Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dallas does...can it, cupid.

As I sit surrounded by the sweet sounds of Hootie and his Blowfish brethren, maxed out on the two Java House drinks I have had in as many hours, I can't help but smile about the impact a few weeks of a new outlook can have on the soul.
Just over a month ago I promised to rid myself of the expectations that have for so long ruled my life. I wanted to dive into my last semester at the University of Iowa with the understanding that every day is a day I'll never get to live again, so I shouldn't waste my time playing mental guessing games. And while these one and a half months haven't been without their share of downs to accompany the ups, I have to say that I'm healthier and happier than I was on January 1.
And before I type another word, let me acknowledge that, yes, this is not only a blogged life update; it's also a written acknowledgement of today's particularly Valentinistic qualities. Motivation to write tonight comes not only from a sense that I have something I'd like to say, but also from the knowledge that this time last year I had it all wrong.
If you look at my blog's history, you'll see that on February 14, 2011, I created a lover's manifesto, detailing exactly how'd I'd lead my romantic life over the next year. And though I haven't put together a "Year in Review" for my heart, I can tell you that the end goal of that list certainly was not achieved.
You see, no matter how self-assured these blogs generally appear to be, I'll admit that 90% of the time I'm buying directly into the game plan that if I just play my cards right, I'll reach that ecstatic point of singlehood where a fantastically gorgeous man can't help but ask to be on the guest list for this Kelsey party. Because isn't that how it always goes? You want to be just happy enough to earn a partner in crime.
But I'm DONE with that game, amigos. I'm so sick of angst-ridden if-I-just-keep-smiling-and-dressing-fashionably-then-my-life-has-to-start-following-the-romantic-comedy-plot-of-my-choice mentality that has been ruling my life for the past year.
This Valentine's Day, screw manifestos. I'm declaring lover's anarchy.
Let's face it: since when did anything work out the way we wanted it to?
If you're me? Never. Never in almost 22 years have I provided my heart with a win-win situation. It's comical really. Me, a love doctor? Someone file a malpractice suit.
I am so terrible at relationships that this Valentine's Day my heart couldn't even bring itself to leave the black hole it's crawled into.
And the real kicker is that every single time I'm heartbroken, I have the audacity to explain all the pain away with a reassuring "But think of all the lessons you've learned!"
People, you've got to stop encouraging me. Let's all agree that I know nothing.
But, you know what, when the right guy comes along, I'm pretty sure there won't be a quiz portion of the meet-and-greet. So why am I wasting all this time trying to figure it all out?
I guess it's because we all want to believe that there's something we can do on our own to speed up our happy ending's arrival.
But this year, I'm letting go of that unending urge for that perfect so-romantic-it-makes-your-heart-hurt portion of my life to begin.
Because, gosh dangit, my life is pretty awesome as it is.
In six months, I'll be leaving Iowa City and the Midwest for all the adventures of the East coast. And I couldn't be more excited. I couldn't be more proud of the fact that somewhere in the midst of this never-ending train wreck of a romantic life, I became the type of student that earns a place in the Ivy League.
And if I wasn't so busy despairing over my pathetic singleness, maybe I'd have time to be thankful for all of the blessings my life as solitary Kelsey has brought to me.
All I'm asking is for you, dear reader, to attempt along with me, to let go of that feeling that something is missing, and realize, that maybe, for right now, this is all you need.
A Netflix account.
A stack of books.
And (if you're lucky) a really cute puppy.
This Valentine's Day, I cancelled my annual pity party in favor of a Shut-Up and Smile Java House date.
And it may just be the best February 14 I've ever had.

Peace, love and peppermint tea,

"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."