Can I Be Single… Again?

I’ve recently become single. So, in thinking about my future, I came up with a list of things I WON’T do as a recent dumpee.

1. I won’t email the fling from several years ago. Yet. If it’s going to work out with him in the future, turning him into a rebound is probably not the best first move.

2. I won’t badmouth my ex. Forget for a moment that he broke up with me and that I still very much love him, I don’t think the breakup was his fault… it’s almost never the fault of just one person. We have a pool of shared friends and he says that he intends on maintaining a relationship with my daughter (as she’s told me, he’s like another father to her), there’s just too much drama in any alternative… he really is a good man. He’s flawed, and I’m flawed. We couldn’t do it.

3. I won’t beg for him to come back to me. There’s a side of me that thinks if I just say the right things, he’ll realize he was wrong and it was all just a big misunderstanding and come back. The reality is that even if he did, I’d never be satisfied that he wanted to be there… and then there’s the whole self-respect issue. I’d like to keep a little bit of it.

4. I won’t allow myself to be alone too often. I’m a native Californian living in NYC (yeah, I moved for him… but judge carefully friends, him and I had been living together in California for a year prior to the move, and had been serious in our relationship for several years prior to that). I need to take advantage of all of the opportunities I have while I’m here. There’s no shortage of things to see and do, and if I end up leaving to go back to the West Coast, I won’t regret making the most out of the time I had here. NY vehicle registration is good for two years. Maybe I’ll stay for two years… but I really miss my So. Cal beach… and ohhh… some bangin Mexican food!

5. I won’t tell everyone right away about the breakup. This is for my sanity more than anything else. I don’t know how I’d handle every one of my friends calling me at once and having to relive the whole story. Right now, only a small handful of my closest friends know. Our mutual friends would only know if he told them, and I don’t see him doing that. It also leaves the door open for my ex and I to figure out how our post-breakup ‘friendship’ is going to work out. IF it works out.

6. I won’t worry about finding the right man. I’m 31. I’m more prepared to meet the right man than I ever have been before because now I know myself better, I’m more comfortable in my own skin, and I’m in general more ME than I ever knew how to be before, and from this, as in all bad things, I’ll grow even more. Anyways, finding a mate is not my priority. My one and only priority at this moment is to find a permanent, stable job that pays me enough to afford even a modest home/condo big enough for myself and my daughter. I don’t even care where. That’s it.

7. I won’t buy a pet. I’ve actually been pining for a little puppy to keep me company for a few months now, forget the relationship or being dumped, that’s not new for me, but in reality, for now, plants will have to keep me company. To be honest, I think they do better because there’s no mess, and I won’t have to get up early to take a plant to do it’s thing while I freeze my ass off. A pet will come later… much, much later.

8. I won’t punish myself by listening to sappy love songs or watching lame romcoms. I’ll focus on comedy, or my favorite: Quentin Tarantino movies. Or any gangster movie ever.

Ok, time to fill up the calendar!

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Everyone’s Wrong: Live to EAT!

There’s certainly no shortage of dieting advice these days.  The no-carb diet, the diet cleanses… it’s obscene the type of marketing that is done and time committed to all of this junk. 

Because most of it really is junk.

Before I go any further, I think it’s important for me to mention that I have ZERO professional experience, training or qualifications that place me in position of real authority here.  I also have nothing to gain if people ignore my advice.  I really don’t care either way, but I got a wild hair and decided to write, and this is it.  Enjoy! 

Everyone always says that you eat to live.  Don’t format your life around food– but isn’t that exactly what dieting is?  It’s reformatting your life(style) to EAT better, which then leads to better moods, and a more active lifestyle.  Having a healthy diet, aides in almost every aspect of your well-being.  Actually… maybe I’m being conservative: having a healthy diet aides in EVERY aspect of your wellbeing.  All of it.  Mood, appearance, energy… everything.  I’m fairly confident that no ‘professional’ would disagree with me so far.

I think a big problem in our culture is that most people don’t actually know what real food tastes like.  Our tastebuds are so oversaturated with salt and copious amounts of sugar, that we can’t taste and appreciate the subtleties of food as it is naturally.  It’s like trying to see the stars on a dark night immediately after walking out of a too-brightly lit room.  You can’t.  But once your eyes adjust, suddenly, you’re looking at a whole new night sky.  And it’s beautiful.

So, I suggest doing something similar with your taste buds.  Stop drinking soda.  Stop adding ANY extra sugar too foods (coffee, tea, cereal, etc).  Most foods already have natural sweeteners, and if you’re really hating the taste of your oatmeal, try some fruit for sweetness instead of sugar.  Just try it for a month… at the end, reward yourself to a trip to a good (I’m not talking a CHAIN) restaurant.  Get a steak, or a great cut of lamb, or your favorite fish.  Ask the waiter (–again, don’t do this at a chain, the teenage waiter will look at you like a deer in headlights) for a drink (wine/beer) pairing.  AVOID adding anything to the dish until you’ve tasted it the way the chef prepared it.

Now, you can taste the garlic, the fresh herbs, the way the peppers taste when they’re roasted BEFORE being added to the sauce…

This type of revelation is what turned me from a “I hate to cook” mentality, to a “ooohh, I wonder what would happen if I…” in the kitchen.  Even better, when you do splurge on a great restuarant, ask for specific reccomendations from the chef.  They love that, and may cook off the menu, just for you.

If you like something that you normally buy pre-packaged, try… just TRY one time to make it yourself.  Get crazy, and add different things.  Experiment.  Make GOOD food, REAL food a priority in your life.  It’s not easy, but it’s very rewarding.  You have to plan, you have to go to the grocery store sometimes two, or three times in a week.  You might spend more initially, until you get used to HAVING to cook regularly (if you don’t, real food expires), but I’ve actually been SAVING money because I don’t eat the crap anymore – any crap – I don’t go out, I cook at home, prepare lunches for work at home. 

Food IS a priority in my life, in that I take the time to create, seek out, and treat myself only to the good, real kind.