Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"You have to be willing to get happy about nothing"

What am I thankful for this year? I think the shorter answer would be, what am I not thankful for...but that would be a very pessimistic piece of writing, so here goes...

I am thankful, just in general, for 2013. This year began on a high, ringing it in with vodka, champagne, and dirty board games with Kitty and Stu and their friends. And a then-boyfriend, but whatever. Not long into the year, a routine trip to the doctor left me having surgery, which clearly was not ideal, but did allow me to take 2 full weeks off of work and to spend some relaxing time at home doing nothing. From there I moved out of my condo in Clackamas and into a one bedroom on site at my new property...oh, 2013 started with a promotion as well! I lived there for a couple months, only to have our property put on the market; I spent most of this time working 70+ hours a week and thanking the universe that I had an amazing staff to keep me company. I moved back in with my parents for a short bit, then my cousin's dad was awesome enough to let me crash in his guest room for a couple months while I waited for job placement and found a new apartment. My company placed me in Aloha, and while I am not happy at the property, I am thankful to have been offered a position. I moved into my apartment just this month. So while 2013 has had several ups and downs, I have had nothing but love and support come my way from my friends and family, so what more could I possibly ask for?

I am thankful, as always, for my mama and my daddy. For their help, their love, their support. I know that every single time my brother or I moves out, they say we can never come back. But every single time my brother or I needs some support, they are there to let us back in. They let me bring my cat to terrorize their dog. They let us bring our boxes, they park outside while we take over their garage. I truly have amazing parents. I am lucky enough to have a mom who I enjoy grocery shopping with or talking to on the phone while I sit in traffic. I have a daddy who will never stop telling me to "drive careful" when I leave, even though my response is always, "nope." I am grateful that my dad will always worry about me, no matter how grown up or independent I become; he will always ask me when I last checked the oil in my car or if I am locking the front door at night. And I am grateful that my mom picks up my lunch tab sometimes when she knows I am on a tight budget but want to go out to a nice meal with her. Not all of my friends have had that love and support from their parents; when we were growing up, my house was the house my friends came to when they were fighting with their parents or when they ran away from home. I appreciated it in high school, but not the way that I appreciate it now. I know I am so lucky to have the mom and dad that I have.

I am thankful, of course and always will be, for another year cancer-free for my daddy. It has been several years now...since what, 2006/2007...and I still can't talk about it without getting a lump in the back of my throat. My mom said the other day that the reason we go through bad shit is so that when bad shit happens to other people, we can support them. And at first I just rolled my eyes. But my dad's older brother has just started chemo for cancer this last week, and after a conversation with his daughter, I think maybe my mom was right. I can't relate to how my uncle feels, nor can I relate to how his son feels, or his mom or his siblings. But I definitely understand exactly how my cousin Keri feels. I know just how hard it is to be the daughter of a daddy battling cancer. And while I wish my dad would have never had to fight the battle he did, I can definitely appreciate being able to have those conversations with Keri that maybe no one else would be able to, because I know how she feels, because I have been in her shoes. So hopefully she feels a little better knowing that her little cousin understands and empathizes with just what is going through her mind.
Christmas 2008
I am thankful for my extended family. This goes without saying; I love being a part of this big, crazy, loud, opinionated family. My cousins are my best friends and I wouldn't have that any other way. I love all of the babies and toddlers, love watching them grow, love playing with them and being around them. I appreciate my relationships with everyone that is still a member of my family, and I appreciate the lessons I have learned from those who are not part of my family anymore. I am grateful for the courage that some of us have shown in order to let go of our tumultuous pasts and for the trust we are rebuilding. I cherish the closeness, the bond, and the love that my family has for each other, and in the past 6 months I have truly been able to let go of so much anger and just appreciate what I do have in the family who is still around, and to just let go of those who have let go of me.

I am thankful for everyone who helped me while I was temporarily homeless. Especially Kitty and Thor's dad, Ole, because he let me live in his house while he was on a work trip for almost 2 months. I am grateful for Rachel, who let me sleep in her son's room and use her shower every day for 3 weeks, and cooked me dinner in exchange for making her a smoothie every morning. I am even more thankful that I now have a beautiful, warm, cozy apartment to call home. I love my apartment. I love that I hired movers and they loaded and unloaded my whole life in like an hour. I love that Rachel spent an entire day/evening helping me unpack while getting drunk on champagne and wine. I am grateful that I finally have a nice, clean space close to my friends, so they can come over for dinner, or for drinks, or for movies. I am so happy to be able to drop in at Rachel's while I am running errands because we live so close and that visiting Kattie is no longer a chore. I finally can afford to turn on the heat, pay for cable, rent a carport parking space, and grocery shop at Trader Joe's & Chuck's Produce instead of Winco. I appreciate those blessings so much, as I know that not everyone has the same luxuries.

I am thankful for the new friendships, relationships, and experiences I have had this year. The girls I have become friends with this year - Kattie, Rachel, Ashley, Bridgett - I feel like I have had forever. When I think about how close I am to them, how well they really do know me, and everything that I have shared with them, I can't believe I have only known each of them for a year. Each of them is so unique and there is something just very genuine about them that is so hard to find in female friends. Kattie has taught me so much about health and nutrition, but also how to maintain clarity and the desire to grow as a person. Kattie is one of those rare gems who is just so mellow, which I don't understand being the high strung maniac that I am. Being her friend slows me down, lets me think and experience life as it is actually unfolding, and I love her for that. And being friends with me likely gives her a brother said the other day that I move faster than anyone he has ever met. So true. Impossibly fast. And then there is Rachel, who lives in her Type A brain much like I do. I am fairly certain that "Call Rachel" is on my daily to-do list and that "Call Veronica" is on hers...but unlike normal people, we would actually write it down. Rachel and I thrive on lists and organization and being crazy, and we play off of each other in a way that somehow allows us both to CTFD (calm the fuck down). Bridgett and I could probably not be any different - except for that we both just like to go to lunch and talk about sex. So there's that. Bridgett and I start a lot of conversations with "well I know you're a lot more spiritual than me, but...." We're different. But the fact that we can have a conversation knowing that we don't believe the same things makes me truly appreciate these conversations, because it shows a level of respect that so many people don't have. I feel like with so many false or one-sided friendships I have experienced with girls, I finally have the sense of real girlfriends. And I appreciate each of them so much.

 I am thankful for the ability to truly let go and move on, to get mentally healthy, and to maintain my sense of independence this year. This one pretty much speaks for itself, but after a long couple of years spent recovering from a horrible relationship, and then failing at the first one out of the gate afterwards because I wasn't ready for it yet, being able to function with men this year is something I am really grateful for. I have learned to be up front, open, and vulnerable with the people I spend my time with. If someone doesn't keep my attention right off the bat, or if I can tell it isn't right, I don't waste time trying to push it. I have learned to go with the flow, to take my time, and to trust my heart. While I am single now, and have been for most of the year, I have finally learned to be happy and self sufficient, and I have confidence that I will be so much better and so much healthier in my next relationship. 

I am thankful, as I will be every year, for the love of Miss Juno. Everyone likes to tease me about Juno and how spoiled of a cat she is, but everyone also knows where she came from and knows that I believe with all of my being that she is what saved me from an abusive boyfriend who was literally isolating me from the world one day at a time. From the day she arrived on my front porch, Juno was all mine and no one else's, despite the 3 other people living under that roof. And after only 27 days, Juno and I moved out, never to second guess the decision. So while I understand that she is just a cat, and while I can laugh at myself for how ridiculous I am about her, I truly am grateful for her. And you can all make fun of me all you want for it, it doesn't bother me at all.

I am thankful for travel and for the trips I have taken - and will take - this year. I got to go to Arizona and Las Vegas this year to celebrate turning 30. While on that trip, I found out that Kitty was having a baby; it was an awesome start to our girls' weekend and I was so excited to hear such great news. I stayed with Jenny in Arizona and spent those few days relaxing, reading, sleeping late, and hanging out at her bar while she was working. I am grateful that Jenny and I have been able to roll back into our friendship after my past relationship tore it apart out of jealousy and, well, it doesn't matter why. What matters is that I abandoned my best friend and am extremely humbled that she was able to forgive me and move on from those issues knowing that what happened in 2010 was out of my control. Jenny has always been my best girlfriend, she has been the one I trusted when I didn't trust anyone else, and she shares my sense of adventure and is seriously the best person ever to travel with.

There are so many reasons for me to be thankful this year, I think I could spend another ten hours on this blog post. I am appreciative of all of the friends and family I have grown closer to this year. To everyone who has supported me and loved me through a hard couple of years and has stuck by my side as things continue to improve in my life. I feel like I am finally surrounded by people who I can trust and rely on, and people who give me the same level of love and support that I give to them. I am truly just so grateful for the life I have and the world I am a part of. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to all of you. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My built-in best friends

Stacey's wedding day, 07/2010. 
Today's Topic: What was the best vacation you have ever had?

I have been lucky enough to have taken several big vacations in my adult life - first to Australia and then to the East Coast with Jenny, both shortly after graduating college. I loved everything about both of those trips (except for the 3rd member of the group on trip #2, but we just won't count that). We had fun, we tried new things - new foods, new drinks, new activities. We pushed our limits, we spent money, we got homesick, and we truly had amazing times.

While we were in Australia, we did things we had never done and will likely never do again. We went skydiving. We went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. We climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We toured the Sydney Opera House and then saw an opera there. We slept in an airport and in a police station, went to several zoos, held koala bears and fed elephants. We ate Vegimite and drank Absinthe. It was truly a life changing adventure.

But when I sit back and list off the trips I have taken throughout my life, even the small local ones, I remember that the best trip I ever took was to Sun River with the Stacey girls when we were in high school. I would never have recognized it at the time as the best trip of my life; it was a long weekend with the 5 of us guzzling Mike's Hard Lemonade. I had a broken leg and couldn't go swimming or ride bikes. I was on crutches. Drunk, on crutches. LaDonna was only 14, how much fun could we have been having??

The most fun, ever. Obviously.

That weekend in Sun River started out with a bang, when we called up our older cousin and asked him to please do us a solid and buy us some Mike's Hard Lemonade. Thinking we were incredibly sneaky, we met him at the school down the road and filled backpacks with bottles of Mike's throwing out the cardboard package evidence. We hit the road and were in Sun River, popping open drinks, the next afternoon. Obviously our parents knew the whole time, mostly because Phill ratted us out to his dad, who of course made fun of us with our moms. But we sure thought we'd gotten away with something.

Kitty in Sun River
We spent the weekend playing games, drinking, and at the pool. Kitty cut LaDonna's hair, 2 of us went streaking on the golf course late at night, I walked around and broke the heel out of my cast, and we met a complete stranger while "shoulder tapping" for more booze. We ate at Shari's with a group of boys we'd never met, went to the mall where the girls pushed me around in a wheelchair, and we practiced road rage with a psychopath on the highway. It was your typical, teenage girl road trip - bitch beers, snacks, gossip, and laughing.
At the pool, all 5 of us
The truth is, though, that from that year on, the 5 of us were really starting to be different. We were all teenagers. 2 of us had already graduated high school and were about to start college. One of us was a freshman. The age and life experience gap in our relationships would soon grow. Eventually, one of us would move to Phoenix, then get married and move to Alabama and now Tennessee. All but one of us would have babies and start families within 5 years. One of us would move in with a boyfriend and eventually would fall on the other 4 of us for support to get through the experience. We would travel to see each other, take other small weekend beach trips, but this one was the best one. Why? Because there was nothing in the way of us simply enjoying each other's company and having a great time for a few days.

I think most everyone knows that Stacey, Kitty, DeLaina and LaDonna have been the 4 most important people in the world to me my entire life. The best thing about my huge family is the built-in best friends - I don't know anyone else who has 5 girls, all the same age, in their family. We have taken multiple trips together, have been in weddings together, have fought, have made up, have cried together. We have loved, valued, encouraged and supported each other. We have grieved the enormously overwhelming loss of both of our grandparents together. We lost our dear Aunt Carmen together. We have welcomed babies into the world and into the family together. And while we are now 5 very distinct, opinionated, very unique personality types, these 4 girls are still my very best friends. We don't always see eye to eye, we sometimes argue and occasionally fight. We see each other less and don't travel together without babies these days. But I cannot imagine my life without the 5 of us being together.

Spaghetti Night at the cottage, 2011
Cannon Beach, January 2012
So despite my innate desire to travel, to get on airplanes and jet set to some amazing destination, to see the world, and to experience life in other countries, and while I have been so lucky to have seen the east coast of Australia from top to bottom, the best trip I ever took was a weekend in Sun River with Stacey, Kitty, DeLaina and LaDonna. Before any of us had bad relationships, got married, had babies, or grew apart. While we were just innocently the very best of friends, playing cards and drinking together.

Swimming at Aunt Kate's cabin
Camping at the cabin
LaDonna's 1st drinking experience..."I just wanna DIE!!"
I am thankful every day for my relationship with each of the Stacey girls, and have grown to appreciate my solo time with each of them just as much as I love the rare moment where we are all 5 in one room together. My relationship with each of them is different now that we are adults, but that's to be expected. Afterall, we are 5 distinct, very different women. I appreciate so much that I can always count on Stacey to give me advice and talk me off the ledge, and that Kitty is the one to join me on some last-minute adventure. I love sitting at the beach house just chatting away with DeLaina, and LaDonna gives me an excuse to buy a plane ticket whenever I need a cheap vacation to scratch that travel itch. 

And it makes perfect sense that we are the friends we are. Afterall, look where we came from...

Thor's wedding day, 2010: Our beautiful moms/aunts
Grandma & Grandpa. The start of it all

Saturday, November 23, 2013 I can watch my favorite shows!

I decided to turn my 30 day Single Woman blog challenge into a 15 day challenge because, well, a lot of the posts that are left are, to talk about a time you were mad/jealous over one of your married friends, or would you ever go on a reality dating show? Please, those are dumb. New challenge time.

Day 1: What show from your childhood would you love to bring back?
TV when I was younger was so much better than TV now. I sound like a super old lame-o when I say this, but I do believe that part of what is wrong with the kids in the world today is the shit that they watch on TV. I mean really, think about it...what's on TV now for a girl in junior high to watch? The Kardashians. Teen Mom. 16 and Pregnant. Real World. Snooki & JWow. Jerseylicious. The Bachelor/ette. Real Housewives of one of 87-odd locations.

Don't get me wrong, I watch a lot of this trash on Sunday nights when I'm home alone in my jammies. But I am 30, not 14. I am not a young impressionable kid who walks away from these shows thinking I am not rich enough, not smoking hot enough, not dumb enough to land a man.

My favorite thing about Fridays as a "tween" was the TGIF lineup on, what, Channel 2? It kept me home on Friday nights, usually with a friend or two over to eat popcorn and catch up on the lives of some of our favorite characters: Corey and Topanga, Steve Urquell and Laura Winslow, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the Cosby kids. Instead of begging my mom to let us go out and do whatever it is that 14 year olds do to get in trouble (have sex, smoke pot, drink cheap liquor), we were home, where our parents were, eating popcorn and drinking soda, watching TGIF before staying up half the night giggling and talking.

In addition to giving kids something to do at home on a Friday night, these shows were just better. Better written, better acted, just better. Reality TV drives me crazy. I loved knowing that next week, I'd have the resolution to the big cliffhanger of my shows from this week, and I often cried at the season or series finales of my favorite shows.

If I could bring back any shows from my childhood, I'd want to bring back Full House, The Cosby Show, Boy Meets World, and Step by Step. Classics. I still love watching reruns of these old shows when TBS does marathons. Because I am that big of a dork. But sometimes they are a nice break from reality shows!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Glad you could make it to my future

Today's topic: Write a letter to your future partner, saying whatever you want to say.

Well, if you are my future partner, you've probably heard (and accepted) everything I should be warning about you, so that's awesome - thank you, future partner, for falling in love with me, and for contining to love me.

Chances are, I will write letters to the future love of my life, because I love to write letters. Whether I send them or leave them in place in my journal  - yes, people, in addition to this blog, I also do actually keep a handwritten journal, because I am apparently addicted to writing - I enjoy writing letters. Letters just seem so much more personal than emails or texts. Maybe it's because there are actual pen strokes, or because chances are there are spelling mistakes that auto correct didn't fix for me, or because it takes a long time to write a letter, plus 40-something cents and a walk to the mailbox to get a letter sent, while it takes literally no effort to send an email.

There are several things that the future man in my life should know, and I assume that if in the future, he's still with me, I've told him what they are. And apparently he's ok with them, so that's good...

Dear Guy in my Future,
I don't want to have kids. I'm too selfish for kids. That sounds bad, but it really isn't. What I mean is, I like money, and I like spending it on myself. I don't want to buy diapers and formula and a crib and bottles, when I can buy plane tickets and book hotels and massages instead. I just don't think I was made with that little ticking time bomb some women have that ticks away til the day you get pregnant. I was instead born with an inate drive to see the world, to travel, to fly, to adventure. And, future-man-who-loves-me, I truly do hope we are traveling together, seeing the world from each other's arms, and having lots of sex in the fancy hotels we're booking rooms in.

I don't cook. Sorry. If I can't make it in a toaster, a blender, or a crock pot, you're out of luck. I had ice cream for dinner last night, and I eat Cheerios for lunch on the weekends. I can't cook and I don't like food enough to learn to be better at it. Chances are, I've made you pancakes and bacon a few times when I'm trying to get lucky, and I will always bake you a cake for your birthday, but please do know that no, I did not make it from scratch.

Juno is a permanent fixture, both in my house and in my bedroom. She does what she wants, sleeps where she wants, and I turn the heat up just for her, even when I'm not cold. I don't care if you don't like cats, are allergic to her, or think she is annoying; she is mine and she will be a known presence until she dies. And when that day comes, I will be devastated. Thank you, future guy, for understanding where Juno came from and why she has a special spot in my heart that makes me think it's funny when she bites you.

I am independant and hard-headed, but I bet you already know that. I celebrate holidays and love to shower my loved ones with affection on their birthday (for a whole week). I like family time, date nights, and I don't wear pants around the house. I deserve - and demand - respect, attention, and quality time. Little things are important, but I do enjoy the grand gesture, too. I suffer from incredible PMS, at which times it is best to just stay away from me, because everything you do will make me scream or cry, sometimes both. I cry at movies, I love to read, and I will probably at some point in our lives together, drag you to a therapist, because I really believe in it. I am a great girlfriend, so I assume I'll be a decent wife as well. I leave cards and notes, I love to get flowers, and I crave physical contact. I like kissing and cuddling and sex, all as often as possible.

If we've made it to the point where you're the man of my future, you probably already know and understand all of what I just wrote. So mostly, please just continue to love me for just the woman I am, even though parts of me are quite eccentric.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Don't call me a cow, or I won't give you the milk.

Today's topic: What are your spiritual beliefs and how do they impact your relationships/relationship status?

Well...I don't really have any spiritual beliefs, which allows me to act a bit slutty without any concern that I'm going to hell.

End blog.


To be fair, I was raised in a Catholic church and even went to a Catholic high school, where we prayed every morning, went to services, took Religion classes every semester, and where I learned that I do not, in fact, believe in most anything taught by the Catholic church. While many of my classmates were studying the Bible in class, I was passing notes to boys. Or about boys. On Sundays, when a lot of students were at church, I was sleeping off the tequila and orange juice I drank on Saturday night. Don't get me wrong, I was a good student. But I was also the one who debated, instead of obeyed, my Relgious Studies teacher. Mostly because I wanted to be a teenage ass hole, but also because I didn't buy into the brainwashing.

In high school, it was wrong to question. Teachers got mad if we asked why or how something had happened or was possible. Our sex ed class consisted of the "do not have sex or you will die" agenda. We were expected to be against abortion, to be virgins, to be complacent. We were told what to do and how to think, and to question it was inappropriate. My parents, thankfully, have always encouraged me to question, debate, educate, and make my own decisions. And trust me when I say, I deeply appreciate that.

From the ripe old age of 16, I have taken birth control pills. I am not a virgin. I do not have a husband. I am very liberal. I am also very, very pro-choice. I enjoy sex for purposes other than procreation. I *gasp* masturbate and don't worry about being damned for it. I think teenagers should have access to condoms in school. I do not believe in abstinence-only education, but rather in sex education. Plus, church is boring.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I do not believe in God. It is more of an agnostic point of view, where I'm unsure of what my beliefs really are. Do I believe in God? I don't really know. Do I practice organized religion? No, most definitely not. Do I pray? Nope. Do I worship the devil? No, not usually. If I were ever to set foot in church again, it would certainly not be a Catholic one, much to my grandmother's dismay. I won't get married in a Catholic church. Or in any other church most likely either. I occassionally worry that a church will ignite should I ever enter one, but that hasn't happened yet, so that's good. But in all seriousness, I just don't have a firm belief in anything specific, and while I can understand and appreciate those of you who do, I also expect you to understand and appreciate that I do not.

I have never really thought that my beliefs - or lack thereof - would play any sort of role in my relationships, but the reality is, I wouldn't get far in a relationship with someone who didn't want to have sex with me, who wanted me to attend a church service, or who was pro-life. The reality is, there are some things that are huge issues, and until you're more adult, looking for someone to spend a life with as opposed to a month with, they maybe don't matter. When I was in my early 20's, I didn't give a shit if a guy I was dating was anti-abortion or believed in Heaven and the ways you get there, because I wasn't looking for a life partner at 20. Now that I am older and I tend to not date guys who don't have any hope for the future, it matters. Because I couldn't spend my life with a man who thought he had any right to an opinion on women's reproductive health. Or a man who wouldn't have sex with me til we got married in a church. Um no, that won't work for me. I prefer to get the milk for free before I buy a cow...or however that incredibly sexist and demorialzing statement goes.

So I guess now that I am older, wiser, looking for an actual long term relationship with some staying power, these things do matter. Whether a man supports a woman's right to choose or not is very important. Someone's ability to understand sex education as an important contributor to our future generation is important. His understanding that if by some accidental force of nature I do end up parenting a child, said child will be raised with ALL of the facts, not just the keep-it-in-your-pants ones. And kids or no kids, there are certain things I believe in that are, by definition, deal breakers.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm not afraid of you, just so you know

Today's topic: What is your biggest fear as a single person?

My biggest fear as a single person? I'm confused. My biggest fear has always been the same thing, whether I've been single or in a relationship. I am scared of monkeys. You all already know that...

Ok fine. Something more real than monkeys. Even though they are technically what I am most afraid of. Just to make that crystal clear. Monkeys. are. my. biggest. fear.

As a single woman, my biggest fear is the feeling of not being enough for someone. I know where this comes from and I work on it contantly, both internally and externally. I vocalize this fear to the people who need to know of its presence, and I take responsibility for any insecurities left in its wake.

But regardless of knowing the root of this evil and having the skills required to keep it in check, it is a present fear and does occassional rear its head, leaving me an insecure mess in a puddle on the floor.

Does my logical brain know that this fear is ridiculous? Yes, of course. I know that I am exactly perfect for the right person. I know that at some point, some poor sap is going to meet me, fall head over heels for my big bright eyes, my crazy curls, my dynamic personality, and my  infectious smile. I know that this guy is going to be met head on with a smart, strong, independant woman who will not take the back seat, who rarely backs down from a fight, who is headstrong and hard-assed. The poor guy won't even see it coming til it is too late. He'll already be too gushy over me to run. I know that I am good enough, I know that I am the strongest, healthiest version of myself than I have been in a long time, and I know that there is a boy out there who will appreciate and love that.

Does any of that stop the insecurities that occassionally pop up to burst my confidence bubble? No, not at all. Because for 3 years, I had it beat into my head that I was not pretty, that I was not smart, that I was not important, and that I was not worthy of anyone's time, energy, or heart. I was bullied and bulldozed into forgetting who I was and forgetting to care about myself. And those things don't go away overnight. They don't disappear in 10 hours of therapy. They don't vanish when you date someone else; they are still there, and maybe they always will be.

The important thing is, I am no longer afraid of my insecurities, nor do I let my fears get in the way of what I want to do. I speak more openly of my feelings than I ever have, and so far, it has only given me more strength, power, and confidence.

Being vulnerable is hard. It challenges me. It scares me. I am afraid of rejection, afraid of someone else bullying the emotion right out of me. But I have embraced that fear is just part of the journey, and that without it, life would be too easy and I'd take it for granted. Am I afraid of being in love with someone? Hell yes. But I won't let that stop me. I will continue to be the boy-crazy, optimistic, passionate girl I always have been. I will face disappointments and heartache, but in the end I will be happy, and I will have found the person worth all the rest of it. And most important, I'll be healthy, happy, and ready for it.

And by the way, I am still far more afraid of monkeys than any of this.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sometimes the wrong things are the right things for a little while

Today's topic: Describe your most difficult break up and what you learned from it.

Most people would probably expect me to say that my most difficult break up was with Kalib, but it wasn't. With Kalib, by the time it got to the break up, I was done and had already checked out, so it was just a matter of moving my stuff out of the house. And yes, the process was hard, losing Rylie was hard, leaving the house I helped purchase was hard. But the breaking up part in itself, was not hard for me. Because I was ready.

Rewind to the relationship I was in prior to meeting Kalib, and that was the most difficult break up I have been through. Not because the relationship was extremely long-lasting or deep, but simply because my heart was still in it when it ended. I didn't want to break up with Zach. I liked him. He was fun and always made me laugh. We had fun together, had great chemistry. But I knew I had to break up with him. He was an alcoholic and he wasn't working, and it wasn't good for either one of us to be in that relationship at that time. My relationship with Zach is a perfect example of how sometimes, you can have the chemistry, but that without the timing, you will fail. It was an example of a time where I rushed into something, where I pushed past my doubts and went for it anyway. And as they tend to do when they're not the right thing, it failed.

It is hard for me now to look back on my relationship with Zach and be critical, because a year ago he was killed in a car accident in northern California. Ironically on his way home to check into an in-patient rehab center to combat his alcoholism. I know that our relationship was not healthy for either of us. I know that it was not perfect, and I don't look back on it with dreamy eyes; I know that while we were having a great time, we were not being responsible about it. Zach was a good person and I will never forget the fun year I spent being a part of his life. I think of him often, and I message his Facebook page when I am feeling particularly blue. We may not have been the right thing for each other, but he was still something right in my life.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It isn't always in the Grand Gesture

Today's Topic: What fictional character do you identify with and why?

In my recent homelessness, I watched a lot of TV streamed from Netflix on my laptop. A lot. I have watched just shy of the entire series of How I Met Your Mother in the last 30 days (don't give me any secrets, I still have seasons 8 and 9 to finish). And for a great deal of the show, I felt a connection to Ted Mosby.

Ted is a hopeless romantic, and all he wants is for some grand gesture to bring him to the love of his life. He looks at the world through the eyes of someone who wants to be in love and wants to share it with the perfect person, but who is growing more cynical that this person is not out there for him. Ted believes in destiny and in fate, and he wears his heart on his sleeve.

It is true. I am Ted Mosby.

At least Ted Mosby is sexy. If I'm him, at least I can move forward knowing how sexy I am.

Despite my best efforts to hide it under sarcasm and independance, I am a complete and total sap. I believe in the same things Ted Mosby does (with the exception of destiny, I don't buy into that) and I want what he wants. There are days where I wake up and hope for a romantic, knock me on my ass, sweep me off my feet gesture from the man of my dreams. There are days where I feel like everyone around me is happy and in love, and that I am destined to be by myself because only ass hats are attracted to me. There are days where I feel like I give and give and give, where I am completely emotionally open and honest, where I am vulnerable and totally ready...and that no one notices it.

And then reality smacks me in the face, and I remember that love is not about grand gestures. Love is not going to appear out of nowhere and brainwash me. Love is something that takes time. The best relationships grow from friendships. I remember that I don't want a knock me on my ass moment to blind me from reality; I want the person who makes my reality better without blinding me. And I am not in a hurry. In fact, I am not really 100% ready, and until I am, I need to focus on myself, not on someone else. I know that my success in a relationship will come from taking the time to be ready, not from rushing through the important parts.

Ted Mosby is an awesome character. He has heart. He is vulnerable. He is open to love. He believes in it. He takes his past experiences and past heartaches and learns from them, usually. Ted Mosby is open and honest and true to his own heart. He goes after what he wants. He expresses his feelings.

And sometimes, even though he loves the Grand Gesture, he remembers that love is not one grand gesture, but rather a compilation of all the small, sweet, moments. And that's when Ted finds what he spent 9 seasons looking for: the mother of his children, the love of his life.

I am Ted Mosby. I am the hopeless romantic who has fallen in love with all the wrong people so far and still somehow believes in a deep, true, passionate love. I am Ted Mosby. And I am ok with that.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

There are a lot of benefits to being my friend

Today's Topic: Describe how you met the last person you texted and talk about your friendship/relationship.

The last person I texted is someone I text fairly often. And by fairly often, I mean if we went a day without at least a text or two, I'd probably think he was dead. This person is a good friend of mine and has been for, what, 9 years now. The only catch is, when I have a boyfriend or he has a girlfriend, we don't really talk. And we definitely don't hang out. And if we happen to run into each other, we certainly do not drink together alone. And, I'm sure you can guess why that is.

Yes, that is because we are friends who happen to enjoy having sex with each other.

And from what I can tell, that's not a nice thing to do with your friend when you have a boyfriend or girlfriend. And in the last 9 years, I have learned that I am too physically attracted to this person, and the chemistry is just too present, to maintain a friendship when other people's feelings, hearts, or relationship statuses are involved.

We met 9 years ago, at work. He was charming and irresistable, and of course at 22, I was...well, I was drunk mostly. But I also had a nice ass, and I loved to drink cheap beer and play Big Buck Hunter, so obviously I was a total prize. We were friends, and we occassionally hooked up, usually at 3:00 in the morning after a night closing down the Brew or the Harmony. Goodness, I was so classy in my early twenties.

In any case, the friendship we had 9 years ago was very shallow; it involved a lot of drinking, a lot of jealousy, some tears, some anger, and honestly, a lot of fun as well. But thankfully, we've both outgrown the way we treated each other in the past and actually do have a good friendship, even outside of the physical.

This person is someone I know I can count on to tell me the truth, to offer me sound advice when I ask for it, to tell me when I am acting crazy, and to listen to me when I'm venting. And more than anything, he makes me laugh. Whether we are at his place or mine, seeing a movie, having dinner or a drink, or watching a football game, rest assured I will be entertained. There is a healthy dose of give and take in my friendship with him; while he is able to give me advice as I need it, he is also one to approach me for the same. I no longer feel what I felt 9 years ago - that I was the one giving and he was the one taking, our friendship has surpassed that and is much more balanced than it used to be. I contribute that to the time I spent in therapy, because I often just quote my therapist to him when he needs to figure some shit out.

One thing I have learned, not necessarily from this relationship, but from relationships in general - and life experience in general really, is that chemistry is vital, but so is the timing. When you push for something that you are not ready for, it will inevitably fail. When you force something instead of waiting for it to progress naturally, you ruin it. I have rushed things in the past, pushed them when instinctivly I was not ready, and look where that has gotten me. I'm not in high school anymore, I don't need to label every relationship I have right away, nor do I need to make everything into a big deal or to push when I am not ready. As I have taught my dear friend Rachel, most of the time, people really just need to CTFD (calm the fuck down) and let things come at them. As long as there continues to be a presence of honesty and communication, I will continue to be satisfied.

Pun. Intended.

Someone (not this same person) just told me that I should proceed with this blog post, despite the fact that sometimes - especially as a woman - it is hard to admit publicly that you're having sex with someone on a casual basis, someone who is not your boyfriend. People get all judgey about it and want to start in with their "you're gonna get hurt" speeches. And while I respect the opinions of my friends, some of whom disagree with most of the life decisions I make, I am who I am and I may as well be open about it. Afterall, this is my blog, and isn't that the point?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Go ahead, let your guard down...I dare you

Today's topic: Five things that are most important to you in a future partner.
I don't feel like I have a long list of demands from a guy that has contributed to the constant disappointment I find in men, but there are several things that I do believe are essential characteristics for someone to keep my attention and make me happy for a long time. Something that a lot of people don't realize about me is, I really am a hopeless romantic. Jaded to some degree, perhaps, but still really just looking for a lifetime of happiness with someone who loves me.

When someone asks me, what are you looking for in a guy, I always just stare at them blankly, as if I have no idea what qualities are important. But what matters to me are the same things that should be important to any woman - I want a man who is respectful, kind, appreciative, attentive, and honest. I don't really think any of these things are so outlandish that they warrant their own blog post, but they are apparently also harder to come by than you might thing, since I've never dated anyone who was able to deliver on the whole package.

More than any of the qualities I can count on my fingers though, I think what truly is the most important thing that I need from a partner is the feeling that nothing I do is stupid. I need to be with someone who validates the way that I feel, whether it makes sense or not, and whether it is logical or not. I don't always make sense, and I don't expect anyone - friends or boyfriends - to always follow my line of thought. But I won't tolerate someone calling my thoughts, stupid. I am not stupid, and what I think is never stupid. I do need to have that feeling of support and validation, so that I am able to continue being open and honest.

Being safe in my vulnerability is so vital, and something that seems to come along far too rarely. People become far too defensive and build far too many walls around their hearts as they endure breakups, failed relationships, or disappointments. This is something we are all guilty of, not just me. The easy thing to do when someone hurts you is arm yourself with an emotional shield, to barricade yourself from ever feeling that pain again. But when someone comes along and shows you respect, compassion, and support; when someone listens to you, validates your emotions, and continues to want to be around you, it is your responsibility to start letting go of those brick walls. The person on the other side deserves for you to let them in, and more importantly, you deserve to have someone who wants to be there.

Relationships are no easy feat, but I do hold out hope that at some point, I will find someone worth all the effort. And of course, if I can't have any of that, there's always the sex appeal of George Clooney to satisfy me...