A friend recently showed me her "Weekly Debauchery Analysis" spreadsheet. It's an excel document that tracks things like alcohol and cigarette intake, along with money spent and how many workouts she did that week. At the end of the week after entering in all the totals, the spreadsheet has a "status" column that lets her know if she did a "GOOD JOB" or "FAIL" (did you know you can do that with a formula in excel? I didn't).
Obviously the fact that she tracks her vices in a spreadsheet is hilarious, but I completely understand the impetus for doing so. It seems like most of my friends are constantly involved in an ongoing personal struggle for moderation...another defining characteristic of being in your twenties I suppose. I too am constantly trying to find balance and a lot of the time failing miserably.
We want to be mature, responsible adults who eat well, exercise, and balance our checkbooks. And sometimes we are. The problem is...there is still this kid lurking inside of us who wants to eat pizza and spend frivolously and party like it's 2004. What makes it even worse is that this bratty kid lurking within knows that there is no one to reprimand him/her or cut him/her off. This fucking kid has access to our bank accounts. It knows our pin number.
Last week, I was convinced that I was turning into my dad. In one single day I ate oatmeal with raisins in it for breakfast (a meal that my dad used to force me to eat when I was little), went grocery shopping with my reusable, recycled grocery bags (my dad used those bags before it was "cool" to be green and it always kind of embarrassed me that everyone else got nice, new paper bags for their groceries and we had dingy canvas bags), and ended the night reading a book on climate change that, surprise surprise, my dad lent me (Now or Never by Tim Flannery and I would recommend it).
"I'm such a grown-up", I thought to myself. Until Saturday rolled around and I had two birthday parties to go to. And Saturday turned into Sunday. And I hadn't slept yet. And I spent more money than Jay Z does on an average night popping bottles with Beyonce and the crew. So no...I guess I'm not that much like my dad after all (he was probably asleep by 10 PM that night, having enjoyed a healthy homemade dinner and taken his dogs for a walk).
The point is, this is a constant cycle for me. I eat immaculately for three days and then gorge myself on more Panda Express then I would ever publicly admit. I save my money all week bringing my lunch to work and making dinner at home and then blow hundreds of dollars on clothes and shoes in an impulsive shopping spree (why is everything at Urban Outfitters so freaking CUTE right now?). I try to reprimand the kid inside me but she just tells me to fuck off and that she is young and fabulous and you that you only live once.
My hairdresser told me today that moderation becomes easier naturally as you get older, and I'm hoping that he's right. I'm getting sick of babysitting myself. But at the same time...that kid does know how to have a good time. And she never gets herself in too much trouble. And she has great taste in clothes. Today she bought the cutest black dress with gold buttons...
I guess she can hang around for a little bit longer.
All the things that we accept will be the things that we regret
Remember that Ashanti song? Foolish? No, I'm not going to get into how much better R&B was when I was in high school again. I promise. I just like those lyrics...they so accurately describe what it's like to be in an unhealthy relationship or situation with someone.
As far as regret goes, well--you could say that I'm familiar with that emotion. I've done countless things that I later regretted, most of them between 1999 and 2007 (the beginning of high school to the end of college). More than one of them involved adopting a cat that turned out to be crazy and had to be given away. Yes, I've done some colossally stupid things, but miraculously I bounced back from all of them with minimal permanent damage. Still, out of all the ill-advised, immature decisions I've made in my 24 years, the only ones I would really take back if given the chance are those concerning boys.
We've all been there...the "bad boys". The settling. The second, third and fourth chances. Turning a blind eye to the other women involved. The mental instability. The DRAMA.
Are women still telling each other that we "had to go through all that" in order to be able to appreciate a good guy when we meet him? Because I'm not so sure I'm buying that. If I could just rewind to me at age 14, basically a blank slate, and date NO ONE until now, would I really be worse off? Maybe I wouldn't know how to identify specific brands of loser in under 5 minutes, but if I met a decent guy who wasn't out to ruin my life it wouldn't matter.
Obviously I'm not talking about every guy. Some of them were nice, and held doors open for me and didn't cheat on me and made me dinner and bought me jewelry. Obligatory disclaimer as I recently discovered that one of my exes reads this blog. I don't regret you (much)! Yay.
Now that that's out of the way, lets get back to the point...there are some men who I honestly can say that I wish I never met, and I actually say that not out of anger, but from a place of calm detachment (I've been meditating...I'll explain later). It's entirely possible that I'm bitter, but I don't think it detracts from my point. These men that I speak of served no purpose except to waste my time. So yeah...I regret them and I wish I never met them. I'm not going to pretend that they taught me some valuable lesson that I can treasure for the rest of my life. They were just assholes.
Maybe everything in life isn't a lesson that we have to learn the hard way. Maybe we should just be smarter, and look out for ourselves better than I did. Tell your daughters.
I heard something recently that I wish someone had told me back in the day, when I was 14. A recently single friend said she was told to consider herself a "winning lottery ticket". I think that is a great way to approach dating...yeah this guy is really cute and he smells good and he just said something SOOOO witty...but does he really deserve to win the lottery? NOT NECESSARILY. Plus, the more people that win the lottery, the lower the value of the prize (aka don't be a slore).
Honestly though, the older I get and the more I establish myself, the less I want to make concessions when it comes to relationships. Like Kelly from Real Housewives of New York City says, "I've created a fabulous life for myself, and I love living it". My friends and family are amazing and I don't want to bring someone around them who doesn't deserve to be there. I know, I know, I'm growing up. It's so special. So...lets just say that's why I'm still single (notbecauseonlyfreakswanttodateme).