A Year of Change

Is it me, or is the comma placement weird in this photo?

What a year! Highs and lows. Happiness and sadness. Lessons were learned, mistakes were made. Bridges were burned and new relationships were built. Every cliche in the book pretty much summed up my year. However, I did learn a few incredible things about myself during the past 12 hardest months of my life:

1. It’s okay to put yourself first. 

My whole life used to revolve around making others happy. While it’s true that I’m happiest when others are happy, I also lied to myself for several years about just how miserable I was on the inside. We’re all familiar with the saying “you can’t please everyone”, and I finally stopped trying to prove that statement wrong. 2014 was the first year I can remember that I made decisions that made me happy, and I didn’t care if others agreed or not. It’s such a freeing feeling, not being weighed down by others opinions or emotions. Who cares if you spend way too much money on granola bars or if you haven’t swept your apartment in months. No one, that’s who.

2. If you need help, ask for it. 

I used to be a firm believer in doing things myself and that asking for help was a sign of weakness. I’m not sure if it’s because I lost my mom so early, or some other reason that was imprinted on my brain as a wee one, but I had this crazy notion that I could never depend on anyone. “If you want something done right, do it yourself” was a common phrase in my life. Well, let’s just say in 2014, I needed some freaking help. And turns out, people came out of the woodwork with love, support, and anything else I needed before I even asked. It was amazing. I learned that it’s okay to cry on your best friend’s couch while drinking cheap wine and stuffing yourself cheesecake. And you know what else? They won’t judge you. They may drink some of your wine, but they won’t judge you. I realized that being open and honest about your heartache can lead to healing. Not only for you, but for others as well.

3. I am beautiful.

Okay, I know that sounds conceited, but I swear, that’s not how I mean it. A year ago, I would have never, ever, in a zillion years, considered writing that statement. Me? Beautiful? Hell to the no. Sure, I’m not magazine-cover pretty…I’ll never be blonde, 5’9′, size 2, with porcelain skin and baby blue eyes. But, honestly, I don’t want to be anymore. I like my look now. Freckles for days, bright green eyes, nerdy glasses, sassy bangs, and always great shoes. It doesn’t matter to me if no guy ever takes a second look in my direction, I don’t dress/act/look a certain way for them, I do it for me. I’ve lost 52 pounds (so far!) for me. I spent way too much money on a new little black dress that I feel amazing in (even though I have nowhere to wear it yet) for me. I’m getting a second tattoo for me. It feels good to be comfortable in my own skin. And it feels good to be confident. Boom.

4. Life is messy.

When my life “fell apart” earlier this year, I thought I would stick out like a sore thumb. I quickly realized that no one’s life is perfect. And even more so, if it appears perfect on the outside, chances are it’s a hot mess under that pretty facade. People are fake, lives are confusing, mistakes happen, honesty is rare, and those closest to you may fail you. I’ve come to realize that this is just how life is, just a normal fact. I don’t expect perfection in myself, why did I set others to that standard? I’m learning to love people for who they are, weaknesses, faults, and mistakes included. I can only hope that others do the same for me.

 

Of course I learned many more things this past year, but they all tend to fall into one of the categories above. After everything I’ve been through so far, I can gratefully say, “see ya later, 2014! You kicked my ass, but I think I gave you a run for your money!”.

And to 2015: bring. it. on!

 

Adventures in Online Dating [Pt. 2]

So, now that it’s been about a week with an online dating profile, I basically consider myself an expert in this field. (Please, note the sarcasm).

Annnnnd, I still have no idea what I’m doing. Haha, this whole experience has been very…entertaining? The messages I’m getting, people’s profile pictures, the pick up lines, it’s all so silly and exciting and terrifying all at once. At this point, I’m feeling like this whole idea is a big mess and just a way to be embarrassed on a daily basis.

Let’s start with this “summary of my life” I’m supposed to come up with on my profile. What the hell am I supposed to put in here? I hate beans? I can’t see over clothing racks? Honestly, I spent about 2 hours just stuck on this first part. I re-wrote it about 385,743 times and finally came up with a decent combination of wit, honesty, and…mystery? I don’t know how it turned out, but I’m just glad I finished it, squeezed my eyes shut, and clicked save.

The interesting thing about this website: they actually don’t have a place you can select ‘divorced’. The only options are dating, single, or married. (Weird, right? I still don’t know why you would actually put married as a label if you’re on a dating website, but who am I to judge…). So, my next challenge is: do I list that I’m divorced on my profile? I don’t know! Is it something I have to be up front about? Ugh, so many thoughts…but ultimately I decided not to add anything about it. I figure, if it comes up, I’ll be honest, otherwise I’ll just see what happens. That’s fair, right?

After I finished my profile, I didn’t really know what to do next. Wait for something? Look at other’s profiles? Message someone? I thought about all of those, and then just decided to close my computer and pretend I didn’t just put a ‘wanted’ ad out for my dating life. Soon enough though, instant technology availability got the best of me and I was checking my matches like a pro.

So, my first week of this adventure has been a roller coaster. I’ve had a few great conversations with guys, and several weird ones, too. I can safely say, the good guys are few and faaaaar between. The amount of inappropriate and/or vulgar messages I’m getting is ridiculous. I mean, do guys actually want a girl that responds to that kind of stuff? Sorry, but that’s not me. Even worse is when you think you’re talking to a normal, respectable guy, then he turns out to be worse than the others that are at least honest about their meat-headedness. And finally, just when you’re about to click the link to close your account – a decent guy messages you and it starts all over again. I guess this is the ‘joy’ of trying to date? Meh.

All the bad aside, it’s been a good experience for just having conversations and getting to know new people. I’ve been asked out on a few dates, but I’ve turned them down because I’m still just too nervous to actually meet anyone in person. Maybe I’ll save that for week 2? Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.  I need to come up with my game plan, escape routes, safety chaperone, and topics of conversation. Then, I’ll consider it. 🙂

Adventures in Online Dating [Pt. 1]

I have been fighting off this cold for almost a week now, and I think it’s safe to say…I lost. I only get sick once or twice a year, but when I do, look out. It’s all sniffles, coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, and the worst headache ever. (Such a beautiful picture right? I thought you’d enjoy it, and you’re welcome.)

When I woke up this morning and realized my nose was completely blocked and I sounded like Lindsey Lohan, I thought to myself, “I just need someone to go get me tissues. And tea, I’d love some tea.” But alas, I am once again reminded that I live alone. [Insert sad trombone sound effect here.]

Maybe you could blame my nose for the lack of oxygen being delivered to my brain, or, my desperate need for a tissue and some peppermint tea…but I decided to try something crazy.

Online dating.

Okay, okay… close all of your open mouths and stifle your laughter. We’re going to go slow here, I’m still not sure I even want to do this, or that I can do this. Right now I’m just thinking I may be stuck in this apartment (tissue-less) for the rest of my days and I won’t be able to meet anyone in public ever again due to this ailment I’m experiencing therefore online dating is now my only option. [Drama is apparently another side effect.]

Well, I have no idea where to start.

Second bright idea of the morning: I googled online dating. Okay, now you can release your laughter. I mean, since when has Google ever been beneficial? Pretty much the only thing I’ve actually learned from it is how to break into my garage with a credit card. Helpful? Yes. Also terrifying that I found that easily on the web? Yes. Anyway, the first few site results are the usuals: eharmony.com, match.com, okCupid.com, etc. Naturally, I start thinking to myself, “what makes this one or that one the best?” I mean, they all claim to be the #1 dating site…but I’m pretty sure it’s just about money, advertising, and oh, more money.

So, naturally, I click on the first link which happens to be eharmony. My plan is to just kind of look around the site, see what there is to do, etc. Oh, and how much does it cost? I’m not super committed to this whole idea of “online dating” yet, so I’m not about to drop any money before I decide it’s something I really want to torture myself with. Well, let me shorten this story by saying the one-month fee is… $59.95! Holy crap. Next, please.

So, instead of scrolling down the list of various websites, I altered my google search to “reviews of online dating sites”. After reading several articles/blog reviews/etc., I decided to try one of the free sites.

At first I thought that if the site was free, it basically just equaled a “hook up” site, but I don’t think that’s true (at least not yet). And that is certainly NOT my plan, let me just make that one CRYSTAL clear.

I’ve decided that I’m going to go with okcupid.com. I’ve read a lot of negative things, but I’ve also heard some good things and that it’s pretty easy to use. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping that I don’t seriously regret my decision in the next 24 hours.

I figure there’s no harm in at least seeing what happens? I’m taking chances, right? Living life on the edge? Hopefully I’ll just be able to start a conversation or two, and see how it goes. It would take a lot to actually meet someone…but I’m not counting it out completely.

And don’t worry, I’ll be safe! No personal information will be revealed or social security numbers given out. (Unless they’re cute, of course.) 😉

I’ll be back with an update this week… I’m sure you can’t wait to hear all about how making my profile and any conversations go.

 

Eeeeeeek! Here goes nothing! (What the hell am I doing?!)

Long Time No….Change

It’s been a while, I know. I missed you too! Oh what’s new with me, you ask? Well, let me tell you

Nothing.

Things have been pretty constant around here. And when I use the word ‘constant’, it’s in the place of other, more negative, words (like boring, lonely, depressing…you get the idea). I’ll admit, I wrote the last couple of posts on dating and being interested in the idea of seeing people again and I thought, “okay, now let them just show up/call/invite me out!”. Then, surprisingly realistically, nothing happened.

I know, what the hell, right? Just kidding, yes, it sounds so dumb when I write it out and admit that I thought that it was just going to ‘happen’. And it’s even more silly that I actually got a little sad when I realized it’s been a couple of weeks and nothings changed and I had nothing to blog about. Then, I realized that it’s been 7 and a half months and I haven’t even had a single conversation with a guy that I didn’t already know before my divorce. Lame.

I need to meet people. Guys, I need to meet guys. No idea how, where, or when, but it needs to happen. I can feel my cat-lady-sweat-pants-rocking-chair days quickly approaching and I have to stop them. This single life does have its perks, but I am so lonely sometimes.

You know when I notice it the most? It’s not being the only single one at parties, but arriving home alone after said party and realizing you have no one to re-live all the funny things that happened that night with. It’s not eating dinner by yourself every night, it’s when you’re eating the leftovers from that meal for the 4th time that week because no one is there to help you eat them. It’s not going to bed alone, it’s waking up freezing at 2AM because you kicked the covers off yourself, not because someone next to you stole them. There is no one next to you, ever.

Bleh, emotions. Maybe it’s the holiday season, or just the fact that I thought I’d be at “x” stage by this time after my divorce, but, I’m just ready to move on and make new memories. Maybe I’ll leave dating to be my next challenge to conquer in 2015.

Running a 5K this weekend! Whoo! My third one this year! And, I’ve already signed up for one in January…it’s the Hypnotic Donuts Dash. Donuts WHILE running? Best. Idea. Ever.

 

What A Girl Wants

My last post got me thinking that if I ever do start dating (…’if‘ being the key word there, still a little too scared to actually consider it, but that’s for another post.) Anyway, if I go on a date, do I even know what I’m looking for? What do I want in someone? What’s important to me? I mean, I know the basics: not crazy, not a murderer, etc. I realized I had just settled for so long with what I had in my marriage, that now it’s like the whole word is open and I have the freedom to choose…what a crazy thought, having choices?! Do I want someone type-A, creative, down-to-earth, life of the party, or quiet and mysterious? So many options…but I think I’ve narrowed it down to at least a few of the most important qualities I’d like to have in a relationship:

 

Funny – a great sense of humor is at the top of my list, for sure. I want to spend the rest of my life laughing with someone…when we are eighty, jammin’ out to the ‘oldies’ from the 2000s and still bustin’ out those crazy dance moves we learned when we were young, I want to be able to laugh at each other trying to break it down in the living room. Until one of us fractures a hip, then we’ll use our Life Alert necklaces and laugh/cry until EMS comes and takes us to the hospital.

I want someone who can find humor in the little things. I want to make fun of our kids and embarrass the crap out of them. I expect full-on prank wars in our house, and tickle fights that don’t stop until there are tears (from laughter, of course, I’m not evil).

And, let’s be honest, I’ve got a great laugh. It would be a shame not to make the most of it. 😉

Extrovert – I myself am not, I repeat, NOT an extrovert. I lack self-confidence most of the time, I like to stay home, read, and/or binge watch a new TV show as often as I can. If you see me at a party/wedding/social event, 99% of the time I’ll be in the kitchen cleaning or casually sitting off to the side enjoying my wine and people-watching. While I do enjoy my people-watching, I want someone in my life who will pull me out of my shell, drag me onto the dance floor, and make me do the macarena/electric slide/Thriller until my feet feel like they’re going to fall off.

I want to try new things. I want someone to make mistakes with, try amazing and/or horrible new foods, go to movies that are so bad they’re good, someone to join me on spontaneous road trips with awesome playlists on the way.

Passionate– I don’t care if he loves football so much we have to sit in freezing (or blazing hot) weather every Saturday to see his favorite team. Or, if we have to travel to every theme park in America to ride the best/most terrifying roller coasters. Having a hunger for life is so important to me.

Life is short, and I want to make the most of it. I want to find new passions, make huge goals and accomplish the most I can out of my life. Have someone there to help motivate and encourage couldn’t hurt, either!

 

Sure, there’s always other qualities that wouldn’t hurt to have around:

-being tall (I’m only 5’2″…I need someone who can reach the top shelf at the grocery store!)

-being able to cook breakfast (I am an excellent cook, just not bacon, eggs, or toast, it’s weird I know)

-being ‘punny’ (because a good pun always brightens my day without fail, and I need that in my life)

 

So, that’s that, I know you all were just dying to know what I’m looking for in a guy, but, this is my thinking place. I didn’t write this hoping some guy would read it, get shot in the butt by Cupid, and realize ‘he’s the one for me’, rather I just like to get these crazy thoughts out of my head and organize them into a post that makes me feel not so crazy. Hope you enjoy.  🙂

Going Fishing

“There’s plenty of fish in the sea!” is a phrase spoken all too frequently around me lately. It’s always meant with the kindest of intentions, but instead of encouraging…I tend to find it daunting.

If you ask me, there are too many fish in the sea. And honestly, I don’t even want to do any fishing! Sometimes, I just look at my life and wonder, “how did I get here?”. I wasn’t supposed to be here, now, at this age. My life was supposed to be figured out, I planned it so well.

But, that’s life, isn’t it? And now, I find myself faced with the newest and most terrifying part: dating.

Blech, I can’t even say/type/think the word without wanting to throw up. The whole idea to me is loathsome. I feel like a toddler crossing my arms, planting my feet in the dirt, and saying, “but I don’t WANT to!”.  Aside from who I was married to, I enjoyed being married. I really liked building a home, a life, a family. Having a routine and a safe place. Singleness has it’s perks too, but dating? Ehh, whhhhy?

The highs. The lows. The awkwardness. Not being too forward. Not being too quiet and reserved. Say the right thing. Watch out for the crazy, no, run from the crazy. Try to find normal. Hope that they think you’re normal. Don’t text back too soon. Don’t expect a text too soon. Laugh at their jokes. Tame your laugh so they don’t think you’re crazy. Dress cute, but not slutty. Be witty, but not a comedian. Ask questions, but only the right questions.

Yeah, all of the above? Who enjoys that? It’s exhausting. And even better, this is all just a concept for me. Let’s discuss my actual experience in this area…it will be short:

The last time I went on a first date, actually the only time I’ve been on a first date, I was 15. I don’t remember the details, but it was probably a movie or something, and when you’re 15, it really doesn’t matter. We were already good friends, so it was just like any other time we hung out. We barely had cell phones, texting was still paid for ‘per message’, so it basically didn’t exist. Needless to say, it was a completely different world.

Fast forward 11 years and I’m now 26 and I don’t know “how” to date. [Insert sarcastic phrase like, “that’s cool”, or “awesome!” here.] What the hell am I gonna do?! Is there a book on this?? The more I think about it, the more I’m okay with just being a cat lady forever. Cats don’t care about dating, and neither will I. Ooh, with ice cream, too, ice cream doesn’t care about dating either. Problem solved.

I don’t even know what I want in a guy. I mean, I know what I don’t want. Been there, done that. I just wish there were checklists, surveys, or something that you could just randomly complete with people and it would just be simple. Sure, there’s online dating. I have several friends and family that it has been a complete success for. I do believe it can work. But, for me, I just don’t know if I’m ready for that yet. I feel like summarizing my life into neat boxes on a webpage is such a false representation of who I am, it would be unfair for any ‘passers-by’ to assume my life is that perfect. On the other hand, if I was honest and wrote “recently divorced, but doing great! I’m kind of a hot mess, but it’s worth it! ” wouldn’t really get many likes/winks/whatever you do on those sites.

So, for now, we will see where life takes me. Maybe it will be with 27 cats and a rocking chair with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Maybe it will be with a husband who was willing to take a chance on a girl who just needed a second round to do things right. Either way, it will be just fine.

It’s not all sunshine and glitter inside…

This blog is all about honesty. For some crazy reason, that’s what I committed myself to. (Why did I do that again??!) Oh right. I never want to seem as if I’m the perfect girl, or, that I’m handling this whole divorce better than (insert valley girl voice here) “like, any girl everrr, in the history of divorces”. I’m a mess, and I think I’ve made that pretty clear.

Alright, so… I’m pretty sure I’m in the anger stage of my “grief” (or whatever you want to call what I’m going through). But, rest assured, before your concern grows anymore, I’ll calm you down by saying I can still laugh through my anger, but it’s definitely a process.  It’s like traffic makes me more frustrated than it normally does. People, for sure, really piss me off. And, I’ve started to acknowledge the darker side of my thoughts instead of just shoving them down and sprinkling sunshine on them.

I’m angry that I haven’t moved on with my life. I’m angry that he isn’t hurting. I’m angry that I still feel like I’m keeping secrets that aren’t mine. I’m angry that I can’t have normal relationships with people because I’m scared of their judgement. It makes me mad when I feel insecure about his choices. And, it really pisses me off, like really, when I realize I’m mad about him.

It’s not like I go on rampages and yell and punch things…I’ve never been that kind of angry person. Plus, I think a little person like me would look ridiculous trying to beat something up or intimidate someone with my squeaky voice.  It’s more of a quiet kind of anger. I notice I talk less around people, usually because I’m annoyed much more easily. Or, often I just feel like I can’t even be in social situations because I don’t want to deal with “this” or “that”, and I have very little patience dealing with dumb people (who are everywhere, it turns out).

I realize I sound like a pretty terrible human being. But, I’m writing this with the expectation that all of you reading this have had the same feelings at one time or another. Even if it was only because you were having a bad day, or something really crappy happened and you just wanted to be selfish for a little bit. You’ve been there, right?

Through all of this, I’m choosing to think positively and realize that this will pass. That I won’t be annoyed by good things happening to other people on Facebook. That I will be able to sit in traffic and not go crazy at the car in front of me. That I’ll be able to deal with people who may not be the brightest crayon in the box.

I think I’ll start a kickboxing class…and it’s about time I get myself to that gun range. Who’s in?!