Self-Confidence Sunday #21–Big Girl Job, Big Girl Hair

So if you follow me on any social media platforms, you have probably just seen this picture due to my excitement. =) Finally, after a full year of putting it off (partly because I’m thrifty, partly because I’m lazy), I went and got this hair handled! One of the guys who used to coach with me also happens to be a cosmetologist and he is FABULOUS. Seriously. I don’t think my hair has ever looked this good, and I am so ecstatic about it. But as he said, “You got the big girl job, now it’s time to get the big girl hair!”

[Preemptive referral in case anyone is looking for a hairstylist: If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and want to get the hair hook-up for a fair but way-cheaper-than-the-salon price (he works at a very high-end salon, but when he does hair on the side obviously he doesn’t charge extra for all the unnecessary frills), let me know and I am more than happy to get you his number.]

Money, New Year’s Resolutions, and Financial Freedom

I know a lot of people are making finance-related new year’s resolutions this week, so I thought I would share some of the savings/investment tools that have really made a difference for me in the past year. And if you’re reading this after the new year–well hey, it’s never too late to make moves toward financial freedom!
My newest favorite (as of April 2017) is Wealthsimple, which is where I hold my Roth IRA. They let you invest in socially responsible companies and they manage your first $5,000 free. In addition, if you sign up through someone else’s referral, you each get an additional $10,000 managed free for another year. My  link is here: Wealthsimple-Smart Investing.
Update: since Digit is going to start charging $2.99/month for their services starting in July, I’ve decided to stop using them by that time. That may be okay for some people…but I’m cheap enough that that was a deal-breaker for me. =) Just leaving this here for the sake of information.
I started using the (free) Digit savings app in the middle of 2016 (while making very little extra money at the time, by the way) and was able to save about an extra $1000 just through the app. Basically, it transfers very small amounts of money that you won’t miss from your checking account into a savings account. You can withdraw it whenever, but it’s a really great way to save for a large purchase or trip, to finance an emergency fund, pay down debt at a faster rate, etc.
I also started using Acorns, which is a lot like Digit but for investments. If you want to invest in a diversified portfolio but don’t have lots of extra money or extra time (or if you just aren’t a seasoned investor), this is a great way to go. It lets you invest amounts as small as $5 at a time and takes the “round-ups” from all of your purchases and turns them into investments. I’m super nerdy about it, but I check the app pretty much every day to see how much I’ve “made” as of that day/month/quarter/etc. I’m still always excited to see the dividends added to my account, even though it’s still a bit surreal to me that I can make money from investing such small amounts at a time.
For those of you who are interested, using my link starts you off with a free $10 in your account ($10 through April and on several other months; otherwise, it starts you with a free $5 instead). Acorns also recently became completely free for college students, so I highly recommend this to those of you still in school. For everyone else, it’s a dollar per month (unless you’ve invested like $50K in which case it’s more like 0.25% or so). My referral link: Acorns.
For people more interested in just cutting daily expenses, I also use Ibotta for grocery savings, which thus far is my favorite of all of the grocery apps I’ve used. I’m pretty frugal anyway, but I was still able to get a couple hundred dollars in grocery rebates back from Ibotta. If you’re interested in signing up, this link will start you with $10 after you claim your first rebate: Ibotta Grocery Coupons.
As someone who grew up stressing about where every penny went and devising ways to make money or cut costs as far back as I can remember, it has honestly been life-changing to have a healthy emergency fund, no credit card debt, and to have started saving for retirement already. I don’t think people really understand the difference unless they have personally been through legitimate financial hardship, but every aspect of life is so, so, so much easier when you are financially stable.

Maybe, Just Maybe…

It’s been a rough year. From a violent stalker to dating a sociopath to work and financial struggles to deaths in the family to health issues and more, 2015.5-2016.5 has been a doozy. But maybe everything is going to work out after all. I got the call less than an hour ago, haven’t even told my current boss(es) yet but…

…I got the job.

And I have no idea how I feel. I’m stunned. Excited, but it almost felt too good to be true. And now I have to give notice (to my contract job and also to the investment company, but I also have to change my coaching schedule), but I’m going to be paid like a real person. I can finally fix my parents’ plumbing with my first paycheck like I promised last year (because I spent months on the roof, under the sink, and dealing with hydrochloric acid, but that’s another story). And it’s a huge, intimidating, enormous opportunity. I’m probably going to suck at it for a little while (actually, probably for a long while: at my third in-person interview the CEO said he would fully expect it to take a year for me to get a true understanding of the company, what they’re looking for, etc.).

But Lord have mercy, this is what I have been waiting for for the last year. This opportunity feels like the right one, even if I’m going to be scared halfway out of my mind once the shock wears off. Or maybe I won’t be (side note: super excited to officially meet the tall/dark/handsome man who poked fun at my door-holding skills at one of my interviews). Who knows. Right now, I am just so, so thankful that I found a position I’m so excited about, and even more than that, I am beyond grateful for all of the people who stood by my side and encouraged me (and listened to me obsess) as I went through this process. I can’t wait to see what’s next. <3


Self-confidence Sunday #17

Last month, I agreed to do a sample shoot for the catalog of a company in which my freelance employer invests. The product, a line of collegiate-branded women’s sleepwear, seemed right up my alley (seriously, who doesn’t love pajamas??), though it had been a while since I’d done a shoot. Although it was fun (my photographer, Tara Arseven, was just wonderful: personable, intelligent, and funny), the experience was a good reminder that I simply am not keen on attempting to use my appearance to make a living when I could (less stressfully, and with fewer creepers) use my talents to do the same. If nothing else, some of the attire was just skimpier than I am comfortable being photographed: about the least I’m okay with wearing tends to be a sports bra and spandex shorts for a sports-related shoot.

He (my freelance boss) wanted to do a re-shoot with another photographer as well, and had talked about me rebuilding my portfolio, but it felt good to be able to say with certainty that I would prefer to focus on my writing/editing/marketing and that I’m not interested in any sort of modeling right now.

There were some nice images, including the ones I’ve posted here…but what I really liked about the shoot was the glimmer of my genuine smile coming back (not counting the one with the straddle hold below: my face was showing the strain of holding the position, but cool athletic things >>> being attractive). For me, this was evidence of the fact that hard times don’t last forever: I was bound to be back to my old self again, just better, stronger, wiser, and hopefully kinder than ever before. Hurt doesn’t have to last forever. Photoshoot Tara Arseven Laughter Pillowfight Joy Auburn - Copy Photoshoot by Tara Arseven Straddle Hold Yoga GymnasticsSample Photoshoot Tara Arseven Auburn University

Bad Luck with Nice Hotels in Strange Cities, Part 2

For Part 1 of this saga, introduced as evidence to support the assertion that my life is a joke, read here:

Bad Luck with Nice Hotels in Strange Cities, Part 1

(I started writing this post the Saturday (April 9th) I was still in Houston, hence the present tense passages!)

Being here is absolutely lovely. I am thankful for the opportunity to escape a bit for the weekend, and it has renewed my belief that I need to start taking mini-getaway trips (with Max the Cat, of course!) every once in a while. I just am fighting with my impulse to feel guilty for “letting” B. take me out for dinner(s) and drinks, to get a massage (editor’s note: we didn’t end up doing that), arrange my flights and put me up in this nice hotel (though I hope both of those were free of charge and from his points, since he frequently travels for work), buy me flowers…even though I didn’t ask for any of it and he offered multiple times before I accepted. But I also have to remind myself that it is not my fault that he is doing so, and that I owe nobody anything—not my time, emotions, body, affection, or attention—because they have done something nice for me. In the past, I have been very careful to pick up my share of the costs when men have offered to do something similar.

I just don’t think many men understand how disappointing it can be to realize that someone wants to date you when they at first gave the appearance that they were actually interested in you as a person without wanting anything from you. And when I say “wanting anything,” I’m not referring to sex, which people often assume when women say that. Especially in a professional setting, it really changes the dynamic and comfort level and it’s exhausting when it happens constantly. Just talk to me like a freaking person without having an ulterior motive; not that hard.

So as far as planning for today went, we left off last night with the decision that I would sleep until I woke (and then try to sleep some more) then let him know when I was ready to get pancakes/go get those massages he suggested we go get/go do anything else I decided I would like to do in the city.

I woke at 9:45 the first time (ick) because my body decided it would be obscene to sleep more than 6.5 hours. After some finagling, I was able to wrangle up another hour of sleep, but that was about the extent of it. I made coffee and leisurely got ready for the day, then messaged him at noon to mention another of the hotel quirks I’d discovered and ask if he minded if I got some writing done. He responded several minutes later and said, “No problem. I’ve got some errands to run…no rush at all. Plenty of quirks in all shapes and sizes haha”

But then things started to feel (even more) awkward…evidenced by our textual interactions during the day (spoiler, I did not see him again after our exchange Friday night!):

(me) 1:47 p.m. “True, haha! I’ll probably put writing and other to-do sorts of things on hold in another 30, I think.”

(B.) 3:02 p.m. “Ok cool! Should we get massages?”

(me.) 3:05 p.m. “If you’re still up for it, then so am I!”

As of 5:17 p.m., I have not gotten a response to that, so perhaps he’s offended that I was not chomping at the bit to hold his hand, go to his house to “help rearrange furniture,” etc. last night. -_-

Update: at 5:09 p.m. he forwarded me an email from someone who is looking for an assistant in the Houston area. The job would pay $50,000 a year. Which is cool and all…except I do not live in Houston and have no plans to move here. Especially given whatever is going on right now with this.

(5:40 p.m.) I have to admit, I am a little irritated right now. Yes, it was really nice of him to use his points to fly me down and put me up in this nice hotel. The flowers were nice, the food and drinks were nice. But to pretend that all that was because you were empathic about my horrible, heartbreaking experience and then use that as an opportunity to hit on me…? That’s not okay. At all.

And then, it was finally addressed:

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_4 FullSizeRender_5 FullSizeRender_6Although he certainly didn’t come off as ungentlemanly during the conversation, it really irked me that he didn’t have any sort of understanding at how upsetting it was to go through that sort of bait-and-switch type of situation and have him knowingly hit on me (and he’s 13 years my senior and had never seen me in person before!!!) and then say that he “can’t control the timing on those things.” Seriously…? That’s all you have to say, after consciously ignoring everything I was going through and putting your wants (wants that were completely out of left field, mind you) before my needs? No thanks.

Needless to say, I hit the downstairs hotel happy hour that evening, where my night was filled with many whiskey sours and which ended with me lifting a “large Asian man” (as he called himself) who was impressed with my biceps and then drinking out of a very cute flower vase before hopping up to bed.Whiskey Sour Westin Hotel Houston Cafe…and yessss, there will be a Part 3! 😉

Bad Luck with Nice Hotels in Strange Cities, Part 1

(My first instance of “bad luck with a nice hotel in a strange city” actually came during a trip to Chicago on Valentine’s Day weekend last year, which I detailed here: Third-Rate Romance #1: Cross-Country Third Wheel)

So I’m not sure how I keep getting myself into would-be romantic situations that I go in thinking are assuredly platonic. I suppose I make the mistake of thinking that when I have given zero indication (and I do mean -ZEROOO-) that I am even open to the possibility of any romantic interaction with anyone at all, that they don’t assume I will be. Rather than punishing a new person for the mistakes of others I have encountered in the past, I try to take men at face value when they tell me they just want to do something nice for me or just want to spend time with me; basically, I like to believe they can be genuine human beings, as I know some outstanding men.

Pertinent background:

In February, a VU alumna introduced me to another alum (B.) who is 13 years my senior and who works at a company with which I would love to be involved for a very long time in the future. We emailed a bit and then set up a time to speak a couple weeks later (after my saga including the death in the family, initial break-up, and job snafu) when it worked with both of our schedules. We had a great, hour-long conversation by phone one afternoon during which we discussed coaching, school, careers, and related. He was very excited to do whatever he could to help out a young fellow alum, telling me about his path to his current career and the people who had helped him along his way. He told me that he had always wanted to be able to mentor someone else in a similar way, especially another Vandy grad.

So, fast-forward a little bit to this whole mess with S. in my personal life. I went off the radar for a bit after that happened (I was going to send in my application for a trainer position at the company and then get back to him), so I emailed a quick synopsis to explain that my life had been a mess and then reiterated my interest. He called me after receiving the email, and we played a bit of phone tag before connecting the next day. He told me how horrified he was while reading the email, told me how impressed he was after talking to me, and talked about my resilience and strength in the face of what would make most people become a complete mess.

B. then told me that he wished he could do anything at all to help because he felt so awful for me, and asked if I needed to get away for a couple days, since that’s what he thought he would need in that situation. He said he had points from traveling for work and he could fly me down so I could get away from everything for a little bit. I told him I would check my schedule, and when he checked in a few days later, I thanked him profusely and told him that since his points would cover it and I was free that weekend, it was a “go” for the trip. So everything was set, I was looking forward to the trip, and I had renewed confidence in people’s capacity for pure goodness, empathy, and kindness.

I flew out to Houston Friday and we did an early supper and margaritas. The conversation was great, as it had been on the phone the two times we’d spoken previously, and we discussed several thorny issues in coaching that are or have been factors for each of us professionally. He wanted to know how I was doing since finding out that I had been dating a sociopath, so we discussed that some and he talked about a heartbreak in his own past.

After that, he dropped me off at my hotel room so I could get settled. It was absolutely lovely. My first thought as I explored the room was that I could not wait to take a bubble bath and relax! (But seriously though, how can you look at this and not automatically think bubble bath?!)Luxurious Westin Houston Bathtub

And then I looked at the dresser…

Houston Surprise Flowers HotelOh God. “Just Because. From B.” The flowers he’d had delivered to my room were lovely and quite fragrant, but seeing those there immediately brought my guard up. Despite that, I was still hoping that this was going to be as platonic as it had been presented and that he was just a nice guy, so I went ahead and got settled and tried to take a short nap.

I texted him when I got up and let him know that I was ready for the next excursion which was (surprise/I love food) pizza and drinks at a local dive bar. As I waited in the lobby, I began noticing and documenting the….um, eccentric…decorative theme. Like it was organic vegetable garden meets ranchhouse meets forest thicket meets chic, upscale modern hotel. And the designer must have reallyyy liked broccoli because:
Creative Decoration Broccoli Westin Hotel Houston IMG_1776 IMG_1793


IMG_1782The enormous fake trees in the middle of the lobby were actually quite an inspiring touch though, as far as the writer in me was concerned, and I didn’t even mind the mossy wall display (note the cowhide chairs and chess theme!):

IMG_1779 IMG_1780 IMG_1795IMG_1771 IMG_1783 IMG_1810








So he got there and I mentioned the interesting decor, and we discussed that for…I don’t know, but longer than I wanted to, certainly. Perhaps he was wanting to show that he was interested in what I mentioned off-hand, but he just seemed overly excited to talk to me about something that was pretty mundane after the first minute or so. That was my next warning sign that he was interested in me in a way that I did not–and would not–reciprocate.

The food at the bar was great, and I truly and thoroughly enjoyed our discussion. He’s a cat lady (well, in a manner of speaking) too, so Mr. Max spent much time at the forefront of our conversation. We met a former University of Texas quarterback, there in all his burnt-orange attire, and were in the right place at the right time to witness all kinds of drunken theatrics and drama (dear sir in the far right corner of the bar, I’m sorry that lady said that and I assure you that  there is a woman out there who thinks you would make an outstanding stripper).

But…then he started making comments about hating that such a “beautiful and sweet woman like [me] was hurting over such a jerk,” that one of my traits was “hot/attractive/etc.,” suggesting that I should go to his place sometime, and so on. And then, in the car on the way back to my hotel, he made his move. I had to gracefully but firmly pull away after he tried to grab my hand, and then left no room for questions on whether the night was ending or if I’d be going upstairs by myself. We agreed that I would turn my alarm off, sleep til I eventually woke up, and then we could reconvene.

But walking into the Westin, all I could think was, “Good God, not again. What have I gotten myself into?”

Day 2 up next/to be continued 😉

Self-confidence Sunday #14: You Will Never Steal My Joy Again

In the midst of this awful ordeal concerning my ex-boyfriend (which keeps getting worse the more I discover, but I digress), I had a very empowering moment.  I was driving to coach on Wednesday afternoon, simply letting my thoughts go where they would, when I quite suddenly and clearly thought at him, “You will never steal my joy again. You will never steal my joy, my laughter, or my love ever again.”

It isn’t easy yet…but I am free. Free of wondering when he’d call or make time for me. Free of trying so damn hard to accommodate his needs, which I could never do in the first place seeing as his overall purpose appears to be hurting as many women as possible. Free of all the things I did for him because I loved him, from the cooking to the surprises to the cleaning to the lingerie to whatever else in the world I thought could help make his life easier or more pleasant. Free from the anxiety about social media because of all the women…at least now I know that he really was sleeping with them all.

Most of all, I am free of the pain and the confusion, free of the dreams that will never come to pass, free of the lies. So many lies. I am free of the hope, and that was probably the most important part of letting go of this man who was bitter poison packaged as a sweet, soothing antidote.

You will never steal my joy again…and that is quite an empowering thought indeed.

A Stunning Betrayal

My entire relationship was a lie.

It’s Friday now; I found out Monday night. Since then, I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions: shock, numbness, anger, sadness, despair, determination, hope, regret, incredulity, wistfulness, pure unadulterated pain… You name it, I probably felt it this week.

On Monday he posted a ridiculous and sexist video on his Facebook page, on which I commented. One of his friends (about whose relationship with him I had several questions) replied that she agreed with me, and we had a short conversation. She suggested that we should be friends…and then we found out. He had been carrying on full relationships with both of us, purposely leading us to believe that he was fully committed and faithful, and then ended both in February (and of course, contacting us many times since the breakups, and not always platonically).

Seyi and I dated for almost nine months, and during that time, it is quite certain I was never the only woman. He was seeing other women at the time he initiated contact, courtship, and dating with me, and he then continued that same cycle with other women during the course of our relationship. He aggressively pursued and began seeing her in early August.

Unfortunately, this also wasn’t run-of-the-mill cheating: this was the calculated act of a sociopath. This man enjoys causing women pain. The more we put all the pieces together, the more we began to understand that we had been involved with a sadist. He is easily the best liar, manipulator, gaslighter with whom I have ever come in contact.

We met and talked for several hours the evening after we found out. We shared some tears as we exchanged stories, answering many questions the other had had during her relationship with him. I was the reason he was 1.5 hours late for their first date, why he’d backed out of having dinner to celebrate her birthday, why she didn’t see him for Halloween and New Year’s… And she was the reason he was absent and silent for days at a time, why he had to rush away several times, why he was constantly late, we he wouldn’t let me come meet him at Starbucks to work with him.

He fed me the food she made him. Cookies, apple pie, lasagna, cupcakes. He hid my toothbrush and cheer shoes every time she (or any of the other women) came by, and he always had them back in their places by the time I came back. He did not slip up until once in November when my toothbrush was in a case instead. This is a man who has practiced this for years.

The underwear was hers. The tank top and athletic shorts were mine. He kept my lingerie hidden away where she never saw it. He explained my coffee away by saying it was for the friends who had come to visit him from the UK, and told me her shampoo belonged to those same friends. He let them speak on the phone to her…and then called me and told me he missed me. He sent her family wine and a card for Christmas, and spoke on the phone to her mother. He came to my family’s house very late New Year’s Eve, came out to celebrate my sister’s birthday with us (though quite late, and I suspect he was having sex with another woman because I was completely unable to get in contact with him), met my brother and his soon-to-be-fiancee, came back home to play cards with us…and then contacted her as soon as he’d pulled out of my parents’ driveway. Now we finally understood why he was so diligent about having freshly laundered sheets on his bed when we arrived.

Her stories hurt. They were much like mine, though different too. He criticized us for many of the same things, none of which carry weight and which spoke more to his need to feel superior than to anything about our personalities or character. He made each of us feel so special, safe, protected, at peace. He danced with her in a parking lot and talked about wedding songs, asked how she’d feel about marrying him. He showed vulnerability and asked me if he were perfect for me, if I thought he could make me happy forever. We thought he hung the moon. But good God, we were sleeping with the devil.

She said another woman was waiting on his doorstep once in September. Walked right up to her and introduced herself, then argued with him–yelled at him–for an hour (he brought her outside so they could not be heard). She said she thought the woman was a bit crazy at the time. When he returned, he told her that he had dated the woman in June and July (yes, also while he was dating me) and that he was trying to be friends with her and she “just couldn’t handle it, couldn’t let go.” He told me (when I confronted him Tuesday) that they had stopped dating the previous January…

She asked him directly if he were dating me after she saw a picture of us out for Halloween (he had told her he could not spend it with her). He said he was not interested in me at all, that he was just being a good friend because Halloween was a bad night for me, and told her she was welcome to speak to me and I would assure her that there was nothing going on between the two of us. He also told her that her body type–quite different from mine–was his preference, and that made it much easier to believe him when he said he wasn’t interested.

In truth, I had wondered some about his body type preference. We argued once when he said he had no preference, and then again in the future whenever we returned to that discussion. When I pointed out that all the women he had dated since moving to the U.S. had been women who were much larger than I, he scoffed at me and then reminded me that his ex-girlfriend had also been a cheerleader and that “obviously, bigger isn’t [his] preference.” It was always back and forth…but I still wonder if maybe he did prefer women who were overweight. He always asked me for photos in athletic clothes and such, but he seemed to be all over photos (on social media) of big women. She’s larger than I, and it seemed that he fawned over her body in a way that he had not with mine since the first four-ish months of our relationship. I told him once in December that I sometimes felt like he didn’t think I was attractive the way he used to, and he got quite irritated with me about that. Once he was no longer angry, he did plenty of reassuring and convincing, and reminded me of paid compliments that “should have” quelled my worries. I guess I just knew deep down that I wasn’t the only one he had eyes for, even if I didn’t know what was causing the unease.

There were a number of times I felt that he either wasn’t interested anymore (early on) or that he wasn’t as committed, and each time I had a discussion with him about it and/or asked if we should call it quits. Each time, he reassured me, chided me for worrying about things, continually reaffirmed his interest. He did this on purpose, and he never came clean or took responsibility, even when we spoke this Tuesday after (part of) the truth came out. He would never fess up to how many other women they were, though he did slip when he admitted to keeping “everyone,” and then had to backtrack and say he didn’t mean “literally everyone.”

When I confronted him about the other women, there was always some sort of alibi or explanation. She experienced the same thing. He had the kindest eyes, and they completely skewed our normally sharp intuition. He tried to make us think we were crazy and paranoid; we were neither.

He created an entire persona around honesty, faithfulness, selflessness, love, commitment, diligence, patience…and every single moment of it was a lie. He told so many stories–fed us so many lines–about his belief in fidelity, love, and commitment. He showed anger when discussing men and women who were unfaithful; once, he told me he wouldn’t leave me unless I cheated on him or something of a similarly grave nature occurred. All the hours of watching Disney movies and musicals, watching sitcoms centered around love and relationships, time discussing communication and compromise…it was all a lie.

He never existed.

A Hot Mess

I don’t have anything particularly exciting or insightful to say today. For the first time since 2010, I slept through my (5:30) alarm when I was scheduled to work a promotion. Promos are a bit different than your average job in that if you are late, you frequently are not allowed to come in and work your shift because there is a back-up person on-site in the event someone on the roster has an emergency (or flakes). So, I ended up staying home today.

That’s great in one sense because I very obviously need a day off. It’s not so great, however, because that means I won’t be getting over $200 of the amount I had planned on pulling in this weekend. It’s my dad’s birthday though, so perhaps it works out that I’ll be home after all. I certainly have plenty that I need to get done today.

I’m just a little sad today. I hate that I’m still so hurt over the breakup, and it’s upsetting that it disturbs my sleep, my happiness, and (by proxy, since it was waking up at ridiculous times and then not being able to sleep that caused my oversleeping) now my work. I hate that the first thing I wanted to do when I realized I had overslept was to call him. I didn’t, of course, but it still feels like he’s supposed to be my first line of defense when things go wrong. I wish everything didn’t remind me of him.

It will help a lot when I’m back on my normal dose of Adderall. I wasn’t on top of things, so when my insurance switched (and it turned out I had to go in for the actual in-person consult instead of picking the prescription up) and my schedule got crazy, I just didn’t get it all done before running out. I have such a hard time sleeping–and doing just run-of-the-mill life things–without it. I didn’t start taking it until I was 22, but I really wish I had started much, much younger. It would have saved a lot of anxiety, issues with self-esteem (because really, how could I be such an overachiever yet remain chronically unable to clean my damn room, no matter what I tried?), stress, and frustration.

I know it’ll get better, but it sure feels like I’m not doing anything right in life right now. I’d like to curl up and sleep, but I know there are more productive, empowering things to do. Maybe I should cut contact with him after all…

Everything Changes

One thing that has really struck me about the process of moving on (or whatever it is that I’m doing) is that my emotions and energy can vary extremely widely from day to day. It seems that this often is dependent upon my sense of control over the situation and whether or not we have interacted (or interacted positively). When I am patient enough to let all interactions be initiated by him, it is a lot easier to feel competent, confident, and in control of what “us” is for me and of my life overall. He no longer dictates my emotions to that degree if I let him be the one who approaches me.

Last night, even though our team lost, I had a wonderful evening after coaching just hanging out at a bar in uptown with other members of my city’s alumni network. I met other former Vandy athletes as well as talked to a couple older alums, one of whom immediately got my contact information and has already mentioned several ways in which we could work together. I remain absolutely blown away by the genuine caring, helpfulness, and selflessness of the other VU alums with whom I have interacted. This job search process has been hard, and sometimes it really takes a lot of the wind out of my sails, but the reassurance, planning, and networking other grads have provided has really been the equivalent of a life saver. Someday, I will have my career together and will be able to do the same thing for other emerging professionals. <3

Last night, he texted me while I was out at the bar, and then for about a couple hours afterward. With the way he was talking, it made it sound like he was missing me, but I was careful not to get into anything similar to talks of “us.” He was a bit less careful, but that’s fine (and I played dumb when necessary). The ball is in his court as far as that goes; I’m not going to pursue him. It’s just so dumb that hearing from him through any medium still makes me happy, still makes me feel reassured and at peace. -_- Dumb man…

I got to stunt and tumble some at open gym tonight after work, and I left with this nagging need to get my head on straight and get all my skills back (and then some)! I’ll work with the other coaches when time permits, but I’m considering asking him (yes, seriously) at some point to work with me… He still wants to get together and stunt again, so I may as well ask for him to help me get rid of the mental craziness I’ve developed around my tumbling while we’re already out and sweaty.

He may be a ding-dong sometimes in relationships, but he’s also an incredible coach, sooo… I think I’ll hold off on asking at least until he contacts me again though, since that seems to be better for me. Maybe I can offer some of my editing and marketing skills in exchange, which he could surely use for his business? Then it would be less of a favor from a friend/ex (or whatever we are) and more of a business “deal.”

I know I’ve had some rough knocks this year, but it just feels like life is about to get so, so much better. Everything will be sorted out, I’ll be working in a job that will provide me with challenges and opportunities to learn new skills, I’ll be coaching, out exploring all that Dallas has to offer… Goodness, I just can’t wait to be on salary and able to help my parents financially instead of just around the house. I’m planning on taking my first “real” paycheck and fixing the plumbing in their front bathroom. Someday soon, I will feel like a “real person” again. 🙂