The most annoying advice I’ve ever received

There was a long pause on the other line. Then my sister said, “Well Claire, if you don’t like something about your life… change it.”

If I didn’t love my sister so much, I would hate her. She had zero respect for my self-pity, and I was a bit put out at the time. But this advice drilled itself into my mind.

I get so upset and stressed about things in my life that I cannot control. I cannot fully control, for example, how much other people like me… or sometimes even when my own body turns against me and defiantly gains 8 lbs despite me working out more.*

So what can we actually change or control about our lives?

Well folks, I have found that I have a great degree of control over 1) who I hang out with 2) what environments I plant myself in and 3) how I act, talk, think (which ultimately, feeds back to influence how I feel!!!) about what happens in my life.

Some examples —

In the very recent past, I was getting frustrated that it seemed like the vast majority of my friends were not near as enthusiastic about hiking as I was. I wanted to go like, 1-2 times a weekend. After pouting for a while, I realized that instead of harassing my current circle of friends, I could take steps to expand my circle and actively seek out people who love to hike as much as I do. So I downloaded this app that let’s you join groups with people who have common interests in your area, and I’ve gone on several hikes with randos in the past few months. It has been super jolly meeting new people, and I no longer hate my hiking-unenthusiast friends!

I also recently had a falling out with someone. There were several contributing factors to our falling out, but one of them was that they didn’t seem to truly value me for who I was. I saw them the other day, and at first I felt almost sick with anger, bitterness, sadness — you know, the regular crew of bad feels. I thought of like 24 snarky comments, and I strategized different ways to artfully snub them with my body language. But then I was suddenly flooded with this thought — maybe from the Holy Spirit! — that was like “Is this really who you want to be?”** And I thought, Holy Toledo, no it is not. I saw them standing at a distance and I waved at them, and I could see their face flood with relief. Then we chatted for a while and it was fine. Are we going to be besties?  Probably not. Can I control how much they value me? Definitely not. But I can control whether or not I’m petty and hold on to every hurt and slight, or whether I keep the big pic in mind. This person is a Christian, and at the end of all days I truly believe we are going to be joined together with a huge group of diverse people celebrating God together. When I have that perspective, it is really difficult to hate them, or want to punish them for not valuing me as much as I think they should.

This is getting a little bogged down in my personal examples, but this is what I’m tryna say —

There’s a lot we can’t control — stop obsessing over that crap.

Recognize what you can control — and change that stuff when you can to make your life dramatically better.

When you’re struggling with how to act — think about the person you want to be. Our character is shaped by every little decision we make. So if being a petty, bitter, or frustrated person is in line with your life goals, by all means go for it. But if it’s not, then… don’t act in a way that is in line with being a petty, bitter, frustrated person!***

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Nerd confession: I kinda want to be Sydney Bristow 😬

That’s really it. I’m sorry that you all don’t have a sister as awesome as mine..  but that’s what this blog is for — so I can share my wise-sister privilege. 😀

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —-

*All the explanations of I’ve read of age-related weight gain have to do with decreased muscle mass, which makes sense generally. It makes no sense specifically when you are in fact increasing your muscle mass yet still gaining weight. And I know what you’re thinking and no, not all of it is muscle. Do you know how much work it takes to even gain a few pounds of muscle? Like gallons of whey protein, working out 3 hours a day, and oh yeah, being a man. So  I reeaaallly doubt the 8ish pounds I’ve gained in the past 2 years are pure muscle. So take your positivity ELSEWHERE. 😉

**Honestly this question has been SO FRICKIN’ HELPFUL the past few months. If it doesn’t end up being too redundant, I will post an entire blog just about this.

***Not trying to be preachy, but I honestly don’t think this is possible without the help of the Holy Spirit. Seriously — it takes supernatural power for me to not be petty!!!

 

 

Red flags, long hikes, and burritos

[I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about romanticals anymore, but I discussed it with the queen of Galloblog and she extended her scepter. So I think for at least this one time I can get away with it.]

Okay, kids. What I want to talk about today are “red flags,” or as they say in France, drapeaux de rouge. Red flags are those indicators when you’re dating someone that they might be the cheatin’ kind, afraid of commitment, addicted to drugs, a pathological liar, a wearer of pastel colored shorts— anything indicative you should run for your life.

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Red flags are important to talk about, because err’body is going to cause you to throw up a red flag or two, even if they are generally fantasimo. Indeed, people who end up happily married discover things about each other along the way that make them question their character (“you were still dating other people when you met my parents?!)” or sanity (“you face the water when you shower?!”). Despite these unnerving realizations, sometimes the perceived value of the flagged-one is so great that the flagger is still willing to work through their pain and shock. But we all have a red flag threshold that, when exceeded, makes us call the game early and go home.

My threshold used to be too low, (probably) and sensitive to the wrong sort of “problems.” I would be dating someone and think, “Oh Lorttttt, he orders water with lime, because he’s too fancy for a humble lemon? I can’t handle this.”

But in my most recent foray into romanticals, I think I put my threshold too high, for things that were important. I was collecting red flags for this hombre like they were going out of style. None of these red flags indicated he was a psycho or a bad person— he was a good guy, and my decision to date him wasn’t only because he looked like Eric Church when he wore a baseball cap and sunglasses (but for real…). We shared the same faith, had similar political views, liked a lot of the same music, enjoyed eating sushi bowls and fawning over doggos, valued traveling over accumulating stuffz, both intelligent in complementary ways, and were attracted to each other.

BUT!!! If my ex-bf, me, and a rando hobo were asked “Describe your perfect weekend,” I think I’d have more in common with rando hobo.

Par example

Gallo’s perfect weekend

  • Friday night : game night with a lot of friends*
  • Sat morning: wake up early to read or write in a hipster-y coffee shop for a few hours
  • Sat afternoon: go on an outdoor adventure (e.g. rock-climbing) with a bunch of ppl I’ve never met*
  • Sat evening: meet up with a few close friends to do something artsy or cultured, (e.g. see a play)*
  • Sunday morning: meet up with my mentor before church, attend church *
  • Sunday afternoon: lunch with my parents*, then go on a long hike*
  • Sunday evening: read an interesting book

Gallo’s ex-bf’s perfect weekend

  • Friday night: make music in room
  • Saturday morning: Perhaps make a breakfast burrito
  • Saturday afternoon:  gym, sauna, miscellaneous errands
  • Saturday evening: sit on back porch and listen to music *
  • Sunday morning: Maybe church*
  • Sunday afternoon: Nap
  • Sunday evening: Professional massage to unwind from the stress of the day

*Activities that I/he would have been happy to do with each other

What jumps out to you? Differences in the love of hanging out in groups? Differences in outdoorsiness? Differences in how much we wanted the other to share in our activities?

 

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My ideal

 

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His ideal

HOW ABOUT ALL OF THE COTTON PICKIN’ ABOVE??

Do you see how miserable we would have made each other??

His reaction to my weekend plans: stress and anxiety, feeling smothered.

My reaction to his weekend non-plans: frustration and boredom, feeling abandoned.

Now, there is of course a time and place to work through incompatibilities. But 1-2 months into dating is probably not that time. Once you’ve confirmed the person has similar values and doesn’t seem insane or abusive, they still might be a terrible fit for you.

I know this little piece of advice is probably not earth-shattering to any of you, but I think it’s important because it’s a really big deal — but unlike other “tests” of compatibility, it doesn’t take too much time or emotional depth to figure this out. So if you’re date-smart – unlike your favorite blogger – you can save yourself a lot of time and heartache by asking this simple question — “Can we plan a weekend together without one of us needing to pop a Xanax to make it through?” If not, release them back into the dating wilds.

Life is too short to be tortured by your SO’s SOP!

 

Stuffz Gallo Likes: How John Crist encouraged me to blog with wild abandon

 

Here’s the dealio-yo: I have several persons and things that I’m lowkey obsessed with. I will therefore use this blog as a platform to explain to you, dearest of readers, why I love them so much. Why? Well,  Misery may love company, but Fangirling marries and has babies with it, amiright?

Without further ado, this Stuffz Gallo Likes pilot episode is going to feature *drum roll * JOHN CRIST!

 

Let’s start with the obvs: John Crist is a comedic genius. His Instagram stories have made me giggle through some of my darkest hours (my favorite of his highlighted ig stories – Yoga and Buc-ee’s). His videos Christian Mingle Inspector and the Church Hunters episodes are satire at its BEST, and I watched this Bible Verse Lady video at least 14 times and lol’d every time. His stand-up makes me want to stand up and dance and cheer, know what I mean green bean?

 

But John Crist is worth more than a lolz. If his comedy is gold, his thoughtful contemplations are platinum. ⚡️ He genuinely inspired me in an interview with Sam Collier,  radio host of A Greater Story. John said “[People are] like ‘Hey, I want to be a comic. I like what you do up there. What do you think about this bit?’ And I say … ‘If you believe in it, just go do it.’  … I respect anyone who just shows up.”

 

Amy Poehler said something similar in the beginning of her book Yes, Please!:“Remember, the talking about the thing isn’t the thing. The doing of the thing is the thing.

 

I need to hear this, maybe every day. I have so many ideas – for blog posts, books, science experiments, entrepreneurial pursuits – some of which for sure border on brilliance… but if all I do is jabber about them or wait for someone else to validate them, it doesn’t matter. What should matter is if I think the ideas are good and/or funny and/or true. If they are, I should stop talking about it and make it happen. If they’re not, I should shut up and move on.

 

As my wise Majer once exclaimed, “Poo or get off the pot!”

 

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 But wait, there’s more! Later in the interview, John says “People ask me all the time, ‘Would you ever delete a tweet… would you ever delete a video .. would you ever delete something that wasn’t successful?’ I would say no, because that is giving people the power that you made it for them.”

Yowza. Some of my favorite posts get almost no views, and I have been tempted to go back and delete some of these shamefully unpopular posts. But I love John’s advice here. If I’m blogging for you – dear as you are – it probably won’t be as “true,” and definitely not as fun. I’ll either be constantly frustrated by my failure to engage people, or turn into a puppet, á la Billy Joel’s The Entertainer. So unfortunately for all of you, I’m going to keep posting stuff that, well, I like. All the better if some of you like it, too. But if not… ¯\_()_/¯  

 

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If this is how 99% of my readers respond to my blog posts, so be it. SO BE IT!!!!!!

 

In toto, THANK YOU JOHN, I LOVE YOU!* ❤ ❤ ❤

 

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— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*As a sister in Christ, obvs…. #superchrish I’m not actually in love with him, for realz. Although a recent ex-boyfriend once asked me “If you love him so much, why don’t you marry him?” To which I sez, “Jokes on you – I already did.” At which he looked slightly amused, but also bemused. In restrospect, that was probably the beginning of the end. *gazes at John Crist poster plastered to ceiling* Dammit John, I hope you’re worth it.

 

 

Grieve androgynously

~If you are offended by gross generalizations of sex differences, then this post will be a burr in your buttocks.~

I will make this little advisement on grief.. brief! Teehee

En generale, I’ve noticed that when womenfolk are upset about something, they 1) surround themselves with social support, 2) talk about it incessantly, and 3) indulge in passive sedentarism (e.g. skip the gym for Netflix and chocolate). 

On the flippity side, I’ve noticed that when menfolk are upset about something, they 1) isolate themselves, 2) refuse to talk about it, and 3) throw themselves into some fairly mindless but physically intense activity (e.g. go beast mode at the gym for 3 hrs).

It is my expert opinion that the best of both worlds would be to combo womenfolk grieving tendencies #1 with menfolk grieving tendency #3 (and find a nice balance between women and menfolk grieving tendency #2). Men honestly scare me sometimes with their inability / refusal to acknowledge their hurts and work them out with people who love and affirm them in healthy ways,* and I think they would do themselves a solid to at least have a few buds that they can be honest with and express how much they are hurting. But, I think women could take a cue from men to pause the 4 hr pity-party coffee dates with their gal pals and learn to channel their intense feelings into ferocious glute clenches! Moving around can make us feel better, but even if it doesn’t – might as well be sad with an excellent tush than sad with a saggy tush, amiright?** And when the sad feelings fade, you will feel better AND be a sleek tigress.

 

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Even better: work out with a friend!!!!

 

Alright, great! Here’s to healthy grief!  

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*It’s not healthy to only talk to people who will tell you that everything you do is perfect and anyone who ever disagreed with you is mentally defective / evil.  But at the end of the day, you want to talk to someone who wants to see you flourish like a dazzling daffodil!

**I am.

Here are some great articles that talk about healthy ways to get up and over romantic relationships specifically —

eHarmony – 12 basic tips for getting over the ex

Boundless – 5 Tipes for healing from a break up 

 

A tale of too bigsies

When I first started attending my former mega-ish church, I was overwhelmed by the experience in the best of ways. Coming from a childhood church with a mean age of 74, and enrolling in a grad program that strongly emphasized materialism as the only reality, it was a balm to my soul to be surrounded by thousands of people my age who were whole-heartedly worshiping the same God.

It was difficult to meet people at first, but I did eventually meet some people when I volunteered to help out with the kiddos for about a year, and then later when I joined a “small” group that was ~100 people. Another great thing about this church was that they regularly have ‘drives’ that ranged from collecting school supplies for local kiddos to fixing cleft palates for kiddos overseas. Most importantly, the theology of this church is solid. They have a strong focus on the gospel, and go deeper than some of the other big churches I’ve been to in the area.

I mention these positive features up front because I want to emphasize that this post is not about poo-pooing this particular church. I am, however, going to share the issues and concerns which ultimately became such a big to deal to me that I didn’t want to come to the services anymore. I would still serve, but then I would slink home after I had “put in my time,” like a guilty church mouse.

So what were these issues and concerns?

1) Lights off during worship and sermon

This was kind of symbolic, but why do we need to put a spotlight on the leaders and not be able to see each other? It promoted a sort of concert-y, celebrity atmosphere that I found out of line with the biblical presentation of churches and church-leadership.

2) Commercialism

Sometimes we would have guest speakers or worship leaders, and Lo and Behold their new book or CD would be for sale at our church resource area. I felt uncomfortable seeing crowds of people lining up to buy merch in a church. It reminded me of when Jesus turned tables in the temple for desecrating the temple with their vending. Maybe that’s a little unfair, but.. I thought of it, and it gave me the heebie-jeebies.

3) Celebrity culture

Many of the guest speakers and worship leaders mentioned above were celebrities of sorts in Christian Land. Granted – people usually gain a celebrity status because they’re very good at something, and I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to recognize someone for being an especially gifted musician or speaker. But sometimes it felt like that there was an undue emphasis on the star power of the people on stage. Even if they were 100% focused on glorifying God, I would see people in the audience snapping pictures and sending to their Christian friends and relatives. Again, just kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies.

4) Emphasis on church “brand”

This church does an annual volunteer rally in which they gather everyone, hand out prizes, give talks about church culture, etc. A lot of the ideas they talked about were basically telling us Best Practices for Customer Service. It’s not that I don’t want people to feel comfortable and welcome when they come into church, but… I think what most people need is sincerity, not polished perfection. In concordance with this customer service idea was this overarching, unspoken theme that we were an Organization that had a Brand. And our job as Volunteers was to promote that Brand by adhering to the values and goals of the Organization. It just made me wonder — even if the leaders claim that all of this is ultimately for the purpose of bringing glory to Jesus, is it really? Or is it more about their brand, which is inextricably linked to the name of the pastor? Would they be willing to do a church event with “lesser” churches to help the community, if they couldn’t slap their name on a huge banner outside? There’s a good possibility I’m being unfair, but I would guess no.

5) Passively ignorant leadership

As a volunteer, did anyone in the leadership really know who I was, what I truly believed, how I lived my life outside of church? Not in the least bit. But, because I passed a criminal background check and mentioned during my “interview” that Jesus changed my life in some way, I could be plopped into a position of spiritual leadership within the church, most likely over kids. I think there’s a balance here – no one wants a church leadership team that’s booting people for not posting enough scripture on their fb page, but… it made me a bit uncomfortable to know I could be performing satanic rituals during the week and then teaching children in Sunday school.

6) Lack of accountability

I could easily choose what sort of persona I wanted to project each Sunday. If I stopped going to church at all, if I embraced an obvious sin.. I truly doubt anyone would notice. Please read my tone correctly – I’m not pouting about this, just stating it matter-of-factly. I’m not sure it’s possible for it to be any other way in a church this size, structured the way it is. But, I have really felt the need for older women who aren’t necessarily my pals to speak truth into my life, to hold me accountable, to counsel me about family stuff that I don’t necessarily want to share with other family members. Let’s bring back Sunday school, amiright?!

7) Stretched too thin to tend

There was a time when I was very concerned for the mental health of one the other volunteers, but for various reasons I didn’t feel that it was appropriate for me to reach out myself.* So, I called the church and asked them if a man on the leadership team could check in on this person. The lady I talked to sounded genuinely concerned, took down all the info, and told me she would have someone call me. They never did.** Maybe someone reached out to my friend and just didn’t call me back to tell me, maybe not. But it struck a wrong cord within me that with something this serious, I couldn’t even get a callback. Beyond this episode, there are some things the pastor at this church brought up that I would truly have liked clarification / expansion on. But does he stick around after his sermons to chat with people? Nope.

8) Work to belong

There was no membership class for this church. To be a “member,” you have to volunteer. I get their point in some ways, but I really dislike this for a few reasons. One, some people truly do not have the capacity to dedicate 3+ hours of volunteering + another 2 hours of attending services on one Sunday. People work, some people are not mentally or physically capable… some may be saved, but in a very spiritually dark place and not necessarily ready to be the face of the church. So what about them.. they’re poo in the eyes of this church? It came across that way to me. Secondly, I really think it’s promoting an anti-gospel ethic: work to belong, work for community. I believe with my entire heart that is *NOT* the church’s heart behind their reasoning, but even so— it can still be the result, intended or no.

*************

AGAIN, let me re-emphasize that I’m not trying to trash this church, but the points above really bothered me. I know that there is no perfect church. There are, however, different degrees of health among churches. Maybe some churches – even if the leaders have the purest hearts of gold – are simply too big to provide the sort of real community and approachability of leadership that promotes spiritual health. 

It’s also worth mentioning that I strongly disagree with church-hopping. It’s unhealthy for the spiritual growth of individuals – and the health of the church as a whole – for committed Christians to come into church with a consumer mindset (e.g. I want this sort of worship, these sort of programs, this sort of experience, blah blah blah, me me me). It can be healthy to feel a little uncomfortable in your church – it probably means you are contributing to the diversity and broadening the reach of that church. Clumping into churches with people that look, think, talk exactly like us is how we have such imbalanced churches – those that are awesome at reaching out to the community, but have weak-sauce theology vs. those churches that seem to care more about theology than being the hands of feet of Jesus.

BUT I think most every Christian would agree that sometimes, it’s legit to move on. The main reason I moved on was because I came to the point where I dreaded going to service. I was talking to my ‘rents about it, and they were like “Okay, soooooo — why not try other churches?” And ever since then, I’ve felt this great freedom and peace, and have been greatly enjoying my visits to other churches in the area.

All this being said — I would genuinely like feedback from my fellow Christians about these points I brought up. Fire away!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*A hard lesson I learned in 2016 (?) was this – it’s not a great idea for a single woman to take on the role of a single guy’s “helping friend.” It turns weird fast.

**so I reached out to another friend, and he very kindly reached out to this person. [praise hands] Christian community FTW!!!

 

 

The End of an Era: Gallo’s final words on romanticals

Dear ones,

I have greatly enjoyed opening up my heart to foreign internet bots, passionate masculinazis, and my exes (recent market research indicated these three groups comprise 96.8% of Galloblog readers). But, the over-sharing sun has set, and the moon of discretion is rising.

I will no longer use this blog as an outlet to share the good, bad, ugly, and rando details of my dating life.

 

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New year (kinda), so new life strategies, amiright?!

 

But don’t worry – I’m planning to write a lengthy manifesto titled “No Sex and the Kitties: How following Joshua Harris’ model for dating turned me into a lonely cat lady” available 2021.

As another parting gift, I’m leaving final thoughts that I had jotted down and I probably would have tried to pound out into an entire post for all of your reading pleasure. Alas, maybe someone else will stumble upon them and be set aflame with inspiration.

Here they are,  in no particular order —-

  • He’s not that into you, and get over it. It’s not the end of the world if someone you’re dating isn’t swept off their feet by your charms. Sure, it’s always a blow to the ol’ ego, especially if you are a little swept away by them. But by pure statistics, it’s bound to happen – get over it, give it some time, and who knows— you might gain an amazing friend.

 

  • If you expect them, they will come.  I think sometimes presupposing that all men are arse-holes is a self-fulfilling prophecy (maybe bc the good ‘uns are *for some reason* not attracted to our contempt). So yeah — expect to meet amazing men, and you probably will.

 

  • There really are many fish in the sea – don’t give in to the scarcity complex and latch onto people who are grossly incompatible with you.

 

  • We need to be more gracious about people’s pasts. It’s more important how someone has dealt with their past and what their trajectory is now, than that they have lived a perfect life since birth.

 

  • Let’s make dating fun again. It’s okay to get to know someone in a relaxed, casual manner. No need to dissect their worldview and see the last 6 months of their credit card statements on the first few dates.

 

  • A call for exclusive cas. Dating more than one person at a time – even when they all know you’re not being exclusive – sounds easy and breezy, but was a terrible idea for me. I was emotionally spread thin and unnecessarily hurt some really great people. From now on, as much as possible — even if I don’t tell the dude I’m doing so — I’m going to focus on one romancer at a time.

 

  • (That being said), Dating and hurt feels.. like peas and carrots. Listen up people — there’s no secret technique for avoiding hurting your own or someone else’s feelings. That being said, it is worth trying to be as considerate as possible.

 

  • I could be single forever. If so, what a waste to wallow around feeling sorry for myself, or work myself into an emotional frenzy each and every time I go on a few dates with someone I see potential with. Like the secular sage Joel Osteen declares, Live your best life now! Lolzzzzz. But seriously — I feel like keeping the big picture in mind has helped me not wait for an ideal relationship status before I start doing stuff (traveling, trying out new restaurants, etc.). It also makes me want to invest more in really great frands #ovariesbeforebrovaries

 

  • Don’t buy into the relationship prosperity gospel. God does not owe you a perfect spouse because you courted instead of dated, if you’re saving yourself for marriage, or whatever. And if you haven’t followed Joshua Harris’ … or Marshal Segal’s … or Ben Stuart’s relationship books perfectly, God may very well still choose to bless your socks off in the romantic department. Yep.. *squints knowingly in the distance* It’s called grace.

 

I just gave you 9 blog posts in 1. Lucky day, lucky day.

A part of me will miss this greatly. But a wise soul said to me a while ago – “Be careful who you invite to speak into your life.” Posting this pretty personal stuff for the entire world to read is essentially inviting the entire world to speak into my love life. Sorry Charlies, but I don’t want or need that no more.

I FEEL SO MATURE RIGHT NOW!

Okaayyyyyyy, C. Gallo out ❤

You gotta love ’em to hate on ’em

Something that I have been struggling with lately is how to balance between surrounding myself with “yes” people and surrounding myself with negs people.

One line of thought is- “strong people are able to take negative feedback and criticism about themselves and their ideas. Weak people collapse under criticism and never grow.”

Another line of thought is- “don’t waste your time with people who tear you down. You will be stronger if you surround yourself with people who are for you– who support and encourage you.”

There’s a ring of truth to both of those lines of thought, is there not? Which of these contradictory truths should we follow?

Well buckle up and steel yourself for this mind-poofing revelation: these two ideas aren’t contradictory, they are paradoxical.

Yep, they’re both true… At the same time! Oh snapz!

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The key distinction that finally made it all fall into place for me is to recognize the difference between people who are criticizing you because they’re jealous, spiteful, or petty, versus people who are criticizing you BECAUSE they want the best for you.

So how to tell the difference? I’m still trying to hammer this down myself, but one thing that I have found helpful is to determine if your critics also take the time to praise you for what is praiseworthy. I have come to be fairly dismissive of people’s criticism when any and all feedback I get from them is negative. In contrast, I put a lot of stock into the criticism of people who actively go out of their way to be kind and encouraging when it is merited.

To the critiqued: I encourage you to think very carefully about your critics. If there’s evidence that they seem to be criticizing you in a way that is going to build you up over the long run, hold them close and never let them go. If they seem to gloat over your failures and there’s an edge of disdain to their criticisms, kick ’em to the curb!

To the critiquer: If you are someone who often sighs and shakes their head when people don’t follow your brilliant advice, you may want to think about how you are delivering that advice. Perhaps people are ignoring you because you have not taken the time to put any relational context to your wisdom. I’m not suggesting you say insincere niceties, but I genuinely encourage you to find and praise any and all positive attributes of your friends and family… especially if you are prone to lectures. Even if you know that you are critiquing out of a loving concern for their betterment, they are not likely to receive your identification of their weaknesses if you never take the time to praise their strengths.

Okay! I want you all to know that I think you’re all really great for reading my blog, and this advice is truly for your flourishing 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Lady may I?

In light of the recent sexual assault accusations against… basically every male in Hollywood … I wanted to say somethin’ very quickly to the (hopefully) majority of men who are not sexual predators and never want to be.

How ’bout you fellers start asking -and pausing an appropriate amount of time – before touching any extra-familial lady in any way that is more intimate than say… a handshake.

Even with something as low-key as a kiss, a simple, sweet, and respectful gesture is to ask first before you just go for it.

If you’re afraid that asking will make you seem timid or weak, or the whole experience will be less sexy or something, I beg to differ. The few times that guys have asked me for a smooch,  it was yowza yowz.*

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So hot 🔥🔥🔥

I bring up this suggestion because I am honestly scared for my heterosexual laddies who have been relying on the tried-and-untrue “read-her-signals” method to figure out when and what to do in a romantical situation. In the current dating climate, relying on your subjective interpretation of a woman’s  — who you probably barely know, I may add — “signals” isn’t just unwise or ungentlemanly— it’s downright assinine.

Anyway, I promised brevity and brev I shall be.

If you read any of this read this: I humbly ask you to humbly ask. You have everything to gain and practically nothing to lose… except a future sexual misconduct allegation. And in the meantime, you might make a few ladies feel valued and respected. Give it a try today!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Of course there was one time when I said no, but it wasn’t as awkward as you might imagine.. and actually it ended up being much less awkward than it would have been if he had just gone for it. So you ask, and worst case scenario she says no and your ego wimpers a bit vs. you don’t ask, and worst case scenario you think everything’s great, then find out later that she told your entire social circle that you pressured her and made her feel icky.

 

 

 

Wise is as wise does

I don’t like to brag, but my friends tell me* I’m wise.

Seriously. I remember always being the uber-responsible, already-thinking-seriously-about-the-future kind of person, even in frickin’ middle school. Adults marveled at my maturity.

 

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Actual picture of me in middle school, lolz (pixabay)

 

Now I think my age has caught up with – maybe surpassed, snarky peeps would argue – my maturity level. But if you told me about your probs, I could probably drop a few truth bombs on ya. If you listened to me process my life, I would probably land on the right decision eventually. If you handed me some wisdom nuggets, I would very likely recognize them as wise.

But lately I’ve wondering.. then why all the Gallofoolery?

For realz. Especially when I look back on the last few years, there were some things I said or did … Sometimes not just once, I’m talking chronically! … that are just.. foolish.

What’s most upsetting is that I *knew* better.

I mean seriously.. I’ve been reading over some of my blog posts (e.g. this one, and this one) that I wrote a while ago (I know, I know.. shut up), and there’s some really solid wisdom in some of them, impo. Did I listen to my own advice? Um no… in some instances I did exactly what I advised my readers to not do. *le sigh* Yep, in that sense, I’m an ultra hypocrite.

So why have I, your esteemed Gallosage clothed in linens of wisdom – surrounded by smart, kind, wise people – been acting the fool??

Wellll, it comes down to this: knowing what’s wise doesn’t automatically translate into 1) the ability or 2) the will to do so.

That’s right, y’all. I usually get amazing advice – agree with it wholeheartedly as the best path forward – and then promptly ignore it. Why? Cuz I don’t wanna, that’s why. Or, I try. I try SO hard.. for a day or two. And then usually, my feels start barking so loudly that I’ll do practically anything to appease them and quiet their yapping. And lo, I collapse in a heap of shattered self-idealizations.

What is the path forward? Eh, if I knew 100%, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. But some things I’ve been thinking about —-

  • Awareness that my wisdom lapses are hardly ever informational. I’m gonna name it so I can disclaim it: sometimes it’s totes rebellion, sometimes it’s totes lack of effort, sometimes a little of both. But I don’t want to fool myself into thinking I need to listen to another 5 sermons or read more theology books before I can move forward.
  • Praying that I would have a heart that craves what’s good. Not just for me, but for everyone who I come into contact with. I want my feels to align with my noggin’.
  • Keepin’ it real with select people who I trust and who strike that unicorn blend of never rejecting me for being a fool but also never enabling my foolery.

That’s all I have rn … if you have ever found yourself full of knowledge that doesn’t translate into your actions, let me know what’s helped you actually be your ideals!

Word to yer mamas!

– Gallo

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

* notet this quote is from the movie Emma. Also, who are we kidding.. I love to brag.

 

Reflections on one of (the?) best date(s) ever

I wrote this post a while ago and chickened out before I posted it. Now that I have some distance from it, I realized it is still pure gold. Also, I needed to re-read it *laughs nervously*

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I went on a date last night. I realize it’s a terrible idea to tell the entire interwebs about it, but I have so many thoughts and feels about it, I truly don’t care. 

To begin – the date activities were downright classy. In the current “ambiguous hangout” culture, it’s refreshing to be treated like an adult woman with value. Actually, the whole experience made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve felt truly valued and – excuse me for getting vuln here – almost made me want to cry. He picked me up. He used the D word beforehand – but also made it clear he wasn’t necessarily expecting this to be the start of a long relationship – so I wasn’t confused about what he was thinking. He told me how fancy-pants he was going to be, so I didn’t have to worry about embarrassing myself by dressing too down or too up. It may seem small, but it’s really considerate to eliminate so much random stress and angst with clear communication. 

Then the date itself – I don’t think I’m off base to say he was excited to be out with me and thought I looked attractive. I felt attractive. He was flirty and affectionate without assuming a false romanticism (one of my pet peeves). He asked me about myself and seemed genuinely interested in my answers. He wasn’t intimidated by my PhD and research, but he didn’t fetishize it, either (if anyone ever says “talk nerdy to me,” that’s my cue to split and Uber myself back to the hizzle). He was obviously very smart and had a good career going, but he wasn’t arrogant about it. 

Beyond that – we just had a connection. I know that’s cliché, but it’s true. He’s one of the very few people I could imagine having a deep​ convo with but still be able to laugh uproariously about something ridiculous. So many men I meet 1) immediately launch into convincing me we’re perfect for each other and should formalize our relationship as soon as possible, 2) seem like they’re trying to figure out how well I fit into their life, worldview, social scene, etc. but aren’t interested in my life, worldview, social scene, or 3) they treat me like their bro who they’re kinda sorta attracted to. But he didn’t try to point out everything we had in common, or ask probing questions to determine if I would put up with his video game all nighters, and we didn’t meet up at Chipotle. He treated me like.. a(n attractive) person … who he was getting to know. Cray!

You may be thinking, “Congrats! What’s​ the prob?” Well, to my great chagrin, we have deeply incompatible worldviews. One part of me wants to push that to the side and take it day by day. But y’all, this is where I need to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. I either have faith or I don’t. As much as my poor little heart is a little ache-y right now, my brain and my heart both remember how miserable it is to date someone who (directly or indirectly) discourages my faith. So I can’t. Or more accurately, I won’t. As the sassy Jane Eyre said – 

“I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane—quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.”

 

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I doubt Jane Eyre would approve of this shoe choice, but PLANT THOU FOOTSIES! (pixabay image, not an actual gallofoot)

 

 This is probably frustrating to read. If this was a movie I’d be super pissed that this was the ending. “Why even tell us this?!” Because, with all my snarky criticisms and womansplaining related to dating and men, I wanted to spend at least one post not being glib or sarcastic or bossy, but just real.

I also want the world to know that the type of date I described above is **not** out of fashion.

Single Brochachos I strongly​ encourage you: if you don’t get excited about being out with a woman, or if you don’t find yourself wanting to create a date that makes her feel valued, then do yourself both a favor and release her to find someone who does. 

Single Sischachas I strongly encourage you: if your man doesn’t consistently make you feel valued, honored, and special… move it along.

Final point- it’s okay to appreciate something for what it was, even if it didn’t have the perfect rom-com ending. I loved that date, and I’m so thankful for it. 

I’m also thankful to all of you for enduring this embarrassing amount of over-sharing. Promise I’ll go back to being glib and sarcastic very soon. ❤ 

 

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PLEASE NOTE: I wrote a post a while back with some similar elements, and it really ruffled some feathers. Not trying to stir the pot, just sharing my thoughts/feels.. that’s what blogging is for, yo. If you are seriously offended plz message me about it. *smooch*