Today's post is SUPER exciting because your favorite two internet older sisters have come to the rescue for our first ever collab together. Carmen, host of the Girly Girl Podcast, and I teamed up to answer YOUR questions and share our advice. This post is particularly special because Carmen has been such an incredible mentor for me throughout this journey of growing my blog. Also definitely check out Carmen's podcast to hear more from us together!
Q: I just started my period! What do I do?!?!!?
Ahhhh so exciting! But also understandably nerve wracking and scary. Welcome to the world of cramps, an excessive amount of cotton products, and cleaning up some funky messes. But it’s also a great excuse to take a break each month, watch some netflix, get out of sports practice, and eat your cravings away. Periods seem scary in the beginning but now I barely care! I have had some pretty peculiar experiences that make for THE BEST period stories including a time that I got a vaginal exam at sleep away camp… so strange. For all my favorite product suggestions and a few great stories, definitely check out this post.
There are a few other tips and little lessons I forgot to share in that post. First, if you start getting cramps a few weeks after your period for that month and in between your cycle, it’s most likely ovulation pains. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovary resulting in pains in the lower abdomen. Actually not when I first got my period but maybe a year ago, I started to get some weird cramps and finally realized it was ovulation pains. Just a little heads up so you don’t worry about that. Also another product I love is their period underwear by the Period Company! So great!
I was really excited about answering this question on my collab advice post with Carmen because when we went live on Instagram last year she had so many great tips about periods… let’s see what she has to say!
Starting your period can definitely be a pretty nerve racking time in your life. I have a VIVID memory of getting my period at the end of 5th grade… in a cave (with only my brother and dad with me). Yup… it was pretty rough.
Looking back, there are a lot of things I wish I did differently to handle the situation that would have for sure prevented a lot of embarrassment, confusion, and anxiety.
First, I wish I had immediately told my mom. I don’t think I told my mom I had gotten my period until a few months later. 10/10 do not recommend. Your mom has been through it, she knows how to handle a period. If you're worried to tell her because you're embarrassed, just remember that she has been through the same thing. She knows how you feel and wants to help. I think by making your period a comfortable topic (or at least approachable), you will have a much better experience and spend less time on the internet searching things like “how to put in a tampon” or “how to make a pad out of toilet paper at school”.
Second, I wish I had been more willing to try different period products. When I first started my period, I refused to use anything but tampons. I wasn’t willing to try pads or any of the more sustainable period products. Eventually, I realized that tampons weren’t the best for me or my body, so I switched. When I was younger, I didn’t know about menstrual cups, menstrual disks, or even period absorbing underwear. The only things I was taught about in school were tampons and pads. I’m letting you know right now, that is NOT your only option.
Some of my favorite period products to get you started are: tampons and pads from August, the Saalt menstrual cup, and Saalt period underwear. Also, here’s a tip that I feel like most people don’t talk about: use a period tracking app. I personally use Flo and it is great! It allows you to log your symptoms, keep track of your cycle, and predict future periods.
If you want some more in depth tips about your period, then check out this episode of my podcast: “periods: awkward stories, my cup obsession, and mindset shifts”. You can also listen to this episode for some relatable periods stories: “exposing your period horror stories *yikes*”. If you're interested in more period content, I recommend checking out Put a Cup in It and Nadya Okamoto.
Q: So I love my best friend, but she’s always making everything about her! I’m always happy for her when anything happens but if anything happens for me, she somehow makes it about her and gets jealous. This weekend my boyfriend invited me bowling with his friend group, but me and my best friend are also friends with some of his group. She wasn’t invited along, as it was just the friend group and the two girlfriends, but now she’s annoyed at me for going. I know I didn’t do anything wrong because it wasn’t my place to invite her, but I hate that she’s annoyed at me. I wish she could just be happy for me that I got to have a fun day, rather than giving out and making it all about her. How do I deal with her never supporting me and always needing to have all the attention?
This sounds like a bad case of the clingy/insecure friend syndrome. So sorry you have to deal with someone else’s feelings when you just want to relax and have a good time. If you’re anything like me, you are extremely empathetic and are genuinely conscious of your friends emotions and how your friend might be hurting. It sucks though because now you’re worried about it and it’s affecting your own happiness and ability to enjoy the company of new friends.
But frankly, you have to separate your own needs from the needs of your friend. Even though you had nothing to do with the invites (and even if you did secretly want to hang out with a new group without her) that’s so okay and also really healthy. Some of the best friendships I have thrive off of the right balance between constant communication and space.
The fact that your friend is directing her own self consciousness and insecurities onto you is ridiculous and so unfair. I’ve dealt with people like this before and I’ve realized that it’s possible to simultaneously love my friends deeply and at the same time run out of patience for this type of immature behavior. You are 100% right that she is being selfish in this situation and you have to be able to talk through these unfounded insecurities with your friend.
Let’s see what Carmen has to say…
Ok first of all, you need to realize that this girl is probably acting this way because of insecurities. She might be worried that if you hang out with other people then that means you don’t like her, which doesn’t necessarily have to be true. You are allowed to hang out with other people and have different friends.
I feel like there really is nothing you can do to make her stop not supporting you or always needing attention. You control how you act, but not how she does. However, you could definitely talk to her about it in a constructive way. You can tell her that hanging out with people doesn’t mean you don’t like her or are purposely excluding her or explain how her actions are affecting you.
You also might want to decide whether or not this friendship is still beneficial. Do you still have fun together? Does she make you feel good when you're with her? Do you look forward to spending time with her?
Q: So I’m talking to this guy (sort of) and he’s a senior and I’m a junior. We both decided not to get into a relationship since he’s going off to college and doesn’t want to hurt my feelings, but the way we have been acting together is like we are in a relationship. I don’t know what to do since we have already said that we both like each other.
Hmmm yup, this is definitely a tricky situation. At this point, saying you're not dating isn’t going to make either of you less upset when he goes to college. My philosophy is that it’s highschool and you might as well have fun. Also, if you're going to be acting like you're dating, why not just say you’re dating? A label doesn’t change the situation if you are already acting like it.
Completely agree with Carmen. I think the label just makes things more complicated. I’ve heard of high school sweethearts that sort of break up in college and keep in touch while agreeing upon a very open relationship. But other high school couples just break up completely and give themselves the opportunity to explore new relationships with freedom during their college years. How you go about breaking up/staying together with your boyfriend is really dependent on your relationship. In short… live it up before you leave and then figure out what you want to do as you go. There's no real recipe for this stuff. It's messy and complicated and sometime's holding on to someone is easier than letting go. I'm in no real place to tell you how to navigate your own emotions, however, this situation does not warrant any level of disrespect or disloyalty. Keep your standards high and make a decison you're comfortable with, even if you don't know what it is right now.