I Think They Call This a Breakthrough

Dating, Drinking, Personal

It’s amazing I was single.

At the ripe old age of 14, I was in lOvE with boys. I had my fair share of unrequited teenage crushes which resulted in a devastating amount of hours listening to Blink-182 in my bedroom decorated with collages of teen heartthrobs who I would never meet. Thinking back, I realized it’s not too far off from today. I’ve traded Blink for the Black Keys and the collages for photos of European places I ca’t return to quite yet, but ultimately I’m still pining away for the unattainable in my bedroom.

And it’s amazing I still am.

Why do we sit and wait for the right time or the right man or the right thing to magically manifest itself while we causally sit at home drinking wine? (besides the fact that wine makes everything better in general and increases the flow of time exponentially)

I think my inaction stems from a fear of getting hurt. I’m not sure if that’s the entire reason why I’m reluctant to put myself out there – but it’s definitely part of it. Just like everyone else in the world.

So that’s why I’m not having it. I’m keeping my butterflies in the cocoon. I’m ripping the buds off before they bloom. I’m humming in the drizzle instead of singing in the rain. (I’m also realizing I don’t really know many metaphors for being in love).

I’m picking men I can’t have relationships with. Foreigners who will eventually take their sexy accents back to where they came from. Or I’m the foreigner who will be taking my un-exotic self back to Texas. They have a schedule completely opposite from me. There’s construction on the way to their house. They live 20 hours away. They are too old. They are in a different place in life than me. They aren’t happy enough or they aren’t making me happy. I don’t want to be someone’s girlfriend but I don’t want to just be a piece of ass.

From one extremity to the next, I’m toeing this line between what I want and what I can get. But this the kicker – I have no idea what I want. Just like every other woman on the planet.

Realizing that is all fine and dandy but what’s there left to do? This obviously:

And it’s amazing that I will continue to be single until my untimely death due to alcohol poisoning. Cheers!

And afterwards? In all of the inexplicable abyss of options, I’m left with an inability to make any decision that seems right. That’s why your twenties are about doing and then learning (ah!) and I’m learning that whether I’m consciously making the choice to be with someone who is unattainable, I’m making the choice nonetheless.

Someone pass me a beer. All this personal reflection is making me thirsty.

I’ve also made the realization that I may use alcohol as a numbing agent. Whoops.

Mind, Body, and Soul Project

I Can't Wait For, Shopping

Being single has been a blessing in disguise. It’s a never ending quest for self-improvement each day. Without the distraction of a boy or a relationship to occupy my thoughts, I’ve had time to reflect and change the things about my life that make me unhappy. I’ve tried to distill my plan to a manageable set of ideas that I hope to achieve on a daily basis.

Each day I do something to better my mind, my body, and my spirit/soul.

And you know what? It’s really working.

I feel better and happier at every small accomplishment for myself. Instead of getting wrapped up in the dramatics of life, I step back and think about the little changes I can tweak to make it a happy day, every day.

Mind

Each morning I wake up and start my day with a TED Talk. If you haven’t been exposed to this wonderful site yet, it hosts videos from conferences around the world where speakers present innovative, funny, inspiring, and new ideas. Please check it out if you have even just 3 minutes to spare.

I actually do my homework. Because let’s face it, a lot of college kids take our education for granted. A reading is something we highlight and skim over in order to have a vague understanding in case the professor asks us a question over it. God forbid we actually learn.

I meditate. I try to think about my actions, I reflect on what I say to people. I’m mindful. I try to create my own internal happiness and I realize that I’m capable of anything I set my mind to, whether that’s compassion, forgiveness, or personal growth.

Body

When I went through a weight loss phase, I went to the gym religiously, counting down the minutes I would endure on the godforsaken treadmill. I would then come home and eat steamed vegetables or boiled egg whites, compulsively entering my calories into a food diary. I only drank water. By that I mean no alcohol. 

I literally and physically worked my ass off.

You can’t live like that forever. We’re meant to enjoy food in moderation. There are other ways to exercise without it feeling like torture. Now, I go to the gym each day and I run until I feel good. I smile while I’m there because I know that my body is meant to be used every day. I lift weights to foster a sense of strength, both internally and externally. I leave when I feel done, without the watchful eye of the clock looming over my workout.

And it all feels good because it’s no longer a chore.

happy

Soul

The greatest part about my project is all of the aspects are interconnected. Each workout fosters happiness and satisfaction. Each new item I learn makes me feel empowered and intelligent. So ultimately the other two could be the only things I did and I would still feel wonderful inside and out.

Instead, every day I do something that I want to do wholeheartedly. Yesterday it was reading a book and making espresso. Today it’s writing this blog at my favorite coffee shop. Tomorrow it might be yoga, making dinner with a friend, or just sitting in my room with incense and listening to music with the windows open. Last week I woke up every morning and danced around my room to this song.

Most of the time it’s ending the day with a good beer or a glass of red wine….or both.

These little things may seem so insignificant they could be considered a waste of time, but I look forward to them. These moments make waking up worthwhile. The drudgery of work, school, time commitments, and exhaustive conversations don’t have to define my day. I appreciate and enjoy those few seconds where I feel content with my choice to fulfill my desires. These inner victories give me a sense of accomplishment and provide the momentum to tackle the bigger dreams. Eventually it will be taking the steps to move to Austin, TX after graduation or finding a job that I look forward to doing every day.

But I still want to take the time to sit outside, breathe, and enjoy the sunshine. I enjoy everyone to do the same because it can change the course of your day.

I’m Drunk and You’re Pretty

Dating, Drinking

The following have been said to or by yours truly.

Things You Don’t Want to Hear in a Bar:

“If they don’t take you home, I will.”

Man: “Usually you would buy me a drink.” Uh actually I wouldn’t and I won’t. I have boobs. Boobs trump penis any day.

“Look, they’ve been laying the groundwork, but I’d much rather go home with you tonight.”

“I’m not with her, she’s just a friend. She’s actually on the Varsity Swim Team.” Yeah, she’s just a friend. And I’m just tipsy.

“I went to BYU.” Mormons.

“How can I get you home?” If you have to ask, it’s not going to happen.

“I’m not doing well, am I?” Not after that comment. Maintaining what little confidence you had is only going to get more difficult from here on out.

“I know your mom.” Although it would be worse if they said, “You look like your mom.”

“Oh you’re from TCU? You’re one of those girls.” Actually no, I’m not one of those girls, but you are, in fact, one of those assholes who assume stereotypes are always correct.

“I would hit that.” And I would hit your face.

“Please stop. You’re messing with my other options.”

“I remember your white blazer from last night. It’s very…um…unforgettable.”

“In my free time I play video games.” Guys, even if this is all you do in your free time, never say it to a girl. I watch Sex and the City all day, every day and I would never admit that to a potential.

Things I’m Fond of Hearing in Bars:

“Could I buy you a beer?” I don’t care that my Shiner is $1 tonight and that’s why you’re offering, a free drink always taste better.

“I’m from Britain.” & “I have a Swedish passport.” Anything that tells me that you are not American and I’m dropping my jaw (among other things) at the bar.

“I’m 24.” & “I work [here].” Job, check. Not a boy, check. Got your shit together, check.

“Would you like this seat?” Thank you for checking out my ass and then noticing how good it looks because of my 5 inch heels that I can barely walk in.

“I can’t concentrate because you’re smile is so pretty.” Aw, shucks, thanks orthodontia.

I hope everyone has a splendid Friday night out.

Don’t Send That Text

Dating

Things to do with your hands instead of texting ‘that guy’:

1. Eat some fruit. Certain fruit is actually quite labor intensive and requires intricate thinking and focus. Your mind needs to be focused on spitting out that seed when you’re eating a cherry or pulling a grape off a vine. You could lose a finger while you’re peeling the skin off that kiwi or mango.

2. Rearrange your apartment. Moving around your cabinets so that your wine glasses are in closer proximity to the bottles of wine will remind you why you live alone and why it’s nice to not have your priorities judged.

3. Make a list. Write a list of all the things you need to do that you’ve been putting off. I mean that Greek yogurt you ran out of this morning isn’t going to buy itself. You could also take this time to make a list of all the reasons why ‘that guy’ sucks at life. Or make a list of all the excuses you’re giving him for not texting you.

4. Facebook stalk your exes. Remember what it felt like to be loved? Those hands are going to have to free to hold the spoon for the ice cream and grab another tissue for your crying eyes.

5. Make a sandwich. It’s good practice for when you eventually get into a relationship and your man is hungry.

6. Brush your teeth and floss. Pearly whites, fresh breath, and a lack of gum disease are going to help you land the next guy who is going to infuriate you.

7. Pick up a new hobby. Photography requires your eyes to look at something else besides your phone screen and you need your fingers to click the button. Make some of the stuff you’ve seen on Pinterest (you only have like 923 DIYs pinned). Whatever you do, don’t pick up knitting, you’re still young. I’m training to compete in the next Olympics. They’ll be held in New Orleans this fall. My sport is drinking and I’m going for the gold…tequila.

This is the Pinterest project I’ll be working on.

8. Write a blog post. Using those quick nibbled fingers to type something other than that lame excuse for a text message. Preferably something that’s thought-provoking and relevant to today’s society.

9. But seriously, focus on yourself instead of him. Your time is better spent on what you need, want, hope, and dream than wasting time wishing for a guy to text you. I finished reading the hilarious book, My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me, and she writes in the end that you can’t keep trying to find someone else to complete you – you have to realize that you are complete just as you are, on your own.

10. Oh that’s another thing you could do, read a book (I’m starting On the Road by Jack  Kerouac) instead of re-reading your previous texts hoping that you’re sarcasm, wittiness, and sexiness all came across in just 10 words.

Cheers to a new week and the hope that my cynicism is confined only to Monday.

Work it Out

Dating, Personal

I like to work out. Most of the time I forget that I do, but it’s true.

However, when I was at the gym yesterday I started thinking about why I work out.

I usually do yoga because it makes me feel great after a class because I’m centered and I had my ‘savasana’ (yoga term for nap time essentially). In yoga, I forget about my what’s bothering me and dedicate an hour to my body. After yoga I always feel confident in the strength of my body and what it can accomplish. I can see which poses I’ve come far in and which ones I’m still working to achieve – like crow, dammit.

When I’m at the gym my thoughts and feelings are incredibly different. I’m concerned about looking like I’m ‘working’ out. I look at all the other girls clad in their neon Nike attire who have been on the treadmill for two hours and have no intention of stopping. I check out the cute guy sprinting around the track. I go down to the weight room and immediately realize that I’m the only girl and therefore the only one using the 15 pound weights for my wimpy arm exercises.

Despite all the incredibly distressing thoughts I have, I still have a great work out. I work my ass off (literally) and I feel great afterwards.

When I was working out, I was listening to rap music and thinking about how I needed to run faster, do more crunches, do that extra set because I wanted to look good in my jeans or in my new tight dress. While this is great motivation for working out, I started wondering if this was negative reinforcement. Last summer I lost 30 pounds – while I was still in a relationship with someone who loved me regardless if I ate a cookie. I worked out and dieted because I wanted to improve myself. Now, I do yoga for myself, but sometimes I feel like when I work out at the gym I’m doing it to impress other people now that I’m single.

Why do you work out? Is it for other people or yourself? Which is better motivation?

Man Trapped in a Woman’s Body

Dating, Personal

It’s not as much as fun as you think it would be.

Lately, I’ve felt like a dude. It’s actually fairly difficult, because I don’t really subscribe to traditional gender roles. Women bringing home the bacon, making the first move, being on top, etc. Bring it on, women can handle it.

But as much as I would like to think that men respect this – surprise – they don’t.

Examples from my life as a single, strong-willed, and sometimes ballsy woman:

1. I have made it explicably clear to someone that all I want is a very causal relationship. What does he do? Acts like a boyfriend.

2. I make the terrible mistake of having the conversation with a man about numbers. He then tells me I really know how to make a guy feel special. Wait – I’m sorry, were you supposed to be special? Because making out on the street didn’t feel especially special.

3. (this is the only slightly positive outcome) I approach a man at a bar and hit on him, because it’s almost last call, someone bought me a shot, he was cute, and my friends can usually coerce me to do anything after 1:30 am if they tell me it will be funny. By the end of the conversation, he gave me a hug, said thank you, and told me it was cool that I approached him. Well…awesome?

Overall, most of these guys are just fleeting moments for me, I’m not looking for any stand outs or for someone to sweep me off my feet. I’ve been swept already and now I’m just hanging out. As much as guys say that’s what they want and that’s their idea of a ‘dream girl’, in my research I’ve found that they want just as much respect as any woman deserves. Basically, there is no winning. So I’ll just keep doin’ me while you keep doin’ your little pansy thing. Cheers.