Back on the horse (or something maybe a little less euphemistic)

I go through phases with online dating. Most of the time I’m really indifferent towards it. It’s just a site I check when I’m bored, and I don’t invest any real time into it at all. With the semester ending, and realizing I still have another year here… I decided what the hell. Let’s make a tiny bit more of an effort.

I kind of know what I want from a relationship… but at the same time, I don’t really know if I want to get involved with anyone that may interfere with my future plans — i.e. leaving this state for museum jobs or a Ph.D. program. But as much as I really enjoy hanging out with my cohort and my roommates, I wouldn’t mind someone who is a little closer to my age and can fill some other needs that those people can’t (and shouldn’t).

One thing I have found is that the well of 30-something single guys in my area on okc is really dry. Enough so that in my past 3 years of living here, I just figured that’s dating in Indiana and thus I wouldn’t find any eligible non-rightwing guys to spend time with. Internationally, yes. The number of guys in Britain and Turkey who match up with me in the 90%-match range is pretty damn amazing. But I’m lucky to find time to get out of the state, so out of the country is not in the picture!

I’ve been on okc for what feels like forever. I met some really great friends in Chicago on that site. But, yeah, it really wasn’t doing anything for me recently. So… figured let’s just try another site. Or, app, really. And yes. I’m saying that I am now on Tinder.

Initial observations: There are a lot of dudes on Tinder for exactly the reasons you think they’re on Tinder. But you also do have a a fair number of guys looking for “serious” relationships (aka wife hunting). And in my age group a lot of single dads. And of course, a handful of couples looking for thirds. And also my childhood best friend from summer camp — who facebook is saying is still in a committed relationship. (He super liked me.) Yeah.

I swiped right because someone said they wanted to buy me burritos and call me beautiful. #priorities

I’ve met two guys on Tinder so far. I can’t call them dates because, yeah, they were not dates at all. I haven’t talked to the first guy again, but, really wasn’t expecting to. Consenting adults and we knew what we were agreeing to. The second guy and I are developing a friendship. We like each other, but acknowledge we’re not the perfect partner for the other and don’t want to keep each other for finding that person.

I’ve been talking to a small handful of guys consistently. I don’t know if it’s a 30s thing or maybe I’m just getting a really skewed sample size… but do guys just really jump in to calling women “babe” and “honey” so quickly now? I don’t remember that being a thing when I was dating in my 20s. I’ve also thought maybe it’s just guys not wanting to learn my name for whatever reason — I’ve been going to the same Starbucks for 3 years and they still don’t seem to care either!

Anyway. Both of my roommates are also active on dating sites currently, so it’s been fun to compare stories and share various gem of profiles we’ve found so far. I’m not expecting to — or evening looking for — “the one”… but I am hopeful for a few adventures at least!

dating is weird.

I’ve been wanting to talk about dating for a while. But not really known how to start anything off or what to say.

I’d like to start dating again, but as most of you probably already know, it’s such a weird thing. Not too long ago I put myself out there, and I wanted to see if something would work–just test the waters–but it really didn’t work out for a number of reasons, and I sort of came out of the experience a bit torn up. It was hard, and it still kind of hurts. But I want to keep moving forward and see what else is out there for me.

As I mentioned briefly a couple weeks ago, I finally logged into my online dating profile for the first time in ages. I’m talking to a couple people, but I don’t necessarily have high hopes for it. Which leaves me with that weird question and wondering of “so, where else am I supposed to meet someone?”

I’m not a big “go to bars and try to randomly meet a dude” type of person. And for some reason it never really feels like my social life lends itself to this sort of opportunity. Granted, besides touring, I guess I don’t have much of a social life. And most of the guys you meet on tour aren’t looking for more than that one night… not to mention I’m working from doors open until the tour bus leaves. So I’m back to the “where is this going to happen” thing.

Now, I do know there are some good, decent guys out there who have expressed interest in me. And I appreciate it and am flattered, but I just don’t feel that romantic spark. So, yes. It does feel really weird to me to say “where do I find a good guy” when there are good guys right here in front of me. But you just can’t force it if it’s not there. (And I know, being on the opposite side of that sucks, a lot. It’s not that easy or comfortable on this side either though.)

I get the whole “things work out in their own time” and “you’ll find him when you stop looking”… but there’s something to be said with being a little proactive and putting yourself out there a bit. I’m not terribly worried or stressed or preoccupied by all this. But I do know that I’d like to go on more dates and just see what and who is out there… and what possibilities there might be.

So. Future Next Boyfriend: I mean, I want you to be in a good place when you come into my life — ’cause I’m not about fixing anyone. But, hi. Yeah. Totally ready to meet you/figure out who you are.

where I talk about dating, again.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about, as a blogger, what I should and shouldn’t post online. And while that could cover a whole lot of topics, in particular I’m thinking about dating.

Yesterday I tweeted “I really want to create a pinboard for date ideas and other helpful hints for boys… but I feel like that’s cheating…”

I’ve been working on my These Things Should Happen list, and well, some of the things that I put on there I kinda wouldn’t mind if they were dates. But any time I think about writing about such things I just feel all weird. I used to write about dating quite a bit. But over the last year, I’ve really stepped back from that. Partially due to being single, but there was also a shift in me as well.

I’m reaching the point where I want my relationships to feel special—to be something special just between me and whomever I’m dating. My blog started feeling like a third person in the relationship. It’s not that I don’t want to share joys or funny stories with you, but I felt like I needed to make sure whomever I was with knew that they were my number one, not my blog.

And while some may not consider it cheating, part of me feels like the date would lose a little bit of sparkle if he only thought to take me on it because I wrote about it on my blog. I mean, props for being concerned enough to try to figure out what I’d like, but I guess I’m kind of a hopeless romantic. I want to believe that there’s still guys out there who know how to woo a girl and make her feel special. (I mean, if he really needs hints, I’m sure my good friend Courtney would be up for some sneaky hint giving.)

And honestly, all a guy really has to do is just make the small effort of telling me and showing me that yes, he really does like me… and I’ll be all swoony for days.

*PS – Dudes: Lego date nights are totally awesome.

my brain is stuck.

You ever have those moments when all of your thoughts are bottlenecked around one? Yeah. That. So I’m hoping that maybe by writing about it, it’ll help unclog my brain tubes and I can have proper mental functioning abilities again.

So. I previously said something along the lines about how I’m not going to talk about boys or relationships online much any more… Well, part of that is because there hasn’t been much of anything to talk about. Holy hell has it been a dry spell for me. I’ve had one date this year, and yeah, just wasn’t going to happen (even if he wanted it–and by it I don’t mean a relationship). Last dude I kissed? Drunk. At a concert. Where I was thinking about making out with someone else. Only happened because we danced and he went in for it. Totally doesn’t count.

Anyway. Yeah. Dry spell.  … What the crap guys?

All I can think about is making out. My entire brain is traffic jammed around the single thought of making out. It’s been stuck like this all day, and honestly it’s been a slow clog building up over the weeks and months of non-making out times.

So, I either need to make out with someone or force my brain to be fixated on something else. Hoping that the holidays will distract me, but we’ll see. It’s a pretty nasty brain clog. Yeah. Not so awesome when you start thinking about making out with inappropriate people. Former instructor? Yep. Internet friend with a girlfriend? Oh yeah. Dude I actually like but won’t tell you about? Duh.

Insert loud frustrated dinosaur noises right here.

So. Attractive dudes. Who wants to make out?

on trying to feel pretty…

Self-esteem is a touchy subject. I’ve had some struggles with it—like pretty much every other woman I know. However, just because “we all go through it” doesn’t make it any less of an issue.

For the most part, I’ve been too busy to be distracted by these things. But they still sneak in. And I’ve noticed that since I cut my hair, it’s been coming up a bit more. I don’t feel like I can just get up, get dressed, and go out the door. I feel like I have to primp and fuss over my hair. I’ve been wearing eyeliner almost every day I leave the house. Even picking out outfits is more of a challenge—I’m afraid of not coming off as feminine and thus not being pretty.

I know. I know, I know, I know. In the grand scheme, it’s dumb. But when I cut to the chase, I still have issues with feeling pretty and attractive.

I don’t need a boyfriend to survive, but it’d be nice to be asked out on a date. I know I seem to jump from attraction to attraction… but in all honesty, there are only a very small number of guys I’ve been truly caught up on. It’s sort of in my nature to talk about or at least mention “oh hey, he’s cute.” It’s ended up sort of labeling me as “boy crazy.”

I just want my confidence back. It’s not completely gone. It’s just not as stable as I would like.

Erini in Real Life: this is who I am. (a sort of reflection from the 20sb summit)

This weekend was amazing. Exhausting in the best way. Or as we used to say, epic.

I took part in the inaugural 20SB Summit. Around a hundren bloggers all here in Chicago, doing more than just drinking. It was a great weekend of inspiration/aspiration and application–aka we listened to a lot of our fellow bloggers kick our ass with motivation.

There were many applicable lessons to be learned, but one big one that’s stuck with my throughout today is about being authentic and being willing to truly expose yourself, good and bad.* To take risks. As Jenny Blake put it, there are three pilars to blogging: vulnerability, courage, and community. This will take hold of two of them, hopefully involving all three.

In taking a quick inventory of my life, there are three big things that are holding me back. I may have hinted at them, or mentioned them briefly in the past, but it’s time to face them. 1) I’m in a financial mess. 2) I’m afraid of being alone, and never finding love. 3) I may have many passions, but I have no idea what I’m doing or what I should do with my life.

Ever since I quit my job at Northwestern University in 2009, I’ve been in a financial mess. I’ve been struggling to get by–mostly I’ve been able to do it, but there’s definite times when it’s come to “pay rent or buy groceries.” I’ve been trying, but I haven’t been able to get myself out of this hole. When I was starting to get a little bit stable, I ended up in and out of the hospital a lot. And then I quit a job for another one, only for that company to fold three months later.

While I tend to live my life somewhat okay despite my financial situation, there’s a lot going on in my life. I’ve been generally happy, but that underlying fear is still there. I wonder who’s going to love me. Hell, it’s just who’s going to date me. I seem to keep falling for guys who don’t fall for me. Or in one case, someone who’s in a happy relationship. Regardless, I’ve spent more time than I’d like feeling alone. If this were a romantic comedy, I should have gotten the guy by now. Even beyond the dating, I have uncalled for insecurities regarding friendships too. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a best friend. I always feel like I’m just that girl people like, but if I left their lives it wouldn’t be a major upset. I know that it’s this fear that’s held me back from getting to know people.

In that same sort of floundering feeling… Guys, I don’t know what I’m doing in my life. I left the summit thinking “well what the hell?” I just don’t know what I want to do. I have so many passions, but very little direction. I love writing, but it’s hard to make a living on writing. I love design, but I’m struggling with some things–like whether or not I want to actually work in advertising, or the fact that I’m not that fond of logo design. I’d love to open a restaurant or cafe. I have a (not-so?) secret ambition to be a rock star, but I have major stage fright/anxiety. I’d like to teach, but in what? I mean, I think I just want a job like Craig Benzine’s (Wheezy Waiter), getting paid to be awesome. I wouldn’t call this a quarter-life crisis, but it’s been taxing.

I’d much rather pretend that everything is okay. It doesn’t fix the problem, nor does it really do any favors for me and the people around me. I’m not sure how I’m going to solve any of these issues… But this is who I am.

I don’t know if I’ll write a real re-cap post of the summit here or not. (There’ll be one on the CPS blog, though.) But I will say that I went into it not expecting much–not because I didn’t think it’d be awesome, but because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t look into any of the panels before the summit. I just knew I’d be spending time with some awesome bloggers and that’s about it. I met some really cool people, and I wish we had more time to spend together (especially since I wanted to get to know some people better). But overall, I deem the summit a great success. If not for anything other than it’s taught me not to be ashamed of what’s holding me back.

*okay, well, the real thing that was said was something about the value of truth posts. I honestly can’t remember the wording that was used because I was busy being all 20SB/CIA and listening to the voices in my ear. Seriously, how did I not get a picture of (volunteer) CIA Rini this weekend?!
**CIA just meaning that I was wearing an ear piece for my walkie talkie.
***ugh, sort of lame post title. this is what happens after late night blogging. 

stuck on you

So. January 31st, eh?  It shouldn’t surprise me that the month is ending, but it is.

I contemplated doing an end of the month wrap up post, but well, there’s just too much clouding up my mind right now.  So you’re getting that mess instead.

  • I am still, in no means, adjusted to living at my dad’s.  My sisters (and their attitudes) frustrate me daily.  The eye rolling, the correcting everyone, talking over everyone, the one-upmanship and holier than thou-ness… it’s all endless.  I’m trying to not let it affect me, but it is.  It’s why I hide in the cold basement with the cats.  I realize this is just a temporary situation, but it’s still hard.
  • I’m so grateful to have found Duneland Friends Meeting.  I haven’t been to Meeting (aka church) for a while.  I’ve missed this stillness and quietness.  And in my current situation, it’s much needed.  It also means I don’t have to attend my family’s church.
  • I can believe that they’re offering “Creation Science” at my sisters’ homeschool co-op — I just wish it wasn’t true.
  • I’m planning a trip to see this lady.  I’m excited.  Very excited.
  • I’m also getting Enthused too…
  • I completely agree with everyone.  Chris and I aren’t really breaking up, but transitioning from a romantic relationship to a solely platonic one.
  • I still hate my endometriosis.  It sucks.  I hate feeling weak and in so much pain.  I especially hate getting tired and worn out from simple tasks or just walking up the stairs.
  • … sometimes I think that I don’t actually have sisters, but I have elephants.  Or hippos.
  • I am absolutely obsessed with Chex Mix right now.  I cannot get enough of it.  I’m fairly certain they’ve put crack in it.  I don’t really care.  I just want need more.  Particularly the “bold” flavor.  And their puppy chow (or “Muddie Buddies”)… and the cheese.  AND ALL OF IT.  (Seriously, Chex Mix, SPONSOR MY LIFE.)
  • I just want to be back in Chicago.  I miss the city.  I miss not needing a car, and having almost everything within bus or train or walking distance.  I don’t like that I can’t just go meet up with my friends.  That I can’t go to meetups or send offs.  I dislike that I can’t take advantage of the free days at museums and the aquarium.  I miss having a variety of restaurants to choose from.  I miss bars like Four Moons.  I miss my nerds — Renegade & Mucca — like crazy.  I absolutely cannot wait to be back.
  • Still struggling with 140Days.  I’m forever grateful for those who’ve supported me thus far, but I’m still far from my goal.  I know it’s not going to happen overnight, but this is just a big thing for me.  I’m actively searching for design contests and grants and such — not only because I need them, but the part I’ve been struggling with is just asking for people to donate.  I need it, but well, it’s still something I’m working with.
  • Job interview on Thursday (assuming I can get back to the city).
  • I’m attempting this re-branding thing, where I re-brand/repackage items I use daily.

There’s still a bit more muddying up my mind… but that’s sort of the main chunks.

So, what’s stuck in your mind?

#reverb10: wisdom in 1, 2, and 3…

I signed up for this thing called #reverb10. A month full of prompts guided to help me reflect on this past year and focus on goals for the next.

December 10: Wisdom.
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Let’s choose three.

1) July 27th – Deciding to go to the ER.  Because of this, we found the cyst that has been causing all the severe pain.

2) October? – Deciding not to give up on Chris and I.  Because of this, I’ve had someone who supports and cares for me, without whom I would not have easily made it through these past 5 months.  (Well, it still hasn’t been easy, but I don’t know how I would have done it without him.)  We may, still, not exactly know what we are or where we are going… but I’m very grateful for him and his friendship.

3) December 10 – Deciding to go back to the ER, again.  Because of this, I’m on more agressive medications.  I’m no longer just relying on basic ibuprofen and free samples of birth control — neither of which were helping much.

There are probably a few others I could mention (pushing to hire Josh at the toy store, taking this new job even though it has one hell of a commute, introducing the kittens to a laser pointer)…  But as of this weekend, these sort of stick out.