The past…

So, you never really shake off your past, huh?

I was out, solo, at a place I tend to know people. It’s good. Homey.

And a guy I’ve loosely known for a few years like… super brought up my past… My most toxic ex.

So that’s fun.

And like .. your past always exists, right?

What feels like literally a lifetime ago (because there were a few nights with this ex I should not have lived through) to me, is like… what this other person links me to.

Also, he thought I was a comedian, because at that time I was dating a magician…. Joke was on me there.

Also, sometimes when I talk about my life, I think people must think I’m making shit up, but nope…

And also again, tequila.

Weird red flag, but hear me out

We have… eclectic muzak at my job. Truth Hurts by Lizzo came on. I’m singing along, because I’m me, and it’s that song.

My somewhat young (mid-20s, which compared to me, feels young) male coworker immediately hopped into this mini rant about how he hates that song. He can’t stand Lizzo.

Not he’s tired of the song, which I personally wouldn’t understand, but I could accept. Not that he doesn’t really like that style of music. No. Hates that song. Doesn’t like her.

What does Lizzo stand for? Radical self-love and acceptance. Wickedly brash and bold confidence. Feeling empowered and fully embodying a take no shit attitude. And I believe she wants to set that example for everyone, but let’s be real, as a female artist, she is going to potentially be seen as a more relatable role model for women. (Though, everyone, literally everyone, could benefit from adopting a What Would Lizzo Do attitude every now and then.)

So… This young man, proclaiming he hates a song, an anthem of power and sass… low-key red flags to me, he maybe doesn’t like powerful, sassy people. If a man is hating on Lizzo, or her message, dude, red flag.

Again, if he said he was sick of the song, I mean.. I personally could listen to that song like… 3 times a day, every day, and I would still be vibing, but okay, I concede it was maybe a little bit overplayed, but that wasn’t his sentiment.

If he said he only listens to insert a non-Lizzo genre, well, that’s low-key a red flag in and of itself. I’m not saying you have to love everything but if you only do one style of anything (food, movies, music, etc.) A.) I’m gonna assume sex with you is real real boring and B.) I’m going to assume you are kind of close minded all around, being so closed off to things outside your comfort zone and again, I personally don’t find either of those options attractive in a partner.

I’m… somewhat particular in my tastes/preferences, though I find them expanding the older I get. But even bands or movies or books I don’t like, I typically hold a mindset of, it’s not for me, but I’m glad it exists for those that do enjoy it. It’s that simple. And extrapolate that out to anything. It’s getting hot outside, non -thin people may be wearing shorts and tank tops, maybe if you were the same size as the person you’re looking at, you wouldn’t wear that, but be happy they are comfortable and trying to keep cool.

Anyway, yeah, if he hates on Lizzo, it’s a no from me, dawg.

Couples.. are y’all alright? (Thoughts on the normalization of toxic relationships)

I’ve been seeing this guy for a little while now. He has a bar that is a second home to him. This is his bar, not mine. But everyone is generally friendly, so relationship aside, I have no reason to not be friendly in turn.. And I’ve even become casual bar friends with a few of the regulars there.

One of the patrons who is normally floating around came up to me the other night when my dude and I were there, and made a comment that kind of caught me off guard. This man, who I’ve chatted with, very casually a few times, said, “It’s nice that he (my dude) lets you mingle.”

What?

Lets me?

Seriously, couples, are y’all okay?

A.) He doesn’t “let me” do anything. That’s insane. Unless I’m like… borrowing his debit card to pay for groceries, I don’t ask him permission. We are both autonomous adults.

B.) How insecure and/or jealous are people to where you wouldn’t want your partner up and about, talking and joking with people? I’ve seen the borderline creepy, anti-social lurker partner type before, I promise, it ain’t cute.

C. ) (And honestly least important because of the two previous points but still worth noting, I think) This is his bar. These are his people. Like… he’d have to be super wonky if he didn’t want me socializing with his social circle.

I’m not sure if I more blame awful situational comedies or “reality” TV for some of the… indoctrination of this mindset.

My guy actually feels more freedom to talk to and compliment women at the bar, if I am there, because then he assumes the other woman takes his interaction more at face value, the thought being he has no ulterior motives, especially in my presence.

I had literally just typed “I understand I am very lucky for having a partner I can trust” but that’s also insane because if you can’t trust them, why the hell are you with them? I’m normal. This is what normal relationships should look like. Trust and respect should be bare minimum kinda things, you know?

My guy has a lot of female friends. He chats with them often. He has a “history” with some of them. I have a lot of guy friends. I’ve messed around with a good number of them. And ya know what, those activities stopped, on both our ends, because we are in a monogamous relationship. (Nothing anti poly here, I promise. I respect it as a hyper valid option for people, it’s just not where I am, currently.)

I so deeply understand that a lot of people have been super mistreated by past partners. Used, possibly abused, were victims of gaslighting and were lied to and cheated on and… I know, honey child, I know. And I know this changes your behaviors, I know it potentially rewires your brain. And it creates patterns of distrust and allowances of things that are unacceptable.

But, not diving anywhere even close to that deep, this like .. just vague acceptance/societal normalization of ownership or possessiveness or thinking that feeling constantly insecure in a relationship is fine… It’s just such bullshit.

Please know I respect boundaries and I ask his opinion on things all the time and I understand compromise is part of being partnered. But this isn’t me agreeing to a restaurant I’m not super stoked on. This is me remaining fully me, just with him by my side. And that will always be my guiding #couplegoal

Find yourself. Then find someone who encourages and celebrates that and helps you amplify that. If the relationship is making you dim your light or change your true essence, fucking run. Even the best relationships with others don’t last eternally and the only truly ride or die you have is you. Never stop you-ing, for anyone, ever. Friend, lover, family member. Please stay you. Improve and learn and grow, but don’t compromise your core, please.

I’ve gone off the rails here. Haven’t written in ages so then it becomes a brain dump. Sorry. I hope you’re being you and you’re accepted and supported in that, truly.

How I Will Get Over You

When things end, I will be okay. I mean, not immediately, but other things have tried to break me before, and to quote Sir Elton John, “I’m still standing” Sometimes unevenly, sometimes with tears in my eyes, sometimes just barely, but I’m still standing.

I will make the best breakup playlist you’ve ever heard. It’ll be the perfect ratio of angry, sad and sexy. I will have that on repeat in my car for a few weeks, probably. I might be sad, but I’ll have a great soundtrack. I’ll be a you oughta know, bringing sexy back, truth hurting, bitch.

I will do the cliche getting under someone to get over someone move. We’ll pray it’s a person who understands the situation and doesn’t get all starry-eyed at me, because that will be the very last thing I’ll want.

I’ll either drink too much, or not at all. Both are weapons in my healing process, dependent upon how/if alcohol factored into my newly re-single status.

I might get another job or two. Go back to my “boss babe” mantra of “better to be busy than broke” I’ll be both for a bit, but the 90 hour work week will be a distraction that people will respect, admire even, unlike the drinking and fucking.

I will throw the most spectacular pity party, featuring fishing for compliments and seeking validation from my friends that I am loveable and you’re just an idiot. This step segues into the occasion super petty post on Facebook, about my ex. People will respond with a “laugh” or “care” emoji, I’ll smirk and continue my day.

When things end, I will be hurt and angry. I’m a badass, but I am a human, a little bit. It will feel like my life is full of moon-less nights, for a little while, at least. A little darker, dimmer, desolate. But, just like the moon, a new phase will occur. It’s a cycle. It’s a process. And with time I will be whole and robust again.

Thoughts on a breakup part 39.5 (or however many times I’ve written on getting dumped)

I got dumped Saturday night at 1am. It’s now Monday at 11am. I’ve done some reflecting and now I need to do some writing.

A – He isn’t a bad guy, he just isn’t a good guy for me. I’m not a failure as a partner, I was just not the right fit for him. We began dating during the pandemic. The world was weird and uncertain and small, closed off, feeling. And in that, we found each other. And it was so good. It was happy and safe and stable when so many things were not. We were home bodies, happily nesting in, because there was no where to go. And then the world started shifting back. Places and people are available. Life is back on, you know? (Not making light of covid, at all here, please know that). And ya know what… he and I are both really good at living our lives, but our lives are just really not good at living with each other and we kind of just now got to really see that under a bright glaring light.

B – I cannot blame him for not liking me (or whatever crazy insecure post break up thought might pop up), when I was not being fully myself, I can only blame myself for that. It’s weird how slowly and subtly someone can shrink themselves. I’m a big lifer. Full ass, remember? And that’s not how everyone conducts themselves, and that’s totally okay, though I’m pretty sure I’m having more fun. BUT, I woke up today 30 some hours after getting dumped and I felt relief. I felt lighter. I have plans with friends. I feel more confident about sticking to personal resolutions. It’s not that the guy stopped me from those things. Just having someone else that was filling space and time in the way our relationship functioned, prevented it a bit. And that’s on me. I think I’m really finally learning how to set boundaries, for future relationships. I will prioritize my life, because that’s what I’m still living when/if that person and I stop working out.

C – It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be okay. Processing and coping and healing can take many shapes and shades. Last time I went through a breakup, it destroyed me. I went off the fucking rails, which ended up with me getting into a terrible car accident and losing my license for a bit. So.. this time, just no. This time I have definitely relied on my friends, who are angels, but I’ve kept myself in check. Let me vent, don’t let me binge. And I see so much growth in how I’m handling things this time and you know what, I’m so fucking proud of me. And that is sort of over riding some of the more negative things that pop up, post breakup.

My life is my responsibility. My choices are my own. My priorities are my decision. I need to take some time and be selfish so that may not allow time or space for a romantic partner and that’s okay. Love yourself.

Celebrate the Streak!

I’ve mentioned on here before about starting to go grey. I’m 36 years old. I’m kind of genuinely surprised I’m still alive. I’ve made bad choices and mistakes and like… yeah, it’s been questionable at times if/ how successfully I was gonna get on. But, I’m still here. And I’m going grey. And it feels like an accomplishment.

I’m not going full on grey. I literally have a lil cluster of maybe 30 strands of white hair coming up over my left eye. I refer to it as my Bride of Frankenstein streak and I genuinely love it. I think our society is finally shifting away from grey shaming. People, more specially women, are starting to feel some more acceptance for natural “aging” hair. For a minute “silver” hair was trendy. Note, it was never called grey, it was called silver, but it was like… the same color so…

I use to dye my hair. Bright black was my shade. It was this gorgeous color that shifted in sunlight from black to blue, like a ravens feather. It was stunning. And sometimes I miss it. How it made my pale skin seem even paler, how good bright colored eye shadow looked. It was a whole mood. But it was work, it was upkeep and maintenance and it was somewhat damaging to my hair. So, I’ve been rocking my natural color for several years now and with that, comes grey.

I think there is a major difference between accepting something and embracing something. I embrace the grey. My feelings may change as I get older and the grey spreads more. I hope not, though. I hope I always wear it with pride. I hope I never feel pressure to conceal my age, or downplay how much life I’ve been able to live. I hope the beauty/physical side of aging is never something I merely tolerate, but that I consciously decide to celebrate.

Happy New Month!

Okay, I admit “Happy New Month” doesn’t flow quite as well as, “Happy New Year” but hear me out.

A.) Why wait until January 1st to make positive changes? I get it. New year, new you. That’s so so so great. But.. like… why not New Month, new you? Fuck it, why not New Day, new you? Like… why wait, why delay, why deny the opportunity to improve or change or grow? I love the drama of the ultimate fresh start, but I got shit to work on, and imma start today. July 1st, baby.

B.) Why do we place less importance on the start of a month, than we do the start of the year? Like.. there are a few calenders floating around out there, January 1st ain’t the be all, end all, in every culture, you know? Some of the other new years don’t even have an exact date, it just depends on the year to when it’s celebrated. Like… this is the only July 1st, 2021 you’re gonna get, ever. That makes it significant, I think.

So, in conclusion (or something…) today is amazing, you are amazing, start new goals on a random Thursday and live your best life every day.

Retroperspective

I ran into an ex of mine the other night. To say the relationship I had with him was toxic is an understatement. We nearly killed ourselves being together. But that was a few years back now. So, I’m at a bar and.. he’s there. We haven’t seen each other for probably a year or so. And I’ve changed. For the better. I’ve worked hard and focused and buckled down and… yeah. I’m not the same person he dated two years ago or bumped into a year ago, even. I think 2020 changed a lot of people, hopefully for the better.

So, he sees me, greets me, hugs, great. I’m having a beer. I did 95 days of full on sobriety a handful of months ago and it changed how/what I drink, again for the better. I am much more in control of my drinking habits now. And that is an amazing, wonderful thing that I’m extraordinarily proud of, because I fought for it and worked at it and it wasn’t always easy, but I’m in a much better place now. He buys a round of shots for the table. I decline. I don’t really do shots anymore. I don’t want to. They typically don’t taste good and I don’t need liquor in me, especially if I’ll be driving.

(Please note, I love alcohol. This is in no way bashing drinking or booze. Right now at the bfs place I have 2 make you own 6 packs of beer I can’t wait to try, and two bottles of wine waiting for me. And I fully plan on enjoying every sip of all of that – minus what I decide to share with him. I bought my favorite brand of rum a few weeks ago to enjoy. I drink. I just drink differently)

I totaled my car and completely rerouted my life a few years ago getting a DUI/OVI. It was a mistake. It was dumb. I’m solely responsible for it. I made bad choices, they had bad consequences. My ex kept bringing it up the other night. He was at the bar I was at the night of my accident. I guess he holds himself responsible. I don’t. He didn’t hold a gun to my head and force me to take those shots that night. He didn’t take my phone from me and deny me access to lyft or uber. I chose to drink to much, I chose to drive that night. That’s all on me and I never have and never will displace any responsibility onto anyone else, ever.

He again pressed for us to do a shot together. I again, politely, declined. He got angry and said I wouldn’t do a shot “because I was scared.” And that so struck me. I didn’t have time to fully unpack it there at the bar, but I’ve been digesting it for a few days now and… no.

No. It’s not that I don’t do shots now because I’m scared. It’s that I use to do shots because I was. I was scared of not drinking enough and being seen as a stick in the mud, of not keeping up, of not being cool. But I, in the most solid way possible, simply do not give a single shit about that, at all, anymore so.. no, I’m not doing shots now simply because I don’t want to.

I think being in control can look like acting out of fear to people who live a very reactionary lifestyle. I choose moderation because it feels better. I love not having hangovers. I love not (thankfully) waking up in time to roll over, vomit on half of my belongings, before passing back out. I love not slamming my car into a tree. I love not stumbling into my house at 4am, disturbing my family on multiple levels. I am not afraid of those things, per se, but especially after 3 months of existing as a complete non-drinker, I actively, mindfully, choose better for myself, regardless of how it appears to others, because I’m not afraid, or even concerned, about what they are thinking.

My post-DUI life has been a lot. Court dates, drunk camp, lots of money. I don’t think fear is stopping me from getting shitfaced and trying to drive home, I think having learned lessons, having gone through it, having put my family through it… it’s not fear, it’s love. I love myself too much now to do that. When I was out 7 nights a week, sleeping 3 hours a day, living off sugar free redbull and liquor… I didn’t love me, at all. And I see that now.

I know this post isn’t clever or funny or profound. But it’s real. And I needed to get it out. I’m glad I ran into my ex. I’m glad he’s the exact same. I’m glad I’m able to have perspective. I’m delighted at seeing my growth. I’m proud of me. (Also, yesterday was my birthday)

The power of word choice

I’ve been struggling. A lot. My body feels like it’s been breaking down. (Lots of muscles freaking out, stomach disturbances, sleep issues, etc.) My mental health plummeted. (The anger and true meanness I’ve been displaying has been ultra gross). And I can blame outside crap all I want but when I kind of reassess these past few weeks that led up to me having to take time off work to recoup and recover, ultimately, it’s on me.

So I need to fix it.

I know I need to fix my habits or daily rituals. But I lowkey hate both of those words. Habits feel like chores. It feels heavy, and boring, maybe because I associate it with a nuns outfit. And rituals feels like buying yoni eggs from Gwyneth Paltrow’s website to shove in my va-jay-jay to remove toxic vibes from my life. (They are real things, look em up if you want). And I’m sorta woo-woo, but not to that level. And I know it sounds silly but, my hatred of those words, makes it harder to be pumped about enforcing and sticking to the idea, you know?

So, with this quandary heavy on my brain, I go to my dictionary app, use the thesaurus part and I search “habit” and “ritual”. And I find it. The word that fits, that hits. Groove. That’s the mindset. So, I’m shifting my daily existence from my habits or my rituals (shudder) to my #grooveofgreatness. I love aliterations. And a groove feels fun and funky and like something I can be excited about.

My groove of greatness is gonna be different from yours. For sure. For me, it’s writing more, it’s reading and learning more, beauty/physical self-care/self-love stuff, it’s hydration and tea. It’s gonna be good. And I’m done with daily to do lists. I don’t want that kinda drudgery. From now on, I’m focusing on my daily Groove Gazette.

So. I encourage you to come up with your own #grooveofgreatness and to get up in your daily Groove Gazette. I also encourage you to see if there is like… some small change, like swapping out a word, that can shift your overall mindset towards a thing or situation. A workout becomes super hero training. A diet becomes a culinary adventure. I don’t know. A task is now a mission. Your shitty job as a third shift waitress is now your metier, which sounds way more boujee. Take a day. Find the leaks in your happiness boat and patch up em using a thesaurus. Words are important, and hold power, and I implore you to weild it like a flaming sword of fabulous living.