Blog Archives

The Column: Dating in the ER.

Hey, hot doctor.

Hey, hot doctor.

I was about two months into dating this guy I met through some friends, when he started acting distant toward me. He stopped answering my calls, it took him longer to respond to text messages, and instead of multiple dates a week, we barely saw each other.

I called him out on it, and he sent me a text message saying he was “Not in good health” and that he had to have surgery the next morning.

Being me, I freaked out wondering what was wrong — did his appendix rupture? Was there a previous health issue I didn’t know about?

I called him, and he answered the phone, whispering. He told me he didn’t want to discuss it while he was at work, because it was something “disgusting.”

I was confused, and quite pissed. It’s never a good idea to tell someone you’re having surgery and then not tell them why, or any details.

Later that night, he told me he was having some sort of surgery on his ass. His roommate was going to drive him to the hospital in the morning.

I was suddenly in this sort of gray area — I didn’t know how much attention he wanted from me during his recovery.

Everything he said about the surgery and recovery was that it was gross and he didn’t want me to be a part of it, so I really wasn’t, aside from just telling him I hoped he felt better soon.

About a week after surgery, he invited me over to his place to watch a movie. I accepted the invite, but our visit was distant. No real flirting, no cuddling, and only a few innocent kisses.

I noticed he had his hospital bracelet on his bathroom counter.

“Are you keeping this for your scrapbook?” I asked him.

“It’s just a reminder to me that I was in the hospital and I need to take it easy,” he said.

From what he told me, the surgery was very minor — no organs were involved. So, I was even more confused. Was there something more serious he wasn’t telling me?

He continued to be distant, and frankly, it was getting on my nerves. So, a few days later I told him I was confused and didn’t know what to do about his attitude toward me.

He called me and simply said, “You’re right. Now is not a good time for me to be seeing someone.”

We hung up, and that was it. Over.

I was upset for about 10 minutes when I realized something: I’m continually getting stuck in patterns that force me to throw pity parties for the men I’m dating.

I’m not a party planner, and I’m done pretending to be one. I wish he would’ve told me sooner that he wasn’t interested, because I could’ve saved myself a few months and some feelings.

I hope he has a blast, hanging out by himself, ignoring those who care, and mending his ass wounds.

Fresh Friday: Nirvana (black).

Hobo-chic rulers, Mary Kate and Ashley.

Hobo-chic rulers, Mary Kate and Ashley.

A few weeks ago, I told you all about Nirvana White by Elizabeth and James. Can’t have one without the other, right? In the perfume sampler pack I got for Christmas, there was also a bottle of Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana Black.

As described by Sephora, “Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is an addictive blend of alluring violet, sensual sandalwood, and rich vanilla that strike the perfect balance between masculine and feminine.

Launched in 2007, Elizabeth and James embodies the duality of sophistication and feminine detail balanced with downtown edge and masculine tailoring. The fashion brand’s contemporary-yet-timeless aesthetic offers the modern girl clothing and accessories that make stylish everyday dressing effortless.

Ashley and Mary-Kate wanted the signature fragrance for Elizabeth and James to embody the same sense of duality inherent to their partnership and the brand. The result was not one, but two blends—distinctly different, but undeniably connected.”

From Teen Vogue:“This has been a labor of love,” said Ashley at an event for the launch. “We’ve been working on this for two years now. Black took about a year and a half to finalize, and to get to a place where we were happy.” White soon followed. The former is a woodsy blend that includes violet, sandalwood, and vanilla. The latter is a floral musk with sweet notes of peony. So you can pick which fragrance profile best matches your personality, or wear one for a day of classes and the other for a night on the town. 

While I like both scents, I definitely prefer White, though I’m surprised because you know I love a woodsy scent.

Back to it: Online dating.

Online and offline dating.

Online and offline dating.

I recently logged into my OK Cupid account after not touching it for two months, because 1. I was seeing someone that I thought would turn into something, and 2. The email account which I signed up with was definitely one I don’t have access to anymore since “the incident.” Oops!

I joined Ok Cupid several months ago, though it wasn’t my first stint with online dating — I gave Match.com a try when my ex and I broke up. I figured it was another way to put myself “out there” and if anything, it would be a good way to practice meeting people and going on dates.

But Match.com proved to be one expensive way to get rejected (read it all here), so I decided to give a free service a try. Within 48 hours of creating a profile, I had more than 50 messages. Way more than I’d ever gotten through Match.

Of course, most of them (the messages) are… interesting. As a writer, and an editor, I TRY not to be judgmental when it comes to the actual writing, spelling, or grammar (“Hey, you’re cute and you like too fish!!”) of the message. I know not everyone is decent at it (but there is a spellcheck within the app).

However, one thing that’s startling about online dating is how rude people are. I suppose, just like with anything else, people feel okay sitting behind their computer/phone screens and being mean to people they’ve never met.

But I’ve noticed guys get really, really pissed when you don’t respond to messages immediately. Here’s a few I’ve gotten:

  • I like that your main profile picture has the address of your your blog about what jackasses the guys you meet are 
  • Well I guess you are too good to speak to me. My apologies for bothering you. Have a nice life.
  • Haha it was whore I Catfished u I’m married bye loser hahah :)
  • How’s the luck here? Is the line long to get to know you or are you here just for chatting fun?

The funny thing about Ok Cupid is that you can see when someone logs in, what time they read your message (if they read it), and when they’re on- or offline. So, hey dudes, when I haven’t logged in for a day, or haven’t even read your message yet (!), how about picking up a hobby or two instead of staring at the computer screen waiting for chicks to reply?

Just a thought.

Nevertheless, I’m back online! In general, I’ve met up with maybe three guys from my adventures in online dating, and while none of them panned out to be relationships, they were all good experiences that I’ve learned from. Nothing wrong with that!

Pic of the Week.

Excuse my finger-printed iPad.

Excuse my finger-printed iPad.

I’ve got a TON on my mind this week, so grab a cup of coffee. For starters, this whole to-do list thing is really working out for me! For some reason (and this has always been the case for me), if it’s on a list, I will not rest until the list is completely checked off. So, I feel like I’ve been able to accomplish a lot in just a week!

As per my New Year’s resolutions, I wanted to do more for me this year, including hitting the gym and/or yoga studio simply for some mental clarity, and I also wanted to read more, and see more movies. So far, I went to the gym three times last week, saw a movie (a few weeks ago, The Gambler, if you’re wondering), and I cannot seem to go ANYWHERE without my iPad because I’m reading the digital version of Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch” — and it is GOOD. So good.

One thing I never anticipated I’d have to deal with in 2015 is toxicity among my peers. This could be due to the fact that I’ve never been one to really stand up for myself, but nonetheless, I cannot deal with toxic people. I’ll explain.

Since I lost my job, it seems like some people have no idea what to say to me regarding this fact. And I completely understand that, it was a weird situation. The key word being was. That happened more than two months ago, and while yes, I wanted to share it with you on the blog, it doesn’t mean that I want to talk about it anymore, or at all.

I don’t appreciate getting messages from people saying it’s difficult for them not to see me in the office, that they’re going to counseling because they can’t let go of it, or asking me if I’m going to take legal action, if I need them to buy me essential items since I’m probably broke, or sending me frowning emojis when I tell them no, I haven’t gotten a “real” job yet. These are the same people that refuse to talk to me about anything else in my life.

While I understand that these statements are probably coming from a place of good, it brings up negativity for me. What happened was terrible and it sucked, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve got to focus on the work I DO have, and figure it out from there. And if you really want the truth, spare me the details on how bad it hurts YOU that I lost my job; how do you think it made me feel? And since I don’t have insurance, I had to give up my counselor, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

What I do know is that when someone is going through difficult times, positivity is always a good idea. Listen when they need to vent. Offer advice when they ask. And tell them that everything is going to be okay — because everything IS going to be okay.

The funny thing is, if these people dared to ask me what’s going on in my life, they’d find that there’s actually a lot of good going on! I was recently promoted at the shoe store, so now I am a key holder and get to lead the sales team. While it’s not my dream job, it feels really good that after working there for just six weeks, my managers have seen my hard work and they know they can count on me.

I’ve never gotten a promotion in my life (okay, maybe one, in college)! I worked at my old job for almost seven years and really never saw much appreciation for what I did, so this feels really nice.

I have also gotten to work on some great freelance projects these last few weeks. I do a lot of web writing and book editing for clients across the country, and I don’t know what’s in the air, but the work has been piling up. And more work = more bills that can be paid. To top it off, I turned in my first article for a very respected publication in the local area, and they loved it, so I’m really excited to make my publication debut this week (I bought myself this adorable purse to celebrate, got it for $40 at Ross).

I realized that I’m doing it — I’m surviving without my old job, my old life. And while that job provided a lot for me, it was also drowning at times. I’m seeing that I can thrive when things are not perfect, and that’s precisely what this blog has been about from day one: turning lemons into lemonade; making any situation yours for the taking.

Aside from these great things that have been happening, it’s also nice that the “normal” things in my former life that I loved are slowly coming back — my gym routine, books, catching up on reality TV, bargain shopping trips, meal planning, at-home manis and pedis, and I’m still getting together with my friend every week for Girl’s Night, to cook and drink bottles of wine.

It’s kind of like the pages of a gossip magazine — Stars, they’re just like us! Look at Holly, she goes to the grocery! She goes to the gym! She has brunch! My life is actually pretty normal; it’s very similar to what it used to be, I just have a slightly different schedule (and my checks come from about 20 different places).

I’m not saying any of this to be rude, or selfish, and I appreciate all of the kind words I’ve received from anyone. I understand that it’s difficult for most people to even think about what it’d be like if something like this happened to them — but always keep it positive. And if you’re in the thick of it, keep your head up, no matter what.

This morning, there’s a calm I can’t explain, the rock candy’s melted, only diamonds now remain.

— John Mayer, Clarity 

The Column: Love & Unemployment.

Little boxes, all the same.

Little boxes, all the same.

A few weeks after I’d met a guy named Justin, we’d already been on several dates, and I was really starting to like him. But one day at work, I was called into a meeting and told that my services were “no longer needed.”

It was the job I’d had for almost seven years; the only job (outside of freelance work) I’d had since graduating from college.

Because it was an at-will termination, they refused to give me answers as to why this was happening. I’d just received a raise, so why were they giving me the boot?

It was very similar to a breakup I’d had years before — one that left me blind-sighted and heartbroken. Read more…

Fresh Friday: Reb’l Fleur.

Call me, rude boy.

Call me, rude boy.

Most of the time, I don’t believe that the celebrities who make perfumes and scents actually wear them — except maybe J-Lo (“Are you wearing Glo??!”), but I actually think Rihanna would wear her scent: Reb’l Fleur.

As described by Fragrantica, “‘Daring, sexy and truly memorable, Reb’l Fleur is as much in tune with Barbados-born Rihanna’s roots as it is with the glamour of her present life in New York City.’ The fragrance will be launched in 2011.

The fragrance is an intense and daring fruity chypre, composed of sophisticated floral notes: tuberose, violet and hibiscus, – with a splash of coconut water, – over the light and smooth base, the combination of the final notes evokes the impression of warm skin. The perfume was created by Caroline Sabas and Marypierre Julien of Givaudan.

The elegant bottle, which glows from within, is beautifully designed in the shape of a high heel. The bottle is adorned with silken ribbons and an golden ring on the stopper. Reb’l Fleur was launched in 2010.”

The fragrance is light and complex, all at once. It’s a very warm scent, with the amber tones, and is very long-lasting, even with just one spritz!

Pic of the Week.

I work while I ride.

I work while I ride.

Okay, so one thing I’m working on is maintaining SOME sort of schedule. My hours at my retail jobs are sometimes as early as 7am, or sometimes as late as 6pm (working until 10pm).

I have other things going on — like freelance work, blogging, being social — so I’m trying really hard to still get up by 7 every morning no matter what, and get things done. So, I started making a to-do list each week, and when I have a few hours before or after a shift, or even on my days off, I can cross a few things off my list.

The only way I feel productive is if I have a full week. So, last week my to-do list consisted of:

  • Go to the gym and/or yoga
  • Take down Christmas tree and decor
  • Go to the grocery store
  • Write & turn in column
  • Edit magazine
  • Apply for freelance jobs
  • Apply for at least 7 full-time jobs
  • Go to the tanning bed
  • Email Penny about freelance work

Having this list made it much easier for me to get out of bed on time, even on a day off. I am proud to say I got everything on my list done (I even applied for 9 full-time jobs), except for the whole gym or yoga thing.

Hitting the gym is something that’s been important for me for the last few years. It helps me sleep, and I feel better about myself when I’ve gotten a few good sweat sessions in.

So, I made a new to-do list Sunday night, and I knew I would have time to spare this week to hit the gym. And Monday, before lunch, I did! Since it was my first day back in about a month, I took it easy and rode the bike for 40 minutes, but I felt a little sore when I went into work that evening.

I am on-call for jury duty this week, but on each day that I don’t have to report to court, I’m totally planning on hitting the gym.

I know many of you are probably working on resolutions that involve getting healthy and fit. And to you, I say, keep at it! I know those goals are tough, but they really are worth it. Just taking an hour (or 30 minutes) out of your day for yourself, you’re really going to feel much better!

Argh! Dating pet peeves.

I feel her pain.

I feel her pain.

As a singleton still in the dating game, I am constantly given unsolicited advice from couples. What I often gather is that couples seem to think dating is just SO fun! Newsflash: it ain’t. Actually, most of the time, it’s pretty annoying.

So, I’ve put together a list of MY dating pet peeves (some of them annoy me so much, they’re deal breakers), but I’d love to hear yours, too — don’t be afraid to leave them in the comments.

  1. Being late. This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Being late isn’t just about the fact that I’m either waiting on a guy I hardly know or sitting at a bar alone, it’s more about the fact that it’s completely disrespectful of my time. Instead of waiting on a man, I could be making bank getting some writing done, or at least watching The Bachelor.
  2. Bad kiss. Here’s a deal breaker. When I was 16, I could forgive a less-than-perfect kiss. But now that I’m approaching 30, you should have kissed enough people to nail the whole breathing-sucking-timing thing. If the kiss is bad, then I immediately know the sex is going to be bad, and if I don’t have a desire to sleep with you, then I don’t even know why we’re on a date.
  3. Bad breath. This goes hand-in-hand with a bad kiss. If I smell your disgusting breath when we are talking, then there DEFINITELY won’t be any kissing. And if we’re not kissing, then, well, read #2 again to see what that means.
  4. Big ego. If you’re ego can’t fit through the restaurant door, then we’ve got issues. I like dudes who work hard, and stay humble. Unless you’re Justin Bieber, then let’s get to the kissing.
  5. Gets hammered. All the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a drink (or three), but since I dated an alcoholic, I’m very weary of how much and how often a guy I’m talking to is getting drunk. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t want to be in that situation, ever. Ever.
  6. Ignores manners and etiquette. Listen, I cuss, I drink, and I write about sex I’ve had. But I still appreciate having the door opened for me, being in the company of a man who treats the waitstaff with respect, and who knows that cellphones do not belong on our date at any time.
  7. Aggressive about sex. I like sex, but I need to be ready for it before I start hearing about it. Don’t hint at or suggest that we have sex, or “go somewhere private” on the first date. Because I’ll never talk to you again.
  8. No ambition. It’s okay if you’re not into your dream job — Lord knows I’m not. But have some goals on the horizon, or else what’s the point? If you’re living in your parent’s house with no plan to get out, then let’s get the check and consider this date a bust.
  9. Too serious. I have a serious side, but I also like to joke around. If my date can’t, then we’ve got big problems. Laugh a little!
  10. Close-minded. This also includes: being a racist, sexist, or any “ist” that is negative. Basically, if you’re a republican, then we shouldn’t be dating.

4/50 Shades: Spun Sugar.

Spun Sugar is on the far right.

Spun Sugar is on the far right.

Not sure when, but some time ago, Sally Hansen created a lip gloss known as Moisture Twist, which is said to have moisture, plus shine and color, as well as serve as a primer for the color. Wow!

When I bought a tube of Moisture Twist, in Spun Sugar, I had never tried any Sally Hansen lip products — I was excited!

After using it several times, I will say that it does provide moisture and color. However, the Spun Sugar hue is pretty light. It’s more of just a gloss for me, but it’s nice to add on top of a bold lipstick.

One other downer? There’s no flavor. The name “Spun Sugar” had me dreaming of cotton candy lips… not so much.

Pic of the Week.

Time to get clean.

Time to get clean.

I really thought I was going to have something cool for my first Pic of the Week for 2015, but truthfully, this is as exciting as it gets right now.

This is the first week that I actually have time to tend to other things aside from work — I’ve been averaging 50 hours a week between my three jobs, and I hate to admit it, but my apartment has been in a constant state of chaos for at least a month.

I go between those stages of wanting everything to be neat and tidy, and then thinking that spending my time off cleaning is SUCH a waste of my time (and really, a waste of my life). The result is that my bathroom and kitchen maintain cleanliness, because come on, I’m not completely disgusting, but most other places in my apartment are covered in clothes (some clean, some dirty), mail, or DVDs.

So, when my schedule went from 50 hours of work to 20 — I realized all of these things I wanted to do with my time: read, hit the gym (finally), apply for jobs, sleep, vlog, and yes, clean.

So, yesterday I didn’t have to be at work until 3pm, and while I really was hoping to workout, I decided that the cleaning must come first. And so, I sucked it up and did a ton of laundry (I even washed all of my bedding), and put it away (ta-dah!).

I swept, mopped, and vacuumed, put away any remaining Christmas gifts, cleaned all of the mirrors, did the dishes, caught up on bills and filed them away, and I even made a pot of red beans and rice. Success!

Part of my problem is that there’s just too much crap in my small apartment, and I started a giveaway box a few months ago, that I’ve been adding to — every time I come across something that I don’t like, into the box it goes.

Now that everything is neat, clean and fresh, I’m feeling good and a little less cluttered, but truthfully, even though I’ve been out of my usual work routine for two months now, I can’t get used to this new routine. Everything always seems out-of-order, and there’s always so many things on my to-do list — it seems like I can never catch up.

I know a ton of you guys have loads of work, and families, and long to-do lists, so if you’ve got any tips on helping me stay organized or at least keeping my apartment somewhat neat from day-to-day (I’ve already have to tell myself to ‘put that in its place’), I’d love to hear them!

And, just in case you’re wondering, my Christmas tree is still up, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

Paper Towns.

Great quote from Paper Towns by John Green.

Great quote from Paper Towns by John Green.

Shocker: another fantastic book by John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns is addicting. No, seriously, I read it in one day.

Set in Orlando, Florida, Paper Towns is the story of Quentin Jacobsen — a less-than-popular high school senior, who has spent a majority of his life being obsessed with his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman (the legend).

“Margo Roth Spiegelman, whose six-syllable name was often spoken in its entirety with a kind of quiet reverence. Margo Roth Spiegelman, whose stories of epic adventures would blow through school like a summer storm…”

Quentin has only admired her from afar, until she steps into his room one night in need of his help with a revenge mission. He’s as close to her as he’s ever been, but before his ultimate dreams come to fruition, she’s off on one of her adventures, leaving the town wondering where she went.

But just like before, she leaves clues behind. Quentin and his friends go in search of her clues, heading on a man hunt across the country to find their six-syllable, legendary classmate.

Favorite Quotes from Paper Towns:

And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.

Chuck Parson did not participate in organized sports, because to do so would distract from the larger goal of his life: to one day be convicted of homicide. ‘Hey, faggots,’ he called.

She had the kind of fingers you want to interlace with your own.

We bring the fucking rain, Q. Not the scattered showers.

Here, at night, it looked like a real place — but for the first time, a place I could see.

…The pleasure was in seeing our strings cross and separate and then come back together.

RHAPAW ran not on gasoline, but on the inexhaustible fuel of human hope.

It is so hard to leave — until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.

It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.

The book is set to be released as a movie on June 5th of this year (let the countdown begin!), starring Nat Wolff as Quentin, and Cara Delevingne as Margo.

The funny thing is, I ran across an FAQ on John Green’s website, where he said he didn’t think the book would ever become a movie: “The people who worked at the studio that optioned Paper Towns and paid me to write the screenplay were not particularly pleased with my first draft, and they really hated my revision. They felt the first draft was ‘literary,’ which is an insult in the world of filmmaking, I guess, and my attempts to address their concern watered down everything they’d initially liked about the script, and after that, I was pretty pissed off at the head of the studio and it’s safe to say that he was very pissed off at me.”

You just never know what’s going to happen!

The drink: Pom-cosmo.

Kona Grill's Pomegranate Cosmopolitan... Yum!

Kona Grill’s Pomegranate Cosmopolitan… Yum!

The classic Cosmopolitan — a tart elixir focusing on cranberry — will never go out of style. But leave it to Kona Grill to give this cocktail more than just a lime twist.

Kona Grill offers the Cosmopolitan in watermelon, grape, and pomegranate flavors. I opted for the pomegranate (don’t worry, watermelon, I’ll be back) and I was pleasantly surprised.

Made with vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, a squeeze of lime, and pomegranate syrup, this cocktail is light on the tongue and dangerously easy to swallow.

The extra perk? During happy hour, it’s only $5, which means you can try all the flavors for under $20.

There’s a twist you can’t refuse — bottoms up!

Grab a seat in the bar or on the patio for Kona Grill’s happy hour, Mon-Fri 3pm-7pm, Mon-Thur 9pm-11pm, Fri & Sat 10p-12am, Sat 1pm-5pm, and all day Sunday.

Fresh Friday: Nirvana (white).

That's what we all look like sleeping.

That’s what we all look like sleeping.

Eeek — it’s the first Fresh Friday of 2015! I promise I’ll stop getting over the fact that it’s a new year; I think part of my shock and awe is from the fact that I’ve been working every single day, so I have no idea what day it is most of the time.

But! None of that matters today, because it’s FRIDAY, and I’ve been wearing Nirvana by Elizabeth and James all freaking week — it smells fantastic!

For Christmas, I got one of those awesome perfume sampler boxes from Sephora, and it has eight great scents to add to my collection. I have been dying to try the Nirvana duo by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, so I finally got my chance.

As described by Sephora, “Elizabeth and James Nirvana White is a captivating blend of delicate peony, chic muguet, and tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication.

Launched in 2007, Elizabeth and James embodies the duality of sophistication and feminine detail balanced with downtown edge and masculine tailoring. The fashion brand’s contemporary-yet-timeless aesthetic offers the modern girl clothing and accessories that make stylish everyday dressing effortless.

Ashley and Mary-Kate wanted the signature fragrance for Elizabeth and James to embody the same sense of duality inherent to their partnership and the brand. The result was not one, but two blends—distinctly different, but undeniably connected.”

Nirvana White is light, but complex. My only complaint is that it’s so light, it doesn’t last all day. But overall, I really love this scent — it’s good to wear to work, where I don’t want to wear something overbearing.

Happy New Year!

Party hardy.

Party hardy.

YASH! I made it to 2015! I swear, there were times when I didn’t think this day would ever come — I have never been so excited for a new year, in hopes that it will bring new opportunities, new memories, perhaps new places, and new people. I am so excited!

Last year, I mentioned I was going to try and shake this blog up by being more open and personal, and by also offering a bunch of new posts, such as the Celeb Crush, Single Girl Recipe, Boyfriend Recipe, Woman You Should Know profiles, Survival Guides, and a Pic of the Week.

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I did just that!

This year, I am going to keep all of those features — because they are so fun to write — and of course, continue my promise to always be open and honest. Aside from possibly adopting a new blog design, I’m not planning on shaking things up too much, but I do want to up my YouTube game and offer a video companion to The Bitter Lemon.

So, why not start now? Introducing The Bitter Lemon: The Vlog!

Check out the video to hear all about my goals and resolutions for 2015. And with that, I’ll just leave you with this: I hope you have a happy and safe new year. Make some goals that are worth working for, and I look forward to celebrating your successes (and sharing mine) this year!

Let’s do this, 2015!

Pic of the Week

The last issue of House & Home

The last issue of House & Home

Wow, it’s the LAST pic of the week for 2014! It’s hard to believe I actually have 52 pictures that represent my year — one full of nothing and something all at once. I really thought I was going to have something representative for this last one, but when this magazine came to my mailbox, I knew it had to be a part of my picture collection.

The magazine itself was no surprise, as it comes every month. The surprise was that on the cover, it said it was the “Farewell” issue. What?

Inside, sure enough, was a goodbye letter from it’s Founder and Editor, Nancy. I swear I’m not emotional about all publications (although print publication DOES hold a pretty big place in my heart), but this is one that I wrote for… for a few years.

I applied for a contributing writer position to House & Home several years ago when my then-job was doing lay-offs. I had no financial stability, a very tiny savings account, and I was scared to death. I was looking for any work that would help me save some money. Luckily, House & Home answered my call.

While I’ve always had an interest in homes and interior decor, I didn’t know much about it. So, when I had my first interview with homebuilders, I didn’t even know what to ask! I got humble and told them the truth: that I wasn’t sure what I was doing.

They were polite and helped me, and before I knew it, I could tell the difference between concrete slab flooring and tumbled travertine. I came to admire various veins in marble countertops, and learned to write 2,000-word stories out of bathroom designs.

It was the first time I’d ever seen my stories on the cover of a magazine, and it was a beautiful, glossy one. It was really a pleasure writing for House & Home, and I was lucky enough to do it for many years. It filled my portfolio with more stories, and the paychecks helped me save money during a time of financial stress. I am really grateful for that job.

While it’s saddening to see the publication go, I admire Nancy for making such a tough decision. I’m learning every day how to let things go as gracefully as possible. I feel like I’ve said a lot of goodbyes this year — ones I didn’t necessarily want to. But I’m hoping that 2015 will show me that saying goodbye isn’t always a bad thing.

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