Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dating Virginia: Let's get started

A glimpse into the life of a single girl on the prowl in the big city.

Yes. I have decided to start a section on this blog all about dating in New York City. Which, is what some of you have been waiting for this whole time (maybe, maybe not).

I'll start with this: I have no idea what I'm doing.

I have never dated before. Yes, I've been on "dates" but I've never participated in the ritual of 'dating' in the adult world. Dating is such a different beast when you're in school. You constantly interact with members of the opposite sex - they know you're eccentricities (at least what you decide to show in public) and you know theirs. It's a game of flirting and giggling and forming a crush because Mr. Plaid Shirt in the front row knows how to do math. Mmmm... math. See? It's easy! You go to a party, get drunk, and confess that you think Mr. Plaid is totes sexy. Maybe you make-out, maybe not, but at least you've got someone in your radar now. It moves to the exchange of phone numbers, a text here and there, sending of a someecard, talking on the phone (all this while continuing to drunkenly stumble around eachother at random parties) and maybe you form a relationship from that. It's the fairytale, right?

It doesn't work that way in the real world.

Not that I really experienced the college way of dating either. I began dating he-who-shall-not-be-named almost immediately after graduating from High School. Our relationship lasted 4 years (almost to the day) and I sat on the sidelines while watching other college co-eds engage in their native dating rituals. I didn't need to participate - but maybe I should have paid closer attention because I haven't a clue how to navigate this ocean of sexual tension that lies between men and women.

First, it is extremely difficult to meet single men in this city. A recent study reported that in New York City, single women outnumber single men by more than 210,000. (Check out your city by clicking HERE) To put that into perspective, it would be like the entire Empire State Building, filled to capacity - with only 2 men. Talk about your competition!! I used to think that it was my inability to compete with the models and actresses (and those that could be) that are all over this city. But, now, I realize that it's all about statistics. And, unlike Sex and the City, you don't get asked out constantly in the grocery store or at the gym, and you'd probably never find your rich doctor husband by falling down in the street. I fell down in the street once (on a date) and all I got was a hole in the knee. (Chilvary fail)

Have I been on dates? Yes, I have. (Details on those may appear in later entries) And yes, plural (meaning more than one, for those who spent too long staring at Mr. Plaid Shirt instead of paying attention in class!) For the most part, they've been an awkward dance of "what do you do?" "what is your favorite tv show?" coupled with thoughts of "if I cross my arms, is that sending the wrong signal?" "should I offer to pay for dinner?" -- it's a mind disaster of nuclear porportions. Most of the time, I feel like the men are all thinking "hmm.. how much money do I have to throw down on her before I can secure a beej for the night?" and I'm thinking "hmm.. how much do I have to flirt to get him to buy me some icecream after dinner?"

Still, the first obstacle is the hardest - putting yourself "out there". Gross. Can't we still have debutante parties where you send out an invitation to society that says, "She's here, she's single, and she wants to be taken home!"??? Either that or find a way to telepathically send out mind signals telling all the single boys to come and knock on our door while we hang out with Ben and Jerry watching Lifetime Original Movies. We can make that work, right?

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Un-iversary

It has been said that everyone ages a considerable amount in their first year out of college. I wholeheartedly believe that is true. I mentioned a few posts ago about a networking event for Elon students that will soon be joining the workforce. Upon returning to my apartment and discussing the event with my roommate, I remember telling her, "They were all so little! They looked like babies!" Thinking about it, they were only 1-3 years younger than I. But, they had a certain youthfulness about them. And those of us that have moved forward into the black hole of "real life" appeared older (not necessarily more mature, but definitely older.) Maybe it's the naivety that is gone from behind our eyes.

As the title of this post states, I have reached my universary. The one-year point of my un-marriage. There were many times throughout the year where I thought that this day (which was actually yesterday) would be my hardest day. I was plesantly suprised to find that not the case. It was almost like any other day, really. Yes, there were some reminders througout the weekend of the wedding that "wasn't to be" and the relationship that "crashed and burned" but, my mind and heart were at peace. It was almost like those things were never there - like they never existed in the first place. Am I completely whole again? Probably not. In fact, I probably will never be completely "healed". In a way, I will always have a twinge of pain - like a faint scar - that will remind me of how badly an individual can hurt another without doing any physical harm.

I spent the weekend in North Carolina with my family and friends. My grandparents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary (I would have shared a wedding day with them had I gotten married) - - there was a grand party planned with all of thier family and friends in attendance. Irony definitely played a role in the 50th anniversary party -- the decor featured decorations and details that were carefully picked out for my own celebration. I thought it would be painful, seeing all of my "ideas" used for something else.. but it was heartwarming, really. Knowing that those things were being used for a celebration of love (real love) was the best thing I could have hoped to see. Seeing my grandparents dance together, loving each other for 50 years - has made me believe that it is possible to find love - even after a considerable amount of heartache.

It was wonderful to talk with some extended family members - those that I (sadly) don't get to see very often (Shout-out to Katy and Dave! hollaaa!) and to really spend some time with those I see more often, but I have missed so much since moving to NYC. I am so very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

So, I made it. I made it to the year after. And I'm surprisingly doing very well. But, like those from the networking event, I've lost some of the naivety that laid behind my eyes last year. I had to grow up.

Yes, those are some of the photos from my wedding portraits. For a long time, I felt the need to keep these hidden, but I figured it would be okay to post them because that girl in the photo does not exist anymore. Looking at them, it's like someone playing dress-up, pretending to be something, to feel something that is not there anymore. That girl is tucked away just like the dress and veil.

I am a new person - someone who is ready and excited to experience a life that is full of family, friends, and laughter - and someone who will always believe in love.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just a little bit famous

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to a fashion event on Fire Island yesterday and met some of the most fabulous bloggers on the interwebs. And, lo and behold, I'm on their site today! Check it!

It's certainly not the best photo they could have chosen... since I was half-drunk and my dress is all wonky on top. They could have picked the better one (me with the two of them-in post below) but, I guess they didn't want to post pictures of themselves on their blog. Modest little bitches. : ) Still, head over to Project Rungay to see me and all of my fabulous-ness. Mmmmmm love it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I can't believe June is almost over...

It's happened. I am starting to love New York City. I'm realizing now that this city has so much potential to be truly amazing for me. Maybe it's because it's summer, or maybe because I've gotten past the adjustment phase of being in a new city, I'm not sure. But, I do know that I have officially decided to stay in NYC for another year. Yes, I may change my mind 10-20 times in the next few months, but I think that if I continue on the path I am, then I can do it. I can make it in this city.

I spent Sunday at Fire Island (off of Long Island) for a shopping/fashion event. Fire Island is known as a prominently gay community (okay, ALL gay community) and if I'm being honest, I kind of loved it. For once, I could go into a crowd of people who were nice, cheerful, and friendly. I didn't have to worry about what I looked like or how I was presenting myself (because no one on the island was interested in me anyway!) And who doesn't love new gay friends?? ;)

I won a ticket to the event through a blog that I read frequently (about Project Runway and general fashion). It was a wonderful opportunity to get outside of the city and see what else New York has to offer. It took two trains, a bus, and a ferry to get to the island, but in the end, I was left at a beach that was secluded and peaceful. Totally worth the journey.

Here's a photo with Tom and Lorenzo - some of my favorite bloggers. Be sure to visit their blog at http://projectrungay.blogspot.com/ (Some of the photos from their Fire Island post are ones I took!)

They were incredibly nice and a joy to meet. They made sure that I was able to get around to meet the Project Runway designers and some of the models before leaving the island. And most of you know how much I love Project Runway.... ahh... How fun!

The weekend before, Carrie and I checked out the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in Madison Square Park. Yes, NYC embraced Southern cooking, beer, and country music for two whole days! The Pit restaurant in Raleigh came and set up a booth, so of course I had to get some NC barbecue! Even though it wasn't the best I'd ever had (it was kinda cold), it was definitely a nostalgic lunch. Carrie and I then walked uptown to take Ryan some NC barbecue (because even people with demanding jobs requiring them to work on Sunday afternoons deserve NC food).

We ended up running into the Puerto Rico Day Parade. While most parades last only an hour or two, this parade lasted several very loud hours. It took us almost an hour to get through the parade to get to Ryan's building. The parade was kind of funny to witness - a bunch of people decked out in Puerto Rican garb with flags and noise makers dancing to Daddy Yankee. But the hilarity wore off quickly and the masses of paraders became more obnoxious than funny. Oh well, chalk it up to experience : )
This shot is the view from Ryan's office building. Can you imagine having to work on a Sunday afternoon with that going on outside your window?

Carrie appropriately models our feelings about the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

I'll be going home this weekend to help celebrate my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary and to work on my tan. Oh yeah, and I have a date tomorrow... what?? :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stop this train

Stop this train -
I wanna get off and go home again.
I can't take the speed it's moving in.
I know I can't -
But honestly, won't someone stop this train?

I feel like my life is spinning out of control and I can do nothing to stop it. Like being on a Sit-n-Spin, I am still, but my world is dizzy, out of focus, and out of reach. I have no constant. I know enough to know that life will never "stop" spinning, and it will never be completely easy, but I'd really like a slow-down of sorts. I'm almost afraid to answer the telephone, always fearing more bad news.

As you know, my father's cancer is far more progressed than we originally thought. Next Friday, he will go in for his bone marrow scan which will determine how much treatment he will need.

In addition to the cancer my father is battling, my grandfather received a report this week that confirmed that his cancer is back. He has 8 spots in his brain, 7 of which are minuscule, one of which is a full millimeter. (I know that doesn't seem large, but in cancer, it is.) He'll have to have radiation therapy on the entire brain (which has some pretty serious risks)

I feel so helpless, so far away from both of them. And I feel guilty for not being able to be there for them. I know that I couldn't REALLY do much to help, but I could be there! I could talk with them... or something! But, I can't do any of that from here. I am removed. I am far away.

I want to know everything about my grandfather. I think he is an unbelievably amazing individual and every time I am with him, I find out something new about his life and his past. I feel childish for not paying more attention to his stories throughout the years - If this is it for him, I know my life will never be the same. If he were to not be here anymore, I don't think that is something I could handle. The world, MY world, is better because of him.

My head is clouded with all of these thoughts, and I know that I should think positively, and not be upset, because that's what they would want me to do. But, I can't help it. I want to hold onto them with all of my strength.. but will that be enough? Will they truly know how much I care for them? How much I think about them?

There is a part of my brain that feels like my life is starting to come together, to make sense. Then there's another part, a deep, darkened part that reminds me that it's falling apart. I am two beings in one body. And, with this constant battle of self, I can not hold it all together. I am useless.

I'm on this train, I can't slow down.
And the brakes are gone and I'm running out of reasons to even try to stop it now.
And it seems to me no matter where I turn,
I fall off these tracks and I get burned;
But someday I'm going to finally make it home.

But these wheels keep on taking me the long way..
And I just don't know when they'll finally stop.
But I know if they keep taking me the long way, the wrong way;
I'm falling off, ain't never getting up.

And, someday, I hope you finally lead me home.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Updates from the week ---

This week is a pivotal point in my life - I can officially say that everything that happened "wedding-wise" was "last year", not "last summer" or "this past June"... I can finally begin to put all of this behind me. Of course, I still have about 2 weeks until my "universary", but knowing that I have made it to this point is a wonderful feeling. I've spent a lot of time this week thinking about my life and where I'm headed (verses where I would have been had I actually gotten married - ew) and I'm starting to feel more confident about my life. I guess I really had to go through these things to realize what I'm capable of doing.

Of course, my life is not perfect (not by any means!) and there are many things that I need to do and change before I can really feel like I'm living the life I'm supposed to be living. But, I'm on my way - I'm getting there.


I went to The Belmont last weekend with my roommate's family and some friends. What an amazing event! I've done so many things living in this city that I would have never been able to experience anywhere else - so unbelievable. I did bet on some horses, but I didn't win any money.. : ( It's alright, though, it was worth the money spent for the excitement.

We had an amazing view - a spot right at the fence - to watch the races... awesome.


On Tuesday, Elon sponsored an event at the Volstead (midtown east) to kick-off their Elon In New York City event. It is a program where current Elon students get internships in the city and are provided with housing and some food (I think). It's essentially a way for students to get those coveted internships and to make it easier for them to live in the city. (Man, it would have been nice if they had that when I was there). Anyway, the event was for students to really see what "networking" is like.

Normally at these events, I am the network-ee. I'm the one harassing people trying to figure out who they work for, who they know, who knows them, and essentially, if they would recommend me for a job. But, this time, I was on the other side. Suddenly, these people wanted to talk to me! They wanted to know what my internships were, what I had on my resume, and how I got my job. It was so ironic, these students, who are just like I was - excited, optimistic, vivid - couldn't wait to get out in the "Real World". I hate to say that I was a little bit of a thunderstorm on their parade, but I wanted to be honest with them. After all, I think I would have had a better view of what life would be like if people had been completely honest with me during my job hunt. It's not easy. It's hard. It's hard moving to a new city, it's hard finding a job right out of college... and at this point, you almost HAVE to know someone that has an "in" in order to get a job. Applying for jobs online is essentially useless. And, from talking to them, I realized how much I need to be taking my own advice. I should be networking like crazy, talking to everyone I possibly can - and making sure I'm putting myself out there for people to see - employers aren't going to find me!

So, I'm going to put up an updated portfolio website. I think I'm actually going to pay for the domain space and make it as professional as possible. And, if it gets me a job, it'll be worth every penny. I'll keep you posted though.


In keeping with tradition, June 10th sucked this year as well. It seems that 6/10 is my family's day to receive bad news. Last year, it was the news that my fiance had cancelled our wedding and this year, we learned that my father's cancer is more progressed than they thought. He'll have to begin treatment sooner than we expected (like, within a few weeks/months maybe). It sucks, really, that we got such a good report from the doctors about him being in Stage 0 and the possibility of never needing treatment because his cancer was "dormant". Now, test results have come in from RTP showing that the cancer has mutated some of the blood cells. ::sigh:: This isn't going to be easy.

After having a bone marrow scan, doctors will determine how much/how long/how strong of chemotherapy he would need to get the cancer into a remission. I'll let you know when we know more...


Well, it's almost quittin' time and there hasn't been much to do today.. so I'm pretty certain I'm going to be kicked out in about 10 minutes. At least it's Friday! More later, dear readers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"I can't do it"

So, I've come full-circle. It was on this day, exactly one year ago, that I received an early morning phone call that changed my life. Around 6:00am, my (then)fiance called me and effectively told me that he did not want to get married. "I can't do it" was all he said - all he needed to say, really. During the short phone calls, texts messages, and emails (really, who cancels a wedding by texting??) that were exchanged, I knew that my life was going to be very different from what I had planned. No, the wedding wasn't actually canceled until a few days later, but in my heart, I knew that morning that I deserved better.

I remember, there was a moment - after the first phone call (that phone call only lasted about 2 min.) I sat up in bed, still a little groggy from sleep and shocked from being on the phone. I'm not sure why, but I got up out of bed and went outside to sit on the front porch. It was at that moment, as I sat outside at 6:30 in the morning, that I understood what was happening. I was not getting married. I would have to start over. I think in that moment, my heart accepted this - but my head had not. I still had too many questions, too many thoughts - and it would be a long, long time before all of the pieces made sense. I had margaritas for breakfast and ice cream for lunch. The beginning of my long, hard battle had started.

The above photo was taken three days before the "D-Day" at my Bridesmaid's luncheon. My bridesmaids (with the exception of C's sister - omen??) and I were taking photographs toward the end of the lunch. During the photo session, someone yelled "turn around!" to someone else, but we (being silly) turned around and posed for the "photo". I realize now how symbolic this photo really is. On that day, when my life was going exactly as I had planned it, they were there for me, sharing in my joy. And when my world was crumbling around me, They were there, holding me up. I still had the support of my family and friends - much like the photo above. Granted, my bridesmaids weren't the only ones that were there for me during that time. (They're just the ones that are in the appropriate photo) To all my family and friends: Thank you. You have no idea how much you helped me.

It really doesn't seem like an entire year has passed. Now, there were a few days/weeks in the winter that felt like they lasted an entire year, but looking back now, this year has gone by very quickly. I guess I'm lucky for that.

More thoughts and reflections to come. Love to you -

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


There will probably be a lot of "one year ago today" posts in the coming weeks/months. Because, "one year ago" my life changed dramatically. This is when I'm allowed to get all retrospective. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Birthdays, Princes, and Ponies - New York is actually kinda cool.

Per usual, my life starts to get more exciting - and it looks less exciting because I've been too consumed (okay, lazy) to update the blog! So, since I've got a VERY slow morning here at work, I've decided to share some events of note.

So, let me first quickly delve into life since the last post: I went home for Memorial Day weekend and had a wonderful time being with family and friends. It's always refreshing to go home, but always a reminder that I'm doing the right thing. Sometimes, I walk around this city wishing for an open yard and a swing on a porch. On those days, I'd give anything to move back home and get back to where things are comfortable, where people know who I am and what I'm capable of, and where I am respected, not chastised, for the way I act or speak.

On the other hand, when I am at home, I am reminded that I made the right decision to move. While living in North Carolina is calm, peaceful, and familiar, it's also a place where I am not tested and therefore would not grow.

I think, really, I have the best of both worlds at my fingertips. I live in the hustle and bustle of the big city. I am exposed to ambitious people that will do (and are doing) great things and I have all the resources to really make a difference in my life. And, when I feel the need, I can always go home again; for that little bit of perspective - to remind me that I am capable of so many things - and to know that my family and friends will always be there when I need to come back.


On Wednesday, I officially added an extra candle to the birthday cake. For me, birthdays have never really been that big of a deal. I've always had shared celebrations with family members and I guess I never really got into the habit of really celebrating my "day of birth". I did receive cards and gifts from family and friends and I had a birthday dinner with my roommate - plenty of celebration for me. I guess it's kind of funny, each year, we get more and more introspective about our lives and how we're living it. So, I thought about the last year. Birthday to birthday. And, I came to the decision that I'm proud of me! There, I said it. I'm proud of myself! Because it was my birthday, I'm allowed to take a moment and be vain. On May 27th of last year, I was not in the best mood. I graduated from college 3 days prior, and while I should have been the happiest at that time, I was upset because my "fiance" didn't come to see me graduate. I had argued and fought with him at the time, because he had promised that "no matter what" he would be there - knowing that it was important to me. Let's file that one in, "I shoulda known". Anyway, with the reeling of the recent disappointment, and the sadness of leaving my friends, I also had to move out of my apartment that Tuesday. There's nothing sadder than seeing the blank walls and empty space of a place you called home. Still, I had things to look forward to. I was getting married in a month, and the next few weeks were to be spent tying ribbons, folding papers, and spending time with the people I love most.

Let's fast-forward to this year. This year will probably go down in (my personal) history as one of the hardest years of my life. I know everyone has personal battles that they deal with, but for me, it seemed that I kept getting knocked down. One blow after the other, day after day, month after month. To the point where other people began to see saying "geez, Virginia, this year sucks for you!". And, it did. This year sucked. But, (here's the silver lining, ready for it?) I can look back now at my journey and it's like looking over the ledge after climbing up the mountain. I can see where I started, and I can see the point where I slid down. I know the exact time and place that I hit rock bottom, and I know the exact time and place that I started to climb back up. Am I at the top? Absolutely not. But I am in motion - and this year has been pivotal for me in understanding who I am, what I'm capable of, and what I want to be. This year, I became an adult.


Okay, now that I've had my weekly, "self pep-talk", I can divulge into some fun things. This past weekend, Govenors Island was re-opened for public use. And, in honor of the island's now open gates, a polo match was held on the grounds (Apparently, they used to play Polo a lot on Governors Island) It's a small island, just south of the Island of Manhattan - just a short ferry ride away. So, Carrie, Ryan, and I went to the polo match that was a fundraiser for Prince Harry's newest project "Sentabale". (Website Here) While ticket prices ranged from $500.00 to $50,000.00, we joined the "free crowd" to watch the match. Since I had never been to a polo match before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I will say that I loved it! We were close enough to the pitch (field) to see all of the action and it was a really good game!

The game was sponsored by Veuve Clicquot Champagne so there were many famous people in attendance. Of course, I was a little "star struck" by all of the celebrities there. Prince Harry was playing, as well as Nacho Figueras (he's the guy in the Ralph Lauren ads. ( Hotness Here ) I also spotted LL Cool J. Kate Hudson, Chloe Sevigny, and Madonna were also in attendance - as I'm sure many others. There are photos on Facebook, go check them out - Here's one of my favorite shots - you can really see the faces of the players. I'm actually surprised I got so many good shots since I wasn't really paying attention to what was being seen through my camera.

Prince Harry (1) and Nacho Figureas (4)

Governors Island is such an amazing place. It's small, very green, and it's basically set up like a college campus. It has amazing views of the harbor and downtown Manhattan, and it's quiet enough to make it feel like you're far, far away from the city. I think Governors Island will be a place I will frequent this summer.

View of Lady Liberty in the Harbor from Picnic Point, Governors Island


So far, the summer season has shown me the potential New York City has. It's actually quite nice. This weekend, I'll be going with friends to The Belmont (a horse race) - should be pretty exciting. Updates to come!