I’m 33 and I Keep Buying T-Rex Items

It’s been a little over a year since I wrote the post that my “mantra” works around: Another Post With a Dinosaur in the Title. Naturally I’ve been doing some reflecting on my lifestyle and the pursuit of my proverbial “dinosaur.” Within my reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m pretty freaking proud of myself.

You see, February of 2015, I gave my life a rating of 6.5-7.5 out of 10. That rating elicited an initial response of sadness, but then it lit a fire under my ass. I thought long and hard about what really made me happy, and how I could improve the quality of my life.

And my life, friends…is a solid 8.5-9 most days. It’s kind of amazing. I have my dream job, and it fulfills me every.damn.day that I’m there. I moved to a city I always loved and dreamed of moving to. With that particular move came this beautiful lifestyle change – one wherein my 2nd floor apartment has sunlight streaming in every day, I can walk or bike to nearly any place I want to get to, and I have the beach so close that if I walked south for longer than 10 minutes, I’d be in the ocean.

I bought myself a ukulele (despite having a blog and a ukulele, I am STILL not a hipster) because I missed making music, and I love playing around with it and hearing myself improve. I started playing beach volleyball with a work friend and met her equally awesome friends. I’m training for a half marathon, and lifting heavy (insert requisite “she lifts, bruh” here). I’m spending time outside viewing  more glorious sunsets that can only be seen on the beach than I ever thought I’d have the opportunity to look at. My incredible friends are along for the ride, as always. I sleep fantastically. I feel energized, motivated, and capable.



I know it sounds like bragging, but I assure you it’s not. I’m writing this today because I realized recently how much work I’ve done to get “here” to my 8.5-9. I want to share the lesson I’m learning: happiness isn’t a destination you fly to, unpack your bags, and chill with a cocktail until it’s time to go home.

Happiness isn’t a stagnant thing. Happiness is work.  It’s dynamic: your picture of happiness will change, and you should do everything in your power to make sure you frame that picture and hang it in a highly visible location. No matter what, your happiness is worth every single ounce of work it takes you to achieve it.

I’ve said it before…and I’ll say it again. No one can stop me now: Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur.

“I’m Not Angry, I’m Just Disappointed”

Did anyone else’s parents shoot them right in the heart with the disappointment statement when you were a kid? If you did, without a doubt, reading the title of this post made the expression on your face fall.

A few years ago, I posted about why I don’t date, and more currently, about why I’m still single. Recently, still-single me decided to wave the proverbial white flag and take a shot at this “dating” thing. I journeyed into the far corners of my…iPhone and downloaded some of these “modern dating” apps. I didn’t love the idea, but my motivation was based heavily in the concern that meeting men authentically outside of your living room doesn’t actually happen anymore.

I’ve decided in six short weeks that I hate this online dating gig. No, I don’t hate it because of the vague, repetitive messages I get from cyber-suitors.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 6.43.29 PM
A little panache (and some grammar) would be nice.

No, I don’t hate it because there aren’t any nice guys out there, which is what I hear people gripe about in mass media. (I DO have some proof that there are some nice, worthwhile, eligible bachelors out there.)

No, I don’t hate it because I get dick pics. Thankfully, I’ve dodged those altogether.

I hate it because of something I never thought I’d say: I’m worried about disappointing other people.  Ever the empathetic human, when I’m headed out to meet a gentleman, I’m never really concerned that I’ll be disappointed by him – I’m a pretty good talker and I know I have a knack for making people comfortable, so it’s never really a “bad” experience when I’m meeting someone new. I’m not saying I’m the most wonderful thing on the planet and everyone I meet falls in love with me, but, I’m always a little worried that the man who has bestowed his company upon me will feel something for me, and I’ll find that I feel nothing.  And when you feel nothing, the polite thing to do is never see that person again. It’s “polite” in a sense, to end the contact in the interest of not leading someone on. I don’t want to be someone who leads a man on, only to later have his heart crushed by simple honesty. So therefore, I can pretty rapidly become a disappointment.

The simple thought of telling someone I don’t want to see them again makes me feel like I’m a terrible person – even though it’s not true. I’m worried about making someone feel the way I felt when my mom said she was disappointed in me – I don’t want to make anyone’s face fall and send their heart into their belly. It’s shitty to have to say “thanks, but no thanks” in no uncertain terms.

I just don’t want to hurt anyone. And thus far, in my experience, in the wide world of dating, someone always gets hurt. I know you can’t get the good without the bad, but I can’t get over the fear of making some nice dude feel lousy.

Of course, I’m still afraid of being cut up into little pieces and ending up in someone’s freezer…but statistically, that’s far less likely to happen.




This Post Contains the Word “Shit” More Than Twenty Times

In my thirties, one of the things I’ve come to realize and embrace is that we all have shit. I don’t mean literal shit, I mean proverbial shit. (Though literal shit IS part of the equation in life, that’s not what I’m speaking of today.)

The older we get, the more shit we acquire. Our issues become more developed and far-reaching while we try to navigate through our lives. We become bruised and battered at times. We develop aversions to situations, types of people, and certain things. The good thing about our shit is most of the time, people don’t know about it. It’s secret shit. In a desperate attempt to “adult” properly, most of us make an effort to be genuinely put-together, doing the “thing” where we go to work, pay the bills, manage our emotions, and even include some time for fun and socializing. Our shit stays tucked away, neatly within the confines of our personal boundaries.

Occasionally, and for any variety of reasons, we experience the inevitable shit-splosion. Our shit goes EVERYWHERE leaving us feeling and looking something like a concert venue after an all-day, outdoor music festival.

My 2016 started off pretty swimmingly, and I was feeling great about it, blogging about goals and living in my happy little adulthood bubble, unbothered by my shit. Since then, there was a shit-splosion, and I have to admit, it rattled me to my core. Suddenly, I realized I’ve gone all kamikaze, and since then, it’s like trying to wrangle kittens all day, every day. (I’m highly allergic to cats, so the kitten-wrangling proves quite challenging.)

My shit has all risen back up to the surface, and I’m most definitely feeling like I’m failing at adulthood, merely due to the fact that I’ve been stressing, crying, impulse shopping, and most definitely spending far too many hours shooting virtual zombies when I *should* be doing something about all of this shit that’s exploding around me.

As the time since my shit-splosion increases, I’m finally starting to have some reasonable moments of clarity…and what I’m realizing is this:

It’s ok if you don’t have your shit together (for a little while). 

Maybe this is a common sense lesson I should have learned before I turned 33, but I’m fully understanding it now. Granted, you don’t want to indefinitely sit in a place where you’re “ok” with your life feeling chaotic and unsettled. However, it is ok to feel a little lousy for a while, feel the feelings and experience the moments which are less-than-awesome, and assess the damage of the situation you’re in before you start getting things back together again. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to get your shit back together. Life doesn’t mean wrangling kittens forever. Life won’t be perfect forever. This is just part of who we are.


We’re human. We’re imperfect. We fall down. We get hurt. We stand back up. Now… get your shit together, ok?

Set Goals, Don’t Make Resolutions

This time of year there is a lot of stuff about resolutions on the “interwebs.” We’re practically inundated by New Year’s clickbait. Hell, I suppose even the title of this post would be considered clickbait if it got picked up by a search engine.

When I was a kid, I made resolutions for myself too. Inevitably, this former fat kid failed at her resolution (GET SKINNY) nearly every year. However, I guess as a kid without control of her food intake, I was grasping at straws anyway… but I digress. At the end of the year each year, what I felt was, instead of a sense of pride an accomplishment, an overarching feeling of failure.

Looking to clear that air of failure at the start of every year, I reframed my resolutions a few years back into goals. At the start of the year, I started making solid goals. These goals represent things that are measurable, that I can check off as something I either achieved, or didn’t achieve, depending on the goal.

Let’s face it: you’re awesome. You don’t need that shit.

I found something amazing started happening when I moved from resolutions to goals – I started succeeding. I set myself 10 goals at the beginning of each year, and every year, I’ve been able to check off more and more of them. It feels great to say “I wanted to _______ and I DID” at the end of every year.

I wrote my goals on the first of the year last year, and checked in on them often. I’ll write my next 10 for this year, today, carefully considering the things I want to do/see/achieve in 2016. I’ll work for them, and I’ll do the footwork I need to, to achieve them.

And at the end of 2016, I’ll feel just as rad as I did at the closing of 2015, because I did what I set out to do.



Practice Gratitude Every Day

It’s just after noon on Thanksgiving and I’ve been seeing droves of people on social media post about the things they are thankful for. I think that’s truly great, I do. It’s nice when social media becomes a warm fuzzy place and everyone forgets they’ve been arguing about politics for weeks on end. But I mentioned in passing to someone that Thanksgiving is kind of a BS holiday. I know to say such a thing seems very cynical, blasphemous, even un-American, but I didn’t mean it from a cynical place, despite the Pilgrims’s super “ethical” treatment of the Native Americans.


I say it’s bullshit, because we need to practice gratitude every single waking day. Maybe that’s a “hippie,” touchy-feely kind of thing for me to say, but I have enough experience with essential oils, reiki, energy flow, and agnosticism to comfortably call myself a modern hippie.

For the past year or so, I’ve been practicing gratitude every day, purposefully, and for anything I can muster some gratitude for. Some days, I have gratitude for everything, and other days, it’s a little harder to find, but I always stop to practice gratitude.

This gratitude, this intangible thing…this feeling that you can’t hold or touch, has changed my life in the most amazing ways. Between my dinosaur and practicing gratitude, I’ve found my life is overflowing with the most amazing people, experiences, and things. These are all things I knew were great previously, but I didn’t realize how truly wonderful they were until I looked at them through the lens of gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is simple. You can send thank-you cards, or texts, or emails. You can make phone calls to people you need to say “thank you” to. On Black Friday, you can make sure you look the overworked and exhausted cashier in the eye and say “Thank you” when they give you your card back. Gratitude can be a few quick mental thank-yous before you go to bed at night. It’s simple, it barely takes any time, and it’s free. You’ll feel good, and you’ll make others feel good by sharing it. It’s contagious. Facebook and twitter are proof of that at this very moment.

Remember to practice gratitude even on your worst day. Every great story starts with someone waking up in the morning, before amazing things started to happen. By the time you open your eyes, you already have so much to be thankful for.

I understand if you want to be thankful for family, friends, and mountains of food today, but don’t forget them the other 364 days of the year. They’re all awesome then, too.

My Toddler-Life Crisis?

Lately, my newsfeeds across all social media are riddled with pictures of small children. Apparently it’s become an epidemic amongst my peers to procreate and post about their small humans ceaselessly. Naturally, my mild annoyance has caused me to do some self-reflection regarding the trend.While it would be great to have kids of my own at this point in time,   I still can’t always take care of myself efficiently, and possibly more importantly, I really love being in control of my sleep schedule.

These things were my normal, adult-life realizations. Things that I’m proud to be able to communicate even though I have conflicting feelings regarding the matters.

The part that I’m a little less proud of is the realization that I have a lot in common with toddlers. What I have in common with toddlers is a concerning amount of things, actually. I should probably see a good therapist regarding the matter, but writing is a bit like therapy, so I’m sharing these things with the internet instead.

  • Spatial Awareness:

Toddlers seem to get injured a lot, and often stupidly. They understandably haven’t developed a real sense of how far away something is, or how badly it’s going to hurt when said item inevitably makes contact with their tiny bodies at breakneck speed. They haven’t spent any time meting out the consequences of their actions and reactions to life as they (don’t yet) know it.

I’m rapidly approaching 33, and I still have some lingering issues with spatial awareness:

(I walked into the doorframe of my friend’s car while trying to get into the front seat. I hit my head. HARD.)

  • Limited Palette:

When it comes to eating, my understanding is that many of toddler-kind prefer bland items, and prefer sugars and starchy things, fruits to vegetables. Toddlers eat often, and not always the best quality foods, largely in their parents’ desperation to keep their bodies alive and functioning.

My day-to-day intake is often toddler-like in nature:

Where self-perception is concerned, I’m very clearly conflicted.

  • Repetition, Repetition, Repetition:

I experienced the  repetition of toddlers through my cousin’s daughter. I recall when the little one decided she enjoyed the movie Elf (a personal favorite of mine) the most out of all of the watchable media in the world. My cousin made sure to inform me that the only thing Little One was electing to watch at that point in time was Elf, and it was driving my cousin crazy.

In my selection of TV, music, and movies, I tend to do exactly the same.

  • Pants:

I’m pretty sure I don’t have to connect the dots for you…


Between these things, my penchant for snacking, temper tantrums over inane issues, and my behavior while drunk, my Great Realization of 2015 is that even in my thirties, I’m not unlike a toddler.

Admittedly, I’m still not really sure how I feel about being my own toddler. I’m just really proud that I’m potty trained.


Happy Halloween, 2015

I’m not doing anything for Halloween this year.

I’m not pleased about it. I was batting around a few different ideas for costumes, ranging from mildly nerdy to effortlessly cool. I worked out all of my tiny details on paper. None of the bits and pieces required a trip to the store for a “Sexy _____________” costume package. That was never my Halloween modus operandi.

But it seems that this year, my Halloween party days are over. It bothers me more than it should bother me.

You see, I’m an aging sorority girl. After pledging and becoming a member of a sorority in college, my passion for wearing costumes while getting wildly drunk was ignited and stoked, party after party. To name a few I attended a Cowboys and Indians mixer, Barbie and Ken mixer, and even a Pimps and Hos mixer. The theme of each of these parties held a common thread: dress up, get drunk, and make terrible decisions. To be clear, I don’t mean “slutty” decisions, because contrary to the stereotype, not all sorority girls are slutty. My poor decisions were more along the lines of sharing a coat with my best friend- each of us donning one sleeve before trying to walk home drunk in over a foot of snow (spoilers: we fell down, a LOT), or abandoning my crutches at the end of the night by throwing them across the yard, proclaiming “I DON’T NEED THIS ANYMORE!” because somehow, I felt no pain in my then-sprained knee.

After graduating from college and moving back home, my childhood best friend began throwing some epic Halloween parties. “Epic” is not a word I use lightly. These parties were forces to be reckoned with in our little suburb. People came dressed to the nines and pulled out all of the stops for more than five years of drunken, costumed debauchery. Decorations were hung. Couples were made. Cops were called. I used this party as an excuse to dress as anything from Zombie Tom Brady (during his injury I hoped with wide eyed-wonder for the end of his career) to Kenda Wilkinson as part of 4-person costume depicting “Heff” and his Girls Next Door. My inner sorority girl raged on.

All the while, I lived in an awesome apartment where my two roommates were game to continue to throw themed parties. Our friends partook willingly. We had highly successful birthdays and parties in the Wild West, wore togas another evening while drunkenly crushing Guitar Hero and beer pong, and who could could forget our ever-classy “Dress-to-Impress” Christmas parties? Not I. I relished in it. Heck, even my favorite local dive bar was throwing plentiful theme parties at the time. They was everywhere. I’ve spilled beer and hard alcohol on many different costumes. Every time one of these parties approached it carried all of the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning. You prepped and prepared and looked forward to not only wearing your own costume, but to seeing everyone else’s as well.

Let’s not get TOO crazy, OK?

Naturally, I feel a little let down by this party-less milestone. Is 32 really the age where I stop costumed partying? I’m not sure if I’m ready.

So friends, while you dress yourselves up and have a raucous time tonight, pour out a little bit of whiskey for my inner sorority girl who will be endlessly unamused by sitting on the couch and watching Netflix in her pajamas. Pajamas are like a costume, right?