I Can’t, Vol. 45

It is officially fall, yet it’s still 94º outside. So basically, fall is a liar, the weather is a liar, your mom is probably a liar, and I am thisclose to throwing all my tank tops and stupid summer dresses into a pile and lighting it all on fire. So that’s where I’m at, but how are you guys?!

Let’s get right into it today.

I can’t…

believe I’m saying this, but I have found a way to enjoy the Pumpkin Spice flavor from Starbucks without ingesting 350+ calories and being overloaded with basicness in my mouth. Look, I’ve never been a fan of the PSL. I love pumpkin flavored shit, I do. Mainly candles from Bath and Body Works (Pumpkin Woods or Pumpkin Pie), but never really the PSL. But I like the idea of it so I decided to try and figure out a way that I, Emma, could enjoy it. And I did it. All you gotta do is order plain, drip coffee and ask for one pump of Pumpkin Spice. Add some cream to that shiz and VOILA! You are sipping on and utterly enjoying the infamous flavor without being overrun by it. I did this just the other morning and was extremely pleased by the results. It tasted both basic and unique in one sip.

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I can’t…

handle parking garages and I honestly didn’t know this about myself until recently. I had never really thought about them too hard in the past or perhaps I had more patience from them a few years ago when I was younger and more eager about life. Regardless, as of late I’ve noticed my propensity to being enraged by them sky rocket. It’s two things in particular: 1) how slowly people navigate them when they are ONE WAY and it’s not like another car is going to come whipping around the corner and 2) how slowly people navigate them in hopes of finding a parking spot on one of the lower levels when they know DAMN WELL that the first 2-3 floors are reserved spots and they’re not going to get one so might as well book it up to the floors where you could possibly actually get a spot OMG IT MAKES ME IRATE. And the worst part is I can do not one thing about it but ride their ass to make a point and talk to myself incessantly throughout the ordeal with phrases such as: “Are you fucking kidding me???” “THEY’RE ALL RESERVED. KEEP MOVING!” “OMG. I literally.” “Let’s go let’s go let’s go!” And my favorite when I’m at a loss for anymore exasperated words: “I’m.”

I CAN’T…

believe the day has finally come in which I am that girl in the office who’s freezing. Never in my entire life have I ever shared this nuisance that women in the workplace have been complaining about for years. “My office is a freaking icebox!” They say. “I am seriously so cold, I wear a snuggie at my desk all day, ” they lament. For as long as I’ve been a professional, I have never worn a trusty office-only hoodie or kept a shawl or small blanket draped over the back of my chair in case of emergency. When I put an outfit on in the morning, that’s the outfit. I’m not trying to jeopardize the integrity of my look with a snuggie. But upon my company moving to a new office building this week, the sick upgrades have also included an A/C upgrade that shows no mercy. I may have to start bringing a hoodie to work and become my own nightmare.

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I can’t…

lie and say that participating in this week’s trending hashtag of #describeyourselfin3fictionalcharacters didn’t cause me great stress at first. I saw a few people post theirs with such accuracy, I broke out in an anxiety-ridden sweat. THIS WAS SO MUCH PRESSURE. The list of characters are endless — how the fuck was I suppose to choose three perfect ones? OMG. I decided I could approach this one of three ways: 1) not at all, 2) take way too much time and stress to figure it out, or 3) just close my eyes and give myself 30 seconds to decide on three characters. Since #1 clearly wasn’t truly an option, I chose #3. And I think it’s pretty spot-on.

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I CAN’T…

like CANFUCKINGNOT deal with females who apply their daily makeup in the car. What is this. Why. Are you seriously that bad with time management? No one, and I mean NO ONE, should have to apply a full face of makeup mid-drive. What in God’s name are you doing for the entire morning that you can’t carve out five extra minutes to do this while standing still in your bathroom like a normal, fully-functioning human? Texting and driving is terrible, yes. Snapchat and driving is worse (which I literally do every day). But PUTTING ON PRIMER, BLENDING IN CONCEALER, APPLYING BLUSH, AND PUTTING POKEY BRUSHES NEAR YOUR EYE WHILST OPERATING A MOVING VEHICLE IS ABOUT 1000X WORSE. Literally wake up five minutes earlier. That’s all you should need in order to avoid looking like an asshole on the road and causing those around you danger because you didn’t have time to put on your probably-too-pink blush and way-too-light foundation at home. Also, I can’t imagine what the innards of your car and work bag look like — caked in black gunk and random patches of blush, I’m sure. I CAN’T.

I can’t…

decide whether or not the choker trend is for me. Part of me has PTSD from all the chokers of the 90s, but another part of me keeps seeing really adorable girls pulling it off day after day, Instagram post after Instagram post. So, last week, I decided to bite the piece of velvet material bullet and ordered one from ASOS. It arrived last night and, once again, I found myself breaking out in a cold, anxious sweat. I played around with it for a little, ultimately setting it back in the packaging and deciding I’d deal with it this morning. Well, I’m really excited to report I am currently wearing it and honestly? I don’t think it looks half bad. Me. Wearing a velvet choker. WHODATHUNKIT? 

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Of course, my big thing with chokers is how they can turn you real ugly, real fast. Meaning, I’m prone to making unattractive faces multiple times a day without even realizing it, so I have to commit to being on my best behavior while donning this new, exciting piece of jewelry. Otherwise, I could quickly look like this when I don’t mean to:

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Hi.

Here’s to the impending weekend, the hopes that I stop sweating sometime this year, and to Brad and Angie: may your divorce be swift, the tabloids kind, and the inevitable E! True Hollywood Story about the two of you accurate and fair (none of these things will come to fruition, but a girl can hope).

xox,

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The Art Of Not Settling

I’m 29 and, in a mere 6 months, I’ll be 30. For the past (almost) six years, I’ve dated A LOT. I’ve had a few legitimate boyfriends, countless almost-boyfriends, and enough werecasualbutwhatthefuckwaitwhatarewethough situations to last me a lifetime. Seriously, if I never find myself in another one of those situations, I will know I’ve made it and am going to be okay.

Suffice it to say, I’ve been through and seen a lot. The stories I’ve accumulated over the past six years are some of my best because they create a personal archive of some of my cringe-worthy, unbelievable, WTF-inducing worst. Day after day, month after month, year after year, I’ve done what I could to keep my head up, as they say. But some days, my head is way harder to keep afloat than others. Some days, it weighs 100 pounds and all I want to do is feel pathetically sorry for myself. To curl up in my bed in a robe in the fetal position for the entire day and let the onslaught of new couple/engaged/married/pregnancy announcements fill my newsfeed and fragile, vulnerable head with depressing thoughts and weep. Not cry. Weep (weeping’s more Scarlett O’Hara). Weep about how shitty past guys were, how shitty future ones will be, how shitty present ones are, why I keep running into these situations, why I haven’t found IT yet, why everyone else seems to have what I want, why I attract all the wrong dudes, why something that feels so close to what I want turns out not to be, why why why why why WHY. Ultimately, during those really down days, I question myself and my worth as a partner until I wear myself down, close my eyes, and pass out (much like a toddler after having a tantrum). 

And all this is hard to admit because I want to uphold my label as the quirky, outspoken, funny girl who can make any nightmare of a dating story something to laugh about with a light heart. I want to be strong; an independent, I-don’t-need-no-man, “I’m amazing and perfectly content on my own” representative for all single womenkind. I don’t want to let it all get to me like it can. It makes me feel weak and vulnerable. But I’m only human — a human with a pretty big heart full of affection that wants to dump that affection into someone’s deserving lap for keeps and, when that enthusiastic affection backfires, I get sad.

This has been the pattern for the past six years — these let downs followed by short-lived pits of despair out of which I can’t find my way and, finally rising like a Phoenix from the ashes (dramatic) and doing it all over again. And you know why?

Because I refuse to settle.

That’s the thing. When I sit back and really think about all the men (more appropriate term would be boys/children) that have come and gone (pun intended?), I realize how many of them I could still be dating if I was willing to settle for less than what I know I want. I mean, it’s not always them calling things off. In fact, most of the time it’s me. Because I see something about them or about us that doesn’t sit right, and my gut sends up about 52 flares and some Russian submarine captain frantically screams “ABORT! ABORT!” in my head until I can no longer ignore him. 

The fact of the matter is that not settling is actually the harder road to travel.

I don’t want to keep calling things off. I don’t want to continue to sit back and wait for the inevitable red flags to show their faces. It’s awful. I hate it. It sucks. I want to settle — really, I do. I want to be able to say “You know what? This is good enough and he’s fine enough and we’ll have a good enough life and I love him enough and we’ve been together long enough and sex is good enough and he’s nice enough and this’ll do.” I want to just decide on someone, make the call, and be done with it. I want to look past the crimson-colored flags, sweep them aggressively under a rug, and lie to myself about them until I actually believe the lies. I want to make excuses for shitty behavior and get past it. I want to not care so much and overthink and overanalyze. I want to tell myself I can put up with something I know I can’t. 

I want to be able to say “I don’t need a guy who fully gets my humor or I his. I don’t need to be made to feel special and unique. I don’t need to be treated like a prize; I’m fine feeling like any girl to this guy. I don’t need to be made a priority; I’m fine being an option. I don’t need to be courted; “hanging out” is the new dating and I’m okay with that. I don’t need real dates that are planned at least a few days in advance; last minute requests that showcase a total disregard for my time and lack any sense of urgency are just fine. I don’t need to have an understanding between the two of us, a mutual respect. I don’t need to be fully sexually satisfied or exceptionally intimate; it’s not that important and him getting off is way more vital anyway. I don’t need to be cherished. I don’t need to be someone thoughtful. I don’t need to be in love in a way I’ve never been; that’s not even real anyway. I don’t need flowers or thoughtful cards or any of the cutesy things females pretend not to care about but live by. I don’t need doors opened for me or to be treated like a lady; I can get my own doors. I don’t need to feel a crazy connection; just liking him enough will suffice.”

But I can’t. I literally cannot bring myself to do or say any of that because, at this point, I will be damned if I settle. I haven’t gone through what I’ve gone through just to settle; I haven’t called guys on the carpet for their less-than-stellar behavior or treatment of me to ultimately roll over like a dog and say “Ya know what? Nevermind. It’s fine. I’ll shut up now and take whoever and deal with whatever.” HELL NO. But because I refuse to settle, it makes this entire process harder, longer, more strenuous, and often unbearable. Because I’m a girl with expectations and standards in a generation that has enabled ghosting, fuckboys, and the refusal to commit to anything more than a boozy Sunday brunch, I’m having a really hard time out here.

And please do not take me for a girl with unrealistic standards, because I can assure you I am very much not that. I know probably more than anyone how imperfect people are. In fact, even after all the ugly situations I’ve experienced, my natural inclination is to still give people the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. I am well aware that I am nowhere close to flawless (although, admittedly, Queen B can make me feel like I am most days). I am willingly willing to put up with a long list of a lot as long as the most important things (what I like to refer to as the “non-negotiables”) are undeniably met and everything feels “right.” And because it’s theoretically only supposed to be “right” with ONE person, I will not settle for wrong after wrong after wrong. 

So I’ll continue to keep a small guard up, pay attention for warning signs, question questionable behavior, and trust my gut when it’s frantically trying to tell me something. That’s the one thing the past six years has gifted me with — a credible gut and the ability to actually listen to it. Like any good young 20something, I used to be an expert in ignoring it, but the wait time has steadily decreased over the years. Slowly but surely I started to chip away at the amount of time I would consciously discount my gut — it’s gone from literal years, to several months, to only a few months, to mere weeks and I’m proud of that. The goal is to get it down to one week, then five days, then three days, then, hopefully never because, finally, all it’s telling me is, “I’m good. You good? Good.”

Here’s to holding out.

xox,

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Into It, Vol. 2

Mic check 1, 2 1, 2. Test test. Is this thing on? It seems to be, so I’m just gonna roll with it.

Hey guys! Remember last week when I wrote that really intense post about not settling? Well, great news: STILL HAVEN’T SETTLED! Haven’t done it, won’t do it, can’t make me do it. I got a lot of really positive, empowering feedback after writing that, so I wanted to thank everyone who reached out whether it was via comments, likes, messages, carrier pigeons (there was just one and it was epic), or saying nice things to my face about it. 

Switching gears, I haven’t done an Into It post in a long while and, in an effort to steer away from the negativity that I can showcase via my I Can’t installments, I want to share some things with you guys that I am currently WAY into.

INTO IT: The new iOS update.

Every time one of our beloved social media platforms or iOS rolls out an update, everyone panics. Like sheer, unadulterated panic. “WHAT IS THIS? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THIS? WHY IS INSTAGRAM’S LOGO A POWERPOINT THEME? WHAT’S ALL THIS NOISE ABOUT DIGITAL TOUCH MESSAGES?” Basically, we all turn into 90-year-old Jewish men who can’t be bothered with fancy new technology. But this latest update is pretty fly, y’all. At first, I was like “nah.” But, a day later, I was like “yeah.” There’s a lot to discover about it, but so far, one of the coolest parts is how voicemails are transcribed into messages so you don’t have to waste your precious time actually listening to the message. GENIUS. Of course, they’re not spot-on transcriptions, but close enough. And this particular one I saved from the day I quit my last job made me die, so.

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INTO IT: Rediscovering my natural curls.

This particular “into it” is so specific, I’m sure most of you won’t care unless you are the proud owner of curls. However, I just wanted to pay my natural hair some respect. Once I discovered this glorious curling wand and how it’s able to make my tight ringlets into glorious, loose waves, I’ve been turning to it a lot in my time of need. However, I’ve started to feel guilty lately, like I’ve been taking my natural hair-state for granted and not showing it any attention. It’s like this wand is my new, mini Goldendoodle, and Cece is still amazing and adorable, but like… this is a new, mini Goldendoodle puppy. Anyhow, I decided to reinvest in my natural curls and buy some new products to really bring them out of their hiding hole. I rarely get the right products on the first try when I’m ordering new junk, but I’m happy to report that after some very extensive research, I NAILED IT. I got some natural shampoo for curly hair by Winsome & Wisdom and a brand new curl cream by Royal Locks, and lemme tell ya… I DID GOOD, Y’ALL! Highly recommend both these brands. LOOK AT DOZE CURLS DOE!

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INTO IT: Chicken Avocado Lime Salad for lunch.

I have this weird habit where I email myself recipes constantly. Half of them never see the light of day, but I just keep sending them and labeling them as “cooking” until, one day, I’ve grown so bored with everything I make that I finally poke around my archived recipes. Last week, I did just this and found a recipe I had sent myself back in May of 2015 but hadn’t ever made (v similar to how I buy clothes and “save them” for special occasions, then find them in my closet months later with the tags still attached). Boy, have I been missing out ’cause this shit was LIT, FAM. What more does a lunch need besides chicken, lime, avocado, scallions, cilantro, and a wee bit of mayo? I’ll tell you what — maybe an english muffin or a couple bread slices to put it on. Other than that, though… nothing. This salad is so divine. EXPERT TIP: Don’t make it in bulk ahead of time. That shit’ll get soggy and your avocados will rot. I made it fresh, the morning-of each day ’cause I’m disciplined like that.

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INTO IT: Benefit’s “Gimme Brow” revamp

There’s an unspoken rule that you should not fuck with beauty products’ formulas once you’ve grown a dedicated, loyal user-base. Why fix what isn’t broke? Typically, when brands do this, the “new and improved” product ends up sucking D or breaking you out or smelling different or not having the same effect as it once did. However, Benefit’s roll-out of their amped up Gimme Brow eyebrow filler does NOT disappoint. I was real nervous when I saw they had redesigned the packaging. “Oh fuck,” I thought. “I swear to God, if my eyebrows are not on fleek with this new shit, I’m gonna get upset” (so threatening). But they did themselves good, because the main change (besides how the tube itself looks), is that they took it from just two color options (light and medium/deep) to THREE color options (light, medium, dark). I had been using dark this whole time, knowing light would be too light for my fake Latina skin tone and now? The medium is perfect! Good job, Benefit. For now. 

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INTO IT: Defriending exes.

Listen. In this day and age of social media where basically no one can hide and, if you do hide (i.e. are “private”), you’re thought of as weird and shady, escaping goings-on with your ex boyfriends, lovers, husbands, girlfriends, flings, WHATEVERS is nearly impossible. For a long time now, I’m remained friends with ex-whatevers on Facebook just because, I mean, eh. It feels so final to unfriend them and close myself off like that, plus some of them really are great guys. But after seeing something less than appealing this past weekend, I finally realized my former statement makes no sense and DEFRIENDED THE FUCK out of a handful of ex-whatevers and some of their friends. And I gotta tell you, it felt right. Why am I still connected to these goons? I don’t want to see their lives via them or their friends, and they shouldn’t want to see mine. I didn’t know them before we dated, and I’m definitely not gonna know them now. So, like, GTFO. If you really feel the need to keep tabs on me and stalk me, you know where to find me but please don’t ’cause you’re the worst.

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Keeping it at five things today. Hope that was enough for y’all. Happy mini-Friday and to all a good weekend!

xox,

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