All the Pieces of Me

Learning to live alone again is weird. Sometimes it’s the big things like making sure there’s a plan for the animals when I need to go out of town for a few days for work. But sometimes it’s the little stuff… like always knowing where EVERYTHING is. It’s just me so, yeah, I know where the remote is and when the toilet paper roll needs changed and how many yogurts are in the fridge. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to say that. But I’ve been able to now for over 5 months. It sometimes hits me that I have this home and it’s mine. I could change everything. Or leave it the same. Or sell it. Or keep it forever. Or clean it every day. Or never clean it again. Or anything. And no one can say a damned word about any of it.

I’ve also been exploring the wide world of online dating and that’s… different. Haha Not my favorite way to meet people but what with a pandemic and all, not like there’s a lot of other options. I was hesitant initially to create a profile. I had reconnected with my high school boyfriend in August. By November it made sense to start seeing who else was out there. He and I continued connecting until mid-January but it wasn’t really going anywhere for a variety of reasons I won’t get into on a public blog. Just let it be known I will always love him and am glad we are moving back into friend territory as we have other post-romantic attempts over the years. Will we try romance again someday? Who knows. This makes the 3rd attempt in 25 years so never say never.

As far as my online dating adventures? Want to hear some of my key learnings?

•if every photo has a different hair style, NONE of them are recent… I promise
•if someone asks what you’re doing “now” more than twice, they are about to steer the conversation to sexting
•if they reference your age difference, (me being older), within the first few sentences, they will get real clingy real quick… or send a dick pic 🤦🏻‍♀️ haha it’s always one or the other
•”no drama” on the profile means there will absolutely be some drama even via early messaging
•if you reschedule a meet-up more than once, just cut ties… it’s not happening

All that being said, I’ve met some cool people. I’m having good times. 🙂 I have new friends in my town that I talk to fairly regularly. And I wouldn’t have met them had I not put myself out there. I just hadn’t dated in about 15 years except reconnecting with people I’d dated before. So there is a lot of relearning what is normal, boundaries, all that. My self-esteem is still a little fragile and one of the things I’m working on in therapy is not seeking validation from others/not evaluating my self-worth based on the opinions of others. That’s a work in progress for sure. And I’m pretty certain I’m not alone in that. Someone calling me beautiful makes me feel a certain way. Just like someone ghosting me or disconnecting makes me feel a very different way. I’m learning to appreciate the good feelings and let go of the bad ones without letting either completely influence how I feel about myself. I’m still the same person regardless of how someone else treats me or feels about me. All I can control is my reaction to their behavior.

I’m also continuing to do things just for me. I’m seeing Bob Dylan here in town this week. And next weekend I’m seeing Portugal. The Man in Austin with one of my favorite people in the world. I’m really stoked about that. And I’m planning on having brunch with some other friends while I’m there, too. I booked a trip to Salt Lake City in May to see the Eels, hike and hang out with a friend. Another of my friends is trying to put a trip together for us to hike in Arizona in April. Here’s hoping she can coordinate that because it sounds kinda awesome. I have a couple big work things booked but I’m trying to still go out of town at least 1 weekend monthly. Just something to allow me to see and appreciate the world around me. I have a few places I’d like to see soon and so I’m just keeping an eye on tour schedules of bands I love so I have at least one activity planned while I’m in a town. It’s making it interesting. I really want to visit Atlanta again. Then I’ve never been to Seattle or NYC or New Orleans so they’re all on my shortlist.

With all that, I’m making a concerted effort to explore life beyond romantic connections. That seems pretty basic but sometimes I think we, (or at least me), have been conditioned to spend an exorbitant amount of time seeking out and cultivating romantic partnerships… which I’m not opposed to. But I also want to focus on things that make me happy that have absolutely nothing to do with that. Like if I’m in a more serious relationship with someone, I want that to truly be an ADD. Not the sole purpose of my life. And that’s very different than how I grew up thinking about romantic relationships. It was always with the intention of meeting someone, falling in love, having a life together… those things being the core purpose of life. But why can’t there be so much more to a core purpose? I love my career. I love my friends. I love my hobbies. Maybe I’m rambling a bit. But it’s been on my mind more lately. I just want a healthy and balanced life where one person doesn’t make all the difference in my happiness… and I don’t make all the difference in theirs.

Oh, yeah. The other thing. I’ve always been really quiet about my sexuality. Like most people know Jen and I have been in each other’s lives forever but they don’t know we dated for years when were kids. Partially because it was so long ago that it doesn’t seem relevant. But also, I have to be honest, because it was always really easy to let people assume I’m straight because I’ve dated more men than women. Yes, I know that’s not very cool of me. To act like I’m this huge advocate for equality and then keep my shit on the downlow to make my life easier. So, I took an officer position with Pride this year and I’ve also been more purposeful in being open with people about my sexuality. I’m bisexual. I’ve always been bisexual. My first big crush on a boy was in 4th grade… but my first big crush on a girl was also in 4th grade. And it’s always been that way. I want to make sure I’m living the most authentic and honest version of my life and this is part of that. No more holding back on pieces of who I am. And that feels really, really good. 🙂

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