Change

Real change comes in forces that we can and cannot control. On one side stands the forces we can control. It’s the woman who decides to break off a relationship binded to a man she no longer feels love for, the lost English major who follows a path of passion rather than one that falls short at the hands of cynics, the parent who practices patience while their child has a meltdown in the supermarket; There’s the culprit who seeks out forgiveness and the victim who accepts the apology, the insecure who undressed in front of a lover for the first time, or on an even more intimate level, the untrusting who decides to share their personal space and personal narrative with another. These changes are decided by choice.

 

Then, on the other side, stands the forces we cannot control. The forces which require time to accurately unfold their doing. Hindsight, being the ultimate truth teller that it is, shows when life seemed to be be handing out free samples of shit luck, given a closer look, I realized it was just disguised generosity. We can’t control discourses that are altered or if the phone will ring after a second date, but we can control our perceptions on why aren’t able to choose the outcomes. Many things I thought desperately wanted are considered hilariously unimportant to me now. Many opportunities failed to reach me because there were better ones to come. Many times, when I thought I was being knocked off my designated path, I was actually just getting on the right one. These changes are not decided by choice.

 

And then there are choices that are a bit of both. Most decisions I’ve made, processed, gnawed at, and analyzed sometimes haven’t brought me as much clarity as the ones I was forced to make in a snap decision. To stay or to go. To hold back from the bitchy comment or to go for the throat. To move forward or wait around for a man who, essentially, couldn’t do a lot of deciding himself. That’s because these changes by choice – or what I had believed them to be – were gut reactions coming from my core. I believe that deep down, at the center of our being, there’s a voice that knows where to go, what to do, or who to love. That voice? It’s our own. Because no matter how lost and tired and confused or kicked in the ass we may feel, we know who we are. Even at the times when we feel like we are strangers with ourselves – because we know the work we need to do in order to feel like we have control again.

Standard

Quick, give me some sugar!

I used to have a very, very overwhelming sugar addiction. And I don’t mean that lightly. If life presented me with a bag of crack and powdered sugar, demanding I’d choose one or the other, I’d happily gnaw on a candy-coated binge the only way I have known how to – with pixie stick dust dislodged into the back of my throat.

I couldn’t control myself. The damn thing consumed me as much as I had been consuming the shelves presented at checkout lines in the grocery store. My mother once found me at huddled in the corners of a dimly lit 2:00 AM kitchen, licking just the icing off multiple cupcakes which I helped her bake six hours earlier for a school event. “You need to learn how to have better self-control,” she would lecture after finding her ten year old daughter mid-gorge.

But I didn’t. Hiding spots were placed to ensure that I wouldn’t eat a whole sleeve of oreos again. And that tactic worked until those hiding spots were found. Sometimes, if i has given up on trailblazing our home in search of where my parents hid my ultimate source of weakness, I’d call up my friends and ask them to hang out, knowing that their families kept things like assorted candies out in the open and reachable by the means of my own hands. Kylie’s house had a bowl of M&Ms as soon as you walked through the door. Lynnea’s mom always had a bag of semi-sweet morsels for baking in the cabinet above the one that held her glassware.

Wrappers would pile up and so would my regret; I didn’t realize how much I was eating. I’m not sure I even liked the taste. I just knew I had to pry my hands into something sweet. And I knew once just wouldn’t be enough. I needed it all at once –  down to every single last piece.

It wasn’t until I was older when I finally realized how to control my sugar habits. Gone were the days of guilt and coffee so white it was usually mistaken for a glass of milk – I had finally realized to pace myself. I didn’t swear it off completely. But I didn’t go looking for it either. When it was presented to me, I wouldn’t turn it down.

It was at my cousin Kristin’s wedding where I was presented with a dessert table. It had every sucky-sweet-sugary lover’s dream – all the way from decadent, dark chocolate mousses to cakes with sprinkles that called upon memories of store-bought single digit candles placed on top of them. If I hadn’t trained myself to slow down, I would’ve tore right through the fucking thing. I would’ve left no remorse for the child who reached for the same last truffle I did.

I took my time. I enjoyed. I felt good.

Finding a partner should also be like this.

My point is not about sugar. It’s not about the fact that I still struggle with containing myself around sweets. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t eat a whole bag of Lifesavers Wint-O-Green mints last week. Because I did.

My point here is about how easily it is to consume yourself in the musings of another being. You want to devour them. You want them now. You want every single piece, goddamn it. Loneliness is a drug. A big one. And no one seems to want to talk about all the crazy shit it makes you do.

It’s hard when you find someone you want to be with and you know that you want to be with them. It’s hard to make things work. It’s even harder when you know you can’t. Or you can’t right now.

My sugar-induced searches were almost as bad as my desperate-for-love searches, as they are both filed under, “Things That Leave Me Miserable in The End.”

What I’m saying is if the person you want, for whatever reason this may be, is unavailable to you then to let it be. Let time do its work. Let the energy you invest be spread far and wide. Let yourself be okay if you never get that same energy back. Let yourself be surprised when it sometimes does. Five. Ten. Fifteen years later.

You want something. You see it. You feel it when you’re in his arms. If only I could have this one more time, you think to yourself. That would cure the fix. But it didn’t so you reach for a phone, buzzing on the end table beside you, in the middle of the night with his name. You swore you wouldn’t do again, but you cave anyway.

You can see the potential. You can feel it in your chest when he only calls you a friend. You can feel it when you first lay eyes on him across the room. 

We, as a human race, are intrinsically greedy. Especially when it comes to love.

But what about when we know what we want? What about that really, really good guy who goes to the college five hours from you? What about that guy you hit it off – had a deep connection to like one that you had never felt before –  who hangs up the phone to a girlfriend?

You cherish your friendship with your unrequited love. You put your best self into the person you see yourself introducing to your parents. You hold on tightly. And then you let them go.

It’s a waiting game. There is no way around it. But it’s one that you don’t have to lose your head about.

Remember what I said? About how I finally shut down the I need it voice in my head?

 

  1. I didn’t swear it off completely.
  2. I didn’t go looking for it either.
  3. When it was presented to me, I wouldn’t turn it down.

 

And one day you’ll be standing  there, like I had been at the desert table of Kristin’s wedding, amongst options. Lots of options. But you won’t feel the need to grab every single one just to have them for the hell of it.

By this time, you’ll know what you want. And so will the man bringing it to you on a plate without having to ask which flavor you prefer.

And you’ll thank yourself for taking your time. You’ll enjoy everything that lead you to that moment. And it will feel really, really fucking good.

Standard

Here’s How To Make Him Want You

If you’ve come for a comprehensive step-by-step guide then you’ve come to the wrong place.

If you’ve come for a tutorial (…because no matter how shatterproof Legally Blonde made the iconic “Bend and Snap” look, it’s not as clinically proven as it has been marketed) then you should exit the tab now.

If you ask me instruction manuals are for things like cars, the back of fancy shampoo bottles. cookbooks that you gift as a polite-and-indirect-way of telling Maureen her cooking sucks. And, the last time I checked, those things are all objects. You are not.

You are not an object in the sense that you are not an entity in someone else’s possession. You are not an end-point goal of another’s game. And romantic courtship has morphed into just that –  a competitive sport.

There are weird calculations and subtle, unconscious moves. There are pings of excitement when he views your witty caption on your snapchat story. It’s a text back, but not too quickly. It’s a inch closer, but not too much, because it could drive him away. Check mate, god damnit. Remind me again when this become so hard?

And some swear they know the ins and the outs. But, just like that kid who swore he knew the  Mario Kart cheats and a shortcut to rainbow road: They all end up falling off course.

I’ve had so many people come to me with lengths that go to the extreme about troubled situations concerning whether or not a man is interested in them. He’s sleeping with you, but he doesn’t want to be exclusive. He tells you that you’re the type of girl that he would bring home to his family, but you have yet to see the cabinets on his kitchen wall.

Things can get real messy too. For example, Katie paints a vivid prolific picture to me of Brad. Brad is a down-to-earth, wholesome frat boy who loves his family (as any frat boy would), but never called back. A couple more questions about frat boy Brad and I learn that he was very, very intoxicated when they met. He also called Katie Christine a couple of times throughout the night, but nonetheless, according to Christine – I mean Katie – love ensured.  

Something is so similar about these stories at the core. A daunting, insecurity that screams: Can I make someone else like me as much as I like them?

And if that resounding chorus isn’t bad enough, I’ve seen so many girls try to change who they are to match what a man seems to want. I’ve seen them quiet themselves, I’ve seen them become emotionally distant. I’ve seen them give themselves to people who didn’t deserve it.

The truth that lies here is that 1) There is nothing you can do to convince a person to become interested in you.

And 2) Refer back to the previous statement.

As hard as that is to hear, I too, have stood in countless grocery store lines with headlines that point to the answers. How to get him ask you out! Exclamation point!

And I almost pick them up, but I don’t,  knowing what they’ll all say inside.

Let your body language do the talking. Be flirty. Make him chase you.

Twirl your hair around your index finger like a schoolgirl while jumping up and down on one leg. Do this and be sure to not break eye contact with him.

And if that doesn’t work? One of three options. Black magic. Hookup with his best friend in the dark corner of a party while he is there to make him jealous. Or, finally, behind, door three is an all-inclusive roundtrip to die a sad, miserable life alone.

But, instead of those three easy solutions, you probably chose to do what the rest of us do. You internalize a situation. You sit there and wonder if it was something you did or didn’t do. You gnaw at your own arm as you type out had a good time tonight. Backspace. Too casual. I had a good time tonight. Just right.

You, altogether, blame yourself.

The right man will text you back regardless of your punctuation use. The right man will make the effort to be with you. The right man will know that it wasn’t because you chose the red or the black dress to wear out – it’s the things that are as easily showcased as the fabric on your body. The right man knows intellect, your drive, your empathy, your charisma are pieces of you that could be offered to the man standing next to him if he lets you go.  

And if that isn’t enough then I’ll leave with this thought. Imagine a room comprised of only doors. You could spend your entire life standing outside one that is vacant, hoping, praying that someone will open it.

Or you could pick up you shit, move to the next door down, and try again.

Standard