On Trusting Your Struggle by Diamond Coleman


I was talking with a close friend of mine (and by talking with, I mean texting -- let's not front here) earlier today about how some people count months. Random, I know, but me and this friend are just random individuals. For example, while some people might consider the span of September-December to be four months, she and I, along with many other people, believe it to be only three. After all, you don't count September as the first month; instead, you count September to October as the first month and so on and so forth. And then she mentioned a good instance of this way of counting: no one ever says a baby is one month old when he or she is born, so the same logic applies (I know it sounds like I'm rambling a bit here, but stick with me). So, I told her that Koreans consider a newborn baby to be one year old because of the time he or she spends in the mother's womb. Well, at least that's what I heard from a Korean man I met a few weeks ago. Also, after doing further research right now on Wikipedia, I found out that other Asian countries do this, too. It's called "age reckoning" and it started in China (wow, I really am rambling). Anyways, my friend thought this was really awesome and talking about it brought me to say both bluntly and honestly, "I am 25 and have never been so confused in my entire life." Of course, I'm still 24 in the Western world, but just thinking that I'll be 25 in a few months actually terrifies me. And not only because it's a milestone year in anyone's life, but also because I feel as if I should have everything all figured out. SPOILER ALERT: I don't. If I'm being completely honest right now, this period in my life is the most change I've ever experienced. From losing a loved one to moving to Los Angeles essentially all alone and at a few week's notice all within six months, I've had to deal with a multitude of emotions on a daily basis. Now, that's not to say that I've never had to deal with difficult situations in the past 24 years. Quite the contrary. But the things I have gone through recently have really scared the shit out of me and have really tested my resilience and strength. A quarter-life crisis indeed.

I've lived in LA twice before: once in 2011 for an internship program through my university, and another time in 2012 for an internship I got a month after I graduated. Each of these experiences, while flawed in one way or another, made me fall in love with the city. The amazing weather, easy accessibility to the beach, and just the overall laid-back kind of vibe that it gave off were good enough reasons for me to give it another try. So, after a full two years of being away, I took the plunge and moved back again due to a fellowship that I got at a really cool and well-known social media company. (That whole experience in and of itself needs its own post!) I came out here two weeks before my job actually started without a place to live. I stayed with a friend while I desperately searched for an apartment, and every search engine was fair game. You name it, I probably used it: Craig's List, Roomster, Zillow, RadPad, Westside Rentals (which cost me $60 for a two-month subscription!!!), and a bunch more.

I started my search a few weeks before moving, but I kept getting the whole "it's easier if you're physically here" spiel from the listings I was calling, and I guess for the most part that's true. After what seemed like months of searching, I finally found an apartment through Craig's List. I didn't even care that I had wasted money on Westside Rentals because I was just so ecstatic to have been offered a place right on the spot. It really did happen when I least expected it. Up until getting the place I have now, I had basically lost all hope in finding an apartment that I actually liked and that was somewhat within my budget, so I was shocked when, after seeing the apartment and meeting my future roommate, I locked down a place to call home.

Throughout this whole process, I've second-guessed myself more than I'd like to admit. I never really considered myself to be one of those people who is in constant fear of what's ahead, but now that I'm completely out of my comfort zone, I wholeheartedly identify with that fear. Am I measuring up? Is my work good enough? Am I creative enough? Will I find success in a city whose inhabitants, more often than not, are after the same things I am? Will I find happiness? While LA is a cool and vibrant city, it's still generally competitive and cutthroat (of course not all of it is this way, but if you're looking to get into entertainment of any kind, it can be a dog-eat-dog world), and it can be hard to find your niche. I'm definitely still working on finding mine, and often fear that I never will. It's also so easy to feel so lost and alone. Luckily, my roommate has helped me get better acclimated and because she initially felt the same way I do now when she first moved here, she can identify with what I'm feeling.

This time around, LA is different and I am, too. Unlike the other times I was here, I don't have the same core group of friends and I'm no longer that wide-eyed recent college grad who is riding high on that unique confidence you get after receiving your bachelors degree (I do however, have a couple friends out here still that I keep in contact with). And I'm slowly learning to be okay with that. The emotions I feel right now are only a sign that I'm growing and going after something great, although I may not know for sure just what that great thing is. They also are a result of my tackling my fears head on, most of the time without having a choice. Either way, I'm growing and proving to myself just how strong I really am. It's true that my length of time here in this city is unknown, but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. All that I've done in my life has led me to this moment, and in due time, the reason why I'm here will reveal itself. And when it does, I'll be forever grateful.

8 Reasons Why Texting Sucks by Diamond Coleman

Texting was once a fun and easy way to communicate, but now it's just a confusing and awkward feat. From autocorrect mishaps to those dreadful one-word—or even worse, one-LETTER—responses, texting is now more annoying than ever, and here are a few reasons why.


1. Autocorrect. I consider this to be the most aggravating part of texting, because it puts you in an awkward or embarrassing situation way too often. I can't tell you how many times I've misspelled a word while typing and my iPhone just decided to replace it with a completely different (and sometimes inappropriate) one. This can have many repercussions, some more dire than others depending on context. Below is an example of auto correct gone completely wrong between a mother and her daughter:




 2. Contemplating whether or not to put a certain punctuation at the end of a sentence or word. Believe it or not, punctuation makes a world of difference when sending a text. Using an exclamation point could make your message seem happy and enthusiastic, while the absence of one may make it seem as if you're bored, mad, or indifferent when you're actually none of the latter. Similarly, when someone puts a period after the last sentence he or she types, it's often translated as him or her being annoyed with you. And maybe this is true. But when it's not, it really can be taken the wrong way.


 3. Not knowing whether or not to use a certain emoticon or smiley face. Ugh. Why does it take so long to decide if you want to use a smiley face or not? I could spend a good five minutes trying to figure out if a smiley face would be considered too much too soon. Let's be real: no one wants to look like a stalker or crazy person with the opposite (or same; whatever floats your boat) sex. And we've all received texts in which someone took a risk in putting a smiley face in a text and it just rubbed us the wrong way.


4. Getting one-word or one-letter responses. Really? I just wrote you the preface to a novel and you could only think of one word to respond with? I'll never understand this. And even worse than a one-word response is a one-letter or unnecessarily-abbreviated-word response. "K."  "Ya." If you're going to go the "one-word" route, at least spell the word in its entirety. Otherwise I'll never text you again, k?


5. Not getting a response at all. Yes, I know that some people's phones die and it's easy to forget to respond, but because I don't know your situation I'm just going to assume that you either a) saw my text and thought it was so pointless or insignificant that you didn't think it warranted a response, or b) got confused by something I said and had no idea how to respond to it so you decided to leave it alone, because if you did respond it would just confuse you even more and/or make things awkward.
*Runner-up: getting a response hours, or even days, later.


6. People misusing or overusing ellipses. One of my BIGGEST texting pet peeves. When someone puts "..." after a word, I always think that they have something more to say or are implying something that he or she doesn't actually want to say in writing. Texting someone "Okay..." indicates that you either didn't understand the text you just received from that person or that you think he or she isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Using an ellipsis may also come off as a bit creepy or insulting, as in the example below:You: Hey! It was really nice meeting you the other day. Maybe we can meet up some time?
Guy: It was really nice meeting you too. You're cool...Umm, okay guy. Is your incorrect usage of periods implying that I'm actually not that cool and you don't want to hang out with me? Do you want to do more than hang out? I wouldn't have thought twice about the meaning of this response had he just simply left out the ellipsis altogether. But because he decided to add some creepiness to this convo, I now feel a tad uncomfortable and confused. There's too much ambiguity here.


7. Misunderstanding what someone texted you. Because our generation has opted for digital interaction and therefore gets disgruntled at the mere thought of---dare I even say it?---having an actual, real life phone conversation, miscommunication abounds us. We've all received that text that left us utterly dumbfounded and wondering if the sender was drunk or high (or both). You then attempt to decipher the message as if it's written in Morse code. This misunderstanding is most likely the result of one, or a combination, of the aforementioned scenarios.


8. We're becoming more anti-social than ever. This may go without saying, but texting has really made us (generally speaking) less comfortable with speaking on the phone, which subsequently weakens our social skills a bit. Before I had a smartphone, I enjoyed and even looked forward to talking on the phone, and sometimes I still do. But now that I have an iPhone equipped with the best social media apps and iMessage, I'm more apt to shoot someone a message rather than actually call him or her. Texting does make communicating with others easier and quicker, but we mustn't forget the importance of human interaction. After all, there was a time when our only option was to call instead of text someone, and we did just fine with that.