When Everything is a Mess. (Or at Least Feels Like It.)

when everything is a mess.
I saw this funny thing on Instagram the other day. “Mercury is now out of retrograde, so now everything is your own fault again.”

It made me laugh.

Because it’s so easy to say, “Ack – Mercury is in retrograde again!” vs. “I didn’t leave my apartment early enough so now I’m late.” Or “I’m really irresponsible sometimes and lost that important thing.” It’s way easier to blame Mercury than just admit you are an asshole / irresponsible / a bit of a space cadet. (Hand raised to all three of those things.) For the record, this is coming from someone who is a little bit woo woo. I definitely have used Mercury as an excuse, and I definitely think my astrological profile is spot on (I am your textbook Libra; rising Virgo). That being said, it’s a little hilarious how much weight we put on Mercury being in retrograde.

I tell you all this as context because the second that Mercury came out of retrograde, everything went to hell.

(Okay I’m dramatic, it could have been so much worse, but it was not ideal!)

This weekend was a little hard for me. My ex got married. We dated for four years and broke up five years ago. That honestly feels like a lifetime ago, but back then, I had thought that he was “the one.” (Now, the concept of “the one” seems laughable, I think there are way more than one person out there for each of us. That’s another blog post, though.) I’m happy for him but it’s still a little sucky. Everything was a reminder of it. We share a lot of common friends and they all came to town for it and I was totally unprepared for how much it would take over my social media feeds.

I really should have just stayed off of Instagram for the weekend but I didn’t. My own fault. It was weird but mostly, seeing him get married just highlighted my own personal failures/the sordid state (or total lack thereof) of my own love life. In all honesty that’s my fault too. I have had a big, fun summer but did not even attempt to date.

Before I went to Mexico one of my guy friends and his new fiancé told me that maybe I wouldn’t be single if I didn’t travel so much. Fair. But also unfair? I’m lucky to have had so many cool opportunities this year… I’ve gotten to see so many new parts of the world, I’ve grown my business, and I have also had a lot of fun. It feels foolish to stay put (especially during the summer) just for the sake of maybe meeting someone.

My friend fairly pointed out that it’s sort of a risk/return situation…

I have to say no to the little happinesses now in exchange for a greater reward later. I guess? It’s a totally valid argument and makes sense but I’m torn and don’t see myself slowing down just for a maybe. If I met someone I actually really liked, I would definitely slow down to spend time with them, but I guess it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation.

I’m getting sidetracked, though. I still haven’t told you how everything went to hell!

It started on Sunday afternoon. I was flying back to New York from Cape Cod. I was in a bit of a fragile emotional state so hoped that that the universe would play nice. Of course it did not. (It never does when you want it too!)

First, I got flagged for the SSSS search. Have you ever had one? Despite flying quite a bit, this was my first time and it stands for Secondary Security Screening Selection. And I had the cat with me. Of all times to be flagged! Basically, they scan you three times (metal detector, x-ray, full-on pat down). You turn on all of your electronics, and they take every. single. thing. out of your luggage: scanning, swabbing + testing each item for traces of who knows what. It’s invasive and adds about 30 minutes to the screening process. So the cat is shaking, clawing onto me for dear life and having a full on panic attack while I get felt up. And when they asked me to take out my electronics I forgot about my camera so they had to rescan all of my items as that counts as an electronic. Oof.

Womp womp. This isn’t a big deal but THEN, I look in my purse and realize that my passport is missing.

(I use my passport as my primary ID… I also have a state ID as I don’t have a drivers’ license.)

Luckily, I had my state ID with me but quickly realized it’s actually expired. I never pay attention as I always use my passport! Luckily the TSA agent didn’t notice so after my very thorough examination, I still managed to get on the plane. But seriously. Great, Grace. Walking around with zero valid forms of identification. Good job.

I told myself the passport had to be inside my luggage and that I’d find it when I got home. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

I spent Sunday night calling every place I’d been (the airport, bars, restaurants, etc.) to see if it had turned up. It didn’t. My parents looked everywhere as well. No luck.

And so yesterday was spent trying to get a new one. I found a reputable agency that can rush me a new passport before I go to Morocco. Everything was going swimmingly until I found out that since my passport was lost (even though I have a digital copy of it), I also needed my birth certificate. And not a copy of my birth certificate. The real deal, which my parents have (we think?) safe and sound (we hope?) in a safety deposit box. My mom is going to check at the bank this morning!

The inner critic kicks in again. Great. I’m 36 years old and my parents still have my birth certificate. I’ve never needed it til now!

Today I will go to the DMV to renew my ID. That’s easy. Yesterday I got my passport photo taken and started printing all the forms and now I at least know that (as long as my mom can find my birth certificate) I should be okay. So I did the work and will hopefully be fine but like, UGH. What happens if she can’t find it?

I have a tendency to work myself up with the “what ifs.” I had to just sit back and know that I did everything I could and now I just have to wait – first for my mom and then for the passport agency to work its expedited magic. I feel like a giant idiot. It wasn’t Mercury… it was my own space cadet tendencies. I hate human error, especially when it’s my human error. I’m mad at myself for being an idiot. This only compounds last week’s laptop drama!

I did take a break yesterday to go to mid-day yoga with my friend Alex. We had planned this a while ago and when I get stressed I tend to cancel my plans. It helped SO much. I immediately felt better and less stressed out. Alex is my former personal trainer (she moved away last year), so it was fun to show her Sky Ting. After yoga, I made myself do all of the most annoying things on my to-do list. This is a little trick I have, when I feel out of control of a situation, I do three things I’ve been putting off (usually that means bookkeeping, an annoying errand, etc). It’s a small thing but it helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something and am not a total waste of space.

These are small problems, I know.

Everything is not an actual mess, it just feels like it. And I feel a bit nervous walking around with no valid forms of identification. That will be fixed today though. One thing at a time.

Update: My mom found my birth certificate and it’s on the way!

PS – I’ll have a pretty shopping roundup for you later today, so if you came here for clothes, come on back a little later! 😉

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. It’s good to know that everything worked out in the end! I’ve forgotten my passport once before – I was at the airport to fly back home from Thailand, when I realised… I’d left my passport at the hotel. Luckily, I was leaving the country earlier than my friends, who were staying a few more days. I had to pay for their cab fare to bring my passport to me right away, haha! 😛

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    8.21.18 Reply
  2. Melissa S:

    Hi there! Sorry for the rough weekend. Real quick- it’s actually easy to get your birth certificate. Go to the county office where you were born. It won’t be a copy either! I hope that helps if your mom can’t find it.

    8.21.18 Reply
    • Thank you so much, that is great information. I am so lucky in that my mom had it all this time safe and sound in the safe deposit box (WHEW!) but man, this is a debacle!

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  3. Ugh, I’m so sorry, Grace! I got SSSS on our way back from Amsterdam in the spring (luckily it was just a three day trip so my bag wasn’t even totally full, but it was NOT fun having them go through everything) and then my hand swab came back as an “alert” so that prompted even more digging. She asked me if I had hand lotion on (which could set it of..?!) and I was like um yes, I’m about to get on a transatlantic flight! Anyhow, totally with you on this and it’s the last thing you need when you aren’t in the best state of mind.

    Good luck at the DMV and with the birth certificate…crossing my fingers that everything falls into place for you soon!!

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    • I’m glad someone else has! It was so embarrassing and invasive!!! I have never experienced anything like it!

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  4. Ugh, what a mess. When we were coming back from Portland earlier this year, my crotch was flagged in the body scanner and I had an invasive pat down in front of everyone, including the TSA agent’s hand down the front and back of my shorts. I cracked some sort of joke during it because I was so uncomfortable, but I started crying afterward. It was incredibly stressful.

    Apparently you can fly domestically with an expired ID as long as it’s within a year of the expiration date. I had an expired driver’s license when we flew back from Austin earlier this year because my renewed one hadn’t arrived yet. I know it’s little consolation at this point, but at least you wouldn’t have been stopped for that, too.

    I’m glad you got home safely and I’m crossing my fingers that your birth certificate is safe and sound so you can get your ducks in a row for Morocco! (Which sounds dreamy! And, no, you shouldn’t cancel your travel plans in hopes of finding a guy. Pssh. Maybe “one of the ones” is waiting overseas. 😉 )


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    • That is so good to know!!!!

      But thanks Jessica (and I love the expression “one of the ones,” haha!)

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  5. Good luck with the ID situation. I had to deal with a similar situation last year so I feel your pain. If your mom doesn’t find your birth certificate you can order certified copies from the town you were born, most states will let you order them online.
    Good luck! xAllie

    8.21.18 Reply
    • Thank you so much Allie. That’s really good to know. She ended up finding it (and mailing it first thing this morning, such an angel)… I”m so thankful!

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  6. Wow, that sounds rough! I’m glad everything has worked out in the end.

    Happy Tuesday!

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  7. Oh my goodness! I hope everything works out for you Grace. Losing my passport has ALWAYS been a fear for me.


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  8. Sharon:

    Sometimes, it really does feel like when it rains,it pours.

    I totally disagree with your friends who say that if you travelled less, maybe you would not be single. What if the person you are meant to be with is your seat mate on your flight to Morocco? What if he is the guy at the Starbucks in the airport etc? Beyond that though, you cannot put your life on hold waiting to meet someone. You need to be out there, jumping on all of the opportunities that come your way, when they come your way. The funny thing is that sometimes, when I look back, I wish I had met my husband a little later in life than when I was 22. We travel quite a bit now as a family but I sometimes think about all the travelling I would have loved to do when I was younger and more carefree… the cities I would have loved to moved to but didn’t. Overall, I do not regret it but like most people sometimes look back and think “what if” I think it is human nature to do so. Good luck with the passport today!

    8.21.18 Reply
    • Thank you Sharon!!!!

      And that’s really interesting, too. I imagine that if I had gotten married when I was younger I probably would not still be married (this is mostly because of the guys I dated back then but also because I had so much to get out of my system!) I think it’s definitely human nature to always think “what if,” no matter what situation you are in!

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  9. Cathy:

    Ugh, I’m sorry about the ID situation. The worst part of that is all the little steps that have to be taken in order to fix it. But what I really want to comment on is the idea you wouldn’t be single if you didn’t travel so much. That’s just a bunch of BS! You can’t sit around NY waiting for life to happen to you. Really, you could meet the perfect guy for you while you are traveling. And maybe you won’t. But don’t give up things you love. I know it’s annoying for me to write this but I didn’t meet my husband until I was happy doing my own thing. Just my two cents.

    8.21.18 Reply
    • Thanks Cathy – I totally agree with you but appreciate that you agree too – makes me feel a little less crazy! 😉

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      • Tara:

        Grace–I am late commenting here, but I must say I completely disagree with your friend who said that if you weren’t traveling you might have met someone. I am sure they were coming from what they thought was love, but just NOPE. You need to be you. The most important thing is to be fulfilled and happy as YOURSELF. Being with someone else should only take things from 10 to 11. And if “one of the ones” (love that) shows up and takes it to 11, wonderful–but life at 10 is pretty damn great. Don’t settle, and don’t change who you are. Do what makes you happy! 🙂

        8.22.18 Reply
  10. Prayers up that you get your birth certificate!

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  11. Cyn:

    Hoping things will sort themselves out soon! You mean you have your passport with you at all times as ID?? That’s too risky! Use your now renewed state ID or get a drivers license even if you don’t use a car often or ever (if you ever get a car in the future, insurance will be cheaper bc you’s been a « driver » for years (you could always claim you rented cars all the time) as opposed to a new driver! Think of those rates!!!
    Also, disagree that you should stop traveling to meet « the one ». You want the right person to be attracted to the real you. If traveling and seeing the world is part of who you are, you should be consistent with your values. I love to travel too, and met my last boyfriend at a cafe in Paris 🙂

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    • Cyn:

      You’ve been not you’s been

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    • Thank you so much. And yeah I know, it’s a risk but I’m usually really careful (funny enough, I started using it bc I was always losing my ID because it’s small!!!) c’est la vie, lesson learned. Passport will now stay put unless I’m traveling internationally!

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  12. amanda:

    what about the incredible chance that you’ll meet your person while you’re traveling?? never stop doing the things you want to do just “in case” you might miss someone or something at home!

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  13. Kate Black:

    Oh my, I know exactly this feeling. I love your tip of doing things off your avoided to-do list to feel somewhat accomplished. I’m trying that in the future! Side note, you can actually fly domestically with NO ID! Last year my husband and I were flying to see his parents in Detroit from RI. We were going for 1 overnight. Long story short I left my wallet in our car but then we took and Uber to the airport for our 5am flight. I’m a terrible morning person and didn’t realize until we went to check in that although I had my purse (and every travel size thing you can imagine- I hate to be unprepared), I didn’t have my wallet or any ID, anything with my name etc. TSA takes you through a special part of security, then they call some part of the federal government and you have to verbally answer a few questions like “name an immediate family member” “name a former address” “name a neighbor at any former address”. Super weird but not as stressful as I had thought. I had to fly back the same way because we were only going for 1.5 days and I couldn’t get my ID FedEx’d to me in time. Hope your week starts to improve!!

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  14. German_Teacher:

    Hello Grace,
    I too disagree with your friends; often we meet someone when we least expect it and are not looking. I spent a year abroad to improve my language skills and was beating myself up about not having met anyone but also could not stand the thought of another failed relationship when, two weeks before I was due to travel home, I met someone and yes, reader, I married him . I completely understand how you feel though, when things go wrong they just seem to snowball and it can very quickly feel like everything is out of control. I hope this phase is over quickly for you. You seem like a really nice young woman who deserves happiness and good things! I realise that that last sentence makes me seem very old (and I probably am compared to your other readers)! Regards from Germany

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    • Thanks so much, Pauline – appreciate the encouragement and that you shared your story! xo

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  15. Em_c_nola:

    Grace – be kind to yourself! And on the subject of not meeting someone because you’re traveling…what if you meet someone WHILE you’re traveling? (this coming from a single 35 year old who traveled a bunch this summer and did not date either!) Just keep being your best authentic self and having fun! Hopefully the love of your life will follow, but even if he doesn’t, at least you’ll have an awesome life that you love!

    8.21.18 Reply
    • aw thank you so much Emily – appreciate the encouragement (and the reminder to be nicer to myself, I needed that!) xx

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  16. Wendy:

    Ugh I got SSSS searched on the way back from Costa Rica earlier this summer.

    I feel you on the emotional weekend, that’s a hard situation, even a few years removed, and it’s hard not to wonder “what if” and “when”. Regarding the travel, I’m a firm believer that we are able to make time for the people we want in our lives-so if you meet someone, you can still have room for them, travel, and everything else in your life. Maybe this is why i’m single at almost 40 though, because I think this, but the men I seem to encounter can’t (or won’t).

    8.21.18 Reply
    • It’s so invasive!!!!

      And thank you – I agree. It’s tricky, I understand what he was saying but I’ve done the thing where I stay put to “work on my personal life,” and end up bored + annoyed by all the bad dates (or meeting guys who are as busy as I am, which is attractive… but to your point, men never seem to be able to “make room” when they are busy with work!)

      8.21.18 Reply
  17. Gabriela:

    I was VERY upset when my ex got married (he married a mutual friend of ours, he broke up with me to date her). I cried and internet stalked the shit out of him and all their wedding guests. He got married in his Mom’s back yard just like I dreamed – he basically had “our” wedding but to someone else. I am married now, ten years after we broke up, and realize that life is fair – in that maybe he got married before me, but that doesn’t mean that he reached other life goals before me, and that doesn’t mean that he is happier. Anyone can get married – not everyone can create a brand like you have and pay all their bills and live alone (in an amazing apartment with friends who love you). So feel sad, but then give yourself a break and realize you’re doing more than OK.

    8.21.18 Reply
    • Ughhhh thank you so much for sharing your story. That’s terrible!!!! It sounds like things worked out well for you in the end! HUGS!

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  18. Mary:

    My boyfriend of 4+ years also got married when I was single and all of my friends gushed about how beautiful and smart his new wife was. Brutal. 15 years later she is still beautiful, tall (and totally rich) but I am so happy I am not her if it means I’d have to be with him. Hindsight is truly 20/20. Since then, I found and married the greatest man and shudder at the thought that I could have wound up with a beau from younger days who would have been so wrong—even though it seemed right at the time.

    I also admire your commitment to travel and don’t think you should ever give up on what makes you happy. That said, I think your friend is right about cutting back on the frequency if you are really serious about dating in your city. I found that once I settled in a more serious job and bought my own home (as a single woman-yay) the universe sent me a fun partner to travel the world with. Do you first, but make room for someone else.

    Enjoyed reading this post. Hope things feel better soon.

    8.21.18 Reply
    • Oof that is brutal. It’s so hard. But it always works out in the end!! Thanks for the kind words, Mary! xo

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  19. Stuart Fisher:

    Hope your week gets better and glad your birth certificate is on its way!!

    I really resonated with “maybe you wouldn’t be single if you stayed home more often.” Why do I have to hold back in life in order to find someone? Wouldn’t I want someone who aligns with what I value in life? I have never held back from traveling and haven’t regretted it.

    8.21.18 Reply
  20. Aimee:

    Jack Kerouac — “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”

    Kevin Gnapoor — “Don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thang.”

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  21. Agh! I’m so sorry to hear about ALL of that. The ex getting married is familiar to me. Except it happened within 2 years of us breaking up… and with THAT girl I was always worried about. Anyway, it’s a tough time. Be gentle with yourself.

    RE: your birth certificate etc., you should try to get a backup of that. You can usually get it from the county clerk’s office where you were born. That’s more of a long term thing. Keep one with you and one in your parents’ safety deposit box.

    And … traveling is not what’s keeping you from finding someone. That’s nonsense. If anything, it is adding to your life and making you less dependent on someone else for your happiness. The right person will be attracted to this and you never know where you’ll meet someone.

    Take some time with your headspace app this week. It’ll help recenter. Oh! And a nice bubble bath.

    Also, make sure you give Tyrion some extra treats for enduring the SSSS. Yikes!

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  22. Oh man Grace I am so feeling for you. I’m so hard on myself to never make mistakes and when they happen it can feel like the world is collapsing at my feet. (#dramaticbuttrue) Thinking of you friend and glad everything is coming back around. 🙂

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  23. Jen:

    I’ll chime in with my disagreement about you needing to stop your travels in order to meet someone. For one thing, you need to be happy with who you are in order to find someone that will compliment you well and from what I read of your travels, that’s part of what makes you happy. Also, to just put our lives on hold in hopes that a guy will come along and finally fulfill us is silly, in my opinion. Maybe that’s why I’m still single too, but my reasoning is that if I’m single, but happy with my life, I’d rather that than stuck in a life I don’t like just to be with someone. The “right” person will mesh with your life and be ok with your travels and hopefully even want to join you. And like others have already mentioned, maybe you’ll meet them in an airport, or in a fun place on the other side of the world. You never know.

    8.21.18 Reply
  24. Ok, that is utter horse sh*t of your friends to tell you that if you didn’t travel so much that you wouldn’t be single. If you meet someone who is truly awesome, the relationship will be able to weather whatever upcoming trips you have, and then moving forward you can plan accordingly – either slowing down, or planning travel with him! I met my now-husband in my mid-30’s when I was traveling a ton for work, and it actually worked to our advantage because it forced us to take things slow in the beginning and get to know each other. Then a few months later, after we had gotten serious, my job changed so I didn’t have to travel as much, and we also began traveling a ton together for fun. It’s been great! Definitely do not take heed of what those patronizing friends said to you – keep living your awesome life!

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    • Hahahaha thank you so much Erin. So appreciate the kind words and encouragement. xo

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  25. I totally feel ya, Grace!
    My ex and I dated for 4 years, and have also been broken up for 4 years and he just got married. While I’m super happy, and definitely love my life more with him out of the picture…it was WEIRD AF. And while I’d love to blame Mercury on everything that goes wrong…I can’t. Also, I’m 26 and would be LOST without my mother and father, they have all of my important documents too -_- Just know you’re not alone on this!! Great post 🙂

    The Champagne Edit

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  26. kate:

    I am in my thirties and have been married a few years but I went to an old friend’s wedding over the weekend. He is an old friend but we definitely had a thing. And it was so weird to be there. I didn’t know any of his current friends. And I just kept thinking…what if that was me up there with him, at this unbelievable hip non traditional wedding? Life is so odd. It takes us to completely different places based on one or two decisions we make. Getting older makes you realize how random everything is. However, never doubt your choices. You have a strong sense of self and purpose and that is what will find you a partner when the time is right. Travel is one of the most enriching experiences someone can be lucky enough to have!!

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  27. Denise Atwood:

    love you, love your honesty! xox Mom

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    • MarciaMarciaMarcia:

      Yay for awesome mom comments! And for finding the birth certificate!

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    • love you mom! thanks for being the hero today! xo

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  28. Yikes, I’m so sorry, Grace! One time when I was 17 I lost my wallet right before I flew back from my uncle’s house in Texas to my parents in Maryland. I couldn’t believe it! I had no money, no ID, no anything. Luckily they let me on the plane, but let me tell you–it was terrifying! (My uncle later found my wallet under the seat in their car.)

    I hope everything goes smoothly with getting your passport expedited!

    Sarah | all in the details

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  29. GIRLFRIEND! I feel like I have all the thoughts on this post! As a fellow single, 30-something, I cannot tell you the number of times someone has said to me that if I slow down I would meet someone. And can I just tell you that I smile and say “Bless your heart” because if anyone thinks we need to slow down to meet a man they must have hit their head before bed! LOL . I believe that right now is my time to embrace and take advantage of having no strings, because the time will come when I am tied down (in the best way!) and I need to fulfill that wandering heart of mine now 🙂 Plus, travel has taught me and challenged me in SO many ways that will make me a better partner to “one of the ones” when he comes along! Also, I did just meet someone through a mutual friend (after 2 straight months of travel) and wouldn’t you know he lives in another state?! So more travel for me! I say that to say, if travel makes you happy- do it. If slowing down makes you happy- do it. But just because life worked out one way for someone doesn’t mean that way is right for you (or me!).

    Love reading your blog- you’re so authentic and I appreciate your honesty!

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    • aw thank you so much Gentry.

      “bless your heart” I lvoe it, hahahaha . 😉 xoxo

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  30. Allison:

    sometimes the littlest things are the shittiest things! my parents also still have my birth certificate (I HOPE)… I think that is totally normal for our generation!

    and it is ok to feel not ok about where you are in your love life. my love life is AWESOME (not to be braggy) and I have a beautiful new son who just lights up my life! BUT… I don’t know where I’m going in my career. we live in an expensive area and can’t afford our own place. we are SO lucky that we can stay with my in-laws indefinitely. this just to say that I think everyone feels a bit “behind” in one way or another! you have a fantastic career, apartment, cat (!), and get to travel to so many amazing places! you’re killing it! 🙂

    8.21.18 Reply
    • hahahaha that’s how I felt – I HOPED they had it.

      Thanks for sharing – you are so right, we all feel behind in one way or another.

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  31. MarciaMarciaMarcia:

    This might be my favorite of your posts, Grace. Sometimes everything really is just harder than it should be, and those days can be so demoralizing. I love your strategy of doing things you’ve been putting off. I tend to organize and exercise when I feel out of control … even a little bit of productivity can make the rest of the madness seem more manageable. And don’t let anyone tell you that anything you’re doing or not doing is the reason you’re single. You are spot on that there is no “THE ONE”; there are many people out there who could be right or wrong for us. I got married when I was 40, and I spent all the years leading up to that doing exactly what I wanted, sometimes in a relationship and often single, including spending much of my free time in my 30s training for long distance races, which seems counter-intuitive to finding a life partner. But The Husband and I, who had been friends for several years, got together after we trained together one season for a couple of races. If we hadn’t spent all those hours out on the trails running together, we probably wouldn’t be married today. Anyway, from one Libra with a Virgo rising to another, I hope things are on the upswing for you! When things are hard, do what needs to be done, but go easy on yourself in the process.

    8.21.18 Reply
    • Thank you so much Marcia! And yay to Libra with Virgo rising – it’s a good combo if I do say so myself! xx

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  32. leah:

    Appreciate your honesty sharing all this, especially about your ex. We are all rooting for you!!! xoxo

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  33. Related to “you’d meet someone if you didn’t travel so much”: when I booked my trip to Australia two years ago and told my mom, she said “how do you have time to book a trip to Australia but not date?” Because those two are mutually exclusive?! Just to say, I get it and believe you need to do what makes *you* happy, which seems to be travel. (Me too.) (But also 35 and single, what do I know?)

    Re:the inner critic—my therapist had really good advice on that one, because mine is STRONG: talk to yourself like you would a small child. You wouldn’t berate them for misplacing something, so don’t do it to yourself. <3 (I have also always interpreted this treating yourself like a small child to mean more cookies, too.)

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    • Jenn J.:

      Love this, Theodora! My therapist says the same thing. Such good advice. Another friend said she talks to herself like she would a friend… you’d never call a friend a monster (or not worthy, insert favorite negative phrase here, etc) so why would you talk to yourself like that.

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    • Thanks so much, Theodora.

      8.21.18 Reply
  34. Jenn J.:

    In regards to your ex getting married, I’ve had a few of moments like that in the last couple of years. It sort of feels like a punch to the gut… and in general, I’ve been feeling sort of left out as my friends get married and have kids. Yay for being in your 30s and bucking trends/traditions! But, I recently read a great quote somewhere (can’t remember where) and it said something along the lines of the universe does not punish you for making one decision over another. It re-shuffles everything so you always end up where you were meant to be. While your friends (and mine) always have the best intentions, traveling through the summer is where you are meant to be. The one will still be there when they are meant to be. I hope this brings you a little peace and allows you to enjoy your present!

    8.21.18 Reply
  35. Melissa:

    I’ve been following you for awhile & just now commenting. I’m 42, single, travel a ton (as I write this I’m in Lake Como), lived in NYC late twenties / early thirties, now in NY ski country running a barre studio. Life is long! When I read that bit about you being YOUR age & your parents still having your birth certificate, I teared up. Maybe the prosecco? I digress … Be kind to yourself. Our paths are all different & you’re adulting up a storm.

    8.21.18 Reply
  36. Alison:

    I relate to this SO MUCH. I just moved and getting new IDs and a car registered in a new state where I know no one has been a huge challenge… and I at least planned for it… having it happen randomly like this is so much worse! Best of luck, it will turn around (I know that’s not helpful.) xx

    8.21.18 Reply
  37. Marisa:

    Hi grace
    I can vouch for the same day/next day us passport agency downtown (on varick st maybe?). You must make an appt and bring proof your flight is wi a certain imminent timeframe (I think it’s a week) but they really do have it available for pickup wi a day for just the usual expedited passport fee (so no special fees beyond that). I was super doubtful a govt agency would be able to get me a passport in a day just two days before Christmas but they did. So just know that’s an option. Some people were there to get a passport by the end of the day for a flight that night!!

    8.21.18 Reply
  38. Ugh. I felt stressed for you just reading this… But I’m glad it sounds like everything is straightening itself out, and hopefully Tyrion isn’t too traumatized from the TSA drama. Don’t beat yourself up over being forgetful – you’re juggling a lot at once (aren’t we all?) and something annoying / inconvenient / stressful happens to EVERYONE because of our forgetfulness sometimes.

    As far as the travel thing goes – I think it’s total BS advice for people to tell you to basically put your life on hold so that you’ll be around and find a partner. There is absolutely no reason that traveling and doing the things that you love will keep you from finding THE ONE (or, one of the one(s)). I’d imagine the type of person you would be attracted to and want to be with would admire your independence and sense of adventure, and even want to travel with you. Who knows, you could even potentially meet your person on one of your trips! Regardless, never give up what you love for the chance that you’ll be more likely to meet a guy if you sit around NY. You’ll regret it if you do, I promise.

    Crazy idea (for when you’re feeling ready to date again) – you may hate this one – but have you ever thought about asking if any of your readers in the city have anybody in mind that they think would be a good match for you? Sometimes just getting out of your immediate network of friends (where you already know all their guy friends) is helpful for meeting someone you wouldn’t meet otherwise. You have this huge network of readers, and you’ve even done leg work connecting them with one another, maybe let your readers help you make a connection too 🙂 Just a thought…

    8.21.18 Reply
    • thank you so much for the kind words sarah. totally agree.

      and i’ve thought about it but am not sure. I am really picky/fussy and I would worry I’d date someone a reader set me up with and it wouldn’t work out. Or I’d offend someone.

      8.21.18 Reply
  39. Amy:

    I’ve had to expedite a new passport more than once (not sure I feel great admitting that!), and it always works out. I’m rooting for you, and I can’t wait for your Morocco update–I’ve always wanted to go!

    As for staying put to meet someone, I completely disagree. You need to live your life and have your own thing going on in order to attract someone. Plus, you may not always have opportunities for girls’ trips or solo trips once you “settle down.” Best to live it up now! Sending you a big hug.

    8.21.18 Reply
    • thanks amy!!!! I am so excited – so long as the passport drama works out, haha!) big hugs back!

      8.21.18 Reply
  40. Tara:


    With the high level of divorce these days who knows how many relationships will even last…will your ex’s last? You must remind yourself you are looking for a man to share your life, to share your passions, to share your vision of what you want your world to be…what I see in you is a woman who is not settling, a woman who knows the level of commitment and passion she wants in her life and will not compromise…and there is Nothing wrong with that. Because that, my dear, is brave. being a brave woman is not an easy thing in any day and age…so often we make it work, look the other way, accept what is in front of us because, in the long run, it’s easier. We can complete a goal faster. Ah, we think, it’s done. “I’m there.” But you, you push things out of the way and peek around the corner and say, “Isn’t there more? I will know in my gut when it’s right.” So keep on keeping on. Your gut is leading the way and you’re leading a fantastic life!

    8.21.18 Reply
  41. ChristineG:

    Ok. So just relax about the dating thing. I was a career gal all through my 30s. Didn’t date much. Lived in a small town. But at around 42 I decided I HAD to do something if I wanted someone else besides my cats/dogs to grow old with. Went online. Met some ok guys. Said nope not for me. One year later tried it again. Fast forward 12 years later and happily married to a wonderful guy who sent me a ‘hello’ on match.com. We even have 4 fur babies. What I’m trying in a long-winded way of saying is that when you are ready, YOU will make it a priority. Until then? Don’t worry about it. Enjoy your life as you will have so much to share with that special someone when the time is right to meet him.

    8.21.18 Reply
  42. Anne:

    Phew. That is a no fun kinda weekend. I’m glad your birth certificate showed up and can I just say you will remember all these trips forever. Maybe you would have met someone if you had stayed home, but traveling is nourishing and fulfilling in different ways. I guess I feel like even a trip that’s tough is worth doing. You are experiencing and living so much. And it had been wonderful to follow along.

    8.21.18 Reply
  43. Cy:

    Poor Grace, all that red tape stuff is so frustrating! I was completely neurotic getting ready to go to the DMV today after work. I’m fighting the flu, so of this is that last place you want to be, always an ordeal! I made an appointment and still waited an hour and 40 minutes( seriously with the new RealID standards, they are really busy) my very nice clerk said many people wait 4 hours or more. As to the travel/ love life thing, sorry you will never go wrong following your heart. You never know where or when you are going to meet someone and it doesn’t make sense to wait for “some day”. I’m a little woo woo too( and scarily accurate ) I keep thinking man=Charleston. Aren’t your parents moving there?

    8.21.18 Reply
    • OMG the DMV with the flu??? Terrible!!!! Yuck. I waited 3 hours (standing!!) and it was terrible but at least it’s over now. Hugs!

      8.22.18 Reply
      • Cy:

        I think, one thing that does make a difference, wherever you are is being mindful. My best gay boyfriend says he often catches men checking me out and I’m completely oblivious. Usually because I’m paying attention to the person I’m with. I have a feeling this might happen to you too. You’re beautiful, but shy and humble and you probably don’t realize ( sometimes) when men are flirting with you! Or trying to ask you out, etc. I’m always trying to remind myself to pay attention. Living in a busy city, life is distracting!

        8.22.18 Reply
  44. Maddy:

    As someone who repeatedly makes boneheaded mistakes, is a pro at the What If game and freaks out about the thought of her ex getting married, this post made me feel not so alone!

    Also, I LOVE the idea of doing 3 things you’ve been putting off when you have a frustrating day. This is such a smart tactic and I can’t wait to use it. Xox

    8.21.18 Reply
  45. Meems:

    The SSSS search. I did not know of such a thing AND it is so invasive. I might of had to be sedated. It makes me ill to think of all that happening to you/anyone or perhaps me in the future. I am sad that once again another unfortunate event you experienced has turned into a educational event for me. Really hate that you and your cat had to go through that BS.

    Hang in there…

    8.21.18 Reply
    • OMG yes I wanted to be sedated, hahahaha. The worst. Thank you so much Meems! I could have handled it better without the cat but that just made it so much harder.

      8.22.18 Reply
  46. Carrie:

    1. Please don’t stop traveling. No one would ever say that to a man looking to find a partner. Travel is life and you are so lucky to do it. Besides, maybe you meet him on the plane

    2. That SSSS business sounds like a nightmare. What a rough day! Glad everything is coming together now.

    3. Who decides when mercury is in/out of retrograde and what does that even mean. I feel like people are ALWAYS saying it’s in retrograde so just assumed it always is and that’s why everything sucks all the time, lol.

    8.22.18 Reply
  47. rita:

    Ah…how i feel you Grace! I am 35 and single, been living abroad for 12 years. By the time i was 27, my boyfriend of 10 years cheated and eventually broke up with me to stay with one of those girls. 2-3y later, I finally fall in love again and start a relationship… which ended suddenly after 1y because he wanted to change jobs and find a way to integrate a bit better and progress in the country where we were…less than a year later, he was already engaged to a 23y old local.

    Now, guess what? At the same time that I find out they are both becoming dads this summer, a gynecologist I visited for a routine appointment tells me that I better hurry up and think about having kids, without even having the idea of asking me if i have a partner… imagine how i felt for a few days “i am 35, single, no kids, no one i’m love with omg, i was always so nice in my relationships, omg why dont i deserve it too, omg, they were the ones who said they didnt want kids, omg, whats happening with my life, omg…”

    Of course i had a few super sad and down days but guess what? That won’t stop me from traveling and all my friends are in favor of that as many met their partners traveling 😉 In september i’ll be solo in NYC for the first time ever, in Toronto and Chicago as well. And next year, 2m around the world. Better do it now then when i meet someone who has already been to those places 😉

    8.22.18 Reply
    • Oh my goodness Rita I’m so sorry you’ve gone through all of that! UGH! Sending you a hug and happy traveling!!!

      8.22.18 Reply
  48. Kim:

    I’m sorry but I think the idea that you should limit travel for a relationship is ridiculous. Would someone say that to a man who travels as a lawyer or consultant? Unlikely. But your travel is ‘fun’ right? Not essential to your business? Rubbish. Relationships form all the time regardless of time spent travelling, it could even be facilitated by the travel process. Airport meet/cute. And you want a partner that respects your career and choices. Suggesting you should stay in the city more is just some coded misogyny bull. (Sorry, but true).

    8.22.18 Reply
  49. Morgan:

    That is a rough weekend! I don’t agree with your friend about your travel. There’s no guarantee you’d meet someone in NYC if you traveled less. Lots of people travel and are still in relationships. I’m so glad you travel. I don’t think you will ever regret a trip but you might regret something you didn’t experience or a place you didn’t go to. If traveling is what makes you happy, and you did less of it, you might not be a good partner anyway. I hope it all works out with the passport!

    8.22.18 Reply
  50. Argggggg!!! It’s seriously the worst when bad stuff piles up like that! Sending you lots of positive thoughts, friend!!

    8.22.18 Reply
  51. Jenn:

    You know what’s unfair? Missing out on amazing travel opportunities because you’re weeding through the Trolls of New York. There’s no reason you should give up your dreams and what you love to do just because there MIGHT be a special someone in the city in the summer. This is the first summer I’ve spent most of August away from NYC, and it has been so refreshing. I would much rather be lakeside or beachside with family and friends than sitting through another mediocre date. You do you 🙂

    8.22.18 Reply
    • You literally made me LOL with the “Trolls of New York” comment. Ha! Thanks for making me laugh!

      8.22.18 Reply
  52. Sara:

    I think you’re friend is wrong about his advice! Traveling is the best way to spend your free time in my opinion, and if you love to do it you should find someone who loves it just as much. What better way to find that person, then while you’re traveling…

    8.22.18 Reply
  53. Leslie:

    From one woman to another , who reacts similarly , who struggles achieving a constant balance and not be so being unrealistically hard on myself, I want to say SO many people feel like you and it’s ok!! . Also, when it comes to love , career and that struggle, I’m having similar struggles after a very long relationship that ended in divorce.
    Don’t be so hard on yourself! You have so much going for you from what I see here and Instagram. You are authentic,intelligent and beautiful inside and out.

    8.22.18 Reply
  54. I don’t realllly agree with the slowing down / not traveling advice. I dunno, it just doesn’t fit with your lifestyle and I think you will meet “him” regardless of traveling or not. ?!?!

    I am so glad you got the hard copy of your birth certificate! It’s definitley a lifesaver in situations like this, which happen to everyone!!

    8.23.18 Reply
  55. Oh, Grace! It literally hurt my heart to read that first part about your ex. I’m experiencing something similar (a more recent ex-relationship unfortunately) and, even though I don’t wish that I were still with him and am in a pretty positive state of mind about being single, it’s a really tough thing to watch. I’m sending you all the positive vibes and wanting you to know you’re not a lone.

    Also, I met you briefly at one of the Stripe reader group meet-ups in the West Village and just thought you had the most fun, bright energy and we were all so impressed by you. I hope you know that it isn’t a failure on your part that you haven’t met the right person. It’s such a cheesy thing to say, but everything happens for a reason and usually on a different timeline than we’d like. People always say that the best way to meet the right person is to carry on with your life and do the things you love. Who knows? You might meet your person while you’re both traveling! Again, sending you positive vibes 🙂

    briana | youngsophisticate.com

    8.24.18 Reply
    • I remember you! That was so fun. And thank you for the kind words + encouragement. XOXO

      8.24.18 Reply
  56. That sounds like one of those days. When everything goes wrong – those are the worst. I hope things are looking up for you. That’s messed up that your friend said that if you didn’t travel as much you wouldn’t be single. Keep traveling and doing you!

    8.27.18 Reply
  57. K.C.:

    Oh man. I know I’m super late to the party and it’s all resolved now (thank goodness!) but I just want to say this TOTALLY SUCKS and don’t beat yourself up too much for it!! Things happen. Sometimes things get lost. It happens to the best of us. You totally have my sympathy and I’m so glad it all worked out in the end!!

    By the way I’m sure he meant well but I happen to absolutely disagree with the friend who told you you have to sacrifice your happiness now and say no to travel in order to meet someone. You do you! Live your life! There is NO sense limiting yourself for some future guy who you haven’t even met yet. The person who is right for you will be attracted to your spirit of adventure and richness of life experience, and you’ll meet them when you meet them and have some great stories to tell them about all you’ve seen and done. Anyway that’s just my 2 cents.

    8.29.18 Reply
  58. Oh boy, I can definitely relate to *all* of this in a big way. But especially the absent-minded thing; I actually had to consciously reign in my scatterbrain because I went through a phase where I repeatedly lost wallets, phones, laptops, expensive things, you name it. Now I have to constantly check I have all the important things with me and *touch wood* it’s now become a habit and I have improved.

    Hope this week is a better one and that everything goes smoothly + brilliantly in Morocco!

    Briony xx

    8.30.18 Reply
  59. Sarah:

    Have you ever read the memoir “What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding”? Strange title, but it follows the author through international travels as her friends are settling down! It’s a quick read, and one of my favorites when I’m feeling like comparing myself to any of my friends who may be more ‘settled’ than I am. I’m glad everything worked itself out with your passport!

    9.2.18 Reply