a long time coming

I haven’t been here in a while, which is clearly evident.  I could make up a million excuses for why, but the honest truth is that I didn’t want to write here.

I will admit that I have been very fortunate in life that while I have been thrown a number of curve balls, all too many things have come very easily to me.  So when I started blogging “for me” I was immediately disappointed that I wasn’t the talk of the blogosphere and twitterverse.  So I just gave up.

But as I was talk to AC over the past few days, giving her unwarranted advice about how to put yourself out there and find a job, I remembered why I wanted to put myself out here.  I am not remarkable by any means, but I hope that I am relatable to some.  I have been told from highly educated professionals that I need to express myself, and this blog is far cheaper than therapy.

So here I am, back again.

Selfish

It has been a month since I shared my thoughts with my little corner of the internet.  I have no significant reason for having fallen off the face of the blog, other than I found other things to fill my time.  I’ve been working, reading, vacationing, celebrating holidays, making expensive purchases, and spending time with my family.  None of these things scream the acts of a self-consumed, self-absorbed person, yet I have this feeling that I have spent the better part of a month only thinking about myself.

This feeling came to a point this morning when I was so excited to see that my favorite blogger had posted after an extended absence. Her post was not what I had been hoping for.  Rather than a page of apologies for being MIA it was her sign off, that she could no longer continue to share her life with the world because her mother a succumbed to an illness none of her readers knew about.  I immediately felt heartbroken for both her and myself.  While I do not know this writer, I have read her words nearly daily for the better part of 3 years.  I have shared in her ups and downs through her words, watched her fall in love, and take great leaps of faith.  I have even previously written about her in this space as a role model for myself.  I know the feeling of losing a parent too soon, and I share in that agony.  But my selfishness boiled over when I realized that I felt pangs of sadness because I would no longer get to be a fly on the wall of her life.  I’m not sure what that says about me, but it was a very real feeling.

Oddly enough, selfishness is something that I have actively tried to work against throughout my life.  I have always personally felt that selfishness was one of the absolute worst traits a person could possess.  I am struggling with this overwhelming sense that I have become a person I would not be friends with.

The First Monthaverasary

Few things irk me more than couples who celebrate each month they have been together.  That is fine when you are in middle school and the ultimate longevity of your “relationship” is dictated by the 9 months of the school year.  Then, and only then, is it even remotely appropriate to write on the Facebook “Happy 3 months babe! Love you 4eva!”

We have all done it, but let us move on in life to bigger and better things.

This month-iversary is to celebrate the first official month with the furriest love in my life, the little lady Charlie.

It has only been 30 days, and we have already had our ups and downs, but she has snuggled her way into my heart.

charlie3

shy Charlie

charlie4

Charlie in mid-March with a Christmas stocking

charlie5

Charlie taking her St. Paddy’s day nap

She may have nearly ripped ML’s eyelid off playing a game of “Where’s Daddy?”…

She may have thrown a baseball at my head while I was sleeping…

She may bark at nothing every morning at 4:45 am…

She may eat every flip flop in the house…

But she is all mine, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t Shower with Your Dog

For those few of you who are keeping up with this teeny little blog, you know things are changing around here.

Over the past few weeks I have learned quite a few lessons that are honest and funny, and may go without saying but I would like to share with you.

20140313-085023.jpg

Don’t shower with your dog. This may seem like the most obvious thing I have ever written, but it needs some explanation. Charlie is quite the curious pup, so I try to keep her with me at all times when I am home. This means when I go to take a shower she follow right behind me like my shadow. Well, a few days ago the little Miss got brave and hopped in the shower with me….I was not amused. But it’s moments like these that make great stories and great memories for ML and I to share.

20140313-085059.jpg

It’s hard being lonely. When I started my new job I was so excited about all the new possibilities ahead of me and all the new people I would meet. To be honest I am seriously struggling with being the new girl and not having friends at work. ML has also been spending less time in Baltimore, much to both of our dismay. This all really adds up and weighs on me, but I’m trying to stay as positive as possible.

20140313-085131.jpg

Peanut butter and Benadryl are your best friends. I love Charlie. She is my little baby and I adore her. While I do not have a human baby, and will not for a long time, I can see how a new dog would be a similar situation. Charlie is what you would call an intense chewer, and she gets bored with toys or games easily. She is terrified of the crate, so she uses my bedroom as her crate. She has had accidents and has torn apart my room on occasion. These are bumps in the road, but we are constantly learning from each other. I have embraced her love of peanut butter to get her to go to “her” room. And after 3 days of sleepless nights I have embraced the entire GNC Pets line of calming products and the magic of Benadryl.

It is amazing all the small lessons and truths you learn in your day to day life, and I’m excited to share mine with you.

The Other B Word

I have a very strong personality.  From a young age my “mantra” has been “I can do it”.  From the whiny 3 year old version, to the uplifting 21 year old version, to the also whiny 23 year old version, I have been one to want to do things for myself, in my own way.

Have people called me bossy before?  Absolutely!

I never really cared about being labeled as “bossy” as it was a word I had heard almost since birth.  But I do remember the first time the word did hurt me.   I was in a position of authority over a committee and I was trying to keep the group on topic during a meeting, rather than allowing for gossip hour.  While I was trying to get everyone’s attention, one of the member turned a told me to stop being so bossy and relax.  I don’t know if it was the lack of respect, the fact it came from a peer, or the equating myself with rigidity, but in that moment bossy became the “other B word”.

The movement to Ban Bossy is on point.  Personally, I am very concerned with women and girls’ issues, particularly sexism in leadership and opportunity.  It also doesn’t hurt that Anna Maria Chavez, the CEO of Girl Scouts and co-leader of the movement, is an idol of mine. I am often jaded by the environment in which I work, the nonprofit field is dominated by women, and strong women are plentiful in my life.  But even in 2014, women is still given labels, while men are rewarded for being assertive and take charge.

Over the past number of years I have altered my vocabulary to respect and reflect the feelings of others and myself, and I challenge others to do the same.  Help work to remove the ‘other B word’ and give women and girls the respect they deserve.

Earning your MRS

I was watching the Today show this morning and had to share my unwarranted opinion about this topic.

Susan Patton, a Princeton grad, wrote this letter to her alma matter’s newspaper about the importance of women finding a husband while they are in college.  Her justification for this claim is that girls entering college are at their prime, physically and fertile-ly, and by snagging a husband-to-be as a co-ed will be beneficial in the long run for their offspring.  She does state that clearly she thinks women should receive an excellent education, as they should be the intellectual equals of their spouse.

Watching Savannah Guthrie interview this woman was painful, and really was a visual sum of why Patton is wrong.  On the left is Savannah Guthrie, 40+ and recently engaged, in one of the most coveted positions in journalism, an incredibly well educated (Georgetown JD, U of Arizona BA) successful woman.  On the right is Susan Patton, who’s claim to fame are her controversial claims made in her letter and now subsequent book.  While I do not want to compare the physical appearance differences between the two women, it is clear that Patton is older than Guthrie, and may actually appear older than her years.

I know I do not stand alone in thinking that Patton is wrong, and may just be saying these things for the reaction she is receiving.  As a college freshman, about 6 years ago, I remember meeting a girl who said part of the reason she was at college was to meet a man to marry.  She referenced how her parents were married at 19 & 20 and had spent  20+ wonderful years together.  I think at 17 I was unable to hide my shock at her words.  If I heard the same thing now, at 23, I would be inclined to shake some sense into her.  I will say that to the best of my knowledge this girl is now married, and I would hope very happy.

The best part about college is it is the time to be selfish.  Not everyone gets the luxury of going away to better themselves and devote themselves solely to ideas and projects that interest them.  College is not just about the freedom of partying and being away from your parents, but of learning about yourself and growing.  If you put it in perspective, those 4 (or 7) years of your life are a simple fraction of all the years you will, G-d willing, live, but they will change you immensely.  Why spend that time looking for someone else, when you can become the best version of yourself?

I personally am very fortunate to have found an amazing man, and we just so happen to have met in college.  While I may daydream about getting married, and have a Pinterest folder worth $1 million in billable hours for a wedding planner, I am happy I’m 23 and without a spouse. To the girls out there stressing about finding the right man by age 19, I say: it is not a race, it is not the the Ark, you should really live by the old adage about loving yourself before someone else can love you.

This March I will…

1. Start my half marathon training officially.  I’ve been leading up to the start, its only a few miles to begin with, but I’ve been working hard to build up my speed.

2. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  As a 100% Irish girl, I might have left Catholicism behind, but never will I leave behind a holiday devoted to singing, green beer, corned beef and cabbage.

3.  I will make an effort to see my girl friends this month.  My lifelong best friend, yes indeed. (Check out her brand new blog here. The trials and tribulations of urban education.) My former work wives, oh heck yes.  I also love that my new job allows for great flexibility in schedule and where I work from, making lunches endless possibilities.

4. Get ready for my mini vacation to see EB and MILEY!!!