Tag Archives: love

My PAUSE Button

I’m always “on”!  24/7, I’m go, go, go!  Recently my coworkers were assigning drinks to people’s personalities because of Beyoncé’s new single, “Lemonade”.  You know what was assigned to me?  Red Bull.  Apparently my busy and high energy personality isn’t just in my head.  It’s good to operate on all 10 cylinders in certain situations but, I’m starting to realize the importance of hitting the pause button from time to time–no matter how uncomfortable.

I have hundreds of reason why I don’t slow down.  It’s unnerving even thinking about sitting with myself in silence, let alone with anyone else.  It isn’t something I’ve done for years (maybe like 6, but who’s counting).  I first realized that my pause button was missing when I entered the wonderful world of dating for the very first time in years.  I’m good at the online dating nonsense because it’s just like sales.  Essentially you put up a storefront with your profile, spark interest, and then sell the goods.  Easy!  And I’m guessing that most people are able to handle everything after that point as well.  Me?  Well, I guess I’m a little different.  It’s odd because I didn’t realize how horrible I was at actually connecting with people until I started to connect with someone recently.  It’s not like the saying, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”  It’s more like you don’t know what you had until you lose it and then start to get it again.  Or… You don’t know what you got until it’s gone and then you get it back one day.  Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve slowed down and truly tried to connect with another person.  I forgot it was even a thing.  I forgot how rewarding it can be.  I forgot how necessary it is to my life and to being a human.

I almost don’t want to push on with this entry because I’m hurt by what I just typed.  It’s almost like my life stopped years ago.  I began to be okay with not feeling.  I was okay with empty relationships.  I demanded little from myself and from those around me.  And as much as I’d like to point fingers to people or situations, I am fully in charge of what I let into my life.  While I don’t assume responsibility in how people ultimately treated me, I do assume responsibility for allowing it.  I wasn’t connecting and I felt that the whole time.  But yet I allowed it.  I took myself off the hook and allowed life to roll on while I took the backseat approach.  *drops mic

So, now that I’m dating again I find myself having to deliver on the goods in my storefront.  I have to slow down, hit the pause button, and truly connect.  To experience shared enthusiasm, slow and deliberate touches, genuine conversation, a heightened sense of curiosity, locked glances, and warm smiles is something I haven’t had in such a long time.  “Red Bull” dated “Starbuck’s Espresso” and then “Monster Energy Drink” back to back.  There were no pause buttons.  There were distractions (lots of distractions) and nice words without action.  (This is so hard to comb through.)

It feels great to have someone to lock horns with in the most peaceful way.  It’s forcing me to be human.  It’s forcing me to look inward and draw out the girl I know I am.  I feel alive again.  I feel like I’m trying again.  I’m growing as a person again.  It’s bringing back really awesome memories of how I used to be.  It just feels really really good.  So despite how uncomfortable it is, I feel extremely grateful that I’m being pushed into that corner.  I’ll never go back.

 

 

 

 

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Too soon for the heart-eyed smiley?

The answer for me is no… It’s not too soon for the heart-eyed smiley face.  In completing my gratitude journal for the day I found myself being grateful that I’m always dedicated to being truthful with my emotions.  I honor them.  I love sharing them.  In college I studied the British Romantics and I fell in love with them.  They didn’t mince words.  P.B. Shelley would try to describe the same  feeling over and over again but in different ways.  Not only do I honor my emotions but I try to dig through them over and over again to understand them.  I love sharing them and finding new ways to express the same heart-eyes smiley.  Ha!

What brings this all on?  Well, I kind of met this boy and I haven’t dated in such a long time so I’m completely off my game.  What do I say?  When do I say it?  Is it too soon?  All these questions run through my head because I don’t want to mess up.  Suddenly I realize that I’m best at being me and doing what I want.  The heart-eyed smiley is me now so I’ll send it.  Sure, I always run the risk of my feelings not being reciprocated.  That’s a real risk that exists in so many of our human moments in life.  But with risk comes clarity or reward.  I need to be okay with both because both are extremely valuable.  Luckily (with the new boy) I’ve been mostly rewarded and that feels fantastic!  I think if I stay true to who I am and what I feel, I can’t go wrong.  It’s not how others process me, right?  At the end of my life I want to look back and know that I lived how I wanted to live.

I don’t believe in an interventionist god…

I did something today that I haven’t done since sometime in the late 90’s (ugh, am I really that old).  I went to church.  No, I wasn’t invited to a wedding and no, no one died.  I just went to church like so many do on Sundays.  My amazing mom-mom is very involved with the church and she has mentioned on several occasions that she brags about her family to her friends there but she never gets to show us off.  In realizing that I need to get more time in with her because: #1 she’s just an incredible soul and #2 neither of us are getting any younger–I decided to offer up one of my Sunday mornings to prove to her fellow church goers that she does, indeed, have a family.

My mom-mom’s face lit up when I met her in the parking lot.  I was up at 7:55am and made sure my makeup was done because I knew I’d be shaking a ton of hands.  I couldn’t have been prouder of my mom-mom.  She’s a total social butterfly.  It’s like I dare you to meet her and not think she’s adorable.  She has a certain charm about her that lights up a room.  She’s funny and she has this ability to slow down life and just be thankful.  It’s remarkable.  As we moved through the church to our pew I was met by so many “good mornings” and smiles.  More importantly, I was met by so many people who had glowing things to say about my mom-mom.  I know how awesome she is, but it was nice to hear she’s touching the lives of so many around her.  I felt both honored to be with her and challenged to start living more like she lives.

I don’t believe in an interventionist god (thanks for the song lyrics, Nick Cave) but I believe in love.  I don’t pray.  I don’t go to church.  But I do believe we’re all connected.  I believe that all humans should be dedicated to that connection.  If we occupy ourselves with cultivating love, understanding, and a deeper appreciation for beauty than we don’t need to believe that some old dude in the sky will answer our prayers.  We won’t need to believe that heaven and hell exist.  We won’t need to live a life to prove our worthiness for the best possible afterlife.  Right?  Just like my mom-mom is doing… connect with those around you and leave them better for it.  It seems simple.  I believe it is and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Will I go back to church?  I’ll go back to hang out with her for sure.  She’s a cool chick and these memories will always be with me.  But aside from that, I think I’d like to go back.  (Yes, I just admitted that I’d like to go to church.)  I don’t know about the whole worship thing.  It’s foreign to me.  The saints and the holy trinity and such are a little far fetched.  But the congregation coming together to be one and to celebrate life is truly inspiring.  I’ve suffered an extreme lack of connection over the years and this might be a great way for me to climb back into the arena.

Sundays are typically rough for me.  I don’t feel that way today though.  I truly feel grateful for everything that has been and is in my life.  I feel fortunate to have friends and family.  I’m also fortunate to be able to feel connected and to know the benefits of striving to connect.

Our World is Completely Pliable

As a kid I remember trying to influence the world with my mind.  I was convinced that if I focused hard enough and if my will was strong enough I could make red lights turn green, or see an inanimate object move.  My powers were real and they were limitless.  I also had a crazy notion that you would know who your true love was because they would breathe at the same rate as you–which led to me being out of breath quite a few times as I tried to force myself to breathe at the same rate as a few boys.  It’s like the world is yours until you learn otherwise.  And that’s quite sad.  I miss feeling that connected, that in control of my surroundings.

Where does this come from?  As kids, we have less responsibilities and maybe more freedom to see the world in that light?  I think that has something to do with it.  I know I’ve definitely experienced more disappointment, more setbacks, more complications, and more examples of things not working out for the best and perhaps I’ve let that cloud my optimism.  That’s very possible.

There’s another piece of the puzzle here that I’m fortunate enough to have stumbled upon about 6 years ago.  Having someone in your life that sees the world as you do–this pliable, vibrant, reactive universe–is key in maintaining and growing that vision.  Growing up I was a little different, the black sheep if you will.  Often I would hear things like, “why can’t you just be happy with what you have,” and ” the world doesn’t revolve around you.”  That’s not the right messaging and it certainly doesn’t open me up to feel more and expect more.  But our parents all do the best that they can, right?  And I’m a firm believer that we choose our parents before birth for a reason so there must be a significant reason why I was paired with my mom and dad.  It’s easy for me to place blame.  I’m sad and miserable and disconnected because they want me that way.  Wah wah wah wah… but I need to be better than that.

Where is this all leading…

A little over 6 years ago I met my soulmate.  He’s my epipsyche.  How did I know?  Simple.  My flexible, pliable, connected world came back to me with more vividness, boldness, color, and possibilities than I had ever known before.  He shares my vision and encourages it with every word he speaks.  Not everyone finds this.  I am extremely grateful to have someone who gives me hope, is always patient, and truly loves me (both the good and the bad).  My world changes completely when he is near me.  I see things through a clearer focus.  Colors are more vibrant.  It’s like I’m tapped into the universe and limitations cease to exist.

I’m still a slave to the 9-5.  I still have bills to pay.  I still have the troubles of being a single parent.  I still have all of this.  But at least there are moments of pure magic in my life again.  He and I recently decided to get back together–timing is a bitch!  I couldn’t be happier.

I am not perfect.

It doesn’t happen often but I guess it happens often enough for me to keep doing it.  My journal reads just like my 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th (you get the point) grade journals.  The same themes and issues pop up and really it’s where my thoughts on boys and the daily grind of life go to die.  But I keep at it, trudge through, because every now and then I have wonderful insights… this happened just this past Saturday night.

I was enjoying a fabulous single-mom night in and I took to the page and scribbled a ton of ink down. I was borderline manic.  I penned the line, “I am not perfect,” and was like an epiphany.  Simple, right?  I don’t think anyone believes they are perfect.  I certainly don’t.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still judge and hold myself to the standards of perfection.  I think that’s part of the guilt I wrote about recently and the standards we hold ourselves to as humans.  I don’t spend a lot of time admitting to my downfalls though and it’s not the most comfortable thing to lay down on paper–I can assure you that.

But that one line hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am not perfect.  In that one line I found myself holding myself in a place of tenderness.  I don’t do that very often.  I saw myself as a work in progress.  From there I could forgive and move past a few things.  I didn’t have all the answers and it was okay because I’m not perfect.  I wanted to run to the mirror and tell the girl in it that she was more than okay, that she was good.  I chickened out of the mirror part but I need to do that.  Saying things to yourself in the mirror is frightening but so f’n worth it.

That one sentence saved me in ways.  I combed through the past year.  It was a really tough year.  I walked away from a relationship that hurt me.  Sure, I told myself not to blame myself but I held some blame.  I was lied to, betrayed to in major ways, and found myself living a life of pure worry and anxiety.  I’m not perfect though and either is my journey.  It’s been that way for a long time but I’m okay.  So the revised sentence because, I’m not perfect and that’s okay.  My journey will never be perfect.  I was able to then look back at my life and celebrate my successes.  And giving myself some breathing room will allow me the space to cultivate more successes.  I can taste it.

I can’t control everything.  Now that I don’t have the worry of my past relationship I need a new way of building.  That got me thinking.  I’ve spent  a few years reacting and making decisions because I needed to make them.  I lost focus while on the defense.  That’s not what life should feel like, right?  So, it’s time to climb back into my imperfect skin and get down to Britta Business!  Let’s look at life through the Britta lens and make decisions from there.  I won’t be perfect.  Life will send me obstacles.  I will be hurt again.  I might fail.  But if I’m always perfectly Britta, I’ll be a better person because of those trials.

With fall comes Homecoming, right?  Fitting.

Morrissey is okay, but am I?

I love the song “Okay By Myself” by Morrissey…

Click to watch Morrissey perform it live!

Here are the lyrics:

Could this be an arm around my waist?
Well, surely the hand contains a knife?
It’s been so all of my life
Why change now? It hasn’t

Now this might surprise you but
I find I’m okay by myself
And I don’t need you
Or your morality to save me
No, no, no, no, no

Then came an arm around my shoulder
Well, surely the hand holds a revolver?
It’s been so all of my life
Why change now? It hasn’t

Now this might disturb you but
I find I’m okay by myself
And I don’t need you
Or your benevolence to make sense
No, no, no, no

After all these years
I find I’m okay by myself
And I don’t need you
Or your homespun philosophy
No, no, no, no

This might make you throw up in your bed
I’m okay by myself
And I don’t need you
And I never have, I never have
No, no, no, no

I struggle with the down time.  I always have.  Since high school I can remember cramming my schedule full of activities, clubs, groups, and friends.  And when I started dating, I never stopped, never took a break.  And now that I’m an adult (in some sense of the word) I’m the same exact way and I’m sick of it.  Why do I need so much attention?  So many distractions?  Why can’t I just be single?  Why can’t I put my stupid phone down and just relax?  Seriously, I feel like I’m facing a attention-starved, persistently lonely epidemic.  And what do I get from all that white noise?  What’s in it for me?  And is it causing more harm than good?

Every now and then I sit down to think about this but it’s like I’m an addict.  I can’t go a minute without some sort of stimulation (connecting, reaching out, etc.).  I seriously short-circuit when I don’t have my phone with me and I’m heating up a Hot Pocket in the microwave–it’s happened.  I respond immediately to social media, emails, text messages, snap chats, tweets, LinkedIn stuff, and whatever else can be schlepped onto this list.  I crave it.  I need it.

Lately I’ve been more hard on myself from the relationship point-of-view.  Why do I have to constantly be engaged with relationships?  I can’t wake up, get in the shower, get dressed, and go to work without checking in with a guy.  Why?  And I can’t move through my workday without the attention from someone.  Why?  Sure, it feels nice to be recognized and such but like why do I NEED that?  And aren’t I just setting up meaningless relationships?  OR, on the other side of the coin, maybe I’m creating unrealistically high expectations for anyone looking to take on the role of being my boyfriend full-time?  Probably.

What am I getting out of saturating my time with meaningless check-ins and attention?  I’m projecting.  I’m looking for praise in hollow spaces.  I have that problem.  What’s my weakness?  It’s sitting by myself with nothing but quiet.  TERRIFYING!  I’m not okay by myself.  I don’t even permit the time to be alone.  It’s been like this forever.  I can’t live life afraid of myself.  I’m better than that.  Therapy always helped block out time for introspection and quiet time. Maybe I need to get back to therapy.

Anyway…

I need to focus on what’s important.  I need more genuine interactions focused on growing.  Anything that is “filler” needs to be trimmed.

Hate the Heat but I Want to be Back in the Kitchen

It’s Labor Day, the “end” of summer.  Usually I’m excited for the end.  Christian, my crazy 9-year-old, is back to a routine, learning again, and I don’t see his friends as much.  It’s the start of my month long lull (kind of) at work because the students are back, the beds are leased, and I can shift gears and tackle Admissions Events and more creative tasks.  It also signals the return of my favorite season, FALL!  Yes, I’m that #basicbitch that loves all things pumpkin flavored.  I’m dying to get back into my jeans and sweatshirts.  I love the cooler weather.  My birthday is in November and I love the extra days off in November and December.  All signs point to me welcoming the end of summer, right?

WRONG!

For the first time since childhood (cause who ever really wanted to go back to school?) I actually don’t want my summer to end.  I’m in a good spot, with my twin in our cute little townhouse.  I got to spend some awesome time with her this summer… our pools days were amazing.  C had a blast at two camps.  I spent some great nights out, grabbing dinner and drinks with friends.  I had an awesome happy hour with my work crew.  I went out on my dad’s boat a couple of times which has summer written all over it.  By far though, the most incredible part of my summer was going to OCMD for a week at the end of July.  I’ve been to OCMD for a week before, it’s almost become a tradition in our family.  But this vacation was different.  I went with C and the twin.  We had such a blast.  It was unreal.  Lots of beach time, lots of awesome lunches and dinners, and lots of memories,  Mini-golf, a speed boat ride, dolphins, whales, and just a ton of relaxation.  It was awesome.

I don’t want summer to go.  It’s been a great ride.

I also lost important people in my life… not to death, but because it’s in my best interest.  Will I be able to hold strong and keep them away?  What does it take?  I’m horrible (no really, I’m really horrible) at ending things.  I’m not good at it.  All my past relationships ended because the guy left me.  I hold on until they do that.  Is that fun to admit?  No.  But when you notice patterns, you should call yourself out, right?  Even if it makes you want to puke, right?  I hate goodbyes.  I hate losing.  Those two ideas coupled together pretty much makes me “ride-or-die” until the end, right?  I always cave, let them back in, become delusional for a few months, and then erupt in anger and sorrow.  It’s a pretty awesome cycle.  LOL!  And this isn’t the first I’ve thought about or written about it.  So, why continue?  I’m used to what I’m used to and it takes so much for me to break from that mold.

Change or be changed.

I say “Change or be changed,” all the time.  Time to start being the agent of change for once.  I started dating this summer.  I haven’t dated in years… seriously, not since 2010.  I didn’t have to put myself out there, sell myself, and be able to talk about myself in 5 years.  I took things into my own hands and made myself incredibly uncomfortable to learn and grow once again.  It was awkward–lots of side glances and nervous laughing.  I had to find outfits, send confirmation texts, hideout in my car and scope the  scene, and apply lipstick quickly.  It was a nightmare at first.  Dating exposes so much.  My self-esteem was super low.  I was not self-aware.  But I kept at it, even after a horrible first first date experience.  And I met some great people.  Most importantly, I met myself again.  I got to explore all things Britta and it felt like a warm homecoming.

The summer of 2015 has set me up for continued success.  I don’t want to let go, but, as they say, “Change or be changed.”