Cleo's Dating Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Life

Dry spells are not all bad. Although voluntary dry spells are better than involuntary, we can learn valuable lessons from abstinence.

Testing our willpower shows us our weaknesses. How long could you really go without it? Can you stand your ground even if you can see, feel, and smell the temptation?

There was a time when I had to have it multiple times a week, not because of need so much as of habit. If a guy was not willing to give it to me, I was even willing to pay for it myself!

So, in January, I decided to take one month off. I honestly thought I would only be able to last one week. Unless I locked myself in my house, I assumed the temptations would be too high, accessibility too easy, and my willpower too weak.

However, today marks three weeks of Cleo saying, “no, thank you” to what normally was an automatic, “yes.”

I have almost reached my goal of one month of no… alcohol!!

The best part of this whole experience is that I still know how to have a good time without the influence of delicious cocktails. Although I am looking forward to my next dirty martini, its reassuring to know that fun and drinking are not synonymous.

The other great things include:

1. I do a lot less things I regret the next day.

2. I do not experience hang overs, extreme dehydration, or feeling bloated.

3. I spend less money.

4. I am a cheaper date (not that I am going on any…).

5. My friends appreciate me being the DD.

The downsides are:

1. I crave wine.

2. It is more challenging to be social, especially around other people that are drinking.

3. I am eating more food to compensate.

4. I think some people are avoiding me because generally, water drinkers are not as much fun.

5. I do not feel as comfortable dancing as slutty as I would like.

guilty pleasure

All in all, I find it is important to challenge your habits and do something new. I am trying to think of my new endeavor, so if you have an idea for me, let me know!

one week until cheers,

Cleo

 

I am so glad that I used to be really insecure. (key words: used to be).

When I was a kid, I was super skinny. My ribs showed, I had no arm mass, I had the smallest calves, I had no boobs (which I still don’t. I always did have a booty, though). Before I got braces, my teeth were messed up. I had a huge gap and a severe over-bite. My fashion sense consisted of only the plainest jeans and t-shirts. Plus, I was extremely shy! The slightest bit of attention from any boy, even the most unattractive, would make me blush. I hated speaking in front of groups, small or large. I avoided mirrors because I did not like what I saw. I did not like the sound of my voice. I had chubby cheeks. I was not the smartest in class. I was not the most popular. Boys did not try to kiss me under the bleachers. I was not Homecoming Queen. I got embarrassed easily. I could not do a cart-wheel. I played the clarinet.

I honestly was not a fan of myself. I envied characteristics of many other people and would often get lost in lavishly detailed daydreams. My imagination was my escape.

Although I did not believe them, I still got some compliments. However, most were from my parents and I always just figured that was what parents were supposed to do. And for some reason, some boys did have crushes on me but I was so deathly shy that I acted super cold and bitchy and would always ignore them.

But, every girl wants to feel pretty. One day I decided that I wanted to feel pretty. I was going to figure out how to make myself believe that.

Practicing in the mirror, what I discovered was that I am most pretty when I smile. I am most pretty when I am happy. I am most pretty when my personality bursts out my pupils. This was a very great discovery.

To this day, I still stand by the belief that true beauty comes from within.

Today, despite my gorgeous face and rockin body, I am a personality person. The main reason why I get noticed is because of my personality and the only reason I believe that I can have any man in the world is because of my intellect. To quote a friend, personality people get better with time and age. And what a relief that is because Botox looks like it hurts!

So I say, thank god that I used to be insecure. If I never figured out that wit, charm, confidence, contagious energy, and wisdom are more important than how tan my skin is or how expensive my purse is, I would not have a chance against all the Barbie doll, supermodel, airbrushed, hair-done, Christian Louboitin-wearing, women that are my competition. Thank god I used to be a huge dork.

With warm hugs,

Cleo

Your level of cookie-cutterability may be determining your dating path.

A cookie-cutter person (as defined by Cleo) is:

1. A person that is very traditional with a high level of predictability. Usually, this type of person is average in many areas and seeks a life of security, simple pleasures, companionship, comfort, and flying under the radar. These are the people that are known to follow the rules and color inside the lines.

2. Someone that does not typically stand out in a crowd.

3. Can be used in a derogatory manner to describe someone that is not difficult to replace.

There is nothing wrong with a high level of cookie-cutterability. Look how delicious these replicated heart cookies are!

However, I have a theory:

Cookie-cutter people marry young and have longer, committed relationships at an earlier age.

When two cookie-cutter people find each other, they are satisfied. Since they have very reasonable life goals, such as becoming an accountant, buying a three-bedroom home, or starting a family, they are on track to achieving their plan from the beginning. There is not much consideration for pursuing radical dreams or changing the world. Cookie-cutter people have their own world and stay focused on daily life. Their stresses include grocery shopping, family reunions, the finale of X-Factor, making ends meet, puppy training, and taxes. There is also little internal debate relating to, “She is amazing, but I wonder if I could do better than her,” or “He loves me and takes care of me, but I just want to have fun.”

I believe most people are cookie-cutter. Most people live very realistic lives and try hard to minimize their risks. Many people of this mindset will hang on to a good girl when they find her or stay with the nice guy they have known since high school because he is safe. They are also known to stick with a job they do not like because it has good benefits or live in a city they do not identify with because they have already been there for many years and know their way around.

Cookie-cutter people are easy to settle down with.

However, some of us, especially those living in Los Angeles, are not cookie-cutter at all. I know I am not! I am more like a monkey cupcake…

In a city that fosters creativity, entrepreneurship, lavish lifestyles, glamour, and limitlessness, we are not afraid of risk, following dreams, perfecting ourselves, or looking for the best possible everything. Look at how many restaurants and plastic surgery clinics we have. Or look at how many types of yoga we offer, how many trends we set, or how many freeways we need!

We are crazy monkeys. We live outside the norm, we keep our options open, we are always searching for the best opportunities, and we strive for greatness. Don’t get me wrong, there are A LOT of horrible things about LA  and LA people, but we are innovative and we love challenging ourselves.

That is why I believe monkey-cupcake people often struggle at finding a love-match. How challenging it is to match a monkey in a world of heart-shaped cookies? Very difficult.

In the end, people buy the heart-shaped cookies. Sure, the monkeys are funny and cute to look at, but the cookies are safe and comfortable. You know exactly what you are getting and that your money is not going to waste. Who knows what the monkeys have beneath that layer of frosting?

So, for all you monkey-cupcake people out there, hang in there. One of these days the stars will align, the tree branches will part, and you will meet your monkey mate. Until then, if you are struggling with dating, just think that maybe this means you are unique, you stand out in a crowd, you take risks, and you paint pictures instead of color. You are not cookie-cutter. Greatness wouldn’t be greatness if it was common and easy to find.

Kisses,

Cleo

 

Twas two nights after Christmas,

and all through her place,

not a cupcake was leftover,

not even a trace.

The stockings were never hung because her budget was bare,

and the California sun made it feel like summer was here.

The LA singles were nestled, alone in their beds,

not feeling sorry for themselves, because they knew love was not dead.

And our moms and our dads smiled at how we have grown,

because life is a journey, full of unknown.

The sounds from our iPhones created such a clatter.

Our family was calling, and that was all that really mattered.

With age came the realization that our Christmas wishlist need not be long.

Instead, all we need is the love of those who care about us, loyal and strong.

As the New Year approaches and looms over our heads,

We write resolutions- cook more and become more widely read.

Yet despite the things we would like to change,

Everything we need right now, tomorrow, and next year is already arranged.

So rather, we count our blessings and choose to be grateful.

After all, we can still fit into our jeans, and for that, I am thankful.

Happy New Year!!!

Love,

Cleo

Just saying the phrase, “I am so high”, is admitting a lot. You are qualifying this moment as being different from most and your state of mind as being extremely heightened from the natural. When on a high, regular daily burdens melt away. You are lifted above them.

Wooo I am so high! How exciting!

photo by zach pizza

Okay, I may be a dork, but I am not actually talking about being on drugs. I am not talking about being “high on life” either because that phrase has always been too nerdy for me to identify with.

I have discovered a new form of high. I have put on my (non-lesbian) combat boots and am stomping through the challenges of life and it is making me high. Bam! Take that heartache. Take that annoying life nuances. Take that emotional struggle. I am stomping on you and I am winning!

I am high on growing up. The power of growing up is elevating me. I am not the same person as I was yesterday or last week or last holiday season. Why? Because I am getting to know myself… very well. I know more about what irks me, what type of person I want to be, and what I want to allow to influence my life. If I catch my life following the path of a reality show, I stomp on the Jersey Shore tendencies and take an opposite action. I want mature relationships. No more rumors or unnecessary drama. I do not want a poof in my hair.

I know more and more about how to combat the lows I faced this year. That in itself has earned me a gold goddess crown for 2011.  My muscles are bigger and lifting myself out next year ain’t no thang.

I wish the same for you. The moment you spend reading this, you are getting older. Let your maturity catch up so that you can enjoy it.

Muah,

Cleo

I wake up this morning with a sore throat and the beginnings of a cold. I drag my butt out of bed and head for the gym to accomplish my plan of attacking a duo of workout classes (before I transform into a gluttonous carnivore tomorrow). I am running late, as usual. Farmers market  blocks the street, so I have to take the long way. Extra late. Class is good but I feel weak. I skip the second class and call myself a slacker. I try the steam room but I am too antsy. I just want to leave. I hop in the shower and cut myself shaving! Flashbacks to middle school. This is not on my To-Do list. I make it home without needing a blood transfusion. I “cook” the world’s plainest oatmeal. I decide to be productive and run errands. My car is blocked in by a white, molester van. No one even asks me if I want any candy.

I don’t like any of the songs on the radio. I randomly think about how sad it must be to be Christina Aguilera after this article. Parking my car I look up at my dashboard. This is what I see:

In yoga last week, we were encouraged to fill our spirits and thoughts with gratitude and then asked to write down what we are thankful for. I put mine on my dashboard (please excuse how ghetto it looks).

Instantly, I realize how un-Thanksgiving my attitude has been ever since I woke up today. Can I blame it on the fact that in my dreams last night my younger brother got married before me? (Which, in reality, is very likely). Can I blame it on the weather? My sore throat? Traffic? Or the goose?

Being grateful and giving thanks is not a natural reaction to the nuances of daily life- at least not for me! It is a mindset that must be continually practiced. When done right, amazingly, you start to notice how many little good things in everyday life actually outweigh the little bad things. Such as the California sunshine on November 23, the random texts that made me smile, my cat behaving himself, the luxury of watching a movie and crying, experimenting with a stuffing recipe, and the list goes on.

Hooray for Thanksgiving and living with gratitude… as often as we can remember.

x,

Cleo

“… There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
It’s easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love…”

We all know this song.  If you’re like me, you want to believe that the warm fuzzies of these words are truth. But, I can’t help but wonder, is love really all you need??

I could list 100 people I know that would instantaneously answer “NO” to this question (yes, I’m thinking of YOU!).

I can not think of one single person that would answer “YES” without hesitation. If I knew a small child, he or she would probably be my best candidate.

Advocates for Team NO would say that there are many factors besides love such as, timing, distance, circumstances, lack of communication, finances, poor hygiene, unplanned pregnancies, strippers, etc. that get in the way of love and sometimes block it altogether. Love can not change people. Love can not cancel out all evils. Love alone can not withstand life.

Loving someone does not mean they will love you back.

Wow, Team NO has some great points.

Team YES would probably say something about the importance of unconditional love and loving our enemies. But on a cloudy day like today, I would maybe throw my Dr. Tea at a Team YES member and see what they would say about that (only kidding!).

My belief lies in a hybrid of these two teams, called Team Cleo. Team Cleo says that love is capable of overcoming anything, but not without the inclusion of the points below:

1. Love must not be alone. Just how butter is not yummy by itself but great when mixed with other things, love too must be paired with the right ingredients. Love+Determination is a good start. I think many people give up on love too easily and too soon on love. Love+Patience and Love+Independence are good recipes too.

2. Love is not our tool for getting what we want out of people. This is a hard one for me to swallow actually. If I treat someone with love, shouldn’t they be nice to me back?? Not necessarily. If I show someone love, why don’t they try to make me happy?? Love is not a type of currency.

3. Love is like the US Postal Service. You can send love out into the world, but no one knows when it will arrive, in what condition, or if it will even be received. Simply, there is nothing more you can do. Love without expectation (super difficult to accomplish!!). But, accepting this idea makes loving others a more peaceful act for me. Love and let go. Oh, and smile.

4. Love comes in many forms. We all love differently and at different speeds. That’s why our love recipes are so important so that we can have the strength, patience, and determination to understand each other. But for the record, I must be the easiest person to love because I write it all on the internet! Just saying ;)…

Team Cleo may not be 100% factual, but I think I am on to something good! I may not believe that all you need to love, but I think most of us do not give the power of love the credit it deserves. Regardless, I plan on testing these theories for the rest of my life and you can count on me to tell you about it! I also encourage you to test your own theories and of course, fill me in.

Much love for you,

Team Cleo

My envy confides in the strangest things.

Today, a small diamond,

set strongly in gold,

held close by a dainty gold chain,

that does not leave my neck.

This unwavering item does not change shape or form.

She does not wake up in the morning feeling insecure.

Doubt and fear do not attempt to plague her.

Completely unemotional.

Sturdy, strong, and confident.

My diamond necklace shines brightly, every day.

Radiant always.

She believes deeply in the beauty of yesterday, today, and the unknown tomorrow.

If only wearing her would settle

The tearing of my mind and tangles of my heart.

I am splitting down the center, yet she does not move.

She believes in love,

And I am jealous.

Pinatas

Posted on: October 19, 2011

Los Angeles people are like pinatas.

We all want to be the shiniest, brightest, and most gawked after, even if we don’t admit it (yes, I am talking to you). We all have hard, outer shells because we must survive in a world of constant rejection and competition. And we all must attempt to date each other without having any clue what might be on the inside or how soon the contents may explode.

I want to believe that most people are filled with yummy sweets and tasty treats and overflowing goodness. Experience will tell me that I am wrong. Or maybe I didn’t crack the surface hard enough? Experience will tell me that most people give up easily in searching for another’s true core. However, I can understand that being blindfolded and exerting all your strength on one item can be exhausting and frightening.

So, we have a pinata problem. Does having more colorful plumage mean that there will be a better surprise on the inside? No. It may just contain confetti or peanuts or even worse, nothing. Does having the thickest, most dense, and most bulletproof shell mean that people will be more motivated to crack it? No. It may mean that you will be denounced as being not worth the time. Does shying away from even attempting to take a swing at another’s pinata barrier mean that you will ever win the prize? Definitely not.

I challenge you to identify your inner pinata. What do you have on the inside? Are the contents of the inside worth another person’s struggle of breaking down the outside? Are you brave enough to handle the surprise of getting to know someone so well that their shell breaks and you discover the truth? If you hesitate in answering any of these questions, then we have some work to do. The good thing, however, is that having work to do means there is greater opportunity for me, you, and whoever it is that you want to date to grow and be better.

Ready, set, go,

Cleo

First of all, I must distinguish that “playing a character” is not the same thing as “role playing,” although I do not discourage against the latter.

This weekend, I propose a challenge. Pick a character, a variation of yourself that you want to explore, and practice being outside your normal self. If you are typically planned and scheduled, be spontaneous-you all weekend. If you are typically drunk and sloppy, practice being controlled and classy. If you are typically responsible, be a balanced amount of young and crazy. Be silly instead of serious, nonchalant instead of dramatic, mellow instead of hyper, enthusiastic instead of pessimistic.

Dress the part if you need to! For example, as I write, I am being nerdy me and Barnes and Noble on a Friday evening.

If you traditionally complain that you have trouble meeting men, go and talk to some. If you usually wait around for a guy to make plans for you, take initiative and make some yourself. If you have trouble making new friends, strike up a conversation with some strangers. If you normally lounge on the couch and watch the weekend go by on your television screen, get dressed up and go party. If you always say you will meditate and get in touch with yourself, actually do it this time. Embrace a new side of you that you may not have even known existed.

Too often we put ourselves inside of a box entitled, “me.” In fact, we are much more than can ever be contained within four walls. That is why we must challenge ourselves and our comfort zones. There is so much left to discover. We put a lot of effort into learning something new at our job, about current events, about someone else, and about our hobbies, but lets not forget that learning something about ourselves is the most important thing we could spend time on.

kiss kiss,

Cleo