What’s been going on since my last blog post? I spent two weeks in Utah visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces. I had a really great time. My brother’s business trip to Amsterdam got postponed a few weeks so he was able to spend time with us. We went shopping at the Park City outlet mall and hiking in southern Utah where the terrain is desert with cactus and red rocks. My sister-in-law, Kristine, works at the Deer Valley Ski resort. She’s the head chef at one of their restaurants where we ate lunch after a beautiful drive through the mountains. The leaves were already changing colors and the aspens are almost as cool as willow trees. The higher we drove in elevation, the temperature dropped and everything was covered in snow.
At the risk of getting sappy, the love they share and the beautiful family they’ve created is awesome. I’m a proud aunt! Emma is two-and-a-half years old, Mary is four months. I don’t have much experience interacting with toddlers and babies so that was fun for me. Emma is very energetic while Mary has a quieter personality, lucky for them! They have one of those Echo things where you can tell it to play a song, it’s like a modern day jukebox. We had fun dancing to some tunes. I enjoyed holding little Mary and she fell asleep on my shoulder. I was able to pick her up when we she was crying and then she would stop crying. My energy was calm enough to calm her. I look forward to seeing them again when they visit next month.
When I got back home, I had a mountain of laundry to do since I totally overpacked, lesson learned, then I focused on applying to different types of jobs hoping that something would fall into place. I put a great deal of faith into the Universe to lead me in the right direction, of course, it takes effort on my part and that’s where I’ve been falling short. I’ve done a lot of inner work. I trust my intuition. I’m not angry anymore although I have moments of animosity. Forgiveness is the answer, it brings us joy. All of the despair we’ve gone through has only deepened our appreciation for happiness. I know no other way to describe it. The point of life is not suffering, it’s not about working ourselves to death, it’s not about denying ourselves pleasure. Life is about taking risks even when we’re afraid because one day of adventure is worth a thousand days of comfort.
The next weekend, I went shopping with my mom to buy pants and jeans to wear since I’ve gotten used to wearing sweatpants. As many of you know, I haven’t worked a regular job in several years. I survived cancer and self-published a book, I wasn’t twiddling my thumbs. Although, I got disconnected from the world around me. My disability has become a crutch allowing me to stay sick instead of pushing myself to get better. This year, the survivor camps were an important part of my healing process. I met survivors my age and realized the struggle is real. I was damn proud to stand among them. The fact that we had to suffer and still suffer in the name of health makes no sense. What if the way to heal darkness is with light and love? I am grateful for modern medicine and have deep respect for anyone who chooses that path, I just don’t think I could fight that way again. Of course, it’s easy to speculate from the crowd.
Family and friends notice when we’re not living up to our potential, but they often fall into the enabler role and things stay the same. Oftentimes, we bring new people into our lives who we know will call us on our shit. Even though the truth is hard to hear and we’ve heard it before, we’re finally ready to do something about it. We find the motivation to make changes and get our work done. I went out with one of the original four guys again because I wanted to see him. He was the third guy I met from the dating site. We played frisbee golf and now I regret complaining about the warm weather lol. He made me take a hard look at myself. I’m not going to give him more credit than he deserves because I’ve done the work, but he said something that struck me – I’m just going through the motions. He’s right. Fear does that to a person, it shuts down all possibility which makes us spectators instead of warriors. We all have wounds to heal. We all need love to survive. After awhile, no more healing happens in isolation, we need relationships. We have to allow ourselves to be imperfect because perfection is not something that God asks of us.
I’ve had three job interviews so far and …… I took the third job!!! During the first interview, which didn’t feel right at all, I realized I don’t need to apologize for what I’ve gone through and how long it has taken me to get back on my feet. Healing takes time, that’s the hard part, but that doesn’t mean I have to be hard on myself. Even God pardons sinners. The second interview went okay. I was offered the job but it didn’t feel right either. I went into two more stores that I was genuinely interested in and asked about my application, but I didn’t get the feeling they were hiring or that I was meant to be there. I decided to stop into the Eddie Bauer store at the Liberty Center, which is seven minutes away, and ask about my application. I love the store and their clothing. I feel comfortable there. It’s more than a brand, it’s a way of life. I support being active and enjoying nature because that’s how our spirits are refreshed and renewed.
What happened next was very interesting. I asked the guy who was working there about the status of my application. He’s actually the store manager and gave me an interview the next day. My mom and I shop there during the day when it isn’t busy and he has helped us several times. He remembered me and my mom. He said he enjoys hiring people who embody what the brand stands for – live your adventure. That’s a lot to live up to, and yet it’s who I have become. Working there will help me to stay on this healthy path. I feel happy to have someone recognize that and give me a chance. He didn’t even have my application. I had to fill out a paper one. After the interview, which felt like I was talking with an old friend, he offered me a part-time job. I took the job! I feel good about my decision. It’s the right speed for me. Yes, I’m somewhat nervous. I look forward to learning the job and getting into a routine. I hope to help the store as much as they are helping me. This is a big step towards regaining my independence, confidence, and normalcy, all of things that I lost.
For awhile now, I’ve wanted to feel more productive in my community. Helping others improves our self-esteem by generating feelings of well-being and satisfaction. The reason health can be so tricky to achieve and maintain is because we have a mind, body and spirit to look after. If we neglect any one of these, which is so easy to do and because they’re interconnected, we’ll feel out of balance. Same goes for dating. It isn’t love that eludes us, we elude love, we stand in our own way, we mess things up because we’re afraid, we’re used to being abandoned by the people who were supposed to love us. That’s why it’s hard to receive love and not be suspicious or worried that it will be taken away. Love doesn’t leave us. Fear leaves us when we love. Fear leaves us when we laugh and play. Fear leaves us when there is a safe place of mutual respect, trust, and kindness.
I’m sure some of you are waiting for some tasty tidbits from my dating life of which I have none to offer. I haven’t gone out with any new guys. I decided to put my energy into finding a job. That isn’t to say I’m done with dating, I just haven’t started up again. I have been back on the site. I’ve gotten a few messages some of which have potential. Although, I’d like to lower the challenge number because meeting 11 more guys seems like a lot. Or maybe I need to break it down into smaller chunks and meet 2-4 guys in the next two months. I want to be realistic and not go overboard while pushing myself to get out there. My friend, Christen, who gave me the idea, after hearing how well my first four dates went, knows me very well and wants the best for me. I’m glad she cares. Writing and working are safe activities for me because I’m in my head, yet they don’t get me the companionship my body craves. I think I’ve mastered the art of being single! There’s no shame in needing someone. Maybe the strongest thing I can do now is learn how to trust someone again.
The holiday season can be a very busy and hectic time. I should be more excited about dating and make good use of this opportunity to learn about myself. I still like one of the original four guys and even though we had rocky start, I feel blessed to know him. He makes me laugh. There’s a depth to him that matches my depth. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I know better than to put my cards on the table. Let’s just say, I feel like I’m the Bachelorette and I’ve already chosen my favorite lol. I’m going to follow my heart. What else can I do? I also realize the importance of not putting all of my eggs into one basket. Even though I enjoy being alone and have plenty to occupy my time, I wonder if I could share my life with someone down the road. I’m the type who wants a relationship, yet I don’t give a lot of chances and I’m quick to dismiss guys when I don’t feel a connection with them. I have trouble letting people love me. Dating is hard work. I keep forgetting that it could be a fun experience.
I need to give myself credit for how far I’ve come while encouraging myself to do more. It isn’t about dating a certain number of guys, those are just guidelines to get me to see the bigger picture. Life is too precious, like my sweet baby niece, Mary, to waste it on self-doubt or negativity. I need to quit disrespecting God with my bad attitude and inability to let go of the past. I can trust where this path is taking me and I’m smart enough to know when it’s leading my astray. The best thing we can offer someone is friendship that’s the foundation, the bowl filled with ice cream. Passion is an added bonus, the whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Having the whole damn sundae is the holy grail. I won’t settle for less. I can’t settle for less. It’s what we all deserve, love that knocks us off our feet in awe and surrender and gratitude that there can be something so beautiful and amazing in this fucked up world, if only we can hold it gently and carefully. That’s why we’re here, one of the many reasons, to love like we’ve never been hurt and live like we’ve never been lost.
Have a great week,