Anonymous said: How many times have you fallen in love? Is it always better than the last time?
Love is supposedly getting wrapped up in someone else, but it’s really tripping into a labyrinth of yourself. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to step into a room that brings you joy and kindness and strength with indoor waterfalls and couches like clouds, to find the switch that lights up every corner in the house. Sometimes you explore long, twisted hallways with compelling arches that lead you deeper and deeper into yourself ‘til you’ve lost your way and all you can do is run your hands along the wall hoping to find a door to let you out. Some people find the light switch first. Some people never do. But when we step into someone else, we inevitably get lost in a part of ourselves we never have before.
It’s the lessons you take from each trip that can make the following better, or worse. There are parts of the house I don’t care to see again and parts I never would have found without getting lost with someone else. Insecurities that needed to be aired out. Passions that needed to be opened. Our relationships with people are what help us build and discover our home. And I am happy to live in the house I’ve made forever, but I dream of the rooms someone else might unlock, that someone still could.
But it’s still your house. And the quality of the life you build in it is determined by how well you take care of it, by the effort you put into it.
Every time I’ve fallen in love, it’s not that the love has been better, it’s that I have been better able to love. It’s that I’ve torn down walls and lit up dark hallways and aired out old shame and cleaned out old losses. It’s that I’ve made space for someone and I’ve made it beautiful and I’ve made this house a home that I love and I cherish.
The hardest part for me is when I love the way the light comes in and the way floorboards creak and the way the kitchen is just a little too small and then I let someone in who says, “this house is so wonderful, this house is so perfect, though the light comes in early, and the floorboards are loud, and that kitchen is really too small.” Because then the things that I love turn from quirks into flaws and I find myself tweaking the things I found charming because someone thought the rest was good enough to stay.
This is your home to live in forever and by god, you better make it good. But make it good for you and when buyer after buyer says it’ll do, so no thanks, because you’re looking for someone who thinks it’s beautiful too.
That’s how love gets better. When you love yourself better.
12:09 pm • 15 July 2014 • 109 notes
Anonymous said: Hey so is this blog dead?
For years, this blog has been such a great way for me to feel like I play a part in empowering women. And recently, something cool happened in my life where I got to take this pursuit off the screen and into the world: I got chosen to be part of Rapha’s Women’s Ambassador program.
Yadda, yadda, you guys know that. Look, there’s even a fancy press photo of me for it:
(Same face I make at guys in bars.)
So Rapha whisked me away to sleep-away camp with a handful of incredible women (downhill mountain bike racers! Olympians! National Champions! and um…a dating blogger?) and I have never been so intimidated in my life. I dubbed myself the token novice because once we hit the road, I wanted a built-in excuse that allowed me to not keep up, padding my embarrassment by playing the jester.
But let’s be real, I was straight-up scared.
I was scared of them judging me, of wondering why I was there, of forgetting I was there.
And I pushed myself harder physically that weekend than I ever have.
That’s a lie.
I pushed myself relatively hard and then slunk down like a child behind their mom anytime the challenge looked like too much. (22% grade on Paseo Miramar? You bet your untoned-ass I walked my bike up that hill.)
The weekend finished with new friends and new goals, but I felt like a disappointment. I felt like a fraud. (Oh, shit, it’s like annfriedman said, I have impostor syndrome.) What, other than luck, had earned me a spot with those champions? That thought lingered with me. And after ignoring all the wonderful people who
were trying to get me to shut up said I had earned it, I figured the only way to ease my mind was to become the woman I believed would have earned the spot.
So I got on my bike. 6 am training schedule. Goal of 120 miles a week. Spinning on the stationary bike during the day at work. Switching back into my kit after work to spin more. Going to sleep at 10 pm on weekend nights so I could slam out 70 miles the next day. Emailing these people, tagging that, texting those people, creating routes and nutrition plans, trying to be a leader in my community by recruiting, offering to take out newbies, lending out my gear, my bikes, my time. And fuck, do I miss getting shit-faced with my friends. I miss brunch. I miss sleeping in so much. Like I would give up orgasms for three months to just be able to sleep in for a week straight.
There’s this one ride in LA along one of the man-made concrete river paths that I’ve been using to track my progress. It’s a six-mile stretch. These are my times since January:
I shaved five minutes off a six-mile stretch. And right now, I hold the time as the fastest woman to have recorded her time on Strava on that stretch, out of 180 women. And I fucking earned that. (By the way, if we include guys, I’m 49th out of 1527 people.)
This sounds like bragging, or how-to-make-people-hate-you-on-the-internet, but cycling changed my life. I couldn’t get behind the wheel of a car or stand at the altar of a friend’s wedding or get on an airplane without sobbing from anxiety before cycling. I was broken, and it fixed me. And then someone was like, “would you like to be part of a program that encourages women to cycle?” and all I heard was, “would you like to save other women?”
And I said yes. Every ounce of energy that doesn’t go into paying my bills has gone into that.
So the blog isn’t dead. And god damn do I wish that after a hard ride I could just sit down and write something awesome. But lately, that just hasn’t happened. I feel really strongly that if I don’t have something wonderful to share, that it’s not worth sharing anything at all. And when I have gone against that instinct and written a post just to throw something up here, it’s been embarrassing and waste of my and your time.
Maybe you’ve spent a cumulative of five minutes (maybe) checking to see if there’s new content over the past few months, but I’ve spent weeks writing… well, crap. Take a look around my Google docs (please don’t.) It’s a graveyard of posts-that-could-have-been. I’ve been trying and nothing, man nothing, is coming out as “you know who might like reading this? The internet.”
It’s a bummer, guys. Like, a real soul-crushing bummer.
And what do I do when I feel soul-crushed?
Get on my bike.
So come to LA. You can borrow one of my bikes and I’ll tell you everything I haven’t found a way to write down. Like how I got picked up in a Ferrari for a fried-chicken date. Or how my own ignorant prejudices against mental illness have created a rupture in my family life. Or how I have muscles in my shoulders I have never seen before. Or how my grandma ends every phone call with “have a nice life!” because woman is so psyched to meet God and see her husband. Or how my ex is only sort of my ex some of the time. Or how I got kinda handsy with a girl at a club. How Finn bites my nose to wake me up, how I felt when I found out I have so many cysts!, how I’ve been practicing pulling out and extending my bike pump in one swift motion to turn it into a weapon, how I’ve been saving money, how I’ve been spending money, how I’ve been emailing my editor all the time with limited response, how worried I am about the book, how badly I want to succeed at cycling, how bored I am with my job, and how I finally perfected beach hair.
Or you could just keep checking the blog.
I’ll be here either way.
4:15 pm • 10 July 2014 • 85 notes
Anonymous said: I love the advice you give, you have been such an inspiration. My question is about a guy I just started dating. I've known him for years but just recently have gotten back in contact. We went on a date. I, with no self control, internet stalked him first and found out he just had ended a long term relationship. I thought, a date is a date. But midway through, he gets a phone call from who I think is his ex. He says he'll call said person back later. Is this worth pursuing?
It couldn’t have been his mom? His sister? His step-father? His realtor? His landlord? His roommate? His drug dealer? His parole officer? His colleague? His intern? His web designer? His bestie? His worstie? His vet? His doctor? His grandma? His second date of the evening?
Even if it was his ex, did he say I love you? Get up and leave? Start crying? Talk on the phone in front of you? Carry on as if you weren’t there? Tell her they’d get back together after this date was over?
I think it’s worth taking a deep breath and remembering that if it was his ex, he didn’t choose that call over you. And a phone call from an ex could be about: her picking up her things, that he owed $35 for the last cable bill, that the dog they had together made it out of surgery OK, that she’d run into his mom at the market and it was super awkward, that she found his favorite sweatshirt and dropped it off at his place.
It could have been any person about any thing. If you’re going to be spinning stories, at least spin fun ones.
That, or ask him what he’s looking for. If he says, “I just got out of something serious so I’m just looking to have fun,” then you can make an educated decision about whether he’s worth pursuing, instead of just blindly throwing spaghetti at the wall in the dark.
1:19 pm • 21 June 2014 • 29 notes
This blog hit 1,000,000 page views today.
Which, let’s be serious, is insane.
HAVE THE BEST WEEKEND EVER, EVERYONE.
4:49 pm • 20 June 2014 • 48 notes