Create Fearlessly

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Today I was flipping through this Moleskine reporter’s notebook I frequently use to jot down random ideas and I found a quote I had taken the time to not only write down, but to note the author, book, and page number. I suppose I thought I may need to use the snippet eventually.

“So, this above all: Find your own voice.” Christopher Hitchens in Mortality, page 50.

I have this idea for a story that may not be as completely original as I think it is, but I have certainly never read it, and I want to. Unfortunately, I have realized my idea might be becoming a bit of a Sci-Fi adventure and I know very little about the genre.

Are there still truly original ideas, or is everything simply either satire or pastiche? Yep. I learned a new word, AND I took notes on three of the possible meanings. I also read a couple of things discussing the concept. 

I don’t want to write some silly little story. I did that in college and my instructor gave me a C- on one of my favorite stories from my adolescence. He said it was trite and I should work harder to write something more significant.

What if trite is all I can manage? How can writing bring me so much joy and leave me terrified all at the same time? It seems genuinely and dramatically unfair. Now I want you to imagine me running into my bedroom and dramatically flinging myself on the bed facedown and sobbing until someone notices my need for more attention and comes to console me as I protest the injustice of my personal insecurities. 

I have been mulling over this idea for about 15 months or so. While I was working on a different idea I finally thought of a possible way to solve the problem I was having with how to introduce a certain situation in the story. Which was a bummer, because it was the thing making the whole story possible. 

I think I have finally figured out why “Only the good die young” and how to explain fate and the secret of life. Turns out, it’s not just a good cup of coffee. Despite my inability to believe in the popular religious explanations of our creation and our death, I may have found a way to explain the purpose of it all.

I feel like I have been searching for an explanation for my entire life and when I was unable to find an existing one I decided to come up with my own. I don’t imagine it is much different from Joseph Smith and his golden tablets. Oh! Except I invented mine. There was no revelation or scripture delivered to me. Phew. That would have been awkward. 

So, in light of the absence of divine intervention, I am going to try to tell the story in my voice. The way I write and think. I am going to tell the story I have been working on all this time.

Worst case scenario?

Someone will call it trite instead of funny, clever, or original.

Best case scenario? I write my story and I am proud of it. That rarely happens.

Wish me luck! No. Wish me courage.

I just need to Create Fearlessly.

Say Nothing

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Silence is deafening. 

I would like to pretend the whole thing ended after a mature conversation between two adults who realized it was just not working out. 

Nope. That’s not what happened. Not at all. The last conversation I had with My Spy he said he couldn’t wait to hear more about Jazzfest and all the awesome bands I was now infatuated with. “Text me when you get to the airport.” 

So, I did. No answer. I wasn’t that concerned. He had been bad about texting for a while. I ignored it. Two days later, I was on my way back to Maryland. Remember this is the guy who used to call me when I was about to board a plane because he knows how much I hate flying. I texted him my flight information. No answer. 

I decided I was not texting again. I was not calling. We just talked about this a few weeks ago. I am not going to be the only who makes an effort. 

I even told him how much it hurts my feelings. That conversation was difficult for me, but it was important. I needed to make sure my expectations and needs were clear. 

I have a few theories about his sudden and total communication blackout. 

1. He’s just an asshole. 

2. He is lying in a hospital bed in a coma just waiting for his nurse practitioner girlfriend to come save him. 

3. He died and I should be making a donation to his favorite charity. 

I tend to think the first theory is the most likely. Either way, I have no intention of finding out. 

I’m not chasing someone and begging them to love me. I won’t sit around and pine for someone who isn’t totally crazy about me. I would rather be alone than lonely and “in a relationship.” 

I would like to say I am heartbroken and sad. That would be a lie. I am baffled by his behavior. I am not really surprised though. 

It turns out: you say it best when you say nothing at all. Keith Whitley may have been crooning a love song, but My Spy told me everything I need to know when he disappeared. 

*my mother gets credit for saying that line to me when I was telling her how baffling I found his behavior. 

*Is my life actually turning into a country song? 

Thanks Mom. 

Relatively Easy

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Wishful thinking is dangerous. 

It is easy to make excuses and pretend selfish behavior is okay. It beats the alternative. It’s better than thinking I am just not that important. So, I pretended everything was fine, until it wasn’t. I mean, come on, of course he really wants to be with me. It’s just his crazy schedule. What kind of nutjob wouldn’t think I am absolutely amazeballs? Sigh. 

It was easy to pretend it was all real, nevermind the fact I hadn’t seen him in two months, and he couldn’t be bothered to call when he said he would. 

It’s easy to pretend someone is fantastic when you never see them. He can be the proverbial “man of my dreams” when I don’t actually see him except in my dreams. 

It’s easy to fill in the blanks when all you have is a blank canvas, even if he seems to be full of promise and potential. 

It’s easy to believe he brings out a side of me that was hidden. 

It’s all so damn dramatic. 

Until it’s not. 

It’s amazing how two months ago I was convinced my life would be painfully and irreversibly altered if he wasn’t a part of it, and now I realize it’s actually better today. 

It was easy to push aside my ideas for how I want to live my life. I was perfectly willing to ignore all my grand ideas of fun and adventure for the hope of my idea of normal. I wanted to live up to the notion of what a woman should want. 

A real good woman wants a family and a houseful of children. She cooks fantastic dinners for her adoring husband, who slaves away earning a living to support his family. She can get a stain out of anything. She juggles everyone’s schedule and makes it look effortless, all while maintaining a perfect nude lip. She doesn’t want to go on trips just to see something new. She would never wear red lipstick during the day. She scours Pinterest for DIY projects she always completes beautifully. 

There is not a single item on that list describes me. I am messy, loud, and constantly looking for my next adventure. I like to experience things with lots of different people and can’t imagine devoting my life to just one relationship, romantic or otherwise. I wear red lipstick frequently, and have no intention of toning it down to fit in. 

So, why was I so fixated on the idea of becoming some other woman? Why do I have to constantly remind myself to honor my personality? How do you forget to just be who you are? 

Maybe it was the challenge. Perhaps the fantasy of too many Hallmark greeting cards took over. It’s possible I just wanted to feel like I am good enough. 

Too bad it wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real. I was ignoring who I am. The simple desire to be more can overwhelm even the most confident girl and we all know I am frequently a giant ball of insecurities. So, it was easy to convince myself to clutch to this idea. 

Funny, it didn’t have much to do with him. Ask me what I liked about My Spy. He made me laugh. He has a nice smile. He challenged me. That’s really all I can tell you. 

Once I got into it all, I just didn’t want to be that silly girl who flits from relationship to relationship. I didn’t want to be embarrassed because maybe I read too much into it. I didn’t want to appear to lack self-awareness. My flip flops are firmly grounded in reality. I certainly don’t live in some fantasyland of “not really relationships.” 

I could make excuses and justify the ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. “Relationships are hard.” That was my mantra. 

Maybe they shouldn’t be so hard. Perhaps forcing a square peg into a round hole isn’t a good idea. Maybe it’s not a hole after all. What if it is just room to grow and change? It’s quite possible I am not missing anything. 

It was relatively easy to ignore who I am. It’s shockingly easier to relax and be me. Let’s see how many more times I have to learn this lesson. 

Beginnings Before Endings

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I find it irritating that I am this old and I continue to see the same tired, old thought patterns that I have beat to death a million times. 

Wait. Before I continue please know- I am happy most of the time. I make reasonably good decisions more often than not. I have pretty good coping skills and I can almost always pick up on unhealthy attitudes and thoughts pretty quickly and I can work through them. I have had LOTS of therapy. I’m okay. 

Now, where was I? 

I am in a new relationship. It is so good, even if some parts of it are hard. For one thing, he lives two hours from where I am currently working on the East coast. Quite a trek to Texas, which is where I live. Happily. We are both very busy with our careers and our family. Working as a Locum means I don’t always know what my next move is going to be. I don’t even know if I have shifts in this area next month. So, I don’t have a concrete date for when I will see him again. This is stressful for me. 

Despite these irritations, I am excited and feel like this is a good relationship. He makes me so happy. Stupid happy. Giddy and giggly. Warm and fuzzy. Content. 

The problem is my tendency to get inside my head and allow past experiences to color the way I feel when I am not distracted by the real world. Frankly, this most likely stems from my relationship with my father. I had finally started to trust him and open up when I was banished from his life. I know, that sounds dramatic… but, that’s pretty much what happened. I am no longer his daughter. He has not acknowledged my existence in two decades. Yes, I have reached out. Multiple times via various methods. Nothing. It’s like I never existed.

 I know. It has nothing to do with me, it’s his shortcoming. It doesn’t mean I am not a good person or worthy of good things. I know that intellectually. I can explain it all in so many ways. Most of the time it works too. This is the benefit of all the therapy. I know how to deal with the negative thoughts

Look guys, whether it is intentional or not, when the one man in the world who should love you unconditionally turns his back on you, it leaves a mark. It’s almost as if it changes a girl on a molecular level. She may learn to appreciate all her good qualities and she may have other father figures who step in, but it doesn’t change the fact that she was inherently not worthy of you. She may learn to cope with the loss. She might even have a reasonable, healthy attitude about the situation. Unfortunately for her, there is always that little piece of her that is scarred. She will always be susceptible to feeling like she isn’t enough. Even if that is the most false statement in the world, she is at risk to always be searching for a way to earn love. Love will never be something freely given. She may never be able to simply accept it. She will always be watching for the ground to become a fault line and crumble beneath her feet. I’m not sure if anyone will ever convince her she can trust them. She will always know she was not good enough. She may overcompensate and become more successful than she ever imagined. She may do a phenomenal job at hiding her flaw, but it will always be there just under the surface threatening to expose her as the fraud she must be. It will be the most real thing about her. 

Despite all the good therapy and coping skills, and despite the knowledge I am indeed a good person, I am plagued by insecurities. I attempt to manage them by being selective about who I let into my life. I am quick to walk away and protect myself from being hurt. I have perfected the art of avoiding real attachment and intimacy. I even convince myself I am happier because of it. I sneer at people who are “in love.” Suckers. I tell myself I am too smart to depend on someone else to make me happy. I pride myself on the fact I do not need to be in a relationship. 

Nothing good ever comes from being vulnerable. Occasionally someone gets in, but mostly I fight it. I certainly don’t allow myself to be vulnerable in romantic matters. Nope. No way. Not me. If I find myself developing feelings for someone I promptly identify their sins to justify ending things. I am only interested in people I have no chance of being able to rely on. I never get my hopes up. I struggle to believe someone will not hurt me. I do not get invested, despite my feeble attempts to convince myself otherwise. I am not running, I am simply avoiding disaster! It’s called being smart. It’s not me, it’s you and I have all the evidence to prove it. 

I thought I had found the magic ticket. Date lots of people and avoid commitment. You can have fun and still not risk rejection. Don’t you dare hope for a happy ending and you will never feel cheated. Bingo! That was such a great idea. 

Until it backfired. 

I met someone who makes me want to be different. I find myself telling him things I don’t tell anyone. I laugh at his stupid, I mean hilariously clever jokes. I don’t find it intrusive when he contacts me. I don’t want to avoid him. He doesn’t get on my nerves. I like him. I enjoy him. He is brilliant, witty, sexy, funny, strong, reliable, clever, warm, caring, handsome and the list could go on… but you get the point. As a side note: he is often exactly right. I mean to the penny. It’s like he knows everything! 

I don’t want to spend time with other men. I only want to be with him. A lot. 

Admitting that was hard at first. I was scared he would not feel the same way. What kind of man would want to date only me? It’s funny because I was the one who insisted I was not interested in a relationship and he agreed to my terms. I mistakenly thought I had simply added one more opportunity for dinner and adventure. Ha! The jokes on me. 

So, now what? Remember that scar? It’s still there and I can’t hide it if I want to actually be present in this relationship. I have to own it and accept the fact that even if my father’s rejection wasn’t my fault, I am still affected by it. I have to acknowledge I am working to overcome my own defenses. This doesn’t mean I get  to keep the walls up. It will never work if I don’t allow myself to believe him. All I have to do is pay attention to his actions, which are completely congruent with his words. I just need to trust the way I feel and act accordingly. I need to focus on the situation as it is now. I don’t need to project what I think might happen at some unknown point in the future. 

So, I am going to enjoy this great guy. I am going to have an open heart and trust myself. I am going to own all these wonderful and fun feelings. It is time to stop trying to convince myself I am wrong about him. I am allowed to have optimistic hope. It’s okay to be excited. I don’t have to fight happiness. 

Today I get to be enough. I am not going to miss the beginning because I am too busy crafting the end. I’m going to celebrate where we are. It’s a good place to be. 

Grown Up Relationships

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If I read all the crap on the book of faces I would determine this man is going to break my heart or manage to disappoint me. 

If I paid attention to the message on all the rom-coms that I have allowed to influence my views on romance I would be so sad right now. He’s never chased me through an airport or train station, and I travel all the damn time. There is really no excuse for this. 

If I let Dateline scare me into singledom I would be missing out on this amazing experience. If it is too good to be true, he will murder you. No one meets the man of her dreams. Shout out to my momma! 

If I listened to the voice in my head that tells me I am not cut out for relationships I would still be swiping right and looking for the next fun distraction. 

If I read blog posts about “true love” and healthy relationships written by 23 year olds I would decide he’s just not that into me. 

If I thought about the difficulties navigating a long distance relationship I would give up before we have even gotten through the new stuff. 

If I used our complicated schedules and last minute obligations as an excuse to run I could be so far away right now. 

Instead, I make a decision to focus on the reality of our relationship. I redirect those pesky insecurities. I shush that stupid voice. If I listened to her, I would be a wreck. She doesn’t like me at all. I really don’t know what her problem is. She needs to get a grip. 

I am so happy, even if this is hard for me. I’m not going to pretend I am good at relationships, but I know I have never wanted to be better at them more than I do now. It’s worth the effort. The good stuff is so much better than the hard stuff. 

What About Love?

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I used to believe I was inherently flawed. I mistakenly thought I was incapable of falling in love. I suppose I needed to reconsider my definition of love and throw away my useless ideas of finding my Prince Charming.

Wait, was it Price Charming? Let me look it up. No! It was Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty. He was so dashing and adorable. He battled a dragon to save his one true love. 

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Now, I realize I don’t live in a cartoon. Sigh. Oh, and I am not blonde and my name is not Aurora. If we are being honest my favorite Aurora is from Terms of Endearment and I am most certainly no Shirley MacLean. She is way cooler than I am. 

I am left to my own devices when it comes to falling in love and I have realized it has nothing to do with other people at all. When I am open to being honest and actually experiencing things in the moment, I can fall in love a million times a day.

Love is not a pit you fall into. It is the moment your heart speeds up from excitement and expectation. It is the mysteriously simple joy from a stranger smiling at you with his whole face. You make eye contact and you both allow your joy to be evident without speaking a word. You may never see him again but for that one moment you fell in love. Unless you are a crazy stalker, you will never see him again. Do NOT follow that poor man. He did not even say a word to you. Keep walking. Keep walking. Ahhh. That felt nice though. 

*I wrote this back in August. I was quite grumpy those days. I was working at a job I hated, and I was bored and lonely. 

Things are better now. I am actually working at two different jobs that I like. I’m getting to know, dating, seeing, I don’t know how to define it, a great guy who seems to like me as much as I like him. It’s nice. No, it’s awesome. And… I think he may be my boyfriend. I am not certain of the rules, I think needing labels is silly, but we all know I love labels. 

So, he’s my boyfriend. 

Don’t jump to conclusions. That’s my job. I still tend to worry about imaginary problems that may happen in 3 years. I just can’t help myself. It takes a concentrated and repetitive effort to stay in the present and enjoy this as it is right now. 

Ready for the good stuff? 

He’s good at this. He doesn’t make me feel ridiculous for being exactly who I am. He knows how to be affectionate across the distance. He has managed to convince me I am important to him. 

He makes me laugh every single day. It’s amazing how even when I am laughing at him, he is still such a grownup. He is sensitive and thoughtful, all while maintaining a refreshing masculinity that makes me feel like he can probably handle anything. 

For the first time I find myself not only willing but wanting to be open and even a little vulnerable with him. I am not afraid to make an effort. He knows how to acknowledge and appreciate where I am coming from. He likes it! What the hell? What kind of guy likes this stuff?

Well, this guy likes it. He likes me. The me I am today. I don’t feel like he is waiting for me to somehow become a better, more awesome chick. 

I’m totally into him. I love that he calls me when I am getting on a plane. I love that he is interested in my day. I laugh when he sends me ridiculous selfies. I like it that he is challenging and opinionated. I like the way he values those same traits in me. 

He is so much fun. 

I love how he is confident, sensitive, and sexy all at the same time. The way he treats me reinforces my confidence. He leaves me feeling like I am worth the effort. There is nothing about this relationship that is convenient, we have to work at making time for each other. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

So, I’ll continue to get to know My Spy. I’ll continue to make the effort. He’s worth it. 

Safety in Numbers

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“Swiper, Stop Swiping!”

I can’t help but wonder if perhaps Dora the Explorer had a crystal ball and could see the danger awaiting us in the age of Tinder. 

Notice, it’s Tinder, not Tender. I get the benefits of a photo, age, and distance between me and my potential paramour. Date, booty call, one-night stand, relationship, potential love interest, however I choose to use it. It is a good tool for finding some company when I travel because it doesn’t just match me based on my homebase, it works on my actual location. It’s akin to a bar living in my phone. There is frequently a sense of ennui to my swiping. A detached boredom with no expectation. I am simply window shopping. I might try a few things on, but I really have zero intention of buying. My wallet is empty, and I don’t have that much credit. 

Unfortunately, the absence of alcohol, dark lighting, and loud music promotes a strange sense of intimacy. I  have to use words to communicate. Sorry honey, your cleavage isn’t going to buy you company tonight. Words easily trap me. I lose all sense of reality and fall into a hopeless fantasy. I can convince myself this is safe, because it’s not real. I am in no danger of falling in love or getting trapped because it’s Tinder. Somehow I talk myself into dropping some of the walls I use to keep everyone at a safe distance. I recklessly engage in mutual sharing of hopes and dreams for the future. I shed a little of the prickly “f*ck off” persona I adopted so long ago. I even have a few photos that are apparently “hot.” I think it’s the lighting and red lipstick. Maybe the angle. I managed to catch a pensive yet not angry expression. It wasn’t easy. It was one of many, many bad ones. I’m not showing you, because now that I mention it I am more than a little embarrassed and should probably delete this whole aside. 

I pretend. The safety of my little blue screen gives me a sense of confidence and I become charming and flirtatious. The awkward parts of my personality are hidden a little. I’m not afraid of being myself, because it doesn’t matter what these guys think of me. They aren’t real. I honestly have nothing to lose. I’m just passing through. 

I find myself saying things I would never say IRL. I match and unmatch with an abandon usually reserved for women more beautiful than I am. I am picky about who I choose to meet. The conversation has to be lively and interesting. I eschew the men who start of asking my bra size. I know my bra size. It’s not interesting to me. Somehow I feel like I am in control in this situation. If you irritate me, I can just stop talking to you. Unmatch, block, ghost, ignore, I have a plethora of tools at my disposal. 

Sometimes I am pretending to pretend. I allow myself to get caught up in the excitement of foreign experiences. I start to look forward to our interactions. This is probably because I am so picky about the men I choose for communication. Really, it’s easy to dislike boring, unintelligent men. 

I’ve become friends with a few of these men. The ones I go out with are generally quite attractive, educated, clever, and age-appropriate. They tend to have a way with words. I find myself intrigued and at times more than a little attracted to their electronic personas. 

That doesn’t diminish my fear of intimacy. It doesn’t ease my distrust of the whole prospect of love and happy endings. I firmly believe (well, I tell myself I firmly believe) there are no fairy tale endings, and there is no Prince Charming. All that is waiting for me is a lifetime of disappointment and resentment. Who needs that? It’s far better to never get your hopes up. Don’t get attached. Don’t expect anything from anyone. You are the master of your own happiness. It’s not lying within another person’s grasp. They will only let you down. 

When I first discovered the possibility of dating for “fun” I thought I had found the perfect solution. I would be honest from the beginning and demand these men play by my rules. It was great. 

Except I forgot the rules. I found myself daydreaming about one man when I was out with another. I just wanted to be with him. I did not want to see the others. 

What is the punishment for self-imposed and perhaps misguided infractions? 

I know! I know! Let’s overthink and concoct imaginary slights to punish him over. Except let’s not tell him how I am feeling. I will just quietly seeth with resentment and start judging him much more harshly than he probably deserves. I will not discuss this with him because it makes me sound crazy. 

I have turned into “that girl.” 

There is safety in numbers. I don’t have to risk getting attached. I can pretend. Until I start pretending to pretend. Then the real danger starts. 

Forthcoming

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I know you will never believe this, but I am not good about talking about feelings. I am even worse at listening to someone else talk about their feelings, especially their feelings about me! Of course I am struggling with this now. It’s not surprising that I am completely in my head and not listening to the words he’s saying. I’m not noticing his actions. 

No, of course not. I am too busy thinking about my thoughts. I am too busy listening to that damn voice in my head. The one I am listening to right now. 

How many different ways does this guy have to tell me he likes me? What hoops do I need him to jump through? It’s not like his actions and his words don’t match up. He’s being perfectly consistent. He likes me! He tells me this. He shows me. All I have to do is pay attention and believe him. 

So, I have to talk myself down off the ledge and make a decision to calm down. I have to tell that voice to back off and be quiet. Not that it is going to listen. But, I am not going to stop trying. 

And the adventure continues. What a ride…

I Think I Am Learning…

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Last winter you taught me how to trust myself and my judgement. You were my trial run. The relationship that had bookends. I knew the expiration date from the first date. It didn’t matter, it was reality. 

That made you safe. 

Yes, I loved you. I still love you and cherish the role you played in my life. You are my Tinderbabe. 

You never said things you didn’t mean and I learned feelings won’t kill me. I had lots of feelings. I spent too much time worrying about saying goodbye. 

The day came and you helped me load my car. Tetris taught you well. We went to dinner and then had a talk about feelings and other gross stuff. I’ll never admit that it may have helped a little. Even if it all seemed so dramatic. Then, we kissed goodbye and I drove away. 

I didn’t die. 

I may have cried a little. I had wonderful memories of you giggling during Deadpool, our trip to NYC, and many other fun times. You even introduced me to Game of Thrones. 

I managed to stop crying when I stopped listening to Adele on repeat. I was prepared to fall apart. I didn’t. 

I had a wonderful group of friends meet me in St. Louis. I swear, I’m not making that up. The distraction helped me transition from a winter fairy tale back to the real world. 

Now, I still freak out at the thought of relationships but I am willing to try them on and see what happens. 

That’s because of you. I learned to try and live and love in the moment. I don’t have to know what the future holds. I know I will be okay. I may even end up great! 

I continue to learn from so many experiences. Even the ones that are a little harder are good in the long run. I’m learning to trust myself and other people. I think it’s a step in the right direction. 

Rockstar Superhero

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I have been walking around all day with a ridiculous grin on my face. I have felt confident, competent, and strong. 

This morning was my first day at my new Locum assignment. I had no trepidation or fear when I waltzed into the hospital with no idea where to go. I had a strut in my step and felt open to meeting any new person I contacted. 

I spent some time last night talking to a potential suitor I have been texting. He was charming and funny. Pretty much knocked my socks off. I didn’t feel like I needed to watch what I said or put on some mask of the girl I thought he would be interested in. Nobody has time for that shit. People either like me for me… or I am not their cup of tea. It’s not that big of a deal. 

Then I met the doctor I was working with today. She’s a force of nature. After a little while she put her glasses on and turned and peered at me. Her eyes opened a little wider and she said, “Oh! You’re a pretty girl!” I was pretty much struck speechless. Not sure why she was surprised… but okay. 

The day went fantastic. I loved the view out the window and the job was challenging and fun. I felt like I knew what I was doing! On the first day! Holy crap! 

At the end of the day we were wrapping up and she called me confident and told me how great that is. Once again dumbstruck, I just laughed and sashayed out the door. 

More flirting and fun chatting with The Spy. He’s not really a spy… but I think he could be. Hehe. And he thinks I am cute with nice eyes. So, I have pretty much been blushing all day. 

Met a hairdresser who said my hair is fantastic and she would love to do my blowouts when I am here. 

I spent a good part of the day yesterday reminiscing about my friends and our adventures. They liked the little blurb I wrote about it. Telling them how much I love them gave me such a peaceful and content feeling. 

You wanna make a girl glow and strut around like a woman who knows she has good things to offer? Tell her. Tell her you are excited to meet her. Listen to her. Share things about you. Invest in the relationship. Make her feel like she is worth the effort. I promise she believes in reciprocity. She will make you feel like you are worth the effort too. 

I guess I have fallen into the trap of underestimating a phone call. There is an intimacy that encourages excitement when you are obviously paying attention to each other and not doing 35 things at once while texting. 

You want to make a girl work hard for you? Do you want her to actually meet her potential? Acknowledge the good parts of her personality that she has been ostracized for her entire life. Appreciate her gifts. Help her learn and grow so she can overcome her liabilities and shortcomings. Offer to teach her the procedures she has honestly been too scared to learn until now. 

So today I feel like a rockstar superhero. I have not magically changed overnight, I just got the right amount of awesome compliments at the right moment. When I looked in the mirror tonight while I was removing my makeup I didn’t see a tired mess of a girl. I saw a confident, strong, cute girl with nice eyes. 

It feels good. 

Tell the people in your life what you love about them. It will help them be the person you have always known them to be.