Wake up, Sleeping Beauty…

…this ain’t no fairy tale.

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I’ve had this thought swirling around in my head for awhile. The pieces and parts. And the other day it finally clicked. Disney has ruined me.

I spent my life growing up thinking “Some day my prince will come” and that we will “live happily ever after” despite all odds. I know I’m not alone in saying that as a girl, I – on more than one occasion – spent a wish on “I hope so-and-so and I liveĀ happily. EVER. AFTER.”

So far, a couple relationships, a failed marriage, and two dates in…I think my life is more like Mulan’s: “I’ll make a man out of you…”

Is it so darn hard to find a man with a backbone and his sh!t together? Driven and compassionate? StrongĀ and loving? Or did Disney make them all up?

Is this one of those build-a-bear things, but instead I build-a-man?

I have to think that he’s out there somewhere. The guy who can handle my stubbornness, and see that it comes from an intense drive that also provides intense love. The guy who will stand strong for us and our happiness, and yet delicately cradle and care for the heart I give him. Who will keep me on my toes intellectually, but also make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. Who will provide, protect…and love.

Perhaps that thought is just my own Disney movie playing in my head.

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Enough

So after my “bring it, dating world” post, I began thinking about the data points the single men on the market (who are worth dating and spending a future with) might also have. And wondering if I would live up to those standards. Like I said, “Divorcee with dog and no steady income”…doesn’t really attract the men.

I would’ve never expected to be divorced, still not licensed in my field, and without a full-time job at this point in my life. I wouldn’t have expected to be sleeping alone, spending holidays with friends and family instead of a man who holds my heart. I think as a child I would’ve pitied my current/then-future self. The outsider sees loneliness, a woman unloved.

If only I could tell her that her heart is worth treasuring. That the life she sees shouldn’t be pitied, but aspired to – maybe lacking the divorce and adding jobs.

That life is worth living…fully…not just surviving.

That sometimes the road worth taking isn’t easy, but that she has enough in her to make it through the rough spots.

That she should never let the fire, the strength, in her die. It is the sparkle that sets her apart. It should be cherished by herself and should be respected and cherished by the man who will someday hold her heart.

Those are the things I hope little girls growing up now know. They are the things I grew up being taught. And they are the things that, when faced with the possibility of a future of bad dates, remind me now that I am worth the work. I should be treasured, just as I will treasure the man who will have my heart.

I am enough.

 

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TED Thursday: The world of online dating

I came across this TED talk today. A girl, recently out of a relationship, who loves data and connecting the dots and makes a mean timeline. She’s a planner. Any of that sound familiar?

I found myself laughing out loud at a couple parts, loving how she broke down the system to find what she needed. The talk is hilarious. Give it a listen.

As I’ve talked to friends, most of whom are happily married, about the re-entry to the single world…they are at a loss for advice on how to meet guys. You can’t just stroll across the Quad or go to a new class next semester and hope you find a cutie worth getting to know. And most of these happily married friends? Have friends who are happily married. So they can’t troll their friends for possible dates for me, either. Time and time again, their answers were “what about online dating?”

There are so many thoughts that come to mind with that simple question. Because it doesn’t feel so simple. Which site would I choose? Where do I even begin when it comes to setting up a profile? How much/how little information do I tell? What happens when no one emails/pokes/responds/messages/(insert whatever it is you do to chat on online dating because I’m so clueless here) me?

This lady took those frustrations and her skillset and made it work for her. It’s hilarious…and ingenious. While I don’t plan on engineering a handful of fake profiles, I applaud her for doing the legwork. And the moral of the story is: the legwork paid off. Sometimes, alright – most times, boys are dumb and they need help putting their shoes on, let alone finding someone who could conceivably become a life partner – so the creepy fake profiles seem less creepy when it pays off. Alright, the shoes are probably an overstatement, but I bet every girl reading this is nodding her head.

It all seems laughable to me.

[Find site]

[Create account with boringly literal or strangely funny username to lure boys]

[Insert picture]

[Add stupid quip that continues to attract said boys]

I’m pretty sure “Divorcee with dog and no steady income” is not the product of the algorithm that ends in my favor. That is not the milkshake that brings the boys to the yard.

I’m also pretty sure that my list would have at least 72 data points.

But what I do know FOR A FACT…is that I have awesome friends who will remind me along the way that he is out there and I just have to keep living and working and someday my man of action will show up.

Bring it, dating world. Smileygirl1978 ain’t got nothin’ on this milkshake*.

*In fact, it appears she hasn’t even seen a milkshake in awhile.

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Building my future

While I joke about being okay with being a single gal, and I am, I also know that at some point in my future I will want to be an independent-minded woman staring at the adventures of my future with an independent-minded man at my side. I won’t NEED him there, but I will want him to share in the experiences with me. And he won’t NEED me there, but will equally want me.

I spent many nights mulling over the issues of my last relationship, both while it was happening and after the fact. I’ve learned from it. I may not ever know exactly what changed, but I’ve taken away from it the things I know will make me an even better partner in the future. And I also understand that there’s no looking back. There’s no sense in constantly re-hashing in my mind the events that occurred and the events that didn’t. I will always enjoy the fond memories that I have of times past, but the memories aren’t the present, and they hadn’t been in awhile. You can’t remain happy only from memories of long ago.

Just as you can’t live in the past for happiness, you can’t live in the past for sadness. You move on, you learn, you build your future forward.

And so I work on bettering myself, continually. I work on sorting out in my mind and planning for the life I’d like to have. I work on doing the things I love and being the person I want to be. I work on being happy, and doing the things that make me happy. I work on enjoying the moment. I’m building my life for the future.
I am a woman of action. And I know, both from that acknowledgement and from past experiences, that I want and need a man of action. A man who can help carry the load when it gets heavy. A man who will work with me, side by side, through the good days and the bad, to continually make our relationship the best it can be. Who will put in the effort to make the relationship great without making it feel like work. A man who will say nice things to me, both romantic and funny, to make me smile and laugh, but will also then follow those words with actions that reinforce the thought. A man who will call me on my sh!t when I get too sassy for my shoes (as Katie will attest I am apt to do), but love me just the same when the dust settles.
Does that man exist?
Who knows. I hope so. But until then, you can find me building my future…
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Who cares, I’m awesome

On a related note to my blessed post, where I mentioned a couple ways in which I’m getting over the single hurdle with the help of friends and family, I have another “single gal” funny for you.

One night last week, I was sitting at the computer working and saw a mouse – literally SAW IT – skitter across the floor from the living room to the kitchen. I texted the landlord who came through with 4 traps, two different kinds, and tips on setting them that night.

The next day, upon arriving home from work, I was greeted with the present of a mouse in a trap. After getting over the initial shock – not sure why I was shocked, exactly. After all, that was the intent when I set them – I walked over to gather the trap/mouse and dispose of it outside.

And then it jumped.

Holy blazes of hellfire.

What’s funny to me now is: I jumped in a circle like a little girl, screaming and waving my hands….while it hopped the trap in a circle, screeching and trying to get loose.

And Madeleine? She was having a field day with the crazy.

So…I texted the landlord. He wasn’t home to remedy the mouse situation (come to find out he’s not a fan of mice either). Nor were any of my friends in a close distance. It was big girl pants time. I put the bag back over my hand, kicked the trap around so that I could pick it up from trap end, and went for it.

And then it squeaked.

And I dropped it.

And squeaked myself.

Round two was more successful and the mouse is now in mouse heaven somewhere. And me? I rewarded myself with a beer. No man needed here. I got this sh!t under control.

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