Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Magazines’ Category

Elle Australia

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

I was interviewed for the August issue of Elle Australia. The article (on obsessive love) begins on page 80.

In Case You Missed It

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The article I wrote for Marie Claire has arrived online. And simply for show & tell on a Friday: The fabulous coasters reader Masa sent me—from New Orleans.

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Have a great weekend!

The Stars Align in August

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The 2nd best part of the August issue of Marie Claire is . . . my horoscope. My fellow Virgos, we have quite a month ahead!

“Get thee to La Perla—you’re positively bursting with passion, thanks to Venus stoking your sensual fires, causing you to crave fine wine, exotic food, and warm evenings fraught with sexual tension. And your bank account will soon be as rich as your live life. A small lump of cash is coming your way, which you’ll likely put toward a charitable cause.”

Fun Find!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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A New York magazine write-up on people who prefer typewriters, vinyl, and film! This picture makes me want to start a typewriter collection . . .

Me & Marie

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I wrote an article for Marie Claire magazine a few months back and it has made its way into the August issue! The issue is on its way to newsstands now with the lovely Olivia Wilde on the cover. (Jennifer Aniston is on the July cover, so don’t get confused =)

Here’s an iPhone pic of the article:

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Now, as you can see, the description line and the pull out quote are both very dramatic.

“Samara O’Shea thought she had a really bad break-up—but actually she was suffering from a rare psychological condition.”

“I woke up every morning dry-heaving with stabbing chest pains that struck with no warning.”

The article itself is not that intense, and I assure you that I’m fine. The condition of which I’m speaking is called limerence, which is “defined as an involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional reciprocation, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and emotional dependence on another person.”

It’s basically the clinical way of saying it can take years for a limerent person to overcome a broken heart. It sounds strange, I realize, but it is very real and all consuming. A man named Albert Wakin has done extensive research on the condition. I interviewed him for the article, and here’s a paper he wrote on the topic if you’re interested. Here’s the Wikipedia link if you’d rather read something less academic.

The article mirrors much of my writing in that I tell my very personal story so that others can identify if they need to. I am currently working on my second article for Marie Claire. Yay! It’s due next Monday, which means I most likely won’t be blogging for the rest of the week. If I have time I will, otherwise, I’ll be in touch next week!

Projective Parenting

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

I’m an advocate of emotions—all of them—even the uncomfortable, seemingly negative ones. They all serve a purpose, and I believe happiness is not one emotion but rather the mastery of all emotions. The well-lived life comes not from figuring out how to avoid failure, sadness, and embarrassment, but rather learning the best ways to deal with them.

The cover story of the July/August issue of The Atlantic is called “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy.” It details how 21st-Century parents are so focused on making sure their kids have a happy childhood, they aren’t teaching them how to deal with negative emotions. As a matter of fact, some parents try to keep negativity from their kids altogether. As you can imagine, this has depressing consequences. From the article:

“Paul Bohn, a psychiatrist at UCLA who came to speak at my clinic . . . Based on what he sees in his practice, Bohn believes many parents will do anything to avoid having their kids experience even mild discomfort, anxiety, or disappointment—’anything less than pleasant,’ as he puts it—with the result that when, as adults, they experience the normal frustrations of life, they think something must be terribly wrong.”

“Consider a toddler who’s running in the park and trips on a rock, Bohn says. Some parents swoop in immediately, pick up the toddler, and comfort her in that moment of shock, before she even starts crying. But, Bohn explains, this actually prevents her from feeling secure—not just on the playground, but in life. If you don’t let her experience that momentary confusion, give her the space to figure out what just happened (Oh, I tripped), and then briefly let her grapple with the frustration of having fallen and perhaps even try to pick herself up, she has no idea what discomfort feels like, and will have no framework for how to recover when she feels discomfort later in life.”

“Dan Kindlon, a child psychologist and lecturer at Harvard, warns against what he calls our ‘discomfort with discomfort’ in his book Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age. If kids can’t experience painful feelings, Kindlon told me when I called him not long ago, they won’t develop ‘psychological immunity.'”

“Kids also need exposure to discomfort, failure, and struggle. I know parents who call up the school to complain if their kid doesn’t get to be in the school play or make the cut for the baseball team. I know of one kid who said that he didn’t like another kid in the carpool, so instead of having their child learn to tolerate the other kid, they offered to drive him to school themselves. By the time they’re teenagers, they have no experience with hardship. Civilization is about adapting to less-than-perfect situations, yet parents often have this instantaneous reaction to unpleasantness, which is ‘I can fix this.'”

It’s me again: The article goes on to say that many parents are using their kids to deal with their own issues. I believe parents have always done this, in the past it was done with too much discipline and now it’s done with no discipline. They are two dangerous extremes that do not benefit anyone, least of all the child. Back to the article:

“‘We’re confusing our own needs with our kids’ needs and calling it good parenting,’ Blume said, letting out a sigh. I asked him why he sighed. (This is what happens when two therapists have a conversation.) ‘It’s sad to watch,’ he explained. ‘I can’t tell you how often I have to say to parents that they’re putting too much emphasis on their kids’ feelings because of their own issues. If a therapist is telling you to pay less attention to your kid’s feelings, you know something has gotten way of out of whack.'”

“Despite the spate of articles in recent years exploring why so many people in their 20s seem reluctant to grow up, the problem may be less that kids are refusing to separate and individuate than that their parents are resisting doing so.”

Kindlon also observed that because we tend to have fewer kids than past generations of parents did, each becomes more precious. So we demand more from them—more companionship, more achievement, more happiness. Which is where the line between selflessness (making our kids happy) and selfishness (making ourselves happy) becomes especially thin.

Me again: Last December I read a book called The Art of Loving. Author Erich Fromm speaks a lot about the love between parents and children, and he warns parents that having children will not psychologically restore them. That is something each person can only do for himself. From The Art of Loving:

“Another form of projection is the projection of one’s own problems on the children. First of all such projection takes place not infrequently in the wish for children. In such case, the wish for children is primarily determined by projecting one’s own problems of existence on that of the children. When a person feels that he has not been able to make sense of his own life, he tries to make sense of it in terms of his children. But one is bound to fail within oneself and for the children. The former because the problem of existence can be solved by each only for himself, and not by proxy; the latter because one lacks in the very qualities which one needs to guide the children in their own search for an answer.”

Final thoughts: This article made me more grateful for my own parents. I think my grandparents generation was too strict and emotionally distant with child rearing, and this generation is not strict at all and emotionally smothering. Somehow I ended up in the ideal middle with people who took great care of me while not letting me get away with anything. They were not afraid to let me fall down and pick myself back up. As an adult, that is how I care for myself—with a healthy mix of self love and discipline. Although this didn’t keep me out of therapy. Everyone needs therapy!

Letters by Hand

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I feared I had nothing to blog about today—then I read a profile in Time (May 30, 2011) about Zack Galifianakis (Alan from The Hangover). It says . . . “ He responds to fan letters by hand because when his fans treat him like a person—sitting down and writing a letter, or talking to him when he’s not eating or otherwise engaged—he becomes interested in them too.

Yay for Zack!

Another fun quote:

“Greg says he always knew his brother would have a performing career. ‘But the cover of GQ—I would never have thought that would happen, especially with the way he dresses,’ he says, ‘It’s more likely he would have been on the cover of Homeless Today.'”