March 2010


First of all, thank you everyone for all of your feedback over the past two days on my ambivalent feelings towards CBE and/or getting into a relationship (since I clearly can’t decide what the ambivalence is about!), I truly appreciate it, and all of it has been helpful in one way or another.

I must say, though, that the feedback was, well, all over the map! From Diary of a Divorced Guy suggesting that perhaps my gut is telling me to walk away, from several others viewing this as simply overthinking and that I should just enjoy it for what it is/was (a blissful weekend, beginnings of something promising), to two very insightful comments from T that really helped me (here and here), and finally, to another great question to ask myself, from Shannon.

While I’ve addressed each of these comments, I do want to expand a little bit more on Shannon’s quesetion, in particular, first:

Think if it this way for awhile…what if you weren’t seeing him this weekend? Would you think about him all weekend or would you feel free to be more yourself?

The answer to that? I’m really not sure. But, I am more leaning towards not seeing him this weekend for that very reason – to see if this ambivalence feels like it’s him, or the premise of a potential relationship (and, as an update, he threw out his back this afternoon and told me he may not be up for company on Friday, now, anyway, so it may be a moot point).

To some of T’s comments:

Breathe. Observe how you feel when you’re with him. Try not to react but observe. You might even consider keeping a feelings journal outside of the blog to track those things.

This is what I need to do – I react, I don’t observe. Or, I observe after the fact and overthink.

Like crazy.

It’s clouding my thoughts and judgements, for sure. Snark had a similar comment that I found helpful, and right in line with what I am thinking – if he isn’t wiling to bend or meet in the middle on my own perspective on happiness and expressing feelings, then that’s probably a bad sign or over-rigidity. I tend to agree fully there.

So, back to the all over the map-ness (yes, that’s a word, in my book!) – I’m still feeling that way, and I’m really not sure what my next step is beyond definitely seeing him again to see where things stand, see how I feel, discuss the whole happiness/feelings thing, and see if we can come to some kind of consensus.

And, who knows, maybe that whole convo was overthought and overworked and things will get back to some sense of normalcy. We’ll see.

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On a super-exciting side-note – I took the plunge and am going to Bloggers in Sin City in May!! I am SO excited to be going, and I just know it will be a blast – with Shannon, Melissa, and a few others (Akirah, Imerika, and PERHAPS even Lil Devil Mama!!) Mini reunion – here we come!! Anyone else debating on going?! Should be a fantastic time, EPIC, even 😉

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Another final note – please check out Sunshine‘s post on natural beauty – it came out awesome – a collage of woman in their “natural” beauty” – see me and my sis in there? 🙂

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Note: I’ve gone through the day feeling ambivalent about CBE and I can’t really shake it. I’m writing my second post of the day, but am going to hold this until Tuesday, and post it then, see how I am feeling at that time, and compare, maybe re-write portions of this, but I feel like I need to “blog it out” for lack of a better term.

Update: re-reading my post this morning and I’ve added comments in bold throughout.

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Ambivalence. It feels heavy and I’m not sure why. I can’t put my finger on it.

Is it CBE?

Is it my feelings toward CBE? Some lack of feelings? Too many feelings? Unsure feelings? All of the above? Parts of the above?

Is it me? My hesitation over getting into a relationship? Fear of getting hurt? Worry over whether this is what I want? All of the above? Parts of the above?

Is it just that conversation we had that is bothering me? Maybe. that’s what I think it is, but I’m just not sure (and I realize I am overthinking, the more I think about that conversation! More of a blip than hardcore unsure feelings)

Thus, ambivalence.

I like CBE. I like a lot about him. I like that he challenges my thinking. I like that he can be intense, but on the flip side, funny, goofy, happy-go-lucky. I like that he knows what he wants, has a good head on his shoulders, is driven, and is happy.

I wanted a man that wanted happiness. Strived for it. Had a sense of perspective.

Now that I have it in my grasp…is it what I want? Is it too intense? Too similar yet conflicting to my own approach?

I’m really not sure.

Thus, ambivalence.

Is it okay to still feel undecided on where this is headed, about a month and a half into it? I think it is, to an extent, because we do live farther apart, so our time together is limited (though, when we have it, it is plentiful. So it goes from 0 to 60 and then back to 0 pretty quickly).

But then I wonder – and as BDF also noted – is it my hesitation to get into a relationship or hesitation to get into a relationship with CBE?

I don’t know. I think it’s the former, but I’m not sure.

Thus, ambivalence.

I’m going to stick with the party line of – we’ll see what happens – because right now, I still like him, I’m still happy (‘cept this pesky overthinking/ambivalence!) we get along great, and he has many of the qualities I’m looking for. If it continues, great, and we’ll go from there. I’m not going to force-fit anything, I’m not going to stay in something that doesn’t make me happy, but I am going to see this through.

While I still have some ambivalent feelings about things right now, re-reading my post (and making comments in bold throughout – this is my comments to my own thoughts from last night – follow my approach here?!), what still jumps out at me is this –

I like him. A lot about him.

So, for that reason, I think it’s a good approach for me to stick to it for now, and see where it heads. My gut tells me to do that, because there isn’t anything inherently wrong with where we are at this moment, so why toss it out the window?

And, as if on cue, I get a text from him this morning that says “I miss you.” (as I’ve sort of pulled back in the last 24 hours or so, perhaps he’s sensing that, or perhaps his feelings are coming more and more to light…or a combination of those).

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Now, I’m sure I’m going to get a mixed bag of reactions to this post, sort of how I got a mixed bag to yesterday’s post, but I appreciate all of it, the encouragement, and the constructive feedback as well. I take it all in, but also make sure to toe that line firmly enough so I keep my own opinions intact, while taking everyone else’s into consideration as well. If that makes any sense (I just don’t want to necessarily let others’ opinions bleed into my own too much – as this is still my life, my relationships, and my journey, right?!).

I know, I know, two full days without blogging – pigs must be flying right about now 😉 Here’s my reason – CBE stayed at my place through this morning vs. last night, so I figured rather than half-blog about it while he was over, I’d let it “ruminate” and do one big ole blog post today.

So, here goes – overall, it was a very fabulous weekend, but there were a few things that made me go “hmm” and got me thinking, so I’m breaking this post up into a few sections. First, my favorite moments from the weekend:

  • Falling asleep on the couch on Saturday, laying flat against his chest, and waking up a half hour later, with his arms around me, and one of my cats perched on my back (with his dogs on the floor – she wasn’t even scared, that was huge!). It was a moment.
  • Meeting for drinks with my sister and bro-in-law after dinner in Boston on Friday night. The conversation flowed, it wasn’t awkward, and it was fun, and nice to have him meet them. Meant a lot, and I’ve asked my sister to share her “review” of him for a later post, stay tuned!
  • Trader Joe’s and such on Saturday. It was a lazy start to the morning, but with a yummy start of eggs, toast  with almond butter and strawberries (and coffee, of course), and we went to Trader Joe’s and got some good finds for dinner, and did a few other errands together, including picking up one of my fave bottles of wine and sampling a few at the wine tasting they were doing at the liquor store (hey, why not, right?!)
  • Dinner at Davios. It was fun to get a little bit dressed up, head into the city and have a delicious dinner for Restaurant Week. Nice and leisurely, three courses, delicious haddock, good company, and a fun evening overall.
  • Watching CBE wash my trash can. Yep, he washed it. It was dirty, but it’s a trash can so I’ve never done much about it. He took it out, washed it inside and out, and well, it was just a little gesture that was sweet for some reason. Oh, and he cleaned off my patio of leaves and moved my mattress that I’ve been delaying dragging to the dumpster since oh, September, when I moved.
  • Just being. Spending such a chunk of time together was just nice to do, you really get to know someone a lot more when you have so much time to do stuff, talk, etc.

So, those were the highlights of the weekend – we were active, took the dogs for walks, hung out, watched some movies, and made two delicious dinners (Saturday and Sunday) together. We had some wine, we laughed, we talked, we enjoyed the time together.

However, as we were talking on Sunday afternoon, the conversation turned towards some things he’s been learning from “The Secret” – things he’s been working on in himself for a few years. Being positive, staying positive, surrounding with positive people. Sounds all good, right? And it is, it really is refreshing to see and hear that from him since I strive for that too, and have been looking for someone that shares that same viewpoint.

But then, as we were talking about the walk we’d taken with the dogs (it was really windy and pretty chilly by the water), he said he enjoyed it, but didn’t think I did, and that I wanted to rush home, and he felt a little bit uncomfortable.

This was a surprise to me, because I didn’t think I was rushing, and was a little puzzled.

He said he got the sense I wasn’t enjoying it, since I kept saying I was cold, and it was windy etc. And yeah, I did say those things, but at the same time, it was a gorgeous day, blue skies, sparkling waters, and that I was enjoying. He felt that to him, that was complaining, but to me, that’s not so much complaining but just stating that it’s cold and windy. I felt he was misinterpreting me a little bit and jumping to conclusions that I’m not as positive, and complain a bit.

Sure, I complain, sometimes, everyone does. To me, it’s not as black and white as either you are positive or you are negative…yes, there are people that are negative and that can be a poison, but I think there is a middle ground, where you let out the frustration and then pull yourself out of it – that’s the difference between being negative and being a generally happy person.

I fall into the second category and think you have to allow yourself to feel the annoyance or frustration, so long as you are able to get past it.

But for him, he tries to surround himself with positive people, those that have good outlooks on life (which, he agreed, I do), and that by doing that, he tends to be alone a lot, because he doesn’t associate with people that are overly negative. I got a little bit frustrated because I thought he was trying to say I wasn’t positive, and he wasn’t, truly, he was more pointing out that instead of automatically saying “it’s cold out,” why not say, “it’s a beautiful sunny day.”

And he’s right, in a way. But for me, that’s still a shift in mindset – that I thought I’d gotten to, but that I really haven’t fully gotten to yet. And on the flip side, I think he can open his mind a little bit to see that it isn’t black and white, and you can be happy, but still complain from time to time. As long as you pull yourself out of it. It’s still a work in progress for me…but that’s what life is about, learning, and doing, and progressing.

Which brings me to the subject of this blog post – do something that scares you every day – it was inscribed on a Lululemon bag sitting in my kitchen that CBE read aloud, and he said “I love that.”

As do I.

And it occurred to me that I don’t fully do something that scares me every day, even though I do try to – in many ways – at work, by doing Kick, by dating a man that stretches me out of my comfort zone. But at the same time, it’s so easy for me to fall back into what’s comfortable – routine, sitting back and not challenging myself to think better, more positive, always optimistic, sticking to the status quo.

So, that’s what CBE got me thinking about…and I’m going to blog more on this topic this week as well.

And, while it was a wonderful weekend, a part of me came out of this weekend realizing that while on one hand, I really like CBE…a lot…the other part of me still enjoys my independence and growth I’ve made being on my own. And that doesn’t mean that I feel differently in a bad way towards CBE, it just means that I am feeling myself pull back ever so slilghtly, because I feel I have a lot of learning, growing and challenging to do on my own before I’m fully ready to launch into a full-on relationship.

Happy Quote Friday everyone! I’m keeping it simple today and going with a quote that is absolutely universe, yet, at the same time, it’s easier said than done.

“If you want to be happy, be.”

It’s one of those feelings – happiness – that is more a ‘state of mind’ than it is a feeling, to me, and it’s hard to think that way, sometimes, at least for me. While I am happy with my life and almost everything in it, sometimes I get too focused on the little frustrations that bug me endlessly, or stressing over things I can’t control, or worse, getting angry over things I can’t control. Two blogs this week really resonated with me and that, combined with starting to read “The Secret” and some sage words from CBE, I thought this quote was perfect for how I am feeling, and the mindset I’m trying to create for myself – ongoing happiness – because truly, life is great, and it’s something to be enjoyed, not rushed through to get to the “good parts.”

Chaz had a fantastic post this week on his new mantra – “Just for today, I will not dread, regret, resent” – he goes on to say:

I simply resolved at the beginning and throughout each day, to avoid wherever possible these three pitfalls of thinking.  Any time my mind migrated there, I would simply immediately redirect to something positive.  I would not join in the internal dialogue in my head that would say things like,

“Man, today is going to be a tough day”, (dread)

“You really should have chosen a career as __________ “, (regret)

“I really hate that guy”, (resent)

You get the picture, I am sure.  I simply found myself drifting into these thought paths more than I cared to and to no practical end.  I was the only one who was hurt when I did.  Well, initially anyway.  Then I would hurt others by my behaviour that resulted from the emotional funk from dreading, resenting, and regretting.

And who am I to question God as to why the path I took was not the right one for me?  How do I know I am not exactly where I need to be and can be of most value to myself, God, my family, and humanity?

I just think that’s such a great, simple, way of looking at life, and nixing those negative thoughts of resent, dread or regret and I really want to take a page out of Chaz’s book here and try to shift my own thinking – because it is so easy to just fall into that trap of negativity, when really, what’s the point?

My sister also had a wonderful post that I keep re-reading – recapping a recent Joel Osteen post (she beat me to it! heh.) – on letting yourself “bloom, right where you’re planted.” An excerpt from that post:

“Too many people in this world are living a negative and discouraged life…they don’t like their job, where they live, what they want to be…when they get stuck in traffic, its not where they want to be. Always fighting against where they are, wanting to be somewhere else. But God is more interested in me, than changing my circumstances. He’s more interested in changing me. To open those doors, the key is to bloom right where you’re planted. You have to be the best that you can be, right where you are.

YES!! that’s the ticket – it’s about being the best, happiest, most positive YOU – despite it all. The way I look at it…if life were to end tomorrow, would I have lived my best life? I want to be able to answer a resounding yes to that – the best, happiest, most positive life.

So – BE happy.

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On the CBE front – he’s been great at giving me an alternate perspective – he has a sticky note on his counter that says – are you close to where you want to be? I just think that’s a great reminder – always strive for the best. And, on that note, he’s coming to my neck of the words…for the weekend. Stay tuned 😉

I’ve written on the topic of why I love blogging quite a bit (here and here for starters), but the question of why do you blog is a little different, isn’t it?

And then I get this comment on my “Who I am” page – a note from Leora Trub,  a student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) on a study she’s conducting on the reasons people blog and what benefits it brings…and she wants me to participate!  I was so excited to see her note and I thought many of you might be interested in participating, and if you are, please contact her by email (ltrub@gc.cuny.edu) and she’ll send you the survey (done anonymously).

A few more details:

I am reaching out to you as a blogger who can help deepen our understanding of this phenomenon. I believe that your voice is an important one to be heard and hope you will enjoy participating in the study. I have developed an online questionnaire that asks about specific aspects of blogging as well as asking about feelings about yourself and others in your life. The survey is a mix of numerical scales and opportunities to reflect in an open-ended format about the role of blogging in your life, and how it has changed over time.

You are eligible to participate if you are at least 21 years of age and have been maintaining an English-language personal blog for at least six months that you update or visit at least twice a week (on average). Your participation involves completing a confidential online questionnaire. The data will be downloaded onto a secure server to which only I have access. No identifying information, such as your names or address, will be collected. If you desire, you may choose not to share your blog name, in which case I will not access your blog for any reason after this point. If you do share your blog name, it will NOT be connected to your responses in the survey. Additionally, you will be given the opportunity to be identified by a code name in research reports and to have your blog description changed slightly so it cannot be identified. The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and participation is completely voluntary. Three participants who complete the survey will be randomly selected by a lottery to receive a $75 cash prize.

I haven’t yet done the survey, but I think she’s going to post some initial findings to her “Why do you blog?” blog as well, and I’m really curious at the overall findings as well.

But it did get me thinking even further…beyond the initial reasons on why I started my blog, why do I blog?

I’ll post some thoughts on that in a future entry (perhaps after I take the survey), but it begs the question of those of you that do blog…why do you? (and again, loving blog synergies – seeing T’s blog post yesterday on her inspiration for starting her blog – awesome).

Following on last night’s post in my three-parter on “re-learning” in a relationship (which, by the way, I’ve gotten some great feedback and comments on – thank you!) – is my final post on this (for now, maybe more later!) – “re-learning” figuring each other out.

How do you figure each other out?

I mean, I know this also comes in time, and the ins and outs, the moods, the “tics,” the peeves, even…but initially, how do you feel out the moods and figure out what they say vs. what they mean?

I guess this is more of a frustration to me, because I just want to know it all, I want to be able to understand how he (the proverbial “he” – not necessarily CBE, though, him too, of course!) works, what he likes, what he thinks, how he operates, as compared to my own characteristics in these areas – see how they mesh, and even, how they don’t and how we complement each other etc.

But that goes back to – it takes time – and it doesn’t happen overnight, which I get, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it and wish it were easier (almost goes back to having “rules” for dating…though if there were rules, dating would be much too rigid, right?!).

So, when did you “figure each other out?” How long did it take? Love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well!

I thought I’d follow up my post from last night on trust, to do a little three-parter on “re-learning” the things you likely take for granted in a marriage or long-term relationship. To me, these are trust, love and simply figuring each other out.

Tackling love next – how do you know when it’s not just chemistry, it’s not just attraction, but it’s genuine feelings, moving more towards love?

I guess you “know when you’re supposed to know” and it does come in time, but it’s one of those things that to me, is still so fuzzy in my head since I haven’t fallen in love since well, I was 20 years old. A lot has changed since then, clearly, and so have my own feelings and definitions on what love is and should be, in a way, too. But it is one of those things that – when in a long-term relationship or marriage – that you just don’t remember when or how it happened, but one day, it was just there. At least, that’s how I remember it.

In terms of CBE? I think it’s still too premature to say it’s a loving feeling, but I definitely get that heart-skips-a-beat when I hear from him – text, phone, email or when I see him – and I truly enjoy spending time together, which just feels so good, so to me, this “thing” we have going on has the basis for love, but I don’t know if we’re quite there yet. It’s only been about 6 weeks or so, so I’m just seeing how things play out.

But, in terms of love and what I want to feel when I am in love? Well, I heard this song last night on Dancing With the Stars (NO, I didn’t watch all of it, just bits and pieces between flipping back to Chuck – awesome show if you haven’t seen it!) and it just resonated – “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain- this song captures it in a way (not all of it, but pieces). Enjoy.

Thoughts? When did you “know” it was love?

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Side note – THANK YOU Nicki for the Sunshine Award shout-out – you’re the best. And well, warm and fuzzies back atcha 🙂

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