Updated: Jul 8

Toxic relationships come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They do not necessarily have to be with someone you share an intimate relationship with like a significant other. It can be a friend, family member, or even someone you work with. They can be hard to spot at first, and then difficult to remove yourself from. And unfortunately, I have two stories to share, when I worked for two horrible people. For a year or so, I found myself in a toxic relationship with an employer, but at the time I didn't notice. What I noticed was a job promotion, extra pay, and what seemed like a newfound “friendship.”

On our first official meeting at the Four Seasons in New York City, she rudely told another couple that they could not sit by us near the fireplace. I instantly felt like an asshole, but since I was JUST promoted, I decided to not say anything. Instead, I just sat there like a soundless airhead while my so-called boss who ran a magazine catering to Empowering Women aggressively sat that forcing that couple to move away from us. But what is even more embarrassing is the fact that I allowed that to continue. I was so wrapped up with building my own portfolio and moving on in the world of writing, I allowed this woman to belittle a couple who were doing nothing out of sorts.

There were many other things I left lying under the rug for months. That was until we went away for the weekend to Key West for a “business trip.” What was supposed to be a weekend of brainstorming and creating new ways to market the company, turned into a crazy, girls-gone-wild, trip, but minus a good time. This woman really showed me and a fellow editor who was also on the trip with us (thank God), what a rude, selfish, and entitled person she really was. While the trip itself was a total bust, I now use it as a growing experience and had one take away from it; when someone shows you their true colors, do not try to repaint them. After I cut myself loose from the crazy ties, it was then I really started using my own platform to share my life experiences. I also decided to end my hiatus with teaching and started looking to get myself back into the game. This is where I viciously collided with one of the foulest human beings I have ever had the displeasure of meeting.

I had started looking for a teaching position, but ultimately landed a role as an administrator in a private school. It was pretty sweet to be offered a position where I could hold some sort of authority - or so I thought. The first few weeks were pretty smooth. I got to know my new co-workers and really started to build an amazing relationship with all of them. While having a few management skills under my belt from mentoring new writers, I knew exactly how I wanted my leadership skills to be. The one thing I was not going to let happen was my co-workers thinking I thought I was better than them. That my position meant more because I was an admin. I took pride in the fact that I got to know each teacher on a personal level. You get better work results out of employees who trust their higher-ups.

My boss HATED that. He hated the fact that I was immediately well received by both the staff and parents and had established a rapport that exhibited respect on both sides.

With my good-willed demeanor now on his radar, he now dissed EVERY SINGLE THING I DID. There is not one time in my year at this facility where I can share with you, that he praised me for my work. And listen, I’m not a child and I also wasn’t raised on receiving participation awards either. You’re either a good worker or you’re not, and not to toot my own horn, but when it comes to working in the Educational Field, I know I’m pretty damn good. But as I mentioned earlier, when you respect your staff and treat them like humans, you get the absolute best results from them. But if you’re going to critique everything they do “wrong”, have them sit in your tiny office every morning with your breath smelling terrible, and talk down to them daily, all while continuously grabbing your junk, that’s when you’ll see that line of respect start to disappear.

It took an order of tissues that was delivered incorrectly and a grown man yelling in my face telling me I’m a “useless fucking assistant” to finally put my foot down. With a well written, articulate, and respectful letter, I shared with him my feelings and frustrations. And once I stood up for myself, I was let go of my duties. It was a bittersweet blessing in disguise.

After taking a week to compose my thoughts and remember that one bitter man's feelings towards something I worked so hard to obtain, did not define my work ethic, I started sending out my resume again. Within a few days, I had an interview at another school. It has been almost a year and what a change! When you leave a toxic work relationship and find yourself in a calm, respectful environment, it’s like a million bricks are lifted off your shoulders. In the 11 years, I have worked as an educator, I’ve never found a school that has both an amazing staff and amazing administration. It may have taken me a while to find, but the point is, I’ve found it.

Life is absolutely way too short to work or live in any sort of toxic environment. Change is terrifying, but so is staying stuck in the same miserable race. Once you make that leap of faith, it’s amazing how everything else just falls into place.



**Disclaimer: The information I am about to share with you is what I found to work for ME. My methods are my own, and may not work for everyone. 


It’s no secret that I have been going down this road to baby for quite some time now. And while we remain as positive as we possibly can, stress really doesn’t give a shit and can show up at any time. Aside from the stress that comes along with trying to start a family, the usual day-to-day stress just doesn’t disappear. 


Life has really tested us in the last few months. Between losing our first home two days before the closing, transferring to a new school, and working tirelessly to ease the financial burden of infertility all while being on a completely opposite schedule as my husband, I’m honestly shocked that I haven’t pulled a circa 2007 Britney Spears. 


People LOVE to say, “Oh, just relax. Stress won’t help your situation!” And yes, while your remark was both unwarranted and unnecessary, it’s almost physically impossible to not be burdened by stress. 


HOWEVER, I have found a few things that have helped me to relax and not feel so overwhelmed. Again, this is what has been working for me. I am always here to share my thoughts and opinions, but I’m not expecting anyone to agree or follow what I do. I will say this though, once I started incorporating these next three things into my life, I felt a TREMENDOUS weight lifted off my shoulders. I have learned to relax more, not explode the very moment a minor inconvenience happens, and to just let life happen and roll with it. 


Acupuncture:

This is something that I have been wanting to do for a few years now, however it can be pretty pricey so I kept putting it off. Many places do except insurance but even so, a lot of places still wanted $180 out of pocket. I finally found an amazing acupuncturist, (thanks to another IVF Mama), located in Ocean called The Zen Den. It’s community based so you’re in a room with other people. When I heard that, I was very skeptical. I thought it would be noisy and crammed, but I was way off! The entire space is extremely relaxing. From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. My acupuncturist, Michelle, really takes the time to get to know you and the reason(s) as to why you’re there in the first place. I go once a week and this has been the best decision ever. The first initial price is $50 then $35 for each visit after that. Extremely budget friendly and well worth it! Taking one hour for yourself a week really isn’t that much when you think about it, but being able to just shut out the world for a bit really makes a difference. 


Oils / Meditation:

Yes, I use oils. I know many skeptics and I’m going to say this once: unless you know the added stress of trying to get pregnant, then keep your bullshit remarks to yourself. Oils have been used as an all natural stress reliever for many years, and while they may not cure cancer or your ignorant attitude, they have helped me in many ways. Anyway…. Running my diffuser at night after a long day is absolutely magical. Not only does it make the apartment smell good, but there are certain blends that really help to ease the mind. I combine this with simple meditation. I sit with relaxing music playing and literally just take a few deep breathes. Working as a teacher can be extremely stressful and doing this a few nights a week can really clear your mind and assist in getting ready for the next day. 


Exercise:

My last bit of advice is a no-brainer: exercise. Whether it’s going for a long walk, or just running on the treadmill, once I pop in my headphones it’s goodbye world. I just to get to the gym at least 4 times a week, usually after work at night or over the weekend. You gotta keep that blood flowing when you’re going through IVF. You also need to work off all the frustration that comes along with all the medication you’re on. There are days when I want to Hulk out and 45 minutes on the mill can typically do the trick. 

All in all, you’ve got to do what works for you. It’s a tricky road to motherhood filled with many different emotions. Just don’t forget to take time for YOU. That is the best thing you can do for your mental health and well-being. 



“With age comes responsibility.” This is a phrase I often heard my step-dad say as I was growing up. And while that is a very true statement, I have also come to realize that with age, comes the art of not giving a shit what others think of you anymore.


Going back as far as elementary school, I have always cared about what other people thought of me. From my classmates to my teachers, I needed to feel accepted by all and oftentimes would fit the mold to whomever I was around.


As I grew older, wiser, and sexier, I started to realize that the only person I really need to be impressing or pleasing is MYSELF. Some of us, however, are just born to be people pleasers. And while that is not a bad quality to have, you may start to find yourself experiencing unnecessary stress while trying to make everyone around you happy.


I am going to share with you, “The Art of NOT Giving a Shit” in hopes that you will one day not be afraid to tell someone, “No.” It is such a revelation, let me tell ya! You will feel happier, less stressed, and just free.


Shake That Shit Off

For the longest time, I would let certain things fester and could not let anything go. Now, I really could care less. About a year ago, I had someone say some pretty gnarly things to me about my autoimmune issues. I mean… it was pretty disgusting. It has taken me almost a full year to just say, “fuck it” and let it go. You need to realize, that some people are just born unfiltered and they will say anything they please because that’s just how they are. If someone feels the need to kick you while you’re down, just distance yourself and shake it off. Once I was able to let those unwarranted comments go, I have felt so much happier.


You’re Not a Puppy, You Can’t Make EVERYONE Happy or Like You

That’s a super long title and I apologize, however it is true. Not everyone in the world is meant to like you, and if someone doesn’t THAT’S OK. You will still wake up tomorrow morning, and will still be a bad-ass. There will always be that one person who you just don’t mesh well with. Or sometimes, people just outgrow each other. Don’t be salty or offended if you wake up one day and a girl from 8 years ago deleted you off Facebook.


Surround Yourself With Positive People

Do you have people in your life that just constantly seem to be in a bad mood? I’m just talking about “having one of those days” because we all have them. I’m talking about someone who just never has anything nice to say, puts other people down, or talks shit about someone else behind their back. This is what I like to call a garbage person. This is someone that you do not need in your life. I personally like to keep my circle small and full of people with dreams, goals, and just an overall positive demeanor. Cut out the negative and I’m telling you, you will feel a world of difference.






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