Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Leaves of Red Orange and Gold, and Everything Nice…

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This Is an ode to my favorite season…

Fall…

Where football starts and the terrible heat of the Summer begins to fade.

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Fall…

Where sweatpants are common clothing choices and nobody will bat an eye if you show up everywhere in them. (Well, maybe in DC they will because….DC)

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Fall…

Where you can take a leisurely walk in the city or park and not feel like you’re about to suffer from a heat stroke or sweat every pound off of your body.

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Fall…

When the leaves put on a show over the span of hundreds and hundreds of miles just so you can travel a short distance to witness the beauty of nature.

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Fall…

Where pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon rules your sense of smell, and you feel all warm and cuddly inside.

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Fall…

The feeling of a crisp breeze that blows on a slightly warm day, letting you know it’s got your back.

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Fall…

The memories of waiting for your parents to rake the leaves into a big pile, just so you could jump in it.

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Fall…

Halloween

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Fall…

Thanksgiving

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Fall…

Hanging around a bonfire with some of your closest family and friends with a beer…or sitting around a campfire roasting hotdogs and marshmallows

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The greatest things are here when fall comes around. You can’t deny it.

It’s the best season there is.

Bar none

Completely

Without a doubt

Number 1

*Take that, take that* #PdiddyVoice

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Change is the only constant…

Change is inevitable.  It’s something we all go through in life whether we want it to happen or not.  In most cases, our idea of change is an unwanted variable that comes along, ruining good things and making things worse over time.  But change can happen for the better, and most often does.  We don’t like to openly invite change to make things better, but it’s only because it’s unfamiliar; And everyone tends to be a little scared about unfamiliarity.

So, as I go through one of the biggest changes of my life, I have to remind myself that change is a good thing.  To want change is to know that you desire more from life, and that where you are has become to stagnant and complacent.  Sometimes, change is desired, and sometimes it’s needed.  In this case, I think it was a little bit of both. I can only hope that it will bring good and positive things to me in the future.  So with that said, here are a few reasons why I think change is good and something we should all embrace and strive for:

Change gets you out of your comfort zone

I’m some sort of an introvert, so I know all about comfort zones and being in them.   But, doing things that are unfamiliar to you builds confidence.  Without confidence, you won’t get too far in life. With confidence, you are more willing to put yourself out there and take chances.  I’ve had to learn this and still am trying to get used to being confident in/with change.  Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to spread your wings and show the world what you can really do outside of your normal comfort box.  And no, you don’t ALWAYS have to get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s good to go back and chill, but don’t stay there.

Change allows you to grow

Change is life.  It’s how this whole ‘life’ thing works.  Getting you out of your comfort zone is the basis of change, and allows for you to grow, and as you grow, you learn.  And as you learn more, the better off you are in life.  Growth from change allows you to experience so much more than you ever would staying in your comfort zones.

Change and being adaptable are seen as positives

We all know that things at work never goes as planned.  As a bag-boy at the local grocery store I learned that being open to change is how you get recognized.  Work itself, is just one big ball of Murphy’s law ready to explode on your hour after hour. And being susceptible to change allows you to handle these situations like a BOSS.  Adaptability and change go hand in hand.  If you allow your resistance to change to keep you from taking charge or handling a situation accordingly, this is definitely seen as a negative.  Change allows you to be creative in solving a problem. A plus in many employer’s eyes.

Change can help spice up your life

In more ways than one…lol.  I am very accepting of change for this reason alone.  Doing the same things over and over for an extended amount of time got me into semi depressive moods many times, because it felt like I wasn’t doing anything or going anywhere in my life.  The same routines of my day to day allowed me to focus on why I felt like I wasn’t successful, or why my life was “boring”, and contributed to a negative aura and thought process.  Change, just in your daily routine, can help with these types of thoughts and maybe a big change could help as well.

Change allows you to experience new things

As we all know, change presents opportunities.  Without being open to change, I wouldn’t be making the biggest move of my life in 31 days. Simple as that.

You have to put yourself out there.  We as humans get to the point where we’re just really comfortable and complacent and just refuse to embrace change because we’re so familiar with the constant. Be open to change and all of the good impact that it may have on you.  Who knows, it could lead to great opportunities that you would have never imagined.  It could change your life.  To fear change, is to fear the unknown, and that totally understandable, but how long are you going to let the fear of change dictate how you live your life?

I have become that person…but how?

I spent a lot of time with friends yesterday. A group of friends for brunch and then another friend stopped by to chat for a bit. That’s what adults do right? Eat brunch and chat? How did I get here?

Those two conversations were filled with lots of catching up and discussion of future plans as most conversations are. I’ve had similar conversations with all of these people multiple times because while I love them all dearly and am super close to them all I don’t see them frequently because of life and adulting. And that’s fine. We all are doing it and no one gets mad about it. I appreciate that about my friends.

At some point during both conversations though I realized, I have become that person. What person you ask? Well if your just a little patient I’ll tell!

In discussing some of my personal goals, the usual, weight loss, saving money, moving out (yep…I’m 30 years old and still live with my parents. That’s a blog for another day) came up. I’ve recently started to pick up on peoples responses to my saying I’m going to do these things. Let’s just say they aren’t good. Sometimes it’s met with laughter (thanks Dad), sometimes it’s met with harsh reminders (I thought you were on a diet) that only really serve to annoy me and trigger my stubbornness (thanks Mom), most times it’s met with slight side eye, sighs of “that’s great” with the undertone of “we’ve had this conversation plenty of times but yet here you still are” and encouragement with a hint of “there’s really no reason why you haven’t already done this you’re just lazy/content and used to this lifestyle” (thanks friends, family, coworkers, strangers). And I admit, since these are areas I am not happy with in my life, I probably read more into people’s slight shifts in tone, side eyes, eye rolls, and comments than they actually mean. And I put some of the stuff I’ve been already thinking into their comments too.

But, the realization that I have become that person, officially hit me after brunch, when my friend Michael stopped by and I told him my plan to move out and then my thoughts about potential life style changes for health purposes and both comments got a sarcastic slow clap with a “we’ll see.” A lot of people would be pissed at Michael for this response. I, however, have known Michael for going on 20 years (how did we get so old) and while he may be a self proclaimed ass hole, his intentions (towards me at least) are never to hurt or harm. We could all use a level headed, blunt, call it what it is friend…even if it bruises our ego a bit because on the flip side, Michael has always celebrated any of my successes with the fierceness of a loving brother.

So, what have my friends responses for several weeks/months/years and at brunch and Michael’s slow clap helped me to realize…I have become that person. Dear God lady what person?!?! I’ve become the person that no one actually takes serious when they set goals. The person that sets these goals and is super excited about them but somewhere down the line, and usually very quickly, falls off. It would not surprise me if my family secretly takes bets on how long I will keep up any dieting or healthy living practices. And I know for certain they do not believe me or even entertain my talks about moving out anymore. It’s as if everyone is just waiting to see if it happens but no one is holding their breath because they know the possibility of them dying in the process is high.

But how did I get here?

I’m not sure I’ve ever been a highly goal oriented person. I’ve always felt like most people have known since they were 6 what they wanted to do with their life. I literally decided I wanted to be a counselor one day while on campus my senior year of undergrad talking to a friend. I had about 3 months to get my application turned in take the necessary tests to apply. Then in grad school I felt everyone knew what population they wanted to work with. I have stumbled through the last five years finally finding a population that I absolutely love but even then had to step away from in order to be effective and not lose my own mind. Once a month, usually right before I start my period when I feel bloated and disgusting I go to bed and say “ok this is it. I’m going to get my life together.” Then I start my period, refuse to do anything that week because life is hard enough when your vagina is dying so I have all intentions of doing something when it’s over. My period ends, the bloating goes away, and while my body is far from perfect I usually catch a glimpse in the mirror before I shower one day and say “you know what, you good Ashley! If someone can’t love all of this then they don’t deserve you” and the cycle begins again. I can justify a lot of things and I ultimately refuse to shame myself for being human and doing things that humans need to do like eat, and rest, and enjoy life so as not to go crazy…but then I can justify doing these to excess which is where the problem begins.

It’s almost as if that slow clap Michael did made me connect all the dots and realize that while he’s the only person who did it outright, everyone else is probably doing it in their mind. My response to him was something along the lines of “don’t doubt me” to which he responded with something far less enlightening but similar too “I don’t doubt you can do it. I’m just waiting for it to happen.”

I know a few things about myself. One of which is that I can be really stubborn and strong willed and there is a certain level and type of negativity that I use as a driving force. It’s what caused me to give birth without an epidural, because everyone said I wouldn’t. It’s what caused me to go to college and grad school and find a career that I love, because I was afraid of becoming a teen mom statistic or being what I knew people were betting I would be…a failure.

But sometimes that backfires. And there is a moment where those negative comments become my way of fighting the system and my stubbornness becomes “oh I’ll show you that I absolutely do not have to do these things.” That’s usually surrounds any negative responses to my weight gain/loss or my still living at home.

So yes, I have become that person. I’m aware. I apologize to the people who are sick of hearing me talk about these things without seeing any action. I thank you for loving me all the same and not giving up. I’ve decided to make no promises and to also stop talking about it. Thank you Michael for that slow clap and gentle chuckle of supportive pessimism.

We shall see what happens!!

Rain, Rain go Away…Or Stay. That’s Fine Too.

The weather out here in North Carolina has been all over the place the last week or two, but that’s pretty normal. I have literally experienced a tornado, sunshine, heat, and rain in the last two weeks. I also saw some left over snow while traveling for work. Currently we are on hour 10473729202840727 of steady rain. Ok that’s an exaggeration but we are approaching 48 hours. There is currently flooding in parts of the city.

I really enjoy a good storm. It’s soothing and I get some really good sleep. But after a while, I start to wonder if it’s ever going to stop and if I’ll survive. I also despise driving in the rain so there’s that reason why I get a little antsy when it just keeps raining

Today, while driving in the rain funnily enough, I started making a list of reasons why we need a good storm every now and then. Some literal. Some metaphorical. Most are both. Enjoy.

1. Growth. Everything needs water to grow. Part of me is really sad my garden isn’t planted yet because this would be the most amazing watering ever. I really hate dragging the hose across the yard and back again so I am always thankful for a good rain to water things for me. Every once in a while a good storm comes along and while it may be scary while your in the midst of it, afterwards you can definitely see how the downpour helped creat abundance, beauty and growth. (That’s the metaphor part if you didn’t catch it)

2. Cleansing: have you bathed lately? Not just your physical being but other areas as well. A good soul cleansing scrub is sometimes needed. A good soak in a tub is good for the soul and one of my favorite forms of self care. When was the last time you just stood in the rain? One day in grad school I was so stressed and overwhelmed and I had parked my car on the opposite side of campus and it was raining. I walked to my car with my umbrella but when I got there I closed it and put it in the car. I stayed outside and just let the rain wash over me a little bit. A tear or two may have mixed in with the rain drops. I don’t know. But I do know it was cathartic. If I hadn’t just spend $90 on my hair I would consider going outside right now for a few minutes.

3. Healing: A good storm can be therapeutic I think. Healing for the heart, mind and soul. And for one instance for me, the body. I used to have really bad TMJ issues. For 10 years my jaw popped out of place every time I opened my mouth wide. It hurt constantly and was made worse by a lot of talking or excessive smiling. I couldn’t chew gum. The only good thing that ever came out of my TMJ issues is that I learned the joys of medium cooked steaks as anything above that irritated my jaw. I went to the doctor, I took ibuprofen for pain, I had a $200 mouth guard made by the dentist, I had a $5 bite guard from Walmart. I even had a chiropractor punch me in the jaw repeatedly with some tool. Nothing helped. One day, after a few days of rain, and some pretty serious thunder and lightening, I came home in serious pain, took some ibuprofen and put in the $5 mouth guard. I went to sleep so as not to feel anything. I woke up the next day and immediately knew something was different. My jaw has only popped when I yawn unexpectedly or open my mouth funny since then. I WAS HEALED!! I will never be angry about rainy days ever again because one literally healed my body.

(In case you were wondering how your jaw works)

4. Rest: I think a good storm causes us all to slow down a little bit. Whether it’s slowing down while driving or just choosing to stay in for the day, rest is needed. Also, waterbeds weren’t all the rage back in the day for no reason! Water is soothing to the soul. No matter what anyone says, sleep is not the cousin of death. You have to sleep to live. If anything, if you don’t sleep you will die sooner! So if you too are experiencing a stormy day (of any kind) consider using it to take a good nap.

So there you have it. I know it’s a much shorter list than I normally make but I hope you have enjoyed it all the same. I also hope, if you are currently experiencing any sort of storm in your life, literal or otherwise, that you take a few moments to find and appreciate just a little of the beauty that there may be in the midst of it.

146 Reasons Why You Should Most Definitely Date Me

Of course I had to do a counter-post to my previous list of 153 reasons why you probably shouldn’t date me. As I went through I realized a few of the items on the other list were redundant. But any-who, here you have 146 reasons why you should absolutely, positively, most definitely, without a doubt date me! I’m trying to tell y’all. I’m kind of awesome!

1. I’m not perfect. As a result I won’t expect you to be either. I will understand if you mess up (within reason. No cheating allowed) and as long as you show remorse and that you really are working on it. I’m cool with that.

2. I don’t really like to argue. Definitely not screaming yelling matches. But even minor disagreements. I know they will happen. But if they can happen without yelling, screaming and tire slashing…I’m all for that.

3. I have pretty awesome hair. Sometimes I wear it straight and feel super fierce and you can run your fingers through it. Most of the time I wear it curly and it’s big and beautiful and you’ll want to touch it. I’ll let you because you’re my boo.

4. People have said I have pretty feet. I keep them done regularly so if you have a thing for feet that’s good.

5. While I don’t do foot rubs, I will gladly offer up a good back or shoulder rub.

6. We can totally go get pedicures together. I would find that to be a really great date.

7. I don’t expect you to pay for me to get my nails done. I very rarely have fake nails but when I do, I can pay for them. If you wanted to, I would struggle to let you unless you insisted.

8. I smell like coconut!!! Legit. My hair products, my lotion, my body wash..all coconut. I’m like a walking tropical island with a pina colada.

9. I have a great support system outside of you. While I’ll definitely talk to you about my problems or concerns I don’t expect you to fix them. If you aren’t readily available I won’t have a meltdown.

10. I will gush about you to my friends and family. I will struggle not to tell them every simple, sweet, wonderful thing you do. If you are amazing, they will know.

11. I’m really close to my parents. I love them and they are my favorite, but they do want me to have a life outside of them and the house. They are permanent babysitters with zero concern about it if we go out.

12. I make a decent living. Not rich but my bills get paid on time. If your bae, I don’t mind treating you to a nice night. Together we would probably have a decent life as long as you make more than minimum wage.

13. I have a daughter. She tells me I’m a pretty good mom. I’m sure I could do better. If we had children I would be a pretty good mom to those kids too. I love babies.

14. I’m not a Virgin! I mean if you’re lookin for a Virgin this isn’t going to work but if you don’t care about that kind of things we might have decent sex.

15. I probably won’t judge you on your number count. I mean if it’s like 1000 I will question your mental stability and it probably won’t work out. But if it’s a pretty normal number I won’t care. That’s actually not a question I ever care about asking.

16. I like to sleep.

17. We can take naps together and I will consider this quality time spent together.

18. If you like thighs. I’ve got thighs for days.

19. I’ll understand if you aren’t a big fan of the gym.

20. I don’t expect you to be a perfectionist.

21. If you propose, our wedding planning may or may not be already completed as long as you like my style. But if you proposed because you love me you’ll probably like my style.

22. Why would you not want a wedding with hints of Harry Potter?

23. I love Harry Potter. This honestly gives you an endless supply of gift ideas for any occasion.

24. I will leave you alone while you watch sports if that’s what you want. Or I’ll grab a book and read next to you while you watch. Or if you want to try explaining it to me I will listen. I’ll also make you wings.

25. I make a pretty good hot wing among many other food and desert related items.

26. I’m not stupid. You should like that unless you just like dating stupid women. Whatever floats your boat there.

27. I have my masters degree. You can brag about that to your coworkers.

28. I pick up on little details in conversations and daily living. I like to do little things to show you I care even if you haven’t flat out said you like or need something. I’ll see it. (Sometimes)

29. I will get you Valentine’s gifts. We can definitely show each other that we love each other all year round, but we can also do fun things on Valentine’s too!

30. While I’m not a fan of combined birthday and Christmas presents I’m used to them. I’ll playfully give you a hard time about it but I won’t be mad.

31. I like reading. I won’t force you to If you don’t like too but if you do that’s great. Books are awesome.

32. I blog! That means you get a first hand look into what’s going on in my head without even having to ask!

33. I will write about you in my blog! Especially if it works out or you make me really happy!

34. I won’t send random nudes to random people. If you can appreciate this you are my kind of person.

35. I’ve got lots of curves, good for cuddling, hugging and napping on. Pick a thigh, butt cheek or fluffy tummy space and rest your weary head.

36. Sometimes I get dressed up and fancy and turn a few heads.

37. I have good hygiene. I don’t like smelling bad. I don’t wear perfume and no one tells me I stink so I think I just naturally smell good.

38. I’m very passionate about my job and enjoy what I do. I’ll have lots of entertaining stories for

39. I’m a good listener.

40. I don’t really offer a lot of advice because I assume people are naturally smart and know how to live their life better than I do. But if I do offer advice it will be well thought out and hopefully helpful.

41. I’m not a fan of the silent treatment. So I probably won’t do that if we argue. Some time to step away and calm down, sure, but not ignoring calls or texts. Let’s talk this out and get to the making up!

42. I’m not a grammar nazi

43. You can pick on my grammar. I don’t care

44. You can help me with math so you can feel smarter than me there

45. I won’t judge you if your bed isn’t made. Just change the sheets regularly.

46. I make pretty babies. I also had a pretty easy pregnancy the first go around so if the next time goes the same it should be pretty stress free for you.

47. I shed a lot in the shower but not anywhere else. So you won’t find random hairs all over the place.

48. When slightly intoxicated I don’t care what I look like when I dance. So you may find that entertaining. I also have random dance parties in the kitchen when I’m cooking. You can join.

49. Sometimes I sing to annoy my daughter. It’s usually old Mariah Carey songs. Or other 90’s R&B

50. Once I’m comfortable around you, and I start singing and dancing you will have an endless supply of entertainment.

51. Once I feel safe and comfortable around you, you may wish I no longer was but it’ll still be fun. That’s the point right. To find someone you can be 100% yourself around.

52. I will not get shitfaced in public. You will not have to drag me out of anywhere drunk.

53. When my friends and I go out for margaritas and movies, you should definitely go do something with your friends. See ya later babe!

54. I love to travel. We can start a travel bucket list and do all the things.

55. I won’t make fun of you for having boogers. Boogers are natural. I’ll get you a tissue

56. I will take care of you when you have the man-flu. I’m a nurterer to my core.

57. I’m a great little spoon.

58. I don’t mind wearing ear plugs if you snore.

59. I like to joke and flirt. Not so much like full on shit talk though.

60. I’ll willingly let you drive everywhere!

61. Women are hot but we won’t have a threesome (not sure if you’ll find that to be a plus or not)

62. I am super open and accepting of most things and people. Do you boo just don’t hurt or kill anyone.

63. Not going to lie. I appreciate traditional gender roles at times.

64. I love black people!

65. My mom is white and she’s the most awesome white woman you will ever meet.

66. I won’t cuss at you. Like cuss you out. I don’t appreciate it happening to me so I don’t do it.

67. I will pray for you. I already am.

68. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. I try to remember this and live life accordingly and engage with people accordingly. But I’m not perfect.

69. I will go to church with you.

70. I approach people with the idea that all people are inherently good. I will believe you are good and trustworthy unless you prove me wrong.

71. The idea of being in a committed relationship with a man at the head of that relationship most days gives me hope. I may be feisty and fiery but I will submit and follow if I believe in the direction we are going. I will be the best rib you have ever found.

72. I believe in work and putting in work to make a relationship work.

73. I think a lot and try to see if there are areas I need to work on without someone else pointing it out.

74. I am not a vengeful person. I’m not usually interested in revenge.

75. I am not a picky eater. My foods I don’t eat list includes canned asparagus and liver if it’s not cooked right. So you can pretty much take me anywhere and I’ll be happy.

76. If you pay for the food, I will not waste it

77. If something is chasing us it will probably get me first because I can’t run.

78. You can make fun of my heavy breathing. I don’t care.

79. You can make fun of my hard blinking. I don’t care.

80. Growing up in the military instilled a love for travel and culture and diversity.

81. I am excited to have more kids one day within a loving and committed relationship/Home

82. My pettiness is usually not directed at people I love.

83. I have tried to learn something from each relationship I have been in no matter how short or long it was.

84. I will be honest with you

85. I won’t expect you to be near me 24/7

86. I will hold you to standards. I will encourage and support you in whatever goals you have set for yourself (unless it’s goals like sleep with a thousand women).

87. I will respect you

88. I will be faithful

89. I will consider your feelings in almost everything I do.

90. I will be kind to you

91. I’m not a hoe

92. I won’t have you out here looking stupid

93. I will try my best to keep my word.

94. I will go out with you!! And sometimes I will pay too!

95. I will tell you the truth

96. I will be mindful of your feelings and not say things to be intentionally cruel.

97. I will treat you like a man

98. I won’t hit you

99. While I’m quiet I think I can hold a decent conversation about more than the weather. I’m kind of funny sometimes too. Unless really mad I don’t yell. I won’t cuss you out.

100. I obey the law. There is very little chance you will ever have to bail me out of jail.

101. I drink responsibly.

102. I will try with everything in my being to understand you and not assume I know you.

103. I will mess up. But what’s life without a few good stories to tell.

104. You won’t have to stop me from fighting in public.

105. My taste in music is super varied. Chances are I like whatever you like. If not I can be easily convinced.

106. I won’t judge you for liking “bad” music.

107. You can teach me all the cool kid things. I won’t be good at it but it’ll give you a good laugh.

108. If your black, you can teach me all the cool black people stuff.

109. I won’t judge you if you like coffee.

110. I won’t send you hey stranger texts. Actually, if it doesn’t work out, you don’t have to worry about me contacting you. I will pretty much disappear and I will definitely leave you alone.

111. I think tattoos are cool.

112. I will listen to all your tattoo stories with extreme interest.

113. I will understand if sometimes you obsess over things. Even if I don’t understand the thing.

114. We can try new things together. Food, activities, outings. Whatever. New is fun. Or you can teach me new things. That’s fun too.

115. I understand that people change. Growth is good.

116. I will pay attention to you. I text back super fast. If I don’t I’m either working or asleep. But usually I text back super fast.

117. I’m usually not super busy so we can do things as long as I have some advance notice to plan.

118. Im easily pleased. I don’t need lots of fancy things.

119. We can do creative things together. Painting classes. Painting pottery. I’m crafty! Need something created, I’m your girl!

120. Sometimes I might surprise you.

121. If you choose to leave by way of cheating and finding someone else before you leave me. I probably won’t flip out. I will be sad and hurt. I won’t key your car or try to kill you. I won’t show up and fight the girl. I will willingly concede and walk away.

122. I’m not a nag (well not much).

123. My guy friends are awesome. You might like them.

124. I’m not the jealous type as long as things don’t feel suspicious and you are honest. Communication and openness goes a long way.

125. I will understand if past relationships have you wary about ours. We can work on that together.

126. There’s still a lot of me to learn and discover!

127. I won’t judge you if you like things that aren’t the norm or technically cool by other people’s standards.

128. I’m tall!

129. Self care is important to me so I will totally encourage you to have your own self care routines.

130. I have a theory about short men after years of research with tall men. So I’m not opposed at all.

131. Guys don’t talk to me in public for the most part because I’m apparently intimidating. So you don’t have to worry about that if I go out without you.

132. They really don’t talk to me if I have my resting bitch face on. So I can always just do that.

133. My period is super predictable. Give me peanut m&m’s the week before and I’ll love you forever.

134. I appreciate constructive feedback at times.

135. I like to joke

136. I appreciate sarcasm.

137. I will laugh at you and with you.

138. My social media posts are entertaining.

139. I don’t think I ask for too much.

140. I won’t nag you with questions.

141. I like watching tv. We can binge watch things together.

142. I give lots of chances

143. I will not judge your past life. Unless you were a serial killer or rapist.

144. We can go to the movies and I will be super happy!

145. I have had one guy open a car door for me in order for me to get out of the car. That’s awkward. Don’t do that. Unless you want. You can open doors though. I won’t judge you if you don’t. I appreciate chivalry and common male niceness

146. I have a passport. We can travel the world together!

It’s a Date!

Warning: I have never once claimed that my personal brand of crazy is rational.

Today I did something I have been avoiding for my entire adult life. I took myself to eat, alone, at Olive Garden. Now, I know that sounds silly and it’s just Olive Garden, but for some reason the idea of doing this very thing has been scary and caused my tons of anxiety just thinking about it. I’ve tried to figure out why. And the most logical thing that I can come up with is that for some reason, the idea of taking myself out to eat at a sit down restaurant, pretty much solidified my perpetual singlehood. Again. Not logical. I don’t think this for other people when I see them out to eat alone or my friends when they do it. I actually envy them. But for me, somehow, taking myself out to eat at a fancy restaurant (lol yes Olive Garden is still fancy to me) just somehow meant I had officially accepted my singleness and was the first step to many a single restaurant date. If you are judging me right now please go read the warning again.

So, I went to Olive Garden…and I didn’t die. I don’t know yet if I really enjoyed it but I’m sure I’ll do it again. As I sat there, I thought that the couple on the other side of the room would be what made me most sad but I didn’t really pay them much mind. What did make me a little nostalgic was the table full of old ladies next to me gushing over their one friend’s new hair cut. It reminded me of my friends. It reminded me of Leanna and I’s many cathartic lunch dates at Olive Garden. It made me miss my friends more than it made me yearn for a partner to go to eat with. Though that would still be great.

Prior to all of this I started thinking up a list of potential date ideas. As a single 30 year old woman, I can count of both hands and maybe require the assistance of one set of toes, the number of dates I’ve been on. If I don’t count random meetings at Walmart or parking lots, then I don’t need the toes. So needless to say I’ve had quite some time to think up some really awesome date ideas. Or at least I think they’re awesome.

So here goes:

Dinner and a movie! Duh. The classics are a must. I’m not picky at all. Feed me and take me to a movie and I’m a happy lady. A few variations… movie and then dinner!! Lol just kidding. But there are those fancy theaters uptown where you can eat real food at the movies. Or a double feature where each person picks a movie. Or show up at the movies at a random time and watch the next thing showing.

Book store date. I love reading. If you can suggest a good book you’ll have a piece of my heart. So we go to the bookstore. You pick out a book for me. I pick out one for you. Then we find a nice cozy spot somewhere around town to read. Or we get the same book and read and discuss. This I semi did once but the guy was cheap and ordered his book online and before it arrived we had stopped talking. I still read the book. It was great.

Netflix binge. This is maybe after we’ve been dating for a while. But a good Netflix binge is always nice on a rainy day. And depending on how long we’ve been dating and how serious it is it can totally be an official Netflix and Chill.

A museum. I hear Charlotte has tons of museums. I’ve only ever been to the Museum of the New South. That was once in middle school and twice in high school for prom. So those two don’t count. So let’s go see some cool museum stuff!

Trampoline park. Disclaimer. I like these places but am super out of shape so I can only bounce for like 5 minutes at a time.

Charlotte is always having some sort of festival. Let’s go! Bonus points if it’s a festival about something neither of us knows anything about (or the renaissance festival).

Anywhere but Charlotte! Again, maybe for later on after I’m certain you aren’t a serial killer. But road trips are cool. And it can totally be a random day trip just to try some fancy ice cream in a random town. Let’s just go!

One of those paint classes. Or that pottery painting place. Arts and crafts are fun even if you suck at them. The paint class doesn’t even have to be a couples one because what are we each going to do with half a painting. And if we go at night we can bring wine! Same for this pottery painting place I know of.

Clearly this is not an exhaustive list. There are a million other things that could be done. The most important part is who you’re with and the time spent together. Which has me thinking? Why am I waiting around for someone else to take me on a date and to do these things. Like I said. The most important part is who you’re with, that can be a partner, friends, family or yourself and the time spent together. As long as your having fun and getting to know whoever you are with…IT’S A DATE!!!

So, what are your favorite date ideas?!?!

Update:

I forgot

A comedy show. Doesn’t have to be Katt Williams (but if it was that would be awesome) even a local amateur night could be fun.

A concert. Someone huge or someone just up and coming. There’s always a concert going on. Fun story. A guy once stopped talking to me because I told him that if we went to the Drake concert I would be excited but wouldn’t be like screaming with my hands in the air the whole time. He said that if I wasn’t going to have fun then he wasn’t taking me. He struggled to understand everyone doesn’t show they are having fun the same way. I’ve dated some gems really.

Pictures that make me happy

I like to think I’m sort of a photographer when I’m out and about in places I’ve never explored before.  I sometimes even look like a tourist in my own city.  Constantly pulling my phone out to take pictures of the Charlotte Skyline, or something that I think is just “neat”.

I used to didn’t really care about taking pictures with my phone.  I was definitely all about living in the moment and just enjoying it for what it was.  But having a camera allows us to relive these moments over and over.  The pictures I take with my Google Pixel has captured most, if not all, of my happiest moments in life.  Looking back at each photo, each tells it’s own story and it reminds me of good times when times aren’t necessarily so good.

I’m by no means a professional, at all and I would love to own a DSLR camera one of these days to see what I can really do.  Maybe there will be an opportunity in the future for me to buy one.  Who knows? And if I do ever get one, maybe I’ll find more things to take pics of.

I’d like to share with you all some of my favorite pics.  All of these pics are my own, and I should probably watermark them before posting here, but ah hell, who cares.

 

 

If you like these pics, I have more on IG @eM_Daht. Beware, there are a lot of selfies!