12/28/18 part two

I never realize how much shit I have until I’m getting ready to move. And then all of a sudden, it becomes painfully obvious that I have a ton of shit. Every time I move, I clear it out. I donate the clothes I have no interest in wearing, I sell the things that are collecting dust in storage bins or closets. Yet every time I move, there’s always more. More shit. More clothes that I ordered online out of impulse and then didn’t love it as much in person as I thought it would, but didn’t return it because I might wear it for SOMETHING. I often complain that I don’t have the funds to travel, and yet I look at all this shit that I’ve purchased over the last year and a half and most of it I don’t actually use. How much money is hanging in this closet? In a moment, I felt that I needed it. In a moment, I felt that I would wear it. And I never did. Those moments that I thought would come never did, and that’s how I have a closet full of clothes and yet nothing to wear on some days. It’s batshit.

We’re basically programmed to shop. Advertising is everywhere. I’m slowly beginning to unplug from it. Working in luxury retail hasn’t helped me much. I begin to catch myself thinking about everything that I need for my work wardrobe. Not necessarily the brands that we sell at work, but just things I can buy to make myself look better. Constantly upgrading. Constantly buying new outfits so that I don’t become the girl who wears the same 5 outfits every week. I had to stop. I had to stop online shopping with a glass of wine after work, and I had to remind myself that even though my coworkers see me wear the same outfits every week, the customers don’t necessarily see that.

Plus, it doesn’t matter. I make $20/hour and because of where I work, it’s easy to try on the Gucci belt or the Jimmy Choo’s and think, “After my discount, I could pay this off with a couple of paychecks.” It’s stupid. It’s SO stupid. I make $20/hour! Why in the world should I be stretching the leftover money I have into designer shit that I would only wear to work — because I feel like a fraud wearing it anywhere else — when I could be throwing the few hundred into my savings account??

I’m currently planning a trip to Iceland with one of my best friends and her husband, and that’s helped keep me in check. I’m so excited for this trip. We’re tentatively going January 2020, and probably booking the flights and everything this summer. I’m so excited to see the northern lights and hike the ice caverns and yes, even take some swimsuit photos in Blue Lagoon for good ol’ instagram, that now when I look at something I want, I think, Does this matter more than a horseback tour? Or a whale-watching trip? Or eating at a nice restaurant in Reykjavik? Nine times out of ten, no. My wanderlust is much stronger than my materialism.

My materialism continues to diminish the older I get. My teenage self would be so obsessed with where I’m at right now, but I’m just like, Get me out of here. I want to move to Colorado like everybody else my age, and spend some goddamn time outside. I want to laugh. I want to not start my day with three cups of coffee and a pound of makeup. I want to set all the high heels that I own on fire. I want a job that doesn’t make me think about jumping off the roof every hour.

Sometimes I think taking a hiatus from social media would be good for me, but at the same time, I like creating content. I like messing around with new photo filter apps and posting to instagram. I like plugging my writing. (Although there hasn’t been much this year to plug). Yet at the same time, I hate how fucking shallow it all is. Everything revolves around it. We’re all just keeping up with the Jones’. Betty posted about her engagement so Erica has to take pictures with her left hand in front of everything to remind the world that she too is engaged. Meanwhile there’s single people (like myself) rolling their eyes whenever another cheesy engagement posts pops up on their news feed. So excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and love of my life! I’m so blessed that this man found his way into my life!! If I had a dollar for every time I sigh heavily and tell my dog that I’m going to die alone, I wouldn’t be stressed about my budget for my upcoming Iceland trip. 

On an older, now deceased, version of this blog, I once wrote that my priorities changed after I attempted suicide. And they did. I still stand by that. As I slowly rose out of my depression,  I realized that there is a lot more to being alive than just what people think of you. It’s one of those cliche moments. It took a near-death experience to make me wake the fuck up, but it kind of did. I have a strong faith in the power of the universe and existence but I’m not big on believing in miracles, but the reason I’m still alive was almost an act of god. The person that showed up at my apartment had absolutely no reason to, he just had a feeling. I’m supposed to be here. I have no fucking clue why, but I am.

So I’m trusting my gut. Listening to my heart. Trying to spend more time with the people I find fascinating who set my soul on fire and want to travel the world with me. Meanwhile, I really need to start cleaning out my closets again so that when I finally pull the trigger on this move, I’m ready to go.

I think everyone at work just assumes I’m hungover today, because I’ve done it a couple of times and that’s usually their excuse when they’re mentally distant and out of it.

But I’m not hungover. I haven’t been hungover at work in awhile because I realized that wine isn’t going to solve any of my problems. No, today my heart is heavy.

My heart is heavy because I found out this morning that someone I went to high school with died. And even though I wasn’t incredibly close to him, it’s still jarring to me. He’s not the first that I’ve heard has left us, but each time always strikes a realization into me: life is really fucking short.

We graduated high school thinking we’d see each other in ten years. We graduated with big dreams about how great our lives were going to be. We graduated hoping we’d be able to leave our shitty hometown and never look back.

Nobody tells you that people are going to die before they turn 30. Nobody tells you that car accidents are going to snuff out the lives of the people you once sat next to in class. Nobody tells you that the fact that you get to make it to another birthday is a gift.

And I know, this is all part of life. People die before twenty, before ten. As someone who has endured her fair share of traumatic events, I’ve been lucky that death has not been one of them. This is not something I’m used to.

Don’t get me wrong. This sudden, painful reminder of the fragility of life doesn’t snap me out of my depression. I didn’t walk into work with a spring in my step and a new found love for life.

I feel like a prisoner to my job. I desperately miss living in the same town as my two best friends. The appeal of the newness of living in St. Louis has worn off and I want to pack up and go back to where I’m happy but I can’t because money.

I’m not doing so well.

But I’m alive.

And I think at this point, I’d rather be alive with depression, struggling, and have the opportunity to figure things out, than to not be alive at all.

Rest in Peace, Dakota.

Single and Fabulous. Exclamation Point.

I keep having these moments where the actions of others, or the lives they chose to live, stop me in my tracks and make me question what I’m doing.

It’s mostly guys I used to date, finding their way into my timelines and forcing me to notice that they’re married. Or living with their girlfriend. Or engaged. And these are the guys that I’ve filed into the category of “Ugh, I can’t believe that chapter of my life actually happened,” and yet my stomach turns a little, because if they’ve found their happiness, I can’t help but wonder why I haven’t found mine.

It’s a twinge of self-doubt that makes me put social media down and keep going. I know realistically, I’m not exactly out of time. I’m twenty-six. I’m so young. I know that. But it’s hard to not feel the pressure when you are surrounded by happy people with their happy spouse or fiancé buying their happy house, and it makes me look at my life like I’ve somehow screwed everything up.

When in reality, I have never been this happy, ever. I love my job. I just got back from four days in NYC for work that was an absolute dream (see last post) and I know that my career is just going to grow from here. I also know that even if I did meet someone who could potentially “be the one,” I’m not entirely sure I could give them my full attention right now. I’m not sure I’m capable of giving someone my full attention, and even if I could, I don’t think I’d like myself that way.

I had a lot of good talks in NYC over bottles of wine with my boss, a woman eighteen years my senior, about relationships and what I’m looking for, and she suggested I stop dating men in their twenties because I’m already ahead of them. She told me I’m too mature for twenty-six, and while that’s not a bad thing, men in their twenties are probably just going to disappoint me with their immaturity. She’s right, I am really over the idea of just “hanging out” with someone. And guys my age don’t seem to grasp that there is a difference between dating and being in a relationship. Although the couple of guys I’ve gone out with in their thirties haven’t exactly been what I was looking for either.

I just don’t think it’s my time yet. I’ve always pictured myself getting married in my thirties, and I still have three and a half years until I hit the beginning of that decade. I just hate that I occasionally feel like something is wrong with me, but on the flip side, you couldn’t pay me to be married right now. I’m having way too much damn fun building my own life. I just need to find a guy who’s doing the same.

So this is what I keep telling myself in these moments:

You do you. Stick to your guns. And if you occasionally have a meltdown about dying alone, then so be it. Freak out, get it out of your system, and then pick yourself up and get back to business, because this ladder that you’re climbing isn’t going to climb itself.

NYC.

I had been a mess of anxiety leading up to the trip. This was all about work, and packing the day before sent me into a spiral. I’d purchased one great blazer, the most expensive piece of clothing I owned, and it was going with me, but the rest was just part of my everyday rotation. None of it felt good enough for New York. None of it was chic enough or special enough. It wasn’t Forever 21 by any means, but in my mind, where I was going, it might as well have been.

I somehow managed to pack a decent amount of clothes. Outfits were perfectly planned. Everything was folded neatly and tucked away in the suitcase, ready to be pulled out in an entirely different timezone. I didn’t think I would sleep. I laid in bed and thought about what this trip COULD be like. The voice in my head continued to go on and on about how I’m not worthy of the city I was going to. I had no idea what to expect so my anxiety ran wild.

After about maybe four hours of sleep, I woke up to my Lady Gaga alarm tone. It was the beginning of the song “Applause,” and I stared at my ceiling for a minute while it played, and it hit me.

I’m going to New York City today.

I actually felt the anxiety melt away from my body. I got up, showered, finished packing, called an uber, locked my front door, and didn’t look back.

Once the plane took off, I shuffled through my cheesy playlist of New York related songs (I’m fully convinced that if you don’t listen to Empire State of Mind at least once on a NYC trip, you didn’t do it right) and was glued to the window. As the descent into LaGuardia began, I basically had my forehead pressed to the window, waiting patiently for a glimpse of Manhattan to come into view.

When it finally did, I got chills. I could make out the Statue of Liberty. There’s something about seeing insanely famous landmarks in person that just gives you chills. And I was in an airplane. I couldn’t help but think about what Lady Liberty stood for, and who our country was currently being led by.

We landed. My boss was in first class, and she waited for me to finally get out of coach, and we were off power-walking to the baggage claim while discussing the game plan for the day. She’d warned me: as soon as we got off the plane, it was show time. And she had been right. We had a lot of boxes to check for the day and a short amount of time to do it. I found my silver luggage bag and helped her with her Louis Vuitton bags. We loaded ourselves into a cab and headed to The Palace.

I’d had my head in the clouds since Manhattan had come into view, but let me tell you, that cab ride woke me up. Traffic lanes mean nothing in NYC. If there are two marked lanes, but three cars can fit across, then three cars are going to fit. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I could have stuck my arm out the window and touched the vehicle next to me. I’m convinced none of these people passed a legitimate drivers test, but it was so classic New York that I couldn’t even be upset. It was the perfect welcome to the city.

The Palace is stunning. I was a diehard Gossip Girl fan as a teenager so stepping into that iconic courtyard was a very cool feeling, and of course it’s right across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Midtown is just… awesome. I don’t know how else to describe it.

The four days that followed were a complete whirlwind that you couldn’t pay me to forget. I have never worked so hard, and then turned around and gone out for dinner or drinks or just to explore a city that never sleeps. I wasn’t ever tired. I’m a girl that enjoys her solid eight hours of sleep during the normal week, but somehow I managed to not only exist on four hours of sleep, but I thrived. I was on my A game at work, made sure to see one of my best college friends who recently moved to NYC, dressed fabulous (with that B game wardrobe of mine) for dinner or drinks and networked my ass off.  The day I had the most free time, I walked over nine miles, and then got cleaned up, threw on high heels and went to dinner downtown. I met people so high up in my company that if they ever remembered my name, it would change my life.

It was like something out of a movie.

‘Oh we’re meeting X from Z company for drinks tonight’

And we did, and we’d order a bottle of wine and someone would swipe a corporate card because it was technically business and we’d sit and discuss said business.  It was the sort of thing that I always thought would be kind of boring but it wasn’t. It wasn’t at all. I was engaged and even when I was just listening, I was doing my best to absorb every bit of information about this industry that I could, because it was only going to help me in the future. I felt, and still currently feel, like I am standing on the beginning steps of a very promising career climb.

New York was a dream, start to finish. My mom made the comment that the photo of me (see below) on the steps of the Met is her new favorite photo because I look so truly happy. I know that smile. I know how it feels on my face. That’s the genuine one. The one where I’m so overwhelmed with happiness that it might actually physically pour out of me. I felt like that the entire trip. It was an absolute dream. 

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It was an exhausting dream that left me dozing off against the window on the flight from LaGuardia back to STL, but it was a dream nonetheless. I’m grateful that I was able to go and be a part of it, and I’m truly grateful for where I am right now. I love my job. I wake up every morning and I’m excited to go to work.  Everyone told me that I should enjoy college while it lasts because the real world sucks, and I’d just like to say, No, it doesn’t. It’s so much better.

Cannot wait to go back to NYC in a couple months. I’m completely head over heels in love with that city. The biggest question we kept asking each other was if we would ever live there, and I finally decided my answer. I wouldn’t just move there to move there. I wouldn’t live there with four roommates and no closet space and no AC and $1500 rent. But for the right promotion… a true career changing position?

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Relationship status.

I’ve been getting a lot of comments about my relationship status lately, or lack thereof. It’s something I’ve never really dealt with much. I guess for awhile I was jumping from relationship to relationship, and then when I was finally single, people just recognized that I needed to be on my own for awhile. Apparently that time ran out, because I s2g every person I’ve spoken to recently has asked if I’m dating anyone.

Even my mother made a comment the other day about how my ideal relationship probably doesn’t exist. I’m sorry, but I call bullshit. What am I supposed to do, settle?

Every session I’ve had with my trainer, at some point during a recovery period, he’s asked me, “Dating anyone yet?” And I fully understand that he’s just trying to make small talk and I’m not bitching about my trainer whatsoever, he kicks my ass and it’s fantastic, but I’m just kinda sick of getting asked about this.

It started during my friend’s wedding weekend, which I was completely prepared for. I was the only single person in the wedding party, and there’s so much talk of love and relationships and marriage with a wedding, so of course I was expecting it.

But it also comes up with random people. “Are you seeing anyone special?” Then they give me those sad eyes, like they feel sorry for me. Which I don’t really understand, because I’m 100% okay with my situation right now, and when I say that out loud to someone, they seem more shocked than the fact that an average looking person is single.

“Oh… well don’t worry, you’ll find someone!”

Yeah… I’m twenty-five. Just because the majority of my friends have chosen to settle down, why am I being treated like there’s something wrong with me for choosing not to?

I’m twenty-five and single. Big whoop.

I’m okay with it.

Have I met a couple people along the way that I would have liked to have dated?

Yeah, absolutely.

But honestly, I think the way everything has worked out has been for the best.

I’m currently at a crossroad. I’ve spent so much time and energy just trying to finish college, that I didn’t really stop to take the time to figure out what happens next. My degree has been unfinished business since I dropped out, and just like I thought it would, finishing college has felt like finally closing the door on everything that’s happened up until this point. I’m in completely uncharted territory.

This isn’t just a new chapter of my life, it’s an entirely new volume.

I don’t particularly want to stay in Missouri, but I also don’t entirely know where I want to be.

I don’t know what I want to do next.

I’m also someone who loves very hard, and can be influenced by others. I’m working on that latter bit, but it’s still definitely something that happens.

I need to figure out my next move. I need to start my own life. I can’t build a life with someone else if I don’t have my own to begin with.

I’m also really fucking happy and content on my own. I know that’s hard for some people to wrap their head around, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt lonely. I don’t need someone else to complete me. I am enough for myself.

Do I want that to last forever? Nah, not really.

But for now? Yeah, I’m good. I’ve got shit to figure out.

Love, pt. I

Every time I have thought I’ve been in love it tastes different.

It tastes like cheap whiskey,

That flavor I love so much, but with a bitter aftertaste.

It tastes like ashtrays and flavored vodka.

Because it’s never really felt right.

They’ve all been variations of each other,

And all very childish forms of love.

The first was rebellious, and taught me I was more adventurous than I originally believed.

The second was traditional and tame, and taught me that I am not.

The third was manipulative, and taught me that the more I feel chained, the more I will fight back.

The fourth was kind and quiet, and taught me that I crave fire.

I’ve never felt free while in love.

I’ve always felt like I needed to play a role,

But the more comfortable I become with someone, the less I am able to restrict myself.

Holding back my real self doesn’t really sound like love,

So, to be completely honest,

I’m not sure I’ve ever truly been in love.

I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever been loved in the way that everyone writes about.

That great love.

They love parts of me,

They pick and choose like my personality is some buffet.

And when I reveal a part that they didn’t select,

They start playing offense,

Trying to take me down a notch,

Trying to keep me in line.

And as I learned the third time around,

The more I feel controlled, the more fire I will breathe,

And I will burn your life to the ground if you try to chain me to it.

So although I count four men,

No – boys,

Maybe I haven’t been in love at all.

But that’s okay.

I’ll just keep my fire burning,

Keep expanding my boundaries,

Keep climbing mountains,

And loving with all of my heart,

And maybe someday I’ll meet someone who sees a woman who breathes fire and thinks,

Where have you been all my life?

Because I want a love that tastes like rich coffee and fresh rain,

Something that doesn’t leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

I want a love that gives me butterflies and keeps me on my toes,

That makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts.

I want a love that is empowering and supportive,

Two separate lives that choose to build a life together.

Oh,

I want a love that can breathe fire, too.

Just keep smiling.

“He’s kicking your ass and you just keep smiling and laughing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a client smile so much during a training session before.”

Das me. I’m a smiler. I work very hard to keep my mind positive even in the face of adversity. I smile when I’m cleaning, when I’m gaming, when I’m working out, even when I’m sore as hell.

I started with a personal trainer today because I’m diving head first into lifting. It’s been so long since I’ve felt comfortable in a weight room, and this summer I decided to put my health first and throw some of my well earned savings account money into a new gym and a few training sessions.

Despite the fact that once upon a time, football players and wrestlers used to refer to me as ‘The Beast,’ I am currently very weak. That’s not an exaggeration. I’m weak. It’s annoying. But! I’ve put my body through hell over the past few years by partying and by measuring my health by the number on the scale instead of strength and energy levels. I was thin, but I wasn’t healthy. Then I wasn’t thin, but I was much healthier. Now I’ve leaned out a bit, and I’m trying to get my muscle mass back. It won’t happen overnight, but I’m already so glad I decided to commit to lifting again. I missed it so much.

It’s frustrating, and I’m vocal about it to my trainer and the other guys who were chatting us up in between reps and exercises. I used to have a decent bench and squat, and now I struggle with just finishing a set. Yes, it pisses me off. But muscle doesn’t grow in five seconds, and I’m doing what I can just by being back in a gym again. I’m not going to spend the whole time scowling and being angry. More often than not, anger is a total waste of energy.

So I joke about it. I poke fun at myself. I smile and laugh and keep my head up. Someone once told me that when I smile, I become a giant ball of sunshine. I want to be that constantly. I’m happy. There are things in my life that I want to improve and still need to work on, but for the most part, I’m a happy person. Which is hilarious because I used to be a pessimist who thought that I couldn’t ever be happy while single. Well hey, look at me over here proving myself wrong. It’s great.

It sounds so cliché, but when you fall in love with yourself, it’s really hard for the trivial shit to get you down.

I’ll get stronger. I’m already making progress.

I’m going to get a job. I JUST graduated a little over a week ago. I’m allowed some time to chill out before jumping back into a hectic schedule.

Eventually I’ll meet someone I click with that doesn’t think I’m too weird or too nerdy or too much and who wants me in their life.

Until then, I’m just gonna keep laughing and smiling.