Finding ‘Happy’

The further and further away I get from the person I used to be, the more I find myself questioning everything around me. I embarked on this journey of self-discovery and acceptance last year, one that has certainly stopped and started again, but it’s kind of never-ending in that I’m always changing. What made me happy a year ago wouldn’t necessarily tickle my jimmies now; what threw me in a downward spiral might only slow me down, or perhaps wouldn’t affect me at all.

For a person as attached to routine as I am, trying out new things has been a pleasantly surprising bonus in my life today. I cling to things harder the more unsure I am of them, turning me into a neurotic control freak sometimes even at the best of times. So letting go of all of that and letting myself just be who I am has been, well, fucking hard.

A year ago, I went through a pretty rough time. A lot of it was documented here, but a lot more of it was documented in long-winded Facebook messages and passive aggressive memes now popping up on my Timehop. I’m embarrassed for myself a year ago, but I also feel a lot of love for that me. That pain has had lasting damages – say hello to the woman completely incapable of finding a man “good enough”, the woman with regular re-occurrences of acid reflux every time she has to tell someone she loves them – but my god am I so much further away from that broken, sad person today. I can admit that I’m scared, lonely, angry, or sad to someone, even if that someone is myself.

It’s really funny how sometimes you don’t realize how little love you have for yourself until you are forced to find it on your own. I have a lot of anger, but also a lot of love for the person who (accidentally) caused this explosion inside of me. Without him, I don’t think I could’ve ended up being who I am today or feeling the way I do about myself.

Oh, there’s that acid reflux again. You’d think it’d get easier to tell people you love and appreciate them, especially when it’s encouraged, but holy shit is it not. Love is scary!

Funnily enough, I didn’t mean to write much about love, but I feel like it and happiness go hand in hand. When I fill my life with love, all kinds of love, I’m infinitely happier. Sometimes I think it’s easier to cut myself off and work on myself (without you or anyone else’s help, damnit!), but nothing can grow in such a stark, lonely environment. I’ve both started and stopped, then started again, then stopped again, then started again my journey to “try new things” for 2015. Ironically, when I started seeing someone again was when all those fun new things started to quickly fall off my radar. Sitting here now, I realize that it’s due (mostly) to a horrible inability to master finding balance in my life.
But so far this year I’ve tried countless new workouts, fallen in love with spin classes, tried my hand at meal planning (with some success), traveled to a city alone for pleasure and spent the day there (helloooo Arlington), lost like eight pounds, opened up to strangers, stood up for myself, and walked alone into a crowded room more times than I can count. And I hate hate hate doing that.

I never realized how far from happy you can put yourself trying to make others happy. I’ve also come to accept that I can’t force others to see their own unhappiness, whether real or perceived by me. All I can do is worry about my own. And I mean, jeez, I get one life, why would I want to be anything but?

– a.


Staying committed

Ha, those two words can hold a heavy burden on some people, depending greatly on the subject at hand. In this particular case, it’s staying committed to myself. The past almost two months now (since the turmoil of break up/back together/break up/why won’t you mail me my shit for the love of god) have been, to be completely cliche, a roller coaster. For a little while, I struggled to find any lasting satisfaction or contentment throughout my day. Certain things would make me feel better, but I didn’t really feel good. Thankfully, blessedly, my commitment to self-joy has brought me sufficiently out of the dark place all people go during a break up and my days are mostly joyful now, with moments of sadness. I read a fabulous quote last night from (you guessed it) Tumblr: ” Before I met him, I would dance in the shower. When he was in my life, I would think about showering with him. After he left, I would sit on the ground in the shower and cry. When I got over him, I showered so quickly there was no time for dancing, fantasies or tears. Someone can invade the smallest parts of your life, you won’t even realize it until you dance in the shower again and wonder why you ever stopped.”

Sorry man whose name completely eludes me, I still struggle with the word "no" sometimes.

Sorry man whose name completely eludes me, I still struggle with the word “no” sometimes.

What a perfect way to describe a break up. And desperately true. I’m still in the part where there isn’t time for dancing in the shower – but at least I’ve stopped thinking of him washing the conditioner out of my hair for me. And other inevitable things that happen when showering with your significant other. Speaking of said other things, I have to say that I’ve noticed a stark increase in exboyfriends/lovers/casual sex partners/people I’ve literally never looked at that way/asshole misogynistic strangers reaching out to me. Now, while I am fully aware that rebounding is something that happens and inevitably there will be someone “after”, I have never been a big rebounder. Honestly. After a break up, especially one that wasn’t mutual, the last thing I want is someone else shoving his tongue in or around my mouth (in some cases, mostly around – ew). Don’t get me wrong, attention when I’m feeling down is fabulous. Yes, tell me I’m pretty. All day. Go ahead I encourage the fuck out of that. But, telling me that you messed up with me and/or wish you had done things differently? Drop it, man (x10). I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but when I move on from someone, I fully move on. When I make the decision to walk away, fully drop the rope, I am gone and I don’t look back. Not emotionally, anyway. And, on a mildly related note, I really need to apologize to the guy who I convinced to wait for me upstairs when I didn’t know how to say, “JK no, you’re really good looking and clearly intelligent but I’m an emotional mess,” and then ran out of the house. But I knew that trying to use sex or anything like it to try to make myself feel better wouldn’t fix anything and it certainly wouldn’t make me feel any more chipper.

Peeta is just as confused as me.

Peeta is just as confused as me.

It feels good though. To feel good again, I mean. To have days where I don’t run across something that reminds me of all the good in the relationship – because I don’t need reminded of that right now at all. Just like I don’t need to know how he’s doing, or if he’s happy, or any of the above. After bothering him for three, count it, three weeks for the rest of my things (trying all different tactics, mind you), I finally just told him to keep it last weekend. Said it was the last text I was sending. I’m appalled by the childish behavior, that he’s so scared to even see me when I offered to just pick them up because it’s like $20 to ship anything anymore. Mind you, of course he responded to that text (but not to the cut and dry “please mail me my things, let me know if you need my address” one, idontevenknowyouguys) and gave some excuse and then asked for my address but still the whole process? Ugh. And her mother trolling my Facebook page to “see if I said anything mean about her?” For Pete’s sake. I was willing to put up with the sitting outside and watching the house to see if I was over, mildly suicidal ideations, drunkenly showing up at his house, social media stalking, etc (btw, all of these are classic signs of an actual stalker, FYI) while I was in the relationship, now I’m not and I would very much like left alone. Was it actually her mother? I have no foggy notion; she used to use her mother’s Facebook to stalk us beforehand. Do I want to continue to think about it? No. Truly, I want left alone. I need to recommit to myself and myself alone. I don’t want any more relationship garbage, or long lost loves flying back into my life, or any of it. If this was a book, I’m finished reading it. I’d like to put it down now and not have it be like that book about creatures from Harry Potter.

So, all of that fun nonsense aside, I’m really pushing myself to be even better than I was before November. I signed up for a 5K, have been trying to help and reach out to as many friends as possible (this is symbiotic – I also don’t love being alone), have been really trying to keep improving at work, and joined a gym. And I’m really excited about this gym. Like, typing about it keeps making my eyebrows do this jumpy “are you excited cause I am” thing that kind of freaks me out because I can’t help it. Anyway, it’s called Soldierfit and it’s abso-fucking-lutely bloody-fucking-tastically amazeballs. I can’t believe I just wrote those last three words. It’s a program that’s based around military boot camp drills – but they offer so much more. MMA classes, yoga, kids classes, a regular gym, etc. My friend got into it a few months back and is already working there as a trainer because she’s a. awesome, b. a beast, and c. toootally gets the whole “reinvesting in yourself after a breakup” thing. So I left my old gym and joined Soldierfit and already love it. It’s not just a gym, it’s a family. Everyone is so nice, there’s so much camaraderie, and you can bet your ass that all of the trainers are good looking. Like, do another box jump for me unnng, good looking. That’s some serious motivation right there.

After the break up, I stopped eating and lost almost 15 pounds. I was happy to lose it but not in the way that I did. Once I started eating, I gained about five back. That’s about normal and didn’t really bother me, but I really miss how I felt when I was actually in shape. And I’ve been waxing on about that for years now, which is, at this point, stupid. I know what I have to do to get actual abs back. I know what I have to do to run an 8 minute mile (I’m clearly not a sprinter or anything along those lines, definitely a plodder). This was my very enthusiastic way of finally doing it. And oh dear god, everything is sore. My life is sore. I am so sore. Soreness 4 lyfe. It’ll improve and I’ll get stronger, and for now this pain is a good reminder of why I shouldn’t quit. And man, these functional fitness workouts are awesome. Slamming a mallet into a tire, heaving sandbags (really heavy ones), whipping a 10 pound ball at the wall like a shot put – I love it. I love all of it. Indian runs will likely be the death of me, but I love it. I’m so exhausted afterward, and nauseous, but it feels so good to know that I did it. I’m doing something. And it makes me feel good. Good for me, not good for anyone else. If I look great in a bikini and can be eye candy for others, that’s fine too, but I want to be able to climb ropes and army crawl through mud, flip tires, and do back flips. God, it really feels good to be active again. It feels really really good to start feeling like me again. I’m just starting, but it feels so good.

It’s funny, last year around this time, I’d written a post wherein I’d used a .gif to describe my love life. It was, still apt and perfectly chosen from Bridesmaids, when she raises her champagne glass, looking begrudging. I feel a little differently this time.

No really guys, I got this.

No really guys, I got this.

Fitness assessment tonight before class. I’ll try and post the results.

– a.

In all its glory

Sometimes I stand bowlegged when I hoop. It's normal.

Sometimes I stand bowlegged when I hoop. It’s normal.

This has quite possibly been one of the longest work weeks in the history of work weeks. And I used to work 12 days in a row, so that’s actually pretty impressive. Today is (finally!) my evaluation at the financial firm. After 90 days, they’re supposed to give you an evaluation to bring you on as a permanent member and a raise, I believe, usually comes with that. We were all so busy during tax season and the aftermath that it was put off an extra month but it is today! My boss told me it is going to be the evaluation of the century. I’m so pumped. Fingers crossed for a big raise! And last night, I finally mastered leg hooping. This sounds silly but hooping is just one of those hobbies I have that makes me feel good, no matter what’s going on. And it’s a lot easier on the joints than running.

So, after continuing to fight with feelings of anger and resentment, I gave up the fight last night. When I picked up my things last week from my ex, he forgot a few things. Not super important things but things I wanted, plus money (not much) from the beach trip we planned that he’s currently on with his ex. Well, whatever she is. I feel weird saying “wife” because a wife isn’t someone you break up with and get back together with time and time again. Either way, I reached out and tried to confirm a day for me to get those things – he had said after he got back from the trip – and I received nothing. No response. I texted in the evening to basically say “I am literally asking for an ‘okay/not okay’ response here,” and nothing. So, at the end of the night, I told him to just keep it. This isn’t worth the fight anymore. If he wants to diminish me, he can. It shouldn’t, and doesn’t, mean that I am actually diminished. Part of me wants to still fight, because for all my acceptance and working through the steps of grief blathering, I do still love him. Of course I do, love isn’t fickle as all that. I asked a friend when I would stop hoping that things would eventually work out and she said, “When you fully accept what he did to you, that you never deserved any of it, and him using anything you did to excuse his feelings wasn’t right.” I’m not sure if that’s how it will work, because I can completely embrace that what has happened was none of my doing and that the only thing I need to change is my tendency to see men with baggage as attractive. The only thing I wish I had done differently, not that it would have made a difference, is voicing my unhappiness with her boundary issues a long time ago. I was afraid to step on toes because I recognized that I was ‘the girlfriend’ and exes have a possessiveness about them that even when they don’t want the other anymore, they don’t want anyone else to have them either. And it wasn’t brought up all that often, she was rarely mentioned, because she wasn’t important. But, anyway, I need to stop psychoanalyzing all of it because it won’t help me. Bad habits.

Eventually the anger will fade away completely, I will forgive him, and these will be entries about someone, rather than the one. At least I hope the last part will be true. It’s not easy for me to love, having someone hang himself the day after telling you for the first time will do that to you, and feeling that strongly about anyone scares the living shit out of me. It’s probably why I sought out sex-based relationships that put next to zero emphasis on actual love for years. It’s why I messed up the relationship I did have being unfaithful back when I first started college, and why it took celibacy and A LOT of self-focus to find myself again. I read old DeviantART (OMG I KNOW RIGHT) entries from when I was 17-19 and they were terrifying! I quite literally said this: “if i could drink forever, i probably would, because there’s something about that buzz after the disgusting carbonated pisswater that makes me so calm, so together, so “what i want to be” that i want to keep doing it until i’m dizzy, flying all over the deck and laughing.”

I was SEVENTEEN when I wrote that. And I am truly blessed that I am no longer there. My mind is no longer there. It took a really long time to get there, but it was and always will be so worth it. I also saw all of the toxic awfulness that was my on-again-off-again pseudo-relationship with a man who I now, finally, can consider a friend. Six years of back and forth, sex and screaming, drugs and threats. And I wrote about it, and used NAMES. Even then I wrote “I used to think the sun rose and set on him,” until he and I got into a screaming

My co-worker wrote "Super cool to the max!" along the side.

My co-worker wrote “Super cool to the max!” along the side.

battle wherein he threatened to kill me and I threatened to go to the cops. My life used to BE that! And the other night, he and I had an incredibly long conversation about addiction and loving yourself. And it was healthy, good, and productive. I am thankful that we could achieve that. It made me sad when I had made my amends with him back in January, apologizing for all I contributed to negatively, and telling him I couldn’t be a part of his life anymore. I had also written on the site about how hurt I was that he kept dating other

people but sleeping with me and wondering what was wrong with me, why I wasn’t good enough (back in 2009). Picture reading this while sitting at your desk at work. My eyes were doing this dart-y, “what the fuuuuck” thing where I had so much incredulity and so little ability to express it aloud. Again, I am so lucky and thankful that through all of this, past all of it, I learned to love myself and that I was valuable, and he and I finally came to this happy place of friendship. Also, I need to delete my DeviantART. That shit is embarrassing. It’s like Xanga with more emotions…which is possible.

Dexter the Grievance Eater.

Dexter the Grievance Eater.

I ran across this picture of what we would do in the “Positive Affirmation” group that I ran back at the rehab. I only did it a few times because there was always some asshole who had to write inappropriate things on other people’s papers because…misery loves company I guess but I found it and it made me smile. It’s easily over two years old but still, having a group of people who I barely know and act as an authority to (well, attempted to anyway) say such kind things still makes me warm in the tummy area. I enjoyed participating because it felt just as good to give that many compliments as it did to receive them! You know, I’m still struggling with the whole concept of a higher power because I was raised in an agnostic/atheist home and for most of my life, haven’t really invested much into something specific out there. The spectrum has ranged from praying every day to willfully proclaiming that there is no god. At the end of the day, I just don’t know if there is something or someone out there, but it feels like there is. And whatever it is doesn’t need a name or anything like that from me, all I know is that when I talk to it/him/her/whatever, I feel more at peace than I did before. But tangent aside, I am starting to really believe that this higher power, call it god, does put things into your life when you need them sometimes. I went to bed last night a weird mix of emotions and woke up still feeling weird – seeing it, reading the compliments of people I barely knew and never saw again, made me feel really good. Especially the “demi-goddess” affirmation. Like, yes, exactly. I am. Thank you.

While I don’t miss my old job because it was emotionally exhausting, not the career path I wanted to continue down, and horrible pay for a lot of work, I do miss some of the aspects of it. Getting to know people, helping them, seeing human nature at its most raw always kept me…well entertained at least. But in helping others, I learned a lot about myself and gained a lot of confidence I hadn’t had before. I do miss my co-workers though, we always had a blast. And were always mature. I never had a coworker put on a bra and pretend it was a gun holster and I don’t have a video of it on my phone or anything.

I keep feeling tempted to apologize for waxing poetic so frequently about the goings on of my emotional state in regards to my (past) relationship, but I keep remembering what a sweet friend (and former co-worker!) told me last year when I was down in the dumps: “Have you been writing? You always seem like you’re happier when you’re writing. I think it’s really good for you. Don’t worry what anyone thinks. Don’t regret it. You’re entitled to your feelings and the only reason someone would be angry with you is because they caused them and feel guilty.”

I still wear the necklace he bought me for Valentine’s day. Not because I’m sitting over here pining, but because it’s become familiar and comfortable; I have a tendency to grab for it when I’m thinking. It’s better than biting my nails. My friend told me to take it off and I ended quoting the movie, ironically, “The Other Woman” (which he and I went to see after we got back together the first time). Leslie Mann’s character asks Cameron Diaz when she’ll be ready to take off her wedding ring (okay, obviously BIG difference there – it’s just a necklace) and she says that one day, over time, it will just become a piece of metal and the memories attached will fade. And then she’ll be ready to take it off and won’t think about it. And then, annoyingly, like two minutes later she throws it into the ocean in a fit of faux-feminist glory but still. The quote was meaningful. Then I read this article about being the other woman, which I was not in the beginning but somehow ended up in the end, and one thing stuck out so much: “A man who strings you along for days, months, even years? A man who makes you doubt yourself and makes you feel like it’s reasonable to ask you to “wait” for your love to begin? Girl, that ain’t love. Yes, love is patient, but it’s also kind. It’s NOT kind — in fact, it’s downright cruel — to let you put your life on hold until it’s convenient for him to start reciprocating (and don’t hold your breath for that, either).”

He honored my request to not be strung along, and for that I really am grateful. He didn’t expect me to wait for him, and again, for that I’m really grateful. In his clumsy, messed up way, he does care and doesn’t want to hurt me intentionally. Like I said, maybe one day, but not today. And not anytime soon. And until that day does (or doesn’t) come, I have to be the most important person in my life. And that’s what I’m going to keep trying to do.

– a.

Cue Rocky Theme

So, it’s been over six months since my last post. I have no excuses, I just had preoccupations. I thought so regularly about wanting to post, even planned posts, but when it came down to actually sitting down and typing…I found myself not finding the time. Not making the time, really. A lot of things have happened for me since August 2013. I quit smoking (again) in September and have not had a cigarette for almost six months. I really committed to it this time and found a voice I had stuffed away in regards to friends smoking around me. And I quit cold turkey.

Holy crap, you guys. That wasn’t fun. Four days of bargaining, irritation, mood swings, cravings, headaches…awful. But afterward I was pleasantly surprised by how little I ever found myself craving one. And how rarely I even think about it now. It’s great.

I messed up some part of my hip/lower back (still not sure) pretty badly in August. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed it as the ever-feared “tweak of the back” that you’re always terrified of hearing. If you can’t hear my sarcasm, let me show you:

hangovergif Shortly after ‘diagnosing’ me, he made a grotesquely creepy comment about how flexible I am. Needless to say, I am never going back there ever again. Unfortunately, I still deal with almost daily pain and what could possibly be reoccurring hip dislocation…or something. I guess I’ll never know. Then, overcompensating, I pulled a muscle behind my left knee.

Basically, I haven’t been running. Or hiking. But on the plus side, I picked up hooping (yes, hula hooping) and have slowly been making progress with that. I’m still doing yoga, though admittedly, I’ve really fallen off with it recently. I used to hoop outside when the weather was nice or do yoga inside in an empty group room on my breaks at work.

Speaking of work, I no longer work at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center (!). While I wish I could have left on different terms with a few people, I have never received so much love and well wishes after leaving a job. I’ll miss my co-workers all deeply. The job itself? Not so much. Working so closely for so long in an often times thankless job is extremely draining physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s funny, I’d searched for a new job for six months while working there, but after I left (without a job set up), it only took me 15 days to have not one, but two job offers. I ended up taking an administrative job at a financial advising firm. Perhaps some things are just supposed to happen.


My reaction the first time sushi was presented to me for free.

I’m working much closer to home, 8:30-5 M-F, don’t have to worry about my dress clothes getting torn in a restraint, and have yet to have someone yell at me or call me a bitch…so all around positive transition. I’ve been there for almost two months now and I really like it. My co-workers are wonderful, friendly, and competent and hey…they buy me sushi. Big fan. I’m excited to see how this job progresses from here.

I’ve gotten really into meditation, some weeks more than others. But I have to tell you, it really does work wonders. I have one of those minds that runs on overdrive all of the time. As in constantly. I worry and nit pick and over-analyze. I’m super sensitive sometimes. Okay, all the time. But I’m aware of it and taking time to quiet my mind and just focus on being on a regular basis really helps to ground me. If that sounds like you, definitely try it.

Lastly, my love life. For a long time after Manthing, I didn’t see anyone. I didn’t want to, I knew it wouldn’t be healthy for me to try and get involved emotionally…or even physically. Which, if you know me, is a pretty big deal. So I worked on myself, built myself back up, swallowed the bitter pill of rejection (and then pettiness) and moved on with life. I haven’t gone back and read my last few posts yet because I don’t really need to delve back into the mind state I was in/getting through. In November, I (technically) re-met a guy from years before, who I’d known in slightly unconventional way. A while later, we started talking and it became romantic. I don’t think either of us expected it, I know I didn’t, but one day we both just dropped our walls and there the other person stood. He isn’t a Manthing, or Manfriend, or Friend-Who-I-Sleep-With-But-Don’t-Have-Set-Guidelines-With-Regarding-Our-Relationship or any other term from today’s hook up culture. He’s my, as childish as it sounds, boyfriend. Bfriend. My man. Like, whoa boy there’s a commitment there, boyfriend.

It’s not always super easy. He’s going through a lot of transitions in his life (divorce being one…never fun, always sad) and while he has a wonderful support network of friends and (most) of his family, he’s had a lot of bumps in the road. But I see this spark in his eye, this constant unwillingness to give up, and this strength of character that I have rarely seen in someone young. By young, I mean 27. He makes me laugh so hard, tests my patience (necessary), cleans up after me and let’s me clean up after him…like actual cleaning with vacuums, tells me the sweetest things all of the time (not just after we argue), and kisses me like it’s the first time every time. I’m constantly amazed by how steadfast he is, how imperfect (in a good way), how honest. I know that I am a very lucky recipient of him, all of him. And I’m very thankful. And the best part?

I didn’t lose myself. Have you ever fallen for someone (like I have before) and it’s not…really right? But you want it to be so you do everything in your power to make it right? You agree with things you disagree with, you never compromise only give in, you don’t say what’s really on your mind. You just hope that eventually, it’ll be right and you won’t have that nagging feeling that it’s not. I have felt that many times. And I stop doing everything that I love so as to make room for what ‘he’ would want me to love (aka how I feel I should change to be more worthy of someone’s love…not healthy btw!). I never once have felt that way with him.

Somehow this is an accurate depiction of my relationship.

Somehow this is an accurate depiction of my relationship.

When I feel like I need to say something, I say it. Sometimes we disagree. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes he apologizes, sometimes I do, mostly we both do. I still have the solitude I need, time with my friends, hobbies I can do all on my own. And ditto right back to him. The best part? While the future, of course, looks very bright, I don’t feel like I have to focus on it. I can focus on now, today. It’s a wonderful thing.

But one of the main reasons that I found myself writing today, other than purely missing writing, sharing with others, and being a part of the blogging community, is because I fell off of the wagon. So hard. And by wagon, I mean that I’ve gained some weight. I don’t know how much, probably just enough for it to be considered new relationship weight, but I’m not okay with it. It’s not even the weight number itself that bothers me, it’s the fact that I feel out of shape. I miss the way I felt when I was running and using my muscles regularly. I don’t want to be teeny tiny…at all. I want my quads back. So, back on the wagon of healthy food intake, regular exercise output, lots of picking things up and putting them down, and super dee duper accountability I go. This blog’s format won’t change much; I still like talking about things and stuff more so than online calorie counting, but a big part is going to be this transition. Which involves me admitting that I have slacked so very hard. Ice cream all the time. Chips chips chips. Everything must go…into my tummy. Immediately. While I don’t drink alcohol much anymore (byproduct of dating someone who doesn’t drink), which I’m actually a pretty big fan of, I have been consuming astonishing amounts of dairy products. Mostly cheese. And my stomach has been yelling at me so hard.

So tomorrow, I’m weighing myself. And posting it here. And going to the gym that I have been unknowingly paying $30 a month for these last three months when I thought my membership had ended and they just snuck themselves right on into my wallet. So, hello again! I’m excited to be back. Woohoo!


Boyfriend and me at the bowling alley.

Boyfriend and me at the bowling alley.

Why California Pizza Kitchen is a tricksy hobbitses.

Well good afternoon! You’re all looking smashing. Is that a new haircut? You look like you’ve gained some muscle tone all up in your – you know.

Great, now that we have all of the pleasantries taken care of…I have two orders of business. One relates to the title, the other relates more to the ongoings of my exciting life.

But first, California Pizza Kitchen…your frozen pizzas are TRICKSY. They are a delicious tricksy little sneaky hobbitses. At first, I pull you out of the freezer and I’m all like:


And then I plop you in the oven and bounce back and forth on my heels for 11-13 minutes. By the way, when it actually takes 13 minutes instead of 11, I feel sort of like I did when I got a B+ on a project for doing TOO MUCH of the work and not giving enough to my partner. And then you come out and you’re so hot and delicious and really hard to cut into eight pieces. And then put three pieces on a plate and fall into this sort of happy, fat, world-could-be-ending-but-I-give-no-shits trance. And then my plate’s empty and I’m not sure what’s going on because my stomach is still pretty empty. So I go back and end up eating THREE QUARTERS OF THE PIZZA. SIX PIECES OF PIZZA. So I feel guilty and I wrap up the one sad last piece (giving the other to my complaining younger brother) and put it in the fridge and walk away, justifying that they were thin pieces of pizza and it took that much to get me full and – HOLY MOTHER OF CHRIST I AM FULL. Your little devil pizza when all “rice in water” on my ass and blew up in my stomach so that I am rolling all over the floor feeling like the world is actually ending and how if Brad Pitt burst in now I wouldn’t mind the zombies behind him so much. Damn you, California Pizza Kitchen. Your thin little wafer slices tricked me.

So that happened about 20 minutes ago. And is, sadly enough, the precipitating event for me writing this post. But I did want to actually say what had been going on in my life because it does involve relationships. And normally I wouldn’t share specific details, especially because they aren’t positive aspects of my life (things I like to share), on here but…sometimes I feel like one of the only single bloggers out there. Most blogs I follow are of women either married, engaged, or in healthy (mostly) happy relationships. I’d just like to say to you single folk: you aren’t the only ones. And if you are struggling with being single or being in a rocky relationships or pseud0-relationship or WHATEVER that was, you aren’t alone. What you’re feeling is often times normal. And it’ll get better. But life in general was hard for me for a while, I mentioned it last time I wrote. Luckily, I’m doing better enough now to feel comfortable reflecting on it. I will also be using references from Bridesmaids to illustrate my points.


There was a large combination of factors and a lot of people noticed that I was struggling (including my boss and my boss’s boss and patients and my parents and all of my friends…apparently I wear my emotions on my sleeve I CAN’T TELL). I wish I could tell you that I had a stiff upper lip and dealt with things in any sort of quick or mature manner but who are we kidding here? I got ‘dumped’ (if a Manthing can actually officially dump you, anyway) in a very much so disrespectful way. Said Manthing then moved on to another girl, who I have a feeling he will be doing the same thing over with.

I’d again like to say that I was a total adult about my feelings and handled everything in a smart, healthy way but that didn’t happen. I cried every day for two weeks, probably because this was the first time I had ever had someone dump me as an adult. Wow, that sounds stupid conceited and I don’t mean it that way. I just haven’t really been in more three serious relationship or relationship-y situations as an adult. fuckingkiddingme

So, when it came down to it, I could have continued crying all the time, wondering what I did wrong, hating him, hating her, hating EVERYTHING, wanting to throw things, and giving myself what is probably a stress fracture from running so much…or I could just accept it and try to move on. After a month or so, being sad, angry, spiteful, jealous, and confused were just too heavy. I could be a heinous bitch to him and his Womanthing every time I saw them, but what good would that do? Who would that help? And, this is a big one, why should I want to be with a guy who doesn’t respect me? Did having to avoid watching them make out the entirety of the Fourth of July become tiresome and irritating? Sure it did, I am an emotional person and there’s still (dare I say it) love for him there that feels hurt by the change. But was I going to huff and puff and bitch and make snarky comments and noises every time one of them walked by? No! What’s the point?

bridesmaidsA part of me still hurts but I am no longer hurting. Over the past month, I started actually feeling like myself again. I think I mentioned before but it wasn’t just the ‘break up’ that had me out of sorts. I’d been feeling not like myself for a while, struggling and confused with my own life path. I’m not sure, honestly, what I did to truly get back on track. I guess a lot of the coaching I do at work rubbed off. I know all of the coping skills one can use to help with depression, anxiety, or anger. Yeah, I totally did scream “GODDAMNIT IT” in my car once, and it felt super duper good. I’ve read about 40 books in the past two months, no exaggeration, and made a few grumpy statuses on Facebook waxing poetic about love (or whatever). Granted, I was also hit on by a scary number of guys right afterward. It’s like men smell vulnerability. But I’m not interested. I’m haven’t actively pursued any relationship, sexual or otherwise, since then (TMI? maybeee). I know rebound potential when I see it and I’m not putting myself or another, well meaning person through that.

Long story short? Break ups are hard. People can be dicks. None of it is worth losing your self-love, dignity, or world view over. Sure it’s fun to shit talk sometimes, sometimes it’s straight up healthy to vent. Being that I’d avoided getting close with men since I ended my last long-term relationship a few years ago, having this happen when I was relatively happy really sucked. It sucked a whole bunch. It still kind of sucks. I’m not used to it. But I’ll get over it. Funnily enough, from those first days when I was unable to stop crying even as I was walking to my car to go to work (also, I cry a lot), I always knew I’d get over it and move past it. And I am. Even when I’m feeling lonely, denial was pointless, sadness is exhausting, anger is boring, bargaining is useless, holding on is endless, so I might as well accept it. Are there still a million and one things I’d like to say to him? Of course there are. Will I ever? No. And that’s okay.

– a.

Cheers, world.

Cheers, world.

Breaking Plateaus!

Today has been a day pretty full of self-love and self-improvement; I love days off like that! In honor of my finally breaking my weight loss plateau and hitting under 150 pounds, which I’ve been stuck at for about six months, I’m filling this post with inspiration of my own, that I’ve read from others, and links to help you feel good as well. sunset

When I say I’ve been stuck at 150 pounds for six months, it’s true but it’s because I slacked off continuing my lifestyle for a few months. What’s fabulous is that in two weeks, I’ve lost almost five pounds. And do you know why? Yes, because I was running and working my butt off sure, but also because I’d really started to feel good about myself again. I’m not sure if I started to feel good because I started working out or if I was just starting to appreciate myself again, but with my head in the right place, I feel more accomplished when I make a healthy eating decision, or work out extra hard (or when I reeeally don’t want to). What I lacked in the fall that kept me from continuing cross training when my shins were too messed up was a sense of self-love. I started getting into shape last summer because, as I said then, I wanted the “health gain”. It wasn’t for a guy, or a dress size, it was because I wanted to be healthy and strong and knew that being those would help me to be a happier, better adjusted person. In the fall, I started feeling pretty down on myself (previously mentioned) and basically just felt fat and useless most of the time. When I ran or worked out, it was out of self-hatred. I hated the way I looked, I didn’t want anyone to see me running, I wanted to complete my fitness journey in the dark so that I could step out the door one day and everyone would see how thin I was and, I don’t know, love me. backgroundme

Sounds pretty unhealthy, right? It was. So after a few months of irritating myself and dragging myself through the mud, I started to remember why I had began running in the first place, why I had really worked on my diet and watched what I ate. Not because I wanted everyone else to see me as a size two, but because I deserve it. I deserve to look in the mirror and like what I see. I deserve to feel energized, and be constantly amazed at what my body can do. I deserve to be strong, to participate in anything I wanted.

During a work training yesterday, I got into a pretty serious discussion with a co-worker that I’ve worked closely with since being hired (we have the same position) about my relationship beliefs, and eventually, why she and I were who we were. I had never known that she struggled with appearance issues because she is a thin, beautiful, healthy, and level-headed woman. Not that I believed I was the only woman who dissected every single angle of her body, but because I, like a lot of people, equate beauty with happiness. Thinness with health. And that’s not how it is. Thin, beautiful people can be happy! But they can also be unhealthy, or miserable. Every other body shape (I started listing them but it took forever) is beautiful too! And can be healthy!

As women, hell, as people, we get into this awful tendency to talk so negatively about ourselves. We bond with friends over things about ourselves we want to change. meangirlsIn fact, we rely on others to make us feel good about ourselves because complimenting ourselves is…what…cocky? There is no point to my eating all natural, working out intensely, or even practicing yoga regularly unless I’m doing it out of an act of love.

A fabulous blogger whose page I adore/read religiously, Piloting Paper Airplanes, recently wrote a post about self-blaming and the power our own words and beliefs hold over us. I’ve linked it above. I took a lot, I mean a lot, from it. Whenever you’re having an off day, read it. It’ll perk you right up. She brings up the point that there is no point to trying to improve our own health unless we look at all aspects of our health. In my case, why strain to get better at yoga but not strive to deepen my meditation?

Have you ever seen a before/after of people who have been airbrushed? If you haven’t, or even if you have and you want another pick me up, look at this: 17 Mesmerizing Before & After Photoshop GIFs. It’s a wonderful reminder that nobody is as pretty as they look in a magazine. Except Megan Fox. She just isn’t fair.

Finishing up my recipes and work out post – up tonight or tomorrow morning!

Because I’m feeling like it –




You know what? I have great hair.

For the past few weeks, maybe even months, I’ve been feeling pretty down on myself. Blame it on the weather, my stagnant career situation, the weeks upon weeks I went without running, the spotty male attention, what have you; I still felt like crap. Nothing I put on looked good, no matter how much time I spent on my outfit it didn’t look as good as :insert name here:’s – I was living up to an imaginary standard that wasn’t within my reach at the time. Weirdly enough, I don’t even know why it started. It made me wonder, “is this a normal human feeling? Is it unique to women put on by society to always look better than they can? How can I go back to feeling satisfied?”

I kept trying to write answers to those questions but, in all honesty, it made for a long-winded and boring set of estimates with only one good joke about men posting pictures of themselves on Instagram. When it comes to others and what’s so-called normal, my guess is as good as yours. But it doesn’t change the fact that I have felt like a fat spotted pony in a dress more days than not for a while. It made me unsure, grumpy, jealous, and tripled my “get ready” time. None of those are things I want – I’m notorious for getting ready in ten minutes max, twenty if I have to shower. And frankly, when I don’t feel so great about myself, I seek attention elsewhere.

I’m not one to expect male attention, even from the guy I’m sleeping with (seeing? spending time with? I don’t know the proper grammatical ethical term, nor do I care), when I’m out and about. I am very good at entertaining myself. But the past few weekends, I watched myself get upset when I was all but ignored, heard myself bitch, whine, moan, and complain and then shut up the second he paid attention to me. I wanted to kick myself! I am not co-dependent when it comes to a good time! 

Maybe it was a dangerous cocktail of low self-esteem, too much alcohol, and a questionable ‘relationship’ that’s making me turn into this humped drunk crone waxing poetic about how life isn’t fair. I use the term relationship as loosely as humanly possible, but I’m not sure what else to call it and writing “questionable situation in which I spend time with the same guy every weekend” takes too long to write over and over again. 

But the past two weeks, after a weekend chock full of moping, grumping, and generalized annoyance with myself, I have begun to slap myself back into shape. I droned on and on over how I was going to do this and that in the new year and you know what? I haven’t written a blog post until now, hadn’t exercised, ate out…ohhh…almost every day, and wasn’t expanding my horizons. And as much as I could eat goat cheese on top of fried pita bread EVERY DAY (go to Main Cup in Middletown and get the Build-Your-Own-Bruschetta…immediately), I knew it was only pulling me down further.

So, back to the (freezing) sidewalk did I trot. I have been, almost unintentionally, been running a mile and a half every other day. Not the three miles I was over the summer, but I also haven’t had any shin splint issues yet either. I’m forcing myself to get up Friday mornings and go to seven a.m. yoga even if that is the only time I go to yoga that week. I’ve been making my own meals – trying to keep emphasis on things that are green and steamed. I hiked Harpers Ferry’s Maryland Heights Trail again and you know, it’s still my favorite trail for a work out. My butt was sore the next day, but that is totally okay


It was freezing up at the top and SUPER windy so we only admired the beauty for a few minutes before sneaking back into the trees. But it was so worth it. Always is.

And strangely, ever since I started putting my focus back on bettering myself rather than trying to force having a good time (and actually just pulling at my shirt for three hours), I’ve noticed things. I go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, get more done, feel more satisfied, and feel more sure of myself. I eventually want this blog to turn into something more than just my place to journal out thoughts that feel repetitive, I want it to actually be a blog. I want to post pictures of my life, of the fancy food I make that’s only 300 calories and has cheese, and describe the beautiful twists and turns that make life interesting – especially in your 20’s. So, readers, I’m breaking the fourth wall here but, thank you for putting up with my ups and downs and my long-winded inner conversations. I promise that I have a life. I do things, fun things. Sometimes even every day. And I want to share them with you! And I will. Because even though I may have gotten a bit of a late start to my resolutions, I actually am working on them now.

I’ve been hounding a manager for a social media coordinator position now for almost a week. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily positive, but at least he knows that I’m really interested in the position

And this is that point where I wrap up by actually getting to the point of the title – last night I was driving home from work and checking my makeup (totally normal habit at 11:30pm on a Tuesday night) and had this moment of self-assuredness. Maybe I won’t like myself every day, maybe I’ll feel fat and unattractive more often than not sometimes, but I have AWESOME hair. I elicit hair envy. And you know, that perked me right up. So I flipped up that mirror and actually focused on the road. That shit’s covered in deer.

– a.