Sunday, March 6, 2016

Red Flags & Bacon

What happens when you go on a date with yourself?

It's weird. Things get weird.
Just kidding. I'm not to that point yet. But I have been taking myself to dinner a lot lately. I'm a really good gentle-woman. I always open the door, and I always pick up the tab.

Ok seriously, a couple weeks ago I went on one of the most interesting dates of my Tinder experiences yet.

I had been talking to a guy that I had matched with on several sites. He had a beard and some pictures with trees in it, AND he passed the clearance of my male friend approval, so I felt pretty confident in my selection of this guy. He read my blog and openly admitted to Facebook and Instagram stalking me. I liked him already.

We met at a coffee shop. He was much taller and much cuter in person. Both a bonus. I had a zit between my eyes and I'm sure he was staring at it the whole time.

And then began this weird/awesome/unorthodox date where we went from being strangers to discussing our ex-marital issues, sexual endeavors, hobbies and interests, that one sibling we all seem to have, and yes or no on anal and threesomes other things that most people wait till at least the 17th date to discuss. The people sitting at the table next to us kept leaving.

I usually sit through dates calculating how many drinks I need to make this shit interesting but still be able to play it off like I'm not a total lush. I had actually never been on a coffee date, or a sober date, for that matter. I was unusually comfortable sitting here, stone cold sober, discussing the innerworkings of my seriously fucked up brain, and discovering that he was as equally insane as I was. I was soaking up everything he was saying, and all the while these red lights kept going off in my brain. We call them red-flags. This guy was a blaring red flag. He was the light you didn't notice while your friend riding shotgun is screaming, "RED LIGHT!"

Only I didn't slam my brakes on. I didn't think to myself... well here's a guy who clearly has some issues and I should excuse myself and make a run for it. I sat there with this guy at the coffee shop for something like 5 or 6 more hours until we decided it was weird that we were still there and we moved next door to the bar. I watched him drink a couple beers while I drooled jealously with my water. He mentioned that his shock factor had no effect on me and he thought it was weird. I wasn't phased. The only thing that would have made me fidget was if he had told me he murdered someone. Even then, I would have stayed. I was planted in that seat waiting to uncover more fucked up mysteries.

A good friend of mine and I have been discussing red flags fairly frequently. Mostly about how we ignored them with our previous spouses, and how blatant they were. I vowed to never ignore red flags again and yet here I was, trying to keep track of all the red flags being thrown... completely unphased by them.

Every single red flag that went off in my brain, I quickly talked down because I realized I was on a hot date with myself.

Holy shit, I thought. I am a walking red flag.

Is this what it's like when I date people? Are these guys just sitting there like 'holy shit this girl is nuts. I need to get out of here.' How could I judge someone when I had behaved the same way? How could I think less of this person for being so open about their wrong-doings in life? I couldn't. I had been and sometimes still am the same lost person trying to figure it out.

All I could think about was my own behavior; how I felt when I was in his place, going through this phase in life, doing some of these things we were discussing. How much I disliked myself, how I had lost track of the person I had worked so hard to become, forgetting about any repercussions to my actions, my total disregard for anyone else's emotions or well being. I couldn't help but feel that I would be going backwards by continuing anything with this guy but there I sat, still unmoved. The kindred spirit connection was stronger than what little common sense I contain when it comes to the opposite gender. 

“But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first.” 

Here's what I liked about this guy: He was honest, genuine, insanely sarcastic, and interesting. And attractive. The beard. The height. The Patagonia Snap-T fleece.

I have dated about 107 men since my split from my husband and I have only come across a few guys that are willing to open up on a first date in general- usually after a few beers, and even fewer (none, actually) to lay it all out there like that. Take it or leave it. I was picking it up. Being able to be this honest and raw was so attractive. My mind was so turned on. Ok, so was my body a little bit.

I like these people. We're like mind-ed. They're part of my tribe or something like that.
This kind of brutal honesty and open conversation was so hot to me. It says to me, I know I'm a seriously messed up human, I don't know what the f*ck I'm doing but here I am, trying to make sense of it. They're not afraid of themselves. I've never been attracted to the idea of perfection, or to people that don't ever get out and live. It took me 25ish years to figure out that I don't want to be surrounded by perfect people or people that pretend to be. I want to be surrounded by loving, genuine people. People who get out there and do what feels right in that moment are my favorite kind of people. Our intuition is not always right. Sometimes we just fuck up. F*cking up builds character. It makes you smarter as you learn through your mistakes. Unless, you're me... then it just gives you lots and lots of character.

I just finished reading Cheryl Strayed's, Wild and I couldnt help but love this part of her book: 

“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done? What if I'd actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?” 

Life is full of lessons, if you're willing to learn. Mistakes are meant to be made. It's how my kids have learned that I am right about absolutely everything. You don't want to wear a coat in the pouring rain? Suit yourself. 

So what did I do? I went home with him. He said he had bacon.

You know that feeling you get when you like someone? That's your common sense leaving your body.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hello, Tinder... it's ME, again.

So yeah. I re-activated my Tinder.

What can I say? I love meeting strangers in dark alleys coffee shops.

My friends have been giving me crap since 2014 about playing the Tinder game- saying they can't keep up with who's who and all the guys., blah blah blah. I admit- sometimes I've gone a little overboard and I can't decipher between Chris Tinder and Chris 2 Tinder, and I've had to add emoji's or pictures to their names so I can remember who's who or change their last name from Tinder to Kentucky so I can remember where they're from. There are a lot of Chris, Matt, and Cody's out there, it's not my fault.

Their second complaint is that it's trash and like, do I REALLY have to date? And god, I have awful taste in men. Why Tinder?

The answer: YES I HAVE TO DATE. It gives me something to look forward to, and something to do on the weekends while my kids are gone and my friends are busy canoodling with their boyfriends and planning their weddings and babies and whatnot.

Also, sex. and I'm not getting any younger. So there. Shut up about it.

And YES TINDER. Because I tried a few other dating sites and they were too formal, too pushy, and felt like harassment. Tinder is great because we've already agreed that we have a mutually shallow attraction to each other. Plus I've got the swiping down to a science. Left, right, left, left, left, left.

So yes there are a lot of guys, and there are a lot of dates, and a LOT of ups and downs... but in my defense, it's not like I'm stringing along several guys. I mean, ok I am- but I'm also genuinely interested in some aspect of each guy. I wouldn't waste my time or energy conversing with someone that I didn't have at least an inkling of an interest in. I'M NOT A GUY. Ok, that was a low blow but seriously guys- WTF?

SIDENOTE: It's like men think that because their egos are so fragile that ours are too. Newsflash- they're not. I think I speak for several women when I say we will be okay if you just flat out say "I'm not that interested in you." In fact, we will be grateful and we'll delete your number from our phone and never think about you again. Really, its the truth.

So with this being like my 7 billionth round of 'delete app, fuck guys * 2 weeks pass* get bored, re-add app' I finally realized... I keep doing it. I'M ADDICTED TO TINDER. So why? Is Tinder the definition of insanity? Maybe.

For you Tinder haters out there- we'll have to agree to disagree. Because I've decided to give Tinder another go for the 27th time and while yeah, my friends are right- I have awful taste in men... I'm going to keep dating.

Remember that one time I said I'd talk about the 5 people you meet on Tinder? I had to abandon that idea because I realized there's not five different people you meet. They're all the same. WE are all kind of the same. When it comes to dating, we're all in the same boat. Trying to figure out the rules, trying not to get hurt, not break too many hearts. And occasionally get laid somewhere in there. We're all kind of assholes. So I gave those guys a break. I forgave them. Because somewhere inside of me, I can be a fuckboy too.

You see, after my divorce I wasn't ready to date but I thought I was. I was (am) a hot mess, and I kept picking guys that weren't right for me, possibly subconsciously. I picked guys that looked good and had several red solo cups in their pictures because I was looking for a good time. Over the last couple years, I've gotten better at screening my dates. And like, mellowing out. Sorta. We're working on it. 

But I don't regret any of that. Dating guys that essentially were a good time but meant nothing to me, helped me-- it helped me get through the loneliness, and the transition period where I didn't even know what my own name was, the awkward phase of learning how to date-- like how do I eat this burger without getting it all over my face while still attempting to look semi attractive and how to not give away that I'm a total psycho on the first date, and most importantly it f*cking helped me get laid-- and that is important post divorce, no matter what anyone tells you. But hell, 2 1/2 years later I'm STILL learning. I'm learning what I want and what I don't want. 

And even though, I'm a rare breed-- a single, (almost) divorced Mom with two kids-- I'm not really much different, and I'm certainly not alone. It's not like I'm entering this playing field years out of practice and everyone else knows what the f*ck they're doing. Everyone else is just as confused as me. And that's because my generation never dated. We threw parties with red cups and joints in our parents glass houses while they were out of town, snuck off to corners and closets to make out and other things, and the only date any of us ever went on was Homecoming or Tolo, and even that was a group thing.

Maybe this is why we are all ASSHOLES? Because our parents never taught us any manners, or how to ask a girl on a proper date, or how to tell a guy no, or which freaking fork to use for our salad. No that's not it. We were told. Maybe our generation is just f*cking lazy. We think taking a girl out for drinks suffices as a good first date, and that as a woman we should accept this if he's cute enough. (No, we shouldn't) and no, that's not it either. We've all heard Grandpa's story about how hard he had to try to win Grandma's heart after she told him to stick it where the sun don't shine, we've seen the movies where people did actually go on dates and where men and women had to ask each other out in person instead of through an app. I'm not really sure why we are all assholes or why we suck so bad at dating but the only way to figure this all out is to do it. Date, that is.

The way I see it, I just keep getting better. (HA) And not in a conceited way. In an experience kind of way. Even my friends have started saying things like, "You're picking better guys! He wasn't a complete douchebag, just a little bit douchey" Occasionally there's a totally off the wall "WTF" kind of date-- you know, the one where they look nothing like their picture and the conversation isn't even remotely interesting and then you spend the rest of the date texting your friends SOS BITCHES- SAVE ME. Or calling them to slur "I love you" while you're sitting next to your own puke on the sidwalk.

I never said I was perfect.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

YOLO (Yes, you can smack me)

[You only live once, but if you do it right- once is enough]

In 2015...

I ran my first Bloomsday/12k, two 10k's, and seven 5k's. Only forgot my running shoes on one occasion and managed to not puke or pee my pants once. Outside of that, in training I ran 170 miles.

Tristan and Ryan both completed their first 5k ever! Tristan participated in 4 kids runs and Ryan did 3. We agreed to disagree on who beat who.

I hiked over 72 miles and checked 9 different viewpoints off my list. Mastered the fine art of peeing in the woods without peeing all over myself-- took a few tries. Oh yeah, finally learned to pack some TP.

My boys did their first ever hike up to Poo Poo Point. We only had one kid totally eat shit in the mud, pee his pants on purpose and complain the whole way up. We don't even have to hint which one that is.

I jumped out of a plane! For the first and hopefully the last time.

I traveled outside of the state twice. Traveled to the beach 4 separate times. Managed to not run away for good.

I attended my FIRST Sounders game, got to catch a Mariner's game for the first time since Ryan was born, a Rainier's game, five concerts, including FINALLY seeing Taylor Swift.

I only posted about Taylor Swift on Facebook 19 times this year.

I saw my Grandparents for the first time in 3 years and stayed at their place for the first time since I was a little girl. Channeled all of my self control and didn't TP the neighborhood.

Tristan turned 5, Ryan turned 4, and Mommy turned 21 again!

One of my best friends got married!

And another best friend got engaged!

I went on a lot of dates... Me and the wine aisle got a whole lot closer.

Tristan entered KINDERGARTEN. We all cried. Except him. He ran as fast as he could to get there and didn't even say bye to me.

Tristan played on his first rec soccer team-- Ryan happily cheered from the sidelines making friends with all the snack Mom (s) -- free from rules, exercise, and discipline.

We MOVED! One whole mile away -- But this Mama got herself a bedroom. I don't officially have doors yet but I'm not sleeping in the living room and that's something to celebrate.

I started the long, treacherous journey to Nursing school- 3 quarters down and so many more left, I haven't counted. I began a serious relationship with my coffee pot and learned to be thankful that my barista's pretend not to notice when I roll through for the third time that day.

I forgave my parents for not being perfect because one day I heard myself say "Die quietly" & "I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached" and I realized those apples didn't even roll when they fell from the tree.

I BOUGHT A HAMMOCK. I created my happy place. I mastered the art of parenting without having to get out of the hammock, tricked my kids into cuddling with me, taught them how to bring me beer from the fridge.

I fell even more in love with all the people in my life.

2015 was so amazing-- although far from perfect-- I cried a lot, had my heart broken, didn't win the lottery again, and fell on my ass a few times, BUT-- I lived and I had a hell of a time doing it.

In 2016

I have no specific goals except to keep kicking ass and loving life. I plan to take all the risks my heart tells me to, soak up all the snuggles I can get from my boys, and never miss an opportunity to tell all the people I love that I think they're rad AF and I'm glad they're in my life.

Onward & upward my friends!
Happy New Year!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

How to be found

Lost & Found

How I got through some seriously tough shit without ever seeing a therapist

For someone so open, vocal and outspoken, this might come as a shock-- BUT I have this really bad habit of keeping certain aspects of my life to myself. And not in a healthy, privacy kind of way. In like, a "I don't want to hear what other people think because I know I'm wrong" kind of way. Or if I really need help I won't ask for it. If things get too hard, I tend to internalize it until I just can't take it anymore and then it all comes out in some really insane way, like throwing my keys at my ex-boyfriend while he was on duty as a police officer.

I'd like to say that was years ago, and wow I've learned so much since then, but that isn't all true. It happened last spring and it's a night I replay in my head frequently. Not only did I absolutely lose my shit, but I did it in front of a lot of people. Coworkers, strangers, people who I had been interacting with on a regular basis for a year and a half. Do you ever want to disappear?

Rock bottom? Maybe.

While it wasn't years ago, I can say that I HAVE learned a lot since then.

I had to re-find myself. Again. I get lost every now and then.

About 10 years ago, something happened to me that changed my life. Up until this point in my life, I had never thought that "it would happen to me". I had that teenage invincible cloak on and I definitely thought I could do whatever I wanted and things would still be okay. I had also never kept a secret from anyone. Two things happened: I learned how to keep a secret, and I realized that it DID just happen to me.

FOUND: Ok, so I cried and I moved on. (This isn't really called being found... this is called stumbling through life.)

LOST: 2 years later, that whole "it won't ever happen to me" happened again. I'm sitting in my car at 7 AM with a bloody nose, a black eye, and a broken cheekbone. The right side of my face had swollen so much my face was borderline unrecognizable. I was as shell shocked as if this had been the first time he had ever hit me. I found a pair of sunglasses in the glovebox, put my hood on and went inside. I cleaned the blood off, and then I did the craziest thing I've ever done. I called into work and then I went to bed. I stayed in that relationship and I kept that secret too.

FOUND: Met the loves of my life. Two tiny humans made their way into my heart and tore down all my walls. It's funny because people always think that when you become strong, you become hard. But I found my strength in them, and my heart got a little softer.

LOST: Things start getting tough in my marriage. I also had a lot of extra baby weight and it was making me hate myself. A lot of self-loathing. I joined a gym and I started working out. That helped with the weight and got me out of the house, but it didn't change me.

FOUND: What really changed me was when I started running. I'm a terrible runner. I run slow and if I have to run over 5 miles it turns into a stop and go situation. It's hard to believe now, but there was a time that I was actually WORSE than I am now. The first time I went out for a run, all I could think was surely I've gone half a mile by now, wtf I can't breathe. Nike plus said .25 miles. I went home.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I kept doing it. There was something about the idea that if I just kept putting one foot in front of the other I could keep going. I started running away from my house as far as I could in order to force myself to run the distance instead of face the shame of having to walk back. It wasn't just the physical challenge, it was the music, the alone time... it was all of it. It felt good. I felt good. It felt like the therapy I couldn't afford. So I just kept on going. I laced up whenever I could and I got lost in it. Or rather, I got found in it...

LOST: Fast forward a couple years and my life is completely falling apart for the 17th time in my life. The stress of being a single mom has kicked in, working 2-3 jobs and I still can't afford all my bills, my on and off again "relationship" is hitting an all time low and causing a lot of depression and anxiety, and my jeans don't fit.

FOUND: And then my best friend returns from her travels abroad/out of state move. You never realize how much you miss/love someone until you haven't seen them in months and you finally see each other again and realize you're still 14 years old-- crying over boys, laughing at cat memes, taking double chin selfies, but mostly understanding each other in silence. Dare I say, my soulmate. We have surely had our ups and downs, even months of fights where we swore we'd never be friends ever again. I think through the years, we have learned a couple things but mostly that life is too short to fight over boys and other trivial shit. So we were both a little broken, but still insanely weird and nobody else gets us. Some things had changed but the best things hadn't. We both needed some extra exercise and less booze and thought some fresh air would do us some good. We set out for our first hike together to see what the hype was all about and I swear, it was one of those days I'll never forget. I can't remember what we talked about. All I remember is sitting on top of a mountain with this person who just fucking got it. You know when you say, "You know what I mean?" and the other person says "Yeah, man" and you know that they do. That's how I felt. I finally felt like none of the shit below me mattered. Who cares?

We didn't. We drank our coffee and sat on top of the world and gave zero fucks to anyone else that day. We were just happy in the company of each other, free from judgement and free from the trivial things that won't matter in a year.

(Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter- Dr. Seuss )

How to get found:

Accept that we are only human. We don't always make the best decisions or know the right thing to do. Sometimes we do things because they feel right, and then it doesn't work out. You can have every good intention in the world, and still somehow end up off the trail because of outside forces. Maybe the trail was closed, or unexpected winds came. Maybe you just didn't use your map because you're a rebel like that. Or the road less traveled looked really appeasing and now you don't know where the fuck you are. Sometimes we get lost and we have to go in search of finding ourselves again, and through the years I've learned that it's totally okay... as long as you keep coming back. It's taken me years to re-find myself, and I've had a hell of a good time doing it. I mean, I jumped out of a plane this year. I ran a lot and I wandered through the woods a lot. I made a couple giant mistakes, I made an ass out of myself, I lost a couple friends along the way, and I gained a few. I accomplished a lot, and I was humbled to the floor. I just lived. And you know what, I'll probably get lost again and I'll have to start all over again. And it'll be another chapter in my adventurous story.

I've learned that sometimes you get a little lost and you can use your own sense of direction to get you back. You'll be back by dinner and nobody will have noticed. Sometimes though, we travel a little farther off the trail and we might miss dinner and those we eat with might be concerned. And other times we'll get really lost and we won't be able to find our way back on our own. We'll need a search and rescue team.

But here's the thing: you have to want to be found. People that want to be lost don't send smoke signals for rescue teams.

So go for a hike. Get a little lost. But send the smoke signals. Call your best friend, or your mom. If you don't ask for help, you won't ever get it.

Always be prepared. There's a reason hikers and climbers bring bags-- emergency kits, flares, extra jackets, water, food, etc.  Because it can happen to you.

When you get to the top, the view is so worth the struggle. I've never met a person that huffed and puffed up a mountain only to say, "Well this sucks".

And last but not least, bring a beer or something. Cake. Bring cake. Celebrate your victories. Afterall, you did just make it to the top of a mountain and the view is so good.

Here's the best part: I finally got myself a therapist. Maybe this time, I won't get so lost.

I can't ever say it enough-- but in the spirit of being thankful this month... I am beyond thankful for my search and rescue team. Thanks for finding me and bringing me back.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sappy Kindergarten Mom Post

Gosh, I can't believe this day that I've looked forward to has finally come!


My child woke up and immediately asked if he was taller. We measured him and all hell broke loose. He was FREAKING out because he wasn't tall enough to start Kindergarten. Oh boy, off to a great start.

I insisted that he was old enough, and tall enough and that he HAD to start Kindergarten.

I've never been a helicopter Mom. In fact, I apologize to my Mom-Friends that ARE helicopter Moms but seriously, sit down, you're irritating me. Don't be offended. My parenting style makes some people irritated with me too, so I understand. I'm mostly non-judgemental, I actually feel bad for you. I know it's just natural for you to worry and maybe you genuinely believe that hovering over your children will benefit them. I prefer the hands off approach and I genuinely believe in my approach as well. I'm a relaxed parent and some people think this means I don't care. I have an inappropriate sense of humor and I have found it physically impossible to help my kids do something they surely can figure out on their own. But don't be mistaken, I definitely care. I have high expectations of my kids: I require please and thank you's and I expect them to pick up after themselves and tell me they love me. I want them to be self-sufficient human beings. I also want to carry on with my independent life. I love my children fiercely but I also really love naps.

Kindergarten = Mommy naptime

Seriously, in my wildest dreams, I have envisioned a day where I would be able to take a nap and wake up to find my home exactly the way I left it when I fell asleep. My kids have been known to "take naps" in their room that lead to complete and total chaos. Apparently it's necessary to take every single toy out and throw it on the floor in order to fall asleep.

I've also dreamt of going to the grocery store in peace. One kid = peace. Two kids = war. Its far easier to bribe one child than it is to convince both children of the same bribery.

To say I was far more disappointed with the first day of Kindergarten would be an understatement. Ryan was so bored with me that he never left my side. "Will you play with me?" "I'm hungry" "I'm still hungry" "I want a sandwich with nothing on it" "Will you build my Batman legos for me?". He kept retrieving snacks from the cupboard for Tristan, you know... for when he gets home from Kindergarten. Because he will clearly need 7 packs of fruit snacks, a banana and 2 applesauces. I guess they don't feed them when they go to school jail. I tried to take a nap but you know how that works. Everyone and their mom finally decides to text and call me the minute my head hits the pillow. When my body is vertical and I'm fully caffeinated...nobody ever calls me!

The most disappointing thing happened when I dropped Tristan off. HE DIDN'T EVEN SAY BYE TO ME! I was distracted by this adorable little girl in a Maxi skirt and blazer who REALLY didn't want to go to Kindergarten. She hadn't even set foot on that magic circle rug but she HATED Kindergarten. I helped Tristan hang up his backpack in his locker, put his lunch box away and was standing there watching the scene play out when I realized my kid disappeared. I peeked my head inside the classroom to find him sitting on the rug fist pounding a little boy he just met. To disturb... or not to disturb. That was the question. AHH. I thought I could handle this! I kind of expected him to be shy and want to hug me and you know, maybe not want me to leave. He IS my sensitive one after all. But he didn't even care. I cried a little inside, but held it together.

I yelled to him and said, "Hey bud. I'm gonna leave, ok?" and he said "Bye Mom!"

As I walked back to my apartment (Hey, we live across the street, this is so cool!)... I really felt like man, I should put this kid in his place. I felt like the whole I BIRTHED YOU WITH NO DRUGS card could really come in handy right now.

When I picked him up, I asked him how his day was. "Awesome, of course." I asked what he did, what he learned, if he remembered his teachers name, if he made any new friends. I was HOVERING. I HAD TO. He told me "I have a lot of work to do, Ok Mom." I said, "Ok, yeah. Well I can help you if you need. What kind of work do you have to do?" and he told me "Just a lot of stuff but I don't need to tell you about it ok?" WOAH. Why so many secrets little child? So I had to set him straight. We worked it out. I explained that I'm the mother and that my job is to help him and I need and want to know what's going on at school and like the good child that he is (can't take credit for this, he was literally just born this way) said, "Ok Mom, you can help me".

So it's official. My little tiny human just entered the big scary world. It wasn't until the moment it was happening that I really didn't want it to happen. The realization that the baby phase is leaving my life just hit me. Nobody needs my help anymore? Are you sure you don't want me to come with? I'll just sit quietly, I won't bother you. I can't just take you wherever I want, whenever I want? My little buddy who has HAD to come with me everywhere is going to start his own independent life. My heart was breaking a little bit at the thought of not knowing all the details of his day, but I couldn't help it. I'm so excited for him. This is where it all begins. The fun. I had to be a little excited for him, remembering my own mischief I got into at the ripe elementary status. Some of my best memories came from elementary school. Some of my best friends came from Elementary school.

 I mean, at least I didn't cry.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


So, as some of you know...

I've been writing a book.

I know right? Like, for real? Is she serious? Who does she think she is?

I think I'm Ashley Thompson and I have a GREAT story.
Some people are probably going to end up hating me WHEN the book comes out (not if), but that's okay. I just felt like this is it. This is my story. I've been waiting my whole life for my story.

I've wanted to write a book my entire life. For as long as I can remember. Some kids say, I'm going to be an astronaut! My 5 year old wants to be a racecar driver and my 4 year old wants to be a Police Officer some days and a Firefighter on others, but mostly he wants to be Batman. But I, I wanted to be an author. Not a writer. I've been that for as long as I've been left handed. But an author. I wanted to write a book.

I never knew what I was going to write about. I mean, there are SO MANY THINGS I can talk about. I'm sure all of my Facebook friends can agree. They probably scroll through their feed and think, GOOD GOD LADY GIVE IT A REST. But that's what happens when you live with Toddlers and all your friends are getting married.

Even after I decided that I was going to write a book, I tried to narrow it down. Literally, my life should have been a book. I do a lot of really weird things and people tell me on a regular basis that I should write a book. I don't see things in black and white, and therefore I end up losing in the game "I have never" consistently. But I couldn't write about most things in my life because well, I have parents. And they're still alive.

But I have been given a gift. It's a gift of being able to talk a lot. Some of you might not think it's a gift. But I've come to accept that I'm just not for everyone. I once had a guy tell me I post too much on Facebook and that's why he didn't want to date me. HA. What I really wanted to tell him was that if he thinks I post a lot, you should just meet me in person. I can dominate a conversation like nobody's business. It's why my best friend and I have been friends for so long; because she's quiet and shy and I just talk talk talk and pry things out of her. She doesn't even have to ask me what's going on in my life because I volunteer that in the first 20 minutes. I realized way too late in life that these are the type of people I should stick with-- the people that just like me, that accept me and have the balls to tell me to shut up so they can talk ( I have friends like that too, I LOVE YOU GUYS).

My favorite boyfriend (yes, I have favorites) told me once a couple years after we broke up. "It was so awesome dating you. I'd just sit there and nod and smile and play my video games and you'd just go on for hours and you never ran out of things to talk about". That's why he's my favorite. God damnit, the ones that get away. (I was an asshole)

So anyway, it finally hit me. THIS IS IT. This is what I am supposed to write about.

This book is gonna be good. And not like how my blog is good. I don't even proofread this shit. I just type away, close my eyes, and click publish. But I've got a story to tell, and it's important and I hope it changes a few lives.

So yeah, that's it. That was the only reason I called you all here to read my blog; to tell you that.

Friday, August 28, 2015

All my friends are getting married.

All my friends are getting married and I'm just stocking up on self-help books, dating Mr. Right Now and getting so drunk I can't find my phone. Oh and a divorce. I'm getting a divorce!

... I feel like the plague.

My divorce was the best thing that happened to me (besides my kids) and my marriage was the second, (besides my kids). So, in order that makes the minions to be the best thing, the divorce second and the marriage 3rd. I have no bitterness or sadness about that, and it doesn't make me any less happy for my friends that are getting married. None of their engagements weren't all THAT surprising...You know how people say you just know. So do us friends. It has all felt very natural, like the next thing to happen for them. I could not imagine them with anyone else and I am beyond thrilled for them. Do I still worry about them? Yes. Maybe it's the motherly nature I've developed, or maybe its my experience. But either way, I am worried.

I married the right guy and I still got divorced.

It's been a tradition amongst me and my friends for a long time for me to be the one that dives in head first only to realize it's a pond, not a lake and I come up with a bloody head and a concussion. They learn from my mistakes. So for tradition sake, and because I love these people more than words could ever express... as well, as kinda like standing on a soap box every now and then... here's some marriage advice from a soon-to-be divorce'...

To my knowledge,  my divorce had nothing to do with my lack of baking skills...although one can never be too sure. 
It is no secret that I openly tell people that I love my husband. Err...soon to be ex-husband. You know, the one that I am divorcing, have lived a separate life from for over 2 years now, and the same one that I refuse to work things out with. The way I describe it now is "unconditional love". Nobody pisses me off more and there's not any other soul I would go to the end of the world for. But if you ask me to live in the same house again, I'll politely say I have other plans. (I'm also in love with a different man some days, so don't get this all twisted.)

Aw, aren't we cute! So, like... Why did we get divorced?

Well, that's none of your business. But the real reason we got divorced is this:
  • While we had a great relationship, we were the best of friends and I believe he may just have been "the one"... we didn't have the tools we needed to learn how to function when we didn't agree. And we didn't agree on a lot of things.
  • While we were busy baby-making, producing those babies, and tending to their every need, we forgot about taking care of each other.
  • The little things became the big things.
Of course, I didn't know any of this WHILE I was married.

So first, let me preface this: Marriage a balancing act, so don't be surprised when some of this contradicts the other And if you've heard it a million times, I'm sorry for that too but it just means I'm as wise now as the rest of the world tried to make me 5 years, so read this and take it to heart because I'm not getting paid for this.


1. Go to bed mad sometimes if you must. If it's 4am and you have to work at 6, call it a night and vow to come back to it. Don't sweep it under the rug, but a fresh head might help. THE COUCH IS OFF LIMITS. You wanna go to bed mad, that's your choice but you get to share the bed with that infuriating human being because you actually love them and they just really make you mad sometimes. Also, you might wake up to find that the other person is cuddling you in their sleep :)

2. The little things become the big things, both good and bad. Don't forget all the little things that made your heart race. Don't ALWAYS overlook the little annoyances. If it's a big deal to your spouse, but it's not to you...take that to heart, and make an effort.

3. PICK YOUR BATTLES. Express your feelings, but realize that sometimes it's best to let it go. Like, say if he always puts his boxers just outside of the hamper, instead of in it. Let that one go and focus on getting to places on time.

3. Date night: you HAVE to do it. Even if you're tired and you don't want to get dressed. Redbox & your couch do not qualify as date night. Neither does the restaurant you take your (future) kids to.

4. Learn to say you're sorry and what that word means. Sorry means you won't do it again (this is what I tell my 3 &5 year olds, but it's the truth. Sorry means nothing if you keep doing it and use the word only for forgiveness).

5. The marriage comes before the kids. Can.Not.Stress.This.Enough.

6. Don't let sweatpants get the best of you. Yeah, I'm talking to you.

7. Learn how to argue. Without yelling. without name calling. Read all the books, see all the therapists. Do whatever you can to learn how to have a healthy argument. This is so important. There will be stressful times. You will argue.

8. Develop interests together. Don't get boring. Getting comfortable is awesome! It's the best part of marriage, but getting lazy and boring is not good for anyone. This also doesn't include family activities when the kids come. This is strictly for the two of you to do just the two of you, or with another couple occasionally if you choose.

9. Have your own interests. This doesn't mean liking your own show. This means find something that makes you happy. That you can go and do when you need some space.

10. This one is tricky so here's the best advice I can offer on this subject: Choose wisely who AND WHAT you vent to/about. It's not healthy to bottle everything in but venting to your Mom or all of your friends about EVERYTHING isn't good either. Venting to coworkers is a no go, and that random new friend that is attractive is a no go as well. You cant vent to me and I'll nod and smile and pretend to listen and I'm really good at not taking sides. You'll get it out of your system, I'll get free wine. It's a win win. That's what I'm here for.

11. If you never stop doing what you did to win this person over, you'll never lose them.

12. Love is like your favorite comfy sweatshirt. You have to take really good care of it to make it last so long. (you also can't get fat. Don't do that anyway, unless there's a baby in you.)

13. Don't forget about your friends. Ok, this one had a slightly ulterior motive. But don't forget about me!!!

And last but not least....

Sometimes... the worse, comes before the better.

Hindsight is 20/20 and if I had known what I know now, I would have done things differently. I would have listened to the advice that was given, I would have backed down a few times, and I would have tried a little harder. But I didn't and now I'm here and maybe this is why... so that I can help my friends determine what is and isn't worth it, and share my insight. I'm not nearly as expensive as a professional counselor, I only want your company and free wine.

Best wishes, congrats, good luck, break a leg, etc etc to all of my soon to be wed friends!!