One of the greatest things I learned in recovery is that it is none of my business what others think about me. Now, in theory not caring what others think is easy but putting it into practice is hard. Let's just say I fall short on many occasions.
"If you weren't married," I said, "I would be all over you." Our chemistry was undeniable, and gone were the days that I kept my feelings bottled up. Whatever was between us had to be acknowledged because the butterflies in my stomach refused to settle down.
I would agree to second and third dates with men I knew weren't going to go the distance. For the longest time, I believed that settling for a lopsided equation was the best I could do; after all, it wouldn't be easy to meet a man who wanted me, imperfections and all.
Darryl's self-serving relationship with math should have been the first sign of trouble. After all, his snow white comb-over and liver-spotted hands belied the age he claimed in his online dating profile.
It was the first time I'd been invited to join a threeway. "Hey, handsome," Sam began in a private Facebook message, "you seem like a lot of fun." A certified-platinum approval addict, I bit into the hook like a fish desperate for seven (or eight) inches of worm.
"So, what happens if you get the job you applied for in Pennsylvania?" I asked, taking a sharp turn away from the light and flirty conversation that made my second date with Alex so pleasantly compelling.
I was tentative about saying the "L word;" it was a big step for me -- especially considering that Lucas and I had never actually met. In person, that is. The Internet has, indeed, made the world a very small place.
The truth is that despite the best of efforts, there will always be people we just aren't meant to win over. Some people will never see past our mistakes. Some people will never stop doubting us. Some people will never be happy with us, and that's OK.
Some of us meet the world's expectations only to realize that it failed to give us the fulfillment we sought within ourselves; some of us burnout mid-way trying to fulfill them; some of us realize that there has to be another way to find what we truly seek.
One of the main factors that sets great relationships apart from merely good ones is the depth of emotional intimacy. There are, of course other factors that contribute but authenticity, vulnerability and deep emotional connectedness are right up there at the top of the list.
Living their dream and abandoning yours is exhausting, unfulfilling and such a pity. You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. There's no need to hide what makes you YOU. We need your one-of-a-kind brilliance.
Outrageous. And all for what? Because a small faction of snot-nosed kids within the Republican Party cannot accept the outcomes of the 2008 and 2012 elections and the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Darrell and I click in most of the important ways, we rub each other wrong in a couple of ways, but mostly we crack each other up constantly. We stayed up all night the night we met, talking -- and that isn't a euphemism for anything else. We talked.
Inner emptiness does not come from a lack of something external -- not even a lack of being loved by someone else. It comes from a lack of one thing only: a lack of awareness of the love that is the energy we live in.
People aren't measurable items, unless we are measuring them by the number of times they've seen Star Wars. We do not lend ourselves to measurement. If you want people do exciting things, stand back and let them explore the environment alone and together.
We cannot get through life without someone expressing their opinion about what's best (or not) for our life. Opinions are not the problem; everyone has them, and it's actually healthy to express them. But what's not healthy is allowing other people's opinions to dictate the decisions we make.
The biggest reason I have found why people don't dare to bring forth their unique gift, to sing their song loudly to the world, is our addiction to approval. Or to put it another way, our deadly fear of disapproval.
With each choice we make, our life picks up a little bit of steam, until, sometimes, before we know it, we find the life we're living is one that's being driven by inertia, heading off in some direction we never planned.