Season Five, Episode Four:  Un Peu de Prose Contre

I’m that unconventional kind of pretty, I suppose
If one were to try to define one’s features and retain modesty.
Sometimes I think I’m cute, other times I hate my reflection
I constantly feel too big for such a small person
A walking contradiction
Unsteady yet confident,
The girl who doubts herself in a room full of women
Who feels most like herself in jeans and a tee shirt,
At her best with just lip balm, mascara, and a smile.
I stumble over nothing when I walk,
Clumsy but certain.
Athletic grace has not once entertained me
Just look at my ankles as proof.
I stay up all night and wake up early,
Partly because life is so damn short
But mostly because I’m afraid to miss all the things the Muses have to offer.
I wear my hair up almost at all times
Because life has to be lived and I don’t need hair in my eyes.
I say things over and over in my head,
Because I worry that I’ll trip them up once I say them aloud
And I usually do,
Words have a way of getting stuck in my teeth like caramel popcorn.
I suck at guys, and am perpetually single.
The real world Liz Lemon.
I chew on the edges of my nails when I’m worried,
I make jokes to cover up my nervousness and thin skin
Because I’m a tough girl on the outside,
Who will never let them see how deep they cut her
And who keeps her insecurities inside.
She is braver than she realizes
And stronger than she believes.
Lazy but a dreamer
I’m a mom and a person,
A badass and a debutante,
Indie but mainstream,
Naive but jaded.
I might stumble but I’m never completely down
My glass is eternally half full.

–“autobiographie”, 07/01/2016

Season Four, Episode Eight: 14/29 Struggles

So I am still talking to said guy, who still does not have a nom de plume.  I really need to give him one.  The fact that I am talking to him still is actually kind of a miracle–not a walking-on-water-in-the-middle-of-a-crazy-storm kind of miracle, but more like a I-ate-like-crap-all-week-and-ran-once-and-somehow-didn’t-gain-weight kind of miracle–simply because I am not good at this.  At what, you may ask?  Talking?  Well…no.  I am rather good at talking.  I am not good at talking to guys that I like.  Or know how to successfully flirt.  Or nab a guy…see how I used the word nab?  I make it sound like I am a police officer who successfully caught a bank robber.  I should twirl my mustache too, while I’m at it.

*twirls mustache*

When I'm not busy nabbing guys, I like to tie young maidens to train tracks.  I'm very early 20th century mustache twirler.

When I’m not busy nabbing guys, I like to tie young maidens to train tracks. I’m very early 20th century mustache twirler.

Ugh.

But anyway, I am still talking to him.  He is still pretty damn hot and funny and delish…and I haven’t done anything too crazy to make him think maybe he shouldn’t continue to talk to me.  So…miracle.  I actually think that he finds me hilarious, which is a win.  When in doubt, let my sense of humor cancel out my awkwardness like FOX cancelled American Idol (too soon?).  I’ve gotten pretty close a few times to doing something completely batshit but I somehow talked myself out of it.  Google is a life saver.  My search engine is full of random keywords that make me sound like a fourteen year old girl.  Who knew that there were so many articles out there in the Interwebs dedicated to making loons like me feel less cray?

Because there is a lot of stuff on the Interwebs to make me feel less cray.

Because there is a lot of stuff on the Interwebs to make me feel less cray.

There is one thing that baffles me(that is a lie…there are a lot of things in the dating world that baffle me, but for sake of keeping this post short, we will pretend that there is only one), and I suppose it baffles me only because I like him, and that is texting.  Why the hell go days without texting someone (me) back?  Especially if you like me/want to get in my pants/potentially more?  I stress about that and I have successfully stopped myself from texting him stuff like “why you no text me back” and flat out asking him if he secretly hates me.  Because I am pretty sure he doesn’t hate me.  He used to text me a lot when we first started talking and it’s trickled down and I’m sure it’s no cause for concern since he is still wonderful in person.  I feel like I have gone back in a time machine and it’s 1999 and I am 14 and I have bad hair and questionable fashion sense and I am all a-giggle and a-fumble over a guy in my class.  I tell myself that I sometimes don’t hear from my best friend for days, and I have known her since I was 7.  I can go days without texting other friends/hearing from other friends, so why do I get all panicky cliffhanger soap star when Unnamed Hot Guy decides to not text me?  The only answer I can think of is because I am secretly still 14 on the inside when it comes to men.

This girl is apparently stressed because she has multiple phones/crucial conversations/potential drug deals all going on at once?

This girl is apparently stressed because she has multiple texts/crucial conversations/potential drug deals all going on at once?

29 Year Old Me is trying to play it cool and act completely indifferent.  14 Year Old Me has a mini heart attack when we sit next to each other and our legs touch the entire time.  29 Year Old Me smiles at him when I see him and act like I’m completely chill.  14 Year Old Me freaks the fuck out quietly when someone tells us what a cute couple we make (29 Year Old Me simply smiles because I don’t want to look like I am so into him–being chill is my constant M.O.) and he says he agrees.  14 Year Old Me doesn’t know how to be cool and calm and so 29 Year Old Me is constantly fighting an internal battle with her so that she doesn’t do anything stupid to mess up whatever will happen.  29 Year Old Me isn’t in a rush to get hurt again any time soon.  14 Year Old Me worries that he doesn’t like me.

14 Year Old Me is obviously Angelina because Sun-In.

14 Year Old Me is obviously Angelina because bad bangs and Sun-In.

Well, 14 Year Old Me, put down the Sun-In (seriously, put it down…your hair is orange) and stop panicking and analyzing every damn thing that goes on.  If something comes out of this, awesome.  If something doesn’t come out of this, guess what?  Life goes on.  You still have wine and Netflix and comfy sweatpants and chocolate covered Oreos–he’s the one who will be missing out, not you.  Just smile and be nice to him if it doesn’t go the way you planned.  You’re an adult, and you’re supposed to be calm on the outside and 14 on the inside.  Enjoy talking to him, because it’s fun to talk to guys.  Just stop using Sun-In.  Please.

Let's be completely honest...your hair never once actually looked like this.

Let’s be completely honest…your hair never once actually looked like this.

Season Four, Episode Four: Wintered Out

I am so over this winter.

Like, completely.  And I’m sure that everyone in the northern United States can agree.

February, I hate you. Although I hated January almost just as much.

February, I hate you.
Although I hated January almost just as much.

I spent about 75% of my vacation last week in my house because the wind chill was below zero.  The actual temperature hovered around zero and dipped into the negatives this past weekend.  My off days this week are beginning to look the same.  I had been doing pretty well before this cold snap, going to the gym and watching what I was eating (we are having a weight loss thing at work) and I had dropped about two pounds before last week.  Ever since last Sunday, all I have done is eat and sit on my butt and watch Netflix.  I’m sure I could work out at home and eat right but ughhhhh I don’t wanna.  I’m miserable and I have cabin fever and I just want to sit and eat paczki wrapped in blankets while binge watching BBC dramas (The Fall was amazing, and I binged all four episodes of the first season of A Young Doctor’s Notebook tonight).  I’m pretty sure that is what one does when they are sick and tired of being stuck in the house.  This arctic snap of hellishness is making me feel like a depressed sleepy bear.

Sometimes I don't even realize how many hours I've wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix.  Hours I cannot get back.

Sometimes I don’t even realize how many hours I’ve wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix. Hours I cannot get back.

My son is beyond bored.  He wants to go outside and play on the snow days he keeps getting, but you can’t really play outside when the wind chill makes it feel like it is -15.  You have to bundle up just to take out the trash.  I let the mail sit in the mailbox for like three days before I left the warm confines of my living room.  My Ikea couch and my legs have become one.  My son has exhausted his usual queue of cartoons and Minecraft YouTube mod videos.  If it is hard on a 29 year old grown woman, I can’t imagine how unbearable it must be for a ten year old boy.  He is frustrated.  The coldest day this month so far was his birthday, and since we don’t drive, we had to stay inside rather than go to the science museum like we planned.  It’s not worth potentially getting frostbite while getting from Point A to Point B on public transportation when it is 0 degrees with a -17 wind chill.  I’m sure people in NYC and Boston can certainly relate.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a city where it wasn’t odd to not own a car (but I suppose that will be another post for another time), because then I think others would understand the winter struggle a little more.

My son's sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday.  It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill.  When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.

My son’s sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday. It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill. When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.  It’s hard for me to empathize with people’s “ohmigod I was so cold sitting in my car waiting for it to warm up” struggles.

I know March is coming and that spring is allegedly just around the bend, but let’s be brutally honest here:  I live in Northeast Ohio.  Lake Erie is like 94% frozen over.  I can expect to wear a winter coat until probably mid-April.  I just want it to warm up and be sunny and green and pretty.

So I can start bitching about pollen and my allergies.

Seriously?

Season Two, Episode Ten: An Early Morning Interlude

I smell the faint fragrance
of honeysuckle mixed with the lingering scent of rain
it floats on the humid, yet cool
early morning breeze
birds chirp in the otherwise quiet am
occasionally punctuated by the chirp of the gentlemanly cricket
dew laden grass adds the middle note of rainsoaked earth
this is my nighttime lullaby.
–“Untitled (08/09/13.)”

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Season Two, Episode Six: Springtime in the CLE

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Winter seems never ending sometimes here in northeast Ohio, but it’s little snapshots like the one I took with my iPhone above that make all that snow and cold worth it 🙂

April is one of my favorite months. You are tired of winter and you feel like warmer weather will never come…it rains nonstop for the bulk of the month, but near the end the world looks brighter, fresher. Almost like Mother Nature washed everything with a heaping scoop of Oxy Clean and all the dirt and grayness of winter is gone. I woke up the other day to the trees at the end of my parents’ street in full blossom. Love it!

Season Two, Episode Five: Of Quarterlife Crises and New Starts

I turned 27 this past December.  At the end of the year, I will be 28.

And in 2015, I will be 30.

I know it sounds stupid, but the thought of turning 30 never really was one that I entertained myself with.  I was always busy with the hopes and dreams that I had in my teens and early twenties, always thinking of where I would be by 30.  It seemed like a magical age that I’d reach in what seemed like decades–at 17, 30 seemed like light years away.  I had so many things that I wanted to do and see “when I grew up”…I’ll share a few with you:

*Graduate from college

*Have a fabulous career where I make lots of money and am happy

*Become a singer on the side and become famous

*Fall in love with someone who loves me for me

*Get married and stay married

*Have kids

*Travel the world

*Move to NYC and live a wonderfully trendy and fabulous life that everyone back in Cleveland would be envious of

*Write a novel and get it published and have it sell very successfully…and hopefully write a few more that have the same success

*Buy a beautiful house to live in with my husband and kids

*Be happy and content

High school Me, the end of sophomore year, 2002.

High school Me, the end of sophomore year, 2002.

I guess I’ve attained a few of those things, but for the most part I have not.  I’m not married.  I don’t live in NYC.  I rent a house with my beautiful and funny son.  I’ve traveled to a few places, but certainly not the world–more or less the eastern half of the United States and a bit of Canada.  I have never finished a single story I have written, so I very well haven’t had a novel published.  I haven’t even finished my freshman year of college…or become a famous singer.  I suppose I have a lot of time to achieve these goals and dreams, but all this dreaming of the future all these years reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite novels, Looking for Alaska:

“Jesus, I’m not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they’re gonna do.  I’m just going to do it.  Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia…You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it.  You just use the future to escape the present.”

Alaska was so right.  You spend all of your teenage years dreaming about what you’re going to do after high school, and then you spend your college years thinking about what you are going to do after college…and then when plans don’t go the way you wanted them to, you think up a new future to try to strive toward, but you actually never achieve all the things you’ve planned.  You spend so much time dreaming about what you are going to do/be when you grow up that when you actually grow up, all your expectations don’t get met the way you planned and your dream life is yanked out from under you.  I think that usually you start to realize that life isn’t going to be everything you hoped when you are in your mid-twenties.  You aren’t going to achieve all your dreams and holy shit, you’re an actual fucking adult.  It’s weird to think of myself as an adult.  I’ve never really thought about that until recently.  I mean…I know that I’m an adult.  I became a legal adult at 18.  But in the actual physical/mental sense…it’s weird.

I guess I was forced to become an adult when I had Nicky at 19, but even though I worked full time to support him as a single mom, I wasn’t an actual real adult, in the sense of the word.  I still lived at home, still relied on my parents for a ton of things.  But one could also argue that living on your own doesn’t make you an adult either.  I think it’s just the sum of the parts that you experience over time that become the whole…like the heartache and the growing pains and the separation anxiety and the ripping off of the metaphorical Band-Aid of Life and the new beginnings and the jobs you love and the jobs you hate and the friends you make and the ones you leave behind and falling in love and just every little thing that you go through that shapes you into who you are that makes you an adult.  You are constantly always growing up.  I think that becoming an adult is a life-long, ever-changing process–you are never fully “grown up”.  You never fully stop experiencing life until the day you die.

I’ve also realized that I am growing older.  I’m aging.  I will one day die.  It’s a scary thing to think of…it’s scary to think that this body that has carried me through 27 years of bumps and scrapes and fabulous memories is slowly falling apart.  I looked in the mirror the other day and noticed that I am beginning to get fine lines under my eyes.  I have a sunspot from my many years of disregarding the use of sunscreen as a youth…I always read about sun damage as a teenager and wasn’t worried because that happened to “old people”.  Well, Stupid Teenage Lashawn, I am not old and I’ve had this stupid sunspot since I was 25.  I’ve been trying to lighten it with over the counter stuff, but I think I will eventually get Fraxel to remove it.  I’m starting to pay for the sins that I made out of ignorance as a teenager.  I’m getting a few gray hairs.  I get tired more easily than I did when I was 17.  I’m beginning to realize that I am not invincible, I am not immortal.  I don’t get a “do over”.  There is no reset button.  I can’t rewind back and try to change the things I did, the mistakes I made.  I’m realizing that my parents are getting older.  My dad will be 70 next year, my mom 50.  They won’t be around forever.  It’s terrifying to think of them growing old.  I can’t imagine them dying, and I know that it is a reality that I will face in the next quarter century, possibly sooner.  There’s nothing I can do to stop any of this from happening.  I can’t press pause and slow life down.  Time goes forward, constantly pressing onward, with or without me.

But even through all of the fears and where the hell am I going and what the hell am I doing, there is happiness.  My son is growing up.  We live on our own.  I’ve fallen on my face and gotten back up again.  I’ve had my heart broken by men who didn’t deserve it, and it made me stronger.  I’ve felt incredibly lonely.  I’ve been surrounded by my family.  I have loved with all my heart and made friends with people who I truly care about.  I have a job I enjoy.  I am happy with my small successes.  I am still hopeful that I will make some kind of positive impact on the world, even if it is just a small one.

But I still don’t know what I want or where exactly I’m going or what I intend to do with the rest of my life.  I don’t have any of the answers.  Ask me again when I’m 30.  Maybe I’ll have an idea then.

“I rent a room and I fill the spaces with / Wood in places to make it feel like home / But all I feel’s alone / It might be a quarter life crisis / Or just the stirring in my soul / Either way I wonder sometimes / About the outcome / Of a still verdictless life

Am I living it right? / Am I living it right? / Am I living it right? / Why, why, Georgia, why?”

                                                                                                          –“Why Georgia”, John Mayer