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Becoming an Ex: 5 Steps to Take during a Breakup, Move, or Career Change

For Rent signFrom the very beginning, this summer has been a pretty intense walk down Memory Lane here in Carrie-town.

It started in the technically-not-summer-late-spring, when I walked down the street and saw the shades up and a big “FOR RENT” sign near the front window of my first apartment in Philadelphia.

I pressed my nose against the glass and looked at the empty space.

Memories came flooding over me, in a clearer and more visceral way than they had in years. I couldn’t pull myself away.


Bumps in the Road: How to Deal with Being Vulnerable and Build Resilience through Change

Vulnerability is a part of life, no matter what. It tends to be significantly heightened if you are pushing yourself to grow, taking risks, and moving through a period of transition.

The good news is, there are strategies that can really help you to manage the vulnerability of change and putting yourself out there.

Learning and practicing these strategies will build your resilience muscles, and help to carry you through the ups and downs of your journey.

Resilience is a practice, not a destination—so be kind to yourself, and know that it’s normal to feel knocked down from time to time. Here are some ways to get back up:


Why Are You Still Single? Sara Eckel Says It’s Not You

 

What’s wrong with me?

Sure, I’m not perfect, but I’m reasonably attractive, interesting, and smart.

I’ve been putting myself out there, making the time to go on dates, and it just isn’t working. I’m just not meeting anyone. Well, not anyone who’s right for me.


How to Survive an Attack of the Never-Dids

Hugging goodbye

Sometimes there’s no such thing as finished.

One of the hardest parts of an ending—whether it’s the end of a relationship, a job (or a whole career), or your residence in a home or city—is the knowledge and acceptance that this will have been it.

When you’re going—really going—a particular insidious voice can show up in your head. I call this voice the Never-Dids.

“But I never finished…”

“But I/we never got to…”

“But I haven’t gotten this perfect yet.”

When there’s always a tomorrow in that place, job, or relationship, there’s always a possibility to do better, to complete more, to enjoy or experience more, to perfect and hone.

When tomorrow will find you somewhere new…that’s when the Never-Dids come out to play.


The Tonsillectomy Technique: How to Get over Getting Over It

Tonsillectomy recovery

It hurts.

When I was 27, I had a tonsillectomy. After years of having horrible throat pain and other complications every time I had so much as a flicker of a cold, I finally saw an ENT who suggested I get the nasty things taken out.

He warned me that as procedures go, an adult tonsillectomy is “not pleasant.”

I nearly screamed, “I don’t care! Take them OUT!!!!!”

I was ready to put the years of tonsil torture behind me.

As it happened, in the couple of weeks before my tonsillectomy, I had fallen—hard—for someone I’d started to date.

This was one of those horse-before-the-cart deals; strongly encouraged by the signals I was seeing—and, yeah, okay, probably by some signals I wanted to see—I let myself fall way too fast.


What Do We Know? A “Game” to Play When You Feel Lost

Mathnet George and Monday

Feeling lost?
Monday and George are on the case.

When you’re in the midst of a career change, sometimes it can feel like you have no idea who you are or where you’re going.

It’s disconcerting to look ahead and see a big question mark.

We often feel grounded by what we do for a living—we hook our identity onto it.

This is encouraged by a culture where the question “So, what do you do?” is often the first point of connection after “What is your name?” when meeting someone new.

Similarly, your whole internal identity can feel called into question when you’ve just ended—or are considering ending—a long-term relationship.

Even if you consider yourself a pretty independent lady or fella, putting a big question mark next to a human constant in your life can start the identity wheel spinning.

When you’re feeling confused, unrooted, and uncertain due to a huge looming question mark, here’s a little game you can play, inspired by one of my favorite TV programs growing up.


Stayer’s Guilt: Why Didn’t I End the Relationship, Leave That Job, or Make That Move Sooner?

Train on bridge

Wish you’d boarded that train sooner?

When I work with people who have decided to make a major change in their relationships or careers, one of the most common themes I hear is regret about having waited until now:

“I knew things weren’t going well. Why didn’t I end it sooner?”
“I wasted so much time.”
“I could have been over this and moving on a year ago, but instead I stayed stuck.”
“All those years and nothing to show for it.”
“I lost x months/years of my life.”
“I knew in my heart it was time to go…but I stayed for years.”
“All my friends told me I should leave, but I didn’t listen.”
“If only…I just wish…Why couldn’t I have…”

Today I want to teach you a 6-step process that will help you banish the guilt and self-punishing and help you turn that “doomed” relationship or “dead-end” job into one of the best things that ever happened to you—even after the fact.


How to Break out of Your Breakup Rut (Or: 15 Things to Do Instead When You Really, Really Want to Call Him/Her)

Out of the house

Need to get moving?

If you’re in a no-contact reboot period (something I highly recommend for many breakup situations), there are going to be times when it is really hard not to pick up that phone or send that email.

There will also be times when it feels impossible to stop that vicious spin cycle of toxic thoughts in your head.

Print out this list and keep it on your bedside table, desk, or fridge until you are through your breakup. That way, when you find yourself:

reaching for that phone to call your ex in spite of yourself

constantly checking and rechecking your ex’s Facebook page

or just lying in a lethargic lump on your couch, replaying the same conversations over and over in your head,

…all you have to do is pick up the list and choose something. Make yourself just do it. If the toxic breakup gremlin tries to pull you back into inaction or unwanted action, say, “Thank you for inviting me, but I’m busy right now.”


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