Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Things going on this summer – I have officially found a local bar that is MINE. After 15 fucking years of living in this city, I have discovered a bar I can call my second home. A miracle? Maybe. But more like an unbelievable idea considering my affinity for bartenders and booze. Alas, a late bloomer in all aspects of life. (But I retain a willingness to make up for lost time ;))

Lately, I have been under a certain type of madness. Would like to blame it on the monthly woes but really, it’s just impatience and lack of empathy. Actually, it might be more a case of over-empathy and I need a time out.

Whether people know it or not, they can be energy sucks. I don’t think they realize it. I don’t even think most people who know me recognize how very susceptible I am to their emotions and turmoil. In the past few years, I’ve realized a need for boundaries in order to keep my sanity.

These boundaries aren’t necessarily known but something that keeps me in check. I have a tendency to get “involved” and care “more” than I should when it comes to the drama of those around me. Some of it stems from my own tendency toward the grand passions but moreover, I tend to want to help and fix cuz it’s always easier to see things in a clearer light than when you in the midst of the mess.

But my “tendency” created way too many issues for me. The energy drain. The “suck” of it all. These weren’t my problems. And they won’t be.

Learning to care but only within reason is my new goal. When I catch myself going overboard, I check myself out of the situation. And if it’s someone I really care for, I”ll say my piece, if they are open to it, then walk away. It’s better for me and better for them.

However, old habits are hard to break.

I realize where my tendency stems from. It always comes from a place of love. Wanting my loved ones to be better, feel better, do better. Yet the sad truth is, sometimes, they don’t want to. And other times, it’s that they need to figure that out themselves (the hard way) and I can only watch from the sidelines and hope they make it to the other side (they usually do).

I do not seek to be an unfeeling person nor do I think I’ll ever stop doling out advice. But it’s knowing when my frustrations and sensitivity to situations get the best of me.

Currently, I am semi suffering from that but instead of feeling particularly down, I feel increasingly angry. When that happens, it’s best to not be around any sort of energy suck situations/people. It’s all a combo of I do not have time for this shit, grow the fuck up and learn to just make a decision and live with it. Seriously, I am giving zero fucks to people as of late.

Lately, I’m becoming so much more aware that this life is short and we need to make the best of it. Fear dictates so much of what stops us. Now, some things should be stopped (aka murder) but other things should be given a decent shot (fill in the blank). And all I hear is the reasons why not instead of reasons why.

It’s not like I’m saying yes to everything either – I think I’ve made enough of my own mistakes to earn the right to say no. I’m not sure where I am in terms of this carpe diem lifestyle. Excuses? I have a few and I am excellent and justifying them. But I am also at this point where I’m ready to pounce and yet I am still figuring out where to direct this energy. I am brimming with excess and nowhere to concentrate it. Is that the next step? Or is this my normal occurrence. I’m a spark looking for a place to plug in. Always. Looking.

I’ve definitely felt a distinct change in my life this year. Mentally. Some things have been relieved and let go of and I’m trying to let go of the rest. It’s a funny thing though – I do feel incredibly lucky too. Seems that when you do open yourself up the universe, the universe will respond kindly and with the right words to kick my mind/ass into action.

Got a whole lot of info thrown at me a few weeks ago (all good, really) but still trying to decipher what to make of it and how to make the most of it.

My current plan is to just let go, let flow and hope there’s a lot of liquor on the way. I always do a bit better when I’m imbibing.

The Lack

A brief thought.

Had a lot of food for thought this past week but a lovely, small one came ’round my brain’s way.

Lacking usually implies something negative and yet I felt momentarily nostalgic. Was watching something on the telly and it stirred a memory.

One of the sweetest joys of being with someone (assuming some degree of mutual adoration) is the lack of barriers. Whatever that physical and/or emotional thing between two people. Whatever politeness. Whatever timidity. The disappearance of that.

I miss that. I love that.

In the Land of Zero Fucks!

About two weeks ago, I was left to my own devices. End of May and everyone was out of town. Well, by everyone, I mean my usual gal crew (one was in town but had prior engagement and other was out of town) was unavailable.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day AND I just got my hair done. Don’t know about you but the hair is did, it must be paraded out into the world to be admired. My hair girl deserves that recognition!

So, I opted for a day out on my own in my hood. Read a book. Went to a new restaurant and ate alone (rarity!). Then decided to go grab a drink…a cocktail, if you will, at the only bar in the UWS that mixes a decent drink. Oh, and on the way, I saw Tina Fey. What?! you say? Well, it was random sighting and maybe she lives around here. Basically I saw a stroller with a 10 year old large child in it and in my head, I was wondering what sort of spoiled people they were. Sure enough a more age stroller appropriate child was also in tow – the sisters simply switched spots. Anyways…the kids were Tina’s and I passed by her. For a brief moment, I passed by a genius. Swoon!

Anyways, I made it to said bar. First off, noticed there were cute bartenders – we shall call him Blondie (for obvious reasons) and the other we shall name Eurotrash (also for obvious reasons). As sunny and bright as Blondie was, Eurotrash looked like he was on a bender and going for another one soon enough. Both had their own appeal. And both were fantastic bartenders. First drink was by Blondie who was super affable and quite a cheery fellow. Never seen a bartender THIS sunny EVER. Just peppy. It was odd but welcome. Mixed a great drink and he was super good with water service. These things matter. He was superb.

During the first drink, I just people watched and read my book. I’d read then glance up and then read then glance up. Good times. I was debating a second drink when Euro appeared before me and suggested some follow ups. Who am I to say no? Second drink – done! In the meantime, I also notice there is a cute waiter. Maybe it’s obvious but why the hell are there so many attractive people in this bar right now? UGH!

More of the same and at least an hour passes. Third drink – Blondie is up and convinces me that I need another. Also, we start to bond over the fact that we both loved Mad Max. I think “bro out” might be an appropriate term here. Anyways, I haven’t lost my touch cuz drink 3 is officially comped. Cha-ching. And now the floodgates have opened and me and Blondie are on our way to being BFF. Oh let me also mention that he has a girlfriend – they saw Mad Max together.

Was I bummed? Honestly, not so much. Most attractive men at this point in my life are taken. So I just roll with it. And to some extent, it takes any bizarro pressure off cuz now I can just solidify our bartender/customer relationship as now he will be my new BFF who serves me drinks in my hood. Boom! Goal is now in my sights for tonight.

More random maneuverings tonight. One shift is over and there are transitions happening. Euro is on his way out and Blondie is closing out the bar tonight. I’m sitting happily and chumming it up. All smiles. All cheer. Euro sits next to me for a bit and we chat it up a little but he has a lady friend at the bar. Also vaguely eastern European sad and clearly, they are made for one another. Alas, as I said…not a surprise.

But beyond Euro, Waiter sits down. Guess his shift is done too and he’s eating. Euro leaves for the night and I spy Waiter. I ask him if his shift is indeed over. He says yes. Then proceeds to order two shots. I’m a little fuzzy but lucid at this point and wonder, hmmm…is one for me? Or did the guy have a bad night. My game is revving up people cuz the extra shot is indeed for me! Hurrah and high fives to me all around. And all it took was asking if the guy was off? Seriously? WTF?! But complain I shall not.

And now Waiter is suddenly next to me. At this point, I’m 2.5 drinks deep and realizing that a shot is a bad idea. But I’m not always sensible and I hate turning down a free drink so down that brown liquor went. And hellooooo! We chat it up for a little bit. He’s sweet. Young (gah). An actor (kill me). Make that a student actor (seriously…stab me). And he doesn’t own a wallet (best not to ask why). And with all these red flags waving, I trudged on. Mostly cuz I didn’t really give a damn about any of those things and also he was good and thoughtful company.

Naturally we talked about movies (hello, my ultimate wheelhouse) and theater (my wheelhouse’s mistress). Basically, we were in my zone and I was owning it. I rarely say this but I know when I’m on fire and I know when I’m not. That night, I was at my ultimate best. And I wasn’t wasted and I wasn’t a crazy drunk nutter. I was just awesome and charming and funny and even though the liquor continued to flow, the conversation never found any stop. It was fluid and lovely.

And it nearly stopped after 30 minutes. He then got up and was about to head up. Backpack in tow, he was giving me the goodbye greeting. In my mind, I was like – really? Cuz I thought we had flow here. But in the land of giving no fucks, I didn’t care too much and was happy for the brief company. Except then I mentioned I had watched this set of films (all 300 titles) which made him pause, look at me for a beat then proceed to put his backpack down. Then he said, “Well then, we have a lot more to talk about.” And so we did – for another 5 hours until closing.

Now, during all my chit chat with Waiter, let us not forget about Blondie. Whatever might or might not occur with Waiter, Blondie is my forever ticket. I am a loyal gal and if a man/woman mixes me a swell cocktail, well our bond is a sacred union. I was not going to spoil that. At my peak moments, I was chatting up Waiter furiously, employing the much bandied about touching/flirting crap while also making sure Blondie knew of my affections for his bar tending skills. And yes, I scored another shot off him. And I might have ordered one more. The total count – 6. And I was more than steady on my feet.

So what did me and Waiter boy chat about for 5 hours? A little bit of everything and nothing. It was just good. And fun. And it had been SUCH a long time that I felt so winning in the company of strangers. And regardless of the future, they were NICE strangers.

Bet you’re wondering how old Waiter is…yeah I was too but I didn’t want to ask. I will admit there were moments when we would mention shows or movies that basically came out when I was in college or high school and he would mention he was in grade school. Inside, I cried a little. Outside, I just took another sip.

Blondie actually asked Waiter his age. And from this point on, we are naming him Forever 27 (F27). Yep. A full 11 years younger. Inside, I cry. Outside, a very large sip.

That said, I had been bouncing around in my brain the idea of dating, etc a fella in his 20s and I had somewhat come to terms that it might be a good idea. Ya know…for flings and such. Less attachment. More fun. It’s a new mode I’m in and he was my test drive. I found myself caring a little about his age but not caring enough. As for my age, I never hid it but he also didn’t ask. Although at one point, if he just did math, I’m pretty sure he can figure out I’m closer to 40 than he is to 30. Whatever.

No fucks given. This is the mantra tonight. I was just gonna be. And it felt good.

Anyways, closing time and time to go. F27 asked if I wanted him to walk me home. I accepted. Let me take a mini break here to break down my emotions at this point. Normally, I would have been a bit more nervous or odd. While I wondered what he might do upon delivering me to my abode, for once, I felt very much in the present. That whatever was to happen, I simply wanted to enjoy it. It was that sort of night.

I would also say we didn’t have enormous sexual charge or tension. If anything, it just felt really relaxed and comfortable. I’m not a touchy gal initially but I found playfully touching him or what not was actually really natural. I never had to think too hard about it or about how I was appearing. He was charmed by me and I knew it. And I tried to let him know I felt the same. To me, this is a huge step. I’ve never felt I had much game but something snapped in me that night or maybe it’s been building. I just didn’t give a damn. I was enjoying the connection.

While the age thing wash’t much of a barrier at this point, I was definitely aware of it. And for the first time, I actually felt like I was more in control of the situation because of my elder status and that felt…empowering.

When we arrived at my building, we stood outside and just looked at each other. I don’t even know if I waited a second or not but I just asked him if he wanted my number. I was in no mood for games and after all that time, it seemed like the natural step. Maybe I should have waited for him to ask for it but whatever, he’s 27 and has no wallet and why can’t I instigate? Felt good. Felt right. Done. He said yes and we exchanged numbers. Then I got a hug. A really chaste nothing hug.


So I dawdled. I texted him a reminder to watch a movie I love. As I do this, I notice he moved closer. In my head, I thought…ALRIGHT NOW. This is more like it. Now I get hug #2, which is vastly VASTLY different and for lack of a better word…touchier. And entirely welcome. Kissing then ensued. I think we both went in at the same time. Soon I found myself pressed up against a wall (word to the men folk out there – this is pretty much a can’t fail move. Every gal pal I told this to hummed in total approval – so thumbs up F27 – well done!).

Anyways, for someone so initially shy, he took my green light and ran with it. Boldly so. Suffice it to say he scored an invite up the pad and it was…lovely. Awkward, humorous and odd but I kinda enjoyed it for its sheer comedy of errors. To clear it up – we did not round all the bases (no home runs here) but we rounded enough of them. Also of note, the holding back was more his idea than mine. Now I didn’t really think much of this at the time but in subsequent retellings, my gay friend and some other pals considered this slightly odd. I do a little but in the moment, I just complied – questioning seemed…not in my headspace. Also I think I assumed this millennial was just more of the chaste variety? This was somewhat immediately disproven. Perhaps there is a girlfriend I do not know of? Or a lady he’s been seeing? Personally, I”m ruling out the girlfriend. Maybe he is a dirtbag but the vibe wasn’t there and our chat…well, let’s say it felt very unlikely. But is he dating someone else? Maybe. In this modern age, who knows.

Or as my friend said, maybe he just figured he should be safe and not possibly contract a STD from a stranger he met that night. Truth and for the record, I am very much CLEAN!

We left on nice terms and went our separate ways that night. The next morning was a bit more sobering and the hangover certainly didn’t help. Ugh. I had no real idea how we left it. Truthfully, a lot of stuff happened in one night and it was a bit hard to remember everything. Left it casual and the next day, despite the hangover, I felt good. As for F27 and me? Well, I was sort of hoping for a fling type situation. Seemed easy enough and it would be fun. Why not? But even if it didn’t go that way, it was a rejuvenation I didn’t even really realize I needed.

Beyond the physical, it felt so nice to be appreciated. Not even for my body exactly but for my brain. For who I am. For the things I value and like best in me. Even if he didn’t confirm my suspicions, I had been around enough to know that was what drew him to me and kept him by my side for that long.

Sigh and so goes the followup. I decided to give him 3 days to text me and we’ll take it from there. Truthfully, I thought I would get some response but after a day or so, I started to realize maybe not. I also did a lot of thinking at that time as to what I wanted from this, if I wanted anything at all. Our connection was nice but not as strong as past dalliances. I could go either way but since it had been awhile and it seemed so convenient – why not? I’m in the mood for fun.

While I have pined repeatedly for a soul mate on this blog, recently I’ve become less certain of that path or goal. Yes, I want a life mate but I am not positive I will ever get one. And I refuse to remain celibate for all times waiting for that bullshit. There is a lot of possibility out there and Mr. Right Now(s) seems like the most appealing thing period. And it’s crazy to me to even cross this threshold of thinking. To some extent, this might have served me better a few years ago but things happen the way they do to teach you the lessons you need.

With F27, I was treating it as if it was a courtship dance and it was not. If he wanted to date, sure but I didn’t care either way. So after 3 days, I decided to just contact him and go from there. No answer until hours later and I was done. Deleted. I don’t think badly of the guy. It just is what it is. Am I disappointed? Yah but for a little bit, I also felt a resurgence of confidence that I wasn’t quite done with this entire enterprise of modern lovelorn bullshit. I was able bodied and ready for more, come what may.

Further updates – I also decided that despite the F27 impasse, I still had Blondie and the desire to cultivate that relationship because a bartender I like in my hood – unheard of. Me and Blondie – we’re the real deal. And this past weekend, I got confirmation with my gals in tow. Blondie and me are like peas in the proverbial drunken pod. It’s solid. I felt a little like Norm from Cheers…I have a friendly neighborhood bar!

And yes, F27 was also there. I didn’t actually see him but he poked me when he spotted me and we smiled. He would attempt to catch my eyes a few times and when I would return the gaze we would smile. But it was still awkward. For a bit there my friend thought he was giving me the cold shoulder to which I replied that I think I was the one who started that. He was also working during a busy time so…not exactly easy to go flirty flirt.

Still, he wasn’t a dick. Sweet as I remembered and I felt reassured of my actions. When we did speak, I found out he had a horrid week and while not a major contributor to why he didn’t contact me…some things sort of got some focus. While age is just a number, we are also clearly in two different times of our lives. He’s a broke student and I’m…not. Whatever mess his life is going through right now, that’s his. And I’m over here. And that’s OK.

I don’t expect answers and as I get older, I’m learning to live more in the gray. Puzzles are fun but after awhile, the outcome is all that matters. What was good here – I went back to my bar, owned it and I can go back with minimal awkwardness. Is the door still open to him? Sure, why not? But I’m not waiting. He’s an option. And I like that. I like that I’m allowing myself to create and have options.

All I know right now is that younger men have a definite appeal and the summer hasn’t yet fully begun. And here we go…

Sometimes You Lose

Or you’re just having a bad day.

I’m having a bad day.

Had a horrible vivid dream and woke up on the wrong side of life. Then it proceeded to just cloud my day. Inexplicable and yet so understandable.

Then I proceed to semi debate all my life choices in my head and wonder why and should I feel worse than I do. Stupid. Stupid.

Also, can someone explain to me – if a man tries to whisper “hello beautiful” to you in the street when you have your headphones on, does he think you can hear him or does he think he’s getting away with something in broad daylight? I’m not entirely certain and I don’t think any answer would please me at this point.

Almost time for bed so I’m hoping today I got all my bad mojo out and tomorrow I can start anew.

In the petty things – I cracked my cell phone screen. There is something so incredibly sad about that. Not just that it’s pathetic I cannot live without my phone…it’s that looking at it, it just looks destroyed and in my high drama mind, I think – is this my life? Shattered. Still works fine but looks like someone took a rock to it? Yah, pretty much describes my mentality.

Today I go to update my Netflix queue and am greeted with a recommendation of a new stand up special called “I’m Going to Die Alone and I’m Fine” or something like that. I felt a simultaneous groan and guffaw in my soul. I’m so sick of single girls having to qualify their lives as worth living simply because we are single. But at the same time, I sort of feel like I have to because it is still considered somewhat extraordinary to love my life as it is. It’s not that I feel unsupported in my life choices. It’s more that when I venture out of my love bubble/circle of friends do I encounter the usual questions and puzzlement as to why a “catch” like me has no man. To that, I grimace and walk away (mentally).

I don’t even know if I’m at a point of cynicism but I am feeling more and more that I will remain single for a good portion if not, the rest of my life. Dramatic, yes but also, I’m wondering if that’s so horrible. A few years ago, the very thought made me wince and want to cry. Now, I feel oddly ambivalent. I still hold some measure of hope that some attractive freak will find me freakishly attractive too and we can be kooky freaky together. But every time I log onto the online dating app, that hope dims just a little bit more. And when I see a lovely bloke on the street, he is usually accompanied by a non-platonic lady pal and I once again realize – perhaps all the good ones are indeed taken. Then I hear about how absolutely horrible their lives are and think, hmmm…dodged a bullet there!

My mind. It’s a wonder.

Still. Should I feel bad for not feeling bad about being single? I have run that typical single girl lonely trope for so long that I oddly miss that familiar things I’m supposed to feel. Perhaps I protest too much? Or perhaps I’m just hitting a different phase of thinking.

My friend told me to just feel what I feel irregardless of what I think society wants me to want and feel. True to this. But it then makes me angry that there are tropes out there to begin with. That a bachelor can have a cool life and settle down when he meets the right woman. But if he doesn’t, his life is still essentially cool. But for a girl, she eats take out for one until she meets that certain whoever and then she can have take out for two. Woohoo! Live the dream.

I kid. But not at the same time.

There is something comforting about having someone to come home to. Having someone to share your day with, cuddle with and be intimate with. Those are things I miss about being with a man. Yet, except for the sex bits (not switching teams any time soon nor do I fancy a shag with my male buds), I don’t feel like I’m missing a ton. I see people when I want to. I share my day with the people I want to and I am loved and I love in return. Deeply. Truly. Madly.

I am aware being in a relationship entails more than just sex. It’s all of that good intimate sharing stuff plus the physical. Super. And I do wonder, at some low points, if being in love does in fact open up my heart in ways I cannot imagine. If that is an experience worth having. My conclusion – it is. But I cannot determine when and where that will happen. It’s out of my control. And I’m so tired of trying to worry about things out of my control. I try but that’s about it. At least on that front.

As for opening my heart up – the most surprising revelation of this is that I have fallen in love. Irrevocably. But not with a man. But with my little niece and nephew. I never really believed I would dig being an aunt the way I do but I really, really do. I actually do sit and brag about them and have tons of pix of them in my phone. They’re the funniest, cutest kids in the world and they’re (sorta) mine. I don’t think I realized the defenses I had up (that we all have developed) until these kids came into my life.

They’re just so uninhibited and unconditional with their love. They’re so trusting. I remember initially feeling like I should hold back but when they’re so trusting of you, the least you owe them is to be worthy of that. They don’t know how to give only half of who they are. They don’t know how to hold back or lie about their emotions. They’re the most innocent, tender and sweet as they will be. Until they learn how to withhold. And having that realization while my niece was following me around really did create a new space in my heart I didn’t realize was unavailable.

There were men I gave my heart to so willingly…when they didn’t deserve it and then I learned to take everything back. While it’s not the same thing EXACTLY, I give my love to these kids hesitatingly and then full throttle because they deserve it and so do I.

Conclusion – falling in love is great. And who you fall in love with is as great a mystery as there ever will be. But instead of worrying about what love I am potentially missing, I’m choosing to appreciate the love I actually have and watch that unfold, grow and brighten up my life.

Whatever else may come – let’s just have at it when it shows up. Then I’ll think of something else to complain about.

Know When You’re Winning at Life

So how do you know you’re doing your best on a holiday weekend? Perhaps you have done some of the following?

1. Met up with some great friends and then more friends joined up.

2. Drank at a shitty bar and had a blast anyways.

3. Drank at crappy bar and some nice man (who was with his family) approaches you and your friends as they’re leaving and tells us to never take for granted the friendship we have. Cue the awwwwws and for you cynics – I will ignore you cuz it was a nice moment.

4. Realize you are trying to use a coupon for this crappy bar but in order to use it, you have to spend a minimum of $30.00 and realizing that it’s happy hour AND WAY HARDER TO SPEND THAT AMOUNT. So several shots and beers later…

5. You ask your waitress/bartender/bringer of drinks to be your personal coupon and get rewarded with a round of shots.

6. Wind up at another bar and proceed to eat free popcorn.

7. Order delicious burger and fries and get a bourbon to boot. (This may be where things start to go wrong)

8. Sit next to some cute Aussies and randomly engage them in conversation, simply cuz they are next to us. And have odd enough memory that I still can remember their names today. Hurrah for me.

9. Eat my burger and decide that my head needs to rest and a small nap would be perfect right now.

10. Fell asleep and am awoken by my pals who insist it’s time I take a walk. Apparently, this was spurred on by the bar man who commented that their friend (me) didn’t look so good.

11. Still in a daze and realizing the delicious burger might be making a reappearance. I cross the street and proceed to empty out into a garbage can in front of a fancy wine bar.

12. Immediately feel better. Walk my friends home and then stroll back to my place in search of water.

13. Always be winning people. Always be winning.

Mental Negotiations

Trying to navigate how I feel tonight.

Had a good weekend – spent a lot of it drinking.

What did I learn? I still got awesome tolerance and I found the best margaritas in the city. So. Good. So all in all, a good weekend.

But…there’s always a but, right?

On Friday, I was going to wingman for my lady pal, only to be hindered by the fact there were no available men around at all. Guess this is what happens when you go to a place only other girls would want to go to. Ah. Story of our lives.

On Saturday aka bar night 2, my friend (another one who did not need a wingman – I supposed she served as mine) and I just hung out in my neighborhood to see what lurked in our fair corner of the city. Alas. Nothing worth writing home about. But! I did find a cool local bar that has the potential to be a fun regular old school bar AND serves free popcorn. 10 baskets of popcorn later, we had some interesting encounters closer to midnight. One of white-haired sort (no!) and some other awkward…awkwards.

There was a potential next to us but I felt half-hearted at best. Still, I attempted engagement a few times only to be…dismissed. Ah, that’s how it goes sometimes. Far from being heartbreaking, these types of nights have a way of being fun and oddly disappointing all at once.

My friend on night 2 is married and she said aloud – how do people even meet in bars? Online seems like a better shot. I just ordered another drink.

I’m trying to sort out the emotions of this. There is that normal bullshit of wah, there are no good guys out there blah blah blah. But moreso, I’m not sure where I stand anymore in this singles scene. Do I want a mate? Yes. Do I want some fun? Yes. And yet I don’t find myself all that motivated to do anything to help myself in that direction.

I’m in a stilted state, I guess. But am I? There is always a bit of guilt when you’re single – that you should keep trying ALL THE TIME. People love hearing stories of failures (funny stories) and successes (people root for you!) and when I can’t supply any, I feel like I’m lacking. Just a little. Not a ton but enough to make me feel a little bad – like I should try harder. Cuz EVERYONE wants a mate and here I am, twiddling my thumbs.

I’m kind of in between that. Now and again, I’ll recognize the excitement and fun of being with someone and think, awwww. Most times though, they’re just this separate thing from me and I feel neither envy nor disdain (unless they’re assholes, then I would prefer they get out of my sight before I pummel them in my mind’s eye).

It’s this weirdly terrible thing – I feel pretty good about my life as it is. Not that there isn’t room for improvement or change but I like it. Right now. But human nature is a beast of a thing and it always makes you want for something more. It’s a bit FOMO. It’s a bit of what “they” keep wanting for you. And I’m trying to reconcile what it is I actually want for myself.

More and more I find myself, not so cynically, believing I will be living out my days alone and I’m not that broken up about it. I wonder if it sounds sad. Or if people might feel sorry for me cuz gee, she is such a great girl – what a waste! And I don’t know how I feel about any of that. Sometimes, I think – fuck you people. Other times, I wonder if I actually am missing out on an essential part of life? That having a mate is something that is technically “missing” or is that just more life propaganda and my life is “complete” and good as it is.

At this point, I know I have no real answer and I never will until my life is played out the way it needs to be. I do my best and try my hardest to stay un-complacent but I will not always succeed and all of that is a-ok. Sometimes, being chilled out and enjoying the moment as it is (rather than in constant want) isn’t such a horrible thing.

I would like to stop feeling like I should be feeling these bad feelings cuz I’m not “succeeding” in finding a fella. At times, those bad feelings are actually bad – loneliness, longing, some other L word. Other times (mostly), those feelings are just contentment and joy.

We are humans who are always seeking something we don’t have. I’m not above that. I wonder what it would be like to be part of a pair but…I don’t have that right now. And who knows if I will. So the question is – do I pine or do I enjoy my now NOW? Answer – a little of both. Never been a girl that needed a fella to live her life. Still don’t. Never will be. I want but everyone wants. Even if a fella worked out, I would still be wanting. That’s the story of life.

I am having a hard moment right now. A bit of sorrow mixed in but it’ll pass cuz it always does. And the world knows I’ve felt much worse than I do right now.

Still, it’s nice to express to the universe that while life is good…I’m not always gonna be happy about it.

A Woman of Agency

Been thinking a lot about choices. How we actively pursue things and how sometimes we aren’t as active but choices are still made.

It’s not escaped my attention that I have been so very inactively pursuing any romantic…anything. Yes, nothing has really been leaping out at me but that would require me actually leaving the confines of my apartment.

My self-imposed winter hibernation bubble is coming to an end. Spring is here and the senses are awakening. To what? I don’t know but once again, I ready myself for possibility.

As the years go by, I find myself growing more realistic. Sometimes realistic equals cynicism. It does a little but honestly, it just implies weariness.

Romance is not something I excel at and during my exile, I’ve thought about why way less than I have previously. In fact, I’ve been wondering more about why THAT is rather than why I continue to be perpetually single.

I won’t lie and say I don’t have major fears. I wonder if there is some baseline of what a single dating person is supposed to act like and realize that if there is, I might potentially come up very, very short. It’s an insecurity but one that is decidedly un-rare. Everyone wonders if they’re doing ok and everyone thinks they’re doing worse than they are. I’m actively choosing to not compare myself unfavorably to the rest of the single population and it’s going surprisingly swell.

Still, the world seems to conspire against the singles of the world. As if being alone aka without someone to kiss goodnight implies a life that is less full, a life that is less appealing. A life that is simply less. Sadly, I bought into this notion for a long time. And when some possible romantic interest found his way into my life, I would have some sort of mental block (wait, you like me?), get past it after losing some giddy sleep (OMG do I like him?) then cliff dive into the abyss (wheeeee!). Inevitably things would crash and burn. And burn. And burn. But this pattern wasn’t so much about the men as how I decided to react.

Finding someone to get along with and want to be with was so anomalous to me. When I did find someone that remotely tickled my fancy, I pinned more hopes than I care to admit on that person. I wasn’t always conscious. It was just fueled by desire to have a partner, to feel “completed,” to extend that feeling of relief that I could say “yes” when asked about my love life.

In all of this though, I was not as true to myself as I could have been. I was still figuring out who I was.  During those times, though, I wasn’t always so good to myself. It’s not that I didn’t believe I deserved to be cared for and respected. It’s just that while I felt responsible and cognizant of the other person’s heart, they weren’t very mindful of mine. The cynical lesson here – don’t give too much of yourself away before the person proves his worthiness. The less cynical version – learn to take your time. If it’s right, it’ll still be there.

I spent so much time analyzing all the things I might have done wrong. Thinking about what I could have “perfected” in my attempt to “land a man” and it all just seems ridiculous. I was never as antiquated as that but I have received well-meaning but inane advice in that same sort of manner. Been told I’m this or that.

Lately, I really could give less than a damn about what anyone thinks. Until I do. This is the thing – I run my life. Advice is nice but it doesn’t run my ship. I do. And the one thing I find – when I heed well-meaning advice out of my insecurities and fears – that’s the only time I feel true regret. The advice best given is the type that allows YOU to figure out the lesson in the end. People who care about you want the best for you. But how we each go about it is what makes us different. When I give advice nowadays, I try to be more compassionate than dictatorial. I’m not seeking to burn bridges. I offer up my experience and I give my friends the room, encouragement and support to actually get to the place I hope they get to. For themselves.

And that’s what I’m figuring out for me.

I think back to a few years ago. Maybe even a year ago and actual ache to have someone in my life felt so tragic. Angst and longing. The thing of crappy romance novels. Novels sometimes I read cuz sometimes, I want life to be that simple. To believe something can be so easy. To know I’m not alone in believing in being that silly hopeless romantic. At times, it gives me courage to keep having faith. It’s not so much I believe the stories are true. It’s that other people (the ones who wrote it, the ones who read it) believe it too – why do you think they’re so popular. The struggle is real and it is not a singular journey.

As corny as it seems, finding myself as part of a group or a team makes me feel so less alone in this entire endeavor. For awhile, I was busy trying to convince myself of all the things that were right in my life but really, I could only see what was missing. I would actually say that the ONE thing missing was a partner. And now, when I look at my life – that’s more of a 10% concern. Yes, it makes me sad to think that I may never fall in love and vice versa. I know I deserve and am willing to go on that adventure. And yes, all these things go on in my head instead of me going out and enacting events and “letting things happen.” But more and more, I wonder, what is THE RUSH?

I’ve been so hyper, so adamant, so determined to crush this “single gal” life that I haven’t just enjoyed the simplicity of being who I was. Of appreciating the things I’ve learned and knowing that even alone, I might actually be happier than some people are who have a “someone.” Does having a person in your life really make everything that much better? I honestly don’t know. I think it simply adds a new lovely element but happiness in life – that’s a choice, not a circumstance. And right now, I’m actively choosing to be happy and it’s working for me.

A brief digression that reads like a parable…

Up until earlier this year, I never really enjoyed beer. I always found it too “beer” tasting. I preferred my hard (brown) liquor and that was that. But a few months ago, I found some stray orphan beers left in my fridge (friends bought them)  and had a random hankering to try it. And I liked it. Well, I liked one but not the other. All of a sudden, a new world unexpectedly opened up for me to explore. Without a clue as to where to start this adventure, I enlisted some friends as my very willing and helpful guides. Still, I find myself staring at a beer menu and opting for a wine instead. Slowly, though, I’m figuring out the genres I enjoy and taking a dip into those waters. Not buying a six pack yet (too much commitment) but the fact I can actually name beers I LIKE is a minor miracle. Short version – a girl can know what she likes but she should always leave room for unexpected possibilities.

And now back to regularly scheduled bullshit…

We all have our ghosts and our doubts. As increasingly self-assured as I am becoming about my choices and about my life, I still hear voices telling me I’m not doing enough. Truth – it’s one voice that I hear on occasion and it’s an ex. Talk about an unreliable idiot – especially from one that could have benefitted from understand the necessity of restraint. I digress. In truth, it’s the voice I hear because he got close enough to see how I operated and to be called out by him (right or not) contained more weight than I cared for it to. It’s not something that crushes me daily. Nothing so extreme but it’s weirdly something I haven’t forgotten. Funny thing was at the time, I was so pissed because, even then, I knew he had no right to get at me that way. Also funny – you hear what you want to hear and sometimes memory is way too long when you’d rather cut it off at the knees.

So choices. Being as honest as possible, I’m doing a crap job of trying to find a significant other. Meh. I want it. I do. Sorta. I wish he could just come knocking at my door and all would be well. But that’s not how it works. Internally, I’m working up the nerve to go at it again – I’m resting before I pounce. The joke – what and where am I pouncing? I’m not exactly a human seductress. That’s not my mode. Not initially anyways. I’m like a single little tea light then suddenly, everything is on fire and it’s like where the hell did that fucking come from? Wondering if I wouldn’t be smarter to be like that log on TV – steady flame.


Truth is I like the initial hot spark – it’s why things start and why they continue (maybe longer than they should). There must be some happy medium in which a stable foundation and lovely butterflies/fireworks are not mutually exclusive.

When I went to visit with a friend, I was telling her the recent round of advice I had gotten. Basically, to create a list of what I want and don’t want. Sigh. Be single long enough and this is a piece of advice that gets recycled a lot. I refuse to do this. Not so much that I find it lame. I get that it works for some people. It’s that I don’t want to limit the things I want on paper. It’s the fact that I know I can write a shit ton of lists but when it comes right down to it, the list doesn’t matter. And I don’t need a list to tell me that.

That said, as I was recounting my woes and blahs, I realized I knew more of what I wanted than I didn’t. And it was a lot more specific and well-informed than I had been in the past. At one point, I actually stopped and said – oh fuck, I DO know what I want. And this brings me back to another great pal who, over dinner, gave me props for knowing what I wanted. I remember looking at her like she was insane cuz I didn’t know anything. Know when you have a good friend? When she gives you room to figure out what she already knew and had faith in about you. That’s a great goddamn friend. Also, it took me about 2 years to finally understand that about myself since that initial conversation. We all move at our own pace, friends!

I talk in a lot of circles. It happens when everything is happening in my head. These are mostly theories and statements about my life and how I like to run it. Coming across another ship, I have no idea how to react or deal. But we rarely do. Hopefully when that does happen, I will understand the things I need to be true to myself and know that if I compromise, I won’t lose who I am. Something I was so willing to do so many other times.

I do have faith though. And even with my colorful and spotty experience, I have seen my bizarro development. I still see my tendency for easy, intense infatuation but each fella has taken me closer to who I am. And while sometimes, they have come close to breaking parts of my confidence, they have also made me stronger in my conviction of who I am. To that I am grateful and could never entirely hate on these guys (even if I deserved better treatment sometimes). People are human and people make mistakes. Hopefully we learn so repeats don’t happen.

I read somewhere about falling in love. And how when you do, you take on the responsibility of that person’s heart. I find that an incredibly beautiful notion. I still won’t be making any lists but if I had to, this would be damn near the top. Because I believe in that. I like that. And as unwilling as I am to “go out there,” I also know I’m entirely capable to fulfill my end of that bargain. I’m not some screwup with mommy and daddy issues – just a suburban raised kid living in the big city now. I’m a good lady with a good heart and a good head on my shoulders. I can be stubborn and bitchy and unkind at times but I can be equally if not more so in the opposite direction when inspired to.

I’m human and I’m figuring my way through this life. Sometimes I do need a kick in that ass but end of the day, I’m the only one who can give it to me and you know what they say, it happens when you least expect it. Cue eye roll on the outside and crossed fingers on the inside. And now this long rant a few months in the making is done. Hurrah!


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