Sunday, July 3, 2011

And now for something completely different.

So yesterday I turned 29.  Hoooooooray for the final year of my 20s!  This decade has been...well.  Intense.  And wonderful.  I did really cool things like graduate from college and figure out my career path and move to NYC and back to Charlotte again and cement friendships with people who are a thousand shades of brilliant.  And that whole figuring yourself out thing?  Pretty sure I did that too.  I am an unfinished woman, and 100% ok with it.  I like having wiggle room in my own life, so long as I'm never a completely lost cause. 

But frankly, I'm ridiculously excited to get to 30, cause I'm thinking if I'm going to get to do the things in this life that really matter, things like become and wife and mother, it's prooooooobably going to happen somewhere between 30 and 39.  Just a hunch.  And I's like my 20s were the dress rehearsal for my real life and everything is going to get so much better from here.  I hope that's not false optimism talking. 

Excited as I am to turn 30, I do want to leave my 20s the best and brightest way possible.  The goal is going to be to enjoy each day for nothing more than exactly what it is, and focus on the present instead of the possibility.  I'll make it to 30, one day at a time.  And you'll get to watch, because I started a countdown blog that will get one post or picture every single day.

I'll still use this blog from time to time for my longer rants and raves, but the main focus will be over yonder on tumblr.

Shine, shine, shine on.  Yes.  Won't you shine, shine on? (The Kooks)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The scars of your love, they leave me breathless, I can't help feeling we could have had it all

Fuck love.

There.  I said it.  And now I'm going to say some other things.  But before I do, we need to have a little up front contract.  I don't want to hear a word - not one word - of any variation of the following:
He's not worth it, no man is worth the tears and the one who is won't make you cry, you deserve better, wow, consider yourself lucky for dodging that bullet, time heals all wounds, one day this will be funny, what were you thinking, what was he thinking, I told you so, better you know now, one day your prince will come, buck up little chippy, everything happens for a reason, men don't make sense, or any other pseudo-intellectual response to a matter of the heart. 

So once more, with feeling...Fuck. Love.

Now.  Suffice it to say, I've always been the honest type with no problem sharing my heart, and I have willingly reaped both the rewards and the suffering by the hands of this blessed curse.  I regret very little in this life, if anything at all.  I believe in some bizarre mix of self-determined destiny and pre-disposed fate.  I am a product of the environment I have created for myself because of my faith in something bigger than even my over-active imagination can fathom.

And above anything else, I believe in the good in people and even though I'm busy hurling choice words, I still believe in love.  What I don't believe is how my life was just knocked from its safe place somewhere between a Broadway Musical and a Comedy Central special.  My best friend was life truly is a bad country song. 

Without delving into too many personal tales, (or frankly, too long a story) in short, I gave he who I believed to be Prince Charming a road map along a sequined highway straight to my heart.  With an escape route!  I said you don't want this?  Totally cool.  Then take this path over here but dammit, please just choose a way already because Prince, it is EXHAUSTING dealing with your wishy washy ways.  And lo and behold, and for literally the first time ever in my life, my heart's most true confessions were received in both thanks and promise.  No "you're a great princess, but..." speech this time around!  Lets unit these kingdoms and get this party started! 

Not two days later, the Prince silently catapulted my heart into the swamp at the edge of the enchanted forest.  I found out about his change in heart and course over Ye Olde Facebook.  Why?  Don't know.  Cannot make heads or tails of it.  Pretty much just want to throw shoes and scream FUCK! a lot. 

Listen.  I know I bring this on myself.  And I know I found no Prince in the lad in this tale and it's time to get out with some thread of self-respect and grace.  He didn't break me; he broke us.  I will never be the prettiest girl, the best dressed, the most intelligent or talented, the perfect friend, selfless, overly kind, immensely charismatic, or the greatest human to ever touch anyone's life.  But if there is anything remarkable about me, anything at all, I believe that I was born with a ridiculous amount of love in an unstoppable heart that knows no boundaries.  If you need love, I will love the crap out of you.  I've got plenty of room in here.  And that's enough.  Because people who love big also get plenty from everywhere and everyone around them and the reality of the situation is that I'm only reflecting back all that shines on me.

I take back my earlier statement.  You know, the one revolving around the F-bomb.  Love's not the problem.  People who are afraid of it are.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Though I may be going down, I'll take in flame over burning out

I went on a date on Thursday.  My first date date in...well.  Let's not talk about that.  I am truly brilliant at failing at anything remotely romantic.  But, I've decided to turn this around.  I may still fail, but I'd love to at least have something good to write about.  I will no longer be terrified of the first date.  I will go on dates!  And then, I will come home and write about them!  And I will be brutally honest and you will be welcome to laugh because dating is a silly thing that is not to be taken too seriously. 

About every 2 years I get bored with the not meeting anyone in real life scene and re-surface on the internet dating scene.  I don't know why I do it to myself because it's never gone well.  I've been dumped by men I was never interested in, I've been stood up and ignored, and I've suffered a few minor self-induced panic attacks over the stress of it all.  Oh yeah!  And I've been slapped in a parking lot!  That's a good 

I've been watching a lot of Sex and the City lately (still no cable, so it's just about all I got) so pre-date I had to remind myself that dating isn't actually about Valentino dresses with Manolo Blahnik heels and incredibly comfortable yet witty banter with seemingly perfect men.  But still, if those girls do anything right, it's that they just don't take dating too seriously.  "No" doesn't really appear in their vocabulary, and maybe that's a better way to go. 

So back to the date.  After an intense amount of deliberation via Facebook over flip flops versus heels, I donned my tightest jeans and cutest heels (Steve Madden, Manolos are still just a pipe dream) and headed to the chosen meeting place.  Which was closed.  As was the 2nd place he suggested.  Third time was a charm and you know, the date was nice!  I had fun!  It was great!  No spark, but I didn't have a bad time.  Until I got home and the incessant texting began.  And continued into the next day, with a text (yes, text, not a phone call) asking for date number two.  That.  Night.  C'mon, dude.  Overzealous much?  1) Women actually PLAN their weekends  2) Back to back nights?  Really?  3) STOP WITH THE TEXTS IT'S CREEPY AND YOU OFFICIALLY LOOK DESPERATE.  Fellas?  You know that standard 3-days-till-you-call rule?  We need that space just as much as you do, because women take time to process and live for the thrill of the "does he like me?  I hope he likes me!" drama.  Women need drama.  It's true.  I will happily admit it. 

The good news is that since texting is his chosen form of communication, I am officially off the hook for an uncomfortable phone call and can instead send an awkward "it's not you, it's me (but it's really you)" text to follow up to the next he'll send.  Gross. 

My account on okcupid has since been disabled and I think I'm going to keep it offline moving forward.  I have too many single girlfriends that I can spend my nights and weekends trolling the bar scenes and hiking mountains and going to sporting events with to find real live men who I can actually tell if there's a potential spark with before subjecting myself to first date jitters.  Or?  Blog readers?  Know any (preferably non-creepy, non-clingy, super awesome) single men in need of a little female companionship?  Send 'em my way.  I'll wear heels, act cute, and then tell you all about it the next day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jump start my kaleidoscope heart, love to watch the colors fade

I'll write soon.  Really.  I will.  But in the meantime, I am going to let Sara Bareilles and friends tell you EXACTLY how I am feeling.


The lyrics, the mood, the bridge.  It's like she got a snapshot of my innermost workings and set it to a really amazing melody.  I love music.  It makes me feel less alone.

And for the record, I am fine.  Just, you know.  Figuring stuff out.  Occasionally wishing my life came with a manual or a crystal ball or something,  so  that from time to time I could just check in or read the index and at least make sure I'm close-ish to the right track.

But really, what would be the fun in that?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Please please please, come on and sing to me

Ok.  I am on my feet and up and running and have about a gajillion things I could blog about.  I cannot deny that I spent my first month back in Charlotte shaking my head and questioning both my sanity level and decision-making ability.  True, I wasn't happy there, but I didn't exactly fall into happiness here, either.  And I'm a happy person, dammit!

First and foremost - I did land myself a pretty sweet job.  Of course, I'm only one week in, so more on that later.

What I'd really like to do today is give you a visual of the new space I rambled on and on about in my last entry.  I couldn't be any more pleased with the way this place is actually coming together.  It's pretty simple to keep clean now that it's just me and a cat.  And though I still have a couple pesky piles of stuff to sort and hang and tuck away neatly, it's mostly done, entirely live-able, and INCREDIBLY WELCOMING FOR GUESTS!

Knock knock.
 When you walk in my front door, this is what you'll immediately see.
Turn your head slightly to the right and you'll have a better view into my bathroom.  Bathrooms are terribly exciting places, no?

Let's proceed!
Ah yes, the dining room!  I'll be getting a the rest of the chairs shortly.  The set is my Grandma Shirley's (Mom's Mom) and I just love love love the unvarnished wood and retro feel of the chairs.  Oh, and a super cool photo collage of the general awesomeness that exists in my life will be plastered across that wall. 

My living room is probably the most finished room in the place.  I have a couple more chairs coming my way, but otherwise the furniture is all set.  Most exciting?
 MY BIGASS TV.  42 inches of flat screened, 1080p, LED-LCD goodness.  I'm in heaven, and I don't even have cable (yet). 
Of course, I'm also a simple girl, who enjoys her bookshelf and balcony, too.

 There's the view looking from the back of the room and into the kitchen.  I am LOVING all the counter, drawer and cabinet space in the kitchen.  Through the door on the right is my laundry room.  That's right.  My laundry room.  I'm still pretty giddy about it.

Onto the next room...

My bedroom is far from done.  I rearrange the furniture daily and still don't love where I am with everything.  What I do love?  My curtains and chandelier.  Who puts a chandelier in their bedroom??? This girl.

Next we have one of the main reasons I got this apartment.
Helllloooooooo, closet space.  And oh-so-very Carrie Bradshaw in design.

We have now arrived in the bathroom.  This is what it looks like.

As you exit the bathroom and complete the circle, you'll see something incredibly important to me.
My apartment is chock full of Granny Connie's paintings and things, but this painting is far and away my favorite, and I couldn't be luckier to have it and look at it every single day. 

And that's all (for now) folks!  Stop by any time - I've got wine on hand, snacks in the fridge, and a whole lot of gossiping to do.  Oh my goodness, it is so good to be back in the South.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Because it's all about the in between and what lives in your dreams.

In happier news than that of the last blog, I got approved for my very own apartment today.  Mine.  No one else's.  No co-signor.  No roommates.  No one to blame if the dishes are dirty or there's no toilet paper.  No one to compromise with on the color of the walls, shade of the bathroom curtain, or the evening's television choices. 

Of course, no one to cook with, or vent to, or play board games with.  No one to help me back up when I fall or hug me when I cry or laugh uncontrollably when I do something ridiculous.  But somehow I think I'll survive.  There are phones in Charlotte, and I do have a car if the quiet is unbearable.


The last time I lived alone, I was 21 and scared out of my mind.  I cried myself to sleep most nights.  I couldn't even tell you what exactly frightened me so, all I remember is that it was not my decision to be solo and I was hellbent on letting the world know that it made me miserable.  This lasted all of 2 months and then Jennifer rescued me.  It's been roommates for me ever since. 

And to be fair, I have generally been blessed with incredible luck in living situations.  Sure, there was the whole situation with She-Who-Shall-Now-Only-Be-Known-As-Bitchface back in December 2009.  Long story short?  She decided rent was optional, lied to all parties involved, and reduced what was suppose to be a lovely weekend to something that quite resembled a Jerry Springer episode.  Cops were involved, fake tears shed, words screamed and insults hurled.  It sucked at the time, but it's a pretty riveting story to tell now, if you ever have a couple hours to throw my way.  BUT OTHER THAN THAT!  Seriously.  Lucky.

But now it's time to live alone, hopefully for the last time in my life because it sure would be swell if there's love, marriage, and a couple of baby carriages around the next turn.  Who knows, though?  God laughs at plans, so I stopped making them awhile ago.  Wishes are different, thankyouverymuch, and dreams will always exist.

I digress.  New apartment.   Mine.  I sign the lease and get the keys on Thursday.  I made my preliminary Home Depot run today and have shiny new tools and picture hooks and lamps to show for it.  I sense Wal*Mart and Target and Old Time and World Market and let's be honest, probably Bed Bath & Beyond in my near future.  (I adore the thrill of new supplies, of almost any variety.)  The physical act of moving sucks, but the feeling of newness and starting over (yet again) is so, so worth it. 

Oh, and have I mentioned my fabulous new apartments has a bedroom/bathroom/closet layout uncannily similar to Carrie Bradshaw's and comes equipped with washer and dryer?  Lord Almighty, my prayers have truly been answered.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow

I wasn't going to bring this news to the world wide web, but I guess if you're invested enough in me to check my blog, you deserve to know that my Granny Connie left this world on February 10.  I knew I'd experience highs and lows when I moved - I didn't know I'd be singing at my Grandmother's funeral within the first 3 weeks.  In the end, she was ready.  She was tired.  It's what she wanted, and I guess God was ready to welcome her Home.  But it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to the mere mortals still here on earth.

Childhood and adolescence are hard on everyone.  I know that now.  But when you're a kid and you're bearing the burden of figuring out life and learning it's sometimes harder than you'd wish and someone else always seems to have it easier, you need that safe place.  That person who says I love you exactly how you are.  That kitchen that's always full of your favorite foods, that backyard filled with your favorite toys, that bookshelf that always has exactly what you want to read, that swing where you learn to let your cares slip away.  Granny, you were that person: your house, that house, your things, those things. 

Thirty-something miles outside of Birmingham, AL sits the town of McCalla.  In the town of McCalla stretches a road called Eastern Valley, once full of all sorts of Kendricks, the brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, cousins, aunts and uncles of my family.  One by one they all passed, or moved.  Granny Connie was the last one standing.  I thought she'd be standing awhile longer, keeping watch, pulling up weeds, fussing over Sunday dinner preparations and showing me how to crotchet. 

If I've learned anything from her, it's that life is what's happening now.  She never complained or wished her life was any different than exactly what it was.  She didn't harped on the past or waste time dawdling in idle daydreams.  She raised three children who in turn gave her eight grandchildren, all of whom adored every second spent with her.  If I can be a fraction of the wife, mother, sister, friend and woman she was, it will be a major miracle. 

Sleep well, Granny.  God knows you've earned it.  I hope you're enjoying Heaven, arm in arm with Paw-Paw, shelling peas on the front porch, baking this world's best macaroni and cheese and cornbread.  Thank you for a lifetime of lessons, a lot of love, and a family I'm both lucky and proud to be a part of.  My happiest memories are filled with you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.

I did it.
I moved.
And I thought the whole packing and moving and goodbye New York thing would be the hard part.  But suddenly what I thought I wanted - no plans, no strings attached - is suddenly the most daunting thing imaginable. 
And just when I think I can't possibly be any more overwhelmed I realize that the real root of the problem is the simple fact that I don't have a single clue of what I want to be when I grow up.  Which is an absurd thing for a 28 year old to say, but there you have it.  I'm sitting here staring at job website after website, fear rising that I am clueless, lost and painted to a mighty uncomfortable corner.

I knew moving wouldn't immediately solve all my beef with life and that things need time to set and gel.  I'm not surprised by these feelings.  But I still don't have to like them.

It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to. 

Being a wanderlust is only fun most of the time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rose tint my world.

Today I went to the grocery store and bought milk, which is an entirely uninteresting lead into a blog entry.

Except this milk expires after I leave, which makes things feel weird and final and definitely surreal.  I've got so many questions to ask the universe about what's going to happen after January 29th.  Where am I going to live and what company is going to employ me and who is going to love me and what kind of car will I drive and am I going to gain a lot of weight from too much sweet tea and Chick-Fil-A but not enough walking everywhere and how am I ever going to cope without tourists and the MTA to test my patience on a daily basis?  And are things going to work out as well as they appear to be working out and am I completely right to place as much faith in God and love and the aforementioned universe and even myself as I have been lately?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracle

 All I really know is that the milk in my fridge will still be drinkable, but I'll not longer be here to drink it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Life's a ball, if only you know it

New York, quit callin'
New York, leave me be

I'm changing the plans that I've been settin' on
I'm scared of the way that my life's gettin' gone
Carolina, one day I'll, someday I'll come home. 

(The Avett Brothers, Salina)

I've loved those lyrics for years.  I've been anxiously awaiting the day I get to use them to announce what we knew was coming all along.  So here goes nothing.

Dear New York City,
I don’t know where or how to begin, so I’m just going to say it.
I think we should break up.
We had our good times, and most of our mutual friends thought we were perfect together. (Well, that’s not entirely true.  Most of my friends hated you at first but since you’re so darn spectacular, they eventually warmed up to the idea of us.)  But I knew going into this that I could never be yours to keep forever, and it’s only going to get more difficult the longer we keep this going. And the moments we’ve had and memories we’ve made have been both magical and mind blowing.  But it’s time.  We both know it’s true.
Now, it’s not you.  It’s me. I love you; I’m just not in love with you.  Really, I just don’t want to be tied down at this point in my life.    We’ve been drifting apart lately.  You just…want more than I’m prepared to give. I hope we can still be friends.
Oh, to hell with pleasantries.  In reality, most everything you do has bugged the crap out of me lately.  And I know you’re not going to change, so once again I’m going to have to be the one to adapt.  I hate the way you smell and I hate how noisy you can get at all hours of the night.  I hate how difficult you can make the most simple of tasks.  I hate how rude and how cold you are.  I hate how distant you can be.  I hate that baseball is more important to you than football and I hate that you don’t have a clue what sweet tea or grits are.  I shudder at the thought of raising children with you.  I don’t like how many times I’ve been frustrated to the point of tears with you and your ridiculous, self-obsessed antics. Somehow, I think you’ll be just fine without me.  In fact, you probably won’t even notice I’m gone.  There’s probably someone else already in your life.  Knowing you, probably multiple someones, really.
Let’s just celebrate this for exactly what it was, not try to make it into anything it isn’t, and move on from this with as much respect for one another as possible.  You deserve at least that much.  And who knows, maybe we’ll see each other in the future and reflect fondly on the love we once shared.  Being here with you has changed me for the better in more ways than you’ll ever truly understand.