Tinder is the Night

I have many well-intentioned loved ones who just want me to “find someone nice.” Meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. The problem is I have no idea how to do that. When I am left to my own devices I do silly things like play on Tinder. There must be some trick to meeting a nice guy. I doubt I am going to find him while I am sitting on the couch in my PJs.

So, I was bored.

I am also pretty much lazy when it comes to looking for men. I really have zero desire to put much effort into this task. I am not looking for some great love affair. I am also decidedly not looking for a one night stand. I was just bored. Someone to go out to dinner with might be nice. Maybe someone who wants to discuss movies or books. 

I typically tend to forget how many ways men suck. First of all, S3XY??? What the actual hell? Does that ever work? This dude is in his 30’s. So, I am left pretty much flabbergasted at his lack of charm.  At least pretend you are interested in something other than sex. Lie. Whatever. 

I suppose I should be grateful at this guy’s level of honesty. He certainly loses points for missing the hint. If brazen stupidity were an attractive trait, he would have a leg up on the competition. My very favorite part of this exchange was the “U sure.” Ummm, yeah. I am fairly certain I am never going to be interested in having “a sexual relationship” with you.

I am trying to think of what physical characteristics could make me ignore a man’s absolute lack of common sense. He would have to be one hot dude. Tall. Tattoos. Broad shoulders. A beard would help. Thick hair would be nice. Or balding (I am really not picky about hair. Just be smart about your hair. NO comb overs!) Cute smile. Deep voice. Good job. Nice eyes. Smart. Passionate. Responsible. I realize those are not all physical characteristics. I just need more than a pretty face! Oh, a pretty face is not on the list. I don’t want a man prettier than I am.

I have no idea why I responded to this man on Tinder. I suppose I just wanted to see what ridiculousness would ensue. The entire conversation was less than 20 exchanges and most of my responses were not even nice! Did he actually think this would work? What kind of girl would find this a viable option for a nice evening? Are there women who are just looking for a loser to sleep with? I can’t imagine how much liquor it would take for me to overlook his conversation skills.

Tinder is probably not a great option for me to find stimulating conversation and interesting company. Maybe I need to find a coffee shop. Perhaps I should start stalking men at the book store.

We conduct so much of our life on the internet. I am convinced we could go on forever without expanding our social circles at all. So, where am I supposed to meet this nice guy who thinks I am fantastic? Where the hell is he hiding? Someone should drop him a text and let him know I am terrible at hide- and- seek.

Tinder. Ugh. Fellas, I am going to need you to get a clue. Don’t be douchebags. Girls don’t find that attractive. We need more than to be called sexy. I am much more than just a body. I have interests and goals. I love to argue and debate. I need so much more than a physical relationship.

Gilmore Girls and Wine Keys

Here I am up in the desolate Berkshires and I had a “girl’s night” planned with a girl friend of mine. She may be all the way in Missouri but we can still watch and enjoy our time together.

This afternoon I trekked out to get a bottle of wine and I took a nap this afternoon in preparation for my amazing journey to Stars Hollow.

All of the sudden, I get a text.

“Nyki… You are my only hope. I can’t possibly get this bottle open without you.”

Okay. That may not be exactly what it said… But close enough. 


Imagine my expertise being put to the test over the phone. I only just mastered this skill a few months ago. Finally, my dear friend managed to find a video on YouTube and life was good again. YouTube was obviously my idea, so I guess you could say I did indeed save the day. Just call me Mighty Mouse. 

Now, Let’s discuss The Gilmore Girls. You know you are actually an adult when you no longer relate to Rory and you understand the struggles of Lorelai. I cannot help but wonder when this switch takes place. It does not appear to happen gradually. All of the sudden you are a real, live grownup. How does this happen? Does this mean I am old? Good Grief. I never learned how to be young successfully, how on earth am I going to tackle being a grownup?

I suppose I thought I was going to be a kid forever, yet here I am creeping up on middle age. I still do not have it all figured out. I do not actually believe I will ever have it all figured out. I find myself struggling with figuring out who I am supposed to be. What is my role in my life? Who is this strange woman? She certainly has some strange ideas about life and love.

I suppose the best thing about me is that I remain open minded. I allow myself to grab hold of an idea and when it does not come to fruition, I am willing to change course. Speaking of being a grownup, I need to do some laundry. I have work tomorrow.

*Photos courtesy of Miranda. Who learned how to use a wine key. We are going to finally figure out this crazy world of being grownups.

Bruce. Sigh. Swoon. 

There are not many performers I would give anything in the world to see. Liar. You are a sucker for a good show. 

This one is a big deal for me. I have loved Bruce Springsteen for as long as I can remember. When I was four years old I would belt out “I was gone in the new essay!” as loudly and passionately as Bruce sang about being born in the USA. I eventually figured out the words. I was finally “born” along with the rest of America.

The first time I heard the haunting melody of “I’m on Fire,” I knew that men had no control over their carnal desires. Not really. I was just a kid. I was wondering why a man was asking a little girl if her daddy was home. I figured she should not be talking to this dude. After all, he had bad desires. Now, as an adult… come on. Yes, please… sign me up. Now, Dammit! (he,he)

I may be one of the few people in world who genuinely loves the cheesiness of “Better than the Rest.”

Sigh. Bruce, this is gonna have to be a really long set. I have not even started on “Better Days,” “Thunder Road,” “Atlantic City,” “Brilliant Disguise,” “Secret Garden,” “Glory Days”… this list can go on forever!

I know it may seem weird for a girl to be going to a rock concert by herself but no one I love enough to share this with is anywhere near me. So, I am going to go and let myself be transported by the show.

There may or may not be much more discussion about Bruce. I may die of happiness. I am not sure yet what is going to happen. The only thing I know for sure is I am beyond excited.

Just a switch

Life is interesting. There are so many things to see and do. There are people to meet and stories to hear. Sometimes life is challenging. I find myself overwhelmed by the minutia. I find myself bogged down by the climate and solitude of this dreary, cold, dark place.

It is amazing how much power the sunshine holds. All it takes is a few moments in the sun for me to feel whole again. The cobwebs recede. I can think again. I can feel hope and excitement for the future.

The ability to overcome our personal dark places is not something one just learns. It is the product of hard work and self evaluation.  I still struggle at times. I have bad days. These bad days could stretch into bad weeks or months, if only I allowed them to. I learned somewhere along the way I have complete control over the way I feel about things. I have complete control over my personal response to any situation. This has allowed me to find my way through all of the change of the past year. This has given me the courage and confidence to put myself out there and try new things.

For me, happiness is not a goal. It is something I choose to feel. There are times I am at a loss for those elusive feel-good vibes. Feel-good vibes? Seriously? Is that the best phrase you could come up with? Ignoring my snarky inner-voice requires vigilance. She is somewhat difficult to manage at times.

Flipping the switch. How should I describe this? Duh. You just did. Flipping the switch… Why can’t you just say what you mean to say already? Shh. I am trying to write about something serious here. There are times I find myself dwelling on the negative. I am entertaining self-absorbed, pretentious thoughts about who I should be. I am focusing on all the things I failed to do when I was younger. I forget to give myself a little credit for accomplishing my goals.

So, I turn on the light. I look at my life dispassionately. I evaluate my actions without considering the intentions. I honestly ask myself how much more I owe the world. Hmmm. Yep. You have a lot of shit which requires some serious atonement. When I stop focusing on the mistakes of my past and look at the reality of the present, I realize I am okay. I have so many opportunities. I am smart. I work hard. I want to be of service to others. These are all great qualities. I should focus on developing this side of my personality rather than the flagellation of myself for my weaknesses.

We have all made mistakes. Many of us have slept with people we should not have. We have said cruel things to or about others who were weaker than we are. We have harbored resentments and jealousies. I dare you to find someone who has never made a mistake. You should not regret all the bad ideas you have had. Some of them turned out to be fun in the end. The others, well at least you learned something. 

I can choose to regret so many things from my past. I can choose to resent the people who let me down. I can also choose to hate myself for any number of transgressions. This is simply not amenable to forward progress. By living in the darkness of the past, I fail to use the illumination of my present. All I really have to do is flip the switch.

Me and Gym

 Gym and I have a somewhat turbulent relationship. Sometimes we go hot and heavy for a while, and other times I ignore him and hope he will fade off into the sunset. The thing about Gym is he is always there waiting patiently for me to come back.

After a long break Gym and I argue a lot! He seems to enjoy leaving me in a sweaty heap of misgivings and regrets. Sometimes Gym is an asshole. Other times Gym does this amazing thing that leaves me prancing out the door feeling like a million bucks. I am obviously lying here. Gym never leaves me prancing. I usually meander out to the car feeling like a blob of insecurity and wondering why I let him torture me so much. 

Gym sucks at counting. I am pretty sure he manages to alter the laws of space and time once I walk through the door to his dungeon of torture. When I am with Gym a minute feels like an hour. That flight of stairs feels like a mountain I will never be able to climb again. I like to pretend masochism sounds like to fun to me, however I really don’t like being all sweaty and gross. At least not at the gym! Ewww. 

Gym has a bad habit of asking me to combine movements into a dance of graceful strength. I lose my balance or forget which movement comes next. Gym doesn’t let the bad ones count. This leaves me moderately annoyed. Gym has delegated some of my instruction to this charming, strapping young man who laughs when I glare at him. I keep telling myself it is a pleasure to spend an hour with this charming young buck. This is a lie! While he is adorable, it is the only reason I have not kicked his ass yet. Well, and the fact he could probably outrun me. 

Gym is a fickle lover. I know if I just keep at it, I will feel fantastic. I will regain some of the strength I have lost through my boycott.

It is hard to walk back into a gym after you have allowed yourself to walk away from your healthier lifestyle. You have forgotten how much it hurts to start over. I want to believe I will start to find the fighter I was becoming.

So, Gym and I are back together. I am going to keep my expectations realistic and look for improvements every day. I just want to find the confidence I know I can have. I want to be strong.

Gym’s little helper wants me to get a foam roller. I think Gym just likes hearing me moan. Damn you Gym!

Despite My Whining

I know, I know. I complain about the strangest things. If you read my blog on a somewhat regular basis you will see many times I am expressing my agony over my own agonizing thoughts. About my thoughts! 

I promise I am not insane. I just work really hard to try to meet my potential. I want to be the best version of me. I am not going to stop working on being better. The only downside to this is how it leaves me feeling a little torn and discombobulated.

I am just trying to figure out why we have such conflicting thoughts and emotions. I want to understand the process of figuring out what the conflict means. I am trying to figure out how you choose a side. How do you both win and lose? Or is it always a draw?

So, please understand: Yes, I whine about my internal conflicts frequently. I feel the conflict is part of what allows me to make progress and to avoid taking it all for granted. Nothing in life comes easily.

I may be overanalyzing EVERYTHING

 I know they are completely random. I know they are stupid and simply a way for people to troll for your private information. All of that aside, this one needs to be evaluated.

First of all, I do not have a boyfriend. I am not even dating at the moment. If anyone wants the job, I am taking applications. I am too busy finding new ways to love my boyfriend??? Are you actually kidding me? Who finds this appealing? Is loving someone that freaking difficult? Yuck. 

My favorite line is “Nyki is a real girl.” This has actually been a goal of mine for a while. I have practiced fixing my hair, I even own a good hair dryer and a flat-iron. I wear dresses. I shave my legs with some regularity. Okay… that part is a lie. I only shave my legs sometimes. It’s okay because I am the only one touching them. I have been saying for ages I just want to be a real girl! HA! Facebook is stalking me.

Part of me found this random result funny. Another part of me found it revolting.

I am noticing some interesting things about myself. It’s funny how so much time alone gives you plenty of time to *think. Well, thinking may not be the best word for what I do. I agonize. I dwell. I have internal debates with myself. I tear myself apart and judge every facet of my personality. I judge myself for every quirk I find. I have to convince myself to ignore the little voice emanating from somewhere in my mind.

I find myself wondering why I feel so unaccomplished. Is it normal to feel like you have not done anything worthwhile? Sometimes I feel excited or proud of something I have done. I may look in the mirror and feel attractive on that particular day. This short-lived pride leaves me feeling vain and cocky. So, I have to find all the reasons I should not feel good about myself at that moment.

I am terribly confused. How is a person supposed to have a healthy sense of self or “love” who they are without being arrogant? How are you supposed to maintain a sense of reality? What is the trick to having a healthy self-esteem?

I have to admit I am proud of my accomplishments. The problem is I am afraid to admit it, even to myself. I don’t want people to think I am conceited. I don’t want to be cocky. I desperately want to avoid being one of those assholes who think they are special. So, I hold myself to impossibly high standards and judge every shortcoming harshly. It is easier to point out my flaws.

This self-depreciation is not attractive. It makes confidence hard to maintain.

So, how do you foster a sense of confidence? How do you be realistic about the things you seek to improve, while giving yourself credit for the progress you have made? It is much easier to focus on the mistakes I make. It is easier to see the things I still need to learn.

I find the unique traits of the people in my life endearing. I love the quirks of my friends and family. These differences keep us all interesting. So, while I admire this in others I abhor my inability to fit in. Which is funny since I often do my best to stand out and not be part of the crowd.

We are all enigmatic in different ways. I like to be alone, yet loneliness often creeps up and surprises me. I think one of my main goals in life needs to focus on my need for moderation.

I tend to be all or nothing.

Black or white.

Win or lose.

All the while, I am fixating on the middle ground, the gray shades, or the process of playing the game. It is exhausting. I think too hard, too much, and too often. I find myself questioning the motives of everyone I know. I find myself disregarding the relationships I have. I minimize my role in other people’s lives. I convince myself I am not important to them. Worse, I convince myself they are unimportant to me.

I find myself wanting to be “cool.” So, I attempt (badly) to maintain an apathetic attitude towards much of the world. The problem lies in the simple fact that I am most assuredly not cool. I am warm, passionate, and above all loyal. So, I think I may be fighting with my inborn personality trying to achieve something I found desirable at some time in my life.

I wonder how many people are at war with their personality? Why do we seek to be someone other than who we actually are? It seems unfair to disregard our true self for some imaginary idealized impostor. This is certainly confusing when I think about how much I abhor apathy in other people. They just seem so much more relaxed and sure of themselves. Obviously, this could all be an act on their part as well. At what point is it okay to be honest about how you feel or what you are thinking?

This whole fixation of being politically correct and making sure our ideas do not offend anyone leaves me without much to say. Why don’t people pick up on my cues when I am being sarcastic? Or playful? Why do they assume I am being an asshole? When is it okay to point out the absurdity of most of the situations we encounter on a daily basis? So much of life leaves me shaking my head and wondering why everything has to be so damn difficult. Why can’t we do things in a reasonable way?

It may be my delivery. I am trying to be more soft-spoken and to not say every thing that pops into my head. My ADHD meds help with that.

So, does this rambling have a point? Perhaps.

It is okay to tone down your personality when you are with people you do not know well. It is okay to hold your ideas close to the vest. Is that even a saying? I think it is something like that. I could look it up, but I just don’t want to right now. 

Sometimes I need to give myself a break. Go with the flow. Stop evaluating my motives for every single thing! It is okay to feel cute when you look in the mirror. It is okay to feel pride when you have worked hard for something. It is okay to blend into the crowd when it would not help you achieve your goals to stand out.

I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, including myself. I need to allow myself to be who I need to be in that moment. This does not necessarily mean I am fake. Sometimes it is better to sit back and watch.

Someday I will figure out how to be at peace with myself. This won’t mean I don’t have things to work on. It just means I can accept who I am at the moment. I am not entirely certain where this acceptance comes from, and I imagine for me it will be an ongoing process. I am most likely okay with that today. I need to analyze it.

It’s Grandaddy’s Birthday!

It is my Grandaddy’s Birthday!

Anyone who knows me knows I am my Grandaddy’s girl. I always have been. I love him more than any other man on the planet. Seriously, he is pretty fantastic. I have been lucky in that department.

He is the man in my life who I never want to disappoint or let down. He supports me completely. He is one of my most loyal readers (although, sometimes I imagine him shaking his head bewildered at some of my antics.) I try hard not to imagine him reading what I write on here because sometimes I want to talk about men or sex or any number of other things that I cannot imagine discussing with him.

My Grandad is probably the first silver fox I ever met. Let me tell you he is one handsome dude. I have always been proud when people remark how good-looking he is. Duh! What else would my grandfather be? (Hands off! He is married to my Granny!)

I can always expect a phone call checking up on me if I am out-of-town and have not posted anything on Facebook for a while. (That is totally my excuse for the excessive number of traveling selfies.) He is so proud of his family. He always remembers to call on birthdays. (Please, don’t let me forget to call him tonight when I get off work.)

My Grandad has taught me a million different things. I know how to make hummus. I know where tumbleweeds came from. He explained how the horses walking beside the racehorses are NOT the racehorse’s BFF (I am still sad about that one.) He explained how interstates are numbered. (When I asked how he knew that tidbit, he just shook his head and told me he looked at the map.)

I think his favorite place in the world is Costco. (They should really think about giving him a royalty or something. He may be one of their most loyal customers.)

I can always count on him for a wine suggestion.

I know he just wants me to be happy, safe, and to enjoy my life.

I know you are all jealous that you do not have a Grandaddy like mine, but I am not sorry and I am not sharing. (Well, except with all the kids. As long as they remember I was here first. hehe.)

I would do anything to make him happy and proud. I am who I am today in part because he has loved me my entire life, no matter what. I am a lucky girl.

Happy Birthday Grandaddy! I love you and I miss you! I will see you when I come home for a visit in April. (I will call you tonight when I get off work.) Have a fantastic day! Thank you so much for all that you still do for me. I don’t think I could ever repay you.


Lessons Learned

This coffee mug says every thing I need to say most of the time.

My new trunk works great as a makeshift coffee table/desk. (Thanks for getting it and sending it to me Mom!)

I really do sound like I am from Texas. Apparently I say “Y’all” and “I’m fix in’ to…”

The Northeast is colder than I ever imagined. People keep telling me how mild this winter has been and I kinda want to hit them.

Getting packages from home is the best. It reminds me how much my family and friends support me and love me. Plus, it eases the loneliness of being so far away.

I appreciate the opportunity to learn. I geek out when I am given new information. This may be one reason this job was such a good idea. I seem to be surrounded by teachers.

I learn new stuff every day! I have a new appreciation for there being more than one right way to do something. Just because it is not my way, does not mean it is the wrong way.

Going back to gym after such a long hiatus is incredibly difficult. You forget how much the first workout hurts. Even if it was not balls to the walls.

Keeping all the new names and faces straight is hard enough. Now let me figure out how to navigate this hospital. I will keep getting lost until I don’t.

I can be confident in my abilities. One of my greatest strengths is tenacity. I don’t have to be afraid.

I can be myself and still be nice.

I do not have to be the funniest or most clever person in the room. That just makes you appear insecure.

Shane at the UPS store in Lubbock was exceptionally helpful today. I should send an email. He deserves recognition.

You can take the girl out of Texas, but you are never taking Texas out of the girl.