A New Year has Begun…

photo 5

My view on my birthday morning along the Santa Barbara pier. The Sun returned after days of glorious rains, the bright blue sky went on for miles & the ocean breeze filled my lungs. Couldn’t have felt more alive!

Its a lil crazy to think that I’m 40. I oddly haven’t had any trouble swallowing the actual number this year, but it still feels kind of abstract. I can remember as a child when my parents hit their 40’s & I couldn’t imagine being that old & yet now I feel so young.

I’m very excited for this new chapter. There’s been a lot of change swirling about & I can’t wait to see what unfolds! Seems to be lots of goodness…

Since it’s a new year, and the last blog title didn’t fit anymore, I figured it was time to jazz up the new blog, get a new host, a new title & a new style ~ a fresh start for 40!

Twirling Skirts is about enjoying life, being in the moment ~ if you feel like ‘twirling’, then twirl! For me, this year is a year of embracing who I am, without worry of the judgement of others. Come along on the ride as I continue my search for love & discover me in the process

To start this off ~ here’s my TOP 40 for 40

  1. Wear RED lipstick
  2. Star gaze (at actual stars in the sky)
  3. Smile at strangers
  4. Take a wine class
  5. Less pants, more dresses
  6. Be open to possibilities
  7. Visit Portland
  8. Laugh daily
  9. Dance in the rain (probably possible while doing #7)
  10. See ART, in any form, each month
  11. Put my toes in the sand more often
  12. Write more
  13. Enjoy nature, go for more hikes
  14. Let miracles happen
  15. Picnic with friends
  16. Dance!
  17. Read a book a month
  18. Make time for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
  19. Send out pretty cards for no reason other than I’m thinking of you
  20. Enjoy good chocolate
  21. Hug more often
  22. Talk more, text less
  23. Date fearlessly
  24. Take a cooking class
  25. Get out on a boat, its been way too long!
  26. Keep my body in motion
  27. Share
  28. See more live music
  29. Try learning French (again)
  30. Believe in love
  31. Have faith in God’s plan for me
  32. Enjoy being in my ‘feminine’
  33. Get out of the country, again its been way too long
  34. Trust
  35. Kiss passionately
  36. State my needs
  37. Adopt/rescue a dog
  38. Attend a retreat (yoga, writing, anything) somewhere tranquil
  39. Hold hands
  40. Enjoy delicious things, guilt-free

Let the adventures begin!!  xo

photo 1

Gorgeous blooms out on my hotel patio. Everything felt so clean & fresh after the storm. If even for one night, I had the dream ~ being able to be outdoors while at “home”

photo 4

Everywhere I walked I saw beauty!

photo 3

Just brilliant! Art, wine, music…all within block of each other. My kind of hiking!

photo 2

One of the stops on my ‘trek’, a converted tire shop with the most delicious wines, cool tunes, along with beautiful photos and art on their walls ~ Oreana Winery is a fave

                   

The Weekly Date Roundup!

Ok, I’ve got a lil confession to make ~
I stayed in the shallow end for another week.

On the Tuesday morning of the scheduled 2nd date with the Librarian I woke with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The first thoughts one has when they wake up should not be dread for the upcoming evening’s date.
Which in turn caused me to argue with myself about not “being open”, closing off, yada yada ~ you can imagine this delightful conversation while still laying in bed, geez I mean what a way to start the day off…
And of course I couldn’t just drop it, I kept chattering to myself about it all morning.
Do I trust my gut?
Is my gut just acting like a silly lil girl?
If I’m feeling this way, is it even possible go into the date “open” to anything positive?
If I cancel, am I letting myself down?
How will I ever learn if I avoid experiences?
Am I avoiding?

This could go on & on, but I’ll spare you & just say
I cancelled the date.

I felt better physically after that,
but mentally I just felt safe (& not in a good way).
I was thankful for a busy week/weekend of ahead of work & time with friends that I could just throw myself in to…

Then while at a conference my perspective shifted.
I was busy still being right about how I handled the situation as told my tale to the ladies on Friday evening, but by some point Saturday afternoon I knew I needed to return his call & accept the 2nd 2nd date offer.
We had a fun, flirty conversation over the phone & set up for drinks on Monday.
I was open & excited.

Its hard to pinpoint exactly what caused the shift, but I knew if he directly asked 
why I didn’t feel we were a match, my answer would only reflect my 
fears of being vulnerable, not valid reasons.
It is the Year of Dating Fearlessly, time to walk the talk!

I am currently living in a new space of freedom as I am not employed full time on a tv series. Sure this brings up a lil anxiety financially, but it has also opened up an amazing window to live my life balanced & do things I enjoy!
So while the prior week was a mix of work & play, this last week was a week of play, which all focused around multiple dates & living creatively.
Totally awesome!

Monday night was the Canadian Librarian’s turn again & I was ready.

 I felt open to the adventure of getting to know him this time. We met for drinks at the Roosevelt Hotel, which has such a great old-Hollywood ambience. 
Yes we still debated & argued pretty much over every topic, but it was kinda fun. He is quite smart.

Due to a car issue of his, our date was in his neighborhood, which I didn’t mind since he chose a cool locale. Oh & by the way I got him to man up & actually plan the date instead of him putting it on me 😉

Since I was enjoying his company this round, when he suggested a night cap at his place, I figured why not, it seemed a lil early to cut the date short.
You’d think I’d be dating savvy enough to expect what he had in mind & I did, but I was amazed at how quick the moves happened! Damn!
Well, I’ll just say I got more practice in setting my boundaries.
I never blame a guy for trying, it in their DNA.
But by gosh, if it’s one thing I’ll rock at by the end in the dating game, it will be stating my needs & setting my boundaries!
Practice on!

3rd date is pending, as he’s out of town for the next week…
So while the cat’s away, this mouse is playing.

Date #2 for the week was a 1st date with a Cop from eHarmony.
Wasn’t sure how I felt about dating a cop cop, but his profile seemed interesting, pics were handsome, tall(!) & get this, lived only a block from me – that NEVER happens in LA!
He seemed to be a very “to the point” type of guy, not much for chatter about frivolous things, so I wasn’t sure what to expect connection-wise…
Staying open.
The plan was to meet at the Americana, a local open air mall with a ton of options, which was good since I didn’t know if it was dinner? Drinks? Coffee? A stroll?
Our meeting spot was to be at the large fountain in the center.
He had let me know he was already there, and as I get to the fountain, I’m looking around, all I see are families & couples, 
not a single man in sight.
Then I get this feeling I’m being watched.
I spin around, am I blind? I know he’s here…then I see a lone figure in the shadows along the wall of the Apple store – is that him? I can tell that person sees me looking at him, but I get no acknowledgment. I keep scanning the crowd, but move his direction, really hoping this wasn’t my date.
It was. In full stakeout mode.

I had visions of the Det. Stabler-style detective from Law & Order: SVU & I ended up with Sipowicz from NYPD Blue, minus the mustache.

I will never understand using old, inaccurate photos, it helps neither party involved.
Ok, so off to an awkward start from the get-go. We make a lap around the mall, with no plan forming. I’ll admit to expecting a cop to be the take charge type of guy, but I was wrong.
After one loop, we found ourselves at the corner facing a new restaurant, who’s signage is quite illegible, so I was commenting on that & wondered if he had been there or knew of it, trying to guide us somewhere.
We cross over, the menu seemed good, cool vibe but he wasn’t showing an interest.
He did finally suggest dinner if I was hungry & offered up the Indian restaurant next store.
There’s an Indian restaurant next door?
Apparently…in the basement.
Down the stairs we went to the completely empty, sparsely decorated Indian restaurant.
As we were the only customers there, we did get impeccable service & lucky for us we were in time for the early bird specials, so he ordered us a beer – to share!
Dinner was uneventful. 
I noticed early on he wasn’t ever making direct eye contact, so I started making it a game – he actually looked me in the eyes only 4 times!
He asked a lot about my experience with eHarmony. Then the past relationship questions came up.
Here is where I have to work on owning my limited relationship experience past. 
I need to devise a good response that that doesn’t leave me defending 
the “what’s wrong with you?” question. 
So I haven’t had a ton of long-term relationships, maybe that’s a good thing! 
Stop asking me why. 

We walked back to the Americana post-dinner & found seats by the fountain, where he then states “how stupid are the people who watch this, its just water, so lame”.
I LOVE THE DANCING WATER FOUNTAIN!!!
Its mesmerizing, its magical, its dancing freakin-water  – its beauty found in the most ordinary thing combined with the emotion of music – how can you not love it?
Thankfully he was “fading”, looked at his watch & at 7:48pm on a Friday night, we called time of death.

Date #3 sprung up kinda quickly.

Thursday evening while letting a girlfriend play Cyrano with my Tinder app, she reached out to Beach Guy.
Friday he & I are chatting. 
Turns out he’s from Manhattan Beach, but is passing through my area Saturday afternoon, so a coffee meet & greet it is.
Perfect lil squeeze in before my date that evening.
High energy, very talkative.
We both admit to the distance as an issue but are willing to give it a shot one more time, see if there’s anything…
why not, right? Fearless!
Date night this Wednesday…

Ahhhhh Date #4, the one I’ve been looking forward to happening, finally materialized –  Mr Second Time Around made a second appearance!
Funny thing about women, or well at least me, I don’t quite pick up where we left off if it’s been over a month. We had a lot of chemistry on our 1st date,
 but as the weeks went by I kinda forgot what it felt like. Its gotta be built back up.
So, when his texts were all sexual & he wanted to start the date at my place where we left off last, I knew more boundary practice was coming, sigh…

Traffic was looking bad between our places, which according to him was due to the Ducks-Kings game at Dodger Stadium. 
I wondered how gullible he thought I was, hockey at a baseball field??? 
Um yeah, turns out he was right…but of course I didn’t believe him until I saw for myself. 
Once he arrived I was quickly reminded of our chemistry. A breather needed to be taken, so to cool off  we decided to go grab some beers at the local brewery & watch the game

It was a fun date. I really enjoy hanging out with him, but I think that was probably it.
Between his boys & work, I get the impression a relationship falls low on the priority list…too bad, but I can’t settle for crumbs…

I’m a lil exhausted from a power week of dating. 
All nice guys. Any matches? We’ll see…
xoxo

Just when you think you’ve got things handled…

Oh crap!
My dad issues are affecting my dating life!!

I mean I was aware I had some “dad issues” but I I thought I had worked through those in these past few years. And, please don’t get me wrong I love my dad! I think we get along quite well now, but apparently there’s some stuff I gotta look at…sigh

Let me take you back to last week’s date that triggered all this…

I was finally meeting up with the Canadian librarian who I had met on Tinder.
We had been exchanging messages for a couple of weeks over the holidays, as we were both were busy traveling or booked with family in town, so it was finally time to meet up.
Our messages had been light & easy, starting off with the usual asking of the basics. Where we then moved into more witty banter. 
His flirting had an intellect to it that sparked my interest.
I’ve always found an educated man to be sexy. He doesn’t have to know everything about everything but if he’s got a passion & loves to share his knowledge in it – hot!
I was really looking forward to this date.

Pre-date giddiness, feelin pretty
We were meeting up at a small lil neighborhood wine bar he picked, which sounded casual & cozy.
I always love to let my girlie side show & decided to go with a dress & heels.
Always heels!
LA is a city overrun with short men & I gotta know early on how high a heel I can get away with, cuz I ain’t giving them up 😉
One thing I have learned from my Tinder dates, if their pics are mostly waist & up, they will be shorter than me…they have ALL been shorter than me.
(This may be where Tinder falls short since their stats aren’t listed, its kinda a crap shoot)

Sure, yeah, you can make the argument of falling for their personality is more important but if you can’t get attracted while bending down for a kiss, I’m not sure you ever will.

Ok, so yes, he fell into the shorter than me category, but possibly eye level without heels, so not giving up hope yet.

We get our glasses of wine. He’s a white wine guy. I’m a red wine gal.
Maybe we’re the opposites attract type?
We start picking up & elaborating on conversations we had messaged about.
I quickly notice with every comment I make I am corrected.
But he’s backing it up with facts & data, quoting obscure books & references, so kinda hot, right?
Have I mentioned he’s a librarian?
I’m soaking up new information, I’m learning while on a date ~ very cool.
Until it keeps happening, with every topic! Even fashion!
I’m getting triggered, my combative-ness is starting to come out…not pretty Carlie, take a deep breath & hear him out.
I was trying really hard to not shut down mid-date. Yes, I had pretty much written him off as potential at this point, but I might as well enjoy the night, right?
But then I’d hear myself argue something back to him, like I had no control over my mouth!

Managed to survive through the conversations with a couple of glasses of wine & as he walked me to my car, he leaned in for the kiss – either he was on a different date than me or he get turned on by debating where he always wins.
I cringe to admit I kissed him back, seemed a quicker way out & as I pull away he suggests we do this again – seriously????
BUT
he says its up to me to invite him out & plan the evening
(I will leave my rant about gender roles & dating for a future post).
I say ok & quickly hop in my car, figuring I just dodged a 2nd date.

Of course he reaches out a couple of days later via text & I find myself even being combative & snarky in my responses. He does not bring out my best self!

Cut to a couple of days ago & I’m sharing this experience with my therapist
(yes, the therapist thing is happening now)
& in doing his brilliant job of holding the mirror up to me & making me actually look, he shows me how this gentleman’s behavior was triggering my childhood reactions of dealing with my dad – who is always right…
And I reacted exactly how I used to as a child – dammit!
Instead of just listening, I was immediately forming judgements based on my past & writing him off.
Maybe he was anxious & was trying to impress, he suggested, but how would I know that if I’m not giving him a chance.
I cannot keep shutting down if its not how I “expect” it to be.

Sooooooo, I’m giving him a 2nd chance…while I currently feel this is against my better judgement, by Tuesday I will go into this open-minded, if anything for the practice & the experience of staying present

Christopher Reeve said “either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.”
I’m learning how to swim in the ocean, no more shutting down & playing it safe in the shallow end.

**Other Player’s Update**
Going into the new year I was looking forward to meeting up with a couple of other suitors too, here’s their latest…
The Restauranteur – has been benched due to a hernia, we’ll see if he comes back swinging.
The Second time Around Guy – has also been out of play due to family health issues which took him out of town & between juggling when he’s got his kid’s, I feel we may never get that 2nd date in. We chat, but missing the in-person connection…

In the meantime, I’m just gonna hang my heart out there & go enjoy life!
Have a great week!!
xo


The Year of DATING FEARLESSLY

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Hope your’s is off to a great start!!

Thought I’d share my horoscope for the year ahead, cuz it freakin rocks!
Even though I don’t put much stock in them, I enjoy reading mine every now & again, especially when they say gooooood things – thank you Refinery 29 😉
Illustrated by Emily Forgot


Pisces (February 19-March 20) You are in for one heckuva year, Pisces, so get ready. Romance, possible fertility, and even continued education is on your cards in 2014. Take this time to define your life and call your own shots, instead of letting others dictate your actions. The first half of the year will be exciting, but by July, things will have thankfully died down so you can settle and take it all in. The four eclipses this year will reshape your life in more ways than one from your mindset to the number of stamps on your passport.”

Woot woot!!




Ok, so last month I claimed 2014 as the year I was going to date fearlessly in my search for  love…
What does that mean?????
I’ll be honest my heart is racing a lil & my palms are sweaty as I type this.
When I had this brilliant plan, I hadn’t quite thought through the whole “facing my fears” part, hmmmmmm, on second thought…

Nope, no I’m gonna do it, I’m sticking to the plan!

Step 1 to dating fearlessly, one has to figure out what fear(s) are blocking her progress in the love dept.

For the first time ever in my 39 years , I’ve been actively casually dating, no one specific man has had all my attention & I’ve been enjoying it ~ I will say it is quite fun having such a busy social calendar.
Getting to know different personalities, trying on different like/dislikes, learning about a new restaurant or activity ~ all good!

Throughout my 20’s & most of my 30’s, the concept of dating was lost on me. 
Finding dates seemed impossible, online was hit or miss back then,
flirting? phffftt, what was that?
If I had a date, I was nervous & awkward.
2nd dates were not common.
So I’d just sit back & swoon over the men who weren’t interested, daydreaming of love…
This then lead to the long stretch of throwing myself into my career.

A few years into that & tired of being alone, I decided to make some changes and take a good long look at myself
~ my thoughts, my beliefs, my patterns ~
I was ready, I wanted to find love.
I got me a dating coach & got to work!
Yes, I was that clueless when it came to relationships & needed guidance.

My amazing coach, Marni*, after much work got me back out there dating 
& almost instantly a quality man showed up!
Magic I tell ya, when you’re in the right space!
I had never experienced the fun & the joy of dating until him. The excitement of getting to know someone, reveling in their stories & sharing your’s, the rush of connecting to another soul, letting down of your walls & revealing your true self.
It was the most wonderful feeling.
I finally knew love.

It was amazing how easy it could be ~ why had I struggled so much before?
Why am I struggling again?
Am I struggling now? 

Lately I’ve started going for runs, a slightly shocking activity for me, 
but I’m really enjoying it. I love the feeling of strength & possibility I get while out on my run.
Music pumping, the sun on my face, the freedom in the moment.
So yesterday while doing a lap it hit me, this moment of clarity!
I’m too afraid to let myself be vulnerable again!

vul·ner·a·ble: adj    capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt

I am struggling within myself to let my guard down.
While these dates & men are great, I’m not letting them in…or letting them see the real me.

AM I willing to expose myself & my heart again?
Could I handle the pain again?


I want to say yes! Yes, I’m willing to let go of my fear!
Yes, to being open to the possibility of falling in love again.
But will I let down the safe walls I’m hiding behind?

I’m scared.
(funnily enough I’m willing to be vulnerable here with you, on the page, but in life? Oh boy!)
But I’m willing to try.

So the new goal going forward on these dates ~ share myself!
Be vulnerable!
LET GO!


Keep ya posted after this next round of dates 😉
Wish me luck 
xo

*I wanted to give a shout out to Marni Battista & her program, Dating with Dignity – she’s changed my life & if you’re looking for love I couldn’t recommend her more! I’ve talked about our work together in posts on First Love at 37 if you want more in depth to the story. Thanks Marni!! xo

Love Me Tinder-ly

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!
Hope you’re all enjoying a wonderful holiday season!!
Heading back home to Colorado soon, with my fingers crossed for a white Christmas, and figured I’d share a lil update on the dating scene…
oh, I should do a “Best of 2013” list, hmmmm that could be fun! ~ stay tuned for that one 😉

So, where were we?
Ah, yes, I was having some self-discoveries & decided to step back from the fun fling guy…
Logical next step ~ Speed dating!
Packed up the car with water, snacks & lipstick in preparation for my journey to the Westside.
The evening’s event was being hosted by a few Meet-up groups & was taking place in an alehouse that sounded like a cool place to check out.
Also figured it was good to change up the locale, check out the Westside male offerings 😉

It was fun.
Met some cool ladies prior to it starting, which is always the case, (there’s a lot of great single gals out there, c’mon guys!) 
We chatted as the men started to arrive. All anxiously wondering if this is the night we may meet “him”…
Wellllll…
 It was a very diverse group, which is cool, there’s a type for everyone.
I, myself, met 15 men in LA I did not need to know further.
I totally enjoyed our “mini” dates, conversations were good, but I was having trouble getting past the basic starters.
I wasn’t going deep & hard-hitting with my questions. I wasn’t revealing much about myself either. 
And, yes that is challenging with the allotted 5 minutes.
I’ll admit I may not have been at my “A” game, but I was out there….

Funnily enough, during the evening I got a text from Mr Fun in the Meantime.
I hadn’t heard from him in a while.
I will say I had never reached out to say “I’m moving on”, kinda just figured that we were that casual to fade away…
Nope  ~ boot-ay text mid-speed dating!
Its always so interesting to me how they “sense” the interest shift away from them…no, wait, remember me, we should hang out again, or at least tonight…

Decision time
Answer OR ignore the text?

I went with Answer. If I’m going to date w/dignity, I gotta answer.
Played it cool, sussed out the situation, definitely was a boot-ay text.

Decision time
Have some fun, cuz none of these 15 guys panned out OR honor your desires for a real relationship?

I decided to respect what I had already learned & not to go down that path again that ultimately left me lonelier than before.
I told him he was a great guy, enjoyed hanging out but I’m looking for more than what he’s admittedly willing to give.
**a HUGE moment for me!! Speaking my needs, even if/when its scary** 
 He totally respected it, said I was awesome, enjoyed all our dates & wished me well.
It felt so genuine, that it caused me to pause…maybe? maybe he is a cool guy & I’m giving up too soon?
Thankfully it only took me 2 seconds to catch myself. He wasn’t saying he wants what I want, he wasn’t trying to convince me to give it a go, he was just being a great guy, validating our time together.
Done…next?

So I think I may have ranted previously about the latest dating app that everyone seems to be doing & how I couldn’t imagine doing it…
yeah well, I’m doing it & LOVING IT!

I think it was my Pilates instructor relating it to video poker that I began to see the FUN in it. I was being way too serious about it before & viewing it as just another vehicle for possible rejection seeing as its so visually based…
Screw that! Its a riot & seriously addicting!
Its like winning in Vegas when you click “yes” on a profile & you’re a match, a new screen pops up, your pics roll together & voila – a match! 
If only the sound of coins chinging happened, that’d be perfection – jackpot!

I’m currently taking the stance of sitting back & letting the men contact me first 
(which is texting via the site)
My rationale is that my “liking” of your profile shows my interest, step up to the plate, let’s see what you’ve got…
In the future I may reach out, but so far I’ve got too many conversations to keep track of… 

Being a week in to the game, I’ve already had some pretty fantastic dates!

Cocktails in a log cabin

Disco Christmas drinks & laughing the night away

To a 2nd date that had adventure written all over it that I couldn’t say no to, no matter how scary some parts sounded
(you’ll laugh at what scared me)
This guy is pretty intense, knows what he wants, direct questions, digs deep, is spontaneous, & fun ~ I kinda dug him.

For the 2nd date his plan was ~ Motorcycle ride…Hollywood Hills…cocktails, dinner…fireplace

Oh yeah, this sounded GREAT! Except the fireplace part scared the bejesus outta me!
Never been on a motorcycle before, did that scare me? Noooo!
Exhilarate me, yes! The nervous scariness of that is a rush in the moment.
And the fireplace can be that same exhilarating rush too, & even better WHEN its with the right guy…but c’mon this is date 2, let’s just have fun, keep getting to know each other…

The ride through the city & the hills was AMAZING!!! Cutting through the crisp air, flashing past the holiday lights, holding tight, leaning in to the curves, the rev of the engine, picking up speed, passing the cars & off in to the open – oh my god!
Yeah that’s a rush!

Dinner was a surprise, 
I had no clue what to expect since I don’t know his tastes well enough, or at all really.
Well, from racing through the streets of LA, we shifted to completely different gears and had the most delicious 5 course tasting & pairing dinner that was so exquisite I don’t even know how to describe it.
Oh I wish I had a menu to share, each course was a food I had never had before and was sooooo amazing!

Truly an adventure at every turn on this date!

Its crazy how fast 2013 has gone!
 It has been a whirlwind of emotions, of men, of self-discovery.
Its been a year I wouldn’t change for the world, all the good & the bad, through it I have gotten to this wonderful space where I truly love my life & everyone who’s in it!
I’ve learned so much from all these dates, more about myself, more about what I desire, what the ideal partnership looks like for me & most importantly how to be open to the process of falling in love again.
From the Asst director to the Architect, the 50year old, to the sweet young 30-something from Texas, and all those in between, you’ve touched my heart this year & I thank you!!

I am beyond excited for the new year ahead & am claiming 2014 as the Year Of Dating Fearlessly!!
And who knows, but its looking likely that I’ll experience my FIRST KISS at midnight this year!
xoxo
Have a safe & happy holidays!! Here’s Percy Faith with “We Need A Little Christmas”
Enjoy!!!

God Bless Pie

Ahhhhh, a new week has begun, what adventures lie ahead???

I will say, it is off to a great start!!
I know I’m always telling you stories as I look for love, but I’ve gotta share this high I’m on tonight ~
Earlier today I had some big decisions to make with my upcoming collection for Ch*Armz, of course the creative side of the decision process was fun (I love that part!) but when it came down to all the other stuff, I was spinning out in my head.
I did not want to freeze & over-think, but yet I’ve gotta think it through…how much is too much when it comes to thinking?
My gut knew I was on the right path, I just needed to keep reminding my feet to take one step, then another. It was time for action instead of analyzation.
And I did, I took action!
I sit here with a living room full of fabric I adore & now I’m looking at the next step.
Today showed me I do have faith in myself & in my abilities.

I am giddy at the thought of the next few months as I challenge myself to step outside of my fears & believe in me!
My “safe” life is great, but I have dreams for it to be bigger & I can make it bigger!

And of course this pertains to love too!!
I’m working on pushing through my fears of getting hurt & being vulnerable again, believing I’m enough & lovable, but it’s not always easy…

Take for instance, Guy #4.
I should’ve known when he booked the date & said “let’s do early on Friday (7p) before we get our night’s started”.
I hate to say it, but he was my Friday night. 
It may be the romantic in me, but even if we say we’re just meeting for drinks, I like to keep the evening open to the possibility of anything, we may hit it off, decide to have dinner, talk for hours, who knows…end up at the beach with our toes in the sand.
OR home 45 minutes later with a box salad & Liz Lemon.

We met at Golden Road Brewery, which is a great casual spot, if you’re a beer drinker, which he is not. Odd choice of venue. He ordered wine.
They have the communal dining experience, so our 1st date was joined 2 other couples & a family of 3, nice & intimate 😉
Once we got our drinks & squeezed ourselves into a table, the stand-up routine began.
I thought he was a producer/sax player/movie critic, now we’re adding comedian to the mix?
Oh boy!
Oh & he’s also a baker, which may have been what lured me on the date to be honest 😉

So, we get to talking about baked goods & here comes the schtick.
He’s talking about the “Republic of Pies” somewhere in the Valley, 
my interest is piqued, what’s on the menu, where is it, etc…& he gets rolling with its more of a “dictatorship of pies”, no wait its an “oligarchy of pies”…is it, is it an oligarchy? he asks….& PULLS OUT HIS PHONE, gotta Google this…yep, yep its an”Oligarchy of Pies”
He’s cracking himself up. I wince, fake chuckle & gulp my beer. 

And in a blink of an eye our mini date was done, he had dinner plans.
Points for at least paying for my drink, but they were quickly lost as he couldn’t even walk me 3 cars past his to mine.
I like when they make it clear as day that you’d never like to see them again.
Next…

I will say I’m glad Guys 1-4 have gotten me back out there; they’ve introduced me to some great restaurants, lounges & cuisine.
They have also shown me I need to tune back in to what type of partner I’m looking for & not be so eager to just get to the date.
I want the dates to be fun & be something I look forward to…
I look forward to the endless conversations, the holding hands, the laughing & the sharing as we get to know each other…

I’m diving back in the sea to find my fish.
Guaranteed more stories to follow 😉

In the meantime, I’m curling up with some love letters & great stories.
In a recent trip to Ojai with Mom, we came across this amazing outdoor book store, Bart’s Books.
We got lost in there for hours. Mom in reflexology. Me in great love stories of the past.   

 I found an interesting biography of JFK & Jackie’s love & life together that I couldn’t resist getting, I want behind the story of Camelot. Plus its an old hard cover book, just like good ole library days. It feels so weird to turn actual pages! I love it!

And as I dug through stacks of books, I was drawn to Keats & his love letters to Fanny Brawne…awww the beauty of words!

Look at that gaze!

13 October, 1819

“…My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit to my love now….Your note came in just here. I cannot be happier away from you. ‘Tis richer than an Argosy of Pearles. Do not threaten me in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it. I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my Religion – Love is my religion – I could die for that. I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet. You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist; and yet I could resist til I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often ‘to reason against the reason of my Love.’ I can do no more – the pain would be too great. I cannot breathe without you.
                                                                                                                  Yours for ever
                                                                                                                        John Keats

And on that note…
xo