Welcome to my blog!

I am Buffy, I live in Iowa with my kitty cat Meowshine and stay rather busy trying to be healthy, eating right, working out, working my full-time job and running my own custom jewelry business on the side. Thanks for coming along for the ride :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Purging baggage?

I can’t help but think today of all days, when is appropriate to share the deep dark stuff you don’t want to tell your new partner. Today is a painful anniversary for me and I can’t help but wonder what/when you disclose those things. Let’s be honest that seems to always be a struggle for me. The new BF knows slightly about it but nothing too in depth and maybe that is enough. I’m sure like most other things you have to take the opportunity when it naturally arises but I also wonder when something like today rolls around, if that is an opportunity to disclose a bit more of some of those things. But how much is too much and how little is just enough? For someone who is an open book it is a struggle to find the balance. By nature I want to spill it all and let them take it and do with it what they will. But I realize that too much is not a good strategy either. What’s a girl (who wears her heart on her sleeve) to do?

We all have crap in our closet. Stuff we aren’t proud of, stuff we wished we could change, stuff that impacted us in dramatic way that we were never the same after, stuff we wished that hadn’t happened but did and now are a part of us. Does any of that past crap really matter now? Do you have to disclose all of that, some of that, just the parts that make you look good? I mean by nature it seems that is exactly what we want to do until we have them hooked, then you drop the bag of crazy on them. Oh wait, is that just me? But if you are going to be seriously with that other person, shouldn’t they know where you are coming from, what made you into the beautifully broken creature you are today? Shouldn’t they know the past that formed you into the person they just might fall in love with? Shouldn’t they know that before so they can make a knowledgeable decision about whether they want to be with you forever? I think I would want the same.

When you find yourself in a new relationship you are trying to portray yourself in the best light possible. You are this beautiful, perfect, amazing, easy going girl who is so much fun to be around and doesn’t have any baggage at all. You don’t have meltdowns, you don’t have bodily habits that you don’t want them to know about, you wear cute underwear all the time in case they might see them, you are as perfect of a version of yourself as you can get. Eventually though, that facade will crack and they will start seeing those not so perfect parts of you. Do I really need to help that along?

I’m very aware that I’m not perfect but I also know that I have some amazing qualities and I want to highlight those as much as possible. I don’t think that is deceitful or dishonest but I also know eventually he will see those not so perfect parts of me if he sticks around long enough. And that is probably where the real relationship begins in all honesty and I can’t make the inevitable not happen. I’m human after all. So that makes me think how much is too much and when is that too soon. If he isn’t going to be my one and only forever, does he need to know any of that stuff anyway? Maybe I need to wait until things progress into something more before I worry about any of this anyways. Could I be getting ahead of myself? That doesn’t sound like me at all *cough, cough*

For now I suppose all this is hypothetical because I don’t feel emotionally ready to disclose some of this deeply personal, painful stuff. Until the moment feels right I probably won’t even attempt to get into this crap and for now that is ok with me. Until then I can ponder if any of my past is really relevant in who I am today and if it even bares repeating. Plus I’m sure there will be plenty of time to let that stuff divulge over time. At least I hope so. It’s all about slowly unwrapping my brand of crazy as to not overwhelm the new dude :) Slow and steady, right?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Label me not...

Being 29, divorced and dating definitely has its challenges. Apparently a 29 year old divorcee (who may never want to have kids or get married again) isn’t what most guys’ picture in their mind as their ideal soul mate. Especially when you are trying to date in a college town and main pool of single guys are 22 years old. A lot of people have negative connotations of divorced people and it seems the younger I am and the younger guys I want to date, the more of an issue it is. Not saying I want to bag me a 22 year old but even guys around my age are freaked out by it. The guy I dated this summer was a prime example (he was 29 too). When I have talked to older guys (like mid 30’s) they have seemed to be more ok with it because a lot of them are either divorced or more familiar with it from people they know. I understand it is that whole unknown thing that probably freaks them out but I think people tend to think that if you are divorced somehow you are a failure at relationships. And if you don’t take the time to get to know me and my situation, I suppose that is all you will ever see. But much like other bad circumstances that doesn’t define who I am.

I have heard from a few people that I’m damaged goods. They always say that they mean that in the nicest way. I suppose I don’t take a huge offense to it because I know that I’m not exactly all in one piece. But much like that antique piece of furniture that has chunks of wood missing, it built character and I will never apologize for what others have done to me (or even what I have inflicted myself). I know through all my trials I have grown so much and I think that growing makes me a catch. I’m not the one wallowing in self pity or looking for pity or stuck in the woe is me and what life dealt me. I’m strong and thrived and my life is so much better then it has ever been.

Thankfully the new dude doesn’t seem to feel this way. We talked a bit more about it and I asked if he has an issue with me being divorced. He said point blank no and he knows I’m not this bitter, scorned divorced woman. That is doesn’t define me or define what kind of girlfriend I will be to him (if he lets me). Sure I hate the ex still and wish nothing but awful things on him (apparently someday this will change) but I’m not holding on to the anger or letting what he did still have a huge affect on my life. That is the beauty of all the processing I did, I don’t have to carry that hurt with me. I might have flashbacks but I have control over those things where I can bring myself back to the present and know that this guy is not the ex and I cannot judge him by the same standards. It’s hard for sure, but so worth it. And the fact that I’m ‘damaged’ doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Sure, I might be tender and a little jumpy but I’m perfectly fine. I think you have to view your damage differently if you don’t want it to be something that will hold you back. Yeah this stuff happened but in spite of it I am this happy, healthy, well adjusted (most of the time) person. That is incredibly desirable in a mate, I have to think. All I can be is me and if someone doesn’t like that because of some label they attach to me then I guess that person just isn’t my person then.

At this moment it doesn’t matter because I have a boy interested in me but I can’t help but think about how people view divorced individuals negatively and I think it’s sad. People have no idea the hell those people have been through and instead of judging them, maybe they could see the person for who they are, not what they have been through and have some friggen compassion. I suppose this goes with a lot of things (well within reason). I mean I’m not out to date a convicted child molester or drug addict and hope they change (I’m well aware that you have to accept someone as they are. You cannot hold on to hope that they will change. I wasted the last however many years of my life thinking that) but I’m just saying that mistakes happen. That doesn’t have to define someone for the rest of their life because they messed up once. If they were a certain way in the past and decided to change for the better, why would you pass that person up? I mean if a guy prefers slender girls and found out I was overweight once, I would hate for him to decide I was no longer a desirable option because of that.

Where is all this going? I guess in 15 different ways I’m trying to say don’t judge a book by its cover. You don’t know until you get to know someone what they have been through and when it comes to dating, what kind of partner they could be to you. I think so often we are focused on the things that don’t matter rather then the things that do. You know how everyone has the big old long lists of things they want in someone else, their ‘deal breakers’. The thing is you might have a ton of stuff in common but if there isn’t a spark of chemistry there, does any of that other stuff on the list matter? Then all you have is a friend and I have lots of those anyways. I think there are certainly deal breakers that are truly deal breakers but I think people tend to put emphasis on things that really shouldn’t be on the list of deal breakers. It’s like my mom when she asked me if the new dude is a doctor. She puts emphasis on things to me that don’t matter. Just because someone makes a lot of money or goes to church, does not make them a good person and someone who is going to treat me the way I want to be treated.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Love and not settling for something like it

“Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.”

I found this quote the other day and it totally spoke to me. For some reason, for the first time in a long time I feel like I could let someone in and let them love me. I feel like I could actually love someone else in a romantic way and that seems so huge to me. And I’m not all that terrified, which is even more alarming to me. I think it is because when everything first happened I thought I was done forever with guys. The hurt was too much to bear and I was never going to allow someone to do that to me again. But I suppose something changed. As I processed and looked at the world around me I realized that there are good people out there and true love is amazing and why can’t I have that in my life? You only know until you try and why not try? If it works out the pay off is huge. If not I don’t think anything can hurt as badly as I hurt before. And I survived that so my strength will see me through it again if it needs to. And its not that I think I could love this new guy specifically because I don’t know if I know enough about him yet to decide that or spent enough time with him yet but I think that I’m open to it in my future where ever that is. I finally feel like I have control over what happened in my past, I've made my peace with it, the part I played in it all and how I can make it different in the future. I know that there are no guarantees in love and I know that I can get hurt if it doesn’t work out but for whatever reason right now where I am in my life it feels worth it. And I’ll try and hope for the best.

Being with a new guy reminds me how much I like the feeling of having someone in my life that wants to be with me. Someone to wake up next to, to hold my hand, to snuggle with while watching a movie, to laugh with about stupid silly stuff. Someone to ask about my day, to kiss me passionately, to make me blush and feel excited. Someone who makes me feel like there was a part of me that needed a tiny spark lit to ignite this part of me that was dead. A part I could live without and still be perfectly happy and content but a part that can make life just a little bit sweeter with. A part that had died a long time ago and a part I never thought I’d have in my life again. A part I don’t even remembering having with my ex-husband. Maybe I never did. Maybe I didn’t care enough to then because he was just good enough. Maybe I did have that but it is all tainted through the painful lenses I now see our entire relationship through. I just don’t know.

To be honest I don’t know if I ever remember being loved. Maybe I haven’t been or maybe I didn’t let it in or maybe I don’t remember it because of the damage caused. I guess that damage can undo all the good intentions of the past, the few acts of mercy and love, the few times I felt like I was special to someone else. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t disposable and cared for. Not that any of that mattered or matters now. The truth is I didn’t love myself enough then to care. Whatever partner at the time had to prove so much to me and it wasn’t fair to them. They had to show me why I deserved to live, deserved their affection, they had to make up for so much that was never their fault. How is that fair to put on another human being? Not that it excuses their poor treatment of me but isn’t that just setting up for a disaster? For someone else to let you down? Someone else to break your heart?

Now that I have my distance, clarity, and the healing started it all becomes so clear to me where the path I was taking was going to lead. I see now how I would always be short of happiness because of who I shared my life with, because of how he treated me, and because of how little I loved myself. Because of the blatant disrespect I dealt with all the time and how I put up with it, making it acceptable. I could be happy within myself to a certain extent but he was always going to be there affecting it. I was silly to think he wouldn’t. I know that now without that in my life, I have never been happier. Now that I have my future to be anything I want it to be, the freeing feeling is amazing. I never want to go back to a relationship like that again and I won’t. I want one that makes me feel alive and beautiful and happy. But the great thing is I already feel all that within myself finally and the right guy will just enhance that. He’ll see what everyone else chose to overlook. He will see inside how amazing I am and the rest will be history.

My past hurt will not hinder my hearts ability to love. Whether that is romantic love, friendship love, whatever, it will not hold me back. I see where my fault was in relationships and I just want to love and be loved and be better next time. My heart is so big and I want to share that. That is my nature and that is something that is the very core of who I am. I am the empathetic, caring, loving, sweet girl. No divorce or death or hurt will change that. And I don’t want the past events of my life to make that impossible again. I read on a Spark blog from someone that had a quote about how you have to deal with the past to get on with your future and I believe that. You have to deal with the crap so you can move on. Not dwell in it, but sort it all out, make it all right in your mind and then move on. Don’t let it define you after that. So I’m doing that. I’m going to let love in when it finds me and not be so scared of someone loving me. If it happens it will be beautiful and I deserve that in my life. I deserve to be loved and I won’t settle for good enough ever again.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New post

I know this blog has been a lot of different things but I guess for the new year I have decided to focus on my personal life, how I’m rebuilding that after the divorce and what kinds of issues I have had to wade through to get where I am. I think I had decided that later last year actually. Anyways to say this road hasn’t been easy would be an understatement but I have survived worse and I knew I would be able to survive this. To be at this point a year and 4 months later seems amazing that I am as ok as I am. Don’t get me wrong, I know I still have shit to wade through but to have the heavy stuff done is astonishing to me. It makes me proud to be as emotionally healthy as I am for where I came from. Who knew?

2012 is going to be an amazing year. I’ll be turning 30 in February. I start my final class semester at Iowa State this week. I will do my internship this summer and graduate. I will hopefully find a new job in the field I’m studying. Among all the other goals I have set for myself (like running another half marathon) this year is going to be awesome. I know there will probably be some bumps in the road along the way but I feel like where I have been will help me appreciate it all the more. But I’m going to make this an amazing year.

To start the year off great…I had a guy to kiss at midnight which made this girl extremely happy. I have been seeing him for a bit now and I’m really starting to like him. He’s quiet and cute and funny and I have really enjoyed getting to know him. We have a lot of fun together and so far I really like what I know about him. He knows the basics of my situation and seems to be ok with it so I’m going with it. I have my fears of course. I guess anytime you may put your heart out there, you are going to have fears about what might happen. But I can’t let that fear lead the way.

I’m scared he isn’t going to like me as much as I like him because of the guy I was seeing this summer. I’m scared that something in my past, something about me will scare him away. I’m afraid that if I let him in, if I get too invested it’s all going to end. Of course my fears are rational. That is all I have ever known, that is the way I have been conditioned up until this point. But I also know I can’t live my life that way. I can’t be so scared that I throw something potentially really good away. I have to be smart and cautious for sure but I also have to be open and vulnerable to something that could be amazing. For now he is serving a purpose for me and I like how he makes me feel.

I’m trying not think about how he might fit into my life forever. I want to enjoy whatever this is for as long as it lasts. Not always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not always wondering if he likes me. Not fearing that whatever he finds out about me is going to drive him running far away. I focus on the here, the now and hope for the best. It makes me realize how much more ready I am to be with someone. How not ready I was this summer. How the past has affected me in ways that I didn’t even realize yet. But how willing I actually am to be with someone.

I never thought I would get to this point. I didn’t think I had it in me. But I realized that I can’t make everyone else pay for someone else’s mistake. I can’t assume that every guy is like my ex’s. That they all cheat, that they are all bad people. I had to look at my part in those relationships, realize I picked them, I let them into my life and my heart and that I can choose differently in the future. It all starts with who I choose to pick. Which is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I want to be smart enough to see what kinds of things I chose not to see before. All those red flags that I chose to over look. I want to make sure that I pick a guy that is worthy of me and it’s hard to realize that I chose people before that weren’t. That I didn’t think enough of myself to choose someone who would treat me the way they did. But the great thing is I’m different now. I love myself enough to not need someone else to tell me how amazing I am. I know I am. I know I have worth whether someone loves me or not. Whether someone throws me away or not. Whether someone else can see it or not. I am lovable and worthy of that love. I am not defined by my past and who I chose in the past. As long as I learned my lessons from it, it’s the here and now that matter.

So for the New Year I’m focused on living in the here and now. Enjoying myself and figuring it out along the way. This path is new to me and I’m going to have the most fun I can while I skip down it. I’m giddy, what can I say? I have a new boy, who makes me feel good and is absolutely adorable. Only time will tell where any of this will lead but I’m definitely enjoying myself while I can :)