05 January 2012

I Resolve.

I took a long break from writing in December. Not for lack of material, but rather it was the first time since I started posting that I was too busy to do so! December was a full month! I hosted a 50s-themed bowling birthday party for myself, went to Las Vegas for the second time in 30 days, and-- of course-- Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! I became obsessed with Costco's spiked egg nog and Target's massive wrapping wonderland. I was thrilled to spend the holidays with almost everyone that matters to me, although absent were my Michiganders and New Yorkers. And even more amazingly, Santa fulfilled every material request on my list! Among the highlights? My long-awaited Burberry trenchcoat and my of-this-decade MacBook Pro, Mr. Smee. I can wholeheartedly say I had a holly-jolly holiday. 

And of course, with the holidays comes the close of yet another year. The season dissipated so quickly, though, it was difficult to fully reflect on 2011 until now. I have certainly had years with more concrete accomplishments, but this past year was truly a year of personal achievements. I had the privilege of standing up in two of my very dear friends' weddings, and I took my first adult vacation to Puerto Rico with my cousin Lauren. I took the LSAT, I moved out, I became a bartender. I bought a car! I made great new pals and reconnected with former friends. I fell in love. I stood back up. Many years go by too quickly but 2011 was ready to come to a close. Just like I said the other day as I was sorting out my underwear drawer: "It's been swell, but I have to make room for newer, better things." 

Moving forward, I have set out a To-Do List for 2012. I really dislike the notion of "resolutions" because it implies that everything preceding the New Year was inherently wrong or bad. Not the case for my list. You won't find a diet anywhere near my 2012 plan of attack. (Well, unless Carraway and Popov actually plan on getting a cabana at XS Dayclub this Memorial Day. If so, I may be juicing my way through May...) No, I fully love being fit, but I'm not someone who can make it their end-all priority. If I feel like moving, I will move. If I feel like pizza, I will eat. It's worked so far. 

Without further adieu, here are my (lofty) goals for the year 2012:
  • Travel to a different destination every month.
I have so many friends living all over the country--and globe, for that matter. This year, more so than any other in the past, I have impetus to visit all these fine folks: babies to be birthed, engagements to be celebrated, and states to be explored. I plan on traveling domestically for most of my adventures, but I definitely want to go to Europe this year. I must go, I have to go, I need to go to London and Paris. I already have a some months planned out-- Paso Robles, New York City, Michigan, Texas, L.A.-- but I have yet to decide on where to go the other nine months. No rush though. We'll see where the year takes me, because I figure I may as well take advantage of my job's flexible schedule while I still can. 

  • Use all my cents. 

Every single year since college I have promised myself I would learn more about money and finance. Over the years I've purchased about $150 in personal finance paraphernalia that's been neglected after about three weeks of practice. (I 'm clearly off to a terrific start.) Though I am lucky to not to have heaping pile of debt, mine's instead a manageable mound that's been transferred from year to year. No more! This year I will keep every receipt and understand my spending habits. I will save and thrift in all the right places, and amend my budget to afford not only my life right now but also my future. I will revisit those lonely finance books. I also promise not to have my new mindset affect those around me. Just as some vegetarians can be a pain in the bacon when going out to eat, I will not guilt my frugal-less friends into doing less costly activities. I will simply enjoy what I can enjoy. 

  • Play a sport. 

Yes, friends, it shocked me too. I am not the most--what's the word?-- athletic person. I was never part of a team sport in grade school, and when I competed in tennis I forfeit 90% of my games to get to rehearsal on time. All in all, I evaded sports completely. I bruise like a banana and don't particularly enjoy getting sweaty from running around on a field. I don't even have siblings who played anything. I feel totally out of the loop at the Sports Book and around most guys. Therefore, I would like to introduce a sport into my life. Maybe tennis again, on account of all the adorable clothes you can wear... I will also commit myself to learning the rules and joy of all those other major sports: football, basketball, golf, and soccer. That way, I can go to Superbowl Sunday for reasons other than the bean dip. 

These are the three main goals for this year, but not my only things to check off the list. I also have smaller, and larger, personal vistas toward which I'm climbing. I am shocked at how much I grew all throughout 2011. I lost some of my naivete, learned to live in the moment, and became more selfish. Three-quarters into the year I learned that in order for myself to be happy I have to do things that make me happy. It seems like a trick, but I swear it's the best shift I've ever made. Another great change? Being only with people I like and who like me. If I meet all my aforementioned goals I have a great feeling I will be an even happier person than I already am. I mean, I like me so far, but I think 2012 is the year I fall in love with me forever. 

01 December 2011

Dear Santa,

As long as I can remember I have been writing you letters that bear my Christmas shopping list. Having been an only child, and conveniently born on Christmas Eve, you've done a remarkable job at fulfilling most every want. Not to say I didn't deserve all those lovely gifts! I never went to detention, hit a classmate, or cussed at my parents. I'm confident my responsible behavior earned me a safe-spot on your Nice List. I'm now obviously at an age where poor behavior isn't punished with a referral to the principal's office. You're either fired or broken hearted and, either way, Christmases usually disappoint us single, twentysomethings. I don't covet American Girl dolls or Hasbro games the way I used to, and I don't think your elves are as skilled at Burberry trench coat-making the way those English blokes are. That said, I think my list this year is a little... complicated.

It's complicated because, well, I really don't know what I want. Of course I could use a new laptop, Louis handbag, and a plethora of other designer trinkets. But if I really wanted them I could always save my pennies and go out to get my own. Plus, I'd feel better having something I bought anyway. And, after all, aren't Christmas gifts supposed to be something we can't get for ourselves? Aren't they tokens of love from people that care about us and want us to know we're special? Isn't that why children everywhere covet items they wouldn't normally and hope to receive them from a magical man? If those kids could all get their own presents, I dare-say, Santa, you'd be out of a job.

There isn't any material good I can't procure on my own, so instead, I want to know what I want in a man.

I've tried doing this myself for a while now, and I have to say that I am really at a loss. I thought I wanted a guy with a sense of humor and he turned out to be a staunch racist. I thought I wanted a guy with a great body and he turned out to be in a relationship with a girl in Austria. I thought I wanted a guy with great taste and he turned out to be gay. Santa, what do I want?

I know I can't boil down all of the qualities I'm looking for into one, isolated list. That would be objectifying and completely limiting. It's frustrating, though, because so many men have amazing qualities, but they can't figure out how to be Alphas. And all the Alpha-men are so obsessed with their own amazing qualities they can't figure out how to be humans. List making may not be the fairest way to go about it, but it sure eliminates a lot of the guys who won't work for me. I don't expect him to walk out of a Starbucks in a tailored suit, totally perfect and searching for me. (In fact, I'd probably dismiss that guy straight out of the gate.) However, if that is how we're supposed to meet than I guess that wouldn't be such a bad thing...

Oh, Santa! I'm really having trouble. I am doing my very best keeping all of my options open. I have so far dated a lot of great men, but only a few stick out as winners, and certainly no one has been a winner for me. It's particularly difficult searching for something that I don't even know yet exists. And, God forbid, I fall in love with someone and wake up one day to discover I don't want what they have to offer. Having been the other side of that dilemma not too long ago, I couldn't live with the guilt of doing that to someone else.

I would like to think I am a wonderful lady with a lot of living yet to do, but I would at least like some direction. I would love to be able to go out and have a great time with my friends and not be hindered by the notion that he's just around the corner, waiting for me to smile at him. This only leaves me beaming like a sedated jester at every male in the proximity. I would appreciate having a clue that helps focus my winks to few less chaps in the bar.

I am seeking help because I have yet to find out exactly what I want, and I'm willing to bet that he hasn't any idea that he's looking for me. I have pretty strong qualities, to be sure, but I would be hard-pressed to find the man that's listed all the ones I possess... together. On paper, I appear to be a high-strung, sarcastic, snob of potential. However, upon meeting, I know we would melt into a pair of giggling goons, well-dressed and ready to take on the world. So you see, if I don't expect him to know he wants me, how can I begin to guess that I want him?

You're not a matchmaker, nor is it Valentine's Day, but here's hoping. If you can answer my plea, or better yet, if you find him, please direct him to the girl with red nails beneath the mistletoe.

xx oo

25 November 2011

With a Passion.

For two months I've been reading a book called The Passion Test. It's intended to help the floundering discover their true calling in life by concentrating strictly on things for which they are passionate. It's taken me so long to get through it because my holiday agenda has suddenly become full, and it requires a lot of undivided attention for list-making and self-searching and all that...

I never, EVER thought I would need a book to help me find my passion. I mean, I'm obviously passionate about so many things so why would I need help deducing what to do with my life? But a year after taking up professional bartending and slowly eliminating possible careers, I thought a little help was warranted. My entire formative years were spent in a theatre and on a stage, so I assumed performing was truly my passion. I had the resume, I had the talent, and I had the love of the craft-- check, check, check. Then why was I not pursuing that?

It's more complicated than I'm willing to share here, but the abridged version states that I haven't written off acting, but rather I'm anxious to discover other possibilities for myself. From the few chapters I have managed to complete I have discovered some valuable insight to the things I hold dearest. I wasn't surprised at the results, but I was shocked at how many other passions I actually possess. Revelation: I don't need to find my passion, I need to hone my passions. 

Last weekend I went to Vegas and I had the best time with people I had only just met. Like I've said before, I am social and outgoing. My unbridled confidence with people is one of my strongest qualities. I'm not afraid to talk to anyone because I believe everyone has something to offer. Plus how boring must it be for those people who watch the game but never play? I have never aspired to be a wallflower, nor have I ever been happy with myself when I behave as such. Las Vegas was an amazing trip because of the awesome people in my group, but I can only hope they enjoyed themselves as much as I did. Personally, I  can without a doubt say that I let go of all my inhibitions, had fun, and partook in everything I wanted. It helps that Vegas is not reality. Vegas is a state of mind that allows its habitants to shed the practical denim jacket of real-life and wear a glamourous cape of luxury. I adore Las Vegas because everything is on full blast. No expense has been spared and it's a condensed dose of extremes. Drinks are strong, women are gorgeous, and parties are amazing. Last weekend was no different. 

Six of us went to celebrate Popov (a co-worker of Denver) turning a quarter of a century. We drove out late afternoon on Friday in one of those vans designated for airport shuttles, and bounced to house music the whole way there. Of course we mixed a few celebratory screwdrivers when we reached Baker, so that definitely helped the mood. Denver has quickly become a close friend, but by the time we arrived at the valet of The Palazzo I had gained a few more fun partners in crime. 

At the clubs, I felt ignited with energy. I wanted to do everything, dance to every song, and relish every moment. Alcohol has a way of expediting those tasks, but I think I really allowed myself to surrender to the Strip. Once inside XS, I was summoned to a table of Marines celebrating after their annual Ball. Dancing up on the platforms with an officer in full dress was the perfect American moment. Meanwhile, Birdie had made herself at home on a silver pole designated for guest dancers. Her astounding talent was quickly recognized, and soon we were collecting dollar bills that'd been thrown by her fans. 

On Saturday Denver and Birdie utilized the suite's black-out shades while Popov, Carraway and I went to place bets. Carraway in particular taught me a lot about how to do Vegas the right way: know the odds, gamble with your player's card, and always take a town car. I enjoyed having a seasoned professional as my date that day, and walking from casino to casino I felt like a celebrity on her day off. I even made friends with Cedric, my bartender at the Bellagio sports book who made me an Irish coffee unlike any other. I was soaking up every moment. Saturday night I wore a white dress that, on the hanger, I mistook for a shirt. I normally do not wear anything that exposes the legs I have spent so many years resenting, but I owned my look that night. And I'll be honest, I don't think I've ever felt more gorgeous. (Friends who have seen the photos, please just agree with me and we'll be alright.) We went to another club that evening, but left early to eat cheeseburgers and shakes. Carraway and I stayed out 'til three or so at the blackjack table, but sadly my good luck charm that had worked so well that afternoon was tarnished. We left poorer than we'd arrived, but I felt pretty rich that evening. 

Okay, so maybe my passion is partying? No. But, I will say, that a lot of finding out what your passion is has to do with how well you live moment to moment. I live with passion and love, and everyday I learn something incredible about myself and my place in the world. Last weekend I learned that I can have a great time anywhere, with anyone, under any circumstance. (Well, as long as there's glamour, drinks, and stilettos.) I'm no closer to knowing what I want to do with my career, and I should probably pick up The Passion Test again. However, I find myself wanting to jump into The Great Gatsby instead. 

17 November 2011

The Magic of Yes

There are a lot of times throughout my life I have felt I am in position that pleases someone else, but will pay off for me later. These situations have been known to include: projects at work, helping a friend, Holidays with forgotten family, and buying practical over splurge. I am positive everyone, but especially young ladies, find themselves in these quandaries all the time. We're doing the thing we think we're supposed to do, but we actually want to be doing something else. So why are we not doing the latter?

I think it's because we've been raised with the notion that we have to be well-liked, and in order
to be well-liked we have to make other people happy. (Well, that's what I gleaned from my upbringing, anyway.) I thought if someone asked me to do something that it was more of a rhetorical question, and that my answer had to be agreeable regardless of whether or not I wanted to. Questions like, "Would it be possible for you to spot my dinner tonight?" seemed innocent enough. I always wanted to help a friend. Until I received my credit card statement and, to my horror, realized I was going broke "spotting" people on their burgers. There was no way I was spending that much on other people's meals, but then I thought back. People had been asking me to cover them with such success that they started to expect that I would simply offer. And I had been! When the bill came, I snatched it up, paid it, and felt like a hero when my friends thanked me for being so nice. And then I drove home and felt like a moron because I couldn't buy anything else for the next week.

That expectation is my kryptonite. If I sense there are expectations of me, I feel innately pressured to meet those standards. Of course, this is a trap. How can one ever meet someone's expectations unless they know exactly what they are? In school, it's blatantly obvious; you receive a syllabus that outlines exactly what you have to do to achieve certain grades. Unfortunately there aren't any syllabi for life, so there has to be another solution to this mess.

I know! Change your perspective.

Unlike the execution of my Facebook, this adjustment took a little longer. I knew I didn't want to be doing all the things I was doing. I also didn't have time. Therefore, I practiced saying Yes only to the activities in which I wanted to participate. Everything else I allowed myself to say No.

For example:

Them: Can you go to the store before work and pick up some of those things we need? 
Me: No, I can't.

Them: Would you like to come on a private boat with all of those people you don't like? 
Me: No, thank you for the invitation. I'm busy that evening.

Them: Do you want to be a part of a really bad play, but a play nonetheless? 
Me: No, but thank you for the opportunity.

Cute Guy: May I take you out for dinner this week?
Me: Yes, you may!

When I started editing out all the secondary things in my schedule I became freer to be spontaneous. I cultivated a new power within myself and I was actually in more control of my life. Instead of doing all the things I was asked and expected to do, I was doing what I expected of myself. Like I said before, it was not a overnight process, and I am actually still figuring out how to master all of the techniques. (Sometimes it's hard to say No without sounding like a stuck-up priss.) I was genuinely concerned that if I didn't meet everyone's expectations that I would be held in poor favor with everyone I knew. That is a ridiculous expectation in and of itself-- and I created it! It was an invaluable lesson to learn that people ask questions because they don't already know the answer. If someone asks something of me and they don't like the answer, then they shouldn't have asked! They should have told me what they wanted of me. And even then, I have the power to say yes or no.

I also know now that I'm well-liked not because of all the dinners I spot, but rather for my personality and the fact that I am... me. It's funny-- I think a lot of women are extremely gifted with making sure everyone around them is satisfied, and yet they are struggling with how to accomplish anything they want done for themselves. If pleasing others is such second-nature, then it's time we started investing some of that energy into ourselves.

I am going to Las Vegas tomorrow. It was a only a few days ago Denver invited me to go for her coworker's birthday. I took a solid five minutes to mull over the pros and cons, and unwaveringly said YES! While putting my outfits together I realized I had become a different person over the summer. The Me from last Spring would have scoffed at the irresponsibility of taking off and going to Vegas for the weekend. I would have toiled over all worst-case scenarios and imagined a horror-show of a trip, only to be disappointed when I saw all the photos and heard the fun stories. This Fall, I am thrilled to have been able to say Yes to the unexpected and No to the mundane. 

09 November 2011

My Co-Stars.

I am an extraordinarily social person. Drop me in a group of Chinese men and I am confident I can find a way to assimilate. However, I always connected being well-adjusted to having loads of friends. This is not the case. Having loads of friends can be a detriment to one's own well-being, especially if one is as much of a people-pleaser as I am. I am always trying to accommodate everyone else's wants, trying to make sure they don't have to put themselves out for me. I was so worried I'd "lose friends" if I wasn't responsive to their text, attend their Facebook event, wish them a Happy Birthday, take them out for coffee when we said we should catch up, call them on the anniversary of their Broadway debut... I was spread as thin as a dollop of low-fat cream cheese on a loaf of bread. I needed to find a way to simplify my friend group, but how could I pick and choose?!  Oh God, did I have to break-up with them?

I decided the easiest thing to do was to deactivate my Facebook. I toyed with the decision for an embarrassingly long time, asking myself, Should I warn people? Let them know I'm unavailable via Facebook but they can reach me on my cell or email? No! I decided. The best way was to do it cold turkey. So I woke up one day, clicked a few links, dismissed a few intimidating, "ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO LEAVE?" boxes, and I was finished. 

I felt like a lead weight had been lifted from my mind. I tried very hard not to think about Facebook, busying myself with other things. I spent a lot of time with my mom and grandmother. I replied to text messages from Rubina, Star, Kiki, and Missy. I studied for the LSAT. I had a boyfriend. I emailed my friends in New York. I ran into people and actually had something to catch up with them about because the Newsfeed hadn't already apprised me of their goings-on. Something wonderful had occurred.

I became autonomous. My life became less complicated, more productive, and I was able to have a life without Facebook. Amidst all those liberating benefits, the people I truly enjoyed stayed in my life in a more substantial way, and the tertiary people fell away without their even noticing. If they missed me I received a phone call and we caught up. It was just that simple.

Rather than having a net of acquaintances as before, now I am comfortable with having a few folks who know me very well. I am still surrounded by fabulous people with whom I am honored to know, but I look at them as cameos in my movie. They are all people with lovely qualities who add a little bit to my life every time I see them. And sometimes those five-minutes of screen time can turn into a recurring role, as is the case with my new friend Denver.

But it is my friends who are my co-stars. They make me and my movie more focused. I am still a social person, but I use the word "friend" with more dignity now. I never knew how difficult it is maintaining a friendship, but I am grateful building stronger bonds with the select people I call my confidants. I have seen what can happen to people who rely solely on work-mates and Facebook to fulfill their crony quota. There are no pillars of support in those kinds of relationships. There will always be moments in our lives that reach rock bottom, and what would we do without those friends who love us more than they love their families? It is a sad reality when your status update is the first to receive any news in your life.

I have since reactivated my Facebook, but it has a lot more stipulations. Most of my photos are private and I don't feel the urge to update, tag, or reply. Facebook is a unifying phenomenon and it serves a place in my life. The difference is that now the number of friends I have on Facebook is not how I  gauge the people in my tribe; most of them are classmates and coworkers. I needed that break from my online relationship to understand what having a friend really means. I would fight for them, cry for them, and go anywhere to celebrate with them. But my friends do not define me or my actions-- we are all too unique from one another to have that be the case. I am the leading lady of my life and my friends are my supporting characters.

02 November 2011


...Is how my friend Rubina referred to Match.com when I was a member this year. We used this as a code name for the site while I shared my experiences in coffee shops and other eavesdropping hotspots. It was also her jab at my singleness and my likeness to cat lady-ness.

I was the first of all my friends to take the $60 leap and join Match. I was not, however, the first to date online. When I lived in New York it was de rigueur to have profiles on sites like okcupid.com and, in certain circles, manhunt.com. (If you are under 18, please do not visit the latter. Come to think of it, please don't visit either one.) My transition from SoCal to NYC was swift; I moved to New York the same week I graduated college. I grew up in Orange County so moving to a place where I only knew two people, more or less, was fairly intimidating. I had always been a student in a safe environment. This whole "real life," "paying bills," "twelve-hour days" business was completely new, and quite a shock, to me. My stressful job working as a production-intern-turned-stylist's-assistant at a bodacious talk show did not leave a lot of room for me to find new friends-- let alone dates. Weekends were spent mostly in my PJs and then binge drinking with the same group of friends. I crushed on most every guy in the circle, and pretty soon exhausted all hopes of having a Chandler to my Monica.

So, my roommate and I joined okcupid.com. I was really nervous to put myself on the internet like that and I had a lot of questions. Was it just for hooking up? What should I write in my profile? What shouldn't I write? Which picture? How can I tell if he's a good one? Who should reach out first? How will we meet in person? What if he's a psycho and my experience is the next plot of Criminal Minds? It seemed too stressful! All my worries aside, I realized it was actually a quite practical way for me to date in a new place. Even in a city full of thousands of eligible men, it was difficult to make a connection with anyone new. I was always in tunnel vision toward my next minute, shoulder-to-shoulder on the subway with fifty people and their own personal tunnels of thought. Online dating was a way to get personal without getting vulnerable. I also knew great couples who'd found each other on Ok Cupid. It clearly was not as scary as I was making it out to be.

I went on a few dates in New York, but honestly I was so busy and consumed with making rent that I wasn't in any position to be dating. Not only that, but after I'd read The Rules I came to understand that I would never find anyone worthwhile when I was such a mess myself. Call it new-age philosophy but I firmly believe that we all get back what we put into the universe. I am a perfectionist and hold high expectations of myself and my (future) mate. It only makes sense that I should be on top of my game if I hope for those qualities in someone else. Ideally, they want someone fantastic, too.

I moved back home for reasons unrelated, read The Rules, and decided to go online again. However, now I was even more nervous than before. With Ok Cupid I was able to talk to my New York friends about our experiences and even scroll through my matches to get their feedback. And although I had a closer group of friends at home, it was a totally different social scene. All the couples I knew met through school, mutual friends, or at work. No one my age had even considered online dating. Ok Cupid wasn't anywhere near as well-known in the 'burbs of SoCal as it was in the Big Apple. And if anyone had heard of Ok Cupid, it was usually for its reputation of being a vessel for hooking up. I wanted to try something different and with a slightly older age group.

Match.com seemed the most logical choice. It fit all my needs and was admittedly "free to look." I spent hours working on my profile trying to write just enough witty details about myself while still looking demure and slightly airy. (No one likes a ditz, but no one likes an outspoken over-achiever, either.) My pictures were tasteful and showed only the best versions of myself: good angles, nice makeup, cute clothes. I was ready to launch.

I began getting messages immediately. Most were bogus, some were interesting. I wanted to share my good news with my friends, but I didn't know what they'd think about me challenging my singleness head-on. I soon found out that my decision was more stigmatized than I could have ever guessed.

"Are you really that desperate?"
"Wow. Seriously? Aren't only weirdos and ugly chicks on there?"
"You're too pretty and smart to be online."
"That's awesome! My aunt met her husband that way."
"Why are you giving up?"

Instead of having the support like my NYC friends, I was alone in an already uncharted territory for someone like me. I was confused. I thought my friends would be understanding and happy for me that I was taking control of something that was, in most cases, hit-or-miss. I tried not to let it bother me, but even after I started exclusively dating someone I was hesitant to tell anyone where we'd met. The point is, though, that I still met someone I enjoyed. Had I met him anywhere else I would probably never given him the time of day, but being contacted via written word gave him a lot of opportunity to sell himself and me a lot of power. If I didn't like what he had to say in an editable format, why would I ever want to know him candidly? And even if our meeting wasn't fodder for a rom com, our relationship was still full of romance.

I'm not online anymore. I didn't swear it off completely, I just don't think I need to be actively searching for a boyfriend right now. My success online made many of my peers curious; some even signed up. I don't at all want anyone to think that because my relationship ended I have lost all hope for e-happy endings. I hope the best for all my friends and I hope they have success in love. At the very least online dating is great practice. We live in a time where technology has taken control of every aspect of our lives, so I don't know why our generation is dismissive of dating websites when most of our time is spent online anyway. It only makes sense that we might meet our other halves there, too. However, having a profile does not close the door to serendipitous meetings. Rather, it creates that many more opportunities to finding that person exactly right for you. For me, having a great story of how I meet my Mr. Big isn't nearly as important as having a Mr. Big. 

27 October 2011

Single in Public

Being single is probably one of the best times of life. I can't think of any other moment that I will be able to move wherever I want to, travel anywhere I haven't been, or make decisions that affect only me. I have no children, no mortgage. This is a magical period that exists purely for my self-discovery.

I am in a strange limbo right now. I don't know exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life, but on the other hand I know exactly how I do not want my life to go. This decisiveness has ruled out many previously available life choices (i.e. law school, restaurant manager, Real Housewife). A few short weeks ago, I truly believed I was going to be with Snobbaz for an indefinite length of time. Knowing that, I thought I was making choices that were going to be best for my for-seeable future. I met him when I thought I was going to be an attorney. I was in the throes of studying for the LSAT. I couldn't believe my good fortune when I discovered he was an attorney and I would soon be a first-year and he could help me with all the legal jargon and hold me when I was about to give up...

Okay, I really wanted my life to be "Legally Blonde." Snobbaz was not as convinced of my plan for us while in law school. He was actually quite adverse to us being together while I went through school. He said that in "his experience" many couples broke up in law school because of all the pressure. I was completely sympathetic with his concern. I could see how the high stakes environment could create a huge strain on one's personal life, but was I much more optimistic. I let the issue brush under the rug.

I few months later-- after I took the LSAT, after I signed up to take another LSAT-- I decided law school was not for me. I just don't have the fire it takes to want to be an attorney. With this decision, Snobbaz's concern of us not being together while I was in school was also extinguished. As of then, it was our only major disagreement and the only issue that seemed tangible enough to break us up. Convenient that I decided not to go, isn't it?

I'm not saying I chose not to be a lawyer because I thought my boyfriend and I were going to break up, but I do think I subconsciously pigeon-holed myself into thinking it wasn't ever going to work out because of him. Now, I am extremely certain that I made the right choice and that I went through the same dilemma many twentysomethings go through with weighing whether or not to be an attorney. But I only came to that realization when I replaced the "us" in the equation with "me." It's crucial to recognize that the decisions we're making as young women (and young people) are solely for our own benefit. We're single! We're not married, with kids, with other people's lives to screw up. All we have are ourselves. If we don't keep our best interests at the top of our priorities then we will just be married, with kids, screwing up other people's lives, not knowing how it happened.

We all resent our stag lifestyle at one point or another, but I think I'm figuring out that we have been given a priceless gift. I don't know exactly what I want to do forever. And that's surprisingly okay. Finally I can be single, lost, and proud all at the same time.