Something came to me the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. It’s the idea that who you invite into your life is a choice–your choice. And it is one of the most important choices you will have to make. Interaction is not an invitation. You can interact with your co-workers, dates, friends, family, and strangers, but it is not the same as inviting them to be a part of your life. Allowing someone into your heart, mind, home, bed–that is an invitation. You are giving them access to your most valuable resources–your time, your energy, your love, your innermost thoughts.
Usually your family members get automatic invites into your life. Your parents invite friends into your life when you are little and try to make the best choices on your behalf. That changes as you grow up. You start to make your own choices. You begin to let people in who might hurt you, use you, bring you down, use up all your resources so that you’re left with nothing. You realize that not every person is a good person. You begin to recognize the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. We are so quick to let others in–for love, to avoid loneliness, out of boredom, because we think we have to. The thing is, you don’t have to do anything.
Wait for the good ones, the extraordinary ones, the firecrackers, the ones who make you laugh out loud on a silent subway ride, the ones who remember your birthday, the ones who make your heart ache in the best way, the ones who answer your phone call on the first try, the ones who give the fiercest hugs, the ones who don’t skip a beat, even after hours, months, years have passed. They are the people worth gold-stamped invitations into your oh-so-fragile, carefully constructed life.
I used to be sad that none of those people for me lived nearby. It seemed like every single one of them was miles or countries away. But what I’ve come to realize is that it will never matter how far away they are. They are in your life. They have lifetime invitations. And they are incrementally better than a mediocre person who lives a minute away. Your life is too precious to settle for mediocre. Don’t throw a party inside your heart–strangers show up, things get broken, and you are the only one left standing to clean it up.
And also, think about the little things. Every response to an ex-boyfriend’s text, every happy hour you attend because you “have” to, every snap you send to someone not worth your time, every conversation with someone who is not listening–they add up. And they become one drawn-out invitation for those people to break your freaking heart. (You know better than that.) But it’s hard, so you keep playing the game. But next time, promise that you’ll think about yourself for just a minute. About your heart, your needs, what you really, really, really want. Do they deserve any part of you, of your life?
So I guess that’s why I’ve been shy about blogging lately. Because blogging is not an interaction for me. It is an invitation into my mind, my heart, my fears, my dreams. I don’t know how to write other than to pour myself onto the page, messy parts and all. But the thing with a public blog is that everyone is invited here, whether I like it or not: future employers, ex-boyfriends, dates, etc. But I realized I am not writing it for them. I am writing it for you, the loyal readers (even if there are only four of you) who come back day after day, for all of the people I have invited into my life. Thank you for always RSVPing.
Oh hi, welcome to mid-August. Excuse me, when did that happen? It doesn’t help that Timehop keeps reminding me that exactly a year ago I was moving into my new apartment in the city of my dreams. Are you guys sick of me talking about SF yet? Sorry I’m not sorry.
So here’s the deal. I’m boycotting. AGAIN. (Dating gods, if you’re listening, please don’t send any charming, mysterious men into my life right now. I’M SERIOUS. <punch emoji>) We’re not going to go into it this time, but let’s just say I’m pretty much over the male species at the moment. I was feeling a little sad on Friday until Kayla gave me a stern but loving (and much needed) pep talk. She is one of the strongest, most inspiring women I know. ♥
I wanted to share a few things that made me feel happy and more like myself, in case any of you need a similar pick-me-up. : )
1. I DID IT. I signed up for the gym. I have been talking about this for months, usually while eating. I went to two Zumba classes, which I lovelovelove and highly recommend, as well as a full-body weights and cardio class, which promptly kicked my ass and made me unable to move, so.
2. Kayla also introduced me to the Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience: Expanding Your Happiness. It’s been incredibly interesting and challenging so far. Even though it already started, you can still sign up now and follow along. All about the self love.
3. Lotsa good tunes this month. My playlist’s a little angsty and heartbreaky this time around, but hopefully you’ll understand and even LIKE some of them? Listen to OctaHate by Ryn Weaver first. Am I the last one to hear this song or what?!?
4. Sneaking a little book review in here at the end because I know you crazies don’t usually read my review posts. Yes, I figured that out. Yes, I will keep posting them. For like, the one person who reads them. Ugh, I’m like a broken record but honestly, Rainbow Rowell is queen. I read Eleanor & Park first, then Landline, then Attachments, and just started Fangirl. Two are young adult and two are adult fiction, which I think is one the things that makes her such a unique writer–that she can create equally strong characters from both points of view. All of her stories are so different from each other, but her lovely writing style connects them all and makes you want to keep reading everything she writes. They make me laugh, cry, and smile, all in a span of five minutes. Can someone PLEASE read them so we can have a heart to heart? I also picked up Bad Feminist because of this blog post, so that’s next on my list.
Have an absolutely fabulous week!
“But everyone has bad dates all the time. There’s no way that my first Tinder date is a success. Like how does that happen?” she asked me over Gchat on just another Thursday in the middle of work.
“Maybe you got lucky because you deserve it,” I said, so happy for my friend who finally took a chance and put herself out there. (And it’s working out so far. ♥)
“I dunno about all that.”
“Gotta believe in yourself,” I said before quoting the famous Perks quote. I told her to believe that she deserves good love, because she absolutely does. And then she asked me something that made me stop mid-type.
“Do you believe it for yourself?” she asked me.
And somehow, this question wasn’t as easy to answer. It’s always clear to see what others deserve, even if they can’t see it themselves. We think highly of our friends and love them so deeply for who they are that we believe they deserve the world and more, but what about ourselves? Don’t we deserve the very same?
But of course, it’s never that simple. We are not perfect. We get in over our heads. We misjudge people, body language, words, intentions. We are constantly rearranging and gluing the pieces back together. We fall for the boys with charming smiles, witty one-liners, mysterious eyes. The same ones who don’t call, who don’t ask questions, who don’t make promises.
As the cliche goes, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. For the most part, I think that’s bullshit. It’s the easiest thing in the world to drown your flaws, your insecurities, your fears in the presence of someone who makes you feel alive. It’s so damn easy to place your energy on loving that person instead of facing yourself in the mirror every day and pledging to unconditionally love the person staring back at you.
But maybe it is only when you take the time to do this, to look in the mirror every single day with love in your eyes and heart, that you can allow yourself be loved by another in the way you deserve. You won’t waste time on the boys who don’t call, who don’t ask questions, who don’t make promises.
Because that’s settling.
So I decided to be honest with my friend. “Somewhat. A work in progress,” I replied, stuck in between my belief in the concept and reality.
“Aren’t we all?” she said.
I recently declared myself on a boycott. I deleted the dating apps, deleted the numbers. After just getting back into the dating world, it all became a little over(under?)whelming. So I did my thang without any distractions.
That lasted about two weeks.
Life being life, I heard from someone out of the blue. So I went on a date. A good date. And a second one.
And then I realized why I went on a boycott in the first place. Because why am I getting all hot and bothered if he doesn’t text me? (Maybe he will, maybe he won’t.) Why am I hoping to hear from someone I’ve known for a week? (I was doing just fine before that, thank you very much.) Yeah, he’s cool. Yeah, it’s nice to feel a spark again. But is it worth being even a little sad if I don’t hear from him again? Absolutely not.
Still, it seems like my girlfriends and I are always talking about boys–did he call, did you have fun on that date, he did what!?! But this is also one of my favorite parts of dating: telling my girlfriends about it the next day. They are the ones who get me, who know me, who always text back. They are my cheerleaders, my hope when I’ve given up, and my sounding board for every single detail.
So maybe there is a point to all of the bad dates, the good dates, and everything in between. They are the stories we share with our best friends, the crazy tales we’ll tell together when we’re old ladies, the conversations that make me burst out laughing in a quiet office. Because after all . . .
I love you guys.
I finished this book over the weekend and it was AMAZING. I didn’t want it to end. Before I read I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley, I looked up some reviews and saw one that said nothing really happens in the book but it’s still so captivating. I found this to be true. It is a series of personal essays about Crosley growing up in Westchester and beginning her adult life in New York City. From the history of her plastic pony collection to attending an old friend’s wedding to the moving and roommate horrors of the city, the author’s sense of humor is perfection. I think I smiled through the whole book because reading it is like talking to a best friend–you’re both just trying to figure it out and can only laugh at the bizarre things that happen along the way. Crosley also has another book out, How Did You Get This Number, which is supposed to be just as good.
Rainbow Rowell was speaking and signing books at Barnes & Noble last night so I stopped by after work (me and all the tweens and 50+-year-olds). It was a great turnout and she was everything I love in an author. Just so funny and down to earth and real. Kinda like her books. I kind of want to be her. I was going to wait to buy her new book, Landline, until after I finish Attachments, but after the talk I just had to go buy it. What I love about her writing is that it’s so spectacularly unique. On a site note, her hair is everything. Too much? Please please please go pick up one of her books ASAP (Eleanor & Park which I loved and Fangirl are the other two)! : )
Also, Liane Moriarty (author of The Husband’s Secret) has a new book coming out July 29 and I can’t wait to read it. TOO MANY BOOKS TOO LITTLE TIME. Have you guys read anything good lately? Share your secrets.
So today I woke up from a dream that involved Matthew McConaughey hugging me while I was driving the two of us on a motorcycle. Needless to say, I was pretty happy this morning. And so a totally unrelated thought popped into my head. Sometimes we wait for the big things–trips abroad, vacations, moving to a new place–to bring the best memories. Like since we are traveling so far, or have waited so long, that we will be rewarded with the most fun, the most exciting, the most memorable occurrences. Most of the time, it is true. But what about all the ordinary, in-between days? Can’t we make those extraordinary, too?
Tomorrow is my one-month anniversary of being a New Yorker (take two). Except it doesn’t even feel like the same place that I lived the last time around. I keep trying to wrap my head around why it is so different. This morning, I finally realized what it is. I am open. It’s as simple as that. When I first arrived in San Francisco after New York, I was so surprised by the Stranger Talks there and how fluid and constant they were. I never realized that they are also here in New York, if only you are open to them–those spontaneous, serendipitous moments that make you excited to wake up the next day and do it all again. Somewhere along the line, I found myself saying yes to things instead of closing myself off. In just one month, June brought me so many exhilarating experiences that I want to remember forever–staying out until 5AM and working the next day, seeing one of my favorite bands live by myself, having an enjoyable conversation with a stranger on the subway, seeing a quasi-celebrity at a comedy show, catching up with one of my best friends and realizing how true friendship never fades, kissing a stranger . . .
No matter where you are, I believe that magic will find you if you are open to the idea of it. But the most important thing of all is to never take it too seriously. Because if you have yourself, good company, laughter, and a margarita or two, you have all you need. Have some fun this week. ♥