Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2018 in Review

Aleathia says:

Here were the highlights of 2018 in no particular order:

Started making more fabric art and having ideas about it. Became determined that someday I would have my own show.

I tried bullet journaling and failed,but did have some cute take away ideas

Read books:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr
Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine Von Radics
Walking by Henry David Thoreau
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Misfit Manifesto by Lydia Yuknavitch
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hiking with Nietzsche by John Kaag
Dust on the Tracks by Nora Zeale Hurston

Tried preparing for a possible Appalachian trail hike in 2019, but failed. I did gain knowledge about hiking and camping and my body’s limits.

Started making my own oatmeal concoctions and continue because it is delish.

Bought myself flowers almost every week of the year

Learned that my child had been trying to kill herself in my home, while I was there, because she felt so alone. Since the age of about 6 she had felt like a boy, always seen herself as a boy, wanted to be a boy. In our home we did not provide gender stereotypical toys and clothes. You play with what interests you and you wear what is comfortable. At most I thought she was a tomboy. Around 4 th grade I could tell something had drastically changed, but I didn’t know what. The sparkle from her eyes had died. I kept watch, but there weren’t any real outward signs of what was wrong. School grades stayed high, continued to eat, participated in family activity...but something was off.  When I fell in love with my ex I became less aware of these differences and I own that as a mother. I should have dug deeper. February of this year I learned that not only had my darling daughter wanted to kill herself, but also wanted to be my darling son. This was a journey so miraculous and so painful and so life changing. The thought that my child would think I wouldn’t accept them because they wanted to be a boy, that it would be to hard for me to think outside the box, that I would spend one minute less loving him. This year has been about learning who he is. It has been learning about who I really am after a life of being what others want me to be. It has been a year of building my home and deciding exactly what sort of friends and family I want in it. For 16 years I had a daughter, and now I get to have a son without going through childbirth. Sweet sassy molassy this is great.

From this journey, I started being friends with my ex-husband again. We have known each other
half our lives….since we were 19 years old and now we are 45. For the last decade after the divorce, we didn’t talk much and only at exchanges of our child. But when we thought we had lost him we decided to be on the same page about everything and that meant keeping communication not only up but making it better between all of us. This is hard work. But from this hard work, we found our friendship again which to me had always been the best part of our relationship. It is funny to see how well we know each other in some places and how little in others. I am thankful for this friendship. He knows my life and I don’t have to explain it to make a point.

I did my first weaving project. I did my first applique/beading project.

We went to many concerts:

Red Hot Chili Pipers
Mountain Jam x3 days (Alt-j, Portugal the man, The Record Company, The Felice Brothers, Jenny Lewis, George Clinton and Parliament…..and so much more)
Lake Street Dive

I started reading comic books again and love it.

I made many new kinds of food.

I had so many fun laughs with my kid.

I finished my first every crocheted blanket for my son’s queen size bed

My love of succulents turned into an obsession. I went from 8 to about 50. I took a class on propagating them. I joined an international group about them. I’m a crazy plant lady.

I embraced my CD collection this year and made it grow. I don’t even know with what. But god I love music.

I really got into MBTI thought. I got back into Tarot after not doing it since college.

I went to a beach in the Delaware Bay for the first time and stayed with friends and ended up losing those friends. Life is weird. I learned that I love the bay side of water rather than the ocean side. There is so much life to see in the bay.

I bought my first ever pair of Vans...light and dark blue checkerboard.

I made a cake for my ex-mother in law for her birthday...a 2 layer. I had not made one of those in a decade.

I started playing Disc Golf and got addicted. I didn’t play in the winter as planned, but I still love it.

I began writing a short story collection. I wrote two poetry collections. I thought about my novel for a minute.

I left a job I had for 15 years. I changed hospitals and shifts suddenly and it was the best decision I have made for a career. The work is challenging and rewarding and for the first time ever in my life I feel like I’m touching my patients lives in a positive way.

I painted a bunch of river rocks and left them on Market street to make people smile

Eventually figured out at the end of the year that drinking isn’t really my thing. I still have a drink now and then, but it is out of desire not out of escape or loneliness.

I played on a Music Trivia team and we won!

I collected aphorisms for my daily boosting. These were things that lifted me up and near the end of the year I knew I didn’t need them because I was lifting myself up without them.

I started making scarves for the needy and blankets for end of life comfort. These are part of my service goals at work, but also part of my heart. I am learning that this part of my life is about giving, about making smiles and getting nothing back but the feeling of joy.

I tried doing Inktober again and didn’t make it. I like drawing but not as much as I used to. I did do some fun drawings but realize that is not where my talent lies.

I hand made a Blue’s Clues costume with my son this year in 3 weeks. It was rad.

I got new glasses….horn rimmed glasses. I look dashing.

I ordered Lunarly box for fun. It’s nice to get surprises in the mail.

I learned my uncle Mike will probably die within the year from a glio. So damn sad.

I started making the coffee shop my haunt rather than the bars and I have met so many people. I feel more part of the community than before.

I got to experience the joy of my friend having her first baby after many years of trying. He’s so damn cute. I love his little face.

I went on my first ever wine tour with people from my new job. I played paintball for the first time ever in my life.

I put my christmas tree on the porch this year so it is the first and last thing we see when we come and go from the house.

We saw The Sound of Music live. Squeeee

I bought a ukelele and started playing….and then stopped.

I helped my son get his first ever job. Yay.

We did a reduced Christmas this year and it was the best one we ever had.

I got my hair dyed for the first time in 20 years by my best girlfriend’s daughter.

I have been purging the house of all things not of value. It is still going on but this house will be whole soon enough.

I started getting acupuncture again with great result.

I got my first every bonus from a job $850 take home.

I wrote my first every proposal to get a conference paid for to a Transgender wellness conference in Philadelphia.

I'm looking forward to bigger and better things this year. As always I do have good intentions of keeping up with this blog. I'm going to shoot for once a month since live is so much busier than it ever was. So here I am sliding in on the end of January. Have a blessed life. Keep your eyes open and your heart bright.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Loneliness vs. Emptiness

Aleathia says:

Several weeks ago I was sitting in the coffee shop imagining how I could possibly feel loneliness when surrounded by people. I am not jealous of these people. I watch them and their behaviors while drowning out the voices with music blaring in my ears. This is an introverted life. Always gathering information; process-process-process. It is almost unending the amount of information I feel compelled to consume on a daily basis.

The loneliness persisted and I text my friend saying I was lonely but didn't feel bad. The feeling so strange that I could mistake it for sadness if I didn't know better. Our conversation went quiet and I was left there with this feeling. It came to me that maybe what I was feeling was emptiness. By emptiness, I refer to the Buddhist idea of emptiness (groundlessness) where there is an absence of grasping for things, for ground to hold onto.

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As life would have it, I went to renew a library book and came upon another called "Hiking with Nietzsche" by John Kaag. It was as if the book jumped off the shelf at me. I tend to not let those types of things pass me by. There was something in the book the universe wanted me to read. In a previous time and space I had tried to read Nietzsche with much hardship and eventual failure. I was not emotionally ready to see the world in the way he did. Maybe I wasn't crazy enough, I wasn't sure. The thought of having a middle man to understand Nietzsche made that failure feeling even larger, made me feel like a lesser intellectual, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet.

The book was very wonderful and did give me an insight into the man Nietzsche was and this perspective will open his work to me. In thinking about this blog and how I wanted to approach writing my experience on this topic I have fallen on blank slates. What I extracted might be different for another reader and for me to espouse that I can interpret it for you would make me foolish.

"Words reify (make more real) something experienced in motion, attempting to capture the forever unruly." John Kaag

So what I am going to leave with you in this blog, from this book, are the nuggets that pushed up something out of my soul and have made me look at the world differently. They might be ideas or quotes from the author and other philosophers. Here is what I learned:

1. "He who has attained to only some degree of freedom of mind cannot feel other than a wanderer on the earth--though not as a traveler to a final destination: for this destination does not exist." Nietzsche

For me, not being part of the mental herd does make you feel like a wanderer. I feel banished to the fringe often in which I will spend a life collecting information on a road that will never end. This is both exciting and devastating.

2. "For a child there is no such thing as a forbidden question." John Kaag

Oh. My. If you are a parent then you have experienced the boldness of children and their unabashed nature to ask questions that make people blush. But what do we do when these questions are asked? We shush them. We scold them. We divert them. I know have done this some of the time with my own kid, but I did my best to really answer the questions the best I could. I feel like this strategy has paid off because as a teenager, my child comes to me with hard questions knowing that I won't push them under the rug...that I will find the knowledge somewhere even if it isn't in my own brain. Let the children ask. Keep them curious.

3. "Distracted by two voices 'I' and 'me' and without a friend you could 'sink into the depths" J. Kaag

This shit keeps me up at night sometimes. When you are the only person you share information with you could drive yourself crazy. Communicate....often....out loud to other beings. Very important for clarity and sanity and mental health.

4. "Success in raising children is only reached after a life of battle and worry, meaning that it only ends in hardness when you die. Feeling like you want to run away means you're paying attention." J. Kaag

I have often felt that my desire to run away made me a coward and that I wasn't doing a good job, but this says to me that my innate feeling to run has more to do with the pain of realization and understanding that directing another human being through this insane world is hard business.

5. "Perhaps a pilgrim triumphs not in hardship but in the rare moment when they learn to accept something soft at home." J. Kaag

This was significant to me in the sense that as a "pilgrim" of finding information, in gathering understanding about myself and how to better navigate this world, the most important lessons are the quiet ones I allow myself when I take a moment to be vulnerable and open. The softness at home is me treating myself with kindness even if I make mistakes which I are inevitable.

6. "No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." Nietzsche

MIC DROP, exit stage left.

7. "We put limits on our children thinking we are protecting them but really we are avoiding coming to grips with our own anxiety." J. Kaag

Dear lord. This was the point where I felt bad for every tiny thing I didn't let my kid do because I was scared, not because he was scared, but because I let my own anxiety of the world build a barrier to curiosity and adventure.  That was how I chose to live my life, but it should not have been how I allowed my child to live his. This year I have dropped this thinking of limitation, not only towards my kid, but towards myself. Let's get living.

8. "How can one love in the right way while being so quietly dissatisfied with life?" Herman Hesse

I do believe I have spent my entire life asking myself this question, maybe not so boldly, but it has always been in the ether around my head. It isn't to say that there has been nothing enjoyable in my life, but there could have been more. I could have loved every person I ever loved, better. I could have given more of myself in a genuine way had my outlook not been so grim. Childhood trauma is a bitch that keeps on bitching.

9. "Life does not change, but the attitude you bring to it might. And this is not a trivial adjustment. It may be the only meaningful adjustment that is possible." J. Kaag

This year, as you know if you have followed this blog, has been all about attitude adjustment. Around every corner I have had to soften and soften some more. I have had to look at my stance on everything in my life to try and see where I fit in. But more than fit in, I have been trying to live an authentic life. This means something different for everyone.

10. "Some of us think that holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go." Herman Hesse

It is all about letting go. Facing fear and moving forward is the win. Letting go of the past that you cannot change allows you to build a life in the present as it is the only life worth living, in my opinion. It is challenging to say the least, but worth each minute.

What this all says to me that we are each in a state of active transformation for all of our lives. Not fighting against that idea has made life easier. Pick up this book if you like philosophy. Pick it up if you don't. It's a great read.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

One Thought at a Time (how I lost my monkey brain)

Aleathia says:

This week I treated myself to acupuncture for the first time in 20+ years. It isn't because I had fallen out of faith in this practice, but living in a small town it is much more expensive than when living in a city. There were colleges close by and graduating students would be able to practice acupuncture on live people and it would cost the people only 10 bucks. That was an immense deal for someone who was living check to check and had no insurance. It was point of care health on a tight budget.

I decided to start going again because my Seasonal Affective Disorder has been getting worse and worse after age 40. I expected this year to be the worst with there being so much transition in my life. Change happens. I get that, but it doesn't mean that I can fully grasp it. The comfort in my life had come from the predictable nature of it even if it was adversity, it was consistently crazy and I could count on that. I went in to address the Seasonal Affective Disorder as well as my chronic back pain and fatigue/anxiety/depression. Because I was very willing, my acupuncturist decided to "reset" my whole system and work on the back pain. When it was done colors were brighter, I felt light as a feather, and strangely.....depressed.

It seems as if the session might be counterproductive, but it wasn't. I did feel very tired and out of sorts for the last few days. I questioned if I made the right decision to have this work done; I questioned who I was without the rapid fire mind I walked in with. I spent the last few days going against the grain of this supreme calm state my mind and body was in. I literally was a salmon swimming upstream...kicking and fighting this peaceful feeling. It took everything I had this morning, but I went for a walk. On this walk, to still feel productive, I brought one of the 9 books I am reading. Do you see where my life is right now?

I have been reading "The Sanity We Are Born With" by Chogyam Trungpa which takes a Buddhist approach to looking at psychology. I have tried reading Chogyam Trungpa in the past with little result because the information is quite dense though not hard to understand. Mostly, it is mind blowing and a girl can only handle so much of that at once. But over the years I have read many Pema Chodron books who was a student of Chogyam Trungpa. I decided I was ready to pick up with the lama was putting down.

While walking I read this passage:

"The ideal state of tranquility comes from experiencing body and mind being synchronized. If body and mind are unsynchronized, then your body will slump--your mind will be somewhere else. It is like a badly made drum: The skin doesn't fit the frame of the drum; so either the frame breaks or the skin breaks, and there is no constant tautness."

Sometimes a very simple paragraph will set you on a journey. This is common sense information, right? Body and mind on the same page = good times. What I realized this morning was that I have spent so much time in mental chaos and my body has been in a separate chaos. Two things cased in the same skin doing completely different things and I wonder why I'm tire all the time. Acupuncture cleared my mind. I have had a feather lightness to my body and a sense of emptiness in my mind that is foreign and has caused me to feel like I needed to create as much physical noise as I could muster to combat the silence in my mind.

This need to fill every moment of my day possibly comes from the last year of being single. I have always struggled with what people think of me or how they might judge me. I felt as if being single at this age meant I was used up with nothing left to offer. This is a hard pill to swallow when you know you are full of life and adventure and new beginnings. I was afraid to appear lonely even though I am rarely lonely. I imagined that I should feel lonely having spent a life in the company of others but I feel more full of life than I ever have before.

The mind thinks one thing at a time even if we think we are doing "two things at once" they are just single thoughts very close together. I need to remember this. I need to not fill my day so full that I don't enjoy all the things I'm putting into it.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, October 8, 2018

The Moment

Aleathia says:

When I lived in Seattle in a boarding house, I met a woman named Jen. She was an elf really...maybe 5 foot with elfin features and interesting ideas on the world. In our time together as friends she always talked about "the perfect moment". Her life, everything she did, was based on finding this unicorn of an idea. After we parted ways as people do in big cities, I had that longing for "the perfect moment" swirling in the back of my mind. As a person who grew up in adversity this notion seemed unattainable, but definitely worth chasing.

In my life I have spent an exceedingly large amount of time trying to be "perfect" even after I became a Buddhist. It seemed as if it were my Achilles heel and this drive for being seen as perfect, having the perfect idea, the perfect solution, the perfect everything became the downfall of my own personal identity. In middle life, I have discovered that there isn't perfection and that frankly, perfection is boring.  It is the oddities of our character that make us attractive and interesting. But in the same breath, I understand what my friend was talking about. It wasn't so much about perfection as it was about being aware enough to see when something amazing is happening to you so that you can enjoy it. In a world where much of the population walks with their head down, void of eye contact, void of the possibility of moving outside their own circle. I understand this and still, I struggle.

Last week, I went to see Jad Abumrad. He is the creator of Radiolab which has been one of my favorite shows for years. I wasn't sure what to expect from the lecture titled "Indoor Plumbing", but I was keen to find out. It was an intimate setting with a packed auditorium of about 200 local people and Jad on the stage with a few electronics and a stool. He was warm and personable and it was acutely surreal to hear his voice while actually watching him talk. Jad's lecture was about how he lost his deep connection with his love for Radiolab, his disillusionment with journalism, and how he came back to the light.

Sometimes we are given things we need. I had been looking forward to this lecture for a month and at the last minute my friend asked me to watch her baby. I had my ticket already (it was free as I was a member of the museum hosting it) and I sat in the dilemma I have sat with my whole life. Do I give up something for myself to make someone else happy? I had such a huge guilt as I text her back to say no I can't do it. I walked to the lecture in a beautiful fall night, watched the sunset over our valley as I crossed the bridge, and felt as if I was on the verge of something I couldn't name.

Jad Abumrad's lecture had four parts:

Chapter 1: Indoor plumbing
Chapter 2: Be Quiet
Chapter 3: Little Shit
Chapter 4: There was trouble aboard the Washington Bus

I am not going to recount this lecture in detail but I did want to share what I learned from it, because I think it was pivotal for me and could be useful to others as well. More and more I learn that I am not on an island with my disparities and that knowledge lends me to be more open to the world and the people in it. It makes me look up from the ground.

Chapter 1: Indoor Plumbing

This section of the conversation was about learning to step out of your normal routine and how when you do this...even if it is a very small step, it opens up your vision and sense of the world around you. When you find you are stuck in a loop you have to do something surprising in order to find the gratitude in what you are doing. After you have this realization and step back into your life you can begin to recognize the miracle you were living in the whole time.

Chapter 2: Be Quiet

How often do we really be quiet in life? How often do we stop and listen to what people say, to what the world says to us? Jad talked about how he uses this in Radiolab episodes and calls the negative space the "sizzle silence" because it is alive. Sometimes you have to sit in the quiet space and remain unmoving and listen. He said something profound in this section that really sparked me:

"It's hard to perform in a relationship you never really had"-Jad Abumrad

Chapter 3: Little Shit

Yes, we all laughed when he said this, because we brush away the "little shit" and move on, but he says little shit is like's the detail that fills in the space. It adds movement or stops it. It creates a rhythm. Little shit is the tension between the cosmic and the ordinary that makes life interesting. They are the things that seem incidental but are connected to something deeper beneath the surface. Little shit helps you discern what you are truly interested in rather than what you think you SHOULD be interested in. Stop when you feel something. Take notice.

Pay attention to the "can't stops" which he says are the things you hear that you can't stop thinking about. Those are the pieces of life you have to pay attention to, the ones you follow down the rabbit hole.

Chapter 4: There was trouble aboard the Washington bus....

He said he took this quote from Octavia Butler's story "Speech Sounds" which is about a post-apocalyptic world in which half of the population can speak but can't read and the other half can read but are mute. Imagine this world. Imagine it. Is it that far off from where we are headed?

Jad talked about how in this place where he questioned his chosen career and the great podcast he had built he had to hit rock bottom first. He had to be in the space where nothing makes any sense. He said that Octavia Butler went through this too. She was having trouble getting published, her dear friend was dying of cancer, and there seemed as if there were little hope in the world for her to achieve her dreams. She was on that Washington bus; she had hit rock bottom. Then, the first line of a story popped into her head. She went home and wrote it down. Then she wrote another and another. She couldn't stop writing out this echo of a world that she felt inside. This, this is called "writing yourself back to hope".

Here I sit in the cliche coffee shop drinking tea, listening to Mac Miller, and writing myself back to hope. I am going to do my best to blog every week, to keep checking in with my "can't stops" and my silences and my off trail happenings. Keep your heads up everyone. There is so much to see.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 17, 2018

To All the Single Ladies.....

Aleathia says:

This weekend at work was very testing. There was a fire, it was super busy and we worked short, and then the last day all the patients were dramatic and challenging. It about near sucked the life out of me. Each night before I go to sleep I scroll through the YouTube feed to see if anything interesting pops up. Sometimes I find great new music or an interesting TED talk. Sometimes I watch weird surveys or dance videos.

This weekend I came upon a video of a woman who was celebrating her 7th year of being single. Her definition of single being not in a dedicated, notated relationship that would be called a couple. She had gone on dates and had many situations, but still single. This woman was beautiful and thin and the first thing I thought was "I'm doomed". But rather than shut the video off, I kept watching to see WHY she was celebrating this milestone. She also has a website called The Problem with Dating.

She talked about having been in a string of ongoing or steady relationships for more than 10 years and all of which ended poorly. After the last one she realized that she had a lot of personal work to do on herself before she could be in a couple and maintain a healthy, functional relationship with another human being. She talked about how if you are wanting to be in a relationship to validate your existence in the world, you aren't ready. If you are in a relationship so you aren't lonely, you aren't ready. If you are in a relationship so you fit in with your friend's and family's expectations of you, you aren't ready.

This sort of hit me like a ton of bricks. I consider myself to be very observant and marginally intelligent. Why had I not thought of this before? How come I could not see this? It is very interesting to me how I could trick myself into thinking all my actions were valid in the past. I'm not going to be horrid to myself about it. I was young. I was without information that was vital to moving around in this world.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family and this isn't a singular badge. I know that so many of us do and in this day and age I'm sure dysfunction is the norm. But I also know that I grew up a child of trauma from living in a house that was full of alcohol and drugs and infidelity. There was little emotional money in our family. I learned to be invisible. I learned that being lonely is very painful. I learned that despite abuse you just shut up and take it because you don't want anyone else to know your business. This was the ammunition I left home with. It didn't feel natural or true, but it was all I had.

In all my relationships I think I have tried to show my true colors, but fear of rejection and abandonment have always loomed near the surface. All people want to be loved and accepted. If someone tells you otherwise then they are lying. Isolation is a defense mechanism. It takes away the opportunity for someone to hurt you because you are not present to be hurt.

This year has been emotionally challenging for me as many of you have read on this blog in previous posts. It takes a lot from me to be able to share my pain and my misgivings with whomever chooses to read about it and I put myself in this position because I want to grow. I do it because maybe I'm not alone in the world with the life I've lived and maybe, just maybe, I can help someone else not feel alone in their pain by sharing.

I have realized that I am not ready to be in a relationship. I really do have so much work to do on myself and that requires space and time. But the hopeful thing that woman said in her video was that she recognized in her journey of working on herself that she had attracted the most amazing and creative people in her life. That was something to be excited about and despite attracting all these great men, the one meant for her had not shown up yet.  I have always loved the quote "Good things come to those who wait." I don't take the waiting to be something idle, but more like a patient observation of the world; a gathering of information and self-education.

So I've been single for 16 months. I have learned a lot, but not quite enough to feel whole yet. Thank you to all who have read my posts and watch me melt down in a public forum. Thanks for coming back over and over again. I hope life treats you all kindly. Much love.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

It's Time to Start Living

Aleathia says:

Today is the first day of 11th grade for my kiddo and for some reason I spent the morning crying like it was the first day of kindergarten. I'm an emotional woman. I have always been. Often it is too my detriment, but more often than not it allows me to read people, to feel for them, to care for them, and to understand with some deep notion the tragedy they go through. I am also an inward thinker. I think about everything in a manner not unlike a chess player. Every move I make changes the direction of my life. New things that come alone by surprise have often derail me and cause me to make catastrophic choices. I like to collect information and make decisions based on this information mixed with my flood of feelings. It's like a balance I have built for myself.

This morning it struck me that soon my kid will leave me. The life she chooses to lead is before her and this is a free flowing, carefree type of kid. We are the opposite in this manner and we have worked hard to see how the same events strike us differently. Mostly, she just laughs at me when I'm wound up like a top over something and this is enough to make me see I've jumped overboard without a life vest again. Today I waited until she left for school and once again I was alone in this big house. One day this alone time won't be broken by end of school stories and snacks, by laughter, by deep conversations or gossip. It will take on loneliness.

Though my last relationship was an utter disaster that I am so happy to be out of, it had given me the sense that I would live out my endgame of life with someone by my side to share adventures with. The ending of that relationship may not have been so much the loss of the person, but the loss of the vision I had created for myself. The vision that I would not die alone. I am given the usual pieces of advise. Get out there and mingle. Add more activities to your day. Open up.  These are all valid and lovely words to live by, but the problem, is me.

I work tirelessly on my personality. I am not trying to be someone I'm not, but I am trying to find the outer limits of myself. I am trying to find that confident woman. I am trying to find the tiny extrovert that lives in this introvert's heart. I am trying to find a way to love again without being afraid.  The problem is whether or not I will find these things before I'm 80....if I make it to 80.

I hope to move forward never taking anything in my life for granted. It is easy to do in this generation of everything is replaceable at a moment's notice. It's easy to look past one thing to another without considering its value and worth. This year has been about survival, about climbing out of holes and seeing the sun for the first time in a long time. Now, it's time to start living.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 27, 2018

And the Lessons Keep Rolling In....

Aleathia says:

The weekend was long an crushing at work. The moon.  Oh dear lord, that giant moon made everyone a little crazy. Exhaustion is a mild word for what I felt when I finally went horizontal last night. As per usual, I scrolled social media and then YouTube. When I'm tired I watch strange things like poorly made videos on MBTI personalities or people dancing or men doing stupid things to test out ideas. It's relaxing and helps me fall asleep.

Last night I came across a video in the feed titled (loosely) 5 things women do that make you look desperate by Kevin Hick. I bit the hook, because let's be real...I'm lousy at dating, especially dating at 45. I can't tell you how much my heart sunk. I didn't qualify on all five things, but I had two or three of these desperate actions in my back pocket. Do you know how awful it is to sit and watch a video about this sort of thing and have to shake your head up and down in agreement? It is sad, but if you are living your life you have to take this moments of truth and do something with them.

As background, I met this really cool guy. We were at a bar and had 3 hours of INTERESTING conversation ie I wasn't bored out of my mind. He gave me his number, I gave him mine. He asked me to go back to his place to hang out. I really don't do that sort of thing. I tend to be super cautious, but there were many mutual friends that connected us and my guard was down. I had a great time there too and though I stayed the night, there was no sex. I left his place still interested....and here is where it all went sideways.

I can be an intense person and I can get hyper focused. I know this about myself. This night was the first time anyone has shown me an affection or interest in a year. After life with a narcissist, I had really sworn off dating or letting anyone get that close to me again, especially someone who lives in my town. But this guy had something that made me start chucking bricks off the wall. Maybe it was the beautiful feeling that I could actually be attracted to another human again? Maybe it was the joy of physical sensation for the first time in a year? I'm not sure, but whoa, I went overboard.

I am realizing now that what I did looked really desperate. Like crazy ass bitch desperate. I felt like I was showing my heart, but maybe I was just showing my crazy. His response to all of this was "I don't have time for this" which of course pissed me off and made me feel like a very small being. I actually cried. But let's look at this closely! I hung out for one night. No sex was exchanged. No commitment made. Nothing but a nice time that I wanted to stay nice. I got angry and deleted his number from my phone. I deleted him on social media (but not from messenger) and then just had to see him around town and shoot random, strange messages.

I feel it is all so awkward now and it's sad because he is a very interesting person that I truly would like to hang out with, but I'm sure I soiled the ground where any seed could be planted for that to happen. The funny thing is that I'm not looking for a serious relationship in the sense that I want to be coupled or have a live in. There is still so much work (obviously) to be done on myself and that requires private space and time that I am afforded being single and having my own home. What I want is someone to have fun with, share some laughs, have deep conversations, and maybe travel with. I am not sure how that is accomplished in this day and age. When you spend your life being a serial monogamist it is hard to know what to do outside of that even when it isn't something you actually want.

So to all the ladies and gents out there hitting the bricks in your 40's, stay cool. Try not to over think it. Relax. Laugh more. Be yourself. And take life a little LESS seriously. I took one for the team on this one.

Thanks for reading,