You Need To Leave, Now.

“You need to leave, Now.” Are the words I hastily spit out of my mouth last night at a gentleman who had confessed he was still in a relationship with another woman, while spending time with me.

Let me start off by saying, the only regret I have last night is that I didn’t wash my face. However, I woke up this morning and my mascara still looked amazing, so way to go Glossier Lash Slick. I’m impressed.

I feel like a modern-day, Seattle-based, Carrie Bradshaw. Single girl, living in the city – writing about men she dates (the good, bad, and ugly), drinking too much coffee, all while some acoustic tunes play in the background.

However, I will never be able to pay rent for this apartment off of my blog, and I’ll never be a columnist in the paper. Because it’s alarming to even me that there is an audience reading my posts.

So now that we’ve set the stage, let’s dive in – shall we?


I’m often asked by several girlfriend, “why do you still talk to him? He sucks!” and more often than not, they’re right. “He” whomever he may be at the time, did suck while we dated, and probably still does. However, for some reason or another there is this odd attachment. There was no big blow up, no fight, no real “reason” for the split other than maybe scheduling conflict or distance. So when I’m upset or burned by someone else, I reach out for pure selfish reasons. It’s as though by connecting with my past I regain my sense of direction and remember that at one point, someone loved me and that I am worthy of that and feeling that.

Nothing ever comes from it – as I said, it’s purely selfish. I’m seeking validation.

Seeking that validation is not a negative mark on my self-worth. I don’t think less of myself, I don’t say nasty things about myself, and I certainly don’t feel as though I am less of a person because of it.

But I am a sensitive being. I am empathic. I FEEL things.

For so long I have shut down, built walls around my heart and sabotaged perfectly healthy relationships because I’ve been unwilling to feel, unwilling to sacrificially love for fear of giving someone so much of myself and then getting lost in the mix.

Dating the last 2 years as taught me SO much. Mostly that the only person who is going to speak up for me – is me. Learning how to do that respectfully, compassionately, and with understanding of the other persons feelings is HARD.

In the last several months I’ve experienced things that would make most people jaded. I get ghosted on the regular, put on the back burner, and now apparently I’m the “other woman.”

Now – dear readers – I don’t need you getting the wrong idea. I have absolutely been the other woman before, YEARS AGO. Lack of self-esteem, destructive attention seeking, and a broken heart will lead you to do things you didn’t think you were capable of. But I am NOT that girl anymore.

So when I found out last night, that the nice man my friend had set me up with was in a on/off relationship with someone for the last 3.5 years – I told him to get the fuck out of my house.

Some of you may think, “Wait a second, Jacquelin – what if this was an ‘off-again’ period and you’re jumping to conclusions? You should be more understanding.”

Well, I’m sorry to say this – But I’m not willing to risk that. I know exactly how this story ends and while I may be “jumping to conclusions” – the only person who gets hurt at the end of this is me.

How do I know this? Because I have absolutely been that person who was “off-again” in their long-term relationship, I was using someone for my own personal benefit to make me feel better about myself. Once I felt better – I would ditch them and return to my long-term partner and try again. This is how those on-again/off-again relationships work. I dare you to tell me otherwise.

So what did I do when he walked out? What any self-respecting, 1 bottle of red wine deep, woman would do. I called WAY too many people. I was upset, pretty buzzed, and needed validation from others that I did the right thing.

And here I am – writing about it, once again seeking validation? Well – maybe not. Perhaps I’m just venting and finding the perfect words to express why I’m so burnt out on dating.

It’s just so disappointing.

Even the “nice guy” I was seeing for the last 6-8 weeks has turned out to not be as nice as I thought he was. If I catch you in a lie, and you continue to lie – what the hell. You have an opportunity to come clean, tell the truth, in a judgement free zone. But then to continue it, and then run and hide from me for weeks – that’s on you bud. I’m not going to sit here and be upset over you because you can’t seem to be honest. I deserve honesty and actually – a hell of a lot more than just that. That’s like – BARE MINIMUM.


It would appear that is it easier for me to write about disappointment, betrayal, pain, and horrible fucking dates — than it is when I am happy and beaming with love. Sorry?

My therapist moved locations so I haven’t seen her in months. Markie has been on vacation – so even though I have an appointment with her tomorrow at 2:00pm, it’s been probably 6-7 weeks since her and I have caught up.

I’m debating on how I want to handle this appointment.

Generally I will try to vomit all the shit that’s happened in our life since the last time we talked. But I feel as though I owe it to myself to dig deeper into this. Especially since her and I have now been working together for almost a year (It’ll be a year next month, which is INSANE!).

Maybe it’s time to dig a little deeper – find a new direction. I’ve been celebrating/bitching about men who seem to pass through my life for the last year. I think the real question it’s time to ask is – what is it about me that is attracting the non-committal type? Why do I fall for the unavailable man? How do I move away from that so I can find enough love within myself to know better.

I think I’m on my way. You may see me as being cold-hearted and unsympathetic. But this journey is mine, and it’s a selfish one. Because at the end of the day, I’m here alone with my dog & cat. Writing to you from my couch, drinking my second cup of coffee, in my bathrobe, wearing a face mask. Curly hair tied up on top of my head, contemplative about my next move.

It’s time to get the pawns off the table and check mate.

<3

Until next time,

xo-Jack

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Lost For Words

The last couple of weeks have been extremely occupied. The hiatus has been real and I have been riddled with guilt and shame for not keeping up with the ONE thing I commited to for the last year. Writing.

It’s funny how wrapped up I can get in certain things. The stability I receive in writing is the one way I can channel my creativity in a positive way and serve myself, not just others. I know, that sounds so selfish. However I feel that the majority of my life is spent in the service of others. From restaurants, coffee stands, veterinary clinics, home vet care, coaching, and especially working in healthcare – everything is constantly about serving a purpose to someone other than myself. So finding a way to be completely selfish and commit to that actually helps me become better at serving others.


I’ve been sitting down to write, then getting up and getting distracted for the last 3 days. I’ve become accustomed to writing that’s either biographical or what would appear to be a whiney girl venting about dating. But truth be told, I don’t have much to vent about these days. So let’s try a different approach.


How do you break patterns? I mean, first you have to recognize it. Then understand the “why”, only then can you consciously attempt to make that change. Some patterns are good though. Routines provide stability, safety, and comfort. When you get used to a certain way of doing things, you begin to know what to expect.

The majority of the patterns I’ve been careful to recognize though – are not positive, they’re malicious and self-sabotaging. Choosing poor partners, not thinking before speaking, and getting caught up certain aesthetics.

Chasing after people who don’t respect you, your time, or your efforts. It’s almost become a hobby of mine. You think you’ve got self-worth and confidence down until you wake up one day and think, “what the hell am I doing?”

There have been hundreds of books written on the subject. How to maintain your self-worth, understanding what compromises wont risk it, and learning how to accept and give love in a healthy way. Seriously, scroll through Amazon and i think the total count is over a million different personal development “relationship” style books. I haven’t read all of the, but I’ve definitely made a dent.

What am I searching for? Am I trying to justify that I am in the right? Am I trying to blame my faults on prior relationships with significant others who hurt me? Maybe it’s about my parents, their relationship, and my lack there-of with my dad.

No amount of reading or therapy is going to magically change my behavior. No matter how hard or much I want it to. Isolation is a great way to limit risk, but I’m too extroverted for that. I live for time with family and friends – it makes my heart and soul shine. I always come back home and feel recharged and so happy after spending time with people I care about – I could never give that up.

It’s the same feeling I get after a great date. I’ll call or text a girlfriend to let them know I made it home, then go into some brief detail of, “It was great! He’s amazing! I had an incredible time!” Then usually something happens, I’d like to say it’s my fault – but maybe the only fault I should take responsibility for is getting caught up in the moment and choosing the wrong people.

There’s this feeling, on such a subconcious level that makes you feel as though you are unworthy of being loved, simply for being alive. That you must continually “peacock” your way into receiving attention, or love. You give your trust, respect, and heart so freely while only getting tiny little bits of affection from someone else.

So you try harder. You use what you know, what’s “worked” in previous relationships. You’re chasing the high that comes from receiving affection, attention, “love.” It’s a vicious cycle. The harder you try, the less you receive. Until you’re finally ghosted, with no explanation. Or perhaps they give you the kindness of:

“I’m sorry, I had a great time but I met someone better.”

Or…

“This is fun, but let’s not make it anything more than what it is.”

So in the search for a long-term partner, what steps should you take in finding that? Is there a magic recipe I can make with a love potion to make it happen? Nope. Cause if there was, trust me – I would’ve already sauteed, roasted, simmered, or grilled it. (Hello, remember? I’m the queen of the kitchen!)


The things you look for in a partner change as you get older. I’m amazed that people who pair up so young stay together. I look back on how different I am from 18, 21, 24, 28, and even this last year at 30. You learn through trial and error. No one is perfect, but you’re always looking for that perfect person for you.

Friends consistently tell me I should raise my bar. That I shouldn’t be so surprised or excited to say, “HE’S SO NICE!!” – I mean, they’re right. But how can I have such high expectations for my potential partner when I don’t think I’m where I need to be to attract that person?

I’m very vocal about my insecurities. The fact that I feel so mundane and boring is just the tip of the iceberg. I wonder if it’s due to social media influences? Maybe? I always start off by saying, “I don’t have a million stamps in my passport. I’m not an avid hiker. I’m not a musician. I’m not apart of any non-profits or community groups. I spend my time working, then I come home and bake, cook, hang out with my dog and cat. I like to read and spend time with family and friends. Sorry if I’m disappointing.”

Usually this is responded with an uncomfortable laugh and a subject change. But I’ve already dug the first hole. After that it’s all downhill from there. Due to the fact I feel uninteresting, I try to come up with reasons or ways to intrigue that person. Usually spending too much on gifts or making elaborate treats. Using what skills I have refined into trying to display that I would make an exceptional partner to do life with.


I hoped back into the dating scene recently after being ghosted, once again, by a man who has a pattern of doing so with me. Shame on me for thinking the 3rd time around would be different. But I went about in a completely different way.

I chose men I wouldn’t usually go for. Sometimes to help build your confidence you have to think outside the box and get outside of your comfort zone. Bam – within a few days I had dates lined up for the week.

The first gentleman I met was very kind and sweet. But I couldn’t find anything to connect on other than the delicious nachos we decided to share. Also – it maybe have had something to do with the fact that the place we chose to meet was directly across from the office of the previous man I let my guard down for. But the 90min we spent together talking about nachos… and maps – it was fun. I dropped him off at his place and said goodbye, knowing well I would not see him again.

He texted me the next day and asked if I was interested in a second date, I quickly responded with a, “I had a great time! But I think we both deserve more of a ‘spark’. Best of luck to you though! Thanks again!” It was well received and I felt good about it. The last thing I want is to lead someone on just for my own benefit.

The next date I went on was with a man who I had been connecting with over the last several years, but we had never actually gone out on a date. We met – had a great time, ate amazing food and then planned our next date – the following week. During our second date we met for brunch and had a great time. But deep down I knew something was just “off.”

I’m a very social person. I’ll make friends with anyone and often you’ll find me talking to a wall. It’s just apart of who I am. When I’m with someone who is so incredibly uncomfortable with my extroverted personality. I was immediately turned off by the situation and let him know as I drove him home that while it was fun while it lasted – it wouldn’t be happening again.

Learning to say, “no” is so critical to my development. Learning to respect myself and others. By saying, “no,” you’re starting to realize that it’s not a rejection, it’s not a mean thing, it’s no longer about trying to make yourself look and appealing – it’s about whether or not you like THEM.

So what happens when you are your true, authentic, genuine self – and you find someone who appreciates that about you? Do sparks fly? Does time slow down or speed up? Do you have butterflies everytime you see them? Is it effortless and easy? What does it look like and how does it feel?

Taking time to slow things down, allowing them to grow organically and remaining true to who you are and what you think you’re worth is the best advice I could give anyone. Learning to accept love and give love is the most challenging obstacle, but also the most rewarding.

So never give up, we were not meant to be alone. Surround yourself with family, friends, and if you’re lucky – someone special.

Until next time,

Xo-Jack

Disappointed, Darling

Current situation:

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Leftover pizza dough I turned into garlic/parm breadsticks, trader joe’s marinara, and a 16oz redbull.

What’s in the background? Okay, I guess it’s not background noise considering it’s playing on my computer, which I am staring at…

 

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Yuppppp. I’m in a MOOD today. Give me all the caffeine, carbs & Cardi.

So now that you have the environment set, let’s get into it.

I’ve been spending a lot of time writing my “chapters” on Sundays and have since let the weekly blog posts kinda slide – sorry. A lot of what I’m writing just SUCKS it out of me and I just need to step away from the computer for a few days. But the time I come back, it’s Sunday again and I’m writing the next chapter of the story.

But today’s not Sunday and I’m certainly not writing a chapter today. So what’s got my panties in a bunch that I’m feverishly tapping the keys on my laptop?

WELL LET ME TELL YOU.

I recently upgraded my package here on WordPress (which is the platform I use for my blog – they’re amazing, seriously.) and in doing that, I’ve been playing around with SEO & google analytics. While doing this, I also installed a plugin that works as an editor to help me with my writing. You know, so I don’t type every sentence with the same passive noun. “I” “Me” “He” etc etc. Which leads me to editing several blog posts/chapters for better readability. Cause you see – it really is all for you, readers. I just want to make sure you’re happy.

I ALSO just got done listening to this incredibly raw, entertaining, and provocative novel:

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Unwifeable – Mandy Stadtmiller

The title entertained me, I loved the phrase, “unwifeable”, and I was looking for something new. I listened to all 9+ hours of it in 2 days. I became obsessed with Mandy’s story. A writer in her 30’s who is attention seeking, promiscuous, drunk more often than not, and continuously self-sabotaging her relationships. It had a happy ending, I won’t ruin the book for you by telling you. But I HIGHLY recommend this. HIGHLY. SOOOOOO GOOD.

So while I’m editing my posts & listening to this book I begin thinking a little bit more about the information I’ve broadcasted to y’all publicly with no thought of consequence.

The thing about a “single in the city” type of blog that I’ve got going on here – is that it gives you the opportunity to review your good/bad choices and HOPEFULLY learn from them, or at least catch a pattern.

Well ladies & gentleman – jay-kwellen has found her pattern!

In my last blog post I mentioned a man who called me out on my shit, then asked me for more. So, I gave more – and guess what, got nothing in return. So I ended up in this really sad place of wondering what was wrong with me, should I have tried harder? I did what he asked, why isn’t it good enough.

You see – after the majority of these so-called “relationships” start to fade into the abyss, I always come to the same place. It’s not a place of empowerment, it’s a place of self-loathing and the continual “if you’re so great, how come no one wants you.”

In fact – funny story. This came up last night while I was catching up with two girlfriends I haven’t seen in YEARS. Who are both now married, have kids, houses, etc.

“You’re so pretty and smart. Why are you still single?”

It’s a vicious pattern women end up in where we pity someone who seems to have their shit together and yet she isn’t “wifed up” yet. Why is that? It’s not meant to be an intentional dig, I’m sure it’s just morbid curiosity – but none the less… ouch.

I had an “ah-ha” moment last weekend where I realized I’ve been trying to play this role (for quite a while), where I have to fluff myself up to appear worthy of these people I date. Like who I am at my core is not in their league. I’m sure they see right through this. This lack of self-confidence and my fake-it-till-you-make-it attitude. While they assess if I am worthy of THEM.

This girl got left on read.

For those of you not savvy on the term. It refers to when you’ve sent someone a text, they have their “read receipts” on and so you can tell that they’ve read your text – but they never respond.

I took a week to just do my thing. Work. Write. Netflix. Cook. Bake. Wine. More Netflix. Just to give him the space he was apparently desiring. After 7 days I’d had enough and realized I was severely lacking in self-worth.

Sooo…. I ended it – well written I may ad. I’m fairly certainly there is no way to misinterpret my, “You strung me along making me think we were something when all along I was never going to matter to you. Thanks but no thanks. It’s time I moved on. *insert peace sign emoji*”

BOOM. Instant satisfaction. Deleted off Facebook. Unfollowed on insta. Number deleted. Boy, bye. I’m done being disappointed by you darling. I’m done disappointing myself with hoping you would make good on your promises.

I may not be a “10” or red-bottom heels rich. But you know what I am? Smart. And smart girls don’t put up with shit like that.

Know your self-worth, ladies. If you’re constantly giving and being told to give more and receive nothing in return – it’s time to just cut the cord and move the fuck on.

Until next time,

xo-Jack

Second Chances

Occasionally people come into our lives, more often than not when we are not paying attention, and we move right along without a second thought. There’s a brief exchange, you have a great time, but then nothing comes of it. Perhaps because you’re both busy, on different pages, different places in your life, or lack the time required to make it more than just what it was – A great evening.

Small things come up here and there that make you think about that person. You find yourself wondering what they’re up to since you saw each other last, if it’s appropriate to text/call, you over analyze any future contact because maybe it’s been so long it feels strange to reach out.

Perhaps you add each other on your social networks: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. As a way of keeping tabs on that person, admiring from afar but making sure there’s enough distance as not to let your guard down and invite them into your life.

You begin romanticizing what would’ve been. You find yourself down a rabbit hole of fantasies wondering if you have JUST done something differently, how exciting your life could’ve been. Obviously it all would’ve worked out if you had just put in the effort, just done a few little things to keep them on the hook.

You see other people, you date other people, you explore your options – but they’re still in the back of your head. “What if” becomes apart of your vocabulary. You become infatuated with this thought. But still too scared to do anything about it. There’s a reason nothing happened the first time, right? Come back to reality, darling. Stop dreaming.

Then something happens. You take a risk. A small, friendly gesture and reach out – 2 years later.

“Hey, I’m not sure if you remember me or not. We went on a date a few years ago and I was just thinking about you and wanted to know how you were doing. Would you like to catch up sometime?”

“…” <– seeing this light up on your imessages is thrilling yet anxiety-inducing.

What will he say? Did he forget about me? Is he seeing someone now and I just opened the door for something I shouldn’t have? Was that inappropriate? Was it desperate? Shit – why did I do that?

You realize you’ve opened yourself up in a new way to rejection. You fear rejection to your core. It’s why you always play it safe. It’s why you’ve ALWAYS played it safe. Never chase the man, let him chase you. Never appear to interested, or fear that they may lose interest.

Drink some wine, delete the text you sent as not to be upset when you don’t receive a response. Move on and forget about it. You were silly to reach out. Shame on you girl, you know better.

“How could I forget? I’d love to catch up with you. Jak’s this Sunday night? Around 8?”

*squeals* – play it cool, girl. Calm TF down.

“Sounds great, looking forward to it!”

You proceed to pull out all the stops. You go shopping for the perfect dress, blow out your hair, apply your makeup like a pro to camouflage any possibly distracting imperfections. Here’s your chance girl, here’s the start of turning those “what if’s” into your reality.

You let your nerves get the best of you. You’re not paying attention to how many glasses of wine you’ve had. You were so anxious all day you forgot to eat. You make a fool out of yourself. You come across desperate, too interested, and easy.

Ugh, easy.

You feel the only way to capture his attention is through your looks, you use your body to secure yourself into thinking you’re receiving what you want. You’re embarrassing yourself. Why? Get your shit together, girl.

Weeks go by and you can’t seem to connect, find or make time for one another.

You’re sick a few times and he surprises you by stopping by with care packages, but you’re so ashamed of your behavior you resolve to treat the person poorly – keeping them at a distance – never letting that guard down because of YOURSELF.

Contact becomes sporadic at most. The occasional text to solidify dinner plans that ends up falling apart due to schedules. Things just don’t seem to be working. You blame yourself. If you hadn’t appeared so insecure and desperate on that date, you wouldn’t be in this position now. You’ve self sabotaged any chance you may have had.

So you do what you know. You see other people. You see LOTS of other people. You’re using it as a way to inflate your own ego.

Months go by, you make solid plans 2 months ahead of time. What could possibly come up between now and then? You’ve had this on your schedule so far in advance that there’s no way it would be rescheduled.

Then, it happens.

The token millennial move.

You’re ghosted.

You can’t figure out why. You’ve known each other for so long now, it’s never been a serious relationship. You never invested enough for this to happen. You start to think they must have met someone else, but you just can’t let it go.

Maybe he blocked you and he’s not getting your texts, should you reach out in another way? No – that just appears too “stalker-ish.” But your ego and logical brain wants to know what happened, where did it go wrong, why did he think that this was the best way to handle the situation. WHY.

You don’t give up. You send a text maybe once a week, maybe every other week – just to let them know you’re there and you’re confused.

You get drunk and call them. Of course they don’t answer, but you leave a voicemail anyway.

“Hey – it’s me. I’ve been thinking of you, I miss you. It’d be nice to see you. I hope you’re doing well. Give me a call sometime.”

You hang up an instantly regret your moment of weakness.

It’s easy to keep up those walls when the only communication you’ve had is a “hey, what’s up?” or “hope you’re doing well” text that conveys no emotion. But when you break down and call someone, they can hear every catch in your voice as you stumble over the right words to say.

You look at your calendar and see that tonight’s the night you had plans. You never whited them out on your paper calendar that hangs in your office. You never deleted it from your google calendar on your phone. It’s a bold reminder of what once was and is no longer.

“Enjoy the show tonight.”

“…” <– there it is again. The notification that someone is typing you a message via imessenger.

“Ended up so busy, last two weeks has been brutal, gave my tix to clients. How’s it going?”

And so it begins. It starts back up again. So casual.

“It’s okay – just enjoying a glass of wine, Netflix, and Todd cuddled up on my lap. How was Whistler?”

“Leave tomorrow for Whistler, trying to wrap up work stuff but big meetings tomorrow and new dev downtown Bellevue had to be here for, then can go. Miss that Todd, he’s a chill cat.”

“So come see him!”

“I get back Sunday eve, de should. Think he’d want to?”

“definitely, maybe, yes.”

“Cool, will bring cat nip.”

Here’s your chance again. You get to figure out what happened, either get some closure or pick things back up where they left off. Which direction do you choose? I suppose that all depends on how the night goes.

He show’s up – late – but he shows up. You end up eating dessert, drinking some wine, and talking all night.

Then it happens. You word vomit.

“Why did you just ghost me like that? What happened?” — because you’re unafraid of conflict. Especially with this person, who you’ve never had an issue calling out for flaking out on dates or never making solid plans. Someone who you were seeing MAYBE once a month for 4 months.

“Why would I take you seriously? You’ve applied to two different jobs out-of-state since this summer. Dallas, and then Atlanta. Not only that, but the job in Atlanta was to be closer to another guy? You date a hundred different men and you treat me like someone who you don’t take seriously, so why would I take you seriously?”

*mic drop*

Something I have always respected and appreciated in others is the way they can nail something, so directly on the head, that stops me in my tracks. It’s not hurtful, it’s right. He’s absolutely right.

When you treat others like they’re insignificant. Unwilling to make time for them, provide the attention and vulnerability that’s required to create and maintain ANY form of relationship – how could you possibly expect them to keep trying?

I suppose that was the wake up call and reality check I needed to get my shit together. If you want something to work, you have to put time, energy, and make certain sacrifices so it can come together. The older I get, the more rigid I become. Living alone has been a blessing and a curse. While I don’t have to worry about sharing my home with a room-mate, I notice I am no longer as flexible with certain things as I once was.

Reaching out, lowering your guard, and being unafraid of the unknown makes it possible to have a genuine connection with someone. This is what I want. I know this is what I want. I have been single for almost 2 years now, searching for someone who would accept me for me – but have no qualms or reservations with confronting me when I have acted inappropriately or have hurt them.

I am apologetic and the mirror is clean and clear now.

Until next time,

Xo-Jack

 

“It’s not Me, It’s You.”

“Hi, it’s (insert name of your choice). I just thought the right thing to do would be to call you and tell you I met somebody else. Umm.. okay.”

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Nothing quite matches the hurt brought on by the sting of rejection. By being told that someone else is better than you, so they chose that person over you.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

When your intuition comes ringing, it’s hard to ignore it. But to have it confirmed, it is the this bitter-sweet taste of being right that isn’t as wonderful as it usually is. Really, though.

Can you stop the spiral of negative self thought before it tangles you up? Can your ego handle the punch? How do you stop from falling, realizing that there is more to you than you were willing to show someone, and it’s their loss – not yours.

The immediate thought is that you’re not good enough. That you did something wrong. That your insecurities manifested your own demise? That the concerns you had about not being where you wanted to be at this age (but working toward it!) would somehow make someone see you as a lesser person. That being a kind, generous, loving person does not equate to a master’s degree, being poly lingual, and a six-figure income.

So let’s start by pouring a nice big glass of red wine, into my souvenir glass from a wine tasting on Vashon Island. Then do what I always do when I’m not sure what to do with all my feelings, write. And write I shall!

What I’ve learned this year is that regardless of how you feel, do your best not to react. Think about the situation, the person, and then do your best to compose yourself prior to opening your mouth (or laptop?). Approach the situation with a kind, thoughtful heart. Remember what you believe in, the good in people. I believe that people are inherently good, they do not choose to be malicious. Occasionally the things that they say or do will hurt you, but you are in control of how you respond. Be kind and honest, regardless of how you feel. Because days, weeks, years from now when you are reflecting – you would like to be proud of how you responded during the situation.

“Every decision that you make is made out of fear, or out of love.” — yes, I’m quoting Oprah here. 

I choose the higher road. I will continue to choose the higher road. Because I believe in being kind to others. I also believe in standing up for what’s right and asserting myself in a graceful way.

“If you have to do that to someone else again… the nice thing to do is just tell them that you’re not connecting, do it sooner instead of drawing it out, and the last thing you should do if you’re trying to be nice is tell the girl you met someone better. I’m sure you can understand why that would hurt someone’s feelings.”

I am proud of how I handled the situation. I am confident in my ability to bounce back. I am resilient if nothing else. I am proud of my vulnerability and desire to be honest and upfront with what I’m looking for. There is no shame in being forward. There is no love without heartbreak. And there can be no happiness without getting familiar with pain.

Appreciate the rainy days, because without them – nothing would grow.

I know it’s a short post tonight, it was more for personal therapy than entertainment. I’ll spend some time next week putting together something else. But for now, this shall do!

 

Xo-Jack

Here We Go Again

I ran across some of the most ridiculous “advice” today. I can’t wait to share it.

But first, let me explain WHY/HOW I stumbled across this advice.

You see, I’ve been trying to figure out if I’m ready for a relationship and what that looks like/what it means/etc etc. You know how introspective this girl can get. I have chosen to spend my “down time” (aka: while I sit on the couch in my bathrobe, paint my nails, and watch The Office on Netflix) shopping for my next potential man.

Deal breakers for me include:

  1. Active lifestyle (yes, I want someone who is healthy and fit, but not all your pictures have to be you climbing a mountain, skiing/snowboarding/wakeboarding, or hiking with your friends dog) – basically, i’m not looking for someone who will order 2 pizzas and then eat 1.5 of them.
  2. Poor hygiene <– I just can’t. I’m not your mother, I shouldn’t have to tell you to freaking bathe.
  3. Any “I hate Trump” propaganda. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, I’m not interested in someone who advertises in this way.
  4. Unemployed (also see – lacks ambition). I think this goes without saying. I hustle too hard to be taken advantage of or to have to foot the bill on EVERYTHING we do. I’m just not interested in that, sorry.
  5. Smoker. <– do I even need to explain this?
  6. WHO ARE YOU? All of your pictures are in groups, seriously – how am I supposed to know who you are?
  7. All of your pictures have women draped all over you. NO, this does NOT make you more desirable to me. You look like a flirt or that you sleep with all your female friends. Sorry, bye.

So as I put together my list of “deal breakers” that I use when decided to swipe Left or Right, I’m also deciding what makes ME a “keeper.” Other than my dog, Butters. Which is how I ended up in the pinterest vortex.

Do yourself a favor – NEVER SEARCH FOR “dating advice for women in their 30’s”

SMH. But really, smh.

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It starts off by reminding you that you are old, dried up, and that men will see you as someone who just wants to get impregnated as soon as possible. That you’re competition is women who are 10 years younger than you, regardless of the age of the man.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that I am fighting the war on aging the best that I can by eating healthy and spending a ridiculous amount of money on skincare. But the idea that I am no longer desirable simply because I am no longer in my 20’s is pure rubbish.

Then it goes into the details about all these things you MUST DO to get and keep a man’s attention. Now, I don’t consider myself a feminist (when I think of feminist, I think of a man hating, angry lesbian… sorry?), but I do believe that I am worth more than the label a man may create for me.

I pulled this from a website after googling “Dating in your 30s” — granted, I absolutely took it out of context, and the rest of the article isn’t too bad… If you want to read it, you can view it here.You’re not in your 20s anymore. Remember being in your early 20s and seeing those obvious, older bachelors and cougars prowling around the younger crowds? You don’t want to be that older creeper.”

Then you end up on these dates, and the type of man you meet resembles…

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Or maybe, sometimes that’s how I FEEL. Like I’m trying to figure out exactly what you want in a woman, so I can [briefly] embody those characteristics and qualities… and then slowly over time, MAYBE you’ll love the real me, if I show you – slowly – piece by piece.

But let’s be honest. I’m a grown up now and I don’t have time for that shit. So, let the sass fly! If you don’t appreciate my wit, sarcasm, and ambition… then you don’t deserve to see me naked. Sorry, NOT SORRY.
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Then I came across this meme – and it just made me happy. So I had to share it. Because I feel like it’s exactly how I feel about people I go on dates with.

I go from being SUPER excited — well, maybe this will work — no, this will not work — WHY AM I STILL HERE.

BUT- BUT – BUTTTTT WAIT. This is actually a NEW thing. If you read one of my previous posts: Dating in the 21st Century; you’ll remember that I generally have good luck when it comes to dating. I don’t have to kiss too many frogs to find a prince (correction – a “Mr. Right Now Prince”). But recently, I find myself beating my head against a wall with some of these fellas. Really, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING POSTING A PICTURE OF YOURSELF 50LBS AGO – DID YOU THINK I WOULDN’T NOTICE!?

I just do not understand the logic that goes behind fabricating a false profile. If your intention is to meet someone who accepts you/loves you for who you are, then just be honest and be yourself. Quit wasting mine & other peoples time for that matter.

I do not care how brilliant your personality is if you start off by lying and deceiving. Not okay.

But alas, never give up! Because really, regardless of how horrendous your date is, there is always something positive to gain from it. You learn more about yourself in the process, what you like/dont like, and you took a risk!

Without risk, there is no reward my lovelies.

xo-Jack

Right Time vs Right Person

Recently I’ve been asking myself the question:

“Do I want to be in a relationship with him – OR – Do I just want to be in a relationship.”

This comes at a really interesting time for me, as I’m these two moments coincidentally happened at the same time. So therein lies the question… How do I tell the difference?

IMG_5431.jpgMy pattern of dating unavailable men is long, checkered, and full of great weekends and mild heart ache. Having physical distance between yourself and someone you’re talking to (on a fairly regular basis) makes it easier when things don’t work out. I’ve found that it’s becoming easier for me to recognize when something IS NOT working – the hard part though is how do you cut that cord? What’s the kindest way to let someone down?

Then I started to get all pissy because why the hell am I worried about letting someone down, when that is literally all they have done to me for the last “x-amount” of time. However, I am prideful and do not like it when people view me as being the villian. So now I get to have this super awkward conversation with someone, basically just to tell them to quit texting me. Aye Yai Yai. Seriously. Can’t someone else do this for me?

Especially considering there is no “label.” What’s the deal with commitment these days? How long do you have to date someone before you move from:

  1. Dating multiple people
  2. Dating a few people
  3. Dating one person
  4. Exclusively dating each other
  5. Discussing relationship titles
  6. Labeling your relationship

I mean, WTF. Seriously. Shit or get off the pot. Don’t waste my time. I get that you’re getting what you want in it, and it’s highly likely that it is my fault. Perhaps I did not make my intentions clear from the beginning. Perhaps I made excuses or let you make the decisions on where the relationship/lack thereof was going to go because I was more interested in having constant attention (albeit, minimal) – than nothing at all.

Or MAYBE, I’m too picky?

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That’s gotta be it. Constantly thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Instead of acknowledging the fact that the grass will be green wherever the fuck you decide to water it, Jackie. Maybe I choose to keep myself in this limbo area because I, myself, have a fear of commitment.

Because as I get older, I realize I might actually be doing this “life” thing by myself, so why bother getting attached to any one person when they’re highly likely to find something better or leave… like I’ve been known to do.

Big girl steps though. After a recent conversation with my therapist & life coach, I had an “AH HA” moment. I realized my capacity to be open, honest, and vulnerable recently is a HUGE growth spurt for me. Which is most likely why I’m so uncomfortable in it. It’s like swimming in the ocean at midnight. I don’t know where to go, I can’t see around me, I’m left in pitch black, wading in the water, just trying to stop myself from drowning in my own self doubt and fear… Hoping someone will come find me and I will finally be safe and freed from the water.

There is a reason I’m making a conscious choice to eliminate superficial relationships and rid myself of emotional/physical baggage. I’ve reached the point where I am comfortable wading in the ocean. Because now the sun is starting to rise and I can see what I am surrounded by. (*barf, how did I get so deep and poetic?*)

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I’m comfortable here now. I’m okay, happy, and enjoy my routine of being single. It works for me. It works for my lifestyle. It just WORKS. Plus, I get to take the leftovers to work and don’t have to share.

*BUT WAIT*

The longer I remain self sufficient, in my super freedom/empowered/routine… the more regimented and inflexible my routine/life becomes.

*SHIT*

After a very raw and honest conversation with my mental cheerleaders this weekend, I realized I AM ready for a relationship. I am ready to tell someone what I want and not apologize for it. I’m ready to actually commit to something and grow with it and see what happens.

…It just came at a time when I was least expecting it, and when YOU decided to pop your head back into my life. But when I compare (which is terrible, sorry!) you to other people I have been seeing… I realize I didn’t want to be in a relationship with them. So maybe it’s not that I wasn’t ready for a relationship, maybe I chose not to be with them, because I was waiting for someone like you.

 

Alright, even I can’t stomach the mushy over the top nonsense I just wrote.

Apologies, dear readers.

<3

Jack

Not right now, Maybe later

“Not right now, maybe later,” – says Jackie, 7 years ago and honestly, probably 10 years ago, too.

“It’s not just working, you’re too far away,” – says Jackie, 7 years ago and honestly, probably 10 years ago, too.

“I just need to date around and see what else is out there,” – says Jackie, 7 years ago and honestly, probably 10 years ago, too.

I’m having a moment here. If it wasn’t obvious enough. There’s been an massive increase in my posts this week (i’m sure it’ll level itself out soon), this is due to a combination of a few things:

  1. Work has been EXTREMELY slow for me.
  2. I have something to say I suppose.
  3. It’s a new year, so let the introspective thinking and reflection begin!

It’s really easy for me to get into my head and just spiral down this tunnel where I become WAY too analytical. There is absolutely NO reason for me to hyper analyze every encounter, text, e-mail, phone call, etc – that I receive from others. It’s actually quite exhausting.

Which leads me up to my current “keep me up at night and wake up late for work,” scenario that I’ve somehow wrapped myself up in.

You see, while I enjoy dating multiple people, have thoroughly embraced being single, I just can’t shake this feeling as of late. I actually want to hang out with someone, the same person, and that’s it. (WHAT!?) Perhaps being surrounded by so many, “I love you”-s, that did not come from someone I am blood related to, messed up my routine. You get comfortable being alone, doing things the way you want, when you want, and how you want. Freedom is such an amazing thing to have. Not having to report to anyone when you just want to take off for the day or go get happy hour after work with a coworker, or make plans to go see a ballet or go shopping with your mom. You don’t have to “clear” it with anyone.

This “freedom” was overwhelming at first. I found myself behaving in ways I considered disrespectful to myself and others, and ended up going through a little bit of a “wild streak” to say the least. Thankfully that streak did not last long and I was able to get myself into a really great routine of work, friends, making dinner, spending time alone, dating, etc. I felt I had some balance. It was working. I was doing my thing and I was happy (ish).

Recently though, I’m getting that itch. Time to meet new people? Rekindle things and double dip with the past? Just wait things out and see what happens with the current selection of suitors? What’s a girl to do.

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The fun part about reconnecting with people from your past is that they already know everything about you. They know you’re someone who farts in their sleep, tries to sneak picking their nose, can whip up a delicious dinner when you thought there wasn’t anything to eat last you looked in the fridge, and they’re great in the sack. Generally it just didn’t work out because you weren’t as compatible as you thought you’d be. Something happens, another guy/girl comes into the picture and that’s a better fit at the time. So you move on and say your goodbyes.

If you’re anything like ME though – you can’t seem to lose touch. I haven’t had any “really” ugly breakups with people. I’ve usually been the bad one in the relationship, so maybe they’re all masochists for wanting to maintain some platonic relationship. But it seems to work well for me. The “back-up plan” or “Plan-B”, right? When you’re feeling down cause your date bailed on you, or you got in a fight with your mom or best friend – it’s nice to have someone who you KNOW will respond to your text or answer your phone call. Gets your mind off of the present, showers you with attention, and there’s no expectation of anything more.

Most girls I know have a “Back-Up Plan.” And after scouring the internet for the last 2 hours while writing this… I realized just how common this is (more for women, than men). I got to reading the comments on several of the articles and it all hit me how incredibly blind I’ve been to this whole thing. It never occured me to how selfish, disrespectful, and hurtful it may be for me to string a man along while we each date other people but flirt carelessly with one another. “I love you” in a text, read by someone’s significant other… OH BOY. You know that’s not going to go well. But why can’t we help ourselves? How can we actually move passed this issue. How do we decide to drop the safety net and either date our back-up plan (which is usually your best friend), or move on and let each other live your lives. How do you forget someone? How do you forget the feelings you have for someone or the way they made you feel?

We all know that time seems to dull the pain of heartache. But like most memories there will be things that come along to trigger certain feelings. Responding to them appropriately is what matters.

The interesting part is what happens when you think you’re in love with your back-up plan, but they’ve changed/moved on and the “power” you once had over that person is no longer valid? All these insecurities begin to creep up on you and you find yourself doing things that you would never consider doing. You go from being someone who can roll with the punches and talk shit with the best of them… to some sensitive, kind, “what can I do for you,” type of person. Awesome, so now you’re essentially someone they don’t even know or recognize AND you’re admitting that you want to explore the option of what would happen if you two were to see what happened on a romantic level, not just a friendly one.

Oh Lordy. What have I done. Who am I?

Did it just feel good to have the attention? Am I confusing love with lust with just how great it felt to be with someone again? Does it really matter WHO it was? How long should I think about this? How deep should I analyze? What am I going to say to my therapist tomorrow afternoon? (God bless therapy)

WHY IS DATING SO CONFUSING. WHY DO I THINK EVERYONE IS A UNICORN.

WHAT MAKES EACH GUY SO SPECIAL. WHY AM I LIKE THIS!?

<3

Jack

 

 

Champagne & Caramelizing Onions

I couldn’t think of a better title for this post.

Because I’m currently 1/2 a bottle into my champagne & have been caramelizing these fucking onions for the last 1.5 hours. YES – I said ONE AND A HALF HOURS. WHYYYYYY? Because – I’m making french onion soup. So I’ll suck it up. Cause 2lbs of onions seriously takes forever to wilt, saute & then caramelized.

(Steps away to stir onions)

Then comes the fun part. WINNNNEEEEEE. Or sherry or vermouth or cognac or brandy or whatever boozy  addition you choose to add to your wonderfully caramelized onions.

I personally, am pretty damn tipsy off the champagne I’ve been drinking since I started these onions… So – WOOOO! Here comes the 1/2 cup of nasty Chardonnay that I keep around for cooking purposes that’s probably turned to vinegar.

(btw – you don’t wanna know how many times I had to rewrite the last couple of sentences because – like I said – I’ve been drinking champagne, rather rapidly, for the last hour +… oh, and will continue to keep drinking throughout the beautifully written blog post this is about to be.)

Mmmm… champagne. It just tickles my throat with all those fucking bubbles. How do people NOT like champagne? Don’t trust those people. NOPE. They’re bad.

(Steps away to stir onions)

Hello my fellow readers! Thank you so much for continue to read my blog. Which, I’m not sure why you do. Cause really it’s just become some fucking journal where I pour my feelings out and honestly – use it as a medium for therapy. But maybe it’s making some kind of impact on your life. HOPEFULLY. I hope you:

  1. Don’t judge me based off of what you’re reading
  2. Realize I’m a work in progress
  3. Reflect on your own insecurities
  4. Crush your own damn life, cause you’re a boss bitch. YASSSSS.

This is going to be so much fun to write tonight.  don’t think I’ve ever written a post after so much champagne. Usually I’ll sit here with a glass of wine in hand or maybe a beer — but generally it’s the first. I have this ritual when I begin writing. I’ve completed all the household chores I must for the day, animals are taken care of, and I’m finally settled into a spot where I can write thoughtfully and creatively without distractions. (other than Netflix, cause right now I’m obsessing over Supernatural — um, anyone else think Dean Winchester should just somehow magically show up at your door, no? just me? whatever.)

(Break for tipsy texting. Cause, girl… you know you can relate. so STFU.)

(Also – stirring the onions.)

I’m sure I’ll wake up in the morning to check the stats on this and then realize – oh, girl…. you were drinking when you wrote that. SO MUCH TRUTH.

But – let us begin on this weeks topic.

HAPPY OCTOBER 1st – whatever that means to you.

Fall is finally here. yes, the leaves are scattered on the ground and all I want to do is nest up at home. I even swapped out my (middle) blanket for the big plushy one. (Yes, I have 3 layers that cover me on a nightly basis – again, I live alone. No one other than the dog to heat the bed. Judge me. Whatever.) Really though – what is it about the seasons changing that make me want to nest so hard? I went to Marshall’s yesterday and bought new throw pillows for the couch (because… i honestly needed them, cause the 6 I previous had just weren’t doing it for me anymore.), I was really only there to pick up a new laundry hamper. Because I REFUSE to spend more than $20 on a laundry hamper. That literally just has DIRTY clothes thrown into it. Like – seriously. Why would you spend more? If you do – I think you’re nuts. Go to HomeGoods or Marshalls – seriously, AMAZING selection, YUGE.

But as the year comes to a close – I do some reflecting, actually – wait, no, I’ve done that all year – I just want to settle down and snuggle with someone. Let’s be honest. Fall and Winter are for cuddling, snowboarding, and Netflix.

(Goes back to stir onions, add gross chardonnay – cause it’s bottom shelf cooking wine, ewwww – then adds thyme & a few bay leaves, let that bitch simmer.)

Really though, summer is for being single and letting your freak flag fly, but fall/winter are for hunkering down with some cutie who wants to eat soup and drink coffee/tea with you. I can’t help it. I have this irrational desire to find someone who wants to get cozy with me in MY house. <– btw, there’s the kicker, I don’t want to go to his house, I want him to come to mine. and spend time at mine, and honestly I don’t even want to see his, I’m okay with that … especially after the seeing the last guys house I dated. (btw – if you didn’t read about that, Go back to like, a post I made somewhere in May.. AMAZING how this man gets along in life… ugh.)

But really. I’ve spent enough time dicking around – let’s get serious.

(WAIT – NOT YET, hang on, i just spilt champagne all over my perfectly contoured face, lemma just dab that shit real quick.)

Okay, I’m ready now. 

(btw the Seahawks game is also in the background, cause like I said – fall is for soup, cuddling & Netflix — or football, whatever.)

School is going incredibly well. I’m surprised how well, actually. Other than the 3.5 hours it took me to write like 16 sentences for some “use an example of something that is inclusive of the 4 perspectives of psychology, don’t forget to use references!” – This is was by far, one of the most challenging pieces I’ve had to write – basically, EVER. Why? Because:

  1. I had to pick some kind of topic, obviously my first choice was: Dating
  2. I had to literally, scientifically back up my opinions on why Dating incorporated these 4 perspective.
  3. I failed.
  4. I actually didn’t fail, I just had to modify my example, and because I’ve been working so hard on being flexible, I CHANGED IT – to LOVE <3.
  5. Cause I’m a sucker.

If you’d like to see how I connected love to: Biology, Cognitive Psych, Behavior, & Socioculture — please ask me, I’m willing to share if you want. It’s quite adorable.

Cause APPARENTLY – I’m a SUCKER for LOVE. HA! Who knew.

Obviously you did, reader – because you’ve been following my “dating journal” for the last several months. Probably thinking, “Oh, this poor girl. On a quest to find love and she 1. doesn’t love herself OR 2. keeps looking in all the wrong places.” Well, my dear dedicated reader, have I got a surprise for YOU.

Yes, I’m a sucker for love. It’s adorable, inclusive/exclusive, and it makes me all warm and fuzzy. AKA = just like my favorite sweater, that I wear, IN FALL.

While working on this assignment it shed a light on my actions, why I behave certain ways, and how there are some things I honestly have no control over.

For example, DID YOU KNOW –

(takes sip of champagne – okay, nevermind, i finished the glass… hehe.)

THAT OUR BRAINS LITERALLY LOSE SELF-CONTROL WHEN WE START TO FALL IN LOVE!? So basically, you lose cognitive-control BECAUSE you are lowering your defensives to accept SOMEONE ELSE into your brain. That’s why you’re able to THINK about someone else. Crazy, RIGHT!?

Apparently, I’m really great at falling in love, or so I tell myself.

I had a conversation with my best friend earlier this week (Shout out to you, Ilana!) about this guy I’ve been interested in recently. I set the expectation/boundary that I was only looking for something casual… So why was I so distraught when he all of the sudden was really busy, and then wasn’t feeling so well a week later?

(Steps away to smell, taste, and stir soup.)

Emotion tells me – “Bro is ghosting on you, bitch. RUN.” Kinda like what my friends tell me. But then I’ve got Logic saying, “He’s a busy man, he’s got a lot on his plate, chill Jack. Seriously. Plus, he’s probably ACTUALLY got sick… come on girl, half your staff has been out sick this week, EMPATHIZE woman!”

But what did I do?

I text him, cause you know, I’m afraid of confrontation and like to hide behind my screen…. “I’m just gonna put this out there. Since Friday morning (cause he left in the morning), you’ve suddenly become really busy & now you’re trying to tell me your sick. You know it’s okay for you to tell me you’re just not that into me, right?”

His response, “Has anyone else told you that not everything is about you, or maybe you take things too personally?”

Way to hit the MF head on the nail, dude.

I kid you not! So this propelled me into texting (too) many people about whether or not I took things “too personally”… ugh, everyone agreed with him. Funny part was I was googling how to respond to that, before I just decided to take my own medicine and be honest. I told him, “Yes, but guess what – I am who I am.” <– I’m liberally paraphrasing because I don’t have my phone near me, and for privacy sake… if I were to share all the texting details, it would expose the gentleman.

I didn’t hear from him for over 24 hours. For a guy who spent 4 days in my company the week prior… this was kind of a big deal to me. I felt like somehow I screwed up.

BUT THEN – This MFer keeps checking my snaps. God bless snapchat btw, because they log and then show the “author” who views their snaps.

(Gets up to put soup in bowl, briefly broil french bread, and then put her bowl together with soup, bread, and KERRYGOLD IRISH CHEDDDDDDAR.)

So then I was left literally like, WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT?

4 AMAZING dates. Literally, the best dates I’ve probably ever been on. And then blah. I was SO confused. I talked to so many girlfriends about this because I was just like, wtf happened? What’d I do? Is there something wrong with me? Am I really that bad?

They politely reminded me that I had set expectations on our first date that I was NOT looking for a boyfriend I was NOT looking for something serious. AND I was WAY too busy to even think about anything other than work or school.

Well, fuck me, I did it to myself.

So – cheers my single ladies. Let’s learn how to communicate effectively AND respect how we communicate what we WANT/NEED. If that changes — then that’s on you. Don’t expect the other person who understand or to play along.

(Pulls soup out of over, OMG. SO HOT. OMG. IT’S PERFECT. WHY AM I NOT COOKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO SEE HOW PERFECT THIS SOUP IS. OMG. I’M SO WINNING IN THE SOUP GAME. SOMEONE DATE ME.)

As I finish the bottle of champagne and eat my soup, I just want to remind everyone that when you set the precedence in your relationships, don’t forget… if someone actually gives you want you asked for – don’t hate on them if it IS what you asked for. Just because YOU changed your mind, doesn’t mean THEY did. So, deal.

Until next time.

XO – Jack

HELLO, 30.

It’s official.

I have settled into 30.

Here comes the digestive issues, slower metabolism, and heavy criticism.

The heavy criticism part obviously comes from those who think you’ve “given up on love and a family” or “chose a career instead of being a mother.”

Then there’s reaping the consequences of my teenage years spent slathering my skin in baby oil and sitting out in the Seattle sun for hours on end.

Hello wrinkles and sun spots.

Hello that shiny new bottle of $290 anti-wrinkle cream that’s made by hand in a monastery.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Except it actually exists … and I want it.

This summer was all about settling goals, reaching goals, setting more goals, and spoiling myself.

I took the summer off of a FT job to really dig deep and grow. I needed to learn to accept and love myself.

I needed to stop comparing myself. I needed to quit judging myself and others.

I needed to let go of the anxiety and fear that surrounded so many things in my life.

Returning to a FT job has been… interesting.

You see, I was really hesitant on it. I was offered the job and I took several weeks to accept it.

Then after I accepted it, I took several weeks delaying my on-boarding.

I didn’t want to go back to FT work. I didn’t need to. I was doing just fine working relief and picking up clients left and right.

I had an income flowing in and was working in a VERY low-stress environment.

But then, that whole “You’re turning 30 – get your shit together Jackie” kicked in.

You know, the part that says, “Get a job where you have a retirement plan, insurance – not just medical, but also vision and dental.”

The company I’m now working for has been great.

The key feature that really made me go “yesssss!!!” was the fact that they offer $5300/yr in tuition reimbursement.

And that only requires a 6mo contract with the company and a C- or above.

Easy. Peasy.

That means – I can finish school…. And not have to worry about accruing any more debt.

Debt.

Yeah… Let’s talk about that.

So as I’ve told you before – I’ve tried really hard to climb out of that deep dark hole I dug myself into.

And I’ve done a pretty fucking good job so far.

But recently I’ve been slightly out of control.

I did say I had spoiled myself, did I?

I took myself shopping.

Or rather – I’ve been taking myself shopping.

And buying all the fancy, finer things that I know aren’t exactly in my budget, but I literally don’t give a fuck.

I spent probably $4-5000 on myself this summer.

Skincare, Makeup, and a whole new wardrobe.

No – I haven’t bought the $290 anti-wrinkle moisturizer… which, okay, I have to share this description with you:

“ each jar is hand-blended in a monastery to preserve its natural ingredients and rich history. Crème Ancienne contains such fragile ingredients that each must be poured in a particular sequence at a determined temperature—requirements that can only be met by hand. Fresh turned to a monastery to hand-blend each jar because monks are an important part of the cream’s heritage. Historically, if a formula was not produced by a monk, it was considered witchcraft. “

Yes… that’s actually the description of the moisturizer that for some reason I WANT TO BUY.

I used the excuse of starting a new job and not having anything appropriate to wear to work to start the spiral.

I walked into Nordstrom Rack looking for flats… I walked out with a new Kate Spade purse.

Then I went to Nordstrom’s because I knew the shoes I wanted, I’d purchased them before and I was determined to get them again.

I walked out with 2 pairs of Sam Edelman flats (black & brown)… oh and a pair of Blondo booties that the salesman decided I had to try on, that I said “fuck it” and bought them too.

Then onto the next shop because I needed slacks and blouses…

Then onto Sephora because now I could go back to wearing makeup at work…

Then I was watching my FAVORITE local boutique (Lika Love) Instagram story and had to have the items they were showing off.

… You see how it quickly escalated.

**Retail therapy IS REAL people!**

So now I just made a $1300 payment on my credit card this month because I’m still trying to stick to my goals!

Consumer debt free by DECEMBER.

Then having the car paid off the following December.

I can do it, It’s just going to require a little more self-control than I’ve been exhibiting recently.

Speaking of self-control…

That’s been in limited supply around my neck of the woods recently.

Or maybe I’ve just adopted a “I don’t give a damn” attitude.

Which includes but is not limited to:

Ditching the passive-aggressive attitude and just calling it like it is.

That means if you’re being an asshole, I’m going to tell you you’re being an asshole.

Then I’m going to one-up that and tell you WHY I think you’re an asshole.

Then I’ll leave it at that.

Along with ditching the passive-aggressive attitude, I’ve been way more confident in my approach to things.

Mostly men/dating.

(Which also includes telling them they’re assholes).

*begin rant*

I’m SO OVER the whole “game” bullshit that our generation has created.

Oh – you can’t see someone 2 days in a row. You can’t call or text first. Don’t you dare send two texts in a row without a response.

Like really? STFU you sensitive tip-toeing little bitches. If you want something, just go for it. This is the biggest load of shit to come out of our generation EVER.

No joke.

When the hell are you going to just STFU and admit you like someone and then go for it.

Seriously.

*end rant*

Anyway.

So as you know, I’ve been basically single for quite some time now… or at least, quite some time for me, Miss Serial Monogamist.

This is probably the longest I’ve gone without a labeled “boyfriend” in… idk, since I started dating?

Gotta say – it has been the most interesting few months but only recently has it really started to get fun.

Turning 30 was like a “wake-up call.”

All of the sudden the pressure and stress to “find someone” just kind of fell away and I finally felt like I was filling the shoes I had bought for myself years prior.

I wasn’t trying to be the “tough girl” anymore. I embraced my femininity in a non-sexual way for the first time ever.

I can wear a dress and not be “asking for it” or “trying to get attention in a sexual way.”

I can literally just wear a dress because I feel fucking hot in that dress. And why wouldn’t I want to feel that way when I’m about to go on a date?

Why would I have to or feel the need to dress myself down to seem less intimidating?

Screw that.

I’m going to wear the heels and the boots and if you have a problem with me being taller than you because of that… then that’s your problem, not mine.

Catering to the opposite sex just isn’t in the cards as far as my appearance goes.

There was some comment the other day that I heard about Kim Kardashian.

Sharon Osborne I believe made a comment saying that Kim Kardashian shows she’s a feminist by posting naked pictures of herself.

Kim countered with, “No, I post naked pictures of myself because I think I look fucking hot and I worked my ass off for this body after 2 kids. That’s why. It has nothing to do with trying to prove anything or be a feminist.”

Loved it.  Something about that comment just made me smile and all warm and fuzzy.

You can embrace yourself and love yourself and be proud of yourself without taking some type of political or abrasive stance.

Loving yourself and sharing that love – whatever. Think what you want. Not everything has to be considered narcissistic now a days.

Seriously – that term is SO over used.

Anyway – back to what I was previously discussing about dating.

I had this great “ah-ha” moment with Markie (remember her? My amazing life coach – she’s the best) a few weeks ago where I just said…

“You know what, Markie. Maybe the reason I can’t make up my mind about all of this is because I’m not supposed to. Maybe I’m not ready for a relationship. Maybe I need to stop searching for one, acting like I’m incomplete without one and realize I don’t even have the fucking time to devote to one if I wanted to!”

That’s kind of when all the pieces fell together – or apart I guess?

I started to see things from a different perspective.

I became bolder and braver.

All of the sudden I wasn’t looking at dating these men as possible life partners. It was more of a “hey – I’m really busy, I have a lot on my plate, but I’d really like to hang out with someone every once in a while and get drinks/dinner/maybe ‘netflix and chill’ if you catch my drift…”

**No, I am not ashamed of that at all. I do not consider myself to be a slut/whore/ho/whatever the hell you want to label me as because I believe in safe, casual encounters. GTFO**

I am so not claiming that these causal encounters don’t occasionally come with a lot of heartache – which I’ve absolutely learned the hard way, too.

But something changed.

I was able to see what I needed and wanted and how they were different.

This “feeling” may change but for now, it’s serving me well.

I was able to shine a light on a serious mental malfunction and find a way to heal it and acknowledge it.

Not without a lot of work though.

Learning to stop pressuring myself into relationships – especially ones I don’t have time for – or even worse, don’t want to be in… that’s got to be the biggest thing I took away from my 29th year.

Letting go of baggage. The people I don’t need. The people who have been in my back pocket for years and I pull out when I’m feeling sad.

The people I’m with out of convenience. The people I’m with because they pressured me to be with them.

Boy – Bye.

So now we’re this super confident, ready to take on the world woman.

Who has a whole new wardrobe and apparently a new skincare/makeup routine.

(determined to buy the monastery cream, hahaha!)

Who straight up doesn’t give a fuck about being a relationship or determining her worth based off of her partner.

Who paid her OWN tuition for school (yeah, I put that on the credit card, too – whatever).

Who started a FT job in human healthcare – which is just the start of where she wants to go.

Learning to be humble and take a step backward, that I may not be doing exactly what I want to do or what I thought I’d be doing – but guess what, it’s going to take me to where I want to be.

So WOO HOO to 30!

To waking up early (*cough – yeah right – cough*), sometimes – to do my hair and makeup before work.

To looking the part.

To randomly going on a run with my dog in the middle of the night, because – who is this girl?

To asking guys out she meets in elevators, or on Instagram – cause girl… get away from the dating apps.

“A woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet – Mohadesa Najumi”

Get it girl.

Until next time,

Xo-Jack