Saturday, February 28, 2015

Let's Be #JustFriends, Just Because

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about whether or not I believed men and women could be friends without sex complicating the relationship; It sprung from the movie When Harry Met Sally, and Billy Crystal's belief that men and women cannot be friends.

At that point, I wasn't sure whether I agreed or disagreed with Billy Crystal. Because at that time, I was falling in love with one of my friends. It was complicated and confusing, and it was also intense and gratifying. I'd never felt love like that. It was the kind of love that makes you realize you never loved anyone you'd previously believed you had. I was lucky in that my friend appeared to be falling in love with me too; I wasn't alone in the feeling that my heart could explode every time I saw him. I was head-over-heels, elated-and-over-the-moon, horny-all-the-time, in L-O-V-E for the first time.

And, of course, our friendship was effectively destroyed.

Not because anything bad happened, and not because there was a fight or a falling out, but just because, once you fall in love with someone, can you really consider them a friend? When they make your heart burst, when they light up every morning, can you really turn that off? No, not so much. So, despite our individual issues with vulnerability, and despite the prior relationship baggage we were both lugging around with us, I found myself in a relationship with my friend. A friend I'd spent the last several months falling in love with while simultaneously attempting to deny it.

As you know, it didn't work out. It doesn't really matter why; he and I know why, and our respective therapists know why. What matters is that, after experiencing my first real love, I then experienced my first real broken heart. And, fuck that. It fucking sucked. For the first time, I knew what it was like to not want to get out bed, to not want to eat, to not want to even turn on the lights, brush my teeth, or wash my hair. All I wanted to do was lay in bed with my cat, sleep all day, and cry until my eyes burned. For the first time, I had pain in my chest that radiated through the rest of my body. I'd never experienced anything like it, and I wouldn't have wished it on anyone else...except, I did hope he was feeling it too, honestly. I hoped I'd been as important to his heart as he'd been to mine, and I knew if I was, he was likely in his own bed with his own cat, not eating or sleeping or showering, or doing anything but existing there.

For the record, as it turned out, he was. Because I was important to his heart, and because breaking up fucking sucks.

After we broke up and a healthy amount of time had passed staying away from each other's Facebook pages and snap chats, one of us struck a casual conversation, and we made a mutual effort to repair the incredible friendship that our romantic relationship had dug a grave for. We decided to try. And honestly, it took a little bit of thought; was it worth the potential awkwardness or any potential hurt later on? We mutually agreed that any other feelings aside, this was a friendship worth salvaging. I missed him; I missed the way he listened intently when I spoke, and the way he was always thinking outside the box. I missed his quirkiness, the way he instilled confidence in me even when his own was lacking, and the way he made all of my bad days, good.

We've been spending a significant amount of time together in the past several weeks, and I am reminded of everything that drew me to him from the day we met. All the reasons I wanted to be friends with him in the first place, the things that truly attracted me to him as a person. It has been refreshing to spend time at his dining room table, drinking wine and having the same real, meaningful conversations we've always had, as if we hadn't skipped a beat. As if the complicated messy parts never got in the way of a genuine connection. I've been happily messaging him throughout our day, talking over beers about work and family and life, in a way that makes me feel like we didn't fuck it all up just a few months ago. It feels like I have one of my best friends back, and how does that not make me think, yes, absolutely, men and women can absolutely be friends?!

Because, jealousy. Because, attraction. Because, tension. Because, wine.

If your friend mentions someone else they're interested in, or someone else they may be dating, and you feel jealousy radiating through're probably not just friends.

If you're physically attracted to your friend, in a way that distracts you, in a way that allows you to pull her closer to you on the couch, or in a way that makes your cheeks warm when he smiles at're not just friends.

If you and your friend have sex, if you kiss goodnight, curl up under the covers together without pants on, stay the night in bed together, and wake up next to each're not just friends.

The wine speaks for itself. Wine is just, wine...

I wrote my original blog six months ago, posing the question, is it possible for men and women to be friends without complicating everything with sexual tension and mutual attraction. And I honestly still don't know. I still wonder if he and I are truly just good friends, with some history of attraction that is stirred up by drinking wine, or if our friendship is an impossibility. Are we fighting an uphill battle in which one (or both) of us will end up hurting all over again, or are we capable of a true friendship that doesn't crush our boundaries? Can you be friends with someone you've shared your whole heart with in the past, or is your friendship from this point forward, somehow tarnished? I really don't know; surely time will tell in this instance. Time has a way of doing that.

And in the mean time, the best thing to do is to continue to enjoy having an incredible friend back in my life, in whatever way that happens for the two of us. Because what I've learned about good friends, is that it doesn't matter how a relationship looks to anyone else; it only matters that your friends fill your heart and you fill theirs. That you're there for each other with love and support, that you're available, reliable. That you bring a sense of calm to their otherwise overwhelming world. That they find the way to make you feel comfortable and safe. It only matters that you're both there, with honesty and communication, for each other. Whether you're best friends, close friends, good friends, great friends, or just all boils down to, how much does this person matter to your heart?

If you're in each other's hearts, the rest will work itself out.

Because, love. Because, support. Because, encouragement.

Because, you want it to.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

50 Shades of Kinky Fuckery

So, I just got home from a movie; a handful of my girlfriends and I went to see 50 Shades of Grey. And it was pretty good. I think we all enjoyed it - and not just because it was 20% sex scenes (that didn't hurt, of course). The books were certainly written at an easy reading level, and there were a few too many descriptions of Anastasia's vagina, but they were a quick, fun, easy read - and we were all enticed to see the film adaptation.

There has been a ton of hype surrounding this movie, and a ton of criticism as well. Specifically, I've read several articles about the ways that this movie's portrayal of the dominant/submissive relationship glorifies domestic abuse. There is no shortage of people writing blogs in protest of the film, because of all the different ways Christian Grey is abusive, controlling, and manipulative, and all of the different ways he is violent toward Anastasia.

Umm. Nope.

As someone who has been abused, I can speak from personal experience that in no way does this movie glorify, support, or encourage domestic violence or abuse in romantic relationships. Because a desire to dominate someone in the bedroom does not a violent abuser make.

The plot line to 50 Shades of Grey - in case you were born last week and haven't already heard - is that of a dominant/submissive relationship in a young couple. She's a virgin, he's a head case, he wants to dominate her, they eventually fall in love and the story goes another route. Your basic Disney romance, with some nudity and bondage scenes. But of course, no one can just watch a movie, enjoy it, and go about their day. We all have to analyze it, critique it, and tear it to shreds about all of the underlying meaning and all of the wrong messages it sent to the young women out there.


First of all, there is a huge, HUGE difference between a dominant/submissive relationship and an abusive one. Key differences? Trust, love, and respect.

In dominant/submissive relationships, there are boundaries. There are safe words. There are rules and hard limits. Also, there is love. There's respect for your partner and a desire to give each other pleasure. The relationship is not about control or torture, or wanting to cause pain to the person you love; it's about causing pleasure. And maybe it isn't what you're into in the bedroom, but that doesn't make it evil or bad or wrong; that doesn't mean it isn't erotic or passionate. And it certainly does not make it abuse.

In an abusive relationship, on the other hand, there tends to be a lack of trust. And certainly a lack of respect for your partner. There are no boundaries, no safe words, and no rules. With abuse, there is not love and respect and a fair partnership. Abusive relationships are not about pleasure, they're about control. Abusers are manipulators who need to be in control, who need to be in charge and making decisions. Abusers don't respect the people they're abusing. Abusers don't care about your hard limits, your desires, or really about you at all. Not. The. Same.

In watching the fictional relationship unfold on the movie screen, it was clearly very much about two people who cared for each other, expressing their feelings and desires, satisfying each other sexually and, eventually, emotionally as well. In living a real life domestic violence scenario, there is no healthy expression of feeling and desire. Sure there's sex. It'd be unrealistic to think there wasn't. But there isn't healthy, romantic, passionate sex. It's obligatory sex. It's sex because you have to, because it's expected of you; it's sex with the lights off because you've been told repeatedly how unattractive you are and how awful it is to look at you. Sex in an abusive relationship lacks passion, lacks romance. You do it when you're asked, you don't enjoy it. You don't even have orgasms, so you're certainly not exploding with pleasure while blindfolded and handcuffed to the headboard. Sex with someone who abuses you often ends in a fight because you did it wrong, or because you said the wrong thing, or because you tried to say no. Sex with an abuser is quite the opposite of a dominant/submissive sexual relationship.

Repeat after me: Sex with someone who loves and treasures you and respects your boundaries, is nothing like sex with someone who controls and manipulates you, who criticizes your every move and belittles your existence.

50 Shades of Grey was a book-turned-movie that has gotten a lot of play (see what I did there?) because of the erotic language and juicy sex scenes, and because it gives light to a form of sexual relationship that people in general may not consider the norm. Repeatedly throughout the script, even the main character asks why her love interest doesn't have sex "like normal people." However, just because it's not the norm, doesn't mean it's ugly or abusive. Some women (and some men, really) aren't into anal sex, but some are - that doesn't make it gross or ugly, it just makes it a personal preference. Sex - what you like, what you don't, what turns you on - is all personal preference.

As long as you're with someone who respects you, respects your limits and boundaries, and understands that sex should make you feel safe and satisfied, it's not wrong, no matter what it looks like. You can be into the kinky fuckery with someone who loves you, cherishes you, and protects you. Or you can have vanilla, quiet, "normal" sex with someone who controls you, forces himself on you, and puts you in danger more often than not. It's not bad because it's kinky, nor is it good because it's vanilla.

It's not black and white.

It's grey.

What it really comes down to is, it's not about the type of sex you're having, but rather the type of person you're having sex with. Nothing else is relevant, so don't let other people influence what feels good (or bad) to you.

Even if that means you ask someone to blindfold you and smack your ass with a riding crop.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Shake Your Ass & Celebrate

11 Day Photo Blog Challenge
Day 10: A Picture of You Celebrating

This was such a tough post to pick a photo for - I am at a place in my life where there is so much to celebrate, how do I possibly narrow it down?? I celebrate birthdays, holidays, parties, vacations, promotions...what can I say, I am a party girl! And in contemplating what photos to pick, I decided I wanted to focus on recent celebrations - and what more recent event to write about than this amazing Valentine's Day weekend?!

With as many hours as I work in a day early in the week, I've been getting pretty lucky with three-day weekends lately. I'm not allowed to have overtime at my property, so hitting that 40 hour mark at 10am Friday has made for a lot of Friday afternoons off (no complaints there). This weekend was no different; by the time Thursday and Friday came, I had a lot of time to shave off, so I just worked half days on both days, as opposed to taking all of Friday off. Reason to celebrate number one: extended weekend hours.

Thursday evening, I had dinner, wine, and much-needed long conversations with a handsome fella, after which we watched a movie before I headed home to bed. It had been a long time since we'd seen each other, and it was just what I was after. Reason to celebrate number two: good food made with wine and laughter, followed up with couch snuggling and big hugs goodnight.

Friday afternoon I deep cleaned my apartment, did my laundry, and finally sat down for a chunk of book club homework reading time. Reason to celebrate number three: a good book with no pants and a snuggly blanket in the sunshine. I read several chapters in bed, stopping only to change laundry loads and grab a snack, and enjoyed my book with some new music in the background. Though my intention had been to stay home and in this position all night long, I was tempted out for a beer, some better music on a jukebox, and several more hours of real talk with the aforementioned fella. Talking to him has always felt great, so how was I to say no? Reason to celebrate number four: hearing things you've waited months for, and listening to Ed Sheeran.

Waking up on Saturday morning, after a nice long sleep, I finished cleaning and did a little shopping before my Valentine's date night out with the girls. My friend Amy had invited me out to Dante's in downtown Portland to see none other than Sir Mix a Lot - yea, THE Sir Mix a Lot - in concert with her and a friend of hers. Kattie, Aloura, and I quickly obliged. After confirming we were not on a man-hater, hoes-over-bros type adventure, I invited the fella to join us as well, and was definitely glad he was up for the night out with some ladies. The show was awesome - loud, crazy, and entertaining; I was surprised with how awesome it ended up being, because really how much can you expect from an artist you don't remember hearing from in the past ten years? But he proved me wrong. He. Was. The Shit. Reason to celebrate number five: Dancing, drinking, booty-shaking, laughing, and walking barefoot back to the car after eating gyros from a food cart.

Sunday morning, after getting Aloura out the door to work (the poor girl), I cooked breakfast, then spent the afternoon shopping and running errands, and just enjoying the sunny day with my truck windows down and the music turned up loud. I felt a sense of satisfaction that I haven't felt in a while; I felt like I had just spent an entire long weekend surrounded by people who make my life more fun, who make my world a better place to be. I felt like I got some answers to some things that have really been bothering me. I felt hopeful and a little excited, and I felt confused but comfortable with my confusion. It was an afternoon spent, just me, enjoying the fact that I have a life worth celebrating, with people there worthy of celebration. Reason to celebrate number six: real talk, loud music, love, and joy.

And what's better to celebrate than a weekend like this one? I mean other than knock-kneed bimbos walkin' like hoes. #celebratethat!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I Take That Back...Be Careful of That Lego

11 Day Photo Blog Challenge
Day 6: A Picture of Something You Love

Things I love: Opening a new book. Watching my cat chase squirrels through the patio door. Eating popcorn with Blake. Writing. When someone new starts reading my blog. Facetime. Taking vacations. The beach. Spending time with my cousins. Friday. And Saturday. Well, weekends in general. Grocery shopping. Purchasing plane tickets. Tax refunds. A good movie. Afternoon naps. Corona. Blue Moon. Champagne. Bacon and eggs for breakfast. Yoga pants. No pants. Buying new underwear. Zumba. Lunch dates with my mom. Text messages. Cuddling under a blanket. Date nights. Girls nights with my best friends. Eye shadow. Pedicures. Sheets right out of the dryer. Birthday week. Power sanding furniture projects. Loud music. Driving my truck. Quotes that make me think. Weddings. Kissing. Las Vegas. Massages. Tattoos. Hoodies. Sex. Road trips. Spending time with the people who love me the most. Using unnecessary hashtags. Waking up next to a handsome fella. Flowers. Juno, the most amazing cat ever.

And about a million other things, all of them awesome.

It's hard to pick a photo of just one thing I love...I mean, I feel like I take a lot of photos, and most of them are of people, places, and/or things that I love. #thisishard. Do I pick one thing or several things? Should I be serious or funny? Or, being that it's Valentine's Day - a day of mush and gush and lovey-dovey nonsense - do I try to get totes legit on the love thing?

What it boils down to is, I can't pick just one thing I love. I am surrounded daily by positive people, amazing friends, and a supportive family. I have a decent job that I don't hate, that pays me well enough to fund the fun in my life. I get to go to the beach, take vacations, lounge around in my jammies, snuggle my choice of babies, and wake up every morning to a happy cat purring next to me. I have had the life experiences necessary to have led me to where I am now, and I feel like I can appreciate and value what I do have because of where I've come from. From the bad, came the good.

I woke up this week to a text from one of my oldest girlfriends, that really put today's blog topic into perspective: Happy Valentine's Day. Love you so much. So happy to see you loving yourself so much this year and living life! So proud of you and so blessed to be your friend.

I couldn't have asked for a more positive message this year for Valentine's Day. It's true. The past 12 months I have focused hard on taking care of myself, loving my life, and embracing all that the world has to offer. And I have loved it. I've loved the good and the bad, even those moments where I was sad. My relationships have gotten better, my friendships stronger, and honestly, I just can't say enough about all of the love around me.

And so, here they are...some of the most positive and uplifting moments of happiness, support, pride, and most importantly, L-O-V-E in my life. I am so grateful for these moments with these people!

Friday, February 13, 2015

You Can Go Step on a Lego

11 Day Photo Blog Challenge
Day 5: A Picture of Something You Hate

Things I hate: People who stand too close to me in the grocery store line. Mushrooms. Monkeys. People who tell me I will regret not having children. People who ask me why I'm not married yet - specifically those who ask in a condescending manner. People who are rude to servers or who tip shitty. Slow drivers. Getting car sick. Carrots. Cake. Pie. Rush hour traffic. Talking about my feelings. Speaking in public. Being on the phone with Comcast. Losing control. Crying in front of boys. Tire swings. Homework. Getting yelled at. Blinds dates. Pork chops. Burns. The dentist. Violent films. Baby vomit. Cat vomit. Most anyone's vomit, really. Dogs.

Now that that's done...

More than any other trivial thing I hate, I hate being lied to. And I hate having my heart broken. I especially hate when these two things happen to coincide. Individually, they suck. Together, they're a disaster.

I hate being lied to because when I believe a lie or fall for some bull shit, inevitably I end up feeling like an idiot. And I hate feeling like an idiot. I know I shouldn't. You're the one who lied to me, why am I feeling bad over it? It's not my responsibility to think everyone is out there lying to me all the time, nor is it up to me to second guess everything anyone says to me. The thing is, I am a very trusting person; and I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it's actually a pretty good thing - especially considering some events in my past - that I am able to look at someone new and see no reason not to buy into the things they're saying to me. People who think everyone is a liar, are annoying. They tend to be bitter and unloving, and are certainly unable to be happy and secure in a relationship. So, as I said, I believe that my ability and willingness to give people my complete faith, is more positive than negative.

And yet, when that trust is broken, I tend to feel very stupid, like I somehow should have known better. And that's annoying in itself. It is not up to me to know better; it is not up to me to doubt you or lack faith in you. It is my job to trust that your intentions are honorable, and that you have not set out to hurt me.

Point being: Do not fucking lie to me. Whether you are my friend, my boyfriend, my family, or my coworker. Just don't do it.

I think the only thing worse than being lied to, is having a broken heart. I honestly hate the feeling of heartache. And until fairly recently, I didn't even realize the extent in which a heart could actually feel pain. You all surely know the feeling...the wave of intense pressure on your chest cavity, the sting of tears behind your eyes, that feeling where you can't take too deep of a breath, to where you just can't get enough oxygen. It sucks. Having someone break your heart is the absolute most shitty feeling in the world. I don't wish a broken heart on anyone, ever - even people I don't like (because I don't need that kind of shitty karma).

Heartache is one of those things that is both physically and emotionally painful. It's right up there with jealousy - which I also hate, by the way - where you feel the feeling physically and then you also feel it-feel it. I can't say much else other than it really just fucking sucks, and I really fucking hate it.

The thing about having someone break your heart, is it's the very worst when it wasn't their intention. Like, if someone is mean to me, or they cheat on me, or they shove me into a wall, that's intentional. You did that shit on purpose. It hurt because I trusted you. It hurt because I thought you cared about me. It hurt because you clearly don't. But the worst is when it wasn't on purpose. When you still care about me, and when I don't see it coming. Unexpected, unintentional, wanna-be-your-friend-still-because-I-think-you're-amazing heartbreak is the most painful shit ever. It's hard. How do you be friends with someone who both stole your heart and broke it? Without a little time, a little grief, and - let's be real - a little therapy, you just don't. It's too hard.

Have I mentioned I hate being heart broken?

In all seriousness, there are really no worse feelings than being lied to and having your heart stomped on. These are definitely two things I hate, more than anything else.

That said, in honor of the holiday, I also do, mutha-fucking hate Valentine's Day. Not because I'm single and bitter (yes, I'm single, no I'm not bitter), but because it's a day of expectations and so often a day of unnecessary disappointment. People expect gifts and flowers and lovey-dovey nonsense on Valentine's Day. Well guess what. If your partner doesn't do lovey-dovey all year long, you're about to get your hopes up for nothing, because you're going to be disappointed when he, on yet another day of the year with you, doesn't shower you with nonsense. And if you're one of the lucky ones who was able to snag one of the few who does tend to shower nonsense all year long, then Valentine's Day really is just another day of the year with you. Congratulations, don't let that one get away from you.

So, there's all that.
A day of things I hate.
Coulda been a legit downer of a blog post for sure...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Crazy Like a Girl With Two #Wifeys

11 Day Photo Blog Challenge
Day 3: A Picture of the Person Who Has Helped You Through the Most
Day 4: A Photo of the Person You Do the Craziest Things With 

I think once you're out of high school, it becomes harder to say who you "best friend" is. In middle and high school, it's easy - you have lots of friends, and then you have your very best friend. But as we grow up, we tend to develop stronger friendships with several people, and they may or may not also be friends with each other. We start to migrate towards other people who lift us up, encourage and support us, and we learn the lesson that friendship is 100% quality, 0% quantity. And in my case, while there are a lot of people I enjoy spending time with, drinking with, chatting with...there are a select few with whom I share it all.

Today's blog is a combination of day three and day four in the photo-a-day blog challenge, because there are two women in my life who have helped me immensely in their own ways, and have watched me (and helped me) do my fair share of crazy shit in the few years we've been friends. My #bestfriend and my #wifey, with whom I have the strongest friendships, and with whom I would be a puddle of disaster without: Kattie and Rachel.

Maybe it's because I'm not in school anymore, and because I work all the time, but I happened upon both of these women through work, and both in the last three years. Kattie was hired into a position I had just been promoted from, and ironically I became friends with Rachel because I helped her pack to leave her husband, after meeting her at a staff meeting. And yes, I know that's a weird thing to do with someone you don't know, help them leave their husband. But we were pretty fast friends from there.

At work, we call Rachel "Mom," because the girl's got a legit mom voice. A nice, firm lecture. And also because she's a caretaker. Rachel let me live with her for several weeks while I was homeless following a flood in my apartment. She also let my cat live with her when I wasn't even there. And you all know my cat is fucking needy. Rachel and I have spent a lot of hour drinking wine, eating food, laughing, crying, and bitching about other people. We've celebrated birthdays in Vegas, we've watched fireworks and had bonfires at the beach, and we've spent holidays together. I've gone to her son's baseball games, and we've met each other's parents. It's no wonder I call her my #wifey, with the way she takes me in and the way I listen to her vent. She's taken care of me better than anyone else, and I know that no matter what bad day, headache, or broken heart I am suffering, I can count on her for some mommy wisdom to make it hurt a little less.

Kattie, as my closest single, childless friend, has been along for every random road trip, last minute vacation, and latest late nights at the bar on the fly; she's seen it all. Kattie and I have traveled to Las Vegas, the beach, Eugene, Tri-Cities, and Bend - and we're going to Boise tomorrow for a long weekend, and back to Vegas & into Phoenix in April. If I want to spend money, I call Kattie - and especially if I want to spend money on something I've never done before. Something new and adventurous? Kattie is my go-to. She's watched me tackle new things, has forced me to taste new foods (all to my benefit), and encourages me every time I say, I think I might want to try...because she probably wants to try it too. We've been drunk together, have stayed out all night together, and have made new friends and seen new places together. No matter what lunacy I come up with, I know Kattie will be there to tell me it's a great idea. Because why the fuck not?!

I think it's great to have a lot of friends - lots of people you can call to grab drinks or dinner with. But I think it's a far better thing to have people in your life who will drop whatever they are doing, do anything they can, to make a bad day better. Kattie and Rachel are two people who have changed my life for the better; they have been there for every good day and every shitty one, and they've never been further than a phone call away. I've grown immensely and my life has changed dramatically in the past three years, and possibly the only consistency has been that these two have been there every step of the way. Every crazy day, every promotion, every move, every vacation. I am lucky to have stumbled upon them, and I am grateful for them daily.

And I mean, we're close enough friends that a guy I like to make out with sometimes just asked me, are you like, lovers, or what? All three of us like dick way too much for all that! #bestfriends!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

#RideOrDie With FMW

11 Day Photo Blog Challenge
Day 2: A Photo of You and the Person You've Been Closest to the Longest

Yesterday, one of my friends posted on Facebook, "everyone seems to be looking for that 'ride or die' chick." Clearly he was intending his post towards the romantic relationships people are pursuing, but I found it relevant to my challenge post for today. Because while I have a lot of good friends, great friends, and several best friends, I only have one #rideordie chick, who has been by my side from the day I was born. 

I was lucky enough to have been born into a family full of loud, encouraging, supportive L-O-V-E, love. My mom is close with her siblings, and somewhat naturally I then became close with my cousins. I've written before the way I feel so deeply blessed to have these relationships with my cousins, because I know it's not a normal thing we've got going here in this family.

But no matter what we're doing, no matter when we agree or disagree, no matter how crazy life gets, my cousin Stacey has been my very best friend. We joke about the fact that we hated each other in middle school, but really, don't all middle school girls hate all other middle school girls?

Stacey and I were roommates in college for a year, and when we transferred from Western Oregon to Portland State the following year, we took a lot of the same schedule and several classes together; I'd like to think that the only reason either of us actually graduated, was because the other one of us bitched about homework and going to class. More important than making each other go to school though, while we were in college, I was there through her incredibly hard breakup, and she was there when my dad was sick. We got through our college years together, not just the parties and classes, but the shit life starts to throw your way when you start to grow up.

Probably the time of my life that cemented Stacey as my real #rideordie, were the years I was in just the shittiest relationship with the biggest douche bag ever. At this time in our lives, Stacey was living with her now-husband, we were planning their wedding, and I was planning all of the other parties and events that lead up to a wedding - showers, bachelorette parties, dress fittings, etc. My boyfriend at the time, couldn't stand her. And though the feeling was more than mutual on her part, she was very careful to not talk shit about him, and to listen to my sob stories every time I called or came over to sleep on her couch. She knew I was being controlled, manipulated, and mistreated, but she didn't tell me what to do or come down on me; she just always listened. Because of this, I was able to maintain open and honest communication with her over anyone else, and when the moment finally came that I had had enough from this ass hole, she was there for me with nothing but support and encouragement, never anything about how it was about time or what had I been thinking.

Our lives have continued to take us different directions - Stacey is married, owns a home with her husband, and they've started a family. I, on the other hand, am single and renting, baby-free and moving all the time. And yet, despite these differences, I am as close as ever to my best friend. We text regularly, we spend time together, and I still feel like no matter where life takes us, she will always be my closest friend.

I mean. if nothing, else, I have to be nice to her, because she knows all of my dirtiest secrets. As most #rideordie bitches do.

Monday, February 2, 2015

15 Facts About My Selfie

It has come time for another #blogchallenge. In part, because I enjoy them. And also because work has been so stressful and life so busy, it's been hard for me to think of things to write about. I want to write; I sit down at my computer on average 6 times a week ready to blog, and yet, I have had a bad habit of starting drafts, leaving them for weeks at a time, and not coming up with anything to post.

And so, I bring you, the 11 Day Photo Blog Challenge (thank you, Tumblr).

11 Day Photo Blog Challenge
Day One: A Photo of Yourself with 15 Random Facts

1. I drink much more water if I like the water bottle I'm drinking from, so I am strangely picky about purchasing new water bottles. Yes, the one I just bought cost me 35 dollars. But it's purple, it's the perfect size, it keeps water ice cold all day, and it doesn't leak or sweat. And it's purple. Based on this perfect water bottle, I am now drinking my daily requirement of water, and have not had a Pepsi (my nemesis) in 32 days.

But who's counting?

2. I hate washing my hair. I hate it so much that I rarely do it. I have a scar on the top of my head where no hair grows, and in an effort to make the hair come back, I've had to start washing my hair with special shampoo every other day. It's been so hard I actually considered just letting the hair follicles die up there. 

3. I also hate wearing pants. If I had my way, I'd never wear anything but hoodies and underwear.

4. My favorite movie is My Girl. I watch it about once a year and sob hysterically starting about six words into the opening scene. But I love it. It's a good cry. Also, I never watch this movie with anyone else, only by myself. The only exception was the day my sophomore year that I laid on the couch and watched it with my boyfriend Charlie. I bawled my eyes out, and he let me. What a doll. 

5. My biggest goal for the new year is to try at least one new thing every month. I started in January by experiencing a new place last weekend at a new bar opening in downtown Vancouver. I get bonus points because I invited a date to join me in something that was out of my comfort zone. I also stepped out of my normal family interactions by having my mom and my aunt over for dinner, which was such a great time and very positive reinforcement that I can enjoy my relationships and that my family is still very important to me, even though I don't enjoy holiday events right now. 

6. I also want to make a bigger effort with my friendships and relationships in 2015. 

7. I haven't moved in six months and have lived at the same complex for almost a year. This shouldn't be notable, but I've moved six times in the past 24 months, so it's actually a pretty big milestone. I actually enjoy moving and now that I've been stable in one place, I've started replacing furniture, rearranging things, and am seriously considering a big, an out of state one. 

8. My favorite song (today) is Matt Nathanson's, Wedding Dress. I listen to it on repeat while I get ready in the morning. I love it. Love the lyrics, love his voice, love the music. It's just a song that makes my heart feel good.

9. My car is the dirtiest part of my life. My apartment is clean, my room is clean, my office and my desk are clean. My truck is where it all comes falling down. Dirty. And I don't care.

10. I love eye shadow. It's my favorite way to add color to my wardrobe, and I'll try any color you throw my way.

11. And tattoos. I love everything about tattoos. I love that first thought when it's been a while and you think you need a new one. I love the consultation, when my artist tells me all the ways my ideas are insane and his are way better (and they always are). I love the feeling and the sound of needle to skin, the conversation meant to be a distraction from the pain, the first glance after it's done. I love tattoos on other people too. Women with tattoos are sexy. Men with tattoos are absolutely delicious. 

12. I wrote a story last year about the way I got my cat, Juno, and it's been published in a real book. This is my proudest life accomplishment; I've honestly never been as proud as I was the day I got my copy in the mail, signed by the publisher. 

13. It infuriates me when people stand too close to me in line at the grocery store. No explanation needed, just back the fuck right off my shit.

14. I sleep naked. This is a recent change in my life, but I sleep so much better now that I've turned the heater down, cracked a window, and lost the jammies. I buy into the hype. Sleep naked, party naked. 

15. When I'm really stressed, I peel layers of skin off of my bottom lip until I taste blood. It's so gross, I hate writing it down. I learned in therapy that it's a form of self-mutilation, and I know it's weird as fuck, but I've always done it. I'm disgusting.

Writing random facts about yourself is weird, but it definitely got my creativity flowing. I'm excited to see what tomorrow's photo challenge brings!