Sexless and the City: The Lush

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Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

“Did you have fun on your date last night?” -Jo

“Ummm he got very drunk and then my soul died.” -Me

“Oh god.  Tell me everything.”  -Jo

With 2016 coming to a close, still single AF and (mostly) loving it, I decided to go down the rabbit hole of Bumble.  One of my closest friends had just met a guy through the platform and started dating him; it was free (holla), and a way for me to more easily vet dudes and move on.  I had the week between Christmas and New Year’s off work and threw myself into cleaning, reading, listening to music, dancing in my underwear, sleeping in, and Bumbling like the honey bee I am.

I told myself that it was supposed to be fun, if it stopped being fun, I’d quit…no harm, no foul.  True.  I also challenged myself to be more spontaneous, be open to a last minute date and say yes more often.  This is an important detail.  To be honest, I loved the idea that women got to message first, feel empowered (and safe), I found the 300 character count limit to be refreshing after aimlessly scrolling through Match.com profiles longer than War and Peace.  The account is linked to your Facebook, making sure you actually exist (brilliant), and every photo goes through an approval process as well to make sure you’re actually in 3D, no cat fishing for the bees.

I had no real idea what I was doing, but I took a shot, filling out my brief profile, with honest, personality filled material about myself:

“Likes: taking myself too seriously, speaking fluent sarcasm, music, books, old fashioned’s, dogs, writing, IV drips of coffee, photography, running, human rights, travel, Audrey Hepburn movies.  Dislike: car or gym selfies, inauthenticity, cats, narcissists, global warming, people who don’t like fun.”

As you can see, I refrained from bragging about my sheet folding skills (I do sometimes learn my lessons), and stuck to some authenticity of my own.  I posted six photos showing that I’m adventurous, occasionally smile nice for pics, and love travel.  BOOM.  I was in business.

The first guy that came buzzing in was a dude I saved as Tarzan* in my phone; inside joke…I think his profile mentioned something about him holding out hope that men and women could still meet in the wild so my clever opener was something along the lines of “like Tarzan and Jane wild or heading to your local watering hole realizing you should never go to the bar again, wild?”  Eventually there was a loin cloth reference…he called me Jane, Tarzan* was funny, it stuck.  (For about a week).  We met for a drink at Palace Kitchen, I’d never been, it was a “I know it’s last minute, but would you want to…” sort of thing.  I was literally not wearing pants, on my couch, at home, alone, doing nothing, so I thought, yes.  I will say yes, get myself together and go.  (This thought came in after that beautiful, amazing friend of mine who encouraged me to try Bumble-yes Cass, looking at you, bullied me into a yes). She was right, of course. I had fresh cut bangs…give a woman a new hair do and she makes shit happen.  I went, enjoyed a couple drinks, good conversation, some political talk (which is typically a big no no on first dates, but #2016, it goes in the inevitable category), discussed our appreciation for, but non-obsession with Beyonce, vaguely touched on how hard dating in this city is, and generally had a good time.  Tarzan* walked me to my car and I was off, proud that he was at least worth putting on pants and using dry shampoo for.  Not much in the way of the flirting department post date, but we did discuss seeing each other again.  Then all of a sudden he’s dating someone and it’s getting serious and would I just like to be friends?  I even invited him out bowling with some of my people a couple weekends later, trying to stay open minded and welcome potential new humans into my tribe in romantic or otherwise capacities.  We all know that wasn’t a strike…so I moved on.

Still enjoying my bee hive, I continued swiping.  I even came across four guys I am friends with from college (sorry bros, LEFT!), one dude I was friends with for twelve plus years who I ended my friendship with when he decided to be a textbook narcissist (can you swipe left repeatedly?), and oh yeah, remember that guy I cryptically wrote about for the five years this blog has existed and who I dated off and on for almost seven years, because he used to disappear all the time, (but he was never actually my boyfriend)?  Yeah, his face showed up.  He used his 300 character count to tell the dating world that he’s “100% jokes and whiskey all the time”.  Nice.  Also, kind of true.  But after my lengthy research, he’s a lot more complicated than that.  We all are.  Listen up ladies, run.  Run in the other f*cking direction.  Listen, we all have “exes”.  I still to this day don’t even feel like it’s right to call him that because again, he was never my boyfriend (lessons in commitment by 23-27, then 28-29ish year old me).  And we all deserve the chance to put ourselves out there and meet new people, move on, live and learn, it’s the circle of life (cue the music).  The thing that rubbed me the wrong way when his face showed up was that it felt like he wasn’t taking it seriously and that reflected in every damn thing I’d grown to know about him over the years.  So even though I couldn’t swipe left fast enough, I was sort of bummed in a weird way (just being honest and real here, kids), that he was out there, but still totally not out there, if you catch my drift.  We were off and on for almost seven years, I know him.  Sidebar: There probably could have been a connecting the dots post about him when it ended before I even started this series, but that’s how burnt out I got and how ready I was to move the hell on.  There was a conversation back in the spring of 2016 when I straight up told him that I felt like I could say this knowing him as well as I did, sometimes better than he knew himself, that if he couldn’t make it happen with me, then I had a hard time believing he could make it with anyone.  He looked me dead in the eye and said, “You’re probably, absolutely right.”  So, I share this bit of the story to explain that had his face shown up in my Bumble feed and he’d used his bio to say something about himself that highlighted who he is in any real way, because he’s not all bad (obviously or i never would have spent that many years on him), that would have been less annoying for me.  If anything, it just made me sad that he was still the same on the surface, because I had changed exponentially in our final ending.  I do wish him all the best and hope he finds happiness, I honestly mean that.  But this isn’t his story, it’s mine and we all write our own pages, so back to buzzing.

Truth tellin’: I matched with and messaged a lot of people when I started out.  I got responses from most, talked to some, met even less.  It’s apparently how it works and I was okay with it.  I was putting myself out there and trying to remain open to new people and experiences.  There were some waste of times in there, as one can expect, but then I decided on a new approach.  I decided I was just going to say yes to every guy that asked me out for drinks.  Because I had the power here.  I swiped right, chose to message them, if they reciprocated by responding and had the balls to ask me on a real time, in person date within a couple days of messaging back and forth in the stupid app platform, I was saying yes.

Enter James*.  Your typical handsome-ish dude.  He was the right age, had a job, loved travel, had height on his side (this becomes imperative later, stay with me), seemed friendly, even a little funny, and asked me out for a drink the next night.  Saying yes in my experience is almost instantly followed by regret for choosing to be so open minded because sometimes on a Wednesday, you just want to go home after work, take your damn bra off, and be alone.  But I went.  Tavern Law set the scene, I had never been and was so into the prohibition era vibes and hello, practically the type of place that birthed my poison of choice, I knew I was in for at least a good bourbon drink.  I had started getting cheap Lyft rides from the house I work at to go on dates.  Sometimes you’re on a bad date and don’t even want to finish your drink so you can drive home and sometimes you need like three more just to get through the damn thing.  Getting a Lyft or Uber means I could drink a couple before bailing, I had an out because once you request, it’s coming for you and no one likes to keep their ride waiting, especially when escape has become critical, also let’s be adults here, safety first.  We’d moved to texting at this point since we were meeting up (and I was stupidly or whatever being open to new things), and he got off work before me so he went straight to the bar.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but had fair warning he’d had a few before I arrived.  He’s a tall guy, he’s an adult, I didn’t worry much about it…”big mistake, huge.”

Ahhh the gets there early and drinks too much guy. That was fun, said me never.  Wastey James* as he shall now be called, was wearing a buzz that even the super nice peacoat he had on couldn’t give him enough points to recover from.  The kicker?  The buzz crept up slowly so there were actual moments where I was thinking, “This guy isn’t too bad.  I don’t think I want to see him again, but you know, good drinks, good company, whatever.  I’ll bail soon.”  Thank goodness for dating in a time where bartenders now not only mix you drinks, but serve you bat signals in the form of fancy cocktail names as to save you from bad/creepy/never gonna happen again first dates. Seriously, they must be going through a new training process these days because they know exactly how to time things to gauge how a woman’s feeling on a date. Also, a helpful hint in millennial dating, sit at the damn bar on a first date. 10/10 would HIGHLY recommend.  It’s the perfect way to not be sequestered with a dude who’s already 50 shades of f*cked up when you get there.

This guy had announced we should be travel buddy’s before we actually met for old fashioned’s. Come to find out, once he was about seven deep and I was about seven minutes from requesting my Lyft ride home, his version of having traveled the world…wait for it: he spent a year living in Mexico, Cabo to be exact, Florida, and the Bahamas.  I died.  Sat there dumbfounded, my soul cracking, and internally running faster than my best PR away.  Nah, brah.  You didn’t travel the world, you went on a Basic Fraternity Brothers Booze Cruise for a year.  He barely needed a passport to go to these places.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was in shock.  Mortified that I had even stayed this long, but still battling myself for that whole “be open” approach.  This date had become an actual job in patience and holding my tongue.  Patience I’ve got, like going for sainthood here, ask my family and the children I’ve nannied over the years and they can attest, it’s strong.  Holding my tongue, I mean, hi, welcome to my blog about my personal life where I pretty much say it all…I’m not good at keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself.  With his inhibitions WAY lowered, I kept mine at a healthy height to play it safe, no one needs to be brutally called out on a first date and I’m not out here to put men in their places all the time.  Not all heroes wear capes. Did I mention James* was collecting unemployment for this so-called year around the world?  Don’t worry, he justified it because he works for a government agency now.  The sweet sip of relief…so much no.  As I re-worked the conversation to talk about his job, he went from seemingly passionate to complete asshole.    This was a major lesson in appearances not being what they seem.  Did I judge the book by its cover?  No.  I spent two hours of my life “reading” the important pages and decided to judge it…hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for “to each their own” and my version of traveling for a year, although different from our boy James*, wasn’t the only right way to do it.  But, I explored Australia pretty thoroughly in my just shy of 365 days there and still don’t consider myself a “world traveler” because duh, I went to ONE country.  Total, I’ve been to only three if you count Canada (I do), so let’s be real here Wanderlusters, Wastey James* basically had a college spring break trip for 12 months and came home to sell his soul to the man.  A world traveler, he does not make.

The next day, as I was packing for a girls weekend away in the snow, James* slid through my text inbox, “Well, hit me up when you’re back from Whistler and we’ll do this again.”  Tough break, lush, but ummm yeah, I think I’m moving to Yemen, bye.

Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

*Name has been changed to protect identity of former date

Sexless and the City: The Egomaniac

Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

“Can’t kick me down life, I’mma kick you down, while wearing fabulous f*cking shoes, thanks!  BYEEE.” -Me to Jo

One thing that I discovered as a positive to millennial dating circa 2016, was the presidential election.  It was easy to get to the bottom line since the political climate was gaining some intense momentum that October as we approached the general election.  When I finally met Seattle Chad*, the second big debate was projected on a big screen in the bar I chose to seek a much-needed after work drink on a Wednesday (I think…give me a break.  It’s already 2018 and even though it’s February 2nd, June is tomorrow and I need a drink).

He beat me there…if you know me,  this doesn’t shock you; I’m notoriously late (fashionably so) and if you stick around, you’ll realize this is a pattern (strategic and otherwise).  He was nursing a beer and I needed an Old Fashioned, like yesterday because I had just circled the area six times and finally bent over to pay $14 for parking…frantically messaging in my group text that I better get at least two drinks and a decent conversation out of this guy to make my lot tab worth it.  I’m a freaking nanny and just came off a summer of FUNemployment in Portlandia, don’t judge me.  First things I noticed: Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit was on point, she had earned a few new fine lines and wrinkles #campaigning, Donald Trump still had tiny ass orange hands and I still hated the sound of his voice, Seattle Chad* had great hair and a nice smile.

With my taste buds happily hydrated by bitters and bourbon, I settled into this first date with ease.  Seattle Chad* was smart, engaging, funny, flirty, confident (cocky?), and when he asked me questions, he actually listened and didn’t just stare at my mouth.  He asked me about nods to my Match.com profile in a smooth way, you know, like in a human conversation way.  We talked about my time in Australia, my love of photography, my essential oils business, and as we talked he turned my forearms over…studying my tattoos, telling me to keep talking, “don’t mind me, I’m just looking.”  “Okay,” (awkward giggle, what the hell was I talking about?  Are those butterflies?  Nah.  I’m just thirsty).

We were two drinks down, it was a school night, we decided to call it.  The ending escalated quickly, leaving me a little like, “what the f*ck just happened?!” but also a little giddy like, “So that didn’t kill me…I think I have a crush on him maybe.  What $14?”  As I drove home, I let my mind wander.  I wondered, “Will I hear from him again?  That seemed to go well, but ended sort of abruptly.”  When I got home, I let my group text know I made it safe and that if I never heard from him again, I was just grateful for good drinks, good talks, some laughs, those butterfly things again, and that my parking seemed to be a write off.  I told Jo in a private message that if I never saw Seattle Chad* again, I was just damn proud that I put myself out there, connected with a new human and survived.  I was striving for progress here, not perfection, people.  Dating is a vortex, I’m still unconvinced people actually make it out alive, but I encourage you to keep reading while we explore this and other things together.

When that Apple iPhone default text tone came through, about 20 minutes after I arrived safely home, it read, “Well, I had a great time with you tonight.  I’m up for round two if you are.”  {Insert embarrassing IDGAF happy dance in my underwear here}.  “I had fun as well.  I’m in.  Goodnight, Chad*.”  The following Tuesday, my choice of place again, lower Queen Anne, another place I’d been before on a blind-ish date back in 2013 pre-Australia.  Seattle Chad* was seated up at the bar, waiting for me (strategically rolling in 6 minutes late), and got up to give me a warm hug and ugh…that smile.  It took about 14:36 minutes for us to get served in a bar that had about four other patrons so we skipped drink two and decided to venture down the street for a bite to eat.  As we walked down Queen Anne Ave, his arm around me, I felt like dating wasn’t so bad, at least not on a Tuesday…relief set in a bit.  We walked in, told the hostess a table for two, and leading me, he reached back for my hand…cute.  We had a great meal, share plates from the prix fix menu, comfortable and easy, hand on my knee under the table, engaging conversation, he really likes to talk about himself, but listens to me, we laughed, more about him, whatever, there’s whisky…I was in for another date if he was.  He walked me to my car, hugged me goodbye, almost seemed to consider going in for the kill, but opted out.  We said, “Talk soon!” or something else very Seattle dating scene and non-committal, and I drove myself home.

Texting ensued that night or the next morning, I can’t really remember, but things went sporadic (anyone else think of Clueless whenever they use this word?  Just me? Cool).  I wasn’t really talking to other guys, mostly using my precious time to delete the influx of messages from sorry excuses for “men” on Match.com who didn’t seem to understand common sense, basic manners, or the concept of reality.  My strategy here was to ignore and delete anything from anyone I wasn’t actually intending to try to date.  Who has time to thank strangers you never want to see in real-time for the nice thing they said regarding the details of your lengthy profile?  I didn’t even choose to respond to the guy who decided to tell me that the way I carry balloons is, “HOTT!” referencing my 30th birthday photo with the “3-0” bigger than Shaq.  Really, guy?  That’s your move here?  I had words, but I have a life too.

Seattle Chad* and I “tried” to make plans for about two weeks and it just didn’t happen.  Nothing and nobody else was taking off for me via Match so I just you know…kept on living my damn life.  Not so out of nowhere, but still unexpectedly, Seattle Chad* came in hot with an ask for a Saturday night date.  So far, I had reserved week nights as my available date nights.  I am a very busy and important person who does dope things on the weekends and wasn’t ready to give those magic days off to newbs, but I made an exception because I wanted to know if it was actually going somewhere or if the initial butterflies turned into decaying moths…it’s happened before, I was in touch with this emotion.  We met on the Hill, at a place I’d been meaning to check out for a while.  Earlier in the day, I was venting to my dad on the phone that I was annoyed AF with Seattle Chad* because he sort of went MIA these past two weeks and I just don’t even know if I want to go meet up with him because I have wine at home and sweatpants and Outlander to read.  I ain’t too proud to admit I went off a bit…to the point that my dad was like, “Jesus Hal, men don’t stand a f*cking chance, do they?”  “Oh, sorry Dad, did I need to tone down the part where I feel like dating totally sucks and I want to feel like a priority?”  To his wise point though, he was right.  I needed to chill the f*ck out…clearly some past baggage was rearing its ugly head and it was necessary to breathe, stay neutral, get myself ready, and drink a vodka drink (and take a mini shot), waiting for my Lyft to arrive.

I arrived on time.  Not by choice, sometimes Petty is my middle name, I’m human, you’ll get over it.  Although I had a bad residual taste in my mouth about the MIA weeks, it was good to see him, we had drinks and some share plates, generally enjoyed each others’ company.  We decided to wander to Charlie’s, his old stomping grounds from college nights out.  Epic people watching, good beer, flat-ish conversation.  Eventually, we decided to call it.  We were flirting and it was all fine, but I think there was some underlying shit floating around.  We took it to the streets.  We requested our respective rides home at 10 something pm and while we waited, Seattle Chad* had some things to say apparently.  He looked at me and asked me, “So, do you like me or what?”  I gave him my best surprised look, with a dash of sassy and retorted, “What do you mean?  I’m here.  Obviously I like you.”  Then he leaned in a bit closer and said, “Let’s just try this and find out…”  And then Seattle Chad* and I were kissing on Broadway, next to a trash can that smelled faintly of urine and weed (#Washington).  The butterflies were there.  Heart sparkles.  All that shit.  As he pulled away, he said, “Okay, wow, yeah.  Got it.”  “Did you really not get that I like you?  I’m here.  I keep in touch.  Although I feel like I’ve had to remind you I actually exist in the last couple weeks, but I’m here.  I like you.  I’m interested.”  He softened towards me a bit and sighed, “I guess maybe it’s that you have this tough exterior or it’s my own insecurities talking, but I just really didn’t know.”  I smiled, “Well, I think we got that covered for today.”  As we exchanged awkward glances and silence, my Lyft rolled up.  The exit escalated quickly…a bit of a pattern with Seattle Chad*…but I approached my front door with a text, “Hallie, I like you.  And I’d really like to see you again soon.  I will be better about communicating.  I hope you sleep well.”  I told him I liked him too and I was looking forward to seeing him again soon.

Three days passed…crickets.  I was a little bit annoyed again, but living my life.  I sent him a check in text and it turned out he had been hit by a car while riding his motorcycle into work that morning.  I cannot make this shit up people.  He was legit in the hospital, high AF on a morphine drip, working on his laptop in a hospital gown, a decent number of stitches down his arm and leg.  (Don’t worry, picture proof was provided).  So that explains it…sort of?  A couple of days later, he had this romantic vision of us going ice skating under the Space Needle, something he did solo every year and was stoked to have someone accompany him.  Not being super ready to dive into couple-y things, I made a joke about pumping the brakes and maybe creating a holiday massacre on the ice when he falls on his ass and busts open fresh stitches wasn’t the best idea.  He invited me to his place.  I’m frantic while driving over.  I haven’t been to a new guys place since I was a backpacker.  Turns out, he lives in the same building as the older sister of one of my college friends used to.  I told him.  He used his shot to say, “Pretty blonde like you, been here before?  I would have noticed you.”  You don’t own the building Chad*, pretty sure even if you had seen me, you wouldn’t have stopped me to start a witty conversation.  Pre-flight ego?  CHECK.  Nervous as hell, I’m in.  He gives me a little tour.  Custom made furniture he made with his dad, humble brag, candles lit, plants that are actually alive, not bad Chad*, not bad.  He got the rink times wrong, crisis averted…we decided to walk a couple blocks up to dinner.  Now, I didn’t make any issue of it at the time, but looking back now, I’m still a bit confused and irked by this…I am 99.9% certain that Seattle Chad* was packing as we walked up to Ten on Mercer…like a hand gun.  (Get your minds out of the gutter).  He had his arm around me while we walked up and I had mine around him, sort of under his coat and I felt something.  And it just doesn’t make sense to me…except…EGO.  Like why?  We’re walking three well-lit blocks from your apartment building.  And since this isn’t a post about gun control, we’re going to move on, but let’s just mark that in his chart as red flag number like four, for those keeping score at home.

Dinner was nice.  He even asked me how I feel about PDA and kissed me right there in the restaurant.  It felt nice to be wined and dined, respected, cared for, kissable in public.  He had thanked me for being flexible and always so understanding, that he really appreciated me.  Considering he was high on painkillers around this time in our courting, I took his texts of “babe” and “I miss you” earlier that week with a grain of salt, but this was a nice and softer side to Seattle Chad*, I was intrigued.  He shared with me that he was really starting to care about me and that he knows he’s a workaholic and sometimes unavailable…that he knows he needs to be careful or he’ll end up alone.  It was refreshing to hear him be somewhat vulnerable.  It felt like we were moving forward at a good pace, getting closer, figuring one another out.  We walked back to his place and I didn’t stay the night.  He respectfully walked (limped) me to my car, kissed me goodbye and away I went.  The next date was planned for Sunday.  I happened to wake up very hungover from Friendsgiving and although ice skating was on Seattle Chad’s* agenda still, it was not written in the stars for me.  He told me he “adulted” that day and bought things for dinner and we could just stay in, cook, and watch the Seahawks game.  Hungover, still blurry, I am thinking, I can do this, he gets me, I don’t have to ice skate and be graceful today, this is okay.  His cooking skills were impressive enough, I felt like a mess and had tried my best not to look like one.  Dinner was good, he had set the table and everything.  A dude hadn’t cooked a meal for me since college, this was living.  I wasn’t allowed to clean up after dinner.  We cuddled up on the couch to watch the game, making out during commercial breaks and enjoying each others’ company.  Kombucha saved me that night and I was finally starting to feel alive again.  Tryptophan and multiple shots of vodka at Friendsgiving going in the file of things NOT to do next year, I’m just not 26 anymore.

As the night winded down, it was getting to that moment I was sort of nervously anticipating, the ask to stay the night moment.  It was a Sunday, I was still hungover AF, and forgive me, but I wanted to be 100% on my A game before the first sleepover.  So I opted to go home.  He was bummed.  He let me know it.  I booked him for Thursday that week and told him that night I’d stay over.  Limping me out to the street, he thanked me for coming over, kissed me goodbye, we said goodnight.  I was still feeling good, lips plumped from kissing, the corners of my mouth seemed to be stuck in an upright position as I journeyed home.  It snowed the next morning and I immediately texted him, thrilled that fluffy white stuff was falling from the sky.  The next couple days, felt like a halfway house for ghosting…he was really distant and not responsive.  The inconsistency of our entire story was starting to give me some feels; like I wasn’t even sure about this guy two weeks ago, I was pissed and borderline ready to walk, but then he kissed me and maybe I’ve just been in a December fog with Seattle Chad*.  Although we had set plans for Thursday and Friday that week, Wednesday morning rolled around and I still hadn’t heard from him so I checked in to see if we were still hanging out the following night.  He proceeded (a couple of hours later) to tell me that he just wasn’t feeling romantic about us and that if two people were meant to be together, it wouldn’t be this hard.  So even though the initial sting lingered and I was truly disappointed; I mean, I’d felt heart sparkly shit for this dude (mostly), what the hell was he talking about?  It hit me.  What Seattle Chad* really meant was that he wanted to sleep with me and when I didn’t stay the night Sunday, his ego took a hit, and instead of his dick being hard, he went to bed with blue balls.  He got pissed.  So, I got pissed.  I’ve seen you 5 times in my entire life, Chad*.  I’m playing for keeps, sorry not sorry I don’t want to see your penis yet.

I won’t lie, it felt defeating, annoying, disappointing, overwhelming, and I really didn’t feel motivated to continue this whole online dating thing because holy shit, I just spent two months talking to and dating a guy that turned out to mostly be an egomaniacal assbag who at 34, still couldn’t quite figure out feelings.  And thus, it was over.  The first guy I really dated in the city after nomadic adventures and being VERY single post Australia adventures.  I can confidently say, based off a feeling (you can interpret what that means for yourself), Seattle Chad’s* ego was likely the biggest thing he had going for him.  I’ve dated Leo’s before, I’ve done the research…just sayin’.

Things I learned from that experience…after some time passed and I was able to tell my own ego to take a back seat, gaining new perspective on things:  Seattle Chad*, although ego played a key role in our entire interaction, was right.  If two people are meant to be together, I wouldn’t have cared that I was hungover, I wouldn’t have cared that I maybe only shaved half a leg that day before I went to his place because when I showered I was still a little drunk from the night before; I would have just stayed the night.  Because the reality is, if it’s there and you know exactly what you want, you take it.  You get yours.  Life is short, you have to be bold sometimes and go for it when it’s safe and comfortable and consensual.  For me, the latter wasn’t there.  So I didn’t stay.  I knew what I wanted.  It wasn’t Seattle Chad*.  Although there were stomach flips and heart sprinkles or whatever, my gut knew that it wasn’t the place I was supposed to be.  This was one of the many pivotal moments in my early 30 something career, folks.  Learning that timing really is everything, change is inevitable, and when it’s just not right for the 489,320th time, you walk away.  The good news there is, you have friends, and a city that serves up stiff drinks when there’s nothing else stiff in your social life.  You are continuing to learn yourself and damn, you’re really starting to fall in love with the woman you’re becoming.  And with or without big gold balloons, that’s HOTT.

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Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

*Name has been changed to protect identity of former date

Sexless and the City: The Very Beginning

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Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

“I think you might be becoming cynical…” -Jo

“Fine.  Let’s sign me up, but we’re going to need more wine.” -Me

I’ve had some strong internal debates about even publishing a series with SEX in the title because let’s be honest, my grandmother and dad read this…and they don’t need to know about my sex life, or intense lack of…

But, in the spirit of honesty and coming full circle with the reason this whole blog began (holy shit, five years ago!), I’m doing it.  I’m a grown woman and I realized, I just have to go balls deep.  All the puns intended.

So get hydrated, grab your sense of humor, and your screens.  We’re going in…

Online dating, amirite?  It’s like suddenly being blind and realizing that all the charm, intellect, and humor you thought you had on lockdown to get you through most of your life just aren’t going to cut it anymore.  So you contact your wine dealer (because NECESSITY) and you go down the rabbit hole.  It feels like the scariest and bravest thing to do all at the same time.  And there are enough stories for me to write a book (any editors/publishers reading?  Hit me up.)  Seriously.

I’m not being dramatic when I say that dating in this millennial age is one of the most ridiculous activities I’ve ever participated in.  Like I’d maybe even trade it for some of those rough days in Freshman year PE class where myself and three other females were stuck with all Junior and Senior boys, playing dodgeball.  Come to think of it, that was probably where I first really found my feminine power so maybe those years helped prepare me in some way for dating…because let me tell you, despite its chaos; dating in these times is also empowering AF.  Like when the dude that’s been flirting with you in PE class (by throwing balls as hard as he can just below your face) finally gets his when you look him dead in the eyes as you catch it and get him out and then proceed to throw it at his buddy and it’s a twofor and you feel like a boss bitch. (Yes this happened).

Some of my (now) best and worst stories to tell are from my experience this past year+, putting myself out there, drafting and rewriting profiles to make myself sound awesome, while also staying true to my authenticity – quite the skill set actually, just building my tool box here, kids!  It legitimately had me wishing for 90s dating in Manhattan because despite some of the questionable fashion choices, at least Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte had each other, strong drinks, and some of them were actually getting laid.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve got people.  We aren’t a foursome, wearing $585 shoes, stomping on men in the city together, but I do have at least three close girlfriends who help keep me sane through my life messes and celebrate all the good stuff with me too.  The challenge is, we’re rarely single at the same time.  So a lot of my single in the city adventures are just that…me, single AF, figuring it out.  Several of my friends have had luck online or they’ve found their person other ways and their caring asses have been pushing me to put myself out there (when I’d really prefer to just stay home and read about great loves with Jane Austen by candlelight).  But, since I realized my friend Jo was right, I was becoming cynical…just a little…and I’d also read that cynicism can cause wrinkles, I allowed myself to be coerced after we shared a bottle and a half of Rosé.

Being lubricated with a nice pink drink buzz, I renounced my power to craft a clever profile to Jo.  I threw all caution to the wind and although I consider myself decently eloquent with words, I just couldn’t quite articulate myself in a fetching way, since I was still getting my head wrapped around this idea.  Match.com was the first mark.  We explored and scrolled, read profiles and drank more wine.  We stumbled upon a handsome guy who seemed to share my love of travel and adventure so I decided to hand over my credit card to subscribe me so we could write him.  I never did end up hearing from him through Match, but we proceeded to match on another app (more on this later) like no joke, four times; masochism becomes a theme you’ll find here.  Jo and I also both fell in love with who we affectionately named “Seal Guy”.  He was a very attractive marine mammal scientist and spent a lot of time out on the water and part of me was thinking, “YES!  A potential part time boyfriend.  Just what my independent and stubborn ass needs. Something like that could be perfect.”  Well, he wasn’t even in wifi consistently enough to talk to me in the prelims let alone plan a meet cute.  I will say my intro message to him was drunkenly epic (and also embarrassingly cheesy)…a few marine puns were used that got his attention, but that ship sank.  (I’m here all night).

As I entered my first work week being “out there online”, I decided to edit my profile and make it sound a little more like me.  Actual text:

I’ve been informed by my amazing friends that the likelihood of meeting a decent guy whilst rocking my athleisure wear in the laundry detergent aisle is really slim…so here I am.

I have been told I’m an old soul, but also young at heart. I’m a city girl that was raised in the country and I can hold my own in both. I caught the travel bug early and I’m always longing for far away places while adventuring around this wonderful, rainy city. I am fiercely independent and I want to find a partner who can keep up with and laugh with me.

I’m a people person and base a lot of my happiness on being in the crowd. I have a deep passion for helping people and continue to create opportunities that allow me to foster relationships committed to worthy causes. I can fold a fitted shit like a boss, however, that doesn’t mean I’m the woman that will do it for you, but I’ll happily teach you…or we can just build a fort instead.

I enjoy meeting new people and I also deeply adore my alone time and disconnecting to gain perspective, get outside, tap into my creative interests, or binge watch old movies.

I love laughing…it’s literally my favorite. A large dose of sarcasm is at the heart of my vernacular and I can keep up with the best of them so if you want a spot on my team, you better be lighthearted and funny too or you can’t hang. I’m spontaneous and all about pursuing life to the fullest and seizing the moment. Music is something that just seems to get me, we’ve gotten each other through a lot and there’s always a soundtrack to my life.

I lived in Australia for a year…traveling around, slinging drinks behind a bar, and exploring. I booked a one way ticket, bought a backpack, and jumped all in. If that sounds crazy to you, it sort of was a little, but in the most epic possible way. My experiences traveling have forever changed me and I can’t wait for the next destination I fall in love with.

I don’t take myself or life too seriously and I’ve become a pro at seeing silver linings and dancing in the rain. Seriously, I’m not afraid to break it down in the street and dance in the rain…if you can’t join me or laugh at me when I’m being ridiculous, take your black cloud elsewhere. I’ll just be over here being awesome without you and having all the fun!

Did anyone notice I spelled sheet wrong?  Yeah…neither did I until like a MONTH later when I was at a birthday dinner and a friend was reading my profile out loud.  Although my pride took a bit of a dive due to my grammatical error, considering this story is still told in my circle today and it makes Jo laugh every time she folds sheets, it was worth it.  At this point I had been on one coffee date with a guy named Rick (we all know that wasn’t going anywhere) who was a perfectly nice guy…the exact right person to pop my online dating cherry, smooth just like my hemp milk latte.  I continued messaging back and forth with some other guys…boring, boring…enter Seattle Chad*.  We met one night after work for a drink, post flirting about old movies and favorite books, I was intrigued and he wore nice flannels in his photos.

We learn all about him and his BIG………ego, next episode.

Wear protection, it’s rough out there.

xx, h

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Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

*Name has been changed to protect identity of former date

I feel it coming…

img_7411Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My blog is dusty. But, it has settled and I can see clearly now. (Cue the music).

My lack of posting is not due to writers block (thank the gods), but more-so self care is the culprit.  How can I write all the things (profound and personal, ridiculous and irrelevant), if I have personal work to do first?  My iPhone notes are covered in musings and observations, feelings and lessons learned, original quotes, that have developed over the past almost year since I’ve really published anything consistently.

If you’re still here reading this little blog of mine, thank you. I appreciate that you find something in it that feels worth your precious time.  Really I do, more than you know.

It’s not new that 2016 was a doozy for me (and many of you) personally…but we warriored through and survived because we’re bad ass humans who are resilient and capable of doing hard things.

Enter 2017, amirite? It was like 2016 woke up the morning of December 31, hungover AF (because the holidays) and was like, “damn, this shit has been CRAZY. Tonight it’s all gonna change.” And 2017 laughed hysterically and was like, “Hold my Bloody Mary, watch this!”

It’s continued to be another year of struggle, lessons, mistakes, frustrations, wins, and all the things, mostly in a global sense. Pretty sure I just put that SO lightly.  Let’s be real…2017 was a universal DUMPSTER FIRE.  Nationally, we let the most unqualified, misogynistic, narcissist come into the highest power office in the world.  Who then tried to make an immigration ban a thing, attempted to deny rights to women and their bodies, pulled us out of the Paris Climate Agreement, went on to reverse the ban on importing elephant and rhino trophies, denied the rights of some of our most vulnerable communities, continued hiding behind his Twitter feed to launch threats and (almost) nuclear war with N. Korea, took away Net Neutrality, our affordable healthcare, and so many more depressing and shocking moves that would be an entire post on its own and he who must not be named and his ministry of evil don’t deserve that.  Hollywood got the series of wake up calls it needed (insert prayer emoji) and men realized it was time to sit the hell down and shut up.  Globally, there have been some wins for LOVE and marriage equality, some serious statements made in terms of government, big moves made to stand up for the planet and against American bullies, fear, success, hard work, ethics, business, and progressive action.

Personally, I’ve actually had a pretty damn good year in my modest little city life. There have been some bumps, to be sure, but it’s been good due to the self care, self development, and hard ass work I’ve put in to let go of some heavy baggage. BYEEE!  When the hard work must be done, the best way to get through it is taking a serious inventory of your tribe.  I don’t even know how, but I have managed to surround myself with the absolute best humans and I thank the stars every millisecond for my good fortune to have them by my side.  I had some wins in matters of the heart, because I finally started truly listening to mine.  I found the art of self care and took action to make space for more ME in my daily life.  This brought me to meditation, back to yoga, reading books, writing, photography, doodling and handlettering, nutrition, holistic health, and so many other positive things.  This year I gave myself the gift of well, myself.  Sounds selfish maybe or self involved, but really, while working on letting go of the past, I found even more me, and that’s pretty damn cool.  Learned to like myself, fall deeper in love with myself, and never take for granted all that I have and am capable of manifesting.  Which brought me to finding my path in life and choosing to enroll in school to become a nutritionist in holistic health.  HOLLA.

I worked hard at my job, my family life, my friendships, my budget, my heart, trusting my gut…I put myself first when I needed to and sacrificed myself for others.  I grew more into my activist, feminist AF, outraged, woke, humanitarian self and posted about ocean conservation and the effects of climate change.  I attended an amazing and peaceful immigration rally, donated to organizations making big things happen, called my congress people, my senators, signed petitions, engaged in enlightening conversations, and used my privilege to do a little more good for the world.

I drank gallons of coffee, wine, whisky, water, and power. Then I threw myself out into the world of millennial dating and was vulnerable and fiercely myself.  I collected stories, cry laughed A LOT, shared stories, made people almost pee from cry laughing so hard (because dating is ridiculous), trusted myself more, realized I owe no one anything, stood up for myself, shared opinions, was brutally honest, said what I needed to say, even when it was scary.

I don’t want to give too much away just yet on the dating front because I’ve got a series coming for you and I won’t even try to be humble, it’s GOOOOD. Because it’s real mother effing life and it’s relatable, guaranteed.

I encourage you to pour a drink, like a strong one. Don’t even worry about that “on the rocks” shit. Ice melts. And you know what that does to your drink? It waters it down. Nah. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. You need a stiff one. Because you’re going to read my series and laugh with me as I share the bits and pieces of my dating life over the last year +.

Stay tuned.

Sexless and the City…it is coming.

Oh and happy new year!  Seriously, whether it was one of the best or worst of your life, you get 365 fresh ones to write your story, don’t waste it.  Make every day the best day in the year.  2018…it’s going to be a goody, I feel it coming.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Xx,

h

img_7414Photo Credit: carleyjayne photography

So this is the New Year…

“Ring out the false, ring in the true.”  -Alfred Lord Tennyson

I realize this post about the New Year comes about 5 months and 30 days tardy, but I always arrive fashionably late so deal with it.

Writing is hard.  Like once I start going for it, it becomes this easy thing like breathing and it just flows out of me.  What I mean when I say it’s hard is that it’s raw, it’s naked, and it forces feelings to come to the surface that let’s face it, we as adult humans get really good at setting aside.  I want to try my hardest not to do that so often and I have been working on it, trust me…just haven’t so much been writing about it.  Writing for me is one of the most vulnerable things I do…and it’s been hard for me to allow myself to go there for awhile.

(Truth time: I started writing this post shortly after the new year, then again in March…it’s July tomorrow…just sayin’.)

Let me give you a little recap of what the last year was like in the life of me

I’ll just lay the disclaimer right out there on the table: 2016 was literally the HARDEST WORST F*CKED PAINFUL ETC. year of my whole damn life.  Not exaggerating, not emphasizing for dramatic effect, this is just a fact people.

I began 2016, well, 9 days into last year, by getting my ass kicked.  Physically, yeah…that happened.  Assaulted.  Shoulder grabbed, yanked down to the ground, kicked, hair pulled, drug through the dirt, personal space violated, and expensive technology stolen, by a couple of females.  I won’t go into more detail than that, but it was some scary and eye-opening shit.   I came out of it fine other than some cuts and scrapes, a really bad hair day, and some new emotional baggage to work through oh and a residual shoulder injury that still gives me a really hard time to this day.  Things could have been a lot worse and I am so grateful that it’s all behind me now.  Moment of gratitude to thank the people who helped raise me, who gifted me the ability to see perspective in a tough experience, take the hard, and turn it into empathy.  Being able to look at situations of adversity from the other side is not an easy mission, but it is sometimes the most important piece.  I didn’t just have to take time to heal through that experience for myself, but for the young women who’s lives have brought them to a place where taking that kind of physical action as opposed to using communication is their way of life.  Perspective is power…that was lesson 1 last year.

Some of you that have been following along my random adventures over the past few years know that I spent last summer in Portland, unemployed/FUNemployed (most days), and that I headed back to Seattle late last summer to start fresh in the city I have called home for most of my adult life and second home the rest of my life.  Making Seattle home again wasn’t a decision that came easy or one that was written in the stars for me like I expected it to be.  Since returning to the states, it’s been a long time coming actually.  I couldn’t be happier to be back though, settled into my little cottage oasis in the city that has changed so much over the years, and be working and doing life near my friends and family again.

Fall came in hot with a new nanny job which I LOVE, closing a door on a REALLY f*cking tough love (yeah, that old chestnut FINALLY dropped from the tree for good in October-stay tuned…that vulnerability is coming), and a newfound sense of freedom and self love.  When people say that finding your balance in life is a journey, they’re actually not even a little bit kidding.  And what an adventure it’s been…

I’ve always been fiercely independent, strong willed, and SO open hearted…and truth be told, despite A LOT of heartache and disappointment, it’s NEVER steered me wrong.  With all the trials and tribulations that 2016 brought me in personal health and wellbeing, emotional stability, heartache, mistakes, trust, listening, being heard, self-care, relationships, all that life shiiiiiit,  I have never learned harder, the value of following your own gut instincts…yeah, that was lesson 2.  Now that I’ve (almost) mastered it (real talk, I’m always going to be a work in progress and what brilliant work it is!), I am living a really great version of my life and coming out on top of all the bullshit I survived last year, is a feeling of raw empowerment like I’ve never known.

Through that empowerment, I had to make some really difficult decisions and cull some relationships in my life that were providing me with nothing, but toxicity and draining my heart and soul.  I’ve written about how friend break ups are some of the hardest we experience in adulthood, the factor that makes that one the most challenging, is having to do the work to forgive the people we have to let go of…even when they don’t say they are sorry.  You guessed it…lesson 3, forgiveness.

I chose to disconnect from a 12 year friendship with someone who seemed to be dead set on walking the path towards the pool where Narcissus died.  I knew my love of Greek mythology would be forever, but I didn’t know until last year how painful it could be.  I let go of the BIG love of my life or more brutally, it walked out on me and slammed the door.  Where pain, ego, secrets, insecurities, passion, trust, empathy, unconditional love, fear, were present and thriving and also drowning.  The demise was a long time coming (as you’ve likely gathered), sadly ending an almost 7 year best friendship in its wake.  Freshly reeling from this loss, in the same 72 hours, I had to set hard boundaries with a soul friend who has been a love in my life, but who I felt I’d started enabling; a rapid spiral where love and lie gets so brutally blurred.  I’m not sure where this one will end, my heart remains so hopeful that the shadows can find the light again and if not, the love I have for this person will never cease and the forgiveness work has been done; it will always run deep and eternal.

So in review, 2016 brought a physical ass beating and then continued to mentally and emotionally kick my ass ALL. YEAR. LONG.

12 months. 356 days (yeah that’s 365 minus those first 9 days that seemed so bad ass)…of some hard damn times.  But, being ever the optimist that I try daily to be, those days were the most character building of my life thus far.  Even more so than my backpacking days in the land down under, more so than my crazy college times, more so than any other time life prepared me to survive and thrive through some serious shit storms.  I have come into 2017, a new year, so much stronger, so much lighter, more empowered, more focused, more in love with myself than I’ve ever been and the momentum keeps building.

I have a strong feeling that the final days of this year will be some of the greatest I’ve known, because…really, when all is said and done, when all the false and heavy has been laid to rest, it is the truth we have to live for.  The truth is what gives everyday the chance to be our new best day.

Hoping 2017 has brought you all happiness and health and that the coming days are some of your best!

Cheers,

h

Love Actually…{Part I}

“Love yourself first and everything else falls in line.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”  –Lucille Ball

ME_468_AcceptingSelfLoveImage Cred: The Googles

Ah, love.  The word, the feeling, the one intangible thing that has the power to build you up and also tear you down.  Lately, the universe has been bringing me conversations surrounding the topic; I’ve had some personal battles with it recently and have also had some discussions with a few important dudes in my life and it has inspired some deep thought.

It seems to me that the human condition when it comes to matters of the heart has created this idea that we must constantly seek that which we don’t have.  We want what we can’t get.  When we get it, we don’t want it anymore and continue searching for something else to obtain.  You can understand how this becomes a very dangerous game when you’re playing with people’s hearts.  We walk around, existing under the idea that the grass is always greener on the other side.  Which is completely ridiculous since most of us just forgot to turn on the bloody hose and water our own lawn…or we’ve left the hose on too long and drowned the poor thing.  In my not so extensive dating experience, I have found that women have this same mentality when dating The Asshole.  You know what I’m about to dig into…it’s okay.  Save your “monkey see” emoji for a later time and listen up.

For us ladies out there, we’ve all dated The Asshole guy.  Sometimes, we’re even awesome enough to date several…our roaring 20s are good for that.  We get kicked to shit by them, eventually inducing a wish for someone nice to come around and treat us right.  With this wish for the nice kind of guy, we throw in an added bonus wish that we’ll acquire just a DASH of common sense as we enter the next round of dating, hoping to take action with the red flags that pop up.  Enter The Nice Guy.  He can serve our wants and needs for a time, but eventually, we sabotage him and his “niceness”.  The Nice Guy is just “too nice” we tell ourselves and our best girlfriends over dirty martinis at happy hour.  We eventually just wish that The Nice Guy would be more of a dick like our dear ex, The Asshole.  But why?  Why in all the things in this world that are holy and sacred would we want to ruin a perfectly good thing once we finally got what we’d been wishing for?!

Because: society.  We’ve been conditioned by society and also conditioned by ourselves to never be satisfied with what we have; we are always striving to attain more.  Because nothing is ever good enough.  You see, we’re told that perfection is out there, that we can acquire it.  And we believe it!  So we continue galloping off on our unicorns searching for our knights in shining armor and ending up with losers in aluminum foil.   I’ll just take a moment here to remind everyone the definition of an important word:

in·san·i·ty

inˈsanədē/

noun

extreme foolishness or irrationality.

My personal favorite: The definition of insanity, is, doing the exact same f*cking thing over and over again, expecting shit to change. That. Is. Crazy.  Thank you Urban Dictionary.

This is why women of a certain age start settling.  We settle for the “good on paper” guys.  Type A personalities who seem to have their general shit together, are nice, practical, planners.  In my personal translation {please take no offense you good on paper people out there–the world needs you too!}, boring as f*ck.  I only speak from my personal dating experience here.

Women my age who have dated The Asshole Guy or the emotionally blocked guys… hopped on the roller coaster of adventure into the unknown world of spontaneity, risk and inevitably other unsafe emotional places…eventually get tired.  Like we get so damn, EXHAUSTED of the let down, the not knowing, the hurt, the general asshole-isms…all of it.  So we settle for safety and security with someone that we love…but that love might require us to convince ourselves it’s really there half the time.  Unfortunately for thrill seeking women out there in dating land {hey girl heyyy!}, the good on paper guy isn’t random, spontaneous and full of adventure.  We’re going to pick The Nice Guy we maybe aren’t head over heels in love with out of fear that the roller coaster Asshole Guy won’t ever grow up, make you a safety harness that works and get his shit together enough to be with you.  And women get scared.  Get ready to clinch your teeth…it’s coming…in overly dramatic form of course…

Eventually, the hard and sad truth of it, is that a lot of women just want to be “rescued”.  Plus, there’s that whole biological clock ticking thing that happens right around age 28 for most of us with ovaries.  The Nice Guy is the one who can provide you with the picket fence, the golden retriever and the 2.some random decimal that doesn’t exist, babies.  You’ll have sex once a year for the rest of your marriage.  {YAY! Insert thumbs down emoji here.}  Then possibly wake up one day in your early 40s or 50s, the kiddos are living their own lives, and you realize that you have nothing in common with the person you’re sharing a bed with in your house with the picket fence that your tired, old golden retriever leaves hair all over.  This is one of the many reasons spouses start to resent each other’s very existence and why many marriages end in divorce.  Isn’t it a happy cycle?!  *Disclaimer: as mentioned above, this is a dramatization.  I am not a marriage counselor or licensed therapist, just one of those female homo sapiens who is intuitive and has opinions.*

Before you stop reading, thinking this is just a cynical rant dripping with “relationship hate”, stay with me; it’s going to get good in part II.

Highlight Reel…

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“A lot can happen in a year…” –Unknown

Welp, kids.  Another year has come and gone.  You’ll start to notice some changes over here on // Little Talks {capital letters, anyone?!}  I will be launching a new blog soon…STAY TUNED PLEASE!  With a new year and a coming of a new age // decade…hello, 30?  Can you hear me?!  I decided it was time to make a serious shift in my blogging and really take my writing to new heights.  With that being said, I always find it very important to remember where you’ve started and all the punctuation and grammar in between.  So without further ado, I’m keepin’ it real, with my 2015 highlight reel.

My blog was viewed 1,000 times last year.  Not a huge number in the grand scheme of the interwebs, however, for this little blog, that was a MASSIVE improvement from it’s past years in existence.  HUGE SHOUT OUT TO MY READERS, however, few and far between you may be…THANK YOU!

My most viewed posts:

  1. vanishing acts… Apparently some of you can relate to falling prey to the Houdini’s in the dating world.   The value of putting down the technology that pulls us in and looking up to see the love and magic surrounding us on a daily basis is immeasurable.  I don’t want it to ever pass me by.
  2. sea of cynics…  It would seem that I have a squad.  Those of us who refuse to settle for the millennial versions of dating and are still attempting to hold onto the {now} old fashioned ways of dating and believing in love.  “When optimism, positive vibes and love prevail so begins the death march on cynicism, negativity and rooted hate.”  I’m glad I wrote this post to help remind me.
  3. adulting 101…  Not much needs to be said.  I had a feeling when I posted this {short} series, it would resonate with my fellow 20 somethings out there trying to navigate the road of adulthood.  Cheers to us for surviving and creating our own stories to tell through it all!
  4. adulting 201…  Not shocking that this follow up post got some more viewing love.  As we continue growing up and into who we’re going to become, it’s important to remember to revel in the struggles as much as the victories.  So buy the heels and enjoy that shower beer, you’re an adult!
  5. frisky business…  Relief is the word that comes to mind knowing this post was a well viewed one.  It’s nice to know that those of you who do follow me, support my goals and are part of the community that helps propel me forward towards my writing dreams.

Although my post comments are most frequently received from my darling grandmother {thanks Grandma!}, I am so grateful that your eyes reached this blog.  Hopefully our // Little Talks have inspired you in some way or another, to live your truth, continue learning and loving and laughing through the adventure of life!

I can’t wait to write what happens next…

xx