your questions, please

TGIM! I’m starting off this shiny new week by asking for your questions. As you may remember from my most recent contest, I’ll be launching a help video series soon called Help Wanted. Some of you have emailed me with questions about boys, friends, home, and school. I am far from an expert on any of these topics. But I love getting your emails and writing back to everyone! And I really do miss being able to give my students advice when they’d come to me in my teaching days.

So I made an executive decision to answer some of your questions in video form. This will be a good way to share advice with even more friendly neighbors. I’ll be choosing a few of your questions for each Help Wanted video. Which means it’s time for your questions! Please leave any questions you’d like in the comments section. Include your first name and age. I can’t wait to get this started.

Some other things to share with you…

A big shout-out goes to Kara Doyle. Kara is my fitness instructor, mentor, and friend. I’ve been taking her Zumba classes for almost two years, plus total body and core since last summer. Because of Kara, I have all this renewed energy for working out. Her classes are amazing. I actually look forward to going to the gym. She has whipped my body into shape and continues to push me toward my next goals every day. Am I surprised that Kara was voted NYC’s #1 Zumba instructor? No, I am not. Her devotees have known that all along. Snaps for making working out so much fun, Kara!

January 6 was my 17-year New Yorkiversary. I moved to NYC in the Blizzard of ’96 for grad school. I had no job. I had no savings. Just big dreams of creating a better life here. I had a Knowing that New York was my true home. And I am so happy that I followed my heart. I can’t imagine being happier living anywhere else. Here’s to you, New York. You’ve been the best boyfriend a girl could ever hope for. Other than this one, of course…

(500) Days of Summer

Yesterday was a powerful day. Tomorrow is also powerful. January 8 is the day Tom meets Summer in (500) Days of Summer. This is the kind of detail hardcore fans like me notice. So when you’re going about your day tomorrow, caught up in routine and rushing from one place to the next, take a moment to look up. Your whole life could change before you even realize it.

(500) Days of Summer, Day 1

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25 thoughts on “your questions, please

  1. Okay, so right now I am with this guy who I don’t think I can give my full heart to. We just started going out but every time I kiss him I just don’t feel that happiness I did with my last boyfriend. My current boyfriend knows that I’m not completely over my last one and he is completely understanding. He knows that I loved my last boyfriend with all my heart and it was hard letting him go. The point is, I don’t know if I’ll ever develop those same strong feelings for my current boyfriend. I like him but I don’t see him as a potential person to spend the rest of my life with. I’ve known him for over six years and he has liked me ever since I met him. He is super sweet and treats me like a princess. I’m just not really attracted to him and I think that has a lot to do with it. I also have the feeling of wanting to be alone for a little longer. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, so I even asked my dad for advice. He said that since I’m about to go back to school, after having Christmas break, that we’re going to have to create space between us anyways so we can both focus on school. He said that I don’t have to break his heart just because I’m not ready for another relationship yet and just to give him a chance before I throw away someone who could possibly be my soul mate. If I were to break up with him I would still want us to be friends but it probably wouldn’t be the same and I know that I would hurt his feelings. My question is, how long do you think I should wait before I decide to make a decision on whether or not to stop our relationship or continue it? I am so confused Susane and I feel like such an awful person. I wish I would have never agreed to be with this guy in the first place. I thought I was ready but it turns out I’m not. Please help me. ❤

    • As others have stated, I know I’m not Susane but I love giving people advice, I hope you don’t mind me trying to help! I think that you know deep down what YOU want to do. As you said above, “I also have the feeling of wanting to be alone for a little longer” & “I thought I was ready but it turns out I’m not.” If you do not want to be with him, and need some you time, then just tell him so! If he is a good guy, he will completely understand, and if he gives you a hard time about it, then just firmly let him know that you just need to be by yourself right now. Tell him how much you care about him, but that you don’t feel in your heart that you can stay together with him anymore. You are not a terrible person at all for feeling this way. You need to do what is best for you, and you alone. Focus on yourself and be young and happy! Hope I was able to help some! ❤

  2. Hey Susane! My name is Rachel and I am 15 years old. I love All of you books and have read some of them more than once! I have a question for you, but it may be confusing, so I will make it simple. There is this boy I really like in my class. He is really funny and is a drummer in a band. One of my friends has known him for three years and has liked him for just as long. When she found out Iiked him thats when she told me she has liked him for three years. I asked her if it was ok for me to like him and she said sure, but I still feel like everything I do, weather it is talking or texting the boy, or whatever else, it still feels like she doesnt want me to like him.
    So I really don’t know what to do they have a great brother/sister relationship that I don’t want to interfer with even though she says its ok, but is still feel like my being watched.
    Hope that was simple enough!
    -Rachel, 15

    • Being a fellow girl who has had difficulties finding her way, and is still in the process of doing so, my best advice would be to just relax, and know that eventually you won’t feel completely lost. I think that we are all constantly trying to find our way in this world, though at times it can be overwhelming and feel as if you will never be happy. Just do what makes you happy, whether it be an activity, sport, whatever. And if you don’t know what makes you happy, then get out there and try new things, eventually you will find things that make you smile! Always be yourself, no matter what. Finding your way can be really hard, and you can feel as if you just want to reach the finish line and be settled and content. Though the truth is, the best part of finding your way really is getting there, it is the ups and downs, the sad days and happy days. We all just have to learn to embrace all of these days, and know that the journey is just as good as the destination. 🙂 ❤

  3. Hi Susane! I’ve always been a huge dreamer and analyzer. I have a tendency to overanalyze situations from the past, or worry too much about the future. Sometimes my imagination goes crazy imagining a situation, particularly with a boy, and then I’m only left to be disappointed. And then I sometimes misinterpret the actions of others for better or worse– I assume that a friend is annoyed with me by overanalyzing their tone, or I hope/assume a guy likes me just because he did something sweet. I very often wish that I could just be free of the constant yakking of my mind and just live in the moment, without constantly being concerned about what others think or what will happen next. How do you quiet the thoughts, not plan out every move, and just LIVE? I understand that it’s a process, but I want to be able to start to quiet those thoughts and listen to my intuition more.

    My intuition, or the Knowing as you call it, gets jumbled with all of my other contradicting thoughts. How do you read that intuition? I sometimes feel like I’m waiting for my life to start because I don’t listen to my intuition, and have thus missed a bunch of opportunities where I was too scared to jump.

    Thanks so much Susane, you came to my school about a year and a half ago and I’ve also read a bunch of your books, and I find you very inspiring 🙂

    – Lindsey, 16.

    • I am the same exact way. I think way too much, I overanalyze everything, and worry about the future every day. I have recently been trying, really trying to just live for the moment. It really is a lot harder than it sounds. Hang in there, us dreamers and over-analyzers must stick together! 🙂 ❤

  4. Hi Susane! My name is Anita and I’m thirteen years old. In my grade, a lot of us had grown up very fast as in boys and dating wise. Everyone has already dated, and a lot have already had their first kiss! My boyfriend and I just recently broke up because according to him things weren’t working out. We weren’t together for even a month, and I sometimes think part of the reason we broke up is because I didn’t want us to kiss. I haven’t had my first kiss yet (unlike a lot of girls in my grade) and I don’t want to be throwing it away. I’m still young and I don’t want to waste it. After people get bored of hugging and holding hands they kiss, and once they get bored of that, all that’s left is sex! And I don’t want to be one of those girls that is doing everything at sixteen all because I rushed when I was this age. I was wondering what your opinion was on the topic and if you think I’m looking at this the right way, so, what do you think?

    Also, I love your writing. All of your books inspire me to want to become a writer, and be a better person like a lot of your charecters do. What made you aspire to be a teen author?

    Thank you,
    -Anita

    • I know I’m not Susane, but just wanted to say….You go girl!
      You’re totally doing the right thing, don’t give in to peer pressure.
      I’m 22 and I still haven’t given my first kiss (though some guys have tried to take it from me)….most people would think that’s lame, but I don’t really care. It should be special and important….too many people don’t take things like relationships and love seriously anymore, and that’s why they end up hurt.
      I’m not saying to wait until you’re my age….but yeah, totally wait until you feel ready or really in love…..when it’s love, you’ll kiss him without even thinking about it lol, it’ll be natural….at least that what everyone tells me hehe

    • I also know i am not susane, but i am 16 years old and have never even dated a guy, let alone kissed one! You are doing the right thing and waiting for, as Susane puts it in When It Happens, Something Real. That is what my philosophy is and it is a good legitimate one. Don’t throw everything away just because everyone else is, do everything in your own time.

      BTW i want to be a writer too and it is amazing to see someone else who is inspired by one of the same people I am.

    • I am 19 years young, and have yet to have my first kiss, or first boyfriend, and have only went out with a guy once (though I didn’t really consider it a ‘date’). Just because everyone else is doing all of these things, doesn’t mean you have to, and I commend you for realizing this! I myself at times feel like a loser or something because of my inexistent boy experience, but then I remind myself that it can be a really awesome thing. I can save them for someone really special. When you are only thirteen, chances are anyone you are with now you will not be with when you reach high school. Honestly, chances are anyone you are with in high school you will not be with by the time you reach college. When you are young you should focus on just that, being young! Be with your friends, do things that you enjoy doing. No need to tie yourself down with a boyfriend. Save your special moments, like your first kiss, for someone special. Someone who, when you look back and remember it, you will be happy that it was with them and not some random boy who you were only with for a month. 🙂 ❤

  5. What steps can one take when it comes to becoming closer to someone (as a friend only); like becoming close friends with someone and hopefully having it turn into becoming best friends with them?

  6. Hey there Ms. Colasanti,
    I was wondering if you could share some insight as to how you stay so positive and send out positive energy to the universe even if you’re not feeling your best?.
    I have this problem that no matter how inspired I feel or how motivated, one little thing can get me down and ruin my whole day. It doesn’t help that a lot of my friends are better at being competitive or aggressive when it comes to college, etc. A lot of them are doing study abroad programs, though I could but I would have to get a scholarship because our financial situation isn’t the best, and I find myself wishing I had their life. Also, I got to a pretty small school located fifteen minutes outside Chicago. I’m used to small schools and I love the teachers it’s just difficult to meet new people even when you go into the city. I was wondering how you expand on your friend group and how you go about just making a happier and more cohesive self. Thanks for you time,
    Sincerely,
    Catherine

  7. Hi Susane,

    I just want to say that I find you a very inspirational person and a great writer! I think it’s really cool you moved to NYC and made everything work out. My boyfriend and I have been thinking about moving to Ridgewood, New Jersey in the future. He has family that lives there. He wants to be a graphic designer and I want to be a teacher/writer/artist. I’m currently going to school to get my teaching degree. I’ve taken some pretty big chances in my life before and everything worked out because it was supposed to. I’m at the point of my life where I’m becoming more dependent on myself than my parents, and it’s a really scary feeling. If my boyfriend and I ever decide to move up North, what would you suggest? What did you learn from that experience, and is it possible to live in such a wonderful part of the world (so close to NYC) on a teacher’s salary? That’s the thing I worry about the most — that I won’t be able to afford it.

    Sorry to just pop in and ask such a random question. I read your status about moving to New York and making your dreams come true, and it really resonated with me. Congrats on making your dreams come true and living your life to the fullest!

    Sincerely,

    Jenna, 20

  8. hi susane!
    not only do i have a guy problem, but it’s so similar to your book, waiting for you!
    this boy nick is my best friend, at least one of them. he has a wonderful personality, we have lots of mutual friends, he’s so nice to me, he’s funny… and i developed a bit of a crush on him. but there’s one problem- he’s really not very attractive at all. i know it sounds so shallow and stupid, but i can’t help it…he’s in robotics, too! (when i found that out, i thought of nash and laughed so hard at the irony.) anyway, i found out recently from a mutual friend that he has a crush on me. i freaked out and told my friend that i don’t feel the same way.
    then literally two days later, the mutual friend texts me and tells me that nick doesn’t think of me like that anymore- only as a friend. how can he get over me so easily?! we still talk, and he still acts so nice, and i know i should feel happy that he’s over me, but i don’t. i started thinking about it last night, and i realized that whenever we’re together, even just driving around in his car at night, i feel so much better about myself and about life in general. he always asks questions about my life, like he really cares about me, and i’ve never met anyone like that before. our conversations never get boring. he honestly feels like a soul mate to me.but i blew my chance, and even if he DOES still like me, i feel like if we started dating, i’d feel awkward and it’d ruin the friendship… not to mention his appearance. a few of my friends have even made comments to me about his lack of hotness. i know i shouldn’t care, but i do, and i don’t know what to do. i know i’m shallow for it, but i just need some advice… help?!

    much love,
    laura, 17

  9. falling in love with someone of the same gender…
    it’s super hard when the person you are closest with is also the one you love and you can’t tell anyone because your friends will make assumptions and it isn’t your fault you like a girl who likes girls…who lives super far away!
    thanks!!

  10. I am 16 years old and due to my history of choosing the wrong type of guy, have never been kissed or even gone out with a guy. Recently i reread one of my favorite books, When It Happens and it gave me insight about my choosing the wrong guys. I realized then that all along i was in love with this guy who is a senior and a good friend. He knows i like him, but a while ago my friend told me that i was his number two choice. So what should i do from here? he keeps sending mixed signals and i am confused…

  11. Hi Susane!
    I am twenty years old and have had only one relationship that lasted seven months. Which is kind of long for a first relationship. But anyways we both agreed to break up and go our own ways because we had a lot on our plate to deal with at that moment. I was praticing to get my driving permit, applying to college, SATs, etc…. I didn’t know what college I would end up going to because I was just applying at the moment and he didn’t want a long distance relationship. Besides the many things I was juggling at time, I thought if I stayed in the relationship throughout my senior year my feelings would just get stronger and it would be hard to say goodbye. My feeling were getting stronger for him already during the relationship. Two years have gone by since then and we both have made friends but haven’t made new relationships since then. We have kept in touch during the years but no so frequent, I would say maybe like 6 times throughout the year. We both agreed to see other people but also we tend to talk about memories of the past sometimes. I guess the main thing I’m wondering about is how true are his feeling about me. He can say he wants the best for me and wants me to meet new people but he can also flirt with me as he used to when we used to be together. It confuses me, kind of makes me think he doesn’t really know what he wants. He even tells he has gone on two dates and I’m fine with it cause he’s allowed to, and want what’s best for him as well. But I don’t flirt back when he does cause I strictly make it as we are in the friendzone. A couple weeks ago, he admitted to me that he still sees me as someone with he went out with and not as a friend when we text or hangout. (We have only hanged out twice in the two years apart) He said this because I asked him if it would be okay to text once in a while because I see us as good friends. So thats’s when he confessed. And all I could say is I respect him being honest with me(which he has always been) and that I’ll just have to respect that and not text him. Which I think kind of sucks because I thought we would text as friends but he hasn’t gotten to that stage yet I guess. I think it’s ironic how I’m further along than him because when he used to be my bf I admitted that I loved him. Not in the husband/wife way, I was too young but in the way that I love the person he is. He didn’t say it back because he didn’t want to say something he didn’t mean which I appreciate because he’s not going to lie to my face about it. But I’m just wondering how strong he feels about me? We aren’t together to meet other people, but haven’t yet. Is this coincidence? I would think if he cared enough he wouldn’t let me go…….or he wants me to be happy even if it’s not with him. I’m just confused about how strong his feelings are and I kind of don’t want to ask him striaght forward because it will come out of nowhere. I know he cares about me but I wonder how much? What other ways can I know if his feelings about me are either infatuation, lust or love ? I’ll appreciate any advice or insight you may have.
    I’ve read your books since the first one came out and enjoy them very much. Keep up the good work!

    Sincerely,
    Stephanie , 20

  12. Hi Susane,
    So I’m in a bit of a slump. I’ve had a crush on this guy for a few months now… who had a girlfriend. It wasn’t that I was close friends with this girl or anything, but I’ve known her for a while, she’s nice, and I felt awful liking him when she was still with him. They’ve been broken up for about a month now, and had been on the rocks while I was crushing him. Me and this guy grew closer through art class as we have it together. We’ve become closer friends and tease each other all the time. The thing is, is that whenever I hear anything about him and relationships, it’s never good. Being a Gemini, commitment is hard for me. I’ve never really had a serious boyfriend before and I don’t want to get involved with someone that won’t be good to me. Plus, I don’t think he even knows how I feel, but the way he acts with me makes me think he might like me, but I can’t be sure. Sometimes he talks to other girls the same way, but we’re always catching each other’s glances during class and have these silly stare downs. I don’t know. It’s so confusing and I don’t know what to do about it!
    Unfortunately, I wish this could be the whole story…
    Then there’s this other guy who I’ve been friends with since freshmen year. We kind of liked each other back then and told each other and came close to moving to the next level, but I was really shy and scared and didn’t know what to do. He ended up moving on to another girl, things ended, and he texted me saying how he was sorry how it ended with us with no explanation why it didn’t work out. It was only one week after his break-up with this girl, so when he said “Maybe we could go back to where we were heading” I knew I had to step off a bit. It was way too soon and I had come to find he moved quickly from one girl to the next. I didn’t really feel the same way anymore, so when he didn’t try any harder to get back to the way we were, I wasn’t crushed. He was new my freshman year, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but as the years went on, he began to change. Suddenly, he seemed “too good” to hang out with me and my group of friends. It hurt so bad to lose him like that, because we had all been such close friends. After a while, all I became was angry and there’s was points where I didn’t even want to be his friend anymore. Things with our relationship got really rocky, especially in our junior year, but now that we’re seniors, things seem to have gotten better. We worked on a project together that took almost a month to do, which involved filming a modern version of “Macbeth”. It was crazy fun and I started seeing parts of his old self peek through from time to time. I could feel myself regretting the past when I hadn’t given him much of a chance when he would hurt me, especially since there had been friends that had hurt me so much worse. I started getting really confused. I’d always found him to be cute, but after so much change, we just seemed so different. We hung out with different people and when I’d be around his friends, sometimes I’d feel out of place, even though I’d known the people longer than he had.
    And then he trusted me with his idea for our script for the play competitions we have every year between all the classes. We bounced around ideas for his plot and we ended up mentioning there being a kiss. It ended up we were both playing the parts of the two that would kiss.
    I asked him if he felt awkward about this, but he said he was totally fine with it. “But it’s gonna be a real kiss!” he had said to me. “Don’t expect to be doing any of that kissing the air stuff on stage. I’m not doing that!” It was comforting to know that he was honest about it, but I had been shaking these feelings that were coming back for a while, and now, it’s gotten a lot harder.
    I’m at a loss. He’s so different now, but seeing those sides of him and how we used to be makes me have hope, but I know how quickly he moves from girl to girl and I think he might even be trying to get with someone right now. But then this other art class guy is great too, but I don’t know if he’ll make a move and I feel too shy to do anything. Plus, all the things I’m hearing about him with relationships doesn’t make me feel good about moving forward. Any advice at all about what should I do? At this point I’m losing sleep over my feelings and I’m close to giving up. Though, the situation does make for a good book plot….

    Jenna, 17

  13. At my school, in 2 days in December, 3 students lost their lives, one a sophomore like me by suicide, one a junior from terminal cancer, and one a senior who was hit by a car. I knew them all. Today is the first day of finals at my school and as i had none, i didn’t have to go but one of my best friends did. Every time a person died an announcement came over the intercom that said “Teachers, please check your emails.” So today when she heard that same announcement, she immediately texted me. She didn’t find out before her final so she couldn’t text me any more. About 45 minutes ago, an automated call was sent from the school and as i was the only one home, i picked it up. It turns out that a junior committed suicide this morning. I recognized her name, though for the sake of staying somewhat anonymous, i will not put her name down. Basically, i don’t know how to deal. I have panic attacks all the time as i have diagnosed anxiety disorder. The last time someone died, i was at school and the guy i like who kinda likes me too was there to comfort and hug me. This time i am all alone and have no one to help me. Please answer this question in your first video. I don’t know how i can survive without an answer to my plea of how to deal with any of this.

    Adrien, 16

    • Hey, I know I’m not Susane but I just wanted to say I’m sorry that you’re going through all this. It’s awful to lose so many people like that, and it’s hard to know how to deal. Just try to keep your head up and when you get the chance, talk to a close friend or someone who knew those people. Sharing things might help you, and also I know reading (especially all of Susane’s books) really help take my mind off things and make me feel better. Again, I’m sorry about everything, but just stay positive. Things will get better.

  14. Hi Susane,
    This sounds awful, but I think I’m in love with this guy who has a girlfriend. They have a bad relationship anyway, and him and I just click. I couldn’t take it anymore so one day I told him how I felt. I wasn’t expecting him to break up with her (though I was hoping), but I just had to get it out there and I thought he should know. He likes me, but said he can’t break up with his girlfriend. I know I need to move on, but I’ve never liked a guy this much. It’s so tough. At small parties we go to, he’s always hanging out with me rather than his girlfriend. And we’ve shared moments that I thought were really special..moments that made me think he can’t possibly really care about his girlfriend (we’ve never kissed or anything – I’m not a homewrecker). Should I let it go and move on? Accept the fact that he’s with this girl? Or keep fighting for what I believe in?

  15. Hi, Susane
    I am twenty, and this may seem weird, but I’m kind of an outsider and I’m afraid of being alone, even if it’s for five minutes. I don’t know what to do. I can’t stand being alone at the house, I don’t have many friends, and I’m single. But I have a hard time making friends at the school I’m attending now, whenever I’m by myself when I’m not driving, I feel like I’m going to fall apart. Is something wrong with me or am I just worried about being judged or both? Please help.

  16. Pingback: goodreads giveaway | Susane Colasanti – Blog

  17. Hi there,
    Basically this guy (who’s a year ahead of me) and I were friends. We started talking because of how we worked on the school paper together as managers, and then our friendship just blossomed. I started to fall for him, and it seemed that everything was still okay. We were at a party together and ending up hooking up, but then a week or so later he tells me that he can’t be with me because he still likes another girl. He said it was unfair to me if he tried to force a relationship, and he was right. Anyways, we’re still friends and I’m not mad at him or anything, but I haven’t been able to get over him either. I’m not sure if I want to. The fact is I still like him and I need to figure out what to do because in 6 months he’s going to graduate. Should I just accept our friendship, get over him, hope he sees the error of his ways, or something else entirely?

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