September 20

Butting It Out

**Note 1** I actually started writing this several months ago. Then summer happened and came along with it were the tough choices of whether or not I’d rather be frolicking outside or banging my head against my lap top trying to string together words I’m happy with.

If only there was an emoji for my decision making abilities…

Oh wait, there is…

poo

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. I’ve turned out okay(ish) depending on the day of the week and the time of the month, so I suppose I’ve done a few things right.

I have, however, made one decision I can finally say I am – without a doubt – proud of and have zero regrets or second thoughts.

And no, it has nothing to do with my dating life.

**Note 2** At the time of initially writing this, my dating life was still on its nine-year hiatus and that has surprisingly changed, which is a story for another time.**

Anyway.

I quit smoking.

People quit smoking all the time… so why is this such a big deal for me?

My choice to begin in the first place isn’t one I’m proud of. Sometimes, you have to travel to the dark side to appreciate the light. Right? (Still waiting for the light to manifest itself into my romantic life).

**Note 3** Sometime last year, I was having a conversation with a friend about my lack luster love life. I brought up the topic of smoking and how I felt that it was something I had to give up before I could totally attract a healthy relationship – as much of what I had been attracting over the last decade has been toxic (not all, though!). I was treating myself with toxic habits and attracting similar relationships to the one I had with my self. Voila! Not long after butting it out, my perpetual single life smoldered out as well… again, a story for another time.

Regardless, it was a large part of who I was… and who I wasn’t.

In fact, I was such a stealthy smoker that most people in my life didn’t even know.

I was a mostly private – and heavy – puffer (of cigarettes, just to clarify) for 20 years.

Two decades.

That’s a long time.

For 20 years, I relied on these magic toxic filled sticks to make me feel at ease.  They were my dirty little companions in times of anxiety, excitement, boredom, and busyness. They were a social crutch. Ever been awkwardly waiting for someone at a bar? Easy, go for a smoke while you pretend to text someone.

They went great with wine, telephone conversations, driving, and they were my way to step back and quiet my mind. And let’s not forget coffee – nothing went better with caffeine than a dose of carbon monoxide.

Don’t even get me started on how great it was after sex… Well, so I’ve been told…

And I actually enjoyed it.

“Life is short… do what you enjoy. I could quit smoking and then I could get hit by a bus. It’s my only bad habit… I eat well and I exercise…. I really do take care of myself. I could have worse habits!”

This was my reasoning each and every time.

For twenty years I told myself that this was something I had full control over. I controlled them, not the other way around. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The mere thought of going somewhere and not being able to have a cigarette or needing to hide it sent me into anxiety. Despite being careless with my own health, I was always cautious and considerate of those who I shared my bad habits with.

My car was stocked with the necessities. Gum, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and body spray galore. I was like a Health and Beauty aisle at Walmart on wheels. Minus the Health part.

I had ‘quit’ several times over the years. Nothing stuck for more than a couple weeks, tops. I had tried the gum, patches, cold turkey and medications. The terrible dreams were one thing, but my raging bitch moods were another story. Don’t even get me started on being on Champix when you are PMSing. Guys, if you think we are too emotional then… think again.  You haven’t felt true toxic wrath until you’ve seen a crampy, high strung woman too bloated for her fat pants sans her cigarette. That terrifies even me.

I actually felt it was in the best interest of my own well-being and the safety of others to continue to light up.

Although I had ‘wanted’ to butt out for a long time, the one habit I never bothered to adjust was my thought patterns. I had always ‘worked’ on quitting smoking, but I never worked on my mind. For a while, I had only wanted to quit to have extra cash.

I had started CrossFit in 2012 to challenge my mental and physical strength. By no means do I consider myself highly competitive or even all that athletic, but I wanted something that pushed me just a little bit harder. I had only taken small sips of the proverbial Kool-Aid… which was enough to quench my thirst for a healthier lifestyle.

cfIt wasn’t solely CrossFit – much of it was also the changing social perception. Gone were the days of sandbox ashtrays in shopping malls and street corners. I had been a social outcast for the better part of my childhood and smoking was something I did to fit in to some -any- kind of crowd. Despite the changing laws and stigmas – it was still easy enough to hide. But, trying to mask the fact that I was losing a lung before the CrossFit warm-up was even over was getting to be a real challenge – and not the kind I signed up for. I dreaded things like sprints and thrusters, and wall balls and burpees were the absolute worst. And what was the first thing I did after walking out of the torture chambers? Torture my body even more. And not for positive gains.

The more I went, the more I began to feel like a hypocrite. That’s like claiming to be a nature lover as you nudge the remnants of your nic-stick into a sidewalk nook and cranny.

Finally, my mind began to change. Slowly but surely, I began to hate it. I had a hard enough time explaining to narrow minded people why I am was still single and child-less at 33, never mind trying to justify why I was dating the slick devilish darts.

smokeIt had occurred to me that my mind had been conditioned to think cigarettes were ‘cool’ and simply a part of ‘who I was’. The only way I could quit was to rewire my brain and adopt new ways of thinking. Rather than being accustomed to telling myself it was something I needed, I began to tell myself the opposite. (Now if I could only translate this into every other area of my life, I’d be set!) I also did what I have been seemingly good at in other areas of my life – I focused on the negatives. That’s right – but this time for good reason. I filled my brain with the very worst things I could think of. Rather than thinking about how much I enjoyed it with a cold beer on a hot summer night – I consciously thought about all the toxins I was polluting my body with and spent time asking Siri to show me blackened lungs.

One morning, I got into my car and left for work. I had one cigarette left. This is where panic mode would usually set in and I would need to b-line to the Mac’s store. I opened my glove box to dig out some change – only to have the content of primarily empty cigarette packages fall out. I stared at the pile of money I had turned into a toxic wasteland.

And that was it. This is stupid. I kept on driving – which might have been the best decision I have ever made.

Deep breath.

(Because I can do that now.)

 

April 18

… And Breathe.

brain

brainPrepare for brutal honestly.

I tend to write only positive and uplifting moments… moments that can inspire magic and hope into others – even if it is only my average readership of one person (thanks, Mom). But if I always did that, I would not be including the remaining fibers of my soul. I would only be showing one fragment of my being, and given that I wear my heart on my sleeve, I find it damn near impossible to hide the rest of me.

That’s not to say I don’t have anything uplifting to say, but today I’m just not in the mood. Maybe it’s the weather.

F#ck it. Today I write my feelings, as they are, in the present moment.

It’s my therapy.

Lately, the amount of days I have felt empty and alone and lost and anxious have outnumbered the days of feeling intrinsically happy and calm. It’s a piss off really, because I WAS there, and I have always been the purveyor of self fulfillment and wholeness – the importance of going on your own epic self journey – and yet here I am, trying to chew on my own words.

Maybe I’ve been looking at too many ‘throw back thursday’ photos and wondering how I went from hob-knobbing with the semi rich and famous, doing really cool shit (as defined by my ego), travelling, donning some low cut, sexified tank top – to sitting alone on a Friday night, in my Walmart-special hoodie donning a salsa stain on it, and on the brink of joining a nunnery. If I ever do end up on a hot date in this life time, I may need an instruction manual.

Anyway, that’s not the point. I get that my interests have shifted as I get older more mature. Actually, I don’t even know what my point is.  Blah.

After all the searching and inner workings – I find myself not knowing where the hell I am. But then again, where did I expect to go? I have no clue. I suppose I figured after going on sabbatical from being stuck inside some little box the majority of society views as ‘normal life’, I’d at least have somewhat of an idea as to what the heck I am doing or what path to take. Perhaps I even went as far as to think I might also have a morsel of romance after I learned to find it within my self, first.

I don’t.

None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. F#ck all.

It’s like every time I think I have found myself, I get lost again. And again. Or maybe I’m just beginning. Maybe I have not yet learned to love myself in the first place. I don’t know.

Untitled

I also have a problem. It’s called self sabotage. It gets me every time. I am an expert on self destruction. Very rarely can I hold on to a good though long enough to let it play out. Instead, I kill it with impatience and a lot of ‘this-is-never-going-to-work-i’m-a-failure-my-life-is-OVER’ kind of thing. I have a solid habit of thinking of the worst possible scenarios in just about, well… everything. Some – if not most – days, it puts me into a total head spin. 

I’m starting to feel bogged down by those thoughts.

But I feel like lately that’s all I know.

My brain needs a bath.

I want to wash myself clean, scrub my negative patterns away until I bleed. Find a way to stop fearing the unforeseen and inch closer to my dreams.

But I feel like I’ve done that – over and over and over again.  It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey – I get that.

Good grief, I really need to stop saying the word ‘but’.

I guess I’m just frustrated, and I needed it to let it out.

Maybe I’m closer than I think.  

Exhale… here we go again..

yourself

 

 

 

April 9

How to Be Something!

Be

If you’re human, chances are you may share the same sentiments.  If you’re one of the few that is totally 1000% satisfied with all that you are doing and have it totally figured out, I salute you.

Oh, and as a side note, I should mention these are thoughts that prelude what will be my next rant… somewhere along the lines about why I jumped from the routine and security of a corporate desk job that I relatively enjoyed, into self employment uncertainty.  I thought about writing it all as it’s really one long string of thoughts, but we’re busy people. We got other shit to do and I’m sure you’ve already fallen asleep, anyway.

Moving on…

For the last twenty-some years, I’ve been following a similar routine. 8-5 at a desk (or a variation of). At first it was school. Much like the general population, Monday to Friday I would haul my ass to class before the sound of the bell and sit at a desk. Save for recess breaks, when I would scramble to find someone to play with. I was an awkward kid, don’t judge.

Then the bell rang and us rug rats scurried back to class. Back to a wooden slab of a desk to be spoon fed all sorts of interesting and relevant information that I am sure we all fully remember and utilize every day in adulthood. All in hopes that one day we will land a good career, and ‘be something’.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against school. I enjoyed phys ed, creative writing classes, and even failing math more times than I can count on one hand (I can only count to five, anyway). There were plenty of good things. Like overcoming the fear of speaking to an audience. I learned what I was good at, and I learned about the kinds of things I never wanted to do again.

It also taught me many of other things – social interaction, how to sit at a desk for prolonged periods of time, strengths and weaknesses, constructive criticism, how to meet deadlines, how to create sudden and spontaneous illnesses, forge sick notes, how to slice open an innocent frog, acceptance of routine (blah), and so on.  There were some teachers that simply showed up and read from a text book, and others that helped you to go past your fears and brought out the very best in you.

knowledgeBut in my opinion, there’s a lot of important topics school doesn’t cover in great detail – which are crucial to long term happiness. Unfortunately, they can only been taught through experience. There is no ‘Art of Being Human 101′ or ‘Inward Journey for Beginners’ or ‘Fundamentals of Soulful Living’ and you can’t get your Masters in Mindfulness. Important lessons that really help you BE the best you can be – in whatever field you choose.

And there was always that nagging question:

“So have you decided what you want to be when you grow up, Tanis?”

How do I know? Who says I’m going to grow up anyway? What if I die tomorrow? Does that mean I didn’t BEcome anything? But I already AM something, I AM me, and if I am ME, I’ll also BE me when I ‘grow up’, so doesn’t that mean I’ve already chosen what I wish to BE?

I loathe this question.

It makes it sound like you are not fully a human BEing unless you attach a fancy title to yourself. I guess you’re just merely human-ing, or something like that. Science is wrong, you’re heart only starts beating once you’ve found the perfect job to brag about. (This is incorrect, by the way).

So after school, I scurried off into the ‘real world’ and signed up for the rat race. Be something! Be something! I need to be something!!

As a society, we are caught up in labels, perceived meaning and the pressure to ‘be’ something that already exists (which is YOU, btw)… and less on what it actually means to BE. If you are reading this, I can only assume you’re alive – in which case you are already what you need to be.

“OMG. You’re famous?! Please let me lick the dirt off your heels! I bow to you!”
“Wow! You’re a lawyer! That’s so awesome!”
“So you’re a delivery person… Oh. That’s cool.”
“You drive a garbage truck? What?”
“Heh, so you work at McDonalds? Do you, like, not have any motivation in life? Ew.”

But, seriously. What if I really do actually enjoy flipping burgers and it makes me intrinsically happy? I actually really do enjoy BBQing.

routine3So, most of my life was spent in a relentless attempt to get to the top of some invisible ladder so that at my high school reunion I could say, “Look at me, look at what I am being!” And I was something. I was something that excelled in my field and sat a desk for a determined amount of time every day, Monday to Friday.

Anyway, after several fancy titles, a lot of time spent busy ‘being something’ – I decided I didn’t want to do the dance of routine anymore. I felt stifled and empty, not to mention I’m a terrible dancer.  I didn’t want to do things I wasn’t totally passionate about just to satisfy some ridiculous perception we have.  Disregarding who you are, compromising yourself in exchange for an inflated ego, a perceived monetary value of what you are ‘worth’ just so you can get by and hopefully go out and start enjoying life by the time you’re damn near dead, or because of a bunch of narcissistic societal beliefs, doesn’t equate to success. It adds up to misery and wastes the essence of who you truly are. Time you spend ignoring what you believe to be your true purpose is time you can never get back. Yeah, you can never get time back – that’s scary shit!

So I jumped. Into a foreign land of not knowing, no security, and not much routine. It might have been the most secure choice I have made. But, more on that later.

For now, though, here’s the thing:

Success is not defined from your job or the label you give yourself. If you’ve got degrees and certifications coming out of your you-know-what and you are a terrible person, I am sorry, but you are not a success.  All that does is make you a terrible person with a good education.

Success comes from BEing. That’s it, that’s all. Simply being. Being in the moment. As best you can. Great things happen when you choose to be awesome at LIFE, not just a label. BE a good person. That’s all there is too it.

If you don’t design your life, someone else will. That little nagging voice in your heart telling you to chase your dreams? Or at the very least, to make a change? It’s a real thing, listen to it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job here and there.”

You are already what you want to BE.

Go out and do it.

Be

 

June 10

Just Super!

mr

It never fails me, when I step into that zone of good energy – the flow – and truly focus on it – more and more miracles and synchronicities find their way into my life.

I like to call it magic. It’s out there, it happens – and the more you put out, the more you get back. Sometimes it even comes with a good chuckle.

I just got back from some travel in Europe so I’ve been on a tight budget lately, trying to get caught up on some bills. I’ve been planning to attend charity fundraiser in another city in a couple of weeks – a rather exclusive one that I wouldn’t miss for the world – and this year’s charitable focus hits close to home, so I’ve budgeting extra carefully as some folks tend to dig quite deep in their pockets at this particular event.

Details aside, I’ve been paying great attention to shifting my thoughts and focusing on gratitude, rather than ever coming from a place of lack (not just now… always.. but lately it’s been a bit more pronounced). I’ve also silently asking the universe for small miracles to help make the next few weeks less stressful.

And BAM! Just like that, they come.

It was Sunday and I had to get my usual grocery shopping done… so I head to the supermarket.  After a drive through the parking lot and seeing how busy it was, I changed my mind and decided to go somewhere else.

I finally settle on a supermarket and I couldn’t help but notice there was a guy shopping with a girl… no big deal, except for the fact that  he’s dressed like Super Mario, minus the mustache.

SUPER MARIO!

mariowingWTF.. and also, suhweet!

His jumpsuit was a bit on the tight side and I was kind of giggling a bit because I thought it was entertaining. I minded my own business and carried on… grabbing about $100 worth of stuff and (trying) to count it out in my head so that I wouldn’t go over budget (which never works and I failed math class at least twice.. lost count after the first two tries). 

I end up behind him at the till and he says to the cashier, “I’ll get this girls stuff too”. I thought that’s what I had heard but I wasn’t sure. Then he just stood there, blocking the debit machine.

I’m like, WHAT is going on?! Stunned. I don’t know who was more confused, myself or the cashier is who was also like, “Ummm what?!”

He wouldn’t move out of my way. I just stared at him with a dazed and confused, dumbfounded look in my eyes. All I could squeak out was, “Umm… that’s my stuff…”

“Yeah? And? What’s your point? I got this one covered!”

WHAT?!” No really, you don’t need to do that…”

The girl says, “No use arguing with him, I’ve tried.. doesn’t work.. and he’s Super Mario!…”

So he pays for my stuff and says, “Don’t sweat it, random act of kindness…”

So I start bagging my groceries and they walk out. I walked outside and scanned the parking lot and see them sitting in a truck, smiling and waving.

I made my way to their truck and ask him what’s with the outfit? He laughs and says, “Sunday Funday, I’m trying to get laid!”

I laughed, said thank you, and wished him well on his ‘mission’… I’m shocked still…

He says, “Pay it forward.. Keep calm and chive on!”

BEST. THING. EVER.

Sometimes I get annoyed with the whole ‘keep calm’ pop culture thing… but running into a Chiver feels pretty darn great!

calm

August 16

The Blog Post Without a Title.

I’ve had a few people ask me why I haven’t been doing much blogging lately. Truth is, I haven’t had anything to write about.

Okay, that’s not true, I always have something to write about – and actually, I have SO MUCH to write about, but how to possibly put it into words in a way most would understand is the challenge… which I touched on in my last post. For that reason, I’ve started writing a book… but the story is on going so I don’t really know what the ‘ending’ is quite yet.

I could tell you all about enlightenment, manifesting what you want in life, spiritual things, chakras, synchronicity, living ego-free,  and so on. The list goes on… and on… and on.

Wait, a minute. Ego-free?

A year ago, I was writing about dating disasters, douchebags, and dudes that can’t spell. My hobby was criticizing others… people that I don’t even know. And the more people that read and laughed, the better I felt. If that’s not purely egotistical, I don’t know what is. I think a year ago, the only thing occupying my mind WAS my ego.

So… now what?

I don’t know… as soon as I figure out a clever way to write with my current frame of mind, I’ll let you know. I’m drawing a blank… so much so that I didn’t even have a title for this post.

Advice = welcome.

I’d like to figure it out before my place starts looking something like this… it’s getting close:

 

 

July 20

Waking Up and Breaking Up

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been feeling rather disconnected lately… which has ultimately led to my lack of verbal-digital-diarrhea.

While the past few years I’ve went through a number of growing pains in getting to know myself, the last few months have been even more intense… in a good way.

I’m not one that usually gets stuck for words… but it’s rather hard to put into words in a way that the vast majority of the population would understand, so for that reason I’ve kept a lot of things to myself… at least until I publish my book… (so far I have the page numbers started!!)

I guess to best describe it all – would be summed up as a ‘spiritual awakening’.

Stay with me here…

‘Spiritual’, however, should never be confused with the term ‘religious’… I will be the first to proclaim my distaste for what is nothing more than a corrupt, money grubbing, brainwashing organization.

Anyway…

That being said, I seem to have found myself living in a higher state of consciousness.

Huh?! Me?!

I know, right? <Insert wtf here>

Those that do know what that means will understand perfectly.

I’ve always had an acute level of awareness and intuition, though in the past while it’s been intensified. There’s a number of people and events that led me to where my mind resides now – but trying to explain those in anything less writing a novel or three would be impossible. Much of it started when I started seeing the numbers ’11:11′ popping up more often than what could be considered coincidental… which ultimately captured my attention.  However, that is a story all in itself.

Regardless…

So much of what I know about myself has changed to the degree that when I look back at some of the earlier posts when I first began this blog – I don’t even recognize the person who wrote them.

I’ve thought about removing this blog completely – as the person that began writing about dating disasters is not the same as the person that writes this… perhaps only in a physical sense… but then again going back and reading lets me  witness my own growth.

It’s ironic… when I started writing this blog, it was entirely based off the ‘ego’ as well as my past.

The best way I can describe a ‘spiritual awakening’ would be as the dissolving of the ego… or at least putting it to sleep. We all need a little bit of ‘ego’ to get by in a tough world. However, there is the letting go of fear, stress and toxic feelings like jealousy or anger. Letting go of your past. One becomes more connected to nature and energy and learns the ability to manifest their thoughts into physical form. (I have had some pretty astounding experiences with this… to the point where some might consider ‘unbelievable’… also saving for the book!)

A spiritual awakening brings about a state of ‘zen’… and who doesn’t like zen?! Especially when you can achieve it legally!

One begins to understand synchronicities and the adopts the knowingness that every single thing is connected.  One also loses the ability to pass judgement on others… which is why I find reading some of my earlier posts rather unsettling. Let’s face it, my entire collection of writing was based off judging others… something that I don’t have the ability to do anymore.

Those that have been through an ‘awakening’ will understand all of this, and those that don’t… it’s an amazing feeling and I hope you get to experience it.

That’s where the feeling of disconnection comes into play. At least for me. I haven’t watched television in months, there’s not much interest there for me, and I find very little value in it (unless of course, there’s a football game on). Then we have Social Media… I love social media and the ability to network and connect with others… however, I browse around and the vast majority of it is full of meaningless garbage and people who spend 90% of their time talking about other people or complaining about something.

I find it draining.

It’s disheartening to think about how conditioned we are  to pay attention to everyone else, and that many of us use it as ‘entertainment’.  We pay attention to others problems and faults rather than our own. We turn to others ‘drama’ to step away from our own deep rooted issues. And once we’ve done that… we don’t hold back on making judgments on others based off no real knowledge of the person… and for some reason it makes us feel better(I’ve been a huge culprit of this in the past). Of course not everyone does this, but I can certainly think of a few off the top of my head.

I’ll insert my own ‘wtf’ here. Because seriously, that’s just messed up.

And furthermore, our egos are more concerned with how everyone else thinks or feels about us rather that who we are at the core. We are concerned with ‘things’… material things, trivial things… all the kinds of things that in the grand scheme of ‘things’ don’t really matter.

Humans are the only animals on the planet that seek happiness with ‘things’. But true happiness works from the inside out… not outwardly in.

The universe is infinite, intelligent, and there is so much more to life than living behind the shadow of an ego. There is more than most of us will ever understand.

All ‘dating disasters’ aside, I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been since kicking my ego to the curb.

What a jerk that guy was.

 

May 27

Something New

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog before, you might be thinking… “hmm, this doesn’t look the same!”

Every chick needs to touch up now and then.

For the past five years, I’ve been known as ‘The Single Chick’. I’m pushing 30 years of age and have often been asked, “When are you going to meet someone and settle down?”

And for the past five years I touted my lack luster love life simply as ‘bad luck’ or even a ‘curse’, which was very true – as evidenced by some of my earlier posts on this site. My friends and coworkers had their own name for me… “Freak Magnet”. Most people didn’t believe the kinds of messages I would receive from my online dating pusuits, or experiences in general – some downright hilarious and others completely creepy. And the rest – indescribable, really.

A friend said, “You should really blog about them.”

I thought about it. I had a lot of comical experiences and it would be pretty funny… and since people often referred to me as a single chick… I figured I would write from that perspective.  But quite honestly, I was too lazy to do this ‘blogging’ thing.

Then, one night out of pure boredom – and being stood up on a blind date – I did.

I decided that if I was to be cursed in the ‘love’ department – I may as well make light of it and lace it heavy with sarcasm. Tongue in cheek, I began to document much of the outrageous-ness that comes along with the dating game.

And it was funny.

For a while.

After some 100 stories – it got old. (But still worth a laugh, so feel free to browse the archives!)

Anyway, even though I didn’t have to make any effort to attract some of the ‘unique’ characters I have – I also realized that despite my feelings of, “It’s not me, it’s them” – much of is was in fact ‘me’.

By focusing my energy on ‘them’ and my freaky magnetics – I was simply attracting more and more of the kinds of people I didn’t want to meet. And by focusing on my ‘perpetual’ single life – I was doing just that – becoming EVEN MORE perpetually single.

Perhaps Albert Einstein said it best:

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting results.”

With every experience, people evolve (most, anyway)… and if we are not continuously growing… then there’s a problem!

While I might have adopted “The Single Chick” name… it doesn’t mean I have to continue to write about my own ‘single life’, when there is so much more to share other than bad dates.

I am still a single chick however…because after all… there is only one of me.

This site is a collection of some of my previous (highly sarcastic) stories, current thoughts, lessons learned… and really, just my own personal growth.

 

April 27

Staying Together for the Children (and why I think it’s dumb)

“We’re staying together for the children.”

 

I’m sure I’ll ruffle a few feathers here, but I have a pretty strong opinion about this and lately I’ve been crossing paths with a lot of men and women in this very position.

I can understand the good intentions and I can also understand a parent’s desire to place their children’s needs ahead of their own, naturally. And all my respect to the parents who want to set a good example for their children and provide them a stable, loving home.

But is it?

I know a lot of unhappily married folks – as I am sure we all do. Married couples that are no longer in love, yet they go through the daily motions simply because that’s ‘the only choice’.

But it boggles my mind every time I hear it.

“For the children.”

Society tells us that we have to have two parents and live under the same roof to be considered a ‘family’. Most parents think if they actually care about their own happiness as well, their children will grow up to be scorned for life. Some children are also taught that if they don’t have a mommy and a daddy that live together – they aren’t normal.

I think it’s completely ridiculous.

Some parents are pretty darn good at disguising unhappiness. But kids aren’t stupid. They can detect tension. They can detect unhappiness. And even if the parents aren’t fighting, they know when something isn’t right.

I know, I was one of them.

What does staying together for the children really say?

It says it’s okay to be unhappy. It’s okay to not value yourself enough to find your true happiness. It’s okay to settle. It’s okay to live in perpetual misery.

One might argue that it teaches ‘commitment’ – but why does commitment have to be confined to four walls and a roof?

And given that we tell children, “you deserve to be happy”, isn’t that kind of hypocritical?

Should we not then, be leading by example?

In my opinion, what we should really be teaching our children is that a true family doesn’t depend on marital status.

A ‘family’ will be committed to each other and love each other just the same no matter how many roofs they live under.

Unconditional love.

THAT is family.

My parents (whom I love more than anything) separated when I was in my twenties. Growing up though, I knew that even though they did love each other – they weren’t ‘in love’. And I can say with honesty, I have never once felt any less loved because we weren’t contained under the same roof.

And yes, most parents ‘stick it out’ until the children are older, have the ability to understand, won’t be effected ‘as much’. Understandable, but as an adult now seeking to find my own happiness – I can’t help but feel my own sense of guilt. Perhaps had they not ‘stayed together for the children’, they would have had many more opportunities to find their true happiness a long time ago.

Looking back, had I been a child – I would have got through it. Personally, I don’t think a short time of discomfort should be set aside in exchange for years of unhappiness. Life is too short, but that’s just me.

Now, I don’t believe divorce should be an easy solution either, and obviously comes with it’s own negatives. But, in the long run… just as parents want their children to be happy – children want their parents to be happy.

Unhappy parents = unhappy children.

If we want our children to focus on their happiness as they grow older, we have to do the same. The happier you are – the more love you have to give. And what’s wrong with that?

If it’s handled with maturity and dignity – separating for the children can be the best thing ever.

April 19

Toilet Seats and Independence

There are many joys of being single. In the last five years of flying solo I’ve learned a great deal about myself, the art of self confidence, self reliance and self motivation.  Not only that, I have never really had anyone to answer to, I can take up the entire bed, shave my legs whenever I feel like it and I never have to remind anyone to put the toilet seat down.

While I would recommend to everyone to take time to get to know themselves, there are some definite draw backs to being single for a lengthy period of time – other than the very near reclamation of virginity.

Over-independence.

Not that I think being too independant is a bad thing – it’s the challenge of finding other like minded individuals that you’re both (A) attracted to, (B) have intellect and (C) put the toilet seat down.

It can get to be a real pain in the ass. No pun intended.

Don’t get me wrong, hanging out with yourself is awesome. But there are times when it would be nice to have someone to share a few things with. For example, I want to go skydiving for my 30th birthday and it would be pretty sweet to share that kind of experience. I wouldn’t mind having someone randomly to do shit with – like road trips, camp trips and other what-nots here and there. I also wouldn’t mind un-reclaiming my near-reclaimed virginity while gravity is still working with me and not against me.

Having said that – I don’t want to have someone there ALL THE TIME. Not only that, the free time that I do have at this stage in my life is pretty limited and whomever is going to take it up, has to be pretty awesome.

I prefer men that have their own things going on. Sadly, there are not that many men – at least that I’ve met – that understand an overly-independent person’s concept of space.

So, on behalf of all happily single people out there – WE ARE OVER INDEPENDENT AND LIKE OUR SPACE.

This certainly doesn’t speak for all men – but mainly for those I’ve been meeting recently. Normally, most I meet – at first glance, seem to understand independence, and even pride themselves on their own.

Then, before you know it… it’s:

“What are you doing today?”
“What are you doing tonight?”
“What are you doing now?”
“How about now?”
“What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Or how about now?”
“Now?”
“Do you miss me yet?”
“Make time for me, pleeeease.”

Now, this might be suitable for the relationship-y serial dating type of folks. But for those of us who suffer from over-independence, there is no bigger annoyance than someone who wants and needs your time ALL THE TIME.

The only time I want to be completely smothered by a man is un-reclaiming my nearly-reclaimed virginity.

March 26

He’ll Never Be My Everything

One of the reasons I seem to have trouble finding a ‘relationship’ or getting into one – hell, even finding a date for that matter – is because I don’t believe in the ‘conventional’ relationship.

The dynamics of the ‘relationship’ are changing – as some people are now more focused on their own personal goals and choosing to stay single later on into life – but the vast majority of people I meet still have a pretty narrow view on what it means to be ‘in a relationship’.

Man and woman meet. Man and woman fall in love. Man and woman spend thousands of dollars on a piece of paper that says, “I love you”. Man and woman buy house. Man and woman make babies. Man and woman do the same 9-5 thing for the next 40 some odd years. Man and woman move to new home  for more ‘mature’ people. Aforementioned children are now changing man and woman’s diapers.

(And if you’re not part of the 50% that make it this far, you’re probably part of the 50% that pay a few more thousand just to have that piece of paper destroyed so you can start all over again. Rest assured though, someone will still be changing your diapers.)

Blech.

I’d have a more fun taking up knitting and adopting 40 cats – and I don’t even like cats. However, if I put some serious effort into it – my knitting would keep me warm at night.

Okay, I am exaggerating (very mildly), and I know it can be – and is – much more fulfilling and exciting that that. But that scenario, defined by society, is the typical life process of two people (in a nutshell). I won’t argue that complacency is the right thing for some, nor do I have anything against those who do it.

But it’s not for me.

And I don’t really believe in that whole “this is my other half” crap. Last time I checked, I was a whole person.

In my opinion, my kind of relationship is when two wholes come together and forge a dynamic duo – full of love-filled super powers.

Personally, I have a laundry list of goals. I want to own my own business. I want to travel. I want to write a book. Then I want to travel some more. I’d like to pursue my interest in philanthropy. I want to go mountain climbing. Sky diving. Horse back riding in the desert. I want to see and do shit. Lots of it. Maybe there will be a kid or two in there somewhere – but there are parts of my life I want to live before giving life. And I’d like to share those experiences with someone.

I’m not saying that being in a relationship hinders any of those things. It’s finding the right kind of person that has the same kind of mind frame as me that’s been the biggest challenge. The kind of person that can appreciate the present moment and doesn’t put a time stamp on so-called milestones just because ‘society said we should’. Society has this standard that that’s what people my age do – get married, pop out babies, and become another cog in the wheel of the proverbial rat race to get out of debt and pay down the mortgage.

Once again, blech.

Most of the men I have met recently tell me they want to get married and have kids. They want their ‘other half’, they want to feel ‘complete’, and they want a woman that becomes their ‘everything’.

How romantic.

Not.

When someone becomes an ‘everything’, what does that mean? “You’re my everything”. Think about it. Doesn’t that sound a bit ridiculous? If ‘everything’ you have is the result of something or someone else – what did you have before?

So, I decided to google it – and naturally, I found thousands upon thousands images of hearts and what not to give to your ‘everything’.
I also decided to make my own version ->

Let’s say the unfortunate should happen (which most people don’t even want to think about), and you lose your ‘everything’… theoretically, you would then be left with – well, nothing. But you’re not though, because you still have YOU, and that should be ‘something’, right? For a lot of people, they haven’t discovered that ‘something’. And if you don’t have a clear idea of what that ‘something’ is – the relationship with yourself – be prepared to feel a whole lot of yup, you guessed it – nothing.

Most of the men I currently meet also get annoyed because I don’t have as much free time as they do. Some of them, don’t understand why and how I don’t have a favorite TV show, movie, or why I don’t have oodles of free time when I’m not at work. I’m usually working on one of my other projects (I have many), or doing something active, or doing something that involves learning.

“But I haven’t seen you for a WHOLE week! Why are you so busy all the time?!  Wahhhhhh!”

Sniff, sniff.

Not my kind of man, not my kind of life.

I wan’t a man in my life – but I also want a life in my man.

The kind of man I want isn’t around every waking moment of every day. He has goals of his own, and doesn’t need me around 24/7. When we are together, we have fun – and when we’re not, we know how to stand on our own two feet.

He doesn’t live life ‘for me’ – he lives it for him. We’re not each others reason for living – we’ve been living up until this point – so I’d say we already had one. We’re on each others journey for the ride – because some experiences are too good not to share, and we have a damn good time together. He doesn’t take care of me – but he cares for me. We’re there to help each other through the challenges, not as a way to escape them.

We don’t ‘need’ each other to live. We want each other to live.

He doesn’t mind if I go out with the girls – and he doesn’t fear being put in the ‘dog house’ when he decides on a night with the boys. (Seriously, it astounds me the number of men that live in fear of the dog house. If someone put me in the dog house for wanting to be me – I’d be looking for a new house.) Hell, if he wants to hit up a strip club, I’d probably toss in a few loonies myself.

We make compromises and sacrifices just like anyone else. We don’t solely depend on each other for happiness, we simply add to the happiness that we already had. Our relationship is an added bonus on top of the relationship we already have – with ourselves.

We’ll never be each others ‘everything’… but we’ll be each others ‘extra thing’.

Sounds like ‘everything’ I could ever want.

Now… I just have to find him.

But, I’m sure ‘everything’ will come together in due time.

Also, I couldn’t help but add this tacky photo – but it’s not bad to look at and it sums up the added benefit I’m after quite nicely: