All the Things I’ve Wanted to Tell You These Past Three Years

Everyday at least one thing occurs that I would have wanted to tell you about. It could be something that happened with me or something that I saw. More often than not it’s something funny Daniel or Lucas did that I know you’d love.

Speaking of Daniel and Lucas, you would love them so much. You’d get a kick out of all the boys. I feel bad for them because they’re going to grow up without you. I always tell Christopher how lucky he is that he got to spend the first six years of his life with you.

He misses you a lot. We all do.

A lot has happened the three years since you’ve been gone. I hope you’re proud of me. I always think about that letter you left me where you encouraged me to always follow my dreams. I haven’t followed all those dreams yet but I’m working on it.

All the things I’ve accomplished the past year were a little bittersweet. Things aren’t the same if I can’t share them with you.

You were my person. The one I always wanted to tell everything.

I’m sorry I don’t talk to you as much I want to. I want to believe that someway you can hear me but it’s not easy. But I hope with all my heart that you can. I hope that you’re still out there somewhere and that you’re happy.

I hope you look down on the family you had to leave with pride. Sorry that we’re not quite as close as we were when you were alive. But we’re trying.

I’m sorry that sometimes an entire day goes by that I don’t think about you. But you’re always in my heart.

And sorry that I’m apologizing so much. I know you’d hate that and tell me to stop being ridiculous.

I just have so many things that I’d love to say to you if I were given one more chance to see you. But the most important thing I want to tell you is that I miss you. All the time. I miss your face. I miss your laugh. I miss your smile. I miss your cooking. I miss watching TV with you. I miss playing cards. I miss our trips to the supermarket. I miss venting to you. I miss your advice.

I miss you.

It’s the Little Things in Life

Last year, 2015, was one of the most difficult and stressful years of my life.

I had to move in with my dad and share a room with my younger sister. I was working a part-time job that required about 3 hours of travel a day to get to and from. This job barely paid me enough to afford the dollar menu at McDonald’s. And I was also finishing up grad school which included writing a 60-page thesis.

It was really hard for me to focus on anything other than the bad times. I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I felt like I was unhappy and stressed out all the time. If someone had asked me about some of the good times from 2015, it would be really hard for me to think of a single instance.

But there were good times. There were a lot of good times.

New Year’s Day of 2015, the first day of my incredibly shitty year, my sisters and I created a happiness jar. We decorated a mason jar. The mason jar would hold all my happiest memories for the year. Any moment or event of 2015 that made us exceptionally happy would be written about on a piece of paper and then placed in the jar. The idea was to read all the happy memories on New Year’s Day of 2016 to remind ourselves of all the good times throughout the year.

Before opening that jar on January 1st, 2016, if anyone had asked me how my 2015 was, I would have responded quickly with, “It was really stressful and not so great.”

However, all those memories I placed in my happiness jar throughout the year told a different story. They didn’t focus on the late nights spent writing papers or the depressed early mornings spent riding on a train to a job that paid next to nothing.

The jar was a nice reminder that 2015 wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined. I had a lot of great moments in 2015. From my trip to California to random lunches with my sister to celebrating my nephew’s birthday, numerous things brought me incredible joy during the year. I was so busy between jobs and schoolwork that I didn’t have time to think about all the little moments that made life great.

And that’s how life always is. It’s the big moments, whether good or bad, that get all the credit. Getting married, births, deaths, graduations, lay offs, new jobs, etc. These BIG moments are the ones that get all the focus.

However, it’s all the little moments in between that make the big moments so significant.

People often describe their wedding day as one of the greatest days of their lives. And while that might be true, there were so many wonderful random days or moments that let up to that one big day. The first date. First kiss. First time you realized you were in love. The day he came over with soup and your favorite movie cause you were sick.

All those little moments that you don’t give much thought to are what really make life worthwhile. The moments that are easily forgotten when life becomes too busy (AKA when life is life).

When the majority of life is spent waking up, getting ready for work, going to work, coming home, and then getting ready to do it all over again the next day, it’s only natural that the big moments are the ones that stand out. The nights you spent staying up much later than you should have with your favorite people can easily be forgotten. But those moments are the real ones to cherish.

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner (Don’t make a face. It’s already the end of September. 2017 is going to be here before we know it), I challenge you to start your own happiness jar. Or shoebox. Or kitchen drawer. Wherever you want to store those memories. Just do it!

It’ll be a nice reminder of the moments that truly matter. And also remind you that life is a lot more amazing than we give it credit.

The Other Shoe Is Always Going to Drop

My favorite line when I start dating someone new is, “I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Those first few weeks/months of dating someone, things are as close to perfect as they’ll ever be. You’re both on your best behavior and trying really hard to impress one another. The guy never cancels, always texts on time. The girl always has her makeup and hair done, never complains. Everyone is trying to be the most perfect version of themselves.

I spend a new relationship just waiting to see when this blissful period will end. Because it always does. It tends to end in the most horrifically dramatic way possible. The guy doesn’t just stop canceling, he stops making plans altogether. He stops texting right away and instead takes 3-5 business days to respond with an “lol” or an “ok.”

This is never fun and it’s the reason why I always enter a new relationship with skepticism. I know the other shoe is going to drop. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when.

However, there is something that I need to realize: the other shoe is always going to drop and that’s OK. What matters is how it drops. If it drops but I’m able to pick it up, slip it back on, and keep on walking, that’s alright. It’s when the shoe drops and breaks so badly that it’s cheaper to just buy a new pair than take them to get fixed, that I need to worry about it.

The other shoe is always going to drop. That new period in a relationship I just spoke about – the one where everyone is on their best behavior – is nice but it’s not sustainable. Perfect bliss in a relationship isn’t real.

Relationships are messy and complicated because people are messy and complicated.

You shouldn’t want that perfect bliss to last forever because then you’re never really seeing the person you’re dating for who they truly are.

Now this isn’t to say that a person should do a complete 180 when you’ve been dating a few months and stop trying. But this is saying that a person shouldn’t be afraid to show different parts of themselves, even the not so great ones.

I’ve come to realize that I look forward to the other shoe dropping. Show me what makes you YOU. I want the authentic version. Not the version who is on his best behavior because he’s trying to impress me.

What makes you sad? What makes you angry? What are some of your annoying little habits that you kept in check our first few dates?

I am not looking for the perfect version of you. I’m looking for the real version of you.

This is exactly why not only do I realize that the other shoe is always going to drop but I look forward to it.

Twenty Thoughts I Have While Driving to and from Work

For most of my working life, I took public transportation. It wasn’t until very recently that I was able to drive to and from work. Overall, I love it. I like being in control. Not having to wait for a bus or train anymore is fantastic. And it’s wonderful to not deal with the eccentrics on public transportation. Eccentrics is putting it nicely. There are some absolute crazies on the trains in NYC.

I like driving to work. It gives me time to think and listen to music. But it does come with its own set of drawbacks. I ask myself regularly how some people managed to get their license.

Driving to and from work for the past six months has been quite the adventure so far. Here are some very real things I have said out loud or in my head while driving. (Full warning: A lot of it is just me bitching at other drivers.)

  1. Why does the radio in the morning suck so much? I don’t care what you have to say. Shut up and play some music.
  2. I take it back. Talk radio is the best. Time for my favorite segment of all time, Blown Off.*
  3. What is this guy doing? Learn how to drive douchecake.
  4. (Anytime someone cuts me off.) Ooohh, aren’t you just sooo cool?
  5. (Singing.) Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work..I have no idea what she is singing…Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work.
  6. Oh another Justin Bieber song on the radio. What a surprise!
  7. Learn how to drive douchecake!
  8. Ugh Demi Lovato. Talk radio come back if this is the shitty music you’re going to play.
  9. Oh shit, is that a cop?
  10. Ah it is! How fast was I going?
  11. Act natural. Act natural. Act natural.
  12. OK thank goodness, the cops are gone.
  13. Dude, the cops are gone. No need to drive 40 miles on the highway.
  14. What is with this traffic and why does it just come out of nowhere?
  15. OK, and now the traffic is gone and we’re back to normal. I fully blame shitty drivers for the random spurts of traffic.
  16. Learn how to drive douchecake!
  17. OMG NO! The 1-877-Kars4Kidz commercial. I need to change this shit right now or I’ll have this song stuck in my head for the next month.
  18. Oh yea! *Nsync! Time to have a dance party in my car.
  19. There better be parking right by my job. It’s a million degrees outside and I don’t wanna walk far.
  20. Learn how to drive douchecake!

So there you have it. My driving consists of a lot of nonsensical rambling and constantly bitching about drivers with the occasional singing thrown in the mix.

*Blown Off is where they find out what went wrong on a first date. So let’s say a guy totally ghosted on a girl and she doesn’t know why cause her impression of the first date was amazing. They’ll call the guy and ask what went wrong. It’s always fascinating to hear some of the things that have turned a person off during a date. I highly recommend you check it out.

What’s Been Happening the Past Two Months

So I haven’t kept up with my blogging. Shocking, I know! I am going to give credit to my girl Wendi over at This, That and the Other Thang for inspiring me to finally get back on the blogging track. (By the way, do yourself a favor and go follow her. She’s the best.)

This summer has been crazy busy for me. I can’t remember the last day where I had absolutely nothing planned and don’t know when my next free day will be. But I’m definitely not complaining. This summer has been insanely fun even when the heat’s become unbearable. (If we could stop with the 90 degree weather, that’d be great!)

Even though I’ve been really busy I want to stop neglecting this blog. But first I’d like to play some catch up with all the things that have been going on with me lately and all the ridiculous thoughts I’ve had.

Nothing made me realize just how old I am more than my most recent trip to Miami. I went to Miami for a bachelorette party two weeks ago. It was so much fun. I drank some awesome drinks, ate delicious food, and lounged by the beach/pool all day. All in all it was a fantastic vacation but oh boy did it take a lot out of me! Partying for three nights straight was more than my 30-year-old self could handle. I’m pretty sure I got all my partying out for the rest of 2016.

Miami

I climbed an actual mountain last month. Mount Tammany on the Delaware Water Gap to be exact. It was tiring and there were a few times while climbing up that I thought I was going to die but ultimately it was so worth it. The view was amazing and when we got back to the bottom there was a river where we could go swimming. While I despise exercising normally, I definitely think that climbing mountains could be my thing. mount tammanyIf you don’t walk away from the new Ghostbusters a little in love with Kate McKinnon, I question whether you’re really human or not. Seriously though, go see the new Ghostbusters movie. The trailer doesn’t do it justice at all. It was highly entertaining and Kate McKinnon is AMAZING!!

I hate all of my family and friends on FB. If you think I may be referring to you, then I am definitely referring to you. Just SHUT UP! You are all idiots and absolutely no one cares about your political views. Also, let me introduce you to the site snopes.com. Let it become your new best friend.

Speaking of political rants, this entire election just leaves me sad and angry. I don’t want to get into it too much cause I don’t want to be like my dumb FB friends I was talking about before, but this election is just depressing. I genuinely fear for the country I live in.

And that’s what you missed. Well there’s definitely some other stuff going on but I’ll save those things for their own posts. For now I’m just happy to be back and can’t wait to start blogging again.

 

The Makings of a Great First Date

For all my complaining about dating (and there is a lot to complain about), even I can admit that first dates can be pretty magical sometimes. I’ll admit that they all start off with insane anxiety. “What do I wear? What if he doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like him?” And there is a ton of reluctance. “I so don’t want to be doing this right now. Sitting on my couch watching Netflix sounds a million times more enticing than meeting some dude. I hope this goes by quickly.”

Unfortunately, nine out of ten times these feelings stay throughout the whole date. I have spent more first dates than I care to admit counting down the minutes until it’s not rude for me to leave. This dude wants to get another drink and I just want to take my bra off and finish season 1 of iZombie.

Now not to get all Nicholas Sparks on everyone but once in a blue moon, magic happens. It’s a terrifying and exciting thought that one day you will go on a first date that will be your last first date forever. You don’t know when this will happen and it will usually take months, even years before you realize that perfect first date was your last. But that’s a pretty amazing thought. You meet someone on a random Tuesday night for beers, when you didn’t even want to go, and they could potentially become one of the most important people in your life. That makes first dates pretty friggen amazing to me. (I am the ultimate romantic cynic if you haven’t noticed.)

And even if that person doesn’t turn out to be your number one forever, it doesn’t make the first date any less magical. The majority of first dates blow and do not lead to second dates so when you come across a first date that you don’t want to end, it’s something to celebrate.

From someone who has gone on her fair share of bad first dates, mixed with a few magical first dates, here are the ingredients needed for a stellar first encounter.

Enthusiasm is a Must – Now I know I said that I start off most first dates wishing I was on my couch watching TV. This is still true. It’s hard to muster up excitement about meeting a stranger who will most likely remain a stranger, but you have to have a little bit of excitement. If you’re absolutely miserable then it’s going to show. Let yourself get a little excited about the human being you’ll be meeting. If he turns out to be a complete bust, then by all means go back to being excited about Netflix.

Location Does Not Matter – You do not need some elaborate production when going on a first date. One of the best first dates I ever went on was sitting at the bar in a brightly lit Mexican restaurant nursing one beer. What made that date so memorable? It definitely wasn’t the locale. It was the three hours that flew by talking about everything and anything with my date.

Conversation – I am currently not on any online dating sites but when I was, OK Cupid was my app of choice. OKC had these series of questions that determined your compatibly with a user. One of the questions asked what was worse: having nothing to talk about or having no physical attraction on a first date? It always boggled my mind when guys would respond with no physical attraction. I’d rather get a root canal than go on a date with someone who I have absolutely nothing to talk about. (OK maybe not a root canal cause that was one of the worst experiences of my life but I just wanted you guys to fully grasp how much I HATE boring first dates.)

Physical Attraction – Now with a magical first date, you don’t have to have that OKC Sophie’s choice. You have great conversation AND physical attraction. Because as much as we like to say “looks don’t matter” and “it’s what’s inside that counts,” when it comes to dating, we all have to be a little shallow at times. It’s almost impossible to pursue a relationship with someone you don’t find attractive. Eventually you’ll have to do it sober and/or with the lights on.

Contact That Night – Before I get started, I have to ask: Do people still go by that three day rule? I can’t imagine. If I went on a date with a guy and three days went by without me hearing from him, I’d assume he’s either dead or not interested. Now when I go on a first date more than likely I am driving to wherever we are meeting up. I am not sure if you’re a serial killer so there’s no way I’m getting in your car. This means that when the date ends we’ll be going our separate ways to get home. This also means that “Did you get home OK?” text should be sent. People who text to make sure you got home OK are my favorite type of people and I will instantly like you 10 times more.

Excitement for What’s to Come – The truly best thing about a great first date is the possibilities it presents. Will these feelings still be there on the second date? What will it be like if and when we kiss? Where is this going to go? The beginning of a new relationship is such an exciting time and it all starts with a really great first date.

Things That Do Not Matter

It doesn’t matter how much alcohol a person consumed.

It doesn’t matter how revealing a person’s clothes were.

It doesn’t matter what time of day it was.

It doesn’t matter what the person’s sexual past is.

It doesn’t matter how athletic a person is or how bright their future could have been.

It doesn’t matter if both parties have had sex with one another in the past.

It doesn’t matter if both parties are currently in a relationship or were in the past.

It doesn’t matter if a person was alone.

It doesn’t matter if drugs were involved.

It doesn’t matter how nice and sweet a person has been to members of the opposite sex in the past.

Things That Do Matter

If a person has sex with someone else without consent.

*If you’re still feeling like some of those things I mentioned do matter, then I suggest you read this letter.