Happy new years!

I want to wish you all a happy new years! Please, 2017, just get here!!

I realize that I have announced my three-part series on what my marriage taught me, but have not yet posted. I became a little distracted by two other issues that I will call real life issues; I want to occasionally have a real life series as well. I knew that I wouldn’t have  a shortage of topics. I am so  grateful the writer in me has a lot to say. I just don’t want to make promises about upcoming posts that don’t get written quite as quickly as I had anticipated. I just seem to simultaneously want to unleash as much as possible. That’s my conflict and writer’s struggle!

So far my real life issue topics:

Sexual assault and consent (at any age)

Bullying (old school, cyber….)

There’s more that will come up, I am sure, but those are the ones that speak to me now.

Please be patient and if you have a preference before this Tuesday, please let me know which of these topics should I write on first? Should I write on both then move on to a consecutive posting on my three-part series?

Please comment on any preferences on how /what order I present? Otherwise, I guess we will all be surprised!!

 

Paired music selection right now: I am listening to Tori Amos (Little Earthquakes). I saw her at Red Rocks and at DU. Powerful musician. This album says a lot for me about the real life issues I mentioned above. She’s what’s on my mind now.

If you are out and about please be careful.

If you are at home, be good to yourself and sleep well.

 

HAPPY 2017!

 

 

Thanksgiving

I want to tell you something really fantastic about Thanksgiving. Something that makes us all inspired.  Something about  our gratitude and good fortune when we eat our turkey and other food in excess. Some of us watch football all day. I don’t, but hey, there it is, a great day off to eat a ton and watch football in the middle of the week.  I absolutely know, at the least, I have the privilege of good fortune  and good food and a roof over my head during m post divorce Hell (five years to be exact, six if you count when I had to leave my home).  I know friends and family have helped immensely. And that’s an incredible start to my Thanksgiving story.

It is in those simple times in my life  that I asked for  help and received it with unconditional love that i am most humble and grateful. It is  during those 364 other days of the year that I have depended on loved ones to hold me up during hard times. It is those days that I felt the most thankful.

I have to remember when we string each of the days, some tougher than others, we get something pretty awesome called LIFE. It’s not always fair. Its not always right or just.  We fall in love. Out of love. We feel wronged. We feel awesome and vindicated. But this is the deal:

We are feeling. Which means we are alive and get to start over the next day. And that’s pretty cool. We can be  thankful for that, right?  For me this is an affirmation. I am going to repeat this  affirmation for the next 48 hours and every hour after that, because really, we can NOT take this amazing life for granted.  This is NOT  a Debbie downer post. Not at all. I just want to stay humble and grateful for this life we are given every day. Sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes I feel entitled to more than just the notion of being alive. Maybe sometimes I feel I deserve something really awesome, above and beyond what I have worked for. Then I get right-sized and my ego gets bruised. A little. And I begin again. Humble. It keeps going like that.

Please let me know how your Thanksgiving week is…the anticipation of it, family angst, relationship angst, whatever it brings: Bring it on!

 

 

 

 

Humility comes free with every break-up

As I realize clearly that my last several weeks of posts about that most recent past relationship were written in an authentic anxious frenzy of nerves, fear, and insecurity, this should come as no shock.

I need to get back on track. I need to return to me. I must clearly identify the triggers that sent me into an indeterminate tail spin born from red flags BEFORE the tail does, in fact, go spinning. I realize  my  mounting intensity in the last year has sabotaged me from different opportunities, different  paths. I would say that’s all fine and that’s just “who I am”. Except that it is NOT who I am. Not.At.All. At least it’s not the best version of myself. I’d like me back, thank you very much.  I think we all deserve to become a better version of ourselves. Am I right?!  It is truly the hardest battle. I think I survived the atrocities and Hell from 6 years ago on adrenaline and fumes. That was hard, but not impossible.

Now, I recovered from that Hell all proud and full of newly found and well counseled strength. I didn’t need to worry about my past anymore. I deserved to move on, right? Problem is, I left the future in the rear view mirror. I left it lying in the dust. I gave that horrid history  a kick in the ass. I gave that road to Hell no respect. Then the Ego returned. Even after a plague fell on my heart and I thought I would remain humble for an eternity.

I realize I am a strong person, with some definite unplanned imperfections. I need to be far more honest   (maybe even excruciatingly brutal)  with myself to minimize the needless suffering I endured the last few weeks. When a friend used this term after she read a blog post of mine, I thought it was harsh. It wasn’t. It was actually said with love and within minutes I could see that. I need to take action. Now.

 

So have you experienced humility that was temporary, but you thought it would last you a life time? Years later, you forgot your struggle. You didn’t stay true to who you are?

 

When I first started my blog, I posted this pair of jeans; you all told me to keep them. I did. I should have looked at them more frequently. They are a reminder of that humility:Blue Jeansimg_0516

Tell me about it. I want to know.

Thank you!

 

Wait for it….wait for it….

And there it is! So in my last post, I described the absolutely lightning speed recovery from a month-long relationship. I was somewhat blindsided by some of the guy’s break up speech, but was kind of aware of the insecurity (because of course, I felt it).  I  had a great Sunday morning and got to the Bronco’s game. By the end of my brat and diet coke lunch, came the second shock of my weekend.  HE TEXTED.AN APOLOGY. Yes, people would certainly say, calling is better. However, being at the game, I was totally fine with the text amidst the loud noises in our amazing seats! He admitted “you were right” and said he was sorry. He did NOT end the apology with a ‘but’ trailed by anything else negating the apology’s authenticity. He didn’t defend his awful behavior Saturday. He just apologized. Well, I was floored. But there is still work to be done. Words are cheap. They were words I have not heard often, if ever, from a guy I was dating. The words of “you were right”. We texted a bit more and he said he’d like to start over and admitted we went too fast , but he’d like to make that right as well.

So the next day, I sent one text of three words (I remember the text issue and plan to stick with small amounts of texting conversation, even with his apology). He texted back and we made a plan to play it by ear for Monday. I never saw him, but as it was Halloween, he had kid obligations. I went down south to spend time with my friend and her family, and he texted me later that evening.

 

Tuesday morning he texted me first and we sent a few texts. I was very surprised he wanted to come for dinner when I invited him over. Last night was quite amazing.He apologized in person again. To my face. He and I talked and talked. And talked. He told me that he felt like an asshole and said that either Saturday night or Sunday before he texted me, he realized “he was falling for this woman and just pushed her away”. He told me then he definitely wanted me to be a party of his life (and his kids).  We talked about spending more time together and strengthening our relationship. We discussed honesty. We discussed spending time with the kids once our relationship feels stronger. It was already getting stronger, just getting back to where we were, and then some.

I never imagined this would happen. I thought I was totally fine with out him. I think I realized that while I don’t need someone to feel whole, I did actually miss him a ton. Even just 24 hours taught me to keep true to me. To continue to work on me. No matter what. I do think that will be part of my success in all this.

So yes, I waited for something I didn’t even know was coming and that was pretty incredible. A first for me (a true apology with admission of wrong doing). I hope there are a lot of other awesome firsts. I think I could be falling for him also.

Scary. I will wait for the next time. As patiently as I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oddly enough…

Oddly enough, the new relationship came to a screeching and abrupt end on Saturday around noon.  Apparently, my insecurity was too much for him. “We went too fast,” he said. Hell, I could have told  you that. As well as the overbearing physical closeness and over-texting. Funny, though, he had no problem with physical  closeness and being thisclose our first night getting to know each other. That’s when the going too fast part started. At the very very beginning. Before there was a beginning.  And oddly enough, after the first hour of venting to a friend, I was feeling much better already…an hour?  Okay, so if I am seriously feeling much better in an hour’s time of talking to a friend, then how heavy of a loss was it? I mean, yeah, I was upset when he told me today and in the aftermath of texting with a friend. An hour later, and I am over it? Maybe the relief of not stressing about texts or calls that never come.

I learned a few things  about myself. That’s huge. I think anytime we can be  what self-improvement is in order till I practice my imperfections. That’s the key to being open-minded though. We have to actually be willing to see those imperfections and have the volition to make positive changes. There’s the rub! We have to actually do something to effect change so that the disaster was not in vain.The disaster was just a tool to greater self awareness and a new improved you!

 

 

Stripped…

I am just going to go and say it, straight up: I was inspired by the last lines of the last  episode of season six, part two of Sex and the City. Carrie talks about all of the relationships we have. But, then she says  the most important relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves.

I think the  relationship we have with ourselves  is one of the hardest we could ever hope to grow and mature, because we can’t hide from ourselves. Sure, we can try. We can hide behind our Paige jeans, that grad school degree, very decent wages, hot pizza, alcohol and/or drugs,  (good, bad and Prince-style) sex, and hell, I guess we can even hide behind our successes and failures. But, really, all that is really background noise.

I feel that the more I have, the more I can try to hide behind. I am successful, I finally fit into real skinny jeans for the first time in a really long time, and I have a decent share of intellect. I feel that all that is stripped when emotions take over. Intellectually,  I know NO material things are very useful armor when that insane insecurity possesses every fiber of strength I thought I had.  And, I also know the distance between my head and heart is unbearably long.  It is really fucking frustrating. Seriously. So much progress, so much building up of what I had lost right after my divorce. 5.5 years of reattaining the things I lost. I was strong. I had things. I got back on my feet with an apartment in a decent place, a nice bed again, weight loss when I was ready to eat well,   new hobbies and passions and a bit of self-confidence, I thought.   It only takes a new  and real relationship to check the quality of my relationship with myself.

So there’s still work to be done. I hate, no….I loathe, knowing  everything  I attained to create security means nothing when I realize those are just THINGS.

What a reality check when you realize how stripped you can be when self-love is tested. Because really we have to love ourselves always. Not just when someone else does or when we love “things” or people  we surround ourselves with.

Just a question: How  long did it take  you to lose the insecurity that caught you off guard?

and P.S.: Yes, I was  listening to Stripped  by Depeche Mode while I was writing this post. How did you know? One of my favorite albums, Black Celebration came out in 1986; I was in the UK that summer.I think that summer and the music I took back across the pond changed me forever. Tonight, I listen to it, transported back to 1986 in London. The summer I met Andrew McCarthy (and have a picture to show for it). When I find it, I’ll post it!

PPS: Tangentially speaking, Andrew McCarthy had just made one of my favorite movies of that time, St. Elmo’s Fire a year before, in 1985.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Expectations

Armed with my  incredible friends, experts in different areas of life and death, I am learning to ask for help in the arena of managing expectations.

I have always felt that the low hanging fruit were now  behind me. I have started to feel that  by setting the bar high is good, I was exuding higher self-esteem, standards, expectations (job, hair, clothes, income, car, housing, really ridiculous….).  I began elevating the standards so high, that it almost became impossible for me not  to be disappointed. And putting a list on paper really became my downfall. I started judging everyone from the get go.

Until this guy  I am dating now. I was immediately attracted to him and we got along great. My stupid mental checklist didn’t exclude the big things: honesty, integrity, character, but it  also required the  absurd  and superficial components. They disappeared when I met this guy. Period. End of story.

So, advance 2-3 weeks: We were perhaps moving too fast (planning a getaway);  I started out so well, minimizing and managing expectations that were really unreasonable to begin with (the mental list). Then my ego snuck back in. The ego started developing a different version of a  mental list. This list described  what I wanted to hear or thought I needed to hear at certain times.This is NEVER GOOD. NEVER. EVER. GOOD. Yes, we can expect a modicum of respect and honor, but if the honesty and integrity are there, I have to ask myself, what else do I absolutely need to hear, on my time, no less? This insight comes directly courtesy of one of those great friends with experiences I have not yet gained. When saying I am patient, I need to mean it.Then when the things I want to hear are said, I am hearing them from a truly honest place, not a place based enabling my insecurities.

Have I sabotaged myself? When he told me this morning I was being  insecure (though the circumstance was a bit unusual and the source of my insecurity  very specific), I had not had time to process the origin of my insecurity, but I owned it because it was the truth. I felt insecure, but  it was not until  later did I realize how situation specific it was. My insecurity started earlier in the week. I told him that I didn’t deny the insecure feelings lately and  thought  we needed some  more time alone together (which he agreed) to get back to the really good  real conversations we had in the first 1-2 weeks. He agreed.   emotional intimacy is what I want and I think he agrees, even though we did not quite title it that way exactly.  When it was time to go home this morning, I told him it would be great to see him in a few days and I couldn’t wait (sentiment he usually returned). He said nothing other than “see you then” with a kiss and I left for home.  I texted him a brief bit later to mention something trivial and “have a great day!”.  No word. So no more texting, no more insecurity.  I know my self-worth. I know I am intelligent, caring, intense,  big-hearted, intuitive, sensitive and trusting. Right this minute, I am trying to recover from this transient insecurity.

How do you manage expectations? Do you remain hopeful, but some how have some incredible skill for removing the expectation from the hope of an outcome? Or  is hope or wishful thinking just a euphemism for “setting up expectations”?  How is that you achieve that balance?

Leave a comment and thank you in advance for your input!

Have a great week everyone!