Better Man

Even though his first album, Coming Home, only came out earlier this week, I feel like I’ve been listening to Leon Bridges for months. Oh wait, that’s because I have. Bridges has been releasing singles from Coming Home as teasers. A little something-something to wet the palate. And my how it has worked. The album is brilliant and I was pretty much counting down the days before its release.

On another note, I totally thought Leon Bridges was a hidden gem that no one knew about. And then Kurt told me his music was on the latest Apple commercial. He’s officially huge.

If you haven’t listened to the full album yet, you should do so immediately. Or at least this weekend.

Leaving what I love


Do you remember your first cup of coffee? I do. I was 21, living in Sydney, Australia, working in a cafe. One day the bartender, who I thought was quite cool, offered to make me a flat white. In a failed attempt to mature and worldly, I took it and drank it. I spent the next three hours buzzing around on a wave of ecstasy. It was amazing. And I’ve enjoyed 1 to 15 cups of coffee every single day since then.

Until about a month ago. On May 21st I did it, I gave up one of my most favourite things and definitely my most favourite habit–coffee.

Crazy people all over give up coffee for all sorts of reasons–tummy troubles, anxiety, etc. For me it was sleep. I’ve kept my struggle with insomnia no secret. For about a year and a half I thought I had it all under control, but this spring insomnia reared its ugly head again. For a month I slept only 4 hours a night. My left eye twitched constantly. When it come to dealing with insomnia, giving up coffee was pretty much the last thing I had to try, so I made the choice to quit cold turkey.

I wanted to write this post for those of you who are considering giving up coffee for insomnia or any other reason. Let you know that it is possible. It can be done. It’s not fun at first but there are actual benefits. Here is what you can expect, or at least how the how the whole thing unfolded for me:

**When I quit I was drinking about 3 large mugs of coffee a day

Day 1-5. I felt like my head was in the sand. Or in the clouds. Or filled with cotton balls. It felt like there was a haze between me and my reality. It sucked, but don’t worry, it didn’t last. If it did I certainly wouldn’t have stayed off caffeine. Fortunately for me, I did not get headaches. My bowel movements remained the same (I know you were wondering). I started sleeping slightly better immediately. And here is the interesting part, I started feeling less anxious. When I drink coffee and I’m in the midst of a bout of insomnia, life feels like a crisis. But as soon as I quit, the crisis ended. I was simply just tired.

Day 5-10. I finally began sleeping better. My eye stopped twitching. I was still in a crazy, hazy fog, that didn’t change. I noticed I was overall less anxious and more calm in every area of my life.

Day 11-25. I’m no longer hazy, not at all. I wake up good to go. I am more even keel than I have ever been. The highs and lows that I thought were parts of my personality don’t happen. Turns out it wasn’t my personality, it was the caffeine. It’s a really, really good feeling. On day 12 I slept through the night which is not something that happens to me regularly.

Today. Straight up, it’s been one month. It’s still new so I’m still feeling righteous about it, but I think I might be a convert. You should be too. Don’t get me wrong, I miss coffee like crazy but life just seems so much easier without it. For example, last night I slept from 10:30PM to 4AM (work is stressing me out). While it wasn’t enough sleep for me, the quality of my sleep has improved so much that I didn’t feel that terrible. I also didn’t have the caffeine-induced sense of urgency that I didn’t know existed until I quit. I’m tired but I’m good.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

I’ve been waiting for an album like this all year. Seriously. After feeling slightly (only slightly) disappointed by both the latest Decemberists and Father John Misty albums, I’ve been anxiously awaiting some new music that gets me excited. And here it is with Florence and the Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. After first listen all I wanted to do was listen again. She’s amazing.

It’s Saturday. I’m lazy. Here is a list.

  1. I turned 33 a week ago. I know I probably say this every year, but this feels like legit adult territory. I’m feeling good about it though. I’m where I need to be.
  2. To all you guys around the world that feel the need to yell FHRITP behind female reporters, what is wrong with you? You are adults. Some of you are even 33. Why are you acting like 6-year-olds hyped up on sugar and the influence of the bad kid that lives down the street? This whole thing is turning into a debate on the ethics of social shaming which is so incredibly beside the point. When you chose to yell immature, stupid sh** at the TV camera, well, you’re making your own bed. Be prepared to lie in it. Didn’t your grandma tell you that?
    Oh, and guys around the world that feel the need to yell FHRITP, thanks for being regular readers of my blog!
  3. Literally the moment that I complained about life being boring, my social calendar filled up. Speaking too soon: my greatest skill. And you know, while 30-somethings are pretty good at living the quiet life, when it is time to socially engage, we leave all you 20-somethings in the dust. BBQ’s are better because we (royal we) own our own homes and can therefore do what we want. Birthday’s are better because our champagne and wine budgets are much higher than they used to be. And the celebrations are better because the milestones in your 30’s are just that much huger. At least in my social circle anyways. Homeownership and weddings and engagements and great, big, massive promotions that just didn’t happen 10 years ago. That is worth toasting with the good stuff. (Apologies for the righteousness. I’m just so excited to be leaving my house again.)
  4. I got engaged. Three weeks ago the best man I’ve ever known got down on one knee in our kitchen and gave me the prettiest ring I’ve ever seen and promised me a lifetime of laughter and love. Obviously I said yes. I’m totally one of those girls too. I’ve had a “Secret Wedding” Pinterest board since long before three weeks ago. And I’ve been quietly putting money aside for the “big day” ever since I knew Kurt was the one I would marry. Love it or hate it, there will be a lot of wedding talk on this blog over the next 10 months.

Happy long weekend!


Getting There

As comfortable as I am settling into my 30’s (I’ll be 33 in a couple of weeks), I have to admit, there are parts of my youth I’m having a hard time leaving behind. Over the last six months I’ve been struggling on and off with how boring I feel. How boring my life has become. I realise how ungrateful I sound. My life is awesome. But it’s been awfully low key for awhile now.

I didn’t start the 9-5 lifestyle until I was 26, which is late but I was still the first of my friends. And having to be all bright eyed and keen first thing in the morning, did not stop me from keeping up my late-night, mid-week, super fun socializing. At least in the beginning. I remember the first time I said no to a mid-week social event. It felt like I was breaking up with the world I knew, like I was about to be left behind. But I survived and from there my homebody ways spiralled out of control.

By the time I was in my 30’s, most of my friends had eventually gotten day jobs and the FOMO subsided (are you allowed to use that word at my age? I’m not even sure). My routine was ruled by that 6:30AM alarm, but so was everybody else’s. For awhile I lived for the weekends, but even then the parties became less fun. Actually that’s not true. The parties were just as fun, it’s the next days that became unbearable. Over the last few years, my definition of fun has changed and it’s taking some getting used to.

But not only that, as I grow in my career my work days have become more challenging and full. I work harder and longer. There is more at stake. These days there isn’t always the emotional and mental room to do much after work, other than binge watch The Good Wife and eat cheese.

And all too often, this is what my life has become. I go to work. I work out (I will save a rant about my slowed down metabolism for another day). I watch TV and hang with Kurt. Sometimes I see my friends too. It’s not to say it’s not wonderful or that I’m not fulfilled. I am.  But sometimes it’s just boring. I’m boring.

I know what you’re thinking, Shut up Colleen. And you’re right. My life is boring because I allow it to be. If I want it to be more exciting I have to get off the couch and do something. I need to turn on the number one of all time best dance song full blast and figure it out, redefine what excitement means to me.

So I will. Luckily for me it’s May.

Another Love Lesson

About a year ago I wrote this post: Some love lessons I’ve learned.

I stand by those 8 lessons, through and through. While some of them really hurt to figure out, it’s a shame that I didn’t learn most of them until I was in my 30’s. But I know them now and I’m a better person for it.

I’d like to add one more love lesson to the list this year: The right partner won’t make you crazy.

**I want to preface what I’m about to say with the fact that I don’t think it is ever okay to call your partner or ex-partner crazy. If you find yourself even thinking these words, especially if it’s about more than one person, you probably need to take a look in the mirror.**

That said, I have definitely been a misbehaving girlfriend in the past. I have forced regular conversations on the state of our union after only a month. I have cried so much more than is appropriate for an almost grown woman to cry, just to get a reaction. I once called an ex 18 times in one hour. In one hour. It was in the early 2000’s, before I understood how caller id worked, but still. I am not proud of how I have acted in the past, to the point that I have questioned, on several occasions, whether I was even capable of a relationship.

And then I met Kurt and things were totally different. I was totally different. If Kurt takes a few hours to text me back, I don’t spend those hours questioning the status of our relationship. I worry that he fell asleep somewhere. If a girl I don’t know writes something that may or may not be flirty on his Facebook timeline, I might ask him about it. Or I might forget to, because it is 100% not important. If he goes out with his friends on a Saturday night, it makes no difference to me if he comes home at 11pm or 5am, because I am sound asleep, anxiety free. And so on.

Being with the right person has taught me so much, about love and life and about myself. I used to think that relationships would turn me into an insecure, needy, anxiety-ridden human and that was just a fact of my life. Turns out, I was just in relationships with the wrong men.  Men who brought those things out in me because, despite our feelings, were not right. For the first time in my entire life, I’m in a relationship that makes me feel calm and safe and confident and secure. And absolutely not crazy.