c. schoenwald


United States of America

I'm a writer and storyteller. I share my stories either via the printed word or by performance.

Our Friendship Was Tested in Austin, Texas

While watching Baby Reindeer, I had a distressing flashback. No, it wasn't about stalking or anything like that - it was a comedy/improv festival flashback. It's an unspoken rule that actors...

Writing Helped Me Believe In My Worth

Diplomacy wasn't a personality trait of his, and he struggled to communicate my failure as a woman without being too brutally honest. "You only need to lose some weight, get your makeup done, buy...

Next Avenue
In Praise of Tribute Bands

Tribute bands let us experience the music of our youth without the stress, expense and hassle of seeing a band charting today

My Ex Refused To Laugh at My Jokes

I was a comedian who relied on her humor to get through life - the last thing I wanted from my boyfriend was confirmation that I'd told a joke. And yet, "Yep," was the extent of Stefan's response...

Next Avenue
How to Find a Mentor After 50

Look for people - younger or older than you - whose work you admire, and approach them graciously and gratefully

My Own Mom Said My Life Meant Nothing To Her

I have a toxic mother. After receiving a breakup letter from my mother, I waited for about a month and called her. I should have waited two months, or maybe I should have started our break from each other right then and there.

We Pretended to Be Our Parents to Right a Grievous Wrong

I'd like to state for the record that I wasn't then nor am I now, bitter about not getting cast in our high school production of "South Pacific." Being on the Make-Up crew with my two friends, Lynne, and Debbie was glory enough.

Mom's tossing everything, including me

"Five dollars," my mother says to the man wearing a hat with a clover leaf on it. She's referring to the box springs, mattress and frame that are lying in the middle of our driveway. "For each or for all?" "All, but get them out of here by dusk!"

Introvert, Dear
This Is the Most Surprising Trait Introverts Have

One of my favorite things to do as an introvert is to challenge what people believe about introverts - and prove to them that their preconceived notions about us are false. For example, I like to show them that misconceptions like all introverts are shy aren't necessarily true.

Next Avenue
What My Older Cat Taught Me About Aging

Yoshi is sitting on the table next to me with his head on my arm, which makes it challenging to type. He's all about proximity these days as he wants a steady stream of affection and warmth from his humans.

25 Cat Breeds That Are More Fluff Than Tough

There's something about fluffy cat breeds that just works. There's something about fluffy cats that just works. They could be long-haired or have a body surrounded by thick, dense and plush fur, and we can't get enough of them. That's because these fluffy cats have an almost magical presence in our lives.

Why Your Cat Thinks You're Rude

Cats are great at communicating when it comes to things like being hungry, needing affection, or going outside. However, when you make a feline-faux-paw or do something they find egregious, they don't say a word. If you're not paying attention, you might miss your cat's frustration at something you unintentionally did.

What Not to Say to a Cat Lover

I don't know why some people think it's okay to say hateful things about cats to people who love cats. If you can't say anything nice about cats, then what's wrong with you? If you're not a cat super-fan, you should be able to find something kind about them or at least know enough to keep your mouth closed and your opinions to yourself.

Is My Cat Secretly Banksy?

I absolutely adore my cat Yoshi and think he's amazing. Of course, I'm not alone in my devotion, we all love our pets and consider them uniquely wonderful. Our pets love us unconditionally, are there for our emotional well-being, and yet, ask for so little in return.

Introvert, Dear
How to Deal With a Narcissist When You're an Introvert

Growing up with a narcissistic mother has made me an expert on narcissists and toxic people. Though undiagnosed, my mother shows all the classic traits of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD): she lacks empathy, has to be the center of attention, is entitled, manipulative, and never takes responsibility for anything.

12 Ways to Multipurpose Your Essay

Get everything you can out of it Do you write personal essays? If you've never written a personal essay or you just don't like them, you're missing out. Essays of all types are some of the most versatile and hardworking writing forms out there.

Introvert, Dear
What Introverts Can Do When They Feel Overwhelmed by Life

Today is an ordinary day - no crisis, drama, or complex problems need to be solved. However, I feel overwhelmed, and not by any one thing, but by the many parts that make up my day-to-day life. I have less than no energy, even though I haven't done much.

My Mother Only Likes Me When She Thinks I'm Someone Else

My mother doesn't like most people and that includes me, her only surviving child. We get along a lot better on the phone than in person. And although I call her often, I don't talk to her every day. At 98, her hearing is practically non-existent, and she rarely hears either of her two phones ringing.

I Sent My Best Friend Undercover to My Ex's Bachelor Party

During the nine months that Jerod and I dated, I'd cheated on him for over half of it with his eccentric friend Stefan. When I was forced to choose between the two of them, I chose Stefan. I told myself I didn't want Jerod, but that didn't mean I was completely over him or that I didn't want him to want me.

No fear on that freeway of love

I was single and terrified of relationships. I limited myself to meeting men in cyberspace. The Internet may have wires, but it doesn't have strings. Online chatting was a good way for me to flirt and practice my social skills without fear of getting hurt.

Next Avenue
Middle-Aged With Roommates

When I was getting my B.A., I lived in a house full of other theater arts department students. To me, living in a big house with a bunch of people was a rite of passage, something that everyone needed to do in order to learn how to live, and get along, with others.

How I Was Embarrassingly Conned By My Foreign Ex-Boyfriend

"Do you know anyone in Karachi, Pakistan?" the customer service agent asked me for a second time.I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was getting annoyed, but I couldn't answer her right away. To most people it didn't sound like the trick question it was for me.

Next Avenue
When Swedish Death Cleaning Goes Too Far

"I'm doing a big purge," my mother tells me. When most people say this, it doesn't inspire the same kind of alarm and confusion as when my mother says it. Perhaps they're a hoarder, and purging is the first step of their recovery.

When It Comes to Aging, You Do You

No one ages in the same way or at the same rate. "When It Comes to Aging, You Do You" is published by Christine Schoenwald in Crow's Feet.

Introvert, Dear
How to Handle Confrontation When You're an Introvert Who'd Rather Avoid It

When every lunch ended with my friend making me cry, I knew I needed to end the relationship. I planned to fade out of her life peacefully without any ugly confrontations. Was this cowardly? Maybe a little. But as an introvert, I hate confrontation and avoid it whenever I can.

Raquel Welch Used to Drunkenly Call Our Number

We were two degrees of separation from the iconic star I was looking for something fun and mindless to watch and was searching all the streaming platforms I have. A movie, "A Swingin' Summer" (1965) caught my eye. It was a beach movie but set at Lake Arrowhead.

Introvert, Dear
How to Successfully Multitask as an Introvert

With our busy lives, multitasking is an essential skill for almost everyone. Unfortunately, it's an ability some introverts may feel they lack. And I speak from personal experience: I'm an introverted freelance writer who struggles to multitask. Although I try to spread out my deadlines, more often than not, it seems all my projects end up being due on the same day.

I Quietly Quit a Friendship, and I Wish I'd Done It Sooner

A friend doesn't make you cry on the regular "Not the stripper!" I said. Everybody celebrating Sasha's birthday at the Japanese BBQ restaurant froze. It was Sasha's friend's friend, who I called a stripper, and the friend flared up in supportive anger.

Introvert, Dear
How to Make a Great First Impression as an Introvert

When I was in a sketch comedy troupe, we had special performances called industry nights for casting directors, agents, and managers. Admission to the show was free. (There were also free appetizers and wine to put these show business gatekeepers in a good mood.)

It's OK To Spend All Your Money On Traveling, Says Science

By Christine Schoenwald It turns out that it's not whoever has the most stuff wins; it's whomever has had the most experiences wins, and ends up being happier. Say what? Aren't we supposed to save all our money so we can keep up with having the newest of phones, TVs, and cars?

"My mother broke up with me...by sending me a letter."

The letter arrived today. This originally appeared on Role Reboot. Republished here with permission. Although I won't mark it return to sender, neither will I read the whole thing in one sitting. I'll take it in small doses-the way I would with any kind of bitter medicine.

Revenge Is a Dish Best Served With Milk and Cookies

I learned early on I didn't have a gift for revenge I was six when I played my first and last game of Marco Polo in the McCormack family's pool. Not wanting to be thought ineligible for the game, I neglected to tell them I couldn't swim.

I'm a Better Daughter Than My Mother Deserves

She was a narcissistic parent My mother's dog, Billy, one of the few beings on the planet that she truly loves has stopped sleeping on her bed at night. My mother's caregiver, Rachel, says this is a sign that my mother won't be around to see her 98th birthday in March.

Introvert, Dear
The Top 8 Misconceptions About Introverts

Over the years, I've done stand-up and sketch comedy, performed in storytelling shows, and even acted in plays. I loved the feeling of having an audience in the palm of my hand. So you may be surprised to learn that I'm an introvert.

I Never Believed My Ex Cheated On Me - And I Still Don't

I was unfaithful in the past, but does that mean I'm a cheater forever? If a cheater attempts to change their behavior, do those changes stick or are the possibilities of them cheating always there? If the latter is true, how can a cheater ever be trusted?

How to Starve a Narcissist of Attention

Politics aside, we can all agree that Donald J. Trump is a narcissist. When he doesn't get the attention, he thinks he deserves - a mind-blowing amount, he strikes out, has a meltdown, or acts outrageously. He's never been one for taking the high road, and he appears to be incapable of showing any grace.

5 Emotional Stages Of Being Ghosted, Because You Just Need To Get Through It

Ghosting, just typing that word makes my stomach turn. I wish it meant spirits and talking to dead people - that would be a lot less confusing, annoying, and hurtful. According to the Urban Dictionary, "Ghosting is the act of suddenly stopping all communication with someone that the subject is

How I Overcame My Swimsuit Phobia And Learned To Appreciate My Body

My swimsuit phobia started in middle school - that breeding ground of body shame and fear. One minute I'm a kid excitedly putting on my pink two-piece and running into the ocean, the next, I'm avoiding any place where people are known to live in their swimsuits and I might be forced to wear one.

Role Reboot
When Friends Become Family - Role Reboot

Sometimes your family is made out of people who aren't related to you, and aren't required to love you-they just choose to be there for you. "Whee," says Cynthia as she whips her motorized shopping cart around the corner, and into the pasta aisle, nearly hitting a customer reaching out for an extra-large box of ...

When the Wrong Parent Dies First

This applies if you only have one good parent My father was six weeks away from turning sixty-eight when he had a massive heart attack and died while taking a shortcut through a sporting goods store. He wasn't one to take things slow - he walked briskly, he had a fast-moving brain, and in the end, he died fast.

8 Reasons Why My Narcissistic Cat Would Be The Worst Husband EVER

I'm pretty obsessed with Yoshi, but he just isn't marriage material. I recently read a story about a British woman happily to her two cats, Lugosi and Spider. I wasn't as shocked as some of the commenters were since I'm familiar with the concept of feline/human marriage.

Those Times Tim Curry Thought He Knew Me

Was it me he remembered or a sophisticated lady named Crissa? It was an ordinary night out with friends until actor Tim Curry came into the restaurant and looked at me with recognition in his eyes.

Keeping My Mother Alive For A Weekend Nearly Killed Me

My mother is hazardous to my health. I'm not exaggerating when I say anytime I have contact with her, it affects my health negatively: my blood pressure and anxiety spike, and I have digestive issues, headaches, and chest pains.

This Is What Your Vagina Is Supposed To Smell Like

I don't care how comfortable you are with your own body, we all have those moments where we think about how we smell down there. Maybe it's at the doctor's office before a pelvic exam, or it might be as your partner is making their way to your vagina for some up-close and personal fun.

How to Show Your Cat You Love Them

Contrary to popular belief, cats are emotional creatures. They're not always aloof or cold - they have emotions and needs just like humans do. Cats may have very different ways of showing how they feel or requesting what they need, but they feel happiness, loneliness, anger, grief, and even joy.

A Run-In At The Drive-In

We never went back When I was a kid, not only didn't we have a car, neither of my parents drove. Tragically, I was in college before I experienced the glories of a drive-in movie theater. By then, drive-ins were on their way out.

10 Pieces of My Dad's Financial Advice I I Regret Ignoring

Whenever I called my dad, I'd let the phone ring three times and hang up. Then, seconds later, he'd call me back. He devised this system as a way for me to save money. I'm fairly certain many parents, and their children had this same method, but my Dad thought he'd invented it.

When Kim Kardashian Is Mayor of My Town

Every citizen will get their own reality show Kim Kardashian is going to be the Mayor of our town. I don't know when but someday. Kim isn't content being a billionaire and major influencer. She wants to include being governor on her list of achievements, and a good first step would be becoming Mayor of Glendale...

Thought Catalog
10 Signs That You're In A Completely Toxic Friendship

There are many different kinds of toxic friends: the narcissistic friend, the friend you have to make all the plans with, the flaky friend, the friend who takes advantage of you, and the friend you have nothing in common with. Some you hang on, and others you need to get out of your life.

I'm Your Guardian Angel & I'm Giving You My Two Weeks Notice

Dear Matt, I wanted to let you know I've asked Head Office for a re-assignment. I'll no longer be your guardian angel two weeks from today. I can't wait!! Leaving one's post is frowned upon by the higher-ups, but I can't take your bullsh*t a second longer.

When Your Mother Isn't Your Role Model

We all need someone to look up to and emulate as we grow up. Someone to show us a way forward and inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. When we get older, we may also need role-models to embody the qualities we desire in ourselves.

Don't Be Fooled; Women Can Be Narcissists Too

You don't know how it happened, but somehow you let down your guard, and a narcissist slipped into your life. You've been burned before, and you're educated on their behavior. What threw you this time was that the narcissist was a woman.

14 Ways Narcissists Become More Toxic as They Age

We were almost there - my mother's house, 300 miles away from our house when outside of Stockton, we were rear-ended on the highway. Our packed car was totaled, but we were shaken, but okay. The plan had been to stay with my mother for 10 days and help her out.

My Vet Shamed Me for Not Having the Money to Save My Cat

What would you do to save a pet that you loved? If you're like most people, you will do whatever you could, but sometimes some things prevent you from saving their lives. When I say I loved my cat Yoshi more than anything in the world - it isn't an exaggeration.

The Terrible Wonderful Summer That Ended With My First Kiss

Can my memory be trusted? I was a few months shy of my 14th birthday when my parents sent me to an alternative Quaker boarding school for the summer. I don't think they were trying to torture me, even though that's how it felt.

The Other Opposite of Narcissism, Echoism

From an early age, I knew I didn't want to grow up and be like my mother. She was self-centered, cold, and mostly disinterested in what anybody had to say, including me. She's a narcissist and has many other terrible qualities and personality traits besides narcissism. Still, she also...

Leaving Las Vegas in The Snow

What happens on the way home from Vegas My partner, Andy, and I gasped as snowflakes coated our car as we headed out of Las Vegas. Las Vegas isn't where you go for snow. Isn't the cocaine variety of snow the kind of snow you find there, not the crystalline water-ice that falls silently from the clouds?

What Not to Do When Your Car Is Being Stolen

Someone or something was looking out for us Whenever Meena and I wanted vegetarian Indian food with a side of danger, we went to Parus in Hollywood. The restaurant was located on the sketchier part of Sunset Blvd and had a huge metal gate in front of it.

4 Words That Instantly Make You Seem More Polite

It can be the smallest of gestures, the simplest of phrases, and the quietest of actions that make us think that the person we're having a conversation with is truly connecting with us.

Everybody Ditched Me at My Birthday Party

As if turning thirteen doesn't suck enough already I was barely 13 years old, but I could tell my party sucked. Watching the guests leave forty-five minutes after arriving was a clear sign that this wouldn't be the grooviest birthday slumber party ever.

My Mother Is Leaving Her Funeral Arrangements to Me

She finds it all so tedious CW: Mentions of suicide and abuse. Shortly after my father died of a heart attack while walking through a sporting goods store, my mother and I got into a huge fight. This dispute was over where she should go in the line-up of eulogists at his funeral.

I Don't Make the Litter Box Rules

We learned long ago that if we didn't follow the litter-box rules my cats had set forth, there would be hell to pay. If anything, cats know how to punish those who don't follow their wishes. Every cat is unique, and you'll have to adjust to your own cat's needs and quirks.

We Laughed About My Sexual Assault

Trigger Warning: this article contains descriptions of sexual assault that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.

Bob Ross Quotes for When You're Not Feeling Talented Enough

Although Bob Ross was a painter, art instructor, and television host, those weren't the things that brought him fame and made him a pop-culture icon. It was his calming voice, his optimism, and his perm. Not many people took his art seriously, which was okay with him.

10 Surprising Reasons Why Narcissists Apologize

"I'm sorry I said you were a terrible writer," my mother said. It's a rare thing when my mother apologizes to me or anyone, so when she does, it feels more like a warning shot than her admitting she made a mistake.

What I Do When I Feel Disappointed With What I've Achieved

We're great at recognizing other people's achievements, but it's much more challenging to see and appreciate our own. How many times do you do something to support a friend or a loved one, but fail to congratulate yourself on finishing a project or achieving a goal?

An Italian Endometriosis Study Rated Participants on Attractiveness

A study titled " Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study," was recently retracted due to backlash from both the public and the medical community. If you're like me, you may wonder how such a superficial and misogynistic study was funded and approved in the first place.

It's National Cat Day & My Cats Have Demands

My cats are fed up, but not in the ate too much kibble way and will do a panoramic-vomit. They're annoyed there are over 25 cat holidays, and they've never benefited from any of them.

Fainting Causes Me Extreme Anxiety Which Makes Me Faint

I was nine-years-old and visiting family in Ireland. I was standing in front of an Irish butcher shop waiting for my uncle. There was a side of beef hanging in the window, and I noticed the butcher stroking the meat and wiping his bloody hands on his stained apron.

My Father Created an Imaginary Friend for Me

Why bother doing anything when Prunella would always do it better, and with the smile of a self-satisfied sociopath? Sure, Prunella was invisible, but I just knew she smirked. My jealousy increased with each story my father told me.

How Not to Fake an Acid Trip

Like many high school students, I was an idiot - and extremely lucky I didn't get myself killed. I had dumb luck, but without out the part where something unexpectedly good happens, so more like dumbass luck. In the late 1970s, TV movies/Movies of the Week/After School Specials were considered effective teaching tools for teenagers.

Mark, From 10th Grade Spanish, Is Leaving Facebook in Two Weeks

Mark, from 10th Grade Spanish, knows how important staying connected to him is for you, so he's letting you know in advance he's leaving Facebook. Mark wants you to be able to handle this transition without losing your shit. He knows how hard it's going to be not to see his "Daily Guffaws" and "What I'm Thinkin' About" posts.

Your Next Cat Will Find You

If you're a cat person like me, every death is a tremendous loss; some leave a more massive wound in your heart. When you have a 'hole' like that, you may try to fill it as fast as you can, and for...

My Boyfriend Didn't Think I Was Funny-And It Completely Ruined Us

"You're cute, but you have a stupid personality," I said to my future boyfriend. He laughed. I remember this clearly because it was the first and last time that I ever made him laugh out loud. I certainly never inspired him to laugh his ass off or roll on the floor laughing.

After 50, You Come Into Your Own

It's not always easy to find your way in the world, and it can take decades. I worked for a long time at a job that didn't excite or stimulate me creatively, and it certainly wasn't any barometer of success.

I Was a Victim of an Annoying Crime

There were no winds on that late summer day in Los Angeles. Only twelve hours before, the weather had been full of the dry and frenetic Santa Ana winds - the same winds which blow hot and fierce every year at this time.

I Won't Watch Anything That Involves Animal Cruelty

I'll never watch The End of the F***king World, The Stranger, or Don't F*ck With Cats, even though I normally enjoy watching movies and TV shows about serial killers, young adults, or true-crime. I'm still undecided about Tiger King.

Writers Who Don't Finish What They Start Need Accountability

Do you always finish a project before you start another one, or do you get bored or distracted halfway through and abandon it like me? I've been a non-finisher since grade school. I'd get a genius idea I couldn't wait to work on and start with a bang.

You're Allowed to Love Other Cats in Addition to Your Own

I'm sitting on the couch petting our cat Josie, when Yoshi, comes into the room and gives me the look. I shouldn't feel guilty, but I do. It's not as bad as walking the neighbor's dog when they're out of town, but it's the worst kind of emotional affair in Yoshi's mind.

You Can Be Young Forever Online

This is a big year for my classmates - we're all reaching the age that matches the last two digits of our birth year, and we all have our ways of dealing with this momentous age. One of my classmates...

How Furious Cats Get Revenge on Obnoxious Humans

When you're a cat person, you make an unspoken deal with your cat to provide them food, water, affection, toys, shelter, and safety, and in return, your cat promises you nothing.

Character Monologues Are What You Should be Writing.

It's good for your writing to do something different once in a while Are you finding it harder to write right now? Is it writer's block or do you feel pressured to write something significant? Could it be that you're tired of writing the same articles, essays, and non-fiction that you always write?

My Cat Josie and I Are Grieving Together

My cat, Yoshi, was there to comfort me when his predecessor, Evan, died. Yoshi distracted me from my pain and was ready with kitty-kisses, purrs, and hugs - yes, Yoshi gave hugs. I dreaded Yoshi's death and tried to prepare for it emotionally.

9 Things I Learned From a Pet Psychic

"Yoshi and Ray are enjoying eating ice cream," Frankie (not her real name) said. "Yoshi admits he never ate ice cream when he was alive, but in the afterlife, he can't get enough of it," Frankie* continued.

We Bonded Over a Common Enemy - Our Roommate

Shawn would say things like, "I'm the greatest actor around - I'm better than Pacino and DeNiro combined," even though he had never taken an acting class or had an actual role in a movie, T.V. show, or put in any hours at a community theatre.

Coffee Addict Baffled By Her Chronic Insomnia

After tossing and turning Wednesday night, a sleep-deprived Haley Peters, 32, was mystified on Thursday as to why she couldn't get to sleep the previous night. The Kansas City office manager told coworkers that she had tried all her usual sleep tricks including counting sheep, doing a headstand, curling her toes, inhaling through her left nostril, and using a sleep app called, Good Sleeps, but that nothing had worked.

I AM & CO®
12 Ways Having an Attitude of Gratitude Improves Your Life | I AM & CO®

Before I officially get out of bed in the morning, I say some affirmations and then I list the things that I'm grateful for. Since I don't have the entire day, my verbal gratitude list is condensed, and then as I go about my day I bring up other things that I'm grateful for as they pop into my head.

I AM & CO®
What to Do When Someone Betrays You | I AM & CO®

Betrayal is one of those things that you never want to experience, but you probably will more than once. There are massive betrayals such as cheating and infidelity, and smaller ones (but often just as heartbreaking) like gossiping, emotional-cheating, and lying. Unfortunately, betrayal i

I AM & CO®
12 Female Comedians You Should Be Following Right Now | I AM & CO®

Throughout the decades, funny women have had a hard time being taken seriously as female comedians. There was an attitude that women weren't funny and that the only place for them in the comedy-world was as the straight woman who the male comic would use to set up his jokes or bounce his one-liners off of.

I AM & CO®
How To Be A Confident Woman During A Crisis Of Confidence | I AM & CO®

We asked some experts to give tips on how to increase self-confidence and the belief that we're all worthy of success, happiness, and love. Understand that self-confidence is a skill: According to the founder of BU Coaching, Decian Edwards, recognizing that self-confidence is a skill like any other is the most important step you can take towards becoming self-confident.

I AM & CO®
How My Experience With Endometriosis Makes Me Stronger

There's a lot more talk about endometriosis than there used to be, but for some reason when I started to write this, I felt stuck. It felt too intimate in a way to reveal my own struggles with this condition. However, endometriosis affects an estimated 200 million women worldwide including Lena Dunham, Padma Lakshmi, Halsey, Tia Mowry-Hardrict.

The Art Of Saying "Thank You" Instead Of "I'm Sorry"

I'm snaking my way through the showers to the pool at the gym which is trickier than it sounds. There are a ton of women, mostly all naked, doing all different kinds of activities. Some are showering, but others are looking through their bags for their post-workout-toiletries, while a small group chatting have situated themselves awkwardly in the center between the two rows of showers.

Why '13 Reasons Why' Was Triggering For Me And Might Be For You Too

(Ed note: If you haven't seen 13 Reasons Why or if suicide is triggering for you, you might not want to read this piece.) I was excited when I read that Selena Gomez was producing a Netflix series of 13 Reasons Why. I read the book and loved it but I didn't recall being especially affected by it.

Nice Is Nice But I Prefer Kindness

I have a friend who is always saying, "People are so nice!" and being genuinely surprised and grateful every time someone does some small thing. But to me, while nice is good, kindness is better. When someone commits an act of kindness, no matter how small, it has a much more substantial result.

I AM & CO®
How To Stay Happy When You're Around Negative People

One of the hardest things to do is to stay positive and happy when you're around negative people. If you're surrounded by co-workers, friends, or family members who are bitter, easily angered, constantly upset, and cynical, over time their negativity can wear you down.

I AM & CO®
16 Life Lessons I Learned From Failing

It's taken me a long time to be okay with failure. When I say okay, I mean not have a meltdown over it. I'm not completely comfortable with failing and making mistakes, but I'm at the place where failure doesn't destroy me, and I'm able to learn from it.

Purple Clover
There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Every day that I was in grade school, my mother would pack me a sensible lunch with carrots, an apple and a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread. It was very healthy, but screamingly abnormal as far as I was concerned and branded me forever as a lunchtime loser.

I Was A Grudge Holder

I used to be a master grudge holder, and the worst part is that I didn't see it as a negative characteristic. I thought that holding onto grudges made me strong, fierce, and a bad-ass. I didn't see that hanging on to that kind of negativity was hurting myself more than it was hurting others.

Taking Pet Breaks Can Aid In Wellness & Self-Care

I work from home, and it's funny, but self-care is the last on my list of concerns. I worry that I get distracted too easily, that I'm not productive enough, or that I'm not taking my job seriously enough, especially if I'm doing my writing wearing an old tee-shirt and sweatpants.

I AM & CO®
How To Practice Self-Care During An Endometrial Flare-Up

We all know how crucial self-care is to our health and well-being, but somehow, it always seems to get pushed to the side--we get busy, or we put all our energy towards caring for other people rather than ourselves.

I'm Still Friends With My Ex & I Don't Know Why

Why am I still friends with my ex? It's clear to everyone that knows me, that the healthiest thing I could do for myself is to end all contact with him. But for some reason, I can't cut my ex entirely out of my life.

I AM & CO®
Tea Parties Are The New Cocktail Parties

Want to shake up your social life without feeling overwhelmed? Have a grown-up tea party!! When you hear the words tea-party you might think of stuffy, formal teas, or the more festive and girly teas thrown for baby-showers, but the truth is that teas can be as cool and modern as you make them.

I AM & CO®
Do This Instead Of Comparing Yourself To Others

Do you ever compare yourself to others? It's so easy to do that sometimes we're not even aware that we're doing it. You see someone's Instagram and think how you wish your life was as amazing as theirs is or someone achieves one of your careers goals and you mentally beat yourself up for not doing better.

I AM & CO®
My 10 Item Bucket List Helped Me Savor The Summer

Where did the summer go? I can't count how many times in my life that I've asked myself that question. Summer always seems to be over before I know it and if I didn't go on vacation or do anything summery, I feel cheated. So, this year, I decided to make a summer bucket list.

Ravishly | Media Company
Is It Because I'm Fat? How Internalized Shame Impacts Intimacy

When fat people are honest about their appetites regarding food and sex, it makes many people uncomfortable. Many people believe that fat people are already too much. Any hunger we might have is considered excessive, so that we when we do try to satisfy our cravings, we're thought of as indulgent and undisciplined.

I AM & CO®
10 Benefits Of Self-Awareness

I used to believe that when someone was described as being self-aware, it meant that they were conceited and full of themselves-that there wasn't enough room in their brain to think about anyone else. I wondered why I'd ever want to be around someone who was so self-obsessed, let alone be the kind of person who considered themselves self-aware.

Ravishly | Media Company
Are Fat Women Easy Targets For Narcissists?

I recently wrote an article about men who have sex with fat women but refuse to date them. What I didn't talk about is another kind of user - the men who date and have sex with fat women, but only for a short time, and only for the purpose of building up their egos.

Ravishly | Media Company
The Right To Be Sexual At Any Size

As unbelievable as it may seem, fat women love sex - and not because we're desperate for any small scrap of attention. We enjoy the sensual pleasure of being touched, the connection we feel when we're intimate with another person, and the chemical reaction that our bodies go through when we're having sex.

9 Things To Know About Dating An Impatient Person

For people who have very little patience, it feels as if the world around them is stuck on one speed - Not fast enough. When the impatient person is in a restaurant it feels like forever to get for them to get their order. Seriously, how long does it take to cook bacon?

7 Steps to Finishing What You Started

When I was 13, I found an old, empty-of-glass, window frame on top of a pile of trash at a construction site. I lifted the frame up, looked at it, and decided right then to do a weaving inside of it for my arts and crafts project.

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I Don't Want Witnesses When I'm Weighed

I'm sitting in a medical office waiting room that could have been decorated in the late 1970s with its dirty beige and military green walls, and uncomfortable metal chairs. The room has a cheerless and oppressive feel and isn't a place that you want to be in any longer than necessary.

Ravishly | Media Company
My Family Doesn't Celebrate Holidays, But I Do

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are nearly here. Every mall has their Santa's workshop primed and ready for tiny guests with their long lists, the go-ahead has been given to play non-stop holiday music, and loved ones are returning home so they can be with their families.

Purple Clover
The Day I Gave My Big Prize Away

"Planet of the Apes," "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" and "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" would all be shown in their entirety at the Garden Theater. So many apes and escapes, and I couldn't tell you the plot lines of any of them.

Purple Clover
To Be Young and in Love

"Can you look up Charlie on your magic box?" my mother asks. "Magic box" is her name for computers and Charlie is the name of the only man she ever loved. I'm visiting her in the tiny Sacramento delta town she lives in.

Purple Clover
Enter Laughing

My parents met-cute when my dad showed up at my mother's house a day early for a party. My mother was in the middle of cleaning up her apartment when she heard a knock on the door. She opened it to find a short, dark-haired man who thought he had arrived right on time for a fun get-together.

Purple Clover
Let's Do the Time Warp Again

The first time I saw "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," I was 15 and shocked and titillated by what was happening on the screen. But, by the end of the movie, I was completely hooked. For my friends and I, seeing a Rocky Horror midnight show became what we did on Friday nights.

Coming Out As Fat

Before I started to write for Ravishly, I never used the word fat, and I rarely mentioned by body-type. But since then, I've tried to be more honest and have worked towards self-acceptance which includes coming to terms and owning the word fat.

I'm Fat, I'm Fabulous, But I'm Not Your Fetish

My boyfriend and I met online; it took me about two years of meeting and dating a bunch of creepsters for me to find him eventually. Dating is complicated for any woman, but for one who is plus-sized, it's even more challenging.

Ravishly | Media Company
Are Formerly Fat People More Fatphobic Than Other People?

When my boyfriend and I go someplace where smokers are, he gets very agitated. He waves the smoke out of his face with an overexaggerated gesture, starts uncontrollably fake coughing, and fixates on the smokers with his stink-eye. Why does he feel that he has to send a message?

Growing Up In A Fatphobic Household

I grew up in a fatphobic household - one that was created by my mother's fear of getting and staying fat. Her fatphobia, often directed at me, was then reinforced by my brother, and unconsciously supported by my father.

I'm Overweight And Get Fat-Shamed When I Exercise

I'm riding my bike around a local community center on a Sunday morning. The air is crisp and fresh - a rarity in Los Angeles - and I enjoy feeling the cool air against my skin as I ride.

Ravishly | Media Company
Face To Face With My Own Fatphobia

"You have Stage 4 Lipedema. It's a rare fat disease. Your bottom half told me." You might wonder who said this to me. Was it a friend? A doctor? Someone close to me in the medical profession? No, it wasn't anybody like that.

I'm Closer To My Best Friend Than I Am To My Partner Of 15 Years

There are just some friendships that last forever, no matter how different you are. But what happens when you're closer to your best friend than your boyfriend? Here's how you can still love your partner and stay super close with your best friend.

I'm Fat-Shaming My Cat And It Needs To Stop

"Allie, you need to go on a diet, your ass is huge," I say. No, I'm not a complete asshole, Allie is my cat. I've been saying these fatphobic things to her for a while, but only recently realized that when I fat-shame her, I'm fat-shaming myself.

I'm Done Trying To Be The Perfect Fat Person

Some of our happiest moments are those when we think that no one is watching: when we sing at the top of our lungs in our cars, or we dance down the frozen-food aisle of the supermarket allowing ourselves the freedom to let our inner child out.

I Was My Body's Bully

This wasn't a neighborhood bully taunting me on my way to school - this is what I said to myself all day long, well into adulthood. The bully was me, and like most bullies, I relentlessly tormented my victim with verbal and physical abuse. I was the bully of my own body.

My Fear And Anxiety Threesome

A good friend of mine lives in Paris, and although I've visited him in the past, there's no chance that I'll ever visit him there again. The reason for my refusal isn't that I think the City of Lights is a terrible place, it's just that it won't be only me going; it will be me, my anxiety and my fear - and those two complicate everything in my life.

IT HAPPENED TO ME: My Neighbor's Loud BDSM Parties Forced Me to Move

Sometimes you're lucky and have the type of neighbor who will sign for your packages and deliver them to you the moment you get home. Other times, you might not be as fortunate in the neighbor lottery and end up living next door to your neighborhood's version of Walter White and his meth superlab.

9 Reasons Why Binge-Watching Is Just Like Dating

You know that feeling you get when you are just starting to date someone? You feel excited, happy, and apprehensive at the same time. If you think about it, didn't you get that same feeling when How To Get Away With Murder started? You wonder what surprising wonderfulness is coming your way.

Role Reboot
Commitment Can Happen Without A Marriage Certificate - Role Reboot

We've been together for over 14 years, and have never gotten married. We're deeply committed to each other, but sometimes the belief in a relationship can be tested when you least expect it. Andy and I stay seated watching the names scroll down the screen.

How To Be Strong When Someone Breaks Your Heart

Is there anything worse than being dumped? Don't answer that. I know that basically there are lot of things worse than being dumped by your boyfriend or girlfriend, but there's something so raw and personal about being dumped. It feels personal because it absolutely is personal. All the emotions

What It's Like To Suffer From Premature Break-Up Syndrome

Have you ever broken up with someone long before you should have? Maybe you thought the person wasn't good enough for you or that you could do better. Perhaps you broke up while the relationship still worked, but you decided that since everybody left you at some point, you might as well make a preemptive strike.

My Own Mom Said My Life Meant Nothing To Her

After receiving a breakup letter from my mother, I waited about a month and called her. I should have waited two months, or maybe I should have started our break from each other right then and there.

9 Benefits Of Dating A Sarcastic Woman

Why in the world would anybody in their right mind want to get involved with a sarcastic woman? I mean, dating a sarcastic woman would be like choosing to spend time with someone who was highly intelligent, sexy as hell, hilarious, and had an unique point of view. Who wants that?

8 Reasons Being A Crazy Cat Couple ROCKS

When Andy and I moved in together there was no question that he'd bring his cat and I'd bring mine; it was like the Brady Bunch-only with cats. Kitties have always been part of the equation with us, and loving cats is something that binds us together.

17 Things You Need To Know About Dating An Awkward Girl

We all have our awkward moments - those times when we don't know what to do with our hands, or we say something completely inappropriate at an important dinner party. But awkward people don't just have occasional awkward moments, they have a gazillion awkward moments. They're so awkward that it

I Dumped My Mean Girl Friends Like A Bad Habit. So Should You.

"It's as if someone called you a whore," Meagan* said without apology. I was stunned she was bringing it up again. I thought we were having a lunch date, I didn't realize it was just another opportunity for her to berate me about a social blunder that happened months ago.

I Dated A Real Christian Grey-And It Was Nothing Like The Book

A woman has her own experience dating a man who enjoys kinky sex, while she prefers "vanilla" sex. Although she tries to talk herself into dating the guy, with hopes that they can maybe come to an agreement, in the end it's just not the same as a 50 shades novel.

I Never Wanted To Get Married Until My Boyfriend Refused To Marry Me

While other little girls draped white towels around their heads pretending to be brides, I was playing Naked Car Accident by putting the world's most famous (doll) super couple, Barbie and Ken in Barbie's pink convertible, and throwing the unclothed duo down the stairs. I know it sounds kind of

The 5 Stages Of Grief After You've Been Unfriended On Facebook

We've all had that shocking moment of truth,where you quickly try to evaluate what you could've done to make someone delete you off Facebook. Unfortunately, we'll never know but here are the five stages you go through right after you've discovered someone has unfriended you from Facebook.

How I Was Embarrasingly Conned By My Foreign Ex-Boyfriend

"Do you know anyone in Karachi, Pakistan?" the customer service agent asked me for a second time.I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was getting annoyed, but I couldn't answer her right away. To most people it didn't sound like the trick question it was for me.

How Social Media Fueled An Out-Of-Control Obsession With My Ex

I was getting out of control when I went online searching for free love spell. When I met my ex, we immediately clicked. He loved theater, travel and books - things I loved too. He wasn't what most people would think of as a hot but I found him incredibly attractive with his geeky yet cute face.

Role Reboot
My Mother Sent Me A Breakup Letter - Role Reboot

I opened the envelope, and pulled the letter out. It was at least six pages. I glanced over it and saw words like "disappointed," "behavior," "crappy," and "finished." The letter arrived today. Although I won't mark it return to sender, neither will I read the whole thing in one sitting.

Purple Clover
Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore Art Thou?

I'm standing in a messy line of people that weaves around a corner, through a curtain, and then disappears. Where the line actually ends, nobody knows. We're on what appears to be the purgatory level of the Castro Theater in San Francisco.


Stinkos by Christine Schoenwald We had two ginkgo trees in front of our house on Cherry Ave in San Jose, Calif. Ginkgo trees have lovely, fan shaped, light green leaves. Falling from their branches, they look like wounded dancers as they flutter to the pavement.