Sunday, July 24, 2011

So THAT'S Why There's No "I" In Teamwork...

“I really don't mean for this to sound so... dick.. but I'm not sure that's possible - for those of you who are part of the Dojo and also my Facebook friends, would you please do me a favor? If you don't actually consider yourself to be a friend of mine and/or participate in any shit-talking, have some balls and delete me from your friend list. The negative energy isn't good for either of us. Thank you!!” 

This was my status update this evening on Facebook. Tim told me that it was dramatic. I guess he’s right... I honestly wasn’t meaning for it to sound so dramatic. Like so many times, I over-think how I want to handle something and just when I convince myself that I am saying something exactly right, it turns out that it sounds just like I didn’t want it to from the very beginning. Sometimes, analyzing is just pointless. 

Truth is, I’ve been struggling quite a bit this week. I have tried very hard to let go of the negative feedback I received on my recent vacation blog but clearly it was A) someone that I used to hang out with at karaoke and B) someone that reads my blog which indicates that they are most likely a Facebook friend. While I am always happy to have readers, I am not okay with people pretending like they support me when they actually think I’m a piece of shit. 

I’m okay with criticism. I’m not okay with inauthenticity. The irony of this situation is the person/people who dislike the person I am, liked it originally. They liked that I said what was in my head. They liked that I was blunt and not afraid to speak my mind. But yeah.. I admit.. it sucks when it gets personal. I agree with that. But just because my focus changes, doesn’t mean that I am any different than I was when that person first met me. 

Does this mean that if I meet someone I like, I need to make sure I never say anything that might hit a little close to home? Then who’s being inauthentic? Ugh... 

I used to dog-sit for my friend, Matt. Shortly after he got his dog, he began dating a girl who lived on the east coast and, therefore, started traveling at least once a month to visit her. During these times, he would ask me to dog and house-sit. Like a good dog owner, he took his Shepard, Maggie, to the dog park at least once a day. He asked that I do the same. I went with him the first time and he introduced me to a few of the other dog owners that took their dogs to the park around the same time that he took Maggie. It was nice to meet these friendly owners and their respective pets. A cute family, that’s what I thought. 

So I began taking Maggie to the park at least once a month, three or four days in a row. I became really friendly with one or two people at the park. We used to chat for about 45 minutes to an hour while our dogs ran around and played together. I looked forward to these trips. In fact, sometimes, I went to the park twice in one day just to get more of these interactions. 

After a few months of this, I started to notice something that bothered me. The one person I liked chatting with the most (and who had the most amazing tiger-colored Ridgeback dog) began talking garbage on some of the other people who brought their dogs to the park. It was like he was... instigating drama among those of us who got along. I became really uneasy. I started being very conscious of the things I told him. I wanted to make sure he wasn’t using me as content for his “dog park soap opera” screenplay. 

I started to go an hour before or after when I used to. I was avoiding him... I thought it was so silly that even at the dog park, a group of people can find a way to create drama. 

A few months later, I ran into him at the dog park again. His beautiful Ridgeback had gotten so big and aggressive that I was no longer comfortable bringing Maggie around him. 

I don’t believe in coincidences. 

I was so excited to be a part of the Dojo. I have always loved karaoke and here I found a group of people that not only loved singing like I did, they were fun and cool and made me feel like I belonged  there. I’m a sucker for feeling like I belong in ANY place. I so rarely feel this way that when I do, I definitely cherish it. 

Tonight was a black belt ceremony (see resolution #8 on this blog) for my friend, Aaron. It was a beach theme. I really wanted to go. Aaron, while he can be a little abrasive and offensive, is also very considerate and complimentary when he wants to be. I appreciate both his honesty and sense of humor. Friends? I don’t know.. it’s hard to gauge these days... but certainly someone that I enjoy being around. I thought he might appreciate it if I showed up. 

I had a feeling I might get out early from work tonight. Sometimes I am there until one or two in the morning on Saturdays. However, it’s been pretty warm and not everyone wants to hang out on the patio all night. I was going to pack up a “beachy” outfit and stop by for a drink after work. I planned on this all day. I started getting ready for work and when I was all set to leave, I looked at the bag where I usually pack a change of clothes and thought to myself “no one wants me to be there anyway, why the hell would I show up?” 

Dramatic? Yes... probably why I posted what I did on Facebook. 

I have always been a bit amazed by the relationship that my parents have. After almost 34 years of marriage, my dad still can’t go an entire day without calling my mom at least five times. I honestly never understood how two people can be so connected that they have to speak on a bi-hourly basis. I’m sure I’m exaggerating.. but not by much. I’m not trying to say that my parents have had the most perfect relationship over the years. They’ve certainly had their challenges. But I think that they have embraced the concept of “we” more than I ever have. 

If you’ve read my very early blog about sex, you’ll know that I have been in a lot of relationships in my life. However, at 31 years old, I’m starting to think that I’ve never really embraced the same concept as my parents. As much as I’ve tried to give it my all in every relationship I’ve been in, I’m beginning to realize that I’ve never really known what it’s like to be “all in” with someone. Like many women I know, I’ve always expected Mr. Perfect to walk in and sweep me off my feet, be immaculate in every way and we ride off together on horseback in the sunset. 

Yeah, right. It may only be a two year degree, but I’m certainly no idiot. 

I was talking with my mom the other day... Tim has had some trouble at work with a friend he’s known since high school who decided she wants to hate him all of a sudden and I had a really good friend watch a Facebook post trash-session about me and Tim without feeling the need to step in and defend us. Needless to say, I have been feeling like we are both sort of... on our own. My mom told me that this is what “we” is all about. It’s about being in it together. It’s about realizing friendship can sometimes be surface and material... while love and commitment is something between two people that everyone on the outside, even in their own relationships, can’t really be a part of. 

I really wanted to think that when I became part of the Karate Karaoke Dojo, that I had made friends with a group of people that would appreciate the kind of person that I was. I know that I’m not perfect, I know I am dramatic and I know that I don’t always say things that people want to hear. I never claim to be right... I only claim to speak my own truth. Once again, an attribute that seems to be appreciated at first... only to be rejected later. 

I’ve put on weight. I’m sleeping in every day. I’ve stopped meditating. I’ve accepted complacency. I’ve allowed other people’s negativity to convince me I’m not good enough. 

I’m done with that. 

Tomorrow morning (in four hours in fact), I’m having breakfast with the best family I know (mine). At the moment, the most amazing man I’ve been with is sitting next to me, exhausted from a week of his own bullshit, but willing to stay up as long as it takes for me to get out my thoughts. I have enough reminders to convince me that it’s time to let go of all the negative feelings I’ve been having and make something positive happen. 

I have a workout schedule set up. My alarms are set. My meditation music is in place. Complacency is for the birds. I am good enough... I am smart enough... and dammit.. if people don’t like me, they can un-friend me. 

I have been confused in speaking with Tim about his past relationship of three and a half years. I am surprised that he would stay with someone for so long when it seems to be that neither one of them really understood the other. But, when I ask him why he stuck around, he simply told me “I was in it. I don’t give up.” 

The power of “we”. God, do I want that. 

Okay, so maybe I’m dramatic. Maybe I expect more out of people and maybe I don’t realize when I’m being a dick. But, as I’ve said before... my intentions are pure, my desires are clear and my journey, while lonely at times, has a destination. 

Is “we” this destination? Wow, that would be cool. That would mean... I may already be there. 


Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Hmm.. I'll Pass On The Crow, But I Will Take A Side Order Of Accountability, Thanks"

“Tim and I worked a lot on conflict resolution and I am hoping that Jim and Monte did the same. Along with family comes conflict - I know this more than anyone. But it is truly how you handle it that sets the stage for how intimate our relationships with one another can be. 

It’s easy to walk away. It’s harder to step into the fire and say “I will not stand for this because I love you too much.” I cannot force either of them to take this stand for one another. I can only hope that, one day, they are willing to. Life is short... and is over before we know it. How long will it take before being human becomes more important than being right?” 

As I recalled the events in San Francisco and what transpired between Monte, Tim and I, the point above is what I finished with. I wanted to make sure that, as always, the stand I take is one of responsibility and action - of looking at the bigger picture and making our decisions based on that. My point of view is one of looking forward at the next step, not dwelling in the “what happened” part of the story. 

I know this about myself. I also know that I am a really good person. I am more compassionate than most of the people I interact with. I care deeply about human interaction and the strides we can make as a society if we are only more honest with ourselves and those around us. 

I take responsibility for those things in my life that are less than desirable. I also take responsibility for those things in my life that are amazing as I know I created those as well. I acknowledge my imperfections, my mistakes, my shortcomings and the things that I do to create chaos in my life. 

Unfortunately, as far as my readers go - everyone is going to read and interpret things exactly as they want to. I might as well be a contributing writer to the Bible. 

Therefore, it was pretty hard to read the comments on my last blog. 

I left the Karate Karaoke scene because I want something bigger out of life. I was getting wrapped up in the “drama of the dojo” and it seemed so insignificant compared to the things that I want to accomplish. I mean, really... as a source of release, I like to get drunk, sing songs, and pretend I’m a rockstar. I had no idea that by getting involved with this particular social circle, I would be signing up for a high school musical. 

The difficult part is that I met some really cool people in the process. I have so many friends on Facebook and people who read my blog that might not have had I not become part of this particular karaoke scene. For that, I’m not sorry. I am, sorry, however, that I let that part of my life become more serious than the things that really mean something to me. 

I thought Steven was the one for me. I was devastated when I discovered that he wasn’t. I have spent many blogs writing about past relationships, what worked and what didn’t. I have written about Eric, Cory, Justin, Jeremy and Steven fairly extensively as these are the most recent and/or most meaningful relationships in my life. I write about Tim now for the same reason. 

I enjoyed blogging yesterday. I liked the idea of making comparisons about my last two vacations and analyzing their parallels. I liked remembering the important aspects of both and re-living each one, even when they turned negative (hence the title of the last blog). 

I found it important to write about Monte because it is that incident that made me love and respect Tim for the kind of man he has chosen to be. It is because he chooses a path of responsibility and accountability in a world where he was taught that being a victim can have bigger rewards that makes me look at him in a different light than before. 

I write to explain my experiences of the situations that happen in my space. That has never changed. 

However, based on the feedback I received from both those in my life who don’t think very highly of me as well as some very important feedback on those who do, I realize that I may have gotten a bit off track in my last few pieces of writing. I have to agree that I have chosen to focus on others more than myself. I did this in the beginning when writing about my family and that came with challenges as well. 

I didn’t realize that I was focusing so strongly on recent events and giving them so much life. I have been doing too much looking back and not enough looking forward. I probably should give Steven a break. After all, we have both already paid for the mistakes we made in our relationship. I honestly didn’t see what I was doing as a constant attack. It just seems natural to make comparisons between my current relationship and my most recent. 

Something very important has come up for me in all of this that I feel compelled to share. 

“I think you've limited yourself with this blog. Vacations are a milestone for all relationships and you chose to only examine your latest, most-inflated relationship to expound upon and draw your comparisons. It's incredibly dependent on the other blogs you've written and (save for the story about the evening with Monte) can't stand alone as a result. What I mean by this is that it's lost some of the universal significance you've maintained in other blogs. This doesn't mean it's a throw-away or bad writing, because there's a lot to work with. As it is, unfortunately, it sounds almost myopic when set against your other writing.” 

I read and reread this feedback from Whitney as well as the rest of her message to me which was absolutely integral in keeping me from curling up in the corner and crying for two days after reading the other feedback that came my way. 

Truth is, I am insecure. I am so excited about my new relationship with Tim but so nervous about how my excitement looks to other parties that are involved with my blog. I think I accurately outlined my concerns in one of my earlier posts about Tim but don’t think I had really addressed these with myself. 

When I made the commitment to myself to start this blog and write from a place of honesty and transparency, I agreed to climb up on stage and get naked. My past few posts, as they have related to my relationship, have either been too cautious with how thrilled I am, or too happy to the point of appearing inauthentic and abusive to my ex and our mutual group of friends. 

For fifteen years, I have dated who I wanted, when I wanted, without any kind of concern about what others might think. But not because I was so confident... because I would hop circles of friends. I would move from one relationship and the friendships associated with that to the next one. That way, no one would know how shallow or high maintenance I might have appeared. No one would know about my big expectations or how many relationships I had already been though looking for “The One.” I was safe. 

Now, I have people to answer to. I have readers to answer to. Most importantly, this blog is my mirror... and I have myself to answer to. 

So, here I am, standing before you on stage. Naked. Insecure. Vulnerable. Hurt. Proud. Anxious. Analytical. Concerned. Thoughtful. Compassionate. Cruel. Righteous. Determined. Sensitive. Compelled. Soft. Stoic. And, at times... myopic. 

But most importantly, I stand before you... as human. 

Thank you to those who love me, and those who don’t... to help guide me on my path of self-realization. I do find that, at times, it can be a lonely road... but then again, only if I choose for it to be so. 

I finish humbly... with a toast to myself: 

Tina... you just gotta keep on... keeping on. You will find your way. 


Friday, July 8, 2011

"We Write To Taste Life Twice, In The Moment And In Retrospect." — Anaïs Nin

"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman." 
— Anaïs Nin 

Obviously, given my most recent vacation with a boyfriend, I had some concerns about going to San Francisco with Tim. However, these days, I’m even less about wasting time than I usually am. If this isn’t the man for me, let me know now. And as I’ve said many times before, what better way to see someone’s true colors than taking a trip with them. 

Naturally, I spent most of my time comparing what was going on in San Francisco to what went on in Hawaii. My mind automatically broke things down into categories and took notes as the days went on. I’m a pretty stellar multi-tasker so I was able to do this and enjoy my vacation at the same time... 

Yes, it seemed like a competition for me. Hawaii vs. San Francisco. I couldn’t help it - so many circumstances surrounding both trips were similar; they were both with very new relationships, the length of time the same, there were other people on the trip to consider, etc. Now that I have returned and eased back into my Las Vegas lifestyle, I find it’s time to reflect on the scorecard even though the winner is very much clear to me. 

The City 
I’d never been to Hawaii before. The sights and smells of this tropical paradise were amazing. I didn’t spend any time on any other island other than Kaua’i. While it was absolutely beautiful, it is definitely more on the sleepy, beach town side of things as compared, I’m sure to Maui or some of the other more lively areas of Hawaii. 

For someone like me, it was a little easy to get bored as my ideal vacation does not consist of laying on the beach for four days. I like to get out and do stuff and it was easy to run out of things to do, even in the short time I was there. 

I’ve been to San Francisco a number of times in the past and it never fails to amaze me. This trip was definitely different as we were staying outside of the city in El Sobrante. This city itself had little to offer outside of local needs, but it was quite lovely and the neighborhoods were filled with beautiful homes and lots of hills to keep my quads and gluts engaged. 

We did make a few trips into surrounding areas such as Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco itself. In a city such as this, it’s not finding something to do, it’s narrowing it down that is difficult. This type of vacation is much more my speed. 

The Weather 
I like to look nice. I make an effort to do my hair almost every day. I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but having a nice foundation to leave the house with makes me feel confident. Hawaii wasn’t having any of this. 

Let’s set aside the fact that the first night there, we evacuated to higher ground due to the looming tsunami threat resulting from Japan’s horrific earthquake. Other than that, the weather was pretty neat in that it would pour down rain one minute and then be sunny the next. The humidity was a bit much for me, though, as it was useless to make any kind of effort to “look pretty.” Plus, this kind of weather and climate attracts mosquitos. Thousands of them. And I must have had the best tasting blood of anyone on the island. 

Hot and sunny, just the way I like it. The weather in San Francisco was perfect. Because we didn’t spend a ton of time in the city, we didn’t really mess around too much with the fog that can be a bit of a nuisance. Every day we were there was just a bit warmer than the one before. The only real challenge was forgetting that, unlike Las Vegas, the temperature does drop once the sun goes down and I found myself quite chilly at night when I had forgotten my hoodie at the house. Our final day there had started to creep into more of the humid side of things, but overall, I was more than pleased with Mother Nature during the trip. 

Accommodations and Transportation 
Okay, Hawaii definitely wins for both of these categories. Not only did we stay in our own beautiful beach house, we also had one of five vehicles at our disposal the entire time we were there. We were free to come and go as we pleased and if we wanted to chill in the house, there were two televisions, a full kitchen, a beautiful patio, plenty of seating and views of lush greens and mind blowing beach scenery. No question on this one: Hawaii for the win. 

The accommodations in San Francisco were not awful by any means. In fact, it was very sweet and courteous for Tim’s uncles to open their house to me without knowing who I was. The air mattress was actually pretty comfortable and for needing to share a bathroom between the four of us, there was never a wait. I suppose that’s the advantage of three men and one woman sharing it. I imagine most of the time, they were waiting for me! 

The transportation, however, was less than favorable. While the BART public transportation system is efficient, on time and clean, it’s still public transportation and I prefer to be on my own schedule. Towards the end of our trip, Tim’s uncle Jim was around more often and able to drive us to a few places which was nice. However, our plans to go to Warped Tour ended up falling through because we didn’t have a ride to the concert and needing to take public transit would’ve meant four hours of combined travel to get out to the venue and back. Relying on others and forming a schedule around that is not ideal for me and, in retrospect, renting a car probably would’ve been the way to go. 

I did enjoy our pedi-cab in the city... definitely some of the most enjoyable transportation of the trip! 

The Events 
This is probably a draw for both vacations. 

While there wasn’t an incredible amount of stuff to do in Hawaii, the things that we did experience were amazing. The drive to Waimea Canyon was long and tedious, but the views weren’t.... we had a dinner catered one night that I’m still reveling over, the charter boat that took us almost completely around the island was complete with snorkeling, whale and dolphin watching and included food, beer and wine, and our massive and intense hike up to Hanakapi’ai falls is something that I will never, ever forget. 

San Francisco had it share of fun activities as well. While Warped Tour didn’t work out, we spent my birthday night wine and beer tasting in the city. We also took in a ballgame courtesy of one of Tim’s friends who lives in North Berkeley. 

He and I also spent a night tooling around the city, finding some local watering holes and an unbelievable sushi restaurant and finishing up goofing around at the classic arcade at Pier 39. We got to check out Pyramid Brewing Company and spent the fourth of July out at the Berkeley Marina for a fabulous fireworks show. Even the last day was fun just taking some time out before our flight to play some pool in the local bar by his uncle’s house. All in all, good times. 

The “Others” 
This is where things start to get a little sketchy... 

The challenge with Hawaii was that there were a lot of people involved in the trip. At any given time, there were as many as fifteen or twenty people between all of the houses and everyone was sort of doing their own thing. However, Jeremy wanted to spend as much time with all of his friends as possible, including his girlfriend at the time, and we all had different ideas of what we wanted our Hawaii vacation to look like. Therefore, coordinating different activities proved to be a little stressful at times. Plus, the three couples involved in this particular group all seemed to be taking turns not getting along with one another so in the end, we all sort of broke off to do our own things. 

However, outside of my boyfriend at the time, Steven, I was really enjoying the friendliness and hospitality of everyone else in Hawaii. Jeremy was, of course, overly accommodating, his friends were extremely generous and mellow and the couple we were sharing the house with took turns preparing different meals and drinks during our trip. We did share lots of laughs and I enjoyed getting to meet new friends. 

San Francisco, in other words, was quite challenging... 

Tim’s uncles are a homosexual couple who have been living together as a married pair for 21 years. His uncle Jim has a very good job in the city as an Art Director for a successful magazine and his other uncle, Monte, stays home after having been a bartender for 25 years. 

Jim and I at the Oakland A's game

When I first showed up, Monte seemed almost mesmerized by me. We had lots of pop culture things in common and spent hours talking about different movies, actors, books, shows, etc. that we both enjoyed. In fact, he spent so much time being focused on me that it was actually starting to bother Tim a little bit who felt really left out and ignored. It was almost as if, many times, he wasn’t even in the room. To others, Monte was introducing us as his nephew and “the most interesting woman I’ve met in a long time”. 

At first it was flattering, but then it became kind of strange and overwhelming. I mean... I think I’m pretty awesome too... but the adoration was a little intense. For the first part of the trip, Jim was working and so the three of us spent a lot of time together. It became kind of frustrating because Monte would talk so much and interrupt everything Tim said in order to get his next story going. Tim and I couldn’t even have a conversation with each other. I couldn’t tell if Monte was trying to impress me or if he just couldn’t focus on anything because of his “condition”. (He told me right from the start that he has ADHD.) 

And then, the night of my birthday, the three of us decided to go into the city. After getting a little lost a few times, we finally ended up at a great little wine bar in Castrol where we were able to wind down and Tim and I finally got some time together to engage in our own conversations. Afterwards, we decided to go to Haight and find this great beer bar that Monte had discovered there. Again, we got lost on our way and I was starting to lose confidence in Monte has a tour guide. As someone who is an obsessive planner and needs to be familiar with my surroundings at all time, especially in a city I don’t know very well, this kind of thing tends to make me nervous. 

Because we were relying on public transportation, we needed to be back on a bus heading to the suburbs by midnight. As 11:30pm approached, all three of us were well on our way to intoxication and knew we needed to make a move. We had been given Monte a hard time all night about getting us lost, but the jokes became serious when he wasn’t giving us any direction on how to get back to the BART station. Our questions were answered with “sures”, shrugs and, when we finally asked complete strangers where to go, he would simply say “I told you so.” Suddenly, it felt as if we were in the city with a child. I got nervous, not wanting to be stuck with no ride back to the house. Luckily, Tim knew he needed to take charge and did so, doing whatever he needed to in order to find the right train, get us on it, arrange a pick up from Jim and ensure that we got home safe. 

For some reason, Monte was offended by all of this and upset that we didn’t have faith in his navigation. He and Tim had a bit of an altercation on the train back to the suburbs and by the time Jim picked us up, Monte was furious at the way Tim and I handled things and began using obscenities and melodramatic statements to insult Tim all the way home. Tim was silent. At one point, I looked over, expecting to see a face of stoic indifference and instead, watched as he stared straight ahead with tears rolling down his cheeks. 

There are many things that we could have done to prevent this. We could have told Monte how we felt about getting lost in the city without making jokes about it. We were most definitely harboring some negative emotions about an incident earlier that day where we simply wanted to take a walk to the bank and instead, got taken on a four or five mile goose chase by Monte that resulted in needing to be picked up and brought back home. We were both tired of having our time wasted but didn’t speak up about it before alcohol became our voices for us. 

I definitely take responsibility for how things transpired and escalated that night. We should have been more honest with how we felt and how we wanted information presented to us. However, the next morning, when Monte sent the following text to Tim’s dad (with whom Tim already has a strained relationship), I was at a loss of how to proceed: 

“Your son is an asshole. And he is in love with the re-incarnation of Anais Nin. I just thought you should know.” 

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." 
— Anaïs Nin 

The next day and a half were rough. Tim had never experienced this side of his uncle before. He was hurt. He was torn. He was sad. And then, he was mad. His myriad of emotions were to be expected. We spent hours talking about how to handle and approach things in order to come to a resolution. When no resolution could be found the following day, Tim’s other uncle got involved. Eventually, between the three of us, we were able to find a way for Tim to approach Monte in a way that they could bring the emotions down to a reasonable level. They talked, they hugged, and we decided to get on with the rest of our vacation. 

However, later that evening, when we all got in the car to head to the Berkeley Marina to watch the fireworks for Independence Day, Monte got into the passenger side, put on his ipod and disconnected from us the entire night. In fact, he ended up staying and sleeping in the car while the three of us took in the show. 

He hardly spoke to me the rest of the trip. Although, in all honesty, I made no effort to change this. After doing some research on Anais Nin and talking to Jim, I found out that despite all of the things we had in common and enjoyed about each other, once he discovered that my political views strongly lean towards Libertarianism (and I mistakenly used the word narcissist in conversation), he decided I was not worth his time anymore. 

We made the best of our trip. Jim continued to be supportive as well and the three of us enjoyed the remainder of our time together. What will happen from this point on in their relationship remains to be seen. Tim and I worked a lot on conflict resolution and I am hoping that Jim and Monte did the same. Along with family comes conflict - I know this more than anyone. But it is truly how you handle it that sets the stage for how intimate our relationships with one another can be. 

Tim and his Uncle Monte
It’s easy to walk away. It’s harder to step into the fire and say “I will not stand for this because I love you too much.” I cannot force either of them to take this stand for one another. I can only hope that, one day, they are willing to. Life is short... and is over before we know it. How long will it take before being human becomes more important than being right? 

I’m still searching for that answer myself.... 

I guess this point goes to Hawaii. 

The Companion 
This is the easiest category of all. 

Steven stood outside the car with too much alcohol and insecurity in his system, looked me in the eyes and said “fuck you.” 

Tim and I woke up next to each other the morning after he and his uncle had their blowout and said “thank you for being my best friend last night.” 

"Love consists of not looking each other in the eye, but of looking outwardly in the same direction" 
— Anaïs Nin 

The Winner 
Hawaii was beautiful, had moments of absolute peace and tranquility and I got to enjoy some good times with some good people. 

San Francisco was disorganized, messy, emotionally charged and full of not knowing what to do next. 

In Hawaii, I discovered what my heart will and will not tolerate, no matter how much love is there. 

In San Francisco, I realized how in love I really am. 

* * * * * * *

Word of advice... think you and your significant other has what it takes? 

Go on vacation. 

"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls." 

— Anaïs Nin