our loved ones tighter and when situations like: terrorism, the shooting in Orlando, or natural disasters. We hold our breath until we’re sure that everyone we love and care about are OK.

We’re not drama queens for reacting to the changes we experience. Most people (myself included) resist change, especially when that change feels like an unwelcome visitor that just won’t go away.

So, are we drama queens?

I just think we’re human.

Perhaps the real issue that needs to be addressed is how to manage the emotions that come from the unexpected moments that break our hearts.

Own your feelings. David Bowie or Prince dying broke your heart because you are remembering the first time you heard “Let’s Go Crazy” or “Ashes to Ashes” and the way that you played it over and over again. Own it.

Do you love or hate how the election turned out? Are you frightened or thrilled by the outcome depending on your political philosophy? Own it.

Are you frightened of your own mortality? Be honest.

The most important piece of advice that I can give you is to embrace life. Embrace your loved ones. Don’t live in fear of the next shitty thing that may happen. Take each day as it comes because ultimately, you woke up that day.

I’ve had more shitty situations in my life than I would like to admit.

Some of those situations were my own fault, while other situations were the result of life happening. In every instance, I had to focus on becoming resilient and figure out ways to keep from being overwhelmed and demoralized by these situations.

But, let’s be honest, most years are a mixed bag.

At least you woke up today. Don’t take it for granted that life will always run smoothly.  And, yes, 2016 was pretty shitty.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!