Breakup

I’m going through a break up. I’ve been broken up with. We broke up.

I don’t really know how to say it, and I haven’t really told that many people because I don’t know how to say it. So below are some questions I know you’ll probably ask because you love me for some crazy reason. I love you too.

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1. Who broke up with WHO? He broke up with me and asked me to move out. This happened several times actually, but I just never told anyone because I was ashamed that I stayed when I was not wanted.

2. Um… are you still living together? No, I spent Valentine’s Day morning making a giant list of Craigslist apartments called everyone on the list and set up six 30 minute appointments for that afternoon. I am nothing if not organized. My mom went with me and helped me sign a lease on the second apartment we saw. I moved into my new apartment on the 21st and it’s a really adorable apartment. You’re welcome over anytime.

3. So… are you still working together? Yeah. It really sucks and I like to think that we’re both being pretty adult about it. But still, it sucks.

4. Are you still living in Capitol Hill? Yes, and only about 5 blocks from where I was before, but it’s in what feels like a completely different neighborhood farther up the hill. Much quieter, less homeless bums.

5. Did someone cheat? I didn’t, and I honestly don’t think he did (or even wanted to) either. We just fought too much.

6. If you could go back and do anything differently, would you? Most definitely. I didn’t have much of a backbone. I kind of just went along with whatever my partner wanted to do and didn’t take myself into account, and eventually he didn’t either. I would bottle up all that hurt and then lash out, and that’s not healthy for anyone. I focused so much on our relationship, trying to make everything perfect, that I became an anxious mess. My anxiety ended up taking over me in a lot of arguments and I regret the things I said and did incredibly.

6. What did you learn from all of it? I learned that I’m a pretty darn good girlfriend. This was my first relationship EVER and I was fully committed to it. I was patient and understanding and open to new things. Though I put him before myself too often, I was surprised at how selfless I could really be. I welcomed him and his sons into my family and really loved. I loved really hard. Looking ahead, I don’t want to be AS selfless, and I want to be with someone who thinks I’m something really special, but I fought hard to make this super complicated relationship work and I’ll never once regret that.

7. Do you think you’ll get back together? Honestly, yes, part of me really hopes so. He has a lot to figure out and I’m using my time to focus on me. Maybe it’s naive to hold onto that hope, but I still have a smidgen of hope.

I don’t want anyone to have any hard or angry feelings either. He loved me an incredible lot. He made me feel beautiful without makeup and loved pieces of me that I hated. He was patient with my anxiety and neurosis and learned to deal with my jealousy like a champ. In some ways, we were a great team, a perfect pairing and anyone who saw us together just got that. We were on the same wavelength, worked at the same cadence, and that’s so rare for me to find. Even in the middle of a fight, we were able to make each other laugh.

8. Are you OK? I’m probably doing 10x’s better than I ever thought I would be. Yes there have been some tears, some Dove ice cream and some Menage a Trois wine, but it hasn’t at all been like what it’s like in movies on or TV. I actually feel happy, because we ended things on as good of terms as we knew how, and I’m taking this time to feel calm. I’ve started to do all the things that I’d been holding myself back from doing and I’m doing my best to reach out to those around me, rather than closing myself off from the world. It’s a process, and I know it’ll be a while until I feel less sad about it, but in the meantime I’m going to try to stay busy and productive.

Peace & Love

Occasionally, you’ll have a week that just throws you for a loop and forces you to reevaluate everything and everyone around you. For me, it was one of those kinds of weeks.

I’m allowing myself one hermit weekend, where I stay in my apartment to do chores and laze about, but I’m choosing to not dwell on the negative and instead move forward with a more positive outlook.

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So here are some photos from my work holiday party last month, which was at the EMP museum. There was delicious food, dancing (though in my opinion not enough dancing!), prizes (I won a hotel room in Seattle at Hotel Max which we are going to use for Valentine’s Day!) and full exploration of the museum. I’ve been a few times before, so there wasn’t much new to see, but I did explore the sound room a little more and we even had a chance to make a music video which was one of the funniest things I’ve ever done!

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(PS: This dress is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever purchased, and I’m glad I did! It was shorter, more revealing and more shiny than anything I own! The theme was Purple Haze, and while I love a good theme, the whole psychedelic 60’s look really just doesn’t work for me. Instead, I went more for a Bianca Jagger, Studio 54, 1970’s look, which I just like a lot better.)

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I’ll be here, trying to be positive and try to find that peace and love from early January!

Take a Hike

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For someone who hates working out, I sure do like hiking an awful lot.

Last weekend a friend and I went to Heather Lake, out in the Cascades. After a rocky start (literally. we went down the wrong trail and down a steep ravine to nowhere… and then had to hike back UP the ravine) we finally found ourselves on the right path and walking up and up and up. Nothing online prepared me for how WET everything would be. A dark fog blanketed everything and a mist fell the entire trip. Moss clung to every surface. The normally dry trail had water running down in rivulets, small streams and actual waterfalls. It was absolutely stunning.

My favorite moment took my breath away for a second. Most of the trip (about 5.5 miles) I was looking down to make sure I wasn’t falling into a stream or breaking my ankle on an exposed root. But as we were heading up, I paused for a moment and saw something wonderful. There was a huge rock, completely covered in moss. Through the moss you could see and hear water dripping through. It sounded like the most wonderful, peaceful song.

I came home smiling and felt so elated and accomplished for the hike I had completed. It was great to get out of the city and see something completely new. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who’s able to handle a little exercise and a beautiful experience!

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Capitol Hill

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What To Do: 

Volunteer Park: We actually live closer to Cal Anderson Park, but because of the construction, and the magnetization of homeless bums and potheads, I prefer to walk the extra distance to go the Volunteer Park. There’s a lot to do, with a park for kids, the Asian Art Museum for adults and kids, the Water Tower for a pretty great view of the city and the small Conservatory for an escape from the heat or cold outside. I might be biased, but I definitely think it’s the best park in the city, with lots of space for reading without being disturbed (my heaven).

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Melrose Market: This is just a really cool spot. If I made more money, I think I’d like it even more! First thing, there’s a Homegrown (and you know how much I love Homegrown) and a butcher with hunky butcher dudes. When you step a bit farther in, there’s an adorable shop upstairs, a cheese shop, a tiny bar and a flower shop. Also attached is a bunch of highly acclaimed restaurants that I’ve never been to, a record store and an event space. Basically, Melrose Market is the coolest place to be in Seattle.

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Havana: Full disclaimer: I’ve only been once and it was a couple of years ago, but it was a GREAT time. I love dancing, and I love finding an environment where I feel safe dancing without a gross man standing behind me or feeling judged. Havana reminds me of the hipster clubs in San Francisco where everyone is a girl who wants to have fun, a gay man or foreign. Basically, people who aren’t interested in touching each other, talking to each other, but just letting loose. The one time I went to Havana was Soul Night and true to a hipster bar I didn’t recognize a single soul song, but it was still fun and freeing. I’d love to go back again!

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The Garage: I’m not really one for sports, but I’m GREAT at bowling. The Garage is a really cool bowling alley/bar/pool hall without all the cliches (ugly bowling themed carpet, gross burgers, etc). Great for a date night, or fun with friends.

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The Arboretum: This little hidden gem is technically a bit far to be considered Capitol Hill… but too bad! Basically it’s a really big park in the middle of the city that feels empty and peaceful. I remember going for the first time as a little kid and thinking that I’d never seen such big leaves or big trees in my whole life. We really do take our big trees for granted in the Pacific Northwest!

Well, while writing this, I found out that the Harvard Exit Theatre closed as of 2 weeks ago… which was news to me! It was such a great little theater, super old and quaint. I’ve seen so many great movies there! They did reopen the Egyptian Theater, which is good news, but I’ve never been there so I can’t recommend it… yet!

Where To Eat:

Volunteer Park Cafe: A beautiful little Seattle-esque local, hippy-ish spot tucked away in the neighborhood surrounding Volunteer Park. Pastries, quiche and coffee are all good little bits from the cafe!

Wandering Goose: Fried. Chicken. Grits. Greens. Biscuits. With The Raspberry Jam. YUM. (Go early on a Friday night)

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Espresso Vivace: This was recommended by the owner of Blue Bottle Coffee as someone who knows coffee and oh my, they do! I’ve loved my drinks each time I go and everyone is NICE. (I can’t stand snobby coffee shops)

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Poppy: I’ve been twice and had two very different experiences. They serve with several tiny dishes, so you can mix the seasonal, local and unusual flavors together. While the summer menu we tasted was great, I think I actually preferred the winter menu with the heartier, more comforting, tastes.

Oddfellows: This is where you take people when you want them to get the quintessential Seattle experience. It’s the ultimate hipster restaurant, with a staff to match, but the food is actually delicious, the decor beautiful the only bad part is the noise… it’s always packed and super loud. I’d recommend the patio out back or the sidewalk tables if the weather is nice! PS: Try the eggs benedict!

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Queen Sheeba: I’m admittedly not the most adventurous eater, but I do like some Ethiopian food. I love the idea that you mash everything together with your hands and that bread is quite delicious, even though it reminds me of a sting ray. If you’re looking for good Ethiopian, this is a great spot. It’s always quiet when we’ve been, which makes it a great date spot for a Friday night for us, when we just want to relax and unwind.

Quinn’s Pub: This is another quintessential Seattle spot. The food is amazing, their beer selection is great (this is where I had my first cider!) and the atmosphere is absolutely beautiful with it’s dark and rustic look. It makes for a good date night spot!

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Skillet: I love diners, I really do, and Skillet is a cool take on a modern diner. Everyone who works there wears plaid, the decor is a nod to the 50’s and the food is jazzed up classic favorites. I’d recommend getting a burger and fries with a vanilla milkshake (don’t forget the milkshake) and getting there early… it fills up fast!

Tavern Law: It’s just a really, really pretty place to get a drink or two. I’d been dying to go and I just went with a friend. We shared mac and cheese with bread crumbs, duck fat and a pork belly. Um, YES. Do yourself a favor and order that! And apparently there’s a cool hidden part of the bar (the decor is very Prohibition influenced) that I wasn’t cool enough to know about.

Cafe Presse: J’aime french food at this place. It’s honestly a pretty weird set up, the front half looks like a modern European bar, but there’s a back room that’s completely separate. I always order classics, like the Croque Madame and I’d definitely recommend!

Hot Mama’s: This place totally reminds me of New York pizza places, and if you go, try the Pesto Pizza. I don’t even LIKE pesto and I love that pizza!

The Tin Table: John and I went here for a fancy, romantic dinner and we were not disappointed by the service or the food. I had the steak with wine butter sauce (as good as it sounds) and he had the wild boar schnitzel (better than it sounds!). We both left happy and full.

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Kedai Makan: Take out Malaysian? Sounds kinda weird… tastes super good! The restaurant is tiny and all kitchen, so you order at the front door/window and bring the food home, or to your next bar. I admit, I ordered the most tame item on the menu, but John ordered the most outrageous and we were both happy!

Where To Shop:

Elliot Bay Books: Hands down, this is my favorite store in Seattle. I love a good bookstore, and I think this is the best. They have a great fiction selection, a decent magazine selection, a stellar cookbook section and a really great assortment of non-fiction!

Everyday Music: This is more just a browsing spot for me, but John has left here with handfuls of used DVD’s and music! It’s massive, has a great variety and again, the people that work here are actually nice!

RetroFit Home: A great spot if you’re looking to add some cute pieces to your home. They have great furniture and clocks upstairs and downstairs there’s all sorts of accessories that you never knew you needed.

Nube Green: This is a teeny tiny store (Nube Green and the Tin Table are all in the Oddfellows building!) has fun little pieces. They really pride themselves on having all USA made merchandise, so you’ll be oohing and ahhing over Woolrich blankets and local prints in no time!

Let’s Eat Out

I love making lists. I love feeling like I’ve accomplished something, that there’s evidence that I’ve done something that made a difference.

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Sometimes though, lists can seem scary. They can seem to BIG and IMPOSSIBLE that maybe you decide to take a nap instead. But with the new year, my resolution is do more new things, so I use my trick. Want to hear it?

…I start my lists by having already checked something off. No… I don’t mean that I make my list and then rush to complete something I’ve checked off. I mean to say that I cheat. I put something on the list that I’ve Already Done. See? Cheating.

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Somehow this one checked off item inspires me still. I say to myself “Wow, I’m so awesome that I’ve already completed that… there’s nothing stopping me from completing everything else on this list!” I guess it’s easy to trick… myself, I guess.

With that, here’s my list of Seattle restaurants I want to go to:

-Roux

-Joule

-Matts in the Market

-Barnacle

-Staple & Fancy

-Sitka & Spruce

-Spinasse

-Crumble & Flake

-Kedai Makan

-Pink Door

-Lloyd Martin

-Shiro’s

-Terra Plata

-Tavern Law

-Fat Hen

-Restaurant Zoe

So what if I totally cheated? I don’t mind! Just as long as I’m pushing myself to do new things, I’m happy!

PS: Let me know if you’d like to join me in trying any of these spots, I’d love that!