I haven’t been spontaneous since 2004. 

I am not spontaneous. Seriously, I’m not. I don’t absolutely hate surprises or spontaneity. They just don’t really fit in my life, and haven’t since 2004. Because I found out I was pregnant in January of 2005, and it’s been downhill since. 

I’m a mom, a daughter, a sister, all while having a full-time job, a business, this blog, and social and community responsibilities. I am busy. I feel like I say that all the time. 

I am juggling a lot of balls. As many as many others, I know. But, I’m just talking about me. 

So if we make plans, there’s a lot I have to do behind the scenes of that “yes”. I have to make sure my son is taken care of. I have to coordinate with someone else’s schedule, ask them nicely, and hope they say yes with no strings attached. I have to make sure he has everything he needs for that timeframe and any other timeframe it may impact. (If it’s a school night, did he get his homework done, have dinner, get his bath, brush his teeth, take his medicine, feed his fish, put everything away, get his schoolwork and backpack ready for the next day, pick out his clothes, pack his lunch, get his snack, say prayers, and get to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s not the responsibility of the person who agreed to help me to do ALL of that. He’s my son.) 

Can I leave after he goes to bed? When you’ve showcased yourself as single to your child his entire life, leaving him to spend a few hours “with some stranger” can be difficult to process…right before bedtime. 

I need to coordinate my work schedule. For me to have a late dinner and movie with you, I need to ensure I’m not going to be the closer at my retail job and miss any time with my son that evening. I need to go home and wrangle stuff, get things for both of us done, and ensure that I’m ready to see you. Plus I want to go ahead and have my shower, to keep from disrupting the house when I make it in. And because work attire and date attire are different, I have to put a lot of work into looking like I put in little effort. 

If I have to leave town for you or with you, I need to do all that times 1000.  Is my son staying with one of my parents or going to his dad’s for the weekend? Is my work schedule covered? Have I made any commitments to my friends, family, or social contacts that need to be changed? Is there anything I’m forgetting? Wait…who’s going to feed the fish?

There’s no room for spontaneity in this phase of my life. 

There’s also no room for missed plans or shitty excuses. If we make plans, and I do all of those things, you flaking in the 11th hour is unacceptable. It’s also inexcusable unless you’ve had some emergency situation or work thing that couldn’t be altered. 

And, it’s disrespectful. Because if my only responsibility in life was to sit still and wait for your attention, that’s funny to even type, it’s only courteous to follow through with what you have agreed too. It’s basic. It’s one of the things we were taught in grade school, at church, and at home. Honor your commitments. Respect other people’s time. Be a man or woman of your word. Integrity. Respect. Grown folks shit! 

Because, we are grown people. We know how to interact and engage with one another. We know how to do what’s right. Especially…ESPECIALLY, when you want to date me, sleep with me, and possibly give me your last name some day. 

And if you happen to screw this up, human nature and shit happens, apologize. Just apologize. Sincerely, apologize. Tell me the minute you know, try to lessen the impact, fix what you can, and apologize. Acknowledge the gazillion things I had to do to make myself available to you, the other people who were involved, and my hurt feelings. Own that you just messed up. Stand up like a grown up and accept responsibility, and NEVER let it happen again. 

I know emergency situations arise. I know, and this is separate from that. If you have an emergency or work thing out of left field, I get it. And if I get upset, I’m unreasonable. I would owe the apology. But only for the unforeseen, not the oops I forgot. 

I hope this provides some clarity to the man I went left on, the man I should have gone left on, and anyone else who’s immature shit isn’t recent enough to recognize.

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36

I’m writing this sitting at the nail salon. I have the salon chair going at full speed and my feet are soaking in a jetted tub full of blue water. I have my go to gray close by, Steel Waters Run Deep by OPI.

I’m relaxed.

I slept fine. I woke up rested. I already tackled a thousand things, and now I’m here, relaxed, waiting my turn to have my nails buffed and painted.

Life is good.

I’m usually really anxious on my birthday. When I was younger it was wondering about gifts and surprises that kept me awake, but here in my 30s it’s wanting to make more of this year than the age before. It’s fear of committing and falling short, again. It’s wanting more than what’s realistic, and having zero notion of how to turn impossible to possible.

Not this year.

I’m fine. I’m not overly eager. I’m more at peace.

I’m dating someone. It’s been a little chaotic, but we’re in a good place. And, it’s the little things between us that make me feel like this could be the relationship I’ve been waiting for. I don’t know. I could be wrong, but it feels good. And, if it blows up in my face it won’t be the end of the world. It will just be the beginning of the next thing.

My business is starting over. My blog is doing well. I’m establishing new ventures. I’m making new connections. There’s a new energy behind what I’ve always done, and I feel success. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something incredible.

My family is healthy. We are happy. I am surrounded by the most amazing people that love me, support me, and encourage me. And, I have a son who continues to change my life everyday.

So, I’m 36. It happened really fast. It’s like my birthdays seem to be coming twice a year. And, I’m grateful. I’m peaceful. And, I’m happy.

This is what 36 looks like.

Instructions on dating. 

I’ve been seeing someone, but we hit some rocky patches this summer. We dialed it way back, and now we’re dating each other. Trying to fix what’s broken. And, I’m dating  a healthy handful of other people too. This is good for me. Commitment and love don’t really work in this phase of my life. I need to see and be seen for a while. 

I went on the driest date of all. Mini date, coffee and conversation. Nice first step. Let’s break the ice. Let’s try something. Cool. 

Not cool. 

When you invite someone for coffee and conversation, you should be prepared to pay for the coffee and participate in conversation. IJS. 

1. Be prepared to pay, if you invited me. 

Because, I expect the person who asked to pay. 

I have my own funds, because I see everyone didn’t learn that. But, it says a lot about a man who A. didn’t meet me online and already knows what he’s getting himself into, B. isn’t broke AF, and C. has some manners. In his defense he offered to pay, but he used the phrase, “do you want me to get that?” Really?! I responded, “nah bro, I got it.” I literally said “bro” or more like “brah” in an attempt to show him this date just died. Then I pulled out my frequent coffee card and started this madness.

2. Conversation!!! 

Why don’t you, grown man, know how to have a conversation? Why don’t grown people know how to carry on a conversation? Why is this hard? It’s a tennis match. I say something, and then you say something. Nope. Silence. 

Then I took out my phone, checked Instagram, sent a text, and faked an emergency situation I had to leave for. Snatched up my coffee and my bag, and I was out. He was still asking questions in the back ground. This was super dry! You asking questions about where I was going, what I just said, and to please hit you up later was more than you’d mustered in the 5-10 minutes we’d been sitting there. 

It was only 5-10 minutes? Geez, it felt longer…much longer. 

3. What do you want? The reason why I’m still playing the field is because the boys on the field aren’t sure what they are playing for. 

Huh? What do you want, sir? 

The first guy, had me. I was his. We were trying the committed thing. He was hinting at loving me. I was feeling all the feelings. We were good. Until he started letting his actions and his words do drastically different things. Then when he was questioned, he was too tough to just apologize and put things back on track. He was too hard to be vunerable. So I left. I packed up my emotions and fled the scene. And, he realized that wasn’t the outcome he wanted. He realized he wanted me. He wanted this. He wanted to live the life we were in route too. 

Because you always want what you can’t have…human nature. 

I’m not ready to take him back the way we were before. I can’t keep investing with no return. Nope. Not me. Not again. So, I’m playing the field. I know exactly what I want, but I’m not giving it away for compliments and dinners. Work for me. 

Long distant relationships. 

Why are these so complicated? 

Living in a small town, it can be hard to find love after your 20s. Most of the good guys have already dated me or my friends, have babies with an old high school nemesis, or have too much of their business out there to be worth the trouble. It’s not easy. 

So, I’ve done the online thing somewhat successfully. I’ve dated the former small town guy who moved away. I’ve held on to romances from my times living in other places. And, I’ve met great guys on my travels. 

But if they don’t live up the street and around the corner, it just doesn’t seem to work out. Ugh! Long distant relationships are hard, I know. But, they can be really rewarding. Right?

I’ve said it before, and it hasn’t changed much. I am busy. I have a lot on my plate. I’m juggling quite a few things most of the time. Quality time will always be more important than the quantity of time with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see my guy all of the time. It’s just not feasible. We both work. We both are busy. We both need friend time, family time, and alone time. 3-4 days out of 7 can be a tall order and overwhelming. 

This is the perfect gig for me right now. I can keep my space, you keep yours. I get to manage my chaos without trying to fit you in, you too. Then our time is our time. We focus on each other, and to hell with the outside world…except for our kids. And, we don’t have to figure anything else out unless we end up at the alter. 

I know this won’t work forever. I get that. I’m banking on that, too. I don’t know what forever looks like. I’m open to relocating. I’m open to new adventures. But right now, I’m working on my current plan. And, I want you to fit into it, but not drastically change it. If that’s possible…and fair. 

My relationships don’t have to be long distant,  but I’m okay if they are. I’m fine trying the distance thing with schedule planning, long weekends, and open communication. 

So, I started this with a question. Why are long distance relationships so complicated? And, I don’t see ALL the struggles. So, I went to some of the guys from my past and asked, and the results were kinda expected. 

1. Sex. 

How can a sexual appetite be satisfied miles and hours away? Especially when the expectation is to stay faithful. I get that. I’m not talking about being away at war or states and states apart. I’m talking about a day’s drive. One guy was from here to Houston. That was hard. Not impossible, but it wasn’t ultimately worth it for either of us. I’m really talking about 3 hours maximum, one way. That may not get you any quickies, but it’s definitely a day trip with benefits. 

2. I wanted to see you more. 

I understand, but our time spent together was amazing. And, we intentionally did that because our time was so precious. That has to count for something. 

3. It didn’t seem like you were making real plans to ever fix the distance. 

That’s true. I’m not, right now. But if this progresses to something solid, we can figure it out. I’m open to making sacrifices for love. 

Because I moved my whole life a few years ago, and it blew up. It was hard on all involved, and I about broke in half because of it. I can’t do that again. I have to be sure that the moves I make are the right moves. I’m dragging my kid along. We have to be sure. 

I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything more than pled my case. I don’t like the distance, but I don’t mind it. I’m still at a point in my life where I’m open to an adventure. 

I knew I shouldn’t have invested…

There’s nothing I hate more than investing in someone I knew I shouldn’t have invested in. Nothing. I. Hate. More. 

Well, I hate being ignored more. But, it’s a close second. 

I gave this relationship a chance despite the NUMEROUS red flags and warning bells that told me otherwise. I was committed to trying because I saw something really good and genuine in this man, and I was right. He is good. And, he is genuine. But, he’s also handcuffed to his family in a really unhealthy way. He bends over backwards for the most unnecessary reasons, asks for advice and to discuss things only to do the opposite, and makes plans only to break them when he’s drug into family foolishness. 

Am I being too judgemental? Yes, and no. I can’t do this. I respect anyone’s ties to their family. I understand your responsibility to your people, but I don’t respect you being manipulated and controlled, realizing it, allowing it to continue, and expecting me to go along for the ride. I’m not doing any of that. Especially when you realize it. Especially because you ask to be free of it as you go running back into it. 

At some level, he’s really happy in this chaos. He’s really enjoying living this life. They need him, actually use him, in a way that I never will. I can’t fill that void, because it’s dumb. And, I can’t live in it. I can’t play second string to your family’s ridiculous expectations. 

Disclaimer: I’m no one’s wife. I don’t expect to out rank anyone’s mother or family as long as I’m standing in the girlfriend role. But, I do expect someone to honor their commitments, and to be strong enough to stand up for themselves when they are being sucked into foolishness. 

Because when we make plans 2 weeks in advance, I expect you to do whatever it takes to fulfill those plans. I don’t expect you to drop me, but expect understanding, just to go rescue someone that didn’t really need to be rescued. They’re just entertained that you came running. 

Enjoy this insanity. I hope it doesn’t destroy you. 

I was good on my own. That’s the way it was. That’s the way it was. 

I was speaking to a good friend of mine recently. I was telling her that I’m about to give up my rental, venture back to my mom’s, and grind super hard to purchase a home January 2018. Whew. 

“What are you looking for?” She asked. Immediately plugging her mortgage career, and willing to help along the way. Thanks doll, but I’m not ready for the HGTV experience quite yet. 

However, I’ll be looking for a two-story with a small yard and 2-3 bedrooms. Or, I might be looking for a single story with a pool. I don’t know for certain. I like mid century styling, though. Just something that’s good for me, and B, and probably a couple dogs and a fish. 

Pause. I’m not expecting there to be anyone else. 

Wow. 

I’m not sad about it. I’m not anxious. I’m not eager. I’m just planning for what I know. I’m just planning for my personal certainty. And, I’m totally at peace. 

If something changes, I’ll cross that bridge…probably when I’m already standing on it. 

2016

2016 was interesting. Probably one of the most interesting years I can remember. 

I dated some of the most bogus boys, got my feelings hurt, and stressed my self into a 20lb weight gain. My finances took a major hit. I fired some friends. I learned to depend on myself more. And, I realized I needed to alter some things in the parenting of my son. I’ve decided to work towards buying a home, paying off my debit, and launching my business…for real. I got new tattoos and new piercings. I changed my hair. I planned to change my life, but it back fired a little. 

People died. Babies were born. Marriages probably happened at the same speed as divorces. Science and technology advanced. Science and technology were halted. There was a presidential election. It highlighted some ugly things. There was incredible social progress that’s been threatened over and over again. We were promised some of the greatest entertainment of all time, and mourned some great entertainers. Music progressed. Art progressed. But, there were parts that just seemed like the old stuff warmed over. 

Was it just another year?

My eyes opened everyday. My heart never stopped beating. I took countless breathes. I had a gazillion opportunities. I was impacted. I  hope I was impactful. I had days I thought I would break in half, but I didn’t. I made it. And, I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be.

So, cheers to 2016. It was a necessary time. It prepared me for whatever 2017 has planned.