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She Has: Found a Cure for that Hot-Mess-Ness

Posted by: Blaire Huntley
Posted: September 12, 2012
Categories: Uncategorized

Back in April, this article appeared on Billfold, a site devoted to all things money, specifically uncomfortable themes around money. I have a love-hate relationship with this witty and wise site because I love that they’re tackling money mores, giving advice  and being upfront about the green stuff, but I hate that I always relate to the “How Not To…” posts. Like, always.

But Lindsay Katai’s piece on “Girls and the Hot Mess” really struck a chord with me. I was that hot mess girl she describes. I read it, laughing and frowning at parts about going out until 4AM and overdrawing my bank account to go roller skating (in my case, I went to Medieval Times in Jersey). Then I gasped. I used past tense. I WAS that hot mess girl and thank my lucky stars, at the ripe age of 29, I am not* anymore.

“The first step is realizing you have a problem.” I think I always knew that I was suffering from hot-mess-ness, but I ignored the symptoms. I guess I thought it would just kind of go away, you know? I figured my NYC dream would come true soon, so why save? Why take care of myself or seek out good guys?** My NYC dream was to be an editor at JANE Magazine (RIP) by 2010 and live in a beautiful brownstone in Brooklyn and eventually have adorable seeds that looked just like me and my dear husband Jake Gyllenhaal. This was 2006 mind you. My New York reality was more like Ms. Katai described, but I actually had furniture in my apartment, I just didn’t technically own it, the credit card companies did. My reality was more depresso than daydream, and consisted of bad jobs, bad spending habits and OMG bad dates. And my 3-month “Jake Gyllenhaal” was a jerk from Long Island who was mean to me.***

I didn’t treat these symptoms until three years later. In 2009, I moved into my very own little studio in the East Village and had a lot of time to reflect, since my studio’s $1,600 price tag didn’t leave me many options otherwise. My friends, who were obviously more selective about their career choices, soul mates and AMEX purchases, continued to dance atop tables and go to samples sales in their spare time. And why shouldn’t they? They weren’t true hot messes, so more power to them. Meanwhile, I took up cooking and DIY projects around my apartment. I fixed things on my own. I worked a part time job at a running store to keep me busy (and un-homeless) and got serious about running. I looked at men more carefully. I slowly distanced myself from people who had no real interest in their future or mine. Soon, my hot-mess-ness subsided. The prescription? Growing up.

When you grow up, things that were important before are no longer as important. You become more cautious. You want good things, but for the first time in your life you want it for others too. You want to spend your money on experiences and investments, like traveling and a sofabed. Your goals are loftier and you can see the bigger picture instead of just the bar tab at the end of the night. You look at those girls dancing on tables on TV and think, “What is she wearing? She’ll catch cold!” And for a brief moment you miss that. But it’s very, very brief.

Cut to 2012. Even though I could stand to save more and spend less, my priorities are in check. I don’t sacrifice myself, my morals or my time like I used to. In fact, I now make time for myself and try my best to be the best person I can everyday. I'm still a bit awkward since all of my besties are in NYC or NC, but you can always create new inside jokes, and one day I'll have them with friends here. Moving from such an expensive city to one that’s reasonable and still offers so much culture and community helps. I can explore Indianapolis with my boyfriend**** and enjoy things without breaking the bank. It’s fun. It’s nice. It’s normal. And void of any hot-mess-ness. Though there is an occasional flare-up around the holidays. I blame the eggnog.

xxBlaire

*Working on it, homies. Working on it.
**They’re too nice! This was 2006.
***He was also unattractive. I didn’t wear glasses in 2006.
****Jake G. has nothing on my man.

This article is for men with a case of the hot-mess-ness.

 


Blaire Huntley is a writer, a runner and a hopeful cook. She currently works for Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate firm. Blaire graduated from the University of North Carolina, having studied communication, and currently studies human behavior through Reality TV. She’s obsessed with soccer, eating and all things downtown Indy, where she lives with her boyfriend Mark. She is also the community organizer for Trade School Indianapolis. Check it out and teach, learn and barter. Contact her at blaire.huntley@gmail.com and on Twitter @rareblaire.

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