Sunday, October 21, 2012

It’s Not Me – It’s You

Dr. Head blew up my mind this week when she laid down this little nugget of information, mean people DO make you feel badly and nice people DO make you feel good – cause that’s how relationships work, your emotions are effected by others’ actions and  words.  What the What, Dr. Head? What about all that mumbo jumbo that is spewed about  - don’t let others dictate your moods, it's not others' responsibility to make you happy, be strong and pull yourself up by your boot straps?  Isn't it my responsibility to build up immunity to others' nastiness? Isn't it me who should adjust to their behavior and take responsibility for my apparent emotional weakness?

As I unraveled the details of dating Mr. Woods, trying not to sound like a brainless tween in full gushing mode, Dr. Head sat quietly (as she does) listening as I spiraled through my litany  of justifications as to why I KNEW I shouldn’t be happy. I admitted that I knew better than to use Mr. Wood’s sweet kindness to cure me of my gloom and that I knew it was wrong to soothe my battered self esteem with the warmth from his tender touch, blah blah blah… As I paused to inhale and conjure more intellectual rationalizations Dr. Head interjected her insight, enabling me to see a new truth, the truth that assholes in my life ARE to blame for making me sad when they project their assholeness onto me, and if someone makes me happy then Hooray celebrate it, don’t poo poo it and devalue my gleefulness as an “easy fix”.  After she said it, it all seemed so simple, so logical, and my eyes welled up releasing heavy wet tears as the weight of full control over my emotional responsibility floated out of my body. 

So here I am accepting my cheery disposition and not concerning myself as to who is doing the heavy lifting to get me there. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s a whole bunch of people who are in my life, maybe it’s a yummy combo of both, but it really doesn’t matter ….. and so continues my new practice of just letting go and enjoying the ride.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Loosening the Reins

During the past two months of talking with Dr. Head she has mostly confirmed what I already knew but what I didn’t know is that it’s Ok to just let things ride. Sit back, disengage and maybe just maybe things / people won’t fall to pieces, and if they do, well then that’s what happens. It’s such a new way to live, so utterly freeing and remarkably stress reducing. From the outside it may sound selfish or even a bit assholery (I do struggle with that a little, the fine line between self renewal and being a dick, but it’s a process), but the lightness that has flowed into me after feeling so weighed down and overwhelmed is worth any small grain of guilt that still bubbles to the surface. Last week Dr. Head even admitted through her usually well fortified shield of non-emotional attachment to me that, “I don’t know if it is an emotional or chemical change but in talking with you, you have a genuine happiness.” and she grinned widely. YES, Dr. Head, the ME is returning…. poco a poco.

I ascribe this return to ME not only to Dr. Head’s gentle assistance (and my work) but also to a week that was filled with a heaping load of good times with good friends and the return of Mr. Woods. My week of drinks and food, laughs, hugs, fortifying emails and bracing face book comments was perfection, and not a tear was shed. Emotions appear to be equaling out and I can once again enjoy the warm love and support that flows in my direction without weeping at a midtown deli counter.

The return of Mr. Woods initially brought a sense of unrest, confusion and a general feeling of WTF is going on??!! (see last post). As our third date approached my mounting assumptions that our little “thing” was dead in the water increased to such a degree that I was exchanging emails with a new suitor on OkCupid just 10 minutes before Mr. Woods’ arrival. However, much to my surprise, a little real life face to face time combined with his charm and a boat load of unsolicited apologies alleviated all (ok most) of my internal freak out. Our evening was delightful and within a few hours I was looking into his deep brown eyes stating, “I don’t want to go on any more first dates, I only want to date you.” to which he answered, “You don’t have to, I want that too.” Sure label me a fool for falling, showing all my cards, allowing Mr. Woods’ charm to satiate my logical feelings of doubt, or whatever, but what is my other choice? Stay guarded and untrusting? Just like Dr. Head suggested, sit back and enjoy the ride and if shit falls apart, then that’s what happens. So that’s what I’m trying to do, not holding on tightly, not trying to figure out where this will go, or if it will go. I will accept Mr. Woods’ words as the truth and try NOT to devalue everything my ears hear and my body feels.

30 seconds after Mr. Woods left my apartment I deleted my OkCupid profile and for the first time since 1999 I am not actively engaged in the hunt for a first date. It’s new and scary but this text from Mr. Woods quieted my internal vampire screams of “He’s using you, it’s all a lie! Don’t fall for it! You are too exposed!”:

“I'm still on a high from the other did I go a month without seeing you?!”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It’s A Fine Line

For decades I have desperately attempted to navigate the razor’s edge between being optimistic, laid back, open and accepting AND fully delusional when it comes to the mystery that is man. I read blogs written by men and women about men and women, thinking that maybe I’ll get some insight, some clues as to how to happily traverse the bizarre world that is adult dating but I’m always left feeling….. ummmm am I missing something?

Over the past 30 days Mr. Woods and I enjoyed a fun sporadic email exchange, some raunchy, some not, while he was overseas on business.  We casually discussed things that we would like to do upon his return to NYC and both acknowledged that we were excited to reunite and continue seeing each other.  Well Mr. Woods has returned from abroad, resides in my city, works just blocks from office, and is.... umm Mr. Woods, hello? Hello Mr. Woods, you there?

 Since Monday I have been receiving random emails that state things like, 
“Hey what’s new with you? Been really busy here.”,
“What’s going on? I’ve been slammed at work.” ,
“What are you up to? I’m still trying to get back into the fast city pace, so much to catch up on.” 
and usually end with “Hey I can’t wait to see you!” Well Mr. Woods it’s actually REALLY easy to see me just exit your office turn left and walk six blocks – ta da there I am! While in Z├╝rich he suggested that we meet for lunch since we worked so close to each other and it would be a nice mid-day break to meet up…. Ohhh sweetness. But now I feel like reaching through my gmail screen grabbing his throat and screaming out JUST ASK ME OUT MOTHER FUCKER – I am here, RIGHT HERE you know I’m interested and we are in the same city so we can STOP emailing and just see each other! But what I end up writing is (cause I’m trying to restrict my downward spiral into crazytown), “Hi Ya! Everything is great,  (blah blah blah), got a new hair cut, (blah blah blah…). (Insert something funny.) Then close with – “Catch up on that work quickly so that we can hang out.” Or  “So looking to forward to seeing you too, hope you’ve gotten over your jet lag.” or “I can’t wait to see you too, good thing you made it back for Octoberfest.” – yeah, I’ll write ANYTHING to let him know that 1 – I’m cool and not needy  and 2 – YES I WANT TO SEE YOU, really I do, seriously, in the real world, you name the date and time and I will be there. However instead of receiving romantic date info what I get is another Mr. Woods email stating, “That sounds great, we should do that!” or “Would love to see your new hair cut!”….. ughhhh not “should” or “would” – just DO it, or not, don’t do it, that’s Ok too. If I never see Mr. Woods again that’s cool too but this in the middle shit is lame ass.  
And because I am a women who never wants to be labeled as “that crazy bitch”  - cause maybe he does really want to see me but his schedule is tight right now  - I feel that I have to remain open and enthusiastic to these ridiculous electronic missives while continuing to reinforce in clear language (so that I’m not accused of forcing men to read my mind) that I am romantically interested and DO want to date him. BUT this is the razor’s edge, am I being confidently optimistic while accepting his time limitations or am I escaping the reality that he’s just not into me (which is fine) but how does one know without being perceived as a clingy psycho chick?

Oh and side note you would think I would get extra points since Mr. Woods KNOWS (from our past two dates) that if he takes me out I’m a sure thing. And not just a “sure” thing, but a kick ass fun time sure thing. Seriously I’m a chick who drinks fancy beer with the sex drive of a 16 year old gay boy who doesn’t want to be married and lives alone with no kids; this should be a no brainer Mr. Woods. Get on it!