Like v. Love

 
There’s a difference in liking someone and loving them. And, I can love someone I don’t like and like someone I don’t love. It’s easy. I can do both with little effort. Like barely any. 

This realization has helped me move past people and situations I couldn’t handle. Love them from a distance. Like them and not feel bad because it didn’t progress any further. This is life. This is honesty without being cute. 

Side note: 

Don’t confuse lust or obsession with like or love. 

Don’t confuse lust or obsession with like or love. 

Don’t confuse lust or obsession with like or love. 

Don’t confuse lust or obsession with like or love. 

Don’t confuse lust or obsession with like or love. 

(Repeating this for my own benefit.)

SMH. 

First Draft: “What do I want?”

  
What do I want?

I finally figured it out. And, it only took heartbreak, headache, and frustration.

This is the first draft. (More like the 99th draft over the years, but those didn’t really get me anywhere.)

I want to be adored. I want to be appreciated. I want to be valued. I want to be loved. I want to be respected. I want to be cared for. I want to be doted on. I want to be loved. I want to be safe. I want to be protected. I want to be motivated. I want to be loved. I want to be supported. I want stability. I want to be a priority. 

I deserve that.

Side note: A few small changes, and this could be my wedding vows. 

Magic 8 Ball, will I ever get married?

 

Tera. 

  
“I’m good on friends.” This is what I say every time someone tries to break into my circle. Often followed with, “I actually have a few too many.”

So, it should be crystal clear that I’m happy with my friendships as they are. 

I love my friends. They are my family. They are my loves. They mean so much to me, that their feelings and emotions are mine. It’s sappy and extreme but true. Because these are people I have chosen to have in my life. They are welcome in my heart. This is real. 

So when Treavor left my life, I was shocked and hurt. Then when Tera tried to bust in, I was shocked and hurt. Tera was the true and former Treavor. Transgender. Physically part male, but mentally and emotionally all woman. That’s a lot. 

I’m from small town Texas, USA. We don’t really do that. We don’t always pride ourselves on open mindedness, and the literal Bible makes our decisions. So, how do we do this? How do I bury Treavor and embrace Tera when I don’t want to? How do I tell Tera without coming across as a simple minded, Bible thumping, small town Texan? How do I explain to my friend, a holder of a key circle spot, that “I’m good on friends?” 

I don’t. 

Because Tera is the true and former Treavor, there’s no change in position. This is a change in mindset. This is my issue. This is about my sappy and extreme truth. This is about loving my friend the way I always have. And, I need to fix it. 

Tera and I hung out. I was a little apprehensive. My guards were partially up. I was nervous to say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, or twist my neck and cut my eyes at the wrong thing. How do I engage a transgender person? Deep breaths. 

We went to the nail salon, did some shopping, and later ended up toasting over a few margaritas. We laughed hysterically. A few high-fives were thrown about. It was classic. 

In the end, I never figured out how to engage a transgender person. Because I hung out with Tera, the true and former Treavor. And, it was like old times with a bad ass lace front and a ballet pink pedicure. Tera is my friend. I love my friend. I admire my friend’s courage. I see my friend’s beauty. And, I am blessed to have my friend continue to open my small town Texas, USA mind, and teach me why “I’m good on friends!”

Age ain’t nothing but a number

  

“Age ain’t nothing but a number…” – Aaliyah 1990

In 1990, when I was 9 and probably had a crush on a 19 year old movie star, I though this song was the anthem to my life. 

 I had no idea what a considerable age difference 10 years is. At 20, I was totally open to dating an almost 30 year old. I thought since girls mature faster than boys, and I’m so wise for my age, it’s the perfect match. Sure.

What I wasn’t thinking, as a 20 year old with a slightly inflated sense of self, was that a 30 year old was leading a completely different life. We weren’t in the same place. I was still blowing my entire paycheck on hanging out and designer accessories. I was still eating breakfast cereal with cartoon characters on the box, and I couldn’t pull myself out of bed before 7A, for any reason. And, my biggest aspirations in life were to make a thousand dollars on one pay check and to turn 21.

My 30 year old self is different. I’m a mother. I have real responsibilities and obligations. I’m wide awake no later than 6A every morning including weekends and not typically by choice. And although I hit that paycheck milestone a while back, my priorities have changed. I’m penciling bill payments onto my daily planner while checking my retirement plan online. 

My 20 year old self and 30 year old self wouldn’t even be friends. They wouldn’t even tolerate each other. 

That’s how I see the big age gaps. How much do we have in common? Do we have the same set of priorities? Even if we make it through this decade of difference, how will we fair in the next one? Will our lives, needs, and desires continue to line up? Valid questions. 

Really stuck on this one. So, I asked around. I started by messaging a few close friends, then I took it to FB, and finally I wrapped it up by discussing it with my mom. Lots of opinions, and all of them incredibly interesting. 

-One of my good friends agreed that 10 years is a bit much. He has a 6 year cap going both ways.  That’s genius. 

-Another was down for the adventure. She said take the plunge. 

-Many of my friends felt like you should judge a person on who they are and their life experiences only, and let age go. “Be open-minded.”

-One person even used the phrase, “age ain’t nothing but a number.”

-Some refused to touch my question with a 10 foot pole. 

-One friend brought up people’s inability to date in this day and age. I agreed times a thousand. That’s a whole other post though. I noticed that he only mentioned dating down and not up. I wonder if he could get the tradition he’s looking for from an older woman. Someone who has more experience dating before texting and Netflix ruined us all. 

-Really liked the comment that urged me to, “evaluate the people around you and be honest with yourself,” based on my needs. I think that’s multifaceted. What are the needs of the people around me, my son, and what type of people am I associating with? Use that to determine the age range that I’m open to dating. 

-Lots of May/December success stories. That was promising. It absolutely can work. 

– Quite a few parental scares, too. Can someone considerably older be your mate without parenting you? Can they allow you to make some life decisions without wanting to guide you? Are they your partner or your guardian? Will you need to get a permission slip signed to live your life?

So the moral of this story is that I don’t have an opinion. Gasp, I know. I really don’t, though. I think this is for whoever is living it. Because it’s complicated, and it’s based on where you are in your life. (Quickly my younger friends pointed out that 10 down is both inappropriate and illegal.) And, it’s based on who you are dealing with. 

Personally, I’m doing a 5 year window. (I rather 5 than 6, but my friend can still take credit for the idea.) I’m not closed to stretching it. You can be born before or after January 24, 1976 or 1986 and still approach me. I’ll play this as a case by case but, you’ve also been warned. 

Disclaimer: This post was prompted by real life. Yep. There’s this guy…

Jacob Blaise

  

Has it really been 10 years?

This is the most important man (-child) in my life. 

My son is 10 years old today! We have learned from each other, and this has been the most incredible journey of my life. I love this kid. He is compassionate, intelligent, silly, and genuine. He’s sarcastic and funny. He’s sweet and kind. 

He has my whole heart, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 
Wishing Blaise the best, happiest, and most fulfilling birthday, AND LIFE!!!

All my love, MOM

  

And yep, this is only about 2-3 months worth of selfies. I might just have a problem…

“What do you know?”

Another question of my creditials. What could I know without a husband or a PhD? Didn’t I just say I was dating a new man without being over the man before? (It was an even lengthier set of questions.) Okay. Let’s go.

I started responding, almost apologetically. 

“I don’t know much. I’m trying. I’m figuring it out. My blog isn’t supposed to be about giving advice from a professional stance. It’s supposed to be about my growth from my experiences. What I know better, now. What I want to share.”

I went own to continue to explain myself. I frantically started to discussed my relationships with my family, my parents, my son, my friends and associates, and my exes. I halfway discussed my anxiety. I haphazardly discussed my shortcomings, fears, and hopes. Then, it dawned  on me. I don’t owe this explanation. I’ve never pretended to be giving my professional viewpoint. And, it terrified me to think that someone thought I was. But, nope. I give a lot through my blog. I give far more than I’d ever give, willingly and openly, in person. It’s enough. 

If you don’t understand and/or appreciate the journey I’m on through this blog, ummm…okay. That’s not my issue. You can get something from this, share something to this, or not. But don’t rain on my parade. 

Side note: I truly appreciate the support I continue to receive. It touches my heart when I hear from anyone drawing positivity from this. And, the conversations that take off from that feedback help me grow and make better relationship choices. I’m figuring it out, but I know I have a long way to go. 

It’s a journey. 

Invest in your relationships. 

  

I hate to cry. I hate being that vulnerable. Because, the people who typically make me cry don’t deserve my tears. They just don’t. 

– I found this paragraph already in my drafts as I prepared to start this post. It felt incredibly relevant and was probably written while I was experiencing much of what this post is about. It kind of makes me emotional thinking back on the many instances that could have prompted this paragraph. 

I’m typically really thoughtful in my relationships. I am genuine, respectful, and kind. I try to make honest investments in people. I try to treat them well and show them that I value them. I try. I sometimes fail, but it’s not on purpose. And, it usually is devastating to me.  

The people I choose to have in my life mean a lot to me. It’s an emotional investment. I take our relationship seriously. 

I deserve the same in return. 

And, it’s easy. 

5 small things that make a huge impact. 

1. Check in regularly. Make sure they’re hearing from you. Ask about the important things going on in their lives. Share the important things going on in your life. 

2. Be honest while being kind. 

3. Clearly communicate your needs and expectations. Don’t expect them to be mind readers. And, vice versa…be receptive.  

4. Engage. Give them your attention. Make sure your time with them is free from any distractions. 

5. Make sacrifices and establish priorities. Big or small doesn’t matter. Just choose them over all the other noise in life, but be reasonable. They won’t out rank everything, every time. Sacrifice what you can when you can. And once you establish your priorities, it will be much easier. 

Take care of your relationships. No one owes you their attention. And if you aren’t willing to make an investment in the people in your life they will leave you, because you didn’t deserve them, and they didn’t deserve you.