Part two.

I’d ripped you out from under my skin,
purged myself of every ounce,
every drop of what I felt for you.
The cravings had finally stopped,
my heart no longer hurt,
and your memory was fading.
But here I am,
with wide amber eyes,
right back at the beginning.
Another taste of being understood,
of talking in circles,
and making perfect sense.
Another taste of your thick sarcasm accent,
paralyzing eyes,
and thoughtful wit.
My soul has been reignited,
but I can’t help but wonder,
how long until you leave again?

If you’re my worst addiction, then this relapse might kill me.

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.

Moment of Humility.

I avoid dating because while I have become pretty good at managing my mind in normal single life, I have always been afraid that I’m not quite ready to let someone in again, and that trying to do that before I’m ready would unleash some old behavior.

And hey, I was right.

I don’t trust men. Chalk it up to daddy issues, blame it on the fact that almost all of my serious relationships have been extremely manipulative, it doesn’t matter. I don’t trust men. I also have a tendency to get paranoid when I’m not grounded.

I like to have the power. So I walk into relationships with men that I know are way more into me than I am to them. I never have to really open up, they just look at me with gleaming eyes and I get to stay safe, fully able to walk away unscathed if I decide that I’m bored.

And I always get bored. Because I’m just not that into them. The men that I fall head over heels for never want me. So I settle with the ones that do but I wind up bored or annoyed or bored and annoyed because I don’t view them as an equal partner.

“Why even date them?” is the logical question to ask.

Because I convince myself that I’m interested. Because I’m lonely. Maybe there is an inkling of attraction there. But I’m an all or nothing kind of person, and when things are right for me I’m 100% in and know to my core that it’s the right decision. If I’m “not sure” or “trying to figure it out,” then it’s not for me.

So I either talk myself into going out with someone I know is very interested in me or I let myself be talked into it by someone trying to set me up. Neither situation ever turns out well for the guy.

This is my dating pattern. I’m fully aware of it.

I’m sorry to all the guys that have been a victim of this. Y’all should start a club or something. I recently realized every single one of these relationships looked exactly the same, down to the personalities of the guys involved also being super similar.

I’m forcing myself to be hyper aware of it because I’m going to try my best to not do this again to someone. My next relationship is going to be with someone I truly care about and know I want to be with, and if that means there’s a decent chance that I could be truly heartbroken by it, then so what. At least I’ll know it’s genuine.

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.

Declutter.

I’m about a month an a half away from moving out of an apartment I’ve been living in for the past two years. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in the same place, and it’s pretty easy to say that I have acquired some shit while living here. Exhausted from browsing through job listings and applying for a few new opportunities, I decided to do something that always makes me feel a lot better: clean.

The thing is, my apartment isn’t that messy. But I realized that I should start going through the shelves in my closet and also everything I’ve stashed in my storage closet, just to make the move a little easier.

I finally parted ways with six pairs of old platform heels that have stood atop the Bohemia bar on several occasions. Those shoes were so damaged, and they weren’t cheap heels either. However, they look like crap and I only wear heels for special occasions nowadays, so it was time to finally throw them away.

I also packed up some clothes that aren’t my style anymore. I held onto them because I knew eventually I would lose enough weight that I’d be able to wear them again, and I was right. I can wear them now. But I tried those old fitted Express button down shirts and looked at myself in the mirror, and it just wasn’t me anymore. So they’re in a donation bag.

I wasn’t ready to be done with my decluttering expedition yet, so I decided to take on my storage closet, which currently resembles Monica Geller’s secret closet. It’s the place I throw things that I don’t know what to do with. I saved boxes from moving in, and also have saved other boxes over the past two years for when I decide to move again. I started pulling things out and came across a box full of random things: some Nyquil that had expired, a lint roller, Christmas bows, and a small silver ring box.

I knew what it was, I had just completely forgotten that it still existed.

I think I threw it in the closet when I first moved in here, because I had no idea what to do with it. It didn’t feel right sitting on my dresser with the rest of my rings and jewelry, and I didn’t know if I should throw it away or try to sell it. So I put it in a random box and threw it into the whatever closet.

I actually put it on, and it’s still my size.  Silver ring with three heart shaped amethyst stones: the ring that I had picked out when a man I once loved promised that one day we’d get married.

It’s comical now. The ring doesn’t look anything like something I would currently wear. Nevermind the fact that my entire life, with the exception of the two years I spent in that relationship, I had/have always thought promise rings were kind of stupid. It’s a precursor ring to your engagement ring. What’s the point?

But I was eighteen and thought I had found the one, which actually just made me laugh out loud while typing that. I remember the day he made that heartfelt speech. I also remember the months that followed. I remember growing up and feeling more like a babysitter than a girlfriend. I remember it all falling apart, along with my belief that love is real. It was a breakup that took a few years to recover from, and I didn’t even realize that I needed to get over it until a couple of years later.

It’s just funny how life works out. I’ve spent the past hour going through clothes that I can’t believe I ever wore, and throwing out shoes that I’m not entirely sure how I used to dance and prance about Kirksville in, so it’s kind of fitting that I would come across a ring that also looks nothing like me.

My life could have been so different if I’d just been a little more traditional. Hell, I’d probably be married by now.

But where’s the fun in that?

 

Real talk though, what the hell do I do with this ring? Toss it? Sell it? Throw it into Mt. Doom?

 

Top-Notch

Honestly, if you surround yourself with good people, everything else will work itself out.

One of my favorite people in the world got married yesterday, and I had the honor of standing up with her while it happened. It was an incredible weekend. I wish I could put it on repeat forever because it might be the best weekend I’ve had in a very long time.

The man she married isn’t from the fine state of Missouri, so we had no idea who the groomsmen were, or what they were like. We knew their names, and that was it. It’s kind of nerve-wracking. You’re combining two groups of people for basically an entire weekend and hopefully they’ll like each other and get along.  If you’re lucky like we were, you’ll wind up with the absolute best case scenario: everybody winds up making some new friends and having the time of their lives, and even starts planning a reunion trip to Vegas next summer.

Two really fantastic, good people married each other. Two people that surrounded themselves with other fantastic, good people (heyyyy). So of course, we all hit it off immediately and had a blast.

Also, in my opinion, anyone that you can scream the lyrics to Queen and Journey songs with is an A+ human being.

There was one conversation I had that birthed that italicized quote, and it just stuck with me for the rest of the night as I danced like no one was watching, despite the fact that many people were. Not entirely sure if that’s verbatim, the music was loud, I was tired, and there was alcohol, but it was something along those lines. No matter what happens in life, what decisions you struggle to make, jobs you get or lose… as long as you have good people by your side, everything is going to be just fine.

It might even be…top-notch.

 

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.