Monday, January 31, 2011

One Step Closer To Proving The Law Of Attraction: Weird Has Attracted Weird

So I never wrote a letter 
I never took my true heart, I never wrote it down 
So when the lights cut out 
I was left standing in the wilderness downtown 

Now our lives are changing fast 
Hope that something pure can last 

It seems strange…. 
How we used to wait for letters to arrive 
But what's stranger still 
Is how something so small can keep you alive 

We used to wait 
We used to waste hours, just walking around 
We used to wait 
All those wasted lives in the wilderness downtown 

I'm not usually one for posting music lyrics. Although there are some great ones out there, it seems an overplayed tradition. However, I couldn't resist posting a few lines from the song We Used To Wait by Arcade Fire. Something about these lyrics really landed with me and reminded me of how far I've come. 

My date the other night went really well. Like, really well… easily the most fun I've ever had on a first date. It wasn't just the bowling, the karaoke, the socializing or even the beer. All those things were wonderful and contributed to a great night. What made it so amazing was the laughter. The genuine, unforced, beautiful laughter that kept the night rolling smoothly without the uncomfortable awkwardness that comes so often with hanging out with someone for the first time. 

He's different. He's unusual. In his words, he's "weird". Certainly seems right up my alley, doesn't it? 

He's also honest. He's funny. He can bring the entire room to the floor with laughter. He can also make the most shy and uncomfortable person in the place feel like they belong. He has eyes that do more than look at you… they see you. He wears compassion on his sleeve. He doesn't take life too seriously, but knows when it's time to be serious. 

And this is after knowing him for just a few days. 

In a textual conversation we were having earlier, I realized that I had to be very honest with him about something if we were going to pursue a relationship. First of all, I asked him to read all of my blogs, specifically the very early ones where I divulge all the information about my relationship history (gulp). I also want him to understand why I don't get up and go to a job every day and the big things I am up to. I need him to know about Jeremy's role in my life as it is extremely important to me for a multitude of reasons. 

I need him to know about my more complicated side. Like with Jeremy, I need him to know everything about me from the beginning. 

I also gave him my latest disclaimer: I told him that since I have chosen to put my life and experiences on a platform for everyone to see, he needs to be willing to get up there with me. What sets me apart as a writer, in my opinion, is that I have chosen to do what the song talks about NOT doing - I have taken my heart out, I have written it down. I have been in the wilderness and found the light to lead me back to life. I do this with open, honest and vulnerable communication about who I am, the mistakes I make, the victories I have and the struggles in between the two. I write so that people feel less alone. I write so that the islands that we find often ourselves on seem a little bigger… and a little closer together. 

I write because it's makes me feel alive. 

As I waited for his response to my "disclaimer", I chewed my lip… Jeremy was a great sport about all I wanted to share, but because of his profession, I could never get as candid as I really wanted to. I never felt like I could really paint an accurate picture of what our relationship looked like or meant to me. I felt a little trapped at times. In fact… I wrote less and less because I questioned everything I wanted to write about. 

The past few days, it seems like I don't know where to start because suddenly, I have so much I want to get out. 

I was thinking about this when my phone beeped with his response: 

"Your disclaimer kind of sounds like "I'm going to write about you even if it doesn't work out." Are you trying to scare me away? Because it's NOT working. Just from the few times we have hung out together I can say you are amazing. I can say that you make me laugh which is a good thing. I can say you give me butterflies even though that sounds girly, and I can say just thinking of you makes me smile. With all that being said you can throw your disclaimer out the window because this is one roller coaster I DEFINITELY want to ride. *kiss*" 

People say you can't connect completely over text. I disagree. 

My eyes filled with tears and a couple even rolled down my cheeks. I started laughing. My favorite emotion in the world is laughter through tears. I just felt so relieved. While it has gotten easier and easier to open up to others with all the practice I've been giving myself over the last six or seven months, people's reactions are still unpredictable. 

If he would've told me that he was uncomfortable with me sharing things about us - good and bad - to an audience of people that he doesn't know (and that I won't know once this goes to book), I would have absolutely understood. Being on display is not for everyone. But this is what I want to do - it's important to me. And I know that the right man for me will stand next to me in my endeavors as I will for him and his. 

It started with Jeremy… it's continued with Steven. I am attracting incredible individuals into my life and feel more connected with human nature than I ever have before. My island has certainly gotten bigger and a few people even live there with me now. 

I believe that this one life is all we have to work with. I don't have a life after death story in my belief system. I think we have this one chance to be who we want to be, to say what we need to say and love as much as our hearts can take. 

I used to wait. 

Now, I live. 





Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Can't Believe I Just Admitted That I Like Dating


If only I could bottle up the feeling of going out with someone that you are interested in for the very first time and sell it to the masses. I could make a zillion dollars… 

I love that feeling. One could probably even go as far as to say I can get a little addicted to it. Maybe this is the reason I find myself single over and over again. Mmm… no… not exactly. Because I also love the feeling of being with someone for a long time. I love the idea that I have someone who is thinking about me in the morning and at night - I love it even more when said person is planning their future and it includes me. 

What can I say? I love being in love. 

Falling in love is one of the best feelings in the world. This is why I've done it so many times. Skeptics have suggested that I've never truly been in love since I've never found "The One." Well, quite the contrary… not only have I been in what I know as true, honest, deep and compassionate love, I have found "The One." Many times, in fact. 

I've been very fortunate in my relationships. I have met and dated some incredible men in my life. I have learned so much from every relationship that I've been in. Even when they have ended unfavorably, I can honestly say that I don't have any regrets when it comes to the serious relationships I've been in. I have some regrets with men I've slept with… but that's not the same thing to me. 

I believe that we attract people into our lives for a specific reason at a specific time. Because of this belief, even if things don't work out (which is sad), an amicable friendship can grow if both parties realize that it simply wasn't a working relationship. I've gotten much better at communicating which makes this a lot easier than it did when I was simply a dumb kid trying to cause ripples. 

Perhaps this is why I don't stay single very long. Usually, when a relationship I've been in ends, I find myself feeling good about having time to be alone. I always tell myself "Enjoy being single for a while. It'll be good for you." It's not like I run out and immediately try to find another boyfriend. In fact, it's mostly the opposite. But, as awkward and uncomfortable and weird as dating is… I'm pretty good at it. 

A local paper in my neck of the valley is doing a Valentine's Day edition and asked readers to submit love stories, dating advice, etc. I figured what the hell - I submitted the blog I wrote when I first meant Jeremy, Don't Give Up... Don't Ever Give Up as well as the first two articles I published online as part of an online dating series; one about your profile and the other about theirs. I have since published a third about communication

One of the reporters from the newspaper called and did an interview with me about my online dating articles. I was pretty excited… more than that, though, I sounded like I really knew what I was talking about! Maybe all of this dating is starting to pay off… I mean, even if I haven't yet met the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, I can easily say that every relationship I've been in has been better than the one before. I make a very conscious effort to learn as much as I can from the relationships that don't work out and am very aware not to make the same mistakes. Or, in a less harsh way… I look at what's not working and make personal note of it. This way, I can focus on attracting something different by being something different. 

The big point I was trying to make with this reporter is that I base everything off of Universal Law and specifically the Law of Attraction. Those who know me well have heard me talk about this many times. And while I believe that this works in every aspect of our lives, tangible results can be seen almost immediately with online dating. Who you are in your profile will show itself to you based on the responses that you get. Now, don't get me wrong… there are people who simply respond to EVERYONE'S profile and aren't a good representation of what I'm talking about. However, those people can be weeded out pretty quickly. It's the ones that make a big effort that really show you who you are being when you put yourself out there. 

I'm fascinated by this. 

The reporter asked me if I was going to try online dating again now that I have found myself sans boyfriend once more. I think I told her that I probably would… but after further reflecting on this, I thought maybe I would hold off for a while and see what I can attract without the computer. Maybe it's time to step out from behind the curtain and see first hand, up close and personal, the kind of person I am being based on who shows up in my space. Could make for some interesting writing, that's for sure. 

Online dating will always be there and like I said before, if I end up going back to this as a way to meet someone, at least I know I have that feeling to look forward to again. Because for every negative, there is a positive. Break up… first date. Break up… first date. Break up… well, you get the point. And frankly, the rollercoaster is not as awful as it sounds. 

I learn so much from break ups… and the thought that one day, Mr. I Have It All will, in fact, find me is something that I am absolutely confident will happen. 

Yes, guys… I can't speak for all girls, but I can definitely say that when you go out with me, I am taking notes. Lots of them. I only hope you are doing the same.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where Is The Box That Says "Select All"?

I think it's important to start out by saying that over the last few years, I've gone through a large amount of personal development and have sorted out many things that I definitely do not want out of life or a relationship. I admit that there are times in my life where I still feel the need to reinvent myself and shift energy around. I believe life is a journey and we find all sorts of stuff along the way. Having someone who takes me seriously is the most important thing in a relationship, even if they have different ideas on how living life looks. 

I'm ready to find a partner that I can trust to always be there, to be absolutely nuts about me, to live and love their own life and it's accomplishments and challenges, someone who loves their family, big dogs and football. I also want someone who isn't afraid to be open about their feelings and who understands that happiness is created from within and not something that someone else can provide for them. 

I want someone who can beat me in bowling but not air hockey. 

I want someone to accept me for who I am, not for who I could be. I want a risk-taker and someone with financial confidence and security to help me learn how to be the same way. I want someone that makes my stomach flip when he walks into the room. Every time. I want someone who will hug my mother hello and goodbye and make my dad laugh. I want someone who has enough flexibility in their job to get out of town for the weekend. I want someone who realizes that they don't have to understand me in order to love me. I want someone who will go wine tasting with me one week and watch football all day with a bucket of beers the next. And finally, I want someone who will let me sleep in. This is my perfect relationship. 

I'm a hopeless romantic who loves excitement so logical, analytical and overly patient men need not apply. 

This was my online dating profile that was posted when I met Jeremy. I remember when I first started writing it - it took me a long time. Longer than most of these blogs, in fact (if you can believe that). 

The reason I spent so much time on these few sentences was because I truly wanted to attract the perfect relationship into my life. I don't consider myself to be the kind of girl that has any sort of timeline to meet someone. However, I do crave companionship and have reached a point in my life where I no longer feel the need to date or sleep with multiple people. Like Tenacious D said, "One's all you need." 

Additionally, I've always been comfortable on my own and made a deal with myself years ago that I would choose to be single before I'd settle for someone that wasn't right for me. 

I've mentioned in previous blogs about how Jeremy thought my expectations for a relationship were unrealistic. He said that I was setting myself up for disappointment on my quest for perfection. I tried to believe him and worked very hard at being okay with the parts of our relationship that… well… weren't okay with me. However, I still had that nagging voice in the back of my head that reminded me that I wasn't looking for a perfect person - I was simply looking for the person that was perfect for me. 

Jeremy just got back from a long trip to Michigan. We started dating at the end of September last year and maybe not half, but for a large portion of our relationship, he has been gone. Whether it's for family or business, he leaves for weeks at a time. I'm quite supportive as I know his job is demanding and his family has been dealing with a loss. It's just that when he is gone, I find myself setting up all kinds of things to do to keep myself busy. This last trip he took, I successfully set up what I consider to be a "work week" for me where I've allotted time for writing, working at the stables, networking, reading, exercise, music downloading, internet research, socializing and a number of other miscellaneous projects that coincide with my resolutions. It's been wonderful. I've felt very productive and fulfilled. 

I've also felt happy being on my own. To the point where I became a little uneasy at the thought of Jeremy coming home and having to make time for him and his crazy, unpredictable schedule. Once this thought creeped into my head, I knew it was time for me to sit down and take some inventory on what was going on. 

A question has come up with a few of my friends as well as one of Jeremy's friends over the last month or so. "Do you ever think he can be the kind of man you need him to be for this relationship?" 

There is no doubt in my mind that I love him. How could I not? He's amazing and wonderful and caring and wants more than anything else for me to be happy. The only problem with that is that, as I indicated in my profile, happiness comes from within. And while he has given me the greatest gift anyone ever has - the time and freedom to dream big and create the life of my dreams - he still doesn't fit the mold that I created when I asked the universe for my perfect relationship. 

I've been trying to make it work. In fact, over the last few weeks, I've been spending extra time with other male friends of mine that fulfill the needs that I haven't felt were present in my relationship with Jeremy. Take Cory for example. 

Cory is a good listener; someone I can make goofy jokes with and tell fun stories about travel antics over a delicious meal at my favorite breakfast place. He's my bar buddy - always down for a game of darts or a night out on Fremont. I always know what to expect with Cory and our past relationship has helped to create a strong and trustworthy friendship that I cherish deeply. 

With Justin I get intellectually challenged while also being able to provide my own support in his new relationship - which makes me feel important and needed. He always thinks of me when planning a get together. I've known Justin longer than almost anybody I've met in Las Vegas and while we have certainly had our own relationship ups and downs, I wouldn't trade our friendship for anything. His compassion and commitment to being a better person is something that I admire greatly. 

Travis is one of very few people who share my overall belief system about the world. With him, I get intense conversations of responsibility, Universal Law and endless run-ons about the emotional strength of whatever football teams just played. We are able to laugh about the situations that we create for ourselves as well as give sound advice on how to create something new/different/better. I don't see him nearly as often as I should, but there is something very comforting about knowing he is only a phone call away. 

And with James, I get a good time. Every time. I feel pretty and funny and, I'm not going to lie… I love the attention. We sing ridiculous songs at karaoke, drink Guinness out of straws just for a good photo opportunity (okay, that was just him), and rap about the crazy world of restaurant management. He is easy to be around, loves to have a good time and doesn't take life too seriously. He reminds me to relax and let my hair down when I start living a bit too long inside my head. 

With Jeremy, I get encouragement, stability and logical conversations about life and the decisions we come up against as people. And good sex. Not to mention the countless other wonderful things I've written about that show his support and love for me, my writing, my dreams and everything else about what I do. These things are also very important to me. It's just that I want everything I've listed above without spending the extra money on gas. 

I guess I just figured I could make it work with Jeremy by "getting my fix" elsewhere. And while I definitely don't mean cheating, I also don't think this is truly the healthiest way to have a relationship with someone. 

Thankfully, as I began having my conversation with Jeremy tonight about all of this, he opened up to me that he had been doing a lot of thinking while back home and without me even having to go into detail, he knew that things weren't working. He realized that he can't be the man he wants to be - for anyone - while he is trying to become successful at his newly chosen career. He admitted that he puts his needs and his time (as they relate to work and money) before everything else. And… he's not willing to make a change. 

When he asked what he could do to continue to support me in my new endeavors, I simply smiled and told him to keep doing what he is doing. His support is like nothing I've had before and it inspires me every day to continue pushing forward with my juicy dreams. As we discussed last time we separated, it's very likely that the universe gave us to each other for a reason that is not yet known to us. But we both agree that forcing a relationship that is just not working isn't the answer. 

Yes, I'm sad. It's always sad… but I'm also okay and so is he. It's different than last time we separated. It definitely feels more… certain. But at least this time, we know that we actually gave it a shot - and we saw very clearly how we can continue to benefit each other's lives in substantial ways. This pleases me. 


D, I love you very much. Thank you for who you are, who you've been and who you will be. You make a difference every day. 

Wow… it's nice that the days of screaming, crying and throwing clothes out the window are over with. 

I guess this means we're growing up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why Can't Finding My Passion Cost Less Than $330?

Over the last few years, something in particular has really been bothering me. Well, call it more of a jealousy thing I suppose… I find myself envious of so many around me that have a passion for something. Those I am most envious of are actually getting paid doing something they absolutely love. Others may not be in love with their work, but typically they have something else to look forward to throughout their day, something that gives them purpose. Something that when they think about it, they are instantly in a state of bliss. 

I get asked often about my art and many people find it interesting that I really don't have a passion for doing it. Just because you are good at something doesn't mean it is something you want to do all the time. Thanks to fifteen years of job hopping trying to find something I enjoy, I am now good at a lot of things - but don't want to do any of them. 

I do love to write. Every day I feel myself getting closer and closer to being able to finally marry something I love doing with creating an income. This pleases me. 

In the meantime, though, I still wish I was nuts over something the way Travis is about high school football or Jeremy is about poker. Nancy loves fashion as well as the idea of educating children to create a brighter future for us all. I definitely wish my passions were connected to that kind of do-gooder thinking… my brother loves sports, my mom loves crafts and my dad… well, my dad loves his freedom. And building bird cages. 

When I was in that leadership program a few years back, one of my coaches was helping me develop my personal strategic plan and wanted me to come up with a big, fat juicy goal to pursue. Something more exciting than my weight loss goal I had made and more fulfilling than learning a second language. She asked me to think back to when I was a kid and to remember the one thing that used to excite me more than anything else. It was at that moment that the memories came rushing back to me, almost as if I had locked them away in some closet in my head, along with many other things that I thought were useless as a responsible adult. 

Horses. 



When I was little, all I could think about were horses. I drew them all the time. I had a variety of toy and model horses that I played with and displayed proudly on my shelves. I created "Horse Clubs" with other children in my neighborhood and taught them everything there was to know about horses (or at least everything a ten year old knows about them). I grew up in many different varieties of Suburbia so having a horse wasn't realistic. However, I still dreamed about owning one every day. 

In fact, I was the only girl who joined a 4-H club for horses and didn't even own one. That was how crazy I was about them. 

When I was eleven or twelve years old, my dream finally came true. Through my 4-H connections, I was able to acquire my first horse, Rima's Marc. As I indicated in a previous post, I had her for a year or so and then ended up getting a younger, less stubborn Arabian named Lightning. I boarded him close to the house and spent many happy afternoons riding through pastures, trails and arenas. I even did a little bit of showing and barrel racing. It didn't matter what I was doing - I was just so happy to have my own horse after so many years of dreaming about it. 

From racehorse to pasture herding. I'm have a feeling
Rima was less than thrilled in her life choices




Remembering this particular passion, I thought that it might be worth looking into again. I honestly wasn't sure if I would feel the same way - I know that the brief time I had that horse up at Mt. Charleston was definitely a lot more unfulfilling than I had hoped. But then again, I leased the horse with the mentality of that fearless twelve year old that use to ride bareback around the neighborhood with nothing more than a lead rope and halter. 

I looked at this and thought - there is NO WAY I would
take this risk now. I must be getting old... 
That's me and Lightning on the far right. We actually
took a ribbon in this particular show. He was such a good sport. 
I was even confident enough to put my inexperienced brother
and fifty year old grandma on my horses. 

As I sat in the waiting area of the Emergency Room at UMC the day he bucked me off, I wondered if along with my courage, I had also lost my zeal for these amazing animals that I had dedicated so much brain space to for all those years. 

However, during the last few months, it started nagging at me again. So, I started doing some research online and found a few different local stables that provided lessons, boarding and a number of other services. I knew that I certainly didn't have an interest in having my own horse again - at least not right now - but I knew I wanted to be around them. I wanted so desperately to feel the way I did when I was a kid. 

I sent out some emails about possible volunteer opportunities. Grooming, feeding, tacking (meaning to help prep a horse for riding), even cleaning stalls. Yeah, I know… but I just wanted to be in the environment again and find out for sure if my feelings still existed. I figured if I had half the passion for horses now as I did when I was younger, it would still be more fervor than I had for anything else at the moment. 

I actually got responses rather quickly from a couple different places saying they would definitely be interested in having an extra hand to help out. Unfortunately, the life of a horse trainer is apparently one that requires a lot of attention, therefore pinning down a location, start date and expectations was extremely difficult. I remained diligent though. I certainly wasn't in any kind of hurry. Lucky for me, timing turned out to be everything. 

On Monday, I was performing the extremely tedious task of cleaning out emails, both on my Yahoo and my Facebook account. I found one of the November emails to the first place I had contacted and decided to shoot the girl who responded, Sarah, another follow up note… just in case. To my delight, I received a response from her the next day. Apparently, the girl who had been helping her out got a job and so she needed someone to begin coming by immediately. She asked if I could start the following morning. 

Three words. Pig. In. Shit. 

I was so excited a could hardly contain myself. As an added bonus, she was only fifteen minutes up the road from me. I had no idea what she wanted me to do, but I didn't care. 

As I was dancing around the living room, celebrating, getting what I am sure was the cat's version of an eye roll from Bailey, I realized that I didn't have any boots that could be worn around a barn. I was heading to the other side of town to play some disc golf anyway so I treated myself to a visit to good old Boot Barn. 

I walked in and began looking at the aisles and aisles of elaborate western style cowboy boots. I knew that the place I was going to be at was an English riding stable of which I know very little about. In retrospect, some research and forward thinking probably would've led me to a store that sold English riding gear. But alas, impatience and the need for instant gratification kept me from making a decision as smart as that. Instead, I just figured I would get a boot that could stand up to general barn conditions and could translate easily between both styles of riding. Being in a western wear store, this wasn't very easy. 

I found two pairs of boots. The first were made of hard, inflexible leather and had a boxy toe that I wasn't sure would hold up well in English stirrups. They were $135. The second pair were a beautiful brown color, made of soft leather that fit perfectly over or under my jeans, clung to my feet like a glove and had a nice heel that I thought would marry very well to either style of riding. They were $330. 

Seriously? 

I paced around the store for a while. I tried on the cheaper pair four more times, hoping they would magically turn into a pair of workable boots. They didn't. I really should've left. But I had already had a full day of spin class, disc golf, and a trip to the chiropractor. Additionally, Chipotle's quiet whisper from across the street had turned into an agonizing shriek as I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. (You know how they say don't shop on an empty stomach? This doesn't just apply to the grocery store.) 

I took a deep breath, grabbed my $330 boots and walked to the cash register. Sigh. 

That night, I made sure I went to bed at a decent hour. I felt like I did the night before the first day of school. I wanted to be well rested for whatever the next morning had in store. 

My alarm went off at 7:30am. I didn't even hit snooze. I was up, in the shower and ready to walk out the door at ten after eight when I received a text from Sarah asking if we could make it 9am instead. No problem. I sat down, did a few things on the computer and had a cup of coffee. 35 minutes later, I got in my car and headed toward the exit of my apartment complex. Just before I turned onto Rainbow, my phone buzzed again with another text message. Can we do 10 instead? She wasn't feeling well and wanted a little bit more time to rest. Sure… I turned the car around and went back upstairs to my apartment. 

Please don't cancel, I kept thinking. We made it this far! Just let me get the first day under my belt so we can set something up on a regular basis. Please… PLEASE!! 

Come on, Tina… the girl doesn't feel well. Maybe you should just text her back and reschedule. 

Hmm… no, how about you let her cancel if she doesn't feel well enough to have you there. Now is not the time to be passive. Do you want this or not? 

I often watch Jeremy from across the table when we are eating having full on conversations with himself. I tease him in my head… perhaps I'll lighten up on him a bit. 

I got back in the car at 9:45am and began my drive, watching my phone the entire time. I got to her house and hadn't received a text message yet. Score!! 

I walked to the front door and knocked lightly. A few seconds later, the door opened and there stood Sarah, fully clothed in her pajamas. I am a horrible person. However, she smiled, stuck out her hand and introduced herself. She pointed me around back and said she'd be right out. 

And we were off. 

I'm still learning about everything she does, but basically she has thirteen of her own horses that she uses for various reasons, mainly showing and giving lessons. She also boards horses for other people. Additionally, she has a tack store not too far from her house. The girl leads a very busy life. 


What she wanted from me was help grooming, tacking and exercising the horses - meaning, riding them!! There would be no stall cleaning necessary. Call me butter… 

Sarah and her stallion, Rascal
I liked her instantly. She was super mellow and very sweet. Her patience with me was extremely important as I realized almost instantly that I am not the all knowing, president of Horse Club, Inc., fearless barrel racer that I once was. 

Everything I did seemed erroneous, from how to put on an English saddle to how to mount and dismount. I put blankets on backwards, grabbed the wrong size riding helmet and pulled incorrectly on the reins. I even parked my car in the wrong spot. 

To add insult to injury, with three other riders in the arena, my foot slipped out of the stirrups during a trot and as I fished around trying to get situated again, the horse I was on stopped abruptly and I tumbled forward, falling to the ground. I looked up and the horse was staring at me, telling me with his horsey eyes "nice job, moron." 

Sarah asked if I was okay. I assured her I was and climbed back onto the horse. I told her I had simply fallen out of the stirrups and that the horse hadn't done anything wrong. 

"Do you have different boots?" she asked. 

Sigh. 

Another stallion she calls Moo-Moo. Not sure why... 
I'm pretty hard on myself and was feeling less than stellar as I began to wrap things up for the day. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea… then again, her horses were awesome. Each one I interacted with had such a different personality than the one before. It's what I remember loving so much about them. I always thought it was fascinating that these huge, strong and unpredictable animals were, in general, sweet, docile and eager to please. Even the spunky ones responded immediately to a stern voice or a light pull on the lead. Plus, I really enjoyed watching Sarah with her stallions - her fearlessness and love for them reminded me of how I used to be and how I'd like to be again someday. 

I stole this picture from Sarah's
Facebook album. Isn't it wonderful?


So, we settled on two days a week - Wednesdays and Fridays in the morning. I would spend about four to five hours doing whatever she needed and in return, I would get to reconnect with an old passion that I almost stored away forever. No major commitments, no obligations, any changes in schedule just communicate via text. Pretty simple. 

As I drove home, I held a good firm conversation with my ego. I was very lucky to have found someone that demonstrates as much patience as Sarah does. I got exactly what I asked for and even if I wasn't "good at it" yet, I would be a fool if I didn't realize what a great situation I had created for myself. So, I let go of everything I felt bad about and told myself to treat it like a new job. I never knew what I was doing on the first day of a new job. Within weeks, however, I was typically a top producer. I imagined this wouldn't be incredibly different. 

And in fact, I was right. I went this morning and felt much better about things. I left my ego at the house this time. I still did everything wrong but managed to stay on every horse I rode and made mental notes about all the corrections Sarah gave me. I was determined to make mistakes about things only once. Driving home today, I couldn't help but feel giddy. And sore. 

So, I have one resolution under my belt and it's not even the end of January! More importantly, though, I have cleared a bit of a path that I am hoping might lead to that mystical "passion" that I've been in such a desperate search for. I figured that even if I don't find exactly what I had in my youth, I am still doing something that I enjoy. 

In the meantime, that's good enough for me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Leave It To Me To Name A Female Cat After A Football Player

It's almost 7:00am. I've been awake for hours. The sky has lightened and the day is beginning. I'm listening to the sounds of people leaving their apartments and warming up their cars, getting ready to start their work week. 

The holidays are finally over. The regular season for football has come to an end and playoffs will begin. 2011 is upon us and it's time to move forward. 

I am not okay. 

I haven't felt this bad about myself in a very long time. And I'm scared. 

I'm scared because of what I'm not doing. I'm scared because of who I am being right now. I'm scared of who I was yesterday. I'm scared that I don't know who I will be tomorrow. 

I'm hungover. Again. My hair still smells like the bar I sat in all day yesterday. Yes, it was the final football game of the season. I was hanging out with friends. It was Sunday of New Year's weekend. I could come up with a hundred other reasons justifying why I sat and drank all day long. In fact, that's all I've had lately are reasons. 

It's Thanksgiving. 

It's a holiday party. It's another holiday party. It's Christmas. 

It's New Year's Eve. It's New Year's Day. It's football. 

It's time to be honest with myself. 

I'm avoiding. And I'm drinking too much. I'm not living in excellence. 

I look at the resolution list I made and find it to be very impressive. It sounds like I really have my shit together and have all kinds of plans to move forward. In reality, I don't even know where to begin. 

It's a bit of a struggle to write at the moment. Literally… my new cat, Bailey wants to lay down on top of my laptop and I have to keep moving her back to the side. She has settled down next to me and is proceeding to push all of her weight onto my right hand, waiting for the moment I quit typing so she can take advantage of any petting I may want to do. 

She doesn't care that I don't have a job. She isn't upset that I smell like an ashtray. She doesn't mind that I drank all day and then drove home from across town. She looks at me with no judgment. She is a bundle of love that is simply grateful to be off the streets, out of the shelter and in a warm home with lots of food, toys and cozy places to curl up and sleep. 

She is the reason I've decided to stop crying and take some control over myself. 

I can completely understand the existence of crazy cat ladies now. 

Even in a roomful of people, I feel alone. And while I truly feel like I am connecting with my friends and family more so than ever before, I still find myself going home at night, sitting on the couch and feeling… empty. Having Bailey around has certainly helped. I just thought it would be nice to have something to come home to. Something to take care of. I had no idea that this beautiful creature would so quickly live up to the big heart marking on her back and love me so much. I thought I was the one doing the rescuing. 

Jeremy comes home today. That might help… although I find our relationship to be very strange. I suppose that's how I like it as most of my relationships with men are strange. When I begin dating someone, I move quickly. In my head, I want so badly to be at that point where we are in love, live together, are a part of each other's daily lives and on our way to spending the rest of our lives together. In my heart, I must not really want this as I very rarely attract people that actually fulfill this desire. Even in my relationships, I still feel single. 

Which could explain my behavior recently. Socializing, flirting, giving lots of attention to someone that I know wants a relationship with me. Like so many times before, even though I have someone that I call my boyfriend, I give off the energy that I am available. It sort of feels like I am. 

I hate this part. The messy part. This is the part where I have to look at how I'm behaving and how it's affecting what I am attracting. This is the kind of stuff I'd rather not post on my blog. It's much more fun to post all the good things that are happening or to be inspiring to others. Posting this makes me feel a bit like a failure and not at all like someone to look up to. 

But, I made a commitment to myself when I started this. If I was going to call myself a writer, I was going to write honestly and with no filter. I was going to write on my terms. 

I got a tattoo the other night. It is a writing quill. All of my tattoos are representative of who I am and how I see myself. This one was no different. The only error I think I made in choosing my tattoos are their locations. I have them beginning on the back of my neck and running down my spine. I did this on purpose so I wouldn't have to look at them all the time. I see now that it sort of defeated the purpose of getting them in the first place. If they were truly to remind me of who I am and inspire me to live up to my potential on a daily basis, I probably should've tattooed them on my face. 

I have allowed many absurdities to creep in over the last few weeks. It's up to me to put them in the past and start over. 

I'm tired of this headache. I miss my health. 

I wish I knew what to do next. 

* * * 

I'm having breakfast. It's noon now… I just reread everything I wrote five hours ago. Originally, I was going to take this very "stream of consciousness" piece of writing and put it into a blog that makes sense. However, when I went back and read everything I was feeling this morning, I decided not to change any of it. 

I am feeling better. Well, not physically - physically I still feel like garbage. The amazing omelet I just had helped… mostly I feel better because I'm ready to make a change. Again. 

I suffer from Analysis Paralysis. Heard of it? I start thinking about the five hundred things I want to do (see resolution post) and then get overwhelmed by everything that is involved in moving forward to reach my goals. So… I do nothing. There's that word again, nothing… 

I decided that as much as I want to, it simply doesn't make sense to live a life doing nothing. I just get so nervous about committing to anything because I fear that I will put a lot of time and effort into something just to find out that it wasn't actually what I wanted to do. But, really… isn't that what we all do every day? I mean, it's exactly how we find out what we like and don't like. It's how we discover what works for us and what doesn't. It has been so amazing to have all of this time to float through the day doing whatever pleases me, but it's not taking me in any kind of direction. I certainly haven't been doing anything to ensure that I have a future of being able to continue doing whatever I want. 

I like my resolutions. I think they are solid. I think that with an actual game plan, I really can get these goals accomplished. I just need to stop waiting and start moving. 

Avoidance has been my drug of choice. Not just the last few weeks but with life in general. I made a lot of major changes in my life last year to remove many of the different ways I avoid. However, I have allowed a few of them to creep back in slowly and set up shop again. The cool part about life, though, is that in each moment, a choice can be made. 

After I wrote this morning, I fell back asleep for a little while. I woke up a few hours later to snow falling. My Facebook friends in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas had posted pictures of snow-covered cars and yards. It made me happy… it made me grateful. It made me sad to think of how I could miss mornings like these by taking unnecessary chances with my life and the lives of others. All for the sake of a good time. Those good times have been ending in tears lately and I think it's time I start listening to the inner me that is crying out for attention. 

You are better than this! You are worthy of a bigger life. It's time to start creating the kind of life you have always dreamed of. So… why did you order another drink? 

Better choices… that was what turning 30 was supposed to be about for me. I have slipped… but I caught myself and am ready to recommit to my goals. 

I'd never heard this quote before I saw the movie, Remember Me… but I love it… Ghandi said "Whatever you do in life will be insignificant. But it is very important that you do it anyway." 

When I look at Bailey, I think of this. Her entire life is different because of one little choice that I made that I didn't think was really that big of a deal. I just wanted company. She gets to live a full happy and healthy life now surrounded by love and affection. What was a small thing for me to do ended up making the biggest difference in her life so far. 

The decisions we make every day are important. Sometimes we see the affects right away, sometimes not for a while and some we will never see in our lifetime. But they are there. We are that powerful. I get to remember this and make better choices. 

Starting right now.