Looking for a job usually means one of two things: You don’t have a job. The job you’re in is not the job you want. Both scenarios are unfortunate. But what’s really unfortunate is looking for a job. It’s stressful. It’s a waiting game. When you don’t get a call you think there’s something wrong with
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For years I’ve gotten hung up on this idea that I’m supposed to leave a legacy. Make a difference. Make an impact. I’ve thought about Randy Pausch. And Steve Jobs. And the people I admire and aspire to be. And I’ve read this book, and this book, and this one and this one. And a
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I’m 45 today. And I’ve spent a lot of time dreading it. In the months and weeks leading up to it, if someone asked me if I was going to celebrate, sometimes I’d be honest and admit, “I’m not really thrilled about it.” They’d think they were being clever and say, “It’s better than the alternative.”
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For as long as I can remember, when people asked me what I wanted to be, I always said, “I want to be a writer.” Even when I was teaching or counseling and loving those jobs, I still had this little nudge in the back of my mind that I wanted to be a writer. Too.
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My husband walks into the house and I’m ready with another story. “So, I talked to so and so today. She’s the number one _________________. She went to _______________. And she ______________”. He rolls his eyes. I keep going. He has tuned out. Not because my story isn’t about to be utterly captivating – I
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I’m terrified of flying. Like panic attack terrified. Sure that I’m living out my last moments terrified. Write my final letters to everyone I love terrified. And a few months ago my husband asked me if I wanted to go to Italy with him since he was going there for work anyway. I wanted to
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Food is the new religion. (With guilt and all.) It’s the new politics. And I’ve decided that talking about food in any way shape or form is about as uncool as it is to walk into a party and say, “So, how much does everyone make?” We have the vegans, vegetarians, raw foodists, plant-based power
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I think about death a lot. More than most people, I think. I think that because whenever I talk to my friends about how much I think about death they say it’s weird and nobody else thinks like this. Well, unless they’re dying. I think it’s selfish to think about death when I’m not dying.
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“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs Over 5 years ago, I got it in my head that I was going to write for a particular company. I told people, I wrote
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People email me a lot looking for ways to get more people involved in the Handwritten Letter Project. Since this is my favorite little project in the world, I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. So, here’s my favorite way. Throw a Handwritten Letter Project party! Invite 5-10 of your favorite girlfriends over and
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I believe you can heal your life through writing. Through writing to yourself and to the people you care about most. I also believe that yoga is juice for the soul. When you combine the two, magic happens. You find greater emotional focus, stability, strength, self-trust, and ease in life. And work. In Taoism there’s a concept called Wu
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Are you a saver? Do you save your best dress for some magical night in the future? Do you save your best China in case the Queen comes a calling? Do you save all of your money for a rainy day or the possible catastrophe that may hit you out of nowhere? Do you save
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Earlier this year I did a 60 day yoga challenge. Well, 60 uninterrupted days was my goal, but between having to fly to Virginia to spend a week in the hospital with my mom and my daughter going into the hospital with pneumonia shortly after I returned, I soon learned how unrealistic 60 uninterrupted days
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Change is a maddening experience. Sometimes change is thrusted upon you overnight and you’re expected to accept, adjust, and dive in without a single say in the matter. And other times, when you want to make a change, it feels like your progress is as swift as a river of molasses. The other day during
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It will likely come as no surprise to you that in addition to the very deep passion I have for personality types, I am also nearly equally as fascinated by numerology. I spent many years studying it, giving readings, and writing about all of the different energies in our years. So, the other day when
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Great work. Ahhh. Just hearing those words together makes me feel all tingly inside. I hear it and I think, “Yes, yes, I want more of that!” Then I go about my day and end up doing what Paula Scher calls solemn work. Solemn work is work we know. It’s work we get used to
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The person we are changes all of the time. As long as we’re still alive and kicking, it’s never too late to change either our minds or our situations, and maybe both. I’m not sure who said this, otherwise I would give credit where credit is due, but I remember hearing in graduate school that
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It’s about this time of year when I start to feel a shift in the energy of my life. I start to notice myself looking at everything in a new way, having a bit of retrospective clarity (oh if only we had that clarity in the moment), and I have a sense that something new
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According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow and Professor of Psychology and Management at the Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont (CA) Graduate University, the excellence of daily life depends not only upon WHAT we do but HOW we do what we do. The “how” he talks about is the “psychic energy” we bring to
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1. Not everyone will get you, like you, or care about you. Don’t waste time on those people. Ever. Good begets good; so, surround yourself with people who see you and love you no matter what. 2. Pick a talent path. Do not squander your goods. See them and share them and know that just
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Much to my dismay, we live in a world where writing letters is a dying art. It’s just so much easier to text, email, post or otherwise verbally spray our precious screens that very few take pen to paper anymore. (And please don’t even get me started on e-cards. They literally bring tears to my
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I have dreams sometimes of running away. Of hopping on a greyhound bus and heading south east to some quaint, hot, and friendly seaside town where everyone is welcoming, warm and fuzzy and has somehow figured out the most important things in life. Okay, so maybe I’m just replaying a Nicholas Sparks movie in my
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A few years ago I took myself out of the online game. I shut down all of my social media accounts. I wanted out. I was bored. Bored reading quotes and words masquerading as inspiration. Bored by the sameness, pictures of vacations, and the “Oh my god I can’t believe how amazing my life is”
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Without question, the apology letter is the letter that people struggle with most. Whether the apology is coming days after an event or years later, it’s hard to say you’re sorry. You know, like Chicago sang in the 80s. Hold me now. It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry. I just want you to
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Recently I was talking to a client about the idea of each day, each moment standing alone. When each day stands alone, you’re no longer constricted by the past, nor do you fear the future. You don’t second-guess decisions or hold yourself back because of choices you made long ago. Today is all that matters. You
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I spend a lot of time waiting for big things to happen. Big moments. Big ideas. Big changes. Part of that is because I’ve become so accustomed to big changes happening, because I have encouraged them to, so that when nothing is in the hopper, nothing looming ahead, it feels like something is wrong. Like
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I started writing love letters when I was 16. I wrote them to my high school and college sweetheart. For every 10 I wrote, he probably wrote one back. Maybe. At first I used to be sad that he didn’t write me more. (Seriously, what the hell was I thinking that a 16 year old
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Not too long ago I made a very costly mistake. Financially, emotionally, and every “ally” you can think of. And I made it because of these 3 very simple facts. On a daily (okay momentary) basis I was experiencing feelings of: 1. Profound self doubt 2. Soul crushing fear 3. Remarkable uncertainty The problem was
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I used to jump at every chance I had to give advice to friends or family or random people at a party, whether it was wanted or not. If my advice were a gun, it would’ve been an Uzi. I was young and stupid. Now I wait for the ask. Which surprisingly, or maybe not
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In sport psychology literature there’s a concept known as self-handicapping. This happens when an opportunity to perform poses a threat to your public image or self-esteem. When you rely on self-handicapping, in your infinite wisdom, you will start to create barriers to your own success. This is your brilliant way of protecting yourself. It accomplishes
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I’ve been at odds with my captain. For months. Or maybe for as long as I can remember. I know her. I know what she wants. And I know why she’s mad at me. I try to make amends. I make minor efforts. A little touch here. A gentle beg for forgiveness and mercy there.
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I’m a numerologist. Well, that sounds a little more formal than need be. It might be more appropriate to say I practice numerology, but that sounds kind of creepy. So, let’s just say I use it, I believe in it, and I’ll talk about numbers any chance I get. And, when people find out that
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The beginning of each new year is so exciting. You think. It’s filled with new possibilities. A clear path awaits you and your dreams and visions find new legs. Legs that are sure to carry them through. It’s time for re-designing, re-inventing, re-imagining and re-whatevering. You finally have the space and the time to go
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“Every mother contains her daughter in herself and every daughter her mother, and every woman extends backwards into her mother and forward into her daughter.” – Carl Jung, The Collected Works Eating Something funky went on in my house, or should I say DIDN’T go on in my house, that for a long time I
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People hold a lot of implicit beliefs about intelligence. These are unconscious, personal beliefs that evolve over time and give rise to implicit theories that guide how people view the world. One theory, called Incremental Theory, (aka the growth mindset) assumes that intelligence is changeable and that it improves incrementally. Entity Theory (aka the fixed mindset) assumes
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Many moons ago I gave online dating a try. The first day I surfed the dating sites my girlfriend and I searched around for hours. The names that people chose were comical. Lonelyforyou, theonlyone, desperateforyou, coloradolovr, nothingbutfun, etc. The names reminded me of vanity license plates. My ex-husband and I used to get such a
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We need to start with a story. I started writing letters to myself decades ago. It helped me work stuff out in my head, get clarity, and make sense of everything going on around me. A little bit of therapy right on the page. Then, when I was 25, I had a falling out with
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Woohoo! You made it to day 30. And just so you know, I saved the best one for last. I’m a sucker for odes. I love writing them, reading them, and all of the memories I have to sift through to bring them to life. But what I love the most is the look on
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On the eve of your last letter writing day (this month), let’s just dish out some straight up gratitude. The prompt: I thought of you today – because you are so worth thinking about – and I wanted to thank you for __________________. Oh, and one more thing. I think you ____________________. You are simply
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Today’s prompt is my go to – I consider it like the base of my scone recipes. It’s just a lot of butter and flour and then depending on who I’m writing to, I add berries or currants or brown sugar or for my husband, maybe even some bacon. Sweeten it or spice it up
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One of the most surprising benefits I have received from writing more hand written letters and making a habit out of thanking people is that doing so has made me more comfortable with not knowing all the answers, with being more vulnerable, and with letting go of the control I used to think was all
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I started making my list of hand written letter recipients for May yesterday. I decided to make it a month of thanking people I don’t know and who have never heard of me before, but who have impacted me in some way. Whether it was a guest I heard on my favorite podcast or the
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Sweet Ginger Brown… this letter writing business is making other people just as happy as I had hoped. Here are my favorite comments from emails so far: “I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner! “ “This project is helping me repair a relationship that means a lot to me. When I did the pre-work of coming
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I used to be a high school tennis coach and one year at the end of the season banquet one of the parents said, “You can always tell how much the kids like the coach by how many nicknames they give her/him.” Seeing as I had managed to rack a slew of them up that
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I can’t believe I’ve waited 23 days for the all important Haiku letter. Here’s a quick tutorial and some examples on how to write one. And here’s a nice little tool. The Prompt: Turn over your envelope of the day and haiku it up.   Time to make someone’s day! If you’re new to this, check
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Time passes swiftly, but is it not joyous to see how great and growing is the treasure we have gathered together, amid the storms and stresses of so many eventful and, to millions, tragic and terrible years? – Winston Churchill to his wife Clementine You don’t realize of course, E.B., how fascinatingly beautiful you have
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When a picture is worth a thousand words… I’ve been here too many times to count and no matter what, each time I round the corner and see this before me, I lose my breath. Being so close to something this beautiful inspires me in a thousand different ways. I hope you will be inspired
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For my 17th birthday one of my best friends sent me a singing telegram to our junior prom. The guy was dressed in a giant banana costume and he came running up to me with balloons singing happy birthday. It was one of the coolest surprises I’ve ever received. Sending a telegram to your person
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Today is Dylan’s friend’s birthday. Dylan goes a little crazy when it comes to birthdays – she’s been talking about what we can do to surprise her friend and decorate her space for the past month. We decided on balloons, some streamers, and other things that would not make any noise while we were trying
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We spent yesterday afternoon at Slick Rock. I could play on those rocks for days and never tire of it. Today we’re doing Arches – not because we haven’t already been there a thousand times, but because the last time my daughter saw it she was barely a year old. And also, it’s our anniversary,
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Right now I’m in the car driving with my husband, eight-year old daughter, and her friend. We’re headed to Moab for a much desired weekend on the rocks. Moab is one of those places that reminds you of how small you are. With bright blue sky as far as the eye can see, and nothing
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In my attempt to get everything ready to head to Moab this weekend, I forgot to come up with something brilliant for the letter prompt today. Ha ha. However, while I was walking home from school with my daughter, she asked me a question about my work. She’s always asking me questions about my work.
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It’s tax day. It’s my mother-in-law’s birthday. And, it marks the halfway point of 30 letters of love. That’s a mighty good day. I’m not a big fan of quotes. Well, that’s probably not accurate. I used to love them. My dad used to give them to me on tiny little notecards and I used
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Today my hope is that you approach your letter with love. That it is not just another item “to do” but something you can’t wait to attend to. And that you take a moment to detach from the chaos and the busyness of life to thank a friend, be a friend, and give your time
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Today is always a sad day for me. My sister died on this very day many years ago and it’s usually just one of those days I want to be over. I think about what she went through, my parent’s loss, and how awful it is to not have my sister here. Not the best
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It’s Sunday. I’m kind of tired. I have a house full of family in town for the weekend and I’m drunk from eating, conversing, and lots of laughing. So, this is just a quick little love to note, short and sweet. The prompt: Sometimes life feels hard and chaotic and I lose myself a bit.
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One of my least favorite quotes of all time is this: Those who cannot do, teach. Here’s why. Number one: People who say that are just angry on some level. Angry or resentful or something. Number two: It profoundly undervalues the importance of teaching and being taught on every level. Personally I can think of
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Dang, you’re a third of the way through your pile. How are you feeling? Everyone should have a day named after them, don’t you think? A day that celebrates their magnificence. Okay, I guess that day is your birthday, but since we only get one day, I move to do away with birthday presents in
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Today’s prompt is one of my favorites. Here’s why. During one of my previous letter writing extravaganzas, I picked up an envelope and as soon as I saw the person’s name, a word literally appeared in front of me on a bright, sky blue background.  I see words in the air a lot. It’s kind
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One of my favorite jobs of all time was teaching at a private school in Virginia. One of my co-workers and I hit it off immediately and even though we haven’t worked together in 10 years, we still keep in touch. During my time there she lost an insane amount of weight, started exercising every
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One day my girlfriend and I came up with this idea to get pretty notecards and write one of our friend’s names at the top of each card. We then passed the notecards around to all of our friends (except the one whose name was on the card) and had each person write the one
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One of my top 5 favorite books of all time is How Will You Measure Your Life. I have gotten into the habit of reading it once a year because it’s such a powerful reminder to be present to your life and to be deliberate in the choices you make and the action you take.
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This one is easy peasy mac and cheesy. The prompt: In case it’s been a while since I told you, you’re one of the coolest chicks I know. I love the way you ______________ and how you always _____________. Thank you for being the _______________ to my __________________.   Time to make someone’s day! And
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I received an email from someone yesterday who said this, “I have only written 3 letters but I already feel the joy of writing 100. I can’t believe I did not do this sooner. Thank you! P.S. I wanted to send this to you in a hand-written letter but I couldn’t wait for you to
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Let’s start the day with a simple act of gratitude. We all know the power and overwhelming joy that comes from taking a moment to be grateful for the world around us. Today declare your specific gratitude to the remarkable person who graces the front of your envelope today. The prompt: I thought of you
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No matter who’s name you pluck from your pile today, there is something about them you adore. It’s the thing that makes them unique, the quality or essence that makes knowing them and being with them – even if it has been years – an absolute gift. Today you’re going to tell them how much
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This is a very exciting day. A full pile of envelopes and 30 unsuspecting friends, family, acquaintances, and others who have no idea that something fabulous is going to land in their mailbox one day very soon. “There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved.” – Charles Morgan And to get
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I used to keep a gratitude journal. But after years of listing out everything I was grateful for or taking pictures of things that made me happy, I realized that while it did provide some benefit, on some level it felt like a self serving exercise. It was all about me. Sure, there were plenty
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I learned this tool a few years ago when I read this book and it was so brilliantly simple, I still use it every time I’m faced with a decision. It might not be the only tool I use, but it finds it’s way into my inner discussion without fail. It’s called 10-10-10. And here’s
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Yesterday I wrote about why you should stay in a job you hate. Sometimes you have to. But not always. If you can change, then consider it because even though it’s possible to get happier now in a job you hate, bad things can also happen if you stay for too long in that hated
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As much as I hate advising people to stay in careers they hate, sometimes I have to. Sometimes you are the ONLY one paying the bills so quitting your job and trying on a completely new career is not an option. Sometimes you or your kids MUST have good health insurance and you can’t risk
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If I remember correctly, which I probably don’t, I’m pretty sure the quote I submitted for my senior yearbook was this: “What was once an experiment is now a habit.” – Unknown Maybe I was trying to be cryptic about my life at the time…and sound more interesting. Likely I was trying to justify the
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It seems like knowing what we’re good at would be “adult 101” but most of us get so messed up in our heads, with so many doubts and uncertainties, that we lose sight of what we’re really good at. I got my hands read one time and I learned that our fingerprints are set at
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Write That Sh*t Down by Hand . . . and for God’s Sake, Woman, Be Specific!” It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one’s thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them.” —Isabel Colegate Whenever I need to figure something out or I really want
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It’s easy to look at other people’s lives and think that’s what you want. But there are a couple of problems with that. 1. You NEVER see the whole picture so you’re working with incomplete information. 2. Most of the time you have no real sense of how they did their life so that it
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“Character is who you are in the dark.” I remember many years ago one of my good friends (A) was getting married and she had decided not to invite one of our other friends (B) who had been a key part of our group since we were 13 years old. From what I remember, they
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A friend of mine said this to me the other day, “You text like a dude. I love it.” She went on to say that in an attempt to coordinate a girls’ night out she unknowingly instigated the longest group messaging string known to man, and it nearly blew up her phone. She showed me
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