2012: A Year in Review

There were some great things that happened in 2012 and like most people, some shitty things happened as well. I am guilty of diving deep into the crap and allowing it to rule my life. I think that is a natural reaction to life. But I have also been able to step back, acknowledge the bad but still be thankful for what I do have in my life. I haven’t gotten all Pollyanna on you, trust me.

The good? Well, I ended up spending a few days with the Queen in Atlanta leading up to my birthday. Good food, great times with the Queen, IKEA! and a guy even hitting on me in IKEA! I followed that little trip up with a weekend in Nashville. Again, great food, friends and some quality time at Green Hills Mall.

I was a bit delusional when it came to the boy, thinking that our little road trip to DC might put things back on track in February. I also dealt with guilt for not reaching out to Chandler after a conversation with his sister. The shoulda, woulda, couldas have come in waves throughout the year and I have to hope within my heart of hearts that Chandler did know that he was always on my mind. Chandler gave me one final gift when he passed, he opened my eyes to see the boy for who he truly is and that helped me close the door for good on that mistake. Thank you Chandler for pointing out what everyone else could see.

Saying goodbye to Chandler at the end of February was probably the hardest thing I have had to do. For a time I didn’t want to be around happy people, going to the mall pissed me off and the idea of having to even be somewhat social seemed more like torture. I held close the memories we had created together but also knew it was time for me to really focus on getting back home, getting in shape and finding me again.

Apparently in March I tried to find some humor and offered up my embarrassing Spanx story, shared with you my weight (I had already shared my big girl jeans vs. my skinny jeans with you the previous fall) and the time I fell on my tush while working out with my trainer. I also sprinkled in random thoughts throughout the year with Tuesday Randomness. While these may seem a bit boring or um, redundant, it has forced me to write something, anything every week (although I have missed a few. . .).

April reminded me just how great I have it in terms of friends, I spent a weekend at the Queen’s house, met up with a bunch of mother hens for drinks, caught up with an old friend and really thought long and hard about an opportunity in Raleigh. I also got to deal with an allergic reaction to who knows what to my skin. The itching was out of control and the only thing the doctor could come up with was I happened to be allergic to something blowing in the wind. Yes folks, for the price of a copay or two, I learned that my skin was sensitive. Sadly, I have known that since I was a little kid.

I continued to workout with my trainer in May, offered up an explanation as to why I suck at dating and admitted that I was a dork. I also decided after reading an article that I really needed to make a statement and just go ahead and marry myself. If everyone else gets celebrated for every milestone under the sun, why should I let the inability to get a guy to commit to me make me miss out on those milestones? I ended up not going through with it but I will keep it in the back of my head.

June brought hot weather and my impatience at finding anything in Nashville career-wise. I was unhappy with my job, location and lot in life. I did manage to sucker Stace into going to the Def Leppard concert at the beginning of July and lucked into two job interviews while I was in town. I headed to The Trousdale School’s annual musical grinning ear to ear with what was coming up the following week; a concert, two interviews and spending time with friends.

I was a mess after my second interview, kind of feeling like I do most times I go on a date; thinking it went well but never hearing from them ever again. Then I did the phone interview with the recruiter. . .oh July you could have gone either way but on the 13th (my lucky number) I was offered the job and was planning my move back home, to Nashville in under two weeks. I dealt with packing, roped Bird into packing my kitchen, mom helped tons and dad made sure the chair didn’t move while they were there. Wook looked at me like I had lost my mind but agreed to deal with the car ride and chaos a move brings. I started my new job, met my new coworkers and instantly knew I was going to like it here.

I challenged myself to appreciate all the move brought to me, going out with friends, working on myself and doing my very best at my job. A text to Allan one evening led to me meeting John Corbitt and breaking the unspoken rule in Nashville: don’t bother the famous people. Thankfully he was really nice and Allan is probably still shouting he doesn’t know that guy. I also got to warm up in terms of watching football. Oh dear, if the football season could be year round I would be a happy girl.

September came and went in a blur, a lot of football, a lot of time hanging out with the guys and random sightings of the boy as I would head home from work. I was counting down until MTSU’s homecoming, ended up seeing some great guys I hadn’t seen since college and remembering the campus as if I had just left it the day before. Millions of texts to and from Allan seemed to be the norm and I admitted to two friends that I might just have a crush on him. Allan had also voiced his dislike of his first blog name and for the first time in history, I changed someone’s name. That should have been my sign.

I realized I must be bad luck for my beloved Steelers after witnessing first hand the loss to the Titans, one of the worst teams in the league. One of the crudest lines I have ever uttered was finally yelled back at me courtesy of Allan. Text messages flew in after the game and the next day from friends teasing me about the loss. Yeah, I know and we shouldn’t have lost. A fateful weekend spent with Allan caused us to cross the line in our friendship. I was thrilled, very happy and couldn’t believe my luck. I was back home, I had a great job and somehow ended up with a guy whom I considered to be in the best friend circle as something more. All of the sudden, tons of plans were made for parties, trips, football and everything else under the sun.

Then high school drama happened, I saw a side of my friend that I didn’t realize was there and a girl pulled a very childish stunt in order to get her way. I fought for him and then realized that he was in my shoes from years ago with Bubba. I offered him one last piece of advice, do not ever ask me why I stayed with Bubba for so long when everyone knew it was bad. Pot meet kettle. Square peg in round hole still won’t fit. Roller coaster, high school drama still doesn’t make a relationship. And finally, my favorite thought, people change and sometimes it isn’t for the better. Oh and always, always question someone who tries to lay blame on others for their mistakes.

The rest of October was hard, I was in a complete and total funk. I was also very angry at myself for letting someone in when I know how it always ends for me. I refocused on my weight, working out and eating habits. I managed to get into a pair of size ten jeans. I also somehow managed to take the higher road when Allan stated on Facebook he was now in a relationship. I am not a saint, I have said some really not so kind things about the whole situation and I won’t even get into what has gone on in my head. Yes, I was a bit on the bitter side but I still want to know why the one who follows the rules, is nice, responsible and well. . . ends up with the short end of the stick.

November rushed in and I had to get my place in order for my parents’ visit during Thanksgiving. As I have admitted to them, I did prepare myself for a last minute cancellation but that didn’t happen and we had a great time. I ended up with an early Christmas present (a HUGE tv), they got to meet my BFF Stace’s little boy E, Rach’s kids and husband and I think I drug mom around a good portion of Davidson and Williamson counties on Black Friday. It was also the month that dad got an iPhone. I think I have converted him. . . at least I hope so!

I realized in December why I have had such a hard time getting everything Christmas up and out. I haven’t held my dinner party since 2008, which means that I haven’t had a deadline to deal with the tree. I got the tree up this year and some decorations out but waited until the last minute to make the peanut butter chocolate balls for Bird. I watched a ton of Christmas movies, continued my weight loss, watched way too much football, brought bad luck to the Titans when I went to the game at the beginning of the month and watched Mr. E on several occasions.

I also had to say goodbye to my stinky boyfriend, Shadow. I felt horrible for Stace and her husband as well as felt beyond helpless. I have always been proud of the fact that I can handle most anything life hands me (even if I cry or shut down at some point, I have managed to deal with it) but Shadow’s passing shined a light on a weakness about myself.

I headed to my hometown to spend Christmas with the parents and Bird. Her girls still aren’t 100% happy for my move but I am hopeful that when they are older, they will understand. It turned out to be a low key visit, which I enjoyed. I also probably sent mom over the edge introducing beef tenderloin as a great holiday meal since dad is now convinced they should have it monthly. I have also given the gift of Starbucks addiction to dad. At least the barista at his local place doesn’t know his name and order. . . I don’t have to utter a word now if I don’t feel like it.

I also got to visit with Chandler’s mom and sisters while I was there. While the tears do not come as often or quickly, as soon as I see them I am a blubbering mess. I would give anything for Chandler to be back with them, even if it meant we were not meant to be. I still think of him often, love him dearly and talk about him with my friends. As I was getting ready to leave, his mom asked Bri to take me to his room to pick out a couple of things. With each step down the stairs, the tears came faster. . .to be able to see things just as they were when I left made me smile but miss him terribly. I will always wear his Notre Dame shirt with pride and love (and cheer for them too!) as well as his Cubbies hat.

I ended the year on my own instead of going out or hanging with friends. Part of it was I just didn’t want to be around others but the other part was, I was tired, overwhelmed with what I have experienced this past year and the biggest part, who doesn’t want to ring in the new year with the most neurotic cat ever? Plus, NYE is amateur night. I would prefer not to share the road with the crazies. Instead I Facetimed with Son, Snug and T, my parents and chatted briefly with Stace, offering up the I am a loser and this headache is driving me insane (which it has been for several weeks now).

Here’s to 2013, may all your wishes come true and if I ever start talking excitedly about a guy, please smack me. And then point me to my blog.

Advertisements

What Men Want. . .

I still take issue with Mel Gibson and his rants but I do enjoy watching What Women Want from time to time. I thought about that movie when I read a column last night in The Daily Mail UK. Tracey Cox, a columnist for the paper, has had a couple of interesting topics in the past week. The first one I read discussed the age old question; can men and women really be friends? while yesterday’s column was discussed what men wanted in women.

I could write volumes on my experiences with men as friends and as well as my thoughts on what they want in a mate. Actually, scratch that, I could write volumes on what NOT to do when it comes to the opposite sex. As Stace says, I have the most rotten luck when it comes to dating.

But let’s focus on the column Ms. Cox wrote . . . I have always been in the camp that believed most men wanted leggy model types. The reality shows us that the world isn’t overrun with model types but after years of watching movies, tv shows and perusing magazines we have forgotten this tidbit. Instead, we pluck, shave, highlight and diet 98% of our lives away. We strive to become these characters we watch and read forgetting that they have the help of a trainer, stylist, lots of money, lighting and the all important airbrushing.

Per Ms. Cox, several studies have been conducted to find out what it is exactly that men want in women. I was actually speechless when I read that most men are interested in the spark, an emotional connection instead of sexiness. I have been operating under the guise that it was looks first, then personality. While I will never be sexy (kind of hard when you look like you are 12 years old without makeup) my personality is kind of kick ass. Well, my personality works well with a guy’s guy. The bluntness and crassness seems to be polarizing to some guys but I won’t change my personality just to make them more comfortable.

It turns out that there are guys out there that want the nice girl. Of course if we were simply surveying the guys in my past the results would be different. I am completely honest about my penchant for bad boys. While I have grown up and moved on from that, it seems I still can’t pick a guy to save my life. Even when things *seem* perfect; the relationship ends, sometimes by my doing and sometimes their doing.

A blip on my relationship radar recently has reinforced that just maybe I am not meant to have that other half. He was a great friend, we spent a lot of time together just hanging out. As usual, I was the last to know that he might be interested. As Bubba put it, “Gee, I didn’t see that coming out of left field,”  dripping with sarcasm. Apparently everyone who knew us saw it coming, why no one clued me in on this little tidbit I will never know.

Unfortunately, just as quickly as it happened it ended. An ex-girlfriend came back into the picture and he went running back. Of course, there is a lot more to the story but I will refrain. I had heard a lot about their relationship from him and I likened it to the one I had with Bubba. A drama filled, roller coaster relationship where each person brought out the worst in the other with a lot of the past times that were once good thrown in for good measure. Needless to say, this knocked me on my ass and confirmed my thoughts on dating.

I guess the worst part has to be I was completely content being single when I moved back home. I was just so freakin’ happy to be back, with my circle of friends and everything that I loved that I didn’t really care about being single. I loved being around my guy friends, being myself (that kick ass personality that per the article stated men cared more about) that I didn’t care that nights out meant coming home to only a cat. None of that matter because I had forgotten what it was like to have someone around in that way. And really, what you don’t know is missing will not be missed.

We both shared there had been flashes of something *more* but he wanted to be completely done with his ex before moving forward. Me? I didn’t know what I was missing and I didn’t think he would be interested. He told me one night that it was over, he was done with the roller coaster; I took it in, not really knowing what to think or say. Then it happened and since we already knew each other’s story . . . we skipped that whole awkward beginning of a relationship. And I was happy, disgustingly happy. He was surprisingly open, kind, sweet and thoughtful. Sure, I knew what kind of guy he was before but when you cross the friend line, you see a whole other level.

Since I hadn’t seen this coming a mile away, I most definitely did not see what was coming next. The drama roller coaster came skidding up in front of him and he hopped right back on board. I was knocked down, just like Charlie Brown while trying to kick the football and lost a great guy and a friend. The real kick in the pants comes from my personal experience with the on again, off again relationship. I know that nothing I say will make a difference. He’s stubborn like me and will keep trying to shove that square peg into the round hole. I also see what my friends saw when I was going through this a million years ago. As a friend, I feel completely helpless because I can’t make him see reason. Actually, you do see reason, even agree with it but you keep waiting for the same effort to return a different result. Square peg, round hole.

As a more than a friend, I am heartbroken that this destroyed our friendship, I miss him and once again wish that none of it had happened. Now knowing how fun it was, how it just made sense and that it was actually very easy to cross that line makes me mad and disappointed in myself. I knew better but for once I had been completely willing to be open, no prying necessary.

So I did giggle when I started reading Ms. Cox’s columns . . . friends of the opposite sex can be friends but you both have to respect that the line is there for a reason, if you risk crossing that line, you have to be willing to sacrifice that friendship and while it has been assumed that you need to be perfect, men are just looking for what we are looking for. . . a nice person that you can connect with, have fun and be comfortable around. And here I have been so worried that I couldn’t pull off the sexy vibe.

And yes, I still wish that our mutual friends would have smacked me upside the head so I would have seen any and all of this coming. He was quite unexpected and I think that is what cuts the deepest. Good times. And probably by tomorrow, men will decide they want something totally different. I happen to think they are worse than women in some aspects.

Instagraming Your Life

I got an iPhone this past summer, my first one because I was waiting for my carrier of choice to offer them and then had to wait for my upgrade. But after years of drooling over the iPhone, I got it. While I was using my Droid (which I really did love) I starting playing with Instagram and other photography apps. Taking it over to the iPhone seemed to take it to the next level and that might be my mind playing tricks on me. I do have a soft spot for Apple products though. . .

Instagram is a cool little app that will let you lay a filter on top of the picture, it can be framed, muted, blurred. . .and then you post it for all the world to see. Those tricks to make a photograph look artistic, better or more dramatic didn’t change the actual picture. It’s still a picture of my cat, Radnor Lake or the sky. With a click of the camera and a swipe at the effect, I have made a so so fall afternoon at Radnor look like an outtake from the woods of Maine. All crisp yellows, reds and oranges glowing as if someone took a paintbrush to it. And then I realized, I have been instagraming the crap out of old memories.

It reminded me of a comment made by a friend years ago; when talking about my love for NYC (at the ripe old age of 17) he said I viewed the city through rose colored glasses. My mother agreed. I, on the other hand, did not agree, even to this day, I love NYC. I also don’t see the mess, as my mother pointed out to me often, it’s just not in my nature.

I think we all go around from time to time, remembering the past with a filter on it causing it to blur, become muted and sitting there like a pretty little package waiting to be torn open on Christmas morning. I have been guilty of this when it comes to old flames or crushes.

Case in point. . . the little red headed boy. He was my first boyfriend, way back in fourth grade. He even gave me a necklace and candy on Valentine’s Day. And it all started with a note asking me to go with him by checking yes or no (George Strait has nothing on me). It was a love affair for the ages. Well, until I decided that I didn’t want to go with him anymore. It ended, he took up with my best friend and I gave her the stuff he gave me. As we got older, the little red headed boy and I became friends. Such good friends that I believe we got in trouble for tying the phone line up one evening yapping to each other (long before the days of call waiting).

When you are that young, kids don’t understand how you could be friends instead of just dating. To us, it made sense. And I also had ADD when it came to boys back then as well as a horrible habit of going for the bad boy. But we spent a lot of time around each other, talking, laughing and then having to explain what the deal was with us. This played out throughout school until graduation.

I never thought of that little red headed boy in a romantic way until one night we hung out when he was in town from college. As we always did when he came into town, we went out. We caught each other up on our lives, talked about former classmates and made fun of each other. Solid friend hanging out time. At the end of a long night hanging out, he kissed me. I was surprised when he did, shocked that I really liked it and confused as to what in the world did it all mean. Then reality set in, he lived two hours away, we had different things going on and what could have been was not going to happen.

Once I transferred to the same college he was at, we tried again but by this point I was ready to get out, meet people and ended up spending a chunk of quality time at the fraternity house. Timing was always off and deep down I think we both knew that those two little kids passing notes in Mrs. Baker’s class were very different people now. We grew up and moved on; it happens.

But here comes the fun part. . . I have instagramed the crap out of that little red headed boy since college. Pulling out tidbits of blurred memories, dressing them up, muting them to just the right color and swearing up and down that he must be the boy for me. I believe he was my fallback each and every time Bubba and I would sign on for WWIII. My 38 year old self sees that now and will openly admit that while I will always have a soft spot for that little red headed boy, we are really two very different people now. We both changed during college and I am sure I went to a more wilder side than him but it was those fun memories of when we were young that made me think that it would work.

While that example isn’t all that bad, I bring out my next exhibit. . . Bubba. Dear Lord, I instagramed that relationship from hell to the point that it looked like soft, fuzzy kittens were playing in a field. We brought out the worst in each other, he spent more time and energy trying to come up with ways to push me and I fell right into the trap. Things would be great, he would be sweet and then bam! he had his tongue down some girl’s throat and it wasn’t mine. He would party hard and flirt but if a guy happened to pass in front of me he would blow up. He would say horrible things to me, tearing me down, piece by piece until I was convinced I was lucky to have him. Then we would break up. . .

And I would start to instagram the memories, blurring the times he had thrown himself at other women, making it into a huge misunderstanding or I would put a dreamy filter on the ones where he told me I was fat so I could remember it as he really only cared about my health. Sounds like an amazing relationship huh? I spent seven and a half years playing this horrible game of cat and mouse with him. I still have the scars from our time together but Bubba and I finally got the memo that we would never, ever work as a couple.

And then I instagramed Jorge and the boy. . . yeah, I could fill pages up of how not to chose a guy. The boy was shallow, so I would have to put nice shiny, bright filters on my memories with him. Dressing up memories that really weren’t suited to see the light of day the first time around. Blurring out the indifference that Jorge had for the relationship, sharpening the few where he babied me when I was sick to make those really stand out. Like I said, I have a real knack for picking them!

It is hard sometimes to look back and force myself to see the memories without all the airbrushing. I have to admit that I was part of the destructive cycle with Bubba and with the others, simply ignoring the red flags and pretending that it was all perfect. And while I do like to soften the memories up a bit, just like I enjoy playing with the different looks on Instagram, the reality is summed up as this: it is what it is. I can’t change how I was treated, how I treated them or make the memory better. I can’t go back and touch up a moment in hopes that making it look better will make it work now.

The fact that I prefer to see the good in people instead of the bad immediately does tend to translate into either I am not that smart, naive or just see things through rose colored glasses. The reality is I just want to think that people in general are not inherently bad people. This part of my personality does tend to open me up to being surprised quite often. I have also become more cynical as I have gotten older when it comes to relationships which in turn causes me to throw every wall around me up.

Chandler got to deal with my walls and bless him for being patient with me. I was so paranoid about me time, being my own person, etc. that I almost missed out on probably one of the better relationships I have experienced. I can remember him calling me one night when he got home, he wanted to analyze my mood and what we had talked about earlier in the evening. He said I had to talk to him for it to work. Such a novel concept. And that sometimes, those moments are ones that you need to frame and hang on your wall.

For now, I will try to keep my instagraming strictly to pictures and accept that good or bad, the friends, boyfriends, relationships and the kitchen sink from my past are in my past. That none of us are those kids from 20 years ago and photoshopping the past doesn’t make the present or future better. Often times it only means that I am copying the picture in hopes that the outcome is different this time. Kind of like when I kept shoving that square peg into the round hole known as Bubba.

I am thankful that I might actually be learning a few things, finally. My thick skull makes it hard for me to learn new things. I like to blame that on my dad but that is as much a K family trait as it is a C family trait. And that trait makes for great stories for friends to laugh at when we are together. Which is really the reason why they keep me around. . .

SATC: The Single Life

An ongoing series based off the quotes from Sex and the City, this one is one of the funnier ones because there are moments when I do feel like this. But it is normally a fleeting moment that passes quickly and is soon forgotten…until the next shower invitation arrives in my mailbox.

Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you …Hallmark doesn’t make a “congratulations, you didn’t marry the wrong guy” card. And where’s the flatware for going on vacation alone?

This quote also happens to be built around the stolen Manolos that Carrie wears to a baby shower. At the door she is asked to remove her shoes but when she is leaving realizes that her shoes left without her. When the hostess offers and then retracts her offer to replace the shoes, Carrie laments that when you are single, no one celebrates the fact that you are indeed single.

I received the crown of last of the single girls within my group of friends a few years ago. They are very gracious to include the third wheel or have a girls night, to which I am very grateful. Now they are starting to multiple! But I have to admit those little munchkins are quite cute! But throughout the years I have gone to showers, weddings, bachelorette parties, couples showers and wedding receptions excited and ready to celebrate. My checking account sometimes sighs, cries or flat out tells me exactly what I can get off of the registry and sometimes that doesn’t match what I want to give them that I had in mind.

While I have never minded celebrating the couple, the person or the baby, sometimes I do have to wonder what will happen if I simply don’t get married. Can I have a party to celebrate that after years of making the wrong choice in terms of men I finally figured it out and will stay on my own? That would be tacky yet I think that not adding to the divorce rate should be celebrated. Several of my friends have gone through divorce and I understand that people normally don’t go into marriage thinking, well if it sucks I can get a divorce. Hell, my parents were married before they got married and had me, so I do understand that sometimes you cannot avoid it.

While it would be dreamy to have a registry full of Manolos, Kate Spade, Coach and Tiffany, I would be quite happy to just have a night out with the girls celebrating all of my mistakes, making fun of some of the situations I have gotten myself into at an amazing restaurant.

And should the impossible happen and I do end up getting married? I apologize to each and everyone of my friends. I have been single way too long, have most of the stuff I need so if you don’t mind, just buy me a plate from the china I have dreamed about since I was a little girl. Sure it might get a little boring when opening the gifts but just think of the parties I can throw with that china.

And now I am going to peruse all the high end websites to dream, drool and possibly pin on Pinterest. Please, someone make me stay away from the site. I am having too much fun there.

An Encouraging Text Message

“Meditating on all of our faults and failures weakens us, but meditating on God’s grace and willingness to forgive strengthens us.”

My wonderful friend Chris, from work, sent this text message to me last week. I have been feeling more down lately and had been sharing with her my struggles. In fact, she really needs a raise for all the tears she has had to endure these past few months.

I am that person, the one who dwells on her failures and mistakes. I don’t know if it is just in my personality or a learned behavior but it is one that can tear you apart, bit by bit. I try to find the good in my day but seem to fail at that, not really knowing how to move one foot in front of the other. This is a text message that I want to post everywhere, my apartment, my cubicle and my car, in the hopes of seeing it all of the time, will help me focus on the good instead of the bad.

I just keep hoping and praying that one of these days I can make it through a 24 hour span without busting out into tears or focusing on the bad. It’s a goal.

Feeling A Bit Better

I tend to be a gluten for punishment. I can’t help it. I am quite stubborn you know. After learning the hard way that the boy was back on the dating market, I was devastated to say the least. But when I woke up this morning, I was mad. As in, I gave the relationship my all and he didn’t see it or he just didn’t appreciate it. Kind of sucks but I guess that is why you kiss frogs, in hopes that one just might be your prince. And while I am still upset over the things that happened, I can say without a doubt that he was a nice guy, it just didn’t fit like I wanted to.

Which brings me to my next step, dating. AGAIN. I have gone back to the site that at least matched me with someone that I have tons of things in common with and trying it all over again. Will it work this time? I don’t know but I do know (and here comes the ultimate “that is such a chick thing to say”) that time is not on my side. Meaning that at 35, if I want kids, taking a couple years off to heal, learn from past mistakes. . .well that doesn’t work out in my mathematical world.

I still do the what ifs, my stomach stays in knots but if I don’t leap now, I probably won’t. Why? Well, let’s just say, sitting in my apartment and going to work gets kind of comfy. And when that happens, trying to even get me out for drinks and dinner is harder than leading a horse to water.

I don’t know what the future holds but I have to start feeling better before I really do become the crazy cat lady.

Running and the Invitable Onslaught of Thoughts

I have to give myself some props, I have actually managed to run a portion of my 2 1/2 mile walk without wanting to collaspe. This is quite a milestone for me because I hate to run, my joints remind me why I don’t run and oh, yeah, I HATE to run. But pushing myself, driving myself to the edge is something that I do best when I am upset.

And while my IPod is playing some of my favorite songs, songs that become the soundtrack to my life, I go into that dark space. The space that says I am a loser, no one wants to be with me and God forbid if the thought of being in a happy, committed relationship comes across my mind. I must be damaged in a way that even I can’t see and I wish that I could because maybe I could fix it.

I am not clingy, nor bossy. I tend to keep hurt feelings to myself or feel the need to throwup while trying to share those hurt feelings with others. I may never get it or understand why me, little ole goofy me, can’t find someone that can just love me unconditionally. Apparently the joke I used to share about being a disaster is quite true and who really wants to step into that mess?

I have one friend who has offered to set me up on blind dates. . . umm, think I will pass on that one. Part of it is, I hate to date but the biggest reason is my heart still belongs to someone else. I wish I could get it back, kind of like the stuff I left there, forgot to get and now they are probably in the trash bin.

And the final thought I had as I was finishing up my little exercise routine yesterday morning, I don’t want to trust anyone else, again. While I may seem like this big, fluffy puppy dog, ready to jump on you and love you, I am quite a mess on the inside. So scared to go forward but terified to be left behind. I am terribly insecure and letting myself believe that someone loved me and then proves that umm, not really, leaves me in a puddle of tears. And the only way to make myself feel better is to push my muscles to the extreme, exercise like it is going out of style and worrying about every little bity thing I put in my mouth.

I may feel like crap on the inside but at least I can be skinny again. . .

The Single Life

I have a lot of time on my hands and only bad things happen when I do have a lot of time on my hands. This time turns into thinking about my choices in life and then criticizing every.single.choice I have made thus far.

College? Should have worked much harder than I did and I should have done everything in my power in order to attend Georgia. My career would probably be thanking me right about now. I also should have focused more on computers than hitting the weekly fraternity parties, my bank account would be thanking me right about now.

Spending money? Umm, saving more than spending would have been helpful but I guess I am more like my dad than I realized. I can’t help it, I like to buy stuff. Had I been saving some, I probably wouldn’t be in debt and oh yeah, I would probably have a house to live in as opposed to an apartment.

Men? Well, I promise that when I was younger and had plenty of boys to choose from, I had a three date max. Seriously, my mom used to laugh about it. I would go out with a guy and if I didn’t think it was going well. . .he was out of there (hence the three date max). Of course, some of my issues that I have today can all be traced back to one ex, in college and for quite a time after. He was no good for me but my self-esteem took a direct hit via him. Trying to find the old me is impossible and that makes me sad. I learned to be afraid of being honest, of saying I didn’t like something and standing up for myself. That proved to be quite a hindrance when I dated the guy after this ex. My heart was left, stomped on the ground with the words uttered by him to friends, “I can do better than her.”

The upside is the ex that did such a job on my self-esteem is now a friend and he will always be firmly in the friend column. The only reason he got there was he apologized, for everything. The other ex is married with kids and I can only hope and pray he found what he was looking for and is happy.

My choice to voice my concerns to the boy (who was the love I had been looking for) were not handled well. I know that people cannot change or at least, you can’t force them to change, so I thought I was doing the honorable thing by walking away. Umm, yeah, live with that regret daily. A good guy who just didn’t have the relationship experiences that I have; should have given him a chance.

Being single means being alone. I get that and I don’t mind that since I have been there done that but the question that keeps coming to mind is this: What happens to the single when everyone else is paired up and reproducing?

The motherhood, as so eloquently discussed on Sex and the City, finds women of all race, creeds and social standings running for the nearest Gymboree, playdates and other mommies to spend time with instead of their wilder, more selfish single friends. While I am no longer wild, was never selfish, I am single. And I keep finding that I am that outsider looking in, I don’t understand morning sickness (although, I would take it in a heartbeat) nor do I understand the need to buy every damn toy in Target for my kids for Christmas because I just can’t stop myself.

So here I sit, time on my hands, realizing that my friends have all moved on and doubting myself as to whether I will ever catch up to them. Sure, they like to chat from time to time, grab coffee every so often but for the most part, I don’t fit in with them. I get kidded to not become that crazy old cat lady, the assurance that everything will work out but in reality, I see myself slowly being craved out of their lives. Is it on purpose? Probably not but while they are wondering if breastfeeding is going to work or what school to put little Johnny in, they know not to ask me. I just don’t have that life experience under my belt to share.

Then I start to question myself. What’s wrong with me? What is it that I am doing that compels men to see me as someone to date but not to commit to? I have never even been engaged or close to it, not even by a long shot.  Am I too needy? I don’t think I am, I don’t call 24/7, I don’t whine about anything (unless I am sick and then all bets are off) and I certainly understand the need for some downtime to be by one’s self.

I tried online dating, one site was pure meat market and the other, where I found the boy, was geared towards people who wanted to commit, get married and have kids. I just don’t think the boy understood the purpose of that particular site. Or maybe I was a great girlfriend but not wife material. I mean, I can’t clean to save my life. I am truly a messy person but I can cook and I can nurture the hell out of anyone that needs it.

Being single and back to square one is daunting. I don’t have a problem doing things on my own. I have had dinner, by myself at restaurants. I haven’t tried the travel on own yet but that has to do more with money than moxie. Movies? Oh hell, I prefer going alone so I can lose myself in the film. But what happens when I get older, well older than I already am?

While some of the women in my office think that my life is fab being single, I just shake my head. I get that if you are unhappy or feel that life is a never ending list of things to do, errands to run and ball games/recitals to attend, my life can seem kind of dreamy. BUT, being on my own is tough. My worries come from the depths of what happens if I can’t work or my car decides to blow up, I am a single income family. There is no one there that can help me out in a pinch. Of course my parents could but I could never ask them for that since I know that they exist on savings, investments and retirement.

Someone who I once knew said he kept meeting women who were in the left lane going 100 MPH and he wanted a woman who was willing to get in the slow lane and take her time with him. Well, I hate to say it but he (and any man who thinks this) needs to date 22 year olds. I am 35, I am not going to apologize for knowing what I want nor am I going to settle since, well I have waited this long but there comes a point and time when everyone has to grow up.

Sure, I have dreams of running off and living in DC or NYC and writing but that is what I should have been doing when I was in my twenties. I made choices and some of them are quite difficult to swallow but I have to own up to the fact that I am no longer a kid; running around singing la-ti-dah. I am an adult who has to hold down a job, pay the debts that I owe and be a responisble citizen.

I just wish that having the single life didn’t separate me from my friends. I miss them but I get that they all have lives they have to attend to and calling me or hanging with me all the time isn’t part of what they need to deal with daily.