What (Most) Women Want

17 Sep Featured Image -- 5853

beautifulmess7:

I wish more men understood these things. She’s absolutely right that we want it all! And if there’s something our man is interested in, so are we because we care about him and what makes him excited. There’s not a single thing I disagree with here.

Originally posted on P.S. Please Don't Be a Serial Killer:

After reading Paul Thomas Bell‘s post on what a man in his late 20’s THINKS women want…I decided to take it upon myself and explain what women ACTUALLY want. Now granted his post “What Women Want” was funny and sarcastic, but I thought I’d make mine a little more serious with a bit of Jblondie flavor. :)

So here we go…let’s fall down the rabbit hole and into the mind of a vertically challenged 27 year old blonde. (Are you scared yet? …you should be)

We want…

1. To have sex… to be fucked…and to make love. We WANT it ALL. We don’t always need to cum to enjoy it, and we like being naughty so teach us something we don’t know. We’ll be putty in your hands. Lick us…lick us every chance you get. Make sure you know what you’re doing (if you don’t ask us) and…

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Love is Not Enough – Mark Manson

4 Sep

This is well worth the read, especially for anyone who has ignored red flags and compatibility issues because of “love.”

Love is Not Enough – Mark Manson.

When the Right the One Comes Along

7 Aug

I recently saw this performed at the Grand Ole Opry, and the words are exactly right.  When the right person comes into your life, you just know.   I’m nearing a year with Tony, and it’s unlike any relationship I’ve ever had.  Unlike any connection I’ve had with anyone.  I knew he was the right one fairly early on, and that feeling just gets stronger the longer we’re together.

There’s no music, no confetti
Crowds don’t cheer, and bells don’t ring
But you’ll know it, I can guarantee
When the right one comes along

What they’re thinkin’, what you’re feelin’
You no longer have to guess
All these questions are finally put to rest
When the right one comes along

Every single broken heart will lead you to the truth
You think you know what you’re lookin’ for
‘Til what you’re lookin’ for finds you

In a cold world, it’s a warm place
Where you know that you’re supposed to be
A million moments full of sweet relief
When the right one comes along

Every single broken heart will lead you to the truth
You think you know what you’re lookin’ for
‘Til what you’re lookin’ for finds you

It’s so easy, nothin’ to it
Though you may not believe me now
But I promise that you’ll find out
When the right one comes along

All that changes is only everything
When the right one comes along

Guest Post: Breaking The Low Mood Cycle

1 Jul

beautifulmess7:

This is fantastic! ☺

Originally posted on Captain Awkward:

Image: a cheerful orange blob monster is chatting to a friend using a speech bubble containing a question mark and exclamation mark. The friend is a grumpy grey blob monster who looks away expressing grumpiness. Its speech bubble contains a grey scribble.

Hello friends! It’s Elodie Under Glass here with a guest post on Low Moods.

I particularly want to thank Quisty, Kellis Amberlee and TheOtherAlice  for their kindly help in reading and editing this piece. It would not have existed without their care, support, compassion, and wonderful editorial abilities. They are truly remarkable humans! (edited: And thanks to the radiant and patient NessieMonster, who let me come to her city and follow her around, burbling insensibly about this post, for far longer than most people would have.)

So recently, I went on a Stress and Mood Management course, and I thought that you all might enjoy sharing what I’ve learned.

This post is something of a correction/update to Adulthood is a Scary Horse, a post for the Captain which I was never quite satisfied with. It really crystallized for me on this course, in our…

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How I gave the key to my Life to a narcissist

22 Jun

beautifulmess7:

This is a very honest self-reflection that I can relate to.

Originally posted on Healing my codependency and regaining my life !:

Yes, I did that.

As evil and monstrous and horrible and not humane as the narcissist was to me, I gave him the keys first and I did not take them back until recently.

I did that out of my ignorance, innocence, trust, pain and inner wounds. I did it out of me ignoring what was hurting in my life and that I did not want to deal with, my low self esteem and low self worth.

He lied and I forgave because I was scared that… nobody else would love me, because I was not a quitter and I believed we could fix it not knowing at this stage what I was dealing with in fact.

He cheated and I forgave because … I was hooked and my codependency was in full blown.

I strongly believe if I had not been carrying those things around he could have targeted…

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Living in the Now

6 Jun

It seems like I blinked and this year is already halfway over.  I suppose that’s a good sign, though, because when things aren’t going well time seems to drag on endlessly.  I’ve been keeping busy with school and work and living life in general.  I’m just a few classes away from getting my MBA, which will be so great to have done.  I’m happy to report that I’ve kept up my 4.0 GPA while maintaining a sometimes hectic work schedule.  I’m also moving forward into the final stages of getting my house sold.  That will be a nice weight off of my shoulders.

Buddy has also moved in with us.  He’s been there almost a week, and he’s adjusting fine.  I did have to get the procedure done on his other eye, so he is now completely blind.  The good part about that is that he can’t have any more painful pressure spikes.  All of his vets say he’s in great shape and health, and he doesn’t seem distressed at all.  His eye specialist told me that dogs transition into being blind much better than humans because dogs live in the moment.  They don’t think about the past or the future.  They just accept the reality they are in and learn to adapt to it.

That is a really beautiful sentiment that has popped into my mind more than once since then.  When I think of all the time I spend thinking about the past or worrying about the future, it makes me stop and consider how much effort I’m giving to the now.  How often am I completely present in the moment?  Sadly, not very often.  The amount of time I spend thinking about things that have already happened or things that I need to do is staggering.  It’s also mostly pointless.

So I’ve started trying to notice more of the things that are great about right now.  When I’m in the car, I roll the windows down to feel the wind in my hair and turn the music up.  I think about the words and the listen to the rhythm and instruments.  At work it’s harder, but I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time.  At home I know Tony has caught me just looking at him and smiling more than once.  I want to memorize his facial expressions and notice the things that make him break out in a big grin.  Those little moments are some of the best parts of life, and I don’t want to miss out on them.

Other than that, there’s not a lot to report.  Most days I’m so ridiculously happy it’s sickening.  When I’m not, it’s because I’ve gotten lost in my head.  I’ve got a new therapist who is wonderful, and I feel like I’m actually working toward something again instead of just chatting with a friend.  All in all, life is fantastic.  I can’t think of a time when I’ve felt more content and fulfilled and loved.

The Cinderella Complex

14 May

beautifulmess7:

This was my reality for so long. I am slowly getting past it, but it is such a difficult thing to unravel from your psyche.

Originally posted on THIS IS DAHLIA'S BLOG:

I have no idea if other people have used this same expression, but my mother used it today, and it hit home, so I’m going to adopt it. 

She used it to describe the reflex I have to please people, to be whom they want me to be, to do what they want me to do.

The idea of being a disappointment fills me with fear. I want to say the right things and do the right things and be the right person for the people I care about, the ones whose opinions matter. Part of my ability as a performer is to customize myself to be the person that another might want or need me to be. It is why it is easy for me to lose myself in a relationship, and why the “me” that I am is often different from one relationship to the next. I want…

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Letter from a Reader: Leaving a Cheater

30 Apr writing-letter-1024x692

Why You Should Leave a Cheater remains my most popular post.  I continue to get at least one or two emails a week, often more, from people who are dealing with similar situations.  The stories are always sad, heartfelt, and usually inspiring.   There are always a lot of emotions involved.  This is an issue that far too many people struggle with, sometimes after years of having the same negative behavior repeated by their partner.

They are all different, yet very much the same.  Men and women are both affected, and reach out to me in fairly even proportions.  None of them expected to be where they are.  Some of them try to hang on and fight for their relationship, others are struggling to make up their minds or seeking support and reinforcement for a decision they’ve already made to cut the cheater out of their lives.

Despite my strong personal feelings on the subject and the decisive wording of my article, I try to be an ear more than a giver of advice.  Every situation has its own complications, and I am not a trained therapist.  What I do think is that everyone should listen to their inner voice, be very cautious with someone who has already lied and cheated, and not settle for a bad partner out of fear and complacency.

Today I was contacted by a woman who very eloquently shared her story and what brought her to my blog.  I requested permission to share her story because it resonated with me.  Her story sounds like mine.  Maybe it sounds like yours.  There are many common threads in relationships where cheating is involved.  There is also power in hearing other people’s experiences.   She was kind enough to allow me to share in the hopes that someone could benefit from reading it.  Here is her personal story of leaving a cheater:

“I am a young woman from Ireland who has just discovered your blog. I just wanted to send you an email to say that your post ‘Why You Should Leave a Cheater’ is probably, no, most definitely, the best piece of advice I ever could have read.

Recently I’ve gone through a very rough patch with my partner of 1.5 years. I would consider myself a strong, confident, ambitious woman but because of him, I felt like nothing more than a few pieces of broken glass. He completely tore me apart as a person, and still, I stayed with him because ‘he needed my help’ to sort out his mess of a head. My family and friends hated him, but I thought that love conquers all, excuse the cliche.

After all my attempts to keep both of our heads above the water, I discovered he cheated on me, not physically but emotionally. Although there was no physical contact, I have no doubt that I will never feel pain comparable to that of seeing filthy pictures and messages exchanged between my partner and a woman from his past. I broke things off, and just as you described in your post, his tears started streaming, nose running, condemning himself for what he had put me through and the exclamations of how he couldn’t live with himself. And also, just like you, I felt so sorry for him. Look at this poor guy, he made a mistake, one stupid mistake and surely people deserve a second, third, fourth or fifth chance? How glad I am that I never offered that chance.

My partner was an emotionally abusive partner and it took me too long to acknowledge, accept and realise this. When I broke it off with him, I felt like I had been let out of a cage for the first time in months. I felt so free. I’m no expert, but I don’t think many people feel like that when they leave a relationship. So I was moving on, discovering new and amazing people, learning that there ARE people out there that I deserve, and yes, I do deserve better than the love he gave me. As I was moving onwards and upwards, we bumped into each other on a night out. We talked and he broke down in tears, exclaiming how losing me had opened up his eyes and changed him, making him see that he didn’t want to be THAT person. He begged me to consider giving him the chance to prove himself, and to prove that I could trust him.

After a few days consideration, it was last night that I told him I simply could not allow him the chance to regain my trust, as I had not yet accepted or moved past the hurt he caused me. Oh, and the fact that I didn’t, in the slightest, deserve any of it. Looking into his red,puffy eyes as he promised me he had been snapped into reality, and that he had changed for the better, I really did think ‘what if that is true’? He said it with such conviction that it made me think, ‘if he has changed, we could have the most perfect relationship out there’. I considered that maybe, just for the fact that he seemed so genuine about changing, we could actually be great together.

But I took a step back from my emotionally clouded judgement, and remembered the moment I found those pictures and filthy messages. I remembered the time he squared up to me and backed me into a corner. I remembered the time he told me I looked like a slut in my new top that I loved. I remembered the time he threatened to drive away in my car if I didn’t get back in it. I remembered the time he didn’t defend me when his friend called me fat. I remembered every little time that my heart twinged with pain. I looked into his eyes and told him I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t give him that next chance, because I wanted to grow and rebuild every part of me that he knocked down.

This morning, I had slight doubts and googled, ‘Have I made the right decision to leave my boyfriend’? That’s when your blog post popped up. And thank God for that. It’s so, so refreshing to know that someone ‘gets it’. Although I wish you and I had never gone through that pain, in a way, I now feel ready to offer helpful advice to others in a similar situation. I know that if my daughter one day goes through something similar, I’ll know exactly what to say and why.

Break ups, no matter what the reason, can be excruciating, especially when you feel like you’re not leaving just one person, but their whole family too. You’re cutting off what was your livelihood, love and passion for years. But when I doubt myself, and I read posts like the one you wrote, it makes me think I’m not the only one who has had to make these decisions. Thank you for taking the time to write that, because it really has cemented in my mind that this is what I want to do, this is the right decision. So thank you.

I read a quote recently that said ‘we accept the love we think we deserve’, and it’s very true. Right now, I’m certain that I deserve more, so why settle for shade when I can have sunlight?”

I hope anyone who reads her words will think about the type of love that you deserve and not accept less.

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

3 Apr

Today I came across the receipt for the ring and journal I bought on my visit to the museum with my Mom.  When I looked at the date, I was surprised that it was before my separation from Mr. Mess. I remember that day as a defining moment of sorts.  I did something that I enjoyed, just for myself.  I spent hours talking with my Mom and immersing myself in history.  I laughed freely.  I recall that the weather was beautiful.  We sat in the sun and ate lunch.  I was happy.  Truly, simply happy.

Maybe that’s why I thought I was already separated.  In the warm, fuzzy memory I have of that day, everything was right with the world.  I actually had to come to my blog and look up the post to convince myself the date was correct.  Re-reading my words made me realize that I may as well have been separated by then.  I was already emotionally divorcing myself from the lies and drama.  Suddenly, I had an urge to write that I haven’t for a while.  I started an “update” on the post itself, but decided instead that a new post was in order.

Now that I’m here, writing for you all again after months of silence, I realize that I don’t have anything particularly insightful to say.  I still have the ring.  I don’t wear it that much because it is big and girlish and rather gaudy.  I love it, though.  When I look at it, I smile.  I let myself be gaudy and girlish.  I run my fingers over the cool stones that form petals on a white flower with pearls in the center.  I think of the sun, of laughter, of art and history and time with my Mom.  He doesn’t even enter my mind.  The memory of the pain and hurt and betrayal and emotional manipulation isn’t lingering there in the corner at all.

Maybe that is the important thing I have to say: the pain goes away.  Moments of true happiness were rare for years.  I carried the weight of that unhealthy relationship around, dragging it behind me when it got too heavy.  The burden became so commonplace that I was sure I’d have it with me forever.  That day I didn’t, though, even if only for a few hours.  Now I’ve left it so far behind that it doesn’t cross my mind unless some small reminder jumps out and jogs a memory.  When that happens, instead of being painful it makes me smile.  It reminds me of the considerable distance I’ve put between that version of myself and the one I am today.

These days I have happy moments all the time.  I have warm, fuzzy days full of laughter.  I am watching great movies, classics that I never saw and newer films by excellent directors I never heard of before.  I am learning about craft beer and “real” watches and designer shoes.  I actually cook, and sometimes what I cook is really quite good.  I’m going to have a herb garden soon (I’m going to a class with my Mom on Monday).  I am happy.  Truly, simply happy, more often than not.  I smile and sing and love the life I’m living.  Today I have on the perfect outfit for that big, gaudy, girly ring.  I wish I had put it on this morning.  I suppose I’ll have to wear the sentiment it evokes in me instead.

2013 In Review & An Update

2 Jan

Even though I’ve mostly ended this blog, I couldn’t help but look when I got my annual report from WordPress. I’m honored to see that folks are still reading about my mess and gaining insight, inspiration, or entertainment. At the very least, people have passed some time reading my words. If you’re interested in my stats at all, here they are:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I also want to give everyone a mini update while I’m here. 2014 has started off quite well, even if we are just 2 days in. Since my last post I’ve settled into my new home. Not a lot else has changed. I’m still blissful, in love, and a bit of a mess, in a good way.

Christmas was wonderful. We cut down our own tree at a tree farm, and decorated it together. Tony indulged my love of crappy Christmas music. On the actual day, we had our own little Christmas morning, complete with stockings. Then we went to his parent’s house, my Mom’s house, and back to his parent’s place for the extended family gathering. It was a day full of food, laughter, games, and lots of love.

Tony got me an amazing pair of diamond earrings that haven’t left my ears since I got them, a tablet (which I’m using now), and a bunch of great stocking stuffers (I’m not ashamed to admit that I get ridiculously excited about the little things). Truly the best gift of all is waking up next to him and falling asleep in his arms every night. I’ll never turn down flawless diamonds set in platinum, though. ;)

I’m excited to be starting a new year. I’ve got a feeling that 2014 will have a lot of great things in store for me. 2013 was a year full of transitions, growth, and figuring out what I want. I still have plenty of growing to do, and I’m certain that there will be more changes in my future. But I have come a long way in knowing what I want and not settling for less. That has brought me a lot of contentment, peace, and happiness. It’s a nice place to be.

Moving On (And In)

14 Nov

It’s been nearly a month since my last post.  I’m still around and reading other people’s blogs, but I’ve found that there’s not much left for me to add to my own.  This chapter of my life is closed.  I no longer have a burning need to write so that I can process.  I don’t have unspoken words and tumbling thoughts weighing me down anymore.  I don’t need to put my feelings on paper to sort through them.  I’m happy, but more than that, I’m content and secure.

I’ve been blogging here for over a year and a half.  I came to WordPress with no purpose or goal, no expectations, and no clue what I was doing.  Slowly I gathered followers and found other people writing about infidelity and its devastating effects.  Many of the people who started blogging at the same time as me have slowly disappeared.  Some said goodbyes, others vanished with no word, and a few are still around typing away.  I’ve decided that I’m now part of the first group: it’s time for me to close up shop and move on.

This blog will remain open.  I still get emails and comments from readers nearly daily, and I will continue responding.  My stats tell me that somewhere around 800 people are reading each day.  I have nearly 200,000 unique hits since my journey began.  I’m still amazed that many people would take the time to read even a portion of this little snapshot of my life.  I am honored and get a bit emotional when something I’ve written has actually helped someone come to a realization, make a decision, feel better about him or herself, feel understood, or otherwise be positively affected.

Thank you

You all have positively affected my life in many ways, too.  All 635 of my followers, in one way or another.  Some of you have been pillars of strength and reason and wisdom for me.  Many of you have shared deeply personal stories and experiences that helped me understand my own.  I’ve laughed along with you, been moved to tears by comments, and come to many realizations.  I found acceptance, validation, and hope through some of my darkest moments and times when there didn’t seem to be any good choices.  I learned that I wasn’t alone.  I made lifelong friends.  Every single “Like” and follow gave me confidence and a sense of belonging that I didn’t have before.

Maybe it sounds silly to get all of that from a blog.  And from virtual strangers from all over the world sitting behind a computer, on a phone, or otherwise connected to this great web of communication called the internet.  I did, though.  In a strange way that I can’t quite explain, writing this, telling my story, working through my feelings in the “open,” and relating to others through comments here and on other blogs caused me to know myself in a way I never had.  It crystalized my feelings about myself: who I am, what I need, and how I want to live my life.  For that, I can’t thank you all enough.

This blog has helped me discover myself and what I want so effectively that I no longer need it.  Instead of a required outlet it has become an afterthought.  Worse, it sometimes feels like a drain – I just don’t have the time or inclination to keep it up.  Rather than feel guilty or obligated (due to my people-pleasing nature) and limping along with half-hearted posts, I would like to make a graceful exit.  Well, as graceful as I can manage.  ;)

I will, however, leave you with one final update.  This move away from my blog coincides with another move: in with Tony.  It will be a gradual process, but it has already started.  I’ve got (almost literally) mountains of things to sort through at my house – pictures, movies, nicknacks, household items, multiple dressers and closets (and part of a room) full of clothes that have accumulated for decades, and more.  Thankfully, things can move at a leisurely pace because I will be renting some space in my house to my sister.  Rather than worry about getting rid of old furniture, moving in one weekend, or having to sell, I can focus on the warm fuzzies and enjoy the process.  I’ve already got my own closet and towel rack, all of my necessities, and I’m filtering things in as I have the time, inclination, and desire.  More importantly, I’ve got a warm bed to sleep in every night with an amazing man who I love (and who loves me) very, very much.  What more could a girl want?

moving-snoopy2

 

Learning to Be Vulnerable

20 Oct

photo-8

Last Friday morning I was in my car, parked on the street around the corner from work, trying to get my emotions under control.  I had tears streaking down my cheeks, runny mascara, and a splotchy face.  I wasn’t crying because something horrible happened.  Those tears weren’t bad at all.  However, I’ve been conditioned to feel embarrassed by tears and to put on a happy face all of the time.  That’s part of the reason I was crying.  They were tears I’ve been holding back for who knows how long.  Maybe most of my life, in one way or another.

Every so often I get a comment from someone telling me that I should drop the “mess” part of my blog title.  I have extracted myself from the most apparent mess in my life, but there’s still a lot left.  Besides the fact that I’m a horrible housekeeper (as Tony can attest), I’m a mess in other ways as well.  Crying alone in the car before work is one of those ways.  Actually, isolated somewhere behind a closed door is just about the only way I let myself cry.

My upbringing and personality and the circumstances of my life have left me with a very thick outer wall.  I’m incredibly sensitive and emotional and sentimental, but I’ve trained myself not to be.  I’m the oldest child.  A woman in a man’s industry.  The daughter of a father with no empathy and grandmothers with no filter, tact, or “warm fuzzies.” I am the product of a household that was full of countless rules, one of which was something like “suck it up.”

My youngest sister was deemed “the sensitive one.”  I was the smart one, the tough one, the tomboy, or “the mouth.”  I was instructed to hold my tongue, stay in line, and do what I was told without question.  I was constantly reminded when I failed at those tasks. Disappointing my parents felt like the end of the world, yet I seemed to do it often. A large part of that was my own perception and pressure from inside to be perfect, a goal that I now know is impossible to reach.  87629344_XS In an effort to fix myself and hide my “flaws,” I made myself be the strong one, the positive one, the rational one. I tried to always be in control of my emotions whether it was with my family, at work, or just in general.

Those are difficult patterns to unlearn, and hard roles to break free from. I’m in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had with a wonderful man.  He loves and accepts and understands me.  He makes me laugh, he surprises me every day with his intellect and creativity, and he’s very caring.  We talk about all sorts of things.  Subjects or conversations that would have been awkward or caused jealousy or fear in the past are comfortable and natural.  Still, I find myself falling into negative patterns of holding back, putting up a front, or concealing my feelings.

I have managed to share this blog with Tony, although it was a very scary thing to do.  The first few moments after I gave him the link I felt cracked open, exposed, and incredibly vulnerable. Those are emotions I don’t handle well. But I wanted to give him this important piece of myself. Writing is very cathartic, and I can express myself so more fully with time to consider (in fact, I’ve been working on this post for more than a week now).  Things also come out that I didn’t realize or understand before I put them into words.

After my last post about meeting his parents, Tony texted me that I don’t have to hide what’s going on in my head or be afraid or embarrassed of telling him how I feel.  At first I wasn’t even sure what he meant. Internalizing is so routine that I don’t recognize how much I do it.  I have a filter inside that automatically blocks off emotions, tells me that I’m wrong or silly to feel the things I feel, and covers those perceived flaws with a mask of confidence and happiness. After a moment of considering his comment, I realized how incredibly true it was.

image

That mask, which I’m not even aware of wearing because it has become so comfortable and commonplace, slipped. I was driving to the office after visiting a new store location, and I had to pull over. As we continued to text, tears were silently falling from my eyes. He told me that I don’t have to worry about packaging my thoughts. I expressed how that goes against basically everything I was taught as a kid and years of punishments for saying things that I shouldn’t have (by someone else’s standards).

I texted that I’m working on worrying less and opening up more, but when I’m a complete mess it feels safer to pretend I’m more confident than I am in the hopes that I’ll convince myself it’s the truth. It feels weird to be vulnerable and expose my insecurities because I’m still halfway convinced that he’s way too good for me and he’s going to realize that any day. He told me to unconvince myself, and to talk to him when I feel that way. I said that I try to be the person I want to be and that he deserves instead of the ugly dork with no social skills that no one liked, which is what I was growing up and how I still feel a lot of the time.

Then he said something that really made the waterworks flow. He told me that I don’t have to try to be anything with him… To just be. That it’s the whole point. I was nearly sobbing by then. I put a lot of pressure on myself and hold back my emotions most of the time. It was like a valve releasing those pent up feelings, and they rushed out at once, with great force. It was also astounding to be accepted and loved exactly as I am. That is something I’ve rarely experienced, partly because haven’t allowed myself to expose the things that I dislike. To be encouraged to show my perceived flaws and have someone love those things, which I can’t even do for myself, was overwhelming. Knowing I have someone to reassure and build me up, even at my worst, gave me permission to let go and be a sap, even for just a few minutes.

It also scared me because I wondered if I even know how to do that. The next several hours the question kept rolling around in my head, “Do I even know who I am if I’m not trying to be something else?” At first, I panicked a little because I wasn’t sure. I could think of a few words to describe myself: loving, honest, funny, sexual, genuine, intelligent, talented, and definitely insecure.   Those seemed generic and flat as a descriptor of who I am because they are just a little portion of who I am.  So many other things began coming to mind… I snort when I laugh, forget names, and talk way too much.  I’m a people-pleaser with a deviant streak, and a stubborn, emotional mess.

All of that and more makes me who I am. As Tony pointed out, those less than perfect parts are what make me human. And interesting. And he loves me for them. Despite my efforts to put on a mask and polish over the rough spots and pretend to have it all together, he sees me. The real me. Sometimes maybe better than I see myself. It’s my job to let him, and I’m going to keep practicing.

Meeting the Parents

10 Oct

Last night I got to meet Tony’s parents.  He’s met mine.   We did dinner out with my Mom and step-Dad followed by a night at the fair (and a rodeo) a bit later, and dinner with my Dad and step-Mom.  He met my grandma when my band was playing at the State Fair last weekend.  I’ve met his sister (twice), her boyfriend, and a cousin during a very fun day/ evening.  His parents were on vacation during some of that time, but this week we set a time for dinner.  At their house.  Where Tony and I would cook.

I was really excited and glad to get to meet them.  I was also kind of a nervous wreck.  I left work early so that I could swing by my place, pick up more clothes (not content with the original selection I brought), and go to Tony’s house to shower and get ready.  By the time he got there after swinging by to pick up the steaks for dinner, I was mostly done.  I was freshly scrubbed and plucked with minty breath. My hair was dried and straightened with a big round brush.  I had on the perfect amount of make-up that made me look fresh, rosy, and bright-eyed.  I had on a touch of jewelry (earrings and my watch).  I had my shoes and jacket picked out and standing by to be put on. I appeared fairly calm and confident.  For all he could tell I only changed once before we left (just switching for a different shirt).

What to wear

In reality, I had already tried on what seems like 100 outfits.  It wasn’t quite that many, but I got started at lunch.  I was having a hard time finding something that was not too casual, not too dressy, not too formal, etc. that I could cook in without looking awkward or like a sloppy mess.  It’s funny how on days when I don’t try or even care I can put together a killer outfit, but when it’s something important I can’t seem to find a damn thing that looks halfway decent.  I tried on several dresses (which I discarded as not practical with three dogs in the house and cooking to do), jeans (which I decided weren’t quite right), countless tops and bottoms, and something like 5 different pair of shoes before settling on an outfit that was comfortable but probably still a little too much (dress slacks, a printed top with 3/4 length sleeves, and boots).

Outside I looked okay.  Not spectacular, but definitely passable.  I think I even did a pretty good job of hiding my nerves.  In theory.  I actually reached out to several friends and my Mom throughout the day for reassurance.  In fact, there was a whole pep-talk going on in my head.  It went something like this:  “I’m sure that they’ll like me just fine.  I’m sweet and smart and kinda funny. I know how to talk to people, I’m pretty engaging, and I don’t think I’ll say anything offensive. Plus, I really love their son.”

In my heart, I didn’t think that they would hate me or anything.  But he’s a really special guy, and he’s close to his parents. I knew they’d be evaluating me to see if I’m good enough for their baby, at least on some level.  I’ve also never done the whole “meet the parents” thing.  It was completely new to me, so I had nothing to base it on.  The real reason I was nervous, though, is that he’s very important to me, and I wanted to make a good first impression.

In the end, I don’t think I did anything stupid. I met his parents, who are incredibly sweet, their adorable dogs, and his youngest brother. We cooked an amazing dinner, had good conversations, and it was very comfortable. I didn’t feel awkward in the least. It actually felt more like it could have been the 100th time I’d been over there, and I was just part of the gang. It was wonderful, and I’m still floating a little.

When I found this picture today, I had to laugh, though. I had something similar float through my mind (not about his nipples). And I did much more than that when we got home. ;)

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The Wait is Over

7 Oct 35688DivorcedFreeAtLastSash

There are at least 10 other things I should be doing right now, but I wanted to post a quick update.  I have heard from my lawyer and confirmed with the court that my divorce has officially been granted.  Yay!  I still haven’t gotten my decree in the mail, but just knowing it’s done is fantastic!  I even took a screen shot of the website in the meantime:

Divorced

As you can see, I’ve actually been totally free since September 25th!  It took almost a year, which I still find ridiculous given that it was supposed to be only 6 months.  The separation/ divorce process was actually 1/3 of our total time being married.  It was also the best part of the whole thing.  I take that back – having it completely over and being able to move on is the best part.

just_divorced_free_single_t_shirt-rad9a9b2580554e10a0a927adad5f4f68_8naxt_512

When You “Just Know”

29 Sep tumblr_m7r7sfhIOI1qb3wqu

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My last post included the tidbit that I’m in love with Tony.  I spoke the words out loud just shy of two weeks after meeting him.  That would have felt fast to me before.  This time I could barely hold out that long.  There was no doubt in my mind when I said it, either.  I was, and am, certain.

It’s hard to explain how I can be so sure so fast, especially to people who have known me for a while. I’ve fallen in love before, or at least felt romantic love for someone, but it was a gradual process – not like “falling” at all. I now know what that phrase means for the first time.

If you had asked me six months ago if it was possible to truly be in love after two weeks, I probably would have laughed, or at least said it wasn’t likely. I always thought that love had to develop slowly over time. I wasn’t shy about sharing that belief, either. Anything else, in my mind, was just lust. Or delusion. Or infatuation.

I told my sister, more than once if I recall correctly, that she couldn’t possibly be “in love” yet. I made fun of Taylor Swift and her new “love” every 5 seconds. I still believe that real love is rare, not something you can find with every stray guy who crosses your path. I have also discovered that love is powerful, though. It can grab you in an instant, overpower you, and bury itself deep.

I understand a lot of things now that I didn’t before. I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché that you “just know” when you find the person you’re supposed to be with.  That “knowing” feeling is something I never believed in, either. How could you know something like that? There’s no way to predict the future. I thought that maybe, as time passed, it was possible to make an educated guess about whether a relationship could work out long-term. But I had never experienced certainty, “knowing,” or an overwhelming feeling that another person was “it.” I denied that existed because I couldn’t fathom it.

All of those beliefs have been blown out of the water. It is possible to feel love – real, deep, consuming, mature, developed love – in a relatively short amount of time. There is an accelerated process that hardens and cures love, like a kiln, and the heat between two people can set it in motion. The “knowing” is a quiet certainty that you don’t want to let the other person out of your life. It’s being sure that you’ve found something exceptional and right that must be held tight.

I’ve got that with Tony. Even in the hours before met him, there was an easiness to our jokes that was exciting. I was hit by the thought that this could be very special as I was sitting across from him the first time.  In the days that followed, even before I saw him again, I found myself opening up and sharing all sorts of things. There was electricity in the air on our second date. Every touch was charged, while feeling familiar at the same time.  It wasn’t just that I was comfortable with him.  It was something more.  Something deeper. I had the sense that there was no need to pretend or put up a front about anything with him.

Almost since the moment he held me in his arms, he has felt like home. Every new thing I discovered about him has clicked into place – like he was made for me and vice versa.  We just fit. He accepts who I am now, and I accept and love him just the way he is. At the same time, he challenges me to be better with his mere presence in my life. Like the song below, this new love feels like something I’ve known forever, and I’m sure he will keep surprising me. That’s how I know.

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