Easter Lovin’

Hello y’all and happy Easter (if you celebrate)!

Also, I apologize for the southern y’all, but I just can’t shake it since being back from Selma.

Anyway, happy Easter! I’m not sure why, but lately, I have been reflecting a whole lot on my past year. And actually, thinking about it, I know exactly why. Last year, I wrote a blog post on Easter that was basically talking about how the holidays were so different as a twentysomething – there was no more Easter Bunny, no more colored eggs, and worst of all, no family love around. I love school and my job is great, but last year, being away from everyone I loved was hitting me hard.

This year, things are looking a little different. I facetimed with my parents this morning, I called my grandmother, I had an amazing brunch with a really good group of friends, and then I went to see my sister to catch up, see a movie, and have a nice Easter dinner. And now, I’m here. Writing this blog. It really is amazing to see how much can change in one year. Last year, I felt completely isolated and alone. This year, I was surrounded by friends, family, and love.

And fittingly enough, I’m listening to one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals – Seasons of Love from Rent – as I write this.

“How do you measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife, in five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure a year in the life?
…measure in love.” 

And friends, that is the difference. Last year, last Easter, was 365 days ago. I lived in a different apartment. I had different friends. I was taking different classes. I had, for all intents and purposes, a completely different life.

What changed was my mindset. My perspective. This Easter, I am choosing to live in love.

Last Easter, after I wrote my semi-emo forever-lonely blog post, I received an outpouring of love and support from all of those around me. I just didn’t see it. A friend sent me a care package, two friends called me immediately after I posted the blog just to check in, people asked me about it the next day…it was just great, but I didn’t see it in the same way. This year, I’m in a place where I can not only feel the love around me, but I can share it. I can give love to others to acknowledge my own appreciation. But, admittedly, that is hard to do when you aren’t in that place. So for all who are reading, here are some reminders.

  1. Love yourself. Love others. In that order.
    • Last year, I was not in a place to share love. My well was empty, and it needed some serious refilling. I needed to focus on myself first, so then I could learn to see and appreciate all the love that was surrounding me.
  2. Take off the blinders. 
    • Last year, I was only able to see what was right in front of me. Looking outside that perimeter, there is so much more. Most of the friends that I have (still) are not in the same city as me. And the friends that I do have here this year are only friends because we are able to have a deep and genuine connection. Everyone else can step. But family is still family, even if they are five hours away. Taking off the blinders can help you see all the surrounding love that might not be in your physical area.
  3. It’s not easy.
    • Just because I’m in a better place this Easter doesn’t mean that last year was a picnic. Being open-hearted means being vulnerable, and even to this day, that is one of the hardest things for me to be. It’s scary. But through love, it is possible.

So with that, I am spreading all the Easter love this year to all of you today and every day!

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Here’s to All the Single Ladies

Happy Valentine’s Day, all my twentysomething friends! A day of love, beauty, romance, flowers, and chocolate. Or, a day for solo wine binges, Netflix, and internal sobs. In my basic understanding of relationships, there are three options.

  1. Taken
  2. Single
  3. It’s complicated 

This year, I find myself in the second category: single. And no, this blog post is not a plea to all the single attractive people out there. Although, if anyone cute is reading this, my number is 518-27…okay, wait, just kidding.

My question for all my single friends: why can’t we have both types of Valentine’s Days? I want the love, flowers, chocolates, AND solo wine binges and Netflix. The internal sobs can stay at home this year, because:

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So this year, if you are single and not-ready-to-mingle, or maybe you are ready but want to have a nice Valentine’s Day for yourself, I say go for it. And here are a few ideas:

  1. The Traditional
    • Indulge yourself in all the typical Valentine’s Day treats. Buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of roses (or any flowers, really…pick your favorite)! Buy a box of chocolates for yourself and don’t feel guilty about eating half of it in one sitting. Maybe if you’re feeling extra fancy, prepare a gourmet meal for one, get dressed up, and treat yourself to a glass of wine and a good book while eating your specially-prepared-for-you-by-you meal.
  2. The Date Night
    • Who says you can’t take yourself out? Pick your favorite restaurant, or a new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Order your favorite thing from the menu, and don’t even think twice about ordering dessert. You deserve it. Afterwards, check the local movie times and go to a movie. Yes, by yourself. I know it can be awkward at first, but I’ve done it, and it’s actually a refreshing change of pace. Pick out a ridiculously overpriced snack, sit back in the seat, and enjoy a movie on you.
  3. The Buy-My-Love
    • Alicia Keys sings, “Some people want diamond rings…but everything means nothing, if I ain’t got you.” I love me some Alicia Keys, but let me tell you, everything does mean something, with or without this ever-elusive “you” figure. Now, as twentysomethings, we may not be able to treat ourselves to a diamond ring. But take yourself to the mall and go on a mini shopping spree. A little retail therapy never hurt anyone.
  4. The Stay-In Valentine 
    • Crowds aren’t your thing? I totally understand, especially when you know everyone else will be partnered off. Sometimes, it’s better to just avoid it. In this case, tonight is the perfect night to search the “RomCom” category on Netflix, or hit up the local Red Box (do they even have those anymore?). Anyway, stay in and do you! Dress in the comfiest pair of pajamas you have, puffy socks, cushy slippers…the whole deal. Make yourself some hot cocoa and curl up on the couch.
  5. The Anti-Valentine
    • Okay, so I have to admit, Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone. There are even married people I know who’ve said, “We don’t really do Valentine’s day.” That’s cool, too. So, in that case, just keep living your life. Why is being single any harder on this day than on any other day of the year? As far as I know, there is no research that states that there are more couples on Valentine’s Day than on any other day, so just keep doing you. Do your laundry, go grocery shopping, and just live your regular Sunday best.

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Regardless of your plans for today, I’m  wishing you all much blog love, as I, a single man, will probably choose a combination of all of these ideas for today.