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I had a terrible scare this week I don’t know what happened. But my vision … something happened. One morning I woke up with blurry double vision in my left eye, and I noticed I could no longer see up close. Panic is an understatement dollies. I was considering going to the emergency room.

Monday at work I got to my desk, and after turning in the computer I started to cry. I couldn’t see the words on my screen. I didn’t know what to do. Somehow I made it through until I was able to see a doctor.

Well, to make a long story short, my vision has changed. Apparently this is something normal. When you reach about 40, something happens to your eyes where seeing up close becomes a lot more difficult. I’m not going to die or become blind I relaized, I’m just getting older.  God, was I freaked out. Majorly freaked.

My mom decided it might be a good idea to test my blood. She is diabetic, and it runs heavy in our family history. Eye problems and diabetes go hand in hand, so she asked me to try her blood test machine thingy… guess what? According to my score (107),  I’m pre diabetic. Nice huh? So now I’ve started looking at labels a lot more, and I’m going to make some tweaks to my diet (even though I’m only 122 pounds). Here’s a crazy fact: a woman should not consume more than 25g of sugar a day. A large apple has 23 grams! I eat an apple every day! I’m cutting fruit out of my diet, and I’m watching all the sugars. I realize my Monday – Friday diet has about 40 grams of sugar, and I figured out how to reduce it to 12 grams without going through any inconvenience. I’ll allow myself treats still, on the weekend, but I’ve got to learn to be much more mindful, and only treat myself to foods that REALLY call to me. I’m going to be much more selective in my food choices. I absolutely do not want to be diabetic. I totally don’t want to deal with that shit.

Here is another good one. Last week my boss took me into her office along with the branch office manager. I was told that my work isn’t up to scratch. I’ve been at this company almost two years now. It’s the one concrete thing I have (well, that and my honorary membership into Club Spinster). Damn, if I loose my job I’m I’m going to be devastated. Yeah, there are days I don’t want to go into work, but I like my job (I’d go as far as to say it is essential to my sanity), plus I really love the company I work for. I’m going to work extra hard and do my best to jump through the hoops like a good little show pony. I hope they will see my efforts.

As I feel my life is crumbling, I’ve been feeling especially alone. My mother has been a great comfort to me. I’m also blessed with an awesome grandmother and a father who loves me to bits. I have a couple dear friends — though none live nearby. The eyes, the diabetes scare, the possibility I can loose my job … it makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. I wish I had someone special in my life, that I could lie on his lap, or maybe be cuddled a bit. I wish he would stroke my hair and tell me things would be okay … but that just doesn’t seem to be on the horizon, especially since I’ve taken myself out of the dating pool.

I have my birthday coming up in a couple weeks. I turn 43. The idea of ending my Birthday Challenge and trying to date again fills me with more dread than excitement this time around. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to deal with the emotions. Yes, I always can hope that this time I’ll find the one whose soul loves mine. I love that dream. But I am starting to wonder if it is just a dream. I talk to other women, and I know I’m not alone in this feeling, this general feeling of heartbreak and disappointment. I do know I’ll try again, because that’s just who I am. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up on love… but maybe now is not the time. Right now, I want to focus on my job and my health. I don’t think I want to attempt dating until I feel inspired by the prospect. I don’t want to date because of my fear of being alone. I think the Birthday Challenge is to be extended until I feel okay in my skin again.

And this, my dear, is how the sugar free cookie crumbles. Barf… like I’d ever eat that shit.

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Tito’s rejection really threw me more than I cared to admit. To his credit, he was kind, and he did, in fact, continue our friendship, but boy was I down, fucking depressed actually. I still am. The truth is, It’s all my own fault. I can’t blame Tito for this. He has actually been incredibly decent, a true gentleman. In fact, the way that he handled the situation makes me like him even more (it would be easier to be mad at him and not like him anymore, but the fact is he is pretty awesome). The other night we were texting on WhatsApp and he made me realize that what I’m doing just isn’t working. What I need to do is take action. What I have concluded is that the best action, in the romance department, is no action at all. I tried. I tried so hard … too hard.

Goal: I want to be happy

Thought: My desire to be loved is making me miserable (dare I say to the point where I am no longer finding joy in life – it is truly that bad. I feel awful and hopeless, and I’m just wanting to give up … pretty much on everything). In the last few years I have been absolutely obsessed with the idea that I need to find someone to love and be loved by in return. The results have been absolutely catastrophic to my mental health. I know this. Love isn’t about fun anymore, it’s more about desperation, and I am so sick of being in despair. For fuck sake, I’ve become more of miserable goth now than I ever was in high school, and quite frankly, it feels like shit. Yeah black is sexy and slimming, but being depressed? So ovah!!!

Action: As we enter the new month of April, maybe this is as good a point as any to start something new. Maybe I’ll just give the whole dating deal a rest for now. The highs and lows I am experiencing from dating really aren’t doing me any good. I feel like crap. Too much of my heart and mind is being focused on wether or not someone loves me. Well, what if I cut that out? What if I just stopped trying? What if I give myself a break? What would happen?!?!?!

Action: I am going to revisit the Birthday Challenge. No more dating websites, no more reaching out to men for the purpose of filling this ugly hole in my heart. Though they make me feel better for a little while, the hole just seems to be made deeper once they leave. I think I have to start letting it heal the old fashioned way: with a little time and introspection.

Do you have any idea how much mental energy I give to finding a partner? Maybe you have some idea if you have been reading my blog on a regular basis, but truthfully, it doesn’t even scratch the surface. It’s time to give this a break. I want to see what else I can do with my energy. I want to see what other goals I can focus on.

Yes, I do want a partner, but I DO actually have other goals too. They just kind of got pushed to the side. It’s time to move those to the front and put the relationship stuff on the back burner, because quite frankly, it just isn’t fun anymore. These days it’s downright painful. Here is a list of what I’d like to accomplish as my birthday gift to myself:

  • A steady and upbeat mood
  • Physical well being, I’ve been letting myself go and have lost some of the hard earned progress I worked so hard for. I want to feel better about my appearance.
  • Pride in my work
  • Effort into my friendships
  • Caring about myself and how I feel above all others… aka learning to be selfish.

As a reward, not only do I expect to have accomplished much, but I think some fabulous vacation will be in order. Krazy Cat… you reading this girlie? Let’s plan something! Also I think I’m going to finally buy myself the laptop I’ve been wanting at the end of it. That would be kind of a cool birthday present.

Yeah, fuck boyfriends (for now).

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Thank you to all my readers who left me such beautiful comments. You guys remind me that I am not without my blessings. Nobody has sweeter, more well intentioned readers than I do. Some of your words offered me comfort, some offered inspiration, and some were the kick in the ass I probably needed, telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself and move on (nobody’s exact words– I’m just paraphrasing).

The night things ended, I just hurt so much. My face was very swollen and pained from all the crying I did. In the morning I felt a lot better (though still sad), and with that relief came some clarity: the door to Birdy’s heart is a closed one. It’s no shocking revelation dollies. I am not completely clueless. I guess I was hoping that could change. I was hoping he would see how amazing I am and decide to let me in. Well, I guess that was pretty dumb. I have no excuses to make, so I won’t even attempt it. It is what it is.

I don’t want to wallow in my suffering. Life is short, and quite frankly, I’m fucking tired of the hurt. Just once, I want the feeling of being loved just as much as I love. I want to feel safe with someone and valued. I hate what I feel now, that familiar feeling of abandonment, and knowing that I just wasn’t good enough to stick around for. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of that sickly mix of anxiety and wanting that makes me want to vomit. 

I remember how I felt when I did my “Birthday Challenge” a while back. I think it helped me tremendously.  I dropped out of the romance race for a while. During that time I did my best to feed myself with good thoughts and a bit of self love (some days were more successful than others, as I’m sure will be the case this time around too). I’m going to do that again. It was a very productive time. With the encouragement of someone I love very dearly, I came up with another challenge, similar to the old one, but this one will be more lengthy. During that time, I will not make any attempt to talk to any guys. No Birdy, no dating websites. I am just going to try to focus on feeling good and accomplishing a few personal goals. Should Birdy contact me during that time… I don’t know. I’ll cross that bridge if I get there. 

In the past I have used men to medicate myself so that I don’t have to sit in my loneliness and feel my feelings (not sex, but the euphoria of feeling cared for — or dare I say “loved” — I always found the attention of someone I admired to be positively exhilarating). I spent most of my life suffering from this feeling that I am always on the outside looking in. I have this desperate desire to feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. For a brief moment surrounded by Birdy and his incredibly wonderful family, I felt part of something, and it was positively delicious. My heart felt so satisfied…. and now it’s gone. Well I guess it’s time to make friends with the emptiness that lives inside of me. I’ve been living with her for a very long time, might as well shake hands and get to know each other. We are so intimate, yet I am always trying to hide her from my own consciousness. I know there is a great lesson to be learned here … but ugh, I’m not sure I’m looking forward to the process.

I end this post with something I heard Gabrielle Bernstein say on YouTube. She advised that when you are overcome with fear and anxiety of the unknown to say this little prayer:

“I choose to see hope in this, and I’m open to creative possibilities.”

I’m going to do just that (because I don’t know what else to do).

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Ta da! I did it. Sort of.
In my last post, I told you that on day 30 of 40 I lost my Birthday Challenge when I contacted Birdy. Though I’m not particularly proud of that, I forgive myself. No need to make myself eat any harshmellows in repentance. Thirty days is still a decent amount of time. I’m not kidding when I say that I really did learn a lot from the experience. Today I thought I’d write about those 30 days. They weren’t easy, but they also weren’t as awful as I had imagined.

The thing that surprised me most, is how much more even tempered I became. I won’t say I didn’t have ANY bouts of tears (I’m a terrible crybaby), but I had a lot less. A LOT. My mood wasn’t constantly swinging from despair to elation. I wan’t constantly looking to see if I received a text. I seriously calmed the F down. That was good. Life without a man’s attention was actually okay… most of the time. I had moments where I definitely felt lonely, but  I had way fewer of those episodes. I genuinely did experience the ability to find happiness outside of a man. That was momentous for me. Truly.

With all this newfound time on my hands (no job, and no man to focus on),  I immersed myself in positive thoughts and ideas. I guess you can think of it as brainwashing. I washed myself of a lot of my negativity. How? I watched loads of stuff on YouTube. I watched (and continue to watch) anything from Ted Talks to some new-agey sort of ideas that some of you may find odd, but which really seem to work for me. I can honestly tell you that this has sparked a definite change in my thought processes. I see things with slightly different eyes now. I am a bit more confident, a bit more positive, and a lot more okay. I am hoping this will translate into my relationships with the opposite sex. But its not just about guys…

Just to give you an example, on the day I went for my job interview I was so pumped up with the good vibes I got from watching videos, that I KNOW my interviewers felt it. I’m sure it came across in my smile and my confidence (there are very few times in my life where I exuded confidence, but this was one of them). I know that’s why I got the job. I was positively radiating the good stuff. So I can tell you without doubt, that your thoughts really do become things. If you are able to harness this idea, you tap into something incredibly powerful. If you want to know more about this concept, start googling “Law of Attraction.”

So why did I fail the challenge? I actually wanted to ask Birdy a medical question about something that was really bothering me, but then I couldn’t help myself from telling him that I missed him. I told him about my new job and about T. He was kind and understanding, and the next day he asked me to have dinner with him. It was kind of awesome. He actually texted me when I was writing the post  100 Things I Love. It was about a minute or so after typing “unexpected text messages.” I kid you not. I am dead serious when I say that being in that good vibe zone creates magic. I know it sounds all hippy dippy but I totally believe it.

So, after 30 days, do I think life without men is better? Um… no. Love to me is the best feeling in the world, and the greatest gift us humans get while we are on this earth. The problem is, I have not loved or been loved in a very long time. I get high hopes, I have gotten the initial excitement … and then I have gotten terribly disappointed. I don’t think that will always be the case. I know I have a lot to offer, and that somewhere I will find someone worthy of me. It could be Birdy (and I hope it is), but it also could be someone I have yet to meet. I am open to the possibilities.

My takeaway from all of this is 1) thinking positive can attract positive things and 2) that even though I find life more fun with a man, I can actually be okay without one. It really wasn’t as bad I thought.

Orange is the New Black is my favorite thing on TV these days. I just binge watched all of Season 4 in two days. I paced myself LOL. In the past I wrote about the character of Lorna, but she is less likable these days. Her particular brand of crazy went from charming to somewhat batshit in the newest season. My new OITNB girl crush is Blanca Flores. Why? Let me count the ways…

  1. She bares an uncanny resemblance to my favorite woman of all time: Frida Kahlo. Damn, I love a girl who rocks a unibrow! It almost makes me want to grow mine out. Almost.image1
  2. The woman is fearless. There is a point in Season 4 where one of the guards, in a nasty power trip, tries to  make an example of Flores by making her stand on top of the table in the cafeteria as a form of torture (this is actually much worse than it sounds, in real life, they do this to prisoners of war). Flores takes it up like a challenge rather than a punishment. She stands on that table for days! She even pees herself on the table, and she does it with a certain sort of je ne sais quoi that will make you smirk mirthlessly. Nobody else could have pulled it off like that. She was something of a Joan of Ark. Instead of becoming humbled and ridiculed, the fact that she never wavered, actually gave her a sort of grandeur that the guard could not have anticipated. Eventually she is forced off the table when the prison goes into lockdown due to an incident, but it was never because she gave up.
  3.  She doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of her. tumblr_mr5uoh9dZo1s46h7vo1_500The guards in the facility are constantly patting the women down in a very inappropriate way. Flores comes up with the idea of perfuming herself with the juice from oyster and sardine cans so that she smells positively rancid. With her matted hair and her “Eau de Mer” the guards are completely repulsed by getting too close to her. Even her friends can’t stand it, but Flores doesn’t care. She is more interested in not being groped. Fish over fucktards LOL. The woman has standards.

Other assorted stuff I want to talk about:

Well, let’s see, my birthday is in a couple of days. I have no real plans except going to Ruby Tuesdays with my grandmother on Saturday. I’m totally okay with that. My family isn’t big on birthdays. We usually just use it as an excuse to eat a lot.

And… hmmm… how do I say this…

Remember my Birthday Challenge? That thing where I wasn’t supposed to talk to any guys for 40 days? It kind of got fucked up on day 30. I will get into that more in depth in another post. To make a long story short though, I am seeing Birdy again. I am approaching it with a different mindset this time. I have the best time when we are together. I am just going to focus on that and release any expectations. I just want to focus on one thing: fun. And OMG, last night I had tons of fun.

It was totally gay. Gay with a bit of grilled cheese. It was …

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WTF?!? Okay, so we went to this gay pride thing at a place called Wilton Manors. That was a first for me. Another first? I had my first visit to a gay club. It was called The Manor. Another first? I saw a lewd sex act. OMG, for real I swear I did. Plus there were drag queens, and flashing lights and it was like the most fun I had in ages. And I danced… sort of. I don’t know how to dance. Let’s define it as “interpretive dance” that way at least I get to sound somewhat arty. I am sure I looked like the biggest dork ever, but it was so much fun and if I could, I’d go back tonight.

Afterwards we had grilled cheese sandwiches at New York Grilled Cheese. They take forever to serve you, but I didn’t mind. It was worth it. It was so gooooood. Plus I got to ogle Birdy a bit, and that’s always fun. I love looking at him: total man candy.

The meat packing district sandwich at New York Grilled Cheese.
Grilled cheese with brisket, doesn’t that look divine?

It was a night I’m going to remember forever.

Oh, and an update on my friend T: since I last wrote about her, I spoke to her on two occasions. One time she sounded kind of good and upbeat, the second time she didn’t. I am just happy when I get to hear her voice. Although I don’t always know what the right thing to say is, I am happy just to listen.

My new job starts next Monday. I am both nervous and excited, as to be expected I suppose.

I’m about to press “publish.” It has come to my attention that this may be the most disjointed post I ever wrote. I’m quite the nut job methinks, but today I am a happy one.

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Despite it all, I am okay.

It’s now been a week into my Birthday Challenge. It’s been okay, I only had one really horrible day. I was focusing too hard on the loss of Birdy, the loveliest man to cross my path in two years, and I made myself terribly sad. I have no regrets though. I did the right thing. He just wasn’t that into me. Other than that, avoiding men hasn’t been as difficult as I expected. I noticed I am having much less less severe ups and downs. That’s a good thing for now. Sometimes I feel a bit lonely and have the urge to call someone. The fact that nobody has bothered with me though, is quite telling. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my own head. I’ve been a bit more creative, and I’m eating better too. That’s not going to last though. Friday I will be on my way to New Orleans. The second my porcine hoof hits the pavement, I will be eating for two: me and my inner bitch. Believe me when I tell you that that woman is hungry!

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When you see me going to town on those delicious beignets, do not assume those mounds of powder to be sugar. My daddy says I’m sweet enough already… Note to self: Investigate which is cheaper–crack or therapy.

I’m feeling kind of awful about not finding a job yet. It’s been three months now. My unemployment is going to run out soon. Although I’m not in any real financial danger, I’m scared. Not having a job makes me feel very unsettled. I know freaking out totally isn’t going to speed up the process. It will just create wrinkles and my Botox has run its course, so I got to watch it. I am doing my best to take it in stride and have faith that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to. Still, it is always looming in the back of my mind.

If my horror-scope is true, things are going to stay stagnant in my life until the end of next month. Around the time of my birthday, I can expect movement. Do you believe in horoscopes/astrology? I used to think they were a bunch of crap, but I’m not so sure anymore. On YouTube, I was told that this is a time for endings (even though they may be painful) so that new things could begin. Yeah… too much time on my hands.

Seriously, I am falling in love with YouTube. There is so much good stuff on there. I’ve been learning loads of unnecessary (but fun) things. I try to listen to stuff that’s uplifting and motivational. I want to immerse myself in good thoughts, otherwise it is my natural tendency to go the other way. I want to create new and positive habits, and developing a positive mindset is crucial for me.

Okay so none of what I wrote today is terribly momentous or relevant. I just wanted to “talk.” You guys are terribly lovely for humoring me. I adore you.

p.s. Stay tuned to my Instagram so you can see all my New Orleans photos!

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I want to start by telling you about two old ladies. The first lady is called Emma Morano. She is a 116 year old woman living in Italy. When asked for the secret to her longevity, she credits two factors: eating raw eggs every day (yuck) and being single. Then there’s 109 year old Jessie Gallan from Scotland. She attributed her long life to porridge, exercise, and never marrying. Notice a common denominator? Does eliminating men from your life create a sense of well being?

I hate being single. Most of my life has been spent in a relationship. It’s what I know and what I’m comfortable with. Being alone totally sucks for me. I try to make the best of it, and sometimes I succeed in having an awesome adventure or a rush of happiness all on my own, but for the most part, I hate it.  I never really took a break from men. Right after Dr ManWhore and I separated, I started with dating websites. Can you believe it only took two weeks? Why so fast? When Dr ManWhore explained why he didn’t want to be with me anymore, one of the reasons was that he was not attracted to me. This devastated me. It really crushed me.

I was desperate for a man to tell me I was pretty, so I joined a dating website. I didn’t actually intend to meet anyone, I just wanted validation that I was attractive. Of course, curiosity got the better of me, and I started making dates. Meeting men was fun. I felt desired. I got taken to restaurants and told lovely things. It was pretty great. I was able to use men as a distraction from the pain I was feeling. And actually, it worked. The thing is, I never was able to parlay any of this into a healthy and long lasting relationship (no surprise I guess). That killed me.

It’s like I have some kind of weird love addiction. I don’t know what the word for this is.  It is just a constant need for validation and “protection” by the opposite sex. I don’t feel good about myself unless some guy is giving me attention (this has nothing to do with sex by the way, it’s all about attention and receiving affection). I have never admitted this before, so writing about it is kind of a big thing for me.

After I ended things with Birdy, I decided that this has to stop. I set myself a “birthday challenge” Until my birthday, I am taking a break from the opposite sex. Mind you, my birthday  is only like 40 days away–but still, this will be the longest I’ve been without looking for a man since I was 17! What, I wonder, will it feel like to not get ANY validation from the opposite sex? So far, it’s only been a few days. I am trying to distract myself by listening to motivational stuff on YouTube and job hunting. I also have New Orleans coming up. I am trying to keep my mind engaged as best I can, which is hard because I have loads of time on my hands at the moment. If I could just get a job, well, that would be great. That would take up a ton of my time and energy.

It’s highly likely that I will extend this break to continue after my birthday. I just didn’t want to commit myself to more than I could handle. I want see where this goes. What happens when there is no guy around to tell me the lovely stuff I want (and need?) to hear? What happens when it’s just me?

Fun fact:  The oldest person who ever lived was a woman called Jeanne Calment from France, who lived to be 122. According to Wikipedia, her secret was “a diet rich in olive oil  … (as well as) one  kilogram (2.2 pounds) of chocolate every week.” I guess if the man diet doesn’t work, I can always try eating more chocolate.