I realized that I’ve posted some bad date stories but to be fair and to also (maybe) inspire some sense of optimism in my seemingly string of endless romantic bad luck I’ll write about a good date that I’ve had. I moved to a new place and I updated one of my social media accounts to show my new location. But let me take a few steps back. I’m a big fan of not having public social media pages. I like to be able to choose who sees what I post. There was a guy that I added for the very simple reason that he was cute and what he posted had substance. So for the past few years we didn’t interact but followed each other on social media. Fast forward to me coming to the new place. He commented on my post that he lived nearby and that we should hang out sometime. So a few weeks later we messaged and decided on a time and location. I was excited but had no idea what to expect. It was a public place but honestly you never know when you’re meeting someone in person for the first time. He was a good looking guy but for some reason I imagined that he was shorter than average because of the angles of the pictures he posted. Nothing wrong with that. So I arrived at the restaurant early and proceeded to order food and a drink. I didn’t know if he would decide to show up and I didn’t want to wait forever, plus I was hungry. But I picked a seat that faced the door so I would see him if he decided to come through. I’m enjoying my food and I see him walk past the windows and into the front door. Up to this point I had only swooned over a guy twice or so. Once when I walked past Brian McKnight in college and once when I was in Paris. This was the third time. I saw him and felt the air leave my lungs. I immediately felt my ears getting warm and I think my jaw literally dropped. Dude was fine. Not regularly fine where you can glance, smile, and keep it moving. The kind where you stop in your tracks and and stare while trying to decide if it’s worth it to take a picture to document the moment. He spotted me and came over to say hi and give me a hug before we moved to a different part of the restaurant. He ordered drinks and we started chatting. Great conversation that didn’t have those awkward silences. Found out that we had some things in common. I’m also mentally checking off things on my unofficial checklist of what I’d ideally like. Dude is passing with FLYING colors. Corporate with a twinge of bad boy? Check. Well read and well spoken? Check. Has a passport and travels? Check. Goals and ambition? Check. So I’m just enjoying the moment and focusing on the present. Another unaccompanied woman comes into the restaurant and sits close to us. She orders a complicated drink and frustrates the already swamped bartender. Then she starts to low key flirt with my guy. I’ll admit that I started to feel some twinges of annoyance and possessiveness but he shuts her down effortlessly. Bonus points for him. It was a good evening. We chatted for about 5 hours about anything and everything under the sun. It was never officially stated as a date and I was fully prepared to pay for my food and drinks and as the evening went on he started ordering drinks as we continued to talk. The bill came and he paid for it without complaint despite me half heartedly offering to pay for my portion. I’ve heard that if a guy pays than it should be considered a date. The bill was close to $200 bucks so I guess it officially counted as a date. He walked me to my car and walked on the outside curb. Great guy, good time, no complaints.
Earlier this week I had the chance to chat with a friend (I’m using this term loosely) that I catch up with about once a year. We usually meet up in person but schedules wouldn’t allow it so we had to settle for a video chat. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and there were SO many things left unsaid that the conversation just felt heavy? It was like that. I was cool and kept it as surface and general as possible without getting into anything too personal. Annual conversations aren’t the best outlet to bare your soul. But as I talked to him I remembered the memories we’ve had over the years. I remember a moment when we were hanging out and I felt both incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time. It was a bittersweet moment in exponential proportions. It’s interesting how conversations with someone can bring back so many memories. I realized that I haven’t met anyone lately who even remotely compares to him education wise and also in ambition. While it’s not a bad thing, it does make dating just a little bit harder. The point is that there are some people in your life who you love but you really should only speak to once a year.
I’m the type of person who likes to have something to look forward to. I keep a countdown app in my phone to remind me of important things that are coming up. It makes the time pass quicker and helps with motivation. Yesterday I got back to the States after spending almost two weeks on a cruise in Europe. It was something that I’ve wanted to do for the longest and I even turned down a job in order to have the time free. The trip taught me so much as I had the opportunity to eat some real food and experience a small taste of how people live in other parts of the world. It was amazing to see sights that I had only seen in books or online. I had the opportunity to see Michaelangelos’ sculpture “The David” in person and it was absolutely breathtaking. I had pizza in Rome and Gelato in Florence and tasted part of a cannoli in Messina. One thing I love about traveling is that there’s always something to look forward to. Each day is markedly different than the last. There’s absolutely nothing like it. My worldview has definitely been expanded once again and I can’t wait for the next adventure.
- Life is hard. It’s messy and doesn’t have any promises or absolutes. But it’s easier to go through those stressors having money. Just like it sucks to be sad but its more comfortable to cry in a Bentley than on your bike.
- Advance planning is important. It’s hard to make crucial decisions when you’re still reeling from emotions and you have to think clearly. It’s better to get it out the way and not worry about it than to scramble last minute.
- It’s important to take some initiative and find out what resources are around you. After all, it’s better to know someone and not need them than to need someone and not know them.
- Questions are good. Ask them.
- Keep an open mind. Just because things have been done a certain way for a while doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved or become more efficient.
I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics. There’s something to be said about watching people compete to be the best in the world. I remember wanting to attend the summer games when the Olympics were in Atlanta. We only lived about 3 or 4 hours away but my parents quickly vetoed that course of action. But in their defense, they DID have 4 children under the age of 7 at the time. As a homeschooler, I talked my mother into letting me write a report on the Olympics to count for school credit and I watched for hours at the 2000 Summer Games. I remember always thinking about how old I would be when the next Olympic games came around and what my life would look like. So much has changed every four years in my life up to this point. From watching the games in my living room in the middle-of-nowhere Alabama, to watching in between classes and homework as a college freshman, to watching highlights online in my Colorado apartment because I didn’t have cable as a struggling graduate student, to watching in my living room as a doctoral student in metro Atlanta. I have so much respect for all the athletes who have dedicated their life to a literal pursuit of being the best in the world in a particular sport. It takes so much focus and determination and work behind the scenes to be able to get to that point. They have pushed themselves over and over again and now are engaged in a competition where they will have the chance to prove themselves and bring home the gold to their home countries. But it’s also a reminder to me to do something interesting or reinvent myself in some way every four years. There’s too much time in that 4 year gap to not do something unique and productive. After all, they say “good” is the enemy of “great.”
This weekend on Sunday I looked at my phone as I usually do when I wake up and was horrified with what I read. It brought back memories for me of a Friday morning when I woke up to messages from people asking if I was ok when a gunman went into a theater about 15 minutes away from me and killed people. As the days have passed, I’ve watched the interviews with the survivors, observed all the varying views and conspiracy theorists on social media, and just felt generally sad. My heart goes out to all those affected. The people who just wanted a fun night out to celebrate with their friends and their families who have been sick with worry finally finding out if their loved one was one of the survivors or one that didn’t make it.The story about the guy whose last text to his mother was “I’m gonna die.” just broke my heart. It’s such a horrible horrible tragedy and lives were needlessly ended due to the decision of one disturbed individual. There’s really nothing that can be said to rationalize the murder of a group of people who were targeted (it appears) because of who they were as people. This event was also preceded by the murder of a singer as she was signing autographs after her concert. While it’s touching to see the kind acts of humanity by the community and the outpouring of love and support and genuine empathy and sympathy for all the lives lost, it’s still a sad reality that this happened in the first place. Maybe I’m jaded but I really don’t have a strong burning desire to bear and raise a child in the world we live in today. It feels unrealistic to hope that the next generation “gets it right.” No place is safe and it seems like an impossibility to change that. I appreciate the attitude of never-ending optimism because we really can’t afford to lose hope because it’s literally all we have. It just breaks my heart.
My thoughts and prayers for all those impacted by the Orlando tragedies
One of the features that I enjoy on my most used social media site is the one where you can see what you had posted on that same day in years past. Not too long ago I ran across a status I had written describing my excitement of starting college and classes. Looking back, it feels like it happened a million years ago. I remember agonizing about what my major would be and feeling torn between social work, psychology, and music. College was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was great because I had the opportunity to meet new people, manage a schedule, and experience life in another structured and sheltered environment that was in a lot of ways like my home life. I learned a lot about assertiveness when I had to challenge grades with certain teachers. Before graduation I had to advocate for myself when it came down to required classes for graduation and I found a loophole and used it to my advantage. I learned about discipline and while I never perfected the art of studying, I learned about the benefits of procrastination and racing to meet a deadline while still delivering a quality scholarly work. College taught me the importance of time management and balancing conflicting priorities. The untimely deaths of several of my classmates reminded me of the importance of appreciating and living life to the fullest. Looking back, there’s not a lot I would change–except maybe being a bit more open minded and allowing myself to have more fun instead of being in the books all the time. Ah well.