The End of Lent

Today, as Easter, marks the end of Lent. This year, like most other years, I was did not make it the 40+ days without doing the thing I said I wouldn’t. It is funny to say that I just couldn’t go without dating, though. As if I just had this insatiable need to sit awkwardly at a restaurant and ask someone mundane questions about their siblings. But that wasn’t quite it. It just turned out to be the right time for things, and I had to decide if I wanted to go with that, or if I wanted to wait. Waiting just isn’t my thing, really. It was more than just my own shortcoming, though. Waiting for a bagel to toast is one thing. Waiting to start your life because you’re scared is another. I’m real tired of being scared.

I didn’t give up on the real goal though, and that was to really figure out what I bring to the table. What kind of partner I am. And also, be able to tell people where I want to fucking eat. (WHICH I DID! HA!) Now I get to put that into practice, and so far, it’s going well. There will be times it won’t. That doesn’t mean I’m failing, or I’m the worst, or whatever else, it just means I’m human. I always envision myself on this journey, with a clear beginning and end. At the end, everything is perfect. Everything is fixed, I’m whole, all that. But that’s not how this works. Nothing is ever perfect. And I’ve been whole this entire time.

Today is also April 1st, which marks the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Once again, I will be donning red lipstick all month in support. I still hate it. It’s still uncomfortable, it still brings me attention I’m not comfortable with, it still feels weird. But that’s why I keep doing it. This shit IS uncomfortable. It still needs attention brought to it, though. The #metoo movement was huge, and I’m so grateful. But there is still so far to go, which can’t be done if things are just shoved back under the rug where they’ve stayed for so long. I see those who are rolling their eyes and claiming this is just a trend. To them, I say, “do kindly fuck off”. It’s not a fad. It’s not the Newest Thing. It’s a real problem, and has been for… well basically since people started existing. Maybe we should change this shit up.

That’s pretty much it, just a little update. Still around, still ridiculous, still swearing profusely.

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Lent the good times roll

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. As a Methodist, we don’t really observe it the same way Catholics do. It’s not “required”, and if we do observe it, we can choose what to give up. Once I gave up Taco Bell, another year soda, and I even tried giving up swearing. I never made it a whole day. But I did try, for each of the 40 that are in the lenten season.

This year, I’m giving up dating.

There are many reasons why. First, it just isn’t going well. 2017 was not the year of the Mr. Kristina (that’s what I like to refer to my hypothetical future partner as. Because whoever they are, them finding that as hilarious as I do is key). My one official boyfriend for the year tried to cheat on me and suffocate me with a pillow in the same evening. Then dumped me because that was easier than dealing with his alcoholism. I then got ghosted by a grown-ass man in his 40s after dating for 2 1/2 months (if you don’t know what ghosting is, you’re probably a decent human! Or just fortunate. Either way, it’s when you just disappear, with no explanation, as if you’ve become a ghost and have blown away with the wind. Or something like that. It’s acceptable, not great but kind of understandable, after a date or two. More than that, and it’s just plain cowardice). I also went out with a whole bucket of creeps, from dudes who wrote sonnets about my left eye to those who felt like decidedly not raping someone was worth bragging about. There was also The Date I Don’t Talk About. Sometimes referred to as The Real, Real Bad Date. But I’ve said too much already. There were a few good dates in there, too, but most of those ended up in just a weird state of limbo, and after a while of having no idea what was going on, we just wandered away.

Also, I’ve lost focus on my own self. Personal growth is exhausting, just like regular growth. I rest a lot. When I’m not resting (or, ya know, working and doing normal adulty mom things) I distract myself from the hard stuff by scouring dating sites and attempting to use my wit and charm to lure Mr. Kristina in via text. I haven’t taken interest in my own hobbies for quite some time. I’d like to remedy that.

I also need to figure out what type of partner I am, as well as what I want in one. Since I have the tendency to just morph into what I think the other person wants me to be, I need to do that without outside influence for a bit.

I chose to do this during Lent because my faith has also taken a hit lately. It’s something I keep to myself for the most part, but it’s an important piece of who I am. I need to regain my balance there.

When I brought this all up to my therapist yesterday (have you found a good therapist yet? I hope so!) she was intrigued by the idea. Then, she suddenly shouted (alright, spoke at a normal volume. She never shouts. She’s like a small, insightful, caring cloud.) “I’m seeing something here! You WILL be dating… you will be in a committed, monogamous relationship… with yourself!”. It was brilliant. The plan I was looking for, to get from my decision to my goal. I need plans. Things like “Trials make you stronger” and “You need to go through this to grow” make good posters and such, but I need to know exactly how. I need a map. This was it.

Now, I’m spending the next 40 days wining and dining my damn self. I’m gonna show me a real good time. Who knows what kind of adventures await myself and I! It’s kind of exciting.

So that’s where I’m at right now. No dating people that aren’t me, no online profiles involving pictures of people with fish, no sex, no stalking the Missed Connections page on Craigslist, no flirting. In the event that I learn how. None of it. Cold turkey. It sounds tough, perhaps, but I think I will be ok.

As well as getting to go out and not having to worry about something being slipped in my drink by my date (I’d never do that to me. Or anyone), there are actually other things I’m looking forward to.

First, I have a creative new excuse for turning someone down. “Can I get your number?” “Uhhhhh, I gave up dating for Lent.” *awkward exit stage left* It’s brilliant. And it’s the truth!! Even better.

Also, I don’t have to shave my legs for over a month. I should’ve done this years ago.

The laundry is definitely not getting put away this week.

I’ve started watching a new show. I’d call it my guilty pleasure, but fuck that. I’m tired of feeling guilty about everything. I enjoy Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, and I don’t care who knows it. I don’t watch it for anyone else, I watch it for me.

This has brought to light, among other things, how little I do simply because I want to. Whether it’s because I don’t know how others will react, or my anxiety is too much to handle, I just don’t. Or I didn’t, I guess. I’m getting much better at it.

Anyway, this show is not overly relateable to me at first glance. I’m not a rich author, living in California, sending my kids to a progressive charter school alongside Gwyneth Paltrow’s. I have zero housekeepers, and my friends and I don’t air kiss every time we see each other at the overly hipsterish coffee shop. Which is sort of part of the appeal, really. I’m not invested enough that watching is exhausting, but I can still find them amusing, and even empathize every once in a while.

Tonight, I felt restless. This happens a lot when I’m feeling a whole host of emotions, and my usual reaction is to do nothing. Pace, perhaps. Get angry at myself for doing nothing. Tell myself all the ways I’m failing, while I eat gluten-filled cookies straight out of the bag. Which is how I started off this evening. I then decided to drown it in socialite divorcee mom drama.

The last episode I watched involved the much younger boyfriend of the main character fully realizing he didn’t deserve her lying, cowardly ways and telling her so. He calls her out for choosing to go back to suffocating (in her marriage) than risking something that was in fact real with him. This was the moment where I leapt into the show, and became a part of the story. This, I know about.

And I’m over it.

What hurt me most about this recent breakup was that I was maybe more vulnerable than I ever have been. I was ready. I was open. I loved the person he first showed me, the person I thought he could be, without holding back. And I was wrong.

But I risked it. It was beautiful, for a moment, and it was real. He was too scared, and went back to what he knew. There was a time when I would’ve done anything for him, and I don’t regret that. It’s a testament to who I am, and what happened is not what I deserve.

I wasn’t wrong to be open, to be vulnerable, or to love. I’m still ready, in a big picture type of way. I know what I want, and I’m even more sure I’m capable of handling it when I find it.

This life is mine. I’m not going to feel guilty about it, let people shame me into being who they want me to be instead, or go along with things I don’t truly want to do just to keep the peace. That’s not living, and I want to live.

Maybe sometimes that looks like sitting on my couch, watching catty women with boob jobs gossip about who is cheating on who. I’ll be having the time of my fucking life.

 

 

Gonzo is the coolest, anyway

I have had the fear that I am too much for one person to love for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid. I come from a weird ass family, but even compared to them, I was different. I was louder, more emotional, goofier, and more openly defiant. There are numerous family pictures where everyone is looking like an oil painting, and I’m doing jazz hands. I was a Gonzo in a whole room of Sam the Eagles. Eventually, it wore on people. They got annoyed, and some of them left.

Being told that I’m a lot to handle in this last breakup wasn’t shocking. I expected it, probably from the moment we got together, really. It still hurt, though.

But only for a minute.

I know who I am. I’m still loud. I’m still emotional. I’m still a big ol’ fuckin weirdo. And I love it. I’m also so much more than that. I’m a good friend, great partner, and a wonderful mom. I’m a decent cook, adequate crafter, and great singer. I have no problem dorking about to make someone laugh, and despite not being able to talk to most strangers, I don’t actually embarrass very easily. I get super into shows and movies, and I make weird faces when I watch them. Actually, I make weird faces most all the time. I get all worked up about politics, and religion, and any sort of abuse. I use a lot of pretty creative swear words when discussing these topics, but will always listen to other points of view (well, except maybe with abuse. Fuck that.) I have trouble asking questions, or admitting that I need help. I’m super jumpy, and it makes me angry. I hate being tickled. But mostly, I love like crazy. When I care about you, I show it. I tell you. And I don’t give up on you.

I’ll only get better. This setback was a reminder that I’ve still got work to do here and there. Rather than whining about it, hoping my flaws fix themselves one day and/or sabotaging relationships because I’m too afraid to change, I’m just going to jump in there and do it.

I’m not too much. I’m different, but that doesn’t make me wrong. If a person doesn’t want to be part of that, it’s perfectly okay. I’m done wasting my time on people that can’t handle me. Because as it turns out, I don’t need handled at all. Loving me would’ve been just fine.

 

‘Cause I don’t want to fall in love, if you don’t want to try.

The previously referenced adorable boyfriend and I parted ways.

I thought I was going to make it through the day without crying. I felt strong, I hung out with people who love me… but nope. Made it to 3pm and randomly started blubbering about a dream I had. Yesterday I cried 3 times during The Muppets (that’s really only one time more than usual, though). It’s been 5 days of this. Anywhere from silently sobbing in the privacy of my own home, to sitting in the middle of a restaurant, wearing a crown and bawling. I have zero shame.

And really, that’s fine. It’s the mourning period. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to remind myself it’s all a part of the process, and I’m not crazy. Everyone cries during “The Rainbow Connection”, right?

I have to constantly be distracted, or I sit and go over every word, every gesture, wondering what I could’ve done differently. There were a few things. I didn’t trust him enough to be able to deal with all of me. So I crammed away anything that was less than supportive and agreeable, and tried to be this weird, fake thing I thought he wanted. Turns out he wanted a real person, and I’m not good at fake anyway. It was just frustrating and uncomfortable at times.

Not all the time, though. Usually, it was fun and cute. He was my friend. My go-to. My person.

But more than anything I did or didn’t do, his addiction won out. He chose it over me. And that hurts. I never tried to fix him, change him, or give him any ultimatums. I was just (genuinely) there for support. However, after coming to a point where the pain he caused meant he simply had to change for us to stay together, he chose not to.

There’s very little solace in the fact that he chose the addiction over himself, as well. I don’t want him to hurt. I don’t want him to self-destruct. I want him to be alright, to see the amazingness in himself that I saw. But it’s not up to me, and my opinion really doesn’t matter anymore.

People keep saying I dodged a bullet, I deserve better, that he was doing me a favor. At this moment, it just doesn’t feel that way. I didn’t dodge anything, I’m fucking crying over everything over here. And saying that he did me a favor ever-so-lightly implies that he was doing something other that just being a selfish coward. He doesn’t win any awards, he didn’t set me free, he chose shitty beer over a real live person who loved him, even when I saw the real, crappy parts.

I know, in the logical and rarely used part of my brain, that I deserve better. I deserve someone who fights for me the way I do for them. Who is just as supportive, and who I can be myself around without the constant fear of losing them (oh the irony). I get it. But I don’t want better, right now. I just want my fucking friend back.

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll make it. If not, that’s fine too. I’ll keep trying.

Slutiversary

The Thought Slut was born 2 years ago today. So let’s take a look back, shall we? If this were a sitcom, this would be the Clip Show Episode.

The idea came from venting that being single meant I had no one to share all the useless trivia that was cluttering my brain. Really, even “trivia” seemed too fancy for what was going on. I was finding it hard to focus on work, personal conversations, taking care of my house, because OH MY GOD I HAD THE BEST TURKEY SANDWICH, and there was nobody to tell.

So, I came here. I took 30 whole seconds to pick some colors and a terribly unfocused picture for the header, and that was that. It was one of those things I said I was going to go back and redo later, but as you can see… I didn’t. I’ve changed a lot over the last 2 years, but not that much. Procrastinating is still my main skill. Right before self-depreciation.

But really, a lot has happened in my little Slut Bubble since 2015. (That one just popped into my head. Get it? Popped? Bubble?! I’m ON FIRE!) I’ve grown a lot. Though I still have more to do, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. It would be easier to see if I wrote more regularly, but trust me, it’s leaps and bounds.

Today, I’m still single (though I have made some jumps into not-singlehood here and there) and much more comfortable with it. I’m still figuring out what I want, and how to identify it. I am getting much better at knowing when something isn’t what I want, and walking away (I once dated a guy I couldn’t stand for over a year because he didn’t do anything terribly wrong. I haaaaated him, but he wasn’t abusive or unfaithful, so I stuck it out. FOR OVER A YEAR. Again. Leaps and bounds.) Sometimes, it makes for entertaining stories.

This brings us to the New Story Line segment of our Clip Show Episode, where I get to introduce you to a new character. Let’s call him Douchey McToolface. Because I’m a grownup.

So… Douchey and I met online (don’t roll your eyes at me!) He sent me a message that was a list of reasons he thought we’d get along. I’m a sucker for lists, and it beat the guy whose opener was “Damn sexy! Come sit on my face and I’ll eat my way to your heart? ;)” (alright, you can roll your eyes now.) I responded, it lead to actual conversation, he spelled things correctly and used multi-syllabic words, and I was cautiously hopeful. We arranged a meet up about a week out. He specifically told me this was not a date, this was simply a meeting to see if we had chemistry and should pursue dating from there. Great! I liked this idea, as well as all the talks we had about establishing a good friendship first, and not rushing into things. Cue the happy strut.

Meeting happens, things go well, but ultimately he is not actually down for taking it slow as originally stated, and tries to tell me after 1.5 dates (we hung out twice in the same day. I don’t know what that means, or what is and isn’t a date, apparently, so let’s just go with that.) that I need to “stop holding back” and just give in to whatever urges he has imagined I have. Because he can read me so well. Yeah. I say no. I’m REALLY FUCKING PROUD of myself for this. Baby Slut would’ve assumed he knew more than me, and gone along with it anyway.  But not anymore! I firmly told him I was taking things slow… and he told me I was wrong. Yep. Wrong. It completely dumbfounded me. So, I ended things. Amicably. Perhaps too much so, as he text me a day later asking if we could still be friends. Well sure, who doesn’t need more friends?

My new bff then began texting me passive-aggressive complaints about how hard being single was, and how he wished he could just find someone that could “make a decision and stick with it”. (Now I’m rolling my eyes right along with you) Then… he sent me an excerpt from an erotic novel he is writing (which he apparently started after we went out, as he told me then he no longer writes… ) The context was that the protagonist, based on him, was facing the woman that had transformed him from wanting meaningless sex to looking for an actual connection. Booky McToolface says this, “I want to taste every inch of you… and not just your skin. When I say that I want you, it is not some purely physical concept. Your eroticism to me stems from the very core of who you are. While your shell is appealing, it is what lies beneath that has me yearning to taste you.”. My response? “Uh, nobody says ‘eroticism’ to another person in real life.” The part I didn’t text him involved a lot of near-vomiting.

I was hoping my disinterest would be enough to make him wander away, but receiving a text message poem at 5:30am three days later told me I was wrong. And, because you’re already on this ride, here’s that, too:

I don’t know you,
I know your face because I see it when I close my eyes.
I know the small curve of your lips when you smile.
I know the gleam in the corner of your left eye
Only the left one
That pops up when something brings you joy.
See I don’t know you
But I know the value you place in words
The way you long to have someone value you
Someone who sees the pretty face, yes, but sees the beauty BEHIND it too.
I don’t know you,
But I know that there is something missing
A piece of you
A real piece of you not fulfilled.
I don’t know you
But I do know that I want you
I want to be that piece to make you whole
I want to be your beacon as the night encroaches in
I want to hold you safe as the winds bear down
I want to protect you…
See I don’t know you
But I want to.

Pretty much all this did for me is cause me to question what the hell is wrong with my left eye?? I’m hoping it was just that I was constantly giving him the “What the fuck crazy ass shit did you just let loose out of your mouth?!?” look and he mistook that for the face of the newly joyful. I have no fucking idea.

I’d like to say that after this I told His Mighty Doucheness to leave me alone. But nope. Took me another two days, and multiple texts about how dating was the worst. Then, I finally hit my limit. I did not avoid confrontation, was not passive, I was full on aggressive. He, of course, countered that the fault was mine, and I was simply taking it all wrong.

But a little over two years ago, I dealt with another douchebag extraordinaire. One with a lot more experience. I learned a thing or two, including that I am, in fact, whole. I am not missing any pieces, I am not in need of protection, and I can damn sure save my self. So his gaslighting and blame shifting were no match for this slut right here. Our heroine emerged victorious once again.

Who knows where I’ll be in another two years. But whatever my appealing shell and I are doing, I’ll be doing it my way. And maybe if I remember, I’ll even write about it.

 

 

I’m like, the most scared person whose alive.

Every Monday night, I go to a friend’s house for dinner, we chat, we laugh, she makes amazing food, and then we watch a horrible show together. Currently, we’re watching Girls. At first, I kinda hated it. It’s only redeeming quality seemed to be that it made me feel a little better about my own overwhelming awkwardness. I may have fallen off a curb for no reason at all last week, but at least I’ve never been stuck in a closet while my cousin has sex with a random a few feet away. Pat on the back to me.

The show is growing on me, though. I have become fond of a few of the characters, and even root for a couple of them now and then. As much as I want to hate the main character and her whiny hipster ways, I just want her to be loved by the weird guy who never wears a fucking shirt. In one of the episodes we watched tonight, there was something he said to her that stuck with me.

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In response to his yelling this at her, she says that she does not love herself at all, and she’s scared of everything. My inner self raised a fist in solidarity and shouted “fuck yeah, I got your back.” Then I got to thinking. (And yes, I realize that he’s wearing a shirt here. Maybe “never” was a bit strong.)

I’m always working on loving myself. But I’m too scared to actually do it. It’s like the beginning of most relationships, it starts with the flirty fun part. I’m weirdly obsessed with myself. I stare at my face in the mirror, I find mundane things I do fascinating, I feel the urge to share each thought that enters my head as if it’s some sort of genius idea that needs to be recorded for future generations to marvel at. But once I finally settle down enough to love myself for who I really am (spoiler alert: not a fascinating genius.) I get bored and wander off. Later, I’ll be caught off guard by some funny or sweet thing I do, resume the chase once more, and the cycle continues.

Well, me, it’s time to grow the fuck up. Love isn’t exciting. It’s not shiny and pretty and noteworthy. It’s boring and takes work. Even when it’s just you… and you. Loving yourself means knowing you’re enough. It’s not putting on a good show of it, in hopes that someone else will notice and fall in love with you too. It means not giving two craps who sees all the quirky and adorable things you do, because you enjoy just doing them.

It’s getting past that fun and fancy free beginning, and still wanting to put in effort. It’s caring enough about yourself to make sure that when you do work to catch someone’s eye, it’s for the right reasons. These hardly ever include “needing attention” or “not wanting to be alone”. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea how to find the “right” person, what it feels like, or if it’s even a thing. (If it is, I’m pretty sure it’s not limited to one per person per lifetime.) The more I think about it, the less I care. Nobody can love me like I would, if I’d just give myself the chance.