This girl loves…being social.

Couldn't be more true...

Couldn’t be more true…

Oh, what a night!  I couldn’t be happier right now.  I really couldn’t.  Tonight was an eye-opening experience for me.

So, I’ve been following the matchmaker Matthew Hussey on Facebook and every other day or so he posts some affirmation about dating.  Being a single girl, I tend to pay attention when a cute, British, matchmaker tells you how to get a guy.  Tonight was no exception.

A few friends of mine invited me out for happy hour after reading my previous post about being stood up and fed up with life currently.  It wasn’t a definite plan as one friend thought she might have to work late but alas, she didn’t and plans were made to meet at the bar.

Well, before I had started to get ready I received a phone call from my loan officer.  (An offer was finally accepted on a house I had my eye on for a week.)  I was informed that my monthly payment was going to be a bit higher than I had originally anticipated so I was, of course, worried.  I called both of my parents, seeking reassurance that I was, in fact, doing the right thing in buying this house.  They were both a bit noncommittal, saying this was my decision.  They did agree on one thing, buying was much better than renting. (at least in my current situation)

After the stress of these phone conversations I decided to relax before the evenings festivities with a bath.  It helped immensely.  As I readied myself-make-up, a new outfit, hair-I decided that I wasn’t going to worry tonight.  I was going to go out, be social, and throw caution to the wind.  I mean, I had bigger fish to fry than trying to land some cute guy to date.  I was buying a house for Pete’s sake.

I pumped up the music in the car and I was ready for some fun.

When I got to the bar I wasn’t my usual shy self.  I walked around trying to locate my friends feeling completely at ease.  It helped that I was in heels.  (there’s just something empowering about heels)  When I did locate my friend I noticed a guy near her.  He was cute, if not a little on the shorter side.  I figured, like most cute guys I meet in bars, we’d banter a bit and then he’d move on to someone younger, prettier, friendlier, or you fill in the blank.  Much to my surprise, he didn’t.  In fact, he didn’t really leave my company the entire night.  We carried on talking about mutual interests most of the night.  I introduced him to friends of mine.  He talked about his life, etc…  All in all, it was one of the more successful nights I’ve had with a member of the opposite sex.

You would have to know me to understand how out of character this night was for me.  First of all, I find it difficult to joke around with guys I might possibly be attracted to.  Second of all, I get all awkward and reserved, saving my witty comebacks for the ride home. Alone.  Basically, I am never myself around men.  Whether this is in direct correlation to my marriage status, I do not know. (I tend to think it is, but that’s a story for another night.)

I can’t help but think about this exact time last year.  I was out with a guy I had completely fallen for.  I thought he was the last guy I would be dating but that obviously wasn’t the plan.   He has since left my life completely and I was very sad about this all week.  Now, I am not the type of person to think that one good night socially means that I’ll be donning a veil in the near future, but it was a boost to my ego.  For now, that’s okay because tonight I forgot all about that quiet, insecure girl that usually goes out and let the fun, interesting, witty Sara come out tonight.  I got the chance to be myself and I don’t think I am half bad, if I do say so.  Tonight, fortune certainly smiled upon me.

This girl loves…writing at 5am.

The sun greets the day...

The sun greets the day…

I awoke early this morning in a bit of a start, 4am to be exact.  I blame the stress of buying a home along with being stood up by a guy I didn’t even want to date for my early start.  Luckily I am on summer vacation and can take a nap later should I feel so inclined.  Aside from a trip to the groomers for my dog, Bagel, and a tutoring session later in the day, I have nothing planned.

With this knowledge, I did try to go back to sleep but to no avail.  As I tossed back and forth, trying to get comfortable, I thought about my life-something I am sure most of you do at 4:30am when you can’t sleep.  I began thinking about England, as I often do, and how I wished so much that I was there this summer.

My summer plans do not include traveling because my plans this summer are all about buying a house.  Now, I am sure after I find the house there will be multiple pictures to take and a ton of material to write about but for now, there’s nothing.  I have put in a few offers only to be frustrated by them not working out for one reason or another.  I know that there is a purpose to all of this but it does not relieve the stress I currently feel about the unknown.  I am a planner and not knowing where I am going to live in the next few months is weighing on me a bit.  I am trying to relax and have faith but at 5am, my mind has other plans.

While traveling is not in my summer future, neither do my summer plans seem to include dating because, as I mentioned before, I was stood up.  What is most disconcerting is that I was stood up by a guy I was not even all that interested in.  I’d like to believe that something “suddenly came up” and our date just simply slipped his mind, but if I am being completely honest, I think it was from my apparent lack of interest in him that he just “forgot to call” to confirm our date.

So back to my tossing and turning session; It was during this that I  was reminded of the piece I am writing for a magazine contest.  I have entered this contest once before and did not win.  My heart was not in that piece, though so I can’t blame them for not publishing it.  This piece is very different because it is about the bravest thing I have ever done.  Can you guess what the subject of this piece is, those loyal readers of my blog?  If you guessed my trip to England, then you are spot on.

I’ve realized that the writing I do about England is probably my best.  It is the subject of the book I am working hard at finishing.  It is the subject of my most “liked” blog posts.  It is the subject of my life, pretty much.  I always find a way to come back to it and I believe it is because England has become my happy place.

When I was a kid, we had this relaxation expert come in to our school and teach us how to, you guessed it, relax.  She played soft music as she told us to lay down and think of a happy place.  I imagined a garden with flowers, a cool breeze, and birds chirping.  Little did I know that my happy place was a preclude to what my actual happy place would be: my flat in England.  It is such a comfort to know that I can conjure up that image and all is well in the world.  I won’t go into any more depth on that subject as that was the subject of my last blog post.

It comes as no surprise that writing about England would fill me with the relaxation I would need to fall back to sleep.  Maybe you will have a chance to read this finished product, published on those glossy magazine pages.  I can only hope.  So, it is with those hopeful words that I leave you.  I think I can sleep now.  Too bad it is already 6am…

This girl loves…letting go.

Problems just "drifting" away...

Problems just “drifting” away…

This year has been about self-reflection.  It has been about learning to just let things certain things go and not sweat the small stuff.  I am a worrier by nature so this task, simple as it may be for others, has proved to be a little more difficult for me.

I worked myself up this morning after reading a few emails containing information from various aspects of my life.  I felt my heart rate accelerate, my blood pressure increase, and my head ache.  The more I thought, the more worked up I got.  The more I talked about it, the more fuel was added to my fire.  Venting did not decrease the tension in the slightest.  No, the tension was alleviated with a simple thought: Keep Calm and Remember England.

It is amazing how escaping with a memory of your favorite place can make everything better; how it can allow you to just let go.  As my thoughts drifted back to my flat in England, the angry thoughts I had had a few minutes before, subsided.

I remembered a particular day at the start of my British summer.  It was the first rain England had seen in week,s as they were experiencing an unusual dry spell that summer.  The grass was brown; the heat most oppressive.  The day the rain began started like any other.  The sun shined as I walked to class.  The air was stagnant as I read in my room, windows opened to full capacity to allow what little breeze there was, to come through.  Then, the clouds increased, the sky darkened and the rain began to fall.  The breeze picked up, as did the rain.  I leaned out the window allowing the rain to spray my face, cooling me.  Keeping the windows open, I read Shakespeare’s inspiring words.  The pitter-patter of the rain lulled me into the deepest sleep I can ever recall.  I awoke hours later, book draped across my chest, blanket drawn up to my chin, and rain splattered against the window sills.  I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with the freshest air imaginable.  I walked along the rain soaked streets, breathing in the life that this summer shower had created.  The trees bloomed fuller it seemed; the grass shone brighter.  The world had come to life again; the oppressive heat a distant memory.  I ate a local pub that evening, allowing the warmth of the liquid restore strength and vigor into my body.  I watched as the punters drifted down the river, laughter and smiles enveloping them.  I felt ready to tackle the world.

Reliving this memory reminded me that letting go is good, that bad things are always replaced by good.  When I have allowed myself to let go of the things I cannot control-people, circumstances-I feel peace of both mind and body.