Flying Solo (Part 2): Facing fears in Bali

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I felt like I was in a movie.

I was racing with my taxi driver, Wyan, to see the sunset at the Uluwatu Temple. This temple is built at the edge of a 70 meter high cliff jutting into the sea and the views of the sunset were said to be spectacular. Not to be missed.

This was the third day of my solo trip to Bali and I most definitely did NOT want to miss this view, nor did I want to spend another day fighting traffic to try and reach the temple a second time. We were stuck in a massive traffic jam up a windy two lane road. We weren’t going to make it by car, that much was becoming clear … so we made a split second decision. A guy on a motorbike passed us (he was the motorbike equivalent of a taxi), we flagged him down, I hopped out of my taxi and onto the back of the bike, put on my helmet and he raced me to the temple, weaving in and out of cars with mere inches to spare.

He was a pro. I had nothing to worry about and yet I clung to him like a spider monkey. In short, I was TERRIFIED.

The motorbikes were the fastest way to travel in Bali as the roads are narrow and windy and there are very few street lights or stop signs … which mean traffic jams galore. A motorbike allows you the freedom to get around an major blockages quickly, but I was too afraid to drive one and had been (up till then) too afraid to hop on the back of one.

But I wasn’t gonna miss the temple. And now we were racing up up up up the cliff and the sun was just starting to set. It was absurdly breathtaking even on the back of his bike. I had a moment. Another one of those beautiful moments of supreme gratitude. And supreme pride. And supreme wonder.

I made it.

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Cliffs at Uluwatu Temple

 

And I did make it. Not just to the top of the cliff to watch the gorgeous sunset but also to this glorious time in my life where I was taking risks and saying yes and living the adventurous life I’d always wanted, but never believed I was capable of.

Continue reading “Flying Solo (Part 2): Facing fears in Bali”

Mobs, Magic and Bruno Mars

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I really really really reeeeeaaaalllly want to be in a flash mob.

This revelation came to me the other day while I was at the gym and the Bruno Mars song “Marry You” came on. I hadn’t heard it in a really long time. (Awkward fact: one of the last times I heard it was the night of my surprise bachelorette party.)

That song … well, it’s cheesy but there’s something glittery and giddy and hopelessly romantic about it. It’s about being in the moment. And trusting your gut and heart while simultaneously rebelling against traditional wisdom. It seems magical and wonderful and beautiful to me.

After I heard that song in the gym, I couldn’t get it out of my head. So later I went and tried to look up the music video. I came across one that claimed to be the ‘official music video’ though that seems doubtful. However, in it, there’s a flash mob that performs in the middle of what looks to be a crowded square. At the end of the song/dance one of the dancers proposes to his girlfriend and swoon. How incredibly, dramatically, stupidly romantic.

It was while watching the video and listening to that song that I had a sobering moment. For some reason, I couldn’t feel all the giddy feelings that song used to elicit. I heard the words, even sang them and they made me feel happy on a surface level, but deep down I couldn’t believe them.

I couldn’t swallow the romance. The hope, the fairytale belief … it was gone.

I felt like warning the girl (both the real one in the video and the figurative one the song is written for), ‘hey, it’s likely it’s not going to work out so DON’T go all in’. And it made me sad. Where has my belief gone? Where has my hopelessly romantic heart hidden itself?

I’ve never wanted to be the wounded, guarded girl who is too bruised to believe in fairytales. And it hurt me to realize that somewhere in these last four years and all the heartache it contained, I have become this woman.

Or … have I?

Continue reading “Mobs, Magic and Bruno Mars”

The year of the B

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2017 was a total bitch.

(And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.)

For me, this year was particularly brutal. And littered with other B words as well. Breakups. Bar bannings. Bed-Bugs. Black eyes. Bail bonds.

Like I said …. brutal.

I follow numerology (lightly) and 2017 was a 9 year for me.  It’s the final year of a 9 year cycle and it’s theme is about endings and closings and ridding yourself of anything that might hinder the next 9 year cycle.  It can be easy, if you’re willing to let things go and accept the lessons you’ve been given over the past 9 years.

Or it can be difficult, if you’re like me and stubborn AF.

I stupidly chose the latter, refusing to let go and fighting these lessons and this year with a vengeance. And the 9 year fought back. Hard.

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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.

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

Thoughts on being brave (and my new love for Tracee Ellis Ross)

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My life is mine. Woah.

I heard these words recently when listening to Tracee Ellis Ross’ speech for Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit.  In that speech she discusses how being an incredibly successful woman in her mid-40s seems to be forever overshadowed by the fact that she is still single and childless. 

“Oh, you just haven’t found the right guy yet.” 

“What are you going to DO?” 

“Oh, you poor thing… WHY is someone like you still single?,” 

people ask her (and all single women), thinking it’s a compliment. When in fact it often undermines our entire existence. As if being single and manless/childless is our burden and our one defining factor.

Tracee went on to describe how during a particular season in her life, after breaking up with a guy she loved to date other people, she was journaling about this. About what I’m sure felt like guilt over wanting to date other people and not being in a relationship with a man she still loved (just (I’m assuming) not in the right way). She wrote down the words ‘My life is mine.’ And it stopped her in her tracks.

It stopped me in my tracks the other day while listening to that speech. My life is MINE.

What does that even mean? What does that look like when I really embrace it?

Continue reading “Thoughts on being brave (and my new love for Tracee Ellis Ross)”

Flying Solo (Part 1): Bali, bedbugs and break-ups

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If it weren’t for the bedbugs, I would’ve never gone to Bali.

I thought about that as I stood in the immigration line after a grueling, fairly inebriated 33 hour flight. I was tired but I had made it and I had a ‘holy shit’ moment. Me? I’m here? How did I get here? How did this small town girl wind up solo in Bali? 

Well, it all started with a song and a book (of course). 

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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.

Continue reading “Chickens and Dancing: Thoughts on being single”