I'm pretty sure that I've written before about friend dates and dating oneself, etc.
I've been dating lately. I've only been on a few dates though because between volunteer meetings and family home evening and scuba diving and grad school and friend's bday parties and working, I don't have a lot of nights free. This means that I often can't make a date for weeks at a time. Men either have to be willing to wait it out because they're so into me or because they have no other social prospects. I'm not sure which.
Despite only being on a few dates, I am tired of this dating thing already. Not because its been a bad experience but because I miss having nights to myself. And because after a while every man seems like the same man and I can't keep track of them unless I name them after their religion, political affiliation or profession (whichever stands out more). Apparently only atheists with PhDs ask me out these days which makes it real hard to tell them apart.
While this post might be a heck of a lot funnier if it were a dating post, it isn't.
Well. Maybe it is.
Because I am going to start dating this blog.
One thing that often falls to the wayside are my various writing projects. They don't have externally imposed deadlines and so far, writing doesn't pay the bills. So I never have time to write. But I love it, I need it, it makes me feel happy and satisfied. Just like a good date or a good meal or a good roll in the hay.
So now, my suitors will have to line up for even longer because I've just taken another date night out of circulation. My Friday nights will be spent with Singlutionary.
Of course, I still have to finish out the next two dates. Oh. It is so exhausting. And of course if a really great prospect comes along, I'll go out with him on a Friday night and skip my Singlutionary date that week. I've got to balance real life with online life.
But, once again, this raises the bar. I won't give up Singlutionary night to go out with some bozo that I know I'm not interested in.
Not that I would anyways. But there was a day when I would have.
So the point is: Check back here on Saturday morning with your cup of Singlutionary coffee.
And if there isn't anything new, well, you know there is a big story coming the next week!
Welcome to the Singlution!
No more desperate dating, pitiful pining and wahhhh-wahhhh-waiting!
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Monday, October 25, 2010
I am writing this in the last 45 minutes of my 20s.
Over the past few years, I've gone through a wide range of emotions about turning 30, especially while single. Some of these feelings surprised me: I didn't know that certain insecurities or desires existed until I felt like the chance for them was drawing to a close.
Two years and some odd months ago, I was in a relationship which seemed like bliss for about two months and then unwound into months of turmoil. During the good times, I remember thinking: "I will be married by the time I'm 30 after all." I was surprised by how relieved and proud I felt. In marrying before 30, I would be accomplishing something that everyone could understand. Through marriage, I would prove to the world and, more importantly, to my family and friends near and far that I was worthy of undivided love, that I was attractive, sexually vital and successful in the most basic human way. I would be a good person, a good woman and by extension, a good friend, niece, daughter, cousin.
I had never realized how alienated I had felt from my friends and from most of my family because of my typically single status. I never realized how much people people worried about me, even pitied me because they felt something essential was missing in my life. I had no idea how much I had internalized this feeling.
When I thought that I would be married within the conventional timeframe, I felt, for the first time ever, that I had some kind of magic ticket to normalcy that I had always yearned for but had never been given.
At that time I was still only 27.
Since then, I have mulled over my fear of turning 30 and have come to face this new decade (now only 31 minutes away) with excitement and relief instead of fear and angst.
My late 20s were not easy. They were full of career failures, financial struggles, personal loss and general confusion. In many ways, it won't be hard to say goodbye to the consternation and frustration and grief of recent years.
And I'm not 20 anymore and I know things about the world. I have experience -- lots of it. And experience is something that can never be taken away from me. I've survived things that I never thought I would have to face.
I had a crisis just a few months ago when I first began to consider setting out on the long road towards a PhD. I realized that by choosing to commit the next 7 years to academic life, the opportunity to have biological children very well might pass me by. At the time I was slightly involved with a man who very much wanted wholesome biological children raised on milk and wheat bread. I mentioned my potential PhD aspirations to him during our last real phone conversation. Two weeks later he flippantly bowed out of our travel arrangements and said something about incompatibility. And that was it.
In the past 10 years I have learned that in choosing one thing, I am also NOT choosing so many others. Spending most of my 30s in school may very well end up being a choice against having a kid that carries my genetics although it doesn't eliminate my chance to be a parent.
And I am OK with that. If being pregnant and giving birth to my own spawn was super important to me, I would have chosen so many different ways to spend my 20s. I've always wanted to adopt older children and I've always known that by doing so, I can buy myself some time against the generation gap: If I am 40 and adopt a 7 year old, the generation gap isn't quite as huge as it would be if I gave birth at 40.
I am no longer afraid of being an old maid. I know that I will have companionship. And I know that it will be unconventional. I've lived my life out of order and upside down and I can't expect to suddenly grow up and start doing everything the typical way. The typical way has never made sense for me. Its not going to start making sense just because my looks and fertility are starting to fade.
I have a rich life and many talents. And I am going to use them. If nothing else, I am going to live life on my own terms. My 20s were about figuring out what I wanted to do. My 30s are going to be about doing it.
To actually realize my dreams instead of just dreaming them is at once exhilarating and intimidating. But that is where I'm headed.
I've got 9 minutes left. And then I'm ringing in the next decade of wonderment.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I have one good friend in my city who is also single. Or WAS also single. Lately she has been going to and from another city to visit a man she recently met. Of course it is all my fault that they met and I have only myself to blame for the situation.
I have the bad habit of immediately starting to push friends away once they begin to get involved with someone. It isn't so much that I push them away but that I begin to expect less of them. And in a way, its an appropriate reaction. Having someone new in their life means that they have to make room for another person and I can't expect my friend to be as available as she once was.
By the time I was 22, all my best friends were married and very much involved in their relationships. At that time, there wasn't any space for me and my friends to have a relationship outside of their marriage. If I wanted to see my friend, I had to tolerate the husband. Since then, the husbands have become more tolerable or have been replaced with less obnoxious substitutes and my friend's have become less entangled socially and are receptive to "girl time" activities.
But for most of my early 20s, I felt like I needed to have a partner in order to enjoy my friends again. I felt that if I had a partner then we could couple date my friends. My partner would take on the horror of my friend's husbands and I would get to actually have an enjoyable visit with my friends. My friends, I think saw it the same way and provided me with healthy doses of advice on what to do to find a man so that my man could play with their man.
What partner of mine is going to want to put up with THAT crap?
"Will you be my boyfriend just so that I can take you to my friend's house and you can watch videos of my friend's husband's community theatre production and then watch him try on his costume and recite Shakespeare's sonnets?"
Eventually I gave up on finding a blow-up-doll-boyfriend-who-loves-amateur-Shakespeare and became Singlutionary.
But as people couple around me, I would like to have someone to depend on. Not that my coupled friends are undependable -- they are all very loving and wonderful and if I were to call them in any state of panic or emergency, they would be very much there for me. But their daily lives are taken up with their family, their work and other obligations. Any extra time they have, they want to spend with their spouse.
I suppose that now I would like someone to depend on socially and for the long haul. And, in the way our society is set up, with coupling being the norm, it seems that in order to find this, I might have to couple. Friendships, even the strongest ones, are secondary to spouses and families especially in the way people spend their day-to-day time.
It seems that just as soon as I find myself in a solid, lasting, stable friendship -- the friendship is altered by the presence of a romantic relationship.
Part of my situation, I think, is that I am very much a one-on-one person. If I have a good friend, it is because I enjoy our interesting conversations and her unique perspective. Even if her new partner is super cool, that doesn't mean that I'd enjoy hanging out with both of them as much as I would enjoy the one-on-one. And typically each friendship has its sacred activities -- with one of my friends it is eating good food, and another it is running. Sometimes the new partner doesn't have the same appreciation for the things my friend and I share and it kinda ruins the fun.
This is not to say that I won't stay friends with my friends who couple. I have stayed friends with ALL my friends who are coupled. I made the adjustment and learned how to be friends with both of them (sometimes more gracefully than others).
But I am tired of always looking for new available friends as others become unavailable. And maybe, the easiest thing to do would be to find a new best male friend and begin that whole monogamous endeavor called "a relationship".
Or I could just cultivate a ton of male friends so that if one of them couples, there will be 10 more waiting in the wings to share an order of yam fries and help decorate my backyard with empty toilets.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I have a utopian view of the world in which everyone is their own person and people love each other freely and there is no need for jealousy. In this world, new relationships broaden the worlds, not only of the people in them, but of their entire communities as well. This is a pretty hippie-like version of peace, love and understanding and all the crap that goes along with that -- like hemp pants, compost and organic farming.
And then I wake up. And I live in the real world where being single at almost-30 is frightening. Why? Because I'm alone. I'm not talking about being alone in a not-having-a-partner way. I'm talking about being alone in another way -- in the way where my communities have faded, my friends are tied up with their family or with their marriage and I don't seem to have any peers.
Where have all my peers gone? In my town, I have ONE uncoupled friend of my age.
And lets face it. There is a difference between being uncoupled in your early 20s and being uncoupled in your early 30s.
And I'm not talking about pressure to couple. I am talking about finding peers. It is more common for folks in their early 20s to be single and to be exploring the world and to have friends in the same place.
Of course, it was never common for me. My two best friends were both married by the time I turned 22 and had been coupled long before that. I've always been the sole single girl in my inner circle. But my outer circle has been full of intelligent, smart women in their early-mid 20s.
So why, after 10 years, is it suddenly so much more horrifying to be the only single in my Singlutionary world?
Peers. They're harder to come by. Supposedly there are tons of single women in their 30s on this earth but I never meet them. And just because I meet another single woman in her early 30s doesn't mean that we have anything in common! She might be divorced or have children or she might be a rabid racist chicken hater or an exercise nazi or plenty of other things which are totally acceptable but which I am not.
Or she might be might just want to talk about how she is so sad without a mate.
I get bored with that. I do it enough myself in secret moments of weakness and then am ashamed to have dishonored my Singlutionary costume in such a way (my Singlutionary costume is made of orange spandex).
I have plenty of ways to meet people. I meet people as part of my job. I've found that dog people are often single. So that is a start. I love dogs. I love singles. Single dog people = double rainbow of joyfulness.
Which brings me back to this blog. I've got peers here. Plenty of them: The folks who read this blog, the folks who comment and the folks who write their own wonderful blogs about being a happy single. And I have my one wonderful late 20s real-life single friend.
And I have my dates. Chronically single men vying for a chance to bone me who don't know that I'm really just looking for a peer.
Where do you find your Singlutionary peers -- no matter what your age or place in life? Life is about change -- and more often than not -- our best friend's lives don't change at the same exact moment and in the same exact way that ours do. So, while it is totally possible to maintain relationships with coupled parent friends, it is also good to seek out people who are in a more similar place in life.
Where do you find them? How do you identify them? And how to you form a real life community as strong as this one here online?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
It has been an entire year since National Singles Week. And here it is all over again!
Singlutionary was recently featured on Relationship Talk in an article about six empowering single's blogs! I've been fairly inactive as a blogger for almost a year now and I am delighted to find that my words are still out there in the blog-i-verse, doing good. Please read the article and check out the 5 other fantastic blogs hi lighted.
Last year, I was honored to participate in Single Women Rule's Blog Crawl. Although I am not participating this year, I do want to spread the word. There are lots of wonderful blogs and wonderful things being written about single life and single living and lifting the single stigma. So go, read, and be inspired.
As for me, this National Singlutionary Week -- I've had a few revelations:
1. I miss my relationship with this blog and my readers and fellow bloggers. And I want to spend more time here.
2. There are lots of wonderful bloggers writing about the social & political aspects of being single. What I am good at is writing about the personal aspects. Although I care deeply about the issues that Onely and Bella DePaulo write about, that is not what this blog is about. So what IS this blog about then? I suppose it is about my life. It is a personal story.
So in the coming weeks, I will be more present here. I will also be reorganizing and revamping quite a few aspects of the blog -- including even -- maybe -- gasp -- the template. And you can expect stories and insights and humor as always.
Thank you for reading,
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I've written twice before about the way I spend my Sundays.
I struggle between wanting to be restful, wanting to go on fun & active adventures and wanting to get all the stuff done that so desperately needs to get done but never does.
For the summer, I went with the "fun and active adventures" route. I coordinated activities and rallied the troops. It was fun. But it also left me unproductive during the week. I was either busy coordinating next Sunday's getaway or I was still recovering from the past Sunday's funday. Good times were had, new places discovered, conversations were had and new bonds were made and my horizons were broadened. It was wonderful.
But now I am broke and tired. So, for the past month, Sundays have been all about lounging around in my pjs and catching up on TV shows and doing pretty much nothing except resting so much that by the end of the day I am so ready for the week to begin again.
This week, partly out of necessity and partly because I was inspired by an insanely productive friend, I decided to have a slightly productive Sunday -- a hybrid adventure/restful/catching up day.
And it worked. Kinda. I am tired. But I did catch up which makes me feel less stressed about the week to come. I ran, I read, I gave myself a facial.
It was pretty much a day for myself.
Of course, I had to do some things that weren't tons of fun. But they were productive and made me feel relieved when finished.
Today wasn't really profound in and of itself. But it marks a sort of awesome recovery in my life. When I began this blog, I was writing in final attempt to pull myself out of the darkness that I had recently experienced. Being single and happy really was revelatory to me at that juncture.
Now, I live every day as a single and every day is just another day, another opportunity for rest or adventure or catching up. Or all of the above!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Most of the relationships I've been in have taught me the same thing: I need a lot of time to myself. The last relationship I was in merely confirmed this fact.
There is a tension between the excitement of meeting someone and feeling that mutual attraction and knowing that I need to protect my time so that I can be happy.
It seems that whenever I've been in a relationship, or even just getting to know someone in a romantic kind of way, all the time that I usually spend on things like keeping the house/car clean and maintained, taking care of myself, reading, catching up with my friends, writing and art projects -- all that time gets eaten up by the new beaux.
And it is great at first, but after a couple months I get angry. I start wondering why I can't get anything done and I start to resent the time spent with said person. I try to draw back and start spending more time doing the things I need to do -- laundry -- for example. But the other person always sees this as a personal affront and the relationship starts to crumble.
What is the solution to this?
Always be single? That is the approach I have been taking for the past few years. But what if I am ready to be open to a functional relationship where I CAN have enough space. What if I've decided that this IS a possibility and that, now, after 2 years of going solo (and sexless) I am warming up to this option.
I've written recently about being an introvert. I think that the main thing I need to find in a potential partner -- from the get go -- is someone who can understand and respect my need for personal time and someone with their own interests and friends and passions. Someone who needs time for his own projects and interests and relationships.
And then, I need to allow things to be slow and easy instead of fast and hard -- which is my usual approach.
Friday, August 13, 2010
I'm back with a vengeance!
I'm blogging again -- all self-imposed gag orders have been lifted!
And I'm running.
And I'm going to quit eating like a teenager locked in an abandoned convenience store.
Two months ago, I went to a family reunion followed by a roadtrip with my parents followed by a childhood friend's wedding. I am not even going to touch upon the wedding on this blog (its all been said before) but what I decided on that trip is that I need to get my body back.
Get my body back from what? No, I didn't have a baby. But I feel like I did. I look like I did. But I have no excuse. There are no babies waking me up all night -- I sleep well. There are no children crying for a snack all day long -- I have a schedule where I can provide myself with nutritious meals without the temptation of grabbing something just to get through the day. I need to claim my body back from our culture of instant gratification, from two years of eating away my worries and sorrows, from the soon-to-be distant memories of struggling to become the Singlutionary that I am today.
On the trip I took my my parents, even my biggest pants were beginning to feel tight. And I realized that, as I approach 30, the time to deal with my bad habits is NOW. I want to enter my 30s in the best shape of my life. I want to be active. I want to climb mountains and forge rivers and do all sorts of Oregon Trail type activities. And I want it to be easy. So, while on this trip, I texted a Singlutionary friend and said "What about training for a marathon?" Her response was: "Sure, I need a absurd goal".
My absurd goal begins with running. I found a marathon training program online and, despite several little setbacks, I have been sticking to it. So far I've gone from not even being able to run a half a mile to being able to run over 1 mile without stopping. I've also gotten faster. I've never been a runner or an athlete of any kind. What I am really learning from this, is NOT to be intimidated by physical challenges. My body began to change right away. It tightened up. I have muscles in places that were formerly dough.
But I haven't lost any weight. This doesn't concern me at this juncture. As I keep running, I'll get more confidence and I'll be better able to keep those eating demons off my back. I don't want to diet. I don't want to deprive myself of food in the sort term because I know that I'll just end up pigging out in the long run. I want to finally overcome my horrible addiction to sweets and I want to nurture myself enough that I can create a lasting habit of cooking and eating good food at home.
So. Blogging: Check. Running: Check. Eating: I'll get back to you on that one.
The name of this project is titled: 30by30. I want to lose 30lbs by my birthday at the end of October.
But it really isn't about weight loss -- that is just the title of an absurd benchmark. This is about allowing myself to become the woman that I've always had the potential to be but never let myself become. It is about freedom -- physical freedom, freedom from my food issues, freedom from all the doubts that ganged up on me in my mid 20s.
On Halloween, I've invited my friends to run with me for 16 miles through out the city in our Halloween Outfits. And on New Years Eve, I am going to run 26 plus miles -- the length of a marathon.
Absurd goals are my new best friend.
Friday, August 6, 2010
This video speaks for itself. I want to make art like this -- although mine would be wild & irreverent where this is beautiful and comforting:
Thank you to Akirah Watt at Quarter Life Lady for finding this gem of love and inspiration
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I am an introvert. This has been brought to my attention in many ways over the past several months.
As an introvert, I need a lot of "me" time. I need quiet. I get easily overstimulated. The only problem is that, I don't LOOK like an introvert. I am animated and gregarious and very talkative. I enjoy people. I am always planning activities and building community. I live in a house with 3 other people. Writing this blog is a great way for my introvert to relax because I can be alone & quiet when I write it, but I can still engage in lively interaction and conversation with others.
Is it easier for an introvert to be a Singlutionary?
Spirited Children (or something like that)
My best friend, the Purple Turtle is an introvert with an extrovert for a husband and a 4 year old extrovert for a son. I used to find her husband exceedingly annoying because he never rests. He never stops talking and he doesn't understand that other people need time and space to think. Purple Turtle read this wonderful book about raising her extroverted son but she really learned more about how to nurture her introverted self. This book talks about how to deal with introverted children (of which I was certainly one) as well as introverted ones. It says that when they get home from school, introverts need time alone and so it is best to let them be by themselves until dinner time and then engage with them, ask them how their day went, etc.
When I come home from work, I do not want to be bombarded with hugs or requests or questions or invitations to go out. I don't want to interact. Or, maybe I do want to interact but only with very specific people in a very specific way.
The reason I haven't been writing much lately, is that I've been in a very conflicted relationship that I was never fully on board for. Many people in my inner circle don't even know about this relationship because I didn't want to announce something that I was never sure was going to last. It didn't. There are many reasons for this. I learned a lot about myself, who I am and who I am not. Perhaps the biggest lesson of all (aside from being a little more cautious before committing to being in a relationship and NEVER telling potential partners about this blog) is that I am intensely introverted. Yes, I go out in the world and interact with strangers. Yes, I am always creating events and hosting get-togethers. Yes, I even have my own meetup group. But I have a secret life outside of all of that that most people never see. This secret life is quiet, introspective and solitary. I need this secret life to be well and thriving in my public life. In order to go out into the world and be the vivacious, active, creative and ambitious person that I am, I also need this deeply personal sacred time. And I need a lot of it. In a relationship, a lot of this time seems to, for me, get negotiated away. It disappears under the expectation that being involved with someone means wanting to spend ALL free time together.
Our culture worships the extrovert. If you are a quiet, shy or reserved person, you might be perceived as rude or unhappy or maybe even stupid. Social, gregarious people are seen as smarter, sexier and more likely to be successful. I've adapted. Last week, I was told by a friend of a friend that I seem to be an extrovert. This makes it even more offensive to people when I frequently turn down social invitations. There is often an attitude, especially amongst younger folks, that if you're not doing anything particular, you're available to socialize. So, on a Friday night, if I don't have plans, I am expected to accept invitations to go out or do SOMETHING. When in fact, I do have plans -- with myself. And no, this is not lame and pathetic but vitally important to my well being, my ability to function in the world and my ability to be who I am.
It is difficult for me to explain this to people sometimes. I've had to become comfortable with saying "no" and knowing that for some people, it will seem as if I am rejecting them entirely.
This private, solitary life that I lead in the corners of the day when I can sneak away from demands and social expectations is usually enjoyed 100% alone. There are a few people who I could be in the same room with and still feel this sense of peace and rejuvenation. The folks are also introverts. I suspect that all introverts have private lives and sometimes we lead them in the same room. Purple Turtle, my best friend from childhood, is someone who I can be around for days on end -- mainly because we have the same need for quiet and introspection. If she grabs a journal and a book and goes to sit in a chair on the other side of the room, I know what is up and I follow suit. I have a cousin that I also can spend a lot of time around -- and my parents -- the biggest introverts of all (almost to the point of being hermits).
It was very difficult, in many of my past relationships to have this private, quiet, reflective time. The extroverts that I was dating did not understand. They felt shut out. They wondered why I didn't want to do things with them all the time. Meanwhile I felt drained and angry. Sacrificing this time is not an option for me.
Now that I am back to being single, I feel this huge sense of relief. I can be myself again. I can shut the door and lock it. I am free to be alone. And then, when I am done recharging, I am free to go back out into the world and be me.
Does my introversion prevent me from being in a relationship? No. It just narrows the pool to people who can understand my need for solitude. Should I only date introverts from now on? Maybe. Or at least people who understand the need for quiet and peace and aloneness and who enjoy it themselves.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I miss so much writing on this blog and reading the other single's blogs:)
This year I am celebrating my independence from desperation.
Tonight I went to do some catering work which I pick up in hard times to pay bills.
Tonight was my last night with this catering company. From now on, I'll do catering only on Saturdays and only for the one catering company that I LOVE. I'm not going to pick up work that I don't love on days that I need for other things just because I feel desperate for money. I'm asking myself what I enjoy, what makes me happy and not accepting any thing outside of those boundaries.
This fall I am turning 30 (I've begun to train for a marathon and I've invited my friends to join me in a "30by30" (lose 30 lbs by age 30) celebration.)
One thing I've learned in my 20s is that while money comes and goes, time is gone forever. Acting from a place of desperation has caused me to spend years of my life in bad relationships, maintaining bad friendships and at god awful jobs.
I can make that time and those experiences work for me in what I am doing now (and I do), but I can't get that time back.
So no more Sunday catering events (I'll be too busy with marathon training anyways) and no more picking up work that I feel not-so-excited about.
Will I have enough money? Ahhhh. That is always the question. Will I be able to make it? Will I be able to pay my bills? Will I be able to get gas in my car? Will I be able to repay my debts?
Will I be able to survive on my own?
The answer is always yes. There is a way to make it through even if you have to quit feeling desperate and start trusting, start reaching out and start letting the world in.
In all parts of my life. I declare my independence today from desperation.
What are you independent from today?
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I've been working a lot of weddings lately as catering staff. This is something I did after college for extra money and something I'm now doing again in order to get my new adventures off the ground.
I generally dislike weddings mainly because I fail to comprehend them --- why would you ask people to come from all over the world and then just talk about how you love one person more than them? But I also secretly dislike them because I've never had one.
A wedding may not be something that every little girl wants but I certainly did. I wanted to get to wear the big wonderful dress and have all my friends together and I wanted to have all the beautiful lights in the trees and tulle dancing in the breeze and the candles and the music and the sense of community and the sheer beauty of it. I've always been interested in creating beautiful spaces and beautiful events and the wedding event is the epitome of these things.
Of course I grew up in an unconventional family and a slightly unconventional community so as a little girl I felt completely free to imagine my wedding pretty much groom-less and I did. In many ways the groom is absent in most little girl's fantasies of their own wedding. It is about the dum-dum-da-dum and the dress and the flowers and the bridal party more than anything else. My fantasy wedding would include a multi-family improv show in lieu of a ceremony and feature a performance by Marilyn Manson at the reception and would take place in the very same location where Jurassic Park was filmed.
The wedding I was working last night was deeply conventional in a Texas twang kind of way. The outdoor ceremony began with the lords prayer and the reception (which was held in a barn) featured country music (most of which included the word "Texas" in the song). The bride and groom ended the night by running a gauntlet of sparklers -- the bride, of course, in cowboy boots. And somewhere during this evening while I oversaw a buffet of sliders was this: I would have gotten married and lived a "conventional" life if that life had been presented to me.
I always think that somehow it is a different breed of person who gets married in her early-mid 20s and has 2.5 children and lives in a single family home with a flawless front lawn. I've always felt like some kind of an outsider to that life -- like a little girl window shopping for her future but never being permitted to enter the store.
What I realized last night is that what I have done in my life and what I haven't done has nothing to do with the kind of human I am. I am not a different breed of person who is immune to a more conventional lifestyle. If given the opportunity to live a more usual life, I would have jumped at it. I would have worn the white dress down the isle with the candles and the flowers and the tulle and I would have rode off into the sunset in whatever kind of footware was appropriate for my location and my upbringing.
In many ways I was taught and I accepted that a wedding is the beginning of adult life. But what happens when you're well into adulthood and there is no wedding in sight?
My life has presented me with singleness just as other people lives present them with a spouse or partner. And being single has made me who I am just as being married has made others who they are. It isn't a singles vs. coupled world that we live in. It is simply a human vs. sacrifices world. Are we going to live our dreams even if they make no sense or are we going to give into the comfort and stability of the daily grind? Which do we want? Most likely a little of both.
Do I still dream of my improv-show/controversial-yet-oddly-eloquent-celebrity-performance/dinosaur-landscaped wedding? Yes. Do I still dream of me going it alone in the beautiful dress on top of some rock outcropping with the sun setting into the ocean and then ride off into the sunset on a tulle clad brontosaurus? Yes. Do I have the energy to ever pull this off? Maybe. But for right now there is a dirty car that needs to be washed and baby chickens that need to be integrated with the big birds and a dog with too-long toe nails and a new business endeavor to start tomorrow.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I've been gone so long but it feels so good to be back. I've missed all my blog friends and thought of you often. There has been so much to write about that I'm not sure what to select. It would be impossible to write about it all.
I am still, slowly, but surely, figuring that out.
What I do know is that this blog will go back to the original vein -- stories from the Singlutionary. The rest of the topics around which I have clarity (homeownership, how-to, self employment, etc) and which I don't (sex, money, etc) will be addressed separately somewhere else on the webiverse (but I will redirect to them from here -- for those that are interested).
So my blog friends, I will return to catch up on your lives and to swap stories from the Singlutionary life. Just give me a bit more time to catch my breath, get a grasp on my thoughts and hit the snooze button, yet again.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The symbol for valentines day is a heart.
I already have one of those.
When I go out in public (which I don't seem to do very often lately), I notice that the shops are filled with red and pink and with hearts. I am pretty unoffended by all of these symbols. And this Valentines Day, as every other Valentines Day in my life (I have NEVER been involved with anyone on Valentine's day EVER), I am glad to be single.
Instead of worrying about my gift or his gift being "too much" or "too little" and instead of feeling pressure to have extra warm fuzzies towards my sweetheart, or feeling awkward about how my extra pounds look in the lingerie I crocheted for myself, I can just finish my taxes and catch up on emails.
In the past I might have thought that doing mundane tasks on Valentines day was kinda pathetic. But no longer.
Cause I have a heart already! I don't need another heart to cover over my heart or to be the red heart inside of my pink heart or visa versa. I don't need chocolate (lord knows I've got enough of that) or really hideous jewelry that keeps being advertised on TV with these gross semi-romantic/wholy-sexist advertisements.
Today is my secret Singlutionary day to play catch up while the rest of the world tries in vain to prove their love beyond any shadow of a doubt.
Of course, I could do something to celebrate. I could go see the Vagina Monologues or I could save a singles party with my 3 single friends. But today is just like any other day in my life: full of blessings.
I have a quiet morning to sleep in with my precious pup, lazily let the crazy chickens out to range in the nasty poo cesspool that is my backyard, drink orange-mango juice and take care of nagging personal tasks which have been bothering me for weeks. I even have time to post on my recently abandoned blog!
And then, by happenstance, I have a friend coming over this afternoon to work on a coffee table project in my garage, followed by a possible impromptu celebration marked with jello shots and chicken shit bingo.
Life doesn't get any better than this. I have my heart. It is beating. It is thriving. And there is love all around.
Happy Valentines Day to all the Singlutionaries in the world. I hope you get a chance to file your taxes, take out the trash and make a toast today! Toast to yourself and the heart you've got and the love you give!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This is going to be a quick little post and then I'll be brushing my teeth and going to bed!
Mikki, you are the winner of the verve e-card membership.
Hebba, you are the winner of Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza
Please email me at email@example.com in order to get your prizes! Hebba, I'll need a snail mail address.
I have all the previous winner's prizes packed up and ready to go. I just need to get to the post office!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I seem to be on vacation from blogging still but I wanted to write a quick update:
I am going to India in March. It is kinda a Singlutionary trip and kinda not . . . some things I will do alone but for the most part I will be there with my Indian friend who's wedding I'll be attending. So its not a solo journey but I still find it intimidating.
As a result, the theme for the month of March will be travel -- as a single, solo, etc.
Hoggle the horrible roommate is gone and has quit terrorizing me on craigslist. This is a blessing. And I met a totally suitable sane potential roommate earlier tonight.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway. It isn't lame. It is pretty cool actually!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I am still busy with the every day party that is living in my Hoggle free house so this one will be quick! Eventually I will get back to posting non-giveway posts but this is all I've got in me for this week!
I have two great giveaways this week. Comment to enter and I will announce the winners next week. If you already commented to win Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza by Cherie Burbach two weeks ago, don't worry, that comment still counts and commenting today will enter you again.
This week I'm adding to the mix a great freebie from VerveCards.com. These ecards are really friggin' bright and fun and border on being irreverent. Of the wedding cards, none of them involve white doves and wedding bells. But my favorite is a v-day card which simply states "Happy Singles Awareness Day". Membership is about $15/year and the cool thing is that you can schedule cards to be sent a year in advance. If I were organized enough, I would input all the birthdays and anniversaries and holidays at the beginning of the year and then forget about them! Maybe next year!
So, this week you can enter to win a free one year membership at VerveCards.com
Also, right now they are doing a 2 for 1 membership deal on their website (buy yourself a membership and then give one to a friend). The secret Singlutionary code is:
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I am going to intentionally take this week off from blogging. I started out the new year with a new schedule for maintaining this blog. And in the first month, I've already realized that some adjustments most be made. I love Singlutionary and I love the experience of becoming a happy, well-adjusted, confident and satisfied single and I want to continue to share that experience. But I often find that I am so busy enjoying life now, that I would rather be offline than on. I know that I need to reduce the number of hours I expect from myself and come up with way to maintain a presence here while living the full offline life that has unfolded for me in the past year.
I WILL pick up where I gave up last week on Thursday with a giveaway post. But I will be reducing the quantity of posts and hopefully contributing more to the conversations by posting comments and reading other blogs and developing a larger presence on twitter.
Honestly, I don't know how I want to continue this blog but I do want to continue it. I also want to enjoy the fantastic life that I'm living.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Yet again, I am going to postpone posting my not-so-weekly Wednesday homeownership article.
But I did enjoy some raucous laughter tonight with my two remaining -- and very sane and fun roommates. We've taken back the house from Hoggle and we're loving it. It was nice to come home and relax in good company.
The past few weeks have been full of stress and full of wonder at the same time. I have a clarity in my mind and a simplicity in my day-to-day life that I've never quite managed to have before. I eat well and simply and in moderate proportions. I work daily, Monday through Friday, yet I miss the peak traffic rush. My chickens now produce one egg daily amongst the tree of them. And once I week I see my sister, and one a month we see her sister/my best friend.
This has nothing to do with owning a home. But life does feel settled and grounded and easy in a way that it never has before.
Of course last weekend I had a dead cat followed by an evil roommate. And, as always, I have suitors who fall to the wayside, just as the peak my interest.
But everything in life is OK as long as I can just come home to a peaceful, comfortable place with good people and good pets.
I've realized over the past several days, that despite everything, I LOVE having roommates. I never though I would say that. But good roommates become best friends. And multiple roommates create a community. Through my house, I've been able to provide an improved quality of life, not only for myself, but for the individuals that I share it with. And I am super excited about it.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Last week I wrote about finding a perfect roommate. And then I went and rented to a psycho. I spent the greater part of the last three days trying to manage said psycho until I finally kicked her out tonight in a whole bunch of Jerry Springer-esqe drama which was followed up by a trip around town trying to buy beer past midnight with one of the awesome roommates.
So. For next week I will write about what NOT to do when looking for a roommate and what to do when you have a crazy one that you need to get rid of (not that I have a ton of experience in this category but I have now kicked one lunatic out in the middle of the night).
Basically, I disobeyed rule #3: Trust Your Gut.
I took one look at this woman and thought: Oh Hell No!
But then I felt bad because she was fat and ugly and I felt like that was petty and judgemental of me to eliminate her based on looks.
The part where I went wrong is here: When you look at a person, you don't usually just see FAT or UGLY. The first thing that you typically notice about a person is their aura, their personality, their energy, their vibes. I know plenty of heavy people who don't look heavy to me. And plenty of less-than-beautiful faces which I would never ever think of as ugly.
This woman was ugly on the inside. Real ugly. She had a negative, ugly, crazy, piece of work demeanor. But I felt bad for judging her so I let her move in.
And immediately began to regret it.
There were so many moments where I could have and should have turned and run in the other direction. But I was trying to be positive. I thought: It is only for one week, how bad could it be.
BAD. Not fear for your life bad. But she definately disrupted my personal peace and the peace of the house. I had immense gut wrenching anxiety all day at work yesterday and today, fearing what I might come home to. She was crazy. Crazy people are scary because you don't know what they're going to say or do.
So the moral of this story is: Trust Your Gut, even if it says things which sound petty and rude. Trust it anyways.
The blessing at the end of this story is that I still have two awesome roommates who rallied around me. And I have two more ex-roommates and a sister who further rallied around me and tried to make me laugh during this whole ordeal. Now that it is over and my house and my roommates and my dog and my chickens are safe, there is plenty of humor in the whole story.
But more importantly, I will never override my gut again!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I don't have many moments where being single sucks for me. I am not even phased by valentines day, for example. But tonight I had one. It isn't so much about having a shitty experience as a single as it is about having to do horrible something entirely alone and having no moral support or physical support or any kind of support.
My most recent moment where it pretty much sucked to be single:
Moving cat carcass from my driveway.
I really could have used some moral support but nobody was available. Could this have happened if I had a loyal loving husband? Yes. Totally. Loyal loving husbands are not always available either when icky things occur.
But tonight, for the first time in a long time, the following thought went through my head: :I really wish I had SOMEONE to help me deal with this".
This is a BIG cat. I was pulling my car out of the garage. It was dark but I saw something large and fluffy lying across the lower part of my driveway, almost at the street. I got out to investigate and sure enough it was the large cat that poops along my house. I don't mind cats pooping along the side of my house because I am rarely over there and I figure they ought to enjoy pooping in a place that I rarely frequent. So this cat, more like the size of a dog, is dead, at the bottom of my driveway in all his fluffy orange glory with a decent stream of blood flowing from his opened jaw.
I got back in my car and just sat there. I called my roommate to see if the cat had been there when she got home. I called my parents twice -- no answer.
Most of the time I know what to do about a situation pretty much immediately but this one had me stymied.
So I finally maneuvered out of the driveway, around the giant dead cat and went to the grocery store, thinking the whole time: "What are the logical steps to take in this situation."
I was pretty sure that moving a giant dead cat is a fairly unpleasant task.
I had gone through the dead pet process at Thanksgiving time with my roommate's hamster. But this isn't MY dead cat. I felt wrong moving another person's dead cat. But I also didn't want the cat's young owners to find it lying there in the morning. I also didn't want a neighbor to think that I had carelessly run over their cat while backing out of my driveway.
At a certain juncture, I finally quit freaking out, summoned my inner grown up, found an old towel and a big cardboard box and approached the dead cat.
And that is when I thought: "I really wish I weren't single right now. I really wish that there was someone to stand next to me while I try to pick up this giant dead cat carcass and place it somewhat ceremoniously in this empty toilet box."
I ended up having to scoot the cat into the box and then when I righted the box, the cat thumped to the bottom. Oh. It was a fairly awful experience. I then wrote notes to my two next door neighbors inquiring as to the ownership of the big orange cat. I did not put in the note that their beloved Garfield was now resting in peace in a cardboard toilet box with a cement block on the top to keep out the possums and stray dogs.
And that was my Saturday night Singlutionary adventure.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The box of giveaway items is still lost in my garage but I was able to unearth this book which was sent to me by the author for a review. That was, like 6 months ago. Of course, I still haven't finished it but I did start it and it isn't bad advice. The book, Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering a Pizza by Cherie Burbach, is this week's giveaway item.
I still hate internet dating.
I still love ordering pizzas.
So I read the book this weekend and then next Thursday I will do the review. If you want to enter to win this book, you can comment once this week and once next week for a double entry! I'll announce the winner in two weeks.
Why am I so behind? This week has been a whirlwind. I couldn't post yesterday out of sheer exhaustion. I've been working 9 hours straight, going to job interviews, renting out my rooms (one down and one to go) all while maintaining relationships with my roommates, worrying about money and taking care of my house/pets/self.
Its been a great week but I am pretty ready for the weekend. And I haven't been able to post as often as I like. I was especially bummed when I missed yesterday's homeowner series AGAIN!
But the good news is that things turned around this week. I got my first paycheck yesterday and was able to pay my roommate back. I was also able to fill my car with fuel and get groceries for the first time in 2 weeks. I now have vegetables to eat! I never thought I would be so so so grateful for every single carefully selected item in my grocery basket. Yesterday I was down to pumpkin seeds, cereal, soymilk, rice and beans. Today I have cucumber and fruit and bread and cheese! These small things are huge blessings. I've NEVER been this broke before in my life but I am very grateful for the experience because it taught me how grateful I need to be now that the experience is over. I think I will never shop for groceries in the same way again. My life will be far less wasteful. And I am so so so grateful and in awe of all the generosity which was offered to me. I always knew that I would get work just in the nick of time but folks showered me with loans and delicious meals and supportive advice.
Also, my chickens finally started to lay eggs this week providing me with another source of food! YAY!
And I have a renter for my room which guarantees that I will be able to pay the mortgage in this coming month!
It feels good to have some stability in my life after so much instability! I look forward to keeping a more stable writing schedule and to getting back to my usual posting style (instead of these rambling updates).
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
When I lived in San Francisco, (a city where people rent closets for $400/mo and have multiple roommates just to get by) I decided it was time for me to "grow up" and have my own apartment. I was 24 and dead set that I would live alone and that I would live alone for the rest of my life.
I did live alone that year and then I lived alone again when I moved to my current city.
And then I bought my house. Most of the time now I have 3 roommates. And instead of being something I tolerate, it is something I am massively grateful for. My roommates put up the chickens when I can't get home before dark, they share food and advice and sympathy. We also share in the excitement of the chicken's first eggs or the garden's first sprouts. My roommates have helped me to mop up toilet overflow, given me rides and loaned me money (when no bank in their right mind would loan me a cent).
It is also my roommate who is letting me tag along during her wedding preparations in India. I will see all of the traditions in preparing for the wedding ceremony.
And it is another roommate who built my chicken coop, sourcing all the materials for free with the promise that, oneday, she would have all the free eggs she could dream of.
Not only are these folks my roommates, they are my family, my support system, my friends. They offer me new experiences, new concepts and help with the most basic and most necessary parts of life. They offer their company at the grocery store.
How do you find roommates like these? Honestly, I think it is part magic. But the other part goes like this:
1. Be Comfortable with Strangers
I've rented to people I know and I've rented to friends of friends. These have often been the folks that I had MORE difficulty with as roommates. The best roommates are the ones that I didn't know before I moved in. I think it is easier to BEGIN a relationship as roommates (or in my case roommates AND landlord/tenant) than to begin as friends and change the dynamic along the way. Also, because I don't start out being friends with my roommates, the friendship is a bonus. I don't expect them to be my friend at first and they don't expect that of me, so if we aren't kindred spirits, its no big deal -- as long as we keep the kitchen clean.
2. Be Honest About What You Want
You need to be honest with YOURSELF about what you want from a roommate and how you like living your life. If your favorite part of the day is coming home after work to a quiet house, then you DO NOT want a super social person who will have friends over all the time. Really think about your lifestyle, write it down and be ready to articulate it to a stranger. It may be more important to find someone with a similar expectation for how the home is used than to find someone who also likes to swim or eat at your favorite restaurant. The better you can articulate who you are, the more likely the right person will be attracted to your advertisement. Also, you need to be honest if you meet someone and you KNOW it will not be a good fit. For example, when people come to meet me and look at the house, and they ask if they can have friends over, I say: "This isn't a house where we have people over very often-- it just gets too crowded". This gives people the opportunity to weed themselves out if they wouldn't be a good fit.
3. Trust Your Gut (This Should be Number One)
You are allowing this person into your home. The wrong person could wreak havoc on your life. So trust your gut, not only to weed out the bad eggs, but to hone in on the good ones. Make sure the person fits your criteria but is also someone you feel comfortable with. If something doesn't sit right with you DO NOT ACCEPT THEM as a roommate, even if it makes you feel prejudiced or judgemental. I always feel bad when I reject someone. I feel like I should "give everyone a chance". But this is YOUR HOME and some caution is in order.
4. Require a Deposit and Charge What You're Worth
It doesn't matter if it is your house or if you're the main lease holder. If the person is going to be using your stuff and your the person who manages the household, charge a deposit. I charge deposits, not because I expect people to ruin things -- I have never had to keep a deposit -- but because responsible, reasonable people expect to pay a deposit and they have the money to do so. It can be as little as $50 but it is symbolic of the value of your things and the trust that you are putting into them to NOT ruin them.
Also, don't under charge. If you charge too little, people will wonder "what is wrong with it". Don't charge too much either but set a reasonable price and stick too it. If you get desperate and lower your price, you'll get a desperate roommate. If it is a tough time of year and you feel that you need to offer an incentive -- offer a discount on the first month's rent ONLY. This is better than bringing down the price (and the perceived value).
5. Love One Another
This goes without saying, but you're going to get better roommates and have better relationships if you're a good communicator and if you communicate with love. I hate to be cheesy but that is a fact. Don't be a drama queen or king. When your new roommate doesn't clean her hair out of the bathroom drain don't pitch a fit or get your panties in a bunch. It is NO BIG DEAL. Just say next time you see her (in a nice casual tone): "Oh, by the way, when you're done washing your hair, will you be sure to clean it out of the drain." People need to know when they're doing something wrong so that they can fix it. The worst thing you can do is decide that someone is a douche bag because they did something minor and they don't even know what they did! Yes, maybe they should know that leaving a drain full of hair is totally gross. But maybe she was super busy and forgot. Or maybe she forgot her towel because she just moved into a new place and is all scatterbrained and had to run from the bathroom naked to her room and that is why she forgot.
And that is it!
As far as advertising goes, this will vary a bit by region but I have had plenty of success on craigslist. There are a lot of flakes on there but I write a long advertisement about the room and about how straight laced I am and about how clean the house is, etc. The flakes are too flakey to respond. I also state the deposit on the post which eliminates another group of flakes.
Any other advice? Any roommate success stories?
As singles, roommate are often a big part of our lives so share your stories and your roommate love.
*Stevi, I am just waiting for you to write about Manette!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Today is Monday which means it is time for me to write about another awesome Singlutionary.
(I am still developing this weekly program and eventually I hope to have some guest posts here as well. But I haven't gotten that far yet.)
This week I'd like to redirect you to Special K's blog.
The theme for this month is MOVING, especially as a single person. Well, Special K moved all the way from the USA to Germany as a single woman. I find that immensely brave. I moved to another state by myself and there are many folks back home who find ME immensely brave (aka crazy). But moving to an entirely different country?
You can read about your adventures here:
Do you have any awe inspiring stories about moving? Are you about to move? What are your questions and/or fears? Have you always wanted to move but there is something holding you back? What is that something? What are you waiting for?
If you'd like to write about your experience with moving as a single, please let me know! This spot is open for next week!
Friday, January 15, 2010
All this week I've been agonizing over my job situation. Before this month, I was unemployed for two months without a clue as to what I wanted to do next. I just knew that I didn't want to return to anywhere that I'd been.
I also struggled with accepting that I NEED a job. I mean, I don't NEED a man/partner/relationship/spouse so why would I NEED a job? Can't I just do it myself and have my own business and make a life for myself that way?
Well, I can. But right now I need income.
So. I NEED a job.
(It took me two whole months just to accept that).
Anyways. I am looking now, diligently, for a full time job. This week I had two interviews and at the same time I was working full time, for 2/3 of my usual pay, at a temp job in a call center.
Talk about desperate!
But the thing is that this job, which I took so reluctantly, only out of desperation, has been the best thing ever. I even got a mini-promotion there after just a couple days. I feel appreciated, I feel that it is OK to be smart. I feel rewarded for being smart and quick and a good worker.
I have been pretty beaten up by jobs lately. This job lifts me up. This crappy little temp job with a not-so-nice commute and lousy pay is a TOTAL BLESSING.
So, while I know that this job is not long-term material, I've decided to stay there until after I get back from India. This way I can focus on negotiating a salary when I get a full time job and not take lower pay just so that they'll let me take off time in March to travel.
Also, this way I can go to India for longer since most of the expense is in the plane ticket.
This jobs pays me just just just enough to scrape by and to save a tiny bit of money. But it is so much fun. It is Friday and after working a 40 hour week (which I am not accustomed to) I feel energized, not drained.
I never once had to defend my integrity or my abilities this week. I never had to sit there and take it while someone tore me apart. I didn't get bitched at for not taking enough initiative one minute and then bitched at for taking out the garbage or using too many swiffers the next.
I've been in abusive relationships. Both with men and with employers. And it has been so long since I've been treated WELL that I kinda forgot what it was like. I forgot that I am deserving of praise and respect. I forgot that I AM smart and a good worker and employable and promotable.
At my last job I was refused a promotion for a job that I was already doing. And then I got fired. That was after my boss told me that I had a horrible personality and condescended to me every single day for three and a half months.
Before I became Singlutionary, I was so desperate to be in a relationship that I would take any kind of treatment (for a while at least) because I thought that if there were problems, I just wasn't trying hard enough. I've never been in a relationship where I was praised and respected and valued, where it was OK to be smart and hard working and funny. I've always been viewed by my boyfriends as inherently wrong either because I don't like music enough or I didn't want to have orgies during the full moon or I don't want to bear his children within 8 months or because I need time to work on my car instead of playing with his balls. (You think I am joking about some of these things but ALL of them are true.)
I need to apply the Singlutionary approach to jobs. I am unwilling to work in an environment that does not value me, where I have to pretend to be something that I am not in order to avoid punishment, where I am abused, lied to, taken advantage of and clearly disliked.
This temp jobs is a blessing just in the nick of time. It is saving me from financial ruin, it is reminding me of my better qualities, rebuilding my self esteem and it gives me a platform from which I no longer have to be desperate in my job search.
No, I can not pay off my debts in any reasonable amount of time working at this job. No, I can not buy my country ranch with this job. No, I can not afford to eat out or buy a car or remodel my bathroom with this job.
But I can afford to be choosy.
I can afford to wait for a good job to come along for a good company with the right benefits. I can afford to wait until a job opens up in an office where I would fit in. I can afford to interview my interviewer just as much as they are interviewing me. I can refuse to work at a property that I don't like.
Of course, no job is perfect. I am not looking for perfection. I am sure there will be days when people grate on my nerves and there will be policies which offend me. But I'm not going to get fired again. I'll quit before that happens. I'll quit at the 1st sign of insanity.
But more importantly, I now have the luxury of carefully considering every job offered to me.
I've been extended a 2nd interview for a permanent job which would pay almost twice as much as my temp job, plus benefits. But I know I don't want it. I know that it is not a good fit, that I am too smart and too ambitious for the office, that the company is too small and that the property is not expensive enough and the residents are unsophisticated.
(That last part sounds REALLY judgemental but if you work 40 hours a week in an apartment complex, you want to be in a nice one. TRUST ME. Otherwise there are a lot of evictions and collections. Also, things fall apart faster in lower rent complexes and they don't get fixed and there is more crime, etc. But nicer complexes often have lots of very interesting people, many of whom are single, who travel and explore the world and have interesting careers and hobbies, etc. )
So I am going to work at this temp job until India and then for a little while after that. I am so excited to KNOW what I am doing for the next 2 months. I've been living life day-to-day, instant-to-instant for the past 3 months now. I am excited to commit to this job for a short period of time, knowing that eventually I'll have to move on. I am excited to be working, to know approximately what my schedule is like. I am excited for payday.
But most of all, I am excited to have the ability to sit back and enjoy my job search, to feel less frantic about it and to quit being desperate!!!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
No. I am not really giving away a screwdriver. I am just still slacking off. Tonight I was busy looking at Indian clothes to wear to my roommate's Indian wedding in March. I am going to India in March for this wedding come hell or high water. Even if I have to eat beans and rice and work 7 days a week for the next two months, I am going to go! So my roommate says that I will want to have Indian clothes to wear for all the celebrations so we were looking online at all these different styles. I was totally amazed.
Also, my roommate (who already pays me rent) loaned me the money I was short for my mortgage payment this month. Tomorrow I have to go to the bank to pay it on my lunch break.
But now that I am working again, everything will be OK!!! This is as broke as I have ever been in my life but I have NEVER felt more gratitude for the people around me and all the security that I do have in my life. While I do feel insecure about the future, I do feel very secure about the present and about myself.
So. What does this have to do with a screwdriver? Well, one of these months I am going to give away one essential do-it-yourself-tools-every-person-should-have every week. I'd love to give away home improvement KITS full of all the basic tools I wish I'd had when I moved into my house but in order to do that I'd need a sponsor.
This week I am merely here to announce the winners of last week's giveaway: DatingTopics ToGo Cards sponsored by SingleEdition.com.
I actually have TWO sets of cards! And I had three fantastic entrants, all of whom wrote hilarious and insightful additional questions to add to the pack. I put everyone's name in a hat (twice) and the winners are::::::::::::::
I already have Stevi's address (from the last giveaway) but Samantha, if you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your snail mail, that would be great!
And Kathryn, thank you for entering!!!
And thank you to SingleEdition.com for making this entertainment possible!
Please check back next week. The next giveaway item is out in the garage with all the stuff that kinda got shoved out into the garage during my move into the master bedroom. I don't have any shelves or furniture in here yet so there are lots of paper bags sitting out in the garage that I don't want to have lining the walls of my big ass room.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Today is Wednesday and according to my new posting schedule, today's post should be part of the Singlutionary's House series. But in celebration of cutting myself some slack and wanting to catch up on my blog roll before it rolls off the face of the earth, I'm not going to do that.
Instead I'm merely going to tell a story. Not about remodeling or any kind of home improvement related metaphor regarding my bath, but literally about bathing in my bathroom.
I moved into the master bedroom in my house last week but tonight is the first time I took advantage of having my very own shower. I'd been reluctantly using the toilet in the master bedroom while still preferring the hall potty which had been my own personal throne for the past year and a half. And for the past week and a half I've been rejecting my private shower and going all the way upstairs to bathe.
Why? Blood, sweat, tears and multiple coats of eco-friendly paint have gone into both the upstairs bathroom and the hall bath. Over the past 2.5 years I have truly made them mine. So while the master bath has a window (the others do not) the other bathrooms are a window into my soul.
I just compared a bathroom to my soul. But seriously, I spent over an hour picking out the water saving shower head. And DAYS painting and decorating.
Tonight I finally decided it was time for me to grow up and use my own bathroom. I've been forcing myself to break my habits and use the master bathroom toilet. Tonight I took it a step further and moved into the shower. No, I didn't make a bed in the bathtub. I went upstairs and gathered up my soap and shampoo and other scrubbie things and brought it all downstairs. And then I did something I've never done before: I took a shower in the master bathroom.
And it wasn't as scary as I thought. I spent a bunch of time trying to find some temporary cover for that window because it was freaking me out but I finally gave up. I turned on both lights and left the door to the bedroom open so I wouldn't feel so trapped.
It turns out that it is nice and bright and clean in there and not creepy at all. I can spread out my bottles of various products without concern for other people's things. The shower head may not be a window into my soul, but it is quite adequate with different settings for water velocity. But the best part is that once I was done with my shower I was able to reach out and grab my towel from the hook without having to contort my body into any weird positions.
And then I was able to finish getting ready for bed all in the SAME ROOM. I didn't have to then dry myself off, run downstairs, go into the hall bathroom to moisturize and then go into my room to get dressed. Everything was RIGHT there. I have a new appreciation for the layout of my house now. This master bedroom setup is really very convenient.
Usually at about this juncture in a post I would find a way to tie this whole story together into some sort of parable about being single. But not tonight.
I realize that I am working full time while looking for a full time job, trying to find a renter and running around town collecting the dregs out of all my bank accounts in an attempt to pay the bills before they're late.
Fortunately, I've started earning money again, got a mini promotion at my temp job-- which boosted my self esteem after being fired from my last job for being "rude and disrespectful" and having an "impatient personality"--, will be paid in a week, have two job interviews this week and one for next week and am generally in good spirits.
So. The moral of this story is this: Master bathrooms are awesome.
And so is working for a living. It is truly underrated.
Oh and Kahnee over at Single and Blessed posted about my Singlutionary's House series and posted her own house to-do list this week:
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
For the New Year I came up with a schedule and a plan to manage my time better so that I could post more often! After one week and one day, I realize that it is time for a revision!
So Tuesdays will continue to be Singlutionary's Guide to Whatever day. But some Tuesdays I am going to let myself off the hook and merely post the topic for the NEXT week.
So. Next Tuesday I'll post Singlutionary's Guide to Finding Badass Roommates, Part 1: Renting out a Room.
To be followed on another Tuesday this month by: Part 2: Renting a Sweet Pad in a Peaceful House.
Today I am letting myself off the hook. There isn't one good reason that I should do this. There are lots of small reasons and I'll list them here:
Yesterday I was surprised by a phone call from someone investigating my ex and I had to deal with that situation and rehash that whole shitstorm. Of course, when the shitstorm was over, I had risen from the asses (ashes) as The Singlutionary, so on some level I have to be grateful for the experience but I still felt shaken, remembering how I was ready to commit the rest of my life to this psychotic neurotic liar.
I am flat broke which is putting me on an awesome diet where I have to eat all the healthy stuff in my cabinets that I have been avoiding eating for the past year.
All my roommates are moving or have moved out and I don't have any new renters yet (but I know that I will-- I always do). But change is good.
I've had one job interview so far with a woman that I liked at a property that was OK but I know that I do not want the job and I suspect that it will not be offered to me.
I've been working a regular work week this week doing temp work. I call depressed people and interview them to see if they qualify to be in a research study. Most of them fail to qualify. This job makes me so grateful for every little thing in my life and for being able to be happy and being able to see through the fog when I am not.
One of my former roommates has declared bankruptcy.
Last night there were Possums under my chicken coop. Fortunately my new room is at the back of the house near the chickens so I'll be able to hear if anything goes wrong tonight. But I hope that by the time I hear the squawking, I'm not too late!
It is already 10pm and I still need to read my blog roll!
Monday, January 11, 2010
I was excited a couple weeks ago when I began to be followed on Twitter by Ginny Mees. Ginny has created a website for independent single women which, as far as I can tell, is pretty awesome and has potential to be even awesomer.
So on this Monday, I'd like to highlight WomenHomeowners.com
Check it out and tell me what you think and then come back here on Wednesday for my Singlutionary's House series!
Friday, January 8, 2010
This past week I moved. I didn't move very far-- just from one room down the hallway from another-- but it was a move none-the-less.
One of the ways I make ends meet is to rent out cute furnished rooms in my house. Last week, a longstanding roommate moved out-- she had rented the master bedroom from me before I began renting out furnished rooms-- and I had been sleeping, for a year, haphazardly, in the room which used to be my office. It was never a permanent situation and I never put it together. I rented out cute furnished rooms but I kept for myself a room which looked very much like a half-assed storage area/art studio/office/dog room. It was cluttered and it was crowded and it was a mess.
This week I finally moved into the master bedroom. Finally. So much space. My own bathroom. A walk-in closet.
The funny thing is that I have no bedroom furniture. Most of the stuff that was being stored in the first room was linens and art which ended up staying in there. I merely scooted my airbed down the hall and I was pretty much done.
In some ways I moved from one impermanent space to another. One day I will move out of this room and this house and start over again. But life feels so different. Moving is always a fresh start, even if just down the hall. And now there is breathing space, space to grow. I have the remaining artwork that I've collected leaning up against the walls in my new room, waiting to be hung. Stuff from the shared bathroom is now sitting my bathroom the counter, waiting to be sorted. Nothing is settled yet, but it is tidy and it is somehow incredibly beautiful in this transitional way.
I never thought I needed the master bedroom before. I didn't need that much space for just me when I could rent it out for income instead. Maybe a part of me was waiting for a partner to share the master bedroom with. Houses like mine are built for a traditional married couple to occupy the master bedroom with space for their growing family in the secondary rooms. A master is big enough for two, so isn't it just a waste of space for only one?
Since buying the house I have become the master of my home. I have stopped waiting, in small subconscious ways, to be partnered before beginning my life. So it makes sense that I would quit living in a secondary room and move on into the master bedroom.
I am taking up more space in other parts of my life too. For so long I have been holding this extra space empty, waiting for someone to come and and fill it. I remember for so long, sleeping only on one side of my queen bed, practicing to share it with a partner. In so many small ways I have not been taking up the space in my own life, leaving an empty area for someone else to fill. One side of the bed it only a few feet but it is a huge emptiness.
My life is big and I am going to grow into it. I have filled this whole house with peace and positive people and and I am going to fill my life outside of this house with the same.
I was always afraid that by filling up my own life to the brim, I was eliminating the possibility of having a partner. Maybe I am. But maybe life is big enough and flexible enough to continue to expand. And maybe living a masterfully awesomely big life is the ONLY way for me to find a suitable partner.
Either way, I'm just glad that there's no more wasted space! And excited to put together this last little corner of my home.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
When I began this blog, I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out. Lots of singles blogs fall into the "Dating Blog" category. Often times, when I tell people that I write a blog about being "single and happy" they ask me if it is a dating blog.
In 2010, I am finally ready to declare that this is NOT a dating blog. There are so many wonderful dating blogs out there but this isn't one of them.
So now that I've established that this is NOT a dating blog, I can introduce my giveaway item for this week: DatingTopics ToGo cards. The back of this cute 40 card package reads "Let DatingTopics shoulder the conversation-making burden on your next date! Get to know each other better with forty engaging questions guaranteed to entertain as well as enlighten."
*You get an extra entry in the giveaway drawing if you can come up with your own question to add to this deck. *
Too bad christmas just passed because this would be a great white elephant gift for all us non-daters out there.
This giveaway is sponsored by SingleEdition.com. I am currently one of the "Solo Spotlight" people on their home page, so please go check it out and submit your own solo spotlight story!
SingleEdition.com is an online magazine with LOTS of content for singles. It seems to be equal proportions dating/finding-finding-a-mate advice and being happy and healthy and single without the search for happily-ever-after. Kudos to Sherri Langburt for creating a website that shows more than one side of singledom! The site also features a "Buzz Boards" section, an online community for singles where Elsie from Singletude has been contributing regularly already.
So, this is how the Thursday Giveaway work:
All you need to do to enter is post a comment. I'll draw a winner next Thursday from all the commenters and announce it on the next week's giveaway (so you have to check back to see if you won so that you can send me your snail mail address). The winner will get their prize in the mail within a couple weeks.
If you have a product or service which you think may interest my readers, please consider sponsoring a giveaway!! You can email me at email@example.com.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Every Wednesday I'll be posting on a topic related to homeownership. Sometimes I'll write about buying a home and sometimes I'll write about fixing a home and sometimes I'll just tell stories about owning a home. If you have a specific question you'd like me to try and address please email me or comment.
Homeownership isn't for everyone. There is nothing wrong with being a life-long renter. I am not of the opinion that people who rent are not "grown-up". You can be a Singlutionary and live in a tent or an apartment or a hotel penthouse. Whether you rent or own does not affect your awesomeness.
I have a house. And I am single. So that is what I am going to write about right here, every Wednesday: Homeownership from a single woman's perspective.
I've been slowly coming into my own in the past two years as a homeowner. I always wanted to have my own house, am fascinated with real estate, with buildings and with the spaces people live in. Basically, I love home. I'm a homebody.
Two and a half years ago I finally bought a house. The funny thing about buying a house is that it seems like this great accomplishment. I felt like I had made it. I had joined the ranks of the land holders.
But the real work had just begun.
Owning a home is a responsibility and a commitment and an ongoing learning experience. And it is a big one. A big huge one. Traditionally, couples bought a house when they were ready to start a family. My parents went that route. But somehow I never got the memo. I never thought that it was strange that I, a single woman in my 20s, would buy a four bedroom single family home all on my own. I didn't stop to think that it might be easier to keep up a house and a garden if there are TWO people instead of just one. I just new what I wanted. And I knew that had always wanted it.
Shortly after I bought the house I became so overwhelmed that I became emotionally paralysed. I remember going over to a friend's house with my sister and staring at the TV, feeling totally incapable of moving or making any decisions about what to do next. I felt literally frozen in place. I was completely overwhelmed but I couldn't even articulate what was wrong. I wasn't depressed. I was just terrified.
When I bought the house, I thought I'd have it in the shape I wanted it to be in within a few months. I knew everything I wanted to do and in my mind's eye, I could see how beautiful it would all be when done. It has taken two and a half years to accomplish 75% of my original to-do list. Two and a half grueling, no-time-to-socialize, paint-splattered clothes, project cluttered years that I wouldn't give back for the world.
Unless you move into a place and have a TON of money and about a month off work to go shopping, meet with contractors and have your entire life turned upside down, it is going to take a while.
Unless your house is brand new. But even then . . . .
Even if you buy a condo . . .
And then, when you get your house into that perfect condition that you've always dreamed of, something goes wrong. And it usually costs a heck of a lot of money to fix it.
For me, a house is not only a home but a sanctuary. It is also a work of art. I consider myself a homemaker. It just so happens that I make a home for myself, my dog and my roommates instead of for my spouse and children. Still, the amount of time and thought and energy and grace that I put into creating a home is immense.
My home is an extension of me. It is an expression of myself. I want it to be clean and beautiful and peaceful because I want to bring clarity and beauty and peace into the world.
I am also very critical of my house. I see everything that is wrong with it. I see the tiny spots where the paint isn't perfect and I see the lack of landscaping in the front yard and I see the books, unceremoniously dumped on the bookshelf and the old aluminum windows that are SO inefficient. There are so so so so so so so many of these imperfections that others don't even notice but which nag at me every day. When I first moved in, there were so many things that needed to be done that I simply couldn't pick which one to start with.
But somehow I got through my new homeowner stupor. And I got down to business. I needed to learn fast and be strong if I was going to figure this all out.
So I started learning. Something broke and I figured out how to fix it. I learned to start thinking about how the plumbing works and how the air conditioner works and how screen doors work and which things can be fixed by a quick trip to Lowe's and which things need more than one set of hands to fix and who to call for what. A big part of owning a home is problem solving. And for me, it was also problem solving on the cheap.
I'm still learning-- often the hard way. There is no "done" when it comes to life or home ownership. If the building is still standing, there is work to be done.
This house, and all that is represents, and the people it shelters is a big part of my life.
So on Wednesdays I'll be sharing my struggles and my triumphs and my frustrations. And answering any question you might have to the best of my ability!