Single and the Sickness: Or how I’m learning to ‘adult’ my way

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The movie ‘How to be Single’ starring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson was sadly pretty forgettable … with the exception of one incredibly relatable part. The scene where Dakota Johnson is trying to get dolled up for a girls night and is literally throwing her shoulder out of socket to zip up her sexy dress. A small moment, but so so relatable.

Later that evening she returns home drunk and exhausted and attempts to again twist her arm all sorts of ways to unzip the dress. She eventually gives up and falls asleep fully clothed. Again, super relatable.

I have been this girl. (Although when this has happened to me at the end of the night, I am usually eating a donut and/or slice of pizza and wake up to crumbs/sauce all over my ‘sexy’ outfit.)

Much like Dakota’s character in the movie, I had also chosen to end a long term relationship to finally experience what it is to TRULY be single (well, that and the fact that he was kind of a jerk). And I too had taken for granted how nice it is to have someone to reach your unreachable parts. Of all the things in a relationship I miss, I’d actually forgotten this little thing until recently.

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Flying Solo (Part 1): Bali, bedbugs and break-ups

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If it weren’t for the bedbugs, I would’ve never gone to Bali.

I thought about that as I stood in the immigration line after a grueling, fairly inebriated 33 hour flight. I was tired but I had made it and I had a ‘holy shit’ moment. Me? I’m here? How did I get here? How did this small town girl wind up solo in Bali? 

Well, it all started with a song and a book (of course). 

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In Praise of Promiscuity (Part 1): The fuck-it list

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I was 21 before I learned to masturbate.

Up till then I hid my naked body from myself most of the time. I didn’t really even look at it when showering. 

Weird? Yes. But I was raised Southern Baptist and sexual sin was considered the greatest. Honestly, I think I was afraid of my body and what was ‘down there’. In addition, I’d taken the true love waits pledge and seriously believed I would wait to even KISS a guy until my wedding day.

My body scared me, boys scared me, all the sexual TERMS scared me. Blow job. Doggy style. Eating … I mean, what?? I had to often pretend like I knew what my friends were discussing, then run home and ask my mom which was even more embarrassing and terrifying. 

When I started to explore myself sexually, I had no clue what I was doing. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to figure ‘it’ out but from all the conversations I’d had with friends about it, it seemed like it was something I was gonna have to do eventually and I was pretty sick of being alone. I kind of felt like my V-card was becoming a burden. I thought if I figured out how to, you know, pleasure myself I’d have a higher chance of actually losing my virginity.

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Dating with Anxiety (Part 2): Or how I’m learning to give myself a break

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Last time I talked about some painful things. My anxiety and how that has really become a burden while dating and embarking on a new relationship.

One of the biggest things I’m learning is how to have compassion for myself. And to see things in a clearer perspective (vs the nagging negative voice that has repeatedly told me I’m too much of a burden for anyone, I’ll never be able to have the life or love I truly desire, etc etc). 

Four years ago I walked away from a safe space. A marriage and a home with a man who I might not have been in love with, but someone who I did care for, who cared for me (well, most of the time) and who was my partner. I shared everything with this man – my ups and downs, good and bad.  It might’ve been unhealthy, unkind, even indifferent but it was certain. I, a person with very intense anxiety, walked away from a very certain and stable future. Did I mention I walked away from a HOME? We had this beautiful home we remodeled. It had a yard. And vaulted ceilings. Sigh. I had safety and security but emotionally we were totally empty.

Walking away from the stability was GD scary. There were moments I was worried I had a brain tumor. My whole self, my entire identity (to a degree), was shifting. I was … becoming me. It was a rebirth in a sense. I knew it had to be done and yet there was a vast amount of time spent going WTF is wrong with me.

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The Big D: Divorced

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I’ve been trying to think of a clever way to start this part of my life’s tale but I came up short. To be blunt, I’m exhausted thinking about writing this. Just as you’re likely exhausted at the thought of reading it. Divorce. Blech. What can I say about divorce that hasn’t already been said? Nothing. What advice could I give? Honestly … nothing, except be wary of who you marry but that’s been said a gazillion times already. And those of us who have been divorced were likely choosing a person because we believed they WERE it. In fact, I was married after being in a relationship for 6 years. I was very VERY wary. And still here I am … divorced.

I have no insights for you. The only ones I have are my own and they are for me and my life and I’m not sure I understand them fully either. Quite frankly, if you read this you might end up hating me by the end. But I came here to tell the truth and so the truth I will tell.

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