I had sex a handful of times before I realized something wasn’t right

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It took a couple attempts. A few painful attempts. But he finally managed to get it in there.

THIS? THIS is what people wait their whole lives for?” I thought when we were through.

I stared at the ceiling feeling dizzy and nauseous from the ride.

“ Disappointed” can’t begin to describe how I felt. It was the most anti-climatic, unnecessarily painful chore I’ve ever put my body through. But I remained sexually active with my boyfriend until we ended our relationship two years later.

It just felt like this raw, in-and-out motion with the occasional (and uncomfortable) thud against…


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This year has been an emotionally trying year for a number of reasons.

I could spend this entire article listing the ways we’ve been put through the wringer. But I don’t think we need the reminder.

Sometimes what we need is someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on or just an empty field to scream at.

These options aren’t always available or convenient and when they do become convenient we often feel worse. Or, we regret divulging too much or second-guess the person we confided in.

We may vent to the “right” people or vent in the wrong…


And why your resume is effectively worthless

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“You should be grateful you even have a job!” my aunt scolded, “these are tough times, why look for a new one?”

What my aunt didn’t know was that tough times bring clarity. This year showed me that I needed change. And it had nothing to do with ingratitude.

I needed a new job.

There were a few things I’d compromised on for far too long, like structure, collaboration and communication. My work place was sorely lacking in these areas. And things weren’t getting better.

So, I searched for better.

No workplace is perfect, but I needed functionality. I knew…


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Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

How I Mustered The Strength To Break An Emotional Tether

I always answered my ex’s phone calls after we broke up. Regardless of what I was doing, who I was with, or what time it was, I always answered his calls.

Then one day, I didn’t.

It took a long time to gather the strength to let my phone ring out or to reject the call altogether. You see, I have always had a hard time saying ‘no,’ especially to him. I shy away from doing anything that would hurt someone else’s feelings — even if necessary. …


My Strategy For Growth That’s Not Centered On Curation

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Whenever someone asks me to describe Medium, I tell them it’s like YouTube for writers.

Medium is a platform that allows anyone to use their freedom of expression through words. If you do well enough, you’ll be rewarded in cash and with a loyal following that can take your voice and brand anywhere.

People often give me puzzled looks when I make the YouTube/Medium analogy. After all, YouTube is audio-visual and Medium is a literary platform. …


Dating

Navigating new found singleness was more complex than I thought

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We weren't a couple. Every night we spoke on the phone for at least four hours, during the day for at least one, but we weren't a couple. We lived in two different states, yet we continued to entertain each other as though we were distant neighbors.

I must admit, it felt good to confide in someone who shared similar goals and fears as I did.

He was just as scared yet willing as I was to venture into the great unknown that is the artist's life. …


On-the-job burnout isn’t fatigue; it’s a sign of a much larger problem

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Photo by Daniel Mingook Kim on Unsplash

There are a plethora of emotions you feel when you’re unhappy at work. You ask yourself countless questions. You try to define your feelings — characterize them as either boredom or fatigue, career-envy or a lack of enthusiasm.

You lock yourself in the bathroom stall and cry.

Or not.

Maybe you’re not the crying type. Perhaps you’re angry. You may even be a little passive-aggressive. Whatever form your indifference takes, there’s one mutual feeling we all share when we’re sick and tired of the mundane: burn out.

I refer to it as the brick wall.

Every day feels like you’re…


Careers

And My Family Is Against It

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I work in Finance and despise it. The decision to move on and hang up my 9 to 5 did not come easily. It took years to build the courage to leave and months of saving.

I stumbled into my current profession by accident. Growing up, I never knew what I wanted to do for a living. I always found it ridiculous to ask children that question anyway. Adults rarely discover their path, how can we expect a child to do the same? We refuse to test their aptitude or foster their skills and gifts.

My parents made the decision…


Parenting and Money

And what happened to me as a child when my parents did not

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Photo by Asdii Wang from Pexels

Many parents do not speak to their children about money. Actually, many parents do not speak to their children about the household’s financial affairs at all.

Perhaps there’s a belief that money isn’t a child’s concern, or that the concept is way above their heads.

Some parents with more means may undervalue their wealth or dance around specific questions, thinking that their children aren’t prepared for the subject or won’t value the information.

Parents below the poverty line may have no choice but to be honest about their financial predicament, but may still shy away from educating their children beyond…


And I’ve Come To Live With That

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Photo by luizclas from Pexels

Eighteen isn’t too young to experience true love. And that’s what I thought my first relationship was. I thought it was true love. Except, it wasn’t.

My college sweetheart was chivalrous, sweet, and complicated. He opened car doors, carried groceries, and pulled chairs. He was an all-around good guy. But, he was complicated. At least, too complicated for a teenager like myself.

I realized early on that I entered the relationship for the wrong reasons. Yes, I cared about this man, but my reasons for being with him were way too practical.

I sought to remedy any discrepancy in his…

Alex Azra Pope

I write of love and life // AzraPope@gmail.com

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