Settling For Part When You Can’t Have The Whole

Don’t credit me for today’s blog post title. I saw it one day on Demetria Lucas’ forum, jotted it down in the notes section of my phone and promised myself I would return to it for a future post.

Last year around this time, I was just starting to peek my head above the murky waters of a halfass dating situation. By halfass, I mean I liked him way more than he liked me and by dating I mean we Skyped a lot. You know, your usual twentysomething ambiguous and thus, torturous, bullshit.

At the time, it was the perfect definition of settling for part of someone because I couldn’t have the whole person. For a brief moment in history, I felt like it was better to cling on to a fragment of someone’s attention than to walk away without receiving all of it. Eventually, ashes, ashes, we all fell down and that brings us to present day.

I like to consider myself an all or nothing person. So, it is not exactly with pride that I say I have found myself in many situationships where I settled for only part of someone because, for many different reasons, I could not have the whole. Fortunately, because of my overwhelming all-or-nothing personality, I usually come to my senses and realize that having nothing is better than having just a piece. It doesn’t always seem like that at first. Until you weigh the assurance of nothing against the uncertainty of just a part.

Relationship purgatory is a really strange and ugly place to find yourself. If you don’t want to be there, of course. There are definitely times in life when you seek out certain people for certain things. And, that time was called college. (Just kidding.) But, there are also other times when you are inadvertently pushed into relationship purgatory, a lukewarm plateau teeming with mixed signals and overanalytical musings.You clutch every interaction, every text message, every word until you can add them all up into the sum of something that seems meaningful. You’re always searching for signs that someone likes you, respects you, wants you the exact same way that you like and respect and want them. To your dismay, the equation never seems to quite add up.

If you want just a part of someone, a fraction of their attention and a bit of their love, then that’s a decision you are beyond entitled to make. But, what’s heartwrenching is when you accept that from someone and in turn, you give your whole. Your whole heart. Your whole being. Your whole self. We all do it. We’ve all done it. Hell, we will all probably do it again. But, giving your whole self to someone who only wants to give 3% is an injustice that will ultimately spill on you. Because we are human. We crave interconnectedness. We want to see the safe havens other people offer and lay our burdens down right there.

I don’t want part. I want the whole. The entire fucking whole. I want the stories and the passion and the scars. I want the lust and the love and yes, the attention. I want someone to have my back the way I have theirs. I want someone to hold my dreams close and hold my secrets closer. I want someone to give of themselves fully the way I believe in giving of myself to others. The way I believe in giving of myself to everything in this world that I do. Every relationship I take on, every friendship I value, every goal I chase after. I do not want part. I want the whole.



“Do It With Passion Or Not At All.”

This post is an excerpt from Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. The full essay is available in the book, which is currently available for pre-sale here.

Here’s the thing. Life is never without the bullshit. The bullshit will always be there. It never goes away. There will always be the people and situations that come along in life and try to suck up the same air you’re fighting to breathe. There will always be the parasites. There will always be the people who don’t want to contribute shit, don’t want to add any value and want to distract you from building something beautiful. I say build it anyway. Dream it anyway. Create it anyway. Do it anyway. Don’t expect the bullshit to go away, but expect to care about it far less when you are working toward something greater.

Create meaning. Bring meaning. Add value. Seek to become a person who adds substance, not just sugar.

Passions And Paychecks

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 5: A day in the life of me

I’m supposed to give you a play by play of my day. But, frankly, I wouldn’t even want to read that. You don’t care what I eat for breakfast or when I call my mom or any of that mundane shit. So allow me to diverge from the topic a bit.

During the summer of 2012, I had what I will affectionately refer to as an identity crisis. I had just started my blog and, consequently, started following more people in the so-called blogosphere via social media. Following these people meant that I was all too aware of the lives of many bloggers who managed to exist outside of the 9-5 norm. And, not only did they exist, but they thrived. Their lives seemed full, exciting and fun.

All I could wonder was what the hell was I doing sitting at a desk, wasting my youth away?

I’m not sure when this identity crisis dissipated; I just know that it eventually did. I gave myself enough “You’re only twenty-something and right now, at least you have a roof over your head” pep talks to get over the hump. I soon realized that I was no less or no more for working a corporate job by day and full blown feeding my passion of writing by night.

Before my summer of 2012 identity crisis, I sat at a bar with one of my coworkers. It was someone’s going away party or whatever other excuse you find at work to imbibe alcohol after hours. At the time, I hadn’t yet started Twenties Unscripted and was only writing here and there somewhere on Tumblr. I told my coworker how much I loved writing and how I would love to spend my life doing that. And then she said something that caught me off guard: “You might not love writing as much if that’s what you relied on to pay your bills. You might start to resent it.”

It’s a sentence that has stuck with me because, like most sentences that stick with me, it’s probably true. As much as I’d hate to admit that. I’m probably head over heels in love with writing because it’s not what keeps a roof over my head. It’s not what keeps food in my fridge or my lights turned on. Writing is like my mistress; the place I go to get away from all the other bullshit and just enjoy myself.

Yes, that was a terrible comparison. But, you got it.

So, what does any of this have to do with a day in my life? Well, that is my day. That is my life. My day is spent giving a large fraction of my energy to my day job and my night gig of blogging. My day is spent jotting sentences down in my phone. Pulling inspiration from Twitter. Wondering what is next for every aspect of my life. My day is spent thinking too much and thinking too hard and wishing that I could just quit thinking for a moment. My day is spent laughing and extracting happiness from routine. My day is spent chasing a paycheck and chasing my passion.

People always tell you to do something you’re passionate about as if it is just that simple. Telling someone to do something they are passionate about is the most over-privileged statement in the history of the United States. At least now. In your twenties. When what you really need to do is put your big girl pants on and figure out how to stand on your own two feet. You can feed your passion and still get a paycheck. Why do you think blogs even exist? For schmucks like me who need somewhere to goafter work so they can shout to the Internet stratosphere until someone hears them. That is what I do every single day. That is what I focus on. That is what I care about. I care about keeping Sallie Mae off my back and keeping Twenties Unscripted alive and well. And I care about my kinfolk, of course. I try to sustain healthy relationships with the five people on this planet who can put up with my bullshit.

Feed your passion. Get that check. And, if the rubber finally meets the road and you find a way to do those both simultaneously, well, that’s fucking amazing and some celestial being has looked out for you. But, do not sit idle waiting for that to happen. The rubber does not meet the road without you being on a relentless grind. Move. Work. Bust your ass. Then bust your ass some more.



2013 Twenties Unscripted Superlatives And What Writing Gave Me This Year

Let’s begin with the 2013 Twenties Unscripted superlatives. This was a hybrid of an idea that a friend of mine had along with my own spin to highlight the past year of writing by having the people who actually read this thing weigh in. A giant thanks to everyone who voted in my very last-minute poll. I’ve decided I’ll do something like this twice a year because the feedback was incredibly helpful. For those who haven’t had a chance to take the survey, it’s still open, particularly if you would like to provide some feedback about what you want to see on the blog next year. Or, if you want to destroy me in the comments section. Totally up to you.

2013 Twenties Unscripted Superlatives

The ball of fire comment about dating/relationships

“Because, a relationship is not just the right person. It is the right person, at the right time and for the right reasons.” April 29, 2013 “Not Ready For A Relationship

The ball of fire comment about unrequited love/lust/like

“To be in love with someone who does not or will not ever reciprocate that love is to tell a vicious lie to yourself, only with the blind faith that the outcome of that lie will change.” April 1, 2013 “I Hate The Term The Friend Zone, But I’m Going To Write About It Any Way”

My twentysomething life summed up…

1) I have been hyper aware that all of the ties that should bind my grown-up life are not secured tightly, if at all. January 21, 2013 “We Have Plenty Of Time To Be Young And Dumb”

2) So, maybe we should wrap our arms around the hot mess of our lives. Let it burn us a bit. That way we have scars to show and stories to tell later. January 21, 2013 “We Have Plenty Of Time To Be Young And Dumb”

That quote for the moment I’m about to royally f*** up my life

1) We need to come to grips with the fact that our names will be discussed in circles from which we are absent and things will inevitably get lost in translation. But, above all, we need to believe the truth we know about ourselves will always outweigh other people’s flattering or incendiary words. April 16, 2013 “People Will Talk

2) Sometimes things end and they are fucked up. They are incomplete. The strings are untied and even all the king’s horses and all the king’s men will never put them back together again.  You know what closure is? Closure is building a bridge and getting the hell over it. July 11, 2013 “You Don’t Want Closure. Please, Shut Up

The “All My Single Ladies” statement

Because, you cannot expect someone to complete you or make you whole or schlep the weight of your problems. If you were incomplete without them, you will be incomplete and miserable with them. April 29, 2013 “Not Ready For A Relationship

Put it on a t-shirt. (Note: I’ll actually be putting this on a t-shirt and giving it away in my next giveaway.)

Words matter. June 10, 2013 “Words Matter”

And…drum roll…

Favorite post from this year

Do Not Surrender Your Twenties Pt. 2” October 7, 2013

Do not surrender your twenties to being a fraud. Stop faking friendships, stop faking relationships, stop faking happiness, stop faking your interests, stop faking orgasms. Just quit. And, learn how to get yourself on a path to the real thing. Learn how to chop down the weeds, cut through the bullshit and find the authentic thing. It’s there.

July 2013, Twenties Unscripted in Clutch Magazine
July 2013, Twenties Unscripted in Clutch Magazine

To say this has been a good year for my writing and  would be a gross understatement. I distinctly remember waking up on New Year’s Eve of last year to a Twitter notification that Evette Dionne of Clutch Magazine was reading my blog. I didn’t know how she found it or how long she had been reading it, nor did I care. I was fucking ecstatic. Up until then, no one outside of my close friends read it. Maybe a stray Facebook friend or two.

Even so, I didn’t start off the year really invested in this space. Yes, I wrote. But, I didn’t kick myself if I missed a day here or there. I didn’t consider bringing guest writers on. I didn’t think of Twenties Unscripted as a brand; I thought of it as a blog.

July 2013, Twenties Unscripted turns 1.

But, as I wrote on my 200th post this year, 2013 was the year I married my writing. Somewhere along the line, I stopped fooling around with all the other side chick hobbies and started putting everything I had into this space. As I poured through a year’s worth of work this weekend in order to create the survey, I read posts and laughed. I read some lines and felt that same jolt of revelation run through me that I had months ago when I wrote those posts. I read some things and caught mistakes or thought, “I would say that differently now.” But, I had all the nitty gritty thoughts from the past year documented, my own blip on the radar of Internet history. And, even more importantly, my own life’s history was there just for me.

November 2013, Twenties Unscripted wins Best Personal Blog at the Black Weblog Awards
November 2013, Twenties Unscripted wins Best Personal Blog at the Black Weblog Awards

Writing gave me everything this year. It gave me a voice. An outlet. A community. New friends. It gave me something to think about other than guys or the Real Housewives or any of the other junk that too often occupies my brain. Writing gave me something to be excited about after a nine-hour day at my desk. It gave me sanity. A path to trot along when I needed to make sense of all the bullshit clogging up my life. Writing was how I ministered to the scars on my heart. It was how I answered the questions incessantly circling my mind. Writing gave me a soul mate, something to love in that unconditional, I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-much-else kind of way. 2013 will always be the year I married my writing and I’m glad I had so many supporters to bear witness to this partnership.

November 2013, First Twenties Unscripted Bloggers Brunch, NYC
November 2013, First Twenties Unscripted Bloggers Brunch, NYC

Writing gave me absolutely everything this year.




There Is More To Life Than Being Another Cog In The Machine.

cog in the machineMaybe we just haven’t found it yet.

It is 12:03 a.m. and I am lying in bed watching the ceiling fan whirl, wondering, for the 1,458th time, what I am doing with my life. I am wondering how many Monday mornings I have worked through. How many large cups of coffee I have imbibed. How many elevator rides I have endured looking at my shoes, the wall, my cell phone screen or anything else to safeguard me from conversation with the elevator’s other citizen. How many times I have asked, “How was your weekend?” or “What are your holiday plans?” I venture to guess I’ve uttered both phrases combined at least 100 times.

Sometimes, you feel uncomfortably wedged between your current state and the life you’ve always imagined. You look around and see people who are genuinely leading the very life you only dream of and you keep scratching your head wondering how the hell they got there. What is it about their background, their family, their finances, their sheer and utter luck that dealt them a royal flush? Some days all you do is look at a screen for seven, eight, nine consecutive hours, but when you get home, it feels like someone beat you over the head with a metal bat. Your life is damn near flat-lining, the weekends and evenings the only spikes that occur so that you do not require resuscitation.

But, there is more to life than being another cog in the machine.

There is the life you’ve always craved, a masterpiece that you could craft with your own hands if you were not afraid or drowning in student loan debt or a poisonous combination of the two. There is the life that you may have to build slowly, brick by brick, but you better fucking build it. It will not be handed to you on a silver platter complete with the trimmings. It will take more time than you think, more patience than you believe you have, and more work than you ever thought you could produce. But, you will build it. Otherwise, the machine will absorb you and eat you alive.

There is that very thing (not person) that drives you. That feeds you. There is that thing that makes you feel alive and meaningful and just plain good. For me, it’s writing. But, you’re not a blind monkey so you already knew that. I think in blog post titles. I itch to get home and plop myself in the middle of my futon, sweating out my thoughts one word at a time on to the screen. I wake up and think of new sentences. I jot down notes late at night before I go to sleep. Everything else seems periphery; writing is my life’s restoration. Wine is a close second.

If you want more than the insulated existence complete with 2.5 children, a white picket fence, a mate who loves you and a biweekly paycheck, the world will deem you selfish and spoiled. To not feel content with the status quo is to shit on everyone else who lives and breathes the status quo. You are a soured brat, your passions a magnifying glass peering over the chasms in other people’s lives that, perhaps, they never noticed. But, you are no less for wanting more.

It is 12:46 a.m. and I am staring at the ceiling fan whirl. I’ve made my lunch for tomorrow. I’ve ironed my clothes. I’ve fed myself a halfway decent meal and crawled into bed at a halfway decent time so that the 2 p.m. slump does not assassinate me. These are the cog-in-the-machine days. There are the days I grind, feeling like there’s no end in sight. There are the days I am making ends meet, my life’s trials an education in of themselves. But, I know these days will be limited because I will limit them. There is more to life than being another cog in the machine. Maybe I just haven’t found it yet.