Table for One- Enjoying a Date with Yourself

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Coffee at one of my favorite NYC spots, Cafe Lalo

Solo dining has been one of my favorite pastimes over the years, from writing at bistros to lunchtime people-watching along city streets.

I’ve never been uncomfortable eating or showing up places by myself; from movies, museums, events, to concerts, I enjoy my own company. I simply adore being in my own little world, the lack of small talk, and coming and going as I please (I’m also known for the Irish goodbye).

I remember one particular evening a few years back when I took myself on a date. Yes, a date- with myself.

I was living in San Francisco and had a free Friday evening; no plans, no friends around, no dates lined up. I thought to myself, “what would I do if I did have a date? What would I want to do?”

I was in the mood for sushi, so I got dressed up, went for a stroll, and ended up in Japantown, where I indulged in spicy rolls and a movie at Sundance Kabuki.

It was the perfect Friday night with me, myself, and I.

Looking back, not much has changed in the past six years. I still thoroughly enjoy my own time and space and have lived in three other cities since that San Francisco evening. It goes without saying that I don’t have a problem adjusting to new, unfamiliar environments. However, this move has been different; this time I haven’t made much effort to be social. I’ve been given opportunities and have been asked out on dates, but lately something clicked:

Being in my own company sure feels good.

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No compromising, no miscommunication, no confusion. Time to myself- time to reflect, learn, and grow. Time to be me. Whether you’re single or attached, there is something priceless about becoming your own best friend. As Carrie Bradshaw said,

“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you that you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

Being alone has taught me to be my own best friend, my spirituality has become my support system, and staying in the moment has kept me grateful for what I have.

Until the day comes when I meet someone who is worth sharing my chocolate lava cake with, I’ll enjoy every bite to myself.

After all, the best things are worth waiting for- and I will never settle for vanilla.

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Home, Again

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Last weekend I moved into my third apartment since flying into Boston on December 1st- yes, I am finally settling!

I honestly couldn’t have gotten any luckier with how seamless this move has been- from logistics right down to finding a job.  When I decided to come to Boston I opted to rent Airbnbs instead of committing to a neighborhood or lease before really knowing the area.  After all, I had only been to Boston once and it primarily consisted of sitting at the top of the Prudential Tower and hanging out in Cambridge.  For whatever reason (I thank the Universe), signs continually pointed me to the Northeast- so here I am.

Now I’m settling in a beautiful, cozy home, lovingly referred to as “The Nest.”  On top of the overall positive, homey vibe, we have two four legged roommates, Simon the turtle and Clarissa the cat.

Although my first month in Boston could be viewed as a little hectic, my minimal move made it so much less stressful.  Packing light made all the difference in the world- with three pieces of luggage and a few odds and ends, packing and unpacking took very little time, was manageable and made me feel in control of my life.  I knew exactly what I owned, where to find everything, and didn’t have any clutter.  Everything I brought with me was quality, had purpose, and didn’t take up unnecessary space.

I can’t even tell you how amazing it feels to be free of “things.”  Every now and then I think about everything I have in storage back in Michigan, but I let those thoughts go; I’ll take care of it when it is time.  When I am ready to find my own (and even more permanent!) home, I will figure out how to get everything to Boston- just not today.

Right now I have a pretty bare room with touches of my jewelry, clothes and candles.  To be honest though, the less I own, the less stress I have.

Amazing, isn’t it?

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Bachelorette

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Ah, another holiday weekend has passed.  Whether you spent it with family, friends, working, or enjoying the company of yourself, I hope it was as relaxing as mine was!

I joked the other day that I was having a Cat Lady Christmas, but after Bernice knocked over my coffee, dumped colored pencils into her litter box, and scratched a hole though my sweater, I decided it wasn’t a “cat lady” Christmas after all.

It’s a Bachelorette Christmas.

I ordered a pizza, breadsticks, and salad to prove it.

Could I picture having a pet to come home to every day?  No.  Am I responsible enough to clean up after it, play with it, take it to the vet, and be sure I actually do come home to feed it?  No.

I don’t remember the last time I bought actual groceries, unless you’re talking about pre-made dinners or odds and ends like cereal, almond milk, and yogurt.

Sure, I like pets… the same way I like kids.  I enjoy them for a period of time, but then I can give them back.  No, I am no cat lady.  I am not an old maid or a spinster, either.

I am a Bachelorette.

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Always seeking magic.

Let’s think about it for a minute.  While many women dream of white picket fences and starting a family, I dream of high rise apartments, writing a best-selling novel, solo vacations, and excitement.  While people are celebrating an engagement, marriage or new baby, I am celebrating moving to a new city, getting a new job, or buying an expensive handbag.

Sure, those who are coupled-up celebrate these things, too- but they often do it together.  I do everything alone (and I love it).

I thought these things were a phase; that once I hit a certain age my nomadic life would be set aside and I would invest in starting a family.  That entails settling on a place to live, buying real furniture and putting someone else’s needs above (or equal to) mine. Hmmm.  I am not sure about that.

I enjoy my alone time, my career, writing and life experiences.  I’d absolutely love to find a partner who I can do those things with- or someone who would support me or live the same type of life I want.

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A gutsy girl, a bookworm. I am many things… but I will never be put in a box.

My American Dream is having a beautiful place in the city, a job I enjoy, the arts at my fingertips, enjoying amazing food and spending it with a loyal, supportive, loving partner.  I don’t have a desire for “stuff,” a car, 2.5 kids and dozens of people around me.

I want to live simply and happily- and I want someone who feels the same.

Over the past year I have begun to value minimalism, mindfulness and quality over quantity.  I never want to live in the suburbs and try to “keep up with the Jones’s,” nor can I picture getting married for the sake of getting married.  I won’t settle.

Until I find my own American Dream, I will consider myself a Bachelorette.  It’s a pretty good life, especially when you get to eat pizza on Christmas.

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Let Freedom Ring! 4th of July 2015.

Cat Lady Christmas

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As I open my new notebook and begin to write, Bernice (AKA Bernie Sanders) jumps up next to me on the couch and begins to chew my headphones.  After she tires of this activity, she proceeds to walk on the blank white pages in front of me.

Even though I’m not sure if my company for the weekend understands that I would like her to stop disrupting my writing, her company is much more welcomed- and much less of a headache- than most people during holidays.

It’s a Cat Lady Christmas.

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Bernice guarding my notebook.

It’s usually easier for me to tackle life on my own than to worry about other people. Through the years I have had many short-lived relationships, a handful of longtime friendships, and grew up in a small family.  Since I was never surrounded by groups of people, I valued quality over quantity.

Christmas Day looks a lot like my minimalistic holiday– simple and stress-free.  While I would love to be home in Michigan with my family, this year I’m staying in Boston, enjoying my first (solo) New England Christmas.

Yesterday I ventured out to go shopping, binged on Netflix and Hulu, hung out with Bernice and ordered enough delivery to last me two days.

Ah, Bachelorette life.

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Christmas Eve dinner, Bachelorette style.

I decided to spend Christmas Day relaxing, exploring the city, eating and writing.  If that’s how I want to celebrate this holiday (which has nothing to do with hype or stress), then that is what I intend to do.

Family and friends told me they feel bad that I am spending Christmas alone with Bernice.  My take on it?  I have the best company around- myself, a four-legged friend, and my empty notebook.

Let the games begin.