I Met Someone

Today marks the day that I went on my 30th “first date” through this crazy and wacky experience called online dating. This last person actually called me after our date (about ten minutes ago) to specifically say that he has no interest in me at all romantically. Thanks, Philip! You’re also a real peach! Good luck calling women evil and not asking your date a single question on the next round!

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Yes, meeting 30 people for any consecutive amount of time is bound to come up with interesting storytelling anecdotes, but other than that… excuse my German… it has been a shit storm. I have hated every minute of it. I have liked a lot of men with no reciprocation, and visa versa… the men who like me I am really (really, really) not into.

I have built a lot of character over the past two years. Quitting a seven year relationship and trying to find yourself again will do that to you, I suppose. But one thing is clear: the more I date, the more patterns of human nature emerge, and it becomes painfully apparent that this whole typical online dating thing SIMPLY ISN’T WORKING. Hell, I even moved continents to see if that would help! Spoiler alert: it might be worse here.

For the past few months I have taken a long, hard look at myself and asked what I really want…and the truth is, unless I find someone that truly complements me, this whole trying-too-hard thing isn’t working. Settling doesn’t seem like a real option for me, even if I am GETTING OLD. Mutual chemistry has to be there. And if it isn’t? Besides the sadness that late night brings from time to time, (like trying to find something and you have forgotten what it looks like)…I am surprisingly comfortable being alone.

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I have HATED the fact that I am a serious relationship person when seemingly everyone else is super flamboyant with their sexuality. I have HATED that I felt I am not “attractive” enough, thin enough or feminine enough to be considered desirable. These residual feelings of inadequacy stem from childhood and they creep up every time a “Philip”, or someone I am actually interested in go out of their way to say mean things. The words filter in my brain and spiral down to my heart and sits until it rots. I have always taken things too seriously, and I hate it.

All of this hatred aside, I realized something terribly important in my near 30 years of existence. I realized how strong I am. How different I am. How loving I am. I love so deeply. I really am not an asshole. I am funny, and smart, and often confused, and creative. I truly am soft. I don’t have the edges of traditional sex appeal, it is true, but I have the curves of a loving, caring, open person. The smile of a neighbor and a sister. The belly of a laughing Buddha after too many doughnuts. The hugs of a grandmother and an aunt. No…believe it or not, I am not a nun, I DO have a libido after all, but I am not a sexpot either. I can be so much more than just one thing, and to find someone to appreciate me as a whole complicated being is not going to be easy. It isn’t going to be a list of boxes that need to be checked. It has to be something that I haven’t come across yet but viscerally I know it exists.

So, yes, on that note, DUDES, I have met someone.

It just happens to be myself. Yes, this is a cheesy self love actualization blog post, suckers!!!!!

But do you realize how important that is to find in a sea of codependency, self hatred and loneliness? I am capable of thriving (not just surviving) by myself and not everyone has had the opportunity to do that. I don’t need another person to make me feel worthy. Would I have asked for this if it wasn’t forced upon me? Probably not. But the longer you live the more opportunities you have to learn valuable albeit HORRIBLY PAINFUL life lessons. I think it is important for radical self acceptance and love, especially when you are bombarded by society and your own habitual brain telling you otherwise. I MEAN LOOK AT ME:

I’m seriously pretty cute and not boring. I am a catch, a chubby neon orange mermaid really, and not just any sailor is meant for my unique siren call.

I’m not going to wait for a phantom anymore. I am going to ride my bike, eat a lot of cake, laugh a lot with friends, teach English to willing participants, cry over spilled milk and not go to sleep past 11 because that is irresponsible. I am going to accept my flaws wholeheartedly, eat less meat because I love animals too much, turn 30 next year, and finish writing my pre teen sci fi novel that I have been sitting on for half a decade. I am going to be fat. I am going to giggle uncontrollably at cute dogs and babies. I am going to be TOO soft and overly sensitive and too nice. I am going to be strong, resilient and not give up on the things that matter most to me. Of course I want a relationship, a lot of people do. But I am cutting the strings that bind me so tightly to a fantasy that has caused me way too much suffering.

So, GIRL, YOU SWEET THANG YOU, I love you. And that is more than enough. More than enough, enough, enoughness.

Sexy grandma hugs to you ;),

Sarah

I Met Someone

When in Doubt, Eat

Wow! I have taken a looooong hiatus from my blog writing. A month in a half in internet time is like five years! You all thought I was dead!

…WELL, I WAS. I decided to spend my afterlife on the internet too. I mean, what else am I supposed to do? Frolic with the angels?

(Side note: This was the first time I’ve ever written frolic and it feels weird. Shouldn’t there be a K? Anyway.)

During the last month in a half, my computer broke (by ghosts, I’m not kidding this time!), and I moved from one tiny room in a popular part of town to one giant apartment in a less desirable part. Also during this time I created and nurtured a blossoming bouncing baby facebook group called:

Hamburg Food Enthusiasts: English

It’s important to note that it says ENGLISH, because even though I’ve lived here for over four months, my German vocabulary has only expanded to about 30 nonsensical words. Hooray! Burgermeister!

Within a week of starting this group, it grew with such determination I thought for sure that I was going to spontaneously combust. YES, I know my blog handle HAM IN HAMBURG implies that I’m a dramatic, normally socialized person who loves to be the center of attention. Well, the truth is I have a love-hate relationship with people that I battle with internally on a daily basis! SO! Love ya!

As it stands, this mutant I’ve created has over 230 people in it, and we go on bi-weekly journeys across Hamburg to try new and interesting cuisine. 10-20 people show up at any given time, and I have to…like reserve stuff, and entertain!

 

It’s been crazy! And I’ve met some wonderful, lovely people in the process.

(Note: Some of these people aren’t solely from the food group, but it felt important anyway to note how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know them anyway)

And the FOOD, the whole point of this process, has been mildly disappointing to amazing.

In some ways, this group has helped me connect with this city on a spiritual level (and by that I just mean being well-fed) and gain some friendships I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to create. Thanks, internet!

Of course, there are some cons having to be the leader of a very active group. I’ve had to kick out a couple of people (one was a dude that was hitting on women, the other was a woman who called me a dictator! Cool!) and also orchestrating events is this crazy long process with a lot of hoops to jump through. I’ve also had to pretend that I knew a lot more about food than I do (I feel there is a long distance between “enjoying eating anything and everything” and an official “foodie” and I’m trying to breach that gap as we speak).

But it has been worth it. This group gives me the illusion that I’m popular which obviously has been my goal since the beginning of my life, it helps me orient myself in the city, and make connections/build friendships in a place that I knew very little people.

There is also nothing like being forced to go outside when you want nothing else but to stay at home in your pajamas eating oreos because you have literally 20 people counting on you to be there. ūüėÄ

In conclusion, I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Will try again. Sweet and salty with a tangy aftertaste.

Sarah the Burgermeister

P.S. In case you happen to be in Hamburg, the places we tried are: San Khao Thai Food, Paulines (brunch) La Quesadilla, and Ashoka Indian Food. ALSO JUST IN CASE THE INTERNET POLICE COME: The pictures are all taken from my food group and I politely asked if I can use their faces in my very, very popular blog that I assume only my mother reads. Guten Tag!

When in Doubt, Eat

BON VOYAGE AND FITTING MY STUFF INTO ONE SUITCASE

I think there’s several levels of exhaustion at work here. One level is just never sleeping quite enough (the energy of leaving, plus all of this damn sunshine causes me to wake up far too early. Thanks, Southern California.), another level is continuously saying goodbye to friends and family members with the weak hope that they’d come visit me in Germany. And the final level is material exhaustion.

HOW DO YOU PACK YOUR WHOLE LIFE IN A BAG?

HOW DO YOU DRESS PROFESSIONALLY?

HOW MANY BOOKS ABOUT ENGLISH GRAMMAR SHOULD I STUDY WITH ON THE PLANE SO IT LOOKS LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING?

These questions are haunting me any chance I get.

Regardless, I’m happy. This feels so right it’s almost alarming.

Over this past week I’ve collected a series of pictures that accurately describe my feelings of excitement, resoluteness, love, bittersweetness,¬†fake-it-till-you-make-it bravery, and a dash of fear. Enjoy!

In regards to saying goodbye to my friends and family:

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In regards to my never-ending fatigue and stress eating:

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Jessica Warrick (artist of mermaid)

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In regards to this weird feeling of just not giving a rats ass anymore and just GOING FOR IT, YO:

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Pep talks to myself that it’s okay to be overweight, different, have a large personality and be exuberant. Being meek doesn’t suit me anymore. There’s enough room for me:

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Dreamy thoughts about the fantasies of Hamburg:

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Christian Schloe (artist)

I was about to show an image of my overflowing suitcase as the final picture, but it isn’t pretty, and I will have to reevaluate a few million items. Instead I found this lovely bag. Let’s just pretend I’m this dainty and whimsical instead, shall we?

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Travel bag for ladies,¬†1900 ‚Äď 1930. Exhibition 2015. Museum for communication, Berlin

GUYS THE NEXT TIME YOU HEAR FROM ME I’LL BE IN GERMANY. DID YOU GET THE MEMO? I’M MOVING TO GERMANY. THE AIRBNBs ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

Much love,

Sarah

 

BON VOYAGE AND FITTING MY STUFF INTO ONE SUITCASE

Interlude of Bittersweetness

I have lived in Seattle for 9 years. Almost to the nose. Only now, a day away from my road trip down to CA to drop off my stuff before embarking to Hamburg, does it hit me like a lead balloon. My stomach is writhing. How can I experience such a profound sense of certainty that I’m making the right decision for my¬†well-being and then simultaneously feel the walls crumbling around me?

The wall started crumbling when I gave away my pet turtle of 8 years, Mr. Fuji. The longest standing roommate I’ve ever had, Fuji showed no affection what so ever, enjoyed blueberries and dark corners, and was older than me by at least 6 years. He let me put him on my belly to watch him rise and fall. He survived a dog attack. He survived the unnecessary amount of affection and long ramblings late into the night.

Fuji, I will miss you. I love you, buddy.

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7 out of the 9 years I spent¬†in¬†Seattle,¬†my affections were also shared with a human male. Our relationship wasn’t perfect. But when you spend that much time with a person, you’re bound to miss the little things. The sound and warmth¬†of someone sleeping next to you, the nervous habits they have. Though the relationship was ultimately not a healthy situation for either party, and escaping this¬†city means finally not associating places with old memories, there’s a profound sadness that giving up Seattle finally means giving up this giant part of my past. Today I threw away all of his old letters and gifts.

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(circa 2009)

This city gave me my first and second roommates, a chance to live alone and establish independence, a greeting card business, heartbreak, grief of losing a parent, reconnecting with my brother,¬†horrible OKcupid dating anecdotes, my first real addiction¬†to coffee,¬†a chance to live in a 280 square foot living space and a chance to create a¬†children’s book.

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This city gave me so many interesting, beautiful friendships. All ebbing and flowing, some growing and maturing with me, others fading away with each passing year. It gave me a chance to work in retail, a way to get my bachelors degree in an obscure subject. Hiking adventures, mastering peeing in the woods and building a fire, introductions to banana slugs and blackberry picking, “the Seattle Freeze”, and¬†a series of¬†many crappy short hair cuts.

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But most of all, Seattle gave me my first taste of completeness. This feeling of contentment in a sea of discomfort accumulated from years of feeling unworthy and grief and living in a body with chemicals and life circumstances that are against me. I spent my entire 20’s here growing and expanding outward.¬†Seattle helped me understand that although I couldn’t follow the “norms” of what a person is supposed to do with their lives, the chapters have yet to unfold in any consecutive order, Seattle unveiled a little corner for me to adapt and flourish.

Seattle, I’m so grateful for you taking me in and showing me the ropes. Thank you for letting me explore as an artist and as a person. My time is up here, but how can I forget you? Your fresh air and green foresty hills are a part of me forever.

Love,

Sarah

Interlude of Bittersweetness