Introducing Me Time and Dating

When I considered the end of my last relationship was near, I would sit on the metro on my two-hour commute from Bethesda to Baltimore, attempt to hold back the tears, and tell myself over and over again: Just be brave. Just be brave. Just be brave.

It’s amazing how far these three words got me, and it’s even more amazing to think that a young woman ending a long-term relationship should be considered brave. But even though I’m an introvert and a loner, I had been in back-to-back relationships for five years. I was scared that if I gave that up, I would forever be alone. Silly, I know. But true.

And yet a year and a half after I first told myself to be brave, I have re-entered the dating world. I always imagined from the many stories I heard that dating would be horrific and merely a means to an end. But in the past few months since I’ve re-introduced myself to this world, I’ve actually enjoyed it (well minus the awkward non-break-ups). Continue reading


Making Friends at 28 is Hard

I come home and open my mail to find another “save the date” waiting for me. I check Facebook and learn that a friend from grad school is pregnant. I get a text that my college friend is now engaged. I learn from my mom that my cousin is having a baby. I feel, somehow, like I’ve been left behind.

I need to stop making friends who treat me like a slave.

I need to stop making friends who think of me as a slave.

I’m still trying to establish a group of close friends in this strange, surprising city. Scratch that. I’m still trying to establish one close friend in this strange, surprising city. It amazes me how many people here already have a set of close friends, whether from high school, college, graduate school, or former places of employment.

And it’s not like I haven’t had my share of awkward social situations. In fact, if anything, I feel overinvolved and overcommitted. But I’m active, and I’m happy. My love life is anything but spectacular, but I’m still riding on the waves of a ship that reads, “I just got out of a long-term relationship.” Continue reading

‘Never Have I Ever’ Too: Growing Up Perpetually Single

I forget where I saw Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney, a memoir about a 25-year-old who’s never had a boyfriend or really been on a second date, but upon reading the summary, I added it to my reading list. Because up until six years ago, I thought this would be me, indefinitely.

Heaney says there are two types of people in the world, one of which is the lighthouse. Although not the best metaphor, she admits, we have all had lighthouses as friends. These are the girls that move from relationship to relationship; these are the women that could stay locked in their apartment for four months, and someone would eventually come knocking to ask them out. These lighthouses are a beacon for sailors.

What about those of us who aren’t lighthouses? Heaney says we’re the Bermuda Triangle. We don’t necessarily intend harm, but shit happens, and sailors tend to avoid us. I laughed aloud when I read this introduction. Although I’ve been in two long-term relationships, it wasn’t always apparent that I was “girlfriend” material. In fact, by my senior year of college, I resigned myself to the fact that I would always be alone. And now having just turned 28, I’m having to face that reality again. Continue reading

Eden: Back to Where I Started

On the Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda to Georgetown, I walk along the pavement, staying close to the right so that bikers and runners may pass. I hear a shuffling of leaves to my right and see something white zip through the branches. I immediately grasp my key ring and two apartment keys tighter even though I am surrounded by several bikers and walkers. I search for a male lurking in the trees but see nothing. I begin my run again.

I’ve felt an ache to run for two days now. I don’t know where it came from. I have to admit I was scared to take the trail after hearing the horrid stories of women being raped, but my coworker assured me as long as I run during the day or evening when it’s crowded, I should be safe. In the 10 years I’ve been running, I’ve never feared for my safety, but I’ve always carried a few keys with me in case I needed them as defense weapons, and I always keep my music at a low volume.

But today with a storm pending, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity for a run. With my 10-minute commute, it doesn’t take me long to arrive home and change my clothes. And then I’m out the door in a hot pink shirt and black shorts. I should probably carry my CGM with me and maybe some glucose tablets, too. But I don’t plan to be gone long, and my blood sugar is steady at 125. I drank some juice just in case. Continue reading