Category Archives: Change

Ripped the Band-Aid

I did it. I broke up with the 3-month boyfriend.

I’m not gonna lie – it was a little rough. I think he was blind-sided, but not oblivious. I voiced my concern about how he was envisioning us as more long-term than I was. He didn’t disagree. He was mostly quiet. He said he understood, and he thanked me for being honest. I spewed all the break up words in less than 5 minutes, trying to be conscious of not using the cliché one-liners, like “it’s not you, it’s me”, even though it was quite a bit of the truth.

He was a good match, but he wasn’t my match.

Once I ripped the band-aid, it felt like a butterfly lifted from my stomach and flew away. I drove home in relief. Yes I was sad, but I was sad because I made him sad, not sad for myself. I was proud of myself. 10 years, 5 years, 2 years or even 1 year ago, I wouldn’t have done this. I would have stayed. I would’ve made excuses as to why he was so great, and I wouldn’t have considered my own happiness and how I was really feeling. I would have covered up my real thoughts and feelings with my mask – the one I can wear so well in a relationship, because I had a lot of practice with that mask before. It would’ve been a significant comfort to do that again.

But I can’t cover up anything anymore. I am supposed to be in an airport right now, sitting next to him, getting ready to board a flight for vacation. But instead I’m working, and I’m not sad that I’m not going on vacation with him. Because the vacation would just be a giant cover up for what I was really feeling.

I broke up with him on a Friday and I was a little down the rest of the weekend. I kept waiting for the regret to set in. It didn’t. I went through my regular work routine that week – little things would remind me of him. Was this regret? No, it was a quick memory. I reflected on how I was feeling after a full week of not being with him or talking or texting with him. I was still relieved.

My friends and family looked at me wide-eyed and shocked when I told them I broke it off, and of course reacted with “Why?????” When I explained my reasoning, everyone seemed to understand and responded with a thoughtful look . They all understood, they all supported me fully. I think they saw what I saw after I articulated it, but they had fallen in the trap too. He had all of these magical unicorn qualities that I should want, so they didn’t focus on anything else…

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

This relationship was short-lived but it helped me with two things: 1) Learn that I can trust myself about how I’m feeling and 2) I’m a little more clear on what I want/need in a relationship.

When you live half your life denying your instinctual feelings, it’s hard to unlearn what you’ve become accustomed to doing. I’ve discovered that growing up, and in later relationships, I’ve been conditioned to suppress my original feelings if it conflicts with another person’s feelings. I’m not all “whoa is me, I’m so damaged” because of all of these misguided relationships in my life — I haven’t been abused all my life — it’s just how I learned best to cope with conflict. I don’t like conflict, and apparently so much so that I complete disguise my feelings so that I don’t disrupt another’s life to a point where I’m completely misrepresenting my own. Well that’s not healthy. So I’m not doing that anymore. Check.

As for the second thing I learned, that was a little harder. I knew I wasn’t a fan of conflict and had some work to do, but I was not clear at all about what I needed or wanted in a new relationship, except that I didn’t want what I already knew with my ex. Well, if you’re used to peanut butter and jelly for most of your life and then someone asks you what other sandwich you want, but you’ve never had ham, or salami, or tuna or whatever, how in the hell are you gonna know what to pick? You’re not. And I didn’t. So I ended up with a guy who was the complete opposite of my ex, and he was good, but he wasn’t the best for me. And I realized I don’t need the exact opposite of my ex. The ex had some good qualities (as much as I hate to admit it), otherwise we wouldn’t have originally ended up together. So now I know a little more about what I like and don’t like in a relationship. Check.

So what now? I’m not really sure, but that doesn’t bother me. I feel like I just passed a challenging level in the game of life. So I’m going to relax, work out, clean, water my flowers and figure out what I fancy next. The universe is recharging for my next level.

Stifle Me Not

That Was Fun, But I’ve Had Enough

My current relationship status is about to go from dating to single. Quite simply, I don’t want to be in a committed relationship right now. I’ve made up my mind and have all but ripped the band aid. That will be happening in the very near future. I’m just trying to muster up the right words to disconnect from him officially. The truth is, I’m tired. There was no beating, or cheating, or disrespect. There were no harsh words or big frustrations. I’m just not ready to have something long term, and I can tell that he is. It’s not fair for me to be a maybe lady.

After being with him, I’m drained. My time off without my kids is valuable – it’s when I get stuff done, and when I enjoy my personal peace… He is not a bad person, but he is not a peaceful person. He is disrupting my personal peace without realizing it. I find that he’s becoming more of an obligation than a compliment to my current life. No one wants to be an obligation.

I guess this is why you date, huh? To find out who fits in your life and who does not. I can’t say enough good things about this guy. If there was a such thing as an Excellent boyfriend resume, he would be it – the looks, the career, the money, the personality, etc. But my life doesn’t want each box checked that society wants checked. My life wants peace and ease as the priority, and everything else is a sprinkle on top.

Wish me luck. I’ll be fine.

Stifle Me Not

Let the Dating Chapter Begin…

The dating chapter has begun.

In mid-April, I flipped the switch on a dating app and by the next weekend I was out on a first date. To my surprise, that first date has led to many other dates with the same guy. I already deleted the dating app, and so has he. And this is all so very eerily… comfortable? I thought I’d either end up on a dating spree, or I’d have one or two bad dates, get discouraged, and take a break from the app immediately. I did take a break from the app, but not for the reasons I thought I would.

This guy is very normal, and kind, and attractive, and hard-working. He is ALL the things I’d list out if I had to. I actually really like him. And he likes me. And it all seems so…dare I say, easy? My mind has been in overdrive “what’s-the-catch” mode for weeks now. I’m beginning to realize that maybe there is no catch. I’ve put in the self-work and so has he. We’ve both had our ups and downs (and down downs), and we’ve learned and grown. Now we’re getting to know each other. And it’s refreshingly nice to just get to know someone and not be afraid of their expectations of me.

I tip-toed on eggshells for so long with my ex, that being around a nice man (who isn’t intent on manipulating me) is a strange (but good) place for me to be in.

I didn’t realize what a dark place I was in until I arrived to this lighter place in my life. I didn’t fathom someone would like me just for me and not just for what I could do for them. It’s all so sad really. I’ve left the dark place, but it still haunts me. I don’t want to go back there. I don’t want to be anxious about it. I’m trying to just enjoy the here and now.

There’s no guarantees with how this new relationship will turn out, but for it now it feels like a nice change from the last three and a half years. I’m curious about the journey, and look forward to it.

Stifle Me Not

Change for the Better

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted anything. Life has been one thing after another, but overall it’s been mostly good days with little spurts of some crap days in between. The bad days make all of the other days look like sunshine.

My outlook and perspective on the world has changed so drastically in the past year. The pandemic caused me to stop watching mainstream media, avoid fear-based everything, and not believe everything I see and hear. My political beliefs have done a literal 180. I went down a rabbit hole of questioning many things, and came out the other end wondering where the hell I’ve been for this entire lifetime. I’ve become more selective and critical about what I experience these days, whether it be people, work, music, social media … the list is endless. We’re not on this earth for very long, so I choose not to live a life I’m not loving.

Over the last year I’ve gotten to know the ins and outs and quirks about my house. It isn’t that old, but it’s on the first phase of needing extra attention after 25 years. I’ve had to call a plumber and electrician here and there. I’m finally familiar with what plants are growing in my flower beds, I’ve sprayed for spiders regularly, I have a routine for mowing the lawn, and I’m now familiar with the regular noises of my home. I’ve painted many of the rooms and tried to make it as cozy as I can. I even had a new kitchen floor installed. The next phase is a kitchen cabinet/counter top makeover along with new appliances, but I’m hoarding my money until I’m sure about what I want.

I have a good routine going with work and having two kids in school. I cook a “real” meal about twice a week and we survive on leftovers or PB&J the other days. The kids are in good spirits about regular visits with their dad. He is still the “fun” one, while I’m the one who ensures their safety and well being above all else… but I’ve become more fun as I’m no longer plagued by anxieties of my past life. I’m learning to enjoy my quiet time when they’re away and not just using all \that time to prepare for their return. In fact, they are going on vacation with their dad during Spring Break, and I’ve scheduled my own little Spring Break vacation with my sister.

I’ve started eating healthier, walking at lunch time when I’m at work, and doing yoga. Last year the pandemic started near Easter … which meant chocolate peanut butter eggs were in the house. That phase lasted through the Christmas Cookie phase at Christmas. I then saw my max weight before my eyes one morning and my inner health nut woke up.

I’ve finally acquired all of the necessary health providers – primary doctor, dentist, eye doctor, etc. I have a regular place to take my car for an oil change. And I no longer need to put on the GPS when I’m going to a store or restaurant. This area was once my home long ago has now become my home again.

Last, but not least, after more than 3 years, I feel like I’ve come full circle with the terms of being single – “single working mom with two kids”. I am enjoying who I am and doing what I want, but I’m slowly becoming open to the possibility of dating.

I don’t want to do serial dating to find “the one”. This is no longer a race of the biological clock ticking like it was in my 20s. This is a selective marathon to enjoy someone who runs my pace, is trustworthy to be around my kids, and will be considerate of my time and efforts. I’m not foolish enough to think that someone will truly put me first, because I likely won’t do the same. By the time you’re over 40, the baggage is there whether we like it or not. The question is not who can I find without lots of baggage, but rather who will support me while I carry mine? And who is worth it for me to return the favor?

I logged into WordPress to cancel my account because I haven’t written anything in so long. And somehow I just magically started typing. I don’t know what I’ll do next, but I’m sure it will be good – likely a change for the better.

Stifle Me Not