Cupcakes are muffins that believe in miracles.

“On Saturday, we’re going to walk downtown.

This Saturday, we’re going to get ice cream.

By Saturday, I’ll have done the math.

I’m so nervous that I’ll have to talk a walk before our walk – a pre-walk, if you will – and maybe settle the butterflies in my stomach with a different flavor of ice cream (cookie dough is my go-to but mint chocolate chip is my anti-anxiety self-medication) and maybe then, I’ll be able to process the math of it all.

After all, I’ve only ended up in a relationship with 18.4% of the guys I’ve gone on a date with – although that number might be lower if you distinguish between a “casual date” and “official date”.

But if you exclude relationships less than 4 months in length, it’s 12.7%.  1/3 of a year doesn’t count, does it?

It gets sketchy if you also exclude long-distance relationships – it’s 6%. I’m not bitter or discontent about it, but I am just trying to be realistic.  I mean, that’s what I do as a data analyst. I analyze the data.

Looking at my stats, it probably won’t go anywhere except downtown and back again. Nevertheless, it just takes 1 person to make the stats entirely irrelevant – another annoying truth of the fragile fickleness of data analysis.

And if these are my thoughts over a chocolate cappuccino crunch muffin, I wonder what they’ll be over ice cream?

*This was adapted from an email from a sweet friend of mine who does have these plans for Saturday and who actually is a data analyst.  I’ve tweaked it for humor’s sake – although her thoughts brought me such joy when I read the original too.

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If you gaze into the abyss long enough, the abyss will gaze back at you.

I can never pass up an opportunity to quote Ms. Swift when I have the chance:

Words. How little they mean when they’re a little too late. Hopeful you’ll be and lonely you’ll wait.

Oh, the gloriously terrifying power of words. They seem to mean so much at one point until another word nullifies that original importance. Even then, sometimes all the words in the world wouldn’t be big enough Band-Aid to cover the wound that more words caused in the first place.

It’s amazing how easily a fight can drive a wedge between two people. And it’s even more amazing to think that, despite the fact that neither of them probably wanted the fight to begin with, both people involved took turns hammering in the wedge that drove them apart. Maybe that’s why relationships are so hard to begin with. No one wants to take responsibility for each of the mallet pounds they swung.

I know I don’t.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t.

That’s the rough part about being an INTJ (here you go, Steve). I find that, more often than not, I can target the problem and then instigate the solution pretty quickly — if the only person is willing to enlighten me about the problem in the first place. However, the real problem comes when I initiating the plan to solve it and totally forget about the problem in the first place. I focus so much on performing the solution that I don’t really think about the need behind those actions. After all, why should I? The problem is no longer a problem as long as the solution is in place.

It doesn’t always work that way for other people though.

Hence the second reason that relationships of any kind are so hard.

Most people don’t understand. They can’t wrap their minds around the way that I remember so many things that they don’t bother to remember and yet forget about the things that they couldn’t possibly forget about. Could it be that I am not emotionally attached to those problems though? And that’s not to say that I wasn’t emotional when the problem was brought to my attention. What I am saying is that I’m not so keen on feeling that way continuously.

I’ve found that the hardest part of my relationships isn’t the fighting, but the moving on afterwards. I have an incredible rebound rate. I move on much quicker than the other person — even my roommate has brought that to my attention! I’m all happy with where the relationship is and where I stand with the other person, but more often than not, I’m stuck in this “no-man’s land” where I’m waiting on the other person to forgive me, or to become comfortable again, or to forget about the negative emotion associated with the fight.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you might have picked up on the fact that I’m not a patient person. So you can see why this “no-man’s land” is quite boring and I wish to leave as soon as possible. Stay in this funk long enough and I’ve found that you don’t really want to leave it. What’s the point? You’ve settled in and you don’t want to move. Change sucks.

Wow. The further I write in this post, the more apathetic I’ve become. I should quit while I’m ahead.

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The leaves are all falling and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground.

It’s official. I’ve met the parents. This guy drove us up three hours north so that I could meet his mom and dad. On Saturday, it was our anniversary (it was unplanned and we don’t usually count month anniversaries, but when we realized what day it was, we decided to dedicate the date). He took me to the University of Michigan campus — which by the way, happens to be my favorite college football team — and we wandered around enjoying the lovely leaves and the people meandering through them.

matt in leaves

Obviously we also did some meandering 🙂 and it made me very happy.

I would tell you more about our date and how much fun we had, but there’s something much more intimate about stories with happy endings and no more details added. That’s why everyone loves a good fairy tale.

People try to bottle up emotions, as if it’s wrong to have a natural reaction to life.

You know that feeling.

That one that pierces your heart as soon as you notice the leaves starting to change color. The stirring in your breast as you realize that it’s time to break out the mugs of spiced apple cider and hunker down cozily around a dancing bonfire. It’s almost like nostalgia is dripping through your veins like an IV needle, slowing you down and forcing you to actually see what you’re walking by and feel in response. The leaves fall and their constant rustling is a lullaby that rocks you to the core and makes you realize that every end is also a beginning. Whatever came with summer is gone but that doesn’t mean that autumn can’t give you something even better.

You know that feeling.

That one that surges through your veins with anticipation as you take a few more steps closer to that huge puddle that you can’t resist jumping in. Your rain boots poised at the edge of the unknown and your fists clenched as you prepare for launch. A smile slips to your lips because, even though you know you’re going to get soaking wet, it’s going to be worth the rush of dopamine that slaps your synapses. Spring has a way of exciting your neurons like they are being attacked with a defibrillator to rescue them from the comatose wintery state. Coming back from the dead is a high energy expenditure though and the muddy paths prove that you don’t exactly cross back into this world looking pretty.

You know that feeling.

That one that seeps into your skin like poison, dulling your senses as the rays of yellow sunshine pour into your pores. Your skin looks like it’s cast in gold — and it feels like it too because you are bound by the warm embrace of Helios. It leaves it’s mark upon you, scorching your tender flesh until it’s red as a hot iron and scarring in shades of toasted marshamallow, anywhere from golden brown to burnt black. It’s one of those feelings where you know that you shouldn’t linger any longer and you should stop toeing the line so that you don’t accidentally slip, but it’s intoxicating. The summer reminds you that you have all the self-control in the world but you can’t quite grip it in your sweaty, sunburnt hands.

You know the feeling.

That one when the cold seeps into your bones and huddles there, rubbing it’s cold fingers against your spine until you shiver. Good or bad, you can’t tell. Winter is the season of extremes, whirling a storm of emotions inside until you get numb from the intensity. Oddly enough, you like it that way. Deep down, you don’t fight the freeze because if you go so far, if you can drink in the snow till you get drunk, there’s a warmth at the end that burns like blue fire. There is only one remedy: hot chocolate. The first sip tingles your tongue with teasing sweetness and the thawing of your throat as it slips down is so gentle that you don’t even realize that you are warming up until you’re at the ideal temperature.

Fall may be for new beginnings, spring for the reincarnation of the ugly, summer for the delightful death of us all, but winter is the season that reminds you that you’re alive.

I know you know the feeling.

The day came when the risk it took to stay in the bud was greater than the risk it took to blossom.

Isn’t it funny how you look in a mirror one day and don’t recognize yourself? It hasn’t even been decades or years or months later. Just 3 short weeks. 21 days.

There’s no grey hairs. No wrinkles, although the dark circles under your eyes may be considerably darker from the inevitable effects of a full college schedule. No physical change that you can see, except maybe now your cheeks are pinker than they have been in a long time and your eyes have a twinkle to them that you thought you lost a long time ago.

You look happy again. You didn’t even realize that you weren’t happy until you finally saw yourself in a moment when you were.

And you are. There’s a lightness in your steps as the paths you walk everyday no longer seem as long and you check your pockets to make sure you haven’t dropped anything because there isn’t a weight on you anymore — or at least, you don’t seem to be able to feel it. Your smile is so bright that you wonder if the real reason that autumn is coming is that you are beaming sunshine stolen from summer whenever you flash a cheesy grin. And in those pictures that your friend posted of you guys? There must’ve been weird lighting in there because there’s a glow in your eyes that wasn’t there the last time and it wasn’t a result of an Instagram filter.

It doesn’t take that long to change, only a change of season really — although it feels like forever. It was so gradual that it takes you by surprise. It’s like a baby bird who dreams of flying every single day, who stares at the sky up above and wonders how long it will be until his wings will be strong enough to carry him to touch the clouds, who perches on the edge of the nest as his mama teaches him Flying Basics 101. He goes 1 foot out on the first day and gets progressively farther, all the while wishing that he could try and touch the sun. Then one day, without warning, Mama pushes him out of the nest and as he keeps flapping his wings, he realizes that he’s finally capable of doing what he wanted to do all along. He can touch the sun and he never knew it because he was so focused on the struggles of the farther distances of the daily practice.

Finally realizing that you can soar. Finally comprehending that you can touch the sun and not get burned. Finally noticing that you can do what you thought you couldn’t do before.

Maybe that’s what it’s like to be completely happy.

Testing…testing…1…2…3…

This is a test.

You’ve read it once. Let’s see if you read it again.

You know who you are.

We both like thunderstorms. As I write this, it’s pouring. The thunder rumbles like laughter — although to you, it’s more of a bass drum and at this moment, I definitely understand what you’re saying. I’ve seen lightning crack through my window once already and my mind drifts back to the night when we accidentally ran into each other in the rain and watched the lightning dance across the sky.

You dance. I don’t. But we’ve both danced in the rain. I haven’t told you this yet but I’m beyond impressed by your dancing abilities. And the fact that you took a tap-dance class here just because you wanted to? Awesome. The cherry on top of all of this: you sing! While I’m usually okay with people I know hearing me sing to the country radio, I’m not sure I want you to listen. Not if you’re so good. And dancing? I might dance in the rain but it will probably look more like twirling and puddle-jumping.

You gave me a book. A book I’ve never heard of. “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. I usually only trade books with my best friends — so what does that make you? I’ve never even heard of the book you gave me so I’m excited to bury my nose in it while I’m spending yet another Friday night in my room. I know you just started reading but I can’t wait to give you my copy of “The Count of Monte Cristo”. You probably won’t like it, but I’d like to think you’d read it all the way through so you can give me a list of the reasons that you don’t like it. That sounds like something you would do.

You are the only person who has ever made the claim that they are confident enough to bring me down a peg or two if I’m being arrogant. No one has ever made that claim before. I’m not sure that I believe you but I would love to see you try. And you will try. That’s also something you would do.

I really like talking to you. You’re different. You’re fun. You’re a mix of converging functions and waltz steps, a combination of bow-ties and shirts from the Big Bang Theory, a refreshing concoction of your unique laugh and an incredibly dry, VERY sarcastic sense of humor. You do things that no one else would do. I’m intrigued. I’m glad we’re friends from last year because that gives me a little more foundation to say what follows. It may be a little weird, but that’s never stopped me from saying what was on my mind before — I know I can be rather blunt. Anyway, I like you. Not sure how much yet, but you make me smile and that’s enough for me to consider you a good friend. More than that? I’m not sure yet. But I like you.

This is a test.

You’ve read my blog once. Let’s see if you will read it again.

You know who you are.