“Fight Club”

Within the last month or so, I’ve slightly entertained dating again. I’m in a good place now and I feel like I’m realistically ready to venture back in. I’ve kept a pretty open mind about it and have made sure to meet people (guys) in a variety of ways (in person, through friends, over shared hobbies, online, etc). I’ve also made it a point to not seriously devote more than a fourth of my life to “actively seek” love or companionship, because I don’t “need it”. I’m happy enough with myself that I’m ok with being by myself. Those things are nice (when they’re meaningful and have substance), but I’ve learned that having someone in your life should only enhance your happiness, not exclusively bring happiness into your life. I also haven’t been super serious about committing to any one guy, because I don’t need to right now. I’m not interested in hopping right back into a relationship. I’m good on that.  I’m ok with being single, doing my own thing and spending time with friends. As I mentioned some time back, dating helps you identify if someone is a good match for you. It’s silly to dive head first into the first person that has a shared interest with you.

Ok, enough of the reflection introduction…

As I mentioned, I’m entertaining multiple avenues of meeting guys. Of course, one of the avenues is online dating. Ha. It seems so taboo to me (even in 2018), but everyone is busy and it’s just another means to put yourself out there. While I’ve spoken to a few guys up there, I haven’t taken it extremely seriously just yet (more on this in a future post)…So imagine my shock when I get a message last night from a guy I know IRL.

So here’s the thing, I’ve seen several guys online that I know IRL (mostly as acquaintances), but my rule of thumb is to not interact with them online. Hell, I even saw a mild crush of mine online, but it’s pointless to communicate there. I mean, if we know each other IRL, and there isn’t enough spark to entertain dating or “getting to know one another”, why interact online? It seems counterproductive, ha.

 

fight club

 

So of course, you can imagine my shock when I login and read the message from a guy I already know.

Hey–how are you doing? Do you remember me? We went to college together and worked together, ha. Small world. How are you doing??

At first, I wasn’t quite sure how to even respond to this because it was awkward. Eventually I wrote back to let him know I was fine and hoped he was doing well too. I didn’t ask any questions as to intentionally dead end the conversation.  I’m not sure what his point in messaging me was, to be honest. Perhaps he was on a Walter Mitty mission?

walter mitty

I’m not going to explain each specific detail, but in a nutshell, Walter discovers his crush has a somewhat active dating profile and wants to date her before someone else does. He realizes in reading her profile, that she’s looking for someone full of adventure and realizes he hasn’t done a lot of adventurous things in his life…so he sets out to change that and goes on a weird self discovery quest of sorts. It’s a cute movie.

Anyway, hopefully that’s the end of our interaction really. I wasn’t his biggest fan when we worked together (and went to college together), so unless he’s done a 180, I’m not interested in entertaining anything with him IRL.

We’ll see.

Wheel O’ Moods

Part of my goals for the new year was to focus on self care and part of that is recognizing my moods and what triggers them. Obviously, I haven’t been myself the past few months, but sometimes taking time to step back and understand the root of why and what triggers these moods is instrumental.

About three weeks ago, I downloaded this app called, “self checkout“. It’s this cool app that allows you to “check in” regarding your mood. If you fail to check in, the app reminds you and also suggests a self care tip.

When I first downloaded the app, my moods were all over the place (so much so that you can barely see them all on the wheel below) . I’m pretty sure I hit every mood on the spectrum .

 

 

I’m starting to notice that my moods are leveling out and as that happens, I’m feeling more like myself again for the first time in months:

 

 

Seeing a visual of this progress is rewarding because not only do I feel better, but I can also see a visual representation of just how much better I’m feeling. It shows that I’m starting to lean more towards being “ok” and “content” and less “down”. This lets me know I’m almost out of the woods and I can see the clearing.

Speaking of my moods stabilizing, I’ve been quite the social butterfly lately (with friends) and I’ve able to entertain dating a little more seriously. I’ve somehow managed to have three dates planned for later on this week with guys that aren’t seamlessly the scum of the earth. Nothing is promised yet, but this is definitely a step in the right direction from where I came from a few months ago.

Hello, 2018.

2018

I spent much of the last few hours of 2017 randomly road tripping and being fairly intoxicated, but in the midst of all of this craziness, I did take time to reflect on 2017 as a whole. The ups, the downs, the in between moments. I think 2017 as a whole wasn’t a bad year for me. Many amazing things happened and I learned some very valuable life lessons, including allowing myself to to fall in love and be loved in return.

Speaking of which, I briefly spoke to my ex yesterday while on the road. We had a cordial conversation and wished each other a Happy New Year. At the conclusion of our text message conversation, I told him that I hoped 2018 would be a great year for him and I genuinely meant it. He deserves it just as much as I do. Through all of this, I honestly believe he has been as nice as he possibly can be given the situation. This statement was also my way of saying goodbye to him indefinitely. I really don’t want to bring any of that into 2018. I’ve spent enough time and energy on it. I want to let go and move on and I will never be able to do that if we’re still in communication with one another. I will never be able to open my heart to someone else if I’m still stuck on this. This is not to say that I won’t EVER speak to him again, I just need a extended detox. I started the process of taking this detox seriously, by removing photos of him from my phone. I didn’t delete them forever and always, just moved them off of my phone and to a drive. I look forward to the day when/if we reconnect and we’re able to catch up on life as  old friends. I still support him in all that he does, as I told him I would a few days ago.

While bringing the new year in with one of my best friends and another one of his friends, I got a phone call from blast from the past wishing me a happy new year. He’s called every year for the past five years. The only year he missed was the first year we met where we spent it together. We sort of lost touch halfway through last year and of course I went MIA after hoping into a relationship that I never really told him about (even when we were in his city visiting for a day last year). I also intentionally refused to speak to him after he never returned my calls and texts telling him I needed a friend to talk to after the break up. When I did finally CALL HIM he addressed my messages, but never explained why he didn’t RETURN my cry for help. Anyway, I’m trying to shed holding grudges and being angry with people in 2018. I’d like to work on our friendship in the coming year and that starts with open communication. I don’t believe we need to be best friends or even speak on a daily basis, but I do want to have confidence in our friendship and that’s something I lost at the end of last year.

Speaking of things I want to work on in this year (not in any order of importance):

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (physically, emotionally, mentally)
  • Being more open/honest with my emotions/needs
  • Financial stability
  • Keeping my heart open, but not wearing it on my sleeve
  • Staying more organized

Fingers crossed that I’m able to accomplish these goals–I won’t refer to them as “resolutions”, because these are things I’ve technically been working on since the end of last year anyway.

Here’s to a new year. May it be a good one 🙂

 

On Mending

Google, “heartbreak” and “how to deal with heartbreak” on the internet and you’ll find a wide spectrum of advice columns on the subject matter. Some are particularly encouraging and motivating and suggest doing things like taking up yoga (wait, I did actually do this) or volunteering in your community (that too) to feel better and others are negative and basically state that not only will you experience again (and most likely worse), but it most likely happened to you this time around because you’re a terrible person (so ok, I’m exaggerating just a tad).

I take everything with a grain of salt these days. There is no easy “fix” to heartbreak and everyone is different. There is no sound proof recipe to follow. Everyone’s relationships are different, the reasons behind why those relationships failed, the people in them and the reasons why they started in the first place are all different. Maybe one person’s way to get through heartbreak is to jump out of a plane, while someone else’s might be to throw themselves into work (not recommended for me).

If there’s anything that I’ve discovered about myself over the past six weeks or so is that no amount of yoga or skydiving is going to “fix me”. I have to essentially find ways to self-reflect and readjust my energy (and attitude) to focus on more positive areas of my life like my friends, family and even acquiring a new skill. It’s been going ok so far. I still don’t sleep particularly well at night, but I’m working on it.

Recently, I’ve found myself diving into skills that my ex either did or we did together. In a strange round about way, it’s therapeutic to me to accomplish these things on my own. it’s almost my way of proving that I can do it and in some cases do it  better than he did (of course, he wasn’t great at EVERYTHING, but he mastered A LOT of really cool skills well. I of course mastered smearing makeup on his pillow cases, falling asleep on him while watching almost ANYTHING on netflix, never being able to finish whatever portion of food he made for me and unintentionally becoming inebriated after one glass of bourbon–where is my cookie for this outstanding craftsmanship?!). I did this with Kayaking while visiting the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago (kayaking was not one of these things that I was better at–but I managed to do it and didn’t die in the process). Will I ever do it again? Maybe…perhaps in a lake on a non-windy day.

flipping over

Check.

Cooking is another thing I’ve started to focus more energy on. I’ve never considered myself a bad cook, just lazy. My ex however, was a marvelous cook and regularly made these masterpieces for us to share just because he wanted to. I never cooked anything for him, because again I’m lazy, but I DID bake for him a few times and he seemed to be appreciative of that. On our second date, he invited me over to his place where we made homemade pizza together (we’re both pizza snobs) while drinking sipping bourbon neat (which I’m learning to appreciate). This was not only a fun activity to share, but a knowledgeable one as well.

I’ll never forget coming home after being away on business for a week. He invited me over for dinner the following night where he made this elaborate moroccan dish with like 500 ingredients (so ok, I’m exaggerating–but it was at least 50–because I SEENT IT…most of them were seasonings, herbs and spices I couldn’t spell or pronounce), including one spice that tops out at $20 a jar (was this gold dust? He was probably flexin–why would anyone spend $20 alone on a spice? By the way, it was called, “Saffron”).

i seent it

The dish took him an entire day to “prep” and nearly 2 hours to actively “cook” and god know how long to shop for all of the ingredients (this most certainly was love). While I didn’t really help with this one (I did stir, brown the chicken and introduce him to merlot!), it really motivated me to be more creative in my “masterpieces” in the kitchen. Like bloody hell, why am I not prepping for an entire day and buying exotic spices? I’m happy to report that while I didn’t recreate this specific dish (girl, bye), I have managed to do my thing in the kitchen with a few elaborate meals. I’ve even used cast iron (his prefered method of making said masterpieces) as well as teaching myself how to season, clean and maintain the skillet (doable, but labor intensive and I’m still lazy).

meal

(Actual moroccan dish he made AND the merlot that I so graciously provided-full of NOMs–I flexed FOR him on the ‘gram)

Another Check. Difficulty level, 2 (scale of 1-5).

In a bizarre way, accomplishing the things I mentioned as well as running, picking up a new sport to get into, hanging out with friends/family, volunteering/learning how to make/bottle bourbon (and others I’m too lazy to type out), it makes me feel better and more at peace. It’s almost as if it allows me to take him off of a pedestal and remove the notion that I need him there (of course there are some very specific things that he did quite well (QUITE with a capital “Q”) that I’m not physically able to do (at least on my own)–ha, but that’s not for a public post.

wink

I’ve still been keeping up my goal of not being in contact with him for a little while and I’m happy to report that I’ve done well. Tomorrow makes two solid weeks. While we haven’t communicated via text or verbally, I’ve seen him here and there (in traffic) around our side of town. In living ten minutes from one another and knowing each other’s routines and shopping habits, that’s bound to happen (I just really hope we don’t run into each other in Walmart). For instance, he was at an intersection I passed early last Saturday morning. He’s a fan of grocery shopping once a week on Saturday mornings.

My emotions still kind of shift and level out from day to day, but the fluctuations are becoming less and less frequent and my moods are starting to remain a little more consistent. I have moments of sadness, but not nearly as many. I notice that as long as I try not to sit idle for too long, not read texts from him, peruse through photos of him (or us) and actually stay on top of taking my anxiety medication, I am ok.

I’ve also come to realization that this particular breakup hit me hardest of all because I was on the verge of being in love(d) with him and he loved me too. He treated me far better than any other guy, even right up towards the end. It took this relationship for me to realize that I’ve probably never truly been in love in the way I thought I was (even with another ex who was emotionally unavailable and is STILL a terrible friend to this damn day). Strong like, yes….even strong toleration (see above), absolutely, but never true love.

heart break

I’ve read that our brains really treat heartbreak like an illness. Your body goes through all of these periods of attempting to “fight it off” and you’re basically out of sorts with yourself for a little bit…even the one who initiated the break up. It’s just a weird period of time. I like to think my ex WENT or is going through this, but outside of saying he was a little sad, drowning himself in work on purpose, not sleeping and looking like death warmed over, I’m not sure. It’s not my place to ask. I hope he’s able to eventually heal/mend too.

So there you go, I’ve officially experienced true heartbreak and I’m still standing (queue Elton John’s, “I’m still standing” with some shimmies, glitter and body rolls–YASSSSSS). I am also proud to admit that I honestly don’t resent my ex and have found no true reason to “hate him” (and I shamefully DID try to find a reason a few weeks ago). He’s a good person with a huge heart and while it didn’t work out between us, I still wish him well with his life. I just appreciate that we were able to do this peacefully.

Two Steps Back

Yesterday was a bad day emotionally. It felt like my entire being was consumed with sadness and despair to the point where I could barely focus on anything. Several co-workers commented that I looked like I didn’t, “feel well”.

Truth be told, I don’t know what caused the emotional set back, because I’ve been in semi ok spirits the past week or so. Maybe this is partially to blame on “seasonal depression”. I’ve been pretty good about taking my anxiety medicine (both day and night), but I guess it’s too much to manage even with medication some days.

I’m going to attribute this to seeing him Sunday afternoon for coffee/hot chocolate. We had been communicating back and forth towards the end of the week about getting together to exchange our keys and personal items. So obviously, not something I was super pumped to do, but I knew I needed the closure that comes along with it.

It was a bitterly cold and cloudy afternoon when we met up. My initial reaction when I saw him getting out of his car and walking into the coffee shop was extreme anger. This is an emotion I haven’t really experienced this entire time. It was new, it was raw, I felt my face get hot. I intently looked down at my phone during this time, because I did not want to make eye contact with him. He ended up having to text me to let me know he had arrived.

After he got his hot chocolate, he came over to my table and suggested we sit outside where there was more seating, so we both bundled up and headed outside. I could tell he was nervous. His voice at times shaky, almost as if he was bracing for me to yell at him and make him feel like shit (which is not my gig. That’s petty and I wouldn’t dare allow him that sort of satisfaction of knowing he “got to me” ). Definitely not the confident voice I was used to…

We spoke about work, NFL, smartphones, pets, traveling, this past halloween, the drastic change in the weather, and so on. After a few minutes we spoke like old times, joking over stupid things.

When it came time for us to part, I handed him a gift I had picked up for him while on vacation a few weeks ago. It was a bottle of his absolute favorite bourbon that’s very difficult to find here. He seemed very touched by the fact that I even remembered that and thought of him. I mostly did it because my cat (who he pet sit for me — even though we broke up the week prior) “attacked him” one day (he showed me the scar on his arm).

After the gift exchange, we exchanged keys and other items that we had at each other’s houses. I figured that was that, and he pulled me in for a hug. I wasn’t expecting a hug, so it caught me off guard. It was also weird, because I’m used to kissing him after an embrace like that. Anyway, after the hug, he told me to “keep in touch”. I have no idea if he really means that or not, but we haven’t spoken since Sunday…not that we should have???

Perhaps I let it sink in yesterday that we could potentially never see or speak to each other again and that’s a big pill to swallow, especially since things ended so abruptly. Even though he said to “keep in touch” I feel like it would be more of an effort on my end than his and even then, he’s not obligated to respond. Why should he? It’s clear that he’s done with the romantic aspect of our relationship. He may care about me in the most general sense (like wishing me well), but that’s it.

Anyway, I’m still on the road to recovery. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I truly need time to adjust my mindset, let go, get rid of baggage and so on. Everything I’ve been reading about moving on after a breakup says to cut all communication with your ex for several months before even attempting to be friends with them. I’ve had breakups before and I don’t remember them being this difficult. Some were mutual and others I may have done the breaking up or also felt things were ending if I wasn’t doing the breaking up. With the exception of one relationship that ended due to cheating, I haven’t felt this many EXTREME emotions dealing with it. I did learn through all of my reading, that the person who initiated the break up sometimes goes through just as many ups and downs. Maybe guilt…wondering if they truly made the right decision, wondering if their ex is “ok”, if they will ever enter into another relationship that *will* work out to their standards..loneliness, etc. I don’t doubt he hasn’t experienced at least some of these things.

Here is to hoping I have better days ahead.

All I Want to Do is Eat

I have no idea what’s wrong with me, but lately (within the past 1-2 weeks), all I’ve wanted to do was eattttttttttt. Granted, I “eat”, but I’ve wanted to eat legit super shitty food…like this cookie bar I’m currently smashing after eating a BLT sandwich leftover from a meeting at work yesterday.

patrick

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