The 3 P’s of Relationships


OK, so maybe that last one wasn’t really a “P”-word.

Anyway, I was talking to my roommate Elizabeth late last night about relationships with people and dating, and in true Dr. Phil fashion, she gave me some helpful insight. She pointed out that there are three big issues that cause major stress when you are dealing with another person in a relationship of some sort (personal, professional, dating, friends): the need for perfection, outside pressures that skew expectations, and insecurities that make you worry unnecessarily.

Which then led me to realize that I tend to make things seem like catastrophes when they really aren’t. For instance, I had a phone interview the other week for College Summit, and Karla asked me how it went. And I said that I felt it was pretty bad, that I didn’t articulate everything that I wanted to say, and that there were so many things I could have done to make it better. I didn’t stop to think that the interview, overall, went very well. I instead focused on the small negatives, and blew them out of proportion, thereby kind of separating/shielding myself from the situation and not really getting anything out of it.

My need for everything to be perfect driven by external pressures (as well as internal) and coupled with personal insecurities, makes me over analyze situations to useless degrees.

Interesting pattern. And I don’t just do it with interviews…

Volunteer for College Summit

Volunteer for College Summit

I wanted to share with you this great opportunity to change the course of the lives of low-income students this summer. I’ve been volunteering with College Summit as a writing coach since 2003, and the 4-day workshops have been some of the most moving experiences of my life. If you find it rewarding to play a part in something bigger than yourself and want to help low-income students achieve the dream of making it to college, this should be right up your alley.

College Summit is an award-winning national nonprofit strengthening the college-going culture in low-income schools and communities. 79% of students who attend a College Summit workshop enroll in college, and 80% stay in college.

Each summer, College Summit calls on hundreds of summer volunteers—alumni, college/graduate students, young professionals, community leaders, and high-level executives—to help talented low-income high school students enroll in college. At intensive 4-day residential workshops across the country, volunteers coach students through the college transition process. Commitments range from four days to multiple weeks during the summer, and stipends are available for some positions. If you are interested, please visit and click on “Join Us” to view detailed role descriptions and complete the online application.

Where the passion began… Troy Camp

It’s hard to describe to people why I do the things I do, why I am passionate about the things I am passionate about, and why instead of being in the business world, I am choosing to make a difference in the lives of youth.

Troy Camp is really where I discovered my passion for making a difference, and recently I got the winter newsletter with a link to this TC PR video. It may not have any significance to you, but the video reminded me so much of where I came from, even though I am not in it. It’s great to see that Troy Camp is going strong, and will soon have a celebration for its 10,000th camper!

Check out the video:

Don’t get me wrong

Regarding the previous birthday present post, it’s not that I’m not thankful for the gift. I totally think it was a cute gesture, and I completely appreciate the thought. I am merely observing the huge intergenerational void that exists when giving presents.

So everyone, calm down. You can still buy me presents. Haha. I won’t write a nasty post about you, promise.

Birthday Presents

Since my birthday falls the day before Jesus’s, my parents usually have a Christmas Eve party, and they invite all of their friends and neighbors over to celebrate. It’s usually a cute little event with lots of excellent food. [Side note: my brother made this awesome chicken cordon bleu]

Anyway, I don’t expect people to bring me presents, even though it’s my birthday, because A) I don’t really know them and B) having a Christmas Eve birthday means it’s overshadowed by another big event and I’m used to that. But apparently my parents told them that it was also a party for me (complete with cake and all!), so I was not expecting this cute little elderly couple to bring me a present. The couple, my parents neighbors, must have been in their late 60’s or early 70’s.

I first picked up the package and opened up the attached card, and knew that this must have been a very special present because their handwriting was all cute and elderly-like. You know what I’m talking about. The cute old people writing that’s all shaky and arthritic. God love old people and their cute handwriting. But I can just imagine them sitting there writing “Happy B-day” for 5 minutes. Either way, I appreciate the sentiment in just the card alone.

And now for the main event: the gift. let’s just preface this by saying that I was so amused that one of my parents’ guests would actually get me a present in the first place, so it didn’t matter what the present was. Curiosity came over me as I unwrapped the package, and revealed a…

Portable CD Player!

It was so awesomely hilarious!!! I don’t know what I was expecting as I was unwrapping the present, but I sure know that it was not a CD player of any sort.

Things running through my head:

  • Aww how cute of them to get me a CD player. Little do they know, I have two ipods and have absolutely no use for a CD player especially since I barely own any CD’s. Hello! I’m a child of the Napster generation!
  • I’ve actually never owned a CD player in my life, and I remember back in high school, I would actually want a CD player. But alas, that technology inevitably became obsolete next to digital music.
  • I imagined them walking into a Best Buy or a Target and picking out the CD player, and thinking in their heart of hearts that it was the coolest and most high tech present ever.

So I decided that when I get older and when I feel the need to give presents out, I will give out books because those are pretty universal… unless, 50 years from now books are replaced with digital books, which is actually very likely. Alas, I love technology.

Other gifts of note: my parents got me a blood pressure travel monitor for my birthday! Haha, I’m not kidding. And yes I’ve been using it.

I love this time of year. 😉

The funny thing about stress

I realized today that I have been stressed without even realizing it. Some symptoms that just happened today:

Emotional eating
I inhaled a gigantic meal at our local favorite Jamaican restaurant, Back-A-Yard, in about 7 minutes. Usually, I can’t even finish the entirety of a jerk salmon combo plate in one sitting and would have to save half of it for later.

Migraine / Headaches
As I was driving and running errands, my eyes kept squinting at the abrasive sunlight, which normally would have been fine. Then my head started to hurt because of the light sensitivity.

My eye and my scar has been twitching for the last 2 weeks!

Although I feel like I’ve been getting adequate rest lately, I felt thoroughly exhausted, especially when my students arrived with their bustling energy in the afternoon.

The really bad thing is that I’ve been feeling this way, and the stress has been such a normal part of my life that I didn’t even realize anything was wrong.

My big event is tomorrow, BUILD’s 4th Annual Holiday Sales Bazaar. Last year’s event was a smashing success, and I have no doubt that tomorrow’s will be fantastic also. All of the details are covered, mostly thanks to Alison, incubator program assistant, so really I have nothing to stress about. My body, on the other hand, just doesn’t seem to get that though.