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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: etsy.com 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?

Jul 6, 2009 - Men, Women    4 Comments

Movie Review: He’s Just Not That Into You

I think people have as much or as little in common as they want to. Sure, story there are absolutely some differences that are fairly substantial — like on the surface I don’t have a great deal in common with someone in Africa living in a box, salve surviving off the little they can scrounge from the desert and battling AIDS. But if we started sharing stories we might find that we both have younger siblings, have had our hearts broke and still hope to find love someday.

So when relationships end because the people are “too different,” I think it’s a sorry excuse. If you care about someone, you take an interest in the things that matter to them and continue to develop common interests. As long as your personalities are complimentary and you are committed to growing your relationship, the rest is inconsequential.

The same concept applies to networking and meeting new people. Asking a few questions will get the ball rolling and determine similarities. This will provide a connection with the other person that makes your meeting more memorable to them.

The old adage of comparing apples to oranges? They are both fruit.
I didn’t read the book, try but after last week I decided I was in the right frame of mind to watch the movie. You know, I actually liked all the stories that spun a web to weave the context of the entire movie. They were generally pretty realistic: a girl who loses her patience with her boyfriend not proposing after seven years and breaks up with him, a husband cheating on his wife with a sexy mistress under the pretense that he married too young, a girl who befriends a guy that provides a reality check in all her encounters with the opposite sex.

But the ending went against the entire message of the movie! Reality-check guy is so busy explaining to the girl all about guy-isms that he doesn’t realize he’s in love with her until she tells him? Give me a break!

The entire movie was based on the idea that if a guy wants to be with a girl, he will be. Then they go back on all of that to say that sometimes a guy is too dumb to figure it out on his own?

Enough with the fake, feel-good, happy endings. Give me honesty in a reality I can live with.

What did you think of the movie?

Jul 4, 2009 - Men, Women    5 Comments

Apples and oranges

I think people have as much or as little in common as they want to. Sure, story there are absolutely some differences that are fairly substantial — like on the surface I don’t have a great deal in common with someone in Africa living in a box, salve surviving off the little they can scrounge from the desert and battling AIDS. But if we started sharing stories we might find that we both have younger siblings, have had our hearts broke and still hope to find love someday.

So when relationships end because the people are “too different,” I think it’s a sorry excuse. If you care about someone, you take an interest in the things that matter to them and continue to develop common interests. As long as your personalities are complimentary and you are committed to growing your relationship, the rest is inconsequential.

The same concept applies to networking and meeting new people. Asking a few questions will get the ball rolling and determine similarities. This will provide a connection with the other person that makes your meeting more memorable to them.

The old adage of comparing apples to oranges? They are both fruit.

Jul 4, 2009 - Women    2 Comments

Your own two feet

All you need to know about me is in the entries. Actually, illness it’s probably quite a bit more than you need to know.
This week I went through a pretty hurtful breakup. It seems like it went on forever. Does five days qualify as forever? I guess maybe when every minute feels like an hour.

What burned me the most was that apparently he didn’t think I was a good fit for him the entire time we were together, here but rather than break it off he let me continue to invest my time and myself in a relationship that he saw going nowhere.

And it’s not like we didn’t talk about it – he said we were exclusive, he said he cared about me, he talked about things we were going to do eight months down the road… all the while he was scouring online dating sites for someone else. SERIOUSLY! How disrespectful can you be? And I might have never known if he hadn’t made the mistake of leaving his e-mail signed in on my computer.

How long would we have gone on with me thinking he was Mr. Wonderful and him thinking he was just killing time?

And why?!?! Is he just so needy he can’t be alone?

The thing is, I wasn’t looking for “forever.” In fact, I don’t even know if I’m capable of that. All I want is to enjoy the person I’m with and know that they enjoy being with me. Is that so much to ask?
My biggest irritation in life (next to stupidity) is women who can’t take care of themselves. You know the ones, pharm forever living off their parents or their friends or a man. It is 2009 for gawd’s sake!

Get a job that pays what you need to support yourself. If you can’t, medical then get an education. Learn to budget. Build your credit score. Believe that you are worth it!

Because here is the thing – you can’t depend on anyone but yourself. When the chips are down every woman needs to know that she can do it on her own. You never know what tomorrow will bring so be prepared.

Now, doctor I’m not talking about stay-at-home moms (until all the kids are in school), farm women or under-20’s. I think kids should be raised by their parents, that women in production agriculture have more than a full-time job and everyone needs time to get established.

When it comes down to it, nine times out of ten the women who depend on someone else to feed them and put a roof over their heads just need a good dose of self-esteem. But you have to do it for yourself because no one else will.