Some Days You Got It, Some Days You Don’t

I also thought about calling this post “When It Rains, It Pours.”

When I date, it always goes in the same way. I have these spurts where I am dating a few guys at once or none at all. At the height of my dating frenzy in the last two months, I was dating five guys.

Let me be clear. This is highly unusual for me. In the past, it has been usually two or three guys with an obvious front runner. My friends call it the totem pole of dating. Someone is clearly on the top, someone in the middle and someone on the bottom. It sorts itself out that way sooner or later.

And while I would say that I am closer with some of the five than I am with others, I would have a really hard time ranking them. I have somehow stumbled into a plethora of smart, funny, handsome, mature men. Like I. Said the magic word, and poof! They all appeared!

I suddenly understand the song “It’s Raining Men.”

I am not complaining, just marveling at this unusual occurrence. What have I done to please the karmic gods? I will keep doing it!

This is what I love about being single. I really do enjoy dating. I love getting to know new people. I love hearing their story, I love the fluttering butterflies in my stomach that lead up to our hands touching for the first time or to those first great kisses. I love learning what makes someone tick.

i am like this everywhere in my life. I don’t mind parties where I don’t know anyone. I enjoy networking! I am comfortable traveling alone and striking up conversations with strangers.

Maybe I just really enjoy the thrill of the new.

Or maybe I just got really good at it because I had to.

I have been single for a long time. Yeah, I have dated a lot of guys but very few lasted longer than five months. My last long term boyfriend was six years ago. I don’t know if I can count the on again-off again fella that I keep in touch with because he lives out of state. I’ve kept that going for seven years and we still love each other’s company. But that’s not the kind of long term relationship I am referring to.

At some point after that break up six years ago I wanted to be really independent and confident. I wanted to explore and try new things, so I did. It took me down new paths of self discovery and I made a lot of new friends. Some of those paths were really winding and led me away from who I really am, and I think I got confused and I was meeting all the wrong guys.

I didn’t realize this at the time, though. At the time I figured a relationship wasn’t in the cards, so I better get good at being alone. So I did. I got real good. I mastered that shit. I go to movies alone, I vacation alone, I book my weekends with babysitting and dog sitting gigs because I am not waiting around for someone to call. And I embraced the glory of a weekend in, alone.

I went through long dry spells alone, and then a flurry of dates would happen at once. And I had fun both ways. When I was alone, I was cool with it. It was rare for there to be a night spent pining wishing I was with a date. If that happened, I called a girl friend and we hung out. And when I had a date, I would get all girled up and excited for the possibilities.

I guess I would just go with the flow.

But here’s the catch. I never felt really in control. I just made the most of my circumstances. Like I was dealt and hand and I had no say in things.

Now I don’t believe that is true. Maybe that is what has led me to my string of good luck. I make my own luck.

I have learned when I need to be alone, when it need time and space for myself and my friends. In those times, I typically stay closer to home. My friends and I have intimate dinners and catch up by going on young walks. When I am ready to start going out and meeting new people, we head to bars or invite large groups to dinner so new people can mingle and meet each other.  I try new hobbies.

But it’s bigger than that. It’s about keeping an awareness of yourself when you are out in public. I make an effort to look good when I go out by smiling. Yup, I usually make sure my clothes are presentable and I generally go out with a simple tinted moisturizer and mascara look. But I look so much happier and more approachable when I smile.

Smiling, making eye contact and being generally pleasant keeps me open to new possibilities. I try to be clear about what I need and I what I want and then I seek it out. And in think it must be an energy that I put out that signals to men, and to the universe, that it am ready for them to bring it on! Let’s play ball, I’m ready to roll.

And lately, with this recent group of guys that I can’t seem to work into a totem pole, I am deciding to enjoy them individually for who they are. I am not comparing. I am taking the good qualities and encouraging more of that. Normally, I would focus on the negative and use it as an excuse to run. But I am flipping the script. One guy is extremely discerning with choosing food and wine, almost to the point of being picky and a tad snobbish. But you know what, we have awesome meals and drink amazing wine so let’s do more of that!

One guy is sweet and humble, I would normally be afraid of stomping all over him. But instead I nurture that and have simple, quiet evenings in his company.

I am taking stock of what I’ve got and rolling with the best of it. I don’t need to be in a relationship right now, I don’t know if I could handle that. But dating a bunch of men and enjoying the best of what they have to offer? Boy, that’s a lot of fun.

Besides, I have the best theme song ever:

How The Alchemist Deepens My Relationships

Have you ever had a book that you felt completely understood you and spoke to you so deeply that you felt like it had to be written to explain your perspective? Yeah, that’s kinda deep for an inanimate object, but sometimes I feel like books understand me better than people do.

Maybe this is what happens to daughters of librarians. We feel like books are our friends.

I never have it much thought until I had a boyfriend say he understood me better after reading a book I lent him. It was The Alchemist. Actually my college boyfriend introduced me to the book, and I have always felt like that was one of the best relationships I ever had. It helped me grow as a person, I opened my eyes to so much more of the world and what my role could be in it. He was my first love. So it feels appropriate that this book is so important.

That college boyfriend was leaving to study abroad in Morocco. He night before he left he read me passages from that book about chasing dreams, trusting in love and destiny, and seeking adventure sometimes without really knowing why. He highlighted those passages which I can now almost recite by memory. He left the book with me to read over and over while he was gone. He knew he was going to do big things with his life, and he knew that loving him meant that the woman would be putting up with a lot.  We broke up eventually. Not because of Morocco. Maybe that story is for another day. But he and I are still friends, I feel like a piece if my soul will always be entwined with his, and a big piece of my soul is in The Alchemist.

If you haven’t read The. Alchemist, now is the time. It’s a gorgeous book, and a quick read. It’s advertised as a fairy tale for adults. I suppose it is, because it is about chasing our dreams no matter what the obstacle, and it is about faith and love. These are some of the major themes that Paulo Coelho explores is his books, and probably why I love them so much. I yearn for adventure, love and faith. His books feel like my soul is speaking to me in words I didn’t know that I knew all along.

I was on a date recently with a guy and we were talking about a topic that he felt passionately about and mentioned his favorite book was Catch 22. He spoke about Catch 22 the same way I speak about The Alchemist. So we swapped books, maybe so we could understand each other better.

Is that what relationships are all about? Getting the opportunity to glimpse someone’s soul?

I know I don’t lend that book out to most people I date. For starters, I had one hell of a time tracking down the cover edition that my college boyfriend had, it is much more like artwork than the current sandy desert cover. The art felt important to me. I didn’t underline the passages because so much of that book is important to me, some of those phrases aren’t as important as they once were. And sometimes other parts jump at me. I think that book morphs into what I need it to be when I read it.

I’m reading Catch 22 now, and it’s the first time I’ve read it. It’s hilariously dark, and yeah it does help me understand him better. Funny how that happens. Maybe this brings us closer, maybe it doesn’t. I think it honestly scared off the last guy I gave it to (I’m very idealistic, I think that engineer boyfriend got intimidated by it).

Do only have a book or a song that speaks to you? Do you feel attached to something like that, and it lets people understand who you are without you having to say a word?

T.G.I.F: A Friday of Grateful Feelings

I know how hard it can be as a single woman. I don’t know about you, but sad moments can feel really big. I allow myself to feel those, but I tend to brace myself for the worst more often than not. This doesn’t prepare me for the worst, instead it dulls the joyful moments. I am worried the joy won’t last, so I don’t embrace it and feel it fully. I wait for the other shoe to drop, bracing for the bad news around the corner.

Well, that’s life. The joy and the pain are entwined. The inevitability of pain someday doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t enjoy the happy moments.

I am currently reading Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection. It’s my favorite  book of hers so far, but I think I say that about all her books while I am reading them. She was describing a practice she has on Fridays at her blog where she writes about moments that she is grateful for. I found this to be an inspiring thought. So I decided to bring you my own TGIF.
Here is my list of things I am grateful for today:

– Great music, my favorite radio station WTMD (you can stream it live online atwww.wtmd.org if you like independent radio stations!) always seems to have e perfect soundtrack for my life. As I started this post, the song playing was titled “Joy.” How’s that for a coincidence?
– Wonderful friends, near and far. A dear friend of mine is moving to Montana, and we hung out last night. It was a silly evening, many drinks were consumed, and there were a lot of laughs. I stayed out too late, walked more on a injured toe than I should have. But I wouldn’t trade that time with my friends for anything. They lift my spirits.
– My health. I bruised my toe really badly this week. Thank goodness it was just a bad bruise, and not a break. But hobbling around this week made me realize how hard it is for people that may have to deal with disabilities permanently. Some people have been very kind to offer help when they see me hobbling, and it is appreciated. I am lucky that this is temporary.
– My parents. I have had a few set backs recently, and when I sat down to reflect a little I realized that my parents taught me to believe I could do anything I wanted if I worked hard enough. They told me to not be afraid, to go after what I wanted, and to do it with confidence. If I didn’t have those principles instilled in me, I don’t know where I would be right now.
– Sunshine! Spring is finally arriving in Maryland. It is still chilly sometimes, but the sunshine makes me so happy. I spend as much time outside or near windows as I possibly can. It’s the small things that make a big difference for me.

That’s my list for this week, and the practice of writing this has made me feel happier this morning. Maybe it will help you too. What are you grateful for today? Leave your list in the comments and maybe it will make you smile!

Honest Check In Moment And Learning What I Want

I had a check in moment last night.

Here I am, writing about being a single gal and professing to live my life and that everything is fabulous. And I don’t need a man in my life! And it doesn’t matter what age I am, the right relationship will come at the right time!

And last night I was out with one of my best guy friends telling him about the guys I have been dating/hanging out with. Not one met his standards for me. He asked me why I’m doing this, why am I putting up with guys below my standards.

First off, I disagree with him. It’s too early to say the guys aren’t enough. I am going to attribute his sweeping conclusion to the many cocktails he had been drinking. And also because a person can only judge others from their own experiences. He’s been dating the same girl since college and has had his own share of trials in a relationship. So perhaps he just wants someone that is as crazy about me as he is about his girlfriend.

But secondly, I had this moment where I got a little choked up. I whined a little. ” I’m thirty. When is that significant relationship going to come along?” He argued I have many significant relationships but that wasn’t what I meant. I meant that central romantic partner relationship.

It feels like everyone else has it figured out and has settled down. Why not just enjoy these guys for what’s it’s worth right now? I don’t think about spending my whole life with them, I think about enjoying the time I have with the person that they are.

On occasion, I will admit, I will wish for what they aren’t or fantasize about a future that hasn’t even happened yet.

But I still want that romance in my life. It felt like such a weak, vulnerable moment. It was a “why me?” kind of moment. It was a little pity mixed in with a little bit of truthful desire.

I know that the first big problem is that I should stop judging myself. Secondly, I need to be clear about what I really want.

What is it that I desire?

  • Someone that wants me around, that wants to include me in their life. That wants to share things with me.
  • Someone that accepts me and loves me unconditionally.
  • Someone to do special things with, and to do not special things. ( go to events but also just cuddle and watch a movie)
  • To feel romance, someone is thinking about me.
  • Comfort, ease around the person.
  • Passion
  • To feel understood and completely accepted
  • To laugh and have fun.

 

The hard part about being single is living up to your own expectations, and not someone else’s. It’s about being clear on what you need and what you want, and not being influenced by someone else’ experiences. It’s your single gal experience. Stick to your guns.