hello again

i have discovered that the only music i can listen to these days is pop music that can be found on spotify's confidence boost playlist. listening to it has reminded me of how much i love to dance. i haven't danced in a long time. i am a homebody, i say. i am an introvert, i say. these things are true. but i am also someone who loves to go out, have a drink or two, and dance to music with my friends. there was a magical year in boston where my coworkers and i basically went out every weekend--working 12hr days at a middle school required an outlet. i was heartbroken then too and it was a lovely thing to go out every weekend, dance and drink soco lime shots. i cut my hair short and told men to leave me alone while i talked to my friends. it wasn't always amazing...i definitely puked in the bathroom of a very fancy restaurant which i had been brought to by a boss. oops. 

but i say that to say, i am someone who loves to dance and i haven't been dancing.

there are a number of reasons for that-- my ex wasn't really a go out and dance person. i am an introvert and so going out to dance feels anti-everything i feel inside. i am sleepy and dancing often happens late. i don't think i'm that great of a dancer....

but it doesn't change the fact that even as i sit here and write this post, all i can picture in my head is me in some cute but practical outfit shaking my curls back and forth. this image feels so important to who i am and yet...my dancing shoes...don't even exist. why?

since my breakup, i've been thinking a lot about myself. obviously. but i've been really thinking about all it is that i want and need and ultimately...who the hell am i and what parts of myself have i been ignoring. i've been staring at myself in the mirror. i've been thinking long and hard about some of the things i thought of as "innately" me. i've been noticing when i'm on autopilot. 

if i'm honest, it feels a little scary. i thought by now i'd just know the answer to these questions. i'd assumed that by this time in my life i wouldn't hide myself or i wouldn't let others make me feel somehow less than. i thought i wouldn't put others on pedestals as a way to keep myself down. i thought i would love myself completely and be myself completely and say f**k off to everyone who disagreed. 

that has not proven true. what's true is that i have had to reconnect over and over again. remind myself over and over again that i am perfect in my imperfection. that i am who i am due to everything i am and that i can be amazing and worthy of love and successful just as i am. that i don't need validation. that i don't need someone's approval. i do that thing where i live a lot of my life listening to "shoulds". i learned early that to get through some less than stellar situations i should act a certain way. i should want certain things. i should be a certain type of person. i still deal with that--albeit in a different way now--but here i am again...looking at a list of shoulds that are not serving me. and i just want to feel like i can be me. and, really, the only person who is preventing that is this scared little girl inside of me who doesn't want to be laughed at or judged or called drama queen again so she steers us away from all the scary things...she steers as way from ourself.

i just want to know that i can want to dance some days and not want to other days, that i can deal with depression and anxiety and be sad and not be defined as a "sad person", that i can want to just sit by the water and listen to the waves, that i can want to jump in the water with all my clothes on, that i can sometimes be boring, that i can sometimes be spontaneous, that i can make mistakes, that i can share who i am and the right people will bring me in close as opposed to push me away, that i can cry and laugh and fart at the same time, that i can keep exploring who i am and changing my mind, that i can be me without apology.

the last two weekends i've been scared by the huge pockets of free time that have landed in my schedule. i've been running around like crazy and here i am scared of free time because then it is just me and me and me and the pup. and sure right now free time means a lot of time to feel the heartbreak, but i also feel it in the middle of plays and conversations with friends...so why avoid it? i can't. and all i'm really avoiding is time with myself. time to learn who i am. time to find me and be me. 

so tonight i will go home earlier than i have for three weeks. and just...be with myself. learn who this weirdly wonderful, wonkily wise woman is...

peace out 2016

well, we made it, folks. we made it to the last day of 2016. this year has both felt like forever and like a minute. it has felt wonderful and like shit. and so i am happy to see 2016 go, but also know it is a year i'll remember forever for a number of reasons. 

as i look ahead to 2017, i am just hoping to be more comfortable in my own skin, being the person i already am as opposed to the person i want to be as per pinterest, the person i think i should be as per facebook, the person i'd like you to think i am as per instagram, and whoever the person i am as per twitter. 

because, let's face it, 2017 may be a shitshow and the best way to combat the possible fuckery is to be yourself.

so. 

yeah.

happy new year y'all.

see you on the flip side.

more joy

this holiday season has felt a bit different than the last few before. 

i got to spend more time with family. i got my mom and dad to celebrate a holiday together. my grandparents were able to get out of their house for thanksgiving and have a nice little thanksgiving getaway. christmas started out quiet with just me, my boyfriend, and the dog, but that night my dad and niece came over for dinner. it was quiet, intimate, and slightly awkward as any good family get-together should be. yesterday i had brunch with old college friends (and stood up against them in a pizza hut/dominos debate...pizza hut all the way...thank god one friend was in agreement...excuse us while we enjoy our personal pan pizzas) and then spent the rest of the day showing my niece the city with the bf. we went back to the kerry james marshall exhibit, walked through central park, walked over the brooklyn bridge and made our way to shake shack. i was made fun of because i don't snap the snaps on my coat (why do i have to snap and zip?!), because i think pie without whipped cream is blasphemy, because i didn't want a milkshake, and because when it comes to fight or flight, i flee. i have issues, okay? issues i discovered that are easily made fun of. 

so much family time. so many good conversations. so many laughs and realizations and moments of reprieve. 

we all needed that in my family this year, i think. and because we listened to that need, this season has felt more intimate, more joyful, more meaningful. and i am really appreciative of that.

i am also really grateful to have a partner who wants to get to know my family and who is as sensitive to the issues beneath the surface as i am. and who dived in without the slightest complaint. i know this is part of the reason this season has felt a lot, well, better. and, as i said, i am grateful for that. so fucking grateful. 

so, all in all, it has been a good season despite the craziness of the world, the projects i should be working on, and seasonal depression that has been lingering in the shadows. i'll take the good. i'll hold on and cherish the good, the joy.