Relationship Resumes: Things I Now Know Thanks to Failed Relationships

Several months ago, I was hanging out with two friends I’ve known since high school – a close girl friend who moved to Chicago and a visiting male, who also happened to be a former flame and my first real love.

The topic turned to relationships and experience in the field and I mentioned the notion of relationship resumes – the list of knowledge, skills and practice we draw from when dealing with significant others or summon on dates, showcasing prior successes, saving the failures for later. Personally, I look for partners who have their resume filled in a bit, like my own, indicating they are not novices to relationships or love.

Turning to the guy, I said, “Like you; I would use you as a reference as an example of one of my successful relationships.”

My friend interjected, “Well I don’t know if I would say you guys had a successful relationship….”

“Why not?” I asked

“Because, success means marriage.”


The idea that a successful relationship means more than “to death do us part” struck me in June right before my break up, in July a few weeks after and again Sunday morning with a re-print of a Chicago Tribune article on relationship myths.

The article reads:

“So many people stay in relationships for too long because they feel if it ends, that is a sign of failure,” said Tim Ray, author of 101 Relationship Myths: How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness. “One of the things I work with clients about is to be more psychologically mature and part of that is to realize that people change and things change. The belief that you need to stay together can lead to people staying in an unhappy relationship or marriage despite the fact that they have grown apart and the relationship is no longer working … A relationship can be a success even if it ends.”

While in some ways I wish my hunt for my right person was a lot easier than the twists and turns it’s taken so far, I’m proud of each little bullet point on my resume that has gotten me to where I stand today.

My high school self would perhaps feel a little uneasy that I never found the right match in high school or college, like originally expected. But me, right now, 24-year-old me, can’t imagine anything else. She knows it is not the norm to grow with the same individual through every stage of life; that her growth comes from time alone.

I’ve detailed relationship lessons learned in previous blog posts, but what really strikes me is that there certain things I only could have learned from going through a break up. Things I now know about myself that my friends who have been in the same relationship for most of their life may never know or have to learn.

For all of us who have had to start over, say good-bye or learn the hard way: I think our collection of experiences, from former flames and exes and loves, is sometimes less important than the strength we now have from the scars and scrapes it’s taken us to gain them.

Things Failed Relationships Have Taught Me About Myself: 

  • I know how long it takes me to fully heal from a heartbreak. And more importantly, I know I can heal – that some love can simply cease to exist.
  • I believe break-ups mean something; I don’t believe they can be open threats or taken lightly into on-and-off occurrences.
  • I understand I am not afraid of getting hurt; maybe I hate being wrong about love, but the fear of being wrong won’t keep me from falling in love just like the fear of being alone won’t keep me in a wrong relationship.
  • I know what real work looks like in a relationship – how to productively work to build the foundation of communication, to keep getting to know each other, keep doing nice things to each other. And I know what it looks like when someone isn’t actively participating in the partnership.
  • I can recognize when a relationship is headed downhill. And though I hate the anxiety at the pit of my stomach, I know now there is relief at the end.
  • I know that even if you don’t ultimately get back together, even if your partner doesn’t say it outright, there will always be a point where your ex misses you or remembers your or fears to let you go.
  • I know that there isn’t really a race to the finishing line, to the win. Any ex that will be with someone else just to spite you, isn’t ready to be with someone else. Finding your own match is more improtant than the rate it takes to locate them.

And you know, I think my 16-, 19-, 23-year-old self would be proud.

What do you think failed relationships can teach us?


On Fitness: Soundtrack for my Fake Fitness Class

Through the twists and turns of the blog, I’ve found various subjects and concepts I keep coming back to because they interest me  – be it relationships or self-worth or fitness.

And lately, fitness has returned to the forefront of my mind.

I’m glad to have been riding the work out bandwagon for most of 2012 and what has made the habit stick this time is – humorously – I’ve found the right level of entertainment to power me through.

For the $60 bucks a month I pay for my gym membership, it is slightly disappointing there aren’t those little TV’s strapped to the cardio machines. I can’t help myself – I need something to keep my brain interested.

So, first, I found an entertainment source in podcasts – aka Savage Love on repeat – to take me through my cardio or solo weight training sessions.

But, I still haven’t found a group fitness class’ music choices I felt jived completely with mine. You know, when a teacher or class picks a song you are just not that into? I’m pretty sure I ponder getting certified in group fitness just so I can make my own playlists to share.

Until that day, I’ll just play dress up.

Below are my current top five favorite “get pumped” jams and the best times to play them during your workout.

My  Top 5 Current Workout Jams

“Fade into Darkness” – Avicii

Great for warm-ups!

“Boyfriend Girlfriend Mashup” – Mashup Justin Bieber vs N’Sync

The most fun song I’ve recently come across. Use it for a dance segment or to start a work out on a perky note.

“Levels Remix”  – Avicii ft Skrillex

Ideal for powering you over the hump of a workout – when you are struggling, getting bored or losing energy.

“Memories to Blow” – Mashup of my favorite song by Kid Cudi and David Guetta and Drake lyrics

My favorite song on the list – perfect for the final sprint or intense peak or climax.

“Longest Road” – Morgan Page ft Lissie

I love this for a cool down. I’ve only known the Deadmau5 remix of this song until recently and I think I may prefer the original. I also saw him DJ during a Vegas pool party and he was fantastic

In other news – last weekend in Canada, I walked into a Forever 21 with the best soundtrack I’ve ever heard. I asked all the sales people and  manager where the mix was from. Apparently the Forever hires this dj to make an in-store playlist of mashups. I contacted the dj and he’s asking me $60 for a downloadable 3-hour mix. While this is obviously more than any GirlTalk mix, it’s probably comprable to going to a concert, only I’d get to keep the music. It sounds a bit expensive but it’s this dude’s livelihood so I’m not sure what to ask next. Do think I should try to haggle it down?

Music fiends, let me know: Any new jams to add to my playlists? 

On loving Love and Relationships

I’m almost surprised how much has not changed in my life in the last year. Or, if we want to be real here, since graduating college.

I’m in the same job.

Same living situation.

Going out to the same places.

Hanging with the same friends.

Living in mainly the same haircut and wardrobe.

(Which is mostly without complaint, so we’re clear.)

But I know I’ve grown in the last two years. And it’s clear to me that my changes – even largely reflected within my blog content  – have come from one very strong dimension of my life: relationships.

By this, I mean more than just my realization that I should be treated well or that I can have a real, communicative romantic relationship [ala the infamous blog post on Discovering Grown-up Relationships, later followed up with an essay for Facets Magazine (page 25 – 27 of their February/ March issue).]

No – what I think brought my 20’s and post-college life into maturation was the new token of transparency I found across my peers. It was establishing new forms of trust and communication with those around me and seeing strangers post honest blog posts about their relationships. It was reading psychology articles about maintaining love in a marriage and the chemistry behind why we love. It was when my friends finally started sharing the stuff behind-closed-doors; stuff that I complained about, too, but thought made me crazy.

And transparency was just the catalyst. I’m no longer afraid to touch on any aspect that goes into love and relationships because they’re all important and real and I hate that we cover them up. Sex. Arguing. Compromise. Growth. Sex, again. Break ups. Marriage. Doubt.

I understand the need for privacy – especially across certain mediums – but finding a new level of comfort with discussing these matters has filled my life with a whole new passion. Sharing has brought me closer with people I never could have imagined and has brought on several realizations about myself.

I am finding a new hobby in my desire to learn about the reasoning, psychology and chemistry behind love.

I hope to not imply that I am extra nosey or invested in other’s private lives, but simply: I think I am finding a passion and potential career prospect in love and relationships much the same way as others dedicate their lives to learning and helping others with nutrition or fitness.

(Maybe that’s why I own 15 different relationship books just for fun, or spend hours reading a bloggers “how we met ” story and comments, or offer to listen to my friend complain about their boyfriend for the 14th time, or secretly look up a master’s or PhD programs in marriage and family counseling so I can do more research on the subject.)

Maybe I’m crazy…

But, just tell me your story.

How To Be In A Love Triangle

March marks a funny time of year for me – because this time last year, I was just getting myself into a very interesting, tricky, exciting relationship situation. A love triangle, if you will.

March to September 2011 was filled with thrilling moments as I struggled to carefully maneuver between a timeline of two men: LA Boy & a longtime, faraway friend and former fling.

In reality, the era was not about finding love or dates in two different guys. For me, it was a time of learning. A time just for myself and my own best interests. I think I will always associate those months with feelings of strength, security and desirablity in who I was.

And as you may remember, eventually my lessons added up and romantically it made sense who I was supposed to be with. (Just as with any famous love triangle, no?)

So for fun: a little Draft revisited from 6/15/11, with edits throughout July 2011. Partially fictionalized to protect all hearts.

Alls well that ends well?

How To Be In A Love Triangle

Disclaimer: Please do not try this at home.

  1. Fall for two different guys on opposite coasts of the country
  2. Find their personalities and histories different in almost every way imaginable
  3. Upon a suggestion from a very wise Ex, refuse to commit to either until the same commitment is promised to you
  4. Ride the roller-coaster as emotions and contact come and go in waves from each party
  5. Ensure neither visits at a time to conflict with the other
  6. Avoid any mention of this
  7. Over-read Astrology compatibilities
  8. Recognize that real friends won’t pick any “Team” – except your’s
  9. Laugh and then cry when both of them send you thoughtful birthday gifts
  10. Fear hurting either man
  11. Fear hurting yourself
  12. Wonder which guy you will reveal the situation to first..wonder what that will mean
  13. Ask yourself if this is the real definition of “dating”
  14. Shake your head when people demand why you don’t just meet a guy in your own state
  15. Panic when you realize the situation could potentially go on for a long time
  16. Ponder if you really imagine much of a future with either of them
  17. Decide to keep playing single with your friends for as long as you can
  18. Understand that no one really cares about your “white girl problems

That Time You Cried at the Eye Doctors’ (On Questioning “Tough Love”)

As a woman, it is engraved in me by my environment (I’m looking at you, media) that I am an emotional being.

I’m told that my instincts or reactions shouldn’t be trusted because I will react in an emotional, and therefore irrational, way.

So why is it that many people – from strangers to family – feel compelled to push certain emotions onto me? Why do they feel preying on my emotions is the quickest way to get what they want?

I think that is the point of “tough love,” right? The initiator intends on creating an emotional response out of the other person. Whether the point is to provoke fear or guilt or sadness or reality, the threats or tones are used to extract a certain feeling.

But, you know, the thing I’ve noticed about trying to elicit an emotional response from someone is that you have no control of what emotion that person will extract. What if you just wind making them angry…or numb?

I will admit, I rarely need help feeling. Emotions protrude out of me.  So when someone tries to inject an emotion into me, I think it can backfire.

In reality, what I need most from people who are trying to show me some “tough love” is facts. I want to know why they are worried or why I should be scared. I think in terms of mental maps and cause and effect plays a big part into that. Naturally, I respond best when my mother tells me the specifics of why she feels taken advantage of because I learn how to prevent it in the future.

So today, when my eye doctor wanted me to know my situation was dire and that I needed to take his advice very seriously, I wasn’t prepared to respond to a firm talking-to. The doctor wanted to alleviate me of my poor use of contacts and teach myself to be more careful, lest I wind up with severe cornea damage in only a few short years. “Your eyes are priceless, right?” he asked me. But a stranger offering me “Daddy’s tough love” (his words) only made angry. The more he spoke, the more defensive I felt of all the factors leading up to the situation. I got that things were bad. I knew I had been doing something wrong. That why I was there!

In this case, I think I wanted a doctor. I wanted someone to tell me the facts of how everything led up to where they were. I wanted a game plan of how to remedy my poor infected eyes and how we could proactively prevent this from happening again.  I wanted to feel comfortable coming back to a team treating me like a patient, rather than a scared teenager afraid of being yelled at. Additionally, I wonder if I would have guilt-tripped myself worse than any stranger could have provoked out of me?

The whole thing has me thinking about how there seems to be no formula on the proper way to treat a patient. On the one hand, I think several people do need an emotional wake-up call or intervention. I hear this much about people recovering with eating disorders. On the other hand, I can’t help but think of the obsese patients at the physician’s office who probably know what they’re doing to their body is wrong, but are looking for how to stop and how to know when they’re doing something right.

So what do you think? Am I being a baby or responding out of embarrassment? Should I take someone’s general concern and try to listen and not react? Is it just that doctors are too overloaded to begin with? Or was this doctor wrong to assume an emotional role to get his point across?

Ps. By the way, I kind of think that a man who told me that my eyes naturally water because they are dry shouldn’t expect anything but tears.

Discovering Grown-Up Relationships

I haven’t blogged about my love life – or any part of my life – in a long time and I think part of the reason is the lack of stability or consistency I’ve felt lately. It seems 23 will be a year of shifts and changes, something I’ve heard many times about being in your 20’s and really discovering who you are.

But there’s a great lesson I’ve learned since I first began mentioning relationships on the blog and it is perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments I’ve felt. Better than anything food or fitness has ever taught me.

What you need to know, is that I used to have a deep-seeded need to WIN in relationships. That meant I withheld showing feelings or affection until my partner took the reins first.  I thought by not openly showing my partner that I cared, I stayed in control and kept myself from showing hurt (ie: weakness). I used to say I was forced to act this way because I was perpetually attracted to men who were afraid of commitment or who were such players that they didn’t show they cared. But really, it was my own mentality that doomed me to failure.

Because before, I thought the only way to feel special was to be the girl who could put up with (sh)it. Who toughed out rough situations and played the “game” better and stronger than many men. I could handle day long gaps of communication because I busied myself up instead. And I could handle pangs of jealousy and lack of commitment because I just tried to mirror the issue. I believed this was worth it because I was occasionally rewarded with a few personal, meaningful moments of affection.

And I thought this was a good thing – I thought I was different from other girls because I could put my own needs aside and be cool. I thought other girls were crazy for being so nit-picky. I thought I was awesome for “winning the game.”

Really, I got hurt a lot because I never spoke up and implied anything was wrong.

I attribute the significance of LA Boy in my life to the fact that when he came in my life, for the first time I could love the way I wanted to love. I could give love without fear and speak my mind without analysis. His own honesty and realness inspired me to get out of the game and make an effort!

And it worked!

I stopped feeling insecure and nervous and started feeling special. In return, he felt special that I shared myself with him. We grew close in a shorter time span than it’s ever taken me to get to know someone. I stopped daydreaming because the reality was wonderful.

The greatest lesson I learned from my relationship with LA Boy was that relationships are about being yourself and opening up about your thoughts, feelings and problems. 

I almost feel silly how long it’s taken me to realize that no girl can ever be the cool girlfriend forever. I was compromising part of my sanity in order to achieve such status before.

As I approach further relationships, it is my belief now that relationships happen when two people give. It will not happen when two people withhold.

Moreover, I don’t want to wait for months of the game anymore to figure out if I am with the right person! I’ve made it my goal to put myself out there about my intentions and goals and thoughts. I’m letting a partner and I make honest and realistic decisions about where we could be headed. I’m attempting to own my faults instead of placing the blame on the men – who really only assumed our relationships were fine because I never spoke up.

This challenge is hard on my heart in it’s own way.

The most interesting consequence this change has meant for me is that it makes commitment scarier than before. When I was in these serious, but uncommunicative relationships, commitment felt right because I didn’t have time to think about playing the game with 2 guys at once. Commitment was the ultimate sign that I’d “won!” Oh but now…but now, commitment is scarier than ever! Because if I’m committing myself to someone I’ve learned about and expressed myself to that means shit is real. It means I’m on the adult relationship trajectory. Combining Lives. Thinking about marriage. Etc.


But so so exciting!

My lesson is on the power of letting go of the game. It can only take you so far. You can only really “win” once you realize that winning a relationship only means losing a meaningful one.

And..if you want the real juicy part.. there is someone else who made me realize just how life changing this outlook will be…


Dear Bloggy,

I’m sorry I’ve left this post in my Drafts for 2 weeks now. Every attempt to make this “newsy” or “timely” has been continuously evaded and rethought. Instead, I have left you at the mercy of Spam. And I’m sorry “Twiggy” but I just don’t think my About Me page is the “most helpful article” you’ve ever read.

Alas. Instead of writing about my birthday I’ve been occupied by life that isn’t exactly in line with healthy living.  This included..

  • Hanging in Wrigleyville
  • Touring the city with a friend from NY
  • Overeating at Free Panera Bread day at work
  • A Father’s Day brunch and catchup with Dad after his 10 day Europe vaca. Yum, German chocolate!
  • A Father’s Day/ step-sister’s birthday bbq with the Step-fam
  • Wine, froyo and patio catch-ups with the girls
  • Losing power for 24 hours after a dreadful storm. (Sigh at the candelit showers.)
  • Career Fairing my heart out
  • Attending my second Ragan Comedy Networking Event
  • LA Boy’s 36-hour business trip visit
  • Trying cool beers on the typical Thursday night out
  • My Savta’s (step-grandma’s) 91st birthday
  • Chicago Gay Pride Parade shenanigans
  • Much needed snoozing

But instead of blogging about any of these things, I’m going to leap backward 13 days and finally talk about June 14.

My 23rd birthday!

And as I mentioned, this year I threw my negative attitude (also known as crying and angry-drunk fits) to the curb and embraced the love. THANK YOU everyone for the love!!

While the celebration has come and gone, I really want to share how it went because I had some a wonderful experience and I think it’s important to identify how much a healthy outlook on something so daunting (for me) can really make all the difference! I really tried to enjoy the moment, appreciate each person’s involvement and not get caught up in what did or didn’t happen.

So without any further delay, here’s a recap of my 23rd in 23:

1. I picked Saturday June 11 as the celebration day with nothing important in mind. Luckily, it wound up being perfect timing! So many friends I haven’t seen in a while were in town and able to come partyyy. There were probably 40 people in my friends’ apartment where we hosted a pregame from 9  p.m. to 1 a.m. Because the pregame is obviously the best part of the night.

2. During that time I underwent a small wardrobe malfunction and outfit change. Just like celebrities do.

Outfit #1 from Zara before the skirt’s zipper broke.

Outfit #2 aka dress from Megan’s closet (Forever 21?)

3. And like any good foodie, I hung in the kitchen most of the time, trying Flaming Dr. Pepper shots for the first (and second and third time)! My fav group of guys brought all the necessary equipment as their party present, and I believe it involved lighting a shot of Bacardi 151 on fire before dumping it into a cup of beer.

Go Tim, Go!

4. For the party, I  also made my own white wine sangria which included pear wine, champagne, pineapple juice, orange juice, mango and apples.

5. The apartment hostesses went all out to provide a beautiful assortment of baked goodies and flowers…

Sangria, flowers, cupcakes, cookies

6. And bottles and bottles of wine and champagne.

7. I apparently decided that my birthday was the excuse everyone else needed to party really hard, too. I think it worked.

Gotta get down on Friday Mel’s Birthday..

8. Around midnight, I stood on a chair while the whole room – which included an assortment of close friends and handfuls of randoms – sang happy birthday to me! In any other year, I probably would have hid in a closet and denied it was my birthday (true story). This year, I made a wish and blew out a flaming shot 🙂

9. Then we hit the late night bar Hangge Uppe, where I spun and spun until I got  veryyy tired.

10. Later at 4 am, we had some afties – which mostly meant indulging in some late night fafties and gossip. I led the chips and salsa and gauc domination.

11. I really had the happiest evening. Until I woke up and realized  my friends’ apartment looked like it belonged in the movie The Hangover. There were dirty dishes, crumbs, questionable items and alcohol everywhere! Like a very good friend who caused a huge rukus, I cleaned it up.

And this was just the table…

12. On the hilarious walk to my car, my team of ‘burb-dwellers and I stumbled into a new wave of graffiti hitting the streets of Chicago. Pokemon? As the ultimate Pokefan way back when, this made my day!!

13. Festivities began again on Tuesday at midnight (the time usually reserved for shots back in my heyday) when my sister brought in a cake she made herself. The cake was cookie on the bottom, chocolate ice cream in the middle and brownie on top. I died and went to dessert heaven! What a cutie for designing the concoction herself.

14. I realize I’ve gotten older because instead of I no longer get a slew of calls and texts like I used to around midnight. Instead, I woke up to a ton of texts and had my phone going nuts at 8 am and 5 pm. Guess we’re all on true grown up schedules by now.

15. My boss aided in the indulgence by bringing in birthday donuts.

16. I was originally planning on checking out a new froyo place with my sister for lunch but wound up getting a $10 worth of Whole Foods salad bar instead. The food made me realize I need to visit WF for meal times more often.

17. After work, it was  off to dinner with my mom, sister and step-dad at a wonderful seafood restaurant called Braxton! The past few years, I have opted out of going out to eat in favor of having cake at home with friends and family. This year, we decided to celebrate in style with some very fancy and fresh fish dishes and a nice bottle of wine. The restaurant told you exactly where each fish came from and included in-season specialties. All of our entrees came with choice of sides and there was a great selection of roasted potatoes, maed potatoes, asparagus, broccolini and polenta grits. At the end of the night, they gave us a choice of dessert and we went with their famous carrot cake! It was one of the nicest meals I’ve had in a while and the fresh ingredients made the meal filling without that disgusting full feeling. My favorite thing about Braxton was the waiters walking around with fresh rolls, right out of the oven, to put on your table.

I know the camera phone doesn’t do the dishes justice.

18. With all this deliciousness, I decided to take on Sable’s advice and my slogan again: Birthday (and celebration) calories don’t count!

19. I felt so special and so full of love! I’m still feeling lucky right now thinking about the awesome people I’m lucky to know. I really appreciate the effort everyone made and it was a bit of wake-up call to make more of an effort for others’ birthdays. After all, each text and wall post made a difference. I think I sometimes forget how much simple things can aid in someone’s happiness.

20. And because no birthday is complete without presents, I need to give a quick mention and thank you to those who completely surprised me!  A few special friends and boys in my life really put some smiles on my face.

Is there anything better than mail?

21. Thank YOU ALL for an amazing celebration. You showed me birthdays are not to be feared. You showed me that sometimes it’s OK to step into the spotlight. And most of all you showed me how grateful I should be – to have such fantastic people in my life.

22. Turns out I guess I don’t really have 23 things to say about my birthday. Woops.

23. Thanks if you’ve made it this far! I don’t want to let you down so.. Did you know June 14th is also Flag Day?! So HAPPY BELATED FLAG DAY to all!!


PS! If there are any Chicago bloggers out there who haven’t heard yet, Allie and Sophia had the great idea to host a Chicago Blogger Meet-up tomorrow, Tuesday June 28 at 7 pm at Karyn’s On Green! Let us know if you’re interested!


Filler Healthy Living Sarcasm

Thanks for the wise words and well wishes this week, folks! I appreciate it more than you know 🙂

Unfortunately, I’m evading a birthday recap another day in favor of a continued celebration at Flip Cup Thursday!

Til then, my brother left me the most hilarious wall post on my birthday. I think it’s soo dead on that I will repost it to satisfy a recap for now…

Dear Bloggy,

Today is my birthday!
Instead of cake Ive laid out a colorful array of roasted vegetables that I will eat later out of a ziploc bag. Next Im going to hardboil 2 eggs while I run on an elliptical and tag pictures from Prom 2004. Also, here is a picture of my cat. Did you know I lived in Israel once? Why is my sister so tan?
OH, veggies ready. Mmmm. Gotta go! #Follow me!

– Mel_Kraks

But maybe I just think it’s hilarious because I know I absolutely sound like this – as ridiculous as it is.

In sorta-seriousness /real humor world, there’s new meme hitting the ‘Tube that maybe we can all relate to quite a bit.

You all need to ccccheck it out if you haven’t seen it yet!

Whole Foods Parking Lot 

Thanks again for baring with me!

Here’s to my Michael Jordan year! 

Leaving Negativity Behind

Hi everyone! Thank you for all your support and kind wishes on my last post about the new love interest!

LA Boy left Friday after work and his visit went..good.

What is it about boys in transition? They get weird!

While we had a fun time together for the most part, there were a few moments where I couldn’t help but feel like we were having a hard time connecting. Then we’d wind up putting each other on edge a little.

I totally understood that his 2nd week on the job and first business trip meant that he would have many obligations and perhaps be a bit distracted. It only makes me feel weird because I know I consistently brought my A-game and made an effort to make the trip a good one.

For now, I’m just hoping the next visit can be more relaxed.

Highlights of his quick trip include:

– a visit to downtown Evanston for dinner and walks around Northwestern University

– a drop-by Hi Tops in Lincoln Park for Flip Cup Thursday – the weekly flippy cup competition I normally play in with my friends from school (One day we’ll win it all!) – for cheap drinks and flippy cup entertainment.

Meeting the friends out

– some crazy thunderstorm watching

– a minor injury

Any relationship advice for me?

Usually after a visit or a long-anticipated event, I sort-of celebrate with an eating splurge. An “I’m-so-sad-it’s-over but I’m-so-happy-it’s-over” mindset typically leaves me freely ingesting carbs, dairy, and treats that I  avoided in excess before the impending event.

Super healthy but that’s my habit.

After LA Boy left on Friday, I tried really hard to not freefall my eating habits because I had big birthday celebrations left to look good for. I’m not sure my plan completely worked because I was less than thrilled with the pictures I appeared in. Oy reality check.

With that in perspective, all I can do is push forward and work hard to make myself accountable from here on out.

After all, I have a birthday to enjoy!

My birthday has been rough for me for the past few years because the focus and attention on my happiness has really amounted to a lot of pressure. Even though I blog about my life and am comfortable in the spotlight, I struggle with how to handle days that revolve so much around me. I love showing people I care about them but ultimately feel guilty accepting attention, praise, etc from others. I call it Jewish-Mother-In-Training Syndrome.

This year, though, I’m leaving the negativity behind and going with the flow for my friends and family who want to show their love.

I think my change in attitude is a change for the better. Ill give you a big recap of my celebrations when I hit the “big” 23 tomorrow 🙂

Your birthday: awesomesauce or overrated? How do you like to celebrate?

The Story I Haven’t Told You

Once upon a time I started this blog.

Then, in one of my first posts, I imagined my perfect relationship and opened up the universe to giving me some test drives.

Then I planned a trip to Las Vegas for a convention with 1200 other young Jewish professionals.

Then I took a hiatus from blogging.

But what you never got to see during that month long break were  my sudden influx of constant day-long texts, my new 3-hour phone calls despite a 2-hour time difference, my gossiping with friends over the a whirlwind in my life.

You never saw the dare of a trip I took in April, flown half-way across the country to Los Angeles, to spend 3.5 days with some friends and a guy I’d only met for 17 hours.

Because in Vegas of all places – a city with the tag-line “What Happens Here, Stays Here” – I met a guy. Who I felt an instant connection with. Who wanted to know me better, too.

And during my Staycation last month, when a “friend” was in town for job interviews. I may only have alluded to the datecation in place.

But I never told you the full story. So for that, I’m sorry.

The thing about a blog, though, is – as obvious as it sounds – putting something on the internet makes it public! For everyone to know about!

While our story is no doubt pretty cute and crazy, there’s still a lot of it left to write.

After all, there’s the distance. Our personal histories. An age difference. “Figuring life out” left to do. More getting-to-know to be done. The feeling of not quite wanting to stop life as it is. The people in our life who don’t about it yet. Us not knowing what it is yet.

And the fact that  I’m still very much Young, Wild and Free.

But just because something isn’t serious, doesn’t mean it can’t be really fun!  I believe things are meant to happen and for now, I’m just chilling on the rollercoaster waiting to see what’s next. Knowing that there’s a lot of adventures headed this way..

And this time, I’ll try to clue you in on it, too!

Anyway, LA Boy is back in town! One of his interviews panned into a new gig with a permanent position in LA, but frequent visits and meetings at the headquarters in Chi.

We are both juggling busy work schedules, obligations and a commute (wait, that’s just me) but I’m not going to complain against a few more days in person figuring out the story.

That means Tuesday I prepped my work lunches in advance for one less thing to worry about while he’s here.

For Tuesday – Thursday, I compiled my usual fruit & nut baggies. I like to gobble down as much as possible so it’s all about getting the best bang for your buck. In this case, I compilef handfuls of almonds, raisins, half an apple and some grapes.

Then I roasted a plot of red pepper, green beans, carrots, zucchini, pea pods, and broccoli.

For one dish, I combined hardboiled egg and half a red potato with dill and hummus and topped it with the roasted veggies for a egg/potato salad of sorts.

For another, I added the veggies to a spread of lettuce and apple cider vinegar and ate it along a side of spicy tuna-salmon sushi.

Thursday, would be leftovers. Salmon salad to be specific.

Putting the week’s worth of lunches in the fridge at work on Tuesday seriously made my life easier. Recommended. But I should know that already.

As for the visit in place?

More on that later!