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free stuff, moving, orphan problems, personal, resources

How To Run Away From Home: After

July 3, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - how to run away from home- after

When thinking about the resources and support network you need, consider these three basic things:

  1. Where can I go?
  2. What do I need?
  3. Who can and will help?

In the last post, I covered what all you need to bring or consider when preparing to leave. Now, have a big list of places and people who can help you once you’re out.

Who Can Help?

What kind of things do you need on your Bug-Out Bag info list? Think about what you’ll need once you’re on your own. Money, food, housing, medical care, emotional support…

Keep a list of all of the people and places that can give you that so you know where to go in the middle of the night. These can be:

  • friends
  • family members of friends
  • your own sympathetic family members
  • social services/child protective services
  • the police
  • hotlines
  • domestic violence centers
  • shelters
  • food banks
  • employment offices
  • clinics
  • college financial aid offices
  • the library, which can put you in touch with all of the above

Seriously, I cannot emphasize the last one enough. Your local public or school library has so many regional-specific resources available for you if you just ask. If nothing else, the library is a good place to stay during the day when you have nowhere else to go.

How To Run Away From Home

  1. Intro: How To Run Away From Home
  2. Before: Planning & Preparation
  3. After: Resources & What’s Next

A version of this series was originally posted on the Orphan Survival Guide Tumblr.

Continue Reading…

human interaction, moving, orphan problems, personal, resources

How To Run Away From Home: Before

July 1, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - how to run away from home planning and packing

While actually running away from home is often a heat-of-the-moment decision, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Rarely do kids or young adults run away from home the very first time the thought enters their mind. It was something I considered time and time again before it was finally a reality.

Whether you’re giving your home life second, third, or fiftieth chances before hitting your limit, or busting out after yet another bad fight, if you’re truly committed to getting out, you need a plan.

Where are you going? Who can help you? What do you need?

Not only do you need to pack a bug-out bag with some or all of your life necessities, but you need to be emotionally prepared for the fallout.

Today’s post is about working out your plan to pack your bags and leave.

How To Run Away From Home

  1. Intro: How To Run Away From Home
  2. Before: Planning & Preparation
  3. After: Resources & What’s Next

A version of this series was originally posted on the Orphan Survival Guide Tumblr.

Continue Reading…

human interaction, orphan problems, personal

10 Things Estranged Adult Children Are Tired of Hearing

June 23, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - 10 things estranged adult children are tired of hearing

Following a particularly awkward Father’s Day on social media which culminated in lots of Glee feels and multiple people blocked on Facebook, a lot of acquaintances learned about my relationship with my biological family.

The short version is: we have no relationship.

The longer version will be detailed in a series next week about how to run away from home.

There are a lot of misconceptions about estranged adult children, which means that the second you tell someone you have no contact with your parents, you need to be prepared for awkward questions and nagging–especially from other parents. Other parents are The Worst. They get crazy-defensive because your existence reminds them that they ultimately have no control or power over their own children, and that is terrifying to them.

For the most part, though, you get a lot of uncomfortable silences and pitying glances, because suddenly your Issues are so much more than someone initially assumed. You might even become Inspiration Porn. Then there are the people who think that you’re exaggerating or selfish–or blame you for the estrangement–because family is family

And don’t even think about mentioning it on your dating profile or on a date, because then you’re branded with Daddy Issues.

It’s an uncomfortable and stigma-ridden conversation, and even if you try to turn it into a joke (my family’s sooo crazy!) people will inevitably treat you differently for it. So here are the top 10 things estranged adult children are sick and tired of hearing, courtesy of Burt Hummel, your TV replacement dad:

Continue Reading…


20 New Semester Resolutions

January 1, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - spring semester resolutions

I’m not usually the kind of person who makes new year resolutions. They’re just so… abstract and unattainable.

Lose weight? Travel? I’m not great at following through on big, long-term goals like that. Every year I make goals like stop hoarding or read a book a week. But I take a lot of naps and eat entire boxes of Cheez-Its in one day. I can’t aim that high.

What I need more than big resolutions and goals are motivators and routines, so that the things I need to do aren’t huge looming responsibilities.

Instead of a list of new year resolutions, I’m making new semester resolutions. They’re smaller steps with a shorter timeframe, and I’m concentrating on what has immediate consequences for finishing or failure. Don’t drop out or you’ll be stuck at your awful day job forever and keep a daily checklist or you’ll forget to pay your rent on time. Things that are useful and easily done.

Hopefully knowing what will happen if I do or don’t accomplish something will give me some perspective and motivation to actually do it.


Instead of big goals like get all As and don’t procrastinate, I’m focusing on what really matters: surviving the semester.

  1. don’t drop out
  2. don’t skip class (too much)
  3. turn stuff in on time
  4. befriend at least 1 person in each class
  5. take advantage of campus resources


On Monday, I have an interview for a new job within the company at Job #1. It means more responsibility and more hours, but also a much better pay check, benefits, and a nicer work environment.

I also have two other jobs, plus I want to write and blog regularly–maybe even make writing a primary source of income (unlikely, but still nice to dream about).

Finding a good work-school-sanity balance will be key this semester.

  1. meet deadlines
  2. finish things
  3. write and publish/submit at least 1 short story every 2 months
  4. don’t become underemployed
  5. know when to turn down a job and take a personal day


I’ve been doing pretty okay with managing my hoarding tendencies, but it still needs work. I made a checklist of things to do so I can kick-start my routine, so I just need to get off my butt and follow through with it.

  1. keep a daily planner and routine
  2. keep things clean and organized
  3. pay off personal debts
  4. cook more meals and drink more water
  5. stop impulse buying things


The sanity-part of my work-school-sanity balance needs a little attention. I let a lot of self-care go last year and basically turned Netflix and naps into my only forms of decompressing from a long day of work and class. I want to be happier and well-rested

  1. read 1 book per month
  2. track my online and book reading lists better
  3. be more confident
  4. be a good hipster and keep up with new music
  5. move in to an apartment I like

What are your resolutions? What does it take for you to actually accomplish them?

I hope everyone has a great new year and new semester!


How to Have an Orphan Christmas

December 27, 2014


This year I had an awesome Friendsgiving with a big group of friends, a huge turkey, and tons of sides and games. Some of those same friends are sticking around town to throw a Friendsmas, where there will be more food and games.

These are the ideal Christmas celebrations for orphans, at least for an extrovert like me.

For everyone who can’t afford to drive home to their families; everyone who wants to avoid uncomfortable conversations with their parents over Ferguson and gay marriage; everyone who just doesn’t want to deal with ignorance of dietary restrictions; all the stragglers come together for one big meal.

Orphan Survival Guide - How to Have an Orphan Christmas

1. Make a Plan

Where are you going, who will be there, and what are you going to do? Make a fancy invite or just use Facebook so everyone knows when and where they need to be, and what to bring before the thing happens.

And if they bail on you, have a good backup plan like Netflix and Chinese delivery.

Make sure your plan is solid, so that your friends have fewer excuses to bail on you at the last second, leaving you alone with their cats and a bottle of gin. Not that any of my friends did this to me this year because they would never, right?

2. Invite Some Friends

What’s a Friendsmas without friends?!

3. Clean Your House

I swept up and cleaned the cat boxes yesterday. I’ve still got some dishes to do tonight because I cleaned out my fridge (I’m really bad at leftovers) but those can always wait.

As long as people have places to sit and it doesn’t smell like vomit or cat pee, you’re probably good.

Febreze and air fresheners are your friends. I like the ones that smell like Christmas trees. There are always printable coupons online through, Target, and Walmart if you don’t feel like paying $4 to make your house smell less like butt.

4a. Dress Fancy

It’s a party! Dress up!

4b. Or Wear Pajamas

Why bother putting on pants? You’ve got no one to impress.

4c. Find Some “Ugly” Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Sweater Parties are all the rage this year. I, however, do not find them ugly at all.

5. Make Sure There’s Food

Ham and cookies are staples for Christmas dinners, but don’t let tradition keep you from making something interesting and tasty like:

6. Bring on the Booze

It’s Christmas. You’re probably suffering through at least three friends Snapchatting you all of their parents’ expensive gifts while you open bargain bin Hallmark cards.

Trust me, no one’s gonna judge you for drinking those five mimosas.

7. Give (and Receive!) Presents

Everyone else is getting a buttload of presents, so why shouldn’t you? In your Plan, set a theme or a limit for presents so that no one goes overboard or feels left out. Easy and cheap gift ideas:

8. Keep People Entertained

Watch a movie, play some games, or even make Christmas crafts.

9. Tell Stories

There’s a reason you’re all coming together for an Orphan Christmas instead of spending time with “family” like everyone else is. Go ahead and let out all those feelings with people who understand.

10. Start New Holiday Traditions

Start making your holiday plans for next year! I already have Friendsgiving plans for next November; there’s no reason to not start planning early for next Christmas!