How is it November 20th already? And more specifically, how is it 3:26am!!??? But I digress...
This has been an absolutely insane month. The letter I wrote myself from 2012 did a beautiful number on me for one (see my previous post)... I also went home for a week to upstate New York for my cousin Jenny's wedding which was incredible. I currently have roasted pumpkin in the fridge waiting to be pureed and made into delectable treats so future recipes and 'old MC' posts are following, I swear. I'm just playing catch up from a week away and now- in even 'awesomer' news, I have my friend Lisa in town from L.A. for a long weekend. YAY!!! So more is coming! For now, however, I'd like to share a kick @$$ story with you that took place the day before I left for NY. It's fairly long-winded (will that ever change?) but I hope you enjoy hearing about it!
As you all know by now, Jimmy Eat World's 'The Middle' is kind of my 'God song.' I first heard it after I started working at a diner. It was a dreadfully horrid first day of training where, being the newbie, everyone was mean to me. When I heard it, I broke down in tears. Once it stopped being overplayed to death, I'd hear it in the craziest of places and/or circumstances. Ex: After a stand-up show at The Improv my car got towed. I paid over $200 at three in the morning to get it back. Not having a clue in the world how I'd pay rent that month, I turn the radio on ready to cry and it's my song. Those situations have happened in the absolutely hopeless and unexpected of circumstances.
Cut to today... Knowing that my ex is pretty much racing down the aisle with someone else as we speak, I have been adamant about making the choice to move on, to continue to pursue my goals and live as fearlessly as humanly possible. That means DATING.
Huuuuuah. Tis but too true. Prior to 'the Sweet Lovin' Man,' there's been no one really. My dating skills have been slim to none. BUT... I'm NOT that girl anymore. The girl who hid behind her low self-esteem or shyness is a thing of the past. I've been making the choice to say 'YES' to life. And thus far, I've had a couple of really nice dates! I've been very lucky. Who knows what will happen but ultimately, I'm getting out there because it scares me. You either choose to spend the next year & a half of your life pining away for your past or you choose to move on excited about the guy you'll be dancing with on New Year's Eve. That's my thought, anyway. It's not always easy. Sometimes it's a daily choice, sometimes it's a momentary choice. Do I choose to stay in this puddle of memories or do I put on my kick @$$, 2nd grade fearless navy blue rainboots with the yellow whales, button my coat up real tight and make a beeline for what feels like true home. I'm choosing to learn from my past and it's really working.
I have learned so much about myself: Who I was, who I became, what I lost, what I want, what I settled for, who I am currently am, who I want to be, who I want to be with, what I want to do, what I want in my life... and remembering parts of myself I lost looooong ago-- even prior to my relationship. In many ways I feel at the edge of the Great Divide, God with His hand out to me saying, "I am giving you the choice to be everything you've always wanted to be and accomplish every dream you've ever had. I'd say you have a choice but do you really? Time to jump, Princess. You're in for a real treat."
All this to say, after making these decisions to really go for it, I have had the absolute BEST time in Chicago. My boyfriend Sarah has moved from the 'burbs to the city so I get to see her happy, positive face pretty regularly. On Friday nights we go to a local diner and grab some coffee and/or a ginormous pile of comfort food (depending). She makes the goofiest faces and acts out the most disturbing characters and we laugh & laugh like eight year old girls. I haven't laughed to the point of breathlessness in I don't even know how long. What a FREAKIN' GIFT. :) We have the BEST time.
Anyway, last Friday we go to our favorite diner and the server comes up. I have been making the effort to look as pretty as possible whenever I'm out as a way of-- I don't know, showing love to myself? It makes me feel good to be put together... And with my amazing bf Sarah, I'm so happy and so full of joy. I can't stop laughing! This guy comes up (we've named him 'Charles' though we really have no idea) and he TOTALLY gives me the 'googely eyes.' He's all sunshine and wonder whenever he looks at me. OF COURSE, I'm thinking there's something wrong with me. There's something in my hair, my mascara is running... or I'm flat out being narcissistic. But when we go to leave, BF says, "BF!!! HE TOTALLY LOVES YOU!!!!" And then realizing I wasn't crazy I say, "I KNOW, RIGHT!!!???" I was DUMBFOUNDED. Absolutely 18,000% dumbfounded. I'm not sure if I've EVER gotten the 'googely eyes' while I was out before. Dead serious!!! (I HAVE gotten the '80 year old Mexican man at karaoke that buys me margaritas eyes' and that wasn't nearly as much fun!)
Needless to say, I left feeling on top of the world. Not because someone thought I was pretty (?) or interesting (?) or saw me at the table making Jim Carey-esque faces and knew that was the face he needed on his babies (!?)... but because BF and I were in sheer joy. THAT's what attracted him. The fact that I've been saying YES to God and the universe, and have chosen to live fearlessly by dating and living out the life I want, attracted him. Keep reading... :)
So I go home happy as a little clam. The next day I get to work and I'm having the best time. I absolutely love the 'at risk youth' I work with. They actually trust me enough talk to me about things that are important to them and we're having the best time. I am excited about my life. I am in utter bliss....
And THAT is when I heard the song. "Hey, don't write yourself off yet. It's only in your head you feel left out... and looked down on."
AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EIGHT YEARS, I experience my 'God Song' while being in a state of true happiness and it KNOCKS ME ON MY @$$. 'What!? But I'm not--- That's only when---!!???'
"Just try your best... try everything you can. Don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away..."
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EIGHT YEARS... this is NOT a song of desperation or scraping-to-get-by or God-when-does-this-end!? It is a song of CELEBRATION. It took me everything to not break down and start sobbing in my scone dough. I might as well have been the youtube guy that saw two rainbows for the first time and cried with joy and exasperation!!! I was completely and utterly dumbfounded at the immensity of the situation. And you don't have to get it! If you don't understand, that's fine! But for me? It was monumental... I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
Other 'strange things are afoot at the Circle K' as well...
I had a dream about a month ago... A vision for my MandiCakes business. I had never been able to put together what the interior of my business was supposed to look like but in my dream it was very vivid. There's more to this dream that I won't share with you so I won't go into details because this post is already long enough... but I will say that I woke up from this dream knowing two things. A) That I will be completely transformed and therefore am completely transforming... and B) I woke telling myself, 'MandiCakes is going to look like the video to 'Kiss Me'-- a magical summer night barn dance!' Hence the reason why that song coming on shortly after Jimmy Eat World was also a major smack in the face.
ALSO... I swear, the story is almost done. But one night, after a really great week, I was suddenly feeling kind of weird and down. I couldn't place it. I was supposed to go out with my roommate and her friends but by the time they got around to meeting up it was really late and I had to work the next day. I chose to stay home. I feel bummed but in some strange way felt I had made the right decision.
Moments after Veronica & her friends leave, I get a call from my friend Ellen who says, "Mandi... You are just so on my mind right now. I was gonna wait til a more convenient time but something told me I needed to call you right now. Maybe I'm just being- whatever- but I wanted to tell you this. You have a minute? "
I say, "No, this makes total sense. Your timing couldn't be better." I was almost expecting her phone call.
Long story short, she says "I had a dream about you. We were at a baseball game, way high, high, high up in the stands-- whatever that means to you-- and all I can say is that you were completely transformed. You were taller and thinner, just-- transformed, that's all I can say... and in such a beautiful place, I can't even describe it. Does any of this make sense to you?"
'YES, Ellen. You've NO idea.'
This is all what BF calls 'being plugged in.' And that's absolutely true. It's a perfect phrase because that's exactly how I feel-- electric!!! This is all absolutely insane but I am/was not surprised to get that call from Ellen.... This is just the beginning. I'm not sure how, when, where this all takes place but it happens. As my future self in my past blog told me, there's no need for worry or fear. There's no plan. It just happens. It's easy.
"But-- How--!!???" is what I go to. Then I hear my inner self say, 'Stuff it, Mand. Just go to bed and wake up for work tomorrow. Be the best version of yourself you can be. Choose to say yes to life and live fearlessly. That's it. Done deal.'
I'm excited. Goodnight, y'all. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
'Live right now... Just be yourself...'
Love you guys...