Once I’m human again… an ode to fall.

It’s easy to stumble upon moments of self doubt when you’re sick and you’re single.  For it is when you’re sick, that you’re often feeling at your lowest, easily susceptible to feeling the true weight of being alone.  What’s interesting to me is that I’m content 95 percent of the time with being alone.  EXCEPT… when I’m sick.  Then I just want company.  Companionship to watch the movie SpaceBalls with, and to fight over kleenex and who gets the last orange juice!

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So I just embraced those moments and spent time with myself.  I’ve binge watched a bunch of movies that I haven’t seen in a very long time, ingested as much liquid vitamin C that I could possibly stand, slept when I needed to sleep, as well as lit candles and watched (from inside) the season take over the yard… the leaves changing color, a small nip in the air.

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It’s lovely.  It’s also unfortunate that I’m sick – as this is one of my favorite times of the year.  I get to wear boots!  I get to wear scarves!  And although I don’t do pumpkin spice – I find those that do adorable in their charming predictability.  Fall is finally here in Seattle, and I’m thrilled!  I can’t wait to get out into it and catch up on work and life and the world!

Until then… I think I’ll make a cup of tea and hope that this miserable plague finally goes away enough for me to re-join the human race.  Once I’m human again.

And on that note… I thought I’d share some funny meme’s about being sick.  🙂  Enjoy!

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The 5 Deal-breakers that I will remember for my next relationship

There’s something awesome about coming to the realization that you finally understand what it is you want/need from relationships in your life.  It’s been a slow realization for me, but to finally be able to concretely state all the things (and truthfully, there really aren’t THAT many) that I need to feel secure and content and happy within my relationships.  Specifically – a relationship with a man.  There are five in total that I’d consider deal breakers.  That if these elements aren’t there … then I will hit the breaks on a potential relationship and say “F it! I’m outta here!!”.

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Attention.
This should be relatively obvious, but it took me a long time to realize just how much attention I need to feel secure in a relationship.  I’m not overly needy.  I don’t need to talk constantly… but I DO need consistent, daily contact of some sort, even if it’s a brief good morning or good night.  That said – if all my contact with someone is kept to that brief, surface-level only kind of communication – I’ll need something a bit more in depth in order to balance that out and keep a connection with someone.

To note… Attention also means that when you ARE spending time with someone – they have your attention.  No phones or distractions.  They listen to what you have to say and aren’t half tuning you out in the hopes that you’ll finish your sentence so they can jump in with their own.  If you’re going to give me attention – give me your attention – and I’ll do the same for you.  Honestly, the whole “tuning out” thing is a total turn-off and if I feel like I’m not being heard – I’ll just stop talking altogether.  Why waste my time?

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Enthusiasm.
This is a two way street.  I will be enthusiastic about talking to someone and seeing them. I expect it in return – because if that is lacking – then what’s the point in trying at all? Love is already complicated enough – lack of enthusiasm about it should NOT even be a factor. I don’t want to be a consolation prize, and neither I’m sure does anyone else.  Be excited to be with me – and I’ll give you the same.  🙂

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Honesty – not just in words – but in actions.
A lack of honesty only breeds a lack of trust, and in my experience, once that happens – it’s ultimately game over.  If I don’t trust you – then I don’t respect you.  And if I don’t respect you – I will never love you.  I can be one of the most patient and understanding women.  What I think is interesting is that people who’ve struggled with this, with me, in my past – always made an incorrect assumption as to how I would react to a situation.  Had they just informed me of what was going on – I’d have been, and in turn, they’d have been fine.  Assumptions can kill things fast.  Don’t assume – give me the benefit of the doubt and TRUST that I’ll react in a way that’s respectful and compassionate towards others.

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Humility & a desire to improve.
This is more about me… I’m only human.  I will occasionally make a mistake – as we all do! The key here is that I’ll own up to mistakes I make and work to improve myself and learn and grow from the mistakes I make.  Rarely will I make the same mistake twice.  I understand this about myself, and I understand it about others.  I would hope to find someone who has that same level of understanding and compassion.

Attraction.
This is important – but it’s not all about appearance.  Do we WANT to touch each other?  Kiss each other?  I know that if I an’t keep my hands off someone – that’s a good sign – but it better be reciprocated – or else – again – what’s the point?  Sex – while not my GOAL for a relationship – is incredibly important.  I’m a firm believer that the frequency and quality of a couple’s sex life directly correlates to the overall health of their relationship.

So tell me, what are your deal breakers?

There’s a lot on my mind tonight

So I will apologize right now if I am a little all over the place.  It’s been a lovely weekend overall.  One full of friends and lively conversation, good food and even dancing! 🙂

One of my best female friends, J, planned a party.  A formal black and red party at a local beerhall.  The rules – must wear formal attire – in black or red, and no drama or attitudes from anyone in attendance.  🙂  So I dragged my other girl (R) out.  It was nice to get all gussied up and go out.  It’s something I don’t do very often, although I have a feeling that will change now that J has successfully managed to get me to attend.  🙂 Here’s pics of R and J and myself that night.  🙂  R and I had a blast, 2 single ladies without a care in the world.  We ate oysters and mussels and just enjoyed being out.

It was good for me to attend.  I’m still coming back out of my shell.  And truthfully, this time of year, I don’t usually come out of my shell much at all.  But Saturday was fun and gave me a much needed boost of energy, I danced and sang and made some new friends and caught up with some old friends.  Tonight, I spent the evening with my daughter cooking good food and watching a movie she picked out before my son came home from his dads house.

Ben has been on my brain this week.  Actually – there’s a lot that’s been on my brain this week.  Things that have been rattling around in there range from Ben and his birthday anniversary that is coming up, to love and relationships, friendships, and just life in general.  Had someone told me 10 years ago, that this is where I’d be… I would have never believed it.  Any change or turn along my path, and things would be different.  I wouldn’t trade it, I know that things happen for a reason.  I’m ok with it… well – ok that’s not quite the right way to word it either – I accept it.  That’s enough.  Every year – around this time, I make a pact to myself – that I will not make any major decisions (if I can help it), in the months of Oct – Dec.  Grief is a funny thing – and I’ve learned my lesson in this respect.  In most cases – I can hold off until the new year on most things.  Patience is something I’ve learned to channel at this time of year.  I  miss my son.  Weird to miss some one that you only had for a short while.  And even tho it’s certainly been long enough – I still think on him and wonder.

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I gave R some advice this weekend.  She was wrestling with her feelings about a man.  She knew she was falling in love, but didn’t want to be the first person to say it.  She’s loved him for a very long time.  I told her something my Nana told me when I was young.  If you feel love – you should speak it.  It cannot be held for very long on the tongue.  And if you express it… you have a better chance of working past that strange anxious feeling that you get before you’ve said it to someone for the first time- because if it is returned, then something new can grow and blossom.  And if the love is not returned, then now you know and can move forward and move on.    It’s funny – as a teenager or even in my twenties… I didn’t put much stock in Nana’s advice… but looking back now – I couldn’t agree with her more.   I’ve always said I don’t say I love you to hear it back… I say it to make sure they know.  That’s enough.

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I’m going to start planning my next vacation.  I will probably go in April 2017 time frame.  I’d like to disappear for a week.  I haven’t decided yet where I want to go.  I have an idea of who all I’d like to invite to join me, but we’ll see if they have the desire to vacation with me.  🙂  I want to explore and get away.  Travel has most certainly had an enormous impact in my life, and I look forward to being able to continue to experience it.  I think my next trip will likely be a cruise, as it’s something I have not done yet.  My instinct says I won’t like it as much as I enjoy traveling as a local – but I want to experience it regardless.  It’s something Nana and Granddad would do when I was younger.  I remember them telling me stories and showing me pictures from all their many excursions.  Or try on the jewelry that was often purchased on these trips.  I’d picture the ports and destinations, the food and the events that were often a part of their stories.  My grandparents truly led amazing lives.  🙂

Can’t travel without a job.  I’m trying to not count my chickens – but I am hoping to hear good news on the job front this week.  Fingers crossed that I’ll have news either way by Wednesday!  🙂

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At the end of the day – I got some news from my mom, that my grandparents aren’t doing very well health-wise.  It has me a bit worried and anxious.  I know as they continue to get older and older that at some point, I will have to say my good byes to them.  But they are mine damn it!  Haha.  But in all seriousness, I’m not ready to even think about losing them.  It makes me sad to think about. Hopefully, things will be just fine and I’ll be allowed to put my head back in the sand on this particular subject.  At least for now.

Well – it’s time to get some sleep.  Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you!!

Healthy Relationship Goals

When I was young… I sought out relationships.  I perhaps wasn’t always as choosy as I should have been.  Years of being made to feel like I wasn’t ever going to be good enough led me down a path where I happily accepted anything and everything that came my way – be it friendships and significant others.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be more choosy in who I allow to enter my world.  I’ve learned that it’s not the number of friends, it’s the quality and health of the overall relationships that really matter.

I’ve always been the person who rushes into everything.  I’m impulsive.  Granted, I DO have self control… but I’m finding, at least lately, that the one quality I used to be proud of in myself… I’m holding back now.  That impulsive passion and enthusiasm that I get, about everything …. be it learning something new, a new project at work, a new friendship or new hobby or love… I’m learning to keep that in check a bit.  Taking things slow.  Learning to be someone’s friend LONG before even considering getting physical with them.  I mean, seriously – what IS the rush for?  If the people who enter your life are really meant to stay … then why are we in such a damn hurry to get across the finish line.  It’s not like the race ever really ends… and what on earth would you get for crossing it?  What… a wedding ring?  A child?  A divorce?  lol.

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It’s challenging… especially in today’s society.  And it’s not like a girl doesn’t have needs.  lol, but I’m feeling a little bit burnt out.  I’m finally starting to really like living alone.  I’m learning ME.  I’m immensely proud of myself and it’s strange because this isn’t really something you can share with others without sounding a bit foolish.  We’re taught to find a man, to settle down, get married, have kids…. that pressure is out there on us all on a daily basis.  Sometimes, it’s so subtle, I don’t even notice it at all.  But it’s still there.  And what’s funny – at least, for me, is that I’ve HAD all of that.  I’ve settled down, I got married, I had kids, I’ve been susie home maker and I’ve been the power suit wearing corporate working mom.  I have literally tasted ALL that society asks us to pursue.

Perhaps that’s why I’m enjoying this bit of soul searching I’ve done since buying this house.  I’ve been trying to figure out what the next big dream is.  I’ve been really enjoying the notion of holding off, on all fronts…. taking a moment to find and secure my footing before I do anything to shake up my world.  It’s certainly never anything I’ve done before.  It all feels healthy.  My goals for my life have shifted in new ways I wasn’t quite expecting.  I find myself just wanting a healthy relationship.  Keyword there is Healthy.  🙂  And for the first time in my life…. I feel like I’m certainly on the right path to eventually get there.  I’m learning to communicate my needs and wants and feelings in better ways.  I’m actively figuring me out.  And it’s really kinda awesome!

So to all of you out there…. single… looking for love… I highly encourage you to look at the opportunities you have to seek out what’s really healthy, thinking long term.  🙂  And to those of you who are settled down… or settling down… still racing… I ask you… What are you racing for and if/when you get it… what comes next?

Much love to you all.  Happy Thursday!

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Taking a leap

I’m taking the summer off…

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I’m taking the summer off, and starting a business.

(longer pause)

The weight of that statement is heavy… and yet… it just feels right.

Maybe it’s stupid.  Maybe I’ll regret it.  Maybe it will be a total and absolute flop.  Or…. Maybe it will be amazing, and maybe I’ll be able to sustain the way we live and will feel end up feeling refreshed and recharged and return to work or just keep going… who knows?!

I have a job interview, well… two of them, next week.  I’m excited for these opportunities.  But I also know how slow the big companies typically are when it comes to actually bringing someone on board, so in the mean time, I’ll happily play with my new camera.

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It was a risk to buy it, but I’m fairly convinced I’ll be able to earn back the money I spent to buy it.  And things are oddly falling into place.  I’ve been invited to be the only photographer at the northwest writers convention in a couple of weeks.  I’ll have a booth set up that I have to figure out what I’m going to put in there.  Sometimes, it’s all in who you know.  I feel a little silly getting this opportunity, seeing as I don’t have tons of experience.  But then another friend saw my work and asked if I’d do some photos for her business, and I’ve got a couple of people inquiring about boudoir work.  Even a dude who wants to do dudeoir!

Today I had what was my third official boudoir photography session – where I was the photographer.  It turned out to be an amazing shoot.  I got SO many good shots, in such a short amount of time.  My client was thrilled, and of course, so was I, as this is more work I can put in my portfolio – she happily gave me those rights. 🙂

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I reached out to quite a few of my friends and people in my network… I want to capture life.  I don’t have much desire to shoot weddings, but I’d like to do just about everything else.  Births, engagements or couples shoots, events, kids & pet portraits…. and of course, boudoir.  Especially Boudoir.  Some day I’d love to have a trailer set up so that I could take a mobile studio and shoot at the race for cure.  Give people a sense of empowerment over their own self esteem.  Show them how beautiful they really are.  I want to document love.  Something real.  I want to show people what I see of the world in front of me.

I think that’s why I like photography as much as I do.  It, along with art, are the few ways I can show someone else the world through my eyes.  In this case, seeing the world through my lens.  The camera makes me feel brave and secure.

I’ve added links to my instagram and business facebook page to the sidebars of this blog.  I do hope you’ll at least peek at my work and give me some feedback or a kind word of encouragement.  🙂

Thanks neverland.  Much love to you tonight.

XXO.

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