Naked, Nosy, and Never Been Happier

I’ll admit I’m a jealous person.

Obviously, since I admitted to stalking Facebook profiles for wedding, engagement, and baby pictures, I have a little bit of envy in me. I can’t even being to estimate how many times in a day I desire something I don’t have –when I see a trendy couple walking, leaning on each other in the subway, a man kissing his pregnant wife’s forehead in the rain.

Most of the time, especially now, I’m able to deal with these resentful feelings –soothe myself, close my eyes, and say a little prayer for things I hope will come.

Imagine my delight yesterday when I found myself not jealous, not envious, not sickened, not insanely mad –but happy about being single.

Tonight my company is hosting the NYC Small Business Awards and because I’m a procrastinator (not usually, but lately), I waited until yesterday to buy my cocktail dress for it. With a lovely birthday card from my friend A, I set out to Forever 21 on my lunch hour yesterday to find something stunning. I figure, it’s a great excuse to buy a new dress considering I’ll be around 500 business owners –right?

I scour the three floors of wonder that is Forever 21 and with an armful of dresses and make my way to the fitting room. As I’m struggling to figure out what my size is because my new workout regimen has made me somewhere between a small and medium –I overhear a conversation.

Its two girls in the rooms next to me laughing, chit-chatting, and they seem to be catching each other up on their lives. At this point, I’m struggling to get a belted blue dress over my head that’s in two pieces and incredibly difficult to maneuver, and sighing because I’m a tad bit bloated, and PMS is breaking me out something fierce. As I’m starting to get frustrated, I hear one of the girls say, “Oh my God! I loooooveee this dress. Do you love this dress?” to which the other replies, “Oh girl, you look so sexy. Chris is totally going to love that. He’ll rip it off of you.”

I giggle to myself and think about my friends who would say that to me (practically all of them) and I take it that Chris is this gal’s boyfriend. She laughs and then her ringtone “California Girls” by Katy Perry goes off and she says, “Oh my God! He must have read our minds, he’s calling!” I’m still weeding through my outfits as she greets Chris with “Hey baby!” and continues with her conversation.

I stop listening for a while until I hear “Baby, I thought we talked about this…*sigh*….but I said this weekend that…well, I know….but we talked about this…Chris!…will you just let me talk?…you’re being ridiculous….I told you she was going to be in town.

Of course, because I’m being incredibly nosy, I stop trying on clothes, stand there in my panties and bra and over-the-knee boots and just listen.

Chris, she’s in town this week only. We can hang out this weekend, can’t we?…Why do you  need to see me?…I thought we had this conversation…No! I’m not breaking my plans…No, I’m not…what was that? Say that again….Really?…You’re doing that? For me?…Okay. Aw, Chris. Let me talk to her…yeah…I love you too…I know baby…yeah, I know baby…I’m sure she won’t mind…No she won’t mind…Yes, I’m sure…I love you too. Bye baby.”

Now, I’ve decided that she gave into his pleas to see him, even though, I’m guessing, her friend is visiting from out of town.

“Hey, do you mind if I see Chris a little bit tonight? I mean, I’ll just go over to his apartment and you can stay in my apartment and check your email or watch TV or whatever. He just really needs to see me. You know how he is –just needs me. It’s like that when you’re in love.

I couldn’t see her friend’s expression, but if it were me, I would have rolled my eyes, dropped my jaw, and called her out on giving-in even though I was visiting and was promised girl’s-only time.

“Yeah, I mean I guess that’s alright. But weren’t we going to go to the village tonight? I’ve never been there before, ya know,” her friend replied.

“God, I know. The village isn’t that great anyways. He’s just so persistent. You’ll understand one day when you meet The One.”

Now, I’m fully dressed and fully pissed at this girl for being so rude to her friend. It took every fiber in my being to not talk to the other friend and say, “It’s okay to be single! It’s empowering to be single! You’d rather be single than have a lame boyfriend who begs you to break plans with your friends because they ‘need’ you! How pathetic is that? You want to go get coffee with me in the village tonight and we’ll bitch?”

Not everyone who is in a relationship becomes obsessed with and powerless to their boyfriends. I’ve definitely been in relationships that have taken over my entire life and I know how easy it is to get wrapped up when you’re head over Jimmy Choos. I get it, I really do. But regardless –it’s never right to do that to a friend. Especially an out-of-town friend.

The best part of this story, though? I wasn’t jealous of her relationship and I wasn’t envious of any relationships the rest of the day. From the outside –on the train, streets, and cafes –all relationships look beautiful and loving. But when you get down to it –they are messy and uneven and sometimes involve pleading annoying men.

As I walked out of Forever 21, I thought: “Thank God I’m not in a relationship like that. If I was with a clingy guy I’d have to cut him lose. Already did that. Been there, done that. Wow, I’m so glad I’m single. I can do literally anything I want today, this week or this weekend. I think I’m going to buy some shoes. Or maybe that rain jacket…ohhh he was cute! Who is that? Maybe he’ll be at the Small Business Awards!”

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Fighting the “What If” Monster

Before I go to sleep –I do most of my thinking. Instead of laying in bed like the next person, relaxing, and drifting to dreamland –I think of everything that happened during the day, all I have to do the following day, and just because my mind is that hyper-active (and rather tiresome), sometimes I’ll think about the past and the future –and I’ll start worrying.

And I won’t just worry or fret –I’ll think of the worse case scenario. When I was little, my mom called this “catastrophizing” –and she even bought me a children’s book about beating the “what if” monsters that ruled my thoughts.

I used to be plagued by “what ifs” like:

What if there really are creepy-crawlies living underneath my bed or in my closet?”

What if none of the popular girls in school want to be my friend?”

What if I can’t go spend the night at my BFF’s house on Saturday?”

Now, as a 22-year-old –my thoughts are a little more serious, desperate, and intimidating:

What if I don’t find Mr. Right?”

What if he doesn’t exist?”

What if I broke up with him or he broke up with me, and we missed our opportunity?”

What if I’m not loveable?”

What if I’m destined for a life of single-land, a house full of cats, and I never get to wear that wedding dress I clipped out of Time magazine when I was seven?”

What if my guy is inexcusably stubborn and will wait until my boobs are past my belly button before he shows up?”

What if all of this true-love-stuff is just a myth?!!!!!!!!!

As I was deciding what else I needed to admit to myself as I start this journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance –I realized I needed to ask myself the “what if” I’ve been avoiding all of my life:

What if I just stopped what iffing?

Sounds like a simple task when I type out seven little words –but to really put these words in action…is going to take work. Like studying for an exam or teaching yourself how to breathe at a healthy pace while running –bad habits take practice too.

I can’t automatically turn off the switch inside of my head that asks, “What if that’s never you?” when I see a cute couple in sweats drinking Starbucks walking down seventh avenue. I can’t make “What if you’re just not pretty enough for him and you’ll need to settle for something else?” instantly go away when I see a tall, good-looking guy walk past me and not even notice me.

In meditation, which I’ve been incredibly interested in lately, you choose or you are given a mantra that you repeat to help yourself relax and fall into meditation. I do plan on trying to meditate at some point during this adventure –but not just yet. However –I do think it’s a good idea to come up with my own mantra or saying –that’ll combat the “what ifs” as they come.

So what comforts me and gets me out of the what-if routine? Thinking about fate. I haven’t decided yet if I believe everything is pre-determined, regardless of the choices we make–but I do believe in some way, form, or fashion –God is there with me and knows what will become of my life. I know he’s with me every time I see a penny or when I feel the nice breeze blow between buildings.

If the opposite of my fears (hence “what iffing”) is my faith –then I think my mantra is “Have faith. All is unfolding as it should.”

I’m hoping this mantra will stand up to even the worse of “what if” battles. If God is with me (and Jimmy Choo, too) –who can knock me off my feet?