This is me.

This is me. In all my glory.

I’m…

I’m sensitive. I’m a crier. I get frustrated easily. When I drink even a single glass of wine, I turn red, talk a little too much and can make any one my best friend.

I’m hilarious… I could tell you any multitude of stories that would have you laughing until you pee your pants. I’m also shy about sharing said stories.

I’m self-conscious and awkward when it comes to small talk. I care what you think, but desperately wish I didn’t. I hate being front-stage and center, but like to be appreciated for the things I do.

I’m scared I won’t be able to have children and that it will make me feel incapable of the things I was born to do.

For now, my dogs are my children and if you don’t like them, I take it personally. I also dress them in shirts. This is one instance where I don’t care what you think.

I get jealous but am working hard to release it.

I’m a great cook — bolognese sauce, fajitas, lemon raspberry cupcakes with graham cracker crusts, chocolate chip cookies, tenderloin sandwiches and pulled pork. I’m your girl.

Sometimes I laugh at the wrong time and smile when it’s totally inappropriate.

I’m not scared of hard work, but I hate monotony and tedious, repetitive details.

I believe in Jesus with my whole heart, but I also believe in self-love and the universe… and I don’t know how to reconcile that.

I want close girlfriends, but I have a hard time letting go of the past and putting in effort to move forward. Going all in scares me.

I hate olives, raw tomatoes, mushrooms and any type of organ meat. Someday, maybe, that won’t be the case, but for today it is what it is.

It took me two years to have the heart to decorate my home. If that says anything about the state of my life and emotions during that time… it’s that I was overwhelmed and having a hard time adjusting.

I’ve made more mistakes than I’m proud of, more than I’m willing to put on the Internet.

At 27, I just got my nose pierced. Sometimes I consider getting a tattoo.

My political views are more liberal than conservative which is in complete conflict with most of my religious views — this is why I’ve never, ever, ever claim to have it all together.

Sometimes the world feels too big, bad and evil that it’s hard to consider that it will keep existing even another day — it’s suffocating and if I think about it too much it will consume me.

I feel your pain — most literally. I’m extremely empathetic and while I may not have the words to tell you — my heart is hurting (or rejoicing) right along with you.

I’ve got a really wacky sense of humor and if you read all the messages on my phone… you would probably be concerned.

I hate having to go to the bathroom, it feels like a total waste of time.

I have an unhealthy relationship with food. There I said it.

I self-sabotage all the time. I am capable, smart, talented and full of potential… but I stop myself before I start almost every time.

I have an over-active guilt complex that leaves me second guessing, replaying and feeling bad for things that didn’t and don’t matter.

I’m responsible, kind, thoughtful and caring. I try my best and know that God is in control. I’m imperfect, I’m broken but I’m also living a life that I hope makes a difference. I’m trying to be vulnerable and authentic in hopes that it allows others to break the mold and let it out.

So tell me. I’m me – who are you?

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Conquering the awkward: May challenge.

Today is the first day of May — which in my book (re: I live in unpredictable Colorado) is when it really starts to signal spring and warmer temperatures. However, it’s snowing a lot already today, so there’s that. At my heart I’m a warm weather girl, savoring the leaves that pepper the trees, green grass and the ability to be outside without 4 layers on. Colorado winters have their moments, but on the whole my life feels most lived from April through October. So, cheers to months where life gets lived! And, living is what I aim to do. Without further ado, here’s what I’m up to this May:

Month of May: Hug Challenge

I’ve always considered myself a little awkward. Which, now that I type that out sounds a little harsh on the self-love front, but knowing how to make small talk, connect with complete strangers and keep myself from turning beet red at the drop of a hat are all outside of my comfort zone. In fact, just worrying that I may turn red will instantly cause the rose color to creep up my cheeks.

And, I’m out to change that. One thing at a time. My thought process is that the more that I make myself uncomfortable, the more I’ll get used to it and stop dreading all those intimidating moments that life throws at me. So, without further ado, I introduce the challenge for May.

Hugs.

Yup, you read that right. I’m going to be a hugging machine. I’m going to initiate more hugs than normal (which is very few and only when the other person “seems” like they’re going in for it anyways or I’ve had 3+ glasses of wine). This month, however, I’m doing it. Going all in on the hug front. Hugs for you and you and you. Oh, and you over there, “Want a hug?”.

When I’m feeling down or just plain worn out, there’s nothing better than knowing someone cares enough to give me a hug. While I may not be hugging random, sad strangers, I recognize the power of a hug and figure this challenge will kill two birds with one stone: Help me conquer a part of the awkward and hopefully cheer people up (or at least show them that I care) along the way.

On some level I’m really excited to start pushing myself out of my comfort zone and also to get better at showing the people in my life that I care. On the other hand, I’m scared. Do I hug the friend or family member that I never ever hugged and if so, how do I go about it without making us both feel like the “moment of hug” never happened? This is, after all, an exercise in moving me out of my comfort zone… not necessarily pushing other people out of theirs.

If by chance you’re a crimson cheeked, semi-awkward at social constructs type of person, I say join me (or hug me). What’s the worst that can happen? You end up hugging your friends and family (or me) a little more than normal? Can’t really go wrong there.

So, hello May, and with it, hello hugging challenge.

Remeber that time you wet your pants.

Wait? What?

I have a habit of eliminating embarrassing stories from my memory. There are so many and they happen so frequently that you’d assume I would be able to remember them and regurgitate them on impulse. But, my friend, this is just not the case. My brain blocks them out until something happens to dislodge the memory. And on that note, I can’t believe I’m actually going to tell this story to the Internet, but here goes nothing…

So, I sun sneeze. When I walk outside on a sunny day, I sneeze. Usually more than once.  I don’t know why I do this, but Wikipedia assures me that I am not alone. I’ll walk out of my office, feel the sun on my face and then suddenly and overwhelmingly be struck by the urge to sneeze. I’m not a quiet sneezer or a delicate sneezer — when I sneeze I just pray that afterward I’m still in one piece. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t…

My senior year of high school I was dating a boy rather seriously, er, as seriously as you can back in high school. My family spent Easter with just my mom and I grabbing brunch at Great Northern (ahem, at the bar because that’s all they had) while my sister sat pouting in the car after the firestorm argument that was regular for us at the time. I’d had enough “quality family time” and decided to take my boyfriend up on his offer to spend Easter with his family. His “quality family time” really qualified as quality… not just yelling and screaming and everyone ending up in their own corners like my family seemed to do. He lived in Conifer, me in Denver. I got in my red Chevy Blazer and set some jams for the 45 minute drive to his parents.

It was a beautiful day and, for once, I didn’t really mind the drive. With the sun shining, music playing – I made it there in no time. There were so many people at his house — my family all lives out-of-state so we’ve never really had anyone around for the holidays. I loved it. We all ate and talked and spent time together. It was what I envisioned a perfect family looked like.

After lunch the kids were getting ancy to start hunting down some Easter eggs. His mom asked if I would help hide the eggs, I agreed and tried to hit the bathroom before heading out. They had several bathrooms, but they were all occupied and those eggs just weren’t going to hide themselves. I made my way outside, against my better judgment. Once outside I stepped off the deck onto the lawn carrying my bag of eggs when it hits me. The overwhelming, paralyzing need to sneeze. And sneeze I do. But, the difference between this sneeze and the many sneezes that had plagued me prior to that day was the little detail that my bladder decided to “sneeze” along with the rest of my body. I peezed if you will. Or, in laymen’s terms, I peed my pants, at my boyfriend’s family gathering, 45 minutes away from my house.

I tossed my sack of eggs at the boyfriend and ran down the hill, around the house, in the back door to the basement. I then quietly scurried to the bathroom outside his room where I proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes “dabbing” the urine from my pants with toilet paper and praying to the lord of pants to miraculously dry them and make it all go away. Needless to say both attempts were futile. After a considerable amount of time he came down to see if I was alright… probably assuming I was having some other explosive bathroom issues, but checking on me nonetheless. I yelled from the bathroom that I needed one of his shirts to wear — it had to be longer than mine and if I was lucky it might just cover the “I wet my pants” wet spot covering my rear end. He forked it over and I changed… it only helped a bit.

He left me to “finish”, whatever that means. I ran out to my car and grabbed a sweatshirt I could tie around my waist. It was so warm, the thought of wearing a sweatshirt was truly ridiculous, but I had no options. NO OTHER OPTIONS, PEOPLE. After tying the ever so attractive knot around my waist I walked back up the hill to join the festivities. I’d missed most of it. The eggs had been hidden and found. The kids were eating candy and there I was.  I found a stone retaining wall that appeared to be absorbing some heat. I lifted up the sweatshirt and proceeded to stick my urine soaked pants on the wall. Hoping and praying to God that it would dry them quicker. It was more than a little awkward to sit there, loner-style.

(Side note… I, to this day, wonder what his family thought. I disappeared for a half hour and reappeared wearing my boyfriends shirt. I sit on a far off retaining wall and keep a safe distance from any of his relatives. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been impressed.)

Eventually I assessed the situation and determined I was cleared for lift off… and re-joined the party as if nothing had ever happened. I said my goodbyes and went home. The moment I walked in the door I couldn’t get those pants off fast enough.

I asked the boyfriend if he had noticed or knew what was going on a year and half later and was happy to know he was completely clueless.

Now, in an effort of pant and ego preservation I cross my legs when I sneeze. So far so good.

It’s been a year.

Actually it had been a year on Monday, but as you can see from my Philadelphia post and my Halloween post, I’m clearly not a fan of posting when things *actually* happen. So, on Monday, it was Christian and I’s 1 year anniversary (cue the violins and sappy music). I haven’t talked about Christian much because I thought in some way writing about him, or posting things on Facebook, or even mentioning him in a semi-permanent place would jinx it. But, you know what I say? Living in fear is no way to live. So… it’s been a year. A year of lots of ups and a few downs, a year of learning and figuring out how to let someone in after having my heart broken. I heart him.

Most likely you don’t really want to hear about the mushy stuff? Maybe you do, I don’t know. Half the time I don’t even know what I’m doing or what I want, so how am I suppose to know what you want. With that said, here is how our first date went.

We’d emailed back and forth for a few weeks trying to plan a time to get together and play some volleyball. We finally figured out a time at the local rec center. November 1. I was in Vail the night before for Halloween and high-tailed it down to Denver to meet up with Christian. He picked me up at my house and we headed to the rec center. Turns out they only say they have open volleyball, but since no one ever shows up it doesn’t actually happen. Cue awkward moment with both of us staring at each other blankly in silence because the WHOLE REASON we got together was to play volleyball. Now we’re all alone, no plan and awkwardness so thick you could cut it with a butter knife. Because I am a genius, I suggested we play some basketball (well horse, but same thing in my book). He showed me how to improve my shot and cheered me on when I made one out of every 12 shots I took (a real gentleman). I was a rock star. He was much better.

After our impromptu game of horse — which I barely terribly lost, we headed to Jamba Juice. He paid. Now cue awkward moment #2. Maybe we’re on a date and I didn’t know it?

After slurping down some frozen fruit he suggested we watch a movie at his place, dun dun dun. So we picked out Just Married and headed over to his house. I left my coat on, and sat on the section of the couch without a back. Not touching him, not anywhere near him, bolt upright, wondering what the hell was going on. Most guys I knew used the ‘ol “watch a movie” line as a cue to eat your face. I stayed a safe distance just to be safe.

He drove me home, walked me to the garage and watched me punch in the numbers. I can remember the horrifying feeling in my stomach as the garage lifted to reveal all the crap I had stored in there. Then he left. The end. I sound like a great date don’t I?

Something must have gone right because since then it’s been nothing but rainbows and butterflies. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

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I love you Christian!

(cue the end of violins and sappy music)

I don’t have a problem.

Choking down celery.

I love food. Almost all of my posts make some reference to food, my love for it, going to get it, not being able to move because I ate so much my pants won’t zip and I have to be in a horizontal position so I can suffer less than if I were standing.

Sometimes I spend time thinking about Anorexia — and how there is no way in hell, even if the only thing available for eating was mushrooms, would I be able to not eat. Maybe for about an hour and then my hunger would take over and I’d devour the mushrooms, gagging them down the whole way. Barf, makes me want to barf thinking about it. Mushrooms… and raw tomatoes happen to be two of the things I don’t want in my mouth. Ever.

Back to eating. I think about it. I remember being in high school, in Hawaii on vacation, and right after eating breakfast I wanted to know where we were eating lunch and dinner. Why you ask? Oh, because I wanted something to look forward to. As if HAWAII wasn’t enough.

I get to work in the morning and begin planning out my snacking schedule in my head — right up there with my to do list and checking all my emails.

9:17 – WALNUTS AND A TOOTSIE POP!

10:46 – APPLE WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND HONEY!

12:32 – LUNCH, It’s time for LUNCH!!

2:13 – COOKIE TIME!!

I really am that excited, but only in my head. So, when it comes time to diet or eat “healthy”, my whole being suffers. It’s hard for me to dream about celery or fantasize about dried peas. So instead I dwell on everything I can’t eat, like that cinnamon roll with the cream cheese frosting or a good ‘ol box of mac ‘n cheese.

Knowing all of this, I have to tell you that I’ve gain a bit of weight. I haven’t gained 50 lbs. or anything, but I’ve gained more than I would have liked. Damn all that delicious pizza and birthday cake I consumed over the month of August.

I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed mid-way through my senior year in college. I spent the next 5-6 months working out, eating little and building some unhealthy habits. But, I lost about 20 lbs and kept most of it off until this summer when I threw caution into the wind and ate like crazy. I’m blaming part of it on having a roommate and a boyfriend that throughly enjoy delicious food. Cheesecake anyone? The answer is almost always a resounding yes.

So, I’m trying to get healthy, again. Trying  get back down to where I was and then some, but do it in a healthier way. I’m nervous. Losing weight sucks because not eating french fries sucks. But, that’s not why I’m nervous.  I’m nervous because I’m telling you, and you, and you. And now I have to be accountable. I have a fear of failure… so be nice. K?

*Photo Credit: B Tal