Maybe it’s because I think I can’t do it.

One time, about a year ago, my BFF & I were at the gym, getting our stretch on. While we were stretching it out, this incredibly nimble, incredibly buff dude starts working out on these hanging rings adjacent to our mat.

He was getting pretty crazy on these rings: flips, holds, you name it; he did it. It was some Olympic-level shit going on. & I was impressed. I mentioned this to my BFF, & she scoffed… & claimed that it “couldn’t be that hard.”

It was on.

Because I’m an asshole, I took her up on this claim. We waited around for Mr. Buff & Nimble to complete his routine, & hustled over to the rings for my BFF to try.

I will never forget the look on her face: pure determination. Which quickly turned to a mixture of horror & surprise when she found out that perhaps those ring things weren’t as easy as Mr. Buff & Nimble made them look. At the time, I felt a little bit smug — I’m an asshole best friend, I know. I thought that it illustrated perfectly the importance of knowing one’s limitations. I thought that being aware of how far you can push yourself was a lesson in avoiding being set up for failure. I thought it was important to always acknowledge what you can’t do.

But the reason I bring this up now is because I was wrong. & because I was wrong then, & have continued to be wrong, I think I’m preventing myself from engaging in a long-term commitment of the romantic variety.

Maybe my self-imposed limitations, imaginary boundaries, & voluntary confinement to a comfort zone have something to do with my lack of dating lately.

I set limits on myself because I don’t think that I can push past them. I tell myself a dude is too good-looking for me: he’s out of my league. I convince myself that I don’t want a relationship; that I am too irresponsible for a commitment of that magnitude. I don’t even give myself a chance to try before I let myself down lightly. I don’t even give myself the chance to fail. &, although it is not a pleasant experience, failing is an important experience. It’s a learning experience.

Not only that, but not giving myself the opportunity for failure also relieves me of any chances to succeed. If I tell myself I can’t do something & subsequently don’t do it, I am letting myself down far more than if I just tried. If I allow myself to seize opportunities rather than shirk them, my success rate might be zero… but at least it would actually exist.

Perhaps I should take a page out of my BFF’s book. Maybe I will borrow some of that unadulterated determination, & tackle some rings of my own.

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Maybe it’s because I’m famous(ish).

I’ve recently gained a wee bit of notoriety. Like just a tiny, tiny bit. Nothing too huge… I mean, Ryan Getzlaf did recognize me at a restaurant the other day (kind of – we maintained eye contact for what felt like forever) but it’s really not that big of a deal.

It just so happens that a selfie I tweeted at Cosmopolitan made it into their May issue. Basically, my face stood out from hundreds of thousands of other faces & is now gracing page 132 (along with 11 other gorgeous girls) of the magazine.

Pretty cool right?

So if y’all are out & about, pick up a copy — you can say you knew me when.

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Maybe it’s because I am broke.

I have been living the student life for a couple years now, & at first it didn’t seem so bad finance-wise. I mean, yeah, money was a little tight, but I have a job, & I had student loans, & I was somehow managing to stay afloat.

But this year, my financial naivete has finally caught up with me.

I am broke. Broker than broke. So broke, that I am actually unsure how I am going to fill up my car once the quarter tank of gas that’s currently in it runs out. Or feed myself: I might also have a problem fulfilling that basic need for the next little while.

Like so many people, I am living on credit. &, unfortunately, credit doesn’t last forever. & weirdly enough, banks expect you to pay that money back eventually.

I’m also a major space cadet, & neglected to submit my hours to my employer… So they in turn neglected to pay me. They’re going to eventually, of course, but I’m now stuck trying to make the 6 dollars I have available on my credit card & the 15 dollars & change I have in my wallet last until payday.

Ouch.

Needless to say, I am kind of hoping for a mysterious windfall of the monetary persuasion to get me through the next little bit.

Perhaps it is my financial foolishness, my penniless persistance, and my overall inability to maintain a positive balance in my bank account that is putting a damper on my dating life.

I mean, it’s 2014. So dudes aren’t expected to pay for everything on a date… & even though I am a cheap date, I still don’t think I would be able to afford it.

Unless we go to a place that takes IOUs, I’m gonna be pretty SOL.

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Maybe it’s because I’m still unnaturally close with my BFF?

As ya’ll are probably aware, my BFF moved across the country last summer to follow her dream of becoming a Broadway star. When I first realized she was leaving (I knew before she did, I’m convinced) I was devastated. I didn’t know if I would be able to be who I am without her (we’re a tad codependent). But honestly, it’s a pretty big deal when someone you care about moves away. & I was worried that our unnaturally close relationship would suffer when we were separated. The only thing I had to compare it to was the time my third grade best friend moved to Winnipeg. & I don’t even remember that girl’s first name — needless to say, we didn’t stay in touch.

But…

My current BFF & I have actually grown closer since her move (if that’s even possible).

We’ve known each other for all of our adult lives, & in that time we have both done a lot of growing. I know that I would not be the same type of person I am today without her influences, & I would like to think I have had at least made a modicum of difference on how she turned out too. We’ve each seen the other at her lowest point (so far), & I hope we have the chance to witness each other’s highest as well.

She has been gone for 9 months. Even as I write that it doesn’t seem… right. It has felt like forever, but at the same time it has felt like no time has passed at all. I just finished talking to her on the phone & sometimes, when we talk, it feels as if she never left. It is almost like I can hop into my car & make the 20 minute drive to crawl into bed & watch Netflix with her.

Now, we definitely don’t talk as much as we did when she lived in the same time zone as me, & sometimes we forget to touch base about things that happen in our lives (& I always seem to forget the names of her new friends — sorry!), but we have still managed to maintain a bond that transcends all the normalities that usually define friendships.

We don’t have sleepovers or stage impromptu puppet shows anymore, & we can’t drive around into the wee hours of the morning sipping Tim’s & singing duets, nor can we spend an hour or two browsing for the perfect shade of lipstick & reading romantic greeting cards out loud at the drugstore. But, we are better, stronger, and healthier in our relationship than we have ever been before. Because I can’t talk to her all the time, or see her all the time, go to the gym with her all the time, or lay in bed doing nothing with her all the time, it makes me appreciate her more. It makes me realize how great of a friend she is, & how valuable & rare our friendship is. There aren’t very many people I know who are as lucky as we are, & I think when we spent every single waking (& sleeping) moment with each other… It became less obvious how truly special it is to have a friendship like ours.

I miss her, and I love her, but I am so happy for her too. I am proud that she took the biggest leap of her entire life & moved across the country to pursue her dream. I am so proud, & so lucky, to call her my best friend. I can’t wait for the day when we can engage in marathon hangouts again, but I also know that right now we are good with where we are at. When we talk, even if it’s been a few days, we can pick up our conversation exactly where we left it. When I saw her for the first time since she’d moved, we fell right back into our usual routine… As if we had never been apart. & we have the kind of relationship where it will always be that way: I will never have to worry that I won’t be good enough for her, & she will always, always, be good enough for me.

So, sorry boys, even though she’s not here… my BFF is still as big a part of my life as ever. & to love me is to love her. If my main man isn’t cool with my main girl, then… Peace out bro. Shit’s just not gonna work out.

There’s plenty of fish on the beach, but it’s rare to find a BFF like mine.

 

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Maybe it’s my maturity level?

I was grocery shopping the other day… well, no, more aptly I was in the grocery store the other day, picking up a few necessities for a friend’s birthday party, when I spotted the most gorgeous human being I have ever seen in real life.

He was so handsome… I had difficulty looking directly at him.

He was tall, athletic, probably around his mid-20s, and, although I nervously scuttled away from him upon first sighting, fate decided to place him ahead of me in the express checkout. Which was cool & everything, & I would have really appreciated it, but I think what fate intended as a kind gesture turned into more of a cruel joke.

You see, Mr. Handsome was ringing through a carton of organic milk, a freshly made salad, a pair of apples, & some fucking quinoa. Meanwhile, I have my hands full with a couple family-size bags of chips, two litres of Clamato, & a Hershey’s chocolate bar. I look at his groceries, look at my “groceries,” & it is blatantly obvious that we are in totally different places in our lives.

He has matured from eating chips for dinner & downing a whole bottle of wine in one sitting, whereas I am still barely eating three meals a day — one of them probably consisting of beer & very little else.

This got me thinking: maybe the fact that I am a 24 year-old woman behaving like an 18 year-old girl has got something to do with my lack of relationship prospects. The dudes that I want to be with have grown out of their partying phase, so why haven’t I? I mean, yeah, I am living the student lifestyle: broke, depressed, and stressed on the reg’ but that doesn’t mean I have to add alcoholism to my growing list of things wrong with me.

I had my party girl period, & that obviously did not leave my life ripe with healthy male attention, so perhaps I need to shift gears socially. Maybe if I matured, grew up, & actually acted my age, I would be able to monopolize on the handsome strangers fate throws my way.

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Maybe it’s my ride… Part 2.

I know, I know… I’ve written about my filthy car before but it bears revisiting.

Trust me.

Here’s why:

The time has come for me to bid Rhonda (my ride) adieu. We’ve had 5 glorious years together, & I love her dearly, but like all good things our relationship must come to an end. My parents decided to bestow upon me a late birthday gift of a new-ish vehicle (I’m so spoiled, right?), & so Rhonda will be moving on to a new owner. One who hopefully will love her as much as I did.

Now, the first step of selling a vehicle is making sure it’s clean & free of garbage & other hoarded materials. Being that I am a self-described hoarder, this was the most laborious part of getting Rhonda retail-ready. Any car owner knows how things start to collect in a vehicle… A couple pairs of shoes for work, a blanket for emergencies, a jacket you thought you might need on a brisk spring day, a box of band-aids… etc. I somehow managed to take this phenomenon to a whole ‘nother level of collecting… It was as if I had decided it was mandatory for me to be ready for anything.

& I also gave up attempting any sort of organization (I’m a creative individual okay? We don’t take well to things like “structure” & “cleanliness”), & that quickly resulted in a pile of shit I don’t need/use in my trunk that soon began spilling into the backseat.

Anyone who has ridden in Rhonda’s rear knows this pile of shit well: more likely than not they had to get comfortable with a bag of actual garbage or a year-old, unopened, 2L bottle of 7-up in order to fit safely in the back. & even when I cleaned out Rhonda on a not-so-regular basis I would more rearrange the hoarded material versus actually take care of the problem & cleaning it out. Yeah, I would throw out the legitimate garbage, but I could never get around to giving Rhonda a full-blown, properly done, cleaning. I would always be able to rationalize avoiding it: who knows when I will need this limited-edition Guitar Hero guitar for Wii? Or one (or all) of these three blankets? Or a pair of uncomfortable faux leather red pumps? Or a copy of Lauren Conrad’s first book? OR half a 26 of raspberry vodka & 8 cans of beer?

You never know when tragedy will strike. You know? Of course I always hoped for the best, but you’ve got to prepare for the worst.

Am I right?

But now the time has finally come. I have to clean Rhonda out; she’s moving on, I am moving on, & I’ve got to gather my belongings & go. That wooden sword that has been taking up space in my trunk is now going to be collecting dust in the basement, & the Ouija board that I bought on a lark but have been too afraid of paranormal repercussions to throw out is now buried at the bottom of a black garbage bag.

Once Rhonda’s inside was clutter-free, I moved on to the next step of selling a vehicle: I gave her a good & proper clean, inside & out. I got 25 tokens at my favourite car wash & went to town. I even used the foam brush, & I thought about giving her a wax… but then realized I had no idea what waxing a car actually entails… So I didn’t.

It’s the thought that counts though.

I also decided to put the Armour-All wipes I bought to good use & tackled the dust bunnies residing on my dash, & cleaned up the unknown sticky substance that crustified to the bottom of my cup holders.

Yum.

Now that Rhonda is shiny, clean, & almost just like new, she’s ready to go on the market. I don’t know if I am ready to put her up for sale, but, like I said, it is time to move on.

It’s a really weird, & emotional, experience for me. Cleaning out Rhonda & removing any personal memorabilia was like saying goodbye to an old friend. Some of the best times of my life (so far) happened in or around Rhonda, & I am going to miss her dearly. She’s been good to me, even when I haven’t necessarily been good to her, & together we’ve seen a lotta road. To me, she will always be more than a Ford Focus station wagon: she will be Rhonda, my first car.

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Maybe it’s because I want to be.

I just recently downloaded the super popular, super shallow, super socially-acceptable dating application Tinder.

It’s got a pretty addicting, easy-to-use “hot or not” system: basically a virtual stack pops up of pictures of guys (or gals, whichever) in your area & you swipe left for NOPE & right if you think they’re a hottie. If you like someone, & they like you back, the app allows you to directly message each other through an internal messaging system.

So, I have spent the last week or so ripping through pictures like nobody’s business, & I have managed to collect around 200 matches. Some of them have struck up a conversation with me, some of them have tried to awkwardly hit on me, & others have asked me for nudie pics.

These guys are contacting me, &, although most are pretty perv-y, there are some who seem actually pretty nice. They ask me about my life, my blog, my day. Then, they ask me out for coffee… & I usually don’t respond.

I know, I know… This makes me sound like such a bitch. But really I just don’t know how to say: No, I don’t want to go to coffee with you… I just want you to tell me how pretty I am. I am not looking for a relationship, a date, a one-night stand, or even a cuddle buddy.

I am just looking for some quick & dirty validation & then I will be on my merry way.

It’s like telling a dude all you want to do is cuddle, when they really, really, really want to have sex — so, all the time. & I am of the opinion that if I don’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all… so I just leave it.

The fact that I am so opposed to meeting strangers from this dating app suggests to me that maybe I really don’t wantto be in a relationship.

& perhaps that’s why I’m alone. Maybe I choose, want, desire, & have just decided that I prefer the single life. I mean, it’s nice to have someone to hold me close at night, & hopefully I do settle down eventually, but maybe for now I will just continue riding the solo wave.

That’s what I’m telling myself this week, anyway.

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Maybe it’s because I have commitment issues?

A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do a 10 kilometre run with her in the coming fall of 2014.

I immediately balked: I am not a runner, &, although there’s ample time to train my body into running 10K without my heart giving out… I know myself well enough to realize that’s never going to happen. I can’t commit to a nail polish colour for more than 24 hours… much less a 6 month fitness regimen. I don’t know if it is boredom, or lack of motivation, or just plain apprehension of the potential distress at not being able to achieve a set goal, but I’m just not great with commitment. This is why I can’t play a musical instrument, am continuously broke, & will probably remain forever alone.

Just the mere possibility of a long-term relationship freaks me out.

There was this one time, a while ago, when I thought I might end up in a relationship, & I remember having this distinct feeling in the pit of my stomach of pure, unadulterated fear. & I think the fact that I am so put-off by the thought of commitment pretty much sets me up for failure when it comes to dating. If I already know I am not predisposed to long term commitments, I am putting an end to a potential relationship before it even starts.

Am  I single because of my aversion, disinclination, phobia & mild hostility towards long term romantic commitment?

Yeah. Yeah… That’s probably it.

Now, I don’t want to start going into every heterosexual situation with the intention of love, marriage, & a baby carriage: that’s not the solution to my commitment issues (& I am not a baby person). But I should definitely try to be more open-minded when the opportunity to date someone surfaces. I can’t let my fear of commitment prevent me from finding love. I need to let go of the tension I feel towards relationships… I need to let myself love.

Who knows what could happen if I actually gave commitment a chance.

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Maybe it’s because I make bad choices.

I have notoriously terrible judgment when it comes to my personal life. I don’t know why, but it seems to be that when I am faced with a decision (go home to sleep or cab to a stranger’s house for a drunken hook-up; drive 2 & a half hours for mediocre sex or do my homework; exchange food for nookie or, you know, don’t…) I always, ALWAYS, without fail, or even a second thought, choose the risky, less-appropriate, more — ahem — promiscuous of the two.

I tend to lean towards dangerous situations & pass over the safer alternatives. I like spontaneity: it’s more fun. But with great spontaneity comes great responsibility.

& a serious lack of real relationship prospects.

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again: getting laid is easy. I mean, I am a decent-looking girl who still has all her teeth… All I need to do is find a willing guy, bat my eyelashes once or twice, & it’s on. But just because something is easy doesn’t mean you should do it, right? The easy choice isn’t always the best choice — actually, it’s usually the worse one.

& it is usually the one that involves me downing consecutive hand-grenades & crawling into bed with a guy who is cute, nice, seems to like me, tells me he likes me, ravages me with his mediocre cock (his words, not mine), but will probably never talk to me again following the inevitable one-night stand awkward morning after.

Ugh. Like, who am I? & how long do I really think I can keep this shit up. I am not getting any younger — I don’t want to be the retiree offering blow jobs in a north side bar’s parking lot, using sexual acts as a means of bartering for physical affection.

But every choice has a consequence, & I fear I am headed down a long, lonely road.

Maybe if I made more rational, chaste, and thoughtful judgements, and was less reckless in my decision-making processes when it came to time spent with men, I wouldn’t be left wondering why boys never want to hold my hand in public.

Or even spend time with me in public, really.

I make a lot of bad choices, & most of them involve dudes. But the buck stops here folks: the time has come for me to spend some time pondering my decisions. Maybe if I weigh the pros & cons when faced with two choices I won’t make the easy decision — I will make the right one.

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Maybe it’s because I’m a reject.

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My birthday is coming up. & the fact that the end to another year of my life is rapidly approaching makes me consider just how little I have accomplished since the last anniversary of my birth.

I am on the dawn of my 24th birthday & I feel like I have done absolutely nothing with my life. It’s really depressing to think about. It’s also a really distracting & sleep-preventing thought to have bouncing around in your head. Trust me. My last week of sleeps has been wrought with tossing & turning, & I have the unattractive under eye circles to prove it.

I lay down at night & all the nagging, self-deprecating thoughts that I manage to keep at bay during daytime hours come swooping in. They tell me that I am a loser, an idiot, a reject. They remind me that my life lacks direction. They take care to highlight my major flaws & laugh in the face of my pitiful accomplishments. They point out the fact that I still live with my parents, don’t have a real job, & am currently going to school for something that doesn’t necessarily create a lot of career opportunities for me post-graduation.

Oh yeah, my subconscious also takes pride in reminding me that I am alone.

Awesome.

I think turning a year older provides a good opportunity for me to beat myself up, & I take full advantage of it. It’s an excuse for me to remind myself about all of my shitty attributes & cry myself to sleep (when I can, in fact, sleep). And as much as I want to jump start my life, I have the suspicious feeling that my overly critical approach to my latest life dissatisfaction isn’t really helping me any. I understand the need to be hard on myself (obviously) because I have to hold myself accountable for my mistakes and self-imposed setbacks… But I also need to be aware of how I treat myself, and whether or not my brand of criticism is helping or hurting.

I think I am using the success of others a measuring stick of success for my own life, & that isn’t how it works. A wise friend once told me that there is always going to be someone prettier, smarter, thinner, & more successful than me. But that doesn’t nullify my own accomplishments or myself as a person.

If I continue to place myself in an imaginary competition with everyone else on the planet… more often that not I will come out the loser. Everybody goes through life at their own pace. Everyone measures success differently, more importantly. I need to decide what success means to me, before I can decide how successful I am. I can’t look at a rich person & wish I was more wealthy. I can’t look at a thin person & wish I was more svelte. I can’t look at a smart person & wish I was more intelligent. I have to look in the mirror & decide what I want my version of success to look like.

So yeah, my birthday is coming up. & I am going to be a 24 year-old woman who lives with her parents, has no money, no real job, & hasn’t decided what trajectory her life is going on post-university graduation. But, that might be okay. I don’t want to let my past lack of success effect my future opportunities to become successful. Right now is not as good as it is going to get for me — I haven’t reached my peak at 24, & I don’t want to.

I have an entire lifetime to make something of myself. Why rush it?

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