Monday, August 31, 2009

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Lately I've been feeling all over the place - very jumbled and unorganized. There's a lot going on at work, as well as outside of work. And now I've started school, plus I'm working on moving, I'm traveling to DC on Friday, gotta figure out my cat-sitting situation, and now my dumb desktop computer is on the fritz.

Thankfully I have a laptop, so I'm able to provide you all with my ranting once again.

My desktop was built for me, and incidentally the person who put it together used a pirated copy of Windows. Now it won't even start because it's telling me to re-install Windows. That would be great if I had the disc, but I don't. And it would be great if I was assured I wouldn't lose everything on it, like my pictures and music. But oh no, I'm illiterate when it comes to uber-technical stuff (or really any kind of labor, for that matter).

Why don't I just call up the guy who built my computer and see what he can do? Well, that would be a magical idea if it weren't my ex-boyfriend. Dammit. This is why I hate people doing favors for me because you never know when they'll be on your shit list later and then you're screwed when you need something done.

Which also brings me to the next IT person on my list - the guy who took forever to e-mail me and ended up having a 12-year-old kid! Grrreat. Can't use him as a resource unless I want to make a play date after.

Why is it that all the technical people I meet are dipshit males??

There is the IT guy who comes into my work every now and again. I'll see what he can do for me. Unless anyone out there reading this (all 2 of you) knows someone who can help me with this problem on the cheap.

Which brings me to my next rant - money. I've been reading Suze Orman, yet I'm more broke than ever it feels like! I'm saving up for my new place, so that could be why. And my DC trip might cost a pretty penny. Yikes. Oh, how the worries never end.

In a happier note, I had a really good weekend. On Saturday, Marilyn and I went to the movies and saw "The Final Destination" in 3D. Of course nothing beats the original, but it was very entertaining. And the 3D aspect was awesome - definitely saw a lot of blood up close. Lovely.

Here we are in our cool glasses:

Later on, Steve came to visit from Chico and the 3 of us ate at Fat's, which FYI is the best restaurant ever. I had their banana cream pie, which was heeeeeaaaaaveeeen! Definitely the highlight of the night (oh yeah, Steve and Marilyn were OK too).

Yesterday Steve and I went to the State Fair, and lo and behold we got in touch with nature - we saw a baby cow being born! Best birth control ever. Let me just say there were chains and lots and goo involved. It was actually kind of amazing - the mom just licked the baby after it came out, and in a way it was kind of cute (minus the goo).

Now it's the week and back to the grind. Highights of the day: dinner with Alanna at the new Boudin and then coming home to Kate telling me, "Tracy, I have some bad news. Maggie (the dog) ate your thong."

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Don't Put Off Tomorrow...

I've only earned one "F" in my entire life, and it was in college. In Beginning Ballet.

Yes, ballet.

It was my first term at Oregon, and I didn't understand the concept of dropping classes when you weren't enjoying them. I assumed since I'd shown up for most of the classes that it wouldn't be a huge deal if I missed the rest of the quarter. Yeah, not the best idea when the bulk of your grade is determined by attendance.

Ahh, yes. The many intricacies of college.

My naivety at that time didn't have huge repercussions, just a little "F" on my transcript that basically meant nothing since the class was only 1 credit. It definitely gave my adviser a chuckle when she saw it, but overall, no major consequences.

Now that I'm in the real world, my "grades" are determined by my work performance and how well I serve my clients. On that note, I would give myself an "F" these past couple weeks.

Work has significantly picked up, so I've been swamped. I've also been dealing with other stuff outside of work like my living situation, volunteering, the fiction writing workshop I'm now enrolled in. Either way, there's no excuse for procrastination, yet I made the mistake of letting an important client project slip through the cracks. So not in my character usually, but somehow it happened. And I got in trouble.

My boss called me in his office the other day and tactfully told me I needed to hurry my ass up (my words, not his). He made note that I don't ever come in early or stay late, and when it comes to getting things done during a busy time, I should be doing whatever it takes. He was right.

Then our senior vice president called me in his office and echoed what my boss said - I needed to step it up and get this done. I thought maybe all this pressure would have made me cry, but it actually motivated me. I was half-assing and I needed to get back on my A game ASAP.

So I came in early yesterday, didn't take a lunch and stayed late. And you know what? I got everything done that I needed to and felt on top of the world! So simple, I know. I guess I sometimes take my relaxed work atmosphere for granted. I also question if I'm working hard enough all the time - when I see other people putting 110% into things, I'll often ask, "What's the point?" Not to say that my work isn't important to me - it truly is - but it always bothered me in college when people recorded every lecture on their dictaphones. Why create more work for yourself?

I do understand the value of going the distance without pushing your limits - many times there is a difference between working hard and working well. I feel like I work well - I get things done, do my best, but I also keep my sanity. Never have I wanted to be one of those career-obsessed people. One of my co-workers will answer her BlackBerry at 4 a.m. or check her work e-mail even when she's off. I can't think of a time when I would ever do that so bad? I'm a huge believer in work-life balance.

I guess my equilibrium has been off lately, and I haven't been as focused on work. This incident changed that. I don't ever want to be in that position again, so in a way, I'm glad this happened.

There's nothing like a little drama and the fear of a metaphoric "F" to light a fire under my ass!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ode to My London Ladies

(*Note: I was told that my blog appears to only be an outlet for my bitching, but I'd like to prove this assumption wrong and post something positive! Bitching to resume shortly).

Before my senior year of college, I studied abroad during the summer in London. It was hands-down one of the best experiences of my life - not only is the city amazing (the history, the shopping, the landscape, the people, the accents - I could go on for days!), but I also met the most amazing people.

There were 3 girls with whom I bonded instantly - I call them my London Ladies, and here they are below (from left to right: Erica, Sandra, Katie and me).

This was taken after we saw "Cleopatra and Antony" in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

I've always enjoyed watching coming-of-age movies featuring close-knit girlfriends ("Now and Then," "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," to name a few). I was always so envious of these girls because they got along and were always there for each other - very little cattiness and competition. Yes, I know they are Hollywood movies, but I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to experience that type of female camaraderie.

Don't get me wrong, I have some great girlfriends in my life. The only issue is that they are scattered throughout the country given that I've moved 4 times into 3 different states since I was 11.

When I met my London Ladies, we all clicked instantly. Erica and I were the West Coast girls, Katie and Sandra the East Coasters. Although we only knew each other a short time, we got super close, and that has always stuck with me these past 3 years - everything from eating the crazy breakfast at our school to taking buses around the city to the time at Stonehenge when I wouldn't stop pissing and moaning about the rain and Erica yelled at me, making me cry shortly after (we resolved it like 20 minutes later).

The exciting part is that I decided to e-mail the girls and catch up a few weeks ago. We had about 3 years worth of catching up to do, and after exchanging long e-mails, we decided we'd better meet up for a reunion ASAP. And that's exactly what we're doing come Labor Day weekend!

We're all headed to meet at Katie's place outside of Washington, DC! I couldn't be more excited to see my traveling buddies and reconnect. And while we're not trading around some pair of jeans, I still think our bond beats any movie any day.

Buckingham Palace

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rejection then Perfection

I was rejected last week from something I'd applied for, something I'd felt pretty good about. I was rejected via e-mail - that's the relationship equivalent to getting dumped over a text message. I wasn't even worth a phone call to these bastards!

But instead of getting all weepy and pathetic, I shook it off and got back on with my life. That got me thinking about all the rejection I've experienced in my life and how it's really toughened me up. And I'm not trying to throw a Pity Party and say "Oh poor me. Nobody loves me, blah blah blah." I know I'm a valuable person that has a lot to offer. But that doesn't make me any less susceptible to rejection.

Not all, but many of my experiences in rejection have been in the arena of boys. I remember liking this guy Owen in 10th grade. He was a senior and we were in the same Chemistry class. A semi-mutual friend of ours let me in on a little secret: apparently Owen had a crush on a girl in his Chemistry class - a younger girl. Well, after scoping out my competition (not saying I was spectacular - pretty sure I had braces at the time - but I figured he was referring to me since he didn't talk to any other younger girls in the class besides me).

So Brilliant Me got the fantastic idea to write Owen a note (with a pink pen even!) and leave it on the windshield of his car. I basically just wrote a bunch of gibberish and added my phone number at the end. And then I waited. Waited alllll weekend to hear from him. Not a peep. Hmm, strange.

Come Monday morning, I was quickly told that Owen had a new girlfriend - my enemy Kelley! How in Hades did THAT happen? I'm guessing our mutual friend had received some bad information (or blatantly screwed my ass over - I'm still unsure which), and I had now humiliated myself.

When I look back on that now, I remember I felt awful at school and wanted nothing more than to go home, cry to my mom and listen to the sad tunes of Britney Spears or *NSYNC. Nothing spells out teen angst better than "I'm Not a Girl, Yet Not a Woman" and "Digital Get Down." But I also think back and realize, why was I so sad over that dipshit? He was a juggler for crying out loud! And no, not a juggler of women. An actual juggler - he was always seen throwing around some lame rings or dumb ass hacky sacks. Could Ringling Brother really have made me happy? Highly doubtful.

Then there was the time I was rejected by a guy on national television. Granted, it was a hot, famous BMX rider (Dave Mirra). When MTV came to Lake Tahoe a few years ago, my friend and I went up there to be in some of the beach shots for TRL. It was all taped, so the coverage wasn't shown until the following week. They taped me asking Dave Mirra what he was scared of and if he would marry me (yes, I actually did this). I watched in anticipation that next week when Dave finally came on TRL. His reaction to my request? "Whoa, that's what I'm scared of right there!" or something to that effect. Sigh. Even famous people who are 3,000 miles away and will clearly never meet me couldn't even throw me a bone.

Besides male rejection, I have also experienced academic rejection. I applied for this huge scholarship in college that would have paid for an entire year's worth of tuition. It was for anyone who graduated from my high school in NV, so I figured the pool of applicants (and my competition) was pretty small. I was on the phone with my dad when the letter came, and he listened to me as I opened it all excitedly. Ugh. A big fat NO. I definitely cried after that one.

I can't even begin to cover all the jobs I've been rejected from. Before I joined the PR firm I work for now, I was rejected from some ghetto ass legal secretary job in an office that consisted of one fat ass lawyer and his part-time associate. And he worked in Loomis (with a population of like 40). I'm sure I couldn't have handled the multi-phone line system when his plethora of calls came in. Oh, and that copy machine? That new-fangled contraption can be a bitch to learn how to use.

Overall, I've had my share of being told "no." And while rejection is never fun or easy, it doesn't make me feel as incapacitated as it did when I was younger. A guy not liking me was the end of the world in high school. Not getting a position or scholarship or spot on the cheerleading squad was hard for me and left me questioning myself a lot.

I still question myself at times, but it's those accomplishments and times I've heard "yes" that keep me going. I beat out 100 people for my current position at work, and my oh-so-selfless parents were the best scholarship fund a gal could ask for! I still get rejected by guys, but I've had the pleasure of meeting some really nice ones who have changed me and helped me grow.

Without that risk of rejection, I would not be where I am today. Now I'm better able to shrug things off and move forward. And just think: if I hadn't experienced rejection, I would be some asshole lawyer's bitch and the wife of a circus freak.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Plugging Along

When I woke up this morning, it took every iota inside me to physically get out of bed and actually start getting ready. Oooh, how good it sounded to just call in sick or jump out of my second story window (neither of which would be plausible - I can't lie for beans, and I seriously doubt jumping out of my window would do much more than scrape my knees and bruise my ego).

I felt like I just couldn't pull myself together, if that shows how unmotivated I've been lately. Not to mention, the ex was in my dream (why oh why, slumber gods?). The day just started off horribly.

But I pulled myself together and put one foot forward at a time - get ready, go to work, take care of tasks one at a time, etc. And really, the day went pretty well. I booked a second radio interview for one client and got serious interest from 2 other producers.

After work I went to a presentation on human trafficking (what a hoot on a Tuesday evening!). It's part of my volunteering with WEAVE. In order to stay certified as a peer counselor in domestic violence and sexual assault, I have to complete a certain number of hours of extra training. So tonight was human trafficking. VERY interesting! Apparently Sacramento is the #2 city in the country for human trafficking! It's because the Bay Area is a huge entry point, and Interstate-5 is a main thoroughfare for these traffickers, hence why Sacramento is a huge hub for these activities. So sad :(

Tonight is my guilty pleasure show - "More to Love." For those of you who don't watch, it's basically "The Bachelor" for bigger folks. It is one of the most entertaining things I've seen in awhile - not because I make fun of these women or anything (OK fine. The girl who cries in EVERY episode and never fails to mention how she's never been on a date might be ridiculed by yours truly every now and again). It's great because these are real people - they're not these stick figures who have been idolized and sucked up to their whole lives. Granted, these women were picked to be on TV for a reason (their cattiness and bitchy antics), but I like seeing more realistic people on shows.

Speaking of weight, I just saw on a Time magazine cover that apparently exercise isn't what helps people lose weight - it's simply their diet! Wow...that actually makes me feel better since I loooooathe working out. I like staying active, but you will never catch me going to the gym regularly and putting it on Facebook as one of my interests. I like simpler physical activities that don't feel like you're exercising (or rather, exerting myself to the point of exhaustion). How can people like working out? Who wants to sweat uncontrollably, pant like they're one smoke away from enphysema and bring your body to the brink of unbearable pain? I keep it simple - walks, pilates DVDs, dancing in my room, cleaning (hey, working that vacuum takes energy!).

And on that note, I'm going to go exercise my mind by doing something intellectual - watching some reality TV!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Working Girl

I chose the name of this entry because I'm currently watching an old episode of Oprah, and the Bunny Ranch brothel is being featured. Oh, holy Hanukkah. Plus the title coincides with my theme tonight: work!

I've been reading a book by Suze Orman (my new idol) and she offers some great insight on choosing a career, not a job. My career path has been at the forefront of my mind lately, and I've really been questioning where I'm at and where I want to be.

I have a vague idea of where I'm headed, but sometimes I get discouraged and feel like I'm stuck in a rut and can't get out. This is what my dad calls "a case of the blahs." I'm diagnosing myself with this ailment, and now it's time to find the antidote.

For a moment, I was considering going to law school. I had convinced myself that maybe PR wasn't for me and that I was just fooling myself. Someone suggested that maybe it's not that I'm unhappy with PR itself but just my job specifically. Further, Suze says that furthering your education just because you feel like you're at a dead end career-wise is a stupid move. Of course PR is what I'm supposed to be doing! I just have serious self-doubt issues that I need to address stat. Law would be fun, but I know I'm in the right field for me.

I think my self-doubt partly stems from observing others and - I hate to admit - envying their situations. I have this distinct view in my mind of where I want to be, and when I see others who seemingly live that, it frustrates me when I hear how they got there. So many times I'll hear people say they just "fell" into something or that they never planned on doing a certain job, yet the opportunity just landed in their lap one day.

What about all this planning I've been doing for 6 years?? Shouldn't that count for something? I bust my ass trying to get the best career possible that makes a difference, and when I feel like I'm just spinning in circles, it's infuriating to see others half ass things and seemingly succeed! I know drive and fervor can't be showcased on a resume, per se, but it has to work to my advantage at some point, right? I've got the chops to back it up, of course. I know I'm a hard worker and have passion, but those seem to be lost in me these days.

Thankfully I take after my mom and am optimistic despite the dreary job market. Things always get better with time, and if I continue to work hard and prove myself, it'll pay off.

It kind of reminds me of this story I read in elementary school that has stuck with me for years. This Chinese emperor was near death and wanted to find a child to replace him on the throne. So he handed out seeds to every child in the land and told them that whoever grew the best flower would win and take over as emperor. This one child came from a very honest, hard-working family. He watered and cared for his seeds every day, but no matter what he did, nothing grew. He felt disappointed but knew that he had tried his best. On the day when the children gathered at the palace, they all brought their flower pots with them. The boy noticed each and every child had a gorgeous, huge flower in their pot. He only had dirt in his with the failed seeds. Despite feeling discouraged, he presented his pot to the emperor, convinced he had instantly lost. In front of everyone, the emperor chose the boy as his successor and revealed all of the seeds he had dispersed had been dead to begin with. This boy with just the dirt was the only honest one of them all.

OK. so I'm not exactly a little Chinese kid with unwavering integrity, but it's a great story that reminds me of an important lesson: you may feel like you're surrounded by a bunch of undeserving assholes, but as long as you continue doing things honestly and the best that you can, it'll pay off in the end.

I'm a huge believer in karma and patience (but not always a follower of the latter), and I'm hoping my days in the rut are over soon!

Friday, August 14, 2009

17 Again

I went to Erica's last night, and we (OK, fine....SHE) cooked dinner and we watched "17 Again." The movie stars Zac Efron (a.k.a. the hottie from "Hairspray" who is way too young for me), and the premise involves Zac Efron as an adult getting to go back to being his 17-year-old self and attend high school with his two teenaged kids (kind of like "Big," only not as classic).

This got me thinking about what it would be like if I could go back to being my 17-year-old self (like in the above picture, circa 2003). Granted, that was only 6-1/2 years ago, but it made me realize how far I've come since high school.

For example:

17-year-old Tracy
I was somehow under the illusion that I had an awesome relationship with my boyfriend at the time. We were "in love" and without-a-doubt going to end up together. During our junior year of high school, he revealed to me one fine afternoon that he'd cheated on me with this incredibly awful girl named 6 months prior! Ahhh, yes. A point for his honesty. And -10,000 points for his punk ass cheating on the one-and-only Tracy T! I cried for days about it, and what do ya know? All it took for that character to get back into my good graces was a poem and a couple "I'm sorrys." We spent the next year of our relationship fighting, with me bringing up the Jessie infidelity in probably 87% of every argument.

23-year-old Tracy
I've had my heart broken in the worst ways, and while this has made me incredibly sad at times, it has also thickened my skin to the point where I feel so much more confident in my relationships. I'm nowhere near where I want to be, but the progress I've made after each gut-wrenching, nausea-inducing break up is invaluable. If I could go back to being 17, I would have kicked that prick to the curb way sooner! Probably even before the cheating confession. We had a myriad of problems from the get-go, which is kind of the drill when it comes to high school trysts. I've learned from my most recent relationship that if you have a deal-breaker of a problem and you break up, there's no going back or making things better the second, third, three-hundredth time around. I was WAY into the last guy I dated (think that lovely four-letter word starting with "L"). He, on the other hand, was NOT feeling me in the same way. I think his exact words were, "I'm not sure if the love I have for you is for a girlfriend or a friend. Oh, and you also remind me of my sister." (Insert another mix of four-letter words here, namely ones that begin with "S" and "F"). I could have continued dating him because we always had a good time together, no fighting, no overt problems. But there was that voice inside my head telling me that if someone is unsure if they are in love with me after 8 months, it's high time to pack my bags and jet like a bat outta Hades.

My high school BF obviously embodied everything wrong in a relationship (cocky, dishonest, unfaithful, guilt-tripping, name-calling, etc.), but I was so naive and a pushover that it took me way too long to stand up for myself (speaking of which, true story: my dad told me he'd pay me $50 to tell my high school boyfriend to "go f*** himself." I did it. Several times. Where's the cash, Dad? Oh yeah....he did pay for my college, so I shouldn't complain).

Overall lesson learned: Dump the zeros so as to make room for the heroes.

17-year-old Tracy
My best friend Christina and I have been tight ever since middle school. She and I are both nerds to the core and adore Harry Potter. Not to mention, we made up some kick ass dance routines to Ace of Base while messing around during school play practice. At 17, I don't think I valued her as much as I do now. I saw every close girlfriend as my competition - competing for male attention, better grades, getting into the best school, the best dress for the homecoming catch my drift. Everything was a race - I remember even feeling triumphant when I bought the new Britney Spears CD before Christina did. Why all of the competition and jealousy?

Well, it didn't help that Christina and I were both very wrapped up in our boyfriends at 17. We were both interested in joining the debate team, but at the last minute, Christina backed out because she said she was too busy with other commitments. And what do ya know, I happened to stop by a local high school that was holding debate tournaments, and who do I see coming out of the competition? Christina and her new partner, Amie! Ahh yes...that was a nice blow. But I guess I deserved it because I stole Christina's boyfriend Bryan in 8th grade (oh, and how that little fruitcake was so not worth the fighting). All I know is that she and I had issues in high school despite our close friendship.

23-year-old Tracy
There is not a good thing that happens to Christina that doesn't make me 10 times happier. Seeing her succeed and live her dreams is the ultimate, and I can't think of a recent time when I didn't wish anything less than good things for her. She is way ahead of the game (more so than me, I'd say): she's a medical student, she's been with her boyfriend for a number of years in a healthy, stable relationship (what the hell is that like?), she actually knows what it's like to live with a guy successfully, she is well traveled and she was recently crowned Miss Nevada! I cried when she won because I've been attending almost every pageant of hers for the last 6 years (or at least the ones I could attend - she's competed a lot on the east coast as well).

So basically, her happiness is my happiness. I don't begrudge her or feel jealous when good things come her way. Wouldn't I expect the same from my best friend?

Overall lesson learned: There are only a rare number of friends we will carry with us for the rest of our lives, so don't let petty, irrelevant things jeopardize this. (Two of my best friends below, Amie - yes, the "other" woman at the debate tournament - Christina and me at the 2009 Miss Nevada Pageant in Reno).

17-year-old Tracy
OK, so technically I was 18 when this happened, but I thought this was a really good example of self-reliance. During my freshman year of college at the University of Oregon, I thought I'd overdosed on - you guessed it - Vitamin C. While most of my classmates were toking it up in their rooms or popping Aderalls left and right in order to stay up and study, I was tricked into taking too much Vitamin C and Zinc from my BF at the time in order to combat the cold I thought I was catching.

Now, a little background here. I used to have a major case of emetophobia. This is the fear of throwing up, and yes it's real (it's actually one of the Top 10 most common phobias). I'm not as bad as I used to be, but during freshman year, my fear was in high gear (wow, that was a lot of rhyming). So after popping a few too many of each pill, I freaked out and called my parents. Bad idea. My dad called Poison Control and told me I'd be fine. (He later told me out of spite after I snapped at him that P.C. had actually told him I might throw up. Thanks, Pop). I was fine, but it sure gave me a scare.

23-year-old Tracy
While I may have 4 different types of hand sanitizer in my purse, I'm not going to be on an episode of A&E's "Obsessed" anytime soon. I think college taught me how to rely on myself and my own resources before resorting to the panicked parental call. I now stop and think about how I can best solve something, and if I'm in need of further advice or insight, I tend to call my parents in a more relaxed state. A lot less freak outs and panic attacks these days, not to mention I no longer need to use my membership for the online International Emetophobia Society (yes, I was a member at one point). I still call my parents often because they mean the world to me, but it's safe to say I no longer need adult supervision when it comes to my pill intake. I took my multivitamin this morning and feel just fine.

Overall lesson learned: It's a thrilling experience when your mom and dad slowly transition out of the "parenting" stage and you no longer need them to hold your hand when you cross that metaphorical street. But that doesn't mean you don't want them right by your side when you do cross.

In sum, I'm very happy with how I've turned out so far as a young adult. I think the melodrama was fun while it lasted, but being a grown up is so much better! I have more meaningful relationships, my friends are my best allies and there's nothing I love more than feeling proud when I accomplish something all by myself.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The above acronym stands for one of my pet peeves when it comes to friendships: Low Self Esteem Friends. These aren't the people who necessarily have low self esteem; they just make YOU feel like you should feel crappy about yourself and question every bit of confidence you thought you had.

I have a couple LSEFs. They're both similar in a lot of ways - attractive, fit, successful, intelligent, use SAT words now and again. They might even be a tad on the materialistic side as well. Either way, they have a lot going on for themselves, and they sure want you to know about it!

One of the top 3 things that boils my blood is when people brag incessantly - it's my theory that people do so because they are secretly insecure. They try and cover this insecurity by flailing their successes left and right, hoping to convince everyone around them that they have perfect lives and you should envy them.

I actually DON'T feel jealous toward people like this - I can see right through them. If you're so incredibly happy and secure, why try and share it with the whole world? It's like those people who constantly update their Facebook photos/status/about me and flood them with "I'm so happy" and "My life is so wonderful" sentiments. Yes, we all like to share good times with others, but by doing so non-stop, it gives off the impression that you're not only trying to convince other people, but yourself as well. We can't all be happy all the time. Sometimes our lives suck, so just own up to it!

Anyway, these LSEFs are people I've had to endure in my life, and while these friends obviously have more redeeming qualities than not (I wouldn't call them friends otherwise), it's still frustrating to carry on a conversation with someone who makes me think, "Should I be doing more than my 10-minute Solutions workout videos?" or "Was eating that second Toblerone bar really worth it?" or "Do I suck at my job - no, wait - life?"

The best anecdote I can think of for dealing with LSEFs is to not only talk yourself out of feeling down and out, but to subsequently surround yourself with a friend or family member who makes you feel on top of the world. Yes, I know it's all about relying on yourself to make you happy, but positive reinforcement from other people is crucial sometimes. I'm fortunate to have an awesome family that loves me for me, and there are a select few friends of mine who could be called HSEFs (no need to explain that acronym there).

I could go on and on about my wonderful support system, but then I'd just be bragging. And I don't want you to stop reading my blog.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Big Hair, Big Questions, Big Losers

Upon choosing the name of this blog, I'm reminded of a certain scene in the movie "Mean Girls" where Damien describes the nosiest, most gossip-y member of "The Plastics": "That's why her hair is so big - it's full of secrets!"

Now I wouldn't say my 'fro is full of more than some mild gel and bobby pins, but I have to admit that I can relate to the big-haired mean girl in the fact that I am quite inquisitive (read: nosy) about other people's lives and business. I don't spread the word about people afterward usually, but I like knowing things about people for the sake of knowing. I was a journalism major in college, so asking questions and getting to know more about people comes with the territory. It's actually a running joke in my family about the crazy, thought-provoking questions I come up with, just so as to find out more about my favorite people. I've thrown out everything from, "Money aside, what would your dream job be?" to "If you were black, how would you wear your hair?"

Now that my randomness has been properly proven, I'd like to say welcome to my first official blog entry! I used to blog a lot on my MySpace, but since my profile there has gone defunct (OK, I'm actually avoiding an ex on there. Can you blame me?), I've decided to join the blogosphere so that my random rants, raves and musings can reach all people, even non-MySpacers.

I've kept a journal ever since I was about 7, so I've never been one to shy away from chronicling my life. I hope to keep you entertained as I bring you along on my journey through my early 20s as I navigate the world of work, family, friendships, romance (or lack thereof), politics and my oh-so-adorable cat Cammie.

To get this this entry flowin', I'm taking the advice of my friend Alanna and sharing a collection of anecdotes about the comedy that is my love life. Ahh, yes. While tragedy has ensued in this arena, I'm fairly certain I'm past the bitter, heartbroken phase and can now look back on some of my experiences and laugh. I broke up with someone about 3 months ago and we haven't talked since. This is HUGE for me, given my old co-dependent ways. I used to not be able to let people go, probably because I just assumed that there wouldn't be anybody else out there. Word of advice: there will ALWAYS be another bus to catch, even if that bus eventually runs you over or drives away without a second glance. Have faith, another bus will be en route your way. And I have hope that one day, it'll eventually be a Bentley stretch limo that comes my way.

Anyway, back to the comedy. I discovered recently that as a single gal, people are always trying to set you up. While that is thoughtful, it's also a recipe for disaster (i.e. uncomfortable blind dates, forced polite rejections from my end, and repeating the same "all about me" spiel to each loser that enters my life). Just because I'm not in a relationship does not mean I'm unhappy or "looking" for someone! I don't believe in "looking," since that usually requires wearing blinders and thinking that every douche bag that walks my way is actually Mr. Right in disguise. Looking for love has made me stupid; therefore, I've found that I like myself more when I'm content with just being independent and unattached.

So in the months following my break up, I met some pretty uneligible bachelors with one thing in common: kids! Lordy, I'm 23! In no way am I stepmom material. There was guy #1, whom I'll call Mr. Bomb-Dropper (BD for short). Mr. BD and I shared a couple fun dates, and I was feeling him at first. He was smart, educated, sweet, attentive. After about date #3, he finally spills: "Umm, I have a 3-year-old son, and I feel like shit for not telling you earlier." Damn right you should feel like shit! That would have been a nice piece of information to know before I started doodling our names together (OK, I'm exaggerating. I didn't like him all that much, but this whole kid business sure put the brakes on whatever minimal feelings I had for the padre). Needless to say, that ended fairly quickly. I told him I didn't have feelings for him; he asked what he did wrong and how could he make it better. Umm, don't think it would make us soul mates or anything, but you could have tried going back in time and wrapping it up, my friend!

Then there was the next guy after him (don't worry - I'm no hussy. These were all just dates and nothing more. Obviously these characters are not even getting first-name mentions, hence how irrelevant and short-lived my interactions with them were). We'll call this one Mr. Grandpa. Now, he wasn't a grandpa by any means. He was 5 years my senior, but he sure as hell looked like a senior himself! At least 10 years older than his real age. That should have been my tip-off. He had a kid too, but he was honest from the get-go. I gave it a chance because I figured it would make a good story. We lasted one date and that's it. He was super nice but so not my type (i.e. looked like he could be my dad). Plus I'm pretty sure he was a die-hard Republican (not that I have an issue with Repos. I just don't really want to marry one!). Mr. Grandpa was a set-up date, and the person setting us up told me she "had a really good feeling about this one. A sixth sense." OK, Haley Joel Osment. There was no attaction whatsoever. I appreciate the effort, but eccck!

Lastly, there was a guy who asked for my business card at a client event. He was pretty attractive, but again, seemed to be quite a bit older than me (I was right - 10 years older!). We'll call this guy Mr. Declarative (as in declarative sentences. You'll see what I mean in a minute). After 2 weeks or so, he finally e-mailed me. At that point I'd already dismissed him because I'm a firm believer in making things happen right away if you really want it. Mr. Declarative obviously treated meeting me as an afterthought, so I was surprised to hear from him. He asked how I was, and I kid you not, that was the last question he asked. We went back and forth a bit via e-mail, but every response he had was him talking about himself and never asking about me. Wow, super attractive, buddy! First you act too busy to send a 2-second e-mail to me. Now you appear nonchalant and apathetic in the e-mail chain YOU initiated. Eww. Oh, and in true Tracy-always-attracts-the-rejects fashion, he revealed he has a daughter - a 12-year-old! That's a red flag the size of India.

So basically, set ups are irritating and kind of a waste of time. While they make interesting blog fodder, I don't think I'll be dating any randoms anytime soon. I do like to have male company every now and again since I don't want to only surround myself with girls, but overall, single life is good! Easier, less stress, less overanalyzing. I say that now since it's only been 3 months. But who knows if I'll be singing a different tune once the year mark comes around. After awhile, who knows if I'll be desperate for that bus - heck, a messenger bike - to come along! Stay tuned.