We’re quick to dismiss the truth even when it’s right in front of us.

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I brace myself for the onslaught of comments. The inflammatory posts from instigators who wage cowardly battles against confident women who aren’t ashamed of who they are. I scroll quickly looking to confirm long-held insecurities festering among the replies. But what’s this?

Beautiful, as always

That bag though…and the shoes

There’s beauty in neuroticism even if everyone thinks you’re a pain.

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Psychologists believe that our personality boils down to five traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. If you forget, OCEAN is an easy way to remember. These traits sound pretty good, right?

That is until you get to the last letter. If Extraversion is the outgoing and ever-popular Marcia Brady…


Bonding through play means staying positive and learning what your dog enjoys

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The cover on my patio chair has suddenly come to life. If you listen closely, you can hear thrashing sounds and grunts. It isn’t some kind of mystical force at work. Instead, what you’ll find is a bulldog and a French bulldog who delight in making their own fun.


We should only be too happy to let others decide what we can and cannot do.

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It’s my first week at a new job. The dress code is business casual which, for grad students, means a shirt without coffee stains and a sweater blazer with maximum dog fur. I greet my new teammate with a forced smile. She’s the wide-eyed Gen Z to my jaded millennialness.

Smart girls like me should be only too happy to let a hot, popular guy cheat off us … right?

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I still remember the look of confusion on his face as he leaned in close. I could smell the haunting aroma of hair gel and Axe body spray. What girl wouldn’t be tempted by the subtle notes of entitlement and overconfidence?

Only months ago he had sauntered into our grade…

It’s easy to overlook what gives us meaning and worth.

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We all have that friend who tells us to “focus on the positive” when we’re struggling with something. Another version of this is when I hear them use the terms “first world” or “champagne problems” to describe what I’m experiencing. It’s true that some kinds of stress are temporary and…

Nandini Maharaj, PhD

Writer. Dog mom. Exploring relationships and how they impact the way we live, work, and see ourselves. Stories about dogs and their people. nandinimaharaj.com

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