Make An Excuse

One of my best friends has flown in for the week, so she can spend some quality time with my other best friend and me. We’ve jam-packed a weekend full of touristy spectacles and  gotta-do-at-least-once-adventures. We’re so happy to show her the area because she showed us her town only a few years before. So, we’ve had some time to amass a list of places we had to take her to when she arrived to our domicile, mixing our favorite hangouts with the must-see attractions. We figured we did pretty well, but then again, she has nothing to compare it to.

However, as we discussed our itinerary together, I started to realize that I had not even been to the places that we were planning to go to, and I have lived here my entire life.

What gives? I asked myself. Why hadn’t I visited places that were a mere half hour from me, places that I had heard about but never visited? What was I waiting for?

The answer is nothing. I’ve simply been doing what everyone, everywhere does. You put off going somewhere, anywhere really, until a special occasion. You zip out to foreign waters for vacation, discovering new places and having new experiences. But the cute little shopping village only one town over is still on your “to do” list. You figure, if you are going to have a vacation, you are going to go somewhere. The problem is that people don’t realize they don’t need to go far to have an adventure. They’ve lived in one place their entire lives, but they don’t really know what it’s all about.

So, what should you do? Well, you need to make an excuse. I know, counterintuitive, right? But you need to make an excuse in order to excuse yourself from your daily responsibilities. So that you can visit or do something you’ve never done before, simply in the spirit of doing something new. For me, it took one of my friends to come on a plane for me to decide that I should do something a bit different and live outside of my little box. But if I wait for her each time, well, I’ll be spending a lot of time waiting. This way, if I start now, I can at least have something new to show her and share with her when she comes again.

In the end, we all need to make time for ourselves sometimes. But more than that, we need to make excuses. We need to tell ourselves that it is A OK to visit somewhere just because it is there or do something because we want to. The point is, we should all try to see an old place in a new way so that we can all see ourselves in a new way too.

RoadMate

There can be a lot of roadblocks in a relationship.

Meeting the parents. Learning about the exes. Finding out what way your partner puts the toilet paper on the roll. There can be many times in a relationship that you are testing someone to find out what they are all about without even realizing it.

Yet, if you’re in a relationship, and you need to know if the one you’re with is the “one,” all you have to do is take a road trip with them.

Think about it. A tight, confined space with just the open road in front of you, as you pass mile after mile. (I mean, really just going to a rest stop together can be a good test of wills.)

So, ask yourself. Does your partner turn the music up and refuse to turn it down when you try to have a conversation? Do you even like the music he is listening to? Or, on the other hand, is there silence for hours? Do you fight to keep the silence because you don’t know how else you would fill it?

And how is your partner as a co-pilot? Does he or she have the money ready for the tolls? Or is he constantly scrambling for his wallet as you pull up closer to the booth? Does she tell you where to go next or leave you blind?

The point is, if you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, it means about as much as if you’d answered no. You shouldn’t break up with someone if they don’t have the toll money ready when you’re driving. But if you can spend an hour in the car with them without completely hating their existence, then maybe you should give them a shot.

For the millionth time this year, I’ve been reminded that I am incredibly lucky in the relationship department. My boyfriend and I not only talked the entire way on a road trip we took tonight and enjoyed each other’s company, but he also helped me to make sure that there was no one behind me when changing lanes. (I wasn’t very good when I had to quid pro quo, but he assured me that I was doing fine.) We were working as a team (a swearing, traffic-cursing team, but a team).

In the end, you can look at life like a roadmap. But even if you have all of the directions, you can sometimes get lost. So, enjoy life, just cruising with your partner. Or be with someone that you enjoy getting lost with. Unlike a GPS-guided route, the choice will always be yours.

Two’s Company, Three’s A…

…party? At least, it is for me. Although, it was not always this way.

Hard to believe, but I had a lot of different friends growing up. (I know! Who would have the guts to be friends with someone that has a blog and has no limits when it comes to potential topics?) I’ve had best friends, I’ve had frenemies, and I’ve had people who have merely tolerated my existence. I can’t say that I could blame them on any level. I was Hermione Granger but only 100x more obnoxious and more ready to tell you that you were wrong, wrong, wrong. But I could be nice sometimes…when I felt like it.

Unfortunately, many of my friendships ended in fights and dismissals. I suppose I can spin it now and suggest that we were passionate enough to let go of our relationship with fireworks instead of letting it fade away. But really, it is more that I was just a royal a**hole growing up. After all, I have the witnesses to prove it.

But despite all of my failings, there was always something in my friendships that was completely out of my hands: I was always the third person, the third wheel. Yes, every time I made a friendship, it was because I was friends with two other people. So, we thought, how perfect! We can all just hang out together. This will be great and in no way go wrong.

Except, it did. A lot. When you’re younger, and your mom says you can’t go out, well, you can’t. And then your friends start hanging out without you. And if they are girls, they are going to start talking behind your back when they are hanging out without you. (I’m sorry. It’s a stereotype for a reason.) And then, suddenly, one afternoon, you are absolutely NOT friends.

I’m sure everyone has experienced this before. Actually, I know it has happened in some capacity to everyone. Everyone has been left feeling, well, left out.

Except, for the rare occasion when you don’t feel like that. When your friends are exactly what they say they are: friends. And they try extra hard to make sure everyone feels warm and included. And when you find those kinds of friends (like I have), you can’t deny that the old saying “Two’s a Company, Three’s a Crowd” is total horsefeathers.

My friends now have completely erased any reservations that I may have had back then. I can put my utmost trust in them, and they give it right back. I can tease them, and they give it right back. I can love them, and they give it right back.  I’m so excited to be reunited with them tomorrow. For the first time in my life, I know that I will have friends for life, without fearing their rejection. For the first time in my life, I see friendships as “the more the merrier” rather than “let’s pare this down.” I have love in my life times two. And that’s a beautiful thing.

It’s Time

That’s right. It’s time.

And I bet you already know what I’m talking about.

It’s holiday season. Yes, we have blown past shrieking banshees and rotting pumpkins to egg nog and fa la la. So fast, many of you have received an unceremonious case of whiplash. You sit on social media, and ask where the time went and grumpily scrooge your way through a status update.

But let’s be honest. Just between you and me, and well, the rest of my followers…

But let’s keep it here. What are you really angry about?

Because I know it isn’t the holiday season that is making you frustrated. Yes, I know some of the cheer has been watered down by the capitalists (the department store Santas and the holiday deals), but this is the time of year when everyone falls in love with each other. Everyone is just a little more caring and kind. I mean, we have about a month’s worth of  songs dedicated to the season. (And B101 wastes no time playing all of them so that you hate them by December).

Seriously, do you really mean to tell me that you’ve been playing Halloween movies and hanging up spiderwebs for the entire month of October, but now it is hard to conceive of yourself eating turkey in a few weeks or celebrating the festival of lights in a little longer time than that? Let’s be honest with ourselves, people. The holiday season is upon us, whether we like it or not.

And by the way, you should like it. This is the time to enjoy your friends and family, to stop focusing on school and work, to eat cookies, and light lights, and smile into each other’s  faces. What’s not to love?

So, cut it out with your Bah Humbug! Embrace the inevitable, and stop putting the missiles in “mistletoe.”