I turned 29 this past week, and it was an interesting time of emotions.

In May of 2008, I purchased my first home back in Pretty City. When I left last June (2013), I began renting out my house. For the past year or so, I have been trying to sell this property. It was costing me about 4K a year out of pocket and being a landlord, especially for a property over an hour away, was not my cup of tea.

After so many ups and downs and offers and showings, the house finally went under contract about a month ago. The closing got pushed back several times and finally ended up being Wednesday, Nov. 5th. On Monday, the 3rd, I was emailed by the closing title agency and told I would need to transfer $2,200 for the closing. This came as a complete surprise because I had been led to believe I wouldn’t owe anything, or be getting some money back. The money that I had to come up with is for taxes and such, and most of it will come back to me in December, but since I didn’t have $2,200 sitting around, I had to borrow the money from my parents.

To make matters worse, one of the tenants didn’t pay her rent this month, so I had to come up with that money at the closing too and now she still owes me $825. She claims her mom lost her job. I have no idea when I will get that money.

As if the week couldn’t get any crazier, the engine mount on my car broke and I had to pay $380 to fix it.

Between all of that, I tried hard to enjoy my birthday, but it just didn’t really happen. DL and my family were wonderful, but the emotional, physical, and mental stress just wiped me. I avoided a panic attack by using techniques my therapist has taught me, but it was rough.

Reflecting on all of this now makes me realize that I have a lot to focus on that is good about being 29. I just sold my house and paid off my car this past week. I now have more money available each month than I have had in years. I can finally start taking that money and paying down my rather intimidating student loan debt. I might actually be able to start saving to travel.

My family and DL love and support me. There are many blessings in my life and I need to remember to focus on those when things get crazy and overwhelming. Even through all of the trials of the past week, 29 is starting out to be the year where I finally get my stuff together, and I have to say it feels really good.

On where I’ve been, the future, and love

I’ve been gone from the inter webs for awhile, and I want to share what’s been going on in my life. Partly because I’ve connected with so many of you over the years of blogging and also partly because I want to chronicle how things have changed.

In my last post I told you all how I met a guy through online dating. Well, it’s been over three months and we are still incredibly happy. I honestly can’t quite believe that after all of the ridiculousness I experienced through all the different types of online dating I tried, the online universe gave me this incredible man who adores me.

DL (the Mister pseudonym doesn’t really fit anymore and I want something more personal) is the kind of guy that you want your daughter to date. He is kind, giving, selfless, sacrificing, funny, and just the right amount of sexy. I’ve never felt so taken care of in my life. In the past 3 months he has only continued to show me how much he cares for me, and I have no doubt in my mind that he loves me, even if we haven’t gotten to the point where we’ve said it out loud yet.

Dating him is easy. He gets me. In a way that no one else I have dated ever has. I don’t have to pretend around him. I can be incredibly moody. My introverted nature sometimes leaves me unable to cope with other humans after a day at work. And he understands this. He will literally hear it in my voice and tell me to go be alone and relax. He brings me my favorite chocolate when he knows my period is coming. He helps me in my classroom. Sometimes I feel like I don’t do enough to show him how much I appreciate him.

Not that any relationship is all good things. We’ve had disagreements, but that’s what they’ve remained. They don’t become fights because we are open and very honest with each other. I’ve never really been the best at sharing my feelings in relationships, but I’m doing it for the first time and I’m noticing such a difference in how it’s making our relationship grow.

I don’t know yet if DL is “the one,” (if there even is such a thing) but I do know that this relationship is different from any of the other ones I’ve had. And while that scares me a little, I am willing to overcome that fear of failing and heartbreak, because DL is way too good to let out of my life.

You may be wondering about Belize. Well, oddly enough, he and DL went to college together and know each other. They aren’t close, but they both think the other guy is awesome (which is sometimes a little weird, I’m not gonna lie). Belize knows that DL and I are dating and he gave it his blessing. He admitted that he wanted to be with me, but that he would never do long distance and just didn’t have enough stability in his life to commit to a relationship. He also admitted that our “non-relationship” was unfair to me.

I’m happy with Belize’s reaction, because after eleven years of friendship, and two years of more than friendship, he is someone that is important to me. Although I sometimes wish timing and circumstance had worked between us, I have to trust that they didn’t for a reason. Belize is in Baltimore and nothing I can do will change that. And as much as he does care about me, he has never committed to me the way that DL has, and that means I can’t continue to wait for him.

I’ve come to a pretty peaceful point in my life. My 29th birthday is two weeks away and it feels fitting that this would be the time when I start to feel like my life is making sense. I think your 20s are supposed to be the time where you figure your ish out. Where you learn how to be an adult and what you want out of life and relationships. And when you can finally say that you have learned some things about what it means to really have lived.

I have some new posts in the works and exciting things happening for the blog. Since I’ve been gone for awhile, leave me a comment and tell me what’s happening in your life right now! :)

Dear Online Dating, I owe you an apology.

Because I’ve met someone! But I am getting ahead of myself here.

As many of you know, I’ve done online dating on and off a lot over the past several years. My first time was somewhere near the end of 2008. After nearly 6 years of trying different online dating sites on and off, you could say my faith in the whole thing was lost. I’ve done paid subscriptions to Match and eHarmony and tried the free POF and OkCupid. I’ve gone out on lots and lots of first dates, and even a few second dates, but none of it has led anywhere.

The only thing “real” that has ever come from online dating is my friendship with Teacher Guy who I briefly dating back in 2011 but wasn’t attracted to (and who I also can’t really be friends with because he will apparently never stop wanting to be with me). I did date this guy Rugby last school year (Nov-Dec 2013) but I honestly think that was more out of boredom than anything else. I wasn’t attracted to him, and that finally showed on our 5th date when he tried to cook me dinner.

Suffice it to say, online dating has not been good to me, which I why I showed my disdain for the whole thing when I reviewed a book on online dating earlier this summer. But then the universe threw me a curveball.

I signed up for OkCupid out of boredom a little over a month ago. I kept my profile active for a whole 5 days before becoming completely overwhelmed and running into men I had seen on dating sites back in 2011. In those 5 days, I began communicating with a few guys. Several of them were what I like to call, “perpetual texters.” They are those guys you meet online that just want to text you all day long and never actually meet up. After getting rid of those, there were a couple who just fizzled out after a few texts and never bothered to call. Finally, I was left with two men.

The first guy I went out with took me bowling. It was an awkward date. The chemistry was just off. I thanked him for bowling and dinner and then promptly told him that he was great, but I was no longer interested.

A week later, on July 15th, I went out with the second guy: Mister (so named because he affectionately calls me, Miss)

On our first date, we went to dinner, and then sat on the beach talking for hours. It was beautiful, and I had never had so much fun on a first date with a complete stranger. Our second date was dinner again, but I think he got nervous for some reason, because he didn’t really wow me. He was quiet and a little boring, but I decided to keep talking to him because I knew that there was more to this guy, I just needed to give him time.

Between our second and third date, we spent a lot of time texting and talking on the phone, which I think helped a lot. By the time we went on our next date, we were much more comfortable with each other. For our third date, he took me go-cart racing, which was so fun! Afterward, we played arcade games and were just generally silly with one another, and it was awesome. He took me to dinner when we got hungry and we played trivia. I had so much fun with him that I forgot I was even on a date! That night he kissed me good-bye as I was getting into my car and it was kind of amazing.

Mister is really quite awesome. He’s my age and grew up about 25 minutes from where I did (although he was born in Jamaica). He went to the rival state college and we constantly tease each other about which school is better. The man pays for everything without hesitation, which for me has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with a man showing me that he seriously cares about being with me. We could literally be getting $5 sandwiches, but showing that he has no qualms about paying for them is sexy to me. He also tells me that I am beautiful all the time, and more importantly, he makes me feel beautiful. Yesterday, he came and helped me move my classroom for like 6 hours. He never once complained, and afterward, he said it was “fun” because “he got to spend time with me.”

Y’all, I really like him. And it scares the shit out of me.

I know I am over thinking everything, but it is true. Even though I wrote about letting go of Belize, that is easier said than done. I am trying not to worry about it too much since all of this with Mister is still very new and not in the “exclusive dating” stage yet, but I am a worrier, and sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me. I’ll keep you posted.

Signature 2012

On Letting Go

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and growing this summer. Maybe it is because I haven’t been able to afford to go anywhere (since I am on this plan of paying down debt) and spend a lot of time alone in the house, or maybe it is because my 29th birthday is fast approaching and I am finally becoming a sensible person. In any case, a lot has been happening internally, which is maybe why externally I have been kind of quiet and reserved.

It was cathartic for me to write about DD a few weeks ago. It helped me let go of him in a way I hadn’t before. And it takes some courage, but this is a post I need to write too.

As most of you reading this know, for the past three years or so I have been in a non-relationship with Belize. He was there through all the shit that went down with DD. And after all of that, he’s continued to be there for me in so many ways. I talk to him nearly every day, miss him a lot, and fantasize that he will move home and we will finally be able to be together.

Except he isn’t really there for me. At least not in the way I need him to be. I want all of him. Like the John Legend song. I don’t want to keep being in this crazy “thing” of ours where we pretend it doesn’t hurt to miss each other. Where I go on a lot of first dates with other men that ultimately go nowhere because none of those guys will ever match the connection that I have with Belize. I want to shout from the rooftops that I am his and that we are together.

But I can’t, because we aren’t, and I need to finally deal with it better. Belize moved to Baltimore in April 2013. It has been over a year since he’s been there. He isn’t coming home, at least not anytime soon. I’ve held onto the idea because we both have, but it is something that needs to stop.

I have to let him go.

The way we have been dealing with it is ridiculous. We don’t talk about it. It is like a giant elephant in our phones. It is the missing words from those good night texts. It is the thing we neglect out of excitement when we do get to see each other.

I’ve been toying with the idea of visiting him this summer. I found a flight the other day for under $300 and told him. He seemed super excited. Last night, through a bit of hesitation, I booked it. I fell asleep and had the most horrible dreams.

Now I am not psychic and I don’t believe anyone is, but my dreams have always meant something. It is more of a premonition, my conscience, telling me that the thing I am doing is not so great. I spent the night panicky and anxious. I realized what this trip would mean.

Number one, I would have to lie about where I was going. I live with my parents and they are not okay with me flying to go and stay with a guy (yes, I am almost 29, but your parents are your parents). Number two, I would see him, spend a lovely five days with him, and then have to come home. What would that do except hurt me more? Make me realize that we are still not together? I already know that. Number three, it would mean that I was spending money to go and see a man who had never declared his love for me. Sure, I know there are a myriad of reasons why that is, and I know he cares for me a lot, but that doesn’t change the fact that I cannot do that again. I have to value myself enough to know that if a man wants me, he will make it happen.

So I woke up this morning, cancelled my flight, and sent Belize an email explaining why I thought it was the right thing to do. I hope he understands. I feel a little like a crazy person, but in the end I know it was the right decision for me. As much as I miss him and as much as I want to see him, I have to be strong enough for both of us.

I will not stop hoping that one day Belize will come into my life in a real and solid way, but today is not that day. Today, I have to accept that he is there, and that we are not in a place where moving to be together is an option. I refuse to give up my entire life to move there for a maybe. And he has an amazing job and friends in Baltimore. If I have learned one thing in my twenties, it is that love is made up of a lot more than just feelings. Timing and life circumstances have almost more to do with it than finding the right person. I am also learning to trust that God has a plan, and that I need to be open to it being very different from what I have planned for myself.

“Sometimes life is just hard. For no reason at all.”

Signature 2012

What dating a man who wasn’t attracted to me taught me about life and love

One of my favorite bloggers, Simone, wrote a post recently about dating and one of the topics she wrote about was rejection. As I was reading her post, it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind. I’ve never really blogged about what happened between my ex DD and I, but that story has shaped my adult dating life in so many ways, and it taught me a great deal about rejection.

DD and I met in March 2008 when I was 22. I had just broken up with my college love, EE. After ending a solid four-year relationship, I was kind of lost. I had never been an adult without EE in my life. About a month after our break-up, I met DD through mutual friends. He was 32, and I thought that he was hot and accomplished. We quickly became friends based on shared interests (we even ran a successful wedding photography business for several years together) and the fact that he too had a lot of free time since he was recently retired from the military and didn’t have a job. The only child of a doctor and a lawyer, he was rich in a way I hadn’t known before, and he was very, very good at impressing people.

Now, here is where the rejection comes in. In July of 2008, DD and I travelled to DC together for a week and ended up making out a lot while we were there. When we got back, we started dating. About a month into our relationship, DD and I slept together. He was the second boy I had ever had sex with. Two months after that, he sent me an email one day telling me that he wasn’t attracted to me.

Rejection. It hurt, a lot. But when I asked him if he wanted to break up, he said he didn’t. Confused, I believed him when he told me he loved me anyway, and so began the longest and most ridiculous relationship I will ever have.

Here’s a quick summary of the insanity:

  • We dated from July of 2008 and broke up in September 2009 because I just felt like he didn’t love me anymore. When I called him out on it, we spent a tearful day in his apt. talking things out and eventually breaking up. I didn’t talk to him for a few months. He briefly dated someone else, and then we became friends again.
  • In January 2010 we finished a bottle of wine and had sex. This led to us getting back together for 10-months until he broke up with me in August 2010 via text message as I was driving into NYC to attend BlogHer ’10.
  • For a long time we were just friends, but then I had sex with Belize. DD found out and freaked the f*ck out. We ended up getting back together in May 2011 and entering is this really weird non-relationship. Like we were together, but we didn’t touch each other. I don’t mean we just didn’t have sex, I mean he literally didn’t touch me. We finally broke up for the last and final time in November 2012 (he broke up with me on my birthday because he’s a real winner). I told him to leave me alone and he finally did.

Why do I tell this rather embarrassing history? Because DD rejected me three times, but it wasn’t until I rejected him that things finally ended. For some reason, I just couldn’t accept that he was rejecting me, and so I let him continue to play ridiculous games with me. The proof is the pudding though: 10 months after we broke up he got engaged to a girl who is 25 and they are still together (and I imagine planning a wedding, but I don’t talk to him anymore).

DD clearly told me three months into our relationship that he wasn’t attracted to me. Ladies, if a man tells you that, guess what? He means it. At 22/23, I naively thought that this didn’t matter; that he must have been mistaken since he was still with me. But here’s the thing, just because a man keeps you around, doesn’t mean he loves you. What I didn’t realize then is that DD kept me around for lots of reasons, and none of them were because he loved me. I kept him around initially because I loved him, but then it was more out of a need for companionship and friendship, and a fear of being alone in a city where I already felt so alone. I didn’t want to lose him as a friend, so I let him play those games with me.

It’s been a little over a year since I last spoke to DD. This November it will be two years since we were last dating and about three years since we last had any sort of real romantic connection. I don’t really think about him at all, except in the sense that I sometimes can’t believe how much time I wasted on him. And I also sometimes get angry at myself when I miss Belize because if I had made a different choice back in 2011, Belize and I might be together right now. Instead, the man I like a whole lot is in Baltimore and we’ve never had a chance to be together in a real relationship.

In any case, DD taught me more than I ever wanted to know about rejection. The relationship I had with him also made me realize that I will never again settle for someone who is not completely and utterly into me. I deserve to feel special, adored, desired, wanted, and treasured. And anyone who doesn’t make me feel those things just isn’t worth my time or space in my heart.

Signature 2012


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