Sunday, August 31, 2008
Every single woman over 30 I know has had to develop the ability to focus on something other than her desire to be married, because it can be an all encompassing desire, and left unchecked can be accompanied with loss and frustration. I can look back at times in my life where the desire was so intense that all I could think of was to back away from those things that made the desire more poignant, unfortunately for me that meant backing away from spirituality and activity in my church. These things brought me happiness at times, but they also reminded me often of what I didn't have. Many other factors were involved of course in my inactivity, including a lot of pride and selfishness. I feel that the most important factor was my loss of hope. I could not see that the Lord would come through on what he had promised me. I was tired and felt stripped of all desire to go on the way He had asked me to. It actually took me years to come back to my spirituality and to acknowledge my deep beliefs again. My pathway was one of growth and experiences that I thought at the time were liberating,but ultimately ended with me on my knees, literally and figuratively. I had strayed to a path that could not harvest the hope needed to really achieve my dreams.
I'm sure we have all had those relationships that when they ended, our hope ended with them. A relationship that seemed to show us what we were capable of and how amazing a union could be, a dream realized, and then when it ended, seemed to pull that dream away from us,leaving us a crumpled heap on the floor.
Yesterday I felt very thankful that I am a single woman, and this doesn't happen very often. I was thankful to be in the place that I am because my best friend expressed to me that she has lost hope. She has put on a brave face for years, has always been such a strong woman, making lemons out of lemonade..and with the end of an all important relationship is left without hope. I felt very thankful that I was in a position to relate to her. to listen to her. To be quiet when she needed it and to tell her I understand at the times she needed it.
Life is cyclical. I regained hope at somepoint...and although I don't have it at all times I have more than I have ever had in my life. I said a silent prayer to Heavenly Father, in thanks, that I was able to have a little bit to share with my friend, even though she is so far from feeling it right now. I actually felt that I was exactly in the right place at the right time, with the exactly right marriage status. If I had been married at 23 I may not have been able to relate to the sadness and sheer hopelessness of my friend of 15 years.
I am so thankful for the passage of time. For the good Lord who knows us and loves us. For the guidance that is available if we just request it. I love my friend. She will have everything she has been promised. I feel the hope for her, and when she is ready I know she will find it again.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I’ve been reflecting on my past experiences and wondering – well, you know – what I did wrong. Now don’t freak out! I don’t blame myself for the relationships failing. I’ve come to terms long ago that what happened in the end was EXACTLY what should have happened and is really for the best.
But a friend of mine was talking to me and reflecting on how emotional I was through those roller coaster rides of relationships. Lots of highs and lows; almost a bi-polar relationship each time. I would be really happy at the beginning of the day then by the end – from whatever did or didn’t happen OR from what someone said or didn’t say about the relationship – I could be way down to the ground wondering why I ever thought HE liked me. And now after all is said and done, I often think, that dude didn’t even go through an iota of what I endured during those relationships.
Why was I like that? Why couldn’t I be just normal emotionally when contemplating the relationship – you know “even keeled” – like a man would? Is it because I’m a woman? Am I built to be full of lots of highs and lows? Yes, we are cyclical but geez! I would get dizzy from the ups and downs I was feeling at different moments. And I know it wasn’t all that fun. Ok, the highs were, but the lows?? In fact I was never really just confident in the relationship. I was always looking for signs or indications either way. Did he like me today because he emailed faster then he did last week? Did he not like me anymore because he waited a day to call me? I was always second guessing and required LOTS of reassurance from – yep, not the guy – but from friends and relatives that helped me “interpret” what was going on.
Now that I look back, that is the most INSANE thing I’ve ever done! What the HECK was I thinking?? Why didn’t someone tell me I was being completely irrational? Ok, my one friend tried, but I was too emotional to see it.
So, this next relationship – whoever that lucky guy is – is going to be SO different (because nowadays I do everything differently – expect that in the next blog).
Therefore, I, Marnie, now pledge that while dating a man:
1. I will have ZERO expectations – that includes PLANNING in my head on how our dates should go, when they should go, what kind they should be, and how often they should occur.
2. I will not over think his actions and take him at complete face value instead of trying to “interpret” his actions.
3. I will not look for signs – I will only take what he says as truth.
4. I will not listen to women that give random and very biased advice in trying to figure out if the guy likes me “enough” or how I should act depending on that woman’s view of my relationship is. (I really do need to keep my insecurities and worries to myself!)
5. If I want to know if they guy I go out with likes me, I WILL ASK HIM and not make up in my head what he will say IF I had the courage to ask.
6. I will not “protect” myself by expecting the worst of any given relationship – I will only expect the best of it! (and that includes thinking it could lead to marriage instead of expecting a breakup).
7. I will never plan farther than 1 week in advance in my head concerning a possible date with the guy I’m dating/sorta dating.
8. I will never let another woman’s take on my relationship overshadow how I feel the relationship is going or what it is. (I can’t tell you how often I listened to someone else and didn’t follow my gut on what was going on or what I should do next in a relationship).
Now I know a bunch of you are saying, “Good luck, sister! You can’t do it, because no woman on earth exists that can pull all of that off!” But alas, for my mental health I have to figure out how to do it!
And as Yoda says in Empire Strikes Back:
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try."
I'm all over it, Master Yoda!
That was written by one of my students today on an assignment where the students describe themselves in a collage. I couldn't help but agree. One of my friends recently told me how happy she was because the guy she is dating asked her out and said she could tell him funny stories. Apparently it makes him happy to just listen to her tell funny stories. It reminded me of what Phil said not too long ago, how he likes to listen to me talk. I think the best thing to make a woman happy is to listen to her. And now I have proof from the younger generation.
Here's the sales pitch.... I'm giving the blog credit for Marcia and Clue working things out. Her honesty on the blog inspired some hard, honest conversations in their relationship which, IMHO, saved them from some serious miscommunication and possibly breaking up. (Marcia you're welcome to correct me on that one.) I also credit the blog for my meeting Grant. I'd tried internet dating previously and was too apprehensive. This time, I joined the dating sites more as an assignment for this blog which made it way less scary, let me relax and enjoy the process, and proved to be the best thing ever. If Leah, Marnie and/or Bridget want to post about what they think the blog has done or not done for their dating/personal lives or how much they enjoy it, I'll leave that to them.
You can remain completely anonymous, even to the rest of us bloggers. Send me an email if you're interested. We need you! Ü
Monday, August 25, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I used to think, “Why bother getting to know a man that you won’t end up with?” (We are all in agreement that although we have fun together and share a great friendship – we’d be terrible for each other in a romantic relationship). You are only supposed to need your husband, right? And if they aren’t going to be your husband, why waste your time? But these guys have been important to me. They’ve helped me understand the male gender, become more open to them, and have helped me not to be so darn frightened of men in general.
While on our road trip, we had lots of conversation about dating and relationships between men and women. They both try hard to date too. (Maybe they should start a blog?) They are about as good at it as I am at finding a mate: hit and misses all over the place, risk taking and heartache, really trying but also going through “droughts” and rejection. My girlfriends and I are pretty open with them and feel safe enough to give our honest thoughts about dating men over 30 and expressing our struggles in finding that perfect guy. They are compassionate but also put us straight when we need to hear it. It’s so healthy it’s almost disgusting!! But I can’t tell you how helpful it’s been to me!
They don’t always tell me what I want to hear, but I need to hear it. The best advice they’ve given me is “don’t over-analyze what a guy does! Because most of the time we just don’t have an ulterior motive.” I always forget it’s the women that are the ones giving signals and scheming…guys just don’t think that deeply about it.
They’ve also told me many times to just be patient. I’m in the middle of flirting with several guys – practicing my “skills” as I like to call it – but I’m finding that I’m preferring one over the others. It makes it SO hard to focus on all of them and not pull away and just spend all of my flirting time with the one that I’m clicking with (let’s call him Mr. Click). It’s even harder because Mr. Click hasn’t done anything to really let me know he prefers me over any other girls he talks to. Sure, he’s been encouraging and flirting with me, but I’m done putting interpretations with “moments” or “looks” or really great conversations. You’ve got to deliver and do something!! The only way I will ever believe a guy is really interested in me is if he ASKS ME OUT. Hanging out at church activities or even parties is great! But until the risk is taken, I just won’t let myself even consider it a real interest. I’ve been burned too many times now to do it any differently.
Of course that is the rational side of me talking. But really, I'm prone to irrational thought processes. Keeping your heart from only wanting to be with someone like Mr. Click over the others while waiting for him to do “something” is so hard! I’ve been trying to be guarded (meaning trying to keep myself from having a real crush on him), but really it’s against the “natural woman” in females. We just like to focus on one. It’s our natural tendency AND our downfall.
I talked to my “brothers” about my current situation, and their advice? Keep looking around, keep flirting with them all and don’t discount any of them - even if you like one more than another - and be patient! I didn’t like that advice at all…but I know they are right! I need to keep getting out there! Keep meeting new people and NOT focusing too much of my time and effort on Mr. Click. And best of all, BE PATIENT!
What’s that scripture in Ether? “After the trial of your faith” Yeah, I’ve just got to keep trying and keeping the faith…
Luckily, I’ve got some great “brothers” who keep reminding me of that.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I've realized a lot of the things I do to bring clarity to my life have been neglected the past several weeks. I've wanted to spend as much time as possible with Grant which means little sleep, very little scripture study, prayers in a state of half-slumber, skipping ward temple night, and not getting daily exercise.
Part of me is OK with this. It is fun to have my life turned upside down by a boy, throw all sense out the window, and just be in la-la land for a while. Then my head kicks in and tells me to be practical, slow down, and think it all through. I start getting a little panicked about what's going on and how fast it's all happening.
I want to find a balance between the two. This weekend was a good start. Grant and I had a great bike ride up American Fork Canyon on Friday, and on Saturday night he sent me home early to get a good night's rest (thanks G!). Yesterday, I had some needed Kris-time to relax, read and get things done around my house. Today I feel rested and grounded-at least my feet are, my head is still a bit in the clouds thinking about how lucky I am to have found such a fabulous :) man! Balance is nice.
Friday, August 15, 2008
More details to come later, but for now, just know that I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing man in my life. He both completely spoils me and makes me stretch to be a better person. I’m both living in blissful happiness and having learning experiences. In fact, I have an unfinished posting that I haven’t decided whether the title should be “minor major adjustments” or “major minor adjustments.” All in all, life is good. Very, very good.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
We were discussing my post about the options going forward and how I felt option 4 (writing less personal blogs and having Grant approve them before posting) felt like the best option. I thought it would be fun for Grant to do a guest post about his take on all of this. He sent me the possible beginnings of two blogs which I'll paste below. I'm anxiously awaiting the full posts, but apparently somebody seems to take up a bunch of his free time so he hasn't tackled an entire entry. Here's what he did write. (can you see how I can't help my heart getting all fluttery when he is around Ü)
I know Kris was rather traumatized at finding out that by typing in her real name, this blog came up. Now just think of my surprise finding out that Kris Munroe is just her alias, but I have now come to the realization that she's not Charlie's secret agent, although I don't think Bosley believes it.
The best part of hanging out with a secret agent is you get to do really cool stuff; experience cannon blasts in the middle of a peaceful mountain setting symphony, crash and burn in treacherous mountain descents, and get attacked by dogs during mountain reconnaissance. OK, maybe that's not the best part, but it does give the relationship that extra bit of adventure which makes any pursuit worthwhile.
Sometimes you meet up with something that is just too good to pass up. Historically, I'm fairly cautious in starting a relationship. Kris had to come along and mess things all up. It's a good thing I've watched all those classic movies and knew how the masters handled a beautiful woman. Just think what may have happened had I followed the example of Sid Vicious or Curt Kobain. Whew! I knew there was merit in spending time with Bogey, Cary Grant (yeah, that's me), Gregory Peck, etc...
Ya, he rocks!!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I woke up on Monday feeling that way. I was so annoyed, though! I had been feeling really good these last few months with just a few bumps here and there. I know my milestones have been small, but they have felt very good. And I’ve been “working it” with a couple of very cool guys I’ve met recently. I even had hope that maybe one of them would ask me out sometime soon!
But this Sunday was less than a productive day on my standards and I didn’t get to connect with the individuals I wanted to. And I even felt a little trapped – whether from my own insecurities and lack of guts to introduce myself to the cute guy I saw at church – to my surroundings of isolating myself behind my group of friends. It just all felt icky! I was disappointed in me and the day. And it felt like I had taken a huge step BACKWARDS from all of my progress.
Well, normally I get in that funk of negativity and just wallow there for some time – days, weeks, years, it would just depend. But it made me mad on Monday morning that I was feeling that way. I didn’t want to feel that way! And then I realized that I was mad at the wrong person (that ranged from me, to the guys that didn’t say hi, to the stranger that didn’t try to meet me, etc.). I realized all the negative thoughts were from Satan* – the very person that DOESN’T want me to be happy with the current marital status I am. He WANTS me to be annoyed that things are not going exactly as I had planned in life. He wants me to be bitter about my prospects or lack of prospects. He wants me to blame everyone for my “so terrible a predicament” so that I can run around screaming “Life isn’t far! Life isn’t fair!!! Someone just LOVE ME!!!”
Geez! I need to get a grip! And luckily I did! Bad days can start, but they don’t have to stick around. It took all of my energy – which I often lack on a Monday - to just snap myself out of it and refuse to listen to the lies I was hearing in my head. It took almost a conscious, physical effort to do so, even though everything was in my mind.
I had a chance to go to a gathering on that Monday night and I decided I wasn’t going to retreat and hide when the chance came to meet someone new – male or female. I was going to just be the best me! The “me” that really is happy most of the time with where I’m at. I just want more! But I’m not miserable about not having that more yet. (Ok, some days I am – but that was not that day!)
SO I smiled, practiced my “security guard” stare and just tried to be as friendly as possible. Result? I got asked out! I couldn’t go – it was for a day I had obligations I couldn’t get out of. But alas! I felt really good to be asked out! And he’s a cool, cute guy! (It’s my first date offer since Rebound) I reiterated that I would love to go out with him another time – we’ll see if he is up for it. But even if he doesn’t ask me again, it was nice to be noticed and appreciated enough by a guy who wanted to spend one-on-one time with me! And that sure wouldn’t have happened if I had caved and listened to the negative voice in my head that said “all is lost – just quit – it isn’t worth the pain. Just stay home and sulk.”
That Satan. Yeah, I hate him! He’s totally evil. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently! And for Heaven’s sake, don’t listen to him when he gets in your head!
* In the LDS religion, Satan is a very real entity. The following is a description of Satan’s role: “Heavenly Father allows Satan and Satan's followers to tempt us as part of our experience in mortality. Because Satan "seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself" (2 Nephi 2:27), he and his followers try to lead us away from righteousness. He directs his most strenuous opposition at the most important aspects of Heavenly Father's plan of happiness.” [To me, that includes marriage and having the desire to marry]. (Reference: Gospel Topics: Satan, www.lds.org)
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
dating. The premise of the show is watching Single Moms that are looking for love,
get to know various matches they've received from the producers of the show. I'm
watching them frolic on the beach, and sharing fruity wines and make smore's with
eachother. Watching these women date on this show is definitely fun, I'm really
having a good time. It's only when I'm dating that the stress and anxiety turn up,
and invariably, before the frolicking fun comes the finding. On my mission, the finding part was the most anxiety provoking as well, the knocking on the doors and the stopping people as they're walking by in the city center...true to form, i attended a Singles Conference dance this last weekend, and it literally freaked me out. I went into extreme overload. I went with my lovely friend Violet, who is actually from the area that was putting it on. Bless her heart,i suspect she went to the dance to support me, she was very tired after a long week, and may have gone only after picking up on the "deer in headlights" qualities of my emails regarding the pending conference. I knew in my heart that if Violet didn't go, I would not have the courage to go alone.
I have pinned two factors as the primary reasons for this lacklustre experience I had at the conference. I had had a conversation with GSE the weekend before and we were trying to figure out a time to get together. Our schedules have not coincided in the last few months. He asked me what I was doing that Friday because he finally had a night free. I thought about it and then realized I was going to this singles conference. I told him I was going to this conference and both of us were disappointed. The more i thought about it, I thought,would I rather be with GSE that I knew we had great chemistry,would have a great time, and we could have a romantic dinner and get caught up. This desire to be with GSE that night instead of at the conference became a realization that I would rather be with him than with anyone else. And then it became this tug of war in my heart and mind, have GSE over to dinner and stay in the past,entertaining something that has proved to be hurtful in the past, and still playing into the delusions that it could finally be something more, or going to the conference and in my mind,saying hello to the future and looking to new experiences. I put all of this pressure on myself, convincing myself that the outcome of my life could be drastically changed with either choice.(why do i do this to myself?) Because i chose the conference after all, it put pressure on the conference to be worthy of "missing out" on a great time with GSE (twisted, i know) Pressure is the first factor, and the second is high expectations. For me confidence has always been an issue, and because of this I am either seeing myself as completely unworthy of love and attention or seeing myself as a gorgeous blonde vixen that men will not be able to resist. Neither of these views are true, and both can bring disappointment..because, this blonde vixen was in fact resisted at this conference. I suspect the reason I was so resistable is that I was so darn uncomfortable about being there. The happy medium that I would like to find is that I am worthy and beautiful...nothing more, nothing less.
Over all, I was very discouraged when I left the conference because I felt like a complete outsider and was not at all able to see how I was going to meet someone if my social anxiety issues kept me from even being a part of the game. After thought and prayer, I have come (again) to the conclusion that the Lord is in charge. All i have to do is at least try, keep Him in my life,and He will take care of the rest.He knows my weaknesses, he works with them. He loves me in spite of them. My need to control, and the belief that I am on my own in this, is what brings most of my grief. One of my favorite scriptures is from the LDS Doctrine and Covenants which is a book of revelations we believe Joseph Smith received, and it has given me great strength and comfort at the times I've needed it "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren (and sisters) let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we STAND STILL, with the UTMOST ASSURANCE, to see the salvation of God, and for HIS ARM to be revealed"
Although I probably will not be going to another singles conference in the near future...i know when to call it a day.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Before getting into that, thanks to friends and family of Grant for the fun comments on the blog. Even though I'm feeling totally exposed, your comments have made me smile. Unexpected comments on my blog is one of my favorite things. I've been unable to get Grant to comment (well since he's not reading this blog I guess it would be hard for him to comment) on either of my blogs, so it's extra fun to have some input from his posse.
Here are the going forward options. Feel free to add to this list.
Option 1: Not blog anymore. I don't like this option as I've loved this blog. It's really been some nice therapeutic girl talk. Although, it's not the same now that I've lost the anonymity. So maybe I can have Kris Munroe disappear and a mysterious new blogger, Kelly Garrett, can start blogging about the guy she's dating, (Jimmy) Stewart. Too obvious??
Option 2: My sisters and I thought I could take advantage of this non-direct connection to Grant by hinting various things I'd like him to know/do. (i.e. commenting earlier how I'm bummed he hasn't ever commented on my blog). It might be a fun experiment to see how quickly stuff gets back to him and if he'd take the hints. However, this probably isn't the healthiest way to communicate with him.
Option 3: Grant suggested I just make up some good juicy stuff to put on here. This could be fun, although I'm not sure I'd want all of you knowing the details about our wild and crazy weekend in Las Vegas. :)
Option 4: Post less frequent less personal blogs -possibly have them "Grant approved" which I don't think he'll want to do but I'd feel better about. This is feeling like the option that makes the most sense right now. We'll just have to see how things progress- with Grant and with the blog. Stay tuned. :)
Sunday, August 3, 2008
My favorite part of the night was when Phil made a point of saying my dress was pretty. It was a new dress - but he didn't necessarily know that - and it WAS pretty. I was impressed with his ability to give me a compliment. He won some major points. Which reminds me of a really bad date I had when I was younger (remember the dating rules are a bit different now). The guy was a blind date. We were at the theater waiting for our movie to start. He turned to me and said, "Oh, yeah, I wanted to tell you that you look really nice." I was very annoyed at that compliment - he hadn't seen me before and didn't know how "nice" I really looked. Actually, I was wearing one of my more comfortable outfits (not necessarily my best looking - just comfortable - it was back in the day when I took dates for granted and felt no need to make the best of them) and it had been a rainy day so I felt a bit bedraggled. I didn't feel like I looked nice so his compliment seemed totally fake. He lost major points. I just laugh at the fact that essentially the same compliment can win a guy points or lose him points depending on time/place/delivery.
Friday, August 1, 2008
In spite of having 14 people under my parents’ roof at once, we had a great time. It was one-part chaos, one-part great food, two-parts good fun. Clue continues to do well as he dives deeper and deeper into my world. My parents picked us up from the airport and I could see right away that they would get along. Not that I had any worries – I knew they would love Clue and he would love them. But it’s always unnerving when you meet the family and the parents and although you couldn’t tell, Clue was a bit nervous.
So the weekend included dinner with the family on Friday night, walking the Farmers Market downtown Saturday morning (a family favorite), a jaunt to Santa Cruz to play on the beach and throw the brass ring on the famous Boardwalk Carousel, church and more food with cousins, aunts and uncles on Sunday.
It felt great to have him there with my family. It was a short trip, but by the time the weekend came to a close, Clue felt completely at home.
Needless to say, things are going well!