Change your plans

I don’t know what your dinner plans are for tonight, but cancel them. You NEED to make this roast immediately.

It’s like Fogo de Chao, but WAY BETTER. Like all the amazing garlic/salt/spice flavor you love in beef, but done in these delicate little slices that your deli roast beef would be jealous of.

…maybe that takes it a little too far?

Regardless, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve put in my mouth in more than a month, so I’m pushing it to high Heaven today to tell you to make it. My husband wasn’t a huge fan … he likes his stuff more on the bland side… but for all of you adventurers out there, try it out.

Here’s mine, and here’s how I improvised.

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Here’s what you need to make this awesomeness (serves 6-8):
1 – 3 to 4 pound beef bottom round roast (make sure you buy the right cut of meat!) mine was a little over three pounds.

For the garlic & herb rub:
8 garlic cloves, peeled – yep, had them
2 teaspoons sea salt – I used standard table salt
1 tablespoon dried parsley – done
1 teaspoon dried thyme– done
1 teaspoon dried rosemary– I didn’t have this, so I used 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning as a sub.
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper – yep, done
1/4 cup olive oil– done

For the gravy:
1/2 cup water– yep
3 tablespoons arrowroot starch– I don’t buy this, and maybe I should, but I just used corn starch since that’s what I already had on hand.
pan drippings from the roast – yep, done
2 cups GF beef broth– I used one can of regular beef broth. Again, it’s what I had here.
1/2 cup good red organic wine – I did not use wine in this… listen, I’ve got a kid, I don’t really drink that much wine as it is, and my husband doesn’t care for it. I didn’t want a lonely bottle going bad in the cupboard over a half of a cup for this.

So, first, I’d like to start by saying I had a little “help” in the kitchen on this one….. AKA, obstacles I was jumping over like a show pony. I’m very impressed with myself that I was able to conquer this despite my “helper.” If I can, you can, too.

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  • I used my fancy Tupperware QuickChop chopper for the rub. It gave me a chance to use it and I liked how the garlic was a little chunky.
  • I don’t use my cast iron pan, so that was out. I used a regular casserole pan for cooking the roast, then emptied the drippings into a regular saucepan to cook it down for the sauce. Still turned out great.
  • I have a gas oven, and I cooked it at 375 for 1hr and 10 mins. You can see how rare mine was … I would have done it longer, but I threw out my meat thermometer so I had nothing to use for temperature gauging. Next time I’ll keep it in longer. The redder parts are delicious, but I have a small child so I try to give him the more cooked portions.
  • I almost decided I would never make this again because of the way the aroma filled my house during the cook time. I TAKE IT BACK. I will probably be making this at least once a month for the rest of my life.

Hope you like it as much as me and my son did!!!!! If you’re into bread, I could TOTALLY picture this on a crispy Italian roll. OHMYGOD. I bet it’s to die for! And the sauce is amazing. I wish I had potatoes on hand to just pour it over. Delicious!!!

Garlic & Herb Crusted Beef Roast

So, I saw this and I started salivating. I think that’s a good sign it might be something to make:

roast

There’s just something about thin-sliced steak that does it for me. I’m not much into pot roasts and all that heavy overpowering carrots/potato/comforting one-pot wonder business, but I live for delicate yet hearty flavors like this.

I have no idea if I have any of the things I need for this, but like usual, I’ll improvise and figure out some alternatives and share my findings tomorrow! For now, though, I’m taking the roast out of the freezer and prepping that bad boy for his debut tonight.

I’m down a few pounds now – I’ve been at this officially 8 days continuously – and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the way my clothes fit and that my double chin is finally receding (thank the LORD). It’s not all gone yet, but after another 5 lbs I’ll be able to fit into my normal jeans again so I’m really looking forward to that 🙂 it will be amazing to be able to wear real jeans again! The biggest thing is that my bloating is way down. It’s going to be Shark Week soon, but at least I’m starting in a much better place for it this month.

A few random thoughts for today:

  • I’m so glad I’m not on social media right now. Instead, my cousin Jenny and I have been texting and making each other laugh, so we’re coping with life the best way we know how …. by dreaming of our future retirement plans in Cape May. 🙂
  • My son thinks it’s hilarious to de-lint the puppy whenever he gets the chance. He’ll beg me to give him the lint brush, and then he’ll chase Buddy everywhere trying to get all of the hair off of him. Whatta clown. LOL
  • The Charlie Brown “Peanuts” movie is hysterical, but also very sad. Poor Charlie Brown has no self-esteem, and he’s so pathetic it’s a sin. And Lucy is super mean to him. I am in love with Peppermint Patty, who’s the funniest of all of them. My son stands there mesmerized during the whole film, so it’s a win for all.

Hope you’re having a GREAT hump day!

Better days are on the way, my friend…

I’m feeling a LOT better today! It actually happened last night, sometime around 6:30pm everything just kind of slid right back into place. My recovery time (ie, withdraw from bad food) seems to be getting shorter every time I fall off the wagon… then climb back on. In one way, it’s promising to me because it means that in my “in-between” times, I must not be nearly as bad as I used to be on a normal day.

So, let’s call that progress!!

Today I’m trying to eat up all the leftovers from our fridge to make room for fresh fruits and veggies. I had a ton of vegetables that I bought with all the best intentions, but when I’m bad, there’s no such thing as “food budget” or “no takeout.” Nope. So, I’m slowly working my way through the things that are still good and clearing out what didn’t make it during my downtime.

Over the weekend I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes to spice up my food life. Every time I get back on my Eating Well High Horse, I tend to make the things I remember liking from before… like braised beef (YUM), lemon chicken, and strawberry spinach salad. I need to mix up my routine to keep things moving… especially if I’m going to be doing this for all of my (currently theoretical) pregnancy!

Do you have any great recipes I should try? I’m always looking for ideas, especially for things that are Whole30 approved!

 

(Sidenote: does anyone recognize the Point of Grace lyric in the title?!)

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is not ever something I enjoyed. Apparently a lot of other people share my lack of enthusiasm for the veggie, because when I made a huge beautiful veggie tray for my nephew’s birthday last weekend, it was one of the few things that remained untouched.

Such is life.

So, I’m back on my Whole30/Paleo kick and I’m HUNGRY. There’s a nearly full head of cauliflower in my fridge staring at me, and I can’t stand to waste it. A memory of a friend of a friend comes to mind…. She looked my way during a food discussion at a party and screeched when I told her I didn’t like it. *Ahem* Apparently… people make pizza crust with it, and it’s a big thing I’m only now learning, because – in my world – pizza is god, and you do not mess with crust, sauce, and cheese. Some people beg to differ. Savages.

CHEAT DAY WAS INVENTED FOR PIZZA, PEOPLE.

But, I digress.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little wonky and spacey and out of sorts. I don’t really feel like myself today. It’s Day 2 of eating better and this time is always the hardest for me as I come down off my sugar high. I don’t want to do anything today but space out on the couch or nap… and napping is not something I do. Therefore, you can tell how weird this is for me!

Right. Cauliflower!

So, in case you don’t already know of her, Michelle from NOMNOMPALEO.COM is the Goddess of Paleo. She has a hundred award-winning recipes for just about everything. I typed “cauliflower paleo” into my google toolbar and I found this little gem

HUZZAH!

In reality, I cheated. A lot. And I didn’t really follow this true to form at all. But it was delicious so I want to share it anyway.

  • large cauliflower
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (I used like, a 1/2 c of olive oil by the time I was done…)
  • Kosher salt (Morton salt. Whatever, right? Same thing.)
  • ¼ cup capers, drained (I wish! I didn’t have any.)
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley (I only had dried, so I sprinkled a little bit.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise (I used garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes) (I used red cayenne pepper)
  • I added juice from a whole lemon, and pepper.

Here’s what mine ended up looking like…  (the things next to it are the jalapeno chicken sausages… I could only eat one since I ate nearly that entire plate of cauliflower!)

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Some things I’ve learned:

  • smaller the better, especially when you have no patience. The smaller pieces were softer (ergo, more delicious) than the larger ones.
  • lemon makes everything better. period.
  • i started on med/high heat (since I wasn’t using a cast-iron pan) and i think that worked out well, but i turned down the heat a bit because i didn’t want to burn them. … which walks into my next bullet…
  • i used a LOT of olive oil. I once heard someone say that if you have olive oil that goes bad, it means you’re not using enough, so i used a lot. It kept my flowers from sticking and it helped them crisp up better. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a good heart-healthy fat like that!

I’ll definitely make this again, it was a huge win for me. Do you have a good way to prepare cauliflower that you want to share? I’m looking for new ideas now!

 

Hellooooo, February!

Ah, today is the day! Such hope! Such wonder! Such… headaches. 🙂

You would think I would be used to this by now, but yeah, I’m not. I’ve even had two cups of black coffee to try to counteract the agony of sugar withdraw, but so far, it ain’t helpin.

Whyyyy is sugar so bad, yet so good?!

It’s February 1st, which means I’ve run out of excuses why I can’t start being healthy. Ergo, here I am. I’ve also run out of excuses for other things, too. Like, my kid is mostly self-sufficient… he can “tell” me when he wants things, he plays really well with his toys without much participation from me, and he’s aware of his surroundings so I don’t have to watch him as much to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. He’s a little man now, which means that while he’s playing, I should be doing productive things.

EEEEEEEEK!

I’ve recently chucked one of my most horrible timesuck habits and have been Facebook-free for 2.5 days now. It’s been great because I don’t constantly waste time stalking people or looking through a boring news feed. I hate to say it, but as nice as it (was/is) to keep tabs on everyone else’s comings and goings, I’m starting to just not care any more. After 10 – TEN!? – years of social media, I’m kind of over it.

I will, however, miss broadcasting my life and business for the world to see. Though I’m sure my husband will not miss that at all.

So helloooooooo February! Eating well, no social media distractions, thinking about life and what to do with it, and slowly crawling out of the winter hole I’ve been living in… cuddled up with hot cocoa and snacks while it’s been cold and miserable out. I’m heading back to Greensburg in a few months and I can’t wait to see my peeps! Hopefully by then I’ll be sharing some great news and enjoying a new purpose. ❤

 

 

 

Feeling: Accomplished!

I threw out the chocolate syrup in the fridge that’s been taunting me for the last few weeks, and I made myself a huge jug of unsweetened peach iced tea to sub out for water when I need a “sweet” fix.

I also finally discovered the wonder that is Lu La Roe leggings and NEED ALL OF THEM IN EVERY COLOR RIGHT NOW! haha

I swear, I could live in these. And for those of you who say leggings are not pants (and yes, I see your point, because I do look kind of weird right now), I reply with this…

Image result for meme kick jeans leggings

HAH!

I also deactivated my Facebook and messanger, and asked for no more notifications on anything. I unsubscribed from about 15 junk mailers (I’m looking at you, Zazzle) and cleaned out all of my inboxes.

I’ve decided life is too short to hate everyone over politics, so I’ve asked my husband to start job searching in England. They have some pretty kick ass soccer teams on the eastern side of the globe and who doesn’t love a “cuppa” now and then? I could definitely buy into the 24/7 tea drinker lifestyle! Plus, Harry Potter lives there and that would be amazing.

And even MORE great news!

My mother (the most wonderful woman on the planet … even if she doesn’t know that Mexico is one of our largest trade partners…) ordered me a pair of new running shoes! They are awesome, check ’em out!

 

shoe

I don’t run, or even exercise really, but I could now! Look at those babies! They are the Brooks Glycerin 14. I had to size up ridiculously for them (I usually wear a 7.5W in normal shoes, and the sneaks were a 9W) but these are amazing. So plushy it’s like you’re walking on supportive clouds.

Writing has also been going very well. I imagine that writing would be a lot easier if I was allowed to be drunk for it because I wouldn’t care – I’d give myself tons of leeway to make mistakes and just go for it. Typically I’m way too uptight to be carefree and creative. But I’ve been chipping away at a new concept and it’s been really fun. I love the start I’ve got on it, and I’m hopeful that with the right attitude I can make it something worth reading.

Being positive and upbeat is great because it makes YOU feel great, even when you’d rather … not be. So go for it! What’s going well for you on this lovely Monday?

Countdown to Baby

Right now I’m obsessed with the idea of having another baby.

I know, certifiable.

But I’ll tell you one thing… it’s motivation for me to make great choices, since (hopefully soon!) I will be eating for two!

Markypants had an MRI today and it was an emotionally draining day. Add to that, they had Trump’s inauguration playing in the waiting room. Like, don’t you assholes know that having my baby under anesthesia is enough stress, then you have to add that?!

Anyway, I’m celebrating my (hopefully last) non-pregnant month with digiorno, wine, and way too many selfies. I was miserable and I thought … what the hell. Let’s put on some makeup and filter our life so that people think we’re awesome. Rock on.

Reality: this wine is kind of gross, yep, those are blemishes you see on my face, and the first one where I look crazy is probably the most true to life shot. HAH!!

Filter. filter. filter.

I’m blogging tonight for the first time in a while because, with my upcoming preggo status, I’m going to be needing to get on here and keep myself accountable. I had a really bad pregnancy on my first go-round and — even though the doctors said there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it (which I think they feel like they HAVE to say, because, come on, my baby is 3lbs in effing NICU, I’m a mess… you’d have to be a monster to tell a new mom that) — so, BESIDE that, I am determined that this time I am going to be the absolute perfect pregnant lady. I’m going to take all my prenatal vitamins (started them a week ago, yay fish burps *ugh*) and I am going to eat healthy and get lots of water and basically make my body the best bakery a bun could spend a 9-month cook time in. Soooo that’s the plan. Today is Day 0.5 of Shark Week, so that means I have 2 weeks to get going before we start trying. YAY!

Right now I’m around 211 lbs, maybe a little higher. I’d like to get back into ONEderland before Show Time, so let’s see how well we do! Tomorrow my sis-in-law and MIL are coming to stay, so we’ll do the usual here tomorrow night and Sunday, then Monday we’re in business. This weekend will be spent prepping and cleaning and getting everything ready for DAY 1 OF PREGNANCY DIET. Wish me luck! ❤

My Living “Like/Hate” List

I know this should be obvious, and it is, but sometimes it helps reinforce things for me when I write them down.

This is going to be a living list that I’m going to update when something strikes me. It’s funny, writing all of this out makes me wish I was skinnier, but it doesn’t make me wish I was eating better food. It should, but I think I’m too sugared up right now to appreciate how bad I actually am. In a few days I’m sure I’ll sober up.

So, the moment you all have been waiting for…

What I hate about being overweight/unhealthy:

  • SWEAT PANT NATION. Next time you’re out, look around… how many people are in yoga pants, or sweat pants, or some other form of spandexy material?! I don’t know about them, but I literally have only one pair of jeans that I can wear right now… a stretchy pair from NY&Co that my sister gave me as part of her maternity wardrobe. The only reason they fit is because they’re jeggings, and no, they do not look good on me. Everything is spandex. And spandex does NOT make you look classy, cool, or attractive.
  • Dude, I am constantly gassy. I’m sorry if that’s too much info on a Monday morning, but I swear to God I never toot so much as when I am eating like crap. It does not fit in with my lovely lady persona.
  • My face. I start looking like a pumpkin, and acne happens, and I look doughy because I don’t get enough sun. And that’s not to say I’m normally chiseled, but I already have round cheeks and my heart-shaped face becomes significantly less…. heart-shaped.
  • I’m not at the heaviest I’ve ever been right now, but having been at the lowest I’ve been in a while a few months before and then shooting back up has made me realize how much I hate walking when I’m fat. I know there’s the whole thigh gap thing, and that’s never been something I had, but when you’re fat(ter) and the squishy thighs get to be TOO squishy, it’s really uncomfortable. I now know another reason why overweight people do not exercise.
  • Speaking of exercise, fat sex. uuuuuuuughhhhh. There’s just too much going on to be naked. I hate it. Jiggling, and sweating, and feeling like there’s a whole other person (aka, my belly) between the two of us…. *shudders*
  • I also hate the fear of what’s to come. I have some people in my life who, after years of not taking care of themselves (eating bad, not exercising, pushing themselves too hard to “do it all,” and who don’t get enough sleep) who are falling apart in their late 50s/early 60s. That’s only 30 more years, and I have a lot to do before then. I have to be able to dance at my son’s wedding and help him with his babies. I need to start taking care of myself now so that I can have lots of good life years in me for later.

What I like about crap food/crap lifestyle:

  •  It’s been a crutch for me for so much of my life it’s my “go to” when I feel like I can’t handle the emotional stuff. I have figured out (since) that sugar stimulates some sort of chemical in your brain responsible for those “feel good feels,” which would explain a lot haha.
  • I don’t have to cook it – normally it’s something like cereal or a bagel where I can just open a container and put it in my face
  • It’s “normal” … (1) Everyone else eats this way (2) When I’m out with friends and we stop to grab take-out, I’m the asshole trying to maneuver a container of salad in the car while driving. Oh, you’ve seen me? Yep. Thanks. (3) Pizza. It’s criminal to be denied pizza. (4) “Wait, WHAT are you doing again? Why?” *headdesk*
  • I don’t have to think or prepare well in advance for meals – I’m hungry, I eat. End of story.
  • Phish Food. Empower Mint. Chocolate Therapy. Fucking Ben & Jerry’s, man. I hate those assholes.
  • I like putting sugar (aka, cocaine) and milk in my tea. I love tea parties, and drinking sweet tea with milk gives me the happy feels. Coffee is better that way, too.

What I like about eating well and being healthy:

  • My face is blemish-free and I can get away with a scant amount of makeup. Less fuss = happy me!
  • I love not having headaches. Sometimes when I’ve been especially crappy (looking at you, Phish Food) I have a killer headache in the morning. My body can’t handle that kind of junk food, so I love not having physical complaints!
  • I like being able to pull just about anything out of my closet and be happy about the way I look in it. Granted, I am not anyone’s idea of a model, but when I can wear the things I have, I’m happy.
  • I DON’T HAVE BELLY ISSUES. Eating good food is an automatic bloat reducer, so you don’t look/feel pregnant, and for me (self-proclaimed lactose intolerant over here) I don’t have gas or feel like crap from eating dairy.
  • Feeling clear-headed. When I eat well, I think faster and more logically, I’m not on an emotional roller-coaster… I have a brain, I use it, and I don’t have weird mood swings that color my judgment.
  • Sex. Sex sex sex sex sex. Thank you, goodnight. *drops mic*

“Embrace” Trailer

I’m a little conflicted, hence why I’m putting my thoughts about this on paper.

I saw the new “Embrace” documentary trailer the other day, and I’m still not quite sure what to think about the whole thing.

In case you haven’t seen me lately (and not many of you have, I’m hiding) I’ve been steadily creeping up on the scale. Nothing fits, I feel like crap, so Mark and I decided that we need to hide the pizza cutter and get back into the game. Which means I’m back eating good healthy food, which I love to do.

….when, of course, I’m in the mood.

I’m certainly in it to win it right now. So when I saw the Embrace documentary, I kind of didn’t know what to think. Here are some rough thoughts:

  1. I agree there is a major problem with men and women being “body shamed” by the media. And it kind of doesn’t even matter what your body type is. I literally know no one who is 100% happy with the way they look right now.
  2. On another note, I don’t know that deciding that “too much sacrifice, too much time, and too much obsession” is a reason not to take care of yourself.
  3. I don’t want my son (or my theoretical daughter) to hate the way he/she looks, either. But I don’t want my kids to see me and think that what I’m doing is hating my body. On the contrary, I love my body and I want to make sure I have a body to love for a very long time!!
  4. I feel bad, because MAN it is hard to get out of a rut and do something good for yourself. Save us both the embarrassment and don’t even ask me the last time I worked out. And I think sometimes it can be a lot easier to “give up” and accept what we have instead of making choices that will change it.

I don’t want to be that asshole saying you shouldn’t “embrace” yourself, because we all should do that regardless of what we look like or what we’re struggling through. But the issue is that a woman made this documentary because she had three kids, hated her body, started working out and joined a body building competition of some sort and then said she was miserable. Even though she had the ideal body, she wasn’t happy. So she gained weight — I guess she stopped working out like an insane person and started eating carbs again, who knows — and now she’s trying to help other women in the world stop obsessing about their bodies.

It’s a super noble goal, and one that I think needs to happen. Definitely. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to supermodels thinking that being skinny will make our dreams come true. I think we all know it won’t.

My problem is that the message I’m getting from this documentary is that there is no emphasis on HEALTH. It’s all about embracing your body as you are right now. Not for nothing, but I am not happy with how I look and “embracing” this hot mess is far from where I should be as a responsible adult. And I see other people around, shopping or running their errands, and I can’t believe how many overweight people there are in the world. We shouldn’t be sending the message that it’s OK to stuff oreos in your face and drink an entire liter of cherry coke (yep, things I’ve done in the last few months) and think that all of that is a-OK, because I’m “embracing” an unhealthy body that I created through poor choices. I can embrace the fact that I’m never going to be as skinny as my cousin Jenny, who is an amazingly beautiful human being, and embrace the fact that I’ll always verge on the more stocky Italian side of my heritage. But I don’t think it’s OK to give up on my health and just embrace my body. I think it’s an excuse. I think it’s lazy. It’s like people saying that they’re never going to bother trying because they are never going to change something. You don’t KNOW that you can’t change it unless you try. And I’m not saying to be anorexic or go off the deep end either, because it’s not ABOUT your weight or the scale. It’s about health. And, really, I’m disappointed that I didn’t see that in this trailer. I hope it is in the documentary. Because otherwise you’re replacing one bad message (starve so you can look like people photoshopped in magazines) with the equally unhealthy message (it’s OK to be obese because I accept myself).

It’s not OK to be obese. It’s not. There are a million published studies showing why you should not be carrying around excess weight. What we should do is embrace our bodies as the vehicle for our humanity and spirit, and treat it like we treat anything of value: with respect and proper care. In my mind I’m thinking of all the times I’ve heard bodies compared to temples, homes, cars, etc and it makes me laugh. I take better care of my car. So I’m not going to EMBRACE the result of my oreo-eating mismanagement. I’m going to fire the current staff and get some reasonable, responsible adults in here who like carrot sticks to call the shots.

Right? Or am I totally missing the point here? I’d like to hear your thoughts, and I’m interested to know if you’re planning on seeing this.

I’m ready now

My sister has a really interesting theory about dieting. She calls it the Four Phases. It goes kind of like this…

Phase 1: This is where you start thinking, yeah, maybe I should start trying to eat better. Clothes are gettin’ tiiiight…. not loving those love handles… Ehh, I could stand to lose a few lbs…

Phase 2: Okay, I’m going on a diet. I’m committed.

Phase 3: Start a diet, but fail. A lot. Start doing good, then go off it… you know you need to make a change, but old habits die hard.

Phase 4: IN IT TO WIN IT. You’re 100% committed, you’re making the right choices consistently. You are actually making and sticking with the change and you are not easily derailed.

So, I’ve been flopping around in Phase 3 for the last few weeks, but yesterday I transitioned to Phase 4. Mark and I spent a ton of money/time at the store yesterday and bought a lot of healthy stuff. I cooked last night and am set up for success.

I’ve been giving myself a hard time recently because I have been unsuccessful with making better choices. I just didn’t want to!! I have been in a funk and just didn’t care anymore. I’ve been really conflicted now for the last month or more about my life, my choices, the direction I’ve gone…I started having an existential crisis and there has been no one I could openly and honestly talk to about it.

So, instead of spending $140/hour (YES, per HOUR!) in therapy, I’m just going to talk about it here and (hope) that no one reads it and … if they do… that they don’t judge me too harshly.

I’m 31 years old, I’ve got a husband and an amazing kid, I’m so close to my MASTER’S DEGREE (MASTER’S DEGREE, for real! That’s me!) that I can smell it. All amazing things, and all great. I’m very proud of those things.   BUT.    But what now? What next? Was that the right thing to do? Is my life what it was supposed to be?!

Who knows.

I want a house of my own, and it’s going to be hard with our student loans… we have a lot of debt to wade through before we’re going to get approved for a mortgage.

I love my kid so much, but sometimes I still don’t feel like a “mom.” I have these dreams (memories?) of being young and fun with only myself to worry about like back in my college days. I long for the wind in my hair, the sun in my face, days of doing nothing if I don’t want to.  …..but, I’m an adult now. I have people who depend on me, things that won’t get done if I don’t do them, bills that won’t get paid if I don’t work. I miss freedom, choices, youth.

I LONG for those days (not) long past when being an adult wasn’t even in my mind. I long for it, but I also remember how lonely it was at the same time. I loved being able to do what I wanted, but I was stuck with my nose in romance novels hoping one day someone would love me and want a family with me like those heroes and heroines had. And when I finally got my happily ever after, I was OVER THE MOON.

So why do I want those things back, now, ten years later?!  The “freedom”  –>reality: lonely days, nights spent at bars scanning the crowd, hoping that I’d see someone across a room, being a third wheel to my sister and her husband, or my friend and her boyfriend– that I used to have?! I have no idea. It makes no sense. Sometimes, I really wish that I could sit on that creaky, dirty couch in the sorority house across the street and get trashed on bottles of wine at 10am on a Tuesday if I wanted. The “choices” I used to have –> reality: feeling worthless because no one was calling me to see if I was still alive (haha, not true, but still), hooking up with random guys hoping that one would see me as more than just a piece of ass. I had the choice to hook up or not — but was it really a choice, when I always felt so much pressure to find The One? I was miserable back then. I wanted a husband I could talk to, laugh with, love to pieces and get loved back. Someone I could cook for, watch movies with, be a best friend to. I loved my girlfriends, but all of them had someone to do those things with, and I wanted that desperately. AND TODAY, I HAVE THAT — I HAVE ALL OF THAT AND MORE. I HAVE EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED. So why am I so God damned miserable, longing for the days when I had nothing?!?! And it’s not the reality I was sharing with you (those pathetic nights in a crowded bar), it’s the allure of the freedom, the allure of those choices. The illusion of greener grass elsewhere. In reality, those things don’t exist. You just think that they do.

….I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with me. I’ve spent so much time getting to this place where I am that I never mourned the loss of the things I said goodbye to. The freedom to do what I wanted whenever I wanted, the choices I had back before I was set-in-stone committed to where I am, the possibilities of youth back when I didn’t have a history and all the pages in My Book Of Life were blank. When you get married and have babies, you grow your own family. You make the choice to disconnect yourself from the hundreds of other “networks” that you had given attention to before (your friends, your hobbies, yourself) so that you can start pouring all that energy into this new venture you’ve got. Because — HELLO! This is everything!! — but you don’t realize how much you need those other things until they are gone.

I love my husband, who is seriously the ying to my yang, and I love my son, who is the most adorable ornery little munchkinface ever. I love the life I have today and everything that these years have given me. But I don’t care who you are, it’s a sad day when you look at yourself in the mirror and see wrinkles, when you see what HAS BEEN instead of what HAS YET to be. There have been a few moments where I was questioning a lot of things in my life over the past month or more… If I had the chance, would I want to do any of these things differently? Would I want back that freedom, the choices, the untried and untested person I was? And you know what, the answer is always a resounding no. I may not be young and fun anymore, but I’m pretty damn cool the way I am now, and it’s because of all the shit I went through to get here.

So, crisis over. My shit is back together, officially now. Phase 3 is over, and we are now comfortably back in Phase 4. Thank you to everyone who helped me get back to this place where I belong. ❤