Archive for the ‘Fear’ Category

Well, that took longer than I thought…

OK, reaching out again, to the world, one baby step at a time, and trying not to trip over my own d*mn feet. Literally and figuratively.
Learning how to walk again has been painful. And time consuming. And is still ongoing.
Learning how to love again, or still, or something… Well, it’s time to stop wishing and hoping, Dusty, and get back to feeling good. Or anything.
So starting small. This all-or-nothing gal is learning patience the hard way.
And if I’m going to see the big picture, I have to see myself as part of it.

BBC Emmelines Women

BBC Emmelines Women

I’m back… inaction.

Kicking in my own doors for once...

Kicking in my own doors for once…
Door Ajar by dok1, used by Creative Commonse License.

Hello All.

So my fun health issues turned out to be life-changing. Hence the disappearing act. Not to worry, I’m fine. I’m not going anywhere any time soon. I just have had to pay closer attention to my diet and banish chairs from my world. But it raised up a whole host of fears and panic and issues with which I thought I had already dealt more effectively. Apparently, I’m still human, no matter what I try to pass off to the world.

Eventually, I hope to be able to discuss that time in greater detail, but for now, I’m going to leave it that I felt powerless, and then invisible, which naturally kept me silent for so long.

Also, I’ve discovered I write best (read: at all) in mornings and evenings – and since my mornings are taken up by ensuring I eat an appropriate and balanced breakfast, and literally hanging out in the pool at the local Y hoping for some passive traction to actively do something, and oh, yeah, work -that place where they keep my money and benefits… and since my evenings are taken up by resting my very tired self, ensuring I eat an appropriate and balanced supper, and taking the wall-of-exhaustion medication… the writing thing, became not so important. Which just adds to the voice-less invisibility, so I’m trying to bring it back. It will likely be sporadic, and that’s OK. I am human.

As for the rest of me… well, the chair banishment leaves me at a struggle to participate socially in the world at large, but I’m trying. Bars are at a higher esteem than they have been since I was an undergrad! Also, restaurants with tall tables, you are my friends and I will likely keep you in business.

I do feel on the whole that I am starting back at square one in my struggle to balance my life socially – it’s hard to get very busy on-the-go type people to visit their bed-ridden friend when they have multiple jobs etc. So… it’s been quiet, but I am trying. Again. Lather, rinse, repeat, right?

I have some fantastic medical professionals added to my team, so that’s nice.

And Dashing and I are… good. Apparently, he can find ways to visit the bed-ridden while working multiple jobs and going back to school. You see why I love him?
We struggle and fight, and are learning to better communicate and accept one-another for what we each have to offer. It’s hard. But we’re working on it. And it’s starting to feel like we might actually be working together on it. You know, as a team. Which is the whole point. Teams, communities, they’re hard to build and harder to maintain… but so very necessary.

I’m glad I have this community to return to. I hope you’re still out there waiting to join the discussion again.

Thank you.

From Black and White to Shades of “Grey”: Does being left at the altar mean the end of a relationship?

Wedding Bouquet by Rosen Georgiev/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wedding Bouquet by Rosen Georgiev/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A certain popular television series got me thinking tonight. When do you know it’s right to join your life to another? To add him or her to your hub of your community? To allow him or her access to your other communities?

When do you know it’s right to become married?

I say “become married” rather than “get married” because I do not believe that marriage is something you acquire. Achieve, perhaps, grow into, most certainly, but pick up like eggs and milk from the corner store? No.

Also, I believe it is possible to become married without having a wedding. If you throw the law out of it (which it should be), and if you throw out definitions using variations of the same word (sloppy), then we see the third definition in Merriam-Webster as being:

An intimate or close union

Which is entirely possible to develop without celebrating it, without publicly stated vows, without rings or things or kitchen sinks…

Now, I am not discounting the importance of weddings. I do not believe that in general they are frivolous affairs which change nothing in any relationship. I believe they can be quite transformative, but that every wedding may not necessarily be so.

I’m simply questioning the all-encompassing significance our society places on the altar. Is it truly necessary to have a wedding in order to enter that state of intimate union with another?

And, as in the case of our fine characters who inspired this line of thought, can a relationship survive one of the two not making it to the altar? How devastating to the relationship must it be?

I can understand that to the individual left waiting it must be a tremendous blow to the ego, and to your faith and trust in the other person, and that latter part necessitates that it must affect the relationship – but must it be devastating?

An intimate or close union. Union. That requires two people, two wants, two needs, two schedules, and two perspectives to consider.

And I believe one can be entirely ready for a marriage, for an intimate union, for a partnership of that magnitude, and yet, not be ready for a wedding.

Obviously communication is key, but if you are planning a wedding (and hopefully the after-wedding) with a person, and you show up on the day, brimming with certainty and anticipation and a certain amount of trepidation… and that person simply doesn’t arrive… Does it change who he or she is? Does it change who he or she is to you? Does it change what you want from/with him or her? Do you stop loving him and wanting her and needing him or her?

Or can you accept that it happened and move on and still be with him or her?

Is that too much? Is it an act devoid of self-respect to stay on? To continue the relationship after inconsideration and perceived rejection and (typically) intimate public humiliation?

Obviously, one cannot know until one is in such a position, but I can tell you what I hope from myself, and my partners:

Perhaps I am too romantic. Perhaps I was raised by parents who demonstrated such unconditional love that I can’t imagine any singular act on it’s own changing that type of bond.

But that’s just it.

“I love you forever” doesn’t come with caveats. Unless you put them there.

Perhaps it’s the divorced child in me, but I’ve had enough of secrets and ifs and situational relationships. A marriage is not the place for them. Not for me, anyhow. By the time I’m looking down an aisle (or trail, or path, or ribbon, or slip’n’slide – whatever we set up), I would hope that I am already considering that person waiting for me to be my partner, and for I to be his or hers. We would already be family. Our marriage would already have begun, and would not be solely dependent on a wedding happening that hour, that day, or at all.

You shouldn’t have to say “I’ll have an intimate union with you, only after we sign documents/speak vows/party with family,” it should be a process. An ongoing ever-evolving process. I hope I wake up everyday from the moment I know that person to be part of my family and think to myself “Today, I marry you” whether there’s a wedding or not.

What do you hope for in such an experience? Please share your story below.

How to Keep Friends: A Social Experiment III

Balance is Key

Partner Yoga courtesy JoreJj Z. Elprehzleinn, Creative Commons License

So I’m putting myself out there. Well, literally, through this blog, but also in my offline life. And I promised to keep y’all updated.

Well nothings happened lately – I’ve fallen off the wagon as it were, what with holidays and birthdays and whatnot. So I’ve decided to update you on my state of mind, and put together a post requested by the Smitten Immigrant. And to somehow combine the two…

So I’ve said before that I’m an ambivert, which means I identify as both introvert and extravert (literally, I took the test in guidance at my highschool a couple of times over the course of several months while choosing university programs, and bang, two different results). And I think everyone has a little of each inside. It’s all very situational and has to do with comfort level, I believe.

Now I’m not a psychologist or an expert in anything, so I can only speak from my personal experience and observation.

Our society values extraverts. As the Smitten Immigrant says in her comment – introverted women are seen as the oddest ducks. Everything from commercials to new television series to reality television focuses on ballsy, popular, sexually hungry, sassy women. They are portrayed as modern, ideal, and normal – whereas their quiet sidekicks are shown as sweet, and old-fashioned, and not worthy of centre stage.

I think this idea really stems from a misconception (one of many) that came out of the feminist movement. It’s this idea that extraverted behaviour is an indication of strength. Introversion and extraversion have nothing to do with strength. I have met many needy, weak, and clingy extraverts, and many strong, self-possessed introverts. It seems we as a society never got over Tennessee Williams’ Laura Wingfield as the example of introversion, and her extremes have faded from our collective consciousness until what was a crippling and obsessive character trait pales and mutates to become our new definition of the word.

So what is the difference then? Well, introverts prefer solitude or small groups, enjoying and thriving off the sound of their own thoughts without the stereo feedback of a crowd. Extraverts prefer the throng, the pulse and beat of a crowd, the gratification of feedback from a source external to themselves.

As an introvert, I enjoy the observation of crowds, the ability to chew over a thought before I say it, the fantasy and daydreaming that can only come with some uninterrupted conversation with me, myself, and I. Thinking more, and feeling more on a soulful level, feeling recharged in a quiet, wisdom-seeking mode. Enjoying me, and my books, and the feel of being an island.

As an extravert, I enjoy the solitude within a crowd, being a part of the whole, the freedom to not think before I speak, and riding the wild repercussions that can come from that. There is an instinct in interacting with people, and a wild high in feeding off their energy. I can get drunk without touching alcohol. And I make friends and connections like a match to flash paper, which is good, because no man is an island, right?

Finding the balance can be like, well, like these.

As a self-identified woman of extremes, I should probably look up my nearest Buddhist temple and start learning to walk the middle path, except I’m pretty sure I’d fail. A lot. (On second thought, that might be a good thing…)

At any rate, my experiment designed to help me create more balance is working, but I need to find the energy to maintain the momentum I’ve managed to create, because otherwise I go back to hermit-ville, and that’s not good for me all the time.

My extraversion really shows when I’m speaking with passion, when I’m performing, and when I’m with other creatives. I may need to find a show… Or go dancing… Except, I don’t know how to go dancing without getting hit on, and I’m really too old for that crap, I just want to dance and feel the beat and the lights and the shadows and the sweat and the smile – and not get pawed at and manhandled. Too much to ask?

Well, until I figure it out, I’m enjoying my books and figuring me out, and there’s nothing weak about that.

This is a start, I’ll be writing more on these subjects I’m sure, but what I’d really like to know now is what do you guys think? When are you introverted, when are you extraverted? Do you ever wish you were the other? When? Why? What do you value? Let me know, below!!

Fear Not: How To Make Friends Part II

Jump in with both feet first!

Cliff Diving courtesy JohnONolan, Creative Commons License

OK, so last week got away from me – I know this early on into a series and I’m already flaking out – it doesn’t bode well…

Fear not. Because that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Not fearing.

I know for me, and I’m sure some of you out there, too, that there are those days when you just irrationally despise everyone around you. Especially those who care about you. I know, I know, Midol can cure this – or it could be that we’re just a bunch of scaredy-cats.

See, when I feel this way, it’s not just that everyone is irritating me, and making my life more difficult, it’s often that I feel so d*mned alone, and all those happy, popular, together people just seem so d*mned happy and together and popular and everything seems so easy for them that I just want to scream, and cry, and lash out because I’m jealous and can’t they see how awful and lonely they’re making me feel???

Umm, no, they can’t, crazy Miss Happ… Uh, remember how you work so hard to keep it together and not let them see how much you’re hurting and just want to be included? Yeah, that. That’s what they see, because that’s all you allow them to see.

Also, people are incredibly self-centred. (Seriously, look at this blog.)

So while I’m all upset and worried about how I’ve offended someone and they’ll never forgive me, or how maybe I smell because no one calls me, or how I wish they would invite me for lunch, just once… They are worried about that zit on their forehead, or how they wish I (or someone) would just call them, or how they might get fired from all their extended group lunches and why can’t they just have a work ethic like Miss Happ’s….

It’s rough all over, kids.

So in the spirit of growth and development, and making friends, and conquering those fears one voice at a time… Try something new.

Something you’ve never done before, something you’ve never dared. Go cliff diving (and tell me about it!), take a ballroom dance class – without a partner – and meet some new people, take voice lessons and stop being afraid of impromptu sing-a-longs (they happen more often than you know), learn how to rewire or build something with your hands from those tutorials at your local hardware store, join a gym and learn how to do yoga or 15 chin ups or run 5km…

Better yet do something you thought you would hate – maybe that’s just your fear talking. Maybe it’s something you tried when you were young but it didn’t come easily so you gave up, or someone made fun of you before you’d figured it out, or someone for whom it came naturally made you (inadvertantly or on-purpose) feel inadequate…

For me that used to be just about any kind of land sport, singing, and driving.

And you know what?

I had to figure out driving, and while I used to cry EVERY TIME I drove – to the point of nausea and hyperventilating – now, I love it. I take scenic  routes, and Sunday drives (even with the cost of gas). I love driving. But it took me years (and a few now ex-boyfriends) to get there.

I started singing lessons in August. I go once a week, and my instructor is fabulous. I can firmly say I have made a friend in her, and even if I were to quit, we would each want to stay in touch.

Alright, I haven’t really begun to conquer the land sport thing yet… But maybe I will. In fact, Dashing is a huge land athlete, maybe that is something he can teach me to enjoy.

The point is, when you try something new, when you face your fears, when you get over it and sit amongst all those whom you envied, you learn, you grow, and often, you come into contact with new potential friends. And after all that learning and growing, you become a new potential friend to yourself and those around you. Because each time you knock a fear out, you become more confident.

And there’s nothing more attractive than confidence.

So go ahead – Fear Not.

Catching Up To Dashing: Baby Steps For The Win

Baby Steps

Tortoise wins courtesy nedrichards, Creative Commons license

Alright, it’s been awhile since I’ve gone all Dear Diary on you guys…

There’s been drama and panic attacks and tears – and that’s all very boring and teen movie of the week, so, no, I’m not going to discuss it here.

Here’s where Dashing and I are now, though.

We’re good.

That’s it. Really. He is planning his return to school and I am working (and contemplating making it official!).

We speak daily, on the phone and via text. We see each other for lunch or dinner about once a week. It’s been awkward and awesome all at the same time. And we’re both learning loads. I can’t speak for him (I hope one day he’ll come online and give you guys his side, but, we’ll see), but here is what I’ve learned so far.

1. He really does want to make plans and follow through on them.

2. I took it for granted that an “in-person” chat would always be coming up – and excused my poor telephone skills with not liking the phone. It’s not a lie, I do hate the darned things, but it’s lazy to say that’s the only reason I can’t think of things to say while speaking to him through one. Fortunately, I’m getting the chance to improve that part of my communication with him.

3. I can have a more balanced life, and I can have it now. I think that with or without the break, I still would have made it happen eventually, but rebuilding my community became necessary therapy in the last five weeks or so. So far, I’ve gone out with friends at least every two weeks, I’ve texted other people several times – and they’ve texted back, I’ve been on Facebook and updated some things, and I’ve started my Christmas Cards. Now I should probably go back and check that list to figure out what I’m forgetting that I said I would do…

4. We really do have fun together. It wasn’t just loneliness, hormones, and escaping failing relationships that drove us together. And that’s cool.

5. And this is the big one… I have trust issues. With him. And specifically regarding our future together. But I figured that part out. And we’re working on some ways that we can make it easier for me to trust again, recognizing it will take time, and I’m so happy. I have something to work on, I am a part of this relationship again, I’m not just waiting for him to figure out what he wants.

It’s so important, this tiny shift in power. It’s not that I thought I was perfect, far from it. But I really did think that all I wanted was for him to want to be with me the way I wanted to be with him, or to be able to tell me what he needed from me that was different from what I wanted. That I was just waiting for him to catch up to me, or to make a decision not to.

And that’s horrible.

For him, and for me, that is so wrong. I want him to know what he wants, yes, but I want to be able to help him find it. And I want us to be a part of both our futures, but we can’t do that if I’m afraid to be myself with him. And right now, sometimes, I am. Because being myself got me hurt. He didn’t mean to hurt me, he just needed to slow things down, but we’re human (mostly) and we didn’t communicate well. I thought he knew that all I wanted most was him, not a house or a status or a ring – and he thought he was letting me down by not being ready for ALL THE THINGS at once. He just wanted to play with me (in the sweet flirty way we do, not in the string-me-along way or the naughty (also fun) way) and have fun being us.

But I don’t yet know how to play and be me and be boisterous me without ending up wanting more… But I believe it’s possible. So we’re working on that. Baby steps.

Recommendations? Advice? Thoughts? Shared experiences? Books I should read? Leave it below, I’d love to hear it!

Warning! Woman at Work

Warning! Woman at Work

Construction Worker at Westlake Center 1988 courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, Creative Commons License

I had a meeting with my boss today, and she asked me what my career goals were, as reviews are coming up.

Well, I took the job to become a home owner because my acting degree didn’t come with a sugar daddy and I hear hooking’s illegal here in Canada so… yeah, career goals.

Honestly though, I’m a go-getter. I excel at things. I’m one of those annoying people who can do just about anything, and do it pretty well, too. Even more irritating (to me) is that I can see myself doing just about anything. It makes choosing stressful (I know luxury problem, but still).

Now that I’m working for a big company with room to grow, people expect me to have career goals beyond “Make car payment this month” and “Invest in house in fall winter spring.”

So in a company with fairly limitless options, and me with almost limitless potential, what the heck do I want to do?

And do I really want to do anything?

Because if I stop thinking of this job as a job, as a means to an end, as that place where they keep my paycheque, as that thing I must endure (almost) painlessly to be able to achieve my dream of homeownership, and uh, food… Then I am committing to a community and claiming it for my own.

Then those people I work with become those colleagues with whom I create products.

Those “work friends” might actually become work friends, and I might know these people for years – have barbecues with them, invite them to housewarmings, and baby showers, and – oh my god, I’ve married my work.

I really don’t think I’m a huge commitment-phobe, but my paid ambitions lie buried with my acting career. I want the house and the family – not the boardroom and the politics – right? I said, right?

Alright, I know I can have both. OK? Especially since I’m not engaged, not likely to get pregnant anytime soon, and have masses of brains wasting away in data entry – well, not so much wasting, as attempting to find ways to improve the systems and think my way out of a job… Details.

And having the higher paying job that committing to career-like ambition offers would make home-owning and family-having easier in the long run.

And I could still think of it as a job, right, just that thing I go and do for a third of each weekday? And I don’t have to make bffs 4ever with everyone there, I can simply be polite and encouraging and helpful and me – and leave them all at 5:00, right?

Or I could grow a little. Grow up a little, and embrace the adult-y-ness of the whole situation, and realize that I am not a student, not a starving artist, not actively living those lifestyles anymore, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be part of those communities, while taking on new ones.

Or does it? Do I have to be a starving artist forever in order to relate to other starving artists who are both actively starving and actively artistic? If I keep the money, but fingerpaint on weekends, does that count? What if I keep the money, but fingerpaint, and generate an eating disorder? OK, whatever, I really like food, so that’s not gonna happen.

But, honestly, as your identity grows and changes, sometimes passions and communities leave you – does that mean you have to leave them?

When do you have to no longer self-identify as something? Is there a time when you ever must?

I don’t know the answers, but I do know this:

I am an actor. It is not what I do, it is what I am.

And I know that doesn’t help me with my present quandary of corporate career goals…

What do you think? Can you help? What advice would you give, or have you gotten in this type of circumstance? Let me know!

Family: Who Makes the Cut

Happy Family
Happy Family Taking Self Portrait courtesy photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I write out my Christmas Cards, I can’t help but think of who I consider to be family.

I am part of many families, you see. There’s my mother’s family, and my father’s family with whom I share a common lineage (adoptively speaking), and my father’s created family (those who have standing invitations to our home), and my created family, which includes a few of my friends, and members of each of my other families, and Dashing and a few of his biological family.

It’s a little like this:

FAMILY CHART

FAMILY CHART – BY MISS HAPP

But how do we get there? When you’re little, your family are those people who take care of you, and by extension any whom they call family.

Over years one develops those existing relationships, growing closer to some, learning to tolerate (or not) others… and as one grows and meets new people one adds to the base from which to draw familial relationships.

That’s fairly simple, and common, thinking.

But when is it that someone goes from being a friend, to being family?

For me, it is that line where I would protect them from themselves. I love my friends, yes, but somehow I know they manage without me. I know they can take care of their own stuff, and I trust them to ask for help if they need it. I feel comfortable telling them when I think their behaving poorly, or when they’ve made a poor choice, but if they choose to disagree, well, that’s up to them.

Family though, family is so much more complicated.

Because somehow, in the idea that my life would be truly altered if this person were to leave or be in hardship, there’s the self-protective reaction that says I should do all I can to prevent it.

If a family member has an addiction, it affects me in ways a friend’s addiction might not, and it’s so much harder to tell them “You have a problem, and I need you to get help” because it’s like telling part of yourself that you’ve been let down by it.

If a friend has financial hardship – I might give them some money to help out, but probably not that much, and I might expect it paid back someday. I can understand that a friend might fall on hard times. And I understand that they will get back up on their own eventually.

If I see a family member heading towards financial hardship, I do all I can – lecturing, giving of funds, subtle and not-so-subtle hints about job applications or savings accounts – because underneath it all, I feel responsible for their well-being.

I recognize that, like my friends, my family is mostly full of capable adults, who manage to feed themselves, and clothe themselves, and get to and from work daily without my constant assistance or supervision – but I still feel connected to them in a way where if they fail, I fail. If they succeed, I am proud of their accomplishment, and happy to have helped in any small way. But when family hits a rough spot, for me, it’s an all hands on deck kind of time.

At least, that is the gut, knee-jerk reaction.

But I’ve come to learn that even family, sometimes have to fail on their own.

After all, it’s through failing that we learn our greatest lessons, right?

But even when it’s a hands off – let-em-fall-down kinda time, there’s still that instinct, that basic desire to come between them and the cold, hard ground, because when they hurt, I hurt.

And that’s how I know who’s my family.

Where’s the line for you? Are you more protective of friends, trusting your family to speak up more? What do you think? Let me know below!

Breaking Out: Getting Over Yourself

Time to Break Out

Jail courtesy Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I don’t know if it’s natural, but it seems fairly common with myself and those around me to put up these walls around ourselves. These fences, and signs that say “Private! Keep Out”

Now, in my gregarious days of excessive flirtation I was a natural at knocking these down. Dashing used to say that it didn’t matter how much he would barricade the entry to something, I’d come in through a window or the chimney or something and kick down the door from within.

These days, it seems I am a natural at putting them up.

It sneaks up on you. You think you’re doing it to protect others, to keep the dangerous parts of yourself, the messy emotions, the things they don’t want to hear from them. Or maybe you’re just hiding the white-hot pain to keep people from tracking their muddy work-boots all over it. Maybe it’s self-preservation. Maybe it’s to try to preserve them.

It doesn’t really matter. Because eventually you realize you’re alone, in a house with concrete walls, barbed wire fences, boarded windows, and seventeen locks on the doors, and you don’t know where you put the keys. You’re trapped.

What was your refuge, your safety zone, is now your prison.

And you start to hate them for abandoning you there.

Nevermind that the “Stay Away” “Electrified Fencing” and “Trespassers will be prosecuted” signs are all in your handwriting… You are trapped, and alone, and you hate them for not noticing, or for not staying, for not pushing back. For not wedging their work-boot in the doorway. For not coming down the chimney to join you.

Well, I hate to tell ya, sweetie, but it’s rough all over.

They have their own prisons they’re building. Or maybe they’re building a house o’ dreams, but you nixed the neighbourhood barbecue because they wanted to host it on your lawn, and now they have fences, white picket fences to be sure, but fences none-the-less keeping you out.

But you can’t stay alone, trapped in your fortress forever. You know it. But maybe you need to hear it. You cannot stay alone.

Because eventually you would die, and if the only people to notice your death are Revenue Services, well, that is so much scarier than reaching out.

So you break off the boards covering your windows. You look out and see your very safe lawn for the first time in eons. You struggle to wrench up the screeching window, as it protests the entire time. You climb out. And breathe. And reach out between the links on your electrified fence, hoping to touch someone passing by. Eventually, you get brave and climb over the barbed wire topping. Your body armour snags on the top and you have to leave it behind.

You land, vulnerable, on the sidewalk. And realize, from this side of your fortress, those picket fences keeping you out of your friends’ yards? Well, they’re ankle-high. Not insurmountable like you’d thought. But still, you have to be the one to get over them.

This is the hardest part. Telling people what you need, and trusting them to help you get it. Reaching out so that they can have the opportunity to reach back. You can’t just fall, and trust that they’ll catch you. You have to let them know that you are falling, and that you need them to catch you.

Shame is the biggest obstacle here. No one likes being the one falling. No one likes doing it in front of an audience. It is so easy to curl in on yourself and dig a hole to hide in, but that hole just becomes a tunnel heading back to your fortress of solitude. Death and taxes. That is all that is waiting there for you.

So to the walls, and the fences, and the pride, and the shame, I say…

Get over it already.

The Benefits of Friendship

I'm totally the one pulling the other out into the beyond!

My Friend courtesy Dino De Luca/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today was a good day. And not just a happy car ride ego boost either. It was  good.

Dashing and I had lunch on Sunday, the first time we had seen each other since our final date night, and it was nice, awkward, and hard, and fun, and nice.

Yesterday was rough. But I managed to reach out to my best girl friend and cry on her shoulder (on a weeknight, just call me Miss Social!), and this morning I woke up and just knew that I was going to rock the sh*t out of being Dashing’s friend.

I love him, yes. I am head over heels in love with him, true. But that was also true back when we were “just friends,” I was just fortunate enough to be in denial then.

So today instead of suppressing all my love and raw nerve-y emotions, I just, well, let them live and breathe outside of me. It sounds like such crap, but I really just focused on being his friend and remembering what that was like.

And it was good. I didn’t burst into tears when he called. I was genuinely excited to text and talk to him. I was hungry for the first time in a month.

I look forward to seeing him again. And hearing about his plans, and letting him know when I come across things that interest him.

I don’t know what it is about many long-term romantic relationships that I’ve seen or been a part of, but it seems like we forget how to just enjoy our partners. How to take an interest in a day that was exactly the same as the one before, how to make plans without taking the other for granted, how to talk about things outside of “where do we stand, where are we going, and who’s going to clean the dishes along the way.”

And the flirting! Dashing and I aren’t quite there yet, but I am really looking forward to it, because for the first time, I think it might happen. Again.

Love can be a really heavy thing. It is serious and huge, but it can also be light and freeing. I think I forgot that, and then I tried to force it to be light and fun, and wow, did that not work! I was so excited to have found the serious and huge love that I wanted to revel in the solemnity. Dashing, wise man that he is, and this being his second crack at the huge seriousness that is forever tried to tell me to just enjoy.

I have a hard time living in the now.

I would look back wistfully on our very passionate beginning, and then look forward to our mysterious, exciting, daring future. And I just wanted to get there. To find out what is was going to be. Or go back, to the sex all hours of the night and day, and passionate kisses hello and goodbye, when everything is new and marvelous.

I’m a go-getter. I set my sights on something and I go for it, whole-heartedly. Sometimes I trip and land on my face, or walk into a wall, sometimes I get lost along the way. But it is always entertaining, and I’m always moving towards something.

So you know what? He needs me to be his friend right now, I can do that. Because I never stopped being his friend. I just forgot how to let the friendship shine, because I was so excited by how much I loved him. I didn’t know I could love someone this much. Honestly, I kinda always thought those ingenues were lying or exaggerating or brain damaged or something.

Because “You are my everything?” How loaded is that? Also, how sad?? He is your EVERYTHING? Like your job and your family and your friends and your hobby and everything???

But I kind of get it now. Because while I wouldn’t build a life around Dashing, I really want to build a life with Dashing. Around what’s best for each of us, and both of us together.

This journey is going to be tough. And rocky. But it will be worth it, because no matter how it ends up, I’m going to learn and grow, and I’m going to get to do a fair chunk of that with him, and for him, and because of him. And isn’t that really essentially what I asked for when I said I wanted to live with him?

Student living and me.

Just life. But through the eyes of a Blue-eyed History student.

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