Monthly Archives: May 2012

I’ll See Your ‘What If’s’, And Raise You A ‘Remember’

I don’t really play poker.  I love card games, but I never really learned poker.  I understand the concept; I just didn’t really know anyone who played.  I’m also not a gambler.  Most likely, my control issues and having no desire to take risks play a part in that.  But I seem to have found myself in the middle of a poker game.

I was driving home last night, thinking about all of the ‘excuses’ not to step outside my comfort zone.  What if this doesn’t work?  What if it only makes things worse?  What if it’s not the right time?  What if I can’t do it?  I know how this usually plays out – I know that logically, the things I want aren’t likely to happen.

That’s when I heard, ‘I’ll see your ‘what if’s’, and raise you a ‘remember’.

It was one of those statements that made me think, ‘I’m really not going to like where this ends up…’

So…you don’t want to write a job proposal or do anything with it because you think you know how things will turn out.  No one will really care about what you have to say or there will be too much red tape to make it happen.  But what is the real reason?  Fear.  Remember:  October 8, 2010 – You walked away from your job with nothing else lined up.  Two months later, you were hired back to the exact same job.  You didn’t think that would happen either for some of the same reasons.  How did those two months change you?  What made you enjoy the exact same job you were so ready to leave?  Where would you be right now had you not taken the steps outside your comfort zone to either leave or go back?  You overcame the fear, and things turned out fine – just different than what you expected.

You don’t want to pursue a relationship because you think you know how it will turn out.  It doesn’t fit into the expectations you created.  It doesn’t fit into your comfort zone.  Those inconveniences will ultimately make the relationship impossible for the long term so you want to end it before it even begins.  But what’s the real reason?  Fear.  Remember:  Russia – That relationship should have never happened from a logical standpoint.  It may not have ended the way you would have liked, but you can’t deny there’s a reason it happened.  Where would you be if you had gotten married?  What if you had never admitted that you were interested in a relationship at all?  You stepped outside your comfort zone, and it may not have been perfect, but you learned and grew – just not in the ways you expected.

And let’s not forget the beach in Monterey.  You set aside fear and discovered a part of you that had been locked away for a very long time.  You took that next step in your journey and discovered that what you had been taught were some pretty big lies.  How does it feel to be living in that freedom?  You took a risk to search inside yourself, and you found beauty and strength – not at all what you expected.

Why do you still let fear win?

I’ll see your ‘what if’s’, and raise you a ‘remember’.  It’s your call.  Will you go all in or will you fold?

 

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There Has To Be A Better Way…

I really had no intention of writing this post.  There are so many other things I’d rather write about – which may very well be the reason I’m sitting here writing.

Do you ever feel like you’re the pawn in some huge cosmic game?  I’ve felt that in so many areas of my life in the last few years.  The build up of hope (which is not something that happens easily these days…) followed by the inevitable disappointment.  I realize that some of that is a control thing – I like feeling in control of my immediate environment.  I like knowing the answers.  It’s frustrating when things don’t go as planned.  But, in one area of my life, the ‘game’ has gone well beyond frustration.  It sucks – it hurts.  I wonder if it’s even worth it anymore…but that goes directly against the desire of my heart.  So do I keep playing the game or do I pretend that I don’t really want what I’ve wanted for so long?

I never dreamed that I’d be 37 and still single.  It kills me that I’ve been saying that same thing for about 10 years.  I HATE being single.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the benefits to being single.  I’m just tired of them.  My desire is, and always has been, to be married.  There was a time when I couldn’t admit that to myself or anyone else because it would mean admitting and connecting to the emotions that are tied to that.  Before I moved here, I had other people around me who understood those emotions and struggles.  I haven’t really had that here – which just makes me feel isolated and in the middle of that ‘game’.

As of May 9, 2012, the online dating industry has an annual revenue of $1.049 billion (clearly, I’m in the wrong business…).  17% of marriages began by meeting online.  An additional 20% of committed relationships began online.  Since 2006, approximately 40 million people have tried online dating sites.  I personally know people who have met someone online (spouse or committed relationship).  It is simply normal in today’s world to turn to online dating sites to find the person you’re looking for.

I first started looking online almost five years ago.  There have been stretches of time when I didn’t pay any attention to them, but I’ve mostly been a regular on many of the sites.  I live in an area that is highly populated by families, making it difficult to meet single men.  Even though I know I’m living where I’m supposed to be living, the reality of this area being mostly families adds to the ‘game’ feeling.  There aren’t a lot of options to meet other singles, so I’m online.

Of course, all I’ve really found online are more games.  There’s a guy who sparked some interest until he admitted he was married.  He emails me every once in a while to see if I’ve changed my mind about dating a married man. Um…yeah, aside from all of my other issues with it, I want to get married so dating a married man would make sense…

I can’t date a guy who smokes because smoke makes me physically sick.  A guy contacted me, and his profile said he smokes.  I asked him about it (thinking there was a chance he was trying to quit), and he said, ‘Yeah, I know your profile says you can’t date someone who smokes, but I didn’t think you were serious.  Everyone lies on these things.’  Really?  What exactly are you lying about, and what’s the point of trying to find someone if you’re misrepresenting who you are?

A guy that I wasn’t interested in kept emailing me over and over.  He told me that I should be interested in him because he was a member of MESA.  I asked him what MESA was.  His response was, ‘MESA is an organization for geniuses.’  Oh, you mean MENSA…sorry, you may be too intelligent for me.  I finally had to tell him that I rented from a cop so he should really stop stalking me.

It’s hard to tell a little about yourself on profiles.  A few sentences can’t really describe a person.  I often put something at the end of my profile like, ‘Feel free to ask me anything.’  Here is a word for word response I got recently:  ‘Yea, I’ll ask you something, how did you get so ugly?!! Why don’t you go back to Iowa where you belong!! We don’t need your kind of Midwestern White Trash out here!!‘  The cool thing is that not too long ago, that would have actually bothered me – a lot.  But I don’t care about the words – just that it’s another play in the ‘game’.

I used to have a picture of me & a friend on my profile.  It wasn’t my main picture, but I like to put other pictures up that show a little of who I am and what’s important to me.  A guy contacted me and said, ‘Is your friend single?’

I have a difficult time with the concept of long distance relationships.  If I build trust with someone & then there is distance – that I understand.  But to try and truly know someone and build trust when you can’t spend regular time with someone…that doesn’t work for me.  I know there are people who have made that situation work, but I’m not wired in a way that would be conducive to that.  I need to spend time with someone to really get to know who they are (and for them to know me).  Apparently, that’s not normal because no one seems to understand it.

For the first time in my life, I believe that I have something to offer.  I have a confidence that I never had before.  But there’s a part of me that wonders, ‘Does it matter?’  Will I ever find someone who is willing to take the time to know that?  Will I find someone who will make all the ‘games’ worth it?  Or is it easier to just pretend that it doesn’t matter – that I’m ok with being single?

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Contradictions…AKA – Get off your lazy butt and stop running

   Leave it to me to find a way to be lazy and run fast and hard at the same time.  Contradictions are a huge part of who I am.  I am a creature of habit.  I like to be in a routine (a big reason I’m not enjoying my hour drive toLodi– I’m completely out of routine).  On the other hand, I am a procrastinator who thrives on an element of chaos.  There is never a moment that my mind is not working.  Things randomly pop into my head even when (or maybe especially when) I am deeply focused on what I am currently doing.  This has become routine to me.  I have begun to understand that this is my ‘normal’.  Within that ‘normal’, I am learning that almost every aspect of my personality contradicts another.  I am finding that there is beauty (and, sometimes, advantages) in these contradictions.  But…sometimes, they are still just frustrating.

My degree is in Accounting, but my biggest passion in life is dance.  One day, I will do math problems and spreadsheets to relax, and the next…scrapbook and wrap presents.  I can write technical instructions or real life experiences one day, and then poetry or a drama script the next.  When I cook, I have to measure everything exactly, but I refuse to make my bed, and I can’t work when my desk is too clean.  I absolutely love kids, but I do not want any of my own.  I am a rule follower, but I will rebel if I feel that I’m being labeled or made to fit in a box (or the rule holds more tradition than logic).  I hate change & do not consider myself a risk taker, but I have willingly brought change upon myself, stepping into risk because I believed it was the right thing to do.  And I have found that the things I want most in life are the very things that cause the most fear and anxiety.

There has been a question that has been running through my mind since my time on the beach in Monterey last October.  ‘What do you want?’  Though follow up questions have changed, that original question has remained constant.  There are several things that I want in my life right now, but the answer to most of the follow up questions (What’s stopping you?; Why aren’t you moving more aggressively toward that?) is fear.  There was a time when that fear was just around the belief that I didn’t deserve those things so why even try.  Recently, though, that fear has changed a little.  There’s still an element of fearing that I don’t really deserve what I want, but the fear is more strongly tied to what happens if I actually get what I want.  What if I can’t handle everything that comes with being in a relationship?  What if I’m not good enough to do the job I really want?  The fear has shifted from me being disappointed to me disappointing others. 

 I know that I am standing at a door.  I hate doors.  They represent choices.  They represent change.  They represent the unknown.  I don’t like any of those things.  So I sit at the door and stare at it, hoping if I wait long enough, it will open so I can see what’s on the other side.  You’d think I’d be used to opening the door by now, but there’s a routine involved, and I like my routines.  I weigh all of my options and try to decide if what’s on the other side will be worth the energy it will take to open the door.

Last night, I was asked the question once again, ‘What do you want?’  My response, ‘You already know what I want,’ led to this conversation.

‘What are you going to do about it?’
‘I don’t know what I can do about it right now.’
‘Well, you could sit there on the couch, running from the fear – though I guarantee that no matter how long you stare at the door, you won’t be able to see through it – or you can get up, turn the handle, and walk through the door.’
‘What about…’
‘No.  Stay where you are or go through the door.  It’s your choice.  I love you either way, but you have to make the choice.  I can promise that you won’t open the door and get sucked into a black hole.  You won’t step off a cliff.  You won’t be locked in a prison cell.  But what is on the other side may not be exactly what you want.  It could be, but it could also be just another step in the journey.  Or it could be more than you could have imagined.  But making that discovery requires trust; it requires you to get off your lazy butt and stop running.  Face the fear…unless staying where you are is really what you want.  It’s your choice.’

Great…I hate doors…

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