Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little Red Hiding Hood

So, I know we've talked about it before, but I have to revisit a particular topic that is basically reeking havoc on this Singleton's stress levels.  In short, I'd imagine I'd be off the charts if I took one of those treadmill tests where you get hooked up to all those funky, beeping machines and run until you pass out (or in my case, trip on your own feet and yank out the treadmill cord).  I'm having angel versus demon conflicts yet again!  If you could see my right now, I just threw my head back and let out a giant "Urrrrgh!" of frustration and grabbed hair on either side of my head and pulled it in conjunction.

Here's a little tidbit about myself that I have yet to share with you, my faithful followers:  I'm a big talker.  And by big talker, I mean that I have a big mouth and it tends to get me in hot water.  My mouth has a tendency to create a character who is quite the experienced woman of the world, when in reality, I'm very much otherwise.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not the perpetual wallflower who has never gotten to dance, but if we're talking music/dancing analogies, I'm not Madonna either.  However, I do have a very vivid imagination and can (eh-hem) talk myself up, so to speak.  Danger zone.

Occasionally, I'm met with a critical dilemma as a result of this (uh) tendency of mine.  Very rarely, I come across someone who inspires some kind of strange challenge within me to see just how far into the forest my mouth/words can take me.  At some point, I realize that I've trod entirely too far into the woods without a map to get back to the safety of civilization and begin to totally freak out.  With no escape route, it's rather difficult to turn back and get to the original path without retaining some of the dirt, brambles and thorns collected while venturing down "The Wrong Path."

Okay, so I know I'm not the only one in the world who has ventured down a path that can only result in the generation of a bad reputation. (I can hear my mother's voice reminding me of how easy it is to lose a good reputation and hard it is to lose a bad one...I know, I know, I hear you!!!)  That's not the problem.  The problem is that I (can't believe I'm actually going to say this...out loud in writing) kind it.   (Insert another aggravated "urrrgh" here.)

Before you add my impure soul to your prayer list, let me explain.  The reason that I get so freaked out by going too far into the woods without dropping breadcrumbs to find my way out (too many fairy tale references?  Okay... I'll keep them at a limit.)  is because I would never act on most of the words that come out of my mouth (or my fingertips, depending on the situation).  Unless of course, I was in a long-term committed relationship... hell, some of it would require nuptials and a legally binding document.  And I will say, as a personal advertisement, I usually impress myself with my creative abilities, so there's a lucky boy out there that will...  nevermind.  That's beside the point.  Back to the subject at hand. 

Part of me likes the excitement of walking on the wild side... the adrenaline rush of flirting with the Big Bad Wolf and potentially being a different person for a few minutes.  At first, the Big Bad Wolf seems charming and flattering, so much so that I forget for a little while that he is actually, in fact, a wolf.  And so far, he's always been a wolf.  But, soon I catch a glimpse of those nasty, snarled teeth and understand their intention, and I run for the nearest hiding place.   Then, I kick myself.  Here I am, touting myself as this new, independent woman who is going to enjoy life to the fullest and live as the best Singleton I can (if I'm going to be single, I might as well have fun doing it!  Right?!...right?) and I run like a scared little prom queen at the first sign of adult interaction.  Obviously the other part of me is uncomfortable by the wild side walking and flirting with a four-legged predator.  This discomfort makes me feel like a major, uptight, old maid who will be flirting with no one but her brood of cats long into old age.  Can Little Red Riding Hood survive a jaunt through the woods with the wolf and still be able to look her grandmother in the eye when she gets to her house?  As much as I'd like to think that this crimson cloaked chickadee could handle it, I'm almost positive that I'm not destined for romps in the forest with canines.  Although the temptation isn't going away, I think I'm going to hold out for a conversation partner who doesn't fall within the same genus and species as dogs.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the Eve of my 30th Birthday...

I've been a terrible blogger these last few months... I've been an excellent Singleton, but a horrible blogger.  So, I apologize and thank you for sticking by me when I dropped the ball.  I intend to make it up to you.  Thanks to an amazing friend, I will now have the ability to post, comment, share, expound, rant and rave all hours of the day and night.  I am no longer confined to the mere thirty-minute lunch break blog squeeze-in.

Speaking of thirty... As I realized this afternoon that it was high time I contributed to the blogosphere again, I thought there was no better time to publish my Singleton manifesto than on the eve of my thirtieth birthday.  (Deep breath, deep breath...keep repeating "thirty does not equal death," "thirty does not equal death.")

I'll wholeheartedly (and moderately embarrassingly) admit that I have very little to update you on as far as any changes in my Singleton status.  So far, still single.  I have shied away from all things online dating, with the rare exception of viewing an email/poke/pathetic attempt at communication from someone on a free site.  I realized that my decision was a good one when I was recently sent a message entitled "FastWhiteBoy  would like to meet you."  Although I eventually gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed that he was "fast" because maybe he liked cars (probably optimistic for, I didn't intend to find out for sure.  But don't start feeling bad for me yet... I have not been bored.  I've somehow managed to catch some borderline inappropriate attention in unexpected places that, although unrealistic and not at all potentially fruitful, has certainly kept me on my toes and has helped me (eh-hem) hone my skills in male/female communication.  I'm getting better... All these lessons are going to make me an excellent girlfriend for someone...someday...hopefully soon...any takers?

Speaking of lessons... You haven't had to know me long to know that I have a certain affection for lists.  So, because I don't have any new men of Singledom to introduce you to right now (hopefully that will change in the near future, maybe he'll even bypass the Wall of Shame over there) I'd like to stick to form and present What I've Learned About Myself in My First 30 Years.

  1. I have learned who I am at my core.  I've weeded through the false pretenses, the facade of social acceptance and the fear of being the woman that God made me to be.  I want you to like me, but if you don't, I'll find someone else who will and that's okay! 
  2. I will never be one of those patient, quiet, elegant women, but I think I have a graceful style all of my own.
  3. I'm attracted to men who look good with facial hair, have great, masculine hands, who are passionate about something but nothing in particular and who push me outside of my usual comfort zone (this could be heavily influenced by the fact that I've got "Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe" on in the background.  But, I'm going with it anyway.).
  4. I'm a good sister and friend, but I have a breaking point.  I can only take so much.  I'm good at doling out a healthy helping of tough love and will eventually give it to you whether you want it or not.  But, I'll still be there loving you when you stop being mad at me for it.
  5. I'm good at what I do for a living.  I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm improving year after year.  And I truly enjoy and get excited about it.  I never thought I'd say that about any profession that didn't involve writing or editing books.
  6. I have realized that I am not good at everything I attempt.  I know most of my strengths and a whole ton more weaknesses.  I think it's just as important to know what things aren't your strong suits.
  7. I've learned that I'm horrible at accepting compliments.  My thirteen-year-old, pimply face, overweight, awkward inner-girl almost always doubts their sincerity.  But the thirty-year-old woman is learning to admit that I deserve them and to truly appreciate them.  And sometimes revel in them.
  8. I can sit in a room by myself and totally enjoy my own company.
  9. I've learned to love the fact that my birthday is three days before Christmas.  Although it's usually very difficult to plan and coordinate a group gathering, it's wonderful that I get a few minutes of celebration in the midst of the most festive time of the year.
  10. I'm the one in the middle of chaos who stays relatively calm.  I can talk most people down from the ledge, and although I may be bursting apart on the inside, I'm very good at hiding it.
  11. I love flannel pajamas all year round and cute shoes no matter how impractical or uncomfortable they are; I will probably never stop twirling my hair when I get bored, and I still have that feeling that I'm going to be famous one day.  (<- these were all too silly for their own line.)
  12. Sometimes I may feel alone, but that's never truly the case.
  13. I've come to realize that I give my priorities my time and ignore those things that are not priorities.  I may need to reprioritize, but this is what I do.
  14. I'm starting to be okay with just being Melanie.  If I don't find the other side of the ampersand, I think I'll be okay.  I'm independent, financially stable, and comfortable where I am in life.  I'm not going to wait to do things anymore until I "have someone to do them with."  I'm not going to use my Singleton status as a crutch to stay at home and miss out on life.
  15. I love tradition and stability, but need some zest and spontaneity every now and then.
  16. I'm a perpetual learner.  I never get tired of being a nerd.
  17. Although other people may say the opposite about their own experience, high school was the worst time of my life.  But, I'm thankful for the friendships that still exist because I was in a certain place at a certain time, no matter how difficult it may have been to live through it.
  18. I always worried that if A&E ever did a "Biography" episode on my life, it would take about three minutes and everyone would be asleep within thirty seconds.  I'm no longer worried.
  19. It really is better to give than to receive.
  20. I truly want to see the world.  I don't want to see it in movies or pictures or magazines.  I want to see it with my own two eyes.  I don't want to get to the end of my time here on this earth without seeing the most of it I can.
  21. I need to work on patience.  Lately, I have none.  I wonder if I could borrow it from someone.
  22. I have high expectations when it comes to my future partner.  And that's okay.  I think...  I hope...
  23. I'm learning to be comfortable in my own skin.  Although there may be some things I'd like to change and several that I actually can (without surgery!), I'm diligently trying to see past the imperfections in the mirror and notice the things that I like about the external version of who I am.
  24. I get attached to material goods.  I attach memories to things and although I'm not anything like "Hoarders," I do hang on to things longer than I should.   And silly things too, like papers or coasters from random restaurants or Happy Meal toys.  Don't ask.
  25. I truly want to be a good person, but I want it to come naturally like it does for so many of my friends who continually astound me with their generosity and compassion.
  26. I've learned to worry less and trust more.  There's still a lot of room for improvement here, though.
  27. I know myself well enough to know that my feelings are still pretty sensitive about certain issues.  I can bounce back and move on, but I probably won't forget it any time soon.  That's not the best way to live, but that's where I am today.
  28. I am excruciatingly loyal.  If you hurt my friends, you've hurt me.
  29. I love old fashioned things and am a hopeless romantic.
  30. (And one of the hardest lessons I've learned) Not all people think the same way I do.  Even people who were raised in the same house as I was, or people I thought were on the same page as me look at life the same way I do.  They don't think the same things are funny or sad or heartwarming.  That doesn't make them better or worse, just different.  It's hard to grasp that someone might not look at a situation with the same level of compassion or disgust or sympathy or joy, but I'm training myself that this is life.
So, with a little over an hour of my twenties left, I tip my hat to you for sticking it out with me through this year and helping me learn these lessons, which are just a few of the many.  Here's to many more years of becoming the best woman, friend, sister, coworker, daughter and future wife I can be.  After years of thinking that I would bemoan this moment, I seriously can't wait to get started.  Bring it, thirties, bring it.

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