Life is Full Of Lessons.

a-lesson-will-repeat-itself-until-learnedI’m spending a lot of time by myself, thinking through my relationships, the meaning of life, and trying to wrap my head around what it all means.

I’m lucky that I have a lot to focus on at work during the week.  I’m working hard – really working at changing my career for the better.  It’s been harder than I expected.  I just got my performance review back, a 360 degree review.  I’m struggling with some feedback, it is opposite of what I expected, and opposite of what I thought I’d discussed with my manager during the hiring process. I’m thinking hard about what I plan to do about the review and what it means for my career. I am NOT going to seek for approval or acceptance for an unlimited time period.  I will give myself a few weeks to work through the feedback, discuss my thoughts with my manager, and set my boundaries.I’m no longer willing to give without getting.. At the end of the day, I need to define the amount of time I’m willing to give before I get what I want.

Which leads me to what I’m really after.  I’m not willing to wait around for someone else to tell me what I’m worth. My job is to define my worth and let others know what that is.  I set my currency value.  I’ve never done this before – and looking back, reflecting on my past relationships, I realize how much power I have given up both at work and at home.  I don’t mean power in the way of control, but power in the sense of defining the things that are important to me, communicating the things I need and want from others.

This is a very big revelation for me.  I am disappointed that I didn’t learn this lesson from my first big relationship loss, or the end of my marriage… and that it actually took a total of 4 failed relationships to learn it.  But hey, at least I’m learning it now.  Knowledge is power, and is the first step in change.

Soooo, here I am. With a new found revelation.  I love it. It’s time for change, and I’m all for it.  Have any of you read the book How People Change?  I read this in college and I think about it all the time. The lesson I learned from the book – that awareness is the first step to making a difference, a real change.  There is a lot of work ahead to make my new found perspective a reality. But I know how to do it. So I’m on my way.

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

keep-calm-move-on-from-ex-boyfriendSo tonight was the night.  I had dinner with A-Train, as we do many nights, and he let me have it.  The breakup. It’s happened.  He said the following:

  • He will always love me, love my quirkiness
  • wants to remain friends (this is a shocker, he always told me that if we broke up I’d never see him again, that I would be “on my own”)
  • That I’m super special, I don’t know it, and it will upset him to no end if I end up with someone who doesn’t recognize it or treat me as well as he did
  • That now I can “move on” and date whom I’d like (he said it as if I had someone in the pipe)
  • AND that he is going away this weekend…

All his topics caught me by surprise, however, the last one was “it” for me.  I know men – they don’t break up with someone unless they have someone waiting for them.  Every boyfriend/husband I’ve been with this has been the case.  Men don’t move on unless they already have someone else.

I don’t know who the ATrain has met or where he is going, but he is on a natural high, he is now rich beyond belief and it doesn’t surprise me that he’s “found” a new woman.  He even told me tonight that women ask him how I’m doing, in anticipation that we have broken up so they can pounce.  Is he a catch? Totally.  Is this what I need to hear while he is breaking up with me? Absolutely Not.

So there you have it. I’m back on the market.  All 43 years of me, worn, weathered, battered, beaten beyond belief, in no shape or form to date.  I’ll need to get healthy before I get back out there, which given the way I do it, I’ll be reclusive for the next 6-12 months, focus on my health.  Maybe now I can lose my extra weight (because I’m hiding away??).. who the hell knows.

What am I going to do?  I’m going to recover, focus on my career, lose some weight and get my confidence back. THEN I will begin dating again. Then, maybe then, I’ll meet someone who wants a partner in crime, someone to wants to be taken care of AND wants to take care of someone…   WE shall see.

Boy am I tired.  Life has got to be/get easier.  Will this breakup make my life easier?  Time will tell. For now, I’m surprised that it happened now but not surprised that it happened. And it will hurt like hell when I find out who ATrain is courting (it always hurts to know you’ve been lied to)..

Napa For New Years.

As requested by one of my favorite readers, a much lighter post …

I’m headed to Napa for New Years with my new man, the older gentleman, which will forever be known as A-Train (named by CLicious and her husband).  We have been spending a lot of time together lately, and you know what? I’m having a great time!  I’ve decided that I don’t care how odd we might look to others, I’m going to enjoy the man I’m with.   He is kind, generous, empathetic, hilarious, and sweet as can be to me.  And today he is taking me to one of my favorite little towns in Napa, where we will enjoy each other’s company while tasting wine, eating great food,  testing out our rollerblading skills, and of course a lot of bicycle riding!

So, all in all I’m going to have one fabulous weekend…  I wish you all the same!

My Weekend In Hawaii.

First and foremost, Hawaii is such a beautiful place.  I spent the weekend on Waikiki Beach, in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu…  the town itself feels old and rundown, but the ocean and beaches were just gorgeous. 

So, the man I went with was a gent from the roster, who from now on will be called Chicken Legs.  Chicken Legs is cute, intelligent, kind..etc..  He is a good person and we do have fun together. But I’ve been ambivalent about him since I met him – when I see him we have fun together, when I don’t see him, I don’t think about him.  We’ve gone out over a dozen times… and still the same thing.  Because he is a great guy, I think I was hoping that I would feel something….

That is why I decided to go to Hawaii with him – I thought that it would be a good time for me to “figure it out”.  My girlfriend’s had their opinions:

  • C-Licious advised me not to go – that I was only doing it to see Hawaii.
  • Unicorns said if it was easy, why not? 
  • FreeBird said go..enjoy it.. live life sister!

I agreed with Unicorns and FreeBird – the trip fell together easily, so I thought to myself, “why not?”  So off I went, flew to Hawaii and spent three days experiencing warm weather, sun on my skin, viewing a spectacularly blue ocean and  the most amazing tropical landscape…   My thoughts on Chicken Legs and the other part of the experience below:

  • Test Drive before you Buy.  Never ever ever ever ever ever ever go on a vacation with someone that you have not test-driven (or taken for a “bike ride” as described by my favorite blogger Grey Goose) before hand.  Hard to share a hotel room with someone you don’t want to touch…   I want that feeling like I can’t get enough of someone…  that passion, that hunger, that desire…   I felt nothing for Chicken Legs. Needless to say, spending time in the hotel room was awkward.  Big mistake on my part…. I will never do that again.  
  •  Emotional Baggage is not attractive.  He has way to much (emotional) baggage. He spent way too much time talking about his ex-wife and ex-girlfriends….  All I can say is that I know far too much about his past.  So much for enjoying our time together. There were definitely 4 of us there – Me, Chicken Legs, and the two exes (Ex-wife and ex-girlfriend). 
  • Too Much chatter …  He loves to talk about all of his girlfriends and what a great lover he is… Girlfriend from college, girlfriend before wife, recent ex-girlfried… The question that swirls around in my head is “really? You should definitely go back to them”.  Honestly, if it was so great, why did it end and why are you interested in me?
  • Quit with the I’m sorry’s! Grow a sack … say I’m sorry when you accidentally hurt me by saying something mean (or doing something mean) … don’t say I’m sorry because you are so pussy whipped by your ex’s that everything you do is an apology.  I want to be with an adult.. a confident, mature man.  Not some insecure 14 year old.

I know, I know, I need to add this to my advice column for men.  But to be completely truthful, I think that a man in his 40+’s should have basic stuff like this figured out.  Chicken Legs just turned 48 …

O.k.. so if you don’t think I’m mean enough yet, here are a couple of funny stories:

  • Size DOES Matter. I love a man that has some girth (no, not that kind of girth… maybe… 🙂 )  5’10 to 6′ feels like the right height to me. I love wrapping my arms (and legs) around a big, broad-shouldered, strong man.  Ummmnhhh Hmmmmhh.  Yum.   I don’t want to feel like the “big” person in the relationship – you know, the extra large person hanging out with the skinny minnie.  Well I did, the entire time.  Chicken Legs is 5’8″.. the shortest guy I’ve ever dated.. ever.   When he wrapped his skinny arms around me, he said to me “whats it like for you to be with such a tall guy?”  I was confused for a moment (I wasn’t the one talking about my ex’s), then I realized that he was talking about himself – how did I feel to finally be with a tall guy…  Honestly, it took everything I had to not laugh out loud.  I didn’t say anything because I know what its like to be with a tall guy…and I like it. And he wasn’t it.  So when Chicken Legs asked me the question, I realized I couldn’t answer honestly…   but then I started thinking, what is going thru his head?!?!  Does he think I date short people, like myself (short and stout?) ??   Whatever was in his head he didn’t share, but he seemed to think that he was tall…  I let him keep his illusion.
  • What others think DOESN’T matter.   Chicken Legs cares what others think… much more than I do.  One of the things he said to me this weekend is that he loves to be with me because of the looks I/we get from others.  I asked him what he meant.. he said that guys stare at me all the time.  Ummn Hmmm, yeahh… they don’t.  Nobody cares about what I’m doing, where I’m at, what I look like.  But Chicken Legs thinks that they do, so this is one of the things that make me attractive to him..   Isn’t that great?  The basis for a solid relationship. 🙂
  • Just Be Yourself.. unless you want to be like me.  Yes, we all know I am a drinker, I make no bones about it. Not sloppy drunk, but I do love cocktail hour….   Knowing this about me, Chicken Legs actually said he loves to drink… He is so NOT a drinker. I know for sure that he isn’t a drinker because a) he said so, b) he was ready to pass up cocktail hour one night, and c) On our last evening in Hawaii, we ended up hanging out with the 3 coolest Australian ladies ever!  The ladies and I tied one on together, Chicken Legs, the drinker.. couldn’t keep up.    I only care about this because I think its important to know who you are – and be comfortable with what you and are not.   Don’t say “I’m a drinker, I love to drink” when its obvious you don’t.  Gees.  Be yourself, don’t conform. 
  • White boys really cannot dance, and sometimes, it’s just obscene.  OMG, we (me and the Australian ladies) danced the night away, Chicken Legs joined us for a song or two.  He is, without a doubt, the worst dancer I’ve ever seen. Think of Elaine’s Dance from Seinfeld, mixed with Seinfeld Straight Arm girl (Molly Shannon character from the Summer of George episode). I’m certainly not the greatest dancer, but I do love it…  and I’ve been with a few men that aren’t the greatest dancers, but they have some moves.  My favorite dancer was Fancy Dancer.. a guy I met at a club in a local bar. We were SO IN SYNC with bad dancing to 80’s songs. He took my number but never called me… I even went so far as to seek him out – yes, I found out who he was and reached out to him via email.  He never responded…  Oh well, I go to my grave knowing I tried (and Fancy Dancer is missing out on a real “bike ride” with Paula!)..

 O.k.. so that’s enough about the vacation.  I know, I am going to  have to let Chicken Legs down easy…. words of advise/wisdom would be greatly appreciated.