Much Ado About Nothing-Ness

As you read this, I’m somewhere in the country where it’s very quiet and neither my cell phone or my Wifi works.

Yep, y’all – I’ve apparently gone back to my roots, yet they seem to be stuck in the North instead of in the South where I thought I left them. Mr. Possibility and I have gone away for the long holiday weekend and as I sit here on Thursday, scheduling out blogs and attempting to pack for the mountainside where I’ll apparently be sipping something cold and fruity, my stomach is churning.

I always wanted to “go away” with a boyfriend. It had such a cache to it – just the two of us, somewhere not too far away, but far enough out of the city to escape the noise and New Yorky-smells. And yet, with a suitcase void of heels and cocktail dresses, fancy jewelry, or rouge of any sort, I’ve accepted that while I’m good at many things, relaxing isn’t one of them. This trip is supposed to be casual and cool, no expectations, no plans, no deadlines, no blog, no distractions, just nature and the sound of sweet stillness to put us to sleep early with full bellies and hearts at ease. It’s not about rushing or attending trendy events together or testing how far I can walk in six-inch heels on Manhattan sidewalks. Though that’s not as taxing as silence, if you ask me.

And I haven’t left yet, so maybe I’ll feel differently this time tomorrow when I’m being serenaded by crickets underneath a shiny blanket of stars – but right now, I’m a little worried. What will I do with all that….nothing-ness?

My mother, all of my friends, Mr. Possibility, and my boss all tell me I have to learn to relax. It’s a trait that I’ve never been able to master, though I admittedly haven’t really given it my best effort, either. I like having a million things to do, I like taking on time-consuming and demanding tasks (say, writing a blog every single day for a year, even when the country steals you away and you crank out four in one day), being really involved in things I’m passionate about, and never tiring of excelling in every avenue of my life. I love a full calendar, I love feeling busy, I love being able to fall right to sleep because I worked all day long. Because I used my brain, I used my body, I used my energy to put enthusiasm into all that I did. I’m the girl who goes-goes-goes and when it’s time to just stop, to breathe a little, to have a mini-vacation with her possibility, it’s a challenge.

I’m not sure why exactly I’m this way. Maybe in ten years, I’ll lose some of the ambition or that adrenaline that’s fueled me from a small town in Western North Carolina to one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Maybe children will slow me down or maybe I’ll decide to be one of those women whose responsibilities include brunching, serving as volunteer chair on a charity, and being the ideal Pilates student. Who knows. But my semi-tired bones aren’t interested in relaxing – they want to keep pushing.

Because when I relax, when I sleep in until the middle of the afternoon, when I take a night off from networking, mingling, and gym-ing – I feel lazy. I feel like I’m missing opportunities, I’m missing events, I’m missing the lifestyle that I moved to create, that I pay so much in rent to be a part of. Why waste it by spending time doing nothing? I feel guilty getting manicures or pedicures, buying facials or massages because the time I spent laying still, I could spend making waves or improving my life. I could write articles or pitch stories, volunteer more, meet more people, have more sex – and here I am, just being stationary?

Sigh.

But, perhaps I should give relaxing a shot. Even if I can’t pack anything glamorous or studded. Even if most of what’s in my designer red suitcase is cotton. Even if I’m not high maintenance and actually enjoy fishing and walking barefooted in the grass, yet would prefer to wear a cute dress while doing it. Even if Mr. Possibility probably has no idea what he’s getting himself into by taking me to the woods for a weekend…

…he just thought he was dating a true Southerner. Turns out, this girl is a little more New York than she (or anyone else) thought.

Daily Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for my energy, my spirit, and the drive that always takes me a little bit too far. 

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Pleasure is Relative

Recently given the opportunity to pitch a unique sex story for a national women’s magazine (fingers crossed, y’all) – I’ve been asking my real, Facebook, Twitter, blog, and Tumblr friends to share their raciest moments. I also put a general query out to the universe via the ever-dependable HARO and I’ve been contacted by sexperts, swingers, porn stars, and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Blushing as these messages flooded my inbox, I could feel my friends giggling as they described what they’ve considered risqué in their sexual lives – yet I thought were boring. But then some of the ideas I received were so shocking, so out-there, so absolutely ridiculous by my own standards that my mouth literally dropped when I made it to the end of the pitch. As I weeded through everything to try and find something that fit the bill the magazine was looking for, I found myself constantly asking those who entertain me via Gchat daily if this was normal.

After some interesting conversations where I learned more about my friends than I thought I’d ever know, I reached the conclusion that sex is even more personal than I originally considered it. And probably more importantly, I decided that pleasure is relative.

What I considered to be commonplace practice in the bedroom was actually quite special-occasion like for other people. And what I thought was far-fetched and outright terrifying, I actually have friends who are into that specific act. What makes people happy, what gets their senses tingling, and what makes them slither in ecstasy ranges so much, I’m surprised Cosmopolitan has been able to come up with so many different tricks guaranteed to stimulate a man or to get us off easier than usual.

I’ve never been judgmental about sex – I think it’s one of those things that belongs solely to the person. Writing about the topic is difficult, as I don’t believe what I share with someone behind closed doors has a space on this blog or in my clips  – or at least with my byline tied to it anyway. Because like it or not, sex holds a stigma that’s difficult to fight. If you’re willing to talk about yourself in the most intimate of ways, then that nakedness will follow you and your career forever. And for me and my path- I don’t want to be thought of as the girl who likes to do xyz in the bedroom – even if I actually prefer XXX (I’ll let you be the judge of that) – because it’s not about discussing the techniques and the jobs of bumping uglies, it’s about empowering people to not feel bad about what brings them pleasure.

And not being afraid to ask for it in the bedroom.  Pleasure may be relative, but whatever resonates with you, you should have – as long as it doesn’t break laws, harm minors, or take away someone else’s power against their will, that is. So many get used to the status-quo they’re receiving that they never think to push their limits or try something that will actually bring them that burst of …well, intoxicating wonderfulness, that is so enjoyable. After all, if you’ve ever had a true orgasm and you meet someone who isn’t sure if they have experienced one – you know they haven’t. Once you’ve popped the bubble between finishing and orgasming, you’ll never settle for less than the big one again.

It took me a cold, unloving relationship that was nearly absent of any affection and rarely featured sex of any kind for me to realize that pleasure, that sex, that exploring that side of myself was a non-negotiable. I had to admit to myself that, yes, I’m a woman and I’m a sexual creature, and I like to have sex – great sex. And it’s okay to demand that in a partner and to not agree to a relationship with someone where chemistry doesn’t match or communication is stale. Women have a right to not be stuck on their backs in missionary, serving their male counterpart’s needs – we have pleasure points that should be given attention and applied pressure. And if you’re not with someone who doesn’t realize your body is a place to be worshiped as much as he also respects you, then both your libido and your heart will suffer.

Pleasure is different for everyone – but I know what it means to me. And I know how to reach it, how to ask for it, and how to know when it’s not there. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as sexual healing, but you can heal yourself sexually by shifting your mindset from wanting to have great sex to demanding great sex. You’re worth it. Trust me. And once you’ve had it, you’ll never go back.

Daily Gratitude: I’m thankful that I’m a woman who knows herself and her body. And she loves it.

In Search of Me

I have a strategy for making strangers become instant, hold-nothing-back, bear-all best friends: have unlimited drinks of any kind outside in beautiful weather. Such strategy yielded great results in the form of fabulous conversations with a group of volunteers and staff at New York Cares’ happy hour.

As it inevitably does, my blog became a topic of discussion. And with all of us buzzing on Wednesday evening, watching the sun set over the Hudson, everyone was forthcoming and open. Someone – my memory doesn’t serve me well enough to decide who exactly – brought up the mantra that advises “Love will find you when you’re not looking.”

One woman, drink in hand, sunglasses on her forehead, and a sweet smile argued: “But when are we not looking? Do we ever not look? I mean, seriously. I can say I’m not looking all I want, but I’m always looking. I see a guy and I wonder, ‘is that him?’ or I do certain jobs, like checking people in, just in case it’ll be a chance to meet someone.”

If she would have asked me a year ago if it was possible to actually not look for a relationship, I would have firmly said “Absolutely not!” At that point, I felt just as she did – constantly on the watch for anyone who could become a someone, anything that could turn into something. Each guy that glanced my way, sat near me on the train, bought me a drink, bumped into me on the street had the potential to be a possibility, to become Mr. Possibility.

But when I made the commitment to myself to write this blog, to overcome the title of “love addiction” I gave myself, something inside me changed. Honestly, it changed from blog post #1, many, many days ago. I had reached a point where I wasn’t so much fed up with men, but I was fed up with myself. And I was exhausted of the person I became when I didn’t get what I wanted with a dude or how I felt about myself if I was single or if one of those somethings or someones suddenly wasn’t interested.

I knew I had to stop looking for love and I had to start looking for myself.

Somewhere in my endless pursuit of Mr. Right, in all of my dating dilemmas, sexual encounters, breakups, makeups, and hookups – I lost who I was. I was so damned-and-determined to have someone be in love with me, to fulfill those parts of me that were insecure and seemingly empty, that I damned myself into a needy, emotional version of who I really am. I wanted the ball back in my court and more than anything, I wanted to love the person I am, be proud of what I offer, and sincerely let everything else fall into place.

And so I really, truly, sincerely, stopped looking for love. I lowered my love antenna, I shut down any online dating profile I had, I removed guys from Gchat and from Facebook, I deleted phone numbers, and I stopped reaching out to males. If they contacted me, sure. If they wanted to ask me out, okay. If they felt the need to pursue anything more, I obliged. But instead of focusing on the Great Male Search, I searched for the pieces of myself I had been neglecting. I called off the search team for The One, and went in search of me.

I hate to type this because it confirms all those people who told me that love would come into my life when I didn’t want it or expect it – but it did. Soon after I started the blog, I met Mr. Possibility, and while there’s no telling if he’s the last possibility I’ll entertain, he’s pretty entertaining for now. And when I met him – I didn’t want to date him. I was so focused on this journey, on becoming the best me that I could be, that developing a relationship with him wasn’t a priority. It took time and lots of patience on both of our parts to grow into what we are now. So I didn’t look for him and I found him.

But more importantly, I found me. I found a strength inside of myself that takes a chance on falling in love, but knows that if it all shatters, I’ll be fine. I found peace knowing that one of the most beautiful things about love is that it can happen at any moment, anywhere, at any stage, without notice – and it can happen over and over again, no matter how impossible that may seem. I found the bravery to believe in myself above all things, above all men, above all romantic ideals that filled my head with insecurities and nonsense.

I found that with or without someone, I can still be me. And that me is worthy of the many wondrous things that make a beautiful life ripe with possibility.

Daily Gratitude: I’m thankful for my wonderful new friends and for M, who run through fountains with me in the middle of the night. 

When I’m 80

Last night, Mr. Possibility and I attended the preview party for the new location of the Copacabana. For those of you unfamiliar with the Copa, it’s the iconic nightclub that launched the careers of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, a place frequented by performers like Frank Sinatra, and the inspiration behind Barry Manilow’s song.

Basically, ask your grandparents – or ask me.

After fourteen years of piano lessons, I developed a certain affinity for playing the greats, both classically and the songs bore from the Rat Pack. There is something romantic and beautiful about that period – where love hung on strings and was cherished instead of something we all felt entitled to. I’m sure those in the era worried about finding their match like so many do today, but at least then there was a certain innocence to relationships, and class was still in style.

I was excited about the event because I expected to be brought back to the time of the Copa dancers, to courting, and to dancing that didn’t involve grinding in spandex with bump-its in our hair. Not to my surprise, the crowd was primarily older – I was probably among the youngest in attendance. The food was incredible and bountiful, the music continuous, and the sangria refreshing – but something was missing.

Even with a new location and the same owner, the Copacabana had lost its luster.

Sure, the space was beautiful and I’m sure will attract tourists near-and-far, but that’s the problem. As I sadly reiterated my opinion to Mr. Possibility, he said, “Well, it’s not that time anymore, clubs pop up and have their ride and then they’re gone. We’re onto the next thing.” In the age of over-demand, where everything is simply a thought and a Smartphone away, we don’t grow attached to things as we used to. Even nightclubs that gave some of the best singers their humble beginnings.

Toward the end of the evening, a handful of original Copa dancers, now well over 80, graced the stage and told their story. They each held more enthusiasm individually than the current group of Copa dancers did collectively. You could see, even from far away, the love they had for the Copacabana and for New York. This place symbolized their youth, where they grew into themselves and their sexuality, where they mingled with artists who would become legends. This was part of their story; the Copa was a place that helped define them as girls, and now brightened their eyes as seasoned women.

As Mr. Possibility draped his arms around me and kissed my cheek affectionately, I looked at him and asked, “What will my story be?” I wasn’t looking for a direct answer, he knew that and didn’t give me one other than a few sweet compliments and words of encouragement, but as we walked through Times Square to another bar for some more sangria, I couldn’t get that thought out of my mind:

When I’m 80, how will I view this time in New York? Will I look back and replace all my memories of being flawed as visions of me young, healthy, and beautiful? Will Mr. Possibility be a fleeting face that I call the first man I truly cared for in New York? Will my friends, the ones that took me so long to find in this city, still be my friends then? What will I think of this blog? Or of my writing style as it is right now?

I’ve always imagined myself growing older and one day having the wisdom that only comes from experiences. I see myself still active, still pushing forward, still thinking creatively, if my body allows. Like the majority of Americans who fear being alone, I don’t want to be by myself rocking in a chair on the front porch of an old plantation house in Charleston, but I also want to make sure I have that look.

That look that those Copa dancers had. That look that says, “I’ve lived a good life. I’ve seen many wondrous things. I’ve tried things and tested my limits. I’ve explored my sexuality and what it means to be a woman. I’ve liberated myself and traveled this world and I know this city. I’ve loved and been loved. And I’m here, at my age, to show my face and my cryptic smile that’ll never reveal all of the joys I’ve had with people and places that you’ll never see again or meet.”

Daily gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for the laughs I’ve had to give me the lines that already appearing on my face.

The Money Rule

Once upon a time, I went on a date with someone we’ll lovingly refer to as Mr. Jekyll. I met him while indoor rock climbing and somehow, I was mystified by his charm. After a few Facebook messages and some inappropriate sexting (though we never took it to the Weiner level), we met up for our first date.

It was casual and cool with semi-decent conversation and though I didn’t feel the “click” – I felt the need to see him again, if for anything but companionship. He however was so intrigued (or wanted to turn sexting into real-time, in-person sex) that he planned an elaborate dinner over candlelight at a semi-expensive Italian restaurant. He picked me up in his Jeep Cherokee circa-early 1990s, and even held my hand to help me step out in my tall heels.

After we shared an appetizer, an entrée a piece, and a bottle of wine, the server left the bill on the table. Going by the rule I have in the beginning of dating that “whoever asks who on the date should pay” – I left the check unattended and continued our conversation. After twenty minutes passed and he glanced at the bill and me a few times, I finally said, “Well, we should go if we’re going to catch that movie!” He groaned something inaudible under his breath and stammered, “I guess I’m paying,” and brought out a credit card. I thanked him and excused myself to the ladies room.

While pretending to relieve myself, I texted about six of my friends, asking if I was in the wrong by not offering to pay. They all excused me of financial responsibility for the date and I returned to the table to find Mr. Jekyll already in his coat, standing up, waiting to go. Mind you – he was doing this impatiently in a nice restaurant. Embarrassed, I hurried and he started walking before I had a chance to put my coat on.

On the way back to my apartment, he needed to stop for some beer but told me to stay in the car; he’d just be a second. When he returned (after not leaving the heat on for me in 20-degree weather), he literally threw a six pack (not bagged) in my lap and said, “Will you hold this?” Shocked he would so rudely throw something in my general direction, I gave him a hissing look and stared out the window, speechless. “Sure you want to go back to your apartment? We could have some free fun,” he coldly offered. I declined and he took me home.

Before I could step out, he asked, “Do you like rocks?” Confused, I asked him to clarify. He wouldn’t, just insisted I answer him. I replied with something along the lines of “Well, I like fossils and gemstones, but my favorite kind of rock is the one you can wear.”

I giggled. He wrinkled his forehead in disapproval and wishes me good night. I never heard from him again.

I hadn’t really thought of this dating story – maybe it was so awful I blocked it from my memory. Or because I never kissed the guy, he became quite unimportant on my roster of dates. It wasn’t until this weekend, as Mr. Possibility and I were walking around the Brooklyn Food Fair that the memory of that cold night returned to me.

Though Mr. Possibility brings in quite a bit more dough than I do, I always make an effort to offer to pay for things we do. When he joined me in North Carolina, I paid for our kayaking trip and for each visit to Dairy Queen that he insisted on. I’ll pay for lunch and he’ll pay for dinner if we go out. I usually take the inexpensive route, while he’ll cover the fancy things we do, and while it’s completely half and half, I think it’s important. He agrees – he claims he’s never (and would never) date a girl who didn’t at least go for her wallet.

So was I wrong with Mr. Jekyll? Should I have offered to pay, since he paid for our first date? Which, for the record, was at a little café and we split a pastry and two cups of coffee. Several years and boyfriends later, I still think I was in the right. My dollar rule is still true: if you intend to pay, you get to pick; if you don’t, you let them pick.

The reason I didn’t reach and the reason I didn’t pay with Mr. Jekyll was because not only did it catch me off guard, but he wanted a romantic meal, he wanted a bottle of wine, he wanted an appetizer – none of those items were my suggestions. I didn’t even pick the place! When I know I’ll be paying for two people instead of one or when it’s my event or my hometown, I’m in control of my finances. I’m in control of the bill and have the time to prepare and/or save for the occasion.

It’s not really a matter of who should pay or what’s acceptable or what’s supporting feminism – it’s about respect. Maybe with a little wisdom, I would have paid for half –but at that point in my life, that would have even been out of my budget. Mr. Jekyll may have been so annoyed at me that he never wanted to take me out again – or maybe he was doing what the majority of women do when they’re submerged in the dating circles: trying to get a free meal and a free ride.

Too bad his intentions were never met – at the table or in the bedroom. Let’s hope he’s found some rocks, wherever he is. In the meantime, I’m sporting a little one around my neck from Mr. Possibility and a littler one on my finger that I bought myself – now, that’s going dutch.

Daily gratitude: Today I’m thankful for the full-time job I have that allows me to have a fancy meal here and there, without running up a credit card.

A Time to Rub Feet

When your only wardrobe options are ugly panties and cocktail dresses, you know it’s time for laundry.

Deciding I couldn’t actually go to work in a little black dress tomorrow, no matter how sexy and curve-defining it is on me, I finally gave in and paid the extra $10 to have someone else do my laundry for me today. I became one of those city-folk who simply didn’t have the time: today is my only day without an “extra-curricular” activity after work, and if I needed to clock three miles before the gym closed, buy groceries, and write a few freelance posts – I couldn’t waste time at the mat.

I’ll give credit to my friend K who only had great things to say about sending her wash away, amazed I hadn’t given in yet – and welcomed me to New York when I agreed. It was a great investment of my hard-earned cash, especially since it’ll be ready tomorrow morning before work, folded, and waiting at the door for me. It’s because of this decision that I’m sitting, writing, in running clothes (only thing I have left), eating a delectable dinner consisting of humus, pretzel crisps, and orange juice, after a killer run and deciding if I’ll go to bed early or watch last season’s Project Runway.

After dropping off my 30-pound bag of separated whites and blacks, I called my dear friend L, whose voice always make me feel at home. Our bond, like the very best of friendships is one that knows no distance and has no boundaries. We pick up right where we left off and when I have an irrational fear or pestering doubt, her name is quick to appear in my phone. We get each other in a way that only best friends can get one another, and if I was to put it into words, it wouldn’t even hold a candle to the reality of feeling it.

As we try to each week (and usually fail miserably at with our respective busy lives) we caught each other on the ins and the outs of our day-to-day’s, with emotional, irrational outbursts sprinkled here and there, too. A newlywed, she talked about her new apartment, new town, new job, and the endless laundry that took four loads and five hours on Saturday. I talked about freelancing gigs, Mr. Possibility, my messy apartment and busy upcoming week, and the fun of the last weekend.

In response to my giddiness, she said: “You’re just a big ol’ black hole of happiness! I don’t even know if I can talk to you!” We giggled for a second and I reminded her there is bad in my life but that I’m trying to focus on what I’m blessed to have. Then, as I’m forever intrigued by the life of a married 20-something because it’s so far from what I want right now in my life, I ask her to leave the room so she can dish on the hubby. She instantly agrees and heads out, but less than a second later, she is distracted, exchanging some words with Mr. L and then says, “Well, we’ll have to talk about that another time.” Annoyed, I snapped back: “You don’t have to listen to him, he isn’t the boss of you!” She replied, “I was just rubbing his feet before you called. He had a rough day.” I probably said a few unkind words toward Mr. L and she asked if Mr. Possibility did sweet things like rub my feet instead of asking for the favor for himself, and then we eventually hopped off the phone.

While I was running, I couldn’t get the sour taste or visual image of Mr. L asking my friend to rub his feet while she was on the phone with me. It didn’t make sense why he couldn’t wait twenty minutes or why she obeyed him in the first place. I ran faster to distract myself, but by the end of my run, I still felt the need to call her and beg her to mouth off to him.

And then Mr. Possibility texted me from a meeting he had to attend for work: “What are you doing? I’m bored to tears.” Or translated into his language, “Entertain me! Humor me! Keep me awake at this stupid thing I have to go to!”

And so, while finishing up my to-do list, walking back to my apartment, making phone calls, and writing this post, I chatted with him. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to or that I minded, but it wasn’t my top priority. But I did it because he needed me to and because I care about him.

I wasn’t rubbing his feet – but I was comforting him. And while one is rather gross and requires me to wear gloves (ew, I do not like feet!), both tasks remind us to be unselfish. They also means knowing when to put aside yourself and do something for someone you love. I may not rub feet, but I’ll stroke ego and I’ll build pride, especially for someone who would do the same for me. Like for everything there is a season, there is a time to rub feet and receive text messages, and when to be of service to your partner or your friends.

So instead of igniting a fight between L and her Mr., I decided to bite my tongue. After all – it would be a little hypocritical of me. While I think he could have waited for her to end our conversation, I also interrupted their night with a ring, and while I came first in her life, he’s the one who sees her every single day. And who has promised to support her until her last breath – so I’ll hope if she asked for a nice rub down, he’d return the favor. Regardless if his friend fromNew York was on the phone or not.

Gratitude for today: I’m thankful for the clarity I find from the conversations I have with those who mean the most to me.

Let Laughter Live

When downtown Manhattan is wishing you well on your day trip to Governor’s Island, tousling the flaps of your faux-flapper dress in the wind on a sunny Sunday afternoon – it’s hard to have any worries. Especially when your addiction to Group-buying sites landed you a $35 deal including a three-course lunch, unlimited drinks, and the guarantee of a good time when you’re in the company of M, R, and K.

I write this post later than I anticipated -just under a hour and some change left to go until tomorrow – because today wasn’t about blogging. It wasn’t about love, dating, sex, relationships, men, or any of that jazz. Rather, it was about actual jazz at Governor Island’s biannual Jazz Fest Lawn Party where three of my friends and I dressed up in era-like costumes while mastering the unforgotten art of waiting in extremely long lines for the cause of getting boozy.

Blame the champagne cocktails, sangria, or chocolate ice cream cones – but we were all a little giggly. Our conversations evolved from historical discussions and debates to inappropriate candor on the train uptown at the end of the afternoon, with dirty glances from older women only making our laughter more contagious. When M and I rested at my apartment, asking the gods of the “Ask Me” cards (silly deck that gives you unassuming answers) and watching reruns of Sex & the City on low volume so we could add our own commentary – I thought about writing my blog, but then decided against it. M reminded me: “You’ve got until midnight! Won’t take you long!” And so, after cleaning my apartment and making the 100th poor food choice of the weekend with a giant cherry vanilla milkshake from Tom’s Restaurant and a handful of M’s cheesefries with blue cheese dressing (Yes, we’re very healthy these days) – I sat down to post something for June 26, 2011.

I had considered a few topics of interest that were suggested to me: “Write about how some think we’ll date a few more guys before getting married or how a few of us think the next one is it,” or “Write one completely about me and how wonderful I am since your last post made me seem like a bitch!!” or “Write about the changes with Mr. Possibility,” or “Write about how adorable men look in those suspenders and when they actually do The Charleston with their girlfriends – where do we find them?? Why are they taken or gay??”

All of those ideas are relevant and probably posts I could write and a couple I may actually flush out one day – but as I sat down to my computer, going through emails and preparing for the week ahead of me while putting Monday out of my mind for a few more hours – I couldn’t stop smiling.

I’m just so happy, damnit.

Things aren’t perfect but things are pretty great. I’m blessed to have a supporting, hilarious, free-spirited, adventure-trying, beautiful group of girlfriends (especially R who contrary to other blogs isn’t as crazy as she may seem), a job that makes me want to go to work in the morning, a byline that people remember and an impact to make, a boyfriend who often catches me off guard with his sincerity and kindness, and of course, a city that I will always be madly in love with.

Maybe blogging is easier or you get more traffic when you write about all the things that are wrong in your life. Maybe the best copy is bore out of grief, sorrow, longing, or disappointment. Maybe the writers who go down in history or have their books reprinted for lifetimes that exceed their own, are the ones who experienced the worse of the world and forced themselves to describe it. Maybe there will always be a hell of a lot of bad.

But, if you take a moment to take it easy, and let laughter live in your life, then you’ll discover the good is always there, too. With every opportunity we’re given that we don’t win, each love we leap to find and we end up falling, each friend we leave behind that we lose touch with, each passing day that we regret wasting – there is a second chance, an adventurous lover, a new best friend, and a new sunrise just a few moments away.

And so in my new quest to let laughter live more fully in my life as I continue this journey – I’ll end each post with something I’m thankful for. If I can find the reasons to laugh and cherish my life, maybe when the bad starts to shadow the sun, I’ll have the strength to brighten my own skies…with gratitude.

Today, I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve found in unexpected places and for the women who remind me each day to…laugh at life, at love, and most importantly, at myself. The me who wears 3-inch heels to a lawn party because it went with my outfit better than flats.