Giving In

On my very long drive home from touring an alternative school for my children in a neighboring state, I did a lot of thinking about my life and where I am at. I had basically concluded that I will not be leaving this little town any time in the near future and it is time to start the next chapter in my life here, rather than question if the next chapter will be here or not. I know whole heartedly that the prior chapter of my life is now closed and while I have had fun occupying my spar time with the company of younger, free-spirited men in the area, at the end of the day it still left me unfulfilled.

I am ready to move on and begin living a life here, rather than my business and children be my whole life here. I began the dismal task of assessing all of the single men in the area and sizing them up to The List. My thoughts kept circling back to a regular of mine at the restaurant. Most single men in this town have voiced an interest in me at one time or another and this regular was no exception. I was aware that he would be interested in taking me out, if I were so inclined. I have always held him at bay because he has been divorced for less than a year and his ex-wife hovers somewhere between and acquaintance and a friend of mine.

Upon returning home, I began showing more of an interest in My Regular with what little time I have to do so. I went out one night with some friends and co-workers of his and ended up taking him home. As we began to spending more time together, I began to suspect that he was not emotionally available or ready to start dating. I read him The List and explained the importance of The List to me. I am very attracted to My Regular and have a wonderful time with him, but I have to be true to myself out of fairness to both of us. I could not continue to string this man along, if in my heart I knew that he was not emotionally available or ready for a relationship. I did my best to explain this to him and put some distance between us.

Rather then riding off into the sunset, My Regular took another approach to my attempt to hold him at arm’s length. He lifted the veil and unloaded his baggage on my front doorstep. It was honest, it was real, it was raw and it was heartbreaking. I empathized greatly with so many things that he said. He reminded me of myself shortly after my divorce; uncertain, insecure, frighten by possibility of letting someone new into your life. He was taking a huge leap of faith with his approach, but it worked. I have found great comfort and assurance being with a man who openly exposed his vulnerability and genuinely understands that we all have a past that we bring with us.

The choice he made changed everything, for both of us. Giving into him and embracing the idea that I am ready to love again has been so much easier once we both put down our guards and trusted each other enough to expose our true selves. I certainly still get consumed by fear from time to time with him; wondering why he doesn’t talk about his marriage more or when the other shoe is going to drop and I will find out something about him too insignificant to overlook. But I think that is part of falling in love; you do not fear something if you are not scared to lose it.

I am doing my best to focus on how wonderful it feels to feel unconditionally loved, supported and appreciated again. It has been way too long since any man has made me feel all of those things. And the sex, lets not forget the sex! I had completely forgot about how much better sex is when you feel emotionally connected to someone (Think Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer). We are both verging on exhaustion from staying up way too late talking for hours on end about our children, families, friends and youth. And of course there are the late night nudges that have been preventing us getting a solid night’s rest in weeks, but you won’t hear either of us complaining.

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A Lesson in Graditute

I woke last Sunday morning to a message sound on my phone. Hopeful that it was the New Man, I scurried over to my phone to find a message from another man. A man who has diligently been trying to get into my pants since the day that he met me (shortly after I left my husband). I was disappointed that it wasn’t the New Man and a bit irritated that I was waking to messages from a man who I have made it very clear to “it’s never going to happen”. He was going on and on about how beautiful the beach was where he is now visiting to buy an investment property. He has made it very clear that he would love for me to consider moving to this foreign land with him.

I was very aware that part of my irritation was not about this other man, but rather about the end nearing of the New Man’s era in my life. I have known since day one that he would be leaving the area in late May, but as it draws closer I have been grasping for a few last moments ecstasy with him. So, waking to the hopeful sound of communication from him to be disappointed once I reached my phone left me quite grumpy for the day.

I threw on some sweat pants and a hoodie and headed out to grocery store. Somberly did my grocery shopping quickly as to avoid as many small town acquaintances as possible. As I was checking out, the always flattering checker asked me “where are your flowers?” He was right, I buy myself flowers every single week at the store and failed to do so today due to my bad attitude that had been provoked by my early morning messaging. His question woke me up in a way, making me realize that I was being a bit consumed by the New Man leaving. I went a found a simple, closed bunch of lilies and returned to the check out with them before he was finished ringing up my order. I thanked him for pointing out that I had forgotten my flowers for the week; I really do enjoy having fresh flowers to come home to. The checker completed my order, I paid and then realized that he forgot to ring up the flowers. He said “I did that on purpose. I want to buy you flowers this week”. As I always do when people are trying to give me anything, I insisted that he not buy them, he insisted that he was going to.

I took the next day off from work and scheduled a massage that I had been gifted, ironically by the man whose message I awoke to the day before. I just needed a day to myself to kick my gloomy attitude. As I was walking with the massage therapist she observed “you are very lucky to have someone attentive enough in your life to realize when you need a massage”. And once again, she was totally right. I am in no way attracted to the man who gifted me the massage, but I am still very lucky to have him in my life.

After a wonderful massage and soak I picked up my children from school and headed home to start our routine for the even. The first words to come out of my daughter’s mouth as we walked in the door were “mommy, look at how beautiful the flowers are now. That was so nice of the man at the store to give then to us”. Everywhere that I turned someone or something was showing me how much I have to be grateful for in my life, with or without the New Man. It was exactly what I needed; for my energy to be redirected and focused on gratitude for everything my life already has. Rather then moping around about the one small piece that I am losing.

The next morning I decided it was time to say my goodbyes to the New Man. I didn’t want the looming feeling of knowing the goodbye was coming and my recent lessons in gratitude made it much easier for me to focus on what the New Man has already provided me with and how grateful I will always be to him for helping me find the strength to finally let go. It was fun. He was fun. I am grateful. Moving on…

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The Urge to Roam

59963_818959171452187_365956439_nI recently found out my children’s adorable little hipity skipity homeschool cooperative will be closing next year. Up until now, when people have asked me if I am happy living in this small town as a young, single women, I have responded “it is a moot point, this is where my children are rooted therefore it is where I shall stay”. But now, much to my dismay, they have been uprooted and it has certainly stirred up some new perceptions, daydreams and desires in me.

I have simultaneously been learning more about the New Man; mostly that he is a total adrenalin junkie. He is headed in a new direction to rock climb, heli-ski, sky dive and even base jump every week. I have also learned that he is planning to do some extensive international traveling in the coming year. Both of these fun facts have been very helpful for me, in this new relationship. I have finally lived, loved and learned enough to know everything about this man screams “DO NOT GET ATTACHED”. Which is exactly what I need in my life right now; not to be emotionally attached to anyone. I must say though, it does get hard, every week, having the highlight of my week be the time I spend in bed with him and then watching him leave for some awesome adventure and knowing that my week will be just as boring as the last. I have definitely had a few spurs of jealously here and there regarding how much freedom his life has and how trapped I often feel in my life.

I don’t necessary want to be able to join the New Man on his adventures; his presence in my life has just highlighted my inability to roam. What the hell happened? I used to be proud of all of the places that I have gone and the amazing things that I have done in my life. Now I can barely leave town for twenty-four hours without more stress then it is worth. I am becoming increasingly disgruntled by the lack of freedom and choice I have in my life right now.

My Ex-husband and I were forced to walk into uncomfortable territory with each other, in light of the news about our children’s school closing. I have not asked, nor has anyone told me, but I get the distinct impression that, once again, the Other Man’s wife is cowering away from her idyll threats to leave her husband. Leaving my Ex-husband, once again, alone and disappointed. I had high hopes that if my skepticism about the Other Man’s wife was correct that my Ex-Husband would consider relocating, rather than send our kids the bottom of the barrel public school district that we currently live in. I quickly learned however, that my Ex-husband is as committed to staying here as ever. This news has not sat well with me and has intensified me feeling trapped and unable to control my own life.

I love my children more than anything in the world and I would never take them away from their father, but everything that has come to light in the last couple of months is making feel like I am being forced to live out a ten-year sentence in this town until my children leave for college. I love my life and my business but I am not content feeling like I do not have control over where I live and what I choose to do with my life. The Other Man is completely gone from my life and my heart at this point and continuing to live in his world just reminds me of past chapters in my life that I desperately want to stop living. I want something to look forward to, so that I will stop looking back! Now, if I could just figure out how…

 

What Was Heard When He Uttered My Name

Life feels like it has been spinning a million miles an hour lately. Not only in my own life, as I observe people around me. Everyone seems to be in transition or contemplating transition. It’s amazing how quickly life can change; perception, feelings, the significance of someone or something, it can all change in the blink of an eye.

For me, the awareness of how much life is changing came at an unexpected moment. The New Man and I have found a routine where he crawls into bed with me when he gets off work in the early morning. It has been a welcome release from reality for me in the last couple of weeks and a wonderful way for me to start my day. As we were in the midst of starting my day off on the right foot, he whispered my name in my ear and it had the most profound effect on me. So simple, yet so significant to me.

When my ex-husband and I moved to this small town eight years ago and met The Other Man and his wife, they began calling me by a shortened version of my name and in turn introduced me to everyone that I met by that name. I wasn’t opposed to the nic-name, it has just never really felt like who I was. I didn’t really acknowledge my discomfort in the name until I was going through my divorce. It became a symbol of the version of me that I had become during the years I spent with The Other Man (and was not proud of). It was very interesting to see who respected my wishes to be addressed by my full name and who, to this day, refer to me by the shortened version. The people who know me well, refer to me by name and do not hesitate to correct anyone that calls me by the nic-name. The people who know me, but have never cared enough to ask my preference still call me by the shortened version. It is a nice daily reminder for me of who the important people are in my life.

But it was more when The New Man passionately whispered my whole name in my ear. It felt like freedom! He has never known me by anything but how I introduced myself, he knows nothing of my past, he knows no one that would refer to me by anything but my full name. It symbolized so much more to me then him being caught up in the moment. It was a symbol of this new chapter in my life, no need for reference to prior chapters or characters, a blank canvas in front of me.

Life truly does always give you exactly what you need, when you need it. I could have never come to my realization about the Other Man without his re-emergence and the opportunity for him to remind me of his true colors one last time. I could have never learned so many valuable life lessons without the time to process and let go of my past in recent months and right when this small town life was starting to get the best of my optimism The New Man walked in to my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I am consumed by The New Man and this new relationship. He is in a very different place in his life and we do not have much time available to spend together, but he sure does put a smile on my face when we are together. No matter what ends up happening with The New Man, I will forever be grateful to him for helping me take the last steps towards letting go, lifting me up and reminding me that I am a strong, beautiful woman, in one of my loneliest hours and for giving me a new-found optimism about this new chapter in my life. Not that he needs to know any of that right now.

So, I Guess This is Moving On

1897843_10151979837162104_1840110201_nI haven’t posted in a while, for what I thought was a lack of anything to write about. Little did I know, my universe was really in transition. Shortly after making The List, I noticed and increased presence of tall, attractive, active, employed men with no sign of children. It seems obvious now that I was likely surrounded by these men the whole time, I just wasn’t not conscious of what I was looking for until I made The List.

One of the men I serendipitously came upon, on Valentine’s Day, of all days was an EMT at an accident that I witnessed and called in. I didn’t speak to him at accident, but I did notice the attractive, 6’4″ man in a uniform. Much to my surprise, I got an opportunity to speak with him later that evening when he stopped in to pickup a to go order. It was brief, but felt like it was more than coincidence to see the same man, for the first time, twice in one day. I shot a friend of mine a text that was a former employee at same EMS station, inquiring about him. I never heard back from my friend and assumed he must be involved with someone or was someone my friend did not see fit for me.

I had completely forgotten about the text and running into the man until I walked into work the next week to find him ordering another to go order. I didn’t put much weight on it since I never heard back from my friend about him. I went about my business in the kitchen after setting down my personal belongings at a table. It was a most welcome surprise to return to the table to find a sticky note saying “call me” with his name, number and a smiley face 🙂

I called and we made plans to meet last night. It was the first blind date I have ever been on in my life. We met for a beer mid afternoon in a neighboring town, where he lives (bonus). The first thing I noticed about him was that he looked significantly younger out of his work clothes. I was too nervous to ask him how young he was. We went on a hike, out to dinner, soaking a then out for a couple of drinks. Yes, I did have a few drinks but was pleased to observe him only have two beer and call it quits.

It was one of the best nights I have had in a long time and was so what my deflated spirit needed. I finally got the courage to ask him his age by the end of the night. He is 25 years old. So, he may be a bit young to be ready or willing to the one that makes me forget my past, but I am so grateful for the boost he gave me, with as low and lonely as I have been feeling since my realization.

I started to think about how much my mental state has started to subconsciously shift in recent weeks on my drive home. I haven’t had an urges to randomly text The Other Man, have start skipping past the songs on my iPod that make me think of my past or The Other Man, opting for happier, more upbeat music and I no longer carry around a pain of loss in my heart. I am at a place where I a ready to simple love the memory of The Other Man and let go of the pain that my past brought me.

I genuinely believe that everything in life happens for a reason. I’m still not sure if the New Man’s purpose in my life was to simply keep my mind distracted long enough to push me over the edge of letting go or if he will be more than that, but I do know one thing. I have been a very good girl through this major learning experience in my life. The sweet little angel on my shoulder has been working her ass off for last two months to stop that mischievously devil on the other shoulder from pursuing so many unhealthy things. And even the angel on my shoulder agreed, when we saw the extremely physically fit New Man in his swim trunks, that I deserve the body and stamina of a 25-year-old right now.

So, I guess here’s to moving on to a new chapter…

The List

It seems as of late, every one of my friends, employees and regulars have “the perfect guy” for me. None of them have materialized as of yet, but it warms my heart to know so many of my nearest and dearest find me so capable. Last night, one of my regulars was talking up one of his single friends that I apparently have to meet. He sounded ok, some pluses, some minuses, but the reality is I know that I am not there yet. I’m not emotionally available YET, so I find it unlikely that any of these perfect matches that keep being presented to me are going to spark much of an interest in the near future.

After giving his top-notch sales pitch about his friend, he gave me what seems like a glaringly obvious, but wonderful piece of advice. Make a list! Shortly before meeting his wife, a co-worker of his offered him the same advice. Sit down and make a list of everything you want in a partner, the perfect man. He said “so many people are walking around blindly looking for love. How can you find what you want if you don’t take the time to define what it is that you want?” So I did, shortly after he left I sat down and started my list:

HONEST: I have learned from my transgression and hold openness and honesty in such a higher regard right now then I ever have before. I now realize that this isn’t just something that I want in a man, I absolutely will not enter into a relationship again without feeling secure that the man is honest and trustworthy.

FUNNY: This one I have to hand to my ex-husband. No matter how messed up our marriage got, he made me laugh every single day and still does most days. I want someone who shares my sense of humor and wit, it just makes life more fun. That being said, I don’t want to be with a ham. Having a sense of humor does not mean needing to be center stage at all times, to me.

EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE: When people ask me what went wrong between my ex-boyfriend and me, I like to say “we both had a lot of baggage and it didn’t add up to be a whole luggage set.” It is my cute way of saying neither of us were emotional available, so please don’t ask anymore questions. It was wrong of me to stay in that relationship for two years when I was never emotionally available to him and I feel like it only lasted as long as it did because he wasn’t really emotionally available either. He was not still in love with his ex-girlfriend but the anger and hostility he held towards her didn’t leave much room left for any other emotions.

FINANCIALLY SECURE: I learned this one from my ex-boyfriend too. He owns his own business, but it is very seasonal. So, in his off-season I felt obligated to offer to pay for everything. I am doing well enough to do so, but it sure does take the spark out of everything you do together when it is all on your dime. I don’t need a man to buy my meals or vacations, but it sure would make me feel good every once in a while.

ENJOYS TRAVELING: I love, absolutely love to travel. I get excited just talking about far off lands. The practical aspects of being a single mother/business owners has brought much of my traveling to a halt temporarily, but daydreaming about trips that I want to take is one of my favorite things to do. I would love to share that with someone! It would smolder my spirit to be with someone who didn’t love the rush of stepping out of their comfort zone and into the great unknown.

DOESN’T DRINK TO EXCESS: This one I have to give to my ex-boyfriend. My ex-husband has always drank too much, too often. My ex-boyfriend was much more of a responsible drink and it was always nice for me to feel assured that I wasn’t going to have to worry about him getting out of hand when we went out or people came over. I am not drinking right now, but I don’t mind being with someone who does. There is just nothing attractive about someone who enjoys getting completely inebriated, for no particular reason. Save it for your twenty year reunion!

NO YOUNG CHILDREN: Kind of hypocritical, I know. A single mother that doesn’t want to date someone with children. When my ex-boyfriend and I started dating his son was only a year old. I realized I had no interest in going through potty training, terrible twos or car seats again. My children are passed that stage and I couldn’t be happier! I am not looking to help raise anyone else’s young children and on the flip side of that, I am not looking for anyone that wants to raise my children. I want someone who is interested in their lives and enjoys doing things with them, but my ex-husband and I work really well together as co-parents. We are not looking to add to our circle of trust.

AFFECTIONATE: I have never been with a very openly affectionate man. Early in my marriage I actually thought it was a sign of strength in our relationship; I don’t need my husband to be affectionate towards me, I know how much he loves me sort of thing. I always just placed blame on his parents for not being affectionate with each other or their children. Probably why it was so heart wrenching to see how affectionate he was with the Other Man’s wife. Apparently, he was quite capable of affection, just did not feel it towards me. I want a man who wants to hold me, kiss me and be near me when we are together.

HIGH SEX DRIVE: Like Joss Stone, this girl needs her lovin’ at least two times a day. I very truly and genuinely love having sex. I have never understood conversations where wives sit around and bitch about how often their husbands want to have sex. Sex is fun, sex puts me in a great mood, sex makes me feel attractive, sex is a great workout, and I want someone who shares that sentiment. I do not want to have to ask for sex or speculate if they are going to be in the mood. I want a solid assumption that if we have twenty minutes together in private, on any given day, there will be some sex happening.

IN SHAPE: Sex is one of my main motivators to stay in shape. I see sex as a dance or art. I enjoy engaging all of my senses during sex; I like the way it smells, I want to taste it, I want to feel every part of my partner’s body and I want to see the dance. If I’m not happy with what I am seeing, it takes away from the experience for me. Self admittedly, I am much more critical of my own body in bed then my partners, I still do enjoy a nice firm body to hold onto. I fantasize about draping my fingers down a set of wash board abs on a man of my perfect height (6’2″, but I’ll get to that).

DRIVEN: I work my ass off for what I have and have to work hard each and every day to maintain this life for my children and myself. I want a man who understands that, can relate to it and is just as driven. I don’t only mean this in a professional sense. I would really like a man who just gets his shit taken care of rather blowing it off because the game is on and then it never gets taken care of. I’m an organized person that sees tasks through to completion. I would love to have a partner with that same quality.

EDUCATED: I enjoy both an intellectually stimulating conversation and being with someone that I am constantly learning from. I am well read and well-traveled, but don’t really enjoy being a know it all in a conversation. I love it when someone has a wider knowledge base then myself and is constantly teaching me something new. However, I do not want to be pushed into whatever they are “into”. Please do tell me all about whatever it is that you love, but allow me to decide if I would like to give it a try.

TALL: Yep, I have realized it absolutely matters to me. The Other Man is tall and I love the way I fit snug as a bug under his arms when we hugged. I loved literally looking up to him when we talked. I am not looking to find a clone of him, but I do want a man who is a good six inches taller than me.

ENJOYS MY KIDS: Last, but certainly not least. My kids are my life. They are why I am still in this godforsaken town, why I work my ass off and why I have taken the high road in all aspects of my past. I love every moment that I spend with them and will not settle for anything else then a man who enjoy them as much as I do.

…and that it! That’s my list. It is now the standard by which all suitors shall be judged. This whole process of letting go of the Other Man has been brutal on me. I haven’t fought off depression like this in years, but I know it is the right thing to do. So, I will keep marching forward with my head held high and now with a list in my back pocket to help me size up anyone that walks through the door.

Are There Any Fish in this Pond (or should I say puddle)?

My ex-boyfriend is really struggling right now. Yesterday he called and accused me of sleeping with our tattoo artist. I’m starting to realize that for the foreseeable future, he is going to assume I am sleeping with every man that I am within arms length of for more then five minutes. Well, if I may be frank, I WISH.

I haven’t had a single interaction that has even raised my pulse since the big “realization”. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely content being single right now. In fact, I think it is for the best until I have a stronger will power built up against the Other Man and alcohol. But a girl still has needs. This is literally the longest dry spell I have had in my entire sexually active life.

I don’t know what happened, but shortly after giving birth to my second child my hormones went into overdrive and have never really settled down. I definitely attribute part of my poor judgment with the Other Man to my hormones. My ex-husband and I had an active sex life until things spiraled down hill, I had an extremely active sex life during our polyamorous years and my ex-boyfriend was a wonderful lover. I was very sexually charged by the idea of being with the Other Man once we started talking again. But that never happened, I woke the fuck up and walked away before we ever got back to that place.

So, now here I sit contemplating buying stock in Energizer because I am moving through AA batteries at such a rapid pace. I know I am on the right track and am doing everything I need to do for a happier, healthier tomorrow but right now I really need a man’s touch. I genuinely love having sex and am getting quite cranky without any prospects of having any on the horizon.

The closest I have come to a glimmer of hope of sexual interaction has been being asked out by three men over the age of 60, all of whom I guarantee are packing Viagra. The Other Man’s brother swears that their cousin is perfect for me. While I liked the idea of dating a man with the same gene’s as the Other Man (and, god willing the same scent), I have to admit that it screams “unhealthy decision”.

I have one regular that I have always thought was attractive and very friendly. A couple of weeks ago I decided to look him up on a social media site. I found myself desperately scrolling through his life, search for evidence of being single. Not only did I find the pictures of his beautiful girlfriend, I also found that he is one of only a few people in this region with the exact same job as the Other Man. Check him off the list.

I find myself sizing men up everywhere I go now. Today, I had to call a plumber regarding a leaky pipe. It dawned on me after making the appointment that I did not know if he was single or not right now. He is certainly attractive, very similar in build and features as the Other Man. So, like any good single girl I made myself look a little better than I would have for an appointment with a plumber. My excitement subsided immediately when he not only failed to offer to help carry the load of wood I was carrying into the house, but also allowed me to struggle to open the door for us to get in the house. Next.

I get it, you get back what you put out there. I am not there yet, I am not putting out a vibe of available because I am still letting go. I’m sure being told that I am too intimidating to men my age and not wanting to jump into the small town cesspool of a singles scene, isn’t helping my single chi either. A girlfriend of mine sent me a text that said the song 6’2″ by Marie Miller reminder her of me. That song is so my life right now!

I guess I will just have to chalk this up there with life lessons that I am learning how to live a happier, healthier life from. Patients is a virtue and wearing a “I just need to get laid” name tag is not socially acceptable at my age.