It’s All Good

Summer is here and good things are happening, friends. One not-so-good thing to get out of the way before the good things: John is in Austin all summer for an internship. I mean, it is really good that he has a wonderful internship that could lead to a career of his dreams and everything, but I miss him, you know? One more not-so-good thing: that thing I wrote about last week that I really don’t want to talk about again because I drained all my emotions into that one post and now I’m working on the healing stuff. So, let’s keep trekking along.

Good things. There are so many, but let’s start with this week — or this weekend, more specifically. This weekend marks the third CMA Fest in a row that my sister and I will attend together. This festival has all the things: FREE country concerts all day long for four days straight; beer; and my favorite city (which is also where I now live), Nashville.

The fact that I live here for this year’s fest may be what I’m looking forward to most. Last year, we stayed in a friend’s ex-boyfriend’s one bedroom apartment (there were four of us), and I slept on a chair — not a couch, a CHAIR — with an ottoman to support my lower half. But the ottoman would slowly slide further and further away as I slept, and I’d wake up with a foot of space underneath my lower back. Let me tell you, a chiropractor would have been a good idea after that trip.

And the year before that, we stayed in an Airbnb that, granted, was a great deal, but I’m pretty sure the rickety mattress we slept on was 80 years old, and we still had to take 20-minute Uber rides anytime we went downtown. (Chiropractor would’ve been sweet after that one, too.) So, to be in my own bed every night after standing in 90-degree heat for 12 hours every day sounds majestic. (Yeah, I’m basically 25 going on 87 years old.) Plus, I’m only 10 minutes tops from downtown! Bingo.

If you like country at all, I recommend this festival because you can go to free concerts all day, and you don’t have to camp (unlike several *cough* or all? *cough* other country festivals). If you want to see bigger-name artists, you can buy tickets to the nighttime concerts for a couple-hundred bucks, but honestly the day ones are more fun (again, grandma over here), you can get way closer to the performances, and you’ll still see performers you recognize.Read More

Distance and Heart

This week, my boyfriend John is traveling in Israel to consult with startups in Tel Aviv as a part of a credit for his business school classes. We’ve been dating for just more than two-and-a-half years now and living together since last July, and his heart is the greatest complement to my own. So you could say I’m missing the dude pretty big right now.

Where I’m stubborn and impatient, he’s thoughtful and compassionate. Where he procrastinates or takes great care and time to accomplish certain tasks, I make moves forward and fast. When I don’t want to cook (which is often) he gets to work in the kitchen, but not before making sure I have a glass of wine in hand. Where I can chat up anyone and become best friends in five minutes flat, he’s more reserved, quiet, and introspective in social situations. He’s a school person and a history buff; my favorite TV channel is Bravo…

Sometimes I wonder and even feel insecure about our vast differences — in personality, in upbringings, in ways we do things and pursue goals — but then I think about how balanced and how safe and just at ease I feel when I’m with him. How he’s the only person who can calm me down in about 30 seconds when I’m upset, even the times I’m upset with him. He wants to do well by everyone and treat people with a gentle kindness, and I love that in him.

He can drive me half freaking crazy when he won’t get off TexAgs or group chat with his man-pals, but I could tell him I want to drive across the country for a book idea or open my own yoga studio and he’d back me up a thousand percent. I come up with crazy ideas all the time, and he never once has said or made me feel like I couldn’t achieve whatever new scheme I want to pursue.

His support is everything to me and my favorite quality in him. As confident as I am (most of the time) with my capabilities and path in life, I can attest that having someone else’s complete faith in you adds a whole new element of motivation, inspiration, and drive. It just lights a bigger fire knowing not only you think you can do outstanding, wonderful, important things, but someone else does, too.

I’ve been thinking about all of this in his absence this week, and, as though this isn’t already the cheesiest post ever, I’ve realized all that talk about distance and the heart growing fonder is kind of true. We haven’t spent ten days apart, I think, in all the time we’ve dated — so, while I do relish being pushed back into my autonomy this week, I can’t say I’m not looking forward to his plane’s arrival Sunday night.

I will say, however, this week has already been made a whole lot more fun and eventful than it could’ve been. My sister is in town to keep me company and drink all the wine that my normal wine-drinking buddy is missing. My heart’s feeling full, even if half of it’s in a different country.

This post has been in partnership with Winc, a company we’ve used and loved (and drank many bottles of) for two years. Sign up for Winc using my unique URL (trywinc.com/frecklesfigs) to receive 4 bottles of wine for $30. A few of my favorites are Upswell Cabernet, Alchymist Noir Red Blend, and One from The Quiver Torrontes. This wine is GOOD quality and affordable and comes straight to your front door. What more could you ask for?

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How to Be Less of a Controlling Assh*le

(Speaking from experience.)

The other morning, I woke up and started getting ready: washed my face, brushed my teeth. I walked back into the bedroom to get dressed, and John was still asleep. It was 7:30 on a Monday, so I woke him up thinking surely he needed to be doing something. I proceeded to make coffee and breakfast tacos, and then shouted to John from the kitchen that I’d made breakfast. No answer. I texted him a picture of the tacos in a stance of stubborn passive-aggression. No answer. After a few minutes, I was fuming at the thought of this breakfast I had so thoughtfully thrown together getting cold. I went to the bottom of the stairs and called his name.

“John? I made breakfast!” (How sweet of me.)

I could hear in his groggy reply that he had still been asleep, but he hopped out of bed and came downstairs. We talked a little about our days ahead, and I asked what his schedule was like. His first class was at 11-something, and then he had another class that afternoon and a group meeting.

“Are you gonna workout today?” I asked. He said yeah, probably, but it would most likely be that afternoon.

My mind started crafting this story about what he’d do as soon as I left for work in a few minutes. The fictional story went that he would sit on the couch for a couple hours until his class, watching golf, drinking coffee, scrolling social media — and suddenly I was so mad at him that I could hardly look at him as I said goodbye for the day. As we parted ways, I pushily, irritatedly suggested maybe he should just get his workout out of the way this morning. And he did. As soon as he acquiesced so easily and kindly, it clicked almost instantaneously that I have a problem.

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The Tough Stuff

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I have no new Nashville photos to share and also just found these pictures I had from when I was a LiFeStYlE blogger extraordinaire that I never published. So! Enjoy this super-oversharing blog post with some old, lifestyle-y photos of me. Ooph, if this blog wasn’t already going downhill…

A while ago, shortly after arriving to Nashville in a 14-hour caravan from Dallas, I wrote about how overwhelmingly happy John and I were to be here and be moved in together. We were, and we are, but now several weeks in, the sparkly newness of it has dulled some. What I’m saying is, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and Music City honky-tonks day in and day out over here. Duh.

There are tough parts about moving with your significant other to a brand new city, going from separate apartments to the same home, and settling into a different version of life from here on out. It is a bizarre experience, one that I am still sorting through and will be, I’m certain, for a while.

Not writing about this sorting-through period would be the easier choice, for sure, but I have been vocal about wanting to share both the highs and lows of this transitional period, and one thing I am not is a liar. There’s not a ton of preparation material out there for this situation, so it’s a lot of learn-as-you-go—my favorite…

Something I have certainly learned, and been smacked over the head with, during this transition is that John and I have different communication styles. Like, way different. You would think I’d have already known that from dating him for two years, which, in hindsight, I sort of did, but there’s a new level of daily interaction we now have by sharing a home.

I grew up super close with my mom and sister, so, as you can imagine, as three close female family members, we did a lot of in-depth talking about important life topics, asked questions, listened intently, and offered kind feedback and advice ever since I was a kid. This sort of intense, honed-in communication is what I’m used to and crave in any and all of my relationships (#needy), where as John is more stoic, thoughtful, and reserved in conversation. (This is what I get for going for the shy, good guy. JK love you, babe.)

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