The Twenties Unscripted Weekly Round Up is the newest addition to the blog. It’s a recap of the insane and mundane tidbits from my weekly writing, blog trolling, reality tv binging, and overall obsessing. Consider it my gift as I send you off into weekend bliss.
The Best Lines I Read/Heard This Week…
“We are allowed to find out who we are without men, but we keep pressing urgently through packed bars, stumbling into three-legged race embraces, careening off foreign hallways like a trick-shot, falling into beds anyway.” Thought Catalog, “What That Last Episode of Girls Was Really About”
“Being miserable in your job when you’re 35 is a lot worse than being broke when you’re 23.” –Malcolm
“Oh, lord Jesus, what do you think this is, a scene out of love jones?” –Best Friend
My Favorite Twenties Unscripted Lines of the Week…
“There’s a small window of opportunity for all of us to do whatever the hell we want. There are a few years crammed together where the world will accept our blatant irreverence before it starts wagging a disapproving finger at us.” — “You’re Allowed to Be Selfish.”
How did Hannah stay at that doctor’s house for 2 days, shower, but not have a change of underwear? Anyone else confused by that? Or, just grossed out? Either/or.
My Newest Obsession…
What the cover of my first book will look like and Rihanna’s Stay video.
Until next week, go YOLO it all over the place and enjoy your weekend.
In case I forgot to check my calendar today, I’ve been inundated with enough 15% off flowers.com emails to know that it is indeed Valentine’s Day. For the past month, my Gmail inbox has been taken over by every Living Social, Groupon, Tiffany’s and Victoria’s Secret advertisement that ever existed. To the Internet powers that be, thank you. I got it. But I am broke so you should take that to someone else’s message folder.
Yes, it is Valentine’s Day. As a single woman, I’m supposed to want to piss all over everything that is lovely and beautiful about today. The truth is, I’m getting laid on enough of a semi-routine basis to distract me from wallowing in futile self-pity. There. I said it. It’s shallow. It’s selfish. I shrug.
And, for the first time in maybe ever, I do not feel any sort of way about today. I have not sent out cute little valentines to all of my single girlfriends in a halfass attempt to make them feel loved. I have not contemplated the true purpose of my existence because I don’t have a boyfriend. I canceled my pre-Valentine’s Day soiree because 1) I had to work and 2) I realized that was some dumb shit and women don’t need an excuse to get together and drink copious amounts of wine. I did not buy myself anything. I am just sort of here capitalizing on the fact that most people are talking about this day and I want my blog to get some hits. Sorry I’m not sorry.
Looking back on my past Valentine’s Days, I’ve had great ones, shitty ones, and just plain ordinary ones. In summary, isn’t that life? Great days, shitty days, and forgettable days. The best Valentine’s Day to date was when I was 16 and I got Love Jones on DVD from my cute little high school boyfriend. You really can’t go wrong with Nina and Darius, come on, now. The worst was a half-ass date with my ex that involved Starbucks, My Bloody Valentine in 3D, and a pair of $3.99 leopard print panties from Forever 21 (My version of sexy on a college student budget.) One year, I had an exorbitantly priced date at Capital Grille and kept hoping they wouldn’t card me for drinking Port wine. Another year I got sexiled by my roommate and cried in my best friend’s dorm room. One year I went to Applebee’s with that same best friend. Last year, I attended my going away lunch at work in Massachusetts and left early to take my cat to the vet. See? Great. Shitty. Forgettable.
Like most things in life, today is as big of a deal as you make it out to be. You’re an American, dammit. You have freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. And freedom to spend Valentine’s Day however the hell you please. You can wriggle yourself into a tizzy because obviously being alone is equivalent to standing in the ninth circle of hell. You can go on an expensive date with your boo. You can adopt some wack expression like “Girl power” or, my personal favorite brought to by The Single Woman— “Galentine’s Day,” and hang out with your best bitter buddies. Or, you can pour a glass of Chardonnay and watch Scandal (my option this year.) It is Valentine’s Day. It is any other day. Do what you want.
When I met Kaneisha Grayson at last year’s Blogging While Brown Conference, I was one of those overzealous fans cornering her while she finished a bite of food. I didn’t really care. I had started following her work only a few weeks before the conference and seized the chance to exchange biz cards with her. Kaneisha’s an entrepreneurial powerhouse, teacher, avid fan of the word “delicious,” and an author, among many other things. Her self-published book, “Be Your Own Boyfriend” starts taking over the world by storm today. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I got a chance to ask Kaneisha a few questions about her book and what “Be Your Own Boyfriend” really means. Enjoy. (And stay tuned for my first Twenties Unscripted giveaway–a free signed copy of “Be Your Own Boyfriend!”)
1. How did you come up with the title for “Be Your Own Boyfriend” and what does it mean?
A few years ago, I hit a particularly low point in my life where I realized that I cared more about my relationship status than I did about being happy and healthy. I was trying so hard to keep my long-distance relationship afloat that I was letting other things go by the wayside—my friendships, my health, my coursework. Even as a highly-educated and driven woman, I realized that I was subconsciously waiting to start my “real life” when I was married, and this was sabotaging my happiness. That’s when I came up with the concept of “be your own boyfriend.” Treat yourself with the love, attention, and respect that you would want a man to show you. Envision the life you want to lead and build it right now – not later. I think if you always ask yourself, “why not now, why not me,” and look for ways that you can have what you want right now, you’ll uncover a lot of your driving motivations, fears, and beliefs. Be Your Own Boyfriend helps readers get clear on what they really want, and then provides some advice and insights for courageously going after what you want.
2. What is one thing you hope readers take away from the book?
After they finish reading Be Your Own Boyfriend, I want readers to get their hands dirty doing what they want to do. Stop talking so much about it, taking one course after the next, reading more books, and having more informational interviews. In Be Your Own Boyfriend, I write that “clarity comes not through thought but through engagement.” This is something that I learned from my friend Laura Roeder. If you want to start your own business or pursue a particular passion, take the first step today to move toward that dream. You will make mistakes along the way but you can’t make mistakes and have successes if you are paralyzed by overanalyzing or overthinking it.
3. What was the hardest part of writing the book?
The hardest part wasn’t writing it; it was polishing the manuscript from what felt to me like finished to an actual final draft form that was ready to be shared with the world. After I finished writing the book, I worked for months with an editor to make sure we included the best content I had to offer (we removed quite a bit of content to only include my very best), and we made sure that my sassy, quirky voice came through clearly in the writing. My creative director meticulously combed the manuscript to make sure that all of our interior layout was consistent and provided a delightful reading experience for our fans. I had a deliciously eye-catching cover designed to make sure that I would be able to entice the interest of casual browsers in stores and online. When you self-publish a book like I did (or “handcraft a book” as I like to think of it), there are so many more tasks involved besides writing out your thoughts and then sending it off to a publisher.
4. What’s next for you?
I’m very excited about promoting Be Your Own Boyfriend in creative ways that work with my desired lifestyle of freedom, flexibility, inspiration, creation, learning, and community. I’d like to do some live and online workshops related to Be Your Own Boyfriend using the book as the main textbook with luscious worksheets to go along with it. A Be Your Own Boyfriend retreat in Jamaica would be amazing! I look forward to asking book lovers to write reviews online, and to Skyping with book clubs around the world so that my fans can interact with the author behind the words and I can surround myself with fabulous, high-vibration women. I’m excited about doing what I call a “slow book tour,” meaning I host meetups of my fans in various cities as I travel to those cities naturally for conferences or to visit friends. Of course, if a group of women pooled some money together to bring me into town for a book tour stop, I’d be totally down for it! Until then, slow book tour it is!
You are young. Selfishness is your God-given right.
My co-worker homie was one of the few people to say to me, “It (life) only gets harder.” During our daily shoots of the breeze, she listens to me fixate on my blog and men–two high priority topics in my life these days. As an alumnus of the twenties club, she’s always reminding me how young (and often times dumb) I am, telling me to abandon my granny panty Saturday evening ways for a few wild nights and good stories, and urging me to soak up my youth like the germ-infested sponge that it is.
She’s a candid little gem and has never spared honesty when it comes to her own life and how difficult it is to be a real grown-up. Not a fake one like me. But a real one with a job and a husband and a little snot shooter also known as a child. Aside from my oldest sister, my co-worker homie is the one real adult I know who hasn’t carved motherhood out to be this warm, fuzzy world where babies laugh and you feel all gooey inside all the fucking time. And you know how that makes me feel? Way too grateful to be young.
So, I’ve started flirting more with this idea of selfishness in your twenties. Now, I’m rolling around in bed with the idea and I don’t want to let it go.
There’s a small window of opportunity for all of us to do whatever the hell we want. There are a few years crammed together where the world will accept our blatant irreverence before it starts wagging a disapproving finger at us. So, we should seize the opportunity. Trying to capitalize on the chance to be selfish later in life will only be like attempting to cup a handful of water before it effortlessly falls through the cracks in our palms.
You’re allowed to be selfish. You’re allowed to do whatever your tiny beating heart desires. You’re allowed to date a bunch of people or date absolutely no one. You’re allowed to break up with the boyfriend everyone thought you would marry. You’re allowed to make out with a guy just because you’re filled with tequila and fearlessness. You’re allowed to start a new job in a new city, Augustana-style, where no one knows your name. You’re allowed to say no if you don’t feel like meeting up for coffee or hosting wine night or doing some other fluffy shit that you simply do not want to do.
This doesn’t mean you should whine or blow people off or be a shitty listener. It doesn’t mean you should expect everyone to bow down to the queendom of your existence. It doesn’t mean you should hang up on people in the middle of their sentences or hurl insults or be ruled by rancor. Those things are not just selfish but they’re incredibly stupid. Unkind. They are acts that will spread wildfire on all of your relationships. You are not allowed to be unkind. Well, maybe you are but the world sparingly rewards douchebags.
But, you are allowed to be ruled by your head. Your heart. Your own feelings and opinions and array of miniscule thoughts dancing through your cranium. You are allowed to put yourself first. In fact, you should. Because, you will get older. Your world will shrink. It will become a micrcosm centered on your spouse, your kids–the comfortable and dysfunctional and unpredictable little unit you created because everyone said that’s what adults do. Family vacations and daycare pickup and birthday parties. The world shrinks yet the responsibilities expand. That, my friend, is some scary shit.