Online Dating

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“Just put yourself out there” my friends say. Where exactly is out there? On the internet apparently. Out there for everyone to see, judge, click, swipe, wave, poke and text. I now have a few photos and a few paragraphs on a dating app that hopefully tells enough about me but not too much because let’s face it, there’s weirdos “out there”.

I’ve attempted app dating twice before but never lasted more than a week or two. Main reasons were that I only matched with a couple of people and the ones I did match with we didn’t get a conversation off the ground. I mean what do you say to a complete stranger? Someone who has a few bullet points and a cute quote on their file. I need to back up though, before you get to the file, you see their photo.

My friend asked me “what’s your type?” She was referring to looks. Typically, I would say clean shaven, taller than me, Caucasian, looks after himself (no crazy muscle pumping) and an incredible smile (very important feature). However, the last 2 guys I’ve had crushes on in the real world, neither of them were Caucasian, one of them had a beard and the other one carried a couple extra kilos. Why did I have a crush on them? It’s because I got to know them in my natural environment bit by bit learning about their personalities, humour, values, talents and ambitions. They are both good looking and the above listed traits made them more attractive. It’s so hard not to make snap judgements by a photo when I know there is so much more to it than looks.

In my first 24 hours I received 14 “waves”. Men letting me know that they have seen my photo (I assume they have read my profile) and they want to start chatting. 10/14 look like serial killers. I wish I was joking however I’m not exaggerating.

After 4 days I found out it’s not a free app and made the decision to pay for a month. Not ideal but feel like I need to give it a proper go. A month is a long time to me when I feel like I’m wasting my time scrolling through mug shots (many of which don’t live near me) and fearful of starting awkward chit chat.

I took the plunge and started 2 conversations with guys who waved at me. I chose 2 guys that don’t look like stalkers and focused on a common interest. Travel. It’s definitely the easiest thing for me to talk about without getting too personal too soon. I really don’t know where the conversation is meant to go next so maybe there will be a chapter 2 of this blog post.

Why am I persisting? More and more I’m hearing “we met through internet dating”. So, I better get on the internet and push through the awkward texting and hopefully it transfers into an interesting conversation with a real man.

Tragic Love

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I still suffer for you every day. My heart aches for your embrace, your kindness, and your warmth. I am robbed of our love, the happiness we shared. You took that away from us although rightly so at the time. And I am still angry at you for how you treated me. How we were – so foolishly caught up in the storm. You saved me from myself and my past, most of it at least, but you left me with new scars. Scars directly on my heart and in my memory. It’s been eight months now and I am still healing the wounds. How long will it take? I thought it would be over now, or at least starting to fade.

Everything thus far has been right, even though it’s been tough. What does the future hold? Do you think of me as much as I still think of you? I felt what I can only imagine as mother’s pain watching you from afar, struggle with your loss of freedom and success. Feeling your hand gently reaching out for a hug but knowing I could not come to you. I could not come to you because you don’t get to call the shots like that anymore. You don’t get to decide when to come into my life and turn it upside down. You don’t get to, I told you I won’t let you. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hurt from it. The days before and morning of. I just have stronger shoes to keep me still.

Have you met someone new? Are you replying to my note because you feel like you should, the way you felt for the other girls who still messaged? Or is my inclination at least partially true and you reply because there’s a part of you that is trapped with me too?

Magic but tragic, is what we said. And now, I am surrounded by magic each day that I create. But I still have this tragic love for you, so tragic that I can’t endure the thought of anyone else. I hold on to your last kiss from when you let me go. The last kiss that said you’ll see me later, but hell what have we done since then. We both clearly had some work to do, and I wonder – is that work that will see us together again or work that is sending us farther apart? I am stuck in this holding ground unable to move on, and I am tortured by not knowing where you stand. How can I move on if there’s the smallest glimmer of hope? One year on, I tell myself. After one year on I should start to pressure myself forward, or forever be stuck in this trap you’re holding me in. Much like your mam, I could cry at the thought of longing for your love. For hers, for your father – the story of tragic love.

You Can’t Have Us Both

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“I’m keeping my guard up, because you let me down. But you can’t blame that I wasn’t always around. I’m keeping my guard up, because you were the one to run away…”  – Ziggy Alberts

I’m here, thinking about you always. You drive me absolutely wild. I hate you, at the same time. Our relationship is so fragile, I am so fragile. Still… It’s been four months now and I’m here being me, being the person I aspire to be, and want to be; I’m here and I’m only going onwards. You don’t get to come back in. You don’t. You don’t. Stay away.

Go and be with her – with anyone else, if you want to. I will be here for you always, but you can’t have it both. I don’t trust you not to hurt me again. I still hurt by not having your love. I was in such a good place before you interrupted me again. Stay out. Go away. You can’t message us both.

I’m keeping my guard up because you still drive me wild.

I’ll be here when you’re ready.

 

 

Happy Birthday

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Happy birthday beautiful!

I wish so much I could click my fingers, open my eyes and be with you. With the winter behind us and the arrival of spring we could find a nice spot in the park where the sun falls softly on us and the first blue bells in the grass.

Reminiscing of past adventures we realise turning one year older isn’t all that bad. Another year with love and friendship like ours is plenty of reason to celebrate. Like any good adventure story there’s triumph’s and falls, heroes and villains, romance and heartbreak. Let your new chapter begin! I believe the best is yet to come.

On this birthday may you feel steadiness in the waves of life and comfort in your spirit knowing Jesus loves you and so do I.

I look forward to the day we sit on the grass for real. That thought alone fills me with joy.

You’re a treasure.

Thank you for being you and giving all you have.

Enjoy your day. Your birthday!

Overwhelming Thoughts

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Where do i start?? Having just survived the most challenging year of my life, I feel it now maybe time to start unpacking what going on in my head.

The unthinkable happened to my son and I early in 2017, the life we knew was taken away just like that. Somehow, I’ve just had to get through each minute, hour, day, week and month. A year of firsts, every day a new day that i hadn’t lived before. Things i never thought i would have to deal with. Not knowing how to be, how to feel, support my son in his pain. Now the year of first has passed, i feel its time to tackle my thoughts, feelings and fears.

I feel the correct process for me personally, is to write these down and in the months/years to come I want to look back and see how far I’ve come, the ups and uncountable lows. However, every time I sit down and open my new journal/notebook and hold a pen in my hand, out of nowhere all these thoughts flood from my brain to my hand and it starts to shake. The only way i can describe it, is if you had a fountain pen and the ink starts to flood out of the end of it…..that’s what happens to my thoughts which all seem to scream ‘let me OUT of this head’ and they want to spill out over the paper. I then get so overwhelmed and cant cope with the overwhelming thoughts, I start panicking, breathing becomes quick, I get hot and clammy and then i quickly shut the book, put the lid on the pen and then i feel safe. My breathing then slowly returns to normal and i start to feel better.

But am i really safe?? I know those thoughts are still in there….knocking and saying to me ‘we’re still here…..we’ll come and get you eventually’, I then bury them. I feel like I’m putting off the inevitable. Does this mean I just can’t deal with this now? When will I be ready to tackle these? Will I ever be ready to tackle them???

So, I want to heal myself from within and feel this is where I must start but the overwhelming feelings mean I can’t yet…..I’m not saying never – which i suppose is a good thing!

Mr Right

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I think about him all the time. I spiral into thoughts of ‘what if we were together?’. I tease myself for a while until I pull out of my reverie as I know building a fantasy in my head leads to heartache. I knew I liked him a while ago but I had already decided to leave and move home. What’s the point in getting involved with someone before I leave right? I’m not looking for a long-distance relationship. So we stayed friends and I kept my feelings to myself.

I had a great farewell but feel as though I missed an opportunity to say a proper goodbye to him.

Would I be missing him so much if there was someone here for me? If there was someone who caught my eye and occupied my time and attention like my thoughts for him do. If so, would I even think of him again as more than a good friend?

Lost in another daydream I wonder if he feels the same way. Going over previous conversations, messages and interactions I start analysing if I had already started building my fantasy back then. Were some of the moments we had as special for him as they were for me? What if I wasn’t so closed off. What if I had let him in? Where would our friendship be now?

I get a text. It’s him. My heart skips a beat. He mentions he had a soft spot for me. That’s all the confirmation I needed. I wasn’t imagining it. I’m glowing.

Now what? Do I continue to tease myself and go down the road of seeing where it goes in the hope he might move here one day or do I get on with my new life and be open to someone new. Do I want him just because I can’t have him? I’m tired with the questions that roll around in my mind and the pangs in my heart that yearn to be with someone. I wish I had Dumbledore’s pensive to drop my thoughts and emotions into. Hello, feelfivefundred. I release the endless questions, encounters and mind chatter, take a step back and watch them swirl.
There’s been a shift.
I can breathe again.

Days pass and the communication between us stops. I’m actually OK with this and he is obviously getting on with his life, as I am with mine. The obsession has subsided for now. I’m tired of my head games. Why do I make this so hard on myself? Why am I finding falling in love again so hard? Others make it look so easy.

I reflect on my newly discovered identity (my true Self) and realise that I’m better than these head games. I’m beautiful. I’m courageous. I’m confident. I’m creative. I have faith that if I continue to be Myself, I will find love with someone equally as worthy.

I’m here Mr Right. I’m ready.

The Men You Are

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I miss the way you say my name, I miss the way you look at me. I miss the way you touch my arm, I miss the way we smile. I miss the way you make me safe, I miss the way you love. I miss the way it made me feel, and it to feel to me. I miss the way they happened, and I miss the way they’re gone. But most of all, I miss the way I was with you, the way I felt for me.

For me I was contented, in your loving arms. For me I was secured, in your loving arms. For me, I was established, in your loving arms.

For me I was myself, as much as I could be. For here I am again, thanks to you at last. But it’s different this time – for now I have a past. A past you have endured, unfair to you. A past you needn’t know, unfair to you. A past you could have left, as it’s really unfair to you.

The way you make me feel is then, before the past I have. The feelings of before the past, the past you came across. For what is different so, is more than what I was. For what is different so, is who I am because.

The power you have given me, is power once and more. The power you have instilled in me, is fire I adore. The power you have fueled in me, you have no idea. No idea in what you reached in me, deep, deep, in there.

For here we are again once more, but this time – it’s different; you are able, stable, resilient, and kind. You see me, believe me, let me be me, and more. Not like the others, who saw me but couldn’t teach me; fuel me and support me.

The me you have is different, to before the past. The me you have is different, to the past itself. The me you have is me today, the me you have is me today. The me you have is me today, and it is me that is because of you, okay.

Why do I rely so much, on having you to begin? Why do I rely so much, on having you to end? Why do I rely so much, on having you to start? I clearly needed you.

Isolation

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To be alone, even when you’re not. To be trapped, even when you have choices. To be happy with your own company, even when it’s not sustainable.

Fireworks, friends, drinks. All the things happening outside of this space, the quiet and tranquil space I am occupying – of my choice. How times are different. Different, but somewhat the same. The same more recently, but vastly different from before. Development, change, metamorphosis. The process of change: adjust behaviours, adjust surroundings, adjust mentality. The problem: society.

Society believes in fun, reward, quantity. The society I am living in does, anyway.

Everywhere I look there are reminders of unfulfilled people trying to live fulfilled lives, but what they are is deluded and confused, not knowing what they don’t know. Not knowing that searching [aimlessly] and avoiding [pain] are causing damage to the unconscious anxieties. Not knowing that boundaries are stable, and boredom is progression, and routine is freedom. How dare you break free from us? How dare you demand difference? ‘You must enjoy life, you must be with people, you must be out.’ Well, to enjoy is in moderation, to be with people is to be understood, to be out is when it’s worthy.

To tell you “I am good” is telling you nothing at all. To accept it is showing me nothing. I might as well be confirming nothing but my existence unless you probe further or give me more. Shake me, awake me, tell me how you feel. Tell me anything; how you hate being the new girl at work, how you and your partner want to have a child soon, how you’re troubled in work, how you had a bad day, a great day, anything more than nothing.

You hear me talk but you don’t acknowledge what I’m saying. You heard me, I know you did because you asked a related question. Why can’t you acknowledge what I said? I know you care, you show me in other ways. But why can’t you acknowledge what I am saying now? Is it because it’s too foreign? Too far from where you wanted me to be? Too confronting for your own denial? Can you not feel my hurt? My confusion? Can you not tell I am standing here showing you the world I dreamt for myself isn’t here, that you dreamt for me? Why can’t you ask me how I am doing, with depth, with meaning, with force, with love? Ask me, even at all? You hear me talk, but you cannot respond. Not in the way I need, want, thought I had. It makes it clearer why I never told you anything, because you couldn’t respond the way I needed.

I am loved, I am surrounded, I am here. But, as I shake the earth I see who withstands the force; the structures of reliability tremor and I’m left to navigate the ruins. Searching for cover and somewhere firm to stand, with only few to console me, truly.

 

 

Shelley

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I am so proud of you. You have no idea how stable you have been for me. When I was faltering, you were there and you continued as you were. You didn’t let me influence you, you didn’t let me drag you in. You let me be with you – escape with you. Thank you for that.

Thank you for still being there. Thank you for still trying with me, for still asking how I am.

I’m so proud of where you are, who you are, what you’ve become. You are so strong. You are so constant. Your curiosity and enthusiasm for life is contagious but what’s brilliant is you always stay who you are. I’m so excited to see what you create of your new life, and what you achieve. I know you are on to something great here, because I can see it in your being. You are right to follow your craft, for that is life – life is living – life is too short to not.

So here I am, blanching asparagus, sitting back and reflecting on everything you are, and everything you helped me be. Good luck my friend, and see you again soon.

Burning Bodies

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I will never forget the smell of a burning dead body. You could almost see the ashes floating up from the pit as you were inhaling the murky heavy air. There wasn’t just one either, there were about 8 fire pits all going at once. This, the edge of the Ganges river in Old Varanasi, India.

It’s an old town for sure; the whole thing is like a huge castle town with narrow streets and high buildings. It’s all stone – the buildings and floor. It’s like a maze trying to find your way around and you have to share the narrow pathways with angry cows and motorbikes coming at you at the same time. The ground is covered in crushed marigold flowers, unknown liquids, and cow dung. It’s beautifully surreal.

At the edge of the ancient city flows the Ganges river where dead bodies are brought from all over India to be cremated and gifted to the Gods. As you get nearer to the ceremony there is this thick smell that suffocates your entire body as you know you’re not smelling burning wool but burning human bones and hair. I cover my mouth and nose with my jumper and walk nearer, passing signs requesting ‘no photography’. The sign is more powerful than others as you feel like it’s the spirits asking you to refrain, rather than some business owner who wants to prohibit you making a profit. Not a single camera or phone in sight. We get closer and are asked if we want to be taken to a secret spot at the top of one of the castle-esque buildings. Of course we are expecting to a pay a fee even though the guy insists we won’t, but we follow him anyway. Sure enough at the top of the narrow staircases was a view that can only be described as heavenly; as if looking from the heavens. It was dark, with amber lighting coming from human fire pits and the orange and purple sun set behind them.

My friend and I just stand there, looking out at the view, trying to see if we can decipher body parts in the fires. We think we saw a small chest frame in one, and a skull in the another. Then we see a body being carried from out from the building beneath us, a small body wrapped in bright pink/purple silk cloth. A modern day glamorous mummy held in the air on a stretcher by four or so other men. Her fate – burned and set down the river to be freed from this world and onto the next.

I cry in silence. The chap who took us up there left without asking for a tip. We leave in silence.