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Love-volution

Originally penned/pubished:  Jan 29, 2016

 

I’m so grateful to have so many different varieties of people in my life. I have a very varied friend-group, colleagues, acquaintances, people I know who live far and I don’t see but I love and connect with somehow…

Someone once made a comment that I had a very varied group of friends.

Then later said, “you are a combination of your 5 closest friends” – which I think is quite true.

But I think beyond your inner circle those you keep around you still say a bit about who you are, what you admire, who you can sometimes be, and maybe what you might grow into…

I’m writing this because I recently realized how much I really cherish effort. I have been, y’know, sorta-kinda-somewhat-maybe-not-entirely-but-almost-kinda-seeing-someone-and-maybe-it’ll-never-be-serious-but-I-think-we’re-both-learning-here… type thing.

And loving the learning process without any kind of pressure. This someone is very different for me. My friends have noted. And they’re right. The someone can sometimes be abrasive, brash, totally un-PC (not that I always am by any means tho…), blunt, crass… y’know, all the best things, lol

(I actually quite appreciate these qualities, even if all of my friends don’t, but anyway…)

This someone is certainly not perfect right. But is anyone?

One thing I noted to my friends the other night though was effort.

I find it funny that despite the critique that 1 or 2 of my friends have shared of the someone, that the someone has genuinely put in more effort into our non-relationship than my last ex ever did in almost 1 1/2 years. This is a someone who isn’t necessarily committed, right? A someone who is moving clear across the country like… in 2016 sometime. A someone who, who knows?!

But a someone with who we’re just enjoying each other, whenever. And learning too, along the way.

But man… effort man… Effort.

My last ex – many would say is probably one of the nicest men they have ever met. And he is. Genuinely kind and good hearted. Wouldn’t hurt a fly unless it was a zombie-fly trying to eat the brains of one of his loved ones…. you know…

But kindness can only take you so far. I know this. I often say, “there’s never anything wrong with being

nice'” – a phrase my Dad once told me years ago, that I’ve kept because, well, he’s right. Even if you don’t agree with someone, you can still be nice.

But relationships require more than ‘nice.’

And I think I’m learning how much ‘nice’ matters. And how much compared to other things.

I think I pick hard work and effort any day over ‘nice.’

(I’m from Massachusetts. We’re not always nice. But we do work our a**es off.)

So, I’m grateful for effort. For work. The hard work. The not-sexy kind of work that people do every day to accept others, to learn others, to become better versions of themselves and to try and understand folks who might not be just like them.

I’m grateful to myself and my open mind, that I’m willing to give aa chance to someone who wouldn’t seem like someone I’d normally date or ‘not-date-but-chill’ or whatever…

There are so many different forms of value. So many ways that can be valued by all of us. If we are willing to see…

I’m grateful I can see that.

Here’s to not keeping love out, for all the yielding that would take…

To practicing love and increasing joy, wherever you can find it.

And to finding it nearly everywhere.

Women Weren’t Made for Pedestals and Men Should Stop Building Them

Originally penned/published:  Jan 26

This dating thing is obnoxious, so I just keep leaving.

A male friend asked me the other day, “So why do all these men keep idolizing you?”

I got frustrated and replied, “I HAVE NO IDEA!!!”

And its largely true.

I don’t get it, and I don’t really have to I suppose, I just don’t like it. It’s ridiculous. It’s not real.

It makes me wonder what their intentions are in dating. Are there people out there just looking to idolize?

While that may not be a conscious intention, I think too many folks don’t take dating and relationship building seriously.

You cannot get to know someone if you create as fantasy version of them in your head.

And that sh*ts obnoxious.

Recently I’ve tried catching a few of them in the middle of their daydreaming of me (I can see it!) and halt them to tell them that this happens a lot and warn them to stop.

It’s yet to work.

People do what they will.

So I just keep leaving.

I need stronger men.

But if I’m being honest, I have been there myself. Idolizing a man. Removing any sense of individuality, peculiarity, anything disagreeable from him with my magic idolatry stick… And y’know what, that sh*t doesn’t last. It feels good in the beginning, right? You’re all caught up and swept away by the sheer glory of this uber-human-unicorn-person, I mean it feels GOOD to idolize someone.

And y’know what else: It’s easy.

Whether it’s born out of the desire for easy or it just happens as a result of not paying attention, being ripe for a daydream and getting swept away.

It’s still easy yo.

And ‘easy’ makes me sick.

Not that I’m looking for hard just…. genuine.

I wonder if maybe at various times in our lives we are ripe for idolizing or ripe for being idolized… And do we have a degree of control over either one?

Are there things I could do or halt to avoid being idolized?

I don’t know.

But I’m not sure I’m open to all that. I love myself, I enjoy myself, I have fun. I’m not going to stop that.

I will keep thinking on this but… if you’ve got suggestion, I’m listening, on how to keep a person from idolizing you?

Cuz this sh*ts annoying dude.

I’m just gonna keep leaving…

It's Not That Difficult, You're Just Doing It Wrong

Originally penned/published:  April 29, 2013

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ll begin with a bit of dialogue between myself and a colleague on Friday:

“Marriage is difficult.”

I nod my head, “So I hear.”

“No, it’s really, REALLY DIFFICULT.”

Nod head some more, “Okay.”

I have never been married. Fair enough. But I have a very close example in my life of two people who are married and who are gloriously happy. Granted, it’s not perfect. Nothing ever is. It is not a dream-sequence. But its good, damnit. REALLY good. And I’m sure it took work. Still TAKES work. But growing takes work. And I definitely know all about that.

My concern here was the tone in his voice and the persistence in his speech. Yeah, I get it. Marriage is hard. So I’ve heard. Yep. But we all know that. You knew that going in! Anyway, he proceeds to tell me about his schedule. How he used to travel twice a month and since he’s been married (which, I believe is somewhere between 9-12 months) he’s only been away twice. I, personally, think that’s striking and I wonder why he hasn’t been away more.

He continues with, “It takes compromise. Sacrifice”

I nod. I know this.

But he says these like they’re REALLY SERIOUS things. Like… like maybe he’s compromising or sacrificing too much. Perhaps he is? I think about the travel. Sure, I imagine when one marries they may need to make changes. You lose a little bit of the freedom you once had. And especially when there’s a child involved. But, generally speaking, I think as individuals we ought to watch HOW MUCH we compromise and what things. There are some things you must maintain for your sanity. Emotional health. For your overall well-being. Those things, I would argue, are not really compromise-able. A healthy and happy Joe Black, single, is better than an unstable, overworked, exhausted, and stressed-beyond-belief Joe Black, married.

I would also argue that we’ve gotta watch out for our people. Our friends, family, and most definitely lovers or partners, to ensure that they’re still healthy post-whatever life changes they’ve made. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re unhappy until we’re already there. But as friends, family members, and yes, even as someone’s lover or partner, we can realize when they’re not happy. And we have to have the confidence and the trust and the better judgement, and damnit, the maturity to share our observations. And then the willingness to RE-compromise, renegotiate really, if things aren’t working well for both parties. And be okay with it. Use it as a growth opportunity.

Growing is good. It hurts. But it’s good.

You cannot compromise the things you love. They must be incorporated.

 

And sooooooo you all know how I feel about dating. I think it’s f*cking stupid. At least the typical American style of dating.

It’s dumb. Really. No, no really. It’s really, really dumb.

lol

And here’s why. It’s because it has “roles.” And people actually subscribe to that and then become them, own them… I mean, are we in a play now? Is this a movie? You = doorholder/payer (sometimes) and your role is to impress me. Be kind, seem strong, give the impression that you’re financially stable or perhaps “well-off” if you so feel. You should be reasonable and even tempered…

And then here’s me: I’m sweet. Docile. I wear a dress. I let you open doors. I am agreeable, supportive, pretty….

Ugh.

Have you ever heard of anything SO BORING????

Are we supposed to just pretend like we’d be the perfect wife or husband??? Give me a break. No wonder why there’s this “honeymoon period” in so many American relationships. BECAUSE EVERYONE’S PRETENDING!!!

F*ck that.

So why am I bringing this up again?

So I recently started “seeing someone” – you could say – orrrrr however you wanna say that. It’s new, there is no title, but we shared that we’re not seeing anyone else… and so yeah. And I kinda don’t want to see anyone else. At least not at this time.

So anyway… so yesterday a friend texted me to see if I wanted to go to brunch. Or, at least I thought he was a friend. I replied that I would love to (I love going to brunch btw) but I was cooking brunch for someone already. Then I followed with the whole I’m-seeing-someone-now-so-any-future-outings-must-be-strictly-platonic…. And honestly… I liked this person. And previous outings hadn’t really been overly non-platonic. I think we kissed once. When we were drunk. Lol. But I was hoping for a strictly platonic future outing. I value this person. And I have many male friends. The male-female friend thing is not impossible at all to me, it’s quite a good reality actually. Most women make me crazy. But anyway, I was surprised to receive a message back saying, “My bad. I won’t bother you anymore.”

Jesus.

Really?

  1. You’re not a bother. If you were, I would’ve told you long ago to leave me alone, but more importantly

  2. You really have no interest in being my friend. Geez…. Wow. Thanks. (<— note the sarcasm)

So here’s my sadness to all this. When meeting people, as a single woman, I honestly approach everyone as a potential friend. (if I find out they’re legitimately crazy or just do awful, awful things… Then no. We won’t be friends.) But I approach everyone with the concept of finding out what they’re about: their visions/dreams, their goals, values, their work, integrity, their peace…. I’m always curious to learn something from someone. And so…. Man… I guess I become sad when I find out later that they did not have the same approach as I. They weren’t genuinely interested in knowing me.

I guess, though, there’s really not much of a reason to be sad, there’s just a reason to grow:  know that not everyone is or even wants to be your friend. And that the people who really want to be in your life, and the people who belong there, will be present and will stay. Everyone else…..??? They’re probably not the best for you. Have faith in that.

Okay, maybe it’s not typical American dating that I’m so frustrated with but perhaps the typical American…

So in reflection on my colleague – this morning I was thinking about his comments and his conclusion:  he whisked off to Costa Rica for 4 days, against the wishes of his wife, to rest, recuperate, rejuvenate… I also wondered why she didn’t want him to go. The man is visibly exhausted. Shoot, I wanted him to go. It’s clear he needed to get away.

And while eating breakfast this morning and listening to my best friend/roommate’s phone conversation with a supervisor, and her subsequent complaints after…. Which were a little irritating to me first thing in the morning but I listened… I thought, “maybe it’s not so difficult at all…. Maybe you’re just doing it wrong.”

I finished my coffee, breathed the irritability out and re-found my peace.

So in reflection:

Breath in.

(finish your coffee)

Breath out.

Re-find your peace.

And keep friendship first.

Be good, good people.

<3

A Sobering Series of Interactions. Kids, Even Teens, Are So Honest

Originally penned/published July 5, 2011

A month ago or so I had the kids I teach on Saturday mornings fill out notecards, anonymously, to let me know what they like about the class, what kinds of activities they want to do more of, what they want to learn, etc. One of the students took a little longer than the rest, he often does so it didn’t phase me. Then he handed in 2 cards. I didn’t look at any of them, just shoved them in my bag because even though I could probably figure out who’s was who’s, I wanted them to believe that I really wasn’t going to go through them right away and try and remember who’s was who’s. I wanted them to believe in the anonymity of it. And, really, I didn’t think it would matter who’s was who’s, I didn’t imagine any of them would have put anything inappropriate to which I’d need to follow up on.

Anyway, I got home later and looked at them. I found the 2 with the identical handwriting and definitely knew who they belonged to. One card had a list of academic/career/future related things the student wanted to get from the class, which is what I asked for. The other card read, in this exact order: “Food time / Movie Time / Group Discussion.” I laughed to myself, really appreciating this student’s sense of humor.

A couple of weeks later I met with my supervisor to discuss the direction of the program and unexpectedly he revealed a lot of detail about the kids I’ve been teaching and their lives. Now, don’t get me wrong, I never for one moment thought these kids were privileged at all. But when he told me that one of them literally doesn’t always have food to eat, a cold flooded my soul and it became stiff cement.

This was the exact student who 2 weeks prior I chuckled as I read “food time” on his card. “fuck” I thought.” How could I be so unobservant?”

Though, honestly, I’m not going to beat myself up about not seeing this because seriously, since then I’ve invisibly been paying closer attention to that student, and you know what? You’d never fucking know. He’s happy, funny, light spirited just like the others. Yeah, he’s skinny but so is another student who I’m quite positive does not suffer the same kinds of hardships. (Both parents went to college, his uncle is the Exec Director where I work… he lives in a nice house, has his own car… yeah).

It threw me. It really did. These kids are soooooo unassuming. They’re giants under the ruff. I mean it. The things they go through every day and the hard work they put in on top of it! They blow my mind out of my skull.

So I decided to ease back for the summer, lol. Do some enriching activities, stimulate their minds, but pull back on all the hardcore test-taking we’d be doing and just give them some breathing room. AND allow them to grow a little more in a variety of directions and dictate some of their own direction too. I think I owe them that at least. And they definitely deserve it.