Tag Archives: new beginnings

A Perfectly Fine Man

1 Apr

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The sun pierced my eyes through the blinds of my bedroom. I squinted through them, catching the snow-capped Rockies in the distance. There is nothing like coming home to a place you love.

New York was fabulous, and it made me want to explore everything – Denver while I am broke. And the rest of the world when I have the means to travel (thanks to those readers who gave me those travel ideas and tips, by the way; it was quite helpful).

Since I had been at a work conference all weekend, I got to take the weekday off. I rolled over, excited to let the day and city take me where I let it, restricted by no one.

And then I remembered I had a date that night.

Ugh.

After networking all weekend in New York, my stores of social energy were depleted. All I wanted was to walk around aimlessly and daydream, without interference from a schedule.

I so wanted to cancel, but one of my mom’s friend’s daughters had set me up on this date; cancelling would have caused more turmoil for me later with my mother than the inconvenience of going now. With the date looming over my head, inhibiting my full enjoyment of the day because I could only wander so far and do so much, I still managed to walk to a neighborhood I’d never seen and find a used book store with a wide array of travel books. I returned to the apartment, procrastinated, then allowed myself just enough time to throw on some black pumps and red lipstick, grab a trench and head out the door.

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An IWOM Takes NYC

27 Mar

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My apologies for being away, darlings. The International Woman of Mystery has been busy. I wish I could say I was out exploring the pyramids of Egypt of skiing the Swiss Alps. Alas, it hasn’t been quite so exciting. However, I did recently take a business trip to New York City, which has left me feeling inspired.

The trip was unexpected. I got a call from one of my bosses late on a Thursday asking if I could be in the city to attend a weekend conference. At first I was a little annoyed by the last minute request, but then it occurred to me that I’ve never actually spent much time in New York. Nor had I ever traveled there alone. It seemed liked the perfect excuse to take Jenny G. on a little impromptu adventure.

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Hello Next Big Thing

25 Feb

 

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There comes a point when you are getting over someone, when you are at the lowest depths of loneliness and self-pity that a sudden burst of energy comes on, a result of finally having exhausted all you have left to mourn for someone.

You might call this closure.

I am finding that in order to reach closure, I have to grieve; it’s inevitable. It’s the only route through this mess of feelings to true liberation.

It feels silly to say that: grief. No one died. Other people have been through far, far worse than getting dumped by their fiancé. It makes me feel insensitive to people who really have lost someone.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am not one of those people who embraces this process – I am much better at avoidance and distraction. Going through this whole transformation of self-awareness to become a more ideal woman has effectively helped me avoid grief. The idea of “grieving” a man I wish I hadn’t loved makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I even threw myself destructively into a two-day romance I wasn’t ready for in the hopes of moving on. Besides, superheroes don’t cry. They suck it up and forget about it.

But then I got that coat in the mail. Without warning, the physical presence of that damn coat brought me face-to-face with Mr. Poison and the feelings I buried when I left Boston. I thought I could outsmart the questions about what I did wrong, the memories of the best times we had, the mental rehashing of all our fights, and all our makeups.

Listen here: grief does not discriminate. It affects everyone, for every kind of loss. You can’t avoid it, no matter how far or fast or hard you run.

Having realized this, when I got home the other night after giving that coat away, I let myself cry hard and long, to deeply feel the pain of the loss.

I’ve never cried like that before, but maybe that’s what’s been missing in my ability to move on from things. It forced me into emotionally dark spaces I wished I didn’t have to visit, but the end result is true catharsis that has given me a freedom I have never felt before.

It’s the freedom to finally say: goodbye Mr. Poison (for real this time).

Someone recently told me that when you grieve a relationship, you are really grieving the part of yourself that was inherently tied to that person. Whether you like it or not, you become someone a little bit different when you’re in a relationship, perhaps a better version of yourself, perhaps a worse version of yourself. Either way, you somehow can’t be that person around anyone else, so without his presence to influence you, that part of you dies.

And so this new grieving process also allows me to say: goodbye girl I used to be.

Hello next big life thing. I’m ready.

-Jennifer

New Year’s Day

1 Jan

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I firmly believe that an International Woman of Mystery should live with no regrets. That said, I found myself a bit remorseful for my last night’s postings. Apologies, dear reader.

It had been a long week full of domestic travel and family dramatics. My objective for NYE was merely to spend a quiet evening watching a movie, decompressing and toasting the New Year, solo. How it devolved from there is still being investigated by yours truly.

The last thing I can really recall is taking to my balcony, martini in hand and shouting for all to hear: “The International Woman of Mystery is alive and she lives in Denver, Colorado!”

For what it’s worth, a cheer arose in response from another balcony. Fireworks erupted in the distance. I then (I believe) stumbled back into my apartment and promptly passed out on my couch.

This morning I awoke to a roaring headache and an atrociously messy kitchen. Once upon a time, the old Jennifer might have used her hangover as an excuse to feel sorry for herself and go back to bed. Alas, Jenny G. is determined not to let her missteps linger into 2016. I’ve done a bit of debriefing with myself and decided that perhaps this will be the year I learn from my mistakes.

Mistake #1 was poor movie choice. I’ve got better things to do than watch moony chick flicks, no matter how high caliber the travel porn. Back to the inspiration drawing board. Eat, Pray, Love your heart out, indeed.

Mistake #2 was the gin. And the vodka. And the vermouth. All told, I believe I imbibed six different versions of the martini. Though, I do know my preference now. Gin. Stirred. Light on the vermouth. No olive. To be enjoyed responsibly from here on out. The International Woman of Mystery will not be sloppy. Anymore.

All things considered, I feel something resembling genuine excitement for the New Year. Focused on the future. Ready for action and whatever new adventures I may find in this fair city. Ready to take my transformation to the next level. Ready to make 2016 count.

Happy New Year, comrades. The International Woman of Mystery is alive, and she lives in Denver, Colorado.

New Year’s Eve

31 Dec

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Happy New Year, Dear Internet!

Tis I! Jenny G.: International Woman of Mystery. Broadcasting to you live because I am …drunk?!

So anyway! It all started out innocently enough. Alone in a new city. Without a without a date! Well! An International Woman of Mystery doesn’t REQUIRE a date! Turns out, she can have plenty of fun all by her lonesome. She doesn’t even need a suitor to plant a kiss on her lips at midnight. Unnecessary!

But! I needed to uphold some traditions. I went to the liquore store for a few provisions. I had meant to only get a couple of those mini bottles of champagne when inspiration struck! Would the International Woman of Mystery really sip champagne. I askedmyself? I think not. It was time to start perfecting my martini. The sooner I conquer that, the sooner I can move on to my own signature cocktail.

There once was a simple champagne run. But it became an elaborate gin, vermouth,… vodka (in case I find I like them dirty), green olives and a cocktail shaker set. That type of excursion. I got home just in time to see the sun go down from my balcony. A lucky break.

AND NOW? I’m watching Eat, Pray, Love.

This movie is so stupid. I’m sorry, but it is. I happened to glimpse it on Redbox the other day and thought it might be good inspiration for this blog. So when I selected it to be this evening’s entertainment, I wasn’t sure if it would still be there, but it was, which means it’s meant to be!

So anyway. The movie is stupid because in the end, she just ends up with one stupid guy after another. The International Woman of Mystery would never settle for such an ending! It is hardly mysterious or international. Okay it’s kind of international but whatever! She spends most of the movie being such a victim and feeling sorry for herself. Oh did I mention she does this all while getting paid to travel the world and write for a living? I know! So hard!

The ridiculousness of the movie drove me back to my original mission: Martini. The first batch had too much vermouth but I couldn’t waste it! I would train my pallet for the future! I drank the first batch. The second rendering was closer but still missing something. I drank it and made another. AND SO ON.

So anyway, I’m watching this movie and I think that I could do this so much better. I already am doing it so much better! The International Woman of Mystery doesn’t need a fancy publishing advance or a man or a trip to Italy to find herself. The International Woman of Mystery doesn’t need Julia Roberts to play her in the movie version. The International Woman of Mystery buys her own drinks.

The International Woman of Mystery says: eat, pray love your heart out!

It’s almost midnight and I am intoxicated and alone, but I have more martinis and all around me I can hear people celebrating the New Year. Mark my words that this year will be the year of the IWOM! (I’ve got an acronym, which is more than Julie Roberts can say!) I shall now toast in 2016 from my balcony, so I am signing off!

CIAO! AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-Jenny G.

Here’s To You, Jane

28 Dec

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My blog has a follower. My blog has a follower! And it’s not my mom!

This girl “Jane,” a stranger from Kansas, somehow found me, even though we don’t know the same people. Jane wrote to me today – she wanted to tell me that she enjoys my blog and is looking forward to seeing me go on more adventures.

Jane also shared a little bit of her story, and it has affected me.

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Mr. Poison Returns

27 Nov

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It’s the day after Thanksgiving – my first one away from family and friends in a long, long time. I spent the day making a huge, foodie feast for myself and watched Audrey Hepburn movies all day. It was fabulous.

I had just finished an invigorating run, excited for my new friend date that night and hopeful about the general possibilities ahead, when I signed into my email. Mr. Poison had written me.

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The Hair

12 Nov

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My Jennifer,

Your mother told me about the happenings with [Mr. Poison] and now you are in Denver, Colorado. I am sorry you have hurt, but you have the courage and adventure in your life now. You can begin a new life.

You are a good woman. [Mr. Poison] was not as good as you. I said to your mother many times.

I send you this check for you to buy something nice (impractical).

Sincerely and love,
Aunt Petra

My Great Aunt Petra was the only one of my mother’s four aunts who never married. When Aunt Petra was my age, women in Hungary didn’t even dream about not being a housewife; Aunt Petra rebelled and instead moved to New York, where she eventually directed a small art gallery. Though she dated frequently, she never married because, according to my mom, “Petra didn’t want to spend her life waiting for a man to come home from work.” I didn’t know a lot about Aunt Petra, but I always kind of admired her. I wish I had appreciated her perspective more.

I carried Aunt Petra’s note in my handbag as I walked to the upscale hair salon where I was about to cash in on her encouragement to do something nice and impractical for myself.

It was one of those perfect afternoons in late fall, an unseasonably warm day where the whole city seemed to be alive in one last celebration before winter. A warm wind caught my hair, and I felt like I was in a movie montage, on top of the world. I thought of the woman with the sleek bob who had recommended this hairstylist. Maybe I should get a bob, I thought, and became giddy with the thought of a total transformation.

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I Was Done a Long Time Ago

1 Nov

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“What did you do?”

I finally talked to my mother. I’ve been here four weeks and, though I emailed her a vague story about leaving Boston, told her I’d changed my number, ignored her calls, this was the first time I told her the full story.

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Maybe This Was a Mistake

22 Oct

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I don’t know anyone here. I’m out of shape, out of money, and out of adrenaline. Without anyone’s validation, this new life feels flimsy.

If things don’t work out, I will have even less than when I moved here. Leaving Boston, I foolishly thought things couldn’t get any worse. Being dumped by your fiancé, in and of itself, is not even close to rock bottom.

Now I see that things could get a lot worse and that is a place I don’t have the energy to rebound from. If I hadn’t spent all my money and decided to start a new life, that reality wouldn’t be on my horizon.

I miss Jake – his humor, good taste and the way he made me feel special.

He was dramatic, and our relationship was rocky, but the make-ups were always rewarding. When things between us were good, they were the best.

One Saturday, he woke me at dawn and whisked me away to New York. He planned the whole day – took me to a little known museum, a tiny, tasty restaurant, and we wandered a charming and underappreciated neighborhood. At night, we met up with his friends in Brooklyn, where we got drunk and danced to a local band at a hipster bar. He stole glances at me from across the room.

There was the first time I celebrated the holidays with him and his family on the Cape; he was affectionate, proud to call me his girlfriend, and introduced me to his family dog as if it were a big deal.

Sometimes when I was getting ready to go out, he would kiss me softly and tell me how lucky he was.

His embrace wrapped me in warmth and comfort. At those moments, I never felt so much joy and happiness. Every good moment we had together I bookmarked for later so I could relive the happy memories.

His attention was like a drug and in its absence, I felt sluggish. Before we lived together, in those early days, sometimes he would go days without so much as texting me. Even when we were together, he withheld – emotion, attention, compromise. In those moments, I longed for the times when I felt loved.

There are never any normal moments in that kind of relationship – just highs and lows.

You do not see what you should. You only see how good it can feel and spend all your time waiting for the other person to make things wonderful again. Being with someone who withholds his affection, someone who dates and loves and commits on his terms, is a terrible place to be. I see that now.

That doesn’t make this move any easier. Moving to a new city is harder than I thought, especially at 29 years old. I miss having social commitments, having somewhere to be. I miss cooking with someone, waking up next to someone. I miss the feeling of being in love.

Ugh. Listen to me – I am such a cliché.

Enough.

–Jennifer