Making Myself Better Challenge… Day 8 and a vulnerable talk about vulnerability. (Long post warning)

1. No complaining. Think of one good thing that happened.
2. No spending money on unnecessary things
3. Exercise, exercise, exercise. I’ve been so focused on every single day that I’ve changed it to five days a week.
4. Eat healthy five days a week
5. Follow a strict routine during the work week

Today’s Outcome:

1. No complaining – Half check. We’ll see how far that gets me through this post.
2. No spending money – Check.
3. Exercise – Check. I came home from work and was going to nap until my home was empty so instead I threw on my workout clothes and did 45 minutes today.
4. Eat healthy – Everything but dinner. Turns out though that two day old Chinese food sucks so I didn’t eat a lot.
5. Follow a strict routine – Check. Even though I haven’t made it through the night yet.

I’m going to say something that probably sounds like a bad anecdote of a bloggers life but here goes: “You know you’re a blogger when you start to write a post even before you’re sitting at your computer”. This has been going on since last night because as much as I hate to admit it, THE friend is still somewhat my muse.

I’m going to start this story over two decades ago, when THE friend and I were first “introduced” to each other. I’ve said before that I don’t really remember him and I’m sure that’s an equal thought. However, what I remembered is that he was a ladies man. Some would say charming. The truth is, I remembered a older boy, friends with my brother who seemed very sure of himself.

Now, I’m going to fast forward a bit. The first night we’d hung out and out of no where he’d decided to be intimate, afterward I did something that I’d never done. I’d never done this with any of my long term boyfriends and it shocked me that I did this at all. Please hold your shock and awe until after the movie… I laid on his chest. Sounds like it really shouldn’t have been a feat for many women right? But that’s not where I’m comfortable. I remember him saying, “Awe you like to cuddle” in some cute tone except that shocked me back to life and made me realize that that’s not who I was. I’m not THE girl that cuddles with some guy after the first night. That both terrified and perplexed me beyond words. I’d felt so vulnerable that it was almost painful.

So, the intimate parts didn’t last that long but for some reason I still yearned for that closeness of feeling free enough to WANT to do that. That’s my vulnerability. After that had happen, it was just by happenstance that my BFF had sent me a TEDTALKS link that first introduced me to Brene Brown. My BFF had said for years that I needed to watch this thing and I never did but she’d sent it again out of nothing but pure manifested fate from the universe. She spoke about vulnerability as if it wasn’t shameful nor a weakness. It was such a new idea to me even though this was an elementary lesson. From the moment I pressed play I was in tears. Every single thing she’d said made sense and rung so true, again, in a painful way.

Some things that you need to understand is that I didn’t grow up in a home full of love. I grew up with a cold, drunk monster who yelled and screamed and said the worst things to both my brother and I. I grew up with a woman that allowed all this to happen. I grew up knowing that my last vestige of hope had passed when my Grandmother had passed because she was a loving, caring soul. She would have shone me how to be a loving person. She would have taught me better than what I know, even now. But instead my first four years of life were with her in a hospital bed in the middle of my grandfathers home. My first four years of life were seeing the one woman that could have taught me how to be a better person, dying right in front of me.

That’s also where I struggled with religion for so long. She was the only one who would take me to church, before she got too sick. But then she was struck by something that was eating her from the inside out. There she laid, my beautiful Grandmother who’d never done wrong was suffering in such a way that no one’s worst enemy should have to suffer. With her died my emotions, my religion and having the ability to be such a different person.

That’s how’d I’d viewed things for such a long time. Then came the story as to why my father was the way he was which is just sick and even worse than the worst after school special. But I watched all that anger and bitterness, in my father, grow into something that made him a thriving businessman. At home he was a miserable monster because he was never taught how to love, someone that scared me into thinking the worst things a child could ever think but then Dr. Jekyll turned into Mr Hyde and fascinated me in the business world. He was larger than life and memorizing. I could listen to him teach his words of great wisdom for hours and with powerful Al Pacino-like mannerisms. This man came from nothing and made something of his world by way of career.

The best part of what he did is NEVER giving me a thing. From the age of twelve I was working and buying my own toilet paper and tooth paste. I never had a free ride for a thing. I was never given a car, allowance or a big head. Even now, I never hear compliments from his mouth but through a daisy chain of mouths which finally get back to me days, months or sometimes years later. He sees me in him and I think that both makes him proud and scares the shit out of him and there’s a little bit of envy laced in there as well. We have a fucked up family dynamic.

So, he taught me to work like hell for what you want. Don’t show weakness or be vulnerable and if you have to show someone that you care for them buy them something. That’s what I learned. Which brings me to my now. I have had police with guns drawn on me standing in front of me. I have had an FBI agent show up at my bedroom door. I have had ex-football players standing in front of me yelling and all I can do IS NEVER SHOW WEAKNESS. (Those stories are humorous not horrible) Even my BFF says that I don’t show her the sides I view as weakness and it drives he crazy.

This equates to me never crying in front of others. I never say I love you. I never show anyone that I need them. I am never sated emotionally because all of those lessons taught me is that I am more emotionally challenged than anyone that I know. I have never given my true self to a lover and I have never seen what being an emotionally healthy individual is… Until THE friend.

Some days, if you make it through my posts, you might wonder why I choose to stay in something that can only be described as a cluster-fuck at times. Well, I have been more vulnerable than ever before in my life. I’ve grown emotionally and from the moment, that first night, that I rolled over and rested myself on his chest I knew that he was something that I’d never had. That or this was something that I’d never had. So, a lot of my frustration is the fact that he brings out all these emotions in me and because vulnerability equals weakness (in my old mind) I just assumed that he saw me as this little mouse that he could use and walk over and treat like crap. The truth here is that’s what emotions make me feel and not always him.

Now, I’m going to move forward a bit to his birthday last year. This would have been the third year we’d spent his birthday together and I had planned, a month before, an amazing day. We were going to go skydiving, eat at his favorite restaurant (which has become a slight tradition) and I had gone out and put a lot of thought into an actual gift. I wanted so badly to give him something that showed that I cared (because that’s how I show love to someone) but I also wanted it to be something personal. I’d done my research. I’d gone to my friends Catholic church and spoken to a Priest and found this beautiful St. Michael’s pendant (which I’d had blessed by him after I bought it). I’d decided on this because first, I was told he was an arch angel of doctors, which is what THE friend is. Second, I was explained that he defeated fear and brought about courage and some other extremely personal things that I thought he needed in his life.

By the time it came to his birthday he’d already foregone this friendship for something else. I had the option to return this but because of a dream I’d decided that I would keep it. You see, his mother made a lot of appearances in my dreams. They were usually ones where he’d done something wrong and she was saying to forgive him or be patient or something of the sort. But his sister, who’s past, had also made appearances in three of them. This dream happened to be one of them and to save some time I’ll just say that the outcome was for me to keep it for a better time.

I’d felt this better time was yesterday because he’d gotten some great opportunities to advance his life but it wasn’t until lately, over the past month or so that I’d seen this other side of him. Instead of seeing a man that was out for the quick fix of things, instead of this man that was into nothing but chasing women all over the city, I’d seen a man who was stuck as a boy who was so afraid of failure or was so afraid of success that he stayed stagnant. I saw so much fear and realized that here are two people that are so afraid of different things that it’s painful. I saw two people that were only barely honest with each other because of vulnerability. And finally, I saw the reasons why we work together.

Even now as I recall this whole realization I’m tearing up but not because it’s all sad but because we work together. We fit in a way that allows the other person to grow a bit. My strengths are his weaknesses and my weaknesses are his strengths (which he might not even know). It’s the first time that I’ve looked at this whole thing and realized why it’s happening. Maybe why God has given us both this answer to a prayer right now. Maybe we don’t fit together the way I thought we should or how I wanted us to but it doesn’t take away the fact that there’s good stuff here. It might be buried under fear, vulnerability and scars of the past but for right now it’s what works. I can’t say that I’ll stay here forever because I know that as long as we’re in this place I won’t be able to find room for someone that truly loves and cares for me but for now this is what we have, we’ll it’s what I have I guess.

I’d have told him some of that if he had stopped to listen to the explanation for just two minutes. I’m not sure he realizes just how hard that was for me but just how meaningful that was for me to do. I’d like to assume his fear is what caused him to be weird about the gift and less about the fact that he didn’t care about it. That is what I’ll assume because that was my good moment yesterday. I can’t be angry at how he accepted a gift. I can only be happy for knowing why it was given even if he doesn’t.

So that is my long-winded talk tonight. If you want to watch the TEDTALK here’s the link TED Talk – Brene Brown and now I’m finally done for tonight. 🙂

theboardroom

vulnerability-is-our-most-accurate-measurement-of-courage

vulnerability

Fight or Flight… The Fear of Fear.

As much as I’m in to listening to music while driving, I’ve also found a few podcasts that I’ve become a bit addicted to. I talked about one the other day, Abel James (Fat Burning Man) and while listening to that it led me to Dr. Pedram Shojai (The Urban Monk).

Today I was able to listen to two of Dr. Shojai shows and I was destined to listen to these two fully so I drove around, the long way to finish both. The first was “Riding the moon with Stasha”. It explained something that made me have one of those ah-ha moments. The point was about women and how our emotions get the best of us if we don’t understand them. If you EVER have had a rough time during “that time of the month” ladies or you’re a man that just doesn’t understand why your woman can go from sweet to crazy in 6 seconds flat please listen to it. You’ll understand and probably a lot more than you might have wanted. I found it interesting and hopefully helpful.

The second was “Finding confidence and your true voice with Per Bristow”. This one kind of stuck in my head for a while. It had me thinking of all the things that we fear or I fear and what stops me from doing the things that I want to do and why. Another thing we, as humans, all have in common is fear but I suppose it’s how we handle that fear that defines us.

What am I afraid of? I’m afraid of a lot of things. Some of these I’ve voiced before and some I’m not even sure I can articulate.

What am I afraid of…

– That not having a husband or posterity will mean that I am just existing and not living.

– That my BFF will end up in a wheel chair or worse long before we get to make fun of our old selves.

– That I won’t make some difference for the better in this world.

– That any one person will ever know the whole truth of me and not just pieces. This both scares me if it happens and also, strangely, if it doesn’t.

– That I won’t live up to my full potential.

– That someone who knows me will know all my fears.

– That I may never be at peace with all that’s happened in my past.

– That THE friend and I will never get things right and that we’ll lose each other in the process.

– That I’ll lose my GBF because he refuses to take care of himself.

– That I’ll never know what true and content happiness feels like.

– That I’ll never know what being a mother feels like.

– That I’ll never be comfortable in my own skin.

So those are the fears that come to mind and what scares me the most is that some of those are easier to fix than I give them credit for but it’s the fear that stops me. What if the guy from the other night (the kiss) or my ex or someone else is the one I’m supposed to be with and it’s fear that stops me from being with them and not actually the fact that they’re not like THE friend? What if leaving my job, this place and all that I’ve known most of my life is what actually brings me true happiness but I’m too scare to try?

Flying, sky diving or being boldly honest; those are all cake walks compared to my real and true fears in life. What if I wake up one day with regrets? What if I wake up one day and realized that just because something or someone didn’t look or feel the way I assumed they should, what if that was my chance and I effed it up? What if everything that happens doesn’t actually happen for a better reason but is just what it is?

What if I’m too scare to try, or to say something real or to just stop letting emotions get in the way of being truly who I’m supposed to be?

The problem with most of our fears is that trying to deal with them usually makes us awkward or angry. Ever tried to fight with someone who’s feeling insecure or vulnerable? It usually turns way uglier than it should because angry is a go-to response.

What if, for just that moment that you started to feel angry you just took a deep breath, closed your eyes and just said what you were truly feeling? What’s the worst that could happen?

That’s probably the worst phrase in the English language… “What’s the worst that can happen?” Because our fears make it possible that whatever the worst is, does happen. This goes back to expectations. Stop expecting things out of a situation. Enjoy the moments that might get you to where your supposed to go.

Perfect example and I’m guilty of this I’m sure. You’re on a date. You like the person and your immediate thought is how you want the date to end whether it be a kiss, sex or whatever. So you focus on that forgetting to enjoy the moments that will make that possible and when your expectations aren’t met at the end of the night, you get mad or upset and usually at the wrong person. It’s been way too long since I’ve been on an actual true date so my memory might be a bit fuzzy but that’s how I remember things might have gone.

So my million dollar question for tonight is this: “If you could give one super power to everyone in the world for one day, what would it be?” I would make everyone fearless for one day, maybe not all in the same day but I’d like to see what this would allow everyone to do, say or be? That would be interesting.

For just one moment of one day, soon, take a deep breath, close your eyes and be fearless, honest and jump.

To-be-Fearless

When words seem to fail…

There are three phrases in the English language that seem to lose meaning after a while. “Thank you”, “I’m sorry” and “I love you”. Either they’re used too much and love is referred to when speaking of something meaningless like cheeseburgers or they’re used too little or quite possibly too quietly. I tend to under-use all those phrases or mumble them under my breath because sometimes those words aren’t enough to justifiably describe how I’m feeling.

So it turns out that I can be surprised, in a good way. Humans can still shock me a bit, although he’s not a typical human. He’s probably one of the most perplexing, emotionally jumbled, strangely astute and perfectly imperfect humans that I know. Our relationship is both daunting and draining yet emotionally charged and wonderful all in the same breath. Of all the people I’ve known in my life, no one has ever had the impact on my emotional soul like he and it pisses me off!

That’s actually not true, all the time. Sometimes it’s wonderful because these are new ways of thinking or feeling for me. Tonight I am glad to have this blog because usually, in our perplexing existence with each other, after we have an argument or something great that happens I usually end up sending some emotional vomit disguised as a letter or text but as I said before, I’m done with my old ways. Instead of putting it out there for him to see, which makes him roll his eyes and be uncomfortable or knowing that there’s always a great possibility that he’ll never read it because he’s got the attention span of a hamster, I’m putting it out here.

I’m looking around my home today and realizing that this is his way of care, love and thanks. He’s cleaned and rearranged everything, all while cooking dinner last night while I was sleeping feeling like crap. This is the reason why, over the last couple years, that no one else has had this place in my heart. He knows me. More than I’d like to admit. His care and concern comes across like the brutal sting of a rose thorn but with the beauty of the rose. I have to take a minute to let the sting wear off before noticing the beauty sometimes but when I do, I have no words. This is where words fail me.

Saying “Thank you” is lost on so many. It’s an immediate response for little things. And, like saying any word, it looses its meaning. Saying “I’m sorry” but continuing to do the same action that caused the apology makes the apology less than stellar and some what meaningless. Finally, “I love you”. This is probably the most underused phrase in my vocabulary. I use it sparingly because it’s meaning is so powerful to me. I grew up never hearing those words and will probably breath my last breathe without hearing that phrase pass some of my family’s lips and I’m ok with that. But because of that, when I do tell people it’s because I truly do.

So “thank you”. I could throw out this term to him to verbalize my appreciation of his actions but I believe in actions over words. I will offer my thanks in actions, just not sure how yet. The “I’m sorry” that he gives me after he’s upset me, this one is a bit strange. I know why he does and says things and I know that his ways are usually delivered with a sting but I am accepting of this. It’s going to upset me, maybe piss me off or even make me cry. That’s the hardest part for me. Never in my life has someone’s words affected me to the point that it’s made me cry. I’m sure there’s some BS that I could read about that basically says it’s the people that mean the most to you that have the capacity to hurt you the worst but his words aren’t intentionally laced with sharp blades it’s more about the fact that I let those blades cut me. He thinks I have thin skin, which is only true with him. I am an assertive control freak at work, in life, everywhere that he is not with me. But my guard is down with him. I don’t know why and I understand that is a role that he never applied for. His “I’m sorrys” are appreciated but I never want him to walk on egg shells around me, I don’t want him to change and I don’t ask that he be different with me. I think we’re both still learning how to be with each other though. It’s a process.

Lastly, the “I love you”. I’ve never verbally spoken these words to him. The times he’s said it can be counted on more than one hand but again, he’s a bit careless with that phrase. There are so many times when it’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t say it out loud. There’s also many times when I feel the need to just have him touch me. It’s as if he’s so close sitting next to me and all of a sudden, I see this image of me just reaching out and grabbing his hand or kissing his cheek and yet I sit still or just bundle up in my cocoon of safety and move a bit further away. Some days it’s excruciatingly painful to realize that I feel for this guy more than anyone before and sometimes I feel like those feelings are what keeps us from being 100 percent honest with each other. He’s afraid of hurting me and I’m afraid of making him uncomfortable. He’s afraid of giving me the wrong idea and I’m afraid he thinks I have the wrong idea. It seems that we’re both just two kids that are afraid of feeling too much or too little or of hurting or of losing.

I fear that one night on a bit too much to drink one of us will just spill what the other one is thinking or feeling then, like the tube of toothpaste test, we’d never get anything back inside. Maybe that would be a good thing. Some days I feel like we’re two emotionally stunted teenagers, that are dealing with adult situations and emotions. Some days it’s hard but other days it’s nice. Some days I like our bubble we share together and other days it feels like I’m suffocating between a life I want and the life I have. Some days I feel like his angel and other days I feel like he’s my savior. Right now, I’m not sure what I feel but I realize that when I have dated men I’ve never really written about them. When I was dating my ex, I just stopped writing here all together and I stopped talking about my relationships to my friends. My flaw is I shut down. I crawl inside my head and it takes the strength of a thousand men to pull me out.

I don’t always like that I’m so secretive. It’s never intentional and now my friends usually know they’ll get the “I don’t want to talk about it” answer when they ask about my life. I fear that I’d spill everything to him though, for some reason but he chooses not to ask. I’m not sure if it’s because he doesn’t care or because he doesn’t want to know the answer. He doesn’t know about the ex, the proposal or the most of the other stuff. In fact, the only person who does know about that is our mutual friend and I’m still not sure what he said that got me to spill the secrets. I’ve been told on lots of occasions that I need to open myself up. He still knows two of the darkest secrets I have. I don’t know if he realizes that it took a lot for me to confide in him those things. Not sure he even remembers what those secrets were.

None of this matters though. I look around my home tonight and am happy because I know he’s been here but sad because I don’t know when he’ll be back. This is why I make sure all his stuff is gone when he leaves because I don’t like the reminders that I’d let him stay here forever if he needed or wanted to.

I’ve given in to my confused mind tonight and will drift off to sleep soon. Hope you’re having a great week so far. Sorry for the long post.

My Love Will Never Die By: Hozier

When words fail music speaks