Category Archives: Friendship

Need A Spark …

Well I am trying to be more social again and start dating …yes trying again to put myself out there and be open minded.  Agreed to meet a nice looking, age appropriate man for coffee.  The night before we talked on the phone for three hours…yes, 3 hours!  We talked about so much even politics.  It was refreshing.   So when we meet today – conversation is easy.  He is a great listener as well as a good speaker.  Bur we talked about work, skills – more professional than personal.  There was no romantic spark.  And I find myself home, writing this post, feeling a little sad.  On paper he fits all my criteria – he is dark-haired and handsome.  He is employed. He is Christian.  He believes in family.

But I touched his hand … and nothing.  We chastely kissed at the door – I felt nothing.  Well, ironically there was jolt of static cling electricity but not a true chemical spark.  So no spark, now what??

Now I am tired of all my friends saying I am too picky, or I don’t give men a chance.  But how long do you wait for the spark to develop?    How long should you give to see if there is true chemistry?  I am mature and intelligent enough to understand that sparks are usually temporary and they don’t normally last.  Compatibility lasts.  Logic.  But I have lived too many years without true love and passion.  Don’t I deserve it?  Don’t I deserve the butterflies?  Don’t I deserve to feel that zing, that unexplained must-have chemistry, pure magic??  Do I have to settle?  No I refuse to settle.  I need to feel that spark.  Soon!  I totally accept that love at first sight is beyond rare.  I need to accept that we may need to allow for the slow burn of attraction, let our first meeting date jitters to pass and try to get to know each other.

The guy I met today is into the gym and working out hard, faithfully and is very physically, outdoorsy active.  I am more a home body and I have let myself go a little sideways, struggling with weight, body image issues, hitting 50 and pre-menopausal.  So maybe he wasn’t physically attracted to me hence no spark.  I don’t know.  Maybe I don’t care too much right not to learn otherwise.  Maybe he has zero boyfriend potential; maybe he is indeed just a nice guy.  Perhaps there isn’t enough chemistry for a relationship. But seriously how many ‘dates’ do I need to go on to find out??

I will try harder to keep from closing off.  I just don’t want to be that girl – every man’s buddy – where they think I am a great lady, we talk for hours, laugh, but they use me as sounding board.  They want to hang out, talk about their job, family and dating woes, ask for advice but ultimately there is no shared attraction, no sexual interest.  No passion.

So we didn’t make plans to meet up again, but we did text already tonight when he got home.  Maybe we will just be friendly.  I don’t know.  I would go out with him again though if asked.  I think it’s rare to know whether we have real dating potential with someone after only a few hours.  I do enjoy conversing with him.  He has a great phone voice as well.  Easy on the eyes, yes.  Who knows….

So as much as I didn’t get that instant overwhelming attraction to him, we still got along.  Time will tell I guess.

Remaining positive … with hope in my heart and grace in my step … learning how to sashay.

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39 More Days

Only 39 days left until Sunday – January 1, 2017!  39!!  I don’t know where the time goes.  Most days, it all seems to pass in a blur … a blur of depression, sadness, hurt, tiredness.  The past two years, I have to admit, has seen me at my most vulnerable in real time and not just via words on my blog.  I have had some heart-to-heart conversations with family and so-called friends who have hurt me or not been there for me in my darkest hours.  I have done a lot of de-cluttering of my life.  I may still be alone, but I am at peace.

I have tried to make each year better but I failed so many times.   I pray that 2017 is it – the biggest year for me yet.  I have been living off the radar, under the bar for so long.  Now I just want to shine bright.  I want to be noticed – I want to be appreciated.

I wish I knew now what I have learned while dealing with the death of so many loved ones back-to-back.  I believe I wouldn’t have lost so many good years due to my mourning.  I put myself in such a dark place, such a sinking hole.

Ironically, I have complained that I had no support system but honestly I realize now how much I cut people out, and how easy immediate family made it for me.  As for new friends, I rarely let new people in my life the past 15 years.  Working hard on trying now.   I need and want people in my life – but worthy, deserving people.  I want to be able to build each other up, not tear each other down.

For so many years, being strong found me pretending to be okay.  I didn’t want to appear weak.  But this pretending came with a very high cost which I am still paying the price.  I shut people out, I lost interest in so many things, I gave up, I let depression and PTSD keep me mired down in grief.  I hid parts of me away.  I would not get really close to anyone.  I kept to myself, isolated.  I didn’t want to be completely vulnerable nor have anyone worry about me.  So today, I have no support system and no one is worried about me.  I guess I ultimately got what I thought I wanted.  Emotional seclusion instead of a complete and utter breakdown is where I have been residing.  And the few times I have let myself be honest, forthcoming, and vulnerable, I have been met with lack of understanding.  So I withdrew even more.

It’s such a cycle.  When a person like me who is already an introvert, keeps everything inside, never fully accepting how messed up I really was, it’s all downhill from there.  I find myself trying so hard to crawl out of the dungeon I found myself in.  Writing has helped me tremendously.  Social media  has helped me as well – I get to be somewhat social without actually investing in friendships too much or sharing true intimacy.   It has provided an outlet – a necessary one.  I need to search and bare my soul.  I need some guidance, acceptance, understanding – even if it at first it appears shallow.  We all need to feel connected.   I’m thankful that social media has brought people back into my life. To me, the past few years have been a rebirth for me – learning how to crawl, walk, talk … all over again.  Now I am more than ready to spread my wings and fly away … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.


Just Go With It …

Finally home indoors, all snuggly warm watching the movie, “Just Go with It” … We all know that Adam Sandler is a funny goof ball at best and he gets a lot of bad reviews for doing terrible, cliche movies, and yes many of them have over-the-top, tasteless humor with reused gags. But in almost every movie he does, to me, there’s some emotional moment or scene. (in Big Daddy, when he has to let “Frankenstein” go. In Anger Management, at the end when he confesses displays his love for his girlfriend at Yankees stadium, etc) Of all of them, I think THIS scene has the most emotion and is the most heartfelt moment. Just so real, honest … Friendship Love revealed – the best.

You know what I love? Mmm-hmm?
How you just do everything for everybody else
and you never expect anything back.
In fact, when I say thank you, I don’t
know, do you hear that or not?
It’s cute.
And I love…
I just love…
You’re the only person I’ve never lied to in my life.
I swear to God.
I just trust you more than anybody in the world.
You know every secret about me.
I love your smile.
That smile is the magic.
When I’m in the operating room all I think about is,
“All right, 20 more minutes, I get to see the smile.”
It’s just like…
It starts my day, that smile …

Beautiful.  Makes my heart smile.


Year of loss and forgiveness …

With the new year fast approaching, I have been thinking a lot about the past 12 months … the crushes I had, the dates I went on, the friendships I lost, the friendships I made.  There is one friendship I will miss for a bit longer – one I don’t understand why it ended.  This particular friend just started to ignore me one day and it continued even when I tried to ask her why – if I somehow offended her, was she going through something and just needed to be left alone.  I never heard back.  Ironically, she helped me realize my worth the past couple of years and not being a doormat to so many others.   I will always be in her debt for the kindness she showed me when I felt unworthy.  I recently unfriended her from social media.  Having that link there had become a reminder of the failure between us, and of how painful the situation had become. And although part of me will always wonder where she is and how she is doing, removing that connection has helped me move on.   I know I must have failed her in someway but I can’t beat myself up anymore.  I don’t regret trying to find the cause of the breakdown of our friendship nor do I regret once considering her my close friend.

One of the things that bothered me most was the silence; not only my former friend’s silence towards me, but also the fact that I felt that I couldn’t speak of what had happened between us to anyone else.  I felt stupid.  Since we didn’t have the typical friendship of hanging out, going shopping, etc.; she was my confidant – always a call, text, note away.   I will always be grateful for her wisdom, her understanding and being there when I truly needed her.  I hope one day she reads this, and knows she will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Adult friendships are hard, especially friendships with other women.  I won’t stop trying to bond with others.  I know my worth.  So with a little more heartbreak, I keep moving forward.

Learning not to obsesses about why someone has suddenly stopped talking to me, no longer wants to be my friend.  Learning I can’t live my life based on what other people say, do, nor how they react.

Learning to accept that I may never find the real reason.  I have learned the hard way, that not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.

Learning to let go of everything I didn’t do right,  the negative things people have said, the gossip people spread, the lies others believe.

So with this year ending, learning how to forgive many for choosing to communicate with silence, and moving onto other people who want to be in my life …  with grace in my step, hope in my heart ….

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. And surely you’ll buy your pint cup and surely I’ll buy mine! And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne…”

Good bye 2015!

 


Living with Cancer

Today … was like coming home, after a long trip. That’s what true friendships and love are …. it’s like coming home. I was finally able to meet up with some friends today and it was a good day. Good days have been far and few in between this winter.

I find myself trying so hard to be strong. Sometimes, I feel so alone, going through cancer, trying not to be a burden to anyone … but then you let your guard down and realize who truly has your back.

I try to put a big smile on my face but at times, all I want to do is curl up and die. Just give up. But then I find myself lucky enough to spend a couple of hours surrounded by friends and my smile is genuine. I still want to curl up, but not die. Lately, I have been too weak for much. But today was a good day. A day of genuine connection. I felt a part of something. And sometimes, that is all we need. Today was a day of hope and hugs.

People ask me on the bad days what chemo is like, how I am feeling – and although I consider myself articulate, I have a really difficult time explaining it. It’s difficult to describe the forest from the trees, right? Chemotherapy side effects are worse than cancer, that’s for sure. With cancer, most of the time you’d hardly know it if some doctor didn’t tell you. I mean, I was pretty hard up by the time they found it in me, but sometimes cancer can go all the way to stage IV and you’d never know it.

Chemo, on the other hand, you can never forget that. Not for a second. There’s no ignoring chemotherapy. It invades every cell by the end of it. You spend months marinating in a stew of toxic wastes that are out to kill you. And I don’t think that’s overly-dramatic. You try it sometime and see if I’m not right. The exhaustion, the pain, the numbness, the forgetfulness, the vague feelings, the full yet empty stomach, the nausea… so many things, feelings. The exhaustion never totally leaves me, and I can’t stand very long, and today was not really different, except that I felt okay, accepted, no one made me feel bad. I got to sit like a statue and was surrounded by good friends… making new memories. Embracing life…with grace in my step and hope in my heart. Not giving up – on people, nor myself.


The Year of Betrayal

This year has brought to light many betrayals. My body has betrayed me. Some girlfriends double crossed me. Another friend disclosed some information in the hopes of exposing some little known facts about me. Some friends I want to believe unintentionally revealed little things. But the biggest betrayal was from a person I considered a best friend, the one who knew all my secrets, fears. I have never felt so disillusioned and vulnerable. Mind you, I have family members who are mentally ill and re-write history all of the time. So I am used to betrayal but not to this magnitude, not from the one person I considered sane, in control.

I go to Mass and want to light a candle for all that are lost. But then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror – and I am the one that is lost. “It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you – my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” – Psalm 55:12-15

Of all experiences in life, betrayal by a trusted friend is one of the most difficult to understand, accept, move on from. I find it difficult to breathe some times. My self-esteem was already at a low from my accident, losing my job, dealing with a new cancer, feeling dependent. Betrayals from friends only further produced feelings of worthlessness for having trusted an untrustworthy person. I feel like anger and depression are my only recourse. It raises questions about my judgment. Because of the intimate friend’s knowledge of my situation, such betrayal has great potential for further damage. And I am just not equipped right now, in this singular frame of mind to effectively deal with all of it.

I just quietly pray. Help me, Lord God, to let go of the hurts that have come my way. Amen.

Igniting my own true light out of this darkness.


With friends like that, who needs enemies!

There is a Scottish proverb that I find quite fitting today of all days: “False friends are worse than bitter enemies.”

This quote speaks to the fact that it is almost easier to deal with someone who you know from the start is not on your side than someone who you thought was a friend but is really not. I know that I can’t depend on my immediate family for support, to have my back, or to even pick up the phone and check-in on me. But I have people in my life who swear they will be there for me no matter what, and they act like they would be – but it is these individuals who break my heart. All talk and no real substance. They say all the right things, but their actions betray them and fail me.

An acquaintance has a little something in common with you and merely enjoys your company for a short time. A fair-weather friend flatters you when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. A true friend, on the other hand, has your very best interests at heart and would NEVER… Walk away when times get tough.

True friendship and good character is all about how a person nurtures another person when they are vulnerable and can give very little in return. Thus, it’s not who’s standing beside you during good times, but the ones who stick by you through tough times that are your true friends. Good friends don’t judge, don’t keep score, don’t test you….their loyalty should be unwavering.

A bad friend is someone whose jealousies and insecurities outweigh their love for someone. Deep down, they might want to be a good friend and care but they’re too messed up in their own head to ever actually do it. Instead, they act paranoid and possessive. They wonder if their friends are hanging out without them or if they’re being forgotten and left behind. People who are violently insecure don’t have what it takes to be a quality friend. Their own issues and neuroses get in the way.

So take note of who remains in your life when times get tough, especially the people who sacrifice the resources they have in their life to help you improve yours when you need it most. Seriously, when you come out the other side of a difficult period in your life, look around you. The people still standing beside you are your true friends.
“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” – William Blake

HAVE you ever thought long and hard before asking a favor of someone, only to be completely let down?

Maybe they claim ‘they forgot’, other times they pretend you never asked them and in the worst scenarios, they use your vulnerability against you.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, colleague or member of your family there is no worse feeling than realizing you’ve been duped or betrayed. So how do you deal with it and get along with life and your relationship with that person in the aftermath?

If you are like me, we turn to people we trust the most for help. We all make the assumption that the people we ask for help share our values, integrity or professionalism. When that trust is broken we feel betrayed and hurt and sometimes can even feel silly for asking them in the first place.

And, sadly, there can be a second, re-injury when a person doesn’t seem to even care that they’ve let you down. This results in us feeling even more withdrawn, persecuted, isolated and our confidence and self-esteem suffers, leaving us with little idea about what to do next.

Feeling lost….alone…

I know I can be a moody, abrasive, honest person…but my heart is full, my intentions pure. If people can’t communicate to me, then they need to move on…if they feel the need to judge, they need to keep stepping off.

TRUTH:
“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” ― Bob Marley – Guitar Chord Songbook


Welcome 2014…BELIEVE!

With the New Year here, comes the annual New Year’s resolutions….I have never been a big fan of resolutions…more a fan of setting goals. So, some of my goals for 2014 are some of the same I set for 2013 but was sidetracked when I got hit by a car in January…one, is to learn more about wine. Physical health goals include: eat healthier somehow; lose weight to feel better, tone up; dare to wear a bikini this coming summer; start walking more again. Career goals: I want to get my PMP. Look for a better, more challenging job; earn more money.

And for the more emotional goals…I will continue to be more selfish, putting myself first, loving myself. Seek out more like-minded people. Be more confident. I want to get over my anxiety of walking, falling, breaking bones…I want to be able to cross the street where I got hit by a car…and not panic. I want to be more brave.

My love relationship goals seem the most elusive to me, somehow. Last night, as it neared midnight and the ball was about to descend upon Times Square, I looked around and that special someone to kiss was nowhere to be found. *sigh* And my initial thoughts were, “Alone again this year”. Then my little Chili dog, just licked my face and I found myself smiling through my tears. There will always be a smile…

If your life wasn’t what you thought it would be in 2013, don’t despair. Too often, we feel pressured to have our lives in perfect order on New Year’s Eve / Day, complete with a killer sparkly sequined dress at an over-hyped party and someone to kiss at midnight. When the fireworks don’t go off as planned, we’re left feeling unsatisfied and disappointed. But this is not what ringing in a new year is all about. Instead, it’s a time for renewal, rebirth and new beginnings.

I found myself single on New Year’s Eve, still disillusioned from a broken engagement last year and dating woes…I was drained of all my emotional energy and completely disconnected from myself. I know I need a new beginning and a new relationship – with myself and eventually, a new boyfriend. Obsessing over what went wrong and forever mourning my failed relationships only make me feel depressed, not motivated to move on. So instead, I wrote myself a list of goals based upon the lessons I have learned.

My writing and my lists help me remember where I’ve been, what I continue to learn… I know all too well how resilient I can be and what I want (and don’t want) for my future.

I know in order to move forward in 2014, I must find more ways to empty my heart and soul of all the negative energy from all of my relationships – family, friends and love -passed. I am starting this New Year, trying not to lament over things gone wrong, taking each set back as a lesson learned, opening my eyes with a fresh, positive outlook and an open heart to welcome all that the New Year has to offer.

I still believe in love…The message from the one of the classic children’s books Polar Express was simple: believe. No matter how old you are or how many times you have to start over, we must believe that love is out there and that we are deserving of it. I will stay open to love. We all have a list of qualities we’re looking for in someone, but I am working on not ruling someone out just because they don’t match up to all on my checklist. We may miss out on something better than you could have imagined or asked for on a list. Rip up the checklist, the pros and cons list. Yes, life is short…there’s only so much time we can spend analyzing whether or not that person is the one. Instead, follow your heart but also listen to your instincts.

This year, I vow to guard my heart better. The past few years, I find myself drawn to relationships with men who are unstable or treat me poorly. I am no longer allowing it nor make excuses for them. Now that I am learning how to walk gain, soon I will be able to run the other way and protect my heart from those who will harm me.

I am more than ever really determined to continue to love myself and put myself first. We’ve all heard that you can’t love anyone unless you love yourself. This is true. If you’re not taking care of your own physical, emotional or mental needs, you won’t be able to devote yourself to a healthy, loving relationship. FACT!! It’s kind of like a flight attendant’s emergency instructions. You need to put on an oxygen mask on yourself first before you tend to everyone else.

I have to learn how to nor be so codependent. I am learning that if I want to find a healthy relationship, I have to work on not being their caretaker. Need to stop mothering people who are grown, capable adults, people who are only using me to their advantage at their expense or people who don’t really care about me. Learning to redirect, use my energy to start taking care of myself.

Learning how not to take rejection personally. When people judge or criticize you, don’t take it to heart. Instead, ask yourself, does their opinion really matter to me? And more often than not, the answer will be no! Is there merit to what they’re saying and is there something I need to work on? Life’s too short to care about what other people think about you.

Don’t expect perfection from others — or yourself. I have been working on this for a long time…I understand, there’s no such thing as perfection, so don’t expect or demand it from yourself or anyone else in your life. Even if you know you could do better for yourself, or someone or something disappoints you, remember that no one, not even you, can do everything perfectly. Learn to let it go…somehow.

Determined to set real boundaries. Sometimes, we want to do it all but there are not enough hours in the day. If we try to do too much for the people we love, we could be left feeling drained and overwhelmed. I learned this the hard way last year. I have always been the first one to drop all for someone in need. When I had my accident, I realized how alone I really was. How hurt and frustrating it was when I couldn’t get dressed, walk my dog…but no one stepped up and offered to help me, especially those first few weeks. Setting boundaries in your life and your relationships is not only healthy, but it’s necessary. Learning to say the word ‘no’.

Be patient with yourself. This is hard…since I tend to feel lost, defeated…when I can’t reach my goal. But as they say, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”. Ever just find yourself rushing and then wonder how, why things crash and burn?! Learning to appreciate the path so that I don’t miss what it’s trying to tell me. Ears and eyes wide open.

Determined to accept my own friendship. Let’s all try talking to ourselves as you would a friend. You’d never really tell a friend that they’re not good enough, pretty enough or smart enough to be loved, so why would you talk to yourself that way?! Be kind to yourself. This goes back to putting ourselves first!

I will remain hopeful…I have proven that I can weather whatever storm comes my way because I keep hope in my soul. Grace in my step. Love in my heart.

And will continue to do so….♥

Beleive


Happy Friendship Day!

Today is Friendship Day!

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
— Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey)

There’s an old adage “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.” I find that to be pretty amusing because I believe that you can, and I do. I have a small circle of friends that have proven throughout the years to be my own insular family unit!

At some point in time somebody, somewhere came up with the narrow-minded belief that family is most important because they are your blood. I am all for family members being more important but in no sense do I believe that you can’t choose who those members are. I am almost certain that there is not one family in this world that is not screwed up in its own way. You can not always depend on these blood relatives let alone even be able to stand them at times.

Even though I believe that you can pick your family, I don’t want it to seem like I am against sticking with the family you were born with. The way I see it is you start off as this bright red apple on your family tree. As time goes by things happen that change the fate of that apple on the tree. You either develop a close relationship with those related to you and you remain that shiny red apple or butt heads with those people long enough that one day that you as the apple start to shrivel up and fall off that tree completely. That’s the point were choosing your family becomes an option.

I am the shriveled-up apple that fell to the ground. I come from a particularly large family and as unfortunate as it is I can only count on one hand how many of those people I am actually close with. The reality is that if any two people are going to have a falling out or be betrayed by one another it is going to be family members. It is more likely for them to be caught in a highly stressful or traumatic situation that would force them to become hostile and tear apart from one another.

From my own experience, it is the people that I am not related to that I am able to get along with best. Not only get along with but be able to trust and depend on. As much as I would love to be able to be close with my ‘blood family’ that is not a possibility for me. Sadly, I have never been on the best of terms with them and though sometimes it is difficult I do my best to never let it get to me. Instead I choose to focus on the few people that I consider my ‘family’ because I am really fortunate to have them in my life. My fiends are the family I choose for myself…♥


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