I am a bad friend.

I fell asleep during our text conversation and I meant to message you back the next morning. I was excited to catch up with you and hear all about the awesome traveling you’ve been doing. When I woke up the next morning, it was a bad morning. my anxiety was through the roof and I hadn’t slept well. So I tried to throw myself into work and promised I would get back to you when I was in a better headspace. I didn’t want to bring my negativity to the conversation.

***

Oh, my dear friend. I’ve been meaning to email you. It’s been so long since we talked. We keep doing drive-by “hellos” in Hangouts, promising that we’ll catch up. I want to. I want to call you and hear your voice. But by the time I’m in a good place, you’re asleep. And the cycle begins again. Every time I want to break it, anxiety fills me, reminding me I’m a bad friend and I shouldn’t bother you.

***

I see your posts on Facebook. I reach out with a private message. In that moment, I’m in a good space and can give you the attention you deserve. Sometimes, that can change in a few minutes, shifting my focus on the conversation.

***

We finally make plans to hang out. It’s on the calendar. I am stoked! The day comes and I wake up excited but then, work overwhelms me. My focus shifts, making me struggle to get things done in time. I have to cancel because I am drained. I stay up until 2 am finishing up the work I couldn’t do at 2 pm because my anxiety derailed my productivity.

***

I care. I do care. But you see, I’m not myself. I make promises, and my intentions are pure. I truly want to catch up, to see you, to write you long emails. I’ve got stationary and I want to write letters like we used to.

***

You’re a new friend, and I want to spend time with you but then the guilt fills in. I should be spending this time with friends I’ve neglected who’ve been patient.

***

I try.

I try.

I walk around in a fog most of the time, and it’s been even more difficult since the election. I can’t focus on anything but the news and work. So I throw myself into work. I take on too much and fill my hours until I am too tired to think and can have some peace.

I’m nervous. I’m overwhelmed. I’m anxious. I’m worried that any conversation we have where I’m not giving you my all isn’t enough. I’m not enough. I’m paralyzed. Emails are abandoned after I type in your address and the hello.

Text messages stare at me, unanswered. Too much time passes. It feels disingenuous, even though I genuinely miss you and want to talk to you.

You’re on the other side of the country. You’re on the other side of the world. You’re down the street.

You’re in my heart but my heart is under attack. My brain is trying to find the balance. Thoughts try to escape but scatter into dust as the fog gets heavier.

I’m sorry I can’t do better right now.

I will try.

I hope you’ll still be there when I do.

 

A Seaside Getaway

What happens when two writers decided to have a weekend getaway and their first real bonding experience as friends?

Not as much writing as you would think.

When Jessica and I planned this little getaway, life was kind of kicking both of our butts. We’ve been working a ton, she’s got a toddler, and me – well, I’m a hot mess. We promised that this would be a relaxing weekend full of laughter, bonding, drinking, and sleep. Lots of sleep.

What I didn’t expect is just how much we’d bond, and how she would just bring out the ridiculously silly side of me. As one of the first friends I made in Seattle (thanks Twitter), and as a fellow writer, Jess holds a special place in my heart. I was a little worried because we’d never spent 1:1 time that lasted more than our Restaurant Week dinners.

“What if she hates me? What if I’m annoying? OMG WHAT IF WE RUN OUT OF THINGS TO TALK ABOUT? WHAT IF I TALK TOO MUCH? OH MY GOD” Read more A Seaside Getaway

What You Should Know About Dating Writers

*I have been seeing so many pieces circulate the web on how to date a girl who writes, how to love a girl who reads, etc. This was my reaction to them.  There is a reason it’s written in the first person and not as a sweeping generalization. The beauty of us who cherish words is that we each approach our love and passions differently. So yes, find a girl who reads and writes, but then take the time to find out why. This is my take on what you should know about dating a writer.*

I am that girl who always has a book or a notebook in hand, even when I’m having a beer at a bar, because I never know when inspiration will strike. The thing is, while I’m overflowing with the desire to express myself, the words don’t come so easily.

Writing is how I process the world. It’s how I validate my life. It may be surprising for you to find that writing is how I figure out my own feelings. Because it’s how I can separate my own thoughts from the overwhelming impulse to put everyone else’s feelings before mine.

I’m a talker, for sure, but I’m a better listener. I listen. I process. I don’t blow smoke up your ass. Sometimes, you might get an email from me hours, or days after a conversation, because I can finally articulate my thoughts and feel that you should know them, even if you have already moved on. It’s my way of showing you that I listened – even if I couldn’t reply right away.

I read. I consume books. I lose myself constantly in literary worlds but to be honest? There is a good chance I won’t want to talk to you about it. Unless we’ve both read the same book. Then maybe I’ll want to spend some time discussing our favorite moments and if we’ve re-read the book over the years, how many different nuances we’ve noticed in the writing. Other than that? Reading is a personal experience to me. Don’t expect to spend hours and hours talking about literature. But then again, sometimes I’ll be so moved, I’ll want to share it with you. I’m all over the place like that.

I do need you to understand that it’s hard for me to get into the groove of writing, so when I do, don’t interrupt me. Walk by and give me a kiss on the forehead, but don’t try to talk to me. Don’t ask me how it’s going. More than likely, when I’m ready, I’ll ask you if I can read it out loud to you. Let me do that. Just listen. If you want to make suggestions, wait until I’ve finished. Ask me if you can have a copy of it to read in your own time.

I want you to read my writing, because it’s the best way to understand me but it’s not the only way. It’s scratching the surface so don’t be afraid to talk to me. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you will know me inside and out just because you’ve read through my blogs. I will ask you random questions. I want you to ask me questions and I want you to challenge me. There is so much stirring under the surface and sometimes, it’s only through unrestrained exchanges that I can reach the “a-ha” moments of my own life.

Understand that I write about almost everything that happens in my life, in its own time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the sanctity of our privacy. Because it’s hard for me to express myself, sometimes you’ll get a text message from me with my thoughts. I don’t want to discuss it over text. I want you to know where my head is but I want you to look me in the eye when we talk about it. I have a hard time starting the conversation in person – I get tongue-tied. I ramble on. Let me ramble. Don’t interrupt, because it was nearly impossible for me begin talking in the first place.

When you come in to my home, you will see books and notebooks scattered everywhere. That part of the cliche is all too true for me. I will never give up my love for the ability to hold a book in my hand and turn its pages. I will never trade in my library card. Don’t even think about leaving me unsupervised in a book store, because you won’t see me for hours and my bank account will take a hit.

I’m a girl who reads and who writes, but I’m not a cliche. I’m just me – full of never-ending passion for the most random things in life. You won’t find me obsessing over sonnets or the classical literature. I just cherish words.

So talk to me. Be honest and open. Share your passions. Be prepared to be challenged and be willing to challenge me.

That’s all you really need to know about dating me. The rest? Well, we’ll figure that out together.

The Thing About Endings

I have so much to write and I wish I could say that I’ve started this blog a bunch of times. The truth is that I wrote most of this in my head when I was driving cross-country and then let it go. When I got to Seattle, I wanted to just sit down and write but I was honestly too exhausted.

But I do need to write, because I am crossing into a new chapter in my life. As I’ve always done, I have to remember how I feel, how I process things, and share this with you because for the last (almost) decade, that’s what I’ve done.

My blog is an extension of me.

Endings

During my drive, I stopped in Chicago to see Jenn. As I was leaving the city, I happened to drive by the beach. All of a sudden, I found myself overwhelmed with tears coming down my face. You see, I haven’t talked too much about the end of my relationship because I was trying to focus on work and making it somewhat of an easy transition for A, and just other people’s feelings in general. I never fully mourned the end of my relationship and honestly, people made me feel like I had no right to be upset because I was the one who broke it off.

The thing is, my heart broke too. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made, and while I don’t regret it, I do regret the way I handled certain things. It was my first break-up. First serious relationship. First significant heartbreak with double the pain because I was also hurting a person I still care about very much.

So as I drove by the beach where he and I shared an awesome weekend last summer, my heart broke again. While we had our problems (and obviously, the relationship ended for a reason), the last three years were full of great memories. So I had to stop and acknowledge the end.

I had to mourn the end of my relationship. I called A and apologized for calling him while I was crying but there was no one else I could talk to in that moment. As awful as it felt for me, something he said stuck with me. He thought that I didn’t care – that the last three years didn’t mean anything to me because I didn’t seem sad when things ended. I was sad but I couldn’t let myself be sad.

So I cried.

I took a deep breath and continued on my journey.

The Drive

Let me tell you something about driving cross-country for the first time by yourself – you don’t really want to talk on the phone. At least, I didn’t. I had planned on calling a few of my friends, but I was honestly enjoying my drive too much. The last few years, I’ve really isolated myself and you would think that I had enough alone time, but this was different. I’ve always enjoyed driving. It’s always been my time.

Strange as it was, though I was leaving my comfort zone behind (oh hey, we’ll talk about that scary thing later), I was at peace in my car with the open road ahead of me. I wasn’t even really excited, per se.

I just was.

I didn’t feel any different, except in control. It didn’t really hit me that I was taking this big journey and driving away from my comfort zone until somewhere in Montana. Or it could’ve been North Dakota, I’m not 100% sure. I had this overwhelming feeling of failure.

What the hell was I doing, moving to a brand new coast, let alone a new city?

What if I am a complete failure at being independent? What if I can’t get an apartment? What if my friends end up hating me after a week?

WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?

MAYBE I SHOULD TURN AROUND RIG-

*deep breaths*

Wait. 

It’s OK. I can do this. I WILL BE OK.

Because I tried. Because I’m doing it and if I didn’t, I would regret it for the rest of my life.

So I kept driving with McLovin by my side.

(To be continued)

All the Things

Because I can’t think of a better title for this post. Considering how much has happened since the last time I posted (Uh, when WAS that exactly?) and so much continues to happen NON-STOP, ALL THE THINGS.

Places I’ve visited:

– Chicago for a wedding (Andrew’s cousin, who was adorable. Oh, and I happened to spend an entire weekend with all of Andrew’s family. What? We survived. It was amazeballs.)

– LA/San Diego for BlogHer. It was my first time in California and I loved it! Flew into LA to see Jenn, and we had the most epic road trip to San Diego, followed by a fun weekend at BlogHer, full of meeting new friends and lots of swag. I also got to see.meet Trista, a woman I’ve adored for nearly 7 years now, and it was awesome.

– Philly to see JOURNEY IN CONCERT with Katie and Kate. ‘Nuf said.

Things, and life, and stuff

Things have been pretty amazing this summer. A COMPLETE turn-around from last summer. (Seriously amazing) It was kind of crazy beginning a full-time freelance career during the SUMMER OF TRAVEL but I’ve made it work. Everything has calmed down to the point where I’m caught up with work and I’m no longer at my computer 12-13 hours a day. But I’m still checking email,  etc, right as I wake up.

Oh, we have a new bundle of joy.

Yup, I’m officially a cat lady now. Internets, meet Layla, the crazy kitty that’s made my life even better. Once I decided that I would be at home all day for work, I needed a furbaby. I fell in love with her at first sight. She is just too precious for words.

Wedding planning is still going on. I may have had a tiny panic attack earlier tonight when Andrew & I started talking about making the guest list since we’ll be sending out Save the Dates in a couple of months. My maid of honor and my amazing bridesmaids are keeping me sane during the planning. We do have a date, and a couple of locations in mind. The theme is set, the dress has been found and we’re halfway there. I foresee a panic attack every 3 months between now & then though.

There is a lot happening with the projects I’m working on, and hopefully, now that work is stable, I will have more time to write over at PQ Productions (Expect a post or two this week).

I’ve added more pictures to Etsy, and made one of my favorite prints available as a canvas. Check it out!

I’m on StumbleUpon now so if you’re on there, follow me! I share more stuff on there than Twitter lately.

I’m also part of this incredible project called Uno Kudo with super creative and talented people so you should like the FB page because it’s going to be a big deal, I promise.

And I leave you with this.

How have YOU been?

Fine.

When I’m talking to my best friend online and she says “Fine” as a reply to something, it immediately makes me wonder if she’s upset.

For the longest time, the word ‘Fine’ as a reply had been associated with “I’m annoyed at/with you and don’t really feel like dealing with you.” (Or something similar). It was tied to a negative feeling.

I know that’s not the case with my best friend (She will tell me when she’s annoyed with me) but that gut wrenching feeling still jumps at me at times. Like yesterday. My heart just sank because I honestly thought she was upset and wasn’t telling me.

I hate that feeling.

We know words are powerful but the way an association can linger for years is amazing.

The way one single word can take us 5 years back, just like a smell can take us back in time to a moment.

Complete with all of the feelings, whether they’re good or bad.

“Fine” is only one of the words that I’ve proactively worked on disassociating with a time in my life. It’s not always easy because if your guard is down, your psyche will jump up and attack you at the most unfortunate moments.

It’s amazing what a single word can do.

Re-defining ‘Home’

Source: Pink Sherbet Photography on Flickr

Over the last few months, the fact that I don’t have a ‘childhood home’ to go back to has been hitting me hard.

When Andrew & I began dating, and I went to his parents’ house for the first time, I stepped into the time-warp that was his bedroom.  He had grown up in that house, and could tell me stories from when he was little.  Maybe it’s because I live 3000 miles away from the apartment where I grew up but it made me even more homesick.

Over the last 2 years, I’ve been doing my best to make D.C. feel more like home than it has.

Funny thing about living in an area for 15 years is that there are days the memories around every corner begin to overwhelm you and make you want to run. The next thing you know, you’re walking past a building that used to make your heart stop without even acknowledging it. You feel a familiar twinge subconsciously but not enough to make you stop and re-live any memories.

Because you’re only passing it on your way to your new apartment where your fiance is waiting for you.

I’ve lived in the area long enough to celebrate my birthday at the same restaurant 4 years in a row because I was a lunch regular; long enough to memorize the street cleaning schedule and know when it changed; long enough to spend 6 years commuting from VA every day; long enough to pinpoint my comfort zones; long enough to know where to go for avoiding familiar faces; long enough to call it home.

There are memories that hit me every time I stepped foot outside my door.

Memories that would catch me off-guard if I wasn’t paying attention.

Memories that drowned me in tears.

Memories that made me avoid certain parts of town.

These days?

Those memories have been pushed to the past where they belong, by the new memories I’ve made by moving forward.

I learned that the best way to move on isn’t to run away from the memories. They’ll still be there waiting for you when you get back.  The best way to move on is to continue living and making new memories.

Now when I run into familiar faces, they can tell, without even speaking a word, that I’m not that same girl.

They may see me in a familiar place from a dark period in my life but know that I am just passing by.

I may not have a physical home that holds my life between its walls. When I have a child, I won’t be able to take them to the house I grew up in – but I’m learning to be OK with that.

Home is where the heart is, and a piece of my heart will always be in D.C.

*This is my 500th post on this website. Thanks to all of you who have been reading, whether it’s been a day or 2 years. Much love to you all.*

Let’s Talk About LIARS

There are two facts I know without a doubt:

1) Everybody lies.

2) Lies will always catch up with you.

It starts when we’re kids, before we even know what lying is.  As we grow, our ability to lie and manipulate mature.  The fact is, you might be a ‘bad liar’ but you can be manipulative. Everyone has this ability. Don’t shake your head. Even you too, believe me.

The thing about liars is those, no matter what, they always lie to themselves and the person that gets hurt the most is, essentially, them. They’ll hurt those around them, as well.

Sometimes though, they are so manipulative that their poison starts touching everyone around them. These are the most insecure people. Their lies start so small that the people around them don’t really notice at first.

Then they add up.

Eventually, people start talking. Facts come to light. Inconsistencies start matching up. It may take days, weeks, months or even years. When it finally happens, when the pieces fall into place, the true nature of the person behind the lies comes out.

Most of the time, their lies don’t do much harm. Maybe cause annoyances.

Sometimes? They come between friends.

One big fabricated conversation causes a chain reaction that leaves two friends on opposite ends, with the liar in the corner she chose. The two friends react to each other’s reactions, saying hurtful things about the other because they are angry & hurt.

Months pass.

All of a sudden, the truth comes out. One friend reaches out after discovering the truth and the other friend, reluctantly accepts the invitation to coffee.

The truth comes out, and there is damage control to be done. Notes are compared, and lies are exposed. Their friendship can be restored, as well as the balance. It may take time but they’ll get back to normal.

The only loser in this scenario is the manipulative liar who went out of her way to throw someone under a nonexistant bus.

Everybody lies. White lies, manipulative lies, lies we tell ourselves – big or small, always catch up with the liar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In unrelated, but also related news, you may have heard this past summer that I’m a credit card thief. Maybe you believed it. If you did, I forgive you. Maybe that’s why you haven’t hung out with or talked to me. That’s OK. I may be a lot of things but never would I steal from ANYONE. (OK, maybe I’ll take an extra cookie at your house party. I’M SORRY I LIKE COOKIES!)

Just thought I’d clear the air.

Something Something Engagement

Before you do anything, go over to the left and click ‘Like’ since I finally made a FB page for DC Princess. Go, do it. <3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you had told me two years ago that I would meet the man who could deal with my crazy long enough to fall in love & then agree to LIVE with me, I would’ve laughed in your face.

If you had told me 6 months ago that we would actually survive living together without any casualties, I’d be hesitant to agree with you. (But obviously, I’d hope for that).

So in the last two years, I have found someone who loves me as much as I loved him, tolerates my crazy, drives me absolutely insane with frustration on a weekly basis but makes me laugh no matter what.  We’ve survived the first 6 months of living together. We’ve survived meeting the parents, me losing my job, me going nuts over school and everything in between.

I mean, we even have a love fern.

Sure, he’s great and all of that but then he went and decided that he wants to spend forever with me.

OK, sure honey, I know that everyday with me feels like forever but come on.

No, really. Forever, as in Ask-my-dad-for-permission forever.

As in, he hid a ring in his Christmas stocking after I fell asleep on Christmas Eve and made me go get it Christmas morning, forever.

As in, I cried my eyes out when I saw the ring and then had to remind him that he has to actually ask me, forever.

As in, he actually asked me to marry him and I said YES, forever.

Naturally, my ring was too big and I had to wear it on my middle finger all day on Christmas, which caused the phrase “BUT IT’S ON THE WRONG FINGER” to be the most uttered phrase of Christmas 2010.

After all the ‘Congrats’ on Facebook & Twitter…after telling his family, our close friends and my brother & dad…it still hasn’t sunk in fully that

I’m engaged. I am going to get married. To a boy. A stinky boy. Who actually puts up with me which means he’s just not right in the head.

Before you ask: No, we haven’t set a date and we won’t any time soon because I have to finish school first so let’s please hold off on the wedding talk for a while or I will have a full-on panic attack.

The cynical hopeless romantic in me is on her way to her happy ending, though it’s not really an ending after all. Just a never-ending journey full of frustration, love, laughter and oh my god, a wedding.

*cue panic*

1-1-11

I began 2011 laughing, & bonding with two of my favorite men: My bro and the Boy. (They’re both the loves of my life, no contest. They both also tend to make fun of me so I see a lot of tag-teaming in our future.)

There was also a lot of sneezing. (Apparently, I decided to end a decade and begin a new one with a head cold).

The first half of the day of the year consisted of all three of us sleeping in, and with my disbelief in how amazing my life is.

I don’t do resolutions. I also don’t do fairy-tales.

But my life?

As of this moment?

It’s amazing.

It has its ups and downs and so do I. (Oh boy, just ask the Boy). [“Real love isn’t romantic. It isn’t how nice he treats you. Real love is when you accept each other for the piece of crap you really are.” – Robert Kelly]

For the longest time, I’ve wanted stability and some sense of normal. My kind of normal.

The kind of normal where I am surrounded by people who love me for me (No pretenses or fake hypocrites).

The kind of normal where I know who I am, without forgetting who I was 5 minutes ago.

The kind of normal where I am excited to wake up in the morning and embrace life, even if it makes me curl up and cry.

The kind of normal where I will laugh my ass off watching stand-up comedy until tears are coming down my face with no shame. Repeatedly.

The kind of normal where I will binge on a TV show and feel completely lost the day I finish the last episode.

The kind of normal where I can finish a book in a night (because I’m crazy like that).

The kind of normal where I leap before I look but make damn sure my parachute is ready just in case.

The kind of normal that will make you go “Woman, are you crazy?” and love me for it at the same time.

The kind of normal that will make 2011 & beyond memorable.

1-1-11 is the beginning of a new decade and the ‘In Progress’ to my kind of normal life.

How did you begin your new decade?