Shifting Focus

Have you ever noticed that when you have one specific thing constantly on your mind, that you will keep seeing it everywhere? Whether it be in real life, on the TV or in a magazine.

The thing that occupies the largest part of your thoughts also enters into what you seem hear and do.

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For example: You think of buying a specific car and suddenly it seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry is driving around in it.

Associate a song with a person? Every radio station plays it endlessly on repeat.

Starting a new hobby like running? People stamped around you like wildebeest migrating in Africa.

Now I always thought that these “coincidences” were signs and that because I keep seeing the car the guy I like drives that it must mean that he and I are meant to be together.

But driving to work this morning after running a night race last night and seeing runners cause traffic jams rivaling any  highway disaster, it suddenly hit me.

These are not sign/omens/confirmations or anything like that. It is just me and what I am focused on.signs-and-omens

 

When you have something on your mind that, at that point, is of great importance to you or simply of intense interest, then you will subconsciously seek it.

 

Take me. I always say that I am the combination of two of the worst things: I am both stubborn and single-minded to the point of recklessness.

Once I get an idea in my head, or a goal I want to reach, then it is go time. I will do whatever it takes to get where I need (or want) to be.

I recently got to thinking about going back to school,  finishing my nursing degree. And it’s  all I see, hear and think of! Every person I see is a nurse, I have been in the hospital a few times the past few months and they ( nurse’s) have been a blessing to me and have giving me the nudge, I needed to go back to school. The last time I was admitted to the hospital, I was laying in bed  at night and  I couldn’t fall asleep- That’s when I got the push from one of my nurse’s and now its all I can think of! I am nurse mad! At least I’m not boy mad, I count this as a step up for me.

I can promise you now, I will be too focused for anything/anyone  until I graduate.

That is what hit me going to work today.

Its all about focus and what you focus on.

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Its not the universe conspiring to re-affirm what you think or feel (although I sometimes still think it is), but it is just you..You and your focal point.

This got me thinking back a bit and I saw how my focus has shifted from one thing to the next throughout my life and every stage in my life. It also made me realize how I would totally forget about one thing, once my focus moved to another thing.

 

How often do we focus on the negative, the bad and on the things that keep us down?

And then we wonder why we find ourselves down and out and without hope.

Its because we allow ourselves to let that become our focus.

 

Try this today, shift your focus to something positive.

If you are feeling body conscious and that flabby ass is getting you down- stop thinking about it! Rather think about your beautifully toned arms, amazing smile and the fact that despite the rain you are having a really good hair day.

If you feel like you have lost faith and that God seems very far away, focus on Him. Let Him be part of everything you do. Take a minute to shoot a short prayer out, hum one of your favorite hymns, or simply say “God, I need you”.

If you do this often enough, soon you will see Him in everything you do. You will hear Him in every song, smell Him in the fresh summer rain and feel Him in your soul.

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Shift your focus. It may just shift your life in the right direction or at least out of the rut that you find yourself in.

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Reality hit in the form of a friend of mine who is very direct. Very logical. And although I hate to admit it…very right.

The past while has not been good, I have not felt good and I could feel the darkness that I have fought off for 3 years starting to creep back in.

Despondent. That’s what I was. Still am a little bit…but I now have perspective on the whole situation.

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I was focusing so much on the future, on the uncertainty of my future and on the current situation that felt like it was swallowing me whole. I could not make head or tails of anything and it felt like everything was bearing down on me all at once. It’s a scary place to be in, when you actually can’t even make the decision between coffee or tea, a bath or a shower, eating or not eating. Small decisions become these impossible mountains that you cannot even fathom climbing.

But then you do. You get someone to slap you thoroughly in the face and make you realize that you are okay. That you are coping and that you are a hell of a lot stronger than you thought you were.

Yes, I still cry and feel weak and barely sleep because I am too afraid of the nightmares… but I have perspective.

One thing that this friend said to me that made a lot of sense is this: Look at the relationship where the information is coming from that is upsetting you and evaluate accordingly. She mentioned the following example: If say, you were driving, and the beggar next to the street calls you a whore because you do not give them money…does that really matter? Should it upset you? If, however, your mother or a really close friend calls you a whore…well…then it has a lot more power doesn’t it?

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Don’t allow people who actually mean nothing to you the power to bring you down. To make you doubt yourself and who you are as a person. Evaluate your relationship with them, and react accordingly .

I was allowing people to speak negativity into my life, and I started believing it. The negativity was drowning me, consuming every part of me…and I felt like I was going to die. I felt like I wanted to die…or run away…or simply disappear.

Not that I now no longer feel like I am drowning, I still am, but I have come up for air. My lungs are still burning from the salt water, my body still feels like it has been to war and my mind…well my mind is exhausted. But, I am getting there…every battle I fight, every difficulty I face, every impossible situation I find myself in is making me stronger. The future me at least. The current me does not feel so strong, but I will fake it till I make it!

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My new outlook is to evaluate, breathe, calm myself down and then smile. I may be crying while I am smiling, but I will keep smiling. I will keep treating people with kindness and respect and the way that they deserve to be treated. The way that I would want to be treated, even if they do not deserve it. I refuse to drop down to someone else ‘s level. 

I refuse to become negative, bitter, hateful and petty.

It is not who I am and it is not who I want to be.

Come at me world! But maybe…just give me five minute’s

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This is how ……..

Stress. I have stress. I am stressed. Stress and I are tight right now. Like conjoined twins tight.

Going into detail about all the things that are stressing me at this moment will be a very long list…so lets just say that there are a lot of factors contributing to the levels of stress in my life. Work, emotional, physical…just about everything. Choices that need to be made, steps that need to be taken, work that needs to be done…

So instead of listing the things that are stressing me, I am going to share with you the weird and wonderful ways in which stress…

  1. Neck spasm. I get this wonderful burning feeling that runs all the way down the left side of my body that kind of escalates in my left trap. This gives me pins and needles in my left hand. Heart attack? Wouldn’t be surprised!
  2. Severe Migraines.The simple process of breathing sends my skull with waves of crushing pain
  3. Sleep walking. Yes. This happens. The other night I fell asleep fully clothed in my bed and woke up without my pj pants on my couch. All the lights on. No idea how I got there.
  4. ADD. I cannot focus on anything. Its like there are misfires everywhere in my brain. I go from: have to buy milk, milk comes from cows, toaster toasts, skulls, oh hey look shiny! So yes…logical train of thought: Zero
  5. Water retention. I bloat like a puffer fish. I look like the Oros man. I look like the zombie in the second season of The Walking Dead that they found in the water well. My double chin rivals that of Honey Boo-Boo’s mothers!
  6. Shake it baby!  I think I get temporary case of Parkinson’s. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can’t hold or lift a cup of coffee to my mouth and need to use a straw to drink anything, Hot or cold.
  7. My stress spot. Eczema. There, I said it. I have this spot on the back of my head/neck that is my stress spot. And I will scratch that spot till it bleeds. Gross right?
  8. When I am not sleep walking…I am not sleeping. Insomnia. Insomnia like a BOSS. My brain will be so active I could probably write a trilogy of epic proportions…if my ADD didn’t keep me away from actually staying on one thought. So my trilogy would start with a rainbow pooping unicorn and end with a serial killer from Jamaica who’s calling card is a bag of weed and instructions to a hidden treasure.
  9. Lastly, and by no means leastly (? Yes I know I just made up a word), procrastination. Why do you think I am writing this? I have a shit ton of work to do…and yet I am writing this and pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest.

High-functioning anxiety looks like… 23c365f6af44dd8272a6b5fd1d1f9938

Over-Achievement. Hyper-Activity. Perfectionism.

When it sneaks out, it transforms into nervous habits. below the belt sarcasm . Fast pace walking. Running my fingers through my hair.

If you look close enough, you can see it in answered text messages. Flakiness. Nervous laughter. The panic that flashes through my eyes when a plan changes. When anything changes.

High-functioning anxiety feels like…

A snake slithering up my back, clamping its jaws shut where my shoulders meet my neck. Punch-in-the-gut stomach aches, like my body is confusing answering an email with being attacked by a lion.

High-functioning anxiety sounds like…

You’re not good enough. You’re a bad friend. You’re not good at your job. You’re wasting time. You’re a waste of time. Your boyfriend doesn’t love you. You’re so needy. What are you doing with yourself? Why would you say that? What if they hate it? Why can’t you have your shit together? You’re going to get anxious and because you’re going to get anxious, you’re going to mess everything up. You’re a fraud. Just good at faking it. You’re letting everybody down. No one here likes you.

All the while, You appear perfectly calm.

It’s always looking for the next outlet, something to channel the never-ending energy. Writing. Running. List-making. Mindless tasks (whatever keeps you busy). Doing jumping jacks in the kitchen. Dancing in the living room, pretending it’s for fun, when really it’s a choreographed routine of desperation, trying to tire out the thoughts stuck in your head. 

It’s silent anxiety attacks, hidden by smiles.

It’s always being busy but also always avoiding, so important things don’t get done. It’s letting things pile up rather than admitting you’re overwhelmed or in need of help.

It’s that sharp pang of saying the wrong thing, the one that starts the cycles of thoughts. Because you said too much, and nobody cares, and it makes you never want to speak up again.

It’s going back and forth between everyone else has it together but you, and so many people have it tougher than you.

Get your act together.

Suck it up.

You’re not OK, you’re messing everything up.

You’re totally OK, stop being such a baby.

It’s waking up in the middle of the night sobbing because the worst-case-scenario that just went through your head at high speed seems so real, so vivid, that even when it’s proven to be untrue, it takes hours for your heart to slow down, to feel calm again.

Because how “OK” are you when a day without a plan is enough to make you crumble? When empty spaces make you spiral at the very anticipation of being alone with your thoughts? When you need to make a list to get through a Sunday: watch a show, clean your kitchen, exercise, answer five emails, read 10 pages, watch a show… ?

It’s feeling unqualified to write this piece because I’m getting by. It’s when you’re social enough to get invited to things, but so often find yourself standing in a room where it feels like no one knows you. It’s being good at conversation and bad at making close friends because you only show up when you feel “well” enough. Only text back when you feel ready. Because you’re afraid they’d hate you if they really knew you. That the energy would overwhelm them, and you’d lose them.

So you learn to reign it in. Channel it. Even though sometimes you do everything right (exercise, sleep, one TV show, five emails, 10 pages…) and you’re still left with racing thoughts, the panic. The not good enough’s.

When will it be enough?

Having anxiety means constantly managing motion that can be productive or self-destructive, depending on how much sleep you got. Depending on the day. Depending on the Earth’s alignment with Mars. Depending on…

It’s when “living with it” means learning how to sit with it. Practicing staying in bed a little longer. Challenging the mean, unrelenting voices that say you’re only worth what you produced that day.

It means learning how to say, “I need help.” Trying to take care of yourself without the guilt. It means every once in a while, confiding in a friend. It means sometimes showing up even when you’re scared.

It’s when answering a text impulsively and thoughtlessly is an act of bravery.

It’s fighting against your own need to constantly prove your right to exist in this world.

It’s learning how to validate your own feelings. That even though you don’t feel like you’re enough, and you’ll never be enough, it’s knowing you’re at least anxious enough to benefit from help. That admitting you need it doesn’t confirm voices’ lies. That taking a break doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

It’s finding your own humanity in the anxiety, in your weaknesses. It’s trying to let the energy inspire you, instead of bring you down. It’s forgiving yourself when it wins.

It’s a way to live, with this constant companion. Your bullying twin. Collapsible luggage you can bury away at a moment’s notice. Shove it under the bed. Pretend it’s not there until you can’t fit anymore. Until you can no longer ignore it. Until you have to face it.

A first good step is staring at it straight on and calling it by its name.

High anxiety can be a natural consequence of a busy lifestyle, but its existence is akin to the chicken and the egg. Which came first, the anxiety or the busyness? Am I always moving because I’m anxious or am I anxious because I’m always moving?

Either way, it’s not a noble way to suffer. It’s not a “better” way to be anxious. Just because you’re “functioning” doesn’t always mean you’re happy. And just because you’re functioning doesn’t mean you shouldn’t slow down, breathe and take one damn second to be happy the way things are.

In this very moment.

This quiet, short moment.

To remember the peace you found in that second of silence, until the electricity starts again, and you’re forced to move.

So this is how I stress…and currently I have all the symptoms. At least I can still laugh! Even if that laugh is slightly manic and leaning toward the hysterical nature of The Joker (circa Health Ledger/ Jared Leto). But hey…that’s why they have wine! And the gym…yoga helps….

Now let me get my shit together and get some work done…oh look, a bird

Some life lessons…and random thoughts

This post was going to be one about honesty and lying and how we find it so difficult to be honest. And it is still going to be…but I have come across so many other ideas that I feel I need to express and that have been sitting with me for a while now.
So, call this a life-lesson blog entry. Or a random brain fart entry. It is yet again one of those things that I need to write in order to get it out of my brain.
I need to do that every now and again when things get too crowded in there.
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Firstly, I heard a comment on a show I was watching yesterday: “Whats so complicated about being honest?”

As simple as this question sounds, it is layered with doubt and insecurity and is actually quite complex.
People lie. It is what we do. We lie to save face, we lie to protect, we lie to hide…we lie on a daily basis.
I am not talking about massive, life altering lies and if you have, then the lie must have protected a hurt or your damaged soul to have told such a lie and to the receivers ” Before you cast the first stone , look within your own closet for skeletons. I am talking about those little white lies that are so quick to form and so quick to be dispensed. One can almost understand and justify why we lie to others, but what gets me the most is that we lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves lies about ourselves on a daily basis. We tell ourselves that we are okay, that we are coping. We tell ourselves that we deserve to be treated the way that we are. We try and justify our actions through lies. Why? Why would you lie to yourself? It is probably the most damaging thing you can do to yourself! Because, in all honesty, you are hurting no one but yourself. And if you look at it that way… doesn’t that make you want to think twice about how you see yourself and your life?
I am guilty of this. I lie to myself all the time. I tell myself that I deserve to be treated like shit. I tell myself that I am not good enough to go after my hearts desires. I even tell myself that if I’m lied to, cheated on, it’s okay because I’ve lied before, it’s what I deserve…
There are so many things that I lie to myself about… because it is easier. It is easier to face a lie than what it is to deal with the truth. More often than not, the truth is harsh. It hurts and it is like a slap through the face. Stupidly enough, one of the things I have been passionately lying to myself about is that I am okay with being alone. That I am okay with being single and that I don’t want to be in a relationship.
Telling myself, I deserve the scraps of  that, so called relationships of my past have been thrown my way…What a load of bull!
I deserve the best kind of relationship. I deserve to be with someone who loves me, accepts me for who I am and who is proud of me.
Proud to have me in their life.
I don’t want to be a little secret. A occasional time-filler. I deserve better than that.
That is also why I am now going to be very honest with the people in my life. I no longer have time for people who don’t make time for me.
I am tired of going out of my way for others when they don’t even give me the time of day.
People who make plans and promises and then cancel? Sorry…you’re out!
People who only contact me when it is going bad with them? I am not your psychologist.
I have people in my life who are actually in my life. People who have stuck by me and who I have stuck by, through thick and thin.
They are few, but they are quality. The rest…well the rest I am no longer going to even make an effort with.
I was promised so much by “family/friends” only to have them cancel on me because something better came along… that’s not right. And that is a lie of love for your family and a friendship.
Another thought that I wanted to write about is that of life and living and all that fun stuff. I don’t want to die knowing I did not live.
We get so caught up in work and relationships and commitments and stress that we forget to do the one thing we were created to do: Live. Even as I am writing this I know that I am guilty of this. There are moments in my life that I can say I have truly lived. But they are completely overshadowed by my absolute fear of life. I am so scared of taking that risk and doing what it is that I want to do, that I freeze and accept that this is as good as it gets. This can’t be as good as it gets. Because if it is then I demand a refund. Living paycheck to paycheck, barely making it by, constantly being broken down by people who are “superior”… They never experienced what you have been through or going through,  so you must have asked for it?!?
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Is that life? Is that how its supposed to be?
I understand that we all need to make a living. I understand that not all of life can be an adventure and extreme and fun. But what I do know…is that this is not the be all and end all for me. I deserve more than this.
I have been dealt blow after blow after blow the past few months and I am really getting sick of it now. All I am asking for, is one good thing to happen. One ray of sunshine that can light the way. I know I am a fighter and I know that I will get through whatever is thrown my way…but it would be nice if what is thrown my way is something positive.
Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means wallowing in self pity about the way things are. I mean, I have some pretty amazing people in my life and I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. Its more of a…if I can just get a leg-up.
Just that little boost, then I can get out of this final layer that I have been stuck under.
I am ready for new challenges, new adventures, new opportunities. I know I have so much more to give. I know I have so much more life in me!
Fuckin’ hell! I have been through hell and back and I have come out on top and I am damn proud of that. I know I am strong.
I know I am a fighter and I know that I will conquer anything that comes my way.
But even a fighter needs the war to end some time. My war has been going on for long enough. So…even if my last ray of sunshine is simply that it catches the last of …light…and that lies and pain of my past have stolen my identity, my self and caused havoc in my life.
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Letting go. That will already be like a burst of sunshine.
I guess what I am trying to say is: Be honest. Not only with those around you, but with yourself as well.
It is scary as hell and you will probably be met with resistance and rejection and who knows what else.
But you will also be met with gratitude and respect and unexpected awesomeness (of this I am convinced).
Live. Even if all you do is take 5 minutes a day to do something that you absolutely love to do. Those 5 minutes of selfish enjoyment can go a long way.
De clutter. Remove the people in your life who suck the life out of yours.
Stop making excuses for people.
Stop giving them second, third, fourth and fifth chances. They don’t respect you or your time.
So why should you bend over backward to accommodate them when it is convenient for them?
Never stop pursuing the life you know you deserve. Never settle for mediocre, the good enough or safe… Don’t let fear rule your life.
Love. the people you love with all that you have.
And tell them that you love them.
As much as you can.
You never know when you wont be able to anymore.
Appreciate the small things. A perfectly made cup of coffee. A crested Carolina Wren singing outside your window.
A sunset after a hectic day at work. The feeling of waking up at the crack of dawn and pursuing your passion before the world starts to wake up. Dancing around to your favorite song without fear of looking like an idiot. No one looks stupid when they are doing something that they love.
Don’t be afraid of looking like an idiot! Try that new sport. Dance to your own beat. Sing as loud and  horrible as you can.
Tell someone how you feel. Embrace your inner child. You will be surprised how many people are out there…just waiting for you to come out and play

What is it, Asshole Day ?

Today started off normal enoughactually, it started off pretty good. Besides the fact that my Achilles are killing me and it took me a half hour just to stretch them enough to be able to get out of bed.

But it started off good….its Sunday, its been a busy week so the week has flown by and I was feeling pretty damn good. Stressed, but good.Then it seemed like the shit just went ape shit and hit the fan. Not going to go into details, but it has been a rough day….and its not even 1:00 p.m. yet!

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In short, I have broken down into tears about 4 times today. Been crapped on by one person and made to feel like an idiot by another.

I hit a point when I was sitting on the bus coming back from work at the casino, where I seriously considered just not going back to work. Just to fadeand then when asked where I am my only reply would be: “I quit.” Not because I want to, but because I am sick of office politics and games and miscommunication and wellat this point just everything.

It is as if all the little things throughout the week have added up and came crashing down on me all at once. I have been without my at home glasses after the contacts are out for the week because mine have grown legs and walked away, so there’s that and the permanent headache that you deal with when that happens.

My body has this new trick where it feels like I’m about to pass out /fast heartbeat on me randomlythat’s always fun. Especially in peak customer traffic. Great times. I love being sworn at for something I cannot control.

Also, apparently I am quite stressed about the fact that in a week I am going to have my MRI read to let me know if both of  my Achilles need to be cut open and cleaned out which will result in me being in a wheelchair for 4 weeks. That’s fantastic

Today I am feeling sorry for myself. I am mad at myself. I am feeling all the cracks and they hurt like a bitch.

I hate that I have to go through something this big again on my own. Sure, I have people around me who are very supportivebut there is just something about actually having someone special in your life who you know you can count on being there. To look after you, to take you to the hospital, to be there when you wake upand then for everything after that. And feeling like this makes me so mad! I have to scramble to make arrangements, I have to suck up my pride and ask people for help and hope that they don’t turn around and see me as a burden, a nuisanceI don’t ever want to be that to anyone But I guess that is what I am right now. I mean, I have no other options.

Today is not a good daybut I will make it betterI will suck it up and deal with it. Like I always do.

When is this whole, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” thing going to start paying off? Have I not gone through enough? Am I not strong enough now? How much more am I going to have to take? How much more am I going to have to break to be this invincible being that can take anything? When am I going to stop crying? When does it get better?

Because seriouslyI have had enough. I am tired of struggling. I am tired ofthis. This life that I try and make better, but then get kicked back down again. I am done.

Maybe I just need to take a few breaths, enjoy weekend and just focus on one thing at a time. Obviously my silver lining is still hiding behind the storm. It will come out at some pointbut for now, for now I don’t want to have to pretend that I am okay and that I am strong and that I have my shit together.

I am not okay. I am not strong. My shit is all over the place!

But I will get through this day and the next and the next and the next and if I just keep goingI will claw myself out of this hole.

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Come on over, Baby or Not

It would seem that I had epiphany while I was in the bath.. Maybe it is the gentle swooshing of the water, maybe it is the soothing smell of the bubble bath or maybe it is the echo of my singing in the bathroom. Bathrooms have great acoustics…and for the non-gifted singers like me, this is fantastic! So this particular 20/20 vision, “Ah-ha” moment was to do with the style in which we date these days.
We don’t.
We have forgotten how to date and how to behave on dates. I have spoken about dating behavior in a previous post, so I am not going to go into that all that much here. This has more to do with the build up toward meeting someone. Especially if it is the first time that you will be meeting them.
When did it become acceptable to invite someone over to your house on the first date (And I am not talking about coffee after the date)? When did it become acceptable to stop whoo-ing someone and just “hang-out”
We have become a generation of lazy, ill-mannered, selfish daters. Look, I am all for hanging out and playing guitar hero or binge watching series or simply talking for hours on the couch with some good wine. But not on a first date, or even possible a second and third date.

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I want to be whoo-ed. I want to be able to get dressed up and go out and do something exciting. I want to feel like I am special and beautiful and that the person taking me out values me enough to want to show me off in a way or to make an effort to show me a good time. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about money. I am not one to talk when it comes to money…partly because I generally have none. Its more about putting thought and effort into something. Its about making someone who you are supposedly interested in feel special.
I do it. I make effort for someone who I care about and want to get to know. I do the whole spoiling thing and I love it! It gives me great satisfaction to make someone else happy, because seeing them happy makes me happy.
This whole thing of immediately just hanging out at one or the others house is not on…I don’t want to feel like you are hiding me or that you simply do not care enough to make actual plans or that you want me in your house for one reason only.
In the past I have written a lot about settling and how you shouldn’t do it…and then I realized that I was doing exactly that. I was settling for a standard of dating that was below me. That stops now. I am not saying that I am going to set a 4-date minimum before we hang out at someones house, but I am saying that I am not going to settle for anything less than someone who actually makes an effort to spoil me and make me feel special. I can guarantee you now, if you do that, then you have already made a huge impression! Besides, I love spoiling people and doing little things to make them feel special…why? It is my way of showing how much I care.
I am reaching an age where I am tired of games, I am tired of dealing with these men that keep creeping out of the woodwork who are not nearly close to what I deserve. I am tired of being a player in someone else’s game without even knowing that I am. I have dated a lot of guys, or rather, I have been on my fair share of dates…and there has only been maybe 1 or 2 where I actually felt like this guy made an effort.
I am not the woman that would not pester you with constant, “Hello” texts at 10 p.m.
I am not the woman that is going to constantly drive all the way to your house to see you.
I am not the woman who you can booty call, hide away or use only when it suites you.
For now, this is my story. I am currently so busy to actually date anyone what with work and my goals and my therapy, and that is completely perfect with me! I am happy with where I am right now. I know I am being a bit selfish, but I would like to find a man that can change this plot line and rewrite a joint story with me.
The title would be You, Me then Us, so until then maybe in a month or two from now someone will come along and want to take me out and then I will read this back to myself again just to remind myself of what I deserve… and also that I must never settle.
I have to admit that I have actually been fairly lucky with regards to this since I’ve “re-started” dating over the past weeks. I don’t think I ever got the 1 a.m.“what are you up to?” text, and men generally put an effort in our dates (varying degrees of effort…but still). Having said that, I find that they slip into the “want to come over?” attitude after date 3 or 4, which is generally when I cut it because I don’t like this attitude…does anyone have idea of how to slow this down? How to make them understand that there will be no “come over” unless there is a proper date before that at least until we are a few weeks or even months into dating?
(we could go for dinner/drinks/lunch/run/museum/theater…anything!…and THEN we could end the evening at someone’s place).
I am glad that someone out there is getting good dates and the good men behind them…very encouraging. I should possibly reconsider the type I go for, or go for someone completely different.As for the slowing down of the come~on~over…
I have no idea! It’s as if we have become to relaxed about the whole dating thing and get too familiar too soon. I personally don’t let just anyone into my home… I think you need to be straight and honest with them. Set the boundaries before the time and if they don’t like them…
Well then they are not the one for you!

The Wild and Crazy Spectrum of Acquiring a Date

922d428bfa19bbec3bbd4e5a53698fccWhat a wonderful thing modern technology is! Or is it? I actually don’t know how I feel about that statement… yet.

Either way, technology is here and it is not going anywhere. It is, however, getting more and more intertwined in our everyday lives. We use it for everything. Or we can use it for almost everything.

Recently, I have been on a sabbatical from dating . For both emotional and private reasons.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have decided to get back into the dating world. Completely unplanned, may I add! This didn’t just happen all at once for no apparent reason and then one day during the week or two or three there it was standing right in front of me and I feel I needed to take that first step and say Hello. Here’s my number , gimme a call and text for days. This is how the modern dater communicates…Now don’t get me wrong, the day of meeting at a coffee shop and talking face to face is long gone due to the hours we keep and jobs we have. but you can get the top level of a person with texts and phone calls but it only scratches the surface of a person.I need a face to face to see their reactions to a joke instead of emoji or “LOL”, watch how they treat the waiter/tress , the attention they pay to me and most important stay off their phone!
But, as the saying goes: You won’t remember the nights you slept for 8 hours, but the nights you stayed up making memories! I am sure I said that wrong, but this is my blog and I have creative freedom to do what I want. So deal with it.

Ok, back to the point: Did you know that there were an almost endless amount of ways in which to go about getting a date?

Here’s a list:
1. Chance meetings
2. Through friends (well meaning but no)
3. Blind dates (again through friends or family)
4. Co-workers (again not a good idea)
5. Standing at a bar (need I have to explain why?)
6. Church/Temple
7. Internet dating

Well, those are mine at least. And this all happened within the space of several years or so. Like I said:With the years of relationships and break ups. When it rains, its like a freakin torrential downpour! I am exhausted! And I am a PRO at first dates. Like…if they were interviews, which I am pretty sure they actually are, I would get all the jobs applied for. With a bonus. And added leave. Possibly with Fridays off as well.

Practice people, it just takes practice…but I am so damn sick of it. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Bet you thought this was going to be a witty rehash and recount of my dating or relationships adventures (Which are plenty! I mean…Chance meetings. Enough said. Really? Like…yes and no. Not again. Although, I did meet one nice guy, so I guess its not that bad.)

There comes a point in all of this, when you get home after yet another first date, and your heart sinks and you just don’t want to do this anymore.

I have had many first dates, even second and third ones…one even managed to last a few months and then that ship sailed to Antarctica or somewhere.

I know that what I am doing may be seen as a desperate attempt at meeting someone…but in all honesty, fuck you and what you think! I will never apologize for wanting to find a friend…that best friend that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Why should I? Why should I feel bad about that? Why should I be embarrassed by that?

What else am I supposed to do? Sit on my ass, at home and twiddling my thumbs and hope that someone will knock on my door and BAM! Man of my dreams. This is not a fairy tale…there is no cute Olaf the Snowman that likes warm hugs and summer. This is life. Real life. Really life.
Why is it acceptable to tell people to go out there and pursue everything under the sun that their hearts desire but as soon as it comes to relationships, we are supposed to be all coy and quiet and reserved. Oh and heaven forbid if we make it TOO obvious. Shock and horror then that is just way too overboard and you mustn’t let people know that you are looking for someone special.

WTF people? I thought we were over all of this! I thought we have evolved and grown up at least a little bit! And honestly if one more person tells me that as soon as you stop looking the right one comes I am going to stab them in the face. With a fork. Or keys. Or a squirrel. Whatever I can get my hands on.

Honestly, if someone is reading this right now and they personally know me and they decide that they will rather stay away, then you aren’t the right person for me anyways. Because the right person, is going to want you to show that you actually give a shit about them and are interested in them and have stopped playing stupid games. They are going to want clear communication and honesty and you. All of you.
Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that what you deserve?

I don’t know…maybe I am a stupid hopeless romantic. Maybe I am delusional and naive… Although after all the crap that I have gone through with regards to men, I really don’t think I am. But I am not going to pretend anymore. I am not going to pretend to be anything or anyone other than who I am.

I am a single, 40 something year old woman. I have hopes and dreams and goals. I work hard for what I have and for what I want. And I want someone to share my life with me. I want someone to witness my life…be part of my life.
I refuse to apologize for that and I refuse to pretend otherwise.

You shouldn’t either.

 

Self-Evaluation – Scary, but Necessary

reflection

Okay,
So many of you who have read this blog have commented to me that, perhaps, there is something on my end that has caused me to be in the relationship situation I currently find myself in. In other words – there’s GOT to be something wrong with ME, after all I am the one constant in all the messed up relationships I’ve had.
Well, who am I to argue against that suggestion. I am sure there are many things “wrong” with me–no one is perfect, well I’m perfect, LOL just kidding or maybe not. The last perfect person, I am told, was born 2,015 years ago…So, admittedly, I have room for improvement.
And that’s the thing–I know, I KNOW that I am light years from where I was just a few years ago. I base that on experiences I have gone through that I can tell have changed my life. I know I am a better person, but how do you quantify that? Simply saying it doesn’t really make it true–so how do I figure this out.
Okay, so as you may already know and I’ve been told– I am “blessed” with both OCD and perfectionism, so I am really hyper about being neat. Anyway, with those personality traits, I decided to do what you would think I would – I made a list.
Yup – I am a big list girl. Personal life, professional life – lists help me get through the day. There’s something satisfying about seeing a list, in writing, of all the stuff you need to do and then the tremendous feeling you/I get when I cross things off the list; a sense of accomplishment, to be sure. And if I create a bulleted list on my computer, getting in there with all the cool bullet choices, the formatting–WHOO HOO! Man, it’s like heaven…
Oh, sorry…lost myself there for a second…
Anyway, so I created a Pros and Cons list of my personality (aka–good and bad to dating me.) To say it was a revealing experience would be the understatement of 2015.
Now, not many people take an “inventory” of their personality–listing what makes them, them. Not that everyone has a ton of spare time, but if you get the chance, it’s really a great exercise in personal development and growth.
So, here’s my list:
Pros:
· Funny
· Intelligent
· Educated (well read, so to speak)
· Responsible
· Loyal
· Ambitious (this is also a con)
· Caring
· Sensitive
· Understanding
· A Good Listener
· Supportive
· Protective
· Perfectionist
· Organized
· Good Hygiene
· Adventurous
· Trusting (to a fault–see below)
· Flirtatious
· Passionate

Cons:
Hmmm….
Wow, this is harder than I thought…
I’m a pretty awesome woman – what cons could I possibly have?!
Just kidding…here are my Cons:

· Moody
· Judgmental (at times)
· Perfectionist (yes, this is both a pro and con)
· Tenacious (Set in my ways to a certain extent)
· Trusting (which inevitably leads to me being hurt, or worse,)
· Not a morning person (unless I am getting up early for work or going to the gym)
· Sarcastic
· Brutally Honest
· Jealous
· Possessive
· A-Type Personality (very demanding and very demonstrative)
· Flirtatious (yup, pro and con)
· Secretiveness (very high wall and a few skeletons)
· Controlling (safety mechanism, I gotta drive the bus ,so to speak of)
· Obsessive (the whole OCD thing)
· Suspicious
· Manipulative (have stepped on a few for my own gain~goes hand in hand with the above traits)
· Unyielding (again, control freak)

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Now, I realize both of the above lists are not complete by any stretch of the imagination. I am sure I left a ton of stuff out of both categories, but it was a good place to start. Again, seeing it in black and white (well, actually I used a blue pen and a yellow legal pad, but who really cares?) allowed me to begin to see what areas I needed to improve and what areas I could accentuate and expand upon.
But I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted a sense of validation, I guess – I wanted a third party perspective on this project. I thought I was on to something – after all, decades of failed dating necessitated some sort of change, a tipping point if you will. So I decided to solicit the aid of a friend who lives in Denver, has a degree in Criminal Justice and has a life long lessons in human psychology.
My friend will remain nameless, but this individual and I have chatted a few times in the 3 years since I’ve lived there . This person understands  my background and knows my personality pretty well. And helped me through the holidays when I was feeling really, REALLY blue – and it is this person who provided me with tools to use when I felt like things were really slipping away and I needed to remind myself of all that is good in my life.
And that’s the thing – I know many of you are reading this blog and may think “gosh, she’s just whining and complaining.” And there may be some merit to that, but I want you all to know that I realize that I basically have “uptown problems.”
I mean, I have a decent job (that does have some fun parts to it,) I have my health, my children are all healthy (thank God) I have a roof over my head (even though it’s a work in progress) I have friends, etc. Trust me, I get it.
There are many, many others out there who would kill – literally kill – to have what I have. This fact is not lost on me – it would just be nice to be in love with someone and they in love with me so we could share this journey we call life together. I think that’s what most human beings desire, no matter their place on the globe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – life is better with company.
After emailing my list to my friend and talking a bit about what was troubling me, the one thing I got from it is this fact: I am normal.
Yes, despite what you may think (or some of you have heard,) I am normal. I have normal feelings and aspirations. I have normal desires, and my pros and cons are pretty normal. Now, I understand that’s a subjective term – normal – but the fact I was told that by someone with a bunch of initials after their name and a few diplomas from pretty prestigious institutions of higher learning hanging on their office walls (granted, they were crooked, so I adjusted them…sorry, OCD) gave me a sense of relief.
That’s because, if I’m honest, I thought for sure that, once my list was divulged, I would immediately be classified  “certifiable “. But no – surprise, surprise, I was told that what I was feeling was “pretty normal.” That doesn’t mean everyone feels what I am feeling, and that’s okay. Everyone’s life experience is unique, but knowing I wasn’t a complete basket case was comforting.
So yes – I am moody, and a bit judgmental. I may be too trusting at times, and I may be set in my ways. But I’m also a really funny, and in today’s world, we all need to laugh as much as possible and need those around us to make us laugh. I am a decent honest person – hey, I know, I’m no  Mother Theresa, but then again I’m no Persephone (Google it…) While I may be a bit of a mess in certain areas, overall I have my Shit together.
The trick, my friend told me, is to find someone who isn’t perfect, but who is perfect for me and I for them. It’s like finding a good job – every job has its own level of BS you have to put up with, the key is finding something you love to do and that you can deal with the BS. Same with the relationship, I am told – everyone has their goofiness (yes, that is a scientific term) but it’s finding someone who’s goofiness you love and who loves your goofiness that makes things work.
So, here I am – on the one hand, I have been reassured that I’m okay. But on the other, I am really no closer to finding the man of my dreams. I am better equipped knowing who I am, what I truly have to offer and where I can improve. I figure the better person I can make myself, the better person I am more likely to attract.
Either that, or it’s Match.com….

Dating: What are we doing?????

I read something somewhere and I can’t seem to remember what it was or exactly how it went. However, in essence, what it said was that we are in an age of dating where we think we have millions and millions of options. So we don’t ever really commit to one person in the beginning phases of a relationship and focus on nurturing that. We keep looking out for other options, stringing people along as we go about doing this.

dating

This is the age that we live in. There are so many ways to meet people. Be it online, on your phone or through situations like speed dating. Now I have written about that before, so I am not going to go into that now, but I do feel that it plays a major part in why so many people struggle to find that someone special or to have a relationship stick. Especially one that you really want to have stick.

I have tried many forms of “dating”~blind dates, chance meetings like at work, family and friends and gone on a lot of first dates. Some horrible disasters, others really pleasant. But then comes the downfall (either on my part or on the other persons part). There is no second date. Sometimes it is a mutual decision, but other times it is purely because one or both parties think that they have so many other options that they are not going to give someone a second date.

They go back on Tinder or straight to the bar after the date, even if it went well, and start swiping. Like kids in candy stores. That’s what we are. Kids in a candy store. We are presented with so many options, and then we sample each and every one and eventually we feel sick from the sugar rush.

The principle applies to how we date now. We sample so many different people, but never fully allow ourselves to open up or to settle on what we want. What we actually want. We saturate our evenings with date after date after date, never quite really getting below the surface of a person. We present ourselves as best we can, put on our best outfits, master the small talk and then…well then we get freaked out that we may be missing out on someone who is “better”. Better looking, better matched, better at whatever it is you want them to better at.

It is this fear of missing out, or FOMO as the kids are calling it, that actually stops us from giving someone the time that they deserve. I know I do this. Not always, but sometimes. I keep thinking about everyone that I could be missing out on instead of focusing on the person that I am with at that moment.

I must say, I have stopped doing that since I read that quote and it honestly scares me. I am afraid that if I get invested in someone then they are going to pull a “FOMO” in search of a better version of me. There probably is a better version of me out there…but…why do we dismiss people so quickly? What is it in us that we can just not commit?
We are scared…and that fear leaves us exactly where we started: Single and looking. Building up walls because we think all men (or women) are the same and that there just aren’t any good ones out there anymore. BUT THERE ARE!!!!!
I have seen it, I have experienced it, I have lived it! And you know when that was? When I stopped fearing that I may be missing out on someone better and just got to know the person who I was with and enjoyed the process of getting to know them.
We think that we can get to know someone over emails and text or tinder messages. We think that if we stalk their Facebook or Instagram that we know exactly who they are. That is the biggest lie we tell ourselves. That we can know someone without even knowing them.
We don’t invest face to face time with people anymore. We text them or email them or send them a short voice message and maybe, just maybe we meet them and hopefully a second date.
From my perspective, I can be a completely different person via digital means. But that doesn’t mean that that is exactly who I am. You don’t know that I have some weird habits, especially when I am nervous. You don’t know how my voice sounds, what it sounds like when I laugh or how I like my coffee. You don’t know me, and can’t know me if you are just communicating via digital means.
I want to know YOU. I want to sit across from you with a cup of coffee and speak to YOU. I want YOU to know that I am not dating with a FOMO mentality. I am seeing you because I saw something in you that I liked and wanted to explore…and I hope you feel the same.
We jump from “relationship” to “relationship” so quickly that its become habit. We are habitual daters. Conditioned to never fully allow ourselves to be in the moment. And that is not fair…to you or the person you are seeing.
To sum it all up: I don’t want to date a digital you. I want to date a physical you. I don’t want to “keep my options open” for in case someone better comes along and then I can just disappear off the radar (and I have fallen off the face of the earth, many times before). By the way, that is not nice nor is it fair. If you know something isn’t going to work out with someone, be straight with them. Be honest. You will save that person from a lot of time wasted on wondering where and how and why you disappeared.
Just… get to know the physical person. Don’t ever make the mistake in thinking that their digital persona is exactly like their physical person.
Date with the intention to get to know a person, not to get the most out of that person.