Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Final Resolution Check

I'm sitting on a 6th floor balcony facing the Gulf as I write this post. Yes, my family decided to take a post-Christmas vacation and we've been spending the week in St. Petersburg, Florida on Capri Isle.

The view from my grandmother's dock - Treasure Island, FL

I've been trying to force myself to not worry my mind with thoughts of joblessness or boys, and to try and relax this week. But, of course, I can never keep my mind still.

Isn't it funny how we think that just because the year changes that we have a clean slate? Like everything we've done and experienced goes away because it's a new year. Part of me wants to believe that's how it can be, but the other part knows the reality. The problems and issues we had on December 31st will still be there on January 1st. 2009 will become 2010 and everything will stay the same. I guess the ability to change is still there, and it's easier for some people to adapt new habits when there's talk about change in the air.

Normally, this would be the time I make my resolutions for the year, but I think I'm going to wait until tomorrow to really put it all out there. There's some thinking I have to do on that.

But, since the end of the year has now arrived, it's time to do the official 2009 resolution check. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you'd remember the original resolution post and the 6-month-check-up. So, here we go - let's see how I did this year.

Family: It has been a very difficult year for my family. My resolution with them was to make sure I was maintaining contact with all of them (including extended family) and to be certain they understood how much they mean to me. Never did I think that losing one of my favorite people would bring that closeness back to the family. The death of my grandfather and my dad's cancer diagnosis has given us an opportunity to know each other in a way I didn't think possible before. I hate the circumstances that forced this, but I'm appreciative to have such an amazing support system in place. I'm extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful family.

Independence: Man, I have certainly become more independent this year! In fact, I moved from an apartment in the East Village to one in Murray Hill by myself! (Yes, I did have a friend help me move my bed, but I did the rest!) It was one of those situations that I would have never had to worry about had I been in North Carolina, but this time, I had to step up and figure it out on my own. I've also spent more time figuring out what I want to do - not what other people would want. It's hard, to consider only myself and not others, but I'm getting better.

Friends: After leaving Ogilvy, I had less time to remain in contact with my friends from home (on gchat), that, I regret. But, moving to a new job and a new apartment, and meeting more people in the city, I'm really starting to form a friend network here. Of course, my friends from home will always hold a special place in my life and I hope they are always there.
In addition, I'm really starting to understand that I have a choice about what people I want in my life and ones that I do not. It seems so elementary, that we get to be selective about who we want to spend our time with - but it really took me a lot of courage to be able to tell people that I just wasn't interested in being their friend. It's probably some of the best things I've done.

Dating: If you read this blog, you know all about my dating life. Of course, I didn't come out of this year with a solid romantic relationship, but I feel like I came out with something a lot better - I have a better understanding of myself and what I need in a partner. I guess this whole dating thing has really been about self-discovery all along. I've met some great people, some creepy people, I've laughed until no sound came out, and I've cried. Best of all, I've made some great friends.

Professional: This is probably the worst part of this "review". After getting laid off in October and being jobless up until this point, I've been very discouraged in the professional realm. Hopefully, this will turn around in the coming weeks.

Selfishness: If you remember, I resoluted to be more selfish this year. To consider myself above others and to really focus on what I wanted out of life. I've made extra effort to say "no" when I don't want to do something and to push for what I want. It's a lifestyle change, yes. But, I think it's for the best. I've also gotten much better about articulating my feelings to people - to be able to say "you upset me" when I usually would keep to myself. "I like you" is another thing I've learned it's okay to say to people (when it's true)

I've come out of a shell this year. And, no matter what happens, 2009 will be the year I lived in New York City, the year my father was diagnosed with (and hopefully beat) cancer, the year I lost my dog, the year my grandfather died. It will be the year where I moved from a crappy apartment in the East Village to a wonderful place uptown. It will have been the year I sat on the beach in December trying to get as tan as this 70 degree weather will allow.

The sun has sunk beautifully into the reflective water and I'll be going to dinner with the family soon. So, while my 2010 resolutions are still coming, I wish you all a very happy new year. May 2010 be your best year yet!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

VA Review: NARS Orgasm Collection - Blush

Blush was one of those pieces of makeup I never really put much interest in. In high school, I was all about the eye makeup. In fact, I look at some photos now and wonder why I thought it was okay to go outside with so much eye makeup caked on. The past year, it's been all about the lipstick. But, while walking around Sephora bored one afternoon, a woman asked me if I'd like to have a consultation. I told her I wasn't really interested in doing something long and drawn out, but she looked me over and said, "You should really highlight your cheeks more, you've got such a great face shape."

Strange, I never thought much about my cheeks before - I always tried to highlight with a touch of blush, but nothing too fancy.

That was, until I discovered "Orgasm" by NARS.

I'd seen the collection listed in the Selfglampolitan magazines many times, but I always thought that it was a little too expensive. But, I bit the bullet and bought the blush.

Here's what I know: I love it.

It promises to give you that "just 'gasmed" glow - I don't know how close it makes your face look to post-O, but it's a soft peach with a golden shine. The best thing about it is that you can make it as light or as dark as you want depending on how much you stack on.

So now, it's all about the cheeks for me. Of course, it's better to keep the eyes and lips as neutral as possible. Remember kids, only go crazy on one part at a time!

Here's a picture of me and the pops - tell me what you think!

When reading reviews online, there was a complaint about how this blush didn't come with a brush, but I believe that if you're at the point where you're paying $25.00 for blush, you have professional brushes that you already use.

Overall grade: 9
It's a tad expensive, but blush usually lasts a long time. So, if I use it every day for 6 months, it averages about $0.13 a day. It goes on great, doesn't fade, and I'm sure would look wonderful on many different skin tones. Hopefully this blush will take me straight into summer!

If you're interested in reading more reviews, head on over to the Sephora website and check it out HERE !

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dating Virginia: Just Friends

MealPlan and I are just friends.

It's something I've known for quite some time, but I finally took the initiative to put it out on the table yesterday. It is agreed: we are just friends. There's a part of me that is a little saddened by the confirmation of it, but the other part of me is relieved. I mentioned before that I didn't think that a relationship would form out of our situation. But, I guess I just didn't really consider the fact that the relationship we had was a 'just friends' type.

I knew I didn't want to lose him, since I talk to him every day and I do enjoy that. So, this is best. But, there's still kind of an awkward thing happening. We're starting to get to the point where we're talking about dating other people and such. But, I guess that's part of being a friend; putting my old feelings aside and being the best friend I can be. And, believe it or not, I kind of enjoy being that person for him.

So, there it is. I think we'll be good as friends - and maybe I can date his friends ;)

'Till next time - Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dating Virginia: Is that all there is?

Let's catch up. I've done a lot of posts that talk about what I like and don't like about dating, but haven't actually talked a lot about what has been happening.

Since the summer, I've done a lot of dating, but there have been two guys that have remained pretty constant throughout the fall. "Seaman" and "MealPlan".

If you remember back in the summer, I made a post about Seaman talking about our amazing sexual chemistry. But, Seaman and I have ceased communication after I sat next to him while watching a movie and realized that I actually hated him. I'm not exactly sure why I kept talking with him for so long, but I decided that I should never be with someone who embarrasses me in public. (Yeah, he thought it was okay to continually walk around town with his shirt off, sang out loud while listening to an iPod - while walking down the street with me! - and had to stop and pet every single dog we passed)

MealPlan and I, on the other hand, still talk every day, on IM and texting, but he doesn't seem to want to hang out very often. I don't get it. Does he want a pen pal? Normally when I abide by the "he's just not that into you" rules, his constant contact would mean that he's interested, since he keeps on contacting me, yes? But, he's also kind of mean to me. I know he's probably thinking that he's joking with me or whatever, but some of the things he says are actually offensive. Maybe that's his way of saying that he is uninterested in anything more than "friends." But still, I like talking to him.

I can't quite figure out why I want to like him so much, or why I want him to like me so much. I can't imagine at this point that we could actually form a legit relationship out of our "relationship" because we seem to have crossed too far into the "friend zone".

Humph. Am I destined to be attracted to men who treat me badly?

In trying to find a man other than MealPlan, (meaning, one who actually would like to SEE me) I went on a date tonight. I was really pumped about this particular date, I really thought that there could be something with this guy. But, he turned out to be a horribly boring mouth breather with bad teeth.

Is that all there is? Is that all that is out there for me? It's such a let down to constantly go on dates just to be disappointed.

How hard can it be to find a tall, classically handsome man who enjoys brushing his teeth? Apparently, it's impossible.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Break the levee

I don't cry very often.

That may seem an unusual statement to a lot of you because I'm kind of a sap, but it's true. I don't cry very often. Sure, I feel like crying a lot; I often get that lump in my throat that begs to be soothed by giant puddles forming in my eyes, but I rarely allow it to come to fruition. Seriously, I get that feeling over the smallest things. A sappy commercial, phone calls from friends and family, books, special emails, seeing happy children in parks, and standing ovations at the end of performances. But, I've always found a way to keep it inside.

I was always the peacemaker in my family. Always the one that tried to patch things up when they weren't going smoothly, or when people fought. That's not to say that I never started anything (my siblings would attest to that!), but overall, since I was a young girl, being the rock was where I felt I belonged.

Because of that, I have often kept my feelings to myself, hid my emotion during tough times and instead helped others through their pain. And, it seems, that because of my "need to be strong for every one else", I have isolated myself and find myself alone.

I cry alone.

Last week, a North Carolina man by the name of Dick Carson died. He had a malignant tumor that was found too late. A member of the Elon church where my mother works (and where my family attends service on the regular), my family knew Mr. Carson well. During my father's last chemotherapy treatment, he sat next to Mr. Carson, both receiving a slow medicated cocktail to cure their deadly disease. Today, my father went in for his last chemo treatment of 2009, Dick Carson, of course, was not there.

I spoke to my mother this week on the phone, she said: "Your father was pretty upset at the funeral home today. I guess it's hard to have someone sit next to you during your chemo, and be dead by your next treatment." I agreed, holding back that lump that started to rise in my throat.

This past weekend, my brother and his girlfriend, Tara, came to visit. Coincidentally, his girlfriend's mother lives across the street from me here in New York, so the four of us spent a lot of time together. Tara lost her father to leukemia when she was a little girl. Friday night, I sat in the living room across the street and talked with her mother, and she spoke casually about losing her husband. "He got really sick really fast," she said, "and it was good that he was able to come home for a few days before he died, spend some time with the children, and get his affairs in order." And casually continued, "You're lucky that your dad has felt well enough to do the same."

It stung. Bad. I think I've always understood that this disease will ultimately take my father. But, never have I heard it said in such a casual way. And not once since he was diagnosed have I really considered that my father could take a turn for the worse at any day. I need to bring myself to accept the reality of the situation, but it's been so much easier to hide behind the "silver lining". I seem to be doing that a lot as of late.

I guess the culmination of things people have said over the past few days just hit me at once. And I let myself cry.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dating Virginia: I kept my promise!

Yes, I held up the deal I made with myself to not meet any new “suitors” until after Thanksgiving. And, because of that, I nailed myself two job interviews and a new post-Thanksgiving date. But, I am sad to report, that I’m not that optimistic about any of it. I’ll get into the interview parts in a separate post that isn’t about dating.

I haven’t determined a nickname for this gentleman yet, so I’ll call him “A”.

A and I started talking (he found me online, of course) a few weeks ago. It was a good start to communicating, because he wrote thoughtfully and seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me. (Big plus for him) Last Thursday, he took the extra step and asked if he could take me out to dinner. We exchanged numbers, made a plan to meet Monday evening. I will say, I was thinking that it wasn’t going to happen because there was no follow-up call to confirm the date and time. But, when I got a text from him saying, “I’m here”, I made a mad dash to get down there. At least I was already dressed!

If I am being honest, I was actually hoping he would forget or would stand me up so that I wouldn’t have to go out. I have been feeling pretty crappy since Saturday afternoon and have hardly eaten any food since. I haven’t a clue what’s wrong with me, but I feel nauseous all the time and all food sits like a rock in my stomach. (Before you jump to conclusions, no, I am not pregnant.)

But, I put on a normal face and went to dinner with A. I was so miserable throughout the entire dinner of pre-dinner guacamole, a small appetizer, and then Mexican doughnuts. It took every ounce of class I could muster to choke down each bite of food and not throw it up all over the table.

But, the conversation was good, he was nice, and I was comfortable (aside from the stomach issues). That said, I didn’t really feel much else. I know people have been constantly saying that when you finally meet someone that you’re supposed to be with, you’ll know it. But, it’s been a long time since I got that flutter in my stomach, that giggle you have to keep inside while you tell the story of your date… I guess I’m just waiting to get back from a date and finally have something to say other than “ah, it was okay. He was nice.”

Until then, I’ll keep trying!