About Chocolate vs. Sex

New York City has a way of exuding that anything can happen, filling the air with possibility the way gooey dark chocolate perfumes your kitchen when chocolate chip cookies are five minutes away from being done. Your next love could be right in front of you, and chances are you are walking past him (or her) on the street. ANYTHING—from your next job, your new best friend, or the moment or opportunity that will change your life—could be at the next subway stop.

So how is it that one can constantly be surrounded by countless people and all this possibility, wearing her best heels, and feel so alone? One word: heartbreak.

But this isn’t about him. It’s about what happened after. The space that come into your life where you didn’t want spaces. And the unexpected things that fill them. Plans that were meant to be broken. And a destiny that eventually makes you realize you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

But I didn’t realize that at the time. Oooh noooo, that would be WAY too easy. That would be like reading the last sentence of a book before even starting it. A year ago I was stunted—caught in an in-between, lost and completely unsure of who I was. How was I going to be alone? Without being his girlfriend, who was I? Who would I watch HBO and order Chinese with on Sunday nights? Who would I have dance parties with in the living room? Who would make me pancakes? Who would take me out of the city on the weekends?

How would I be happy? Without a boyfriend? A plus one? A Sunday brunch date? Someone to share dessert with? With just…me???

The question gnawed at me: how do I become happy with just me? How do I find beauty and joy in being alone; in myself and what I have to offer the world? How do I have faith that what is happening, even what is painful, is leading me to my ultimate potential and purpose? How do I trust the universe, and surrender?

As I explored this, I found layer upon layer of obstacles I faced. And soon learned from countless conversations, I wasn’t alone. Not for everyone, but for many, there are blemishes of being a twenty-something woman. Mine fields of unknowns in this out-here-in-the-middle phase of life where we sometimes feel like we are just…floating…and trying to navigate adulthood without absolute confirmation that we are doing the right thing. There are no more grades. We just have to hope.

And so twenties. And let’s face it—late twenties. For some thirty/early thirties.

Relationships: Huh? I’m not married yet? Or I’m divorced? Or I don’t even have a boyfriend? And if I do have a boyfriend, he isn’t filling the hole left where I gave up all my hobbies and interests for him?

Career: You mean I’m not making six figures? Or I hate my job? Or there’s a recession that I barely understand keeping me from even finding a job? You know I have a degree, right?

Life: I thought I would have done so much more by now. ANXIETY! Is it all going to go this fast? I was certain at 20, when I imagined 28, I would have done this, and this, and this. Does this mean 35 won’t look like how I imagine? Gulp.

“THE 20S ARE LIKE the stem cell of human development, the pluripotent moment when any of several outcomes is possible. Decisions and actions during this time have lasting ramifications. The 20s are when most people accumulate almost all of their formal education; when most people meet their future spouses and the friends they will keep; when most people start on the careers that they will stay with for many years. This is when adventures, experiments, travels, relationships are embarked on with an abandon that probably will not happen again.”
Robin Marantz Henig, NY Times, August 18, 2010

The one thing I knew to do was face it all. Gear up and get back in the game. I was inspired to explore answers where nothing is definitive. Chocolate vs. Sex—a simple journey of  loving myself, and being happy in the pleasure of my own company.

This blog is part narrative, part experiential, and part tips, and inspirations. During my dates with me, a reflection on the past year will unfold in a story that lends lessons and transformation, not just just with relationships, but with jobs, friends, and more. Much of which is still underway- no end to the story yet!

The second component is about my experience over the next 2.75 years completing what I am thinking of as “honey do’s”—except rather than expecting anyone else to make me happy (or, “honey do”), the only honey who can fulfill the list is me. The list entitled “101 Things. 1001 Days”, is a common practice in the blogosphere inspired by my co-worker, fellow blogger, and good friend, Anna. http://positivelyanna.blogspot.com/

Lastly, venturing into adulthood means navigating career, budget, domesticating, and more. Every week, I will provide helpful fashion tips, recipes, home decor ideas, and career advice that are useful for every life stage and budget.

Whether you are single, married, happily or unhappily employed, unemployed, traveled to the places you’ve wanted to, waiting to do more, or maybe even feel like something that you can’t put your finger on is missing…wherever you find yourself on this path with no road, no map, and no returns, I hope in my own stories, you are able to sometimes see yourself, and find happiness in who you are—without any other ingredients.