Monday, July 1, 2013

Renewing my Writing Vows

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My grandfather told me when I was ten years old that I was a talented writer. He's hands-down the most intelligent person I've known and someone I always strove to make proud, so I took his suggestion to heart. It's what fueled me to pursue a degree in journalism and begin a career as a writer and editor. 

This past May marked seven years since my college graduation date (holy shit that sounds like a long time!!), and since then, I've enjoyed less than 15 months of profesionnal work as a writer or editor. 

It's been easy to blame the economy, the failing journalism market, and tell myself that maybe I lack the talent to be a profitable writer.  

But here's the thing...I do have the physical, mental, and emotional capacity to write. And thanks to technology, I have this nifty little blog to publish my thoughts on the interwebs. So that fact that my last post was in November is pretty freaking ridiculous. 

I know myself well enough that I know I feel broken and incomplete when I'm not writing. And damnit, for it to be close to a year without me producing any creative content is just plain ridiculous. 

It's hard to know exactly where to begin and what the hell to write about. A lot of crazy ish has happened and sometimes I just feel the need to work vomit everything out, but then what should be a short post turns into five pages of incoherent rambling. 

I'm pretty the next string of posts won't be chronological, and it will probably take me a while to find my voice again. But for the sake of my sanity and the creative portion of my soul, I know that I need to start blogging regularly again. So hello again, blogging world...it's good to be back! 


Friday, November 2, 2012

I am...

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...a daughter
...a sister
...a friend
...a writer
...a poet
...an avid reader
...a graduate student
...a hopeless romantic
...a believer in fate
...an animal lover
...a tattoo enthusiast
...a Christian, though I am starting to see myself as more spiritual than religious
...quickly approaching 30 and growing increasingly terrified that I'll never get married, but I refuse to let a guy or a relationship define me
...an extrovert, though I also believe solitude is an essential part of life
...torn deciding whether tiramisu, key lime pie, or pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting is my favorite dessert (three-way tie?)
...just as happy at the beach or in the mountains. Both are equally comforting to me.
...flexible and able to go with the flow - sometimes plans change, and that's where the beauty of spontaneity comes in
...unable to feel dressed up unless I'm wearing heels.
...horrible with make-up. Eyeliner and mascara are really my only everyday essentials.
...convinced that a glass of Malbec a day will help me live longer
...obsessed with JMU and Steelers football
...a firm believer that music speaks to your soul
...sometimes a little too impulsive
...chronically late, but trying to be better about that
...too concerned with what other people think of me
...afraid to be assertive and say how I feel
...a people-pleaser
...going to start focusing on my self and what makes me happy
...tired of apologizing for who I am

2012 has been a tough year for me. I've made a lot of mistakes (some might say the biggest of my life), gone through some major transitions, and grown a lot as a person. The hardest part of this journey has been realizing who my true friends are...who to distance myself from and who to draw closer towards. But if people can't accept me for who I am, flaws and all, then I don't need them in my life.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On Time

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Time is money. There's no time like the present. Time flies when you're having fun. 

Seriously, how many idioms are there about time? 

But, time is an important concept, especially when you consider it in terms of a significant other. 

We don't want to be wasting our time and energy with someone who doesn't truly value us. And I think the amount of effort and thought a guy puts into planning dates is a strong indicator of that. 

I dated a guy the past few months who considered drinking beer on his roof top patio a romantic evening. As much as I love beer and roof top patios, I need a little more flair now and then. Take me to a picnic in the park, or a concert, or a walk around the canal. I don't need to eat at a five-star restaurant once a week, but I do need to feel appreciated.

Tried as I could to explain how I felt, I don't think it ever sank in, or that he was capable of actually making an effort to let me know I was important to him. 

Whatever the case may be, we parted ways, and I soon thereafter reconnected with a guy I'd known since middle school. He actually asked what type of food I liked, researched restaurants, and made reservations for our first date. Talk about swoon. After five months of Coors Light and bar food, he had me eating out of the palm of his hand. 

A few dates later, and I was still receiving daily texts, but no suggestions of hanging out. Maybe I've read He's Just Not That Into You one two many times, but I knew something was up. 

I'm used to just being phased out by no longer hearing from a guy. This concept of daily texting with no follow-up on future dates was completely foreign and confusing to me, so I asked him if he was just trying to move things into the friend zone. First, I got the "I just got out of a relationship" excuse. Understandable. After all, I'd just got out of one, too. Not healthy to jump from one to the other. But, when I asked him if he just wanted to be friends for now or still casually hang out, he responded with, "We can hang out, but I'm going to be super busy and unavailable the next two months." 

Did the writers of HJNTIY actually use him as a case study? Because those sounded like direct lines from the book. 

What's worse, I gave him an easy way out, and he still kinda beat around the bush. Maybe he was trying to spare my feelings, or maybe he wanted to keep me at arm's length in case he decided he was interested, or maybe he doesn't know what the hell he wants. 

Doesn't really matter the underlying reason, because his message was clear: He doesn't want to make the time to hang out with me. 

After all, if something or someone is truly important to us, we MAKE time for it/him/her. 

Maybe third time will be the charm (ha! see - another time idiom!) ... 

 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

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Sunset view of RVA

I'm pretty freakin' excited to be back in my hometown after six years in D.C.

Richmond is definitely a smaller scale city, but there is still plenty to do. And it kinda makes me feel like I'm in an eternal episode of Cheers, where everyone knows my name. (Or even if they don't, they still smile and say "hi".)

I grew up in the suburbs of RVA, so I was a bit sheltered from downtown life.

Things I've discovered:

-Downtown is not nearly as scary as my mom made it out to be. There are not rapists lurking around every corner.

-St. John's Church. I stumbled upon this gem while stopping to see if this old house was a historical marker was some sort of museum (don't ask me why, but I have a fascination with old homes). Patrick Henry gave his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech on the stairs of this church. How did I not know this??

-A bounty of parks with idyllic views of the James River. Hence why Richmond is affectiontely called the River City.

-Concerts. I feel like I'm constantly finding new local bands to follow.

-Museums. Yes, I lived in the museum capital of the country, but do you realize how crowded those got?? I can actually view artwork and have personal space/breathing room.

-Kick-ass cuisine. I grew up going to TGI Fridays, Applebees and Olive Garden. While I love my never-ending salad and breadsticks, there's just something so much better about family-owned restaurants. 

-More space and cheaper rent. I think I can actually afford to live on my own now. Hell yes!

But really, I feel more content than I have in a long time. There's something ridiculously freeing about experiencing Richmond through my own eyes and on my own terms. It's like I'm finally forging a life of my own in a place I've always considered home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Breaking the dead airtime...

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A communications professor I had once told me that more than five seconds of dead airtime on the radio can be detrimental to a station. In the blogging world, I'd equate that to a week at most. So, I'm guessing it's unlikely that I have many people following this anymore. But nonetheless, I'm giving RFL another go.

If you're wondering where the hell I've been the past six months, it's a long-ass story so I'll just say that my life has been a bit of a whirlwind. But, here are some key, abbreviated points:

-I began an extrememly volatile relationship where I hit the fast forward button, let the guy talk about marriage, devoted all of my heart, soul and energy, and became severely depressed. Our relationship barely lasted three months. (Good thing, too, because I don't know if I'd be here writing this if I had allowed myself to continue on that way.)

-I quit my job, left D.C. after calling it my home from six years and moved back to Richmond.

Getting into all of this right now would take up at least 10 pages single-spaced, and I'm not sure I'm ready to write about it all yet, so I'll spare you from all the nitty-gritty details for now.

But, after months of restlessness, I'm finally feeling at peace. I'm getting back into things that make me, me, and that includes writing.

Sure, making a professional career out of it has been a bit of a challenge. I've thought about throwing in the towel a million times. But writing is part of who I am and what I know and I can't just give up. (I had a psychic reading with an intuitive life coach last week and she told me to start writing everyday, even if it's just for 10 minutes. She has to know what she's talking about. Slightly kidding, but not really.)

So, I'm back. With renewed energy and spirit. I'm still figuring out who I am and what I want out of life, but at the end of the day, aren't we all?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Being single sometimes makes you feel like...

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This



and/or

this





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being Alone Can Be Scary as Hell

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This past August, my grandfather passed away. I was fortunate enough, a month earlier, to spend his 80th birthday with him at a surprise party planned by my aunt. About 100 of his family and friends showed up for the occasion.

The next day, I was at his house, and he kept talking about how normally during the days it was just him and his dog, Buddy, a Doberman the size of a small horse. My granddaddy’s second wife passed away a few years earlier from breast cancer, and progressed macular degeneration left him legally blind and unable to drive for the past decade. He lived with my aunt and uncle, who both worked full-time, 9-5 jobs, so he was often alone during the day, except for friends that stopped by for lunch on occasion.

He must have commented that he’s alone a lot at least five times during my visit. And it suddenly hit me – my 80-year-old grandfather is afraid of the same thing I am as a single 27-year-old. Being alone.

With each engagement and wedding, I’m elated for my friends, but also reminded that I’m nowhere near that milestone. And with each passing year, I wonder if it’s ever in the cards for me.

But, my grandfather taught me an important lesson before he died. This thing I’ve placed on a pedestal, and think will bring me life-long companionship, is fleeting. Marriage can end in divorce, or in my grandfather’s case with his second wife, death. As with everything in life, there are never any guarantees.

I write this not to come across as a crass, bitter bitch, or give off the notion that I no longer believe in love and finding a soul mate. Quite the contrary.

It’s a reminder that this fear of being alone can persist no matter what the circumstances. A reminder to be thankful for what I do have, instead of focusing on what I don’t. A reminder to tell those in my life I love them, and maybe call or write them more frequently so they’re aware how much they mean to me.

My aunt said that as she held my granddaddy’s hand while he drew his last breaths, he seemed at peace. I hope he passed from the physical world no longer fearful of being alone, but thinking of all the people he had impacted throughout his life. Those 100 people at his surprise party were just a small percentage, I'm sure.

 

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