Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable- Part 2: Relationships

I heard on the radio this morning that we peak at age 23 when it comes to making new friends.

it makes sense though, that’s the age when we are trying new things, out at the bars, just finishing college, starting new jobs and yadayadayada. But i say lets be above average! Don’t stop making new friends at 23. Hold true to your best friends but be open to new friends. But it’s sometimes awkward, I know. Which is why I’m here to tell you….

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Meaning, in the quickest explanation possible, that nothing can be achieved within your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable, embrace that, because it means something great is on the horizon.

In this 3 part series we will talk about what it means to get comfortable being uncomfortable in 3 different areas of your life.  In part 1 we dove into what it means to be uncomfortable in your health and fitness journey and why it’s important.

Here, in part 2, we will talk about why getting uncomfortable in relationships, of any kind, is necessary.

What makes us most uncomfortable when it comes to starting and maintaining relationships? Why is it sometimes hard for us to make friends, feel comfortable around friends or significant others, etc? Do we avoid whatever makes us uncomfortable because we don’t know how to handle it? Are we staying stagnant and going through monotonous efforts because we don’t know how to step outside of our comfort zone? More importantly though, is that generally we don’t know why we should step outside of our comfort zones.

Let’s talk this one through shall we?

Relationships of any kind are not something we should force, that’s obvious. However, the are also something that we shouldn’t force to not happen. Often times we get so caught up in avoiding new relationships- with significant others or friends- because we like where we are currently and we are afraid of someone new coming in and throwing that equilibrium off balance. But how do you know that the person asking you on a date or asking you to hang out with their group of friends doesn’t have something amazing to offer? When it comes to relationships we like to be stubborn. Even more so, sometimes we get stubborn in how we protect our friendships. How many of you reading this have gotten jealous when your best friends has made a new friend? That’s nonsense!

We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable in 3 pieces of our personal relationships.

  1. Making new relationships
  2. Maintaining relationships
  3. If necessary, cutting the cord

1)  Making new relationships

This is the hardest part. By far. It’s hard putting yourself out there. But let me tell you friend, sometimes in life, this is an absolute necessity. I remember just 2 short years ago after moving across the country, I was faced with the task of making new friends. I mean I had to, I only knew my husband and my dogs in this large, new, and strange city.

So yeah, this is the hardest part, but here is why it’s the most important.

Those new friends that are out there somewhere on the horizon, they may have walked a similar path to you, and you don’t even know it. This becomes beneficial when you find yourself in a hard spot in life, and you need someone to talk to about it who has been in a similar boat. Trust me, that similarity in tough times is life changing.

Or those new friends out there could offer you something so much more. A new perspective on things, connections to someone or something that could help launch you into a new hobby, a new career, a new ______ you fill in the blank.

But meeting new people is hard. Whether it’s hanging out with a friend for the first time or going on the first date. Here are the excuses we tell ourselves as to why we shouldn’t even bother. And let me reiterate that they are just that- excuses. So once you’re done reading these excuses, I need you to burry them in your backyard.

  1. I’m not sure we’re compatible.
  2. We’re so different.
  3. I don’t know anything about them.
  4. I’m too busy to foster a new relationship.
  5. I like being alone.
  6. I can’t risk getting hurt again.
  7. I don’t have to emotional capacity to even try this out.
  8. I’m not outgoing enough.
  9. I’m socially awkward.
  10. They’re unlike all of my other friends

Have you thought one of those to yourself before? Likely. Now here’s reasons why all of those are bullshit.

  1. But how do you know?
  2. Isn’t that a good thing?
  3. Now’s a great time to learn.
  4. You have 30 minutes to spare. Just try it.
  5. Chances are you don’t like to be alone 100% of the time. And hey, what if this person likes being alone most of the time too?
  6. What a negative mindset that everyone is going to hurt you.
  7. But do you have the emotional capacity to walk through this chapter of your life alone? You don’t like the idea of a support system?
  8. Who said you have to be?
  9. Maybe they are too. Here’s a secret: those are the best kinds of relationships/ friendships
  10. GOOD! Expand your horizons!

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Here’s the thing new friend. Making NEW FRIENDS is hard. Trying a new relationship is HARD. It’s the hardest part of all of this. So many unknowns come from the excuses listed above. But you’ve got to push past that. I can guarantee that half of my audience currently reading this are the friends that I made because I put myself out there. Most of you reading this never would have thought we’d be friends, I never thought we’d be friends. Because the truth is that my current friend group is the most wildly different friend group I’ve had in my entire life. In fact, put all of my friends from my first 24 years of life together and they still wouldn’t be as diverse as the friends I’ve made in the past 2 years. And you know what? I love it! It’s beautiful! I’ve met people from so many different walks of life- background, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, age, hobbies, etc. And it has been the wildest ride so far. But had I looked at any of them from first glance and used the “We’re too different” excuse. Then I wouldn’t have travelled halfway around the world with some of them, or experienced new things with others. You see my point?

If you feel a little awkward, and a little uncomfortable the first time hanging out with this potential new relationship, then good! You’re putting yourself out there. Hey, no one is saying you have to see them ever again, but at least you tried.

*and if you get along like lifelong sisters on the first hangout, even better!

*and I need to note that I think it is good to foster your longest term relationships, hold those close if you can. But just like we open new chapters of our lives book, we need to open room for new relationships in those chapters too.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to finally say yes to that first date. To foster a new relationship. To dive in. This is it friend, THIS IS IT!

2) Maintaining Relationships

If only it were as easy as we are led to believe. BUT IT’S NOT.

You’ve been with your significant other for a year and a half now, and it’s all of a sudden no longer easy. Why?  The newness wears off. Just like eventually a car will eventually lose its new car smell, your relationship will lose some newness too. But unlike a car, you can’t put an air freshener in it and it’s magically new.

When it comes to maintaining relationships you have to be both selfish and selfless. Selfish in knowing what you deserve, and selfless in knowing what the other person deserves. It’s like walking a tightrope across the grand canyon at times. You’re wobbling just to get there, to the other side with your partner, but on the way you hit some road blocks. A gust of wind comes and nearly knocks you completely off, a bird flies across and shits on your shoulder, your partner moves faster than you, changing the slack between you two. But don’t get knocked down, understand that sometimes it does feel like you have shit sitting on your shoulder, find a way to eliminate that slack.

I am no relationship guru, I won’t even pretend to be. But what I do know is that a relationship of any kind is a two way street. Where we most commonly lose our footing is when we feel that it is no longer a two way street and instead of expressing those feelings, we turn into little school girls and think “well if they’re not going to try, then I’m not going to either”

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that no one can read your mind. So SAY WHAT YOU’RE FEELING. Oh, you don’t want to? Why? Oh right, because it’s uncomfortable.

So instead of speaking what you feel, instead of working to shorten the distance between you two, instead of fighting to stay upright, you let the fear of being uncomfortable knock you off and make the distance between you further than ever.

Talk it out my friend.

And then do it again, and again.

If it’s worth your worry, then it’s worth your time.

If you spend more than one second thinking about it, then it means you care.

But don’t get caught up in what used to be, that was then and this was now.

If your relationship is falling apart, if you feel distant from your friend, and you don’t like it, then it is on YOU to try to work it out. It’s worth the shot, trust me.

3) Cutting the cord

There will come times when you have to cut the cord. The reason people don’t do this as much as they should isn’t necessarily because it’s uncomfortable, it’s because they don’t realize its needed. We get blinded by what we think “it is” and don’t realize what actually is. Here’s how you can tell if it’s time to cut the cord in any of your relationships:

  1. Do you feel drained of energy when you’re around this person?
  2. Does this person no longer serve your dreams, hopes, etc.?
  3. Can you see this person in your life 5 years from now?

I’ve had to cut the cord multiple times in my life. The most uncomfortable thing about the act of actually doing this  is that other people won’t agree with you. Once we realize it’s needed, generally we ignore that. Because now it’s not the fact that we don’t realize that it should be done- because we do realize it- it’s that we don’t know how to handle the discomfort of it. So yeah, I’ve cut the cord before. I’ve had people in my life that drained the freaking shit out of me. They didn’t serve much of a purpose before, they didn’t support me or my dreams. Sometimes, they slowly slipped out of my life, and other times it was as fast as literally cutting a cord.

The other hard part about this? Is the fine line between trying to maintain the relationship and cut it. The difference between points 2&3 is that you fully realize that the relationship is worth your effort in point 2, vs. knowing that the relationship is draining you in point 3. Know how to spot the difference. Allow yourself a few moments, weeks, or months to assess how this person truly makes you feel. Note how you feel when you’re around them vs. not around them. If it’s astronomically different, well, then you know what you need to do.

And, if while reading this last section, you had someone in your mind the whole time, take a look at that relationship. I’m not trying to tell you to start cutting wildly like a child cutting a snowflake out of a piece of paper, but I am trying to tell you to focus on your happiness. Who brings that? Who doesn’t?

Relationships are hard work.

But if you never try, you’ll never know.



Thanks for reading! I know this was a long one.

If you found any of this relevant to you- share it!

And then share with me what was helpful.

I love that :)

And to read Part 1, click here 

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In health, Carly

Different Friends Exist for Different Phases of Life

& Why it’s Okay to Have Different Friends Through Different Life Phases

Some of you reading this may still have the same best friend that you met in Pre-K. And that’s freaking awesome.

Other’s like me, have had different friends in different phases of life, and only a few have transitioned from phase to phase. And the only ones who have been with me literally my whole life are my 2 bestie cousins (and my fam-bam of course too). But hey, at least we’re lucky that we like our family enough to call them best friends.

I used to think that having the same best friend throughout life was THE THING TO STRIVE FOR. And I never had that. Ask me in high school if you thought I’d be best friends with my high school (and middle school) best friend forever and I would have said heck yes. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone in our high school would have thought that.

But just like we have phases of our lives for a reason,

I believe that we also have phases of friends for those phases of our lives for a reason.

It goes with that saying “Everything happens for a reason”.

The way I see it, there are certain friends that I think everyone needs throughout their life. Those friends are as follows:

1. The Lessons

Most of the time, you won’t realize these friends are only serving the purpose of giving you an important life lesson until long after the friendship has ended.

Sometimes, the lessons here will be huge. These friends might hurt you so hard that the only way you can come out of the friendship is to be stronger than you were before. The friends that serve the hardest lessons may present themselves in ways of: backstabbing you, throwing you under the bus (maybe literally if we’re talking about the movie Mean Girls), hooking up with your ex, or worse your current significant other, or just being a downright soul-sucking friend.

On the other hand though, the lessons from these friends might not be as huge. It might be that you simply grow as a person while being friends with these people, and as you grow you realize that you’ve got to leave some baggage behind. It’s not necessarily a bad thing for either one of you, you just grow and realize who you are and what kind of friends you need most.

2. The Dick Heads

Generally, these people will also fall into the category of the “huge lesson learned friend”. But I think these friends deserve a category all on your own.

Have you ever looked back on a friendship an thought “Why was I EVER friends with them?!” All they did was made fun of me, bail on plans, steal by friends or my boyfriend / girlfriend, and made me feel like absolute dirt about myself? Ya, those are the dick head friends. And if you’re reading this and are thinking “hm, that sounds like a friend I currently have” run fast, run far, cut that cord of negativity honey! 

3. Your Wannabes

and I’m not talking about people who wanted to be like YOU I’m talking about people who you wanted to be like . Why strive for that?! Let’s be honest though, we all had those ‘friends’, likely in grade school or somewhere around there. I know I did. We’d get so freaking excited when we got invited to their birthday parties, or if they asked us to hang out, or oh heck yeah they talked to us- in school! And don’t even get me started on when they let you borrow their clothes- but wait, was that just a cool thing to me?! These friends, and the fact that I’d be willing to be my bottom dollar that everyone reading this had one of those friends, were necessary. They stemmed, in my opinion, from the bullshit comparison game that society has drilled so far into our head. So while we were comparing our right eyebrow to the left, and comparing those 2 eyebrows to the pair on the model in the magazine you’re trying to mimic, we were also comparing ourselves against other people and basing it off of who we were friends with. Were we cool enough? What was cool anyway? And why did a person measure that?

4. The best friend you lost for, well you’re not sure why

Again, this may just apply to me, but I like to believe i’m not the only one. Let’s circle back to the beginning of this blog, “Ask me in high school if you thought I’d be best friends with my high school (and middle school) best friend forever and I would have said heck yes. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone in our high school would have thought that.”

^^^TRUE. Shortly after graduating high school my best friendship I ever had fell apart. And months and then again years later, when we had spoken about what had happened, neither one of us knew why.

I’m not going to lie, or leave this line out for the sake of her possibly reading this, that hurt. My best friends now-a-days I sometimes find myself seeing her, and our friendship in. The friendship is over, but I cherish the memories we had, so much.

5. The one’s who got you through high school, you simply wouldn’t have survived without them

These are the ones who were always there for you even when you were trying to run circles around them to get just one lousy invite to the “wannabes” party. The ones you’d pass notes with in class (Dear God, I just realized that this probably doesn’t happen anymore. God help our younger generations and their attachment to their phones), the one’s you’d pee your pants laughing with at the lunch room table (oh wait, was that just me again?!), the one’s you’d get together with every weekend and still not get bored. The one’s you likely don’t talk to much anymore, you’ve just gone your separate ways. But if your paths crossed again, you’d likely be able to still carry on a conversation better than you can with most of your current coworkers.

6. and then there’s the ones who got you through college (spoiler, this is likely going to be your first college roommate)

Let me first point out that from here on out, I have started to incorporate pictures, because I’m getting to the point (in my life at least) that some of these friends have carried over into the next phase of my life.

And so there’s the first college roommate, eh em, I mean the friend that GOT YOU THROUGH COLLEGE SISTA.

From day 1 you explored your Whole New World together. You figured things out together. You tried new things together. And as you grew into your college years, you each found your niche, but you never lost touch (or maybe never stopped living together). This girl right here, was one of the greatest friends I had in college, because she was the most steady friend I had in college. Even when I failed to realize how freaking awesome she was and lived with other people after our first year together, we NEVER. LOST. TOUCH. Just 8 months ago she stood beside me as I married my best friend. Funny how fate works, because us rooming together was a LITERAL TOUCH OF FATE. Okay, fine I’ll tell you how it was fate (I have typed and erased this part multiple times, but here it REMAINS!)

It was a Saturday night & I was waitressing at the local watering hole in my home town. I was 19, and actually still at home going through my first year of college at community college. But I had decided to venture out the next year finally and go to the University of Northern Iowa. On this night, my parents were eating dinner at the watering hole and in walked a couple from the neighboring town that they knew. They got to talking and realized that like me, THEIR DAUGHTER TOO WAS GOING TO UNI. I knew this family, I actually hung out with their son (Lannon’s brother) frequently, we had the same friend group. Long story short, my parents said that I had a roommate who I didn’t know like anything about, and Lannon did not have a roommate. They called me over in between my tables, and we decided in a few seconds flat that I would reach out to Lannon to be roommates. So I went into the break room, pulled out my phone and Facebook Messaged her to be roommates- and she was at her PROM that night! (insert laughing face emoji here). Obvi it worked out, because this many years later we can still laugh about that night as well as the memories we had after

Universe, thank you for letting that play out like it did.

7. And on the other hand, the ones who got you into trouble in college

I’m not saying much about this one, because some things are just better left unsaid….. 🙂

But there were the friends who literally got you in trouble (lucky for me, in my case, I was watching people get in trouble around me and didn’t actually fall into much of it myself). And there were also a few Dick Head friends in college (spoiler: you’ll run into those your whole life).

when it comes to these college friends and the stupid shit we did, I just have one thing to say: We were still maturing okay..?!

8. Your first adulthood friend

Oh chelsinator. Most people think we were college friends but NOPE.

Your first adulthood friend is kind of…. astronomical. It’s like “hey I can do this thing called adulthood, and when I’m having a hard time figuring it out, I now have this person, MY PERSON to help me figure it out!”

This is one of the most important friends in my opinion, because as you are going forward into the cold, cruel world, it’s important to have someone beside you (even outside of your significant other) to help you navigate.

If you don’t have this friend yet, just wait you will. But let me tell you now- don’t ever let them go. You’ll need them to know you, and your tendencies. You’ll need them to encourage you to go for your dreams, or pull your head out of your ass when you’re having a rough day (or week or year). You’ll need them to grow with you. Someday you’ll become parents (or aunts /uncles or fur-parents) together, and you’ll need them to talk through all of the ups and downs of that phase of your life. You’ll simply need them to relate. Because chances are, you’ve found this first adult friend because you both were either in the same phase of your life, or you were transitioning into the next phase of your life at the same time. Something connected you, you can relate.

Don’t let your first adulthood friend go. They’ll prove to be too important to you. Even as phases of life change, I hope, I sincerely hope, that if you were ever able to carrying one friend over from phase to phase, that this one is it. 

9. The friend you made when you needed most

I am not sure this friend knows she came into my life when I needed most. She’s my first adult friend, in my new adult phase. I had moved 1,000 miles away from all previously mentioned friends and family and me, being the social butterfly I am, needed to find friends fast. NOT A PROBLEM HERE! But when my mom got sick (and is now better!) I realized that I had met this friend, because we shared a common ground there. Even if we didn’t talk about it much, I had comfort in knowing that we could. 

Maybe you’re struggling, or feeling lost and alone, like you’ve got no one to turn to but want someone so desperately bad. My advice to you, is to not look to hard for someone to help. This person, the friend you need the most, will come when you aren’t looking for it. The universe works to help us out, I believe that to be true.

10. The friends you’ve found along the way who you never saw yourself being with, but you know that you were MEANT to be friends

Like how did we become friends?! And how are we best freaking friends.

You want to know my favorite part about adulthood friends? They never stop coming. Just when you think you’ve got your squad all tied up, no more entries, no more free passes, the universe throws another one your way. Maybe you move, or start a new job, or try out a new gym. There will be a new friend there for you, and you won’t be expecting it.

But I love how these adult friends keep coming, and in my case, they arrive in the strangest and most unique packages I could have ever imagined.

My other favorite thing about these adult friends? Now that we’re older and mature (at least I hope you are!) we’re confident that these friends, these are for life. Regardless of…. well anything.

11. The best friend you found in your significant other

My best friend of over 6 years now, but after 3 weeks of dating I knew I’d be best friends with him for life. I call myself very lucky for that.

If you don’t have a best friend in a significant other, because you don’t have a significant other yet. Let me just remind you of one important word there- yet. Just like I need you to not look too hard for the friend you need the most, don’t look too hard for this best friend either. Just like the phases of your life, these friends will come on their own terms. Let the puzzle fall into place.

12. The best friends you’ve had all along

Like I said at the beginning, some of you are lucky enough to have had the same best friend through it all. Well, me too technically. They’re called family.

We’ve got Lauren. My younger cousin of 1 year on my dad’s side

We’ve got Jordan. My older cousin of 3 years on my mom’s side

We’ve even got my brother. Who I take great pride in being best friends with.

I know all 3 of these friends are a unique situation for me, because I’d bet many of you reading this don’t even like your family! And that’s okay. Even if you don’t have a #12 friend, I hope you don’t dwell on that, because think of all of the other friends you have. And I feel like this is as good of place as any to say it’s not about the quantity of friends you have, it’s about the quality. 

13. Your work friends

Because let’s be honest, these are more important than the high school or college friends. You simply would not be surviving another day in your musty smelling, too dull, or entirely too obnoxious office where you’ve likely spilled coffee on yourself, or others, more than once. These friends count when it matters! They keep your too-busy adulthood brain SANE!

And a bonus one for me….

14. The best friends you’ve found in your dogs 🙂

and a double bonus

15. My Parents

As you go forward with your life, and you start to see your friendships changing, and more importantly, you start to see yourself changing. Don’t dwell on the fact that change is happening. Embrace that.

These different phases. These different friends. They are what shape us into the beautiful works of art we were meant to be all along.



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