To thine own self be true...

A 20 something girl's guide to finding happiness in yourself

  • 9th December
    2010
  • 09

Party Like It’s the End of the World. Or is it?

As I have mentioned in the past, I am in the sorority and this past week we had a social with fraternity on campus. For those of you who don’t know, when Fraternities and Sororities get together there usually has to be some sort of “theme”. This social was no different.

The theme: End of the World Party.

This social proceeded like any other. In the beginning, everyone socialized like it was a middle school dance, boys socializing only with each other and the girls doing the same. This continued until everyone got sufficiently drunk so that they could blame their resulting actions on “the alcohol”. Dancing, more drinking and yes, some “hooking up” ensued. At midnight, we counted down to “the end of the world” and at the stroke of midnight the boys brought out bottles of champagne, shook them up and sprayed them around the party. I left that night sticky with champagne soaked clothing and hair and genuinely happy after actually having a good time.

After I arrived at my house, I began to think. What if this night had been the end of the world? Would I have done enough? Seen enough? Experienced enough?….. Loved enough?

After some soul searching I began to realize. Yes, I am single but I have a wonderful life. I have amazing friends who have brought me through hell and back standing by my side. I have a family that has been a constant resource of support. I have been loved and I have loved. I have seen and experienced wonderful things that I have been so incredibly lucky to see. I have become a strong woman who can stand on her own two feet. I have an amazing life and not a lot of people can say that.

Then I realized, it is not the end of the world. Even though this party was a silly social whose theme was derived to put everyone who attended off of their “game” in order to get them to do stuff they would not normally do for the fact that “it is the end of the world.”

BUT I got something from it.

I decided that night while washing the champagne out of my hair that I am going to live every day like it is the end of the world. I am going to go out of my way to do new things, meet new people and broaden my horizons. I can do amazing things and will do amazing things. It is time to begin to live my life.

  • 7th December
    2010
  • 07

Waste Case

Now as the “single girl”, many friends of mine have attempted to introduce me to many of there single guy friends. While this is always a big flattery, girls keep in mind no one knows your “type” and who you are attracted to better than you. I am going to share a story with you that will hopefully amuse you.

About two months ago, a really good friend approached me. “Sarah, I have this really great guy friend that I think you would like. He’s single, really nice, cute and has a great job. Would you maybe be interested in going on a double date with me?” I thought: “Goldmine, this guy sounds like just my type! Smart, motivated and most of all cute.” So I agreed.

The next Friday, I sat inside the Olive Garden patiently awaiting my date and my friend’s boyfriend with my friend. They arrived 15 minutes late (which girls, always a bad sign), which already sent red flags up in my mind. My date was cute, not exactly my type but I really wanted to see if he was a nice guy.

We were seated and the first thing that the boys ordered was the BIGGEST bottle of wine I have ever seen. My date started describing about the things he likes to do. As he described more about his activities and the things he likes to do, the more I drank. The more I drank, the more he filled my wine glass up or ordered another bottle. Now keep in mind that on a VERY good drinking day, about three glasses will basically knock me on my ass. By the end of the evening I would say that I single handedly killed ¾ of a bottle. Needless to say I became really REALLY drunk (a la Rachel in Friends when she gets set up on a blind date)

The dinner came to a close and the invitation was extended to go back to my date’s house. I panicked. He did end up being a nice guy, but I was so not into it. He was not my type. I drunkenly excused myself to go to the restroom and made a frantic text to my roommate Emma. “SOS”. Now this was a code we came up with long ago that if this was texted to our roommate from another roommate that was on a date we needed to call them with some sort of an emergency.

Faithfully, 10 minutes later, I get a call from Emma. In the most dead-pan, monotone voice Emma says “My boyfriend and I broke up. I am going to need you to come home.” Thanking god for Emma’s cleverness, I asked my friend to drive me home “to take care of my roommate.”

Lesson Learned

  • Blind dates are usually horrible ideas. Find guys for yourself. Only you can know what kind of guys you are attracted to.
  • Every time you go on a date make sure a roommate or a trusted friend knows you are there. Come up with a code word and make sure your friend is able to get you out of there when a date turns sour. 
  • 2nd December
    2010
  • 02

Diamonds Are a Girls’ Best Friend?

About three weeks ago, I received an invitation to a party. When I opened up the facebook invite, I was stunned. A SEX TOY PARTY? Who in the world would think I wanted to go to a sex toy party?!  For those of you who do not know me, I am the girl who wears pearls on a daily basis, drinks wine at college dive bars and is constantly referred to as “the classy one” within her group of friends.  While I am by no means a prude, I am not the type to talk about that kind of stuff in a group setting. 

I decided that I was not going to go. “I’m not gunna go, I’m not gunna go… alright maybe I’ll go.” I decided to put my new mantra into action. “I am going to do something new everyday that will broaden my horizons and will make me a better, happier person.”  It was time to put myself out of my comfort zone.

I dragged my roommate Tracy with me. Let me tell you my 21 years on this earth did not prepare me for this evening. I walk into the party, to my left, the racy-est lingerie I have ever seen, to my right an assortment of creams and lotions that would make even the easiest girl blush. Tracy and I spent the next hour barely concealing giggles throughout the demonstration. Tracy and I left the party in complete hysterics.

While, I had gone COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone, I actually had a really good time.  It was refreshing to explore that side of the single life in a “judgment free zone.”

Lesson Learn

Push yourself to step outside your comfort zone. You never know what you might discover about yourself or in my case, you might have a really great time doing it. 

  • 30th November
    2010
  • 30

Lessons Learned in Disney Movies

Lately, I have been pondering when and how my obsession with boys began. Where in my head did I get that I would fall in love the one time and that person would be “the one”? Where did I get that men would fight for you when they feel you slipping away or am in danger? My parents taught me better than that so where did these concepts come from? And then it hit me…. Disney Movies.

Like any good American girl, I grew up watching Disney Movies. From a very young age I was swept up in the world of color, singing, true love and men who would do anything for the women they loved. In this blog, I am going to take a few Disney quotes and apply them to the real world.

Ariel: “You’ve gotta get away from here.” Prince Eric: “No, I won’t leave you.” –The Little Mermaid

Looking back, this quote blew my mind. No wonder why women have such realistic expectations for relationships! Disney puts in our head that women are for men to protect, to keep safe. Ariel, you are a smart pretty girl, you can stand up to that fatty!

He’d never hurt anyone. Please, I know he looks vicious, but he’s really kind and gentle. –Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

The moral of this story, is no matter how much a man is a “monster”, yells at you, throws things at you, if you work hard enough, you can see the inner sensitive man. I think this one is self explanatory on why this is not a good message for young girls.

You love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream.- Sleeping Beauty

 

This is a classic example of the “love at first sight” syndrome. This fosters in young girls the belief that one day they will walk into the room and BAM you will see a guy and you to will fall magically in love. When I see an example of this ACTUALLY happening in the real world, I will let you know.

No! No. Please…please, please don’t leave me. I love you. –Belle

This was the “Mount Everest” of examples for unrealistic expectations. Yes, I will acknowledge that this statement is taken out of context but can you see the issue here?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Disney movies. I do think they offer entertainment value and these are often centuries old fairytales that Disney has taken and set to music. However, the movies portray women in a subservient, man-chasing, love-obsessed way.

Redeeming Factors

Disney has come to realize the way they portray women and have created a few characters that are able to stand on their own two feet. Ladies, these are the ones to model your interactions with men after.

I am a damsel, I am in distress. I can handle this. Have a nice day. –Megara (Hercules)

I don’t need you to shelter and protect me. –Lady (Lady & Tramp)

But I have another duty, to my heart. –Mulan

You can’t just wish on a star and expect things. –Tiana (The Princess and the Frog)

  • 29th November
    2010
  • 29

Case of the Ex

This week, I traveled to my home in idyllic Northern Massachusetts for a much needed vacation. I was looking forward to catching up on sleep, relaxing and unfortunately catching up on some homework. My first night I stayed in with my family and relaxed (so far so good) however, during a night of babysitting I received a missed call from a strange number.

I racked my brain… did I know this person? Was this someone I had given my number too? (I have been recently making that something of a habit) I texted the person back saying: Hey what’s up, I just got a new phone who is this? [On a side note, if anyone texts you this, that is complete crap. They didn’t just get a new phone, they are just searching for a polite “out” if they happen to actually know you and don’t have your number or even worse… have deleted it] The mystery person didn’t answer, which filled me with even more curiosity.

I waited until my drive home to call the strange number back. 4 rings and answering machine revealed that the number was none other than my ex (no not “IT” or one of the aforementioned “3 evil relationships” but a long ago high school boyfriend). I literally laughed out loud when I heard his name on the answering machine but I was so stunned that I forgot to hang up before the beep. “Hey, its Sarah, I saw you called what’s up? Hit me up when you get a chance”.

Then I heard nothing until the next day when I get a txt from “The Gopher” (this is a stupid high school nickname that it would take me too long to explain) . “Hey do you want to go out this week and catch up?” I considered this; I had not seen “the gopher” in over 3 years, what was the harm in it? But on the other hand, he knows I am single now is he going to hit on me (and trust me I was not going down that path again). So, I figured what the hell, why not a lunch date? I figured lunch was a platonic enough event.

Well, the event was apparently not platonic enough. I spent the following afternoon fielding off thinly veiled references to us dating again finally culminating with the statement: “You know Sarah, if things didn’t go south between us senior year, I think we would be sitting here today, having lunch planning our wedding.” SAY WHAT?!

Lesson Learned:

• It is impossible to have a platonic lunch with an ex, no matter how much time has passed

  • 23rd November
    2010
  • 23
Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…
  • 22nd November
    2010
  • 22

The journey so far continued (take two)…

STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF

For years, I had let men walk all over me. When “IT” left me he thought he could walk all over me and well… he could. I bent over backwards trying to get him back, to make him see what he was missing. I made myself a different person and I made myself look like a total lunatic, chasing after him when he clearly did not want me anymore.

During Greek Week, I had injured myself and was on crutches and surprise surprise “IT” decided to be “thoughtful of me”. He claimed he really wanted to help; he “wanted to show he cared”. After one eventful car ride with him he explained “he wanted to show he cared for me without leading me on.”

What?!

I let that one go but as I thought more and more about it, it really began to bother me. “Without leading me on?” Are you f***ing kidding me?!

This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I began to look at myself and look at him and thought what am I doing? Why am I chasing after this guy that wasn’t all that great in the first place? How have I brought myself (a wonderful, intelligent, pretty, strong, good woman) to this level, that he feels like he can withhold himself from me and that I’d be ok with it? I think I deserve more. I KNOW I deserve more.

The more I thought about it the madder I got. Finally, I decided to do something about it. No more of this. I am standing up for myself. I called him and left him a message.

“Hey Sean,

I have been thinking long and hard about what we have going on here. I know you are trying to be my friend and trying to care for me but to be honest, I am not really interested. I need to focus on myself right now and get myself being physically ok and I don’t have room in my life for the drama you create in it, whether that it is intentional or not. Thank you for offering to be here for me but if you really cared you would understand that you being around only serves to make me upset. I really hope you find what you are looking for but I think its time I move on now. Goodbye”

I can honestly tell you that this was the hardest thing that I will ever do. I knew by leaving him that message I was forever ending his and my relationship. I was ending the hope of a future together.

However, I can also honestly say that it was the best thing I have ever done. By doing this I brought power back to myself. Standing up for yourself is a powerful thing. No man however “wonderful” in your eyes should have the power to treat you like dirt. Often times girls (I know I was one of them) are afraid to stand up to men for fear of being called a b**** or it being “unattractive”. You know what? Let them call you that. Women today have more power than they realize.

By standing up for myself I took charge of my life again. Even though it was just for a second, I felt like myself again. 

  • 22nd November
    2010
  • 22

The journey so far continued…

THE IMPACT OF FRIENDS

It is funny when a tragedy (yes, this might sound a bit over dramatic but in this situation it is accurate) you really get a sense of who your true friends are.

For those of you who don’t know I am part of a sorority. Can you imagine 100+ girls that I can call sisters? My sorority for years has been a source of fulfillment. I got positions quickly and became an influential member of the chapter. However, while others made close bonds with each other, I was busy “improving the chapter”. I began to feel left out and even to make “frenemies” when I pushed others too far. (I have to explain this part to give you the impact that these people had on me)

Now this is not to say that I didn’t have great friends already. I have two amazing roommates Aimee and Emma and a best friend that people would be lucky to have, Charlotte. My little in the sorority is probably the best little in the whole world, Caitlyn. However, I was good friends with them but did not have a really tight bond with them (yet).

Now when “IT” decided he needed a change of pace, within minutes both Charlotte and Aimee called me to see if I was ok. The next morning Caitlyn hit up my phone and talked with me for hours. Emma listened to me for what seemed like hours as my confused brain tried to sort things out. However, it wasn’t until I returned to school that people started to come out of the woodwork.

I had people that I had pushed away coming over and taking care of me. Fighting my fights for me.  Trash talking “IT” with me. (Karma’s a bitch) I had roommates and friends that would come and pick me up off the ground (literally) and hold me when I cried. One even drove an hour out of her way to get me when I got myself into a dangerous situation. 

Never before in my life have I had such supportive friends that I am thankful for everyday.  They have been patient, kind, loving and at times have yelled at me to get my act together.  All of which has been so appreciated and I have never been so close with my friends as I am now.

Lesson Learned:

·      I realize now that it shouldn’t take a boy leaving me for me to appreciate the people I have in my life.

·      Friends can be a great source of strength; I know they have been mine.

*To my friends reading this: I love you all thank you

*

  • 22nd November
    2010
  • 22

The journey so far…

I feel like I need to catch you up on the progress I have made so far. Wow where to begin…

(To preface this: names have been changed to protect the identity of those who are being talked about)

After almost 3 months as a “singledon”, I have found the single life well, lets say “interesting”. It has been a wild bumpy ride, but I am going to break the months down into a couple of amusing stories (this will be broken up into a couple of blogs):

SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP

After all the struggles I had gone through with “IT” (him coming back and leaving repeatedly, broken promises, breakdowns and confusing subtext) I decided that I needed to go talk to someone. I honestly think that therapy is one of the best ways for a person to deal with their issues.  I feel like there is no shame in it. I am proud of it.

The first day I sat in Nancy’s office, I was slightly bemused.  How am I going to explain to her what has been going on? Will she be able to help me? Am I fixable? Turns out, yes. She has been invaluable source of advice and suggestions.

However, her advice has led me to some rather… well… interesting moments. First, I am going to talk about herbal remedies. Now, when my relationship with “IT” had finally ended I was struggling with a lot of adverse side effects such as anxiety attacks when I knew I would see him and the inability to sleep. Nancy recommended that I go so an herbal therapist who would recommend to me some herbal remedies to help me with the things that I had been going through.

“Luckily” (according to Nancy) there was a health food store right in my collegiate town that has a woman who specializes in situations like mine. All my life, I have been skeptical about herbal remedies and walking into this health food store did nothing to put aside my skepticism.

The quintessential “crunch-granola” store had a small desk in the back, at which sat the most frightening woman I have ever seen. Seriously, she looked like a witch (wiry grey hair, hardened facial features permanently fixed into a scowl and an all black outfit). I hesitantly approached her. She turned out to be just as unpleasant as her appearance. I walked out of the store 55 dollars, a couple of tears and 2 bottles of herbal remedy later. She gave me a sleep remedy and an anxiety remedy.

That night I took the sleep remedy and magically, I slept through the night. I thought man this stuff is great! The anxiety medicine wasn’t as a great but then I felt a little better (placebo affect in action?). However, I was enamored with the sleeping remedy until my roommate Emma pointed out that my “amazing herbal remedy that has been helping me sleep” contained 30% alcohol……. Well no shit it was putting me to sleep!!!!! The herbal remedy venture was an expensive fail.

Next, I have heard rumors of a psychic that was down the road from my college. One day I figured, what the hell. I walked up to the house of this woman with skepticism. I went with my friend Lola to be safe. I intentionally wore plain clothing and said nothing to the woman to give her any clues about me. Well what an experience.

This woman was on point the ENTIRE time.

She told me that “I had gone through 3 major relationships in my life that I had been hurt in but one of them I am having a hard time letting go of” (UM YEAH!)

She told me that the person who I had been having a hard time letting go of is not the one. (THANK GOD)

Then she went into my future. Apparently I will not meet the person I am meant to be with for another 4-5 years (FRICKEN GREAT, I NEED TO WAIT THAT LONG FOR HIM!), I am going to own my own business such as a day care in a place that is near Washington D.C. (I WOULD LOVE FOR HER TO EXPLAIN TO ME HOW I AM GETTING TO VIRGINIA). She told me that I am going to have 3 kids (a boy, a girl and then another boy) and be miraculously happy.

Also she happened to mention that I will be getting into another relationship with someone that I already knew in 6-8 months. (GUESS I HAVE TO START LOOKING AT THE GUYS IM WITH A LOT DIFFERENTLY)

Skeptical? Me too. While I appreciated the psychic’s efforts, I have to be skeptical. How does she know these things? How can she be so sure?

While I had interesting experiences with all of the “seeking professional help” I have learned a few lessons from my experiences.

  1.  It is important to find someone impartial to talk to when you are going through a hard time. As much as your friends want to help and contribute it is always nice to have someone who is trained to listen and give advice.
  2. Thinking out of the box, in the end, may help in that it will broadens your horizons. Having new experiences even though they may fail makes you a better, well-rounded person. Also, at that point in time I was willing to try anything
  3. Seeing people outside of your realm of comfort is sometimes helpful. The experience allowed me to let some things go. The experience allowed me to remember (even though I was skeptical) that there was a future outside of “IT”. “IT” did not have to be the one.

Stay tuned later this week for more updates about what I have been up to lately.

  • 21st November
    2010
  • 21

And so it begins…

Recently, I have been more actively engaging the social medias that have defined our generation. Twitter and facebook have been my social outlets but I feel like in order to fix myself this is something I need to do… I need to write about my thoughts, feeling, songs I like and yes, I need to even dish on a couple of people.

My name is Sarah. I am a 21-year-old college student from Massachusetts. I grew up all over the world and the country. I am getting my masters in Elementary Education and have wonderful friends and family.

Now why would a twenty-something girl who seems like she has all over her proverbial “ducks in a row” need to fix herself?

For as long as I can remember, I have been OBSESSED with boys. Does that guy like me? What does that text mean? Why don’t I have a boyfriend? Why isn’t my boyfriend treating me right? and more recently… why did he leave me? You see, I really have NEVER been on my own. I have never been ok with just being me, being Sarah.

A year ago, I left a horrible relationship for a guy I thought was a good guy. He was charming, funny and seemed to understand me. We entered into a relationship that still to this day was the best I have ever been in. I felt like I was walking on air. I was so happy. I thought I had finally found the one.

And then the rug was pulled out from under me…. 

“Sean” (yes, the name has been changed, but this character will now heretofore be referred to as “IT”) decided that he needed a change. He wanted to be single, in his words “I can’t do this anymore”.  My entire world had been turned upside down with those 5 words. 

I plunged myself into misery. I let myself become a completely different person. Where had the girl who had been confident, happy, funny, put together and ambitious alongside “IT” gone? Where had she gone? And so began my search for her.

In this blog, I am going to recount my experiences, both with the [gasp] single life and the effort to fix myself. I am going to share some songs that I feel that are pertinent to how I am feeling that day. I will share some quotes that have always made me feel better.

Through this blog, I hope to document my efforts of fixing myself (its been a bumpy hilarious ride) and I hope to use it to figure out what has been going on in my life.

Wish me luck…