Weight Loss & Such

So for the past year or so, I’ve done pretty well with losing/maintaining weight. When I went for my physical a few months ago (right before I had lunch with this goofball–bad idea), my doctor was amazed that I had lost 50 lbs between February and November. She was also amazed to see that it seemed like my anxiety/depression was starting to level out thanks to proper medical management (little did she know I was faking the mental health aspect of my “progress” at the appointment).

Anyway, she asked how I did it and I simply told her I just paid more attention to what/how much I ate and *tried* to incorporate some sort of exercise into a few days of my week. Walking, running, dancing (badly), sex at one point…you know, things of that nature.

Of course, some recent events in my life have kind of derailed my focus in this area of my life and my focus at one pointed needed to be, “Did you eat something today? You need to eat.” or “Why are you eating that junk? Can’t you eat something non-processed“. Understandably, I needed to focus on taking care of my heart and mental/emotional health before even attempting to take on anything else of this consistent magnitude..so I sort of gave myself a pass through the holidays so as long as ate “something” everyday, because a few months back, I didn’t have much of an appetite at all.

Well, I weighed myself the other day for the first time since November and somehow, I’ve managed to maintain my weight even though I’ve completely come off of my health kick routine. Before I dated my ex, I had reduced my sugar intake, alcohol and coffee consumptions and most processed food (In fact…funny story, on our first date after he took me for beer and dinner, he also treated me to ice cream. The sugar content in the ice cream was so heavy that I got physically sick off of two spoonfuls).  I felt better during that time period than I ever had in my entire life and I’d like to get back there. I had more energy, I slept better and I was genuinely content. It also helped my anxiety and depression (which seemed to go dormant at the time).

I have no idea how I’ve even managed to maintain weight, let alone not gain any, but I guess lately even though I’ve been eating terribly, I’ve really only been basically eating one meal a day, just divided over different periods of the day. Take for instance the brunch I attended last Saturday… The sandwich and sweet potato fries I ordered was my first meal of the day. I consumed half of it there, walked around the perimeter of the art museum for 3 hours and ate the other half before heading out to game night later that evening, where I walked around a lot downtown. The day before that, I nibbled on produce at work (instead of eating lunch), because we had a two hour delay and I wanted to actually save room to savor the BBQ I planned to have later with the guys later (which I still didn’t finish) and last night, I went out for gourmet burgers and fries with my family, but again, I ate half of it and outside of an apple, it was basically the only thing I ate that day. So I guess the “give and take” method might be saving me right now.

Regardless, I still don’t feel “well” though and I’d like to. I need some sort of shock to my system. Like a reset of sorts. Ideally, I’d like to lose an additional 15-20 lbs and I think that’s possible if I get back on track.

While being super lazy on Sunday, I watched some youtube videos from bed. One of my more recent favorite youtube channels is the “TheOdd1sout“. He’s a super funny guy who uses animation to tell everyday stories from his life (the sooubway one is one of my favorites). Anyway, in one of his videos he describes the, “7 Day Vegan Challenge Baby (solves all your problems)”. In the video, he discusses how he took the challenge to eat a vegan diet for 7 days. See the video below:

While I found the video to be funny, I’ve been seriously thinking that challenge is something I’d like to do just to see if I can do it. I feel like it would be difficult, but it would help me to be more creative with food choices in situations where I’m attempting to eat a more plant based diet. Plus, it’s only a week, so by the time I got tired of it, It would be over.

I think I’m going to give this a shot as soon as my paycheck hits later this week–because I know some of this food may be pricey. I’ll have to write about it when I start and finish.

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Making Lady Friends After 29ish.

Let me tell you. You get to a certain age in life and making friends becomes a little more tricky.

I’ve been going into social butterfly overdrive lately and the introvert in me is a bit worn down. By Saturday night, I was having an internal melt down because I hadn’t been truly “alone” in three days and I was starting to feel overwhelmed.

At first, I made it a point to get out and be more social to get my mind off of this, but then it became more of way to expand my social circle(s) and now I find myself on this quest of, “yes, I’ll do that”, almost every single night of the week. My bank account is NOT happy with me, but I will admit since it happened, I’ve met so many wonderful people and become closer to friends of mine I had sort of neglected.

Part of my quest to expand my social circles lately is to make more female friends. I’ve always been more of, “hang with the guys”, kind of girl, but mostly because I’ve always been a little more tomboyish (I like cars, sports, sneakers, etc) and calm-natured. Yes, I doll up, wear makeup, carry a purse, care about my appearance, etc, I’ve just always felt more relaxed around guys I guess. There are just sometimes though where you want a female perspective or want to vent/rant about things that only other women could relate to…like periods…or how terrible some of our dating choices have been…or why some of us can seem to fully get over our exes, because…the feels.

I have never had any issue making new male friends. 70% of my close or best friends are male (gay and straight). I feel more like myself in those situations and surprisingly I haven’t found it difficult to look at them in a (mostly) platonic way. Not that females aren’t/can’t be any of these things (to me), but I’ve only managed to meet a handful of women in my young adult life that vibe on the same level as me. A lot of the other females I have met seem tangled up into drama and are necessarily catty.

So while over the past year or so, I’ve added a few really cool female friends to my social circle, I decided to partake in an exclusive all female brunch outing over the weekend. I wore chucks and jeans to the brunch.

chucks

Some of them dolled up and others, like me, went the more casual route. The brunch was actually through a meet up, so going in, I really only knew 1-2 of the women outside of the meet up and only on kind of an acquaintance level. But did this scare me? Not at all. Part of getting to know people is through conversation and engaging in conversation can be easy if you find relatable things to talk about. I’ve made it a goal of mine in adulthood to try to carry on engaging conversations from people of all walks of life. You would be surprised at how many grown ass people lack the basic skill of carrying on an engaging conversation (hint: if you’re interested in someone, end your sentences with questions, smile, don’t be one-worded–elaborate).

Like me, most of the ladies were newly single, worked demanding jobs and wanted to be more social in general. We discussed work, our pets, misc clothing sales, our families and so on. They were a pretty cool group of women. Everything was going swimmingly until one of them basically insinuated being disgusted by “hanging out” with guys, even on more of a mellow and casual setting within a group like we were doing. She claimed that in “co-ed” hangouts men were only interested in hooking up?

ryan gos - stressed

She went on a tangent about this for nearly twenty minutes or so. I know she talked about it long enough for me to lose interest in the conversation. I thought to myself:  Like, why are you so mad?! Who hurt you?! Maybe the guys I associate with are respectful? I mean, even in situations where a (guy) friend of mine has hinted out to having, “stronger than friendship feelings” for me, it was never aggressive or perverted.  I decided to keep my responses to her tangent abbreviated because she seemed really agitated and bitter, haha.

The rest of brunch went ok, but I feel like I would only occasionally hangout with maybe two out of the seven (not counting me) that were there. Actually, I’m not even a huge fan of “fancy brunch”. I could skip the mimosa, toss me a (craft) beer (or cider) or dump some Bailey’s in my coffee and I’m a happy camper.

Anyway, I met two or three other women out later on that evening after game night with other friends of mine (per usual, we bar hopped). I guess I’ll work on establishing closer friendships with the female friends I already have, because they’re some of the coolest chicks I know.

2017 Candle

My best friend gave this candle to me on NYE and told me to light it every time I thought of bad memories from 2017.

The candle is almost gone.

’tis all.

Brake Check.

 

rear view

I was driving to work a few hours ago after two glorious snow days at home (we got over a foot of snow in parts). My job was on a two-hour delay this morning, so I left a little later than my normal crack of dawn departure.

I was just minding my business when I noticed a car tailgating me. I was going about the speed limit (usually I go, at least bout 80″) and wasn’t in the left lane, so I wasn’t sure why this car didn’t just pass me (we were on a five lane highway with little to no traffic).

Anyway, after a few minutes of this and some passive aggressive brake checks, I merged over into another lane so that the person could pass me and that’s when I saw it. The car passing me wasn’t just any car, no, no, no…it was my Ex’s car. Of all of the one million people in the surrounding area to interact with on the highway, I would be just in the right place (or maybe wrong place?) to run into my ex (and almost literally).

Without getting into specifics, his car stands out pretty well and having spent a great deal of time with him in that car, I just knew it was his and it flew by me going about 90 mph before getting off of an exit. I’ll admit I was a bit stunned, but I guess not entirely, since he normally goes to work about the time he was riding up on my ass and we were around the area of town that he works in and we DO take the same route to work since we both work in the same city (different from the one we live in). Low and behold, it was indeed him:

brake check

We small talked for about an hour about the snow and work before the conversation died and we both lied about having to get back to work. So just like that, I killed my promise of not communicating with him in 2018….a smooth 19 days into the new year. Smh.

The one good thing about this encounter is that it didn’t trigger any warm and fuzzy feelings. After getting over being mildly annoyed by his driving, I didn’t really feel anything talking to him nor did I  *care* that much to know how he was doing. I mean, it’s great that he’s alive, but outside of that, I don’t care about the specifics.  It was nice that we small talked (I guess), but I don’t think it adds to the peace in my life right now as I said at the start of this new year.

Ok, we’re back to “days without communicating with ex”, 0…

If I ever catch him in traffic tailgating me again, I will aggressively brake check him so he rear ends me and has to buy me a new car. Ha, I’m kidding…sort of…

Waves

waves

I spent the past weekend “off the grid” and out of town with family, taking a break from social media (including blogging), texting, email, etc was MUCH needed. Constantly checking, tweeting, posting, reading, absorbing, replying was starting to trigger my anxiety. It was nice to have a few days to just enjoy family time and live in the moment (which I did).

I still haven’t really spoken to my family about the breakup in specific detail, but I just haven’t felt like I’ve been in the best place emotionally to dive into that yet (until semi recently). I basically left it at, “we decided to take an indefinite break because our expectations no longer align.” I assured them that I was ok and we were on good terms (which is sort of a half truth/half lie or whatever). I never told them how he came over 2-3 days before our cruise to end things or how our fragmented communication/outings since have just further pushed back the healing process, how there are still days (less days now) where getting out of a bed is a struggle, how running into him/seeing him around town is triggering (we essentially live in the same “suburban borough”) or even how he was previously engaged. I’m not sure if telling them any of those personally specific details even matters at this point, because that was my relationship and not theirs. Ensuring them that I am fine is really my only worry at this point. They have surprisingly not asked me a ton of questions about it, so that helps…but I know it’s coming.

Speaking of ol’ dude, I’ve managed to go the whole year so far without intentionally being in communication with him (that’s like 16 days, but that’s still an accomplishment). I don’t even feel anxious about it, nor do I feel like there is anything to “share” with him. No longer do things really “remind” me of him (minus this past Saturday when I went into a store that had an entire Green Bay Packer’s clothing section and last week when I passed by a bridge that overlooks the city where we would frequently go after dinner at our favorite fancy upscale pizza spot—eh, such is life I guess). Occasionally, I’ll log on to fb messenger and see that he’s “active” or I’ll login to IG with the app listing him as a “Friend” to “nudge” about joining IG (I don’t care if he joins IG, I just know I don’t plan on being his “friend” there). I’ve hidden all of his updates on FB (not that either one of us ever used FB like that anyway) and placed him on a list of people that will see very limited and basic updates from me.  I still have his number on “Do not disturb” on my phone, with the last text he sent me unread and unreplied to…. and of course, I’ve removed all photos of him from my phone. I haven’t even read past text messages from him so far in 2018. The only thing I haven’t done is remove photos of him (us) from my IG account. I thought about deleting or archiving them, but then realized those photos were a part of my life at that particular time, so I left them. My IG is my way of capturing aspects of my life through photos. Since he’s not tagged in them (doesn’t have an IG anyway), his real name is not used, I only referenced him as my “boyfriend” in ONE photo (on national boyfriend day), my IG account is PRIVATE and I so rarely shared ANYTHING he and I did on social media anyway, I felt it was ok to just leave them in the past and leave them alone (for now). The people I’ve been super selective about allowing access to view my IG are close friends anyway and I’m sure they understand. I’ll revisit that if I ever find myself in a “serious relationship” again. Besides, anyone that scrolls back that far on my photos has a problem.

Like I stated before, I don’t think we won’t EVER speak again, but right now is delicate state of recovery for me and I’m serious about getting better. To be fair, I did hint to all of this (keeping my distance and not really being in communication) the last time we seriously spoke.

While continuing to move past him, I’ve been a little more open to date again. I’ve really only been on a handful of dates both online and offline (with guys I’ve quickly realized were not for me), but at least I’m making an effort to keep an open mind. I have yet to meet a guy so far that gives me that same jolt of excitement I got in the initial stages of getting to know my ex—before he and I even had our first date actually. I’m not sure if this always needs to happen in this way or if in some situations this jolt comes later? I guess I’ve dated guys or been in relationships where it came over time, so maybe that’s ok too? I have been more particular about who’ll I’ll date and per the suggestion of my old co-worker, I’ve started to treat this as a project or business meetings with specific “goals” and “outcomes”. It sounds silly, but it saves me from wasting a lot of time.  I know mostly what I’m looking for and I’m really serious about “deal breakers”. Here are some of mine:

  • Drug use
  • Financial instability
  • Lack of goals/motivation
  • Inability to carry on an intelligent conversation
  • Lack of a sense of humor
  • Lack of education
  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of hobbies

So ok, some of these things are kind of “givens”, but you’d be surprised what you find out about people even after talking to them for a little while. Some of these things start to float to the surface.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough in this post. Hopefully things will continue to be on the up and up. I think I’ve had enough downer days to last me for the better part of a year.

Girls Night. Girls Talk.

img_5027

I admittedly don’t have a ton of female friends that I feel close enough to regularly hangout with, but I am working on this. The ones that I DO have and ARE close to are amazing though.

Tonight (Thursday — I’m queuing this to post a few days from now), I met up with some of my girlfriends after work for a happy hour at a fondue place not far from our jobs. I’ve never been to a fondue place (outside of a date with a guy (where I can’t even remember his name now–perhaps it was John?), so I was excited for what the evening had in store.

Per usual, we ordered cocktails and got the evening started. Since we don’t see each other super frequently, we caught each other up on what’s been going on in everyone’s life. This conversation sent one of my friends into this 30 minute tangent about online dating and how draining it had become to her. She told us about all of these dates she had been on and how the guys would weird out or turn out to be something that didn’t appear to be online. She even shared a story of how she dated this one guy, who until a few dates in, didn’t even bother to tell her that he had recently gotten a divorce and she was the first person he had dated since the divorce. Hmmm…sounds quite familiar.

Anyway, she went on to say how weird the guy eventually started acting and how he seemed to be in and out in terms of communicating, which lead her to believe that perhaps he jumped the gun too soon and wasn’t ACTUALLY ready to start dating like he thought. She talked about how annoying this was, because dating someone right out off of a divorce, broken engagement or serious long term relationship adds an additional layer of difficulty to things because of the baggage that often comes along with it.  You end up either having to hear about their ex, dealing with someone who is emotionally unavailable or someone who dives in too quickly.  You want to pity and treat their heart with care, but you also want to make sure the person is emotionally stable enough to even commit to you on the most basic level.

Her entire rant reminded me a lot of the situation with my ex and how I think if I had known he came from a broken engagement a few months prior and I was the “first person” he dated since coming off of that engagement, I might have approached the situation quite differently. I might have suggested we talk about that and whether or not he was truly ready to start something new. I might have been more cautious, I might have asked more questions regarding his emotional state. Perhaps I could have saved myself some emotional trauma by approaching things a little more logically (even though I initially approached them logically and got “lost in the sauce”). Because if it’s taking me this long to *fully* get over that relationship, I can only imagine the work and time it would take to get over something like a broken engagement. Hell, he might  not have even (or will ever) really been (or be) over it by the time he met me and dived head first into whatever it was we were doing because the excitement of possibly being in love again consumed and overwhelmed him in a way that caused him to act a bit irrationally and irresponsibly. As I’ve mentioned, that’s pretty reckless (emotionally), but we’re all human and I guess I understand.

While maybe he benefited himself by getting back out there after a period where he didn’t think he could ever love or find happiness again, he left my heart black and blue in the process. While I was knocked down for a few rounds, I’m starting to dust myself off and get back in the ring. I have realized that I am much stronger emotionally than I could have ever imagined and he will not break me or my spirit.

The more I think about it though, the less angry I feel. If anything, I sort of have a better understanding of it all. Not that I’m giving him a pass for that (because he essentially dragged someone unknowingly into his whirlwind of emotions–and by unknowingly, didn’t disclose that information to me), but it helps me to understand his perspective a bit more and maybe to understand that it wasn’t intentional.  It was still wrong, yes, but I don’t think he meant any ill will. Maybe he really did wake up one day and reality hit him and perhaps he realized he jumped the gun a bit before even processing the situation at hand? Would have been nice if he had thought that way as we were meeting, so I could have skipped all of this trauma, but  It happens. Should it continue to happen forever and always? Well, no. Lessons should be learned from this on both sides. I certainly learned mine. I just hoped he took something away from this.

Anyway, my friends and I continued to exchange dating stories for the rest of the evening and I found myself feeling like I wasn’t alone in this crazy thing called life. I’m not the only one getting over a breakup and attempting to dust off and “dip” into the dating pool once more, knowing I’m going to have to weed through a ton of idiots before finding someone even worthy of actually dating on a more serious level. I’m sure when I’m ready and the time is right, that person will come along. Until then, I just have to trust that things will get better and focus on feeling better so that I drag none of this bitterness into my next relationship. Also, so that I don’t hold any (deeply rooted) resentment towards my ex specifically.

We’ll see. In the meantime, talking to friends and going out more has been instrumental in this healing process.

“Flaws” and “Likes”

In honor of this lovely post I just read on handling a break up, and reading the “12 things you should do after your break up if you want to survive” (found on the post), I realized that I’ve actually already done the majority of the things on the list (YAY), with the exception of #10 and #11.

Rule 10# Making a list of all of your Exes flaws & Rule 11# Make a list of 10 things why I love my ex so much (i don’t “love” my ex at this point though, so I’m going to refer to it as “like”).

Anyway, I sat down to run through both exercises and this is what I came up with:

10 and 11

In doing both exercises, I realized that I was able to come up with “flaws” (or things I wasn’t fond of) somewhat quickly, at least the first half of them. The second half came about as I started writing things that I “liked”, which although present in my mind, took slightly longer to write. I notice that many of the things that I “liked” are somewhat superficial.  Smells Nice. Can cook well. Is handsome. Haha. These are not the initial reasons why I fell for him, but things I liked about him as we spent more time together, I guess. I notice my flaw list is almost exclusively specific, while the “like” list is a little more broad.

hmmm

Also, I’d just like to point out that while I list that he smells nice/has good hygiene in the “like” category, this more so references the fact he showers regularly and takes pride in his appearance (including grooming his beard)…and doesn’t necessarily reference or include the issue in #6 under the “flaw” list…though hand washing is hygiene…but it’s my list, damn-it! So whatever!

All in all it was a good exercise for seeing things as they are (without rose colored glasses) and maybe bringing internal thoughts or feelings to the surface to reassure me of why it’s best to continue to heal and move on.

I’m really happy that I’m much further along in that process now and could write these lists somewhat objectively and with little emotion or resentment.

You Remind Me of My Ex

So as I mentioned in my last post, I’m sort of stating to consider the idea of dating again. In the famous words of my ex, “I reallllllyyyy don’t like dating”, and my famous response, “well, no one does, but it’s a necessary evil…”Anyway, I had a date of sorts this past weekend. Well, I wouldn’t really consider it a date, but I think the guy inviting me out (for coffee) did, so I just went along with it. We met the weekend before and briefly chatted before exchanging numbers. I figured, “why not? He seems decent enough”.

(by the way, I do not like or endorse DT at all)

Originally, our “coffee meeting” was set for Saturday. I planned my busy day around this meeting and sandwiched it in between two other engagements. An hour and a half before said meeting, I get a text from him asking if we could postpone until the following day because he forgot that he had a, “conflict”. While I thought it was a little weird since I completely let HIM plan this (since he asked me out) by picking the place, the day and the time…I’m flexible and understanding enough, so I agreed to push it back.

Sunday, we finally meet up in this busy coffee shop right across the street from the university here, so of course it was ridiculously crowded and there were absolutely no seats available inside. After grabbing coffee (he paid), he suggested we sit outside. MIND YOU, it was MAYBE 19 or 20 degrees by this point in the afternoon, with a wind chill of maybe 7 or 8.

I went along with it anyway and we sat down to chat. All through our conversation, I couldn’t help but to notice that he seemed somewhat nervous. At first he wouldn’t say much, but eventually warmed up and elaborated on his responses. He kept asking me really broad questions like, “so tell me more about yourself” — which sidebar rant: I HATE when people ask me this question. This is a terrible question to ask. It’s too abstract. Drilling down to ask more focused questions like, “what do you do” or “what are some of your hobbies” invoke more of a solid, meaningful and intelligent response, in my opinion. Besides, if you asked someone out, you are obviously interested in SOMETHING about them, so go with that?

Anyway, since I’m not a super narcissistic person, I decided to break it down into segments, “so, this is what I do for a career…” and we’d chat about our jobs and laugh about how crazy they were at times. I’d then say, “…and since you wanted to know more about me, these are some of my hobbies or things i like to do when I’m not a slave to my job”, and we’d talk about our hobbies and laugh. I tried to be silly and keep a sense of humor to help him feel at ease and that seemed to help out a lot in the flow of our conversation. Towards the end of this meeting, he asked what the upcoming week was like for me and if I wanted to pick a day to get together again.

Whoa dere guy.

While I’ve been on “dates” before where planning a second date came up in conversation (my ex and I actually did this on our first date, but it worked because there was a “spark” and we obviously really liked one another), it usually seemed more natural and was obvious that both parties sincerely felt a connection. I didn’t really feel that with him. Not that I didn’t like him, it just seemed a little difficult at first to get a steady conversation going. Being a bit shy (at times) and introverted, I can understand and I figured perhaps he’d be different the second time around so I decided to take him up on his offer. He walked me back to my car, we hugged and said goodbye. We texted back and forth that evening over random memes and jokes that we both referenced in conversation, but that was it. So last night, I’m minding my own grown ass business, when I get a text from him…

Hey, sorry I’m just getting to say hello to you today. Work has been insane. But hey, much later after our date, I realized that you remind me of my ex and I’m looking for something different, so I’m going to cancel Thursday. I’m so sorry.

Srsly?

But no, you’re not “sorry”, you’re rude, reckless and indecisive and here’s why:

So you mean to tell me, he asked for my number, he asked me out, he dictated where we went and when he changed those plans last minute, he stammered through two hours worth of conversation (where he had us out in the bitter ass cold), he asked for a second date and proceeded to plan it while still on our first date and he realized AFTER everything, that I reminded him of his EX?!!

Ok, first of all, if I went on a date with someone who, “reminded me of my ex”, I probably would have picked up on it pretty quickly. Second of all, so as long as the person didn’t have the negative qualities of my ex, I probably wouldn’t care that much, because in the big grand scheme of things, I don’t have an issue with him as a person (well ok, so  maybe other exes I might have a problem with, but still). Third of all, that’s just a really rude and flighty thing to do to someone…Like, WHO RAISED YOU?, but I digress.

Be a better person than this guy in 2018. Please.

I doubt it would have went anywhere anyway and if I’m being 100% honest, I was really just being nice for the sake of being nice. I didn’t see a connection there. It’s just the principle behind it though that’s kind of annoying.

Ha. I started to reply to his text, but then didn’t. It’s a waste of energy really? I’m trying to do this thing in 2018 where I don’t entertain anything that interrupts my peace. I can’t even really get mad about this because it’s literally the most silly and ridiculous thing I’ve had to deal with all year (a smooth 9 days in).

So there you have it. I guess I’m in this silly thing again. Boy, do I have tons of “exciting adventures” to look forward to 🙃. Can’t wait…

(Almost on) The Other Side.

With each passing day I feel more and more like myself. For a few months now, I’ve been waiting on that feeling of “waking up one day and feeling better”. While I haven’t hit that day yet, I feel that I’m dangerously close and it feels amazing. I no longer listen to sad songs or songs about love and cry. I can pass by places we went and not be overwhelmed by sadness. I can look at photos of him and not be depressed (though I did delete all of them off of my phone).  I can think back to time we spent together and be reminded of good times instead of being bitter and resentful. All I do now is genuinely wish him well (internally) with each passing day. Breaking up around the holidays is particularly difficult (difficult in general), because the entire world around you seems to be happy and you’re in the pits of hell trying to muster up the ability to pull yourself out of bed and simply exist in a world that seems so cold and dark. Dramatic, I know…but I don’t know how to describe that any better. That shit is depressing.

I can tell I’m starting to feel better because the idea of dating isn’t entirely off putting. As I go out more and more, I feel more confident to possibly entertain it. I find myself looking at/meeting guys that I find attractive or not entirely obnoxious. I also find myself being able to quickly identify guys that I could entertain and guys to stay away from (guys that would potentially stress me out or eat away at my peace–BIG no-no in 2018). And while looking/meeting these guys, I’m not necessarily comparing them to my ex. Not that he’s a bad guy, but comparing every guy to him would be dangerous and destructive. I’m not even sure if I want to date someone exactly like him, even though I don’t hate him as a person (he’s a kindhearted person). What I DO know is that I most definitely, under NO circumstances want to ever RUSH a relationship ever again in the way that I did with him. Nothing good ever comes from that. If you EVER feel rushed through a relationship like I did, SPEAK UP and let your voice be heard before going down that bumpy road. I feel like he was subconsciously destructive and careless with my heart for his need of companionship and cohabitation because I showed him genuine kindness and love and he chased after it like a wild animal. I feel like he was in love with BEING in love and I stupidly went along with it. We’re human, it happens.

Last night, I went out with some friends (as I’ve been consistently doing now for the better part of a month or two) and managed to meet some guys while bar hopping, that bought me drinks. I honestly was trying to save money and cut myself off at $20 worth of drinks, but certainly didn’t turn down the offer for more!

Ryan G - buy you a drank

While this has been a common theme lately (going out), I can’t remember a more vibrant time in my life where I’ve just been able to go out and let the world be my oyster. I mean, even last year this time I was “seeing someone” and dated throughout much of the time between that guy and my most recent ex. I haven’t really had enough time to just fly solo. It’s been fun and has helped me to brush up on my flirtation skills–which reminds me, I’m super doper goofy when it comes to flirting. I mostly just end up being silly and making the guy laugh, which usually ends up breaking up any awkward tension.

laughing really wide.gif

I’m not taking any of these interactions seriously right now, I’m just having fun being single and free. I find all of the interactions as practice and “dusting things off” so to speak. Which by the way, I have “interacted” with guys here and there, but it’s not important enough to disclose on this post…Outside of this guy.

I think I can do this again in time. I’m happy that I’m not entirely broken or defective merchandise. I AM lovable. A month, 3 months, 6 months from now, I look forward to what life might have in store for me, but for now I’m just going to sit back and continue on the journey back to normalcy. This is certainly a change from a time where I couldn’t imagine seeing the sun again.

Love & Self Care

I’ve been making a huge efforts over the past few months to work on “me”, loving myself (even more) and allowing myself time and space for self care. I’ve always been the kind of person that gives my all into everything and everyone, often leaving me exhausted and at times slightly bitter and resentful that I don’t “recharge” or have time for myself.

Self Care

I even saw aspects of this resentment creep up in my last relationship. I distinctly remember one of our last evenings together and being slightly pissed off because we had spent the entire last three days together (72 hours straight) and my boyfriend (at the time) asked me to “continue to spend time” with him as he zoned out and played a video game. While that was self care for him, self care for me would have probably been to go to my OWN place (to be alone) and unwind with music and not WATCH him play a video game. There were days where I felt like I literally gave all of my time, attention and energy to to him and it was draining. I enjoyed his company and him as a person but, I stopped making time for ME. While this is entirely my fault (on that aspect) and not his, it’s something I’ve been trying to be more mindful about moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, he’s probably the most selfless, nurturing and kindhearted person I know (and always gave the same amount of effort that I did), but lack of tending to myself caused me to suffer and burnout internally.

Before ringing in the New Year, I spoke with several different groups of friends of mine and asked them to give me their perspective on love (forthcoming further below) and self care. How do you take care of you?

Friend “S”: Yoga, essential oils (for mood balancing), hikes!

Friend “J”: journaling & walking

Friend “W”: netflix marathons!

Friend “A”: video games, puzzles and building/fixing computers

Friend: “AB”: camping, kayaking, cooking, woodworking

Friend “G”: Bubble baths

Friend “Y”: biking, walking and traveling

Friend “JU”: meditation, music naps

Friend “M”: anime, photography, board games

Friend “C”: reading, watching movies, spending time with family

Friend “G”: smoking a bowl, alcohol, board games, trying new foods

Needless to say, the things my friends do for self care differ drastically, haha. I’m going to try not to follow Friend “G”‘s methods of self care, but I’m not judging him if that works for his well being. For me, I find that substances only ADD to my inability to tend to self care and end up making me super ranky and sleep deprived.

Things like walking, board games, watching movies, spending time with family, journaling and even bubble baths sound “doable” to me.  I feel like I can incorporate at least one thing each week. The one common theme I found with everyone after I asked this was that they seemed to enter a peaceful state of mind when describing their self care routines. I’d love to get to that point some day and I am working on it. Over the years, I’ve lost myself (and been stressed out) in relationships, work and mental illness, so it’s time to make time for ME.

Love

Learning to love myself (better–I say “better”, because I’ve come along way over the years, but still have miles to go), has also been something I’ve been trying to tackle. Essentially, this would seem like a no-brainer, easy task, but for me, it’s been a challenge on occasion. It’s so easy to fall back into the habits of being extremely submissive just to please someone. I remember speaking to my therapist about this right before Christmas and how if you’re unable to fully love yourself, you may allow/accept seamlessly unacceptable forms of attention, love (lust), affection (again, lust). While speaking to her, I remember thinking back to times in my life where I “settled” and accepted any type of treatment, because I didn’t think I deserved better for myself. I didn’t value myself. This obviously resulted in some shitty relationships (friendship and romantic) and other issues in my social and professional life that I’ve worked hard to repair.

“Loving yourself” to me means that you fully accept yourself for who you are. You can  enjoy your quirks, appreciate your imperfections, entertain spending time with yourself without feeling lonely and most importantly, you can appropriately accept the love of others in a healthy way.

This past weekend really made me think about “loving yourself” while being intertwined in a cloud of drama with a friend and a friend of a friend. In a nutshell, a friend of mine has a crush on their friend (who they know does not share those mutual feelings) and is so angry about it, that my friend got belligerently drunk and said really hateful things to their friend. When asked about this the following morning, my friend basically said they were so used to those that they “loved” not loving them in return that they would just find it easier if those people just “left”. My friend’s way of making them leave was to be an asshole.

My friend rambled on about how they “give everything and more” to people and these same people only meet them about halfway (sometimes). These same people also take them for granted without the least bit of guilt. As I listened to my friend, I couldn’t help but to wonder why they even put up with this in the first place?! My instinct when someone is treating me terribly is to distance myself from them and eventually cut them out of my life for good (and I have done this to several people). I don’t need people like that in my life. I’d rather be alone. Sure, it’s hard if you also “love” them, but it’s necessary.

Anyway, I just felt sad for my friend (not because of the lack of mutual crushing), but because I don’t believe they fully love themselves. No amounts of, “it will be ok, you’ll find someone else,” is going to help if this person keeps falling back into the same endless cycles of despair. You can’t fully participate in a relationship, friendship or otherwise if you can’t or don’t know how to love yourself. How are you going to love someone else? I don’t know how to tell my friend that without coming across harsh, but I really want them to love themselves enough to go after the love they actually deserve and to gracefully ditch those that don’t measure up to expectation.

Self care and learning to love yourself go hand in hand in preserving your mental and emotional stability. Without these things, it can seem like your life is spiraling out of control on a regular basis. By learning to love myself, I’ve had much more fulfilling relationships, jobs, friendships, and an overall better quality of life. I look forward to loving myself even more in the coming year.