New Chapter, Part I

In spite of the many opposing emotions swirling around like a hurricane within me—grief, shock, sadness, excitement, exhilaration, anxiety, to name a few— I remember feeling a strange sense of lightness while waiting there at the gate. Strange as it was, it was of course welcomed, especially because in the last six years (and make no mistake: generally wonderful years) of being with Charlie, I was undoubtedly weighed down by my own inner feelings of uncertainty and doubt. To this day, the origin of those feelings was still a mystery; was there a lack of intellectual stimulation? Did I need someone to motivate me in more ways? Did he not challenge or inspire me enough? (My therapist loves that one— please be more vague,he says). After years of futile attempts to uncover their roots, I suppose I’ll never truly know, or at least not until enough time passes for retrospect to shine its inevitable light on the path that had now led me here: Gate C27, Terminal B, at Boston Logan on my way to Dallas Fort Worth.

I had half-expected to be jolted into a state of panic shortly after take-off, with thoughts of “what the hell am I doing?” swiftly replacing the above-mentioned lightness. Again, to my surprise, a sense of calm permeated by body, interrupted only by brief moments of excitement and anticipation for the days ahead. Four and a half hours ticked by, and as I touched down into DFW, I had felt more confident than ever that no matter what happened these next few days, I had made the right choice to come and to see this through.

After walking towards baggage claim and seamlessly retrieving my stuff, I of course did what any girl would do coming off a long flight headed to see a new male suitor: I promptly made my way to the bathroom to freshen up. I’m pretty sure in spite of the calm demeanor I so proudly describe above, I still sweated profusely the entire flight. A few dabs of perfume, a fresh application of deodorant, and another layer of lipstick later, I made my way to the pickup area where he’d meet me. “What are you driving?,” I’d texted him. He’d said something along the lines of “A big badass blue truck.” Of course, I should have suspected this, as I laughed silently under my breath thinking, I am in Texas, after all.

I made my way out and spotted his truck, again, feeling surprisingly calm, and saw him. We immediately embraced and I sort of lost my breath as he kissed me. I don’t think either of us could truly believe I had come, because most of the ride to his place left us quiet in a stunned sort of way. But never did it feel awkward, or unnatural. It felt like I had just jumped into an ocean of unknown depths, and I welcomed the water as it washed over me – it felt warm, cleansing, and I embraced its engulfment, not yet wanting to come up for air.

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Hello, it’s me

“Well there’s always retrospect to light a clearer path

Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good laugh”

-Indigo Girls

So it’s not been quite 5 years, but I still can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 since I last blogged! I actually forgot that this blog still existed; I assumed I had deleted it. But lately I’ve gotten the urge to write again, despite the voices in my head telling me blogging is narcissistic and self-indulgent, and that my life can’t possibly be so exciting I need to document it on the internet. I think more than anything, I’ve felt the need to connect to others again, as it had been a great platform to meet like-minded friends (Rachael I’m looking at you, even though we haven’t seen each other in umm… an eternity?)

What is new in my life, you ask? Well, when I last blogged I was:

  • 23
  • Living/working in Worcester at a dead-end job
  • Living with a friend I met on OkCupid (what is my life?)
  • Doing crazy things like going on juice cleanses, which I laugh at now (see above quote)
  • Dating emotionally unavailable/possibly sociopathic men who have secret girlfriends (read: M)
  • Trying desperately to find a job in Boston and move there
  • Running way too much thus resulting in many, many injuries
  • Trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life

Now I am:

  • 26
  • Working at a job I’ve been at for almost 2.5 years, located in the heart of Boston
  • Living outside Boston with a wonderful man (and two kitties!) who I’ve been with for almost just as long
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Blog-world, meet Charlie. He’s so adorable, right?

  • Running in moderation and injury-free (knock on wood)
  • About to start training for my first marathon and hoping to qualify for Boston

    IMG_2778

    10 Mile race I did back in March. I came in 5th in my age group!

  • Still trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life, but with more direction and footing and general contentment

To say a lot has changed in the past 3 years would be an understatement. So what next? I’m honestly not sure what direction this blog will take. Obviously, I won’t be detailing my online dates or juice cleanse experiences anymore. I’m hoping to at least record my runs and connect with some other Boston-based bloggers. As for everything else, you’ll have to stay tuned!

xo

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BluePrint Cleanse: Day 1

So, Day 1 really wasn’t bad at all. Let’s recap.

7:00 am: I wake up. I’m pumped. Let’s get my juice on. Let’s do this.

8:00 am: Ok, it’s not here yet. It may not arrive until 11. I’m going to make a small cup of coffee. Not part of the cleanse, but I’m not striving for perfection here. Let’s be real, I binged on cake a few days ago. A cup of coffee is nothing. Just drink it.

9:30 am: I hear the FedEx guy. I look out my window and he’s carrying a blue box. It’s here!!!! I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.

9:31 am: I take a sip of the first juice. This one is a green juice, made with kale, romaine, celery, parsley, cucumber, and lemon juice. Not bad. It tastes like a liquid salad, and I love salad. Okay. I can do this.

11:30 am: Time for juice numero dos. This is a sweeter one (ok, it’s really really sweet). PAM = Pineapple, Apple, Mint. Quite good. Actually, this would be good with a little rum. Mallory, you’re detoxing, get your mind out of the toxic, alcohol-flooded gutter.

1:30 pm: Juice 3. This is the same green juice I had at 9:30. Still pretty good.

3:30 pm: Juice 4. Spicy lemonade = lemonade spiked with some cayenne pepper. I like this one a lot. Except at this point I’m starting to feel slightly feverish, like I’m cold but actually sweating. I put on a sweatshirt at this point and then take it off five seconds later. I decided I need some air, so I take a little walk outside at this point. Still feeling pretty energized, and definitely not hungry.

5:30 pm: Time for the red juice. This is some sort of beet concoction, with apple, lemon, and some others I can’t quite remember. My roommate looks at me, disgusted. I triple dog dare him to do a shot of it. He politely declines. This was my least favorite, but I got it down.

7:30 pm: A friend;) comes over. This is where I kind of definitely cheated. The last drink of the day is supposed to be a thick cashew milk drink, and is apparently delicious. But I didn’t drink it. I did drink juice of a different variety, though… okay, confession time, I had a glass of wine. But it was red wine, so it’s okay. Honestly, 99% of the “toxins” which are flooding my body are comprised of cake, cookies, candy, and refined carbs. I don’t feel guilty about having the wine. It could have been much worse. It did go straight to my head though. Well, duh.

So now I have an extra cashew milk drink. I might drink that first thing this morning, after I finish my coffee. Oh yeah.. I decided to make coffee okay on this cleanse. Whatever.

Day 1 wasn’t bad at all. BUT, I have a feeling things are going to get much harder. I woke up this morning with a gnawing hunger in the pit of my stomach, the kind of hunger pang that travels up into your temples when it strikes (do any of you know what I’m talking about?). It was a bit disheartening to think of doing this for two more days. I entertained the thought of stopping, but the price tag and my pride are keeping me on track.

And when you think about it, hunger isn’t pain or suffering. It’s purely discomfort. A lot of things in life are uncomfortable. If we learn to sit with the discomfort, we realize it’s not as scary as we think it is. Just like learning to sit with other uncomfortable emotions: fear, disappointment, worry, sadness, anger. When we go to extreme measures to avoid feeling certain emotions is when we really screw ourselves. Not that we shouldn’t avoid feeling hungry, or that hunger is an emotion. But you know what I’m saying, right? I need a cracker.

Bring on Day 2…

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From Feasting to (Juice) Fasting

I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit to this, but I’m doing a juice cleanse. Yes, we live in a world where over 800 million people are undernourished, and where hunger is one of the biggest public health issues – yet, people will pay exorbitant amounts of money to spend three days subsisting on juice alone. Only in America. And now, I am one of those people. Did I mention I’m ashamed?

blueprint

I am also fairly certain there is no scientific evidence to back the claim there are health benefits to juicing. Clearing out toxins in the body? I’m pretty sure that’s what our liver is for. Hello. With that said, I want to do this because I think I will feel better afterwards. Not because of fewer “toxins” in my body, but because I’ve been eating like complete crap over the last few months. Lots of sweets, lots of wine, and lots of general not caring about what I’m eating. Which is fine. We all go through months of bad eating. So, I’m hoping that more than anything, this cleanse will help me “reset” mentally and change my mentality a bit.

I chose to do the BluePrint 3-day renovation cleanse, and they suggest you prep for it a few days beforehand by eating really clean — veggies, fruit, fish — you know. Well, considering I ate about 6 pieces of leftover birthday cake yesterday, that was kind of shot to hell. Oh and you’re not supposed to drink coffee on this cleanse. I’m not sure if I will abide by this rule yet.

I figure I can do anything for three days, right? Right?! Ok, good, I’m glad you agree with me.

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Living in the Now and Other Stupid Clichés

Okay, I will be the first to admit that I absolutely despise clichés.

“Everything happens for a reason!” Sorry, but I dare you to think of a good enough reason why I got dumped, fired, and in a car accident in the span of a week. (Those things didn’t actually happen to me, but if they did, I’d be hard pressed to rationalize those events by trying to find some bigger, more profound reason explaining why they occurred).

“It is what it is.” Um, what IS it exactly? And is that all the advice you’re giving me? Thanks for that deep, sympathetic response to my crisis with which you obviously neither empathize nor understand. Ugh.

You get the point, I hate them. Unfortunately, though, there are some clichés that hold truth, and “living in the moment” is one that I think resonates with (or SHOULD resonate with) a lot of quarter-lifers.

It’s easy to think of your twenties as one big “when I do _____, I will feel/do/achieve ____” When I finally save some money, I won’t be so stressed out. When I apply to graduate school, I’ll feel more confident about the direction of my life. Once my injury heals completely, I’ll be able to run more and feel better about myself.

That all may be true and dandy, but what about now? What can you do in this moment to feel good about yourself and your life? Sometimes I find myself wanting to fast forward a few years to when I know I’ll be in a more comfortable, stable, and “linear” place but — hello, why do I want to skip years of my youth?

So I will try to challenge myself and say: what is something small you can do today to feel fulfilled? Sometimes it’s just something simple like reading a book or writing a blog post or calling an old friend with whom I haven’t spoken in a while. Anything that gets me out of my routine (which usually includes either working, the gym, spending mindless hours staring at my computer screen, annoying my roommate) can help. Because let’s face it, constantly wishing away the present in exchange for the future is a pretty exhausting way to live.

Not to get all self-help-y on you today, but living in each moment is really important, especially for me now. I’m traveling back to CT this week for a job interview. I don’t know what will happen or where I will be in a month if I get it or if I don’t get it, for that matter.

Uncertainty is overwhelming. The unknown is scary. Mainly, because you can’t control it. So, work with what you can control: the present.

Do something that makes you happy today.

(And tell me what it is in the comments, because I’m nosy like that).

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Can a Guy Be Too Nice? Or Perhaps I Just Like Assholes

My roommate joked the other night that M has ruined me, and has made me think that I deserve to be dating an asshat. Or that chasing someone is normal. Or that douchebaggery is sexy… or something.

I went on three dates with an awesome guy with whom I have lots in common. We both run (granted, I would never be able to keep up with him), we have similar personalities, shared interests, oddly similar relationships with our parents, and the list goes on. From our first date, I didn’t feel that “spark” with him, the spark that I felt on my first date with M or New Guy, but, hey, fireworks aren’t everything. Besides, both M and New Guy ended up being assholes, so I gave it another go.

So for our second date, we went out to dinner. Good conversation, I learn a bit more about him, he asks me questions that say he’s really serious about commitment and not just playing games or dating a 23 year old for the sake of dating a 23 year old (he’s 34, by the way). I really like him at this point but still don’t feel chemistry.

At this point I should have ended it, and I feel badly that I waited until after our third date, but I wasn’t letting him go until I was sure! So, we met for lunch and then took a walk. During our walk, he asked if it would be okay to hold my hand (seriously, how NICE is that?). When I told him “yes,” and that he didn’t have to ask, he replied back that he didn’t want to startle me. The same thing happened as we were leaving and he asked if he could kiss me.

I thought that perhaps after our kiss the chemistry would kick in, but alas, it just didn’t. The whole way home I was berating myself for going because I felt I had led him on too much at this point already. I hate rejecting people because rejection just sucks, plain and simple. We’ve all been there.

So I called him Monday night to tell him I just wasn’t feeling the chemistry. The elusive “spark.” I was nervous, because it would inevitably be awkward, but texting him would have been cowardly and lame (New Guy, if you’re reading this, take a hint). His reaction made me like him even more. Ugh. But, you can’t fake chemistry. It’s something hard to define, but you certainly know if it’s there — or if it’s not.

So now I have questions for you people…

If you don’t feel chemistry on Date One (or Two), should you give it another chance?

Can a guy be too nice?

Do I have self-worth issues? Just kidding. Kind of.

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On Being Alone in Your Twenties

The other day I was talking to a girlfriend who is in a situation similar to the one I found myself in with M for a year. They haven’t established any kind of exclusivity, he hasn’t been treating her well, he does shady things like block her from his Facebook (yet he recently friended me on Facebook…), and the list goes on.

She texted me earlier today that it made her sad he treats her this way, but even more so that she allows him to do it. She wonders if, perhaps, she lets him continue to hurt her so that she wouldn’t feel so alone.

Of course, an outsider looking in on our conversation would have thought she has some kind of lingering self-esteem issues and was incredibly self-destructive. Why stay in something that you know is so toxic? That actually makes you feel crappy more often than it makes you feel good? Probably for one of the same reasons women often stay in abusive relationships they know they need to get out of: a fear of being alone again.

I truly believe being in your early to mid-twenties (my friend is 24) can be an inherently lonely time. There’s a lot of change and uncertainty, your friends are constantly moving and may not live nearby anymore, you no longer live on a campus filled with people to whom you naturally relate, and you’re in the process of figuring out your life.

Oh, and the 3 new engagement notifications on Facebook per day isn’t quite helping. (Seriously, why is everyone getting married?)

I think it’s natural to want to hold on to a relationship that you know isn’t right because then at least you have someone to share all of the confusion that comes with being in your twenties.

But the thing about bad relationships and loneliness is that being with the wrong person can actually make you feel more alone than being single. It’s hard to realize when you’re in it, but in hindsight it’s obvious. For me, being with M caused a vicious cycle of perpetual feelings of loneliness. I move to a new city in which I knew very few people –> I live alone for a year –> I start dating a guy I really like/am attracted to –> I realize he is emotionally unavailable and makes me feel lonely/empty    –> I crave his attention more to fill the emptiness he causes, yet is incapable of filling. A catch-22.

Of course, like any vicious cycle, it’s incredibly hard to get out of. If it were easy, we wouldn’t engage in such self-destructive behavior to begin with. To know what the right thing to do is and to actually do it are two different things. I’m hoping she will take action quicker than I did (and I hope it doesn’t take her discovering he actually has a girlfriend to cut him out for good).

What are your thoughts on your twenties and loneliness?

Posted in loneliness, relationships, toxic relationships, your twenties | 3 Comments