• Speaking My Mind

    Bird Shit

    Trigger warning: aggressive sexual behavior

    It’s supposedly good fortune to have a bird shit on you, but I don’t think anyone feels lucky when they get smattered with poop while everyone else around them is unsoiled.

    Last weekend, however, this notion I had was challenged when a bird pooped on me while I was enjoying the chilly, albeit sunny, day at the beach. It was unfortunate that the bird shat while flying right over me, but fortunately, the poop had landed entirely on the beach towel I had wrapped around my shoulders in an attempt to stay warm.

    Is that a sign of good fortune?

    I kinda thought it was, especially considering that the following day, I began chatting with someone I quickly grew to become infatuated with.

    I met this person through my new online dating hobby. I chat with people during my lunch break, before I go to the gym, while I eat dinner, before I go to bed…it’s gotten pretty ridiculous.

    Although I’m judgmental of my own dating habits, I’m honestly having fun. I like chatting with new people, flirting, and the thrill of an adventure that is inherent to online dating.

    Most of the people I have been messaging with have been older guys, not for any particular reason other than that they were the first few people I talked to. The guys are as follows:

    1. The dark, sexual/pervy, introvert without a social life and little family. Talk about some red flags, huh? He’s 29 and he is finishing his BA this academic year. He’s also a cancer, which is super compatiable with my scoprio.
    2. The insecure, angsty/poser guy who is also an aspiring chef. He’s 21 and is moving to Brooklyn for a new job. We have absolutely zero chemistry of any kind, but he continues to reach out to me for some reason.
    3. The very thoughtful and positive 31-year-old with a BA in psychology who works at Whole Foods. He is looking to switch careers and is pursuing higher education.
    4. The casual, friendly, local-to-my-area mechanic that actually lives in my town and goes to the gym I work at. He’s in his early late twenties, has an associates, and wants to be a mechanic engineer.
    5. The intense and persistent 28-year-old guy that served in the marines for five years, owns a house, and has a cat. He is a cancer too.
    6. The random older guy that works in supply chain and wants to smoke and hang out at his place AKA fuck.

    The guy that I had been particularly attracted to was guy number 5. We had been video-chatting every night since we had started talking on Monday and we seemed to have an immediate, strong connection. A connection so strong, that he invited me to spend the long weekend with him in his home, and I actually went.

    Despite my friends’ insistence that I meet him in public before I go to his house, I ignored their well-meaning advice and drove an hour and forty minutes straight to his house after working two jobs that day and on dangerously little sleep.

    I don’t think I ever thought this was a good idea, but I was bored and curious. For some reason, I trusted him way more than I should’ve, considering I hadn’t known him for even a week. Perhaps my trust stemmed from how understanding he seemed to be about my disinterest in having sex that weekend. Perhaps the fact that he was a marine was enough reason for me to trust him…the only male that I had been with that had treated me decently was a marine too.

    Well, twelve hours was enough time to break the unproven trust I had for guy number 5.

    The night started off innocently with cuddling and kissing while watching Black Mirror, but it got rocky when we went to bed.

    In his bed, I moved my arm across his waist and I accidentally touched his exposed dick. I asked him where his clothes went because he had been wearing them before, and I was wearing clothes myself. He blamed “comfort” for his decision to be naked, which is fine except if you are sharing a bed with someone you don’t know very well but are attracted to, shouldn’t you be more concerned with their comfort?

    I was uncomfortable, but I ignored it because I was prioritizing someone else over myself. Despite all of the hard lessons I’ve endured that have informed me of my need to prioritize myself, I continue to put myself second, third, or even last. This is absolutely why I continue to undergo the same shit. Honestly, this experience I had can be comparable to the one I had when I was twenty with the douchiest guy I had ever known. 

    What I should’ve done was either sleep in one of the other rooms in the house, sleep on the couch, or leave. Better yet, I shouldn’t have gone to his house in the middle of the night in the first place. I should’ve followed the initial plan of meeting up Saturday afternoon and then deciding what to do after hanging out.

    I didn’t do any of this though. I stayed and I dealt with the discomfort, which heightened when he wanted to masturbate while I lied beside him. Before I knew it, I was the one performing the hand-job because he, and I quote, “forced me to,” yet it was apparently, and I quote, “an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING” hand-job.

    The other marine I had been with had ironically described my hand-jobs similarly, except he had never forced me to do them.

    I wish the story ended here, but it doesn’t.

    The next morning, I was feeling pretty good. Regardless of everything, I had slept better than I had the two nights preceding the forced hand-job night, so I was rather well-rested. The former marine was well-rested too, and aroused.

    He got out of bed and stood stark naked, waiting for me to look at him. Embarrassed, I avoided looking in his direction as I gingerly made my way to the bathroom to get ready. Before I could escape, he shut the bedroom door and cornered me against the wall to make out, his erection poking into my belly. I stood stock-still as his arms wrapped around me. Then he lifted me up and threw me back onto the bed, crawling on top of me and wrapping my legs around his neck.

    I then said, “It seems we have different ideas of what ‘not having sex’ means.”

    He gave me a displeased look and then pulled away to sit on the edge of the bed. I sat beside him, and then we talked. I watched his erection deflate as he expressed illogical insecurities. Essentially, he was convinced that I didn’t find him attractive since I wasn’t trying to jerk him off in the morning.

    The morning from hell concluded with him kicking me out of his house three days early, and I haven’t heard from him since, despite the fact that I reached out to him to apologize for hurting his feelings (I did not owe an apology at all. I’m disappointed that I even did that).

    Although my morning was fucked up, I’ve been feeling positive. I had relearned the lesson about the importance of respecting myself and my boundaries, a lesson I seemingly, continuously forget. This time, however, I’m learning it for the last time.

    I also learned more about what I want romantically. Initially, when I got back into dating, I thought I wanted something casual…but I don’t want that. I want romance. I want to learn the ins and outs of someone. I want to go on dates and I want the person I date to have earned my trust. I want love.

    So now my approach toward online dating is a little more selective. It’s better for my well-being that way.

    What’s even better for my well-being though is consistently choosing myself over someone else. I need to improve the relationship I have with myself first and foremost. The relationship I want and deserve with someone else will follow.

    That evening, after a Nigerian BBQ birthday party, I went to my car to head home. As I approached, I noticed that a bird shat only on the drivers-side door of my car, and the poop was everywhere, except for the door handle.

    Is that a sign of good fortune?

    xx Vic

     

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    What is a 20-Something Suburban Girl to Do?

    I am done suffering. I have sufficiently grieved my last relationship, suffered through a premature attempt at being friends, and I am now done with that chapter of my romantic life. I want to mingle with people…perhaps go on a casual date or two.

    I’m still not ready- or at least I think I’m not ready- to be in a serious relationship, but that’s irrelevant now anyway. I’m not in a position where getting serious with someone is even an option.

    So…dating. I haven’t dated in over two years, and I forgot how terrible it is. I’ve only just grazed my toes over the dating pool and I’m already not enjoying it. I haven’t even waded in to my ankles yet!

    The toe-grazing began a few weeks ago.

    I was feeling quite depressed one day and thinking about how hopeless my romantic life was, when a guy from my previous campaign job randomly reached out to me. Initially I thought he was trying to network because he was asking me what I was up to professionally…but then he invited me to visit him in the city, and that’s when the alarms started going off.

    Why does he want to hang out with me? Did he ask me out on a date? Is he dangerous?

    While I had worked with him before, we had a strictly email relationship, thus, I had never met him in person. This made it even more unusual and a little scary that he wanted to meet up.

    I called a different coworker, one who I actually knew in person and who was also friends with this guy, to get the inside scoop on this potentially creepy guy. My coworker affirmed that this guy is simply very friendly and no, he’s not dangerous or creepy, but yes, it could be a date. He said there was only one way to find out.

    Well, I went to find out! My sister, her friend, and I all drove into the city and we met up with this guy and his friend. It ended up being a super fun, casual night of chatting and getting to know each other. We did a little bit of bar hopping and then called it a night around midnight.

    I surprised myself because after that night, I began to really like this guy. During the months following the infamous breakup, I thought I was closed-off to being attracted to someone, but my sudden attraction to this guy proved me otherwise. My hardened, bitter heart was not that bitter or hard after all.

    Then I did what most people with crushes do: text their crush and obsess over their text messages. We didn’t text much, and I did most of the reaching out, but he had sent me a selfie and told me that he “enjoyed me.” I was super excited about this crush.

    The excitement spanned about two weeks before my crush was crushed by reality.

    We met up a second-time, but this time we met halfway. The whole thing was set for disaster: we met up on a Wednesday after work, aka the most exhausting day and time for working professionals with 9-5, M-F jobs. Plus we had both driven through tons of traffic.

    Overall, we had a nice time, but it wasn’t quite as glamorous or as enthralling as the night out in the city. I also later realized that we weren’t on the same page. It wasn’t a casual date. It wasn’t a date at all. He wasn’t attracted to me, or maybe he wasn’t attracted to how far away I lived from the city.

    Nevertheless, this rejection was a disappointing discovery. Rejection, however, is unfortunately integral to the dating process. If I want to start wading back into the dating pool, all the rejections need to drip away rather than drown me.

    A podcast I was listening to today explored rejection’s role in growth.

    “Rejection is redirection to your soul’s highest evolvement.” – Sahara Rose, Highest Self Podcast ep. 212: Even Stuff That Sucks is Redirection

    While rejection isn’t necessarily a negative thing, it doesn’t immediately resolve the issue of loneliness or wanting to meet new people or wanting to go out on dates.

    So what is a twenty-something suburban girl to do?

    The answer, my dear readers, is return to the dreaded world of online dating. I’m a little embarrassed, but I have four dating apps downloaded on my phone now. I’ve only been using one lately, and it’s been causing me to cross my fingers in the hopes that the non-creepy-email-city guy will suddenly be a teeny bit interested in me. Long story short- online dating is a nightmare.

    Dating apps aside, I’ve also been hanging out with my friends and reaching out to people I haven’t seen or talked to in months or even years. These people I’ve lost touch with are solely friends, but it’s interesting to reconnect. Not quite as thrilling as a crush, but it’s thrilling enough.

    Do you have any tips for mingling/dating? Let me know in the comments!

    Xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    My Barista Got a New Job

    The title of this post feels like a throwback to my obscure blog post titles circa 2014. This title is actually not obscure though…my barista really did get a new job. He’s going to be working full-time doing something related to his field and it’s great! It’s also bittersweet because he’s been my barista for a few years, and I’m going to miss chatting with him.

    I’ve actually known him for over five years, before he even became a barista. We used to work together at a burger shack when I was in high school. (If you read my blog back in 2014, I’m referring to the infamous burger-shack-lesbian-romance-disaster that I wrote in great detail about during the beginnings of this blog. He’s from that era of my life).

    Before my senior year of high school began, he quit to become a barista at the coffee shop local to me. He was (maybe still is) friends with my first ex, so I used to still hang out with him when the lesbian squad and I visited him after his shifts.

    When my ex and I split during my first few months in college, I dreaded running into him when I was home from break and went to my local coffee shop. Obviously, as time passed, wounds healed, and dread turned into “nice.” It was nice to run into him every few months just because he was a familiar face and we would catch up a bit.

    After I graduated from college, I basically moved into the local coffee shop just so I could escape my parents’ interrogations about jobs. Our conversations at the coffee shop became longer since we had more time to chat and since we saw each other more frequently. We bonded over job-hunting since he was graduating soon and about to embark on the full-time job-hunt too.

    So…he’s heard bits from all different points in my life. He’s heard about college, my temporary jobs, my two full-time job offers, and my acceptance of a full-time job offer. I’ve heard about his college experience, job-hunting, and I coincidentally saw him on his last day at the shop, so he was able to tell me about his acceptance of a full-time offer.

    It’s come full circle! We’ve both moved on from that coffee shop and are now professional, working adults. What a life.

    I want to try to stay in touch with him, despite the fact that I won’t be seeing him somewhat regularly anymore. After I saw him on Friday, I messaged him to suggest getting drinks after work sometime. We’ve never hung out before aside from five years ago, but I think it’d be nice to try. Maybe we can become better acquaintances or even friends! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.

    Have a great week everyone!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Planted Seeds

    Good morning, everyone! Happy Friday!

    I apologize for my absence last week. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold on my first day of work, so when I wasn’t working, I was sleeping. I’m grateful to report that I feel significantly better and that I’m back to my regular self!

    Aside from being sick, the last few weeks have been insightful and exciting. Before I started my new job, I took advantage of being unemployed by going on small adventures.

    The first two days of the week, I subbed at my previous temp job so I got some extra spending cash for my adventures. On Wednesday, I went to my alma mater and ate lunch with my sister. Then I spontaneously had dinner with my ex. On Thursday, I caught up with my friends from my Europe travels. It’s always wonderful to see them. Friday, after teaching my AM yoga class, I went to the city with my sister. Because it was so nice out, we walked a ton, it was fantastic. Then on Saturday, I visited a friend’s new apartment and neighborhood. The area had such a LGBTQ/hipster environment, it was cool to experience. On top of everything, I subbed for a yoga instructor all weekend.

    I suspect all the adventures, plus subbing all the yoga classes, were taxing on my immune system, causing me to get sick. It was well worth it though.

    Last Monday, I began my new job! I’ve been enjoying it a lot. My boss is kind and supportive, my coworkers are lovely and helpful, and the work has been challenging and exciting. The only thing I’m having a bit of a difficult time with at this new job is the amount of sitting I do all day.

    I’ve worked in an office before, so it’s not like I’m completely unaccustomed to a desk job. However, the previous office I was at was larger, so important places like the bathroom, the printer, and the kitchen were further apart, thus I walked more. The office I’m at now is significantly smaller, so I take probably 10 steps total to either go to the makeshift kitchen, to get something from the printer, and to go to the bathroom. All the sitting causes me to feel antsy, so sometimes I stand at my desk while I work. Unfortunately, the desk is not accommodating for working while standing, so I can’t stand for very long. I may get something on Amazon to make my desk and thus my workspace more comfortable. And/or I may go on a brief walk during my lunch break. If you have suggestions or thoughts, please share in the comments!

    Another new thing going on in my life: last week I taught my first yin class at the local community center/gym I regularly teach at. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to teach an additional class and to teach a different yoga discipline. I am continuing to research workshops to take to expand my knowledge so I can integrate it into my classes. I have one in particular that I most certainly want to do, it’s just a matter of finding the courage to register.

    That’s about it for me. A lot of new seeds have been planted before the Spring Equinox. I’m eager to see what blooms.

    xx Vic

     

     

  • Holding hands on the train
    Poetry

    When You Meet Your Soulmate

    She pursued me with

    An intensity I had never experienced before.

    It was electrifying, yet terrifying

    I was afraid to get too close

    Afraid to touch

    I didn’t want to be shocked

    By the electricity that coursed between us

    Gosh, this type of love is dangerous

    It’s passionate yet soft

    Curious yet hesitant…

    I wasn’t ready for this

    Was I?

    I wasn’t expecting this

    Why not?

    I didn’t have all the answers

    I just didn’t want her to stop

    Wanting me

     

    © 2018 Vic Romero 

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  • Speaking My Mind

    Post-Graduation Blues (Fake Happy)

    It’s ironic how happy I look in this photo considering that graduation has not been an entirely happy time. Granted, I took this photo a day or two before the graduation ceremonies and the drama occurred.

    During the first of the three commencements I attended, I was just trying not to cry the entire time. The second two ceremonies were less emotionally intense, despite the pouring rain, but afterward, my sister went to the ER during dinner due to a potential concussion (which thankfully, she didn’t have). This caused my mom to stress out excessively. Then I moved home, which was exhausting although my grandparents helped out tremendously. The next day, I went to a family dinner with my parents and my sister, which ended in tears on my part and my mom stormed out of the restaurant. She ignored me and my sister until the following evening. Lastly, my girlfriend got an internship, which is incredibly exciting but I’ve cried a ton because of it. The last part of these dramatic days is what I really want to talk about now because the other stuff has been resolved.

    I am afraid of being alone this summer, which seems like it’s going to happen anyway. This has caused me to spiral into sadness when the people around me are successful. Pretty much all my friends have jobs and/or are moving out of state/out of the country. No one is going to be local to me except for my sister, but even she has a job. I mean, yeah, I have a part-time job until mid-August that allows me to work remotely, which would allow me the time and flexibility to

    1. Research PhD programs
    2. Apply for jobs
    3. Study for the GREs
    4. Organize my life both physically (my room is a mess) and mentally (I’m a mess)
    5. Do my month-long, intensive yoga teacher training

    So yeah…I need to be alone to do most of these, if not all, of these activities. Therefore, I will have plenty of time to accomplish these goals because I have a part-time job during these critical summer months. On the other hand, though, I wanted to do fun activities and trips and because not even my girlfriend will be local to me now…I feel like I can’t do them unless I want to go on my own.

    My girlfriend said she is going to see me weekly, and I believe her but when she’s not seeing me, she’s going to be working and having fun where she’s at. Everyone is going to be having fun where they’re at. Meanwhile, I feel worried that I’m just going to be at my parents’ home, alone studying or something…which isn’t bad…I have different goals than her and everyone else for this summer but…I don’t know what my problem is. I’m jealous of everyone else, I’m comparing everyone else to myself, and so I feel bad about myself for no reason.

    She said I need to change my perspective, which I agree. I definitely need to do that.

    Maybe the interests and goals I have for my life will cause me to feel a little isolated from everyone, even if my friends and girlfriend were around. If I am going to be doing a PhD program, these feelings will probably continue because I’ll be spending a lot of time studying and working on the weekends, whereas my friends who get jobs with their Bachelor’s may be able to go to brunch on Sundays and mingle more.

    Regardless, this gap year or two or three that I am taking sucks. I feel stagnant and alone in that. I want to find a job but I haven’t been looking even though my girlfriend and mom send me job listings once in a while…I want to figure out a PhD program I’m interested in but I haven’t been looking at that either, although I’ve talked to my thesis advisors about it. My girlfriend said I’m avoiding things and so…yeah, I am. I’m unsure why though.

    I know in the past, avoidance is a method I practice when I’m either depressed or anxious. Perhaps I’m feeling a little bit of both right now. Possibly due to my graduation blues.

    Do people talk about how awful graduation is? Aside from the overwhelming emotions that arise during the ceremonies, afterward is so much worse. Suddenly, you go from having tons of friends within walking-distance to having no friends nearby. All your friends become busy with their adult lives and you’re stuck living at home with your parents, who ask you daily about getting a job (if you don’t already have one, like me). The possibility of getting a job, being able to move out, and make friends/have friends feels impossible. Not only does that feel impossible, but so does working toward a doctorate because there are 100,000 steps I have to take before even applying for a program.

    Maybe I’m a little depressed and anxious and I didn’t realize the depth of it until now. Regardless, it’s manageable and I’ll overcome it. Right now, I’m unsure how and I’m unsure when this will happen. I may end up having to take two years off, which is okay although undesirable. But worrying about how long things will take is not what I need to be doing right now. So first thing’s first…

    1. Focus on myself!!! I have a part time job for a couple of more months and I’ll be busy doing the YTT. In the evenings, I’ll need to study for it in addition to doing the work required for the other goals I have listed below.
    2. My path is not anyone’s path. I will find a job if I actually look for one and apply. I will figure out what doctorate program to do if I actually look at them. I will be prepared for the GREs if I actually open the book and study for them.
    3. I will do fun things this summer with my girlfriend and my sister. Maybe I can challenge myself a bit too by doing fun things by myself. I can’t rely on anyone but myself. I must be there for myself and not allow people’s inability to hang out with me deter me from having a good time.
    4. Be at peace with myself.

    I may need to repeat these things like a mantra until I relax. I was able to do this two summers ago. During that summer, I was lonesome but at peace with it. I didn’t write much during that time so I don’t remember what I was doing exactly…I was taking a summer class and working part-time but that was it. I probably read a lot and watched TV. I don’t know how I achieved that state of mind but I will figure out how to get back there.

    Anyway, tomorrow I’m leaving for Disney so I’ll try my best to enjoy myself and maybe I’ll plan a little bit about how I’m going to manage my days when I return so that I am busy daily. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

    xx Vic

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    parasite

    i relinquished my power to you and my better judgement at my expense because your so-called love and cheap affection caused my heart to pound against the bones in my chest and you felt my heart jumping when you caressed my breast but you chalked it up to being in the moment although my feelings for you ran and still run much deeper and i ignored the warning signs and continued running as the descent got steeper and it all caught up to me when i tripped and fell and tumbled to my doom maybe we just met too soon otherwise you may have been feeling the same way too…but you don’t. you never did. why did i think that you did? did you change your mind? it feels like you have just been manipulating me all this time…and it’s not okay.  it’s not okay how you kept asking when i said “no” because i wasn’t going to change my mind at least not that night and it’s not okay how you reduced me to my body and it’s not okay for stringing me along leading me on convincing me that we’re something we’re not when you knew all along and you watched me comprised my wants and needs for this bullshit “friendship” like hell we were never friends and i’m still…unsure if i can keep trying to tie these loose ends don’t you see that you’re only hurting me why do i keep doing what you want you’re not the boss of me i want my fucking agency back because i’m tired of feeling mad and sad and anxious and scared this shouldn’t feel so hard and it shouldn’t hurt so much to cut you out you’re a parasite so get out of my sight get out get out get out

    © 2016 Vic Romero

  • Yummy Recipes

    How to Fuck Up Dinner: Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Noodles

    I feel when people write about recipes, it’s primarily because they want you to try the recipe. Unfortunately, that is not the case with this recipe that I’m about to share with you all the details about.

    Please heed the warning: do not make this recipe at home!

    I was inspired to make ground turkey because one of my friends prefers it to cooking chicken. In fact, she has never made chicken because she’s afraid to handle the raw meat. I felt similarly until my mom taught me before I moved into my apartment, but anyway…

    I was sick of eating chicken all the time so I thought that I should try out ground turkey. My mom isn’t a fan of ground turkey so I’ve never really had it before, and I now understand why.

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    Quiting Smoking (Version 2)

    We ignited quickly,

    The sparks between us

    Became consuming flames

    We burned bright

    On dark, cold nights.

    It was refreshing

    To inhale you

    And to exhale loneliness

     

    You may have been comforting,

    But you weren’t good for me

    You sucked out all my oxygen,

    Filled my lungs with tar,

    And singed my fingers.

    I had held onto your fire

    For far too long

     

    So I let you go…

    Dropped you to the ground

    To find a way out

    Of your ensnarement.

     

    You were addictive, though.

     

    A couple of days would pass,

    But I could never last

    For very long

    Without your fire

     

    © 2017 Vic Romero – Creative Writing Fall 2017

    Read the original version of this piece here.

  • Speaking My Mind

    More Lavender and Tea Tree Oil, Please

    Happy September 1st!

    Jeez, I can’t believe it’s already September though.  My senior year officially begins on Tuesday, which has caused my anxiety to spike tremendously once again.  Unfortunately, my anxiety triggers cold sores on my lips at least once every season…they’re super painful and because tea tree oil is the only effective remedy to treat them, (tea tree oil, if used as frequently as possible throughout the day, tends to prevent cold sores from going through the whole two-week healing process and reduces it to a week or if you’re lucky to catch it early enough, a mere couple of days), my lips become super dry.  Every year, I feel like I get them more and more easily, which is frustrating.  I used to get them only if I didn’t sleep but now I get them whenever I go from calm to hella anxious and worried.  Anyway….

    Yes, I’m anxious because of school.  I’m also anxious because I just came back from the dermatologist…I got a biopsy and now I have to go back in three months.  My mom is currently at the doctor for her cancer…health issues are incredibly anxiety-inducing.

    Additionally, it’ll be one year since my cousin passed in two days.  I always think about her, but over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about her more frequently and I have been wanting to talk to her more than I usually do.  Her parents planted a tree for her in the city where she was killed yesterday…I wish they had told us about that because I would’ve liked to go.  It must’ve been a nice ceremony.

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