Today Was a Good Day

….and I didn’t even have to use my a.k.*

Since my last post (understandably) freaked out my “real life” friends who regularly read my blog, I thought that I’d write a post and inform my dear readers that the past couple of days I have felt pretty damn good.  Happy, even.  Content, even better.  I think I may be turning a corner of sorts.

As you know, I had my 1st session with this therapist yesterday and it felt really good.  Now. don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying I had one session of therapy and that now everything is all puppies and rainbows.  Most of the session was just gathering background information, anyway.  But the mere fact of going in there, admitting (to myself and to her) the obvious fact that I’ve been having a rough time of late and that things are feeling a little out of my control, and affirmatively seeking help — it felt like a big step.  This isn’t my first time trying the therapy thing, but in the past when I tried, I would usually see someone once or twice, think to myself, “why am I wasting my money?  Things are ok in my life, I’m a big girl and I can deal with my own problems, I think I’ll take that money and go buy some shoes.”  This time it’s different.  This time I know this is something I need to do for myself right now.  And doing something that is so truly, 100% for myself and for my own well-being…it’s even more satisfying (if not as sexy) as that hot pair of shoes.  😉  Also, the therapist is a total doll — this little Jewish woman with a New York accent who I just wanted to grab and hug.  But also a very to-the-point person, which I definitely need.  So I am really looking forward to seeing her weekly and to really do the work to figure out what is going on with me, even though I know it will be a challenging.

Today I was looking back at my old blog, and I had a little bit of nostalgia.  In some ways, this is a  very different kind of blog than the old one was.  As I read it, my first thought was, Hey, I used to be really funny!  But then I realized that in my old blog I was often writing for my audience.  I knew my mom would read it, I knew my core group of readers liked my funny anecdotes, so I made a concerted effort to be witty.  Now, for better or for worse, I write for myself.  I know that my posts haven’t been very funny, especially lately, but they have been completely genuine and uncensored. 

Writing has often been, and still is, like another form of therapy.  I write something and it comes out sounding just as raw and painful and intense as it felt at the time I was writing it, but something about just putting out there what I am feeling helps diffuse those feelings and thoughts and make them less scary.  I’m a firm believer that the scariest thoughts and fears are the ones that you bottle inside and don’t share with anyone, until they become larger than life.  So many times just speaking those scary words is enough.  Just to have someone listen, to say “I understand” or “I worry about that too” or “I’m here if you need to talk.” 

Anyway, I suppose this is another way of saying don’t worry about me.  Yes, I have been going through a rough time.  Yes, I have been blogging very openly about it.  And yes, I very, very much appreciate all the thoughts and concern.  But deep down I DO know that everything will be ok (and when I lose sight of that feeling, which recently I have, I’ll need to read this post to remind me!)

 In other news, since I last blogged about EHB we have been on 2 more dates — one last week and one last night — and things are still going well.  (More details on that later, perhaps…I know, I’m such a tease!)  For now all I will say is that there may  have been a little bit of public smooching.  🙂  Isn’t it funny how life can bring so many different emotions and experiences at the same time, dear readers?

 

*Ice Cube, people.  Please tell me you got the reference.

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It’s Official – I’m Crazy

I can hear my dear readers saying simultaneously, “Well, we knew that.”  But I’m not just talking about the weekly dose of neuroses that I divulge on this blog.  I’m talking about a real, serious mental disorder.  And if I’m guessing correctly based on what I know of you, dear readers, particularly my blogger friends– I’d bet that some of you are afflicted with it too. My question is, what is the cure for this particular disorder?  It probably does not include endless games of Scrabulous (some people I know, ahem Knittikins, insist on starting like 5 games with me at once), nor Gmail chatting, nor blogging, nor reading other people’s blogs (thank you J. for enlightening me about Google Reader, the new love of my life), nor any of the other things that make my work day tolerable.  And call me crazy if you will, but we all need some way to get through the day in one piece, right?

 In fact, I’ve been thinking that I want to devote even more time to this here blog.  Often I don’t write unless the mood strikes or unless something in particular inspires me to —

[OMG.  I had to interrupt this to say that I just saw my first ever 90210 trailer on the CW — yes, I am watching a Gossip Girl rerun, what of it? — and hearing that oh-so-familiar theme song made my little heart go pitter patter.  If only I didn’t have to wait till the fall!!  Is it wrong that I Iove shows about high school students as much now as when I was 12?  Wait — don’t answer that.]

–Anyhoo, as I was saying, I think maybe I need to force myself to be a bit more dedicated to the blogginess.  So starting today, I am going to attempt to post every other day.  I’d like to work my way up to every day, but that seems a bit ambitious right now, so…every other day it is.

I also want to spruce up my blog and add more photos and fancy shmancy stuff.  But…and this is embarrassing to admit…I am sadly a low-tech girl in a high-tech world.   And at the risk of being shunned by the blog world, the truth is that I just don’t know how to do the things I want to do on my blog.  Now is when I’m hoping that some bloggers more savvy than I–read, every blogger out there–may have some advice for how I might make Single/Fabulous more, well, fabulous!  Anyone?  Bueller?

So I’ve been sharing with all of you some of my dreams for what I might like to have happen in my life.  I still don’t know if the bookstore is what I will pursue or not — though, I have gotten loads of awesome advice on things I could do in conjunction with my bookstore.  I think right now, taking everyone’s suggestions, it’s something like a bookstore/wine bar/record store/knitting shop/cupcake store.  A little eclectic, but it might work, right?  🙂

Anyway, even as I continue to ponder it, I find that the bookstore has become that “happy place” that I go to in my mind when things start to get stressful or hectic or upsetting at work (read: at least once a day.  No one ever said being a lawyer was tranquil).  Ever since my trip to Maui last year, my “happy place” became the memory of the snorkeling excursion I went on with my dad.  I have a beautiful sea turtle photograph on the bookshelf in my office, along with a carved wooden sea turtle (which I originally bought as a souvenir for my then-boyfriend, and kept when he decided to break up with me the very night I returned from Maui), so every so often when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed, I try to stop for a moment, take a breath, and picture that I am swimming through that beautiful blue water, fish and turtles swimming past me, so far far away from my everyday stresses.  Well, in the past week or two since the bookstore idea began a’ brewin’, when I have felt overwhelmed I’ve just pictured myself working in the bookstore, exactly how I have always dreamed it, and it brings a smile to my face.  I’ve been asked to describe the bookstore, and it’s weird because I can SEE it in my mind’s eye perfectly but I can’t describe it well at all.  Obviously if I start to get serious about it I will need a business plan and all the nitty-gritties, but for now it’s best described as a feeling.  (Ps. Sarah, I may well take you up on your offer to run the business side of things. 🙂 )

One last thing before I get in my PJs and retire to my room to read — yes, I am totally hooked on my most recent read (which will be the subject of a future post once I finish it) and I would have stayed in bed starting at 9 pm on a Saturday night, reading, had someone not persuaded me to bust out the rally monkeys — the mini-saga of Cute Boy has come to an end.

And for once — once in my life,  I tell you! — I am proud to say that I was the one to put the brakes on the (yes, self-created) drama.  As you know, dear readers, I have only met this guy a whopping two times, though we have traded a bunch of random emails and have made plans to hang out that have never quite panned out.  A couple of weeks ago, I was putting together a little happy hour get together with a girl I know at Pink Taco.  Yes, I know – and imagine that business lunches take place there!  Even better is that I just discovered, in looking for a link to the restaurant, that it has its own Wikipedia entry:

Pink Taco 

is a Mexican restaurant chain that has earned notoriety[1] for its name, which is the same as a slang term for a human vagina. The president and CEO, Harry Morton, contends it comes from a menu item[2] and claims that if the restaurant were truly “vagina-themed” there would be “vaginas all over the walls.”[3]

 

 Now that is classic, dear readers.

On second thought, I don’t think I can top that for now, so this will be a to-be-continued!

At the start of me

….I’d plot a course to the source of the purest little part of me…

My last post was such a Debbie Downer post, and I am feeling so much better now (thanks to all of you for your kind words — sometimes I really just need to whine to get it out of my system) that I want to share with all of my dear readers some things I’m excited about (big and small).

1.  The Weekend

Tomorrow’s Friday and it continues to be the calm before the proverbial storm…even though trial is coming up way too soon (la la la la I’m in denial!!), somehow it looks like I won’t have to work this weekend.  Which is glorious.

2.  Nesting

My desire to decorate my walls (esp in my bedroom, where until today there was a lone framed photo of a sunset) has coincided perfectly and serendipitously with my ongoing de-cluttering project.  In going through the depths of my closet, I came up with a poster I love that I bought in Barcelona when I studied in Spain in college (um…EIGHT years ago!  sigh).  The poster is quite battered, having seen the walls of at least two dorm rooms and my old apartment, but no matter, I still love it.  So it is now gracing my bedroom wall.  Even better, I was going through a bag of goodies that I had kept from my post-bar trip to Spain, Greece and Italy three years ago, and I found no less than 15 or 20 awesome postcards — mostly of cool pieces of art like Dali, Picasso, El Greco, etc.  I think I bought and kept them all expecting that I would scrapbookmy trip (I sadly never did) or put them on my wall (I never did).  So now I’m creating sort of a cool arrangement on my wall with the beloved Barcelona poster as the centerpiece.  I only managed to get a few up tonight before I realized that it was 10:30 pm and an apartment resident could get killed for lesser crimes than hammering at that hour, so I tabled it for tomorrow.  But seeing all these things come together gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling, especially since I adore Spain and it brings back nothing but great memories.  Maybe I will post a photo when it’s all done.

3.  Pampering

My back has been hurting lately for no reason, and today I mentioned to my friend T. that maybe I would get a massage this weekend.  It turns out she still has a gift certificate to Burke Williams that we bought for her birthday, so now we are doing a mini spa day on Saturday.  Yay!  I feel more relaxed alreadt, just thinking about it.

4.  Dreaming

I know I don’t talk much about my job, but for the most part I do enjoy being a lawyer — even though it’s stressful.  I love the people I work with, it challenges me, and I have a lot of great opportunities.  Still, even when I’m relatively happy at work, I like to daydream about what other paths I could follow.  Having a stressful job at 28 when I’m single with no kids is one thing.  When I have to work late or on the weekends, no one misses me but my cat, so i can put nose to the grindstone.  I just don’t know if that’s something I want to do forever and ever.  So, my brainchild of the moment?  I have been contemplating what it would be like to open my own bookstore.

The way this came about was this.  I had been joking with some of my friends that if the law thing didnt work out for me, I would open a boutique that sold things for cats called “Crazy Cat Lady” (or CCL for those in the know).  My plans for the store became more detailed, and over the weekend I was sharing the joke with my mom.  She commented that there was a bookstore we used to go to on the Oregon Coast, where there were cats that lived in the store, and when I was a little girl I said that I was going to open a bookstore someday.

And the crazy thing?  I still remember that store even though I probably haven’t been there in 15 to 20 years.  I still think about that store, and what it would be like to own a place like that.

So then I began giving it some thought.  Isn’t there something powerful about your childhood dreams?  It’s like it goes to the essence of who you are.  Some of my childhood dreams, like becoming an elementary school teacher, I discarded and have never regretted.  But there are some that still hold all the wonder and fascination that they did when I was a child.  The bookstore is one.  Being a writer is the other.  (And really, don’t those two dreams go perfectly hand-in-hand?)

So call me nutty, but I’m doing some research on what a venture like this would really entail.  For now it’s a pipe dream, but at some point it may become something real…I’ll keep you posted!

What were your dreams for your life when you were a child, dear readers?

***********

“1983” by John Mayer

I’ve these dreams I’m

Walking home

Home when it used to be

 And everything is

 As it was

Frozen in front of me

  

Here I stand

 6 feet small 

romanticizing years ago

it’s a bitter sweet feeling hearing “Wrapped Around Your Finger” on the

radio

 

 and these days

I wish I was 6 again

Oh make me a red cape

I wanna be Superman

 

 

 

Oh, if only my life was more like 1983

all these things would be more like they were at the

start of me

 had it made in 83

  

thinking bout my brother Ben 

I miss him every day

He looks just like his brother John

But on an 18 month delay 

Here I stand

6 feet small

and smiling cause I’m scared as hell

kind of like my life is like a sequel to a movie

 where the actor’s names have changed

 

oh well 

well these days

I wish I was 6 again

Oh make me a red cape

 I wanna be Superman

 

Oh, if only my life was more like

1983 

all these things would be more like they were at the

start of me

If my life was more like 1983

I’d plot a course to the source of the purest little part of me

 

and most my memories

have escaped me

or confused themselves with dreams

if heaven’s all we want it to be

send your prayers to me

 care of 1983

 

you can paint that house a rainbow of colors

rip out the floorboards

 replace the shutters but

that’s my plastic in the dirt

 whatever happened to my

 whatever happened to my

whatever happened to my lunchbox

 when came the day that it got

 thrown away and don’t you think I should have had some say

in that decision

 

 

Worlds Colliding

Tonight, despite the fact that it’s been a stressful week, and I have way too much going on at work and I keep screwing things up and it’s only going to get more hectic…I have this strange sense of calm and quiet. I don’t know why or how or where that zen is coming from, but I’ll take it! Noodles is curled up in a little ball of fur next to me, I am comfy on the couch with Lost on in the background, and all seems right with the world.

This week I’ve gotten some blog love from a couple of bloggers who I’ve never heard from before. I know that several of my “real-life” friends read this blog (and am reminded of that fact when I get a call like, “I didn’t know that happened!!! I read it in your blog!!!” — sorry, girls). I also know that I have a handful of fellow late-20s female bloggers who read this blog (and whose blogs I read religiously). I wasn’t sure if any guys read this blog though, and honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they didn’t — I’m sure neurotic women are a dime a dozen in our great City of Angels!

So I was more than pleasantly surprised when I got comments from not one, but two male bloggers in response to my poll about sending the email to Networking Guy. (Side note: I sent an email to Networking Guy and he wrote me back a friendly-but-detached email that left the ball solidly in my court. Yeah…not quite the profession of undying love that I had hoped for. Sigh.)

But I digress. The first comment I received was from Geekhiker, who has a blog that is equal parts dating, hiking, and randomness. I enjoy the dating stories — as someone who as my dear readers know is prone to recount her own tales of dating tragedy and comedy, it is refreshing to get a guy’s perspective. And I enjoy the hiking tidbits — there really are so many amazing spots around L.A. And I will go check out more than the local ones…just as soon as I get in shape. In any event, check out GeekHiker!

The second commenter, who emailed me directly, was JMB. This guy doesn’t seem to get many comments, and I have no idea why — when I started reading, it was love at first post for me. JMB chronicles his L.A. adventures through witty, entertaining writing combined with photography, and it’s sort of like reading Los Angeles Magazine (one of my simple pleasures) but with that human touch. Warning: JMB writes using the “royal we” which at first confused me (when he said “we went to this concert” I kept wondering who the “we” was) but once you get used to it, it’s amusing. The theme of his blog is recommendations of things he likes. Well, S/F recommends: JMB. Check it.

And this weekend I am meeting up in person with one of my fellow bloggers! Like me, she’s a single, late-20’s attorney living in Los Angeles and having sometimes-fun, sometimes-atrocious dating experiences. I’m looking forward to meeting her, after getting to know her through our blogs and emails (though my friends made fun of me for having a “girl blind date.”) Hey, people, it’s the 21st century. When you think about it, if I’m meeting all my recent dates online, why not new friends?

Speaking of online dating (wow, aren’t my segues smooth?) I officially cancelled Match.com and have felt not even a moment of remorse about my decision. I did decide to extend my eHarmony subscription for one additional month — query whether it’s some sort of strange addiction? Anyway, even though there is something I like about the slow pace of eHarmony (I have a theory that the higher price and tedious number of steps will deter the guys who just want to get laid, which Match.com certainly does NOT), the slow pace can also drive me a bit nuts. Also, even after having to answer the same cheezy questions time and time again, I still get — can I call it writer’s block? Here are the 3 questions facing me right now from my most recent match:

1. What is the one dream for your life you most look forward to having come true?
2. Tonight you can do anything you want, no penalties, no reprisals, and the cost is unimportant. What are you going to do?
3. How would you spend a romantic evening with someone you have been dating for more than one year?

Ok, so I understand the purpose of these questions, and I like reading the other person’s answers. (Though, in response to the question “what do you find physically attractive?” the guy responded with a long winded answer about how “smart is sexy” and personality is the most important, which sent my bullshit-o-meter through the roof). But in general, I get it. Still, when I am faced with these questions I just end up staring blankly at the screen (thus eating up precious potentially billable minutes) and then giving up.

So here’s my challenge to you, dear readers. Save me from the agony of having to answer these again. Submit your own answers and I will choose the winners to send to Mr. Potential Date. Who wants to play??

New Year, New Blog

Welcome, dear readers!

I began blogging about 6 months ago under a different blog name, but made the error of sharing the blog’s existence with literally everyone and their mother (most notably, MY mother), which led to much self-censoring. (And, even with the self-censoring, lectures about such topics as my relationship patterns and my drinking habits.) If a girl can’t be honest and up-front in her blog, then where can she?? Because of this, I decided to retire the old blog at the end of 2007.

But, as it turns out, the past 6 months have turned me into something of a blogging junkie, and it took a whopping 2 days for me to experience blogging withdrawal sufficient to motivate me to resuscitate the beloved blog under a new pseudonym. So, here I am!

If you are curious to read all about me and get caught up to present-day, feel free to email me and I will send you a link to the old blog. It would take me till July 2008 to try to play adequate catch-up here! For a short intro, I am a 27 year old lawyer in L.A., am single, and live in a cute apartment in West Hollywood with my beloved cat. (Yes, go ahead and make the jokes – I will often be joking about my crazy cat lady-ness too.) In the past year-and-a-half I have broken off an engagement, dated 2 new guys for a few months each, and gone on a string of hideous dates with online suitors. I love to write, and I harbor notions of leaving my cushy law job, taking my laptop and moving to some hip-but-affordable city, working part time at a bookstore and spending all my other time in coffee shops writing the Great American Novel.

I guess that’s me in a nutshell (help! how do I get out of this nutshell?) If you have any other questions, just ask!

Since it is a new year, it is time to share my goals for this new year. Now, normally I make resolutions that I know I will never stick to — for example, “work out more.” This year, instead, I decided to give myself a goal that I will feel excited about working on. That said, here are my goals for the new year.

1) Write more. Blogging, journaling, short stories, you name it. I just bought a book about novel writing. Maybe I’ll join a writing group, though with my work hours that may be too ambitious right now.
2) Decide what my dream life is. What job do I really want to be doing? What city do I really want to live in? etc.
3) By the beginning of 2009, make changes to make that life a reality. I do believe that I owe my job another solid year. But after that, I feel that I am well within my right to follow my heart (once I figure out in step 2 what my heart wants). I figure that even though leaving stability for the unknown would be scary, when else will I be able to make such a leap? I’m young, single, no kids, no mortgage. I have enough saved to live for a year without working, or at least just working part time.
4) Focus on spirituality. I have never been a very spiritual person, but I’m reading the book Eat Pray Love and it has inspired me. I think that connecting to sprituality will help me with a lot of my personal issues — stress, anxiety, etc — and will help bring a much-needed balance to my life.

And that, dear readers, will keep me plenty busy in 2008, I believe!