Straight from NY to Paradise Turns 5! -Happy Bloganniversary

Happy 5th Birthday! If my blog was a child I would be getting ready for it to start kindergarten. Awww blog you have grew up so fast (insert mommy tears).

Life happens quick, sometimes too quick for me. I constantly think about writing daily, however everyday I find an excuse not to write. Time goes by and life continues to happen, and still I feel like nothing gets done. I finally sat down and decided to write today, finally I am writing!

After months of procrastinating and sitting in that endless pile of overwhelm, I decided to turn to what I know and write. It comes with great irony that I picked this month to return to writing. Word Press has been so kind as to acknowledge that I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary! It is really hard to believe that it has been a whole 5 years since I have started blogging.

In the last 5 years my life has taken more twists and turns than I could ever imagine, emotionally I feel that I have been through it all. But yes you are correct Word Press, I have reached my 5 year blogging milestone. 5 years ago Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day was given life, and my own personal life was given a voice. I had a story to tell, I wanted to tell it. I wanted to inspire others not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of living, just live. Life happens and life changes so go with it.0171.jpg

I really want to laugh and cry as I write this. I think back on the girl I was 5 years ago, I was single and fierce! Fresh out of a roller coaster of a relationship, still in love with the man who was my past, but ready to start a new phase of life as a free spirit and face the future.  I was ready to take on the world, unstoppable in a sense, but I quickly learned that I could be stopped. The world does not exist for you to live in it alone, it is out there for you to share, to embrace with others, to help others, and sometimes even get help from others. In August of 2009 I had been living in Honolulu for 6 months. And to tell you the truth, I was very much alone. I was still confused about my impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world, and even though I had met a few people, I had a very real fear that if I died no one would notice. The feeling that I would go unnoticed was scary, adding that to a sense of uncertainty about my job, my life, and what to do next, I was really mess of emotions, with anxiety and self-doubt leading the pack.

Yes I was single and fierce, but really I was alone.  Lucky for me I quickly discovered that I was not the only mainland escapee that have flown themselves over to an island in the middle of the pacific to get away from….well everything. I found a love of activity and a love of new friendships. Over the last 5 years, my biggest accomplishment was basically proving to myself that I can live. No matter how depressed I am, how lonely I am, and how much I just want to disappear, I know that I can live, and life always gets better. I think I may have forgotten that lately with the chaos of everyday life back on the mainland. I experienced life in Hawaii for a reason. I experienced being completely on my own for a reason. My next lesson to myself is always to remember those reasons, life is meant to live on purpose, and everyday is a new opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

 

In 2009 I was 27, single, impulsive, and extremely naive. In 2014, I am 31, in a relationship (no not married, sorry), less impulsive, more aware, and slightly more responsible. At 27 I just wanted to run away. At 31, I’ll admit I still want to run sometimes, but I will try a bit harder to stay, to work through it, and always keep in mind that with each day life will keep getting better.

So 5 years later, what did I really learn? In Honolulu I found a love of nature. A hike, a run, or  the view of the mountains as the sun wakes you up is the epitome of everything calm, and the most powerful way to ensure that you will have a good day. I learned to love to push myself. No matter if it was at work, in the gym, or running a race, I knew I could always go harder, do better, and motivate myself to never give up. I learned to appreciate yoga, I really miss the easy access to the yoga studios that are located on every corner. I learned that I am a survivor, life is lived with challenges, now I know that I can overcome every one that comes my way. I learned that I hate dating. I would never want to date in Honolulu again! I learned that I really do miss people when they leave, goodbyes are hard, I hate them almost as much as dating.

Finally, I learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers. When I moved to Honolulu, I knew only myself, and had three suitcases. Strangers helped to me find a home, helped me to find food, and ensured that I was able to keep my job. Those strangers became my friends, who eventually became my family. Never take the kindness of others for granted, that lesson made the difference between me having a home in paradise and just being homeless in paradise.

5 years later, I am living in Virginia, working in D.C. and I am no longer a girl on a rock in the middle of the pacific. I am a 31 year old woman in the DMV!  I am surrounded by friends, family, and strangers. Life continues to be full of twists and turns, so keep reading to see where I end up over the the next 5 years. I can’t wait to see what happens, all I know is I just have to be ready for the changes.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

 

maui 2

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No expectations, no regrets, A life worth living

The best things in life are often the most unexpected.

I love moments of self-reflection. Looking back on life’s moments always offers me greater insight into what I am fully capable of accomplishing in life. Life always has a way of working out if we choose to let it work. For that I am eternally grateful. Moments of self-reflection help me to realize how far I have come in my own personal growth, and remind constantly that life is a journey. At times that journey is slow, at times it moves faster than I can ever imagine, but I am always evolving on this journey.

The exciting part; you never know where the journey will take you. The scary part; you never know where the journey will take you. But you feel the need to go. I like to go fast.  In February of 2009 I packed up everything I had, left everything I knew, left everyone I knew, and moved to an island in the middle of the pacific. Having no idea where I was going, and vague plans that I could only hope would work out I began a new journey.  I had no idea of what I would find, no idea who I would meet, and had no expectations. It felt right, so I ran with it. Scary? Well, yes maybe a little. Was it needed? Yes most definitely.

In September of 2013  it was time to close my Hawaiian chapter, a bitter-sweet ending to an unbelievable journey. I arrived on the island emotionally empty. To be honest, I had hit life’s emotional rock bottom. Nothing mattered. To be in a state of going through the motions just because you have to, felt like a state of not living. My life needed more, my challenge was to find it.

I spent the last 4 and a half years of my life on the island of Oahu.  Wow writing this from a Washington DC coffee shop, it’s still hard to believe that it was not all a dream. I arrived with nothing, I left with more than I could have ever imaged. I was happy.  How did that happen? My emotionally empty glass was suddenly full.   I gained a new family or Ohana as they say in Hawaiian. I never thought I would meet people who would overwhelm me with a sense of Aloha. I was embraced by an amazing level of kindness from day one.  Friendships were formed. People cared about me. Strangers grew to love me, and will always have a place in my heart for them. I always thought the only people who would ever care about me lived on the east coast. I was never alone on the island in the middle of the pacific. I had people who loved me. Why is that so hard for me to believe? Even as I sit here and write, it seems like a dream. A false reality that never existed. A made up adventure of my life. But it really happened. I lived it. A  time in my life when I was able to let go and live. To prove to myself that I could live. Living was OK, I gave myself permission to just live.

When I was packing up all my belongings to leave Hawaii, I wondered to myself how did I get here. Seriously, I felt like I was in a fog when I left New York on that cold February morning in 2009. I cried all the way to my first layover in LAX. It was a day I will never forget. That force of knowing that my life needed change, gave me the strength to leave. When I was packing up my apartment in Honolulu, many times I wanted to cry. I had that part of me that wanted to stay. I had built a new life. Fearful that I would have to start over again. Fearing what the east coast would now hold for me. I was leaving different. I wasn’t the same girl who arrived on the rock in 2009. In essence I had changed. That’s what life is about, changing. I could never have lasted as long so far away from familiarity if I had remained the same. Somewhere along the line I grew up. I found hobbies. I fell in love. I fell in love with the island, with adventure, with mountains, with the ocean, with the culture. In my mind, shoot I was local. Even though I could never master the art of speaking pigeon, and still would never attempt to pronounce many of the Hawaiian street names, I still felt a sense of local flavor.

I went with no expectations, and gained more than I could ever imagine. I made new friends. My newfound extended ohana took care of me.  Those friends  pulled me through the bad days, and made good days all the more exciting. It worked. Life worked the way it was supposed to. I learned lessons. Even though I wanted to figure out if I could really cut my own safety net of my family and friends in New York while managing alone, that was impossible. I learned that no matter where I am in the world life can never be done alone. Life is not meant to be lived in isolation. I found friends. Friends that helped me adapt. Friends that cared, friends that loved me, and made me feel at home. Friends that would miss me when I’m gone.

As each day passes here in the east, it all continues to feel like a dream. Was that time a brief intermission in life a time solely for me to recollect myself? Or maybe it serves a greater purpose that I am yet to find out. Not sure what is up next. All I know now is that as I begin to settle in again on the east coast, and embrace winter, God is always at work, and He always has a plan. I just can’t wait to see what happens next, but until then I will continue to live.

A small moment in time: Waking up in Honolulu

I woke up today back in Honolulu, back from my holiday vacation. What in reality was only a two week long east coast getaway, or vacation if you look at it that way, seemed like a much longer period of time. I feel like time stops in Honolulu whenever I leave. When I come back, I hit play and pick up where I left off.

I woke up this morning back in Honolulu. It was raining, and a bit windy. Eventually the clouds semi cleared up, of course it is a nice day. Whether it is rainy, voggy, cloudy, or sunny, it is a nice day in Honolulu. I felt refreshed when I woke up, although it took me a minute to readjust because I still thought I was in my parents house, in my room, and in my bed in New York. How did I know I was in Honolulu, well I wasn’t freezing because my mom had turned down the heat before she went to work. I didn’t have layers of 5-6 sheets on top of me and under my very thick blanket. I slept in shorts and not sweatpants, I was excited to get out of bed because I knew I would not be freezing as I made my way to the shower, no fear of getting out of the shower due to the thought that the whole house was cold. I woke up this morning in Honolulu, and I felt blessed. As I wake up I say, “Thank you God”, not just because I am in Honolulu, but because I am alive, I am healthy, I am ready to face another day, except today that day is in Honolulu.

Yesterday, I woke up in New York, went to the airport, and got on the plane to return to Honolulu. Now, I love with a passion being able to travel back and forth from New York to Honolulu, however, the plane ride can get annoying at times. Yesterday it was annoying. A straight flight from New York to Honolulu will take from 10-11 hours, that is a very long time. This blog is titled, “Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day” because it literally takes a whole day to travel from NYC to Honolulu. When my plane left Honolulu it was 10 am est, I arrived at 6:15 pm pst, which is 11:15 pm est standard time. The whole day was spent in transit. I did not fly direct, well I sorta did. See I few on United, which does have a direct flight to Honolulu from NYC, I didn’t take that flight.  The first leg of my flight was from NYC to Dulles International Airport in D.C. (less than an hour of flight time), My next leg was from D.C. to Honolulu ( a little over 10 hours of flight time), sound fun? No I didn’t think so.

10 hours on a plane. At least there were some free movies, I stress free movies because there certainly was no free food. Shame on you United Airlines, how do you have a flight that is traveling for 10 hours and not serve free food. I was upset because my ticket did say that they served dinner, silly me to think that the dinner was free. Instead they had meals for purchase. That is the biggest hustle if I have ever seen a hustle. Smart for the airline, bad for the stupid passenger that pays 600 dollars for the plane ticket. Really I am up in the air for 10 hours, you know at some point hunger will set in and the only food on board is the overpriced snack box and your 10 dollar cheese burger. What ever happened to the days of having free meals on long flights, are times really that hard? No chips, no peanuts, well I guess I am lucky the beverages are still free, for now.

Traveling from NY to Honolulu will never be fun, well maybe when I am able to afford a first class ticket it may get a little bit better, at least I can eat worry free on the plane.  There is a small silver lining however, as the plane prepares to land in Honolulu the view from the top of the clouds in priceless. The serene look above the clouds makes you want to just lay on them, as the sun sets it feels like earth is face to face with Heaven, and God is saying,  “be still, I got this”. As the plane goes into the Honolulu  airport, a moment of calmness passes while flying on the pacific, it seems so close yet you hope that the plane does not get any closer to the ocean (not sure how many pilots have perfected that water landing yet). Life seems to stop for a moment while in the air, the noise and chaos of what happens on land is non existent. Above it all, life is good.

Then suddenly you remember why you hate flying.   From the long security lines, to the overly annoying TSA agent checking your bag, your body, and every crack in between, to the flights that are constantly oversold, flying is not fun, ever. But since the only way to get from NY to Honolulu is by air, then I must fly, and sometimes starve.

I woke up today in Honolulu, but I also miss east coast life. I miss the fast paced, overly driven world of the east coast. some days in Honolulu I feel slow, I feel like my drive is gone, motivation lacking. When I go east it all comes back, I am excited to get back on my grind. With that feeling, I feel my days in Honolulu slowly coming to an end. My story may be done here, it may be time to start a new book. Honolulu has a life, a spirit, that I don’t feel can be matched anywhere else, but I came to Honolulu to grow, and now I may have out grown Honolulu. I will always be that girl from the east, and each day I feel the east coast calling me back louder.

So as I wake up tomorrow in Honolulu, I will remember to cherish the day, enjoy the moment, and take in the Aloha spirit  because I know that one day I will longer be waking up in Honolulu.

My 2013 Theme: “Keeping It Simple” (KIS)

Happy New Year, Day 5

So let’s check in…How are those New Year Resolutions going? Do you still remember what your’s are? If you do, great, If not don’t feel so bad, everyone else will fall off soon.

I didn’t set a resolution for this year (only because I am still working on those from last year), but I have decided to have a theme for this year. My theme for 2013 is “Keep it Simple”(KIS).  I will remember the motto “Keep it Simple”, everything in life will be simple. Personally 2012 was a year full of complications. Pure complications. I take responsibility, I was doing too much. My relationships; extremely complicated. I was dating, then not dating, then dating again, then got tired of dating, then started semi dating but not really, and so on, and so on, until eventually I wanted to scream. I wanted to change my phone number because my life felt like one big complication. From phone calls to random texts, I was overly ready for the phone to just die.

In reality life works so much easier when it is simple. When I can say “no”, and mean it, when I don’t feel guilty for turning down dates, when I don’t feel in a rush to return a text, or when I don’t go out with guys just because I can’t come up with a good enough excuse as to why I don’t really want to go on that date. I found myself overworking my brain, and I was the only one overworking. I went away from me. I went away from what I loved. I stopped writing. I stopped sleeping. I just stopped. In a web a complication a lot was going on around me, along the way I lost control of where I wanted to be. I had a vision, a goal, I forgot what that was.

So in 2013 I need to, I choose to, and I have to, say goodbye to complication. I need simplicity in order to get back on track as to who I am, what I love, and what I am trying to do in life. I have a book to finish writing, I have a story to tell, I want to get a Ph.D. Where were those goals in 2012. I lost them and I didn’t even realize it.

In 2013 I will continue to go on dates, of course I will,But they will be simple. You may not find me at any more awkward match.com events, but I just may attend simple happy hours.  No more developing the quasi what may be one day relationship, I need a real this is what it is going to be relationship. No more will I sit around questioning myself, after countless dates, asking “what is this”? I need to know what exactly “This”is. If we are just dating, cool, lets keep it simple, if it is going to a more exclusive relationship then I need that to be said to. A state of confusion and complication is not a relationship. A state of a definitive knowing that is communicated appropriately is a relationship. I am divorcing complication. Actually I am just tired of complication. Sick and tired of complication. I am forming an eternal marriage with simplicity, a love for simplicity.

My love life, my work life, my personal life, let’s keep it simple. Areas of life become complicated when we start to do too much. I am no longer doing too much. I will still do, but not over do.

Things to remember:

  • I must stay in control, when I lose control in walks complication without me even knowing it.
  • I need to keep tasks to a minimum, that includes dating. Work tasks, just do a few instead of trying to do everything. Dating, well just date one person at a time instead of multiple people at the same time, love, I only want to fall in love once, and my friendships, well I need to stop feeling guilty when I need to say no.
  • Take time for myself. Self care is of the utmost importance. Sleep when needed and remember that there is nothing wrong with alone time.
  • When I feel overwhelmed…STOP! Take a moment to stop and think. Breathe  get it together! By recognizing the complications before they had a chance to enter in, I will be able to maintain an aura of simplicity.

Life is best worked under the mask of simplicity, hopefully I can keep it that way!

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Cadena De Amor , Coral vine, Mexican Creeper, ...
Cadena De Amor , Coral vine, Mexican Creeper, Antigonon leptopus…..Hoa Ti- gôn …#6 (Photo credit: Vietnam Plants & America plants)

The Maid of Honor wedding diaries (part 1)

Here is a piece of backdated good news. In 2012 my best friend got engaged. With a 2012 engagement, comes an exciting 2013 wedding. Now I have known my best friend for the past 15 years. We met in 10th grade, and have stuck together ever since (well that was before I moved to Hawaii). However,  prior to my move to the other side of the world, we remained in close proximity of each other. We survived each other through the torturous high school days, through four years of college, and slummed through our post college days together.

If there is one person who knows me and all my crazy, well I must say it is her, and that makes us best friends. So when she told me she was getting married, I was nothing less than excited. If one of us gets married, then it is like both of us getting married. We always say that combined we would make the perfect wife, we just needed one man who could take the both of us (well not literally), but she found a pretty good man, and in turn we get to have a wedding.

With wedding excitement in the air, she informed me that I will be the Maid of Honor. Instantly I was overjoyed, just because being the Maid of Honor sounded so cool to me. Then I quickly realized that I had  no type of the slightest idea what a Maid of Honor does. You guessed it, quicker than I could blink my eyes, that joy turned to anxiety. My next move…I do what any non suspecting, I have never done this before Maid of Honor does…I Google it. Yup, I Googled” what the heck does a Maid of Honor do”. That actually worked pretty well, Google had a lot of great and not so great websites to help the lost, confused, unorganized Maid of Honor.

After I completed my Google search, my next thought was…man I hope I don’t suck at this. See my best friend, the one who is getting married, has done a lot for me over our 15 year relationship. If females have a better half, she is my better half. She would be the world’s best Maid of Honor, she would know what to do, and pull out all the stops. My only hope is that I can be half as good. I suck at planning, organizing, and staying calm when the sky is about to fall, so why would anyone think that I would really be a good Maid of Honor. However, since I was picked, (and your not allowed to say no to these type of things…right?)I guess I need to do my best to just suck it up and kick major Maid of Honor ass.

After my Google search, I went to two of my other friends to inquire more about this Maid of Honor stuff. They have both previously held that role, so I figured they would know best what to do. The outcome…well I was told about a book I could read to help me prepare (wait is this a test?), and I was told that it would be a lot of work.  Enter the common theme;  every time I tell someone that I am the Maid of Honor the response is, “wow that’s a lot of work”. Wait! This is not my wedding, this is HER wedding, I am just the Maid of Honor! I stand in a pretty dress next to the bride, make sure that she gets down the aisle, smile, and take cute pictures.  No Google didn’t tell me that, but that’s what I made up in my head.

What did Google tell me? That it was going to be a lot of work.

Suddenly I began to feel like the Sucker of Honor. I love my girl to death, but planning and picking up loose ends is just not my thing. I don’t make decisions, I’m a Pisces, the emotionally crazy sign of the zodiac.  Good thing her wedding is set at a resort in the Bahamas, so I don’t have to worry about minor details like flowers, and things going completely wrong. If I am lucky, I can really get away with smiling and looking cute, oh and making sure that she gets down that aisle.

And now for the Bachelorette Party

One task in the is whole Maid of Honor saga that was very important was the bachelorette party. That was MY TASK. My very own make or break this Maid of Honor moment. It happened this past weekend and it was the one thing that I had to take control over, the one moment to show my best friend that I could handle this whole Maid of Honor thing, despite how scary, overwhelming, and anxiety provoking  google made it sound.

The planning for the bachelorette party was tough. When it all seemed like it was going to fall apart I wondered how I got stuck holding the the task of this major event, I was told it was because I was the Maid of Honor. Oh.

I knew I wanted to have an epic party that we could always remember and laugh about, and hey since it may be the only bachelorette party that we have the chance to attend,  it would be the party that was the finale of all parties. So how would I make that happen?

In my regular life, I am a dreamer, I have great ideas, little of which could actually be reality. So in planning a bacholorette party, my party was one that would be a major blow out. In my head there would be a psychic, a tarot card reader, a stripper, a club, a party bus, an airplane, a beach, and a ton a food. But let’s be real, a major party costs major money, and when planning on a budget big great ideas, get cut to little great ideas.

My next thought…How can we have a major single girl finale with a little bit of money?

Due to money constraints the party planning was tough, well tough is an understatement, I was stressed out for two months on how to make it all come together. Planning a party in New York, from Hawaii with a 5 hour time difference is no easy task. My days were filled with waking up early to make phone calls. From deciding on if we can afford a party bus, or do we have to travel by limousine, which club we go to, and where dinner would be, I suddenly became the bachelorette party planning expert, well with the help of theknot.com, and amazingbacholoretteparties.com I found enough ideas so everyone could have a memorable time.

The budget remained a constant issue, so there were no psychics, no  tarot card readers, and no airplanes.  We did have a stripper, an amazing party bus, I found a great club, and we even had money to eat dinner, thank God!

A piece of information that I didn’t tell my best friend is that I almost did not think that I would make it to the actual party. See a few days before the party, my sister was sick with a stomach virus. In true bad luck fashion while shopping at Party City the night before the party I was not feeling so great. I started to feel extremely dizzy, nauseated, and knew I was about to vomit at any minute. I had no time to be sick. I still had to pick a friend up from the airport, and make sure everything was party ready for the next day. I went home and immediately took pepto , drank ginger tea, ginger ale, and anything else to lose that nausea feeling. The next morning I was about 70% better, still knew I had to either die, or make it to this party. I knew the only excuse that I would have to miss this party was if I was dead, so I needed to pull it together, and pull it together quick. I drank more pepto, more ginger everything, and went about the day. I didn’t have much of an appetite and I was afraid that food would make me vomit, so I didn’t eat much during the day. Well the only thing I ate was a piece of bread. My best friend was having a bachelorette party that I planned, my stomach needed to be on its best behavior. Well I made it through the day without passing out, and without vomiting, so I was ready to party (well slightly).  My motto: The party must go on, and I had to be there.

Did I get sick? Of course I did. By dinner time I was throwing up in the bathroom of BBQ’s. Not sure if that was stomach virus vomit or alcohol on an empty stomach vomit. Oh yeah, I still drank even though my stomach was not feeling so yummy all day. Hey don’t blame me, It was a bachelortte party!!! My nausea didn’t ruin the show however, I was better after dinner, and able to enjoy the club scene. And by the time we got home….well that was a completely different story, but the party was over and I survived through the night.

Considering the amount of worry I placed on myself, my first ever bachelorette party was the ultimate successes. The bride to be, had an awesome time, we were hung over for the next 72 hours to prove it. Everyone was happy and hung over. I no longer felt like the sucker who got stuck as the Maid of Honor, I felt like a real Maid of Honor, and a pretty good one at that.

Now that the bachelorette party is over, bring on the wedding! And I will proudly stand next to my best friend, smile, look cute, know that I can be a great Maid of Honor.

To be continued…

Side note:  The wedding is in March in the Bahamas, since everyone lives all over the world, bachelorette party was in December in New York, more like an end of the year blow out.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Adventures of my first Match.com Stir event

Match.com advert
Match.com advert (Photo credit: Adam Pilarski)

A few months ago (well like 2 to be exact) I decided to re-enter the world of online dating. I like to break up my dating patterns with periods of me not wanting to date so I forget why I hate it so much. Then I get bored and occasionally I get hungry. So I date, again.  Since I feel like I am working 100 hours a week, and really hate the bar scene, I decided to hit up my computer to find me a future husband. Bring it on Match.com, I’m ready! What can say I love meeting men while sitting in my pajamas, with messy hair, no make up, and eating a bowl of cereal, life doesn’t get any better than that.

The outcome: well lets just say I went on a date. Now that is a different story for a completely different day.

However, recently Match.com has started having Stir events. Events where people on match can meet  IN REAL LIFE, and you can pick who you want to date on the spot IN REAL LIFE! Sounds cool right? Uhhh hold that thought.

If you have a TV, I know you have seen the commercials for the Match events, and you probably even thought how cool it would be to attend one because they look life fun. Well I decided to go to one IN REAL LIFE, and umm fun is a nice word but I would like to say that AWKWARD is the more appropriate word for the whole Stir event.

Before I get into this story let me just give you a little caveat. To date in Honolulu is a different type of dating experience. Honolulu is small, so if you are single, you have probably seen many of the same single people at some type of event. A Match. com event is no different to the Meetup group for Honolulu singles. So if you want to save money join Meetup and socialize with other singles in Honolulu.

I will admit originally I thought going to this event was a great idea. Well it was actually held at a bar right across the street from my apartment building, so since I didn’t have to drive, even better!  I figured why not just go to see who shows up, maybe I might meet my husband. Then I remembered that this is MY reality and my life doesn’t exactly work like that.   So I went on the thought that I had nothing to lose, and since I was getting there an hour before it was over, one hour out of my life was not going to hurt, well at least not hurt too bad.

The Stir event was from 6-9  pm, I got there at 8. Really not my fault, had to work late, duty calls and clients need a good therapist. As I walked over I began to get nervous. Honestly as my elevator hit lobby and I walked outside of my building I began to think, “What the hell am I doing”, I wanted to run back upstairs, but I headed to the corner to proceed across the street.

As I stood at the stoplight I felt extra nervous, suddenly I realized that I was actually going to this alone. I then thought that I should have brought a friend along for moral support, or at least as a crutch so I would have someone to talk to. I began to feel scared. I kept walking towards the bar, still thinking “What the hell am I doing”. My mind was racing, well since my mind always races, it decided to race faster than ever. I had no idea what I was going to do or say, all I knew was that there was no turning back.

I walked up to the bar, met the bouncer, he was a very nice man. He asked me for my ID, and asked was I nervous. I lied and told him no. He wasn’t a dumb man, so he could read the look of nervousness and discomfort all over my face. I asked him how it was in there. For some reason I felt strangely comfortable talking to the bouncer at the door. He told me that it is like a seventh grade dance with boys on one side of the room and girls on the other. I hoped he was just joking, but a part of me did not really think he was joking. I laughed with him, then nervously went inside.

As I entered the room it appeared as your typical happy hour, but I knew it was like speed dating without the 8 minute time limit. I noticed people chatting, I guessed everyone already claimed who they were going to hook up with. I noticed some guys standing alone, and girls talking in groups. The bouncer was right, I was at a seventh grade dance expect everyone was either in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.

I then headed to a comfortable space on the wall. Thank goodness for walls. Tempted to pull out my cell phone and act distracted, I then mentally slapped myself and refrained from using the cell phone distraction. I decided to be brave. No crutches of my friends, or my cellphone. Just be bare and let the magic happen.  I wanted to run out of the there in a time that was faster than my walk over to the bar, and trust me it did not take me that long to walk to the bar. Instead of leaving, I figured I would make myself busy and got a drink. I got a sprite. I don’t even drink soda. I would have drank something with a lot of vodka, but I was on call for work. So sprite it was, and the sprite was flat.

I paid for my flat sprite, and headed back to my spot on the wall. Less than 30 seconds later, I got my first hit. Well a guy started talking to me. I noticed him awkwardly standing next to me. He decided to speak. He was a very, very tall, White man. 38, divorced, in the army, from Oklahoma. Ok, so not my type!  But I am trying to be open-minded, I was at a Match.com event, so I engaged in a conversation. However, after his first question was, “so what do you do?”, I knew that this conversation was not going to last long.  He spoke, I listened. He asked questions, I answered. He asked if I wanted to sit down on the couch in the back of the bar area, the area where the deeper conversation happens, I went. Hey, why not a conversation can’t hurt right?

We spoke some more, I felt like I wanted to cut my wrist. I started to figure how I could plot my escape as he talked about his divorce from his wife of two years, and how he should have been an officer in the army instead of going in as enlisted. I looked to my right, I saw three girls talking and laughing on the couch, they looked “happy hour” happy. In front me I noticed a girl and guy appearing to have a great conversation. He was talking, she was laughing, they looked comfortable, I wondered if they would get married. Then I came back to my own awkward situation with the bitter divorced man who wanted to move back to Oklahoma, thoughts of how I would get away raced through my head.  He asked me if I ever watched “A Different World”, I chuckled as I said yes all the time when it was on. He then told me that I reminded me of Kim Resse from the show. I then thought, White men always say the strangest things to me.  Maybe he was just nervous, but since I liked Kim, I didn’t think too much of it.

Finally I decided I was done with him, I wanted to see if there was anyone else to meet, so I told him I was going to walk around and got up to leave. He said no problem. I was free! I looked around the room again, 20 seconds later I bolted for the door! I was done. My 12 minute experience at the Match.com stir event was complete, I felt good, it was 4 minutes longer than a speed date. I went back outside.

The bouncer who I actually felt comfortable talking to was still outside. He asked me if I was done, I told him that I was going back home to sit on my couch. He laughed. I spent the next 35 minutes talking to him. He has never been on Match.com, is from Jersey City, NJ, and has been living in Hawaii since 2004. Of course I would go to a social happy hour to meet single men, and end up talking to the bouncer of the bar. But it was a good conversation, he was funny, and easy to talk to. No  I didn’t get his number, but maybe I will see him around again.

Suddenly it was 9 pm the event was over. I was relieved that I had made it through. No dates, no numbers, no persons of interest, but I went. As I started to walk back home it started raining. Great no umbrella either. Now in the movies, girl walks home in the rain, cute guy comes out of nowhere with an umbrella and offers to walk her home. Next they start dating, and three months later they get married, have kids, live happily ever after. Oh wait my life is not a movie, it is my life,  I ended up wet. Better luck next time.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

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Match.com (Photo credit: PABLO.SALVADOR)