thenoontimetraintogeorgia asked: Hey Amber! I am in high school so I'm starting to really have to think about all the college and career stuff. And the thing that has really caught me up is salary. I wanted to ask you since I know you are having some financial troubles right now, and I feel like your perspective would be helpful. If you look online at career information they list a median salary for each career. If you were in my position, what would you say the minimum salary I should go for is in order to live a comfortable..
that’s a really tough call, doll! it depends on so many different factors, i’d really need to know a ton more information. would you plan to drive or take public transport? would you be living in an apartment, or at home? if an apartment (or house), alone or with roommates? what’s your cost of living there? in other words, if you look at craigslist or something, what does a typical 1 bedroom apartment go for? where do you live (not an exact town, just a state) do you plan on getting married or having children (in other words, do you plan on eventually having two income household?) would you be paying back student loans? are you planning on working and going to school at the same time?
the general rule of thumb is that your rent/house payment should be no more than 1/3 of your monthly salary, and at the end of the month you should be able to put 10% into a savings account comfortably.
I don’t know what kind of bills you have or plan to have. car insurance, cell phone, cable, internet, electricity, heat, etc. etc.
The only way I’m able to live on my own, to be quite honest, is because I hang by a string. I don’t have to pay for heat, I don’t have a TV and until recently i was using my neighbors wifi signal so i didn’t need internet. i get by every month with about $50 left over to spend as i choose (my savings account practically has spiderwebs, though i do try!). so, as you can see, when my phone breaks or my car breaks it lands me in a bit of a situation.
the thing about living on your own is however much you think you’ve thought of/budgeted for, there’s always more.
My current job only requires a high school education, and my salary (post tax) is about $14,400. So, not much. To live comfortably by yourself, and this is post college-education, I’d probably recommend something in the $30,000 minimum post tax. That’s assuming you’d be renting and not owning a house, though. This is also dependent on where in the country you live. In the southern states $30,000 a year will get you a BOATLOAD more than in Massachusetts, where I live!
I’m really crap about financial stuff, so I’ve probably confused you more than I’ve helped you (eek!) I’m really bad at math, and therefore at economics and finances and all that stuff!
Anonymous asked: Hey Amber! I don't have any friends (and I haven't or 4 years or so, I'm 21 btw). Sometimes I ask around for advice on making friends (online forums mostly) and the most common piece of advice is : work on yourself first before you bring in others. This is confusing because I have been on a self-love journey for two years but it's really hard because I suffer from depression. So I feel as if I don't deserve friends because my mental state. Can you please help me out with making friends?
Of course you deserve friends.
It’s harder to make/maintain friends when you’ve got mental issues. Trust me, as someone who’s had BPD for as long as I have, I know. I’ve lost many friends because I became too much of a burden, and it SUCKS.
What you need is friends who understand that the negative talk that you might take part in doesn’t come from a place of fishing for compliments or what society has made you feel, but from a psychological disorder that you don’t have full control over. Of course, that being said I have to say that therapy and medication (if necessary) are definitely good ideas, if you’re not doing that yet.
The thing about going out and finding friends is it’s kind of like seeking out a relationship. You can’t really go in search of it, it just happens. So I’d tell you to expand your social horizons, pick up a hobby or go out more, try to meet more people. The more people you come into contact with, the bigger chance that some of those people will want to be your friend!
If that kind of thing makes you anxious, there’s nothing wrong with having online friends. They’re just as real and legitimate as ‘real life’ friends. I know many friendships have blossomed through fandoms, for example!
Either way you’ve got to be willing and open!
Hey Amber, I was wondering if you could advise me about a situation I’m whitnessing. My best friend and her boyfriend (who’re both of legal age) are having sex. This in itself would not be a problem, but the circumstances surrounding it are concerning me.Firstly, although she is on the Pill, they are not using condoms. My friend can be very forgetful and she’s admitted that she’s forgotten to take it a few times already. I’ve heard that the Pill by itself is not as effective as condoms, and the pair of them are in no position to take care of a child, if she ended up pregnant, as they are both living with their parents and she has no job or means of supporting herself. He does have a job, but if this comes to light, he won’t have one anymore.
See, the boyfriend works at our school and though he and she were together before he was hired, when he got the job, he was told he had to dump her. But he and she carried on in private, which was bad enough to begin with. But if school finds out that they are having sex, he will be fired and placed on the Sex Offenders Register, which will mess up his life. I know this is their business and I should let them make their own mistakes. But I really don’t want to have to see them mess up their lives and potentially that of a child. Any advice you have would be really appreciated.
I’m not sure why the boyfriend’s job has the authority to tell him who to date? That doesn’t seem right. Also, he’ll be fired and placed on a Sex Offenders register? They’re both legal age though—I’m almost entirely sure that’s not possible. That sounds like a cause for legal retaliation, if it were to happen.
Anyway, regardless of all that, the best thing I can recommend for your friend is the Depo-Provera shot. You go to the doctor (or planned parenthood, or whatever!) and get a shot once every 3 months, and it’s super effective. No remembering to take a pill every day, no condoms. It gets a bad rap because apparently one of the most common side effects is weight gain, but I was on it for a couple years, and I actually lost weight! Besides, in this case I think a couple pounds is an ok sacrifice in exchange for more security.
Obviously you can’t tell her what to do with her life, but I think that would be the best bet. Also, as long as she has insurance, abortions aren’t very expensive and no one has to know since she’s of age, just in case anything does happen.
I hope this helps!
Anonymous asked: There's this guy I've been talking to, we've been on 2 real dates and been talking about a month. He's really nice and cute, in my opinion,and we get along great. Tonight he had a little too much to drink and wound up sending me a picture of his dick, then immediately regretted it and now I think he's too ashamed to talk to me. I've had similar situations before, I don't know if he realizes that I'm sexually attracted to him. How do I assure him it's fine without negating that I'd do him?
well did you respond when he sent it to you?
if it was me i’d have taken that as a huge hint that he’s probably sexually attracted to you. was he really drunk, or was he just using that as a coverup based on your response?
it’s hard to give advice without knowing his intentions, but honestly I think communication is very important. Yeah, you’ve only been on two dates, but it seems like you’re both attracted to each other so make it happen. maybe request another picture!
kiradical asked: I live with my boyfriend and I love him very much. But... I keep fantasizing about having my own room... So much so that I have considered moving in with my mother if/when she moves out here. But... I feel like that's giving up on us or something. I dunno. Is this just growing pains? We do live in a very tiny apartment... maybe I just need a little space? I don't know... What do you think? Like I said, I love him and I don't want to give up on us, or for him to think I am (he's sensitive).
Space goes beyond being good, space is necessary. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, most people need ‘me’ time. It’s important to have time to spend with yourself.
I only get to see my boyfriend twice a year, but even so, we’ll go off and do things in separate rooms. No matter how close you are, how in love you are, how much in common you have or how much you trust each other, to be shoved together with someone ALL the time can start to grate on a relationship.
It’s perfectly reasonable for a couple to have separate rooms—even separate bedrooms. That way you can be together when you want, but when you need to retreat, the option is there. I’m sure to most ‘normal’ (I use that term OH so loosely) people would see that as a sign of trouble in a relationship, but different things work for different couples, and if it helps your sanity, it shouldn’t be a problem.
If your boyfriend really loves you, he’ll understand. It might take him a while to adjust to the idea, so don’t be too upset if he freaks out at first, but give him some time and give him your reasons why.
I don’t know if money’s an issue and you can’t afford a bigger apartment, but if that’s the case, if you think it’ll be better for your sanity and your relationship to move back in with your mother, that’s okay, and again, he should understand.
Anonymous asked: Dear Amber, lately my younger sister has been physically attacking me whenever I do something to upset her. It's not big things--accidentally boxing her car in, etc--& she's always had anger issues, but I'm getting sick of it. We're both over 21 and live with our parents, & they say we are adults and should handle things ourselves, but they don't do anything to stop her hitting me. I don't want to call the cops on my own sister & get her arrested, but I'm tired of being abused. What should I do?
Physical violence is never okay. ESPECIALLY between adults.
Obviously you’ve asked her to stop and she hasn’t, so I think the only way to get the message through is to actually call the cops if she does it again. Give her maybe one warning, and then go through with it. Assault and battery is a serious thing, it’s not something you mess around with. If she has anger management issues, she needs some kind of therapy for it. I have a feeling if you tell her that, she’ll laugh it off. But maybe she’ll change her tune if the police get involved.
For what it’s worth, if your parents know she’s violent and refuse to intervene because you’re both adults, that’s pretty shitty.
1. Is this a person who always puts you down? A friend is someone who accepts you as you are – and allows you to be different, and to think for yourself, and to make your own decisions – without an explanation. However, if a person is demeaning or always puts you down, criticises your opinions, or the way you dress or look, then that’s someone to avoid as they’re a toxic friend.
2. Do they gossip about you? A friend is someone you can totally trust. You can share your deepest secrets, and say what’s on your mind – and they won’t tell a person or betray your trust. However, if you always have to watch what you say around a friend, as they’re likely to gossip or let a secret slip, then it’s likely that this person is a toxic friend.
3. Do they constantly mock and make fun of you? A bit of gentle ribbing shows affection between friends. But if they’re always making fun of you, or highlighting your faults, or attacking you in public, then they’re not a genuine friend.
4. How do you feel after being with your friend? Think about your answers to the following:
- Do you feel defensive when you spend time with them?
- Do you feel hurt or upset after spending time with them?
- Do you feel as if you always have to justify yourself instead of being “natural” around your friend?
- Do you enjoy their company or do you feel ambivalent?
- Do they undermine your confidence and self-esteem?
- Do you feel attacked and used after spending time with them?
- Does the friendship feel unbalanced and require a lot of work?
- Is it more a competition than a genuine friendship?
Note: If you recognize the signs of a toxic friend, then it’s time to move on and find a different friend. Being with this individual will wreak your happiness.
Anonymous asked: I've lost a pretty significant amount of weight in the past year and I'm finding it difficult to adjust to my new body and, more specifically, my perception of my body. Now that my body has changed, how do you suggest I adjust to it? I don't feel like it's any better or worse than when I was at a higher weight... everything just feels terribly different.
When your body changes, it can be jarring. You can catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and not recognize what you see. You can look down and say ‘where’s the rest of me?/why’s there so much more of me?’
The best thing you can do is spend a lot of time in front of your mirror—naked. Study your body. Touch it. The curves, the dimples, the moles and the bony bits. Get familiar with your body. Even just laying in bed at night. Touch yourself. Not even in a sexual way. Just in a ‘getting to know you’ way.
It’s a learning experience, for sure, and it’s not immediate. Even if you don’t lose/gain a lot of weight, EVERYONE’S body changes, and there’s nothing we can do about it except accept our body, love it, and become familiar with it.
Different isn’t necessarily bad, just take it one day at a time :)
effasinfat-deactivated20121207 asked: To omg-theykilledrory: I was in the same position for a year and a half. My best advice? In the end I realized that I was worth way more than waiting around for a guy who didn't want to make me a special part of his life. But I had to come to this on my own. Amber even gave me advice on this issue, but of course I wouldn't listen to anyone at the time! She's right though - make sure you continue dating others.
Regarding this question :)
Anonymous asked: I find that a lot of people who talk about weight loss talk about how they view "food as fuel" which seems really sad to me because it seems like the idea is to take the pleasure out of eating. Am I overreacting?
It’s sad to me, too. I mean, if it works for some people, that’s fine, but I think that taking the joy out of food is such a sad thought. Food is fuel, you need food to survive, but that philosophy is a step away from making food into a chore.
Food should taste good. It shouldn’t make you feel guilty, it shouldn’t make you feel bad. It should make you feel happy.
Food is comfort. (yeah, some people over-do it, but it’s entirely possible not to!)
Food is friends. Getting together for dinner, catching up, having a barbecue.
Food is celebration! Holidays, birthdays,family get-togethers. Recipes handed down from generation to generation—people’s signature dishes. I hate the thought of people losing the joy of that sort of things because they’re only allowing themselves a bite, or a tiny piece, or wondering how many calories it’s going to cost.
You’re not overreacting. It’s another symptom of the diet culture that we live in!
Anonymous asked: I hate to drag up lacigreen debacle again but I feel like it's only the most recent ex. of one of the most frustrating things about the weight loss/diet ideas which is the concept that fat people are fat because they a) eat badly & b) eat lots of sugary foods & sodas. Do you have any suggestions on how to refute this idea? One of the most frustrating things is that I eat the "right way" but people don't believe my eating habits are "good" or think I secretly eat "bad" food since I'm not thin.
Well, the most important thing is that remembering that people can say what they want, but at the end of the day, you don’t have to justify your body, your lifestyle, or your choices to ANYONE. Not your family, not your friends, not strangers, not even your doctor.
I would take a look at parts ONE and TWO of this amazing compilation of studies and research that give a ton of reasons behind changes in weight. It’s NOT just calories in vs. calories burned. It has to do with genetics, biology, environment, income level, and a SLEW of other factors.
And it’s always good to remind people that different bodies work in different ways. You know people who eat all day and all night, and even though they never exercise, they NEVER gain an ounce. So everyone accepts that that’s possible, why can’t the other side be believable? That someone can eat well and exercise and still be fat?
jan-egeland asked: Oh Amber I just don't know what to do...I'm quite in love with this guy, Nick, he's just lovely in every way and we're literally perfect for each other. I fell in love with him at first sight, and I know he has feelings for me too, i can tell, and so can everyone else. He says he doesn't want relationship drama, and he doesn't want a girlfriend right now. Should I wait around until he does, or move on? I feel like we're made for each other, but is it pathetic to wait around for him like that?:(
How about a compromise?
Don’t wait around for him, but don’t pine for him until he comes around.
Make yourself available to other people—who knows, maybe you’ll find someone you’re even more crazy about who returns those feelings and isn’t afraid of ‘relationship drama’. the thing is, if you want something badly enough, it doesn’t matter if you ‘want a girlfriend right now’. love is inconvenient. you can’t schedule it for when it works for you.
so by making yourself available to other people, you’re doing a number of different things:
- you’re not obsessing over someone who’s not giving you what you want.
- you’re opening yourself up to something better.
- there’s the possibility that if he sees you dating someone else, he’ll wake up and figure out ‘wait no, i want her!’ and then it’s up to you to decide whether you still want to give him a shot :)
hope that helps!
Anonymous asked: Okay, this may be a long shot in the dark but i thought i'd give it a try. you seem to be quite knowledgable and strongly opinionated and know so many people with more sources and that is exactly what i need right now. i recently came out to my mother and told her about the relationship i was in. i am religious and she went all christian-holy and telling me what a mistake i am making. i'm looking for any way to come back and prove that love is love and that i'm perfectly okay.
I would take a look at this post, because there’s some really interesting discourse on what exactly the bible says about gay people, and how basically Jesus made everything that was said in Leviticus and Deuteronomy irrelevant:
"The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.-Hebrews 7:18-19."
Beyond that, I’m definitely not any kind of scholar when it comes to Christianity so if any of my followers have some more suggestions, feel free to submit :)
Anonymous asked: Today I binged and felt like shit because I can never get my over eating managed (can't afford therapy or counseling). I saw that Laci Green post slip into my dash and it triggered me like mad. I just want to disappear now because I can't get healthy because my mind always wants to eat. I'm crying rn because in her post it talked about loving your body means feeding it right and I try but fail. I just feel like a failure.
i needed a few days to not think about the laci green debacle because it still leaves a seriously bad taste in my mouth. so many people said ‘i don’t see what the problem is’. looking at your question, it makes me sad that people can’t understand it.
you’re not a failure. you’re not you’re not you’re not.
loving your body means different things to different people. if that’s her way of loving her body, bully for her. but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.
you have to do what works for YOUR body. if that means eating nothing but plants and raw food, so be it. if it means eating a dozen cookies when you’re in a bad mood, so be it.
not everyone has the means to be healthy. it’s sad, but it’s true. i understand on a personal level how bad it can feel to binge. it’s not a good feeling. but if you do it, you can’t beat yourself up over it, because it’s done, it’s finished, it’s in the past. you have to forgive yourself and move on, try again the next time. slipping up is ok! making mistakes is ok! beating yourself up over them is not so productive, though.
try again the next day.
breathe, and reboot.
binging doesn’t make you a failure.
do you go to school? lots of schools have counseling programs that they offer at no charge—it’s something to look into.
best of luck!
Anonymous asked: I'm having a really hard time with this. I have started making changes in my diet and because of that I have been losing weight. Weight loss was never the intention, but I saw your post about Laci and it's just kind of confusing to me as to how to continue to be body positive while you're losing weight because I know diet change isn't possible for everyone. I'm having a difficult time realizing how to be body positive while going through weight loss while not putting a negative connotation it
if you lose weight, that’s fine! there’s nothing wrong with that.
but to post progress pictures, before and after, to talk about how much weight you’ve lost, THAT’S where the line is crossed. Or to talk about how you did it, because people will think that if they do the same thing, they’ll magically lose the same weight as well. And bodies are different.
There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that your body has changed, or with being excited that you’re healthier/stronger.
If your specific body responded one way to changes in your diet, that’s great. But you have to acknowledge that it’s not going to be like that for everyone. And that’s the difference!
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