What happens when you “fail at love”

So I was into this girl. 

I hadn’t been “into” anyone in a long time. I was stressed waiting tables and it felt like the stress never left me. It was also, ironically, during this time that I started eating healthier and following a new workout regiment. Between the two, however, I found myself lacking energy and a zest for life. That longing to be in a relationship again? Gone. Arousal around women? Non existent. Hoping a cute girl would leave me her number at work? …okay I still wanted that. But everything else just seemed to have evaporated. 

So the fact that three years later, I was suddenly interested in this girl and found myself flirting with her, was a big deal, you guys…

Of course, this wouldn’t come without the natural negative self talk (or who I sometimes refer to as “Fred”):

You’re not what she’s looking for. 

She definitely wants a guy with more relationship experience than you. 

Do you even remember how awkward you were during that one time a bunch of you were hanging out? She totally remembers that….

Are you even sure she’s a good fit for you??

I was confused. I let it stress me out. 

And then…a better voice chimed in: 

Fuck it. Let’s just find out if any of that is actually true. 

I gave up trying to figure things out in my head. All I knew for sure was that I really liked this girl. She was really fun to talk to. We texted all the time. I felt a spark I hadn’t felt in a really long time. I didn’t know if she was going to be right for me – or me for her, for that matter. But I decided that I’d rather find out and fail than not find out at all, based on speculation that was in my head – most of which probably wasn’t true. 

And we dated. And it was awesome. 

And then….it ended. 

I finally had gotten my, “Will this even work” answer. (It wasn’t the one I was hoping for.) 

Here’s what else I learned: It was totally fucking worth it. 

This doesn’t mean I’ve been happy and sunshine since the break up. It doesn’t mean the end wasn’t scary and painful. It just means that despite the rocky ending of the crazy and brief roller coaster ride – I can’t wait to get back in line and try again**

Sometimes when you “fail,” you still have a lot of fun trying.




**(Not the same line. The other metaphorical line. Preferable not through Tinder.) 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 


How dating reminded me of my (embarrassing) past

Last week my longtime friend, Sammy B, married a wonderful girl named Ashley. 








It was a fun night filled with food, dancing, and a bunch of wonderful people I don’t get to see nearly as often as I like. Our group of friends growing up was a good one. It warms my heart that most of us are still in touch. 

Since we don’t see each other often, we go through the usual interrogation process when we catch up…. 


“So, still living in the same place?”

“Where are you working these days?”

“Are you seeing anyone?”


That last one has always been my favorite. (And by favorite, I mean least favorite.) 

I usually was the single one in our group of friends, and that didn’t change as I got older. I watched in envy as the rest of my friends fell in love, went on dates, and had lots of sex. (Seriously. I wasn’t even cuddling with anyone. It was so unfair.) Which is why I was thrilled to report to them that, “Yup! I am seeing someone! Wanna see a picture?!” 

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t discovered any “secrets to dating.” But the whole night made me discover something: I used to be pretty unhappy with myself because of my dating story. And that night – none of it mattered. Hell, some of my friends I used to envy were currently single themselves!  

We waste far too much time and energy beating ourselves up, don’t we? 


We aren’t making a certain amount of money.

We aren’t married with kids. 

We haven’t reached a certain point in our careers where our dream job is paying the bills. 


But here’s the thing: Unless we’ve reached a point where it’s literally impossible to achieve our goals (Too old to have kids, etc), we can still get there. It just might take longer than we hoped….Oh, and it usually does. And the deadlines we place on ourselves are so unfair and silly. But that’s for another blog.

And here’s the best part – once we get there, that “embarrassing” past – which is really nothing to be ashamed of in the first place – isn’t going to matter. The point isn’t that you took longer than you thought. The point is that you got there. 

Friends. I have no idea when I’ll get married. All I know is that I will someday. (Not sure about the kids part….but if I do, we can cut go back and edit this part out, yeah?) And as long as that happens, I don’t need to be embarrassed about things that did or didn’t happen before getting there. 



We clean up alright 🙂 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 


***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel

You don’t suck

Post originally written for parlepost.com


Quote: Jen Sincero

Ever have someone hate you?

I once was tweeting with a director. (Yes. Tweeting with a director. It’s a thing.)

I had auditioned for him previously. He suggested we meet up for coffee. “Yes please!” Unfortunately it never happened. I stopped hearing from him. I attempted to connect with him on Facebook, but he never accepted. This did wonders for my self esteem.

Click here to read full post! 

***   ***   ***

Tony. Why do I have to click links?” 

I’m a contributing writer to parlepost.com. In the hopes that I can stay on the team, I’ve asked readers to check out my content on their page.

“So like, is this content any different?” 

Nope! Still me talking in my own voice about taking control and being a happier person.

“Does this mean you’re done posting original content here?” 

Nope! But I’ll be linking the post that are up.

“Okay fine. I kind of like your content regardless. Are you, like, available for hire?”

You bet. Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com to discuss what you’re looking for and we’ll see if I’m a good fit!

You Can’t Find What You’re Not Looking For

I was biking and I was in a great mood.

I was focused on the fun night I had, as well as my final stop I before getting home. It involved pizza. Before getting there, I stopped at an intersection. I started to proceed, when I noticed another biker was heading in my direction

…relax. It’s not that kind of story 😉

Neither of us came remotely close to the other. I was just surprised because I admittedly wasn’t on the lookout for bikers and was more focused on cars. Furthermore, this rider was biking on the sidewalk –  the last place I was expecting to see him.

I’ll fully admit I’ve found myself frustrated whenever someone comes “out of nowhere” and into my path.  “Why didn’t they see me coming?!”

And that night on my ride home, I figured out the answer: They don’t see me coming. They don’t see me coming because they’re not looking for me.


On the other hand, if you know you’re looking for pizza, sometimes you’ll find yourself going home with extra slices, on the house…thanks Big G’s! 


What are you looking for?

With anything in life, you can’t find what you’re not looking for. And yet, we constantly find ourselves frustrated when we don’t make progress with our goals. The truth is, a lot of us don’t know actually know what we’re looking for. We have a general idea of what success means to us. We then hope it comes our way. If it doesn’t, we get frustrated.

Why this doesn’t work

There’s no direction. It’s vague. We make the mistake of hoping for success to just show up. While this may be a possibility, it leaves us with wishing and hoping.

There’s no path for us to take. If we’re wishing and hoping, we’re essentially hoping to win the lottery of success. We’re sitting there waiting, rather than taking action ourselves.

You can see why this mentality leaves us frustrated with a lack of confidence.

Some examples

During my waiting tables days, I scored a phone number from a cute girl. I was thrilled. After a few exchanges, it didn’t appear anything was going to come from it… I was less than thrilled. I expressed my frustration to a coworker. “Well Tony, what are you hoping comes from this? What is that you want>” he asked me

….I didn’t have an answer.

I was just wishing and hoping something awesome would happen. Maybe she’d ask me on a date. Maybe it would lead to a fling. Maybe her mom was one of the top talent agents in Chicago (that would have been awesome.) I had no idea what I wanted.

To give a more practical example, I see a lot of this happen with actors: Many theatre and film artists who are “struggling” are actually very talented. That said, they lack a sense of direction. They’re hoping for success without knowing things like what field they want to pursue (stage, film, etc.) Knowing what you specifically enjoy about acting and how you want to pursue it will give you a sense a direction. This allows you to take action while you’re waiting for that top talent agent in Chicago to call you back. (You can always take a break from submitting and try dating…)

It’s incredible how we don’t get what we want because we don’t know what we want. And if we don’t know what we want, we won’t know where to look or what to look for.

So friends, let’s all do our part to gain a better perspective. Figure out what you’re looking for. Once you do, you’ll feel a confidence boost just knowing that you have action steps you can take.

Go get ‘em.

How To Get More Stressed When Things Aren’t Working

I remember going through a phase when I was younger: I couldn’t get a girlfriend for the life of me….

*All of Tony’s friends start to chime in saying that it’s not any different these days -*

…and I blamed everyone but myself.

*Tony’s friends accept this answer*

In my mind, every girl that was interested in me wasn’t my type. All my friends were dating or had beautiful women throwing themselves at them (at least that’s what it seemed like). But not me. No sir! I was “the guy that always attracted the wrong girls.” It was very unfair…

You’d think with this mindset, I was clearly doing all the right things: Asking girls out, flirting with the ones I was interested in, and putting myself in opportunities to meet more singles. Surely I was doing all that…

…I wasn’t doing that. I was too busy complaining about the girls I wasn’t interested. I never actually considered that I was single because I was just sitting there waiting for “the right one” to present herself, rather than taking any action myself.

This silly story serves as an example of something many of us are guilty of – putting our energy into the wrong areas.

Ever apply for a new job? This one has stress written all over it.

When this happens, we might hate our current job or become desperate to get any job. If you’re really stressed, you’re likely to think a lot of negative things. (I know a thing or two about this.) We’re unable to get an interview.  We have several interviews with no bites. Or maybe our field isn’t hiring. Yet all of these situations are out of our control. What we can control is how often we check for jobs. We can control how much time we put into looking for jobs. And we can definitely control how much time and energy we put into finding a new job. (Sidenote – have you considered going the extra mile and doing something uncomfortable like making a phone call?)

Next time you find yourself not getting what you want, double check to make sure you’re not getting upset over the things you can’t control. It’s a waste of energy and you’re going to burn out. Instead, focus on the action you took and acknowledge that as a win.

“You can’t build on success you don’t acknowledge” – Dallas Travers

I like to journal my “Wins Today” before bed. Looking for a new job? Write down any applications you sent. Did you go on an interview? That’s a win too. Update your resume? #Wining. Putting your energy into this feels great. You’ll start to realize you’re a winner regardless of the outcome.

Don’t burn yourself out on things you can’t control. Come on. That’s not very fair, is it?

(I’m talking to you, younger TonyinChicago…)

Go get ‘em, friends.

Stop Waiting To Be Happy

Let’s talk about goals again. The more we talk about them, the more quickly we’re going to achieve them. (I know, right?)

For more on goal setting, feel free to check out Mindy Wender’s #21DaystoThrive video series! I’m on Day 12 right now. Love it.

Sometimes we encounter lots of negativity before we reach our goals. What I didn’t know until recently is that we’re allowed to be happy before we reach our destination. We can (and should) enjoy the journey too.

Now let’s say you’re hearing this concept for the first time. It might sound difficult or scary. To help get you started, I want you to think about what might happen if you don’t develop this mindset. Here are some common scenarios this particularly applies to:

Weight loss: Whether you’re looking to lose ten pounds or fifty, you’re on track towards something awesome. That something awesome is going to take some time. Do you really want to wait to be happy until you’ve lost each and every pound you’re aiming for? Start with being happy that you simply want to lose weight. Keep it up and you’ll be smiling before you’re even half way there.

Booking that acting job that would change your life forever: There are a handful of gigs I’d love to get my hands on – some of which I’ve auditioned for. Had any been offered to me, my life would be quite different right now. (Let’s not even talk about the pay). Wanna know something neat though? For each opportunity I don’t get, another one shows up in its place. These are usually new opportunities that I didn’t know about prior. They’re out there. Keep your eyes open.

Dating: Humor me for a second: Picture your friend (because we all have one of them) who has met up with you for coffee. They quickly launch into how much it sucks being single and how marriage is “never gonna happen.” What if their Prince Charming was sitting tables away? I mean, I’m not a prince, but I’m willing to bet he’s not attracted to bitching and negativity.  In this scenario, waiting to be happy hurts for two reasons: 1) Again, this could be a long wait. Why hurt yourself and your happiness in the meantime? 2) The best way to attract the love of your life is by being happy, confident, and positive. Being negative isn’t going to bring your soul male towards you.

(If you know of a rare exception…..keep it to yourself. I have people to impress here)

“But Tony, this is a difficult and scary way of thinking! How am I just supposed to switch things up?”

First off, relax. You don’t have to be perfect. There’s actually a pumpkin sitting on my desk (because who doesn’t love pumpkins?) that says “#progressnotperfection” on it. Each time I see it, I’m reminded how it’s okay not to be perfect. Making progress is good enough.


Second, how about appreciating the fact that you can enjoy yourself? Right. Now. You don’t have to wait. Let’s focus on what we get out of this – not what we have to do differently.

Now if you’ll excuse me. I need to post this. There were lots of girls at Starbucks yesterday who undoubtedly noticed my positive self and want to read this. Besides, I had a tie on. They should be calling any minute.