As seen here on her webpage.
This isn’t going to be my typical “Oh why can’t I just be a lesbian?” rant – mostly because I like independent motion during sex and the male genitalia is where it’s at for me. Also, women are also people. Possibly the preponderance of those rants are only written in my head – or written and posted for about 37 minutes until I realize that the person I am at-that-point bashing might be reading my blog. It’s not like I want my blog to be known as the post boyfriend trash site, although there is an undeniable allure to the power of “ink.” That given, I’m not a staunch fan of men right now.
Lately I’ve been finding that a lot of women in my demographic (intelligent, post 40, independent, strong, and funny) have been emotionally bludgeoned by men. Bludgeoned as in used, manipulated, lied to, led on, and discarded. What is most heart-breaking about this is that as a group, we don’t want to become bitter. We are in the phase of life where we want to explore vulnerability, partnership, and open-heartedness. We just can’t find partners who will be present, adult, and compelling, and this leads most of us to assume that we are too something or not quite something else enough.
In the interest of being progressively self-aware, I hereby insert a paragraph about some vague sense of taking responsibility for personal power and manifesting our true desires in relationship. Until the rest of me catches up with that, I offer a few thoughts to other women who are struggling with making sense out of the conflicting emotions that come when we care for people who are destructive to us. I got this from my paid for friend when I was trying to figure out if I had quit my marriage.
How do we let go of men we still feel for? We realize that there are different parts of our feelings, and here they are: 1) We love the man. 2) We understand why he is the way he is. 3) But we neither trust the man nor feel emotionally safe around him. 4) And we don’t want to keep being in relationship where we don’t feel safe no matter how well we understand the man. Sometimes we don’t know that we don’t feel safe around the man until the man leaves. Being left feels really unsafe. Sometimes we recognize a much higher wisdom in this – almost like a get out of jail free card, but that doesn’t subtract that we have feelings or that we understand why he is the way he is. And that he chose (an)other place(s) to get his itches scratched. The bottom line is to ask if we feel more safe, secure, tended OR more insecure, unsure, and tentative when we are with him.
I write this from my official role of opinionated woman and general experiencer of much emotional disappointment. When these feelings of tenderness and understanding get cojangled with hurt and rejection, it makes extricating and uncoupling difficult. I don’t like taking pleasure knowing that the next person in line will also be heartbroken when the guy gets bored / tired of her jealousy / wants more intellectual stimulation / thinks he deserves a broader audience of ego strokers – because it makes me feel small. It reminds me that I replaced someone else and scarcely batted an eye at that. I don’t like remembering the feeling of privileged recipient of attention for the brief moment I spent on the front burner. My willingness to settle for just-almost-but-not-quite-and-mostly-second-except-for-those-few-really-special-moments scares me a little bit. I want to think I believe in myself more than that.
Talking to these strong, gorgeous, intelligent, engaging, independent women who have been thrashed uncovers various levels of angst. We wonder if we will be alone. We wonder if the fractions of emotional connections we’ve experienced are the best LIFE has to offer. We (I – maybe there’s some projection in this paragraph) wonder that we are built to be social creatures, we work really hard to own our own piles of shit and be whole, and then there are no partners to play with. We wonder if there is room to be wholly us because it seems like the men we meet kind of need us to be wrapped around them. But if we are wrapped around them, then who is tending us? Do we have to choose between us and our creativity and us and love? Mix in kids and jobs, school and health… and just what the hell?
Some of us settle. Some of us self-medicate. Some of us distract ourselves with work and other creative pursuits, but one thing most of us seem to be getting really good at is figuring out that in the overall scheme of men who come and go, the one thing that remains constant is the support of our girlfriends and our families of choice.
It is 23 minutes until the final super moon of the year. I am going to go burn some sage, make a list of the dross I am ready to burn, and listen to some Annie Lennox to bring in the new.
Cheers to all!
“Happy Anniversay, LOL.”
“Oh that’s right! Happy Anniversary.”
“Not quite what I envisioned, but we r still swimming. Have a fun day.”
“Lock and load, baby.”
This was the exchange between my ex-husband and me today. Today would have been our sixteenth wedding anniversary if we hadn’t divorced.
In honor of this, I would like to point out the things that went well in our marriage.
Loyalty. I never felt like he was looking over his shoulder to find a newer shiny thing. I never felt like he had a more committed relationship with his phone than he did with me. I never doubted his faithfulness. I often came behind business and life, but I never came behind another woman. Those things aren’t so meaningful when they are givens, but having experienced the opposite of that, I can tell you I like the former better. Long live Capricorn.
Making the effort to be with me. I’ve experienced a lot of flirting, false starts, and empty words. I’ve even experienced words that seemed like real words but that were not backed up by action. I’ve made decisions to put myself on hold to wait for some of those empty words to become real. I’ve chosen partners who didn’t have the bandwidth to be full partners. My ex had none of those. He clearly sought me and he put action behind it.
He sought my counsel. He talked to me about our business, our spirituality, meaningful philosophical concerns. He would let my ideas influence him. At the level of decision-making, I felt like we were full partners.
Honor. While he would struggle with difficult decisions – hirings / firings / strategic turns, once he figured out what was right for him and us, he would do the hard work and have the difficult talks. He let me hide behind him and carried the weight of those things so that I didn’t always have to.
While there were many things that didn’t work well, these were the important things that worked very well. As I get to a place where I can process the last four years with appreciations and a sense of wholeness and learnings, these are the characteristics that stick. It feels very powerful to be able to see the good so clearly because I realize that there was a lot of it.
The stands were filled with avid consumers of sportsing who paid inordinate amounts of cash to be there. Many of them took pictures.
Bars and couches were filled with hop-loving sports enthusiasts who alternately watched the game, drank beer, and sexually objectified some combination of the waitresses, girlfriends, and wives who brought them the beer.
Reportedly, the white and red teams sportsed equally, and there was a tie. These teams will each play another game against teams wearing different colored outfits, maybe blue or green. Depending upon who chases the thing around better in the next round, the red and white teams might keep playing games this year. Though only one team gets a trophy this year for being best at chasing things around, the other teams will get another chance at the trophy in next year’s season when new groups of virile, agile, and attractive young men do some sportsing.
UPDATE: Feedback from male readers indicates that some offense has been taken regarding the characterization of men accepting beer from women as the objectification of women. One of them noted that his wife voluntarily brings him beer, and the other noted that he is a good tipper.
I’ve been talking about the commune for a long time now, and it’s starting to take shape. I have found like-minded people I want to be around kind of. I’ve even got a charter of sorts. As reported on a fellow commune member’s Facebook profile, it looks like this:
The problem is that the more I talk about it (meaning I have a lot of people who also want to escape to a land of mellow), the more people want to burst into the party. Some of these I gladly embrace [Do you have a still? yes or no - circle one] and some are not. The whole point of having a commune is hand-selecting companions which means, in my case, keeping out the drama.
I was in the midst of another Facebook thread about the recent slate of Skype marriage proposals I’ve been getting when the commune thread came up. Someone who I am personally rooting for but don’t want to live in community with invited herself to the commune. As long as there is climate control and luxurious bedding she is in.
If you are wondering why the pause was awkward, reread the charter above where I make it pretty clear that high maintenance results in automatic disqualification. I consider someone else putting temperature control restrictions on my commune to be a key indicator of high maintenance. Build your own damn commune. I’m not responsible for your climate control or bedding.
This is a pretend-now-but-god-how-much-fun-would-that-be-to-actually-pull-it-off-somewhere-with-a-garden-and-cool-people plan right now. But I am feeling protective of this sacred space-in-my-head.
On my commune, we are going to have Ed in a hammock out front acting as gatekeeper and monitoring intruders. That’s what we have for guys right now. It’s not that we’re lesbians. It’s just that we’ve hit our quota of bullshit. Next to Ed will be a stack of cookies. He prefers cake, but I make cookies and until we draft for a maker of cakes, he’ll have to do with cookies. His cookie stack will be rivaled in height only by the stack of books beside it. Ed is an avid reader.
We’ve got a bevy of freaking smart, intelligent, funny, snarky, stunning female humans, some of whom have an affinity for hammocks and edible comestibles. One of the few times I have tried them (comestibles), I felt the particular inclination to make a number of pictorial representations of what the alphabet should look like, drawn with my eyes closed. That was amusing. There will probably be more alphabet art at the commune. Obviously flip flops and yoga pants.
“This is a place of yurts, campfires, and hammocks,” I said by way of dissuading this wanna be commune member, “I don’t think you would be comfortable here, but you may certainly visit,” I offered. I meant all of that.
I don’t dislike her. I just don’t want to live with her, and I resent someone barging into my safespaceinmyhead. I was feeling all good about my commune, and now I am trying to figure out how to not hurt someone’s feelings. I have a theoretical non-drama-driven community to protect here, People! I am trying to be tactful.
When she argued the point, it probably wasn’t the best idea to tell her that I was basing her being high maintenance on her propensity toward hotel and restaurant snobbery, a point which she is currently arguing with me.
I’ve done some time in HR, and this would not be a good culture fit. I debated involving the witness of other friends who have reported this snobbery and then caught myself and thought, “I am acting like a seventh grader.” I don’t want to hurt her, rather I want to discourage her without her being rejected. How has this energy pierced the veil of my solidly positive commune mojo? I mean, Jesus, we picked up our cookie-eating gate-keeper this week! This is good stuff!
I guess it isn’t a good idea to broadcast something on Facebook that I’m not really quite so kidding about as I thought I was. The lesson might be that all good clubhouses need to be secret and sacred spaces protected. Or maybe Scorpio shouldn’t be the community manager. Or maybe Scorpio should be the community manager. I’ll ponder it in my hammock.
Father’s Day can be bittersweet for people who had shitty dads, who had no dads, who no longer have good dads. It can also be hard for single moms who carry the load of being both Mom and Dad. Here’s a little something for that group created by Marshall Davis Jones.
Let’s all get jobs and then quit them so that we can do this:
Video of Unadilla Community Farm Kickstarter Campaign.
And while we are in the planning stages, let’s globetrot on the hunt for natural homes.
Circumstances can trigger volcanic disruptions in our lives.
We are embarking on journeys of creativity and then it hits: job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, or existential crisis. This creates a clusterfuck in Maslow’s hierarchy.
In this age of shamanistic positive thinking, it’s easy to feel inadequate when the load feels heavy and visions of self-actualization are abrogated by fears about how to save the food in the freezer in the event that the electricity gets shut off.
How do the resilient recover? How do they keep from slitting their wrists when the path to rebuild feels impossibly un-doable? Well, lucky for you, I have a blog and an opinion, so let me help you navigate this path.
1) Excise toxicity. Put a moratorium on everything and everyone who is an energetic black hole. Start looking for people who have breathed through the volcanic ash and are living bigger than you are comfortable living. Cling to them. Lurk in their online communities. Grok them. Let them know they are an encouragement to you.
2) Breathe. and exhale fully every single time as often as you can. Read this great blog from Jen Violi on breathing.
3) Survive. Do what you have to do in order to survive each day. Stand in line to get food stamps and health insurance for your kids and cry when you get back to the car. If you compromise, forgive yourself and more forward. Do the next right thing. This is training camp, and it can be really hard. Just keep swimming – it won’t be forever.
4) Get clear. While you are heading into your cocoon, determine to spend your time in there getting clear on what you really want – even if it seems impossible. Write it down. Try it on. Feel what it will feel to be in your new ‘space.’
5) Ask for help. We all need it. Let yourself be that person and welcome the lesson of vulnerability and need.
5) Shift your story. You aren’t a victim tossed by the winds. You are a proactive agent of growth and you didn’t expect such a strong nudge into the next chapter. That’s okay. Let the old story have its place and then let it go. Begin to write a new one.
6) Choose you. Commit to what you want. Know that it may very well feel like swinging from one jungle vine to the next without the next showing up quite yet. Choose you anyway.