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.

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“Sweetbitter”

I just finished reading the new novel “Sweetbitter.” I had seen a profile of the author in the New York Times and I was intrigued. She was my age, divorced, with a book that was coming out and everyone was buzzing.

She had worked a year in a swanky restaurant in Union Square, and the book was a fictionalized version of her experience. She was extremely knowledgeable about wine, and that is something I yearn for.

There is a part of her life I covet. Something about being that confident about picking a wine. Having a style the way that she does. She’s gorgeous, in my opinion. I was hooked.

So I got the audiobook from the library and I DEVOURED it. I couldn’t stop. The actress that read the book sounded naive and experienced at the same time. Her character work was excellent and I absorbed it all. The author was incredibly poetic. It was an experience of reading about someone that had a life that I craved but I could never see us actually being friends.

She was honest and it shone through. Whether the stories were true or not didn’t matter, it was a novel. The soul of the story was true, and that’s what I latched onto.

I couldn’t exactly relate to her experiences directly, but that wasn’t the point. It was the language. The living vicariously. The emotion of being young and naive again. The spirit of throwing yourself fully into a new experience and learning everything you can. The experience of making new friends as an adult and the dodgy terrain of dating.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I think it is definitely more for women than it is for men, but I do wonder how men would respond to it.

There was a moment that just lit me up, because finally it felt like passing wisdom from the author to me. It was a conversation between a lesbian and the narrator. The lesbian had at least a decade more experience than the narrator in work and in relationships. But she didn’t often share advice, she usually facilitated a good time. When the narrator was falling hard for the bartender (and lord knows, I could understand that) and he was obviously bad news (again, I could relate).

The conversation went like this, the lesbian spoke first.

“‘Good sex isn’t a big deal.’

‘What is?’ I asked.

‘Trust. Intimacy.”

I was driving when I was listening and I nearly pulled over. Woah. Yes. I completely agree. That is putting words to something I have been dancing around.

One of my fears is that I will never find someone as great in bed as the last guy. If I actually looked at my history, I have never had a problem finding a great lover. But I was always afraid that this was the last great one.

But… It. Is. So. Not. True. The guy isn’t the last great one, there will always be another. And it’s not even the biggest thing in a relationship. The lesbian character hit it on the nose. It is so much bigger to have trust and intimacy with your partner. The sex is great, but I would be that it will never be a constant. But trust and intimacy are things that can be built and worked on as a couple.  Those are things that can be reliable and constant.

I wanted to put that out in the universe. I wanted to put that down in writing that good sex isn’t the most important thing. The foundation, which is also the scary part for me, is the crucial, important part. It’s the part where it requires me to be vulnerable over and over. I’m willing to do that.

I was talking to my life coach last month and when she made an offhand remark about my attitude towards money, I realized that many things in my life are connected. My lack mentality around money is also very similar to the lack mentality I have about relationships.

I have a deep seated belief that money is scarce, that when I have it I squander it and there is always going to be a need that is greater right around the corner so I should feel guilty for spending it now.

It sounds something like this. “Those groceries should’ve been cheaper. What could I have cut out? I better make this stretch for a long time.” “You don’t really need that thing that will bring joy to your life. You have things that bring joy. You don’t need it. It’s probably not worth it.” “If you’re going to buy it, you better do a bunch of research to make sure you are getting the best price. You want to spend as little as possible, and use the thing for as long as possible to get the most value from it.”

And when it comes to relationships, it’s very similar. I think this is why I recycle my exes and keep trying to resurrect those relationships without searching for someone new. I think that what I had is as good as it’s going to get and that I should hang on for dear life.

That voice in my head says, “Maybe I will never meet anyone that understands me this way every again.” “Maybe I will never meet someone that I have this kind of chemistry with ever again.” “The sex is good, I better get as much as I can because you might never meet anyone that makes you feel this way again.” “Love is rare.” “Connection is rare.” “Someone who understands me and sees me for who I am is rare.”

You know how I know all these voices are lying? Because I make money every week. I use my talents at a day job and I am paid for those talents. I have people seek me out for my talents and ask me to do things and they pay me for that.

And every time I have broken up with someone, I have met someone new. Good sex is around the corner if I want it. And usually the new person I meet is an upgrade from what I had. I have yet to move on to someone new and be really disappointed. Usually the disappointment comes when I break up with that person and I go back to an ex from a while ago as an ego patch.

There is a lot of money in the universe. There is a lot of love in the universe. Both are incredibly abundant things. It is not limited. I am about to get a little woo-woo on you. Both are an energy that flows to like energy. This is how the law of attraction works. If you are putting out a clean and clear energy of abundance, abundance comes back to you.

I am working on my thinking. I have known this fact about attracting for a long time, but the patterns of thought are embedded pretty deep. I am working on clearing that out, weeding my garden of thought and getting rid of the riff raf that are not serving my purposes of growing something beautiful.

I know it’s going to take some time and some awareness. I am purposefully not saying effort because I have a sneaking suspicion that I need to let go of effort and let things flow naturally. I need to stop trying to force things, and be more in flow. I think that abundance is the natural state, and I need to get out of my own way. I think that answer is probably much easier than I think it is.

I am worthy of abundance. You are, too.

 

Tiny Deaths and Rising Like a Phoenix

 

I pray for rebirth and surrender.

Let me back up and explain. I have been talking with a life coach and in our last session she made a small comment that sparked a tiny ember that has been growing into a flame.

She casually mentioned that money is one of the areas where I have issues, back from when we first met. And I didn’t focus on that in the moment because that wasn’t what we were discussing that day but that small observation stuck with me. I was a little offended. What did she mean I have issues with money? I never said that!

And then I realized I was having a really strong reaction against her observation of something that I must’ve said, or she wouldn’t have said it. And as she and I unpacked our topic for the day, some of these stories I have about money came up, and I found that they were mostly fear based. And I have had them as stories for so long that I don’t exactly know where they started. Or how they started.

And so I did what I always do. I got a book to do some research about money stories. I chose one that had been on my shelf for ages and I never opened it, “The Soul of Money.” And it was exactly what I needed.

So I started pairing the reading with long walks so I could reflect on what I was reading and how it applied or what was coming up for me. And I started noticing all kinds of issues I have. I limit myself a lot. I constantly tell myself I can’t afford something. And I constantly spend money on things that are not aligned with my values but are convenient or seem necessary and I am often denying myself the things that do align with my values.

It’s like eating. It’s like when you finally pay attention to how your body responds to what you put in your body. I first noticed this when I was a vegetarian and would often have an upset stomach and bad acne. I realized it was caused  by those fake meatless products that are made for vegetarians as substitutes. Simple answer was I stopped eating them and bought whole foods instead and just made things from scratch.

With money, it’s like buying that Starbucks latte because I want it just because I am out shopping and would like something warm and comforting and it’s conveniently right there down the hall. But then I deny myself something like a new pair of sunglasses to replace the broken pair that I keep fixing and breaking over and over.

THIS is what the money books and blogs mean when they say cut out the latte and save the money. That is addressing the surface problem by saying don’t buy that, buy this other thing.

The real underlying problem is that you have to evaluate your values and realign your spending that way. When we detach from our values and make choices based on the moment and immediate whims. We are satisfied immediately, but get no closer to our bigger goals.

I am becoming aware that I have a lot of old habits that are like this that I would like to break. They are no longer serving me. They are misaligned from what I really want and are keeping me on a treadmill instead of walking down a path towards the goals.

I do it in money, in relationships, in my career, and in my spiritual growth. I have been hanging out with a new guy and we discussed that we both need to take things slow. This made me like him even more. So when he gave me a little bit of space because that’s what we agreed that we want, my mind freaked out. It went into Spin mode where it created all these stories that he doesn’t like me, that he doesn’t want me around, that I’m not good enough.

I pray that these old habits and old ways of thinking die a little death so that I may replace them with habits that serve my long terms goals.

Someday I do want a loving partnership. I want a career that supports a flexible lifestyle that I can fill with learning, growth and adventures. I want to have time and energy to help other people. I want peace.

If I can find a way to focus on the big things that I want and work backwards by asking what do I need to do to get what I want I will be able to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of my old habits.

I’m not saying it is easy. But it is as simple as that.

Baring It All

After my breakup in the winter, I knew I had to act fast to keep myself out of depression. As a little context, winter months are always particularly tough and I have a tendency to get some seasonal disorder. I had even had the conversation with this guy as we went into January. I told him I will probably be feeling particularly blue and to not let me make any major life changes until April.

They say when we make plans, God laughs. I see the joke, and it is a seriously twisted sense of humor.

I decided I was going to give myself something to look forward to. I wanted to feel feminine and pretty. I wanted to celebrate my body, which is curvier than it has been in a long time. I decided to invest in a boudoir photo shoot for myself. There is no better time.

I found a deal on Groupon and I am so glad I did. The company is called Three Boudoir, and right now they do photos in very select cities. I remember going through the galleries and thinking how happy these women look. How comfortable. How SEXY. And not in a cheesy posed kind of way that seems forced. They seemed like they were owning the sexy from within.

Dare I say it… it was like all these women were channeling their inner Beyonce.

So I booked a session for two months later and added on the makeup application because I am pretty clueless when it comes to that kind of thing.And strangely I didn’t feel all that nervous.

The day arrived. I took the day off from work. I’m fairly certain I blushed when I lied and told my boss I was going to DC to visit a friend that was here from out of town. I took a long, leisurely morning to get ready by painting my nails and moisturizing and loving every inch of my body. I took extra time to do my hair, despite the downpour that was happening outside. We can only control so much…

When I arrived, I was brought into makeup and that’s when I really began to feel pampered.I’m not used to fake lashes and liquid liner and shimmer. But it sure was fun.

And then they began to prep me for the shoot. I met my team. There was a photographer and what I will call a Stylist or a I’m-Gonna-Make-You-Look-Awesome Expert. But honestly, they both fed off of my energy and each other’s and it really felt like we were all in it together.

They made me feel like one of their best friend instantly. Despite the fact that I can’t remember the last time I was in panties and a bra in front of my friends. Or just a thong.

I will be honest, I went through phases of being comfortable. I spent a majority of the time in just a black thong because I really wanted to highlight my legs and back, features that I love. But every once in awhile you realize “my boobs are just… there.”

And it reminds me how much we women are uncomfortable in our own bodies. I wanted to confront that and embrace it and be all hanging out. Some poses were more awkward than others and sometimes it was a challenge to hold my tummy tight while popping my booty. But that made us all laugh which leads to more great pictures.

I laughed a lot and I left feeling like a rockstar. I left my makeup on even though it was way heavier than I was used to wearing. That glow of confidence is still with me, especially when I look at the pictures.

It was easily the best money I had spent in a long time. I would do it again in a heart beat. It has confronted some of my body hangups and now when I find myself self-hating I turn it to a laugh and remember how awesome my body is.

And I realized that one of the things we get hung up on is how we think other people think of us. And being mostly naked in front of two hot women (in my opinion!) and they embraced it and even celebrated it with me was incredibly empowering. It let me know that as long as I feel good everyone else feels good around me. My energy will feed theirs.

We should worry less, and celebrate more. That’s a New Year’s resolution I plan to keep.

And now, the photo I am most proud of. I was inspired by a photo on a woman’s blog, and maybe it will help you as well.

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Solo Traveling

Doing things alone are often one of the quickest ways I learn about myself. I have no one to hide behind, no one to distract me, no one to make decisions. There is no one to lean on when I get lost or lonely. Just myself.

I’ve traveled alone and gone to the movies, dinner, concerts, the bar, social events and parties, and weddings alone.  Most of the time I do not let my lack of a date stand in the way of doing what I want. I could be waiting forever if I always waited for a guy or a friend to agree to what I want to do (and have the time!). For a long time it was empowering to do what I wanted to do without asking anyone, it’s definitely freeing to not be relying on anyone else.

And now I’ve been doing it for so long, I take for granted how cool it is. Until I went on vacation alone in San Francisco.

I had an amazing time exploring this city that felt new and exciting. I loved just about everything in this city, most especially because it was a lot like Baltimore, my hometown. I liked that it was accepting of everyone’s individuality. I stayed in an Airbnb in the Mission District, which is felt so hip and funky I was a little bit of an outsider.

When I go out alone I rely heavily on Yelp to find places that the locals go to. And when I am feeling particularly adventurous I like to do drinks and an appetizer at one place, dinner somewhere else and then dessert in another different place. I did this twice in San Fransisco, and how could I not with so much delicious food everywhere?

On one night that I went restaurant hopping, I found myself in this funky bar that reminded me of one of my favorite dives in Baltimore. I loved chatting with the bartender who seemed charmed by my willingness to not only go to a bar alone (without any intentions of picking up a man) but to also travel alone. But one can only talk to a bartender for so long because, as enchanting as I am, eventually he gets busy.

I had a phenomenal time, and I went home at the late hour of 9:30pm, before the night’s festivities of Wheel-of-Death karaoke even got started. I was tired, and didn’t want to have anymore to drink. Plus, as a solo woman traveler that walked to the bar in an unfamiliar place I wanted to have my wits about me when I walked home.

I went to my gorgeous Airbnb and watched a few episodes of Girls and went to sleep completely happy. But I had a conflicting feeling that I was missing out on the nightlife of this great city. I justified it as I was making the safe decision. And it’s hard to meet people at a club or even pick the right club when you don’t have friends with you to make it fun. Plus I like to go to bed early, so I would be sleepy if I went out.

Isn’t it funny the way we want things we can’t have? I don’t even like nightlife. When I am home, I prefer spending a Friday night with Netflix and a glass of wine compared to a night out on the town. And when I am traveling I would much rather spend an entire day walking and exploring neighborhoods and local charm and be completely tired when 9pm rolls around.

So it is strange to me that the only regret I hold is that I didn’t go out more. EVEN THOUGH I DON’T LIKE IT.

I don’t pretend to make sense. It’s just how I feel. Conflicted.

I am working through letting go of expectations. Somewhere there is an expectation that when I travel I need to hit all the important experiences: walk local neighborhoods, eat like the locals, check out the bar/nightlife scene, do the quintessential experiences for that city. And somewhere I think I should play into the stereotype that as a young, single woman I should be out partying and making tons of friends and dancing in a nightclub until 1am. But that’s just not who I am.

I like being up early. I like not being hungover on vacation. Maybe I find a yoga class or going for a run. And I just have to let go of this expectation in my head that I have to be and do all the things and be someone that I’m really not.

I’m about to do another solo trip to the Berkshires in Massachusetts this weekend. I have a friend working there for the summer and I will get to see her a little bit, but I am mostly alone. Which is exciting. There is really no nightlife to speak of in the Berkshires, so that inner conflict won’t be a problem. But I can still practice letting go of my inner expectations of who I am supposed to be when I am traveling on vacation and I can just enjoy my time doing exactly the things that I want to do.

I Spent My Birthday Alone and I Feel Fine

As I approached my birthday, I told one of my dearest friends that the only thing I did not want was to be alone.

I had a rough breakup this year. I had hoped it was the kind of relationship that meant I would never spend a birthday alone again. Looking back, I can see that was never going to be the case, but at the time that is what I thought.

I don’t even think I could articulate why it was so important that I wasn’t alone. I was afraid of some kind of bad luck charm that would curse my year. Or if I didn’t have a momentous birthday it would reflect on who I am. There was some story I made up in my head, and I wasn’t even sure of what it was or what the root of the story was.

So this friend said that she would gladly celebrate with me and we made some plans for drinks. And then things went awry and she had to be in the hospital. I told her that I would love to come and just be with her.

And then it was the morning of my birthday I was thinking about the idea of being alone and I started feeling anxious. And when I felt that anxiety, I knew that was exactly what I had to do.

I had to confront this feeling of “I can’t be alone.”

I wish I could say that I loved being alone. I didn’t. But I didn’t hate it. I didn’t die. The Facebook messages saying “happy birthday” continued to roll in. Which felt ironic in a way. All these people that were sending me wishes and here I was sitting alone.

I picked up some delicious and fresh eggplant parmesan from the nearby market and my mom had made me an individual sized cherry pie the day before and I saved it for my birthday. That was lovely. I had that with a nice big glass of wine and The Queen’s Code. And I ended the night writing reflections and goals for my year ahead and also purging some things that I no longer needed.

While these are activities that I do love doing and I needed to do them, it’s not exactly how I wanted to spend my birthday. I would have rather been out with a friend talking about our lives over margaritas.

But the fact that the idea gave me anxiety was a strong enough reaction that I couldn’t ignore it. I couldn’t NOT do the thing that scared me that much. And one thing I want for the year is to confront these stories I am clinging to and prove to myself that they are just made up and worthless. Spending a birthday alone does not mean that your year will be less than. It is not bad luck. It does not mean people don’t care about you.

The one treat I gave to my self was a massage. The muscles in my back are a tight and a stubborn mess. He had to do a lot of work, and it’s probably just scratching the surface to fix those problems. It was not comfortable or relaxing. I did a lot of deep breathing to let oxygen into the muscles as he really worked. It was uncomfortable but I definitely stood taller with less pain in my normal places, and I can see the benefit after just one uncomfortable session.

It was exactly what I needed.

And at the end of the solo birthday experiment, there were no major revelations, no earth-shattering breakthroughs. But, it didn’t kill me. It didn’t mean I like myself less. Or that people don’t care about me or don’t want me around. It doesn’t mean that I am less important or that I am going to have less of a great year.

In fact, I think it may point to the opposite.Like the massage, the more willing I am to be uncomfortable the more I am able to grow and stretch. And that is what I am all about. Growth. Becoming the best version of myself. Becoming a person beyond what I could dream of being.

I just have to lean into the discomfort and see what is there.

 

An Unexpected Date

I did not know I was going on a date last night until 6 hours beforehand. While the idea of spontaneity and an unplanned date is nothing new, everything else around this date is completely out of the norm for me.

Here is what I am used to in my dating life: I meet a guy that I am incredibly attracted to and I think he is perfectly “my type.” I go out of my way to be available for this guy. I drop not-so0subtle hints that I am into him. I may even suggest we hang out or drop an activity that I want to go to and if he’s interested maybe we should go together. I would bat my eyes and do everything I could to look sexy and get his attention. I do all the things I think a person that is attractive is supposed to do and say. Correction- a person that is attractive to HIM.

Yes, I size up the guy immediately and diagnose what I think he wants and then I do my best to be the chameleon and become exactly that.

I realize how crazy that sounds. And believe me, I have unpacked that time and time again with my life coach and in books and morning pages in my journal. And it didn’t really click exactly why that was a bad thing until this date.

It’s funny the way that I can learn something in my head, and I can be given guidance about dating, and I can read about behavior. But then for no particular reason at all it clicked. And then to experience it everything changed.

I have been reading The Queen’s Code by Alison Armstrong, a book which I am positive I will be writing about at length because it has changed my life. I read a passage on Sunday that knocked me back in my chair and I could finally process something in my heart and body instead of truly in my head. The knowledge snack deeper and I could feel it everywhere.

I could finally let go of my past relationships. I finally understood what I had been doing wrong all along.

For me, I always picked men I was ridiculously attracted to or the ones I wasn’t attracted to at all but they checked the boxes on my “list.” And I would tend to pick men that were younger or I perceived that they weren’t fully in their own power.

(Please remember that I am bringing my demons into the light and being honest. I realize that things don’t sound perfect and I am not trying to be perfect. I am trying to be human and honest. Know what I mean?)

I liked controlling and manipulating because that I meant I could get what I want. For a little while. I traded long term potential happiness and fulfillment for short term satisfaction.

I see the error in my ways. And I see the major benefits in giving up control.

I made a commitment to myself. I would rather be alone than to force something. I am committed to not forcing anything. To receive. To trust.

And that’s what made this date radically different. So different I don’t even know how to answer the question “How did it go?” Because I don’t know! My old gauges for what made a good first date have gone completely out the window!

But I know that I like the guy. I like what I heard, I like how he behaved and I am curious to learn and know more. And if he didn’t feel the same way, that’s ok. I felt like I was very honest, very much myself and I truly would not want to be with someone that didn’t like my honest, true self.

And I feel no need to manipulate or control the situation. I feel like I can go with the flow and see where I am guided.

This feels fun!

In Defense Of The Crazy Girl

I normally tend to play things cool. Almost too cool that people sometimes don’t know how I am feeling. Not that it works for me all the time. But I don’t go off the handle, I don’t scream and pick fights, I rarely ever lose my shit. I have my shit contained and it stays that way. Most of the time.

But damn, sometimes I wish I was the crazy girl. Sometimes I wish the girl that made guys a little nervous. “What’s she going to do?? I just don’t know! I better be on my best behavior!”

I think a lot of men are attracted to a little crazy. Gosh, I don’t just think that, I know it. I’ve dated many men that look back  at past relationships and say “I don’t know why I stayed so long, but it was so exciting.” I have also heard men admit they were afraid of what would happen when they would break up so they delayed breaking up.

So crazy keeps the girl in a relationship a little bit longer even though he is a little afraid of her. Sounds like horrible advice actually when you put it that way.

So I am not saying that the crazy girls are on to something when they keep people afraid of them. That is no way to live your life. In fact, please don’t take any of this as advice, that someone should behave like a crazy person in order to be happy or to have a successful relationship. But the authenticity that those people have- that they are a live wire that could go off at any moment, IS exciting and who doesn’t enjoy being around energy like that?

I think to some extent a lot people seek excitement. Especially in romantic relationships. They think that feeling of excitement, that spark, that jump in their stomach is the sign of a good relationship. It’s really just uncertainty. It’s drama. People love that stuff.

I know I am guilty of it too. I am guilty of creating drama in my head when there isn’t any in my real life. I am pretty good at getting myself worked up over nothing, just to create some feelings of excitement. The crazy girl does that naturally.

When I worked with an acupuncturist I learned a lot about the different types of people. He studied elemental acupuncture, which focused on the primary and secondary elements naturally present in each individual. There are lots of websites that explain 5 element acupuncture, but the ones that jump out at me that would be associated with a metal or firey person.

Even for someone that doesn’t know anything about acupuncture can see why a person with the element of fire would be a little dramatic and prone to anger. A metal person is incredibly sharp. I know when I imagine and picture metal I see sharp edges, perfectly polished and shiny sheets. I would imagine that combination would bring about someone that is definitely willing to let go and fly off the handle without caring what other people think.

My primary elements are earth and fire. Earthy people are extremely compassionate and feeling and sensitive. I think that side of me prevents me from being overly dramatic and crazy. But maybe I should tap into that more. If it is there, I should not hold it back. Maybe I should explore it and see if there is any truth in that feeling. It is easy if a person has mental elements because they don’t particularly have the same level of compassion and empathy for others, they are who they are unapologetically and they don’t give a shit what anyone thinks.

Maybe there is something to be learned from the attitude of not giving  a shit about what people think and I should just go with the feeling. If I feel a little crazy, I should let myself be a little crazy. Why not? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe I find it is as fun as it looks.

Or maybe I find it feels completely unnatural and inauthentic and I abandon it and go back to how things have been.

What is most important is that I follow my feelings. There is truth in my feelings, and I shouldn’t deny them. I shy away from the label of crazy because it seems like such a negative thing. But it doesn’t have to be negative. And there are far worse things that could be said about someone.

So maybe crazy girls are on to something, honesty. Which is funny, because I am also writing about The Cool Girl, which is completely about being dishonest. To be continued.

 

Am I Sticking to Friendships Because it’s Safe?

Here is my question for you that I am dealing with right now: As a straight woman, should I complete the healing process by jumping back into dating or should I stay in the warm cocoon of female friendships a bit longer?

Everyone says that when you are going through a breakup you should spend lots of time with your friends- surround yourself with people that love and support you, Ok, good advice. Will do.

But what do you do when that feels more like a really cute shoe that is perfect for the outfit but doesn’t quite fit right? Maybe I should share my experience this weekend to put this into perspective.

I haven’t been ready to start dating again. I tried, but I had no interest in making any effort for dating. It’s not that I kept thinking about the ex, it’s just a total and complete lack of interest. So I haven’t tried to meet any new guys. Until Saturday, when I volunteered at the Maryland Brewers Harvest festival. It was testosterone central. Half the men were married or with their wives, but the others were there with their buddies. Had I known I wouldn’t have worn just my glasses and a T-shirt. I didn’t actively flirt with many of them, just one or two (I couldn’t help it myself).

brewers-harvest-logo

This all felt good. This was such a nice boost. I actually stayed well past the end of my shift because I was having such a great time. Then I went off to spend the weekend with my sorority sisters to celebrate our chapter’s 75th anniversary. I thought this would be perfect- lots of girl time! Yay! Right?

Until I found myself surrounded by girls 6+ years younger than I was, with none of the girls that I knew in sight. I was so uncomfortable. I felt old and tired and like i had done too much day drinking to actually have fun at a college bar.

Sorority sisters from classes in the 50s all the way to current students. Sisters for life, right?

Sorority sisters from classes in the 50s all the way to current students. Sisters for life, right?

Our morning brunch felt much better. I was surrounded by the girls that I thought were so cool and silly, the ones that I liked so much that I decided that being their sister would be such fun. And then I realized that I never made much effort to be their friends because I was so busy with the theater and I thought that they already had a group of close friends. But now, now we’re adults and we can hang out. Many of us said we should get together and talk more often. So why not?

It was a strange weekend. What I thought would make me happy didn’t really, and what I thought would be just to help out a cause was more uplifting than I thought. I want to build some stronger friendships with some of these girls, but do I want this because it’s safe? Is it because I am too afraid to put myself out there with a guy and risk getting hurt again?

Have you ever felt this way?