Change is coming

BUTTERFLY-MIGRATION.jpg

Some people are empowered by change — moving, experiencing new things and places and meeting new people. They feel like they’ve found themselves and can therefore shed their old skin and blossom into the butterfly they feel they were always meant to be.

But — I knew who I was before I did all that movin’ around. Sure, I found out a lot more about myself. Turns out I’m even stronger than I thought. But, I think some people move because they’re not happy. I was already happy. I just wanted to be with the man I love and he had an opportunity so we did it together. Then we did it again. And again. Had a baby. Moved again and then again and now here we are — planting roots and honestly, I’ve never been more excited…

…not even when I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway singing the theme song to Laguna Beach as the Monarch butterflies fluttered around me. They also migrated to SoCal.

All that moving kept me on my toes. If you do the math, I was packing up a home and unpacking a home every single year for 5 years. So, while I had the time for a ton of new experiences, I didn’t have time to really relax and process them. Now, being planted and able to settle in some soil, I’m finding my way back to myself and ready for some change at the same time.

So, I’m vowing to open up and share more of who I am, how I think, what I do, where I go, etc. — because I have the time to. I won’t second-guess myself and wonder what people might think. I’ll take more selfies because if I don’t, how will anyone in the future know what I looked like in 2019? Maybe I’ll even get reallllly crazy and dabble in some video! I might even rename and revamp this little blog, because I’m not sure ‘VandenVogue’ fits me anymore.

Wait. Maybe I did shed some old skin and blossom. I have always loved butterflies, after all. Huh. I just blew my own mind.


Stay tuned.

I miss dating

anonymousbro.jpg

I love dating stories. I love giving dating advice. I love living vicariously through friends (or even strangers, honestly) who are dating and going through allll of the awkwardness and exciting stuff that I beg for them to tell me.

Why, you ask?

I used to work for a very popular online dating site for about 6 years. I loved it. I loved seeing, reading and feeling the vulnerability people have when it comes to putting themselves out there in the hopes someone else will be drawn to them. I loved how grateful they’d be when they received help putting themselves in words. It’s not easy writing about yourself, and doing it in a way that is honest, enticing and concise, AKA not a super long memoir starting at your arrival on this planet. Lil’ tip there for ya.

via bbc.com

via bbc.com

When I lived in The OC — we were in a townhome community 5 minutes from the beach, and there were quite a few chic-as-hell divorcées in our neighborhood, so I befriended our neighbor who had the balcony across from us, and would semi-regularly join her and her friends for wine on her turf. We would get to talking about them dating and what I did for work, and then it would turn into me grabbing their laptops and editing their online dating profiles. Looking back…I shoulda charged. They drove convertible Mercedes and wore head-to-toe CHANEL for crying out loud.

But that’s how much I love it. I loved doing whatever I could to help people find L-O-V-E, or even short-term excitement and confidence by dating cool people who think they’re cool people. People absolutely fascinate me. Plus, I obviously love creative writing…and despise cliches like “I love walks on the beach” (very hard to not write whilst living in Southern California, by the way) and “I love to laugh!”

WHO.DOESN’T. Who honestly doesn’t like to laugh? Another free tip — if the dating site/app you use has an ‘About Me’ section…do not write that you love to laugh.

And don’t talk about your ex.

Also, don’t post photos of yourself with your hot friend/family member. And no bathroom selfies, come on.

Do NOT talk about what you don’t want in a partner. Why so negative?!

Check your spelling and grammar.

Even if you’re ‘new to this’ — don’t say that. No one cares, and it makes you an easy target for someone willing to only put half the effort in. Plus, unless you plan on updating your profile…there will come a time you’re not new to it.

When writing to a potential date for the first time, don’t just write ‘Hi.’

I’m serious — do NOT talk about your ex. Especially if your divorce was amicable and you’re still friends. Don’t put that in your profile. It doesn’t read like you’re sooo progressive and a good person in relationships…it sounds like you’re still in love with them.

Don’t complain about your job. Or lack thereof.

I mean, I have more tips but if you want them, you’ll have to pay me. And tell me your juicy dating stories.

Don't tell anyone, but...

71kfCdpTUfL._SY445_.jpg

…I want another tattoo.

…I have a weird obsession with finding the perfect henley. Free People comes close.

…I can’t decide if I love Mandy Moore or find her a bit annoying.

…I also can’t decide, as a left-handed person, if I like wearing my watch on my left or right wrist.

…I hate working out.

…Rainy days are amazing. For some reason, I always want to go outside on rainy days. Maybe I was meant to be in the Pacific Northwest. Rainy days, huge trees, Starbucks and henleys all day.

1529316742488.jpeg

…The only band I would care to pay lots of money and/or travel many miles for would be Death Cab for Cutie. See…PNW again. But seriously — the first few seconds of Soul Meets Body and I Will Possess Your Heart (amongst a few others) NEVER fails to take me someplace cool, relaxed and insightful.

…I’ve always wanted to get headshots taken. I know I’m not famous, but I’m also really bad at taking selfies, and they would be useful for when I am famous.

…The greater part of my 20s was riddled with me picking my body apart and hating my legs. Thank goodness that’s over.

…I’ve never been into wearing rings, but now feel oddly naked without at least my wedding band.

…My new house has awesome landscaping. I’m terrified to screw it up. My thumb isn’t super green. Eek!

Thanks for letting me spill my guts. By the way, I’m super good at keeping secrets so if you want to share, I’m all ears (eyes).