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I thought this beauty by New Orleans artist Becky Fos was particularly gorgeous.

The first time I saw Birdy in three months, he picked me up at my house. We went to Starbucks and we talked. It felt so good to see him again. I had butterflies. Huge butterflies. I was excited, but also nervous as fuck. We talked about a lot of things, one of which was the cross country motorcycle ride he planned to take. The trip was to last about a month, and this would be the last I’d see of him before he returned. I was excited for him. He’d talked about doing this for some time, and it was finally happening. Although, I was quite cognizant that we wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to rekindle our relationship, I was totally fine with that. I was just so happy that we were talking again. Let everything just “be” and happen in its own time. Maybe it would give him time to miss me, I thought. You can imagine my surprise when he invited me to meet him the following week in New Orleans. Surprise was an understatement. Was he serious? Turns out he was. Hell yeah, I wasn’t going to miss visiting one of my favorite cities with the man I knew I’d never be able to get out of my head. I was on top of the world when we parted that night.

Fast forward to about a week later, and there I was in New Orleans. Saturday I had most of the day to myself as Birdy would not be arriving till the evening. I spent the day walking around Magazine Street visiting some of my favorite shops, browsing through Century Girl, some great art galleries, and enjoying the most divinely delicious lunch at Shaya.

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Hummus with lamb ragu and a hot pillowy pita that would ruin me for all pitas past and future. Damn, that meal was sublime!

I tired myself out. I did tons of walking that day. I clocked over 37,000 steps on my FitBit (that’s almost 16 miles – my record). I went to my room to change and not long after, Birdy arrived. Shenanigans ensued *cough.*

The following day we spent a lot of time walking around the city. I will admit, there were a few tense moments early in the day. I wasn’t getting the best vibe from Birdy. There were times where he gave off something that made me feel tense and on the defensive. I don’t think it was me, I think he had gotten upset by a text conversation he was having with his sister. As the day wore on though, things improved. He relaxed, and as a result, so did I. We ended up having the most wonderful evening. We had such a lovely dinner at the historic Hotel Monteleone in a beautiful restaurant called Criollo. Dinner was delicious. We laughed, we smiled at each other, at one point we even held hands across the table. It felt so good. I was smiling so much I felt like I could light up the room.

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I also learned the joy that is chargrilled oysters … dreamy!

Following dinner we took a walk to Frenchmen Street. There was something about that walk that was particularly romantic. The normally bustling streets of New Orleans were practically empty. The air was filled with the scent of flowers (Nola is so awesome like that, full of big trees, rich in blooms and scents). It was my first time visiting Frenchmen Street, and I was so happy to be experiencing it with Birdy by my side. There was all this great live music, and everyone seemed to be having such a good time. I was in heaven.

In the morning, after breakfast, it was time for Birdy to continue his adventure. We kissed goodbye. Birdy went on his way, and I went on mine. I hung around and enjoyed New Orleans on my own for a few hours. Our little weekend had come to a close. All was well.

So what’s going on with Birdy and I? Well in all honesty, I don’t know. I realized very recently that it’s best that I don’t analyze it (much). I just need to let whatever this is transpire and enjoy it’s unfolding. I have this terrible habit when it comes to Birdy. It comes from a place of fear, not of love. I recognize this. Because I want “us” so much, I have tried to steer things in certain directions, only to have my efforts backfire in the most catastrophic way. I absolutely must let go of trying to control the outcome. There is no other way. I want to learn to focus on the pleasure of our special times together. I loved visiting New Orleans with him, but I also love our simpler moments, like lying in bed watching “Unsolved Mysteries” together. The big things are great, but in the end it’s always the little ones that matter most. It’s always the simple memories that trigger the tenderest of my feelings. The one I’ll remember most from this trip is looking over at him, while he was sleeping. There was something I saw that was so warm and innocent, like a little boy. For the briefest moment, the armor had slipped, and I was reminded why it was that I have never been able to give up on him.

To be continued…

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Slightly ominous, no?

Rather than discussing all about what I got up to in NYC and recount everything I stuffed into my belly (I’ve done that before), I thought I’d write about a very cool excursion I made into Bushwick (Brooklyn). It ain’t Manhattan, that’s for sure. But what it is, is a street art hotspot. I booked a tour, and I was super excited to see what artists I would find there. It was so worth the trek! I also learned quite a bit in the process. And yeah, there was a little somethin’ for da belly too … you know how I roll.

Here’s an interesting fact I learned: did you know that street art all started because a guy was trying to get a girl’s attention? He went by Cornbread (though his real name was Darryl McCray). Sometime in the 60’s he started “tagging” the words “Cornbread loves Cynthia” all over Philadelphia. This started a trend that would spread far and wide. Others followed his example, and by the 70s, graffiti became a big deal in New York. By the 80s, it was a global phenomenon (not to mention a public nuisance). And yeah, Cornbread did win the heart of his beloved Cynthia. Graffiti was born.
In my eyes, street art is just as high an art as anything you would find at the Louvre. To prove it, I give you Exhibit A.
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It’s so fantastic, I almost die looking at it.
I went a couple hours early to scope the place out. I’m so glad I did, because otherwise I would not have seen what is undoubtedly the most beautiful piece of street art that I have ever personally encountered. It is a mash up of Rafael’s Madonna dell Granduca and Kieth Haring’s Radiant Baby. While Rafael did his work on a canvas with oils and paint brushes, Owen Dippie created a work on a much grander scale using spray cans. In my opinion, “stunning” doesn’t even come close to describing the results. So I ask you, who has the greater skill? The renaissance master painter, or the street artist? Food for thought my lovelies.
Nothing I saw wowed me in this same way, but I did get so see plenty of other cool pieces, including a couple by my beloved Invader…
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Isn’t this the coolest? I love this Joey Ramone invader!
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… but there was plenty of other stuff too. Eye candy galore! Mostly the tour concentrated on what is called the “Bushwick Collective.” This is basically sanctioned street art, where the neighborhood business owners allow the artists to beautify the space, simply for art’s sake. There is no money exchanging hands. In return, Bushwick gets to look freaking awesome. I love that. Some really famous street artists from far and wide have come to help decorate the space.

Here are a few of my favorites:

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D*Face, from the UK

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The notorious Vandal Gummy Bear by Whisbie.

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A mural of my best girl, my beloved Frida.
I took loads of pictures, but I think you are ready to eat. Non, mon amours? I think if there is one special place to eat in Bushwick, it’s the legendary Roberta’s. In fact, Bushwick and Roberta’s are quite synonymous. This uber hipster hangout is not just a place for guys with pretty beards and well manicured mustachios! Oh no! This place makes some fine and  fatty pizzas. Moi had the “white guy pizza” (though I have to say, I think I am partial to Cubans *wink*).

No my dears, I’m not going to waste my time convincing you. A picture will tell you all you need to know.

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Yeah, that hunting in the Bush(wick) is no easy task, but someone’s got to do it *burp.*

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So there is this place in New York, Murray’s. It’s a bagel place. I’ve talked about it on here before. I know it sounds crazy, but it is my favorite place in the New York City. It’s not just for the bagels, though I can honestly say their smoked fish bagels are the best in the universe. No, it’s not simply the food, it’s something else.

Something comes over me when I’m sitting there, it’s almost like a tsunami of nostalgia. There is something about the place reminds me of my childhood, even though I never ate such decadently stuffed bagels in my youth (I remember my mom and dad saying, “just cut the salmon into little pieces, it’s expensive.”) What can I tell you my lovelies? I had a very Jewish upbringing LOL.

Then there’s the 70s and 80s music they play in the background. It’s the same stuff I remember my dad listening to when I was a little girl. My dad used to love playing music for us. He used to sing along, and me and my sister would run around the living room. That was our version of dancing. Right now as I sit they are playing “California Dreaming” by the Mammas and the Papas. It’s pouring outside, I daren’t move from the comfort of Murray’s, so I settle in. My belly has a big fat bagel in it — positively lush at that. I feel safe, satisfied, and completely at peace.

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There are also my own memories that I associate with Murray’s (right now they are playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing’”). I remember sitting here with my ex husband, eating bagels together. I was so happy, on top of the world. We came to NYC, our first and only time together, to celebrate our ten year anniversary. I fell in love with New York. I think he did too. Together we had the best time. I had no idea there would only be a couple years left. I remember coming here after we separated. Proof to myself that I would do things by myself and be happy despite how anyone tried to hurt me. I remember coming here last year. I saw my first snow in years. They were playing “In a Big Country.” Later that day I would find out my ex went bankrupt. I remember feeling somehow vindicated by the universe. Right now “Love is a Battlefield” plays in the background. What is it about this place? Who here knows the soundtrack to my life and decided to play it in the most ironic fashion?

Now as I sit waiting for the rain outside to pass, I think of another man. Yeah, you know who I’m talking about: Birdy. I don’t know how to explain to you that when I met him, I felt a sort of resonance within my heart. I knew he was going to be someone very special to me. He has been very dismissive of me in the past. Sometimes he has left me feeling deeply hurt. He was (and is) going through the most difficult challenge in his life, and I must acknowledge that I played a part in our separation. I pushed him when he was already dangling over the edge, and I regret it.

As of a few days ago, the lines of communication have been opened between us. Where this will lead, I have yet to discover. He will be away on a month long cross country journey on his motorcycle. I’m happy for him. He needs time alone, time to think, and time to not think. He hasn’t had it since his brother committed suicide. He took on the role of caregiver to his parents, and tried so desperately to hold his family together. It was too much weight for one person’s shoulders.

I do realize what I’m opening myself up to. Yes, I can be hurt again, but I am willing to take the risk. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that as painful as heartbreak is, I have a 100% rate of survival. I’m like a cockroach, just a slightly prettier.

Before you know it, I’ll be back in NY again, visiting Murray’s, and there will be another bagel in my belly. And though I don’t know where my head will be, I know that I’ll be okay. The Universe has my back.

OMG!!! Do you know what song is playing right now? “Sweet Caroline.” Synchronicity at its finest my lovelies. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

 

Things are going well, very well indeed. As I sit and drink my Mariage Freres Earl Grey Imperial from Paris and plan world domination, I pause to reflect on my many blessings. Life has been pretty swell. Below are five things that are causing me great amusement at the moment. Plus I have a little secret… but I’m keeping that to myself for now.
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1. As this post is published, I will be making my way to NYC. I have some super fun things planned. I’m going on two art tours which I’m totally excited about. One is a street art tour in Brooklyn. The second is going to be a cheeky fun tour at the MET called Nasty Women of the Metropolitan Museum. I’ve also got my yearly haircut booked at a fancy AF salon. I do love a little pampering. Of course there is going to be some exquisite eats for my belly, and hopefully a few little souvenirs to take home. I feel strongly that the best thing to bring home are simply my memories though. I’m a strong believer in collecting moments, not things. Things get lost, taken, or can get destroyed, but your experiences? Those are gold my lovelies.
 2. I finally got to eat a burger at Le Tub.
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I remember first hearing about this place on the Oprah show. It’s been called one of the best burgers in America. OMG you guys that burger is a Martha Falking monster. It’s 13oz of sirloin. That’s almost a pound!! It was mighty and delicious. The place itself is tres charmant! It’s an outdoor shack with a sort of tiki hipster vibe, decorated with old bathtubs and toilets. This old 1975 gas station turned burger joint is trailer park chic at at its finest. It overlooks the water, and as you eat little birds fly in to try and partake of the meaty shenanigans. I can’t blame them, who can resist the heady perfume of flame grilled beef, am I right?
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My dear friend Curly and I scarfed down our burgers and the ultra hot and delicious steak cut fries, but best burger ever? No. We give it a very solid and satisfying 8.5/10. Its surely one of Florida’s finest, but for me, the Emperor Burger at Charm City still rules the roost. It’s somewhere I’d absolutely go back to… in a heart beat. And yeah, I totally ate the whole thing. Caroline is the boss dollies. I can chow down with the big boys (I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it sure is fun).

 

3. I have some pretty exciting news. When I come back from NYC I will be interviewing for an internal post at my company. It would mean a raise, a promotion, and more desirable work hours. I am thrilled to be considered. While there are other people applying, some more senior than myself, I’m going to think good thoughts and trust that the Universe has my back. I want this, I really do! I am going to fill myself with happy thoughts and just go with the flow. I open myself to the wondrous possibilities. Send me your good vibes dollies!

4. I started some IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments to deal with some sun spots I started to get on my face — much to my dismay. This seems to be hereditary for the women on my mom’s side of the family. We are all fair skinned. I had the first treatment last week, and I’m extremely pleased with my results. I got a great deal on Groupon for three treatments. I may dedicate a post solely to the experience once it’s all done. I am looking forward to the final result. Treatment two will be one week from now. I’m looking forward to it.

5. My head is in a good place. That is big. I continually try to uplift myself. I’m so serious about raising my energy, it’s almost like a side job because it requires some serious energy. Learning to be happy, however,  pays much greater dividends than any career. I read good books (recently I read  “Spirit Junkie” by Gabrielle Bernstein) and I listen to motivational stuff and fun music when I take my walks. What else? Well, pretty much whatever the fuck makes me happy. It’s just that simple, but don’t be fooled, it is not without effort. One thing I learned on my life’s journey is that happiness isn’t something that just happens. We generate it. Unfortunately we aren’t taught how to flex this happiness muscle as children in school. We are taught to get good grades, to be well behaved, and to be productive. All of that is useless without joy. I am learning every day how to generate joy. Some days are more successful than others. My personal happiness is something selfish and self indulgent, but it is quite necessary. It’s the best thing I ever gave myself. It is fun, it is beautiful, and quite frankly, it is Devine.

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Hurricane Irma passed us, and I am happy to say, that despite what it looks like on the news, and aside from some fallen trees, we are unscathed. In fact, here where I live, we did not experience one power outage. My biggest complaint about Irma was that I was completely and utterly bored. I tried to fill the time by filling myself up with little brain goodies (and belly goodies too LOL, there goes my awesome weight loss progress).

What are brain goodies you ask? Things that make me feel good on the inside, happy and empowering quotes and pictures, uplifting stuff on YouTube, cheerful songs, and I downloaded Gabrielle Bernstien’s Spirit Junkies on Audible. Going to listen to that after I finish this post. I am a hippie at heart. So maybe it does sound a little flaky fairy when I tell you I’m working on raising my vibration, but that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Below I have made a collage of just a few of my little brain goodies. It’s stuff I collected on Instagram and Pinterest. Just little snippets that I browse when I need a little pick me up. Chocolate cake works too.

Click any image to enlarge.

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Sometimes a woman needs to date herself. This was the case even when I was married. I lived a very solitary life as a housewife. My ex was often busy, and was not around much (I wonder why…). I learned that if I wanted to do something I had a choice: I could go alone or not go at all. It wasn’t a hard decision for me. My sister in law would tell me that it was “sad” that I’d do all these things by myself. I would always reply, “What’s sadder, me going alone, or you staying home?” I would go to nice restaurants on my own, shopping, see shows, and even spend a few days in Paris all by myself. It was surprisingly empowering. Believe it or not I have grown to love my little solo adventures. Sure, doing what you love with someone you love is the best, but doing what you love on your own really isn’t that bad… actually it’s kind of awesome. There is something very self indulgent about it. I can do exactly what I want without having to worry about what someone else thinks. I don’t need to care if someone is having a good time. I don’t need to worry about what restaurant someone else wants to eat at, or what kind of schedule they are on. I can spend all my time looking at ballgowns and fantasizing if that’s what I choose. It’s all about me. I have to say, I’m totally ok with that. It’s come to a point that I’m so used to having my solo adventures, that these days, doing things with someone else sometimes feels outside of my comfort zone. I’m not a loner by any means, but my alone time is special to me. I treasure it.

Friday I took the day off from work and got to fulfill a wish of mine: seeing Dita Von Teese perform in one is her burlesque show, The Art of the Teese. I am such a big fan. I love her for her grace, style, talent, her cheeky elegance, not to mention her exceptional beauty. When I found out she was going to be in Miami at The Fillmore, there was nothing that could keep me away. I desperately wanted to go with Birdy, but that didn’t work out. Still, I was going. No man is going to suck the joy out of my life. Yeah, I get hurt and upset (and the truth is I miss him terribly), but ultimately I realize that I do have a say in how happy I get to be. Despite some bad days, I will always choose happiness. ALWAYS.

It’s no secret that I like to treat myself well when I can, so that’s exactly what I did. First stop was a late lunch at The Dutch in the W Hotel in South Beach. I had a yummy spicy  Korean fried chicken sandwich with fries, followed by what I’m guessing is the world’s best key lime pie. It is godly my dears. The holy grail of key lime pie, and believe me, I’ve had a few.  These thighs don’t lie.

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I walked along Lincoln Road Mall, but in all honesty that wasn’t doing it for me. It was 96 degrees out, and I was melting. I persevered. I was going to see Dita.

Just waiting on line at The Filmore was an experience. Some people were dressed to the nines, a la Dita. How I wish I knew how to do my hair Dita style. Note to self: must watch hair tutorials on YouTube. Just people watching was entertaining. But the show itself? It was everything. Dita was glorious!!! Wonderful costumes, dancing, humor… and get this, there was even a real live marriage proposal on stage. My favorite act was the opener where Dita does her famous champagne glass routine. There were also some other awesome burlesque dancers (which I guess gave Dita the chance to rest between sets), and there was a super funny and fabulous master of ceremonies who kept us laughing the whole time. Dita certainly had an awesome “Vontorage.” It was an evening of rhinestones, glamour, and fun. It was something I will never forget, and I’m so glad I went. If you have the opportunity to go, GO! That’s all I can say.

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The moral of this post: don’t be afraid or intimidated from doing things alone. It’s better than doing nothing at all. In fact, you may find yourself in a storm of Swarovski and Louboutins with a supremely delicious key lime pie in your belly. I think we can all agree, there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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The past two weeks have had its share of ups and downs. The big downer was a very ugly text conversation between Birdy and I.  Suffice it to say, it was nasty, and I doubt there will ever be any further communication between us, which is sad because I really loved him *le sigh.* Unfortunately that’s not mutual. I guess it’s his loss. I don’t know what his problem is. I’m a fucking delight. When the time is right, I’m just going to put myself back on Match.com and try dating again. Till then, I’m just going to be awesome on my own.

Despite this, life has been pretty freaking good to me lately. Here are five things which are making me mightily amused at the moment.

  1. My car. Oh my goodness, it is so fabulous having a car of my own. I’m still getting used to it. I’m a bit of a nervous driver. My car just feels so big (because I’m used to driving my mother’s tiny one). I haven’t been very adventurous… yet. I’ve just been taking myself to work and back, and there was one trip to the mall. That will change as I get more comfortable. It was a little scary for me to spend that much money (I paid in full).  My friend MJ said that the expense was the price of freedom. So right! I really think a lot more doors will be open to me as a result.
  2. My 1 year anniversary at my job came around. I feel blessed beyond measure to have the job I have. The company I work for has excellent ethics, and the people I work with make my job something that I’m happy to wake up early in the morning for. My boss is lovely. Sometimes I feel like my job is one of the best things I got going for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have days that are utterly craptastic, but on the whole, I can honestly say that I love my job. I can’t wait to get promoted!
  3. Free stuff: I’ve been able to get some lovely free goodies lately.
  • I got a $200 gas gift card that I redeemed from credit card points I didn’t even know I had (and truthfully I don’t understand why I have them, but whatevaaaaa LOL).
  • There was also enough to get a free $15 Panera card. I’m always at Panera.
  • I got a $10 credit from Godiva  (sign up for their rewards card … so worth it). 
  • Best of all, a dear friend helped me to access some airline credit which allows me a free round trip ride to NYC. I’m going in early October. I’m doing it on the cheap, but I know it will get expensive once I get there … that’s how I roll dollies.Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 4.28.55 PM.png4. I reached my goal weight. My goal was to get to below 120 pounds. I weighed myself on Saturday and the scale registered 118.8. How freaking cool is that? I’m officially thin (kind of). I’m super pleased with myself. If I’m being completely real though, I think I look exactly the same.796adf08508c65a67477248656f6ad7b--brownie-batter-cake-batter.jpg5. Tei Shi’s “Basically”:  I love browsing YouTube and finding artists that I never heard of before. Tei Shi is kind of a gem. My favorite song of hers is called Basically. It’s a great song with an almost 80s appeal and a totally upbeat vibe. It just plain old makes makes me feel good, and isn’t that what life is all about?

One of my favorite posts on my blog  is 100 Things I love. It’s so important to never forget all the good things, of which there are so many. I have been having some very dark days, but I know that everything is going to be okay. I will get through it, and I will come out of this better than ever. This I know. I have to trust that whatever has happened, happened for my greatest good. In the meantime, there are so many good things to focus on. Let’s  start with 100 …

  1. Walking barefoot in the grass
  2. My job. Yep, completely true. I may complain at times, but I know that this is one of my greatest blessings.
  3. The Owl and the Pussycat — something that my grandfather used to read me.
  4. Knowing undoubtedly, that no matter what cruelty there exists, that it is outweighed by kindness. Not just a by a little, but exponentially.
  5. When it’s raining, but I’m dry and cozy.
  6. Binge watching a really excellent series on Netflix. GLOW is my drug of choice at the moment. It’s fun and frivolous with lots of cool songs from the 80s.
  7. Fridays
  8. Making choices from a place of love rather than fear.
  9. Art that makes me feel something
  10. Grilled cheese sandwiches: that moment when you cut it in half and pull the two pieces apart, watching the cheese stretch.
  11. Kind shoulders to cry on for those days that u need one.
  12. Pay checks
  13. When a man holds the door open for me.
  14. Plane journeys
  15. A good conversation. It’s an art. So many people are surprisingly under skilled in it.
  16. The Classic Gateway Theater in Ft Lauderdale, in all its retro chic glory.Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 10.57.27 AM
  17. When people have a smile in their voice. I wonder if there is a word for that. There should be.
  18. When I get recognition for something I did right at work.
  19. Birthday cake
  20. Accessories, especially shoes. They don’t care if my ass looks less than ideal.
  21. Adventures
  22. Treating myself to an overpriced goodie “just because”
  23. When someone gives me their undivided attention
  24. Leaving my comfort zone and proving to myself I am capable and stronger than I knew
  25. Having choices
  26. Calling in sick from work and going to the mall
  27. Skeletor memes (perhaps you’ve noticed)61564192
  28. When you realize that life goes on despite losing that person who you didn’t think you could live with out.
  29. Smiles from strangers and being brave enough to smile back (for shy people, sometimes this does require bravery).
  30. The Kindness Rock Project. I learned about this from one of my customers. I thought it was such a beautiful concept. I’d love to find one, and I’m inspired to make a few. 
  31. My new friend MJ. I don’t meet friends that often, so our new friendship is very special to me. We have so much in common. She is Birdy’s brother’s widow.  I simply adore her. 
  32. Old friends, the ones that stick around and stand the test of time.
  33. Blackened grouper tacos by the water at Jimbo’s Sandbar
  34. The feeling of hope.
  35. Instagram: if you are not following me, what are you waiting for?
  36. When goodies come in the mail
  37. Knowing “I can handle it.” That never used to be the case.
  38. Generosity of spirit
  39. Moments of synchronicity
  40. Chris Rock. I saw him at The HardRock in March. I think he is one of the funniest comedians out there.
  41. Sitting outside on the porch reading a good book or flipping through a magazine
  42. Days when I go shopping and lots of cool clothes fit me … and I have the money to buy them.
  43. The Law of Attraction
  44. Being brave
  45. Letting go
  46. Conversations so enthralling that you don’t even notice the passage of time
  47. Rago shapewear: it hides a multitude of sins. Muffin tops are now a thing of the past. They may not appeal to everyone’s taste lookswise, but these put Spanx to shame.
  48. When the tables turn and you are now in the position of power …. Soooo yummy! 
  49. When I can get away with being a slacker
  50. Gifts with purchase
  51. Authentic connections
  52. Standing up for myself
  53. Fantasizing about my next epic binge Untitled
  54. French toast at the Landmarc in New York
  55. When someone makes me smile so much that I feel like my face is going to crack
  56. The moments when I feel my power, and a secret smile comes over me.
  57. Ice cream sundaes at uber cute The Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale, AZ.
  58. Getting a bargain on something gorgeous. Did I ever tell you that I am a bargain hunting goddess?!?! Yep. Totally true.
  59. Laundry when it is fresh from the drier. It’s clean and warm and it smells so good.
  60. Nice colleagues, it makes the day go by so much better. I’ve been so completely blessed in this department
  61. Florence + the Machine. Florence is a queen.
  62. Getting lost and finding wonderful places in the process. 
  63. My Fitbit. It changed the way I live. I do tons of walking now, I get out into the sunshine, and it even inspired me to start taking vitamins now that I’m going to be all healthy and shit.
  64. Being in a position to give
  65. Uplifting quotes, I collect them.963af50b626ee0bf58bcb455a3cfde0e
  66. I recently discovered the awesomeness that is Carla Harris. The woman is a powerhouse. She has such good, strong, positive energy. She talks a lot about business, but I find that her pearls of wisdom can be used for a lot more than  climbing the corporate ladder.
  67. Getting my hair done at a fancy salon.
  68. The Guerrilla Girls
  69. Overpriced candles for bubble bath experiences
  70. Those who are brave enough to dream despite having fallen
  71. Feather blankets, one day I shall have one.
  72. Alphonso mangoes — unfortunately not something I’ve ever seen in the US, but it is probably the most Devine fruit I’ve ever tasted.
  73. People who genuinely want to see you do well in life.
  74. Paintings by Edward Hopper — especially his paintings of women.f56e83ede92a459ec8823934fa812bc3
  75. Listening to my horoscope (sometimes I refer to it as my “horrorscope.”) I’m not sure if I believe it, but it sure is amusing to me.
  76. Handsome man candy
  77. Decluttering: my room, my heart, and my head.
  78. Celebrating my birthday in Paris this year with my very dear friend.
  79. Layering my face in tons of $800 face creme at the duty free shop in Paris before returning home on my flight back to America. I’m so naughty … but my skin looked great and hydrated, so not sorry.
  80. Ladybugs
  81. Robert Indiana’s love sculptures. I look for them whenever I travel somewhere new.Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 10.51.11 AM
  82. That feeling I get when I know I’ve helped someone.
  83. Ralph Smart / Infinite Waters
  84. Moments when I am wrapped in perfect peace
  85. Sing Street, a great movie. 
  86. Butterflies: I asked the Universe for a sign, and she returned me the butterfly I asked to see. Since then I’ve been seeing quite a few. Tons actually.
  87. Bookstores
  88. Airline credit: enough to book a mini getaway to NYC methinks! Fingers are itchy to book my next adventure. This time I think I might explore Brooklyn a little.
  89. Carb loading — and no, I’m not an athlete. I’m just a piggy.
  90. Writing in my gratitude journal.
  91. Kind gestures: making them and receiving them.
  92. When someone from afar reached out to me to remind me that they still have my back.
  93. Seeing the Eiffel Tower glitter in the dark. It’s nothing short of magic.c15bb630ba0733c7685d578f83d7bd4d--eiffel-tower-lights-eiffel-towers
  94. Being able to extract the beautiful memories from my past relationships and learning to focus on those good parts. Inside the pain, you can always find some beauty if you look hard enough.
  95.  Yoga. I used to do it when I lived in London, and now I’m taking it up again. I did my first yoga class yesterday. 
  96. Constantly coming closer to the core of my authenticity. With every year that passes, I become more and more myself, and I really love who that person is.
  97. Jim Carey. Not because he is funny, but because of this
  98. I was issued a corporate credit card … wow, like I’m a business woman or something! I wonder if I’ll get the chance to use it.
  99. Those intrinsic things about individuals that make us unique. They are our special gifts that can never be stolen.
  100. Love

There is so much to love. I am making myself ready to be able to love even more. That’s partly why I exist I think: to love, to appreciate and take joy in all these wonderful things, and then to discover even more to love. I can think of nothing better. Truly.

What do you love? I invite all my readers to take up this challenge with me and name 100 things that you love too. You would be surprised by the magic that results. I genuinely believe if we are greatful, we attract more things to be greatful for. It’s basic Law of Attraction daaahlings, and this stuff works. Send me a link so I can check yours out if you decide to do a list of your own.

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Thank you to all my readers who left me such beautiful comments. You guys remind me that I am not without my blessings. Nobody has sweeter, more well intentioned readers than I do. Some of your words offered me comfort, some offered inspiration, and some were the kick in the ass I probably needed, telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself and move on (nobody’s exact words– I’m just paraphrasing).

The night things ended, I just hurt so much. My face was very swollen and pained from all the crying I did. In the morning I felt a lot better (though still sad), and with that relief came some clarity: the door to Birdy’s heart is a closed one. It’s no shocking revelation dollies. I am not completely clueless. I guess I was hoping that could change. I was hoping he would see how amazing I am and decide to let me in. Well, I guess that was pretty dumb. I have no excuses to make, so I won’t even attempt it. It is what it is.

I don’t want to wallow in my suffering. Life is short, and quite frankly, I’m fucking tired of the hurt. Just once, I want the feeling of being loved just as much as I love. I want to feel safe with someone and valued. I hate what I feel now, that familiar feeling of abandonment, and knowing that I just wasn’t good enough to stick around for. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of that sickly mix of anxiety and wanting that makes me want to vomit. 

I remember how I felt when I did my “Birthday Challenge” a while back. I think it helped me tremendously.  I dropped out of the romance race for a while. During that time I did my best to feed myself with good thoughts and a bit of self love (some days were more successful than others, as I’m sure will be the case this time around too). I’m going to do that again. It was a very productive time. With the encouragement of someone I love very dearly, I came up with another challenge, similar to the old one, but this one will be more lengthy. During that time, I will not make any attempt to talk to any guys. No Birdy, no dating websites. I am just going to try to focus on feeling good and accomplishing a few personal goals. Should Birdy contact me during that time… I don’t know. I’ll cross that bridge if I get there. 

In the past I have used men to medicate myself so that I don’t have to sit in my loneliness and feel my feelings (not sex, but the euphoria of feeling cared for — or dare I say “loved” — I always found the attention of someone I admired to be positively exhilarating). I spent most of my life suffering from this feeling that I am always on the outside looking in. I have this desperate desire to feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. For a brief moment surrounded by Birdy and his incredibly wonderful family, I felt part of something, and it was positively delicious. My heart felt so satisfied…. and now it’s gone. Well I guess it’s time to make friends with the emptiness that lives inside of me. I’ve been living with her for a very long time, might as well shake hands and get to know each other. We are so intimate, yet I am always trying to hide her from my own consciousness. I know there is a great lesson to be learned here … but ugh, I’m not sure I’m looking forward to the process.

I end this post with something I heard Gabrielle Bernstein say on YouTube. She advised that when you are overcome with fear and anxiety of the unknown to say this little prayer:

“I choose to see hope in this, and I’m open to creative possibilities.”

I’m going to do just that (because I don’t know what else to do).