Strong, Like a Shot of Whiskey

This story starts just like any other: I was thirteen and my first boyfriend broke up with me, because I “came on too strong.” Tears rolled down my hot, red, cheeks, as my mother consoled me and explained, that one day, some man would love this quality in me — Just how my father had with her. Naturally, thirteen year-old me, cried harder, because, well, isn’t that what mothers are supposed to say?

***

Over the past year, I’ve had to deal with not one, but two, pretty significant and life altering break-up’s. Both the men and the situations taught me a great deal, but this isn’t about me bashing them — It’s about what I’ve learned along the way. I enjoy sharing “lessons learned” and this time around, I feel what I know now, should be shared with as many people as it can possibly reach and maybe, just maybe, I’ll help another young girl who’s crying in her bed, late at night, because she feels… well, for the lack of better words, worthless.

Not to toot my own horn, but I don’t know another way to say it: I was blessed with a pretty face, beautiful hair, big blue eyes, etc, etc..

  

That’s me on my first day of high school — 2004

As a teenager, I was friends with the boys, but never really attracted many of them. They always told me, my personality was “too much to handle.

To clarify their statements, I will admit, I’m very outspoken and energetic. Even when it comes to friends, I am a very passionate and caring person, so I guess, that scared certain (almost all) guys away. Even up until my early college days, I always felt that I was just a pretty face. I never felt that guys took me seriously and when they did, my “strong” personality scared them away.

Within the past year, I have had two of the best relationships in my life, end. The first, was a long-term. After almost five years of dating, I chose to break things off and I immediately jumped into relationship number two — which lasted for less than a year. In the second relationship, we went through a series of breakups, but in the end, he broke up with me. Both of these ended terribly. I spent hours, days, and weeks, crying over the guys who were, ironically, no longer part of my life. I analyzed old text messages, viewed old photos, watched sad Lifetime movies… You know, typical girl sh*t. Then, about 2 weeks ago, I got into a terrible car accident that changed my life.

  

I suffered traumatic injuries: A punctured lung, broken nose, fractured skull, as well as fractures in several parts of my face, including behind my eye, a concussion, and the worst — my brain was bleeding. I woke up three days after the accident and couldn’t recall a single thing. Actually, I still don’t know what caused me to lose control of the car that night, but it definitely changed my outlook on life, especially in regards to the recent breakups, which I had still been suffering through up until the night of the accident.

I realized that had I, God-forbid, not made it out of the hospital alive, I would’ve passed away with bad blood. As I said, things ended badly with both relationships and many things went left unsaid or things were said, but out of anger. I realized that first, I wanted to reach out to bother the guys, letting them know I was alright. I wanted to, at the least, try to form a friendship with them both. To my surprise, one came to visit me in the hospital and we had the chance to REALLY talk. Mind you, I was heavily medicated, but it was sweet of him to listen and visit me, before I had even asked!

Although it took something horrific, I learned that sometimes people come into your life not to stay, but to teach you lessons — With the two guys in my story, maybe they came into my life to teach me what I want and what I don’t want, who knows? It’s too early to tell. Yet, I know they both taught me a lot about myself.

I learned that I needed to respect myself. I found myself consistently doing things for their happiness and not mine, yet I refused to admit I wasn’t happy… because I wasn’t. I love making others happy. It’s something that makes me smile. Although, I never seemed to get that in return, so I found that I wasn’t happy, because I was not giving myself the level of respect that I needed.

Not too long ago, I read a cheesy quote before that said something like:

You’ll receive the type of love that you think you deserve.


I think the same is true with respect. You will get the level of respect that you believe you deserve. It’s all about how you carry yourself and actions will ALWAYS speak louder than words, especially when it comes to relationships.

I consistently felt like I was changing myself to be who, both guys wanted me to be: Quiet, submissive, passive, etc.. None of that is me. I come on “too strong” and honestly, I’d much rather be thought of that way than the other.

I realized I don’t want to change for anyone anymore. I want to be Taylor. I had always been confident in who I was, so why had I let two guys, who were no longer in my life, rob me of that? 

Because I couldn’t accept that things were over. 

I needed to let go.

When I woke up in that hospital bed I was overcome with happiness to be alive and that was enough for me. I didn’t need any guy to do that for me. I realized I was able to do it all on my own. I decide that each morning, when I wake up and each night, when I lay down to sleep. No longer, do I wake up crying or fall asleep with tears running down my face. I smile, because I made it through another day — one more day that I can say I was alive.

One of the guys has walked back into my life and we will always have a relationship. He is somebody I hold very dear to my heart and I’m glad we had the chance to grow closer again. I didn’t hold it against either of them, when I offered friendship, if their response was no. Just as I have to respect myself, I have to also respect others.

Even though it took this horrific accident to make me really understand what it means when people say, “life is too short,” it also made me come to the conclusion, I should never cut people out. I will always welcome an invitation from others, who are kind, to be friends. You can never have enough friends, because never know when you might lose one. As I explained earlier, my belief: People are put in our lives for plenty of reasons, so why not fill your life with as many friends as you can to have them teach you as much as humanly possibly — be that good or bad — It’s all a lesson to learn.

Recently, I have had not one, but two men, tell me how they love that I “come on strong” and they enjoy my passionate personality — even when it comes to friendship. It made me a little emotional to hear both of them say this, because I’ve waited since I was thirteen: When my mom told me, as I cried into her shoulder, some day, some man, will love this quality about me and look at that — Two men told me, just that, within the past week!

Mothers are always right.

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CHEERS TO TWENTY-FOUR YEARS!

#TBH I’m surprised I even made it this far …

Raise your glass & share a toast!

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Twenty-four means you’ve started a defining decade in your life.

This era of your “early twenties” was summed up perfectly

by one neurologist as:

“A time of great risk and great opportunity”

Basically, you’re young enough to stay selfish,

but old enough to know better…

The following are the five things I’ve sort’ve figured out …
 

1. What is Life?

This really only applies to people who aren’t boring.

If you are one of those boring individuals:

It was really great to see forty notifications on LinkedIn about your latest promotion (Because we care?)

& OH, I ALMOST FORGOT! Congrats on the updated Facebook relationship status!

I’m sure you and your cat will be very happy together….

If you are NOT one of those boring individuals: 

You’ll begin to start questioning life right after you turn twenty-one. It will blindside you on a random Wednesday & you’ll think  back to when you read this and say, “Shit. She was right…” Yeah, well guess what? I’m always right.

There will be bills you must pay, obligations must keep & decisions you must make.

WORDS OF ADVICE: Verizon, Comcast, AMEX, nor Visa….

Will give two, three, or even four shits…that you “HAD TO HAVE” the new Google Glass…

Sort’ve like when you were little and your mom would threaten you with,

“If you break it, you buy it” 

Here is the adult version your mother never happened to mention:

“If you charge it, YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT LATER”

There are also these things called: APR, Interest, & Late Fee’s… Just as they sound, they are no fun.

Things may seem like they are starting to make sense .. and then they don’t & shit gets even more confusing than it was in the first place. Around this same time you’ll probably start to wonder about your character, morals &  beliefs:

 “What am I doing with my life?”

“Is this wrong?”

and even more importantly …

“Is Starbucks REALLY better than Dunkin?”

life choices

It gets better. Well, at least I hope it does. If I figure it out before you — I’ll make sure to mention it..

2. “AAAAAAND SHE’S PREGNANT…”

In the blink of an eye you’ll go from uploading pictures of you & your 8 million “best friends” …

…To unfollowing those exact same people five years later. Mostly due to the fact that they posted 40 pictures  IN A ROW of their newborn, alien baby & they continuously feel the need to use the hashtag “#babymama” like it’s a good thing…

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Oh, and don’t even get me started on all the engagements. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather wait until my fiancé can afford the ring I want, than him surprising me with a princess-cut cubic zirconia “diamond” from Walmart. I see this sad and unfortunate scenario play out daily as I scroll down my Instagram feed…

… and then I scroll back up to delete you.

If your engagement ring is that tacky, I do NOT want to see what the wedding will look like…

3. “Help Me, I’m Poor!”

If you have your shit together, you’re probably out of college by now, working your first job, getting paid like shit & still eating Ramon noodles. This may be where you return back to #1 (What is Life?) and ask yourself how did four years of suffering result in becoming more poor than you were to begin with?

You’re so poor even the bank even feels the need to remind you. Not only are you completely broke, but the NOTHING somehow turns into something…

Negative.

“Hello, Welcome to Wells Fargo Bank. Just to let you know you’re -23.00 in your checking. How would you like to fix this?”

Yes, I know. I am very well aware, considering you feel the need to remind me by sending out a letter everyday. Maybe if you would stop sending me mail we could call it even on the $23.00.

I’d save you a fortune on ink, envelopes, and postage.

You may tell yourself, “No, No, No… that ‘s only people who don’t watch their finances!”

 Yeah? Really? I watch mine…

I watch mine disappear….right on over to Sallie Mae.

help me im poor
 

4. The Holy Hell of Hangovers…

I swear my body knew when I turned twenty-four. I drank my face off, did some fucked up – reckless shit, woke up the next morning & legit had the worst hangover of my life. I’m not just talking about my head or my stomach…

I’m talking about my whole body. It was crying, whimpering & sulking…
 
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I should’ve responded back with: “the hospital…” 
 

5. “What’s an Encyclopedia?”

Yes. That was a serious question a girl asked in my class.

The course largely consists of underclassmen, who were born in or around 1995-1996, but grew up in the new millennium. Of course, I did as well, but I also REMEMBER things from the 90’s…like what life was like before Wikipedia…

I feel like this is the appropriate time to pay my respects to Google, Wikipedia, and the like,  for making life a whole lot easier, but even more importantly…

“Yahoo Answers,” the single, most important reason I’m still in college & still passing.

At the very sound of my professor saying the word, “Encyclopedia”, half the class looked even more puzzled than a baby recognizing its own foot for the first time…

orange 

Although, I don’t think any story I tell you can beat the freshman girl who was completely beside herself as I explained how Justin Timberlake had been in a boy band & wore a matching denim outfit with Britney before he wore a matching suite & tie with Jay-Z

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So, twenty-four should be interesting. I mean, shit, the past 24 hours I have been pretttttty interesting.

I don’t know what the hell is going to happen with my life. At the rate I’m going I could either wake up tomorrow morning as Beyonce…

woke up

…Or I could wake up as Lindsay Lohan.

Ehhhhh.

If I get to choose, it would be LL circa 2004…

Those were the pre-drug-fueled-ankle-bracelet-wearing days.

I haven’t learned everything just yet, although I try acting like I do..(Confidence is the key!)

But I do know that somehow I got to where I am today.

And I have to say, where I am today…

I have a damn good time.

COPY POSITIONING ….

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more where this comes from…

Really coca cola? No, I am not on coke! I don’t do drugs…

I know I can’t be the only one who thinks this is the worst positioning of copy from a huge corporation…

Then again…it was on 95 North heading into NE Philly… So maybe there was some strategy behind this …

What I Know Now…#SocialMedia

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Continue reading

Everybody has Something They Know Now….

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So put the iPhone or iPad away…

(#Apple has the best shit & I recently read a study that said people who use the #iPhone are viewed as more attractive 💁)

…go out,

meet some new people,

and learn some shit!

If you happen to remember your Saturday evening….

Psh, some of you are probably probably posting a “#selfie” of you and your #bestie or #bro right this second

SHARE WITH US!

WHAT HAPPENED

#FRIDAYNIGHT

AND

#SATURDAYNIGHT ??!!

I’m sure some of you have some wild stories & I know I want to hear them!

Share with us on @WhatIKnowNoww for Instagram and Twitter OR just click the button at the top of my page to take you there!

Remember you can always submit your own story at WhatIKnowNoww@gmail.com
If you think it is worthy of my time… (I’m taking 16 credits right now & involved with five million different things that I should’ve said no about in the first place. I work on limited time 24/7 & I don’t like to waste it. I don’t think that’s rude — it’s honest! I’m a busy fucking person) if there’s a problem with that….

“Middle finger to my haters, tell emmmm shut up, so if ya feel us lemme hear you say wuddddupppppp”

I will be following back, retweeting, & if yours is the best story I will be choosing a submission as a featured guest post for later on this week

So what did you know now

that you didn’t before this weekend?

I have a few things to share with all of you & we have a lot of catching up to do, but I’ll save that for later…believe me you don’t want to miss this one!

Get started,

Get creative,

Get it submitting!

#WhatIKnowNoww

#WhatIKnowNow

What I Know Now About the College Application Process…

What you should know about the college application process! I’ve been through this too many times to count over the past few years & this post shares some great tips!

I may add though: set all your personal social media to private. Admissions doesn’t need to know about the two wine coolers you chugged last weekend that got you “soooooooo wastedddddd.”

Just….don’t.

everythingyouneverknew

Hello fellow high schoolers, middle schoolers and late bloomers alike,

I’m here with a new series for y’all called: College Confusion Clarified (As you may have notice)

I’m here to help you, help yourself through the most confusing time ever. Whether you are in the time crunch of getting those app’s in by January (which is right around the corner so message me with any immediate help! info will be at the end!) or you still have some time, this series is for you!

Not to toot my own horn,  but I’m 4 for 4 in the application process! I’ve been accepted into Le Moyne, Saint Joseph’s, Fairfield and Mercyhurst, all with scholarships! *END BRAG SHESH*

This first post is going to be about the essay. The dreaded common app essay.

If you can, you will want to get it done as early as possible. But if you are…

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What I Know Now…About “What I Know Now…”

Incase you guys weren’t aware…”What I Know Now…” was created for a class that I am enrolled in this semester. So, it’s the last two weeks of class…

(Thank fucking god, because I’m two seconds away from a mental breakdown!)

are you ok?

And we were asked to write a reflection paper on what we learned by creating these projects…

Which is basically that this shit takes forever to make & it sucks up ALL your time.

…but I don’t think that’s what my professor was looking to hear, so I had to actually write a legitimate paper without using the word “fuck” or making any references towards how much I drank last night.

So, as you can see this was naturally super hard for me, but here goes nothing:

The following is what I know now about “What I Know Now…”

           Everybody, one way or another, is subjected to new experiences and those experiences allow us to obtain a new gained knowledge. These pieces of knowledge are things that we take with us after each experience can and should be shared, which was exactly why “What I Know Now” was created. There are many things I wish I knew in the beginning of this semester about participatory media that I know now. I created a blog on WordPress, which I used as my homepage, along with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Being that I have never created anything like this before, everything was a learning experience for me. There are things I would have changed looking back and things I’m glad I was able to learn and incorporate, but the overall result I feel was a success.

           These participatory media’s used for “What I Know Now…” allowed me to substantially expand my network, which was necessary in order for my opportunities of interaction to increase. The blog itself has gotten over 1,000 views and of those 1,000 views 70 of them have been from other countries. Without these participatory technologies, this would have been near close to impossible. A contributing factor for these statistics were small world networks that Shirky described. The “What I Know Now…” Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages had smaller groups, but more dense connections. The majority of these people were classmates, friends, or family that I had personally invited myself. These people helped spread the word about the project initially by posting to their own social media sites and I even had a few people send out e-mails to family, which jump started expanding my network. Not only did I use the “What I Know Now…” social media pages to promote my posts, but I also used my own personal pages, along with the WordPress community. By posting to my personal pages I had a large group that I was speaking to with hundreds of loose connections. A few of those loose connections ended up being people who were highly connected. These people contributed to a large part of these views when they posted the link to their own personal page, where then thousands of their friends then had access to my blog. The WordPress community also allowed for me to expand my network when two people reblogged my post “67 Things I Wish I Knew at 18…” which allowed their own followers to be referred to my site. I quickly realized that expanding your network is critical when using participatory technologies, but it is much harder than it seems.

            Rainie and Wellman’s theory of networked individualism was described as an operating system, because it described the way in which people connect, communicate, and exchange information. “What I Know Now…” utilized all these aspects of networked individualism clearly and efficiently. Immediately after creating the participatory technologies I used for this project, I began to send out friend requests and searched hashtags, names, and topics so that I was able to connect with people and vice versa. Once I did this, I made a mistake. I didn’t go back to following people or searching for people who may have had similar interests for about a month. I figured people would both see my personal pages and spread the word by sharing them on theirs or somehow someway people would miraculously find my blog or other participatory technologies. I quickly saw I was wrong and this ended up setting me back in regards to communicating with people. I published my last post for this semester today and I have a grand total of sixteen comments. I did increase the communication towards the end of this semester by commenting several times a week on people who used some of the same hashtags or keywords as the “What I Know Now…” blog. Although it was tedious, it did allow me to gain some unexpected feedback through communication with these people who chose to participate with me. Several people that I connected and communicated with actually ended up sharing and exchanging a post I had written on Facebook or on Twitter close to 400+ times. Scrolling through my newsfeed one day I came across a screen shot with part of paragraph I had written on Instagram. Even two people from the WordPress community reblogged the whole thing all together onto their own personal pages. There were several exchanges going on throughout this experience. I myself could’ve done more for the communities I was involved in, but thankfully I had a network that was happy to help spread the word. Most of the networked individualism I experienced happened in a looser more fragmented network, which allowed for the barriers to break from my small groups to a broader personal network by using these participatory technologies.

Even though I exceeded all my personal expectations, “What I Know Now…” is still in an early developmental phase. In these early stages, it is vital that the virtual self is on that is well connected and accepted by the targeted online community. Virtual networks give you the ability to leverage the human resources we need to make these technologies work. Expanding my network and engaging in the process of networked individualism will allow me to continue to expand my audience and online presence.

success