Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Letter To My 15 Year Old Self

Hey gorgeous girl,

Happy 15th Birthday! You have so much promise, hope, and excitement for an amazing future.

The next few years of your life are going to bring challenges you never imagined. You will tragically lose a close friend, be forced to move and start high school in a new town, and make painful decisions that will shape not only your high school years, but your entire life.

I know how lost you feel right now. I know how fiercely independent you are. I know all you want is to fit in and feel loved and accepted. I've seen you struggle with an eating disorder, a cutting problem, and a lot of heartbreak for your young age. Baby, all of these things are because you want so desperately to understand yourself and feel whole. You will get past them. But a lot of people are scared for you. They worry about your health and your happiness. Because you deserve both. Accept their help, and let them love you.

Don't be afraid to be smart. It's okay. Yes, you are a pretty blonde. But there is so much more to you than that. You are more intelligent than most of the guys you will come across, and the ones that are intimidated by that aren't worth your time. I promise.

And the 1000 sit-ups a day? Sweetheart, relax. 105 pounds isn't fat. It never will be. You will have plllenty of time after babies to worry about weight. So eat a freaking cheeseburger, I promise you won't die.

There will come a day when you meet a boy who makes you feel special because he is older, in the military, and drives a fast car. Baby, this boy will change your life. Not because you end up together, but because he will put you in a situation where you have to make a choice. And that choice will alter your life forever. I wish I could just tell you "DON'T DO IT!". But you will. And that will set into motion a path for the next 3 years. One that will cause you pain, frustration, and force you to deal with unimaginable consequences. But you will make it through this, even though there will be days when you don't think you can. And, spoiler alert, you will graduate at the TOP of your class at the end of it. And it will feel fabulous. But it won't come easy. None of the good things do.

Know that the friends you have right now will stay with you for the rest of your life. They are amazing, honest, and will have your back through everything. A couple of them will even end up with FBI files because of you, so please remember to thank them! Other people will come and go, but your "junior high crew" isn't going anywhere. You'll be at their weddings, hang out during holidays, and raise babies together.

Your family will make you insane. And you will fight and make up and then fight again. But you love them, and they love you, and that's what matters. You will discover that the key to relationship success with them is distance and a strict 72 hour rule. So hang in there. And it prrrobably wouldn't be a bad idea to drink a little less at your sisters wedding. Just sayin'.

Honey, you are more beautiful than you think, smarter than you give yourself credit for, and capable of things you can't even believe. You are the strongest person I've ever known. There will be moments over the next few years where things seem hopeless. They aren't. I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel. It's just a long tunnel. But you have so much to look forward to. So much hope. So much potential. So much life to experience. So love the good, let go of the bad, and accept that while things may be hard, you will always be okay. Always.

You have a beautiful life to look forward to. Live it. Love it. You deserve happiness, so embrace it.



P.S. Don't text and drive. Especially on ice. Trust me. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Advice You Don't Want But Probably Need

These are some of the things that people probably tried to tell me, but I didn't want to hear.
And you will probably not want to hear them either.

But let's just assume that I'm a little older, and a little wiser, and a have a little more life experience than your typical high school or college girl who is dating the man of her dreams and planning her wedding and names her kids. So I'm REALLY trying to help.

So take it or leave it. But if you leave it, file it away, because I promise you in 10 years I'll be right.

*If he cheated once, he'll do it again.
Yes, he's sorry. Yes, he promised. But guess what? He WILL do it again. He'll just try harder to not get caught.

*If he'll cheat with you, he'll cheat on you.
He had a great girl (or at least he thought so at one point or they wouldn't be dating), and he cheated on her with you. So what happens when you piss him off or ask him to do the laundry or gain 5 pounds and seem less great? You think he'll continue to be faithful because he's committed to you? Yea....

*The way he treats his mom matters
Seriously. His mother is the woman that sets the bar for how he treats females. He will likely treat her the best of all the women in his life. So if he treats her badly, is rude or disrespectful, or downright mean, be careful. Chances are he will treat you worse than that.

*Don't sleep with a guy on the 1st date
I know he's cute. I know you've had a couple drinks. I know you think he may be the one. DON'T do it. Even the nice guys aren't going to turn you down if you are willing to give it up that easily. But they sure as hell won't respect you after that. So do yourself a favor and wait. It'll be just as good a few dates down the road, and you'll feel better about yourself. Oh, and are the chances of STDs really worth it after you've known someone for 2 hours? Don't do it. Just.Don't.

*If he won't claim you in public, you shouldn't waste your time
Secret relationships? Really? This isn't the CIA, and it's not cool. Even if he treats you well in private, if he won't claim you as his girlfriend and treat you well in front of his friends, then it's not a relationship, it's a convenience. You are being used. Period. So unless you are cool with just being a hookup and feeling like crap everytime he ignores you in public, move on.

*You will fall in love again, and you will forget him.
When you get your heart broken, it seems impossible to believe that you will ever move on or be happy again. The idea of not thinking about him every day doesn't seem real. But it WILL happen. It takes a while, but it will hurt less. And one day, you'll come across something that reminds you of him, and you'll be amazed that you've forgotten his middle name or his birthday or even what he looks like. You let go. And you forget. Even though you swear you won't.

*A few close friends are all you really need
In an age where everyone is obsessed with having 2,000 facebook friends, this can be really hard to believe. But it's true. Sure, it's nice to have a list of people to choose from when you want to hang out on a Friday night, but more important are those times when you really need someone to talk to, to pick you up at 3 AM, or to understand your extreme Twilight obsession and crazy family and love you anyway. Those people who seem so "popular" usually A. Don't have anyone they can really turn to when they need something and B. Are covering their insecurities by surrounding themselves with  people. The best friendships have depth, and quality. Find a few of those and you can get through anything. Even lonely Friday nights and broken hearts :)

*You know those few close friends you have? Listen to them.
If you have those close friends who really know you and love you, you should pay attention when they tell you things like A. You're being a bitch unnecessarily B. That guy you're dating really isn't good for you C. That random trip to Cabo you can't afford but really want to do - do it. The point is that they know you. They want what's best for you. They aren't telling you things just to piss you off. So pay attention. You don't always have to do what they say, but take their opinions into account.

*Don't put off doing the things you want to
People think there will always be time "later" to do the things they want to do. But when you let moments pass you by, you're giving up the opportunity to do fabulous things now. So just do it. Skydive. Take a cross country road trip. Buy a motorcycle. Ride a bull. Bartend on the beach.Whatever it is, just do it. Living fully means embracing opportunities and taking chances. And those are the moments you'll cherish. So don't put it off, especially because of a relationship. Never EVER give up something you really want because of a guy, you will regret it. And resent him for it. Neither are good.

*It doesn't get easier, but you'll figure it out
There will always be people who try to make you feel bad or bring you down. You won't always win. Heartbreak still hurts. Life won't always go the way you want. Sometimes people are mean. Sometimes life sucks. But the great part about growing up is you learn to deal with it. You figure out how to handle disappointment and devastation. You learn to handle it with grace and move on with dignity. And you learn how to stand up for yourself. So while life doesn't get easier, you'll get tougher. And you'll be fine.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

30 Days of Detail - Definition of Love

People seem to think the definition of love is highly complicated.

I would disagree. My definition of love is quite simple:

I simply don't believe in it.

I know, I know, I'm too young to be so bitter and cynical and without hope.

Nope, not it.

I suppose I should clarify - I don't believe in the oogly googly, true love, marriage, spend your life full of passion for one person kind of love.

I think the Greeks had it right. They split the idea of love into 3 distinct pieces. Somewhere along the way, we decided to mesh them all into one thing, and I think THAT is where we went wrong. Because all "love" is not created equal. At all.

The first type of love is Eros. It is based on physical passion, intense desire, and lust. This I believe in, I just don't believe it can last. We've all felt that feeling. You know, the "I just have to have that". The problem, I think, is that many, many, many people believe that somehow this kind of love is enough to see you through 50 years of marriage, 3 kids, losing jobs, life crisis, and whatever else comes your way. Sorry, but I don't think so. Attraction is good, but it ends. I wouldn't base my life on that if I were you.

The second type of love is Philia. This is friendship, or brotherly, love. It encompasses fondness, appreciation, and loyalty. All good things. All important things. But again, not enough to sustain a lifelong commitment. I mean, I'm fond of Panera's Mozzarella Panini. I really, really appreciate it. And I'm loyal to it - I never get anything else when I go there. But that doesn't mean that I can eat nothing but Mozzarella Paninis for the rest of my life. I enjoy variety.

The third type of love is Agape. It's supposedly the perfect love that includes selflessness and self-sacrifice. It's loving someone without requiring anything of them or expecting them to love you back. This is a fabulous idea. It would be great if someone loved me completely and selflessly and without expecting anything back from me. But really, how many people do you know that could, and would, do that? I don't know any. The closest I've seen anyone come in between parents and children, but even then it could be argued there is definitely given and take, and plenty of failure. As far as a romantic relationship goes, I don't think this would even be plausible. I couldn't do it. I don't know anyone else who could either. People are naturally selfish. So therefore, by extension this wouldn't work. People love people expecting them to eventually return their affection. Otherwise, they give up. Or get committed to a mental institution or prison. Just sayin' - none of those sound like they work out.

So basically, what I'm saying is that I believe 2 people can be sexually attracted to one another, either for one night or for a while. People can care about their friends, be loyal to them, and care about their interests. For a little while, people can even love someone without getting anything in return.

But none of these add up to something I'd be willing to commit my entire life to. None of these convince me that there is a person in this world that I can't live without. None of them make me believe there is someone out there who can complete me and be my soul mate and whatever else the movies spew at us these days.

If you care about someone, great. If you want someone around on a daily basis, okay. If you feel like you can commit to that one person for the rest of your life, good for you. But lots of people make that commitment everyday, and over half of them break it. And even the ones that don't actually get divorced often end up having affairs, living in the spare bedroom, or being miserable for the "kids sake". Again, that doesn't interest me.

For love to really be love, it can't end. And it does, always. So therefore, it's not love.

I'm not saying I wouldn't love to be proven wrong. It would be amazing if I could say that I was wrong and that love, in all its beauty and passion and commitment and strength, really does exist. But I'm not holding my breath. And I'm okay with that. Because I have enough of the other things to keep me content.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Bit Of Randomness

So, just a quick update on things around here... We're doing highlights since it's 1 AM, but I promise more complete stories later.

Tidbit #1 - I almost died. Yep. Apparently the wheel AND tire can randomly come completely off your truck at 60 MPH and go rolling down the highway without you. Yea, I didn't know this either. Until it happened. Good times.

Tidbit #2 - Fourth of July at the beach was FABULOUS. Gorgeous weather, cool water, yummy food, cold beer. Exactly what we needed. Yay.

Tidbit #3 - I started a business. Ha. Yep. Finally decided to make it official. I even have a website, but I'm keeping it a secret until it's exactly the way I want it. Then I'll share with you!

Tidbit #4 - My precious KK has a heart murmur. Don't freak out. It could be nothing. We are seeing a pediatric cardiologist to determine if it's serious. But some good karma or prayers or whatever you do would be awesome. Because, I am freaking out a little.

Tidbit #5 - JC will be here August 1st. And his dad is an idiot. This is not new information.

Tidbit #6 - I'm playing on a softball team. Co-ed. Rec. Super fun. Love it. Fun group of people.

Tidbit #7 - I've been doing some serious re-evaluation lately. Just putting things into perspective. Perspective is good, right? Sure!

Right now, I'm sore, tired, a bit grouchy, and a little tipsy. So it's bedtime. But stay tuned for the details.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

30 Days of Detail - What You Ate Today

I'm not really much into the eating thing these days. There are these fabulous little red pills that take care of that for me.

However, I had a random craving for Dim Sum.

For those who don't know, Dim Sum is basically Chinese/Cantonese food in small portions, where you pick all the different things you want off a cart or menu. I really wanted dumplings. Good yummy chicken or pork dumplings in a spicy sauce.

So I did what anyone would do in this situation - I Yelped.

Well, Yelp lied.

They gave me the name of a place with great reviews, including customers raving about the amazing dumplings. And off I went - 20 minutes out of my way - to this little restuarant.

And it was TERRIBLE. I order Bao and Dumplings and a couple other random things, and it was all gross.
It was mushy and bland and greasy and most definitely everything it should not be. I was seriously disappointed.

And it won Austin's Best Dim Sum for 2010. WTF?!?

Maaaaaybe if it was 2 AM and I was really reallllly drunk, I would consider the word "alright". Certainly not "best" but, possibly "mediocre". Best? Hell no.

So I threw it all away and had a Coke Icee instead. (No rum, this time).

Then after softball a bunch of us went to Baby A's, a mexican place with famous Purple Drinks. So I had one of those, which I drank all of, and a chimichanga thing, which I ate about 3 bites of. It was good, I was just more interested in the drinks.

And then I had an orange milano cookie for dessert. Ok, that's a lie. I had 2.