Relatively Easy

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. 

Relatively Easy

Despite My Best Intentions


Despite my best intentions, my feelings are hurt. Just so you know. 

This is as honest as I know how to be. I try to be easy-going and patient. I try to remember it probably has nothing to do with me. Except it does. 

I get to be upset and disappointed when things just are not working out the way I want them to. I am allowed to be frustrated when you are emotionally unavailable. It’s hard enough with the distance and our crazy schedules. 

But I also know this is temporary. I will not always be working nights, in fact there is already an end in sight. I am also betting on the fact that if I am patient we can figure this out. 

Life gets in the way sometimes. 

I’m not saying I am ready to give up on this thing. I am not saying I want to fight about it. 

This guy makes me laugh. He has so many good qualities and we share so many of the same sensibilities. 

Walking away would be easy. Throwing a fit and putting out ultimatums would be a quick way to end this uncertainty. We all know how much I hate uncertainty. I want to know how this will turn out right now! I need assurances. I need to know. 

Except life doesn’t work that way. 

He’s not perfect. Neither am I. 

It’s okay for me to be unhappy about the situation right now. I guess when enough is enough I’ll decide what I want to do. I don’t have to lie and say I’m okay. I’m not. 

I will be though. 

Despite My Best Intentions

Fickle

But if you love him you’ll forgive him even though he’s hard to understand and if you love him oh be proud of him ’cause after all he’s just a man.

-Stand By Your Man, Tammy Wynette

It’s not simply a matter of caprice, this is not an unreasonable reaction to the situation. I don’t have irrational expectations. I’ve gotten over the hurt feelings. The idea I can fix this if I am just easy-going and flexible can be disregarded. Completely. 

I’m not Tammy Wynette. 

I am not the kind of girl who will sit around indefinitely wondering just what exactly is going on. I am not the girl who will continue to make excuses for someone else’s inconsiderate and inconsistent behavior. My patience only goes so far. 

Yes, I suppose I could try to communicate my feelings. Again. Why should I? Nothing changed when I did it the first time. I’ve been doing some reading and I do need to change some of the things I do. My attempts to avoid demanding and difficult behavior have stymied my ability to effectively communicate my needs. 

And that is the problem. If the thought of telling him how I feel and what I need leaves me anxious and dreading the topic, I don’t trust him to listen and respect me. I attempt to avoid vulnerability and it’s causing problems. 

I’m not Tammy Wynette. 

I’m cute, smart, and funny. I am not going to sit around waiting for you to throw me a bone. I deserve better. 

After all, he’s just a man. 

Fickle

Stupid Tarot App and Horoscopes

I have this app on my phone, Yes No Tarot. You pick from four categories, think of a question, and tap a card to get an answer. Supposedly the answer you get is the answer to your question. Nevermind if you ask the same question over and over, you will get a different answer every time. 

Let’s test this theory. 

Will I ever be ridiculously wealthy? 


I like this answer. Despite the fact that I am certainly not involved in restructuring failed companies, I am going to take this one. I am ready for the power brokers to come woo me. I’ll sit by the phone and wait for them to somehow find my pushy, charming personality. I feel like this could certainly happen. 

Let’s try that question again. 


I like to think I am kind and generous, and miraculous money would be nice to fall into. I would certainly not be opposed to focusing on people with housing challenges. 


Oh! Wow! Still a yes. I am feeling this bodes well for my future. People would be jealous if I were ridiculously wealthy. I wouldn’t mind keeping it a secret. I am not sure I am the person I would choose to be responsible for other’s finances, but okay. I guess if the iPhone app says I should do it, I can’t argue. 

Wanna see if the streak keeps going? 


Okay, I know I have an extraordinary amount of crap but can I seriously plan on a ridiculous amount of money to come from a yard sale? Oh. Wait. The yard sale is just going to plant seeds for slow growth. Sounds like a lot of work for seeds. Do I look like someone who enjoys gardening? Much less waiting. Hmmm. 


Bwahahahaha! Yes! Others should seek my financial advice. I make such good decisions. I’ve lose $25 on my Robinhood app. I certainly have the Midas Touch. 


Dammit! That’s what happens when I don’t quit while I am ahead. This is why I don’t need to hang out in casinos. 

I wonder what it says about my love life. Next question and category: Is My Spy the great love of my life? (Fingers crossed- I am pretty much crazy about this man.) 


These cards must be broken. I don’t like this answer at all. Maybe the app didn’t hear me when I said I am crazy about this guy. 

Let’s try again. 


What is this asshattery? I don’t live in a fantasy world! This game is broken. Let me try again. 


I don’t think I like this game right now. 


It’s still wrong! I already met him! What the hell? 

Maybe I need to consult a Ouija board. Surely that is more accurate. Wait. Do they even work when you are alone? 

I guess it’s a good thing I don’t believe in this crap. At least as far as my romantic future goes. Now, I may start consulting it more often in my financial planning. I liked those answers.  

Let’s check my Horoscope for tomorrow. I like to plan for the future. 

Hmmmm. I think this is good. Or is it bad? Is it all just games? OMG. This is why I shouldn’t read this crap. This could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. He’s in it for the long-term, but does that mean he’s only in it for long-term games? If I didn’t know better I would be quite upset and sending him a diatribe of angry text messages. Surely he will check my Horoscope and understand instantly what he’s done wrong. 

Insomnia sucks. 

Stupid Tarot App and Horoscopes

Tell Me About It

I spend a lot of time awake when the rest of the world is sleeping. This leads to a lot of time for reflecting. Are we really going to call it reflecting? How about we be honest and call it overthinking, overreacting, and in general driving yourself insane.

What if the problem is not that I am overthinking? 

Sometimes another person’s behavior affects me in ways I wish it wouldn’t. Their inability or refusal to communicate hurts my feelings and I become frustrated and passive aggressive. No, apparently I am not enough of an adult to talk about it like an adult. I would rather make snarky comments. Apparently. 

Having an adult conversation about hurt feelings feels weird. I don’t even know how an adult is supposed to feel about things. The first moment of disappointment and my inner twelve year old comes leaping to stage ready for her melodramatic moment in the spotlight. Oh! Woe is me! My life is over. No one will ever understand what I am going through right now! No one has ever been through this. I’ll show him! This is all fine and good except no one, including me, has time for all that nonsense. 

So, I have to usher my little self off the stage, shush her, and give her something to distract herself with. Just so I can do all the grown up stuff I need to do. Every so often the twelve year old shouts out something to keep the drama stirred up, she hates to be ignored. She’s the one who makes the snarky comments and collects the shitty memes, just in case she needs to prove a point. No adult would ever do that. What kind of adult uses memes to communicate important things? 

If I read enough crap on Facebook, I will convince myself all men become amazing communicators when they really like a girl. They call, send flowers, text, move mountains to see her. They will eschew all responsibility to make sure they can be next to this girl. 

Now, I wouldn’t do that. Why would I expect a man to? Why does society expect me to have expectations I wouldn’t want someone to live up to? Worse, why do I find myself trying to expect those things? 

So, then I have not only an internal battle about my inability to commit because I don’t want the kind of relationship I think I am supposed to want, but I also struggle to define what behavior is acceptable. 

I don’t know what I want! That’s the whole point. 

I have determined some things are no longer negotiable though. You have to make time to talk to me. Maybe not every day, but most days. I have to make time for you as well. 

I like to be flirted with. I like to flirt back. It’s part of what makes relationships fun. I want to have this with the person I am in a relationship with. I don’t want to have to find it somewhere else. 

My schedule is crazy. Chances are his is too. This means we have to make plans. It’s never going to just happen to work out. It will take effort and planning by both of us. We both deserve for the other to be willing to make this effort. 

We have to care about the day to day stuff going on with each other. You should be interested in my life and I should be interested in yours. This is especially important if we can’t be together all the time. It’s going to require talking about things. Even the boring stuff. 

We have to respect each other’s need for space, while still being cognizant of the other’s feelings at that time. For example, if I am needing space that day but he is needing intimacy and closeness I should still be willing to reach out to him a bit despite my desire to avoid the world. We have to be receptive to each other’s clues. 

I am responsible for holding my inner twelve year old at bay, but I also have to protect her feelings. I can’t constantly place her in the position to be hurt and expect her not to act out. This is when the grown up me has to face the uncomfortable and be honest with myself. 

Sometimes it’s not that I am overreacting, sometimes it’s that I need something to be different. It doesn’t mean I am angry or that the other person is bad, it just means this isn’t working. We need to find a solution. Because that’s what grown ups do. Or so they tell me. 

Tell Me About It

Beginnings Before Endings

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. 

Beginnings Before Endings

Packing

I am terrible at packing. 

I am mailing home books and some scrubs because my suitcases are too heavy. 

One more week until I go home for a bit! I can’t wait to see my kiddo, my baby dogs, and my kitties! 

I have no idea what my next move is going to be. Hoping it works out quickly. This is the only downside to working as a Locum, I never know what is coming next. I always feel like I am hustling for the next opportunity. I have to admit, the chase is kinda exciting. 

Packing

Grown Up Relationships

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. 

Grown Up Relationships

What About Love?

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. 

images-2

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. 

What About Love?