Tuesday, March 4, 2008

For All Y'All Spring Breakers


Spring Break has arrived! It’s a week to kiss off class, forget exams, and unwind. Let’s be honest here, Spring Break is no longer beach blanket bingo. Today it’s Girls Gone Wild, wet t-shirt contests, drunken debacles, and one niters. So, for some of you its fun in the sun or racing down the snowy slopes on the mountainside. For the rest of you, you won’t be joining your friends and classmates in their happy dance because it doesn’t fit in your budget, or previous responsibilities. Not matter what your situation is, it’s Spring Break. Find the time to give yourself that BREAK no matter where you are.

ASK Eris
Last year I had to stay at school and work during Spring Break, while my boyfriend and his frat house went to South Padre. Long story short, a few weeks later, I wound up getting Chlamydia. I was shocked! As far as I was concerned, we were in a committed relationship. First he denied it, then he admitted to cheating, blamed it on the alcohol, said she meant nothing to him, and apologized. I semi forgave him and tried to forget. Since then we have had many ups and downs, but we have stayed together.
Well, here we are again – Spring Break. Once more, I have to stay back and work because exotic travel doesn’t fit into my budget, while my boyfriend is going to Jamaica with his frat brothers. Of course he has promised, promised, promised that it won’t happen again. However, I am already worried sick that he will cheat again. All week while he is gone, I am going to be pulling my hair out. I don’t know if I should stay with him or break up with him. I really do love him.

Eris Suggests,

First of all, you need to ask yourself what love is. Is love feeling worried that your boyfriend is going to cheat on you and might infect you with another STD? You should find yourself lucky that Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics. If he cheated on you once, who is to say that he won’t do it again? By the sound of what you are writing me, he has in no way, shape or form, tried to make you feel secure – while he goes off with his brothers. Where, in this dynamic are you valuing yourself? Let me answer that for you – NOWHERE. It is hard enough that you have to stay behind and work and can’t join your boyfriend to bask in the sun. I suggest that you use this week for some self-reflection. Be honest with yourself. What is the reality of your relationship? Can you do better by choosing someone that will make you feel more secure? (Check one) [ ] yes [ ] no. Become more aware of your self, what you want out of a relationship, and what kind of life you want to create for yourself. Find your self-worth. If you close the door on one unhealthy situation, you allow space for something else. It is up to you if you choose that to be something that will make you flourish, not pull your hair out.

ASK Eris
I am so torn about what to do with my Spring Break. I’m a senior and it’s my last Spring Break before the “real world” kicks in. One group of my friends are going to Cancun while another group of my friends are involved with think MTV and United Way’s Alternative Spring Break in the Gulf Coast. The volunteer work sounds like what my heart wants to do and it will look good on my resume. However, I don’t want to miss out on the sun and fun with my friends. It’s my last time to really hang with them before we all move to all different parts of the country.

It is understandable that you want to bask in the sun with your friends – no one can blame you for that. However, although partying during Spring Break can lead to unforgotten times and stories, it isn’t the only way for you to spend your break. More and more every year, students across the country are donating their time as a volunteer/vacation opportunity. If you choose to go to the Gulf Coast, you are in a win win situation. Not only will you help your resume and future opportunities, you will feel good about what you did. There will be unforgettable times in this decision as well. Experts say that it will take years to rebuild the peoples shattered lives in the Gulf Coast. Why not listen to your heart, and be a part of the recovery efforts. Hard Hats off to you for wanting to help.

Valentine's Day

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

It's that time of the year again - February - the month of romance and Valentine's Day - and another Hallmark moment (It's the second largest capitalistic gift giving holiday of the year). For some of you, your rooms will be filled with sweet tart hearts, See's candies, and bouquets of flowers. You are in love, and will be exchanging cards that say, "Will you be mine?" For others it's a lonely day and a lonely night while watching the lovebirds in their La La Land. For you, the fact that people actually buy into this contrived, manmade, multibillion-dollar holiday is silly at best. Nonetheless, for most of you, there is probably somewhere, deep down inside of you, a glimmer of hope that cupid will take his bow and shoot you with his arrow that will cause you to fall in love. Whatever the case may be, just remember to always love yourself.

Here are some of the Valentine's Day questions I have recieved from my readers:

Ever since I was a kid, I felt forced into Valentine's Day, and forced into expressing love in a way that I'm not ready to. This occasion ruins the natural process of love. It's a complete set up, which I think was created by the female of the species. I care about my current girlfriend; but with Valentines Day right around the corner, I'm put into this position once again. I don't know how to express myself, or what to give her. I even have the thought of breaking up with her before the holiday and then getting back together with her afterwards. But, I know that this is not right. What should I do?

Eris Suggests:

It's a good thing that you know that breaking up to avoid the pressures of Valentine's Day isn't a healthy thing to do. I suggest that you talk to your girlfriend and explain to her the pressure that you feel around Valentine's Day. Give her the chance to express herself with you as well. As far as a gift, be creative - come up with something simple and appropriate. Or, come up with something together that feels comfortable for both of you. I suggest that you do not force yourself into saying anything that you do not want to say. Valentines day does not have to be such a pressure filled holiday nor does it have to become a bank account buster.

FYI - Although many women do get excited to celebrate Valentines Day with the person that they love, women did not create it. It was traditionally dedicated to two ancient male martyrs named Valentine.

Valentines Day is right around the corner AGAIN and I'm starting to freak out. I generally get an overwhelming feeling of loneliness around February. And, to top it off, I'm surround by women at work. Most of them are already getting cards, gifts, flowers, etc. And I won't - unless I send them to myself. Should I send myself flowers to escape the embarrassment or should I call in sick on Valentine's Day?

Eris suggests:

The fact is that everywhere you look in February is images of couples kissing, candy, hearts, and love, love, love. It is a shame that people who are not in a relationship are made to feel bad on Valentines Day. To make matters worse, if you are already feeling alone, then this day can trigger all sorts of difficult feelings and emotions. However, all of this hype can trick you into putting just as much focus on this holiday as society does. This can be unwarranted as well as unhealthy. I suggest that you change your perception of this day. Its just another day, and not being in a relationship right now is not the end of the world. Don't get down on yourself for that. You first need to be in a relationship with yourself, empower yourself, and fall in love with you. There can't possibly be a better time to do this than right now. Self worth comes from you, not from anyone else. Take contrary action on Valentines Day and have a date with you, yourself, and YOU. Take yourself to the movies, go on a nice hike, go shopping (Just don't get yourself into debt). You can also enjoy the day with a friend. As Oscar Wilde said, "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

I get many e-mails surrounding Valentine's Day break-ups. This does not surprise me being that this holiday revolves around equating love - finding the dollar figure that says, "I love you," in just the "right amount." The rest of the year, we show each other how much we love by the little things, how we listen, how we act. But on this day, its pre planned, pre packaged, pre marketed, pre sold, pre bought, and pre consumed. But lets not remove February 14th from our calendars. Lets just remember what its for - EXPRESSING LOVE.

PS: For all of you that e-mailed me about your Valentines Day break-ups - I'm sorry. But if your significant other broke up with you because of this holiday then there was more to it than that or not enough. Be thankful that you are free at last, free at last, free at last.

Love, Eris