Oct 5 2012

My aha moment with commitment on my journey into dating…

LOVE 768x1024 My aha moment with commitment on my journey into dating...

I  have spent the past year ready to date, I have tried different avenues and I have to say I have found my journey so far pretty interesting. I have learned more about my self than I ever imagined because I thought dating was about others. I have seen many of my friends go through breakups, people I thought were truly meant to be together and it has shifted some of my belief in the reality of what we see in others versus truth. I have had deep conversations with both men and women about the process of dating, the kinds of dates out there and the journey to find what we are looking for in our search for love. I wanted to share with you all what I am discovering and my hope is that you will contact me with your own insight after reading.

The first thing I want to say is I am learning. I am learning about the human condition, the desire to want and to be wanted, to love and to be loved, to trust and to be trusted. I believe over time as we age we become very set in our ways based on our life styles, our desires and our choices. I had an interesting conversation with someone recently who seems to have more confidence in himself than anyone I have ever met. He appears to have no fears of dating or with relationships. He spoke confidently about how easy it was to gain any woman’s interest and admitted to cheating on past lovers. He seems to always have beautiful women at his beaconing but when I look at him I see something missing, I don’t see him being truly happy. In my opinion he appears to act the part of being a “stud” but appears to fear getting too close to anyone. I have to ask you men out there is having any woman your desire really that great, do you not hope for more, is it fulfilling to just sleep around if there is no deep connection? I am sure there are women that should also be asked that question. Upon digging deeper I discovered that with my friends lifestyle of playing the field he had never actually experienced the heartbreak of someone cheating on him and no one had ever broke up with him. He was always in control in every relationship he had been in. In my own journey I have been cheated on by almost every man I have ever dated and here before me was one of those guys, yet he had never been cheated on. Could it be that those who cheat have no idea of the pain they cause those whom they cheat on? I tried to image how it would feel to have never experienced what that act of betrayal feels like, how would I be different, my mindset, my actions, my choices.

I pondered that for weeks and wondered is that perhaps the way a player gets labeled? We all seem to have a different definition of what a “player” is. In my world a player is someone who leads someone into believing they are “the only one” while dating (or sleeping with) multiple people at the same time. They are truly playing the field with no desire to be in a committed relationship. Is a player a bad person, I don’t believe that is the case, I believe they are that way because they fear something when it comes to relationships. Can a player be honest? I think they can be honest in saying they are not looking for commitment but somewhere down the line they are being dishonest if they are not telling the truth with who they are spending their time with or where they are spending their time. The worst part of their dishonesty is that they are not allowing themselves to be loved or to love and that is, in my opinion what we as humans are supposed to experience. I won’t label this a man or woman thing because I am finding through my guy friends that there seem to be just as many women players as men.

I have talked to men about the women out there and there are a lot of women who say they want desperately to be in a relationship but are playing the same games as the men. Partying every night and serial dating in men and women will not find you anything other than that. Trying to find the right mix is hard but you have to know what you want before you can start finding what you want. Making changes that are not always comfortable but sometimes they create the greatest treasures.

The biggest common thread in all my discussions of dating were that on the topic of cheating. So why do people feel the need to cheat? Yes this still applies to the dating scenario early on because you have to trust that date as you are getting to know them or you are never going to feel fulfilled in a relationship with that person. After talking to so many people who have experienced being cheated on I started to think about what our society is putting out there in regards to morals. In my opinion cheating and lying go hand in hand, it is not only a moral thing but a selfish thing and that is where integrity comes into play. My mom always told me treat others how you would want them to treat you. That has always stuck in my mind and it is how I have learned to live with integrity. I admit I am no angel, I have slipped outside the realms of integrity and honesty in my past but I can say in the last 3 years I have worked very hard to become a person I love, living with honesty and integrity frees up my insides so that I can deal more clearly with what is happening on the outside. It truly feels good to be in that space! I recently visited Jason Aldean’s FB page after those pictures were put out there of him kissing all over a woman in a bar. I was amazed that most of the remarks were forgiving him because “we all make mistakes”. I think our society is starting to believe that and with that train of thought we are doomed with ever having true devotion and trust with someone, with fully giving our hearts or with love. True, we all do make mistakes but we shouldn’t just brush it under the rug and move on. An apology is not change, changing our behavior, understanding what truth is and how it feels to live with that is change. Treating others the way we want to be treated is key. I am sure Jason would’t feel so good if his wife had been caught in the same situation. What has happened to our morals, to our desire to be honest loving people. I hate watching tv any more because everything out there is about cheating, dishonesty and anger. My friend Amy Venezia had a great post on flirting recently that also shows how our morals are changing referring to “the grass is greener on the other side…”.

So our past, especially our childhood sets up the path to the people we become, the struggles we deal with and the places where change needs to take place in most cases. Being aware is the first step. It dawned on me that I may be dating those “not so truthful” kind of guys because I am not being truthful with myself about my own commitment issues. I was taught very early on in my life through people close to me that trust, commitment and love hurt. It was played out over and over and as I grew older I wouldn’t allow myself to give my heart fully to anyone because I always feared it would be hurt. The problem is, giving a little of your heart still hurts when someone betray’s you. Most times I would feel as if I was in control, stay in a relationship knowing it was wrong, the signs were there but I always questioned my own judgement more than the actions of the person betraying me. Over and over again I attracted the same kinds of men, gave just enough to be hurt and experienced the same pattern. I believe they were good people but not good “FOR” me. Last week I had that aha moment when I caught myself making sharp, sourcastic remarks about my lack of belief in marriage and the idea that all men were the same. I was laying in bed and started feeling really embarrassed with what I had said, I felt the energy when those words left my mouth and those around me had nothing to add. I realized they did not feel the same and I was coming off as one of those wounded, angry broken hearted people. Well folks if the shoe fits you will wear it! I began digging deeper and realized how perfect “players or bad boys” are for me, they don’t want commitment for their own reasons so they do what they do. I date them because I fear anyone who shows me too much attention, who isn’t a challenge or who might make me commit. That “game” of keeping them interested knowing they won’t commit is no different than them keeping me interested yet wanting to be with others because nothing is holding their interest fully. Wow, in that moment I realized what a turd I was being, how can I find a good relationship with out realizing my commitment issues. I definitely won’t attract that into my life. Yes I truly believe we attract, weather consciously or unconsciously what we are putting out there and folks my banter was creating exactly what I was supposed to have!

So with my dating experience so far I have discovered woman are just as scared of commitment as men often seem to be. People cheat because they are not whole inside and until they discover and repair what lies on the inside they will not be able to find or make healthy choices on the outside. We all need to feel a spark, it may not always be the personality, it might just not be the right energy. There has to be intrigue, compatibility or something that creates chemistry. Just because someone is hot as hell doesn’t mean it will make for great chemistry, it might in the beginning but that will go away quickly once time factors in. We are all searching for something but we have to be in tune with our hearts, with our emotions and with our choices to figure out what we really want. Life is a lesson and dating is a huge part of finding one of the many links to wholeness. As I said earlier, I am learning. Just because I have had some aha moments does’t mean my choices will change right away or that I will attract the right one for me right away. I still have work to do, I have to start by changing my vocabulary. My negative banter is a defense mechanism because I don’t want to be hurt. It is tough talk yet I am as fragile as a baby on the inside. I will start right now by admitting out loud that I do want to find love, I want to be in a relationship and I am not apposed to marriage. BUT I want it to be healthy, I want to be aware of what I am offering, not just expecting the other person to give me what I want. I want to be the best person I can be for that person who will someday be in my life. I know relationships can become work but communication is key. I want to be sure they are deserving of me, that they believe in honesty and they live with integrity. I know that in a relationship each person has to give and take. They should be proud of who they are with, comfortable being themselves around each other and share not only what they want with their partner but also their fears. The person I am with has to love himself first or I can’t expect him to be able to love me. I had to discover that in myself and I get it. We all have the ability to attract a mate whom we desire we just have to believe we do and that we can! I have my list of what I am looking for, I know what I want I have to remind myself to not settle and to keep my emotions in line with my gut. I know my awareness has to help me in the future as long as I continue to love myself. I may get my heart broken again but at least Im willing to open my heart up enough to feel love and that is part of being alive.

We have all worn different hat’s in life, some were just a phase we were going through others were our true style. I am creating a hat that fits perfectly for me as I head into the next 40+ years, this time with a better understanding of how I tick and what it feels like to operate with internal love for myself first. My goal is to be the absolute best I can be, for myself and toward others with integrity yet without judgement.

Thank you for reading, I hope to hear from you. Sending love….pass it on!

Dec 24 2011

Love, loneliness and a goofy dream…

love 1024x682 Love, loneliness and a goofy dream...

I awoke from a dream the other morning in a panic. I had dreamed that I was invited to a Christmas party, everyone there was dressed up with dates including all my ex boyfriends and I was the only one who showed up alone. In the dream I left and started calling all of the hot guys I knew trying to find one to meet me so I didn’t feel so alone but no one could come. In that moment I awoke and I had a sickening feeling in the bottom of my stomach, I was sad, embarrassed and lonely all in that instant. It was as if I was a character in one of those cheesy love stories I have enjoyed watching most of my life, you know the ones…

-the woman who is always with the cheater

-the woman who gets dumped for a prettier or younger woman

-the woman who works too much so no one is interested

-the woman who is too shy, geeky or different and no one wants her

-the woman who’s friends and family say she needs to be married but she cant find a good man

During the holidays when we don’t have family around, friends available and/or we lack a partner to share our time with we may feel lonelier than normal. We have all been in a lonely place at some point in our lives, male or female and often we allow our thoughts to reflect negatively towards ourselves in those times of loneliness. As humans we all want to have a partner to share our love with and when that is not in our lives we sometimes feel inadequate.

I believe that women are generally more sensitive and often more insecure than most men. We tend to treat ourselves terrible with negative self-talk and often that shows outwardly as insecurity especially when we are single. There are a lot of single gals here in Nashville and based on the conversations I have had over the years many of them feel like damaged goods. They can’t figure out why they can’t find a guy or why they always get the guys who are not so perfect for them. There are a lot of women who have never been married and feel they are missing out on something. Some who wanted children yet never quite found the guy that was right for that path. I have come to learn through conversations with my guy friends that women are not always alone in these feelings. As humans we judge ourselves much harder than others and often give off that energy of insecurity. We take our negative experiences with past partners, hold on to the hurt and eventually believe that all partners will be this way. Sometimes these uncomfortable internal feelings can make us treat others in a negative way because of our fear of being hurt. Wether we are hurting others or being hurt the cost of carrying that around is negative and will continue to have negative consequences with our happiness if we don’t learn how to let go of the negativity and change the pattern.

I believe that we attract the energy we are offering in life depending on where we are in our thinking at any given time. It may sound silly but I believe if we can learn to accept ourselves, do a little work to get and keep our mindset in a positive state we will have healthier people come into our lives. This is true with not only companionship but with all relationships. If we allow things to happen keeping a positive outlook rather than passing judgement and allowing our past experiences to resurface we will attract better experiences into our lives. The amount of power we have over our thoughts allows us to change the reoccurring negative things along our life path. I know this is true because I have met people in my life who are always genuinely happy and positive and their lives seem to continue to stay on a positive path because of their attitude not because they are lucky!

These day’s the most important thought I have when facing new opportunities is “am I happy, will this make me happy or is this a positive path that will allow me to feel good”. By allowing these thoughts to occur when facing something I am unsure of I offer myself the opportunity of awareness, not repeat behavior. When I am feeling good and make others feel good it makes me feel even better about myself. I am not saying that I always take the right path but by reminding myself of what is important and being aware of those things as they are happening I feel I am making better choices. No more auto pilot…auto pilot gives me the quickest result not the most beautiful route!

I am sure that this dream signifies something in my own life that I need to look deeper into but I am unsure what exactly that might be. I have gone a year being single and enjoying the fun that it brings. I really have not cared wether I had a date or not because I have enjoyed my time of discovery with in myself and the fun flirting can be with men I have an interest in. I was not consciously making an effort to BE single I just haven’t felt a need or desire to put the effort into anyone. I spent the year looking within my self, doing what I wanted for ME, finding fun things to do and surrounding myself with people who make me happy. I buried myself in charity work, in personal work, in art and learning how to be spiritual alone-just me and my higher power. I revisited my past decisions, forgave the other person, considered the lessons learned, accepted I had a choice in those situations, forgave myself and let go. Some of those past experiences were tough and have continued to re-surface but I am making progress. Allowing myself to forgive, take accountability and letting go sometimes requires revisiting, reworking and redirecting how to take the negative and fill it with something positive. We are human and because of our egos some issues at hand are more difficult to overcome. If we are holding on to anger because someone did something that truly was wrong and unkind we think we feel better playing the victim but carrying that weight will have some negative affect on any relationship moving forward. We will feel complete and eventually happier if we  allow ourselves to feel the hurt, be humble, forgive and let go.

It’s funny after I awoke from that strange dream feeling sad, in the next minute I started laughing because in every one of those silly movies the woman always finds true love. I know I will find it when I am ready and when I do it will be better than any love I have had in the past because with every day that passes I am becoming a better person. With that I know I will attract a healthy, loving and beautiful person into my life! While I am on this journey I am reminded daily of how wonderful love is even if it excludes a partner. Love is always available, I have beautiful loving friends and a loving family so I am not lacking by any means.

If you are out there questioning your worth, feeling insecure and thinking you are not worthy of love remember we are ALL worthy, we are all human and we all sometimes need to take a closer look at how we are treating ourselves. If you are feeling alone because you do not have a partner stop and believe that finding that person can be just as fun as having them. In that moment if you can accept and believe you are a wonderful and loving person deserving of love, and I promise you are, you will be that much closer to finding a loving partner because it has to start on the inside first! Love yourself and watch what shows up all around you! Wishing you all a happy holiday and as always sending love…pass it on!

Jul 10 2011

Contemplating my anxiety, boredom, a lost compass and a goal almost competed!

Today I awoke feeling restless, wanting to release some anxiety and not really understanding why I was irritable and uneasy. Nothing had happened, no apparent reason for feeling this way but believing there must be something unsettled within me.  Have you ever felt that way? I sat around quietly at first, turned on some music then silent again. It is interesting to just sit quietly and listen. The things around the room, the dog breathing, the fridge, the ac, a motorcycle in the distance. At first it can be uncomfortable but once you allow yourself to become relaxed your mind begins to speak to you. Thoughts and memories come out of no where, nothing is organized just random things but without the noise of tv, radio or people you actually hear your thoughts. After several hours of contemplating, reflecting on where I’ve been, where I am, what seems good or bad within me, the only thing I could come up with was I am ready for some change. Something new, I am unsure what, maybe seek out some new friends, a new hobby, join a new group or something. After several hours of silence I took a nap because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. When I awoke I realized that I need something in my life to intrigue me, to stimulate me, to interest and inspire me because I am becoming too comfortable in my daily regiment which is beginning to bore me. I believe this is what  is creating my anxiety.

What would you do if your compass was broke? I guess in a way that is how I am feeling right now. I am out there doing but not sure what direction I am headed. I have been so dedicated over the past year, first to ReTune Nashville and now to myself, my art and my career and all of a sudden feel a little lost. My entire life I felt I had a map, a goal and a direction, when ever I felt this way I would create more busyness or on several occasions pack up move somewhere new without knowing anyone and start my life over. It kept me happy, it kept me re-mapping my destination, perhaps it was a form of running as my father once said to me but it always worked and pointed me one step closer to where I am now. Eventually I realized that I had to love myself and that is what I have worked towards for the past 10 years here in Nashville. This place I am in now feels different, back then I was not happy with me, once I learned of self love I became happy, now I am just bored. My life list of accomplishments have pretty much been by design minus the things in my relationship sector, and I am unsure what I want next. Nashville is my home 100% so there will be no move in my future to take me to my fresh new life ahead.

I have restricted my social activity and spent many, many hours working towards new year goals I set for myself in January. One in particular was to not date, to focus on me, to get healthier in body and in mind. When I set the “NO” dating goal I told myself I would re-visit dating in August because I felt that would be enough time to get healthy. Dating often seems like a job search to me and I really am not interested in that process. So many of my friends are on dating sites and it all looks too overwhelming to me. It seems it should be so much more simple than that. I always find myself meeting great men but not having any chemistry and then having a difficult time figuring out how to let them know without hurting their feelings in hopes of maintaining a friendship. My problem is that I very seldom feel an attraction or chemistry and then am left with the realization of what a man would think if faced with “I just want to be friends”, most do not want to stick around for that. Maybe it is silly but I love the immediate WOW factor when you have big energy with someone you just met. It is not just physical attraction it is the conversation, the intrigue, the entire package not just one part. Perhaps this is why men and woman seem very different, or maybe it is just me. Men are wired differently and seem to be intrigued with women first through physical attraction before anything else even registers. Please share with me if I have this wrong!

I have been told by several friends that I have no game, that I am unapproachable or that I need to learn the art of flirting. Maybe this is true but I have never really felt I was like any other woman out there. I am not one to flirt with a stranger, to dress flashy in order to turn a head or to have to work at being the center of attention. I am somewhat shy in the presence of an attractive man, even more so if I am attracted to him directly and maybe I give off the impression of not being interested. I feel men have become lazy, they put no effort into the process of dating, maybe that is because so many women are throwing themselves at them or that women have become so independent that men don’t actually have to do anything any more. I think women have become too aggressive and often come off as being desperate. What is wrong with a little mystery, with patience and with getting to know someone before pursuing anything. Maybe I have watched too many movies, maybe too old fashion or perhaps just a hopeless romantic but I can’t be something I am not and if that causes me to remain single because I am not willing to compromise or settle for something I am not then so be it.

When I look at the overall dating scene especially for people my age I realize it is complicated because we have spent half of our lives becoming who we are. I think that many people, male and female are trying too hard, looking for someone who will fill a void that is missing in their lives. I think that there are so many people who can’t just sit and be quiet without freaking out to the silence…which we all know is not silence but our inner voice speaking to us. If we can’t sit alone with ourselves and be happy how can we expect to have someone else make us happy. No one can fulfill that void, that “Thing” that is missing because that thing is inside of us not out there in someone else. If more people realized this I think there would be more happiness and more love within us all. We would allow others to be as they are and love that they are unique, if things don’t match our expectations we have the choice to leave. Making a person wrong for not being what you want will not work, love does not insult for the sake of validation!

What I have learned with age is that the more I am honest with myself and with others the better I become. The more I love myself and life the healthier I am. I am comfortable with who I am, I love my life no matter what it lacks, I have forgiven myself and others for anything and everything from my past and I am by far the healthiest both inside and out than I have ever been in my life. I know that if a man comes into my life he will get a beautiful person, not a perfect person…there are flaws despite my self confidence. Most of all he will get me and will either love that or not. I don’t really think that my anxiety is from the lack of a man being in my life but I do feel allowing myself back in the game could add some interest and perhaps allow me to let go of some of this boredom. How to find a date is another story and it is not August yet so I will wait till then to worry about that. I know that you have to want to date to get a date so until August….sending love out to you all!

Nov 30 2010

“The Town That Built Me” -Part One

1 300x300 The Town That Built Me  Part One

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday back in my hometown with my family, it was the first time I have been back to Ocala, FLA in almost a year.  The trip was full of emotions and time to reflect on my life, something I seem to do more and more as I age.  I was born in Ocala but spent the first 13 years or so in Salt Springs, an area located about 20 minutes outside of Ocala in the Ocala National Forest. There was a store, a few small churches, some camping sites and a mom and pop restaurant that had the best cheeseburgers, not much has changed.  Those early years as a child living in the seclusion of the country side is the biggest reason I write so expressively now.  I spent most of my time under the swaying pines writing poems, and personal thoughts in my journal.  Miranda Lambert’s song “The House That Built Me” it that place where my first 13 years was spent and word for word that song carries so much meaning for me.

As I get older I feel a need to hold on to every memory and moment I spend with my family.  I see my mom and dad getting older and I can’t help but tear up to think how much I will miss them when they are gone.  I hate that I think that way but I find myself making more out of every conversation and every moment I have with them because of it.  I feel so lucky to have parents who care so much, who love me, who I can talk to and whom I can see so much of them in me.  I also love the time I spend with my beautiful sister, I was a pretty lousy sister as a child, I was older and was mean to her in so many ways, I am thankful she and I have such a wonderful relationship now.  Those early sister memories of our fights are now replaced with laughter when we get together.  I have found that with all the losses I have experienced over the past few years I cherish my family time, every laugh, every tear and every moment.

This Thanksgiving marked the first time in many years that I took a man home with me for my family to meet.  I know that sounds trivial but I am very protective of my time with them and this was a tremendous step for me.  This was the fifth guy in my life time (including my high school sweetheart) that I have introduced a significant other to my family in all my 45 years.  I am sure there were some young men in my teen and preteen years, but none come to mind at the moment.  I have to be honest and admit that deep down I used to believe that I was so horrible at relationships that I didn’t want my family to meet the men I dated.  I am sure it was because I had doubts about the longevity of those relationships.  I didn’t want them to see me fail because I didn’t want them to worry about me when I was dealing with the hurt.  That sounds weird to say out loud but I guess I didn’t want them to worry about me while I was dealing with a heartache, I wanted them to see me as a strong independent woman who didn’t need someone to take care of me.  Perhaps I am not ready to dive into that part of “ME” discovery, I am sure there is something deeper to learn there but I will save that for a future post.


Feb 14 2010

Feeling a little off on this "V" day but sending love…

I slept in today and that is not something that happens often.  I actually was awake but couldn’t (for some reason) bring myself to want to get out of bed.  Today is Valentines Day and all week leading up to today I have read post, received emails and talked to friends who were dreading the day’s arrival.   “Love Stinks” parties and “Single Valentines” events for those sad souls who are without a partner.  Those who are in relationships complaining how the hype makes the holiday expensive with limited restaurant menu’s and expensive price tags.  All this stress over a day focusing on “LOVE”.   Why  do we really need a day to remind us to be grateful and celebrate the one or one’s we love.  Everyday we should be showing love and for a day that was created for the sake of love it seems so many are stressed out and wanting it to pass as quickly as possible.

I am happy today, my dad’s birthday was yesterday, this week several of my friends are celebrating their b-days and I have wonderful people I love in my life.  Today I started my day with a kiss and a hug to my big white pink eared dog and a call to my mom to say happy “V” day and “I love you”.  Sure, it would be great to have someone special to celebrate the occasion with and in time I will be in that place but I won’t need a “specific” day to remind me show love to that special someone, it will be shown everyday.

So I have to admit although I have been happy all week, grateful for the busy work week and looking forward to a little quiet relaxation time I have felt a little off.  I have been aware of it but not sure what it was about.  I avoided people all weekend and enjoyed spending time at home alone watching cheesy movies about falling in love.  I often with draw, I enjoy being alone at times, I am not feeling depressed in any way so although I am not feeling sociable I feel happy overall.  Perhaps I feel a little off because I am trying to use less sugar in my diet and have felt a little out of sorts over the experience and the failures at times.  I though it was the reason I was feeling restless all week and having a hard time focusing.

As I become a healthier person in mind, body and spirit I am learning that often things trigger past events in our lives.  That no matter how positive or happy we are there will always be times of reflection that might feel painful yet need to be experienced.  I believe these events happen because we need to be reminded of who we are, where we have been and by believing that happiness lies with in our own minds we keep moving forward.  These events are reminders for us to see the beauty in all things, good or bad, and to live life feeling and growing rather than being numb to the process.  More often than not if we keep a positive mind set and believe these events are there to help us grow we will see something beautiful on the other side from the experience.  Individually, for each of us this is our very own road of life, we make the decisions where and when to turn so we must live with where ever we end up!  I choose to be happy no matter where I land.

The truth is that Todd has been on my mind a lot this week and I think maybe Valentines is the trigger.  I have had some dreams of him, I have been missing him and I am sad that he is gone.  I never watch tv and this week found myself watching an episode of Celebrity Rehab, connecting so much with what was happening in the episode especially with the drama. For those of you who are new to my post, Todd passed away a year and a half ago of a drug overdose.  I dated him for two years prior and was unaware of his issues, after a year of dating and then moving in together I realized he had an addiction.  I tried to get him help and eventually had to break up with him because I could no longer handle his addiction.  It was a tough decision because I loved him dearly but I could no longer deal with the events that the drug and alcohol addiction had created in our lives, he died eight month later.  I have never been into drugs, I don’t even like to take aspirin and other than drinking alcohol on occasion I prefer to feel in control of my body, my mind and my actions.  I am very nieve to the habits and characteristics drugs create because I have no knowledge of what they do internally nor how they make you feel.  Now days everyone seems to be taking pharmaceutical drugs….personally I think these might be worse than any of the ones I knew about when I was younger.  The bottom line is that losing someone you love is tough especially when it is sudden and unexpected, it takes time to heal and although it gets easier over time things do resurface.  You do repeat the grieving process and remember the person who is no longer living.

Todd has been on my mind, although I have been happy this week there has been a slight unknowing sadness or feeling of being off.  I realized this morning while lying in bed that three years ago Todd had given me a beautiful saffire ring (not an engagement ring) for valentines, it was one of the most memorable and happy valentines I can remember ever having.

So here I am not sure why I am writing today but wanting to say something to lift my spirits and yours, at least those of you who may be feeling a bit down on this day of recognizing “LOVE”.  What I can say is this…I am ever so grateful that even though Todd has passed I had the opportunity to love him, to be loved by him knowing he loved me the best he could in light of his addiction and realizing that in life there are no guarantees.  We must remember to show our love to all those who are important to us, lovers, friends, family and even strangers.  Life is a constant learning platform with up’s and downs.  At times things may not seem fair, bad things do happen but the ability to think positive even when you might not be feeling it will make all the difference in your life and in being happy.

Love comes in many forms, kindness is the greatest and it is within all of us, it is free and always available to give. Today I am grateful for every single thing in my life.  Thinking of all those unfortunate people in Haiti and what they are having to endure makes me that much more grateful and makes me want to give more because I have the ability to do so.  Today I celebrate “Valentine Day” buy saying to all of you…those I know and those I do not, “I love you” for being who you are, for reading this and for being in my life.  Sending love out to everyone….until next time!  SMOOCH!!!!

Jan 25 2010

Things I have discovered about the early stages of dating…

Ahhh dating, we have all done it at some time in our life and know that it is either fun or not so fun.  This blog comes from my personal ideas of what I want when dating and what I have discovered I love about the process.  I have come to realize finally that in order to enjoy dating you must tell yourself  that you enjoy dating.  As I have said many times before your life reflects how you think.  I never allowed myself to enjoy dating in the past because in my mind I believed I hated it and that it was no fun to go through the uncomfortable process of meeting a stranger hoping to find love.  There will always be an occasional “BAD” date and definitely uncomfortable moments but I believe that when you decide to change your thoughts in a positive way things not only become fun but interesting!

To start I have never been very good at getting a date.  My girlfriends have said I don’t know how to flirt.  I am always that one girl that stands in the back or off to the side never making eye contact because of being shy.  My ex husband said he thought I was stuck up the first time he met me because of my being quiet and my stand-off-ish behavior.  My guy friends have said that I don’t pay attention and that overlook the interested guys and the opportunity to get a date.  I have discovered that once you embrace the idea many of these things fix themselves.  Getting a date can be as easy as smiling and making eye contact with someone I am interested in, figuring out where to find these men of attraction is a bit more difficult especially at 44.

My thoughts of dating in this very moment are that it is to be fun, be light hearted, and I must NOT be focused on wanting to find love.  I must allow time to happen and experiences to be as they are intended with no expectation knowing that if it is no longer fun I have the choice to move on.

I am in no way saying that I don’t want to be in a relationship nor that I’m not interested in finding love.  What I am saying is that dating is not necessarily those things and it can actually be fun, but only when you decide in your own mind that it can be.  I figure that if I spent half my life in relationships that I felt would not last and often was very unhappy in yet I stayed much longer than I should have…why not be single for a while and enjoy the experience solely for the sake of having fun and meeting new people.  I am learning that many times a date or a few might lead to the knowledge of  “this will never work” but can create a wonderful friendship.

I am a bit old fashion when it comes to dating, much like a young school girl in my thinking.  I’m shy with many aspects of  getting to know someone and I am always guarded when it comes to sex.  The other night I had a conversation with a man and he assured me that ALL men want sex and have it on their mind especially in the beginning stages of dating.  As a woman knowing this makes me a bit uncomfortable in how to act.  I often find myself being more reserved because I don’t want my date to perceive through playful flirting I want to sleep with him.  I was assured by my male friend that this is not the case with many women today and based on our conversation it is not uncommon for a woman to be intimate on the second or even first date.

While in the early stages of dating I prefer a guy to pursue me rather than my having to make an obvious effort although he will know that I am interested if I am.  My dating style is to be patient and get to know the guy for a while before becoming intimate, I don’t care what anyone says I feel sex changes things.

With all that being said I thought I would make a list of the things I have discovered that I love about the very early stages of dating so here is that list…even at 44 this sounds a bit elementary.


*how good it feels when your date says “you’re really pretty”….and then says it again when he is walking away for the night

*when you get a text in the middle of the day you were not expecting that makes you smile and feel a little flushed at the same time

*when you look into the eyes of someone new that you are attracted to and feel excited knowing they are just as attracted to you as they look back

*when he purposely puts his arm around you for the first time and you realize how nice it feels

*how good flirting feels especially when it comes back to you

*the warmth of him sitting next to you without his actually touching you but your wanting him too

*anticipation of anything….and everything

*wanting him to hold your hand but waiting patiently for the moment to happen

*how even at 44 when a guy you have an interest in holds your hand for the first time and you still feel like that little girl did the first time a boy touched your hand under the table

*how on a blind date, if you are not interested or attracted you can still find humor in the situation and laugh about something, in that moment you realize it is a choice to either have fun…or not…or perhaps run

*when you realize he is not the right person as a mate but that you would love to be friends, he is mature enough (even if he wanted more) to realize a friendship could last a life time and quite possibly be better than a relationship ever could

*how silly,  fun and often romantic it can be to share food

*how goofy I am while trying to find something sexy to wear for a date with someone I am interested in, if only there were a hidden camera

*the nervousness of that initial introduction and the gentle ease of conversation when you know it is going well

*the anticipation of a kiss, wondering when it might happen and when it finally does feeling the butterflies take flight

*when your eyes meet and you get a strange feeling of shyness and warmth at the same time

*learning about the other person and watching their lips as they talk

*catching your self looking at their butt as they walk off to the bathroom and thinking how hot they look

*every aspect of body language and how interesting it can be from a nervous chin rub, the constant twirling of a coaster or a leg that moves enough to shake the table

*laughing, laughing and more laughing

*loosing track of time because you are having so much fun and then realizing it is really late…or early the next day

*the first kiss

*being attracted..did I mention butterflies?

*the nervousness of having them over to your place for the first time

*catching him looking at your breasts, feeling awkward yet flattered especially if he smiles with the embarrassment of being caught

*meeting his friends and noticing the secret buddy language that says you are the man for being be seen with this hot woman

*the smell of a good cologne and how it makes you more attracted to him because of how good he smells

*trying a new restaurant that neither of you have been to before

*how a slight touch and smile makes you blush when you are really into him

*the hug on the second date when you walk into the room or answer the door

*talking and laughing until morning without intimacy being any part of the equation knowing that in time that will possibly be a part of the equation

*discovering he loves something that you do

*his saying at the end of the first date….I would like to see you again

So I realize that there could be a list of the bad but I want to remain positive in my current state.  These are what things come to mind for now but there are sooo many more once you start to get your feet wet.  So as I end this post let me say I am having so much fun and truly for the first time in my adult life enjoying the act of dating.  What are your love’s I would enjoy knowing!  Until next time I am sending love out to you all…thank you for reading!

Jan 2 2010

2010 has arrived…my list of discoveries!

2010 has arrived and so many of us have prepared the usual list of New Years resolutions.  I have never been much for resolutions but I do set goals each year in both my personal and professional life by reflecting on my past year and deciding what changes I want to happen in order to be a happier person.  Each year my first priority always seems to start with my eating habits because diets and challenges all seem to be temporary.  Learning more about nutrition, eating fresh -not processed foods and eating smaller portions is a constant goal.  At 40 something my metabolism is not as it used to be and it is much more challenging to keep my body healthy.  I am excited about finding new ways of staying healthy, I prefer referring to it as “Staying Healthy” rather than wanting to be thin.

When I awoke this morning I though I would make a list of some of the things I have discovered in my life up to this point…here is what I came up with:

*As a woman-feeling healthy, eating right and steady exercise does wonders for self esteem!

*My biggest challenge in life is patience, if I can slow down and enjoy the ride it always has a better outcome.

*Being single can really, really be fun!

*I have no idea how to flirt, actually I stink at it because I was told that by a guy recently.  I need to work on this one.

*Winter sunrises and sun-set are absolutely beautiful!

*I have no idea how to cut wings and pizza out of my diet…or at least to replace them with a healthy alternative.  These two foods are always the first thing that come to mind when I want something really bad!

*The person who invented the chocolate chip cookie was a personal trainer who’s pleasure was seeing the pain of lunges in the eyes of the cookie eater.

*The world needs more love…in every city, state and country, I always feel a bit like a hippie from the 60′s saying that out loud but I do believe it is the most important and underachieved thing in most of our lives.  It is also the one thing that makes us feel the best at any given time when we truly feel it in our hearts.

*I have learned that with age my heart continues to soften and giving something back is becoming more and more important to me.

*That Mr. Deisel is really Mr. Barker and is continuously trying to communicate with his ancestors far away….God help my neighbors, I am working on this issue!

*If you love yourself you have self-confidence, if you have self-confidence you make healthy choices, making healthier choices makes you happier and your life becomes more fulfilling.

*You can not make everyone who comes into your life happy merely by being nice, that some people will always place blame, always be the victim and no matter what you say or do nothing will change their outlook.  With this I have also learned that you must let these people go and pray that they find love within to fix what they believe they don’t have.

*I may not know a thing about men after all!  Over and over we are told that they are very simple creatures of habit….define simple please!

*Life is exactly what we create, creation happens with the way we think. There is no one else to blame in regards to what our lives look like so we need to make our thoughts align with what we want and be accountable.

*I have learned that I have a world of things to be grateful for and I am so, so fortunate for all that I have.

*I have come to realize that I may not have ever really been in love after all.  The thought occurred to me recently while talking to a friend about love and questioning the circumstances of my past relationships.  Do I get so caught up in the excitement of someone showing me attention that I confuse the intimacy and a somewhat codependent time of being together as love.  I am not sure, I have never thought of it in this particular way before.  It is something I am seriously looking at…

*The movie “The Sound of music”? is my all time favorite, and the best love story ever!

*Every human being on this earth wants to be in love and have a partner no matter what they say, it is the most primal part of being human.  What I don’t understand is why is it not occurring more often and why when we all want it, is it so complex and hard to find?

*Coffee doesn’t taste good to me with out all the sugar, it is the one thing that I can’t make healthier and taste good at the same time!

*Working out everyday really helps me to relieve stress and I am learning to love the process more and more.

*I still after 8 years in Nashville hate cold weather…at least when it gets under 40 degrees.

*I love who I am…it has taken 44 years to be able to say it but finally I do, and I look forward to creating more for myself that I will love in the future.

*I believe my purpose here is to continue to find ways to inspire others, my desire is to help, give and continue to discover ways of doing this…it truly brings me happiness.

*Laughter is the one thing that instantly makes us feel good and we all need so much more of it!

I’ve never needed New Years for incentive to change something I needed to change. As I grow older life has become a time of discovery and I have learned to look inside for change rather than having to go outside of myself for incentive.  While doing all of this internal work I have become much happier, I laugh more and I  worry less.  Some goals continue to challenge me, I am still working on increasing my income through my passion, loosing that junk in the trunk and I still have the desire to someday be in a committed relationship. I know that with the work I am doing on ME those things are on the way. The most important thing right know is to enjoy the process, take each day moment by moment and be grateful for all that I have because I know I have a lot!  Sending love out to all of you for the new year…thank you for reading (and please leave a comment if you feel the desire)!

Jun 16 2009

The pondering of loneliness, of things learned, lost and discovered…

What causes loneliness…something I have been pondering a lot the past few weeks.  I have always been one to enjoy my quiet time, my alone time, what I like to think is the time I am most creative.  Perhaps growing up in the country without a lot of friends close by, spending afternoons as a small kid alone in the woods with a notepad writing while mom and dad worked was the beginning of my life persona.  In that time it was safe for a child to roam alone and for me it was the birth of my being.  So lately my life is full, full of creative work time, full of phone talk to the family in Florida, full of friend time and full of summer fun.  For some reason lately I have a usually small yet sometimes larger feeling of loneliness within me I can’t figure out.  I have hardly dated over the past year, I have not really had an interest and in my past 8 years since my divorce felt I was wandering a bit, jumping in too soon and overlooking what I needed in relationships just to fill a void.  I told myself after the last relationship it was time to change, I set some rules with myself, to not allow myself to get serious, to not get involved and to allow myself to live a while as a single person, embrace it and be happy.  The past year has been just that, I have discovered who I am again, learned to be independent from a man and to wake up every day allowing myself to do what ever I want to do and worry about no one else but myself.  It has been liberating, it has been challenging and lately it has become…well, a bit lonely.  After living alone for most of the year I recently allowed a “guy friend” to move in and perhaps that is where my thoughts began to change, strangely where the loneliness began to start peeking its little head in my settled mind.  When you see two people showing affection and happiness with being together it is enlightening for old farts like myself, especially when it is someone you know.

I admit I have some issues to get over with regards to opinions of men and their wondering minds…hands and other parts, with commitment, exclusiveness and cheating.  Things that I am struggling with because of my past choices and with wanting to believe there are men who are different, I know there are good honest people who live with integrity in every choice they make out there.  My best GF who happens to be 10 years younger tells me I need to really work hard on these things because they will show up if I continuously focus on them in the negative rather than believing there is a positive side.  I take full accountability for my past choices both with life and with men, hold no blame in others and realize I knew the red flags early on but did not pay attention.  I made my own choices and no one made me make them.  I have absolutely no regrets with my life except maybe that I wished I had traveled abroad as a 20 year old.

With this post as always I am trying to be positive and honest, I need to fully acknowledge my fears with men…if only women had a body part they could think from to blame for uncontrollable actions, that actually sounds like a lot of fun.  Enough said, truth is we as human beings want to be with someone who we are attracted to, to be touched and to feel connected in a deeper way than just sexual.  At least that is what I choose to believe.  I would like to believe there are relationships out there where people truly feel connected and can see themselves with the same person even when they are old.  Call me a dreamer but I want a relationship that feels like the words of a great country love song where you feel every word is a reflection of you and the other person intertwined both in love and in companionship.  Keith Urban says it better than most for me….

In the past year I have seen what I want to believe was true love many times and it always makes me smile, believe and then feel a bit sad with loneliness.  So perhaps this loneliness I am feeling lately is my spirit nudging me, saying to me to let go of the past…really let go not just think I have, to see through new eyes- like a child believing there is only good out there as if never having had experience bad, nothing to compare to, trusting my gut and opening myself to the possibilities.  Someone once said to me as I was going through a broken heart, “just think Sheri, even though you hurt right now look how beautiful it is that you now have the chance to experience the wonderful feelings that come with falling in love with someone again…..”  I wish I could remember who said that to me because it has stayed with me over the years, through many breakups and still makes me smile.

So what is it that causes loneliness..I guess the lack of something that we really need to be human.  It is tough to have a completely balanced life, to have the beautiful relationship, the perfect career, to love yourself, to live with confidence and to be happy all of the time because there always seems to be something missing, something out of alignment.  I believe in my past (for myself) it was the lack of self love, confidence and the confusion of spirit…what some may call “God”.  For the first time in my life I am no longer confused with spirit and I talk to my God everyday because I realize it is a part of me, within me and not something out side of me I am trying to find.  Although I still want to lose a few pounds and hate seeing the visual result of age in my skin I am ok with who I am.  Maybe my recent loneliness is my spirit reminding me that because those things are aligned my fears with men need to be challenged and that it is time to fill that void.  To know that because the most important internal things have been conquered now it is time to allow myself to find something outside of myself to add to the fulfillment.  Knowing now that being happy with myself on the inside is key, because by loving myself first I can love someone else honestly and share who I am knowing if it is not right I am ok being alone.  I am ok, I really am and that makes me smile, still…it sure would be nice to have someone to hold me once in a while!

Ahhhh life is so grand with all it’s twist and turns, age is my journal of things learned, lost and discovered…life is so beautiful if you allow it to be and see with open eyes and an open mind!

May 20 2009

How can men be so excited about having sex and not be excited about falling in love?

Once again I have had to face a death, this time my step dad who has been in my life for 27 years, it was hard…really hard.  I spent 5 days with the family and 2 days with mom, I love her so much.  I cried half the way back to Nashville thinking of her and how she must feel and how she is missing Elwyn.  I have had a few weeks or so to try to get back in the groove, it’s just not happening.  I am sad, I am unsure of what direction to go for getting new work, I am feeling lost in so many ways yet I still feel grateful for all that I have.  I have a loving family and the most beautiful friends I have ever had in my life.

With all that has happened over the past 6 months I have come to realize how true it is that in a split second your life can change.  Although I am feeling challenged with life right now I believe that it is something that is supposed to happen and I have to find the good in it all.

On another note…I have had the opportunity to spend more time with a really good “guy” friend and I have had a new insight to many of the men of my past.  I have many great guy friends but this one in particular is more open in his sharing.  I realize that all men are different but my friend…lets call him James, is acting in ways that I would have imagined or perhaps complained about in regards to the differences in men and women.  It is obviously we are all different but do the majority of men really fall in the same category when it comes to the ways they are with women?

Here is what I have observed through James.  First off he does not take an initiative to fully say what he wants to women he is seeing.  It only strengthens my worry that men are not good a communicating.  Why is it so hard to just say or to ask for something.  It seems they are so worried with the answer, or perhaps the questions leading up to the answer that they just don’t acknowledge things.  Avoidance seems to be the key to their existence.  Now don’t get me wrong I do understand that we women tend to ask a lot of questions and with the answers, if we are lucky enough to get them, we may not like the answers, we may pass judgment, we may even get upset, but is that really all that bad.  I remember the frustration I would have when I would ask my ex-husband a question and wait for minutes and sometimes never getting an answer.  I could see his mind working wondering what the right answer was rather than what he truly felt.  It was so frustrating to both he and I and so unnecessary.  Why can’t we as men and women just say the truth in how we feel about something with out passing judgment and from our own viewpoint rather than beating around the bush, lying or avoiding?

James also brought a new thought into my mind after seeing how he has handled some of his dating relationships, opting to not say why he was no longer interested in a woman but just avoiding and not calling her.  I know we women usually do that because we are afraid of hurting the guy’s feelings, if after a few dates we find ourselves not wanting to see the person again we may avoid answering the phone calls.  The difference for me is there was no intimacy with the guy other than kissing where as James has had intimacy and then avoidance.  As a woman if I have had intimacy and no longer want to be involved with the guy and if we have been out on a regular basis I think it is appropriate to tell the guy it just is not working rather than hiding and not answering the calls.  Guys seem to be different in that respect and it seems almost like they wanted to get the girl to bed and once the conquest is tackled they move on to the next.  I have talked to James about this and explained that for me I am not the one night stand kind of girl nor am I the 2-3 date kind of lady.  I want to know the guy a little before giving in and really spending time with them.  I once had a great guy friend tell me he always thought to him self “would this woman be marriage material”  before sleeping with her.  I never really understood his thinking because he still seemed to sleep with them all but it did show that he at least had some deeper thought about the act before moving forward.  So I asked James….are there any women out there like me who don’t give in so easily?  He just laughed…. so many times I have gone on 2-3 dates, had a great time, really liked the guy but felt at that point there was a bit of an expectation for the next step and after my not wanting to cross that bridge realized the calls stopped.

Doesn’t sex change everything and what is so bad about waiting a little while?  I would be willing to bet that at least 85% of women who sleep with a guy on the first, second or third date seldom have many more after that, if they do chances are the sex is great or that is all that there is in the relationship.  I am not saying that sex is bad but I have to wonder, am I the only one holding out these days?  Am I really that lame and old fashion?  How can a guy have multiple sex partners in the same week with out any feelings of regret and how can men be so excited about having sex and not be excited about falling in love?  My best gf says all men are the same and think from the same place, I get upset with her because in my mind I choose to believe there are some men out there who are not that way…or even if they think that way they are not acting on the urge, have some sort of restraint and morals outside of sex.  So guys if there are any out there who are HONESTLY different step forward please and prove me right!!!

Mar 12 2009

Being cautious, sex changes everything… why not be patient and happy?

Today as I as I was headed downtown to show my portfolio I was hit with the song “You Found Me” by the the Fray.  It was in that few minutes I had the realization I still have a lot of healing to do.  I actually remember hearing another song of theirs called “How To Save A Life” nearly a year ago on an episode of scrubs I watched with Todd.  It resonated then to our situation, it made me sad because he was so far gone into a sad and depressed state then, but this song…it rips my heart apart.  With his passing and the manner in which it happened every lyric of that song now haunts me.  I thought I had moved forward a little but now I realize that the healing is going to take a while maybe a long while, I am unsure, this was not just a break up it was a death.

I recently allowed my self to return to the dating scene, I have enjoyed the company but wonder if my resistance to move to fast shows. I am cautious, I am being careful, I don’t think I am very warm at times, I feel a little withdrawn, I am not really interested in being touched, I believe I am being smart and patient!  I want to get to know someone, to spend time, to laugh but from my experience so far it seems men want to move fast, they want to touch right away, is it just a sex thing?  Are women really being like the girls on sex and the city these day’s and jumping in the sack after only a few dates?  I often wonder if I am an old soul or perhaps just a romantic dreamer hoping the love of my life falls in love with who I am first rather than obsessing about how I am in bed. Maybe it is that I just have not met the right date…one I actually have chemistry with.  Men are definitely visual and seem to be ok with a woman if she is attractive even if there is nothing they have in common.  I am different, I find myself wanting more than a pretty face, needing some connection to even have an interest no matter how hot a guy is.  When TG and I first broke up I admit I went on a few spontaneous dates more so because I knew he was and I had hoped it would ease my mind some, that wonderful breakup syndrome we go through in the beginning.  But when a guy wants to grab my tit on the 2nd date or makes a similar impression I am totally turned off.  If there are any guys who actually read this….sex changes things, we all know that.  I am not looking for just a sex partner, at least not right now (although at times the thought does sound interesting).  The few dates I have been on were either to that extreme or just made me feel as if the idea of more than 2-3 dates of getting to know me on a personal level not a physical one was more than the date could handle.  Turned off, you better believe it!  Maybe now I have a bad attitude toward men in general, whatever the case I am happy right where I am.  If I meet someone and there is an interest on each end then I am up for the start of the process.  If it takes a quick turn and I get turned off then that is that.  If however there is a spark, we have a lot in common and we laugh a lot, I think there is potential.

I am for the first time in my adult life completely comfortable with being single.  I can take care of myself, I don’t have a lingering loneliness, I don’t need to be in a relationship to feel complete, I don’t need someone to validate me and I am not sitting around waiting.  I am living my life, doing things I love to do, making new friends and loving the life I have created.  If the right guy comes along…and I know someday he will, he will NOT complete me because I know I have already done that!  But he will compliment my life, he will make me smile when I think about him, he will laugh with me and be open with his thoughts.  I will be proud to talk about him to my friends and I know that he loves me for who I am not only on the outside but who I am on the inside!  Keep laughing those of you who doubt, I have seen it and I believe, life is short and there is still so much more to do, why not be patient and happy!