Random Thoughts On Love, Hate, and Having Your Shit Together

Today is the day of the march against gun violence, March for Our Lives. My feelings about guns are mixed. Personally, I don’t see why we need them. Of course I realize that mayhem will ensue if guns were outlawed, and I’d be shocked to see that day. I can understand wanting a gun for personal safety if all hell were to break loose in an apocalyptic disaster, a fear that has been the driving force of our culture since the beginning, originating from biblical times. And I get that shooting at a gun range could be fun. On the other hand, is one person’s entertainment worth a child, or any person, getting shot and killed? Kids can’t even go to school without fear of getting shot. I say that, and many kids (most?) aren’t even afraid because they’re so desensitized to it. People can’t even go to church, the mall, concerts, etc. without the possibility of some psychotic shooter with an assault rifle gunning the place down. Non-Americans must think we’re crazy, and they’re not wrong. I wish we could be more like Canadians. They’re nice to everyone, everyone likes them, life looks pretty darn peaceful for them, from here anyway. Their gun laws make so much more sense…

They’re expecting 500,000 people to be at the march today, but I’m guessing it will be much bigger if it’s anything like the Women’s March.

My friend Molly and I are going together, as we did the Women’s March. My other friend Kathy will be there, and we plan on meeting up, but meeting one person in a crowd of 500,000 people doesn’t really happen. You can be like I’ll meet you on the corner of Pennsylvania and 3rd, but just know that hundreds of thousands of other people will also be on that corner. I’m mildly stressed out because it would’ve been good to get there early, but Molly can’t leave until noon. Which is when it starts. I did what I often do which is at first I said, Yeah whatever we’ll get there when we get there, because I’m Miss Easygoing Easy-Breezy who just goes along with everyone else. I feel like such a doormat sometimes. In this case–or in any case, really–it doesn’t pay to be a control freak about it because there will be a huge crowd, the metro will have delays, streets will be overflowing, etc. But when this happens I always feel afterwards I should’ve used my voice more, should’ve had my own plan, should’ve just said, I’ll be there at x time and I can just meet you there… But I don’t think I’ll find Molly if I do that, based on my experience at the Women’s March. And I was just gonna go with Kathy and tell Molly we’d meet her somewhere there but then Kathy didn’t reply to my texts last night regarding plans (turns out she had to work late but my crazy head told me she didn’t want to go with me… Lord help me). My original plans had been with Molly and I knew then that we’d be going at her mercy because being on time or showing up at all has never been her strong point, maybe due to her ADHD or whatever disorder it is she has (the doctors have diagnosed her with a few different disorders that have changed). I love her so much but omg she’s so frustrating sometimes. Honestly if I’d known Kathy was going from the start, and that she wanted to go with me, then I might have made plans with her and just told Molly I’d meet her there.

Kathy is my boss and she and I have become good friends over the last couple of years, and I like her a lot. She’s leaving soon to go to another job which means my job will become more stressful and less of a positive atmosphere. The other girls there have various issues that require a lot of patience which I usually can show well on the outside, while on the inside I want to scream (I mean, let’s just be real here). The thing about Kathy is she has her shit together which is more than I can say for most of my friends. And I use that phrase loosely—I guess some might argue that she does not have her shit together. But who really has their shit together? Aren’t we all just trying to figure it out as we go? What does it even mean to have your shit together?

I know a girl who’s 25 years old, recently graduated from acupuncture school, lives with her husband in her parents’ (big) house (they moved away), and they raise chickens and sell their eggs. She’s an acupuncturist and licensed personal trainer, and he owns his own landscaping business. He’s gorgeous, she’s gorgeous, they’re both like six feet tall… They’re the weirdest people I know. I want to know more about them. Are they real? Everyone else I’m friends with is on a journey of figuring out what they want to do. Maybe one day I’ll have my shit more together and have friends who are like them, except we’ll all be more like 50 years old, and even then, I’m skeptical. I’m skeptical of them too, though I don’t want to be cynical. The universe is abundant! There’s space for everyone. There is opportunity.

The important thing is to be a positive force in others’ lives.

Here’s a song that keeps going through my head this morning, originally from Bob Marley, performed by his son, Ziggy:

Sobriety in AA

Recently I came across a well-meaning blog post from someone who wishes to explain AA to readers who feel they may have a problem with alcohol. As a sober member of AA for the past 8 years, I feel compelled to write about my experience, as there was some misinformation on this particular blog, and I almost posted a comment, until I realized I’d need to include my name and email address. My email address has my full name in it, and I wish to remain anonymous in this blog (partly because of my AA membership, but mostly due to the personal nature of what I write), so I didn’t post a comment. Instead I’m posting my own blog with my experience (even though I have less than 200 readers and about 10 views per day on any given day, which kinda bums me out tbh, but that’s for another day… and even if I help only one person, then I’ll have done my job).

Here’s what I can tell you about AA: the best way to find out what it’s like is to go to meetings. I recommend trying more than just one meeting, because from my experience, some of the meetings I went to, especially when I was new, were just weird. I’ve always preferred women’s meetings where I feel most comfortable talking, but you have to decide what’s most comfortable for you.

No one could’ve told me what AA was like any more than anyone can explain to me what it’s like to ride a bicycle. You can explain it to me, but I don’t know until I do it myself.

I also don’t think AA is the end-all be-all. It’s not the solution for everyone, and there are problems with it, as with anything. Nothing is perfect. But it has changed my life for the better, that’s for sure. Whatever you do, it’s my opinion that what works best is finding another solution for life’s problems, along with having friends who are on a similar path of living a positive way of life.

That’s all I really have to say about that. I want to write more, as I’ve been in a funk lately, but I need to get ready for work. This funk I’ve been in is due to my anxiety about my professional future as well as the whole dating thing. Dating takes a lot of work, and online dating makes it almost impossible to really know what a person is like. I’d rather not date someone from AA because I go to meetings for support, and plus there are all kinds of problems with dating in AA that I can write about later. There are positives too, though. So… with that being said, more later.

To be continued. 🙂

Peace, love, hugs, etc.

TCH

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Five days ago I celebrated eight years of sobriety. If I’d known eight years ago that my life—more importantly my outlook—could change so dramatically I wouldn’t have believed you. That being said, I’ve been feeling down lately. A lot of different things have been going on, and even before all this happened I was feeling blah for no discernible reason. Last night after class I wanted to cry, and I wanted to cry again when my friend Kevin came over and joked about how long dinner was taking me to cook. Let me rephrase that: I didn’t want to cry so I held it in. Not healthy but I just didn’t feel like it, not in front of anyone.

Class yesterday left me with an old feeling of deep-rooted insignificance. Invisibility, without a voice, unimportant, unheard, silenced. It probably wasn’t my classmates’ intention—certainly it wasn’t Rochelle’s, because she’s the sweetest, most compassionate student in the class, and I don’t know the other guy in my group very well but he seems nice—yet I felt… swept aside. We had to do a case study together on a guy who sounded just like my dad, so I felt like I knew just what to do with this guy. My group had a different, more extreme approach, so my suggestion was outvoted. I just don’t think you can take a person who’s used to eating Philly cheesesteaks every day and tell him he can no longer eat any bread, sugar, fast food, or processed and refined or packaged foods on Day One. The person they described is a heavy drinker with type 2 diabetes. Yet when I suggested abstinence for the client’s third month, the guy in my group was like, Whoa there. Let the guy have his drink. He’s human. The health problems that this guy had, and the effect of alcohol on someone with diabetes—it’s just dangerous. And the way in which this client drinks coupled with the fact that he has a family history of alcoholism suggests he’s a problem drinker, possibly an alcoholic himself. As medical professionals we have a responsibility to tell someone their drinking is dangerous to their health, and that if they’re having trouble drinking they should consider treatment. It pisses me off when students gloss over someone’s drinking because of how acceptable—and not only acceptable but encouraged—drinking is in this country. To have one or two drinks is one thing, but when a person drinks so much their judgment is impaired and they’re causing damage to their health, taking dangerous actions, driving drunk, destroying relationships… Ugh! I just want to scream! I know. I have been that person.

But it’s such a touchy subject, especially as someone in AA. It’s not my job to preach to the world about how they should all be abstinent. For one, most people don’t need to quit entirely. For another, most people—especially those who have a problem—don’t want to quit. But would you tell someone who’s a hundred pounds overweight with high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high blood sugar that it’s okay for them to continue eating fast food? Would you tell someone who’s allergic to bees that it’s okay if they stand next to a beehive as long as they only do it once a day?

The thing is, if a person has a problem, they’ll quit when they’re ready. No one can make them quit. To harass that person about it won’t help, and in fact can cause more damage. But what you can do, as a medical practitioner is inform them that their drinking habits are unhealthy, dangerous even, and suggest that they cut back, and if they can’t cut back, then suggest that they consider treatment. Then it’s up to them to decide what to do with it. And if you’re a friend or a family member of someone who drinks too much, let them know you’re worried about them and suggest they try cutting back, and if they can’t but want to, then suggest treatment. If they don’t want to, that’s on them.

Enough on that soapbox! Thanks for letting me share. Lol.

The thing is, I felt ignored yesterday. I suggested what I wanted to do for a diet plan with this client, and my classmates were like, Well this is what we’re gonna do. It touched a nerve, because the one guy in my group was informed about what deficiencies the client had based on his symptoms, rattled off something about the different metabolic pathways, remembered a bunch of science-y stuff from biochemistry, and my fear is that I won’t retain this information nor will I remember it if I do.

love-yourself

The day before I’d gone on a date with a guy working on his PhD in molecular biology working on cancer research. I didn’t understood much of what he said when he discussed his work, and when I’d mentioned a few things about nutrition, he replied with his point of view as if they were facts, as if he’s the one not just studying nutrition, but having already studied it and become the expert. He mentioned he’d been commissioned as an officer, and I had no idea what that meant. Turns out he’s in the Commission Corps, which I didn’t know existed. All of it left me feeling small, stupid. Apart from his work he didn’t have much to contribute to the conversation, and afterwards he sent me a text telling me I’m beautiful and sexy, and has since sent me several texts referring in some way to sex. He’s 33 years old and told me he likes older women because they’re better in bed. I told him the same is true of older men.

I’ve decided not to reply any more to him or the guy I had a date with after class yesterday. That guy was nice but something about him came off as inauthentic. He was almost too nice. His mom died about 10 years ago of cancer, and the conversation about our mothers’ deaths didn’t go in a way that felt right to me. In other words, I am following my gut feeling and leaving these two guys alone.

self-worth

Ditto for the guy I had a phone conversation with last week. I also met him through Match, and he was funny, but I just had this gut feeling something wasn’t right. He seemed like someone I’d have drank with back in the day. And that’s a red flag.

A couple of weeks ago my closest guy friend “in AA,” Spencer, decided he couldn’t talk to me anymore because he wants more than a friendship. I use “in AA” in quotes because he doesn’t really practice the program or go to meetings that much, and although I’m bummed, it’s a relief too. For one, it’s difficult to try to be a flotation device for someone who’s drowning, particularly when you aren’t the best swimmer yourself. And another, maybe it’s just not right to be friends with someone who wants more. This was one reason I didn’t have close male friends before Spencer and my other friend Kevin. Kevin also wants more, but says he’s okay with just being friends. I don’t want to cut off the friendship because he’s a good friend but at the same time, am I doing him a disservice? If I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t even hang around a guy who I liked for more who didn’t reciprocate the feeling. This is why it’s best for us girls to just stick together.

Kevin hurt my feelings last night, joking about how long it was taking me to cook dinner, as we often do with each other. We always joke in that mean sort of way, like the characters on “It’s Always Sunny,” or my dad and his friends, insulting each other, and while this wouldn’t work with my female friends, or maybe it would now depending on what and how it was done, it’s hilarious to us. Until last night when I thought he was for real. I was already feeling sensitive, wanting to cry, but I didn’t want to cry in front of him because I just didn’t feel like going there. The problem with that is this is how you develop closer friendships. By opening up and letting yourself be vulnerable. I don’t know if that’s a good idea with Kevin given that he’s interested in dating me, so I’ll let myself off the hook.

Another mental note I made for myself was the two times I went out with the two aforementioned guys, I was in an awkward position of saying yes because it’s my default reaction to be a people-pleaser. The PhD guy asked at the end of the date if we could go out again and I just said yes. How does one say no in that situation? Then the second guy asked if I wanted to continue the coffee date by going somewhere else to eat, and I said yes even though I didn’t want to. I decided if these kind of situations come up again I’ll say, “I really had a good time but I’d like to talk to you on the phone a couple more times first,” or “I have other plans,” or “I’ll be in rehab for the next year,” etc. Anything. I could tell the guy I’m alcoholic and I’m twice divorced. That I have explosive diarrhea and need to go home immediately. Lessons to be learned, my friends. Note to self: be prepared to say no.

do-i-like-them

To top it all off, as soon as this semester ends I’ll be flying to Georgia to take my 95-year-old whippersnapper of a grandmother to Albuquerque to see my sister and her kids. Y’all, this trip is gonna be like an updated version of “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (by Flannery O’Connor) except hopefully no shooters (didn’t the Misfit have a gun?). Hence, I am stressing.

Also, my ex-husband texted to say he’s in DC this week for work and wanted to know if I wanted to hook up with him. Lord help us all. There’s a man out there who I will love and who also loves me for me and doesn’t think of me as a good piece of ass. I just haven’t met him yet.

make-ourselves-strong

St. Patrick’s Day has had me thinking about the last time I drank, in Savannah with my second husband and his parents, when I got so drunk I felt like I’d die the next day. I’m so glad those days are behind me.

Off to work now but first I want to say that I’m grateful for the life I have today. I’m glad to be sober, to be dating, to be attractive to guys, to be able to choose, to have an opportunity to take my grandma to New Mexico.

Peace and love,

TCH

Online Dating, Hooking Up, Boy Toys… Decisions, Decisions

Everything in my world has been going pretty well lately so the only news I have to report is on the dating front. I’d been talking with a gorgeous guy from Virginia but then he dropped off the radar out of nowhere, which burned but made it easy for me not to have to stress about driving to VA. Although it’s only a few miles away, getting there from north of DC is a hassle, and I have no desire to drive even just to DC. The problem is, the few attractive guys on the dating site happen to live in VA. This particular guy lived really far into VA—not even in northern VA.

A 24-year-old boy emailed me, which at first I ignored because I’d rather not date anyone younger than 35, me being almost 42. It flattered my bruised ego, after having been dismissed for no apparent reason by VA-guy. VA-guy—who I’m tempted to just call Vag, so why not—Vag and I had texted a few times then talked on the phone. After the second call I guess he recognized there was no spark? But we’d talked for an hour each time, and I let him lead the conversation, which became boring to me, because he seemed mostly interested in talking about work and school. Next time I’m not letting a guy steer the convo in that direction for too long; I’m gonna have to take the reins on this thing apparently.

So I emailed Boytoy back, because I thought why not? How many times will I get a chance to hook up with a young guy while in the prime of my life? I don’t know if I’ll really go through with meeting him, but y’all will be the first to know if it happens. In fact, you’ll probably be the only ones to know. Because it turns out he did see that I’m 41—I’d assumed he didn’t pay attention to the details, that he’d just looked at my pictures—and he’s into (hooking up with but not dating) older women.

The problem with hooking up or engaging in any kind of secretive behavior—because this would not be something I’d advertise—is that I get paranoid that the whole world is doing the same thing, and that indeed may have been why Vag ghosted me. Maybe some pretty woman contacted him and said she was down for whatever and he was like see ya to me because I didn’t send any naked pics. Maybe that’s what all the guys on there are wanting, and I should just get mine and move on, do my own thing.

Because when I think back on it, one of the first questions he asked was for pics of me, and then he asked me how long it had been since I’d been intimate with anyone. I’d just sent him normal pictures of me, clothed. But then we talked about life stuff, except like I said he didn’t get into anything beyond surface-level work stuff.

Anywho. Maybe I’m being Victorian about the whole thing and can allow myself just to enjoy the situation, in a safe way, of course. Looking at the big picture, of course I’d rather have love, but in the meantime, since I don’t have time for a relationship, why not enjoy my still-youthful, hormonal body?

Lord help me.

Here’s a song I came by Hailee Steinfield across that I’ve been listening to a lot lately. Kudos to this young lady for not going along with the effed up stuff everyone else is doing. I wish I’d had the same kind of inner strength when I was her age… um, or even now for that matter (ahem). What has become of our society? Hell in a handbasket, I tell ya. I’m half joking, y’all… but half serious.