Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
A thousand different things. Traveled by myself for two weeks. Visited Norway. Made the first move with a guy. Interned with Delta Nu*. Lived in the Northeast. Fell in love. Started my first relationship. Lots of fun, intimate things as part of said relationship.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any concrete resolutions last year. Something about reading more classics and reading more books in French. I did read more classic literature, but not very much in French. Oops. This coming year, I want to track my expenditures again and keep a tight budget like I did when I lived in France.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year, no.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
A wonderful woman from my church had had Parkinson's for a long time. She died this year.

5. What countries did you visit?
Well. I lived in France and the States. I visited England and Norway.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A job with a real salary and benefits.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 12. I left my favorite country in the world, and I don't know when I'll be back. :( July 29, first date with the the now-boyfriend. :)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I continued to follow my dreams. Once again I put my happiness above financial security, and it's worked out so incredibly well for me. I have three new best friends, a boyfriend, and an awesome network of connections because of choosing my summer internship over a year-long internship.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not writing more. I had a goal to write 150,000 words this year, but only intentional writing counted. So these blog posts, yes. Emails, no. Fiction, poetry, etc., yes. My personal blog posts (travel writing aside), no. I only hit like, 40,000 words or something sad like that. Granted, it is more than I've ever written before (not counting stuff for school).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No!!!!! After starting 2010 in the hospital, 2011 was awesome!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Train tickets and plane tickets for traveling.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My twin brother has completely turned his life around, and I couldn't be prouder.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Americans in general...

14. Where did most of your money go?
First part of the year: rent, food, train tickets, hostels, plane tickets. Summer: food, alcohol, gas, clothes, shoes. End of the year: Starbucks, plane tickets, clothes.

Most of my money has gone towards traveling.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Norway for the first time and meeting all my family there!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
This is the first time I've really gotten into Adele, so I'm going to say anything she put out this year. And the Glee mash-up, of course.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier, since I just spent the holidays with my family.
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same, I think.
iii. richer or poorer? About the same as well, except even more on my own and less dependent on my parents (but I still owe them money).

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writing!!!! Traveling, although I did travel as much as I could afford to do.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Um. Can't think of anything. It was a pretty balanced year.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family :)

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Yes! With the boyfriend. ♥

23. Did your heart break in 2011?
Yes, but I'll always love Mark* as my best friend.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Glee, same as last year.

25. Where were you when 2011 began?
In Montmartre.

26. Who were you with?
A friend of mine and about a gagillion other people.

27. Where will you be when 2011 ends?
Probably at home. Yup, I'm just that cool.

28. Who will you be with when 2011 ends?
My parents and one of my best friends from high school.

29. What was the best book you read?
Just one? Seriously? Either The Help or The Hunger Games trilogy. Oh, wait, or The Picture of Dorian Gray.

30. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I got really into Adele this year.

31. What did you want and get?
An internship with Delta Nu. :D

32. What did you want and not get?
Total financial independence. I'm getting close!

33. What was your favorite film of this year?
Is it sad if I say The Muppets Movie?

34. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went out to dinner with my co-intern and summer roommate Lauren*. You can probably figure out by now how old I am, but I'm not telling!

35. How many different states did you travel to in 2011?
Um, my home state, the Midwestern state where I was this summer, the three states in-between my home state & the Midwestern state, the Northeastern state where I currently live... So six. French regions? Four, I think. Norwegian regions? Two. Then London. So about thirteen overall. Give or take.

36. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
The same as always. Some combination of bright American casual and dark French sophisticated.

37. What kept you sane?
My besties, my family, my blogs, my followers on twitter, and MY BOYFRIEND. Oh, and Starbucks.

38. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Ummmm, Naya Riviera from Glee. I just couldn't help myself.

39. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage legalized in New York!!!!!

40. How many concerts did you see in 2011?
Not that many. The Beach Boys this summer!

41. Did you have a favorite concert in 2011?
The Beach Boys this summer!

42. Who was the best new person you met?
My summer besties: Lauren, Hardy, and James*. 'My' kids.


43. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

44. What was your most embarrassing moment of 2011?
Nothing comes to mind.

45. What are your plans for 2012?
Move to Canada with my job, move to the Midwest and find a new job, figure out if I want to marry the boyfriend once we're living in the same state (you can't jump into these things, especially via a long-distance relationship), blog more often... Yeah, that's about it.

*We're all good on the fake names, fake sorority, right? Awesome. Just checking.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Clarification, because I am nothing if NOT judgmental


I realize in my last post I discussed the whole concept of sexual purity, and how even though it isn't something that concerns me, it is a concept some Christians might want to consider based on their personal beliefs.

A day or two later, I discovered this amazing documentary based on a book called The Purity Myth, and I was like, “Oh, my God, I hope no one thinks this is what I meant.”

I want to take this moment to clarify a few things about my post on sexual purity in case they were not evident.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

So... What If I'm A 'Technical Virgin'?

Something I've tried to emphasize in my blog is that virgins choose to wait for a variety of reasons. For example, Christians generally believe that premarital sex is a sin (although 80% of young, unmarried Christians are still engaging in it). Personally? I don't think it's a sin, but I've still chosen to abstain.

But abstain from what, exactly?

By choosing virginity for personal reasons and not for religious reasons, I also have the privilege of choosing how I define virginity. Since the majority of my experiences have been with men, and I have a boyfriend, not a girlfriend, I've taken a heteronormative view in defining what sex is—or rather, what sex will be—for me. Until I engage in sexual intercourse (with my husband, of course!), I will continue to call myself a virgin. However, I'm totally supportive of fellatio, cunnilingus, and masturbation,* solo or mutual. Just like I don't think premarital sexual intercourse is a sin, I don't think all the fun non-sex sex is a sin either.

That said, most of my virgin friends are saving themselves for religious reasons. They believe that premarital sex is a sin. And here is where the line becomes tricky.

If you're a devout Christian and proud to be a virgin, especially if you're currently in a relationship, then you might not like what I have to say.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oxymoron: A Virgin's Sex Life

“How was the non-sex sex?”

So began my gchat discussion with my bestie and sorority sister Lauren when I returned home from Thanksgiving with the boyfriend. What followed was a brief overview of our physical relationship and how amazing it is when we're together (although the skype sex is fun too). Of course, then Lauren and I (and her boyfriend, another bestie of mine, Hardy) skyped two nights later, during which I provided a blow-by-blow (pun unintended) account of Thanksgiving with the boyfriend and his family.

Everything from him surprising me with a rose at the airport to showering together to playing board games with his family to falling asleep in his arms to all of us going to see The Muppets.

Of course, the highlight of the weekend was the post-climatic cuddling Thursday night. My head rested on his chest, and he had one arm around me, with his other hand entwined with mine. He told me that he had dreamed about this moment, but in his dream, I told him I loved him.

Why, yes, that sound you heard is my heart bursting out of my chest because I am so in love with him.

I got the biggest smile on my face and said that it had been so so hard not saying it the last few weeks (even if it is all over twitter...), but that I didn't want our first time to be over skype. He agreed with that sentiment. Then I said that I had planned on telling him that day, but didn't know when to say it. He said he didn't mind saying it first. "I'm in love, what can I say?"

Ughhhh, he's so perfect, and I'm so lucky.

Did you know that he's my first boyfriend? That I'm in my 20s, and I've just now fallen in love with my first boyfriend? That I could have had one years ago if I had settled for my best friend Joe? (Which would have pleased both of our families and all of our friends immensely, by the way).

Do you have any idea how challenging it was to find a man who doesn't pressure me about our physical relationship? A man who's assertive in expressing his desire for me, but who also moves at a pace that makes me comfortable? A man who's made the same commitment to waiting for marriage? (And for non-religious reasons, just like I have!)

Most of the time, I enjoyed being single, but the older I got, the more difficult it became. People started acting like there was something wrong with me for having never had a boyfriend. Yes, you're right, I do differ from the majority of the population in a quirky way.

I have standards.


Those standards involve not having sex until marriage, which automatically eliminates the vast majority of folks in their 20s. Couple that with my feminist streak a mile wide, and you can understand my extremely limited dating pool.

But I waited and waited and waited until I met the boyfriend, and he's everything I ever desired in a significant other. When I told my best friend Ryan about the boyfriend, his response summed up everything I've been feeling.

“So happy for you. You kept the faith that you would find someone amazing, you didn't settle, and you have been rewarded.”

The best part about dating a fellow virgin who agrees that premarital sex is not a sin?

Completely losing ourselves in all the non-sex sex. ;)


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