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.

Back in the Saddle Again

My pledge to be single for real this time has come to an end, my friends, as you might have guessed. The whole “relationship anorexia” idea—and that is a thing—well, that was just a bad idea. No need to be single just because I think I should be. Just do what you want, what feels right, follow your heart. Or your genitals. LOL. Just kidding.

What happened was, I was texting with my friend Spencer yesterday, and I was like, I wish whatshisface would just behave and be with me. Why couldn’t he just do what I wanted? Ha! Because that’s what people always do, right? I considered texting him and asking if he’s sure this is really what he wants. We don’t have to get married, dude! There was mad chemistry—just appreciate that now while we’re in our prime. It’s hard for me to understand how a red-blooded male couldn’t just do what he wanted to do, which was have a friend with benefits. He told me that from the start, and it was clear he was afraid of commitment, and honestly, I wasn’t in love with him. I wanted to be in love with him because I want to be in love with someone, and he seemed like a good person to be in love with, minus the weird mommy issues. And neediness. And paranoia. And jealousy and possessiveness.

hesnotit

That’s what I wanted? Pfffft. I may as well reactivate my Match account. Find someone who can fit into my schedule, my life. Someone who’ll come to my house, instead of me driving half an hour one way, packing and unpacking, rearranging my life around his, cancelling my plans with my friends, skipping meetings, putting him first. Nuh uh. Dude can fit into my life this time.

I’m not saying I’ll be inflexible and uncompromising, just that I’m so done with putting the man first. What about my needs? And when did his issues become my problem? And who says I have to put someone like that into my life? I have my own issues to deal with.

 

Y’all, if I’m being honest, I don’t even want a relationship right now because I just don’t have the time. Of course it would be great if that’s what happened—who doesn’t want love? But whatever happens, it will have to be with someone who understands that I don’t have lots of free time, that my “me time” is important to me, my time with friends is necessary, and I still need to study and go to the gym (which I haven’t done in months, I’m not proud to say). Do I just want to have my cake and eat it too? Is it even possible to have both your independence and a faithful companion and lover?

The thing is, I got needs, my friends. Unfortunately, that’s what ends up getting me into trouble. That’s why I thought Mark was a good choice. We had the same feelings about each other: we were attracted to each other but not in love. The problem was we weren’t willing to admit that to each other. I’m not sure if he could admit it to himself or was just trying to bullshit me, but that’s my assessment of the situation now, having more perspective on it. Personally, I didn’t want to admit it to him because he had that virgin-whore complex, and I do not appreciate being regarded as a whore. And really, I was willing to settle. I hate using that word, but my experience has gone one of two ways: either I think he’s the king of the universe and later realize he wasn’t at all, or I decide that this guy, whoever he may be, was good enough. I’d been in relationships with guys who had their pros and cons, everyone has their problems, and I decided that these particular problems I could deal with. I’d been rejected by guys I thought were perfect, and I felt like anyone I thought was “perfect” was probably an asshole, because they were.

lucky

We’ll see what happens.

My goal is to find a guy who I can be friends with, who makes me laugh, and who I make laugh. And who I have chemistry with. In the meantime my friends, I’ll settle for the chemistry part. LOL. God help me.

loveyourself

Peace and love,

TCH

 

Like Donkey Kong

Remember my post from yesterday? OMG, that was such a long time ago, my friends. How do I write this. I try to keep this blog fairly family-friendly–ish… I mean, in a dysfunctional, f-bomb, keeping-it-real family-friendly way, so I want to keep this all G-rated, or at least PG-13.

Let me just tell you this: It is ON.

Ladies. Gentlemen. Everyone else. I think you know what I mean.

Let me just lay it down for you like this: Ella got her groove back.

Here’s how it went down. Mark got all upset with me because I’d forgotten to mention a couple of previous partners when discussing our sexual history–the details or numbers of which, btw, are none of his business, but which I’d brought up partly because my ex Steven had made a big deal out of promiscuity and shaming women who’d had multiple partners, and I want to be upfront with any guy in the future that I’m not a virgin yet I’m also not on Tinder hooking up with random dudes all the time. I’m a human being and a grown-ass woman with needs just like you, Mister, and I will not be shamed for having made some drunken, embarrassing mistakes in the past, nor will I be shamed for having a friend with benefits after my divorce (or at any time, for that matter).

When Mark got upset, that told me one of two things. Either dude likes me and feels jealous, or he’s a germophobe and a shamer-blamer like Steven. I felt pretty sure it was the former, but just in case it was the latter, I decided good riddance because I don’t need that in my life. We’re not in high school anymore and I don’t need some grown man in his 40s acting like I’m a bad girl because I had a one-night-stand. I decided that if Mark was going to make a big deal out of this and not talk to me, I would move on, because no way will I be ignored or judged like that.

When I was in high school I dated a boy who was crazy about me. I was not that crazy about him but thought he was fun and funny so I dated him. Same kind of situation with my first husband, except I thought he was stable and not really that fun or funny. In both cases I had them wrapped around my finger because I really did not care if they stayed or left. It was manipulative and controlling on my part, and not fair to them. But let me tell you: they loved it. They just kept coming back for more. Steven did the same to me, and it hurt so badly to be on the other side. It’s such a cruel way to treat someone.

So I felt like I was reverting to my old self when I decided not to contact Mark again after he got upset, because I had apologized (profusely and earnestly, btw), and I sensed he was holding a grudge. It felt like Steven all over again, a situation in which I’d made a mistake, and he got his feelings hurt, and I’d spend the next day or week or however long with a knot in my stomach unable to sleep or eat because I’d “ruined the whole relationship” by saying the “wrong thing.”

When I came into AA I learned that the way I’d treated men with mind games like that was not cool, not a spiritual way of living, that it’s best to be honest and upfront, genuine, and don’t withhold your love. Somewhere along the way for me that got blurred with not setting proper boundaries. It’s one thing to say or do something in order to try to manipulate someone into doing what you want, and it’s another to say this is not okay to treat me like this, and I have no problem walking away if this is how it’s going to be. I’d apologized and now the ball was in his court. If he didn’t accept my apology for this minor detail that I wasn’t even required to offer him anyway, which I’d offered of my own volition, well then I’ll be on my way, sir.

And I did have a problem walking away, because the chemistry is beyond galactic, and we haven’t even kissed yet. But I meditated, prayed, went to the gym, texted with friends, colored my hair, repeated the third step prayer in my head throughout the day, and basically did everything I could to distract myself and try to think of everything but him (or studying, which is what I should’ve spent the whole day doing yesterday). Finally I went back on Match and started emailing and “liking” other guys at the advice of my guy friend Spencer, who is a bad influence. I was like, I feel like I should not do that, Spencer. I should be doing something else, like I dunno reading the Bible or something. To get on Match is just trading one drug for another, and what I really should do is just cancel my subscription and focus on school, friends, myself. God. And I only went on Match for about half an hour because, tbh, it was boring me to be on there.

My therapist had actually suggested something similar before, and another friend also texted me that the best way to get over a guy is to get under another. I’d like to go on the record for saying I think—or thought?—this was all terrible advice, and it seemed to me it’s just avoiding the real issue, which is that I’ve got to get right with me, to be okay with me, and not look to external things or people to make me feel better about myself.

But I have to admit.

It worked.

It didn’t completely keep my mind off the situation, and it did get boring after a few, but it helped me to remember that there are so many other fish in the sea who I can have chemistry with, and I barely know this guy. He is not the last man on earth. Okay so maybe he is six foot six and I try not to think of how big his hands are. But this is just lust. Infatuation. And like I said before, big hands are not a requirement. But it felt good to know I had lots of likes, winks, and emails from other men just as or more interested in me. Don’t give your power away, my guy friend had told me. Make him wait. Do not grovel. Amen to that, brother.

Spencer made a bet with me that he’d contact me again though I felt sure he was gone forever like how I always felt with Steven, and my abandonment issues were in high gear. I braced myself, decided who needs him anyway, though I did start to let go a little bit. These guys are interchangeable, my CODA sponsor had told me before, and I’d thought, Wow, that’s a jaded view. But what I think she means is that there’s no such thing as The One, the fairy tale romance, knight-in-shining-armor who does everything you want all the time, not anymore than there’s any person who does what you want all the time. If there was only One then what happens when dude dies or if he leaves you?

Sure enough, Mark texted me around 3pm. It may have helped that I’d already told him the day before, when we were talking about dealbreakers, that I will not be with someone who ignores me, that if I don’t hear from the guy for a day or so without any explanation I assume he’s no longer interested and I will not go after him. He’d basically said yes ma’am to that, so I figured time and his actions would reveal the truth.

And sure enough.

He came back.

He says he’s interested in me, hopes this will develop into something more, plans to keep me warm this winter, etc. Oh you will, Mister.

But at the same time, we’ll see about that. Because this girl is not hanging around waiting for someone to decide when and if they want me or not, ie, that today you hope this will develop into something more but tomorrow you have no time or space for me, nor will I be hanging out with someone just to have someone around.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

Being Real… Which Sometimes Means Being Gross

So the basketball-player-size guy I wrote about last time, Mark, asked me on a second date, which we’re going on this weekend. He’s the one I felt chemistry with on the first date, but I want to be careful because I realize that chemistry could be just infatuation, and I’d also gone on another date with another guy the day before, who I didn’t feel instant chemistry with, but who I feel like I have a lot in common with, and who seems interesting. So we need to go on one or two more dates to see if any chemistry sparks up… though I must admit I’ve been thinking about Mark non-stop since our date.

Here’s what I like about him: he seems like the kind of guy who everyone likes, who everyone feels comfortable around, who doesn’t throw around judgments about everyone all the time. He seems like the kind of guy you could make fart jokes with and it be funny and okay. Not that I’m one for scatological humor, but think about it. One day it’s probably going to happen. And then what are you going to do? My ex and I didn’t acknowledge our bodily functions whatsoever. I’d prefer that every man in the world believe I’ve never had any digestive functions in any way, or if I did, that my shit don’t stink. But let’s be real here.

I can’t believe I’m writing about poo. This is what happens when you get old. I always swore I’d never be like my grandmother when I got old, talking about bowel movements. Yet here I am, writing a blog about it. But this is also what happens when you study nutrition, or become a nutritionist. I’ve heard more about people’s poo than I’ve ever cared for, and I’m not even practicing yet. That’s just from working in the supplements department of an organic grocery store. You wouldn’t believe how many constipated people there are out there. Let me tell you: there’s a LOT. Hell, you might be one of them.

What I’m trying to say here is, Mark seems like the kind of guy who, if you accidentally passed gas, he’d just laugh and tease you. Or if you fell down in your six-inch platforms that you bought so you wouldn’t be 14 inches shorter than him, he’d laugh at you. He’d help you up, but he’d tease you. Which might make him sound like he’s real mature, I know, but what I mean is, he seems very real. And familiar. Which I like. I’d much rather someone just laugh, with me, than both of us stare red-faced into the distance pretending like we’re both robots.

Seriously, I don’t know what’s gotten into me. It could be the conversation that popped up out of nowhere when I was out with my friends a couple of weeks ago, in which Spencer confessed an old drinking story in which he accidentally had diarrhea that got all over his white pants while he was in the bathroom peeing the morning after a night of drunken sex with a one-night-stand he’d met when he’d lived back in LA. It was a story he told us in painstaking detail, that had us all in uproarious laughter, of how he tried to hide it but of course could not, followed by another story of explosive diarrhea he’d had on a hangover morning at a baseball game in some horseshoe stadium where there were only two bathrooms on each end of the horseshoe, in the stall of which there was no toilet paper, which he didn’t realize until after he’d emptied the contents of his guts into the toilet.

For some reason this struck us, possibly because it’s not a conversation I’ve ever had before—certainly not with any guys. It’s that unspoken topic of what happens when you’re a riproaring alcoholic, deep in the throes of your disease, when the most embarrassing of human bodily functions happens, in public no doubt. Anyone who’s an alcoholic knows what it’s like to wake up with a hangover that makes you wish you had never woken up, when your head feels like it’s been beaten with a hammer, and your belly’s on fire, but you have to go to work anyway. Most days I downed gallons of Gatorade, Pedialyte, and Alka Seltzer, and prayed for the best, and if it was really bad, I stayed in bed and begged my ex-husband to take me to detox, which he refused to do.

I don’t miss those days one bit.

The way we alcoholics look at it is you have to laugh at all the mishaps, the embarrassing moments of when your (my) stomach would not stop gurgling throughout the entire meeting with your boss, who’s finally like, Are you okay? and you pretend like you didn’t just guzzle down two bottles of wine the night before, just like the night before that, and so many before that you can’t remember the last night you did not drink, and you have no idea that you reek of alcohol every day you go into work. Like when I went into work on a Tuesday and casually mentioned to my co-worker friend that I had a massive hangover, to which she looked puzzled. That was when I realized not everyone got drunk every night after work like I did, and that some things are better left unsaid.

My intention was not for this to be about diarrhea or alcoholism, but to write about what’s been on my mind, which is Mark. Before I went on the date my friends asked me what my safe word was, and I told them not to worry, I’d just tell him I had explosive diarrhea if the date wasn’t going well. Spencer argued that “explosive diarrhea” was redundant, that diarrhea by its very nature is already explosive. Mike maintained that one must include “explosive” for emphasis. Kathy, Freyja, and I just laughed so loud we must’ve had everyone else in the bar (yes, we went to a bar/restaurant) wondering what we’d had to drink. Just water. We were just high on life. That’s one of those phrases I used to hate, before I understood what it meant, and that it’s really possible.

That’s why I love hanging out with my friends so much. They make me belly-laugh.

0bereal

(The above image was taken from Pinterest via the Positivity Note Facebook page.)

And that’s what I’m looking for in a partner. I figure if a guy can seem like the kind of guy you can make poop jokes with—well, that’s a real friend. Rather, if he’s the kind of guy you can be vulnerable with, who you can feel comfortable with, then that’s the guy for me. I don’t know if that’s really this particular guy or not, but I do know there’s chemistry, and that’s one thing that no amount or decree of motorcycles, boats, PhDs, or job titles can compete with. I don’t care how sophisticated-yet-outdoorsy the guy is—though that helps, don’t get me wrong—but nothing can compete with the connection you feel from another human being that you just cannot manufacture or explain.

I did not expect this after less than a year of being split up from what’s-his-face. What was his name?

Just kidding.

Of course I would not forget Steven, the guy who I once thought was the king of the multiverse, who awakened my heart then shattered it.

But I will tell you: this helps. It helps to know there are not just other fish, but some good-looking, hot-ass fish, bad-ass yet friendly and sexy uh-huh fish. Six foot six tall, big man fish. Light-hearted yet real fish.

Light-hearted yet real. Now there’s a goal. To feel light and love, to not be so heavy and serious all the time, yet to be genuine, authentic. I don’t know if that’s really how he is, but I know that’s how I want to be, and who I want to surround myself with.

0light

(The above image came from Pinterest via this page.)

Peace, love, light, namaste, all that hippie shit…Love you guys!

TCH

What the World Needs Now

It feels wrong to write about anything other than the tragic news of Las Vegas yesterday, or the dire conditions in Puerto Rico, so I feel I should at least mention it before I go into my post about dating. If you’re like me and feel helpless, look up ways to help and just pick the charity of your choice. Since I don’t live in the Las Vegas area, I cannot donate blood, so I donated to their local Red Cross. But there are all kinds of disaster relief organizations you can contribute to.

I don’t know if Puerto Rico is getting the money and supplies that are being sent, from what I’ve heard, but I donated anyway, and signing petitions and letters to Congress because it’s better than doing nothing. People are dying. And suffering. And animals are too.

0compassion

On a completely different note, both of my dates went well. I did not expect that at all. I expected to go on dozens of dates with guys who I had no chemistry with and to meet someone in six months to a year after going out on countless first dates. Not that that won’t still happen, but it’s just odd for both dates to feel promising. I’m not really ready for this! I just went on this site to help me get over Steven 100%, and not to feel so rejected by Jay (who I didn’t care about anyway and who I saw the other night and it was such not a big deal–it’s just that I hate rejection lol), and because my therapist suggested it. I’ve been having too much fun with my friends and my independence to want to ever go back to the codependent, isolated relationship Steven and I had. It would be great to have a relationship with someone and have my independence but I don’t know what that looks like, because I’ve always made the guy my top priority.

How can someone like two guys? And there’s a possible third one who I’ve been emailing but we haven’t went on a date yet. (I’ve already decided he’s probably a no-go, because one of the first emails he sent me he asked me if I was being sarcastic about some well-meaning, benign comment I’d made. That kind of paranoid insecurity scares me, but I do want to keep an open mind.)

Maybe I’m just in love with everyone. I do feel strong love for a lot of people in general. Maybe that’s what happens when you start learning to love yourself? It’s so refreshing not to feel indifferent to or annoyed by most people, but instead to love people for who they are, warts and all. Not that I walk around feeling like this all the time—it’s a practice that’s become easier and easier, and I do have a lot of days in which it takes no effort at all.

My friends all want to know, who do I like better? So far there’s more chemistry with Mark, the extra tall guy, though I have more in common, and feel like there’s more relationship potential with Lawson. Mark’s just a friendly guy who seems like someone who everyone likes. He’s fun, positive, warm. He’s close to his family-of-origin, and he comes across as someone who’s protective, who looks out for his friends and family, which I love. He’s never been married which is a possible red flag since he’s 42, but I try not to judge. It could be my insecurity talking, but he seems like he could be the kind of guy who’s a player but no one knows it because he’s just super nice. He seems like the kind of guy who makes you feel special because he genuinely feels that way about you, but he also feels that way about everyone else in the world. He works for some government organization doing something with plants which he loves and has done for many years, but says he doesn’t make much money but it’s worth it to him because he loves it. I commend him for that, and don’t believe he doesn’t make much money, though I believe he thinks he doesn’t make much. It doesn’t matter to me if he doesn’t make a high salary because I’d rather date a guy who loved his job and made an average salary than someone who hated their job and made high salary. (I’m not interested in taking care of a guy who makes a low salary though. Let’s be real here.)

Lawson on the other hand is so sophisticated I had to wonder if he’s really gay, because no straight guy is that amazing (no offense to my straight guy friends). He’s also tall (but only 6’1 and not basketball-player-tall like Mark), and he’s thoughtful, musically talented (he plays guitar), loves his dog (better than hating your dog, right? lol), loves the outdoors, drives a Harley (okay so apparently I have a thing for bikers, so sue me), and he’s an attorney. He’s really good-looking, more so than Mark, but I didn’t feel strong chemistry. I’m not giving up though because I read an article that says to give it at least a few dates to see if there’s chemistry.

A new friend of mine—who I don’t know that well, so consider the source, because she just married a guy she met less than a year ago on eHarmony, which to me is nuts—but she told me that when there’s immediate chemistry, like that feeling that this is my soul mate, like how I felt with Steven, [she’d said] that feeling might be a red flag that high drama is about to ensue. It’s been bothering me for some time because this is the opposite of what we’re told in this [American] culture, that you meet someone who you just know right away is your soul mate. So I did my research, ie, I referred to Google, and found this article about chemistry. It’s not exactly Psychology Today but good enough for me.

My therapist said something that struck me the other day. We were talking about all the different factors that go into play when dating and whether or not it works with someone, and she said it’s like a crap shoot, that so many different reasons go into it, and she casually threw out a few reasons, one of them being if you’re horny. LOL! But I just realized how incredibly true that is. And it made me wonder if that’s why there wasn’t chemistry with Lawson, but there was with Mark. Because Sunday I was not feeling frisky, though yesterday… let’s just say Ella got her groove back. Ella’s me, but not really, because that’s a pseudonym, but you get the point.

Now that the hormones are in high gear, I feel a sense of urgency to rush into something with one of these guys. Which I realize is unwise. My friend Kathy suggested I do one of two things: 1) Have sex and have fun, or 2) Wait it out and be friends first.

I really, really want to follow option #1. I’m human, y’all!

But I’m going to try and just be friends for now. Kathy was like, Yeah it’s really hard to do that option because you have to come up with conversation and activities and shit. Gah! So exhausting. But that once you run out of things to say to each other then you find out if you really like the guy or not. Seemed like wise advice to me.

Hugs and prayers to all the victims and loved ones of the victims of all the recent hurricane devastation and the mass tragedy in Las Vegas. And rest in peace, Tom Petty.

Love,

TCH

Online Dating, Baby Goats, and Just Being Yourself

During each painful setback comes a more beautiful opportunity for growth. The combination of self-care actions I’m taking are working, and I feel so… enlightened and at peace.

This past week I’ve been meditating each morning, and have worked up to eight minutes at a time (can’t quite make 10…it’s progress though, y’all!). I’ve been reading Sharon Salzberg’s book, Real Love which is incredibly helpful, and I highly recommend it.

This online dating thing has been a fascinating learning experience for me about myself. Maybe the best part about it is that I’m in no hurry, and I don’t feel desperate or eager to jump into a relationship with anyone–though I ain’t gone lie, ladies (and gentlemen, and everyone else). I do get excited when I meet someone who seems interesting. The most recent guy is 6’6. Good. Lord. That’s more than a FOOT taller than I am! I immediately connected with him after he mentioned that his dad died suddenly five years ago. My SOUL mate! Another orphan like me! He gets it! He’s part of the club! The club no one wants to be in but everyone joins at some point if you live long enough.

Just kidding, btw. I don’t really think he’s my soul mate just because he’s also a partial orphan, but it was nice to connect with someone on a deeper level and have a more human interaction, as much as can be done via email. The other guy I’ve been talking to texts me each day but never really says anything of substance, so I don’t know yet if he’s bad at texting or if he’s just super boring. I do know that I’m in love with his dog though. I would talk to this guy on the phone but I ain’t got time for that, folks. This girl right here is incredibly busy with school, work, AA, and my friends. More on all of that in a bit. And it’s not that I don’t want to talk to anyone, but I figure I already paid for this service and I assume it will take a long time to find someone–if I find anyone at all from there. The beauty of it is that I get to decide. And I get to learn from it.

So I want to tell you how I’ve been able to watch my mind throughout this process so far. So the orphan dude—we’ll call him Goliath—sent me an email and mentioned his dad in it, and instantly my mind was off Jay and onto this new guy. I thought of how nice it was that someone was connecting with me. Jay’s dad died years ago too but he didn’t talk to me much about it (or anything else), and that’s just not the kind of guy I want. So it’s already like, Good riddance. I really do not need or want that in my life. My goal is to be more emotionally open—I’ve already lived most of my life the other way and I don’t want to go back there.

What bothered me was how quickly I shifted from obsessing over Jay to obsessing over Goliath when I know damn well that love can only be found within me. Thursday I talked to my therapist about it, and she told me something that I finally believe, and feel so grateful to have heard from her, which is this. She said, “You’re very normal.” I was like, “Are you sure, or are you just saying that because that’s what they tell you in therapy school to tell your clients?” She said, “I promise you.” She said, “The only thing about you is that you worry too much about being crazy. You’re no more crazy than the next neurotic person.”

Hallelujah! I’m no more crazy than the next crazy person! See? We’re all nuts in our own way, but at the same time we’re not unique in our craziness. If that makes sense.

It’s dawning on me that she tells me this every time I talk to her, in different words. Usually it’s something like this, “You’re fine,” or “That’s a normal reaction,” or “Of course you felt that way, anyone would.” It’s always so reassuring.

The other day I had an epiphany. Really it was something I already knew but failed to give credit to, and it came to me when I was meditating. The meditation was to recall an experience in which I’d said or done something that left me feeling guilty or ashamed, and of course I thought of the words I’d said to Steven that caused him to drive me home in the middle of New Year’s night to get all my stuff out of his apartment and out of his life forever. For months I’ve been beating myself up for saying that to him. Why would I say such a foolish, unwise thing? Why imply or insinuate that there’s something sinister behind his love for his daughter, when I know that’s not true, and I know I don’t believe that about him. I had that unhelpful feeling of What’s wrong with me? So the meditation exercise is to recall a situation in which I felt regretful for, and to then to mentally say the words I’d say to a friend:

You did what you knew to do at the time. You were at a difficult time in your life. You were devastated by your mother’s loss and you felt isolated and afraid. You didn’t get that kind of love from your father so of course you felt jealous. You felt ignored during that time so of course you felt jealous.

And here’s the biggest one of all.

Of course you had that thought because you have that fear about everyone.

These are all things I knew about myself, but somehow they hit harder yesterday. Because here’s the thing: throughout my life I have often find myself wondering if there was some kind of seedy underworld that was really going on that I just don’t know about yet but which everyone’s participating in. Over the past several years I’ve gotten much better about it, and thought I was over it completely, but from what I hear in CODA, it never goes away completely. It makes so much sense. If you grow up in a chaotic household in which things happen that aren’t supposed to happen and your trust gets broken at an early age, you might grow up suspicious too. What I knew was that I loved my stepbrother deeply, but he was not a good guy. Or maybe he was, and he just didn’t take good actions. But no one had told me that. I found out by eavesdropping on my sister and my mom. So it was confusing.

In Real Love, Salzberg writes about “reframing the story.” She grew up in a broken home and felt victimized for years. But here’s the thing: we do not have to live in that story. If you believe that you create your own reality, which I do, you get to decide what your story is, or how you look at your story, rather. That doesn’t mean bad shit didn’t happen, but it doesn’t mean I had no love or happiness, because in fact, I had lots of love and happy times with my mom, my sisters, and even my stepbrothers who were both very sick. One of them committed suicide when he was 28, and the other—my favorite—is a fugitive today, if Google is correct. It doesn’t matter, because that’s in the past.

Today I have two wonderful sisters and a niece and nephew, and I have my dad, my stepdad. My brother-in-law. And let’s don’t forget all of their sweet pets.

The point is, we got through it. And we can choose what to focus on from our past. Some of my favorite memories are of the times I’ve had with my sisters. And they make me laugh so hard. And now my sister’s kids and my brother-in-law makes me laugh. When I went to see the eclipse with my dad and his wife, I was able to appreciate him for who he is. He too is a quirky, endearing guy who was so delighted to see this once in a lifetime event. He was out there with his maps, examining his solar glasses, surveying the area, making sure we were in just the right spot. It made me want to hug him. And other people just came up to him and talked to him, as they often do. People just like him. He doesn’t put forth any pretenses. He’s just himself, and I think that’s what everyone really wants from each other.

0be-yourself

The above image was taken from this blog.

This morning I have a date with a guy I met from Match, and I hate to say it, but I don’t even want to go anymore. I’ve kind of already decided I should’ve marked him off when I found out he had a grown daughter who lives in the house with him. But at the same time I want to keep an open mind. My sister suggested maybe I find a guy who doesn’t have kids, which I took offense to at first, but I think she’s right. I want a partner, and not to feel like I’m second or third in someone’s life.

The good news is that it’s at a place I’ve been wanting to go, a nature center where there are butterflies and orchids. My therapist said one of her friends went on Match and found that if she just made plans to go for a walk with the guy, she wasn’t wasting her time if it didn’t work out because she was going for a walk anyway. She needed to get her exercise, and she wanted someone who’d go on walks with her. So if the guy wasn’t interested, then that was it. I’m thinking that’s a darn good idea.

I do have a loose “no-kids” rule but I think it’s unrealistic to expect it since most people eventually have kids. At the same time, less people (Americans anyway) have kids these days than, say when my parents were young.

The key to online dating is not to get hung up on any one guy. It’s been a few days since I wrote about the extra tall guy and he hasn’t responded to my latest email, in which I asked him how important it was that his partner attend sporting events with him. Because that’s just not my thing. I love the outdoors, but I am not one to freak out over football games, or games of any kind. Maybe he was hoping for someone to go to games with, and that’s not me. And you know what? That’s fine with me. I’d rather find someone who wants to go hiking and biking.

Already I feel the same about Jay. Mostly I was interested in the fact that he had a boat and motorcycle, and we could have fun together. But after a conversation with a friend about how old that would get after a while, and the drawbacks to it, I got real with myself and realized I don’t care that much about that stuff. Because nothing is as important as connecting with someone on a deeper level, to just have fun no matter what external things are around to entertain us. The last time I was on the boat with Jay I got motion sick because of all the sharp turns, and the boat smells like gasoline because it’s in need of repair. And the last time I went tubing they didn’t have the tubes with the bottoms in them, meaning you had to float with just your ass in the water. And I’m not a big fan of getting my private parts in river water, folks. Nor do I like getting my head underwater with water getting all in my eyes and ears and nose. I’ll do just about anything once, but let’s be real here.

1homey

(I’m dating myself with the above meme that I found from this site; my younger readers may not have any idea what that’s in reference to? Oh man, I’m getting old.)

And at the time I felt sad about my ex and jealous of Jay and Yvonne because they had what I’d wanted (or so I imagined), which was a deeper love and commitment to each other, and I left that for what? For Jay? I didn’t have to tell Steven I was dating other guys, and I didn’t have to date Jay.

(For anyone new to this blog, Steven asked me over for dinner several months after we broke up, and I said sure but I’m dating other guys, and he said pah, nevermind.)

Really I did it because I had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t work out with Steven regardless, and I took a gamble at something I knew wouldn’t work either, just to confirm what I already knew, which is this: there are so many other fish in the sea. Never was I under any illusion that Jay was The One. But of course I felt rejected when he decided to go back to his ex. But you know what? That’s okay. Good for them. Something else is in store for me. It would never have worked with Jay anyway. Just like it won’t work with me and someone who wants me to go to football games with them. Ain’t gonna happen.

Today I’m more excited about my plans after the date which is to visit a petting farm with one of my friends where they have goats, cows, sheep, and lots of other farm animals who I want to hug and hold, if they’ll let me. They let me hold a baby goat last year! It was such a joyful, precious moment. I’m not sure if any baby goats will be there since it’s fall because I still don’t know a lot about goats but I do know the babies are typically born in spring.

My dream still is to get my own tiny house on a piece of land just on the outskirts of town with my own goats and chickens. In my mind I picture it looking like this (and technically these are sheep but just pretend they’re goats):

0sheep

Though in reality it might look closer to this:

0goats-roof

Ah well. One day.

One day.

Until then I can be happy right where I am today.

Peace, namaste, and all that love stuff,

TCH