Thoughts that are too long for a Facebook post.

Let me paint a picture for you. A gorgeous young woman, Mary, sobs into her couch pillow after bumping into her ex-fiancee and his new wife Wendy. She says, “It’s a good thing I didn’t marry him. But most of the time I think…I just wasn’t good enough.” Facing her on the floor, a gorgeous young man, Steve, looks at her sad, beautiful face and replies, “No, no, no, you’re wrong. This Wendy…she’s nothing but a poor man’s Mary.”

This is the scene I think about when I daydream about The Wedding Planner. Yes, I said daydream. I love this movie, and this scene captures its essence for me. The idea of being so fucking special, but doubting yourself because you keep getting picked last. And then there’s hope.

Unfortunately, after I think about this quote, I take my blinders off and remember that Steve is engaged to another woman. Mary still has bad luck in love. Why do I even like this movie?

It’s because I am Maria! 

As I’m watching WP for the 31st time, it’s becoming blatantly clear. Maria and I are both gorgeous (take my word for it), inexplicably single women with a passion for family time, silly games, old movies, organization, and men with a nice smile. Our facial expressions will kill you, we probably want to kill you, but we are poised enough to get the job done.

I seriously don’t understand how Mary gets a happy ending, but somehow the movie gods pull it together.

I’m still in the bullshit phase of my life. I know a surprising number of goofy, successful Steve Edison types but, like him, they’re all in relationships. Wedding planner or not, I can’t touch that with a 10-foot pole. But I also have no patience for those persistent Massimo types.

What ending will I have? An arranged marriage to a handsome idiot or a love story with a doctor who just tricked his fiancé into dumping him? Can I get option C?

People are awkward.

This has really been weighing on my soul lately: Why are people so effing awkward? I remember one time I was at a bar with my friend. A guy walked up to us and started a cool, casual conversation. When the conversation waned and he was ready to go, he just said “It was nice talking to you” and went on his way. We didn’t pretend we’d see each other again, we didn’t exchange social media, we just enjoyed our brief time interacting like human beings. That. Shit. Doesn’t. Happen. Anymore.

Nowadays our lives are filled with combative social media messages, wishy-washy come-ons, and an onslaught of anxiety. Most of my friends now exercise their fight-or-flight instincts: “Yeah, I’m gonna warn you now that I might not make it out…so I don’t stab somebody.” My poor young friends are like, “It doesn’t get easier, does it?” Nah. 

Let’s investigate.

Why in the world don’t we know how to interact with each other? I have a friend in his 60s who suspects it’s either a generational issue or the fact everyone’s trying to be P.C. Now this guy…you may not always like what he says, but he states it plain – like a champ! If he thinks you look nice, he’ll say “Damn! You look good.” If you’re driving like an idiot, he says, “Quit driving like an idiot.” He’ll talk politics without attacking you and tell you he’s married in a heartbeat. It’s a beautiful thing.

I think the new generations are communicating backwards. Gen Y males will pop up in your life to say hi, express a hint of interest, disappear for months, and then pop-up again like nothing happened. Are you interested? Not interested? Did you have to wait until your girlfriend wasn’t around? What do you want?

To be fair, let me tell you about Gen X females.  I’m still enthralled by what happened at this year’s holiday party. It was my last holiday party at this company, so naturally I’m saying my farewells and getting sentimental with a few good people. One fellow tells me I’ll be missed, and I’m just like, “Don’t make me sad!” “Don’t worry,” his wife says, “I didn’t work with you and I don’t know you, so I won’t miss you.” Y’all I was stunned. I laughed to keep from fighting.

I wish more of us could just say how we really feel. “I’m in a relationship.” “I have a crush on you, but I’m chicken.” “I don’t know what I want.” “I don’t like that my husband has attractive female coworkers.” Whatevs. It’s all better than this weird limbo we have to live in where people have to interpret whether you love them, hate them, or are some type of asshole/creep combination.

I’m guilty of being awkward, too. I think I’d rather burn in a raging fire than tell a guy whether I like him or not. My techniques are evasive at best: Let me just position myself in his line of sight repeatedly. Or, no, I don’t like him, but he can follow me on social media. I also remember wanting to have lunch with my female coworkers but balking at the possible rejection. We just had lunch together yesterday. Doesn’t she want a break?

No wonder we can’t just enjoy each others’ company anymore. Every social interaction is like a mortifying game of roulette: Will my friends resent me for not being perfect? Who will run out of oxygen on the small talk treadmill first? Will I get smacked by a micro aggression? Maybe all three!

There’s only one possible solution: be unapologetically you. Speak you. Live you. Do you. Make life less awkward by showing your true colors! That way we can all make clear decisions about who we want to spend our time with.

“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you’re cool, and fuck you, I’m out.”

The catch up.

Yikes! I haven’t written a blog since September? It wasn’t for lack of trying. I have loads to tell you all. I’m just not sure how to organize my thoughts. Which is funny, because my organizational skills supposedly got me the job I’m starting tomorrow. I should start there.

One day a friend of mine casually asks me if I’m open to another job. I’m like “yeah, sure.” In my mind, I’m confident that nothing will come of it. So, then, a week later he’s like, here’s the position, apply today! 

“Ah, what the hell!” I update my resume that night and send it. I’m still in a very dubious space. “This will be fun, but like…I’m still going to be delivering webcasts next month.”

We have a phone interview and a key question comes up: Why would you be willing to leave your current job (at an amazing company) to join a small startup? I think all the practice I’ve recently had delivering presentations makes it easier for the words to come out.

I know what I want. I want to grow and organize things and not be held back by structure. I want to be recognized for what I can do and given room to meet my potential. 

I say these things and know they’re not bulllshit. Despite how content I’ve been at work, I can’t help but want more. My friend tells me that I can expect this at his company and, even better, he’ll go to bat for me whenever necessary. Then, he proves it.

The day of the in-person interview, he makes me a bomb offer. Within 24 hours I decide to change my life. I agree to take a leap…several. I also book a solo vacation, my last of the year. I fly out on Sunday to Miami Beach where the weather’s nice, the beach is within walking distance, and I can choose between rock climbing and movies and drinks. Oh, and the service is 5-star. 

I get high off men opening doors, room service, free lectures on feng shui, saunas, too many fitness classes, and reading China Rich Girlfriend on the beach. Then, I put in my two weeks’ notice.

Before I leave, they work the shit out of me. I have more than a half dozen trainings to deliver, not including the ones I give my teammates to transition projects away. One of them is in New Jersey, and I fly out right in the middle of my two weeks.

That’s a whole adventure and a half. For my grand travel finale, I stay at a Howard Johnson, a mighty far, fucking cry from my Miami wellness resort, but I survive. I also survive the  random jerking of my rental car’s steering wheel. I had to drive an hour from the airport and repeatedly felt my life flicker before my eyes. Yeah, 2018s are nice, but it doesn’t mean they won’t kill you! 

It turns out they actually won’t kill you. They just vibrate when you cross lines without using a turn signal. Silly me.

Despite leaving my laptop’s power cable in Ohio, I deliver a fire training (figuratively), and leave with a commendation. A nice letter to my company. The company I’m leaving in another week. LOL awww.

While I’m busy being bold, I make some more moves. I head to New York relying entirely on public transportation. 

For all you adultier, more metropolitan, more learned adults, this may not be a big deal. It was a huge deal for me. I have the body of a 16-year-old, just recently activated my sense of direction, and have been told I’m just “book smart.” Me riding the rail and the subway from New Jersey to New York was a big “fuck you” to the haters. Everything I’ve done lately has shown me I can do whatever I imagine myself doing – why stop now?

It’s addictive – leaving fearlessly. Taking leaps. But it doesn’t look the same for everyone.  In fact, I bet to half of you, my last month looks like child’s play. I’m still proud as heck.

The past month was about getting clear on what’s important to me. Traveling, growing, being great but not perfect, laughing at myself, and saying “yes” to opportunities.

Now about this past year…we have some more things to talk about. Tune in soon.