Monthly Archives: November 2013

Reservations for One


As if there haven’t been enough twists and turns in my 4-month experience living in the big city, there’s been another one. A big one.

Let me start by backtracking. I have always been a pretty dependent person. And let me tell you, as a 20-something-year-old female, that is a very unattractive quality. Before I moved up here, I had just gotten out of a serious relationship. I’ve always been a relationship person. But after I got my heart ripped out of my chest and shattered to pieces, I thought I was completely lost. Don’t worry, I’m not asking for a pity party… OK, maybe a little.

After scoring the perfect job and finally finding an apartment with my friend I had known for a while, this was the perfect change I needed. I was about to move to a brand new city and have a fresh start to my big-girl life. What could possibly go wrong?

“Alex, I’m moving out.”
At this point, I was so impatiently waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind the corner and say, GOTCHA!

But no, she was 100% serious, and I was 100% devastated. I wasn’t used to being completely 100% by myself. What was I going to do with myself? Was it even possible to entertain myself every single day?

This is when things changed. And somewhere deep deeeeeep down, I found this experience to be the biggest blessing in disguise.

I will start by saying this: I, Alex Thielen, am FUN.

After whining, crying and complaining to my mother or anybody else I could easily reach within minutes (see, told you I was dependent), I decided I needed to hike up my big-girl panties and learn to live on my own. Plus, I decided to actually listen to people when they say, “You can’t love anyone until you learn to love yourself.” How horrible could I possibly be?

In order to clear my mind and not feel like a total wreck, I started taking weekly trips to the hospital to pick up some medicine… and by hospital, I mean Sprinkles Cupcakes. Trust me, they can cure ANYTHING. Next, I started by making my apartment an appealing place to come home to, because, let’s face it: Who wants to come home to a dirty house? So I cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned. And I NEVER clean. I am a new woman, ladies and gentlemen.

Then, I decided to put my TRUE talents to use… by practicing my singing skills. I knew that would make me laugh… I just couldn’t take myself seriously. But to be honest, these genuine laughs were the medicine I needed. Before I recently found out that these doors in my complex are anything but soundproof (thanks to the Hispanic couple yelling at each other down the hall), I decided to belt out my favorite songs as if I were actually a decent singer… Even my own ears started bleeding.

Another night, I decided to learn the “Cups” song from the movie Pitch Perfect (singing, cupping and all). Hours after I successfully mastered the art of flipping a cup upside down in an surprisingly catchy rhythm, I felt like I could rule the world. And since there was nobody there to high-five me for my outstanding accomplishment, I decided to record myself and post it on social media, so that everyone COULD see what I had achieved.

As if I couldn’t dig up anything else ridiculous to do with myself, I decided I needed some exercise. Beacause, as Elle Woods would say: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” …Or their ex-boyfriends for that matter. Thanks to YouTube, I leaned some of the line dances I had been dying to master whenever I go to country bars. I have also put my Dance With Julianne Hough DVD to good use by learning some over-the-top skanky (but total fat-burning) dances.

*Side note: If a bystanders were to watch me on a nightly basis, I can’t decide if they would find me completely entertaining or completely insane.

It’s safe to say that after living by myself for three months now, I have truly learned to enjoy spending time with me. So much, that when my LA friends ask me to hang out, I actually feel bad that I have to cancel plans with myself. That’s when you know you’ve made it, right?

I won’t try to sugarcoat it, so I will admit that it did take a while for me to actually become content with having nobody else around. However, I have never felt more whole and more loved in my entire life. I have truly enjoyed going into work and seeing my coworkers. I have used up every minute of my weekends to see as many friends and spend as much time with family as I possibly can. I wouldn’t change anything that has happened for anything. I have learned more about myself and what I want and deserve than I ever could have. I have learned to laugh at myself, but most importantly, I have also learned to love myself.

“Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.”

I could not agree with this quote more. In order to be completely happy with yourself, it is so important for everyone to go through a period in their twenties where they are completely alone.

I dedicate this post to EVERY SINGLE person who has pushed me, cried with me, laughed with me and consoled me through this crazy time in my life. You all know who you are.

Lesson of the day: Don’t eat hot Mac and Cheese while wearing only a bra and underwear. If you spill, it will KILL.

Alright, fine… Real lesson of the day: Although I may be “alone,” I will NEVER be alone.

Size 6 > Size 0… Pun Intended

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It all started at a bar (duh, it’s me we’re talking about here).
One of the very first times I ever went out in Los Angeles, someone I didn’t know at all gave me one of the nicest compliments I have ever received: “You’re not from here are you?” I looked at him confused as I asked how he knew… do I look like a martian or something? “You look very put together and you have class. Orange County girls are put together, and LA girls look like they just rolled out of bed.” Welp, I’ll take it!

You see, when I first moved up here, I had this image in my head that if I am not a beautiful-platinum-blonde-size-0-aspiring-actress, I was a nobody. And because of this stereotype I have felt like I wouldn’t be accepted for who I am because of my “Average Joe” appearance. However, I was so overjoyed that somebody up here appreciated me and my size 6 body for who I was, and that I could bash my own stereotype of “LA girls” and give them a chance.

I have been meeting quite a few people since I’ve lived here (Thank God!). It’s safe to say, my nightly phone calls to my mom about how I’m such a loner have been cut short… WOOO! Since I am still pretty new, I take every opportunity to go out with these new friends any day of the week… even if that means waking up on a Tuesday morning with a hangover. But, hey I got a blog post out of it, right?

A lot of the people I meet here somehow have crazy connections, know exclusive clubs and even have some famous friends. Being a “martian” to all of this, I have learned to keep my cool, but deep down, I’m peeing my pants. I felt like royalty when I managed to slip into the front of the line at a bar in Downtown Fullerton, so just imagine what is going through my mind now. Anyway, these new people I met invited me to go out with them last night. I decided to accept the invite, since my only other plans of the evening consisted of dancing in my underwear alone in my apartment (it really isn’t as pretty of a picture as you’d think).

OK, finally to the good stuff. As I get to this club, I immediately spot the familiar group of people I’m meeting up with, and they’re already a couple steps ahead of me… with shots in hands and all. I’m greeted with a shot of Grey Goose and a lime. Well… cheers? Remember how I said these people have hookups? Well, I’m pretty sure I had multiple shots/drinks last night and went home with the same amount of money I walked into the bar with… success.

Things were going pretty well so far… and then I met Jen (No, I am not using real names. You’re welcome, Jen). Tall, dark-haired, looked like she may have had a bite of an apple to eat all day, carrying a Prada bag. Now, I am not judging on the bag alone, because I carry around a Louis Vuitton, which cost more than a month’s rent for me… it was a once-in-a-lifetime special occasion kind of deal. I should mention that I don’t mean to bag on anybody, but it was just too hard not to talk about Jen. She may as well have worn a sign on her that said, “Alex, please blog about me!” Anyway, it is safe to say, I met my first “LA girl” last night.

Jen’s first red flag: she doesn’t have many girlfriends… From experience with having these types of friends, if you are a girl and don’t have many girlfriends, there is a problem. Apparently she can see evil in girls, so she only associates herself with the good ones. My immediate thought after she said this? “Thanks for the blog post, Jen.”

As the night progresses, Jen starts getting pretty drunk and is so confused as to why she got so drunk in such a short amount of time. So, she starts listing off the things she’d eaten all day, due to her sudden incoherence: some french fries and a tangerine. Oh… I guess this would be a bad time to list off the six meals I ate that day, while snacking on cookies in between. Still reppin’ my size 6.

Jen then decides she has to pee. As girls in bars, we travel in packs. So we all take a trip to the bathroom, where Jen puts her Prada purse down (making it clear that she was carrying a Prada bag) and makes me feel her soft leather boot because it was just “SOOO SOFT”. Yes, I had to bend down and touch her boot. To say I was uncomfortable would be an understatement.

We make our way out of the bathroom when one girl we’re with proceeds to say, “I wish I had a rich boyfriend like you, Jen. I need to start dating older men.” AH, makes perfect sense. To get to know Jen a little, I decided to ask how old this super-rich, super-fantastic boyfriend was. “Well…… he’s older….” Oh god, here it comes. “He’s 20 years older than me.” And suddenly, my Grey Goose vodka shot wasn’t the only thing that forcefully triggered my gag reflexes.

All I could picture the rest of the night was young 20-something-year-old Jen and her boyfriend who could pass as my father. Is that the norm for how people date in this city? YUCK. Oh, but it’s justified because Old Man River isn’t like other guys because not only does he buy her the world, he also loves her. Oh, sweet Jen. You’re young and you put out. It’s a win win for him… And to make matters worse, Jen drunkenly starts rambling in great detail about her sex life with Grandpa Joe and how she’s a total sex addict because he satisfies her more than anyone ever has. Oh my God, please stop now.

After Jen gets us kicked out of the bar, it’s safe to say I had a pretty entertaining night last night. Although I am much different from the LA scene, they are no better than me and I am no better than them. I’ll admit, I did feel a little bit like a martian, but I have learned a lot from this group of people (with the exception of gold-digger Jen). Excuse me for getting so caught up about Jen that I forgot to mention the other kind-hearted people I was with. As I got home (McDonald’s fries in hand… still not ashamed), I kept wondering: “Why would they keep asking me to hang out? I am not a size 0, I am not glamorous, I don’t shop at Barney’s… what is it?” I realized that it’s so important to just be myself, because the people that matter will accept me (and my curves included) no matter what. And who knows, maybe they like me because I am different. There is never a good reason to change who you are based on acceptance. As for now, I am going to bed as the same Alex I’ve always been! Oh, Los Angeles, you never cease to surprise me…

Lesson of the day: When life hands you a free vodka shot, take it.

Ok, ok, REAL lesson of the day: No matter where you live, or who you surround yourself with, ALWAYS stay true to yourself.