Viva Las Vegas!

As you read this, I am cruising at 30,000 feet up in the air, somewhere between Toronto and Las Vegas, most likely sipping a stiff gin and tonic, and discreetly enjoying a cheesy rom-com on the tiny screen in front of me.

This idea came to fruition on a cold January night, as I exceeded my daily allowance of cheap merlot and self wallowing. I picked up my phone and drunk texted Miss E:

Me: LET’S GO TO VEGASSSSSSS!
Miss E: Done!

People, that is what a best friend does. She does not question. She just goes with it. We booked our flight the next morning

Context: Mr. B was adamant about never stepping foot in Vegas; he would not even entertain the thought of going in the distant future. (For no particular reason, he was just a stubborn asshole.)

It only seemed fitting to book this trip as an official launch to my Year of Self.

My reader therapists, wish me luck on the tables! If you never hear from me again, I won a jackpot (or drank too many bottomless margaritas). Any suggestions for what I should do while in Vegas? Good eats?

Current Status: cursing my poor packing skills / binge watching House of Cards / never using self-tanning lotion again

Debbie Downer Days.

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It’s been 15 days since my last post – the longest I’ve not contributed to my blog since its humble inception.

I’ve allowed myself to snowball into an all-encompassing horrible mood, where I just sit around in my underwear, eat deep-dish pizza and shake my fist at my Christmas tree in disdain, as its twinkling lights mock my sad existence. I’ve been avoiding my blog because I haven’t wanted to dive into picking apart these feelings.

I feel guilty because instead of finding my inner zen, I seem to be excelling in finding my inner lush (is it too late to change my domain name?).

I need to get a goddamn grip, wipe the marinara sauce off my chin, put some pants on and chalk it up as a few minor setbacks – nothing more.

Today marks a new month. January: I survived. February: I hobbled through. March: will be my turning point.

What do you do to get yourself out of a bad-mood spiral or work through setbacks in your life? Weigh in, my internet therapists!

Current Status: marathoning through Lena Dunham’s Girls / sporting carb face / healing my liver

Me – 1, Valentine’s Day – 0

I’d been inexplicably dreading Valentine’s Day. Which is strange, because I’ve never been a dozen roses/box of chocolates/grand sweeping romantic gestures kind of gal.

Way to my heart? A bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin and a large pizza (none of that heart-shaped pizza crap, just load on the cheese and bacon!). I’m a classy woman of simple tastes.

So why was I dreading Valentine’s Day? I assumed if there was any day where I would fall apart, this would be it. That I would somehow feel like I was missing out on some cheesy element of this over-commercialized, fabricated holiday I had never understood or desired before.

Saturday morning: I woke up lazily; the sunshine streaming through my windows.; my main bitch sleeping beside me:

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“Hmmm, this isn’t so bad,” I thought to myself. I’m actually feeling pretty content.

Things only went up from there.

In lieu of having a significant other to fill my belly with delicious treats, I decided to spoil myself with a lavish full-body massage. Who needs a man when you have an excellent benefits plan that covers massages? Am I right?

It was absolutely incredible. This misleadingly tiny Filipino woman melted the tension right out of my aching body with hands of magic and steel. It felt amazing; it felt cathartic.

With my limbs feeling like glorious jelly, I proceeded to indulge in: good ol’ retail therapy, a facial, getting my nails done, drinking copious amounts of wine (what else is new?), chatting with all my besties, Skype call with my adorable goddaughter, ordering my own goddamn pizza and spending the night watching my favourite rom-coms without the grumblings of a certain nameless asshole.

I’m moving on up, people. That being said, if I ever did celebrate Valentine’s Day, I hope my future beau (coughEdSheerancough) would know me well enough to craft me this gem of a Valentine:

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Current Status: making slight progress with Christmas tree (Miss J this is for you) / nursing a carb comatose / grateful for all the love in my life

Must I forgive? Can’t I just forget?

During one particularly aggressive pinning spree of Chris Evans’ biceps on my favourite social media time suck, I stumbled across the following quote:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
– Buddha

Alright, Buddha. I see where you’re going with this. In theory, I comprehend this neatly-packaged concept. I really do. But I’m still at the basic-bitch stage of gleaning immense pleasure out of wishing a slew of incurable STDs upon Mr. B.

I decided to ambush some unsuspecting friends and family with a barrage of personal questions:

How long did it take them to forgive their worst ex? When did they reach their turning point when they were no long overcome with rage every time the smug bastard’s face popped up on their Facebook feed?

As it turns out, many seemingly well-adjusted survey respondents still hate this ghost from their past with a slow burning rage. Yes, some of them are an exception to this rule (or are alarmingly convincing liars) and have figured out how to gracefully rise above. Yet, a majority of my impromptu sample group have at least one particularly memorable ex that they would still punch in the face, given the opportune scenario to do so.

So, my wise and all-knowing internet therapists, I leave you with this:

Is forgiving my douchebag ex-boyfriend instrumental to the healing process? Or is forgetting enough for now?

Current Status: listening to my ginger prince Ed Sheeran / unapologetically digging Iggy Azalea’s Grammy hair / eyeing my Christmas tree with disdain

“Why Men Love Bitches” and other thoughts.

 

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As per 2015 Bucket List Item #13 “Read a new book every two weeks from the library,”
I’ve been spending many a night bookworming it up in the comfort of my hermit cave.

Sherry Argov’s Why Men Love Bitches is not technically a new read; it’s been strategically hidden behind a stack of 18th-century novels, away from the scrutinizing eyes of guests perusing my bookshelves and evaluating my literary prowess. (Side note: Mr. B was a total book snob. One more tick in the douchebag column!)

The title is obviously kitchy; which is why I refused to read it for such a long time. To my surprise, I ripped through it in two hours (I am a reading ninja, it’s actually my superpower), and found myself taking notes as I nodded along to many of the simple but poignant principles Argov puts forward in this tongue-in-cheek “relationship self-help” book. She redefines the term “bitch” throughout the book as a woman who simply knows what she wants – Babe In Total Control of Herself. (Okay, this made me groan a bit, but stay with me!)

Disclaimer: I didn’t agree with every concept in this book; I chose to glean the concepts I could apply to my own life and recent situation. I particularly disliked Chapter #4, dedicated to the art of being a “dumb fox,” which made me want to burn my bra in protest.

Here are some “aha” moments I did take away from the book, and will apply moving forward:

1. A bitch does not stop moving to her own rhythm! If you allow your rhythm to be interrupted, you’ll create a void. Then, to replace what you give up, you’ll start to expect and need more from your partner.

2. When you love life with him or without him, that is when he will accept you and value you for who you are. A bitch prioritizes herself over “melting” into someone else.

3. A bitch is not governed by fear of losing a man, because she knows the real price to pay is when she loses herself.

4. The relationship may not be right for you if you find yourself jumping through hoops. When something is right, it will feel easier and much more effortless.

5. Never stop living your life. Take a class. Develop a hobby. Meet people. You are only as interesting as the depths of your own interests.

6. Stop telling yourself, “He is the one. He is different!” every time you meet someone new. Instead, you have to think, “I’m willing to learn more. I’m enjoying myself, but if it doesn’t work, there are other ducks in the pond.”

7. Be an independent thinker at all times, and ignore anyone who attempts to define you in a limiting way. 

Simple concepts? Yes. Of course.

Did I follow them with Mr. B? Absolutely not. I lost my sense of self; I lost my dignity.

Would following these concepts to a tee have changed the outcome of my sad sob story? Probably not. I was unfortunate enough to date an emotionally-immature and manipulative asshole. But if I hadn’t promised my life away and put all my eggs in the “boyfriend basket,” I may have better dealt with the demise of our relationship.

C’est la vie, people. You live, you learn.

Current Status: realizing Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal / eating dinner out of a can / debating finally taking my Christmas tree down

Wait. So does this mean you’re going to stay single?

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When Diane Farr (my heartbreak hero extraordinaire) declared her Year of Self, she set specific parameters for her experience:

“So I made my promise to myself that I would not date for a whole year. I needed to move away from marriage and kids defining everything.”

She then inevitably ended up meeting her husband during that year, developed her booming career, had beautiful babies, and publicly (but very humorously) villainized her douchebag, womanizing ex-fiancée on Queen Oprah’s show.

Since declaring 2015 as my own Year of Self, I’ve been asked many times if this means I will also be staying single.

I’m not sure yet? What I do know is that defining the Year of Self as simply a year of being single would be a terrible oversimplification of what it is I want to achieve.

That being said, my focus right now is definitely not on romantic relationships, and I don’t believe that I could legitimately be a good partner to someone in my hot-mess present state. Let’s be serious, my Tinder profile would be all like:

“Merlot-drinking, ramen-eating, T-Swizzle loving, emotionally-unstable cutie with a booty, looking for her lumber sexual dream man. Douchebags need not apply. Holler!”

I think what is most important for me right now is to loosen the reigns on attempting to control and plan every little detail in my life. So no, I won’t actively be pursuing romantic relationships. (Please note: This last sentence will be deemed null and void if Chris Evans ever shows up at my door.) I’m just going to roll with it (Me-Mantra #3!) and see where this year takes me!

As American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, activist and musician Tim Robbins once said:

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”

Current Status: steamrolling through The Mindy Project (thanks, @aleksawal) / committed to not “swiping right” / in desperate need of a manicure

Realization #4 – I must embark on a “Year of Self”

It has been exactly 25 days since Mr. B killed the dream.

During this time, I have eaten my weight in ramen, possibly exhausted Canada’s supply of imported merlot, watched 10 seasons of Friends and listened to more Kelly Clarkson than I care to admit to.

I am happy to report I am officially a functioning human being once more. Despite the rocky beginnings and some inopportune setbacks, I have traded in my sweatpants for my favourite pair of skinny jeans, resumed regular grooming practices and *gasp* am even smiling and laughing again.

As I hinted to in previous posts, I have decided to dedicate 2015 to my Year of Self.

What is a Year of Self, you ask? In its simplest form, it’s a year wholly devoted to my pursuit of happiness. I am determined to turn this mind-numbingly painful experience into something positive; I refuse to let Mr. B’s douchebaggery have any permanent effect in my life. I need to look back on this as the start of something so much bigger than our trivial relationship.

It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to approach and organize this endeavor (hence the delay in an update). During my brainstorming sessions, I had the opportunity to visit my bestie, Miss. E, in Ottawa over the weekend. After countless hours spent cooped up in a cozy Starbucks (I shit you not, it was -35 °C outside), we finally came up with a two-part game plan:

Me-Mantras
Ten principles I will drill into my head and live by for the next 365 days. Some are vague; others may seem silly. They all mean something to me. They’ve all been carefully crafted to address the main issues in my life. Click here to read them.

 2015 Bucket List
Self explanatory. Most of these aren’t huge things (with the exception of sky diving!), but they are all things I have been putting off for years; always pushing them into the future. I have bolded some of the recurring items and will be updating my progress as I go. Click here to take a look.

Since this has turned into a long rambling post — and I personally hate long rambling posts — I will leave you with these final words of wisdom:

Bitch, be cool. Do you. This is life. Keep figuring it out.

Realization #3 – There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.

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When Mr. B arrived, all that was on my mind were the lazy Sunday mornings we would inevitably spend in a quaint European village, in our modest but cozy home with the door I would insist on painting red.

The memories we had not yet made, were the ones that kept me hooked.

In reality, Mr. B raised his eyebrow every time I put ketchup on my eggs (I have a very refined palate, I know) and furrowed his brow at the numbers of times I brush my teeth during the day (how is impeccable oral hygiene annoying?!). These are just two examples out of the countless red flags I painstakingly extracted from my recollection of Mr. B’s commentaries on my everyday habits.

These may seem like inconsequential observations on his part, but they weren’t. His comments were not relayed in a “you’re so goofy and endearing so let’s ride off into the sunset” kind of way. Mr. B made me feel insecure.

I was feeding off the dream. Moving to Europe. Travelling the world. White dresses. Bright-eyed, gap-toothed kids. Matching tombstones. The whole deal. My seemingly monotonous job and existence no longer mattered, because I was hanging on every word.

I let this man swoop into my life, and found myself redefining my existence and future plans. I wholly believed that once we were together, I could finally be happy.

It took me 27 years to figure out that you can’t put your happiness into someone else’s hands. Especially if you have horrible taste in men.

Current Status: cautiously optimistic / jamming to T-Swizzle / finished all Friends seasons (what do I watch now?! Suggestions welcome!)

Realization #2 – I’m scared of being alone.

There. I said it. I am a grown-ass, 27-year-old woman who is scared of being alone. Something I truly didn’t realize until Mr. B skipped into (and subsequently out of) my life.

For the past decade, I have methodically steamrolled from one relationship into the next.

Oh, shit ain’t working with Mr. Right Now? That’s cool, Mr. Coming Right Up is looking pretty good…

Yes, I am that girl. I was that girl. Every time I ended a relationship, I already had the next eligible bachelor lined up. I’ve never actually dealt with the feelings associated with a breakup.

I suppose you could say my method for getting over someone, was getting under someone else (sorry, Mom!).

This is the first time in a decade there is no tall, dark and handsome distraction waiting for me; the first time in a decade where I refuse to resort to this destructive (albeit very comforting) pattern.

I need to make a real change in my life and behaviour. I refuse to drag another unsuspecting human being into this angsty, Mr. B-hating, wine-chugging, ramen-noodle eating phase of my existence. I am not in any shape to: a) attract the right guy; and b) be a good partner to anyone.

So here I am, raising my glass of merlot, to being alone! (Someone please take me out of my misery if I ever order a Snuggie!)

Current Status: listening to Single Ladies / googling micro pigs in rainboots / loading up on ramen

Time-out: A pity party is a shitty party.

I’m taking a quick time-out today from boldly declaring the second of my three major realizations and from brazenly setting forth into my new life as an independent, bad-ass bitch (sorry, Diane Farr).

To sum up: Today was shit. Works sucks. I’m out of wine.

I’m hyper sensitive and every-day situations are stressing me out. I am cognizant of the fact that it is not normal to get teared up over the Starbucks barista spelling my name wrong on my coffee cup (#whitegirlfirstworldproblems), or my stapler running out of staples (why does nothing ever last?!).

Before you begin shaking your head, please don’t get me wrong. The general trend is up.

I haven’t actually “ugly cried” since Friday. There have been no urges to text, call or change my mind about Mr. B. He is, and will always remain a complete and utter douchebag. Thank you Mr. B, for at least leaving no wiggle room in my mind about this fact.

What I do know, is that though the general trend is up, it’s not a perfectly smooth line.

Today caught me off guard. I came home and crawled right into my bed, forcing my dog to begrudgingly be my little spoon.

Alas, tomorrow is a new day. I will put my big-girl pants on again, avoid eye contact with the Starbucks barista and try and refrain from throwing my stapler at the wall.

Wish me luck!