Posts Tagged ‘break’

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!

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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?

Growing Pains: Breaking the Fight or Fighting the Break

Fighter? Me?Growing pains. They hurt, no?

So this break thing is hard. Honestly, I really didn’t expect it to be a romp through the daisies, but it is hard.

And I thought this break thing was all for him, he needed space and time, he needed to figure out what he wanted, he needed to be a whole person before being a twosome…

And I need to learn to let go.

Seriously. Because what I’ve learned in these three days (yes, it has only been three days) is that night-time is the hardest because I don’t get to say goodnight, and morning is the hardest because I don’t know if he’ll call or not and I wake up to the lack of him, and afternoons are the hardest because I can’t pick up the phone and tell him about my day, and what I learned, and felt, and dreamed.

I’ve learned that I’m a fighter. I’ve described my self as a woman of extremes, a control freak, and someone who takes on too many projects at once, and I’ve been described as a go-getter, and impatient, but never a fighter.

Oh, I like a good debate, and I’ve been known to pick a few fights in my time, but I’m not competitive. And I’ve quit every relationship I’ve ever had – because I knew they weren’t going anywhere, and a few times, because I knew the guy wouldn’t fight for me to stay.

I guess I never figured out that I wouldn’t fight for them to stay either.

Now I’ve found someone who I would fight for, who I desperately want to fight to be with me, and my instincts are telling me to do more, to say more, to compile mixed CDs of songs that are poignant to this situation and mail them to him so that he will know that I love him, that I’m still here, still wanting to be with him, but that I get it, I understand, and I want him to be ready.

And I have to remind myself that it’s not about me. That I have made my position clear. I need to trust that he understands how I feel, that he knows I am here whenever he is ready, and I need to have faith that this will be good in the long run – and I have to realize that it may be a long run.

I have to believe that he will want me again. Or still. Or something.

But it is hard, oh so very hard. I have debates every few minutes about texting, or calling, or emailing, or just driving to his home or job, about breaking down to mutual friends and hoping the sentiment gets passed on to him… And then I remember that I am an adult, and not in sixth grade, and that I made this choice with him and we decided it was best, and part of that means I need to uphold my end of the bargain and let him make the first move. It is not my turn yet. I have had my say, and he is still thinking of the right words. I have to let him think.

I just miss being able to reach out and touch him with text or a phone call. I miss knowing that he’s missing me, too.

Break In Suspense

Image "Coin Flip" courtesy Chris Sharp/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Would I truly let this determine my fate? Actually, maybe.

OK this one is all about Dashing…

Dashing loves me. And I am so very in love with him.

That right there, that says everything.

I do truly believe that he and I may end up together. But we are taking the scenic route for a lot of reasons, which I’m not featuring today.

I believe that he and I could be very happy together. I know that I would love to have his children, and to live day to day, and have adventures, and experiences, and disappointments, and arguments, and making up, and flowers, and chores, and finances, and taxes, and growing old together. I want him. I want us to live together – and I don’t mean co-habitate.

I have no idea what our life together would look like. I see flashes. An eighties montage of varied possibilities and they all could be true. But I truly have no idea, because I don’t have his input.

He is afraid. He doesn’t want to make a mistake again. He doesn’t want to disappoint me. He believes he can’t envision his own future, and so shouldn’t be tying me down to create one with him.

I just want him.

I do also want a home. But I don’t care if it’s a city townhome, or a country cottage, or a suburban cardboard box, or a highrise apartment. Alright, I have my preferences. My very opinionated preferences.

I do also want security. But I don’t care if I have to work corporately to support us, or if he wants to work to support us, or if we both have to work to support us. And let’s face it, I’m so frugal and careful that we could probably both be un-employed for six months before we really had to start cutting back on, like, internet usage.

But he says he may need a break. To figure out what he wants. I am all on board with this idea. It’s the word may that I’m objecting to.

See, I don’t always know what I want, but I usually know what I don’t want. Dashing is swayed. Back and forth like a swing. He knows what I want – uh, the grocery clerk, the dentist, and the construction worker on the corner all know what I want. And he wants to deliver – but is it what he wants??? He says he doesn’t know. So please, I say, please by all means, take a break, take all the time you need. And he says, he’ll think about it. And I say, OK let me know when we’re breaking.

And he hasn’t let me know.

We’ve talked about it a couple of times since then, and … nothing.

It’s like every time we get together, every time the phone rings, I’m just waiting for him to say “Yes, now, break time.” And he doesn’t. But meanwhile we are in this weird limbo. Because he also hasn’t said “Break unnecessary. Pshaw, to you, Break!”

And so I wait. And I worry. Because it is important that he call this time out. It is important not only that he take it, but that it be on his call. I worry that he is so scared of hurting me, that he won’t do what he needs for himself.

So he calls, and asks what I’m doing, and if I want to do lunch, or how is this night for date night this week – as if nothing has changed. As if we are still working towards building whatever life together we were working towards. And I can’t say no, stop, wait, do you not see how this is hurting you, and hurting me, and not helping anything.

Because I gave him all the power. I told him what I want, and how I feel, and that I’m willing to wait in the background until he figures things out – but this waiting in the foreground thing is killing me.

If I knew we were on a break I could distract myself, because I assume he would call less. Because he would be figuring out what he wants out of life. Because we wouldn’t have weekly date nights. Or weekends to organize. Because he would be experiencing life without me, so that he could be sure that he really wants life with me. Or that he doesn’t, and that’s OK too. As long as it’s what he wants.

I can be his friend. It will be hard, but it’s how we started out, and eventually we’d find a new balance.

But in the meantime, I need him to decide. To choose. To flip a d*mn coin already.

To take the break. Because nothing will change until he does. He won’t know if he needs it until he takes it and goes “Yeah, I needed this” or “What was I thinking?”

Enough with maybes. I may be (ha!) a woman of extremes, but I’ve tried walking the middle path on this one, and it sucks. So rip the stitches, strip off the bandage, drop the robe, open the door, jump off the cliff, and then… ride the wave home to whatever shore you find.

*I wrote this post Sunday. We spoke at the wee hours of Monday morning. We had date night Monday night. We officially started our break Tuesday morning. I’ll let you know how this social experiment goes…

Thanksgiving

Domestic Turkey by Tom Curtis/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image “Domestic Turkey” courtesy of Tom Curtis/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, I am sitting in a Days Inn at 9:30 on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend… because I can. It’s lovely.

I know that we are “supposed to” celebrate this “holiday” by sitting with our families and counting our blessings… But here’s the thing.

My parents divorced when I was four years old. I’m not blaming them or their divorce for anything, at least not in this post. However, the life of a divorced kid can be complicated.

My experience was such that we had two of every holiday. Two Easters, two Christmases, two birthdays, summer holidays split between two cities… and Thanksgiving. It’s the worst.

I know two of every holiday sounds like every kid’s dream, but really, think about the logistics. You have to travel to two households to have at least two family dinners (usually three or four once you factor in grandparents), and you have to do it all in the same amount of time designed to accommodate one (or at most two) central familial celebration.

Easter is usually pretty easy; after all it’s mostly about the candy, right? Christmas, well, it’s spread over three “real holidays” and buffered by two weeks of school holidays, so you have ample recovery time.

Thanksgiving though, you have a weekend, and one statutory holiday, more turkey than you ever wanted to eat, and a driving time comparable to the cooking time of all of the giant birds combined.

Add to that the fact that your teachers pile on the homework “because you’ll have time – it’s a long weekend after all” and that your mother wakes you at 6:30 to start cooking the stuffing and turkey with her “because you’re the oldest, and it’ll be a fun mother-daughter bonding experience – besides, one day you’ll need to know this” and that you have to be nice to the cousin who takes over the conversation and claims to have experienced everything going on in your life before you and that your sister forgot to pack her underwear, again, and so she steals yours and you have to wear a pair of your mother’s and that your stepfather continues to be, well, himself so that when it’s your turn at the table to declare that thing for which you are thankful all you can think of is “My new adventure book, and my own room, into neither of which are any of you invited.” But you can’t say that, so you murmur “Family” and have done with it.

So I grew up to work in hospitality, which I loved. Because one of the best things about shift work, is that you can work all the holidays. Thereby, avoiding the hazards of family celebrations and not having to lie to anybody. Exaggerate, maybe, but outright lie, nope. “I do have to work Mom… my shift is supposed to end at four but you never know…”

But one of the worst things about hospitality is the pay. So if I wanted to be financially independent and own a home within the next ten years… well, I had to go corporate. And the worst thing about corporate life is you don’t work holidays.

So this year, I could have gone to my fella’s parents on Saturday, and my mother’s sister’s on Sunday, and my father’s on Monday, and been exhausted and frazzled come Tuesday but instead, I told them all I was leaving them. I was Going Away. To where I knew not, nor would I tell them if I could. I was going to sleep late. Or wake up early and make all the noise I wanted. I was going to eat what, and where, and when I wanted to, and explore a city for all it’s untold splendour.

My stepmom applauded me, and my father told me to be safe, and my mother was convinced that I was depressed and isolating myself (and she may now be convinced that I am in denial about those conditions), and the boyfriend (I have to give him a name here… let’s call him Dashing) said he was happy I was happy and was behind me one hundred percent. And my coworkers looked at me with pity and asked all sorts of bewildered questions, and my vocal coach seemed startled but mellowed, and the desk clerk checked me in with a “You ran away from home… on this weekend?”

So a mixed bag. Seems everyone has a strong opinion on this. Anyone out there want to weigh in? I’d love to hear your comments below.

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