FedEx Sent a Box of Jealousy

Since deciding I wanted to create a 12-step program to letting go of my negativity towards love and finding the self-love I need –I’ve been in a great mood. I have been buzzing with this positive energy, telling everyone I know about how excited I am, and the support I’ve received from my friends and family has been incredible.

I haven’t been sleeping well because I’m so full of creativity and ambition over this journey and how badly I’ve needed to do it, and the fact that finally, I am. These blogs have literally been flowing out of me –almost like an out-of-body-experience. When I re-read them, it’s like I don’t even remember writing them.

And all those happy thoughts, rainbows, butterflies, and fairy dust that have been keeping me on a “Hope-to-Love-Being-Single Cloud 9” disappeared in a matter of seconds yesterday.

It was a particularly busy day at the magazine because it was the day before going to press. Last minute edits were being made, the edit staff was arguing over commas and pull-quote selections, and the art director was attempting not to lose his cool. As the EA, I sat up front, man the desk, man the process, and smile and nod when needed.

Thanks, FedEX

I was editing pages when my FedEx guy (he always remembers me) walked in, cheerful as always, with a big box that read “Pro Flowers” on it. Immediately, in the mere four seconds it took him to walk from the door to my desk, I racked my mind with who could have possibly sent me flowers: My mom? Would she send me flowers? What about my dad –did he say he was going to do that? What about the guy who came to my birthday party –would he do that? Does he even have my address? What about my ex –is he trying to win me back…again?

The nice FedEx man interrupted my ridiculous questioning and happily said they were for my co-worker, J. Without even thinking, I grumpily replied “Of course they are.” I quickly signed my name and he walked off as my co-worker giddily accepted the flowers waiting by my desk.

All it took was for the realization that flowers weren’t for me –even though I wasn’t expecting flowers –to turn my mood downward. I automatically typed a snarky IM to the co-worker who received the flowers, and then told our general manager about it with a frowny face. My co-worker, E (also a single chick) and I looked at each other and silently said: “Really?” She quickly said, “All I get is e-flowers,” to which I replied, “I don’t even get those!” Then, I started getting annoyed at the fill-in editor and with the art director, and in a huff –I decided I need to get some air.

I marched (literally, stomped) my way to a new food venue (I had a 20 percent off coupon, so why not?) where five very friendly, perky employees greeted me kindly and asked if I could be helped. I snapped at the last one, and when I couldn’t order my Diet Coke to go with my avocado burger –you’d think with my attitude, the whole world was falling apart.

And in a way –it had.

I had been reminded that I was single. That flowers weren’t for me. That there wasn’t a secret admirer who cared about me. That I wasn’t the special one in the office who was on display because their boyfriend publically displayed his love. That all of this blogging maybe wasn’t going as smoothly and easily as I had imagined. That maybe, I was still going to have admit my jealousy and my poor attitude…is a more intense, than even I originally thought.

However, having this experience only strengthened my desire to continue on this journey. I don’t want to feel this way when someone gets flowers. Especially J who has grown to be one of my dearest friends, and who doesn’t boast about their relationship to me (and frankly, has listened to my ridiculous rants since the day we met). I want to be able to be happy for those who have found love, not dangerously jealous. I don’t want my longing for love and dissatisfaction with being single to rule my life.

So here is the last part of step one –I fully, whole-heartedly admit that I have a problem with being single. I admit to being envious of others. I admit to being hateful, sad, and overall just moody when something rubs me the wrong way in terms of love. I admit that I hate being single, but I sincerely do want to learn how to achieve contentment and happiness as a solo-lady.

I admit this process is going to take work and it’s not going to be easy.

And to celebrate moving on to Step 2 “believing a higher power can take away my negative attitude towards love” –I’m buying myself a bouquet of tulips and daisies.

After all –if it’s about self-love, I deserve to show me that I care.

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Why Being Single Can Suck

My friend R has always been full of helpful insight and wisdom. She’s been through more than any young woman should –and when I see her standing bold, beautiful, and optimistic; I’m enthralled with her courage.

We jokingly call our relationship a “long-distance friendship” –the majority of the time we’ve known each other, we’ve been in separate towns, and most recently, different states. We stay connected through Facebook messages and text messages –primarily consisting of “SOSes”. It’s a secret term we send each other when we need to sincerely, immaturely, and inappropriately freak-out.

If some of the letters I have sent to her were ever published –I’d be certified straight-out crazy. Luckily, as a writer herself, she knows how to respond in a manner that gets through to me, and she has prevented (and taken the blunt of) many of the ridiculous rants that come out of me.

As I’ve been trying to figure out if there is anything else I need to understand (or at least attempt to) about why I hate being single –I looked back on some conversations between us.

I’ve concluded that sometimes, it just sucks being single.

Maybe some will curse my poor word choice –but sucks is just really the best term for it. For some, it’s unmanageable (it’s been the way for me, which is why I’m writing this blog), and for others, being single is just something they put up with, but can handle without freaking out (God bless ‘em). But as a collective, there are parts of being a minus-one that a plus-one doesn’t have to endure.

Being incredibly honest with my friends on Facebook (probably to a default, but I’ve never been shy) –I asked them what sucks the most about being single. The response I received was incredible –from high school friends I haven’t spoken to in years to men (believe it) who feel the same way too:

“Having creepy guys hit on you and not being able to say, ‘I’m sorry. I have boyfriend,’ and really be able to mean it, while thanking God your man is not that weird.” -N

“Having no one to play in leaf piles with.” -C

“The most difficult part of being single was when my relatives or friends say ‘Gosh, you are such a pretty girl, why aren’t you married yet?’ – Like, duh, gee I don’t know, maybe it’s because I haven’t met anyone that I want to marry yet or maybe I don’t want to get married right now!” -K

“Watching everyone around you find someone who wants to be with them forever. It is like a constant reminder that there must be something wrong with you because no one wants forever with you.” -R

“There are so many things I hate, but what I think I hate most, is not being able to touch someone. To lay next to someone on the couch and watch a movie, to hold someone’s hand while we walk, to walk into a loving embrace after a bad day, to wake up next to someone, just to name a few. Now don’t get me wrong, I know being in a relationship isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but that’s what I hate the most about being single.” -B

“The most difficult part about being single: knowing you’re a catch and that someone is out there for you, but having to play the waiting game until he shows up.” -M

“To me the worse part of being single is the lack of companionship; it seems like with a friend with benefits or a one night stand, a girl is seeking something that can only be found in a relationship built around trust.” -E

“I guess it’s not having the love from boys and pampering from boys that we girls enjoy. Like if you’re upset and stuff…it’s nice to have a boyfriend to go to… and it’s nice to have someone to cuddle with at the end of the day.” -S

“Not having someone to cuddle with on Sunday nights or not having the one person to turn to when things are bad. Yes I have my friends but having a companion would be nice.” –E

“The worse part of being single or what I miss the most about being in a relationship is sleeping alone. I really can go days without hugging a single soul.” -L

Notice a common thread? I did: being single sucks because…you’re alone.

If you’re stressed out from work and you want to pull out all of your hair and be incredibly frustrated –there isn’t someone to say, ‘its okay baby, come here, let me hold you.’ Or if you just had an incredible run where you beat your best time and you’re in a playful mood –there isn’t anyone waiting at home for you to seduce or an apartment you can just drop by to. Or when it rains (or on a lazy Sunday) –there isn’t someone there for you to curl up with.

Instead –you’ve got yourself. And of course, as E says, you’ve got your friends. But there is something different about companionship. It’s comforting. It’s soothing. It’s relaxing. It’s heartfelt. It’s warm. It’s…completion?

I hope this journey can teach me (and all of you, too!) that I’m already complete –even if I don’t have a companion. No, I don’t come home to someone gleaming over their newspaper at me, I don’t fall apart in a man’s arms (but R’s inbox is there for that), and Sunday nights are just like other nights –but I still have myself. And God is there too.

So far, it’s still hard to not have companionship; and my thoughts are the same as all of the ones above -but I can get there. And I want to. I don’t want to be plagued and pestered by thoughts of being alone or lonely. They don’t have the right to rule my mind, confidence, or mindset.

We enter this life alone and we exit it alone, too. We’ll fall in love in between –but at the end of the day, the end of the story –you’re happily ever after…begins and ends with you.

Let’s try falling in love with ourselves first. Then we can try this Sunday night cuddling thing.

PS –I watched a Nicholas Sparks movie last night –not a good idea for a single gal starting this experience, FYI.

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?