Singledom and Kale Salad

The other day a friend asked me, “How come you’re single?” I think their heart was in the right place, but it definitely was a rage-inducing moment. The way it was asked was drenched in pity & wonder at how I could be 26 almost 27 and be as single as can be. I laughed it off, shrugged my shoulders and used my age-old adage, “I hate everyone?”, which of course isn’t true. I love people. I really do. But I also have so many deal breakers I find myself tripping over them on the daily.

It’s not for lack of trying or wanting. It’s just for lack of interest. I have had two great loves in my short life, and they’ve set the bar pretty high. While the heaviest of issues gnawed at us until we split at the seams, I loved them with every cranny of my being. You know what I mean, the kind of love that sinks down into your soul and settles there. And without meaning to, I size up every potential partner to what I had… Yes, it’s horrible, but it also means I won’t ever settle. I know what it feels like to be loved so completely that even my bones felt embraced. I know what it feels like to trust and admire and adore. There’s no point in pretending with someone unless I feel the sparks. I know what true, gut wrenching, heart swelling love feels like, and I’m going to wait this one out until it comes around again.

Of course loneliness scratches at me again and again. I pride myself in being fiercely independent, and while my job, friends, dog and yoga keep me busy 80% of the time, that 20% can be achingly lonely. I remind myself that my life is filled with so many beautiful things, but I still have to brush off those self-deprecating thoughts that come up when I reflect on why I am alone.

I suppose my honest answer to my friend should have been, “I’m single because there hasn’t been a person to sweep me off my feet in a long time. I’d rather be alone and occasionally lonely than settle for someone who makes my heart simply pitter. Give me pitter-patter or it’s a no go.”

And that’s what I need. The pitter with the patter. The whole hog or nothing at all. Who knows if or when that will happen, but I’m going to hold out until I feel that again. I remember what it’s like to be filled up to the brim, and I won’t settle for anything less.

Wild Rice & Kale Salad

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebrating with good friends. We ate, drank and loved for 7.5 hours. Just how Thanksgiving should be. As a vegan(ish), Thanksgiving has always been hard. Yes, I indulged in some cheese this Thanksgiving, but I also gorged on so many vegetable side dishes I felt ill for two days (over eating for the WIN…?) Either way, this dish is great for Thanksgiving, potlucks or just as a side for your dinner. I had so much left over it was my lunch for a week, and I wasn’t complaining.

ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped/torn
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start with your rice. Bring 2 cups water and your rice to a boil. Bring heat to low and simmer for 50-55 minutes. While the rice is cooking, wash and chop all your veggies and walnuts and prepare your dressing. Combine the lemon juice with the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. After rice cooks, cool before adding in the vegetables, walnuts and dried fruit. Then add in the dressing and enjoy! This is one of those salads that gets better after sitting for a while. Eat and eat and eat.

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I’m an Old Man

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I MAY be a curmudgeon. And yes, part of me just wanted to use that word. The other part of me is actually telling the truth.

How could a 20 something label herself as such a thing? Aren’t curmudgeons super old dudes that sit around and snarl at people for the heck of it? Aren’t they the kind of people that stare fun in the face and say, ‘boo hiss’? Aren’t they the people that puts baby in the corner (Dirty Dancing, you will always rock my world).

All of these things may be true, and no—I’m not really any of these things. I’ve only been called a party pooper/wet blanket a few times, and I would hardly say I’m elderly (regardless of my bad back and propensity for old man sweaters).

But when I say I’m a curmudgeon here is what I mean.

A lot of the time when people want to be social with my face—I have to actually convince myself that such a thing would be a good idea. Most of the time, I would much rather be alone, doing my own thing, getting my shit done.

Perhaps this isn’t me being a stick-in-the-mud, this is just me being a selfish bitch?

Regardless… I have a hard time convincing myself to be social, as I see better things to do with my time. NOW NOW NOW, don’t get me wrong—hanging out with my besties doesn’t count. Those people are like my oxygen supply, there is nothing forced about anything to do with them.

What I’m saying is… I will be alone forever.

Shit. I’m not making sense.

Here is what it is: I don’t have the energy or time to do the following: meet new people, date, try and make small talk, pretend to be interested in above things.

Sorry dudes. I would just rather be running, practicing yoga, hanging with my girls and my dog, or making food.

Perhaps this will result in me being the best old dog lady this world will ever see.

As far as I see it, my life is full.

So I shall leave you with a poem as I’m failing to really explain what I mean. Basically, this poem sums it up. I heart  you Naomi Shiab Nye, you GET me.

When they say don’t I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
… before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say we should get together
say why?

It’s not that you don’t love them any more.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Quirkyalone

A lot of how to reach my absolute all-encompassing potential is to embrace the idea of being a quirkyalone.

What’s a quirky alone you might ask? Only the best (and only awesome) self-help book out there. This isn’t a self-help book that you read in darkened corners, covering it up with something more acceptable.

This is the kind of book you shout about from roof tops. This is the kind of book you buy extra copies of to give friends. This is the kind of book that tells you ALL the things you need to hear.

Quirkyalone: n. adj. a person who enjoys being single (or spending time alone) and so prefers to wait for the right person to come along rather than dating indiscriminately. Quirkyalone is a book, a holiday, and a movement.

Take that Rom Coms, Valentines Day and being a girl in America—this lady is embracing her singledom.

In the past, I claimed to be a quirkyalone—I got my first copy when I was 17, and pretended like I was strong enough and proud enough to be okay with being single. Lets be real, I was like every other 17-year-old girl. All I wanted was a boy to hold hands with while listening to The Get Up Kids together (I went through a pretty intense pop-punk/emo phase).

Now—well now I am seasoned veteran of love. Wait, wait. That is complete bullshit. BUT I do know at least a little bit more about love, and A LOT more about myself. So, after my recent break up (after the adequate amount of tears, freak outs, etc.) I have come to revel and rejoice in my singlehood.

My bestie for life (who also happens to be my roomie) is also single. This works out swimmingly, as we both have come to love and embrace all that comes with being alone. We love the freedom. We love the ability to do what we want to do, whenever we want to do it. We love cooking for one (or two, when we cook for each other). We love not settling.

We love ourselves enough to be alone.

Ah. It only took me 24+ years to embrace this idea.

However, I am not opposed to having a partner; I am just not actively looking anymore. Instead, if it does happen, it will be a moment where my quirkyalone becomes a quirkytogether.

So I leave you with one (of many) tidbits about being a quirky alone. It is the perfect description of how I am currently living my life. I suggest all you single ladies do the same, it’s a liberating feeling.

We are the puzzle pieces who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces. We inhabit singledom as our natural resting state…Secretly, we are romantics, romantics of the highest order. We want a miracle. Out of millions we have to find the one who will understand. For the quirkyalone, there is no patience for dating just for the sake of not being alone. On a fine but by no means transcendent date, we dream of going home to watch television. We would prefer to be alone with our own thoughts than with a less than perfect fit…but when the quirkyalone collides with another, ooh la la. The earth quakes.

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OH! And for all of you that are feeling lonely for whatever reason (breakup, singledom that makes you sad instead of liberated, whatever) watch this AMAZING video. I’m telling you. This video and a copy of Quirkyalone? You aren’t ever going to feel lonely again.