Monday, December 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning before Christmas

I usually feel pretty cluttered around Christmas time. Yet, this year, I'm down-sizing. I'd like to say 'my closet.' But that just isn't a possibility, although has been on my "to do" list for a couple of years. However, my down-sizing project for the end of this year is on boyfriends.

I'm finally taking my sista's advice. As they say, "Out with old, in with the new." In order to start my Spring Cleaning project, I decided that I needed to "block" those certain ex's from my social media accounts. It turned out to be a LONG list and quite difficult. I kept a few of them on the list, only because I never wonder "what if" with them.

If I don't put those "potential re-ex's" behind me for good, I'll never fully be able to move on and be serious with someone new. It's like having too many pots on the stove and not enough "back burners" to go around. In a way, I was allowing them to keep me in relationship bondage, and not the kinky kind. One of them has been an "on-again, off-again ex" for the past 12 years. That one I had to hold my breath in order to delete, but I did it.

The only problem with deleting people from your social media that you're fairly close to is that they probably also have your phone number and will text you wondering why you've deleted them. Oh well. I'd delete their number from my phone, except if they do text, I may not know which one of them it is. I guess all I'd have to say/text is "Leave me alone." Right? Or is that just mean?

I never used to have a problem with telling guys I'm not interested anymore. I think I must've gotten a little bit soft since my high school and college days. I guess I know, now, what it's like to be told that someone isn't interested in you, so I'll let them down easier...fine! Ugh!

Most importantly, I decided that I just need to let go and move on - leave them in the past. There are a lot of obstacles to deal with that new relationships just don't have yet...or maybe never will. Old relationships already have scars and, at least, one strike against you. Some of my ex's must've been cats because they just kept coming back time-after-time, proving that they haven't changed even though they say they have. Not that I was asking them to change, but that's their claim to winning me back.

I guess I'm making a New Year's Resolution early and Spring Cleaning before the snow melts. Maybe it's more because I'm finally ready to settle down and find "the one" - or at least, this one or that one. But I can't truly go after the other fish in the sea if I'm still throwing my line into the fish tank in my living room.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Forever and Almost Always" by Kate Voegele
This song really personifies what I've been going through with all of these old relationships. Going back into it, I say that "although it's not the same, it's awful close." I usually end up saying, "it's awful." The beginning of this song is a woman settling, "just love me when you can." Then she asks herself, after the same thing happens and he proves not to have changed, "what am I still doing here?" She then realizes that "it's not right." She wants more; she finally believes that she deserves more. I feel the same way she does now, at this very moment.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Guarantee is Nothing More than a Statement Saying the Product is, in Fact, Defective - and They'll Take Care of It Later

How many "one's" can there be? I think back to the men I've dated, which happens to be a lot (some I'm not so proud of). But I think back to some of the ones that were good and if I could see myself married to them.

I can pretty much picture exactly what my life would be like with most of them. And a couple of them wouldn't have been so bad. So then the question begs, how long do I wait to find something better than "so bad"? I look at the marriages around me today and they're not so bad either. And the ones that were "so bad" and ended, I couldn't have predicted that it would become that way and end. Can you really know someone well enough to fool-proof a marriage?

Maybe I just have a fairy-tale image of marriage in my mind. Maybe what I imagine marriage to be just doesn't exist anymore. There are no guarantees in marriage. Nothing saying that if you meet someone great that they won't change in five years time to be someone you never would've gotten involved with in the first place. But then what? Say you have 2 children with them and they just don't want that life anymore. There's nothing you can do to change their mind. They changed on their own and they'll leave the same way.

Could I have made it work (in a marriage) with some of my ex-boyfriends? Absolutely. Would I have been happy, living a fulfilled life? Maybe, but I probably would've wondered what life would've been like if I had waited for "the one."

I guess I'm questioning this now because I'm in negotiations with 2 former boyfriends, and wondering what it's worth. I know them both very well. One I have more confidence in than the other. They both have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to relationships. I've also just met 2 other new guys. (This is how my life goes. Either it's a dry spell or a flood. No in between.) It doesn't feel right to string any of them along, but I don't want to make any hasty decisions either.

So, I ask myself what I need. I already know what I want, but that's not necessarily what I'll get. Again, I ask myself what I need in a relationship. I could spend my entire life looking for someone to fulfill my every want and desire, but I'm either going to end up alone or putting pressure on someone to be that way forever. Am I setting myself up for failure if I do that? Everyone is human and makes mistakes. If I'm looking for the perfect man, I may as well be wishing on a star. There is no perfect man. There is no guarantee that I won't end up alone - with or without a man.

I just want to be enough for someone. I want them to enjoy being with me, living life to the fullest with me, and eventually raising children with me. I'd say that he would have to love me, but I will say that I need to feel loved by him instead. My perception of being loved may be different than his. Some of the things I once looked for in a husband/partner aren't really things I need. I'm banking too many things on a person that will inevitably let me down at some point. I want a lot of things out of life, and none of them require one specific person. Similar interests - yes, caring and loving - yes, unlike anyone I've ever met - no.

SONG OF THE DAY: "You're Not Alone" by Meredith Andrews
My only guarantee for love is in the Lord. With Him, I'll never be alone. I'll never be without. This life on earth is only a temporary home. The one I spend it with now won't matter in heaven. I could spend another 5-10 years trying to find the right one, get married, and then die the next day. What good is waiting for the right one on earth when it's only temporary and only right for a moment. They're not the one I live my life for anyway. There's only one that really matters; only one with a guarantee. He is perfection; with Him, I'll always be loved. I won't die without a man, but I will perish without God.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Holding Pattern

I know that for me, personally, one of the hardest things for me to do is to 'let go.' Whether it's hurt or love. I just want to hang on to something that requires an emotion or feeling out me. Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about when I say, "Sometimes it feels good to cry."

Think about it for a minute. When we're in a good mood, we tend to listen to music that mirrors that mood. If we're sad, we watch movies or listen to music that will soon require a Kleenex.

And why, for the most part, are we done crying until someone hugs or holds us? Have you ever bawled your eyes out and then felt better, you got yourself put back together, and you feel ready to face the rest of the day. Well, you run into a friend or family member, and sometimes even before the actual hug, the waterworks start all over again.

I think part of my problem is that I think if I let go, then it's forgotten - almost like it never happened. Like a piece of my life, of my memory, has been erased, wiped clean. I want to go back and revisit that feeling to know that it was real. And sometimes, I just want to feel...something...anything! Especially in between the dry spells of love. Heck, right now, I'd settle for lust (and that's NOT me!). Or maybe at least to be held.

I'm not talking about a hug that you give your friend or grandmother; I'm referring to being held by a man so tightly and securely, you feel his force field. It might be the sense of security that many women are looking for, but to me it's more about the conversation taking place between your subconscious's. Somehow he knew. He knew what I needed without asking. He knew how to fill the void if only for a moment. He held my body physically, but really had a hold of my heart.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Hold My Heart" by Sara Bareilles
Not many men in my life knew what it meant to "hold my heart." But there have been a few, and that's hard to find. If you have a man that can hold both you and your heart and can do it without saying a word, be grateful.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Story...

Okay, so it's not a secret that I don't like internet dating because I LOVE having a story to tell of "how [we] met." And it's not very exciting if you say, "Online." Boring!

However, I've recently found out that the story after you decide to meet (from emailing FOREVER online), which I like to call the after-story, can be just as great as "how you first met."

So, I met this guy online. He seems funny and charming - 2 great qualities to get my attention. We email back and forth, back and forth, and then he finally asks the question, 'do you want to meet'? FINALLY being the key word.

We set up to meet at a common chain restaurant. I tell him which one would be better for me. Now, maybe it was my mistake, but I said a area/location instead of an actual address. So, naturally, we ended up at 2 different locations of the same restaurant. But at the time, I thought I had been stood up. I didn't waste my evening though. I dined alone, read a book, and had a wonderful fruity drink.

So, he texts later saying he doesn't know what happened. blah, blah, blah. Now, I wasn't really sure if I was going to give him another chance until he told me it was his birthday! Well, then, all of a sudden, I feel like I stood him up. I decided he definitely deserved another chance.

So, we plan for dinner the next night. Another chain restaurant; this time I gave him a landmark and Street location. There's no way he could mess this one up...

I arrive at the restaurant, look around (for someone I've never met before - should've brought his picture with me to show the hostess), and decide to get a table. I sit there for a couple of minutes, and a couple more minutes, and yet a couple more minutes. He's now 15 minutes late. AM I GETTING STOOD UP AGAIN?

So, I text him and ask if he got lost. He says he's at the bar. I stand up from my table, look over at the bar, and see no one that resembles him. At this point, I'm asking myself if I'm either crazy and he doesn't really exist (yes, Keith, I know what you're thinking) OR this is a joke that someone is playing on me and the camera will come out soon.

He then texts back and says he just realized he's at the wrong restaurant and he'll be right over. WHAT?! Can he really be that big of an idiot? One time I can understand (and at least he was at the same restaurant chain the first time). But now he's at a completely different restaurant chain and not on the Street location that I gave him. I was speechless! Completely speechless!

He walked in and he was utterly embarrassed (as he should've been). But I have to tell you that I'm glad he showed up. He's a big guy, but genuine and sweet. Tall. (THANK YOU! I CAN WEAR HEELS!) Funny and sarcastic. Seems like a good guy. So, I'll just have to find out if the after-story can hold a candle to the "meet-cute."

It's a pretty funny after-story; one that I'll tease him about for awhile anyway. Maybe I should've gotten him a GPS for his birthday...

I must be getting soft in my old age or something: giving a guy who stood me up a second chance. Geesh! What is my world coming to?

Maybe I shouldn't get so wrapped up in "the story" of how I meet someone and instead, work on the story that is yet to be written with them. That initial meeting is only a small part of THE story. Everyone likes to hear how you met, but I bet they care more about if you're still together and the story you're creating. And no one but that person will ever know your entire story - and if you have nothing else, at least you share that.

What part of the story are you in?

SONG OF THE DAY: "The Story" by Brandi Carlisle
I like this song because of its depth into the soul. How you can get to know someone so well, even when no one else can. "All of these lines across my face / Tell you the story of who I am." People can guess or think they know what your life is like or was like. But like a story in a book, you can't know the entire story until you've opened the book and read it cover-to-cover. You can look at the book's cover and read the reviews, but you still don't know the whole story. If you want to know or be a part of someone's story, you have to go further than just the leather and the binding; you have to touch the page.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Not About Me

"It's Not About Me" just happens to be one of my favorite perspective books by Max Lucado.

The question I'm struggling with right now is, "How do you pray for someone you're trying not to think about?"

It's not that I don't want to be there for someone I care about, but vulnerability has always gotten me in trouble. I'm trying to be strong for him and from him.

When someone tells you that they can't be in a relationship right now because they're going overseas and doesn't want to force his relationships anymore, but then turns around and says that he's started dating someone he's never even met (over you) and that he's not sure if it'll go anywhere but it's been good so far, more than likely, you're gonna want a 9000 degree of separation from this guy.

But what he's going through... That's always my excuse. But he needs support right now. But maybe he doesn't need my support now that he has her. And if that's true, then why would he continue emailing...especially when it's not a mass email and it's a sad email about how his father's health is failing and he can't stop crying.

The "Cruella Deville" in me (and trust me, girls, all of us have it in us) wanted to email back and say, "Sorry to hear about your dad, but maybe you should be telling your girlfriend." Kind of like the "here's a quarter, call somebody who cares" song lyric. But the truth is I do care. Even though I'm not "that" girl that I so wanted to be, and that he has now. I'm not her, but who do I want to be in this situation? A jerk? No.

I guess breaking my heart doesn't really constitute me not caring when his is. I told him that I would be his friend, and he needs one right now. My heart feels like it is breaking right along side of his. I'm sad that he's sad and so far away from his family. I've met his dad, and I not only could see the resemblance, but I could see the love. The love between a father and his son. The love of a woman toward her man. The love of a family. It was really quite beautiful. Even in the anticipation and anxiety of the circumstances of their son going off to yet another war zone, all you could feel was love. He has a wonderful father whom he admires and adores - and rightly so.

My heart is going out to a man that I've been trying to take my heart back from. I don't know what he wants from me, but he must assume I'm still here - otherwise why would he have emailed?

But I can't help thinking that I need to play it smart, for the sake of my sanity. I've been trying hard not to think of him every day - ever since he told me about "her." So how do you pray for someone you're trying not to think about?

You leave it up to your own prayer warriors. He's leaning on his friends and family right now for thoughts and prayers. So, I'm doing the same. I sent out a prayer request for my friend and his father. I can physically pray for him every hour of every day, even though it just reminds me of what I no longer have. It's hard to do emotionally.

But, then again, it's not really about me is it? And if I'm making it about me, I shouldn't. It's about someone in need. Someone that, even though I pretend doesn't cross my mind anymore, I actually, truly care a lot about.

So, what is it that stands in our way of continuing to care and help someone in need after they've "hurt" us? Pride is an ugly deter-ant, and we let it make our decisions for us.

Am I really willing to neglect another human being in need because of my own selfish pride? Shame on me if I am.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Pride is a Lonely Blanket (When We Speak)" by Red Wanting Blue
Pride keeps us from so many things. Pride is a shield that we continue to use as an invisible defense mechanism. Pride is usually a catalyst for hurtful behavior. It makes us cold and unapproachable. And for what? For selfishness? For not being one man's girl? Well, if I let my pride stand in the way of truly being there for someone I claim to care about, then I wouldn't want that girl either.
Whom are you neglecting because of pride? You...for starters.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's A Duck!

I had a pretty fabulous weekend with a pretty fabulous friend. And among the many laughs and serious conversations, this phrase keeps running through my head, "It's a Duck!"

She told me, "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck. It ain't a swan."

Now, I thought I knew quite a lot about men, but after this weekend, I felt like I only cracked the book on "Boys 101." Here are some key points that I'm remembering off the top of my head (sorry, don't have notes in front of me):

* Men need their egos fed (they just do!) - whether we had to nag them to death or not, it'll make the relationship better. Tell them the lawn looks nice, that they did an excellent job on the deck, they're the best lover you've ever had, or just thank them for "bringing home the bacon."
* Men can have sex and it mean nothing - it's a physical need for them; it's their force of nature; they're the ones with testosterone.
* If you're not sleeping with your man, he'll eventually find someone else to fill that need, even if it doesn't mean anything to him but sex. So, maybe you should evaluate why you're not having sex with him - before he just doesn't care why anymore.
* If a man is saying he doesn't want something (like, say, a relationship), he doesn't want it; and you'll never change his mind.
* If a man says that he loves you and hasn't just had sex, is wanting sex, or in the middle of sex, he's probably telling the truth. Don't listen to what men are saying to you when they want sex or have just had sex - it's not coming from the heart or their brain.
* You cannot change a man. So you might as well forget about it.
* If he has a problem with you, that's his problem. Ain't your shit!
* If he's never been married, doesn't have any kids, and doesn't even have a dog, RUN! He's incapable of caring for anything but himself...because he's never had to. He's selfish.
* Testosterone makes them lose their hair...and makes them VERY horny. If you see a bald guy, you pretty much know what's on his mind...and it's obviously not hair.
* Set healthy boundaries with men. If you don't, they'll walk all over you and end up having no respect for you.
* The first six months are months of impressions. Evaluate the relationship after six months and see if you still like the person.
* If he hasn't asked you to marry him or haven't married him within 2 years, he probably doesn't want to - or has other issues that aren't your shit!
* Feed 'em, screw 'em, and tell them you appreciate everything they do - and you'll have a happy man.
* Men are pretty simple creatures. It's the women who make men complicated because we try to read into what they're saying...DON'T. Just listen to what they're saying and take it for what it's worth.
* Guys continually produce sperm throughout their life (it just lessens when they get older). Women have one set of eggs. That's it. If you're worried about getting older and not being able to have kids, get your eggs frozen by age 35. That'll give you another 10 years to have kids.

Now, this weekend wasn't just a man-bashing session. Although is was quite therapeutic. She's got quite a few years on me and speaks only from first-hand experience. I have no reason not to trust her. I know a lot of her advise is correct because I've experienced a lot of it for myself already; sad, but true.

We also talked a lot about the importance of girlfriends when you're in a relationship with a guy. You need someone to bounce ideas, comments, concerns off of. And no offense to family, but it's not the same. They will be on your side no matter what (unless you've royally screwed up, and then maybe they'll be frank with you - and you usually tell your girlfriends all the gritty details so they know the whole story). If you don't have any close girlfriends to talk to, then here's what you do. Ask yourself the question that you would ask your girlfriend (if you had one). If your friend came to you and asked you this question, what would your advice be? Then, take your own advice. LISTEN TO IT! If you're in a situation where you'd tell your girlfriend to RUN, then maybe you should get your running shoes on!

And don't mistake your guy friends for your girlfriends. Guy friends may be able to give you great insight on what your guy may be thinking, but they can't help you. If a guy has a problem with another guy, once they throw a few punches at each other, they're fine. I wouldn't recommend trying that in your relationship. There's a little thing called Domestic Abuse/Violence. Guys don't know they act stupid until they've acted stupid - and sometimes, they're so stupid, that guy and other guys don't think it's stupidity, no matter how stupid it may be. We're just not built the same way. Your girlfriends will be able to tell you when he's just being stupid (which is most of the time). And most of the time, it's not calculated stupidity, so you may want to go easy on him.

Be willing to forgive and forget. Now, maybe some things are harder than others. I understand that. And if you find that you just can't move on from those harder situations, then don't waste anymore of your time or his. Why stay in something that you'll just end up resenting or regretting? And if you have kids with this man, leave them out of it. Your problems aren't their shit!

SONG OF THE DAY: "Forgive Me" by Leona Lewis and Evanescence
The one by Leona Lewis isn't a typical "sappy" love song, but I like the message.She seems to care about the guy, genuinely, because she hopes he can forgive her, yet she also cares about herself and is willing to say when he's just not cutting it. She's putting herself first and that's what should happen. She can't change him. She can't make him love her. She has to "take the chance" on love, on being loved.

The Evanescence song is about saying something that probably wasn't meant to hurt, but was said and can't be taken back. And now that those words have been said, forgiveness is the only thing that can rectify the situation. This happens to everyone, no matter how hard we try to be mindful of it. The person in the song seems to be pleading for forgiveness; there's nothing else.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Will Say "I Won't"

I find it ironic that the saying I've heard so many times, "the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body," is a lie. The reason I find it ironic is that the tongue is used to lie; therefore, it produces misconception upon itself.

It's also ironic that the tongue is what jumpstarts the digestive system - most of what touches the tongue becomes...well, shit. So, the tongue "produces" or "assists" in the creation of 2 ways.

What comes out of people's mouths can also be shit. What they say...what they promise...what they claim to be gospel truth. Even their eyes can lie to you. Actors do it all the time...get their eyes to lie - I didn't mean to insinuate actors lie all the time (that would be a whole other blog topic).

The song says, "The Heart Won't Lie." I find that title or message interesting. It's not titled "The Heart Doesn't Lie." It goes further to say it "won't" lie - as if it's incapable or not something it's willing to do.

Our heart is one of the few things in our body we can't will or boss around. We can't make it feel something it doesn't - or won't. How is it that I can practice walking, as if it's second nature, and eventually my brain tells my legs to walk. But I can't practice loving someone and then one day tell my brain to love them and I will.

I'm sure that I'm not alone when I say that I've asked my heart to stop beating at one time or another, so I didn't have to feel the pain. But it won't stop. It won't stop beating until it decides, or God decides (depending on what you personally believe). And then sometimes when it does stop, it can't even be revived with an AED or some kind of shock device.

And when you fall in love, it's not something to tell yourself to feel. It happens without will or practice. Maybe that's where they come up with the phrases "fall in love" or "fall out of love." Illuding to stumbling upon it (or out of it) or unsuspecting.

The hard part is not to fall in love or fall out of love; that seems too easy for some people. The hard part is staying in love, staying in that stumbled, unsuspecting state and feeling comfortable in it. I'm no expert on the subject, but here's what I was thinking about. The feeling you had when you "fell in love" can't be the same feeling that you have while you're in it - unless you continue to fall in love with them all over again.

Keep going with me on this one...

When you fall, literally fall, what do you do afterwards? You're not in a continual fall. You hit the ground. Let's say you hit the ground running. Now, there could be 2 types of this; two very different types. You could hit the ground running as far away from love as possible...or...or you could hit the ground running, full speed into the next stage of love.

What else do you do when you fall? You could either lay there and wait for someone to come along and pick you up, or you can dust yourself off and get a head start on the one coming along.

But, no matter what you do after you fall, everyone looks around and wonders who saw, that could either create a feeling of embarrassment or laughter (nervous or otherwise). Why do we care if someone saw us fall in love? It's not like we can stop it. You don't control your heart. It's not your job to control it. It may be your job to decipher what it's saying to you, but don't try to control it. It won't work. You'll just end up frustrated with yourself...and still feeling the same you did when you started. The only difference is that you are more than likely alone now, in your love.

I believe that you can love someone even if they don't love you. God loved me WAY before I loved Him. (I threw that WAY in there for my geographic peeps - your silly lingo.) If you're a parent and your child says they hate you, do you still love them? Even if they really do hate you? You don't just stop loving because it's not reciprocated. If someone dies (passes on), do you stop loving them because they can't love you anymore? I know the answer to this one first hand, NO. No, you don't just stop loving. No matter how hard we may try; we don't. We can't. I say, we won't.

SONG OF THE DAY: "Can't Stop Loving You" by Phil Collins
I know the song is titled with "Can't," but the chorus says, "Cuz I can't stop loving you / No I can't stop loving you / No I won't stop loving you..." I like that he says "can't" first, two times, and then says "won't" - as if it's more powerful and submissive.
I also like that I can tie a little of the lying part in here as well. He says, "Well, I could say everything's alright / and I could pretend and say goodbye / But that would be lying..." And then, of course, the chorus echo of "Why should I? / Why should I? / Why should I, even try?"

I know that I need to learn to submit to my feelings more. I try to control them, with no positive outcome I might add. And although I may not have a choice on whom I fall in love with and whom I don't, my choice becomes what I do afterwards. Do I lay there, helpless and feeling very alone...or do I realize that I can't control whom I love anymore than anyone else and get up and get on with it...? You also have a choice afterwards of how you treat those you love, loved, or want to love you. If you treat them badly and want to hurt them, it probably wasn't true love. You may have just fallen into a mud hole and blamed it on love. Love may be blind, but not because you have mud in your eye.