Cursed With a Conscience

marvels and musings of a normal girl in a wacky world.


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The Weird Sh** We Do

Being the deeply complex and unique members of the human race that we are, you and I have a variety of eccentricities that set us apart from our peers- both in ways that win us praise, and the occasional eye-brow raise. On the flip side, we also do a lot of the same shit as everyone else, without ever thinking twice about it. With that said, I’ve found that it’s actually quite hilarious to sit down and really contemplate the weird shit we do; the ridiculous, irrational, dysfunctional and hilariously nonsensical way we live our lives daily. The list to follow are several of the weirder human tendencies that I’ve noted throughout the years, most of which I myself am a perpetrator. Perhaps you won’t agree with all of them, but I guarantee even the most closeted weirdos among you could add a few gems to this list. Enjoy!

1. Refusing to bring a sweater at all costs: ok, this one might be more common among my San Diegan sista’s, but nonetheless should earn some “amen’s” across the board. So anyone who’s spent a week in SD is clued into the weather patterns: the cloudy mornings, clear and warm afternoons, somewhat chilly evenings, and FREEZING COLD nights- and this applies nearly year around. Of any geographic population on earth, we blessed San Diegans have the least excuse for being burned by mother nature- or frozen in this case. Despite our forecasting privileges, it nevertheless remains to be true that through hell, high water, and routine 15 degree temperature drops, we San Diegans utterly refuse to haul around a sweater with us. Without failure, we depart our house late morning basking in the warm sunlight, ignoring our crumpled sweaters sitting in the closet, refusing to consider that by the time the sun begins to slink away at late afternoon we will become freezing, goose-bump infested, whining, cold bitches. But bring a sweater? Hell no. We’d rather suffer.

2. Refusing to go back inside for something we forgot: Let me set up the scene for this one: We’re hauling ass around the house, stirring up a tornado of chaos in every room we pass through in an attempt to get ready for school, work, night out, what have you. At long last we make peace with our ill-preparedness and leave the house anyway, praying we haven’t forgotten anything crucial. We walk the three blocks to where our car is (Bingo!) right where we (vaguely) remember leaving it- and, Hooray! It’s also unticketed. Thus relieved, we leap into the car and rev the engine, ready to book it outta there. And then, boom! We realize we’ve forgotten the lunch we made, the coffee thermos we prepared, and the SDGE bill we desperately needed to mail. What do we do? Instead of running back inside the house to get it, we peel outta there and cut our losses. We endure the 10 dollar expense of buying coffee and lunch at school, and miss the bill deadline, risking having our electricity shut off just so we won’t have to spend fifteen seconds running back inside. Two steps forward, three steps back- the college two-step. Don’t lie…we’ve all done the dance.

3. The “pick-at-your-food” diet. If ol’ Rob Atkins has built a legacy convincing dieters they’ll shed pounds eating a juicy steak instead of a slice of bread, I should really trademark my winning diet method. This method is an effective diet strategy 90% of the time, 0% of the time- but it’s got dieters like me swooning. It’s genius rests on a modern eating philosophy, which maintains that a whole pie is more unhealthy than the sum of its parts- because our psychology says so. What follows, is that 15 juicy forkfuls eaten straight from the pie pan is less shameful than eating one of those telltale triangles that announces devilishly “I am a whole slice; if you eat me, you are a pig.” In this way, the “pick-at-your-food” diet defies the measurement methods that tell us we have eaten too much, leaving us guilt-free to nibble away at a buffet of sweets, blissfully non-committal; consuming as much as we want without the horror of knowing we’ve eaten an entire, grotesque, hateful slice to ourselves. I ate a “section”, yes, but not a slice. In the modern eating world, we have abandoned the outdated pie formula, which states that 1 slice of pie is 3.14259 days of guilt. So nibble on, my friends!

4. Getting the basket instead of the cart: Enough said.

5. Going to bed drunk and unjustifiably pissed:….and waking up not caring at all. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve fallen asleep gravely depressed, fuming angry, stubbornly self-righteous, or convinced of some other conspiracy of nonsense while drunk, i’d be a rich woman. Time after time, we go home in a fit of some emotion or another, convinced on our drunken high horse that we’ve been victim of a terrible wrong, and wake up completely at peace, or even embarrassed, at our previous opinion. To make matters worse, I can even account for times on such nights night that I’ve literally hoped to wake up the next day still upset, thinking it would be cheating myself out of justifiable misery to sleep it off and reconsider the situation sober. Yet it never fails: the next morning, somehow that ho stepping on your foot with her high heel and your boy forgetting to put a smiley face at the end of a goodnight text just doesn’t seem so wickedly offensive. #Goddamnit

These are just a few idiosyncrasies that I’ve picked up on through observing other people (once in a great, greeeeeat while on a relatable basis;). If you guys can think of any others, please share. I love analyzing our weird/psychotic human nature. At least we’re not alone!

Advice: If you don’t love it, leave it

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Peer, parental, or professional advice can be wonderful sources of wisdom for a lost soul in need of guidance, or one seeking a second opinion on a subject outside of their expertise. On the contrary, all advice is not created equal. Sometimes internalizing the wrong words at the wrong time can create only doubt and confusion for the recipient, when he/she is much better off following the wisest prophet of all: the self.

For many of us, seeking the opinions of well-meaning others is just what we need to illuminate a perspective not yet considered, or debunk an idiotic line of thinking that if continued, would only lead to our ruin. Looking for outside perspectives can, in many cases, assist our process of well-thought-out decision making; especially if we are the hopelessly indecisive sort (yours truly), or prone to exercising bad judgment.

However, falling prey to the persuasion of others is a double edge sword: in rare cases, listening to another voice too closely can drown out our own intuition, shoot down our morale, or derail us from a track of confident decision making by flinging doubt and distraction into our path. Sometimes, too many outside opinions compounding on one another can snowball into the very iceberg that sinks our ship. No expert, friend or even parent, after all, knows us better than we know our self.

I’ve been recently seeking advice from my friends and family to guide me through the agonizing life chapter the popular cliché dubs, the “real world”. I’ve made my way through life thus far with a relaxed, “go with the flow” attitude, which has enabled me to take things in stride and be flexible with my goals and agendas, avoiding the pressures of rigid expectations. However, I’ve now reached a fork in the river, and unless I pick up an oar and commit to a direction, i’m in for an ugly shipwreck.

What i’m learning more and more is that the decision to go right or left at the fork must be made for oneself. It can be tempting to let the current sweep you along, or let somebody else do the paddling, but eventually we need to seize control of the oar and steer ourselves to safety. As i’m entering this phase of self-reliance, advice is beginning to lose its appeal. It now brings me anxiety, undercutting my own judgment and freedom to engage a unique process of self-discovery. The adage goes: Flip a coin to make a decision, and you will know what you want while it’s in the air. In reality, nobody really wants the penny to dictate the outcome of their life- it is sometimes just the exercise of flipping it that helps us uncover our true feelings. In the past few weeks, i’ve come to look at advice giving and receiving in a different light. I feel that we need to come to our own conclusions- especially when the consequences affect us alone. Advice should not beguile or coerce us, or redirect us down a path oppositional or counterintuitive to one we would choose on our own. If given and received effectively, advice should guide us to our own discoveries and realizations through asking important questions, highlighting new perspectives, encouraging creative solutions, and creating a space for dialogue that that might help summon our subconscious thoughts.

When I first set out to receive advice about what I should do post-college (a HUGE decision), I yearned for a voice to project from the sky, booming down the answers I needed to hear. I was inclined to follow the process i’d been trained to do through years and years of schooling: receiving a task or set of instructions, and successfully completing it to make a grade. However, the “real world” is different; it’s a new game now. The variety of decisions we need to be making in our post-college life are ones we should be making independently, because at this stage we are logical, reasonable, insightful and intuitive people who have a knowledge and understanding of our selves that others don’t. We are no longer invalids who need to rely on more acute wisdom from others- sometimes we hold the key to our own success. If you find yourself waffling, backpedaling or riding the fence constantly, and the barrage of outside opinions coming your way are only leaving you more confused, TUNE THEM OUT. Listen to your heart, make a choice with the best information and sense of purpose you feel at the time, and dedicate yourself to making your choice one from which you can either triumph, or learn something valuable for the future. If your remain optimistic and open-minded, your choice will lead to something productive even if it is not exactly the outcome you had in mind. Often times we don’t know what we want anyway, and life has wonderful things in store for us we could have never have imagined, or known to strive for. The point is to not to fear tackling big decisions. We hold the power of making decisions and living with them happily. We can learn from any situation, transcend any degree of hardship, and eliminate indecision by simply acting. From there, we can view any outcome optimistically if we commit ourselves to the practice. Decisions like which career to choose should be looked at as an exciting opportunity; an avenue of new and challenging possibilities. There is no right or wrong choice as long as you make the best of what you’ve picked, and follow the route that aligns with your most clear and profound goals and desires for fulfillment. Advice can help provoke our thoughts and tease out tangles, but it should never be used as a crutch, or a replacement for our own judgment. Take control of your life, be strong and adaptive, and remain positive through it all- decisions made with good intent and sound purpose should never be regretted.