Expectation. Anticipation.Realization.Transformation

In that order?  Probably not.  I try not to have too many expectations because then my anticipation gets the better of me then the realization sets in and then I have to transform the whole thing in my head!  Too much right off the “get go”?  Need some explanation?  Let’s do this…

I have had many habits that I’ve needed to overcome – manipulation, self-loathing, blaming myself for everything (really, everything) – I still need to work on apologizing to people all the time for things that I had nothing to do with, but I digress.  I’m doing well – way better than I was in March, better than in April and soooooooooooo much better than the last five years of my life!  That being said – moving forward I need to stop with the expectations…of people, places, events, things – I need to just let things happen and just enjoy each moment as it arrives.  For the most part -I’m doing exactly that.  The other part?  Not so much.

I don’t worry – no point in that.  I play out scenarios in my head!  Like little movies of how I hope things will be.  My movies always are fun, lighthearted and happy, but we all know that the movies aren’t real.  Neither are the dumbass things I have in my head.

For instance, I think someone is going to really like me and turns out – not so much.  I didn’t plan that scenario, but that’s the old habit of wanting to control and manipulate everything around me.  It’s fun learning to relive your life and rethink your thoughts! (No…no it’s not, just in case you didn’t pick up on the sarcasm there!)  Sorting through what I need to do and learn then realizing and transforming into a saner human being is a lot of fucking work!  If you are young – get your shit together now!

It’s the realization that gets me every time.  The moment when I realize that what I had been expecting and anticipating is just not going to happen.  The instant heartache.  The instant disappointment. I can totally feel my smile fade, my heart break and my entire body just slowly deflate.  My shoulders droop, my gestures stop and I’m just there in a place or with a person or at an event that is completely foreign to me.  I want to cry and feel sorry for myself – really, really bad!!  I don’t though.  I recover quickly.  I pick out every detail that is just fine.  I make things ok and I push through it hoping that I might catch a glimpse of something that is familiar to me.  Hope.  I like that word and as long as I can hope for my movie to make it to the real life screen, I guess that’s better than nothing.

I do know that in order for me to get any movie to the big screen I have to write a great screenplay.  There has to be a lot of good shit happening in that screenplay for anyone to want to read it – and it has to be really, REALLY worth it for anyone to want to take part in making it happen.  I don’t give up easily, so there’s that anyway.

I don’t see my life as a dramatic movie or filled with violence and fear.  It’s not scary or heart wrenching either – I see it more as a comedy.  Definitely NOT a romantic comedy because I seem to be having real issues with romance these days – in that I don’t have any, so we can just keep that out of the text.  After my stint in the online dating world I realized that I may not be quite ready to be exposed to any other human being right now.  That’s ok.  I’m happy with myself…it all starts there anyway.  No.  My movie is definitely a comedy.  Not a “tragic” one either – who wants to watch that? My life is just a plethora of weirdness wrapped in sarcasm, observation and realization.  I have a cast of characters that love me, hate me and want me – not in that order.  I have scenes that will bring the house down with laughter because shit that happens in my life is just completely unreal.  The things I see, the things I hear, the things I do, the things I live, the things I drink…the list goes on….it’s really going to be epic.  Someday.

I don’t have an ending because I’m not dead and I don’t want to die.  I’m not a big believer in “happily ever after” since that mess turned out to be a big fucking joke – on me, of course.  I am the star of my movie, so I will be played by me – of course.  The characters may change every now and again because people have a tendency to come and go in my life, but I think that will keep it interesting.  Scenery will change because it’s my movie and I can film wherever I want.  My head, my movie – my life.

I will leave you with this though…I do hope that I find a quirky fun partner in my movie.  Someone who likes me for me and thinks I’m pretty.  Someone who wants to kiss me and hold my hand.  Someone who wants to touch my face and laugh with me.  Someone who wants to cuddle on the couch or maybe take a walk in a park.  Someone who wants everyone to know that I’m his best friend and we drink coffee and have fun together. Lighthearted, easy-going and kind.  I want that…someday.

However – I beginning to truly believe that people like that only exist in movies…hey, it’s my head, my move, my life and my hope.  I don’t give up, remember?

Old Dog, New Fish

Transformation happens to people every day. Sometimes it happens overnight, sometimes it happens over 27 years, but it happens. I fall into the latter category and I’ve decided to be fine with that. I know that I’ve taken the hard road to finding my true person. I know that I’ve had to learn to be happy with myself. I also know that I’ve had to learn to let go of things I cannot change and accept things for being just what they are. I know that not everything is about me. I know these things because I’m transforming. I’ve sought serenity and peace in ways that have led me to this moment. I’m a 46 year old, single woman living her own life and appreciating every small moment that comes my way! Life is good for me, right? I’m content – I have a job, a car, health insurance, a healthy family, great kids and a beautiful granddaughter AND my own little space to come home to each night. I also have awesome friends – loving, kind, funny women who worry incessantly about me. They are happy that I’m happy, but how can I be happy without sharing it with someone? Yes…they want me to date.

So, the girlfriends convinced me it’s time to get back out there. What does that mean anyway? “Get back out there”? Honestly, it doesn’t mean anything to a person who is currently in a relationship; however, to those of us who are newly single? “Out there” means something completely different – it means becoming vulnerable in a world of single people who are all on the search for their “soul mate”. I don’t want a soul mate. Soul mates have disappointed me twice already… and that’s what I told them. Of course, they argued with me and said that I didn’t have to find Mr. Right, but I could find Mr. How About Dinner Sometime. I think they worry too much about my well being, but figured if anything, it would be a new adventure and if I didn’t meet “Mr. How About Dinner Sometime?” – what was I really losing? However, there’s a catch to this whole “dating” thing – I’m old – I’m not some cool, hippy chick that wears cool sweaters and shoes. I’m someone’s grandmother for Christ’s sake! I remember getting dating advice from watching John Hughes films – which apparently not many people can even relate to who that is, so I’m fucked. How do people date now?

Well. They date online – or rather, they meet online. I had no clue what that meant. All that did was bring visions of that creepy old guy talking to his little granddaughter about his proven method of matching people through his online dating site – if you paid money. That commercial always gives me the creeps. I think, “Let me get this straight. I fill out all your questionnaires about my life, throw some pictures where I don’t look out of shape, old and grouchy and you use your magical method to find me the man of my dreams? All for a fee of $19.95 (plus tax) per month?” I have issues with this. First of all, I don’t know you or your magic, so you get to know nothing about me. Second of all, why do I have to pay “per month”? For how many months? If your method is so great, why can’t you just match me and be done with it in a couple weeks? I don’t like giving my money to gypsies…it’s just a thing with me.

But my girls were determined. They offered up all the different sites that they knew other people had success – including the ones that they had success with. One is married to her match, one is steadily dating hers and the other two – let’s just say use it for their own purposes. We settled on one, it was free (no gypsies or fake promises) and got down to the business of setting up my profile. Thanks to my friends, I am now one of the desperate fish swimming around on Plenty of Fish.com. It’s awful.

I recently read a blog The Glass Eye Project on “Why Online Dating Sucks for Women” and so many of the things written are very true. Online dating is weird – it makes you feel weird. Like a stalker of sorts or some kind of judge and jury looking through the plethora of single men in your area – and to my uneasy, weird, delightful surprise – there really are several of them in my area. I asked my friends how do I pick one? I’m a very empathetic person – I can’t just pass over a sweet face saying “No Mind Games Pleez” – I wanted to stop and give the poor guy a pep talk! I was told on no uncertain terms, do you pick one because you feel sorry for him. They are the lingerers and clingy ones. Moving on….

I scan through the photos of “prospective matches” and I’m either laughing hysterically, shocked or frightened. One looks like Cheech from Up in Smoke, another looks like a bad version of Dawg the Bounty Hunter and another appears to have used his prison photo for his head shot!! Why on earth do so many men between the ages of 40-50 have Harley-Davidsons and do they really need that many tattoos? I can’t forget to talk about the outdoorsy flannel men with groomed beards. I actually read an article online describing them as Flannsexuals – I kid you not! It’s actually a “thing”. There are the gym guys with no shirts on flexing for their candid mirror selfies and then the fellas hanging shirtless at the beach drinking a brew. All of them described as “easy going and just want to find a good woman” – I can’t help but ask myself “Why did the one you had get rid of you?”

Eventually, I did “heart” a few and got some responses. None of which surprised me really. At first, LuckyIrish68 appeared to be a kind, funny sort of guy. A little off kilter, but he made me laugh. We chatted on the site for a few days, then moved on to texting. That was nice for about a minute – he sent me a picture of what the young folks refer to as “his junk” and I was sorry for him and blocked him. Onward and upward, right? I learned a lesson and would know better for the next time, right? Oh, well, no – that happened three times!!! Why? Why me? What in my conversation said, “Please send pictures of your junk.”? I almost gave up then a real date – like meet me in person and lets not text – date came up. What did I have to lose?

I had arranged this date carefully. I had plans with my friend to work in her shop for the day and down the street from her shop was a nice little bakery that I liked. “Mr. Gentleman” was going to meet me there for lunch. Not drinks, not dinner, not alone at a park – lunch in a public place with my friend one block away if I needed a quick get away. It was a lovely summer day and I was in great spirits because I was actually going to meet someone in person!

I chose this guy because he was respectful online. He had a nice picture and a very well written profile. He appeared to be very spiritual which appealed to me, so ok – let’s give this guy a chance. He arrived at the bakery before I did and seated himself in the back corner by the window. I thought that was a nice gesture because you could see the lovely gardens from that window. I moved toward him and when he stood to greet me I noticed he did it with difficulty. I was worried and brushed it off as an injury or something. Oh, it was something – it was ALL something!!!

This guy was very respectful and kind. I’m sure it’s because he had to relearn it after whatever tragic accident he had been in! He couldn’t speak clearly, he moved awkwardly and kept asking me about my church activities. He told me he was currently the janitor at his church, but was hoping that he could work his way up to maybe getting a good job at the Dollar General. That was when I saw the scar on his neck from whenever he needed a tracheotomy! Then all I could think of was “Oh, you poor thing! What can I contribute to your life to help you?” I stopped being a date and immediately went into philanthropy mode! Oh, and that wonky eye!!! I couldn’t even look the poor dear in his eyes – they didn’t look back! I just kept admiring the gardens out the window and talking about the artwork on the walls. I was also thinking to myself, “Why did I get soup? I can’t eat this fast enough!!”

I know it wasn’t his fault for whatever happened to him nor was it mine for thinking this would be a nice guy to know. He is a nice guy – just the kind of nice guy that I give money and volunteer hours to help – not date. And yes, I still check on him from time to time and recently, he did get that job at the Dollar General – bless his wonky-eyed heart.

That left me with a feeling of “not for me”. All I wanted to do was erase that profile and just go back to being happy with being an old, serene grandmother living alone and minding my own business. I asked the girls how to do it because the instructions for deleting profiles was definitely not as clear as the ones for creating one! They said not to delete it just “ghost” for awhile. What?

Yeah, these women are either older than me or the same age. How the fuck do they know this shit? I thought I was up on trends – I do all the social media – I blog, I go out and talk to people! I watch the cool shows and The Tonite Show with Jimmy Fallon – I’m cool. What the hell is “ghosting”? Why can’t I just stop and move on? Well, because I might get drunk and desperate one night and want to scan through profiles and start talking to someone and live happily ever after – said no one, but my subconscious and my drunk friend….twice.

According to The New York Times article in Fashion & Style by Valeriya Safronova, “ghosting” is used as a verb that refers to ending a romantic relationship by cutting off all contact and ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out. Ok. That made sense to me, IF YOU ARE BREAKING UP WITH SOMEONE!   I haven’t even met anyone worth disappearing from! Well, apparently you can ghost on Plenty of Fish.com by just hiding your profile. This allows you to scan the creeps, freaks, and geeks and they don’t know it. It sounds awful, but that’s exactly what I was going to do. People, I know myself – I know that I will get drunk and lonely one night and scan those freaky ass photos – just no one else needed to know I was doing it, right? I know, it sounded good in my head at the time.

So, I was all set to Casper myself online. Be done with the mess of dating and just let nature take its course. If I met someone – great, but I didn’t see it happening on this site full of sharks. I signed onto the site, looked at who was interested in me – nope – not happening. Then scanned over to the profile update and clicked “hide your profile”. There….done. But, wait – I had a message. Oh, did I dare do this? Did I really want to set myself up for another disappointment? However, I was hidden now, so what harm could it do? I looked…it was one I liked. He was nice. He said funny things and he gave me his number. Oh, shit. Now what?  But before I go into that I have other stuff, so more on him later.

The thing about online dating is that no one is really his or her true self. They all say they are down to earth and fun loving, but they are really a bunch of liars – and I’m not. I didn’t get many hits because I literally said exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I also said if you want to know about me you are just going to have to find out in person not texting, talking or video chatting. My friends told me to just say I was honest, funny and kind. I’m really too honest. One of my friends actually said that I needed to take a class on how to date. I guess telling a guy that you would love to go to a concert with him, but wasn’t going to sleep with him isn’t exactly how you get a second date –  or a first one.  Oops.

Apparently, that doesn’t help my cause at finding true love online. I ask too many honest questions. I’m supposed to embellish myself – make myself appear more attractive to the other fish (sharks) in the waters. I have another issue with this – I just got out of a relationship because the jackwagon wouldn’t let me be myself, why would I pretend to be someone I’m not to get another one who doesn’t know the real me? I’m off that circus ride – I’m going to be my true self from the get go – someone out there has to appreciate that.  Right?

It’s really one of the biggest issues of online dating – for any age or any gender. The anonymity that people feel they have on these sites allows them to do and say things that they would never dream of doing or saying face to face with someone. I have received so many unwanted sexually explicit comments regarding a picture of me in a hockey jersey on the top of Willis Tower…would someone really say those things to me in person? I’m wearing a hockey jersey and not posed in any sexual manner whatsoever – why the nasty comments then? I chose to ignore them, but it still bothers me that someone took a fun picture and turned it creepy and weird.

Some of these people get downright mean too. If I didn’t respond to messages then I got angry messages like, “Why haven’t you responded to my message? It’s been two weeks and you have read it, so why can’t you respond? You are a tease and a total bitch aren’t you?” I didn’t respond to those either, but the nerve! Who are you anyway 93BuffButt? No. No thank you.

So, I’ve messaged, texted, videoed (disaster by the way) and talked to the ones that were carefully selected by the magical questionnaire and by yours truly. One I still check in on because let’s face it, poor fella. Another I chat with, but he really has a messed up life and just needed a pal…I’m nice like that and still haven’t given him my phone number, address or real name. And my final message man? I’m getting there – don’t worry – we’re getting there.  I still have things to talk about –

I’ve been navigating through this site and a couple others for a few months. As I said in the beginning we are all transforming and this experience has transformed me into a more compassionate, patient, guarded and less naïve person. I know I’m not a young woman, but I find it nice that the asshat with face piercings and tatttos finds me “hot and fuckworthy” – not that he and I will EVER cross paths, but hey….at my age you take a compliment with grace no matter where it comes from. I wish I could tell people, like many have before me “People…please stop acting like assholes just because you are hiding behind the internet!” We all know what the comments section would look like on that blog, am I right?

I’ve also learned through this experience that not all men on this site are sexual deviants and many are just very nice men who are lonely and want someone in their lives. For the love of all that is holy – stop with the pictures of motorcycles, tattoos, muscle shots and pictures of the big fish you just caught!!! Isn’t there a site out there for each of you to advertise your specialties? Anyway, it’s not easy to filter through them and in no way am I going to let any of them tear me down or pick me apart because I’m not interested in them. I find it ironic that I won’t let them pick me apart, but that’s exactly what I do each time I looked through the line up of the day….

As for now? I’m still Casper on the site. I have no interest in looking at any more of those pictures. I don’t want anyone looking at my profile either, so I’ll stay a ghost until I can figure out how to delete the dumb thing all together. It’s sad in a way because if there really are nice guys on there, I’m so jaded by the dick pics, sexually explicit messages and complete disrespect its going to be a tough road to get through to me. However, I have faith in myself and in human kind. I do know that there are good people out there. Which is where I will end….

That fateful day of frustration when I decided to become a ghost and just disappear I found that message waiting for me. I read the message and it made me laugh. I looked at his profile and he looked fun and happy. I called him. We texted until 3 am then talked until 5:30 am. Laughing mostly…then I met him and he made me dinner. He’s a nice guy and he makes me laugh. I was pleasantly surprised, but I’m not moving very quickly to judge and thankfully, neither is he. Out of all the fishes in the sea I caught a funny, happy, hardworking, smart and adorable big fish. I like him and that’s good enough for now.

Has meeting him changed my opinion of online dating? Oh, no – not in the least. He and I spend quite a bit of time laughing at the experiences we’ve had – he really enjoys my story of “wonky eye”, but then he’s got a great one about bi-polar girl that lives in a cabin…yikes. Is it how things are for single people? I think it’s changing or should I say “transforming”? I think people are looking for a more personal and intimate way to meet again – but they want to do it with technology because that’s what this generation knows. I’m thankful that I have the experience of dating before online dating was a thing because at least I have an old way to fall back on – the young ones are still transforming.

More on “Message Man” another day, but not right now.

Been a Long Time….

I have an extremely odd sense of humor.  Things that push me over the edge are not normally things that others find funny, but I don’t really care.  I like to laugh.

Off and on over the past few weeks, Facebook has provided me with so much humor that it was almost to the point of overload!  From friends posting crazy shit, texting…OMG…the texting?  Strangers – I’ve been texting strangers like some of my best shit and it’s lost on them…

I am laughing at work, like an insane, mad scientist!!  Typing things that are just so obvious to me…and I just don’t get why they aren’t to others.  For instance?  Let’s talk about the weird online dating situation…

Of course, I meet a great guy – I’m having the best time – BOOM! Dick pic.  Really?  Thank you…but really?  Yes, really.  Every damn one of them.  It all turns awkward and weird and exciting – and I’m laughing hysterically – it’s wrong on every level, but it’s just too rich – I can’t stop….laughing.  I know…I’m going to hell.  (Hand basket is at ready – decorated and in place – just waiting for my arrival.)

I was dying when I saw the picture of the bus that had “Choo, Choo, I’m a train” and at the bottom the meme said “Go home bus, you’re drunk.” Damn, I thought that was funny.

I was singing and dancing in my car on my long drive in today – and home last night for that matter.  I don’t really care if anyone sees me – who cares?  I was so impressed that I knew all the words to the songs today!  After all these years, I still know all the words to REO’s Keep on Loving You.  I was so impressed.  I wanted to share that with someone.  Guess what?  No one cares!!!!!

I guess that’s the point.  All of these people posting their opinions on FB?  Political, religious, funny – it’s like anything else in life – take what you need and leave the rest.  If you don’t agree with someone’s opinion – you have a delete button.  You can’t change how someone feels…I think stuff is funny.  Why not?  I’ve decided to do a lot more laughing.  It makes me feel better about myself.

Too much of stuff – serious stuff. People suffering, people needing prayers…my God, the Kardashians couldn’t go on vacation until late August!!!  That’s where it’s at – serious stuff that matters – then – the ‘dick pic’.  And who gets the attention?  The veterans, the sick children, the rape victims, the diseased, maimed, heartbroken, depressed, beaten, murdered – no…the ‘dick pic’.  So, in the privacy of my own heart, I pray for the people I want to receive love and light and healing.  The rest of it?  I laugh…because really?  Who cares?

Do I need daily reminders that God loves me?  no, because I know he does.  Do I need daily reminders that the world is a dark, sinister crap shoot out there?  no…because it is.  Do I care what others think about Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton or President Obama?  No…because their opinions don’t change mine.  Do I want to share humor and love and light?  Yes…but it’s not up to me to make anyone care…that’s not my job.

Thankfully, I just – this very moment – realized that my daughter has my sense of humor.  Thank you God.

Studying Self – and other revelations…

I began a new journey last fall and at the beginning I felt scared, nervous and anxious.  I kept asking myself “Is this really what you want?”  I kept moving forward and working on myself – and each time I asked myself that question I would, without hesitation, say, “Yes.”  I knew I needed to change my view of my own world, my view of the outside world and my view of my past, present and future.  I knew I needed to let myself feel, learn and wonder at all that was possible.  I knew I needed to let go of what I thought was my reality.  I knew I needed to become my true self.  So, I kept moving.

Now, nearly five months later – all the work, all the support, all the therapy, all the writing, all the changes – feels unreal.  I don’t truly feel like myself.  I honestly don’t even know who I am.  I don’t know what my purpose is and no matter what I do, I can’t feel a direction – I can’t sense a direction.  When I started this process I knew it was the right thing to do and I could sense the path I needed to take.  Now here I am, in the middle of a journey and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  My supporters say, “Let Go and Let God” – so I do…but even though I feel a sense of relief and peace, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  I truly feel like I’m floating around doing things that I think I should be doing just to keep moving.  Sadly, with every fiber of my being – I’m not interested in any of these “things”.

My transformation, though still in progress, has changed me.  I wholeheartedly believe for the better.  However, I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know what I really want.  I have daydreams of being healthy and fit and working at a fulfilling job, but then I pass myself in a mirror and realize that I’m not accomplishing any of those dreams.

Now, I know that all of these things are within my control.  I’ve read countless articles, books, and blogs about how to reach your potential and find your happy life!!  None of these authors ever state what motivated them to change – to push through the uncertainty, the pain, the sadness, the anxiety – what pushed them?  What motivated them to keep pushing?  I have a particular talent:  I can excuse myself out of everything – I can find a way to sabotage and manipulate my best intentions every.single.time.  So, the easy answer would be “Just don’t make any more excuses!!  Make up your mind to change your lifestyle and get on with your life already! Let Go!  Let God!”  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Meanwhile, I’m munching on bite sized Butterfingers, smoking a cigarette, sitting on my couch reading another book on how to improve my life or how to move on from being co-dependent – or better yet, trying to work a step in Al-Anon that says to “take inventory of my life” because that will help me recover and truly understand who I am.  Then I spend another 10 minutes contemplating when I can afford to go back to my therapist or if I can really miss another meeting at work to attend “a meeting”.

I understand that what is behind me is not what I want.  I also get that where I am right now is not what I want.  I totally get that where I will go isn’t necessarily entirely up to me, but I do know that it’s within my power to shift toward one of the things I dream about.  I tell myself, “Do something.  Don’t do nothing. Do something!”  So, for a few weeks, I’ll meditate and feebly attempt to follow my horrible yoga DVD.  Then, I’m like, “this is pointless and boring.”  Where are my roadblocks?  Well, right where they’ve always been…in my head.  I told you I can sabotage the fuck out of anything – manipulate things just to avoid actually reaching any goal.  It’s a wonderful by-product of being co-dependent.  It’s knowing that you are worthy of a better life, but also carrying around shadows of self-loathing that tell you to just sit this one day out or maybe just start the healthy shit next Monday.

I’m failing at work, I’m failing at health, I’m failing financially, I’m failing spiritually, I’m just simply failing. I lack motivation and I lack the constant support that I keep telling myself I need to get my shit together.  The literature says that becoming self aware of your failings is a step toward healing – I’ve been self aware of my failures for – well, forever.  I’m not feeling sorry for myself – brutal honesty with yourself is another key ingredient on moving forward…lucky me.  I don’t even know how to express my feelings…I don’t know how to tell someone that I suck at this life I’m living because I can’t get my ass in gear to change things and I’m frustrated and angry with myself – I don’t know how to say that to anyone because I don’t trust anyone!  I don’t want to hear the pep talks or be berated for being so hard on myself.  I don’t want the same damn things anymore.  I hate this. I hate these feelings.  I don’t like where I am and I know there is a better life out there – I would just like to fit in somewhere that I could comfortably really, truly, let go and let God do his best.  Man – I just feel like I’m floating and failing.

I have no desire to wake up each morning or go to sleep at night – no matter what medication I take, none of it helps when my mind can’t get out of this fog.  I envy those people who say, “I just realized one day I couldn’t do this, left all the uncertainty up to God and changed my whole life!”  I know, from all the reading, that they had bad days and sad days and days they wanted to just give up, but I also know that they found something, someone or some place that supported them – a place where they fit in and felt safe.  I’m angry that I’ve put myself here, but I’m more angry that I’m alone.

Yes, I know, I know – I have people who care about me and love me. I’m beyond grateful for them.  I’m tired. I’m bored. I’m sick to death of my own inner voice. I’m sick of reading, I’m sick of support groups. I’m sick to death of people who want me to keep analyzing my past to truly understand why I’m the way I am!!!  Changing your whole life takes work.  It takes focus.  It takes determination.  It takes patience. Yes, I know…really, I know.

None of those books tell me what I want to know.  They tell me all the things that I already know.  I want to know how to live.  One book says that first I need to forgive myself, learn to love myself and learn to be by myself before I can honestly let anyone in.  Ok?  What if I don’t want to be by myself?  Another author says to send positive messages out to the universe and by the law of attraction positive things will happen.  Ok?  What if I have no clue what the hell I want?  Then there are the ones that want you to pay money to use their DVDs and CD’s to learn how to overcome co-dependency and live your life to the fullest.  Ok?  What if I’m broke and can’t afford to drop $325-$500 on DVDs or a life coach?

You see now, don’t you?  You can see how I can manipulate and sabotage the entire process to make my life a living hell.  Every day – every.single.day. I want to quit my job, pack a bag and just go somewhere.  I want to explore the world and explore what I like and don’t like.  I want to know and understand things – all kinds of things.  I want to be out there “in it” and living it!  People like me don’t just quit our jobs though, do they?  People like me don’t just pack a bag and move somewhere to “find themselves”.  People like me need the job to pay bills, take care of her family and pay for health insurance.  People like me go to therapy and support groups, and read books on how to live your best life.  People like me just suddenly make up their mind to quit smoking, eat better and exercise because it’s the right thing to do.  People like me know peace and are faithful, but will ultimately just accept what is there because that’s all there really is.  Mind you, it’s not bad.  I am grateful for every day I have on this earth.  I’m grateful for every moment I get to spend with my daughter.  I’m thankful that my parents and family are so near for me to love and protect.  I grateful that my sons are living happy and successful lives and I have a beautiful granddaughter.  God is good to me.  I know that.  I’m not good to me and I know that too.

Most of the time, I just want to sleep.  I want to spend days asleep.  I want to cry and cry and cry.  Then sleep some more.  I want to wash away the hurt, the sadness, the anger and the co-dependency.  I want to be the person I see in my day dreams – and I want to sleep.

I’ve been through depression – this isn’t depression.  I feel like someone needs to hit a re-start button on me.  I don’t need harsh words or pity because I don’t feel sorry for myself – even if it sounds that way – I honestly don’t feel sorry for myself.  My doubts and uncertainty are of my own doing – I get it.  I’m tired of being tired.  I’m sick of being sick.  I’m worried about being worried.  I’m mad at being mad!  I’m sad because I’m sad!  So?  Go ahead…say it.  Tell me to get out of my own way and get on with it already!  Quit talking, quit writing, quit reading – get outside and go do something!  That’s what I would tell a friend if she came to me with all this shit.  However, taking my own advice was never a strong suit of mine.

My willpower and motivation have fallen off the face of the earth.  Most of the time, I feel great.  I have great days, then I fuck up and have bad days…foggy, tired days.  Who needs that?  I want to be excited about living again.  I don’t want to be achy, tired and miserable.  I want to smile at everyone and feel like I’m part of something.  I don’t want to feel like I’m just along for the ride and hope that someone will include me when they are planning something fun.  I hate feeling left out of my own life and even worse, I hate feeling like I don’t fit into anyone elses life.

I know that what I put out there isn’t as positive as it should be, so, honestly, it doesn’t surprise me what I get in return.  I don’t know how to let go of expectations because I’m still learning how to just let things be and happen. And, as you can tell, I want things to be and happen NOW.  There is still a lot of work for me to do. I am aware of my limitations and I am aware of my past.  I’m just sick to death of being constantly mired in this dark world of transformation.  Seriously…when you say “transformation” don’t you think of butterflies and rainbows?  The dark clouds moving away to make way for sunshine and blue skies?  I hear “transformation” and all I think of is, “ugh, another fucking book to read, another damn therapist appointment and what damn “step” am I on now?  Read the literature…you will find peace.”  Instead of peace, I find more work, misery and bad memories.  My world isn’t clearer to me…it’s as foggy as it ever was!!!  I know I’m not where I was and I know I don’t regret anything I’ve done.  I just want to find the right help…the right support for me.  I’ve exhausted every slogan, inspirational meme, blog and daily affirmation – they all just sound the same to me now.  I know I should be inspired by the words…but to me they are just words now.  Worn out, flashy words said by someone else.  I don’t want to live my life according to anyone else’s words anymore.  I want my own affirmations to lift me up and inspire me.

To say the least, well, actually, I’ve said “the most” up to this point – I want to get on with it.  Whatever “it” is, I want it to get going.  I don’t want to be ambivalent, mistrusting, worried, anxious, or stuck…let the door open and flood me with light and love.  I want to be inspired, loved and appreciated.  I deserve that much for what I’ve put into this life.  I don’t want passive/aggressive machinations from some self-help life coach blathering on about my Higher Power and self love…I want acceptance and permission to just be.

There is self-talk, self-love, self-help…then there is just “self”.  I want to be that.  Self. Me.Myself.I.  I know there is no perfect way to be that.  I know there isn’t a manual for everyone to follow otherwise there would be a zillion life coaches/self-help authors out of a job!!  I know I have to find my own way…and I know that part of finding my way is through writing.

I blog because I forgot my journal, again.  Also, if I started writing all this, my messed up hand would be in severe pain and I would have quit because it just hurt too much to keep writing – physically and emotionally.  I would have summarized and just let the whiny parts sit there on the page likes pools of water on the pavement.  Then I would have cried and felt helpless.  This I can edit…this I can add to…this I can just let it all go…where it goes?  I have no clue, but it’s not stuck in my head rattling around anymore.  There is also a small glimmer of hope that someone out there will read this and have some idea of how I can get through this emotional stagnation or whatever you want to label it.  Maybe even someone who understands what I’m saying will comment something that is liberating and it will take me to the next level.  Who knows?  That’s weird isn’t it?  Well, that’s ok…I’m partial to weird.

So?  What’s next for me?  Well, for starters, I have to stop being so desperate that I just spill my guts to any poor soul who sits down next to me at lunch!  Desperation…sucks.  Well, I don’t really believe I am desperate – I believe that I just really don’t care anymore.  Which is a huge step for me because I’ve lived in fear of what others thought (or what I thought they thought) my whole life.  To be free of giving a shit is wonderful.

I leave you with this:

12 Steps to Self Care

1. If it feels wrong – don’t do it. (duh)

2. Say “exactly” what you mean (are you fucking kidding me?  I never know what I mean!!!)

3. Don’t be a people pleaser (in other words, don’t be co-dependent – really, don’t. It sucks)

4. Trust your instincts (yes…this one is good)

5. Never speak bad about yourself (I don’t know how not to)

6. Never give up on your dreams (at least when you figure out what the hell they are)

7. Don’t be afraid to say “no” (another co-dependent thing – still sucks)

8. Don’t be afraid to say “yes” (make up my mind!)

9. Be kind to yourself (I really need more to go on than this…)

10. Let go of what you can’t control (I know, I know – Let go and let God…blah, blah, blah)

11. Stay away from drama and negativity (I have a teenage daughter and work with assholes – not going to happen)

12.  Love (wow, really?  Now that is just the sign I was looking for!  Everything has been answered and I know just what to do!  All you need is love right? Fuckin’ A.)

I’m done…for now.  Feeling better, so my next blog ought to knock your socks off!  I promise it will be laced with much more sarcasm and profanity.  It will be much less “crazy” and much less self-absorbed.  I need to use ellipses sparingly – I depend on them too heavily for my dramatic pause.

Co-dependency isn’t a laughing matter when you are “in it”.  I have found though that looking back and finding the absurdity in it then finding the humor in it helps me overcome it.  The ridiculous behavior that I exhibited for love and approval is forever etched in my memory.  I know I can’t change it, but I can laugh at that clown because she doesn’t exist – at least to the extent that she did exist before.  I won’t let anyone tell me what I am thinking, what I am feeling or what I have done.  I can’t be convinced otherwise and I will never defend myself against the ghosts of a narcissist’s  sick imagination.  Been there and done that – twice.  My path hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it.

I’m in a place now where I can evaluate what I’ve done and what I need to do. I guess it’s a lot like proof reading a manuscript then asking someone to workshop and edit.  I’m open to anything – just as long as it’s something.  I can’t afford to be complacent any longer.  I have to set goals and figure out some kind of plan to reach those goals….but I need a new way of getting there.  I’ll continue the work, the reading, the meetings, the therapy – I have to, but I need a new plan of action.  I will always be in a learning pattern with myself, but I truly believe that in order for me to grasp the concept of who I want to be and what kind of life I want to live, I need a new view – a new direction…a spark…..something.

Then again, maybe I can just keep doing all this crap and just hope for the best.  Let go and let God, right?  It works when I let go of something, but I never quite know what I’m supposed to be letting go at any given minute.  Maybe I should let go of this sick obsession with finding myself and just be present in my life.  Maybe I quit my job, pack up and move to Minnesota. Fuck. I don’t know.  Maybe I’m not supposed to know.  Is that the deal with just letting things be?  Letting things unfold the way they are supposed to?  Maybe it is just none of my Goddamned business.

I don’t think there are any answers.  I think I’m supposed to just keep writing and writing until all the right words fall out of my head and steer me toward what I should be doing.  Maybe I should be writing.  Maybe someone will read all this crazy and tell me to shut the hell up and finish college.  Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll sleep well tonite.  That’s a bonus.

Emotions are a funny business….

I gotta tell ya…yesterday I was flailing about emotionally.  I was focused on staying positive, but my gut was telling me that something was off.  I was told it was the “New Moon”…that just may be, but at times I wanted to punch someone in the face really, REALLY bad, then at times I wanted to cry, but I always centered myself and pushed myself toward peace.  Now, notice I didn’t say “happy” or “joyful”.  I just needed to be at peace.  I needed to accept the emotional roller coaster for what it was – pay for ticket, strap myself in, take the ride, but get the hell off when it was over!!

Sad, glad, mad…nervous, worried, upset, angry…melancholy, serene, peaceful.  All worthy emotions – all with the ability to make or break a person.  However, why break?  I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately and I’ve had a “transcendent moment of awe” that I can feel every emotion and not fall apart…not break.

Each feeling we have should be experienced and felt wholly.  That doesn’t mean we have to feel sad and just sit there and experience it and set up shop there.  Feel the sadness.  Let it be where it needs to be.  Let it move through you because as it moves it leaves behind the strength and perseverance you needed to let it go.

I have a friend who has often said “Don’t let it rent space in your head” – which about 6 months ago I probably would have kicked him in the teeth for saying that to me – ONCE AGAIN!  However, now I understand the full meaning behind that.  Really, who wants to feel bitter and resentful – seethe with anger and vengeance, plotting and replaying things over and over?  Who wins?  Yeah, I know…no one.

How others feel is how they feel.  I don’t have any control over that.  I can’t make someone love me or hate me.  That’s totally up to them.  I can’t pretend that I am okay with someone hating me because I’m not.  I am learning to accept that and doing better at accepting that, but I still don’t like it.  I’m recovering from years of co-dependency – I want everyone to be my friend, I want to please everyone – even if it’s at the expense of my own sanity!!!  I would manipulate, lie, cheat, steal – whatever it took if I thought I was going to get the love and support I felt I needed from someone –  then be surprised when I couldn’t control anyone and no one loved me back.  When I learned that giving others the power back – the power to control their own emotions and I gave myself permission to feel my own I felt like the sky opened up and at the same time, the ground swallowed me whole.  I’ve emerged stronger, healthier, happier – I’m becoming – ME.

Emotions are a funny business. It’s true.  We all have them, we all experience them and we all want to only have the good ones.  We also want everyone in our lives to be happy, upbeat, motivated, healthy, strong and loving – all.the.time.  Emotions don’t work that way.   Everyone feels differently, at different times and at different levels.  Just because I am happy doesn’t mean I expect that everyone around me is feeling that way.  However…..

If I emit the joy and love that I feel – if I present to the world my positiveness and true self – I get the best of everything back.  It’s wonderful.  I get to feel the love, the pain, the sadness, the joy, the peace – I get to feel everything – just as it is.  I get to be just me.  I am really, honestly fine with the fact that I’m just not everyone’s cup of tea…I don’t like it, but I’m fine with it.

I am an emotional being.  I accepted that fact a very long time ago.  That doesn’t mean that there is a defect in my character, it just means that I feel emotions – good and bad – deeply.  Even people who appear to be less emotional about things are emotional beings…they choose to experience and share them differently than I do.  It’s not a character flaw in their make up either – it’s just a reminder to me and hopefully to anyone reading my words today that we own our emotions.  We experiences them differently, but how we feel is how we choose to feel.  I like being the owner of my emotions…I can control that and knowing that is all I need to control – can you say “weight lifted”?

Sweet emotion
Sweet emotion
You talk about things that nobody cares
You’re wearing out things that nobody wears
You’re calling my name but I gotta make clear
I can’t say baby where I’ll be in a year…
Sweet Emotion – song by Aerosmith
So, if you feel like lovin’ me – if you’ve got the notion – I second that emotion (Smokey Robinson)
Happy day to everyone.

Well, That’s fun – right?

What’s fun?  If I remember correctly, it’s just living in the moment and laughing a whole lot.  Not letting the worries and sadness drag you down, but truly living in that very moment and feeling super happy – and laughing!  I can’t think about fun without laughter.

When I was a child fun was playing in the dirt, catching dew worms, fishing, swimming, playing in the rain, watching the stars, singing and playing with my cousins, spending the night with my Gramma, playing frisbee in the backyard among the peonies, playing in the sandbox, just playing – and playing and laughing! and playing.  I don’t play anymore.  I miss that.

I have fun playing with the babies (my niece and nephew) and I have “fun” for the most part hanging out in the garage with mom listening to music, but I just don’t feel like I’m in the moment.  I used to have fun coming to work every day – I loved it here, but now it’s “work” and all serious and people are crabby…so yeah, it’s not as much fun anymore.

I’ve been so caught up in behaving correctly, saying the right thing, trying really hard to have fun when I was doing something I didn’t really want to do – even if I thought I was having fun, there was always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that somehow I wasn’t doing it right or that I wasn’t supposed to be having fun.  I miss fun. I remember starting up conversations with people – just throwing a topic out there and having everyone jump in and play along.  Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore.  I mostly get ignored or looked at like “Lady, who cares?” or the ever present, “Is she just nuts?”  I need a tribe.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself – I stay away from that old bag of tricks.  I’m making some very real and honest realizations about my life.  I want to have fun. I want to play in puddles, go swimming, go fishing, go for a walk in a beautiful park!  I want to have dinner with good friends and laugh about crazy shit!  I want to spend the day shopping and not feel like I had just ruined my entire earthly budget because I bought a purse that made me happy and I had fun picking out!  I want to stop sitting in the back row watching the “fun people” have fun.  I want to be one of the “fun people”.

I love my people, I love my life, I’m in a much better place than I’ve been in a really long time, but I miss fun.  I don’t remember “fun” being so much work!  And honestly, it’s not supposed to be!  There’s always something that needs to be done or something that’s not going to get done, but “fun” doesn’t care! That’s not to say that life isn’t about being serious, working hard and taking care of yourself – but whoever wrote the rules on fun forgot that life is about more than all the other stuff.  Take in the wonder of a star laden sky one night…listen to the belly laugh of a toddler…just be alive and present in this very moment – and laugh at yourself like I am because I just wrote an entire blog on how I want to have fun!  I will have to make my own fun.

And that’s ok…

it’ll be fun.