August 16, 2008

New layers

March 22, 2008

It seems letting everything, (and by everything I mean everyone), go was just what I needed in order to allow myself to realize what it was I really wanted; a feeling I’ve been waiting impatiently to make an appearance for the past two years. The realization did not take long. Well, let me clarify. From the moment I decided to "let it all go," it did not take long for me to realize what I wanted. In turn, when thinking in terms of after the wake of the break up with The Ex, the revelation took significantly long. But that's to be expected, right?

Anyway, with this said revelation I’ve discovered the answers to many of the questions that have been plaguing me. I understand much of what had been going on in my head these past months and have decided that although thus far 2008, (in it’s few short months), has been a year of trials and tribulations, it will also be one of clarity and action.

Although I hate to do it I attribute some of the clarity to Alan. I think he came into my life to smack me awake and make me realize what I’ve been doing to men and my relationships with them. Something no friend or family member had the ability to do. He helped me realize that the feelings of hesitation and fear I had been feeling were not natural and not me. Not the me I usually was. I kept resting on the fact that I had simply changed and this was the new me, the new bitter, cynical, terrified me. I don't want to be that. Yes, I'm changed by the hurt I experienced but not that much. He could see the me I used to be and he wanted it. It was not for him and him not for me, but he made me see how cynical I was being because of my past experience and he made me see that it wasn’t something that should remain permanent. He put me on the road to getting over it and seriously moving on, just not with him. I specifically remember him telling me that you don't just get over the hurt once, you get over it every day. Until the pain is less and you get over it weekly, monthly. It's just not a one time deal. It's something that stays with you.

But it had to be Alan, John could never have had the capacity to see what was going on right in front of his face. He could never have begun to understand why I was acting the way I was but Alan could. And not only could he see it, he put it in my face and I needed that. This was his purpose and he served it. I needed to move on from him and I did. I let him go. I let Brandon go. Letting go sounds so elementary but to me it has always been a big thing. It has always been something that is difficult for me to do. The Valentine’s Day debacle of 2008 (as it will be forever be remembered), put the idea of reigniting anything with The Ex to rest before it was ever able to hurt me. And thank God for the divine intervention that put that silly idea to a swift halt. A true blessing in disguise and The Ex is done (yet again).

With all that on the shelf and me left with me, I was able to think about me and allow myself to develop the space for someone new. It wasn’t something I did it just happened. That realization was a shocker and of course it made me look right to John. Luckily, he came to me before I ever had to go to him…

One text from John, which turned into an entire text-message conversation, made me realize that I was ready, but more importantly, I was ready to be with him. It just hit me while driving as revelations often do, that I was ready. That I missed him and he missed me so what the hell had we been doing. All the “ick” feelings of being in a relationship dissolved just like that. All of a sudden I knew what I wanted and thank God for that feeling. Now it was just a matter of whether or not he would forgive me, believe me, and take me back after all I'd put him through. And he did. He didn’t waste a second coming to talk to me about it and it was just that simple. As it should be I guess. We actually managed to make up, lay out exactly what we both wanted, and arrange seeing each other all via text messaging…up until he showed up at my door, picked me up, and kissed me.

I realize now that all those insecure issues I had when it came to John existed because I was nowhere near ready for a relationship, not one in the magnitude of what he wanted. I was foolish to think I could be in a relationship. Looking back I can see that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if there’s one thing I’ve successfully learned this year it’s that hindsight is most definitely 20/20. I hated it then because this is the type of person I typically am and want to be. I wanted to be that way then. I wanted to WANT to be with him but I couldn’t make myself. I needed the time to go by.

So here we are one month later together. Together and I couldn’t be happier. Everything seems to have fallen into place for the moment. Crazy how it has happened. I just hope it lasts. We’re talking about moving in together when my lease is up…in just four months…we’ll see how it goes. I haven’t told my parents anything about it, but I’m 27 years old, I can make my own decisions.

And that’s just what I decided to do this time around with John. I decided not to care about what anyone would think or say, not to be concerned with it in the least. I know that John is far from perfect and I know he has his issues. He’s a little rough around the edges. But God he makes me happy. I love the way I feel when I’m around him and I’ve loved that feeling since I was 16. When I sit and think about it I get nervous assuming that this may be it. That him and I may just work out for the long run. I’m just sick and tired of games and dating. I’m ready to just settle down and be with someone, for real with someone.

Guess this is as good a segway as any to go ahead and state that here we are a month later and I’m having doubts about his sincerity/commitment/honesty. Typical doubts? Maybe. We all begin to doubt (or so I’d like to think we all do), once the commitment is stated and final. After the initial honeymoon period when you don’t give a shit about anything but being together 24/7, eff the “are we spending too much time together” thoughts, cheesing at each other, talking on the phone until ungodly hours, and having sex two, three times a night and a couple in the morning too, of course. Getting up for breakfast and then getting back into bed. Ah, love it. Yea, after the excitement of all that dies down there seems to be the classic “power struggle.” Who has more power? Who wears the pants? Who’s running things? Ugh, hate that…especially when I start to feel like it’s not me, which I inevitably do when I really like someone and decide I don’t’ want to play that game. If I don’t like them that much I’m happy to strut around in the pants. So I guess it’s possibly that the doubts I’m having are normal fears present at the beginning of any relationship. But in my case, I’d like to think that after The Ex I’m pretty intuitive when it comes to recognizing the red flags of insincerity and I’m afraid I’m starting to see them coming from him. Any other time, having not experienced what I have, I would’ve kept going on blind and happy only to be hit with the actual disappointment much later once it’s impossible to ignore. Since this is not my first rodeo I see subtle changes, the power shift, him strutting around in the pants, and I don’t like it. I’m terrified. Of course voicing the fear only sends me ten steps further down the power stairs…so that’s outta the question.

The extremely frustrating part of all of this is how badly John has wanted to be with me for the past two years. How I’ve worn the pants loyally and faithfully that entire time. Now that I want to be for real and be with him, what he’s said he has wanted more than anything, he’s switching up on me, (possibly).

So I’m fearful that this is the classic “thrill of the chase” scenario gone badly. He wanted me when he thought he couldn’t have me. So of course he wanted me REALLY badly. The fact that he couldn’t have me made him want me all that much more, you know the drill. Well, now that he has me…eh, it’s ok. I hate that. It builds up a certain expectation that is not lived up to.

THEN comes the possibility that I could just still be afraid because of my last experience. I’m so terrified that The Ex is going to happen all over again that I think it is. I think he’s going to do what The Ex did. How do I know if I’ve learned from a past experience so I’m smarter this time and can spot the red flags before they hurt me, or if I’m making the next guy pay for The Exes mistakes?

Let me just refer back to a previous entry from this past January, 2 months ago, when I was just beginning to feel the early stages of “readiness,” only while with the wrong guy….

“Because the truth about me is that though I am cautious, guarded, and hesitant; once I decide to let that go I am incredibly serious and loyal. And whelp, I am certainly that way with every guy because rarely does a guy make the cut. I take pride in preserving that part of myself. My worry, (among many), is that guys go along saying things without anything serious attached to the words, nothing emotionally backing it up. But after holding out I decide to give in only to find that while I’m feeling something real they have what they tried so hard for which they no longer want it. They were consumed in the chase, the mystery of me. And didn’t realize that once they broke my walls down all that is left is me.

Maybe it’s because I’m such a mystery and so hard to read that they guys just want to crack my code.

Either way, I have yet to open up. I still have myself in tact. He’s knocking on that wall (sometimes kicking it). I can see myself taking it down; I feel it coming. I feel that I am falling for him. I feel that I’m about to throw all caution to the wind. The cynicism that has recently taken up residence within me this past year is subsiding. The softhearted, trusting romantic is beginning to return and she just doesn’t want to get burned again. Not after the last wild fire that took so long to put out.

Crazy how I just woke up one day and everything had changed. I have to say, I am grateful for the change. I missed the romantic part of myself.

So now I just have some ghosts from the past to work through. I’ll do that. I will.

I just feel like I’m ready. Where love, couples, and all things mushy took a back seat in my mind and world for so long, I’m finally open to the idea of it—with him.”

“When you're young, your whole life is about the pursuit of fun. Then, you grow up and learn to be cautious. You could break a bone or a heart. You look before you leap and sometimes you don't leap at all because there's not always someone there to catch you. And in life, there's no safety net. When did it stop being fun and start being scary?”

-Sex and the City

I go back and forth between feeling like I’m overacting and being stupid, to feeling like I need to do something before it’s too late and I wind up back in the same situation I previously was in. I just can’t stand this feeling and I don’t know what to do about it. This is precisely why I sometimes feel as though it’s better to be alone, because at least I don’t have to deal with these feelings of disappointment and possible paranoia. I decide how I feel all the time and it’s usually pretty good. I dictate my mood at all times and no one else has a say. When I’m not in a relationship all I have are people in my life who want me in one with them. I mean, the past two weekends we’ve already gone without seeing each other on two separate nights (last weekend Fri this weekend Sat), and he hasn’t cared. This being the same guy who got upset when I didn't want to see him during the week as well as on the weekends. This being the same guy who specifically asked me in the beginning of all of this if we could see each other during the week and I said, yes, of course we can. And we did for a minute there, but now we don’t. And not only do we not see each other during the week, we actually go weekend nights without seeing each other and he is OK with it! WTF? Tell me that is not a change…please. Seriously.

I am a strong believer in sex being the barometer of a relationship and last night when at his house, he had me do ALL the work both times that we did it. Given, I’m ok with taking the reigns once in a while. But again, I know John. John likes to do his thing and make me feel good. He didn’t seem concerned in putting it on me at all last night. As if he doesn’t need to anymore. Ugh.

I guess I just thought that I wouldn’t have to go through this stuff with him. He put everything out there all the time and I thought we were going to avoid playing these games. I thought we were being up front and for real to each other, that we were going to be on the same team all the time. I should’ve known that men and women could never be that way all the time no matter what they may say. And I should definitely know better than to think that John is going to go through with something that he says he will.

Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe all of this is nothing. But this going noted. I am documenting the fact that I feel this way when I did and I’m not going to forget it. I am going into this with my eyes open and my head clear. I am not going to allow things to cloud over like I did in the past. I am going to use what I learned that’s for damn sure. In addition, what I’m regretfully going to do is start playing the game, the power tug of war. I am going to make myself not incredibly available, make him work for it. I was prepared to throw all of that out of the window, but John hasn’t done this before. He might not be tired of it the way that I am. I guess I can’t blame him for strutting in the pants considering he had been skirting it with me for quite some time. So fine, he has had his moment. But if we’re gonna do this, and someone is going to wear the pants, well then it’s going to be me damn it. Cause shit, I’m good at the game.

I tell ya, hindsight may definitely be 20/20 and I’m a regular Dr. Phil after the fact in deciphering why I felt the way I felt and did what I did…but sometimes I’d give anything to know while in the moment. Anything.

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