Ordinary

Sometimes I want to give it all up, I want to curl up and just say I can’t. I can’t do this anymore because the feelings are overwhelming and  I want to be alone again. It’s easier then. It’s easier to run away or in my case walk away. For some people the brave thing is to leave, but for me it’s the opposite. I’ve dealt with so much heartache and I have a hard time trusting myself in any situation now. It’s like if anything goes wrong, I want to call it quits and say it’s too difficult. Where’s the line between too much work and just the right amount?

When I read Brené Brown, she would talk about “ordinary courage”, it’s not any sort of fancy and amazing feat. It’s about basically showing up to those hard situations and trying to wade your way through the cesspool of fucked up feelings. She said it far more eloquently than me. I show up and I just want it to be enough but it requires lots of introspection. I have so much going on and I don’t feel ready. I feel like I have no clue what I am doing, I feel I am good at being like this will happen but how it will happen is anyone’s fucking guess. In those moments people see me as ballsy but really I am just coasting because at night when I’m alone–I’m scared shitless.

As for my relationship, people again see it through this lens of judgment because they know my boyfriend and I are comfortable in having disagreements and often or they see it in rosy tinted glasses of “wow, he travels with you, gifts you trips and talks about the future with you! you see him 2-3x a week and talk daily… that is serious” and it’s like no this isn’t some magic carpet ride where I end up in foreign cities and my boyfriend and I horseback ride into the sunset.

I have doubts and I freak out. We’re so imperfect, we argue, we are emotionally healthy thank fuck, we still try to figure out how this shit works, he is far better at it than me because my knee jerk reaction is to go outside for some air because I have to unlearn all the unhealthy shit from the past: years and years of unhealthy interactions in my memory and also managing to stand my ground while being empathetic. It can be draining. Sometimes all I can say is “I love you.”

But we have to come round and talk about the icky, hard bits and when he tells me how much he loves me I feel reassured but I told him: “love isn’t always enough” because it wasn’t. I thought it was but you need more than love to make a relationship work. Love is just a fraction of that, you need to have similar core values and empathy. There needs to be all these other components depending on how you’re wired. Like me, my independence is so crucial. My ex was threatened by my autonomy.

I have been listening to a lot of music lately to help me process and John Legend’s Ordinary People is a go to for me because seriously I can relate my life to a movie, song, or book… but it’s so true for us, we’re ordinary people, we don’t know which way to go.

 

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Lines Drawn

There’s something to be said about someone showing their genuine interest in you. It’s this little adrenaline rush and if you feel you connected with them, it’s even more exciting. But when that happens and you’re in a relationship it’s so weird.

I had that happen and it’s happened in the past. Most recent occurrence, it happened when I attended a wedding solo because most guests weren’t given a plus one unless they were married. I went and it was my dear friends’ betrothal so I was having the time of my life. I was very social and very in the moment. I’m an extroverted introvert to the max and this evening, I was around close friends and I was in my element. That’s where I met this guy who I presumed to be gay, usually my gaydar is pretty spot on. He seemed like fun so I connected with him on a friendship level quickly. Yes, he’s good looking but nothing to make me stop dead in my tracks. The wedding was in the planetarium and there were restricted areas, my friend Deb, Stacey and I decided we should break the rules and enter the restricted areas. This guy joined us and he was a very good sport of being a look out etc.

Anyway, a few days later I didn’t think much of it when he added me on social media. He messaged me and said he had a wonderful time that evening and it was a pleasure to meet me. I figured he sent a message like this to the other girls and said I had a blast, we were all obviously meant to be friends. I left it at that and didn’t send anything back. Some time elapsed maybe a few more days before he opened up about the fact he was very drawn to me, he wanted to get to know me and take me out regardless of his schedule. I was caught so off guard by the forwardness and vulnerability he was showing.

I’m not used to people being so vulnerable with me so soon, I feel like it was such a brave move but I was confused too because he had invited me to concerts in the previous message. Those concerts were a group thing and now there was this taking me out to stuff message. Was this a group or couple thing? My girlfriends said it was plainly obvious which one it was but I need things spelled out to me sometimes.

I also hated the idea of being that person who is all “I have a boyfriend…” I mean he’s obviously gone out on a limb BUT the truth is I do have a boyfriend and it’s a serious thing. I love my Irishman.

It just got me thinking why do we like the attention because it’s happened to my friends too. I like it some of them like it too. Parts of me wants to know what would happen and before with my ex, I would really let my mind wander because he always accused me of cheating or some guy wanting to get with me. Funnily enough it made me really want to know what it was like to be with others despite being faithful.

My current boyfriend trusts me and this has been the first time someone’s tried to ask me out in a real way since we got back together. I was of course flattered and I knew if I was single I would definitely be interested but I’m not. So I replied back I’m taken.

But the interactions haven’t stopped, he still messages. I found him to be friendly at first but these are “get to know you” conversations and there’s usually no prompting the exchange. I love getting to know people but I’m wary. I love the attention and I can’t lie, I’ve gotten a confidence boost from this. However, the person I message the most is my boyfriend and I want to keep it that way.

Before my Irishman and I got back together, I was texting others and whenever I would meet up with him during that gray area time–I would hide my messages. Now that we are full disclosure with each other, I don’t want to repeat that phase. It was during a period of time that I wasn’t sure if I was in something out of comfort or out of healthy love. I had to date around and see, when I did and I returned I had to make a decision. I decided there was no more messing around. I want to be in this, all in and without anything hidden or anything unsaid. It’s been tricky this week because my boyfriend has been in Ireland visiting family.

I needed lots of attention and he was giving it to me from afar. But I hadn’t a chance to tell him that I got hit on and that this guy continues to message me. I want to share everything even the uncomfortable shit. He told me once that there are some things that should be my own but this is one of those things I have to share. I’m not doing anything wrong but I feel weird. I guess for myself I draw the line here. It went from trying to ask me out and sticking to friendship to still seeking me out. That’s not ok with me.

A Little Prayer

Wanting to put my feelings out there that life is so unpredictable and anything could happen, be it something magical or tragic. I have had my share of both and lately I feel I have had quite a magical ride so far! This past weekend, I spent it with my family to share some empathy and touch base. It was most needed and as always I want more time! We made more plans to meet up in an apple orchard and for them to meet my new love, also to make tamales, and even get together in different states/countries. It filled my heart. Also this morning I got a call from my love that last night he got in a legal hiccup and he is so worried about losing his job or being sent back to his home overseas due to this mistake.

I can’t lie, at first I was in lecture mode and he was straight up in saying that this was the opposite of what he needed right now. He was scared and I have not heard him so scared before, he told me he even cried (he is not emotional like me) and was so anxious he vomited at the thought of his life in America ending because of some bad choices.

For some reason and those who know me best would be shocked, I kept my cool and I honestly believed with absolute certainty that the worst case scenario would not be the scenario. It is weird because I am such a worrier and I’m always going mental about something or the other, but in this case while he was losing his mind with concern–I sat there completely chill knowing it wouldn’t come to that, he wouldn’t be sent away.

And if he was… it wouldn’t change my feelings. Granted, I am annoyed that this even happened. I would be devastated not to spend time with him each week if he was told to go back to Ireland. But it wouldn’t stop me from feeling love for him and for believing that we would find a way to sort it all.

He asked me to pray for him which he has yet to ask of me at all. I said I would and this is me putting out good feels that hopefully more good feels would come our way, especially his way during his time of need. Here’s to a pleasant solution and learning a valuable lesson.

How Can You Be Sure?

I think that’s what bothers me about falling in love again. I was so sure the first time and it was so enveloping. It drowned me.

This time, I can be independent and I like being able to separate the us time and the time with friends or family. I want to share more with him. I want to spend all this time with him and I can see this future before us and i like it. But I get scared. Like is this it? Am I “settling”?  People say never settle but then you might miss out on something truly awesome just because you keep looking for the better scenario. More money, more abs, more flair, etc. Whatever it is people always tell me they’re looking for it’s pretty damn hard to find someone who fits all the criteria. It’s like that scene from Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth Bennet asks who Darcy’s ideal woman is and Caroline Bingley tells it all, then Lizzie’s all well how the fuck did you expect to find a woman like that I’ve never met someone like that in my own life! Or something like that you know, I paraphrase.

There are totally those contrary voices that come in and say well you’re just being safe or you’re making shit up so that it won’t work out because you like drama. But what the fuck is wrong with safe? I don’t want to be with someone mental and unpredictable someone who could hurt me just because s/he can excite me. This guy still excites me but not in startling ways, it’s like he surprises me with his kindness and selflessness. The way he can listen and be true to himself but it doesn’t come at a cost. He surprises me because he wants to make plans and they actually come to fruition. He said let’s plan a weekend getaway. We had something booked within a week. This man speaks things and they come into existence. He is a man of action and shit, he is inspiring me to get my shit going too.

I want to be all these things but I am struggling because I also don’t want to forfeit my true self. But I also don’t want to just say this is the best version of me, I want to continually improve. I get so worried that I am the only one doubting it felt good to know I wasn’t the only one who had doubts. I just don’t want him to think I will leave him suddenly like I did before. I am looking at this from all angles because I want to make a life the real thing this time. Where I do things that I want to do and make those ideas into realities. speaking things into existence like he does.

Some parts of that will be domestic life but also I want to make sure we don’t get bored. That we still pursue our adventures and so far it feels like that is definitely on the to do list. We’re already planning a Europe trip for next summer. I don’t want things to be monotonous and routine but sometimes I like a bit of routine… fuck I am such a worrier. i stress myself out and give myself anxiety over the future and all he said was to enjoy the ride. I’ll do my damn best!

Think About It

Tomorrow, I am flying to Nashville to visit friends, lay by the pool, listen to live music, drink, eat, and just chill. I am looking forward to it especially since I will go with my best friend. It’s a family reunion of sorts, this friend group is my family in the South. It brings up my trip from February, when I visited Nashville for the first time with my boyfriend of sorts. At the time, I didn’t see him that way. I was still sorting myself out and there was a lot of miscommunication. Our magic from the NOLA trip didn’t transfer to Nashville especially since I wanted to pop by to visit who I consider family. He didn’t see it that way, he saw this as solely a couple’s trip which it was… but there was so much unspoken between us.

Back then, I didn’t know how to talk to him or ask him for what I needed. Emotions ran high and he ended up offending me in a big way by being rude to my friends. I could not get past it and shortly thereafter, I left him. I don’t regret it. It’s one of those things that needed to happen. I needed to be alone. I needed to process my shit and I needed to remove myself from this situation. I was a bit rash believing I had to break up because he couldn’t keep his shit together in Nashville. But I had to re-examine a lot of things.

What I wanted, what was expected of me if I pursue relationships, what I’m looking for and all that shit I’d rather not face. I still don’t know what I want exactly, but at the time I wasn’t satisfied and I wanted to explore what other kinds of love existed. But that’s the deal, I knew I loved him but I thought I didn’t love him like how he should be loved. Now I see that I was in love but I didn’t want to be because I was still grieving my ex. I couldn’t help comparing the two either which is sucky but I totally did it. I thought well I was head over heels for my ex for 2 years, I went bonkers living and breathing in this other person. Wanting everything to do with him and being intoxicated by his presence.

With my NOLA/Nashville guy I wasn’t going insane or completely enveloped in him, I loved hearing his stories and how he rang me up to talk… But I wasn’t obsessive or nearly as possessive as I was with my ex. We were pretty tame and I thought, fuck does this mean that because our love is not intense in every aspect of our relationship that this isn’t going to work out? We’re not oozing romance constantly therefore I can’t really be that in love right? Right.

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Wrong.

Actually, post breakup I felt like I could say all the shit that I didn’t say before. The lines became blurred and I dated other people and so did he… but I kept thinking about him. Not my abusive and intensely passionate ex. I thought about the emotionally healthy guy that took me to different US cities, who checked on me, who was definitely fed up with my mixed signals but couldn’t help but ask what really was going on. We’re so different, we talked about it so much. Similarities here and there, but vastly different in other ways. Not to mention that sometimes I still bring up that ex that broke my heart which after months of courtship must drive him nuts.

So now we’re in this unclear space where we love each other but we haven’t decided what to do about it. Until now. He told me he is at a time in his life where he can’t be messing around. I should think about what I want when I am off in Nashville and he can think about it while he is Wisconsin then we can talk about what we thought about…

Well I am already panicking because part of me is like hell yes, I want this. Let’s try again! Another part of me is like well, flirting and crushing is fun too. Do I want to give that up again? I did try dating other people but that was a total drag for me, people my age are at a time in their life where they DO want to mess around and just explore themselves. Which I totally get, I am still exploring myself but I also don’t want to connect with people who are going to be temporary. I don’t have time for that shit, I’m too emotional for that business too. My time and care is precious, I can’t be giving it away like I used to. I learned that giving too much is damaging.

I can go for this but then I have to be serious and bring up topics that probably make me feel uncomfortable or I can say fuck this, waiting for a grass is greener scenario. Both are a gamble. I guess my real fear is that I will end up being half a boring couple who think about buying houses and marriage. I don’t want to be end up boring. I also don’t want to waste my time dating people who are going to end up being irrelevant months later.

But truthfully, I am kind of boring! I like doing adventurous stuff, but I like being at home in my bed taking pictures of my taco pillow or playing games on my phone. Welp, I have five days to think about it. Be boring by myself or with someone I love? Sounds like an easy decision but for me, it never is.

28th

So it’s my birthday. *waves victory flag*

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Taken a month ago… when I was 27 -____-

I made it this far. I feel better lately but I am still an emotional wreck. My therapist says it is about phases and reconstructing yourself. One day I feel like I have my shit together and other days I feel I am breaking down. Today, I felt relieved. I saw my NOLA travel companion/lover/whatever and I was able to hear about his travels. I really enjoy spending time with him yet I was a little sad knowing that the time had to end; when he had to depart and I would be alone again.

I usually like being alone. Today I wanted to spend all that time with him but he has his life and I do have shit to do. It’s one of thing that I find myself doing a lot, I let myself be of service very often and I dislike that. I really want to practice saying no. Which I did earlier, I was rather proud of myself.

I was invited by this guy I like to come to NY. We have been talking back and forth. I’ve liked him for very long fully knowing he is on the east coast… it’s definitely unrealistic but the feels are real. However, I kept bringing up the idea of us meeting up and he said he couldn’t meet me here but I could come there… Yeah, um no. I used to be up for that impulsive shite. I did it before and it was awesome, but not this time. I told him no and I explained that I tend to take chances on people and I need to learn to take chances on myself. I am tired of risking my feelings and my heart. I need to trust myself again and take a break from putting effort into whatever ridiculous fantasy in my head.

I barely have my life sorted, I can’t catch a flight to fucking NYC to maybe have a flirtatious fun time and then it end up in heartbreak. I just can’t afford that shit financially or emotionally. No matter how much I like a person. That’s what 28 years of life has taught me so far. And that I really like being taken out for meals on my birthday in contrast to planning a party… How wise I am. *throws confetti*

Definition Pending

It’s so easy to write off people especially when they make mistakes.

During my tumultuous relationship with my ex who was both physically and emotionally abusive, quite a number of my friends or even acquaintances were eager to label him as this: Batterer, abuser, bad guy etc. They said he’ll never change, he’ll always be in this person who would use his anger in the most frightful of ways. I knew that he had this strong reaction to certain events or words. It made me cower and retreat. I was always so careful with my words and actions should they lead to an all out match between us. But I would see him as more than this man who would fuck up and hurt me so. It sucked and it wasn’t right that I stuck it out so long. That I kept trying to fix myself because I thought that I was the reason he would explode. Sometimes I triggered him and other times I would escalate.

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How To Fall In & Out of Love

I follow TedTalks like many Millennial Americans that I encounter on a daily basis.

The one that keeps popping up on my feed as if I needed “to fall in love” (which I don’t because love is usually what gets me into all sorts of trouble) is Mandy Len Catron‘s talk: “Falling in love is the easy part”. It speaks about her article in the NYT about her little experiment of asking 36 questions and stare into each other’s eyes for a full 4 minutes in order to fall in love. This experiment was conducted originally by Arthur Aron and it was way more scientific whereas Mandy’s experiment was more of a lark but she did the whole shebang. Yes, she did fall in love and her TedTalk is about the choice to fall in love and how there’s more beyond the experiment. The love you may find after conducting the experiment may not be the romantic variety however it still strengthened or sparked a love that may not have been at the stage previously.

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Strings

It’s been a long ass time.

I’ve been going through a lot. It’s been the theme of the past year I suppose… or more. Whatever. It’s happening. This thing, these changes and it’s been making me go mental. I have been that person who has lost their cool and lacking confidence because there’s this whole shift within me. I cannot even explain it clearly. It’s just going on. Ever since I left the guy I went to New Orleans and Nashville with. It’s this mixture of emotions that never ceases, I tend to feel more than one emotion at once and that sucks.

From confusing him post break-up to remembering that I used to be in love with someone else completely, I’ve been in a major mental and emotional block. Part of me didn’t want to admit that I still had SO MUCH left unpacked from my ex and a huge part of me didn’t want to give up one of the few positive distractions: traveling with a new love. But I couldn’t be a girlfriend, I knew something was up when I didn’t feel like I was someone’s girlfriend. Not again. It didn’t feel right and I couldn’t explain it. There were other issues like the fact we worked together, how he treated people I cared about, the lack of PDA… there were small things but I couldn’t face those little hiccups without dealing with myself. Did I want to enter into something serious? No. Did I want to sleep around? Not really. I wanted to go back to the in between and that wasn’t happening.

But I am addicted to distraction. That’s my new way of coping which helps sometimes, but it doesn’t work for a long term solution. If anything being with someone new reminded me of the strength and resilience I had to move on. But still, it’s really hard. I want to have romance and move on. Not exactly something that can happen simultaneously.

I still have to sit with myself and say “do you want to expedite the process and just end up in a mediocre relationship because you’re too lazy to deal with yourself?” And I tell myself no but somehow I would persuade myself to reach out to former lover/still coworker and get tangled up in a new mess. Repeatedly. He would get frustrated because he wants commitment and he knows I’m not giving out any guarantees. He wants to be able to date without any strings.

I have strings, like a lot. Strings to lots of different things. I am trying to see where each leads and I am in no mood to making any romantic gestures. I owe this man a lot for helping me and being there, I loved everything we did. I loved him even. But there’s something missing and finally, through some sick twist of fate and knowledge–I think this time I can let him go. Properly. He was/is my crutch and that’s not fair for anyone. I hope I can stay clean/clear of him in the emotional department. For now, I still have to see him at work… wish me luck.

 

 

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

The best $35 I spent was on a Megabus to Nashville. I learned that I do fancy some country music especially when I hear it live, I also found out that I love songs by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. I also discovered that the man I have been seeing and traveling with is not the one for me. There is no real reason for it. Everything was magical up until after the holidays and a shift occurred. I thought I knew what I wanted, I believed that these feelings were truer than anything else. But the truth is we didn’t know each other as well as we thought. He helped me get over my ex. I am much better yet something still lingers. I have this longing for my ex, perhaps I miss how I used to feel. Whatever it is, I know this. I don’t want to go back to my ex and I don’t want to be in a relationship with my current beau.

I can’t be a girlfriend right now.

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So when we came back from our trip, I knew I had to face this. I had to tell him. No more mixed messages, if I want to save this friendship I have to breakup with him. This was my first time initiating a breakup. It’s not fun by the way. I definitely cried. There are no ways to explain it other than, I have a lot to sort out on my own. I didn’t want to cheat him out of love or something like it. There was love there but it was brief. It burned out. Burnt toast, my sister in law called it, because no matter how much you butter it… you still don’t want it.

Our time in New Orleans will always be one of my favorite memories. It was one of those perfect, spontaneous moments. He helped me grieve for my relationship. But now I need to do things on my own. People called it a rebound. Whatever you want to call it. I can honestly say, my feelings were real and true. But things don’t stay the same always. Change happens and that’s what happened to me. I used to dislike country. Now I love it. I used to be in love with my New Orleans/Nashville travel companion, but I’m not in love anymore. I think the love I need to focus on is self-love. He can’t help me with that one.