At the beginning of March, I had been accepted to write as a Relationship Columnist as the "anti-hero" of relationships. The writers had liked my cynical, New Yorker standpoint that become apparent through my weekly "Advice in the AM" column. Starting out writing this blog, I had moved to the "city of lights" as a hopeless romantic. I had fallen in love with the bright lights, busy streets and was enchanted by idea that my soulmate could be walking the very same streets that I was.
Soon, I realized that New York City wasn't my "city of love." When you date in New York City, dating becomes a low level priority in comparison to your career, drinking life and shoes budget. I felt very much in tune with Carrie Bradshaw. I worked in fashion, freelance wrote, obsessed over the next brunch/oyster bar that my friends would visit and had a credit card bill large enough to match my wardrobe obsession. My years in New York were the quintessential self-involved 20-something years that I will hold dear to, but would never wish upon myself again.
When you're single in your twenties in your small town, you constantly hold over your head that you aren't married yet. In New York City, you add five to 10 years to your "marriage age," due to the low priority you give love. My parents were married at 25 and had me at 26. According to their life path, I was way off track. Being the hopeless romantic that I was, I searched for Mr. Right. From internet dating to blind dating to group dating, my roommate and I tried them all. I enjoyed the post date gossip over the late night hash browns and hot dogs with my roommate in our tiny Upper East Side apartment more than the actual dates. Soon, every date had become the same, and the "finance boy shine" had dulled in my eyes.
I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to love, you have to look. I'm a big believer of signs. However, my growing cynical side was starting to believe that I saw signs...because I wanted to. I wanted to find the right guy, and I wanted an epic love story. Although when you think about it... who doesn't?
Those that I fell for, I fell hard... and I fell out of it hard too. Sometimes being a hopeless romantic is a double edged sword because you leap before you look... and most of the time you leap into thorns. Sure, I had my days of crying over wine and wanting to eat tubs of ice cream. But really, how badly was my heart broke if I wasn't able to tell any of them that I loved them either?
By the time I moved to Charlotte, I was over 2013 and I was over falling for the wrong person. I had realized I had been more in love with the idea of being in love, than actually the person themselves. It's amazing how you can become stuck inside your own thoughts, and believe your perception is truth. They weren't for me, and I wasn't for them.
So when March came rolling around, I saw things less filled with color and the pastels of romance, and more black and white. My cynicism fueled my writing. My "anit-hero" romance posts were fueled by frustration over the male gender. My "going out" moments were more about dancing with my ladies and getting the frustrations out over being in a dead end job.
One day my work bestie and I decided we had enough of the mental abuse at our dead end job. Previously, day by day we were each other's support team; struggling to make it hour by hour even through this job. Finally, a straw broke the corporate camel's back, and we decided to end the chapter of our lives. In previous jobs, I have never been able to fully quit and tell them why. The frustrations over the past year had fueled my strength. Before I had known it, I was spilling out all of the illegal and harassment that had taken place over the past few months. I stood for my word, and I stood ground.
When I walked out of those doors, something had changed within me.
After a long night of celebrating leaving the "hell hole" with mimosas and Common Market, I traveled to Upstate New York with my new puppy in tow. It's amazing how healing your hometown can be, and I needed some rest and repair after not being home for over five months. My trip was filled with family and friends. I was able to get back to my roots and re-evaluate the important things in life. I was ready to take Charlotte by storm with a more positive set mind.
I'm convinced the universe has humor. As I've said before in all of my posts, the minute you set your mind in one direction and have a plan, the universe tends to knock you off your high horse and remind you kindly that you aren't the one in control.
On a late Sunday night, after spending time with close family friends and family, I met out one of my best friends for a drink. If we had originally planned to go somewhere besides her work, my universal change wouldn't have happened. If a freak snow storm didn't pass through that night, making the roads to slippery to travel home, I wouldn't have stayed for one more drink.
And if the familiar brown eyed boy sitting at the end of the bar hadn't recognized me or came over to say hello, my world wouldn't have turned upside down.
The universe is humorous. Instead of my quiet night out, it made all of those things happen. One casual Sunday drink had turned to another bar, a shot of fireball, and catching up with someone who had caught my eye the prior year. The prior year we weren't in the same mindset, and we had both been through the same loss that had severely affected us. Nine months later, all of a sudden, our paths had recrossed and aligned.
So the next morning, when I looked and realized I had a slumber party of two, I shook my head in disbelief.
And the following morning, when I had went on my family's annual Trout Fishing trip, and looked over to see him there fishing with my family and chatting, I gave up on trying to find reason.
And when three months later, he texted me that he was on his way, moving from Upstate New York to take on Charlotte with me, my heart grew two sizes and I just went along with it.
Life is funny. You can't plan "taking on Charlotte" or making a plan in its own, because you don't have the control. Just go along with the ride. The minute you do, you might have a copilot that wants to come along to.