Are Great Minds Born Out Of Just Being Sick Of All The Bullshit?

Are Great Minds Born Out Of Just Being Sick Of All The Bullshit?

Are great meditative minds born out of just being sick of all the bullshit?

I don’t consider myself a great mind by any stretch – but I do think I have a tendency to question what I’ve been told or see around me. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have quit my job to travel full-time and I wouldn’t hold a lot of the beliefs I do (like not believing in monogamy, for example). I think it’s that same tendency to question that has led me to the following place: sick of all the bullshit.

When I say “all” the bullshit, I’m including both major and minor bullshit into that analysis. The “major” bullshit: Donald Trump getting elected, racist cops that kill people for no reason, wars happening, children dying. The “minor” bullshit: people that don’t give a shit about what’s happening in the world, people that are selfish, people that sell air to other people through internet advertising.

The last example may seem weird, but it’s what got me to this “sick of the bullshit” place. Because I’m a blogger and I post about my own blogs, Facebook has been showing me advertisements for other bloggers that are trying to build their own businesses. Even if you aren’t a blogger, you may have seen the “here’s how I grew my email list to 20,000 subscribers in three months” or other various bullshit posts.

The thing is, information like that could be helpful. If any of it were true. If you really had grown your email list to 20,000 subscribers in a short amount of time, you’d be selling and talking to your base and doing what you love, not selling bullshit marketing courses on the internet. And that’s what I am calling them – bullshit – because most of them are born out of people just trying to make money by selling “strategies” that don’t really work.

And I’m sick of it. Just like I’m sick of people living fake lives on Instagram, I really hate the trend of bloggers selling bridges to other bloggers as the “best’ means of making money. The LITMO Life is about travel, yes, but it’s also about living the life you want. I wrote a post about the best blogging tools a few weeks ago, because I do love blogging, but almost as soon as I wrote it, I realized I didn’t want to go that direction with my blog. I don’t want to encourage people to do exactly what I’m doing or even learn to do what I’m doing – I want people to think critically about what might make them happy and then I want to help them achieve that.

I’m also pretty sick of this trend f people being caught up in their own lives, to the extent that they can’t even notice what’s happening around them. Like, I understand if you like traveling, or sports, or makeup – but does that mean you can’t also be knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world and find a way to help? Does that mean you have to look away when someone shows you or tells you real information?

Our world is so screwed up to the extent that we praise and value and spend money on celebrity worship and we willfully ignore what’s happening to our neighbors and friends. We spend a lot of our time on the internet, but instead of learning or growing, we’re busy conning other humans into buying dumb shit.

All this bullshit stuff has been bothering me so much that I’ve considered quitting blogging and social media. Still sort of considering it. The problem is that I really love blogging, but I’m not sure my psyche can handle all the crappiness and deception and marketing that comes along with it. I also love social media, most of the time, but when it becomes a tool to sell people bridges and other bloggers seem to have no problem with that, I hate that, too.

I’ve lately started to think the answer might be just going to live in the mountains somewhere and starting a farm or something where I am totally self-sustaining and isolated, with my puppy. It kind of sounds like paradise, no?

The Internet Is A Bullshit Cesspool Of Competitive Mediocrity

The Internet Is A Bullshit Cesspool Of Competitive Mediocrity

I haven’t written in a long, long time.

And I suppose, that got to me a bit (well, not NOT writing, just the idea of having a weirdly unfinished blog on the internets). So I wanted to take some time to gather my thoughts and talk for a second about why I stopped writing.

It can be summed up in the title of this post: the internet is a bullshit cesspool of competitive mediocrity. And of come to loathe it. Not just mildly dislike it: actually truly detest and abhor it. As well as most of the people on it.

Now, it’s no secret that I haven’t been a fan of people for a really long time. Since I got married and began hearing about all of people’s bullshit opinions without being asked, I’ve slowly delved deeper and deeper into a happy hole or anthropophobia. I’ve been spending the past several months with my husband, my animals, my family, and that’s it.

I honestly can’t even be bothered lately, to answer phone calls or texts. I’ve become the person I hate – the one that doesn’t understand human connection is all we have.

I haven’t always been like this. In fact, I’ve written extensively about the importance of connection and the fact that I liked Facebook and Instagram for the connection they gave us with other humans, despite their many flaws. I was a people person. And I was happy with that.

But what can I say? A couple of years more of life experience and I couldn’t hold on to my love of people anymore. Maybe a better woman would have been able to, but not me. I’ll be the first to admit that the shitty people in the world got to me and changed me. I don’t know how I could possibly stay who I was in the face of the garbage in the world.

And this isn’t a “woe is me” post. I’m not saying or implying (nor do I believe) that I’m special and people were uniquely shitty to me. People are shitty. The world we live in is a shitty place. The election, the aftermath, what’s still going on in the United States today: I don’t believe in the good in people anymore because I don’t believe there is any.

And I’m not talking about ordinary, garden-variety shitty or large-scale, power-hungry shitty. I’m talking about both. I’m talking about people who:

  • Are racists and treat minorities like dirt just because they can
  • Are narcissistic assholes
  • Believe they are better than everyone
  • Spend hours typing trollish comments on the internet because their life is meaningless
  • Mistreat animals
  • Mistreat humans

And on and on. You get the point.

The LITMO Life started because I was going on an adventure and wanted to share it with people I really loved. The LITMO Life grew because it started to draw strangers interested in my story. The LITMO Life stalled because I couldn’t handle the armchair assholes.

I left social media and it made me super happy. I left The LITMO Life and it didn’t make me happy at all. When I came back to social media exclusively for yoga (one of the unfortunate facts is that to build even a brick-and-mortar business, you need SOME kind of social media presence, I’m currently working on how to get around this one but until then I’ve figured, if you can’t beat them, temporarily join them – and hey no shame in admitting I really want to own my own yoga studio in about six months, following it up soon after with a vegan restaurant lolol), I realized that to some extent, I could make it work for me, but I had to have the guts. For a while, I really don’t. Maybe, still don’t.

Again, I’ll be the first to admit it. In the face of terrible humans, I’m not one to grin and bear it. I’m one to feel stunned, run home, and lock myself in a room in tears, wishing there weren’t so many awful people in the world.

The LITMO Life could exist and flourish because of this thing we call the internet. This endless space of connection and criticism and love and hate and knowledge and ignorance and music and silence and movement and stillness. The internet that allows us to get all the information we could ever need – and all the information we will NEVER need – at the simple click of a button.

The internet that I, now, truly despise.

The fact that I’m typing this on the internet on a still-live website isn’t beyond me. I haven’t been able to fully let go of The LITMO Life because, well, I love it. And I’ve loved it for a long time.

The LITMO Life, unlike many other parts of the internet, is entirely ME. It has no editor, I can shut off the comments if I want, and I’m not bound to write what I think will get the most page views. I’m bound to write what makes me happy.

Still, I can’t get beyond the internet as a place that exists for people to amplify themselves in every way. I stopped writing not because I felt like I didn’t have anything to say, but because I felt like there was no point. There are a lot of vegans, a lot of people that don’t believe in having kids or monogamy, a lot of people who want to make the world a better place. I didn’t feel like I was adding anything to any discourse by shouting into the void – and I still don’t. For better or worse, I feel that most things written on the internet are just that – shouting into a huge void. That’s why I stopped writing for other outlets. The race to the bottom of “what story can draw the most sick, sad, pathetic people in” was a race I didn’t want a place in. I didn’t want to share my stories just for people to marvel at, like a zoo animal. I started writing to SHARE and make real connections. I stopped writing because I realized most people don’t want real connections, they want to gawk and stare and point and whisper.

And I feel like the internet is dying – that while, for a time, it was the way to get things accomplished and build the life you want, I just don’t see how that’s still possible in 2018 and beyond.

There’s just too much bullshit on the internet. There’s too much of everything. How are you supposed to feel even remotely unique when there are about a million other people feeling exactly what you do and about 500,000 of those people have the time, the skill, the fucking PATIENCE to curate their social media, their websites, do it all “right”? I don’t have the time or skill or patience. And I don’t honestly care if I actually am unique – all I cared about, for a time, was meeting those other people that were like me. But the internet didn’t let me do that, because, well, the BULLSHIT.

Even worse, the internet doesn’t allow you to change your mind. Build your career on pieces about the single life? Fuck you for getting married. Build your career on pieces about travel? Fuck you for staying home for a few months. Build your career on anything else – a particular videogame, a style of writing, restaurant critiques, etc., and want to change your mind, your direction, your life? Well, a big FUCK YOU because the people of the internet only value one thing: stagnancy.

So, people of the internet, fuck you.

I’ve missed The LITMO Life because it’s ME. And I’m ashamed that I let all the stupid bullshit get to me, but not entirely because that’s who I am. I’m sensitive as fuck and people being mean to other people really bothers me.

If nothing else, I’ve realized I want to keep The LITMO Life because it’s my dad’s legacy, because I wrote about so much of my life on here and will want to read all of that in here’s to come. Because I want to build something for MYSELF, where I talk about the things I love and ignore the things I don’t. I want to blabber on about how much I love my husband and my puppy and kitty and chatter about my new love of new things and my old love of forgotten things.

So, this time, I say to just MYSELF: Welcome to The LITMO Life, Anjali. It’s fucking missed you.

Happiness Isn’t A Static Concept (So How Could Anything Else Be?)

Happiness Isn’t A Static Concept (So How Could Anything Else Be?)

I’m not very consistent.

Readers of The LITMO Life will know that this is true of me and everything. I’m not consistent about blogging, I’m not consistent about YouTubing, I’m not consistent about what I want to do for more than one moment in time.

Throughout the time period that I would consider my “adulthood,” I’ve been consistent about maybe four things at all times, without fail: my puppy, my baby sister, veganism, and working out. These are the things that I would consider “me” and the things I found most important.

Now, I’m adding a husband to that consistency list, but the rest is still the same.

And over the past few months (considering my last blog, this also isn’t a secret), I’ve caught some flack for changing my mind about marriage and been accused of being insincere about my relationship views in the past.

But here’s the thing: Although I know I’m not generally stable, neither is happiness.

Happiness isn’t a static block that sits still and waits for you to find it. It’s a constantly-moving target that shifts from month to month or week to week or even sometimes, day to day.

Happiness doesn’t stay exactly the same over a lifetime, so how could anything else? Unless, of course, you’ve specifically chosen to make something stay, but that’s not happiness, that’s a choice.

I realized, when I was defending myself to yet another person, discussing how I could both hate commitment and want to try it, that the things that have been consistent in my life have been because they were things I decided on. People and values that I decided to maintain consistency with. Ideals that I know are going to be timelessly important to me.

So, what was the list again?

My puppy: My best friend in the whole world and a life for whom I chose to take responsibility.

My baby sister: My other best friend in the world and someone seven years younger that I knew I could be there for.

Veganism: Not a food choice or a lifestyle choice, but a moral decision that my taste buds aren’t more important than the lives of animals.

Working out: The one thing that gives me sanity, always, in every circumstance no matter what.

(And now) Husband: Like my puppy and my sister, this is a human that I not only love, but that I’ve decided to love every day forever. This is a human whose relationship with me won’t be subject to the whims and flights of *feelings*, it’ll instead be guided by the decision to get up and love every single day.

These are all things that nourish my soul, but they are also things I decided that I was going to commit to and love and give importance to forever. Veganism and working out of course make me happy, but they are so much more than that. They are commitments I made to myself. Similarly, my puppy and baby sister and husband of course make me happy, but they are also people who I committed to love and be there for.

Some views outside of this list have remained consistent, too. Views that some would call “liberal” and views that I just call basic human decency: the view that women are equal to men, the view that everyone deserves the same right to love and marry, the view that racism is wrong.

But these are just views, they aren’t happiness.

The things that have remained consistent in my life are bigger than happiness, because happiness only matters sometimes. If I get happiness out of eating a steak, but a cow has to die for that, well then, as far as I’m concerned, my happiness doesn’t matter.

But for other things, chasing happiness is just perfect. For the things that don’t matter, the things that are subject to human whims, the things that are malleable — happiness is just fine to chase.

But that said, happiness is also a weird, elusive concept that runs from our grasp just as we find it.

One day, bouncing from state to state and meeting tons of new people every day made me happy. The next day, being home with close friends and comfort made me happy. Sometimes, eating chocolate and staying up late makes me happy. Some other times, getting up at 5 AM and eating raw vegetables all day makes me happy.

Who’s to fucking know when our happiness will change?

And who are we to judge when someone else’s happiness changes?

That’s part of the reason I’ve always craved novelty over stability. Because I knew things didn’t make me happy for longer than about five seconds and I liked constantly finding new ways to stimulate myself.

And so what if it changes in a way that we (or anyone else) couldn’t have expected?

One day, being single made me happy. And I thought I’d feel the way forever. But surprise, I’m young, and dumb, and who the fuck knows what’s coming. That’s not to say I think marriage is right for everyone, just that I changed my mind about what would make me happy.

The difference is, with marriage, I committed. So even if it doesn’t make me happy every minute of every day, I’m in it.

I’ve noticed that it’s not just me, though and that people seem to beat themselves up when they realize something they once loved is no longer making them happy. Whether it’s a runner that’s lost their stride or a chef who is starting to hate cooking, we sort of lose our minds and feel like we have to go through this whole period of redefining ourselves when we lose our happiness with something we once treasured.

And it sucks, because all self-discovery sucks.

But so what?

The important thing to remember is that happiness, even when you find it, won’t stay perfect that way forever.

It’ll change and grow and maybe, one day, disappear.

And then you’ll just have to go out on your next adventure and chase it down again.

What I’m Doing Now & What’s Coming

What I’m Doing Now & What’s Coming

I want to make the world a better place.

This isn’t a secret, I’m a total hippie. In that vein, I’d like to welcome you to the new LITMO Life.

If you’ve been keeping up with my extremely sporadic blog posts, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling a bit, not just with the direction of The LITMO Life, but also with having the time/motivation to write.

A lot changed after I got married, not the least of which being that a lot of people that I really liked disappointed me with their judgment. And you know, strangers on the internet, too. So I lost my mojo for a while. And I was enjoying just living life with my husband, doing our thing and not worrying about planning blog posts and YouTube videos.

There was also something else going on that I didn’t really share before: I was working my ass off to pay down a bunch of medical bills for my pup. If you know me in real life, you’ll know that three years ago, she got massively sick and almost died. The medical bills for that were….well, a lot. More than a person getting sick let’s say. And you know, no insurance! I was fortunate enough to never have any debt before, so her bills really freaked me out. So I was paying them down and recently reached a point, signing a big client, where I could have them totally wiped out. So I decided to put my head down and just work really hard. That meant that the things that were once a huge priority, like The LITMO Life, had to take a little back seat for a little while, which was fine with me, because, well, different things are important at different times of life.

I’m happy to say that I’m done! So now not only can I work even less, I can also get back to The (new) LITMO Life.

Not only that, but since I’ve been happy practicing law for myself, I decided to upgrade my website (with my new last name of course). That’s also done, so I have more time to get back to the things that matter to me!

Why is it new? Well, as I’ve said before, it’s less about travel and more about, just, well, love! You see, in getting caught up in all the marketing bullshit that comes with being on the Internet in 2017, I also just realized that even though I didn’t need to write about or Youtube about only one topic, the things I do write and Youtube about all have a unifying theme: love.

Even travel writing, that’s essentially about love. It’s about exploring new parts of the world and yourself to be better at, well, loving! Whether it’s loving life or loving you or loving other people.

I love writing about love, in its many different forms. Love of animals (veganism), love of change (nonmonogamy and non-traditional thoughts), love of making the world better (social justice) and love of others (friends and lovers).

So this is how things are changing: I have a new schedule for LITMO’ing and YouTubing. I have more time. I have a clearer-focused picture of what I want to write about (a lot more love). And I’m excited to begin!

Talk to you all really soon! <3

The 10 Texts That Keep Romance Alive

The 10 Texts That Keep Romance Alive

The 10 Texts That Keep Romance Alive

Romance is fucking real ya’ll.

It turns out I just didn’t know it until I married the best man on the planet.

My husband and I are pukey: I understand this as an objective fact. I’m also okay with it. At any given moment, my phone is filled with romantic text after romantic text from my husband – and so is his from me.

Because of the new direction of The LITMO Life, and because of my incredible excitement to get going, here’s my first new favorite post about love: the 10 most romantic texts I my husband and I send to each other every week.

1. The “I Can’t Wait” Text

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“I can’t WAIT for Imagine!”

“I am sooooo stoked for our trip!”

“I can’t wait to get to kiss you next.”

These are actual texts I have sent to my husband.

The “I Can’t Wait” text is something I love to send to him, because I believe all experiences happen through three major elements: anticipation, experience, and recall (more on that below and more on that to come in another blog).

Anticipating an event is part of the major fun of it. Think about Christmas when you were a kid: how far in advance did you start marking your calendar? As adults, we forget that anticipating something adds a layer to its experience.

So when my husband and I are planning something fun and sexy, whether it’s a music festival or just a planned night at home for drinking wine and having sex, I like to build up the anticipation as much as I can by talking about it a lot.

And it works, every time, to heighten the experience.

2. The “Remember When” Text

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“Remember that time that we pulled into the bank parking lot to have sex…” (<— Actual text I’ve sent to my husband).

“Remember our wedding night…”

“Wasn’t that concert one of the best things we’ve done lately?”

The “Remember When” text is just like the anticipation text, except it’s the last stage of experience: recall. I love continuing the experience of something good by reminding my husband (and myself) of it. Sometimes I even do the recall part through a conversation, just sitting on a couch with him reliving a fun memory.

It definitely helps remind us that we aren’t old and boring, on those nights that we are just sitting around, and it continues to bond us over our great experience.

3. The “What If We” Text

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“What if we went to bar and pretended to be strangers and hit on each other?”

“What if we got naked and pushed boundaries tonight?”

That “what if we” text is one of the most insanely fun texts I send to my husband because it sparks our imagination for things we’d like to do. I like to think of dirty, sexy, fun, outrageous, you-name-it things that I might like to try in the future and send this information to my husband at the most random times.

I find that it turns me on, it turns him on, and often, it’s something we end up doing. Win-win-win.

4. The “I Miss You” Text

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It’s true: I have a big need for personal space in a relationship. And my husband gets this, so we try to make it a point to do solo activities along with couples activities.

That said, none of that means I don’t miss him like crazy.

Often, as soon as I’ve lefft the house, I’ll send him an “I miss you” text. And when he’s at work? Forget it, I’m basically pestering him with GIFs that say “I miss you” all day.

Because I DO miss him! I recognize that to be a healthy individual in a healthy couple, we can’t be together 24/7. But that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to let my husband know how much I love him when we’re not together.

I do, and he loves it!

5. The “I Appreciate You” Text

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“You are the best husband in the world.” (<– I send this to my husband MULTIPLE times a day.)

“Thank you for stopping to get the chocolate.”

“I am so lucky to be your wife.”

I think my husband is the best man in the entire world and I always feel super grateful that I get to KNOW him, let alone be his wife.

And I know he feels that same way about me. Because of this, we’re constantly blowing up each other’s phones with how wonderful we think the other is and how appreciative we are of our life together.

I’ve been in relationships before where I never really said thank you. A lot of that is because I can be a douche (it’s true) but a lot of it is just because I wasn’t with The One person that was made for me. When Jonathon and I connected, it just made sense and I always wanted him to know how much I appreciate him.

It’s a romantic text that not only helps keep the spark alive, but it’s just a nice thing to send and receive.

6. The “Sext” Text

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This one should be self-explanatory. When you get married, that doesn’t mean you have to stop dating and hitting on each other!

I hit on my husband several times a day, both in person and via text. The sext could be a naked picture of me or it could be me sending a suggestive GIF or it could be me literally texting, “Hey, wanna get it on in the shower when you get home?”

Although we do have an active sex life because we both have a high sex drive (we set a “for jokes” goal of having sex once a day for the entirety of our married life but it turned out we didn’t need to set that goal because it was more like two or three times a day that one of us felt the need to have the other immediately), it’s also fun AF to keep the heat going when we’re not physically together.

The sext is one of my favorites.

7. The “Compliment” Text

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“You’re perfect.”

“I’m so proud of you.”

“You are the cutest!”

These are all texts I’ve sent to my husband within the last 5 days. There’s nothing like a good compliment to boost the ego a bit, but also, these are all true things I feel about him, so why would I keep it to myself?

I legitimately think my husband is the hottest, handsomest, kindest, hardest-working, most perfect man in the entire world. And I know he thinks I’m the prettiest, smartest, sweetest, most loving woman in the entire world. So we blow each other up with compliments, because why not? It’s what people do in the early stages of dating, and we want to keep that love and romance throughout our married life.

8. The “I Can’t Believe” Text

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“Did you know my last name is Nowakowski!?”

“We went to high school together!”

“We’re MARRIED!”

These are all actual things I’ve said to my husband, as well. Sometimes, I just get totally overwhelmed with the reality that is my amazing life: in a “job” I love, working for myself, doing what I want, not answering to anyone, and having found The One, when I didn’t even believe The One existed before!

When I get overwhelmed in these moments, I share it with my husband, especially when it’s about him! Sure, our courtship was faster than most but still, even if we had had a more traditional romantic timeline, I would stilll be overwhelmed with getting to be married to the best man in the world.

So I tell him. A lot! And it helps keep our relationship full of energy and excitement.

9. The “Joke” Text

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I always say to Jonathon that it’s funny we’ll never have kids because he’s so good at dad jokes.

The “Joke” text is one that Jonathon and I send back and forth to each other a lot. He loves dad jokes and cheesy puns and I love lame ass pick-up lines (“what’s a guy like you doin in a place like this….” sent while standing in our kitchen).

This type of text reminds us both that our relationship is about FUN. Too often, people get married or in other serious relationships and just start adulting – talking about bills and schedules and obligations and shit.

We don’t do that. We have fun, first and foremost. Our marriage is a partnership between besties, before anything else, and with some hot sex thrown in, we both feel like we have the best relationship in the world.

10. The “I Love You” Text

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This one is fairly self-explanatory. 🙂 Sometimes, for no reason at all, you just have to tell your partner you love them. I do it to my husband probably way more often than needed, but the truth is, sometimes I’m just totally overwhelmed with love for him for no reason at all – other than that he’s perfect!

A simple “I love you” text will go a long way to make your partner’s day and make them super excited for the next time they see you.

These are the texts my husband and I send each other on a regular basis. I didn’t start to go through a checklist or categorization of texts, of course, they are just the ones I find myself sending (and receiving) most regularly that keep our spark hot and kicking! <3

Want To Help Curb Violence With Your Thoughts & Prayers? There’s A Game For That.

Want To Help Curb Violence With Your Thoughts & Prayers? There’s A Game For That.

Let me start by saying: I know this game isn’t new, so for those of you rushing to want to let me know it came out last year, I’m aware.

That said, last year was the horrific shooting at Pulse Nightclub, during a time I lived in, and loved, Orlando.

I wrote this article for The Huffington Post at the time.

Unfortunately, that article, where I talk about the way that people respond to these tragedies with social media updates, thoughts, prayers, profile pic changes, and other bullshit, no-action actions, is still relevant today.

Even more so, since 59 people were just killed in Las Vegas. Even after the 49 people killed in a nightclub in Orlando. And even after the 20 elementary school students killed in Connecticut before that.

So since I’m a writer, and not a game developer (I wish!), I was thrilled to see that someone had taken my feelings and put them into a game: Thoughts & Prayers. Officially, the game is by GOP Arcade, but I would love to meet and shake the hand of the developer that created it.

If you’re interested in seeing how your Thoughts & Prayers measure up against gun violence, here you go: [Game Screenshot Above]