Archive | December, 2012

Being beautiful

30 Dec

beautifulYesterday I got like 11 hours of sleep and woke up with warm, snuggly cats all wrapped around me. After I had breakfast, I went for an 8-mile run. It was quite cold outside and the path was slippery in spots, but the run went fairly well and I felt good about doing it. I showered and went to the coffee shop, then went to the grocery store and the fabric store before finally going home to watch movies and make chili.

It was a fairly insignificant day in my life, but for some reason I felt so beautiful. Maybe it was the endorphins or the sunshine, maybe the gorgeous orange wool vintage coat I got for $20 at a shop near my apartment, or possibly it was my sassy new haircut and the frosty pink lipstick I got before Christmas. Perhaps all of those things contributed to the fact that I felt really happy to be me.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all felt beautiful (or handsome or confident or enthusiastic or special or loved or content) every day of our lives? Even on bad hair days? Even when we haven’t had enough sleep or worked out in a long time? Even when we’re upset with someone or someone is upset with us? Even when the sun isn’t shining?

Let’s try.

Being honest

28 Dec

I’m being totally honest when I admit that I lie. I lied to the guy who asked me if I had 50 cents for bus fare. I lied to the girl standing on the corner holding a clipboard when she asked if I had a minute to talk with her about human rights.

I’ve lied about much bigger things. Years ago I told my coworkers that I had gotten married over the weekend to a guy they knew.  In junior high, I told these kids at a retreat that my nickname was “Kitty” so they would call me that. I said this boy in my school had given me a friendship pin (remember those?!) because I wanted everyone to think that someone liked me.

I have told lies — or kept secrets — that I never want anyone to know.

So I cannot judge anyone for the lies they tell, no matter how big or small those lies are and no matter how many people are hurt by the lies. But I have to tell you, when you find out that someone you love has lied to you about nearly everything, it really affects your ability to trust anyone, especially potential love interests. And perhaps more importantly, it makes you think twice every time you are inclined to tell a little white lie.

He didn’t just lie about his past or his partners or about how many children he has; he lied about loving me and wanting to have a future with me. I now know so many things that make me realize the entire relationship was a lie, but it was real and true for me. Perhaps I should have seen the writing on the wall. Maybe I wanted so badly to be in love that I was unwilling to see what was really happening. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, but at the time, I believed everything he said.

And now the hard tasks are two: how do you forgive someone who has been so dishonest with you, and how do you let yourself trust another potential partner?

I have never understood how you can forgive someone who thinks they didn’t do anything wrong, I mean, even when it’s really, really wrong. I guess maybe it helps to believe (as I do) that everyone always does their best — and sometimes their best is just plain shitty.

I posted a profile on an online dating site again, and I think I expect everyone on the site to be dishonest. I didn’t lie about my weight or height. I didn’t post old photos or intentionally misrepresent myself in any way, but I expect that everyone else did. Or does. Or will. And that sucks a lot.

So why even try to find a partner online? The truth is, you can find good people and bad people ANYWHERE! You could introduce me to your brother, and he could end up being a really bad dude. I could meet a guy in this coffee shop where I’m sitting right now (because there’s a cute guy behind me reading the paper), and he could seem awesome but turn terrible. You just don’t know. There are no guarantees. So I’m going to keep looking for love in lots of places because I want to have love love love in my life.

And about me being dishonest, I have to keep working on that. Today, I’m 100 times more honest and genuine now than I used to be in my drinking/lying days, and having done a thorough inventory of my personality defects and past mistakes and all that jazz helps keep me on the right path. But it’s damn hard sometimes. I still lie about stupid stuff sometimes, like I said I haven’t had bread since Thanksgiving but I had a big cinnamon roll last weekend after I ran 12 miles. I didn’t mean to lie about that. I just sort of forgot that cinnamon rolls are “bread.”

Anyway. I know it feels better to be honest with everyone in my life, even when it’s difficult to do it, so I’m going to keep doing my best to be a trustworthy person and to find a trustworthy person who really, truly wants to be in love with me.

Here’s to hoping that we can try to be more honest (and gentle and forgiving) with our loved ones.

Being Joe Friday

27 Dec

At one point this past year, I canceled my cable subscription. I told them I was moving, but in order to not be constantly harassed by the cable company about starting service at my new apartment, I told them I was moving to Guatemala. The customer service rep didn’t know where Guatemala was. It was an interesting conversation.

I love Joe Friday

I love Joe Friday

In any case, I get local access channels including “Me TV,” which means I am now being introduced to the no-nonsense hilarity that is Sergeant Joe Friday of the Dragnet series. I love that guy’s rapid fire questioning of suspects and witnesses and his dry wit.

Yesterday I was resting on the couch and listening to Joe Friday give some advice to a rookie cop who was complaining about getting all the routine cases. He wanted to get some real action and not have to handle cases of the little old ladies who had had their purses stolen.

I wish I could find the exact quote, because Joe Friday gave that whiny brat police officer a talking-to that included great advice about the importance of his job. And he said (paraphrased), “You’re so concerned about yourself that you aren’t paying attention to the things going on around you…” He went on to tell the guy to listen and learn from his partner, a guy who had been on the force for 15 years.

That part about being self-centered really stuck with me because I have a tendency to spend too much time alone and spend too much time thinking about me and my own problems. I mean, I suppose many of us do that at one time or another, but I know (and I bet you do, too) that focusing on others — in whatever way you choose to do that — can make for a much more fulfilling life. And you probably end up helping someone even if you aren’t trying.

I’ve known for a long time that my life is too small, that I am too focused on myself and that I need to dedicate at least a portion of my time to being of service to someone else. I also know that I need to make an effort to incorporate friends into my life. It’s far too easy for me to be alone, to not ask anyone to go to a movie with me, to decline offers, to do everything by myself. Changing that requires time and attention on my part, but I know if I don’t do it I will turn into a sad, lonely old lady. I don’t want to be a sad, lonely old lady.

So I have to make an effort to make my life bigger than me and my apartment and my cats and training for marathons and working and Sergeant Joe Friday. Pray for me as I work on that.

I’m being me

26 Dec

I took a break from blogging for a while because a very bad man threatened to sue me, and I went through a lot of very bad things that made me believe there was no point whatsoever in writing. When you’re a writer and that happens, it’s very, very sad. I felt like a part of my soul was ripped away.

I’d love to say that I feel better about everything that happened with that very bad man, about trying to find love, about the 20 or 30 first dates I’ve had this year, about the three times I was stood up this summer by three different men, about having to pull out of a marathon at mile 22 and my cat getting $1100 of sickness and blowing a tire on my car and about what feels like a string of horribly bad luck. But I don’t feel better. I feel sad and angry sometimes. I think I got dealt a bad hand. I think I deserve just one good thing to happen so that I can feel hopeful.

But I don’t think the world works that way — I don’t think we deserve good things or bad things. I don’t think things just happen to us. I think the decisions we make and the people we interact with and our attitudes and thoughts all come together to create the lives we live, and that means if you don’t like what’s happening, you can change it.

Today is my half birthday. Six months ago on my whole birthday, I heard “This’ll Be My Year” by the band Train, and I thought, “Yeah, maybe this will be my year… to finally fall in love, to be my best self, to run a 4:30 marathon…” Turns out that the first six months of my 42nd year have not turned out at all the way I might have hoped they would. I was lied to by a man I loved more than any man I’ve ever known. I had my heart broken badly. I now have a disease that I will have forever, one that most partners will not be willing to accept.

But maybe this IS my year…to learn how much I can really take before I break, to become closer to my family and friends, to find new definitions of love, to ask for help, to give to others, to be grateful for life’s lessons, to run a 4:30 marathon.

This is my year to be me, the me that wants very much to be in love with and to be loved by another — not because I feel incomplete or worthless without a partner but because I love how it feels to be in a partnership and because I believe we were meant to be in partnership with others and because I believe with all my heart that I will be an excellent partner to the right person.

This is my year to be the creative me, the writer and the seamstress. This is my year to be the me who understands and accepts  the good and the not-so-good parts of herself. This is my year to take on challenges and become stronger and smarter and awesomer.

Thank you to my friends and family who have prayed for me and sent me good vibes and encouraged me to write. Thank you for a CD of break-up songs. Thank you for a tin of cookies. Thank you for a text message asking if I needed anything. Thank you for taking care of Peanut and Melvin.

Thanks for loving me when I didn’t always love me.