Even Us Cynics Still Believe In Love.

These flowers weren't from a guy. They were a complimentary gift from my apartment complex. But, we can always pretend.

These flowers weren’t from a guy. They were a complimentary gift from my apartment complex. But, we can always pretend.

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 29: “The last emotion you felt before writing this”

There’s a vendor at my job who sells flowers every Thursday evening in the lobby. I usually smile at him and wish him a good night before continuing on my way to freedom. Today, I noticed there was a guy picking up flowers. I didn’t think anyone actually bought them.

I conjured up a narrative about the flower purchaser, telling myself that he brings his wife flowers every Thursday night. She doesn’t know about the flower guy in the lobby and he never needs to tell her. All she knows is that he comes home on Thursdays with a fresh bouquet. This story could and very well may be total bullshit. But, I like to make things up.

It is said that human beings experience about 27 different emotions within an hour, so it is hard to pinpoint the very last emotion I felt before writing this. However, the last prominent emotion I felt before sitting down to write tonight was hopeful. I credit flower purchaser and my potentially fictitious story with that hope.

I devote a sizeable amount of my blog real estate to documenting my missteps in love, lust and like. I have learned that a broken heart, bitter memories and unfinished business all make for colorful content on a page. The things I have scribed that I’ve most enjoyed re-reading are those written therapy sessions. It is as though the English language provided us with many more words and metaphors to describe hurt than it did to describe happiness.

But, because my posts are skewed in that direction of jaded woman, it is easy to hide that I still very much believe in romance and love. We are bombarded with tales of infidelity and broken relationships so much that it is natural to forget that good things and good people still exist.

Yesterday I read a list on Huff Post Women entitled, “25 Things I Want Myself To Know At 25.” I’m a bit of a list fiend and this one was laced with gems. One of my favorite items was:

6. Be grateful for that moment when you decided to stop being such a sarcastic asshole and let your guard down long enough to fall in love and let someone fall in love with you…

I am certainly that sarcastic asshole. I possess a host of characteristics, but vulnerability is one that I had to gradually attain. I realized being that girl who “never cries” or is “strictly business” was a false and stifling way to move through life. Yes, the sarcastic asshole makes all the jokes and drops some witty lines, but no one can ever break through the concrete of that person. Now, I am far from being an emotional brick wall. I talk a good game, but when I fall, I fall hard. I love hard. I give everything. And, I still believe that one day, there will be someone authentic and worthy on the receiving end of that hard love.



Quit Waiting For Happiness To Fall Into Your Lap.

Tyece Wilkins 2

See? Happy.

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 28: “A time when you were happy”

Last night, I hit a palpable dating slump. These dips happen on occasion, unexpectedly, as I’m going about my life just fine when I realize that there’s still something missing. And, not only do I realize it, but I also harp on it. Zero in on it. Scrutinize and question the gap. I don’t know what incited yesterday’s pit; it wasn’t anything memorable. But, it happened.

I screamed to the ceiling three consecutive times. I poured a glass of wine, texted my best friend that “I hate dating and I quit” and went on a bit of a Twitter rant about how I don’t have the stamina to date (which is part truth.) I felt like a piece of shit–a single piece of shit, that is.

I decided to sift through my small CD collection until I found Joss Stone’s 2007 album “Introducing Joss Stone.” I listened to it uninterrupted for the next hour, the music serving as both an intoxicant and mild confidence boost.

And, then, I was happy.

I read a quote yesterday that said, “It was like she could only enjoy things in anticipation or as memories.” I find myself guilty of this life modus operandi many times. It’s as though happiness always eludes us because we’re either anticipating it or reflecting on it. But, we rarely let ourselves sink into the pillow of a good moment. Then, it’s gone and we are bliss fiends waiting for the next best thing.

We mistaken happiness for these monumental life moments. We’re always waiting for the right person. The better job. Our big birthday. We’re always leaving our own happiness up to external circumstances, a dependence that is the shortest route to disappointment. Because, there are people who found the right person. There are people who got the better job. There are people who celebrated that big birthday. And, you know what? Some of those people are still unhappy souls with their own set of issues.

All of these small yet beautiful moments are sweeping right past our anticipatory eyes. Waiting for happiness doesn’t make us any happier. It actually makes us quite miserable.

I unplugged and put on Joss Stone last night because I was tired of feeling shitty after all of ten minutes so I was determined to crawl my way to a better mental space. To a certain extent, I can’t control my dating life or meeting the right person, so why expel my end-of-the-day energy into getting all worked up about it?

Happiness isn’t something that is bestowed upon you. It isn’t this sparkly dust that falls on your pretty little head. Happiness isn’t something that happens by default or as a result of specific experiences. Happiness is something you have to fight for every single damn day. Some days you’ll win that battle and some days you won’t, but you still have to fight it. Happiness is something you have to trick yourself into. It’s a feeling that you have to take complete ownership of, lest you spend your life as some debilitated damsel in distress waiting to be loved.




Posted in 30 day writing challenge, ladies, love, single ladies | Tagged emotions, happiness, happy, | 1 Reply

Don’t Give Fate Too Much Credit.

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 27: “What’s your superstition?”

I was hell bent on foregoing today’s writing challenge topic at first, certain that after 26 days of writing, I couldn’t come up with anything compelling to say about superstitions. I announced this in a tweet and my friend sent me a definition.

Superstition: A notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

Ahh, yes. I can work with that.

Last night, I watched Part 3 of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion where Vicki Gunvalson defended her relationship with a guy Brooks whom her daughter Briana absolutely hates. Briana recalled a host of disparaging remarks Brooks had made both to her and about her as he clumsily tried to deny them. It was the exact recipe that makes for entertaining reality television. But, at the end of the segment when Vicki broke down into heavy sobs saying, “I just want my family back,” it became apparent that this wasn’t good TV. It was people’s lives being toyed with and it was no longer fun to watch. Vicki maintained the notion that Brooks was both a good man and her soulmate despite the raging forest fire encircling her.

I have experienced my fair share of assuredness about men who were entirely wrong for me. And, typically, I knew they were wrong for me, whether it was their outright declarations of being madly in love with someone else or the outcry of people around me advising me to run in the other direction. I usually never listened, opting instead to believe in some crummy justification for why this person was meant for me. And, usually, I got beat over the head with reality in the end.

Each of us has had convictions about people, especially lovers, that have proven to be totally bogus. When we are laser-focused on extracting love and admiration from one person, it becomes easy to zone out, go deaf and ignore the sirens and flashing red lights around us.

Yes, to borrow one of the most popular clichés of all time, sometimes what is meant to be will be. But, I don’t think a trite expression should be used to excuse being blind to the signs or, worse, ignoring them even after you see them. It’s easy to live your life with your head in the clouds and a lot harder to bring that cranium back down to Earth and acknowledge what’s going on around you. It’s easy but also pretty daft to maintain bullshit notions despite all evidence to the contrary.





“Either Be In My Life Completely Or Not At All…”

You’ll want to respond, “Either be in my life completely or not at all because it’s too painful to have you in the in-between.” Ryan O’Connell, “Things I Wish People Told Me When I Entered My Twenties

31 Day Writing Challenge Day 19: “Your most played song on iTunes and what it says about you”

I only have 99 songs on my iPod. I abandoned iTunes a few months back in exchange for primarily listening to Pandora (and YouTube when there is a specific song I’d really like to hear.) When J. Cole’s “Born Sinner” dropped back in June, I took to YouTube to hear the album. There are three songs on the album that I’ve played non-stop for the bulk of summer, one of them being “.”

On some Bobby Brown shit my prerogative… is to hit and never commit
Now realizing when I hit she never forgets
So every time I ignore the telephone call
Saying I’ll hit her back knowing I’m never gon’ call
She was hurting, now she staring dead in my face, she was smirking…

I’ve been a J. Cole fan ever since someone included a link to “” on my Tumblr feed a few years back. In a hip hop world where I am too ordinary to connect to rocking “” and not in enough of an altered state to understand or appreciate Kanye’s “,” J. Cole is my perfect medium. The occasional misogynistic lyrics aside, J. Cole encapsulates what it is be utterly confused, impulsive and sometimes regretful about your decisions with the opposite sex. In short, he gets twenty-something dating.

The italicized lyrics above that I have played countless times now reminded me of the introductory Thought Catalog quote I included. The “she” that J. Cole refer to in those last few lines of “Land Of The Snakes” has been me a multitude of times. It’s probably been me and every other woman on the face of the planet at one point or another. I’ve been yanked around enough in romance to know that I now require people to be in my life either completely or not at all.

When someone has only one foot in your life, their partial residence is more agonizing than their absence. Sure, at first you believe you are saving yourself the eternal sting of their vacancy, so you comply with the scant texts, the “let me hit you up” later and the invitations you initiate that they never seem to fully accept or outright deny. They are a master of diplomacy, saying things that do not blatantly make them an asshole but also not saying things that would undoubtedly persuade you of their feelings. Every text becomes a game, every conversation becomes a ball of nerves, every night ends in you sitting up in bed picking apart their sentences until you are down to their syllables.

You convince yourself that this person is good; you collect all of the wrong they have thoughtlessly hurled your way and suppress it with the little they have done right. You know the ratio of right to wrong is shamefully unbalanced, but you ignore the laws of mathematics in favor of the laws of attraction.

You become the eternal optimist, holding on to shreds of hope that this person will wake up and notice you. See you. Love you. Meet you in the middle of the road where you have been standing both alone and freezing cold for some time now. Weeks and months and maybe years have passed. You tried to convince yourself their partial residence was better than their vacancy. Yet, you’ve sold them the estate of your heart. You’ve fought for permanent residency in their life and all you got in return was an I.O.U.

At least if they are completely gone, you can sprawl out in the empty space, scream to the forsaken air, tie yourself back together in the abandoned residence. But, if they are halfway there, you will tip toe around them, you will painstakingly wait for them to make a decision, you will relinquish the rest of your life waiting.

So, either be in my life completely or not at all.





Lessons In Adulthood: Learning Your Limits In Love (And Alcohol)

My cabernet days back in 2011. Had to switch to white. Red brings out too many emotions.

My cabernet days back in 2011. Had to switch to white. Red brings out too many emotions.

30 Day Writing Challenge Day 2: “A time when you were too drunk, but now you remember…”

I woke up this morning with all of the fans in my apartment on, yet it was still hot as hell. I didn’t know why I was in Dante’s Inferno until I checked the thermostat and realized the heat was on, not the AC. Apparently in my post-writing Chardonnay stupor the night prior, I had plucked the switch up instead of down.

Writers drink. For me, a glass of wine next to me while I scribe is usually just as useful as my laptop or some Pandora station as the soundtrack to my posts. They are all a part of my arsenal, equipping me to write 500-700 words day after day. Sure, a glass of wine isn’t completely necessary–I don’t want anyone deeming me a functioning alcoholic here–but it is quite nice, indeed.

That being said, today’s topic was a bit difficult for me because there hasn’t ever been a time that I was too drunk that I could only recall that moment later. (If you’d like to throw the label “Goody Two Shoes” or “Control Freak” my way, now would be the apropos time.) That isn’t to say I’ve never been drunk. I’m human. I have red blood running through my veins. Duh. But, I haven’t ever blacked out.

I learned my limits with liquor on my best friend’s 21st birthday. Yes, my best friend’s 21st, not even my own which occurred a month prior to hers. The shame and irony in this fact is not lost on me. That night I learned that I am the most feathery of lightweights and I have been cognizant of my limits ever since. Of course, I’ve still tested them, not as much with deliberate intent to wake up the next morning hating my life, but more so in moments of blind bliss, gladly accepting that second or third drink because YOLO.

I am not going to draw some convoluted analogy between limits in alcohol and love because that’s trite and probably exists in a rom-com monologue somewhere out there. But, knowing your limits, whether it be in relationships, alcohol, workload, or the host of other weights you carry is the mark of growing up. Knowing if your tolerance for bullshit is super high or super low (hopefully it’s the former), is a compass that will forever help guide you through human interaction.

The only catch is that just like the night of my best friend’s 21st birthday, we don’t usually know our limits until we’ve tested them beyond their capacity. We only know our rules after we’ve broken them and are still sporting the battle wounds to prove it. Knowing your limits means you probably have an archive of stories about messy break-ups and miserable hangovers. And, you need those stories. You want those stories. Because without them, you never reach the point where you become a self-respecting adult who knows when, where, why and how to draw the proverbial line in the sand.