Happy Birthday, Lucy Liberty!

Almost six months ago exactly, I made one of the best decisions: adopting a puppy.

The decision was uncharacteristically of me — I never make choices without careful research and consideration and talking to at least, you know, 10 people — but when I saw Lucy, something in me just knew. I had to take her home.

It hasn’t been easy, and for the first few weeks I didn’t know if I could do it: constant chewing up everything (my shoes, my desk, my iPhone charger, my computer charger, my favorite makeup brush, my original copy of The Great Gatsby…), having to rush home after work to feed and walk her, wondering if a guy would still be interested in dating a girl with a little white 8-pound pup and everything else that comes (and smells and sheds) with taking care of an animal.

But the amount of joy that she’s brought to my life can’t compare to any stress she’s caused.

She’s my companion and no matter how bad the date is or how difficult my day is — she’s there, happy and excited to spend time with me. I’ve come to love our puppy park weekend rituals (I get coffee, she gets exercise), I like waking up to her soft snuggles and in an odd way, she keeps me from doing things I shouldn’t. Like staying out too late with a guy who I know I’m really not interested in — she’s a great excuse to leave. Or not wanting to do anything at all but lay in bed all day — she makes me at least go around the block so she can do her business. Or leaving my room a completely disaster for weeks — she makes me so much cleaner than I’ve ever been.

I’ve always had pets growing up but it hasn’t been until Lucy that I’ve really felt like a pet owner. And yes, a puppy mom. Happy first birthday my beautiful little dog, I can’t wait to see what all the years ahead bring us! I’ll keep trying to find you a daddy and we’ll one day live in a bigger apartment and a long time from now, you may even have a yard (it won’t be as big as Central Park, though).

Here are my favorite photos from our first six months together:

Our very first photo together on my birthday, the day I took you home!

Our very first photo together on my birthday, the day I took you home!

Auntie M for your welcome picnic in Central Park

Auntie M for your welcome picnic in Central Park

The first time you met your mama's hubby, J!

The first time you met your mama’s hubby, J!

With Auntie M, Auntie J & mom!

With Auntie M, Auntie J & mom!

How I explained your last name to you.

How I explained your last name to you.

You love Friday nights with Netflix and wine, just like mom.

You love Friday nights with Netflix and wine, just like mom.

Your very first haircut!

Your very first haircut!

You're not a westie and you're not on those Cesar commercials, but you could be!

You’re not a westie and you’re not on those Cesar commercials, but you could be!

You hated that surgery, but we snuggled to make up for it.

You hated that surgery, but we snuggled to make up for it.

Home to NC for Christmas!

Home to NC for Christmas!

You hated saying goodbye to Grandmommy!

You hated saying goodbye to Grandmommy!

Our first flight delay together. Too bad you're not old enough for wine.

Our first flight delay together. Too bad you’re not old enough for wine.

Love your magazines, just like your mama. (Thanks for the photo, Auntie J!)

Love your magazines, just like your mama. (Thanks for the photo, Auntie J!)

Every morning before I go to work, you have to sit in my lap while I get ready..

Every morning before I go to work, you have to sit in my lap while I get ready..

Mama likes to run, but you don't like her to leave.

Mama likes to run, but you don’t like her to leave.

It's cold in NYC, isn't it Lucy girl?

It’s cold in NYC, isn’t it Lucy girl?

You're so cute the grocery stores here let you come inside!

You’re so cute the grocery stores here let you come inside!

Silly girl, hangers are for clothes, not for wearing!

Silly girl, hangers are for clothes, not for wearing!

Rain, rain go away!

Rain, rain go away!

Few days before your birthday! I love you!

Few days before your birthday! I love you!



 

I Don’t Really Miss You

I don’t miss you. Not really.

I think  that I miss you because I’m terrified — petrified even — of never meeting another you. Actually, I don’t honestly want to meet someone like you– I want to meet someone better. A man who can love me without doubt, someone who knows he wants to be with me and who doesn’t make excuses why it’s not the right time or he’s not in the right place. I want someone who is gloriously happy like I am, not shamefully sad and despairingly bitter. I felt pieces of your heart because I dug them out, not because they were readily available. Those pieces were terribly tender and dark.

But I imagined them rose colored.

I prayed for them to change, to let me hold them. Just for a minute. I prayed for you to love me unconditionally as I felt for you. I wanted you to love and want me — to not be able to live without me so much that it ached. So much that you ached like me. That you swallowed goblets of tears almost every single day for the past two and a half years since the day we met. Since the day I fell for you… Stupidly. Crazily. Instantly.

That’s what I miss, I think.

Not you exactly — but the me who fell for you back then. It was a me that believed people, men could really change. It was a me that had patience beyond measure, hope against any prevailing odd. It was a me who put up with more than she should to love the boy she hoped could.

Could love her. Could be the one. Could be different.

Now, I’m harder. My shell is tougher and it takes quite the effort to break through. My guard is up, along with my expectations and what I’m willing to accept and what I’m not afraid to walk away from. In some odd twist of my personal dynamic, ever since you, I’ve hungered to be single more than I’ve desired to be with someone.

Because the next someone, whoever he is, wherever he may be– has to be the final someone. After you, my heart isn’t willing to risk again. It’s not bursting and vibrant enough to take a chance on being shattered or dissolving into a darker shade of red. It’s finished being the forgiving gal at home and it’s ready to be completely swooned.

No, I don’t miss you. Not really.

I don’t miss the longing and the pain you brought to my life — though I’m sure, it was never intentional, my dear. I don’t miss staring into eyes that never could look back with sincerity. I don’t miss their hollow depths that I searched for any void to tell my otherwise. I don’t miss the back and fourth, and the desperate feeling of being disposable and not worth fighting for.  I don’t miss feeling like you were always so far away, even when you were lying naked next to me. I don’t miss feeling like I had to always be the positive one, the woman who was always ready and there to please, not the girl who needed something in return. I don’t miss the endless curiosity for change and the sunken feeling that nothing would.

Not really, anyway.

But I do miss being able to love so freely and with such naivety. I miss the me that still believed. The me who was beautiful in all the ways that only a girl fresh to the city, fresh to reveries about a man whose possibilities were actually illusions. I miss the me who used to love you. The me who held onto silly, frivolousness hope.

And now, the only hope left is that I’m able to love someone else a little more. I don’t miss you, not really. But I miss the me before you. Really, I really do.

Got a love story? Submit your Falling in Love on Fridays blogs here

An Ode to a Loyal Reader

Once upon a time, there was a man named Larry who quickly became one of my most loyal followers.

For those of you who have commented on posts, you’re probably familiar with him. I’ve never personally met Larry but on almost every single blog I’ve published, he’s made sure to leave his opinion. And often times, he asks for advice on his dating life. You see, after going through a divorce at 59, Larry has been experiencing the world of flying solo all over again — and along the way, he’s sadly found a lot of heartache.

But what I love about him is that he keeps going, he never loses hope and he always gets back out there. He seems to have such a golden heart — still curious, ever-so thoughtful, simply wanting to find the right girl who will treasure him for him. In many ways, he’s empowering himself with self-love and figuring out the world of women in the process. Best of all, he shares his candid stories and words of wisdom with everyone who happens to stumble across a post.

So, Larry — I dedicate a pre-Valentine’s Day blog to you. And though you’ve given me some incredible (and funny) advice over the last two-and-a-half years, I hope you’ll take some of my loving words, too. You’ve always made sure to tell me and the women reading these pages that we’re worth it and that we deserve better. That we shouldn’t settle for men who are cold-hearted or don’t know how to treat us with the respect and the beauty that we truly are. My challenge (and hope) for you is that you take your own wisdom to heart. You deserve better, too. You should have a woman who is madly, crazily, stupidly in love with you – regardless if you iron your shirts or if you’re too forward or not 100 percent perfect (none of us are!). She won’t talk to you about men she’s dated or tell you about any other guys. You won’t have to wait for emails or messages or even wonder about her intentions. Instead, she’ll just want to know all about you. She’ll want to read your medical journals. She’ll want to hear about your teaching career. She’ll be proud to be your side. And just like there are some great men out there — there are some great women out there, too. Don’t ever give up faith or give up on yourself — because there is a lady — maybe in sunny LA or across the world — who can’t wait to meet someone just like you. I know so. Happy Valentine’s Day Larry, hope you love yourself as much as I love reading your comments! – Linds

Some of my favorite Larry quotes include…

“Be annoyingly happy.”

“Yes, be ever the optimist, beautiful young thing.”

“Kiss you on the forehead. What’s he doing, claiming you are his niece ? When in love, he tips your head up and plants one on the lips, holds for a few seconds at least , hopes MANY people notice.”

“Sounds like you’ve been to the Baskin-Robbins of dating way too often. But having a good time.”

“Have a life, meet people, find people you enjoy activities with. Pretend you are 10, but can drive and have money, no curfew. Find who you like to have fun with, who makes you laugh, who’s there to help you.”

“Every man and woman should want to be able to say at the end of their life, at the end of any week or day, that they were a good man, a good woman, a good person. You did your best, you made someone smile, you helped someone out. You held nothing back when it was needed.”

“EVERY woman needs to hold out for her Mr. Right. No more abusive relationships. Don’t tolerate mistreatment. It would change the entire world. Imagine if all the jerks died of old age, and no little boys to teach how to abuse women, only to model how to love and adore the special woman in their life. Want it for yourself. Want it for all your friends. We are out here, wanting a woman like you. Be where we might encounter you. Imagine.”

“You deserve to be special for someone, and will, and they will show it to you, always. It is so worth it.”

“Put some trust with Dr. Heart. There may be only matted AstroTurf painted a putrid shade of green on the other side of the fence. (You know, the grass is always greener, etc).”

“My only weakness is ironing. So far, early out of the drier is good enough. If some woman is upset about a slightly wrinkled shirt and won’t get to know me, she deserves a jerk in a pressed shirt who may mistreat her. I wouldn’t. Given all the other stuff I do for myself, and I hate ironing, at least I’m not obsessive about that.”

“Boring is uninteresting. Nice is interesting and pleasant. Fun. Nice is making a person feel wanted, that you’re interested in them. Caring.”

“You should never need to stay and wonder if the guy will change for you. Most guys like the way they are. Let evolution take jerks out of the dating pool.”

“Lindsay for Supreme Court Justice.”

“Sounds like you may love New York, but the men certainly leave a lot to be desired in the way of chivalry, personality and I’m not sure what else. But a great place to write a dating blog.”

“You’re a cool chick, Linds. Determined is the word you want. You refuse to cow to anyone or anything. No such thing as “most beautiful”; peel back the skin on the face, and its all just muscle and bone and ligaments. What you have then is heart and mind. Everyone is entitled to encouragement, and F*** those to try to discourage you. Best body ? You take care of it, bless those you share it with.”

“Put a small umbrella in your purse!”

“How does your man play with little kids ? Can he ? Does he think baby poop stinks, or doesn’t even notice ?”

“Even if Mr. P does not pan out, just be the wonderful you, and don’t worry. Be open to friendship and love, be a touch cautious, but never cynical, always optimistic. Seek a person for whom happiness is a given, that they have and they share. And be the same way.”

“Focus, learn, be better than ever. No moping.”

PS: Very last day to submit a Valentine to yourself. Click this.

One More Week! Submit Your Valentine

It’s a week until Valentine’s Day (or Single Awareness Day or that day you have a date with Jack, Captain and Jose…) — but instead of making it about love and romance or the lack thereof, make it about all the reasons you love yourself.

That’s right — why you love you! Because you’re pretty great. Actually, you’re awesome.

So write a love letter to yourself by clicking this. Read Valentine’s from the last two years published on Confessions of a Love Addict here. Don’t worry — if you want to be anonymous, you can do that. Or I can link back to your blog.

Make sure to tell all the special ladies in your life to write one, too — don’t you all deserve to get a little more self-love in your lives?

 

Things I’m Not Afraid Of

I’m not afraid of being alone.

Because loneliness only feels lonely when you give it your power. And though a city can make you have solitary thoughts in the solitary confinement of your tiny hole of the concrete landscape, you’re constantly surrounded by energy. It consumes you while it confuses you, and though you’d rather not break a smile or a sweat, if you walk the streets or catch a train, you’ll find yourself doing both. The city keeps you company, like it or leave it. And being alone isn’t better than surrendering to something you don’t want or becoming someone you’re not because you ache for love. Or maybe it’s just touch that makes you desperate. Learning to stand up single and stand up tall may not be the greatest lesson of all, but it’s one that’ll sustain you. Walking to the beat of the route you decided to take and being proud of who you are — with or without someone — is happier than sitting in the  back seat when you should be driving full speed, windows down, ahead.

I’m not afraid of being wrong.

In fact, I’d rather make mistakes if it means that I will ultimately become a stronger, smarter version of myself. Falling down isn’t the same as giving in — but they are equally important. Before you can fly, you have to be able to land and yes, even crash. It’s only in the aftermath that you can put the puzzle of yourself back together. And sometimes, to recreate the parts and mold them into something that fits again, you have to hang on before you can let go. Sometimes you walk down the path or into the bedroom of something so wrong that it tastes eerily right. And it’s only when it all turns from sweet to bitter that you can feel yourself release it. Before you can figure out what it feels like to be right – to be so right, you can’t believe it – you have to be able to detect when it’s painstakingly, not. You have to admit that you put yourself there, that you’re to blame and it’s you that’ll have to change.

I’m not afraid of having hope.

Sure, seeing things as peachy-keen when life has a knack for serving you lemons may seem irrational and naive. I may be a Pollyanna with a bit of a kinky side who sees the light in all of the emptiness, the good in every bit of sorrow — but I wouldn’t trade that blind optimism for anything. Because you have to believe in something or someone or some entity that you can’t describe and you’ll never be able to define, to get yourself through the muck. There are no amounts of charming tall men in suits, yellow chariots, magical cocktails or hideaways that can disguise the unfortunate things that will happen to us all — but if you keep faith somewhere buried inside of you, you’ll never really care. Because even if everything else fades away or disappears, if everyone you know becomes people you used to know — at the very least, you’ll still see that glimmer that you tucked away for days just like this one.

I’m not afraid of imperfection.

Aren’t flaws rather stunning if you think about it? The most gregarious and gorgeous of individuals aren’t cookie-cutter or Hollywood print-outs. Instead, they’re like you. They’re like me. They’re people who have courage and wear t-shirts that show a little too much skin. They rock teeth with gaps but they do the most with what they have, where they are and however they can. The beauty I see in those around me has almost nothing to do with their style and everything to do with their souls. You can’t see what’s really inside of a person or really know how they’re light was lit until you’ve witnessed what made it flicker in the storm. You can’t look past your own silly shortcomings until you’ve been able to look past someone else’s. And not just see through them, but love those wrinkles, those crooked smiles, that freckled face. That madly beautiful, imperfect face.

I’m not afraid of being last.

Because honestly, I forgot I was racing. To the big, high-powered, executive suite job with the burgeoning paycheck. To the altar where I’d convince myself that this man grants my every wish and will lead my every dying decision. To the mortgage and the 401K, the bonds and the stock markets I’m just now starting to teach myself. To the sweet nursery with the sweet baby that’ll depend on me for everything and I’ll find myself consumed with a love I never knew possible. You can’t rush such luck or such joy — and I wouldn’t want to, even if I could. Maybe there’s an ideal time for all of those milestones and maybe it just works itself out. Maybe it doesn’t. But I’d rather be last than to be first and find myself wondering why I moved so quickly when I could have just treasured all the moments before all of my little ducks lined up in their little row.

No, these things, I’m not afraid of. But I used to be.

I needed to be the star — to be the girl who did everything so fast you would miss her if you hesitated for even a second. I wanted to fall in love as soon as I could and marry sooner rather than later. And the thought of being alone was enough to knock me off of my up-on-her-high-horse feet. I gave myself a hard time for having a heart full of hope because surely, if I was too positive, something was damned to go terribly wrong. And if I was wrong, how could I ever find all that I wanted to be right?

I was so fearful of not being the person I had set myself up to be. And if any sign of trouble crept into my picturesque view of how life should be, I would royally freak out. I had a two-year, a five-year, a ten-year plan for everything: this would happen then, that would happen after and all would be well.

But living that way — full of fear that nothing would happen just as I laid it out — was more painful than pleasurable. How can you live in the now if your now is surrounded with anxiety? And so, I decided to stop being pensive. I stopped doubting. I started just savoring. And enjoying.

Because when you stop being afraid of these things… better, not-so-scary, not-so-planned things start to happen instead. And those worries you held onto for so long, they all become things you’re not afraid of anymore. They suddenly just become… things.

Don’t forget to write a love letter for Valentine’s Day to yourself! It’s Love Addict’s 3rd Year of Valentine’s Day From You to You!!