Carrie Bradshaw, mohawks and neck tattoos: Or how I found where I belong

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I’ve come to the conclusion that Carrie Bradshaw and I would likely have not been friends. (gasp)

This has been a tragic, upsetting realization as I adore her and her friends and that lovely show which inspired the name for this blog. And quite frankly, inspired my life. But I’m starting to think Carrie and I are two very, very different people.

And that’s not a bad thing.

I began to realize this the other night while out with some gorgeous, fabulous women in an area of Dallas known as ‘uptown’. This is a part of Dallas I rarely venture out into. It’s filled with posh night clubs and upscale bars and young 20-30 somethings completely glammed out. Their eyebrows are on fleek, their skin glows, their cheeks are contoured, their eyelashes … lush.

It’s not that I do not like these people. I applaud them for their ability to look like a walking Instagram filter. I’m kind of envious too. It’s just I don’t feel like I … belong. Ever. No matter how much makeup I slather on, no matter how sassy and cute my clothes or how high my heels, no matter how hard I’ve tried to fill in my brows (I still do NOT know how to do this well) .. I feel like a fraud. An imposter. Like a kid dressing up in way-too-mature-for-her clothes … and it’s all the wrong size and I look like I’m playing a part in a tragic play and I know none of my lines.

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The Dating Apocalypse: Or how dating in your 30s is a lot like the Walking Dead

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His face is haggard, his eyes tired, but he misses nothing. His body, though broken, is strong and poised to strike at a moment’s notice. He is sizing up this stranger to see whether or not he’s a threat.

“How many walkers have you killed?” “How many people have you killed?” “Why?”

If you’re familiar with The Walking Dead, you know that when Rick Grimes and his crew meet new people they might want to bring into their group they ask them these three questions. These questions are loaded and heavy and quickly cut to the heart of a persons character. And they MUST be answered before he’ll even consider bringing a new person into the fold. It was while watching him ask these questions on an episode recently that I had an a-ha moment.

Rick Grimes and I are basically the same person.  Yup.

His character is trying to survive the wasteland that is America after the zombie apocalypse happens.  I am trying to survive the wasteland that is the dating scene in Dallas in my mid-30’s.

IT IS BASICALLY THE SAME THING. Just kidding … but, no really … kinda the same. Let me tell you why.

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This is 35

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I drank way too much last night.

It started out with dinner with a good friend. We had wine and some incredible mediterranean food and got into some deep discussions. I love those. The kinds of discussions where it’s food for the soul and you leave feeling sated and full in spirit. I love the safe spaces friends can provide where your burdens become suddenly lighter because you’re carrying them together. I love emotional transparency and vulnerability. Gah. It really was beautiful. 

Then I ubered to meet two friends at another bar, more deep discussions (though I must say they started to get a little gibberish-y towards the end cause… vodka). Then ubered to karaoke, sang a song (killed it), then ubered to yet another bar for last call. I don’t even know how much alcohol I consumed. Wine, vodka, whiskey. Oof. 

This is 35. For me. 

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Chickens and Dancing: Thoughts on being single

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The greatest part of being single is the chicken. Hear me out.

When I was married (and then in subsequent relationships), I would often buy those yummy delicious rotisserie chickens from Kroger for dinner for us. They are quite literally one of my most favorite things in the world. The first time I bought one of those whole chickens as a single girl I legit rejoiced. BOTH drumsticks were mine. BOTH wings. All the best parts of the chicken. And I didn’t have to share it with ANYONE. I swear I could hear the trumpets sound.

As I sit here in the aftermath of yet another failed attempt at a thing (I mean, can we even call three months a relationship?), there are a lot of things I’m pondering. It’s easy to get caught up in the blame game. Usually this is the point when I start really beating myself up and obsessing over every little mistake and each anxious outburst, but that’s not helpful. The good news is that this time I have finally found a few resources that are helping me discern what actually happened as it relates to me. And it’s giving me tools for any future relationships. I have homework, I have some takeaways and for that I am truly grateful.

Yes, there is work to do. And yes, I am doing it. But for now … for now, I am single. And there are SO many things to rejoice about. For starters, the chicken. The WHOLE chicken.

As a woman who once broke it off with a guy who ate food off her plate (multiple times without asking AND while using his bare hands), I cannot stress the value of this enough.

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In Praise of Promiscuity (Part 1): The fuck-it list

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I was 21 before I learned to masturbate.

Up till then I hid my naked body from myself most of the time. I didn’t really even look at it when showering. 

Weird? Yes. But I was raised Southern Baptist and sexual sin was considered the greatest. Honestly, I think I was afraid of my body and what was ‘down there’. In addition, I’d taken the true love waits pledge and seriously believed I would wait to even KISS a guy until my wedding day.

My body scared me, boys scared me, all the sexual TERMS scared me. Blow job. Doggy style. Eating … I mean, what?? I had to often pretend like I knew what my friends were discussing, then run home and ask my mom which was even more embarrassing and terrifying. 

When I started to explore myself sexually, I had no clue what I was doing. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to figure ‘it’ out but from all the conversations I’d had with friends about it, it seemed like it was something I was gonna have to do eventually and I was pretty sick of being alone. I kind of felt like my V-card was becoming a burden. I thought if I figured out how to, you know, pleasure myself I’d have a higher chance of actually losing my virginity.

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Happy Anniversary to me

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It’s been a year. A whole year. Since my heart was broken for the very first time. 

It was the thing I was most petrified of my whole life. Surrendering your heart to someone and having them break it, hand it back to you and walk away. Rejection. To be quite honest, that was likely a major reason why it took me 8 years to work up the courage to leave my ex in the first place. Heartbreak was something I was petrified of, how could I possibly do that to him, even if breaking up was the best thing for both of us?

This time last year, I was 34 and heartbroken. And to make matters worse, I live in the neighborhood he works. Ugh. Needless to say, it became complicated and mired. Humiliating. People expect a woman at my age to know what to do in a situation like this, to have already gone through heartbreak and to have learned how to do it gracefully. I didn’t. I’d never had that experience. Not to say that I’d never experienced hurt or rejection – I had many times during the course of my 8 year relationship as well, little hurts and indifferences and small cruelties that sting and break your heart slowly. But this was different. This time I had truly ‘fallen’ in love. It got messy. I didn’t understand ’no contact’ and why that’s integral to moving on with some dignity. In some ways it was like I was 16 in my heart, having my high school sweetheart break up with me and it felt like I would never recover. 

I don’t know that I’m ready to talk about that relationship in great detail just yet. But I’m gonna try to unpack it, at least a little bit, because it’s the anniversary of us ending and that actually seems like something to celebrate. You see, he was an unavailable man. I warned you, I have done some very cringe-worthy shit. This is one of those things. I was the other woman. 

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Dating with Anxiety (Part 2): Or how I’m learning to give myself a break

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Last time I talked about some painful things. My anxiety and how that has really become a burden while dating and embarking on a new relationship.

One of the biggest things I’m learning is how to have compassion for myself. And to see things in a clearer perspective (vs the nagging negative voice that has repeatedly told me I’m too much of a burden for anyone, I’ll never be able to have the life or love I truly desire, etc etc). 

Four years ago I walked away from a safe space. A marriage and a home with a man who I might not have been in love with, but someone who I did care for, who cared for me (well, most of the time) and who was my partner. I shared everything with this man – my ups and downs, good and bad.  It might’ve been unhealthy, unkind, even indifferent but it was certain. I, a person with very intense anxiety, walked away from a very certain and stable future. Did I mention I walked away from a HOME? We had this beautiful home we remodeled. It had a yard. And vaulted ceilings. Sigh. I had safety and security but emotionally we were totally empty.

Walking away from the stability was GD scary. There were moments I was worried I had a brain tumor. My whole self, my entire identity (to a degree), was shifting. I was … becoming me. It was a rebirth in a sense. I knew it had to be done and yet there was a vast amount of time spent going WTF is wrong with me.

Continue reading “Dating with Anxiety (Part 2): Or how I’m learning to give myself a break”