Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Resolutions...fresh and early PART 2

Here's a continuation of all my hopes and dreams and wishes and schemes for 2012, started yesterday. Okay, not all of them. Not even close. But these, at least, can be lumped together as resolutions.  And so here they are:

9. Send more snail mail.

I used to be so good at sending hand written letters and cards. What happened to me? This year I'm going to be more on the ball with that. Graciously, all my friends have moved away,  so I've got a lot of opportunities to send love across the miles.

10. Start writing down what moves me in the books I read.

Okay so this one is kind of a cheat. I've already started a little project for this, last month. but I want to keep doing it. Start giving more of myself to it. I come away with so much after I read a book and too often all the wisdom and lessons get swept away in the shuffling of life and new books. I'm starting a catalogue of sorts.

11. Sing more.

This is perhaps a bit silly, but I LOVE to sing. I'm by no means on track to make a living from my stellar vocal abilities or try out for x factor, but singing out loud, really belting out a song, gives me so much joy. It's such a release for me. So, in 2012, I will sing more. I'll sing every chance I get. I'll sing in the shower, in the car, entire conversations with people, while I'm getting ready for my day. Could potentially be very embarrassing. Will be very joyful.

12. Focus my energy.

I'm all over the place. This is probably because I'm curious like a cat and interested in EVERYTHING. I by no means want to lose that, but I think it's time to spend my time more focused so that I'm more efficient with what I'm learning. I've always got a million projects going, books started, chapters half-written. Time to focus it a little. Try to finish some things, maybe pursue some interests further. Focus some of that mad, mad energy.

13. Be more unabashed about being a bitch- aka feel less guilty for being who I am.

At the end of the day, I have a pretty good relationship with myself. I'm not a pushover, I'm not out to hurt people, and I strive to make people laugh above all else. I like myself, I feel I'm a decent person, and a good friend. So why is it that so often, I feel like I have to contain parts of myself for some people and other parts for others? Keeping track of it all is making me miserable and dizzy. If folks aren't willing to take what I have to give them on any given day, I'll find new folks that will. I'm not fighting with myself over it anymore. I am at peace and everyone gets one Sara. I can only be the best me possible if it's the real me all the time. I'm done trying to be a shape shifter to fit into boxes and jump through hoops. 


14. Quit my job.

I suppose this goes in conjunction with #6. I've only stayed this long out of fear, really. Fear of the leap, of the fall, of the crash and burn. Of not having that steady paycheck. But I realized recently that the crash and burn is here and now, I am crashed and almost burned to bits. I've got to walk away from the fire or burn alive. This time next year, if I'm not in grad school, I'll at least be earning my livelihood somewhere else. That's a promise, self.

15. Spend every second I can outside.

It makes me happy, more than almost anything else, to be outside. This year, I'll know that and make sure I'm mindful of that when I decide what to do with my precious free time. I hate, hate, hate sitting around, waiting, feeling like I"m wasting my time. I'm going to take back my time in 2012, and I'm going to spend it out of doors.

16. Pay my parents $3000. Like, 4 months ago.

Earlier this year, my parents were able to bail me completely out of credit card debt in one fell swoop, which is lucky because I'm pretty sure the constant worry and anxiety was giving me an ulcer.  I can't even begin to express how much this helped my attitude toward life and how fortunate I am that they were able to do that.  If only paying them back was just as swift. Not only am I bad with my money, but this year has been full of unexpected expenses and necessary purchases. I have not been able to pay them back in full yet, and it feels like tiny ants eating me from the inside out every time I think about it. Their phone calls are much nicer than the credit card company's, and I'm not paying 30% interest anymore, but still, it weights heavily on my conscience. I know if I buckle down I can have them paid back in a few months. By 2013, hopefully I'll have that amount in my savings account again.

17. If it takes less than a minute, do it now.

I read this in The Happiness Project and it's a genius little piece of advice. Less than a minute? Do it NOW. For instance, it makes me so so so fucking mad when no one changes the toilet paper roll or refills the hand soap when those things run out. In the past I'd make myself miserable, testing to see how long it would take someone to do it, since I had done it the last time. I'd be furious every time I sat to pee or went to wash my hands. WHY? Why? I don't need that negative energy. It takes less than 30 seconds to do both, so now, I'm just going to do it. I'm so glad it's done that my frustration doesn't even last that long. This goes for other tasks too, like taking off my pants when I get home to put on sweats. I just throw them on the ground in my haste and then at the end of the week I'm tripping over a pile of pant legs and frowning at the mess. Why not just hang them up right now, avoid the fuss? Less than a minute? Do it now.

So there you go. My 2012 resolutions.

I hope you all have a safe and magical New Years Eve... really I'll take any excuse to get all dressed up, drink copious amounts of champagne, and pull my dress over my head at the end of the night.

Maybe not the last part.

Then again, gotta bring the new year in right.

Be safe, be well.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Resolutions... fresh and early

Matt lavished me with gifts this Christmas and I'm not going to gloat about it, butttttttt... let's just say I'm going to see the Black Keys in March. Among other gifts of clothes, scarves, 4 bottles of my favo champagne, and an owl necklace.

I reeeeeeeeally hope since he's gotten me an owl necklace the past two years that this becomes a tradition.

OK, I'm done.

 Let's reflect on the past year for a sec.

Here are my 2011 resolutions, which were both very tardy and very, very lofty.

I'm in a equally lofty mood going into this year but I'm also at the resolution-making early, maybe because 2011 wasn't that good or bad. It just happened. It's over? Okay. Bring on the next one.

2012 is going to be good, better, but this year it's time to make some resolutions I can actually get behind. Because really, the only one I saw through completely was the book a week goal. Go me! Reading is cool though, that one was pretty important.  I'm doing pretty well at paying my bills on time, too. Just saying.

So here's what I've come up with for the new year at hand and before you roll your eyes, I know there are a lot of items. I don't expect to accomplish all of them.  Okay. that was a lie. I fully believe I can handle this entire list. Go ahead and challenge me.

I'm going to explain everything as I go, so this may be a two parter. On a side note, aren't two-part gifts the best? I love them. All tied together because they're from the same person, but it's really two separate wrap jobs. Awesome. I love getting gifts, especially two parters.

Please bear in mind that these are in no particular order, otherwise 14 and 16 would be at the top, but they're pretty boring so I figure most people won't make it that far in the reading. But they're tomorrow anyway, so fahhhhgetttaaaabouuuutittttt.

Without further ado:


1.  Drink more champagne.

Um, duh. Now this is some shit I can get on board with. I love bubbly. But like, LOVE it. Will not share a bottle with Matt love it. Now, champagne is typically brought out for celebration purposes. I want to celebrate a whole lot more in 2012. Not just the cool shit that happens, but the mundane- I made it through Tuesday! stuff too. I want my attitude to be one of more enthusiam for my life. For how great it's shaping up to be, for my ability to find a reason to celebrate more of it. Thus, champagne will be a staple for 2012.

2. Stalk people less on facebook.

Why is it that I can log onto facebook and skim the statuses and automatically click on any picture posted and find myself actually feeling an emotion toward it? Even if it's someone I haven't seen or talked to in three years. Even if it's a person I didn't like. ESPECIALLY if it someone I didn't like. Why do I have a five or so person rotation that I check up on, just to make sure I'm still skinnier/happier/better traveled/less pregnant/ less annoying than them? What the fuck is wrong with me? I mean, I know I'm bitchy at times, but why am I expending energy on people I have no relationship with? Facebook, I love you so hard, but we're spending less time together in 2012.

3. Wear more black.

It's slimming and it never goes out of style. No, I'm not gothic or anything. Wearing black makes me feel confident and powerful. Who couldn't do with more of those two things? I guess this is also incentive to get my dandruff situation under control. Ugh, relax, it's not that disgusting! It's just dry skin. I think.

4. Waste less food.

This is a big one. I am genuinely embarrassed by the amount of food that Matt and I waste. To an extent Matt is not as bad as I am, at least he doesn't walk into the grocery store with totally unrealistic healthy eating expectations for himself and walk out with three bags of veggies that end up slimey and thrown away. He goes for what he knows he will eat. However, the leftovers ratio of consumed to thrown away is totally skewed to the latter also. Mostly because I'll look down at the little foil wrapped containers and frown then try to find something else because I require a lot of variety. I need to buckle down and eat them! I'm going to force myself to actually eat the food I buy this year. Novel idea.

5. Wear less makeup. Yeah right. Find a way to shrink my pores until my skin looks like Olivia Palerno.

Okay okay. I know I'm not a richy rich celeb and so I don't have the resources at my disposal that they have when it comes to flawlessly smooth and creamy skin. Pus I smoked cigs for years which certainly didn't do me any favors. But I lust after skin with tiny little invisible pores so badly that I've started going to great financial lengths to get there. At this point I'd consider clubbing a baby seal and slathering its pure, virginal blubber all over myself  for perfect skin. Ok maybe not, but I will find the perfect skincare routine this year.

6. Take more leaps/ Be less of a pussy.

I've been standing in the exact same spot with my life for the past two years. I reeeeeeeeally need to bust loose with it and just start throwing myself out there. I know I have a strong support system that will help me up if I fall down and hurt myself or cheer me up if failure is the result. I need to stop being such a pussy about life. It's not waiting. the days keep coming in quick succession and if I'm not going to seize them, someone else will. In 2012, I'm going to go after whatever I dream up. Perhaps not fearlessly, but despite the near-crippling anxiety, I'm going to push through and go forth. Or at least make the effort.

7. Take a second before judging. AKA CHECK MYSELF.

Ok. I like to think I'm pretty open minded with people and pretty accepting. Note that I said 'Like to think." However, sometimes I snap my head back at myself and think 'Self, where did that nasty thought come from? You don't even know her/him!" It's embarrassing, internally scolding myself. So I'm going to try to slow my roll for a second before I jump to conclusions about that woman dressed like a lady of the night who just obviously cut me in line at Target. I don't know everything that's going on with her. I don't know everything that's going on with ANYONE. Before I assume they are just nasty people, I need to remind myself that every one has their own reasons for the things that they do, and most people aren't doing things just to be nasty. I need to chill, retract my mental claws/daggers/bitchy commentary. Heartwarming, I know.

8. Meditate.

I know this sounds kind of hippie-dipppie and you know what? I don't care. I LIKE hippies. I need to work on being more centered. Whatever that means. I've got a million things going on in my head at any given moment because I'm so goddamn intense, and most of the time it's worrying about other people and how to make everyone happy. I need to stop it. I need to take some time alone and just breathe. Take my own emotional temperature. Let myself work through things. and I need to be alone to do it. Surprise, surprise that this one makes the list again, under the guise of another name. But I found out this year that just because I take time for myself doesn't mean I use it wisely. So now that I am taking time for myself, I'm going to try to make it worthwhile.

PART 2 TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

merry merry

Oh, I am spoiled.

Yes, that is The West Wing... the entire series. 154 episodes on 45 discs. Looks like I've got a Winter survival plan. Boom. 

And now I'm off to the theater to see New Years Eve with my gent... and more importantly, to stuff my face with popcorn until my lips go numb, since I'm kinda allergic. 

A jolly holiday indeed. 

Hope yours was equally as merry!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

growing up is nearly impossible...for me

Sometimes if I go like two whole weeks without showing up to work even moderately hungover, even one time.... I classify myself as an adult.

It's like getting a mushroom and doubling your size in Mario Brothers. I'M BIG!

Yeah, I know. That statement doesn't really speak much for my maturity or responsibility levels.

But I think that may have something to do with the fact that I never really feel like an adult.

Sure, I've mostly paid my bills on time for the past six or so years, I usually don't forget to take out my contacts before I fall asleep at night, and I'm basically 1/2 responsible for a giant dog monster who makes messes that I HAVE TO CLEAN UP and sometimes ruins my things and then I HAVE TO FORGIVE HER. So yeah, I've come a long way.

Still, I feel like I've got some kind of Peter Pan complex or something at times. Or I wonder if certain things about me are just me not being grown up yet and I'll mature my way right out of them when the magical day comes, or if this is it, this is just my personality and I'm going to be this way forever.

This is sort of vague, but that's because it's sort of general. It's never one specific thing, but sometimes it manifests itself as me spending all of my remaining 'wiggle room' money for the next two weeks on dinner and a movie for two. Or sometimes it rears its head as 'forgetting' to brush my teeth one night because my toothbrush is all the way out in my car and zzzzzzzomg it's cold outside and I'm already in bed and sooo comfy and warm and I don't have pants on so obviously I'll just brush them in the morning. And don't even mention flossing. Shit.

I swear I'm done disgusting you with my oral hygiene now.

It's just that there's no guide. I am a reader. I average five books and week and you can verify that with my disgruntled boyfriend because that's not even an exaggeration. I read. All. the. time. There are guides to help you grow up. To help you get healthy. To help you get happy. To help you land an interview. To help you land a job. There are guides for navigating your health insurance and benefits and guides to help you cope with the blows life will inevitably hurl at you from point blank while you're totally unaware, living your life, trying to find the corresponding guide for whatever situation you're in. As someone who often feels totally inept at living, I have read these guides.

And they're useful.

But none of them teach you how not to lose your shit in your car on that asshole that just pulled out in front of you because they, in fact, may be the person interviewing you for that dream job for which you thought you were a shoe-in. They don't tell you that flossing five times in the 24 hours before you go to the dentist after totally neglecting to do so since your last visit isn't going to fool that fucking doctor. (Sorry, I guess I'm really fixated on teeth today.) Or that even though you can totally wake up on time and drag yourself to work hungover, you are not fooling anyone and will basically serving as a walking billboard for AA for the rest of the day.

Nope, those are lessons you have to learn on your own. Lessons I have learned. Along with many more. Humiliation is a good teacher.

And every time I think I've mastered one and dodged the embarrassment of that "Oh Christ, who is this immature clown in our midst?" moment, about four more surround and ambush me.

So maybe I don't rely on my bar receipts to tell me the story of if I have enough money left in my account to fill up my car with gas anymore, but I wish I could say those days were further back in the rear view then they actually are.

I guess, at my age, I am an adult. I'm certainly not a teenager anymore. But it's about time since I'm closer to 30 than my teen years. I want to be treated like an adult by society. I want to reap the benefits that come with being able to handle the responsibilties of being a contributing member of society... if there are any. I want to look at my bank account and not instantly think "Okay, I get paid in ___ days, Marie Calendar $1 meals, welcome to my kitchen. I want to someday muster the courage and funds to purchase a home.

I'm clawing and crawling my way slooooowly in that general direction. I'm trying to be an adult. I've even mastered business casual, even though I sometimes try to push the casual as far as it will go. Like today.
I rarely ever go buy new underwear to avoid doing laundry anymore.

But note that was 'rarely' and not 'never,' so while I may be an adult, no, I'm not grown up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

family tradition.

My family has many very weird and borderline awkward traditions that, at this point, are absolutely crucial to life running smoothly. Like, some people having very specific coffee cups. And our parents always deliver really bad news in sketchy McDonald's. It's like "Count your blessings, at least your life isn't as bad as most of the other patrons here." Tactical strategy. Although now the golden arches kind of set me into panic sweats. Except when the fries are really hot, because DAMN, are they delicious.

In my opinion these family quirks are really the most pronounced during this, the most wonderful time of the year. Honestly, I wouldn't trade our weird and zany for caroling, trips to Steamboat or all the peppermint ice cream in the world.

Okay, maybe the ski trip, but since none are being offered that's not a decision I'll be forced to make. Unfortunately. Thankfully.

Whatever. So last Saturday we partook in my FAVORITE family Christmas tradition, the procuring of The Tree. This year Matt and Angelo, my sister's new husband, joined us for the first time. My dad gets all Clark Griswald up in the tree farm's biz, my mom makes copious amount of cocoa, and my brothers strive to every year choose a larger, more challenging tree to cart home. Heartwarming.

That's right, we rolled in a three vehicle caravan to murder us some Christmas trees.

Ok, murder probably isn't the right word. It's honest to god a pretty heartwarming tradition that I get schoolgirl gleeful about, but I do sort of have a guilt complex about chopping down trees for sport, only to discard them like three weeks later like garbage.

Que sera sera.

yes. a trailer is required. this is about to get REAL.

Just know I feel guilty about what you're about to see.

But not guilty enough to stop doing it once a year. For the duration.

Okay cool.

Also, nothing is in order. I tried, and then I got frustrated and gave up. Sue me.
the brothers decided on this tree early, but we still walked around the entire farm three times.

matt murdering preparing our tree to ride home with us.

this is just sad. that tree was probably older than I am.

matt and I dragging our tree to the car. a true bonding experience.
yep. that's in my parent's home now.

victory was ours.

wandering through fields of pine and chopping down trees can be exhausting.

i promse we didn't let him ride all the way home in the trailer. although my parents have grown a little lax when it comes to safety, in my opinon.

hot cocoa from the kitchen of mama drake.

newlyweds. they must still be in honeymoon phase because they didn't argue about which tree they wanted NEARLY as much as matt and me.

he's probably trying to see the top of the tree my dad and brothers are about to chop down. it was that tall.

my mom assisting on the carry on account of my sister being in the family way and all.
we found one that we thought was prickly enough to deter our dog monster.

we love each other sometimes.

yeah mom and dad, this 16 footer is totally the one.

moms and pops debating about whether or not this tree will actually fit in the foyer.

guys doing manly things.

the ten year old gets some saw action.

sis and brother in law christening their first tree.

errrrrrrbody getting in on this one.
nice clean cut matt, no one would know you've had fake trees your whole life.

the bounty has been secured. my dad looks a bit smug about it if you ask me.

too bad there's no shots of my climbing on top of my car to secure our tree. it stayed on... pretty well.

being the artist I was born to be.
hally already chewed the outlet plug-in off of the light cord. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

to come.

Yesterday was, hands down, the most anxiety ridden day of my life. Which was then remedied with a bourbon cocktail strong enough to raise the dead and a VERY long shower.

And that is why I haven't yet posted my exciting Saturday adventure explaining how I got into the spirit of the upcoming holiday..... Christmas.

But let it be known, such a story is coming.

As are pictures of Montana.

And other ridiculousness.

Hold tight! I will not let you down!

Until then behold the shoes I spray painted for this weekend's coming wedding at my beloved Alma mater, thus marking the end of wedding season and (hopefully) my last bridesmaid post for a long while.

Behold my dancing shoes:

This pair of heels I've had FOREVER and they were at the very end of their life due to scuffs, but behold, they've been revived!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

back to flat.

Last night just shy of 10 pm, my plane touched down from Montana, marking the end of my whirlwind vacation. Well, really Minneapolis, and before that was Salt Lake city, before that came Montana.

It was a long fucking day of travel feeling like death warmed over, so when I finally hauled my heavy-ass carry-on with the non-functioning extendable handle to the curb where Matt was waiting to see my smiling face, I was very, VERY relieved to be home. And dead tired. And someplace that didn't smell like airport. And you know, within actual arms-length of my boyfriend.

But today, I'm not quite as thrilled to be back in the Midwest.

Actually, I'm pretty pissed about it.

I miss the mountains.

I had an exceptional visit, despite a bit of altitude sickness and it being winter in one of the coldest places in the country.

So today, I'm back in corn country. Where it's flat. And there are no mountains in ANY direction, let alone EVERY- at any distance my eyes see. And it's kind of a drag. 

Here's to hoping the mountains are part of my future again real soon.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

weeeeeeee december!

Today is December 1st and despite what the calendar hanging on the wall says, I've always seen this day as the marker for the start of Winter.

Last year around this time, I decided to put my knowledge and advice for the winter months out into the universe here. Minus the canoodling with strangers in hot tubs, it was really more of a reminder for myself to stay positive.

I always get a really bad attitude this time of year. And by that I mean, I become cripplingly depressive until I can comfortably roll around town with my windows down and the wind whipping my face and hair in a non-abrasive way once again.

The driving to work in darkness and getting home to darkness is really hard on me. The past two winters have been especially trying since I don't have to freedom in my current job to set my own hours and enjoy the daylight, save a one-hour span where I generally wolf down my lunch and spend the rest of the time tearing through whichever book is currently monopolizing my interest. Whatever problems I have going into Winter usually become magnified to the point where I can't focus on literally anything else.

However. This time around, I'm in markedly higher spirits than usual. I don't feel as heavy.

I'm staying up past 9pm. I'm actually blow-drying my hair in the morning. I haven't punched the seek button when a Christmas song comes on. I haven't even gained my annual winter weight. Times, let's hope they are a changin'.

I don't know the cause of this lovely lull from the winter doldrums, but I'll take it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

spotted at my sister's wedding.

Not that anyone really cares to see pictures of my sister's wedding, but looking through the pictures let's me relive the madness, so get over it. It was an epic night. Also these pictures are not in order whatsoever, so you won't be living it in sequence. Get ready for a wild ride. Kind of.

Father daughter dance. Also note the cake being dismatled in the backgrgound. yummmmmmmm.

we're sisters, but honestly, she got the better nose. bitch.

ice sculptures and flowers. my wedding is destined to look poor and sad after this no matter what. that's why i plan to elope.

these buddies popped up everywhere throughout the weekend. this was as everyone exited the church after the ceremony. the one with the big guitar thingy was a FLIRT.

my friendsssss.

they're married and no one locked up their knees and passed out during the mass! that was a legitimate concern of mine.

ice bar. it was a popular spot during the reception.

pretty tables.
dance partyyyyyyyy.
Yes, it was a good night indeed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

my shady past... with dating. part 4.

So far I've written three posts about my inability to date properly in the past. Right here is the last post, if you want to get caught up.

Where was I?

Right. We're at the part where I actually let myself be single for a while.
I sat. I stewed. I raged. I drank heavily. I watched a lot of rom coms. I wrote rambling letters that I never sent. And then I laughed. I learned to enjoy doing whatever I wanted, like watching the entire Veronica Mars series straight through in three days.

Yeah, I got really into that.

I made promises to myself that resembled the sentiment of Scarlett O'Hara as she declares "I'll never be hungry again!"

It was a pretty good time to be me. Minus the losing my job and blowing all my money on expensive boots, moving to Chicago on a whim,  and weekly pedicures.

I also realized that I had settled into a pattern of dating. Aka, the Chameleon Act where I became a child that needed to be taken care of OR a cheerleader that had to prod! my! boyfriend! along! encouragingly! in! every! tiny! daily! task!, whichever the current love interest preferred. I decided that I didn't want a relationship where I had to buy a whole new wardrobe to feel like I fit nor a life where I had to reassure myself constantly that it wasn't that serious to avoid panicking about the fact that I was disappearing beside the guy I was seeing.

I decided I needed to stop being swallowed up.

After months of brooding and and bitching to my friends and a lot to talking to myself like a crazy person I decided I was ready to do the one thing I'd been avoiding for six or so years, actually dating my best friend.


2004. we've always been badass, we just smoke less cigars now.
The only problem was that Matt had given up on me after five years of trying to date me to no avail, because I'm a cold and heartless bitch and I never gave him a chance. Probably because I convinced myself I'd lose him as a friend if we dated. That plan backfired because he finally went out and found himself a willing girlfriend and I lost him anyway. We became Christmas card and birthday card friends. It sucked.

Really, the kicker for me was when I realized I had essentially been dating Matt more than the guys I was actually dating- the entire time. I told him my secrets, called him when I was scared or sad or mad, talked in my weird voices without a hint of embarrassment and laughed with him about the stupid mundane things that happened in my day-to-day. I really only noticed how much I relied on our daily conversations when they suddenly stopped. While I had always continued our interactions despite my relationships, he actually focused on his and cut me out.
What a concept.

Anyway. I tried to just ignore it and let him be happy after everything I'd put him through. But I couldn't. So after a year and a half of stewing about it, I sent him what I can only call a manifesto of crazy. It was intense. Sort of a 'Sorry I just realized I've been in love with you the entire time, let's give this a shot now, please?'

And then I sent it off and got whiskey drunk.

And then he read it. And he told me it was too late and he was sorry.


Ten days later Matt decided that we should probably see if we could date without killing each other.

And we haven't killed each other.... yet. It's been a year and a half. We live together. We have a giant 150 pound dog baby. We're pretty happy. It's the most healthy relationship I've ever been a part of. I get to dance around the house singing in insane falsetto at the top of my lungs wearing no makeup and my dorky-ass glasses and he gets to walk around in his underwear and play video games involving head sets.

We fight. It's definitely not easy. Compromise sucks ass sometimes. He hates people and I want to attend every party ever. I need to see my girlfriends twice a week and he needs to see his guy friends twice a year. He wants to have deep conversation right before we fall asleep and I'm like zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  He won't eat anything green that grows from a seed and sometimes all I want is a salad and some hummus. I fight like a junkyard dog every time we disagree about the tiniest thing because I feel that I desperately need to hold onto my own way so that I don't lose my identity again.

We're different people, we see things differently- I think that's pretty normal. I'm just glad one or both of us isn't pretending to see things the same way just to keep the status quo. We'd never grow that way.

We both stay. Have stayed so far.  He gives me back rubs and I occasionally sit still long enough to watch a hockey game. I can't say I've never felt trapped and frustrated and just angry to the level of pissedoffedness where I'm over it and I'M DOING WHATEVER I FUCKING WANT TO OKAY.

But we love each other, so we try.

And since that seems to work pretty well, I going to keep on trying.

At my sister's wedding. 2011.


Monday, November 21, 2011

my shady past...with dating. part 3.

If you've read the two posts from last week about my unfortunate past with dating, then you know about the pitiful lack of experience I had with boys by the time I turned 18, you've seen me do some annoying number crunching that went nowhere, and you've also maybe read about the fact that in college and beyond I rocked at finding men to date. I mean, they were the wrong men. But still, they were there, dating me.

At 18 I dove headfirst into the waters of the college dating feeding frenzy instead of considering what I was comfortable with, what I was looking for in a guy, and what I expected a good relationship to be.  I went ahead and just let whoever was giving me attention sort out all that stuff. * After all, they probably knew more about it than I did. Right?

Settling into a pattern like that is easy-peasy and also totally unhealthy because it's a hard cycle to break and sometimes it hits you one day that you're 24 years old, a shitty partner, and you have no idea what you actually want.

Thankfully, I did 'wake up' so to speak. And once I was up, there were reminders of my passive journey through Relationshipland everywhere.

For instance, one morning I had just set off on an all-day drive. I popped in the first cd I found whilst digging around in the center console without looking and Social Distortion started rocking through the speakers. I could have slid on my sunglasses and sung along but instead I fixated for hours on the fact that I had no idea if I actually liked this band or if I just knew all of the words because a former flame loved this band and I thought I could make him love me by liking the music he liked.

What the hell? I've always been a strong, self-confident, outspoken female in nearly every other facet of my life, but when it came to men I was reduced to some malleable substance vaguely resembling play dough- That is, so long as they didn't try to label what we had as a 'serious relationship.'

Granted, I do think we pick up a lot of things from the people we date. After all, we (usually) like them, we spend a lot of time with them, and we ideally learn a lot about them when we're together. I still run my toothbrush under the sink before and after I put toothpaste on it due to a former beaux. It's just a habit I picked up that I ended up liking. I don't often think of him, but he's the source of said habit and oh well, I like a wet toothbrush.

But I think a large part of my problem was that I spent a lot of energy trying to become the perfect girl for every guy I was dating rather than considering if they had any potential to be my perfect guy. Or even a guy I was compatible with.

I know it seems strange that I say I never intentionally entered into a relationship or really wanted one- and then I go on to talk about how much I lost myself in the guys I was seeing. It doesn't really make all that much sense to me either, and it didn't happen overnight, but rather gradually, which is probably why I didn't notice it at the time. Basically, I think I lied to myself.

Because of the guy I am dating, I've been full-on country western, punk rock, a total hipster, and extremely preppy. You should see my closet, it STILL looks like an overflowing costume trunk. Slowly, like a chameleon, I did what I thought I had do to, and then time and again I was surprised when I found myself totally unhappy, unfulfilled, and trapped in a situation that I couldn't stay in. The lesson? Forcing myself to fit better with whoever I was dating didn't help me fit any better in my own skin. It didn't make our relationship any more likely to succeed or make me want to consider it in a serious light.

It was exhausting.

And I did it to myself.

By the time I realized what I'd been doing, I'd been single for a year. After a particularly volatile end, I built a wall and reinforced it with rage. And realizing I'd been losing myself to the guys I was dating only increased my resolve. But then, something good happened. I started healing. I started  to learn about myself again, to take the time to consider why I liked or didn't like something. I started to actually like myself again.

Which takes us quite neatly to tomorrow's post about my current relationship, and how it started.

See you then.


*(Except sex. I hung onto that V-card like a sacred flower waaay longer than most of the girls I knew.)

my shady past... with dating. part 3.

If you've read the two posts from last week about my tawdry affair with dating, then you know about the pitiful lack of experience I had with boys by the time I turned 18, you've seen me do some annoying number crunching that went nowhere, and you've also maybe read about the fact that in college and beyond I rocked at finding men to date. I mean, they were the wrong men. But still, they were there, dating me.

At 18 I dove headfirst into the waters of the college dating feeding frenzy instead of considering what I was comfortable with, what I was looking for in a guy, and what I expected a relationship to be.  I went ahead and just let whoever was giving me attention sort out all that stuff. *
*(Except sex. I hung onto that V-card like a sacred flower.)
Getting into a pattern like that is easy peasy and also totally unhealthy because it's a hard cycle to break and sometimes it hits you one day that you're 24 years old, a shitty partner, and you have no idea what you actually want.
Thankfully, I did 'wake up' so to speak. And once I was up, there were reminders of my passive journey through Relationshipland everywhere.
For instance, one day I had just set off on an all-day drive. I popped in the first cd I found whilst digging around in the center console without looking and Social Distortion started rocking through the speakers. I could have slid on my sunglasses and sung along but instead I fixated on the fact that I had no idea if I actually liked this band or if I just knew all of the words because a former flame loved this band and I thought I could make him love me by liking the music he liked.
What the hell? I've always been a strong, self-confident, outspoken female in nearly every other facet of my life, but when it came to men I was reduced to some malleable substance vaguely resembling play dough.
Granted, I do think we pick up a lot of things from the people we date. After all, we like them, we spend a lot of time with them, and we ideally learn a lot about them when we're together. For instance, I still run my toothbrush under the sink before and after I put toothpaste on it due to a former beaux. It's just a habit I picked up that I ended up liking. I don't often think of them, but he's the identifying source of said habit.
But I think a large part of my problem was that I spent a lot of energy trying to become the perfect girls for every guy I was dating than considering if they had a potential to be my perfect guy. Or even a guy I was compatible with.
I know it seems strange that I say I never intentionally entered into a relationship or really wanted one- and then I go on to talk about how much I lost myself in the guys I was seeing. It doesn't really make all that much sense to me either, and it didn't happen overnight, but gradually, which I probably why I didn't notice it at the time. Because of the guy I was dating, I've been full-on country, punk rock, a total hipster, and extremely preppy. You should see my closet, it STILL looks like an overflowing costume trunk.

Friday, November 18, 2011

going places.

Time for a break from my tawdry dating past because it's not really all that exciting and it makes me feel like a cold hearted bitch. Also thinking about it makes me realize how long I just kind of swept myself through life on the tails of everyone else's expectations. I'll probably come back to it at some point.

Instead I present you with some news.

In two weeks, I'M GOING TO MONTANA. To look at two schools and meet with some current students and professors so I can see if I think I'll be a good fit... also my best friend may live out there sooooo, win-win. I just booked my flight on Wednesday. Actually I just decided on Wednesday that I should check out these schools before I spent another 10 hours a piece on their applications.

So, thanks to the fact that my father travels four days a week, I benefit with a free flight ala frequent flyer miles.


Next weekend I'm going to check out two schools in Michigan, my favorite state in the nation despite the fact that my college football allegiance will of course always remain deeply faithful to The Ohio State University. I'm allowed to love both. My heart is big enough. As I've mentioned before, I spent every summer in Northern Michigan growing up, so getting my next degree in Michgan would mean probably praciticing in Michigan and since I want to live there, it's kind of logical.

I'll actually be in Michigan anyway since my grandparents live in Ann Arbor and so my family will flock there like we're migrating toward a food source. Which, we kind of are.

All I can think about now is mashed potatos.

In conclusion, I'm finally attempting to take a step foward in my life and better my future.

Please hold your applause.

Happy weekending!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

my shady past... with dating. part 3.

So at this point we've talked about the pitiful lack of experience I had with boys by the time I turned 18 and done some annoying number crunching that went nowhere and you've also maybe read about the fact that in college and beyond I rocked at finding men to date. I mean, they were the wrong men. But still, they were there, dating me.

And now it's time for some amatuer theories about what the fuck I think was wrong with me over the seven year tour de man from then to now.

Let me start off by stating again that I'm an asshole. Also, another fun fact that I'll bring up again is that in the time I spent dating, I never once intentionally entered into a relationship. Until Matt. No six month anniversaries. No timeline of events. No promises and plans for the most part.

I was a casual dater that several times got roped into a lot more than I bargained for.

I truly, truly do not know why I was never all that interested in anything serious.  Twice I've woken up one morning and realized that I was actually right in the midst of something serious. It's nothing until it's... more than just something.  In fact, my most serious 'relationship' prior to now started as a summer fling, and I probably should have followed my instinct and just left that one there.

I'm the person who walks into a buffet and stands there, transfixed and unable to move for all the possibility. I think of all the food I could eat, start piling it onto as many plates as I can carry at once, and after three bites I feel completely stuffed by just the prospect of it all. Easily overwhelmed. Freakish. Kind of both.

Instead of listening to my inner voice at 18 and taking it easy on the man meat, I forced myself to immediately start wading into the feeding frenzy of the college dating pool. At first it was fun. Since I'd never really strayed from the pack of runners I was a part of in high school, I was never really approached by anyone not already in our group. At college, I wasn't just another skinny, slightly dorky runner girl in a tight group of other skinny, slightly dorky runner girls just like me. I was actually much less than that, I was one in a sea of thousands. But I could be whoever I wanted to be. I could do whatever I wanted to do.

And I wanted to party.

Which led me to make reckless decisions, ignore responsibilties, and get some shitty grades my first year in college.

However, I knew better than to wander the streets alone, drunk. So I learned to always con some poor, kind, sucker into escorting me safely home since my partner in partying ALWAYS disappeared from parties without saying goodbye. Apparently I'm rather charming when I'm a little loosey-goosey, because instead of being totally disgusted and dismayed by my selfish actions and GALL to not invite them up to my warm and toasty bunk bed, these self-appointed escorts sought me out in sober settings... You know to eat together at the dining hall the next day, attend their brother's high school football games, and take walks with ice cream... also, to attend more parties with them.

And it was awesome.

Because you see. All I wanted was a safe walk home, an invite to the next party, and someone to hand me a beer when I got there. And I got ALL of those things.

Which is the start of me NOT considering what the other half of the equation would look like to reach a balance with an equal sign in the middle.

Surprisingly, these stand up suckers walking me home, the ones that kept seeking me out, they wanted something serious.

A girlfriend.

Are you fucking kidding me? Freshman and Sophomores in college that actually WANTED A GIRLFRIEND.

I was appalled. This is not what I expected.

I guess I found out there were two types of guys around me. The ones I successfully avoided because they wanted to get in my pants and then never see me again. Or the other guys, these wanted a nice girlfriend to show off to mom and dad and parents weekend.

Again, What the hell?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

my shady past... with dating. part 2. time machine addition.

Yesterday I talked a little about my shady history with the wide world of dating.

And now I'm going to talk about it a little more.

I'm sure you're overwhelmed with joy.

Now where did we leave off? Somewhere around me bragging like an asshole over how easy it was for me to find men to date. Right.

The only problem while I was dating all these wonderful eligible men that wanted to take me home to Mom and carve our initials into the old Oak in the back yard of their childhood home?

I was totally unprepared to be dating at all.

Let's travel back in time and crunch some numbers and facts for a second.

I graduated high school at 17. During those 4 years in high school, I spent 80% of my time worrying about running track and cross country and hanging out with my team and 20% worrying about school. That's 0% time spent thinking about boys.

Okay, maybe only 78% on things running related and 2% on boys aka Freddie Prinze Jr.


I had exactly 2 'boyfriends' in high school. They were both my senior year and lasted 4 and 3.5 months, respectively.

Between the 2, I estimate 3 make out sessions, 4 real dates, 1 prom, 1 break up due to me being tired of always having to drive to his house to hang out and then having to pay and 1 break up because I wasn't willing to have sex.

That's essentially 0% preparedness to attend a frat party.

OH my GOD do I hate math.

And then I turned 18 and was magically a mature adult (HA!) and moved to another state and attended the largest university in the nation (that year) and proceeded to start dating the first guy that walked me home from the first kegger I attended, the second night I was there.

We dated for three months until I met The First Serious One, who we'll come back to, eventually.

So here's the deal. That's when the cycle started.

I like to call this little cycle The Child or the Cheerleader routine.

Because that's what I became every. single. time. Since I didn't have a clear understanding or knowledge of what I wanted in a relationship, I just dated any 'good guy' I found, and then I forced myself to fit into a box that met their vision of how our relationship should go. Hence, becoming someone they felt they had to take care of, the child. Or someone that was constantly telling them how great they were and encouraging them to reach for their dreams, hence the cheerleader.

I can be both of those things, when the time is right, but those qualities do no define me as a person. Except, that they did. For a very, very  long time.

Which we'll talk a big more about tomorrow.

XO Sara

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

my shady past... with dating. part 1.

Let's talking about dating for a minute... or like maybe four posts.

Now, I've been out of the scene for a hot second at this point, but I remember it well. For me, dating largely consisted of flirting with friends of friends and playing hard to get with men I'd flirted with in bars until one of them snared me into a casual hangout that led to emotions without me realizing it and the rest was history an ensuing battle of me trying to valiantly escape without anyone getting hurt. I'd never intentionally entered into a serious romantic relationship.

Never. Intentionally.

Yeah, that's a true story. Ask my first college boyfriend what I said when he finally got up the nerve to ask me to be his girlfriend after we'd seen practically nothing but each other for three months

It was something along the lines of, "Ummmm. Well. I mean, I'm a freshman. I don't really want a boyfriend, you know, a serious one. But, I guess we could give it a try. Let's just keep is casual, okay?"

Fast forward to our HORRENDOUS breakup a year and a half later. He's ugly crying on a park bench and I'm standing around like an asshole waiting for it to be over so I can go cry to my girlfriend over ice cream about him crying over me.

Rinse, repeat for six years.

One minute I'm perfectly happy running around like a crazy person on my own. But never really on my own, you know? Just surrounded by the best and happiest people I can find.  I'm so busy and full of life and movement and the next thing I know, BOOM, I'm either dating a total asshole with bigger commitment issues than myself, or I'm shaking my knee like I've been holding in four big gulps for an eight hour bumpy ride with my father behind the wheel. Antsy. Shifty-eyed. Trapped with absolutely no idea how I got here.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not heartless or especially cold or incapable of emotion in any way. I cry during movie previews for christs sake. I ended up caring deeply about everyone I dated over the years, whether it was for three months or twenty. I formed friendships with their families, who they ALWAYS wanted me to meet. I grew to like many of their friends, and I liked almost all of them as people. But it took me a REALLY long time to realize that kind of compatibility doesn't necessarily mean ROMANTIC LOVE in capital letters, as least not the kind for which I was looking.

You see, my problem was never that guys were hard to find. In fact, my problem wasn't figuring out places to meet decent men, it wasn't weeding out men, it wasn't getting men interested in me. It wasn't even getting men interested in me for my personality instead of my looks. Although honestly, I'm kind of an asshole and don't really pay much mind to my appearance, so that part kind of escapes my logic.

(Please note that I'm not implying that men were flocking to me like Salmon during the spawn, nor am I a hussy by any means. I just got really good at figuring out how to screen out shady men and make the rest really like me.)

My problem wasn't in logistics or the pool.

And no issue of Cosmo or Glamour or even Carrie Bradshaw herself was telling me what the eff was going wrong here, despite my desperate perusal or any advice they had to offer.

It was me.

And tomorrow, I'll tell you why.....

Xo Sare

Monday, November 14, 2011

my kid sister got married: a recap

My sister's wedding day was beautiful and went off without a hitch, whew. I am still recovering. It's been an intense twelve weeks since she informed me she was engaged and asked me to be her maid of honor.

Honestly, I've never seen a less fussy, more laid back and calm bride the day of her wedding. 10 minutes before we're due to walk down the aisle I'm freaking out over my mascara and trying to get my dress zipped and my sister STILL doesn't have her wedding dress on and is helping the flower girl put on her tights. Cool as a cucumber.

It was kind of surreal. I mean, I grew up with her, and I had no idea that was coming.

So, lets recap a couple of highlights from the day. Pictures to come when some appear on the fbook since I was running around like a crazy person the entire day and didn't snap a single one. Well..... that's not ENTIRELY true, but we'll get to that part.

1. I am SO relieved that I didn't have to pretend like I was worried about eating/looking like I had a food baby. My sister and I stopped at Jimmy Johns on the way to the church and got sandwiches and HOUSED them. The other bridesmaids came together and showed up with Panda Express. I am just so grateful that I was able to unabashedly nurture myself aka stuff my face prior to the big event, because I probably would have passed out up there if I hadn't been able to eat beforehand.

2. My brother Eric plays college football and despite being diagnosed with Diabetes at the start of the season, made the travel team this weekend for the school's rivalry game, which I guess is a pretty big deal. He wasn't supposed to make the ceremony and was going to just meet us all at the reception after the game..... but he surprised everyone (except me, because he needed the church address) by skipping the game and coming to the wedding. It was a big deal. My parents were SO surprised, as was my sister. Not a dry eye after he showed up. It was so emotional to see BOTH of my brothers escort my mom down the aisle.

3. Since my sister and her new husband Angelo happen to be knocked up, (boom, surprise!) they were lucky to be married in the Catholic church on such short notice. Luckily, my dad's got a guy for everything and knew a Deacon that put them into touch with a priest. In turn, they decided to go ahead and show some respect by having a full mass. FULL MASS. I know. But now I feel off the hook because at least one of my mother's children did this. Yay, sister.

4. During the vows Angelo got so choked up that I started getting really emotional myself. It was really touching and also gave me any affirmation I still needed that my sister is in good hands. True love, vomit, so adorable.

5. The music for this weekend was fucking legit. Since Angelo's father is from Mexico, a lot of elements from traditional Mexican culture were used, and music was one of them. We're talking Mariachi bands EVERYWHERE. At the rehearsal dinner, at the church as everyone was leaving the ceremony, at the reception as the wedding party came in. It was beyond awesome. Also, Beth and Angelo had a funk band come and play live music for everyone to dance to at the reception. So much live music, so much goodness.

6. I've probably mentioned this before, but Angelo is an ice sculptor. He and his father have a very successful business, and literally no competition in Indianapolis, so they're basically balling out of control. So, we're talking ice sculpture vases on EVERY SINGLE TABLE..... anddddddddd A BAR MADE OUT OF ICE.


7. My mother deserves a major award for her organization level. I mean, this wedding for 300+ guests was planned in twelve short weeks. And it was probably the greatest wedding that ever was, not that I'm biased or anything. There was a very DIY element to everything because it was in such a short time that we all pitched in A LOT. Including helping to create many of the forty+ flower arrangements and centerpieces. I'll probably never see that many fresh flowers in one place again.

8. Everything after ten pm is kind of a blur, but I do remember very vividly the limo coming back to pick up the bride and groom and take them to their hotel around 10:15. I hugged them goodbye and ran back inside and ran right into Matt as he was coming up to me holding out a ring and saying "One of the little Mexican kids just gave me this! Weird, huh?" To which instantly recognized the ring, grabbed it out of his hand and ran back outside and JUST as they were getting into the limo. I yelled, "Angelo, are you still wearing your ring?!" That's right, his wedding ring had fallen off his hand and was almost lost forever. Crisis averted. The universe works in mysterious ways.

9. Okay, Okay, I know I'm 25 years old and it's not cool to talk about hangovers anymore, but seriously, I'm still hungover. When I woke up yesterday I could barely move my limbs. It was that bad. Damn you open bar and post-reception hotel party!

10. I just saw, like, every member of my family from both sides. It was like freebasing family trying to have a moment with each of them in the few short hours we were all together. Still coming down from it. God, I love weddings.

11. Wedding cake. Six Tiers. OH. MY. GOODNESS.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

feeling sassy.

I'm ready to get through this week and start celebrating my little sister's lifetime commitment!

This time on Thursday I'll be getting ready to dip my toes into bubbling hot water for a much needed pedi. Wedding weekend is almost in session!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Matt is going to be fine.

He hit a deer on the way to work in the middle-of-nowhere in pitch dark at sixty miles an hour last Thursday. We were on the phone. It scared the piss out of me. In fact, I don't really remember the rest of my drive to work after it happened.

We were on the phone with each other when it happened because we talk on the phone on our way to work every morning.  Apparently we can't get enough of each other what with living together and spending the majority of our free time together. Isn't love annoying?

Anyway. All of the sudden there's a loud commotion and then complete silence. I have no idea what's going on.

Then comes the voice.

The I'm-not-okay-this-is-really-scary-oh-shit voice.

Very shaky.

"Oh my god. Oh my god. I just crashed babe. Oh my god. I just got hit with the airbag. I've never been hit by an airbag before. holy shit I just crashed at 60 miles an hour."

So naturally I hit him with a million questions because I'm in panic mode.

It was terrifying. He hit a deer head-on at a good clip and managed to get his truck to the side of the road. They had to give him a new work truck because his is basically totalled.

Matt was shaken, but he walked away from the accident.

The deer was killed on impact, and luckily, didn't have to suffer.

Thankfully, no one else was involved in the accident and the sheriff and Matt's boss arrived promptly to the scene.

But I'll probably never forget the sound of his voice that morning.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

an exersize in happiness

This morning on his way to work Matt got into a car crash at 60 mph while we were on the phone and it was fucking terrifying and I'm still shaken up about it and I wasn't even in the car.

I tried to write about it earlier, but I can't yet so maybe tomorrow.

He's going to be fine.

So I'm going to write about something else.

On the whole, I'm not particularly good at measuring my own happiness. I've gotten better at looking around and nodding acknowledgment to those moments when I'm drunk with joy in the last year or so, with making sure I'm present and aware at the happiness I'm feeling, but in general I feel pretty ho-hum about life.

It hasn't always been this way and I don't know how I got here.

Sometimes I wonder what is really important to me.

It seems like there are so many unknowns right now as I claw and climb my way to steadier footing. So I decided to jot down in about two minutes some things that are important to me, it seems like whatever comes out quick may be things I need to acknowledge and reach for foremost. 

So here we go, here is what I know:

Let's take an ultimate goal, we'll call it happiness. What are the things that will be able to get me there?
I know that I love the outdoors.
I know that I need time alone.
I know that I need to cut loose every once in the while.
I know I hate to cook.
I know that I don't want a ton of money, but more a comfortable life among a beautiful landscape.
I know I don't want to be surrounded with commercialism or material, plastic people.
I know I want to be in love.
I need adventures and cannot stand tedium and routine.
I am a good listener
I love to read
I love to do hands-on activities
I love music
I know I need to be closer to Nan. She's having a rough time.
I like to be autonomous
I know I don't like rules
I know I want to live on the water
I know I need to live an active and healthy lifestyle that doesn't include watching TV all day or even every day and I can't make that an option- sitting around only depressed and un-motivates me
I know I get sucked into laziness when I'm unhappy
I know I need intelligent intellectual conversations
I know I love to learn
I know I stand up for myself and for that's true and right in my own mind, even when odds are against me
I know I hate injustice
I know I like to write
I know it takes a lot for me to get close to people
I know I need exploration and adventure
I know I get overwhelmed in crowds unless I'm in the right mindset
I know I can be incredibly charming, social, and charismatic when I'm in the right mental state
I know I'll always want to go to the party
I know I have a tendency to just do things. Sometimes without thinking them logically through.
So there's what the top layer of my mind knows.
I could really stand to organize things up there.