Real.

You can’t get to a place that you don’t believe exists.

 

 

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Guest Post: On Love

Here’s what I think about love:

It is important, and you can feel it in very different ways towards very different people for any number of reasons.  It isn’t planned for and sometimes completely unexpected.  But if you’re open and not afraid to let another person in, you can experience deep emotions that you didn’t know where there.  The problem is that so many people are afraid of love.  They’re afraid of putting themselves on the line, risking getting hurt, and a lot of times they’re even afraid of being loved.

Feeling love from someone else is such a powerful thing, that we put ourselves behind these big protective shields to keep others away.  If we feel like someone cares about us too much, or more than we’re ready to accept from them, we back away.  Or even if we want that feeling, we make up reasons why that person shouldn’t feel the way they do or why it doesn’t make sense.  But really, we’re just protecting ourselves from the emptiness we’ll feel if and when that love is suddenly gone.

I’ve dared to love people openly and with reckless abandon.  In a few circumstances, that love was either not understood or appreciated or returned, or some combination of the three.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  In my opinion, because I love the person that you are, it does not necessarily mean that I want to be your girlfriend or spend every waking moment with you or have you be “mine”.  If I’m attracted to who you are and I enjoy spending time with you, then it just makes sense that i’ll want to spend more time with you and get to know you more.  If that time spent together or those feelings end up leading us to a bedroom, then that’s great!  But it doesn’t always have to, and I’m okay with that.  And if it does end up that way but we don’t click on an intimate level, I’m perfectly okay with taking that back out of the equation.  I have known absolutely zero people who are the same way.  And that’s okay, too.

Someone who has become very important in my life has no clue what to do with the love I have for him.  He won’t admit it, but it freaks him out.  He doesn’t understand why he’s so important to me or that I have a strong love for him, without needing to sleep with him or have any kind of romantic overtones to our interactions.  He’s my friend, and I love him, and I want him in my life.  As much as fucking possible.  Simple as that.

We’ve had very long conversations.  Some of my favorite conversations, in fact.  In one that centered around particularly angsty feelings I won’t get into (on both our parts), I had this to say:

“Look.  We’re almost all deer that have wandered into barbed wire.  We’re hurt, and we’re scared, and we’re stuck.

It’s almost impossible to get out of that alone.

And if we’ve been stuck there long enough, we fear the person coming our way to help, so we shrink away.

But there are always those people who will try anyway.  And they might get cut up and a little bit stuck in the effort.

But I have to believe there is a safe way out of all that mess.

I have to.

I guess I’m just tired of being the deer.

And if you’re the deer, I’d want to try to be your person.”

I was pretty fired up at the time, but the more I re-read it, the more I love it.  Despite having used the same word three times, and despite wanting to edit it and put it back together in a prettier form.  I love what I had to say and how I felt when I said it.  I love that I still believe it.

We’re not alone here.  I’m one of the most independent people I know, but even I can admit that we can’t do it all, all by ourselves.  Sometimes we just need a little bit of help.  We need friends.  And we need love.  Don’t be afraid to love.  Being vulnerable can be really scary, but give it a try.  Take risks.  Just for the sake of taking them, not for the expectation of some kind of grand reward in the end.  Know that there are going to be plenty of times that you’ll get let down.  More often than not, you’ll feel disappointed by something.  But think about how amazing it’ll be on that one day, just once, where you suddenly feel open and understood, accepted and validated.  Trust me, it’s going to be the best feeling in the world.  Go get it.

xoxo, Collette

Guest Post: What’s Your Number?

In the movie What‘s Your Number?, Anna Faris goes on a quirky romp through the past 20 or so guys she’s had sex with (oh, a *relationship* in the movie…) because she’s convinced one of them is her “one true love”.  Nope, turns out its her male slut of a neighbor, Chris Evans.  Spoiler alert:  they end up together.

We’re not all lucky enough to have Chris Evans be our slutty, attractive, charming male neighbor who we can be madly in love with at the end of 106 minutes.

images

But let’s not fixate on the predictable ending to this romantic comedy, let’s talk numbers.  At some point, we’ve all done the “think-back” and tried to figure out just how many guys we slept with.  Okay, for some of us, it’s not that tough to figure out.  For others, it’s an exercise in futility.  Sometimes names (first or last) are optional.  Just like clothing.

In the movie, Anna’s friends are appalled at her 20 guys.  I’ve never felt like a “Samantha” so much in my life until I got to witness their scripted reactions.  Let’s just say I’ve got her character beat.  Which, when you do the math is really only sleeping with less than 2 people per year for the past however many years.  I don’t think that’s a huge deal.  I also put a lot less thought into whether or not I’m going to sleep with somebody than most girls probably do.  I do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want at the time.  There’s not really too much more to it than that.

However, it just so happens I was at a dinner with some of my guy friends recently and they started the think-back conversation.  I stayed quiet.  While I don’t feel the need to justify my number to anyone, I feel that in an actual conversation, I would end up defending myself.  Even though I don’t want to.

Why is it that guys get to brag so much about their numbers and girls have to make excuses?  I refuse to talk numbers with anyone I’m dating, because I don’t care about theirs and they shouldn’t care about mine.  What do you think–is knowing the number important?

 

XoXo, Collette

the aftermath…

Sorry for the freak out the other day. This has been an interesting weekend for me.  Along with the news that ex is in love with a leprechaun  came a very serious stomach virus/infection that has rocked my world, sent me to the hospital and left me hibernating in my house for the past few days.

With lots of down time and lots of time to process in between bouts of feeling like I was going to die, I’m left feeling some peace and a bit of advice for all of us.

Own your life. 

Own who you are, who you love and your mistakes. 

Make amends to the people you hurt. 

Be honest with those that you love.

But above all other things, OWN your choices.  

That is ultimately what I take away from this journey.

You’re not Alone

Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love

Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love

QUESTION OF THE DAY: HAVE YOU EVER REGRETTED NOT HAVING CHILDREN?
A dear soul on this Facebook page asked me this the other day, and I thought I’d make the answer public.
The simple answer, blessedly, is: No.
The longer answer is that I have come to believe there are three sorts of women, when it comes to questions of maternity. There are women who are born to be mothers, women who are born to be aunties, and women who should not be allowed within ten feet of a child. It can be a tragic situation (either personally, for a family, or for the community at large) when a woman ends up in the wrong category, based on her true nature. Women who long for children but cannot have babies suffer enormously, as we know. But children who are born to inadequate or unprepared mothers also suffer enormously (and their mothers suffer, too—trapped in a responsibility that they can neither meet or enjoy).
Those of us who are natural-born aunties are luckier. We love children, we enjoy children, but we know in our deepest marrow that we are not supposed to have children of our own. And that is absolutely fine, for not every woman in history needs to be a mother. Now, listen—if you put a baby in front of me, rest assured: that baby is gonna get cuddled, spoiled and adored. But even as I’m loving on that beautiful infant, I know in my heart: This is not my destiny. It never was. And there is a curious rush of joy that I feel, knowing this to be true—for it is every bit as important in life to understand who you AREN’T, as to understand who you ARE. Me, I’m just not a mom. I create in other ways. Having reached a contented and productive middle age, I can say without a blink of hesitation that wouldn’t trade my choices with anyone’s.
Meanwhile, as you can see by this photo (where I am shown sitting at my desk, creating in the manner in which I was meant to create) I got me some cats. I got a dog, too, but cats are really good for lady writers without kids. Cats can get themselves bathed and dressed in the mornings, while you are working on your book, and you never have to drive them to school. Also, they are excellent and exacting editors.
Blessings to all, and thanks for asking! Liz
** copied and reposted from Elizabeth Gilbert’s facebook page.

Girl Talk– Do We Sabotage Each Other?

Dudes, you should know…. when you go out with us, we’re telling our friends… EVERYTHING.

And together we sit and dissect every moment/phrase/look and event of a date.  We over analyze and read into situations.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone into the bathroom at a bar or restaurant on a Saturday night and overhead girls doing the, “Can you believe he said.. what do you think that meant???’ , “And then he grabbed my thigh under the table.. does this mean…?”, “Do you think he likes me?”….

And yes, I’ve done it too.  We all have.  And if you’re not with your friend at the time, you call them up and recount the situation.. which in my case means that I’ve missed some things so I end up with a  lot of.. “and ya knows” or “and stuffs”….

And your friends always weigh in…

 “He’s mentioned Lisa six times in that conversation? He’s fucking her.  Or he wants to anyway.”

“I mean, he needs to do the work here.  If he doesn’t call you and plan out the first 3 dates… you don’t have time for him.  You shouldn’t have to put in any effort here.”

“He’s not calling because he doesn’t want to call.  If he did, he’d make the time.”

“Do not have sex with him on the first date.. and if he’s talking about sex, he’s clearly only interested in that and not anything else.”

* at one point or another each of these sentences has been said to me, by well-meaning friends in response to my need to process situations out loud.

** purposely picked cause they probably sound like something you have heard from your friends as well.

So together we agonize.  We rationalize, hypothesize and any other mental function that ends in -ize that we possibly can do UNTIL you, our simple male counterparts, come in with your take:

“My cousin has been having a really hard time lately so I’m trying to help her out as much as I can.”  (Lisa)

If you’re interested in someone.. show it.  I’m just flat-out refuting that last one as I followed that advice and missed out on someone because he thought that by my lack of effort, I really wasn’t that into him.

Text message the next day, “Sorry I didn’t call last night.  My phone died.” (true or not, a reasonable explanation that NO ONE even brought up!)

“I have a really dirty sense of humor.. I’m not trying to be offensive at all.” (et tu, Brute)

And what have we really done?  We’ve freaked each other out.

We’re blowing simple things WAY out of proportion.  Reading between the lines, over the lines, under and all around the lines… and we create so much drama for ourselves that it forces us into situations where we have to say something to the men folk or they think we’re bat-shit crazy–and then we prove that is the case by opening our mouths and sharing some of these trumped-up scenarios.

It makes me wonder if the problem is really the opposite sex (or your significant others/people you want to have sex with) OR if it’s our friends?  Maybe by talking things out SO much we’re really sabotaging each other and our relationships?

Maybe sometimes we just need to shut the hell up and let nature take its course.

What do you think? Do we sabotage each other?

 

 

 

 

To All of Us that Have Been There…

Thanks to Facebook, I was exposed to a very well-written article just about a month ago.

Any HUMAN, and yes, this means you!, needs to read this article.

I challenge any woman to not be able to find herself in this post and I challenge every man to think a little bit differently about how you treat women in general.

A Letter to the Guy Who Harrassed Me Outside the Bar

Breaking Guy Code

Ladies, I’m about to give you some knowledge that has recently been imparted on my by one of my most favorite men in the entire world.

Never forget the power of Pussy….men everywhere bow to it.  In selling out men everywhere, you have what we want. Ultimately you are in control. Own it.

I think some women get this… others, like me, we don’t.  But tonight, I took that advice and owned it.  And I’m determined to own every single date from here on out. 🙂

Because it’s not all free dinners and movies

Dating is hard.

I’m saying this like you DON’T know it, but clearly if you’re here, you KNOW it’s hard.

Dating. The opposite sex.  WTF. Seriously?!?

Don’t think I haven’t contemplated just giving up men in general and becoming a lesbian (I already have a female friend picked out that I would marry in a heartbeat (HI Sweetie!!)  as long as  I could still have sex with men on the side!)..if only it was a choice and could be that simple!

Also, as my lesbian and gay friends have pointed out.. “Dating is just as ridiculous for us! You only think it’s easier cause it’s all the same hormones and you think we understand each other better… we don’t!”.

Fair enough.

So why many of my married and matched up  friends comment wistfully on my FourSquare checkins (one of my safety measures on dating!) and Facebook updates….

I’m silently cursing the fact that I have to do my hair and makeup on a Wednesday night (again!), dreading the “What do you do? Why are you single?” questions and trying to mentally go through the menu so I can make graceful and quick exits if need be.

I run into scheduling conflicts and time crunches.  Fitting dates in with the life I’ve created for myself is hard sometimes. 

I’m worrying about working out to not only fulfill my own health and fitness goals but because I know I’m going to have to be seen naked for the first time by a new man (assuming we get to that point).  Also.. eating out a lot means I have less control over the food I’m eating so I need the calories being burned. 

I’m trying to keep dudes straight.  Was this the military guy with 3 sisters or is this the guy who loves the Chicago Bears and plays poker with his buddies on Tuesdays? Did I already ask him these questions?

I’m worried that he won’t be attracted to me.  I’m worried I won’t be attracted to him. 

I’m thinking about butterflies and sex and could this possibly it? 

And I do this EVERY time I go on a date. 

How about you? What are you thinking/worrying about in the dating world?  What makes it hard for you?