Friday, March 31, 2017

Hopefully my last mistake with guys

Ever since I started caring about things, some 10 years ago, I have led with my heart in love (which is a good thing), but I have also made a lot of mistakes in the process.


For me, leading with my heart in love means being objectively, physically attracted to a guy and also feeling strong friendship with him. Do I want too much? I don't think so. I deserve it.


The problem that I have faced though, time and time again, is that I don't use my head.


I have felt this love for guys and explored emotional connections with them, while rationally knowing deep-down that they totally didn't meet my criteria for a husband.


For example, I explored an emotional connection with a guy who had a long-term girlfriend and had no intention of leaving her. I knew that about him from the start. 


I explored an emotional connection with another guy who had anger issues of some sort. I knew that about him from the start.


When it ended with both of them, I was hurt. I only had myself to blame for this. After making the same mistake two times in a row, I learned that I had a problem being rational in love.


Then I met Stanley. He didn't have glaring, obvious problems like the other two guys. I did this analysis before I let myself feel anything for him. So then I thought I was good to go.


I still believe Stanley is a really decent guy. Totally believe it. One of the most decent men I have met in my life thus far. Furthermore, he has a lot of really attractive qualities. 


The only problem is that there are also some specific things that I want from a husband, very specific to me. Things involving kids, religion, lifestyle, etc. The usual things people consider when finding a partner.


If I'm honest with myself, I'm pretty sure that Stanley and I are not compatible in this respect. I could have figured this out from the beginning. If I had, then I wouldn't have gotten emotionally invested, and I wouldn't be feeling the grief that I am feeling now.


My mistake. I hope that it's my last one with guys.


When I met Jesse, from a rational standpoint, he was a mixed bag. There were some things he clearly hit the mark on. There were also some things he clearly did not hit the mark on. 


Of course, I hadn't gone through this analysis at the time. I just went for it and let myself explore an emotional connection with him.


In the process, I always felt like something was off in my interactions with him, though I couldn't put my finger on what it was. This off-feeling actually felt really, really bad the whole time.


Now I know where that off-feeling came from. My brain knew something that I didn't want to admit.


Now I can see clearly, for the first time in my life. Those things about him that didn't work for me before, have changed about him. I didn't see this from him until now. 


Rationally, now he fits what I want. I say this with all the certainty that I think I'm ever going to have. I don't feel romantic about this. I feel super practical. It feels dry and boring, but necessary. 


I choose Jesse.
Spring feelings 

The birds are chirping more 

I see more green around me
I start thinking in pastels 
And thinking of new life 

Meanwhile, it's not just what's on the outside that's blooming

There's a sweet feeling inside me that's growing too
I've never felt this before 

It is so sweet 

Dripping sweet
Like honey 
I never knew I would like such sweet sweetness 
But now I know I do

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Being free
I'm not thinking
Why think?
Just be

I feel like a person again, maybe for the first time in my life
And not just a machine, a brain, a robot

I feel really good
In my heart

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Free falling 

I'm going to let myself care about you. It's all about you.


I'm going to let myself accept you as you are, whether you're evil or a saint. Probably both.


I'm going to let myself have feelings for you.


In other words, I'm going to let myself love you. 


Why? 


There's absolutely no reason why. I'm just going to. 


Well, maybe there's a reason why, but I sure don't know it and don't ever expect to know it.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Conclusion to my series of posts on intimacy 

Intimacy is my weak point, my trouble spot. Hopefully it won't be anymore. I really hope so. A life with little or no intimacy is not what I want. I know I would be miserable. 


By the way, as I have been writing about intimacy here, it has struck me that how can I be saying I'm bad at intimacy, when I reveal so much about myself here? Also, it's intimate just to be talking about intimacy! 


I don't know the answer to that. I just know that somehow, despite how open I am here, I am still bad at intimacy. Moving on. 


So, as far as I can tell, there are two reasons why I am so bad at intimacy.


First, I really didn't experience any intimacy growing up. My family...we just never talked to each other. Human connection wasn't really a part of life. 


I also hid myself from everyone, including myself, because of how my parents treated me. I thought that there was something wrong with the real me. My mom used to take her anger out on me when I was a small child. My dad used to treat me as a boy, and I am definitely not like a boy. So, I always felt like I had to cover myself up, the real me. 


So, my past experience is one reason why intimacy is so alien to me now. 


The other reason that I can think of, is because bravery does not come easily to me. In intimacy, we have to be brave. And being brave is really hard for me. 


I'm going to need a lot of bravery going forward. Ideally, intimacy never ends. Ideally, it increases as we go on. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How wonderful it is 
To be known by you 
To be accepted by you
To be loved by you for the real me

How wonderful it is 

To know you 
To accept you 
To love you for the real you 

Intimacy goes both ways

Both ways at the same time
There is an undercurrent between us 
That is positively exploding with energy

How wonderful it is 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Intimacy in my life

I don't know how to show Jesse how much he hurt me. Not to be vengeful or to get sympathy. But just because, it's the truth.

I don't want to be that vulnerable, for him to see how hurt I was and am.

I'm sure he knows how much he hurt me. He's a reflective and smart guy. And he's not evil. But him knowing is different from me actually showing it to him.

Why bother with this? Why not just walk away and cut off interaction with him, or keep it to the bare minimum?

Because I know he's sorry. And I know he didn't mean to hurt me back then. And I don't believe he would do that now anymore.

And because there was a lot of good stuff there too. This isn't over. I owe it to myself and to him to continue with this and go deeper. For the time being anyway.

I just don't know how to be as vulnerable as I know I should. I don't know how to get to that place.

Maybe admitting my difficulty is the first step to getting there. I have a feeling that it is.

Friday, March 24, 2017

What is intimacy? 

I'm not going to say anything groundbreaking here. But I want to talk about it because I don't feel like it's talked about that often. Or I guess, I feel like it's something that should be talked about more. It's so important. 


Intimacy is love. It's sharing ourselves with someone. All the good and all the bad. We have an innate need for intimacy. 


Intimacy comes in different levels. We can have very little intimacy with someone, an incredible amount of intimacy with someone, and everything in between. 


The highest level of intimacy that can be experienced is between a man and a woman, romantically. There's a lot of power play between a man and a woman, which is the psychological basis for sex. With power play, there's the potential to do the greatest good to someone or the greatest evil to someone. We can safely explore (and should explore) these parts of ourselves in a loving romantic relationship. This is the most intimate that we can be with someone. 


Intimacy is what we are called to do, as humans. It's love. And we all really, really need it. 


Me included!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I'm going to begin a series of posts on the topic of intimacy here. I have a lot of trouble with it. 

I'm going to talk about...

-How wonderful intimacy feels

-What it personally means to me

-What it really is

I think I'll discuss these topics in the reverse order I listed. Going from hardest to easiest. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I have a novel or two in me (or more?).

-Stories are me. I think in stories sometimes; it helps me understand situations better. Stories are so layered. It's better than just stating the facts linearly!

-I'm emotional.

-I like the written language.

-I like using my imagination.

-I like being creative and creating things.

For all these reasons, I think I have a novel in me (or more). I think I have had this for my whole life. I just didn't know how to get it out until now.

I HAVE to write my novels, books, whatever they are. In a way, that's when I'm being the most me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Boundaries

This is the line 

See it?
Everything inside this line
Is mine 

I'm not greedy 

I'm not closed off 
I'm not inconsiderate 
It's nothing bad

Just don't take what's mine 

Because my things are special 
And they should remain special 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lazy day

It isn't the weekend
I'm not on vacation
I'm not tired
I'm just having a lazy day because I want to

I'm not going to move that much
I'm not going to do much
I may not even say that much

It's great
Just as action-packed days are the best
So are really lazy days

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Leading this SAT session is a big challenge for me. 

-I'm not an extrovert and don't feel comfortable in groups...especially when I'm the one leading something. 


-I'm not great at relating to high schoolers, especially in a group situation. I'm not good at relating to people who are really different from me. Yeah, I was a high schooler once myself, but that's not who I am right now.


-It's hard for me to teach, period. It's hard for me to understand the different ways people can approach things and the different things they can have problems with. It's hard for me to think outside of just what I know. 


I think this will be good for me, is necessary in a way really, because these are all useful skills. Being comfortable being in charge of a group, being able to relate to people who are really different from me, and being able to intellectually think outside of the box. 


This will help me as a person, in work, in everything. I want to be more well-rounded, I guess.


I also want to have fun doing this! It's supposed to be fun. I'm volunteering. I enjoy volunteering. Right now, I'm kind of stressing out over this. But it can be challenging, yet fun. I need an attitude shift. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

On Tuesday I'll be teaching a makeup verbal SAT session for high school juniors at the Boys and Girls club. It's going to be for around 4-8 students and a little over an hour long. 

I'm nervous! This is challenging for me. 


I really care about doing well. It's a worthy cause. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

A mistake 

It's surprising that with all my ramblings about myself here, I haven't talked at all about my biggest mistake in life thus far.


Not all mistakes are okay to make. They don't always "make us stronger." The ones that are not okay to make are the ones that we don't know how to learn the appropriate lessons from. Even though things might look okay from the outside after the incident has passed, inside we are more damaged than before. 


It's been more than ten years now since this particular mistake. In all this time, I have not been able to look at myself and say, "Hey, this is exactly how much you sucked and why." 


Maybe now I can turn this heavy ship around. 


I let myself be used for sex, often. I gave it up to a guy who acted like he cared about me, but really didn't. This went on for a really, really long time. I knew he didn't care about me. I let myself be used because I had zero self-esteem. 


Besides sex, I let myself be treated really poorly. He was with me primarily because I validated him to himself, made him feel like he was worthy of a girlfriend. He had really low self-esteem. Just like me.


It has been a really long time since all this happened. I think I owe myself an apology...after all this time.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nice, random things people have done for me lately that made me happy

-At church we had to get into small groups and share our prayer requests with each other. As I was in a group with two married men who I didn't know well, I didn't share too much. I said something along the lines of "needing forgiveness for people." 


After we all shared, one of them prayed out loud for all of us. He started with me. I hadn't shared much, and he just started praying about forgiveness, generally. I don't remember exactly what he said, but while he was praying for me, I remember thinking, wow, this guy really understands forgiveness and this is speaking to me. I felt understood in my struggle to forgive and inspired to do it. 


-On Tuesday, I went to the "Flexibility and Extensions" class. It was my second time. The teacher remembered my name! I didn't even remember hers. 


-My coworker invited me to join her on her Germany/Europe vacation. It's nice being invited to things!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I'm watching my sister make a bad decision. Not just a small, harmless one either.

I've watched her make the same mistake in the past. This is the third time now. It has to do with guys.

The last two times, my parents eventually intervened and put an end to it. If they hadn't, she would have lost herself to the point of no return. It's okay to make mistakes. But if you go too far down the road, make too big of a mistake, sometimes you're too far down to be able to climb your way back up again. There's too much to get through. 

I can't tell you how hard it was for me to watch her go through this in the past. Especially the second time it happened. Almost from the moment that she started something with him, I knew that it was horrible, horrible, horrible.

I come across as really judgmental, probably misinformed, and way too overly emotional when I talk about how I don't support the relationship, from the very beginning. To everyone else, her relationships look somewhat promising. My parents, even though they took action later, don't understand where I'm coming from either in the beginning. They're also supportive in the beginning.

Someone even accused me of being jealous of my sister, which was annoying because it was insulting and couldn't have been further from the truth. I want better for my sister than for myself.

I am in so much pain seeing my sister making such a big mistake and not being able to do anything about it. I am in pain being so misunderstood and so disbelieved by everyone around me. This is such a difficult situation to be in. I try my best, though even then I'm still not handling it optimally.

I start to question myself and wonder if I really am the crazy one, even though I know that I understand things about the situation and my sister that no one else does.

I understand her desperation to be in a relationship or to be close to a guy, in order to fulfill loneliness and unhappiness. I understand her total inability to be rational in these situations. I am the same way. We were raised in the same environment. I understand just how unhappy and lonely we have both been, how immature we both are, and how much it will take for each of us to overcome these deficiencies now.

I see how her relationships with these guys start. She gives up too much, all of it, right away. I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about emotional intimacy. She finds guys who are willing to dive straight into intimate conversations with her, both of them revealing all their most personal thoughts and feelings to each other, right away. 

There's no establishment of any boundaries or independence, for either of them. I cannot condone her for doing this. But I especially cannot condone a guy for behaving this way. Generally, men crave independence in relationships. When I see guys behaving so differently than how they are supposed to behave by nature of being men, I know that something is really off with them. I don't have to meet these guys to know that they are bad news.

I can't believe she's doing this a third time now. I feel so incredibly disappointed in my sister right now. But she's still my sister. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Today I'm excited to go to a "Flexibility and Extensions" class after work.

I went for the first time last week. It's an open age class, and everyone in there was probably under 18 (some way under 18), but I didn't mind. I don't think they minded.

So, I'm excited about this class because I am just now realizing how important flexibility is! For health and well-being. Plus it's impressive, good for dancing.

There are so many types of strengthening and aerobic classes out there, but not that many focused solely on flexibility. I think our exercise culture should emphasize flexibility more. :)  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Monday!

Poor Monday, it usually gets hated on. But it's just a day like any other day of the week. So it's no different either.

Things I'm thankful for today:

-I realized another perk to Daylight Savings I hadn't appreciated until today: it's darker in the mornings. Normally, I would not like this. But today, I found myself actually happy about this, because it made me feel like there would be less traffic in my morning commute.

-I'm having a pretty good hair day

-I'm in good health

-Another beautiful day in the bay area. The weather forecast is Sunny. It's currently 61 degrees, and the high will be 75 degrees. It's perfect.
Steamy 
You have a way about you 
It's undeniable 
You have such grace
I cannot get enough of it 
And that scares me 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Excited to see you 
Can't wait 
I wish the time was already here

I feel like a little girl again

Trusting 
Expecting nothing but the best 

I count down the time 

This feels like the most natural thing in the world to do 

Meanwhile, I have to go about daily life 

I can't forget about that 
I'm excited about that too
I feel like I'm in a cooking rut lately. There's nothing home-cooked I really feel like eating, and therefore, cooking.

I want my enthusiasm back!

I think part of the problem is that I want to eat healthier, but I'm not inspired by the healthy recipes that I see. I want healthy food to taste just as good or even better, not just "almost as good."

Okay, time to get back to the basics. 

My favorite cookbook of all time is Alice Waters' "The Art of Simple Food."

She's not just a famous chef. I think her cookbook is amazing, and why I feel confident calling it my favorite cookbook, is because she doesn't just give you recipes. She teaches you HOW to cook...not just the techniques, but more than that...how to think about food. 

She also makes me appreciate food and cooking in a whole new, healthy way. I never knew I could be so excited about food, let alone healthy food. It's amazing!

I've kind of forgotten about this cookbook for awhile, or put it on the back burner. I guess I was just looking for straight-up recipes, and in different cuisines or cooking styles from this cookbook.

I'm glad to have the variety, but this cookbook is a fundamental and staple for me.
I think it's time to start looking through it again!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

It's a beautiful day today.

The sky is blue, the grass is green, the sun is yellow. 


When I woke up this morning, it looked like this. When I leave work today, it will still be light. I couldn't ask for a more picture-perfect day.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Conclusion to my series of posts on forgiveness 

Whew. This has been really intense for me. I'm glad it's almost over. 


Through this series of posts, I learned that I have a severe problem recognizing when I need to forgive someone and when I need forgiveness from someone. Basically, I'm just totally unaware of things people did to me that actually really hurt me, and of things I did to others that really hurt them. 


This realization is humbling. It's also alarming. I'm scared of not being able to recognize basic things. 


I just have to trust that I'll get better at recognizing when I need to forgive and/or be forgiven. I'm feeling positive about this :). 


Now, I want to end on a further positive note. I think that this series of posts is going to make me feel a lot better. I still have to let it sink in for a bit right now. So we'll see. But, I do think that this will happen. I have more forgiveness in my heart now. :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Personal reflections on forgiveness 

I think that forgiveness is meant to be a huge part of life. Maybe even the biggest part of life. 


It's so, so important. 


Why? 


Because relationships are the most important thing in life. (I'm referring to all kinds of relationships, not specifically romantic ones). They are what make us...human. 


Relationships are so easily broken. This is just the nature of being human. Therefore, we are required to forgive often. 


Forgiveness is also a completely selfless act. 


I think that my personal definition of a great person is: 


Someone who has forgiven often and who has forgiven greatly. 


This is not something that others can judge. Forgiveness is something that happens completely within us.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bible-based thoughts on forgiveness

Here are my thoughts:


I think about...


How God forgave us, all of us, for all of our moral sins. God loved us. Forgiveness is love.


How God sacrificed himself, in the form of Jesus, in order to forgive us. Forgiveness is difficult.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Here is the counterpart to yesterday's post. The addition of this post gives you the whole picture.

What Jesse did to me that hurt me, that I need to forgive him for

Jesse still wanted to be with, and was with, other girls.

He didn't want to commit to anyone. He wanted freedom and to have fun. 

At the same time, he had pursued an emotional connection with me that was real. I couldn't deny the emotional connection.

I felt stabbing pain knowing about his other girls. No girl should ever go through this.

I even saw one of his girls, one time. He brought her to work. I will forever remember what she was wearing. Her demeanor. Her attraction to and chemistry with Jesse. I saw it. 

No girl should ever go through this.

Additionally, Jesse didn't protect me when I most needed him to.

For about three years, I was bullied at work by a group of coworkers while he was here. He was part of this group; they accepted him. Jesse was powerful at work. 

But Jesse didn't use his power to help me. So that made him just as bad as the bullies at work.

He betrayed me.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

I'll try to keep this short and sweet, to the point. I don't want to ramble. This isn't the time to get super emotional. I'm being self-reflective, self-critical. And as always, honest.

What I did to Jesse that hurt him, that I need forgiveness for, that I need to forgive myself for

I...

Led him on for a good three years or so (maybe a little less). For about three years, I made him think that something was possible, could be possible, between us. I showed him enough interest to make him think this.

But I was never going to really let something happen between us. He was playing a game with, chasing, a "dead" person (me). 

I didn't know how to go for things and live life. In my life thus far, I had never, ever gone after something I had really wanted. Everything significant I had done in my life up until that point, I had done for the wrong reasons. Not because I really wanted it. 

Jesse was the first thing I really wanted. And I didn't know how to make that leap. From never going after things, 30+ years of living my life this way, to going after the very biggest thing.

When we take action, we're setting ourselves up to potentially having things go wrong. Things are out of our control. This is not easy. Taking action, when appropriate, is a real strength, and necessary.

So I didn't have this strength, this skill. That's why I say Jesse invested his energy in a "dead" person.

He gave me the benefit of the doubt. How was he supposed to know this about me?

That I would lead him to a dead end.

That's not all. 

I...

Was really insecure. And he suffered for it. 

I had no idea I was so insecure. I wasn't trying to make him suffer. I wasn't doing it from a bad place in my heart. So when Jesse put up with my insecurity and suffered for it, he wasn't being a pushover or weakling. He was being kind to me. 

I'm ashamed to say that my insecurity came out in two significant situations. One was short, about a week long. The other was long...close to three years.

The first situation happened early on. I had known Jesse for a few months. He was making big moves on me. In a very, very attractive way. I went from not liking him at all, in the least bit, to...so, so much. 

And that's when I went nuts. My insecurity was in full-swing. For no reason at all, I assumed that he hated me. I thought that he was a monster. I thought that he was tormenting me and laughing about it. 

I was so hurt. And I needed him to know. For one week, Jesse put up with rage and accusations from me that he didn't deserve at all. Not only that, but he showered me with extra kindness that week. He knew I didn't deserve it, but he saw how I was so genuinely hurt by him. 

His actions towards me that week worked. I felt better again, good as new. Then everything went back to normal between us right away. 

Jesse was the target of my monstrosity. And yet he cared for me then.

After this incident, I should not have had any doubt in my mind about how much Jesse cared about me. Not just a general caring someone feels for an acquaintance, coworker, or friend. Jesse had seen a side of me, a really bad side of me, that no average person would ever see from me. Because he was something more to me. And he had responded to this terrible part of me with total, complete, utter grace. He had given me kindness that no average person could ever give me.

Yet I was still so insecure. After this incident, I still doubted whether he liked me and was ever interested in me.

I needed to take it slow with him. I needed to see more from him. I didn't know that I was being ridiculous.

So that's what he did for me. Jesse gave me his time, his energy, his care, for almost three years. Just to reassure me that he liked me.

I was terrible.

Friday, March 3, 2017

You're never really done

Even after you forgive...


You never really get over the offense

You never really completely forgive the offender
You're always kind of mad, and maybe really mad, when you think about the offense again

You have to forgive over and over again


Forgiveness is not a black and white thing


But it doesn't need to be, for you to feel peace

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Forgiving and forgiven

I forgive you, and

I'm forgiven by you
You forgive me, and
You're forgiven by me

With just one glance at you

With just one thought of you
In just one moment with you
There's so much going on

Strong

Weak
Beauty
Ugliness
Pain 
Joy

It's all there


This feels really good

And this feels really bad

This feels real

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I forgive myself

I did something bad


And...


I really hate myself

Did you know that?
I am my harshest critic
I know how bad I really am

I want to gouge my own eyes out

Hit myself on the head
Hit myself anywhere it hurts
I really deserve this
All this pain

Well, I can hate myself

But I can also love myself

I should let love win

I want to live in a world where love trumps hate
That starts with loving myself and forgiving myself

I was wrong, but I won't hold this against myself any longer

I deserve another chance
I am worthy

I like myself again


That's the best feeling