Friday, December 20, 2013

Failure, Rejection and Confrontation

I have been a bad bad blogger lately.  And yet, I have a bunch to say.  Lately, I just haven't felt like saying anything.  Some of it is being in a new place and some of it is that I am planning a wedding and some of it is that I am sitting around a bunch, too much.  I find that I am VERY lazy and unproductive when I give myself too much unorganized time.  When I have tons of downtime, after a while, I feel some old and familiar signs of depression sneaking up on me.  Lately, I have been blah.  Busy doing things that don't really matter, but not busy working.  I miss working.

A few days ago, I applied for a job that I REALLY WANT.  The first one that I am perfectly qualified for at a place that I would be super proud to work for. I feel this tidal wave of anxiety and doubt.  I haven't felt this want in so long.  It's the same kind of want that I used to feel when I was single and praying for a partner.

In the last few years, I have become very familiar with 2 things that I have always feared: failure and rejection.

Yes, running your own business, there is a TON of it.  Mix in a failed relationship, countless dead-end dates and living with your parents while you celebrated your 31st and 32nd birthday.  Well, I could have made a failure and rejection sundae.

But, the things that I feared the most, aren't that big of a deal.  Some people don't like me?  That's okay, I typically don't like them more right back.  I tried a new approach and it wasn't the best way to get something done?  Well, I tried something new.  And let's not even mention all of the MASSIVE business mistakes that I made time and time again?  The good news here is that I learned.  I tried and failed and I eventually made a conscious decision that I needed to change.  And when I go back to being an independent business owner again, I will be SO MUCH BETTER and WISER.  And more successful.

I may get this job.  I may not.  Life will go on and I will eventually find something that suits me.  It will all be okay.  I know this.

As then there was confrontation.  I get the chills just typing that word.  There is nothing that makes me feel worse than a fight.  I hate when people are mad at me.  I even hate when people I hate are mad at me.  I even hate when people I hate who are stupid idiots are mad at me, even when I know that they are stupid idiots.  OY.  Exhausting.

Recently, I have learned that confrontation and I are not friends because I conditioned myself to be an enabler.  I enable bad behavior, rude treatment and pure insanity to avoid altercations.  I spent years lying and over-promising to get out of necessary conversations and conflict, "You aren't treating me right...", "I feel what you are doing is unethical", "Why are you going behind my back when I can help you."  I would have rather kept silent than be on any one's radar.  This is not a good way to live life as an active participant.

Since I have moved, I have been working on this.  If I can't do something for someone, I don't.  If someone is trying to take their bad day out on me for something that isn't my fault, I ask them.  If I make a mistake, I admit it and own it and find a solution rather than running away like I used to.

Confrontation isn't such a bad thing.  I mean, without it, my favorite channel in the world, Bravo, would never exist.  Their entire program lineup is just confrontation videotaped in different cites....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Breakups SUCK! A Post Dedicated to a Friend I Love

A friend I love and care for deeply is going through a little something....a breakup.


I told her this.  Time* is the only way to soothe the breakup scorn.  I wish there was a better answer for this and we could play a fun 80's song and have a fashion spree/makeover montage and make it all go away in 3 minutes.

* Even 2 YEARS post breakup and I am engaged to my soul mate for heaven's sake, I STILL get angry about the shit that went down with Awful from time to time and cyber stalk him and balk and huff around.  I BROKE UP WITH HIM, let's not forget which only adds to my crazy.  AND......I think he may have acquired a bulldog which ANNOYS me on EVERY level because that was the dog I WANTED when we were together and he didn't want one.  He once again gets to give me a virtual flick off and as hilarious as I find it because he doesn't have an original thought, it enrages me because get your own ideas and own life, Awful.  AND, nanananabooboo, I don't even want a bulldog anymore, but I won't tell you the kind of dog we are getting (a cairn terrier) because you will probably outbid the one I put a deposit down for and travel 1,200 miles by motorcycle to screw me over.  Yes, I know, I am NOT normal (AT ALL!) and that the world doesn't revolve around me and trying to piss me off.  I also realize that only bolding some words which I do when I get excited must be super annoying to read...sorry about that.  Oy, the "......" must be annoying, too. 

There is nothing I like more than an inspirational quote.  I look at Pinterest and Instagram for them and not for wedding ideas which is pretty funny when you think about it.  Here are a few things I came up with, a few things I summarized from being influenced by other sayings and a few things that are just common sense (when you think about it and the heart sometimes clouds the mind) that I wanted to share for my AMAZING friend and everyone else who has suffered a breakup.  Here we go:

1.  Breakups and breakdowns allow for breakthroughs.

2.  A person should be measured by the way they make you feel as when it comes to love, that is the only thing that really matters.

3.  Life gives you great lessons when you are ready to learn them.

4.  Change is terrifying, but it is also extremely exciting. A clean slate is a gift that keeps on giving.

5.  So much can happen in a year.  Shit, look at me if you really need some proof.  And if it can happen for me, it can happen for ANYONE......I am not a precious pony.

6.  Make your husband/wife list.  Make it!  PLEASE.  When you are ready.  It works.  I got everything I wrote on my list....EVERYTHING.  And....well, I forgot to wish for clean and tidy, sigh.

7.  Getting in shape and buying new makeup and revamping your wardrobe and losing weight are all awesome.  But, nothing can really fix the way you feel about yourself externally until you change the way you feel about yourself internally.  I tried to lose weight for YEARS before meeting Crush and I am just now able to do it because I feel safe, secure and loved.  My fiancĂ© fell in love with me when I was at my absolute heaviest EVER and he still loves me for me.  I will get off my pedestal now and stop playing my violin, but true love is about so much more than the way you look. And we are ALL gorgeous, darlings.

8.  Reintroduce yourself to a few things that you missed from your life before this relationship ever happened.  These things make you happy and ground you and will help you re-identify with who you are as a person.

9.  A broken heart is a feeling like no other.  It is dark and scary and painful and parched.  It is heavy and deep and personal and lonely.  Trite as it is, the thin line between love and hate can be microscopic.  You will feel crazy.  You will feel FUCKING PISSED.  You will eat too much, drink too much and sleep too much.  But, you WILL FEEL.  And feeling emotion is this amazing thing that people can do.  You will forever really understand what all of the sad songs, movies and poems about love are all about. You will be moved.  And your outlook about what you deserve and who you allow yourself to date will change because you will have learned (sometimes it takes a few tries to get this one down......I liked to date alcohol and food abusers until I realized that 2 peas in a pod may make a party, but not a functioning relationship).

10.  Do not apologize for the person that you are.  Only apologize for the stupidity of the person you were once with because they could not appreciate all of your gifts.  For example, "I am sorry, but you will NEVER do better than me." Oh yes, and sometimes a simple, "FUCK YOU!!!!" can be very effective, too.

When life gives you lemons, try to make some lemonade and if you are too depressed for a little while to get the motivation to mix them with water and sugar, I highly recommend sipping on some Limoncello to take the edge off.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Old Flames on Planes

A few weeks ago I saw a boy I used to love on a plane.  I thought it was him, but then I doubted myself.  I used to think that he was the dreamiest and now he looks, well, he looks old.  Tired, worn and bald.  Not that there is anything wrong with bald, Crush is losing some of his locks and everything about my sweet man is sexy.

My high school crush and I were friends over sixteen years ago.  Close friends, actually.  I dreamt of him on the regular.  I wanted to be so much more than platonic and a few times I really thought that he was going to kiss me.  He never did.  Soon before he left for college, Bitch told him that I said something about him that wasn't true (so high school).  I can't even remember what it was that she accused me of saying, I blocked it from my mind. And then I felt stupid and ashamed.  I was too embarrassed to clear it up and I didn't want to apologize for something I didn't do, so we drifted.  Never spoke to him again.  I hadn't seen him in over fourteen years and wham, there he was, sitting two rows behind me on a Southwest plane.

I stared at him until he said hello.  I had the feeling that if I didn't catch his eye, he would have ignored me as I couldn't tell if he didn't know who I was or if he just didn't want to acknowledge me.  People from the Midwest can be weird about this I have learned.  Ignore you for no reason other than not feeling like having a quick chat.

He was with a girl that he seemed to be dating and I believe that she may have attended our high school, too.  If she wasn't with him, I would have bugged him a bit more.  I would have told him that I once loved him and see how his life turned out, but it just didn't seem like the right time or place. He seemed rather uninterested in talking to me and I can sympathize because it was 6:00 am and I was all revved up on fresh coffee and engagement adrenaline.

When I looked into his eyes, he perhaps lacked true recognition for me or maybe he just doesn't like me because of something he thinks I said over a decade ago.

It is funny how someone can touch you so deeply in life and not even know it.

He was my Jake Ryan and I was just some girl that he went to high school with that he kinda sorta remembers.....

Monday, December 2, 2013

So Much To Say AND So Hard To Say It

Hi out there!

I hope all is well and that everyone had a wonderful Tday.

I spent mine in South Carolina and it was lovely.  I missed my own family dearly, but I enjoy (most) of Crush's, so it was a nice celebration.

I have a lot to say and yet I feel myself pulling back.  I am censoring myself a bit which I don't like.  For a while, I played around with the idea of revealing more of myself and sharing photos and all that on this blog.  After much consideration, I finally decided that I just don't feel comfortable with this  right now.

I am still trying to get my legs here and life is great, but is it perfect? Of course not.  I had a bunch of less anonymous posts planned (they are in my draft box) and I felt major doubt and anxiety about unveiling myself every single time I went to press the publish button.  I have to trust my instincts.

I am in the process of looking for a full-time job blah blah blah and the REAL truth here: Crush's family is sadly VERY judgmental and I fear that if they read ALL of what I have said here and I have said a lot, well then, I guess I worry that they wouldn't like me and they wouldn't understand me.  Then, I stress that my fiance wouldn't want to marry me.....HOLY REVELATION TIME!!!!!!

I am me.  I am this person now and she is pretty great.  BUT, I have a past.  A past a bit juicer than Crush's.

Crush is getting better at being his own man, but he is very influenced by his family and that is actually a good thing because his parents are awesome and quite sensible.

But.....well, there is a big piece of this puzzle I am leaving out, so here goes.....

Let's just say that Crush's little sister is a force to be reckoned with and I don't want to face that force head on.  I am totally afraid of her in some ways because she is utterly unpredictable.  Her favorite current form of entertainment is looking up a Facebook profile of one of her "friends" and publicly ripping that person apart....ruthlessly. To say I find her appalling would be an understatement.  She is the text book definition of a mean girl.  The only silver lining,  I have experience with this type of gal.  I remember high school well and let's not even start with the countless vapid bridezillas I have dealt with over the last few years.  And perhaps even more important, Crush thinks she acts like an idiot too, but he is not one to ruffle feathers or speak his mind.  We are working on this.  I bet his family won't like it, but as much as I love his sweetness,  I also need some balls and a backbone.

She leaves me exhausted.

I don't think there is anyway to avoid having her as a bridesmaid even though I would seriously entertain eloping in order to avoid having her around me on my wedding.  She is just everything I am against and I find it very telling that Crush says that he "despises girls like his sister" because we are so different.  Any romantic fan of hers wouldn't be a fan of mine.

More to come on her, I have a whole post dedicated to her commentary.

Crush knows EVERYTHING about me, but of course, there are some personal things that his family doesn't.  Things from my past that I am sure they would find concerning.  I went through a phase where I dabbled in cocaine a little bit.  I have eating issues.  I used to drink because I was so depressed.  I used to get very angry.  I have been in several abusive relationships where I made myself a willing victim.

I am finding that by keeping to myself, being a good listener and staying friendly,  I am okay.  These are not traits that come easy for me.  All of my life experiences have come together as a coping mechanism.

I am thinking of continuing to blog here and then in due time, making a new public blog that shares more of my life openly.  There, things will be a bit more sunshine and rainbows as most public blogs are.  I want to tell the good and the bad, I just know that if I show my face, I will only tell the good and what fun is that to read, if you know it is STILL ME behind all of my shiny posts?  I am not a perfect person.  I never will be.

I guess the harsh reality is that I have everything I have ever wanted.  A bright future, a man that adores me (I am so lucky here) and future financial stability.  But, there is always something.   Starting with a mean girl sister-in-law is something not to be ignored.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Downfalls of Getting Older

I hope that I am aging gracefully.

I am pretty good about my sleep, diet (even with the binging I eat TONS of fruits and veggies), exercise and skin routine.  I have started to get gray hairs (a few here and there) and even that I can handle.

What I cannot handle are my hangovers.

I am not a big drinker.  Yes, I used to be a HUGE drinker.  If I drank the amount I once did, I am sure I would have to be rushed to the ER to get my stomach pumped.  I say this honestly, because once after too many shots of Captain Morgan when I was sixteen....this actually did happen.

The other night, Crush and I went out to supper with some of his old friends.  We had a wonderful time enjoying some delicious and very overpriced Thai food in Charleston.  This is a place that Chicago has Charleston beat....yummy and inexpensive Thai food.  I get that it is supply and demand and Thai food is super popular here. The $20.00 pad woon sen was yummy nonetheless and I promised Crush even yummier Thai for a fraction of the price the next time we make it to the Windy City.  He is excited, no one loves a deal more than my man.

Anyway, I had four drinks in a matter of six hours.  1 glass of wine, 2 glasses of champagne, and 1 vodka and soda water and I got DRUNK.  Like, not sloppy, but definitely not cute.   I was in a jolly mood.  I did a really seductive sloppy strip tease for my man, rapped him a few 90's favorites including Candy Man (Knockin Boots) and then fell on my bed in a heap while the room spun.  Hot.  For the big finish, I started yelling "ATTACK!" and made a police siren noise, every time Crush tried to initiate physical contact with me.

I know know.  I mixed drinks, so that was half the problem.

I woke up with a major hungover. URGH!  I made it through a half ass workout and then I demanded that Crush get me pizza.  It wasn't pretty.

Today, I am back on track after about fifteen hours of sleep yesterday.  The reality is that things I could once do: drink ALL night, sleep three hours, work nine hours and then make it to the gym are WAY behind me.

It makes me sad, but I would rather be sleeping by 10:00 pm any night of the week.  Now, I am catching up on all the things I needed to do yesterday before I allow myself get into bed early tonight.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and handled their booze better than I did.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Wedding Diet and a Random Tidbit

I am on a very strict wedding diet.  I am only eating air.  And apples and chicken.  I kid.  I kid.

True story, one time in college,  I did vow to eat only apples and chicken.  That lasted all of two days.

So...back to my wedding diet!  I am actually not doing the standard starving for a year to fit into a dream dress that many of my clients like do to.  Hell, I even did it myself a few years ago to look hot at Sissy's wedding.  In terms of a really severe diet, OY!  I am too old.  I am too tired.  My vanity has taken a back seat to more important things like health and happiness.

Now, now, I am still a little bit vain.  You can take the girl out of Chicago, but you can't take Chicago out of the girl and man, ladies are TINY there! I zipped up my fair share of negative zeros on many Saturday mornings in the Windy City.

I just want to look at my wedding photos years from now and see the best version of me.  NOT the skinniest version of me, but a me that is healthy, happy and extremely comfortable in my own skin.  The reality is that some pounds will need to be shed to make me feel rocking, but it doesn't have to be anything crazy drastic.  I look better a little soft anyway.

So, what have I been eating?  The answer is a lot of the same thing.

I am the type of person that can eat the same thing over and over again if I LOVE what I am eating.  As a binge eater, my central issue with my eating is that I eat for entertainment or to quell my nervous feelings.  If I do not give myself too many food options, it helps me control my food decisions.

Once a week, I go to the grocery store AND Costco and buy lots of good stuff.  My typical shopping list includes tons of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, cheese and a few sweet treats.  I also put at least one thing in the cart that I don't eat a lot, but that I like.  This week I picked up some artichokes.  I always have fun choosing this item. I call it my random tidbit, even though it isn't really random or a tidbit.  I scamper away from the cart and tell Crush, "I am off to find my RANDOM TIDBIT!!!!" and then when I come back to put it in the cart, I always make a huge production out of it (booty shake dance accompanied by jazz hands and then a exaggerated shimmy while I reveal the "tidbit") because I am really not the biggest loser in the world and I get SUPER EXCITED about food.  Sad, but true.

Here is an example of a day in my life in terms of eating -

- Iced Coffee (I make it myself and ice my hot coffee and add 2 TSP of sugar and 2 TBSP of cream)
- 3 Turkey Sausage Links
- Cheese Egg White Omelet (I make my egg whites in a non-stick pan and add 1 slice of white American cheese, I use 6 TBSPs of egg whites)
- 1 Apple

- 1 Turkey and Cheese Sandwich on a Sandwich Flat (3 ounces of honey turkey, 1 TBSP mayo, 1 slice of white American cheese)
- I cup of Baby Carrots, 1/2 Sliced Cucumber and 2 TBSP Hummus
- 1 Single Serve Bag of Veggie Straws
- 1 Apple with 1 TBSP Peanut Butter

- GIANT salad = Romaine lettuce, 10 cherry tomatoes, 1/4 of an avocado, 1/2 of a sliced cucumber, 1/10 of a diced onion, 1/4 of a diced apple,  1 TBSP almonds, 1 TBSP raisins, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1/2 cup diced grilled chicken breast, 2 TBSP balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 Steamed Artichoke with 1 TBSP melted butter
- 1 cup of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate (Milk Chocolate variety made with water)
- 1 Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich

1 Single Serve Bag of Veggie Straws

I am working out 5-6 times a week and I am aiming to eat between 1,700 - 2,000 calories a day.  I find that this menu works because I need real butter, cream and sugar in my diet to feel satisfied.  I also need some snacks (Veggie Straws) and sweets (hot chocolate and Skinny Cows) to feel like I am not going down the diet drain.

I have completely given up soda (both diet and regular) and I drink about 30 ounces of water during a spinning class and then 30 - 40 of ounces of seltzer water during the day.  I was raised on milk and juice (they thought juice was healthy in the early 80's, right?!), so I never developed a real taste for water, so I am doing the best I can with it!  Seltzer helps me a bunch.

Next week, I will have a new menu to eat.  But for now, the one I am eating is doing to trick!  It is way better than JUST apples and chicken.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Can't Find a Better Man

The other day, I was at my 6:00 am Spinning class and Better Man by Pearl Jam came on.  Highly focused on my workout at hand, a steep hill climb, I zoned in on the lyrics and really listened to the words for the first time ever (and then I ugly cried, but passed it off as workout sweat):

Waitin', watchin' the clock, it's four o'clock, it's got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over

She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man

Talkin' to herself, there's no one else who needs to know
She tells herself, oh
Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along
Swears she knew it, now she swears he's gone

She lies and says she's in love with him, can't find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can't find a better man
She lies and says she still loves him, can't find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man

She loved him, yeah, she don't want to leave this way
She feeds him, yeah, that's why she'll be back again

Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man
Can't find a better man

I lived this.  I lived this song.  I was in a horribly abusive relationship and I escaped.  Sometimes when I lay in bed with Crush and doze off, I thank my lucky stars that I am lying in bed with him and not with Awful.  I found a better man.

I know everyone out there must be SICK and TIRED of hearing about Awful and hell, I am sick of writing about it, too.  But, I see my breakup with Awful as my rebirth.  I try to lock those memories in a safe and keep them tucked in a storage closet, but once in a while, they creep out.

When I found the strength to get out of that relationship, my world opened up and changed for the better.  I don't think I can ever truly explain how hard it was for me to dump him.  I still sometimes think of myself in amazement because I actually did it. I walked away to save myself. I actually did it.  I gave up a lot to break free: my Independence, some friends and my old job. 

Awful was married a few months ago.  He used to tell me that he needed time to get to know me before he could propose to me.  He had married his ex-wife mere months after meeting her and created a rule that we needed to date for at least 2 years before even thinking about marriage.  I held out for over 2 years.  A proposal was no where in sight for us ever.  He married his current wife less than 10 months after they first met. 

I looked at Awful's wedding photos.  I know I shouldn't have, but once I started, I couldn't stop.  It was like opening Pandora's Box or taking a bite out of forbidden fruit.  I had actually initially introduced Awful to the wedding photographer he used, so even seeing that they were still friends made me realize how far my life has come in terms of social relationships.

Well, I bawled when I looked at those wedding photos.  Not because I was jealous or missing Awful, but because I am sad for his bride.  I can already see some sadness in her eyes, the same sadness I can see in my own when I glance at snap shots from when we were together.  I turned ugly on the inside and outside when I was with Awful.  An abusive man will do that to you.  My mom tells me straight out, "you are getting your looks back now, they went far away when you were with Awful." She's right.  Weight aside, my soul was suffocated for a while and I couldn't even smile though the pain after a time.  It showed on every inch of my face.

I truly believe that Awful will get divorced.  If his wife can find the strength to leave him.  His first wife left him and ran home to her family in another state and I left him almost the same way, fleeing for my life. I was hanging on by a very small thread, I was deeply depressed by the time I made it home to my childhood bed.

The basic fact is that Awful is a very bad person who lies and manipulates others to meander through life.  Once I figured it out, I was shocked.  He comes across as this harmless warm and giving person, but inside he is full of venom and spite.

The clairvoyant who hasn't been wrong about anything yet, told me that Awful would marry first and that he would get divorced again.  That he would marry quickly to prove to me that he actually believes in marriage.   I STILL don't think he really does regardless of his marital status.

I struggle with the notion that some one's garbage can be someone else's diamond when it comes to a mate.  I do believe in compatibility, morals, values, attraction, commonalities and all that other jazz in terms of what makes a relationship tick.  That there is someone for everyone.  A lid for every pot.  But, I also think that if a person is a bad person,  just rotten to their core (which I now believe Awful to be), then nothing can make any relationship (friend, lover, colleague) they are in work because they cannot be true.  Everything Awful does is tainted and calculated.  Bad people make even worse relationships.

And I am not bitter that Awful didn't want to marry me.  Which is clear.  He married someone else quickly and had been married before, so he knows how to take his little frame up and down an aisle.

I am sad.

And that is why I feel.  I feel for her deeply.  For Awful's new wife.  I would extend her my deepest condolences if I could because I know when she said "I do" some of her died.  He is a soul crushing person.  He goes for the weak.  I was so weak when we started dated and as the years passed,  I found my inner strength, my boldness, because the options for me were to leave or to find a much more permanent way out.

Since I have gotten engaged to the love of my life, I feel this peace and safety that I never knew existed.  So this is what TRUE love is all about!?! I can't believe I ever confused anything else with what I am feeling now.  My past relationships have been a super cheap imitation of what love should be.  Of what I am finally getting to experience now for the first time in my life.

I actually pray that she will find her way out.  That she has a family like mine that she can run to.  That she has friends like mine that she can cry to.  That she has the strength to not allow a man to say degrading things to her or put a hand on her in a fit of rage or do things with her body that she doesn't feel totally comfortable doing.

I don't know much about her, but I am pretty sure that she, too, can find a better man.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Salad and Spinning and Wedding Planning

I am trying to get into shape.

There have been many salads.  Lots of Spinning.  Even salad spinning. The wedding planning.  Well, I must admit, it is one of my strengths.

Sadly, my engagement ring has not been the same equivalent to getting my jaw wired, like I hoped it would be. DANG.  Eating is still a struggle, but the good news is that it has been a TON easier since I moved to Charleston.  I am so much less stressed that I am not turning to food emotionally like I used to.

My future husband has an amazing metabolism.  He is lucky this way.  He has no idea about nutrition and eating healthily.  NO CLUE.  For example:

R&F: "Hi sweets, what did you have for lunch today?"

Crush: "I ate really healthy foods.  Fried chicken, creamed spinach and fried green tomatoes."

R&F: "How is any of that healthy?"

Crush: "Chicken, spinach and tomatoes are all healthy!'

Unlike me, Crush never learned how to read a menu for healthy clues (thanks, WeightWatchers!), never sat around a cafeteria lunch table in the 5th grade and talked about who had the lowest fat and calorie meal (thanks, North Shore Girls raised by mothers with rampant eating disorders!) and never saw a nutritionist and an eating therapist to change his eating habits (thanks for real, the wonderful professionals who are helping me!).

And yet, with his COMPLETE lack of food knowledge, Crush still has a WAY better relationship with food than I do.  He simply eats when he is hungry and stops when he is full.  I wish I could do that consistently.

Having Crush around often really helps me focus on eating better.  We have started to eat most of our breakfasts and suppers together and I find that when I am cooking for someone else and not just for myself, I put extra effort into making my meals balanced, yummy and satisfying.  Crush wants to eat better and I want to lose weight, so I have been preparing calorie friendly meals full of lean proteins and fresh fruits and veggies.  Crush has of course already lost 6 pounds in a few weeks whereas I have lost perhaps a few ounces.  All of my yo-yo dieting in the past has slowed my metabolism, but I feel so much better and now fit into most of my wardrobe again, so I will take it.

The wedding planning is fully underway and our first goal for hotness health takes place in February when we will take our engagement photos.  It just so happens that our wedding photographer who lives in Chicago will be in Charleston for another wedding he is shooting, so he is going to snap a few shots of us when he is in town.  I am super excited to have Charleston engagement photos and Chicago wedding photos (yup, I decided to tie the knot in the Windy City as truthfully, it is a great city and I love to visit it, I just HATED living there!).

I have found that all of the wedding planning has been super easy thus far and these awesome little coincidences keep happening which make me feel like in many ways, everything about this wedding is simply meant to be!  In less than 2 weeks, I have my venue, officiant, ceremony musicians, band for the reception, after party DJ, florist, photographer, hair and makeup artists, rehearsal dinner venue and hotel room blocks. When I return to Chicago in a few weeks for a wedding I am working, I will do my save the dates and invitations.  I will say, I know the best vendors in Chicago and I have gotten a bird's eye perspective about how they all work, so selecting them was SUPER easy.  I am just so happy that they were all available!  I keep thinking....if my clients actually listened to me (some do, many don't and then they don't get the best product and services), they too could have their weddings planned quickly!  Everyone likes to do things differently, but there is nothing I love more than making a list and crossing it off!

Hope all is well out there and Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rings and Things

The other day, I was enjoying a latte in the warm morning sun at an outdoor cafĂ© after my Spinning class.   A very handsome man a bit older than me stopped in to get breakfast and started chatting me up.  I let him know that I had just moved from Chicago and he suggested some bars and restaurants I should try as well as some locations for great coffee, excellent pie and exciting live music.  He told me he was a doctor, off for the day and he planned to go for a long run in the evening once the temperature cooled as he slept much later than he anticipated after working several long shifts in the ER.

It was nearly 10 minutes into the conversation that I realized that perhaps this man was flirting with me. I glanced at his left hand and didn’t see a ring (yes, they come off!). You see, in Chicago, no one ever came up to me to chat sober.  Once in a while, a person with a penis may have asked me for directions, but never for my number. Since I turned 28, no one much looked at me at all in Chicago because my vagina, boobs, and tush were no longer on display in my “club” clothes as they once were.  Once in a while, a drunken perv may have whispered something explicit into my ear with his stale beer breath, but the truth is that I often didn’t get hit on in Chicago.  The minute I stepped outside of it, regardless of my weight status, men would approach me.  The secret I learned doesn’t have to do with looks or weight, but by how I feel.  I was never happy in Chicago, so I didn’t exude confidence.  Confidence is key.  Men love it.

Sure enough, a few topics later, Hot Doctor asked me for my number.  I realized that up until that point, my left hand had been under the table in my lap.  I then lifted it and explained that I was newly engaged to a very super special someone, but asked him for his number since he is kind, smart, a great conversationalist, successful, handsome, and tall.  He could be a great match for someone I know! 

Rings are funny this way.  They speak for you.  Help people know who may be available or taken.  Yes, it isn’t the rule, but it is helpful.

My father has never worn a wedding ring.  Funny, but Crush’s dad doesn’t either.  It is actually a relatively new tradition.  All four of our grandfathers didn't wear rings.  Unlike many other ladies, I am totally fine if Crush doesn't want to wear a ring.  I trust him and more than anything, I know my man and it is undeniable that he will lose his ring more than just a few times.  So, if he decides to wear a ring, I have already come to terms that we will be replacing it often and there will be periods of time where he won't have one.....

My feeling about rings are that they can predetermine outcomes.  Some people may forgo a chat with me now if they were wanting to get into my pants eventually, but others will still chat me up for the simple fact that they enjoy a fine morning chat as much as I do. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

When I Think of Heaven

I'm engaged!

Crush asked me last weekend and it has been an absolute whirlwind.

So much love has poured in from our families and friends, I am still waiting to connect with a few special people to share the big news.

The ring is perfect.  EXACTLY what I wanted and even more.  I thought it would take me a little time to get used to wearing my sparkles, but the truth is that I feel like it should have always been there.  From the very beginning, I felt engaged to Crush, we never really had a game playing or casual dating period.  It is nice now to feel safe expressing my feelings about Crush to everyone I meet, the ring let's me know that it is mutual.  In all of my past relationships, I felt like I was the one pushing to make it work.  That I wanted marriage more than my partner did.  Being on the same page makes the whole deal even sweeter.

I believe in heaven.  I believe in religion and spirituality and all that.  I know that some people don't and that's peachy, too.  Ideas beyond now are personal.

I was very close with my grandfather.  My dad's dad.  He passed away about 5 years ago and I have missed him every day since then.  I was in the room when he died and since, I have felt bonded to him more in his memory than I even did when he was alive.

When I was at the lowest depths of depression, I went to see a clairvoyant.  It was the BEST thing I ever did for myself. My grandfather told me to make a husband list and I did.

I have this beautiful idea that after I wrote my husband list, my grandfather received it and began walking all around heaven reading the list to anyone who would listen:

Grandpa: Merle, do you have a grandson?

Merle: Yes.

Grandpa: Is he tall, educated, and does he like music?

Merle: He is very smart, he listens to rap music, but he isn't too tall, a nice height, but 5'8" and likes little itty bitty ladies.

Grandpa: No, that won't work!

Grandpa: Samuel, do you have a tall, educated grandson who likes music?

Samuel: Yes.  But he is married.

Grandpa: No, that won't work!

Grandpa: Doris, do you have a grandson?

Doris: Why yes, I do.

Grandpa: Is he tall?  Does he like music? Did he go to college?

Doris: Yes.

Grandpa: Does he have straight teeth?  Does he respect his family?  Is he active?  Does he like to read?

Doris: Yes.

Grandpa: Does he refrain from getting drunk multiple times a week?  Is he sensitive?  Is he an independent thinker?

Doris: Yes.

Grandpa: Listen, I have a granddaughter who is really wonderful, but she is struggling trying to find a nice Jewish boy and I think your grandson could be perfect.

Doris: Dave, I wish I could help you, my grandson is such a mench, but he likes other boys and not girls.

Grandpa: No, that won't work!

I think my grandfather asked everyone in heaven that he encountered about their grandsons.  He loved talking to strangers, never feared rejection, and was the least shy person I knew. Very tenacious.  The perfect matchmaker!  He would even give Patti Stanger  a run for her money.

A few weeks after I sent my husband list, Crush's grandmother died.  At this point, I think my grandfather was understanding just HOW HARD it is to meet the right guy.  I envision that out of desperation, he was now standing right next to the gates of heaven trying to snag the best matches for me ASAP.

I have a feeling that when Crush's grandmother passed through, my grandfather was shouting out grandson traits and every single soul floating by, ignored him, trying to get to their final destinations impatiently.  But, like a fine Southern lady, Crush's grandmother stopped to listen to my loud grandfather as she also wanted a match for her oldest grandson.  As one of many siblings and the only daughter in her large family, she could handle a man better than most, even a very silly and bubbly one from New York.

Mere weeks after Crush's grandmother passed,  I received my first email from Crush.  The rest is history.

Yesterday, we went to his grandmother's home.  The very home we will live in next year as a married couple.  Crush inherited her home and we plan to raise our own family there one day.

As we walked around the house making a list of what renovations we plan to make, we decided to head out to the backyard and I felt compelled to lay on my back and look up at the sky.  Crush joined me on the grass and a gentle breeze rolled in.  The same wind that I feel from time to time when I sense my grandfather is around.  It is a breeze that you can feel wrapped around you, but it is still.  It doesn't move the trees or leaves.  I screamed (Crush tolerates my crazy...BONUS!), "HI GRANDPA!!!" and tons of little birds flew into the yard tweeting.  Then, Crush yelled, "Hi, Nanny!!!" and a huge gust of wind blew in, this time blowing all of the great big shady trees in her own backyard.

As the branches swayed and the birds sang, we thanked our grandparents and I showed the sky my ring.  Then, the wind stopped suddenly and 2 tiny birdies landed at our feet. We felt the motionless breeze and they flew away, across the cloudless sky.

I didn't always believe in heaven until I met Crush.

I also didn't always believe in true love.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, my life changed forever.  I met Crush in person.  We had been talking, emailing, texting, and video chatting for almost 2 months, but when it was finally time to meet, it was terrifying.

My biggest fear was that I would be disappointed.  That he could have catfished me, especially because I was starving for love.

Here is a little letter I wrote to my dearest Crush on our official 1 year anniversary:

We started talking last August and in September (after a few false starts) I was pretty confident that you were my soul mate, the person I had been searching for endlessly and had not yet been able to find.  I can recall the great conversations we had before we met: we spoke about our thoughts on life, morals and beliefs, we shared about about our families and backgrounds, we agreed about politics and religion.  I was smitten.

In the beginning of last October, I began to panic a bit.  Could all of this be too good to be true? You were a unicorn, a mystical creature to me and I wasn't totally sure if you were real.  How could I be so lucky this time?  I was used to being disappointed by men and how did I know at this point that you could be so different?  So, I pushed you to meet me.  I felt like you were resisting me a bit, but the truth is that now I know that you aren't great at dates, planning, or calendars.  At the time, I took it very personally, but eventually you came around and committed, we would meet in a little city halfway between us on October 23 and we would stay for a few days.

It was the scariest thing I have ever done.  Meeting a man I already loved, but that I had not yet truly met in person.  I still give us a ton of credit for going through with it.  It was very brave.  On the way to the airport, my father told me that: "I admire you for meeting this guy.  No matter what happens, this will be a great story.  This could be something really significant, like maybe this man could be your future husband or this will simply be a tremendous life experience.  I am proud of you for going."

After I landed, before you picked me up, I touched up my lipstick in the bathroom and I prayed that you were everything I hoped you would be.  Moments later, I found out you were all I wished for and EVEN MORE.

On the ride from the airport to lunch, I felt instantly at home.  During the trip, we may have spent most of our time in our hotel rooms (together), but it was one of the best trips of my life because all of my dreams came true when I first laid eyes on you, and kissed you, and later consummated our relationship.  I knew that first night when I fell asleep in your arms that this was different.  That you made me feel like the person I always wanted to be.  On October 23, I had one of the best sleeps of my life.  I always sleep better when you are with me.

October 23, 2012 changed my life more than any other day I had ever lived before because I met you.  I knew that no matter what, as long as you could be a part of my life, I would be okay.

I am overwhelmed by my love for you and this year has positively flown by with you in it.  Everything is better with you.  I am the happiest I have ever been.

 I think the world of you.  I admire you and I am constantly in awe of you.  You have the best heart and you are such a gentle soul.   We bring out different sides in each other, but I will stand true to the fact that I believe that life doesn't always have to be so serious and I will agree with you that kindness and common courtesy are extremely important, too. 

Thank you for always being so good to me.  Thank you for making me a believer in soul mates, true love, and how some dreams really do come true! You have changed my life for the better and I would never want to go back to life without you in it.

I wish everyone lots of love, hope, and happiness today! 



Monday, October 14, 2013

Food and Love

Really all I need in this world are food and love.

Food and love have always gone hand in hand for me.  From the cookies and ice cream my parents and grandparents loved me up with to show me that they adored me to the candlelit romantic dinners Crush and I still share all too often.

Crush is the first man I have dated who has a normal relationship with food.  In the past, I dated binge eaters, manorexics, and even a man who couldn't keep a single morsel of food in his place for fear of sleep eating.  All of their eating issues triggered mine terribly, so Crush's non-issues are just a bit more icing on my love cake, not having to worry about food so much makes me feel fantastic and safe.

Normal is a slippery slope word, but I find Crush's habits to fall under the realm of healthy.  He eats when he is hungry and passes when he isn't.  He has a pretty scheduled routine with food (3 meals a day and 2 snacks) and enjoys some splurges and treats in moderation, but he is fine passing on indulgences, too.  I love having him around because he is a super good influence on me.  When I am with Crush, I find myself making healthier choices, being more in the moment and less in the pantry, and enjoying the act of sharing a healthy freshly prepared meal.

Since I have moved, I decided to take the power out of the number.  Meaning the scale.  But, since I am using a calorie tracker and want to get to a healthy weight for me (22 more pounds to go), I do get on  the scale from time to time, when I feel like I should (as in a few days ago when my super tight pants felt much looser).  I have lost 7 pounds since I moved to Charleston!  I think it is a combination of Spinning classes, sleeping well, tracking (science is a bitch, but it works), and my major reduction in stress.  When I am stressed, no matter what I do, I cannot lose weight, so less stress and a good sleep routine, are really my most important factors when I am trying to reduce.

The truth is that I am still a person with a food addiction.  I am not instantly healed because of my new location.  I actually binged yesterday.  My first real free for all in Charleston.  It wasn't super major compared to the damage I have done in the past, but it wasn't pretty either.

It involved Cheetos, popsicles, an individual cup of ice cream, and an individual pizza.  But, I can tell you why I did it which I am proud of.  I wasn't feeling well and I slept terribly (Crush was snoring all night and I was feverish).  I woke up needing carbs and I ate a NYC bagel (that was in my freezer waiting for me) slattered with butter.  From previous experience and pitfalls, carbs in the AM coupled with no sleep can be a recipe to binge for me and sure enough I did.  That bagel really shouldn't have been around anyway, but I do try to test myself (as my therapist suggests, to take the power and fear out of food) every once in away and I am proud to say that I have been strong against Wheat Thins and pasta in the house.  I find it refreshing to know why I do the things I do when it comes to eating.  This has been the most valuable thing I have learned in therapy.  That my actions have reactions and not everything is as random as I wish it was because if it was then I wouldn't have the problem I do with food.

I am continuing to track calories and take things one day at a time.  Slip ups happen, but it is the overall journey that produces results.  The easy fix never works for me anyway. At least Crush's influence is a good one.  I hate dated and lived with men who encouraged my bad habits and it is nice to know that I have one less excuse to test my willpower!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Old Me

Lately, I haven't been doing that much, yet I am exhausted.

It's not from the Spinning classes I am taking nearly every day, or from all of the reading I am doing poolside while I sun my almost psoriasis free skin, or from sending my resume out, or from checking my email obsessively to see about my final website changes.

Finding your old self is hard work.

Since I have moved to Charleston, every day I feel more and more like the person I used to be.  Like the girl I left behind so many years ago.  Funny, I still can't pin point when I let myself go.  When I decided that who I truly am, wasn't good enough.  

Was it in junior high when I was taunted by the boys for being fat?  

Was it in high school when I was left out by the girls I admired?  

Was it in college when I drank too much to overcompensate for feeling lost?

Was in in my mid-twenties when I was too scared to ask for a raise when I deserved one?  

Was it when I dated Awful and lied to myself about what love should be for nearly 3 years?

Was it recently when I paid out of my own pocket for a few of my clients' weddings to avoid confrontation when I knew that they were having major financial issues?

I sometimes wonder when I decided that laying down and playing dead was how I should live my life because I HATE it.  But, confrontation is one of the things in the world that I fear most, so I know that I avoided many situations when I was right to avoid having to stick up for myself.

My mom says it best when she says, "it is the innocent that are made to feel guilty." I have lived this time and time again.

Yet, the decisions I have made: the ugly, the bad, the weak, the brilliantly thought out, well, they have lead me to Crush.  To Charleston.  To my own rebirth.  

So, I don't regret any of them.

Because I know that I learned the lessons for a good life.  

I apologized when I wasn't wrong.  

I coddled crazy.  

I ate lots of humble pie.  

I got my heart broken.  

I broke some one's heart.

I gained and lost and then gained the same 40 pounds a few times over before I realized that I have a food addiction.

I let go of some toxic people in my life.

I rekindled some old friendships that I missed.

And at the end of my journey, I found my soul mate.

Now, I am finding myself.  

Everyday, I am trying to do something I used to like to do.  Cooking, baking, riding my bike, reading a book, taking a swim, strolling quaint streets while I eat an ice cream cone and forget about the time.

Simple pleasures.  Free of anxiety and hatred and drama.  It feels SO good.

I over-think everything.  It is one of my biggest strengths and weaknesses all rolled into one gob of insecurity.

In the near future, I will be Crush's fiance.  I will be getting ready to be some one's wife.  I will be planning a wedding. I don't want to lose myself in the process.  I want to make sure that I stay me. 

Because of my career, I have seen the most sane ladies go CRAZY because of money, greed, weight, indecision, and family drama.  I will not allow myself to fall down this rabbit hole.  I have worked too hard to be happy.  I am preparing myself to enjoy every moment of this bridge between dating and marriage.

Here goes. 

(I am still waiting for my sparkles!  I will keep you posted!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I just returned back from a trip to see my sis and her family.  We also stopped to see Crush's sis and her hubby and had a lovely quick visit with them. It was a wonderful time and I love road trips.   When I am with my Crush, time flies.  He is also very good to me and stops multiples times for my beloved iced coffee, especially if I see a Dunkin Donuts at a particular exit.

A little news.....I picked out my engagement ring!  Yes, it may not be traditional or a surprise, but I knew exactly what I wanted and I HATE surprises.  My dream engagement involves me selecting my sparkles and I got to do just that.  Swoon.  Crush treats me very well and I am trying to remember how lucky I am each and every day because sometimes I can be very harsh with him.  I am working on this little quality called patience.

I am pre-engaged I suppose.  The ring is being made this week in NYC and then it will be shipped down South.  I don't know when I will receive it, but perhaps in the next few weeks since I know of it's existence and I can be very persuasive.  I do think Crush will surprise me with the actual proposal.  I am taking my xanaxes in preparation, so I can just enjoy the moment.

I can tell you that when he proposes there will be tears, lots of tears.  When we went to look at rings, Crush told me to play it cool and to not become too emotional.  We went to see diamond dealers and brokers, so there was a bit of room for negotiation.  Well, I tried, but I couldn't.  The minute they slipped my now diamond in the setting I already knew I wanted (just like my mom's!), I lost it.  Not a few dainty tears, but ugly sobs and a snot waterfall.  Multiple tissues and I had to sit down to regroup.  I still can't believe that everything I wished for, even now including the ring, is coming true.  I do not have this kind of luck.  I am used to being disappointed.  Crush is my fairytale.  We told the jewelers how we met and I did a happy booty shake with my sparkles on my left hand and they gave Crush a good deal (from what he told me, I was sent outside when money was discussed).  They told Crush that with me "he will never have a dull moment." The same thing my dad told Crush when he asked my father for my hand a few weeks ago!

Crush was fantastic with my niece and nephew.  They both adore him because he is so sweet and gentle.   My sister watched Crush play with Big Baby and declared that he was going to be a great dad.  I  agree.  He is very patient and allowed BB to order him around, control the pretend, and Crush even helped with potty breaks.  We made him hold Little Baby who is now 6 months old and was the first baby Crush ever held when Crush came up to meet LB at the birth.  LB held on tight like a koala bear, almost helping Crush out when we made then bond after a picnic supper in the park.  It was so adorable, I could feel my ovaries sighing.

I hope everyone is doing well out there and no more trips for me for a little while, so I will be back to posting on the regular.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Me Versus We and Some Wedding Gossip

Manners are my new best friend.

So underrated!

Life is good in Charleston as I have mentioned.  I have been going to the beach and cooking healthy meals.  Vacation hours.  I am enjoying long walks around town and Real Housewives of New Jersey marathons.

Next week, real life begins.  I go to NYC this week to visit Sissy and pick out my bling.  I am also going to a Wiggles concerts with the babies that I am oddly excited for.  Then, it is time to really make Charleston a home and not just a destination, which includes getting a job.

One of the many things that bothered me in Chicago was a me-centric mentality.  The idea that me comes before we.  In Chicago, doors were slammed in my face when I carried heavy bags of groceries, drivers cut me off on icy expressways, young men avoided eye contact while they read their iPhones comfortably seated on busy trains and buses while pregnant and elderly ladies stood, people pushed and shoved to get through crowds at concerts, ballgames, and even on the sidewalk.

In Chicago, I was always one car honk and middle finger away from life.  Just when I was enjoying a little stroll and an iced latte deep in my own thoughts, some schmo would ruin it for me by almost killing me with his scooter while I walked correctly across an intersection.  "I HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY, ASSHOLE!!!!!"  Oy.

Don't even start with the clients I worked with in Chicago.  And yes, many of them were unbelievably kind and incredibly gracious, but some, well, some just didn't want to pay for their own events.  Somehow, they thought they were entitled to things for free because they were getting married.  These same clients had weddings that WAY exceeded their budgets (declined credit cards and bounced checks...I have seen it all!) and couldn't be convinced to spend realistically for them.  They used their weddings to make them into something they will never be.  Popular.  Liked.  Perhaps even semi-famous for a second.  The Facebook photos were more important than the actual experience. ME ME ME time ALL of the time.  I have met some ladies who are so self-obsessed and narcissistic that they make Kim K and Paris look humble.

I do feel like a person's true character comes out on their wedding day and it ain't always pretty. More to come on that in future posts.

In Charleston, I have noticed that I am sometimes on the defensive unnecessarily. I am waiting to be budged at Starbucks, I am anticipating that someone at Publix will steal my parking spot, I grimace at 4 way stop signs anxious that my turn will be skipped, but it never happens.

There is a we here in Charleston that isn't in Chicago.

In Charleston, a man who worked at the grocery store helped me to my car with my heavy bags, a young hunk in his early 20's gave me his chaise lounger at the pool when no more were left in the sun and then carried another one over from the shady part for himself, a lady at Spinning class brought me a towel when she noticed I didn't have one.  Men stand to meet me.  People let you through when you are being seated by a hostess at a busy restaurant on a Saturday night.  No one pushes or shoves to get to the bar at a concert.

I stand with my fits cocked, yet I never have to use them.

This world we live in, well, we all share it.  It is no more yours than it is mine.  Life can be easy or it can be hard.  In Chicago people take and in Charleston people give.

I know I am generalizing and I know that Charleston is still shiny and new.  There will be a day when I am cut off, shoved, but hopefully not spit on.

Oh yes, a while back in the Windy City, a groom's father, high on cocaine, spit on me and called me a fat cunt.  Because he owed money for a bar tab for a late night party he offered to pay for.  He didn't like the total bill, even though he consumed 8 cocktails himself at 14 dollars a pop.  Bonus detail, he knew how much it would be weeks beforehand and acted like it was no problem, joked at how I was talking money with him because he had so much of it. But, when push came to shove spit, maybe he put the money for the bar up his nose.....I had a feeling something wasn't right in Oz from the beginning.

Now, I trust my instincts.

Well, that is another story for another day.

Time to get real.

I am done being defensive for just being me and I am ready to live in the we.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Partner in Crime

It feels good to have a partner in crime.

Someone to eat meals with.  Someone to take walks with.  Someone to help me carry my groceries up the stairs.

The transition from long distance to in-town love has been easy.  I must admit, much better than I expected.  I was a bit worried about how Crush and I would settle in.  Especially, because I really like my own personal space and I can be OCD tidy.  He wants to be next to me all of the time and he is an epic slob.  Yet, we are making this work because for the last year, I have been clear about my expectations and he has been clear about his.  There are no surprises and we are balancing being together wonderfully.

Something that I have always known about myself is that I require downtime.  Alone time where I can do some work (surf the Internet), watch Bravo, and examine my pores.  Yes, it isn't like I do much with the time, I just need it!

Something I hated when I was with Awful was his lack of understanding of my need to be alone.  To not have plans.  To not host guests for dinner more than 1 night a week.  He wanted people around him all of the time.  Being alone scares him, whereas being alone recharges me.

This week, Crush and I have been invited somewhere each and every day.  Brunches, lunches, suppers, cocktails, concerts, picnics.  People have showed interest in meeting me and I am very flattered, yet exhausted.  If these plans were just Crush and myself, I would be fine, but having to make an effort and  conversation aka "be on", well it takes a lot out of me.

Yesterday, over lunch, Crush mentioned going to a friends house on Saturday for an impromptu dinner party and I did something I was never able to do in the past without being massively passive-aggressive.  I said the following:

"Honey, I am really enjoying meeting everyone, but I am getting a bit tired.  I need some me time.  Time to sleep well, go to the gym, search for a job, and acclimate myself.  Whereas I love socializing, I also love staying in and watching TV and cooking just as much.  I want a chance to just have us time, so if possible, can we keep this week light with plans and ask them for a rain check in a few weeks?"

He then told me something that was like music to my ears:

"Yes, I often don't have plans like this.  Everyone wants to meet you and honestly, I am so tired and I am getting overwhelmed by all of this running around.  I just wanted to give you a chance to meet new people and make friends, so I didn't want to limit your opportunities here."

He is a sweet one.

The thing is that I am lucky.  At 32, I know I will make some more dear friends here and there, but I already have my friends for life.

It makes staying in with my Bravo and Trader Joe's frozen delicacies, even a bit more satisfying.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life is Good

I am here in Charleston and getting settled.  Learning my way around a bit without the GPS.

Seeing Crush everyday is divine.  Spending time with my family, Crush's family, and both of our families at once is the icing on the cake.

I feel at peace.

My life is going to be even better than I imagined.

The weather, the people, the pace.  It is just what I needed.

I am supposed to be here.  This is my place.  The one I knew was out there, but didn't know how to get to.  And Crush is my person.  My soul mate.  He completes my life.

The drive from Chicago was emotional.  I got my period 2 days into the trip, so I think some was hormonal, but most was relief.  As the miles ticked away, I bawled on repeat every few hours while listening to my favorite CDs, songs about breaking free and starting over.  Something I always dreamt of doing, but didn't have the courage to make a reality.  Well, until now.

As I passed through 7 states, I felt my broken self being glued back together, a teeny tiny peace at a time.  The distance from Chicago has made me whole again.  All of the BS and things that were simply too difficult than they needed to be. It is over.  Done.  I have finality.

I can be the good, sweet, kind, honest, empathetic, and funny person I know I am inside.  My walls have come down.

When I arrived to my new apartment and jumped into Crush's waiting arms, I felt the same way I did when my Dad left me at college 14 falls ago....that the possibilities are endless and I am in control of my destiny.  I haven't felt like this for far too long.

I am on a little vacation right now, no real schedule has been formed, but I have been Spinning everyday and seeing Crush for alone time, too.  My parents depart on Thursday and we have been having fun being roommates again for a few days.

I have been to the beach, I have had some cocktails before 6:00 pm, I have enjoyed lunch on the pier, and a picnic supper in the park.  Tonight, I am going to a concert and my favorite new bar to get a drink.

Life is good.

Actually, it is phenomenal.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moving Day

Today is the day! I leave in a few hours.

Dad and I broke the trip into 3 days/2 nights as we have the U-Haul and can't go too fast.  We will stop overnight in Cincinnati, OH and Asheville, NC as we make our way down to Charleston.

I am all set.  Packed, CDs (I am old school) are ready to be played in the car, I have healthy snacks for the road on ice in my cooler.  Water and electric get turned on Friday and cable (Bravo, oh how I have missed you!) and Internet on Saturday.

I cannot believe I am here.

Moving day.

Heading south to my new life. Only 1,000 miles (987 to be exact) stretch between what already happened and what is yet to come.

I will be offline for the rest of the week settling in, unpacking, and enjoying a little time with Crush and his family.  My Mom (I have the BEST folks) is flying down to meet us for a long a weekend (she is smart enough to pass on the drive, but will arrive just in time for the congratulatory cocktails!) and to see Crush's parents and grandmother. I am excited to get myself to the beach, to a few new restaurants, and to the gym (LOVE the spinning studio there as you all know because I can't stop talking about it!).

I am taking 2 entire weeks off (I will blog during this rest period after Saturday when I get my wifi) to get into a good routine (learn my way around mostly), relax, and take a mini road trip to NJ/NYC to see Sissy (and her crew, Big Baby turns 3!)) and pick out my bling.  Then, the grueling job hunt will begin though I shouldn't complain as it is already showing some great promise.

I look forward to getting a bit more personal after I arrive in Charleston and who knows...maybe even share a few photos?!  I have lots of fun tidbits to blog about and I can't wait to fill you (y'all!) in!

Have a wonderful week and be back soon!



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An Accomplishment That I Am Proud Of

It has been busy around here.  I have been packing, completing my new website, eating tons of sandwiches (I am recently obsessed with Jimmy Johns and find it to be so satisfying and filling), and saying farewell to dear old friends.

For years (5 to be exact), I have been super into Spinning.  I have mentioned it before.  Don't be confused with Flywheel or SoulCycle or any of that jazz, I like the old standard, Spinning.  The real deal.  Not indoor cycling classes that may be at your gym, Spinning.  The type of cycling class that can only be found at a certified Spinning studio or a gym that endorses the program.  Spinning classes are called Spinning and everything else that is on a bike at a gym in a group setting that isn't endorsed by Spinning falls under the umbrella of indoor cycling.  I know I sound annoying, but take it from someone who didn't know the difference and tried countless non-Spinning cycling classes and wondered why she hated them because it was still cycling to music...light bulb moment, it wasn't Spinning.  Yes, I am a dumdum sometimes.

Of course, in my typical difficult fashion, I became obsessed with something 15 years after it was really cool.  In the kismet mess improving reality that is my life, Charleston has perhaps the best Spinning studio I have ever experienced.  No excuses now to get in shape.  I just bought a 20 pack of rides this very morning.

Well, after hundreds of real Spinning classes, several pounds lost, (and then regained because of binging from depression and not Spinning) and exposure to some fabulous music I would have never heard otherwise, I, yes, Ready and Fading, became a Certified Spinning Instructor over the weekend.

Pick your jaws off the floor.

I am super excited about it and plan to teach some classes (I have taught a few cycling classes in Spinning fashion already, but not as a certified AKA real Spinning instructor!) down south.  I can't wait to play some super techno mixed in with my country tunes.  I learned over the weekend that a successful Spinning class should have over 5 genres of music to keep things interesting.  I am ready to make those play lists.

Some people connect with running, yoga, Zumba, or pilates.  Spinning is my go-to.  I love the team environment, the personal challenge, the music, the energy, the 1 hour commitment.  I am pumped to become involved with my new Spinning studio and hopefully teach there one day.  It is my next fitness goal now that I am certified.  Since my new studio is so boss, it is quite difficult to become an instructor there, but I plan on making it happen one ride at a time.

I don't plan on joining a gym.  I plan to work on strength myself and then get my cardio in with Spinning and outdoor bike rides.  There are no words to express my excitement about getting to ride a bike year round!  WHOOT!

That's all for now, just needed to boast that I did something I have dreamt of for years.  I am proud.

Ride on.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Very Wise Man

My uncle is the smartest person I know.

Not just because he is very turbo with his achievements including being a renowned doctor, an Ivy league graduate, and a visionary in his field, but because he is accessible.

If you saw his credentials on paper, you may be intimidated, but if you met him in person, you would think, "that is a very nice guy."  He could be a cocky asshole, but he is just the opposite.

This past Saturday was Yom Kippur.  The holiest day for Jews.  One where we fast and reflect on the past year and hope and pray for only good things for the year to come for ourselves and for the ones we love.

At our annual break the fast dinner, my uncle toasted Crush and me.  My entire family adores Crush and I can't wait to introduce my aunt and uncle and cousins to Crush's family because I know they will get a huge kick out of them, too.

Quickly, the table conversation turned to Awful and his whereabouts as one of my cousins shared that she had recently seen him on his scooter/sidecar and almost ran him over with her car (by accident) as Awful was driving like a maniac which is typical for him.

I informed them of his approaching wedding this coming weekend and like me, they were a bit surprised, but wished him the best of luck.  My uncle got to know Awful a bit because he personally got him his job a few years ago.  A fact that Awful (who had been unemployed for nearly a year before my uncle intervened) never thanked him for which really bothered my family, especially my dad (who already hated Awful for lying about major promises that he made to me).

But then my uncle said something that really resonated with me.  "Ready and Fading, I never liked Awful.  Did you know that?  I know this may not be the best time to discuss it, being Yom Kippur and all, but I think he is a bullshitter.  Time after time, he would ask me to go hunting with him.  I counted 6 times.  But, not once, did he ever follow up.  A real man honors his commitments.   I wish his new wife the best of luck because a man who says and does not do cannot ever be a good husband or a good friend.  He is a person who will always come up empty.  I respect Crush and I realized that he was a keeper when he got in his car and drove 900 miles to meet Sissy's new baby.  That is what a real man does.  A real man makes things happens and doesn't just talk about all of the things he will do someday."

My uncle, the very wise man, was right (of course!).

Crush has always made an effort.  To see me, to speak with me, to email and text me back.

We never had guessing games or almosts or empty promises.

Even when I doubted him (and got super cray cray) because I had been so hurt before and because I was afraid that this was all too good to be true, he came through.  Men had lied to me.  Men had said mean things to me about my body.  Men had wasted my time and my energy.

But not Crush.

Crush is a real man.  The kind of man who says what he will do and then does it (even if sometimes it isn't exactly the way I would....this is something I am working on, accepting that there are many ways to get to the same solution!).

Now that I am no longer single, I think this is an easy litmus test to separate all of the very bad ones from the really good ones.

Real men honor commitments.