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? :)




Scandal is my life right now.

A few things going on with me lately:

1. I got a temp job at a big software company in town! A really good opportunity for me right now. I start later this week.

2. This really pissed me off, and I thought I would share. Did you know a sexual assault charge isn’t as severe if the victim is unconscious? Two guys got away with about 30 days in jail because of this…anyway, check it out if you are interested. It blew my mind.

3. I saw Baths live the other night and loved it.  Usually Anthony takes me to new music stuff and it goes over my head, although I usually enjoy it. I had a blast at this show though- it reminded me of going to emo concerts in high school! Ha. Except there was beer this time. Check him out!

4. I am OBSESSED with the show Scandal. I am unemployed but have a job that I just haven’t started yet, and this has created quite an interesting past week for me- I’ve been doing absolutely nothing. Anthony goes to work to teach kids how to play music and I watch Scandal. I can’t stop. I eventually eat and shower by the time he gets home and I’m ready to socialize, but ya… I have been addicted.

The show is about Washington DC and all the horrible people and things that go on there. But everyone is gorgeous of course, and everyone is ALWAYS at an anxiety level of 6 or above, out of 10. Most of it is screaming, monologues, and shocked expressions in a parking garage at night. It is wonderful.

Always shocked. Always perfectly pretty.

(image from here)

It’s been doing funny things to me. If politics come up among friends I have a second where I feel like I know EXACTLY what’s going on in the White House right now. Once I realize that’s not actually true I just get super cynical about politicians and our government (even more than usual). Yesterday I saw my ex from afar in town and I swear I started hearing a dramatic soundtrack in my head. It’s hilarious. It’s the same thing with a good book- I start having inner monologues if I’m reading a good book that I can’t put down. I hope I’m not the only one this happens to…

I have phases where I will get addicted to shows and watch them back to back on Netflix. This got especially frequent in grad school, where I didn’t have a full time job and didn’t have a boyfriend. No one cared how many hours I spent in front of the TV. There was Fringe, Lost, Gossip Girl, Veronica Mars, Pretty Little Liars (don’t judge me)… I would start having dreams about the characters and would want to bring them up in conversations with my friends. Omigod it was like I was dating the show… hahaha.

I tried to come up with something a little more of substance to write today, but I’m in this funk of being totally lazy. My sister and I will call each other every once and a while and one of us will be like “What’s wrong with me? I haven’t done anything productive in forever. I mean, one or two days is fine. But FOUR DAYS? This is getting out of control.” Then the other person will say, “This happens all the time, and my job is to remind you that you will have a fit of productivity very soon and everything will get done and you don’t have to worry.” “BUT WHAT IF IT DOESN’T HAPPEN??”  “It will! Shut up and keep watching Felicity!”

Me and my sister at Emily's wedding
My sister and I at Emily’s wedding


That’s a rough summary of the conversation. I think I would have called her today if it weren’t for my job starting so soon. It’s kind of a moot point, since I’ll have to be out and about soon anyway.

So I guess I get a free pass this time. Thank you for reading my rant! Do you ever feel completely lazy? For what feels like too long? Like going downstairs to make a sandwich might be just out of the question? Also, I am almost done with the episodes that Netflix has so far. Please give me your favorite guilty pleasure on Netflix so I have something to look forward to!

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