Archive | December, 2010

My New Decade’s Resolutions

26 Dec

This has been a hard decade for me – and it has brought me to the difficult but necessary conclusion that, well, life is hard! And at the same time, there are joys and wonder in the everyday despite the difficulties and trials that are a part of the journey.

It is hard to let go of not only old dreams, but old familiar fears.  In this new year, and new decade, and new chapter of my life – I want to focus on the things that I DO have, instead of dedicating most of my time and energy to the things that I do not.  I have my health, my wonderful family and friends, my job and my home,  my pet, and MY life – in ALL of its complexities.  In this new year, my resolution is to truly, finally kick the habit of smoking, to exercise at least three times a week, and to drink more water.  I want to continue to hone my practice of sitting with my feelings and learn not to judge them, as I have so often and so harshly, done in the past. I want to continue to practice just being still.

It is snowing out, and my mom, who spent the last two evenings with me, is in the shower.  I will soon be getting ready to get together with some old and cherished high-school friends.  I have my beloved Don Gato nearby calling for some playtime.  And I just am, in the moment, this moment, enjoying its simplicity.  This moment of time.

Earlier, I spoke with a friend and conveyed some thoughts that had been weighing heavily and anxiously on my mind.  She listened and was receptive and supportive.  That was a moment I enjoyed and loved, to be loved and listened to and heard by a good friend.  Another friend called me from India, and I enjoyed that moment of connection – that no matter how far away, I have someone that loves me and I love her – time and space does not take that away.

I am saying goodbye to the thoughts and insecurities and habits that have accompanied me for so long.  They have served me well in those years of survival, but now as I enter my decade of “thrival” they can only hamper my growth.  Again, it is hard to say goodbye as they have become so familiar, so automatic.  But they are no longer representative of my authentic self. It will take much hard work, continual practice, to learn to live in this world in a different way.  I went to see a film last night with my mom (The King’s Speech, it was excellent!) and a line in it really resonated for me – “you no longer have to fear the things that you feared when you were five years old.”  For me, that fear is of being alone and lonely.  Of not having my own family, of not being able to handle the hardships that inevitably are a part of life.  Of being sad, anxious and depressed, of being stuck in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship, of not being understood and kept in the dark.  Of loosing my mind and my self.  Of loosing my sense of safety and sanity.  Of being out of my comfort zone.  Of having to keep up appearances.  Of trying and trying so hard to be someone other than who I am – of hiding from life, my life and wishing I had the life of someone else, anyone else, other than my own.  Of doubting my own capacity and capabilities, of my ability to make the most of the wonderful things that I have been blessed with and lucky to have – even for brief moments.

So now, what are the thoughts and habits that I want to welcome as my companions in this new part of my journey?  Peace and calm, anticipation and at the same time, resolution that I am exactly where I am “supposed” to be.  Comfort in my own skin and body, in my mind and in my core.  Warmth that the love that I have and have received is always with me, even in the darkest of nights, no matter how terrifying.  The deep reassuring knowledge that when one is down, the only way to go is up.  And that when one is up, the knowledge that when there is an impending down, it is not to be feared, as the up will come again.  Like the ocean and tides.  I do not need to fight the waves and will not drown – I can relax and float.

The image that has been coming to me lately, repeatedly, is of me having been washed up on the shore.  Because that is how I feel, like I have finally arrived after a long and tortuous journey.  I survived the sinking of a ship, I was tossed about and dragged under by a tormenting ocean.  I washed up on the shore, bedraggled with saltwater in my lungs, but now I am on this beautiful beach and even though I feel tired, I have begun to get up, gather the things that have made the journey to the shore with me, and am beginning to walk into a beautiful, dense and green forest.  I am leaving the ocean behind, as much as I have loved it and it has given me life, I am heading towards something new and thick and fertile.

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My last “date”

20 Dec

So I have begun my experiment in not dating, but I have some carry over.  I had already been corresponding with “J” since Thanksgiving, and we finally made plans to meet this evening.  I have to say, I am pretty skeptical about this meeting (what?  I thought you would be shocked – SHOCKED!).  His profile seemed fine, and our interactions via email and on the phone were pretty nondescript (sadly, this is what one strives for in dating!).  Until yesterday.  Then I got a glimmer of what may come.

J mentioned going to a holiday party over the weekend.  I also had gone to a party over the weekend.  We swapped stories.  Then, at the end of his, he mentioned getting into it with “some chick, I think she is pretty prominent in your field” and how he had some sort of verbal sparring session with her over a “social issue”.  He did not want to go into it with me, because he did not want to relive it.  And, so…..yeah.  Then he mentioned how basically, he thought she just needed to “get laid”.

Now granted, I have no idea what exactly transpired.  Who truly knows what happened.  Maybe he was on the side of the underdog as far as social justice issues are concerned, and this woman was some kind of right-wing radical Republican, and is a doctor and so that is what he meant by her being in my field.  (I am in public health, BTW, very different.  And I am very NOT conservative, and VERY pro-choice.)  Maybe she disclosed she was feeling sexually repressed, because her crazy-ass right-wing Republican husband only wanted sexy times to procreate and home-girl already has 13 kids at home.  Hence, she really did just need to get laid.

Yet, somehow, I do not think that this was the case.

I am thankful that after tonight, I will no longer be dating.  And even more thankful for the fact that I am not even going to try to look even remotely “dressed for a date” this evening, because I am truly, and most optimistically, not hopeful about this date, and am going to try my very best to dress not to impress.* So jeans, sweater and Camper boots, get ready.

 

*DISCLAIMER: But I must say, my outfit is pretty cute, regardless.

My very own cynical guide to dating

15 Dec

You know, I have read my fair share of dating books.  And I have really tried being positive and optimistic and all that (please see some of my earlier posts).  Well, the jig is up!   You know what I have come to realize?  These books are written by people in relationships, and just because they are now dating someone or married, when they were once single and searching, that does not necessarily make them “experts” .  In fact, it makes them LOUSY experts, because they seem to have instantly forgotten that dating sucks and you know that secretly, deep down inside, they are like “phew – better you than me, girl!”

So I have decided to dedicated this blog to the writing of my Cynical Guide to Not Dating;

and will include such helpful hints as:

Don’t stay home and wallow, and no, you do not have to “get out there” either.  Just go out to those parties and events and bars that you want to go to where you probably will NOT meet anyone, and accept it.

Don’t sign up for an online dating site.  There are a whole bunch of damaged people roaming around out there (as my friend so eloquently stated in an earlier post).  You can cut down on your chances of meeting these souls  by NOT signing up for online dating.  Do not worry, you will still meet your fill of them throughout normal, every day life occurrences.  You just will not be sitting across from them necessarily at a restaurant or cafe.  So, no need to widen that net!

Don’t wish wish wish for it until it comes.  You have heard the saying countless times, I am sure, from well-meaning friends (yup, those same ones that are paired up since their mid-twenties, etc) and those writers with the shiny hair and rings on the back of the latest “Here is how to land your man – I did it!” hardcover….”when the time is right, it will happen…are you sure you are ready?….Do you really want to be in a relationship?…..Build it and it will come…..”  As if they spent all their time wishing and building and having all their ducks lined up perfectly in a row.  Please.  Stop wishing.  Stop hoping.  Just stop it.  Accept that this is the way it is going to be for the rest of your life!  Single, so…..hmmm.  Maybe I will take that nice long trip to South East Asia that I have always wanted to, by myself!

Don’t not think about it anymore.  And DO  give a rolling side-eye to anyone that says, “it will happen with the right guy, the one you feel that magical “click” with” that everyone (partnered) tells you about.  In fact, let’s dwell on that one  for a while, shall we?  You know it is about the click, and that the click cannot be forced.  In fact,  you have felt that magical click, quite a few times, and it STILL did not matter.  So click or no click, not really the issue – is it?

DO be your best self – for you.  No, I really mean it.  I know that sounds awfully similar to the suggestions in these dating books, but what they are secretly saying is “be the best you for you,but more so that you can snag someone because clearly the you you are now is not good enough, hence your single-status.” So be the best you for you, and if that best you is you right now, great.  But if not, well – you are going to have to fill your time with something now that you are not banging your brains in trying to “get out there”,  “remain positive”, and smile smile smile, flirt flirt flirt!  Or laying alone sleepless worrying that you will never have a family of your own.  Because you know you will not!  Oh well, moving on…

Because, really,  the bottom line for me is – that I do not WANT to be dating.  I really am just barely hopeful for a relationship at this point,  and somehow being in the right place at the right time with the right someone.  All these other tactics and strategies, they do not apply to me – they apply to someone interested in dating and meeting new people and playing the field and all that.  I have done all that, and I am tired.  So….this whole dating thing is just not for me, and since there is no guide out there for someone like me, I am going to write my own.

A recent message gracing my OKCupid! inbox….

14 Dec

“I love your body….dare I say.”

Listen buddy, I do not know you.  This is NOT the kind of thing you start out with.  Really.  I am not impressed, or flattered.

 

And in reference to the latest date I had (also thanks to OKC), the following is a response from a wise friend to my recounting of the aforementioned date:

“Wow…. So many damaged creatures roaming around this planet. Maybe he has Tourette’s?”