Captive Serenity

April 29, 2006 started almost like any other day.  Except for the King sized luxurious bed I had engulfed myself in the night before.  It was a day that had seemed like it would never come but there it was.  And later before 275 of my closest friends and family, I was married, we partied and started a new life together officially.  Today, exactly ten years later, my morning started in almost similar fashion as the one a decade ago.  Except for my less luxurious Queen sized bed, my desires and needs have not changed much.  I still find myself desiring love, or should I say the right kind of love.  The most important kind, that I can’t get from anyone else except from within.

Over the course of my existence, I didn’t grow up hearing the most affirming of positive self images.  Not that my parents were not loving and kind in their own way.  I just think that maybe they took something for granted that was very delicate and still needing nurturing.  My mom’s arrogance and my dad’s ambivalence were enough to make me recognize character traits that I didn’t desire to have.  Now, at 35, I continue to struggle with confidence because it’s so dangerously close to arrogance.  Even at work, where there are some things I need to improve on and learn, my ability to do my job and do it well are things that my team acknowledge.  So much so, that I have been recognized at my last two store meetings and received $200 in gift cards for my performance.  I have a love affair with my job that I have used to replace the love affair I should be having with myself.  Interestingly enough, it isn’t that I don’t like myself.  I think if I met me on the street, we could be friends.  I’m honest, friendly and funny and loyal.  Customers come in all of the time and usually leave entertained by my antics.  Even though I am an introvert, I enjoy the connections I make with people at work and it has become a sanctuary for me when the rest of my life seems to resemble shambles.

Speaking of the rest of my life, for several months, many of my friends were worried about my mental state and I would be lying if I didn’t agree with their concerns.  I was admittedly depressed.  The worst part of it was that I couldn’t tell anyone what triggered it because I didn’t know. Part of my recent living under a rock was one part depression and one part simple inadequacy.  I’m not sure when it happened, but I sometimes feel like I don’t have much to offer.  I’m always living in my head.  In my head, I don’t have to worry about how articulate I sound.  Friendships included.  The people that love me most are always curious about my insights because they know I have an opinion or five on whatever is going on.  In this process of personal re-birth, I am so thankful for my friends that have checked in daily or weekly to help me with my confidence, awareness and try and uncover exactly when the little confidence I had evaporated.  It wasn’t a solitary experience or interaction that made me feel like a sad wet blanket.  I couldn’t even articulate it to McBeantown, which led for me to take the mindset of explaining that I wanted to dial back on our relationship a bit.  Our friendship still remains in tact and I still talk or text with him almost every day.  I just couldn’t nurture a healthy love with him when the love I continue to think I am ready for refuses to settle in my own heart and soul.  I’ve tried reaching out for spiritual guidance, read books and wonder if something really is wrong with me and my inability to love myself.  Everyone else makes it look so easy! Another thing I’m observing about others in real life and on the Book of Faces.  So much energy that I have wasted worrying about and looking at the wrong things this past year, which has only continued to delay me finishing the novel in the manner I desired.  But, all things in their own time and space.

After my last meltdown of sorts about a month or so ago, I’ve shaken off a few of the cobwebs and am in a much clearer head space.  I can honestly say, I am deserving of the love I seek  while I still work on rebuilding the fragile foundation of my self-worth.  That same foundation, was strong enough for me to leave a marriage that wasn’t working for me.  This weeks release of Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade triggered so much more in me than I was expecting.  Let’s be honest, I had zero expectations.  I can say I have seen it about five times and am still processing the imagery and messages as they relate to my experiences.  So much negative talk has been focused on the innuendo of Jay-Z cheating on Bey and while I don’t care, I felt the most important messages were that Bey actually told a truth so many Black women never have the platform to.  There was hurt, there was pain, there was re-birth and acknowledgment.  The most important image for me was the inner strength on display along with her vulnerability.  I was here for all of it.  Anger isn’t a word I would use, maybe disappointed that I’m no longer married although he clearly wasn’t the right one.  It’s hard to think he was, even if you asked me ten years ago, my answer may have been the same.  I got married for al of the wrong reasons, because I focused on the wrong thing.  I refuse to make the same mistake twice.  Now, I am working on knowing myself.  Loving myself.

Now, I am entering a realm in which I hope the relationship I so desperately desire will be worth the sacrifice. It seems to be my lot in life to love and desire emotionally unavailable men. Some days I wonder if McCoach was right about me wanting to find someone just like me. He and I have had our share of conversations these past six+ years.  While less frequently now, I still appreciate his insights and acknowledge the truth that neither him, McDad and maybe even McBeantown are the loves I desire.  I’m on the fence with McBeantown a bit but feel, it is best to be prepared to let them all go if it means that something more perfect may come along.  And while on paper and in my heart, McBeantown feels more perfect than any guy I have known, we still have the challenges of distance.  Most importantly, the ball is in his court.  If he wanted to seriously make us a thing in the future, he would make steps to do it and he hasn’t.  That hesitation makes me feel that I shouldn’t expect him to want more than what we already have.

Part of my recent living under a rock was one part depression and one part simple inadequacy.  I’m not sure when it happened, but I sometimes feel like I don’t have much to offer.  I’m always living in my head.  In my head, I don’t have to worry about how articulate I sound.  Friendships included.  The people that love me most are always curious about my insights because they know I have an opinion or five on whatever is going on.  In this process of personal re-birth, I am so thankful for my friends that have checked in daily or weekly to help me with my confidence, awareness and try and uncover exactly when the little confidence I had evaporated.

It’s day 85 since my personal hostage situation ended.  It’s been a life long battle that I have waged internally.  Mentally, never feeling good enough or pretty enough for ______.  I’m sure many of you have the self-doubt talks with yourself more times than you can count.  I usually don’t have or allow anything to counteract those thoughts when they begin to take hold.  But, I still find a way to push through and carry on.  Back to the hostage situation… I cut off about 5-7 inches of hair from my head.  The act itself was long overdue.  I scheduled it and waited.  And after the appointment, of course my biggest critic continued to criticize.  In this case it wasn’t the face staring back at me in the mirror, it was my mother.  Who still, somehow wonders why I would do something so crazy with my “long, beautiful hair”.  Well, my damaged, inconsistent hair needed TLC and chopping it was the first step to a healthier head of hair.  It’s already grown so much since that which let me know that my gut instinct was accurate although difficult to overcome.  It would be one thing if she had nice things to say other times, but for those of you that know me best, you know positive things never leave my moms lips about me.  Well, unless you count the time she did praise the novel. Or tells people her daughter is a genius at Apple.  Otherwise, silence is golden.  I’m used to it really.  Her reminding me about the biggest failures  like my marriage and subsequent divorce are par for the course.  My current mantra is to ignore the hate and negativity, get out of bed, try and inspire others, be a good friend and live my life the only way i know how.

Thanks to all of you that have been on this journey with me for several years and continue to care when you haven’t seen a blog from me in a while.  I’m still here.  Just navigating this roller coaster called life and hanging on.  Until next time, stay open, honest and loving to yourself and the most important people in your life!

 

Love & Light,

Charm

Long time, no see!

Under the watchful eye of the blood moon sky, we drove home from an amazing couple of days in SoCal. It’s been a long time since I’ve challenged myself to write and reflect on the world and my place in it. What better time than now?

I didn’t even look to see where I last was in my life when I blogged last. No matter when, it’s been months and so much inevitably has happened. I don’t know if it’s the only child in me that finds comfort in the solitary life. I thought post break up in March, that I would be lamenting about how awful it was to find myself single in yet another birthday. No gifts or anyone to celebrate me in a romantic way. No birthday sex. But, as I’m sure I’ve stated, he just wasn’t a great fit for me even though he was a nice guy. It’s crazy that I miss his sweet daughter more than I miss him. Truly the difficulty of dating men with kids that you meet and begin to love but can’t stay connected to after the relationship is dead and gone. Yet, the beauty of maturing both in body and in mind is being self-aware enough to realize when your personal puzzle pieces are misaligned.
Not sure if you all remember me mentioning McBeantown a while ago. He’s the guy I met on OK Cupid in March of last year. Even from our initial in app chats, it was just different. He used complete sentences and perfect subject/verb agreement. He was clever and witty. Articulate and confident and funny. I loved chatting with him from the moment he messaged me and that feeling hasn’t changed in a year and a half. While miles are between us, I feel closer to him than the ex that lived less than 2 miles from my door.  While dating other guys, he’s the one that I would spend most of my time thinking about and wondering what it would be like to be with him. Well, two weeks prior to our planned first meeting I got my chance when his job finally sent him to Northern Cali.   Although I was a bit apprehensive our chemistry and connection were manufactured in and therefore rooted in cyber-space I have never been happier to be proven wrong. I get to see him in again in a couple of weeks and I’m really looking forward to it!
In one of my last conversations with McCoach (yes we still talk. No we haven’t seen each other or had sex) he was saying that my blog seemed sad in general. And giving men ‘Mc’ monikers only pre destined my relationship to fail. I’ve always thought of the Mc names as a whole to maintain everyone’s anonymity while still giving me the creative ability to express myself freely. I think that conversation is part of the reason why I stopped blogging here and limited myself to be the only one in my head and privy to all of the things I think about.  Per usual, he and I disagree on that aspect but I’m hoping that by keeping things with McBeantown so close to my chest that it allows for things to develop in an organic and authentic way.  Over this time period, I’ve developed a lot of strong feelings for him and care about him very much.  Only time (and distance) will tell what will transpire net but I’m planning on maintaining a positive attitude about it. And if the off chance that it doesn’t work out, I haven’t lost a thing.  It’s not like anyone is banging down my door trying to date me.  Oh.  Well there is this one guy, but I’ve told him that i don’t feel we have any long term potential.  He’s nice and we met over a year ago too and although he lives closer and I thought we had a lot in common- including our last names (no we are not related, LOL) it’s obvious to me that the mental stimulation for me is lacking.  I can’t date anyone and feel I’m constantly initiating things.  He says he doesn’t understand why I won’t give him more of a chance since we did have fun on all of our dates but I know how I feel and how I want to feel.  Even from miles away McBeantown gets me and I love all of the things he has exposed me to and the fun we have even miles apart.
So enough about love…the only other thing that I’ve been up to is working like a maniac! Logged about 15 Overtime hours on my last pay period before I started taking vacations like the one that ended Monday.  Work hard and play harder is definitely the way I’m approaching the end to 2015.  With my promotion and raise I’m trying to take advantage of that and live my life fully.  I have four races on the books and am thinking of adding two more and if my vacation is approved in December I may meet up with McBeantown again for another trip to do something fun we both enjoy.  Life right now is good.  It could always be better but if nothing changes, nothing changes.  I’m working on remembering that and making the necessary changes to enjoy my life both in the present and the future.  I have the most amazing group of friends and was reminded of the love we share for each other and our families in all things. We’re a family.  Even though I have my only child moments and prefer isolation, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  I would never take our excursions for granted and am impressed by how things just get better with us and although you would think 7 friends in an RV for 2 days would be a nightmare, it definitely will make the highlight reel of fun adventures I still remember on my 50th birthday.
For all of the negative shit that floods our Facebook timelines and lives, it’s nice to disconnect from that and to focus on the positive and the things that we can control.  I guess my hiatus was to focus on that and instead of writing about my life I just decided to live it instead.  I plan on doing a lot better about it and am thankful to the few of you that reached out looking for me and making sure things are well! They are! It’s fall, it’s football season, it’s about to be scarf and boot weather, my half marathon is next month and I’m blessed beyond measure.  I’ll keep working on the novel edits as I have time but have decided not to stress about it.  All things will happen in their time and space.  I’m still looking forward to sharing the finished project with the word and it’s high on my list of goals.  Until the next time, remain focused on all of the blessings you have in your life and be thankful!!
Peace, Love and Happy Fall Y’ALL!!!

Love Lesson105: Playing House with Crumbling Cards

So many of you texted or called me after my last blog. I could feel the joy radiating from all of you that I was finally happy and felt that maybe I had finally found what I had desperately tried to find- a boyfriend. And while my boyfriend and I co-existed for six months, I write now reflecting on the end of that relationship. Interestingly enough, I’m the one that wanted out and more importantly, I’m just as content now than I was when I wrote my last blog.  It is apparent, I have grown and evolved and will continue to do so.

The most important thing I’ve learned from this relationship is that per usual, I was more worried about the wrong thing. I wanted a man that was into me, would be accepted by my friends and family and shared my values.  This last guy of mine is great on paper and in reality would make so many women happy. He has admitted to that fact.  But, he wasn’t genuinely making me happy.  Well not as happy as I feel that I should have been.  I keep wondering if I was in denial for the past six months thinking that just because he was a great guy, I should be content when the reverse should have been true. He should have been trying to ensure my happiness instead of expecting almost the impossible from me.

Long story short, he complained about my lack of communication, my schedule and not putting him first. Perhaps, valid points but he brought up something that McCoach has said before- I don’t have time for a relationship. I still disagree. We make time for the people who are most important to us and right now, my friends are like my soul mates and of course Cheerio is my co-pilot. I feel complete and don’t need to be defined by being in a relationship. I finally feel like I have learned the most important lesson in love. Love the only person that can know what you truly want in life. That’s me. I want to travel. I want to be active. If the perfect man comes along that shares those wants and has a drive and general zest for life and makes me laugh then I am looking forward to where things could go.  I know that the possibilities are endless.  I didn’t discuss it here or with many people, but he and I had given so much thought into having children, moving into his house and the more I thought about it- it just didn’t sit well with me.  Playing house is one thing but actually making that decision is another.  It felt as if he was being a placeholder for someone else.  My level of care for him didn’t meet the depths of my heart that I have known and felt that it should to make such drastic life choices.  The idea seemed fine, just something about him didn’t seem like it was perfect for me. Although he is a nice albeit old-fashioned and traditional man.
Yesterday, I was at Kaiser for physical therapy for my knee and my first mammogram since I was mis-diagnosed.  It was a two-fold wake up call after my morning break up that my health is totally being controlled by me and nothing else.  Not to mention that I should be taking better care of myself and since my half-marathon training I haven’t been.  Dating him, led to me being lazy because of his lack of energy or wanting to do anything active.  I need a guy that’s going to push me or expect me to get up and get going even when I don’t want to.  Especially, not having kids yet, I have no one to blame for my belly fat but me.  While at Kaiser, I was reading an article that got me thinking about approaching 35 and being a Black woman without children.
The writer totally sums up how I feel when asked if or why I don’t have kids. As if something is wrong with me.   For a long time I truly didn’t think that was in the cards for me. And that I only had to choose between being settled down or following my free spirit to wherever it may fly with someone willing to fly along. Now, I understand that I can have whatever I want as long as I am true to myself first and foremost. The author of the article states her conditions for having a kid included ensuring :  “…if I’m in a partnership where I feel respected, valued, loved and appreciated.”  Each new relationship, I feel that I get closer and closer to achieving that partnership of feeling those things and while it has alluded me thus far, I feel closer to having it and still knowing I am worth not settling for anything less than what truly makes me happiest at my core.  If I am in a relationship, a happy one, I shouldn’t be thinking about what could have been with anyone else.  That’s not ideal.  I have felt what true love is and look forward to the day that the cards and lady luck are on my side.
Until next blog, be true to yourself about the desires of your heart.  Don’t stop demanding nothing less than happiness.  Life is too short for anything else.

Healing the Queen of Hearts…

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I’m not even sure if I remember how to write. Almost more importantly it’s been interesting simply living life instead of writing about it. I won’t even try to recap you all on things that it happened since my last blog in August.  But as always a cliffs notes version shall commence.
I suppose I’ll begin with work. There was a period at work last year, where if I would have dropped dead, I would have gladly welcomed the grim reaper and thanked him for finally taking me out of my misery. Misery usually loves company but I have tried to refrain from dragging others down into the gallows with me.  When things aren’t going so great with me I retreat to my comforts of food, movies and other things that make me feel good. Working in Walnut Creek, posed a myriad of problems on my emotional well-being.  Dealing with customers and coworkers that were entitled and/or negative drained me constantly.  It’s hard to live every day being one of the only positive voices in a choir of frustration and panic. So, transferring to the other side of the bay to Berkeley has been a relief. Work life is wonderful. I was fortunate enough to even have Black Friday and Black Saturday off in November which is unheard of in retail!! I just finally feel appreciated for efforts at my job and it makes me want to continue to give my all and then some.  It hit me a few days ago driving to work that I travel through life and my day expecting certain things. I don’t expect to be in a car accident.  I expect to make it to my destination safely and I generally expect to have a good day and now for the most part I do.  Even my boyfriend has noticed the shift in my attitude since leaving the 925 for the 510.
Yup. You all read that correctly, my boyfriend. For those of you not on Facebook, or in the loop, since October, I’ve been blessed enough to be with a really amazing man. I haven’t given him a Mcname and I’m not sure that I will. We met on Plenty of Fish and hit it off really quickly.   He and I started getting closer the week of my 1/2 marathon. Yup. I did that too!! I was so excited accomplishing that goal!! I recall all of the things I wanted to blog about after I finished.  Finishing a 1/2 marathon was on last years health goal list and I did it. Joining the ranks of not only women 1/2 marathoners but NIKE women 1/2 marathoners.  It’s something that can’t be taken away from me and reminds me of how far I have come.  It left me with a few new mantras. – like thinking “you’re a 1/3 of the way there.” Or “You CAN do this” as opposed to “Bitch, you’re too fat to run!, what are you thinking?!?”  It has been Hard switching my mindset but it’s essential to stay positive to get through my days.   Taking a deep breath and living in the moment and being grateful has gotten me further than I ever could have imagined.
Just Tuesday, I tried to power through my day as best as I could but couldn’t forget that 6 years ago I received the call at my desk that I had breast cancer. Although eventually cleared after surgery, so much has happened in such a short time. I’m still in a process of healing things that I’ve lost but I am enjoying all of the new things that come with getting rid of the old. My decluttering projects aren’t only about the clothes in my closet I haven’t worn in years, but about tackling the unspoken emotional pain of loss and emptiness and being vulnerable with everyone about everything.  I’m with a man that knows about my heavy baggage and still he stands in my corner supporting me on my journey.  I’m loving building new memories with him, his daughter and his love is helping finally put me back together.  I didn’t have to settle for someone that wasn’t available emotionally.  I didn’t have to tolerate being just a sexual plaything for someone that didn’t want me as a partner.  I didn’t or shouldn’t expect to be let down by the person that’s supposed to be picking me up.  It was weird having a Valentine this year and allowing myself to feel loved from someone other than the girls, Cheerio or myself. I didn’t think it was possible to heal the Queen of Hearts but I think that it is actually happening….
Even yesterday at Kaiser, I bumped into a former student’s parent and he was telling me his son is 18 now and heading off to ASU.  When you’re not paying attention, time flies and I’m arriving at this place where I’m actually being intentional with living life and not being smothered by the expectations of what I should be doing with the cards I’ve been dealt.  When I chat with people and they ask me how I’m doing, I can honestly reply that things are going great.  I can’t complain.  Other than my de-cluttering projects (which are ongoing) I’m in a much better place than I was this time last year or in years past.  Progress has been made and although I’ve fallen off of a grid or two to get here, I love how I feel and the path in front of me seems much more attainable than it ever has.
If you’re wondering about how things are coming with the novel, I’ve joined a new writers group and am beginning the re-writes and really am still hoping to publish her this year.  Wish me luck!!
Until next time, love yourselves and do something that makes ….

Keeping up with the cyber Joneses

About three weeks ago, I was struggling with a few challenges. Well, I don’t know if “challenges” is the appropriate word since one of them included the death of someone I considered an uncle. He passed Tuesday before last after a long battle with a few illnesses. His home-going was a beautiful tribute to the wonderful man he was. And as you can imagine, it stirred up feelings of missing my dad and what his last moments must have been like. Now, my uncle knew his time was near and was surrounded by his family, pastor and favorite jazz music. In stark contrast to my dad whom I hope just died peacefully in his sleep the way I found him that Saturday morning.

Death has a way of making you rethink life. I always have to remind folks I’m not suicidal when I talk about my troubles. Just because I’m not thrilled about life doesn’t mean I’m running to slice my wrist open. Life is tough and even in the wonderful moments sometimes they can be overshadowed by other things. My aunt has understandably had a tough time. I go and see her at least weekly and call her more frequently just to say hi. She has been a great surrogate mother amongst the backdrop of women that have helped raise me alongside my own. Aside from that, she really is one of my favorite people. We can talk about anything and I appreciate and respect her world view. And although she’s God-fearing my agnostic attitude doesn’t make her think less of me or treat me strangely. I think that’s one of the reasons I try and spend as much time with her as I can. Her fears of being in her house all alone are valid given how soon it has been since her husband departed us all. Being with someone for more than half of your life has to tug at you in a way I will probably never fully comprehend. Yesterday, would have been their wedding anniversary and it’s a reminder of how hard that first year without someone you love can be. Maybe, by some strange change in circumstance or location I will have a life partner I have been yearning for to begin building a life with.

Speaking of life partners, last week in one of my obligatory scrolls through Facebook, I saw McDoc update his profile pic of him in a nice tux. Didn’t think much of it until I kept reading about his wedding. Insert Scooby Doo sound here. I was trying to see how it made me feel other than just feeling “some kind of way” about it. And although, we hadn’t really kept in touch the past couple of years since he moved back to Houston, it wasn’t because of any ill will towards the other. Even though I won’t soon forget him blaming me for the weight he was gaining by spending so much time with me. And we did spend an incredible amount of time with each other in another one of my unclassified relationships. He took me to Vegas. I spent almost every weekend with him in the city. Even let him meet my best friends and my mother. That in itself says a lot. And when all was said and done, I’m fully comfortable about where things stand except for finding out about his marriage on Facebook.

Which leads me to the point of this blog that’s been three weeks in the making. Maybe I need a Facebook detox. I constantly find myself on their liking photos of folks I know and haven’t seen in real life in forever and can’t help but think how amazing everyone else’s life is while my own leaves so much to be desired. But, a really great friend from college implored me to remember that people only show you what they want you to see. In a glance, I think I’m caught up on how folks are doing by what they share. New babies. Engagements. New jobs. Trips to places on my bucket list. Fabulous weddings. Funny memes. Cheers to the weekend celebrations with friends. Not to mention the social commentary on any and everything in the news. That list could go on endlessly. Yet, it’s like a slow moving train wreck. I know I should look away but I can’t. I watch. Actually, I actively participate, seeking my own validation from the things I chose to share: finishing the first draft of the novel, a check-in at the gym, photos of another high calorie meal usually enjoyed alone. I try and be more selective about the things I share now only because I am more aware of how parasitic this social network need can be. It feeds into a greater sense for some to be liked, be heard and one up the next. I’ve never played the Joneses well. I could usually give two shits about who likes me. Chances are if folks don’t like me they aren’t even reading this blog. I guess it all comes down to me staying in my lane and just running my own race. Keeping up with the cyber Joneses is too exhausting and I have more important things to do. But, it is depressing to see so much perceived perfection and fabulousness from others when I’m pretty transparent about things like getting towed home at 1am from work and failing smog check. Both of those issues have been resolved $1450 later. Just another day in the life of owning a 17-year old car. Never an under abundance of things happening. My life would make an amazing reality TV show. Supporting cast awesomeness included.

Since I mentioned important things, for those of you that are not my friend on Facebook, or didn’t get a text from me last month, I finally finished the first complete rough draft of the novel… YAYE! It’s been a long road and even though an even more challenging process awaits me, I feel a little bit closer in my plan to becoming a published author. After an almost four hour long conversation with McWrong (college ex that I have mentioned before) I even have thoughts on where the sequel to this book begins. I sent it to him on Wednesday and by yesterday evening he had finished it. Now, other than keeping his son, he didn’t have a ton of other distractions but I loved how it confirmed it is not a difficult read and moves fairly quickly. I was worried about his perspective as a Preachers kid and a man but he loved it and didn’t feel it was overly predictable and was captured by the story. At first he was just proud of the fact his friend had written something and then he said he got sucked in to the characters and back story and felt it was a book he had picked up off of the shelf in a bookstore…score! Next steps are finding an agent and hopefully a publisher and if not, I will proceed with self publishing. I wish I had a date when I can share it with the world but after the edits maybe I will have one. Thanks to those of you that keep tuning in and supporting me as I navigate this experiment called life.

I’ll end by reminding you to step away from the electronic device and connect with someone you haven’t in a long time. I’ve been hanging out on the phone and in real life with friends I haven’t connected with in years. It is wonderful to recycle my awesome friends I have and remember why we’re friends to begin with. #NoNewFriends. It’s great to see the evolution of a friendship and be inspired. One such new friend helped inspire a scene in the novel and wants to help me plan the book release party! Just more awesomeness that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t get out and enjoy the sunshine. Until next post, be amazing and reconnect!!

© CinnamonCharm

Kaleidoscope of Change

Well, another May 15th has come and gone. And in true Taurus fashion, I was loyal to playing my birthday by ear and going with the flow. All residual disappointment about not being in LA, magically evaporated and it really was a good day/weekend. Here’s a somewhat brief recap…

I was a bit surprised when I awoke feeling the same as the day before. I’m usually harnessing some excitement but this year, nothing. It just didn’t feel like my birthday which is a bit more of an assessment on one way I’ve grown. Instead of making more wrong choices, I was an adult and made better decisions. So, after meeting a sorority sister for some bday Jamba, I hit the gym. It was day four of a new cardio challenge that started last Monday at work. Surprisingly, I’ve been hitting my cardio like a champion. Normally, I give up and that’s not to say that I won’t eventually return to my non-cardio life but it’s been nice to actually feel stronger and challege myself in ways that I haven’t been. The irony, is that I have not been looking at my scale nor my ever-growing waistline. Imagine my quasi-surprise to see that my scale showed a number I have never seen before…. I won’t type it here but let’s just say that it is the heaviest I have ever been. Well, I think that I’ve possibly weighed more but I never looked at a scale to actually confirm it. So, I know that I need to do one of two things, either put the damn fork down, or I need to walk or jog my way into a better place. More on my health in a bit. Back to my birthday, after Jamba and cardio Thursday, I ended up meeting McDad for lunch at my favorite morning breakfast spot. I wasn’t sure if any of the McMen in my life would even remember my birthday let alone want to help me commemorate it in a specal way. It was ironic that I only had fleeting thoughts about having birthday sex, and the pleasure that it would bring me. But the thing that struck me the most was my lack of desire to have sex with anyone other than the McMan that lives across the U.S that I am reluctantly naming McBeantown. Our energy with each other has been refreshing. It’s hard for me to not find excitement in the newness of our situation. We still skype, text and/or talk several times a day and I find myself having to stop from grinning because of something he has sent to me. Tons of LOL’s and smiley faces abound throughout the days and talking to him first thing in the morning as I’m driving to work is always a great way to begin the day.

My days this past week have been good. I received the most surprising and generous of birthday gifts but the most exciting was a new bed! It was a queen that a good friend was planning on getting rid of and after adding a gel mattress pillow topper, it has been a dream come true. The first night sleeping on it, I didn’t wake up once in the middle of the night and slept for more than 7 hours straight. Highly unsual for me with my insomniac moments. It’s been nice being able to get rid of my twin, reorganize my room and make way for something so much more appropriate for my weight and age. I had outgrown that twin in so many ways and even after one part of the frame broke, I found myself with limited options and sleeping on it anyway. As always, I usually end up enduring situations and hoping that things will turn for the better. Just as I was beginning to find myself sleeping less and aching more this wonderful gift and opportunity fell into my lap. With the help of one of my good friends and coworkers after my play cousin’s truck battery didn’t start, I found myself having to rent a U-Haul to move the bed because I had already emptied out my bedroom. I was determined not to have anyting get in the way of me moving the bed and making my room into the relaxing room I know it is possible of being. The most disturbing part is that I really do have a lot of stuff. I have blogged almost ad nauseum about my mini hoarder tendencies but moving this bed into my room, made me really ramp up my purging process and addressing the crap that surrounded me. I’m still throwing away a lot and while my dining room is still a mini holding area for a few more things I am working on bringing into my room, it has come a LONG way and for that I’m proud. Each week, the amount of things I am shredding and throwing away is growing and it’s getting to a point where I feel that my space is more reflective and open which will allow me to think more clearly and hopefully complete this novel. Better later than never. I’m still in a holding process with the current chapter but I’m proud that at least I’m writing again here which is more than I could say earlier in the year. Things do seem as if they are slowly clicking into place.

Speaking of stuff, this past birthday week, I took another huge leap in cleaning out my storage unit in the South Bay that I have had for approximately eight years. Yes, you read correctly, eight years. When I start thinking about the roughly $4,000+ bucks I have spent in that time period storing…stuff. I think about what I was feeling as I went through about eight years of memories from my old married life. Part of it was difficult and I totally underestimated the amont of things I had in my storage unit from the last time that I saw it. On my path to being more fiscally responsible, I figured I could cancel the roughly $38 a month I am spending on the storage unit by taking the time to clear it out. Once I arrived in Hayward, I realized I had grossly underestimated how much I had and how hard it would be. I went through every container trying to assess what I wanted to keep versus donate and then what was broken in the last move from my home. Luckily, very few things were broken just a few bowls and my bread maker, and a couple of containers were cracked. It just reminded me of how I was there to clear things out and I couldn’t keep holding on to things I haven’t seen in a year or more. I was fortunate McCoach was off that Saturday and joined me. He took several things I was planning on getting rid of off of my hands and helped me load a carful to the goodwill and the remainder went to my existing storage unit in Vallejo. You read right. I had two storage units. The one in Hayward was primarily items that Mc7 and I received as wedding gifts and generally larger items our one bedroom apartment couldn’t hold. The storage unit less than a mile from my home largely consists of items that were mine after our marriage ended and I abruptly moved out.

Needless to say, eliminating such a large amount of stuff from my life and consolidating it has been helpful. I’ve had a myriad of emotions this past week as I uncover and decide what stays and what leaves. I found a letter in which McWrong (my college ex-boyfriend) tells me our relationship has to chnge and it’s over. Finding my wedding invitation and a few pictures from my wedding was an odd feeling. I think the reason I’ve been thinking more about my wedding, is my desire to possibly remarry and not find myself old and alone. Although with my last name being what it is I guess I won’t really be old… and as far as alone maybe I would just find myself free to do the things my heart allows me to. That thought is mildly calming. In the end, I think things will end up being all right. All of the things that have happened that were supposed to break me- haven’t. All of the people that have tried or wished that I wouldn’t succeed, are being proven wrong. And although I have a long way to go, I’m still marching forward. The original catalyst for clearing out the storage unit was to save money and cut down on unwanted expenses but it ended up giving me so much more in the meanwhile. I can breathe better and mentally feel clearer about my space and the energy within. Such a good feeling and for the first time in a great while, I not only feel good, I feel great.

I’ll keep plugging away at the health and novel and work hasn’t been terrible. I think my mindset really has HAD to change in order for me to embrace the awesomeness I get to see on almost a daily basis. The best is yet to come, and while some change can be scary and bad, like a kaleidescope can be, it really depends on how you spin it. Some things that change can be wonderful. Until next time I write, embrace the colorful changes happening in your lives, do a bit of spring cleaning and spread the love!! Loving you all!

© CinnamonCharm

The Art of Chemistry

 Sighs.
Each day passes and I blog things in my head but these virtual pages remain empty…. Thursday, I was off and being a lazy bum. I cooked a bit and cleared a lot of DVR’d shows over the past week.  Oh, and I checked in and out of Facebook while fielding the occasional phone call and/or texts regarding the NFL draft and miscellaneous stuff.  Imagine my astonishment, to read that a sorority sister near and dear to my heart just lost the love of her life.  She was there for me when I had several doubts early on right after my initiation. A weekend in LA with her helped me seeing things differently. She is the daughter of a former regional director and along with her being awesome helped me when I struggled with one aspect of our sisterhood. Her fiancee just proposed in the middle of April while battling an autoimmune disease doctors struggled to diagnose early on that severely impacted his liver function.  I reached out to her around her birthday in March and to congratulate her on her engagement and she inquired if she would see me at our sorority regional conference which I decided not to attend for a variety of reasons.  It’s just a reminder to me of how quickly things can take a turn.  I was so thrilled for her and the manner in which after three failed relationships, two marriages and one that produced her son; that her happily ever after had finally arrived. An ending with a man that loved her unequivocally and with no pretense. Her happiness and gratitude were palpable.  I could feel it from her Facebook pages and emails. Now, that joy is eclipsed by sorrow and grief.  It really makes no sense and doesn’t seem fair.
I’m reminded again about by own highs and lows. Thinking of the moments my college ex and one of few true loves my heart has seen; told me about his engagement, marriage, birth of his son and then his stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis.  He too was someone I felt was lucky enough to have it all. And then had it change so quickly. And although McWrong is still alive and relatively well as he awaits his second surgery, it still makes me sad. I suppose you can call me a pure lover of…love.  I love how it feels when you know someone loves you and will do things for you out of the goodness of their heart and because of the spark you’ve ignited within them and vice-versa.  Although Mc7 and I were married and spent time together, I can’t honestly describe the way I felt for him in that same way.  I think my fear of feeling I would never marry, outweighed the gut reaction I felt that things could have been better.  That’s not saying that things were bad, because that wouldn’t be accurate either.
Memories of my ex-husband float in and remind me how much I have grown in the past six years since our divorce. Our communication has increased and I really feel a bridge has been built over the ashes of any residual anger or resentment I was subconsciously holding onto.  But, even that anger would have been poorly misdirected at him.  I probably shouldn’t have gotten married to begin with.  It’s just another lesson that I have learned and I wouldn’t change it because it has made me more, me.   And while I really didn’t think that I would be divorced this long, I can’t change that, either. Not to mention, I’m still not where I want to be. I’m still carving away at the three goals I set to meet this year and finishing the novel is the first on that list. Everything else will hopefully fall in line. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
I have been feeling twinges of loneliness regarding the lack of love but it’s also not from a lack of trying. And like McCoach has stated several times before, things should be organic.  I’ve promised you an update on my dating life so here it goes…I’m on OK Cupid (OKC- not to be confused for Oklahoma City, LOL), and E-harmony. I opened an account at Plenty Of Fish but never finished my profile. Like I’ve said to a few friends before, dating is draining!!  And while I don’t expect the catches to just fall from the sky, I am looking for guys that I can have fun with.
Since my last blog on all things dating, another quick recap may be in order…
McSchwinn aka McTrees- Remember the real crazy Ex Girlfriends of San Leandro?? Yes, him.  Well he’s been calling and texting me wanting to see him but honestly, I feel like I have a better sexual interaction with McDad and I don’t have to drive nearly as far nor deal with any of the drama.
Speaking of McDad… he and I had a “date night” a few weeks back.  He took me out to dinner and we did a few errands and I didn’t make it to the late night movie.  I’m old and tired and seeing a movie after 9PM is not a good idea for these eyes anymore.  But, our date night started with more amazing sex.  He’s the only guy I’ve been sleeping with lately and the last time was the weekend of my cousins wedding in March.  I just can’t place my finger on why our sex is so incredible and passionate.  It somewhat frustrates me given his reluctance to be in a more steady relationship also.  I get it. His first priority is taking care of his son and then looking for a new job given the fact his will be relocating further down to Silicon Valley before the year ends and he’s determined to stay in this part of the bay.  We’re still friends and talk often about that and other things and I’ve had to turn off the switch that would make me care more.  Because as hard as it is to admit, I’m softening in my old age.  I really would prefer to have just one person to be my person.  Not necessarily my husband at this juncture, just someone I can talk to about my day, my dreams and desires and who gets me.
After one of my besties has given me rave reviews about her E-Harmony success and I reflected on another that found her husband their, I joined.  Honestly, I’ve had little to no success which is all right.  I found it funny that I was matched with someone I used to work with several years ago who moved to Hawaii for school and is now back working in the City.  We’ve messaged back in forth when I asked him if he remembered me.  He did and our in app chats have gone on.  No number exchange, so I take it he’s not interested in pursuing anything with an old friend and that is all right with me.  The guys I’ve met on OKC are keeping me highly entertained.  Many of them that find me live elsewhere which is so interesting.  I mean LA.  France.  Just weird.  I’m not trying to get sucked into that international dating drama.  Just looking for a friend.
A few months ago, I was over the moon excited about someone else I met on OKC.  We went on about four solid dates, before I had to place him in the friends box.  The first date we went to a movie we both wanted to see and I couldn’t help but wonder what I was catching a whiff of when I was sitting next to him in the movie.  I tried to ignore it and it wasn’t really like B.O. but it wasn’t drawing me in…. I love a man that smells good… if I am sitting this close to you at the movie, give me a reason to lean in closer, not sit away.  I digress, on dates 2 and 3 I didn’t catch anything either. But, I still wasn’t being drawn in.  I swear it just must be a pheromones thing.  Honestly, he’s a nice guy.  A nerd like me hence his Mc name of McMarvel.  He’s trying to write a comic for Marvel and is a huge comic nerd.  We have had really great conversations until he went and did the other unthinkable thing…bought a cat.  I’ve been to his place twice and I told him to buy the cat because he and I would never be anything serious so that sealed the deal.  He liked me a lot but also admitted he’d only had one sexual partner and that “didn’t go so well.”  That and the other first date admission of him being on section 8 were more orange flags I couldn’t ignore.  I was trying to get out of my comfort zone, but I really wasn’t feeling the spark.
A couple of week’s back another conversation on OKC turned real.  A guy liked my profile, wanted to take me to dinner so I agreed.  We met at one of my local favorite BBQ spots and had a decent time.  I’m not usually into guys that are way too into themselves.  He’s a southern guy, in the bay on business and a member of a fraternity.  On paper a nice guy with a diverse background.  We had a few laughs and after dinner he walked me to my car and we hugged goodbye a few times and he smelled really nice LOL.  In stark contrast to McMarvel.  Well, we had a second date later the same week but a few days passed where I hadn’t really had any communication with him in there interim.  I’m a very out of sight, out of mind kind of woman.  If we’re building up towards something then I need to hear from you.  Well, we do connect for date #2, and since he drove to me the first time, I drove to his hotel at Jack London Square where he is staying for business here indefinitely.  We walked to dinner and had Chicken and Waffles and then took a stroll along the waterfront.  It was nice for a second date but when I went back to his room to grab my jacket that I left things shifted a bit.  I am never afraid of a mini-makeout session but usually one I initiate with someone I honestly don’t know.  Not to mention when he stuck his tongue down my throat.  Kissing should be more of a dance and if I’m not dancing back, then it’s time for me to go.  I sent him the obligatory I made it home safely text.  He replied and I did not.  I’m not really interested in if he was upset that I left rather abruptly but the whole time I was driving home from Oakland I was thinking about someone else.
A few months ago, I feel like I’ve found someone I really have a connection with albeit virtually, but we talk, text and Skype daily.  The one caveat is that he doesn’t live out here.  I’m almost afraid to talk more about for fear of jinxing things.  The instant I start feeling emotions or care for someone is usually the instant that it goes terribly wrong such as McBlewIt.  I have to accept my part in that dating disaster, but with this new guy, he’s older, went to UMass and is funny, compassionate, honest and we have a lot of the shared values.  It’s refreshing to talk with him about anything.  From current news events to sports to gaming and family, our conversations are almost never ending and I always look forward to the next time.  I’m hoping he’s still in the picture the next time I write, but I have a strong feeling that he will be.
No real updates on the man everyone always asks me about, McCoach.  He has texted me a bit this week and called and we chatted briefly.  His humor about what we were doing for “our Anniversary” and my birthday weren’t funny.  I had to remind him we aren’t in a relationship.  *Shrugs*  I’m growing too old to keep having that conversation with him.  He’s a great guy but will never be my guy and I feel I’ve arrived a the point of excepting that now.  I already have one half of what it takes to make a really great pair.  The right guy will see it, know it and feel it just the way I do.
While dating is great, the reality is that these eggs aren’t getting any younger.  With mother’s day being tomorrow I know I’m a product of great things coming out of 40-year old eggs.   However, that wasn’t the future I had planned for myself.  Especially given, my own issues with only childhood, I would not willingly just have one child and would prefer to have two.  Now if things impact that and I can’t have one or two then that will be the card I’m dealt.  But, you can’t start a date  or any new relationship with “Soooo now that we kind of like each other let’s talk about my ovaries…” #notgonnahappen.  I know that while I feel time is escaping me with almost every other person I know having a baby right about now, I have to try and remember to stay focused and patient and to try and remain optimistic.  I really am hoping that one day both my knight will come and whatever else will follow suit.  I won’t place all my eggs in one basket though.  Those eggs are fragile enough as it is. Love and life are like an equation that we spend so much time trying to get right.  The definitive art of chemistry is something I’m still working on but I know it when I feel it.  Lately, I feel it and am working on exploring it further.
Until next time, cherish the ones you’re with, love and hug your mothers and enjoy the sunshine!
©CinnamonCharm