Nope, You’re Still Not a Failure

I’m writing this post for all of us because although we live in a world where ambition is admired and accomplishments are revered, I think sometimes we could all use a reminder that none of it needs to have any bearing on how we feel about our actual selves.

In other words, when it comes to our basic worth as human beings, our accomplishments don’t mean shit. Isn’t that freeing? (Unless of course you’re hugely accomplished and have placed all of your esteem in said accomplishments. Then I suppose it might be less freeing and more like that scene in Star Wars where Darth Vader went all “I am your father” on Luke Skywalker and shit got real.)

I’m all about striving for our full potential and creating our best lives. But when things don’t go as planned, let’s not beat ourselves up. Whether we win or lose at reaching our goals, we can still always choose to be whole without the validation of outside decision-makers. Let’s stop being “successes” and “failures” and instead just be humans.

And so…

Are you eighteen and headed to your back-up school this fall because all your dream colleges rejected you in spite of the fact that you aced the SATs and worked your ass off on every single application you submitted?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Are you not going to college at all because it just wasn’t feasible for whatever reason?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Did you recently get divorced from your spouse of ten years after tying the knot “way too young,” according to certain well-meaning but insensitive assholes in your life at the time, and now you’re wondering if they were right all along?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Are you an overweight fourth grader who dreads the state physical fitness test administered in gym class every year because they humiliatingly make you attempt to do pushups and run a mile even though you’ve never even once come close to doing either successfully?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Are you a recent or even not-so-recent grad who’s struggling to find work “in your field” and feeling like your life won’t truly begin until you get one of those adult jobs that all your friends have?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Do you sometimes feel like you have no friends at all?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Are you Mariah Carey and is your latest album — ALTHOUGH A BRILLIANT MASTERPIECE — struggling to perform commercially?

Nope, you’re still not a failure. (Rather, you are a deity.)

Did you naïvely choose to incur six figures of student loan debt to “find yourself” in grad school only to graduate and end up in a job that you find totally unfulfilling yet feel trapped in due to your massive debt?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Have you been spending the past two years working on draft after draft of a manuscript for a book that still hasn’t been picked up by an agent?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Do you subscribe to New Age wisdom and believe that our thoughts attract our reality, and so when something shitty happens you tend to blame yourself and your negative thoughts entirely, thinking, OH MY GOD I’M THE WORST AT BEING SPIRITUAL?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

Do you sometimes just feel like you’re not enough? Smart enough, hot enough, funny enough, eloquent enough, doing enough, saying enough, being enough, acting enough, tweeting enough, creating enough, exercising enough, living enough, socializing enough, trying enough?

Nope, you’re still not a failure.

And actually? You’re enough.

StillNotAFailure

The revolution will be tweeted. (Side note: even these trees with no leaves aren’t failures.)

P.S. I struggle with this often, so this piece is just as much an affirmation for myself as it is for whomever else it may happen to reach.

P.P.S. Is it just me, or did that whole “Nope, you’re still not a failure” response thing have a very Catholic-mass-“Lord-hear-our-prayer” feel to it? Maybe I should just be a priest.

P.P.P.S. Oh my God, no. I love cursing and alcohol and being gay too much. I’d fail so hard at being a priest.

P.P.P.P.S. But it wouldn’t matter! Because nope, #StillNotAFailure.

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Am I the Only Person Who Gets Randomly Accosted by Crazy-Pants McGhees at Connecticut Bookstores?

One thing I really like to do with my life is watch Super Soul Sunday on the OWN Network every weekend and then immediately haul ass to the New Age section of my local Barnes and Noble in order to impulsively buy every book ever related to that day’s topic while telling myself that it doesn’t count as spending money because it’s food for my spirit, and spirit knows no money so I’m good. Or something.

Anyway. So this is what I was doing recently when, out of the fucking blue, some random dude tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I don’t much care for it.”

If you’re craving a little more context right now, here’s the set up:

  • Me: Wearing a dark gray hoodie-tee-shirt (yes, I dress like a tween on the weekends) and a Patriots hat. I have an open copy of The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav in my hand and, up until the aggressive shoulder-tap from the rando in aisle seven, am reading it with zeal.
  • The Shoulder-Tapper: White male. Appears to be in his forties or fifties. Kind of out of shape but not necessarily fat. Wearing a blue sweatshirt, jeans, and Nike running sneakers. Is kind of twitchy but has the general look of a normal person.

One might reasonably assume that by saying “I don’t much care for it,” the guy was informing me that he had read The Seat of the Soul and was not a fan. Which is what I assumed (and took major offense to, side note, because anybody who “doesn’t much care” for a book that Oprah credits as changing the very direction of her life back in 1989 is clearly a bad a person and probably a hazard to society) at first.

But then he was like, “I used to live in New Rochelle.” And then he paused and took a dramatic breath in, and I was like…?

My first thought was that maybe he was going to say something about my Patriots hat – something along the lines of “I used to live in New Rochelle… and I too am a Patriots fan, so it was rough being in New York during that time. But then I moved to Connecticut and now people are slightly more open to my New England affiliation, but we’re still close enough to the New York border that, well, I don’t much care for it.“

But no.

Instead he followed up with “…until my house got flooded.”

So then in my head I was all, Okay so either he’s going to ask me to make a donation to his cause, or he’s going to murder me.

Help

“And then after the house got flooded,” he continued, “I left and moved to a really nice place up in the Catskills. It was beautiful, new, and surrounded by nature. But then that house got flooded too. So I got another house right after that, but then that one went up in flames and I was put in jail for two weeks until they were able to prove that the fire actually started from the dryer and I had nothing to do with it – which is what I told them all along, but nobody believed me.”

What I might have said in my head if I was as enlightened as I hope to someday be:

  • Aw, I’m honored that this nice man is sharing such personal details of his history with me. We’re all one, and I see myself in him. I sincerely wish him luck in finding a living situation that doesn’t involve catastrophe and disaster. I shall hug and bless him now.

What I actually said in my head:

  • WHY IS NOBODY COMING TO MY RESCUE?! OMG, I feel like Sarah Michelle Gellar in I Know What You Did Last Summer when the killer is like, maiming her with a hook by the large stack of tires and nobody knows about it even though it’s all happening in the midst of a busy parade and you would THINK that one couldn’t get murdered during something as public as a fucking PARADE but somehow there was no one else there in that little area with all the tires at the time, much like how there’s no one else here in the NEW AGE BOOK SECTION OF AN OTHERWISE WELL-POPULATED BARNES AND NOBLE.

What I said out loud:

  • “Oof. That’s rough, man. Sorry to hear it.”

And then he was all, “Yeah—” and then I cut him off and said, “Okay, well, take it easy!” and I immediately darted to the bargain books because there were a solid four people in that section.

I managed to avoid him for the rest of my duration in the store until I left to go have pizza with two friends of mine, both of whom were as confused as I was when I gave a dramatic retelling of the event.

“Why does weird shit always happen to you?” they both asked.

“I don’t know…” I replied. “Maybe because the Universe knows I’m always running out of things to blog about?”

And then we all nodded in agreement.

 

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received: “Be the Light”

Lately my spiritual journey has involved a lot of “Why am I here?”-ness.

Not the classic question of “Why am I here?” like, on the planet, though. Mine has been the other classic question of “Why am I here, ‘stuck’ in this place in life when I feel like I have a higher purpose and no matter how much action I take to try and fulfill that purpose NOTHING SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING, AND SO WHAT THE FUCK, UNIVERSE?

And then last week two of my awesome #SpiritJunkie friends and I had the honor of meeting the wonderful author/spiritual teacher/sassy guru Gabrielle Bernstein, whose new book Miracles Now is (a) like a big ol’ cup of chai tea for your soul, and (b) available here.

The energy in the theater during Gabby’s lecture was, in and of itself, a miracle. It was loving and open and just good and yes, I’m being sappy and trite right now because I can.

When the topic of feeling stuck in one’s current place in life came up, Gabby’s advice changed the game for me. She simply said, “Your job is not to be a [fill in the blank with your professional title]. Your job is to be the light.”

Be. The. Light.

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Girlfriend is walking the walk.

I didn’t realize it until that moment, but this has been my mission statement in my writing (where I ultimately feel a higher calling) since day one. Whether it’s by sharing a funny story, opening up about something that really sucked for me, or simply making a weird/corny pun – the goal is always to inspire/heal/entertain/make someone’s day a little less shitty. In other words, the goal is to be the light.

While Gabby spoke, I realized that I’ve been saving so much of my light for some future moment that involves the title of “Published Author” that I’ve been missing out on opportunities to be the light in the present moment of my day-to-day professional life – because at some point I had declared the corporate/media world I work in to be totally void of meaning (which it kind of is, but that’s a whole other Oprah) and therefore decided that I didn’t need to show up with my best self every day.

But the problem there is that by sitting around thinking, Ugh. I’m destined for something greater than this, I was doing a few sabotage-y things to myself and those around me:

  1. Getting lost in anxiety over the future rather than cultivating gratitude for the present moment.
  2. Focusing on where I’m not rather than accepting where I am.
  3. Forgetting that every second is an opportunity to spread love.

In fewer words, I was basically an asshole.

I’ve learned that being discontented with the present moment is a sure sign that the ego is in control. Rather than setting aside personal concerns and doing whatever you can to enhance the lives of those around you (in other words, creating ripples of good energy, in other words, being the light), you’re focused on your own self-importance (in other words, creating ripples of crappy energy, in other words, being the darkness… and not the good kind).

So. I’ve been putting this whole “be the light” thing into practice since I heard Gabby speak, and I have to say that the change in my energy since has indeed been a miracle. Yes, I’m still working toward my long-term writing goals, but I’m also not tripping over the future anymore.

Instead I’m doing whatever I can to be a source of love and positivity for those around me right now. If that means addressing a work situation that I find to be ultimately purposeless in the grand scheme of life, I do it anyway purely because (a) it’s my job, and (b) not doing it would really make someone else’s day shittier – and do I want to be involved with making someone else’s day shitty? No. That’s not very light-y.

(Side note: I feel like normal people probably just stop at (a), which is a valid enough reason to do one’s job, really, but I’m obviously not normal. And if you’re reading my blog, chances are you aren’t, either. Which is a fantastically wonderful thing.)

In conclusion: BE THE LIGHT, NIC. BE THE DAMN LIGHT.

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Gab + Nic = #Light.

 

Five Ways to Stay Zen When Life Seems to be a Total Dick

Lately, as a result of reading Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth, I’ve been really chill about everything in life.

My unprecedentedly Zen demeanor has the people around me kind of shocked.

“Wait,” they say after my bagel order is fucked up and I don’t shriek and/or fall out of my chair in a fit of hysterics, “you’re really not going to have a melodramatic breakdown over this?”

No, I will no longer unravel over bagels, because what are bagels anyways? They’re merely collections of molecules and energy – they’re form, and form never stays the same, and so trying to control or identify with form on any level (especially on the bagel level) is just silly.

But of course most of us are ruled by our egos (in other words, our thoughts), and it’s our egos that wholly identify with form – not just bagels, but our bodies, possessions, and even the thoughts themselves are a form (of energy) – and so THIS is why many of us are assholes. Because we’re trying to control circumstances and build our entire identities on shit that isn’t actually real or permanent.

So when we step back and become aware that the part of us that’s upset is often just a thought and isn’t truly who we are, we can watch as our egos go all “OMG this bagel was supposed to make all my problems go away and now it’s not even the right bagel!” and just laugh at the fact that our egos are big fucking babies.

This is the general approach I’ve been applying to all aspects of life lately, and it’s resulted in quite the shift.

And so here are five responses (all inspired by A New Earth) to common issues to help you remember that nothing in the material world is worth stressing out over. Ever.

(Note: If I sound like an asshole in any of these, it’s because I’m mostly talking to myself.)

1. Oh, that e-mail pissed you off? Well, how about the fact that if there was no electricity in the first place then your computer and/or smartphone would merely be a shitty piece of plastic and metal that takes up space, and so are you really going to allow a shitty piece of plastic and metal that takes up space to fuck with your energy like that? Plus, whoever it was who sent the annoying e-mail probably sent it from the same ego-based place in them that is now flaring up in you and getting all pissed off over a SHITTY PIECE OF PLASTIC AND METAL, so CHILL. (Love you.)

2. That guy doesn’t like you back. Hmmm… and what, exactly, is it about this guy’s perception of you that matters, like, at all? Are you going to be upset over the fact that someone else’s mental image of you isn’t one of total adoration and worship? I mean, even if this guy believed in his heart that you were gross and unlovable and Shrek-esque, what would that really mean? And if he believed that you were hot and brilliant and perfect, what would that really mean? Either way, you are who you are. The reality of the present moment is never going to be any different because of one fucking dude’s thought of who you are.

2a. Wow. Isn’t that shit freeing?

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3. Your train is late. Unless you plan on becoming a sorcerer of trains and personally controlling all the trains in all the land and putting an end to train delays for the rest of forever, getting angry over this could be a waste of energy. Maybe.

4. You’re 26 and haven’t yet reached any of your major life goals. Okay, so our society is all about ambition! And hard work! And life milestones! And accomplishments! And other shit. Great shit, sure. But there’s plenty of misery in identifying entirely with shit – even if it is great. And yet defining ourselves by our accomplishments is exactly what many of us are programmed to do – we compare ourselves to each other (#Facebook) relentlessly. We calculate our importance, worth, and lovability based on superficial things like job titles, homes, cars, clothes, lifestyles, whatever. But at the end of the day (when we’re all dead, for instance), what REALLY matters? Our external qualities (AKA form)? Or those parts of us that were never identified with form to begin with (AKA our simply Being and connecting and loving)?

5. They fucked up your bagel order. See: the beginning of this post.

 

26 Words to Live By for My 26th Birthday (AKA NicRiah Day)

Today is the anniversary of Mariah Carey’s and my respective births, and why this isn’t a federal holiday yet is beyond me.

But I mean, I’m sure it will be someday, because Catholic people are always in the midst of lent during this time and so they’re likely very irritable for having given something up that they love (unless they’re that guy who’s all “I give up Sprite!” when really his drink of choice is vodka and/or crack – can you drink crack? – but I digress) and so they kind of need a day off from work to help deal with all their Sprite vodka crack withdrawal fits, and so I’m sure a moment will eventually come when the Pope is all, “I have an idea! March 27th is the perfect day for a holiday and it shall be called NicRiah Day” (because why wouldn’t the Catholic church spontaneously create a new holiday in honor of a large-breasted pop diva who loves to be almost-naked on stage and a wacky tall dude from Connecticut who loves to be fully-naked…in beds with other dudes…?), and then before you know it the U.S. government will catch on to the trend and be like, “Well if all these damn Catholics are calling out of work for this new holiday anyways, then why the hell not just make it a thing?” (I think this is how Christmas happened.)

So basically when the future is here and it’s March 27, 2025 and your Jewish coworker is all, “Thanks for the freebie, Catholics!” I hope you’ll turn to the guy and say (in a stern voice), “Don’t thank the Catholics; thank Mariah Carey and Nicolas DiDomizio.”

You’re welcome.

NicRiahDay

That’s me perched upon Mariah Carey’s left ass-cheek. (Side note: That’s me perched upon Mariah Carey’s left ass-cheek — I think this is the sentence I was born to write.)

In totally unrelated and slightly more spiritual news, here’s an unabashedly redundant, cliché, and (seemingly) trite list of 26 words I plan to embody in my approach to life during my 26th year:

  1. Presence
  2. Awareness
  3. Gratitude
  4. Simplicity
  5. Peace
  6. Truth
  7. Stillness
  8. Serenity
  9. Laughter
  10. Ease
  11. Consciousness
  12. Meaning
  13. Energy
  14. Laughter again
  15. Healing
  16. Forgiveness
  17. Laughter again
  18. Absurdity
  19. Transparency
  20. Growth
  21. Trust
  22. Faith
  23. Love
  24. Sprite
  25. Vodka
  26. Crack

KIDDING ABOUT THE CRACK. I HAVE NEVER DONE CRACK.

(I don’t know why I felt the need to scream that. My apologies.)

…Okay, so this post is supposed to be over, but it felt weird to finish with a parenthetical just now. Especially a parenthetical that basically says, “I’m sorry for joking about crack and then screaming at you with caps lock afterward about how I was joking about crack.” That crack joke, really, was just a horrible idea. And now it seems to be holding me hostage. In my own blog. ON MY BIRTHDAY. WTF. Is this what they were warning me about in D.A.R.E. when I was too busy singing Mariah Carey songs in my head to pay attention? Ooh! Mariah. Full circle. Okay. Happy birthday to me. Byeee.

 

Tell Me Again Why We’re All So Competitive?

My daily morning journey typically consists of the following three checkpoints: Gym, train station, work. (Think GTL but with less sunburn risk and more general real-world bleakness.)

My gym (which is actually just a workout room conveniently located in my low-rise apartment building – which, yes, I realize has everything to do with my forthcoming complaint) is about the size of an airplane bathroom. So when there are more than a couple residents in it at the same time, the competition for machines is fierce. Like, RuPaul’s-Drag-Race-with-a-side-of-Scar-from-The-Lion-King fierce.

And then there’s the Metro-North train, which I take from Connecticut into New York City. I start out standing amidst a sea of fellow commuters on the platform, all of us solitarily minding our own business – maybe even bopping our heads along to whatever motivational morning music happens to be blasting through our headphones on any given weekday (angsty female country for me, please!) – but then the train shows up and the scene turns into the freakin’ Hunger Games as everyone tries to push and shove their way inside first to snag a coveted three-seater.

And then there’s work, which… Well. I work in Manhattan. Enough said.

And so I don’t mean to sound whiny, but seriously – why? I get that there are only so many machines in a gym, and only so many seats on a train, but I can’t help but sense that all of this speaks to a much larger issue at hand.

The first time I heard about the dreary concept of a “scarcity mentality,” I was watching a conversation between Marianne Williamson and Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, in which they talked about pie. (Metaphorically, mostly. I think?) You see, pies are cut into slices, of which there can only be so many, and so if someone else gets a slice, then we might not get a slice for ourselves, and so therefore – thanks to pie – we are all conditioned to be in competition with everyone for everything.

Fun!

Except not, because exhaustion. (And disappointment. And detachment. And disenchantment. And… I could keep going with the D-words, really, but I’ll stop now before I get carried away and spiral into what Mariah Carey would call a “woe-is-me diva on a tangent moment.”)

So back to Super Soul. Marianne and Oprah eventually got to talking about how the rules that exist for physical things (like pie) don’t necessarily hold true when applied on a spiritual level. Which means that, on a spiritual level, we can ALL. HAVE. PIE. We can even have multiples slices of pie! We can have multiple pies! (If you’re into that kind of thing.) It doesn’t matter.

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You get a pie! You get a pie! YOU get a pie! (Also, a doughnut, it seems.)

When I watched this conversation for the first time, it resonated deeply. I felt liberated, like a lifetime of restrictive thoughts and dead weight had been lifted off my shoulders. This means I can let go of my irrational fear that all the authors in all the land are going to publish their (subpar) books before I do! I proclaimed to myself. There’s room for us all!

But then I kept running into roadblocks on my path to publication, which forced me to recognize that I always seem to love new age wisdom when things are going my way – but then bitterly return to Self-Pity Central once something (a literary rejection, for instance) comes along and screws with my plans.

Still, though, one has no choice but to recover and continue growing. And as I get older, I can feel the moments of self-pity lessening in both frequency and intensity. I can feel myself getting more and more confident in the fact that there is an infinite amount of pie – if we just have the right perception of it.

In other words, the pie probably isn’t the thing we need to compete for. I mean, how many times do we learn this? Me, I competed against a lot of people to get into a super-selective graduate program four years ago – and I got in! And? It didn’t make all my problems go away. Then I competed against a lot of people to get an internship at a hip television network – and I got it! And? It didn’t make all my problems go away. Then I competed against even more people to turn that internship into a full-time job – and I got it! And? It totally made my problems disappear once and for all. LOL — kidding. It actually created a cute little army of brand new ones.

And so it seems that the task isn’t to get consumed with competition for the things we think we need to complete us (be it a treadmill, seat on the train, job, or book deal), but rather to redefine what the pie is in the first place. Is it something that other people – “decision-makers” – have the power to control for us? Or is it something that we can control and generate from within? Does it require external validation? Or just a little self-love?

Some combination of all of the above?

Frankly, I’m still trying to figure it all out myself. But the one thing I do know for sure is that whatever it is, it’s not going anywhere. And we don’t have to compete with anyone to get it.

 

Three Things I’ve Decided About the Search for Love

I recently came across a half-serious/half-bitchy article on Esquire‘s blog that addressed the myriad ways in which my soul sister, Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City, has allegedly corrupted the belief systems of modern women. Within, the author kind of says — no big deal — that my entire life’s work is bullshit. Also, the reason I’m single.

Specifically:

7. Portraying Yourself as Someone Who Can’t Find Love Will [Not] Find You Love. Publicly crafting yourself as a person who can’t find love will not encourage anyone to love you. You should resist every urge to make your dating horrors into a cottage industry. Do not blog about them, do not indicate them in your status updates, and don’t you dare read your personal essays at even one open mic night.

This makes scary sense, doesn’t it? Like, when I first read it, I was all, “Shit, my Internet writing! My blog! I have destroyed ALL chances of ever finding a husband. Should I purchase an impregnated cat now? Or?”

But then I breathed deeply, closed my eyes, and thought to myself, You know what? No.

Because for me – someone who has been healed and inspired by the writings of many a confessional memoirist – writing is all about transparency. And with that, honesty. And so yeah, I’ve written quite a bit about being unable to find a decent man over the past three years (interestingly, just about the amount of time that has elapsed since my last serious relationship… Coincidence? No? Holy shit, it’s not! That article is totally on point and I’m steadfastly getting closer and closer to dying-alone-with-nothing-to-show-for-my-life-but-a-Netflix-account-and-a-freezer-full-of-ice-cream status with every word I type, huh? Wait. NO. I am going to stand in my truth on this one! I’m also going to finish my thought, as I’m pretty sure this parenthetical tangent happens to be in the middle of what should have been a cohesive sentence but has now just become a long schizophrenic ramble about nothing) but at least I’ve never tried to pretend I’m perfect.

With the above in mind, here is my list of three things I have learned about the search for love this year:

1. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved (or to love yourself).

I used to bitch a lot about the concept of self-love being a cliché crock of shit perpetuated by assholes who were already married and therefore never had to put their money where their smug, supposedly self-loving mouths were. But then I devoted this year to my inner journey and realized that maybe I was a little full of shit, too. I read up on spiritual principles, developed a relentless zeal for Oprah’s brilliant series-for-seekers Super Soul Sunday, and adopted a meditation practice. And I realized that I, like everyone else, had some healing to do. So I started reflecting, forgiving, visualizing, and meditating even more. I was doing pretty well. But then I developed a mindset that was all, “Okay, so after enough hours of meditation I’m just going to be perfect and completely healed and self-loving and awesome one hundred percent of the time, and then I’ll be able to allow love into my life. Right?”

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Sorry, Nic of a few months ago, but no. The path to self-actualization never ends. The only thing that really matters is that we’re making progress and loving ourselves through the process. I’m choosing to believe that my romantic match will agree with me on this. He won’t be perfect himself, and he won’t expect me to be perfect in return. And if he does? He’s not for me. (And furthermore, he’s probably a total douche canoe.)

2. Trying to control outcomes is exhausting and – oh! – pointless.

At the end of the day, Life (capital L, y’all) is gonna do what it do. So I’m going to say that Oprah has it right when she says that love, as with everything else, is all about a) setting an intention (i.e. “I want to meet a quality man who is basically a thirty-year-old version of Nick Jonas except gay and willing to get married and shower me with affection on the regular”); b) taking intuition-led action on that intention (i.e. “I totally just meditated on a love-affirmative mantra, updated my OkCupid profile, and went to a gay bar!”); and then c) surrendering the intention to the universe (i.e. “Okay God, so this isn’t my problem anymore. I’m trusting you to hook me up with my future husband, mmmkay? Thanks!”).

Needless to say, that last step is the hardest part, and yes, I’m still working on it. (Clearly. Or else I wouldn’t be blogging right now, as I’d kind of be busy giving my gay thirty-year-old Nick Jonas husband an epic blowjob.)

2a. Was that last parenthetical TMI?

Probably. But again, writing is all about honesty, right? On that note…

3. Portraying yourself as anything other than someone who can’t find love – when you, in fact, are looking for love and haven’t found it yet – is pretty fucking dishonest.

So, okay. I’m a firm believer that every word we put out there is an energy-carrying affirmation that is likely to manifest itself in our lives in one way or another, so on that level, I’m all about not being whiny and woe-is-me towards love. But I’m also a firm believer that I would be a total asshole if I tried to downplay my struggle over the past few years and cover it up with affirmations like, “Quality men flock to me and love is easy and I’m just, like, flawless! Yay!” (I’d also have absolutely no material, but that’s neither here nor there.)

At the same time, though, I’m not trying to repeat history. And so here is the affirmation I plan to take with me into 2014: “I am grateful for the many valuable lessons I’ve learned from my past romantic misfortunes, and I now know that I am deserving of a healthy partnership with a like-minded man. I trust Life to know when to bring us together. (And until then, I will fucking rock the single life.)”

3a. So now that my inspirational/uplifting moment is over, can we just talk about my gay thirty-year-old Nick Jonas husband character for a second?

I mean, honestly. How perfect would that be? We would be Nic and Nick!

NIC. AND. NICK.

 

Let’s Talk About Gratitude

The other day I had the privilege of sitting in on an intimate luncheon event at MTV for Hispanic Heritage Month, which featured an interactive chat with the network’s resident chica Melanie Iglesias, star of Guy Code/Girl Code/Guy Court.

In addition to being a presence on approximately nine thousand MTV shows, Melanie is a freaking hottie. Such a hottie, in fact, that her initial break into the entertainment industry happened as a result of being selected by Maxim magazine out of 7,000 girls as the #1 Hometown Hottie of 2010. The woman is stunning.

I mean, see for yourself:

Ignore my weirdness and just focus on the beautiful woman, please.

Ignore my weirdness and just focus on the beautiful woman, please.

In spite of this fact, though — because let’s face it, I’m the gayest man ever and so female hotness can only go so far in terms of winning my admiration — what I like most about Melanie is her relentlessly positive spirit and overall #GoodEnergy.

When asked about how she maintains a consistent level of happiness, she shared that she is simply “grateful to be healthy and alive,” and then questioned how someone could manage to not be happy when approaching every day from such a place of gratitude. She also talked about how we’re all a part of something much larger than ourselves, at which point you know I had to ask her if she was spiritual and/or into meditation.

Interestingly, though not a meditator, she did share that she believes we are all here for a specific purpose, and that her end-of-the-day mission is to contribute to the betterment of humanity in any way and on any level she can — which totally kind of proves that she’s intuitively spiritual anyways, which, don’t you just wish more celebrities were like that?

Spirituality aside, though, Melanie’s initial statement about the correlation between gratitude and happiness resonated with me. It brought me back to a positive place after having gotten a little off track lately.

As a Super Soul Sunday disciple and perpetual seeker, I’ve read and watched quite a bit on the topic of gratitude. I’ve practiced it, too. And, as cliché as it may sound, I have found it to be the most effective way to get over pretty much any negative energy that may manage to creep its way into our consciousness every now and then. And as if that weren’t enough, the universe typically rewards those who are genuinely grateful for what they have now with more to be grateful for later. It’s just like, a law.

So with all of this in mind, I’d like to share a ridiculously small (or just plain ridiculous, whatever) list of things I’m grateful for right now:

  • Pumpkins.
  • The tree outside my apartment window.
  • Mariah Carey’s life-changing 1997 masterpiece album Butterfly.
  • My incredible support system of family and friends and yes, I’m being that guy right now.
  • Clarity.
  • All the life basics. (Seriously, how blessed are we simply to have health and homes and food and, like, water? That alone is pretty much enough for me to be all, “Sit your ass down, Nic,” every time I’m tempted to spiral into a rejection-fueled pity party of any kind.)
  • Cardio. When I actually do it.
  • My brother and his fiancée, and the fact that I’m going to Best Man the shit out of their wedding in January.
  • Books. ALL the books.
  • This photo of Jake Shears. (Note: If your boss happens to be a total dick, then this may be construed as NSFW. But if your boss isn’t a total dick, then please click, enjoy, and thank me/Jake later.)
  • Oprah.
  • Oprah.com.
  • OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.
  • O, the Oprah Magazine.
  • O-K, I’m done now. (See what I did there?)
  • Singer/Songwriter/my friend Joey, whose recent Facebook post on what he’s grateful for totally conspired with the Melanie lunch to inspire this post. Thanks, Joey!
  • The Bloggess.
  • Cheesecake.
  • Anything cute.

Last but really totally first, I’m grateful for y’all. For reading me, putting up with me, encouraging me, and supporting me. Especially when I’m freaking blog-M.I.A. half the damn time. Your love is honestly just… like, seriously. Thank you.

OK so before I start crying and having a totally uncalled for “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH ALL OF THESE EMOTIONS I JUST LOVE YOU OMG OPRAH SAVE ME” moment, please jump in.

What are you grateful for today?

 

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