Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An American in London

I have a new life plan.

Yes, it’s true. Two years after graduation and I think I have finally figured out my life.

The details are a little hazy—okay, really hazy—but it’s going to be awesome.


I'm moving to England.

I’m moving to England and getting my masters.

It’s a done deal. And by done deal, I mean I thought of it (with help from my co-workers) last Thursday and it sounded perfect.

Do I know when? Where? How? Or even what I’ll get a masters in? No. Those are minor details. But it’s gonna happen; don’t even doubt it.

There’s more to the plan, but that’s for a select few to know.

I'll take afternoon tea here once a month.
Before the Rain - Buckingham Palace

I'll traipse about the country of my ancestors...which is pretty much all of England...and Ireland...and Scotland.
Yorkshire Dales B&B, Scaife Hall Farm 

Everyone will visit me and we'll go see this.

Okay, fine. I’ll tell you the rest of my plan. But I swear I’m not as silly (or girlie) as this sounds. If you do laugh, please don't do it in front of me. I just may cry if you do. Or punch you in the face. Or both.

I’m moving to England and getting my masters and marrying an English guy* who:
  • will have an awesome accent (my PA accent will totally seal the deal for him);
  • will think I'm hilarious because he gets my dry humor (and I'll think he's hysterical);
  • will iron my shirts (I’ll take out the trash);
  • will give me red-headed little girls (but he'll have brown hair, so this might get tricky);
  • and will have the last name “Haven” (so I can name my our son C.K. Dexter Haven).

Oh, and he’ll have good teeth. (I know he's out there!)

Now if only I can figure out how to fund living in England while earning a masters. But my eternal salvation is worth any amount of debt…right? Pretty sure I heard that from a GA.

*I would also settle for any of the following: Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or Milo Ventimiglia.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

9 Reasons Guys Should Date Independent Girls

Last night I got asked out.

And by asked out, I mean my co-worker/co-worker’s friend set me up. And the guy called to formally ask me out.

In the six-minute conversation, said guy made a comment about me being pretty independent.


After we hung up, I was thinking that I probably should have better hidden that little tidbit until at least after the first date. Or second.

But this morning, I changed my mind. There is nothing wrong with a girl being independent. (Okay, fine. Yes, there are some issues, but I’m working on them. And to list all the problems would make this post even longer.) But, guys shouldn’t be afraid of independent girls. In fact, they should go after them. And here’s why:
  1. Independent girls know themselves. Independent girls know who they are. We are comfortable in our own skin. We have opinions. We probably value our education. This is what makes us independent. We don’t necessarily look to others for validation. This doesn’t mean that we don’t need validation or that we don’t have insecurities—everyone has those. However, an independent girl generally has figured out how to cope. This is the basis of many of the other points on the list, but it’s important.
  2. Independent girls don’t need to live by mom and dad. We may want to live by mom and dad, but a truly independent girl doesn’t need to. Some may even need to not live by family. We can live across the country or world. Chances are we already do.
  3. Independent girls can go shopping by themselves. Now, I know some guys don’t mind going shopping, but I think that’s mostly because they enjoy the company rather than the actual act of shopping. (But really, who likes to wait and wait outside a dressing room?) However, independent girls are capable of walking into a store and trying on things without someone else. We may enjoy having other people there for a second opinion, but it’s not necessary.
  4. Independent girls probably won’t send you to the store for tampons, pads, or the like. This is most likely because we’re convinced you’ll get the wrong thing anyway. Why? Because you’re a guy and don’t know the difference between light, heavy, wings, or no wings. We’ll save you a trip down that aisle. (See about 1:20-2:00 of this clip.)
  5. Independent girls can entertain themselves. Don’t want to see the latest chick flick? That’s fine. We can go by ourselves or get our friends to go with us. You want to hang out with the boys for the night? That’s fine too. We’d rather spend it with you, but we also need time to ourselves, so we won't mind if you spend some time with the guys/watch sports/play video games—no grudges.
  6. Independent girls have a plan. They generally know what they want out of life, a relationship, or what have you. With you in the picture, the plan might (and probably should) change, but we may hold onto the goals of writing a book or going to law school or moving out of state. Goals may be added that we didn’t seriously consider before—like marriage or not dating a schmuck again.
  7. Independent girls will find a way. Maybe this one just applies to me, but I think independent girls will try to fix the problem first. If the sink is acting up, we’ll probably search Google first for an answer before reaching for the phone book. Sure, we may turn the problem over to you, but we won’t mind taking a stab at it. (Yes, I see the issue of hurt feelings if we happen to fix the problem after you are not able to.)
  8. Independent girls can be happy in or out of a relationship. This is the key to being ready for a relationship anyway. If you cannot be happy by yourself, a relationship will never be able to fill that void. Independent girls have this down. However, sometimes people (both girls and guys) will take this attitude to mean that independent girls do not need a significant other. It’s true we don’t need one, but it’s more that we recognize that another person is not essential to our happiness. This does not mean that we don’t want to be in a relationship. Many of us still want to have someone to share our life with, but until that guy comes along, we’ll be just fine.
  9. Independent girls are in a relationship because they want to be. Going along with the last point, we generally don’t date because we need to be in a relationship. Like I said, we can be happy out of one. This means that when we are in a relationship, it’s because we want to be. In addition, if the relationship just isn’t working for us, we’ll end it.
Like I said, my independence is something I’m working on--not so much that I'm giving it up, but I'm trying to allow others to help me. (I enjoy helping others, so why not let someone else have the pleasure too?) In fact, I’m pretty sure my independence may have been a contributing factor in the demise of my previous two relationships…and all those first dates that didn’t turn into second dates. I remember that before we even dated, my first boyfriend practically had to force me to allow him to carry my bag after an overnight camping trip. He told me, “Stop being so independent. Let me help you.”
I think my main point is that indendepence is not necessarily a weakness—not for the girls who are independent or the guys who are pursuing the girls. It can be a good thing. Just don’t let it get the best of you.

So, to my fellow (independent) ladies/girls/women/guys/men/whathaveyous, what are your thoughts on independence? For or against? Pros and cons?
*For all you feminists or whatever out there who take offense to the fact that I say independent girls, I’d like to say that I’m not a stickler on this subject (even though I'm an editor and should be "PC"). I call men guys and woman girls. It’s a generational thing, I guess. I actually don’t really care to be called a woman (it makes me cringe a bit and think of The Incredibles when Frozone says, “Woman, where is my super suit?!” [However, I think that clip is hilarious.]). Maybe in 20 years I will want to be called a woman, but not when I’m 20-something.

** Yes, I recognize that I generalize. Like everything, take it with a grain of salt. Everyone is different, and independent girls are different in their independence.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good water

Prior to this blog, I wrote (sporadically) on other blog of mine that I titled “Song of the Day.” While I love music, I wasn’t confident in my opinion, so I discontinued that blog and started this one a few years later.

I found a post I had saved from that blog about the song “Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley. It’s a fantastic song (best version is here). And during that period in my life, I lived by it. Don wrote the song after his divorce. It is all about forgiveness when you have been hurt deeply by someone you love. This is what the song meant to me at that time:

“This month has been kind of an emotional month for me. Not emotional in the sense that I’ve been crying a lot and being dramatic. I’ve had to let a friendship go. I’ve had to move on. I’ve lost the trust I placed in a person I would have trusted my life with. And it’s been difficult. But I am moving on. I came to a realization the other week that I don’t need that person in my life. I don’t want them in my life right now. I’ve learned what I’ve need to learn. They aren’t what I need now. Maybe sometime down the line, we can be friends again, but not now. Especially not now.

“I’m happy to come to this bittersweet conclusion after months of trying to figure it out. The following song is one that has carried me through these months that I’ve allowed myself to be put through….

“While my circumstances are not as extreme as a divorce, I definitely relate to this. Especially the chorus….The more I do learn, the less I do understand why. Why they took the actions that they did. Why now? Why not?

“It is all about forgiveness, which I’ve come to learn these past months. Up until this last month, I thought I had the forgiveness part covered. Slowly anger and resentment have crept into my attitude (ex. I woke up this morning with a line from a Carrie Underwood song in my head: “Took a Louisville slugger to both headlights” because I’ve been tempted…). I’ve been angry. I’ve been angry because my trust was destroyed along with a friendship. I mean, I don’t talk to this person at all anymore. I hate that. But I don’t want to talk to this person anymore because of their actions.

“The lesson in church on Sunday was on forgiveness. It’s what I needed. I need to forgive. Again. I need to let it go. Not worry about it. “A bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water.” Getting angry doesn’t do anything for me. It just holds me back from my full potential and from moving on. So I’m working on letting go. I know Heavenly Father can help me with that because He has before. I’m working on letting Him help me.” -June 17, 2009

It's incredibly eerie how similar my situation is to that of exactly three years ago. I remember that lesson in church and who taught it. I shared my current struggle with forgiveness as vaguely as I could. I ended up crying. But I'm so very grateful that I have that time to look back on and know that I'll be okay--that things will be okay and that I can do anything, even really hard stuff like cutting ties with a friend. Or forgiving. Or moving on.