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2018 Business Insider Magazine "Most Eligible Singles" List

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Hey ya'll it's ya girl Jen! On Tuesday, Business Insider Magazine and Hinge released its annual list of the "Most Eligible Singles" for 2018 across the United States and I made the list for Los Angeles. I've known about this since November of last year and then found out last week that the article would go live this week. It's slightly embarrassing, but very cool at the same time. 

Click here to read the article, or to see who else was named on the list throughout the US.

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Happy

Dear Ella,

Have courage and be kind.

From,
Ella's Mom


I'll be the first to admit, I'm not always the easiest person. I'm a firm believer in what you put out into the universe is what you'll receive back. Behind the brave face and smiles, I have ups and downs, just like everyone else. For me my ups and downs are more than noticeable. For those of you who read "My Journey with Anxiety", you'd know I struggle with anxiety. If you didn't, surprise surprise... I have anxiety. What you don't know is I have also struggled with depression in the past. For me being happy takes work. It's something I work at every fucking day. When I'm happy, the happiness seeps out my pores and anyone and everyone around can see a smile from miles away. Unfortunately, the same can be said for when I'm sad or mad.

As many of you know by now I like my life in black and white. I like knowing what's going to happen and not happen. I don't like the unexpected... the grey area. The grey area scares me, it gives me anxiety and it makes me want to just hide under the covers until I know everything is okay. For me being happy is something I work hard for everyday and I appreciate every moment that there is a smile on my face. I recently read an article that resonated with me so much, I felt like this article was written about me. It's called the "Strongest Girls are Girls with Anxiety" and I agree, I am fucking strong because everyday I fight for that smile that's on my face. But for most of March my anxiety overtook me. I was in a constant battle and there were moments when I felt like I was losing. Getting out of bed was a struggle, smiling at work was painful, talking to friends and coworkers was torture. Safe to say I was close to losing a battle that I fight so hard to overcome. I barely smiled, I didn't even really cry... I was more emotionless... zombie-like, just grey.

About a week ago, I guy I used to be involved with … let’s call him… SM, SM messaged me. A little background on SM, he’s ridiculously good looking (and he knows it, insert eye rolls here). I’m not talking average run of the mill good looking, I’m talking Grecian God, abs for days, hair that could give mine a run for its money, eyes that make you go weak at knees… that kind of good looking. But with all of that he’s not someone I would ever entertain the idea of being in a relationship with. He’s someone I would never expect anything from, well… besides a good time. It's crazy how out of nowhere an ex from when I was 22 comes out of the woodwork and can remind me how amazing I am (I would also like to say that this is proof, that I on occasion know how to pick them). Our very non-vanilla conversations and interactions have definitely been helping me get my mojo back in a sense. This is in no way me saying that to get over one relationship, you need another. It's just been fun having a bit of a distraction and I've been smiling and laughing again. 

One thing that I miss about my time with CS was that there was always a 100% pure bliss smile on my face. We could be doing nothing at all or something exciting and there it was, a smile. I'm a very independent person. Growing up as a child of divorce I was always taught that you cannot depend on anyone for anything (especially your well-being and happiness) and you have to always depend on yourself. This is why in relationships I stay very independent and guarded. I have a life apart from my relationship whether it be with friends, work, my blogging, etc. I always try and maintain a healthy balance. What I didn't realize until a couple days ago is that I had become dependent on him for something... I let my happiness and my smiles become dependent on him and I didn't even know it. I was talking to Angel (who I'm so grateful for, even with her busy schedule, different time zones, kids + husband and the 6000 miles of ocean that separate us, she still makes time for me and my boy problems just like she has been doing for the past 15 years) and I told her that I am so scared that I'm not going to ever smile like that again. It honestly scares me. 

I have this app that gives me an inspirational quote for the day (so fucking cheesy I know) and it asks me what my focus/goal for the day is. I would say five out of seven days, I put "SMILE" as my focus/goal. It's a little embarrassing that I have to remind myself to smile, but sometimes I honestly forget. I get too wrapped up in a "bad day" and forget that even if a day is bad, there is at least one good bit in it. This is what I try to remember. That even in darkness, you can always find a bit of light. I've slowly but surely climbed out of the dark and sad place I was at for most of March...it took time but I did it. I'm smiling, laughing and noticing the beauty within each day again. I try my best to shut out the negativity and move past it.

If this had taught me anything it's that I'm a lot more courageous and kind than I would have thought. There are very few people I "hate"... I don't like that word. Hate is a nasty emotion and the people I don't care for, I just don't care for. I'm not gonna waste space in my brain or my heart with that negative energy. I'm courageous for speaking my truth... sharing my experience... opening up about what hurt me. I tried my best to remain fair, objective and unbiased. I never went into sharing with the intent of malice, hatred or shaming. I did it simply to share. After everything he's not on my "I don't care for list" and definitely not on my hate list... what happened, happened. It was a learning experience and I don't regret a thing. If anything it taught me that I'm more courageous and more kind than I would have ever imagined. So as they say in one of my favorite Disney movies... "have courage and be kind" because it's honestly the best thing we can do as humans. When you take risks and are kind to others, happiness is sure to follow.


dress: zara (sold out), similar here and here
shoes: steve madden "paiton" in tan nubuck
photos: amanda nguyen

The Last Goodbye


Dear CS,

After all is said and done, thank you.

From,
Jen


I’m sure many of you are wondering why I’m saying thank you to someone who broke things off in a text message. It's been over two weeks now and after the time that passed, I became more and more okay with what happened. Yes, it sucked and no I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. But I’m back. I’m me again. The me I was pre-CS. Happy with my professional life. Happy with my personal life. More importantly, happy with myself. I’m not gonna remember or judge someone based off one interaction of many. This was the one bad one, but I shared a handful of short-lived great moments with him. I laughed and smiled more than I thought I was capable of. As I write this, all those moments are flooding my brain. The biggest smile is on my face and I'm grateful that they happened. From the electricity I experienced the first time we kissed, me falling asleep in his arms watching the sunset down at the beach and our trip to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. I’m really happy these happened. But I’m not sitting here jaded, these wonderful moments happened with the person I thought he was. A person he was pretending to be.

I still have a handful of questions for him. If you read Post "Post-It" PTSD you would know the questions were in no shortage. During the days that followed I’ve asked myself these questions over and over again. “Why would you go away with me?”, “Why would you make plans with me?”, “Why would you say things that led me to believe you could see our relationship progressing over a long period of time?” … I’m certain I’ll never get them answered but that’s okay. I’m okay. No, scratch that I’m more than okay. Life is full of unanswered questions and no matter how much I feel I deserve an answer to them, that’s not always how the world works.

I keep thinking back to my last in person interaction with him, for clues or signs that I could have missed that would have made me see this coming. I had spent the night with him on a Tuesday. He had an early work day on Wednesday, so before he left he woke me up, told me he was leaving for work, kissed me goodbye and left. I never imagined when he said goodbye that would be the last goodbye. The last kiss. The last time I saw him. The last time he would put an untainted, genuine smile on my face. A half asleep, hazy moment that I remember so perfectly. A moment in which I would have never expected this to happen.

I’m not gonna lie and sit here and say that after this happened I didn’t have a sliver of hope or wishful thinking that he’d show up with peonies and say "I’m sorry, I fucked up." I guess that was me being idealistic considering I haven't heard from him since. It never happened but again that’s okay. He’s not the person he was pretending to be. I’ve never had to compromise myself and ask someone to be with me or make time for me and I wasn’t about to start now. Even if this ideal situation had happened, I don’t know if my pride would allow me to jump back into his arms. If anything I think I would have been more hurt and more confused. Would I really want to be with someone who was that incredibility inconsiderate and disrespectful? Hell no. Unless puppies were involved, peonies and puppies, that might make me reconsider. LOL. I kid, I kid. But, I mean isn't that every little girl's fairy tale dream though... the grand gesture?! But life isn't a fairy tale and I'm not waiting around for anyone to rescue me. I rescue myself.

I'd be a complete liar if I said I didn't miss him. I do. But that's normal. That's how I know everything I felt was genuine and real. But let me make myself clear when I say this... I miss the person he was pretending to be. Not the person he actually is. If I had seen his true colors from the beginning, I would have never given him the time of day. Like any woman in my position, I find myself wondering what would have happened if he had never sent that message. What if he had just talked to me about all the things that were pushing and pulling him or would have just been honest. Right now he's my “what if” and that sucks. But this ties back to what I said about the unanswered questions. Sitting around wondering what could have been isn't healthy and isn't doing me any good. So instead, I try and be hopeful. Not hopeful for him, but hopeful for greatness in general. 

Maybe my time with CS was the experience to get me ready for the next great one. I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you. I’m still navigating this new world of being single. Honestly though, how do you single? I’m thankful for this experience because it gave me a bit of a road map and a glimmer of hope that the right person for me is out there. This is why after all is said and done, I’m thankful.

Maybe, just maybe our last goodbye was a blessing in disguise. The last memory I have with him (no matter how pretend) was such a sweet moment that still brings a smile to my face. As much as I would have liked him to break things off in person, looking back… in retrospect I don’t know if I could have handled it. Every in person interaction I had with him, every moment we shared, I was on Cloud 9. Even a day when I was annoyed with him for skipping out on a Disneyland date because he was hungover, the moment I saw him the annoyance disappeared. I was all smiles. I couldn't name one bad moment even if I tried. Now that I’ve had time to come to terms with what happened, I would’ve hated for all that to get tainted by him breaking things off in person... no matter how much I needed it and felt I deserved it at the time. (Although I would have appreciated a response to my questions) So as much as I loathed the “don’t hate me” text message, now I’m okay with it. The last goodbye, the last kiss… it was sweet. The perfect ending to a whirlwind experience. So… CS, thank you. Thank you for showing me what I want in a partner and thank you for showing me your true colors and that I didn’t end up with you.


romper: tobi "eda black romper"
coat: aliexpress, similar here
shoes: steve madden "edit" bootie in black
hat: whim things "custom felt fedora hat" in black
photo: photobyvincent

 

Post "Post-It" PTSD

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Dear Brain,

Can you just stop with the flashbacks and bits of anxiety? You’re really cramping my style.

From,
Jen


After what happened, I gave myself a week to be sad and upset. I'm one of those Type A people that calendars anything and everything. I went to bed at about 7pm each night with the help of wine and xanax. This past Sunday, I pulled myself together. I woke up went to the gym, ran some long over due errands and finally tackled the mess that was my nails. If you know me in real life you know I wont go more than 30 minutes with chipped or worn out nail polish. I'm incredibly anal about my manicures. But this past week... woof, my manicure was a hot mess, my life was a mess. In short, I got my shit together.

I woke up the next morning in such a good place. Accepting of what happened the previous Monday with the “post-it”. (If you read “How Do You Single?”, you would know that I related his “don’t hate me” text message to Burger’s “don’t hate me” post-it) I spent that past week writing everything out and it honestly was incredibly cathartic. I finally got to a place where I was okay. I was getting back into the sync of things at work, fast-paced me, working my way down my to-do’s for the day. I went to lunch with coworkers and as we were finishing up, out of the corner of my eye I saw a group of people coming towards us on their bicycles decked out in gear/outfits from the company he works for. So in my head there was a high probability that this was him. I immediately got nauseous, felt sick to my stomach and could feel a panic attack coming on. One thing was clear... as much as I tried to convince myself I was okay, I was not fucking okay. This has been a fear of mine because we work so close to each other that we’d run into each other. It wasn’t him, but it took less than three seconds for me to go from smiling and laughing at lunch, to scared, anxious and panicked.

After what happened at lunch Matt said that I probably have PTSD. I thought he was kidding. But when we got back to the office, he looked up the definition and sent it to me.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD: Anxiety and flashbacks triggered by a traumatic event. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. Symptoms may include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, heightened reactivity to stimuli, anxiety, or depressed mood. (Source: The Mayo Clinic)

At first when he said that I could have PTSD, I thought it was insulting to those that actually suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Most commonly you hear of veterans and our servicemen and women suffering from PTSD. What they experienced sacrificing for our country gives them every right to have PTSD. The fact that I was this stressed out by the off chance of running into him at lunch made me feel like I was insulting those brave men and women who actually have PTSD. But you know what, this was traumatic for me. I was not ready to run into him. One day everything is sunshine and fucking rainbows and the next, it’s like hell froze over. My world was rocked and not in the good way.

It was clear that as much as I was telling myself that I was okay, convincing myself that I was good. I was not okay. I think I’m still affected because I have so many unanswered questions. As much as I feel like I deserve an honest answer to these questions, I don’t think I’ll ever get them. But I thought because they still run through my mind... maybe I should just ask him. I typed out all the questions as if I were to send them to him, but I stopped myself (more like Matt stopped me). I didn’t ever expect him to answer them or respond to me, I just thought that if I typed them out and put them into the universe, I did all I could do to try and get the answers I felt I deserved. If he did respond, great… maybe I’d get some closure or the truth and if he didn’t… that would speak volumes and again I’d get closure. But Matt put it in perspective when he said that I couldn’t depend on him to get closure from this no matter how much I deserved it. I had to find closure for myself.

Still these questions run through my Type A brain. Nothing bugs me more than having unanswered questions. I’m one of those people that just needs to know. So here are my questions:

I’m curious if he even meant any of the things he said to me while we were dating? If he did, I can’t imagine he just woke up one day and thought to himself that he was done. So does that mean he was pretending? Because even in my darkest moment, I would never treat someone I cared about with that kind of disregard.

I get that he was stressed out about certain things happening in his life but a lot of what he brought up was there when we first started dating or even before. So that just confused me even more, why would he keep pursuing us?

Was I being too demanding of his time? I don’t think I was and if I was, he could have just told me. I understand being busy and not having enough time. I was able to manage everything I have on my plate (work, blog, Whim Things, events and friends) on top of him so I guess it didn’t ever occur to me that maybe he couldn’t. And if that’s the case, I’m sorry… but he never talked to me about it and he decided that wasn’t being fair to me because he couldn’t give me time or attention. If anything, what was not fair to me was when he decided to text me the “don’t hate me” text message without any regard for how I would feel. He made it a point to let me know that he felt horrible having to write this out… Well, then why did he?

If he meant any bit of the things he was saying to me I would have expected him to have enough respect to talk to me about it. He said that he doesn’t know if he could put everything he has into us, but I don’t recall ever asking him to. He decided that without talking to me about it. Why didn't he just talked to me?

One day he’s saying things that insinuate that he could see us progressing over time and the next this happens. Why did he say those things? Everything he said I took with a grain of salt because even though we went from zero to sixty we were still fairly new, in that everything is bliss “Honeymoon Stage.” But after our weekend in Palm Springs, I took everything he said at face value and believed him.

These are my questions. This is what runs through my Type A brain because without answers to them, it makes me feel like I did something wrong that warranted being treated this way. But I’m gonna tell you, I was fucking amazing. I was honest. I was me and I genuinely fell for him. No ulterior motives and no pretending. But right now, I feel like an idiot and a fool. And apparently no matter how much I tell myself I’m okay… Right now, I’m not okay.  I’m suffering from post post-it PTSD.

I’m one of those people that believes that you can will something if you try your hardest. I tried real hard to convince myself I was okay and I started to believe it. I put my ColourPop London Fog red lipstick on and was ready to conquer the week ahead. But it took the possibility that I was about to run into him at lunch to make me realize that is not always the case. But me being me, I’m gonna keep telling myself I’m okay because eventually I’ll wake up one morning, say I’m okay and the post "post-it" PTSD will be gone and I will really be okay.


top: tobi "bella black jersey knitted blouse" in black
jeans: topshop "moto leigh super ripped ankle skinny jeans" in mid denim
shoes: sam edelman "bates mule" in golden caramel
sunnies: zerouv "women's half frame gradient lens sunglasses a928" in gold orange yellow

Weighted Words


Dear Men,

If you have nothing truthful to say, say nothing at all.

From,
A Woman Naïve Enough to Believe You


I’ve always been taught that you should never say anything you don’t mean because your words have an effect on others, no matter what you think. A couple days after the “don’t hate me” text message I did something I shouldn’t have fucking done. I sat at my desk and re-read our entire text conversation from start to finish to see if I was hallucinating his feelings towards me. Apparently I'm a masochist?! But nope, I didn’t. I almost wish I had, so then it would give me a reason to get over this. I highly doubt I hallucinated all the perfectly sweet things he was saying. What I didn't realize at the time is that he could have just been saying them without meaning it.

I’m one of those people that ever rarely says anything I don’t mean because I understand that words have weight behind them. So unfortunately, I expect others to follow suit. This is why I’ve only said "I love you" to one man. I understand that those three words have a world of weight behind them. They are powerful words. They’re not words that should be blurted out over a mutual love for salt and vinegar chips or a disdain for Joseph Gordon Levitt. (This happened IRL with him) Words are extremely powerful and in the end his words hurt more than I could've imagined.

I feel like I was conned and lied too. What's funny is we had a running joke about "the long con." How he was dating me to murder me, ha. If you know me I'm really intrigued by murder and crime shows. On our first date I told him one of my fears about dating apps was that I could end up murdered. In the end I'm still here, still alive but definitely conned. I’m the naïve woman who believed him and what he was saying. It’s extremely hard for me to sit here and not feel like a stupid idiot, but I have to snap myself out of it. I have to remind myself, I was completely honest and truthful the entire time. I was me. I was not pretending. I did nothing wrong.

After spending four days feeling sorry for myself, eating my weight in pie and ice cream, I have to say I’m proud of myself. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings are still fucking hurt and I still feel like a damn fool. But I’m extremely proud of myself for taking a risk. My friends are amazing enough to remind me of that as well. I’m a VERY guarded person but with him, I let all my guards down. I went into this experience open and honest, excited for what would come from it. But let me tell you, what happened was the exact opposite. I never imagined he would break things off, let alone in a text message. I feel like that was a new low I experienced as an adult. If he was feeling a certain way, I would have thought he would have enough respect and courtesy for me to communicate that to me in person.

For any parents reading this, teach your sons (and daughters) that if they are in a similar situation to mine to have enough respect to break things off in person, face-to-face. Also, they shouldn’t be adding a “don’t hate me” at the end. The person on the receiving end is entitled to how they feel in that moment and days to come. If they hate the person after all is said and done, they are allowed to. I don’t harbor any hatred or resentment towards him. I’m hurt and disappointed by him but I’m more mad and upset with myself. I’m mad and upset for not realizing sooner that he could have been saying these perfect things without believing them. To him they could have been empty words he was throwing out loosely to get me to fall for him. Not only did I fall, but I feel like I crashed and burned.

He fooled me. He conned me. He lied to me. But hey, now I know for next time. As much as I could say I wish I had never met him, that would be a lie. I had a couple conversations with my friend Matt about this and he reminded me that no matter how hurt I was and wishing I hadn’t met him, would I trade in those feelings for never experiencing the good I did with him? I had to think about it... but in the end, no I wouldn’t. You take the good with the bad. The time I spent with him was wonderful, we went from zero to sixty fairly quickly and I was genuinely happier than I've ever been. I learned a lot about myself and found out how open and honest I could be about my feelings. It’s unfortunate it ended in the manner it did, but I’ll be okay. Moving forward this is something I’m just gonna have to make clear to the next person I choose to take a risk on. “If you have nothing truthful to say, say nothing at all," because your words are weighted and I (unfortunately) will believe them.


top: zara (sold out), similar here
sunnies: zerouv "oversize moon and start sunglasses a331" in black
pants: topshop "jamie coated skinny jeans" in black
purse: aliexpress
shoes: zara "flat shoes with bow details" in black
choker: whim things

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