That moment when you feel SEEN

Today’s post will be a bit short – but there’s something I’ve been mulling on for a couple of days and I thought I’d share it with y’all. There is something so intoxicating about feeling seen and heard. When someone you’re trying to connect with not only connects with you -but truly sees you – for all your messy glory. Isn’t that exactly what we all strive for? Whether it’s in dating, with friends, with family – even with coworkers. Connecting with others doesn’t matter if they don’t see you for who you are.

This happened to me recently and it put me in a spin – the good kind. ūüôā Granted, this person also called me out in some of my truths. And that’s not always super comfortable. They called me out for being a lonely person. And at first – my reaction was horror. You SAW that?! I don’t want anyone to see or recognize that. That’s supposed to be a secret!! But then I had to think about it some more… why is my reaction to a statement of truth embarrassment or shame?

I supposed we’ve all been there tho. You know that moment I’m talking about. When you realize that perhaps you’ve been misunderstood. When perhaps the people you needed to really KNOW you – show that maybe they don’t fully understand you… And your heart squeezes in longing. A longing to connect at a different depth. To be understood. To be seen and welcomed and accepted and dare I say, even loved.

It’s not shameful to have only a select few people who know and see me for who I really am. Besides- who said we were going for quantity here? It’s all about the quality baby!! ūüôā I keep telling myself that I AM accepted. I AM welcomed and loved by many – but I also recognize that so very few actually know me at any real depth. The very few people who know me at my core and love me for who I am are wonderful amazing people who I am grateful that I have. That said – I think the shock was in realizing that someone else could pick up on the fact that I’ve been wishing to add a few more to what I lovingly refer to as “My tribe”.

Feeling seen… and validated … does something else too. It empowers a person to feel more confident in continuing to be who they are. Maybe this is what the world lacks these days – people are so busy either trying to show the world who they are that they don’t take a moment to see the person standing in front of them. Or worse – people only see a piece and assume it paints the whole picture.

I think that’s all I’ve wanted, for most of my life, in fact. For someone to see me – at my core -and still care about me and love me enough to want to stick. The only one who’s done that up to this point – is me. And that’s ok too. ūüôā

So to you – my readers – I ask – who have you spent time to SEE today? Who do you feel seen by?

Talk soon neverland.

Expectations, Anxieties & Getting Older

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My friend M would be proud that I’ve decided to write about this.¬† It’s a topic he’s bringing up to me on a regular basis and really, I’ve yet to talk about it much here.¬† The art of managing your own expectations.¬† According to M, expectations lead to unhealthy behaviors; and ultimately, he’s not wrong.¬† But, life experience, years of instincts, science in general, and being good observers has taught us all to expect certain behaviors or outcomes.¬† So I often say it’s a losing battle.¬† In fact, I often tell him that he’s silly for thinking he can even obtain that goal.¬† But today – I can’t help but wonder if he’s right.¬† We all build up expectations in our heads.¬† How we think someone should react or how we think something should go.¬† Perhaps he’s right – the act of having those expectations in our minds only serves the purpose of disappointing us when things go differently than we’d hoped or anticipated?

I have, on a number of occasions in my life, been disappointed by my expectations going wonky.¬† Sometimes, it’s when I don’t speak my own needs what I’m thinking and then come to find out that I’m on a different page from someone else.¬† Sometimes it’s when I think I’ll get a certain reaction about something, and find I’m seeing the opposite.¬† Either way, I end up disappointed.

So who’s fault is that?¬† Mine.¬† Because somehow, somewhere, I took a misstep and either failed to communicate, or failed to listen.¬† That actually could be the key there, that second bit.¬† Listening.¬† How often do we really listen to what someone else is saying.¬† So often, we’re only “listening” in order to wait for our turn to speak again.¬† How often can we really say that we listen with the intent to actually HEAR what someone else has to say?¬† To actually put ourselves in their shoes and understand what they are trying to tell us?¬† I’d say it’s not very often at all.

I found myself struggling a little tonight, with my expectations of someone else.¬† Someone I care deeply for.¬† But I think what I’m coming to process is that my disappointment over their lack of reaction is on me.¬† I had an expectation that perhaps I didn’t even know that I had… and when they gave me their honest reaction.

It’ll be ok.¬† It’s always ok.

What’s interesting tho… what triggered me to write this out, is that my anxiety went up as I sat and processed all of this.¬† As I tried to contain my disappointment and frustration and simply try and understand.¬† I’m still struggling a little.¬† Not because I don’t understand their point of view – I actually do.¬† But because regardless of my level of understanding – it means caving on something that I’m not sure I want to cave on.¬† It means lowering my own expectations – whether I knew they were there originally or not, and compromising.¬† And perhaps, on this, I don’t want to compromise.

Funny, my brother and I were talking about anxiety today.¬† He called me on my way home and was telling me how surprising it is to him that as he gets older, his anxiety gets more pronounced.¬† He started out in his younger years with little to no anxiety – and now that he’s in his 40’s, he’s finding that he actually struggles with it at times.

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It made me feel better somehow.¬† I don’t remember being an anxious child or teenager.¬† Heck, I’m not even sure I’d have said I was anxious in my twenties.¬† It’s only been as I’ve gotten older that I’ve recognized my own anxieties for what they are.¬† They are of course, manageable.¬† No one would likely even know that I have them.¬† But I do.¬† They are with me always.¬† Not sure I’m comforted by that.

Well neverland, thanks for letting me spit this out and process it.¬† I’m not sure I’ve figured it all out yet, but I’m getting there.¬† Yay for that.¬† Although, in truth, I’mnot sure I ever really will.¬† Goodnight Neverland.¬† Dream sweet when you get there.

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Frustration, moods, effort, relationships and birthdays

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I’m in a mood today. ¬†And I can’t quite even put my finger on what that mood actually is. I’m frustrated, and antsy, I’m contemplative… really – what it comes down to – I’m craving attention. ¬†A sincere, adult, no ulterior motives, genuine connection with someone. I don’t know… Ever since I decided to take a long ass break away from the dating scene – I’ve discovered that I go through phases. ¬†Sometimes, I’m perfectly content with my social life. ¬†I have a lot of amazing friendships that I cherish and adore. ¬†I get out, I’m also quite busy as a mom and an employee and business owner. ¬†But sometimes… I crave something different. ¬†A real connection with someone, at more than just a surface-deep level. Sometimes I’ll meet someone and think – ooh! There’s something here! ¬†And the moment I give into it, is often the moment they decide they have far more important things to be spending their time on. ¬†Or… they’ll tell me that they are interested in pursuing something with me, but then the communication will lag in such a way that I have no choice but to believe otherwise. ¬†It always seems to be hot or cold for me. ¬†When I DO find someone who’s wanting to put in the effort.. there always seems to be a catch or some very serious red flags. ¬†Perhaps they are an alcoholic, or just got out of a relationship a few months back, or are deep in the throes of working through something serious, like depression or PTSD from American politics and can’t seem to figure out how to move forward from it. ¬† It’s enough to make a woman think she should just stick to being alone. ¬†Maybe the dating world has changed in a way I didn’t expect. ¬†Perhaps the concept of putting in a consistent effort on someone is outdated.

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Effort. ¬†Have we all just become lazy? ¬†Do people not feel like they need to put effort into building and maintaining their relationships anymore? ¬†And I’m not talking about just love relationships here, friendships too. ¬†It was my mentor, who maybe 4 years ago, told me that in order to really network from a business/career standpoint, that any relationships you make, have to be maintained. ¬†Like my garden. ¬†If I neglect those relationships, they’ll go stale. ¬†When a relationship goes stale, it takes even MORE effort to attempt to jump start them. ¬†Her standpoint was that it took less effort to maintain than it did to try and go back and repair them. ¬†I think I took this viewpoint to heart… with all of my relationships. ¬†I’m not saying I’m perfect here… as life happens and sometimes you just have to ride the wave that you’re on and let cards fall where they may. ¬†But it was this advice that led me to really look at the relationships in my life. ¬†Which ones were toxic, or one-sided? ¬†Which ones were weeds that were choking out the rest of my gorgeous garden and what could I do about it?

The ex, his fiance and I have managed to come to a new place in our relationships with each other. ¬†Co-parenting is some seriously tough stuff – and I’m learning more than ever, that just because he is my ex – doesn’t mean he’s not going to continue to be an active participant in my life. ¬†So I’ve really focused on trying to connect with his fiance. ¬†She’s a lovely woman – truly, someone I could be friends with if things weren’t what they are. ¬†For the longest time, she’s been leery of me. ¬†I think she worried that I still wanted to be with the ex. ¬†HA! No thanks!! It’s only in the last month or so, that she’s started to thaw towards me. ¬†I won’t lie, I’ve laid on the charm in order to disarm her a little more and it’s working. ¬†When they drop off my son now, they hang out for a little while and chit chat about the week ahead, and various things going on in their world. ¬†It’s a relief. My ex husband and I will NEVER get back together … this I am absolutely, 100 percent positive on. ¬†BUT… He’s been one of my very best friends for almost half my life. ¬†It’s bothered me a lot in the last 4 years, that that seemed lost. ¬†But lately – I’m seeing it come back – in a new form. ¬†And it’s nice. ¬†I missed him in that way. ¬†And I like her for him. ¬†They seem to be good together. ¬†Is it weird that I can say that?

Overall, it was a good weekend. ¬†This coming weekend is my show at Pottery Barn for my side business. ¬†Then the weekend after that, I’ll be celebrating my birthday with friends. Holy cow I’m officially turning 35 this year!! ¬† My friend J is hosting a party at my house. ¬†She’s invited 100 people! ¬†I know not all will show (THANK GOD!) but it should be really interesting and exciting to see how it all goes! ¬†Then after the party, a smaller group of us are going to go out and sing Karaoke. ¬†Hehe… my friends are such good sports. ¬†I know most of them hate karaoke, but they encourage me to get out and sing. ¬†They know it was once a HUGE part of my life, and I’m grateful that they continue to push and encourage me to not give it up. ¬†My daughter joined choir this year. ¬†She seems to be enjoying it, although she made a comment on Friday that I had to sit and talk to her about. ¬†I guess she’s been nervous to sing around me. ¬†She says I’m intimidating to someone who struggles with pitch, and feels that she’s never going to learn to project her voice. ¬†I offered to help her in any way that I can. ¬†I’d be happy to work through some scales and help her learn to control her diaphragm a bit more. ¬†Lord knows, when I need to be, I can be LOUD. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†She seemed to perk up at that one. ¬†She wants to be able to earn a slot for a solo. ¬†It’s funny how it brings me back. As a teenager, I was in every choir, I took professional lessons 3 days a week, I was in as many musicals and music productions I could get my hands on. ¬†I think she’ll find her own on this one. ¬†But I love that my child has yet another common interest as me. ¬†ūüôā

Well РI better get to working.  Hope you all have a lovely day!  Much love to all of you in Neverland.  Talk soon!

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Processing… Please hold.

I got into a conversation with someone this morning, they were telling me of a conversation they had with my daughter. ¬†Apparently there were things she didn’t want to talk to me about, simply because she worries that when I am stressed, I may not be able to handle it. ¬†It surprised me to hear. ¬†There is something strange and unsettling to hear that your child thinks you’re weak. ¬†Or at the very least, sees a weakness that perhaps you don’t. ¬†I don’t quite know how to fully process that. ¬†But I know that I will.

It led to me thinking through all that I’ve been through. ¬†My brain immediately went back to Ben. ¬†The night we knew something was wrong and raced him, in the dead of the night, to the hospital. That drive will forever be etched into my brain. ¬†The songs that played quietly on the radio, The ex’s steady calm. ¬†Funny, the man would occasionally drive me crazy with his immaturities and lack of self control, but when everything fell apart… when the hour was dire… and we stood on the edge of a very scary storm… he was someone else. ¬†Someone I respected. ¬†I don’t think I ever told him that. ¬†I don’t think I ever told him how, even now, after all this time… I trust him more than I trust myself. ¬†That deep in my heart, he was my very best friend. ¬†I wish I could help him understand how much I loved him. ¬†I don’t think he ever really knew. ¬†And telling him now would be taken weirdly. ¬†I guess I can’t take back the words I never said. ¬†We both had to take on and face the scariest thing we could have possibly imagined. ¬†A situation where we had no control, we were completely helpless – our heart’s were in the doctor’s hands. ¬†Doctors we trusted, because of an ideal in our heads – that somehow – doctor’s were infallible. ¬†Oh how I regret feeling that way. I’ve never felt so ill-prepared when we learned of their mistakes. ¬†And we were both hurt in the most unimaginable ways by it all. Scarred from the pain in many ways.

I thought back to the many days and nights where I would work and work and work… not because I’m a strange person who doesn’t want to have a life or free time… but because I knew it would put food on the table or give me the ability to get the kids gifts for christmas. ¬†Those were the years when the ex and I would eat ramen or spaghetti o’s so the kids could have balanced meals.¬†These were times when we had so much debt over our heads that we would have to ignore a ringing phone. There was always a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that the world would crash down around us because we couldn’t pay a bill.

I thought back to days when depression and stress rang so loudly inside my head that I couldn’t even see myself within the cloud I was in. ¬†When I would lay in bed and hide from the world, because it seemed smarter than going out and being hurt by it. When a person loses sight of who they are, and it takes them as long as I have to re-find yourself… there tends to be some disconnects. ¬† I’ve changed in big ways since I last saw myself. ¬†So it’s sometimes hard to trust my own intuition. Thankfully, In many ways, those changes were good. ¬†I love myself now, and I know I didn’t before. I’m more laid back about so many things. ¬†Life is going to happen… you can stress about it, or you can try and find a way to enjoy it. ¬†And now, more than ever before, I’m aware of how strong I really am. ¬†I’m sure most people have no idea the amount of fortitude and strength they actually possess.

It’s interesting, the stages you go through in life. ¬†For every stage of stress or hell, there seems to be an opposing, equally joyous time to remember. ¬†I suppose my knowing that is what keeps me going, keeps me strong. ¬†Because, you see… I can’t give up. ¬†I won’t give up. ¬†It won’t happen on my watch! ¬†I want to see what happens at the end of the story – and we’re not there yet. ¬†Not even half way.

I suppose it’s also why I’m upset to hear that my child thinks I cannot handle hearing whatever detail she’s working through. ¬†Please child… I’ve walked through hell – I think I can handle a little teenage highschool¬†drama.

Have a great day Neverland!

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Memories

I was watching a movie tonight.  And a scene inspired my brain to run a million miles a minute.  I had to go look up the line from the script so that I could share it with you all.

I tell you, I just….
I just wish I could have a piece of her that I could keep safe, you know?

Just something.

Something more than a bunch of memories.

Memories. ¬†It’s interesting to me how broken we get when something that we thought was our entire world… gets reduced to memories. ¬†A lost love, a death, or even a rejection of some sort… when we feel that something has been stolen from us, even when that something was only a dream… it evokes a strange pain. ¬†A loss that we have to grieve and accept in order to move forward. ¬†And then things change and shift and all that is left are the memories of it. ¬†It’s almost like we have to grieve the dream of what was.

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Almost makes one reconsider what the worth of a memory REALLY is?

If memories are all we have to take with us, if they are all we get to cling to on those lonely nights when it’s just us alone with our thoughts… then why do we put so little value on them? ¬†Why do we get so caught up in all the strange bullshit that we do, when we should really be trying to savor every single delicious moment that we have – because in the end, it will only be a memory.

This evening I was reminded… oddly by a movie that I haven’t seen in a long time… that sometimes, you just have to let life flow. ¬†There are things that happen that are out of your control- and that if I just hold on to the memories from my past, and relax and keep creating new memories… that somehow, it’ll all work out in the end.

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you this evening.

XXO!

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