Lonely nights are here again

The nights have been the worst of times for close to 11 months.

TOUCH

The narcissist filled the voids in my life, my heart, my bed. He provided me the things I needed and desired for years. How do I let him go when I still need to hold him? How do I let him go when I still need him to hold me?

NEED

When you are not needed as a woman who is filled with love to give, it breaks you down. So when that sparkly eyed person rubs the bottle and your genie pops out… how do you put her back into the life of solitude and loneliness? How do you force her back into the bottle there is no air and no life there?

LAUGHTER

Over getting your wig split, watching a dumb video, inside jokes, meme’s, silly stories…. Laughter flowed freely. It made the house sound alive again. It made my belly move again. It felt like joy overflowing and tumbling out of me.

FUN

Out to dinner and drinks. Being twirled by a fountain and dipped by a parked car. Making out like youngsters on top of a white coupe. Playing games together. Enjoying quiet moments. Breakfast at 2pm. Coffee shops, friends, alone time, bathtubs. Shots, or sharing a nice bottle of red that is now a favorite. Before the drama when enough became too much.

INTIMACY

Maybe the words were not flowing yet but the look. Eyes on mine. Wide and asking. The look was there. The hope for it all, the need, the wanting so badly to trust each other.  The uncertainty behind them. The questions we both had unasked. Two people who had built walls. The hope alive that it would get there. You cannot fake a look can you? If you can you win the award babe cause I have never seen that look before.

If I could wish on a star to make this not be true, I would.

I wish the alcohol, the abuse, and the darkness did not come. I sparkled and started to catch feelings when I held his hand and looked at him. And now I am lonely again at night with nothing. I am forced to forget, move on, leave him behind. I just want to see him and it all be ok. I cannot. I won’t. Please someone help him since I cannot.

Sad for him. Sad for me. Betrayed. Confused. Lonely.

 

This image from https://www.comedycard.co.uk says it all really…

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Widow and the Narcissist

5 weeks he tried to break me but I did not. Did he think that because I am a widow I would be an easy target to his predator tendencies? I am STRONG AS FUCK! I am a warrior. I am a suicide survivor. I am his match.

I met this guy on Tinder/Cupid. We went out for 5 weeks. The good times were the best. The bad times were like he was a demon.

He was beautiful to look at with eyes that sparkled like nothing I had seen, a dazzling albeit crooked smile, hair and beard that just worked for him. A Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers swagger. He was fun, chill, and made me live.

Then the Vodka came… and the bad statements… and the undeniable need to try to break me. I knew it right away but did not get it fully either. I caught a red flag day two and should have let him go. But I was dazzled, mesmerized, already lusting hard. I was vulnerable to his charm. His charm was like nothing I have ever seen. I swear he watched a video on how to do all this to a woman. He is good. He is not all demon, sometimes he lets you in. Sometimes he drops his guard. Just enough to tangle you into the web of ups and downs, of emotional abuse.

He is a Narcissist. I am sad for him, sad for me, and sad for what could have been. The good times were perfect if I ignored the perceived slights. But I could not ignore the reality. He would have taken me down a rabbit hole. He would have let me fall in love. He would have used me for money, sex, drinking, food more than he started to. I let him go. I will miss holding him, rubs, him kissing my forehead, feeling needed for the first time in years. I will miss the intimate and quiet moments with him that started to intoxicate me. He is a drug, he had to be quit. I am sad for this side, this man with a heart and potential. Sadly he has another half of his heart that is filled with poison and venom, demons, hatred for woman, hatred for others, lack of empathy, lack of confidence, a clearly abusive past. I offered to help but he could not let me. I wish him nothing but good but I know the story will not end well he is too prideful to get the support he needs. It is my understanding Narcissists think the way things are is how they should be. Oh I am sad for that. Potential unreached. A man alone for life. A sad woman who wanted to believe in the charm but is too strong to even consider staying in this. I tried to let someone in and they tried to devastate me. I will not be broken.

The result of this 5 weeks is me thinking about what I have learned and here it is in my quoted words:

Life as it turns out is neither easy nor fair…. living is better than dying… love/lust is complicated…. most people are terrible…. mental illness is an epidemic that is not dealt with or handled well in our society. I have determined the best we can do is find the few good souls to surround yourself with that makes it all tolerable. Learn from mistakes. See red flags. Do not get attached to anyone or anything. Be self-reliant and resilient. Battle and fight for survival at all costs. Do not let them see you break. Be strong as fuck.

In case you find yourself wondering more about the topic there is a lot of great research out there. Here are some great image files I found. And one awesome article. If this is a person you are dating. Get out now before they break you.

http://www.businessinsider.com/dating-a-narcissist-phrases-to-know-2017-3/#1-love-bombing-1

 

Below you will see some of the works of Beau Taplin. These quotes helped me.

“August and Everything After”

The title just came to me because of course listening to Music has been such an important part of my life re-entry.

I think I am starting to feel like there was truly  “August and Everything After” just like the Counting Crows named their album. August marks month 10 without my husband. In almost all respects I am further along than I expected myself to be. Things are not easy all the time of course but life is being lived.

  • Met a Great Guy in month 10 and we are dating and taking it slow. We do not do the heavy stuff yet. It is ok with me most of the time. I hope someday we will share more about each other but for now we are enjoying time together.
  • Continued on my path of not giving a FUCK about rules/the order of things.
    • Invited said Guy out to a house party on the day we met each other online asking if he wanted to break all the rules!
  • Purchased a new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in month 10.
  • Took control of my health in month 10. Determining that I may once and blue moon need something to calm me down and allow me to focus.
  • Got caught up at work after weeks of beating myself up over being foggy.
  • Prioritization began that I was planning to do after month 12….
    • leaving behind a volunteer position that meant the world to meant the world to me at one time.
  • Stopped being a doormat to the people in the volunteer group who did not respect me enough to treat me well.
  • Broke away from my theory that living could only begin truly after the first year.
  • Stayed out having the best time until 4am. Smoked Hookah for the first time!
  • Put down my phone/laptop/to truly enjoy the moments.
  • Grieved on the 10 month mark by shedding a few tears and talking to my brothers.
  • Just like the medium said I would I began to put even more things of his away.
  • Stopped wearing my engagement ring on the right hand and put it away for good.
  • BE HERE NOW. LIVE EVERY MOMENT

There is no particular order of these things. I am sure a few of these things weave into one another. Life was meant to be lived. Driving the Jeep brings a smile to my face. Looking into his blue eyes even though I do not know what we will mean to each other makes me giggle. Letting go of things that no longer serve me makes me lighter. Happiness is sneaking in where all there had been was sadness, guilt, blame, shame, and loss. I am trying hard to make sure that I recognize the progress, know it is coming from me and me alone. Yes meeting a great guy is wonderful and fantastic but I do have to give myself credit for my progress apart from him. I am ready to date him because of this progress.

 

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Dating… is that what you call it?

Am I crazy?
I want to go out on actual dates and get to know someone. I don’t want to live on the apps forever and I don’t want to be stalked either. So I do not want to provide you all my personal info right away. Did you just ask me for my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, & phone number all within 4 minutes of messaging me?

On Inviting me to Netflix and chill:
Why do guys think a girl would go to their house when they do not know them? What girls are going because clearly someone is taking these guys up on the offer?

Why did I bother with my bio?
The slackers that are on the site clearly could not be bothered to read it anyways. Most do not put any effort into their bio. Leaving you with no information so even if you find them remotely attractive you have no idea what to even talk about or ask after you swipe and match.

Things I included on my bio:
My interests so that the person could have some ideas on what to talk to me about. Things that some guys may not like so that would rule out people who I could not be with. “Must love dogs”- for example. I included the fact that I am a widow. I finally put something about “looking for a quality guy who actually dates and courts a woman – no one night stands”. I include some pictures that are really me, that are not taken in bathrooms, that are not old. I did not borrow someone’s kid or pet

A few images to show you the types of messages I get first:

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Dating Sites Tried so far: Match.com, Plenty of fish, OK Cupid, and Tinder.

I am currently on Cupid and Tinder.

First date:

Meeting at a bar in Raleigh: Guy shows up with a tank top and sits at the bar waiting for me to arrive. We remain at the bar to have drinks and never get an actual table. Apart from his lazy apparel he has never had a relationship that lasted more than a year. He struck me as young minded in terms of relationships and perhaps he is more interested in men than women and is not aware of this. He was friendly and nice, he did pay the bill (drinks and a shared appetizer). No spark. No real effort. (Plenty of Fish)

Second date:

Guy messages me lets me know he will deploy in a couple of months. I thank him for his service and say it is not good timing to meet. He does not like my answer and persists a few hours later. Assuming he would not join I say if you are in need of a night out you can meet me out with my friends. He does show. He is cute. We drink and actually kiss (my first kiss since my husband passed away). We hang out the next day as we hit it off. And then he got crazy, angry, bitter, strange, and clingy. By day 5 he had to be blocked. (OK Cupid)

 

9 months… trying to live

So I have not been writing as much. I got myself out of whack. Sometimes when I write I have to tell the story I am ready to share or the circumstance I am prepared to explain. I have been doing far better than I would have thought I could be at 9 months. I miss him but I do not really want to talk about it or think on it at this moment.

The fact is I have been alone, lonely, untouched, and feeling unloved for longer than 9 months. I know that he loved me intellectually but he just could not show it. It has to be years of this.

I am tired of this loneliness this constant feeling of empty. I feel like I want to claw my way out but I have nothing to cling to. I am trying to meet people, to do new things, to attempt to find someone who can look at me the way I should be looked at. It is so hard. It feels bad to be out there searching. I thought I had done the leg work many years ago.

The even harder part is how far out of practice I am. 12 years ago it was a different ballgame. Things like online dating, emoticons, acronyms, are Greek to me. Signs of flirting must have changed. Apparently flirting just does not mean anything now? I thought blushing when you see someone signified interest in them but that may not be the 2017 version of dating. I thought that when someone asks if they should call you it means they want to actually get your digits and call you. I will not even speak the emotionally unbalanced 34 yr old I found on OK Cupid who basically implied I should change and be more needy (amongst other crazy things he said over 5 days).

I hoped that me being 36 would still allow me to date people in my 30’s but the fact is the guys who are interested are 40+. The guys that flirt and seem interested do not really want me, it appears! It seems to me that the ones I do not like are all about trying to get to know me.

My late husband says I will find someone who can open up to me and I will be happier (through the medium) but the fact is I do not know how I will even pickup and continue looking.

At 9 months I am lost and unsure but I am trying. I wish I had a rock to grab onto. I would not let myself anyways though would I?

I have to come to terms with the fact that my independence is needed to stay alive as a grief wave rider. And guys cannot handle the lack of NEED. 

I am not even sure if I am articulating this correctly. This quote says it all. I hope the weirdo calls…

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Support Systems: Mediums

When my husband passed away I did not have a note. I did not have a warning. I did not have any preparation that he was going to do this. I had shock. After all the planning that I did for the services and my time off from work. I still had nothing but questions remaining .

WHY? WHY? WHY? and What did I miss that killed him? How could I have stopped this?

A few of my long time friends suggested that I go see a medium. I had never done it. I did not want to made a fool of or taken advantage of. I just was not sure. Looming over me were the questions.

On April 19th after months of waiting (this person books 4-5 months out easily). I went to see this highly recommended medium (who does Reiki and psychic work too).

I just want to cut the suspense for you so that you can freely join the ride and hear the importance…. this was the BEST DECISION I MADE. This was a TURNING POINT in my grief journey. I am beyond thankful I went.

That said do your research on who you go to there are people who are not so honest in this industry as with any.

April 19th a Tuesday:

I went into her office and laid down on the massage table. She looked into my chakras and energy and found everything to be closed off. Normal for what I had gone through. She immediately noted I had been around significant amounts of loss. I said nothing.

The medium mentioned that two spirits had interest in coming through. She said one is male and one is female. The male is younger. I said nothing. *Secretly hoping she picked the younger male. She did. Immediately her head began to hurt badly and she right away asked did this person shoot himself and then as I shook my head no her throat constricted to the point where she could barely breathe. She knew. I knew. He died by hanging. Nothing needed saying. He showed her where he did it and quickly asked her to leave the house with him as he preferred to be in nature and outside. She described the view he showed her and it was our land creek and all.

When it came down to it there were many important things mentioned. I had questions but held them to the end or did not ask at all because I wanted this to be pure. I was worried to tip the answers. I was hot as can be while he was there and I felt a heavy presence around me like the air had changed.

He showed her a kaleidoscope of dark images. The inside of his mind and the dark thoughts that had been plaguing him. She mentioned this had gone on so long.

He expressed his love for me and apologized several times. He immediately wanted me to understand that it was not my fault at all. That this was his own view of things, it was in his head. He wanted her to tell me “it was his shit it was all my shit” and “his head was fucked up”. I remember her struggling to swear as she does not like to and his persistence to get me to understand with those words. He said I could not have done anything to save him. He did not have the words to tell me what was wrong. I could not have asked one extra question. Even if he had the words he was ashamed and would not have asked for help.

He thanked me for showing him love (which was similar to our wedding vows he wrote so that really stuck out).

When I did ask later why did you get so angry with me he showed her that he wanted me to turn my back on him for a long time so that when he left this would not hurt so much. He showed that I never did turn my back on him.

Besides some of the things that were poignant surrounding the suicide he provided clarifying small things that showed us married (symbol of two rings entwined) an image of someone with his same name that happened to be the medium’s son so that she could qualify to me who he was. He even made sure he mentioned things that I said out loud to other people (like when I was in the car with a friend telling me about where his parents have homes he showed those states to the medium).

Then he went into different areas of my life.

  • He asked me to watch out for one of our friends and I have since severed ties with him.
  • He mentioned he was glad that family had his things (especially the one with the watch he showed the image of the band). That was someone he was very close to. He showed my large family as warmth and that we kept him alive longer than he would have been.
  • He mentioned work would continue to open doors for me.
  • He was happy to have the chance to get some of this out. He was happy I came.
  • He expressed that he could not show me love and affection properly because he did not know how to and had not seen it growing up.
  • He expressed that I would find love again and he would make sure they were not a “scumbag” (which is what I used to call all the people I dated before him except for one guy).
  • He said I may have a daughter someday maybe.
  • He mentioned dates that would be important or turning points (september in NY)
  • He told me to live, dance , and be happy
  • He would see me in the birds and nature and he will be watching out for me. (He told me he comes a lot but I do not pay attention).

The way I understand it is that they “speak” in symbols, images, and show the story to the medium. She is there to interpret them for us. It is an amazing experience. Go in skeptical but open.

I went back to this same medium in June on the 22nd because she had an opening and I happened to be home. My husband came through but also said he wanted this time to be for me so that I can work on the other things like Energy, Chakras, and my future.

Year to Date I have seen 2 mediums 4 times. There is a lot of the same things and consistency in the messages. The first reading is the one I have highlight because it was the most comprehensive and the one that helped me move forward the most. I also saw the other medium I believe in May and then again on the 21st of July along with a lot of work on my energy.

  • Both mentioned it was his issues only not anything with me
  • Both mentioned finding love again
  • Both mentioned the possibility of a daughter
  • Both expressed that my husband was in severe and intense pain on this Earth
  • Both let me know he is in heaven and doing well and living in nature

I am withholding some information on here because it speaks to my future and affects others so I will not share that.

The day after the first reading I flew home and looked outside and the Cardinal was there for the first time watching out for me. He came again at the 6 month anniversary of his passing. Another time the day of the tattoo. He comes now and again to see and check on me but I know sometimes I am not paying attention.

 

Special Announcement- Now active on Facebook- Grief Waves Young Widow Warriors Suicide Survivors Support Group

Grief Waves has decided to start an online support group called Grief Waves Young Widow Warriors Suicide Support. If this is you please join us!

This group was created as a safe place for Young Widow Warriors who have lost their spouse/significant other to suicide. Loss of a spouse at any age is hard, but adding the layers of unexpectedness and suicide is nearly unbearable. There are many grief support groups out there for Widows but not many deal with the younger adult and suicide as well. This is targeted so that we can get the help and support we need from each other. The group was created to discuss grief, loss, suicide, love, Widow Life, how to cope, therapy, EMDR, life Re-entry, resiliency, acceptance, and how to live and flourish after this loss. Welcome to this safe, kind, and accepting place we can ride the waves of grief together and hold each other up like pieces of driftwood.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GriefWavesYoungWidowWarriorsSuicideSupport/

 

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REBLOG—-A Widow’s Rage Defense of Patton Oswalt’s Engagement

I have never re-blogged before but this topic had to be spoken about. Thank you to Erica Roman for this thoughtful blog entry!!

I cannot believe anyone would judge this man for finding love again. This man lost his wife unexpectedly a little over a year ago. He has managed to find love again and is engaged to be married. Until you walk a day in the shoes of an unexpected Widow or Widower and know what it feels like you should not judge. Even then you should not judge. Everyone’s path is different. Everyone grieves differently. It is none of your business when a Widow(er) moves on. We are in living hell, sad, lonely, and in my case young and unexpectedly the rug was pulled out from under me and my husband died. I did not ask to be here in this space. I did not ask for him to leave we did not divorce. We were in love and then he was gone. The fact that Widow(ers) are resilient and can get up and attempt to trust someone and perhaps love someone again is remarkable. Life is short so we should all not be afraid to live and love again. My personal journey is no one’s business but I can totally see how someone could find love this fast. Widow(ers) know that life is fleeting, that we are all dying. We learn to live in the moment. When we feel something we usually decide to take the risk and tell the other person. If you would think less of me for moving on from a life I did not choose. Please do me a favor and de-friend me now because judgement of anyone has no place in my world. Great blog post from a Widow on the topic. I can only hope that some day someone will love me again and I can share the remaining years I have with a wonderful man. Living this great life alone is not what any of us signed up for.

Best of luck Patton Oswalt may she bring you happiness, joy, and life!

Erica Roman Blog

Yesterday I was very excited to see that the comedian Patton Oswalt had announced his engagement to Meredith Salenger. Now, anyone who know’s me knows that I don’t follow the lives of celebrities at all. I’ve made an exception for him. Our spouses both unexpectedly died within 3 days of each other and both of us have processed our grief journey fairly openly. (Of course, his platform is a mite bigger than mine lol)

On the 102nd day of his journey (105 for me) he wrote in a Facebook post,

“I was face-down and frozen for weeks. It’s 102 days later and I can confidently say I have reached a point where I’m crawling. Which, objectively, is an improvement. Maybe 102 days later I’ll be walking.”

I shared that post on my own page because I could connect to that place he was in. No longer frozen, but the…

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I interrupt this Grief Wave for a random thought on Wanting and Living

So I know I am supposed to continue on about support systems as I am exploring all of them. It should be Support systems and mediums today. But, this is my blog and my outlet. I do not know who reads it and who does not and that is ok. It is anonymous for a reason. It is here to share my thoughts and continue my honest truth and living presently. I have bottled up some of the stuff beyond the grief.

So, instead of support and mediums. I bring you this….

I am being me. I am living. I am 8.5 months into this and I am ok. I am happy sometimes. I am sad sometimes. I am angry sometimes. I am emotional sometimes. I am quiet and a loner sometimes. I am ready for action sometimes. I do not need anyone or anything really in order to get by (well maybe some help w my 5 pets when I travel!) I am independent, self-reliant, smart, educated, and successful. I own a place, pay my bills, work hard and play hard. My heart is huge and empty but that is just how it is right now. I am learning to go on hikes and swim alone, reading a ton, writing even more, booking yoga retreats and maybe even camping too. I am learning to live like I never have; taking back what his depression took from us. I admit I have been convinced to try the crazy online dating thing. Guys ask me out at bars, random places, or online. I am finding peace and happiness in myself and in this moment.

It is not about getting a date; that is easy; it’s finding a person who I could even consider talking beyond one moment to. The guy that challenges your mind, that shares your beliefs, that makes your heart beat faster, that infuriates you in a good way, that makes you want again. That pulls you closer with one look. That you knew the moment you saw them that they would impact your life forever.

So, I have convinced you this is not need. That I am riding grief waves with the best of them and not drowning.

I cannot control however that I sometimes Want. I want to share things with him, laugh with him, hold him close to me, I want to develop something again, I want my friend to be there more. Who would not want to share time with someone they get along well with. I think I blew it long ago (well that’s pretty much what he said). I expressed where I am at and was shot down. But I was honest, raw, open, and vulnerable for the first time in a long time.

I am doing fine, I am not crying and pining away. I am not depressed. I did not stop living and woe is me. It’s more of a disappointment. I am strong and resilient. I am doing me. I am opening myself up to new things, new people, experiences. I have been through hell and this is NOT going to break me if THAT did not.

The Want I have to let go of is there in the background.

I cannot control how I started to feel, how he feels, or how either of us choose to respond to those feelings or lack thereof. I know that he either feels nothing, feels something & won’t admit it, or sees no reason to explore for a myriad of reasons. Maybe it’s scary to try for him I know for sure it is for me. Maybe for some people risk outweighs potential benefits. Maybe the past is harder to forget than people think. Maybe there is someone else. Maybe he doesn’t want to look like the one who is talking to the Widow Girl. And the worst one maybe a person can be attracted to and friendly with someone, but not want more than that because they simply are uninterested and feel nothing around them. Ouch that one hurts.

It is not about the future it is about the present moment. And now at this moment we are not on the same page and that is ok. It is not my place to change his mind, convince him I won’t hurt him again, or give him my list of qualities. Nor would I want to. It has to be organic. It is not something you chase after. It is not something I would want to rush into. I know that I bring a set of issues and complications that most people would not want to take on. I know that I will be his friend and there for him regardless of this.

All I wanted was a chance to see. My experience is that the best relationships I had started as friendship (I had two amazing ones my late husband and well this person). You cannot get someone to let you in. You cannot change how someone feels and you cannot change how they respond. You can only go by what they say even if you are uncertain you believe it or understand it fully. You can be their friend, drop the flirtations, let your feelings out, then you can push those feelings aside because they do not feel the same.

For myself and my own sorting – I had given it a lot of thought.

  • What it isn’t for me: need, loneliness, settling, convenient, easy, rushed, a band-aid/rebound

 

  • What it is for me: complicated, confusing, insane, potential, scary, living, joy, fun

 

  • What it was for me: special, memorable, passionate, outstanding, emotional, amazing, comfort, joy, love, regretful in the end

 

  • What it could have been: everything we never thought we would ever have a chance at again because of how life went…plus the good stuff we had before…. (and I did not even share the half of it).

 

  • What it is instead: A friendship that I hope continues to grow strong. I hope it becomes a two-way street where he comes to me too on bad days. I hope he values and enjoys our time as friends as I do.

 

  • What he did for me: Made me smile and laugh when I did not think I could. Gave me something to look forward to when the messages came through. Was a voice in a very quiet time when only a couple of people checked on me. Gave me ideas and encouragement (paint, write, get out of your head). During this same period of time I started to heal, live, sleep, feel, respond. I give credit in many places for this… mainly to me and the work I did, the medium, family & friends, the therapy, yoga, support groups, suicide survivors, and to him.  This friendship awakened me and brought back something inside my dead carcass. It pulled me out of a dumpster of sadness.

 

  • My hope for Him: Happiness, love, success, passion. A continued ability to be supportive to those in need, this is a true gift. Forgiveness of the past. Everything to be great and fun all of the time 🙂 ! He is a good man, genuine, and whoever finally wins his heart is a lucky girl.

 

Here are a few additional and random reflections:

  • I hate the one-sidedness of grief. I want to reciprocate our friendships and be there too for people.
  • I want people in my life because they want to be not because of obligation or perceived needs I have.
  • I am doing me, I am ok, I am alive, I am living, I do not need another person to make me happy.
  • Think before you act because what you put out you cannot always take back.

 

The 4th of July

I am still writing about support systems but I wanted to hold off on that next post a moment to reflect on today the 4th of July. Every 4th that I can recall was filled with friends and food. Smoker meat and grilling out. Pool time, sprinkler fun, fireworks, togetherness. I mentioned the other day that I had gone through all the firsts without my husband but this one snuck up on me.

I am of a couple of minds these days. One side of my brain is “faking it until I make it” while the other side is “keep being independent you got this down you are doing fine”. Maybe I am not sure which is true sometimes but I also do not think it matters. The goal of both sides of the brain is to keep living and keep moving forward.

I think the way you get through the firsts is to honor what came before but live for now in your new normal. Reflect on what you had and lost but do not spend your day wallowing there. I find that a lot of my time is alone and needs to be that way. I think some people surround themselves with loads of people during their worst grief days and I am probably the opposite. I push myself to be alone because in the end all we have is ourselves. Next year no one will even be around on those big days so rip off the Band-Aid now I say!

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So I am getting my coffee on this morning. I am grabbing my dog C and we are going to go on a hike just her and I. In the past I would get worried doing things like this alone. I am afraid to get lost or that someone creepy will approach us or something. I am without fear anymore. I jump in more now. I saw the most horrifying thing and it gave me perspective. Even if someone approaches me negatively I won’t be as afraid and it won’t be as scary as what I already have lived. If I get lost I have a phone and there is a park ranger. So today I will embrace my new normal, my aloneness, enjoying the day and celebrating the 4th of July with fewer people than the past and that is ok.

I hope that someday I won’t have to go it all alone because the right person will see me as a fiercely independent, strong, self reliant, healthy woman (without being intimidated that I actually do not NEED anyone). The fact is though, I cannot make someone see what I am. I cannot control someone’s feelings towards me. I cannot continue to live for what may come in the future. I can control now and the present moment. This girl is up for hiking. She is ready to jump in the lake.

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you live and are free today. Thank you to all those who keep our country safe and allow us to enjoy this lovely day.