March’s Art Adventure

I’ve been working my way through my Top 40 list & I’m taking #10 seriously ~ see ART, in some form, every month! For March I got to combine two loves ~ ART & FASHION ~ @ LACMA’s  Diane Von Furstenberg’s “Journey of a Dress”

Pop, pop, pops of color & print make this girl very happy!

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This only scratches the surface of the quantity of her career ~ dresses for days! I could’ve spent hours staring at the mannequins. I always saw a new dress with each lap around…

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Where the wild things are…

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Warhol + Diane = a thing of beauty

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What it looks like inside my mind some days…

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Its not always black & white ~ there must be COLOR!!

Aprils’ art adventure lies ahead tomorrow ~ a day at the Getty ~ I can’t wait~

xo

 

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