Happy birthday, kcincleveland!

It has been officially one year since my first blog post on kcincleveland.com (!!!!!) Happy birthday to my beautiful creation! What started off as an experimental place to share my thoughts and cope with growing up has turned into so, so much more. And I love it, and I love you for reading it.

I always used writing as an outlet when I was young, and for a long period of time life just got in the way, and I lost that outlet. I felt like I was constantly turning every situation I found myself in into a negative, and that just exacerbated how shitty I felt things were going. I was supposed to be this happy, in love, successful post-grad and, despite how lucky and privileged I knew I’d been, I wasn’t feeling like that. I’ve done a lot of things since then to re-frame the way I approach and reflect on situations, and it’s helped me accept myself and my life for what it is (read: beautiful, awesome, amazing, etc.). My favorite quote from rereading the word document I rambled on over a year ago as motivation to start my blog: “I’m being entitled if I think I’m above car trouble, health and boy issues.”

An exercise I tried before actually starting kcincleveland (which I would recommend everyone do every now and then) was making a bulleted list, and isolating what I really want out of life. Looking back now, I have accomplished a lot of the points I wanted to, but there are also some that I forgot about in the last year. Things like not using my phone as a crutch, not swearing as much (though I don’t know if I can ever help that), and using “I” and “me” less in conversations.


After all the reflecting I’ve done today, and the steps I’ve been taking toward being the person I want to be, I want to share with you a lesson I’m still continuously learning. In a time when you can’t open Facebook without seeing another engagement or baby announcement, you can’t go through life worrying about what other people are doing or what they think about what you’re doing. You can’t compare the behind-the-scenes of your life to someone else’s highlight reel.

That shit you see all over social media and what movies and your TV feed you—that’s not real life. You know what real life is because you live it every day. And so does everyone else, just not in the same way you do. There are tough days and there are amazing days. And half the time you don’t realize how good the really great days actually were until they’re over and done… that’s just how it goes. No one ever said things wouldn’t royally suck sometimes. Learn to adjust your expectations, but don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Most importantly, stop feeling like you have to use someone else’s misfortune as a frame of reference for how fortunate you are. Just stop worrying about what everyone else is doing all together. Do you. And be awesome at it. Cuz no one else can.

xoxox

The Dobler-Dahmer Theory

If both people are into each other, a big romantic gesture works: like Lloyd Dobler, holding up the boom box outside Diane Court’s window in Say Anything. But if one person isn’t into the other, the same gesture comes off serial-killer crazy: or Dahmer.

This, my friends, is The Dobler-Dahmer Theory, as explained by Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother.

Even if you have never seen Say Anything, you know this scene in the movie. Lloyd Dobler (played by John Cusack) stands outside of his love interest’s window post-breakup, holding up a boombox blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” — the big romantic gesture to win her back. Hearts all over the world melted for that scene 25 years ago. At the opposite end of this theory, we have Jeffrey Dahmer — a serial killer and sex offender who stalked, raped, murdered, and eventually ate his victims. Hmm. Lovely.

lloyd-dobler

“Whether a gesture is charming or alarming depends on how it’s received.”

Yes, I’m well aware that I’m two years late with this reference. I’ve been watching a lot of HIMYM on Netflix lately, and this has always been one of those theories that I feel holds so much truth and genius. [Unlike The Olive Theory… which is complete bullshit.] The theory conveys how tricky of a game dating, romance, and love can be to play. And in the end, that’s all it is anyway– a game.

The Dobler-Dahmer Theory states that there is no unequivocal line you cross for your actions to be construed as super sweet or certifiably nuts. What’s more, there is no way to know how your actions will be received until you actually go for it. In reality, you’re just placing a bet that you come out a Dobler. And even though you may think the house stacked the odds in your favor, anything can happen. There is *no* such thing as a sure thing.

Dahmer

You could pull the same move on every person you meet, and for every person that perceives you as a Dobler, there will be just as many that think you’re a total Dahmer. Even more disheartening, someone could spend an entire relationship a Dobler, and one day without warning, morph into a Dahmer. No matter how long you are with someone, once you see them as a Dahmer, there’s usually no going back. There are no guarantees in dating and in love and in romance… which is equally as awesome as it is depressing.

As if I needed any more of a reason to live out the rest of my days in the company of my cat…

For the birds

So, for the past 6 months I have been convinced that 2014 just isn’t my year. I’ve been keeping tabs on every bad thing that has occurred, adding it to some list in my head that I can use to explain why bad fortune follows me.

Then, one day I had a revelation. Shitty things happen to everyone, every day. People get through it. It’s not even like the things that happened to me were all that terrible, anyway. And then, regarding all of the good things that happened this year– why isn’t that figurative list as easily accessible in my brain? I just need to MAN UP and quit dwelling on the (first world) misfortunes and start appreciating the good stuff.

The very day after this so-called revelation, a bird pooped on me.

Ever since then, I’ve been hitting a lot of green lights driving.