Life Lessons from Laguna Beach

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It started when I was about 16, watching Laguna Beach and noticing how Kristin Cavallari seemed to be about 20 years older than everyone else. Sure, everyone pretty much hated her. But I think it was because she was on to something – and no one knew what it was.

While on one of our frequent phone dates, my sister (who was in college at the time), cracked the code for me. Kristin didn’t care what everyone else thought – at least not nearly as much as a 17 year old typically does.

Here’s what she does that we found so revolutionary:

  • She leaves the room/party/conversation when she’s not having a good time anymore
  • She is honest about what she wants and doesn’t want and doesn’t apologize for it
  • She is confident – in how she looks (cuz duh, but still), and that she will still find friends, or another boyfriend, or someone who will want to spend time with her if everyone else hates her
  • She takes as fact that her idea of a good time and opinions of other people are totally valid

…and everyone hates her. She’s the mean girl. She’s the bitch. She’s self involved and selfish. And okay, she is a popular white blonde 17 year old who is rich AF so I get it. You can hate her. But she doesn’t care. And that’s kind of – why you hate her.

Why doesn’t she care? Why isn’t she freaking out about what everyone is going to think if she leaves this party early because it’s lame and people are being idiots and she would rather be home alone watching TV? How can she just leave and not feel bad?

What we’re all thinking is – I would never be able to leave and not stress over it.

Maybe you never watched Laguna Beach circa 2005 (I’m sorry that happened to you) and maybe you leave parties and don’t give a shit and that’s awesome. But the majority of the people I know didn’t know what this sorcery was, especially at 16 – and some still don’t leave parties even if they are basically in hell at age 30 because they don’t want to risk making a couple of acquaintances feel bad.

And let me get something out of the way real quick before we move on – Kristin Cavallari was acting like a bunch of dudes act all the time. Everyone had a passionate hatred for her on that show because she’s a woman who doesn’t care what you think. That just goes against everything everyone has ever been taught in our society from day 1. If you’re a woman, you DEFINITELY care what everyone thinks, to the point of literally harming yourself in all sorts of ways. Men experience societal pressure too – but I would argue that women are particularly hated when they decide to say fuck off to their set of guidelines. I just read Shrill by Lindy West and in that book you will find a ton of evidence to this point – being a woman who is loud, contrary, and I unapologetic will result in mankind’s worst behavior coming at you from the underbelly of everything shitty. (I recommend the book, by the way – it wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be, but she is a feminist bad ass and makes you think of things you may not have before).

The point is – Kristin and Lindy are hated. But they are also revolutionary and we want what they have. Or at least a lot of people I know do, and I do, too. I want a life completely based on my terms – doing what I want to do and surrounding myself with people I enjoy.

So my goal is to continually move toward this. I have been moving toward it since I watched Laguna Beach. Some switch flipped when I figured out that I wanted what Kristin had. I dumped a group of friends (in the only way my teenage self knew how – I would probably do things differently now – but then again, high school is SO WEIRD so who knows if I could have actually done that in a better way). I was tired of feeling like a doormat and basically telling people in a variety of ways to treat me like one. So I cut out things in my life that made me feel shitty, at the expense of things I was supposed to care about above all else – like looking cool with a group at lunch (I’d rather go home and eat with my mom), or not attracting too much attention at the risk of it being negative (I started dressing the way I wanted to instead of how I thought I should).

I stopped putting other people’s feelings about what I did above my own feelings about what I did. I mattered more.

How I feel everyday matters more than how other people feel about me everyday. If something makes me happy and that causes someone to think of me in a bad light, that sucks I guess but it’s more important that I feel happy.

I’m mostly talking about acquaintances and social circles here, so of course take it with that in mind – sitting for 2 hours talking to my boyfriend about my feelings and being super vulnerable is not my idea of fun, but I am prioritizing myself in that moment, and of course him as well. So you get what I’m sayin.

This new book I’m reading (I Need Your Love – Is That True? – terrible title) basically asks you to imagine what your life would be like if you stopped caring so much about what people thought about you. What if you only got dressed for yourself? What if you looked at your social calendar and schedule for the week and only saw things you wanted to do? (We talked about this idea a while back, actually.)

I’m trying to slide into my 30s with this mentality as a goal – life is too short to care about what peripheral people think. If I spent the time I took worrying about acquaintances and how they viewed me and applied it to my important relationships, how might my life improve?  I want to hit 30 with some experience with this under my belt so I can hit that decade running. I want to be a Kristin – who, by the way, was always very sweet to her close friends, from what I can remember (it’s been a while). I want to have FUN and give my time and effort to the people that really count – not this weird studio audience category of people that so many take so much time trying to impress.

We need to ask ourselves – how important is this person? Then give them a proportional amount of time, brain space, and effort.

 

What do you think? To be honest, I haven’t watched Laguna Beach in a loooong time so let me know if I have selective memory and if any of ya’ll remember it differently! And I found this fun piece if you want to take a stroll down memory lane…

Do you have any goals to give less f@#ks lately? :)

 

 

 

What if

 

It’s a new year. Things have been shifting for a while now, and I have been focusing on minimalism lately – not like, I only own one chair and 3 shirts, but making my life full of only things that are important to me. Because why not?

I also get tripped up by second-guessing myself. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time – trusting my instincts, trusting my feelings, trusting myself in general – that I can do this, that I mean well, that I am not wrong, that what I feel is right.

So for 2017 I want to work on these muscles – letting things go. Trusting myself.

I wrote the below back in October, but it seemed like good timing to post it now – I don’t have any new years resolutions this year, but this kind of sums up the general vibe I am going for in 2017 – I want to be brave, be myself, and live the life I want to live.

 

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What if

What if I stopped caring what I said or how it may have sounded last night?
What if I lose a friend, or make someone feel uncomfortable, by saying how I feel?
What if I didn’t care about being the “cool” girlfriend?
What if I didn’t care if I killed the mood at the bar when someone says something sexist?
What if I don’t answer that text, show up to that party, or have this conversation, because I don’t want to?
What if someone thinks I’m flaky?
What if someone hates how much I post on Facebook about politics?
What if I devoted all my time and energy only to the people and things that truly matter to me?
What if I stopped doing things I don’t enjoy?
What if I stopped giving myself such a hard time about things that aren’t a big deal?
What if people think I’m loud, too opinionated, annoying, or that I talk too much?
What if people don’t like me?
What if I stopped caring so much and lived my life everyday doing exactly what I want to do?

 

~

 

What are your new years resolutions/vibes? I’ve heard some good ones from friends and want to hear from you! My favorite one that I have heard today: “It’s ok to try EASY sometimes.”

<3

 

 

 

Wait, why again?

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Mélange à trois is a series where we discuss life’s burning questions about life, love, and style. Have a question you just can’t find the answer to? Email me at missmelangeblog@gmail.com and we’ll talk about it!

 

I have this group of girlfriends that I see pretty often. I’ve known them for forever, and they are fun to hang out with – but lately I feel like we don’t have much in common, and even though I have fun, I leave feeling weird. I find myself giving more than I’m getting – initiating things with them, asking them how they are and not talking about myself at all… And I’m starting to wonder why I put in the effort. But I’ve known these girls for forever, and I would feel bad about turning down invites (even though they don’t come to my get togethers)… What can I do to not rock the boat, but to stop feeling bleh about the whole thing?

 

Okay. Let’s break this down:

  • These friends don’t have anything in common with you
  • They aren’t giving anything in your friendship
  • You feel shitty after hanging out with them
  • They don’t come to your stuff, but you go to theirs

The only things keeping you from changing it up are:

  • You’ve known them for forever
  • You feel bad turning them down

Let’s start with the two reasons that would prevent you from changing the current state of things.

It doesn’t matter that you have known them for a long time if you aren’t getting anything out of these friendships. It’s not like you’re banning them from your life, and if you end up having things in common later and life and they bring value as friends, then great, you can always pick things back up. But right now, your life is being weighed down by unnecessary shit, and this is something you need to cut out. We’ll get to why later.

But you also feel bad turning them down. Here’s the thing – what would you rather feel: irrational guilt for turning down an invite from them when they turn down yours, or that frustrated feeling you get when you realize you got off your couch and did your hair, all for a couple of hours that you wish you could get back to do something you care about?

Then there’s the bigger picture. It’s not just about your Friday night, or who has accepted the most invitations – it’s about your whole life. Which sounds dramatic, but hear me out.

When you look at your social calendar, how much of it are you genuinely looking forward to? 50%? 80%? I think it should be 100%. Sure, some things you can’t get out of, and some things are investments or necessary evils (for example, maybe your in-laws aren’t at the top of your fun list, but you know it’s important and it’s worth it). But when it comes to your people who you choose to spend your SPARE time with, why the hell is that something you’re dreading? Makes no sense!

This is something I am JUST figuring out, thanks to my wise sister. We have been talking about how important our time is and how it makes us feel. Think about it – you’re looking at your week like, “Okay Monday I have happy hour with this girl from work who I don’t even like that much and it’s going to be awkward, but she asked me so I had to go… then Wednesday I have my friend’s party where no one I know will be there, but I should go because I didn’t go to her last leggings/oils/crystals/makeup party…then Thursday I have dinner with the boyfriend’s family friends who I’ve never met… then Friday and Saturday I said I would leave for the weekend with friends that I have realized lately I don’t click with at all….” SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT WEEK. I’m already exhausted.

But we’ve all been there, right? (If you haven’t, props to you and please comment with tips!) With that kind of pattern, I would start to feel kinda depressed about my life – where is all the fun stuff I want to do??

So we need to start saying no. With no guilt. Even if someone did nothing wrong, but you’re just not into it, say no. Even if you LOVE this person but you don’t love their bowling club, say no. And once your schedule is 90% shit you love, showing up for someone you love to do something you’re not that thrilled about will be a million times easier.

It’s about your life as a whole, and viewing your time as a precious (and scarce) resource. If I say no to this party these girls invited me to, I will have more energy to say yes to other invites that are way more important to me. And I will have more energy to do other things that make me happy, like exercise or cook for myself or read that book. Suddenly, you have time to do the things you WANT to do.

And even if you’re SO BORED, and the only thing to do this Friday night is hang out with those girls, still say no – because you know you won’t have a good time. And with that freed up time and space, you make room for new friends, new hobbies, new habits – and you will only let those in that you think sound fun. It might take some time, but then you’re looking at a bad-ass calendar.

Think of it as a wardrobe capsule for your life. Less=more, quality > quantity.

Sounds pretty dope, no? So start embracing “no”. We’ll do it together.

 

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DIY Earring Stud Box

You guys. I don’t know what’s going on, but I had this DIY project just HAPPEN the other day, like magic.

I have been frustrated with my stud earring situation – I have been more into studs lately and I was keeping them all in this silver box which used to be pretty, but has since deteriorated. I had this cute box I kept from like, a stationary set or something, that I fantasized about making into a box for these stud earrings. I just wanted to SEE them all, like the rest of my jewelry, and not have to dig for their counterparts every morning.

The only problem was, I am not a great DIYer. Sure, sometimes I pull something awesome off out of nowhere (like once a year) but this seemed to be too involved for me – it involved glue, and going to the store. So I pretty much gave up the dream and started looking on Amazon for already made things that could just show up at my door.

BUT THEN. I was in my craft box for some reason, and there was a bunch of black felt in there. Wtf? And then – wood stick things. Wtf?? These happened to be the exact things that Pinterest told me I needed to pull this off, besides a glue gun.

But I was like – wait. What if I just kind of stuff things in there without having to glue? It’s not like the thing has to be sturdy. (This type of thinking is affectionately called “Pulling a Laufenberg” by those close to me – eye-balling where a nail should go before hanging something, or in short just winging home improvement tasks in general.)

I found some fluffy stuff from jewelry boxes I kept for future gifts I never gave and tossed the boxes (finally – Marie Kondo would be proud). Then all I had to figure out was how to cut the sticks to the right length.

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So I could have looked in our tool box for cord cutters or something, but I was too lazy and thought I would just try sawing at them with a big butcher knife. I’m not kidding. This is the stuff Anthony deals with.

But in my defense, it worked. I sawed for a bit, then snapped ’em and it worked fine! So woo! No having to bring out the toolbox.

After that, I wrapped one of the sticks in fluffy stuff, then wrapped that in felt, after I cut it to size. I left extra fabric on the sides for more tucking power. I wrapped it in the felt until it looked bulky enough, then tucked it in there. I used extra tissue paper to stuff in the bottom of the box, since I didn’t have enough fluffy stuff. Then I just repeated that for each stick and just smooshed ’em all in there!

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It wasn’t perfect, but it came out way better than I expected, and it was the easiest thing.

 

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Look how cute it is now on my dresser! SO STOKED

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Any DIYs you’ve been pumped about lately? Please share! <3

 

 

 

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