The One in Which I Deal With Expectations vs Reality. Or: One Woman’s Journey Into a Year of Self-created Stress

Having an imagination is a wonderful thing. It got me through a somewhat lonely childhood, turned me into an avid reader, and a passably good writer. (The latter is still up for debate.) Having an imagination is also a very terrible thing. Having an imagination that has had years of unrealistic portrayals of romance in books, music, movies, and yes, even commercials, is an even worse thing.

That is my imagination.

My imagination has had years, and years, and YEARS of romance saturated influences digging their way in. These influences planted seeds of, often unattainable, portrayals of love in my head that my imagination then watered and cared for diligently, allowing them to grow into visions of how I wanted courtship and declarations of love and proposals and marriage to be. My imagination created beautiful, romantic, eloquent proposals. My imagination created chic, rustic weddings with everyone I know celebrating love into the late hours. My imagination is amalgamation of every “Our big day!” wedding Pinterest board, saccharine rom-com, and tradition we’ve been taught goes along with love and marriage. My imagination is probably not the only one filled with dreams of perfect ivory lace dresses, but that doesn’t make my last year of crazy any less… crazy.

Mr. T and I are going to get married. We’ve known this for quite some time. Our discussions of ‘forever’ came fairly early on and throughout the last year, as our relationship has been tested and strengthened, have only become more of a foregone certainty. One night, about a month in (I told y’all, we hit the together forever stage early), we were at a bar – where ALL important discussions should occur, natch – and we both put it out there. “You’re the one for me.” This is not a direct quote. Remember, we are at a bar, exact wording is a bit fuzzy. But, what wasn’t fuzzy was the agreement that we didn’t need to date forever to figure this out. We were both adults and had been in enough relationships to know yep, this is the one I’m ready to dive into the deep end with. Y’all, I was ELATED. I’m 32 at this point and in a point in my life where I am one million and ten percent ready to have this commitment in my life. I was ready for the wedding, the white picket fence, and the happily ever after. Being in love with someone who was so many of the things I’ve always wanted, and on top of that, ready to move at the same speed as me was enough to set my ‘should we honeymoon in a beach location or in England?’ imagination in motion. I wasn’t quite a woman possessed, but I wasn’t exactly sane either. I was a woman filled with expectations.

My first toe dip into the pool of insanity was Valentine’s weekend. Ewww, gross, who proposes on Valentine’s? So cliché. Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Valentine’s proposals may not exactly be unique, but Mr. T and I were going to be visiting a friend in Sacramento. We had plans to go to vineyards on Valentine’s. Omg. Vineyards. Valentine’s. I’M GETTING ENGAGED! I started making checklists in my head. ‘So if we get engaged in February that’s totally enough time to have the end of September Fall wedding I’ve always dreamed of. We can do engagement photos in the Spring and Fall in London would be perfect!’ This will be the perfect romantic getaway. How could it not happen?!

Well, easily. That’s how it could not happen.

As we were flying back home, sans ring, I told myself it’s fine. And it was. Maybe I had some expectation of a romantic proposal, but we hadn’t really been actively talking about timing of getting married, and, as the non-crazy part of my brain reminded me, we had only been dating for seven months. Sure, we practically lived together and I’d been sporadically dropping hints that I wanted to be Mrs. T, but we’ve got plenty of time, I told myself. Maybe the Fall wedding won’t be in the cards, but maybe that was for the best… because now that means we can have a Spring wedding!

It was probably early April when I further dipped a whole leg into the pool of insanity. We were all settled in our new home and life was really, really good. One day I declared, ‘I think 5/6/17 will be a perfect wedding date.’ Mr. T agreed. Kind of. But also kind of didn’t seem to be paying full attention to me. But I didn’t pay much attention to his not paying attention. No sir. Because I was too busy plotting our new wedding. Swap out Spring engagement pictures for Fall ones, deep purple flowers for a lighter lilac color, and the honeymoon to Paris (because what is better than Springtime in Paris?) and everything can still happen just how I’ve always imagined it. Everything can go exactly how I’ve always planned. If Mr. T would just hurry up and propose already…

We planned a housewarming party for the end of April. Most of my family and a lot of our friends would be there. There would be food and drinks and games. I would find the perfect outfit and be the perfect hostess because surely this was going to be the day he was going to ask me. By now he knows I’ve always thought it was romantic to have friends or family around to share in that moment with you, for them to hear how much you are loved and wanted in someone’s life forever and at the party we’d have a whole house full of them. How could it not happen?!

Well, easily. That’s how it could not happen.

Still, I didn’t let it get to me. The dream wedding I had planned in my head wasn’t for another year, so there was still time for things to go as planned.

The next week we set out to NYC for my 33rd birthday and I belly flopped straight into the pool of insanity. We were going to Jimmy Fallon and seeing a Broadway show and a game at Yankees Stadium. We were going to check out some trendy bars and restaurants and had walks on the High Line and Central Park and across the Brooklyn Bridge planned. It was going to be perfect trip. And by now it wasn’t just me who was thinking I’d come back an engaged women. Friends and family all felt certain of this as well. A vacation and my birthday? How could it not happen?!

Well, easily. That’s how it could not happen.

Except, this time I did let it get to me. We were in a bar (again, because obviously this is where all important discussions should occur) and I made some comment about packing a ring. Mr. T very blatantly told me there was no ring. He was slightly intoxicated at the time, so it didn’t come out in the nicest way. And I was slightly emotional at the time, so I didn’t take it in the best way. I held off for as long as I could, trying and trying to not let everything I’d been expecting since that first discussion of forever nearly nine months ago overwhelm me and send me into a ridiculously unreasonable tantrum. I did pretty well… until we got back to the studio we were staying in. I broke down. I cried and cried and he got frustrated, both of our go to reactions for situations like this, and we finally just went to bed. The rest of the trip was really amazing, but, of course, this was still in the back of my head. But, I didn’t bring it up because how could I tell him what I was upset about? How could I tell him I was upset he wasn’t doing things as I expected he would? That him not doing things as I had imagined made me scared we weren’t on the same page. That the picture in my head I had spent years fostering wasn’t happening how I wanted it to. I couldn’t. I couldn’t tell him those things without him thinking I was absolutely crazy.

Because I was absolutely crazy.

I have a huge problem with things not happening as I’ve imagined and planned for them to. (Refer to my previous post in which I freak out that we’re moving in together but not married or engaged because, once again, that’s not how I’ve always imagined the progression of a relationship happening.) I’m sure I’m not the only person who suffers from this. I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing myself and I know much of this building scenarios in my head and being unreasonably disappointed when those don’t come to fruition is because of my need for control in my life. Planning how events in my life would happen over the years was my way of controlling a life that often felt out of control when I was younger. Imaging how things would be perfect in the future was an easy way to escape periods of my life that were very far from perfect. And it’s hard to break away from those ideas of perfection. Those expectations. It can be difficult to let go and not be in control of how things happen. It’s difficult to not let the expectations make you feel unsatisfied when you compare your life to how you imagined your it would look years ago.

Now, since Mr. T read my posts, I should take the time to, once again, say that I was never disappointed in him not doing things “quickly enough.” We did eventually talk through all of this (although I’m not sure he knew just how crazy and extensive my imaginations were… If I haven’t scared him away yet, I’m pretty sure he can handle it though.) and I tried to give him insight into the deep, dark cave that is my brain. To let him know my mini meltdown wasn’t from disappointment, it was from being faced with the fact that there are things I just can’t control (a lesson I actually learned long ago, but keep relearning over and over again). It was the process of letting go of the ideas my imagination had spent years and years creating. Ideas that were never actually realistic because they never included the most important part – him. Things I planned years ago didn’t factor in how my life would change over the years. How some things that were pinned to my Pinterest board imagination would become less important as the relationship with the person I was ready to spend my life with became more important.

So, it is now August. One year from when we first discussed ‘forever’. We still are not engaged…. Except, we kind of are. There hasn’t been a proposal, there’s no ring, we aren’t “Facebook official”, and things are definitely not going in the order I always expected they would go, but we have a date set. I have a dress. We have a honeymoon. We have a countdown. And most importantly, we have a lot of excitement for our future. And, no, this non-traditional reality is never how I pictured it when those seeds were first planted in my imagination. It’s better. Because it’s now it’s not about making sure things meet those expectations I created years ago. It’s just about me and him and forever.

The One in Which I Worry About How Things Are Supposed To Go

If there’s one thing that can be universally agreed upon it’s that moving is THE. WORST. Literally, I cannot think of one person that enjoys doing it. Even if you have all the money in the world and can buy a bevy of movers, it’s still a miserable chore. But, it’s one of life’s necessities. Moving can get you to new places. Bigger and better places. My next move is exactly that, to bigger and better. A full house (no more upstairs neighbors, FINALLY) with all the porches and pantry space I have dreamed of. And while the act of moving itself does sound miserable, there is something more that is giving me the slightest of anxieties about this upcoming change.

For the very first time I will be living with a significant other.

It feels weird to say, because, in truth, Mr. T and I have been essentially been shacked up at my place for the last six months. But it was still “my place” and he still had his place as well. Now it’s Our Place. The bills are ours, the upkeep is ours, the porches and the pantries… all of it is Ours. Since signing the lease almost three weeks ago I’ve been trying to peg down what about this has been scaring me. It’s not the physical act of living together. If we can share 750 sq feet peacefully and happily, we can certainly live well in double that. It’s not the finances, that part was easily agreed upon even before we found our new home. And it’s not the seriousness of “taking the next step” in our relationship either. We’ve both known for months, about six to be exact, that this is what we wanted. The sharing of space and everyday life. No, the reason behind my jitters is much, much sillier than all of these legitimate concerns.

The reason I’ve never lived with a boyfriend is because in the past, all I’ve had is “boyfriends.” I’ve never been engaged or married and, to me, when putting together a list of how I’d like my life to go when I was younger, I didn’t want to live with someone until there was that commitment, or promise of commitment, of more. Rationally, I know this is really, really dumb. You truly cannot plan for how things will happen in life. I let go of the ‘I’ll be married by 25, kids by 28, etc, etc’ thoughts long ago, because those things happen when they are meant to happen. (And, if I would have gotten married at 25, which, now thinking back, actually was an option to me then, I wouldn’t have been living in Kansas City and at some random dive bar two months after turning 32 to meet Mr. T. So hallelujah, praise yeezus I didn’t follow my “life’s plan.”) So why haven’t I been able to let go of this feeling of ‘this is how a relationship is supposed to go’ mindset?

Largely, it’s fear. It’s fear of officially living with someone, no more ‘well, if we get sick of each other he can just stay at his place for a few nights’ escape plans available to either of us. Not that we ever used that option, but it was always there. Now if he gets sick of me, he’s stuck with me. And if he’s stuck with me when he’s sick of me, he may start to regret living together. See where this anxiety spiral is going? Yep. If we do this, maybe he’ll get sick of us and want out.

But Thalia, if this is truly going to happen, wouldn’t you rather find this out before more of a commitment is made?

No.

Yes, I know, it does sound rational. Test the waters out by living together to see if you really are ready for a more long term commitment of marriage. But my completely irrational brain just doesn’t see it that way. My thinking for when I set up my ‘this is how a relationship is supposed to go’ mindset was that commitment of marriage, or promise of one through engagement, is necessary to living together. That means that you both are already on the same page about spending your lives together. That there is no more ‘wanting out.’ You’re already fully invested in this person and ready to go.

But Thalia, you can still ‘want out’ of an engagement or marriage.

I KNOW, GUYS! As stated more than once previously, my mind IS NOT RATIONAL. It’s just one of those things. Something I’ve spent years envisioning. How do you change a past thought so deeply engrained in yourself when you know it doesn’t serve you well in the present though? I know Mr. T is in it to win it, so to speak. I know he and I are on the same page about our future. At least… most of the time I know that. And that’s where I can’t let go of my ‘this is how a relationship is supposed to go’ thinking. What if he’s not? What if we’re on different pages? What if he never gets to my page? What if just living together is enough of a commitment for him? The what if’s keep me from moving beyond those past believes of how things are supposed to go. They are keeping me from fully being immersed in the excitement of finding a great home to share with a great, great man, and I know I desperately need to let these what if’s and fears go to be able to appreciate this time.

Meeting someone I love deeply, and loves me equally in return, and building a life with them is something my romantic little heart dreamed of for nearly as long as I can remember and I need to remind myself that if the reward of having all of this weren’t so great, there probably would be no what if’s and fears. But this reward is great. It is worth shifting my believes of how I wanted things to happen in the past to have the future I’ve always wanted.

A Few of My Favorite Things 2015

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2015:

Favorite Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. Come on, this had to seem obvious, right? Yes, yes, because Tom Hardy is in it. But really what made it my favorite of the year wasn’t just getting that warm fuzzy feeling from Tom on the big screen. It was the strong, ass kicking, feminist character, Imperator Furiosa. The movie is truly about Furiosa, and then about Max who, for all intents and purpose, is her sidekick. I could go deeper into this, about how the film itself is a study in how women are treated now, how would women be treated in the apocalypse, but, to put it simply, Mad Max is my favorite movie of the year because damn do I love to watch a woman take the lead in an action movie and not have to use her sexuality, to truly just kick ass using nothing more than physical and mental strength, wit, and resourcefulness.

Some runners up are Trainwreck, Jurassic World, The Martian, and Fifty Shades of Grey (because sometimes train wrecks are just REALLY hard to look away from). It should also be noted, I slacked in the movie department in 2015. There are many that still need to be seen, and will likely be better than any I’ve listed here.

Favorite Album: You know me, I can never have just one! Last year I was lucky enough to see my top two artists live (and will get to see them again this year) and their performances only solidified my love for both of their new albums. At Bonnaroo during both Florence and Mumford’s sets I was brought to tears because both albums brought out so many emotions in me throughout a turbulent Spring. But, despite having both How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and Wilder Mind on repeat, I once again had 20 albums I just couldn’t get enough of…

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Favorite Book: Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling was by far my favorite new release. Partly because I didn’t read a lot of recent releases in 2015 (I found myself reading a lot of murder mystery series… don’t ask me why. I just can’t seem to get enough of serial killers as of late.) and, mostly, because Kaling has this voice I cannot get enough of. She is easy to relate to, open, and whenever I read her I’m always fairly certain we should probably be best friends.

My non-2015 runners up were Yes Please by Amy Poehler (also on my list of imaginary best friends) and the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain (like I said, allll the serial killers, please!).

Favorite TV Show: Laugh if you must, but my favorite TV show last year was the amazing (and awful) The Only Way is Essex. This is a British reality show (slightly akin to Jersey Shore- think lots of plastic surgery, make up, and tanning, but less partying and physical fights) I discovered by chance three years ago. The reason it became my favorite this year is because as I was catching up with the 15th season, yes FIFTEEN SEASONS, Mr. T caught me watching it and instead of being embarrassed by my terrible taste I told him he had to watch it with me from the beginning. It began as a joke, but now it’s something we love to laugh at together, something that, early on in our relationship, truly showed me that he was the type of man who could laugh at the absurd with me. Also? I just truly am an anglophile. Give me more Brits, dammit!

Runner up: Jessica Jones. Yes to all female ass kickers. YES.

Favorite Concert: If I thought the 150 shows in 2014 were hard to choose between, the nearly 250 shows I saw in 2015 are even more impossible. This was the year of amazing music for me. This was a year unlike any other, and a year I will probably never get to repeat again. Tiny ten people shows, arena classic rock tours, Coachella, Bonnaroo, local music fests… all of it made for a year that was, quite literally, music to my ears. But the best shows have to be the nights I got to see women who have influenced my life. From childhood to adulthood there have been a handful of strong, vulnerable, beautiful, romantic women who have shaped me through their music. Heart, Blondie, Florence and the Machine, and Fleetwood Mac have been the soundtrack to my life throughout the years. I have cried and loved and danced my way through happiness and heartbreak to the Wilson sisters, Debbie Harry, Florence Welch, and, more than anyone, Stevie Nicks and each of their shows surpassed everything I hoped they’d be.

Favorite Purchase: Pearl! My 2012 Hyundai Accent. It was a sad day when I finally had to give in and put ol’ Ruby, the first car I had every truly owned, out to pasture. But driving home in a new (to me) car that I knew wouldn’t break down every month (literally. Every. Single. Month. I’m looking at you, Ruby…) gave me such a feeling of comfort and relief. In the 367 days that I’ve owned Pearl I’ve put 10,800 miles on her. Two trips to Denver, one to Mobile, Alabama, and soon, a quick trip to Omaha. Yep, it’s great to find a gal that loves to travel as much as I do.

Favorite Meal: Having a meal made for you is always a treat. Having the best steak you’ve ever eaten (literally. This is not a joke, people. Buttery, medium rare, mouthwatering steak.) made for you is even better. In our relationship, I am more often than not the one cooking for Mr. T, and I very much enjoy it. But one night, for no special reason, he grilled up a steak on his salt block (look it up. Buy it. You’ll thank me.), sauteed me some veggies, and baked me a potato. It was not only a sweet gesture, it was absolutely delicious.

Great. And now I want steak…

Favorite Date: This is by far the hardest for me to determine. For possibly the first time in my life I had SO MANY good dates, I’m having a hard time just choosing one. Mr. T has surprised me with concert tickets (to shows he definitely would not have wanted to go to, but I definitely did), taken me to the drive in, out for my favorite comfort foods when I’m needing it, out to breweries, on road trips, taken me home to meet his friends and family, and even out for sunset walks on the beach in the Gulf Shores, so trust me, it’s really hard to choose just one date. But, if forced, I guess there is one day that always sticks out in my mind.

Our first mini-road trip together was to Omaha, where we will soon celebrating our six month anniversary (yes, because I’m cheesy). The week prior to the trip over Labor Day we both had been battling summer cold/tummy sickness and overall, just not feeling the best. This was still lingering on our second day there and I was worried this would put a damper on our brunch and brewery tour plans. By the time we were halfway through brunch though, I knew we had nothing to worry about. Our food was amazing and we both ended up feeling better than we had in days. We found some of our new favorite beers, we talked and laughed all day, and even when the rain started to roll in and we both had a few too many to really want to hit anymore breweries, the date continued back in the hotel room with pizza and HGTV. (Seriously, if you haven’t made fun of the people on House Hunters, you really haven’t lived. Go, do it now.) In a way, the actual date was nothing special, just a day exploring the city. But in another way, it was and always will be one of the most special to me. At this point I was already crazy about Mr. T, happy and in love, but being in a different city where it really is just the two of us I fully felt the certainty that if it was always just the two of us, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we would always find a way to have fun.

Favorite Guy: I think this one may possibly, just maaaay be a given…

Almost six months ago (5 months, 26 days, and about 8 and a half hours ago if you want to get specific) Mr. T met me at the shitty dive bar I mentioned I’d be at and my life has been infinitely happier ever since. He is this caring, giving, cute, loving, goofy, sincere, loyal, committed, sexy, appreciative, happy, serious, music loving, crazy about me guy I have spent years dreaming of. At times I still find myself questioning us, like after all the years of struggling with bad relationships things can’t go this smoothly and feel this right, can they? But every time that inkling of doubt even creeps it’s way in my mind something comes along to remind me yes, sometimes things can be this easy. That’s not to say it’s always easy and it’s perfect, but that does mean that there is finally a person there fighting for me as much as I am fighting for them when things aren’t easy. There is finally someone who makes believe that maybe all these years I haven’t just been a hopeless romantic believing that someone was out there who would compliment and also challenge me in ways I’ve always wanted and ways I didn’t even know I needed until I felt. It wasn’t me just being a hopeless romantic, it was just me waiting patiently, and more often that not, impatiently, on the two of us being at the right place and the right times in our lives to finally have this love. There is finally someone who makes me fully believe in the phrase ‘when you know, you know.’ And I very much know. He is my favorite guy of 2015, and will be for many more years to come.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things 2014

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2014:

Favorite Movie

Gone Girl. Hands down one of the best book to screen adaptations I’ve seen. I know not everyone agrees with me on this, but seeing as how I saw it in August and still find myself thinking back on it, it was pretty damn good for me. Some runners up: Locke. Tom Hardy at his best. Seriously, only someone on his level can pull off a movie that’s only action is him driving for two hours and still leave viewers totally engrossed. Obvious Child. Jenny Slate is climbing her way up my Girl Crush list reeeeeal fast.

Favorite Album

Zaba by Glass Animals. Clearly if you see a band four times in about five months, you’ve got a bit of a thing for them. It doesn’t matter where I am, what I’m feeling, I could listen to that album all the way through and enjoy the shit out of it every time. A close runner up: Singles by Future Islands. This band seems to be a love ‘em or hate ‘em for a lot of people with no middle ground and I am firmly planted on the love ‘em side. I get why people are turned off by them, they are a bit weird and don’t quite fit into one solid genre, but that’s probably what I love the most. That and they are fantastic live. I actually have about 20 albums I was pretty obsessed with this year, so instead of listing them all here, I’ll leave you with this…  

Favorite Book

I’m an absolute crap book nerd. It was such a busy year I maybe ready a dozen books at best. I have at least another dozen I’m about halfway through, and damnit, I will finish them! And of the dozen I actually finished, none of them were published this year. So, my favorite book this year was Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns by my favorite lady crush, Mindy Kaling. Yes, this was a re-read, but it was just as perfect the second time around. It was most definitely the best thing I could have read post-breakup, and it also doesn’t hurt that she mentions the name Thalia and in my mind, that basically means we are best friends now.

Favorite TV Show

Sons of Anarchy. Seriously. What will I do with myself now that my favorite show is over? Sigh. I guess I’ll rely on the Mindy Project to keep me company on Tuesday nights.

Favorite Concert

If you read my previous blog you know this will be nearly impossible for me to choose. Basically all I did in 2014 was go to concerts. It would seem like an easy choice, Coachella. And yes, totally amazing. But, I also got the chance to see some of my favorite bands in really small venues and that’s kind of hard to top. So for favorite concert I’m going to just go ahead and say all of 2014 was my favorite concert. I have no idea how I’ll top it in 2015, but I can’t wait to try.

Favorite Purchase

A trip to Cancun! What do you when you have a ton of frequent flyer miles you were planning to use for a long distance relationship that ends up going kaput? You use them miles to go on an awesome mini-break with a great friend. In less than three weeks my life will be all sand, sunshine, and all you can drink margaritas!

Favorite Meal

Dear Margaritas in Palm Springs: You are my favorite place in the whole wide world and I dream of your sushi/Mexican/brunch buffet daily. Please stay open forever and ever. Just knowing there’s a place out there where I can get all three of my favorite foods in all you can eat quantities gets me through all the nights of kale salads I intend on eating after the new year.

Favorite Date

This year I, sadly, had the best date of my life. I say sadly because clearly I’m not with the person I had this date with anymore, but, regardless, it really was my favorite date of all time. Long Distance Ex was still working night shifts at the time, so we decided to meet for dinner up by his work. Unfortunately we picked a place that just happened to have two locations on the same street about 10 miles apart, and, unfortunately, OF COURSE I went to the wrong location. I felt like a giant moron, but it was actually kind of great because our relationship was still new and it totally set the tone for us, always able to laugh about anything. Eventually I got to the right location and we had a really great dinner. I mean, the food was fine, basic chain restaurant food, but being together made it great. And that wasn’t even the best part of the date. The best part comes later when he decided to leave work early because he didn’t want our date to be over. It was a perfect night in the beginning of July. Not too hot, not too humid, perfect porch night weather. So that’s exactly what we did. We sat on my back porch, under white Christmas lights and lavender citronella candlelight, listening to music, drinking, and talking for hours. It was almost 1 a.m. before we even noticed how long we had been out there. True, it kind of kills me to write about it now, because looking back, I know that was the night I fell in love with him, but I try not to let that take away from now knowing that every once and awhile perfect nights can happen. Maybe they won’t lead to perfect relationships, but you can always have those perfect nights.

Favorite Guy

None. Despite that perfect night I just described and a lot of really other great times, Long Distance Ex is not my favorite guy of the year. I will forever love what we had together, and probably, in some way, forever love him, but I guess I’m just not willing to give neither he nor any of the other guys I dated this year that title. But, you know who does get it? My friends. Because, in the words of the great Leslie Knope, ovaries before brovaries! Who needs a guy when you have great friends who truly take care of you when you need it? If you’re a frequent reader, you know I’ve been through some shit with men, and this recent break up was no different. What was different was the support I received from my friends, and never once did I have to ask for it. I broke down probably a million and ten times and never once did they do anything but support me. If I were them I would have been really tempted to leave me in my sad-sack state to wallow, but instead they showed up with ice cream and tissues in hand and endless hugs. And, even when they may have pushed a little too hard to get me out of my funk, I knew it was because they cared. So to all my friends, THANK YOU for being my favorite people of 2014. Well, you and Tom Hardy and Charlie Hunnam because… Well, come on. You know why…tumblr_mct2z5kjgz1rvjbdjo1_5002lw9nqdjpg

The Losing Season

I love Kansas City. I have a great amount of Kansas City pride. But, God love ‘em, the Royals season was sadly all too similar to my love life. After years and years of trying their damnedest and still losing, finally all the pieces came together. Finally something just clicked and they were winning. They were great. They were confident. They had been the underdogs for so long that everyone was rooting for them. Everyone wanted this season to finally be the one. And while the final series wasn’t a smooth ride, it really seemed like this was it, this season was the one. Then, suddenly, it was over. Just like that, everything they had been waiting so long for was over. And it was just one small run that came between them and the win. They have to walk off the field, defeated, and watch as someone else enjoys the happiness they thought would be theirs. They came so close. They were great, just not quite great enough.

But, this isn’t the end for the Royals. They will have other seasons. Some they may lose, and maybe someday, one they will finally win. The Royals will shake this loss off… and so will I.

The Perfect Hot Mess

Ohhh long distance dating, you’re so fun! The first few weeks after The Boyfriend left were torture. Sheer torture. Okay fine, torture is an exaggeration, but it was really, really hard. It’s hard to go from seeing each other nearly every day to…nothing. Yes, we text and IM and Snapchat and talk and Skype, but none of that is quite as good as his arms physically wrapping me into a hug.

Before he even left we had plans for our first rendezvous. We were meeting in St. Louis, our halfway point, for a music fest on September 6th. Almost one month after he left. 26 days to be exact. 26 DAYS! That was about 25.5 days too many in my opinion. So instead of patiently awaiting our reunion, I began plotting and planning a way to shorten our time apart. Labor Day was the obvious choice. Hellooo three day weekend! Perfect! Neither of us had to take time off and we both really wanted to spend it together, so what could go wrong? Well…airlines. Airlines are what could go wrong. Apparently airlines have no consideration for lovers being forced apart and wanting to reunite because every single flight to get him to me, or me to him, was nearly $400. $400 for a one and a half hour flight! Yeah, thanks but no thanks, airlines. Driving wasn’t much better. It took more than half of our “long” weekend away from us since it’s eight hours each way. FRACK!

Never one to give into adversity, I continued on in my quest and decided to get a little more creative. What if neither one of us had to drive the full eight hours? What if we only drove half? What if we met in the middle? WHAT IF WE WENT CAMPING?! After high-fiving myself for a solid ten minutes I passed along my plan to The Boyfriend and he loved it. Success! We found a state park perfectly in the middle of us, reserved one of the last spots that just happened to be secluded away from most of the other campsites, and even the weather for the weekend switched from constant rain to one small chance of showers. Everything was perfect.

Now, a few of my friends did not seem as keen to the idea as I did. Camping? Really? No showers or makeup or bathrooms kind of camping? I understood the hesitation. Roughing it can be a bit much for some people. But not me! No way. I can totally do it! I mean, I’ve camped before, right? I’ve even camped with boyfriends before! Well, I mean…for a night or two anyway. And, we were with other people in a big group. And there were other girls there so when I needed someone to walk with me to find an adequate poo place in the dark we could go together….

OH SHIT.

Now I see what my friends are talking about. Sure, I’ve done the camping weekends before, but with just a guy? Just the two of us? No one else there? This is three solid days of nothing but me and him time, which is GREAT, but camping also meant three solid days of nothing but me and him time with no bathrooms, no showers, no makeup, no nothin’. I hadn’t seen The Boyfriend in what felt like ages, so is this really how I wanted him seeing me? I should be in a cute sundress with perfectly tousled (and clean) hair and flawless makeup. I should be able to daintily say I needed to pop into the ladies room instead of braving my fear of the dark and making bathroom dashes by myself (or worse, asking him to come with me. We are not at the ‘leave the bathroom door open’ point yet!). Goddammit, whose crazy idea was this camping business? The plan that seemed like solid gold slowly began to darken in my mind. And to top it off, the closer it got to our trip, the more the weather began to darken as well. Nothing but rain and high heat. It seemed as if the weather gods were set to act as the cherry on top of a ruined weekend sundae. Wet and make up free is not a good look on me, y’all.

I spent nearly all the four hour drive to our campsite sweating this (GREAT. Now I’ll be soaked from rain, sweaty, AND without makeup? It just keeps getting better!). But, as soon as his truck pulled up to the campsite and I got to kiss him for the first time in 18 days, everything changed. Suddenly all that mattered was a whole weekend of time with him. My hair was a hot mess, the bathroom situation was a hot mess, the weather was a hot (literally hot) mess, but none of it mattered. All that mattered was after nearly three weeks away from each other, we finally had nothing but time. And as much as it would have been great to look totally cute and put together, it actually turned out to be kind of nice to be gross and hot and sticky and less than pretty around him and know it didn’t change a thing. The weekend may have been a hot mess but, in the end, it was absolutely perfect.

Oh, and all that rain that ruined our perfect weekend? Well, let’s just say it didn’t actually ruin anything at all. Turns out, being stuck in a tent for hours on end with the boy you adore isn’t such a terrible thing. Nope, not terrible at all.