Permission to Feel

Hot Mess Life Blog

One of my fake best friends asked the other day why I haven‚Äôt written anything in quite some time. I tried to tell her I was depressed, and she said it was the best time to write ‚Äď how dare she make sense and not take my lame excuse?

I haven’t been able to find a way to justify how I can pour my heart out to my 12 rabid fans and a few creepers on Instagram, when I often feel like I shouldn’t get to laugh at my own pain. How dare I try to be hilariously honest, which apparently you all have grown to love and actually seek out? I need to be 100% focused on fixing the hot mess shit in my life, not blogging.  Where does it make sense to take time out of my busy life of having anxiety to click-clack away on this Mac…

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Permission to Feel

One of my fake best friends asked the other day why I haven’t written anything in quite some time. I tried to tell her I was depressed, and she said it was the best time to write – how dare she make sense and not take my lame excuse?

I haven’t been able to find a way to justify how I can pour my heart out to my 12 rabid fans and a few creepers on Instagram, when I often feel like I shouldn’t get to laugh at my own pain. How dare I try to be hilariously honest, which apparently you all have grown to love and actually seek out? I need to be 100% focused on fixing the hot mess shit in my life, not blogging. ¬†Where does it make sense to take time out of my busy life of having anxiety to click-clack away on this Mac, trying to make you all laugh while dishing out life lessons? I’m still trying to learn that writing is the best form of therapy, especially after my freebie sessions with insurance runs out.

I am one among many of this Earth (and maybe a few stressed out aliens) that battle with how to deal with their emotions. When people get in their feelings, a myriad of cliches come to mind:

  • “Get it together, Karen”
  • “Don’t bring your baggage along with you to the next relationship”
  • “Cheer up, buttercup”
  • “Quit acting like a little bitch”
  • “Don’t let her get to you”
  • You’re overreacting”
  • “It’s not that serious”
  • “Mam, can you please stop crying? I have another Uber Pool passenger to pick up”

How many times have you held your tongue because you didn’t want to offend anyone with your opinion? What about when someone has truly hurt you and you felt hesitant to say something? Fear that they might treat you differently after learning the truth? Do you realize how detrimental it is to keep everything inside, hardly expressing your true feelings? There is a physical reaction to suppressing your emotions, and I’m not talking about a fart. ¬† Barring scaring or scarring people and flipping out on a conference call, we need to allow ourselves to let these feelings out. It might not be best to overreact in a Trader Joe’s when they run out of blueberry goat cheese, but you get it. Now that I think about it, if you can overreact anywhere about something mundane, it would be Trader Joe’s. Seriously, those people are from another planet called Manners. I almost cried once when they were out of stir-fry cauliflower rice, and the guy didn’t think I was being obnoxious. I felt he wanted to hug me and tell me everything was going to be alright, and would text me when it was back in stock. People, I, along with Tim from TJ’s, are finally giving you permission to feel.

I’m going veer away from overreactive instances and focus on your run-of-the-mill feelings, because that’s a whole ‘nother post on its own. Historically, I have been known to hold my tongue. Call it passive, avoider of conflict, scaredy-cat, whatever – if you made me feel something that wasn’t so good, 8 times out of 10 I wasn’t going to tell you. I may have stopped speaking to you, gave you my fake smile that everyone loves, or cried about it in the car, but I would find a way to make myself get past it. I would act as if I didn’t feel anything, which is CLEARLY the best thing you can do for your peace of mind. This type of behavior kept me in a lot of toxic relationships, situationships, and friendships. Probably a few other ips as well, but they were so traumatic, I blocked them out. If someone stood me up? I found a way to excuse their behavior. Came up with a good idea at work that someone stole the credit for? I congratulated them through gritted teeth. Had a guy lie and tell me his ex was his “roommate” for the kid’s sake? ¬†Ah, that makes perfect sense – who cares about my feelings and intuition…

Then only a few days ago, I got a backbone. As I began to express my true feelings to people, there was a slight shift in the atmosphere. When I told a guy who kept flaking on me to actually figure out what he wanted or leave me alone, he said I was being “aggressive”. Before, I would have been afraid of missing out on another chance at love, but after I spoke the truth, it was much better than the alternative. When I have been upset at work, I have tried to speak my peace, and if I have any more emotions I need to get out, there’s a special bathroom stall I have reserved just for crying. The important thing to remember here is that letting your emotions out, no matter how silly they may seem, is therapeutic and good for the soul. We need not worry what our friends, partners, or people in front of us at Home Goods think about how we feel – your feelings are just that- YOURS. The most important thing to remember is to be honest with yourself, or at least find a semi-private bathroom where you can scream later.

So if your friend hurt your feelings? Tell them. Most likely, it’s big misunderstanding, and you can talk about it over mimosas later. If something isn’t feeling right in your life, it’s ok to be frustrated and shed a few tears. Bawl in the mirror, take a nap, and then reconsider that gym membership where they let you eat pizza. You have every right to feel hurt about that last relationship you were in. Take as long as you want to be in a place to move on, but then you do just that – move on. But let yourself feel that shit. I give you permission. You’re welcome.






Hot Mess (Love) Life

I was so excited with the thought that I might be boo’d up soon, that I contemplated on the future content of my blog. Now that my love life didn’t suck, what in the world would I talk about? How would I make these fools laugh at my pain, if it didn’t have to do with my Tinder nightmares? Well, I’m still single ya’ll, so lucky for you!

I thought I may have found something special, but Baby Jesus had another plan. Oddly enough, the one time I was actually with someone, I didn’t want to write about him at all. For some reason, it was as if it was sacred or something. I still have no plans to write about him, really. In a nutshell, he came, he saw, he said he was looking for a relationship, and then said “SIKE!” in the worst way possible. (Sidenote: Is it possible to be legitimately upset if you break up with your fake boyfriend? Asking for myself…).¬†For the most part, I’m over it. It’s been a couple months now since I broke things off, which incidentally has coincided with the last time I had the cajones to post anything on this wonderful blog you all tell me you read. So you can blame him for my absence!

(This is how dense I am, and my close friends can attest to this phenomenon: I just woke up in the middle of the night to start writing this, and I’m currently using the flashlight on my phone because I’m too lazy to get out of bed and turn on the actual light. And who’s going to have to get back out of bed and turn it off? ME. Hell no, not doing it. Anyway, I’m going on another tangent because it’s 4:43am and there’s a chance I may still be asleep. The point I’m trying to make is that I looked over at the wall and saw the shadow of my hand feverishly moving the pen, got caught up¬†emotionally in the¬†moment of my own genius, and tried to take a picture. Yes, I actually thought this was possible. It’s amazing how someone with such an expansive vocabulary can lack the minimal amount of common sense).

The time apart from this man has given me time to realize that Baby Jesus was right. Have you ever had time away from someone and it reaffirms that you weren’t as compatible as you originally thought? You realize that you weren’t matched very well- no matter how cute both of you are and how much you laughed (at each other). As the time has gone by, I know the decisions I made were correct. Plus, the time allowed me to realize I loathed the way he ate chicken, and that put me over the edge. I still miss that fool, and he’ll always have a place in my heart. But in the back, somewhere near the circumflex artery, which is relatively small. His space is back there.

So hey, Square One, I’m back. I also want to give a shout out again to everyone who’s sick ¬†of getting to know new people all over again and are still doing it in the name of love or whatever. I have no energy to go on in this dating world- I’m TIRED. I mean, I’m trying a bit, putting on a brave face, but I don’t wan’t to get to know people again! I thought I was good after the last six months, and when it all fell apart, I was pissed! I have to learn a whole new person? Again?? I’m not in the mood to acclimate to a new man’s eating habits at this point in my life. Or remember that he likes futbol over football (haha, spellcheck corrected futbol to the American version – he knows what’s up). I JUST started ¬†getting used to the fact that this guy sneezed like an animal – now I have to do it all over again and eventually get accustomed to a new man’s awful sneezing?

But I’m going to do it- we all are going to do it. Do it until it hurts. Or do it until it stops hurting. We’re doing it for love. All the cliches are correct – there’s someone out there for everyone. It won’t work out until you meet the right one. Everything happens for a reason. Love is all we need. There are plenty of fish in the sea. The 32nd time is the charm. You know, all the classics. Although I’m one salacious lower body pic away from deleting all dating apps, it still provides minute hope. Hope that through all the BS and sunglass photos, someone else is looking for the same thing. Human interaction is also another avenue I’ll attempt to ramp up. Of course, I’m always out there like everyone else, but meeting people in person has proven to be so much more difficult than previous years. We still do the same things, but honey, the same people ain’t there. Eye contact has died by way of the “smartphone”, and if someone actually makes eye contact with you and it’s longer than seven seconds, you’re scared. So if you’re still out there being a champ about dating, do yourself and everyone else a favor: be nice. Be authentic. Be truthful. And don’t be staring.




This is Not Us

One of the most anticipated movies of the year came out this past weekend, and I couldn’t find anyone to go with. After the wild success of Jordan Peele’s Get Out, he followed up with the thriller that is Us.¬†After releasing a scary-ass trailer that makes you no longer want to listen to the Luniz, I knew I had to see it. However, I apparently know a bunch of wimps. One said he didn’t need that negative energy, my best friend said she wasn’t trying to be scared, my HH buddy decided to, well, go to HH, and even my millennial said she doesn’t “do scary.” Now, I’m not a huge fan of horror films, and still will not watch Child’s Play to this day. But I saw this film as more of a psychological thriller, and Silence of the Lambs is my favorite movie, so there you go. After pleading to my crew to join me at the movies and getting dissed 4 times over, I said F these fools and went by myself. That allowed me to exercise my right to be extremely early, watch previews, and order an excessive amount of liquid butter product on my popcorn. Plus, with reserved seating, I didn’t have to worry about scrambling for a seat. I even thought I was being clever when I purchased a solo seat ¬†on the aisle, because I was convinced that a sensible pair of older people had purchased these seats and were going to act accordingly.

But the universe had something very special in store for my anal-retentive behind. When I arrived to my seat, I plopped myself down next to a lovely young couple, obviously excited to see the movie as well. They chatted softly during the commercials before the previews came on, and I let it go, because hey, they were surely going to zip their lips once the lights went down. They even ordered a ¬†bottle of wine, and I thought to myself, “Oooh, they are classy”, as I snuggled into my reclining chair. But when the house lights dimmed, and I was introduced to a new horror movie starring Octavia Spencer ( WTF), I was also introduced to this guy’s incessant talking. I am not afraid to shush the hell out of somebody, and I don’t attend movies with a dear friend because she talks too much. Silence is golden to me and so is movie etiquette. As the previews continued, I took a deep breath and exhaled, saying nothing, praying that he would shut up once the actual movie started. However, the Lord decided to test both my faith and patience that night, as he allowed this man to exercise his gums DURING THE ENTIRE MOVIE.¬†This rant is not at all about my need to watch movies in silence, but of the gut-wrenching anger in the pit of my stomach as I admit my fellow movie-goers fell victim to that awful stereotype: black people talking during movies.

Let’s get something clear: anyone who reads my stuff knows that all my tales are bathed in sarcasm, satire, and tied up in truth. I don’t believe I have the readership to warrant a legit uproar of people being offended, but there’s always something to be said about exploring certain stereotypes. Especially when they’re hilarious. So while we know that not all black people talk during movies, it is comically understood that it’s kinda true. The subject matter of race is always tricky, because in the current days of being PC and everyone being so sensitive, many never know who can say what about whom. Luckily, according to 23andMe, I’m 44.9% allowed to speak on the subject, so I’m good.

I’ve racked my brain¬†trying to come up with a sound hypothesis ¬†of why my African-American brothers and sisters are so inclined to be verbal during a cinematic show. Was it because we’re used to a call and response narrative, growing up in the black Baptist churches of the South? Is it because we are natural-born storytellers, so our souls are telling us to narrate the movie for the entire audience? Or was it our payback to society for not yet receiving reparations?

Granted, people of all backgrounds can be seen interrupting a flick with their words, but how did we get this reputation for disrupting movies? I wanted to believe so bad that this young man would not fall into the stereotype of talking during the movie, and I even prayed “Please stop talking, please stop talking, don’t let these people judge you!”, but my man failed me. He proceeded to ruin every penny of my $17.68. He even threw out a few expletives, to which I was positive a fight would ensue. But nothing happened, and it certainly wasn’t going to come from me.

Why was I so afraid to pull out my shush card? Well for one thing, I came to the conclusion that anyone who’s not afraid to talk through an entire movie is clearly ready to fight any and everyone. Secondly, they were drinking twist-off top MERLOT, so things could’ve gotten quite rowdy if I had decided to tell him to shut up.¬†I can only hope that my plea does not fall on deaf ears: my people, shut up during movies. No one else can hear and no one wants to experience getting into a fight at a theatre and paying $25 for an Icee on the same day. There is no need to scream or yell back at Tom Cruise- he can’t hear you.


When Your Plug Walks Out

Many may look upon my lifestyle and consider it to be in the “baller” category. Gorgeous views from my balcony, great seats to Heat games, large receipts from Target – I seem to have it all. But I don’t. If anything, I’d consider myself a mid-level frugal baller on a budget. The key to this life I live is that I’m genuinely nice to everyone (except for 3 people), and would do anything for anyone. And when you know everyone and have that kind of heart, many of these people have things. Sometimes nice things. And they want to share these things with you for free. Therefore, I look like I’m living that life. But when one of your plugs decides to pull out the cable connection right out from under you, your first-world persona can come crashing down within seconds.

I got rid of cable a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. Hulu, Prime, Netflix with 6 other people – I have what I need. The problem was that since I no longer had a cable connection, there were many channels that were no longer at my leisure. But a magical friend hooked me up with their Direct TV password, and BOOM – BONES all day! And since it costs about $5K per month for the satellite service that lets you enjoy such channels as triangle-infused jazz on a loop, I felt completely justified in using my plug’s login credentials. I was now able to comfortably watch Love & Hip Hop and the occasional NBA game on TNT without guilt. You call it fraud, I call it justice.

But this fool just told me that they want to join the fiscally responsible club and get rid of cable. They made sure to tell me in a public place on a Monday so I wouldn’t make a scene. I was blindsided and felt attacked. She tried to soften the blow by telling me how much money she was going to save blah, blah, blah, but I couldn’t see through the red of betrayal. Then she stuck the dagger further into my back and said I had until Friday before my cable access was completely revoked. My privileged-by-default lifestyle was unraveling right before my eyes. I mainly used the cable connection to watch ESPN on tv at home, and on my phone, but now what am I supposed to do? How in the hell am I supposed to watch obscure, regional collegiate baseball now, SUSAN?!?! You’re going to force me to go to my building’s gym and watch it while I’m working out????

Why is this happening to me? Who did I hurt? I’ve never been so disrespected in my life. Ok, maybe a few ex-boyfriends have done worse, but Susan really has stuck it to me this time. I thought I was already done with the whole karma thing. Why do I deserve this type of punishment? I’m getting this sneaking suspicion that this is a sign for me to turn my life around. I guess I’m forced to watch more Netflix murder documentaries on my own dime. Catch up on the Masked Singer on Hulu. Watch Baby Driver for the 10th time on Amazon Prime. This is way too many first-world issues for one person to handle. Perhaps I’ll read more books, talk to more people, finish more errands, or even worse, workout more (yeah, I’m still thinking about you, SUSAN).

Let this be a lesson to all those individuals who have been leisurely faking a life of luxury: don’t depend on anyone for your perks, because they will deceive you if you let them. If it doesn’t benefit their life anymore, they don’t even consider how it will impact yours. Your friend with a pool moves to a high-rise condo? You can no longer just drop by their backyard for a dip – you’ll need FOB access and your friend has to be home. All your old coworkers no longer work at the arena? Well, enjoy your Heat game with vertigo, because you’ll be up in the 400 level with an oxygen tank. Oh, and your friend’s dad decides to sell his yacht and you can no longer mooch off his riches? And now you have to sail around South Beach on A CHARTER?!?! People no longer have consideration for others, so you have to look out for yourself. Or at the very least, pay for your own cable subscription.


1 Angry Woman

All my life I had to fight…to get jury duty.

Ever since I declared Silence of the Lambs as my favorite movie of all time, I’ve been enamored with the concept of crime. I was always curious as to how the criminal mind worked, how the legal system combatted the devious acts of the world, and how I could still make my way into the F.B.I. Law and Order SVU is one of my favorite shows of all time, turning me into an automatic expert on crime. However, what really took my breath away was how easily I could inject myself into the legal world: being on a jury.

When I watched the 2003 Oscar-snubbed Runaway Jury, I got a glimpse into the world I longed to be a part of. Good ‘ol American citizens, being a vital part of justice¬†– I wanted to do that! I was fascinated that I could be an integral part of making things right for the wronged, would get paid $15 a day, and get free sandwiches. I would appropriately rise to the position of jury foreman on a nationally televised trial, where someone was kidnapped or had their junk cut off. I would maintain a stoic presence, a never-ending swoop bang, and continued eye-contact with the tv camera. I’d even find a button-up shirt that fit my boobs, so when I stood up to say “We’ve reached a verdict your honor”, no¬†one would be thinking “damn, she couldn’t find a shirt that fits?!” I would enjoy overnight fame, doing interviews on CNN with Anderson Cooper, commenting on how this was “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” And if I was lucky, I’d become famous enough to be on Celebrity Big Brother or Dancing with the Stars.

But I was never called. My homegirl was called twice in the time I’ve known her, and yet I was never on the receiving end of the red and white summons. She thought it may have been due to the high demand of Caucasian infusion into Miami juries, but she was trying to make me feel better. I mean, I didn’t find out I was 52% white yet, so how was Miami-Dade County supposed to know? My friend even was on a jury for a short time and I was dripping with disdain and jealousy. She didn’t have to go to work, got to sit in a courtroom without being a defendant, and parked for free at a government building – that bitch was living my ultimate life. I finally decided that it would never happen for me, and that I would have to continue dishing out couch-justice at home, constantly complaining that Law & Order no longer featured murders.

THEN IT HAPPENED. About a month ago, my roomie came into the house and threw the mail on the ¬†counter. I see a glimpse of that scary-ass Courier font that could only mean one thing: I got a ticket. Where was I? Was it when I went on that date in Wynwood? Wait, I wasn’t even driving. Can I get a ticket for driving someone else’s car? As I look closer, I see the word “JURY”, and I think I blacked out for a moment, because I just remember screaming with joy and yelling “I feel like a white woman!”.

I couldn’t wait to get to work and ask for the time off. I told everybody who would listen that I had jury duty, and they all gave me the same weird look. Everyone kept asking why I was so excited. Um, why wouldn’t you be?! One Debbie Downer tried to derail my elation when she said I shouldn’t be excited because her friend was sequestered on a jury once, and became depressed and suicidal after being stuck in a motel. Karen, why are you such a hater? This is also the same being from the “This is Us” post from last year, so that should tell you something. I blocked out all the negativity, and eagerly awaited my January 2nd report date.¬†When the day came, I wore my new Armani glasses, accompanied by a matching dress and heels. I carried my smartest purse and brought a pen that didn’t bleed so I could look cool in the courtroom taking notes. I parked in my FREE jury lot, scurried into the downtown courtroom, and headed up to the jury room.

The disappointment that seeped into my soul after I entered that room cannot be described properly, as it went downhill from the moment I sat in the plastic chair that kept sticking to my ass. Here’s a rundown of some “highlights”:

  • They didn’t give me a clipboard to fill out my jury questionnaire on – what am I, an animal?
  • There was no screening of jurors who could not read, as there were several people who could not comprehend the “no phones” sign, and proceeded to blast the sound on their iPad, as well as have a full-blown conversation about how they hated jury duty.
  • Like a prisoner of war, I was then required to watch a 1980s video on Miami-Dade County jury duty. It explicitly said we could not leave the room until we were told, and then they played My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
  • The cafeteria was not up to date on television shows, as I had no choice but to watch “Minute to Win It” while eating a soggy chicken wrap
  • After lunch, the torture continued as another rom-com starring Diane Keaton started playing, where she again acts completely surprised that she’s a lovable person

Around the time Diane was finally picking up the vibes Michael Douglas was throwing down, a staffer walks up to the podium and tells us that we’re dismissed and they don’t need anyone. THE JUSTICE SYSTEM DOESN’T NEED ME? I felt hurt, defeated, and unappreciated. What now? Now I’ll never know the feeling of being part of a case that has “taken the nation by storm”. I’ll never know what it’s like to be holed up in a Motel 6, where the cute guy who has looked at all the evidence now has a change of heart because he’s in love with me. I slowly sauntered out of the courtroom, got into my car, angrily pondering what life really means.

But the sun came out that day, and I was able to go to the pool, so I was good.



Fat For Real

I came to the realization a few weeks ago as I was walking down the hall at work. My gait was off – I don’t usually walk like this. I didn’t have a sore ankle or anything, and I hadn’t been on my feet all day. ¬†Yet I was walking as if my bottom half wanted to push forward before my torso. Wait…am I. WALKING. IN. SHIFTS???

Daily physical activity has been oddly uncomfortable lately. Breathing is weird. I mean, I can breathe, but should I be wheezing after walking up the garage ramp at work? Why are my calves always burning? ¬†I tried to tie the lace on my wedges yesterday and I had to kick my leg up TWICE, just to get my foot in my hand – it was a legit struggle. And for some reason, I can no longer suck in my stomach successfully. Seriously, when I try, it hurts. Oh shit, I’m fat for real, for real!

Initially, I thought I was just super bloated, but no one is bloated for six months, unless you’re about to give birth in three. Drinking¬†peppermint tea was not going to fix it this time – I was going to have to stop eating my feelings. And thinking that a quarter-mile walk to Publix was legit exercise for ¬†the day, even if I did sweat profusely. I’ve shared my struggles with diet and fitness before, so this isn’t a new hot mess that I’ve gotten myself into. But now I’m bigger than when I thought I had gotten way too big, and I’ve spun out of control. Except I can’t really spin, because it hurts too much.

Without going into specific numbers, I’ve probably gained over 50 pounds since graduating from college. So forget trying to get back to my high school body – I’m just trying to get back to when packing on the Freshman 15 was a problem. And man, has the denial been strong inside me (that’s probably where the bloating comes from). I’m at the point where I’m ready to disown any friend who tries to take a picture of me and dare share it with the world. We all know that clich√©¬†saying “the camera adds 10 pounds”, but no, I DID THAT. I’m the one who likes mayonnaise too much. I also decided awhile ago that I would no longer buy any bigger clothes, because this will force me to get it together and do what I need to do to get back into my skinny jeans. I even was so bold as to throw out my $15 “Betta Butt” fat jeans that I got at TJMaxx, because I would no longer need them. Needless to say, I would give anything to have those Fashion Nova knockoffs right now, because I can no longer inhale or exhale when I wear pants.

The “fat” topic is one of those on the Mount Rushmore of polarizing subjects, along with politics, gun rights, and whether or not Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air too long. Who’s fat? What’s considered fat? Is fat a bad “f” word? History in Western civilization has certainly shown that society frowns upon the overweight, but so does your doctor. Excess pounds traditionally bring about significant issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and joint pain. And while there are a plethora of unicorn people on the heavier side with no physical health problems whatsoever, most people can’t pack on the pounds without consequences.

And that’s what I thought I could do. Continue to see the numbers on the scale creep up and think I could still live my sedentary gangster lifestyle. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, IT IS harder to lose weight as you get older. Especially if your exercise output decreases and you continue to eat after midnight like a Gremlin. To add insult to injury, I have known about my own serious health issues due to my weight gain for years, yet I continued to not care and kept eating the cookies (another blog for another day). What did I think was going to happen?

By the grace of God and semi-acceptable health coverage, I’ve been blessed to get a handle on my health issues, despite being at the heaviest weight I’ve been in my entire life. So where does that leave me now? Additional weight loss would definitely make me healthier, but could I okay being this way? A friend recently said to me, “you know, it’s okay for you not to be skinny.” It’s a thought that has not left my mind since she uttered the words about month ago. While I’ve finally accepted that I am overweight, could I actually accept myself at this over weight? At this very moment, it’s a thick HELL NO.

It’s extremely difficult for me to avoid word vomit and not talk about being fat all the time. It’s how I identify – I have to let people know upfront that “Yeah, I’m fat, but you have to know that I’m still ok. I’m a good person.I’m hilarious. Please still love me. Please swipe right.”¬†It will be a long road to acceptance, even as I continue to work on shedding some pounds. Will it be easy? NO. Will I fall in love with my body overnight? NO. Will I somehow accept this larger me, gain genuine confidence, and finally go on a date before 2018 is over? Also NO. Baby steps girl, baby steps. Just make sure you make it 10,000 baby steps, because you owe it to that Fitbit.