All the Warm Fuzzies

I am feeling especially grateful today.

I was wrapped early from set yesterday, and had the entire day to run errands around the city. As I was walking around Union Square among the droves of tourists and Christmas shoppers, I stopped and looked up at the skyline of my beautiful city.

I still just cannot believe I’m lucky enough to live in this beautiful city, with such beautiful people, and beautiful friends, with the loving support of my beautiful family.

So let me just go to a dark place for one minute, to explain why I feel so, incredibly grateful on this chilly, December day.

A few years ago I thought I would never be happy again.

Really.

I had become so accustomed to shitty things happening to me, that I started to believe that perhaps that was just my lot in life; to be unhappy and get through life always a little sad.

Reading that sentence back, it sounds really depressing, but I’m getting to the happy part, I SWEAR!

I might sound like a broken record for those of you who avidly ready my blog, but something profound happened after my mother died. I told myself that my life would revolve around loving.

Loving what, you ask?

Well, I had to start by loving myself. And whether or not you’ve gone through hardships or not, loving oneself can often be the hardest kind of love to exhibit. Loving myself was not easy. It’s not easy to wake up every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you exactly the way you are.

Side Note: I actually tell myself I love me every morning in the mirror. Try it. Seriously. You will that me later.

After I decided to love myself, I started giving more love to my family. Experiencing my mother’s death with my immediate family changed us all. I never hang up the phone with my father, brother or sister-in-law without telling them I love them.

Then I moved on to my friends (or my second family). There have been actual moments where I’ve texted friends and tell them I love them “just because.” Sometimes I don’t feel like I tell my friends enough how important they are to me.

I also decided to honor and love all aspects of my life: love for my city, love for my career path, love for my talents and creativity, love for my health, love for my body (this is a tough one).

I feel like this epiphany, or gift, or realization, or whatever you might call it was almost the universe’s way of telling me a little secret.

When I first moved to New York, after making the grandiose decision that I was going to “love” everybody and everything, I was confused about why the love did not immediately come back to me. I went through months where I was lonely, frustrated with my career and missed my old life in Boston. It took me a while, but I eventually found my core group of friends, found a groove with my starving artist lifestyle, and started living the life I’ve always wanted.

Yesterday, while strolling around Union Square, snow falling, wind blowing, I took a breath with my little asthmatic lungs, and smiled.

I wanted to run into the park, spin around and scream, “NEW YORK! I’M THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD!” (Someone please write a screen play about a neurotic, 20-something girl from the Midwest, and put this cheesy line in it. I’m waiting. No? Okay.)

Sure, I’m broke. I’m not famous (yet). I’m under-slept. I can get a little too drunk sometimes. I talk way too fast and too loud.

But I am LOVED.

I AM LOVED!

I had a moment this morning when I woke up and realized that I cannot even count the number of people who love me on my fingers and toes because there are just too many.

Now, this is not meant to come off as conceited, or brag-y, or look-at-me-I’m-Shannon-fucking-Allen-and-everybody-fucking-loves-me!

I’m saying this because I’m GRATEFUL. Grateful might actually be the understatement of the century. I am grateful, thankful, honored beyond belief, lucky, #blessed (even though I detest this hashtag, it is imperative that I include it to demonstrate my sheer level of gratitude), fortunate, appreciative, overwhelmed, HEART FILLED WITH ALL THE WARM FUZZIES I COULD EVER WANT OR NEED TO EXIST ON THIS PLANET UNTIL THE DAY I CROSS OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE!

Seriously.

Literally.

(And not literally in the figurative meaning, which apparently Webster has recognized as an acceptable definition of a word that literally means the opposite of figuratively. No. Literally in the literal sense!)

The love I have received in the past few months has surpassed any and all expectations. The support for my creativity, career, life, and just in general who I am as a human being, is incredibly overwhelming.

I thank you.

I love you.

I always have.

I always will.

xoxo

Shan Baby

AND HERE’S A PICTURE OF A REALLY CUTE KITTEN… Because… Just because.

warm-and-fuzzy

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What I Think About on Airplanes

Note: This blog was written at approximately 8:51 p.m. central time while flying from Houston Hobby Airport to New York LaGuardia

I always have this sneaking suspicion that I’m going to die on an airplane. 

I’m sorry to be morose, because it is not my intention to write a sad, twisted, macabre post, but that just might be what comes out here. 

Let me first preface all this buffoonery by telling you that I used to be a great flyer. (Is it flier or flyer? Being the grammar nazi that I am, I should probably know this.) When I was younger, my family and I would take the occasional vacation where we would fly to various locations. I even flew to Chicago by myself at age 10 to visit my friend, Jessica. 

However, in my 20s, I developed a pretty severe case of flight anxiety. Back when I was taking pills to control my anxiety disorder, (post death of my mother) I could just pop a generic Ativan and go comatose until we landed. 

I’ve also developed the awful habit of becoming a “clap-lander,” AKA that obnoxious person who claps whenever the plane touches solid ground. (I know. Please roll your eyes into the back of your head. I think clap-landers might be on par with the annoyingness of negligent parents of small children on airplanes. No? Ok. Good.)

Let me also tell you that we are currently experiencing a fair amount of turbulence. The pilot has notified us that he is attempting to find a better altitude in order to “smooth out the ride,” but every dip we take just makes me think that I will plummet to my untimely death. 

My brother and I actually had a conversation over brunch the other day about how truly safe flying is compared to any other type of travel. My brother, being the brilliant scientist that he is explained that he had an in-depth conversation with a pilot who had flown for 38 years.

(Side Note: only one child could receive the science/math genes in the family, and it happened to be gifted to him. I ended up with the leftover creative, overly-talkative, emotional genes. At least these help me be a funny, witty writer? Yes?)

Anyway, back to this pilot. So, essentially the engineers, mechanics, scientists, pilots, and everyone else involved in either flying the plane or constructing it, is a genius and that there are such strenuous tests put on these pieces of machinery, (not to mention the mind-boggling skill assessments of the people who fly them,) that planes hardly ever crash. 

That being said, I’m still a bad flier (I still can’t fucking figure this out. Is it flyer or flier?? Dammit for not having access to Google to make me appear smarter than I really am) 

*Addendum: Grammar Girl cleared it up a bit for me. If you care to, click on this link: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/flier-or-flyer

Begin Side Note:

(A side note before we get to to that side note: There are going to be lots of “side notes” in this post because I’m desperately trying to put my irrational anxiety into constructive form as we speak).

*Side Note continued: I just went to the bathroom. And here are some thoughts I had:

  1. Why is it that I always try to follow the rules, and not line up like an ass hole outside of the aircraft lavatory?? Because, without fail, at the exact moment I make that decision, a lady who has to take a gigantic shit ALWAYS gets up and steals my spot that I was holding silently in my mind because I wanted to play by the rules the flight attendants gave to me??
  2. Wow… this lady really is taking a gigantic shit based on the time she is spending in there. Now I REALLY feel like an ass hole standing here next to the flight attendants, them gazing at me thinking, “She obviously didn’t listen to us when we said not to line up outside the lavatory.” 
    1. Male Flight Attendant: Can I help you with something?
    2. Shannon: I’m so sorry. I was just waiting for the light to go off and someone jumped in front of me in my imaginary line that I made up in my head. I just wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again. 
    3. Male Flight Attendant (Looking confused): Okay. Don’t worry. 
  3. Now that that terribly awkward moment passed, I decided to stare at my surroundings (remember, there is a lady taking an Earth-shattering shit in there) and notice this little, teeny rearview-type mirror hanging above me. After staring at myself for a few minutes (remember, we have lots of minutes here) I think that I look devastatingly cute, but extremely weird. Now, you may be asking yourself how these two idea can coexist. Well, I’ll tell you. I’m currently wearing black yoga capris, a Ghostbusters crew neck sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up, a hippie bandana on my head, my favorite skull scarf around my neck and black combat boots that don’t come quite high enough, so my unshaved legs are peeking out just the tiniest bit. But, to offset this mess of an ensemble, I think to myself, “Shan, you look like a true New Yorker! Someone who doesn’t give a shit about what other people think and is confident in her weird, not-put-together style at the moment.” Then I sigh and look down at the floor, because I have been standing here for what feels like eternity, waiting for this mysterious woman to stop shitting. This prompts me to have a thought. 
  4. “Gee! I hope someday someone will love me enough not to care that I have big thick legs that kind of bow into each other like some strange oversize, chubby baby legs.” And then all my good thoughts about my quirkiness disappear. 
  5. Lastly, I think about how dreadful it’s going to be as I enter the bathroom as the lady in front of me (SURPRISE!) did indeed take a “I’m-gonna-drop-my-10-oversized-children-off-at-the-pool” shit. )

End Side Note. 

Back to my story: 

So during this bout of turbulence we had earlier, I jammed my pair of cheap ear buds into my ears, cranked up my newly-purchased Foo Fighters album (FYI: Sonic Highways, both the album and show are fantastic) and started reading Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please. 

Her book is lovely thus far, and one part in particular that called out to me was when she had her parents write the story of her birth. Amy’s mother was very detailed, talking about each step in her labor, while Amy’s father was not in the room during labor (it was the 70s) and his portion was short and concise about how excited he was to be a father. After both parents’ excerpts, Amy places a few pages for the reader to have their parents write down the story of their own births. 

At at moment I wanted to cry. (The operative word here being “wanted.”) 

Why is this so important?

BECAUSE I WANTED TO CRY, DAMMIT! And because I never got the story of my birth from my mother, which I knew would be similar to Mrs. Poehler: detailed and touched with the love that only a mother can give. Sure, I can still ask my dad about my labor, but the sadness I felt the moment I realized that I could not pick up the phone after this flight (pending that I don’t plummet to my death) was profound. 

A funny thing happened to me after my mom died. At first, I couldn’t stop crying. Everything would make me cry. I cried watching tv, if a professor told me that I got an A minus instead of an A on a project, if I didn’t receive a goodnight text from my boyfriend. (You get the idea). And then there was the SOBBING: i.e. when I would think about my mother and the life I would have to keep living without her. Then came the ugliness of depression, anxiety, therapy and corrective medication. 

Then all the sudden it stopped. I stopped crying. I stopped sobbing. I didn’t need therapy or pills or nights where I would drink myself stupid and look at pictures of my mom, silently cursing whatever god actually exists in this great big universe. 

It is very rare that I cry anymore. The last time I cried was fairly recently, but in all fairness, I was four drinks in, and saw my ex boyfriend AKA the man I thought I was going to marry for a good three years of my existence. 

Sometimes, not being the waterworks that I used to be is nice. But in that moment when I looked at the blank pages of Amy’s book, I wanted to cry so badly, I started to forget about the turbulence and focused on how frustrated I was that my heart would not let me release the tension it so desperately wanted to let out of it. 

And then I started thinking, how would Ro have told the story of my birth? Do you tell the story of a birth, similar to the way we recite eulogies? You know, where the eulogizer (Or as Zoolanger calls it, a “You-Google-Izer”) highlights all the best parts of a person’s life and leaves out the hairy details. No, Ro wouldn’t do that. Ro would make sure to tell every nitty-gritty detail of my birth, because she (like her daughter) loved to tell stories with so many ancillary details, that the listener sometimes forgets the original point of the story. 

Sound familiar?? 🙂 

Then I started thinking about Ro’s death. And how a doctor give her a time frame of how long she had left in her human body. What is that like? What is it like to be told that you have a quantifiable amount of moments left in your existence? 

For instance: If there was a clairvoyant here on my plane and he/she told me that this plane would crash tonight, would I become paralyzed with fear, or would I pick out the cutest boy on the plane, join the mile-high club and drink all the alcohol shooters and go out with a bang? (Ha ha! See what I did there??? Sorry Dad, if you’re reading this portion.) 

My mom sure didn’t stop living her life when she was given time. In fact, she tried so hard to stay alive that she not only lived a few weeks past when the doctors said she would, but some days her blood counts were so low, it was a kind of medical miracle that she was physically standing.

But back to why I can’t cry. 

I’m worried that I’ve become a bit hardened. Or maybe it’s just that once you’ve already had the worst day of your life (i.e. the day my mother died) and everything else is shifted in relativity. I can’t tell. 

But I can tell you something, after reading the first half of Amy’s book tonight, (I’m a fast reader) I feel like I’m going to try to live my life like my plane is crashing. Not to say that I don’t already attempt to live life to the fullest, but I’m just going to try a little harder. I’m going to try a little harder to tear away the layers that have accumulated on top of my heart. (As one of my favorite animated characters once told me, “Ogres are like onions.)

And once I peel away these layers, my heart might become a tender and fresh again. Of course there is always the fear that I will yet again be vulnerable to all the trials and tribulations that go along with being an emotional person, but I think I might be a better person for it. 

So now that I’ve gone ahead and spilled my innards all over this post, like I tend to do from time to time, I feel as though I have run out of words. 

Hopefully if this plane does, indeed crash, one of my family members will recover my laptop and open the “notes” application where I keep my list of passwords, my log of all the background/stand jobs I’ve worked on, and tidbits of unfinished songs/blog posts, and see that that there is one completed, thoughtful, kind-of-sad-but-in-a-funny-way blog post that the world simply MUST see. (Finish run-on sentence)

And that’s all I have to say about that. 

xoxo 

Shan Babe 

The Evolution of Shannon Allen 2009-2014

It’s been about five years since I put together my first band in Boston in the fall of 2009.

Five years that I’ve been cultivating my skills and really focusing on a life of performance.

There have been so many ups and downs, twist and turns, hills and valleys.

I could sit here an write out a narrative about these past five years; the band members, the makeups, the breakups, the rehearsals, the songwriting sessions, the gigs, the friendships, the bonds we formed like family. But I feel as though this story is better heard rather than read.

So here it is, my story. The Evolution of Shannon Allen. The best of the endless footage I have of live gigs and performances.

A few notes before you watch this:

1. The Mojo Filters were my main band throughout the first half of this video. The players fluctuated slightly a few times, but mostly they were the boys who became like family in Boston. We broke up in 2011 for personal reasons, and also because I was moving to New York, but I will always look back fondly on my times with my Mojo boys.

2. You’ll notice as the video progresses that I start showing more original music, because that’s what I eventually started focusing on. Sadly, I don’t have the footage from my album release show, or my last few gigs in Boston.

3. Having said that, there were SO many performance that were left out of this video, not only for time, but because I didn’t record the gig, or the footage is in someone else’s possession, and I don’t have access to it. (2013, for example, only has a few videos because I only recorded one gig on my digital camera and I have no footage of my off-broadway show that consumed my weekends and performance time)

4. My look fluctuates, as does my weight throughout the years. A lot happened to me in five years. Go ahead and judge me. No one is perfect. The one thing that is constant in these videos is my strong ability to lead a band and rock vocals.

5. I’m considering making another video that has “home videos” of me writing songs, singing, performing and being silly. I wanted to put them in this video, but it would have just been TOO long.

Enjoy!

Rock and Roll

xx

Shan Babe

The Next Level

I used to be embarrassed to tell people what I do for a living, but I think I can say with a fair amount of confidence that my job title reads:

Shannon Allen: Singer/Actress/Performer (sometimes professional life-liver AKA take money where I can)

June 4th will mark my two-year anniversary in New York, and I’ve been thinking a lot about all the people I’ve met here since I’ve moved to this illustrious city. Many of my friends are actors/musicians/singers, but some of them aren’t. Some of my friends are working stiffs, whom I admire very much for being able to work a 9-5 job in an office, in uncomfortable (yet stylish) clothes, in a stressful working environment, while I sit in holding doing background for film/tv reading my Vogue and grabbing snacks from craft food services.

No matter what the career path, my friends and I share one thing in common: We are always trying to get to the next level.

For my acting/musician friends, a lot of times this means something along the lines of a bigger part, or getting a callback, or getting an interview with an agent, or booking a show with a bigger band, or getting x-amount of hits on a music video, or playing at a festival…

The list is endless…

However, it seems like we are all hustling for the next level, yet struggling to figure out what form our “golden ticket” will present itself.

Lately I’ve taken some gigs, both music and acting, where I felt I may have been taken advantage of as an artist. And I don’t mean monetarily, because I’m willing to do things for free if there is a reasonable payout, such as a credit, something for my resume/reel, etc.

SIDE RANT: I’m sorry. I just need to address this RIGHT now. Lately there have been all these articles about how singers “use” musicians without paying for them, and how any singer who can’t pay his/her musicians should not be leading a band.

Let me tell you something right now: this personally offends me to my CORE. TO MY DAMN COREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Yes, I am a band leader. Do I have the money to pay my musicians the way I would like to? Absolutely not. But how the FUCK are you going to tell me to do so? Out of my in-debt-with-student-loans ASS?? I’m all about the barter. You help me, I’ll help you. You record with me? I’ll lay vocals on a track for you. You gig with me and we get tips? We split evenly. You record my album with me? You get credits and you better believe I will FIGHT for your talent WHEN (not IF) I become a bigger name some day.

When I saw some friends post these articles; musicians who I love and respect with every fiber in me, whom I would FIGHT for as players forever… It made me Sad Shan 😦

With that being said, I UNDERSTAND that people need to get paid for their craft. But there has to be give and take. When I book myself for gigs, no one gives a fuck who I am. Booking agents don’t care that I went to Berklee, or that I can sing my ass off, or that I’m talented. Talent buyers want to know that I can sell tickets, fill up a room and make them money. I’ve worked on both sides of this equation; I know how it goes.

END RANT

So back to my original thought: How exactly does one get to the “next level?”

When I meet successful people, I often ask them how they achieved what they have at the moment. A lot of the answers are sometimes based on sheer luck. So-and-so was there at the right place, right time for X,Y,Z casting director, music producer, manager, agent, etc to believe in them. Others hustle and become successful through things like YouTube or blogs or Buzzfeed or Instagram of all things.  Sometimes it’s a money thing. People say money talks, and it absolutely does. If I had the money to do nothing but produce my own music and pitch it to people, you better believe that is ALL that would consume my days.

So where do we go from here? Do we grind, and grind; listening to the endless “no” given from all the people in power? Do we try new avenues of pushing our craft? Do we consult an expert (ie a class, a lesson, a mentor) to hone our skills?

What do we do?

What do I do?

What is the next step that can get me to the next level.

Lord knows I’m not quitting any time soon, but sometimes I think to myself, “Am I going to be trying for this unreachable goal for the rest of my life? Will I ever be good enough for a casting director, or manager, or agent, or theater, or publisher, or film, or television?”

One of the most valuable things I took away from the speech John Mayer gave to us at Berklee was the fact that only those who give up on their dreams are the ones who will tell you that you can’t make it. He said that in his experience, the only people who were totally against him “making it” in the industry, were people who had since given up on their big hopes and dreams and that every single “successful” artist he’s ever come across has always been encouraging. He also said that, unlike the NBA (making an analogy of the NBA player cap) that the music industry (apply this to any creative career) does not have a cap on how many people can be successful. There is room for EVERYONE to be an artist.

Everyone can create.

Everyone can find their own success.

I just need to keep telling myself that.

I know my time will come. I’m far from lazy. I’m aware of my talent level. I’m always striving for greatness.

Right now I’m just a little bogged down trying to figure out my “next level” and how to climb that next mountain.

anigif_enhanced-13697-1392750931-1

Thanks, Dr. Frank-N-Furter!

Shannon Rose Allen

The Game

I was texting a good friend of mine the other day and our conversation went something like this:

Him: “Yeah, I really like this girl. I don’t think she’s interested. She can’t return my texts, but she sure can post on Instagram.

Me: “I don’t understand why she can’t just answer a text. Or tell you she’s not interested. Have some courtesy.”

Him: “I’m tired of playing this game.”

Me: “Me too. Maybe I should just become a nun.”

And here we have: The Game

It’s the same story with most 20-somethings.

There is a girl. There is a boy. Sometimes there are two boys. Sometimes there are two girls. Whatever the scenario, it’s always the same: How do I play this game so that he/she will like me?

I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is to date in 2014. Those of you who are single; I’m sure you feel my pain. For those of you who are taken, fuck you.

I jest, I jest.

But seriously though… fuck you.

I can’t wrap my brain around the idea of “The Game.” The last relationship I was in started way back in 2009, and it went something like this:

Him: “Hey, I like you!”

Me: “I like you too!”

Him: “Wanna be my girlfriend.”

Me: “Sure!”

There was none of this let-me-text-you-cryptic-messages-that-I-need-a-fucking-Rosetta-Stone-to-decipher bullshit. None of the how-long-do-I-wait-to-text-him-back questions. None of the well-we-are-kind-of-seeing-each-other-but-we’ve-never-really-discussed-specifics ambiguity.

Now, you’ve all heard me complain about my general dislike for the way my generation dates. If you haven’t, please read this little gem:

https://shannonallenmusic.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/why-its-so-impossible-for-millennials-to-date/

I feel like I’m absolutely in the minority of my generation when I say I wear my heart on my sleeve. My generation is all about the protection of oneself, and keeping options open, and a debilitating fear of commitment. And I’m not just generally making these statements. I’ve talked to SO many men and women in their 20s, and it’s all generally the same story, we are all trying to play “the game” with one another.

And you can literally plan a game, in the form of Tinder, that acts as a psedo dating/hookup site.

Fucking Millennials. (Hey! I’m allowed to hate on my own!)

I was talking to a co-worker today and I said something along the lines of, “I know this sounds stupid, but I really DO believe in love.”

And I do.

But love does not always love me in return, because I live in New York City in 2014, and love just doesn’t always happen that easily.

Right now a LOT of amazing things are happening in my life. I’m getting auditions for things, I’m making music, I’m more stable than I’ve ever been.

But then there’s this whole thing we call “dating” that always knocks me on my ass.

When I “date” I feel like I have to put a filter on myself, because people in my generation don’t like to communicate with one another.  Dating is like a never ending Labyrinth of texting, and not telling the other person too much, and timing out when to text back, and using words like “casual” and “fun,” and always trying to be the one who cares less because that’s how you get the other person to care more.

And David Bowie makes NO cameo in this version of the Labyrinth… which means it BLOWS.

Side note: This

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.14.15 AM

I digress. Back to “The Game.”

Basically, this endless cycle of fuckery drives me to drink.

And THEN because I feel like I have a sober filter on myself, everything just comes FLYING out of my body when I drink.

MjAxMy0yNjZmY2UwNTk3ZWE0ODQ4 zzzz1 MjAxMy02YTY5OTBhM2M5YmI1Njlk

 

(Also… that last meme should NOT have an apostrophe after the Vodka. That indicates possession. Ughh… ecards, get it TOGETHER. )

So after all is said and done, love and feelings and emotions and being interested in another human being just becomes way too stressful for me.

rottenecard_269226100_zy6h9d222s

Stupid love.

I don’t even know if this post really has a point, other than I’m just tired of dating.

Boom.

Shan Baby

I Owe You a Post

Just to let my loyal readers know: I realize I owe you a post.

There have been so many wonderful things happening in my life… I don’t know where to begin.

I promise I will post you something in the next few days that is one of the following

1. Heartfelt

2. Witty

3. Humorous

4. Thoughtful

Or maybe just a combination of such 🙂

Goodnight kittens

Shannon Rose Allen

Sing Me To Sleep and Then Leave Me Alone

There might as well be a sign on my forehead that says:

“Shannon: Wears heart on sleeve/Trusts too much/Loves to love — Please take advantage”

Well… That sign is much too long for my forehead, so maybe I can just wear it as a sign around my neck.

As a creative person, I am often criticized for being “too sensitive” or “overly emotional,” but I don’t know how to be any other way. It’s not like I’m trying to make my heart feel anything other than what it’s feeling.

When I was younger, I used to think that everyone else felt like me. I used to think that everyone experienced the depth of feeling I felt when I was sad, happy, anxious, ashamed, depressed, excited, etc. But now I understand that this is absolutely not the case. “Normal” people can experience similar situations to me, and not feel a thing.

In fact, I’m starting to realize that many people are exceptionally good at falsifying real emotions in order to self-serve.

This is perhaps where we begin… and also where we end.

A week ago, I “cleaned house,” and got rid of every online dating application, phone number, Facebook, saved picture, of every single guy in the past two years with whom I’ve ever had any kind of romantic connection.

I also deleted a slew of “friends” in my contact list.

What I’ve come to understand, is that my personality lends itself to others taking advantage of me. The fact that I’m willing to trust easily, give second chances, and dive into emotions that normal people might put up a bit of a guard about, allows people to essentially use me for what they want, benefit from my trust and love, and then subsequently leave.

And then I’m left alone, with nothing but another crack in my soul; wondering what I did wrong. Worse, I’ll start questioning myself, and my self-worth, because at the end of all these situations, I’m the common denominator.

I’m the common denominator.

So am I to assume that there is something wrong with me? Or is it that I am just misunderstood because I am “too” (fill in your favorite adjective) for anyone to handle?

*Sigh*

Lately, the fact that I’m 26 has set in.

Now I am by no means “old,” but what I mean by “26,” is that all my friends are in the beginning stages of “growing up.” I have friends getting married, having children, moving in with their significant others, buying dogs together, taking vacations, joining bank accounts, etc.

I think this is all great. Obviously I want my friends to be happy and healthy individuals.

But my problem is, my pool of people that I can go to is becoming smaller and smaller. It’s more difficult to come to a friend with a “single girl” problem, when they are worried about their grown up lives. I often get lots of eye rolls or “Oh I remember when I was single,” stories. There is also a level of disconnect that you tend to have with a person whose life is in a different stage from theirs. My financial situation is far different from that of a lot of my friends, and it’s becoming harder and harder to give the “I’m a starving artist trying to make it in NYC,” speech to them, because their already in the place in their lives where they are no longer struggling financially.

Not only this, but they have someone to come home to.

I ALSO just want someone to come home from work to and talk about my day. I ALSO want to share my life with someone. I ALSO want someone to check up on me when they haven’t heard from me in a few hours.

One of my biggest wake-up calls this week was seeing a news story about a missing woman and thinking to myself, “If I were to go missing in New York City, how long would it be before someone realized I was gone?”

This might be a bit dramatic, but I can’t lie and say the thought didn’t cross my mind, and give me a tiny panic attack.

… and now that I’ve gone and laid my guts out on the table for the world to see, I’m going to find a way to keep moving on.

So now, instead of allowing myself to be the person being left behind, I’ve decided to be the one to leave for a change.

I’m leaving the dating world.

I’m out. I’m not going to accept invitations to go on dates, or allow myself to get mixed up in any of that silly nonsense any longer. No more “drink dates.” No more, “Hey my friends are all out at this one spot. You should come join!”

Nothing.

I want no part of the dating world.

None.

I’m also going to leave the social world for a bit. At least cut down on it.

I’m tired of spending Friday nights texting friends who could give a shit if they see me anytime soon. I’m also tired of getting invited out when someone just needs a filler when their Plan A has failed. I’m tired of being drunk and watching everyone around me desperately trying to find someone to fuck before the night is over.

It’s all too shallow for me.

What I really want is someone to go for a run with me in Central Park. I want someone to go to Restaurant Row with and pick off their plate because I realized their food was better than mine. I want someone to talk Game of Thrones and Harry Potter and slasher films and Nickelodeon cartoons with me. I need someone to hug me and be silent when I get sad because I really want to talk to my mom. I want someone to steal my covers, someone who wakes me up in the middle of the night because I snored too loud or drooled all over their pillow.

I want someone to care.

I also want someone who doesn’t care that I “feel” too much.

I don’t necessarily need someone who feels as much as I do, or even understands how or why I feel the way I do… just someone who is willing to accept it, along with all the other parts of me.

All of me.

That’s all.

So until then, “sing me to sleep/sing me to sleep/and then leave me alone”

Goodnight.

Shannon Rose Allen