Taking A Leap

Some of the people I admire include Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) and Cheryl Strayed (writer of Wild). I love their boldness and their honesty. When Ir had their writing, it seems like I know these women. Maybe because I recognize a little bit of myself in them.

I have never done the things they have done. I’ve never been married and suffered through a divorce. I’ve never had a drug problem. And yet there is something relatable about these women that went through hell.

We have all been through hell. Right? We all have our stories and our baggage. We know that life has ebbs and flows and that we have to push through those rough patches to get to the other side. We all turn to something in those times – whether it is prayer to God or to substances or to relationships that don’t serve us. Yeah, I’ve done that.

These two writers speak to me at a gut level. A level that says “I know you and I see you. I am you.” There is a part of me that is just like them, and I think that is why I love their words so damn much.

When I go through a breakup I re-watch the Eat, Pray, Love movie with Julia Roberts on nightly repeat. I find comfort in different parts of that movie depending on where I am on a particular day. Maybe I need to solace of the moments at the Ashram in India and I need to heard Richard from Texas’s wise words. Maybe I need to know that it is ok that things don’t work out with the hunky younger guy and we need to be ok with letting go. I need to know making mistakes is part of the game. Sometimes I need to know that people get a hunkier, older and wiser guy in the end. Whatever it is, I need the comfort.

And Cheryl Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things is my forever book. It is the book I travel with. It is the book that I can open to any random page and read and re-read over and over and I will always feel comforted. I bought a book of quotes from her books that was signed by Cheryl Strayed herself because I wanted a shortcut to some of her written wisdom. And it felt really good. It’s a nice book.

My point is that these are stories of courage, adventure, risking everything and coming out ok on the other side. Stories of growth and travel and heartbreak and healing.

And I am having an itching feeling that I am on the verge of my own. I am having a nagging feeling that I need to let go of my apartment. I don’t know what that’s about. I don’t know why. I don’t even have a plan of where I would live if I got rid of my apartment. The answer that comes back is sort of a shrug – “Wherever. On the road.”

This is insanity.

And yet it’s not. I have also felt called to quit my job. So if I didn’t have the day job I wouldn’t have to worry about paying that monthly rent. And I have a few events in California in October and November so I was thinking about just staying out there for a few weeks.

And I would really prefer to not be here for the Baltimore winter again. I was thinking about going to Costa Rica. I could just make that a longer trip. There are a few travel things cooking in the back of my mind that seem like they would be really nice if I just extended and settled in.

Why not? I don’t have anyone to report to, I don’t have anywhere to be necessarily.

What if this is my own adventure story? What if this evolves into something else? (as all things in life tend to do) Even if it is a disaster, I will have my own story to tell. And I can always get another apartment and another job. Those things are around and available.

The fear is the thing that holds me back. But at least I can see that it is fear, and not truth. Those are two different things.

Thank you for reading through my thought process. It’s still evolving, and this is a space that helps me to do that.

Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself

I had an Arbonne business for a few years in my twenties. It was natural skin care and other health products and went into people’s homes and did skincare parties.

I learned a lot from that business. I learned a lot of skincare tips, which are fantastic. But more that anything else, I learned a lot about running a business and the importance of positive self talk.

Maybe it sounds crazy, but I have really active self-talk chatter. It is almost a constant in my brain. I have been consistently meditating for about three months now and the more I observe, the more I am in tune with the actual messages that I am saying to myself. And I need an overhaul of what I am constantly saying to myself.

I made a promise to myself if I catch myself saying “should” that whatever follows is just an obligation and I need to slow down and look at the situation. Ask myself what is compelling me to feel like I should be doing a certain thing. If I should be doing it, that means I’m not actually doing it, so why not? Why am I resisting? Why do I feel obligated?

Should is usually a spotlight on exactly what I should not be doing. Should is a silly word and usually brings guilt alongside it.

So when I was getting ready for bed last night after a date with Unexpected Date guy, I found myself will all kinds of self chatter.

“I should back off. I shouldn’t like him as much as I do.”

And immediately sirens went off. What was that all about?

And, dear reader, since I consider us to be fairly close now that you’ve seen my booty and read some of my innermost thoughts, I hope you are ok with me working through my thoughts.

Unexpected Date guy and I had just discussed that we are both ok with taking it slow, with hanging out and making out. And that’s it. He was up front about what was going on his life that made him feel like he wasn’t completely himself and he doesn’t have anything to give in a relationship. I told him where I was, and why I feel like I can’t completely bring myself to the table either.

We both felt relieved to be on the same page and to be open and honest with each other. He said he was worried about rushing into anything because he had done that before and would hate for me to “catch the Feels.” (ugh, I will be unpacking THAT phrase some other day, I really hate it)

But when I started “shoulding” at home, I realized how much I actually like this guy. Which was the opposite of “not catching the Feels.” (shudder… I need to stop writing that phrase, it really bugs me!)

Which leaves me where exactly?

One option I have would be to completely leave. To say “I like you a lot, I see where this is going. And neither of us can go down that road right now. So I’m hitting the breaks hard.”

The other option I have is to continue as we have been. I can say “I really like you. And I am willing to ride it out and be patient. Let’s be friends right now.”

But if I take a step back, that doesn’t feel true. Even just writing that I am willing to wait it out and be friends, I have a reaction in my body that tells me that I am forcing something. My body stiffens a little bit like it is bracing for an impact.

That’s not a good sign. I shouldn’t be making choices that my body is interpreting as an impact.

I suppose that leaves me with letting this fish go and throwing the bait back in the water for someone else. Which is a disappointment, yes. But I can’t blame the guy for wanting to straighten out his life. It is a bit complicated and messy and, in the end, I don’t really want to be a part of messy. So I appreciate that he is saving me from that.

And there will be someone else that is less messy and a better fit for me. I truly believe that.

An Ode to the Men of Scotland

Oh Scottish men, how you make me sigh!

You made me want to never say goodbye.

From the beginning my eye was caught

It left me feeling quite fraught.

I had not anticipated your handsome ways,

(nor did I anticipate you would all have baes).

I thought you would be modest and pale

How could I know you would better than kale?!

With your manly beards on your face

I feared I would lose all my grace.

I was impressed with high level of fitness,

It made me want to shout “Can I get a witness!?”

You each had a charming smile and lovely eyes

I could not stop staring despite all my tries.

Your suits were tailored to a perfect fit,

why don’t American men do the same with it?

I could spend all day singing your praises.

But each time one walks by it causes eyebrow raises.

How I wish one of you would propose, so I can stay

To always admire your amazing Scottish ways.

In all seriousness, meeting people in Scotland was one of my favorite things. And flirting was even better.

It does not surprise me that every Scottish man I met had a girlfriend. These girls know what they are doing. Lock down that handsome man that gets his suits tailored and knows how to treat a women well. Yes, Scottish ladies, you get yours.

I was completely unprepared for how handsome Scottish men would be. I was shocked from the first moment I set foot on the street and started to walk into town. These men would be walking towards me and I would take note of how tall they were. And then you realize they are far more fit than you would have thought (all that Scottish ale, why don’t they all have bellies? I guess the older men do, but that’s not so bad). And then the beards. Oh those beards were so manly and rugged but also well-groomed. Those were the ideal beards right there. And yes, many of the men were redheads, which is attractive to me. But many were also brunette. And then you would get very close and you would notice that they all had these clear eyes. They were hypnotizing.

I could not stop staring.

And it doesn’t help that at lunch hour and around 4:30 in the afternoon they would all come out of work in their suits. These suits were all perfectly tailored. They would have on their wonderful leather shoes and their coordinated suits and I would have to stop from turning my head as they walked by.

I had a few drinks purchased for me, I got to make-out with a handsome Italian man, and went to a nightclub for a night of dancing and flirting. So I did ok. I will tell some of those stories with more detail, because they are absolutely worth telling. But this post is to celebrate the men of Scotland and to just publicly thank them all for just existing. They exceeded my expectations.

And I suppose I exceeded my own expectations by showing up with confidence and going with the flow.

 

Off to Scotland

Hello dear readers. I will be taking a brief hiatus to take a trip to Scotland. It will be mostly a work trip. I produced a play that will be performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It has kept me extraordinarily busy, and this blog will be a big part of what I start to focus on when I return.

I hope to come back with great stories of things we created, people we met, and, who knows, maybe a dating story or two to add.

In the meantime, if you are curious about the show I created you can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBvtZoR3EwQ

Wish me luck!