adulthood · adventure · direction · dreams · fear · responsibility · scarcity

Light in the Dark.

Normal
0
0
1
609
3473
28
6
4265
11.1539

0

0
0

According to my pock-marked memory, my dad held at least 5
jobs, sequentially, during the time I was growing up. Every few years, he
seemed to move on to a new job, eventually landing someplace he retired from.
My mom variously was engaged in the following classes or
hobbies:
bread-making
cake decorating
special effects make-up
Mary Kay-style beauty product sales
crocheting
knitting
part-time make-up artist
The closet became filled with half-finished projects and tools of a trade long abandoned. 
My dad also told me a few years ago that he rarely finished
projects he began around the house (the wallpaper all done, except for that
spot there; the fireplace paint stripped, but not re-stained) because of his
own childhood lesson that if you finished something it could be criticized.
And I wonder what of this I’ve “inherited” through observation.

I’ve realized the Fulcrum idea only works if I’m earning more per hour and
working fewer hours. It doesn’t, and won’t work, if I’m only working fewer
hours!
I feel a little afraid today. Afraid that the time I’m
intending to “buy” for myself will be eaten up by odd jobs in order to cull a
living.
I guess I mention my parents’ work habits because I’m afraid
that I’m like them. And can certainly see the seeds and small shoots of their
behavior in my own.
Molly doing theater. Molly doing all organic cooking. Molly
in a band. Molly wanting to take math classes, tutor kids, fly a plane. Molly
quitting another job. Again.
And.
I’m not sorry I’m doing this.
It’s funny. Last year, playing bass in a band, I said I was
finally living out a teenage dream I’d never let myself have. If I were more
honest with myself then, I would have studied theater in college or engaged in it
then. I would have tried the magpie
lifestyle then. I would have held odd jobs, instead of the immediate office jobs.
I would have been a mildly responsible but creatively
engaged young adult.
But, I wasn’t. That wasn’t my experience, and that wasn’t
allowed. Coloring outside the lines was not allowed in my house. Or so I
understood it.
I thought last night about this past year+ since returning to
work post-cancer. About how I’ve been doing the things that a teen and
20something would do. It logically does
follow that my professional work pattern would change, if I’m sort of going
back to live the kinds of experiences I’d aged myself out of then.
And perhaps I’ll do them differently than I would have at 20
or 25. Perhaps trying to live outside of the lines at 33 is easier, or more
grounded. I don’t know. But I do see that I seem to be veering toward a life
that a lot of young people live, as if I’m reclaiming a lost youth, a lost
innocence and curiosity and naïveté.
Is it “fun” to
about to launch into the unknown? Well, yes and no. It’s fun to feel engaged in
the creative world and think outside the box. It’s less fun to know the
realities of salary requirements and health coverage and car payments and also
try to think outside the box.
I don’t know. I don’t know what will happen. I know I have
more work to do, more actual sitting down and developing a plan to do. And I
think I’m going to have to reach out for help from folks to help me hold the
space to do that.
It’s funny. (I keep on saying that! But, this all amuses the
observer part of me, I’ll tell you!) Over a year ago, I sat with two women who
helped me form a game-plan for alternative classes I could facilitate.
About 6 months ago, I sat with a different pair of folks,
who helped me develop a different plan for an alternative after-school program.
I’ve been dipping my toe into these waters, and have subsequently thrown
my arms up into their faces and said, But I don’t know, I don’t know enough and
it’s too hard and I don’t have the tools.
I’ve abandoned this line of thinking as many times as I’ve
lit the fires in the eyes of my friends, who’ve said, Molly, this is totally
possible.
So, I guess it’s time for me to dig my notes out of the closet like my mom’s half-finished quilts. Time to breathe
deeply and let myself live the life I’ve consistently told others I want to
live.
It’s also time for me to call those friends back in and have
them hold my hand as I sort through those notes and make moves in this direction. Because, as I’ve said
before, Sometimes I need someone else to hold the lantern of hope. 

Advertisements
balance · fun · health · joy · love · responsibility · self-care · theater

In Training

Normal
0
0
1
428
2440
20
4
2996
11.1287

0

0
0

Dear Blogosphere,
Apologies for the sporadic posts these few weeks. First
there was sickness, then my mom in town, and then, of course, the Monday 5 a.m.
shift at my gym.
And in thinking about the structure of the next few weeks, I
don’t know that I can promise you anything more than a few pixels.
This Sunday began the first full week of rehearsals. 4 hours
Sunday, 3 each night this week. And assumedly, each weeknight until opening
night on September 19. It really is like a part-time job!
And so, I’ve come to think of my approach to this time as
though I’m training for a marathon. To the best of my ability, I am going to
aim to be completely conscious of the food I eat, the breaks I force myself to
take from my desk at work, the sleep I manage to slip in between rehearsals and a
day job.
I have this phrase I wrote down a hundred years ago that is
taped to my closet wall and has taken me as long to come to understand and
believe: Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong.
And I believe this is the perfect time to begin to implement
“acting as if” that’s true (because, I somewhere believe it is). The body is a cautious and delicate scale. In these few weeks and months, I’ve gotten to see that my own scale is
particularly sensitive (liver trouble, K.O.’d by a virus, my acupuncturist saying my body was ripe with signs of stress).
So, balance, intentionality. Vigilance. Yes, it’s the
absolute busiest season of my work year – like a retailer between Black Friday
and Christmas. But, as we’ve seen, I can’t show up to work if I’m not healthy,
and I’m not healthy if I’m not intentional. So, I have to be my own trainer,
stopping the clock to take a walk outside. Deciding, No, I won’t have 4 cups of
coffee to power through my day. Yes, guy at the store who watched me put the apple
back and reach for the organic one that’s a dollar more expensive, yes, I do
need to eat this instead.
I’ve set up a “crash-pad” at my friend’s house who lives
between work and the rehearsal theater so that I can go and chill out a few
hours after work without having to either rush home and back or sit at a café
and spend money or be interactive with anyone.
I’m going to begin going back to my gym a few mornings a week,
instead of the once I’ve been doing. I’ve been meditating almost every morning
for 10 – 20 minutes. And, we’ll see where the blog falls on the self-care
scale, considering the few moments of sleep it ticks away.
Finally, I’d like to make sure that I get time in with my
“brain drain” crew, spending an hour with people who normalize my experience
and help my thinking to turn down in decibels.
“Meetings, Movement, and Meditation” has arisen as my
prescription for health, and I am hoping to treat myself as the worthy
patient and doctor of such self-care, which will enable me to show up fully,
mind, body, spirit.
Because… I gotta tell ya, This shit is So.Much.Fun. !

aspiration · authenticity · consistency · courage · death · fear · life · procrastination · responsibility · self-abandonment · writing

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…

Normal
0
0
1
532
3037
25
6
3729
11.1287

0

0
0

Why aren’t you writing for a living?
Because it’s just a hobby, an escape.
Why aren’t you writing for a living?
Because it’s too hard and I’m not good enough.
Why aren’t you writing for a living?
Because I don’t know how to show up consistently.
Any of these types of questions ever cross your mind? Any of these questions
and immediate quashings?
This morning, that question came to me. I always dismiss my writing becoming a means or an ends.
I don’t make the time; I haven’t touched the essay my aunt said I should submit to
the New York Times’ Modern Love section. I haven’t crafted anything for the The
Sun
, a magazine at least 3 people have
suggested I submit my work to.
It’s just me
being me. How is that worthy or interesting or enough?
Because I saw someone else had clicked on it, I just re-read a blog I wrote in January, Remember What the Redwoods Told You, about being “told”
by the trees that I was going to live through my cancer. And as I read through
the end of it, about being given the chance to
be in my life, to make this time worthy, I think about
all the procrastination and fear I still let grab hold of my ankles.
This is not a self-flagellation blog; as you can read in
italics above, I already have plenty of those thoughts. But, they are just
thoughts, not facts. And thoughts can be changed. Through action.
“Act your way into right thinking,” the phrase goes.
I’ve “thought” for a while about waking up earlier (yes,
even earlier) to do some “real” writing.
It hasn’t happened yet, and that’s okay, but I know that I work better in the
morning, when my brain cells still have some anima.
And as I was finding this question arise in my meditation
this morning, goading me to find a legitimate reason for postponing my good, I
thought of a perfect resource friend I can reach out to about this, and
actually get something into action. And maybe deadline.
Because, as my acting friend told me earlier this week when
I asked her how she “makes” herself learn monologues, she answered, Deadlines.
She sets up deadlines by signing up for auditions, and makes sure she has a
back pocket filled with current monologues.
To paraphrase, Our growth can come as much from our actively
seeking it, as it can from being forced.
But, it helps to be pushed a little.
That’s what registering for these auditions is for me, a
push to get back into it, to not let another month and another month slide off
the calendar. To make this year “worthwhile,” to me means to actually do those things that I think are for other people,
people with talent or time or resources. Bull.
The only difference between them and me is action. Nothing
more.
A rallying, warrior cry sounds every day for me. It is my
choice to heed its call or to roll over and hit Snooze.
And yet, it is also my choice to condemn myself or not on the days
I do hit Snooze. As I wrote yesterday, there’s no use in beating myself
up for not being where I want to be – that doesn’t actually get me there
quicker.
What helps with all of this is accountability, which a
deadline is, but also what friends can be. I’ve been toying with the idea
(thinking, again!) recently of getting an “Action Buddy,” or “Accountability
Partner” whatever you want to call it.
I know this is a system that works for many people, and I
believe it could work for me. So, with all irony, I’m going to add “Get an
Accountability Buddy” to my list of personal actions… and see if I can hold
myself accountable to that!
Because there is no reason I’m not writing that is valid. I
know there’s grist here; I know there’s “enough” talent. I would love to take
actions that reflect that knowledge. Because, if you haven’t noticed, I seem to
think that Time is our most precious natural resource of all.

abundance · adulthood · integrity · maturity · progress · reality · recovery · responsibility · San Francisco · synchronicity · work

Breathing Room.

Sort of makes me wonder if there’s a room somewhere where
all people do is breathe? Maybe that’s called a meditation center. Or a
hospital.
In any case… yesterday, the interior design company I’ve
been temping with these last few weeks (and on and off during the last year)
asked me if I’d like to come on with them for a temp gig for a full, firm 6
weeks (possibly 2 months, but 6 weeks firm)?
Of course, I said yes. !
This gives me 6 weeks to really have the mental space to
look for permanent work, while not freaking out about bills being paid or not.
I know, now, that I not only will have July rent paid (HUZZAH!), but I will
have August rent paid. I haven’t known if I’d have two months’ rent in a row in
a long time. I can’t tell you what a relief this is.
I noticed how much more I was breathing after I was asked
and after I accepted. I have a tendency to hold my breath, or breathe
shallowly, when I’m stressed out. Most people do, I think. I realize it’s not
only then though. Sometimes the muscles of my stomach are in contraction even
when I’m sitting by myself at this computer writing this – or at my breakfast
nook, writing my morning pages. Why on earth would I hold my breath, or be all
tied up when there’s nothing to stress about? I dunno.
But, I recall what was said at a meditation I went to a few
weeks ago, where the facilitator suggested we allow ourselves to have “abs of
jello.” People snickered, because really, we all probably are holding (well,
not maybe ALL) some sort of tension
around with us.
The way that I walked into work yesterday, and the way I walked out of
it were two vastly different ways of
being. I was angry – as you might have learned from yesterday’s blog – and all
bolted up in worry and fear. I did also leave the building at noon to head downtown to meet up with a group of folks for an hour, which was unbelievably helpful – and I
began to notice, then, the whole tightness of my belly thing – the not properly
breathing thing. I hadn’t been asked to stay on yet, but I began to notice that
I didn’t have to hold my body in freak-out mode.
When I was asked to stay on, if you could visualize that
metal bib they put on you at the dentist as a cape, and watch it fall to the
floor with a thud, then you’d know how I
felt. I felt acres lighter. It’s huge. It’s a big thing.
And… it means even more that I have to show up for this
position for what I’m being paid to do. It means getting to work on time,
basically, and not hanging out online that much. That’s cool. I mean, I set my
alarm for 6am yesterday in an attempt to get to work earlier (aka “on time”),
but didn’t make that. I snoozed til 6:30. So, this morning, I tried again. And
up at 6am as I was this morning, I might have to wake up earlier still to
ensure that I have the…breathing room… to do everything that I do in the
morning with more ease and less stress – a constant look at the clock – even in my
meditation feeling crushed by my awareness that it’s ten minutes I “don’t
have.”
Although I cringe at the thought of anything earlier than
6am, it’s really not that big a deal. I’ll gripe about it some – but the
benefits will be way worth it. I won’t hold my gut in as I write this in the
morning, or as I’m cooking my ubiquitous eggs.
It’s hard to not imagine that some of the work that I’m
doing around money isn’t related to this sudden
“windfall.” I’ve been in a limbo of not knowing whether I have work from week
to week and day to day for the last few months. And now, “suddenly,” I’m asked
to stay on for 6 weeks – 6 STABLE weeks?
I sent out those letters last week to former employers (see:
Bollocks) letting them know that I was a lousy employee and that I was trying
to do better. And in the intervening week, I have been trying to do better –
and think I’m progressing along those lines.
Also, it’s hard to imagine that my work of freeing myself
from “wrong” sources of power and validation (see: yesterday, and the entire
history of my life…) aren’t in some way influencing the curvature of this road.
Sure, it could all be “coincidence.” Nothing to do with
anything, but I don’t believe that, personally. But. Nor do I believe that I am
“rewarded” for “good” behavior (and thusly, punished for bad). I rather believe that as I let go of behaviors
which aren’t serving me, I’m more available for the good things the world has
to offer. Usually those things were available all along, but I’ve been too busy
peering down the dry well, begging it to be water, that I miss the river.
Whatever the cause and effect, or lack thereof, I’m
grateful. Hugely. I bought a (cute, but) cheapy new notebook for my morning
pages yesterday. I intend to take another look at how I planned to distribute
my funds this month. Because the truth is, even though I hadn’t planned or had
money in the item lines of entertainment, or notebooks, or toiletries – the
reality is that I spent money in them anyway.
Last night, I found a note from February when I was meeting with some
money folk, and there’s a huge note-to-self that says to be honest about my needs, so
that I don’t overspend.
This month, instead of having been honest about what I
really need, I wrote up a meager, scarce, and skeletal spending plan, and of
course I haven’t stuck to it. Be honest about my needs. They’re not
overwhelming, they’re not indulgent, they just are what they are.
And I can allow myself to own and take care of them, while I breathe into my abs of jello. 
adulthood · commitment · growth · honesty · integrity · progress · recovery · responsibility · work

Bollocks.

Through a series of work I’m doing right now, I sent out a
stack of three letters to former employers yesterday, each with a variation on the theme – I was an
unprofessional employee, I am sorry for how I behaved, and I aim to be more responsible in my
jobs now and going forward.
The messed up, fucked up, I-don’t-want-to-do-this part of all
that is… that now I have to stick to my word – the word about being a better
employee going forward. This means, fewer endless hours on facebook while at
work (if any at all); it means taking my breaks so I’m refreshed to actually do
work instead of sit and stare at whatever I’m doing; it means being efficient in
my work. I means, basically, doing what I’m paid to be doing.
I don’t like that. And, yet, I know how completely necessary
it is. I’ve been talking here about responsibility lately, how I don’t want it, but that I do want the things that come to people who are responsible – in their
work, extracurricular, and home lives. So, if I want what they have, then I
must do what they do.
I don’t have to.
Sure, I can say one thing and do another, but in truth, that feels, obviously,
worse. Better to not say anything at all, and continue to slide along on
half-steam, than to say that I’m making changes so that I don’t slide along on
half-steam and then not do it.
Most recently, having the (rated G) dalliance with the
married man, I got to see very acutely where I was either going to stick to the
letter of my word or not. I’ve had to make many an amends to women whose
boyfriends, and, once, a fiancé, with whom I’ve dallied. I told them each,
specifically, that I was making changes in my life so that I don’t act like
that anymore – that I was sorry for how I behaved, and that I wouldn’t do it
again.

So, when I began talking in the flirtatious way with this man about a month
ago, I knew – I felt – how off this was.
How against everything that I’d set up over the last few years this was. How,
basically, I was breaking my promise to each of them, and indeed to myself –
having promised myself that I wouldn’t behave in ways around men
that would make me feel bad about myself, or guilty, or ashamed.
And so, I stopped the dalliance with the man, and am now newly engaged in a body of work to help extricate and sever and lay to rest the last
of the beliefs and behaviors that influence me to believe that this is all that
is available to me, or what I deserve.
So, here I am, now, about work. About telling these folks
that I fucked up in the past, and I’m trying to do better. That, specifically,
I will be more responsible and work with more integrity. And, I know, now, that
I’ll have to stick to it. I know how it feels from that recent experience to
come right up against something I said I wouldn’t do – I know how icky it
feels, and against my morals. And so, now, I must take that same self-line into the professional world.
And I hate it.
I know it’s good for me. I know it’ll open doors for me, and
duh, it’s the right thing to do. But, Oh! My Beautiful Wickedness!, I don’t “want” to. Luckily, it doesn’t quite matter
whether I want to or not. Pain will always push me in the direction forward. I
don’t want to feel the pain of being a hypocrite, so I will work better. I
don’t want to feel ashamed that I’m not living to my word, so I’ll stop
accepting jobs that I know I’ll work half-steam at.
I don’t like it. It feels like an entirely new level of
adulthood to go toward this direction of integrity. But it’s necessary, and
it’s time.
I have no doubt that the opening up of this line of vision
will amount to something more in my professional life. I have no doubt that by working to a better standard of duty that I’ll feel better about myself and
less like a fraud. I know that this will take me somewhere different internally
and externally. But, still, it sucks.
It’s like this is what teenagers experience when they get
into their 20s maybe. Or, these days, 20somethings into their 30s. I’d love to learn this
now. It’s late, but it is certainly a better late than never.
I also wrote an email last night to a recent former employer to
apologize for how I ended my employment there, and to ask for clarity around
some money they gave me to pay off the last of my braces when I had them a
few years ago. He said that they had dental, so it was covered, and no
liability to me. He said that he did think I “handled the separation badly.”
And he said that if I ever needed a reference that he has “[my] back.” I’m glad
to know that the money is clear. I agree that I could have handled things
differently. And for fuck’s sake, I promise that I will handle them differently
in the future.
Change sucks. Especially when it’s good for me. 

authenticity · camping · community · confidence · hobby · honesty · laughter · music · responsibility · self-support

Chop Wood, Carry Water.

Two weeks ago, I wrote this in the Grownupness blog:
“I grasp at things I think I want, but I’m not willing to
firm the foundation to get there – to mix the mortar, lay the bricks. Chop
wood, carry sticks. That’s where I need to be at. Very simply, I need to lay
hold of qualities and actions that I have tried to avoid.”
And so, this weekend, I carried sticks.
The simplicity of camping, even in the complexity of “car
camping” the bastardized cousin of “real” camping, was so easy. It’s so easy
for me. What needs to be done next? Well, we’re heading out down the river for
the afternoon while others go river rafting (a luxury expense I couldn’t
afford), so what did I need to bring? Sunscreen, towel, book I didn’t crack,
hat, water. That’s it.
It’s turning darker, what do we need to do? Get more
firewood, build a fire, refill the water, not at the mercury-laden river’s
edge.
There are things that I know how to do, and this weekend, I
got to see that very clearly. I know how to build a fire, I know you need something
like paper or brush to catch under the kindling to catch under the wood blocks
that were neatly chopped for us in a bundle wrapped with plastic. I know that I
need to slather sunscreen on myself and wear a hat because I’m paranoid of skin
cancer since my encounter with the Australian sun – the sun won.
I know how to make coffee, and put up a tent and roll my
sleeping bag and to remember to bring earplugs and tarot cards 😉
I know how to camp. At least, I know how to car camp.
When I unfurled my sleeping bag, in it was a long-sleeved
shirt I hadn’t seen in two years, since I was in that tent, with someone else.
I played Ghosts of Camping Trips Past this weekend.
Remembering acutely who I’d been with and when. Each and every one of the even
mildly significant and more significant relationships I’ve been in over the last six
years, I’ve been camping with that person. I haven’t slept in that tent alone
in a long time.
This particular camp grounds, I’d been to maybe 3 or 4 years
ago, when I’d been newly dating someone. It’s a beautiful spot on the American
River, up past Sacramento, and almost to Tahoe. It’s amenitied out the
yin-yang, but that’s alright. I remember the photo of me and that person in
that very landscape, I remember the release I feel when I’m out there. Not with
the person, but out there, knowing and feeling confident that I know even that
little bit.
I haven’t roughed it. I haven’t hiked out into the woods and
set up camp since I was 19 and leading a camp group overnight with our packs
into the Appalachian Mountains. And even then, it wasn’t roughing it – That’s
alright. I know it’s something I still want to do.
I wondered why it was, as I went through my previous
camping trips over the last few years, that each had included a man I’ve been
involved with. Was this my test for them? For “us”? Was I only able to be there
with someone else?
No. The reason, I realized, is because I love camping. And I
happen to go and be invited, and then I happen to invite the guy I’m with.
That’s all. Turns out, camping is a hobby, I suppose. It’s likely the only same thing that has occurred with each relationship I’ve had over the last few
years. The only “adventure” or “event” or excursion that has happened in each involvement. It just points out to me
that this is an important thing for me. Something I love.
A way that I don’t feel I need to be any different than I
actually am.
I feel confident out there (yes, even with the general store
and port-o-potties nearby). But I feel like myself. I usually look like a
wreck, and I don’t care. My hair matted and loved by the sweat and dust and
river mist. Caked in various layers of SPF lotions and supportive sneakers. I don’t
look like Xena, I look like me. Like the me I am in private, with no one to
impress or stun or mesmerize. Like the me I am when it’s just me. Whole, and
unabashed, and unprotected. And capable. I usually feel like a leader, or at least like a competent
person when I’m out there. Something those of you who read this blog with
any consistency can attest is not my normal M.O. out in the “real world.”
I needed that. I needed to feel worthy and valuable simply
for who I was/am. Not for how I looked. Or for how much money I had. Or for what kind of job I worked. Or what cell phone I carried. Or degree I had. I could be valuable for my
contributions to the group, be it building a fire, or fetching the water, or
going off to sit and do my Morning Pages out on a rock in the middle of the
rushing river so that I could be more present and emptied of my junk when I
returned to the group. I could be valuable by bringing Madlibs to do by the
fire at night – which led to so much hilarity, and stupid good fun. I could
be valuable by making coffee the first morning when everyone was still asleep
or grumpy. I could be valuable by breaking out the guitar one of us brought for
a little while, and later, sing along harmonies with her, and remember that I
have a voice.
I felt purposeful. I didn’t question who I was or where I
was going or what I was doing with my life. I didn’t have any profound
judgments or insights. I simply “chopped wood, carried water” (no chopping this
trip, but you know what I mean). If I can take that simplicity, and that
confidence, and that sense of pleasure from being precisely who I was/am into
the world, I think I’ll be alright.
If I can dress nicely and put on makeup, and remember
that it’s just a lens through which to see the whole that I am.
If I can breathe in the fire smoke scent of my balled-up clothing and
recall what it feels like when I’m just me, then I think I’ll be alright. 
adulthood · dating · integrity · intimacy · Jewish · progress · recovery · relationships · responsibility · romance · sexuality

Progress, Not Perfection.

So, I did not sleep with my okJew on the second date. We did
however come back to my place, and have a rather heated make-out session.
It was lovely. But. I feel today no better. I realize today
that even though we didn’t sleep together, which was something I didn’t want to
do, knowing him so briefly, that I still feel a sense of sadness around it. And
in writing some about it, I realize that it’s sad because I still don’t fully
believe in my own inherent worth – that I’m more than my body.
Even when we were making out, however fun it was – and it
was, and I’m sure that if we ever do have sex, there will be no problem in that regard – but I felt not fully
present. I felt a little disconnected – and, really, I was. I was disconnected
from the emotions that can come when you are making out with someone you know,
like, and maybe even more than like. I was only acting from one part of myself,
not all of me.
And, knowing that, I notice the desire to pack “Beauty” back
up behind her glass terarrium, and say, see, you can’t be trusted. But really,
it’s not her fault. I didn’t have to come back to my place – it could have been
a short date. I didn’t have to have the extended make-out session – I could
have ended it earlier. But, I did. And this is where “progress, not perfection”
comes in. Because I really could beat myself up here, and retreat back into
isolation, and a position of “See, you really don’t know how to hold intimacy
and sexuality, so you better pack it in.”
Yes, I could do that, but I don’t think that’s the point
here. The point is that I realize that heavy teenage-like petting is a little
more than I want to do on a second date. I realize that I still want to feel
known more than that, and have more of a connection before getting so physical.
I have so much f’ing evidence of how much sex before emotional intimacy is the
cart before the horse, and so, yes, I can beat myself up for not having learned
that “well enough,” or I can be glad that I didn’t have sex when I didn’t
really want to, and be glad that I let him know it was time to go, and didn’t
interpret his erection as an obligation, as I wrote yesterday. (But, … Whoo-ee!
anyway…) 😉
So, there’s that. Of course, I begin to go all the way to,
now I better let him know what I’m looking for before there’s a
third date, and another round of, okay thanks, bye! That I need to explain what
I’m available for, and to ask if that’s what he’s available for.
Some of this sounds valid, some of it sounds unnecessary. I tend
to be an oversharer. I don’t think I need to do that, or at least, I don’t need
to do that today. I won’t see him again, likely, for another week or so, as
he’s busy during the week, and I’m camping this weekend, so I have time to let
some of this dust settle and ask some women, and see what happens.
We did have a good date, overall. In fact, it was a great
date. But I feel overshadowed by my remorse.
Again, it comes back to choice. I can choose to see this as
a failure, and head down to self-flagellation, and I’ll never get it, and how
come you don’t get that you’re worth it – that makes you so not worth it. (A
lovely circle of reasoning, that one.) Or. Or I can choose to see this as an
opportunity, as I spoke so much of yesterday. An opportunity to notice my
growth and change, and also to be happy (or at least contented) that I do notice how I’m feeling, and how I was feeling last night. I wasn’t
feeling present, and that I wasn’t feeling present is a good thing. That I
noticed it. Noticing it is the first step, I think. Then I
can work on doing something about it.
I’ve written a lot of poetry about not feeling present
during sex. Now, I know that that can extend to making out if I’m not properly
known by someone, and they’re not known by me. This person is nearly an entirely unknown
entity – of course I don’t feel
intimate.
So, I can choose to take this as information for next time –
whether that’s with this person, or someone down the line. I can choose to
allow myself a little bit of affirmation over keeping my pants on. I can choose
to acknowledge that I’ve come a long way to be so present with myself to notice
these even slightly off-kilter parts of me.
Forgive the reference… but, in the final Twilight book
(spoiler alert?), the main character, Bella, throws an invisible defensive
bubble out around herself and her family during the cumulative battle. Imagine
it almost like a Bio-Dome, to mix pop-culture metaphors. In the book, Bella can
feel as one of the opponents pokes into the various places of her bubble,
looking for a weak spot – testing the defenses, and seeing how strong it is. I
feel very similarly about this work with dating/physicality. I feel that my
bubble is being poked and prodded, and I’m getting to see where I still have
spots of weakness, or places that can be firmed up.
I am sad that I don’t yet feel that I’m worth more than my body, or that I could be wanted or
acknowledged or “seen” for more than my physical self. But, this is simply a
place of “weakness,” a place where I could use more care and strength and
affirmation, and behavior that will support the idea that I
am more than that. So, I am glad for the opportunity.
I’ve been shown where there’s work to do – and if that’s not what relationships
are for, then I’ve got the wrong game.