#SWAAYthenarrative
Lifestyle

I wrote Be That Unicorn: Find Your Magic, Live Your Truth, Share Your Shine for one simple reason. Because I could feel the need for it in the world. Life is not easy. Hopefully it has lots of opportunities to be happy, fulfilling, and fun. But easy, it is not.


For as long as I can remember, people have told me that talking to me or spending time with me always makes them feel really good about themselves and how they are making their way in the world. The truth is, most humans have two very basic desires that need to be fulfilled— they need to be heard and they need to be a part of the herd. I wrote BTU so they could feel both whenever they needed that extra little push up the hill of life.

You can read this book all in one or you can delve into a section at a time as you need it. You can read it in order or you can jump around. It covers everything from working to playing and living to loving.

Be that Unicorn is all about living authentically and unapologetically. That Unicorn is herself— no more and no less.

It's about learning how to take care of yourself, others, and the world at large without losing yourself or hurting the people around you. This is the book that will remind you that life is not all ribbons and roses, and that's okay. This is the book that will remind you that sometimes you're going to want to spend a whole Saturday in bed, and that's okay. This is the book that will remind you that you're always okay even if nothing else seems to be okay. In the end, it's all okay.

The cover for Jenny Block's Be That Unicorn

Too much of life, especially when it comes to work, is about leaning in or sucking it up. Too much is about having to always turn our hobbies into hustles. Too much is about either climbing over other people or never getting the promotion and the recognition we deserve. There's nothing in between.

Be that Unicorn: Find Your Magic, Live Your Truth, Share Your Shine is about accepting the truths, pushing the boundaries, and finding your own happiness defined, cultivated, and curated by you.

This book is about, well, you and That Unicorn inside of you who everyone will adore if you'd just give her a chance in every aspect of your life, even at the office…

From Chapter Three of "Be That Unicorn. Find Your Magic, Live Your Truth, Share Your Shine"

How To BTU When Working

Perhaps the hardest place to be That Unicorn is at work. Even if you're one of the lucky ones who love their jobs, work is hard. Otherwise, as the saying goes, it wouldn't be work. But not allowing yourself to be distracted by other people's less-than-unicorn-worthy behavior and instead going full unicorn yourself, even when you'd rather go the way of the snake, can help you to feel good about what you do, as well as make it easier to get the job done.

In the work world, there are two kinds of people: those who make the most of it and those who make the worst of it. Ironically, the latter are actually making jobs they hate even harder for themselves (and probably their coworkers). We've all heard that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. Even if that isn't true literally, it certainly is figuratively. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents would take me to some museum or fort or another place I did not want to go. I would drag ten paces behind, stomping and grumbling and crinkling up my face.

"You can spend the day being all grumpy, and the rest of us will happily ignore you. Or you can act like you're having fun and, before you know it, you just might be," Daddy would say to me. I hated to admit it, but he was right. I would find something about the place I liked—buttons to press or photos of bank robbers or whatever. I would throw myself in, and, before I knew it, I was in the gift shop, eating ice cream and saying, "That was kind of fun."

I've done the same thing with several jobs I've had that I really didn't care for. Some days, doing that feels more natural than others. Some jobs make it next to impossible. But I know that adding to the problem with my own crummy attitude really doesn't make things worse for anyone but me. Admitting that is the worst. Sometimes I want to complain and stomp and grumble and be altogether unpleasant to be around. But you know what? It makes people not want to be around me. Go figure. And the only thing worse than doing a tedious job you don't like is having to do it alone.

Being That Unicorn can also make it easier to land a job. My dad says I've never gotten a job for which I'm qualified, so I suppose I've always been a unicorn. I figure, with a little magic, I'll be able to figure it out. And so far, so good. A unicorn says, "Yes." A unicorn says, "I can do that." And then a unicorn figures it out. Sure, this won't work for being a brain surgeon or a commercial pilot. But there are a plethora of jobs for which it will work. And if you already are a brain surgeon or a commercial pilot, it can certainly get you to the next level in your career… whatever that might be!

Unicorns also have a tendency to reinvent themselves. I've been an actress, a law student, a production assistant, a college professor, an artist's model, a dance teacher, a camp activities director, a speaker, and, of course, an author and writer. I wanted to do all of those things. I knew deep down that I could do all of those things. So I used my skills at one job to help me to get a position in another. If you look hard enough, almost every job shares a certain number of skills with others, including positions that aren't particularly similar.

Working takes work. There's no getting around that. Just like with everything else, the only things we can change are ourselves, our attitudes, and our reactions. So you have to ask yourself, "What's it going to be?" If your answer is the way of the unicorn, you're already on the right track.

Excerpt from Jenny Block's Be That Unicorn (Mango Publishing, 2020)

3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or emailarmchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get some advice of your own!