So If We’re Talking Body…

My mom used to tell me that life didn’t get really good until your 30s. When I was in my 20s, I didn’t understand what she meant.  At the time, I couldn’t imagine life being more awesome. But now that I’m approaching my mid-30s,  I fully understand what she meant.  My 30s have been rough emotionally and professionally but I feel happier with myself than I’ve ever been.  I realized that I spent most of my teens and 20s, not unlike most women, grappling with low self-esteem and confidence issues.    In less than six months, I’ll enter my mid-30s and I’ve never felt more confident.  Most of my life I felt like I got hit with a body trifecta that made me hyper-sensitive and self-consciousness but ultimately for which I am supremely grateful.  There is no way I’d be the confident, happy human being I am today if I weren’t three things: female, Black and super-duper tall. The point of this post isn’t that the key to happiness is being a 6’2″ black woman. Because if that was the key to happiness about 2% of the population would be happy. The point of this post is that there is unquantifiable power and strength in embracing who you are.  I have been discriminated against, harassed, objectified, dehumanized and assaulted based on who I am. But I’ve learned that the problem isn’t me. I’m awesome. The simple truth is that some people are ignorant, some people haven’t met any minorities and just don’t know what they’re saying or doing and some people just plain suck. But, at the end of the day, none of those people’s opinion about me matter. I determine my self-worth.  Continue reading

Be Your Own Prince Charming

When I was 22 years old, someone asked me why I wanted to go to law school. I gave a very lengthy explanation much of which I remember verbatim; however, the final few sentences stuck out to me. At the time I didn’t understand how important the statements were or how true they would become. I said them with all the confidence and naivety of a 22 year old with zero life experience but lofty goals and an idealized notion of what the real world would be: “I’m also going to law school so I can have a career and be independent. I can’t depend on finding some Prince Charming who is going to save and take care of me. I have to be my own Prince Charming.”’

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#SilverLining

Guyatus was instigated by recent events. I’m not angry or bitter. I haven’t sworn off men. I’m not building a commune for spinsters. I’m not quitting my job, breaking my lease and moving to Portland. (For example. Because who would actually do that, right? Not me. Hasn’t crossed my mind at all). This last little chapter was important to me. It took energy. I simply need time to process it and to let my brain relax.
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This is Thirty(-three)

I’m 33 years old (at least for the next few months). The funny thing about being 33 is that I feel like I’m about 27.  I’ve been told repeatedly by my mother that I’m currently in the prime of my life. Since I was a child, my mom told me that my 30s and 40s were gonna be awesome.  I spent last weekend in my yoga pants watching the “Before” trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight – if you haven’t watched it…what the hell are you waiting for?) after making pork belly and shaved brussel sprouts.  This is apparently what “prime time” looks like. I’m being partially facetious but I’ve entered an interesting phase of my life.  When I first got out of law school, I owned my own condo, lived in Indianapolis and had a serious boyfriend. Now at 33, I feel farther away from being “settled down” than at any time in my adult life. That said, I recently took a step back and surveyed what I’ve learned over the past three decades. And I’ve realized that, in fact, I may be gaining knowledge with age. So what have I learned? Continue reading

On Guyatus

Something about the beginning of fall feels like the start of a new year. As such, it’s time for a few new (season)resolutions. It’s official. I’m on Guyatus. I’m done dating for the rest of the year and, as such, won’t be writing on the subject for a while.

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Dating Rules Are For Suckers

So what are the rules for dating in 2015?

In the words of Local Natives: “Who knows. Who Cares.” (Don’t get that obscure indie music reference? Well then…we shouldn’t even be friends! Just kidding…you’re the best) In all seriousness, I was having a conversation with a close friend about how all the books and articles on dating had screwed us up. Just a quick search through Amazon.com will reveal that there are an insane amount of books purporting to be the authoritative scripture on dating. As an analytical and practical person, research and preparation seems like the best solution for any obstacle. So I’ve studied up. In the past couple years, I’ve read a few of books and blog posts. I’ve listened to audiobooks and podcasts. And after all of that research, I’ve discovered one universal truth: No one has a damn clue what they’re talking about.

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New Rules

Strap in. This one is long. The past week has been cray cray. And I started thinking about whether I have mottos or, more appropriately, rules I live by that help me navigate stress, uncertainty and the general craziness of life. The more I thought about it, I realized that my outlook on life had changed so much over the past 2-3 years and I had developed a set of “new rules” for my living my life.  And much to my delight, I realized that I had actually been adhering to these “new rules” a majority of the time.  So what are these “new rules”? Grab a seat and let me tell you… Continue reading

In a past life…

I’m obsessed with the prior lives we’ve led. And the older I get the more I’m convinced I could never be in a relationship with anyone who hasn’t endured change, hardship, heartache and reincarnation (personal, professional and/or emotional reincarnation. I’m not talking about dating the big J.C.)  In 33 years I’ve filled the book of my life with multiple chapters. It’s overwhelming to think about the friends, places, relationships, stories and jobs…and I have many more pages to write. Continue reading

The Happy List (Part Deux)

I started out with a dramatic topic for this post. It was going to be a downer. The initial idea was something I had been thinking about for the past few weeks. My close friend and I were talking about the concept of “timing” in relationships and dating. And I angrily proclaimed that “timing was a B.S.” Further, I elaborated that “timing” was an excuse that women utilize to soften the blow of a guy who “just isn’t that into you.”  My motivation for the post was personal experience and my own current unpleasant mood regarding guys. I was frustrated because I liked a guy for over a year, I got up the nerve to do something about it and received no response.

I was prepared to write an entire post on “timing” – the concept of “timing”, the myth of “timing” and whether “timing” was an actual thing or an excuse.  Then I had an “a-ha moment” (Thanks Oprah!) I’m going to keep putting myself out there. If someone isn’t into it, that’s their loss. That being said, the “timing” post has been scrapped. It’s July and so far the Windy City has been treated to a summer that feels like fall. June sped by filled with grey skies and rainy days. The weather perfectly matched my mood and in an attempt to reverse emotional course I’m scrapping the “timing” post. It’s time for another “Happy List” post.

The concept of the “Happy List” is simple. It’s a collection of things, people, and places that currently make me happy. Making the “Happy List” forces me to focus on the positive. Further, any time I decide to light candles from Anthropologie, listen to Sam Cooke and drink Pinot Noir, I’ve got a list that might lift my spirits (Sam Cooke is way more depressing than you think). It’s July. Let’s get happy people: Continue reading

Two Years Gone

This week marks a very special milestone. This week two years ago I became a single lady and I’ve stayed single since.  It’s my longest single stint in my adult life. Beyond being single, I’ve been through a lot professionally and personally in the past two years.  I moved to Washington, D.C. and by early 2014 I was back in Chicago. I arrived back in Chicago with no job, no place to live and no idea what would happen next.  This time last year I was single, jobless and living on my friend’s couch.  It was the ultimate piece of humble pie for a girl who had never had a problem finding a boyfriend, had a well-paying job, and had previously been living in an impossibly expensive apartment in Adams Morgan (and before that a huge apartment in a Chicago highrise and before that owned her own condo in Indianapolis – so, yeah, HUGE BIG HEAPING SLICE OF HUMBLE DAMN PIE).   So two years down, what have I learned? Continue reading