Of maxi dresses and intrinsic value

This may sound like another self deprecating post, but bear with me.

First, thank you to my friends who kindly listened to the tempter tantrum I threw on Friday. Like the kicking, screaming, crying temper tantrum that one would expect from a five year old. I got myself all worked up over how I’m literally the only one in my social group who isn’t married. All of my female friends are married and have been for at least 2 years. I I hear the same compliments and encouragement over and over again. I’m smart, funny, pretty, and someone you just generally want to be around. As my BFF put it, to know me is to love me. My knee jerk reaction? They’re just being nice. Clearly all of that, if it’s even true, isn’t enough. Normal boys aren’t interested in me, so I need to change something about myself to be more desirable.

After I calmed down, I asked myself the very simple question that I’m pretty sure I need to write in big letters on my mirror or on a sticky note on my computer or some place where I’ll be reminded of it regularly.

Why am I basing my value as a person on a boy?

I pride myself on keeping a group of friends who don’t bullshit me. I am of above average intelligence. I’m very good at making people laugh, provided they understand my sense of humor. Attractiveness is highly subjective, but for argument’s sake, I’m of average attractiveness. I pride myself most on my loyalty. I’m the kind of friend who if you call me at 2 in the morning, clearly it’s important. I might grumble a little as I wake up, but I’m not going to ignore the call. My friend needs me and I’m going to be there. They wouldn’t be telling me all of the above if they didn’t mean it.

I’m worth something as a person independent of those around me. Yes, I feel left out. Yes, it sucks to make the inevitable comparison to my friends, then wonder where I fell short. It’s human to compare yourself to others. As loathe as I am to admit it, I’m human. For all I know, they compare themselves to me and think “You know, she’s got a pretty good gig going on”. I don’t need to pretend to be someone I’m not just to say I’m in a relationship. Sooner or later, who I really am would come out anyway. I’m a pretty damn awesome chick and if boys can’t see that, their loss.

Tomorrow morning, I’m getting back to doing things for myself. Funnily enough, it fell on the first day of the month. I reactivated my ClassPass membership & I’m getting back into that. I think part of why I gave up the early morning workouts is because it was so fucking cold. Now that it’s a decent temperature in the morning, I think it’ll be a lot easier to get out of bed. Then I have my workout done by 7a & feel accomplished before I even get to work. I haven’t been getting enough exercise & I know it’s very important for my mental health. I’m setting a weekly goal of one thing to add in my diet & one thing to remove. This week is remove soda and add green smoothies. I can store my NutriBullet at work along with frozen fruit. They get a little pissy about filling up the fridges at work, but no one cares about the freezers. It was the totally obvious solution that didn’t occur to me until last week. I love it when that happens. My goal is to build on the dietary cleaning. For example, I remove soda this week, then I remove candy along with soda the following week. I’ll add green smoothies this week, then add more lean protein the week after that. I’ll cap out eventually as I run out of ideas. I’ve learned from past experience that removing too much at once leads to bingeing later on. I’m not a big sweet eater, but when the mood strikes, I’ll have higher quality sweets on hand. There’s a Trader Joe’s about 15 minutes from the house & they have tons of healthy snacking options. This isn’t about slimming down or toning up so I’m more attractive for a boy. It’s about taking care of my body because it’s the only one I’ve got. I’ve spent too long not respecting it by dumping crap in & then just sitting around.

So there you have it, beloved readers, my Sunday morning musings. I hope that everyone has a lovely rest of the weekend & I will report back with the success of my early morning exercise escapades.

XOXO!

P.S. I’m pretty sure my mood vastly improved when I rebuilt my basic summer wardrobe of maxi dresses, maxi skirts, and sandals. Who knew not having your crotch pinched improved your mood? 😉

Of very nice guys and please stop screaming

This entry is incredibly difficult for me to write. It’s not very triggering (at least I don’t think so), but I won’t be offended if you need to stop.

I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. I was going to have to tell a potential romantic interest what happened to me and how it might have an impact things going forward. I just didn’t think it would be this “sooner”.

I don’t remember exactly how much detail, or not, I’ve put in here. So here’s the crash course. I went on a date 2 weeks ago with Very Nice Guy. We’d been chatting for a few weeks online & over text and decided to finally meet. The tattoos came up in conversation, as they do. Instead of dodging the question, I asked him if he wanted to really know what they meant or the bullshit answer I usually give to people. He asked for the truth. I made sure he was ready to hear something unpleasant, then told him they were my self injury scars. I gave him a two sentence explanation about where they came from. This was all of an hour after we met face to face. We ended the date with a hug because it was more than a handshake, but less than a kiss. It was also 3 in the morning. That’s another story for another time.

This past weekend was Date #2. He’d been feeling sick, but felt up to going out anyway. As with last time, we ended with a hug. I told him (half joking) that if he’d been sick I didn’t want to kiss him. Awkward, party of 2. I told him later that I felt like I’d really flubbed it. He agreed that it was awkward, but I hadn’t totally screwed it up. He told me that he wanted to make a move, but he wasn’t sure what to do given what I’d told him. After thinking about it, I told him that I’d need him to be patient with me and err on the side of explicit communication (“You put your left foot in, you take your left foot out…”). He said that was fine and left it at that. While there is no official Date #3, it would appear that’s where this is going.

With all that in mind, Hailey started SCREAMING.

“What do you think you’re doing?! You can’t let him touch you! He’s lying! He’ll go too far and you won’t stop him! You can’t stop him! You’re such a slut, you’ll just let him do whatever he wants!”

No, I won’t. I know how wildly unhealthy it would be for me to revert back to judging myself based on who will sleep with me. I could easily undo months of progress. I don’t want that. While sometimes it can be hard to remember something like that in the heat of the moment, I know if I say “stop”, that will be respected. No, not all men. I am worth, and deserve, more than just who will sleep with me.

It kind of felt like having a giant scab ripped off my chest. It’s not a theory any more. I said it out loud. That made it real. I really told someone what happened and he really listened. It was absolutely terrifying. I think I would have been less anxious trying to jump out of a plane. Even if he drops off the face of the earth tomorrow and I never speak to him again, I survived the first time. I did it. In spite of Hailey’s incessant screaming, it’s done. The next time will be a tiny bit easier. I would like to think there won’t be too many more “next times”, but that’s another blog post in and of itself.

Now I’ve put it out there for you, faithful readers. Now it’s real for you, too. I promise I’ll put a funny / uplifting / ridiculous post up here soon. Pinky promise.

XOXO!

Of identity crises and I’ll laugh about this someday

Last week, I finally made the decision to give up dance for good. I went to class last Monday and before class was even over, my knee was screaming at me. It’s not just the patellofemoral pain, it’s also the leg with the poorly healed groin injury, and the side with the formerly pinched sciatic nerve. In short, it’s a hot mess. I’ve been told multiple times that I need to find some other option for exercise. This time, I finally decided to listen. I did the movie cliche of getting in the shower and crying once I’d decided it was time. I felt like I’d lost who I am once and for all. I promised myself when I extracted myself from Will that I wouldn’t give it up again. I wouldn’t let someone take it away from me. It’s the last shred of who I was before. It’s the last shred of the girl who got lost that day.

I find myself, once again, with an identity crisis. I gave up dance for the betterment of my own health. It wasn’t taken from me. I know I’m doing the right thing. That doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’ve gone back to my cave analogy. I find myself sitting outside the cave, not sure how to get back down there. I’m not even sure what’s down there to see.

I had an honest conversation with my friend who has morphed into this odd mix of big brother, dad, & friend. I’ve kept him actively involved in my adventures in online dating both for his take on the situations and entertainment. I asked him what drew him to me in the first place. He told me that he remembered seeing a picture of me he thought was cool & decided to start talking to me. As he got to know me better, he appreciated my wit & (funnily enough) maturity that he didn’t see in people his own age. In the past 6 years, we’ve come and gone in the other one’s world, some times less fucked up than others. True friends, he said, always stick around. He loves me and doesn’t want to see me get hurt because I lost sight of the fact that I’m worth more than who will sleep with me. That, unfortunately, is a nasty side effect of not having a solid grip on who you are. Fortunately, I have his voice in my head (and his texts on my phone) to remind me.

“Dancer” is really just an adjective. It’s not the core of my personality. I was rather fond of that adjective. I’m sorry to see it become part of my past rather than still in my present. I like to think that this will leave space for something, or someone, to fill the gap.

I am not a victim of life. I’m an active participant. I’ll just keep repeating that until I believe it.

XOXO!