Another Long Post About Life, you’re welcome.

The first state of important business is that this video exists

I’m just saying. It’s totally being ‘marketed’ as a real abduction video. Also you know, what if Amanda Bynes isn’t really crazy & she’s telling the truth about her parents on Twitter?

Well, after a few weeks of accelerated living, I’m back on that doing nothing grind. After a couple Happy Hour meet ups, a week & a half of dating, 4 friend requests & some Halloween parties it’s Saturday & I’m doing nothing. The extent of my day will be going to Wal-Mart later for some shampoo & a few groceries. And I’m A- OK with that. One because I don’t mind the disconnect from the real world & two because I’m flying home for xmas & my plane ticket is about as much as a month of rent or 3.5 car payments. So, I really am in no position to be spending money.

There is one thing that I do look forward toward to every weekend, my wholesome guilty pleasure – Church.

I’ve always gone to church, whether it was for the basic holidays like Christmas or youth group (where not surprisingly I looked for boyfriends, not Jesus), or every Sunday like I do now. There was a time when I did not go to church, whether it was because I had to work or I felt unique & eccentric for having an opinion against the church, specifically the mega church I went to back home. But for the past two years, church has really been a huge centering & inspiring thing in my life.

That’s probably a loaded intro to this post, a lot of people probably think I’m about to get real religious but really here’s what I found in the church when I started listening to the sermons:

  1. Positivity
  2. Hope
  3. Inspiration
  4. A God-like/ christian-like perspective on life
  5. Family

Positivity

This was such a huge take away from church, we live in a terribly negative world and I was breeding negativity into that world. I had a negative mind, a negative heart & a negative life. But what I realize now, stepping back & looking at my life I was infinitely attracted to positive people. Sure, the pessimist in me was annoyed by their optimism & I much preferred the company of miserable people. But from a distance, I was always watching, observing & trying to learn from positive people. They always looked so much more beautiful to me than the naysayers.negative mind

So through church sermons, I sat and really listened. And most sermons consisted of : here’s the negative in the world, here’s what God has to say about it & here’s how we, as Christians (believers) can reap the benefit of God’s positive outlook on every negative situtation ever by aligning our thoughts & beliefs to him. Really, whether or not you’re a believer, religious, Christian- what have you, I think the Bible offered me all of the answers to questions I was asking. Knowing right from wrong is a pretty basic concept in life but sometimes the world doesn’t offer you the full spectrum of a perspective on any given situation & I really liked the positive outlook in the preaching. I’d relate it to going to a therapist who told you exactly how you should feel about your shitty job; grateful and encouraged to learn from your time spent at that shitty job because it contributes to the bigger picture, with a better job in the future. And just feeling complete relief, like yes, that’s exactly what I needed permission to feel.

Hope

And with positivity came hope, I finally had permission to step outside of the immediate circumstances of my life & look at the big picture. When I was working back home, after a while I was not happy with my job. But now I had permission to look past the difficulty, the anxiety & the resentment I had towards my job and find hope, comfort & assurance. Although things were not what I wanted, they were not as pleasant as I would have liked, I could not be where I am now without the experience I have. So, I started feeling grateful, grateful that I had a job to go to every day that paid my bills. And I started too look for the hope in my job. Working directly with the less fortunate in our town was a struggle but there were the small successes, the constant learning opportunities and the ability to see that with my experiences & my determination I could go somewhere else. And that led to the ultimate hope that what I was doing was going to get me somewhere bigger and it did.

Inspiration

When I first started paying attention in church and taking notes even, it was during a series called Reset. It was the perfect introduction to what I was headed towards, reset yourself, your relationships, your body & reset your mission.

During the Reset your Mission sermon I wrote these notes:

Every human being is going to embrace two ways to save themselves while living a life without God…

-Pursuing a life of good, I did all good, you owe me, give me what I want, his own righteousness.

-The knowledge of Evil, the idea of “once I get enough ‘fruit’ I will be alive.

What’s your fruit?

This is a direct reflection of my life, I was living with the knowledge of evil. I thought that once I had gotten my ‘fruit’ I’d be happy, I could really start living. What was my fruit? Money, weight loss, control, perfection, all of those idols. And living the life of good, was absolutely true as well. With no relationship with God & very little knowledge of his Word, even after years of going to church, I expected that if I did a good deed, I should be rewarded.

At the end of this sermon I also wrote;

You are way more wicked than you dare believe. And more loved and accepted than you ever hoped.

Perspective

With positivity, hope, forgiveness, all that stuff you learn about in church came a new perspective. I started to dig & search high & low for the good in everything. I don’t ever remember a time where I have been so accepting of criticism of my way of thinking from my best friend Shrylle. I definitely remember rejecting her notions of positive thinking, especially in the form of reading materials like The Secret. Which now is a top 10 favorite book of mine. And I don’t ever remember being so eager to hear what people think or hearing people’s opinions on anything and everything with the desired point of learning something new & changing my perspective.

Do you know, I was listening to Dan Savage’s podcast a couple weeks ago and his opinion on cheating completely boggled my mind & changed my heart. In a very loose summary, he stated that cheating should not be the end all in a relationship. And not because everyone cheats or it’s to be expected, but because when you set up your relationship with this expectation that ‘if you cheat on me we’re over’, your partner may be less likely to tell you when they do cheat on you & not only is that hurtful but it also could lead to sexually transmitted diseases.

What? The perspective never would have ever crossed my mind. Let’s say your boy (or girl) sleeps with someone else, is scared shitless you’ll kill/break up with them over it, so they don’t tell you. And let’s say you guys are used to having sex without a condom on & it’d be pretty weird if he started using one, so he goes without the condom. And boom, there’s that STD risk. What are you more mad about, a one night stand or HIV? And from there, my “I will not be held responsible for anything that happens to your living body if I find out you cheat on me” perspective has become a little less terrifying.

A God-like/Christian-like perspective in my life became so much more obvious. Not long after I started going to Sunday service by myself, I started going with my best friend’s mom, which then became my best friend’s whole family. (Sadly, my best friend did not join us because she lives in Ohio.) I suddenly had this church family, that was a real second family to me in real life & we could talk about church & share our thoughts & perspectives together and it really solidified the relationship I had with God that I wanted in my life. It also gave me a chance to talk about God & encouraged me to talk about God with other people I didn’t go to church with. Not to mention, as my relationship grew with my boss at the time, who is very religious I started to feed off of her faith, feeling even more inspired. And then we hired another coworker who was even more religious and it was great to have a sermon preached to me during the week, rather than just on Sundays and I think God knew I needed that strong presence to keep Him in my mind and keep his promises on my lips. Which I subjected my friends to rants of just how fucking amazing life is, even with all the bad shit in i because of God.

Family

Which leads to family. Last weekend I attended the 11:59 am service (God bless the church that understands us late sleepers) at the Life Center Tacoma Church and although it was rough being Halloween weekend & attendance seems to be small when there’s a Seahawks game on, also seems like everyone shows up like 7 minutes late- I had one major take away, written in my notes.

We define family by science rather than spirit. Anyone who does that will of my heaven is my brother & sister & mother.”

When I was of negative mind & heart, isolation was my things. Don’t get me wrong, I got a scientifically provided family, like some weird sisters, a mom, a dad and they’re cool. I mean, they’ll do.. (LOL) And I got a lot of cousins, aunts & uncles and my Grandma is pretty cool and they’ve all been apart of my life, no doubt about it. And I’ve got friends, in fact a lot of my friends have been my friends for like 7, 10 years, even some a little bit longer. And I’ve got new friends here in Washington. But I never understood what it was like to have a God given family until I started going to church. I never knew what it was like to have that family love from people who weren’t my science (project gone wrong) family until I got out of my negative mind set & started to create relationships out of Faith. (An important side note: I have a lot of friends who are not religious/believers/Christians/whatever & those relationships are just as valuable & meaningful to me. Because I love them & they love me & really that’s the only requirement I have.)

happyI used to think that the world was out to get me, that nothing good was going to happen the way I wanted it to. Then I realized no one is against you, they’re just for themselves. And then I saw how many people were for me, everyone at my going away party who gave their little speeches about how awesome I am (we should do that again BTW) and just the endless amount of support I receive from 2 bajillion miles away is nothing short of agape love from God manifesting in my life I’m so grateful & so appreciative of it, I’d be nowhere near as happy as I am now without it. And that’s good & true whether my life works out the way I had planned or not. Because even in a world where negativity is first nature and we’re all focused on ourselves, there’s beauty & inspiration in everyone in my life, my family that feeds into that big picture purpose & our big dinner up in Heaven… #allthepizza

 

 

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The things I know, love & hate about dating.

I love reading articles that say It’s Not Your Fault You’re Single, you’re just too unique. It’s harder for unique people to find someone equally as unique to settle down with. It’s true. 3 times a bridesmaid, once almost a wife & now forever single. I kind of like that I’m 25 and I’m fully experiencing dating life. Occasionally, I’ll feel a little peanut butter & jealous of my friends who’ve found their soul mates, are married or in a serious relationships. But then I remember, I tried that route & I’m destined for my own kind of unique dating life. Why not experience it all while I can. And I’ll gladly let you live vicariously through me.

Reflecting back on my week & a half long dating excursion, with what seemed to be the holy grail- 6’3, in his early 30s, good job, his own house, no kids- whenever I’ve dated someone with similar statistics & it didn’t work out, I often looked back on myself & thought what am I doing wrong? Why can’t I fall for a simple guy like that. What I’ve realized is simple isn’t my thing. God, trust me. It’s not. As another bites the dust, here’s what I’ve learned to love, hate & just straight up know & be aware of in my dating life-

1. The Shy Girl

It might sound normal but I get pretty shy when I’m on the prowl. In a recent date excursion I can countdown exactly how many times I smiled, nodded, giggled while covering my mouth, shrank into myself not to take up too much space & limited the number of french fries I scarfed down with my beer.

Here’s why I love it: It fucking works every time. I’ve been on a few dates where the guy has called me out on being quiet & seemingly reserved. I’ve heard lines like, “You just sit there and nod but I know your game. 6 months down the road you won’t be agreeing with me & it’ll be a huge problem.” Or, “Wow, I like how you were just totally blunt right then. I’ve never heard you talk like that.” HA But it works, every time. Something about holding back makes me feel powerful. Making excessive eye contact, laugh at all his jokes and then act like I wasn’t paying attention when he addresses me directly, planting that damn seed. It’s exactly what I imagine seduction to be like and it makes me feel damn good when it works.

Here’s why I hate it: It’s not me. I mean, sometimes I can be quiet but if you know anything about me it’s that I like to laugh out the fuck loud & I like to make the funniest jokes. And actually, if I play the quiet, bashful girl for too long I start to feel hesitant about speaking out loud. And sometimes I find myself not standing up or speaking up when things are said that I don’t agree with. Which makes me sad because that’s not me either. It also makes me feel a little insecure, like if I start acting like my real self.. out loud burping & witty comebacks & calling a guy out on his bullshit, he’s going to drop me. And instead of being happy that I dodged a bullet, it makes me feel shitty about myself. Which sucks.

Here’s how it works in my favor: Even though that one dude was right, 6 months down the road shit won’t be the same, I’m not just being shy & bashful… I’m listening to you. In all honesty, I’m listening to every word you’re saying because I am a firm believer that if you listen, a person will tell you everything you need to know with out any force. If I reflect on past relationships, I can literally pin point sentences that were said that really should have clued me in to what the future was going to be like. Lines like this: “I just have this unfortunate problem with always dating really attractive girls. I mean look at me, I basically look homeless & my last girlfriend was a model.” Tells me a lot more than anything your Okcupid profile does. Also a line like this, “I had a girlfriend once, she was a thick girl & she dressed up like Harlee Quinn for me in the bedroom. And you know I was like, babe I appreciate it but no, it’s not working for me. You have to have a certain body type to pull that off, you basically have to be a gymnast, otherwise it’s just not attractive.” Even in my own experience, when I’m around a quiet person I feel the need to fill the silence. People say a lot of stupid shit when they’re trying to fill the silence. It’s my goal to not be the one filling the silence with gems like, “I was tripping on acid one time when we grocery shopping together.”

2. Sexting

This is probably the biggest one I have a problem with because it is so predominant in the dating world right now & at my age. But here’s my feelings on it…

Nope

Maybe I’m part of a dying breed but I don’t want to talk about sex with you. I enjoy the anticipation and I’m a firm believer that if you’ve got to talk about it, it’s probably not that good. I really don’t need to know you’re a grower, not a show-er before you’ve even taken me out for dinner let alone slept with me. And I really don’t care what your preference is for female grooming or your elicit interest in girls wearing lingerie. I’m pretty sure you better like me enough to not care about either. And I’m not saying there’s not a time & place for sexting but it’s certainly not within the first week I’ve met you or before we hit some trustworthy milestones in a relationship.

And here’s a hint, we only wear lingerie when we want something & I’m only wearing lingerie because I want a BMW or I got a BMW. (previously BMW would have been diamond but shit has changed dudes, I got real priorities now)

And if you ask me to text you something cute, you’re getting a picture of my cats. And if you ask me to text you something sexy, you’re getting either a picture of the pizza I’m eating or maybe I’ll just ignore you for a day & a half. It’s 2014, I don’t trust you, I can’t afford to be one of those celebrities who has to defend their nude leaks. I can’t call my grandma & tell her she might see those pictures! And here’s another food for though, if you’re just trying to get laid, fine. But if you’re trying to be my bf & you’ve focused your efforts on getting me to sext you way too soon in the ‘getting to know you phase’, I’ll never date you for real. There’s no way in hell, 10 years down the road when my kids ask me how I met their dad I’m going to have to reflect on all of the pornographic things you said to me before I even heard you fart or met your mom.

And here’s another bit of info for you, if I don’t know you… As in, if we’re not in a committed relationship & I trust you, love you or see a potential future with you and you send me a dick pic. I’m sending it to my best friend and we are going to make jokes about it because that is what you are, a joke.

That’s the difference between time wasting boyfriends who send dick pics & potential husbands who wait until they’ve got monogamy on their side, we don’t want our best friends to see our potential husband’s peen.

3. Boundaries

I’ve done the whole fall down the rabbit hole, I’m in love shit. My ex fiance & I hung out for 2 weeks straight before we started dating. I was at his house every night, I skipped classes, only went to work because I saw him there, quit going to the gym. Then he left for Indy for a week or two & called me once. Of course it was the beginning of the relationship, so I couldn’t hate him for not calling ((he didn’t even own a cellphone)… a problem that would manifest in the future when he did have a cellphone & still never called. ) But if I had been paying attention, I would have realized how much I liked that anticipation. That the time spent away from each other made me more excited than ever to see him. I could have used a healthy dose of that knowledge later on in our relationship. When he got back from his mini vacation, we spent every second together until we finally moved in together & imploded. Boundaries is something that I’m eagerly learning about & finding profoundly sexy right now. There’s an art in not giving too much of yourself up front. Boundaries are often mistaken for ‘the game’ that single people play to attract a mate, but I say play on. Make me work for it, I’m going to make you work for it & I’m going to be 100 times more honest than if I gotta make shit up on the fly to ensure you like me and I’m probably going to be way more accepting of your obsession with lingerie if you hold on the info until we’ve established respect & gotten some time under our belts. If someone isn’t setting boundaries for themselves, I’m wary. There’s no long term value in that. I’m not 19 years old, chances are it’s going to take more than 2 weeks to get me to commit to you, so you better have something good to reveal  in week 3 or I might lose interest.

4. Freedom

Don’t forfeit your freedom too soon. Let’s say that someday, by some slight of the Devil I become a wife or a mother, I’m sacrificing a shit ton of my free time right? And although, when a relationship is new I feel like I want to spend every damn minute with the dude- whether that’s because I have nothing better to do or because I’m afraid they’ll fall in love with the cashier on the way out of the grocery store- I’ve realized I value my free time. Ever woke up the next morning next to a guy & had to fart? You could get out of bed, go to the bathroom but God knows the house is so quiet, he’d hear you. I can’t even pee at work if I think someone is listening. You don’t have to worry about that when you’re in your own space. Enjoy & value your alone time .. to fart freely, if anything else.

5. Jealousy

Mmm. Touchy subject based on my past. But to be honest, I think a little jealousy is perfectly healthy in a relationship. What better way to show you really cherish what you’ve got then recognizing you could lose it to someone if you’re not acting right. But you know what’s not sexy, when you’re the only jealous person in a relationship. And you know what certainly does not breed a healthy amount of jealousy from your significant other- not having your own life. What person is going to be jealous or fearful of losing someone who sits at home, waiting for everyone else to come home? Spoiler alert, no one. This past weekend I went to a party on Friday night with a guy I’d been dating. Saturday night, I made my own plans & went to a friends party on my own. Dude was cool about it but the following few days, I got a few little quips about how I must have found a cute dude at that party because I wasn’t being very talkative. Truth is, I wasn’t being talkative because I wasn’t interested anymore, which made his jealousy pretty obnoxious but if I had been interested, I’d probably be flattered that he’s acknowledging I’d be worth losing.
6. The Pizza Test

Never date a guy until you know what kind of pizza he has in his freezer. I’m not picking off onions for the rest of my life, compromising on half & half pizzas or coming home to a Hawaiian pizza ever. Have you ever seen a girl choke back tears & pout in her room all night because her boyfriend said, “Hey babe, don’t worry about dinner. I’m going to make you something good for when you get off work. I’ll have it ready for you when you walk in the door.” Only to come home to Cheeseburger pizza. I’m not going to say I’d do that now but 22 year Brooke sure as fuck has gone to bed with NO PIZZA because her only option was Cheeseburger pizza. That is a doomed relationship. This is my version of the front porch test from How I Met Your Mother.

7. Respect

If you don’t know what it means to respect yourself, you won’t know what it’s like to be respected by others. I like to think of the absolute best way I want to be treated, with love & a little bit of fear. And I ask for it, I don’t expect someone to read my mind. And then I know better quotethan to stick around if I’m not being treated the way I want to be treated. Hence the reason why I had to have a ‘let’s just be friends’ conversation this week.

Want to really ‘woo’ me, skip the compliments on my sweet tits & ask me for my autograph when I dress up for a date or ask me if I’m famous when you see me for the first time that day. I’ll eat that shit up & blush like the little submissive wife of your dreams. But most importantly, I’ll respect you. And not only is it important for me to know what kind of respect I want, there’s nothing sexier than a man who demands respect for himself.

 

And on that, here’s a musical treat just for you: