• Speaking My Mind

    On This Episode of the Bachelorette…

    I will admit that I have developed an online dating addiction. I’ve been spending most of my free time “swiping” on my dating apps of choice, OkCupid and Bumble, and striking up conversations with various strangers in the hopes that one of them will have the potential to become a romantic partner.

    While I spend way too much time on dating apps, I’m not ready to stop using them just yet. There’s something enthralling about the mystery and ease of chatting with new people online. Of course, it’s not always a glamorous experience: last week I was feeling pretty desperate and depressed about dating, considering what happened with the Marine. 

    Long story short: I got totally swept up in superficial chemistry with the Marine and I was treated like a piece of meat. I behaved the way twenty-year-old Victoria did (chasing faux-passionate, horny guys with reckless abandon) and unsurprisingly, I got the same disappointing, hurtful, and depressing results.

    Thankfully, I’ve since been feeling more optimistic about dating after a week of introspection and self-care. So on this episode of the Bachelorette, I want to share with you the latest update on the contestants for my heart!

    Here is a recap from last week’s episode:

    1. The dark, sexual/pervy, introvert without a social life and little family has been eliminated. He resumed school a few weeks ago and neither of us has reached out to each other.
    2. The insecure, angsty/poser guy who is also an aspiring chef continues to slide into my inbox in an attempt to make plans with me. He moved to Brooklyn recently though so I’m not particularly keen on making plans to meet with him, considering there are other people in close proximity to me that I actually have chemistry with.
    3. The very thoughtful and positive 31-year-old with a BA in psychology who works at Whole Foods and lives nearby: We went on a casual lunch date on Labor Day and I had a ton of fun with him, however, I am not attracted to him in any capacity. He continues to reach out to me and he has asked me out for a drink, but it’s hard to make plans with him because we have completely opposite work schedules. If possible, I’d like to hang out with him again but I doubt any romance will be blooming between us.
    4. The casual, friendly, local-to-my-area mechanic that actually lives in my town and goes to the gym I work at: I tried to make plans with him last Saturday but he ghosted me and has since been MIA.
    5. The random older guy that works in supply chain and wants to smoke and hang out at his place AKA fuck: Why did I even list him in the first place? Eliminated.

    There are more, newer contestants now, but none of them are particularly noteworthy at the moment. Well, except for one person.

    I am currently pretty interested in a mechanic from Iran. We’ve been corresponding for about two weeks, and he’s the only person I’ve connected with through Bumble so far. (All of the other candidates have been through the courtesy of OkCupid).

    The mechanic has completely different vibes than the Marine did, largely because, unlike my experience with the Marine, I’ve had control over the relationship. Plus, he’s considerate and sweet. Here are some examples:

    • The mechanic never asked for my number; I voluntarily gave it to him after some pleasant conversation.
    • I initiated Facetiming with him
    • He consistently texts me “good morning” and “goodnight” daily, without prompting
    • He doesn’t try to talk to me 24/7 and he’s not particularly flirty. Once in a blue moon, he’ll call me “cutie” or something subtly flirty, but that’s it.
    • The first time I called him, I wanted to speak to him only so he could listen to a story I wanted to share with my yoga class the following morning. When I woke up at 5am to teach that class, I noticed that he had sent me a thoughtful text about how my story-telling was great and how I was going to do a great job sharing the story with my class.
    • He has one of the deepest, smoothest voices I’ve ever heard. It’s a radio-quality voice. Considering how incredible his voice is, I thought it was ridiculous that the first thing he said to me was that my voice would be great for NPR. From listening to cringe-y recordings of my own voice, I objectively know that that’s untrue. Yet he is very adamant about how nice my voice is. 

    While there could be potential with this guy, it’s too soon to tell because we haven’t even met in person yet. I’m hoping to meet up with him this weekend or sometime the following week to see if the slow-burning chemistry and attraction exists face-to-face.

    In the meantime, however, I am working on prioritizing myself. As much as I want to connect with someone, the experience I had with the Marine made it evident that I need to connect with myself first. The fact that even after everything transpired with him, I still wanted to reach out to him, is severely concerning. I kept wondering what he wanted, what he needed…and at some point, my subconscious snapped at myself and loudly said, “Victoria, what do want?”

    I had completely stumped myself.

    Yeah, I had some ideas of what I wanted, but I was having such a hard time specifying and vocalizing them. I’ve since been able to accomplish this after writing, meditating, taking meditative asana classes, reading, spending quality time with my family and friends, and listening to uplifting podcasts.

    This is where I’m at now with “what I want,” which I’m no longer afraid to demand:

    I want to find someone that I have a deep connection with intellectually, emotionally, and physically. I want to feel excited about that person and I want the chemistry to be really strong…kind of addictive. I want to be magnetically attracted to one another. I want to go on dates and spend quality time with someone. I want someone with emotional intelligence and I want someone who completely respects me. I want to feel safe with this person before I choose to be physically intimate with them. But physical intimacy is not important to me right now…I can find that with anyone. I can’t find a deeper connection as easily, but that’s what I want. I want more.

    In one podcast I listened to last week about the Law of Attraction, I was reminded that once I stop wanting something, then I will get what I want. I will get what I want when I stop wanting it because when I stop wanting it, my vibrational frequency will match the frequency of already having what I want. Which means that what I want will no longer matter.

    A simple example of my confusing explanation is how I flowed effortlessly into my current full-time job. I asked the Universe for a job, and then I knew I was going to get it. This “knowing” caused me to stop focusing my energy on wanting a job, thus, my frequency matched the frequency of already having the job. It was then that the job seemingly fell into my lap not through my parents’ connections, not through other professional connections, but through my part-time yoga job.

    I’m not quite at the phase of “knowing” that I will find a compatible partner yet. Since my breakup in February, I continue to doubt the Universe’s plans for me, although the doubt certainly has lessened.

    I will leave you all with one more quote from the podcast:

    The Universe is not withholding from you and giving to another. – Jess Lively, The Lively Show

    We will all get what we need in due time. In the meantime, I am going to do my best to enjoy the journey.

    xx Vic

     

     

  • 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

    Four Weeks Later

    My surgery was about a month ago, if not longer, and it went well. It was a 20 minute procedure and I wasn’t in pain until the following day. The following day and all the days after that were miserable though. 

    My mom and sister coddled me back to good health. They wheeled me around in the wheelchair, took me to class/tutoring/office hours (I was taking a summer class and unfortunately couldn’t live in my apartment for awhile due to the surgery), helped me out around the house, helped me wash my hair, etc. They were incredible, especially considering that I was a whiny ass sometimes because I hated being unable to function normally and I felt like my summer was taken away. At least the Olympics began during my recovery so when I wasn’t doing academic things, I was focused on watching the Olympics with my sister. 

    Unfortunately, the week of my final exam was terrible. I was finally feeling better and able to hobble around a bit so I stayed in my apartment to focus on studying a couple days before the exam. I was stressed because the last exam I took, I did poorly. I didn’t do as poorly as that time in calculus when I thought I at least got a B but got a D instead, but I was disappointed nonetheless. Especially since I wanted to ace this class. That was the whole purpose of taking this class in the summer! After my second exam, it would’ve been difficult to obtain even a B+. 

    So a couple days before my final, I sat in my room in my apartment studying/trying to focus on studying. Then I took my exam, which was tough despite the days I spent in solitude studying. The exam was only two hours and I don’t think it was incredibly challenging, but I kept second-guessing myself because my math didn’t make sense to me. I ended up being the last person in the room taking the exam. 

    Immediately upon exiting the building, I burst into tears. Not cute, happy tears, but hysterical, ugly tears with tons of snot. What made it worse was that I only had one tissue and the bus back to my apartment wasn’t coming for another hour. I didn’t want to walk home since it was late and I was only able to hobble. 

    I wanted to talk to someone about my exam to help calm me down, but I didn’t know who…I definitely wasn’t going to call my mom because slobbering on the phone to her would’ve made me feel worse. (She usually gets hysterical when I’m hysterical). Sometimes things happen at perfectly convenient times though. 

    Right after I sat down on a bench, I got a text from a guy I met on Tinder last September. We never actually met up. I blew him off a couple times, not that we ever had serious plans to meet up anyway. Since Septemner, we’ve texted on and off…maybe once or twice every couple of months. He had texted me the day before my final so he knew I had a final, but he didn’t know when it was. His text came at the perfect time. 

    I spent the next hour crying and texting him on the bench in the courtyard. He was perfect to talk to because we aren’t close at all so I didn’t care if I seemed lame by being so upset and because there was so much to learn about him, I was able to distract myself effectively by getting to know him. 

    Then the bus finally came and I texted him until 1am in between self-pity shots of shitty pink lemonade vodka and episodes of Angel. 

    The following day, I felt like crap and not necessarily from the vodka (although I didn’t feel super from that either) but because my doom and gloom attitude about my exam suffocated me. It was also a glum day outside, which tends to heighten my bad moods. 

    I ended up missing the bus to work and having to pay for an Uber. At that point, I was sufficiently upset and pissed at myself and I just wanted to go home. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that, so I got an iced coffee. That’s when my day spun around. 

    My summer coffee choice has been Dunkin Donuts’ Almond Joy iced coffee, especially after they stopped offering the Pistachio one. In my hometown, they didn’t have the Almond Joy flavor anymore but at school, they fortunately had some left! 

    Coffee is comparable to alcohol to me. I’m sensitive to caffeine so it makes me all hyper and happy. Alcohol makes me feel relaxed and silly, but they both make me feel…better? I’m unsure if that’s the appropriate word but..it’s like, if you’re nervous for a party, you have a drink to loosen up. If I’m having a bad day, I have coffee to pipe me up. 

    So I was at work feeling a little better, especially since the first-years were interesting to talk to. Then I found out I got an A in the class! Which seemed impossible based on my calculations but there was some extra credit involved and possibly a curve so…I was extremely happy. I proceeded to tell the Tinder guy and then I felt silly to have cried so much after my exam. 

    Afterwards, a guy came up to my table at work. I recognized him from when I went to the movies back in June. He worked at the theater and somehow my friends and I had gotten into a discussion about sexual violence in the news with him. When he told me he was attending my university this fall, I insisted he come to orientation to check out my job since I work in this field and since he seemed pretty educated and interested in this work. At the time, he scoffed at the idea of attending orientation but low and behold, he was there! The last orientation of the summer happened to be one of the few days I was working, so I was able to run into him. Then we chatted, he signed up for more information, and got super involved during the part of orientation where we talk about sexual violence. He impressed my boss enough to earn free sunglasses! 

    I love how things work out. 

    When he left, I talked to another guy who complimented my hair. I thought it looked subpar that day so it was nice to have heard otherwise. 

    So yeah..it was a rough week that ended well. That has pretty much been the tone of my summer. It’s been way less social compared to last summer with all the partying and working but..it’s been good nonetheless. 

    I went abroad for the first time, worked two jobs a bit, read a bunch and finished Buffy, completed three credits with an A, and I just returned from a fun trip to Las Vegas! I’m healthy and I haven’t smoked since July so…this is good. Now I just have to finish getting ready for school in a week or so!

    How have your summers been? Comment below!

    x Vic 

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