Love at first site

So more adventures in dating this Sunday morning for you! Spoiler alert, I am overcome on this one and it is a sappy love story instead of the usual “wow, that sucked” story hahaha!

I met this guy on Hinge. He wrote about his kids and how they were his pride in the very first paragraph of his online profile. My kids are grown and my daughters don’t live with me but they are still an important part of my life. My son lives with me so he is a pretty big part of my picture as well!

We texted for a bit and then we video chatted. I am pretty new to the video chat way of dating but it was like a first date. I couldn’t figure out how to get my phone camera to work. Good clue to how he would handle frustration and unexpected problems! It is sad that I even notice or care about that stuff but unfortunately it is important for me to see, I have allowed people to make me feel less than and I am just not doing that anymore. He talked me through how to get it to work and it was smooth sailing from there.

Several online dates and then an in person date. I would be a big fat liar if I didn’t say I wanted to throw up for the ride to his house and probably the first half of the date! He ordered a pizza (can’t go wrong with pizza, am I right?!) and we watched a movie. Good thing it was one I had already seen because we spent the majority of the time talking. Our lives are so similar, we just clicked on so many things. Not going to lie, I could have stayed all night. TALKING, why do you have to go there?!

I read somewhere that the point of the first date wasn’t to impress the other person, you should have done that already. Nope, it is to decide if you wanted a second date. How wrong is it that I planned the second date in my mind throughout the entire first date? I am pretty sure I would not have accepted no if he didn’t want to have that second date hahaha!

So now it is several dates in and I am floored at how well it is going. There have been conflicts, I have gotten stuck at work and I have had a work crisis to deal with on a date. All fine with him. What? I am not used to having someone just roll with it and it is exhilarating and scary all at the same time.

I did not realize how much I feared another person’s reactions. I guess there is some stuff in my mind I have to work through since I am holding my breath every time something comes up I can’t control. I always just figured I was a control freak but it is so much more than that…I spent so much time trying to keep things smooth so there were no waves in my life that it just became a part of my identity. Don’t get me wrong, I work hard to make sure everything goes perfectly and that is a huge character asset. But always being on alert to put out fires is only a good thing if you are a fireman!!!!

So that is it. It is still early in the relationship but I plan on being in this for a long time to come!!

Aman-Splaining

Sitting at my happy place and reading blog posts is making me question my life. It is too early for this! Drinking my coffee at the beach is supposed to be a mindless adventure…what the hell, Amanda?!

I am “doing the work” to become a more well-rounded human. I am asking myself why whenever a thought comes into my head. Like, when you invite someone over and clean like a mad person but then say “don’t mind the mess” so they will actually look at all the cleaning you did. And for the record, I don’t do that! I may tidy up before you come over the first time but then I am all about transparency…as in, you should know that I eat dinner in the living room and don’t bring my plate and silverware to the kitchen until the next day because I only have enough silverware for a day or two and I need to wash it!

No. What I question is when I am telling someone something that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but I feel the unbreakable pull to explain. When my son was little, he had this habit of telling me a drawn out story instead of just answering the question and I would say to him, “Just the facts, Jack” (Meet the Parents…if you haven’t seen it then we can’t be friends…) It is a disease…like ‘man-splaining’…’aman-splaining’?! Do you think guys get that they do that? I truly think I ‘aman-splain’ stuff because I am just the smartest person in the Universe so how could anyone else possibly understand without my input?

No one cares. If they want a novel they will buy one on Amazon. Or as my step Dad used to like to ask…Do you just like to hear yourself speak?! If people want more information they usually ask. And let’s be real, I am not the smartest person in the universe and people are GENERALLY smart enough to figure things out. If they are confused they will ask. Plus, it isn’t like I EVER talk about anything major!

So today, my goal is to say “just the facts, Jack” and not think I have to explain every little thing. Worse comes to worse, the cats always listen when I feel the need to hear myself talk 🤣🤣🤣

Is it really black or white?!

I am literally sitting at the beach right now and I don’t want to leave! The air is cool and the ocean sounds and smells are surrounding me like a warm hug as I sit on the sand.

I have been thinking about my life and my relationships this morning. I have been talking to this guy and we are making plans to meet soon (socially distanced, of course). There is my former crush that I am definitely not over even though I am forcing myself to move on. And then my biggest relationship, with Jesus. I have been ignoring Him, too; it is almost like I don’t want to disappoint Him because I am looking for something.

But is Jesus ever really disappointed in me? All my Christian friends would tell me that God loves all his children and nothing can turn Him away. I am not 100% sure I buy all that, though. And it is almost like I am a willful child who is doing stuff that I KNOW will push the limits of His love for me. I mean, as I mentioned before I am not interested in remarriage. It has ended badly for me twice, first time shame on you and second time shame on me, right?! I am absolutely looking for a man to share my blessings with, though.

Having God in my life keeps me in check so I don’t put the cart before the horse physically so I guess I am not completely off the deep end with my search. Every text or phone conversation feels like I am sinning, though. My black or white mentality is big and strong right now!!

I suppose the bottom line is this…having conversations with someone I want to maybe spend more time with is not wrong and if I get to the point that I want it to go farther I will have to work through that THEN. All this talk about finding what makes me truly happy means nothing at all without Jesus in my ❤

On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you know YOU?

I am beginning to have questions about my recent failed relationship so I figured I would share.

First question–was it really that good? I mean, I truly had a great time with my male friend. We did a bunch of fun stuff together. Except it was HIS fun stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it WAS fun. So much fun! None of it was my idea though. As a side note I must confess that I don’t actually know what to do that is fun and adventurous. A list is called for, I think! Then the next time I find myself in amazing company I will have something to offer. But the bottom line is that in the short time we spent together the boat was clearly being steered by the captain and I was the first mate.

That brings me to my second question, do I NEED someone to steer? I already said that I don’t know what to do that is fun. I work, I watch TV and I read. What a boring existence! In my making of a list, I am going to steer my own ship. I am going to find stuff to do that I enjoy. Just like Julia Roberts in the movie Runaway Bride, I need to figure out how I like my eggs instead of just liking them the way my guy likes them. On my days off, I am going to start doing the stuff on my list. I started today by joining a gym. I didn’t stay and work out but baby steps. I joined. I love the feeling of going to a gym and working out. It is so much better with a group but that will come. And fishing! I used to go fishing with my step Dad so I think on Thursday I am going to do that. Which means tomorrow night I will go night crawling for worms. I haven’t done that since I was a kid either. And taking myself on a picnic. I used to love taking the kids on an impromptu picnic with Subway sandwiches when I was out pet sitting. I love to sit outside and look at the sky. Sounds like a good list item! There are so many things I love to do but for whatever reason I haven’t allowed myself to do them. Somewhere along the line I decided I wasn’t good enough to have fun on my own or smart enough to come up with stuff to do. I am so afraid of trying something and failing that I just concede before I even try. What the heck is that all about?!

I spent the day in a dark cloud because I haven’t heard from him. I sent a bunch of messages and I have been left unread. But when I really think about it, am I upset about being ignored by him or just being ignored in general? I feel like I am throwing a tantrum because my little inner child is being ignored and she doesn’t like that! We dated for 2 months. Not two years…MONTHS. I definitely think I need to get a grip on that reality. Fabulous time, but still only 2 months. Not even long enough to plan a vacation together without rushing things.

I updated my profile on one of the online dating sites so I can start talking to new guys. I even sent out a few conversation starters..but as I spent the day swiping through profiles it occurs to me that I don’t really know what I am looking for so maybe slow my roll for a little bit. And anyway, that was a gut reaction to my temper tantrum I talked about above. I am not lonely or needy. I have a pretty awesome life all on my own and am not truly “in the market” for someone else. Nope, the only person I need to be worrying about getting to know better is AMANDA. She is pretty awesome and fun to be around, especially when you get to know her 🙂

Professional Room Temperature Checker

Once upon a time there was a girl who only thought of herself and how to make herself happy and comfortable. She was selfish without realizing, she honestly believed that by taking care of her own destiny she would be making everyone around her content as well. “You can’t love others without loving yourself”…”you can’t make people happy without being happy with you”…”you do you” and all those cliches. People around her pointed it out (a boyfriend dedicated the song Cold As Ice by Foreigner to her at a club during a fight) or they followed her around like the goddess she just knew she was. Life was good. Or was it?!

All the narcissism was an act to cover the fact that she didn’t feel important or needed. Fake it till you make it was the true cliche she lived by–she just knew someday she would find the person who would make her want to care about someone other than herself. She even got married right away so she could have a reason to put someone else first. She didn’t know that at the time, just like she didn’t know that caring for her younger brother growing up instead of being a kid who was incapable of caring for others like a normal 4 year old was a huge reason for her codependency and whirlwind relationships.

Then she met someone who was so much more narcissistic and self important. Now, instead of being the rule maker and the front runner, SHE was the follower. She drank the kool-aid, she didn’t make a decision or have a thought without getting his superior opinion first. And again, she was unaware. She fell right in line with the belief that she was less than, she did not think twice about the fact that she had no original content anymore. She had finally found the person who she loved more than herself. The person she checked the temperature in the room for to be sure it was perfect. She could just put on a sweater or a short sleeve shirt if she was uncomfortable, how she felt was irrelevant.

When he left, she began to wake up. She looked around and realized she was temperature checking the room for everyone in it, she still felt like she was irrelevant. Even though she tried to go back to being the leader of the pack, she knew she wasn’t happy in that role.

She is still growing and changing, she always will be. She has found a new person to love and adore, except he doesn’t have a “love me fully or you are worthless” vibe surrounding him. And the funny thing is, she feels like she has known him her whole life. With all the “if I don’t take care of me no one will” decisions she had to make in her life, it is pretty clear that He was steering her then. She knows in her heart that everything that happens, every choice she has to make are put in front of her to help her become her best version of herself. She knows that when she is unsure or worried about something she can go to him and talk freely. And when life is good and things are going smoothly, she knows that He is steering that as well. Turns out He is always with her and always ready to listen. Life is good, for real this time.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope…Jeremiah 29:11

Hiding my Fear behind a Mask

Do you “believe” in masks? I am not sure actually. What I DO believe in is not dying LOL!

I am the Shelter Manager at an animal shelter and we have been closed since the middle of March. Next week, however, we will open back up. For appointments only, but we will actually be there for the people that inevitably pop in. I have installed a hand sanitizer right inside the door and I will have a basket of masks for those people who “forget” to wear one. I am NOT convinced they work but I would rather be safe than sorry! Today I have someone coming in to relinquish cat. Although I want to be a helpful member of my community, I have a sick feeling about meeting her. Not her necessarily, just strangers in general actually! It turns out that wishing for things to start moving forward was a nice little dream but I am pretty terrified of that happening. I know that if I am supposed to catch the COVID-19 virus, God has already written that. I know that He has plans and I am on a need to know basis with them. Does the fact that I am afraid anyway mean I don’t have faith?

I guess not doing something because I am afraid and I don’t trust that it will work out; and doing it EVEN THOUGH I am afraid because I know God has got me is the definition of faith for me. I am pretty sure if God didn’t want us to feel fear he wouldn’t have put that emotion in our makeup. Except when the Disciples were afraid during the storm on the sea , Jesus kind of chastised them for being afraid.  “Why are you so afraid? Don’t you have any faith at all yet?” – Mark 4:35-40. So which is it? Can someone explain this to me?!

Off the rails!

Hi there! I am not writing about day 15 of my 21 days of gratitude today because I have something else to talk about. I wasn’t going to “bother you” with this, but then I remembered that I am not trying to be a peacemaker at my own expense anymore. So without further adu…

Standing up for myself and saying what I really feel is not an easy habit to get into. I have actually had times where I have said, “I’m fine” and then turned around as I am walking away to say “actually…” It isn’t that I don’t want to say how I really feel. I don’t actually know what is holding me back!

Maybe I am afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings. Even though I am putting my self first (for the first time in a long time) I still can’t seem to shake the feeling that my opinion or whatever it is will hurt the other person. Then I am not going to feel good, and isn’t that the point of putting myself first?!

And who am I to think my opinion is that important anyway? Maybe no one actually cares what I think and they are only asking because it is the right thing to do. That last part is my crazy, Frank, trying to cause trouble but he has a point! People routinely ask “how are you doing?” when they don’t actually care how I am doing. It is just a polite way to start a conversation. Maybe asking someone’s opinion is being nice because I am there but if I wasn’t it isn’t like that person would think I am going to see what Amanda thinks and call me! But my opinion does matter to some people and I am usually knowledgeable. If I don’t know I will find out and get back to them.

How I approach a situation is another piece in this puzzle. Instead of thinking about what I can say that will make the other person happy without lying of course or/and will keep the good vibes in the room going strong, I need to think about how I actually FEEL about the situation. And instead of just blurting that out, I also need to think about how the other person will react. Not that I am censoring myself anymore, but I don’t have to be a jerk about it, either!

The other part of this is being able to read people. I have always noticed how people are standing or what expressions they have on their face, mostly so I can tell if what I am saying is upsetting them or agitating them. I can change course quickly before it becomes a wave that crashes over the situation and wipes away any happiness or calm. Except now, I need to read their emotions so I can prepare to defend my opinion if they seem like they don’t agree. But still share my opinion, no matter what the body language is telling me.

It is a learning curve, for sure. I learned how to say exactly the right thing most of the time, even if it wasn’t actually how I felt. Learning how to say how I feel without alienating my friends and making people think I am some stuck up jerk will take time but it is doable!