Category Archives: Adventures in Singleness

Write What Hurts

Caught between pain and guilt, I started keeping a journal. I wrote every doubt, fear, and painful moment within its pages.  It’s starting to be filled with ink, the bleeding of my heart on pretty purple-lined paper.  It’s cathartic, but only in the moment of writing; my doubts and fears return to me after a brief rest, unsatisfied with their inky expressions.  I wonder, if I could somehow perfectly articulate the barbed storm within, would it finally subside?

I tell myself that my journal is not shameful, that I am merely attempting to capture the human experience.  The truth is that I am mortified at my own brokenness.  I hide and hold it within, like a child clutching the broken pottery pieces of their mother’s fine china.  The difference is that the child will be found out, scolded and forgiven.  I could hold my brokenness forever, and no one would know if I did not tell them.  And, because mental illness and internal struggle is not seen as heroic–though succeeding despite self-doubt and panic is the most heroic thing I have ever done–people do not care to be reminded that those they love are suffering.

I don’t want to be a burden on anyone, and though I am more than willing to share the burdens of others, I do not hand off my burdens to those I trust.  I’m a pack mule; I carry the baggage of the entire traveling party and endure the heavy weight with little complaint and a trusting expression.

I always said that I would be able to unburden myself if I ever found someone supportive enough that I could trust them with everything.  But that is putting the responsibility for dealing with my issues on another person–a childlike damsel-in-distress fantasy that I have long outgrown.  There is no hero coming to save me.  I shall have to unpack myself.

So, I have started journaling.  I’m writing what hurts, in an attempt to patch up the cracks in my soul.  I have several saddle-bags full of broken pieces.  I’m not sure which ones are mine and which ones belong to others, but maybe I could make a mosaic of the barbed edges, and maybe it could be beautiful.

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Adventures in Vegas

My god, Vegas.  My god.

Vegas, you were everything I had ever expected with a billion trillion surprises thrown in.  Complete with random Darth Vaders.

"Poker and prostitutes fill the Death Star shaped void in my life."

Please take note of the “Hot Babes” advertisement in the background.

I did not actually call for any hot babes.

There were hooker cards scattered like rose petals on the surprisingly clean streets.  The source of the cards were t-shirt clad people who would slap a deck full of loose women cards against their forearm when people walked by.  It felt almost like a rite of passage to accept a hooker card from one of these employees.  Other people did–most of them also threw their cards in the street.  I wasn’t quite able to work up the courage, though.  It was unnerving, and the pictures on the cards were a deterrent in their own right.

If you stay off the streets, Vegas  is beautiful.

I was maybe slightly inebriated when I took this photo.

What if the only reason I love city lights so much is because I live in the country?

We only went to a few places in Vegas because we were there for a work conference, so I don’t have many pictures.  I also don’t have many pictures because my camera was dead for half the trip.  But that’s okay.  We’re probably going to the Summit again next year and I can make up for it.

We did get to go to Madame Tussaud’s.  You know, the wax museum.  It was actually more awesome than it sounds.  I married George Clooney, danced with J-Lo, and sat with Simon Cowell for a bit.  There was even a haunted house inside–with real actors–that we frolicked in for a bit.  Or rather, that I frolicked in.  Everyone else was too afraid of the costume-clad guys.

Honesty time.  If everyone else hadn’t freaked out, I would have been scared out of my mind.  I’m sure there’s lots of bad karma that go along with laughing at other people’s fear.  But I’ll worry about that later.

The only other thing we did was wander the streets of Vegas (in groups, with rape whistles*) and look at stuff.  Like how there were four Transformer-Bumblebee  costumers within a half mile of each other.  And like the fountain show at the Bellagio hotel, which was awesome and set to the song “All that Jazz” from the musical Chicago.  And like the tiny marmoset that some lady had doing tricks on a bridge for tips.  And also like the ridiculously high-end shops which we explored with great fervor.

Have you ever been in a store where one necklace costs more than you make in a month?  I have.  It was fun. And sparkly.  Like Edward Cullen in the sunlight.

What I enjoyed most about Vegas was how completely out of my element I felt.  I love a good adventure and, even though it feels weird, I love experiencing something totally off-kilter from my drab everyday life.  Sin City was definitely different, but what surprised me was how similar some aspects of it seemed. The city was a lot like Myrtle Beach back home–a really, really big Myrtle Beach where prostitution was legal and also without all the beach touristy stuff.   And with giant mountains on the horizon instead of a beach.  The layout was about the same, though.  The neighborhoods and the buildings and the big freeways.  That mix of similarity and difference was just….unforgettable.

Everyone should go to Vegas at least once.  Except really religious people.  You would probably not like it at all.

*I’m kidding about the rape whistles. But not about the groups.  Nobody went out alone into Vegas, that would be stupid.

Travel Week! First stop: NC State Fair

I’ve done a fair amount of travelling lately, but I haven’t been writing about it!  Seems like a shame to me, so I figured I’d fix it.

As promised, Fair pics!

This is how I know I'm at the Fair.

FAIR FOOD. Nom nom nom, fried grease.

I love the “fried dough” sign.  It’s like they ran out of creative ideas.  But at least they’re being honest.

Oh, the state fair.  A world where agriculture and the people who care about agriculture suddenly appear everywhere, like Wranglers-clad earth-fairies.

This place has the BEST apple cider.

Earth-fairies like rocking chairs. And beards.

I realized something, though.  I never got any pictures of myself.  I think it’s mostly that I refuse to accost random strangers to take my picture (because it’s weird), and I am also really, really bad at aiming my camera at my own face.

I did, however, get a Ferris wheel shot.

We didn't think the rides were worth our time. Or potential lunch-losing.

See the Ferris wheel? It’s behind the church and the tree and….crap.

I drove an hour and a half to get to the fair.  We only spent two or three hours there, but we did manage to have some fun and hit the highlights of the fair: Apple Cider and hushpuppies.

If you don’t know what hushpuppies are, I am very sorry.  They are tasty little devils.

Even though I love going, I don’t think I’ll go to the state fair next year.  Nothing ever really changes.  I think I’ll go to the Renaissance fair in Charlotte instead.  Anybody want to come with?

Life doesn’t JUST hand you lemons.

But if it does, make a lemon grenade.

Today I’m off to the State Fair!  Whooooo!   This was very unexpected and I thought I’d have the afternoon to prepare something more fun for you.

To make it up, I’ll be posting tomorrow–complete with fair pictures of Ferris wheels and apple cider.

I love the fair.  Today is going to be a very good day.

Nearly All My Life I’ve Lived a Lie

When I was a kid, I used to watch this old VHS tape.  It was your standard motivational-child sing-a-long.  I don’t remember much about it.  It’s all half-formed fuzzy childhood memories.

But I do remember that the last song said something along the lines of “you can be whoever you want to be.”

This paired nicely with Barney telling me that I was special and Kidsongs telling me that I could practically do anything ever.

Then I got older.

Everything was fine until middle school when I suddenly didn’t fit in well anywhere.  I was too awkward to hang out with the girls (who discovered makeup, fashion, and hair-styling ages before I did), and the boys would never do more than tolerate me because I was a girl.  I was not one of them, no matter my interest in video games, sports, and Pokemon cards.

This awkwardness persisted well into high school, where suddenly there were couples.  Everywhere.

Around this time, I discovered the concept of Feminism.

I clung to only one tenet:  That I was a strong, independent woman who didn’t need a man to complete me.

I believed this not because it was true, but because it gave me a shield against the hurt I felt because I was alone.

Today, one of my coworkers asked me if my husband was coming on a business trip with me.

I don’t have a husband.

I try to be the fun, creative person I know I am.  I try to live life to the fullest and not worry about relationships.  I know I can have just as much fun as a single adult as I could if I were dating someone.

But when she said that, when she asked about a nonexistent figure in my life, a deep-set sadness pierced through me.  I realized that I still cling to that tenet of Feminism, for the same reasons I had in high school.

I’ve said I’m happier alone.  I’ve said I want to be alone.  I’ve said that I don’t think I ever want a relationship.  I’ve said these things recently. Like, less than a week ago.

All of it, lies.

I would argue that my self-deception isn’t all bad.  It’s allowed me to stay single during most of my academic years–allowing me to focus on my grades and not a boyfriend.  It’s allowed me to make decisions without taking into account someone else’s opinion/desires.  It’s made me learn how to take care of myself in the real world.

But now that I’ve graduated, now that I can allow distractions…

My self-deception is preventing me from pursuing something that I undeniably want.

But now that I perceive my deception, will that awareness stem the tide of its reach?

Like Death Warmed Over

Fall is in the air! It’s cooler, crisper, and The Crud is running rampant.  I’ve been sick for the last week and a half.  Hooray!

Yeah, I missed last week.  I’m calling it a state of emergency.

I was not just caught in a Crud-induced coughing fit.  Oh, no.  Because I just can’t quit when it’s good for me, I decided Friday that I was going to go shopping.  I’m going to a semi-formal dinner-thing next weekend (in VEGAS.  I’m ridiculously excited.  Ridiculously.) and I needed some sort of frilly semi-formal dress-thing to wear.

After work, I marched right over to the mall, thinking “Oh, this will be easy! Lots of stores, lots of dresses–surely something will work out!”

I’m an idiot.

The very first rule of female clothes-related outings is that nothing will ever fit for the first hour and a half.

The stores were lacking in options, what they did have didn’t fit well, all the good things were never in my size, and everything in my size was ridiculously expensive.

Not to mention, the whole time I was there I was hacking away like the Crud-sick cold-zombie I was.

I remembered why I hated shopping.   And colds.

I did finally find something–four and a half hours later.

And then I took my frustrated, physically and emotionally exhausted self home, gave myself a slightly above recommended dose of Nyquil, and put myself to bed.

I had forgotten you already. I am sorry.

But my night wasn’t over yet.  Because when I reached down for a book (I read before I sleep.  Almost always.), the book was oddly textured in little moving black dots that turned out to be a home invasion of fire ants.

So then I got to spend the next four hours moving all my furniture and spraying ant poison/repellent everywhere.

Then I could sleep.  But I couldn’t sleep in my bed–my room smelled like ant poison and it hurt to breathe in there.  I wound up sleeping on a couch in another room that was just big enough to be comfortable while also being small enough that I couldn’t move or roll over.  It was a rough night.

I feel rather accomplished, though.  I’ve beaten back the Crud, battled droves of fire ants, and gotten almost everything together for my Vegas trip.

I’m trying to do more planning in regards to my blog, to schedule things so that I don’t have to worry about missing Friday posts.  I’m still trying to find balance.

But hey, at least I didn’t miss today!

Here’s to a better, non-Crud and ant filled week next week!

 

 

The Lamest Reason for Going Vegetarian

The more I cook for myself, the more I realize I’m going to be a vegetarian one day.

It’s not because I’m some sort of champion of animal rights–though I do love animals and would hate for them to befall any sort of cruelty.

It’s not because I feel like “animals are people too.”

It’s not because I have some sort of ethical opposition to killing things for food.

It’s not that I dislike the taste of cooked meat.

No, it’s raw meat I have issues with.

I hate looking at it, I hate smelling it, and most of all, I hate touching it.  Blegh.

I hate cooking because cooking generally means “cooking with meat.”  

Or, it used to.  Last weekend I made a vegetarian lasagna.  I was convinced it would be terrible–after all, the meat-eating populace would have you believe that all vegetarian food is sub-par to the meaty deliciousness of tradition.

I was pleasantly surprised when my zucchini and mushroom dish was every bit as good as traditional lasagna.  Even more so at the unabashed joy I felt while making it.  I’ve never been so happy cooking before.  And all this just because I didn’t have to handle raw beef.

So I’m pretty sure that I’m going to go (mostly) vegetarian the second I start living on my own.

But I’ll never be able to officially be in the club because my reason for joining up sucks.  I’m pretty sure hardcore vegetarians would think I was a poseur.