Because they won’t like me if…

Where would we be without boys?  I mean Men.  I mean the opposite sex.  I mean OH I don’t know what I mean.  It has been a life’s decision to call the guys I am attracted to BOYS in an effort to lessen their importance to my emotional psyche as to not obsession constantly about them.  This has been met with mixed results, but at least I am trying, right?

I find myself at home in post Super Bowl bliss because despite the absolute dominance of the Seattle Seahawks (I am a 49er fan), I enjoyed the game immensely.  And for none of the expected reasons.  It was a pleasant surprise and quirky turn of events; that led the joyful, energetic emotions I am experiencing.  Since it has been so long since I have written, I am feeling at a loss on where to start and what to say. So let us begin with the realization of last Friday…

I have a friend I chat things up with from time to time and we usually are deep into the spiritual and psychological brain teasing at what ever stage of life we are in.  Through all the discussions we had the one that hit me like a lightning bolt was the one about my bad habit of trying to PROVE how good I am to the boys I am interested in. Since I have not been exactly successful in attracting the opposite sex to even the step of asking me out, asking for my number or complimenting me; I figured it was time to branch out and try something new.  A lot like the Pink shoes.

As a result of some new boys in my circle, I am coming face to face with my emotions and wants and totally and completely CRAZY bad habits.  With each interaction, I am finding myself completely disturbed by my actions.  So I start to ask myself WHY are you doing that?  Why did you say that?  Why do you feel compelled to do this?  And the answer was always buried in the motive that I needed to PROVE I was good at that particular task.

I needed to bring a STELLAR dish because I needed to PROVE I was a good cook.  I needed to be witty and sarcastic to PROVE I had a good sense of humor.  I HAD to dress up to PROVE I cared about my appearance.  I had to offer up some deep spiritual insight to PROVE my relationship with God was real.  I was REQUIRED to help with EVERYTHING to PROVE I was a serving person. And on and ON the process went for my behaviors in front of guys I was interested in.  I was starting to see the pattern emerge little by little.   I had not quite DUG into the depths of the WHY and HOW COME or WHEN did that start until I had this REVEALING conversation with my friend in the Spaghetti Factory Parking lot at almost midnight.

He was describing some of the reasons he acted he did, and it sent my wheels a turning.  As I began to look at my actions through a similar lens it hit me hard and QUICK.  I do these things to PROVE I am a good woman, worthy of dating, deserving of a partner in crime because in all honesty I do not believe they will be attracted to me based on my appearance alone.  And since I have been told For FOREVER that Guys are only attracted to what they SEE, I must SHOW THEM PROOF; they can look beyond just the physical to all these other ACTIONS and BEHAVIORS to like me, want me, desire me, love me.

WHAM!!! There it is AGAIN, my self-worth or lack there of based solely and completely on my appearance.  That age-old struggle between believing I can be loved as is or only once I change. UGH, ICK, ARG.. really THAT AGAIN?!!?!!??!  It really is TAINTING EVERYTHING ABOUT ME ISN’T IT??? Okay maybe that is being a little overly dramatic (that is the drama queen in me acting up.)

But it was in that moment of clarity that I began again with the strategy for future self-talk.  And a decision to begin loving myself as I am. Being thankful for the body God has given me regardless of the flaws.   To become more at peace with who I am ENTIRELY and wear the confidence of acceptance each and every day.  So now it is just a matter of wearing that confidence around the boys, which leads me to two more life changes: Be in the moment and Just be yourself. To be blogged about later…

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It was just an Awkward night… and then there was the Super Bowl

“What are you looking for?’  Which I believe was intended as a job seeking inquiry.

“I’m looking for a Red-head, Nice body, witty personality; like the Wendy’s commercial girl…”

Is kind of what I thought I heard.  Upon which it was quickly followed up with: “I have dated a lot of blondes and that never ended well.”

Only to hear one of the Married People chime in with my name and a point in my direction.

“HUH?”  Was the only reply I could muster, especially since I am not a natural blonde; but wasn’t in a position to share that with a room full of practically ALL strangers.  I am sure that it looked like there was a look on my face that resembled complete cluelessness or of the hamster wheel spinning to only produce NUTHING.  I had NOTHING.  Which is very uncommon for me.  I am usually very quick on my feet with the sarcastic witty response of the hour.  I consider myself a fairly confident conversationalist in almost any arena; only to be vested speechless in embarrassing or self-conscious moments.  SO this one was a double WHAMMY!!!

Now after suffering that little moment of AWKWARDNESS, the rest of the night was a total disaster.  I was actually trying to get some conversational time with another guy (don’t judge me, I’m single) The Comedian; but we just couldn’t get two moments together in the same room.  Not to MENTION I was having one of those awkward nights where I just couldn’t feel normal in my own skin.  I didn’t know what to DO with myself at any point in the evening.  So I loitered and wandered from room to room aimlessly gaining more and more frustrated as the evening progressed.

The newbie has recently moved here from Wyoming at God’s direction but with no friends and no job; I have no idea how he arrived at Horizon; but that is true of most people.  In personality and interests, I can definitely see some similarities; but he is a full 11 years my younger and I refuse to think myself a COUGAR, so friends seems like the best path.

A week later we seem to acquire the same general space at the Super Bowl party among the singles group.  He is from Colorado so the Broncos are his pick for the evening, while I am rooting for the Seahawks more in regional support than a TRUE die hard fan (born and raised a 49er fan). Even before the game began, we are talking about life, unemployment, Portland, Wyoming, etc.  I make a crack about the red head he is searching for, and he brings up the KISS Dating Goodbye book.  With sarcastic disdain and witty comments galore about how it ruined his good dating years in the Christian community and I INSTANTLY feel like I have a NEW besty.  We discuss the finer points of its colossal misguided attempt to help Christian singles and the WHOLE idea of masculinity in American culture and how the church has adopted this belief hook line and sinker. I make my usual comment about how we single people did it to ourselves by telling all the married people to stop meddling, setting us up, and having parties where we are invited without a partner.

At which point, I must bring up my favorite counter measure to that book which is Henry Cloud’s How to get a date worth keeping and discussing its finer points.  It was a great discussion; only to have a few people around the room agree and disagree with us as we seemed to have our own discussion with an audience. As usual, I blow off any contrary opinions believing their experiences to be the exception and not the rule.

I tried to keep my sarcastic comments about how badly the Broncos were playing, but they did it to themselves.  We laughed at a spattering of commercials and made comments in and among the plays.  At one point, I noticed we were both leaning toward each other on the OVER stuffed chair arm; which caught me off guard a bit because it was totally unconscious (at least for me). No fear, no paranoia, no uncomfortableness, no wondering what this meant, it just was.  Reminds me of the friendships I had back at Sunnyside with all the guy friends, we were just comfortable around each other and openly discussed life, God, the world, etc.  Oh how I miss those friendships, although not romantic in anyway; the ability to discuss, debate, and share life was AWESOME.

So I got to leave the Super Bowl party full of energy and a refreshed spirit like I have not experienced in a LONG LONG time.  And although the comedian was present during the 2nd half we still did not converse, only having a brief comedic exchange about the game.

You did this to Me…

… and other things you didn’t realize your parents did to you.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand they did the best they could and I do not believe my parents were EVIL or anything.  But let’s just say I can hear the voice of Yoda as I type, “The dysfunction is strong with this one…”  Especially my family.

But this post has a very specific INCIDENT to which I want to address.  I FINALLY get those PINK Shoes out of the box and onto my feet to try them out for a few hours.  I am visiting my Dad and feel the need to IMPRESS him with the Newness and BRIGHTNESS of my PINK SHOES; because there is still a part of the little girl in me who wants his validation and the REACTION that a good story USUALLY generates.  So I raise my FEET and announce the presence of my NEW SHOES.  Aren’t They BRIGHT??? Aren’t they cool?? Here are all the reasons I needed them… I DID not mentioned a SINGLE word about RUNNING or the 5K idea that had begun to marinate in my head.  The purpose of the Shoes were JUST to be comfortable for WALKING more. After ALL I needed to do better with my Fitbit Steps.

Somewhere before I had EVEN gotten to the punch line of my story, my dad interrupts with his commentary on RUNNING: “I don’t get runners.  Have you EVER met a happy runner?  I mean look at them they ALWAYS look MISERABLE, Unhappy.  I’ve never met a happy runner.”

AND THERE IT IS SPORTS FANS… the seed to the root of my dislike of running.  HOW is it that ONE parents perception, belief, or joke about an activity can root itself so far down deep into their child’s psyche as to generate a subconscious belief they cling to with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY.  Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like running the mile in Jr High (who did) and by the time I hit High School I couldn’t do the sports I wanted, why would I entertain the thought of running something that was supposed to make me feel miserable.

As soon as he made that joke about the unhappy runner, I heard my inner WOMAN scream, “YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!!” Just like Bill Cosby’s wife says in his comedy routine about her giving birth to their first child.  So I sit there through the rest of my visit and most of my ride home with a new-found sense of identity.  Mostly entertaining a lot of questions, “Who said you can’t run?  Why not do the Couch to 5K?  What could it hurt?  Why not try something else NEW again?  What have you got to lose?  Hasn’t your Dad been wrong about MOST things in life?”  Pretty Much.

So with this new-found realization about my avoidance of running, I begin anew a rebellion against the beliefs of my father. Deconstructing the belief systems I have always had, replacing them with New things.  Taking the bucket list to a whole new dimension, instead of doing things I have always wanted to but haven’t yet; doing things I have always thought I could NEVER do.  Sometimes I don’t know the reason behind the belief I couldn’t do something, but doing them none-the-less.

So November 2nd began my Couch to 5K training.  I got out on the track, in the PINK shoes and completed my first workout.  Having an app and a plan and a GPS and music and a track near by has made this EMOTIONAL first step easier than feared.  But don’t get me wrong, THERE WAS FEAR.  I have been OVERWHELMED by the internal warnings of my fearful lymbic system, “What if it’s locked?  What if you’re not suppose to use it? What if you look stupid?  What if there are people there that laugh and point?  What if your too cold, too hot? What if it starts raining?  What if it’s too hard?  What if it hurts?” and on and ON. I hear it, and push past it, like a determined healthy shopper pushes past all those COSTCO vendors begging you to try a sample of their fried food.  And I made it to the parking lot, I made it to the track, I made it around once, I jogged each interval my app said to do, and I made it through the cool down to complete 35min.

SO THERE DAD!!!! I may not have looked happy while I was doing it; I may have been SCARED out of my mind to TRY IT; I maybe have even looked COMPLETELY out-of-place by the 2 guys doing their own track workout; BUT I DID it.  I ran and finished.  There is nothing and NO ONE saying I can’t do it but me…  And I’m not saying that EVER EVER AGAIN!!!

New Year’s Eve – The Comedian has arrived

As I waited around trying to decide what to do with my New Years Eve the time was slowly ticking away. I don’t get a lot of invitations, but there is a regular standing event with the Singles group. And some how I just wasn’t in the mood to go, but the little voice in my head kept saying… You should go. And as much as I argued that I didn’t want to go, it was insistent. “You like the goals part” it would said, “you should go.”

So in an attempt to appease the voice, not because I believed anything good would come from it, I got ready to go. I decided to pull out the cute new jeans I had purchased a few months ago, but had not quite found the right event to wear them. So I tore off the new tags and added a sparkly shirt and called it good. Well maybe I also did a little curling of the hair and a dash of lipstick. I mean it was New Years Eve after all and there MIGHT be single guys. But I wasn’t holding my breath.

I arrive and find myself a seat next to my trusted friend Miss D just to take up space and wait for the goals time. I didn’t eat or socialize or really notice who was around. And leave it to Lisa to create a game and divide us into teams. It was a form of pictionary based on the New Years Eve theme. I wasn’t even really thinking, I wasn’t even trying, I wasn’t even really paying attention. But I like to win, I like to beat other people, so YES I am just a little competitive.

It was a pretty amazing game because with almost every clue I guessed the item within 30seconds. That was all except for the one guy who was attempting to draw a table of appetizers and all I saw was buffet, potluck, dinner, lunch, etc etc. Not a clue. It was in that one miss that we lost to the other team. But what seemed to attract my attention was the fact that he was truly amazed at my ability to guess. He was giving me high five’s and showering me with praises at my ability to figure it out. IT was a little confusing and almost contrary to everything I was feeling, but I decided to just GO with it.

So we get to the goals section where I get to see what I wrote down last year or was it the year before. It is what I expected, as I managed to move myself into the deep thoughts moment I was searching for, I wrote my goals for this new 2014 year. Not as many and a few way more specifically defined. Continuing on with the hard work and effort I have been making. I feel someone loitering over my shoulder but I allow them to stay there and I am almost not even trying to hide what I have written because I am not ashamed or even apologetic when it comes to the things I want to change about myself.

As I finish up and wander to the center of the room to drop off the tiny piece of paper in the sacred bucket (to be read next year); I feel a friends hand on my shoulder. “Don’t move for just a moment” I hear. It is the lovely Miss K proceeding to pull a sticker off the back of my pants. THE SIZE STICKER I realize!!!!! THAT GIANT LONG strip of plastic all the way down my butt and my thigh. I feel the hottest of moments of embarrassment and struggle to not allow myself to meltdown internally because of this one little instance. As I was about to return to my seat thanking Miss K for TAKING care of me, I hear this VOICE from across the room.

“IT WAS ME I SAW IT! I WAS THE ONE!” While I am totally perplexed at the moment with how to react and how to feel and how to respond. I some how manage to joking throw out there, “Thanks for looking out.” And mosey my way across the room back to my seat. Now I had done it. I had exposed myself to a HORRIFICALLY embarrassing experience right HERE and I didn’t even want to BE HERE. I fight tooth and nail with my psyche to NOT let it get THAT bad, to not DWELL on my crazy, to NOT spiral out of complete control from the moments of joy and fun I WAS truly having.

Then I started to question WHY would you do that? Why would you draw attention to yourself like that? Why would you want this perfectly nice stranger to KNOW it was YOU who detected this fatal flaw in her wardrobe? What could you possibly have to gain? ANd it was in that moment the BEST POSSIBLE REVELATION FLASHED through my mind.

He was looking at my Ass!!! He was checking me out? Oh MY Goodness!!! Now That is what that feels like. Now this is something I could get use to, sticker or not. The attention seeking, quiet funny, generously kind, cleverly creative, appetizer guy wanted MY attention on HIM even if it was for an embarrassing sticker. Everyone I’d like you to me The Comedian.

Flashback circa 2006 – Florida

It isn’t so much that I was a literary genius back when I was rambling on-live without focus,  before I knew it was called blogging.  But like any form of journal writing it is nice to see where you were, what ya thought and how those things looked back then.

This was one of the 4 week trips I took to Florida for work.  I usually am part of a team that will travel for 4-6 weeks to train a company we have purchased on the new software system and procedures for our company.  We spend 2 weeks training them one on one with the new software and then FLIP DA SWITCH “Go-Live” and support them for 2 weeks walking them through the actual application of all that training.  I remember this branch in Rockledge, Florida having a very positive attitude with a small crew of 5-6 to train.  One of  my New Hire training stories I use to this day, I experienced at this branch post Go-Live.

The Florida adventure:

It has been quite the LONG adventure to Florida for the last 7 weeks for work.  But the final outcome was more than I could have hoped for.  The branch I was working with had a fantastic Go-Live day and there was so many things that made that possible.  The great co-trainer I had, Katrina; the open to the important suggestions Branch Manager, Chris; and finally myself keeping enough checklists that I remembered to cover and recover almost EVERYTHING.  It was a great experience and I am truly blessed because the Branch Manager actually called my boss and asked me to stay an extra two weeks.  I didn’t end up staying, but I would have because this crew was such a good one to work with.

It was a long time away from my friends and psuedo family, but when I came home it was just as sweet.  The only down side was realizing I had left my own space in total chaos, so there is a lot of organizing and sorting to do.  Goodness I hope I get out from under all this mess soon.

So how am I doing… I think things are good.  I have at least four major work projects coming up and I am hoping and praying I don’t screw them up.  I am getting really good with my lists and lists.  I am trying to cut back on the caffeine, at least the mochas and the Dew.  Since my stay in Florida I am now drinking more water daily than I have most of my life.  I am gonna try to keep up the habit.  And I have pledged to be more thrifty in the next few months in an attempt to get a better handle on my finances.  I know its possible… just need to focus my attention.

Today’s Reflection: 

I have since sworn off Mochas in my daily life, am practicing a sugar-free life in my drinks (no more Mt. Dew), but I am back to struggling with the water.  For some reason I just can’t seem to get that part of my lifestyle into place.  I have DEFINITELY made progress on the financial front.  Come December of this year 2013, I will be FREE of my stupid Debt and only have my Student Loan (although HUGE) left to pay off.

You did this to me…

… and other things you didn’t realize your parents did to you.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand they did the best they could and I do not believe my parents were EVIL or anything.  But let’s just say I can hear the voice of Yoda as I type, “The dysfunction is strong with this one…”  Especially my family.

But this post has a very specific INCIDENT to which I want to address.  I FINALLY get those PINK Shoes out of the box and onto my feet to try them out for a few hours.  I am visiting my Dad and feel the need to IMPRESS him with the Newness and BRIGHTNESS of my PINK SHOES; because there is still a part of the little girl in me who wants his validation and the REACTION that a good story USUALLY generates.  So I raise my FEET and announce the presence of my NEW SHOES.  Aren’t They BRIGHT??? Aren’t they cool?? Here are all the reasons I needed them… I DID not mentioned a SINGLE word about RUNNING or the 5K idea that had begun to marinate in my head.  The purpose of the Shoes were JUST to be comfortable for WALKING more. After ALL I needed to do better with my Fitbit Steps.

Somewhere before I had EVEN gotten to the punch line of my story, my dad interrupts with his commentary on RUNNING: “I don’t get runners.  Have you EVER met a happy runner?  I mean look at them they ALWAYS look MISERABLE, Unhappy.  I’ve never met a happy runner.”

AND THERE IT IS SPORTS FANS… the seed to the root of my dislike of running.  HOW is it that ONE parents perception, belief, or joke about an activity can root itself so far down deep into their child’s psyche as to generate a subconscious belief they cling to with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY.  Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like running the mile in Jr High (who did) and by the time I hit High School I couldn’t do the sports I wanted, why would I entertain the thought of running something that was supposed to make me feel miserable.

As soon as he made that joke about the unhappy runner, I heard my inner WOMAN scream, “YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!!” Just like Bill Cosby’s wife says in his comedy routine about her giving birth to their first child.  So I sit there through the rest of my visit and most of my ride home with a new-found sense of identity.  Mostly entertaining a lot of questions, “Who said you can’t run?  Why not do the Couch to 5K?  What could it hurt?  Why not try something else NEW again?  What have you got to lose?  Hasn’t your Dad been wrong about MOST things in life?”  Pretty Much.

So with this new-found realization about my avoidance of running, I begin anew a rebellion against the beliefs of my father. Deconstructing the belief systems I have always had, replacing them with New things.  Taking the bucket list to a whole new dimension, instead of doing things I have always wanted to but haven’t yet; doing things I have always thought I could NEVER do.  Sometimes I don’t know the reason behind the belief I couldn’t do something, but doing them none-the-less.

So November 2nd began my Couch to 5K training.  I got out on the track, in the PINK shoes and completed my first workout.  Having an app and a plan and a GPS and music and a track near by has made this EMOTIONAL first step easier than feared.  But don’t get me wrong, THERE WAS FEAR.  I have been OVERWHELMED by the internal warnings of my fearful lymbic system, “What if it’s locked?  What if you’re not suppose to use it? What if you look stupid?  What if there are people there that laugh and point?  What if your too cold, too hot? What if it starts raining?  What if it’s too hard?  What if it hurts?” and on and ON. I hear it, and push past it, like a determined healthy shopper pushes past all those COSTCO vendors begging you to try a sample of their fried food.  And I made it to the parking lot, I made it to the track, I made it around once, I jogged each interval my app said to do, and I made it through the cool down to complete 35min.

SO THERE DAD!!!! I may not have looked happy while I was doing it; I may have been SCARED out of my mind to TRY IT; I maybe have even looked COMPLETELY out-of-place by the 2 guys doing their own track workout; BUT I DID it.  I ran and finished.  There is nothing and NO ONE saying I can’t do it but me…  And I’m not saying that EVER EVER AGAIN!!!

It’s a pair of shoes… PINK SHOES…

It all started with a pair of shoes…

These are THE shoes that started it all.

These are THE shoes that started it all.

It was a classically stormy SUMMER day on a drive to Seattle, when I stopped to buy a SPECIFIC pair of Sketchers.  Now I did buy those shoes but then started to say… It would also be nice to have a good pair of dress shoes… Anyone else have that experience where ONE simple shopping trip turns into a mega purchase instead of JUST THAT ONE Item?  But alas this post is not about my shopaholic tendencies.  After the Dress shoes were acquired, that little inner voice says, “If you are gonna be doing ALL that NEW walking you are going to NEED actually runner type shoes.. the ones you have hurt your feet.” Insert DEEEP sigh here.  The inner voice for once was right, I DID want to do more walking and ALL 4 pairs of my current tennis shoes were not cutting it.

As I began to walk the shelves of running shoes, I INSTANTLY became overwhelmed in NEW uncharted territory.  So many choices, so many options, and the PRICE tags drove my blood pressure to new heights IMPRESSING upon me I COULDN’T afford a pair of $100 shoes that were going to sit in my closet.  I began to think, I CAN’T make this decision today; I need input from some EXPERTS, I have to AT least Facebook it or message a few friends I KNOW are runners for advice.  THEN I SAW THEM… The brightest PINK Shoes you have EVER seen, as the comic relief part of my brain took over and shouted, “NOW THERE’s some shoes you would NEVER Buy…” Having a moment of levity I actually chuckled out loud.

For those of you playing from outside the realm of KNOWING me… You have to understand I HATE pink.  I don’t care that it is the champion color for a great cause that I should support with every fiber of my being.  I don’t care that it has been the champion anthem colorant of my gender, I have had a total rebellion against ANYTHING girlie for as far back as I can possibly remember.  At women’s luncheons where the theme is wear ONE item of pink, I come dressed in ALL black as a statement.  I JUST DO.  So to even CONSIDER an item of clothing or footwear of the PINK variety is very contrary to one of my life’s missions.

“…You have been doing A LOT of things you would have never done before these days…” Says an ENTIRELY different voice.  One with way more wisdom and authority.  So my only response is to think YES… YES I HAVE. And with that I grab the BRIGHT PINK shoes off the shelf to try them on.  AND If that wasn’t ENOUGH I see a picture of Jillian Michaels on the side of the box, OH GREAT just ANOTHER reason I would NEVER buy these shoes.  I HATE feeding the Marketing machine, and she stresses me out just WATCHING her on TV let alone imagining her as my trainer.  I would fall apart in an instant; I don’t do well with being yelled at.  But at this point I am determined.

And as I am taking them to the bench to try them on I see they are K-Swiss brand.  This is their ONE saving grace… I LOVE K-Swiss shoes, 3 of the 4 pairs of worn out shoes I have are K-Swiss.  So I have mentally bought the shoes before they have EVEN hit my feet; at which point I am REALLY hoping they will even fit and feel good.

AS EXPECTED, they are like a dream on my feet.  Soft, squishy, plenty of room and I actually FEEL sporty wearing them.  As a last-ditch moment of anxiety I pray, “Please Lord don’t let this be a mistake.”  There I go THREE boxes of shoes in hand to the register, they are MY shoes NOW.