Today’s my 27th birthday

As usual, it’s time for a bit of reflection. Every year I try to make it a point to have some sort of milestone or “big thing accomplished.” When I was 24, I bought my house. When I was 25, I finished grad school. Neither of these things are necessarily age-specific or age-related, but still things I should be proud of I guess.

So I just finished my 26th year and what do I have to show for it? What spectacular thing happened that I will one day look back on and be proud of? I learned to walk away. This year was pretty shitty. I hated my old job, was getting screwed over, and had no business being there – I deserved so much more for all of the hard work I put in, and instead was held back. Then there was my “love life.” A relationship I put more into than I care to admit…we planned on getting ma for God’s sake. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. Bottom line, things somehow got shitty.

I walked away from both this year. It really, really wasn’t hard to walk away from the crappy job. But I can honestly say that walking away from him is still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not everyone has the balls to walk away from a crapy situation – it takes real strength and it takes practice. Look around you – how many people do you see stuck in relationships that are beyond over? Or they deserve better? Or people stuck in jobs? Or wasted talent? Or just settling in general? A lot, I know. I’ll admit, I stayed in some relationships longer than I should’ve. But I was younger and not as “wise.” So I’m proud to say that at the age of 27, I finally got it right.

I’m not saying you should just throw your hands up when anything little arises, and use the excuse of “this is enough, I refuse to settle.” But I’ve learned that it’s important to 1. Be able to recognize when your efforts aren’t being returned and you’re getting screwed over, and 2. Actively doing something about it. Obviously the second part is the hardest, but I know plenty of people that aren’t even capable of the first – they make excuses instead.

Well now what? Now that I’ve learned to walk away, the next question is…Where am I walking to? lol I’ve got this clean slate to start over with and I need to decide what to do with it. I’ll admit, I just had a cliche tearfest because I am NOWHERE near where I had planned on being, or deserve to be for that matter. Ever since I was 16, I decided that by 27 I’d already be married and about to have a baby. My mom had me when she was 29 and my parents had been married for 3 years prior. YES, YES, I know – it’s not realistic to have such a deadline on such things, that’s not the way life works, you can’t measure your life by your mom’s, times are different now, it’s pathetic to cry over your birthday being a reminder of what you haven’t done. I know all of this. But it’s not so much about the timing – it’s more about the fact that I’ve worked so hard to achieve the things I want, that there’s no good reason they haven’t happened yet. Yes, I know the world works at its own pace and you have to let some things happen and can’t plan every second of your life. But shit not paying off…sucks. A lot.

And as I’ve said plenty of times before – the fact that I’m single and probably will never get married does not bother me…at all, I swear. Yeah, it’s what I’ve always wanted, but my years of wisdom have shown me that it’s not for everyone, you haven’t failed if you don’t do it, and actually…you’re probably better off if you don’t because most marriages don’t work and it’s better to be alone than dealing with a crazy situation. But here’s the thing that’s been bothering me lately: I think I’m dodging something that I’m actually cut out for. This keeps coming up in heart-to hearts with a close friend. We constantly battle because I tell him I’m a jaded bitch who has given up on relationships not because I’m a quitter, but because all of my experiences and everyone around me has shown that I’m better off alone, and more people would realize the same thing if they used their heads but most don’t because they’re scared to be alone. And he always replies (because he knows me better than anyone else): I can talk crap all I want to, but he knows I’m a nurturing person who enjoys being in relationships and is awesome at them; and then he spends 20 minutes trying to convince me that I just need to try again, and take a leap of faith – after all, I can’t expect perfect or assume the relationship will fail; and my “favorite” part – I just need to find someone as willing to work at the relationship as I am. HA. And he tells me that I have nothing left to lose since I’ve already hit rock bottom, I can’t get hurt any more, it can only get better. hahahahaha Hilarious.

The point is that out of all of that garbage and feeble attempts at proving me wrong (not gonna happen, EVER), he is sadly correct about one thing – I’m awesome at relationships, and “all of this” is being wasted. “If you’re so good at them, then why have all of your past ones failed?” Yeah, well…just because I treat someone well doesn’t mean that they are smart enough to appreciate it, it’s enough for them, or that the timing is right (people can just be at different phases of their lives). It comes down to what’s between two people – there isn’t one man on this planet that’s so nice that every woman placed with him would make a perfect couple. But I do know this – I feel like I’m cut out for it – the whole white picket fence and 2.5 kids thing. But not in a Stepford Wives/barefoot and pregnant way, I still rock a career. I mean, I already do all of the things you’re “supposed” to do; the things girls prep for in setting to go out husband-hunting. Going to the gym, making sure their hair and nails are done, cooking, cleaning, nurturing/being able to do the baby thing, managing household finances, entertaining, picking out gifts, planning trips, etc. I do all of these things for myself! I’ve got them down lol Minus the baby thing, but I think my dogs have given me a leg up.

That’s just been popping up in my head over the past two months or so – also why I’ve been blogging m.i.a., because I’ve been busy throwing myself into every hobby possible: collecting millions of recipes, trying out said recipes, doing crafts, finally decorating my house after 2 years, and mastering household cleaning tricks that you think only moms know. (it’s important to note that most of this is of course fueled by Pinterest, with a lot of HGTV thrown in; I’m proud that I actually turned simply pinning things into really doing them). I’m slightly ashamed of all of this because these are 45-year-old mom things. For instance: my gift from my mom was super-foodie fancy cookware (instead of like a cool purse or VS gift card, who am I?), and I took a few craft classes with her (she’s pumped that I’m into it and got me a sewing machine; I mean, I turned my guest bedroom into a craft room). UGH. Between the Crockpot and the sewing machine, please someone just get me some mom jeans and the soccer van, I mean really.

I’m sort of kidding, but I just keep thinking that I’ve got all of this stuff down and it’s a shame no one benefits from it. Ok, yeah I enjoy my house and have to eat to live, but cooking good food…you kinda want to share it with someone; like give someone something to look forward to; some fulfillment comes from knowing someone has been looking forward to you making their favorite for dinner, or you can’t wait to try out a new recipe because you found it and immediately knew that they’d love it, and then it’s awesome when you see that they love it. Or getting to plan a dinner party – being the cute couple to host it, even though you do most of the work, but it’s fun to plan drink recipes, themes, and desserts, and spreading everything out in a nice presentation on pretty platters, and you send him to the store to get wine, and he even offers to help set up or clean up, and you all sit around playing a board game…And the shared experience of buying baby stuff and seeing how excited he is to try to be a good dad…You see?!?! I’m pathetic. I guess it’s normal to want all of that. It just sucks that all of that is “in me” and I don’t have anyone looking in the same direction. Yes, it’s fun to do it on my own, but some things are better shared. So for me to a) likely never have that, b) have worked towards it and planned it already with someone, and c) try to sit here and pretend that I no longer want it…sucks.

Ok, this has been the longest, saddest post ever hahaha All in all, I know everything happens for a reason…but I can’t help but ponder: Should I just be ballsy and set out for my 27th year goal to “get back out there”? I mean, it only seems right – now that I’ve walked away from bad situations, and since this is something I really want, then I should shift my focus to getting in the mindset of being open again? Or go all out and try online dating? Not in a “this is it, this has to work” desperate way, but just as a first step to at least expose myself to potentially getting that dream? Eww, gross…nevermind. I feel like even considering this goes against my independent personality, everything I have been taught and stand for lol But I guess it’s ok to be independent and still wanting to have someone…I just feel like wanting this is “needy”…and it’s not something I need to feel complete at all…just something that I wouldn’t hate. Bah…the adventures continue…

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So I’m wondering…

Since I’ve decided to swear off relationships all together (as evidenced by my 10 months of being single & in light of recent life-changing events), I’m wondering what’s wrong with me. No, not like that in a low self-esteem way…

 

I’ve decided that being with someone just isn’t my thing, even though I am a very caring, loving person who enjoys being in relationships. I’ve never been one to embrace being single/”free.” I’ve always felt that I’m “at my best” in relationships. But am I really? I’ve never stopped to really think about that until recently. Because in reality, I’ve been doing quite well sans boyfriend. Focusing on my career/education/workouts/goals. And doing it all without the emotional expense that a relationship drops on you.

 

Yeah, when I’m in a good relationship, I walk around all smiles and people notice it – a change in my walk, that glow about me…”ooh, Lauren’s in love!” Then again, if the asshole did something/we got in a fight, people notice that my whole mood is dragged down and sometimes that interferes with stuff like job/school performance or catching an attitude with someone else. So I gotta say that the peace and calm from the absence of such drama kinda outweighs the “feeling lonely” aspect that pops up like once a month…

 

My question of the day is this though: I’ve chosen not to be in a relationship because I don’t want to deal with someone else’s crap, basically. BUT…don’t they have to take on mine in some respect?! I’m not perfect…close…but not quite haha I think my problem is that it’s always been me taking all of the crap and putting in all/most of the effort…and it wasn’t just in my head – both my friends/family and his friends/family said the same thing. So it’s not a biased opinion. If your own mother agrees with me that you’re being a jerk…or your best friend…clearly I’m not in the wrong here.

 

But maybe I can’t look at it as “90% of this relationship is me tolerating your crap, and the other 10% of the time it’s you dealing with me.” Maybe I also need to adjust my thinking in terms of things I do/don’t do. I always focus on the fact that I don’t do typical big no-no things like nagging and that I’m good at picking my battles; but maybe there are some things that I do do lol And that if someone is able to take my little issues here and there, then surely I should be willing to take on theirs, right? Because I could just be a stronger person – like I’m able to handle the crap they throw at me, but if I threw the same to them, they wouldn’t be able to handle it. It really comes down to a relativity thing: if he forgets my birthday, I’m not gonna spaz – guys are dumb and that shit happens. Some guys I’ve dated (yes, really), if I had ever forgotten their bday, the world would’ve fallen apart. Yeah, you could say this is where really getting to know someone comes in – because if you take the time to discuss things and see how they react to certain things, you can feel out if you guys are on the same page, and if you are, there shouldn’t be any issues – everyone should be in agreement as to what things are going to drive a wedge between you. But we all know that’s not always the case…

 

I dunno – all in all, I think the bottom line is that a) I don’t need to be in a relationship because to me, having to deal with someone’s crap when you put in so much effort, is downplaying/ignoring your self worth and settling – they’re basically wasting and taking advantage of your kindness; b) even if you actually find someone that’s worth taking on some things, they -gasp- actually respect and appreciate you, you treat each other well, and you give 101%, there is NO guarantee that they won’t cheat on you/fuck you over. Not only that, but there is an extremely high chance that they will screw you over. Giving someone your all doesn’t mean you’ll get it in return. Or even if the first few months or years are great, you never know if that person will change.

 

Yes, it’s a gamble you have to be willing to take, but I’m a Finance girl: look at the market return – 50% plus divorce rate?! Most unmarried people I see break up/cheating on each other too?! & Besides observing all of that, my own damn experiences of being cheated on after giving my all? NO THANKS. Those aren’t good odds and not worth my investment (and a fine one it is too LOL jk I meant my heart/time…) I know you have to be willing to take the bad to get to enjoy all of the good stuff, but too often it starts out like that…and you think everything is great…then boom, the bad starts to outweigh the good. So you gotta break up. But if you’re married instead, that means divorce. And marriage is a one-shot deal to me…

 

So um…given that…I think I’m good being on my own. The reality is setting in that that means not having kids, which is kinda hard to accept (and no, I’m not willing to just do it on my own), but I guess I’ll survive. And if you’re about to say some shit like “aww, you just haven’t met Mr. Right yet/he’ll come along/just be patient” bullshit – shut up. Please. I’m over it. I’m not a pessimist, just a realist. I’m honest with myself unlike most people. I can still walk through life with an upbeat attitude while holding onto reality – accepting the harsh reality that is the world doesn’t mean walking around with a dark cloud over your head and frowning all the time lol So I’ll just walk around cheesing real hard like I already do 24/7, but with a heavy heart.

That’s the only thing – being optimistic/overly cheery despite having the truth shown to you, actually sets you up for disaster. Like the girl who sees all of her friends getting divorced or she’s had 80 failed attempts at dating. Instead of recognizing that she’s at a point of realization/it’s time to get real, she prances around all happy ignoring the truth thinking that she’ll get married – the next guy will be the one for sure. Yeah, she still could possibly, anything is possible, but it’s going to hurt a hell of a lot more when it doesn’t happen because she didn’t prepare for that outcome. Now she’s on the sofa inhaling ice cream…

It’s kinda like putting your heart on a pedestal – if your standards & expectations are a little lower, the impending fall won’t hurt as much. If you’re the 2% that’s lucky enough to not fall off the pedestal – congrats. Not only did you not hit the ground and get hurt, but you’re literally higher than everyone else – which is exactly what being in love with the right person feels like. I’ve felt that – like no one or no thing can touch you and all is well with the world. Good for you.

 

But not only am I “lowering” my pedestal, I’m coming down off of it all together – just going to sit here off to the side safe and in tact while I laugh at all of the fools falling and breaking limbs. But then there’s the people way up top throwing rocks down at me and taunting me lol Whatev.

7 Ways to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage (Statistically Speaking)

Article link

I’m not saying…but I’m just saying…

6. Marry Someone You Met at School

Last year, the dating site eHarmony conducted the largest study ever into whether couples who met in certain places were more or less likely to get divorced. They looked at the expected number of divorces for couples who met at places like church, school, work, bars, and dating sites, and compared them to how many actual divorces occurred. While in most cases the number of actual divorces was almost exactly what was expected, the biggest difference was couples who met at school. According to this study at least, if you met your spouse in high school, college, or grad school, you are 41% less likely to get divorced than the statistics predict. The other major difference was couples who met in bars, who were 24% more likely to get divorced than expected.