Tuesday, June 24, 2014

For the bees...






"I made this garden for the bees."

My friend Dana said that the other night as she was watering the vibrant green and red chard growing in the small urban garden she cultivates with her sister. I teared up... Wow.

I consider myself a pretty earth friendly person, however, Dana and Jenna, they truly know how integral it is for us humans to take responsibility for what we are doing to the Earth and how we can have less of an impact... They make their own shampoo, deodorant, ghee, etc. Geez. I only wish I was that committed!

Anyway, Dana and Jenna along with some other friends truly inspire me to learn and continue to cultivate that symbiotic relationship I aspire to have with the Earth as well.

My thinking about this started three or four years ago when my ex boyfriend and I went to get some coconut water. He stood in front of the myriad of bottled drinks and I wondered what was taking him so long. He asked me, "Which one of these do you think causes the least amount of harm?" I was stunned. For the first time in my life, I realized how little I ask myself that question. What does cause the least amount of harm to the earth? What is my role in protecting the Earth? Does my one purchase make a difference? 

Why wouldn't I want to protect the Earth? I LOVE Earth! I have loved the feeling of the sand on my feet since before I could say sand or describe it's texture. I have touched every leaf I have ever come across. I have marveled at the beautiful colors, textures, sounds, smells and tastes I have encountered while exploring Earth. Why wouldn't I continue to ask myself how I can cause the least amount of harm?!

In our society this is so hard! Everything we buy comes in some sort of container or has some chemical that is going to kill or alter the development of some poor unexpected tiny creature in the ocean, the ones I am convinced we need! Even if it is recyclable... That doesn't tell us what will happen with it once it is put in that blue bin. AND even if it is "all natural"... is it?

We have all heard, "If I knew better, I would do better."

Here are some research articles that might help: This blog is more about sharing articles or information rather than my own thinking about these issues. I am not an environmentalist, per se, but I am a researcher- I gather information (whether it be statistical, lab or field base studies and findings, and/or empirical). I don't yet know how to articulate what I know in a synthesized way but I am working on it! 

Corn... Ugh. Can't say enough!

When you buy food, consider what market you are supporting... While I occasionally eat corn in restaurants, I steer clear of purchasing corn and it's bi-products on my own. I'll invest my money elsewhere.

What is bioaccumulation?

Pollutants in our fish? Bioaccumulation!

Think about the fish you eat... What are you putting in the water?

THINK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF MEAT MARKET YOU ARE SUPPORTING AS WELL...

http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/

These are crazy research findings.

Ok... So what do I buy and where do I get the info I need?

Environmental Working Group came up with lists and environmental ratings for 45 fruits and veggies. There is a more simplified list on Tree Hugger that you can access. (Such an appropriate name... ha ha.)

That being said, I am going to continue to grow as a Tree Hugger and develop and articulate a language around what it means to be a conscious consumer.

Simplified version of what I know so far:

-buy local (visit your farms, know where you get your food. polyculture farms? yes. monoculture? no. pesticides? never.)

-know your meat! Please take a look at the EWG Website on this.

-less processing= less packaging? great! most anything in a box or a bag is simply not food anyway...

-think about what you dump into the water... ? I am still thinking about this one.

Here in San Francisco, I am blessed to be surrounded by people who appreciate these sorts of conversations and I am going to milk them for all their intellectual beauty... opposing opinions and all.

Let's keep bees alive... We need them.

Read about it!

NPR NEws Bee Video

All of the blue links above are portions of the data I have hoarded. If anyone wants more- contact me!

x0x0

Monday, February 3, 2014

"I just want to be friends."

What does this mean? 

I hated hearing this from guys. Because... 

Seriously, what does that even mean? Friends? What kind of friends? How do you define friendship? What is friendship when sex is involved? 

Hmmm... Confusing. Or, at least I used to think so. 

I feel a lot more clear about this phrase because for once, I understand what this means based on research. Also, I do just want to be friends.




"I just want to be friends." My theory is that where people often go wrong in saying this is that they forget one detail... friendships are intimate relationships. In order to have intimate relationships you need the following:

1. Trust
2. Communication
3. Empathy
4. Affection
5. Commitment 

I won't settle for friends of any kind (those I happen to be attracted to or not), with whom these qualities do not exist.

Two years ago I was asked to write a paper on Friends Vs. Lovers. This was so ironic... I was in a relationship where I was trying to figure out what this meant. After lots of research, these are my findings:



“Human intimacy is a complex combination of passion, commitment, friendship, and love in which two individuals experience a compelling desire for ongoing close interaction with each other. Such interactions typically span the full range of human activity. Intimate relationships are social, physical, intellectual, and spiritual. They support work, leisure, and learning.” - Howe, 2009

Friendships are one of the most beautiful connections human beings have to one another. The Webster Dictionary defines a friend as a favored companion with whom one has mutual affection. Affection is defined as a moderate feeling or emotion. The definition states that friendship is usually exclusive of sexual or romantic involvement. A lover is defined as having a sexual or romantic relationship with another person. Romance is defined as a feeling of excitement or mystery, relating to love.

Humans are social beings who seek deep, intimate relationships. We develop friendships, usually organically, in an effort to share our feelings, accomplishments, our distress, and our perspectives with someone who is in turn willing to be understanding, and supportive. From the beginning of our lives, we seek to become attached (Shaver, Mikulincer, and Feeney, 2009). We make eye contact with our parents, we coo, we smile, we cry- all in an effort to create a connection and get our needs met. These are behaviors aimed at fostering attachments to others. The behaviors look different as we grow up, but the motivation behind attachment forming behaviors do not change.  Howe (2002, p.15-17) states that we seek deep intimate relationships because we want continuous, and meaningful interactions with others in order to acquire mutual support and mutual fulfillment. We call to share our feelings with friends, to receive support, and expect that it is mutual. As these interactions continue, the people involved in these consistently supportive interactions, begin to fulfill each other’s lives.

Intimacy occurs as more and more self-disclosure occurs (communication). Berndt (2002, p.7) states that quality friendships enhance social development. Howe (2002, p.16) states that this is yet another reason why we seek friendships. We want our friends to stick up for us, we want them to be there for us. We want someone there who understands where we are coming from. We need to trust them. In order to acquire this, we must be able to self-disclose. The more we share information with others, the more they are likely to understand where we are coming from, the more likely they will be willing to be there for us, and the more likely the company is mutually supportive and fulfilling. Friends have empathy for one another. 

Quality friendships enhance the lives of those involved in the relationship. According to Berndt (2002, p.8), friendships foster the development of a positive self-esteem, friendships improve social adjustment, and enable people to deal with stress more effectively. That makes sense, given that friends are the people we run to when things happen and we want to share. They are people who have similar interests therefore validate who we are as individuals- enhancing self-esteem. They are also people to whom we bring our troubles. Friends listen, they empathize, and support and or validate what it is we are communicating- therefore we are better able to deal with stress. Because friendships provide the safe context in which we can practice the skills of listening and communicating effectively, individuals are more prepared to enter into social situations.

Yet another reason why we develop intimate relationships with others is because we have a need to be attached. (Phillip R. Shaver, Mario Mikulincer, and Brooke C. Feeney, 2009) Our human need to be attached motivates our intentions and our behaviors. We smile at the person sitting next to us. We laugh when someone says something funny. We initiate conversations with those with whom we feel we have things in common with. All in efforts to create an attachment. Maintaining these attachments to people becomes important to us.

According to Howe (2002, p.18) we maintain those friendships through our ability to manage the conflict. Olson, Defrain, and Skogrand (2011) state that the more intimate a relationship, the more likely conflicts are. Communication is important, understanding is important, and care is important. All facets of friendship, but also facets of conflict resolution. In order to solve problems with our friends we must care about them, we must empathize with their feelings and we must communicate effectively. Howe (2002, p.19-20) identifies why friendships fail. He states the following lead to the dissolution of relationships: 1) failure to clearly communicate expectations or needs, 2) failure to legitimatize expectations or needs, and 3) failure to meet the others’ expectations or needs. We can conclude that conflicts are healthy when we learn to deal with them effectively. Conflicts must be met with an openness to genuinely communicate and understand another person’s perspective consistently.  These skills that people learn through friendships become life competencies. Not only do they become life competencies with other people we might develop friendships with, they also become competencies with which we enter into romantic relationships.

Olson, Defrain, and Skogrand (2011, p.252) state that friendship and love have a lot in common but one is more intense than the other. They talk about the qualities of friendship being: enjoyment, mutual assistance, respect, spontaneity, acceptance, trust, understanding, and confiding.

The qualities of love being broken up into two separate clusters: 

1) passion comprised of fascination, sexual desire, and exclusiveness

2) the caring cluster comprised of advocacy and giving the utmost 


When does friendship become love? Does friendship become a love relationship when the two individuals become sexually involved? Research by Furman and Shaffer (2011, p. 560) show that sexually involved individuals do not necessarily need to be in a romantic relationship. The sexual behavior of people in romantic relationships and people in a friend relationship was looked at. Although more sexual behaviors occur with two individuals that were romantically involved, sexual behaviors also occur with two individuals who are not romantically involved.  Therefore we can conclude that although intimate romantic relationships are more likely to include sexual behaviors, it does not solely differentiate them from a friendship relationship.


What then constituted a romantic relationship?

According to Eastwink and Finkel (2011) relationships become romantic when there is a match in partner ideals. They argue that one person can have a friendship relationship with someone very attractive and not have romantic feelings for them because that person does not match their overall ideals as a partner in life. Eastwink and Finkel (2011) found that after meeting someone whom the participants thought of as attractive, their willingness to become romantically involved decreased after a face-to-face interaction. They also found that the following factors contributed to the development of a romantic relationship: Physically Attractive, Good Earning Prospects, Warm, and Exciting. Reeder (2005, p.344) found that sexual or physical attraction initially supersedes romantic attraction. Further proving that personal disclosure is important when choosing to become romantically involved with someone. Disclosing information not only aids in the development of intimacy, but also helps people make informed decisions about one another, because romantic relationships are usually long-term.

Our desire to seek romantic relationships is universal. Pillsworth and Haselton (2005, p.100) argue that humans look for cooperative romantic relationships for evolutionary purposes, as well as for long-term sexual and emotional exclusivity. Their study also found that the characteristics of partners for long-term committed relationships are similar across cultures. They found that physical attractiveness and love are two of the most defining factors followed by other characteristics.

However, what is love? 

Berner and Hegi (2010) found that love in romantic relationships involves an investment in the well-being of another person above enjoyment, and commitment.

Pillsworth and Haselton also looked at romantic relationships as perhaps being the most important social unit and found that that is not so. One relationship cannot collapse all the social needs of a human being. Romantic partners can and are for the most part a best friend, a companion, a source of comfort, a caregiver, most exclusively emotionally and physically involved- however it is not necessary to be all of these at the same time.  However, socially, Helm (2009, p. 41) states that at some point in a relationship, the two individuals involved in a romantic relationship, however, do become a “we”. The two units combine, and they become as one social unit. 

As Hammock and Richardson (2011, p.610) have found, friendship is one of the most valued characteristics of a love relationship. Friendships seem to last longer than love relationships. Eastwink and Finkel (2011) state that the level to which a person has the ideal traits a partner is looking for and the level to which they have those traits are defining factors in the longevity and sustainability of the relationship.  

Friendships also involve commitment, therefore Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman (2011, p. 543-544) identified specific aspects of commitment as a defining factor on whether couples stay romantically involved or not. They found that the amount of investment one has made is a defining factor about the longevity of the relationship, just as Hammock and Richardson identified that this was also a defining factor as to whether someone would chose someone as a romantic partner- knowing whether or not they were committed to a long term relationship. Rhodes, Stanley, and Markman (2011, p. 544) also found that there are moral and structural commitments made in a romantic relationship. Furthermore, Hammock and Richardson (2011, p.611) stress that it is also the type of love that keep relationships together or apart. They argue that at different stages in the development of romantic relationships, different types of love exist and those differences in how the two individuals reciprocate that love is what maintains the relationship.

Satisfaction in the relationship is important. Having needs met emotionally and physically is important. Helm (2009, p. 45) argues that if someone loves someone, they acknowledge the benefits of a relationship with that person because of that person’s characteristics and virtues. The persons in love sees the relationship as mutually beneficial and want to be with that person to meet his or her needs because they see that person as a worthwhile investment of time and care. That to satisfy the needs of the other individual is the ultimate goal and not as a means to an end. 

Satisfaction also encompasses a person’s physical needs. Berner and Hegi (2010) also found that one of the top predictors of relationship longevity was sexual exclusiveness. Also supported by Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman (2011) who state that as part of a moral commitment that is important for romantic relationships. Sexual satisfaction requires, yet again, self-disclosure. One must be willing to be open to and understanding of a partner’s sexual needs (Gatzeva and Paik, 2011, p. 30). However, Gatzeva and Paik looked at sexual exclusivity comparing married couples and non-married couples, their level of understanding what sexual exclusivity meant to each other, and how that effected the sexual and emotional component of the relationships.

Mattingly, Oswalk, and Clark (2011) studied individual differences that contributed to pro-social behaviors in intimate personal relationships. They found that people who had positive feelings about themselves were more willing to make positive sacrifices for their important relationships and therefore were more likely to be more pro-social within their relationships. This is important to note because making sacrifices for others is important, but it should be done in the context of feeling good about ourselves. The idea of loving yourself first comes into play. It is important to acknowledge ourselves as individuals with strengths that one has to offer in a relationship, when becoming involved in one.

Muldoon (2009) argues that this is why friendship is important when love is concerned. He believes that the foundation for all love relationships is enhanced when friendship is what it is built upon. He states that the key to a real friendship is living a “virtuous life”. To “understand goodness and delight in someone else’s company” (2009, p.26).  He states that the acts one performs for our friends when there is a lack of attraction and a lack of yearning, because those fade, are what should be the foundation from which we perform those acts for those we are romantically committed to.

Clearly in order to love someone in a healthy way, one must love one’s self first. When we feel like valuable members of the human race, we can be more proactive about our relationship conflicts, because the more intimate they are the more likely conflicts are to occur. We can begin to make positive and harmless sacrifices in order to accommodate and develop a relationship with another individual. We must learn to communicate effectively. We must learn to clearly state what we need. We must empathize, and support the people with whom we are in a relationship with. This can either be a friendship or a love relationship. 

Love is the component of the relationship that should develop over time, with continued self-disclosure in order to make an informed decision about whom you are making a long-term commitment to.  This love component of a relationship that develops later does not mean that the relationship is a romantic one. It means that that person’s well-being is important to you. However, it becomes romantic when that person’s well-being becomes your ultimate goal after having invested time, care, and self-disclosure in an effort to make an informed decision. Romantic, love relationships also have a sexual and passion component. They are emotionally and sexually exclusive. There are levels of commitment that differ between a friendship and a love relationship. We are morally, structurally, and personally committed to someone when we have a romantic, love relationship with said person. It is important to have the foundation of friendship, because yearning and attraction do fade and our commitments to that person should be based on the person’s virtues that attracted us to them as friends in the first place. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

When I grow up...





What do I want to be when I grow up?

I have never known what I wanted to "be" or do. Things have just always fallen into place. I have always put boys ahead of everything else, so I have always moved a little slower. For example, I spent so much time with my first boyfriend, I hardly had any time for school. I actually flunked a class because I would miss class to be fighting with him. It was awful. Both the flunking and the fighting. (YES, I ACTUALLY DID NOT DO WELL IN A CLASS. However, that's not the point...)

Despite all this, I like to think of having put men first as meaningful detours because I was able to accomplish and learn some beautiful things in light of those circumstances. I would not take any moment of my life back. I am where I am because of the circumstances that have led me here and I like who I am, and what I know.


On account of certain circumstances with my first boyfriend, I was able to meet Jason. A little boy who had autism. He was beautiful, inside and out. He taught me how to be a teacher. He is the reason I am in San Francisco. Jason learned to speak as we worked together. He let me in and we were changed in the process. It was nothing short of miraculous and beautiful. My experience with Jason's language acquisition and my role in that is why I am fascinated with child development, specifically language. I learned how integral and amazing the gift of language is. The fact that I can communicate my thoughts to whomever reads this blog is so cool. Or how authors such as Michael Pollan and Stuart Brown are able get me thinking about nutrition and play is so phenomenal. I thank God for that everyday. How other people can share their perspectives to influence the perspectives of others, that's pretty incredible. Anyway, obviously, I love words.


Also because of my current (second/last) ex-boyfriend and also because of certain circumstances, I was able to study environmental sustainability. I was also exposed to things about nutrition and the environment that I had no idea I innately believed and now had words for. I can now tell you what to read to help yourself be a more environmentally conscious person. I can now tell you what to read in order to learn more about food and how we can help ourselves and help the earth. Food, the earth, and nature are things I have learned to better articulate my beliefs around because of the circumstances surrounding my ex.

Back to the point: What do I want to be when I grow up?

Well, I want to have my own set of developments based on personal research.

Hooray! I finally have an answer to that question. Ok... so what now? What do I do now?

I want to own personal new and refined set of ideas based on things I have learned just through living. What does this mean? Ughh. I don't really know. As I was going through this process of thinking, I thought about the things that I am interested in and decided to start from there.

Things I am interested in and know a lot about:


-Children and autism: Physical and compositional brain development, language development, logical development, emotional development, social development, organization of sensorial stimuli.

-Nature/food: how to preserve our connection to it because it is the key to our development and survival.


Now I am stuck. I want to put these two together into something I do for a living!!! I need to figure out next steps. 




Thursday, December 12, 2013

Peeling.

I just recently started therapy. I thought I needed to talk to someone else about my never-ending break-up. I needed some fresh perspective.  I AM SO TIRED of crying over it. I just keep placing myself in the same situation. So, I went to therapy thinking it was going to be an easy, "I need to get over my ex-boyfriend. What do I do?" scenario. 

As it turns out, nothing is really that simple. Patterns of behavior and intimate relationship dynamics have to do with how you came to understand and respond to past experiences and early relationships with parents. I should have known this, I am a teacher! 

My favorite part of therapy is when I answer my own questions as I ask them... It reminds me of how humorous life is, and how stupid a person can be. For example, I asked my therapist "Why does he keep doing this to me?" Simultaneously, I heard in my head, "Oh, yeah... because you keep letting him... You keep putting your heart right where he is stepping." I tell myself he doesn't mean to. But, I don't know that. Anyway, I have to laugh at how stupid the question, "WHY DOES HE DO THIS TO ME?" is. I hear girls say that all the time and now I think they should go to therapy too. I want them to realize, like I did, that people can only hurt you if you let them. In essence, it is as if I am talking to a mirror that is not dirty. It is a clean mirror into my psyche.

Another thing I like about therapy is being asked the right questions so that I can put what I see in the mirror into perspective. Such as when I was asked, "What do you make of the attention-seeking relationship with your dad and how similar it is to the relationship you are in now?" I have to say, I spent the rest of the day crying over that one. I certainly was not aware that I have anxiety around abandonment and this desperate need to be heard and paid attention to. While this was painful, it was equally hilarious because I am not drawn to men who actually give me attention and I abandon relationships constantly or set myself up to be abandoned. Go figure. Why do people find, cling on to, or push the opposite of what they need?

I have come to understand therapy as this process of shedding skin. That depending on how deep the wounds are, that is how many layers need to be peeled back. The peeling doesn't feel very good. I feel like I am walking around with raw skin and I don't want anyone to touch me because it might hurt. It's an unexplainable dichotomy of being stronger and weaker at the same time. 

As long as I can restrain myself from texting my ex-boyfriend and then letting him come back as if things are cool after he disappears, I think I will be ok. The next time someone hears me say I am going to text my ex-boyfriend, I would like them to break my phone. ha ha. I hope this process of peeling helps me grow skin that is allergic to men who are careless with my heart.  

If there is anything I would like to pass on that I found valuable in my last session, it is this: the root of all suffering comes from untruths. Leave it to the Buddhists to say  something that makes sense.

Bring on the attention, I guess. Maybe it is time for a sweater that fits me better. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Yes, I am a nanny... & damn proud of it.


Admitting you are a nanny is always received with a very interesting expression on people's faces. It is as if they believe you are doing something meaningless in society. This is funny to me. So, I smile and let people think what they want to think. 

Today I spent the day with the girls I have been a "nanny" for since the age of 4, they are now 8. We went to the movies and they were holding my hands and using them to cover their faces from scary parts in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. They switched sitting in my lap and wrapping my arms around them, while they each kissed the back of my hand. In that moment, I felt more proud of my work with them than anything else I have ever accomplished in my life. They look up to me. They trust me. They love me. They respect me. The fact that they know they can use my hands to protect them from something scary, or sit in my lap and have me hold them whenever they want, shows that to me. They know I will be whatever they need me to be- even the "strict" caregiver if necessary. They can count on that and even know when it's coming. They have seen me be in a bad mood, they have seen me get serious and strict, even loud a few times since I have known them. They have felt me hug, kiss, and touch them gently. We have learned, danced, laughed, pretended, jumped, tip-toed, cried, and yelled together. I have written more educational and inquiry papers about them than about any other child I have ever worked with and have therefore learned from them too. I love these girls beyond words. I have the privilege to be their role model, their friend, their guide, and their caregiver. There is no other relationship I will have like this one and that's pretty damn cool.

I am proud of the fact that I have always known how powerful my influence is in their lives.
I am reminded of this every time Ella and Cia yell at cars in jest to go somewhere when we can't find parking.  I did that once, or twice. Or, when they sing, "one, two, three, I am on a mission to pee." I did that with them once or twice too. Today, when they each kissed the back of my hand while they were holding it, I remembered the first time I did that to Ella. She was 4. She was doing something graceful and interesting with her hands as children do, and I grabbed it and kissed it. My mom used to do that to me. She grabbed mine and kissed it back... and we still do that. How cool is that! There are bits and pieces of me that I can see in them and I can't explain how magical and special those glimpses are to me. While the majority of who they are is a reflection of who their wonderful parents and family are, the fact that I can see me in there too is one of the most profound accomplishments of my life and something I will cherish always. 

GREAT MOMENTS













Thursday, October 24, 2013

Detox!

I was thinking about detoxing...

The idea came to me on Monday, as I felt toxic love leave my body like a white dove with pink sparkly wings... It was magical, it was freeing. :)

I WANT TO DO THAT WITH ALL TOXINS! I am going to rid my body of toxins we as humans are exposed to on a daily basis, just as a result of living in an industrialized country.

How do you detox???

I don't really know. However, I am determined to find out how to do it for myself.

I am going to start by eating non-allergenic foods and foods with  more vitamins, drink more water. Basically, nourishing my body rather than just eating for eating's sake... Thinking about food as a medicine and researching it. It is going to be hard to give up dark chocolate with sea salt and chocolate ice cream with yummy cones. Here is the link to one of the friendliest (easier to read) basics.




Also, because I have decided 

 I JUST DONT WANT METALS IN MY BODY

(click on link to find out why...)

I am using Zeoforce by Healthforce. This stuff has a negative charge that attaches to toxins. I believe that because I am a very sensitive person, when I took this stuff the first time, I felt it go through my body! It was weird! You may or may not believe me, but I believe me!

Anyway, if you want to research the brand yourself:


On that website, you can find how to detox as well. I would seriously read up on when is best (with a meal, without a meal, how long before or after, etc.) and with what combination for best results you should take some of these elements. I found out when taking charcoal to absorb poisons, that you don't actually want to do that for no reason... as some people do. It prevents other nutrients from being absorbed. Anyway, read up! Do some research if you are interested in detoxing :) 

***ALWAYS REMEMBER TO HYDRATE*** 

Good riddance! (Pun intended.)







Saturday, October 19, 2013

Broken... up?

"WARNING: MEN, STAY AWAY" should be the sign I walk around with on my forehead.

I had a "boyfriend" from the age of 15 to about 4 months ago. I am 26. My first boyfriend I loved like he was my world. My second boyfriend I loved like he was my world. My third boyfriend I loved like he was my world. Not much time or space elapse between any of my relationships, at least not enough for me to know what it meant to be alone or what it meant to be "broken up." So, this last time when it happened and I didn't jump right into another relationship...

I was left with--

WHAT THE F* is a break up?
WHAT IS THIS BEING ALONE THING?
WHO THE HELL IS GOING TO WARM MY FEET AT NIGHT? I'M COLD.

Well, I discovered doubling up on socks is important. That will solve one of my problems. I also learned a lot about what being alone is not: IT IS DEFINITELY NOT DATING.

Immediately after my break up, I TRIED to find a substitute, a replacement, a someone. Theoretically, this wasn't hard. I was working as a hostess at this restaurant in the Mission of San Francisco. The running joke among the bus boys was that they could start a successful charity fund if they bet on my getting asked out or hit on at work. My boss once said it was a good thing to have me at the door. At first this was flattering and somewhat good for me, as I have always had an unrealistic self-image. So, I was giving my number to more guys than I could keep track of on my phone. Some of which were entered as "musician Mike" or "blonde mohawk dude." Those entries can get complicated.

In defense of myself, I never actually dated or responded to ALL of these guys except for one or two, or three I was actually interested in. For example, there was this boy from England I met and immediately was drawn to. I was curious about him and I still find him intriguing as I have to look up at least one word every time he e-mails me. Sometimes I wonder if he is an app on my phone. This is possible and interesting in itself. It is also exciting to be acquainted with someone on the other side of the world who also knows more vegetarians than christians. I have come to appreciate his friendship and I truly hope he is not just an app on my phone. (I would really need therapy.) However, we are both a safe distance from each other nonetheless. ha ha.

Then, there was this other boy who was so nice. He was my first "real date" ever. I had never been on a grown up date until him. Other than my crying for two hours up until about a half an hour before I was meeting him, it was pleasant, it was sweet, it was all the things you want a date to be. I went on a few of these "dates" with him until I realized he liked me... and I loved my ex... soooo that was going nowhere quickly. Even so, I STILL DATED. I met another boy in the Marina one day as I was walking around with my friend Angelica. He said something stupid and I must like being told stupid things, because the next thing I know I am hanging out with him (and crying every time I leave because he is NOT MY BOYFRIEND.)

The last date I went on was with this boy from Sweden... He broke me with this, "You seem really happy. Is there anything you would say is missing from your life?" He might as well have taken a saw to my heart. The first thing that came to my mind was a clear picture of me, my ex, and his family all laughing at the beach. I swallowed my yummy chowder, smiled and said, "No. I love my life." Because I do. I do love my life, but there IS something missing. That is what I have discovered being broken up is. It's the "something missing." The catch is that you wont find what is missing in other people. What's missing is gone. His family, the comfort I found in then is gone. Like a cozy sweater you WONT find again because you lost it.

What do you do when you lose a cozy sweater? Well, first you have to accept it's gone and someone else might wear it. If you are nice, you hope it keeps them warm. If you are hurt, you hope it doesn't fit or it falls to pieces. Then, you find other ways to get warm. Start a fire, wear your other sweaters, etc.  I guess you could buy a new one. But, it still might not fit right... or may not be the same material... or the right color... so you have to be ready for that... I'm not. At least not yet. So, clearly, I need a sign on my head. :)


& I discovered I am my world ❤️