I Found Myself a Diamond

My friends know me as the daughter of a fiery, intelligent, mystical, mother.

Though she’s paid the bills with accounting and massage therapy, she spends her free time focusing on those untold ways of the universe. She investigates how the different planets and their position in the skies above us affect our daily decisions, the path we take and the one we choose. She believes  things in nature can mean more than a passing glance and in the perfect, yet incredibly frustrating, timing of everything.

It’s because of the way I was raised to believe in myself and in everything around me that I notice what I consider messages from something higher all the time. When I’m worried or anxious about something – anything – I’ll often find a penny at my feet or on the seat in front of me, and I take it as a reminder to have more trust. On nights I can’t sleep, staring out into the city lights, I remind myself that often when my nerves are high, something really wonderful happens the next day – and I’m almost always right.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to me that even when I’m not in the most sober of states, I’ll remember my mom’s precious words of advice to keep my eyes (and heart) open to the world and see what it says, but I woke up on January 1, caught off guard.

And yes, terribly hungover.

Much to Lucy’s demands at 11 a.m. to take her for a walk before she barked my head off, I stumbled out of bed, staying far away from the mirror. After the shortest walk ever to retrieve coffee, coconut water and a very-needed, very-greasy, cheese-and-ham croissant, my roommates and I lounged in the living room, all nursing our excruciating post-25-years-old heads that don’t recover how they used to.

Without much to say – or energy to say it – we all aimlessly searched online and scrolled through our phones, laughing at drunken photos and half-hazy memories of ringing in 2014. After a photo of hundreds of balloons lining the ceiling of a West Village bar (I was trying to be artsy, apparently), I saw this photo:

aceAt some point in between toasting the New Year and falling asleep in my party dress, I must have found these two cards, recalled my mom’s instructions, snapped this shot and put them back where they were. Nope, didn’t even bring the cards home. Nope, my roommates had no idea either. Nope, don’t remember seeing them – or where I saw them. Nope, don’t know why I deemed them important, but that’s my painted New Year’s nails and hand, recording my first message from the universe for 2014.

So of course, my first call was to my mom:

“Hey mom! Happy New Year! Love you. Something strange happened.”

“Oh no honey. Are you okay? What happened? Where are you?” She calmly freaked out.

“I’m fine, mom. I found two cards last night, I think. And I took a photo of them. And I think it must mean something, right?” I asked.

“That is really strange. Text me what they are and I’ll email you the meaning as soon as I can. Just have to dig out the Tarot cards. JIM!!! Have you seen my Tarot cards? Where did I put them? Getting old sucks, you are always forgetting things, Lindsay…” she trailed off.

Two hours later, when said Tarot cards were located, here’s what she said:

Ten of Spades (black card): Conflict. Destruction. Loss. Breakdown of relationships. Slander. Hurt. Misfortune. Plans that seemed promising end in failure. Disillusion. Grief. Temporary alliances. Being forsaken. A sacrifice. Withdrawing from the world due to trauma. The apex and end of a matter. Does not represent violent death.

Ten of Diamonds (red card): Freedom from financial concerns. Prosperity. Strong, established family setting. Protection and stability within a clan. Family traditions and gatherings. Having the time to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour. Achieving of worldly dreams. Benefiting from the work of one’s predecessors. Gifts. Inheritance, archives. Celebrations and reunions.

Turns out, I was holding 2013 and 2014 in my hands. Or at least, what I hope 2014 will be (and frankly is so far).

Last year was full of so much hardship, change, struggle and endings. And honestly, I let it get me down for a while: I stopped working out as much, put on some weight, became severely negative (and probably not a great date), felt uninspired by everything, wrote really sad posts and ultimately, thought nothing good was ever, ever going to happen again.

But as the close of the year crept closer, I decided I had two choices: I could either let the baggage and pain of 2013 follow me into 2014 or I could change my life instead of waiting for my life to change.

I picked the latter – and already, 2014 is bringing much more happiness than 2013 ever offered. Instead of counting the things I don’t have, I started valuing the things I do. Instead of thinking a man is going to waltz in and take away all of the hurt from my past relationships and make me believe there’s someone magical out there, I started focusing on myself and doing things that I like to do, the arrival of a man, be damned! Instead of taking seconds and always agreeing to chocolate, I started picking my health, not my cravings. Instead of seeing the bad, I started looking for the good.

It’s always there.

Though I can’t say if the planets came together to bring those cards to me somewhere in this city as the clock struck midnight, I will say that it sure feels that way. Then again – signs can only mean something to us if we believe in them.

And this time, maybe I do. I do believe that 2014 will bring happiness and adventure and security and love and strength. Why?

Because this year, I’m not waiting around for it. I’m creating it.

This Valentine’s Day, write a self-love letter to yourself and it’ll be published (anonymous or not) on Confessions of a Love Addict! And you enter yourself to win a prize pack of beauty products and a Home Goods gift card! Learn more here. Submit here

Here’s Another Way to Find Love This Year (For Free!)

match[SPONSORED POST BY MATCH.COM]

I’ll be honest – I’ve had a love/hate relationship with online dating. I have my profiles live and most of the time, I let the messages come my way instead of putting them out. There are some really clever, thoughtful guys and some rather ridiculous ones (like these) – but the truth is, more and more people are finding love online. In fact – one in five!

At the start of the year, I turned away from app dating – looking at you, Tinder – and I focused more on sites that are more in-depth and can really pair you with someone you might like past a swipe. I’m not alone either, a recent poll on Match.com found that 51 percent of singles’ new Year’s resolutions were to be more social and focus on finding a relationship. Does it surprise you that Match sees a 25-30 percent increase in sign-ups between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day?

registration

Duh – if there’s anytime to get online and start going on dates, it’s now before you lose all of the positive mojo from the New Year.
So, if you’re interested in giving this online dating thing a whirl, take advantage of Match.com’s 3-days free date pass. If you do take the leap, here are some of my online profile tips:

-Make sure to pick some recent photos that flatter your face, body and interests (if you’re a runner, show it, if you bake the best cookies, display them!)
-Write a profile that gives more than basic information. You want to attract men who you not only find attractive, but you could be friends with, too. Don’t lie about anything!
Message at least three guys. I know, putting my foot in my mouth, but find three men you possibly could like (and who have been active in the last few days) and be forward, honest and sweet. Your goal is to quickly message and get offline. Remember: keep it quick in conversation and get to the first date faster so you can determine chemistry.

Let me know how your dating goes – and I’m happy to read your profiles, just send ’em to me! And if you need some inspiration to take a chance on love – watch this video below (try not to cry!):

[SPONSORED POST FOR MATCH.COM]

match

14 Things I’m Giving Up in 2014

The past week has been unusually warm in Manhattan. The air feels crisp and inviting, the atmosphere of the streets lively and fresh, and the people – myself included – invigorated for a New Year. I always make resolutions and oddly enough, I do actually keep them. There’s something about January 1 that makes me feel like I get a second chance (or a 26th one…) to improve bad habits or start great ones.

In 2012, I spent a lot of time holding back and not compromising. If my friends wanted to go out, I almost always selfishly insisted on the west side so I’d have an easier commute. If I was asked out on a date by a potentially wonderful man – but he suggested the Lower East Side on a Tuesday – I would have politely declined. But in 2013, I made a vow to say “yes” more – and that’s exactly what I did:

I said “yes” to Mexico in April. I said “yes” to late nights and early mornings. Yes to training for (and completing!) a half-marathon. Yes to kissing a nameless man on the corner of West 4th at 2 a.m. Yes to walking all the way across the park with Lucy in tow to the east side to visit friends. Yes to going all the way to Brooklyn for brunch — and thoroughly enjoying myself. Yes to trips to North Carolina three times, yes to new foods and new drinks, new clothes I normally wouldn’t wear, yes, yes, yes!

But in 2013, I also said “yes” to a lot of negativity.

And even more fear. I said “yes” to those really terrible thoughts that made me feel like everything that could possibly go wrong, did. I said “yes” at the expense of myself, sometimes sacrificing what I really wanted to make someone – anyone – happy. I said “yes” to thinking the absolute worst in every situation, every person, every date that left a bad taste in my mind. I did learn how to take those chances and change my attitude, but in ways that made me stronger.. and weaker, too.

What I want the most out of 2014 is to be happy. And so many things can contribute to happiness: health, friends, career, love, travel, new experiences. I don’t want to limit myself or put pressure on a timeline, but I do want to live better. I want to live with the same kind of passion, that same drive and hopefulness that made me who I am and made me a success in New York. I miss that beat in my step, that faith in my heart, that smart, sharp, kind, enthusiastic spirit that made me feel unstoppable.

And to get that firecracker Tigar back, I need to let go of some very small and very big things that are holding me back or keeping me down. These aren’t quite resolutions – just a little guide to help me along the new journey of 2014. Because really, with some of these out-of-the-way, my resolution to be happy again, might just be a reality.

In no particular order, here are 14 things I’m giving up in 2014:

1- Duck Face
Guilty as charged: if you stalk my Instagram, you’ll see so many duck face examples, it’s quite embarrassing. Sure, it can be cute. If you’re, like, 15, not, ya know, 25.

2- Investing in People Who Don’t Invest in Me
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn as an adult is that friendships change. We all expect relationships to be difficult, life-changing experiences, but friendships are that way too. Even if you’ve been friends for years or just a short period of time, if someone isn’t making your life better by being in it, then get them out. People who are worth your time, will make time to invest in you.

3- Biting My Tongue
Maybe it’s my recently damped self-confidence or just the anxiety of saying the wrong thing, but in my life and in my career, I’ve had a tendency to not say what I really think. But this year, it’s time to lean in. I can’t move up – or move forward – by being silent.

4- Hitting Snooze
I desperately want to be a morning runner but snuggling in bed with Lucy is so much nicer than a 6:30 a.m. wake up call. But think of all the time I’d have to do things post-work if I got that 3-5 miler finished before my morning coffee!

5- Having Another Drink When I Don’t Want One
Sure, Saturday nights are great for having a bit too much. But a random Wednesday? With a guy I know I will never, ever want to go out with again? Forget saving feelings or following the crowd, my liver demands better. And I’d rather have less of those paralyzing hangovers post-25.

6- Judging People For Their Choices
I try my very best to be understanding and considerate, but it’s human nature to raise an eyebrow when a friend (or even a stranger) does something that isn’t quite the route you’d take in the same situation. You can’t change people, you can only be honest and caring, and thus, changing yourself. We’re each climbing our own hill and we’ll all get to the top in our own way.

7- Forgetting to Dream
I put in the hard work to get to New York and once I landed in my little apartment with my big NBC job and my big, popular blog, I sat down. It’s time to get up. I’m not finished yet – I’m merely getting started.

8- Buying Lunch Every Day
I work in Chelsea Market. For New Yorkers, I need not say more. For everyone else: imagine every delicious, decadent, expensive food you could ever imagine – from lobster to truffle tacos – a few steps away from you every. single. day. I could save so much more money (and travel so much more often) if I could plan ahead better.

9- Keeping Up My Routine
I’m a Virgo, and I love, love, love plans. I’m often the person sending out a group e-mail, trying to get my friends on-board to a new idea. But I go back to the same restaurants. I do basically the same thing every weekend. Not anymore though: I already signed up for Italian lessons and philosophy (yes, philosophy!) lessons. Time to switch it up.

10- Using the Word “Should”
It’s a dangerous word, that one. And it creeps it’s way into every worry I have: I should make more money. I should be thinner. I should have a boyfriend by now. I should live alone at this point in my life. I should save this extra $100. I should be more responsible. The only should I’ll say this year is: I should be me, exactly how I am today.

11- Getting Angry Over Things I Can’t Control
Like a long line at Starbucks. Or train delays. Or friends bailing at the last second. Or a guy with an attitude problem. Or people who don’t agree with me. Or the fact I’ll never be a size two (this girl has hips for miles). If I can find peace in every moment, I can find peace in every outcome.

12- Mentioning the Mr’s + Relying On Tinder
I’ve wasted far too much space (in my heart and on this blog) on the Mr’s I used to love. It’s time to let go of what was so I can find what will be. The archives will always be there. On the other hand, I can’t just rely on a dating app that’s basically “hot or not” to provide me with quality dating material. Bye, bye iTunes Store dating. Hello, just getting out of the apartment and into life.

13- Focusing on What’s Hard Instead of What’s Good
If everything was smooth sailing and easy, then would I appreciate the life I’ve built? If I never had to say good-bye to a friend because they moved on their own or because they were forced? If I never had my heart-broken or my dreams crushed? If I never cried out of frustration or desperation? If I never heard really bad, scary news? Life will always have it’s hard parts, but it’s never without goodness. I just have to breathe enough to feel it.

14- Being Afraid To Do It Alone
My friends won’t always want to volunteer at the soup kitchen with me. Or go to that new pub around the corner. Or sign up for a pizza making class or join a running group. But instead of dwelling in the fear of going alone, I choose to dwell in the possibility that something really amazing can come from taking a leap of faith. After all, that’s what I used to do every single day before I developed my life here.

Surely, I can do it again. Surely, I can do it with even more courage. Surely, I can open my heart to the New Year, and the new me, that’s waiting in 2014.

Again.

My first winter in New York was my favorite one. I was a few months past 22 and a few years away from being slightly hardened by the city. Then – while I was writing the inaugural posts of this blog – I was captivated by every first that I experienced:

My first time seeing snow in the city. The first time I realized I was falling in love in New York. The first time I went home for the holidays, feeling much more grown-up then I actually was. The first time it really, truly felt like Christmas and magic unfolded all around me.

Even though at the time I was actually rather miserable at my job and fighting off stomach-worry-pains over Mr. P and his fleeting fidelity, and even though I barely made any money post-taxes, there was a gentle happiness that I almost always felt. Because I was still new, because the city still had it’s freshness about it, because I knew there was still so much to accomplish and so much to achieve, so much to enjoy and so much to learn – I didn’t think too far ahead. I didn’t miss anything in my past and I though I wondered what was next, I knew I had time to make mistakes. I still had time to figure it all out and come up with an escape route or an alternative direction if I needed it. I had picked New York and yes, it had picked me right back, but I hadn’t conquered it yet. It didn’t belong to me – I was still it’s visitor, waiting to be accepted, waiting to feel like I was at home.

Three years later, Manhattan is my address. It’s where I’m registered to vote. It’s where my dentist and my dermatologist are. My home is lived in and worn, my dog leaves her paw tracks wherever she goes. My most frequently called friends live no more than a few blocks or subway rides away, and I have memories in almost every neighborhood on the island. I can get from point-A to point-B without a map (most of the time) and I have areas that I almost flat-out refuse to go to (looking at you Murray Hill). I am settled and I feel extremely comfortable on these streets, at my grocery store, at the coffee shop where the barista knows my order and invites me to her birthday party. And this winter, I saw all the sights, yet again – from the shops at Union to the skaters at Rockefeller – and though it wasn’t the same simple happiness I used to feel, it was still something.

Something older, maybe. Something jaded, just a bit. Something… new.

There has been so much change, and yet so very little change this year for me. Though I’ve loved my job, I’ve been aching for new challenges. Though I love my city, I’ve wondered what’s next and what else is out there for me to explore. Though I love my friends, we’re all on different pages and listening to different songs, trying to figure out our own quarter-life crisis without belittling each other’s. Though I love the warmth of the Upper West Side, I long for the excitement (but not the pricetag) of downtown. Though I love most of what I’ve created and discovered here, I’ve felt so incredibly bored most of 2013 that everything felt common, uninteresting, redundant.. and just so not like how it used to.

But I think that just means – finally! – I’ve arrived in New York. It’s actually my home now. My life is firmly cemented here. My roots have started to spread. Because after all of that hard work of moving here, applying wildly for a job, looking widely for a man, smiling pretty and joining clubs to find friends, locating an apartment and saving money since March of 2010…

…I get to do it all over again. And again.

And I’ve been fighting it. Hard. Because it was so much work to build friendships, to meet Mr. Possibility, to get my first job and my second one, to explore a new part of town, to find new groups and new clubs and new things to try. But I was happier when I was open. When I put myself out there and I challenged myself to do something different. When I wasn’t afraid of failure, when I wasn’t terrified that I was running out of time.

Because that is what time is: always circular, always moving, always changing. That’s the part everyone forgets to tell you: your 20s are for learning the good, hard-working skills that you’ll use the rest of your life.

You learn how to make friends so you can enrich the friendships you have, and make new ones as the old ones fall and grow apart. You learn how to find a job so you know how to hire new people, how to keep your current one and how to make a move when the time is right. You learn how to date so you know what you like and what you don’t, with the hope that someone will one day fit your bill. You learn how to cook, manage your money, manage your time, manage your expectations and everything else, so you never forget your independence.

You don’t just learn things once – you keep learning again and again so you can keep growing.

And so, even though this winter isn’t my first and won’t be my last in New York, it’s the first one in my new cycle. My new beginning in the city I fell in love with so long ago. It’s time to go back to where it all began, so I can remember how to move forward. It’s time to find that drive that made me do everything I could to get a step ahead or at least a toe into some door. It’s time to find that energy that was rich and powerful. It’s time to find that softness again that made me see the good in people, and especially in men. Especially in my friends. Especially in me. It’s time to find that beauty in the process, not in the destination.

It’s time to walk away from everything that fell apart, so I can start building an even better tomorrow… again.

The Best of the Worst Pick Up Lines From 2013

It’s true -I’m a little hard on men.

It’s not that I need a giant gesture or the perfect everything to be interested, but a clever — appropriate — message online or on an app goes a long way. Or dare I say it – in person? The easiest way for a man to steal my attention is to be sincere, say something intelligent and be a gentleman. More often than not, I’m reminded that these three things rarely coexist together – and when they do, you find one hell of a person worth going out with.

This year hasn’t been the best for dating, but it has been rather entertaining in terms of terrible, awful, no good dates — and even worse pick-up attempts. In the spirit of a New Year to come, I say let’s go out with the bad so we can bring in the great in 2014. From my experiences to yours, let’s get a final laugh at these sorry guys and move onto… the men!

My Worst Ones…
Wrong Bar, Wrong Time
While standing at a classy, expensive, upscale lounge, a well-dressed man came up to me and smiled. I smiled back, thinking he might be a good connection. He looked me up and down (blatantly) and then said, “I think we should just go ahead and fuck somewhere, let’s skip the introductions.” To which, I replied, “Hmm. I’ll pass” and ordered another glass of wine.

Ew. No Eye Contact
While staring directly at me for several minutes, sweating, he mutters: “I want to go there.” I promptly run away.

No Hot Chocolate For You
“How you doing so lonely and complaining of being cold?I am NAME and I wonder if you are ready to share a cup of hot chocolate with me….I promise I will not bite lol so don t e afraid to answer back.”

Noah is a 45-Year-Old Man in Florida Trying to Pick Up a 25-Year-Old in NYC
Message one:
“Hey, something about your profile caught my eye. I think it was the fact that you seem like you might be more three-dimensional than your photos, which appears to be a rare quality among the attractive women on this site…

Anyways, I’d like to learn more about you. I noticed you also enjoy travel, so tell me… if someone offered you an all-expense-paid trip to anywhere in the world leaving tomorrow, where would you head?

Noah”

Message two:
I realize that you’re probably in the middle of writing me a long, detailed response, but I just wanted to let you know, you don’t have to take that much time with me. You can just copy and paste one of the following:

1. Yes Noah you’re very hot, and unfortunately your email got lost in the sea of jackasses, but I would love to get together with you.

2. You’re very hot but you’re not my type, and good luck with your search.

3. I don’t think any of this is funny, and I take myself way too seriously, and I actually have to go now cause I have a therapy appointment… but yes you are very hot.

Wait, What?
“Quite shocking modesty and overwhelming eloquence apparently indicative of a fascinatingly eclectic persona… And what did you dream last Sunday by the way?”

At The End Of Our Date…
…that was going well (in my opinion), he asks: “So my place isn’t far from here, I’d really like to have sex with you.” I blankly stare back and him and say something like, “Um, I don’t think so, but thanks for the drinks.” He shrugs his shoulders and go, “Oh well, I have a date tomorrow night, too.”

Not a Chance For a Friend
After having a mediocre date with a guy, he texted me the next morning to ask me for another date. I politely respond (instead of ignoring) that I actually saw more of a friendship connection and his response: “I definitely have enough friends, but I thought you’d make a good sexual partner. Maybe I’ll see you around.”

Your Worst Ones…

Did He Really Just Say Breast Milk?
“I can see you breastfeeding my kids one day.” Fortunately, I was quick enough to come back with, “Um, I think my milk just dried up.” – Jess

Cheesy Baseball
A former baseball player came in and said “I know you can fix broken bones but do you have anything to fix a broken heart?” –Courtney, an athletic trainer

No Sir.
I was 19 years old and waiting for my flight in the Salt Lake City airport. A 40-ish year old guy sits down next to me and says, “Hi. My name is Dave. I have 6 children, am recently divorced & looking for a new wife. Are you dating anyone?” – Angela

Glove Size?
“Do you know what they say about penis length? You know that it is directly related to glove size. Check out my gloves? So what are you doing tonight?” I WISH I WERE KIDDING. –Ryn

Sexual Misconception
“I know you’re sexually attracted to me, and that’s okay because we’re human and it’s natural.” –Allison

Christmas Misfortune
“No lie, heard this from a super drunk guy who approached my group of friends one night: “I bet you taste like a candy cane on Christmas morning.” – Jennifer

Would Rather Be Lost
“Hey girls. Are you lost? I have a compass.” Said to my roommate and me shortly after moving to NYC while looking at a map, trying to find a bar that we had visited before and she wanted to return to for her birthday. Sadly… I dated that guy. His pickup lines didn’t get any better. Neither did he. Live and learn. – Whitney

Not Romantic At All
“You’re a writer? How interesting because my favorite genre is romance, and I’m looking to romance you, pretty.” Vomit. –Gigi

He Said What?
“Heyyo, how you doing? You know that if you were the gas in my butt, I would never fart for fear of losing you, cause you’re the shit.” –Danielle

Just Look at the Ring, Bud
“So, are you and your husband serious, or no?” –Nikki

Go Away Fratty
I was dancing and singing along to “I Knew You Were Trouble” with a friend at an NYU bar, when two guys managed to swoop in between us, effectively ending our dance party. “I know why you’re singing this,” one of them told me. He was cute in a preppy way, but my TSwift jams are NOT to be interrupted. “Why?” I said. “Cause you knew I was trouble when I walked in.” Dude, your shirt is from Vineyard Vines! I didn’t know frat guys were edgy now. –Carina