Better Off Wed

The Proposal

When Curtis and I were approximately 8 weeks into dating, he made the comment “I already know how I would propose to you.” which was weird, for a number of reasons, most of them being that I did not feel that I gave any indication of what I would want out of a proposal. But I did remember jamming out to Paper Rings earlier that week when we were both in the car and figured… yeah, that’s probably it.

So anyway, fast forward a little less than a year, and I can tell that he is practicing paper ring making. And he waited so long that by this point, we have already basically planned our elopement (and my bridal shower). So there wasn’t really a lot of time left. Therefore, I knew that it was coming, exactly when it was going to happen, and how. Which is exactly the opposite of what I’ve always dreamed. 

So it comes to the night I know it’s going to happen, and he’s put a sticky note on the door that says “come on in,” and then the door is locked… so I unlock the door and walk in and all the lights are off. He took the flowers that he had gotten me a few weeks earlier and made a little path down the hallway with them along with one (1) single candle from the fireplace mantle. Like just sitting, lit, in the middle of the hallway. One candle. And of course, the song “Paper Rings” is playing from the computer speakers in the bedroom.

So I follow the flower path to his bedroom, and he is just in the doorway of his bedroom, on one knee, in a suit. And he starts talking to me. But the music is blasting, and it’s dark, and I am not really getting any of what he’s saying. So I tell him to like, turn on the light and turn down the music, so he gets up and does that, and then comes back to one knee.

He says “I am so excited to spend eternity with you!” and then stands up and hands me a little “ring box” that he made by taping together two canvases that he and his kid painted. And I just am like “ok? You got a question or something?” and he’s like “oh!” and goes to get back on one knee and I’m just like “…Curtis… this is really bad” and he goes “…is that a no?” 

Now let’s rewind for a MOMENT. First of all, I had been telling him for MONTHS that if his proposal was bad, I was going to say no. Also, because he is such a D&D nerd, I thought it would be really cool if, when he asked me to marry him, I gave him a 20 sided die (called a D20) and told him to roll for persuasion. But I didn’t want to have him accidentally roll low, because I was already planning on saying yes, so I found a D20 where all the sides were 20. And when I knew he was going to propose, I made sure to have it on me. 

So like… should I have said no? Absolutely. He proposed to me in his BEDROOM, and not only that, but in the DOORWAY, so that while he’s down on one knee, I have the beautiful backdrop of his unmade bed with a pile of laundry on it. Like people go to the ends of the earth to get the proposal vibes right and he couldn’t even go for a WALK? I was so upset. But I already had the die! 

So when he asked, “is that a no?”, I took out the die and handed it to him, saying “roll for persuasion.” And instead of saying “oh my GOODNESS THAT’S SO COOL,” he just rolled it and said “20!” and I was like “bro this is the coolest thing I’ve ever found and you’re not going to even comment on how cool it is?” and he was like “yeah it’s cool but I’m trying to focus on you” and I was like “dude but what about the fact that I got this for YOU” it was a mess. 

Anyway the ring he made was INCREDIBLE. So like idea: 10 but execution: 2

The Me Showing Him What a Proposal Should Be

I was all bent out of shape about how he proposed and how it should have been better so I decided that in addition to being bitter about how he proposed, I was going to show him how to do it the RIGHT way. But instead of calling it a proposal, I called it me “accepting the proposal.”

So I told him that I would be gone that night and would get home after he got there. I parked my car down the street so he wouldn’t see it and would really think that I wasn’t there. I made his favorite crockpot dinner so it was the first thing he smelled when he walked in, I decorated the place big time (like with confetti balloons that said YES and hanging lights and pictures of us from the ceiling) and then made a scavenger hunt throughout all the meaningful things or places that were within like 50 feet, each with a reason I wanted to marry him. On the TV, I even brought up the start screen for the show “13 Reasons Why” (this was on our 13 month mark) and then taped notecards that said “I WANT TO MARRY YOU” (so it read “13 reasons why I want to marry you) and I realize the tone is a complete and total mismatch but that’s kinda what I thought made it funny.

The clues took him to the first place we cooked together (kitchen), place we first kissed (couch), first place we took a roadtrip to (it was on the map I had on the wall), and a bunch of other places. Clue #12 was in my room (which was CLEAN with NO LAUNDRY on the bed) where I was, dressed in my elopement dress that he hadn’t seen yet, and with my guitar. When he came in, I was planning to sing him a song I wrote for him, but I didn’t finish it, so I just started singing random stuff like “I was gonna write you a song and sing it but I didn’t finish it” and it kinda morphed into Buddy the Elf’s “I love you, I love you, I loooooove you” song.

Then the 13th clue took him to the game cabinet, where I had made him a card game about our relationship. It mirrored the game “Dungeon Mayhem” which was one of the games he had that I actually liked playing with him.

The Elopement

There is a whole post on this here but long story short we went to Burger King to Have it Our Way and wore crowns and he put an onion ring on my finger and we had our first dance in the WalMart parking lot and then we had hostess cakes and it was perfect.

The Wedding Planning


We had three invitations that we gave out to different people – one that was specific to the people who knew me really well, one for like 8 people that knew Curtis really well, and one for people who we wanted there but weren’t necessarily super close to either of us.

Mine said “After many prayers, the mother of Tyffani is pleased to announce that her daughter has finally found Curtis (someone who can “handle her strong personality.”) Please join us to express congratulations and condolences”

The general one said: “Tyffani and Curtis have decided that they love each other so much, it’s time to get the government involved.”

And Curtis’s? Well that’s one secret I’ll never tell. I mean, I can send it to you personally, but I won’t publish it for the world.

On the back, we put QR codes for the registry and the RSVP. We had two for registry: one that linked to our amazon registry, and one that linked to this video:

It saddens me that not enough people probably watched that. All the creative genius just for it to go unappreciated. 


We had a taco truck. Nuff said. 


We rented out a beautiful bed and breakfast about 10 minutes away from civilization. His family from out of town stayed there and we had the ceremony out back.

The Dress

I bought my dress off Wish for like $37. Then I waited until the week before my wedding to decide that I kinda didn’t like it and wanted to do something to it… but I’m not very old at sewing. So my grandmother and stepmom came to the rescue and redid the ENTIRE top of the dress. See before and afters.

The Wedding


I will never understand how people can spend THOUSANDS of dollars on plants that will DIE. I figured that we would already have enough nature, what with it being an outdoor wedding, so we really only needed bouquets. And so a few friends and I went out the morning of my wedding day and picked some weeds from the side of the road to make bouquets out of.

People call them weeds, but I think they are beautiful. They grow on the side of the road and they seem to pop up everywhere. They are resilient. They are omnipresent. And I love that I can’t help but drive past them every year around this time and remember my special day.

Guest Book

I tried to have a “digital guest book” with a tripod and camera and props and white boards so I didn’t have to look back in 40 years and be like “who’s that?” when reading people’s names in a guest book, but only like 6 people actually did it. I blame the poor placement, which is ultimately my fault. 

Gift Table

We decorated the trunk of Curtis’s car and put a sign that said “GIFTS – because they’re going to end up here anyway” and was that tacky? I don’t really care, because it means I didn’t have transfer gifts from a table to a car at the end of the night. 

Hashtagged Item

I ordered a bunch of face masks and wrote our wedding hashtag – DEGRAWWYEAH – on them, because what’s a more covid appropriate wedding accessory?


Instead of a ring bearer, my niece was our ring BEAR. I got a ring box that looked like a D20 and sent it down the aisle with her to give to Curtis, who had no idea that I had gotten it. My stepkid also dressed up like a dog and was “Best Man’s Best Friend.” My bridesmaids walked down the aisle to Wannabe by the Spice Girls, and I walked down the aisle to the clean version of “All Eyes on Me” by Bo Burnham. Our brother in law was our flower dude and he absolutely killed it. Nobody “married” us, I really just treated it like my stand up comedy special. We exchanged some vows, exchanged our rings, and then went in for the open-mouthed kiss (of course).


Some people smash a vase or walk around the altar, but I decided that our “joining of the hearts” symbolic gesture would be for Curtis to drink out of my red cup. 

You see, when I was a child (youngest of 4), we went through a lot of dishes, and so my dad suggested that we each choose one cup and use that cup only. I think he meant like “per day,” but I committed. I chose the only red cup we had, and for the REST of my life, that was MY cup. Nobody else dared drink from MY red cup unless they wanted to incur MY wrath. So, to symbolize that what is mine is now Curtis’s, I let him drink from my red cup. 

I haven’t seen that cup since the ceremony. I’m actually a little distraught about that.

Some people cut the cake and then feed each other. Instead, I had my friend make us each a smallish smash cake and we had a cake eating contest – like hands behind your back, faces only — the whole deal. The cakes were actually way too big to be smash cakes and yet, in my commitment, I finished mine – which means I was the winner – not only of the competition, but also of some nausea.

Some people do a first dance. And actually, I had been wanting my WHOLE life to do a dance off in place of a first dance, but in the hustle of wedding planning, I didn’t find time to choreograph dances or patch together songs to go back and forth to. But I DID write him a song, asked someone to help me “produce it”, and played that to dance our “first dance” to. Harass me for that and I might send you the mp3.

I made 5 playlists – the wedding welcome music, the aisle procession, the dinner hour, the dancing, and the Taylor Swift hour. 

I have a lot of things I would do differently if I could do it over. I joke that now I know how to do it better for my next wedding. But there’s gonna have to be a funeral before that happens because Curtis’s only way outta this relationship is in a body bag.


Have It yOur Way

Many years ago, I was having a conversation with someone, idr who, and we were talking about how to choose a wedding date. I was thinking of my favorite month and my favorite number, and without thinking, I blurted out that I wanted to get married on September 11. And then I heard it out loud, and the people I was talking to looked at me weird, and I was like “oh… “ and then I was like “yknow what? Yeah, I do want to get married on September 11” and then I waited until I found somebody who would be ok with that.

And then I met Curtis. And he was totally on board. Tbh, probably a little too on board (too many puns that I will not let him make in public). But we met in late January, and I wasn’t about to have a six-month meet-to-marriage situation (no matter how many other Mormons and psychopaths have beat that. If you read that and are offended, yes, I mean you). 

I remember it was October 11, I was at his house, and I think he was job hunting and I was taking a nap or something. I woke up and he was sitting next to me, looking at me all sappy-like, and he said “is there a day sooner than 11 months from now that I can marry you?” 

I was absolutely on board with that, but it was a pretty scary time. Both of us were unemployed and we simply couldn’t just be “livin on love” because he was (is) a father, which comes with its own obligations and responsibilities. And while I was sure about him, there were so many other parts of his life that I wasn’t sure that I wanted to adopt into mine.

While there were other factors to consider, that conversation got us thinking that maybe we could elope on one of our anniversaries (like when we met, our first date, or when we became exclusive). I wanted him to have a job beforehand, though, just so there was one less element of uncertainty. He was applying and interviewing like crazy and nothing was coming of it. So we just kept waiting. 

The anniversary of the day we matched came and went. No job. The anniversary of our first date came and went. No job. And then – two weeks later – he finally got a job offer! With enough time to plan for a spontaneous elopement on our one year anniversary of becoming exclusive 😊 

From there, a bunch of little things had to come together, like getting a marriage license, finding a special place to do it, seeing if we could afford a small getaway, getting time off work, and arranging other details. Everything came together seamlessly – there were zoom appointments for marriage licenses available with plenty of time to get the certificate in the mail, my mom has a timeshare that includes places in Avon (a mountain town two hours away), which had availability for that week and she booked it for us as a little wedding gift. Also, note: the place she booked had four bedrooms, and since I worked from home and Curtis wasn’t coming up until late Wednesday night, a couple of friends and I got to go up and spend the week there. Also, since it fell on a Thursday, and Thursday is Curtis’s night with his daughter, his ex was kind enough to let him switch his night so he could come to the mountains and elope with me 😊 My sister also arranged a small bridal shower party for the few friends that I told, and my best friend even came out from Idaho to have a little bachelorette weekend with me.

After figuring out all the details, Curtis and I were sitting on the couch with Google Maps opened up, looking at all the places in Avon that we could go to elope. In the state of Colorado, you can self officiate at your own wedding, so we could go ANYWHERE. I was looking for some scenic spots that would make for pretty pictures. We were thinking it could be fun to do it on a gondola ride over “Bachelor Gulch” or something. On the map, we saw “Burger King,” so I jokingly said “should we do it at Burger King, because you are my King and I want to have it my way?” And he laughed and said “I could put an onion ring on your finger.” And at that moment, I had never been more certain of anything. We had to get married at Burger King. Nevermind that neither of us really cared all that much for Burger King, it was now a must.

Wednesday came, my friends left, and it was just me by myself in the hotel room all day left to be anxious about getting married. I’ll elaborate more on the details of this anxiety in a later post, perhaps in several years, but the intricacies of being a second wife & stepmom, combined with all the normal reasons for anxiety before a marriage, were definitely compounding. Curtis was aware of all of my reservations, anxieties, and concerns, and was the perfect comforter. He got up to the hotel, held me, assured me that we didn’t have to get married if I wasn’t ready/sure, and made sure I knew that he loved and supported me no matter what.

To be clear: I was and am completely sure of him. There are many things that I wasn’t sure of, things that I’m still not sure of, and things unique to this relationship that will cause me anxiety for many more years, if not decades. But I have never been surer of him. I believed in soul mates before, but the longer I am with him, the more certain I am that he is, without a doubt, my person. 

However, the hotel only had shampoo and I wanted conditioner, so I asked him to bring me some when he came up and he brought TWO IN ONE. TWO IN ONE?! NO. So that made me a little less sure. 

Thursday came, and it was perfect. We woke up, got dressed, did a “first look” where I totally set up the camera/tripod situation wrong and missed his initial reaction, went to Burger King, signed the papers, went to the post office to mail the marriage certificate back to the clerk’s office to get recorded, went to Wal-Mart to buy a wedding cake (hostess cakes, obv), had our first dance to Fall Out Boy’s “Alone Together” in the parking lot, went to the lake to take pictures with the self timing setting on my camera and a tripod, had dinner at a hibachi place, went hot tubbing, and paid attention to literally nothing else but each other.

Looking back, it was pretty much just a day of running errands, but it didn’t matter what we were doing. We were together, and nothing else mattered. No rushing to meet a schedule, no coordinating with other people who needed to be somewhere at a certain time, no keeping track of anything but each other. 

We kept it as our little secret until we had a wedding 6 months later. I wanted to have a huge party, but I also wanted to have an intimate experience. This way, we got to do both – exactly six months apart – and I got my September 11th wedding (and it happened to fall on a Saturday in 2021 and that’s so not a coincidence).

In retrospect, I couldn’t be happier that we phased into our life together. I think I needed that 6 month period of time to come to terms with my life changing. I needed the privacy to adjust to leaving behind a relatively simple life and entering a much more complicated one. I needed time in my bubble with my husband before I was ready to celebrate with the world. And I don’t regret it for a second.

The Heckin Vision

I was sitting in church a few months ago and there was this man speaking on some topic (honestly, I have no idea what his topic was) and he mentioned how if we want to help people, we have to be prepared to help people. Not some “stay in tune with the spirit and listen to it guide you” type of vague advice that we hear all the time (I get it, it’s true, it’s just not very concrete) but actual, tangible guidance.

He mentioned how he always keeps water bottles and granola bars in his car and some ones in his wallet in case he comes across someone who needs money/food/water. It was the simplest concept but it was revelatory for me.

How often do we come to a stoplight downtown or at an exit where there is someone on the corner, often homeless, asking for something? And instead of offering help, we avoid making eye contact while anxiously waiting for the light to turn green so we can drive away? It’s usually not because we don’t want to help, but because we aren’t even able to help. In today’s world, nobody really carries cash and all we have in our cars is trash and maybe a half empty pack of tictacs, and so we just feel a momentary twang of guilt and then drive off, thinking, “I would have helped if I could.”

My office is downtown, I go to church downtown, and my therapist’s office is downtown, so this scenario happens to me often. And somehow it didn’t naturally occur to me to prepare for those encounters by always having something on hand so I’m able to help. I know there are so many stigmas surrounding homelessness and panhandling, much of which we will get into later, but I feel like we can all agree that people deserve to eat and hydrate, whether or not they can afford it.

I’m both shocked and ashamed I’ve never thought of it this way, but we will have so many more opportunities to help people if we:

  1. actually want to help people and
  2. have information and guidance on how to do so (like concrete, tangible, everyday ways)

I believe that most of us want to help, we just don’t know how. We don’t always have the money to donate to worthy causes, and if we do have some excess money, we don’t know which charities are the most deserving of them. We don’t always have the time to volunteer and, if we do, we don’t know which places need help. Our hearts are in the right places, but we ourselves are not until we get educated. So it is my goal to rectify this as much as I can.

I want to create a space where people can come together and discuss everyday ways to actually make the world a better place. There’s too much posting on social media and not enough taking action and I truly believe the reason is because the people posting don’t know what the next step is. Raising awareness is so incredibly important and I don’t mean to undermine the good it does, but then we also have to act. With this platform, I plan to

  1. create a collaborative space where we can have conversations to share how we already/plan to help underprivileged people in our communities (this space will mainly be @theheckfest account on Instagram)
  2. research local, national, and global charities to examine how they operate/distribute their funds in order to give donors perspective and feel more comfortable knowing how their money will be used
  3. spread awareness and discuss causes that might not deal with people directly but that we can still address
  4. learn, grow, build each other up with positivity and humor, and empower people to feel like their efforts can make a difference

Also I’m never going to stop talking about mental illness so just… expect that.

This past year I’ve learned a lot of eye -pening information regarding donating to charities and other nonprofit organizations. I feel like I am less inclined to want to give now because I don’t want the money that I’m trying to give to people in need going to CEOs or tax breaks for big companies instead. I recognize that people who give their lives to running charities deserve to get paid, too, but it feels unsettling and I haven’t done the research yet to find out what I’m comfortable with. I also feel like, even though I believe in paying tithing and offerings to my church, the good it does doesn’t always reach the places I want it to, and therefore, it’s not enough for me to pay my tithing and have that count as my financial contribution to the world (more on that later). I want to include more people in the researching and sharing of information on how we can do better and do more.

I have a crazy vision that eventually every urban area can have a heckfest hustle where people keep items in their car, prepared to hand them out to those in need. Where people who live in suburban areas and have less homeless interactions but want to help can donate to their nearest (or preferred) urban hustle and 100% of any donation will go directly to whatever they choose (dollar bills, blankets, gloves, food, water, et cetera). Where everyone who helps does so without any desire for compensation because the effort is so minimal and the execution, so simple. I know that maybe it’s too lofty of a vision and that maybe it’ll never happen. But it’s something that wont let me sleep until I do something about it and it’s something that definitely won’t ever happen if I don’t start it.

I really believe that any good you try to do comes from a good place. I believe that any good we put into the world is positive. I’m not advocating for anyone to stop donating to charities or to stop paying tithing. These are all good things! I’m just trying to start one more good thing.

from one white person to another

When it comes to weeks like this past one, life is pretty easy for us.

It’s easy to stay quiet when we aren’t the ones hurting.

It’s easy to justify our ignorance to make ourselves feel comfortable in complacency.

It’s easy to ignore the pain that we don’t experience.

It’s easy to put our own comfort above the needs of a people in pain.

And for too long, that’s what I’ve done. But I can’t, in good conscience, stay silent anymore. I believe that #BlackLivesMatter and I’m uncomfortable sitting on the sidelines pretending that there’s not a legitimate fight being fought by a community in need.

When I started this blog, I decided that I would stay away from talking about religion, or politics, or any polarizing topic. I wanted to be a reliable “safe place” where people could escape from the noise of heavy topics. But I know now that that line of thinking is privilege.

See, if I don’t want to hear about the struggles of minorities, then I can change the channel. I can stop scrolling. I can unfollow whatever content I don’t want to see from whatever people I don’t want to interact with. I can live in my bubble peacefully and be completely ignorant and happy in a country that was, systematically, built for me and people like me. Not everyone can.

#BlackLivesMatter isn’t just a cause for the black community. It’s their desperate plea to be treated with basic human dignity by both their peers and people in power. And when we respond with “All Lives Matter,” we disregard their individual pain and struggles. When we say “we’re all a part of one race: the human race,” we invalidate their experiences. When we claim that we “don’t see color,” we are devaluing a part of their identity. In a perfect world, the color of our skin wouldn’t make a difference in how we are treated. But we don’t live in a perfect world, we don’t all benefit the same regardless of color, and we need to start listening to those who are not in a position of privilege.

It’s uncomfortable to recognize that we benefit from a system that hurts others. It’s uncomfortable to realize that the country we live in isn’t as great for others as it is for us. It’s uncomfortable to acknowledge that white privilege is real. But we can never truly fix the problem until we realize that we are a part of it when we don’t push for change.

It’s quite simple for me. Supporting hurting communities is a basic covenant I made as a disciple of Christ: to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. It isn’t hard to see who’s in need of comfort right now, and you don’t need to be able to quote the New Testament to know that Christ sat with and stood for the marginalized.

If you want to say “we’re all children of God and that should be our only identity,” then act like it. Would you stand up and speak out for your sibling if they were being abused? Then pay attention and speak out for your siblings who are suffering now.

All Sheep Matter CARTOON | Etsy

The thing is, whites/straights/males/other people of privilege love saying that things like this are political. You know why? Because they/we have the luxury of not being personally affected by these issues.

You’re white? You’re not on the receiving end of systemic racism. It’s not personal, therefore it’s political.

You’re cis/straight? You’re not on the receiving end of homophobia or hate crimes. Not being able to marry who you want or express your gender in your preferred manner is not a personal struggle, therefore it’s political.

You’re male? You’re not on the receiving end of sexism and misogyny. The struggles of womanhood are not personal for you, therefore, they’re political.

Being able to see an issue as a “political issue” is a privilege. And nobody likes to acknowledge that, especially because privilege is such a buzzword now and privileged people have stopped taking it seriously. But believe it or not, whites have an advantage in America.

I’m not saying your life is easy, but your life definitely isn’t hard because of the color of your skin. You shouldn’t feel guilty for the color of your skin — nobody should! But you should use it for good. If “all lives” really matter to you, then it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

So please start listening and trying to understand. Stop using the same 4 MLK quotes and actually study what he and other black activists had to say.

Listen to black voices. Amplify black voices.

Donate. Protest. Sign petitions. Speak up.

Have some empathy. Show some compassion.

Fight for an America that is great for everyone.

I don’t suspect that I’ll post super frequently about “political” things, but I’m not going to stay silent anymore just because it’s safe and convenient for me. I believe that #BlackLivesMatter. I support the LGBTQ+ community. I’m a raging feminist and I’m kind of a flaming liberal, so if that’s something I lose friends/followers over, ok. I don’t know how to convince you that you should care about people.

**Note: I used to have *very* different political beliefs. I invalidated and ignored a lot of the viewpoints that I now hold. Over this past year especially, I have moved further and further from what I used to believe (to be honest, it had a lot to do with the fact that I started paying attention and doing my research, go figure). If you know me from a time that I questioned your movements and invalidated your causes, I’m sorry. But I’m showing up to do better and fight alongside you now.**


Hey Kids! Vulnerability is Cool!
One of the new things I did in 2019 was confess my feelings to a guy I liked without knowing for a fact that he felt the same way. Another first? Getting friendzoned. (holla)
And while y’all might be like “agh bummer! so sorry! the friend zone is the worst!” let me be CLEAR–
it’s not.
you know what is the worst? never knowing what it means when he does something that is clearly leading you on one minute and then another thing right afterward clearly indicating that he’s not interested.
the worst? feeling so close and so good when you have a really good time together and then the next week wondering if you’ve fabricated the whole relationship in your head.
the worst? not knowing why you’re consistently rejected when you invite but then he continues to invite.
No, guys, the friendzone is NOT the worst. The friendzone is magical and I love living in the friend zone. Let me tell you why.
1. It clarifies intentions. 
I will preach it until the day I die but overthinking is just under communicating and under communicating is the worst.
Here’s the deal. Before I was “in the friend zone,” I was like a fish and he was a fisherman. I don’t like metaphors that let men be men while women are objects but I feel like a fish is alive enough to not be an object, idk. Anyway. I was on his hook. It was like he had caught me but hadn’t decided if he wanted me, and since I so desperately wanted him to keep me, I couldn’t just jump off the hook and be free. I needed him either kill me (or keep me, I suppose), or throw me back. And when he threw me back (by friendzoning me), I felt free. I felt like a weight had been lifted and I was finally able to breathe again.
This guy was awesome, ok? He was pretty much everything I want in a man minus some key components. But trying to figure out what was going on was hell, and it took a massive toll on me. And finally just getting it all off my chest, even if it was just to be rejected, was redemptive soul work. I highly recommend just getting the friendzoning over with and being able to breathe again.
2. Friends are amazing!!!!
I mean, I’m not the first person to question this, but why do we say “just friends”? like why is a friend somehow less than a romantic partner? Friends are amazing! I love my friends! Platonic friendships are incredible!!! build them!! cherish them!! learn to have them without romantic expectation!! it will make you a better and happier person. I so testify.
3. Loving someone is loving them. Period.
I truly believe that when you love someone, you love any part of them that they’re willing to share with you. Love is not about reciprocation. Obviously, if you’re in a more serious relationship and there is no reciprocity, you may need to set some boundaries and love them from a distance, but that’s not really what I’m referring to here. If you really love someone because of the value they contribute to your life, you will be content to keep them platonically. Of course it hurts to be rejected romantically, but if your only reason for being their friend was the hope of a romantic relationship, then your relationship isn’t really built on a strong foundation anyway.
so SHOOT for the SHOT and at least if you miss, you wont be spending your whole life in the wrong court playing on a losing team.
and if you’ve been friendzoned and are all butthurt about it, stop being such a BABY and either appreciate them for how they bless your life or get the HECK out of their life.
And if you’re the one friend-zoning (didn’t think I was going to leave you out, did you?), uhhh please do it right? This only applies if the friendship is actually important to you. If you actually don’t give a heck about the person, then disregard this, but–
1. Just say how you feel
This person just made themselves extremely vulnerable by telling you how they feel. It takes a lot of courage to be open and honest like that, and obviously, if your feelings aren’t the same, you’re not going to be making yourself nearly as vulnerable! So I don’t care if you feel bad or if it’s awkward to reject someone, if they mean ANYTHING to you, just do it!
2. No copouts! 
Again, say how you freaking feel. None of this “I’m not interested in a relationship” of “I’m not ready to progress romantically with anybody” business. Because that is not a feeling. I can have feelings for someone and not want a relationship with them. When I tell you how I feel and ask how you feel, I want feelings. Because I can’t argue feelings. I can’t force feelings. But I can accept feelings and validate them, even when they don’t match mine.
3. Don’t Leave the Door Open if it’s Not Open
If love is not and will never be an open door for this person, don’t sing Hans’s part of the duet with the intention of leaving them for dead later, mmk? Don’t use terms like “right now” or “the timing is wrong” or “not ready.” This encourages them to hold out hope for the future. If you don’t want to deal with them coming after you in the future, set the relationship straight now. Because they’re thinking, “oh, if right now it’s a problem, I can try again later” or “when will the timing be right?” or “getting ready takes time, and I got time.” I’m not saying you’re lying by saying you’re not ready, but if it’s not just the timing and you’re actually not interested, be honest and cut the person loose. You are not a monster for doing so! You are actually MUCH more of a monster if you string them along and lead them on.
4. Don’t Invalidate Their Feelings
If they say you’ve been leading them on, and you have been, just admit it and apologize. If they say you’ve been leading them on, and you don’t feel like you have been… think about it from their perspective… and then respond empathetically. All you have to say is “I didn’t mean to and I’m sorry.” Ignoring it or brushing it off is just not accepting responsibility for the confusion/hurt you caused. Maybe that sounds a little extreme, but… having your feelings played with totally sucks.
5. Don’t Be Cringey 
It’s nice to tell someone you appreciate them as a friend, so do that (if it’s true). But don’t overdo it. Don’t use a bunch of fluff about how “you’re a really great person” and “you’re gonna be so great for somebody else” and all that bogus fluff. Unless you have the sort of relationship where it’s a genuine thing to say, just do without it. Because it feels incredibly fake in the moment, like you’re just grabbing at nice cliches to say so that you don’t come off as a monster.
Again, all this only really matters if you legitimately care about the person/friendship. If not, you should be as vague, avoidant, and cringey as possible. The results speak for themselves: you are a coward.
Anyway. Not to out anyone that I’ve been friendzoned by, but… I know some people who would benefit from a friendzoning workshop. Like a lot.
And if you know they like you and they just haven’t said anything, don’t be a jerk. Just address it. It’s as easy as saying “hey, I kinda suspect that you may be interested in me as more than a friend. If that’s true, then I just want to say that I’m flattered but our friendship is completely platonic for me. If I’m way off base in interpreting your words/actions, then cool! I just want to be on the same page.” Bing bam boom, nobody’s being mean and everyone understands their place.
Friendzoning is not hard to do, but it’s amazing how strong friendships can be ruined by a poorly done friendzone. Don’t let it be you. Ask your doctor if friendzoning is right for you.
–If you’re married and reading this (to support me, of course) and you’re like “wow, so glad that phase of my life is over,” get out. —

My 2020 Vision

The moon says the new year starts now, so Happy (Lunar) New Year!

It also gave me the satisfaction of not feeling bad about procrastinating my 2019 review/2020 goals, so holla at ya moon.
The title of this blog post is misleading, this is more like a “year in review” post for 2019, but “My 2020 Vision” was too good to pass up, we only get this year ONE TIME (or 366 times, if you wanna be that person). But if you came here wondering about my 2020 vision, it is this: get new glasses. The ones I have on my face are too old, they keep falling off, and I accidentally stepped on my other pair and broke them. RIP hipster frames. Yes, I did get contacts last year, but Denver is Too Dry this winter and they give me headaches.
Ok so only keep reading if you want an inside on my diary.
Last year, my only real “resolution” was “every week, do something I’ve never done or go somewhere I’ve never been.” I thought it would make good blogging material, but it turned into just going to a new food place or seeing a new movie for a lot of those weeks and it wasn’t really blog-worthy. I guess I could have flexed my movie/food critic muscles, but… I didn’t. So.
but in case you are wondering what kind of new cool stuff I did, here are some things!
-songwriting retreat in Nashville
-gambling in Vegas
-admit my mental illness to the world!
-audition for America’s Got Talent
-join an Instagram live stream
-throw an ax (!!!!)
-eat ethiopian food
-reply to a rejection letter from a job about how they totally missed out (lol)
-go to a comedy club (it was… NOt good)
-sleep in a hammock
-use the men’s bathroom (gross, 1/10, only giving a 1 rating bc it beats an outhouse)
-text my number neighbor (she is my age, lds, and lives in SLC. wild af)
-Go to Yellowstone/Grand Teton NP!
-Go hiking by myself
-Eat bear meat (would not recommend. Not bad, just not good)
-learn how to change my own oil
-attend a murder mystery party
-check out some cool places in Denver
-make homemade tortillas
-became way too comfortable talking about my asexuality
-make tortillas from scratch (they did not turn out well)
-try voodoo donuts (for the first, second, third, and fourth time)
-saw my first foreign/highbrow film
-made friends on bumble bff
-went on a dating app date (!!!!!) and then promptly never talked to the guy again
-sent feet pics (that was earlier in the year but lower on the list bc… trauma)
-went to a Moth storytelling night
-got friendzoned (I mean, I was 25, it was time)
-actually got into a lot of cool podcasts!
-was a bridesmaid in a wonderful friend’s wedding ❤
If you’re a grammar nazi, you will notice that the above list is not uniform at all. Some items begin with past tense verbs, some items begin with present tense verbs, and some items are just nouns. I understand this and am not going to make the effort to streamline it. Deal with it.
ALSO– if you are wondering what kinds of goals to set for yourself, I would highly, HIGHLY recommend making the goal to do something new every week. It’s simple enough to do, but it also encourages you to get outside the box and actually do the things you’ve always wanted to but never got around to. Also, you just realize how many new things you’re doing naturally, and it’s pretty cool.
Also,,, I realize that’s 30 things I could have written an actual cool post about so if you’d like me to revisit any of those in a future post, let me know and I’ll get on it. I should’ve noticed sooner but I was too busy just kinda… livin life, yknow?
Anyway. 2019 was a different beast. At the end of some years, I’m like “wow, so glad THat year is over, so excited for a new start!” but at the end of 2019? I thought… I am so grateful for everything that happened last year. What a year. How exciting to keep building on the trajectory I’ve started.
My first instinct is to say that 2019 was a year of transformation. But I don’t think I really changed, I think I just emerged. I started living openly about all the pieces of my identity that I had previously been ashamed of, asserting my validity even to people who disagreed. I built some seriously awesome friendships and surrounded myself with a strong social support group. I started taking control of my future… personally, professionally, and otherwise.
**And let me just say, taking control does not mean that you are not scared/discouraged. I can cry today and feel like I’m never going to make anything of myself, and then get up tomorrow and keep trying. I’m allowed to feel my way through it! And so are you!**
Maybe it was that I lived in the same place the whole year (which hasn’t happened since 2012) so I was really able to put down some roots and bloom. Maybe it’s because timing is divine. Maybe it’s because I just met the people I needed to meet and was finally ready for them. And maybe… maybe it’s maybelline.
I can already tell that the year of the rat is gonna be pretty rocky. But I ~~think I can handle it.

Toxic Positivity: It’s OK to be Goo

I get that toxic is a ~trendy~ word right now that nobody takes seriously, but hear me out.

Toxic positivity is real. And contradictory for positive mental/emotional growth and development.

I think we’ve created this culture of positivity that can help some people while simultaneously harming others. And that’s what I want to address today: the positivity paradox.

People who genuinely want to live good, happy lives claim that the secret is in positive thinking. I don’t necessarily disagree with that. In fact, I think that’s a great thing! I have a quote on my work desk that says “change your thoughts and change your world,” and I believe it. But I also believe in being real. And in real life, not everything is positive all the time. And you can’t just act like it is.

The unfortunate reality is this: people think that if they admit they’re weak, either to their friends or on their social media, it’s the equivalent of begging for attention or validation. I believe that sometimes that is the case. But it’s all in the delivery. I’ve observed methods that don’t come across as negative, but as honest. And I’m a passionate believer in being honest about your circumstances. Not only is it relatable and real, it’s healthy. For current you, future you, and for everyone else who might be comparing themselves to you (which is their problem that you are not responsible for, but nonetheless, we’ve all (probably) been there).
From personal experience: my time in China was one of the lowest points of my entire life. It was the first time that I considered suicide as an actual option–not just as a taboo “I wish I could do that.” Inside, I was in a  very dark place. But in my pictures, I was smiling. In my captions, I was making jokes; in my replies, I was superficial. Now, I really was doing some super cool stuff. I’m grateful for my time and my experiences there and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But I would get people commenting things like “you look so happy!” and “I’m so jealous,” and I realized that I was lying. And if other people were comparing their normal, school- and work-filled lives with my traveling adventures, they were caught up in that lie that I was spinning.
Now, I didn’t owe it to anyone to tell them my true thoughts and feelings, but I do owe it to myself to see my life for what it is. So I decided to discard the idea that social media is only for big, exciting life updates. Nobody is going to compare their real life to my “highlight reel” anymore. I’m going to be candid.
I was averse to this idea at first because growing up, I was always told that I was too Negative. And we were taught that Negative people are Not Fun to be around because they’re Draining and they Kill Joy. So basically, instead of being told “hey, you might have a mental illness, you should really get some help and learn how to take care of yourself,” I was told, “hey, you need to fix your bad attitude or nobody is going to want to be your friend.” You can imagine how fun that was for me to hear and internalize.
SoOoOo I learned to either shut up or fake it. And I’m actually terrible at both of those things. So my real friends (bless them) still saw me at my real (because I don’t have any other setting) and the thing was, even though they loved me, all I could think about was how burdensome I was in every relationship that I had because I was Negative.
If my story sounds anything like yours, let me just whip out my megaphone and announce that:
🗣that is not a healthy way to live 🗣
You’re allowed to feel. We say that “there is opposition in all things,” but then once something bad happens, we think we can just will away the bad feelings and that, if we don’t, there’s something wrong with us. There’s nothing wrong with feeling pain. Pain is a vital part of being alive.
Now I do want to clarify that I think positive thinking is a great thing. Optimism is fantastic and I’m not here to trash talk it. But I do emphatically believe that the push to “positive thinking” can be damaging. I’ve lived it.
When you think that ignoring bad feelings will make them go away? That’s toxic positivity. If you say that someone is “just being negative” and that “thinking happy thoughts will make everything better,” that’s toxic positivity. When we ignore the bad and focus solely on the good? That’s toxic positivity. You cannot learn from the bad if you ignore it. You cannot make peace with your past if you refuse to acknowledge that it hurt you.
We need to be honest with each other and with ourselves if we are to be able to heal, move forward, and deal healthily, as individuals and as a society, with our reality. Otherwise, we’ll just see the past as better than it was and the present as never good enough. It’s already too easy to see the past with rose-tinted glasses, don’t make it harder for your future self by writing in journals or posting on social media about only the positive things you’re going through.
Note: gratitude is important and we should understand that no matter where we are in life, we have something to be grateful for. But addressing our pain does not equate to ingratitude.
Take, for example, a broken arm. We don’t say “well, I’m lucky to even have an arm, so I can’t complain about the pain.” That is ludicrous. It is because we are thankful for our arm that listen to the pain and seek treatment. We don’t just will the pain away with gratitude and positivity. So why can’t we do that with our minds and hearts? I would argue that those are of much greater value to us.
We can’t heal if we don’t think that anything is wrong with us. We can’t heal if we don’t know where the pain is coming from. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know what it is. So address those problems. Find their source. And then solve them.
One of the best things I’ve seen on twitter was this tweet from user @JenAshleyWright. It says:
“People talk about caterpillars becoming butterflies as though they just go into a cocoon, slap on wings, and are good to go.
Caterpillars have to dissolve into a disgusting pile of goo to become butterflies.
So if you’re a mess wrapped up in blankets right now, keep going.”
A caterpillar in a chrysalis literally digests itself and releases enzymes to dissolve all its tissues. It is soup in there. But that is an essential step in the metamorphosis. And according to, “disturbing a caterpillar inside its cocoon or chrysalis risks botching the transformation.”
So don’t disturb your own transformation by trying to slap on your wings and fly already. Growth takes time. Sometimes a build-up must be preceded by a colossal breakdown. That doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re transforming.
Be kind to yourself when you’re a mess in a pile of blankets. You’ll start flying soon enough. For now, be goo.

all dayers are rough

I’ve been at my new job as a content marketing writer for a full month now and I’ve already written about some wack stuff. The weirdest thing I’ve had to advertise? Death and trauma scene cleanup, probably. Didn’t ever think about that being a market but I guess it makes sense…


Something that unemployed life doesn’t prepare you for is all dayers. And if you’re reading this like “when I was unemployed I was still productive and sleeping at normal hours” then congratz, leave me alone to nap in the breakroom during lunchtime.

And yes, I was temping for a good while before, and it was basically full-time, but I had options there. I could call out for any reason whenever I wanted and not be penalized because I was only a temp anyway.

Did I? No. But could I have? Probably. I didn’t realize the appeal of friends with benefits relationships until I worked with a temp agency. They got work, I got money, but neither of us had to commit to each other at all and it was beautiful. Except… the benefit of commitment is health care, so… it was probably for the best that I moved on.

So I work in DOWNTOWN Denver and I live 30 minutes away from that on a day with no traffic (so like, Sunday mornings and Sunday mornings only). That means that on normal mornings, it takes about 50 minutes.. if I leave by 6:50. But if I leave at 7? big mistake. complete buffoonery. I made that mistake on my second day and was 5 minutes late to work.

Isn’t that ridiculous?! Leave ten minutes later and arrive twenty-five minutes later? Yeah, but that’s showbiz*, baby.


Anyway, I’ve really had to get my life together these past several weeks and I’m wondering how long it’ll last. But lucky for you, I got myself a planner so I can chronicle it going downhill in the inevitability that that happens. Stay tuned for that.

The way the planner works is like this: I plan literally everything that I’m going to do (time I wake up, what I’m going to study, what I’m going to eat, what I’m going to do after work, what I’m going to wear, etc.) and then– I actually do it. And the results speak for themselves–I have literally never been more exhausted.

That’s probably a lie, but wow. All dayers are rough.

Seriously. I woke up at 5 am on Monday and then didn’t go to bed until a little after 10 and that’s a whole 17 hours??? That I was awake?? During mostly daylight hours?? being productive?? ME???

It’s more likely than you’d think.

I’d also like to note that Netflix wasn’t involved at ALL.

So yeah, I’m trying to balance a full-time work schedule with a two-hour commute and a social life and I know people do this all the time and I am not special, but let me finish– I’m also trying to train for a marathon. And I wasn’t going to admit that to the blogosphere because I don’t want anyone to hold me to actually doing the marathon, but I wanted you all to know that I’m really trying just so hard to be a productive, healthy human. Also, I’m in the early weeks of training and I don’t know how I’m going to keep it up as the runs get longer because ya gurl is slow.

By the way, I reserve the right to quit my training at any time for any reason including, but not limited to: snow, wanting to sleep, finding a good show to binge on Netflix, and spending quality time with kittens.

Anyway, being a semi-successful adult is pretty cool. And I dig it. But anyone got any secrets of how to make it through the day without caffeine and without having to take a nap on my lunch break? HMU with ideas. I’d like to also note that I am getting in a good 5 REM cycles a night, so I’m Doing My Best.

Week 16 SNEW Update

Since I made the goal at the beginning of the year to do something I’ve never done/go somewhere I’ve never been every week, I have done some really incredible things. This is probably definitely the most exciting “resolution” I’ve ever made, and… I think I want to implement it in my whole life, not just 2019.

Something I’ve noticed is that often, I’ll just do something new without actually trying to. However, when I seek out new things and places, I end up doing way cooler things. Also, this arrangement often encourages me to do the thing I want to do instead of just thinking about it. And I have thought about doing a lot of cool things, so we are moving in a positive direction.

So because I have not been documenting every single week, here is a recap:

Week “one”: Technically I decided not to count this one because it wasn’t a full week and it’s my challenge so I make the rules (:

Week 2: Gamble!

Week 3: Go to my local library

Week 4: Met up with someone I met on the internet.

Week 5: Change my own headlight (or at least learn how, because technically, my dad did most of the work)

Week 6: Audition for America’s Got Talent!

Week 7: My first highbrow film! It was an Indie film and it was in Polish and French, so I enjoyed the subtitles. I felt a little more like An Intellectual afterward. I genuinely wish my interests were that sophisticated, but alas, I am a twit who spends too much time twittering.

Week 8: Voodoo doughnuts! My mom went and got a dozen on $1 per doughnut day and then ate half of each one and saved the other half of each one for me. Luv her. Also, I finally watched Jumanji for the first time, so I’m glad I did that.

Week 9: Publish all my mental issues on the internet where everybody can see them. Yay for oversharing!

Week 10: I thought that going to see Captain Marvel at the Alamo would be a big deal, but it’s just another movie theater and it wasn’t that exciting. The movie definitely was, but I am not as in love with that theater as everyone else seems to be. I mean… yeah, you can order food, but it’s expensive food, and my ticket was $5 more than a normal theater and the seats DON’T EVEN recline. Would not recommend.

Week 11: Go To Nashville!

Week 12: Songwriting Retreat in Nashville (what a dream)

Week 13: Can you believe that I had never been to Steak ‘n’ Shake before this year? Absolutely reprehensible. The only reason we went was because of the coupons that come in the mail… turns out it was only really $.50 off, but I still think that’s a deal. Then I thought it would be nice to call the number on the receipt to give a good review of the service (because nobody calls and gives good reviews anymore), and it was the most awkward phone conversation I think I’ve ever had.

Also, I got a hydromassage at planet fitness thanks to my mother’s black card privileges. It was fantastic. Big fan

Week 14: Ok this week I had to reach because I didn’t really have anything exciting that I did. I read a new book (the Thunderhead, ugh huge fan of that series), played a new card game I had never played (exploding kittens, anyone?) and I joined someone’s livestream on Instragram which was… odd.

Week 15: I THREW AN AXE. I didn’t do it very well, and I honestly only did it for the bragging rights. Which aren’t even that impressive. Ah, well.

Week 16: I went to the River Delta North Art District in Denver and took pictures with all the murals and street art. And then I tried Ethiopian food. And it was incredible. 10/10, would recommend.

And that is the update so far! I have compiled a spreadsheet of all the places I need to go and things I need to do and I hate doing things alone so come join me (: It’s been pretty cool so far but I am just getting started.

Job Hunting in the Modern Day

About a year ago, I claimed to have made job hunting my best friend. But we’ve been hanging out way too much lately and I’m straight up not having a good time.

I’ve been looking for a job for the past two months without success. And it’s exhausting. And I do cry several times a week while driving for DoorDash because I hate it so much and I just want a normal, dependable job that treats its employees well.

So in case you don’t know what the modern day job hunt is like, here’s a sneak peek.

In the age of social media, you’d think that LinkedIn could be a one-stop shop, right? Direct communication between employer/recruiter and candidate. No third party job sites that require your email and an account that you’ll never use again. No ridiculous link-clicking, taking you from site to site to site, only to submit a perfectly crafted resume and cover letter that someone would look at for six seconds before writing you off forever.

But no! Even businesses that use LinkedIn will sometimes have the Apply button link you to an outside job site that you have to sign up for. And you know what these websites do? Email you approximately 16 times a day with jobs that you are either a) unqualified for, b) overqualified for, c) completely uninterested in, or my personal favorite, d) super interested in but when you go to apply for it, it is conveniently unavailable. Three seconds after sending the email job alert out and the position is already taken — that’s good advertising.

I was used to getting the occasional email from Indeed, but as the job hunt intensified, I started getting emails from job sites I’ve never heard of. In fact, just as I typed that, my phone lit up with an email from Job-Tree. I don’t even remember signing up for Job-Tree. But now I have at least one email every hour from: Lensa, EveryJobForMe, Jobcase, ZipRecruiter, Monster, CareerBuilder, iHirePublishing, MarketingJobForce, Neuvoo, Apply-4-Jobs, Colorado Job Department, Localwise, erecruit, Glassdoor, Kalo, StartWire, Nexxt, GetHired, Workable, and, of course, ya boi Job-Tree. And mind you, I have not purposely visited any job finding website except for Indeed and Glassdoor in my entire life.

And these emails will try to be personable, like some guy named Phil will be saying: “Tyffani! I have a job that lines up well with your resume. Check it out!” and the position will be some astrophysics position requiring a BS in engineering. Really, Phil? That lines up with my resume?

And sometimes it’s not that always that you have to apply through one of these random websites, but what I almost find more ridiculous is the companies that make you apply on their site. And not only do I have to apply on their site, but I have to make an account in order to apply on their site, even though I will likely never EVER have to use that account again.

But wait it gets worse. These companies not only ask for your resume, they then ask you to fill out all these forms about your job history. Like, brother–what do you think my resume is?! I will tolerate a lot in job hunting, but that? I am “thank u, next” to those jobs because if I have to jump through that many hoops just to apply for a job, I already know they’re not a company I want to work for.

On the flip side of those companies that want everything, though, a lot of sites feature the “One-Click Apply.” I really enjoy the one-click apply because it’s easy, but sometimes… it’s too easy. For example, one site asked if I wanted to “One-Click Apply” for 28 jobs simultaneously. I thought that sounded pretty good, so I clicked the button before I skimmed through the job options. Now I am getting rejection emails left and right from jobs I didn’t even want. Benihana doesn’t want me as a line cook? Can’t imagine why they weren’t impressed with my writing resume. Can’t imagine a more qualified candidate.

The best part, however, is when you submit 10 applications a day for two months and then a recruiter contacts you out of the blue on LinkedIn for a job you didn’t apply for while the hundreds that you did apply for don’t give you any attention. And then you get really interested in this job, despite the awful pay and terrible commute, and get rejected and spend the whole day crying because you’re just really desperate and hopeless at this point.

So what is it, guys? Should I be lying on my resume? Should I be playing hard to get? Should I be using my social media stalking skills to show up at the hiring manager’s house with food? Those with jobs, please weigh in.