Monday, December 31, 2012

Quoteworthy: Beginnings

I'm feeling a little cruddy as I continue to recover from whatever it was that hit me over Christmas--the flucoldplaguesinusinfection monster.

So I'm taking it easy on New Year's Eve for the first time since... well, probably Kindergarten.

My first legal New Year's Eve. ID at the ready.

Today I'm thinking a lot about beginnings. I used to write a lot of resolutions for the new year--sometimes up to 50. Most were specific ("spend more time with Papa", "plan a kayaking trip") but sometimes they were general, too ("complain less", "eat more greens"). Aside from writing more, I don't have any resolutions in mind going into 2013. I'm trusting the universe with this one.

Instead, I am going to ride the coattails of the inspiration that comes from beginnings. Here are a few quotes I found to be particularly heartening. Wishing you all a healthy, happy, inspiring New Year.

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." --C.S. Lewis

"What you seek is seeking you." --Rumi

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." --Semisonic (Oh why yes, I went there.) 

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life--and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." --Georgia O'Keeffe 

"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." --Eames (Tom Hardy), Inception

Beginning (n): a source; an origin

Inspiration (n): a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul

Here's hoping 2013 brings you divine influence.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Brain Crush: Ray Bradbury + Writing Prompts for 2013

Well, my, my, my. I have been slacking.

I feel inspired, though. It might be because after spending the last 6 days in bed with the plague flu, I am vertical and I don't feel like I am simultaneously choking on poison and enduring a medieval brain surgery. It also might have something to do with the 72 hours of TV I watched, because now that I am coming back to life, my brain is buzzing like crazy. I have so many ideas floating around in there, thanks in part to Seasons 1-3 of United States of Tara, Seasons 1 and 2 of Breaking Bad, Season 4 of Gossip Girl, Season 4 of Mad Men, etc, etc, etc. I mean every single one of those etceteras, people. It's been a long and lazy week.

One reason I've been avoiding this blog is that, after a technical mishap in October, I lost the bird theme for blogger, so I was left with pink on beige... blech. So yesterday while hacking up a lung, I fixed up my blog. It's nothing fancy, just a quick Photoshop header with some free font, and a sprucing up of colors, plus a little self portrait from when I was playing with a new photo editing app during The Great Instagram Privacy Scare of 2012.

So, with that excuse out of the way, I am (re?)pledging to write more often in 2013. Don't call it a comeback, just call it a garden variety resolution.

During my horizontal time, I came across this video interview of author Ray Bradbury:

It's full of advice Ray gave to young writers. These tips are not only useful, they are funny and, like all good advice, many apply to life outside of writing.

It's funny because on Pinterest the other day I came across something a friend (who is a 5th grade teacher) pinned: 52 Writing Prompts for Your Class. I thought, Man, I wish someone would give me prompts. I wished that because some of my favorite things I've written have come from a really random suggestion: "You should write about that, Bobbi." Don't get me wrong, there are times that I scramble to find a cocktail napkin because something inspires me, but there have been considerable amount of times that my initial motivation to write something has been external.

But what's interesting about that is what Mr. Bradbury says in this video: Write down 10 things you love, and 10 things you hate, and start from there. He says you can "kill" the former by writing about them. Then do the same with your fears.

Okay, I can totally get behind that.

What I realized, though, is that while this list motivates me to write, the 20 things on it (and countless fears it encourages me to tackle) are actually internally motivated. Sneaky, Mr. Bradbury. Exceptionally sneaky.

10 Things I Love and Need to Freaking Write About
1. Being an independent woman... and all the fears, freak-outs and fabulousness that come along with it
2. Friendship... in all its complex and oftentimes incredibly difficult glory
3. Food... nutrition, food sensitivities, managing a healthy lifestyle, recipe ideas galore
4. Personal development... the balance between loving who you are and loving to grow
5. Travel... why going from here to there and back to here is about so much more than just sightseeing
6. Finding meaning in the small things... stopping to smell the roses, so to speak
7. Family... "a group of people missing the same imaginary place" (Garden State, anyone?)
8. Design... universal, necessary and a heck of a lot more accessible than most think
9. Relationships... while the Lack Of One should keep me busy (writing, that is) for a while, I've always enjoyed reading about relationships. Maybe it's time to join the discussion
10. Writing... whoa, that's meta. Writing is important to me, why not write about it?

Funny that most things on this list also gel with other popular writing advice: Write what you know.

10 Things I Hate and Therefore Need To Kill By Writing About Them
1. People who take themselves too seriously
2. When people, particularly women, compare themselves to one another
3. When people forget to take care of themselves first and get lost in the job, family, kids, money
4. Anxiety and how it's true when they say you don't cure it, you just manage it
5. When people are afraid to tackle a new project for fear of failing (myself included)
6. How friendships change as you go through new life stages
7. When people say they can't afford to be healthy (step. away. from. the. chicken. nuggets.)
8. Misunderstandings
9. Feeling uninspired or stuck
10. Anything or anyone not genuine or authentic

Thanks, Ray.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today and every day, there is so, so much to be thankful for.
  • My mom--my biggest cheerleader, who is supportive of each and every crazy idea I conjure up. 
  • My dad--who has always made me feel like the funniest, most beautiful, smartest girl in the land.
  • My brother--who is funny, loyal and thoughtful, who lets me have my idiosyncrasies but calls me on my shit.
  • My pup--who teaches me patience, shows me unconditional love, and brightens my everyday.
  • My friends--whose blossoming lives inspire me, make me think, and show me how beautiful life is. The way that they show me what life can become, what strength looks like, and love. The wonderful men and women they have married, and the beautiful, inquisitive, curious children they have brought into the world. 
  • My family, each and every one of the crazy bunch--who show me where my place is in this world, and who, despite wanting me to be close, encourage me to explore the rest of it.
  • My health--my goodness, my health, my health, my health! I'm so thankful for the upswing, the people who show me ways to live healthier, and the people who have helped me in the meantime. 
  • My job--meaningful work, the fruition of hard work, the opportunity to make a difference.
  • My house--the independence it symbolizes, and the lessens it teaches me. And the hot tub, because, yeah. 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Open Letters I Have Half a Mind To Send

Do you guys read McSweeney's? I'm sort of obsessed, particularly with their Open Letters. Though infrequent, many Open Letter posts have found me nodding enthusiastically or doing the pee-pee dance, particularly this one, this one and this one.

So, for the past few months, I've been keeping a list of letters I'd like to release to the world. If I could boil this stuff down to under 140 characters, I might just start using my Twitter account to get it off my chest. Well, start using it for more than just stalking Chris D'elia and 27 of my favorite bloggers, that is.

An Open Letter to Those Who Comment on My Meal Choices: 
I realize that when I walk in with a mason jar filled with brown-ish/green-ish sludge, your interest (and possibly gag reflex) is piqued. And mostly I don't mind answering your questions--usually I'm happy to ramble on at length about my newest obsession. But please have some manners. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it. Because in the future, if you do, I may just give you the real run down: In addition to a dozen other health benefits I found by eliminating 432 foods from my diet, I eat what makes my bowels less angry. That means that anyone with functioning olfactory capabilities gets to enjoy clean, neutral smelling air when blessed with my presence, and I get to have less painful/impossible potty-time. It really is a win, win, you see. It is in your best interest. So shut up, or pass the cheese and beware. P.S. The brown-ish/green-ish sludge is the most delicious superfood smoothie you could ever imagine and if you're nice to me I might share. 
In health and happily shared spaces, 
Bobbi Marie

An Open Letter to the People in My Life Who Are Mourning Their Favorite Sporting Team's Loss and/or Are Frustrated Over A Strike: 
There, there now. I'm so sorry you're sad/frustrated. This must be really hard for you and-- Oh, who am I kidding? I quickly show signs of Asperger's Syndrome when confronted with this. I don't know what to say, or how to look you in the eye, and I'd do anything to conjure up some empathy so that I might know how to cheer you up/pacify your angry outburst/make the crying stop. I basically have no idea whatsoever why this might be so important to ANYONE, and I do not understand how in the world the implications of someone missing a pitch can make you turn from Mister Rogers to Abby-the-4-year-old-NPR-fan in under 5 seconds. I just want my friend back so we can talk about things I understand. But, yeah, I hope you feel better soon...? 
Your biggest fan

Source - but you should really check out the site. Funny stuff.

An Open Letter to the Bully Spin Instructor who Singled Me Out in Front of the Whole Flipping Class in 2010 and Made Me Do Jumps Even Though I Explicitly Said My Knee was Injured: 
Thanks for cranking up the resistance... on my willingness to brave group exercise, you Nazi you. You're mean and I get the impression by the size of your biceps that you might feel the need to prove something to the world. If you're looking to have impact that is in line with your skill set, might I suggest applying to be a coach for the WWE? Basically, I'm still traumatized by our encounter almost three years later, and I think you might be a little too intense for the YMCA. 
Still seething

An Open Letter to My Right Quadricep: 
Okay, look, I'm sorry that the Spin Instructor was mean to you when you were at your most feeble. And I'm sorry that the stubborn discs in my back are pinching off your nerve/life-source. But can you find a way to muster up some freaking enthusiasm? After all, the rest of my body has had just as much time on the bench as you. Show some commitment. Learn to get along with your neighbors. Give my right knee some support! Get in the game! 
See you on the field, 
Coach Bobbi

An Open Letter to the State of Michigan:
Thanks for going blue on this one. I'm really proud of you.
A Yooper Democrat for Life

An Open Letter to The Bald Man Who Swore At Me Because He Thought I Cut Him Off At The Light Outside My Office: 
Dude, you were in the TURNING LANE. According to Michigan Intersection Signage Law (or something like that), you were supposed to be TURNING after pausing temporarily for through traffic. The right lane, that I was in, is the through-traffic lane. YOU were wrong. Should you have calmed down from your Britney-in-'07-style temper tantrum and found the good sense to want to apologize, I work in that building over there in Suite 207. Bring Skittles. 
Peacefully yours, 
The innocent brunette in the red Jeep

An Open Letter to the Girl in the Sparkly Dress at the Nursing Gala on Saturday Night at The Landmark in Marquette, MI: 
You go, girl. (This post is turning into Missed Connections...)
The jealous girl in the corner on her 4th dirty martini who will never have the chutzpah you had when you put your heels on and walked out the door

An Open Letter to the "Doctors" That Provided My "Care" circa '10-'12: 
I'm gonna assume you know what this one would say, and on the off chance that my grandmother might suddenly get an iPad and read this blog, I'm going to leave those expletives unsaid. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Things I Suck At

Do you ever just have one of those days that are full of things you suck at? And you're like, come on, DAY, include something that is a slam dunk for me! I need a good win for team morale! (Yeah, I'm talking about Team Me.) Today I am finally back to doing tasks I excel at, like running 12 errands on my lunch hour and making hard-boiled eggs.

The rest of this week, however, was full of DAYS:

  • I feel like I might never get the hang of cash flow. Never fails, I feel rich at the beginning of a pay period and by the end, I am Mother Hubbard trying to figure out what to do with the eight cans of beans I bought last week because they were on sale. There should be an iPhone app that pays all your bills for the month and then divides up the remainder, doling it out evenly each week. I would pay for that. Which might just highlight my ineptness in the wallet department.

  • Forgiveness has never felt natural to me. I don't know where absolving you of your sins ends and letting you walk all over me begins. 'Forgive but don't forget' makes no sense to me. 
  • I'm always awkward when checking in at the doctor's office. Sometimes they want you to sign the little labels, sometimes they want to know why you are there, sometimes they role out the red carpet for you, and sometimes they act like you are bothering them. It's extremely inconsistent and it makes me so awkward. Add that to White Coat Syndrome and I'm pretty much at my worst in the doctor's office.
  • We all know it takes heaven and earth to make me make a phone call. The fact that I have a professional job and tons of friends is a miracle because home girl SUCKS at the phone. Mercury has to be in retrograde and the stars all have to align for me to pick up and dial.
  • I mean, we should probably just go ahead and put cleaning on this list.

  • I'm kind of scary with a knife in my hands. I'm really really bad at chopping things. I'm inconsistent, a little erratic and I may end up in the ER. Oddly enough, it's one of my favorite tasks in the kitchen. 
  • If I had a nickel for every time I forgot to charge my flipping iPod, I could bribe my gym to play 50cent on repeat with a hint of J.Lo and Ludacris over the loud speaker. It's hard to stay motivated when your iPod dies 10 minutes after you get to the gym. I need my Fitty, but I can't manage to remember to plug the iPod in when I get home.
  • I'm really bad at being nice to people when I'm too warm
  • I realized the other day that I have completely forgotten how to do long-division. Absolutely no idea. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bobbi Lately

  • Lately, I've been savoring the last bits of fall. 

  • Lately, I've been an eBay hustler. I've sold 5 bridesmaid dresses, and 10 other items.
  • Lately, I've been adding to the gallery of frames in my stairwell. It's winding up the stairs!

  • Lately, I've been sucking down India Spice Yogi Tea. 

I've also been taking the quotes as signs:

  • Lately, I've been catching up with my Neglected People List. Aunts, cousins, friends. A busy summer had me putting many of my people on the back burner. It's been fun catching up!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What a Hoot!

This past weekend I was in Chicago visiting friends for Halloween. I was originally going to go as Ariel from the Little Mermaid, but the weekend prior, I had a free Saturday in which I ended up at Starbucks for some internet, which led to caffeine, which led to Goodwill, which led to Michael's, which led to my glue gun, which, well, led to an owl costume. Caffeine + Bobbi = some pretty interesting things.

But not before some Pinspiration:

First stop: Goodwill. 

Did you know that at Goodwill there is a tag color of the day...and that items with that color tag are 99 cents?! This is bananas. I got a little distracted searching for pink tags on items I wanted for myself, but after about 45 minutes (coincidentally when I had finished sucking down my Venti half-caff latte), I returned to the task at hand. 

My plan was to find clothing items that I could salvage for "feathers"... but the plan quickly became finding clothing items with pink tags that I could salvage for "feathers". I managed to find 6 shirts with various colors, patterns and textures. I added these to 3 fabric remnants that I had at home, for a total of 9 different 'feathers'.
Clockwise from top left: (1) zig-zaggy remnants from my entryway bench project, (2) a pink-tag shirt, a majority of which I used for the base of the costume, (3) remnant from a dress I had shortened into a tunic, (3) a pink-tag khaki jumper, (4) a $3.99 investment from GW... because I loved the plaid pattern, (5) a pink-tag shirt, (6) more remnants from the #3 dress. Inside: two pink-tag items. 

I spent a total of $8.94 at Goodwill, or $9.93 if you count the belt I used to cinch the waist. Bonus belt because it's totally cute enough to wear again.

Next stop: Michaels. I think the caffeine really kicked in here because I bought waaaaay too many embellishments for my mask. Including gold pipe cleaners, jewels, feathers and puffy paint. 

When I got home, I dumped out the goodies and my heart fluttered because I loveeee these colors. 

I played around with different things, including H-to-the-Izzo:

Yuuuup, that's a spit bubble. 

Poor Henley. She didn't ask for a crazy mama. But, smart monkey that she is, she puts up with it because, well, I give her treats and cuddles and walks. 

I used a cardboard template to cut the "feathers" you saw above with my brand new fabric scissors. This took the bulk of the time, but it was kind of meditative and soothing. I also blasted Mandy Moore on Pandora, so that might have had something to do with my zone

You know you found something you love when even your scrap pile is pretty. 

I then fired up my hot glue gun and settled in for a good time. I started at the bottom and glued on rows of feathers to a tunic-length shirt (99-cent pink tag, baby). This shirt had some stretch to it, which I think was the key reason all the different types of fabric glued nicely to it. The rows were perfectly imperfect. I made sure to let the bottom row of 'feathers' hang off of the shirt so you couldn't see the bottom hem. 

Then, I kept going (and jamming, because, let's face it, Mandy Moore is under-appreciated as a musical artist), remembering to alternate patterns. I only had a handful of the feathers made out of the remnants I had from other projects, so I made sure to spread those throughout the costume. As I went, I glued down the feathers on top of the row below them, making sure that the feathers would lay flat but still have some texture to them. 

You can't really see it above, but one of the pink-tag shirts had a cute applique, which I glued on to the tunic as a cute neckline. Then I just kept going with the feathers, making note of how they laid around the neckline. I planned to wear a cardigan with it, so I didn't fret too much about the sides of the shirt or the shoulders. 

For the mask, I used a plastic mask that came in a group of 3 for $1.00 (read: LEFTOVER MASKS, PEOPLE). I hot glued light pink foam to it, cutting off the nose and making sure to be careful as I trimmed it smaller to fit my face. I cut the eye-holes bigger and glued hot pink felt around them. I used a 99-cent felt Halloween pumpkin to cut the owl nose out. I then glued gold pipe cleaners around the outside, feathers to the side of the eyes, and jewels to the eyes. I had to stop myself before I went crazy with the puffy paint. I wanted it to be simple, but I was have so much damn fun with arts and crafts time. Again, LEFTOVER MASKS. Who wants to have fun on New Years?

This is pretty much the best photo I have of me in the costume (Bobbi + vodka, after all). Yep, I'm wearing a jacket, but just use your imagination if you can. That's Eric. He's a keeper.

This really got me itching to learn to sew. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Girl Crush: Maggie Mason: Personal Dos and Don'ts

I've been recovering from weekends upon weekends on the go, allowing my body adequate time to rest and rebuild. Which means, I've been reading a lot of blogs. Blogs about food. Blogs about life. Blogs about doing things.

Which leads me to an introduction. Friends, Maggie Mason. Maggie is an amazing blogger who has a life list worthy of some serious jealously. (Some serious inspiration right there, folks.)

She recently wrote a post about her personal Dos and Don'ts. In Maggie's words, a reminder to herself: "When I feel cruddy, I add whatever got me there to the Stop It List, and when I feel happy, I add to the Do Its." You all know how I am about reminders.

So here is my first drafts of my personal reminders:

Cook for yourself.
Read on the porch with your pooch by your side.
Have catch-up lunches with friends and family members. (Don't forget to tally them.)
Call your mom.
Sit in the garage with your dad.
Relish in clean sheets once a week.
Try making new Kombucha flavors.
Play some Tetris every once and a while.
Visit the Lake.
Take a class. The weirder the better.
Snuggle Henley's face at least twice per day.
Wear your hair down if you have an important meeting. It bolsters your confidence.
For even more confidence, use the lip stain, wear the heels and remember to clean your fingernails.
Wear the brown boots. You like those.
If you need to cry, try Sheryl Crow.
If you need to smile, try the Beatles.
Roll your towels like a fancy hotel.
Write. (Seriously.)

Don't push yourself when you know you need to rest.
Don't read the news for more than 10 minutes per day.
Avoid cable at all costs.
Don't listen to too much Damien Rice. You'll know when you're getting to too much.
Never, ever listen to Yellowcard.
Don't text that boy. Or that one.
Don't over-layer. Heat makes you cuh-rabby!
Stop texting all of the boys.
Never stray from the vodka. The shots will bite you in the butt.
Don't stop communicating until you feel heard. You must feel heard.
Don't eat the cheese. That won't end well.

You guys, I'm really proud that my Do list is longer than my Don't list!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


My mom is pretty jazzed that I have my own storage area in my basement. Her excitement is palpable--she's reclaiming her own basement and sending me home with bins and boxes when I visit. Each bin is a reminder that I am as sentimental as they come. Case in point: I only recently decided it was an acceptable time to throw away my box of notes from seventh grade. Toni Wachter, I'm sorry. Our history is now undocumented. Your folding skills are still unprecedented.

When I went to take a sauna last night at my parents' house, the sauna changing room was filled with what I think are the final three bins: My porcelain doll collection, my Beanie Babies and my baseball cards.

I received a porcelain doll each Christmas morning for years. It started around age 7, when I tired of getting a Cabbage Patch doll each Christmas morning. (By the time I was 7, I had triplets. Kind of explains why I always thought I'd have 5 kids...) I loved those porcelain dolls: I loved their glossy curls, I loved their painted freckles, I love the delicate ruffles on their dresses. I loved seeing them standing all fancy on my dresser. They made me feel special and girly, and I realized last night that while I favored the blonde ones, wishing I had their yellow curls, my mom always made sure there were a few brunettes in the mix for good measure. I favor the brunettes now.

The Beanie Babies were a fad, yes, but totally exciting and all-consuming too. I remember serious discussions with my brother, about which ones were mine, and which ones were his, and which ones we wanted to put on our wish list. We were running a Beanie Baby business, him and I, and damn it if I wasn't going to run a tight ship. I'm fairly certain that had I had access to Excel, I would have had some serious spreadsheets going on.  I think the box contains both his and mine, our inventory thrown together after a year or two in business.

When I opened the bin containing the baseball cards, memories flooded back to me. In my painstakingly bubbly second-grade penmanship, the cards were labeled in albums by team. "Angels/Dodgers" was crossed out, probably when I made a big trade with the neighbor boys and gained more Angels cards. One book, I noticed, was alphabetized by first name. I'm telling you, I am who I am. Even when I was 10.

I'll be doing some market research on the cards and animals on eBay. Here's hoping Eric McQuaid and the boy across the street didn't end up trading me out of all the good cards. Jakey, don't worry, you'll receive dividends on the Beanie Bag dynasty. The porcelain dolls will get a corner of my own basement, next to the yearbooks and bin of goodies (orange dress and all).

It's funny, what remains from your childhood. It's a delicate balance, learning what to hold on to and what to let go.

we would heal, be humbled, and be unstoppable
we'd hold close and let go and know when to do which
we'd release and disarm and stand up and feel safe
this is my utopia
this is my ideal, my end in sight
this is my utopia
--Alanis Morissette

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Upswing

My last post was a bit depressing, yes, but pretty indicative of the last year, and pretty cathartic to write. While my pain has gone up and down, in the worst of it I went from bed to work to store to bed, rinse and repeat. Thankfully, after a few weeks of pool therapy (and jet massages!), I am feeling pretty good, and am able to move on to some more full-body strengthening in addition to some more pool time.

Two things that have helped tremendously this time around is walking with my friend Allison in the mornings and listening to my body. When I'm tired, I rest. When I need to expend some energy, I walk on the beach with Henley. When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm not, I read. Breaking up others' (read: doctors') expectations and settling into my own non-rhythm has been, I think, what is key to getting me to a place in physical therapy where I can strengthen without overdoing it, seizing up or having spasms. That, or the irritated nerve is healing. Either way.

Either way really is fine (I'll take any progress I can get!), but the lesson is not lost on me. How can it be? It keeps popping up over and over. Hey, Bobbi, chill a little. Let it happen. Take it slowly.

I'm on the upswing. My muscles are sore (in a good way). My heart is light. I'm going to try to gain some momentum this time.

How To: The Pursuit of Better

Call your retired father in the middle of the day to ask him a question you already know the answer to. Bristle when he answers the phone in a crabby tone. Take it personally. Walk into your next meeting feeling anxious. Remember the time your co-worker commented, "You just take things so personally!"

Take a deep breath, like the experts say to. Take three more for good measure. Remind yourself that taking it personally is what makes you human, makes you empathetic, makes you you. Watch your boss's mouth move but have no idea what she is saying. Focus on making your face as neutral as possible. Nod and laugh when appropriate.

Trudge through the rest of your day. Feel bad that you took it personally; he is in a lot of pain, after all. Do your back exercises on your grungy office carpeting and try to believe they work. Close your eyes really hard and try to believe that you will be better soon.

Hop back up to your top-of-the-line office chair, position your lumber support pillow and sit. Sit some more. Try not to flinch. Try to believe this chair makes it better.

Arrive home without remembering the drive. Silently but solemnly hope that you obeyed the new traffic signs at the intersection by your office. Tell yourself, 'No one honked. You must have done it right.' Tell yourself you're tired, you're doing your best. Try to believe it.

Hug your dog while she perches in that familiar spot on the couch. Breathe her in. Try to remember the last time your heart beat like hers is now. Remind yourself those moments come in waves. It might be a while, but you'll feel it again.

Chop up some carrots for dinner. Give your mom short answers when she calls. Tell her not to take it personally. Feel bad when you hang up the phone.

Eat half of your dinner. Put the other half in a Ziploc container for tomorrow. Lie down. Kiss your dog's face. Smile for the first time in hours when her tail goes thump-thump-thump. Be thankful that those moments do not come in waves for her. Take it personally.

Do your back exercises on your grungy bedroom carpeting. Vow to work vacuuming into your schedule tomorrow. Mentally move laundry to the next day, since you're vacuuming tomorrow. Wish there was someone to carry it up the stairs for you. Wish there was someone at all. Quickly strike that thought. You are an independent woman. You will feel it again soon. Believe it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Happy Birthday Henley!

I don't care if this makes me a crazy dog lady--It is your birthday and I am writing you a letter. (Also, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of other things I do that make me a crazy dog lady. This letter is really just confirmation.)

It is pretty crazy how much I love you, though; crazy in the way that it is hard to contain, hard to quantify, hard to hide. But what I really love about you is the way that you are always teaching me something. (Such as: don't let 80% of the pictures you take of your puppy on the day you bring her home be pictures that also include a boyfriend who was soon to be an ex-boyfriend. Take some of just the puppy because on her third birthday you will want to write her a letter and it is tough to crop him out. Sometimes the lessons you teach me are very specific.)

I imagine that what you learn by having a dogbaby is about 1/100th of what you learn by having a humanbaby. But even through all of the struggles and "teachable moments", you taught me the one lesson I needed the most--you came along at the very precise moment that I needed to learn that love can reach a depth not yet known to me. That it's out there, and sometimes you just need to travel to a farm in Podunk, Wisconsin to find it.

But, really, I never knew that I could love you so much in spite of how you drive me crazy. Over the past three years, it's almost as if the things that you do that drive me crazy have become the things I love most about you.

Case in point: I love when you fart so loud that you startle yourself. I love it even more that you get up and drag yourself across the room as if the sound/smell that just came out of nowhere is the most offensive thing you can imagine. You look so put out that you needed to move to get away from the vile offense. I love that about you. You're really dramatic sometimes. And smelly.

I love that you are so excited when someone you know comes to the door that you cannot find it in yourself to behave. This I have come to understand about you: It's true when they say that dogs want to behave, they want to please their people. I see that in you in the average moment. But when Auntie Anna comes into the driveway with or without Apollo, or when you smell something that you. must. in. hale.,  or when you see a flipping bunny, you are overtaken. You always come around, though, and you know you deserve the little swat on the butt so you take it in stride.

I love the way you think sitting against any surface, means that you need to go out, even if its a wall on the second floor. I love that you eat the pulp after I make juice with gusto and enthusiasm--and I love the way your tail tap-tap-taps on the floor when I call you "healthy puppy!" (See also: wanting to please.)

My dad (your Grampy) used to say that he wanted to invent 'shrink pills' that would make me 2-years-old again whenever he wanted. He said it when I got my license, when I went to prom, at all three graduations, and on the day I closed on the house. He said I was growing up too fast--still does. I know what he means now. I wish someone would patent those pills, or a sister pill, that would let you live forever.

But when I really think about it, I am thankful too to your finiteness. You will only live another 10 or 11 years, max, and I think about that more often than is probably good for my mental health. But it means that I am keenly aware that I need to hug you, care for you, enjoy you each and every day, each and every minute, even if it's the minute you slobber on my black dress pants two minutes before I need to walk out the door to a meeting. I love that about you because it helps me learn to love my humans too--even when their proverbial slobber rears its ugly head. I'm thankful for that.

I promise that I will love you even in those moments, because even in those moments you are teaching me how to take life in stride and find the beauty in it.

I love you, beauty. You're my little plum.

(But seriously, enough with the fucking bunnies.)

Love, Mama
 I love that you have paws that are twice as big as they should be.
I love that you always want to be included.
(Last minute wedding planning. Doggone those details!)

I love that you've come to love bathes even though the first one didn't go so hot.
I love that you make me laugh just by being alive. You're pretty hilarious.
I love that you love your boyfriends with enthusiasm. (They love you back. I can tell.)

I love that you think you weigh 20lbs like you did when you were a pup.

I love you, Henley Boo Boo!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sehnsucht: Consider Me An Addict

When I embarked on my 30-before-30 list, I set out to knock some things off my want-to-do list, to put them in ink and start working my way down. I expected there to be a lot of lessons in that. I expected that there would be some hiccups, and I even expected that when I turned 30, there would still be some things on my list that I hadn't yet accomplished. Above all, I knew I was going to struggle with accepting the undone. I just didn't realize how much.
Let me explain. I've been feeling this mourning lately, for things that I want to do but might not be able to. It's as if putting a deadline on these 30 things made me frighteningly aware of the finiteness of the world. Or it might simply be the fact that most of my physical and some of my financial goals were wiped clean away by one tiny little irritable nerve in my back.

Or maybe I've just been reading too many articles and I'm feeling sorry for myself for being a member of "Generation Screwed". Or maybe I'm coming across too many articles about millenials who are feeling anxious or having a hard time gaining any traction in this thing called the real world.

Either way, I was beginning to feel an overly dramatic delayed sense of doom and gloom--like it just hit me that the economy tanked, it just hit me that you kind of need to pick and choose your dreams, it just hit me that this world isn't exactly what the generations before promised us. See: John Stewart's commencement speech:
"Lets talk about the real world for a moment... I’ll be blunt. We broke it. Please don’t be mad. I know we were supposed to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one we were handed. So, sorry... Somewhere between the gold rush of easy internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we heard kind of a pinging noise, and uh, then the damn thing just died on us. So I apologize."
I was bumming for a few weeks, trying to put my finger on exactly what I was feeling. It wasn't me giving up...that simply isn't in my blood. It wasn't entitlement--I know all good things in life are worth the sweat, tears and sleepless nights. It simply felt like I was longing for something. I wasn't sure what. I wasn't sure if it even existed. It just felt like something was missing.

So of course I kept reading. It's what over-thinkers do when their thoughts don't produce an acceptable conclusion. In the New York Times Article "Pinterest, Tumblr and the trouble with 'Curation'", Carina Chocano muses on why we seem to be, as a culture, addicted to perusing the internet for collections of other people's favorite things or, as she refers to it, perusing for 'lifestyle pornography'. Basically: why are chicks so damned addicted to Pinterest? And what is the fallout?

I thought I was just reading interesting social commentary about a popular social medium--what could this possibly have to do with me specifically? Alas, I stopped dead in my tracks when I read the following:
"There’s a German word for it, of course: Sehnsucht, which translates as “addictive yearning.” This is, I think, what these sites evoke: the feeling of being addicted to longing for something; specifically being addicted to the feeling that something is missing or incomplete. The point is not the thing that is being longed for, but the feeling of longing for the thing. And that feeling is necessarily ambivalent, combining both positive and negative emotions."
Oh. Uh, yeah. That sounds about right.

Except, contrary to what the contents of my own obsessively-curated Pinterest boards would have you believe, I long not for things but for experiences. For wisdom. For milestones. For the all-too-elusive happiness--though I don't know what it exactly looks like. I think I am, in fact, addicted to inspiration or enlightenment. After all, I do "occupy [myself] with or involve [myself] in it habitually or compulsively".

I openly acknowledge this about myself. This is not breaking news. In fact, this was a part of myself I struggled with pre-Pinterest. For crying out loud--2 of my goals are challenges based upon this very facet of my personality: Embrace the gray. Get your head straight so you don't have a full-blown crisis when you turn 30. (You could even argue that the list itself was a kind of stare-down to this tendancy. If you're so occupied with doing these things, I have an idea. Go do them.)

But I ask myself, how harmful is this really? The compulsion to better myself or find/do things that makes me happy? Allow me to present you one pin from my board labeled 'Inspiration', notably one of the most-populated board I have (second only to 'Good Eats'):

On the one hand, not being easily satisfied means I'll always be trying, I'll never be stagnant. But on the other, if I'm not careful, it might make me someone who is wishing her life away, seldom if ever stopping to smell the proverbial roses or enjoy what I've worked so hard to attain.

I think there is a delicate balance in this, and I don't think that it is unique to me. I look around and see several of my friends struggling with this daily. We're all working steadfastly to make our dreams come true while struggling to reminder ourself that there is beauty in the journey.

So, the way I'm choosing to think about accomplishments from now on is inspired by my main dude Rumi:
"What you seek is seeking you." --Rumi
"Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself." --Rumi 
Basically, I'm choosing to believe that (a) if I put my head down and do some hard work, the universe will deliver, and (b) if I trust myself, I will find my way. This way my success is at once out of my hands and within me.  Maybe this way it won't be all on my shoulders. Maybe this way I can chill with the longing for a while.

Consider me a sehnsucht addict in recovery. Taking it one pin day at a time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brain Crush(es): Of Note

I've been subscribed to "Letters of Note" on Facebook for months, but unless I recognized the author or recipient of the letter, I never clicked through to read the post. That was a mistake.

I have since ransacked half of the archives. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

"I Like Words": "I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty.... I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land's-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon."

"It Is The Woman Who Pays": "I told her one time, 'I worry about women.' She said, 'Don't.'"

"Love, Dad":  "It does take quite a man to remain attractive and to be loved by a woman who has heard him snore, seen him unshaven, tended him while he was sick and washed his dirty underwear. Do that and keep her still feeling a warm glow and you will know some very beautiful music."

I think my very very favorite so far is advice on creating from Dr. Suess:

"This is a field in which no one can give you pointers but yourself. The big successes in this field all succeeded because they wrote and they wrote ... they studied what they'd written each time asking themselves one question: How can I do it better, next time?

To develop an individual style of writing and drawing, always go to yourself for criticsm. If you ask advice from too many other people, then you no longer are yourself.

...keep up your enthusiasm! ... If you'll plug away and do exactly what you are doing, making it better and better every month and every year...that you CAN be successful."

I think it's pretty appropriate advice for life, no?

Friday, July 27, 2012

30-Before-30 Update: #12 Consecutive Sunset and Sunrise

Given events both local and national, I, like countless others, spent last week meditating on the fleeting nature of life. Nothing like a little tragedy to immediately swing the roots-and-wings pendulum back in the direction of your roots.

I (try to) subscribe to the notion that the universe gives you exactly what you need when you need it, and this weekend was evidence enough. A few of my close friends gathered at a cabin on Au Train Lake to spend the weekend floating, eating, gossiping chatting and wrangling 3 dogs of varying sizes and spunkiness.

I see Anna and Allison pretty regularly--at least bi-weekly for pup walks, dinner and obsessing life discussions. After spending several years visiting Jackie almost-annually in NY, she recently moved to Ohio with her husband. While we don't see each other often, I've long considered her one of my tribe. No matter how quickly time passes, we pick up like we just saw each other last week.

As you would expect of friendships that bloomed in a small town, our four lives have overlapped in many ways: Allison and I went to kindergarten together and have many memories from 1989 and beyond (including playing with fire on New Year's Eve, 1992, right around the corner from where her parents were playing cards). Anna's sister, who joined us Saturday night, used to babysit Jackie as a child. Jackie and I belonged to the same church (I am a C-, I am a Ch-...) and youth group from kindergarten on. This culminated in an epicly ill-timed attempt at sneaking out at church camp....literally bumping into our Pastor on his nightly walk about 20 yards from the dorms. The only thing more uncomfortable than that moment was the time he brought it up in a sermon.

In high school, we four were all part of a group of two dozen or so girls who all hung out and did awesome things including but not limited to putting underwear over our clothes and doing the macarena, buying sheet-cake-sized Rice Krispie Treats from GFS for each slumber party, and driving to Family Video pre-driver's-license. (Seriously, who chooses Family Video as the destination for an illegal joyride?) Anna and I, along with three other friends, passed a notebook of notes between classes and had regular "dinner" parties consisting of penne, canned sauce and frozen daquiris. Four of us five still have regular email chains to keep in touch with life's milestones and mundanities. Allison and Jackie went on a "fake-ation" to Florida during spring break one year and "came back" with some awesome braids and a killer fake tan. (The rest of us were fooled for about an hour.) When Jackie's family moved after sophomore year, we took a few trips to see her and were able to stay in touch (read: throw an out-of-control party while her parents attended her grandfather's funeral).   During college, Jackie, Anna and I interned in New York together. Our lives have weaved together in all sorts of fashions spanning more than 25 years--exhibiting the ebb and flow that friendships naturally embody when they survive from elementary school to college and beyond.

So clearly I think theses ladies are something special, which is why this was the perfect opportunity to cross off one of my 30 goals:

#12: Watch the sun rise and set consecutively with someone special.

While it sounds kind of romantic, when I wrote the list I wasn't setting that kind of goal. (How can you, really?)

The reason I added something so vague (see: "someone") to my list is that it just sounds so darn relaxing, doesn't it? No matter how that was played out, how could it go wrong? It turned out to be exactly what I needed--a little pause button during an over-scheduled summer during which *I* am pushed to the bottom of my to-do list.

As you'd expect from the equation of friends + dogs + food + sunshine, awesomeness ensued. Drinks were mixed, belly laughs were had, ideas were incubated, memory lane was walked, and life was paused, if only for 48 hours or so. There was some 6am sunrise/Olympics watching (GO PETE!), some midnight sauna career strategizing, some ex-boyfriend bashing, some dietary & digestive commiserating and encouragement (Jax: kombucha [comb-boo-cha] and quinoa [keen-wah] -- there's some links for you), some plan-hatching, some analyzing, and some celebrating. Tales of revenge-egging cars, prank-calls, and striking out douche bags at company picnics were recalled. We received a brief history of the global diamond industry, a training on spinal disc bulges and several gluten-free vegan cooking demonstrations.

There was not nearly as much debauchery as you would assume from reading those early memories--we must have matured over the years, though there was fire playing, midnight walks around the grounds and an illegal joyride of sorts. (No egging though.)

It's extremely humbling and grounding to be surrounded by people who knew you when you had braces, who know your family history, who talked you through your first big break-up, who have seen you both fall flat on your face and conquer the thing you never thought you could. Consider this one a big win for the roots.

Big thanks to Anna's generous client and Anna for making this weekend possible.

Somethings you just know you can count on. Like Verizon wireless and good girlfriends.
Happy girl.

Ruben says, "Ahoy! I see bagels with lox ahead!"

As the final light of the orange and yellow sunset ducked below the tree-lined horizon, I looked around at the happy faces of my three dear friends, reached down to give my tuckered out pup a squeeze, and I realized why I'd set this goal: I wanted at least one day in these busy few years to pass having savored each and every ray of light.

Note: I admit I took *some* liberties with the, ahem, timeline of this weekend, but our lips are sealed. After all, what happens in da woods, stays in da woods. Aside from the Instagrammed hearth, all photos by Allison and Jackie.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Loving What Is

Recently, an old classmate posted a picture I was in from the last day of 8th grade, and another friend tagged me.

That's me in the orange!

My choral class was tasked with entertaining the 8th grade class and their families at the graduation brunch. We sang "I Will Remember You" by Sarah McLachlan, and I clutched my best friend Jamie's hand and tried not to cry.

I have always been sentimental, and I hate to see things end.

Beyond the initial flood of memories from that day and era, three things occured to me when I saw this photo.

First, I loved that dress. I loved the double french braids. I loved those socks. I loved those Delia's sandals. But holy cow, do I stand out or what? No matter. I loved that dress.

The second thing to occur to me is something I've been thinking about in the week or so that has passed since that photo was posted. Please don't mistake this as a fishing excursion for compliments, but damn, look at that body. I was hot.

The third thing that occured to me was that I was completely insecure. (I mean, check out my body language: "Nothing to see here, folks." For someone standing in the front row wearing a bright orange dress, I sure look like I want to fade into the background.) As an early bloomer who filled out years before her peers, body image has always been a huge issue for me. Many trips to the mall; many drives home from the mall in tears. There ought to be a sainthood for mothers who spent as much time as my mom did, gently saying, "Let's try another store."

It wasn't that I was overweight at that point; I recognize that in retrospect. It's that "age-appropriate" clothes did not fit me, and I wasn't ready to move to the women's section. I just couldn't find much that I liked that fit me appropriately. So when I found a bright orange dress that I loved.... :)

I think everyone has those issues. Whatever they are for each of us, they never really go away. Not completely.

So it's these issues that I still face 15 years later at age 28, as my body fails me over and over. I am still learning to accept what is. But whether I'm 11 pounds up or 8 pounds down, I will never take my body for granted again.

I hope that someone posts a picture of 28-year-old me in another 15 years (at age 43, cripe!) and I hope only two things occur to me: "I loved that dress. And damn, I was hot." Life moves too quickly for insecurity.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Love [The] NY [Times]

God, there have been so many articles recently in the The New York Times that I have devoured. Articles that I find myself thinking about the next day at breakfast, or emailing to friends. Articles that I want to discuss, at length, with a vodka-soda and a highlighter.

Here are a few that have really made me think recently:

"The Wedding Effect": Maggie Shipstead writes about how other people's weddings can impair your own judgement, for better or for worse.
"I’m 29, squarely in the middle of that heady span of years when the tempo driving the game of conjugal musical chairs has suddenly accelerated and summer weekends are spent zipping around the country watching friend after friend tie the knot. There is something numbing about all this marrying."
"Friends of A Certain Age": Alex Williams writes about the difficulties people have making friends as they get older.
“My ideas of friendship were built by ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Diner,’ ” he said. “Your friends were your brothers, and anything but total loyalty at all costs meant excommunication. As you get older, that model becomes unrealistic.”
"Nora Ephron Dies at 71": I didn't realize how many movies she had made--and how many books she had written! My Amazon wishlist just got a shot in the arm. But what struck me was how Meryl Streep remembered her:
“You could call on her for anything: doctors, restaurants, recipes, speeches, or just a few jokes, and we all did it, constantly,” she wrote in her e-mail. “She was an expert in all the departments of living well.”
If that's not how we all wish to live, grow old and be remembered, I don't know what is.

P.S. Two other non-Times articles I found enchanting: An Excerpt from 'I Remember Nothing' (Huffington Post) and Moving On (The New Yorker):
"Things change in New York; things change all the time. You don't mind this while you live here; it's part of the caffienated romance of the city that never sleeps. But when you leave you experience it as a betrayal... It seems like the moment you left town they put a wall up around the place, and you will never manage to vault over it and get back into that city again."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Girl Crush: Sarah Kay

You guys, I love me some Sarah Kay.

I came across Sarah by way of TED. I love me some TED.

Sarah Kay is a New York poet, performer and spoken word poetry teacher. What I love about Sarah is that you learn a lot about her through her art. You see who she was, who she is, and who she wants to be, all from a few minutes of spoken word.

For that reason, I'm not going to tell you much about this girl crush. She can say it so much better than I ever could.

Here are my three favorite videos, but don't hesitate to spend some time poking around her website and getting to know Sarah a little better.

"Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air."

"There is a girl who still writes you. She doesn't know how not to."

"I've been thinking for far too long with my heart instead of my head, and I think people might be starting to notice".

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Qualities I Want In a Dude; And Why I Don't Need Them

Sure, I have my deal breakers: No anger management issues. Emotionally available. No laziness. Must love dogs. Uses capital letters when appropriate. You know, the usual.

But the list of 'that'd be nice' gets longer the more time goes by. The more guys I weed out, more obscure traits come to the forefront and are labeled as questionable. These are qualities that are not necessarily deal-breakers, but we're not talking six-figure incomes or a six-pack, either. I'm picky, not shallow. Rather, these are those in-between things that would sweeten the deal and, in some cases, make my life a hell of a lot more convenient.

So, for giggles, I started keeping a list of traits that would be nice in a partner, beyond my deal-breakers. By doing so, I kind of proved them to be obsolete. Here are some good, fun reminders that I'm doing just fine on my own terms AND that love is blissfully blind:

Would be nice: A strong back. Who will move a dresser if I drop an earring?? Someone to lug the groceries inside would be nice, too.
Why I don't need it: I've lived alone this long (since 2007). They make moving discs. I have a rockin' physical therapist who taught me my limits. And I'm learning how to ask for help!

Would be nice: Similar diets. The thought of cooking two meals each night kills me. And I've never cooked a steak in my life.
Why I don't need it: It's 2012. He can grill his own damn meat. And I'm fairly certain anyone can learn to love quinoa.

Would be nice: No pteromerhanophobics or, in English, fear of flying.
Why I don't need it: I like car trips. And I have a mother and plenty of friends who'd want to hop a flight abroad with me. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all. Henley will love the company.

Would be nice: No sports fanatics. That all just seems like so much to learn! Plus, the downs in football have been explained to me 100 times. I only know that there are four of them. And right now I am definitely second-guessing that...
Why I don't need it: Maybe the right blue-eyed boy hasn't explained them yet? Plus, I kind of like Super Bowl parties. And the final four is pretty fun. And sports bars have vodka. And they probably make documentaries about athletes that are probably interesting. Probably.

Would be nice: No pet mice.
Why I don't need it: Eh, go ahead and move mice-lovers to the deal-breakers column.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Brain Crushes: Riki Lindhome and Josh Radnor

If we've hung out in the past 10 days, you probably know that I am obsessed with a girl comedy band called Garfunkel and Oates. If I haven't chained you to the nearest fixture and made you watch videos while I laugh like a hyena in your ear, then I strongly encourage you to make your way to YouTube and watch Self Esteem and pretty much all of their clips from The Half Hour before I find you and make you do so against your will. I just think it will be funnier for you this way. (Please note that they are in no way appropriate for kids or work...)

Well, my obsession with them has also turned into a full-blown girl crush on Riki Lindhome. I think she is smart, talented and witty--the best kind of girl crush. She's also real--she puts her flaws, idiosyncrasies and mistakes out there for the world to see and laugh at...booty calls and all.

I have started listening to her podcast show, Making It, and the most recent one was the most interesting thing I have read/heard/seen in a while. She talked for almost an hour and a half with Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother. I liked Josh from the show, but this interview introduced me to his brain and now I really like him. (And, as Garfunkel and Oates say: like can lead to like-like, and like-like can lead to love.)

I highly recommend that anyone who considers themselves creative in any way listen to the entire thing, but here are a few highlights that I couldn't wait to share from their conversation:

  • Josh mentions that highly creative personalities are known for starting more projects than they can finish and leaving some dormant for long periods of time. Sound like anyone you know? The interesting thing though, was what his therapist told him about his tendency (one that he thought was a negative trait). He told him to keep doing it. He said it's good to do that because it creates a "'fertile messy terrain" and, because creativity begets more creativity, it is the best thing you can do to create good material. "Whatever is called to be finished," he said, "will be finished." This makes me feel so much better about all of the unfinished craft projects and abandoned drafts on my blogger account.

  • I love what Josh's meditation coach says about self-improvement: "If you're aware of "it", you've already highlighted "it" for deletion. Whatever that defect is. If you're aware of it, you know it and it's on it's way out. It's when you're not aware of something that it's wrecking all it's havoc."

  • Josh and Riki talk a lot about listening to your intuition from early on in your career. I identified with this because I remember how ambitious and determined I was when starting my writing career. I acknowledged the joke about English majors learning to ask "Do you want fries with that?" but I never once thought I had chosen the wrong career or wondered if I'd succeed. I just took the next opportunity, and the next, and the next. What I found interesting about their conversation is that Josh talks about turning acting parts down early on in his career, just letting his gut feelings lead him. I love the idea of how being choosy now and listening what your gut says about what is in front of you can lead to success later on.

  • Another great quote: "That was a big revelation for me...that something can be true, and its opposite can be true at the same time. I think it was a physicist that said, "The opposite of a lesser truth is a falsehood; the opposite of a greater truth is another great truth."

  • I loved Josh's response to Riki asking about how his life has changed since being on HIMYM: "I'm from the midwest... You know, I'm someone who went to college and likes books. I'm not apologizing for that. I'm doing my best to hold on to my soul out here.. and that requires finding a community of people who are really into integrity and who are really honest."
Riki and Josh also discuss using writing as a way to learn more about yourself, the importance and ramifications of having a personal code of ethics, the huge responsibility that comes with having a gift for something, the importance of telling your own story, and how formal training in something you are passionate about can nearly ruin you. If any of those topics interest you, find some time to listen up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Reasons It's Awesome to Be Single

I don't care what they say about bridezillas, the ones who lose their heads during wedding season are the single girls. To paraphrase Sex and the City, sometimes one minus a plus-one feels like it adds up to zero.

It is a joy (and an honor) to celebrate with your girlfriends as they enter married life and commit themselves to the men they love (and the men you've come to consider family along the ride). And who doesn't love a party?

But the season itself can cloud an otherwise confident single girl's mind. You find yourself wondering, where did that twinge of insecurity even come from? Because it kind of stung when it bit me in the ass.

But, you know what? It doesn't scar. It's just temporary and it just requires choosing your thoughts and sprinkling them with a little bit of optimism and good friendship. Really, it just requires falling back in love with your (totally amazing) single life and delving back into it, full force.

But for those crazy moments, here, my friends, are 10 reasons it's awesome to be single. Sing it from the rooftops, sisters. RSVP for one and think of the possibilities. 

1. It is entirely possible that you will be able to have breakfast with Chris D'Elia one day.

2. Two words: Garlicky pesto. Pile it on, girlfriend.

3. Fortune cookies hold so much suspense. I will find love in the strangest places? Elaborate!?!?

4. You can stay out as late as you want. Feel like an impromptu swim with your crazy single friends at McCarty's cove "on the way home" from the bar? Jump in, chicky. Make a big splash in those boy shorts. Ditch your dress and shoes at the shore. You know what, take a hot tub when you get home. Who cares if it's 4am? You can sleep in tomorrow.

5. You can leave unfinished craft projects strewn throughout your house. One of the many perks of living alone is that the only person you can annoy is yourself. (Don't let this happen though.)

6. You can mercilessly flirt with the handsome banker. And the bartender with the eyes. And the shy but sweet guy who works in the bookstore. And the bad boy in line at the liquor store. And the... Oh, well, you get the picture. No regrets.

7. Girl power is pretty intoxicating. It feels deliciously fulfilling when you sign that mortgage/book that trip to Jamaica/send in your registration for a new class and know you made it possible.

8. You can buy the $40 mascara without caring where the receipt ends up.

9. You don't have to shave your legs as often. Awe. Some.

10. There's not a soul in the world who can argue against a bright pink closet.

So there you go. If you're ever feeling lonely, all you need to do is think about how much opportunity is in your life. You can go anywhere, be anything, and do anyone anything. And if you need comic relief, I highly recommend this book.