Unplanned Vacation

I’m usually the kind of person who really likes to have things planned out in advance- hanging out with friends, which boxing classes I’m going to go to that week, when I wake up/go to sleep, and certainly vacations. Except for this past weekend. I was feeling kind of bleh last week and was worrying about the weekend because I didn’t really have plans. There were a few things on Saturday I had planned to go to, but they I just wasn’t that excited for them. I also really wasn’t looking forward to all that down time.

My best friend texted me on Thursday afternoon asking if I was sure I wasn’t free to visit that weekend. What the hell, I thought, and told her I’d make the two and a half hour drive the next day and stay for a long weekend. Which I did.

I really like this part of summer- where I have the time to just pick up and go spend 4.5 days in Michigan visiting my best friend.

It’s been amazingly nice. There really isn’t much in the world better than a really good friend. It’s so refreshing to have someone who really understands you and knows you. Someone you can be yourself around. Someone you can talk to about anything.

It’s also kind of nice to escape from my responsibilities at home- even the little things like vacuuming or dusting or feeling like I should be doing work. I love the feeling of vacation- where you aren’t required to do anything at all and you don’t have to feel any guilt.

I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by a few more things. First, apparently people read this blog! (Thanks, guys!) Not too many people have been liking my Facebook statuses when I post updates and no one ever posts on here, so I kind of had it in my head that everyone stopped reading. But I got a few comments from friends this weekend- two who I hadn’t realized read this at all. I mostly keep this blog for myself, but I’d like to think that other people care about me and what I have to say. And ideally that it inspires others too.

Second, I hung out with two of my ex’s friends this weekend (who also live near my best friend). I saw one of them not long after the break up and the last time I saw the other was in tears the morning after I broke up with my ex. I wasn’t really sure what to think about the interactions this weekend. I was worried they were just being polite by inviting me to hang out and didn’t really want to see me. I worried we wouldn’t have anything to talk about but the elephant in the room and I didn’t want to be defined by my relationship with my ex. But I was pleasantly surprised. The topic never came up and it didn’t seem like we were awkwardly skirting around the issue. I had a lot to say about my life and what I’d been doing these past 6 or so months and learned a lot about the same from them. Plus, we got to play a lot of board games together and eat delicious snacks which was always a good time. I felt really good that, even with people who I knew through him, I was still able to be my own person. More and more, I feel like my life is no longer defined by my ex.

Thanks to my best friend for always sticking by me and letting me drop in to your house practically unannounced, to my ex’s friends for seeing me as me, and to everyone reading this. You guys are amazing 🙂

Dating is Hard

It’s almost the end of the month, so I wanted to post a slightly more detailed update in terms of how my progress has been on the first month of my Happiness Project, which focused on dating.

The first two weeks actually went pretty well. I was excited about the people I met on the online dating websites and went on more dates than I expected! There were a few duds, like the date I left in the middle of, or the anime nut who shared his sad poetry with me and asked me my opinions on nudity in general (I decided not to meet up with him). There was one second date and one really good date.

But overall, I honestly started to feel overwhelmed with it all. When there were several people I was chatting with regularly and meeting up with, it was tiring to keep up. It can be pretty disheartening also to constantly feel disappointed on dates. It also didn’t help that one of the apps I use- Coffee Meets Bagel- stopped having matches for me after about Week 2.

It makes me want to take a break from it all. I guess it’s much harder to be dating when I’m looking for a life partner, not just a relationship partner. I’m really tired of games and drama. I’m pretty settled- I own a condo, a dog, a car, and have a full-time job. Hardly anyone I’ve seen let alone met with on dating sites is anywhere near that life stage.

It’s frustrating. I’m not sure if it means it’s a good idea to just take a break from dating and enjoy my life, letting love come when it will (or won’t), or if that means I should try harder- chat with more people, go on more dates.

I’ve been trying to finish out the month, but I’ve noticed that I put less and less effort into my goals- checking only one dating site, taking a few days to message people back. I thought this month would be fun, but I’m already counting down the days until August, my healthy eating month, which is definitely not something I expected.

Maybe my priorities have changed. Yes, I still want a family more than anything and would love to have a life-partner. Yes, I sometimes feel lonely and wish that I wasn’t single. But, I’m feeling really good in my life otherwise. I’m realizing I don’t need other people to be happy. I don’t want a partner if that person doesn’t fit into my life.

I’m not the kind of person to sit by and let something happen instead of going for it, but in this case, I’m thinking it might be best to focus on my other goals in life and be open to, but not obsessed with, finding a relationship.

New Name!

Hi everyone!

Thanks so much for reading my blog. I’ve been on the fence about the blog name for awhile now, and finally encountered something I like. I take no credit for this new name- it is entirely my brother’s creation (he’s the creative one in the family).

Just wanted to let you know that you’re still reading the Muse’s Musings, only now it’s called Step by Steph!

Keep reading and keep being awesome 🙂

Giving up is the Easy Way Out

I’ve been struggling with my weight. Probably my whole life, but especially lately. I’m actually quite an impatient person in general. If I’m planning to lose weight, I want to see results the next day on the scale. When I don’t, it is disheartening. Especially if it takes a few days or a few weeks to see that loss. Weight loss isn’t easy. Developing healthy habits to keep the weight off and keep being healthy is even harder.

My biggest temptation in this process is just to give up. To decide that I’m not going to try to lose weight anymore or watch what I eat. I tell myself it’s because I’ve been trying and it hasn’t worked. That nothing will work, so I may as well enjoy myself. But the truth is… I’m afraid of failing. It’s so much easier to say I’m not trying, so I’m not responsible for my weight gain or my unhealthy habits.

I love deserts. I love french fries. I love carbs. I want to eat these foods pretty much all the time. If I have the option, I will choose them. Developing healthy eating habits is something that I’ve struggled with all my life as a result. It’s probably the hardest to accomplish of all my personal goals. I often leave it off of my goals list because I don’t want to say that I failed.

I’m ashamed that it’s so hard for me to develop healthy habits. I’m ashamed that I can’t just say no to delicious foods. I’m ashamed that I’ve gained so much weight in the past year that I can’t fit into a good portion of my clothes. I’m ashamed… and yet here I sit eating a giant scone for breakfast and dreaming about this weekend when we’ll have club seats at the baseball game and I can eat all the unhealthy food I want for free.

I just joined Noom, which is an app that helps you develop healthy habits. Today they asked what one big struggle would be this weekend, and I mentioned the club seats at the game. They suggested you develop a plan to deal with it and I just couldn’t. I couldn’t because I want to eat the food and not care. I want to take the easy way out- to give up, to say that Sunday doesn’t count, to pretend I can’t come up with a strategy when really I don’t want to.

I hope that I will. I want to try. But more importantly, if I give in on Sunday, I can’t give in the next day. I can’t give up because it’s easier.

It’s fucking hard sometimes to make the changes that you want to in your life. Anyone who tells you it isn’t is full of shit. But in the end, it’s worth it. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on your goals. Even if you fail sometimes, keep trying. Because you’re worth it.

Authenticity and Bad Dates

Today I was on a date that was so bad, I left in the middle of it. I’ve been on a lot of dates in my life, and especially this month now that I’ve been focusing on dating for my Happiness Project. Before tonight, I’ve never been on a date so bad I wanted to make up some excuse- any excuse- to leave. After 15 minutes, I was bored out of my mind, sipping at a disgusting drink, and regretting the fact that I had told this guy I would also be interested in catching a movie with him afterwards.

I fled to the bathroom and texted 3 or 4 friends, desperate for advice- “Help! I’m on a date that’s really awful…I really just want to leave. What do I do?” All kinds of excuses were flying through my mind- I could pretend my (dead) grandfather had a stroke, I could say that out of town guests decided to surprise me and were at my house, I could mention that my best friend just had a breakup and I needed to support her. But which was the best excuse? Or was I being an asshole for not sticking it out at least until after drinks?

My brother came to the rescue and gave me the advice I needed to hear. He told me to be honest with the guy. It was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do. I honestly was considering sticking it out through the boring date to avoid having to do that.

But then I remembered who I want to be. If there was one word to sum that up, it would be authentic. My grandfather (not the one I was going to say had the stroke) used to tell his kids and grandkids that if you aren’t proud enough of what you did to shout it from the rooftops, then you shouldn’t do it. I hate liars. I hate lying to people. I was terrified to do it, but I needed to be honest.

I came out of the bathroom 10 minutes later, apologized I took so long, and ripped the bandaid off.

“Hey, you’re a nice guy, but I’m really not having a good time. I don’t want to waste either of our times, so I think I’m just going to head out…”

It was terrifying. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t feel good afterwards, but more importantly, I didn’t feel bad. I felt much better than I would have if I had lied to him and let him down later on. It’s not fun to reject anyone, but I was proud of myself that I had the guts to be honest. My brother told me he never expected me to be able to do something like that and he was proud of me too.

It’s not always easy to be authentic, but it’s always worth it.