A Taste of Honey

A few weeks ago two of my friends helped me perform a ritual – an exorcism of sorts.

Essentially, it was time to let go. We all have artifacts, mental and physical, from past relationships. We hang on to them at first because we don’t want to forget. And then we do and we rush to throw it all out.

I didn’t rush. I wanted to. I tried hard to. But I knew myself and at some point, life would let me know when it was time to say goodbye. It’s just that this time around, I had some friends to be along for the ride.

Well, without going into too much detail, I had a particular momento I needed to dump. But this momento had a strong and colorful history. I didn’t really want to throw it out without “honoring” what it had meant to me – what the relationship had meant to me.

I didn’t have much of an idea of what to do. I just told my friends about it and left the details up to them. After some rustling in my kitchen, my buddy came up with some dried flower tea, a bowl filled with water and a spoonful of honey. It was a cleansing. A reawakening. An acknowledgement of the past and the attempt to give it some peace. I’ve never really done this sort of thing but then again, I possess such a memorable item before either.

No need to go into each step of this ritual. We’ve all been there in some capacity. It was just funny to see it actualized at a time I could finally step away and look at where I had been. The most meaningful moment – my friend poured honey onto a spoon and gave it to me. At first, I thought he wanted me to eat it. Instead, he told me to pour it slowly into the bowl full of water. As the honey dripped into the water, he said it represented my letting go and all that I would be left with was the sweetness of that memory.

And the craziest thing – watching that honey fall, I could feel that bitterness dissolve into the water. I could enjoy the sweet without the rotten aftertaste that had haunted me for so long.

Do I think a spoonful of honey could do the trick so magically every time? Nah. It was a mix of camaraderie and time. It was the right time. To see it actualized in a random act was what made it so memorable and to be surrounded by the love, admiration and understanding of my friends was what made it unforgettable.

I felt lucky to have these people in my life and honestly, to have had him in my life too.

I wasn’t entirely sure I would ever memorialize this particular moment in this blog but I was watching “The Voice” (yah yah yah) and one of the contestants reminded me of an ex. Another ex. And I had such a weird fondness for this guy and I realized it was due in part to his likeness to said ex. At the time, we had ended abruptly. And suffice it to say, I took it hard. There was a lot of pain which turned to small fits of anger and then it just passed. And just like the spoon, I was left with only the sweetness of the memory. Which, in the end, is what I’m grateful to have experienced at all.

In the end, after all the big emotions pass, I am left with the choice to either be embittered but be emboldened. I cannot say the scars are gone. They remain. But they heal. And now they’re a part of me. When wounds are so fresh, it’s hard to even contemplate ever coming to peace with that experience. Eventually, though, it does. And it is my choice. To have minor regrets. To learn. To move on. To keep going even when it seems like an endless waiting game.

The bottom line – without these heartbreaks, I would never be who I am now and could not get to where I need to go.

Keeping the faith in that is a constant struggle. Some days are honeyed and some feel like a lump of coal. But I just gotta trust that time will keep me steady (eventually) and when I’m not, my friends will help me get through the bullshit until I can stand tall again. Or at the very least, they’ll have some honey on hand to help me lick the wound. ;)


One By One…Let the Pay Day Begin…

Patience can pay off. And sometimes you just have no choice but to wait…so just let it ride until it goes your way.

I’ve been in the pre-renovation process since January and patient isn’t exactly what I would describe my attitude.

But come hell or high water, my apartment was getting a makeover this year…it was just a matter of when.

I really needed some sign of reassurance that the tide is starting to turn a little and today, I got it. My building gave me my approved start date – CINCO DE FUCKING MAYO! Guess I’ll have to switch from bourbon to tequila or maybe mezcal (I do like that smoky flavor).

I hesitate to be TOO overjoyed just yet. My uber popular contractor has yet to confirm that the start date works on his end but fingers crossed y’all. Let’s get the ball rolling so I can decorate the hell out of my kitchen and bathroom come summertime!

Lesson from this so far? Things will happen when they need to happen. Help it along or don’t but everything in due time. Gah!

So one small hurdle down and about a million more to go but come at me, bro, I’m ready.


The Waiting Room

Been increasingly remiss in my blog duties. Sigh.

Life is just going and I’m trying to process it all.

Quick updates – my home renovation is chugging slowly along. I thought the hardest part would be finding a contractor. Nope. It’s the fun of coordinating all the moving parts! Damn everyone for being so fucking busy. In the meantime, I wait. For my building approval. For my start date. For the influx of new appliances, fixtures, etc etc etc. I wait.

During an emergency trip home and a much needed run to clear my mind, I ended up with an injury I’ve never experienced before – Achilles tendonitis. Super fun. At first I thought the pain would just go away as it usually does. It didn’t. A week later, still pain. After some costly doctor visits, I am now in the midst of physical therapy. While it has significantly improved, PT is taking longer than expected and I have not been working out (doctor’s orders) in any form whatsoever for the past 6 weeks (and counting). I’m upset as I miss those weekly sweat sessions but it comes down to the fact that I either sit out a few weeks or I potentially end up sitting out for a few months or worse. So…I wait.

Do we see a pattern here? A holding pattern perhaps?

Whenever people speak of life, they always speak of it in terms of action. Things happen. You react. More things happen. More reaction. But really, life is just a lot of down time punctuated by moments of action.

Do I wish I could sit patiently and enjoy this down time to make do with other aspects of my life? Sure. Instead of my workout schedule, I’ve filled the time with renovation excursions (I know more about tile than I ever need to know), drinking excursions (oh bourbon flights, how I love thee) and eating excursions (haven’t met a tasting menu I don’t enjoy). Life is ebbing and flowing and I’m trying to follow the rhythm of it. Been doing mostly fine with the occasional bouts of frustration. But this past week, the general bitchy malaise has taken over and it sucks.

And ya know what? That’s fine. This will pass.

Monday. I woke up and I knew – I couldn’t find coherence in my words and any sort of compassion I normally have has been overtaken by the eye roll patrol. Sincerity has no place with me right now.

Today I feel a bit more social and a little less angry. Does it show on the outside? Not sure. I feel as though MEH should be tattooed on my forehead and FUCK OFF could be tatted on my knuckles. But as my friend astutely noted, it’s probably redundant as my face probably conveys that already. Point taken.

On the whole, I try to have an optimistic take on the human race. Days like these, not so much. People do not just end up annoying me – they disappoint me. What is typically human nature suddenly reeks of aimless, cowardly inaction and I just get pissed. There is no good reason. Reason will not sit well at this time. Only rage. Blind. Rage.

Been holing myself up a bit too. Mostly for my own good but I just don’t feel like putting that out there where others can potentially pick up on it. However, the idiot who took up the entire sidewalk so I couldn’t walk around him – HE CAN FUCKING FEEL ALL OF MY BLACK AURA, YOU SELFISH PRICK. But I digress…

Anyways, this is all just a long prologue to the big dealio – I’m temporarily signing off from online dating. The thought occurred to me yesterday but I knew better than to act in my current state. Giving it some more lucid thought, I think it might be the right move…for now.

Before I’ve ditched out in somewhat dramatic fashion. I like dramatic flourishes. But I’m no longer in need of that. Enough real drama happens without me inviting more in.

I haven’t had an actual date for close to two years. Maybe less? I have no idea. It’s been a long time. And honestly, this isn’t even the longest dry spell I’ve ever had. It sucks but it’s not the end of the world. I’m not even looking for sympathy. It’s just fact. Welcome to my life. My stupid dating life.

When I log onto the app (not even the site anymore), I am just disheartened by the suitors who approach and the ones I browse briefly through. Perhaps my demographic is changing and I’m out of tune with the landscape. I don’t know. But I do know it’s starting to depress me. And that never bodes well for the spirit.

I know what hand I play in this. Online dating isn’t something that just “happens.” It’s work. When I was most successful, it was when I dedicated time to it. I haven’t been interested in being anything but a lazy online girl for a very long time now. I’m also not as openly naive and that ultimately closes some doors too.

Another factor is – and I’ve always hated when people say this – dating isn’t as big a priority to me right now. For once in my life, this isn’t some bullshit line either. Life events are happening and this is just low on the totem pole. Yes, I still get lonely. Yes, I would still like to meet someone. The bottom line is – if someone cool walked in right now, I’d give it a shot. But, you have to give out the energy to get the energy back. My energy is just really low. I’m in cruise control and I don’t know when that will change.

And that’s ok.

Finding a mate matters to me but truth is, I’m more in the mode to embrace the people who are here for me now, who already love me now than pine for a person who has yet to show himself. Or may never show himself.

I still have hope. I still have faith. But it’s hard to always maintain those joys when I’m not seeing results. I am in a state of flux – waiting for my foot to heal, for my loved ones to maintain stability and for the red tape on my renovation to finally lift. All things will happen, just not in the order I prefer. Unfortunately, my schedule is not the master plan.

While I do feel that taking my profile off the site (for now) will “lower” my chances of finding a companion – that’s ok (for now). For the time being, I could use one less thing on my plate to deal with. At this point, my attitude is so negative that being online is just another source of disappointment. Sometimes it’s fun and reassuring for my ego to be stroked. But lately, that has lost its charm. Who doesn’t want to be wanted? But being wanted by people you have no interest in no longer feels less like an ego stroke and more of another excuse to roll my eyes.

I’ve never wanted to be that jaded single girl and despite some bad spells, I think I’ve done as well as can be expected. I want to be excited again. I want to have hope in what dating can be. I’m not going to sit and blame it on my pickiness or all the zillion things people love to advise me on. No. It’s just a dry spell and instead of being beat down by it, I’d rather take the power and take a break. And when it’s time, I’ll dive back in and give it the right ol’ college try and see what happens then. Just not now.

Cuz that’s the cycle. Action. Wait. Process. Rejuvenate. Action.

Right now, I’m just going to concentrate a lot more on breathing and a lot less of the sighing. ;)


Tek-Nically Romantic – The Logarithm of “Love”

Woke up this morning with the age old dilemma – what does a girl wear to a singles mixer at a computer store? Since it was freezing, dresses were ixnayed. Instead I opted for casual chic. Skinny jeans, boots, blazer and sheer-type white shirt. Hello fellas, you get a peek but not the whole goose. Oh and the hair – recently learned how to maneuver my hair to be one of my girlish charms…long with a voluminous wave. Yah. It was a great hair day.

Anyways. My work mates (aka the conspirators who hooked me into this thing) were beyond excited and honestly, it was very endearing. My enthusiasm was not up to those standards. Been to too many of these shenanigans and while I’m game, hope is also not high on the list.

By the time it rolled around to go downtown, I truly had no idea what to expect. And yes, I prepared ahead of time with said co-workers by imbibing a few shots of brown liquor before I ran into the lion’s den. What’s the name of this blog? I try to stay true to my moniker.

I’m not sure how to exactly quantify my attitude. Not quite cynical. Fairly realistic. Hopeful in some dimension cuz you always gotta be hopeful but more curious and just open to the experience, whatever it may be.

When I arrive, the place is buzzing. I’m greeted by a gent who asks me if I’m here for the event. Maybe it’s due to the warmth I’m feeling from the yummy bourbon but I feel a bit like Cinderella being announced at the ball. And soon enough I meet my evil step-sister. More on that later.

I get checked in and get my coupon/computer store credit. Alas, it has to be used THAT night so I figure at the very worst, I get to shop while drunk. Win/Win people. Win. Win.

First stop – need to tinkle. Off I go to the naturally unisex bathrooms. There are weird little holograms on the bathroom doors. I whip my head over and around trying to see what each of the holograms do. The lady hologram reflects the typical lady in a dress but from another angle, it’s a compact and lipstick. Hmmm…sexist? Maybe. The guy’s hologram is just a shiny version of the bathroom guy symbol. That’s it? Lame. Little did I know it was a signifier of things to come!

Naturally the bathroom is occupied at the moment (hence my time was wasted gazing at holograms). Outside, I see a gaggle of ladies. Actually, there are a lot of ladies. But I digress. The gaggle I was near was chatting about other single events one of them went to. Me (being drunken me) barged in on their chat and started gabbing away. Why waste precious moments when you can annoy your fellow singletons I say! There were three ladies and two seemed amused by my musings. The third all but turned and gave me the hand. She seemed utterly uncharmed by my boldness and joie de vivre. Suck it! She should be the guy hologram – no surprises.

Whatever. Bathroom opened up and in I went. Once I finished my lovely lady business, I went straight to the bar. As anyone in their right mind should. Since I had started with brown liquor I wanted to continue the streak. Alas, it was a wine and beer type event so I opted for white wine. Guzzle guzzle and perusing I shall go.

Oh did I forget to mention? There is an itinerary. And on the agenda were drinks, flirting and two lectures about online dating profiles and the avoiding the horrors of online dating. I plead the fifth.

At the front of the store, a bunch of chairs were set up and most of them were filled at this point. There was about 10 minutes before the lecture began. I grabbed the closest one near me, which was naturally closest to the door. My coat stayed on. Damn winter weather.

I’m sitting next to a fairly quiet fellow. Nice looking but let’s face it, I’m more interested in my drink. There’s an empty seat in front of me and soon enough, that is filled by my newly deemed mortal enemy (the girl who wouldn’t laugh at my jokes). I decide I’m bored and need to win her over. In my boozy haze, we start to chat and now instead of my mortal enemy I am renaming her my fre-nemy. During our chat, she somehow wrangles the fellow next to me into the chat. Apparently fre-nemy has many an idea about online dating profiles and what men should and should not put on there. The extent of my criticism – men, please stop taking bathroom selfies. Just. Stop. It’s not cute. It’s not flattering. Stop.

But she has many words beyond that. Wear a suit. Take a pic with an animal. Do not take a pic with other girls or babies. And on and on.

When I listen to that, I bitchily think…I am fairly certain I know why you are single. But then I look at myself in the mirror and smell the booze on my breath and realize the same thing. Except, I know I’m having a good time. Natch!

Anyways, the quiet fellow starts to chat a bit more, admitting to his more subdued nature. He knows one of the lecturers and is interested to see what will conspire. He even shows us his profile pictures to which we give our honest opinions. Fun times. Fre-nemy takes it upon herself to ask quiet fellow what his mate preferences are – male or female. Bold move! Also, can’t blame her. He seemed like he could go either way. Quiet fellow is apparently one that never says no to anything and likes both genders. OOOOOOOHHHHHH is what my head secretly said. But calm and cool my face did remain.

Fre-nemy was most definitely on the prowl whereas I was still happily in my stupor. She examined the room and made the astute observation that all the men were on their phones and as such, were unable to make eye contact. Whoa! Didn’t even think about that. (Gawd, I’m such a shitty flirt! But booze is sooooo good!) Hmmm…still, looking around…didn’t really care if my eyes ever met any of theirs. Win. Win.

What I found hysterical about fre-nemy was how willing she seemed to make herself available but only within the boundaries she felt secure in. Here’s some context. Fre-nemy, while outside the bathroom in my earlier encounter with her, noticed someone when she walked in but she wasn’t willing to make any gesture since he might just be a “customer” and not someone who was part of the event. After all, they’re not in a bar. This is her logic. My take – WHO FUCKING CARES?!? If you like him, talk to him. WHAT. FUCKING. EVER. This is how I got greeted with side eye. Oh fre-nemy – how you make my blood boil!

And now, the lecture begins. I put my phone away and try to be a dutiful event person. I fail. Why? Cuz her lecture blows. Why does it blow? Cuz it’s boring and the advice is for those who are absolutely hopeless and completely new to any sort of male/female interaction. To be fair, she based it on the fact she went on 72 first dates in the span of 6 months. In her geekdom, I believe she compiled various spreadsheets of analysis to come to her common sense principles. Am I being harsh? Let’s see – her first slide essentially said if you do not love yourself you will not be loved. Or something like that. I tried keep my eyes from rolling back. Not sure I succeeded.

More slides ensued and out came my phone. Texting my pals about fre-nemy and all my quirky observations that keep my mind occupied. Oh and I was still sipping my wine. A refill needed to happen soon but I played the cool customer for the time being.

Oh, lecture lady did give us one interesting fact – there were double the amount of women at the event than men. Shocker! And sigh.

Looking around the room, the clientele can be summed up as geeky chic. THe men weren’t as hopeless looking as usual but some definitely fell into the category of well-dressed creepers. The ladies, on the whole, were really attractive geek girls. Some had higher fashion sensibility but honestly, they all had that approachable nerdy NYC vibe to them. Prickly, picky and cute. You would think I would fit in.

Alas, these were not my people. Why, do you ask? Simple. As lecture lady started, fre-nemy and hipster pixie girl in my row whipped out NOTEBOOKS. TO TAKE NOTES IN. I guzzled more wine cuz I was in disbelief. NOTES!!! And the lecture was nothing worth noting!!! Do I really need to write down that I need to be myself and enjoy and be open to dating a lot of people?!?!? NO, I DON”T! Cuz it’s just dating. It’s just supposed to be fun! It’s also common sense!!!

Ugh. Who was lecture lady? Well, based upon her expertise (see above re: her 72 dates), she created some online dating blog. She said to always have an arsenal of questions to keep a conversation going. Lady, sometimes, chats don’t go anywhere, not due to lack of questions, but lack of interest. She has some other tip too for keeping interest up but I was too busy texting.

Oh and why should we listen to her? She has a boyfriend. Right there, while I am happy for her, I wanted to gag. Fuck off and fuck you. 72 dates did not enable you to get a boyfriend. Not even your techniques and massive analysis. It’s called timing. But whatever. I greatly dislike this type of logic. I also dislike people who insist on stats to create a theory in which they’re comfortable to operate in.

While waiting, I heard some girls exclaiming how they’re “all about logarithms” which was basically what the next lecture was about. My interest was at a low point so I needed to refresh my drink. Fre-nemy told me to leave something on my seat to save my place but I’m fairly sure I gave a derisive grin, shrugged and stumbled back to the bar.

Something in my life I must’ve done something good cuz bartender lady gave me a HEAVY pour “by accident” and I was ready to roll for the next 30 min. By heavy pour I mean my glass was filled to the brim! Holla! This time I opted not to sit in the immediate audience and started to shop around. I figure – booze and shopping…what can go wrong? So many gadgets and so many pretty objects.

The funniest bit though, I think I ended up mindlessly flirting with the employees. They were nice enough and I was cheery enough but I also wasn’t interested enough to give them my name and so on. Also, by this time, I had a massive hankering for burger and fries so my mind was quite occupied. I did express this desire to my cashier and he gave me the idea of getting a cheeseburger. My eyes got bigger and I nodded in agreement. Brilliant you are. I also told him there needed to be flash drives in the shape of the TARDIS. Oh yes. I have some nerd cred. If only these were my type of nerds.

Regardless, I made my purchase and off I went into the night. The second lecture was still going on but I had no interest in stats and logarithms. Oh, and friendly cashier boy wished me luck on my search. For burgers or for men, I’m not quite sure but I like to believe he meant both.

Sigh. Thing is, I mock the entire scene but in truth, I understand. These men and women are merely looking for a theory, an algorithm in which love would make sense. A formula in which they can input something and boom, the intended result will occur. The thing I’ve learned is that there is no such formula. As much as a person can enjoy control, finding a person is a game not made up of logical equations but of chance and timing.

For so long, I thought that A must surely lead to B. But it doesn’t. A can lead to C and D and maybe sometimes B or never B at all. It might lead you astray to Z. It’s all unknowable. Lending yourself to that truth is what frees you up to enjoy the process and enjoy the rest of what life has to offer, mate or no mate.

I laugh at the girls who whipped out their note pads but I feel for them. We all want answers to all of life’s mysteries. We think if we go on enough dates (72) or meet enough people or go to enough activities, we will magically find the one. We are all people willing to put in the work but we want to know the work will result in what we want so we keep trying to figure out how to properly do the work. That’s simply not how life works. Some people go from one person to another with seemingly no break in between. Some never meet anyone. Some go out with the first person they ever meet and they’re together 50 years later. Some go out with one person and end up going out with 50 more.

I sympathize with all the single-tons trying to make their way in this dating landscape but my mindset is finding a brand new frontier as of late. I’m willing. I’m able. I’m open to new experiences. But I have my limits. Although tonight was a surprise in some ways, it wasn’t so very different than other single events I’ve experienced either. If anything, it’s realizing that the only factor that has changed is me.

I needed tonight and needed to physically go out there with some measure of intention again. Before heading out, I’ll admit to a little nervousness. I wasn’t going to bail but there was a sense of the great unknown. That butterfly inducing unknown. I won’t say the past year has been one of excuses but it was a year I needed to recover from recent experiences. Some people take longer than others. I’m a longer type of gal.

I’m grateful to my work buddies for encouraging me to go and wishing me so well too. That meant more than the actual event itself. It’s nice to know people are cheering for you selflessly and without agenda. To know they want you to be happy just because they want you to be happy. There’s a beauty to that.

There’s also a beauty to knowing that I feel a lot stronger and more up for being available again. There is always that period after your heart has been broken where it’s hard to imagine feeling those feelings again. And every time you go out or you meet a nice fellow, you cannot help but compare him to the person who was there right before. It’s a terrible mind fuck and one I felt I could never get past.

But time is my friend and without even realizing it, those comparison games stopped. And the men just became the men in front of me. My past will always be my past but it seems I’m also one step closer to letting my past stay in my past and not fuck up my future.

What will the future bring? Will speed dating make a comeback? Will online dating finally have some eligible bachelors who believe in monogamy and aren’t just interested in “new friends?” Will I learn to flirt properly? Does it even fucking matter if I learn to flirt properly? Who knows?! All I do know is this – I got all the time in world to find out.


Falling Down But Never Falling Short – Inside the Mind Fucks of a Single Gal

Been having a trying day mentally and then I stumbled up on this article and well, while I’m not up to feeling fabulous, I feel a bit more vindicated and appreciated for my particular spot in this world. The article is so damn spot on in hitting all the beautiful and sore spots of current lady single-dom that I found myself nodding to every sentence. Major identification? I think so.

The worst part of being single is feeling the constant derision of your status. Married folks can do all the same things you do (or less as the case often is) but they get a pass on everything while singles are accountable for all their actions. Once you achieve the ultimate couple status, you are allowed to be the lazy ass you were born to be. Whereas my single ass isn’t doing “enough” to get out there. It’s not just terrible to ever feel I am not living up to some vision of what a single person is supposed to be but to feel that my person is not “enough” just as I am.

Do I realize that people don’t think I’m less than a person because I’m not attached? Duh. Of course not. My friends are nothing but supportive. The battle, though, has never been me vs. my loved ones but me vs. my brain’s absorption of societal norms.

Everywhere you turn, it’s about rewarding people who are part of a pair. You get tax breaks. You’re allowed to dress terribly because who else are you going to impress now? You’re allowed to sit at home and watch TV cuz there is no longer the need to go to bars to meet strangers who might be the one. If I do these things, I don’t get a “pass.” Instead get rewarded with guilt that I’m passing up a party where I could meet a potential mate.

How do you know when a couple is a couple? They end up spending the night watching Netflix instead of going out. NOW, they’re serious. But because they are with someone, it’s more of a justifiable activity than if I did watched a flick on my own. It’s a wicked mind fuck of a game. I wonder where it is we get these antiquated ideas but it’s not hard to see when the media and the culture surrounding us basically wishes the same for all of us – find the one you love!

I resent the fact I have to assure myself that my life is fine as it is. It’s more than just room for improvement (as I believe everyone should always strive for), it’s the inherent belief that has been drilled into my psyche – my life isn’t full unless I am with someone. That’s the inner struggle that I can never shake. That’s the guilt and glory of this life. To be happy where you’re at but wondering if it might be better if you share it with someone.

I don’t mean to hate on the couples either. Clearly, that’s a status I would gladly like to be in someday but someday is not today. It’s not the relationships itself I’m resentful of but the expectations attached to either status.

Know what I’ll also admit? When you do find someone to spend time with, whether it’s temporary or not, there is this weird sense of relief I get. The relief that I can stop trying so hard for just a little while. But that anxiety is quickly replaced with another as being in a relationship isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Still, I hate that I do have “relief” in being with someone. I shouldn’t beat myself up about it and I doubt it’s uncommon but thinking about all of this in the context of societal expectations…it fucking blows.

I’m smart enough to know I shouldn’t play into these games but I’ll be damned if you don’t find someone out there who has never succumbed to these feelings of falling short or just simple loneliness. What I most appreciate about the article is that while it recognizes how hard relationships can be, it gives its due to how difficult it can be to be single. And not just in the typical manner – she recognizes how responsibility for our lives is not a shared entity but sits squarely on our shoulders. It’s like being Ginger Rogers. I have to do all the same dance moves except backwards and in heels (and alone) and still, Fred gets most of the credit. When do we ever get the credit?

The single life is different than the life shared with a partner, yes. But it is no less of a life. It is not solitary by way of a single TV dinner as you watch episodes of “The Bachelor” but even if it was, so be it. Life isn’t always a party or even a roller coaster. Sometimes, it’s just a really long stretch of highway with no roadside attractions.

So much of the past few years has been about self-validation for my single-ness. There is a certain extent where I do feel as if I’m competing or trying to fill the hours the best I can because I cannot attain the one thing I supposedly lack – a mate. There was always the mental battle that my life is good the way it is. I am enough. When I would look at other friends in the same situation, I never thought less of their life and yet when I would look at my own…I always felt lacking. What’s sad is I never had these thoughts when I would look at my paired off friends. It’s how mind warped I had become. Gradually though, the demystification of relationships has been making ways into my brain. After playing a patient therapist to those in less than stellar relationships, I’ve become increasingly grateful for my own life. It’s not about schadenfreude either. I wish no ill will to those companion’d off. It’s just I think I’ve finally started to REALLY be appreciative about where I am in my own life and how it’s going. This doesn’t mean I’m always happy but it means I understand my path cannot be the one everyone else travels down. And how all of that is more than OK.

Still, the truth is our own truth and our life is what we decide to make of it. I can’t really over think and study every moment that led me to where I am now (oh wait! Already did that!) but here I am, still unsure of what awaits. Really, that isn’t much different than anyone else out there, whether or not they’re single or married.

Meh. Today is just a gloomy day and one I prefer staying in bed for. Alas, I’m forced to do this thing called work.

My life is a good one but today is more of struggle to trust in that than usual. That said, I also know this feeling will pass and optimism will prevail another day. It is what it is and my life is what it is because I’ve made it so. And maybe it’s not always the best life ALL of the time but it’s the only one I got so I’m making it count the best way I know how. And that should be enough. At least for the moment.


The Saddle Beckons Once Again and I Succumb To Her Siren Call

Hiatus. Slump. Call it what you will but my love life has been at a standstill for a good long time. The time has not necessarily been wasted as hearts need to heal and mine is pretty much on the mend and beyond. Still, getting out there is a mind boggling thing. I remain an online presence but my social calendar has been a bit pre-empted by the polar vortex. So whatever else is a girl to do?

Well, call me a guinea pig and bring on the abuse!

Which brings me to my work buddy VD (the name will change if subsequent events turn out for the better aka unlikely). VD has been a great confidant of mine for my life woes (romantic and otherwise) and my only friend in real life who is actually a fairly devoted reader of this blog. He finds me amusing and my take on the single life as mostly entertaining. As such, every now and again, he likes to update me to various singles goings on around town. In fact, he actually likes to read about events in publications called “The Village Voice” and “The New York Times.” He’s old school. ;)

So the other day we were chatting and he excitedly tells me he saw an ad in “The Voice.” Commence eye roll. He then presents me with a page torn out from said publication which advertised flirting and fun at a local computer store downtown. Yep. A computer store, albeit a well-known techie joint in the city.

The first noticeable thing about the ad – there is a very happy girl holding up a sign. A single girl. More specifically, a single Asian girl. Duh. Asian girls and computer nerds go together like tofu and soy sauce. Naturally, these techie fiends would go for the cute Asian next door look. Yay for me! (I guess?!?!) :P

Next step, VD and I look up the website and as I suspected, you must pay to attend the event. Meh. Actually, let me be more specific. You would pay $20 for the event but you end up with $20 credit for the store. Feeling cheap and unmotivated, I complain loudly that I am not paying but even if I did, what the hell would I do with $20 credit to a computer store I NEVER GO TO.

At this moment, I’m fairly sure a light bulb went off in VD’s head. If someone else were in the room, I’m positive it happened. Full of schadenfreude-fueled adrenaline, he volunteers to pay for my dating adventure. Basically, not only will he get store credit, he’ll also get a highly entertaining story of me attempting to non-flirt my way through the event. Yippee!

I still did not agree and remained on the fence but word quickly spread through our little office and sure enough other peeps were volunteering to chip in a few bucks. Fairly soon, I buckled to the peer pressure of dating (mis)adventures and so it begins. Again.

Only after I agree to this do I actually start to think about the demographic that would be at this event. My friends, being the assholes they are, have now inputted into my brain that I’ll be stuck in a room with D&D playing sociopaths or basically the cast of “The Big Bang Theory.” At this moment, I am throwing my hands up and then covering my face while groaning – “why dear God why?!?!?”

Also did I mention the tag line? Make love happen. Excuse me while I gag on my bourbon. Agh!

Fuck it. I’m a grown up and this ain’t my first rodeo. Proof I’m a grown up – I’m renovating my home (whole other type of hell). Proof it ain’t my first rodeo – rewind this blog. Trust me – it ain’t.

So what are my pre-game feelings? I’m amused. The event is Thursday and I’m glad it’s soon. Rip the damn bandaid. Why wait? Truth is, I have been so out of the loop that this might actually be the kick in the ass to get me out there again. Or, at the very least, remind myself that dating can and should just be fun and what will be will be. Being back in the game isn’t always a physical thing. It’s about being mentally ready to go fight that fight. To enjoy what the fight can bring and not to be disheartened by what it will not. It’s a mind prep…which is frankly better than the mind fuck I’ve been enduring for far too long.

My inactivity hasn’t necessarily been a guilty making thing as it has been in the past. I’ve been happily hibernating during the polar vortex. But as it’s been warming and the holiday residuals have finally passed, the guilt of being an inactive single girl has been peeking out now and again. Maybe this unexpected “treat” has come at a good time. It wasn’t something I asked for and it isn’t something I’m dying to do. My expectations are low and at the very worst, I’ll have a fun story to tell. The bottom line – why not?

Plus, the funny little support system I had going at work in addition to my non-work pals…well, it’s always nice to know people are rooting for you, whether you win or not.

So predictions for the Thursday Night Event? If things go as they have in the past, there will be imbibing of alcohol. I will be chatting awkwardly with a few males but end up chatting happily and befriending a female. I’ll laugh at how socially awkward all the men folk were and be happy I gave it shot regardless of outcome. Based on past history, that’s my gut forecast.

Still…

Perhaps it’s my renewed energy from this fairly new year but hope does spring eternal. History has taught me to keep expectations low but optimism always seems to manifest itself somewhere. I’m still the same girl but maybe time has made me a little more savvy, a little more wise and a lot less intimidated by such silly social situations. How is it I always seem to find myself in these funny predicaments? The answer is simple – because I said yes.

Wish me luck. :P


PTSD of the Heart

Been rolling some ideas around in my head that I wanted to get down…but sometimes writing things out can exacerbate emotions. If I’m feeling rotten, it can send me some relief. If I’m feeling good, it can spiral me into grief. Maybe I just like drama. ;)

Truth is, been a bit content and therefore hesitant to rock the boat of my emotional well-being. But who are we kidding? I’m always on the brink of “something”…I just don’t know what that “something” is.

Still passively logging online and mindlessly trolling for beaus but my heart simply isn’t in it. Wouldn’t life be grand if I could be handed a well-adjusted male on a platter. Alas, in this life, we must always put in the work in order to get some semblance of a reward. I am willing. But nowadays I’m also willing to take my time.

Since my last romantic entanglement, I’ve been gun shy, to say the least. Part of me always feels slightly stupid for being so caught up with a man who had so little regard for me. But hey, we can’t always choose who we care about, can we? If so, I chose…oddly.

Learning to wear the scars without bitterness has been a struggle. If I feel a boost in confidence, it’s quickly derailed by some other unraveling of my psyche. Suddenly, the entire male gender looks like my enemy and they’re all just so fucking disappointing. After scrolling absentmindedly through the online app, this is an inevitable state of affairs.

I never wanted to be that sad, bitter girl in the corner with a brown drink in her hand bitching about how men have ruined my life. The brown drink – yes – but none of the rest. Instead, I have found myself perilously close to this caricature and it scares me. It makes me sad to think I couldn’t maintain the optimism I once had and I hate feeling beat down by such crap. It helps to know I’m not alone but I’ll also admit to thinking at times that I’m too “smart” to feel so down about this lousy ritual called dating.

More truth – I fear being cynical will make me unappealing to the opposite sex. No matter how I roll it, I am hemming myself in with all these ludicrous standards. My goddamn heart broke. I’m sad. I’m pissed off. And yet I still find the energy to be scared that men will feel my “shitty aura” and want nothing to do with me, therefore spiraling me into a lifelong spinsterhood. What a mindfuck! And so wrong on so many levels. This endless circle of shit…why do I do this?!

Has my pessimism died down a bit? Yah…it’s been balancing out. I needed to vent my man hate for a bit. I needed to work out my emotions. Can ya tell?

Know what a good analogy is for this? Trying to control my emotions to maintain the desirable image is like what the media tries to do with magazine covers. They take an already good image and wash it of all flaws and the rest of us idiots try to live up to this barometer when even the cover model cannot. It’s setting up unreal expectations we cannot live up to. And then we cry even though we know this. Even though we cannot control our image that closely. Cuz we want to dismiss our flaws that badly. And who’s to say those flaws should be forgotten? But embracing them takes a lot of time. And this is where I am. Attempting to do the impossible – self acceptance of everything about myself.

At my most dramatic, I feel fucking damaged. I’m scared shitless of what crap might be ahead and I’m pissed about the crap I put up with. I don’t feel like I trust in the same way I used to (good/bad – jury is out). I am scared I cannot feel the way I once felt. I’m sad to have lost some measure of innocence (good/bad – jury is also out). Terrified of everything and pissed off at anything. Lovely place to be. But I’m working my way up from that feisty dungeon of doom.

The bottom line on this bullshit is simple – feel what you gotta feel and if that draws or repels those around you, so be it. At least you’re being true to who you are at this particular moment in time. Hiding it behind some brainless, cheery facade to seem more attractive is not only stupid but something I’m incapable of doing. Lying isn’t the hardest thing in the world but it’s something I don’t really care to partake in. Especially when it involves my heart.

Listen, I still struggle with this trauma now and again. When I’m alone too much, my mind wanders to unpleasant places. But, I’m in a good enough place now to know my choices are my own and for the most part (particularly during the non-PMS times of the month), I’m good with the ones I made. Even though they hurt like a motherfucker. Thank you time and your healing powers.

Still, it’s been years (WTF!!!) and I’m still not as active as I’d like to be. Let me correct that…I’m not as active as I think I should be. This is also not helped by the constant advice that I should be out there doing more. What is this more I ask? Should I parade around naked at the local bar? Should I say yes to every doofus who messages me online? Should I bat my eyes at every man who is within my sight lines? When is enough enough? When is any of this helpful? When is my doing enough going to stop making me feel less than and make you shut the fuck up?!? When is having standards such a sin? Some call it picky. I call it knowing what I want and much more obviously, what I do not EVER want.

I digress…

Was catching up with an old high school friend who, after asking me about my love life, said we’re just not of the norm. The little nerdy wallflowers that bloomed late. We give it a go but our hearts don’t mend quickly. My heart is only capable of letting one person in at a time and well, letting him in is a hell of a lot easier than kicking him out.

But I wonder…am I really so out of the ordinary? Seems to me, broken hearts are broken hearts. How we mend them isn’t even all that different. Some distract themselves with alcohol. Some with sex. Some in other less healthy ways. But we all do it. We all numb ourselves while feeling too much. And we all take our time doing it. When a relationship ends (especially if it meant anything to you), it’s not so easy to move on to the next. Many times, moving onto the next isn’t really the objective. Forgetting the present is.

I’m accepting that part of me more and more. The same high school buddy brought me a stack of letters I wrote to her back when we were splitting off to our respective colleges. It was so bizarre. I took a few of them and skimmed. It was so damn sweet. My loopy cursive – so open…so clear…so full of hope, optimism and not quite having lived through some of the more unexpected parts of life yet. Sigh.

Even then, though, I wasn’t really great at getting over someone. I pine. I whine. I feel things. We all do. I just tend to be more vocal. ;)

This random acquaintance I met..she seems like a relatively “normal” socially active gal. She dates on the regular or somewhat regular. Has a good job and is very vibrant and attractive – typical NYC gal. Well, this week, due to lame circumstances, she has to spend a work retreat with her ex for a number of days. The breakup wasn’t awesome and the anxiety of seeing him, hearing him, feeling his presence terrifies her. It’s been a few years and while better, she’s still licking her wounds.

So I think about what my friend said and I look around me and I wonder – am I really that abnormal?

At this moment, I feel calm about my status. I feel prime for hibernation and I’m ok with that. I’m putting myself in the hands of the universe. I’m open to her charms but unsure of how to maintain the faith. All I have is my history and how bleak that can sometimes look. BUT…I feel less…desperate.

I hate saying the word even – desperate. The longing. The depression. The desire. It feels so fucking weak. But there it is.

For so long, I’ve felt this crazy competition with my ex-beaus – as if I had to race to my next conquest. And the truth is, I can never win that game. I’m not in the mood to fill my dance cart. And being a later bloomer, this girl tends to take her time to get to where she’s going. I’ve had a hard time accepting that cuz I’m always chasing some media-inspired normalcy. I don’t even know what normal is. And when I get a picture of it, I never think I fit the bill.

The most interesting thing about getting older – there is no real sense of normalcy. And those who impose it are basing it on what they also believe they need rather than what they actually want.

Right here, right now, I am gonna let it ride. My “desperation” (nicely illustrated in posts past) was fueled by a deadline in my head. That need to get rid of the pressure – for me to be married by a certain age and possibly start a family. To have someone in my life so I wouldn’t be lonely. Pressure came from my family (the older generation always wants to see you nicely paired off as if that will solve your life problems) but mostly it was from myself. Images of what I believed to be love and the lure of the boyfriend/girlfriend status blinded me and I couldn’t see much else. Somewhere along the way, the veil lifted a bit. It’s not that I don’t have a desire to fall in love. It’s just knowing that the picture in my head is not what reality will bring.

I don’t need a man. I really don’t. I can take care of myself – self-sufficient in nearly every way. But a lifetime companion…it’s something I want. But never, ever…what I need.

What I seek now is companionship – passionate yes…loving yes…but someone to trust and care for. To have reciprocation. To actually propel me to want to compromise. But these are all characteristics I’m listing in a vacuum. The scarier truth is I feel so very uncertain of what will happen when confronted with a viable suitor. What will I do?

On most days, I choose to believe I can be the adult and just tally ho. Other days, I want to crawl into a hole and hope it can work out with minimal help from me or basically require nothing of me. I’m not particularly eager to watch my emotions roller coaster once again. To hit those high highs only to be followed by the low lows. Yes, faith is hard to maintain.

Alas, over thinking can only help so much. When such circumstances arrive (should I be so lucky), I’ll have to take it day by day. Hopefully, I won’t doom it with thoughts of my history and I’ll greet the gent with optimism of what we will be, not what I once had.

Honestly, I do not know. I recognize some of my tendencies and I fear them. Do I appear clingy or am I just adorably quirky? Who can control what the male mind will think of his lady friend? I can’t. But I can listen to myself and speak my particular truth. When you do that, it’s not as much of a fail, is it? It’s one thing to think it…another thing to put it into action. Does practice make it easier? Minimally. Still hard as shit cuz people are fucking weird and unpredictable. Why can’t they just do what I want them to?!?!?! Ugh!

Relationships are hard. Short or long. Casual or formal. It’s all just fucking hard. At this point, I’m going to trust my gut. Take it a day at a time and try not to berate myself for not living up to what I think a “normal” single gal should be. I’m trying really fucking hard to not replay all the scenes and wish I tried a different tactic (cooler, more aloof, more fun loving…ugh, am I Gidget??!?). I’m learning to forgive myself for not living up to these societal imposed norms of what I think I’m supposed to be and to what other idiots think too. Because if you think there is a normal way a single person should be, YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT. I’m forgiving myself for BEING ME.

It’s a goddamn struggle – the internal battle we like to wage within ourselves. Always being uncertain of making the wrong/right moves. And that’s part of the human condition. We are not constantly self-assured. We are not constantly certain. We beat ourselves up because we aren’t those things.

Know what? I choose to accept these innate flaws as part of my makeup. That some nights I will cry about my single status and some days I will rejoice in it. That some days I will miss the men I should not but most days I won’t. That my heart will sometimes ache when I see couples hand in hand but also appreciating when I can run at my own speed. All of this…is OK. It’s all fucking OK. And that, in itself, can be so fucking hard to be OK with all the time. So you guessed it – that’s OK too.

It’s like my friend says (and it used to piss me off until I started to get it) – it’s alright cuz it’s how you were feeling at the time. It would tick me off before cuz it seemed like a cop out. And people can use it as that. People love excuses. But I’m not hiding behind that. I remain accountable for all my actions. It’s just accepting that I cannot be 100% awesome all the time. That sometimes my actions aren’t kind and sometimes they’re not fair. But I am living true to that moment and I do give a damn about my actions and the consequences of them. I do think about what I do and what I’ve done. I try because believe it all matters. Kindness matters.

I am who I am and I’ll like who I like (however rare a phenomenon that may be). And while my heart still feels battered and unsure, at least I’m well aware of how I got here and the fun I had along the way. Where I’ll go from here, I don’t know. From the outside, it has seemed quite dormant (and can feel that way too). But from where I stand now, it seems a lot more clear with a much more assured driver at the wheel. High five bitches! And tally ho indeed!


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