Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

May 31, 2013

'Plan A' All The Way

Oh my god. I just realized that I'm home on a Friday night, with my dog and cat, eating takeout, drinking wine and voluntarily watching "It's Complicated" on the Oxygen channel.

Let's break that last sentence down, shall we? There are more layers of pathetic there than you think.

I just realized 
This means that I didn't plan my evening to be a prototypical "lonely, single spinster on a Friday night" thing, as if creating it "ironically" would make it any less true. No, it just happened organically. And it was this sudden, horrific realization that snapped me out of it.

I'm home a Friday night with my dog and cat 
This means two things. 1) That I had no one to do anything with on a Friday night, and 2) Even if I did, I'd still rather hang out with my pets. They're the only living things I feel totally relaxed around.

eating takeout
This also means a few things. 1) That I unnecessarily spent some of the money I'm supposed to be saving on a shitload of Chinese food that one person could never possibly finish, even with leftovers. 2) That my vow to "eat healthy" only applies Monday through Thursday. 3) That even when I have nothing to do and no one to do it with, it still never occurs to me to spend the evening cooking something healthy and amazing. (This thought will never come to my head. I've accepted it.)

drinking wine 
I drink craft beer. I love it. I talk about it. I shop for it. I attend beer Meetups at breweries all by myself simply because I want to go on the tour and taste the beer. So what possessed me to drive out of my way to a Trader Joe's in order to pluck a mid-priced bottle of white wine off the shelf?!

While the next items didn't make it in to the sentence --  because I simply haven't gotten to them yet tonight -- I also marched to the dessert aisle for a half-pint of Peanut Butter Tracks ice cream and a bag of dark chocolate covered pretzels (because the dark chocolate is better for you than the milk chocolate, of course), which  I will crush and sprinkle over the ice cream for that crunchy, salty texture (clearly I've done this before).  I'm sorry, am I auditioning for a Cathy cartoon?!

and voluntarily watching "It's Complicated" on the Oxygen channel. 
This means exactly what you think it means. When I noticed this Meryl Streep/Alec Baldwin romantic comedy on the cable program guide -- on the freakin' OXYGEN CHANNEL --  I brightened, thinking, "What a perfect thing to watch on a Friday night!" If you've ever seen the movie, then you know that it is not just a "chick flick." It's a chick flick for middle-aged and senior women - and it's not shy about it. Just watch the dinner scene between Streep and her girlfriends, seated around the table, sipping wine and swapping hilarious stories about this thing called online dating and vaginas "closing back up" after years of neglect. Isn't that just a laugh riot?! Hardly. It did, however, trigger enough of a gag reflex to snap me out of it.

Also, the latter part of the sentence means I was watching cable television, something I haven't done, or had access to, in years. I still do not have access to a DVR, which means I was choosing to watch "It's Complicated" with all of the commercial breaks. Holy fuck.

But here's why I'm admitting this at all. 
After what I've pulled off this year, I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

I decided last December, the month I turned 40, that I was not going to spend the second half of my life in search of what I thought I needed to make me matter -- -- a husband and child. Actually, I was willing to pass on the husband. A kid, I felt, was what I needed to finally justify my existence. (Yes, during my darkest, most self-loathing hours, months, years, this was something I believed. Until December, that is.)

Allow me to be revert back to stereotype for a moment by quoting Dr. Phil. "And how'd that work out for me?!" 

So I sat down and thought about exactly what I wanted, set some big goals that had me aiming for the top instead of shooting for the middle, and made several serious commitments to myself, all of which I diligently followed through on. (I can't say the same for the men I've chosen to be with over the years.)

That alone is enough to hold my head up high, but what makes this such a jubilant self-lovefest is that I accomplished each of these goals on the first try. I'm Plan A all the way and, no matter how much I try to minimize my own part in pulling this off (and believe me, I've caught myself trying), I can't possibly avoid giving myself the credit. Not just for setting and accomplishing my goals (though that is certainly part of it), but for the hard work I did over the last 25 years -- no matter how haphazardly I did it -- that made me the kind of person who could do it at all.

I can't believe it took me 40 years to figure out how to be awesome with intention. I can't dwell on it too long or I'll start ruminating on where I would be if I'd figured this out a decade earlier. (Shit. I just realized that this means my mom was right all along.)

So what have I done since December 2012 that makes me so damn proud of myself? Here you go:

  1. Shut off the "looking for a husband" valve entirely.
  2. Decided that I'd rather not have a child than be a single mother scraping by on my own. I could skip the hubby, but only if I didn't have to worry about money (not in that situation - yet). If I've learned anything, it's that money is my stress trigger. I wouldn't want to put a kid through that.
  3. Came to terms with the fact that life could go on if I never had a baby. And that adoption, if or when I'm ready, is something I would consider.
  4. Decided to relocate to San Francisco and give myself two years to do it.
  5. Stopped being cheap and hired a resume expert to interview me until I coughed up all of the professional accomplishments it would've taken me another decade to admit to on my own.
  6. Decided to apply only for jobs that would require me to say "I'm a writer" when asked the inevitable question, "What do you do?" 
  7. Networked without (much) fear.
  8. Limited my first round of applications to "dream jobs."
  9. Landed my first choice dream job at the world's first choice dream company in just two months.
  10. Doubled my previous salary and negotiated for a full relocation package.
  11. Said my fond farewells, packed up my pets and moved my future to San Francisco.

So, yeah. I'm home on a Friday night watching sappy cable, getting tipsy and talking to my pets. But that's because I arrived just two weeks ago and am still in temporary corporate housing, far from the happening city (hence the cable I would never order myself).

I haven't even started the second half of my life yet.


February 14, 2013

Finally, I love Valentine's Day.

The older I get and the longer I'm single, the more I adore Valentine's Day.

I'm one of those people who could never get over the forced nature of this Hallmark holiday.  Even when I was someone's better half, I resented the day, and all the days of marketing foreplay leading up to it. They guys I paired up with wholeheartedly agreed  (really, are there guys that wouldn't be relieved when their girlfriend says, "Please, let's not do anything for Valentine's Day"?).

Nowadays it seems most coupled-up folk my age take a low-key approach. As Wine Guy said on our very recent V-day bashing phone call, "Valentine's Day is for people 25 and younger." Not just because they're probably less jaded at such a fresh, young age, but because they have so few obligations that trump grandiose gestures of romantic love. 

At 40, people have busy jobs, kids, night school...whatever it is that they care more about at the moment than a second-rate box of chocolates or a bunch of overpriced roses. Wouldn't that money be better spent on a babysitter for a date night when the restaurants aren't overcrowded with high schoolers and 20-somethings dressed in their uncomfortable best, eating rich food, and wondering if they're going to get laid?

But even though my anti-V-day philosophy is sound and secure, and has been for years, the coupled-up me was never able to entirely eradicate that one little nagging voice that said, "But shouldn't I at least get him a card?" Or, "What if he gets me something and I don't get him anything?" Or even just the knowledge that when someone with hearts in their eyes comes up to me and asks, "What are you and your honey doing for Valentine's Day?" my response of "Nothing. We think it's a bullshit holiday" probably won't be met with warm, fuzzy agreement. There I'll be, branded bitter. 

During my 20s, being single on Valentine's Day wasn't as dreadful as the stereotypes floating around might suggest. I never felt pathetic or sorry for myself for being alone, but I wasn't all that happy about it either. It was just a day where I felt a little left out. 
But last February 14, I felt a huge shift. It was my first solo V-day in some four years and I was pleasantly surprised to feel nothing but total and utter relief as the day dawned. My coupled-up peers were either overwhelmed with helping their kids finish their Valentine's cards for school or coming up with something to make sure their partner knew they were cared about, without having to expend too much of their dwindling energy to do it.

Me? I had a day entirely free of obligations and, worse, expectations. I was totally and completely off the hook.

This year I embraced the feeling even more. I woke up almost elated and had a smile on my face all day long. I wore my normal muted grays and blues, but threw on a pair of red knee-high socks beneath my boots and pants, which I would then expose with a playful smile to my coworkers saying, "See? I haven't given up!" 

When I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home, I couldn't help but give a good-natured laugh at the people dutifully approaching the bins of rose bouquets and marching over to the register, looking relieved and tired after a long day at work.  

Now I'm off to grab a few craft beers at my favorite dive bar -- the one with plastic chairs on the patio and a view of a parking lot. My greatest companion, my dog, resting at my feet. Now that's my idea of romance.

Happy Valentine's Day! Dismissed.

December 31, 2012

The Bravery of Friendship

All this time I thought I'd been missing a serious romantic relationship. That may be true, but if I've learned anything over the last few weeks, during which I turned 40, it's the realization that what I've been missing is true friendship.

It's not that I don't have a handful of close friends whom I love and trust. It's just that I rarely get to see them as they live far away and/or have kids and families that keep them understandably busy. When I do see or talk to them, time is limited and often interrupted and there's just never the right time for me to say, "Help. I need you."

The months leading up to my 40th birthday were heavy with self-assessment. I spent the bulk of my adult life trying to get what I thought I wanted, and failing. How do I want to spend the second half of my life? My head was spinning with options - the benefit of having nothing to hold you down, I guess.

I could decide to plunk down some roots right here, scrabble together money to buy a condo and throw myself into the career and family I have right now.

Or I could decide that having a child is my first priority and figure out a way to get pregnant like one of my single friends who just had her sperm donor baby. I'd have to change everything about my life, probably move in with my mom, and accept a new life that revolves around my child.

Or I could wage an all-out assault on the men of Southern California and throw a wad of cash at a matchmaker to find me a partner or else. (One phone call to such a service, after wading through the many companies essentially geared towards finding hot 20-something women for rich old men, quickly ruled this option out. When I asked how much the service cost she hesitated then said, without yet knowing anything about me, "Well, if you're like 39 and really want a baby, well, that's going to be reeeaaallly expensive." Pathetic. True.)

Or I could abandon my life here and start fresh somewhere new, probably the Bay Area.

Throughout the year, I've spent time pondering and poking around each possibility, changing my mind with every passing week, and growing more and more confused. When I did try to talk it out with someone, there was never enough time to do more than lay it all out, which I'm sure to many of the people I tried to talk to, came off as complaining.

But, see, I didn't just want to talk. I wanted to LISTEN. I wanted someone to stop and take a chunk out of their time to hear what I was saying, process it with what they know about me, and come back with their thoughts, ideas, suggestions or just ask more questions to help me probe deeper. It's a lot to ask and I don't think I even knew I was asking it -- until I got it.

The night before the birthday party I'd planned for myself, my dear friend from college came down from Orange County to stay over. With her husband and daughter at home and nothing but hours ahead of us, we talked. First about her own familial issues, then moving on to my stuff. This friend is a loving person, and a wonderful listener and her undivided attention and obvious compassion allowed me to really listen to what I was saying as I went through the same old tired list of what was confusing me. And what I heard was monumental. I heard that while I would love to have a family, I am certain of the fact that I don't want to have a child on my own. I was raised by a single mom and I know the hectic pace and cost of doing it alone, and that would make me a miserable, stressed out person and a terrible mother. One option crossed off the list.

That reduction of possibilities opened me up to another, one that I'd ruled out as a child and never allowed myself to reconsider. Adoption. I am the youngest of four children, and also the only biological child of my mother and father. I love my older siblings and consider them my "real" family, but I'd be lying if I said the fact that they are adopted (all from different families, and all as infants) played a part in the myriad difficulties they've had over the years, which subsequently made my childhood scary, unstable and maddening.

I loved adoption for everyone else in the world but me - until that night, when I finally had enough clarity to put it back on the table. Not for now, but for if and when I am financially stable enough to do it on my own. Or if I do eventually get married and am unable to bear children.

The simple act of excluding one possibility and reinstating another had miraculous results. Instantly, I felt the thousand-pound burden of the baby hysteria I'd carried for the last 15 years evaporate. I was free. And it would never have happened if my friend hadn't sat with me, listened with intent interest, and helped move me along as I worked it all out at the dining room table.

Then last week I drove to Arizona to see another very close college friend who was out from New York visiting her in-laws. I was thrilled to be able to finally meet her one-year-old son and spend time with her family. Then we'd stay up late and talk, and I'd end up letting out all my fears in a stream of emotional tears. She listened, but also challenged many of my self-defeating assumptions  (a particularly well-honed skill of mine). But it wasn't until my last day there, when we were able to leave the baby, husband and in-laws behind for a one-on-one diner breakfast, that she let her brave act of love and friendship loose.

She started asking me questions about the end of my relationship with Geek Rebel, something I'd barely talked to her or anyone about. I pretty much slammed down the steel guard gates the moment he said "I came here to break up" outside my front door. I still had only quickly skimmed the lengthy email he sent the following week explaining why he did what he did so suddenly. I just couldn't bear thinking about it.

The more she asked, the more I realized I didn't have any real answers. She and I are very alike and, therefore, she's experienced many of the same conflicts with her own husband since we tend to pick similar types of men -- smart, quiet, sensitive -- to balance us out. The only difference is that she and her husband came out successfully on the other side after each taking hard looks at themselves and making real changes.

This is where the real friendship comes in. She said some things to me that were very hard to hear, and could easily have offended me. But they didn't because I knew what she was saying, as harsh as it might have sounded, was coming from a place of love and a sincere wish for my happiness. I fought her on it. She came back at me. I evaded. I pouted. She calmly continued. I listened.

Then I told her she could read the email from Geek Rebel, which I hadn't looked at in four months. As she read it at the table, my heart started pounding. I began to recall snippets from the email, not just the parts where he admitted his own wrongdoings, but the sections about what I'd done and said that essentially forced the break up. I hadn't been willing to go there before, but by the time she looked up from my iPhone I knew the time had come.

I thought about it on the five-hour drive home and over the next two days. This morning, December 31, I finally really read his email. And I responded.

Dismissed and Happy New Year.

December 14, 2012

I Don't Have Kids and I'm Just As Upset About The Shootings As You Are

There's so much to be sad (and angry) about in the wake of today's massacre in Connecticut: the senseless loss of innocent life, the likely festering of untreated mental illness, this country's obsession with packing heat...I could go on.

But let me make one thing clear, because I keep hearing it over and over and over again -- from the President on down to acquaintances on Facebook.


People without children aren't heartless creatures who love less than the rest of you. We understand loss. We understand the need to protect innocent children. We worry about our nieces, nephews, friends' children. Heck, even kids we've never met.

It's bad enough that unmarried, childless women are entirely excluded from an ongoing political conversation that obsesses over "working moms" and "working families," as if single professionals don't take a beating without a dependent or two to write off (or a mortgage if we can't afford a home because we're living off of only one income). But to be excluded from the communal grief seems to sting even more.

I'm sure this bothers me more than most as I come to terms with the fact that I probably won't be joining the ranks of the "working moms" like I'd thought now that I'm 40 and without a romantic prospect (or frankly a desire to find one) in sight. But I can't be the only one who's grown tired of feeling invisible and unimportant, can I?

Now that I got that off my chest, I can return to the ranks of Americans feeling absolutely exhausted by the sadness and senselessness of today -- and all the other days of gun violence before it. At times like this, I wish an inactive uterus  did alleviate the pain that one feels over the murder of children. But, I assure you, it doesn't.

November 27, 2012

Digital Remnants

I never thought my Hulu login would outlast my relationship.

That's what I think every time Geek Rebel's name pops up when I go to my subscriptions. I have my own login, of course, but since I refused to pay for Hulu Plus, GR used his when we watched TV at my place. Now when I log on at home alone, I see his name and remember when I introduced him to the TV show "Wilfred" (the American version; he later turned me on to the original Australian) and felt my heart surge when I saw that he liked it as much as me. (I believe that the show is me in TV sitcom form. Take from that what you will.)

When we first broke up, I really struggled with whether or not to log out once and for all. I don't know his password, so if I took this proactive step, I'd be locked out of the Hulu Plus universe forever (yes, I'm still too stubborn to pay for it).

But I put it off until the inevitable moment when Hulu asked if I wanted to "stay logged on." Yes or No? Do I still want to remember that 8-month blip of a relationship? Sure, I was sad at first when he dumped me so out of the blue. Until I realized it wasn't out of the blue at all, but the right call for us both. It doesn't hurt much to remember that.

But it stings like a mofo when I think about what that relationship really meant to me --  my Hail Mary pass at the husband-baby-house life I'd been striving for over the last 15 years. (Yes, I know, "striving" was probably the problem. What can I say? Shoot me for wanting something and trying to get it, why don't you?) And now that I'm staring down the chamber at 40 -- the dream of that life about to be blown to bits -- I'm not all that eager to see Geek Rebel's name and remember.

When the Yes or No question came up, like I knew it would, I had a clear choice. And I chose Yes - I would like to stay logged on - even if it means a momentary stab of pain every time I navigate to the menu. See,  I like my Hulu Plus and, while I won't pay for it, I'm happy to take advantage of it those few times a week I actually have time to watch TV.

Deep down, maybe I wrote this post hoping just a little bit that Geek Rebel reads this blog (he did at least once during our relationship). Just like he was the one who took the action to end our "us," maybe he'll again be the one to yank away that last remnant of himself by changing his password. I can live with that. (But if you are reading this, GR, and feeling generous, by all means feel free to give me a reprieve.)

Geek Rebel also gave me a Google Nexus tablet. I'm happy to say that it carries no baggage with it whatsoever.

September 13, 2012

Happy Distractions

I leave tomorrow on my Vietnam vacation, but before I go I wanted to share something I learned over the course of the last few weeks that might be helpful to anyone struggling through a break-up or any other distressing event (I guess that means everyone).

The moment I closed the door, literally, on Geek Rebel after his abbreviated dumping speech, I began planning my distraction. I'm sick of moping over failed relationships. There's just no time for that anymore. Because we were preparing to embark on our first vacation together (hence the reason for the fight that led to our demise), I decided that distraction would be planning my own damn vacation.

I'm not the kind of person who revels in plotting out a vacation. I find it kind of tedious. Yet it wasn't really the details of the trip that mattered to me. It was the act of choosing my own destiny and making it happen. 

In this case I chose a trip to Vietnam. I picked a tour group I'd been following for years. I liked their sensibility (small groups, focused on an authentic experience - not Americans sequestered in an air-conditioned tour bus) and the tours allowed for tons of free time; they just make sure you get to your destinations. Basically, they remove the part of trip planning I find to be tedious and nerve-wracking, once on the ground. 

Within two days of the dumping I'd booked my vacation and was already starting to feel better. Of course, sadness, self-pity, loneliness and anger crept in, as they should when processing a significant break-up. I acknowledged them--maybe wallowed in them for a few hours-- then purposefully turned my attention back to the trip, which was mine, all mine. 

I shopped for the right clothes for the hot, humid weather (late summer sales only amplified my giddiness) and doubled my sad wardrobe in just a few excursions. I picked up a terrific backpack with all the bells and whistles. I arranged to get my immunizations and emergency antibiotics. Picked up a money belt, insect repellent, water purification tablets. I've never been so prepared for a trip in all my life, and well in advance too. Instead of scrambling before my departure, I've been peacefully downshifting from work mode to letting it all go. And all because I designated the trip as my happy distraction.

So even if you don't have a trip on the horizon, find whatever it is that can be your happy distraction. Even better if it's a productive one, like exercise or healthy cooking (and bravo to you if you can; I hope to be able to get to that point some day). Train yourself to go there whenever you feel your mind turning to the dark side. (As I type this I remember my last therapist recommending the same thing. It's a proven technique in cognitive behavioral therapy, so this isn't just mumbo jumbo I'm spouting here.)

Anyway, thought I'd share before I clock out and take the adventure of my own making on the other side of the world. 


August 24, 2012

Walnut Heart

I'm not sure if last week's break up with Geek Rebel was the best decision somebody else ever made for me or if my heart has just shriveled up to a walnut-sized piece of hard resin. Either way, I seem to be bouncing back after being unceremoniously and unexpectedly dumped last Thursday night.

What happened? Well, if you'd asked me last Wednesday how things were going, I would've said, "Pretty good. We're still figuring each other out and hitting some bumps in the road while we're doing it. Like last weekend when we had a somewhat unsettling argument while trying to plan our first vacation together. We're both still a bit shaken up from the whole thing, but we talked it through, realized our various misunderstandings (mostly on his part, he would agree) and moved on at least enough to book all of our hotels for our two-week Canadian Rockies vacation."

Shows you what I know. The next night he showed up at my front door, holding a stack of my DVDs and his copy of my house key, already detached from its ring for swift handing-over. 

I felt weird that whole afternoon, even though he and I had communicated the same as always all that week. I went to a movie on Thursday night with a friend and was thinking about him the whole time because the movie was really good ("Searching for Sugarman," wonderful documentary) and I knew he would've enjoyed it. I wished he had been there with me and I thought, why not tell him so? I've never been the “spontaneous drop-by visit” kind of girl (there I things I just don't want to find out with an unannounced visit) but I thought, after our argument, it would be a nice gesture to go out of my way to drive to his house just to give him a hug and tell him I missed him. 

But I was nervous as I was driving there. I didn't even know why. I called him when I was about one minute away and he didn't answer; strange for 9pm on a weeknight. When I got there, all of his lights were on and I could see his computer monitor lit up through the window. Clearly he’d been home within the last few minutes. I normally just let myself in with his security code but it didn't feel right so I rang the doorbell. His dog barked but he never came. I waited, rang again. I could see his car was gone from the garage. Now it's really weird because, I can assure you, this guy rarely left his house on the weekends, let alone a weeknight (just one of the many red flags I chose to set aside.)

I took a deep breath, sent him a casual "stopped by to give you a hug" text and drove home. On the way I thought, "Wouldn't it be weird if he was at my house waiting for me?" Since I knew that he is also not the spontaneous drop-by kind of person, this thought held no giddiness for me. 

About two minutes after I got home, my doorbell rang. There he was, looking distressed, but mostly unable to look me in the eye. "What are you doing here?" I asked, trying to ignore my sinking stomach.

"I came to break up," he said as he handed me the stuff in his hand, seeming like he's ready to turn around and go home, having said the only words he felt were his duty to say. I felt otherwise.

"Why?" I asked in almost a whisper, holding the door half-open.

All he could muster was "We don't fight well."

"But we're just figuring each other out," I said, still not quite believing this was happening. He muttered something about us not having the time to figure it out, an obvious reference to my ticking biological clock. We're both about to turn 40 and he wants kids too, but apparently only with someone who will never, ever argue with him in an emotional manner, which I do on occasion. Meanwhile, there are about five or six red flags about him that have been taking up space in the back of my mind, and they're pissed as hell about being ignored for the last eight months, especially after he took me out of the game after one offense (that I know of, and one that I still think is bullshit).

But I said none of this. All I could say was, "You have my bike." Back to the perfunctory. He said he would return that and my other stuff and take care of all the vacation cancellations. I closed the door and sat at my desk in numb silence, walnut heart barely beating.

He dropped the stuff off a few days later, clearly trying to just leave it at the door. But my dog barked and I thought I'd open the door just to make his life a little bit uncomfortable since I'd had to sit for a few days with what was still an unexplained dumping (not to mention a canceled vacation that I desperately needed after working two jobs for two years straight). Again, he could barely look at me and I stood there, watching him unload stuff from his car, his whole body tense and awkward. Finally I said, "Aren't you even going to talk to me?"

Mumble, mumble. I'm still processing or something like that. I replied "Well, at least you know what's going on." And then he left.

Cue the anger, followed by a deep, calm sadness that truly scared me.

Two days ago he sent me an email saying that my last comment made him realize he probably should offer me an explanation, even though he doesn't really have to. But he's such a nice guy he'll do it so I don't suffer.

I paraphrase of course because I only skimmed it and can't bring myself to read it again. There was something in there about me raising my voice (which I do when I get emotional, something I've worked very hard to improve upon and something I've done maybe twice since we've been together. And trust me, if he thinks I was yelling last weekend, he wouldn’t have lasted two seconds with me in my 20s). Apparently he wouldn't want to bring a child in to a home where someone raised their voice. His family, while lovely, are quiet WASPs. My people are Jews. Yelling, angry Jews.

There was more, I think. But what's the point in absorbing it? I am just about the best version of myself I’ve ever been and worked damn hard to get here. I know he can’t say the same about himself (another cluster of red flags there). And after seeing the wimpy way he went about erasing me from his life, there was no going back even if he did seem inclined to want to talk things out. All those red flags I'd shoved away were whipping in the wind, smacking me across the face at every chance they got. I don't blame them. 

I'm mad at myself for how readily I handed myself over to the next kind, intelligent man who seemed to "get" me, even though he had so many of the same character traits that I'd determined, after Wine Guy and Only Child, I would never tolerate again. Those traits are my relationship kryptonite. Still, it's hard to reconcile the man who turned his back on me so quickly with the one who'd been so loving and thankful for my presence in his life only one week earlier.

But after a few days of bleak misery, I'm starting to see the light of life again. I'm back to my glorious "me time," which is fine since I am my favorite person to be with these days - probably because I barely have anyone to hang out with (except my dog of course, and she is the best companion/friend I've got). But I'm working on that because, well, I am not a wimp. Life must be lived – even if you don’t have a husband and a baby to post about on Facebook every day. 

Oh, did I tell you it took me about three days post-dumping to book my dream vacation to Vietnam? I leave in two weeks.