This is Me & This is What I Need

While I’ve always known New York is the city that never sleeps, I was somehow under the illusion that its inhabitants do. However, if the last two weeks are any indication of how my street-slicker life is turning out to be, then it looks like I may be learning to function on a few hours rest for the time I pen New York, NY on my return labels.

From the time the clock struck 7 am, letting me know it was time to greet the energy populating outside, until the moment I burst into my apartment, sat down my bag, and collapsed into bed – I was on the go. To and from work. Staying later to close the magazine and arriving early to ensure I crossed all my T’s and dotted all my I’s. Going to this happy hour and that gallery opening. Visiting people in Brooklyn and beyond. Entertaining out-of-town friends I hadn’t seen in ages. Freelancing. This breath-of-fresh-air of a blog that keeps me going, when nothing else does. Figuring out where my heart is, but keeping my mind in tow. New dates with new men. Even newer friends. Movies and networking, dining and wining, and of course, even more writing.

I’ve been waiting for my New York life to start feeling like an actual, functioning, and prospering existence that’s full of friends, outings, experiences, and thriving conversations – and I feel like I’m finally getting there. It’s taken some difficult days that sometimes may get the best of me, but through it all – I’ve never doubted that eventually, skyscrapers would seem more like home than mountaintops. New York has this effortlessway of renewing my spirit and reminding me that the opportunities for me are endless and attainable, if I just remember to keep one thing in check no matter how busy I get or who becomes a main character in my life. And that wildly complicated and perfectly simple thing…is me.

And while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my schedule being shaken and stirred – the thing that’s made the recipe a bit off is forgetting to take care of my own simple, day-to-day needs.

In my sudden influx of events and adventures, I noticed my mood gradually get worse. By the time Saturday evening rolled around and I had yet to really get a great night’s sleep, tidy up my apartment, or sit around in my sweatpants – I became flat-out bitchy. And along with my intolerableness, I started analyzing myself and worse, putting pressure and asking questions about what I was doing with my life. I started breaking out, which made me resort back to old ways of piling on way too much makeup. Thus, I started to feel less secure, not to mention with my busy schedule, the gym has been out of the question, so I was not feeling like my fit self, either. And when my apartment was merely used to shower and sleep for two weeks, the heap of dirty clothes kept growing, without an end in sight – leaving me with all of those garments we keep, but never want to wear. Admittedly, I may have worn the same pair of socks two days in a row and did all I could to keep that thought out of my mind throughout round-two.

Apart from doubting my appearance and feeling overall just plain exhausted, I also became paraded with worries about everything from my career, my finances to my dating life, and this space: Am I doing enough? Am I working to the best of my ability? Is my job happy with me? Am I going on enough dates? Should I even be going on dates at all? What if I fall in love with someone in the next few months – will that go against the recovery? Will I still be able to love myself in the middle of a full-fledged relationship? Am I there yet?  Do I even know where I’m going? Am I still on the right path with myself? Am I doing the right things? Making the right decisions? Am I saving enough money? Am I spending too much on going out and not enough preparing for my new apartment in May?

What the hell am I doing??

Like the infamous pile of spaghetti, all covered in cheese, once my meatball of confidence rolled off my sturdy table – all was lost. As much as I’m a girl who goes, I’m also a woman who needs alone time to collect my thoughts and find my personal center of clarity. I’ve discovered, in my most recent rampage, that when I forget about the basic necessities that keep me sane – sleeping, running, eating a huge bowl of cereal while watching trashy television in my fuzzy bathrobe – any bit of negativity in me bubbles its way up to the surface.

Until I took away my isolated liberty, I never realized how much I really cherished those hours of seclusion. The time when I’m only in the company of myself.

And so yesterday, instead of accepting an invite to dinner or heading out to mingle at a networking gala downtown, I left work on time and went to find the me I had lost in the last fourteen days. Running four miles was difficult, but it has never hurt so good or made my lungs feel clearer. I enjoyed a decaf espresso with my laundry and cleaning duties, and I caught up on the daily reads I had been neglecting. I soaked my feet and wore a face masque. I called my mom and then retired my phone for the evening. I replied to personal emails I had let pile up. I went invisible on Gchat and closed Facebook and ceased tweeting on Twitter.

I looked at myself in the mirror, saw all of the imperfections I had been focusing on for days – newly formed zits, hair that despareately needs to be trimmed, skin that’s paler than the leftover snow on the streets, and elbows severely thirsty for hydration. And instead of spewing out words of degradation and attempting to fix all that I thought was ugly or wrong, I stopped and made a decision.

A choice to believe that at whatever point my journey is at or approaching, or how many things I want to change or I’m unsure about – this is my life. This is my body. This is how I look. This is my apartment. This is my job. This is my savings accountant. This is my date for the evening. This is my blog. This is my city. This is my home. This is my exhaustion taking over. This is my spirit that will get me through. This is now. This is what it is. This, whatever this is at whatever moment this takes me to, is mine.

This is me and I have to decide what I need.

And while they may say it’s never too late to be the person you wanted to be, it’s also never too early to accept and listen to yourself. Or to realize that sometimes, the best thing you ever do…is absolutely nothing.

I’m Female, I’m Single, I’m Human

The whole origination of this blog, the reason so many websites, organizations, and therapists make money, and why Carrie Bradshaw is a household name is due to one fact:

Being a single gal isn’t easy.

And the journey to learning to love yourself, no matter what, is one that is full of trials, complications, thoughts, changes, and mishaps. Sometimes, you get hit with responses you never considered and you have to learn to readjust and turn your direction. Often times, to find your way, you have to be willing to travel through the bumps, and the misguiding, misleading avenues that steer us to destinations we never intended to visit.

When I started writing this blog – it was never for anyone but me. I promoted through Facebook for my friends and I wanted to use it as a space for me to be completely honest, to start making better decisions about relationships, and to make a commitment to falling madly in love with myself. I had reached a point where men had literally consumed each and every single one of my thoughts, my choices, my actions, my life – and I was so exhausted of giving them energy, time, and spirit-I had to make a change. I’ve never been officially diagnosed as a “love addict” and I’m not trying to make light of those who have been – I merely coined the name and proscribed myself a healthy dose of reality.

As some readers have pointed out and perhaps even my friends – I go back and forth. Some days I’m fine and others I’m a mess. Some days I want to be hell in heels and walk away from every man that’s done me wrong or has the opportunity to hurt me. And others, I long to be wrapped up in someone’s embrace more than anything else in this big ole’ city. The comments in yesterday’s blogcaught me off guard and if I’m honest, maybe hurt my feelings a little bit. My first reaction was to defend myself and defend the purpose of the blog and of the journey – but then I took a step back.

And ya know what, I realized they’re right.

I am one quite incredibly ridiculous walking contradiction. My mood changes with the wind, along with my preferences, my tastes, and my desires. Sometimes I feel like I need a man to complete me and other times I don’t want one at all. There are days whenchildren light up my day and then they completely freak me out. Certain mornings, I wake up longing for a relationship, and some nights I go to bed totally alone and unbothered by it. I can go from crying and obsessing, to calm, cool, and collected in the same 12-hour span.

I’m not making excuses for myself, but I am human. And truth be told, I’m not a recovered “love addict” by the terms of a professional or of my own. I mean, I’m only on Step 5, actually.

I’m not an expert. I’m not the woman who has everything together and the leader of the troops for those battling the dating trenches. I don’t have a background in psychology and if anyone asks me for advice, I always say my thoughts come from experience, not from expertise. I’ve never believed that overnight or in six months’ worth of blog posts, I would ultimately be cured of each and every quality that caused me issues. I’m not a lot of things – but one thing I am…is honest.

As happy and as thankful I am that people can resonate with what I write, that it helps people – and apparently provides entertainment and mocking rituals for others – I write because it helps me. When I put it on paper, when I publish it, when I dig through my own feelings by giving them life on a page, I work through my own problems. The way I approach things and the decisions I make may not be the best ones and I could quite possibly be a Southern gal who lands facedown on Northeastern pavement – but I’m not afraid of that. I take responsibility for my choices and more importantly, I stand by the freedom to make them. If the blog and this journey has taught me a single important lesson, it’s that I have the strength, the ability, the confidence, and the will to stand alone.

And this blog isn’t about the men who cascade in my life, about Mr. Possibility, about Mr. Unavailable, or Mr. Fire– they have a space on this blog because I’m working through my past and I’m attempting to create a future that’s healthy and promising. It isn’t about those who read it, those who dislike it, or those who are recovered from obsessing about guys or those who claim they never have – it’s about me. I can’t be the voice of reason, but I can be the voice of me, Lindsay, a human, a single woman, trying to figure out what’s best for her, and allowing others a window into the life she lives.

And that life isn’t one that’s made of fairytales and I’m not (regardless if you believe it or not) searching for a Prince Charming to ride away into the sunset of Madison Avenue with. I’m not trying to be like Sex & the City (frankly, even with my high-heel obsession and desire to live in the Village, I know how unrealistic the show is. However – the dating dilemmas it portrayed are more than real – just like this blog). I’m not attempting to tell anyone how to lead their life or that they should listen to me. I’m a woman writing a personal blog and it is what it is – personal. Perhaps I get a little too gritty and maybe too intense, but I make no excuses. I’d rather be honest with myself, with all of the readers about how I feel, even if they decide not to agree. Thank you, for reality checks from time-to-time, but also know I’m not oblivious to red flags or glaring neon signs – even if I do decide to turn a cheek and test it anyways.

I’m sincerely, profoundly, aiming to love myself. I may take chances on men who quite possibly don’t deserve them and I may stumble and I may fall – but I’ll still be writing. I’ll still be learning. I hope you, whoever you are, will still continue to read. And by all means, comment.