adulthood · courage · fear · finances · recovery · relationships · sex · the middle way · willingness

Romance & Finance

The Third Thing. That’s what a woman told me yesterday,
after I met up with this new group of folks who, apparently, talk about
intimacy, relationships, and habitual avoidance of (or indulgence in) such things.
I was telling her that for years, I’ve been trying to find a
balance between Betty Crocker and the Vixen, to find the middle way between
them. And she said something I’d never heard before – that likely, whatever it
or I turn out to be, it’s probably neither of these – it’s a Third Thing.
I’ve said sometimes, that I don’t like the analogy of
“living in the gray,” you know, the balance between black and white – between
black and white thinking, all or nothing. Some people call this middle, attempting
to live in the gray area. But to me, that sounds pretty awful, like living in a
fog bank (looking at you, San Francsico!). And so, I’ve said that instead of
the middle of black and white being gray, I call it color. That something other
than black, or white, is color. And so, “the third thing” thing makes sense to
me (she said it’s a Bill Clinton quote, and g-d love Bill – I’ll have to look
it up).
Romance and Finance. I hear so often that these are the
things which so often plague, worry, or motivate all of humanity. I’m reading
this book on the art and history of Europe (“for the traveler”), trying to get
some more info, things I slept through or didn’t care about or was too worried
about the aforementioned “ance”s to listen. I have a few books on European
travel on my desk, and this one is giving me the history, the why and wherefore
of how come art and architecture look like they do. And here’s what I’ve
learned: people, throughout history, have fought and been motivated by romance
and finance. Kings marriages, new religions, revolutions. Many have been about
who has what, who doesn’t have what, and how they can get more.
So, I’m not alone, apparently, in the grand scheme of these
issues. Of working on them, and my own grating relationship with each.
This is good. And there is a solution, but as Jung said, (I
think I’ve mis/quoted him here recently!), You can’t solve a problem on the
level of the problem. And the problem here is that I have only my well-worn
resources, patterns, and behavior to help me “solve” these problems of romance
and finance. So it’s time to look for help.
My romantic life as having fallen in either Betty Crocker or
Vixen territory is very much like my relationship with money. I’m either
restricting, meagerly existing, and isolating – or I’m burning money to quench
and balm the pain of all that restriction. Binge, remorse, restrict. Repeat.
Many people can notice these traits in anorexics or bulimics, and so far in my
life, knock on every piece of wood and mock-wood in the vicinity, that has not
been an issue for me in that particular way. My binge and restrict is with
emotions, money, and sexuality.
And if the middle way is not indeed the “middle,” then I
have to keep coming back to those who know a different way, and can help me to
get there.
This morning, I queried in my Morning Pages about this desert
I go to in meditation. How was that desert, I asked. I hadn’t been there in a
long time, and it was a place that I’ve gone to occasionally in my meditations
for years, and one which I was encouraged to solidify in myself and my brain
while I was doing some EMDR work with my therapist earlier this year.
She said it was interesting that I chose a desert as my
“safe place,” that many people choose cozy small place, places where they feel
protected. But, no, for me, I want a wide wide field of vision. There are no
surprises, no sneak attacks, I have full view of every single thing for miles
and miles. It’s a desert like those you see in the southwest, with ocher
colored mesas in the distance. And the flat, flat, cracked earth expanse of
dirt and dust and a hawk flying lazy circles in the bright, expertly clear
This, is safe to me.
I suppose I’m reminded of it today, as I am going to be
needing to touch into places like this – safe, calm, where I feel almost in
charge. There is nothing hidden, nothing freaky, nothing to shake me or scare
me or surprise me. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of surprises
and shakes and scares as I begin to dive into this romance stuff. This
emotional intimacy, undoing this very deep pattern of all or nothing. And so,
it’s time for me to strengthen my base, root within my safe places, and get the
hell out of the way.
This is like a geyser, this work. Or maybe it’s not, what do
I know. What I do know is that I am grateful for the help I have available to me,
internally and externally. I was asked in my meditation from my Feminine, as I
reported the other day, if I was ready – I guess I was being asked if I was
ready to work on this stuff – because she/I have reawakened, and is powerful as
fuck. It is no wonder to me, then, that it’s taken me as long as it has to come
to this place of beginning to integrate and work on my
sex/relationship/intimacy stuff – I’m going to need all the resources I’ve
acquired, and many I have yet to discover.
Here’s to an assault on old ideas, however that looks as it
is coupled with a cosmic cease-fire. 
adulthood · balance · faith · growth · receiving · responsibility · self-support · the middle way · willingness

The 11th Hour

So, to get to the important info first, of course. The
internet-met coffee date was a bust. Not an ounce of chemistry on my end, so,
after about a half hour of waiting on the slowest coffee drinker in the world,
I declined the invitation to go to eat or to the park, and went on my way.
I’m glad I felt comfortable enough to do that, despite the
CREST FALLEN face when I replied,
Actually I think I’m going to go. That man is
not a poker player.
But, on my way I went. I caught a bus up to see a girl
friend of mine, and we had a sojourn to Ocean Beach. It was more than lovely.
Regarding the title of this blog however, I feel like I’m
here again. I’ve said in the past that usually what happens around money and
jobs is that “something comes through” in the 11th hour. This has
always been true, and despite my dire, apocalyptic belly-aching about the
sodium-laden brick, I haven’t eaten any Top Ramen in the last several years.
Part of what I’ve recognized though is that I come to a
point at some time during my “what am I going to do next”ness where I “go
rag-doll on G-d,” as my friend puts it. You know when you’re in a grocery store,
and a parent is holding hands with a child, and the child is cranky or tired
and doesn’t want to go or walk anymore, and the kid just goes limp. And has to
be dragged by the parent a few steps.
Yeah, that’s going ragdoll on G-d. It’s like, I’m not sure
what the fuck to do, so I’ll just let you pull me. That feeds back into the
whole “lack of self-esteem around jobs” though when I throw
up my hands, and just wait for the 11th hour – when I know
inevitably something will have to
happen. I really haven’t been dropped, ever.
But, I’m not comfortable doing that anymore. It makes me
feel young, and childish, and like a recipient, rather than an active
participant in my own life.
So, I guess I’m at the point of finding some sort of balance
between trying to “figure it out” and throwing up my hands in frustration and
impertinent surrender. “Alright, Universe, Fate, G-d, whatever you are, you obviously have some better idea about my life than I do, so HERE. Go
ahead. It’s all yours. Fuck it.”
The former makes me crazy, and the latter lacks integrity
& a fair balanced view.
So, what’s the middle way?
Perhaps it starts with the recognition that I don’t want to
do either. I am still taking action. Applying to jobs, looking at websites
around the country, trying not to be too limited, but not too focused, because
I really still have no f’ing idea where or when or why. It IS the 11th hour. June approaches, and my
bank account approaches zero.
So, how, in what sense-memory tells me is the “same place,” do I stand on my
two feet, and let myself be guided rather than dragged? How do I stand with
integrity and surrender?
Well, yesterday I did make a phone date with a girl friend bassist for this afternoon. I also did ask my theater instructor for an informational interview coffee date. And, I did show up to that date yesterday, not knowing what would happen, but being willing to try something new – and hideously uncomfortable (somehow, “we met on the internet” doesn’t make a great retelling…)
And, to be honest, I still have the hope that in the 11th
hour, there will be a miracle – because
there always is – but I don’t want to stand around waiting for it. I want to
meet it. That feels more “adult,” or humble, or something. More of value.
But, what do I know, I just work here.
Here’s to the middle way – letting go, but walking forward –
it may be into the dark, but my eyes will adjust.