Onwards and Upwards

f0a5be0ee4bb08ce41affef2eeed9045I’ve been thinking lately.  And feeling. My Wise Woman and Heart have been very active. Not in sync of course – let’s not get crazy! But they haven’t been battling like they once did, it’s been more of a civil negotiation. Together trying to sort out a situation for the past couple of months. And each took their turn at driving my bus. Kind of a cool thing actually.

Several months ago, I unexpectedly found myself faced with the decision to give someone another chance. I was assured things had changed (a laughable concept,I know). I gave a cautious Maybe.  But time went on and my walls started to come down and Heart opened itself up to the possibility. Yes, to hope. And as I’ve said before, hope is a Heart thing.  I decided to finally say yes to a relationship.  Turns out once I was standing in front of him (let’s call him the King of the Grand Gesture), he backed off emotionally. And thus the weeks went by.

Being true to my no-regrets nature, I kept trying. I knew I had to give it a real chance. For my own peace of mind. And I did.   I also made it very clear what I needed from him and expressed I wasn’t getting it.  But it still didn’t happen.  I truly believe that he’s not a bad guy. Something was just stopping him from jumping in. Fear I think.  And honestly, that’s okay. I get that. And it’s just the way he is. I accept that. But it’s not what I need in a relationship. So I called it quits on the relationship.  Was there another grand gesture? Yes of course. Did Heart want to say yes? Of course. But Wise Woman stepped up – completely aware of the pattern of this situation – held Heart’s hand, and said no. It was too late. I’m worthy of effort.  And honestly, for me, there comes a point where accepting the pattern is on me. And it’s my choice to continue to accept it or not. As difficult as that is.

And yet, today, I feel calm. This type of situation isn’t the disaster it once was. It doesn’t send me spiraling like it may have in the past.   Despite my heart being bruised, I feel empowered by my ability to see a situation for what it is, know which part of me is taking the lead and act on that.  I’m not saying I won’t slip or that I’m super woman – and if I do slip, that’s okay. I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  Because I’m doing my best. And throughout it all, I think I still act with kindness and honesty. With others and with myself.  And I’m really proud of that.

So I look forward and I see possibilities. A friend asked me recently what I am open to these days. My response? Anything.  In theory anyway.  But I haven’t been able to say that in a very long time.

And that, my friends, is what I call progress.

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The Path into 2014

9d6f10e8dd63617240ffde11aa537cc52014. It’s hard to believe. I’ve let this new year sneak in without much fanfare.  I’ve been mulling over what 2013 brought me and took a peak at my bucket list for 2013. I got through most of the things on my list. What stood out was that I took chances. They didn’t pan out but I still took them and I’m glad for that.  And again, I had lots of fun and adventures.

I’ve transitioned into a new phase with men – moving away from just casual connections. Although I’ll admit that I find those easier.  I can handle knowing what someone wants from me. Relationships, now those are far more difficult for me.  I’ve met someone recently who is looking for something more serious. And it worries me. So I haven’t really let him in. I can’t figure out if it’s because it just doesn’t feel right or if it’s because I’m just not ready.  Time will tell I guess. But I have to give it – and him a chance if I ever want to know for sure.

In all honesty, I do sometimes think that I would rather just slip back into casual. Less risk you know? I’m still not in a place where a relationship seems fulfilling.  I still tend to think of them as being fraught with compromise, routine, expectations, losing myself and disappointment.  I’m not sure if that (bad) attitude will change with time or practice.  Likely a bit of both. So I’m trying to go forward with the idea that practice will be good for me.  I just hope I don’t hurt anyone along the way.  It occurs to me that perhaps I should worry less about the other person’s feelings and not make that a reason not to try something. If I’m honest about where I’m at and how I’m feeling, the other person can decide what they want to do. I can’t control that.

I find myself unsettled right now.  Over the past few years, I have set a path for myself for the year. A guiding principle if you will.  It has been helpful for me to do this. At first it was strength – to get me through a tough emotional space. Then faith. Faith in myself and that everything was going to be okay.  Last year it was bravery. The courage to take emotional risks and to just be myself.  This year I feel like I am on the cusp of knowing what I want for myself but I can’t quite grasp it. It’s something about being powerful within myself and what I stand for, while working on becoming more okay with my own vulnerability.

So while I wait for that idea to solidify for me, I’ll just sit with more of this uncertainty and hopefully things will become more clear.  You can’t force these things. As much as I would really like to.

My Evolutionary Discomfort

283211526_jqtWtVeW_cI feel like I’m in a rut. I have been feeling so boring lately. And I struggle with that.  This apparently is a trigger for me…I’ve been fighting it.  I feel like I used to be pretty dull – in my old life.  I lost my spark.  And one of the things I have loved about this new phase of my life is that my fun side came back.  Sure it’s been really hard but finding my light again was one of the benefits.  So yeah, I’m triggered.  But when I stop to really think about it, I’m actually in a transition phase and honestly, it’s been feeling damn uncomfortable.

I recently made the decision to not pursue casual anymore with men, to take a step back, not seek out the exhilaration. And I think that’s a good thing. But I miss the feeling, you know? The excitement. The validation.   I know that this will be a period of growth for me. But it feels  lonely.   And I don’t know what I want for the future.  My Wise Woman knows this is a time for me to learn to be okay with me – get strong within me, without men flitting about. Without constant distractions. Sit with my feelings. This will all help me to make a good choice later. But it’s really hard for me and I feel emotionally off balance. I’m scared I’ll be alone forever. I’m scared I’ll make another bad choice. And yet this current void feels bad. I’m also overwhelmed with my daily logistics. It all feels like a battle.

This may all take some time to sort out…. throughout all the parts of my Diva Council.  I want to be whole again. But differently.  I don’t ever want to lose myself again. When I’m ready, I want a relationship that doesn’t suck the life out of me, or where I’m someone’s mother, where I’m leading the charge.  Will I ever find that? Will I ever be ready?

So this may be the time to really focus on me and who I want to be.  With intention. And that may mean just sitting here with the uncertainty and loneliness and not let it take over. Let it just be what it is. Who I am. Right now.  And be okay with that. So challenging for me. I want to find the balance between having fun, shining my light bright and yet be strong with who I am, what I want, and what I won’t tolerate. Not just with men but in every part of my life.   This is just another phase….a necessary pit stop on the journey.  And I should give myself some credit.  I’ve come a long way.  So here’s to trying to have some faith that I can do this new stuff – as uncomfortable as it may be.

Be Here Now

cadb2f465f85db2e39041420f2658aa1I’ve come to the conclusion that when you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing.  A hard lesson to learn. Especially for someone like me. Today I was thinking about moments. Moments that I haven’t connected with because I’m thinking about something else. My next move, my next joke, my next task, my next day.  Whatever.  My brain servers me well and is also my curse. I’m good at my job because I can strategize.  But what about life?

I’m starting to think that  life is perhaps more about moments. Moments that you connect with. Where you are just you and you let life in. Those are the ones that stay in your memory. They don’t always have to be important and sometimes they are brief. We spend so much time looking ahead, maybe feeling like we wish things were different, waiting to heal, expecting the other shoe to drop, saying to ourselves “if I only had…then I would…”, or simply thinking about something else and missing a cool moment altogether.

I do this and yet more and more, I’m becoming aware of it.   The moments that connected with me are the ones where I was actually really present.  The times where I was completely there.  All of me.  With my daughter during a dance party in the kitchen,  when I sat with my best friend and told her I was angry, the night I said yes to something unexpected, the call I answered when my friend was in trouble and needing a shoulder to cry on, the day I spent with someone special who held my hand and I allowed myself to feel loved … for that one day.  Letting your guard down and not thinking of the next thing – but rather just really, really being there.

It’s not an easy thing. Especially for those of us juggling a thousand responsibilities. I think maybe it takes practice. Getting out of your head can take work.  More work for some of us than others!  But I know that I do indeed let more joy and adventure into my life than I ever have before.  And I am blessed with a lot of amazing people in my life to share all these moments with.  And I’m really glad for that.

Let’s try to miss less, shall we?

A Stumble

3923bf7fc1056717def54cad656a0bcaI jumped. And it didn’t work out. Things ended with my tattooed boy. It was only five weeks together but we really liked each other.  And still do. It didn’t end because of that – it was more because of lifestyle differences, uncertainty of how we fit into each other’s lives and perhaps we were at different stages and ultimately looking for different things. In the end, it was a mutual decision. It’s probably best it ended now before we got in any deeper.

The five weeks were really lovely. I felt excited and happy. He is a good guy. And I jumped. A big deal for me and I did it. I don’t regret it. Not for a second. In fact, I’m glad for it. And we ended things well; with compassion, honesty and affection.  We may even be able to be friends. And so my harem of good guy friends keeps growing.

Yeah I’m sad. It’s unfortunate that my leap of faith didn’t pan out. But it wasn’t fruitless. Yet again, I’ve learned things about myself. I’m still brave and I can push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m open to trying something different and I may be one step closer to learning what I want and need in a relationship.  I thought that moving into more exclusive dating would be easier somehow but it’s not. Not just from my end of things but from theirs. At this stage, I think I’m going to need a man who is strong and confident in himself, who is patient and who can ride out my crazy while I still figure all this out and continue my healing.

I was also told by yet another man that I have a lot of rules. I’m thinking about this. It would appear that I draw a lot of lines in the sand with men – regarding the time I make for them, the role my friends play in my life, keeping my daughter separate and yeah, sex.  I don’t make a lot of room for someone.  I put them in a box, don’t integrate them into my life at all and I “manage” it all very closely. But I know why that is. It’s all about protection.  And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing – at first. But eventually I will have to make the space, or at least let them know there is the potential for that. Once they have proven themselves to me. Harsh but that’s how I feel right now.  It’s something to look at though.

I have also come to realize that I still put all my shit out on the table right from the start. I like to manage expectations (there’s that “manage” word again). Kind of like – here it is buddy, now you know what you are getting yourself into, I’m scared and I don’t trust easily, if you can handle that, bring it. I always want to people to be straight with me and I need to know where I stand. And I offer up the same. But  I can see how that seems intense, intimidating and perhaps seen as more limits.  I won’t compromise honesty but perhaps I can present it differently.  A guy friend told me recently that I was all chainsaw and no scalpel. This may be true.

I know I have prickles.  They are there for a reason.  But I also have wonderful qualities and a lot to offer. I’m worth getting past the prickles. And they may eventually dull down.  So these are all the things I’ve learned and thought about during this experience. But most of all, I know I can take a chance, have feelings for someone, be weird and wonderful at the same time, and my fear is less than it used to be.  Those are all very good things.

I do miss him already but that’s okay. I feel unsure and uncertain of where to go from here.  But it’s early days yet. I’ll be okay.  I stumbled but I haven’t fallen down…

Rolling The Dice

c77caa95e43d3d90fe883c828a524641 Well I guess the time has come.  I’m rolling the dice and we will see what happens. I’ve met someone new. Someone emotionally available.  I know, it’s unheard of for me. Crazy! But there it is. And I’m taking a chance.  On a lot of levels.

He’s unlike anyone I’ve ever dated before. Completely different – in the way he looks, type of job, his history… everything.  But he seems open, communicative, honest, kind and funny.  And he’s covered in tattoos. Which as it turns out, I like.  A lot.

I’ve already had to readjust the way I think. I don’t like to admit it but I was brought up to believe certain things about blue collar men. I hate that. And I don’t actually believe that I’m better than someone who has a different life than I do and yet it’s there in me, somewhere deep.  In terms of someone I date anyway. So I’ve had to look at that.  And that’s a good thing.  He tells me he’s never dated anyone like me either. So it’s new for both of us.

Also new territory for me is spending time with someone who may want something more from me. And that’s scary.  Really scary. All the men I’ve dated in the past year and a half have been casual situations. Great guys but non-committal all the same. And that’s been my choice. It’s worked for me. And I’ve learned from all of them.

But here I am, on the precipice of taking a big leap of faith. My trust is very fragile. I know this to be true and I’ve already experienced it with him.  It’s going to be a challenge for me.  I may bolt. He may think I’m a nut job. But I have to take a chance. He’s said he will wait for me and earn my trust. We shall see. I don’t trust men to not screw me over or lie to me. Hopefully this experience will help me stretch in this area. So here’s to hoping he’s not a douche and just telling me all the things I need to hear. No snake eyes please.

So I’m going to jump….or try to.  And hopefully those nice tattooed arms will catch me.  And if not, I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep walking forward.  And try again.

Moving The Needle

203013895673449024_ZFcYAJ48_c Life changes. Things never stay the same. I’m keenly aware of this concept and have become much more adept at navigating the windy road and rolling with the punches.  I haven’t written much about my dating life lately but it’s time for an update.

In October I wrote about juggling men. It was an interesting – and exhilarating –  experience but as suspected, it didn’t last too long.  I just couldn’t manage it. Which kind of makes me laugh because I am a stellar multi-tasker. I didn’t know how to move forward on an intimacy basis while dating more than one guy (but that is another post!) So the men were whittled down to one – I wish I could say it was all my conscious choice but in reality it was circumstance. And I’m okay with that. I ended up with the best choice. The guy I started talking to online last summer.  So overall we spend about five fun months together which included a lot of really great dates and  good memories.  And I say memories because it’s over now.  Again because of circumstances.

True to form, I picked someone non-permanent who wasn’t looking for a commitment. He was always going to be in town temporarily and we actually never dated exclusively. But it worked for me. He’s a great guy and we have a lot in common.  And honestly I think knowing that it wasn’t long term allowed me to let him in more than I usually do and not get scared.  I was able to show him a variety of sides of me and always be honest about where I was at. He gave me the space to do this safely and he was always really cool about it.  Through this relationship, I was able to grow and I’m really grateful for that.

So now it’s done and I feel confident that we will stay friends. I’m a bit sad but generally okay.  I’ve moved my emotional needle and that’s a big deal for me. I think that now I’m more open to trying something with someone where it’s not casual.  Exclusive dating? Say it isn’t so!!  But yeah, I may be ready to try that.

I know that I’m still not ready to jump into the deep end but I’m going to try to not hang out solely in the hot tub with the guys who look good on the outside but who don’t have much to give. Okay, let’s be honest, I’m sure I’ll still visit the hot tub from time to time. When I’m cold….you know? I mean, really, the hot tub can be awesome. For a short time.

So yeah, I’m glad for my time with this guy. I got a lot out of it. I think he did too. And I’ll allow myself to feel the sadness that it’s over but I’m definitely going to smile that it happened. And continue to move forward.

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