Hello

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything! It’s amazing how fast the days go by lately. I would’ve sworn to myself that I posted something earlier this year, but it must have just been the rough drafts that I create in my head & they didn’t actually make it out on to the page…sometimes there’s a lot rattling around up there. Makes me wonder what else I’ve forgotten to say or do that I thought I already had done this year, hmmmmm…oh well, time will tell. For now, I’m back now to share more tales.

I’ll be honest about my disappearing act. I was beginning to censor myself & that’s one thing I don’t really want to do in my writing. I pride myself in my honesty & transparency on the page, so when that wasn’t happening I got quiet. I realized while being open with my life, the sharing of my words could affect others & I wanted to be conscious of that so I took some time to figure it out.

So here’s the truth ~ I broke one of my cardinal rules.  I became Facebook friends with a man, who was a potential romantic interest. I choose to break this rule as it was the mode of “introduction” from a mutual friend, who bless her heart, thought we may be a match. I will admit it was helpful in nosing around a lil to get an idea of who he was, but it also burst the bubble of intrigue that comes with each date as you solve more mysteries about who they are & I found myself already seeing why we wouldn’t work out. But nevermind that as I didn’t let it stop me from meeting up with him. I went in being open-minded with no expectations. At our 1st “not really a date” social interaction, I had a pretty good time (but how could I not at a whiskey tasting where there was 15 men to every gal?!). So I graciously accepted his invite for an actual date the following week (there was definitely more mystery to this one beyond his fb page).

When that date arrived, I was greeted with the information that he too had being doing his Facebook re-con & mentioned how much he enjoyed reading my blog. That thought had never occurred to me! That he’d actually read my posts. I felt strangely exposed, virtually naked sitting there at the restaurant table. I generally try to follow the dating etiquette of never talking about my ex, or past dating disasters, but there he sat knowing it all. I had also figured he might bring a bit of material to the page, but as you know, it promptly shut me up knowing he’d read it.

I know that everything I write I should be able to say it as if that person was right next to me, but sometimes in the early stages of dating & you’re unsure of what you’re feeling, & it helps to process it with friends, or journaling, or blogging (or all of the above) without involving their feelings until you’re sure of your’s…does that make sense?

Long story short, we’re still Facebook friends. We only managed to get 2 dates in before busy schedules & dwindling interest did us in. I’m sure if he reads this, he’d agree too, that we weren’t destined to be. Lesson learned ~ stick to your original rules, they’re there for a good reason!

Seeing as it has been over a year, I do have quite a handful of stories to tell you, but I’d like to share something that’s been bothering me since last weekend.

For the long holiday weekend, I decided to escape away to a cabin in Big Bear, all by myself. It’d be an easy two hour getaway from Los Angeles that feels like a whole other world, exactly what I was looking for.  All I wanted to do this Thanksgiving was cozy up next to a fire & escape into a good book, in solitude, surrounded by nature. I have always dreamed of romantic weekend getaways up there, but had yet to visit, so I decided to stop dreaming & just make it happen ~ solo.

I got the car all packed up. Wine – check, cozy blankets – check, books (mystery adventure – check, witty autobiography – check), snacks – check, & enough yummy sweaters to keep me warm all winter – check, new Adele album downloaded for obnoxious car singalong – check.  I was excited to hit the road. Quality Me time here I come!

I felt so free on the open road (well, after an hour+ of gridlock on the 210 freeway, weren’t people supposed to gathering around a turkey by now?!). Starting over the mountain pass, I couldn’t resist opening the windows for the crisp fresh air. Ahhhhh so good! I hit the crest & as I started down in to the valley side, there it was – snow! Yes! Proof of an actual season, of weather in Southern California. This Colorado girl couldn’t resist, I had to pull over in the turnout & soak up the view as the flakes fell. This trip was off to a great start.

Then I did something I never expected myself to do. When I got to the lodge to check-in, they asked me “how many keys would you like? Two?” “Yeah, 2 would be great, thanks”. What? Why on earth would I need 2 keys? Was I planning on losing one? Did I need a backup? Was I gonna slip one to a handsome gentleman while out on the town? NO. No, none of this was true. The only truth was was that I was embarrassed all of a sudden to admit I was a Party of One. Why was I so concerned about being judged for my singular status? I punched my own self in the gut.

I left the lobby hoping they wouldn’t notice that there was no one else in the car waiting for me. The silly girl with 2 keys. I drove around & found my adorable little cabin on the lake and promptly forgot my single woes. My home for the next few days was glorious ~ the perfect log cabin, rustic mountain-y decor, complete with fireplace. The dream getaway was coming true.

I decided to explore the town a bit and find some dinner before it got too late. If you can’t have turkey, why not order some Thai! With the snow continuing to fall, I wanted to warm my soul, so I ordered a bowl of soup & an entree. As I sat and waited for my order, I watched families scurrying by outside looking for warm places to duck in to. Tables were filled inside the restaurant  with boisterous groups enjoying each other’s company. As the waitress was packing up my order, she asked about utensils “For two?” she innocently asked. I paused, nodded & said yes. YES? Really again? To be fair, I’m not sure if it was my inner fat-girl, or lonely girl responding, afraid of being shamed…either way, I did it to myself AGAIN!

I am a very independent person. I am used to doing many things on my own, it’s not like this is new to me, so why was I having difficulty today owning who I am?

Once nestled back in my cabin, with the fire roaring, I felt happier than I had in a very long time. I knew this weekend was exactly what I’d been needing. The rest of the weekend was beautiful. I woke to a quiet snow covered town, spent the days exploring the Village and nature around the Lake, sipped hot drinks & went to the annual Christmas tree lighting ~ I felt like a local & I loved it.

Yet, it was still nagging at my gut. Why was I ashamed to admit to being solo? What does it matter what a stranger thinks? It dawned on me while I drove home, I’m the one judging myself. I’m ashamed that I haven’t found someone to share my adventures with. I’m ashamed my dream of a family isn’t a reality yet. When asked if I’m married or have kids, I always smile & make some hopeful remark, but truthfully I’m shaming myself on the inside. This weekend brought it to the surface & its time I start accepting the wonderful life I do have. Its good to have dreams & maybe someday they’ll come true, but what is right now is pretty darn awesome.

 

Gone Boy Crazy

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Pretty can be prickly

 

I don’t know if it’s the warmer temps, the unstructured days, or the fact I’ve gotten actual sleep, but I’ve gone doggone boy crazy! I see handsome men everywhere I go. I’m smiling & giggling (to myself) like a silly lil school girl, I can’t help it!  I’ve even noticed getting more help in the grocery store from the attentive stock boys & extra shots of espresso from the handsome baristas…a girl could get used to this.

There’s a lot of change swirling about in my life these days (all good) & I think its shook off some of the dust that has settled in over these past couple of years.  With these past two weeks free from work, my social calendar  has kicked up a few notches & I owe you stories featuring a handful of suitors…BUT I cannot wait to share this story, so pardon me while I skip ahead to yesterday’s whirlwind romance…

It all started a coupla weeks ago while playing the game of Tinder.  I swiped right. He swiped right.

And within minutes a message from him. “Oh, a live one” I thought…I’ve found on my recent return back to the dating app, that while the matches may be plenty, the man who actually makes the initial move is a rare breed.  And as a lady who likes her men to take the lead, I always engage with those bold enough to muster the first “hi”.

This one, ooooh let’s call him Mr. Tenacious (Mr. T), sends his hello, quickly followed up with an invite to go shoot pool in NoHo right then.  I look at the clock, it’s 11:30 pm on a Sunday. Sure, I’m not doing anything besides swiping my evening away, but I wonder ~ does he really mean ‘let’s go shoot some pool’ or is that some euphemism for sex these days (balls, sticks, holes…I don’t know??)  I end up ignoring the invite, pretty much wanting to nip the late night impromptu suggestions in the bud.

I know from his profile he’s a road manager for rock bands, so its safe to assume he’s a night owl.  The next morning I wake to find a message flashing in my inbox. It was Mr. T apologizing. He hadn’t realized the time when he messaged & wanted to wish me a good day.  Ok, so maybe he is a cool guy who’s body clock is off & who better to understand that than this gal, fresh off of 2 months of night work.

I decide to give him a chance & we message back & forth lil notes, nothing earth shattering, over the next couple of days until he hits the road with work for a week.  Cut to this week, guess who’s back from Cleveland? You got it!

The ‘dip the toe in’ messages began ~ “good morning”, “good evening”, nothing of substance. I quickly tire of this & having to log-in to the app to converse, so I send him my phone number…sometimes you win with this, sometimes you wish you had a 2nd line for your potential suitors.  The giving of the numbers occurred about 10am yesterday. By noon he called, no voice message, but was followed by a text to say he had called…gotcha! He asked “you working now?”

I was in the middle of a project & responded a couple of hours later & sillily mentioned my work got pushed by a couple of days. Ten minutes pass. My phone rings, its him. I answer. “Lattes. You. Me. Now”

Ummmmm…hmmmmmm latte with a fly by the seat of your pants type of guy or laundry at the laundromat on a hot afternoon??? This hopeful romantic, caffeine-addict said yes.

Turns our Mr. T does not have a car (in LA?!) but thankfully takes responsibility for getting himself places like a responsible adult (unlike another recent gentleman caller).  We decide to keep it local for him, which worked well for an errand I needed to run too, so killing two birds with one latte…we opted for convenience & picked Starbucks for our coffee date. We had our cross streets & we each began to head that direction.

Turns out there’s 3 Starbucks in that general area, shocking I know! Being on top of it, he sent over the address, a map, and general directions ~ thorough? chivalrous? obsessive compulsive? or in desperate need of his caffeine fix? I’d learn soon enough.  I thought it’d be a funny “meet cute” that we’d both be at different locations, both technically correct, we’d bicker bout who’s right over the phone as we walked to meet in the middle, lattes in hand, our eyes lock mid-block & we just know…ha! Ok, cut the background music, back to reality we come.

My 1st stop ended up running a lil long & he landed across the street. He texts that he’s secured me a meter on the side street & will see me there. Two things ~

  1. There’s a giant free parking lot in the back, which always has available spots
  2. If he doesn’t have a car, how is he securing the spot? Sitting in it?

I can only chuckle, shrug my shoulders & go in search of my gallant parking knight.  I arrive to stories of fighting off a BMW, a Lexus & an angry mini-van mom. He paid the meter, he owns that space!  He makes me laugh.

Earlier while en route to the date, he texted asking my sign & if I had ever dated a Gemini?  Apparently they still ask ‘hey baby, what’s your sign?’  No previous Gemini beaus I tell him…can’t wait to see where this conversation is headed.  Right off the bat once we get in line to order drinks, he dives in with Gemini traits ~ they’re enthusiastic (check) & they know what they like (a triple shot, 6 pumps vanilla wet cappuccino). Not 5 pumps, not 7, precisely 6.  Once we get outside, he follows it up with “Geminis are great lovers too”.  Oh boy, we’ve got a ‘live one’ is right!

Conversation ping-pongs around all over the place, no single thought is finished. I try to keep up. He’s fun & quite possibly crazy…another Gemini trait?

He was getting hot & sweating quite a bit, so I suggest going into the a/c but he thought it’d be much more fun to stroll the boulevard, window shop & chat. Um,ok.

A couple of blocks in I was regretting my lack of sunscreen & poor choice of shoes, usually cute sandals are safe for a coffee date.  We thankfully tuck into some shade & I get the Instagram tour of his life on the road. It looks pretty awesome. He does get to see some pretty great places, but he’s gone most of the year.  Back out in the beating sun, he grabs my coffee & puts it in my other hand while sliding his sweaty palm into mine. Oh, oh, oh…c’mon…  I suggest turning back once we’ve passed all the shops, sensing he could just wander for hours.

On the return stroll he asks multiple times what I’m doing tomorrow, the next day & the next. He’s starting to plan for our next date ~ driving around to see movie locations around town from our favorite movies (kind of a cool date idea). He had downloaded an app earlier in the date that gave all the info. Of course I joke about how are we going to get to all these locations. “Well, you’d be driving, of course” he says straight-faced. Silly me.

He makes his intentions very clear he wants to see me 2-3 times before he hits the road next week, yet I feel we’ve learned absolutely nothing about each other during this date to warrant more. Then he starts eluding to his extra airline vouchers he needs to use & maybe we could make good use of those…we’ll see.

I’m so overwhelmed.  I am not a future-izer! At this point I’m just walking along sipping whats left of my iced coffee, wide eyed & listening to him go.  Thankfully I had already established early on that I had to leave to pick up my friend at the airport, & oh lookie, its that time.

He walked me to my car, gave me an enthusiastic hug, lingered, then dove in for another hug, lips beelining for mine. I try the cheek dive, but he outsmarts me, man he’s fast!  I get in my car and laugh, what a random Monday afternoon. Dating is funny.

I’m not even two blocks away & the texts begin

  • Had a great time
  • Looking forward to our adventures
  • 😉
  • You can follow me on Facebook
  • Here’s my Instagram name
  • Here’s my Twitter

Invoking the ‘safe driver’ clause, I did not respond then, figuring I’d follow up later.  After a long catch up session over dinner with my friend, I texted him to say thanks for the afternoon fun & that I had made it with perfect timing to the airport.  Whoops, that was waking the beast. Sometimes I never know when to leave good enough alone. I gotta go & “be polite”, then things get weird.  He calls in response to my text, again it’s later in the night (what was I thinking?).  He’s talking low & sexy, says its so he won’t disturb his roommate.  Its awkward.  I don’t even remember what we talked about. We hang up.

A minute later he texts ~ “Can I be direct with you?”  Well, I figure this could go any which way, seeing as I have no clue what just happened on the phone. I’m curious, so I say “sure”.  This is the text I get back: (sorry mom) “Iam so f*****g hard right now & want to have sex with you for hours. Zero drama. Just amazing sex”.  Yep, that’s direct.  I’m all fired up as I read it. The Universe has been playing with me lately, testing me with setting my boundaries, which I fail to do early on, so I pounced on this opportunity & set him straight.

And again, in response, the Gemini in him is just a sensual being, he practices tantra, it’ll be amazing…blah, blah, blah. Ok so he’s not listening to me, best to just shut up, Thus ending the whirlwind romance with Mr. T in my book.

He kept on texting about the map he was creating for our next date. He was even gung-ho & chipper with texts this morning.  I think we loved enough in the span of 24 hours to last us a lifetime ~ thank you Mr. T.

It can’t really be this hard…

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A few days ago I went for a jog around the lake. Did my usual route, started at the same point, headed the direction I always do, doing my creature of habit routine. As I finished up my lap around I decided to go for a second, which I rarely do, but I think the guilt from all the Easter candy I had been binging on brought on a burst of energy to help burn it off before it settled in on my ass.

On the second lap around, I decided to switch directions, needing to change my view if I was not going to be painfully aware of every step ahead. Gotta say, it worked! As I hit the last stretch I saw this sign (pictured above) behind the fence, a fence I’ve jogged & walked along a lot lately. It has obviously been there for a while, I mean weeds have had time to grow through it, but somehow only now was the first time I noticed it. I love how a simple step of changing directions can change your experience & even your point of view.

Nothing is coincidence. I do believe opportunities & signs show up when we are meant to see them, when they will have meaning in our lives.

Lemme be honest, I’ve been struggling with putting up a post lately. I’ve been bouncing around an idea for the “Joys of being Single”, but nothing was coming…sure, I had a couple of ‘joys’ to add to the list like  ~  not having to shave your legs everyday, or being able to curl up in bed with your iPad at midnight & watch the “How I Met Your Mother” finale  ~  but the truth is I don’t enjoy being single. I’ve spent about 99% of my life single,  I have it down pat…

A lil too much so…

Since changing directions helped my view at the lake, I figured why not take that as a sign to change my focus and stop trying to convince myself to find the joy, but rather ask questions & delve deeper into the direction I do want to go ~ in to a relationship!

It was recently brought to my attention that I find fault with every man I date…but, c’mon I am dating in LA…all kidding aside though, he was right.  I’ve got the whole routine down pretty good by now ~ there’s usually 2-3 dates, things are ok, no real sparks, but it could be worse. I start to squirm, sure that the longer he hangs out with me the sooner he’s going to want to go find someone else more interesting, soooo I find excuses why he won’t work & I disappear…only to begin the cycle again.

I want to get off this merry-go-round & I need your help!

As you know I’ve only had one kinda serious relationship in my life, and while it happened in my late 30’s, I figure I’m the emotional age of a post-adolescent. I have fallen in love & experienced my first heartbreak, which seems to be high school age, on average for most. So seeing as my ‘relationship growth & experience’ may be stunted, I’d like to hear from you & your experiences to help me realize if how I see things is realistic or the view of a wide-eyed teenager.

Help me catch up to speed on dating like a normal 40 year old woman looking for a adult man to share a committed relationship with.

I know I will never experience another love like my first.   I am not that naive.  It will be very hard to be that free with emotion again.  My heart comes guarded now & flinches easily.

My single mind has been whirling with questions, trying to figure out how most seem to fall into relationships so easily… here’s some of what I’m wondering about ~ (feedback greatly appreciated)

*Assuming you’re not with your 1st love (& if you are, cheers on you! I wanna hear all about it!), how was falling in love again? Easier, harder? Different? Better? Did it take you longer to find your next love? Or were you more open after experiencing it?

*Does being previously hurt help you to love with more awareness? Or with more trepidation?

*Do you like your partner?  I know you love him/her, but do you guys genuinely like each other’s company? And if so, how long have you been together?

*Do you share similar interests & like to do them together? Or is that asking a lot from your partner? Do you save your interests to be shared with friends instead?

I’ve been told I have too many expectations of how a ‘real’ relationship is & to stop living in a fairy tale.  I have been working on bringing no expectations. There has also been talk from friends of pushing me towards the idea of settling for ‘okay’ or ‘good enough’, that it’d be silly to expect more at this stage of the game.  I still want to believe in the magic of love, but it could just be the stubborn 16 year old in me wanting to ‘be right’.  I need to know from y’all, who are in the trenches of relationships ~ help me see the reality!  I do know its not always easy or pretty & I look forward to the messy…but when you were first dating ~ was it a lot of work? Did you enjoy each other at the beginning?

Lately I’ve been enjoying my time away from the online dating world, the freedom from texts, im’s, and emails is so refreshing!  And instead of being behind a screen, I’ve actually been going & doing all sorts of things that interest me, figuring I may just meet a real live man with shared likes.  So far it has turned out to be a lot fun solo adventures, but I’m not giving up & sitting on my couch just yet.

The other night as I left a story reading event, I had a bit of existentialist angst. One of the writer’s had gotten up & read some of his poems. Now poetry & I have always had a hard time understanding each other, especially in the spoken form (I needs words on paper people!) & being there alone I did not feel comfortable asking anyone to explain it to to me.  As I wandered to my car I began to wonder ~ if experiences had, while alone, actually happened if you can’t explain them?  I felt very alone as I pondered.

Well, enough from me for now…I leave you with DREAM BIG & BE BRAVE!

I look forward to hearing from you! I know your insights & stories will help make sense of this relationship world. Welcome to my lil course at Love U! xo

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Fall in Love Fridays…

It’s Friday. It’s beautiful out. The birds are chirping. Why not fall in love?

While I’m busy out falling in love with myself these days, I thought I might entertain you with this short romantic comedy & it’s joys of online dating.

How they capture the clever, flirtatious early stage of the online courtship, the quick-wit ball being tossed back & forth is spot-on.

Enjoy!

I am not myself these days…

Do you ever feel out of sorts? I mean, for a long time? To the point where you can’t remember who or how you used to be, but something doesn’t quite feel like you’re being you anymore?

I have been angry lately, like snap back at you angry & that is soooooo not me. I’ve actually scared myself with some of my reactions lately. Yesterday I got so mad because the Sun was trying to come out, I was literally bitching out loud in the car & even forced a friend to listen to my rant, c’mon Carlie pull yourself together! But seriously the sun comes out every damn day here, sometimes you want a breather from the warm glow telling you ‘you should be happy, its gorgeous out’ (again!)…I enjoy variety & maybe that’s whats been missing. Being greeted by the cloudy morning, I was energized to go & be outside, enjoying the freshness of the gray moments. Maybe I felt part of that joy fading as the Sun tried to peak through sparking my anger, fists shaking at the sky ‘I’ll get you Sun’ (yes, I’m becoming a crazy lady)…

My anger has been bubbling up these past few days in various situations too. I’ve been very short with people, maybe some deserved my curt responses, but most have probably not ~ I’m sorry. I hear the words coming out of my mouth & it’s like I’m on a 5 second delay watching & hearing myself behave badly without any control! Who am I?! It is kind of liberating saying what I’m thinking & feeling versus putting on my sunny disposition, but usually my sunny disposition is actually me & not an act…lately it feels like an act because its how people expect me to be. Am I really a positive person? Maybe I’m beginning to embrace my inner ‘cranky old bitty’…oh god, I’m too young to be cranky already…

There’s a few areas in my life these days that are up in the air & I think, oh who am I kidding, I KNOW its freaking me out a bit, so I’m hoping this may be accounting for my anger phase. Unknowns, up-in-the-air’s, unstructured life is not my style & this process of learning how to roll with it has been a bit bumpy. At times it feels like I have a lil angel on one shoulder & a lil instigator devil on the other. One reassuring me of what lies ahead, while the other is spouting all these logistical things to freak me out. Argh! So I tune them out binging on House of Cards…not helpful 😉

I’m taking control in one area & trying a new game plan.

I’m always getting a ton of advice on my dating life. Mostly from paired off friends, who look at me with a mix of empathy & pity. Their favorite adage is ‘he’ll come when you least expect it’, or ‘it’ll happen when you’re not looking’.  Yes, this could be true, but I spent the better half of my 30’s just ‘going about life’ with lil to no success, so I decided to take action.  This dive all in, get a dating coach kind of action did bring me dates. It brought me many experiences, some good, some bad, some humorous. There’s been much education in these dating years, but it has also turned me a lil cynical at the moment. I have decided to stop taking an active pursuit in dating. I am going to listen to their advice & not ‘be looking’, but what will be different this time versus my 30’s is that I am taking an active role in living a life I love & enjoy. I haven’t been doing that lately & I certainly wasn’t doing that in my 30’s (even though I thought I kinda was).

Maybe its the ticking over into 40, maybe its the big space of unknowns I’m sitting in, but all I know is that I need to get back in touch with myself for the ultimate goal of loving myself & not finding a partner.  I have done & am familiar with what this work looks like, but when I’ve done it in the past I think I was focusing on the end goal of a partner to share my life with & not truly accepting myself as lovable while single. I get it now. I’m ready to explore.

All the walls have been pulled down today. Freedom is surrounding me! No more okCupid profile! I love my lattes, but no more Coffee Meets Bagels, The Tinder profile is down! Good-bye eHarmony! See ya later Speed Dating! God be with you Christian Mingle!

I am FREEEEEEE & it feels so good! Hmmm, I’m starting to feel less angry…phew, I think the old ‘me’ is on her way back!

xo

Sitting in the Uncomfortable

My Spring view

Oh my these past couple of weeks have been a lil tough…this growing & stretching phase of practicing vulnerability is NOT comfortable, at all!

I am grateful for this peaceful Sunday morning, as I sit here with my windows open, feeling the fresh Spring air, smelling the sweet scent of the blooms outside my apartment. I am comfortable here. I feel safe. I am alone and am starting to embrace it.

Lemme roll back the calendar to a couple of weeks ago to when a new match popped into my world. Still not sure if I wanted to dive back in to full swing dating mode, I responded anyways.  We seemed to have some shared interests, I liked his smile, and I guess, why not?, at this point…

It started off slow, a lil conversation via text each day. Not much, dipping a toe. With our interests piqued, we tried to set up a first date. Coordinating busy schedules  proved tough, but possibly by the end of the week.  Then one evening I got a late night text, he wanted to say hi & see how my day was, hoping it wasn’t too late…funny how the Universe sends what you need at the perfect time, as I was plopped on my couch feeling a bit lonely…conversation was exactly what I needed.

Ping ponging questions & answers, likes & dislikes, we chatted via text as the hours passed. He recorded the falling rain & sent me the audio ~ the best soundtrack to intimate conversations. Our questions began to delve deeper, really exploring what each of us longed for, tears streamed down my face as I typed my desires, sharing truthfully what I hoped for, I opened up & began to expose myself. I hadn’t been this vulnerable in a long, long time & I was scared, but it was also the first time I’ve felt safe & heard by a man in a very long time too. We chatted til 3am and could’ve easily kept on going but the reality of the approaching morning loomed and sleep was necessary. I dozed off to sleep with a smile on my face.

When I told a friend about the evening & our conversation, she point blank asked if at any point the thought occurred to pick up the phone & actually talk?! Nooooooo, which yes, sounds silly, I know, but I wouldn’t have shared this information so freely! And, while technically yes, he was still a stranger via text, I felt safer to be me with him in that format. I know I may have been hiding behind the screen but I WAS opening up again.

During the evening, he mentioned a few times about calling me the next day. I looked forward to hearing his voice, wondering what he sounded like. The day floated by with ease, the world seemed brighter, I felt like me again. Its been a while. A mid-day text to see how I was holding up brought a bigger smile to my face. And then that was it, no phone call, no voice message.

I felt so raw & deflated. I put my hopes out there only to be met with silence. I’m a big believer in words & actions matching and I can’t wrap my head around asking repeatedly to do something & not do it? The walls around my heart started coming back up. I could almost physically feel them. BUT I don’t want to hide behind them anymore. How can I stop my automatic response, my safety mechanisms? I kept hearing this lil voice “stay open, be vulnerable” & I just wanted to shout back “why?????! this does not feel good”…but I must try. I promise myself I will try my best to remain open to the process…

I couldn’t rally my heart for a Friday night date, even though work finished in time. I figured Saturday would be better, since he said he’d keep them both open for me. Saturday’s day plans timed out perfectly, leaving me free for a date night & I texted him excitedly, I was ready to dive in again. Oops, except that he had made plans…so much for keeping the night open, or my heart for that matter.  It took another week of reschedules & busy lives to finally meet up. At that point I didn’t know what to expect, or what I was even feeling anymore, I’m just showing up.

From the moment of entering the lounge & sitting down, the date just flowed. Conversation delved more into our beliefs & outlooks on life versus the standard interview questions. It was so lovely to look into his his kind eyes. Then I asked the question I really needed an answer to ~ how long have you been divorced? He paused. Well……   Only a few months separated & in the process.  My heart sank. I can’t do this again. A red flag began to be raised up the pole. He continued to share a little of the situation which I appreciated hearing, but I wanted to shift off this topic for now. Cue the loud bad 80’s hair cover band…we grabbed our martinis & ran for the peace of the patio. Outside we got cozy & enjoyed the rest of our evening. I was definitely looking forward to seeing him again.

The beauty of dating a couple of guys at once is the compare/contrast, it can get really clear what attracts you & repels you. The following night was movie night at the Canadian Librarian’s. I knew where this could lead & apparently I’m a glutton for punishment (i.e. boundary setting practice). Parking can be tricky in Hollywood & all the visitor spots were filled in his building, so he hopped in my car & we hit the lot across the street. Curious how late they were open, his question to the attendant was “can she get her car out in the morning?” Um, excuse me? That’s very presumptuous! I asked for 10p.  So knowing where he thought this was going, my guard was immediately up. We have built NO intimacy, we barely chat between dates, I’m sorry I’m not going there til I know you better. We share some similar interests & I always learn things when I’m with him, so I keep trying, hoping he’ll grow on me. We settled in for our classic movie & I’ll admit he has one damn comfy couch! And while it was a perfectly okay date, I realized he & I are just surface, fresh from the emotion-delving date the previous night, he didn’t stand a chance…

Fueled by ‘spring’-ing ahead & feeling excited about a man again, I was feeling playful, so when date #2 activity ideas came up, he was game for miniature golf – so fun! Naturally my competitive streak came out, playfully of course…thankfully he dished back all the ‘big game’ smack talk I was throwing his way! While I may have killed it on the greens, he showed me who was boss at Skeeball! That hurt!  All is fair in love & arcade play!

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For as much as I was looking forward to this date & seeing him again, the energy was different. I think it was me. I’m trying my best not to put my guard up, pull away or shut down but I can’t shake the past. I cannot be another divorcee’s training wheels.

I’m trying to quiet the voice that keeps telling me ”I’m not enough”, that he’ll leave me in the search to find a better, funnier, smarter, prettier woman. I know this voice is wrong but somedays she can be loud.

I’m wondering if I’m strong enough to do this again…

Vulnerable

A New Year has Begun…

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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

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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”

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Everywhere I walked I saw beauty!

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

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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