Tag Archives: Love

On Visi[BI]lity

This past week was bi visibility week and yesterday, sept 23, bi visibility day. Now after the year we’ve all had it seems like a lot of people or at least a lot of the people I know have taken the past year in isolation to do the hard work of looking within themselves and being more honest with who they are – and as one of those people I know, I can tell you it isn’t easy.

In the past year I’ve taken a lot of time to let myself come to terms with trauma and even deal with the internalized homophobia I didn’t know I had.

See for me it was never about not accepting gay people (or knowing love is love), it was the idea that of all the struggles I had been through and all the work I still had to do – I didn’t want my love life to be a part of those struggles. And while some of that sentiment isn’t entirely gone, finally owning those other parts of my self and identity have allowed me not only want to be seen but feel more valid in being seen.

Let’s talk visibility

These days it seems like everything is more fluid but nothing is tangible. Take the typical examples – concepts like faith and love. You can see how they manifest but you can’t grab hold of them. Gender and sexuality are obviously a bit harder to argue, but at the same time both are constructs created by industry and interpretation. And sure you could boil it down into biology but that’s not something I’m going to try and tackle today. Instead let’s talk about bi visibility.

Did you know that the largest percentage in the LGBTQ+ is bisexuals? And that’s only of the people who are out. And it’s crazy because even as members of the LGBTQ+ bisexuals still get backlash from people inside of (and outside of ) the community… even though they make up the largest percentage of it.

See as humans we seem to like to place ourselves in clear cut boxes. Black and white. Gay and straight. Rich or poor. Smart or dumb. I mean it’s funny how you could just boil someone down into a this or that and more funny that the answers they give you will undoubtably be different from the answers you give for them. Truth of the matter is that people hate ambiguity, whether they like to admit it or not. So when some people start to warp the rules of the game or deviate from what is accepted as commonplace some people get confused and others even angry.

So let’s talk about it. Let’s remove some of the ambiguity.

Bisexuality is the fact that someone can be attracted to more than one gender, this can mean someone that is the gender they identify as and another that is not. Bisexuality now also means that someone can be attracted to more than two genders – but after that it can get slightly confusing because there’s other words that have been developed for people who like all people and people who like more than one person at once. So to keep it straight forward, bisexuality essentially means you don’t solely conform to liking the opposite sex.

Bisexuality/bisexuals are not – Slutty, indecisive, or sexual deviants going through a phase and seeing what side they want to pick. Bi people also don’t always conform to a 50/50 split, which is where the fluidity comes in because sometimes they have a preference and sometimes it’s on a case by case basis.

But most importantly bi people are valid no matter who they are dating at the time because it is their choice how to identify.

Bisexuality and me

For me, right now, when it comes to all of me (which includes my sexuality) I am just doing a lot of learning. I’m constantly learning about myself, lgbtq+ history, and how to feel comfortable again in certain spaces.

I guess the best way to explain my bisexuality though is that most days when and if I think about dating I feel like I’m too mature for most men my age and most women my age terrify me. In other words, my sexuality right now has nothing to do with who I’m sleeping with or who I’m dating because frankly I’m not doing either right now – and I’m more than ok with that.

And if I’m being really honest, if I had to pin point one thing that’s changed the most about me in the past year or two its not my sexuality – it’s that for the first time in a long long time I’m just happy with where I’m at. I’ve shed my expectation of being at a certain place in life just because of who I assumed I’d be at 25 and I’m genuinely happy with who I am. And honestly the cherry on top is that I have no desire to date for the sake of dating and there’s something that truly freeing about that.

What I’m looking forward to

I think some of the things I’m most looking forward to in the next five or ten years are the surprises. The things I haven’t planned or thought of yet, but I’m also really hopeful that the world might surprise me too. I’m excited to see a world lead by more accepting and tolerant people and laws that reflect those ideals. I’m excited at the possibility that relationships will be normalized in society and on tv. I’m excited for young people to use the voice they have now and the ones they haven’t found yet. And I know not all of it is going to be easy – but as a generation or era we’ve found our Horton (there’s too many to name but go with it ), we’ve proved we’re here (over and over and over again) and slowly but surely the world is changing, so I guess what I’m most excited for is to see what it does next.

100 things that make me smile (or amaze me in the world)

As I grow I notice how the world around me impacts how I carry myself. I notice that fear anticipates fear and anger causes pain and that happy times don’t have to be a fleeting as I once thought they were.

That said, Ive spent a lot of time in my life waiting for shoes to drop and while they sometimes do, waiting for them and putting myself in the place of fearing them doesn’t make those things any easier when they happen. So lately I’ve been trying to live in the good, and while certain things around all of us have certainly made that hard – I’ve noticed that, over all, I’m a lot happier than I used to be and so I want to take some time to reflect on that.

Quick recap —

Last week I was frustrated. I was angry at what was happening in the world, noticing that the things we value don’t align with the way we go about achieving them and because of that I decided to therapeutically list all the things that irritated me (that had nothing to do with politics.) But for all the things that frustrate me – there are a million more that give me hope and allow me to realize how truly blessed my life is. So in the spirit of positivity, here’s a list of 100 things that make me smile – and hopefully, one or two will make you smile too.

100 things that make me smile (to smile about)

  1. The sun when it shines through a window in the morning
  2. State fairs (community traditions)
  3. Friends who hype each other up both in person and online
  4. That look a guy (or person) gets in a rom-com when the girl (or person) walks in the room
  5. The air on mountain tops
  6. When someone smiles with their whole body
  7. The way dogs look at people when they’ve been away from each other all day
  8. How school kids announce “it’s snowing!”
  9. Really big lego sculptures
  10. Babies in fancy outfits
  11. When someone tries to say “bubbles” in an angry tone
  12. A drink with friends
  13. Random FaceTime or phone calls from the people I love
  14. An iced drink on a hot day
  15. Goosebumps during a beautiful song
  16. Secure men that do spa days
  17. A blanket fresh out the dryer
  18. A new flavor
  19. The smell before it rains
  20. Those square scooter things from gym class
  21. An epic soundtrack
  22. Books with annotations (notes in margins)
  23. The first day of school
  24. Chocolate
  25. Curious people
  26. To-do lists with checked boxes
  27. First dates
  28. A good cup of coffee
  29. Balloons
  30. How the air changes from the start of a hike to the end
  31. Water from a natural source
  32. A packed stadium
  33. Summer concerts
  34. A good story from someone older than me
  35. A beautiful woman (all women are beautiful)
  36. A handsome man (all men are handsome)
  37. Someone who exists outside the norm
  38. Someone who is self assured or confident
  39. Fried Oreos
  40. Fried pickles
  41. The smell and feel of well worn books
  42. The horizon line across an ocean
  43. Wondering where the rainbow actually ends
  44. How someone’s eyes light up when they talk about something they’re passionate about
  45. A dream deferred
  46. Dancing
  47. The smell of cigarettes and spearmint
  48. Kangaroos
  49. Really massive animals
  50. Idioms
  51. A hand on the shoulder
  52. Silence in otherwise crowded spaces
  53. Really loud laughers
  54. Geodes
  55. The realization that nature is so much more powerful than we can even comprehend
  56. Tv show fandoms
  57. That moment when a student clicks with the lesson
  58. Class clowns
  59. Gummy bears
  60. A baby’s laugh
  61. The fist hug after a long time away
  62. The first step into a place that feels like home
  63. “thinking of you” messages
  64. Tacos
  65. Food from a truck
  66. That single moment where a stranger becomes a friend
  67. Paying it forward
  68. Backflips
  69. The first step after you see an extremely daunting staircase
  70. My first car
  71. Watching someone reach for their dreams
  72. Making firsts in your final forever relationship
  73. Clocks that chime
  74. Pocket watches and walkie-talkies
  75. A kids movie that was clearly written to make adults laugh
  76. Watching someone you love grow up and realize their worth
  77. A turkey sandwich
  78. Getting lost and finding your way home
  79. Driving without the gps
  80. Silly hairstyles that used to be popular
  81. A worn photograph in a leather wallet
  82. A notification from someone you admire
  83. The bravery of standing up for someone else -no matter the cost
  84. The first episode of a show you’ve watched a dozen times
  85. Harmonies in a song
  86. Koi fish
  87. Waterfalls
  88. Old timey burger joints and diners
  89. Guitar and drum solos
  90. Acapella groups
  91. Science fairs
  92. Hand written letters
  93. Dad jokes
  94. Seeing someone in the stands cheering you on in a sporting event
  95. Video games
  96. Church hymns
  97. The starting line of a race
  98. Shaped jello
  99. Fruit fresh off a tree
  100. You

If Toxic was a Type

When it comes to romantic relationships, I, like others my age, was some what subliminally conditioned to desire toxic traited men. Now ironically, this adoption of falling for men who have blasted past the bad boy trope so they could essentially bathe in vats of toxic waste like a damn hot tub – didn’t come from our men in government… but it does occasionally and technically come from the historically archaic times that those men and their bills seem to live in.

Now before this gets out of hand… no this is not a piece that will make subtle jabs at middle aged white men who continue to assert their dominance by implying that a 6 week old embryo has more rights than a woman – no… this blog will be about men (and women) who suck in a different way, because today, we’re going to talk about the original (blood) suckers — vampires.

Sooooo…Vampires.

While boomers are generally known for sexualizing the word “baby” and more recent generations are known for sexualizing the word “daddy” – the early 2000’s could be easily identified as a time when media and pop-culture vastly sexualized the supernatural — and more specifically, Vampires.

Which come to think of it is probably why many of my friends also love serial killers but…. I digress.

Point is — At a young age I got accustomed to romanticizing relationships based on the ones I was seeing on tv. Which wouldn’t have been a problem if the men hadn’t been 25-30 playing 120+ year old teenagers… who also happened to be undead serial killers.

“Turn me” meant something entirely different in 2008-2009

See I’m a 90’s baby – but I didn’t grow up on sitcoms like FRIENDS, I grew up on Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights, and The Vampire Diaries. I grew up on over sexualized, arguably toxic characters that were mostly just 20 somethings playing teenagers because that’s what was hot and that’s what was popular. And for the most part I’m not complaining because I loved it then and I still love it now – but it also messed with my head.

Look – I do get how crazy it sounds but you have to understand that at the time this was all happening I had no idea how toxic the relationships were because they were in love and I wanted so badly to feel what they had for myself. On the other hand however,I had no clue how they would and wouldn’t impact what I looked for in a relationship a decade later. And let me just say, that one hasn’t gone too well.

ANYWAY…. So picture this

In 2008 we were comfortably sitting in between the release of the fifth and sixth Harry Potter films. And most of us, at that point, had given up on becoming wizards so we were pretty used to just living for the films. Then Twilight hit theaters and s*** got real. And I mean, why wouldn’t it when Cedric Diggory was alive (technically) and sparkly and Taylor Lautner started flashing abs on 20 ft screens. The acting was definitely a pain point at the time but the on screen faces definitely were not.

And then from there it all kind of blasted off because a year later Elena Gilbert and the Salvatore brothers had us swooning even more.

So in other words, it’s no surprise that many of us wanted that kind of passion and excitement in our love lives but I think the harshest critique I could have about this genre was that there was this constant idea that the women had to transform themselves to fit into what the guy was. And that no matter how many times the guy tried to convince her she was enough as she was – that only made her want it and him more. Which is toxic at best and terrifying at worst.

If Toxic was a trope

If toxic were a trope it would look like 2000’s pop culture. I mean look, I get it, hindsight is 20/20 and knowing what I know now I’m able to work with myself to detox from thinking that what went on in these shows was sexy. And maybe that’s not the way to phrase it, because I think it’s allowed to still be iconic and hot and sexy without being something to realistically look for.

I mean I have spent years trying to be something I’m not to fit the mold that these shows designed because I wanted so badly to be a part of the twisted fairytale these love stories created. I wanted the guy and the danger and the fun and the forever. But I don’t think I really understood what that all meant.

And whether it’s chasing the wrong or bad guy because you think you can change him or changing yourself to fit into his world – I don’t know, it just seems like a lot to ask for love.

So yeah – if toxic was a type I think it would be mine. And I mean maybe labeling this bad is wrong because not all aspects of these genres and themes and tropes were. And while it’s not the best mindset to have going into dating I am grateful because having not been in relationships I do feel like I ended up learning a lot about what not to look for and what aspects I could keep. But at the end of the day it’s all a learning game and I may not have forever to figure it out – but at least I have some time.

On the verge of greatness

Have you ever been afraid to have something to lose? Been afraid of letting someone, other than yourself, down? Have the expectations of the world ever been so weighted and daunting that you had to step back?

Given the fact that social media has been swirling with these questions as the basis for conversation – some will assume my next thought would be about Simone Biles, but it’s not. In fact, selfishly, it’s about me.

For the past two months I have opened WordPress a dozen times to start articles I couldn’t finish because I was scared or uncertain or even just a little uninspired. And truth is, I have felt that way for a while. See after a while the idea of being fearlessly honest or having something real to say kind of got away from me. Something about this blog became less about starting conversations and more about the conversations I couldn’t afford to have and so instead of being honest with you and with myself, I just stopped… until now.

See this week I started something real. And for the first time in a long time I feel like I can open up again. And I feel like my voice is worth something again and even though I am approaching things cautiously – I’m also daring to challenge myself in new ways.

So yeah, this week I started something real. In fact, it seems like the first something real that I have started in a long time. And to be honest – it’s exhilarating, but it’s also daunting.

Time for some backstory

Three months ago my contract ended with the firm I was working for. When it ended I bought out of my lease, settled my business up north and I moved back home for a bit. In coming home the plan was to regroup, to take some time off from work and stress and bills. The plan was to lose some weight and better my mental health and maybe even think about dating. And for the past three-ish months, that’s exactly what I did. I lost twenty pounds, I opened a better dialogue with strained relationships, I came out, I got tan, and I came into myself and the person I was evolving into. And while not every day was easy and while I saw hardships and losses and got turned away from opportunities – over all I was just overjoyed to finally start feeling like myself again.

Then came the news

The peak of my summer happened around the end of June and early July. I was in my favorite place with my friends and my family, I was relaxing and resting, and even finding a sense of confidence I hadn’t known in at least two years – then I got the call… Universal Studios Orlando wanted an interview. And I was shocked.

Over the next week and a half I prepped and I took calls. Then I had a couple interviews – and then I had a job. And if I’m being honest, I’m now a week into the job starting and I still need to pinch myself. I’m five days in, and one in to actually having a working laptop and last night after finally being up and running was really the first time it felt real.

Now I’m trying not to get ahead of myself but…

In our lives we aren’t ever specifically taught to fear success – we are deliberately taught to fear and be ashamed of failure, but my brain works differently. I welcome errors because they allow me to learn, and fear success and love and connection because it gives me something to lose.

See it’s twisted, but for me, I am most at ease – most focused, when there is chaos. I am driven by things that go wrong and most cautious when things feel right. So for the past couple months I have felt joy and excitement and progress but I’ve also felt fear and disappointment and realism.

And yes, those are all normal emotions BUT, for me, it’s important to not let them get the best of me.

So as I start this journey, as I take stock of new opportunities, my main focus is to do things differently than before. To use lunch breaks for walks, to wake up earlier and start my day with a workout, to focus on what I can learn from every meeting I attend and to see if this gig will lead me to a new start in a new place or continue my fresh start in a familiar one.

Moral of the story, this is my time to be better. To change. And maybe even to take chances. This is my time to build on my strengths and to work on my weaknesses. And honestly, I’m just excited to see where it all takes me – and I hope that this time, with more to say, I can take you all along on the ride.

The after-match of online dating

In the aftermath of the holidays I’ve been thinking a lot about dating lately and with dating at my age comes the obvious…sex.

Now while I have no problem with human sexuality I am on the more modest side – so if you opened this to read salacious details about my sex life – well let’s just say that my career in romance novels isn’t about to start on this blog… that being said, the issue I want to talk about today –

When to bring up sex – the “after match”

Let’s set the scene – you a male or female 20-30 something have just downloaded a dating app, you have no real expectations for romance but as a hopeless romantic you think hmmm this time, this time maybe it will be different. I mean … my friend said she found her match here, so maybe there is one for me too?

You proceed, swiping left and right and finally you have that sea full of fishes that everyone has been talking about. You “match” with a couple people and start talking and it seems to be going well and then…

The turn off

When it comes to dating apps I have three MAJOR turnoffs. (1.) the guys who are DTF before they even say hi. (2.) the sleeper cell guys who are nice and then BAM they use some grotesque and crude language saying how they want to “please” you over and over and over agian. and (3.) Someone who can’t hold a conversation on or offline. (which fyi is not rocket science)

The break down

For me the option 1 guys are not the worst. They know what they want and sadly, their method has probably worked once or twice so they stick to what they know. These guys aren’t pigs, they are opportunists. They know that dating sites have girls that are looking for what they are and they know that it won’t have to lead to some sticky relationship that might drain their wallet and take their bro-vado.

Then we have option 2, the guy who starts off nice, compliments your eyes instead of your a** and genuinely wants to take five minutes to get to know you. However, the problem with these guys is that those five minutes seem to be all they can take before they whip out the innuendo.

Lastly pet peeve numero 3 the conversation desert. This one like the other two is fairly self explanatory. When it comes to dating chemistry is a huge deal and a lack of ability to converse – well – even a fire cracker can’t recover that lack of a spark.

The takeaway

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – a major problem in my generation is that we dive into “relationships” before we dive into ourselves.

Truth is I have no problem with guys wanting what they want – what I do have a problem with is timing.

Choosing the right time to bring up sex in a potential relationship is hard. Probably harder when it comes to girls like me who use self respect as a means to turn to frustration before conversation. But at the end of the day for me it is about respect over assumptions.

I want someone to respect me enough to ask me how my day is before they assume I want to spend it rolling around in their bed. I want someone to respect that a relationship, even at the beginning, isn’t about talking about how many f**** you’ve given or assuming that I’d want to be the next. I want someone to respect that sex isn’t the first or second thought on my mind because health and work come first. And maybe that means that I need to stop assuming that guys will know that not all girls are DTF upon first match – but maybe it also means I need to stop being the girl that lets guys hide behind screens and be bold enough to put myself out there.

It’s all about timing

When it comes to dating in the “modern” age – I feel like I was born in the wrong time. But as much as I would love to go back to a time when courtship and courtesy was a thing, I don’t want to live in a time where women’s rights were virtually non existent. So maybe I can learn to deal with boys better, or maybe I can find men who get it or maybe its not just my time yet.

All I know is that there is a right time to bring up sex in relationships and one day we will find someone who gets and respects that too. But for now we’re all just learning and maybe that’s cool too.

I Will Not Force Athletics – BUT – My Kids will Learn The Lessons Track Taught Me

Are you going to force your kids to do track? To be Throwers?

H.L

A while back my friend asked me if I planned on forcing my kids (whom I will not have for quite a while) to do sports or to do track and throw. And despite my background, despite the opinions I have had all my life the answer I gave, was not one that I had expected.

I Said No

for those of you who dont know what she meant by “throws” – it doesnt mean throwing things against a wall or throwing tantrums – because I will be damned if my kids are raised to do either of those things.

It means – would I force my kid to join one of the most underrated sports of all time?

my answer – no… but also yes.

5 lessons you learn from track

1. Patience. Whether you throw, jump, or run etc, patience with yourself and with your implements is a huge part of being an athlete. It’s knowing that there will be great days and bad days. It’s knowing that what you put in your body and into your workouts is what you get out. And it’s realizing that getting angry or losing control won’t fire you up as much as it will burn you out.

2. Pace yourself. As a runner I was never all that great at pacing myself – but I was really good at saving my last kick for the finish. Learning how to maintain pace in a race can directly correlate to life because, at the end of the day, a burn out is a burnout, no matter what you did to get there.

3. Form is everything. A lot of people think that throwing is all about how big or strong you are – and while strength is a big part of the sport, it isn’t the most important aspect. The difference between a good thrower and an ok thrower isn’t the persons size – it’s how they execute the movements and transfer power into force into distance. And just like throwing, life is about how you execute the processes.

4. Family comes first. From the outside looking in track looks like a solo sport – but just because we compete alone, just because we don’t pass the ball to make baskets, doesn’t mean that we don’t need each other to succeed. In track, family and friendships are a large part of success. Having someone to chase, having a record to beat, having someone to cheer you on, that’s what competing as a family is about.

5. Let them count you out. As far as sports go, track is one of the most underrated. When it comes to track, the only time our athletes get noticed is at the olympics or at the highest level. For many, track is not a spectator sport (excluding our families who are our biggest fans) but for me this is the biggest benefit of the sport because it goes to show you what people can accomplish when they aren’t getting all the credit is just as incredible if not more than those who constantly receive praise.

I am not a Parent – Yet

I honestly always thought I would be the parent that needed their kids to do sports, but at 24 – wanting a kid and knowing that it isnt the time to have them – I also realized that I never want to force my kid to do anything.

That being said, I will encourage athletics as my parents and particularly my father encouraged me when I was growing up.

I will encourage my kid to find a place that understands them. An outlet that doesn’t underestimate their strength or compassion or aptitude for pushing others to do and be the best they can be.

I will encourage my child to find home within themselves and within the passions I hope they inherit from the family around them. But I won’t force them into anything.

In other words. I’ll encourage my kid to find themselves in whatever way they can and to learn the lessons that track taught me… but I won’t force athletics.

I didn’t realize love was conditional until I…

I used to think all real love was unconditional. I mean, isn’t that the point of love? That we give it wholly and without question? Isn’t that how a mother loves a child or a person loves a friend or anyone loves a beloved pet? And sure, there are exceptions. And sure, we can fall in and out of love. But when you think of being in that stereotypical kind of love, the kind that allows people to accept flaws or (heaven forbid) forgive abuse – that kind of love is, by definition, unconditional.

I was today years old, when I finally realized self-love is the most toxic and conditional form of love that I have come to know. And how screwed up is that? Not the fact that it took me this long to realize it, but the fact that, for whatever reason, when we talk about loving ourselves, 9/10 times, it is only skin deep.

When we talk about loving ourselves it isn’t a conversation of actually loving who we are, but how we look or how we feel about ourselves on that given day. A conversation of, will the world see me as beautiful today? Are my eyebrows on fleek? Do these high waisted jeans hide my gut, or show it? Am I as pretty as those girls? Am I showing too much skin? Will the guy/girl I like finally see me? Is my personality too much for my friends? And as if the idea of these kinds of questions weren’t disgusting enough – we then let them dictate how we feel about ourselves on that given day or that week or so on. And the bigger problem with all of it is that this lack of love in many of our lives is not a matter of normal insecurity – it goes deeper than that. It goes as deep as to say – I didn’t realize love was conditional until I realized that I’d rather hide from the world than be a part of it.

Now, to all the women who have never once thought this I solute you, but odds are, at one point or another all of us have felt this way. All have us have (at least once) preferred to stay in with a bottle of wine and a homecooked meal rather than put ourselves out there. And while self care could be a big part of that decision – ditching plans or secluding yourself from your friends shouldn’t be. Hiding yourself from the world, or behind positive social media posts shouldn’t be.

I think at some point or another we all just have a day that hits us a little harder than others. One where the “mirror mirror on the wall” can’t hype us up above them all. And I can’t speak for others but I know I have those days and they absolutely suck. They make me doubt who I am. And they make me doubt if I really love myself for who I am and all the amazing parts of me – or if I only love myself when I have a flat stomach and no stretch marks.

But here’s the news flash. NONE OF IT MATTERS. The way you look, the way you talk, the cute or weird way you laugh at EVERYTHING, none of that matters compared to who you are. WHO YOU ACTUALLY ARE. And don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the outside doesn’t serve a purpose at all – I mean candy bars have wrappers on them for a reason and it’s not just to make them look pretty (it’s a metaphor don’t think too deep into it.) it’s to protect what’s inside. So in a way, we also have wrappers because we need our outsides to protect our insides.

Look, at the end of the day it is so so easy to hate yourself for the little things. It’s easy to self deprecate and look down on yourself. What’s hard is coming to terms with who you are and realizing that that person is pretty incredible. And at the end of the day we’re all still learning to love ourselves unconditionally. But if we haven’t already, let’s be today years old when we start.

To the ones with weak spot syndrome

We all have a weak spot for someone. A friend, a family member, or a lover. We all have that one person we’d wait for – the one who could get away with murder and we’d forgive them.

Me, I have weak spot syndrome – and maybe you do too. For me it’s never one person but rather, a list. A list of people who enter and exit my life on a whim and yet I am always thinking of them. A list of people who I care about unconditionally no matter how much they hurt me or say things behind my back. Yeah I have weak spot syndrome – but maybe you do too. So this letter is for you.

To the ones with weak spot syndrome. Know that you are loved. Know that there is someone out there who will love you like you deserve someday. Know that it will be hard to let toxic people go. Know that you won’t be able to let certain people go but you have to.

To the ones with weak spot syndrome. I get it but not everyone will.

I know what it’s like to wait for a call, a text, or any form of acknowledgement. I know what it’s like to hurt when you don’t get it. And 95% of the time you won’t get it – because some people these days don’t understand what it’s like when someone on your list is begging to be removed but you can’t let them go.

To the ones with weak spot syndrome, know that this kind of burn is good. This kind of hurt is good. This kind of pain is what you need – because one day you will be able to let that person or people go.

and when you do

The feeling will be glorious.

5 things “the bachelor” teaches you about getting your man

The Bachelor. Many of us have seen it. Some of us haven’t, but whether you have or have not there is no denying the popularity of the bachelor brand. So today I thought I’d jump on the band wagon and do a little listicle.

5 things “the bachelor” has taught me about getting my man...

1. Every second counts: when faced with a game time scenario that time is yours. Seize the day to seize the guy.

In the bachelor we are quick to judge the girls that go back for seconds or thirds before others have gotten their fill. THIS IS NOT THANKSGIVING DINNER WITH YOUR FAMILIES LADIES. In this situation it’s time to act and act fast. When that first night comes around get after it. Show initiative by showing interest and take the time to get your time and get to know the guy you are out with.

2. Nurse your drink: when it comes to first dates most of them are bound to be awkward. But that doesn’t mean you can down three drinks and dance on the table.

Staying casual, composed, and interested (if it applies) should be the cornerstone rule of dating. And while this rule may not be possible for a room full of 30 girls chasing after one man – you are most likely not in a situation like that so stay cool and take it slow.

3. Look your best: ladies there are a lot of fish in that sea and while I am the first to skip makeup 5 out of 7 days a week dating is a meal best served with a side of “dayum I look good” so put your best foot forward. And whether that means mom jeans and a v neck or a full on gown and a full face of makeup well I’ll leave that up to you.

4. Don’t eat the food: (kidding!) back when I was 16 I went on my first date and as a precursor to that date I asked some friends for advice. One question I asked was about food… however, their advice to eat a salad or something that didn’t make me take my true form as a farm animal was not helpful.

When on a date in bachelor world you will notice that the girls don’t eat. This is apparently because filming takes so long that the food is out all day in gross conditions. It is for this reason that I would never survive the bachelor because my advice is to EAT LIKE NOBODY IS WATCHING

5. Be yourself: whether you are someone that dresses like a shark and calls yourself a dolphin or dresses like a princess and calls yourself “the BEAST” my best advice and the best lesson I learned from the bachelor is that you should always be yourself.

At the end of the day, whether you’re competing against 30 other women for one man or simply competing for the eye contact of one man trying to stare down your shirt – the most important thing to be is yourself because why? BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU. DUH.

The closing credits

So whether you watch the bachelor or you don’t. Whether you think it’s good tv or trash best served with a glass of wine and a side of used tissues (some of us are lonely ok). There is a lot to be learned from the experience of watching 30 women cat fight over a single man until they are ultimately sent home.

New year no resolutions

Growing up I took New Years as a sort of shooting star meets genie in a bottle. A single night to make a wish or three for the next 365 days to follow.

When I was younger (and more selfish than I am now) I used to wish for a first kiss, a first love, a first … Well the list goes on, but this year (the second or third where I didn’t even make it to midnight) I’m finding myself a different tune to sing.

This year I’m not making resolutions. 1- because they are bull sh** (no offense) and 2- because making a big elaborate promise to myself or a wish on a “shooting star” to get the guy or figure out who I am or invest in my 401k (which I will do… when I have the money) or even break bad habits isn’t something that should only manifest on one single day in a whole year.

I mean think about it. We wait a whole year, for one night, just to get drunk off our asses and ring in the new year with a bad hangover and hazy memories of the clock striking midnight. We stay up all night – way past my bed time – to test this sort of Cinderella effect where we prove or disprove that we can stay a princess for a couple more hours, or days, or weeks. We wait all year – where we are constantly evolving and growing and becoming the person we want to be, just to make a wish that we can skip the hard work and turn pumpkins into carriages over night. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.

And look I hate to be a cynic. (A little) but I’d also prefer to be a realist.

For me 2019 was one of the most challenging years of my life (and yes I’m young so it seems inconsequential but it’s not). BUT it was also the year where I grew the most. Challenged myself the most. Ended jobs and started new ones. Lost friends and made new ones. Searched for love when I didn’t understand how to love myself first. And yeah in a lot of ways, and form the outside looking in, you could say it sucked – and in some ways it did – but for me, while 2019 was not the best year of my life – it was exactly what I needed and no resolutions to get fit or get kissed did that… I did.

I don’t know if I believe in destiny, I don’t know if I believe in the big man in the sky, and I sure as hell don’t know if I believe in fate because that gets twisted real quick… what I do believe in though, is me.

I believe that 2020 could be the best year of my life but I don’t want it to be. I want it to be hard and frustrating and full of wins AND losses. And I’m not resolving to make any of this happen. I’m just going to feel it out day by day and make changes up as I go. Because Adulting and living aren’t about one night to define them all – they’re about a whole new year to write and re-write the narrative.

So here’s to 2020 and the promise to make no promises and take no prisoners.

Dear decade

Dear decade, this will be our last letter. The last time I say hello and you goodbye. The last time I try to comprehend what happened over the course of 9 years. And the first time I admit that, though none of it was perfect – all of it was what I needed.

Dear decade, the past nine years have been full of goodbyes, good mornings, and hello’s. It’s been filled with – “nice to meet you”s and “sorry to see you go”s.

In the past decade I became an adult – a real full fledged adult. I’ve graduated high school and college and my masters. I’ve started a blog and now a clothing line to go with it (got that one in right under the wire). I moved away from home, stayed in touch with old friends and lost touch with new ones. I gave speeches and monologues and rants and (yeah I talked a lot).

But I gave up a lot too.

I said goodbye to my father – and the dreams that come with having one. I lost the man to walk me down the aisle and dance with me at my wedding.

But through it all I didn’t give up hope.

I said hello to new dreams. Cheered family on through weddings and graduations and babies being born. I persevered through pain and I fought my biggest enemy (myself)

So decade, I guess you could say I did ok. I made it through. I had victories and losses and championship moments that I wouldn’t give up for the world. Yeah I guess you could say I did it – we – did it. We made it through. And decade, that’s all either of us could have asked for.

– R

The block list

So you did it. You done f’ed up. You texted or called or tweeted or snapped that one person you shouldn’t have – and they RESPONDED. S***. Now what?

Step 1 : remain calm. Don’t overthink it. Maybe it’s an ex and you’re feeling the post holiday “why are you single conversations” maybe you just wanted to talk to someone familiar. It’s ok. It’s normal to want that.

Step 2 : keep it casual. Resist the urge to make plans. Don’t agree to coffee or a call. Just go with the flow and wish that person well.

Step 3 : the exit. Try something like. “It was nice to hear from you” or since it’s the holidays “wish your family a happy holidays for me.” Then leave it at that.

Step 4 : the rehab. Coming back from a convo with an ex is hard and it’s exhausting sometimes. Take some time to bow out. Or spend time with family. Let yourself live in it for a bit – then let it go. (Easier said than done)

Look at the end of the day we all just want to remain connected to people. Social media makes this easy but it also makes it easy to get caught up in the drama of “what is he/she up to” and “I wonder if they’re thinking about me too”. But at the end of it all we need to take care of ourselves and the ones who are still in our lives first.

Take care of yourself this holiday season and remember that the people who are in your life are lucky to be there just like you are lucky to be present in their lives. And if you are home try not to get caught up in your past by digging it up.

In other words keep your friends close and your block list waaaaaay out of reach.