4am Train Love

Nothing normal ever happens during 4 am train rides, especially when you’re pissed drunk.

I had been visiting old friends of mine in Jersey and during this visit we decided to head to Philly for a night of fun. We didn’t wait to get to the city to start the festivities. No. We pre-gamed  at the house, then of course we took some adult beverages hidden within water bottles with us for the train ride.

The night was going to a wild one. There were about 8 of us all together and just by the train ride to the city alone I knew there was to be debauchery in abundance.

We got to Las Vegas Lounge, a dingy, dark and smelly hole in the wall (just my kind of place) and immediately assigned ourselves roles for the night. A few of us crowded the jukebox. They were to be the Djs for the night, there was no way anybody but us were going to be regulating the music for the night. The guys went over and quickly put tables and chairs together, making sure we had plenty of room for all of us to hang together. My home girl and I went straight to the bar. It was time to open a proper tab, Irish car bombs for everyone!

The rest of the night was a hectic haze of bad singing, inappropriate dancing and socially inappropriate jokes. We were raunchy and wild and as we closed the bar down that night we made memories that by the morning we’d forget. We tumbled out of that bar drunkenly disoriented, not caring that most of the world around us had been asleep now for hours. We made our way back to the train station. We may have even gotten a little lost at one point, I don’t know.

There weren’t many of us that were waiting for the train that night. Not including our group there were maybe another 10-15 people? Most looked drunk, the rest had seemed to be either getting out of or going into work. I’m not sure how long we had waited but it hadn’t seemed long.

The train soon arrived and while we all tripped over one another to pile in I caught sight of a cutie already sitting… all.. by.. himself. Well HELLO there!! I thought to myself.  I pushed my way through my friends and made my way to where he was sitting. Once I got close I slowed down as to not give away my hurry.

“Hey, anyone sitting here?” I grin. It may have been a creepy drunk grin. That’s what it felt like so I was surprised when he said, “No, it’s all yours.” BINGO! That’s RIGHT! It is. I sat down next to him and immediately it began,

“OOOOOOOoooooOOOOO Nati…. MeeeeeOOOWWW!” My pals all chimed in in uproar.

“Don’t listen to them. They’re drunk.” I slurred and then smiled.

“…and you’re not?” He asked, jokingly.

“I was. But now I see things crystal clear.” I hiccuped, “We were meant to meet tonight. The universe brought us here on this train to meet..” What the eff was I saying? I was laughing. I was drunk and this was stupid drunk talk. He knew it too because he was laughing. Was it with me or at me? I didn’t know.

We eventually got to our stop, which also so happened to be his. He walked with us until we got to the car where I then scribbled down my number without him even having to ask. “I normally don’t do this but here!! Call me!!” and I folded up the paper and stuffed it in his pocket. We gave each other a hug, an “it was nice meeting you” kiss on the cheek, and off we were.

038-2 Photo Credit: Angie M, Muse: Natal Galvan, Ry Bread, Santi C.

He messaged me that very night asking if we got home OK. From that point on we kept the conversation going until one of us passed out and then restarted it the very next day. It went like this for months. We spoke on the phone almost every night and spent the entire day texting each other. At the time that we met, I was living here in FL and had only been visiting. Still that didn’t deter us from building a good friendship. Then one day he calls me and says how he would love to take a vacation down to where I was for just a couple days. I loved the idea. I never had friends come and visit me really so I was all for it. Plus, I had found him super cute from what I could remember and decipher from the picture texts he sent me here and there. Who knows what this could lead to right?A romance story out of a movie! I was so excited. That was until, he called me to tell me he had booked his trip…and it was for five days.

Was I freaking out? Of course I was! Like seriously? FIVE DAYS? What were we supposed to do for five days? The trip was to be taken in 2 months so I had 60 days to mentally prepare. When the time came, it was only then that I realized, 60 days had still not been enough.

He arrived on Monday and left Friday. These were the longest five days of my life, and most likely of his as well. Monday hadn’t been too bad. The excitement of seeing one another for the second time since we met was still there. He arrived late in the day so after our initial greet at the airport we headed to a bar to have some food and drinks. The plan was to head to Orlando the next day and have a day of fun at the amusement parks. So we spent some time at the bar and once we saw it was getting late we headed back to my place to rest up for the following day.

I’d like to give a shout out to my amazing sister. For if she hadn’t accepted the invitation to be the third wheel on our trip to Orlando (actually through out the entire 5 days), this day of fun at the amusement park would have been instead the most awkward day at the park. She helped fill in moments of awkward silence. She made me laugh when all I wanted to do was rip my eyeballs out and stuff them down my own throat for allowing this to happen.

He was not only not much of a talker, but also didn’t have much opinion on, well, ANYTHING. He was plainer than vanilla ice cream for even vanilla ice cream had it’s own bit of flare. I would say he was like a piece of grilled chicken with absolutely no seasoning on it, as if just boiled in water. Every answer to any of my questions was either “I don’t know” or “up to you.” Whether it was “what ride do you feel like riding next?” or “what do you want to eat?” or….. fucking ANYTHING, those were his only two answers. It was only day two and I was ready to shoot myself. When would he be leaving on Friday? Early?? Please lord, I hope it’s early…. This was my inner dialogue the entire day at the park.

Wednesday we got up and headed to the grocery store. I planned a beach day but after much debate on whether or not he wanted to deal with the sand or not, we decided to make it a pool day instead. We were going to need food and cocktails (for me mainly cocktails). After what seemed like forever at the store (it takes longer to make grocery store decisions alone for three people than it is for one), we arrived back home with sandwiches, chips and other snacks, and of course beer. It only took about two hours and half a case of beer for things to slowly lighten up a bit. But even then it was like pulling teeth to get this guy to loosen up and have a good time. He spent the majority of his time complaining about life even though he was in FL and supposedly on vacation. He was tired. He hated the sun. He couldn’t get good signal so that he could listen to his sports podcast. So I did what I do best and that is that I just kept drinking. Fuck it right?

I keep drinking, I begin to tune out his presence. It’s not like he was saying much so it wasn’t his conversation I was tuning out, it was him in general. I fell asleep for a bit and when I came to, my gaze had fallen onto his foot. There on his big toe he had a band aid wrapped around the nail. “What happened to your toe?” I had assumed that maybe it had happened while I was asleep. I hadn’t noticed it before.

“Nothing. I stubbed my toe a few months ago and I’m still suffering from it. That’s why I have been so iffy about getting in the water.” It made sense. We had been there for hours and he hadn’t taken a dip yet. His normal pale Irish skin was blotchy and red. He was sweating like a whore in church.

He eventually did get in the water. I did a cannon ball on him. We wrestled for a second. That was the extent of the excitement for that day. I don’t know if it was the beer that got him feeling ballsy but he ended up kissing me right before we got out the water. It was like I expected. Bland. Yes, he had taken the step to kiss me but that was all he did. Have you ever tried to kiss a person who doesn’t know how to kiss back?? It’s awkward. You feel like saying,”Don’t just sit there. Do something.” I pull away and he goes, “I’ve been waiting for that.” with a smile. I don’t know why but that turned me off more than the kiss.

We got back to the house and to be honest the rest of the evening is a little foggy. I know we ended up going to bed, together. As in, in my bed we both slept in. I remember him trying to make out with me, but uh uh. I was not having it. I had had enough bad kissing for the day, so I stayed as far left on my bed as I possibly could until the sun came up, alleviating me from this awkward situation.

Thursday. One more day. It was my mantra for the day. Could he tell how I felt? If he did, he hadn’t let on. Anything that I had to do on this day I tried to do as slow as possible in order for it to take up as much time as possible. I wanted tomorrow to get here and quick. I made us some breakfast. I did laundry. I cleaned my apartment that looked like a tornado had just hit. All the while this guy just sat on my couch just watching t.v not once even asking to see if he could help with anything. Not that I would have let him, but still the gesture would have been nice. I mean most of the mess around my apartment was mess HE made, but whatever. I spent the day running between my sisters room and down to the living room, her room being like a “time-out” from his nothingness. “I just don’t know what to do. This is terribly awkward. I just hate this. I can’t wait for him to leave..” I would tell her.

The three of us headed out to dinner that night. He had spent the last four days hating any of the food we had cooked or ordered. He was a super picky eater. He hated veggies and fruits. He couldn’t handle any sort of seasoning (go figure) because either he didn’t like the taste or it upset his stomach. I of course hadn’t known any of this and therefore had spent the entire week making bad choices due to this lack of knowledge. It hadn’t been until the night before when he was drunk by the pool that he let me in on his eating habits. I found his lack of communication extremely frustrating but had agreed that the next night we would go somewhere to eat more his style. We all decided on going to a little Irish bar not far from my house.

We had quite a bit to drink before ordering our food. The time between ordering and waiting for the food to arrive, my sister and I spent goofing around. He would laugh but not really participate much in the conversation. Our food came and we dined.

As we paid the bill he began to speak of how much fun he had while visiting. He described how awesome it was to have met me that night on the train and that he could really see this working out. That’s when things got a bit more awkward. It was obvious that I didn’t feel the same and once he realized the feeling wasn’t mutual he shut down completely. He barely spoke two words to me for the rest of the night (which I was already used to) and as soon as we arrived back to the apartment he began packing up his things and set up for his getting ready in the morning. There was a slight inner relief I felt once I saw him packing up his things. It was almost a reminder that this “situation” wasn’t permanent.

He slept on the couch that night and the next day we both were up early both ready for this to be over. To be honest, I don’t know what time his flight was that day. I hadn’t really asked. All I know is that once we were both ready, I drove him to the airport. I didn’t do my usual “parking in the garage and walking the person to security” deal that I normally do when people visit. I just drove up the curb and dropped him off with a hug good-bye and a “I’ll text ya later.”

The most horrible part of his entire stay at my place didn’t even happen while he was visiting. Or shall I be clear and say that it did happen while he visited but I was unaware of it until days after his departure.

I had smelled a funny odor coming from my bed sheets and although I had just washed them right before my guest’s arrival,  I decided to wash them again. When I pulled off the sheets to my bed the smell was horrid. Had something died in there? I began peeling apart all the sheets and blankets, the smell becoming more and more pungent.  That’s when I saw it. The band aid.

I swear I almost threw up. He had lost his dirty band aid in my sheets, leaving his exposed big toe out and obviously marinated my bed sheets with the funk. With my sister as my witness, I had to wash the bedding twice and even then the smell still lingered, leaving me with no other option than to toss them.

He and I never spoke again. I did try to reach out once. Honestly, I had just wanted him to return a few books I let him borrow. It was no surprise though when he didn’t respond. Sometimes, when something or someone triggers me to think of this memory, I laugh. I’m not sorry that it happened. I do wonder what he’s up to and if life is going good for him. I mean I don’t hate the guy one bit. I would have liked to have been friends but life doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes you just meet people for a small period of time. As if they’re tiny extras in your book of life but that hold enough punch to actually teach you something. This situation was a good lesson to be learned. Actually, I learned quite a few. Like, you don’t need five days to figure out whether or not two people click. I say three is good. The one, though, that I preach the most?  Nothing good ever happens after 4 am.

002-2  Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Muse: Rich. R

Only Two

I’ve only truly been in love twice. Although I’ve dated A LOT, no one quite captured my heart and forever changed my soul, no matter how small a change, like my only two loves.

Both, needless to say, ended pretty tragically.

The first one, my high school sweetheart. A romeo, a lady’s man. That would always be our demise. I spent the better half of my teenage years and half of my twenties on and off again with him. The man had broken my heart in every way possible and still I would go back for more. It wasn’t until the ultimate betrayal on his part that I decided no relationship between the two could ever be. The true sadness rested in the fact that being as though we had known each other for so many years we had truly become great friends. In the end I had lost not only my boyfriend but also my best friend.

The second love of mine came at a time where life for me had hit an all time low. This was when I lived in California. I met him at the local library where I would go to take out a shit load of books for me to read and movies for my sister and I to watch. He was a couple years younger than me but he could have fooled anyone as to him being older. He was well educated and mature. Well mannered and treated his mother like a queen. Not only her but he treated me like a queen. He was an amazing person to be around. His friends would tell you so. He was the one who made me realize how important a close circle of friends are. The value of true friendship. Like I said before, we met at a time in my life where I was broken. He made me feel amazing no matter how broken I had become, but no amount of love given could have saved our relationship. I was moving back to New Jersey and our love was so much that they only way we saw it was to have to let each other go. A love truly parted by life but never fully extinguished.

Both loves were vastly different. One lasted almost an entire lifetime while the other was more like a lifetime happened in just a few months. One was so tainted and damaged that no amount of time could ever heal and make it beautiful again, while the other had a freshness and energy, a bright light that shined from it that time could never dim. Both loves felt different. One felt more strangulating and slightly exuded obsession, making anxiety the most common emotion felt. The other love was so liberating. We were so bound by our love, so enthralled with one another, yet it was a breath of fresh air. It was easy.

My loves were different yet in other ways similar. I learned so much from each relationship. I learned things that would serve me well for the next one. Like I mentioned before I have dated a lot and one thing I do know, each and every new person that makes it into  my life has been of value to me. Whether today we are in each other’s lives or not, I have learned something to help me out later on down the road and if for only that reason alone, I cherish the time spent together, no matter how good or bad it was.

I look forward to meeting my next love. I feel like it’s definitely going to be IT. I’ve been through all the preparation. I have weeded out the confusion that plagues the minds of people when they become seriously committed to someone early on in life. I have not only had my fun but I have learned many valuable lessons while doing so. I understand life and the real meaning behind it. I can appreciate and love, while also being more aware and mindful, more vulnerable and open, because that’s how you connect with people, by being vulnerable.

Looking back on everything that I have gone through with past relationships I am grateful because although I won’t be going into it with the heart of innocence I’ll be able to see and feel love for what it truly is, with out the games, just its purity.

I sometimes think about my two loves and wonder how it is that they’re doing. You must be thinking that I am probably wishing one luck while I wish for the other misery and unhappiness but that is not me. I wouldn’t ever wish difficulty on another. The way I look at it, him who had broken my spirit to love I wish the treasures of the world for is he not just as broken as I was, or maybe yet even more so? Only hurt people hurt people and I know enough about him to understand his hurt even if he did bury it years ago.

In a world in which the ultimate goal is to find true love and happiness, I can look back on my life and say that Yes I have truly loved. If it weren’t to happen again, which would be a tragedy in my book, at least I have had the opportunity to feel what it was to love someone other than myself, than my family, than even my pets. I have loved a stranger before and it speaks volumes as to the capacity my heart can hold. I wish to discover love again, this time it hanging around longer. This time it being both reciprocated and permanent. Yet I cannot help but wonder, how permanent could love ever be if there is no such thing as forever??

 

 

The Shell of Cynicism

They were the days, when you were young yet trying to grow up and be that adult you so craved to be. Many times my mother would tell me, “You’ll get burned out if you try to grow up too fast. You’ll have nothing to look forward to if you do it all now.” As a kid, you just shrug it off because you are just a kid, you don’t truly understand. Now I get it.

In a slight way I wish I would have listened, especially when it came to guys. I have dated enough of them that now I find myself guarded and cynical when I think about relationships and love. Before, every relationship had that fairy tale feel. The potential was always there. Prince charming and a happily ever after life always seemed very possible for me. Now I damn Disney and all of its misleading movies of love and life. How dare you mislead me into thinking that love always conquers all. All toads don’t turn into princes, just as we are not all princesses, us, who end up kissing these gross little amphibians. Love, in the romantic sense of the word, is made for everyone yet we are not all made for love. Life and its conditioning will take care of that, robbing some of the chance to accept and dish out what is unconditional love.

I’ve been let down by many, hurt by more, and now I’ve gotten to the point of truly not worrying about finding a life mate because at this point I rather enjoy my days alone than with bad company. My quest to find my prince charming has ceased and now I simply embrace this journey as a solo explorer. I live my days just enjoying what is life and think, “If he comes around, great. If not, I’m cool too..” Funny thing, once I gave up the search, poof, someone pretty cool appeared. A special little someone who in ways makes me want to believe again, yet I can’t allow myself to. A dreamlike thought will pop up in my mind and quickly I counter it with any other thought to turn it into something more realistic. In the moments we are together, I allow myself to get lost in a good time, yet once I head back to my normal life, I reassure myself that this will be something that’ll be over before it began. I rehearse all the excuses that have ever interrupted a romantic relationship before. I rehash the reasons things never worked and remind myself that surly this too will be one of those times.

I no longer have this innocent way of thinking when it comes to diving head first into a relationship. If anything, I now wear a life vest, floaties, goggles, and anything else to keep me safe while trudging through these hectic waters. I’m even more aware of the long list of defects I’ve got going on, most now acquired after many heartbreaks and let downs brought on by life. Ouch… Maybe defects isn’t the proper word for it. No matter the term, the effect is there. I’ve got a list of “qualities” that I find difficult for a stranger to cherish. How do you meet someone without fearing that one day they’ll wake up and realize that you aren’t perfect, and that one does have flaws? How can one relax when you know deep down inside they’ll one day see certain flaws in you and if these certain flaws are hard to deal with yourself, how is this person, a stranger, going to deal with your imperfections? It’s only a matter of time.

Don’t think I am totally numbed out to the hopes of one day finding my perfect kind of relationship. I have a tiny glimmer of hope dressed in the garments of cynicism and I try to never let fear govern the beautiful aspects of life. In a sense it’s healthy to look at things with a bit of skepticism. I’ve never been a pessimist, nor a total optimist. If I had to throw a label on my outlook on life, I would call it being a realist. Optimistically speaking, I look forward to the dates full of conversations and full bellied laughter (oh man does he make me laugh). I swim around in the good vibes and the pure energy this person brings into my life. The inner negative Nancy, that small bit of a pessimist that hides within me, tugs at my brain and reassures me that this too will be short lived. But those two are complete opposite sides of the spectrum.  They are two extremes I try not to follow for I am no extremist when it comes to emotional involvement.  Realistically, I know that there’s a good possibility of this may work out if we both want it to, but life is full of well calculated surprises so who knows what could happen. Would it be difficult if it didn’t turn out happily ever after? Yea, but would I die (insert “But did you die” meme here)?? Of course not. It would be another tiny nic on my heart that with a little bit of nature’s neosporin (time) it would heal with hardly any scaring.

I know that there are tons of people, both girls and guys, who have been through a lot when it comes to search for love. I know that it gets to be exhausting, hence why I’m writing to you specifically. Stop the search. It is a waste of time and energy and by looking, all you end up truly finding are people who are not meant for you. Yes, they are great learning lessons, or decadent distractions, but once the charm and the fun wears thin, you’ll find yourself unhappy. Stop looking and shell up with a slight hint of cynicism. Go on about your life and doing the things that make your heart truly happy and that allow that wonderful face of yours light up with a smile. That confidence in doing what you love, that happiness that shines from doing what makes you happy without worrying about “Do I look ok? Will I meet the one tonight? Am I funny enough? ect..” will be exactly what brings you closer to that person who is perfect for you. A healthy hint of cynicism when approaching life and its curve balls won’t drive anyone away. The right person for you, will see that as just a small obstacle to get through in order to achieve that grand prize, you. For no matter how many flaws you think you have, or how tarnished you see yourself, that special someone will see you as that magnificent person you are. They’ll see you for that one love they have always searched for, perfectly made for them, and will not let it get away.

The Problem Was Me

After my last failed relationship, I decided to look back on certain things and really try to figure out why the hell  I seem to be finding the same type of guy over and over again.  I laugh at myself because no matter how different the guys are, at the end of the day they are the same “type” of guy with maybe just with a slight difference.

I’ve dated them all. From school teachers and lawyers (I know I know. I said I’d never date a lawyer…) to tattoo artists and musicians. From “high” class guys to guys in the lower income bracket… It doesn’t matter where they’re from, how they were raised, education level, they all end up being the same type of guy.

For years I have been plaguing my mom with the same question, “How do I keep finding the same type of guy??” and for years her response would be to laugh. I can’t blame her. My love life is like an awful romance comedy that instead of getting better… it gets funnier and funnier (which means worse and worse) by the minuet. Or shall I say by the boyfriend.

It was just a couple days ago that it finally hit me. It’s me. I’m the problem. After speaking to a few chosen ladies and really analyzed my situation, I have come to the conclusion that the common denominator is me. Therefore the problem lies within myself. Not them. Me.

Am I being a little too hard on myself? Nope. If anything I need to get tougher. I need to “tough love” myself because if I want for this ridiculous cycle to stop and eventually meet someone right for me, things have got to change.

First I’ll tell you the mistakes I’m making. Then I’ll tell you the kind of men I’ve been pulling. You’ll realize what I’m talking about soon enough and then hopefully you too will stop making the same moves I have been making.

My last few bf’s I’ve found online. Whether it be through a dating site or app, or through “mutual friends” listed on FB. My current ex is the exception. I met him at the bar he worked at. Everyone of them I discovered because I was out on the hunt. When I describe myself as being on the “hunt” I do not mean I’m out there searching high and low for prospects with my binoculars and rifle, haha. No. My plan was simple. It was to just put myself out there to see what happened. What ended up happening was that I hit one dead end after another and who else to blame but the driver, right? I uploaded a profile onto a ridiculous site, or maybe I would go solo baring and would frequent a certain bar until one day, Poof, a knight materialized. Either way you look at it, I was a sitting duck. I basically set myself up and waited for the next one to show up and be the guy of my dreams. When it comes to Love you cannot search. That is one thing in life that if you do go in search of you’ll find everything BUT what it is you’re looking for.

They were dreamy. All were charismatic, good looking (to my standards), funny, had jobs, and of course there was always chemistry. At first. I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that the beginning of any relationships it was always great.  It wasn’t just the excitement of going out on cool dates, but more of the getting to know one another and realizing how much one had in common with the other. You begin to hang out often and the time you spend together you just think to yourself “holy cow I think I found my other half!” But the beginning of any relationship is always smoke and mirrors. Things will always seem wonderful in the beginning. Each person is on their best behavior, only setting forth their wonderful qualities. In time, the smoke begins to settle. The fairy tale slowly fades and in its place stands real life.

Real life. You gotta love it. It’s what snaps you back into the reality of life and how it operates. Life will never go 100% smooth. There will always be SOMETHING that takes a dip for the worst. It could be health wise, financial crap, or maybe family issues. It could be anything. These issues and how people handle the situation and move forward is very telling about who they are as an individual and what role, if any, they’ll play in your life. With each and every ex there were always red flags and every single one of them I chose to ignore. My second mistake.

It’s very rare when a relationship is heading south for one or both people involved to be completely broad sighted. There are always signs telling us, warning us, that shit is about to hit the fan. I truly do feel bad for our Sixth Sense, good ol’ Intuition, because more often than not it is ignored. If we followed our intuition more, or paid close attention to those red flags, we would avoid so many problems in life.

I cannot tell you how often it has happened that I knew a bf was going to lose their job weeks before it even happened. Or how often I’ve been told about shady pasts that they have “over come” just to know that later on it would fester up again and come back with a full vengeance. Yet what do I do? I ignored the signs, the warnings. I dismissed them thinking, “Ehhh, maaaybe not” because there IS always a chance of misjudging, right? Wrong. It’s weird to think that way. It’s weird to go thinking against a million red flags just for a minuscule possibility that you may be wrong. Think about it. Subconsciously, as we become more involved in a relationship and we begin to form a pattern and routine with someone, you begin to really take in notes about that person. You become familiar with their actions, how they respond to things and situations, the way they even think through the words they speak. Without even thinking we take all this information in and our minds slowly begin to build your reality of this individual. Red flags pop up in our brains, intuition goes off in our soul, our heart even falters for a second, when moments arrive that flare up  a feeling in you that things either aren’t adding up or are off alignment with  you and what you need out of life. Heed those warnings, take a step back and truly analyze  the situation.What’s the worse that could happen?

Here is a list of what can be considered red flags or warnings:

*they have mental, emotional, and/or physical ailments that should be tended to by a professional yet they never seek the help they need.

*became unemployed and have no interest of obtaining another job or completely lack the motivation (unless wealthy of course).

*they lie about  things that make you wonder, “Wtf would you lie about that?”

*they have kids that they don’t care to take care of.

*instead of owning up to past mistakes and taking full responsibility they continue to excuse what they’ve done and/or blame others.

*they live at home with their parents due to the desire of wanting to keep being maintained and lack of drive versus that of the need to (ages 30 and over).

*if they have cheated on multiple exes and/or still consider themselves a “player”

* they are rude to or look down upon people in the service industry

With some of the ones listed, you couldn’t possibly even get into a relationship and expect for your it to be a healthy one. The fact that I am a co-dependent (currently working on that) and am addicted to helping people  has always placed me in a bad spot. I always want and believe that I can help and save everyone, when in fact, that is totally far from the truth. No one can help or save anyone that doesn’t want to help themselves. Remember that. Always support people emotionally but never allow yourself to be convinced that you are there to save someone. That’s a ton of responsibility unnecessarily placed on someone that truly has no power in the situation.  Keeping this in mind will save you from many head pains and heart aches.

Here are some guidelines I came up with from my own experiences to maybe help others out there in the dating scene. For now, there are only three:

1) Don’t go searching for Love. The way the Universe works, it is always conspiring for you. But just because it is working for you doesn’t mean it’ll be timed the way you want it. Love will find you once it’s ready, once you’re ready, once your partner is ready. So “let go and let God”, otherwise, you run the risk of continuously finding the ones not at all meant for you.

2) Listen to your inner you.

3) You are no one’s hero. They must be their own. Instead, think more along the lines of being their biggest cheerleader.

Go out. Mingle with people. Have fun. Live out your life. Go about your business while always being in the moment. Stop thinking that the next person you see may be “the one.” Stop worrying about “Ways to Meet Your Soul Mate” or the “10 Places to Meet Your Future Spouse.” Those magazines titles are so lame, honestly.

Trust me. I’m taking my own advice. I’ve been repeating the same mistakes time and time again. The difference now is that I am aware of what I was doing before and can now knowingly decide to not commit the same errors again.

Funny, because I feel like these were all things I’ve heard before. Advice from the elders that one never truly followed through with after listening to.  I guess it’s the way of life, us trying to experience things on our own, even if it is the hard way. One thing is for sure, it makes for great writing.

Solo Baring

When you’re single, life can be a total adventure. Whether you’re newly single or have been alone for quite some time now, the fact of the matter is, you’re far more open to crazy things happening to you than those locked down by love. I mean, think about it. When you’re single you just simply tend to invite more excitement into your life due to the fact that… Well.. you’re single. Maybe you’re trying to make more friends or maybe you’re really looking to meet that special person… again. Either way, when situations arise, you’re all over it because the possibilities of something coming out of it are endless. When you’re there’s no one you have to take into consideration. No one you have to ask “permission”. As a single, you pretty much make your decision right then and there and more often than not, a single person will be down for anything. Hell, what better way to meet people than to dive head first into an adventure, no?

Sometimes it’s our friends that allow opportunity for adventure. Or maybe it’s our family and fellow co-workers who provide us with a good situation to mix and mingle. I find that when I look at all the adventures I have found myself in in the past, the motivating factor was usually boredom. Boredom can be a great motivator for many things. For singles, boredom could even be borderline dangerous.

Just in the last few weeks have I started going out and about solo. Don’t get me wrong. I was always Ok with going to the mall, dinner, or a movie by myself. I like me and I don’t mind having to be my own company. What I was never used to do was going out to the bar and having a few cocktails by myself. I not only felt like it heightened the probability of something bad happening to me but I felt that it would just feel weird. Guys? They do it all the time but you never really see ladies out at the bar by themselves. It’s just weird. What lead to my change of heart? Boredom with a splash of loneliness. After much contemplation I made my move. Armed with a notebook, pen, cell phone (obviously), earphones, a book, and my dog I was ready to plunge into the world of what I like to call “solo baring.” I had a backpack just full of crap all of it meant to keep me busy. Now looking back on it, I must have looked ridiculous during those first couple outings. To me I felt like I was carrying a gigantic  hiker backpack so it would have been interesting to see me through the eyes of others. I can only imagine what they could have been thinking. “Did she bring her entire house with her?” Or “What doesn’t she have in that backpack?” But secretly, that is something I have always battled with, caring about what other people could be thinking.

I’ve gone out now a few times by myself. I wouldn’t call me an expert or anything but I’m no longer bringing my entire bedroom with me when I go out. At the most I listen to my music and I mean I always have my notebook with me. Inspiration lingers everywhere and the last thing I want to do is miss out on the opportunity to write it down. The fact that I usually have my dog with me has been amazing. My little buddy gets plenty of attention and because of her I have actually began to meet people. There’s a saying out there, “In order to see change, change must happen.” and it couldn’t be more true. It took a visit from my sister and a dear friend of mine to make me realize the error of my ways. There was a point where I was ready to leave this town and quick (if only legal troubles weren’t lingering over my head) even though this was my dream. I have always said that one day I would live on the beach. I would work as little as possible and write like it was nobody’s business. Well, my dream is being lived out. I live on the beach. I work enough to pay for living expenses and have a little extra for whatever I want to do with it and writing has again been my main priority. So why was I ready to ditch this place?? In my mind, I felt like what good was living the dream if you had no one to share it with? Be it with a boyfriend, lover, friends, anyone, to experience life and to share it with those around you is important for happiness. In my opinion it heightens the experience. Here I was living the dream but it was just my dog and I building these memories. I wanted more.

In listening to the conversation of my visitors I really became aware of how my loneliness and unsatisfaction was self created. I wasn’t doing my part in truly trying to go out and meet people. Now thinking back I think it was mainly because I just wasn’t really ready to put myself out there and connect with people again. Within the last year I had been burned by many I believed would be in my life forever. I had been stopping myself from connecting with anyone else. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to connect until now.

Since I began going out, I have gotten myself into adventures that have cost me in one way or another. For one thing I have been spending a little more money. Do you know how hard it is for me to say no to having another drink? It’s pretty hard. Usually it’s friends that’ll have to be like “Noooo you don’t want another one…” When you’re out solo baring you have no one keeping that close eye on you. I never want to go home. I always want to stay for another one. It’s not hard for a server/bartender to “talk” me into getting another drink. But it’s not just the cost of money, but the cost of items that has left me in awe. In the last two weeks I have lost, a pair of sneakers, a pair of jeans, a sock, two pairs of earrings, an entire box of untouched chicken strips, a half order of wings, my cell phone, and 3 bobby pins. How did I lose all this stuff?? Well, being drunk was definitely a key participant in my moment of absent mindedness. When you’re out alone and a bit tipsy, you have no one to remind you to grab things off the table like that to-go box of food with your cell phone sitting right on top of it. You have no one reminding you to grab your jeans and shoes right after that moment of craziness that hit you right before you decided to go for a quick dip in the sea under the night sky. Let me add, that all of these things… are dangerous. A female, out and about at night, tipsy, and alone? I know I have exposed myself to quite a bit of danger. Not smart. But by doing so, life has gotten a wee bit more exciting. What is it that people say? “Take a walk on the wild side?” This island has proven just that and instead of feeling upset that I have lost so many of my “things”, I feel happy because what I’ve gained is worth so much more. I’ve met people, some of them I can tell will be good friends, at least for a little while, and wasn’t that the entire goal?? Making friends? I’ve also witnessed the most beautiful sunsets and have even motivated myself to rise early enough to catch the sunrise routinely now. I enjoy breathing in the salty sea air and to feel the sand between my toes is a daily must now.

Life is good. I no longer feel the urgent need to move away. I’ve got a little more exploring to do. I’ve got a few more adventures that I want to get into. For now, I’m just excited to be living out this dream of mine while also in the process of meeting new folks and creating new dreams. The life of a single can be a little tricky but once you find that motivation and a plan that works for you… everything else just simply falls right into place.

So from one single to another, I say to you.. put yourself out there, no matter how “weird” you may think it’ll feel. Take that walk on the wild side one baby step at a time.

13636095_1584731991831989_1071106700_n

Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Prawn Broker, Fort Myers, FL

 

At This Point…

I’m 29 years old. I’ll be 30 in January.

I have yet to graduate college, although I am a little more than halfway done.

I do not own my own home yet.

I am not married. I don’t even have a boyfriend.

I have no kids (although I came close once).

I have no REAL responsibilities other than enjoying life daily as much as I possibly can.

For the most part, I live a good life. I find it crazy when society and its “norms” want to disrupt that for me.

I get this at least once a week:

“So do you have any children??” (Insert “No” here…) “Oh honey, you’re missing out on the glories of having children!! It is so rewarding!” They say to me. For some maybe. For me? I’m going to be honest and go as far as saying that I would find having kids, at this point in my life, kind of a burden. I can already hear all the gasps and comments from my readers now, “A burden? How could she!?” and would I be thinking differently if I already had a few of my own? Of course! No loving parent would ever call their child a burden, but coming from someone who has no children in a world that is constantly multiplying around her, I find it to be true.

Yesterday as I sat at a local bar enjoying a proper Gin and Tonic and an order of coconut shrimp, while working on my latest short story, I couldn’t help but observe a family that had just sat a few tables ahead of me. Mom, Dad, and four kids. The parents were about my age. The kids were maybe a year or two apart, the youngest not able to walk yet. They rolled in with strollers, diaper bags, sweaters, bottles, toys, everything a family with 4 children would need for an easier outing. As the afternoon crept on, I noticed that the parents had no real interaction with one another other than what they HAD to say to each other in regards to the kids. I couldn’t help but wonder what they used to be like with one another before the children came along. As a waitress I often see this and think the same thing. I always wonder what families were like before the children happened.

It’s not always that I see a disconnect between couples. It’s random but once in a blue I do see tightly knit families that give off that moment of inspiration… but that moment is short lived when I hear or see a screaming child at another table. Almost like life is snapping me back into reality.

I had a friend tell me once, “Since a kid all I ever wanted was to be a mom. And now I am one and sometimes I feel like, “what have I done?” No one tells you about the metamorphosis your body will go through after having a child. No one tells you how scary it can be when the realization sets in that you’re raising a little human and molding them to someday be a productive member of society. No one tells you how frustrating a child can be, because even if you are a good parent, it’s not just nurture it is also nature that plays apart in raising them.  A parent sacrifices a lot. You can’t think about what you want to eat, or what you want to buy, or where it is that you want to travel to next. All you do is think about them. You as an individual is almost non-existent.” Her son is 8. I can’t imagine how she will be feeling once he hits those teenage years.

Like i said before, I get it often, “So, when are you having your little ones? Times ticking you know!” I reply with a shrug and a usual, “Not anytime soon.” Coming from complete strangers I find those questions and comments annoying and intrusive.

Yes, having children can be a blessing and very rewarding but, you don’t miss what you’ve never had. At this point in my life I do not want children. To have kids right now would be almost selfish of me. There is too much that I need to accomplish first, there are many things I need to get out of my system first, before I ever think about bringing a life into this world. I sometimes hear about parents resenting their children for not allowing them to be able to finish much of what they started or have the ability to live out the dreams they once envisioned. I don’t want to be that. I hear about parents imposing much of what they wanted to do in life onto their kids saying, “I want them to do what I could never get to do,” and most often than not, these kids would rather be living out their own dreams, living out their own lives. If I don’t do what I need to do for me now, how could I possibly be a good parent later? How could I possibly devote all of my passion, love, and energy into my mini me, while also working on obtaining a good career, finding a good home, establishing a strong relationship with my better half? Many would argue, “Well people do it everyday! No one is ever fully ready to have kids but ey, they manage.” Well let me just say, I don’t want to simply manage my way through life, especially if I don’t have to. All those people who are juggling kids while also finishing up an education, or intensely focusing on their career, or trying to work on their marriage, they are struggling. I’ve got enough struggles going on at the moment, no need to add a child into the mix. I am extremely content with playing with my nieces and nephews, or my friend’s children. I am happy that at the end of my visit I can simply walk away. I join in on the fun and once the fun is over I leave.

I give good parents a lot of praise because in reality they are doing something that I simply cannot. Kudos for contributing to society in a unique and special way. Because of you humanity continues.

At this point, I am happy because  I get to contribute to life in a different way. I am living my life at my own speed, doing the things I want to do, while always making sure I don’t hurt others along the way. In my opinion, that, in essence, should be society’s  “norm”.