I’ve never enjoyed being alone. And by alone I mean without a boyfriend or husband. I’ve had one of those since I was 14-years-old.
I have a big birthday this week. BIG! And I will celebrate it with a couple of my oldest friends and one of my newest. But I will NOT be celebrating with someone who will come home with me after my special dinner, to curl up in my bed, and have intimate pillow talk about my day. And I’m discovering that, that’s ok.
Living and being solo isn’t nearly as bad as I’d always feared it would be. It’s quiet. It can be peaceful. It can even be fulfilling.
Last year, I traveled solo to Japan. It was the first time I’d ever travelled alone. It felt like an adventure. I hung out with friends who live there, but essentially I was alone. And it wasn’t a big deal AT ALL.
There are times I want to share my life with my friends and family. It’s not like I don’t want to experience everything with the people I love. I do. But, if I can’t enjoy and be OK with being alone, then life’s gonna’ feel pretty empty.
My dog keeps me company, and I spoil her with all my pent-up affection, but I’m not so deluded to think she’ll be enough forever.
Eventually, I’ll share my life with someone, and when it happens I know he’ll be a wonderful guy. Until then, I’m living my solo life yolo, because it’s still just this life. Solo or not, it’s the only one I’ve got — unless there’s reincarnation — but I’ll never know.
One monkey can’t stop this show. I can’t wait to jump into it with the right person. We all deserve to be happy. But, happiness doesn’t always come in pairs.
I started seeing NYC two weeks ago. We’re still in the early phases of dating. Assessing how much we like each other. Wondering whether this is a fling, a friendship, or the real deal.
The city is beautiful no doubt. The architecture stops you in your tracks. It catches you unaware and before you know it, you’re staring into it’s eyes and forgetting where you are.
The weather is like that extra weight you hope goes away, but if it doesn’t, you suspect you’ll get used to it.
New York is a very smart city. Always thinking. You can easily find yourself having fantastic conversations with very bright people who do really interesting jobs, and then just as you meet them, you meet their friends, who aren’t smart or very nice and then you’re back to missing the city of your past with it’s “no worries,” and “it’s all good” attitude, longing to be back where you came from.
When dating, it’s good to be firm in who you are, but open to new ideas and ways of doing things. It’s not easy after many years of steady sun and moderate weather. Driving versus walking. Flip-flops versus snow boots. But, change can be good. It’s fun flirting with the sexy bad boy, cold and rainy, then hot and steamy, but maybe it’s best to stay with the one who’s been so reliable.
I brought less baggage to this city than ever and even after arriving I dumped more. My mover asked me, while unloading my boxes and furniture, “Ever seen the move ‘Fight Club’?” I said, “yes.” He said, “Oh, then you’ll remember the line, ‘You don’t own your stuff, your stuff owns you.'” My immediate next thought was, “He’s right. I need to get rid of more shit. So, I’ll have less shit to move when I run like hell from this godforsaken city, back to the West Coast.”
But, there’s so much of this city I have yet to explore. We haven’t gotten intimate yet. It’s too soon for that. Our interactions are limited. Work to home, home to work. A few walks around the block. A couple of restaurants near my apartment. We haven’t even gotten to first base yet — public transit — much less a Knicks game, Broadway show or bike ride through Central Park. I have a lot to offer the city, but its offerings are probably even more than I can imagine. I hope I don’t disappoint it.
It’s too soon at this point to know if this will turn into a long-term thing, or be a fond dalliance, but I’m excited to get to know NY. I like a lot of things about it so far. But I’m a realist, I know it won’t be easy. A happy relationship takes work. As a couple I wrote about this past week, who celebrated 82 years of marriage said, the secret is: respect, affection and not sweating the small stuff. Sounds like sage advice.
One year and four months ago I left San Diego and moved to Los Angeles. At the time it seemed like a HUGE transition. Leaving my comfy and bucolic small/big town to work in TV felt almost as huge as moving from Washington D.C. in 1997, with my husband and two year old son, Miles, for a house in La Jolla and a view of the ocean.
I got settled in L.A. I biked to work at Paramount Studios, drifting calmly through beautiful Hancock Park. Found a routine. Adopted a dog. I even started looking to buy a condo or house. I thought I’d be set in L.A. forever. But you know the saying, “Man plans, God laughs.” (Although it should be “Woman plans, God laughs,” as most of the women I know do all the planning.) Anyway, I got laid off from the #1 daytime talkshow — budget cuts — the world as I thought it would be was turned on it’s side.
I started looking for work. I found a few opportunities — none were steady though. And none what I really wanted to do. So, I did what I’ve done in the past when I feel shaky and afraid of my career faltering, I flew to NYC to push and prod my contacts and see if I couldn’t drum up some love and maybe even a story assignment or two. I got more than I’d bargained for — NYC offered me my dream job.
Next month, I will leave the state that has been my home for 18 years, and I will travel to New York to live in midtown Manhattan, with my dog, Mocha, and work for FOX News Latino.com — my dream job. I’ll be a staff writer/editor covering Lifestyle.
That said, I really didn’t want to go at first. I felt scared (terrified actually) and guilty about leaving my family on the West coast. I’m a person who dreads making wrong decisions. I asked everyone in my inner-circle what I should do.
My ex-husband advised to take the bull by the horns. “Get a good coat,” he said. “You’ll see Miles as much as you do now.”
My therapist told me to tell myself what I’d tell my son. “Don’t let fear and guilt stop you from accepting opportunities that you’ve worked hard for.”
My sister said NY is an adventure. “People would die to have the chance to work in NY in a job they love.”
My best friend Jamie said, “If it’s meant to be, it will be. Like all things. If you don’t like New York, you can always move back.”
My best friend Jenn said, “I think it’s wonderful. You have to take it!”
My son said, “I just want you to be happy Mom. If you’re happy, then I’m happy.”
Finally, after painful debate, I told myself I’d earned this job. I’d worked really hard for it. I really wanted to do it, and if not now, then when.
I gave myself permission to be a little bit selfish. I wasn’t my mother abandoning her daughter at age three, or my dad moving around mindlessly from house to house, thinking he can outrun himself and find real happiness in yet another dwelling. I was me. A woman who is afraid and anxious and not as confident as she should be, but also capable, loving, thoughtful, and deserving of happiness.
I’m getting a good coat and some warm boots. I’m NOT a real-life Carrie Bradshaw. Money will be tight, but I’ve never been one to spend a lot on clothes.
It may not be forever, but it’s a means to an end — and guaranteed it will be an adventure. I will have a large sofa and an air mattress, and all are welcome. But I sure will miss the weather in California.
A friend of mine suggested we get a massage yesterday. No one is enjoying being unemployed more than this chick. I took her up on it. As the guy was going in on my feet, I had the odd thought of those seedy places where men finish a massage with a “happy ending.” If you don’t know what that is, Google it.
I started to think more about happy endings and how that term applies to so many things.
Of course there’s the obvious sexual happy ending. Yay! Gotta’ give credit where credit is due. But, at the end of my pregnancy, my beautiful and healthy son emerged, signaling a happy ending beyond imagination. He finished his long years of elementary school, then painful ones in high school, and today he’s in college happily doing what he loves — making films
Then there’s the happy endings of relationships. I’ve had those that were saddest days of my life. But in the end, it seems the ending was the thing that would bring the most happiness longterm. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.
I’ve had jobs end, and I can say with a lot of assurance that when those come to an end, it’s always pretty happy — maybe scary, but also very happy. The prospect of the next thing, bringing with it all the hope for more learning, better money, unlimited creative outlet, puts into perspective all the things about the old job you really wanted to change, but knew you never could.
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t wax poetic about the romantic happy endings I dream about. When again someone will sweep me off my feet with his humor, sex appeal, smarts, and genuine kindness. Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?
Lastly, there’s the happy ending we all hope for when our ticket’s up. A peaceful and loving end to a very long and happy life.
Nationally published journalist, social media editor, and on-camera reporter, covering breaking news, lifestyle, entertainment, and human-interest stories.
Recently wrote a feature story for VICE.com that was the most shared/aggregated story on the site to date, referenced on the “The Tonight Show,” with Jimmy Fallon, and featured on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.”