Know Your Worth

This year I’m attempting to have a monthly focus in an effort to introduce new, good habits into my life. 

In February, my focus is to read every day.  I’ve been good in the past few months at having a book I’m reading at all times, but sometimes it would lay on my coffee table for days before I picked it up again.  I enjoy reading, so I’m making more of an effort to pick up the book every day.  It helps when I’m reading books that I like, but don’t love.  Cough, Hunger Games, cough.

A few days ago, I decided to pull in another focus as well.  In February I’m going to focus on knowing my worth.  I mean, I know it, but I don’t always act like it. 

Over the weekend I wanted to text…wait for it…TGISWOTSD.  I know, huh?  There’s more to the story that’s happened in the past few months that hasn’t been written about and let’s just say I won, but still I knew it was beneath me to text him to wish him a happy birthday month, so, I didn’t. I don’t have to be the girl who pops herself back into her exes’ lives to remind them I’m awesome or to see if they still carry a torch.

My exes actually do plenty of that all on their own. I often wonder if other women have the same issues with exes who WILL NOT GO AWAY.  Far too many of mine think it’s perfectly acceptable to hang around in my life.  Like leeches.  I guess they think it’s romantic because the way they render it, I’m the one that got away? 

Well, where’s the one who won’t let me get away? Where’s the one who won’t be a leech, sucking my life?

Sometimes I think I’m to blame because I teach them it’s okay to treat me this way.  I play the one that got away when I should be playing the one who doesn’t want you now (regardless of whose decision it was in the first place) and won’t put up with you in her life because she’s so much better than that and has someone so much better waiting in the (hopefully near) future.

I fully know why they do it and I guess it’s the same reason I do it. 

Maybe this worth focus is a multi-month process.  I already know my worth.  Maybe February is going to be acting on it.  March can be just being it, without any of this fake it til you make it crap.

No really…the rafters.

TGISWOTSD started texting me last night.  ARE YOU SHITTING ME?! 

The conversation went like this…

Him:  Sorry I never responded to your email, but I was dating a girl and with her when I got it and forgot to respond, but it was very nice and you’re a better person than I am.

Me:  Obviously, but I must have deleted your number.  Who is this? 

I really had deleted his number, I wasn’t just playing it cool.  I had no clue who it could be because I wasn’t on the edge of my seat waiting for a reply email from anyone.  Through further conversation, I was reminded I sent him an email like six months ago to let him know the TV show we were on (long story) had aired and he had gotten a lot of screen time and he could watch it online if he wanted.

Him:  I don’t blame you for that.  It’s John.

His name’s not John, but it’s basically one of those OTHER names that every guy has, so really just giving me that was not descriptive at all, but I could guess.

Me:  Oh.

I’m pretty awesome, but seriously, what is WITH these boys?  It’s just so cliché at this point.

I just want Lucky.  And fortunately, he’s making his way back around too.

F.M.H.

Somewhere out there, some poor man is not getting his oh-my-god-my-girlfriend-wore-heels-to-bed-and-we-had-the-sex-I-am-going-to-fantasize-about-at-least-until-the-next-time-she-does-something-amazingly-hot sex.  Because he is hiding from me.

My awesome second October bride bought and sent all of her bridesmaids shoes for the wedding.  She wanted us to be matchy-matchy mostly for the ceremony and pictures.  

I was excited when the sexy 4.5″ heels arrived at my door, the perfect pick-me-up for a Monday!  Although beyond wearing them around the house, I guess I kind of have to wait FIVE months to wear them…why do people have such long engagements?!

In an email chain that looped in a few of the other bridesmaids, I thanked the bride for the fuck-me heels and let her know that any single groomsmen didn’t stand a chance.

Another bridesmaid friend seconded that, but I’m not sure she really meant it.  Her groomsman boyfriend actually ASKED her to wear them to bed and she said she just glared at him.

So, here’s my question…why does SHE get a boyfriend if she’s not even going to play with him?

Okay. I’m feeling bitterly single these days.  I see plenty of fat, ugly women with horrible personalities* in seemingly loving relationships and can’t help but wonder what is wrong with me. 

Recently I caught SATC while on the treadmill and it was an episode around the beginning of Charlotte and Trey’s relationship.  The day after, while feeling down, I realized I needed to channel my inner Charlotte. 

She wants love, someone special and ultimately to get married, but note that sandwiched in there was “someone special.”  And yeah, she FUBARed it the first time around, but I dig her dating style.  She’s demure, but didn’t put up with shit just for the sake of having someone adore her. 

There’s nothing wrong with me aside from the fact that I know what I deserve and I’m going for, er, waiting for it.

*I say this because “you think I’m fat and ugly with a horrible personality” is a thing with this group of wedding ladies.  I can admit that I can be judgemental, but mostly my thoughts when I see happy couples are not that specific. They are more along the lines of, “Really?  Her?” Kinda like when, in a moment of weakness, I FBed TGISWOTSD and saw him with a particularly plain looking gal. Whatever tickles your pickle, dude.

Aaaand I’m over it. Mostly.

Semantics are the basis of a lot of my pet peeves. 

Don’t call yourself a vegetarian and follow it up with, “but I eat chicken.”  That’s called being a picky eater; I know, I did it myself for a few years before deciding on actual vegetarianism, which I have since abandoned for eating fish and poultry again, but I don’t use the v word, it’s just silly.  Well, and a lie.

Don’t assume when I say I’m in marketing that means I’m in sales.  Don’t tell me you’re in marketing if you’re actually in sales.  They’re very different.

Don’t. Call. Me. A. Girl.

Brit knows what I'm talking about.

Now, I’m not perfect.  I actually told No-Name how I disliked being called a girl and about 30 minutes later he pointed out that I had indeed asked if his brother would be interested in “a girl like me.” Yes, I’m now hitting up past potentials for set ups.  Dontjudgeme.

There are times it just fits in conversation.  “I’m an Arizona girl.”  “Damn straight I run like a girl.”

But there are many more times when I want to be appreciated as a woman. I’ve been struggling for the distinction probably since graduating college, more so recently. I wasn’t completely unfortunate as a teen, but I’ve definitely grown into myself – personality and looks – as an adult.

I got my own house, my own car, two jobs, work hard, I’m a bad broad.  Okay, I rent an apartment and just have the one job, but I’m I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means?*

I’m not married, no kids.  Not too haggard looking.  Are those the things I have to wait for to be called a woman?  I get called ma’am in stores sometimes.  Does that count?

My boss recently made the discovery that when he was a junior in high school, I was gracing the world with my arrival.  To this, he said, “you’re, like, 12!”  Which is funny because that’s the age I give all men.  I said, “no, I’m like 26!” Anyway, that doesn’t change a conversation we had a while ago in which – intense debate on the logistics of voting on DWTS story later – he said, “but you’re not a girl, you’re a woman.”  FINALLY!

I read an online dating profile in which the guy said no fewer than five times what he was looking for in a girl, what his perfect girl looked like and what kind of activities he would like to enjoy with a girl.  Um, go try a playground?

Note that I said guy.  This is where it’s unfair because males have “guy” and we have no in between.  I make an effort to call men, well men, as well.  I made an effort to call TGISWOTSD a man and he immediately corrected me that he was a boy because he was still quite immature.  How did I miss THAT red flag?

And now getting to the original point of this post…I sent a text to Non-Mush.  Did I mention he’s going halfway around the world for a business trip of still-undetermined length?  I wished him well and told him I wouldn’t be upset if it turned out to be a better time, better place when he eventually makes it back – for his sake because I’m awesome and he’s missing out.  No, really.  I have no shame (and sometimes border on conceit).  

Anyway, he responded with a thanks and a vague agreement that we don’t know where we might find ourselves by mid-summer and that I’m a “great girl.” 

Perhaps this is one of those occasions where girl fits, but “great woman,” “amazing woman,” even “great catch,” “wonderful person,” “something to lose.”  ANYTHING besides a pat on the head and a [insert talking-to-a-puppy voice] “who’s a good girl?”

Over it (as I said, mostly).  Time and space and an active social calendar helps too. 

*If you are confused by this gansta paragraph tossed in here, summertime brings about my love for rap songs from my younger days.  Please enjoy:

 

The Other Side, Again

So, as I bragged about in my WWW post for the week, I got rid of Rebel.  First of all, what kind of cold-hearted woman BRAGS about breaking up with someone?  What kind of woman gives herself so much credit anyway?

Things with R were not serious, there had been no L word mentioned (but there were red roses on V-Day…women read into that and I think men know that, so WTF?) and while, I think we were both kinda like, “you’re cool, I like hanging out with you,” I don’t think he was madly in love with me and I broke his poor, little heart by any means.

In fact, after going back and forth on a few issues, I said that we weren’t going to work out was because I was looking for something serious and he just wasn’t that.  After refuting all of my other reasons, to THAT, he was kind of like, “yeah, okay.”

So there you have it.  I can’t blame him for not wanting anything serious in his life right now and he can’t blame me for seeking it. 

But, I know if it were up to him, we would have trucked along with the status quo.  The break up was definitely one-sided and I have guilt over it and am a little sad for the loss of him as a friend. 

So yesterday when he posted something on Facebook about how it’s weird to go from talking to someone every day to just not, I sent him a text, being all, “no it’s cool, we can still talk, let’s be friends, let’s do all the stuff we talked about doing before.”  And I would truly be fine with that – because nothing has changed for me. 

I thought of him as a good friend before and basically it just took me some time to tell him that.  But to him, we were in a romantic relationship and, at least for the time being, I was his someone.  Until I called an audible.

Kinda like exactly what happened to me in November.  And the November guy legitimately wanted to be friends.  And so did I, at first, because I thought it would lead to him realizing how awesome I am and how lame he was for thinking otherwise.  But, just because his feelings weren’t there, didn’t mean mine could just go away and it was best for me to not see him at all anymore.

So when Rebel didn’t respond to my text, I was a  little hurt, but understood.  It’s not fair to tell someone that he’s awesome and you still want to hang out, but that it’s not going anywhere and eventually you’re going to want to make out and stuff with other guys instead of him.  You can’t have it both ways. 

I’m glad I’m on this other side again.  My guilt over ending things is nothing compared to the guilt I felt for keeping him on my hook.  Most importantly, I am really glad my boyfriend spot is free.

I’m totally loving Jerrod Niemann’s painfully true song, What Do You Want?, right now.  So, please enjoy his panty-dropping voice singing about the selfishness and heartache of staying in touch with exes:

 

Oh HELL no. That did not just happen.

What didn’t just happen, you ask?

I did not have a (very realistic) dream that I was pregnant. I blame Bridezilla my sister.  We went bridesmaid dress shopping over the weekend and not only is her other bridesmaid (her soon-to-be sister-in-law) pregnant, she has total baby brain, so pregnancy was a dominant conversation theme. 

Yes, the woman who is having a 14-month engagement is already plotting her 2-month wedding-to-knocked up turnaround.  And she bought a mom car last week. I’m assuming the mom jeans are next.  Perhaps that’s just how competitive I am.  Ha!  I’ll show her, I’ll great dream-pregnant and push one out first! 

I don’t have them ALL that often, but pregnancy dreams used to scare me.  You know, back when I was getting some?  I was in no way ready for a baby and was always concerned that it was my subconscious’ way of telling me I was, in fact, with child.  Yeah, totally not getting any and totally not prego.

I did not miss my ex-ex-boyfriend recently and consider emailing him to tell him that I was sorry and wrong and that he was right, my recent decision to go for what I deserve in love was really just me flirting with bitchiness and we should get back together and I’ll be a good little wifey, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

I did not then think about how TGISWOTSD was supposed to get me over the ex-ex and then get kinda sad about him too.  But with way less desire (like none) to contact him.  Funny how the [quasi-]good guy is easier to stay away from than the toxic one. Probably because one of the last things TGISWOTSD said to me was that he just didn’t see our relationship going where I did and one of the last things the ex-ex told me was that I was his one.  Who doesn’t want to be wanted?

I did not consider just sleeping with Rebel and getting it over with in an attempt to make a rebound actually work for me for once because I know that replacing a hurt with a disappointment doesn’t actually work for me.

I did not get propositioned for sex on OK Cupid.  I mean, there’s absolutely NO WAY I actually got a message that said “so would ya hook up if it was worth it enough?Ive kinda had a fantasy but havent had a chance for it to happen.”  Horrible sentence structure aside, ew. 

I did not realize today is my half-birthday in a mild panic.  Or maybe if I did, I realized that six months is long and I’ve got some time to become even more awesome before I turn 27.

Nope, none of that stuff happened.  I have a completely normal and healthy subconscious and love life.

The Off(ish) Week(ish)

So what did I do while on my technology sabbatical?

1.  I sucked at taking a technology sabbatical, but each day got better (until I gave up altogether and ended it early) and I think it will be easier to lessen my use day-to-day now. And I know better what it will take to truly take an unplug week when I’m ready to try again.

2.  I totally drained my legs with the 12-miler on Saturday + a 6-miler on Sunday so switched around my training for the rest of the week (keeping the distances and runs, just exchanging rest days) and rocked out my peak week of training.

3.  I fell in love with my Garmin Forerunner 305.

4.  I had my first fight with Rebel.  Catalyst: Me still holding out (actually, for him I do believe it was about sex, for me, I was attempting a DTR talk because sex and the R – relationship – go together).  I learned that he’s a horrible fighter.  He wasn’t much for listening to or attempting to understand what I was saying and super-awkwardly left before any real discussion could be had.  Outcome:  Validation of my decision.   

5.  I realized there’s a difference between someone with whom you want to hang out and someone with whom you want to combine lives, which I guess I knew, but again…validation.

6.  Had another date with Mr. No Name on which he was determined to prove he wasn’t conservative and could be more than a friend.  Fail, first of all, but then he got post-date balls.  Via text he was all, “damn we should still be hanging out,” and I was all, “well then you should have stumbled your way through some kind of awkward invite to a phase two because now it’s too late and I’m on my couch in my ugly single-lady PJs and my tummy is happily full of sushi and vodka I didn’t have to pay for.”

7.  I had another first date with another POF guy. I found out that someone who has “non-douche” as their headline IS, in fact, a douche, but of a weird variety.  I deleted the last batch of “[insert rando’s name] pof”s from my phone because the ratio of guys who do online dating because they are socially retarded to guys who do online dating because they are normal, but busy/new to the area is about 5:1 (from my research) and that’s just a numbers game I’m sick of playing. 

8.  I heard from TGISWOTSD again.  Re:  hot dogs.  Again.  His interests seemed much more diverse when we were dating, I swear.  Again, maybe he’s testing the waters of friendship, but seeing his email addy, my heart flutters and wonders if he misses me and realizes we were great and it’s worth an actual try.  Ugh.

9.  I packed my fridge and pantry with real food so my apartment no longer looks like a bachelor lives there.  And yes, this is packed for a single girl.  I spent way too much time thinking about how to use it all!

10.  I totally blew my food budget (but that’s why I built in flexibility elsewhere).

11.  I ate well. (This is homemade pizza amazingness, part 2!)

12.  I accepted that I will never be a photog or foodie blogger (but I started a wellness blog that will have a food aspect)!

13.  I added some big dreams to my bucket list because I’ve really seen the power of writing down and going after some of the things I want recently and I’m in a big WHY NOT mood.

14.  I actually wrote down THE list (of traits I’m looking for in a man).  Again, why not?

15.  I went out on a school night.  As in like, don’t even start getting ready until 9 kind of out.  It was a friend’s last night in town and I’m glad I did, but I’m paying for it today!

K.I.T.

Mr. Nickname is in the Works isn’t over his last girlfriend.  This came out on date #4.  Well, actually, it came out on date #2, but by date #4 I had processed the information AND come to the realization that it wasn’t working for me, so date #4 was when I called him on it. 

I told him my theory, he muttered something about that it’s okay to still think about exes and consider what might happen if someone’s situation were to change and then told me that he thought he had downplayed his feelings for his ex (if that was downplaying, it’s a bigger issue than I originally thought) and then told me that they still stay in touch occasionally because, for example, sometimes he has questions for his business and she’s [insert awkward tribute about how smart and successful she is] so he’ll reach out to her.  OMG.

A week after date #4 he told me he had been thinking about it and it’s not an issue and he is over her.  I told him he can buy me coffee, let me win at Scrabble and we will discuss (FRIEND date #5).

Anyway, obviously I’m even more on the he’s not getting a nickname page (I should add “dating someone who’s so not over his ex in an awkward way” to my list of shit I’m too old for), but that conversation got me thinking about the excuses we make to stay in touch with people we should not stay in touch with.

I’m totally guilty of this myself, but hearing it come from someone else made me realize just how fucked up it kind of is. 

I’ve always been on Team You CAN Be Friends With Your Exes, but that’s because I’m great friends with my first ex.  My high school sweetheart and I truly ended amicably.  We became different people from high school to college.  We still enjoy each others’ company, but the qualities I like-liked in him as a 16-year-old mean absolutely nothing to me as a 26-year-old and I’m assuming the same is true for him.  So, we’re friends. 

Looking back, it hasn’t worked with anybody else.

My great exes don’t talk to me (because they are the smart, emotionally healthy kind).  One I attempted to stay in touch with for a while until I got the pity “Merry Christmas” text after sending his family a card and realized I was kinda pathetic.  He was moving on and it was a good idea for me too.  

The crappy exes are the ones who WILL NOT GO AWAY.  They are from what we’ll call, “the stage of Emjaye’s life when she didn’t realize or pursue what she deserved.”  These are men I don’t need around because they’re reminders of that stage of my life, yet somehow they are around. 

Okay, okay, I know I’m the reason.  They’re around because I let them be around.  So what are my excuses?

I emailed one because I knew he had a race coming up and I wanted to wish him good luck, which opened up a can of worms.

I occasionally email another because little things make me think of him and I want to share.  You know the episode of SATC where Miranda sees Steve and runs away from him?  Then he comes to her apartment to ask her WTF and she admits to missing him and thinking of him when things come up that she wants to tell him and he’s all, “so tell me.”  That’s all fine and good because Steve is a nice guy (until the first movie) and they end up together with a cute little baby.  This ain’t not happening with any of these toxic exes of mine.

So what I need to do, what Mr. No Name needs to do (if he’s ever going to get over this girl) is this…when you think of something that reminds you of your ex and you want to share it, DON’T.  Keep it in your pants (your phone, that is).

I had something to ask TGISWOTSD the other day, but I didn’t.  It was just an excuse to reach out to him anyway because with the wealth of information online, the answer was probably more accessible there (I forget what it was at this point, something I considered him an “expert” about).  His excuse when he recently sent me the first post-breakup text?  He threw out the vegetarian hot dogs he had bought me for his house.  I’m going to guess he could have done that without the text, but we all have our excuses.

Luckily the attempted friendship with the race guy has already blown up (it never takes long) and the inside joke guy is blocked on my email, which is our only method of communication.  Now, the trick is making them stay gone, but I feel good about it this time (which I also always say). 

I also finally cut the ties with TGISWOTSD.  I erased his number and deleted him from Facebook.  I kinda wanted his prophesy about him seeing in two years that I’m engaged to someone better looking than him and kicking himself to come true, but in two years, or however long it takes, when I’m happily planning my life with Mr. Right, I won’t give two shits that this kid FINALLY realizes what an idiot he was and having those lines of communication still open was hurting me NOW.

I’m going to go ahead and make another late resolution.  I always attempt this and always fail, but I’d really like 2011 to be the year with no exes (except for the high school sweetheart, of course).  Bam, done.

Lessons Lessen the Heartbreak

Reverb 10, Day 17 Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I’ve been avoiding writing about this guy, although I do still think about him more than I want to.  He even resurfaced over the weekend, with an innocent, friendly text that turned into a short, “this is SO completely normal” conversation, in which I got to be the one who left the last text unanswered. 

Could he see through that?  Did he know that meant it’s still so painful to talk to him, even via satellites (or whatever technology makes cell phones work that I obviously don’t understand)? Did he know that his text landed exactly one month post-breakup?  It almost seemed too timed, like he decided to give me a month and then raise his little white flag to feel it out, but I’m pretty sure guys don’t actually think about that kind of stuff.  But, if he was feeling it out, I hope he got his answer.  TOO SOON.  Which might always be the answer.

Anyway, that’s not REALLY what my response to today’s prompt is about.  It’s about what I learned about myself from the whole experience.  Ironically, I almost wrote about it yesterday, about how he changed my perspective on dating, but I didn’t want to write about him because I’d been doing so well.  And now here we are.

This year, I learned that I can go all in.  I thought that was for fools, but, this time, this fool rushed in.  And it was fun. I learned that anything BUT something that gets me excited enough to act like that kind of a fool early on is not worth it. 

I learned that being true to myself in relationships works out best and leaves no what ifs (yes, perhaps I’m a little stunted, but better late than never).  I learned that awesome me attracts the quality of guy that I deserve better than half-awesome-trying-to-be-myself-only-in-a-smaller-box me anyway. 

I learned that there are some things I won’t sacrifice and that I can’t change my values any more than a man can change his. 

Finally, I regained my belief that eventually everything I’ve been looking for will find his way into my life and when the time is right, I will be everything to him as well.

I’m definitely ready to take these lessons, which have formed my new outlook on dating, into the new year with me.

Day 19

I’ve posted every day since the 5th and am suddenly feeling a lot of pressure to keep this thing going. 

A lot has changed since the 5th.  Even as I wrote that post, I knew something wasn’t right with TGISWOTSDAKHEFAWBOAKHFTD.  Maybe I thought if I wrote a lighthearted post about my non-boyfriend things would turn out okay. 

That asshole, who’s not really an asshole at all, broke my heart on the 5th.  Luckily I had not given him too much of it.  I hadn’t been seeing him for that long and feel a little silly that I was so affected by it, but I was really disappointed, mostly about the loss of what I thought we could have been, but the truth is, it was just not meant to be and when I feel a little sad I remind myself of that. 

The other day I was looking at my calendar and felt relieved that it’s almost December.  In December, I can throw out November.  I don’t have to be reminded of a party we went to together, the date we had the night he told me it wasn’t going to work out and the date we had a week later that we tried to pretend wasn’t a date that mostly just went up in flames.  I can get away from the Saturdays after those dates, which I spent in fogs.

Truthfully though, I hate to be one of those who’s perpetually wishing for time to go faster.  Yes, everyone loves weekends, but the majority of life is spent in weeks, so there have to be ways to enjoy the in-between too.

So, what else have I done since the 5th?

I found a spin class I enjoy going to on a regular basis.  I ran a 10K (mostly).  I gave my body over to a personal trainer who has me walking around like an arthritic 78-year-old but showing me that my body is capable of amazing things.  I learned to foam roll my poor, poor muscles.

I went to San Diego on my first business trip with my new company.  I gave my first presentation and did a really good job.  

I rejoined the wonderful world of online dating.  I flirted and got an extra month and a half on my free gym membership.  I explored a music museum and had wine and easy, uninterrupted conversation with Rebel, the friend/flower guy.

I went to my first opera.    I visited with my mom on her birthday and forgave her for finding my last blog (not literally because I never told her that was why I took it down, but I hadn’t been being fair to her because of it and now I’m over it).  I got upset with my sister and got over that too.  I caught up with an old friend at a casino at 5pm on a Saturday like (arthritic) 78-year-olds bussed in from the retirement communities.  I made holiday plans with college friends.

I’m going to enjoy the rest of November.  I’m going to slow down.  It’s not about rushing to the next phase.  I’m going to let myself feel the hurt if it comes up AND remember to enjoy the good things that make up the in-between time.