154: No One Tells You This

No One Tells You This by Glynis MacNicol

Shani from A Single Serving Podcast recommended this book a while back. My library only had it as an eBook so I set out to read it in the two days before it automatically returns tomorrow while riding a lot in the car this weekend. That’s Texas countryside out there y’all.

This book stirred up lots of feelings, lots of things about this single life. Will I always be un-partnered? Am I choosing this life or is it choosing me? Am I okay with it? Are others, or does me being alone make them uncomfortable, feeling like they always have to figure out how to fix this for me?

How do you fix it? I don’t think you can, unless you’re a single, mid-30s, Catholic guy who’s interested in dating, proposing to, and marrying me. If you are, great – send me a message. If not, then just be a friend and sit with me when it’s hard and celebrate with me when it’s not.

One of the hardest things that came up when reading this was quote:

The last time someone threw a party for me that everyone was invited to, my family from far away, friends, neighbors, church people, etc. was at least 15 years ago. I’ve never created a list of what I needed or wanted to have “fully stocked home and new start to life” for a party where people came to celebrate my next life milestone.

I’ve purchased a house, crafted a job that’s mine, launched a new product in the world, completed a 2 year coaching certification, and paid off my student loans, all without fanfare, excitement, or a party. The point isn’t that I need gifts (although some of the things in my kitchen could use an upgrade). The point is will there ever be a milestone in my life that my entire family and friend group feels the need to throw me a celebration for?

This book was excellent. While I appreciated feeling heard in my state of aloneness (not always loneliness), I also found myself crying a lot too. Mourning the loss of things I might not ever have. There’s nothing to do but recognize it, mourn the loss, and move on with the next thing in my life.

This book is a must read for single women. Call me if you need to talk when you’re done! I’m here for you! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Being Comfortable with Me

neonbrand-443040-unsplash

I found the below post today (from October of last year) when coming in here to write something new. I don’t think I ever published it, but find it appropriate after discussing why I won’t be renewing my eHarmony subscription in counseling today. It’s been a weird year with online dating. A few good conversations surrounded by a lot of ‘no response’ or ‘not interested’ or ‘you’re a weirdo who thinks a picture of his knuckle hair is attractive.’ So although the below thoughts are old, I think they might still be a helpful to think about.


I’ve been thinking a lot about me lately. Wow, that sounds self-centered, doesn’t it? Last month I decided to take control of one of those sticky areas of my life (my singleness) and put myself up on one of those sites. So I had to fill out a giant profile all about me. My marketing plan if you will. That’s what it feels like. Marketing myself to all the available men to check and see if they’re interested. I can make online dating sound delightful, can’t I?

But anyway, questions like “what are you most passionate about” and “what do you do with your leisure time” really make me ponder and think about how I spend my time and if it’s worth sharing. So many of the men are just “passionate about living their life to the fullest every moment of every day.” I think that’s a cop-out answer, I mean, maybe some people are passionate about that – but most people don’t actually live that way.

But back to me (remember self-centered post), what am I passionate about? Is it worth sharing? Is it dorky? Am I okay with that? Will someone else ‘get me’ from that less than 500 character analysis of what I’m passionate about? Am I putting too much emphasis on an intro paragraph to my online dating profile?

Probably.

Am I putting too much emphasis on the guy’s? Maybe – but what do I really have to go off of aside from the two weird pics he put up, knowing his most passionate about ‘living life to the fullest every moment,’ and he spends his leisure time with sports.

But anyway, back to me (once again). What am I comfortable sharing about me? Am I comfortable saying “no, I’m not a big sports fan, it’s okay that you are, but I’m just not – that won’t be our thing.” Because that’s the truth. I’ll do things that you like with you but that’s not because I’m a huge fan of sports, it’s because I’m a huge fan of you.


Current me back again. I still think the “passionate about living life to the fullest” guys are odd. I mean, is that your one. true. passion in life?

All that work on my intro paragraph and I’m not sure it did anything all year. A few guys ‘smiled’ at me, some engaged in conversation, a few called me on the phone, one video chatted a few times before I said “you know, I’m not really interested.” Overall, I’m a little glad I did it – but also I’m happy to not have this app and subscription in my life for another year.

Am I scared I won’t have a “marketing tool” for my single self out there in the world? Maybe a little, but the Lord can do whatever He wants, so I’m asking Him to use a different tool that I’m calling “meeting a person in real life.”

Questions You Could Ask

(That’s pretend me on the right at an awkward family gathering!)
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

A few weeks ago I was minding my own business in Barnes & Noble rewarding myself with some new books after a great therapy session when my aunt called. She wanted to tell me about her new love for CBD oil, invite me to attend the company’s conference in Charlotte, and then ask me whether I was bringing a significant other to my brother’s engagement party in August.

Um, What?!

She went from calling me an “Instagram Influencer” (I mean, seriously those were her words) to asking me about my relationship status. I share a lot of things in Instagram so don’t you think if there was an amazing man in my life that I was going to be bringing to the happy parties surrounding my brother’s upcoming wedding you would have seen him appear? I’m not that stealthy. I’d be so forking excited to be partnered up for the first time in like forever, that I’d also be great at keeping him a secret? I’m not that good at keeping secrets.

The thing that drives me the craziest about the “Are you seeing anybody?” question is that when I say “No, not right now” with no hint of bitterness or shame or regret or sadness, I’m met with “Well, it’ll happen some day” or “You know your uncle and I met when we were in our 40s” or “You’re still young.” How did this get to a comforting me about something I wasn’t upset about two minutes ago? Now you feel bad and have no idea what to say, so I get shamed. Great. Who’s coming out a winner? Also, I’m not the only single person who hates this question … spoiler: we all do!

So to avoid this at all of the wonderful upcoming events related to my brother’s wedding – and every family gathering and phone call in the future, I’m going to make a list of questions that are appropriate for catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a while “that you love” and “just want to be happy.” If you really mean those two things, then you’ll avoid “are you seeing anybody” and choose any or all of the following options. These definitely work for me, but really – they could work for anyone you meet! I’m doing a public service here people, since the art of conversation is practically dead.

  1. Read any good books lately?
  2. How’s your work travel? Enjoyed any great visits recently?
  3. What are you up to next weekend?
  4. Doing any DIY projects?
  5. What’s your secret to finding time to cook amazing meals for yourself?
  6. How’s book club? What’s this month’s read?
  7. If I came to visit for the weekend, where would we go in Charlotte?
  8. Love your yoga practice that you share online, what’s your secret?
  9. I’ve just been getting into Podcasts, what do you listen to on a regular basis?
  10. Love seeing your book reviews on the blog, what made you get into writing?

Is that enough questions for you to choose from? I mean, 10 great options that I have fantastic answers to. And if that’s not enough, let’s talk about Trump, Immigration, the 2020 Presidential election, building a wall at the border, and why I’m still Catholic! Those are all still better than “are you seeing anyone?

Something Scary Happened

And I didn’t realize how scary it was until after I did something I shouldn’t have done.

Let me begin by saying that I grew up in a super safe neighborhood. We hardly ever locked out doors. I could go outside, walk to the neighbor’s down the street, and even walk to school when I was in 3rd grade. I was never scared at home or in my neighborhood as a child or teenager. I only knew “you didn’t go to the Diamond at night.” Other than that, I wasn’t afraid of walking around in the dark.

Then in college I knew this Prefect (that’s what we call RA’s at SVC) who I once asked, “Don’t you get scared walking through Melvin Platz at night?” She said, “I made a decision a long time ago that I wouldn’t be scared of the place where I lived.” I made this my motto too.

So I’m not scared of my neighborhood. I’ve decided to trust my neighbors even though I don’t know them and they often annoy me. However, I probably need to rethink this.

Very early this morning I was awoken by someone banging on my door. I looked at my watch and it was 3:13am. I listened for an extra second and it happened again. So I walked downstairs and waited for the knocking, and sure enough, again. So I shouted through the door, “who’s there? why are you here?” The guy said, “it’s your neighbor.”

You’re probably shouting at me right now, “don’t open the door. DON’T. OPEN. THE DOOR.” like I do at horror movies. I did it, I opened the door, and it was my neighbor from two houses down. He said someone had broken into his house. I said, “you’ll need to call the police.” He said, “they’re on the line, I need you to verify someone broke into my house.”

I’m sure you’re shouting, “Don’t leave the house.” you can be relieved to know that I didn’t. I said, “There’s nothing I can do about this, you’ll need to call the police.” Then I locked the door, got back in bed, and prayed the Rosary while thinking of calling the police myself. Also thinking “why do the police need verification? that feels weird.”

All day I’ve been thinking, “why did I go downstairs? why didn’t I just call the police?” I mean, what did I think I was going to do? I might be HOA president but that doesn’t make me “Katie, fighter of all crime in this neighborhood.” I mean, I know ONE self-defense move … since I only went to one class I only know how to make a guy stop choking me IF he’s got me by the neck, his arms are straight, and he’s looking me in the eyes. How often is that what’s happening?

I think I didn’t call the police because I trust my neighbors. I have no reason to do so. They don’t prove to me that I live in a safe neighborhood. I don’t. Actually, even though there’s not a lot of crime in my small complex, this area of Charlotte isn’t known for being “super safe.” Someone was murdered in an apartment 1/4 mile from here two years ago, another guy was left for dead on the trail where I used to walk every morning, someone was shot while sitting at a stop light two miles from here, and drugs – well, that’s a whole different story.

I have no reason to trust my neighbors, but yet I still do. In the middle of the night my default is to see who’s knocking, not ‘call the police because someone’s try to get in.’ Why? Even still, my thought process is reinforced since I didn’t get hurt last night.

As a single woman, and really any person should do this, I should be more aware of the dangers of the situation around me. I can’t just assume I won’t get hurt because I haven’t been hurt in the past.

So a scary thing happened, I did the wrong thing, but maybe I’m smarter and wiser because of it. Hopefully.

Some Quick Takes about Me

I discovered a new podcast and then thought, “I haven’t actually written about me and my life on my blog in a while, these people must be clambering for an update.”

So here goes … quick takes style.

1. I discovered a brand new to me podcast and I’m half-way through the 3rd episode (it’s 7:27pm and I started at 5:30pm). It’s called A Single Serving Podcast by one of my favorite writers on the internet regarding single life.

Shani has such a delightful outlook on the single life and today’s favorite was about Being Single and Shame … stop shaming single women because their single – I know you aren’t doing it on purpose, but you’re doing it.

2. Even sharing about this with other single people is hard because they come back and say “well I don’t experience that.” It’s fine that you don’t experience it, but it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with me because I’m feeling it. It’s not something that I have to work through before I magically met a man and he decides I’m now worthy to get married.

3. I making a tomato pie for dinner from a recipe I found in a magazine, and it’s making me super happy. I think it even looks like the cover – except my top is all tomatoes and theirs includes onions on top – they’re there, I promise!

4. I haven’t done much reading at all this week because I’ve been binge watching Poldark. It’s A-MAZ-ING … I might have texted the friend who introduced me to the series “I AM SO MAD AT ROSS RIGHT NOW!!!” Even with that anger, I think you should all start watching! Ross, the main man, comes home to Britain from the American Revolution after being missing for 2 years to his girl 2 weeks away from marrying his cousin and his father is dead. Now we see how he adapts to the new life that he never expected.

5. My tomato pie is done and it’s a little ‘explosive’! But it still looks and smells amazing!

6. I think I’m going to paint the inside of my front door this pink/fuchsia color just because.

I’m not allowed to paint the outside, but there are no rules about the inside, so I’m just going to live it up.

7. I also might ask Lowe’s if they have a kitchen sink installation person who can come give me a new kitchen sink because my garbage disposal can get a little gross and the back of the sink is coming apart a little bit.

Seriously y’all, that’s a little gross … and it’s as ‘clean’ as it gets!

Well, that’s about it y’all. Off to watch the series 2 finale of Poldark and then read the book I’m still only 75 pages into called The Farm which is excellent, just not more exciting that Poldark. I tell you about it when I finish!

105: Waiting for Tom Hanks

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Not everyone loves a good rom-com … but I sure do. I saw this on Annie Jones’ Instagram way back in February and pre-ordered it, then Anne Bogel put it on her summer reading list. When it came in last week I couldn’t wait to get started.

Travel days are long and weary – but also the time when I can devour books on planes, in airports, while dining alone, and hanging out in hotel rooms before meetings. All things I did today – I sat and drank 3 extra glasses of iced tea at lunch so I could read more chapters.

Annie (the main character in the book – weird since an Annie and an Anne recommended this to me) loves rom-coms and knows them all frontwards and backwards. I was here for all of it. I couldn’t get enough.

Then I wanted to kinda kill her on page 213, I mean … why didn’t she just block that scumbag’s number the first time? Doesn’t she know that mistakes happen when you don’t?

All’s well that ends well though … and that’s not a spoiler, it’s literally the plot of a rom-com – there’s a formula – the lead does NOT, under any circumstance, end up alone at the end. That’s how this single gal knows they aren’t real life (although this isn’t actually the end of my life … not even close – unless my pilot starts reading rom-coms while landing the plane!)!

Also this is the first in a series, so can’t wait until next summer!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Right Side of the Bed

When I was 25, I had kind of a hard birthday. I had thought I would be married with a kid by then, or at least had a serious boyfriend … but I wasn’t. I felt a bit like a failure even though I had accomplished a lot of other things that were never on my life list like moving to a new state where I didn’t know anyone, developing a successful Confirmation program, and losing 15% of my body weight by focusing on my health.

But there we were, me feeling like a failure as I tried to articulate why to a friend over fro-yo at the Epicenter (a place I haven’t been to since). So I decided to make a list of 25 things to do in the next 25 years, so when I turned 50 I could look at my “life list” and say “Look, you did a lot of things you wanted to do, even if you didn’t get married (although that’s on my list).”

One of the things on my list was “own a big bed.” Silly, right?

Well, I grew up sleeping on a twin and when I moved here, someone gave me a bed that was a twin. I wasn’t in a financial position to refuse free furniture, so I slept on that bed until I moved into my house. It’s still in my house actually, in my guest room. So if you come to visit, you can sleep on that bed too. (Until I execute my master plan in my guest room and buy these two stacking twin beds that act like a couch during the day and like a king bed at night.)

My parents got me a ‘big bed’ of my choosing as a house warming gift. They said it was for me, but also that it was an investment for them so they didn’t need to stay in hotels when they visited me. So really, it was for them. They don’t come often, so I don’t need to take up residence in that twin bed very often either!

So I accomplished one of my goals: “own a big bed.”

When I first got it, I set it up in a way that I always sleep on the right side of the bed, chosen because my closet door interferes with the ability to put a night stand on the other side. For a while I didn’t venture to the other side at all, and since I don’t share a bed very often (read: once when all the other beds in my house were full of guests and someone got the left side of my bed instead of the floor), the left side remains empty.

Then I started traveling for work, sleeping in a lot of different beds, sometimes a different one every night of of the trip. I took a trip back in November that was 10 days long and included 4 beds and a couch. Five different places to sleep over the course of 9 nights. It was exhausting! Lots of beds, but not a lot of rest! But I sure did see a lot of great people and attend an amazing retreat!

Because I desire a life of luxury (HA!) I am usually booked in a king bed room for my hotel travel (honestly it’s because they are typically the same price and K comes before Q in the alphabet so they are listed first in the list … therefore the woman who books my travel chooses them). It’s the BEST thing for traveling. When I have a king bed, I sleep right in the middle.

After my first or second trip like this, I thought, “why are you sleeping all on one side at home, there’s no one else here, why not sleep in the middle and have this feeling every night?” So I tried, but it’s just not the same in a queen sized bed. Even in a hotel, when I have a queen, I’m squarely on one side (even as I type this in a hotel bed).

What’s the difference?

After a night or two in the middle of my bed at home, I thought, “Do I really want to make this my habit? Do I want to break this habit later?”

I decided against it. I still sleep squarely on the right side of the bed, leaving the left side open for a future someone who I’m not even sure exists. I rotate my mattress every six or so months, so at least it’s getting evenly worn.

I wrote this a while ago, but as I was trying to fall asleep last night in my hotel room, I was thinking of this bed thing while lying squarely on the right side of the queen bed.