TED Talks: Why 30 Is NOT the New 20

I’m a big fan of TED Talks. I have learned so much from them and they always inspire my creativity. This talk was especially moving to me: Meg Jay’s Why 30 is Not the New 20 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhhgI4tSMwc). As a twenty-almost-thirty-something, I’m still in the process of finding a great job that I love doing/could possibly turn into a career while simultaneously searching for an amazing partner. Jay explains why your twenties are the most important decade in your life and tells you, dear reader, how NOT to waste them

Enjoy.

Shine Bright like a Diamond

On Thursday, I went to my first AA meeting. Yes, I have a drinking problem but yes, I’m fixing it (and I will eventually get better). It took some drama to see this problem hanging out with the plethora of other things running around in my head- Monday morning, I broke up with my boyfriend. Monday afternoon, I lost my job. Although it was the day from hell, all the negative experience brought clarity. I have an issue with alcohol. I don’t sleep and eat enough, like a normal person should. I have problems with verbal communication and emotion regulation. My depression is affecting every aspect of my life- I’m letting it take over my life. Well, not anymore.  Tuesday, I spent the day energizing and exercising in the sunshine, getting some much need physical activity and Vitamin D. Wednesday, I met with a therapist and made an appointment to get prescribed anxiety medication.

Making big decisions like this is tough. No one likes changes of this magnitude. Telling my friends that I had an alcohol problem was hard. I’m the girl who enjoys her cocktail and the monthly downtown wine walks. I was afraid of the pressure to “try this” or “take of sip of that.” But everyone I told has been amazingly supportive. They encouraged my courage and for that, I’m incredibly grateful. Last night, I went out to my favorite bar with a couple of friends and they ordered me Shirley Temples along with their tequila shots and pints of beer. Nothing felt out of place or forced. It made me feel like I can conquer all this negativity and still be me- just a better, happier version.

I’m writing this entry, listening to Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” Every time I listen to this song, I get something new out of it.  “Find light in the beautiful sea/ I chose to be happy.”t made me feel like I can conquer all these negativity and still be me- just a better, happier version. I know that happiness is a choice, but most days, at least for me, it’s a difficult choice to make. I wish that choosing happiness and glee was like deciding what outfit you’re going to wear in the morning. I’m sure after I clear the demons out of my head and the chunks of concrete out of my heart, I’ll be able to flick on my happiness switch permanently with a snap of my fingers.

Diamonds sparkle even when surrounded by darkness. That’s something that I need to remember. Even though I’m missing my ex-boyfriend like crazy and I need to hunker down and start job hunting, I know that I’m doing the right thing, finally building a good mental foundation- one that supports my attitude and my emotions, that will help with making and keeping relationships and work. I know that this will take a long time to heal and get better. I only hope that I’ll be patient with the results I’m seeking and that I remember to be kind to myself. But I am determined to get better and I know it will happen.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

“Is this a lasting treasure/ Or just a moment’s pleasure/ Can I believe the magic of your sighs/ Will you still love me tomorrow…”

A couple of weeks ago, I texted my father, asking if it was fair to be with someone who loved you more than you loved them. This question stayed on my mind since then. This morning, I broke up with my boyfriend. Although I’m still not one hundred percent sure that I made the right decision, I’m still questioning my feelings on love and what it means to be in a relationship.

I learned a long time ago that the Disney princess movies lied. No matter how much courage you hold in your heart or how good of a person you think you are, Prince Charming isn’t waiting at the end of the staircase with a dozen red roses. Even with that in mind, the sliver of romanticism in my body still desired for such a being and I searched for it in a plethora of men. I dated a lot over the years and finally met someone I instantly connected with. He was kind, generous and wasn’t afraid to be goofy with me. After a couple of trials and a lot of good times, he told me that he loved me. Did I love him back? Certainly, I could picture myself loving him, watching our relationship blossom into something more than being just boyfriend and girlfriend. But when those three sometimes magical, sometimes horrifying words are spoken, how are you supposed to reply? I hate that I did this but I did the cowardly thing: I told him that I loved him back when I didn’t. Did I feel horrible for what I did? Of course (and I still do). Did I still want to be with him despite our unshared feelings? Yes. But would that be fair for him to? I have no clue.

I’ve asked my friends and co-workers the same question I asked my dad. You just need to let your love for him grow and mature, they said. So, did I do the wrong thing and break up when I just should have let us simmer on the stove a little bit longer? Would it then be fair for my boyfriend to wait for me to develop “in love” feelings? Should I just have “faked it until I made it”- pretended to have those loving feelings until I actually did? A couple of years ago, I watched this interview about this charming elderly couple, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. When asked what their secret was to their long lasting marriage, the wife replied that she and her husband never fell out of love with each other at the same time. I totally get it. If this couple can make their relationship work without loving each other all time, can I?

I know that I occasionally fuck up, making a bad decision after spinning my brain’s wheels in the wrong direction for some quite some time. Sure, there were other things wrong in our relationship but if I’m wondering if I stayed and actually fell in love, would those things have worked themselves out? I don’t want to live in the past and I want to feel good about the choice I made but I’m afraid this now has affected my desire to be with someone either getting back together with the now ex or someone completely new). I guess only time will tell.

What do you think, dear readers? Comments are HIGHLY encouraged today.

 

Happy Adoption Day

Two-year-old me and my little sister, Nicole, in 1988

Two-year-old me and my little sister, Nicole, in 1988

Most people don’t know this but I am adopted. And I’m pretty proud of it (I just refuse to explain that I am to most people because my family tree tends to get pretty confusing). My mom texted me earlier today and wished me a happy adoption day or as she puts it, “Happy Special Day.” As long as I can remember, she and my dad have made a point to celebrate my special day, whether it’s with cards in the mail or a trip to Dairy Queen for some ice cream.

Working at the homeless shelter, I’ve talked with a lot of folks who grew up in the foster care system, who never get homes to settle into and families to love. I was and still am pretty lucky to have my parents with their great desire to have me as their daughter. I think about all the people who will never have a mother and a father of their own, or siblings to annoy. My boyfriend and I once talked about having children. He asked me how many I wanted to have. I replied with, whatever amount the adoption agency will let me have. Adoption, he asked. Why? My answer was simple. I told him that I wanted to give a child a home.

I hope that you, dear reader, will consider adoption one day. Not just with kids but with a pet. Or perhaps an elderly person. In elementary school, my sister and I adopted a “grandparent” from our church and we invited our “grandmothers” to school to visit. There are so many people that deserve love but for whatever reason, are not receiving it. I challenge you to open up your heart and let a stranger in. Embrace them into your life and let them adopt your soul.