Protecting My Peace.

I’ve had a really busy couple of days (socially) in the past week and as I sat down to write this blog entry, I realized just how tired I really am. I think I have officially depleted my social energy for a good 24-48 hrs. I think part of my exhaustion is coming from trying to be everyone’s best and most loyal friend, which has come at the price of often splitting my time across numerous social events that overlap, foregoing regular sleep schedules and contemplating just when I’m going to get around to taking care of the basic chores around my house.

Since the breakup (that I felt at the time was “devastating“), I’ve been blessed to welcome (and re-welcome) so many wonderful people and new experiences into my life, that I probably would have never met/known/experienced/crossed paths with had I not gone through that enormous heartache. I’ve been assessing it lately, but not in a, “woe is me, I’m still butt hurt behind this, fuck this guy,” but more of a very peaceful, “everything happens for a reason and I’m a better person because of it and I hope he is too”. All in all, I learned a lot from it and was able to have this extraordinarily fascinating person in my life that I’m excited to see (from a distance) continue to blossom as he swan dives into his 30s this year. He has a good head on his shoulders and a heart and gold and I know he’ll go far in life. He kept me on my toes, showed me what it was like to love unconditionally and helped me realize that I definitely deserve all of the love and positive energy that I am putting out into the universe in return and that I should never settle for anything less from anyone. I just feel blessed that I was fortune enough to cross paths with him on this journey we call life. Hopefully he took something away from me too and I hope he’s treated just as well as he deserves to be treated or I might possibly have to cut a bitch .

money mike.gif

Ha. No, I’m not high or anything like that, I’ve just been mostly at peace with it. Maybe I just needed to get past valentine’s day before I could officially “let go” of whatever remnants of “hurt” that were still lingering.

It’s funny, because just as I’m finding more peace with the situation, I’ve been able to make room for someone new. Well, I shouldn’t say, “new”, more like the notion of someone new. As I’ve mentioned previously, I am actively dating again, but slowly and a little more on the casual side. I’m not looking to dive head first into a relationship for a while. As my friend Greg put it (in reference to himself in terms of dating), “I’m a little rusty and need the practice.” It’s been interesting so far, but lately, I’ve been spending a little more time with one guy in particular (I believe I reference him here).

I haven’t really thought about this guy in an extremely serious sense and I don’t get butterflies really, but he’s been a lot of fun to be around with and reminds me of what it’s like to just go out, have fun and chill. He’s really kind and makes me laugh. We’re just about able to make an adventure out of pretty much anything that we do together. While on the goofy side, I like that he’s a very chivalrous guy. He still opens doors, uses his manners, dresses up for dates and all of that classy shit. He’s also very intelligent and doesn’t spend an ungodly amount of time consumed with technology or social media like most people. I like that I don’t feel pressured or rushed into “labels” like I was in my last relationship. I like that we make goofy faces at each other sometimes just to be silly and I also like that I’m just able to have fun with him and still maintain having my own life and identity outside of it. In my last relationship, I felt like I was almost instantly sucked into the black hole of my ex’s gravitational pull.While he was very sweet and the newness of the relationship was exciting, to was at times, very lonely, because I felt like I wasn’t able to entertain doing the things I loved or wanted to do outside of getting to know him.

Anyway, Friday night babyface and I went out for Thai and drinks by my place. Since our encounter the previous week, I’ve been trying to get him over to my place in more a roundabout way without coming out and saying, “just come over so we can…😉🍆👌🏾😏☺️,” I mean hey, I am a woman and I “respect myself”, but I like to have fun as well and I’m single and can do that. Ha. I’m not sure if he figured out my very calculated plan (yes, I calculated out just how everything was going to work in my head before the night got started), but he’s fairly “go with the flow” and went along with it.

After a fancy Thai dinner (which by the way, was at the same place I’ve been to with my ex numerous times and the hostess set us at the table that my ex and I would always sit at–can we say weird), we went out for drinks at a tavern not far from my house, but not before I suggested he leave his truck parked there so we could go to the tavern in one car (because ultimately, I wanted him to come back to my place after).

Drinks were fun and I offered to pay since he’s been paying for all of our dates these past few weeks. I don’t mind picking up the tab if I feel like the guy legitimately enjoys my company and isn’t just trying to fuck, play games or be a mooch. Drink wise, we both went hard and had a few rounds of bourbon before closing out. I sort of think we were trying to out do one another to see who could stand the manliest drink. I’m pretty sure he won, being that he’s a smooth 8 inches taller than me and athletically toned.

Before heading back to my place, he suggested we swing by the grocery store to pick up some beer to have while we watched netflix (and chillllled). After he became a bit indecisive about the beer, he suggested I choose. I was already well on my way to being intoxicated, so I didn’t really see myself drinking beer once we got back, but I opted for a smooth seasonal cider and we were on our way.

Once back at my place, he went into this super sweet mode of pulling me close and cuddling with me. He’d gently rub my back and softly kiss my forehead as the alcohol really started to settle in and caused me to feel sleepy (or maybe I was just sleepy and those two energy drinks I smashed hours earlier at work both wore off at the same damn time). I could barely finish the one beer I did open, while he easily drank another two, before I told him I was tired and asked if could move our netflix and chill session upstairs to my bedroom so I could lay down. He agreed and off we went. By this point, we were both exhausted (mostly from work), but the stars all aligned we went for it.

As I mentioned before, this has been my first true (and full) intimate encounter since my ex, so while it felt a tad bit strange for a few seconds, I eventually got over it and focused appropriately on babyface.

sensational

After all was said and done, I offered the invitation for him to stay the night, which he had no issue taking and we passed out. My sleep was fragmented at best, but it was nice to wake up warm and being cuddled. I remember waking up as the sun rose to study his bare chest as I laid comfortably on it. His pecks and arms are really muscular, but not in a crazy body builder sense. They appropriately fit his physique and was pleasant to study while he woke up. Talk about a work of art. Yas. We small talked and cuddled for about an hour or two before eventually getting out of bed. No, I didn’t make him brekafast, because I didn’t really have any food in my house (I know, what a shitty host I am). We kissed each other goodbye and he left to go start his day and went into starting mine, which was fully loaded (starting with lunch, a showing of the black panther, game night, dinner and impromptu concert outing with vday vibe guy and bar hopping with friends).

And now that leaves today. I had another jam packed day full of social events, but I woke up and cancelled them all if for no other reason than peace of mind. I really hate to be a flake like that (because I am usually very loyal and do what I say I’m going to do), but I over committed myself (again) and needed to take a step back. As the weekend approached earlier this week, I realized I had built in very little time to rest and relax and I just wanted a day to meander do things on my own time without any set schedule. I went for a run on one of my favorite trails, took some nature photos, binged some netflix and took a nap. Best day in a long time!

To wrap up, what I essentially thought was going to be a shitty week turned out to be fairly decent and stress free one. I’m starting to feel alive again and back tobetter than my old self. I’m really hoping my positive outlook on a recently ended relationship and my future moving forward will continue. It’s so much easier to go through life this way!

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VDay Vibe

So it’s no “surprise” that I wasn’t really looking forward to valentine’s day this year. I’ve been doing pretty well emotionally lately, but yesterday my mind was swimming with thoughts of my ex. Not necessarily sad thoughts, but thoughts nonetheless. Luckily, I had an extremely hectic day at work, so I didn’t have a lot of time to sulk or dwell on it. Hopefully he had a good day with whatever it is that he did or didn’t do.

After the craziness of work yesterday (including the departure of a good work friend–it was her last day!), I met up with some friends for dinner. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do anything for valentine’s day, but something told me to stop being a grouch and go out anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? I was having dinner with a group full of people, who like me, were single too. Why not enjoy each other’s company?

A good friend of mine coordinated this dinner of the lonely heart’s club. I didn’t realize until I got there, that he had invited a person or three that I hadn’t met before. While I wasn’t in the mood to “pep up the perk” with the new people, I sucked it up anyway and gave it a go. I sat right next to one friend of his and introduced myself. Turns out that was the best thing I could have done that entire night.

The friend (he was a guy) and I hit it off immediately and started to talk like we had known each other for years. He seemed to be very friendly and genuine. He looked really sharp in his work attire–a navy sport coat, tailored dark gray pants and brown dress shoes (similar to the outfit below):

navybluecoat

I was immediately drawn to him by all of his travel stories. He had recently gotten back from India and told me about all the amazing things he experienced there. He also mentioned having pretty much gone to every Asian and European country over the course of ten years with the goal of traveling as much as he can while he’s “young”.  Some travel was for business and some was for pleasure. While talking about his travels, he happened to mention that he was originally from Milwaukee, WI…which is where my ex is from, ha.

oh my gosh

(In reference to the meme above, Check out the manitowoc minute here)

I pretended to not have been told “everything I’ve ever wanted to know about the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin the state (in general), The Packers and “Da’ Rodgers” ” prior and let him explain his hometown to me in his own words. Luckily, he had a different perspective of Milwaukee, so it was like hearing about it for the first time (no, he does not have a Wisconsin accent and neither did my ex, unless he was frustrated and then he did and it was funny–but that’s irrelevant to this story). He even told me about this “speakeasy” place I should checkout if I ever go there.

After dinner, everyone seemed pretty tired and called it a night. It was pushing closer to 9 and after a long workday, that made sense, but tailored suit guy asked if I wanted to join him to walk a few doors down to a chocolate shop. I had nothing else better to do, so why not?

“After all, it’s valentine’s day…what’s valentine’s day without chocolate?,” so off we went to grab chocolate.

We managed to snag some truffles about ten minutes before the shop closed and we were booted out at which point he asked if I wanted to grab a drink some place. Through conversation, we realized that we lived about ten minutes from each other on the other side of town. He suggested we meet at this cozy dive bar on our side of town to continue the evening, so off we went.

After meeting up at the dive bar, we spoke another two hours or so about traveling, our jobs, our friends, our random adventures, how terrible hitting 30 felt, how difficult it can be to make friends at this age and so on. We even found out we share a birthday week. He told me some funny stories about how he and his friends bought a sailboat one year with the plan to sail around for a week, but none of them knew how to sail and the boat sank within the first six hours they were on it (no one died).

The conversation was so fascinating and the more we spoke, the more I wanted to know about this guy. It was so interesting. He kept me on the edge of my seat the entire night, but just as equally seemed interested in my life stories as well. Not only was he interesting, he was very kind, patient, non-judgemental and down to earth. I felt like I speaking to someone I’ve known all my life.

Our night came to an end around midnight when we both realized that we had “grown up jobs” and needed to get to bed. We exchanged numbers and made our newly cemented friendship, “facebook official”.

I couldn’t help but to smile on the way home because of the social interaction. I haven’t had such a great and engaging social interaction like that in months and I’ve been longing for that level of connection for some time. While I’ve been dating here and there, I’ve realized lately that there’s something missing…and it’s this spark of being engulfed in engaging conversation to the point of losing track of time (and reality). The guys are nice (and some are fun), but just not extremely interesting conversation wise. I haven’t felt this same level of excitement in speaking to someone since I met my ex. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met so many people over the past few months (friends, flings,  otherwise, etc) that have held my attention (and have even been fun), but maybe not to this extent. The funny thing is, I’m not even holding this guy in a romantic light in anyway shape or form. He’s so damn cool that I just want to be his friend. Sometimes it’s just cool to have someone to vibe with platonically and I feel like he’s someone I could hangout with and could always guarantee a good time.

Since last night we’ve spoken back and forth today about how we both had a great night last night. I’m even inviting him to my birthday dinner in two weeks and he’s invited me to his later on the same week.

So no, while I didn’t get to skip around last night , hand in hand with a “bae”, I did make a new friend and that to me was a nice way to end such a potentially shitty day.

 

All joking aside, today is about to be the toughest day of all. I’ve seriously been dreading today for weeks 🙁.

Galentine’s Day?

I’ve been hearing the word, “Galentine’s Day” tossed around quite a bit this year. Per Wikipedia’s definition, this is actually an unofficial “holiday” celebrated on February 13th to celebrate a day for “ladies celebrating ladies”. This came about from a Parks and Recs episode, but is apparently celebrated by some people in real life. Go figure. This almost reminds me of that time my ex made me watch “Girlfriend’s Day” with him one night (on Netflix). The movie was terrible is about some made up holiday a greeting card writer created to basically have another reason to sell cards and to (I guess) “win” his (ex) girlfriend back? The movie for lack of a better word was weird, but we ended up laughing about how we couldn’t believe it was real and also how we somehow “missed the holiday”. Low and behold, there is also a “Boyfriend’s Day” too (not the movie, the holiday). We didn’t miss that one in IRL though….and only “celebrated” it to be funny in reference to the silliness of “Girlfriend’s Day”.

Anyway, I’m rambling about things in the past and I shouldn’t be…Where were we….? Ah yes, “Galentine’s Day”….

I first heard about this about a week ago when one of my female friends drunkenly suggested we all go out for “Valentine’s Day” because all of us are single-ish, right now. I didn’t take her too serious, because she was about three beers deep and because at the time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to even acknowledge the holiday. To be honest, even though I haven’t *always* been single during Vday, I’ve just never cared much for the holiday. I wasn’t single last year on Vday and still tried to mostly avoid it. I’m one of those people that feels like its unnecessary stress and expectations on everyone. I’m from the school of thought that, “everyday should be vday” if you’re really in love with someone (not necessarily by way of elaborate gifts,  but love)…you don’t have to wait until Feb 14…rather, you SHOULDN’T just make that known on Feb 14…you should make it known year ‘round, in addition to recognizing it (I guess)…I don’t know…I’m rambling again, you get the point though.

Anyway, this past weekend, a few other friends of mine mentioned the looming holiday again, this time suggesting we do a “Galentine’s Day” of sorts.

A who, girl? I got the reference of “Gal” and “Valentine’s”, but it just sounded silly, but they were being dead ass serious. DEAD. ASS.

So now not only do I have to openly acknowledge that I’m SINGLE AF on this holiday, I now have to go parade around with my chick posy shouting it out and waving our bras in the air? What does one even do on Galentine’s Day? Do you cry into a pint of beer? Do you throw darts at printed photos of your ex? Do you sing revengeful breakup songs around a bond fire? I’m not up on the culture here…and I don’t “hate” my ex (though he is emotionally reckless a nice guy), so I don’t want to be around that energy. I’m already easily agitated if I have to think about past relationships.

My friend loosely planned this outing as beer and food truck cuisine on Wednesday because, “we don’t need men to feel loved”. Ok then. Girl power. Yeah…I guess the thought has some clout there.

I’ve since had about three other groups of friends mention this, “Galentine’s Day” with everything from wine and Netflix, to a movie and dinner date with your “girls”. It’s a little overwhelming to be invited to so many gatherings, but I guess I’m flattered and happy that we all have each other’s backs. I think a bunch of male friends even suggested a “Palentine’s Day” dinner…?

now sis

To be completely honest though, I don’t really see myself participating in “Galentine’s Day” (and maybe not even “Palentine’s Day”) this year…It’s all very endearing, but baby no. I’m just not in the mood. I’m indifferent about Vday in general and I’d like to not be reminded of it as much as humanly possible. I just want to move past it. The last thing I want to do is to go ANYWHERE public and see couples, coupling. I think that would hurt more than simply treating it as another day and going home. Also, even though I’m “dating”, I think it’s tacky to even bring Vday up to someone (some guys) so new in your life (that are literally on a 30-day trial subscription as it is). Besides, I have to work late anyway, so I’m really not going to be in the mood to be “social” after pulling a 12 hour work day. I think I’d rather just drown myself in halo ice cream and go to bed early. We’ll see.

Am I being a grouch about this? I’m being a grouch, aren’t I? Leave me alone and let me enjoy my trashiness.

grouch

On another semi related note, I’m having surprise flowers sent to two of my MALE friends who were SUPER supportive during my time of healing from the breakup and that to me is “enough” for my participation in the holiday (which sidenote: sending flowers is also stressful. I don’t think I’m ever doing that again). Actually, three of my male friends were super supportive, but the other one is happily in a relationship and I don’t want to step on toes. Just know I appreciate you, if you’re reading this 🙂 . You know who you are!

 

And….uh… happy er….Val-Gal-Pal-en-tines Day of love and/or loneliness. May whatever you want to happen, happen?

“Hold on to Hope If You Got It”

While working this morning, I decided to listen to Paramore’s latest album (After Laughter) and stumbled upon the song “26”. While, I’ve had this album downloaded for months, I’ve never *really* listened to it from start to finish. I’ve skipped around here and there. Anyway, I finally listened to this entire song today and it’s beautiful, but also a little sad. It kind of reminds of being in a hopeless place after being heartbroken and trying to talk myself into “not giving up all hope”. That’s a difficult place to be in and one I don’t wish on my worst enemy. Everything seems dark and desolate.

I’m thankful to be in a much better place today than several months ago. Life just keeps getting better as time goes on and I’m eager to see where the journey takes me next.

Here are the lyrics. The portion in red was particularly touching to me.

 

Man, you really know how to get someone down
Everything was fine until you came around
I’ve been chasing after dreamers in the clouds
After all wasn’t I the one who said
To keep your feet on the ground?
Man, you really brought me back down

Hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody
They say that dreaming is free
But I wouldn’t care what it cost me

You got me tied up but I stay close to the window
And I talk to myself about the places that I used to go
I’m hoping someday maybe I’ll just float away
And I’ll forget every cynical thing you say
When you gonna hear me out
Man, you really bring me down

Hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody
They say that dreaming is free
But I wouldn’t care what it cost me

Reality will break your heart
Survival will not be the hardest part
It’s keeping all your hopes alive
When all the rest of you has died
So let it break your heart 

And hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody

Hold on to hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody
They say that dreaming is free
I wouldn’t care what it cost me

The Teacher

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a “date” with this guy I’m going to nickname, “the teacher” for lack of me being too lazy to come up with something more creative. He’s a high school teacher, so that suits him well enough for now.

The Teacher and I had spoken back and forth for a week or two, but never settled on plans for a “date” due to each of us fighting off nasty viruses that have been going around (well, more so being busy on my end). I had semi forgotten we had pending date plans until he reached out to me to see what my weekend was looking like…and then I realized my weekend was getting kind of full and fast.

He suggested we meet for drinks at a brewery on Saturday afternoon, on the edge of town. Sort of a happy hour of sorts, minus the food (though I think there was a food truck somewhere on site).

I wasn’t sure what to expect—well, I should say, I didn’t have many expectations from this, “date” mostly because we hadn’t spent a great deal of time getting to know each other beforehand. We exchanged very basic information about one another (our careers, where we were born, our hobbies, etc), but that is it, so the success of the “date” was truly going to ride off conversation, which can be hit or miss in person.

When I walked into the crowded brewery, I saw him standing against the wall nervously. He looked like the textbook definition of a teacher. He had on one of those sweaters with the buttons and pockets, glasses and a bashful grin.

sweater button down

I greeted him with a one armed hug (those hugs I give to co-workers or distant relatives I barely know or to people when my hands are full), we said our introductions and hopped in line for beer (the line was outrageous). There were people and dogs everywhere. I figured while we stood in line, we could chitchat about various things, just to pass the time, but instead, he stood BEHIND me and said nothing. This was reminiscent of guy #1 from last week. I turned around to him a few times to drop bait in hopes of starting a conversation, but he would mostly respond with somewhat of a short answer and then not follow up with anything further. Conversations to me are like playing catch. To keep it going, you’ve got to participate (i.e. catch the ball and toss it back). In this situation, it was like I’d throw the ball to him, he’d catch it and then set it down in the grass just walk away. This happened about three times until I gave up and just waited in line in silence.

This was going to be interesting, if he wasn’t going to talk…

We finally made it to the front of the line (side by side this time) and ordered our beers. I at least got him to recommend a stout from the menu. That was one topic he elaborated on. I already had my wallet out, because I wasn’t sure if he was treating or not. He wasn’t.

I have a rant about this, but I don’t feel like going into it now…in a nutshell though, I’m OK with paying for myself (or even treating if I’m seriously dating someone), BUT if I’m “invited out” for a DATE (especially if it is some place the guy wants to take me to and it’s early on, like our first or second date), it sort of shifts my expectations for the rest of the DATE, which I’ll now consider a hangout, which to me has zero undertones of romance.  Which, I’m good on new friends for now bruh…you see where this is going…

Anyway, the brewery was far too crowded and there were no open seats. With it raining outside a bit, there were no hopes of sitting at the picnic tables either, so we huddled under the very crowded porch where the smokers were hanging out. I hate the smell of smoke. He apologized several times for this, but I rolled with the punches, because he couldn’t control any of it.

Our conversation started out very slowly, but eventually picked up over the next hour or so. Turns out, he’s far more interesting than he originally came across and opened up quite a bit more as the evening went on. He was in the army and did some IT work while he was enlisted. Once he got out, he decided to go get his master’s in teaching and the rest is history. He told me stories about how he’s basically lived all over the U.S. and all of the cool places he go to travel to while in the military and how he is finally starting to consider this area, “home”.

Our allotted 2.5 hour time slot came and went actually quicker than I anticipated and I respectfully announced my exit. I just told him I had another engagement with friends that evening and needed to get going, but that I enjoyed his company. He very respectfully walked me to my car and gave me a hug. He nervously exclaimed that he had fun as well and asked if I wanted to, “do this again sometime”.

Did I feel sparks or an “instant connection”? Not really, but something about him seemed charming enough to give it another go, so we’ll see.  We haven’t planned anything yet, but while I was out with baby face, I got a text from him saying that he’d love to see me again (I obviously waited until he was in the bathroom to answer this text message).

I was obviously a bit (*ahem*) “tied up” Saturday night, but reached back out to him with a bit more of a substantial response regarding date #2 this morning, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully well. I’m trying to remain open minded.

Tonight (well, Monday–depending upon when I publish this actual post), I have rescheduled dinner (Indian food) plans (was set for last night (Sunday), but a migraine took me out the game for a good portion of the evening) with this other guy, who I barely remember hitting it off with friday (or Thursday) night while out with friends and in line grabbing a cider in another brewery downtown. Let’s just call him, “SamIam“. The only thing I remember about him was that he was quite charming, tall, had a nice smile and worked in IT, but prefered creative writing (just like me). I’m taking it he also enjoys cider???Hopefully he can carry on a conversation sober…

Trucks and Tacos

I went on date #2 on Saturday with guy #2. I’m going to nickname him…”baby face” (because he’s adorable looks really young in the face).

I honestly didn’t think there’d be a date #2, but mostly because our rate of communication had dwindled throughout the week. We spoke everyday, but there’d be hours between our responses (and yes, this was on my end as well). On my end, work, friends, overextending myself with social engagements and juggling other guys (more on them later) was to blame, but I always responded to his texts in appropriate lengths and he did the same. Who knows, maybe he’s doing the same things, which is fine by me. I don’t “own” him and he doesn’t “own” me.

By Friday, we decided to set up a date for a semi late Tex Mex dinner Saturday night, which worked out perfectly, because I had a brewery date with “the teacher” (more on him in another post) around 5, which I had allowed a 2.5 hrs time slot in my schedule and an additional 30 minutes for a quick outfit change and the drive over to meet baby face across town. Yeah, I was doing a whole lot, guys. And yes, I did need to do an outfit change.

Baby face arrived a little later than me, but only by about five minutes. He looked nice in a Carolina blue polo shirt and jeans (the color was intentional due to a basketball game our rival teams played, where his won). We ordered our food and got the date started. Not that I was nervous before, but seeing him for a second time felt less awkward. He seemed more relaxed as well, but extremely tired, just like me (well, I was also half hungover, half drunk, but that’s not entirely relevant to this story).

After dinner, he suggested that we pop in to the Irish pub next door for a round or two of drinks. I wasn’t really up for drinking, but couldn’t think of anything to counteroffer, so I went along with it. We both drank beers and shared funny college stories. Some of his stories had me in stitches. He’s such a funny guy.

The pub closed not too long after we got there (about midnight), but he didn’t want the night to end and suggested we go to this area of the city to overlook planes taking off. It sounded overly romantic cheesy, but I took him up on it because I wasn’t ready for the night to end and maybe part of me was up for some spontaneous fun! I hopped in his full sized pick up truck (sidebar: I’ve always wanted to date a guy with a truck) and we were off (about 5 minutes down the road).

We watched a plane or two take off from his backseat (so we could cuddle without dealing with the center console) before we found ourselves making out. Unlike last time he was a lot less aggressive and allowed me to follow his lead instead of pulling me around like a ragdoll.

This continued for what only seemed like a few minutes, but actually ended up being hours. We ended up fooling around pretty heavy, but it felt right so I went for it. Every so often during this session, he’d look down on me and deep into my eyes. His gaze reminded me of the way my ex would look at me during “play time” (his actual words, not mine) when he’d tell me I was beautiful and couldn’t stop looking at me. It was a weird deja vu moment, which baby face interrupted to ask me what I was thinking about.

I snapped back to reality quickly, giggled and answered, “you”. He smiled and blushed.

As he kissed me all over and explored with his hands, I kept comparing him to my ex and how familiar he (ex) became with body and how he took his time with every curve as if he was creating a masterpiece, while baby face was still testing the waters, so to speak. All in all, baby face wasn’t doing so bad considering I was giving him very little to go off of, emotion wise. I was mostly silent and limited my motions quite a bit (because afterall, we were in public), but my grip would tighten and I would display a grin of satisfaction while looking him in the eyes. It’s like my emotions did an emergency shut off. Baby face at times seemed nervous, or overwhelmed, like he wasn’t quite sure what to do next or perhaps was surprised I had even “let him” go this far. Maybe he was wondering if I was “enjoying it”.  Perhaps he was battling in his head what I wanted vs. what he wanted in that moment. There were a lot of uncertainties under the serenity of the moonlight. I’m sure his mind was racing just as fast as mine. Anyway, the comparison thoughts sort of flickered and burned out just as quickly as they came and I ended up focusing more on him.

After we finished, he could tell I was exhausted (I admittedly dozed off a moment or two during some of this) and suggested we go back to cuddling, watching planes and looking out at the stars above us through the sunroof of the truck. He showed a really sensitive side and gently kissed my forehead a few times as I catnapped in his arms, which again, gave me weird flashbacks. We both eventually fell asleep and woke up around 4 a.m. chuckling about how old we were becoming.

He drove me back to my car, but not before we made a pit stop at a walmart to use the bathroom. Ha, we both walked in there flushed in the face with bed head and wrinkled clothing. The scent of his cologne hung off of my neck like a scarf. The employees that were inside definitely gave us some interesting looks, haha.

All in all, Saturday night was a lot of fun. It’s not my schtick to partake in such things so casually, but I just went for it. I’m human and have “needs”. While I’ve “dated” other guys since my last relationship ended, I haven’t really been intimate with anyone (to that extreme anyway) since. Perhaps this would explain the weird deja-vu moments with this being my first genuine, “hook-up” (geez, that sounds so impersonal)  since things ended or maybe I was just tipsy and tired, which clouded my judgement a bit. In a weird way though, I still feel very little emotional attachment to this guy even after what happened, which isn’t like me at all. I like him, I find him attractive and he’s very nice, but I don’t get “butterflies” when we’re together or see his name cartwheel across the notifications on my phone. It’s like my heart is on a sabbatical somewhere…and maybe never coming back? I’d be ok with that actually. “Feeling” is overrated. I don’t really want to “feel” right now.

shrug

Oh well.

It looks like we have plans for later on this week. Who knows what we’ll get into. Should be sensitional.

3 Dates, 2 Guys, 1 Girl.

I think I’m approaching dating all wrong.

As I mentioned last week (in kind of a silly post), I had a few dates this past weekend. I actually ended up having three, but with two guys (two dates with one of the guys if you’re keeping up with the math here).

Friday, I met up with guy #1 for some Hawaiian cuisine, which I also talk about here. This guy is the one who practically left the planning of our date completely up to me. He barely even selected the day, just mentioned he wanted to “get together” and said to tell him what “I” wanted to do. This was mildly annoying, but I reluctantly “planned” the date anyway.

Things started somewhat awkwardly, but mostly because he gave off these super nervous and socially awkward vibes at first. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me and wouldn’t take off his beanie or coat. As we ordered our food, he barely said a complete sentence to me and I thought to myself, “oh boy”. He eventually snapped out of it and we were able to have a steady conversation. He was mildly funny and seemed to be genuinely nice. After dinner, we grabbed dessert at a coffee shop not too far away for these doughnuts he’d been raving about. Our conversation continued to go well and he asked if I wanted to join him for brunch on Sunday before he went out of town for the week. He seemed nice, so I agreed and the night ended. We awkwardly hugged and went our separate ways.

Saturday, I met up with guy #2 for a museum and dinner date. While this guy took a little more initiative to “plan” the date, he sort of left it up to me to fill in the finer details (what museum we were going to go to and what restaurant dinner wise). At first I was kind of annoyed by that, but it wasn’t so bad…at least I had something to go off of. I opted for the history museum since I had just gone to the science museum (next door) several months prior with my ex (didn’t want those memories), and a local “fancy” pizza place walking distance from the museum.

Our date started late because neither one of us could find parking or each other in the lobby of the museum. After we found one another, we started to walk around the different exhibit halls. As we looked at different exhibits, he provided hilarious commentary about everything we were looking at. It helped ease any butterflies either one of us had and made for a good time. We were so late starting that portion of the date that an hour and a half into it the museum closed and they kicked us out (they basically shut all of the lights out and we couldn’t see the exits)!

We strolled over to our dinner spot (a “fancy” wood fire pizza place that had just opened). It was early in the evening and the dinner crowd hadn’t arrived yet, so we were seated fairly quickly. The waiter already knew we were on a date just by our mannerisms and made sure to take extra care of us and not to interrupt too many of our conversations. We talked about everything, but mostly college, our jobs, our families, hobbies and so on. The conversation was fairly steady and effortless. He seemed nice, but a little silly.

After dinner, we walked a block or two back to our cars to end the night. It was going on about 8 o’clock now and I wanted to go meet some friends a few streets over for the tail end of game night (something we’ve been meeting up for every other week for the past few months). Out of respect, I did not tell my date this, but was lowkey excited that I still had time to kill two birds with one stone…that was until we got to my car. I reached out to hug him and thank him for a lovely afternoon/evening and he hugged me back, but then went in for a kiss. No, not just a peck on the lips…no… full out make-out session. This went on for at least ten or maybe fifteen minutes and I was cold and tired of standing outside. In coming up for air every other minute or so, I would look for instances of escape, but somehow not move quick enough TO escape. I giggled bashfully, but was really like, “dude, wtf”. Even hinting around to being cold and getting ready to head out didn’t fix anything. Our lips were not only locked, he had a tight bear hug grip on me too.

Don’t get me wrong…I didn’t mind kissing him (he wasn’t a bad kisser) and he wasn’t FORCING me to kiss him, it was just a bit much and a tad bit on the aggressive side. Like dude, this is date #1, chill.

I eventually “broke free” and he asked if I was interested in going on another date with him (actually in his words, “do I deserve a second date”?).

Which sidebar, stop asking these things. It’d be kind of awkward if the person was like, “nope”. Like, I think  you’ll get a vibe if a second date is in the clouds…and let date #1 kind of settle before moving on to #2.

We vaguely discussed doing dinner closer out by his place and left it at that. After parting ways, I met up with my friends for the tail end of game night and bar hopping. We ended up ending the evening over a bond fire with some cocktails. I probably overdid it on the drinks.

On Sunday, I woke up to persistent rain and didn’t feel like getting out of the bed to do anything, let alone meet up with guy #1 for brunch. I reluctantly got up and got dressed and met up with him as I promised I would.

Date #2 with him was a little more awkward than date #1 if that’s even possible. He seemed a tad bit (more) nervous and at times distracted or “in the clouds”. He was also slightly agitated that there was a wait to be seated (like a ten minute wait—but it was Sunday brunch, that’s common). I tried to hide the fact that I was in a bad mood (due to exhaustion) and pretended to mostly be engaged in the date…which seemed to last for hours… and hours…but I think only really lasted maybe two hours. Luckily, the date ended because the restaurant was closing early due to the superbowl. I saw an opportunity to say my goodbyes and move on with my day and mentioned needing to head to the grocery store next door to pick up some items for a superbowl gathering I was going to later. I expected guy#1 to take the hint and realize that our date was over and it was time to part ways, but instead, he invited himself ALONG to go shopping with me, because he didn’t have to be anywhere for the next hour.

 

Guys…

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This floored me, but I kept my composure. I no longer wanted to force interaction with him. I was at my max of social interaction for the weekend. My “fake it” was running on “E” by this point and I really just wanted to be alone. I couldn’t concentrate on what I needed to get with him being there in my personal space. I finally just gave up and told him I would probably just order pizza and bring that to the gathering (which I did actually end up doing).

I knew our goodbye was going to have to be abbreviated since it was raining pretty hard and I was going to have to make a run for it to my car, but before I darted off he awkwardly stood there as if he wanted to kiss me, but wanted to wait for me to move in closer to him. I did not and instead just gave him a long distance hug. Overall, date #2 annoyed me, but mostly because it felt forced (since he was going to be out of town the next week) and I wasn’t in the right head space to entertain it.


Overall, here is my assessment:

Guy#1: I liked him as person. He seems genuinely kind, hardworking and loyal. I feel like he would treat the person he dates really well, but I’m not sure if that person should be me, because I didn’t feel any sparks or chemistry there. I didn’t leave either date overly excited or starry eyed. I felt that our interactions (at times) dragged a bit longer than they needed to. After date #2, he sent me a text going on about how he wondered if we should have “kissed” and did I “feel” that “urge” too.

I did not. I felt zero urge to kiss him.

We’ve texted back and forth since, but I’ve mostly just kept my responses kind of to the point. Oh! He also went on this tangent at brunch about how he hungout with his ex the night before because the guy she left him for just broke up with her…what?

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The good thing is, with him being gone this week, it gives me a chance to think through whether or not I want to proceed any further with him. I’d hate to be mean and cut things off, but I also don’t want to string him along either.

Guy #2: I also liked him as a person—even though, sidebar, he rubbed me the wrong way earlier last week via text when he made a racist joke (not a joke about MY race, but still). Aside from that, he semi redeemed himself by being a little bit more decent in person. He looked nice for our date and was good company. He made me laugh and I genuinely enjoyed our time together. I never felt like time was dragging while we were out. He’s also very tall, smelled nice and was fairly cute.

Will this continue though? I don’t think so. While I had fun with him and enjoyed his company, I also don’t know if we have enough chemistry to regularly date. He seems like he would be fun on occasion to go to a sports bar or maybe see a game, but I’m not sure how “serious” he would take dating and I don’t want to date a clown or someone who doesn’t know when to be serious (when it’s time to be serious). I mean, just the fact that he somehow thought aggressively making out with me was mutually desired is a little weird. Did I give off that vibe? Also, we live in separate cities (though I work and spend a great deal of time in the city he lives in), so that makes it somewhat difficult to regularly get together, I guess and I’ve dealt with that before and it gets old.

While we’ve sort of “loosely” planned something for Saturday (I think he wants to do a “pub crawl” and asked which places I wanted to “explore”), I don’t see it happening. Besides, that’s not really a date? That’s something I do with my friends when we’re blowing off steam. What happens if one or both of us gets too drunk to drive home??? Especially me, since I’d have a half hour drive ahead of me. We’ve still been in touch via text, but at a much slower rate…more of a just texting out of obligation vibe. This could be for many reasons, but for me (as of yesterday), this is due to the loss of excitement….and maybe leading into more loss of interest.

There have been some other guys (like three) that have asked me on dates, but I’ve sort of stalled with all them. I’m not really sure if I want to date anyone right now. I thought I did or that I’d approach this a little differently (or with a more optimistic attitude). On one end, I feel like I’m being super anal and on the other end I feel like I’m being overly lax about what I truly want, which is why I’m having the issues with Guy #1 and Guy #2 happen.

Valentine’s day coming up next week doesn’t help matters either. I’m trying not to be that person that wants to be with someone to say I’m with them on V-day, but it’s hard, especially when I know that day is going to suck *EXTRA* hard this year….and I have to work late that night. Shoot me in the eye.

Mood Check-In

Gee, looks like aside from being “content” (which comes in spurts), I equally split my time between being bored, drunk, worried and annoyed.

Wonder if there’s a correlation 🤔.

Vegan(ism) Day 7 – The Final Day

Ah, Sunday. I thought I’d never get there (just kidding). I woke up feeling lazier than usual, but probably because the forecast called for a steady downpur of cold rain all day long. All I felt like doing was snuggling up in bed with my blankets and binging on netflix, but I promised to meet a friend for brunch. Luckily, I got to choose the restaurant and I selected a place that I knew had ample veggie options on the menu. I ended up with black bean burger and sweet potato fries. Sure, I know the fries (and possibly the burger) were both cooked in the same oil as the other meat dishes, but I feel like I made the best choice out of the options available (aside from just ordering a salad–which, I was a bit tired of eating straight produce by this point). I’m not really sure how to deal with the oil situation in restaurants. I mean, can you? It’s not really up to you how a restaurant cooks their food?  I mean, you don’t have to eat there? Sure, you could ask wait staff every intricate detail of how something is made, but at the end of the day, even they don’t control the cooks or policies of the kitchen staff…so there’s no guarantee.

That would stress me out having to deal with that every time I wanted to eat something out. Not that I eat out often (this past weekend was unusual), but still.

I feel like I could go on this super long tangent here about the quality of foods in restaurants (and grocery stores) and how that food is prepared, stored, served, etc, but there are enough food documentaries (concerning health) on netflix and I don’t feel like I need to waste the time to say what has already been said.

Anyway, I closed out the evening with pizza and a glass of wine. As I half watched the superbowl, I thought about how it would feel to wake up the next day (today–Monday since this is being posted super late) and not having to obsessively worry about what I was going to eat.

Some things I learned on this “journey”:

  1. A lot of food contains animal products, even foods you wouldn’t assume would, like some snacks, dressings and even drinks.
  2. Many restaurants aren’t vegan friendly and while they may carry a specific dish or alternative here and there, the variety is slim (you’re looking at one maybe two dishes at best-though, you can be creative with sides and ask swaps like nut milks or steamed veggies). Restaurants that do cater to vegans/vegetarians are limited in more suburban/rural areas.
  3. Just because you’re eating a “plant based diet”, doesn’t mean you’re being healthy. Many snacks that are vegan, aren’t healthy for you just because they’re vegan friendly (i.e. oreos, laffy taffy, etc.). Many meat and dairy substitutes are a clusterfuck of processed nonsense. So essentially, while you aren’t eating food with animal products in them, you’re eating a lot of chemicals with possible long term effects on your body (which is another issue within itself).
  4. Abruptly cutting out meat and dairy is a shock to the system and may (at first) cause you to feel fatigued (also cold and shaky). I’m not sure if this is because of withdraws or simply from being malnourished (as a newbie who isn’t eating properly, because I ate like shit).
  5. Piggybacking off of the point above, I learned that dairy is a pretty substantial part of my normal diet even though I already incorporated nut milks into my regular diet as opposed to drinking traditional cow milk  (and I didn’t used to think so).
  6. You’ll use the bathroom more frequently (no seriously).
  7. You’re more hungry between meals and snacks. It requires you to be far more creative in snack and meal options to keep hunger at bay (you’ll need protein–nuts, beans).
  8. Slip ups can occur if you don’t plan well.
  9. Shopping for vegan friendly foods doesn’t have to be expensive (with planning).
  10. Certain vegan friendly staples (like black beans) are inexpensive and can be used in numerous dishes.
  11. You’ll have some anxiety at first because you’re having to adjust your train of thought and approach eating differently
  12. There will be times where you just have to “sit things out” (i.e., office birthday parties, chili cook-offs, etc) and that’s ok.

 

Some positive benefits (that I experienced):

  1. I’m more mindful/clear headed
  2. I’ve increased my water intake quite a bit
  3. I’m more aware of what’s in the food I am eating and think to check before assuming anything
  4. I’m more sensitive to people with plant based diets (or any other non-mainstream diets).
  5. I saved money (mostly by not eating out as much)
  6. I feel like I’m not as bloated
  7. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything if I don’t eat meat with a meal now
  8. I lost about 3.5 pounds

 

Ok, ok…enough with the lists, enough with the rambling, enough with the analyzing. While I don’t particularly feel accomplished or like a “brand new person”, I am happy that I challenged myself to do this. While I don’t believe I could completely go vegan, I could do better about eating a more plant based diet whenever possible.