38 My Year of the Flamingo

Year of the Flamingo

Getting my shit together has been hard work. And in the last year of my life, I pushed through some really difficult things, including budgeting, accepting singledom (and the fact that this time around ghosting is everywhere), and basically forcing myself into a new writing routine. With all that said, my 38th year, I am dubbing the year of the flamingo.  Which I love because it is the most unique, awkward, and interesting creature, thus my spirit animal. Embracing my inner flamingo has been an experience, and while I am not claiming to be an expert on this majestic bird, I do share a lot of traits with it. Or maybe I don’t, and just love the look of them. Either way, it’s fine.

As a very young child, I remember spending hours standing in my grandmother’s kitchen posing like a flamingo. I have no idea where this behavior came from, or for how many years I would do this.  What I do know is that the memory makes me smile, recalling me in my youth, just balancing in a way that made me happy. Zero flocks given!  Haha.

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Now, more than ever, I need that mentality to run through me. I have written a few posts, some shared, some not published yet about embracing that I feel better with a partner.  With a man in my life, I can take over the world, but alone, I only feel this about half the time, or sometimes less. Sure, I get confident bursts and moments, but then I get lonely and recall that I am missing intimacy.  The thoughts of inadequacy, or being too overwhelming for certain people, or that nagging voice that says I expect too much.  There we go, that brings on the tears.  I don’t want to be that intimidating person. Instead, I want to be warm and fuzzy, and yet… I am that flamingo.  Standing alone, in a group of thousands. That’s me.  Bold, pink, and largely mysterious.

I want to be less mysterious to a few souls this 38th year of life, but, who knows what the world actually has in store for me.  While embracing my own emotions has been rewarding, and calling emotions valid has helped, I do truly want partnership.  I hope though that love will appear a few times this year, and maybe not end in heartache? Perhaps? Maybe… pretty please universe?

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Adult Crushes Are So Complicated

Reflections of Crushes

Remember as a kid, when crushes were all the rage? You’d fall in love on the playground, chase the person around a tree for 10 minutes, be smitten all through the morning, and boom… broken heart by lunchtime?  The next few days you’d play safely in your friend group, and then… when you least expected it, someone would catch your eye and you would be crushing all over again!  The thing about having school aged crushes is that there were very few consequences.  The “dating” pool seemed endless, not that you even knew that was a thing back then, because scarcity was not a term you were familiar with.  The heartbreak could be overcome with a quick cry, a little outburst, or even just a game of tag to get that heart racing and provide the necessary distractions. Le sigh… we are adults here, or at least I am trying to be, and as the title suggest, adult crushes are much more complicated.

In my demographic of people, the norm seems to be that crushes as adults are frivolous, and often taboo subjects to even mention.  The married crews would never talk about an office crush, and the unmarried or non-monogamous seem to have left the world crush to childhood.  Once you reach a certain age, you either date someone, or move on. And with the exception of celebrities (or those equally out of our range) a crush is seemingly taboo.  Grown adults don’t have crushes, or at least we only talk about the one sided things once we reach relationship status.

Well, I am here to tell you, I have no other term for what I am going through right now. I am absolutely smitten over a guy who is emotionally unavailable and has been honest in telling me so. He in no way is leading me on. But is that stopping me from pursuing him in earnest? Not a chance.  I like him, he makes me feel absolutely amazing, and in short, I am dealing with an adult crush.

Here’s the complication. I know this is a crush. I know, the possibility of getting my heart broken is almost certain. And I know, that it won’t be healed by just running around the block, or playing with my friends.  Crush or not, the stakes are higher as an adult. I can’t just brush these feelings aside, because to me, they are absolutely real. Albeit one sided, hence the term… crush!

The thing is, I loved having crushes as a kid. My yearbooks are filled with my “secret” code of the boys I fell for. Ok… fine… I’ll tell you.  I would put Chapstick on and kiss the boys I liked.  Invisible kisses to my lovestruck heart.  But here’s the thing, as an adult, talking about crushes with my friends doesn’t work. I miss the days that I could go on and on about a boy, and have my friends say “go for it” or the ones who would talk sense into me that he was out of my league or dating someone else. Now, when I talk about “boys” it seems to have more gravitas.  Seemingly I should have some inherent wisdom not to crush on someone unavailable. And that I should just move on, and date someone who is ready, willing, and able. And while that sounds like solid advice perhaps you missed the part where my heart is taking the lead?

This isn’t some happy go lucky crush that was the highlight of my non-monogamous days. Reason being, the risks back then were low. It didn’t matter if the person liked me back, because I had someone I was in love with at home. I could take or leave the pleasure, in fact, I could just enjoy the butterflies, because that was always my favorite part. So, having a monogamous crush? Yeah, this really bites. It’s complicated, it often hurts, and I feel lonely much of the time. And then boom, the second I read a message from him, I forget everything, giggle like an idiot, and push (probably) way too hard for him to hang out with me. But, just as a little girl on the school yard many moons ago, there is just no telling me or my heart what to do. I am crushing, even though it is so complicated.

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Open… But in a Different Way

Ray of Sunshine!

I’d be a fool to pretend that I knew what the future held for me relationship wise. If relationships were one sided, and a person could just choose who they wanted, plead their case, and either receive a yes or a no that would be one thing. But… life, relationships, and love are complex beasts. The good news is that I will never run out of things to research, explore, or write about. The bad news however is the emotional rollercoaster that I get to feel in my personal life. And if you caught my last post, right now I am being led by my very own heart for the first time that I can remember.  While it is terrifying, there is something incredibly rewarding of being able to just feel with my whole heart. And being open for a relationship.

In conjunction, my recent piece for Medium explores the idea of validating emotions. And when writing that, something pretty unique popped into my head, well unique for me, and that is the role of dating apps in my life. With my heart in control of finding me a relationship worthy of my whole heart, there is a possibility that I will be able to delete all my online dating apps. Whoa you might be saying!  Am I admitting to no longer wanting to explore non-monogamy? Well, here’s the thing, I want to explore first a healthy, loving, supportive, two person driving relationship. Does that make sense?

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Whatever two people decide should be a mutual effort. And with that, I strongly advocate for developing a rock solid foundation. That, in my personal experience is best achieved by removing all the extra noise and distractions. Thus, being able to delete everything and just focus on two people.  It’s an exciting prospect. I’ve always said that if I had kids (which to be clear is not what I am doing right now), anything outside of monogamy would be off the table for a bit. So, the idea of deleting apps one day was always real to me, but the why of course was a curveball I didn’t anticipate. Oh life… you’re so full of surprises, aren’t you?

I’m not jumping the gun and rushing into a lifelong relationship here, but I am going to take a little break from looking for a while. There is a man I am smitten for, and we both need time and space to see if this is a fit. Life gets in the way, and we both have some hurdles to overcome before we give each other a real go. That being said, there is hope here. Hope, I haven’t felt this strongly… well… ever? To have a person who just brings you joy, exclusively is something I wasn’t sure existed.  And maybe I will find out it doesn’t. That being said, I am open to being proved wrong.

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Restlessness in the Wake of My Heart Taking the Lead

A Few More Dating Musings

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There is something I have never felt comfortable talking about, and that is all the times I let my heart get lost to lust, before finding the person I can’t wait to introduce to all my friends. And that is the restless place I find myself in now. I enjoy falling in lust because it can quickly turn into something long lasting. It’s so fun to lose myself to a person, and feel them lose themselves in me for a few moments in time and space. The chasing butterflies is something I written frequently about, and has been one of the biggest joys in my non-monogamous exploration.

But now, I want to briefly describe where I’m currently at, a place in time where I get so excited about a few good men, race to tell all my friends, and then have them disappear or things just not work out. I catch myself feeling a bit crazy, for providing my dearest with a long list of people they have to sort out in their minds, as my heart just happily flutters about. And then boom, is miserable in the wake of loneliness.  It’s a real roller-coaster.  And, I am not 100 percent sure how most people deal with this.

I am unique in my openness and honesty. So perhaps this is simply a bi-product that my friends have to get used to with me until I meet someone who will be still with me. Or maybe, this is why people tend to disappear when they are single and free, because there is just too much going on at the same time to make heads or tails of? Or is it just me again? Do people not date the way I do? With a heavy vetting process that by the time we actually meet, I am fairly confident that we are going to at least make it a few dates in before the fizzle or ghosting occurs?

Processing this is tough. And as none of my nearest and dearest are currently single, I feel like I am navigating alone… again.  Restlessness is a key tenant of mine. When I see something, I like, I go for it. I am all in, and bundle of energy.  And let me tell you, that when the sex is great, I am even more intense and have to remind myself to relax and enjoy the happy ride. It’s a feeling I am used to being a morning person in a world of night owls. My chipper, conquer the world mentality at dawn, does not bode well for… well anyone in my life but my dog.  He loves me for it! And I am used to taking it down a notch for the sanity of those around me. The answer may lie in extending this same thing when it comes to my dating life.  But damn it, some people just get me so excited.

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If you follow me on Twitter (NSWF), you may have noticed a tweet or two in regards to this this silly experiment I am trying out called, shut off my brain and let my heart decide for a while.  It has been… interesting to say the least. I am currently completely head over heels and happy with the kind soul who needs a little time and space. My heart, and body (if I am completely honest) will not let me entertain even the most gorgeous of men into my consciousness right now. I am being held hostage by my heart, and well, it’s something new to experience. But again, how do I properly explain to my besties that I am simply going for a ride right now. That I am putting my normal calm, rational demeaner on the back burner? Especially to those that just want me to be happy!

All I can say is, this is a post with no answer. A good ole fashioned blog post with musings and putting out into the universe that I definitely do not have all the answers. I’m helpless to time, space, and my heart right now. It’s chosen, and… that’s clearly that. Ooph.  Let the roller-coaster of life continue I suppose. 

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An Almost, and The Greatest Gift

My Breakup Reflection

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I should be crying right now, as we are want to do with a breakup reflection. In fact, I should be going through all the typical heartbreak experiences that rejection should offer me. And yet, I am not. In fact, I am feeling confident, excited, and really hopeful. I let my heart take the lead a few weeks ago, and reach out to someone that I had grown to care deeply for. I forced my head to just take a break from over analyzing and telling me all the rational things that it normally would to prevent the impulsive text. But, I did it anyways… stone cold sober, in the middle of the afternoon.

What resulted was the most delightful afternoon I had experienced in a very long time. There was laughter, sex, and real intimacy. I was on cloud nine. And again, forced that brain of mine to just let it ride. The heart was taking a chance.

Sadly, it didn’t last, due to timing and all manor of things that are out of my control. Of course being told that hurt, and I did choke up at the notion that this was possibly a one time deal. But, there was something else, something much more interesting. This lingering feeling of hope.  Here exists a man who enjoys my company, we make each other blissfully happy, and he likes me for who I am. There is no hiding, or need to impress. I feel free to act with impulse, hold nothing back, and just exist as the passionate and emotional soul that I am. And yes, if you read my last post, it came on the backside of understanding that I need to take risks. To be assertive and just go for what I want and deserve.

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He is not with me right now, because he is in the middle of finding out who he is. And the incredibly amazing thing is, he is doing the soul searching for himself. I have mad respect for a person owning their shit. For recognizing that they are not quite where they want to be in life, and need more time to figure it out. All I ask for is truth and realness. It is always OK to admit that you just don’t know. Or that you’re not ready, or of course my dream, that someone wants to just run away with me and fall head over heals in a way that makes no sense to the world…. Hahaha!

So here I sit, humbled by the knowledge that someone could just love me, and not ask me to jump through hoops or prove my worth or value. I… didn’t actually know that was possible. And now, I am riding high on this beautiful gift that this amazing man has given me, and he currently has no idea. Maybe if we maintain a friendship, I can share this with him. For now, he has asked for space, and it is the very least I can give him.  He is not ready for a relationship, but… if he was he would be willing to be in one with me. The power of hearing those words from another’s lips is… intense.

I found one of the good ones, and he thinks I’m a good one too. Life is just a crazy ride isn’t it?

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