Today’s my anniversary!

ha. “My”…not “our.” Sad.


Anyways, two years ago today I bought my house. It was one of the best days of my life and still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made…despite the odd nature of it.


Everyone said I was crazy for doing it…being single and all. And I admit – it’s not what I had envisioned. I had always held onto the idea that I’d meet Prince Charming and we’d get married and buy a house together. That’s what normal people do. But I realized early on that I shouldn’t rely on that event, or necessarily count on that “dream” coming true. I knew that if I was waiting on a relationship to buy a house, then a) I’d potentially be waiting a very long time, or b) I’d wait my whole life for something that never happens. This realization + the price was right…I just did it. As silly as it sounds, it took some courage and I’m glad I had my mom’s support.


No pity party here. It’s something I’m very proud of. At times I do feel awkward and feel like I should walk around with my head hung low – because you get the mixed reactions of “wow, that’s commendable and cool that you can manage that on your own,” or the eyebrow-raised “oh…so no boyfriend or anything? You poor dear./I would never do that unless I did it with a guy.” Whatev. I’m a bad-ass independent girl, deal with it.


Which brings me to something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Everyone has the same first impression of me when we first meet: a girl that always has a big smile, is too nice, would never curse, hurt a fly, can be pretty quiet, and has pink everything so she must be a goody two shoes never break a nail or get dirty/sweaty kind of girl.




I love…LOVE…when people see that I’m anything but. Yeah, a lot of times I’ll sit and be quiet, not in a shy/timid way, but because I love to sit back and observe. You learn a lot that way and it’s to your advantage to do more listening and less speaking. So I purposely try to open my mouth only when it’s important, I know I’m right and need to be assertive, or if it adds something to the conversation. Otherwise, shut up. People talk too much. lol I’m usually pretty outgoing – I love talking to anyone, it’s interesting to hear where other people are coming from and their stories. But I’m also not the girl to be all in someone’s face and be fake. So I basically feel out situations. You can be yourself but not be “balls to the wall” with it – that’s overwhelming to people and can usually be off-putting. I don’t want people to be like “Who is this girl?” (or if they do, then it’s because I did something stellar.)


So basically I surprise people and it’s hilarious to me. Probably the top 2 things most commented on/highest shock value: that I’m obsessed with MMA and that I actually curse. Now, I’ve never been in a fight, but kickboxing and martial arts get me going. PUMPED. At first I did it as a new form of fitness to try, but it has turned into I actually want to train and do it professionally. I even have 2 pairs of gloves and a heavy bag in my garage. I’ve taken classes for a while and I get excited when UFC is on. It takes a lot to get me mad, but I’ve experienced a lot of aggression the past few years. (not like anger management level or I can’t tame it) But it’s an amazing release, and the more I do it, the more I want to take someone down (teehee). I couldn’t ask for more: a great workout, stress-release, AND it’s empowering. Not like I’m in dark alleys or potential combat situations, but it makes you walk a little taller and is a great feeling walking around the office knowing that if you have to, you could take someone down. (kidding…sorta.) And the cursing thing, I don’t curse like a sailor (it’s not ladylike) but I do drop an f bomb from time to time and people are always like “Wait, what did you just say? That doesn’t even sound right coming from you.”


Look, people. I’m kind of a bad-ass, ok? lol If you know me IRL, you’d laugh at that. Almost like you want to brush it off like, “Yeah, ok little pink girl. You’re trying to sit here and act tough…” And 4 years ago, you might’ve been right. But life has smacked me in the face the past few years – between shitty jobs and shitty relationships, I’m a hell of a lot tougher and stronger. I’ve grown a lot and have used all of my experiences to “fuel my fire.” I don’t walk around acting like a hardened bitch – no one likes that. But it’s nice to know that I have it within me and have the courage to bring it out when necessary. (that’s a key, knowing when to let it out) And it gives me a calm, quiet confidence – people talk shit all day and I just smile without saying anything or blowing up, but thinking “just wait til you see.” I totally get that from my mom too. And again, the reactions are priceless – it has a greater impact for someone like me to stand up to you and put you in your place than it does coming from someone who’s always loud and making threats and trying to talk himself up.


So anyways…I think it’s cool that I’ve grabbed onto who I am. I’m my own “mold” I guess. Yeah, I kickbox, but I do it with pink gloves on. See? Violent but cute at the same time. I smile all the time and I’m nice, but if you push me enough, I’ll make you regret it. (ask my exes – I don’t go the route of spreading rumors or keying your car or other crazy-bitch shit. I’m always taking notes and know how hit you where it hurts…in a subtle “she’s not even trying way.”)


The reason I’ve been thinking about my “bad-ass” tendencies a lot lately is because I need to channel them now more than ever. I hate my job, and have spent the past three and a half years working for a company that doesn’t give me what I deserve. I’ve busted my ass and deserve to be somewhere better. I’m done jumping through hoops and putting up with shitty people. (they’ll be everywhere, but at least make it worth it) And I know I deserve more – I had two interviews this week offering me a lot more in several respects. One I applied for, and the other firm sought me out. Crazy, huh? Someone recognizing what my own company doesn’t. Like a lot of my relationships – what you don’t take care of, someone else will. So also just like my relationships, I don’t settle. I don’t in relationships, so I shouldn’t in my career either. That’s not me. The problem is that it’s a million times easier to walk away from some no-good guy than it is a job because well…a girl’s got bills.


It’s time for me to tap into my “bad-ass” side; all of the power and motivation and surge of energy I feel when I’m hitting the heavy bag…I need to harness that “you want some of this?” and apply it to my career lol. Unfortunately I can only get so verbal at work before people start calling me “disrespectful.” Which is funny because you always hear about women needing to be more aggressive in the workplace, but when I stand up for myself (in a professional way), people don’t know what to do with it. I know why – it’s clear they get comfortable – “we can ask Lauren to do anything and she’ll go along with it, and we can bully her to kill herself to get stuff done on unreasonable timeframes.” Yeah, well…Lauren pushes back and it’s the end of the world because now we’re shook because we didn’t see this coming – who knew she was capable of this?! Gotcha.


So yeah, I’m no longer putting effort into being “aggressive” at work or stressing myself because they don’t deserve me. They don’t deserve my hard work and dedication, my efforts, and above all, my tolerance of them being rude and unappreciative. Like a boyfriend – I used to try to always do little things for him, be thoughtful, help him out any time of day he needed, being understanding if he took his bad day out on me, etc. Putting all the effort in…only to watch it not be reciprocated, and on top of that, have someone be shitty to me. One is bad, both is too much. So I walk away, there’s nothing here for me. Not everyone can do that – recognize that you’re not where you should be, deserve more, AND being able to walk away. Don’t stay in bad relationships!!! Life is too short, and you’re probably too awesome. (not preaching, that was really for me lol) So I’m drawing on my “big-girl” capabilities and getting the job I deserve. It’s overdue.


I’m all about this “live up your twenties, things to do before you’re 30” idea, and I think it’s only right that I add “walk away from a shitty job” to my list…


So far I’ve got: bungee-jumping, buying a house, walking away from The One, and kickboxing under my belt. Long ways to go, but walking away from this company will be so sweet. I got out of my last department, but it’s a lesser of 2 evils situation. Oh, also – I’ve been saying for years now that I want to go paintballing and go to a shooting range (I’m terrified of guns but I know it will be empowering to do it and overcome my fear; paintball would just be fun). Again, two things extremely contrary to my personality. That’s not why I want to do them, to like prove a point or anything…just things I want to try!


Ok, I’m off to do more job applications…like a boss.


New Year’s Resolutions

Oh, hi – it’s the first day of September. There are suddenly four months left in the year. Where did the time go? I don’t know, but it seems like we were all just ringing in 2012 and being all optimistic and setting lofty goals. How did you do with yours? Did it get dropped after three weeks? If so, there’s still time, right? Even if it’s not for all of 2012, at least it’s good to make positive lifestyle changes at any time.

Ok, enough of the Suzy Sunshine, but it is true. I’m happy to say that I accomplished most, but not all of my resolutions. At least I knocked the big ones off my list. And then at the end of May, I set another goal: that by the end of August, I’d have a new job in Atlanta, and move 1500 miles away to start a new life, pursue my dreams, and most importantly, forget about a certain someone breaking my heart. Yesterday…that deadline came and went. So sad. haha I should pat myself on the back for at least making the effort and trying to make things happen, but I feel kinda eh about it. Again, it’s not too late, but it really does suck that it didn’t happen after I thought I allowed a reasonable timeline.

Maybe there’s a good reason. It doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen – maybe now just wasn’t a good time. I’m a big believer in the whole everything happens for a reason thing. Yeah, it sucks, but it is what it is. And usually when you get to where you want to be, you’re able to look back and say “ohh, that’s why I was miserable for all those months.”

And you know what? Even though the past eight months have brought me heartache, pain, disappointment, stress, anger, and loss of faith in, well, people; I gotta believe it all happened for a good reason. The whole “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” thing (man, could I break out any more cliche sayings? And yes, I’m singing Kelly Clarkson in my head) With love: now that I’ve dealt with the WORST, I figure anything that any other guy could throw at me will be a walk in the park. With work: now that I’ve seen how shitty the corporate world is and how it works, and have had terrible experiences…at least now it’s clear and confirmed for me that I really need to pursue my dreams and get out because it’s not the place for me.

See? Silver lining. And I’d been meaning to blog about it, but until Thursday, I’d been on a super wave of positivity. A lot of things going well despite not everything being where I want it to be/where it should be. With love: I put myself back out there as much as I didn’t want to, and have met some good people/reconnected with others. No, nothing to write home about or make me change my stance on marriage/relationships, but it has managed to make me forget about ol what’s-his-name. I can’t say that the pain is completely gone, but at least I’m over it…in the sense that it doesn’t really upset me anymore/it’s become second nature to not think about him like that. So kinda mourning the loss of a key person in your life, but minus the sting of the situation & what was said. And then with work: yes, I still DREAD going in every day, and I still feel myself wanting to scream and run away from my desk from working with crappy people/the realization that I’m underpaid and more qualified and should be elsewhere…but I’ve done a great job at faking it. I mean great – laughing and joking with everyone, acting like I want to be there and going the extra mile, etc. So I asked myself the other day: wait…you’re not actually starting to like this, are you?!?! The answer was a firm hellll no. But what I have liked and done is three things: 1) Remind myself that it is a job, and without it, I couldn’t have all the things I love (like my house and gadgets); and I should be grateful to have one. 2) Remind myself that I’m kind of a boss, and even when I’m thrown into a situation that I’m not prepared for and completely despise, I make the most of it and work hard anyways. I don’t know how to not work hard – that’s what I do. I completely hate what I do, and it’s not what I went to school for, but I’ve still made an effort to learn and do well. Because I never want to be that girl that people label as lazy or unreliable. When someone asks me to do something, in my head I roll my eyes, say that I really don’t have any idea how to do this nor do I care enough to figure it out, and why don’t you ask someone who knows how to do it; I didn’t go to school for this and I’m way underpaid so really you people don’t deserve my efforts – I’m really about to give you the effort that coincides with what you pay me…BUT instead, I politely smile and enthusiastically say “sure, I can do that,” even though it inevitably ends in me stressing out and trying to figure some shit out & getting 3 hours of sleep because I took my laptop home to work on dumb shit. Why? Because that’s all I know. I just work hard even when people don’t deserve my all. WOW, that sounds like most of my relationships…

Anyways, the point is that going on bad dates and putting up with shit at work…I do it because I’ve been making a real effort this year to make the best out of what I have. These are the shitty cards you’ve been dealt; no, it shouldn’t be you; yes, you’ve worked hard to be elsewhere, but darn it, it could be a lot worse. It can only get better, be patient, and dwelling on how shitty it is will NOT make it better. In fact, focusing on the little (teeny) good parts to your day, will make those days a little more bearable. I get annoyed when people say “you’re in charge of your own happiness, happiness is a choice, etc.” But I guess it’s better to say you have control over your outlook and the way you handle things. Yeah, I think all men are trash and I’ve been shown nothing but that…doesn’t mean I can’t hang out with a guy and (try to) let myself have fun and be open to someone proving me wrong.

So what am I going to do the rest of the year to make these months count? Next weekend I’m going to LA for a family reunion (airports, obscene amounts of Southern food, and an event yielding a free t-shirt? I’m in.) October…I have it in my head that some cute guy will take me apple picking (in my cute riding boots/jeans/scarf ensemble) and the Halloween party is at my house this year (I already planned it on a Pinterest board, duh. Best hostess ever) November=Thanksgiving/something else I’ll dream up. December=my 27th birthday (I need to throw a party) and Christmas of course.

Let’s make it good, people.

Shit got really real at work today.

Someone is trying to tell me something.


When I first started new job 6 weeks ago, I thought: “This isn’t what you want; but it’s better than old job; so shut up, roll with the experience, and start looking for something else in a few months.” (& my mom said the same thing…)
After a few days I thought: “Wow, this is hard…in a good way…and everyone is awesome; maybe I could stick with this for a while after all since there’s a good chance it will lead to the opportunity I really want.”
And yesterday, I was all like: “Fuck this. I’ve worked too hard to be where I am; I know success isn’t overnight, most people would say I’ve been successful, and it’s still better than old job, but I’m still settling – get me outta here and not just because it’s hard/a bad day.”


Ironic timing – today things got real. This was my first week of taking on accounts for someone who just left the team and I’ve just finished training for that. TODAY, we found out a second person is leaving the team, so now I have to take on those accounts too. And they’re a much larger quantity/complexity.


This is a big deal because there essentially have already been a few strikes:
1. I came into this at a disadvantage because I didn’t study/work in accounting like everyone else. So I’ve had to work extra hard to get my finance brain around all that (but the managers say I’ve been learning quickly…even though I still feel like I’m kinda lost…then again I guess I’m just a boss…kinda how I roll lol)
2. Just learning these first accounts has been rough
3. It’s not like I’ve even had these accounts for a month or so – at least that’d be basis for moving on to the harder ones


So at first when my manager told me that taking on this stuff would call for even longer hours & more effort/work, I was like:


BUT THEN. She explained that I also have to train a new person on my “old” accounts. So while I smiled calmly on the outside, I was really like:

So you mean to tell me that you’re going to have the non-accounting person who JUST finished training and hasn’t had accounts for more than a few days to take on complex ones AND train someone on stuff she is still kinda trying to get her head around? OH, OK. That sounds like a plan. Not that we really have an option at this point…


But then my manager gleefully says “this is the opportunity of a lifetime and will no doubt get you to your ultimate goal within a year.” So I should feel like “yay! Finally! My hard work is paying off and it’s about to happen – this is why I was brought here, and although I planned on getting something else, especially yesterday, there’s a reason why something else didn’t come along – because what I’ve been looking for is right in my lap – and the ultimate opportunity just revealed itself – I just needed patience, everything happens for a reason, blah blah blah.”


So while I’m trying to be all like “psh, whatever. Still sucks that I have to jump through yet another hoop while I’ve already put in more work than most people and I should be further along,” I can’t help but feel a little excited and inspired. Instead of being like F-M-L, I feel the urge to step my game up, put my big girl panties on, and do. work.


My mind is blown. This is all happening so fast. Probably sounds a bit dramatic but whatev. And I’m kinda looking forward to getting to travel to NYC every now and then (or move there). Leggo.


Today was stupid. Not because it was a Monday, but because I tried really hard to make it a good one.


I was dragging in the morning and having super depressing thoughts about a few areas of my life that should be better. And the word I kept landing on was “patience.” That it’s a hard thing to have, and I’m pretty sure I have more of it than anyone I know. All I do is wait. Even after putting sooo much effort into things instead of waiting for them to come to me, I still wait. Then I started playing devil’s advocate in my head saying “well maybe you should wait longer; or, maybe you shouldn’t be waiting on this thing or that person.” This distinctive conversation went back and forth a good 20 times…


But then around 10am, I mentally slapped myself in the face and decided to make it a good day – things could be worse, right? And I’m sure those things you’re waiting on are worth it and all of your hard work/patience will be acknowledged some time soon, surely.


Then loved ones wanna be rude. AND MY BOSS WANTS TO JUMP DOWN MY THROAT WITH DUMB SHIT. IT GOT LOUD AND HEATED. This is a big deal because I take a lot of shit at work – I’m a polite girl. And I’ve learned to not speak up in this department because it will get you in trouble. They are always right, just nod and smile. BUT TODAY?! Not once, but twice, our managers asked me about the most insignificant things. The second time it happened, it was on.


If it’s some million dollar loss – ok, come at me. I deserve it. But for SOME DUMB SHIT that you literally only ask me about because the bitch that pulls the strings told you to?! And you’re new so you have no idea that we never address this issue in our department? And you still brought it to me when it will never come up again because I’m gone in 3 days? And there are never any issues with my stuff, but now in 1 day in my last 4 days, all of a sudden shit’s coming outta the woodwork?! KISS MY ASS.


So yes, I let angry black woman out. Because this was a long time coming. Everyone thinks you’re a complete moron; this was an insignificant thing; you really didn’t care but brought it up because you were told to; and ABOVE ALL ELSE – I don’t back down when I know I’m right, bitch. Don’t try me. Now, there have been similar situations before where I was a little more calm because again, you don’t ever want to disagree with these people. But today I realized, hell no – I know I’m right & today is different from the other days because now I have nothing to lose and it’s about time someone stood up. I’m tired of taking crap from you people, and if you’re going to step up, make it damn good.


Everyone in the department listening was like:


And agreed that she was wrong. Not that I needed the validation – I can tell on my own that I’m right, thank you. But it made me feel a little more sane.

(Side note – maybe you people wanna look into why FOUR people in our department quit in ONE month and the others are looking. Good luck with that.)


In conclusion – today pissed me off not for the stupidity (I mean, that’s every day), but because I tried to be optimistic. Then people wanna prove me right. SO DUMB. Going to hide…


Today I’m living up to my “out loud” handle.

I’m seething. Not pissed, mad, or angry. Seething.

As in, you could probably see smoke coming out of my ears right now.

Today was one of those crappy days at work that left me thinking:

1. I’m INCREDIBLY grateful to only be in this hell hole for another 4 days

2. I really can’t believe the crap that goes down in this company – how was I blind to this for so long?

3. I’m holding back on just writing something and exposing this company – but then they’d have me put in a cave for life or something.

…Because they can really do that, I’m sure. It’s one of the biggest banks in the world. Everyone knows the name. So what would me writing something “exposing” this company actually accomplish? Probably nothing. If it got big enough, it would hopefully at least damage or dent the reputation. Which we all know ties directly to how much people trust you and their money. So less trust = less money. Now that, they would care about. Some girl whining? Not so much.

I know you’re thinking: it’s not like they physically abuse us or treat us like slaves (debatable); at least they provide a lot of jobs which helps the economy; get over your “middle class problem;” there are plenty of people looking for jobs and would gladly work for the firm regardless of the treatment; and again, please shut up about your “middle class problem” because there are real problems like KONY 2012 going on in the world.

I get it. Really, I do. I realize that I’m lucky enough to have it pretty good. But it doesn’t make it right. Some could argue that this is just my introduction to the corporate world. Like “Oh, dear. You’re so young with so much to learn – this is just the way things work, you’ll see. You’re making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is.”

Well, you see – I don’t think it’s that. It’s not the craziest idea in the world for well, someone to actually like their job and be treated fairly. And yes, I too would dismiss me as some whiny girl if I were only basing my opinion on my own shitty experience. However, the bad taste in my mouth has come as a result of 2.5 years of personal experience AND lots of observation. That’s just me – I observe everything, over-analyze it, and am crazy over details. I’m constantly listening, just what I do. So I take it all in and process it.

For example, the fuel behind this post (besides 4 customer service nuts and my manager driving me crazy) was a conversation I had with a lady in the elevator when leaving work. She’s about mid-fifties, and so, so sweet. We actually go to the same hair dresser (so you know she’s awesome). We both had that heavy feeling/tired look and sighed when talking about how our days had been. When she asked what area I’m in, I told her that I’m in blah blah but will be moving next week. Her eyes got big and she told me how she’s been applying there, wants out of the department she’s been in for 6 years, and how she got screwed over. This is where my ears perked up. She told me that she applied for another job internally, got the unofficial offer, and started saying her goodbyes. But when senior management had to sign the final paperwork, they snatched it away at the last second. Why? Because they were basically moving people over from another department that was being disassembled. Ok, whatever. But then the same thing happened again a few months ago with no valid explanation.

Now, just because I think she’s sweet, I’ve never worked with her. She could be the worst worker in the world and have a bad performance review/track record. I don’t know. But I doubt that since she’s been there so long, and they likely would’ve kicked her out by now. And she’s not the only one. Another woman in her late sixties in our department, has been applying to get out for literally 2.5 years – since I started in the department. She basically runs our area but isn’t a manager after 6 years. Again, she has a good review and I know she works hard because she never leaves her desk, knows the answer to everything, people always go to her, and she works from 7 to 7 every day. It’s nuts. But she’s been held back because they can’t afford to lose her. Some people think it’s because she may come off as a bull in interviews, but she knows her stuff and it’s sad to see someone sit at their desk and cry every day from being overwhelmed when they deserve better (like I did).

The point is that yes, everyone’s situation is different. But there’s a pattern. Those two ladies; my own struggle of applying for 10.5 months even being one of the most qualified and hard working people in the company (sry for tooting my horn); and my manager that just left. He was in our department for 6 years and never promoted. They kept promising it to him, and he got screwed. Again, worked harder than anyone with 12 hour days often. So he peaced out. Can’t blame him. It’s not just me. It’s not just my shitty department. It’s the firm as a whole. It’s a complete joke and it makes me ILL to see stuff published about “one of the top companies to work for.” Lies. Who did they poll for that? The bankers that make $238481019 a year but don’t know how spell or the basics of finance. That makes complete sense. We get calls asking the dumbest things and we sit there like “Really? You get paid all that money, and don’t know shit; I know a lot more than you (for the most part), and I make crap?” Totally makes sense.

I can’t begin to tell you how many people at this company are like that. People that are dumb as hell and have no business in finance, but they are because they know people. Mommy and daddy got you in with their friend. The banker got his job and does well in his job not because he’s qualified or knowledgeable, but because he’s good at schmoozing people and making promises that we have to then somehow deliver on. The same goes on the lower level. A number of guys got to leave our department before me but were complete idiots. I put them to shame. But LITERALLY the only way they were able to move was because they kissed some serious ass. I know because 1 told me and I witnessed it. It makes me sick. Why does anyone bother working hard then? All you have to do is sit back instead and make the right friends.

Again, this isn’t me completely coming from the angle of a disgruntled worker. I was actually nominated for a volunteer group organized to promote the fact that this bank is a great place to work because they encourage employees’ movement within their careers. What was I told by insiders? That we have to cover up the fact that a lot of moves are made by someone being tapped on the shoulder and moves being made on the low instead of the standard apply for a job, interview, etc. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

So yes, I’m jaded. And yes, you bet your ass that I’m still applying outside of the firm because I don’t want to work for such a company. I’m not naive enough to think that office politics aren’t in play at every firm. I get that. But I guess it blows my mind that one of the biggest banks in the world could be such a joke. I expected more. I was so enthusiastic when I started – like yes, I’m going to take this job to get my foot in the door, finish grad school and make moves because if anyone does, it’s going to be such a prominent bank that values my hard work and degrees. False. Instead I was told a number of times that I’m overqualified, and witnessed the crap referenced above.

But hey – I guess that’s the power of being so big. You have the luxury of an endless supply of labor because everyone wants in. Like the line at an exclusive night club – anxious party-goers have no idea what it looks like on the inside, they just know they want in. But once you’re in, you’re like “umm wow, this is corny and sucks; let’s bounce asap. I’d prefer a smaller, more intimate scene.” But my coworker pointed out – that’s the comfort people fall into. Although people aren’t treated well politically and pay-wise, they tolerate it because there’s stability in the firm. They keep dropping crazy earnings and everyone in the world trusts them, so they aren’t going anywhere soon. (2008 financial crisis, cough cough) But with some mom n pop place, you gotta worry a little. It’s much easier for them to go down. But it is interesting – in my job search, this and the other big banks pay less than the smaller places. My eyes were like $-$ when I saw the other places. Another misconception – I always thought bigger places paid you more because they can afford it. Not so much. Seems like the smaller places have a smaller budget, but less people to spread it over, so you get more. Again, people don’t mind it here because they’re just happy to be in the club – they don’t care if the dj is awful or the drinks suck – they’ll take it.

Ugh. I already have zero passion for finance so tolerating all of this corporate world crap on top of it is making me gag. And rethink life. Still trying to come up with alternatives. Now’s the time to figure it out; gotta love your twenties…

(And how much do you love my club analogies? Leave it to me…such a hot mess. But relevant/relatable, admit it.)