It’s kind of a funny story

This is a story about a boy meeting girl.

Well actually, let me rewind a little. This is a story about a girl. The boy will come later. And like any good story, there’s a lesson at the end. But once again.. I’ll get to that.

So anyway, a few weeks ago,  I went on a date that wasn’t the date. It was actually a personal training session that I pretty much had to go to therapy over because I was so filled with anxiety about it going well. I hyperventilated the whole car ride there and gave myself a pep talk (out loud no less) like a crazy cat lady and I’m sure anyone who was driving next to me thought I was insane. Or had a bluetooth headset in. For my dignity, I hope for the latter.

And that was the beginning. Sort of.

And I guess.. since that story is now OFFICIALLY over.. The ending leaving us with a lesson we never knew existed  (and that I wish I really didn’t have to learn) ..well I thought I could enrich others life with my relationship failure.

Basically, here’s how it all happened.

I’ve been infatuated with a personal trainer at my gym for probably a good solid 3 months now. More specifically, his perfect ass.  I could literally watch this guy do squats all day. Which at one point, was one of the main fascinations with going to the gym in the first place. I’m not sorry about that. I’m a pretty simple person in this regard. And if a hot guy at the gym is what gets me there- well.. I’ll take that.

I also try not to limit my mind by believing in stereotypes. I like to think I give most people a chance before writing them off into falling under a category. But come on let’s be real here.. There is no way a guy this good-looking spends a lot of time reading literature right? You don’t get biceps like that by sitting in a library. Squat jumps don’t increase intellectual capacity just like dictionaries don’t give you washboard abs.

…And so with sad resignation, I had almost convinced myself to settle for watching him move around muscle than actually engaging him in a real conversation.

You’ll be disappointed I told myself. Theres a Shwayze lyric about this. (Who I also think is a highly underrated lyrical genius.. Kids got rhymes.) Basically my man shwayz says “I’m about the quality/not the price tag/better have a nice brain with that nice ass.” – a lyric I like to live my Iife by. I need a brain behind the braun. Being smart is hot. The butt helps. But always quality over quantity kids. Learn it.

So I settled on awkward eye contact. It would have to do.

And then one day, several weeks ago, the stars aligned. He stood a little too close to me as I stretched out and I thought, wellllll what’s a short conversation really going to hurt?

Well guys… he was no braniac. But he was much smarter and engaging than I had originally concluded. And I’m hardly brilliant either. But I also don’t have to be a science geek to know when there’s some chemistry present. Furthermore, I have pretty much given up 90 percent of my weekends to nanny in order to survive, so I can’t really refuse any potential contact with the opposite sex at this point.

Alright, let me back up again. All of these personal trainers  (including hot guy) are essentially piranhas. Constantly trying to get you to get a package so they can start you on your training goals and change your life.. Yadda yadda yadda. I’d been approached by at least three trainers before him and while I wasn’t  really interested in changing my life in that particular category I thought if I was going to actually spend time and talk with this person- I should let my personal training guard down and actually agree to some sessions.

Besides, what could it hurt?

Answer: every muscle, limb, and inch of my body. And all of my dignity.

Because this is where someone should have sat me down and kicked me. Repeatedly.

Unfortunately, no such person came along and so I dove right into one of the most uncomfortable relationships of my life.

I’m not going to give all the dirty details but basically, as the weeks progressed he wasn’t just my personal trainer. And I found myself stuck with two different people.

There was one side of this guy who was cute and funny and texted me constantly. And clearly liked me. And it was great! It was going somewhere. Where I’m not entirely sure. And I actually didn’t really care. I mean if he said meet me in the sauna I would have been there in 10 seconds.But this is now irrelevant.

Because then….. There was the other guy.

Alright. Picture this with me. There’s a person you could potentially really like. They have a lot of attributes you look for and seem to like you too. Now picture this same person, forcing you to do pushups and lift weights and do sprint circuits. You never look good in front of them. You are always sweaty, dripping and out of breath.

Hot right?

Oh, don’t you worry. I’m not done.

Imagine they make you keep track of what you eat and then dissect each thing scrupulously making you feel insanely guilty for every weekend splurge and that small drinking binge and I REALLY LIKE NUTELLA OK!?

Imagine that you don’t want to look like a wimp in front of them so you work your ass off trying not to show how tired you are and willing your body not to sweat knowing it’s physically impossible to will something like that not to happen but trying anyway.

Imagine them right next to your body so close you can feel every single rock hard muscle as they spot you on every exercise and how exciting this could possibly be if you weren’t so focused on if your breath smells ok and is there a coffee stain on this shirt?  and it’s kind of cold in here. OH MY GOD, I’m nipping out. Wonderful. Don’t look at me.  Also… how you are once again sweaty.. dripping.. and out of breath. And then, through all of this just try to feel sexy afterward. I dare you.

Oh and then if all of that wasn’t enough…FINALLY

Imagine that on your last personal training session with this person. This person you have tried so hard to like through all this stupid subtle humiliation, begins to inform you that today… You will do something fun. And you’re thinking Goody. Because your idea of fun is making out in the locker room.

Unfortunately, his idea of fun is taking your body fat percentage.

You stare at him.

No.

No way.

Absolutely not.

But yes.. Yes, Meg. Because this is your life.

You stand in a room full of scales as he grabs a claw-like object. You stare at it. You begin to ask “What is that fo–” ..just as he uses it to grab every. single. fat pouch on your body. You pray to God to smite you down right there. Just end it. End this please. Lighting bolt, flash flood, spontaneous combustion.. hey, you aren’t picky here. Just do it, and fast. He asks you to stop squirming. Oh and can you please move your sports bra so he can grab your back (fat)? Jesus Christ.. This is it.  The most romantic moment in your whole life. Nothing will top this. Ever. Nothing like a guy squeezing your ass with a body fat claw to really just turn a girl on. You attempt to blackout this moment. Or hold your breath until you lose consciousness. He stares at you confused.

Afterward, he does some quick calculations and informs you that while your percentage is ok.. Here’s how to improve it. Great. As if you weren’t vulnerable enough in this situation, he’s now trying to talk to you about how to get rid of the fat on your body. Please sir. Continue. I’m absolutely hanging on to your every word.

…ALRIGHT Rico Suave..Just wondering but are you retarded? I realize this is your job and everything but it doesn’t take a genius to see how uncomfortable you just made me.  Get me out of this room. I’m now going to have to completely reschedule my gym time to avoid you forever and ever and ever. And I’m so not hooking up with you in the locker room now.

Somehow, I survived that last training session. But it took every ounce in my body not to run out yelling about what an idiot I am.

Because the other guy isn’t enough. The cute funny, nice, hot guy on the side is absolutely overpowered by the personal trainer in him that has reduced me to feeling like nothing more than a self-conscious, unattractive overweight teenager. And I’m not one of those girls! I’m pretty secure with myself. I’m confident. I’m in control. But a girl can only take so much. And a guy who’s idea of flirting is asking what you ate for breakfast and telling you that you do cute burpees is not exactly an ideal relationship for me. (Or anyone? Are there people out there who would actually enjoy this?)

You’ll never be able to eat ice cream in front of this person. They will judge every workout you perform for all eternity. They don’t drink alcohol. They don’t drink caffeine. Their idea of fun is breaking a lifting record. And worst of all, they never got the message that all along you’d really just rather have the guy behind the personal training uniform.

Sigh.

So here’s the bizarre lesson I learned through all of this. Never again will I develop a crush on a personal trainer and then attempt his training schedule and a relationship. That was my bad. Believe me, lesson learned. And for those of you still thinking I should give this one a chance.. I challenge you  to try liking someone after they’ve poked at your body and nitpicked at your diet with catholic-like condemning for three weeks. Try not to run away after that. Just try. I mean I guess at least I’m running.

Overall I suppose, I’ve learned to just follow my gut.

Going back to the basics–

…admiring his butt.

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clarity

I thought with Thanksgiving around the corner, I might give some thanks.

But as I start to write, I realize how little I was thankful this year. I spent half of it just grasping at some previous reality that maybe never was real in the first place, and the other half mourning the things I should have been appreciating. And I don’t think it’s any secret at this point that I’ve had one the best and worst years of my life. I guess that’s probably the greatest thing about writing how you feel for pretty much every one to see, people ask how you are, and I kind of just want to say, you really want to know? Here. Read all about it. 

In truth though, although it’s been a year of really growing up, and that means some occasional tears and punching inanimate objects (my preference being pillows over walls as I’m not a dude) and asking some foreign being in the sky why it has be all be so hard sometimes?.. I wouldn’t change it. Nope. It hasn’t been easy, no doubt about that. But I see the Meg who graduated in May, and I look in the mirror now and I see a better and stronger person. And though I’m by no means done in finding one who that person is.. if that’s not something to be thankful for– for a person who survived some kind of internal fire– then I don’t know what is.

I’m thankful for standing up. 

I started off this year, just stagnant. I mean I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t moving. And I mean I literally wasn’t moving. So it started with a physical transformation. I got sick of sitting on my ass being one of those girls who complained about how I didn’t look like so and so and having every excuse in the book of how I was going to change that.

I just decided one day that I was going to. I wasn’t going to say I was going to do it, I was actually going to do it. I was going to sacrifice a Saturday night for an early Sunday morning on a treadmill. And I wasn’t going to eat pizza at 2 AM because everyone else was. And that I could run that extra mile. And guess what? I did. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran. And people noticed. Want to know why? Because I did it. And I’m still doing it. In January of this year, I could barely run a ten minute SINGULAR mile. Today I can run 5 of those. Just because, one day.. I woke up and decided I was going to. And nothing was going to stop me.

I’m thankful for falling down. 

I never felt better physically. I was proud of each mile. But you can have the best body in the world, and still get your heart broken.

When I graduated in May, I felt like a curtain fell down and all of a sudden I realized the wizard of Oz was nothing more than a little man behind a bed sheet. I had lived the past four years in some sort of a delusional fairy tale where the future didn’t exist and I could be young and dumb forever. And any job could be my job and my dreams were in reach and I lived on a rainbow made of vodka and sunshine. I loved it there. The last six months of college made everything a little more clear. You appreciate little things so much more when you know it’s almost over. You want to suck the fun out of every situation, get every last drop of every last memory because you all of sudden begin to realize, you’re losing something. It’s almost gone. And maybe we all did that a little, all tried to hold on to anything that felt real and solid, all grasping for eachother, seeing everything in a new light because we finally appreciated what little time we had left. And because of that.. maybe I left my heart a little more open than normal, because I just wanted to feel everything I could.

Maybe, maybe.. I don’t know. You can maybe yourself to death, but I always thought living in Lawrence this past summer would be the best thing for us. But it wasn’t the same. It was a ghost town to the memories. All of a sudden, we were visitors in a place we always thought we could call home. Every single place reminded me of a memory that could never be lived again. Each day was a marathon. I could run all day long, but I couldn’t run from the fact that I was heart broken for something that wasn’t mine anymore. I hated pictures, I hated cards, I went from being so incredibly happy to being sometimes mind-numbingly sad. I listened to Slow-Dancing in a Burning Room on repeat. John Mayer’s voice was a close and personal friend. I desperately needed an intervention that I could only give myself. And I just couldn’t do it. Yet.

I’m thankful for new beginnings. 

Move-out day. I wanted out. I wanted to stay. I wanted to leave. I wanted to bury myself in the floor and  just exist there forever. I was a walking contradiction. I moved everything out of my room but my bed. I wanted to spend the last night I could possibly stay in Lawrence, in a room that was full of memories even if it wasn’t full of anything else. Long story short, I was pretty much dragged out of 1228 Ohio street. I spent all summer hating I was stuck in a place so incased in the past and when it came time to go, I wasn’t ready to leave.

Moving away didn’t feel like a new beginning at first. It felt like my life was over. When I first came to college, I was so excited to start fresh, to not know anyone, and then just 4 years later, I was terrified to do the thing I was so excited for just a few years ago. I felt emotionally raw. I came into Kansas City kicking and clawing for what used to be.

But anyone can tell you, the past is the past. You can’t live it again. And so little by little, I’ve tested the waters of the present. I got stronger. And I learned a valuable lesson in doing so. Getting stronger in the heart is so much harder than any mile I’ve had to run. It’s about getting up each day and looking the world in the face and saying I’m up. I’m here. Bring it on. And it’s a lot more difficult to actually do some days than it is to say.

I’m thankful for the climb. 

And so here I am.. months and months from that girl. Reflecting on a year that has been nothing short of a metaphorical mountain. And I’m thankful. Because life is hard for a reason. It’s not supposed to be easy. You’re supposed to survive. In matters of the body, yes. But more importantly, in matters of the heart.

If it wasn’t for the pain I went through this summer, I never would have started this blog. I never would have remembered how much I love to write. Sometimes I would feel like I would drown in my own sadness, but then I’d sit down to write. And It would be like coming up for air. Because when I finish writing, it’s a better high than I’ve ever gotten in anything else. Because I love doing it. And I’m thankful I have that.

After a year of uncertainty, I’m thankful for the peace I find in my little moments of clarity. That things are never perfect, but things are better. And that memories are good things. They mean you’ve lived.

And to live.. through heart break, through despair, through infinite limitless joy, through each memory whether they be happy or sad—well that’s what giving thanks is all about.

So thank you guys, for standing by me, as I grow as a person. As I survive each internal battle. As I fall down, and stand up and fall down again. As I look forward to the future, find peace with the past and thrive in the present.

thank you.

thank you.

thank you

M

17 again

Last night I watched one of my best friends from high school get engaged over a youtube video.

And I cried. Which is not that shocking because it was a pretty fantastic engagement and I tend to get emotional about those kind of things. But I also cried because I wish I could have been there..in person. And I wish I could still say that I am one of her best friends.. but sometimes, time and distance takes it toll on relationships and those that you used to be able to call as close as sisters, become strangers. And you have to watch one of the happiest moments of their lives happen over a computer screen, and find yourself wishing with all your heart you could hug them and tell them THIS is what we were waiting for when we were only 17. But knowing that just a text will have to suffice. 

And that’s sad right? I know. But that’s life. People lose touch all the time. And each day you wake up, another sun is waiting. Life doesn’t stop because you stop trying to be in someone’s life. It just goes on without you. And so do they. 

When we were 17, we were perfect.

We had our hearts broken every week by high school boys who had no idea the grip they had on our little lives. We tped houses and prank called and sang at the top of our lungs with the windows down in our cars. We made brownies just so we could eat the batter and we stayed up all night watching One Tree Hill. Sexy was just a pair of Soffee shorts. And since we started driving, freedom was the most highly coveted thing you could ever own.

We lived in a bubble. And we loved and hated it there. 

But that was our lives. And we spent a significant amount of time comforting each other, that someday, something better was waiting for all of us. Really believing it.. because what else did we know? And what other choice did we have? Our grip on reality was what we saw on TV. We all wanted to be Meredith Grey. We all wanted McDreamy. We all wanted to live happily ever after. But that didn’t stop the tears when the current guy you thought you were in love with didn’t turn out to be him. And we would sit in a car, in an abandoned parking lot, talking about dreams and broken hearts. Finding meaning to our lives in that perfect song and wishing we were all anywhere but here. 

And I was so silly and trivial back then. Looking around the corner for some fairy tale ending. Thinking maybe it was possible if I just waited long enough I could find that. I would get out of that town and just fly. And never look back. 

Which I did. I got out and moved on. And I’m thankful I’m not stuck in a bubble anymore. But I had to make sacrifices along the way. Things you didn’t think about at the time but now years later you find yourself kind of missing. 

But I guess mostly I think.. am I really that different from my 17 year old self? I spent years distancing myself from her. Trying to grow up, to be different, to change. But here I am, watching a video on youtube of a girl I used to know.. thinking she did it. She found it. What we were all looking so hard for. 

So here’s to your happy ending Erin. And to all the tears and heart break along the way that got you there. And the hope you give the rest of us, to all of our inner 17 year olds that never really grow up.

That each of our dreams,

whatever they may be,

maybe they weren’t that silly after all. 

 

 


To being 17 again..

M

The Nanny Diaries

Today I am going on a date.

ok…it’s not a date at all. It’s a personal training session. But it feels like a date.

And I wish I could explain! But then I was thinking, what if people were to ever meet this person? And they say Oh.. you’re so and so!! Meg wrote about you on her blog. And he looks at me and I look at him and I say ..SURPRISE!!! I made you famous! Haha?

…But really knowing that he now will forever view me as creepy blog girl who writes about him to an anonymous online mass readership before we potentially ever go on a real date. And I just really can’t have that. I’m already pretty awkward as it is. You can’t add creepy to awkward. Anyone who’s remotely close to socially intelligent knows this is a terrible deal-breaking combination.  So, I will make a serious effort to avoid the Dear Diary aspect in my writing. But I had to say something. Because I’m only human. And I’m a girl.

Anyway, enough about that.

In other news, I have discovered the fountain of youth.

but bless her for trying.

Yep, while all the rest of my demographic is out in their predetermined plywood desk cubicles, already beginning to settle into life with stock- bond-dividend- 401k- nestegg- 10 year plans all before a 9 pm bedtime, I am getting progressively younger. 

Now before you get super excited to see 17 year old Meg, I have to tell you that physically, this particular fountain isn’t doing much.

(And THANK GOD, because my awkward stage went well through the age of 17)

However.

psychologically, I now can honestly say, that in certain environments, I am 8 years old.

And how?

And why? 

Because I kidnap children for money (and then return them).

..Which is a fun way to say I babysit for everyone in the plaza area.

I’m like Brookside’s neighborhood ice cube because I’ve been chillin’ at pretty much everyone’s house!

… see? 8 years old.

It’s not a terrible life. Sometimes I watch cats die and sometimes I experience children who have nuclear explosions in their pants (more on this later) but mostly, it knocks retail out of the water. And here is why:

– Can you name any other job on the planet that I get to sing Katy Perry songs on repeat into a mixing spoon until I learn all the lyrics verbatim? I mean, I do this kind of thing alone and I usually never am getting paid for it (though I have suggested I should be multiple times). Now I’m not only getting money for behaving as I normally do, but my clients (7 year old girls) think I’m the best thing that has ever landed in their little lives. I’m their hero. If you’ve ever been anyone’s hero.. then you know it’s a wonderful feeling. I can tell you that when I brought someone a different size of pants at Anthro, their first reaction wasn’t, You’re my hero! It was probably more like, You are my bitch. And they’d probably be right.

me now

me before

BEDTIMES. Kids go to bed at like 8. Parents don’t get home until midnight. Oh hey.. didn’t see ya there 4 hours of life that I am getting paid to merely exist and make sure the house doesn’t burn down.  Just gonna hangout with my BFFs– Netflix, and the leather couch. Yeah scat Cat, you get out of here. You’ve heard about me.

– These five magical words:

Help yourself to the fridge.”

Translation: FREE. FOOD.

Further translation: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

– And the best part? Repeat after me:

They. Are. Not. Your. Kids.

They are temporary! Temporary children are the best children. Yesterday, I was at Michaels Art and Crafts. Which by the way is the blackhole of arts and crafts stores. I was in there for a good hour just walking from aisle to aisle pretending I was Martha Stewart (who looked like Blake Lively) and decorating my imaginary house with my imaginary limitless credit card. It was so fun.

But anyway, there was this mom in there with SIX CHILDREN. For the love of God woman, just how Catholic are you?? It was a total massacre. These kids were everywhere. They were in everything. I was sort of impressed. But I also would have left them in the car. And I thought to myself. I could so babysit these terrors for a day. I could do it. I could put myself in the mindset, make it through every meal time and bedtime and survive. To make it to that big paycheck. But to own these kids (without payment no less) for the rest of your life?? Hollllllyyyy Birth Control Batman. No thanks! I appreciate moms on a whole new playing field now. I mean, I’m there for a day. Maybe a couple of days. So I can handle a temper tantrum or a bathtime where I get more soaked than the kid. Because I know it’s temporary. But parents are there day in and day out for YEAR UPON YEARS UPON YEARS. Seriously, call your mom right and thank her for changing your diaper. You’re lucky. Someone changed your diaper for you for free. If that’s not love.. I mean, it’s a special kind of love. I love Jimmy Fallon but I would never change his diaper. You get my point. 

Anyway, I DO get paid. Which is why I still stand behind my belief: Temporary children.. are the best kind of children. 

Because every job should have some perks right? But no job is perfect. And like any other profession, I have had some.. side effects.

You may be suffering from Nannynucleosis IF:

– You painted your nails in straight sparkles. And you think they look good. And you are 22.

trendsetter? or pre-teen?

– Your Bieber Fever is at an all time high. (Hello new christmas CD in my car! And all the proceeds go to charity. Bless you Biebs.)

a little saint. sigh.

– You know several songs from Yo Gabba Gabba.

-You know what Yo Gabba Gabba is.

– You have tried the majority of the baby food in the baby food aisle.

– You realize baby food falls pretty much under two distinct categories:

  1. The- “Why didn’t I think of this? This. is. BRILLIANT. I’m eating this one. You can have (see option 2)”
  2. The- Absolute shit. Peas and pears? Wtf? And you like this? 

– You have changed a diaper so horrible that it seaped through the ten thousand diaper layers on to the one-sie the infant is wearing and you realize that the only way the outfit is coming off is over the kid’s head. And you apologize profusely as the screaming infant knocks out your eardrums because you know that ultimately this process will come down to getting this child’s diarrhea lava in it’s own hair. And let’s be honest, you would probably scream and sob too if you had your own shit in your hair. So you let the baby go into hysterics as you perform the inevitable and sit for twenty minutes afterward trying to sooth her knowing neither of you will ever be the same.

– You will have to therapy later in life because of above.

– You now think the word poopy used in the right context is hilarious. This also goes for any and all bodily functions.

– You have seen Despicable Me at least 6 times. And you’re ok with this.

– You get really sick. Like actually, throwing up and achy and feverish sick. You blame all the germ-carrying dirty children you have had contact with over the past month for giving you the plague. You almost die. You make plans to spend the rest of your life in a plastic sterilized bubble to save yourself from ever feeling this way again. You come out of your feverish haze and realize this is slightly unrealistic and settle instead on a gas mask and surgical gloves.

– You go to bed at 10. Not because you’re old and you’re being responsible but because you are so tired from playing spys and ninjas for five hours that your bed sounds like the perfect fortress to forfeit a victory on behalf of 5 year olds everywhere.

– You begin to miss a lot of weekends. You miss making toasts and walking in heels and happy hours and pregames and postgames and games in between. And Friday nights after bed times are really quiet. And you sometimes feel alone. Because you aren’t really 8. You’re 22. And you’re not that old. But you aren’t that young either. And you know what? You wouldn’t mind a date night either dammit! 

But just before you start to feel sorry for yourself.. the 3 year old boy you’ve been hanging out with for the last few hours looks up at you, grabs your hand and tells you that he loves you.

And you think.. Ok. I can do this. At least for now. I can do this.

So, if you can relate to any or all of these symptoms, you probably suffer from a pretty common case of nannynucleousis. And what’s the cure? How do you make it stop?

Someday, I’ll have a 9-5 job right? And I’ll sit somewhere in a board meeting staring off into space thinking about how I wish I was still wishing on imaginary stars in my blanket fort surrounded by stuffed animals and graham crackers crumbs. 

So, I could tell you the cure to eternal youth.. but I guess then I’d have to ask myself– do I really want to?  I choose to appreciate this time in my life. It’s not perfect. But today I’m somebody’s hero. And a little boy told me he loved me.

 And for now, I guess that’s enough. Because honestly?

I kind of like being 8 years old again. 

M