Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dear Married People: Here's Why Being Single is Not a Death Sentence

Over the past few weeks, I have been inundated with various disapprovals regarding my single lifestyle.

Nah, that's not right.  This has been happening for years. 

Since high school, friends, relatives, and strangers have been asking me why I'm single.  "But you're so pretty," they say.  Well, then, I must have a pretty terrible personality.  That explains it!

"How can you be single when online dating is an option?"  Hmm. Interesting question.  Maybe-- just maybe-- I don't like the idea of judging random people online for their looks and trying desperately to look past their resume-like list of qualifications to find something real. Maybe going to a bar to spend an hour with someone I only know based on a blurry picture online with their dog is not preferable when compared to ordering Thai food and watching Stranger Things by myself.  Some people like online dating, but I'm not one of them, so lay off.

And before you ask-- no, I'm not asexual.  In fact, don't ask that ever again.  Do not try to diagnose my single-dom with a fleeting explanation.  Being asexual is a very personal lifestyle for a lot of people and do not put me in their camp if I don't belong there.

Look, I'd like to have a boyfriend, sure.  Here's the thing, though-- I want him on my own terms.  If I don't want to find him online, trust me, I'm not going to find him there.  If I want to wait a year and get used to living in my first apartment on my own and enjoy farting freely and singing songs from High School Musical 3 in the shower without being embarrassed, I'm going to do that.  Because here's the thing-- ding goes the proverbial lightbulb-- I'm totally cool with being alone, too.

Maybe if you can't possibly imagine how someone could prefer being single over dating, you don't know what it's like to be okay with yourself.  I'm not saying I'm totally, 100% confident, but I'm saying I can spend a day alone in my apartment and not want to pull my hair out.  I can go to the movies alone and have a great time.  I can spend a weekend without having plans with friends and not feel abandoned.

Being okay with yourself is a huge part of being in a relationship, too.  If you've never spent a night alone, appreciating the corny jokes that pop into your head or the whirling theories you come up with when binging The OA, you'll never truly appreciate that this person who is with you is with you because, yeah-- you're totally fucking awesome, and your theories about The OA are really well thought-out (along with various other reasons).

I'm not a screw-up for being single.  I'm picky.  And wait-- before you begin your cries of indignation, being picky is not a bad thing.  This means I'm not cool to settle for someone who is going to waste my time.  Dude, if you think I'm wasting my prime years watching Yu-Gi-Oh with you in your mom's basement rather than hitting the roller rink with my ladies in sparkling sequined hot pants, you've got another thing coming.

If you think I'm not trying, you're wrong.  If you think I haven't had my heart broken, you're wrong.  If you think it's easy to pick up the pieces after being so close to having something you've wanted for so long and realizing you weren't as close as you thought you were when it's taken away-- yeah, you guessed it.  You're wrong.

Look, here's what I want from you, married friends: when I want to complain about boys, laugh with me. Instead of being grateful you aren't there anymore and making me feel stupid about spending such a long time in this stage, try to remember the days when you felt the same way.  Try to remember when you were single and complaining about boys and you had friends who laughed with you and told you that a nice boy would come along soon.

Understand that I might not want to spend time with you all the time, ESPECIALLY not on major holidays.  Look, married friends: every holiday feels romantic both when you're single and when you're married.  If you think Christmas isn't romantic, spend it with a married couple giving each other heartfelt gifts. Same thing with New Year's Eve-- surround yourself with couples kissing at midnight and from that moment on, you'll never spend another NYE with anyone but your single pals and a bottle of champagne (or two).

Most of all, married friends, here's what I want from you: I don't want you to fix me.  I don't want you to tell me to 'download Tinder already' or advise me to hang out in bars alone until someone approaches me.  I want you to give me advice when I ask for it and hold off when it's obvious I don't want it-- which I think is also called being a super friend.  When you make a mistake (like telling me that you think I'm asexual), apologize.  We know that slipups happen.  We know that when you get married, you change.  The way you think is a lot different than the way we think and we'll make sure we apologize when we slip up, too.

I don't want to be fixed, I want to be understood.  I want to be listened to.  Occasionally, I want to be left alone.  Sometimes, I want to talk about my issues and sometimes I don't.  Understand that being single is not a death sentence-- in fact, it's really, incredibly, fucking fun, and until someone shows up that can prove to me that they're better than this life, I'm going to keep living it alone.

Lastly, don't tell me that you 'just want me to be happy'.  I am happy.  If I'm not, I'll come to you.  I'll cry to you.  I'll beg for you to download Bumble for me because I just can't bear to do it myself (in this situation, I'm so distraught that I'm near death, because that is the only situation in which I would ever download Bumble).

I am living my best life. I will meet someone eventually.  And guess what? I'll be ready for them.  I'll have spent nights alone, watched relationships fall apart around me, and learned from my mistakes.

That's much better than settling for dating schmucks, don't you think?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I have not forgotten about my blog.

I have, however, had the busiest few weeks of my life.

First of all, there was our event Taste of Fort Collins.  Yeah-- my company owns it now, which means I spent a weekend dehydrated in the Colorado sun.  But I got to meet The Wombats and film a Spin the Bottle video with them, which was pretty much a dream come true:

(The first time, the bottle lands on me. OMG)

Then-- as you know-- I moved into my new place.  And holy geez, do I love it.

If you've been following this blog, you've had to deal with several blog posts about furniture, paint colors, artwork, kitchen essentials, and more.  You've had to deal with me whining about my roommates, making lists to pass the months, and more.

But now I'm here. I'm actually here.

And it's so amazing.  I will say that it's got its perks-- having an old apartment means old outlets and weak a/c that I can't use (because of the old outlets) but it also means Monday night movie nights, staying up late singing along to Spotify in my living room, and much cooking.

I'm going to do a more detailed blog posts with pictures of my place, but it's not exactly done yet.  With all the craziness going on, I still haven't hung everything up on the walls or organized much, so...that's coming.

Until then...;)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Updating Something Dumb and Old

'Dumb and old' is exactly what I'd describe this hutch before I painted it.  It was something an old roommate bought at a garage sale for $20-- it was an old, scratched oaky color with dull bronze handles, and we used it because we just needed something cheap and simple to hold up our TV.

After a year of dealing with its ugliness, another roommate and I painted it white and tried to distress it-- but we had no idea how to distress it.  The paint peeled and looked gross and we kind of just...dealt with how bad it looked.  Again.

Now, I'm moving into a new place all on my own. The hutch seems like it has so much useful space, so I'd hate to just throw it out or donate it when it could be such a good addition to my new home.

SO....I painted it!

I went through a lot of color options, including sage green, but eventually I realized how many freaking colors I have (or will have) in my kitchen (which is where I want to put it).  Whatever color I painted it needed to go with all of these colors...which includes two shades of green.  So sage was out.

I ended up going with white.  My dad encouraged me to go with enamel paint, since that's usually the best for furniture.  I was able to paint in the sunshine while listening to Aziz Ansari's Dangerously Delicious album and it was the best time ever.

This is how the hutch turned out:

But that wasn't enough to complete the vision.  

So I went to Hobby Lobby and realized they have a DOPE drawer pull collection.  So I bought a bunch!

Loved this pink-- it looked really French, especially next to the black and white checkered one. 

I almost grabbed a cow's head style knob, but it was a tad too country for me.  I needed something a little bit cheekier...hence, the dog.  That other knob served to tie in all the colors I'll have in my kitchen together really well while also toning down the overly French vibe since I want it to feel really eclectic. 

Hey, Dog. 

This-- I couldn't turn it down.  It is the best of all the knobs, it's such a cool color, and it's bigger than the rest so it really stands out on the dresser. 

And finally, this gorgeous gold one to make everything modern and a little more updated. 

I LOVE DIY projects and this one was no exception.  For one last update on this, I want to put something on the top of it-- when we put our TV on this so long ago, we were too impatient, didn't wait for the paint to dry, and scratched up the top.  Now, it's all lumpy, even after I sanded it down before I painted it (I'm obviously not good at sanding).  I want to put glass over the top, or maybe marble tile (if I can afford it).  We'll see what happens!

Let me know if you have any questions and please share your DIY experiences in the comments!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Palm Trees In The Snow: Netflix Movie Review

OK, damn.  I just watched this movie and I have to admit, I'm head over heels.

I watch a lot of Netflix, and I admit, most of the time I'm looking for something fluffy.  Friday night, though, I was looking for something with a little more depth-- and since I'm single as a pringle-- I wanted to see some ROMANCE, BABY.

Well, romance I got in spades.  Palm Trees in the Snow (Palmeras en la Nieve, in its native tongue) was one of the best films I've seen in a long time.

It starts off with a really cryptic scene between a Spanish man (Mario Casas, OMG he's so incredibly handsome) saying goodbye to his Guinean lover (Berta Vazquez) in the sixties during a tumultuous political environment.  It kind of bummed me out to be honest-- in my head I was like 'okay, this isn't going to end well.'

SPOILERS BELOW-- don't keep going unless you don't mind. :)

And honestly, after a while of watching Killian's story-- basically becoming a man amongst the natives of the plantation, trying to decide what kind of person he's going to be-- it kind of seems like a romance gone south would be the least of his problems.  He has to decide whether or not he's going to be cruel, but a good businessman, or kind and compassionate to the feelings of those he's working amongst.

He also deals with someone planting a poisonous snake in his room, high tensions between the Spaniards and the Guineans, and the rough reality of working from dusk till dawn.

But we only find out about this after his niece, Clarence, in the present day, finds a piece of a letter in his things letting someone know he's going to send money to them soon.  She knows she can't just ignore it, especially with her Uncle Killian having one foot in the grave, so she goes to New Guinea to figure out if there's someone who needs to be taken care of after Killian passes away.

I won't totally spoil the end for you, but I will say that she-- and we-- learn all about Killian's story, which is both rough and beautiful.  Compared to his racist brother, Killian is obviously more compassionate and understanding, and wants to fit in with the natives since he considers the island to be his home.  His brother, Jacobo, only wants money and women.

Early on in the movie, we see Killian get lost in the forest and end up stumbling onto a cliffside, where a woman is crying and singing.  This is Bisila-- and the first hint of romance we see between the two, but the connection between them that we see in the scene doesn't last long since Bisila leaves in fear.  Their relationship doesn't even happen until Killian's place on the island is fully established in the film, but eventually we see him falling for the young nurse....who's already married.

Their romance is beautiful, but Killian constantly has to leave to tend to his sick sister halfway across the world, not to mention his and Bisila's relationship is forbidden.  They're constantly sneaking around, but towards the end of the movie there's a sense of understanding on the island that Bisila and Killian are together and everyone knows how right it is, which was really cool to watch.

Something incredibly terrible happens to Bisila while Killian is away, and I thought the director handled it incredibly well-- I was afraid there was going to be some terrible twist or scandal connected to it, but I was so happy when everyone-- mainly just Killian-- found out what happened and wanted to help Bisila move past it.  I could be mistaken, but in the scene where Killian tells Bisila he's sorry for what his brother has done, it sounded like he was telling her this in her native language (if not, someone correct me) but I thought that was so beautiful and touching.

The last thing I want to say is about Jacobo-- I couldn't figure him out.  He was a playboy, interested in money, representing the worst of the Spanish colonizers, and I thought his relationship with Julia was there to show us that Julia's unrequited love would never be matched by someone so intent on destroying himself...but I just don't know.  There were some moments in the movie where I thought maybe the point was that Julia could have saved him if Jacobo would have wised up and seen how great she was...or maybe Jacobo is honestly just a piece of shit and that's that.  Tell me what you think in the comments.

I won't say any more about this movie...there's just SO MUCH TO SAY.  Go and watch it for yourself and tell me what you think-- I, personally, will be watching this again someday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tattoos: DO NOT ASK

I was inspired to write a personal post on our station's sites yesterday after my colleague Matt Sparx wrote this awesome piece about not wanting to have kids. 

I have three tattoos-- nothing too intricate, no sleeves, pretty simple art in hidden places on my body-- and yet I am constantly getting judgement from others about my ink.

I won't rewrite the whole article, but I will link it at the bottom of this post and share a little piece of it here:

1. What does it mean?

This question may seem totally harmless, and I will be honest– it’s definitely not the worst of the bunch.  However, for me, only one of my tattoos actually has meaning behind it, and that’s the fawn– the rest are just things I love, like the daisy and a horseshoe.
People never fail to make me feel terrible for having a ‘meaningless’ tattoo.  ‘Well, why did you get it, then?’ is the question that always seems to follow the one above.  MAYBE BECAUSE I LIKE IT.  MAYBE BECAUSE IT’S PRETTY.  Maybe….maybe it’s none of your business."

You can read the whole article here. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

A House Into a Home - Kitchen Essentials guess an apartment into a home.

YES, yes, I am back on the subject of apartments and decor.  SURPRISED?  I'm not.  I've become so fascinated/obsessed with the idea of apartment decor that it's like my love of fashion has completely taken a backseat.

Home decor is interesting because walking into someone's house, you immediately get a feel for the kind of person someone is.  Homes are filled with pieces from your life, from your childhood, from before you were married, from your single days; they're full of rabble you may have found at thrift stores or garage sales, etc etc.  This is why I love to focus on home decor lately and, more importantly, I love the process that I've started of gathering items that either mean a lot to me that I want in my home, or pieces that I imagine I'll keep around for a long time.

I mean, I didn't really expect it to get that deep.  I just wanted to tell you about all the cool stuff I bought this weekend.

But, also-- yay for justifying spending money on all the things I spent money on.  It's for my NEW INDEPENDENT SINGLE APARTMENT LIFE, OKAY?

No, really.  It is.

SO ANYWAY.  My mom and I went crazy this weekend shopping for housewares, and there are still a bunch of things I haven't yet grabbed.  Some things need to wait until I'm actually in the apartment, right?  I have a month to go and I already have a ton of essentials, but I'm going to list my final wishlist at the bottom of this blog.

In this blog, I'll focus on the kitchen area-- I didn't stray much from that area this weekend.

1. Zak Pastel Confetti Nesting Bowls

"Made with 40% post-industrial recycled melamine, these bowls are eco-friendly and BPA free."
Everyone needs a good set of mixing bowls for popcorn, salads, baking, etc.  I've been obsessed with this kind of style for a while now and while shopping at Tuesday Morning, my mom found the neon colored set (linked above but not pictured), which didn't really go with my whole kitchen theme.  After digging around a bit, though, she found the pastel ones hidden away (pictured), which go PERFECTLY with everything I'm putting in my kitchen.  I love them.

2.  Rose gold colander

I can't remember the brand of the one I found, and the one shown above (from a Google image) is actually listed as a 'copper' colander.  Nevertheless, the one I bought at Tuesday Morning was very similar in looks but is not copper, it's rose gold. I almost reached for a green plastic colander but realized that something as simple as this hanging around my kitchen adds a lot of style and a lot of class, and ties together a whole feeling of authenticity.

3. A Kitchen Cart (that is not an island)

For anyone who's seen my new apartment (which, I'm now realizing, is no one that I know....anyway), they'll know that my place does not have room for a kitchen island.  It could, however, use some extra decor that doubles as portable storage, so my mom grabbed this kitchen cart for me at Homegoods.

The one pictured above isn't the one I got, but it's really similar.  How cute/useful is that???

4. A fun pitcher

I have linked to a similar pitcher up above, and the one pictured isn't exactly what I bought.  However, I did get a fish pitcher, it's white, and it's adorable.

Everyone should have fun with their dishware-- yeah, get those useful pieces you'll use every day, but get the fun stuff, too.  I've wanted a pitcher for a while since I imagine myself sitting a the table, refilling my glass of water with a pitcher rather than getting up every five minutes to refill at the fridge.  Or maybe I'm having a party, and my fish pitcher is filled with an iced cocktail mix.

Either way, this is a really fun, simple way to personalize your kitchen.

5. A really GOOD set of knives

I gotta give kudos to my mom again for finding this knife set for me-- well, a similar knife set.  Same knife block, same brand (Schmidt Brothers), but a much cheaper price range (mine were around $70) and a much more rugged feel  (mine are teak handles that don't  have those fancy metal tips at the end).  

My mom was concerned about how expensive they were, but I think it's so important to know that you have a really good, solid block of knives for cooking.  For me, knives are the crux of the kitchen-- you need them for everything you cook, after all.  These are visually striking so they'll look good in my kitchen and they're also amazing quality.  I'm so excited to use them. 

My final wishlist: 
1. A really cute set of drinking glasses (I love milk glass and jadeite, but these things so far have proven to be out of my price range)
2. Dishware/matching plates
3. A bamboo dish drying rack (because I don't have a dishwasher)
4. A matching set of dish towels
5. Better quality skillets/pans

What are your kitchen essentials?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A hard few days.

Being an adult is hard.

Let me rephrase that-- being a 22 year old woman in the workplace is extremely hard.

The reason I haven't blogged in so long is because I've been having a tough time at work.  Nothing too terrible, but issues with people respecting me-- people having trouble following my lead-- these are issues that have been plaguing me for the past few days.

I typed out two specific events in the past few days that have especially bothered me, but who knows who reads this blog? I ended up deleting the paragraphs, as you can see. There's always an issue with being public with your feelings and I constantly feel like I'm having to censor myself on my own blog.

Anyway, just in case, I'll leave the instances out.

But it's hard, really hard, to feel like even after a year in a workplace, no one listens to or respects you.  I blame my age, I try to assert myself, but what else can I do?