The part when puppy love lasts

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On Boxing Day 2014 I brought a little heartbeat home with me and I unofficially became ‘A girl, a bird, a VW and a puppy’. Seriously, my heart has never been so full as the moment I picked her up and cuddled her knowing that it was my job to protect, feed and love her. And just be being her, she adds so much natural joy to my life.

Today she had her first official bath. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s played in the hose, squeezed into the laundry tub while she could fit and splashed about in her shell pool but she’s never enjoyed a pampering hydrobath until this day.

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Look at this moment.  This lovely little chocolate puppy never wants to be anywhere but right by my side. She sits at my feet when I’m working at home or chatting to friends when they visit and she plonks herself right on top of me when I’m relaxing in front of the tv. She races around in crazy, excited circles when I take her to the beach, or even just to the back yard. She lives like no one is watching or judging and she appreciates every minute, whether she is busy doing something or nothing. She even shoves her nose at me, wags her whole body and looks up at me to say thanks after I’ve given her dinner. This pup has got it all figured out. She lives in the moment, enjoys everything she does and shares her love with everyone she meets. My furbaby could teach me a lot. Don’t overthink, don’t fret, don’t worry about things you don’t need to worry about or people who don’t understand you and definitely do not sabotage something just because you’re afraid. Just be. Just live. Just enjoy!

The part where these are the days of our lives…made better with a morning coffee

Nestled amongst the trees in a small beachside town is a little blue and white vintage caravan. Inside the caravan brews rich and velvety smooth coffee, outside sits an array of tables and chairs where an eclectic bunch of customers mingle each morning.

Some stand and chat while they wait, a few perch on white timber chairs underneath decorative bunting and sip on their morning delight, while others get cosy with their coffee and sweet treats on funky sun lounges.

Every morning is refreshingly different, yet comfortingly the same… the rumble of coffee beans grinding away in the background, the sound of a phone buzzing as orders are rung through, the familiar voice that calls out “thanks baby” as people wave goodbye with a “have a great day” or a “see you in the morning”.

This unique mobile coffee shop in our local park is full of morning rituals, quick stops, long chats and familiar faces. Order for one or order for eight, arrive early for a chat or duck in because you’re running late. Just know that by the time you walk up to the big mangrove tree, your coffee will be waiting for you, just as though you’re visiting an old friend.


From Monday to Friday, this vintage caravan brightens people’s good days, bad days, smiley days, teary days and everything in between. And then on the weekends, it supports many community festivities by providing visitors with that familiar smell, that comforting place to sit and that longed for sip of amazing coffee.

The tradie ready for a day’s labour, the office worker ready to conquer a day’s work, the fisherman after a night on the seas, the tourist waking up and ready to explore, the teacher (the many, many teachers) preparing for the day’s surprises, the parent with the extra order of two baby chinos, the retiree just back from their morning walk, the local business owner ready to promote our town… The skinny cap, the dirty chai, the double-shot soy latte, the hot chocolate with marshmallows, the long black and the ‘usual’… The people of our community, the stories they tell, the laughs they share and the lives they lead. They all share a love of coffee (and almond croissants if it’s a Friday) and the little blue and white caravan named Ruby. A vintage caravan and amazing coffee, and that’s just the beginning…

Every day should start like this, and it does at Ruby Caravan.


The part where the excitment is terrifying!

 

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It’s that giddyness that wiggles and jiggles around in your belly. It’s that constant thought that repeats in your mind. It’s that feeling deep in your heart that tells you that now is the time to give it a go.

Change… some say it’s as good as a holiday right? Well, in 2014 I started on a bit of a holiday, a trip away from home and my life as I’d always known it. I thought that was the change. But I think the real changes are happening now.

It’s so exciting that it’s terrifying!

If you read the paperwork, my small town story is up at the end of this year. But listen closely to the words screaming inside my head and you’ll realise that I may be making the brave and daunting choice to rewrite the story that was written for me. I am now in charge of writing my own story. I don’t want to repeat my past because I want more from my future and I don’t want to go back to where I was in life three years ago because I have changed. I no longer want just what I always thought I wanted. I want to change my story and grow. That means giving up more time with my family and friends whom I miss so much. That means possibly putting my transfer to my briliant big city school on hold. But that also means that I’m actively creating a life for myself that is full of challenges.

So, you may be shocked at what I have planned for my future. All I can do is guarantee you that I won’t be sitting still and coasting along. A whole bunch of newness is happening and I am happily creating a version of me that doesn’t stop expecting more from myself. Try it. It’s amazingly terrying!

The part where I think about you every day…

Oh my blog! Here you are… and here I am writing you once more. I think about you almost every day but I can’t seem to get close to you anymore.

Maybe it’s because we used to be part of a special group of close friends and family. Maybe it’s because I started proclaiming our relationship to anyone I could. I was super impressed that we’d found each other and that we seemed to bring out the raw, honest truth in each other. Sometimes we were funny, sometimes we were heartbreaking, and sometimes we just scared the hell out of random strangers. We still understood each other though, so we were easily able to catch up where we last left off. But now… now you’re too popular and I don’t know where to begin or where to end. So I left you in the lurch. Too many people know about you and it’s stopping me from being myself around you. What if I upset you and all your new friends by being truthful? What if someone thinks I’m talking about them? Honestly was simply expected when it was just family and close friends. You know, it’s always easier to be honest with the people close to you because you know they won’t get cranky at you, or at least, not forever.

So you have me confused. Do I try to keep our relationship the way it was or do I let it change? Maybe I should let our time together play out a little differently and be a bit more versatile. Perhaps I should just be real and forget about the other people who pass in and out of our lives or maybe I should hide from them completely? You’ll be shocked, but I actually thought of changing your name so that we weren’t so obvious when we shared stories and adventures together.

I’m sorry to muck you around, but I’m going to have to sit down and have a long, hard think about where we are headed. But, the good news is, I’m going to try my best to try and keep you updated every day for the next few weeks. I’m going to test the waters and see how it feels. Short, sharp stories and thoughts from life. And one final thing, I’m going to do a little more study about you and how we can be better together. I’m committed okay. Get ready blog… stay sharp, be bold. Life is always changing and I’m going to help us stay cool and hip. Totes!

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The part where I realise I am more than this

It was over a year ago now, when a good friend of mine asked me…

“Have you ever thought you were more than you are now?”

This, to me, was one of those questions where time stood still. One of those questions where I really had to stop and think. Since finishing high school and moving on to areas in my life I am passionate about, I’ve always known I could achieve what I set my mind to. I’ve had an open mind to ensure I was ready and willing to take on new opportunities. But was I playing it safe still? Were my dreams big enough and was I taking steps in the right direction and looking beyond the now? 

What an amazing question to be asked by someone. A friend who obviously saw me in a different way to how I saw myself. I often find it interesting, hearing other people’s opinions of me and watching the way others react to my personality. I also find difference in the way I stare at my reflection in the mirror or feel my own presence as I walk down the street, compared to other’s comments or view of my physical appearance. I think, as women particularly, we never give ourselves enough credit. It is a real honour to have someone feel inspired and motivated by you so that you can then push yourself more and constantly strive to better yourself.

I decided on that day that I did think I was ‘more than this’. I decided on that day that I loved where I was in life and what I was doing, but I also came to the realisation that I was going to keep on looking for more, keep on taking risks and keep on pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. 

And here is what has happened since that day…

  • I joined a committee of amazing and inspiring community members and we put on a massive event to support and thank local volunteers after our town experienced nature at its most hectic
  • I entered a personality quest where I got to fundraise for a charity and support my local community
  • I bugged people on social media by constantly supporting and promoting local businesses and artists 
  • I applied for the latest season of The Bachelor (#singlelife) and got through four rounds! They flew me to a big city for a face to face audition and I had the greatest time standing alongside other strong, educated and beautiful women
  • I supported a community member as a candidate for local council elections and have now decided that I am extremely interested in running for the next elections myself – something I have never considered before
  • I joined another committee to help run a major annual event for our community
  • I started horse riding lessons which has been a dream of mine since childhood
  • I joined a gym, kicked butt at a 30 day challenge and am about to sign up for the next one (after eating my weight in Easter eggs). I love it and have made a whole new family and am feeling fantastic looking after myself in a way I haven’t before
  • I put my hand up to be part of the team that develops and implements a whole new school-wide approach to life and learning – focussed around children’s social and emotional wellbeing (a step towards my career dream of being a professional in that specific area)
  • I saw a counsellor and she said to stop saying ‘yes’ to so many commitments… So I delegated my role of social club coordinator to someone else (baby steps)
  • I started actually cooking from recipes and have definite moments in my daily routine where others may see me as an adult (haha)
  • I took on another pre-service student at school to help keep me motivated, to share my passion for our industry, to guide aspiring teachers and to learn from them at the same time
  • I modelled in another wedding expo and felt more confident then ever just being me and owning my body shape
  • I dated…. I dated…. I dated…. I overcame situations where people used me and mistreated me. I ejected people from my life who did not truly care about me. I healed. I didn’t lose any confidence in who I was or falter on the fact that one day love will finally be in my life

Now this may seem like a very self indulgent post but, to me, this is how life should be done. Big, bold and out there. Supporting others, learning from people around you and sharing your day to day with the world around you, no matter what the scale.

If I can do anything, it would be to tell people to ‘give life a go’. Try those things you’ve always wanted to. Share your ideas and passions with people. Sometimes they might just stick, but if they don’t, don’t lose your way. Be you, always. 

 

The part where it’s been a year since the trees fell

One year ago today.  One year since the landscape changed and so did my world.  The winds came in strong and lashed out at our beautiful landscapes, our homes and our local businesses who held the heart of our community within their walls.  The walls were now gone.  The trees were torn from the earth, uprooted and strewn across our roads and onto our roofs.  The town was battered.  But, as in most natural disaster zones, our spirit wasn’t.  My small town braced itself and charged its way through a cyclone and, strangely, it’s one of the best things that could’ve happened to me.

I’m no stranger to natural disasters as I was deeply affected by severe flooding in my big city before I moved.  I know what it’s like to face the whirlwind of nature and I know what it is like to have my two hands and my strong heart busy with the subsequent recovery.

This cyclone was no different.  It was the first time I had experienced a terrifying event alone, because internally I was all kinds of unsure as to what was going to unfold and externally I was all smiles and taking what will now be known as ‘cyclone selfies’.  I didn’t have my family to run to.  I didn’t have anyone to remind me to be an adult and to pack an emergency kit. I didn’t have anyone to reassure me in the dark while I had no power for 8 days.  However, even though I was alone, I wasn’t lonely.  I discovered a whole community who came together to help and support each other through the many challenges of post-cyclone cleanup.  I had great friends to hide out with as we all evacuated our houses and the storm approached.  I had strong workmates who helped get life back to normal as soon as possible at school.  I had family and friends in my big city sending through well wishes and reports as we didn’t have access to media.  They knew more than we did.

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There are so many details that I can give you about how the cyclone unfolded – the sound of the cyclone warning over the radio that haunts me still; the text message you receive telling you to evacuate (to 3 different locations for me); the unique howling of the wind as the eye passes over you and; the daze that you walk around in as you see the damage for the first time and the endless view of emergency crews tackling problems from the sky to the ground.  But that’s only one part of this story.  The rest is to come as I discover I can do and be more than I’d ever imagined.  The part where I see, first hand, how generous and kind people really are.

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An opportunity appeared where I could join a committee of outstanding people to help organise a fundraiser for all the volunteers who helped our town recover after the cyclone. What an event to be part of!  We created magic for our little town and we showed the country how alive we were after such a disaster.  I could help make a difference and, in the process, meet so many inspirational people in our community.

I had also inspired myself.

I saw something in me and it opened a door.  A really big one.

Following someone’s advice, I looked into what else I could do to involve myself more in the community and landed on the perfect challenge.  I entered into the local ambassador quest to raise money for charity.  I organised events and connected with local businesses and musicians to support a combination of local charities and community groups, as well as, my chosen charity The Sebastian Foundation.  I sold sausages and raffle tickets, rocked a sash while walking around with donation tins and infiltrated my face into the town.  And I conquered some life goals while doing it.

The sash enabled me to chat to everyone without looking creepy.  Win!  The quest helped me talk with local musicians that I admire (or stalk) with real purpose.  All of these skills, which I may not have realised at the time, were building my character to ready myself for one of my biggest achievements yet.

The ambassador quest was an incredible experience.  An experience that I’d love to repeat, so I am already on my way to helping the team create this year’s event.  The quest gave me an outlet to raise money for something I am passionate about on a personal level.  It gave me a chance to connect with The Sebastian Foundation (Guy & Jules Sebastian’s charity) whose outlook is ‘Families Helping Families’.  I saw a real possibility to make a difference by contacting this charity, as my passion as an early years educator is based around the social and emotional wellbeing of children.  All children.  After all, how many young children from ‘typical’ backgrounds did I see become affected by the cyclone’s path?  All children.  There is no other charity that focuses on the happiness, confidence and resilience of all children.  Maybe I could share my thoughts with The Sebastian Foundation and see if we can come up with a project together.

  
Guess what?!  I did it!  I not only raised money for The Sebastian Foundation but I organised to hand over the fundraising cheque to Guy Sebastian himself after one of his concerts in our local area.  A 13-year long dream come true.  I have never been more impressed with myself or more confident in my presence as I was on that night.  I probably need to dedicate a whole new blog post just on how much I admire this man, not only for his musical talents but for the way he carries himself through life – constantly thinking of others.  Guy was a pleasure to meet and The Sebastian Foundation were ever so grateful for my monetary contribution to their charity.  So much so that I am expecting contact from them in the coming weeks to organise a project in line with my passion, to support my community, with the money we raised together.  How brilliant is that!

So, one year ago, the trees fell.  One year ago, the landscape changed to reveal a bigger world.  One that I am very much part of.  An amazing friend once asked me “Do you ever think that you are more than you are right now?” and my simple answer is YES!

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Hello, this is a public service announcement!

I am a female, I am single, I am in my early 30’s and, yes, I have my shit together!

I may be sitting in a towel, eating chocolate and channeling my anger into writing, but I still have it all together. I may have decided against cutting up all the fresh veggies I just bought from the shop and have now resorted to a ‘heat and eat’ kind of meal, but I’m telling you I have it all sorted out. (I am just choosing to avoid sharp instruments or I might just chop off all the penises of single males so that they can be encouraged to think with their brains…)

I tell you what, this blog has become a challenging thing to write. It’s becoming my space to vent so that I can continue to keep all my shit together. The anger rises and the hurt stings, so I let it out there and then I continue on with my amazing life. The thing is, I really don’t enjoy hanging on to negative thoughts or feelings. I have so many amazing stories to tell. Why can’t I share those with you? I’m sure I will, but right now, good-golly-gosh, I’m angry.

So, focusing back to the ‘shit together’ thing… I definitely have ups and downs. I can assure you I am not perfect. I have faults. There are things in my life that I may be terrible at, forever. That’s okay. I am also superwoman with some things. Balance, people, balance.

Now that we have that covered, this is where I use my public service announcement to call out to all single men who are finding themselves at a stage in their life where they are feeling a bit messed up. Quick, quick boys! There is a single girl out there that isn’t. Hurry. Pounce. Even if she isn’t looking. Quick, get her, pin her down with enthusiasm and surprise. Allow her the opportunity to show you that she has life sorted. Let her teach you how to be resilient. Ask her how she wakes up every morning loving herself and where she’s at, no matter what is happening around her. This girl may restore your faith in women, after that last terrible experience you had. This woman may make you excited about what your future holds.

But, OH. MY. GOD., this woman is not your stepping stone, or your bandaid. She is definitely not to be used as your warm fuzzy or your sometimes comfort. She is not your new friend who, *bonus*, you think is attractive and you’d like to enjoy – just like that saying about cake. NO, boys, no!

Now, some of these men may argue against the point of me being ‘together’ with my ‘shit’. I know this, because I am human and I know that through relationships I have made mistakes, I have lacked confidence, I have let my headspace get the better of me and I have shown cracks. The reality is, that’s a given when you’re real and that’s expected when you aren’t afraid to show someone who you are. Some of these men unfortunately created or encouraged many of these obstacles in my life because they were too selfish to think of me. It feels like history repeating but I honestly can’t work it out. Maybe it’s not my time to receive, but to give? Perhaps I have been on my own for so long so that I could strengthen all these self-sufficient emotional strategies, to then share what is possible with others?But, OH. MY. GOD. once again.

So, boys of the future… let me explain something. I will support you through whatever, if you support me in return. I will share all that is great about me, if you can give me the best of you. I will not be afraid to be vulnerable and to show you that I still have stuff to work on, if you won’t just run away when something is no longer solely about you. I would also like to share some more amazing advice. The Friend Zone (that wonderful place where you often put me because actually giving time to building a relationship and showing love is just too much for you) does not, and should not include physical attraction. You cannot ‘Friend Zone’ someone if you want to sleep with them. If I see someone as a friend, I kind of can’t even imagine going there. Now, stop using that excuse, turn your penis off and start thinking with your brain before you take some well meaning, real love seeking girl for a ride she just isn’t interested in going on!

End Rant.

  

Nb: These are my complete raw emotions for all those wonderful women out there who are powerful all on their own and who are searching for a man ‘man enough’ to be empowered by that.

Nb: No tears were shed during the making of this blog, and I’m now going to bed with a clear head, ready to tackle whatever comes at me next.

The part where it’s time to start over

Hi, you’ve reached emotion. I’m unavailable at the moment but please leave a message and I’ll get back to you when I sort myself out.

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about me. My emotions are always readily available for anyone who accidentally gets in their way – The good, the bad, the lovely and the sad. So much so, that I wish there was a temporary mute button so that those extremely loud thoughts in my head would actually let me focus on the right now and possibly catch up on some much needed sleep at night.

This blog of mine has bamboozled me for many long months now. This ‘single life’ venture that has forever been swept up in a turbulent flight involving every emotion.

How was I to keep writing when I wasn’t quite single anymore? How would I approach my stories when they were present moments and not tales of a past adventure? I was so proud of my new love of writing that it would come up in many conversations and new readers would sign on to follow my thoughts every day. How do I put the right words together when the person I was writing about was reading my every unedited thought?

So I stopped.

And now, I’ve worked it out. I stopped to be kind to others. I stopped to consider my impact on others around me. And in stopping, I forgot me. The incredible power of healing, perspective and calming that this blog gave me went unnoticed.

It’s crazy I know because I’ve had a lifetime of getting to know me. I love me. How do I let myself lose the me I’m proud of so easily? I’m not saying I morph into some skeleton of myself but my emotions take me to other people, my desire to nurture others somehow causes me harm.

These may be the common trials and tribulations of a girl who is honestly happy to go along with another person’s story. Ask me what I want for dinner and if I say “I really don’t mind”, then that’s the truth. Invite me to try something that you love that I haven’t done before and I’ll happily go along if it’s something I’m comfortable with. In all this however, I keep finding people who then forget to see me. They don’t feel or see the need to join in with my life because I contently fit in with theirs. Luckily, I know that I lead a great life all on my own and I have so much to offer the people around me. So, for the most part, I don’t stop living that life by missing out on things that I value (unless I’d look completely creepy doing it on my own). The thing is, I keep finding these emotionally unavailable people who aren’t able or willing to strap in and share the ride with me. They can only manage to let me tag along with theirs. I realise now that it isn’t my doing, it is usually because of their own struggles or their situation. Unfortunately though, there is always impact on my happiness because of this. I definitely have faults and little demons but none of which are a permanent blip in my personality. All can be worked on, worked out or loved. I just need someone to invest the same emotion in me that I do in them. I want to share this life. I’ve seen and felt what it can be like to team up with someone and feel like you could be powerful together. I like it and I want it.

So, I find myself at the end of another relationship and I fall in an exhausted heap because I’ve given it my all and I am forced to question what I actually got in return. Usually it’s someone who said “yeah, jump in and follow me” and who’s given me their time but none of their emotion to go with it. Emotionally unavailable people really do block you from creating and building something together. There’s always unbalance.

The main point here is that I haven’t been writing and I want to. I’ve now got the task of using my over active, anxious and analytical brain to come up with a new concept to change the way I use past experiences, tackle present moments and dream towards the future.

I have a puppy now, so it’s not just A Girl, a Bird and a (super squishy) VW. I’ve had some seriously amazing and heartbreaking relationships. I’m still struggling to work out where I belong – city or country. I’m watching relationships change the longer I am away. I have been facing challenge after challenge at work. I have also been living life, making friends and feeling overwhelmingly proud of myself. I am developing a new strength in myself, yet feeling helplessly weak and lost. I have tried new things, stepped out of my comfort zone, all whilst holding on to past struggles that I really need to let go of. I’ve talked too much, cried too much, but still continued to laugh every day. My head is slowly starting to gain clarity, although my heart is still really struggling to let go of something it wanted.

Where to next? I have no idea. But I now realise that ‘me’ is all I have to completely rely on, whether life is at its simplest or its most complex. I have to understand me. We all do, some people are just better accomplished in being selfish than I am. They give themselves way more time to work it out without the emotional distractions I take on. The biggest thing is, just when you think you know who you are and what you want and need, something changes to force you to work it all out for yourself again.

Keep Calm and Write

The Single Life – Part 4

Prologue: Getting back on track with my story telling…
With a New Year’s kiss, my mouth tingled with sensation and my chest bubbled with hope. I thought that maybe this year things would go my way and that I’d be spoilt like I deserve. There are already no more kisses from that particular someone, but I have to keep writing. There will be lots more stories, good, bad, happy and sad. Maybe I’ll even give names to those that took me away from you for a while. Maybe I’ll share those stories that I felt I couldn’t because it was too current and real. They were good. Really good. But they all finished at the contents page.

There has been so much going on but the words have been trapped inside while I try to figure out how to sort through the events of my life. And my life is ridiculously eventful. Luckily, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Making news headlines in this edition…

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How to impress yourself.
Tag lines: #proud #oneyeardone #survived #smalltown #bigcity #newlife #community #adventure #thisisliving #noregrets #makingthemostoutofeverysituation #newfriends #teachersmakingadifference #thisis30

When it all turns to sh!t
Blurb: So, I don’t have kids. But life is changing never the less. Do you know how I know? It’s because I’m talking about poo. Baby poo, five year old poo, puppy poo and my friend’s poo. Do I talk about poo in the dating world? Definitely not. Women don’t poo. Girls don’t pass wind. It never happens. But omg, it does. The conversations of women, of best friends whose lives are changing and growing up, are hilarious. I was sitting on the couch with 4 of the best women in my life, some enjoying a night off from their babies, some listening to their babies sleeping breaths through the baby monitor… All of us enjoying conversation. Filthy and real. Best friends love to over share.

The chatterbox who stopped
Summary: The event the shocked a nation. The girl who lost her voice and the people who influenced her. Even after reading this article, questions still remain…Was this reaction good or bad? What occurred to result in this drastic change? Will she find her voice again? Has she changed?

A girl’s best friend: How to start a family before you have one
Living life on your own? A single girl shares her advice on how to fill your house with love and talks about the challenges of making the best decision for you.
Amended version of blog name now reads; ‘A girl, a bird, a vw and a PUPPY’

10 ways to survive unrequited love
Nb: Tips and strategies will be insanely difficult to follow when your heart’s involved

A Guy on Valentine’s Day
How to spoil yourself when you haven’t yet found the right guy to spoil you.
Also in this article; Getting lost in the music, screaming like a teenage girl and loving your obsessions with conviction. #GuySebastian #row2 #VIP #MadnessTour

Twenty Fifteen – The best is yet to come
Are you sick of making the same old New Years resolutions? Do you find it hard to stick to your great ambitions? Take the pressure off and just choose what makes you happy. Reflections from a girl who finds making decisions on what’s best for her one of the biggest challenges.

Kicking goals for the hopelessly uncoordinated
Key search phrases: celebrate small successes; points for trying; teamwork; share the love

Your social/love life: Find out if you’re doing it right
A quiz to help you decide if you’re putting yourself out there enough or maybe a little too much. Answer these questions honestly and take back the power.
Insert: We had some single girls and their friends take our test and we’ve included some of their reactions…
@singlegirl’sbestfriend: “You have a lot of men in your life!!!!”
@singlegirl: “Tell me about it, but I’m looking for the right one”