I don’t want to call myself pathetic, but…

I was filling out a journal prompt today which asked, if someone really wanted to understand you, what would they watch, read, and listen to? The “watch” part started me off, and it was pretty easy – obviously The West Wing! What other show so perfectly encompasses my ego, my belief in something greater than myself, my hopeless romanticism (Donna, CJ, Josh, Toby…)? Then I immediately thought of Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday. Okay, she’s a bit of a pushover at the beginning, but by the end, she finds her gumption. At one point she talks about feeling like the sidekick in her own life, rather than the leading lady. I *might* feel like that every now and then. Or more often. Then Norah from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist came up. Yep, definitely resonate with her. Oh wait… isn’t she a bit of a pushover, always going back to the callow ex, finding her happiness only when she gets a boyfriend? I’m sensing a bit of a pattern here.

A couple of weeks ago, I cleaned out all of my journals, wanting to start fresh. As I was skimming through them, checking to see if there was anything I needed to keep, I was absolutely struck dumb by how many times I had written about wanting a relationship, or feeling out of touch with whomever I was dating at the time, or wondering why a relationship had not worked out. Easily 70% of my entries had to do with my love life, or lack of one. And you know what? It pissed me off!! I mean, really f’ing pissed me off! I am successful, financially secure, funny, cute, smart as hell, valued at my job, beloved by my friends and family. Why was I wasting so much time and energy on my love life? As I read through and got angrier with myself, I kept thinking, “What could I have done with all of this wasted time? If I hadn’t been wondering what was wrong with me when my relationships failed, I could have started a business, taught myself to play guitar, learned to make macaroons. This is BS!”

Sure, of course I appreciate the fact that I have learned from my past mistakes and am a better person for the soul-searching that I have done. However, there was WAY too much whining going on there. Because let’s not pretend that I only poured my heart out to my journal. Oh no, I cried to my friends and my mom and my sister. I sought out tarot readings to find my flaws. I worked out and starved myself to appear prettier, and therefore more valuable, to the opposite sex. And I gotta tell you, I’m more than a little disgusted with myself. Instead of celebrating the massive amounts of love that I do have, I cried about guys who I rarely think twice about. Instead of utilizing that time to better myself overall, I punished myself for things which were not my fault.

So yeah, after going through the journals, I felt more than a little pathetic. And I decided that I didn’t like that feeling. I decided that I would rather focus on my mental well-being. I would rather focus on my friendships. I would rather focus on achieving goals.

And so, I will be revisiting that initial journal prompt. Because I want to associate myself with strong women who are saving themselves, who are acting as good friends and good citizens of the world. Not the women who are only happily ever after once they get a boyfriend.

– Finch

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What Is Your Motive?

I was having a conversation with a friend recently about whether it’s ever okay to reach out to an ex. In her case, she and the ex had had a very bad breakup, but she had been close to the ex’s mother, and she found out that the mother was sick. My friend genuinely just wanted to express her sympathies.

So this led into a whole other conversation about my thought process last year when the singer Chris Cornell passed away. My ex-husband had been friends with Chris, and had a great musical relationship with him. So when I heard about Chris’s passing, I seriously considered reaching out. However, every single message I came up with started, “I’m sure you don’t want to hear from me, but…”

And that had me thinking. If I was *that* sure that Ex didn’t want to hear from me, why was I reaching out? Even though all I wanted to do was express my sympathies, would Ex resent hearing from me at all? And if my only motive really was to say how sorry I was, couldn’t I send him that energy without intruding on his life? Was my motive to express my sympathy, to show that I was a kind and caring person, or to show that, on some level, I still cared for him?

I wasn’t able to give my friend a concrete path to take. However, we came to the decision (*we, as if it was my decision anyway!) that she should send flowers to the mother. My friend decided that this really wasn’t about her ex; she just wanted to let the ex’s mother know she was thinking of her. By stepping back and really looking at why she wanted to reach out, she realized that the person she needed to reach out to wasn’t the ex at all.

I’ve reached out to exes before for a variety of reasons, and most of them have been purely selfish – I wanted them back in my life, either as boyfriends or friends. I’ve been really, really lucky in that none of the exes have reacted poorly to me reaching out. It’s always been a positive experience, and in some cases, it brought me some much needed closure and/or answers that have helped me to move on. But again, that’s about me and about what I wanted.

I still don’t have a definitive answer here. The best I can do going forward is look at my motives, and see if they really serve the higher good. I think that’s the best any of us can do.

– Finch

The Choice Was Mine All Along

You all know that I have made many comments in the past about my fear that I would never find someone who loved me again. I worried that no one would ever find me attractive, would want to sleep with me, would want to have long drawn out conversations with me. As you can see, I can be quite clueless sometimes.

Yesterday, I drove a friend to pick up her car from the dealership. She has her car in there pretty much every other month it seems, but this was the first time that she asked me to give her a ride, rather than take the shuttle. Once we got there, she told em that she wanted to introduce me to the service manager, who was a good friend of her’s. This guy came out of the service office, gave my friend a hug, and turned to me, and –

Wow. We’re going to call him Beautiful Eyes (BE), although we could also call him Great Smile, or Nice Arms. It wasn’t just the way he looked, though; it was his eye contact, his quick and genuine smile when we introduced ourselves, his ease with my friend and me.  I was pretty instantly smitten. Alas, since I was just dropping my girl off (and since BE was at work), we could only talk for a minute, but my friend did suggest that I come along the next time they went out for some drinks.

It was only today, when I was pondering my instant attraction to BE (sure, I notice when a guy is cute, or has a nice smile, but this was much more than that), that I realized that the fear I had been holding this whole time wasn’t that someone wouldn’t find *me* lovable – it was that *I* would never find anyone that I loved again. I think there has been a part of myself that was so badly wounded, from Ex, from Tripp, and yes, even from Jay, that I erected walls between myself and the dating world. I dabbled with online dating; I don’t go out to meet people, in any setting; even with Jay, I barely put myself out there – “See, he screwed up again, just like I knew he would, therefore I was right not to let on that I might love him.” Add to that the turmoil that I was going through with J when Jay and I started dating (anyone seeing the connection there?!?!). With J it was “Hey, we’re best friends! We have an instant connection! Let’s move in together! Oh, now that you’ve moved in with me, I’m going to start acting in a completely different fashion, and not behave at all like I was when we were friends only, as opposed to roommates. Oh, and yeah, now that you’ve lived with me for three months, and you made the horrible decision to mention that you might, in a year or so, want to look for your own place, now I’m going to kick you out and destroy our friendship. Bye!!!!!” (Am I still a little bitter about that??) So yeah, obviously, opening myself up to people and letting them know how much I love them hasn’t really been a top priority.

But maybe now it can be. This could all turn out to be nothing; BE might just become a fun new drinking companion to pal around with. And yet, there was something about him that I recognized, something that spoke to me in that first glance. Maybe it was just The Universe’s way of opening me up enough to hear this message. I don’t have to wait for someone to decide to love me. I will love again, and I will be loved again, and those two things will happen at the right time, in the right context, and with the right person. And I will no longer live my life believing that I must simply fall in line with other peoples’ emotions and desires.

– Finch