The Relationship Grave

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I knew a girl once who believed in love.  A girl who could clearly envision herself married to someone for the rest of her life; having someone to love, to share affection, respect and companionship with. Someone in her life to give a simple compliment or embrace when needed.  Fresh out of high school and she believed that she had found ‘love’ with the man she was dating.  She believed he was ‘the one’, that one person she would spend her life with.  Sadly, she slowly lost the youthful ideals of true love.  The truth of her relationship was not that perfect fantasy that she longed for, the actuality was consumed by verbal and physical abuse, and repeated acts of unfaithfulness.  Then, at 21, her life was permanently changed upon the arrival of a beautiful baby boy.  She made the mistake that many young women in love do, believing that the birth of their child would fix everything that was wrong in their relationship.  The truth, utter devastation when one day she arrived home only to find that the person she had invested more than 4 years of her life with had left.  She was alone and left her holding all the responsibility.  Unknowingly then, this moment would change everything.  She would slowly dig a grave for herself as she matured, letting this history cloud her views on men and relationships. This girl was me.

You see, the ground was broken on my grave when I swore off relationships.  I didn’t need a relationship; I decided that I could do everything on my own.  Never again would I let a man suck my self-esteem out of me and hurt me so completely.  Never again would I surrender and allow myself to feel that deeply for another man again.  I made sure that I would always stay at the ‘safer’ distance, ensuring that I was never again the victim of the dreaded painful feelings that I associate with relationships.  Friends with benefits was it, this was the way I would stay in control.

Truthfully, it didn’t come naturally.  The process of getting intimate physically, while holding back emotionally was rocky to start.  You see, while I was good at projecting confidence, the reality was that I had very low self-esteem.  However, once I had a few casual sex partners under my belt I realized that I enjoyed it!  The hunt, as I call it, became addicting.  The act of finding the next friend, drawing them in, using them to satisfy my needs and then, “poof”, making them disappear from my bed felt empowering.  I was in control.  I had gotten so good at withholding my emotions from sex that I could easily come to an agreement with a long term friend, let them into my sexual “test kitchen”, and then end it without any notice and back to friends we were.  Like a mutually beneficial business arrangement, or that’s how I always saw it.  Now on their end, quite often it left them wondering what they did, why it ended when it was ‘so great’, but that was their issue, by the time they realized it was over I had already moved on. I began to see having friends with benefits like candy.  More time than not it was delicious and addictive.

The reason that I call it my ‘grave’ is that with every conquest the pit I was in grew deeper and deeper.  I have always been so focused on making sure that I would not be hurt that I never let true feelings develop that I didn’t notice that the ‘hunt’ was taking me to greater and greater lengths.  It became not only about the sexual encounter but also about the “stuff” (Flowers, gifts, dinners, trips, etc).  I felt strong and justified because these men knew what they were signing up for prior to the first encounter.  I was always very clear and honest right from the start.  If they felt I was worthy enough to shower with gifts, then so be it, I would accept with open arms.  At times this did cause a conflict, as some believed that by the accepting a gift meant we were in a relationship, or that they were owed something deeper.  However, it never changed the terms of our agreement for me.  In fact, my reaction was always that those pesky emotions and feelings were just getting in the way of a beautiful arrangement.

These types of relationships took me through my twenties and into my early thirties.  Even today, casual sex with friends is still predominantly the only type of intimate relationships that I have.  I am still in the game.  So, what is the point to this if I am still in emotionless relationships?  Reflection.  I had a moment when, for the first time in a long time, I looked at a man and found myself imagining a life.  In all honesty, it is neither a life that I think I deserve nor one that I even still believe in.  I thought myself such a fool to have even let myself pretend to go back down that road.  Still, I couldn’t help but imagine that fantasy, the same dreams I had in high school.  I realized that there’s a part of me that still wants it.  I wanted loyalty, companionship, attention and compassion from this man.  I didn’t want to lure him in with my bait and switch, for the first time I wanted him to want me for more.  I didn’t want restrained or manipulated love; I wanted a love that comes of its own will, its own timing.  I couldn’t figure out why I wanted this out of the clear blue. This was not the way I had schooled myself to think.  This couldn’t be me and I wouldn’t let it be me.  I had gone down this road and found it full of anxiety, emotional pain, rejection, sadness, and guilt.  I swore I would not let myself feel that way again.  So, I again rejected the idea of ‘more’ and kept my feelings in check the best I could and work through it until the weakness that gave these feelings is free from my body.

Alone, when I can’t hide from myself in activity, I realize how complete my grave is and how deeply I am in it, all the way at the bottom.  I imagine that climbing out would be akin to fingertips bloody from scraping at the steep dirty walls.  My fear of rejection is so ingrained that I am not sure that I would even be capable of telling another man who I feel something deeper for them.  I have worked so hard to build a life of rejecting first that I have very little experience with relationships or risk.  While I can defend my actions whole heartedly, sometimes I find myself unhappy with my romantic life, because the fact remains that in ‘friends with benefits’ there really isn’t any romance at all.  It’s just sex.   I fear breaking out of my pattern and searching for someone to share my life with.  I fear living a life of constant rejection and living the rest of my days alone while my friends and family move forward.  I am at a crossroad.

Because I Said So

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Over the last 15 years I have learned many things. I’ve found myself, and I’ve really lost myself. (You may say you can’t really lose yourself, but trust me that after a few bottles of wine you can misplace yourself in the blink of an eye.) I’ve loved people, and then lost those people too. (Not from the wine though.) I’ve met people, and I have missed opportunities to know people that one day I could miss.

I’ve been a mother, a friend, a boss, a daughter, a sister, a mechanic, a plumber, an electrician, a house keeper, a painter, a landscaper, a chauffeur and a cheerleader. Boy o’boy, the list goes on and on. Throughout these last 15 years I’ve been so many things and by doing all of those things I have had triumphs worthy of trophies, (I’m still waiting for the delivery of these trophies but rest assured I earned them, and they are big trophies not those small ones everyone gets for just participating these days.) I’ve made mistakes by doing what I thought at the time was surely the right thing, and on the same hand I’ve made mistakes by doing what I knew was the wrong thing. I’ve experienced happy moments, sad moments, and I’ve visited (at times frequently, like, multiple times in a day) the bottom of the darkest and deepest pits. I’ve thought, ‘Well, of course this is happening to me, I deserve it’.  I’ve thought, ‘Why me’.  On an occasion or two, or three, or okay many times, that it was very possible I was living in the twilight zone. I’ve dreamt of a richer life, of fame, of happiness, of revenge and of things better than the moment I was living in at the time. I’ve loved, I’ve hated, I’ve carried around resentment, I’ve forgiven and I’ve forgotten. (Mostly forgotten because I have a really bad memory, lucky for me and those people I dreamt of getting revenge from.)

What is my take away from the last 15 years? What could possibly be so important that little old me would feel the need to sit down and tell you? Yes, normal me, with a normal life, normal career and normal friends would have something important to say? Well here it is, so listen up because I’m only going to say this once. (Okay, I’m only going to type this once.)

YOU MAKE YOUR LIFE WHAT IT IS.

I know what you are thinking.  You have heard that about a million times, in a million inspirational videos that have taken up prime real-estate on your social news feeds, but hear me out. What I have to say is better than any of those videos. (They probably tell you that in their videos too, but it’s not true.)

You can dream of a better life, better friends, better career but you will never get it, because it will probably be something that only plays on your dream play list. Only when you take responsibility, and take hold of your own life will you move forward in life. You are the only one who controls you. If you’re waiting around spending your days wondering why, holding onto your past by replaying those dark moments in your life, you will never move forward. You will never achieve those dreams on your play list, and you will never be truly happy.

If you are waiting around for someone to fix your situation, someone who will swoop down like superman to save you from the life your living; or thinking, ‘If only someone would come and help you’, you’re wasting not only your time but your life. You are the only person with the power to change your situation, change your thought process, and move your life forward. Until you are able to recognize and truly see the moment you are living right now, you will never move forward. You will never carry anything but hatred for what your life has become and what you have become. You have to accept what your life is and who you are right now. You have to forgive the people and situations that have wronged you. You have to stop waiting and start moving forward. The sooner you find acceptance, the sooner you can reach your true potential and say hello to happiness again. Life will beat you down, make you cry, call you names.  Life is a bully, and if you sit around and don’t participate in what is needed to get you up and moving forward life will have you chained down and duck taped to that chair you occupy. (If this is what you choose, you better hope that chair you occupy is one of those comfy, cozy lazy-boy chairs because you will be there for an eternity and your butts sure going to start getting sore, if it isn’t already.)

Forgiving the life that has bullied you doesn’t make it right, or make life the winner. It makes you right and you the winner. By committing to your dreams and passions, by being fearless, you cannot fail.

YOU WILL SAVE YOURSELF

YOU WILL FIX YOURSELF

Being committed and fearless will be the most amazing thing you will ever experience. It is empowering to be independent and experience success, no matter what aspect it is. One day you too will be patiently awaiting those trophies to arrive.

10 Ways to respect

Respect yourself enough…
1. Realize just because someone praises your judgments and invites your criticism, it doesn’t mean they admire nor does it mean they respect you.
2. Realize you respect yourself enough not to make negative judgmental assumptions about others.
3. Realize that the only thing that makes you a better person is your behavior.
4. Realize that your not here on this earth to prove to someone that they should love you, respect you and commit to you.
5. Realize the only way to have good manners is to have respect for others.
6. Realize if you don’t have respect for yourself no one in return can respect you.
7. Realize that rank, class and title doesn’t make a person.
8. Realize we all live our lives in shades of grey and be willing to notice without judgment.
9. Realize authenticity and honesty is the only solid foundation to use when building a relationship.
10. Realize relationships are about being selfless, caring and honoring. It’s not about financial opportunities.
Thomas Monson said “When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be”.
If you are lucky enough to have someone in your life to treat you as what you should be, hold on to them tight, their going to be the one to change your life.
– Casey King, Fingerlike

Single, Anti-Relationship, Are they just Man-Haters?

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Man-haters are a whole different breed from people such as myself who just enjoy living the single life and carry an anti-relationship point of view. When you are with or near a man-hater the temperature drops about 10 degrees and the tension in the room can become suffocating.

Argumentative –

Man-hater: They cannot let men be right, even if it is insignificant. If a man said it, they will disagree every time.

Anti-relationship: Disagreements are not constant with the woman who are living single. They respect men and their opinions.

Negativity –

Man-hater: They can drag you down a road engulfed with misery. Their bitterness towards men and the constant comments against them are overwhelming.

Anti-relationship: Negativity is not a normal occurrence with this group. And when they have a moment of negativity towards a man, it is administered in a normal dose size.

Selfishness –

Man-hater: When it comes to men they are a selfish extremist. If they given the chance they will swoop in with full intentions of taking a man for all he is worth and making them as miserable as possible.

Anti-relationship: Everyone is selfish at one point or another. They have no evil or malicious intentions when they become selfish.

Friends and Family –

Man-hater: They don’t have male friends and if they do it’s very few. When it comes to family you may find they don’t have a close relationship with their father nor the other men in their families. They don’t discriminate when it comes to their man-hating views.

Anti-relationship: For the most part they have good relationships with their father and other men in their families. They have many friends in their circle who are men.

People who are living the single life or are also anti-relationship have no judgement of men. It is more about the empowerment they receive from doing things independently, knowing they need no one to make their life extraordinary. People living single seek respect not attention like the man-hater.

Happy or Sad Flip a Coin, I think not

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“Being single is like flipping a coin…will I be happy Today?”

This morning I read the above statement about being single and of course I was drawn to it. It still amazes me that living single in today’s society still can have such a negative appeal to it for some. Why do people who are living the single life feel the need to avoid it instead of embracing it? If we appreciated life and what we have, happiness will wrap around us and embrace us each day. No coin flipping needed, you’ll always be happy.

Living the single life can be a freeing experience if it is not thought of as a negative status. Putting aside the normal things single people say when asked why they believe being single is a great life, lets take a deeper approach.

  1. Awareness – People living the single life have a better awareness of others emotional state. They can tell when someone is sad, mad or just a little down even if the person isn’t showing it physically. This is because they don’t have a single person they have to constantly focus and be aware of.
  2. Time – Everyone is busy these days, no matter if you are single, taken or in a marriage. Though when you are living single you don’t have another entire friendship circle or family that consumes your extra time. They have the ability to choose to spend quality time with a person or group of people and focus on them, no worries of needing to split their extra time up so someone doesn’t feel neglected.
  3. Mental Needs – Living single allows a person to switch gears and take the time needed for themselves. To often when people are taken or married it is hard to find a free moment to care for their own mental needs. Quiet time to reflect on what is going on within them and unwind after a long day.

If a person cannot be comfortable living single than they cannot be comfortable living in a relationship. You have to be able to love yourself in a whole before you can truly love someone else.

So when you flip the coin today, no matter what side it lands on, make the choice to choose to allow happiness to wrap around you and consume you.

 

Marriage Fosters Anger and Disdain

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When a person is not in a committed relationship everything that needs to be completed is their responsibility. On the other hand, when two people are in a committed relationship or married the responsibilities that life brings are shared, well that is what the past has taught us it is. With that frame of mind, ‘shared responsibilities’, breads disdain and hatred into the relationship, that can last a lifetime.

When one partner feels the other should be completing a task they are responsible for and they are not, this causes the person to start going through stages of emotions.

  1. Annoyed Stage. The person who feels their partner should be completing a task or has asked their partner to complete a task and they have not done it. This stage lasts a few weeks. The person recognizes that their partner may have been busy, they make up excuses for them to justify why it hasn’t been done and they hold hope they will complete it soon.
  2. Anger Stage. This is the stage where they start comparing what they have completed and what their partner has completed. The person asking for the task to be completed starts confronting their partner about not completing the task and asking again for it to be completed. In this stage the person will throw out how they have completed their responsibilities as a way of saying, ‘If I can find time to complete things, you can too.’
  3. Infuriated Stage. This stage is where the person asking for the task to be completed turns into a massive, destructive tornado that grows throughout this stage. This stage begins with the ‘I’ll just do it myself’ statement. The person sets out to complete the task they have been asking their partner to do and this is where the tornado of anger starts to build. They are not happy about completing the task so they use the fact they are completing it as ‘word ammo’ for the upcoming arguments they are preparing in their mind. Depending on the task needed to be completed, this stage could be a long one. All through the process the person lives each day adding anger to the tornado growing it bigger and bigger. They can’t relax and enjoy the moment they are in as the angry thoughts take control of their mind. This stage is filled with arguments between both partners.

And that right there is why being single is a beautiful and precious thing. Single people complete tasks that need to be done, feel good about completing them and move on. No arguments, no angry feelings, no distain, just peaceful happy thoughts.

What do you think, Is being single a better option than dealing with situations that come with marriage? Sound off in the comments below.

 

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Some of my favorite things Lake House

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Some of my favorite things about being at the lake house…

1. Cooking my all time favorite meal … Grilled cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not being judged. (Which I did this weekend and it was yummy!)

2. Forgetting about responsibilities and doing nothing all day but soaking up the sun. (Though, this is rare now bc I have homework every weekend but this weekend I got it all done before I came, go me!)

3. Watching the sunset while listening to the crickets from my favorite gravity chair. (Even though they don’t compare to the sunsets at my other favorite lake house. I still love watching them.)

4. Sitting on the deck in the mornings, listening to the birds chirp, while sipping on coffee, patiently awaiting the sun to hit my deck.

5. Being able to sit or walk around looking like a hot mess and not being judged. (Bc trust me… I take ‘hot mess’ to the extreme around these parts…  from morning to night.)

6. Peaceful morning walks sporting my super cool M&M robe. (I think Sarge may be embarrassed to be seen with me in it but really… he isn’t a good judge of who or what is cool.)