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Lessons learned

I’ve spent days wracking my brain and my heart, price trying to understand why. Not just why it ended, see but why it happened. With each of my relationships in the past five years, patient I’ve known why that person or relationship came into my life and what I needed to learn from the experience.

The Adventurer came along two years after I started my business. For two years, work always came first – I missed family events, lost touch with friends, and certainly never made time for a man in my life. I won’t say that he made work drop in priority, but I finally made an effort to have a life outside of my career. And shockingly, the business survived. In fact, it grew. I found as I developed more balance in my life that I did a better job of my work. And so even though I was sad when the relationship ended, I walked away better for the experience.

With the Farmer, it was a little less about the relationship itself and more about what he personally taught me. Having said that, I will also always be grateful for the respect and courtesy he showed to me that I deserved. Back to the real lesson, though – I was in the middle of some serious family conflicts, and the Farmer guided me through the initial steps of repairing those relationships. He also made this stubborn, hard-headed woman see the importance of forgiveness. That people make mistakes, mistakes don’t make a person. And sometimes even if they aren’t sorry, you have to forgive them.

And then there was the Bad Boy. It was always tumultuous, but when it was good it was great. And that was the first relationship in which I began to open up and give myself to the other person. Though it was never “all in”, I learned a lot about being transparent and honest with both the good feelings and the tough ones. I knew when I walked away that I would be a better partner in my next relationship.

Try as I may though, I couldn’t see what I was supposed to learn or take away from Mr Right. I opened my heart completely, the relationship developed more quickly than any other, we started planning our life together… and then I had a bad day, I made a mistake, and he walked away. Nothing could convince him to forgive me or give me a chance to make it right.

I thought maybe there was something I was missing – a key element I wasn’t even aware of was making him that angry and unrelenting. Something to give me clarity on what I was supposed to have learned from the relationship. So I asked him to sit down with me and explain his perspective on what had happened.

There was nothing new. Nothing I wasn’t aware of, hadn’t apologized for, hadn’t learned from in the moment it happened. All he kept saying was, his career is more important than anything else and he can’t be distracted by a relationship that takes effort. I just shook my head in bewilderment (and then argued a bit) – how could any 31 year old man, who understands the short lifespan of his chosen career, not see the importance of having the person in your life who will be there whether the job is or not? How could you walk away from something that’s so positive in your life, convinced that the two can’t work together? And let me tell you, I did more to support his career and business in two months than I bet any other single person has. Logo, branding, photo shoots, social media development… don’t tell me I was detrimental to his career.

Now, did I add unneeded stress and distraction at one of his most important competitions of the year? Yeah, and I couldn’t be sorrier for that. Does that mean I don’t support him and wish for his greatest success? Certainly not.

So as I was driving home, trying to control my tears and figure out just what the Universe wanted me to get out of this, I realized maybe it was nothing. Maybe this is just supposed to be affirmation of how far I’ve come. Because five years ago that was me – putting career first, holding onto every “wrong” I felt someone dealt me, closing myself off to protect my heart getting hurt. Maybe in this instance I’m the teacher.

The things that matter

I saw this on Pinterest  and loved it. It just hit home.

My entire life, pharmacy I had a list of “traits” that I was looking for in a man. You know, the ones all us ladies have: good looking, well employed, honest, responsible, blah, blah, blah. Plus a few unique ones such as agricultural background, doesn’t want kids, accepting of my spiritual beliefs… It wasn’t until this spring that I began to look at things differently, to open my mind and my heart.

I realized that not one of those things mattered. Yeah, sure, honesty and responsibility are important characteristics, but that’s all they are – a couple of small characteristics of a complete person who is so much more. And let’s be real – there are moments when each of us will act out of character to who we really are. It only took me 29 years to understand that I shouldn’t be looking for traits, but rather opening my heart to find the person who would help me become my best self, who would love me at my best and my worst, who I would want to give all of myself to.

And when I changed my heart, it changed my life. God, the Universe, whatever you want to call It – It doesn’t provide just because you ask, It provides when you are ready for what It will give you. I asked for a lot of things for a long time; when my heart was really ready for what I needed, then it was provided.

When I met him, it was like an “aha” moment. I learned about my spirituality and belief system. I took another step in my personal growth. And I saw a glimpse of the rest of my life.

I am gaining a better understanding of the things that matter.

Jun 23, 2011 - Family, Men, Women    2 Comments

One Strong Belief

With the encouragement of my friend T, advice I’m going to use some of the #Trust30 topics, medical  an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.

::  today’s prompt::

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

(Author: Buster Benson)

I am going to pull from my “interview” on T’s blog for this one…

Having a child should be a thoroughly well-thought-out decision. A lot of people, men and women, start a family without ever really thinking about it. But ask any parent how often they think about that decision once their kids are born and they will tell you “constantly.” It is the biggest choice anyone can make in a lifetime – the greatest responsibility you can take on, one you can’t undo – it’s a life. I think that deserves careful consideration and thought as to whether you are really prepared to give everything that commitment deserves. Some people are. I am not.

This quote says it so well:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

May 21, 2010 - Family, Men, Women    No Comments

It should be a privilege, not a right

I think being a parent should be a privilege, malady much like a career. Because it basically is. When a person brings a child into the world, they need to be committed to preparing that child to be an adult. And not just an adult, but a productive member of society. Giving their time, their love and their dedication to developing that child into a good person from birth right through the rest of their life.

On one of my bike rides this week, I saw graffiti painted on someone’s back fence. I know this would be no big shock for those of you living in cities, but I live in a lovely (upscale, if you don’t mind me saying so) village.

Where the hell were that kid’s parents when he or she was disrespecting a fellow citizen’s personal property? Where have they been all that kid’s life when they should have been instilling character in their child?

Probably at work. Probably making money so they could buy that kid video games that would keep him or her entertained so they didn’t have to play with the child or teach them.

When did it become acceptable to bring a child into the world and then essentially abandon them?

Where are the parents these days?

May 7, 2010 - Family, Men, Women    No Comments

Kids these days

I realize that’s a bit of a comical title considering my age, approved but I’m convinced there is a wide gap between people my age and the group 5-10 years younger than us.

Is it just me or have good manners, view social responsibility and respect for your fellow man been lost between Generations X and Y? It seems there is a good reason for calling “X” the Generation Me.

You see examples of this change every day – people in their late 20’s holding doors for their elders on the heels of someone in their early 20’s dropping the door in front of an elder; a tremendous decline in the number of people who volunteer between the two age groups; the new “swarming” phenomenon that has resulted in brutal beatings and even deaths of authority figures and elders.

It frightens me.

Last weekend the annual country music festival in my Alma Mater’s town took place for the 19th year in a row. Just five years ago, help this was a celebration of good music, the end of classes and the many friendships made during the school year. Everyone had a good time while looking out for their friends and neighbors and paying tribute to the talented musicians who graced the stage. This year, one of the performers received a concussion and 24 stitches from someone in the crowd who threw a glass bottle at his head. Another singer was disrupted by someone who snuck past security and got on stage with her – uninvited.

It’s hard to believe those kids’ morals and friends didn’t stop them from that poor behavior. And yes, I’ll call them kids. They don’t deserve to be called adults.

Where did the world go wrong in just five years?

What can we do to re-instill these values in the next generation?

Apr 26, 2010 - Men    3 Comments

Fairytale vs. Reality

I knew when I told him I don’t want children that he might very well walk away. But when he did – not just because he thought he wanted kids, cost but because I took the choice away from him – it was a big lesson. One that I’m still not certain what to do with.

He said he would be ok with not having kids if it was because his partner wasn’t able to, but because I would choose not to have them, that wasn’t acceptable.

So essentially if I was a manipulative, lying bitch, if I had played the “I’m not sure” card and then made sure I never conceived, a guy would be ok with that.

Instead, for being honest and up front, I get dumped every time.

Because guys all think they want kids. They romanticize having a family, not realizing what it actually means to have one.

  • When you have kids, you become fully and constantly responsible for another human life. Every hour of every day.
  • You have to be prepared to sacrifice everything for them if it’s required.
  • The freedom you used to have to pursue dreams and ideas no longer exists as the needs of the  family come first.
  • And then there is the enormous financial cost, estimated between $152,862-$269,520 per child (according to online resources)

But men seldom experience the extent of any of these things because they are usually the ones who walk out the door to work in the morning, and come home at night to eat, watch TV and sleep. Seldom is the father the parent who gets up with the kids all night every night, who cleans up after everyone. Not often does the father give up his career and friends to put the children first. He might feel the pinch of financial constraint, but it’s usually the mother who has to figure out how to stretch every dollar to make ends meet.

And at the end of the day the kids will do anything to gain their father’s attention and approval, seldom appreciating their mother and even purposefully breaking her heart.

Men seldom think about these things.

And so they will forgo a woman who makes them laugh, makes them think, makes them dream and helps them achieve, a woman who makes them completely and utterly happy – all for the potential of something they think they want but don’t totally understand. Just so they are never told “no”.

Jul 14, 2009 - Men    No Comments


Ever wish you had a voodoo doll of the people who cause you grief? So you could inflict on them just a portion of the pain they put you through? Ok, online more like ten times as much.

So you could pierce them through the heart with the excruciating pain of betrayal? So you could make their head throb from thinking about what went wrong? So you could take their legs out from under them with the weight of ‘why’s’?

I do.

Does that make me a bad person?