Another One Bites the Dust…Or, I Have Hope for Myself, After All

That’s right. I’m back. Back and better than ever! I recently lost about two hundred pounds. Yep. I’ve re-entered the kingdom of Singledom. As it turns out, the one that I thought was “the one” was in fact most certainly not the one for me. I chalk it all up to another bump in the road with the apropos phrase “another one bites the dust”.

The season of renewal and growth is upon us and thus I find this latest occurrence in my personal life rather fitting. I’ve decided it’s time to really focus on investing time in myself and exploring who I am (again. But this time to do it more than a couple/few months). At thirty-one, I figure it’s time to get that figured out…or rather to continue the journey. With my time not invested in someone else, I now have the opportunity to delve deeper into myself; what makes me tick? What makes me happy? And the better question: Why am I not doing what makes me happy? Where do I actually want to live?

I’ve found that when I am in a relationship, a lot of my personal goals go by the wayside; for some reason, I can’t seem to juggle focus very well. Does everyone struggle with this or am I on my own here? I’ve decided to hit the reset button on my priorities and to reassess my goals now that life’s circumstances have changed:

#1 Get back to writing on a regular basis.

#2 Start playing music again. And possibly *gasp* start writing music again. The prospect of which scares the ever-loving shit out of me. Possibly start taking mandolin lessons.

#3 Make a concentrated effort to expand my culinary abilities.

#4 Continue hiking and *trying* to form myself into a shape that is a little less round.

#5 Start thinking seriously about moving. No really. I mean it this time.

#6 Start saving. No really. I mean it this time.

#7 Do not get distracted from any of the above goals.

After I pulled myself together, I realized that I was going to find myself with time that I hadn’t had in several months. After all, I wasn’t going to be commuting to anyone anymore. I was going to have weekends back to myself. I wasn’t going to need to be tied to my phone at night anymore. At first, the thought of breaking all of the above habits was going to be overwhelming. But then something beautiful happened. My mind opened up and I had a moment of clarity; I remembered that there are no rules and I can do what I want with my time. In fact, I can do whatever I want in regard to *all* of my life. There is no rule in stone saying I have to stay in one place or that I must do anything in particular. Those thoughts are liberating in what can be a very scary time of transition. I have hope for myself after all.

Advertisements

Ode to The 24 Most Underrated Parts of Being Single…or I’m Awesome, Who Cares?

Every once in a while, there comes along an article that makes you realize just how good you’ve got it. I stumbled upon this gem The 24 Most Underrated Parts of Being Single a few days ago and it got me to thinking how good singledom really is.
Sure, sure, we all want companionship: someone to love and be loved by us and to share life with. But I have friends who I love and who I share my life with. And really, I’ve been in the dating pool recently and it’s pretty damn shallow; most men I meet are either married liars or can’t meet the basic requirements of holding a valid driver’s license or keeping a job long term. So, rather than mope and cry into my libation, I’m choosing to reread this article numerous times and to rejoice in my freedom.  The article hits some fantastic high points. Some of them were simply so good that they were inspiration for this post and I had to point out my favorites to those lonely nay sayers to prove just how good we’ve got it:
1) You can eat whatever the fuck you want.
How true is this!? If I want to sit down on a Friday night with a bottle of wine or champagne and gorge myself by eating an entire pizza, I can do that and hate myself in the morning. I don’t have to share and I don’t have to be judged. This is called freedom. It’s also called the beginnings of obesity.

6) You can wear embarrassing pajamas all day like a boss.
I’m a huge fan of this one. If I want to walk around the house in my torn-to-hell Rolling Stones t-shirt from 1998 and plaid pajama pants that are ripped at the inseam (to allow maximum ventilation), I can do it. Sure, I look like a total hobo, but that’s the point…I don’t need to look cute for anyone, so looking like a hobo is ok. As long as I don’t leave the house looking like that.

8) No one will judge you for dancing like a moron.
We all do it. We all shake what our mommas gave us and look like mentally challenged patients with absolutely no skills. But here’s the thing: there is no pretense when you’re single. You don’t have to worry about doing this and being labeled the aforementioned mentally challenged patient with zero skills. You can shake it, shake it, just don’t break it…alone or with friends who have the same skill level you do for dancing.

dance

 

 

 

 

 

9) You don’t have to share a bed with some jerk to who hogs the sheets.
I love sleeping alone. I get to take up the entire bed and wrap the blankets entirely around myself. Sleeping alone is the tops: you don’t have to be kept awake by someone else’s weird sleeping habits or snoring.

 

10) You can move at a moment’s notice without fear of any consequences.
I really like the fact that if I choose to move, whether it’s to a town an hour from where I currently am or to another state, it affects no one but me. Throw another person into the mix and things get messy.

 

11) You never have to worry about getting into fights about stupid shit that doesn’t mean anything.
I think we’ve all had those fights. Enough said.

No. Stupid. Fights.

 

14) You don’t have to worry about normal grooming. At.All.
I think one of the biggest pains in the ass about being female is shaving one’s legs. Some people get really obsessive over it and can’t go a day without doing it. Me? I could go all winter and be totally ok with my legs resembling what I imagine Grizzly Adams’ looked like.

15) You can watch whatever the hell you want.
That’s right: no one is there to insult me for watching shows like Ghost Adventures and being all googly-eyed over the muscled and dumb Zac Bagans. I can also watch my favorite movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary without criticism or anything on Lifetime, for that matter.
18) Hideous underpants can be worn freely, because you don’t care who sees your junk.
Yep. If I so choose to wear the huge underpants that are actually marketed to the women significantly older than me, I can without (much) shame because no one is seeing those suckers but me.

hideous underpants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20) You can fart and burp without shame because there is no one to judge you.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. You wouldn’t believe the sounds that come out of women when they’re hanging out with other women that they’ve known for well over a decade. We’d never do that stuff in front of anyone else.

These were my favorites that made me smile a few days ago when I most needed it. They reminded me that while I may not have exactly the kind of relationship that I want, for right now, these little freedoms make this time enjoyable. If you’re single, think about the things that bring you the most joy, and those things that you probably couldn’t do if you were otherwise engaged. I promise that it’ll help you turn that frown upside down when you’re feeling like you’ll never meet someone that not only has a pulse but is well-groomed, has similar interests and that you can actually hold a conversation with.

who cares I'm awesome

The Good Life

Some days end so pleasantly that you feel light and completely content. As I write this, I realize that it is the simplest things that make me happy. Connecting completely with my senses makes me feel like this.
Living in the moment: taking off your shoes and walking barefoot through the grass. Strolling through the garden and seeing tiny green spouts working their way up through the red Virginia dirt: the first signs of life from your labor. Savoring a simple supper outside in the spring sunshine, a light breeze blowing. Sipping a cold, fruity, clean-finish chardonnay; enjoying hot French bread right out of the oven. Savoring the velvety smoothness of a gouda and goat cheese blend and enjoying the biting pepperiness of Italian sausage.

enjoy some of the good life

enjoy some of the good life

Moving with the Breath

Within the last two months or so I decided to start doing yoga again. I haven’t really been doing much in the way of physical activity (actually, I’ve been disgustingly vegetative) for an embarrassing about of time and I remembered how much I enjoyed practicing yoga years ago in classes offered at a couple of different gyms to which I had memberships. I think what made those practices so enjoyable was the instructor; simply put, she was incredible. She had a way of explaining poses and movement that made you fall in love with the art form of yoga. I looked forward to these classes; I enjoyed seeing how far I could push my body and figuring out how I could contort my body without hurting myself. It was definitely an experiment. A sweaty experiment.

Looking back, some of the aspects of these classes that I enjoyed the most were the way all of the poses were explained and how this gifted instructor would go around the room, gently correcting the tilt of her students’ hips or the placement of hands or feet. The slightest adjustment could make all the difference in the world! This particular instructor would walk around the room patiently going from student to student until we all were exhibiting the correct form.

When I decided that it was time to start my personal practice again, I went directly to the source of all information: the internet.  I found a terrific yoga instructor who is almost as good as my first yoga teacher by searching YouTube and found some fantastic zoning-out music on iTunes. After some (okay, a lot) of study of The YouTube Yoga Guru’s (Esther Ekhart) yoga flows and hour long practices three to five days a week, I almost speak fluent Yoga:  Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing Dog, Plank, Sleeping Swan, and my personal favorite Oh Hell That Hurt.

In all seriousness, I’m absolutely infatuated with my yoga practice and the different forms of this ancient exercise. The transformation that occurs during my practice almost feels like magic to me; I come home from work Cranky Mean Lex, completely exhausted from being nice to people all day long (sometimes, you just don’t feel like playing nice, ya know?) and after my hour of zoning out with yoga and Native American flute music (yes, I said it: Native American flute music) I emerge from my room as Yoga Blissed-Out Relaxed Lex. Not every pose feels “natural” or easy (in fact, some are downright challenging and make me sweat) but somehow by the time I’m finished, my neck is relaxed, my shoulders are no longer tense, my back doesn’t feel crunchy anymore and I have a goofy smile on my face. I am transformed.

That hour of “being one” with my yoga mat and my breath turns me into a completely new person. During that time, my mind doesn’t wander to what-if’s and memories and worries about what is to come. I don’t even really have to think; it just happens: I breathe and I move with the rhythm of my breath. It’s just the kind of mental break that someone who constantly worries and thinks ahead needs at the end of the day.

Epiphanies & Self-Realization

Well, it has finally happened. It only took 13 years for it to happen, but it happened.  I’ve had my “AH HA!” moment. You know the moment I’m talking about. It’s the thought that happens out of the blue that makes you realize something huge and life changing.

It all happened because of a date. Not a bad date, but not a knock my socks off date either. Just a date. A date with yet another guy that I met on Match.com. Ah yes, internet dating. I fully intend to delve deep into my (mis)adventures of online dating at another time. I’ll disclose the good, the bad and the worst.

Back to my moment of epiphany. I found myself sitting across from a fellow 11 years older than me. I knew the age difference; my hope was that this one (as opposed to a very long string of guys I’ve been out with in the past three years) would actually have his life together (i.e. good job, steady pay check, and actual interests). It couldn’t have been more than twenty minutes into our first (and last) date that I was sitting across from a man waxing philosophical and romantic and stated (and I swear this is true), “I can’t WAIT to be married again! I can’t WAIT to be in love again. I loved being married.”

That’s when it started. An alarm went off. I’m sure my eyes became as wide as frisbees. I just looked at him and replied, “Really??”    A little light started to glow above my head right then.

While this one claimed to have a good job and while we had okay conversation, “it” simply wasn’t there. I wasn’t feeling it. No chemistry.  After I endured a horrible kiss and hastily accepted another date just to get the guy out of my vehicle, I went home, all the while the little light that started to go off after his remarks at dinner became blazingly bright and my inner voice began screaming. My inner voice repeatedly screeched: “EEEEWWW! I do not want to be married again. I don’t even want to be in love again. And, more importantly, I don’t want any part of a romantic relationship!” I started feeling a sense of panic at the prospect of being lassoed into another’s plans and schedule. I felt constricted and confined. I felt short of breath.

As I was getting ready for bed and I began contemplating the inner voice that loudly went off unexpectedly, I began to smile and my inner voice started again (this time in a much more soothing and less alarmingly loud tone). This time it sounded a little more like this: “Hey you. Yea you, with the face? You are okay. You are actually not only content, but happy with your life as it is. And, you know that ever elusive quest that you have been on since you were 16 for a guy/dude/man so you could “be happy” and “feel fulfilled”? It’s made you self-conscious, neurotic and unhappy. It’s made you unhappy because you are not going to find “happiness” in another person. Nor is another person going to fulfill you. While you were out running around chasing after someone to bring you happiness, you were just taking your path to this moment.” Then, I smiled and I went to sleep.

Now, onto the reason for this blog, or as I will refer to it, My Piece of Cyber Space. This is just part of my quest in further self actualization and self-improvement. I intend to write about things that make me happy: music, books, baking, cooking, wine & cider, gardening, yoga and hiking. I’ll probably misuse punctuation and I’ll finish sentences with prepositions. I hope to improve my writing skills and form a strong writing voice. But, more than anything, I hope to explore my interests, become more informed and record my journey using this space.  I’m so excited to be doing this and I can’t wait to get started!

To anyone who decides to take this journey with me, hang on tight. This is going to be fun.