Be the Cat's Meow

Life has been moving faster than I ever imagined and in working on a longer piece I had forgotten about keeping this updated. Honestly, I forgot that this even existed in the first place. Long summer days at work triggered my memory of blogging and with the help of Google I found my way back.

Hard to believe over a year has passed since I last wrote. Thinking about everything that happened is very surreal…

Firstly, I have turned 30 and it wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be. Actually, it is shaping up to be one of the best years of my life.

I have advanced in a job (and most likely will advance again very shortly), that I love, and in between it allowed me to travel and meet people I would have never met otherwise (ie academics). My awkwardness perfectly melds with theirs and I get to (somewhat) learn things I would never have otherwise.

I have been continuing a steady fitness regime and also teach kickboxing at least twice a week. I love being able to show people how to trust themselves and become stronger. Everyone is capable of anything, but sometimes you need a little push. I think most (myself included) have trouble grasping their true strength- inner and out.

Exercise, I firmly believe, is also the best drug for mental health. You become stronger AND you feel great afterwards.

I have been to even more events alone and I have learned when I need time to recharge. Seem to be doing more recharging these days, but I savor any moment to myself I can get. I am also perfectly content with having a movie night with friends as opposed to bar-hopping.

Related to bar-hopping, I was able to see & meet some of the biggest inspirations to me: Frankie Bones, The Crystal Method, Bad Boy Bill, Jinkx Monsoon, Ongina, and I am sure I am forgetting someone (or two)….

I have become far more comfortable with myself and have a much better grasp of what is best for me. This also includes setting boundaries with others as well as sticking to my gut instincts about people/opportunities/etc.

I had a recent falling out with someone I considered one of my closest friends and had to make the difficult decision that severing ties was for the best. We had spent some time apart and trying to pick up our relationship where we left off seemed impossible.

They may not realize it now and, unfortunately, they refused to acknowledge the fact that we were making each other miserable. There is a place and time for everything and our time had passed.

I tried so hard to be patient and open, but in return I was being criticized for things like my career, my goals & my lifestyle. Growing up with depression I feel that happiness is a valid goal- not to mention something as basic as getting out of bed daily is a feat in itself.

People grow at different paces and people have different needs. AND that is okay. It is about being comfortable with yourself and acknowledging what you need.

Most importantly I have also been more open to others about my anxiety and depression. Although it seems some people misconstrue my words I know I am doing all that I can by being open. If they don’t want to try to understand me then I am not going to waste my time trying to make them happy.

Lastly, somehow, I have been blessed to find love. It had been in front of me all along, but, of course, it bites when you least expect it. We’ve lived parallel lives across the country from each other and, in a twist of fate, we were brought together. We have taken different, albeit eerily similar, paths to get to where we are today and we understand each other perfectly. We have a relationship where we can communicate with a simple look.

Well, there you have it folks. A brief recap of the past year with the underlying lesson being to stay true to yourself! It sounds super cliche, but really, at the end of the day, you know what is best for you. Obviously, you should still be kind and considerate of others, but don’t ever let anyone’s negativity penetrate your own life. Trust yourself, always.

 

My 29th birthday is quickly approaching and I am way more excited than I expected to be. Last year was amazing and this year is even more promising.

I experienced a ridiculous quarter life crisis (which most likely barely ended last year), so I foresaw the worst for my “almost 30” birthday.

Life the past few years has been sort a “Twilight Zone” for me. Naturally, I have always know that, inevitably, we all age, but, for whatever reason, it seems to catch you off guard, regardless. 

My mom had me when she was 21. Growing up this set the imaginary bar for “adulthood.” I guess I also imagined I would be married with a child around the same time. 21 came and went and I realized there was no way in hell I was mentally, emotionally, financially, etc. ready for either of these.

Years came & went my friends gradually started pairing off and the birth announcements started trickling in. It was surreal at first (and at times still is) and although I knew it was not my time I felt this strange pressure (biological clock, anyone?) to partner up and pop out a kid. Moreover, it made me wonder, “What is wrong with me, why am I still single?”

As a long time serial dater, it felt weird to always be the lone ranger at events. I even refused to go ANYWHERE by myself- restaurants, movies, shopping, concerts, bars, museums, etc. Why would I want people to see me alone? I don’t want to be the person that people feel sorry for or for them to think I’m flawed, because I’m alone. I grew bitter about missing events, because I couldn’t find anyone to go with.

Then it happened. I was forced to dine out alone. I had a forgotten Groupon set to expire & I couldn’t find anyone to go with. My options were 1) let the money go to waste or 2) suck it up and get some dinner, ALONE. So I went to eat by myself. Granted, I had my nose buried in a book the whole time, but it was amazing! Plus, I came to realize everyone else in the restaurant was so focused on their own outing they probably didn’t even notice the single girl sitting in the corner reading.

This was about 2 years ago and since I have seen some amazing concerts (hell, I even meet the artists sometimes), dined out, traveled, museumed, etc, etc, ALL BY MYSELF!

I know it sounds silly, but it made me realize I’m not part of a dying race (although it feels like it sometimes) and I am still working on me- and that is okay! 

In the words of Kelly Clarkson, “Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.”

If I had forced myself into the married with children box already I wouldn’t know so much about myself. I wouldn’t be as comfortable and confident in my skin. Not to mention all the lessons learned in between. 

So I embrace approaching the end of my 20s! I can look back and laugh at my early 20s stupidity and feel proud with how far I’ve come. AND I am ecstatic that I have the freedom to grow and do what I want. Sure I want a family someday, but for now I need to take care of me first. Nobody else can!

 

Oh the dreaded VD…

…eww sicko, I am referring to Valentine’s Day of course!

That greeting card, flower & chocolate endorsed holiday. The day that singles love to hate and [most] couples love to love.

Honestly, I am indifferent about Valentine’s Day. Yes, I have recognized it while in a relationship, but there was never any pressure like, “YOU BETTA GIVE ME A TEDDY BEAR & FLOWERS & SH*T.” Better yet I wasn’t ever forced into a Tammy-I-Don’t-Spread-For-No-Roses situation.

The same can be argued about events like Father’s & Mother’s Day or even birthdays- if you really care about someone why don’t you celebrate them WHENEVER? Isn’t it a greater gesture when you surprise someone on a regular non-holiday day? Instead of scrambling to bake a sorry excuse of a cake or make a crappy paperweight at the last minute? Come on now!

I say, F-That!

Especially all you single folk! Don’t spend the day wallowing in self-pity. Instead I encourage

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Day!

Go ahead. Splurge (with reason or monetary means) on that 5 course meal or buy that drag queen bling you have been shy about. You deserve it! Celebrate your fabulosity and ability to treat yo’self to EXACTLY what you please!

In the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Maybe you aren’t in a conventional relationship right now, but I guarantee that you are loved by many! If not many definitely some, but believe me people care about you more than you think!

If you are drowning in your pity party reach for a hand. Your friends won’t know that you need them if you don’t let them know. Just be just sure to leave the tiny violin at home.

Don’t roll your eyes at me either. I’m in the same [single] boat as you. My plans include working out, Tekken tag, wine and shrimp enchiladas. Naturally, I will spend time with friends in between.

Bottom line: TREAT YO’SELF!! Celebrate you! Do something spontaneous you couldn’t otherwise do while in a couple. It’s okay to feel good and pamper yourself. If you don’t who will?

Can I get an AMEN?

It is that time of year again. A time of empty resolutions and promises made to be broken- the beginning of a new year.

New year means a clean slate, right?

UHm, nooooooooo.

Let me break it down-

A year is just a unit of time. A unit measured by the time that it takes a planet to revolve around the sun. 

We are humans and use “years” to indicate our numerical (because some people are mentally younger..)age or to track time.

Years come and go independently of our existence. A change in the year does not automatically create a change within. Did you feel something happen within you at midnight on New Year’s Eve? 

Maybe you felt bloated from too much champagne and cheese dip, but nothing mentally changes automatically.

So why don’t you just change for the best whenever possible? There’s nothing wrong with deciding to make a resolution on a day other than January 1. Why the hell not?

Last year was the BEST of my life…to date. I was ecstatic to go into the Holiday season cheerful and stress free. As luck would have it situations beyond my control took place and I had to deal with someone else’s problems. I didn’t have to, but what else do you do when someone you love has had a traumatic series of weeks?

Don’t get me wrong, of course I want to do everything I can, but I have yet to understand why some people feel change is beyond their control.

If I decided I want to change my attitude am I supposed to tell my friend, so they can fix it for me?

Frustrated beyond belief I had to continuously reiterate being positive works wonders. It is what it is, so you can be pissed off and do nothing or you can find the silver lining. It is truly about attitude and accepting that some things are beyond control. Her excuse was, “only people with good lives are positive.”

I call bull. Some of the most positive people I know have lived through unimaginable crap and you would never know. I’m not saying to be ignorant or oblivious, but understand that your attitude is something that can always be changed- AT ANY TIME.

Obviously, I realize some situations are harder to deal with and that makes it difficult to stay positive. If you just try I guarantee it will help. Even if it is the slightest bit, but it beats being miserable right?

All I am trying to say is stop making excuses or stop waiting for Jan. 1 to make a change. Start with yourself now! You are the only person that can take care of yourself. Sure you have loved ones that can also care for you, but only you know and feel what you truly need.

Nothing is perfect. Nothing is easy. That is okay and it helps us shape who we are. Just grow some balls and take action to change what you don’t like. Nobody can help you unless you start to help yourself first. 

 

 

These days I feel like I am turning into Carrie Bradshaw- or should I say I am getting Carrie-ed away?

Sorry, I had to go there…

Winter’s entrance indicates the rapidly approaching holiday season. A time for cheerful decor, cozy clothing and, of course, plenty of festivities. I’m all for celebrations, especially those that involve eating and drinking, but I don’t understand why all these gatherings have morphed into couple events. 

I thought the holidays were about spending time with those you love? Wouldn’t this imply that you don’t necessarily need a plus one? After all, you can love someone that isn’t necessarily your lover.

I guess I am just tried of getting invites and being told, “you can bring a date.” 

…Hmm….

Okay:

1) I am not dating and anyone that knows me knows that.

2) Why the hell would I drag a first date to some holiday party where even I don’t know everyone there?

3) Do you think I would use a holiday party as an excuse to find a date??

Maybe I am just being bitter after being overloaded with seasonal stock images such as:

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or even this older couple frolicking on a grassy knoll:

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I want to frolic too..is that too much to ask? I guess I should say, I want to be able to frolic alone without people feeling sorry for me.

In closing, I have one Christmas wish for all the couples out there,

…of course I still have wishes for the masses- world peace, happiness, the norm…

anyways, my one wish for couples:

Can you please embrace us single folk as we are and simply let us be solo at your holiday events? We obviously love you if we show up as the lone ranger at your party, so let’s leave the dating discussion for another day or, say, never.

It is surreal when you reach the point in life where things start falling into place for your “circles.” The last round of folks are beginning their college careers, those that have graduated are now finding their niche, families are being made, etc.

I can’t help, but feel grateful for it all and excited about the future. I don’t have a wedding ring or family to show off, but I do have a solid career, expanding my artistic opportunities, own a house and feel healthier and happier than ever. Truth be told, maybe there are still pieces of me that are sad, but I have learned to keep on keeping on, because that is all you can do.

Anyways, thinking about the present reminded me of my bumpy past. It definitely was not easy getting to this point. I took some wrong turns and trusted some wrong people, but that is all behind me for the best.

I was self-destructive, and I can only blame myself there, but I also wanted to believe that all people are inherently good. That being said, I ate up the bullshit asshole people fed me and, unfortunately, let these bad influences into my life.

I have no regrets, everything made me who I am today, but I sure as hell would LOOOOOOOVE to see some of these jerks again to punch them in the face!! It would go a little something like this:

“Hey, thanks for pretending to care about me & be my friend, when I needed it, only to find out you were trying to end my relationship and get in my pants AND bragging about it.” **BOOM**

“Hey, thanks for being a junkie boyfriend, diluting my reality and having the nerve to say I messed you up. Boy, you was already MESSED up.” **BOOM**

“Hey, thanks for making me your scapegoat in high school and making those years even more miserable than necessary.” **BOOM**

“Hey, thanks for saying ‘you’ll be there,’ and never actually meaning it, even when I was extremely depressed and needed it most.” **BOOM**

“Hey, thanks for choosing drugs over our friendship and never admitting that you actually did AND NOW you continue to pretend that never happened.” **BOOM**

“Hey, thanks for walking all over me all those years while being judgemental since I don’t fit the ‘mold’.” **BOOM**

I could probably come up with more, but those are the key people I would just like to say WTF too. F* you for being an asshole & good riddance! Plus, I know I am in a better place than ALL OF THEM now. I would LOVE to wipe the smug smiles off their faces and let them know all their trash talking didn’t hold me down.

Wow, writing this was almost as therapeutic as punching someone in the face! …or at least how I would imagine it…

It just goes to show, I don’t care who you are or where you’re from…

….wait, the Backstreet Boys said that, not me….

okay, I say, it does not matter what happened in your past. You can hold onto your mistakes and fall into some downward spiral OR you can grow from then and learn to be better as a result! Then, you can look back and remind yourself, I AM BETTER THAN ALL OF THESE ASSHOLES!!

Heck, writing is one of the best forms of therapy, so unleash all that bitterness into something fierce! They’ll never read it and if they do maybe they will realize what an worthless asshole they were (/are).

The other day a friend, that is a student, dropped by my office.

We caught up & he asked how other friends in my circle are doing and I filled him in. He was quiet for a second and then said, “That’s cool you guys are doing grown-up things, but don’t act ‘grown-up.’ ”

He left shortly after that and I thought about what he said. At first, that seemed like the last thing I wanted to hear. Based on looks I can pass for a 20 year old and I am nearly 30- don’t I want to act “grown-up” to make up for my youthful appearance? How am I supposed to be taken seriously if my  mannerisms aren’t “grown-up”? I don’t consider myself immature, but I’m not a “stuffy” grown-up.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

My friend, for example, is a student in his late 20s. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing by any means. He just falls into the category of Y’s/millenials that either a) decided to go to college later in life or b) returned to college after dropping out years ago. Kudos to everyone that takes that plunge no matter what age!

The advantage of going to college straight out of high school is that the experience definitely shapes you for adulthood. It prepares you to jump through hoops & work your ass off, yet you can also gain expertise in balancing/juggling work & play. Come on, work hard play hard is the only way! Not to mention you learn that, unfortunately, (and hopefully by witnessing not doing) kissing ass can get you too far- even if you are some dim-witted asshat.

So I guess, in a way college helps you become a “grown-up.”

After graduation you get thrown to the wolves world and try to find your place. Well, at least you should take that course of action. It seems the sad truth is many of my peers seem to do what they think they should be doing. Following this logic these types of people would also, presumably, resort to behaving as a “grown-up;” i.e. acting stuffy, taking things to seriously and fusing one’s true identity with their work persona. That being said, this category of people can be labeled as  grown-ups acting “grown-up,” but not in a good way.

I don’t live to work. What a waste of life! I mean it’s one thing doing what you love, but that is the key thing- you should be doing what you love! Even if it means dressing up your cats, playing video games, roughhousing with sports, laughing at fart jokes, collecting Hello Kitty toys, playing dress-up, making art, dancing all night, etc. etc. Yes, those are all things I do and I love it. Plus I hold down a full time job, so I guess therein lies me being a grown-up without acting like one!

And that is fabulous!

Some of the most admirable & youthful people I know range from ages 60-90.  They definitely fall into the non-grownup category, but hey, goes to show age is just a number!

Cheers to all the newfound “grown-ups” particularly the dreamers, gamers, lovers, athletes, nerds, fun-seekers, writers, performers and everyone else young at heart. Be proud to be an adult without acting like a stiff jerk!

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