untitled.

I’ve been working on how to write this post for two weeks now. I knew what I wanted to say and kicked it around but it never came together. Then, this past weekend, I came to a ridiculous conclusion: Chris Martin is the reason I have unrealistic relationship expectations. (Writers block – cured!)  See, I love music with meaningful lyrics (usually following the common theme of people being ‘saved’ by love.  Yawn, right?!).  How could I not have lofty expectations rife for wrecking after hearing lines like “I’ll carry your world/and all your hurt” or “you’re air that/air that I can breathe/cause you’re my golden opportunity.”  I’m the kind of person who is more than happy having my head in the clouds when it comes to interactions with others.  I see the best in people (to my detriment) and am more than willing to assume that most everything has a happy ending.

I don’t talk about relationships relationships here for several reasons, the biggest of which being that everyone has something to say about them. It’s gotten to the point where we’re all weighing in (myself included) on the most intimate relations two people can have. Most times without even knowing the people involved.  I’ve done this myself recently and I was really surprised at the result.

It all starts off fairly innocuous.  About a month ago, it seemed the blog 40 Days of Dating was ubiquitous.  All the bloggers were talking about it so I joined in the fun.  If you’re unfamiliar with 40 Days of Dating, it’s an incredibly addictive, well designed website/blog made by two designer friends (Jessica and Tim) living in NYC.  They were a little tired of the dating scene, struggling with the same outcomes in relationships and decided to date one another for 40 days and write about what developed.  The most interesting aspect for me (besides the whole thing) is that they both had complete opposite dating pitfalls: Jessica fell too fast, gave too much and was more-or-less looking to settle down (are all women the same, cause that’s me?!) while Tim would pull the escape hatch when things got too serious and he liked to date around with no thought to settling down.  There were rules, like any good experiment, which included sessions with a couples counselor, seeing one another every day and taking one weekend trip.  Reading through what almost felt like personal journal entires, I found myself investing emotionally in Jessica and Tim’s story.  I read about how they struggled both separately and together; and still as they tried to find footing in their unusual arrangement; and I was impressed with their candor as they fought and made up.  I found myself hoping against hope they’d make it but (spoiler alert) they don’t.  As I cried like a girl at the end of it, I felt more than a little foolish.  I wanted them to work because it would mean that even under the most extreme circumstances, love can prevail; after all, I subscribe to happy endings (see above).  The truth is Jessica and Tim were doomed from the start. It could never have been a happy-ending, as most people would have guessed.  I even refrained from reading what other people on the web had to say about their relationship because I didn’t want to see it for anything other than what I’d made it.

What I found to be true, when I examined how upset it made me to read the entry on Day 40 (and watch the heart-wrenching video), is that I end up seeking out those things that provide me the most emotional experience and therefore the most emotional growth—from the things I read to the things I listen to (looking at you Coldplay) to more major life decisions.  They’re all connected by the same common thread.  It’s not something I actively do but looking back over the course of ever, it’s certainly undeniable that I’ve taken the emotionally charged road almost every time.

When I was younger, I thought my over-developed limbic system (the seat of emotions) was something that was more of a curse. I’d try to hide it or dull it cause it felt like an inconvenience. Now I know (as inconvenient as it still is) that the very same thing I tried to hide is what makes me a good partner, a good daughter and sister, and a good employee.  Before, I almost didn’t know what to do with it and now, in the spirit of my 30th year, I’ve decided to embrace it and use it for good.

Guys, I’ve floated several ideas here that felt cohesive in my mind and I guess reading back through this, maybe that’s not coming through as clearly.  It’s not as much about relationships or song lyrics or pop culture as it is about me continuing to learn about myself.  I’m going to put this out there anyway because it’s honest.  If I had to sum it up, the bottom line here is: I learned that I invest my heart in other people the way I want them to invest in me.

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nocturnal habits of cats

Guys, it has seriously been so hot outside.  My sister thought I was joking when I told her we’ve been battling a heatwave.  I’m for reals.

See, it's hot.

See, it’s hot.

I may have mentioned (via different social media outlets, certainly and by word of mouth) that I don’t have central air in my apartment.  Apparently, when one wants an apartment that’s full of character and charm, central air is one of the sacrifices one must make and we’re currently experiencing one late, hot summer.  I have one window unit and it’s in the living room area.  I’ve optimistically pointed a fan toward my bed in my bedroom and left the window open.  Unfortunately, it’s still too hot to sleep in my bed so I’ve been sleeping on the couch.  Really though, it’s more like a loveseat because even my 5’4″ frame is too long and my feet hang off.  It’s been a bit of a learning—my sleeping on the loveseat.  Mostly, though, I’ve picked up on the nocturnal habits of my two cats.  Mild mannered and sweet by day, they turn into jerks at night.  Thinking about that, I realized that I’ve never introduced you all to my cats.  I started this blog with one cat and agonized about a second.  I’ve spared you all this entry for some time now… I can spare you no longer.

Before I become that girl of “cat lady” fame, let me tell you that I actually really love dogs.  My coworkers can tell you—I Google pictures of Corgis, Frenchies and sighthounds all day long.  Cats are just easier to take care of than dogs (especially in aforementioned oven-like apartments of character).

Remy

My first cat, Remy came from a litter of kittens my dad’s street cat delivered.  Remy had several brothers and sisters and when I picked her out initially, she was supposed to be a boy.  When she was finally ready to be away from her mom, my dad made the two hour trek north with a little baby Remy riding shotgun for me.  After some serious clean up and early traumatization by flea baths and oil dips, we settled into a routine.  However, it wasn’t until I packed up all our stuff and made Remy my co-pilot for our 10 hour drive to Des Moines that we really became friends.  I agonized about the decision to get another cat (for all the obvious reasons) but I could tell that she was lonely…

Baby Remy

Baby Remy

 

Remy and the (late) jingle bird

Remy and the (late) jingle bird

 

Remy. Enjoys: doing whatever she wants whenever she wants, sleeping in the window, eating, sitting on my chest at 5 a.m. and generally being wide awake when I want to sleep.

Lily

… so I decided to start looking around at the Des Moines Animal Rescue League for a possible friend for Remy.  I looked a lot, you guys.  A lot.  When I found Lily online I saw something in her face.  She looked perfect for us (even though she was a hairy beast).  Thankfully, I had Gina (one of my amazing co-worker friends) to help support me when it came down to finally going to check her out (I may have said “we’re just looking.  I’m not getting a cat today.”)  I have such a heart for animals that I’d love to have a farm and adopt them all.  Long story short, I went back and picked her up that same day.  Bringing her into our home was really difficult.  After some time passed, I was afraid there would never be peace; I worried they’d never get along.  I definitely over-celebrated every hiss-less sniff.  It took a while, but Remy and Lily eventually became best friends.  She is the perfect fit and I’m so thankful for her sweet disposition and willingness to be Remy’s playmate.

 

Lily

Lily

 

Like a boss.

Like a boss.

 

Lily. Enjoys: sleeping upside down, kicking her legs out behind her while relaxing, drinking out of any sink, playing in the bathtub, and generally laying/playing/chilling where she doesn't belong.

Lily. Enjoys: sleeping upside down, kicking her legs out behind her while relaxing, drinking out of any sink, playing in the bathtub, and generally laying/playing/chilling where she doesn’t belong.

 

Truth is, at night, these two are jerks.  They knock my sunglasses off the entertainment center, knock my actual glasses off the coffee table, play with my jewelry *on* my jewelry tree, eat any applicable Apple cords, fight, walk on me and cause destruction.  I hope there’s a break in the weather soon so I can enjoy the comfort of my bed and maybe get a little restful sleep.

 

They look all sweet and cute. But they're not.

They look all sweet and cute. But they’re not.