Dark Horse.

I woke up around 11 a.m. yesterday in a mild state of confusion before remembering the night before. No, I was not heavily intoxicated, drugged or in any other sense of the word experiencing some out of body experience. I was simply just regaining consciousness after a string of days with minimal sleep.

Good Morning, Sleepyhead” a familiar voice said, while greeting me with a gentle forehead kiss. The voice calmed my somewhat rattled nerves and suddenly I wasn’t entirely concerned about getting such a late start to my day.

Let’s rewind a bit…

I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve been moving in far too many directions these past few weeks, mostly due to work (I’ve been pulling quite a bit of OT), but some due to my personal life too. When we last left off, I had decided to “end things” with BF and I did. I’m not quite sure how I expected that to go, but I found myself feeling surprisingly indifferent about him and the relationship/situation in the past few weeks. When I took a week or two to distance myself from him physically, it really helped me to see clearly and understand that I don’t have time to entertain that type of relationship. When I told him this, he at first seemed a bit annoyed/offended but then gathered himself and was fine. We haven’t really spoken since outside of one conversation where we spoke about how busy our jobs have been, but that’s it. I’m already over it, because I had never fully emotionally gotten INTO it in the first place, so that’s cool.

In the midst of ending things with BF, work had gotten ten times busier and so had my social life. I had found myself unintentionally being a bit “absent” in some regards, so I decided to make more of an effort to go out with friends, which involved some game nights, some bar hopping, dinners, trivia nights, a movie or two, an overnight trip and a 3 a.m. dip in a pool (don’t ask about this one because it resulted in me puking my brains out the following morning and driving home in someone’s boxers).

throw up

In addition to not sleeping and swimming in swimming pools after midnight in my underwear, I’ve also unexpectedly sparked a bit of a connection with…The TeacherI’ve known him for about the same amount of time that I’ve known BF, but our interactions (until lately) haven’t been as frequent (or physical for that matter). We’ve gotten to know each other a little slower (mostly my fault), but he’s still consistently “been there” this entire time. My plan (when I ended things with BF) was to also not entertain seeing The Teacher (or anyone) for that matter. A dating detox—so to speak…but The teacher (lately) has really made a huge effort to make it known that he very actively wants to date me and in spending a little bit more time with him over the past few weeks, he’s really impressed me actually and I’ve warmed up to the idea. It’s been a lot of fun.

Our dates have been consistent, well-thought-out/planned and interesting. He’s a gentleman. He’s always on time. He always dresses nicely for said dates. He never leaves me in the dark about how he feels or where he’d like “us” to go. He’s (mostly) transparent in his emotions and an all-around kindhearted person. He’s funny, charming, intelligent, affectionate and very nurturing and I hate that I wasn’t fully aware of this until more recently. I guess in my mind I’ve always felt like he wasn’t my “type” or well, what I think is my type, which has obviously not worked out so well, haha.

Over the course of the past week, we’ve seen each other three times, with one of those times being an overnighter (though not our first “overnighter”-this might have been our third). All of the times that we’ve seen each other have been legitimate well thought out dates. He’s always been very thoughtful in everything that we do together (and will also ask for my input while planning), which I appreciate.

The other night (Saturday) after working a very long 12 hour day (after already coming off of a 60 hr work week), we met up for dinner, drinks and a movie (we saw the Jurassic World sequel). Perhaps it was the drinks, heat, exhaustion or a combination of all three, but I ended up falling asleep on him for a smooth fifteen minutes, which I had sort of warned him might happen since I was so exhausted and he completely understood.

Post movie I got a second wind and took him up on the offer to head back to his place for some wine. The teacher is also sophisticated and can intelligently talk about things like wine, bourbon and beer (unlike some people)…he can just about talk about anything, really. We spent hours in his living room, cuddled up, drinking wine and just talking about life in general. I felt comfortable and I felt like he genuinely cared to spend time with me, even if we were just talking. At one point I apparently felt so comfortable (I actually wasn’t drunk, just tired) that I found myself laying in his lap and looking up at him as we carried on our chit chat. We talked until about 5 a.m. before he offered up staying the night (if I wanted, which I did).

I’m not going to lie, while there was some making out involved, we didn’t (and haven’t) slept together and I think that’s ok and he seems ok with that too, though he  has alluded to being open to that, should that happen (if/when the time is “right”). Awesome.

It took us hours to get out of bed later on that morning partially due to exhaustion and well…other stuff 😉 , but after getting up and getting dressed, he treated me to lunch and commented on how we had just spent close to 24 hours together. I haven’t spent such a long period of time with anyone (and not legitimately felt annoyed) since maybe my last legitimate relationship—which on another unrelated note, he ran into me at a stop sign the other day…like actually ran into me…more on this in another post…

So yeah, that’s been my life. Crazy ride of a life. I have no idea where any of this is going, but I really like The Teacher. He’s really grown on me and impressed me, especially lately. I enjoy our talks most of all and I think I’m starting to get used to how affectionate he can be (though his level of affection reminds me of my ex, who ironically enough is also a Cancer). I hate that I haven’t fully picked up on this until about three weeks ago…I’m a sadly misguided and terrible person…

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Ready, Set, Reset.

My mind has been racing lately. Simply glossing over some of the posts I’ve written over the past month alone lends itself to showing how unsettled I’ve become as a person. Part of this I blame on simply being overwhelmed with how busy I am professionally (that I don’t reserve any additional energy into processing things in my personal life) and the other part I blame (though I *really* hate to) on anxiety.

While I never forget that anxiety is something I struggle deal with on a daily basis, it’s often something I neglect to show myself compassion over. I’m always kicking myself for not “growing a pair” and effortlessly maneuvering through life like everyone else seems to. Everything in life (in my mind) should be easier than this. I shouldn’t feel bothered by this. I shouldn’t feel exhausted for simply moving from day to day, week to week, month to month…I should be happy, appreciative, energized, inspired, etc…

But fun fact: I don’t.

Flashback to last Saturday night. I was out with a group of friends of mine that I’ve spent a fairly consistent amount of time with over the past year. I feel comfortable with this group of friends in a way that I don’t with other people in my life. I’m usually fully relaxed around them. After pre-gaming and roller skating (yes–we went drunken roller skating), we decided to end the evening in a local bar belting out 80s pop classics. What fun, right? What better way to spend a summer night? Easy breezy. While I found myself full of life and excitement early into the evening, towards the end of the evening (while at the bar) I felt this hefty weight of sadness consume me. It felt heavy and saturated like a wet wool blanket. My mind and heart started to race about all of the what ifs in my life and it was all I could do but to fake a smile in hopes that no one (in my friend circle or at the bar in general) would notice this mini internal crisis I was silently going suffering through. Maybe it was a combination of the one or two drinks I had and exhaustion…or perhaps I was having a mini anxiety attack, looking back on that night…I think this all came from realizing that I’m not happy with many aspects of my life right now and that I want better for myself.

The following day, I met up with two other friends of mine (separate from the friend group above) for a day trip to the beach, which was much needed. Something about sitting on the beach and listening to the waves crash is truly relaxing.

Beach - June 3rd

 

I remember doing this back around the holidays when I needed to clear my mind. I felt slightly more at ease Sunday, but still more on edge than usual, even with the waves. While with that pair of friends on Sunday, the theme of our day trip seemed to be Betterment. We all disclosed things we wanted to work on. Finances. Career Paths. Organization. Health. Relationships. Love. Patience. Acceptance. Hobbies.

I clearly need to work on all of those things and my mind started spinning as I made lists and goals as to just how I was going to manage doing all of those things better, but realistically, approaching self-improvement in that way is detrimental and in no way helping my anxiety.

I decided to narrow the broad range of things to “fix” in my life from the lengthy list that we collectively came up with down to two. Accomplishing bettering myself in those areas (or at least be well on my way) before diving into the other areas is reasonable. The two that I decided to address first were:

  • Relationships
  • Health

I selected those two areas first because there are short-term goals/issues that I’d like to accomplish/resolve that will move me into more long-term goals down the road.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve come to the conclusion that while things may naturally be fizzling out with BF anyway, I need to formally end it so that I can devote my energy into other aspects of my life. Without getting into all of the details, I’m not getting what I’d like to get out of our interactions and it’s become more of a hassle than an enjoyment to date him at this point. I act ridiculously reckless around him at times to an extent that I don’t even recognize who I am as a person. I like him as a person and find him to be a lovely (at times deeply troubled) guy, but I just can’t devote energy into this any longer. I’m depleted. Breaking up with someone (regardless of how formal or informal) just plain sucks. It’s awkward and you just feel like an asshole, even if it’s painfully obvious that it needs to happen. For what it’s worth, I think the situation served it’s purpose for the two of us for the time period that it needed to. It was (mostly) fun. Post “breakup”, I plan to start a dating detox. More on this later…

Health wise, I’ve kicked off this week by starting the keto diet. I’ve been stress eating (and drinking) for the past few weeks and needed to hit the reset button in order to make better choices. So far, so good. It’s been fairly manageable, especially since I’ve limited my social engagements to truly commit to sticking to the plan. I already feel like a boost in my energy levels and have noticed more restful sleep five days in. I plan to do this for at least another week or so before incorporating a regular exercise routine back into my day…days?

So that’s all that I’ve got for now. All of the other things I’d love to work on are on the back burner for now until I work through the first two areas or my anxiety levels itself off. Whichever comes first.

Baby steps.

Bittersweet(ness)

I’ve admittedly been fairly distracted and occupied over the past month or so with work, friends and family obligations. I’ve found that this has started to make dating a tad more difficult as I just don’t have the same amount of free time as I did back over the winter/early spring. Not to mention, my desires and priorities have shifted over the last few months. Nevertheless, I haven’t quite kicked BF into oblivion just yet. I don’t believe me being busy is reason enough to be rude, dismissive or unresponsive to him, because aside from being a shit texter, he hasn’t really done anything wrong. He’s a nice guy. We’re just becoming more and more out of sync and emotionally disconnected.

Through talking, we decided to set aside time for a date for late last week. Work/life has been chaotically busy in both of our worlds (pulling longer hours, training co-workers, working on projects, road trips, etc), so I offered to invite him over for dinner. I’m not a fan of making dinner (and I really didn’t have time to) , but I figured it was a nice gesture and would give us a chance to catch up with minimal distractions. Plus, he pays for everything all the time and I wanted to do him the honor of not having to pay for anything. I wanted to do something nice for him. It makes me feel uncomfortable that he literally pays for everything we do and some of the things we’ve done have not been cheap.

He came over straight after work (around 8–he ended up getting off late) looking really run down and exhausted, but immediately embraced me once he stepped inside. I shamelessly love how I have to stand on my tiptoes each time we kiss, because he’s so tall (I’m 5’6 and some change, so I’m not necessarily short either).

We talked about our days (and well, weeks) as I wrapped up the finishing touches on dinner in my kitchen. I decided to make BBQ sliders as an ode to his southern heritage, since he’s lived here all his life. He seemed to be excited and told me about the “Three types of NC BBQ” there were. Did you know there were three? Because I certainly didn’t…

He graciously allowed me to make my plate of food first (even though as the cook, I’ve always believed that your GUESTS should eat first), asked me to sit down and told me he’d bring me a drink because he knew I had, had a long day and wanted me to relax. This makes the second time he’s borderline hosted me in my own home…

I halfway expected him to speed eat through dinner, initiate sex and abruptly call it a night and check off an obligation (just to say he stopped by), but he actually took his time, engaged in conversation and really spent genuine quality time with me. Of course, between our steady conversations, he made himself a second and third plate of food, but he’s like 6’3, fairly muscular and had actually been overseeing a major renovation project all day, so he was understandably starving.

After we finished eating, he gently cuddled me close and we continued to mindlessly watch tv for at least another two hours. His ability to shed a humorous light on the most mundane and at times ridiculous things is one of my favorite things about him, but is equally concerning, because it’s the only mood he’s ever in…if you were to ask me what motivates him in life or what makes him upset, I could probably make an educated guess (based on conversations we’ve had or the few preferences he has made known) but I wouldn’t be confident that those things are what really makes him tick as a person. Perhaps he’s not even aware of what makes him tick?

BF has the ability to make me laugh, even when I’m so tired or irritable that I want to curl up in a ball and cry. His sense of humor melts away my nervous energy and anxiety. He won major brownie points on our first date by basically turning our walk through the history museum into a comedy special. He was so funny and I really enjoyed myself in his presence. It was easy to shake the first date jitters. I just kind of wish my enthusiasm for getting to know him hadn’t stalled over the last few months, but I think part of that is coming from my assumption that his approach should be cookie cutter.

As we continued to talk, he alluded to realizing he’s been a bit more slower in his responses and that he had been burning the candle at both ends in regards to work because (like me), it’s a busy time of year at work and he (at times) really just wants to shut his phone off so his job will stop calling/texting him after hours. I guess I understand that and I do appreciate that he’s remained in touch (even if there are days where we may exchange one or two messages–which yes, some of that has been on me as well) and has still made time for us to get together. While to me, I may at times find his efforts “lacking”, I sincerely do believe he’s at least sort of attempting to still try…well, most days, but I can tell our communication has at times become obligatory and strained.

He stayed until a quarter til’ midnight before announcing his departure (and needing to get home to feed his dog). When I invited him over for dinner, I halfway expected him to agree to it only because of the benefit of physical intimacy, but to my surprise, he seemed more interested in talking and simply spending time together, which was awesome.

Even with a lovely dinner in, I still know in my gut this whirlwind of a ride is coming to an end. This realization at first caused be a bit of anxiety, but I’ve had some time to settle into reality and realize that while we have a lot of fun together, the casualness of our relationship can’t sustain itself for too much longer and we aren’t necessarily compatible for anything serious/long term. I don’t find myself interested him romantically or at least as romantically as I feel like I should at this point. I like him for really shallow reasons. I’ve come to the realization that I need a bit more stability in my life and perhaps he does too or maybe he prefers to keep everyone at an emotional distance as to not develop an intimate connection and that’s ok, but not something I want to entertain forever and always. Being with someone that doesn’t show vulnerability is difficult. Being physically intimate with someone for 4 or 5 months without even knowing anything deeply personal about them really bothers me.  When I met him, I was hellbent on not getting attached and it was easy for a month or two because I was “broken”. I was essentially, here for a good time, not a long time!, but I’ve healed, grown up and shifted my needs. I need someone that is not afraid of being all spectrum of who they really are, good, bad and otherwise.

We haven’t really spoken now in about a day or so and while that’s not entirely unusual (as of late), I know that’s probably it. Our interaction has run its course. We really don’t have a great deal else to say to one another and we’re both ridiculously busy with work right now (and me, also with my personal life/crises). Part of me feels the need for neat and organized “closure” (because I’m not a fan of dropping communication with someone who I’ve been seeing for 4 or 5 months just like that), but I don’t know if his sentiments are the same in regards to me. Perhaps I could just easily be disregarded? Maybe…

I like to believe that he’s genuinely a better person than that.

I have to decide how I want to proceed and handle this. The kicker is that I’m not even overly upset about it.

I think part of this need for an ending came from an “let’s better our lives” heart to heart I had with some friends this past weekend, but more on that in a separate post…

“We Don’t Talk Anymore”

I’m just getting back in from a surprisingly wonderful weekend that I spent with an old ex (not the most recent one). Long story very short, we’ve been “friends” since we stopped being romantically involved several years ago…but not without some strange gray areas, false starts and backslides here and there. We’ve managed to remain as good of friends as much as humanly possible given the circumstances of our untimely demise, (though it took us a good six months to a year to even BEGIN to reestablish a friendship in the aftermath). That side tangent is for another day and time though. Just know it involved some lowkey infidelity and broken trust (and not on my end either).

For the past year and some change we’ve been “strictly platonic”, but mostly out of touch as I found myself in a relationship (then heartache) and he’s been occupied by work travel and whatever else. We saw each other very briefly (for lunch) a few weeks before Christmas (while he was passing through town for a few hours), in the midst of me going through a breakup (so I was mentally and emotionally checked out), but we’ve otherwise not been in touch until my birthday a few weeks ago, where he’s repeatedly invited me down to his place for a weekend for about three weeks straight (I’ve declined each time minus the last time he asked).

we don't talk anymore

I finally took him up on the offer this past weekend. I hadn’t been out of town in a while, so what better excuse than to visit him to make travel moves? Fun fact here, I haven’t been to his city since October of last year when I visited with my ex, without informing him that I was in town or even in a relationship.

whoops

When I arrived Friday night, I was taken back by how much he had changed. I knew he had been eating a little healthier for the past few months, but he looked like a completely different person. He was toned…he looked healthy…he looked happy…he looked REALLY good. He almost resembled what he looked like when first started dating in our mid-20s. He was so adorable back then. I was really caught off guard, but in a good way. Not only had he physically changed, he wasted no time showing off his new ride. He’s always been a muscle car guy though and has shamelessly been PART of the reason we started dating in the first place (because I talked “car talk” with him for hours and he found that to be “impressive”). He even taught me how to drive stick. He previously had a mustang before swapping it out for the Camaro. He definitely knows how to give me lady boners with his choice in cars. The SS is a fucking beast though. Black on black, V-8, 405 horsepower, 20 inch rims, GPS, Sunroof, Spoiler, Backup camera, Wifi, Leather seats, dual climate control, push button start, real time traffic alerts, just to name a FEW features.

Anyway, the entire weekend he seemed different, maybe more present in the moment?Unlike visits in the past, he mostly stayed away from dicking around on his phone and gave me his undivided attention. He even treated for dinner and drinks every place that we went, fixed my laptop (he also works in IT like my most recent ex–apparently I have a “type”) and gave/bought me a new laptop bag because mine was “subpar”. I got the vibe from him that he actually wanted me there and I have to say that it felt nice. It also felt nice to be pampered. One thing that he kept doing that was sort of weird was how he kept gazing at me with this half mooned goofy smile. Sometimes he would do this for several minutes as if he was daydreaming while listening to me talk, watching me eat/drink or just glancing over at me while stopping at traffic lights and walking around. I know that “look” all too well and it’s something I haven’t seen in a good little while. Oh boy…

charlie puth hearts

When I loaded my truck to leave Sunday after brunch, he gave me this long speech about how good it was to have me around, how much fun he had and how he was hoping there wouldn’t be such a long gap between our visits the next time we get together…because “we don’t [seem to] talk anymore”. He also emphasized all of those “feels” via text while I was driving home.

He doesn’t really “text” like that….so that also caught me off guard.

The entire way back I kept thinking about the weekend and how I was absolutely under no circumstances going to go BACK down the dark and desolate road of playing, “TAG, I have a crush on you” with him as we’ve done back and forth (and at times at the same time) over the past few years. It actually took getting in my last relationship to kill off any “lingering” romantic feelings I had left for him and I’ll be damned if any of those are about to resurface over ONE weekend. While on paper we’re a great match, IRL we’re not good for each other in that way. Not to mention, we’ve both changed significantly since then. I’m not even the same person I was when I met him, especially not now. Being romantically him for a year really triggered my anxiety and depression so bad that I had to seek therapy for the first time in my adult life and I’m just getting to a point where I feel better about managing it.

To make the events of the past weekend even more awkward, my mom actually seemed ecstatic that we reconnected and told me she “missed” him visiting because he’d always help with fixing things around the house because he likes to tinker. Um, no ma’am.

No charlie

In other news, I have a pretty crazy week at work, with an equally busy (but fun) weekend ahead, including date plans with Babyface, helping a friend move, a game night and some crazy antics out on the town with friends. I better rest up while I can.

Also, since I stole the title of this blog post from the Charlie Puth song, “we don’t talk anymore”, I might as well link a performance of the song. I think it’s fitting for the contents of this post:

 

Text w/ The Ex

So when I last wrote, I was scrambling to plan a “home cooked taco dinner” for baby face for when he dropped by my place Saturday for our date. I’m not sure what prompted me to cook for him other than the fact that he’s dropped some serious coins on our dates and I feel guilty. Granted, he’s willingly done this and hasn’t been like one of those guys who looks at me like, “you owe me”. He’s admittedly very southern (born and raised) and maybe that’s just normal to him. I guess I just wanted to be nice and look like I’m trying to make an effort not to be appear to be a mooch or take advantage in any way, even though I’m lazy and hate cooking elaborate things.

Anyway, as I was thinking about the tacos I was going to make and everything I needed from the store when I got off of work, I got a text from my ex. I had to take a double take at my phone at first, because while we aren’t NOT speaking to one another, we haven’t been in consistent communication since the holidays–and at least on my end that’s been fairly intentional. Well, I take that back, we spoke that day he was tailgating me on the way to work, which was a month and a half ago. It was also weird to see a message from him (still have him on mute, so I didn’t actually notice it at first) because I had been thinking about the amazing tacos he used to make and just how I was going to mimic them for Saturday’s dinner/date. It’s like he felt those vibes of me trying to steal his shit.

“Hey there. How are you?” His text read. That’s such a loaded question, ha….but unlike the last time he asked me this question, I could honestly answer that I was doing really well and MEAN IT.

We actively texted back and forth over the course of an hour or so. He told me he had gotten approved for a mortgage loan and was seriously looking to buy a house as soon as he got an offer accepted. He had decided that he wanted to buy a house in need of renovations on the edge of downtown in an up and coming trendy area that’s slowly being gentrified. When he shared the good news with me, I couldn’t help but to be overcome with joy for him. The news genuinely gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside and made my afternoon. I’m so very proud of him because I know this is something he’s wanted to do for a year or more and he’s finally there. All of those long nights and weekends of OT to save up for it paid off.

As we continued to catch up, I couldn’t help but to notice how far I have come over the past few months. I was able to speak to him and feel no emotion or bitterness, just genuine happiness as if I was talking to an old friend.  I am over the moon happy for him. So, so proud.

overcome with happiness.gif

The fact that I’ve gotten to the point where I can celebrate in his successes without hate in my heart is HUGE for me. It’s not that I’ve ever “hated” him during the past few months, but there were days where I wasn’t his biggest fan because I was hurt and being emotionally irrational (rightfully so though. I am human). Ha. Particularly when I was CAPS LOCK mad at him back in December (but in my defense I was PMsing and he did drop several bombs on me in that conversation which added fuel to the fire).

Anyway, before our conversation wrapped up, I did cop that taco recipe from him, which he gladly shared, even though I left the details of “why” I was making tacos pretty vague (just said I had an “event” – which isn’t really a lie—an event of getting my back bent and fractured –  lol).

yasssss gif

Even though I’ve gotten to a point where I’m in a better place with how things ended between us, I still don’t care to share details of my love life with him. That’s no longer his business just as I don’t really care to know about his either. So as long as he’s happy with that area of his life, I’ll be happy for him there too.

Welp. The tacos ended up being a big hit, but I’ll save that for another post 😉 .

Actual Factual Advice

I’m still riding that wave of being (mostly) at peace. After all, I’m not perfect by any means and there is still a itty bitty part of me dusting off emotionally, but I’m so much better than I was, omg! It feels amazing to want to get up, to want to be social, to be able to focus on other aspects of my life that I had been neglecting for months. Most importantly, it feels nice to have the courage to “get back out there” and KNOW that this person nor that situation “ended” me. While I’ve been hurt or a little sad about ended relationships before, this was my first substantial heartbreak because I was so emotionally invested.

I don’t think being “emotionally invested” is a bad thing. It means that you believe in that person and your connection with them. It means you’re putting faith in things and giving it a go and you’re being vulnerable. A lot of risk comes with that and before this relationship; I realized I had never really been that vulnerable with anyone, even with guys that I *thought* I “loved”. I was always overly cautious, which led me not to be emotionally connected or invested in any past exes. Even one I was with for about a year. I deserved so much better than that.

Not to sound “cheesy”, but this whole situation reminds of a scene in the Black Panther movie where T’Challa (Black Panther) is laying in a bed of snow (he is near death and feeling defeated. While in this coma like state he is speaking to his ancestors who are inviting him to join them in the afterlife) and one moment he’s clinging to life and is powerless and then the next moment he realizes he has unfinished business to tend to, regains the “Black Panther” strength and emerges more powerful than before. I wish I could find that image online, but I’ve searched for about ten minutes and I have other things to do…

Anyway, it’s amazing how when you’re “heartbroken” the world seems like it is ending and the advice everyone gives you goes a little something like this:

“It will get better”

“You’re better off”

“He was a/an [insert insult here] anyway”

“Everything happens for a reason”

“You’ll find someone new/better”

“Smile. It will hurt less.”

Just don’t *think* about them”

“Go out and rebound”

“Maybe you’ll get back together”

 

Let’s be honest, none (well, most) of these things aren’t sinking in to your brain, which is diluted with negative energy and sadness by this point. You are exhausted and you can barely think about tomorrow, let alone “the future”. I really wish when I went through this painful experience I was told:

“It’s going to really HURT and for a while. Like physical pain level of hurt.”

“It’s going to suck and there are going to be days where you feel like you can’t function, but over time you will feel better.”

It’s ok to cry and to feel sad. You’re in mourning. Actually go through the stages of these emotions. Allow yourself to feel this raw emotion.”

“Don’t hold things in. Talk to loved ones or professionals if you can.”

“Blog it out.”

“You’ll go through a roller coaster of emotions. Some days you’ll feel a little better and then several days later you’ll feel sad again (sometimes without reason), but as time moves on you’ll have more good days than bad days until eventually the majority of your days are good again.”

“You’ll long for your ex and even act on seeing them. That’s normal. While reuniting (even on a friendly basis) sounds like a good idea, it’s not (shortly after a breakup) and will set both of you off course emotionally. Wait six or more months and if you’re able to have a genuine platonic friendship, go for it, but keep your boundaries in check.”

“Cut communication as much as possible. Even if you’re cordial to one another, it’s just not necessary to be “in touch” right after.”

“Go out and find new hobbies, experience new things, travel, make new friends. These eventual distractions will prove to be pivotal in your recovery.”

“If going to a certain place reminds you of them, don’t go to that place if it is at all humanly possible. Protect your peace.”

“Stop re-reading their text messages, emails, listening to their voicemails, making googly eyes at photos of them (you both as a couple counts too), in fact,  remove the photos from your phone, or at the very least place them in a “hidden” folder or store them on a hard drive. Social media wise, hide their updates and hide yours from them too. If absolutely necessary (wasn’t for me), delete them from your social media pages. At least for now. Protect. your. peace.”

“When you do dust off and get back out there again, try not to date someone just like them. Try to date someone different from your ex. They might surprise you (in a good way). You will naturally compare your new bae to your ex, but don’t be too critical.”

“Take things slow in your next romantic encounter. Consider the reasons why you and your ex didn’t work and strive to not repeat those things moving forward. Be logical and tell your heart to pace itself.”

“Take your time and only get back out there when you feel as though you’re all better. Don’t date with a revengeful heart or even for the purposes of rebounding or making your ex jealous. Those situations will never end well and might potentially hurt the other person in the crossfire of your selfish behavior.”

“You’re probably going to date a lot of cornballs [see guy #1] and fuck boys post break-up. Go out, have fun, keep an open mind and know your worth. Eventually, your “prince charming” will come around.”

“You may have days where you are not your ex’s biggest fan [2]….EVEN if you guys ended things mutually or in a very peaceful way and they treated you like gold while you were together. That is OK. It’s natural to have a bit a resentment, try not to act on it though.”

“There will be times where you’ll be worried about them. Wondering if they’re ok, if they’re lonely, if they feel guilt, if they have second thoughts, etc. Yes, they probably do indeed have these thoughts and go through these things, but it’s not your job to “protect” them anymore.”

***

I could easily go on and on with this, but what is most important is that I made it through the worst of it and I am on the other side now with a renewed sense of self. I don’t regret meeting my ex or even being in a relationship with him, not for one second. I’m glad I let my guard down and took the chance to let him into my world. Imagine had I not let my guard down, I would have potentially missed out on having someone really amazing in my life. I would have missed out on truly understanding what it feels like to have someone love me unconditionally and to meet my effort 110%. I cherish those moments that we shared and I feel honored that of all people, he chose to share those moments with me. I wish him all of the success and happiness in the world, I really do.

One of the best gifts he gave me was learning how to truly love and trust and ALLOWING someone to love and trust you in return. I just hope that moving forward I can approach love in that way with someone new, which I’m sure I will in time. And if I never do, at least I can say I did have the pleasure of experiencing it.

“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

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…

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.