August 31, 2010

Day 305-Practice Failing

Unfortunate news. Didn't make the cut for the choral group. So frustrating. And disappointing. And have I mentioned that I'm not a fan of rejection???

But when you don't get what you want, what do you get? EXPERIENCE.

Yes, it's a good phrase, but it doesn't take away disappointment, at least not for the time being. I know I'm a pretty good singer though in truth, choral stuff is just not my style...I'd rather be part of something like Glee (who wouldn't?) or a band so I guess it's a win-win? I am trying SO hard not to get down on this, mostly because I have to get back on the horse in two weeks if not sooner for another show call. Won't have to sight-sing but will have to hit an E flat...

Nevertheless, I have to resort to my own words from Day 312 If At First You Don't Succeed: keep moving forward, learning...yadayadayada.

See what a pain it is to have a blog sometimes? You can't even let yourself off the hook because your own words are staring you in the face. Here's to more practice at failing!

I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!

August 26, 2010

Day 310-No Rings Attached

Off the Market, In the Moment, & On a Budget-my life as so eloquently put by Mrs. Southern on the Inside herself! Despite how depressing my new title sounds, it's just another fun challenge. How can one be both social and in the moment when the bank account is running low??

I did pretty well last night sticking to my two beer budget and still had an absolute blast watching The Junior League Band followed by Hymns, who is rumored to possibly become the next Kings of Leon. Check them out! You won't be disappointed. Lead singer of Hymns is pretty darn cute, too....

But the weekend presents a fresh new conundrum as there's so much to do, and I'm itchin' to be out, about and as social as possible. However, according to BettyConfidential's feature story for the day: No Rings Attached: Being Single Is So Hot Right Now! I should naturally the cool girl on the block, however small my funds. Why?

Because as the article explains, singlehood is officially IN!!! Yes, I'm en vogue. Let's sing it together now:

That song never gets old. I wish you could see me bouncing around to it right now. Or better yet, I wish I had a video of my guy friend G working the moves! Amazing...

Moving on! For all you other single ladies out there, a few more Betty pointers:

Try out these 3 single girl principles for starters:

1. Being Single Does Not Mean Being Alone
One glance at Madonna's boy toy roster is a racy reminder that choosing to remain single does not sentence you to a life as a lonely, old maid. Dating should be about fun and companionship, not trying to beat someone down the aisle. There are very few
Mr. Rights out there, but there is no deficit of Mr. Right Nows. If you haven't found the person that fulfills all of your heart’s desires, then don't settle. Date, enjoy his company, and tomorrow evening, call up somebody else. Companionship comes in many forms. Live your life to the fullest until you find someone truly deserving of your forever.

2. Nobody's Judging You For Being Single
I've heard so many women confess their paranoia about their friends gossiping about their inability to find or keep a man. Newsflash! They're really talking about how you've lowered your standards just to be with
someone, and how you truly deserve so much more. Marriage should not be a race to the altar, and women who have successful, happy marriages will tell you not to rush. Only unhappy wives would encourage you to hastily commit your life to someone without being 100% certain that he's "the one," and that's just because misery loves company. Don't worry about your girlfriends whispering about your single status. Live it, love it, and embrace it, because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind are jealous!

3- Whitney Houston Was Right
No, not about crack being wack (
although I'd have to imagine that she's probably right about that too!), but about loving yourself being the greatest love of all. As a single woman, you have the freedom and the flexibility to live your life without abandon. You are free to chase your dreams and create the life you love. You deserve all the happiness that the world has to offer you. Don't limit yourself because you're afraid to be by yourself. Love you first, and just asLife & Style reported Kim's belief that "One day, Mr. Right will turn up and everything will fall into place naturally," the same is true for you. Focus on building your own perfect life, even with no rings attached!

Kelly Beaty is the founder of, where singlelistas celebrate and love life...every SINGLE moment of it!

Wait, there's a SinglesSalon? Must check that out. And what's all this talk about self-love c/o Whitney Houston? Well, I didn't know she was the source, but I have been reading about it in a fun novel, HOW TO BE SINGLE. Look for the review this weekend!

I'm Off the Market, In the Moment, On a Budget but don't worry, BEING SINGLE IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW!

August 25, 2010

Day 311-Show Tonight

I'm not in the show tonight, but I DID survive yesterday's audition without totally crashing and burning though unfortunately, didn't make it out of the kitchen without one pancake being a little dark. Did you know you have to re-grease the pan before pouring the next cup of batter?


I'm stepping away from myself for the day to share a little post from Southern on the Inside. Written by a friend of mine and fellow Southerner, she bridges the gap between life in the big city and you got it-the South! Even better, her blog this week features a show by a Southern singer that's definitely worth checking out.

Oh yeah, show is tonight. Nothing like being in the moment!

I love, love, love Lissy Rosemont’s old-tymey, soulful voice and cannot wait to see her and the Junior League Band play at Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Lissy’s from Atlanta and her family runs the annual Fiddler’s Grove fiddler’s festival in Union Grove, North Carolina. Plus, she roomed with a good friend of mine in college so in my world, she’s about as famous as they get. Now, it seems like the rest of the country’s taking note of her talent, as well. The show starts around 6:30/7pm so come after work for happy hour and be home in time to watch whatever leftover shows you’ve got in the queue.

For more great inside information on Southerners in the city, don't forget to check out Southern on the Inside and subscribe.

I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!

August 24, 2010

Day 312-If At First You Don't Succeed

Don't you love the feeling of checking things off your "to do" list? What a relief to know I’ve made a difference in my day, no matter how big or small the task. Of course, it's even better when the list doesn't include things like:

-Drop off drycleaning
-Pick up drycleaning
-Call exterminator (yes, WE HAVE MICE AGAIN!)

And instead, is full of fun to do's like auditioning and cooking. Yep, today’s a double whammy as I’m working on two of the items on my In the Moment list of things to accomplish this year. First off, I will actually be cooking dinner. That’s right, no PBJ or Lean Cuisine or takeout. I’m making pancakes!

While this may seem like an easy feat for some, I’m the girl that had to ask her most patient roommate E how to boil an egg this weekend. And I’ve stayed away from the kitchen for awhile for good reason. Friends and family still haven’t let me live down my other attempts such as the fire I started while baking cookies in middle school. Do not make the mistake of talking to your crush and cooking at the same time. You will turn on broil instead of bake while setting your oven temperature and if you have a gas oven, you will indeed get some hot action, but it’ll likely be coming from subsequent flames rather than from your beau. I will also forever be haunted by the quesadilla dinner I made for friends in college. Instead of the gourmet version I intended to create, they were gourmet-gone-indigestible. They were so saturated in oil that I couldn’t even eat them, and the poor boyfriend of my friend who did keep it down, suffered from a stomach ache the rest of the night. To redeem myself, the next girls’ dinner I made lasagna. Which I forgot to thaw. So after two hours of cooking to no avail, we were forced to eat around the edges.

Since I have lots of practice at not cooking so well, cooking is one of those few tasks where I’m not scared to fail. So tonight, I tackle pancake dinner #2. I practiced on Sunday and got one PERFECT. Then, I got cocky and burnt my second one to a crisp (at least I didn’t set off the fire alarm like I did when frying bacon last week). But I’m now going for the gold aka, two unburnt, digestable, and yummy pancakes. Baby steps, right?

Regardless of my lack of culinary expertise, I can shake off a little smoke in the kitchen and accept the fact I probably won’t be on Top Chef one day, but it’s scary having to sing without knowing I can redeem myself with dance, which is the plan for tonight’s audition. Normally I get casted in a show because they need a dancer in the background and I can sing with the chorus well enough. This audition, however, is for just a choral group so my voice will flying solo when…well, I sing my solo. Then, I have to SIGHT-SING. Here’s a middle C and Go!

Shoot me now……and they might after they hear my rendition of whatever two lines they surprise me with.

Even though it’s a bit like being in front of the firing squad, I’m thinking positive thoughts and not stressing about it surprisingly. I have to say I rarely tell friends when these opportunities arise for fear I’ll fail and won’t make the cut. So this is a big step for me to announce it to the blog without knowing the outcome.

And come to think of it, the fear of failure in auditioning is pretty similar to that in dating. While it’s not personal to them, because you’re just not a right fit for the role, it’s pretty difficult to not take it personally when you put yourself out there.

So you keep moving forward, learning, and marking things off your list. And no matter what, you just have to keep going out when you get a call to audition (or for dinner). Because despite how many times you don't get casted, you never know when you may find the perfect part(ner).

I’m Off the Market (feeling super cheesy) & In the Moment!

August 23, 2010

Day 313-It's Not Just Me

If you haven’t noticed from the past two months’ posts, I'm can be a little hard on myself. For instance, I often go down a path of thinking that I’m the sole party at fault when a relationship doesn’t work; I’m the only one who doesn’t have her life figured out yet; and I have to be the last person I know that hasn’t figured out in-the-momentness.

As a result, I just relish in a good reminder from an outside source instructing me to get over myself already! For instance, one of my best (married) guy friends recently sent me a quote from his corporate newsletter that had Off the Market & In the Moment posting potential. I was intrigued:

"Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment."

--Swami Kriyananda, formerly J. Donald Walters,
American spiritual leader, author and composer

Great quote and definitely on point with my year. But even more interesting is that it was sent from a company with almost 50,000 employees, a huge percentage of which are male and even better, many of which make up a large part of the dating pool in NYC.

So in the spirit of Swami Kriyananda, I'm making a decision to be happy this moment. Happy that it’s not just me (or my gender) who needs weekly reminders to live in the present.

I’m Off the Market & In the Moment!

August 22, 2010

Day 314-Only in New York

So I had one of those "Only in New York" moments yesterday. It started like a relatively normal Saturday morning: picking up laundry, taking a leisurely stroll with my favorite puppy Bella, working out to Yoga, Booty, Ballet because I was too lazy to take the train to an actual class, writing, having a 5-minute phone breakdown to my wonderful friend (which may not seem normal, but believe it or not, this gal has to do some of her venting off the World Wide Web).

Then somehow, I ended up on the corner of 28th and Broadway with 30 minutes to kill before my call time. Always looking to beef up the resume, I was doing background work for a forthcoming documentary which shall rename nameless until I see the final version as I have a more than sneaking suspicion this job may come back to haunt me in twenty years on "Before They Were Stars."

Despite the fact that being on Broadway is a dream of mine and the street itself is a long-standing symbol of the city, the corner of the avenue at 28th street is a no-man's land of random fabric shops and stores that are stocked with even more random items such as ipod covers, which I'm sure is a front for something more lucrative. Not the best spot to hang out, and I'm such a huge budget I couldn't even dole out $2 to buy a coffee and secure a seat inside a deli. So I headed East to the window-shopping pleasures of Fifth Avenue, and lo and behold, there were pleasures indeed. As I rounded the corner toward 27th street, the doors to the Museum of Sex were wide open, beckoning me inside.

I may be Off the Market, but now was as good a time as any to satisfy my curiosity.

The museum's mission is simple enough: to preserve and present the history, evolution, and cultural significance of human sexuality. Now I don't know how awkward I looked wondering through the gift shop by myself, but it was definitely less so than my visit to our neighborhood friendly porn store. It is a museum after all, which perhaps accounts for the bit of dignity all the visitors worked to produce between some uncomfortable giggles. I certainly turned on my "museum mode," which calls for a critical expression, discerning eye and the ability to give off an air that you know what you're looking at, as I circled the perimeters of the gift shop. I encountered the likes of usual museum gift items: books, postcards, posters, tea towels (though don't mistake, they were adorned with images such as Kama Sutra poses or vintage burlesque pin-ups). But there were also the real take-home souvenirs: gadgets, gizmos, and toys to scratch whatever itch may be bothering you.

Since I couldn't afford a cup of coffee earlier, I was definitely not in the market for a Cynthia Rowley mug from her "Dirty Dishes" collection, despite my love for fun coffee cups. But I was seriously mistaken when I didn't account that this museum was AGAIN a real museum and thus, required $16.75 to enter exhibits like Sex Lives of Animals or ACTION: Sex and the Moving Image. No pay what you wish like the Met??? Disappointing, though for anyone in the neighborhood wishing to actually see exhibits, you can download a $3 coupon online:

I spent my free fifteen minutes and left with enough of a fix, despite having not visited the Oralfix Aphrodisiac Cafe on the lower level.

Overlooking the expense of living here or visiting exhibits, this is ther perfect example of why I am in love with this city. You may think you've been here for three years and know what you need to know, and you're a resident, after all. But then you turn the corner and are presented with a new experience: a new museum that is culturally enriching, an opportunity to build a film career by giving you a green screen credit, or even something as simple and fulfilling as a free hug (which were being given away across the street from my apartment).

I thought I was in for a relatively normal Saturday, but I should know by now that in New York, the days are anything but.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

August 21, 2010

Day 315-A Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Woke myself up at 4am after a bout of bad dreams and finally finished Eat, Pray, Love-round two. So bare with me. I'm going to try my hand at a review. And yes, I'm disregarding the fact that most people have probably already read the book and/or seen the movie not to mention, I'm also probably the last person to review the bestseller. But because books speak to me gently asking me to listen when I don't choose to listen to much else, I thought this title deserved a few parting words. review of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Cleverly divided into three sections for the three countries visited, resulting in 36 chapters symbolizing Gilbert's 36th year, Eat, Pray, Love is a heartwrenching and provoking account of one woman's quest to find life's balance following a painful divorce, broken love affair, and lost sense of self. In its most simple form, following Gilbert's journey prompts a yearning for exploration. Literally, one yearns to set out on a trip, to explore the world and experience the unknown after catching the scent of the author's powerful trail through the three I's- Italy, India, and Indonesia. But travel is just the amuse-bouche, a taste of the meal to come, though the author's descriptions are naturally pleasing and still, pack a creative punch.

Yet, Gilbert's more poignant exploration calls for a journey into her deepest self: an examination of her failings, an acknowledgement of her achievements, and the subsequent effort to tame the pain, anger, loss, and love that can both constrict and uplift the soul. And while Gilbert's struggles are not born of a worldly disaster or injustice, it's the truth that her struggles are born of the most basic of human conditions, love, which gathers our sympathy.

Here is a story that in all its honest and obvious self-focus, is still easy to forget that it is indeed a memoir. When Gilbert asks age-old questions about the soul, love, the power of prayer, and the universe at work, it resonates with such force that one starts her own exploration. Fortunately, Gilbert openly shares the answers she found along the way, and when she finally crosses over to the other side, we give her a quick cheer and then beg to follow.

I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!

August 18, 2010

Day 318-Chilling Out or Freaking Out?

After flying solo at lunch yesterday, I have two takeaways. 1-It’s not that difficult to eat alone as long as you have sufficient people watching, which Madison Avenue Deli indeed has and 2-There are a lot of midday drinkers in this city. No judgment, just an honest observation. Though yesterday I was more than tempted to follow the crowd and grab a Bud Light. Or two or three…

Because this week has been weirdly rough. No idea why, especially because the weekend was so much fun, but I have been exhausted, unable to do more than curl up under the covers and read after stumbling through the work day. You see, I’m in a bit of a rut. Not that everything isn’t running along smoothly (ok, so maybe it’s not technically a rut), but I’m someone who thrives on the next exciting thing around the corner. Now I said so myself in yesterday’s post on Hot Guy Upstairs that you never know when/what/who that will be, so obviously I get the point of letting some things unfold. But I’m still the little girl who used to wake up EVERY morning asking, “What are we going to do today?” except now I’m the twenty-something who poses the same question to patient friends and the not-so-patient and therefore, occasional boyfriend. So when an over-planner, somewhat control freak decides to take a chill pill and not fill the week with classes, clubs and dates she was about to fish for on, aftermath is inevitable.

And the unfortunate aftermath is that without external stimulation, I am stuck in my own head. This isn’t unusual as a lot of people get more reflective when they’re on vacation, in nature, or anytime life calms down. But this is New York City, and I’m an ambitious gal in a million in one ways, and I want it all right now, says my Ego. So when MY life calms down, it ain’t pretty. I’ve been in over-analyzing mode for four days. Coming to grips with yourself is hard. No wonder I’m tired. The bulk of what I’ve realized consists of the following:

I am indeed a control freak. So much so that my freakiness is probably the biggest reason I have trouble letting go of old relationships and the past, in general. I’ve been incredibly privileged that I’ve had a lot of good things go my way so don’t accept it well when they just don’t.

There, I said it. It’s not a great feeling realizing you’re a control freak with all the bad connotations that go with it, not to mention my natural inclination is to force my habits to change overnight. Which is what I've been fighting with for days. And people wonder why I need a blog about living in the moment….

So before the need to hide under the covers for another night takes over, I’m going to let myself off the hook for a bit. Being a control freak may make things difficult at times, but it also makes me an incredibly loving, passionate and loyal individual who is quick to trust as well as forgive. And that’s pretty great.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I’m off the market & in the moment!

August 17, 2010

Day 319-Pep in My Step

I had a little surprise this morning. Though I know I shouldn’t let moments, good or bad, set the tone for the rest of the day, sometimes it just can’t be helped. Step in dog poop? Miss the bus just as it begins to drive away? Forget your umbrella? Major downers.

But today, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I had on a cute green sundress (green is a power color for me-brings out my inner Scarlett O’Hara). I was even feeling so good that I decided to tackle the extremely difficult and tedious task of dropping off my dry cleaning which has been making daily trips on and off my bed for two weeks.….this was big.

But heading down the stairs I was stopped in my tracks. No, it wasn’t the prostitute (again, I live in the East Village) or our super. It was a fellow tenant who from now on will be referred to as the Hot Guy Upstairs.

Even though we’re New Yorkers who supposedly never see our neighbors, I’ve always managed to spot a fair share of lookers in the building, a lot of them with great accents to boot. But this guy had real potential. He was well-dressed (what is it about a guy in a suit???) and HOT.

“Hey there, Cutie!”

Don’t worry. I’m not so far along yet that I’m shouting random, though well-deserved, compliments to strangers. (Though maybe there SHOULD be more of that in the world?) I said this to the lovable dog that beat his master to my feet. But still, it counts right? Surely he got the message I was throwing his way?

Ok, so that probably shouldn’t count as a challenge today, especially since I may have bowled over Hot Guy Upstairs not with my charm but rather a sufficient amount of gag factor from the voice I used that is only reserved for babies and small animals.

But hey, the dog loved me. And as any pet owner knows, that’s half the battle. I know I’m not supposed to be talkin’ relationships, but I can’t help imagining how convenient it would be to run up the stairs whenever I needed a little petting myself…

Thankfully, I’m off the market. Otherwise, I could make a fool’s mistake of doing you know what where I eat.

I don't like a guy dictating my emotions any more than I like dog poop to do so. But after a day of being too tired, blue, whiney, and down on myself for having so much trouble being in the moment, she has to have a blog to re-focus her daily (aren't you glad my Internet failed before I got to write that post!), I needed this little moment between me and Hot Guy Upstairs. The girl with no patience needed a reminder that you have no idea what or who is around the corner. And that has enough pep in my step to try the real challenge for the day. I'm taking myself, by myself, to lunch. No reading material for backup either!

I’m off the market & in the moment!

August 15, 2010

Day 321-Growing Pains

I had every intention of writing this morning's post on Bachelorette #2's big night: drag queens, lap dances, Valentino shoes, and the thing all girls hate. Ok, I will reveal just that one. Don't ask me how it came up, though it was probably from watching drag queens give lap dances, but the two K's and two A's and I were all in agreement that the worst thing a guy can do is to push, direct and/or suggest in any fashion a girl's head South of his border. Guys, just don't try or reap the consequences that will flood towards you.

Anyway, I woke up tired and decided to hold off on an 8am post and instead catch up on EAT, PRAY, LOVE since I left Elizabeth Gilbert in India for the past few nights. I have been trying to remember where I was, my age, my frame of mind when I first read the book to no avail. I remember vividly loving the pleasures of Italy and relishing in the descriptions of pizza and pasta. And I remember being transported to the realms of Indonesia and all the magic and love EG found in its surroundings. India, I remember being incredibly long, slow-going in plot, and even boring at times. After 36 chapters, I was ready to escape the walls of the ashram. Meditation was not my thing. But this time around, I am committed to paying close attention.

So reading about EG's struggle with quieting her mind, not unlike my own, I decided to actually try it for a change. First, I prayed. Please let me find love. Please let me heal. Please send him back but please do your will (almost didn't include that but it slipped in my thoughts so for sake of honesty...). Please give me peace. Please make me open and willing. Please, please, please. My prayers mimicked my struggle with heart vs. head, torn by contraditions of hopes, wants, and submission.

Having felt that I was emptied out, I then tried my first real effort at meditating. My mind roams like mad when I'm trying to be still. I make up stories, choreograph, re-live memories and plan/hope for the future. Needless to say, it takes me forever to fall asleep sometimes. So I decided to give myself a little focus, a mantra of FAITH, LOVE, PATIENCE, all simple words that are powerful in their meaning but difficult for me to grasp. I began repetitions, breathing in & out. FAITH, breath it, LOVE, breath out, PATIENCE. FAITH, be quiet!, LOVE, just repeat the words, you're ok. PATIENCE, please please please give me patience. FAITH, ooh I've been sitting here for awhile. LOVE, maybe I should get a kitchen timer so I'll do ten minutes daily. PATIENCE, a timer would probably click too much and not be relaxing or conducive to quiet. FAITH.

Ok, so it takes practice. But I was proud of my newbie efforts and have to say, felt at ease, attune to myself, and filled with a little more faith than I started the day with. Of course, little did I know that the next chapter of that damn book was about to put me on my ass...

I remember the first time I cried when reading a book. WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS deeply touched me as I lived Little Ann's heartbreak when Big Dan died. I lost it, seriously the floodgates opened, when the fern grew between them. And while I'm sure a book has touched me since, that is the memory that is strongest for me until today, when I was reduced to tears again though in a totally different and more profound way.

Initially, I thought the only way to convey my enlightenment was to re-post the excerpt myself. But, I'm not sure that I want to risk charges for copyright infrigement, and even though I got past that and started typing, I now decided to hold down the delete key. Above all, I try to be honest on the blog, but honestly, this passage hit me so hard, I'm still digesting it. Let's just say chapter 48 starts with EG being confronted by a friend after having spent the night on the bathroom floor breaking down. I had my own little breakdown after the conclusion of the chapter. I doubt that satisfies your curiosity so if needed, go grab your own copy of the book and read for more info. Lots of talk on letting go of control and the purpose of different types of love (including soul mates though not what you think). Crazy ironic since my step-mother shared a quote on such things with me right before reading this. But EG basically summarizes EVERYTHING I'm struggling with right now. How terrifying is it to see things in black & white which you know are true but you could hardly admit to yourself?

If I hadn't tried to still my mind, would I have been willing to listen? I missed a lot the first time I read the book because I wasn't at a stage where I needed all this info. Now I'm reduced to tears in information overload. It's part inspiring, part painful. But most of the time, growing is.

And now, I'm very, very tired.

I'm off the market & in the moment.

August 14, 2010

Day 322-Sometimes You Have to Stand Alone

"Sometimes you have to stand alone to prove that you can still stand."

Last night, we gathered at Phebe's to send B & T off to London. Let's just say, I can't hold my Blue Moon. Because a measly three glasses later, we were pounding the pavement of the East Village singing Disney songs at the very top of our lungs. Part of Your World, anyone? If that's not your favorite, we also shared Can You Feel the Love Tonight before my personal rendition of Les Miz's Master of the House. I have no idea how this came about, but when B and I are together, spontaneous song is probably on the tap long after emptying our glasses. AND I learned that some in the group have been holding out on us for three years as they summoned their former band kid self and jumped in. You know who you are.

In between songs at the restaurant, (yes, still serenading despite the other patrons), I noticed that I was surrounded: a 3 couples to 1 Liza ratio. Strangely, I wasn't blue by the fact. Call me cheesy, but like Lion King, I was feeling the love last night. I am always uplifted by this group of people, and I'm so happy they have one another. Looking around, it was like a preview of the love to come.

But "sometimes you have to stand alone to prove that you can still stand." I love this quote, which marks one of the inspirational envelopes E put put together for me. I chose it because coming out of the Blue Moon fog this morning, I wasn't feeling as high as last night, a little out of sorts wondering where my other half was in the equation.

How perfect that the quote I pulled from the corresponding envelope contained this pic along with:
"There's a single truth behind every heartache. Love hurts when God knows we deserve someone else."

Ok, so I'm not filled with horror per se, but my frustration with my breakup/relationship/life does tend to peak in the a.m., despite what I show to the world. Lingering effects of Blue Moon do not help.

Getting past the hangover, these messages E put together remind me that heartache and aloneness is temporary, just like everything else in life, but something good is around the corner. So what if I'm feeling a little out of sorts in the process? Just because I'm waking up in my single bed alone (which actually results in better sleep considering the size), doesn't mean I should wake up and automatically think I'm lonely. One doesn't equal the other, by any means. But I'm not going to say that standing alone isn't hard at times because it totally is. But I have FAITH, FAITH, FAITH (repeating 3x makes it more true) that once I prove to myself I can, I know it will be worth it.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

August 13, 2010

Day 323-Shopping for the Girls

All signs pointed to my challenge for the day. My "Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch" calendar proclaimed Friday "You Deserve Pretty Lingerie Day," dictating a shopping trip if you're not happy with your current selection (because I deserve it).

Selection? What is the selection you speak of? The only variation I have from t-shirts and comfy pants is a Gap Body cotton nightgown. I never found a guy who I kept around long enough and cared enough about to fork over the cash.

But how convenient? I had to stop by and grab a gift for a bride-to-be. So shopping trip it was.

First stop was Bra Smyth-yeah sounds kinda old ladyish but it has some BEAUTIFUL lingerie that I thought would be more resonable than La Perla and my style. In the words of Sex & the City's Charlotte, "call girl meets Park Avenue" style. Feminine and flirty but not cheap. However, after checking out price tags on said outfits which topped $250, I left empty-handed.

So I stopped at the old standard: Victoria's Secret. Grabbed a sweet, cream lace nightie set for Bachelorette #2 and tried on the same version myself, along with a few other numbers that I thought were totally un-Charlotte, un-me, but a must for this first time shopping trip. If you're gonna go, go all out. Unfortunately, while I was tempted to go all out and try on the bustier number that pretty much resembles the VS logo, pink on black stripe, I thought the outfit wouldn't be complete without the garters that of course, must be purchased separately. Next time....

Surprisingly, the cutsie stuff was "eh" while the teal cheetah? The girls were a fan, and you know who I mean.... While I'm normally trash-talkin' my body, I gave them two thumbs up for their efforts. I basically looked like

Isn't that impressive? Well, since you're not welcome in the dressing room, that's as much as you're gonna get. But since VS apparently only carries two sizes, none of which really fit me, I again walked away empty-handed.

But I'm not done yet. New York City is a big city, and I have stores yet to visit for Bachelorette #1's shower. I may be off the market for a year, but I have a drawer to fill with lace and silk. On the other hand, maybe I should actually invest in drawers first...

I'm off the market & in the moment!

August 12, 2010

Day 324-YEAH Moments

I'm super late in posting today as I've been spending most of my time navigating my new page as a Betty Fan Blogger. I was just accepted as part of the community and am ecstatic that Off the Market & In the Moment will get a great platform from an established page. We're focusing on Eat, Pray, Love this week so be on the lookout for some fun reading material from all the wonderful bloggers!

So that was YEAH moment #1. #2? Hot yoga. Yeah, baby. That is one intense hour, and I survived class without totally keeling over onto someone else's mat which in my opinion, totally counts as having mastered it. I am buckets of water lighter and have to say, feel as if I cleansed out some bad feelings in the process. The magic of endorphins!

And then #3 was workin' K's daily challenge. Today's out of the box behavior? Making some sweet eye contact with fellas on the street rather than looking down/to the side/away like my norm. Now this may seem easy enough until you account that this is New York City, and the amount of people we pass on the street every day is staggering. And I did my best to not discriminate. I gave a dozen guys my best (silent) Joey Tribiani "how YOU doing?"

HILARIOUS to see the reactions. Some guys accepted the challenge and didn't look away while others were a little more wary (though take into account I was in gym clothes and was still profusely sweating post-class). Either way, quite the fun experiment.

Now, I'm feeling like queen of the mountain. Empowered and in the moment! And trust me, if hot yoga doesn't focus you in the present, nothing will. Here's to a good day.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

August 9, 2010

Day 327-The Foundation for a Good We

I had the perfect dinner last night to celebrate one of my closest friend's upcoming move to London. It's her last week in New York City so while we were upbeat with champagne and French fare from Brasserie Julien (fyi-BYOWine on Sundays & Mondays-no corkage fee!), I was fighting the blues which I know will bombard me as soon as she gets on that plane. However, no need to be prematurely sad. Her farewell post does not need to go up until this weekend.

Anyway, I was definitely not the sole single girl at the table, but most of the diners were indeed married or soon-t0-be. I couldn't help but feel a little left out, lonely, out of place? No, those aren't the right adjectives but melancholy isn't right either. I'm not sure what it was other than a feeling deep down in the pit of my stomach. Quite surprising since there's hardly any extra room in said stomach after eating my way through SC...

Living sans relationships aside, I do know that at this moment, I'm not ready for marriage. While I'm sure that could change, once I actually meet that person who I want to spend my life with AND who wants to spend their life with me (without my having to convince him, use force, or totally give up my sense of self) but who knows. I do know I miss the fun times had in being a two-some, the comfort attained after opening yourself up to another person, the companionship. I would love to have my own bachelorette, pick china, be showered with gifts, and Lord knows, go on a all-inclusive honeymoon somewhere tropical. find a fun apartment (without mice) to decorate, start a family after traveling the world, and retire somewhere by the beach.

Sounds lovely. But really, a lot of what I've just listed is quite superficial which it totally scary. I guess the relationship is hidden somewhere in between maybe? The idea of building your life together amid all these things?

I obviously have no idea what I'm talking about...SO not ready to be married.

Maybe it's just because I'm losing my partner in crime to the Brits that I am doing all this thinking about my imaginary companion (whose picture I'm trying to keep fuzzy as opposed to filling with that guy gone by). But sitting around these relationship-happy people, I wonder what I'm doing this year by standing on the sidelines. I was way jealous of the dates another friend was going on. The anticipation. The excitement. The possibility. Am I screwing myself over by getting out of the game?

While prowling Facebook, I spotted a great reminder on Andrea Syrtash's fan page. Andrea is a life coach, relationship expert and author of HE'S JUST NOT YOUR TYPE (and that's a good thing). She knows her stuff:

"A good WE starts with a good ME. It's hard to be passionate in a relationship if you're not passionate in your own life."

Ok, I hear ya Andrea.

In truth, I just don't think I'd be good for a relationship right now. I'm still harboring insecurities and some hurt that I just haven't gotten over yet. Thankfully, I can put these feelings aside much better these days. So while time heals the rest, I should probably leave another human out of my equation. Be patient and be passionate in my own life while I'm in a yearlong timeout. I am finally envisioning an idea for my novel...

And, hopefully I'm building a foundation for my own good WE in the process.

I'm off the market & in the moment

August 7, 2010

Day 329-Lucky in Love

Touch down. I'm back in the Big Apple tonight with only a bite-sized amount of energy left in me from traveling. However, I had to get something off my chest before I lay me down to sleep (yes, I still use my childhood prayer to end the night).

When starting this endeavor, one of my goals was to become more self-aware, in tune with who I am and what I want out of this very short life rather than be a martyr to failed relationships. Today, I'm realizing that while I am indeed progressing toward this at a tortoise pace (two baby steps forward, three baby steps back), blogging can have a dangerous side effect. It's very difficult to walk the fine line of being in the moment and self-aware without missing my mark and falling into plain ol' selfish living.

I mean think about it. Every day I'm reflecting and writing on ME, ME, ME. Now I have made the point before that unless you can learn to take care of yourself and your needs, you can't take care of the world and the larger scheme of life. I stand by my statement, and thus, this yearlong self-examination and exploration is in order. However, being in my head so much also makes me miss the goodness around me (see any patterns?).

I'm incredibly lucky in love. Don't get excited-I'm not breaking the blog bond with a new relationship, though if Prince Harry does come calling, a warning that I'm outta here. But right now, I'm not referring to lucky in romantic love. Rather, I just spent a wonderful ten days at home with my ever-growing family and wonderful friends, catching up and enjoying precious time together eat, eat, eating, snuggling my pets, walking around one of the greatest cities of the world, and talking & laughing. I probably should have spent the whole week in thanks instead of trying to squeeze it in the last hour of Sunday night. But I definitely chose to pout instead. And I am a supreme pouter when I have to get on a plane back to reality before I'm ready. If you ever encounter me in an airport with a sour face, you probably should just keep walking. Otherwise, be prepared to be subjected to a possible explosion of tears-seriously, flying has conditioned me to tear up regardless of my mood!

Anyway, I was brought back to the moment in a gentle yet thought-provoking way (in my head again!) when I found a loving reminder from E sitting on my bed: a basket of pick me-up cards to get through the remaining 11 months still on tap for the year. It gave me the jolt I needed to realize that love comes in all forms: parents, brothers, friends, roommates, the little dachsund or black & white cat who'll curl up beside you whether or not you've finally hit a record high on the scale.

It may not be coming from Cupid's arrow, but love is all around. So in this moment, I'm saying thanks. Thanks for being supportive, for listening, for encouraging, for bringing me back to Earth when I need to be leveled with, and for just being there. Thank you for your love.

Tonight I realize that it's indeed important to reflect on what you want and continue to strive towards a goal, whatever you're hoping to achieve. But it's even more valuable to reflect on what's right in front of you. You may find that everything you need in the moment, you already have.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

August 6, 2010

Day 330-Eat, Eat, Eat

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
-Virginia Woolf
I don't think I've been hungry since I touched down in South Carolina last Sunday. Eat, eat, eat has been my only task du jour. "I am a machine," were the very words in which I described myself after finishing lunch today with my brother and best friend, only hours after I had a barbeque sandwich and hash for breakfast out of actual fear I wouldn't get my bbq fix before jetting back North tomorrow. If you don't know what hash is, you probably should just try it for yourself one day. Googling only results definitions of a chemical sort...
During my eat, Pray, Spaaaaahhhhh vacation, I've heavily focused on culinary pleasures: down home country cookin', fried chicken 3x, fresh seafood, multple trips to Mexican, pizza (but, of course!), Thai, sushi, hamburgers, fries, fries, fries, gelato, ice cream (which is totally different) and reminds me that it's been enough time since I finished meal 6 of the day and now it's totally acceptable to raid the freezer for my peppermint ice cream finale.
Pardon me. Time for dessert!
If you've been within a few yards of me any time over the past few days, you've probably been privy to my chorus of mmmm's and other moans of pleasure. I'm definitely not discreet. All it takes is a list of specials for the evening to get me going. I just love food. I'm not one to discriminate with my love either. I pretty much welcome all types with the exception of mayonnaise and icing. I certainly haven't left any food group alone this week.
This vacation binge hasn't been without preparation. I've been working up to this bad boy for awhile now. While the past few months have been up and down emotionally, I have thoroughly enjoyed the moments of adding these ten pounds to my life. Ok, so this vacation was supposed to be about re-balancing but what the hell. I figure Elizabeth Gilbert gained 23 big ones while eating her way through Italy so I'm way ahead, even as the scale threatens to teeter toward a new number.
Unfortunately, the budget doesn't allow for the purchasing of new pants.
There've been many meals that have trumped many dates for sure, and it is a bit weird that I sometimes have a higher standard with my food than with the men I meet. But I believe the great George Bernard Shaw said it best, "There is no love sincerer than the love of food." Unfortunately, like all good love affairs, this one too must end when I board tomorrow. But for one more day...

I'm off the market & in the Mmmmmmoment!

August 5, 2010

Day 331- Tough Stuff

While it may have worked for some of literature's greatest, a margarita and a glass(es) of wine definitely does not help my writing. Most likely because I just don't get around to writing at all after imbibing, especially coupled with Mexican food from Santi's, a great hole in the wall spot which barely peeks out from under the Arthur Ravenel bridge. Lowcountry folks, you must try it. Muy bueno.

Before lights out at 10pm, however, I did manage to read a few chapters Eat, Pray, Love for a little inspiration. I first read Elizabeth Gilbert's book a few years ago and was immediately captured. I didn't expect as much the second time around but was soon drawn in yet again to Gilbert's year of self-discovery which I at once compared to my own little blog. It was a little difficult to dial down on the self-critique and just enjoy the book. I was amazed by her word choice, the way her imagery set the scene so adeptly, not to mention the creative structure of her work. Thankfully, I woke up this morning with the realization of the following: 1-she has an editor. 2-she has 15 years of experience on me. 3-she has Italy, India, and Indonesia for inspiration. Who wouldn't be able to pull together captivating metaphors in those settings? Perhaps I should give myself a little more credit since I have to tap my creative juices from the confines of my living room or office.

The second thing I noticed about Gilbert's book is the way she wonderfully captures her newfound spirituality, her experiences eerily similar to my own. She explains her first conversation with God: repeated cries of "Please tell me what to do," followed by an abrupt need to stop crying when a comforting silence took over.

I've felt the same during my own desperate prayers. The pain doesn't ever disappear but becomes bearable in a quiet numbness that takes over like a blanket is being wrapped around aches and fears. It's an awe-inspiring reminder that there's a bigger force at play that perhaps I should trust in.

But I'm very bad at trusting. Well, ironically I'm quick to trust other people I meet, to a fault sometimes, but when it comes to trusting in the universe, I'd rather just call in for assistance when I need it rather than let go of what I want and think I need. Having faith is hard work, and I'd more of the school of thought that "work hard and good things will come your way." This is a faulted system as hard work, though it does help you, certainly doesn't protect you. Just listen to the local news for proof. It's a difficult lesson which thankfully, I've already learned.

But again, I'm rambling. The pray section just can't be contained in a day. This is tough stuff, and apart from plagiarizing Gilbert or just giving you summaries of what I read that struck me, I'm out of my own ideas.

So yes, here's another pitiful post, and the old me would be typing apologies. I'm fighting insticts here and instead will say that I'm not sorry. I don't claim to know it all or be enlightened. If I had all the answers, I wouldn't need this year in the first place.

I'm off the market & in the moment.

August 3, 2010

Day 332-Marinating...

The blog has been quiet this week, which pretty much reflects the vacation routine I've been enjoying: a lot of lazying around, afternoon naps, and going to bed before 10pm each night results in little to write about. On top of that, I set myself up for this whole eat, pray, spaaaaahh week, but I've been really avoiding writing on a daily basis because when it comes to the spiritual/balance portion, I'm perpetually stumped on where to begin. However, the best thing to do when you have writer's block is to just start writing whatever comes to mind. So here goes a lot of mismatched thoughts and a lack of thesis....

I was raised to be religious and certainly consider myself spiritual. Put me on a beach or in the mountains, and it's easy to reflect and gain perspective. And I'm definitely quick to shoot off a prayer in a tight spot, moments of stress, or when someone's at risk. On a daily basis, however, being in touch with the powers that be is a lot easier said than done. Giving up control and letting go, trusting and having faith that everything will work out is NOT my strong suit.

Even now as I sit down and finally take time to focus, nada. I have no where to go with this one.

So since it's time for dinner, I'm going to let this one marinate a bit and take the Hemingway approach. A mojito will most definitely help.

I'm off the market & in the moment!

August 2, 2010

Day 333-Eat, Pray, Spaaaaahhhh

I'm happily settled back in my hometown after a memorable weekend with friends. At home, it's so easy to hibernate, forget about the potential men I scouted in Charleston over the weekend (and there were a few!), and just not think about on or off the market-ness. Now's the moment to rest up, relax, and re-center before tackling the big, bad and amazing city again.

Home or not, I love a good day to rejuvenate. Most days, the couch and sitcoms have to suffice. Occasionally, I'll force myself into some quality relaxation with a leisurely bath (which you can see from last weekend's post, just isn't feeling so leisurely these days). But despite how adept you are at conconcting homegrown conditioners from egg yolks or turning your 650 square foot apartment into a zen place, nothing ever beats the "ahhhhhhh" moments from the spaaaaaahhh.

Ok, so I'm doing things a bit reverse based on the post title. First things first, and that means a spa day. I wish I could say that I treat myself to such pleasures often. That such trips were built into my monthly plan for taking care of myself just like eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, I tend to not eat so healthy and spend most of my extra funds on fabulous dinners out instead of booking regular appointments for myself. In fact, I've realized that I only fork over the $$$ when I'm post-breakup. It's the only thing that can break my mind from a good wallowing session.

Yes, that's out of whack! Take care of yourself only when you're hurting? That's like going to the dentist with multiple cavities but neglecting checkups the rest of the year. Or just shaving your legs when you're expecting some action. Kidding!That's a fabulous perk of singlehood.

So today's been my opportunity to indulge in a little R&R combo of a facial, manicure and pedicure. While it's obviously a relaxing experience, I forgot how great it is to just feel taken care of, no guy needed. It cleared my head of all those noxious memories hanging around-or maybe that was the abundant flavors of moisturizer leaving me pseudo-high? Regardless, I'm feeling very lalalala lovely at the moment. Hopefully, this is the first step to prioritizing my needs regardless of relationship status.

I may not be able to Eat, Pray, Love...but spaaaahhhh is an incredible substitute. Here's to being worth it.

I'm off the market & in the moment!