Monthly Archives: November 2011

Rate your Date, a would be savior in not wasting time……

Recently I realized that something that I have been joking around about could possibly be the answer to all of our dating problems: Rate your Date.  The idea is simple in concept but will most likely be much more complicated to put into practical application. It would be a website database of anyone and everyone in the dating scene in your area.  I mean we have film reviews, restaurant reviews, business reviews so why not dating reviews?  How many of us have started dating someone thinking that the person was genuine, sweet, caring, had a good job and so forth only to find out that they are a master of manipulation. In our present technological state we have given these individuals every tool that they need to appear as if they are everything that they are not.  Faceboook is the perfect self-indulgent promotional tool and who has control over the content? The user.  I am ready to turn the tables on this situation and create a little room for the truth.  I have checked out the sites that exist that are related to this idea and I have found them lacking.

I would have a much more in-depth review system.  I believe that they are several categories that should be considered. And this would be just as relevant to relationships as well.  I wish I had read a review of my ex before getting involved with him, I’m quite sure at this point that it would not have been flattering.  But back to the categories, I think it is important to consider all the realms in which there are usually complications: Family, Money, Goals, Kids, Marriage, Manners, Appearances, Personality, Mental Health, and Fidelity.  I do not know about anyone else but I have been fooled on all of these fronts.  A guy that I met at a bar or party was decked out in Armani and Diesel, flash forward to getting back to his place and the realization that he spends ALL of his money on clothes just to hook you. Or even better, I was dating an artist that drew and was a musician.  We fell into each other rather quickly spending all of our time together, the passion was overwhelming and then he disappeared for a week.  Confused and a little angry, I kept wondering what I had done until I ran into his brother. “He is bi-polar and does not take his meds, didn’t you know that?” Um, NO! All situations in which it would have been really helpful to know more about the person I was dealing with before it negatively effected me.  I know it sounds too sterile and as if getting to know people is a waste of time but again in an age when it is so easy to assign yourself a character rather than being your truest self, perhaps helpful.

My friend used to joke about how we should all wear signs.  For instance my sign would read: Athletic, Smart, Sassy, Intense, Masochistic tendencies, A little emotionally high maintenance, too many guy friends, extremely loyal, generous, vain, and perfectionist.  Now does that describe me in all of my complexity? No.  But it does gives someone a better idea of what they would be dealing with and that is more fair than if I acted as if none of those negative qualities existed.  Dating just seems as if it as become way too easy to waste a bunch of time trying to get to know someone when you are not really getting to know them but the person that they want you to believe that they are.  Before I knew it I was in a long-term relationship with a person that I still did not know and I thought that it was impossible to spend that much time together and still not be prepared for what happened.  I would still be curious though as to how he would review me.  I am sure that he would agree with the aforementioned list and I am also sure that he would add to it but I would be curious as to what he would have to say.  Most likely because my review of him would be less than gracious.  On many levels, he was interesting and exciting, there is no denying that and if a girl just wanted someone to play with and had no expectations whatsoever, he is perfect but for anyone seeking a deep, meaningful, committed relationship, he is their worst nightmare.

I suppose that I am just tired of spending time with people and giving them the benefit of the doubt when I should be more scrutinizing.  I always feel badly for being judgemental but maybe there is something to it.  Maybe dating should transition into a more employment like scenario.  Fill out an application including relationship history and references.  I would like to know what the ex’s think or why you really have not been in a relationship in a gazillion years.  Are you really the wounded creature you act like or just a perpetual bachelor playing the jaded card to evoke my sympathy?  You sure are not going to tell me the truth so maybe all the other victims will.

Main point being, we are so careful to ensure that we do not waste our time seeing a bad movie, a bad band, eat something horrifying, read a lame book, buy a glitchy gadget but when it comes to our hearts why are we so willing to put it on the chopping block and just cross our fingers?

Reviewing people: Time Management Savior or the beginning of the end for civilized dating behaviour? Tell me what you think! All I know is that I am done with all the womanizers and unfortunately, they are the most highly adaptive of all the dating predators.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBk3_lAiq4w love this remix!

 

Being Jaded, Smart or Destructive?

All of us have been in some sort of relationship scenario in which we were left brokenhearted.  Someone abandoned us, someone cheated on us, someone misrepresented themselves and so forth.  What I have begun to observe and question is how we respond to these circumstances.  Having recently survived several of the aforementioned scenarios, I have noticed the many mechanisms that we employ to protect ourselves from experiencing the same pain and heartache time and time again.  While I subscribe to the philosophy that making the same mistake over and over is the truest form of stupidity, I also question how far to the other end of the spectrum is just as ridiculous. Is being jaded our protective friend or another means of self sabotage?

For my part, I have certainly noticed that my level of trust for other human beings as a whole and especially in interpersonal relationships has dwindled dramatically.  I now have the propensity to believe that compliments are tools of manipulation rather than sincere expressions.  I also seem to have a difficult time meeting someone and not automatically thinking that they are like my ex and I should be cautious.  But am I seeing legitimate red flags or the ghosts of relationships past? I think that is a difficult question that people such as myself that are newly single struggle with frequently.  But after many conversations with others and merely observing other people’s reactions to situations, I am starting to think that whether it is a fresh wound or a scarred over injury, we are still allowing our pasts to interfere with our present.  Do we honestly believe that being cynical and pessimistic is the only way to abolish any chance of reliving past mistakes and suffering?

I have tried to my detriment in some ways, to remain open and loving regardless of what has happened in my love life.  I made a conscious effort to check the baggage and enter into new relationships unencumbered but after this break up, I suddenly feel like the American Airlines lost luggage department.  Where did all this stuff come from and what the hell do I do with it?  As I peruse all the forgotten and ignored emotions of abandonment, I have come to realize that even I have become weighed down and a little bitter.  I have misplaced my ability to believe that some things are just good.  There is no evil lurking in the corner, no hidden agenda meandering in the hallway, just something new and good and worth my understanding.  I am now faced with an opportunity that could be simply that, good. So why am I more comfortable second guessing and assuming than allowing myself to give it the benefit of the doubt? It is an easy answer, I am jaded and that sucks! I suppose that along the way, I bought into the idea that being overly apprehensive and assuming the worst in people is safer than putting myself out there and taking the chance that I feel this way again.  I am starting to find though that when I am internalizing all these negative assumptions that I am missing out on any genuine happiness that may be present.

The other complexity is that even if I get over my own relationship related neuroses, they is always someone else’s to deal with.  But it can not be fair for me to judge someone for their difficulty in trusting when I am in the same place but it also makes the situation much harder to navigate.  Suddenly you have two seemingly good and loving individuals complicating a connection for no other reason than at some point they were respectively scorned by someone else.  It is hard enough getting to know someone as it is but when you exacerbate the issue with preconceived notions it becomes almost impossible.  So I have been left contemplating if there is a middle to this pendulum.  I want to learn the lessons that are necessary for my growth and emotional protection while remaining true to my real self.  I am not bitter, resentful, pessimistic and jaded.  Or at least I was not before.  I do not think that any of our origins are rooted in these aspects, so how do we get back and stay sane and intelligent about it?  I would hate to see anyone sabotage a perfectly lovely opportunity, especially me.  I think that the answer is, knowing that we have all been hurt but that not every relationship has an inevitably destructive end.  And also knowing when to calm down, take a step back and allow ourselves to be happy instead of over analyzing every detail to death.  I hope that I will find the best way to follow my heart and my mind and that combined they will lead me to the right person and the right relationship.  Until then, I know it is important to ease up on the assumption that every guy is him or like him because hopefully and it is a big hope, they are not.

Does it pay to be Good?

I just got off the phone with one of my closest friends and I am left questioning whether or not it pays off to be a good person.  Being a Buddhist, part of the belief structure is that not only does Karma exist but even if it did not we should still all strive to be good and right.  Even in Christianity and Judaism, in fact most religions are based upon some construct involving this same tenant.  Do good and act right or face the consequences.  But is this really practical? Does it actually work out this way in reality?.  I am not so sure anymore.

My friend is an awesome person. He is kind, loving, talented, attractive and amazingly considerate.  He would much rather hurt himself than hurt someone else.  I find all of these qualities amazing and unique but he is still fighting depression and a lack of self-esteem and self-worth.  As I have been struggling with the same thing, we have had many conversations of this nature but this one left me particularly despondent.  He told me that he no longer believed in Karma or even that people got what they deserved whether it be good or bad.  That from what he had learned over the years bad people got away with hurting good people and that they were happier despite their actions.  He believed that no matter how much good we do or how well we try to act inevitably we will still be hurt and most likely be screwed over by all the bad people in the world. His question to me being, so what is the point? Yikes.

I wanted to say something deep, profound, poignant and wise but I was rendered temporarily speechless.  For once I could not honestly argue the point.  I suddenly recalled a conversation that I had with my brother several months ago.  I had called my brother, who lives in the Cayman Islands, distraught.  It was shortly after my break up and I was asking him whether or not I had deserved what was happening to me.  I had chosen my brother to question about this because the nature of our relationship would lend itself to brutal honesty and I wanted an unbiased opinion.  Given that my brother waits for me to make mistakes so that he can point them out, I knew I would get the unadulterated truth.  The conversation that ensued was nothing short of a typical conversation with my brother, all logic and no emotions.  His wise words were something to the effect that bad people do bad things to good people because that is what they do. He said that there was no way that I deserved what was happening but that was beside the point. I was involved with a bad person and he did a bad thing.  That was it.  Nothing deep and profound just you got screwed by someone because they are lacking, not you.  I guess it made me feel better?

It seemed that I had been a frog.  http://allaboutfrogs.org/stories/scorpion.html

As I tried to gather my thoughts in order to tell my friend something positive, I recalled all the situations in which I had witnessed Karma.  I recounted as many as I could to him so that perhaps he would have some faith that all his good deeds and kind behaviour would eventually be rewarded.  As I attempted to demonstrate this, I felt somewhat fake.  Given all my recent experiences I had a very hard time convincing someone that being good IS the point.  After all, I had been destroyed by someone’s actions and he is not effected in the slightest.  I have not even received an apology and he was supported by his entire immediate family in his actions.  He left the country and is apparently quite happy in South Korea.  He does not miss his animals, he does not think about the children we could have had, nothing.  So the question still remained, does it really pay to be good?  Is there a point to always acting appropriately and kindly?  Or are we just fooling ourselves?

My friend also said that he would rather be blissfully ignorant right now than knowledgable and miserable.  He said that maybe all these people who are living in denial and delusion are better off than we are.  It has become such a hard topic for me to argue.  I used to think that being intelligent and self-aware were blessings.  I used to think that Karma was a universal law.  You get back whatever you put out. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  But in a world where people can hurt each other so deeply and commit such heinous crimes against one another, all the while never having to face the consequences is this universal law obsolete?  And if it is what IS the point? Does it really pay to be good?

I hope that it does.  I HAVE to believe that it does.

“A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.” – Buddha

Why Weddings can be difficult and why break ups suck!

Yesterday was a day full of weddings.  It was if everyone I knew was getting married.  Being a spiritual person, I understood why so many people had chosen to get married yesterday.  It was 11/11/11.  A date that by astrological predictions is the first major shift into the Aquarian age.  This new age is supposed to be quite a paradigm departure from what we have known.  It is a shift from self-serving attitudes and using technology for solely information gathering to a new age of truth, hope and peace.  An age in which we are all supposed to come from our hearts and use our compassion to help and heal,  an all around more loving and peaceful time for all humanity. So why was I so ambivalent and confused?

I had honestly, been dreading this wedding.  I wanted to see my cousin get married and I really enjoyed the idea of reconnecting with family members that I had not seen in many, many years but there was an underlying current of fear.  Having recently been abandoned by a person that I thought that I was going to marry, the idea of being around such a romantic situation scared me to death.  The last thing that anyone wants to do on someone else’s wedding day is have an  all out emotional break down.  I struggled with the decision for several days and in the end I decided that it would be too selfish of me not to go solely because of what I had just been through so I begged a friend to go with me and we went.

The wedding was lovely and everyone was so happy to be there and several of my family members were elated that I had chosen to attend, which obviously made me feel good but as the evening progressed it was like a bad 80’s teen movie and unfortunately I was the star.  I was totally having one of those moments where every song reminds you of your ex.  It was brutal.  I mean seriously, did someone call him and make a freaking playlist?  Despite the inner turmoil that I felt, I maintained a charming smile and made sure that no one not even my date realized what was really happening.  I laughed. drank, joked and socialized as if I were the happiest person in the room but inside I was practically dying.

I suppose a good deal of the pain emerged from the sense that I thought I was going to be a bride.  I had often pictured what our wedding would be like, what songs we would play and the look on his face as I said that I would love, cherish and honor him for the rest of my life.  It’s really hard not to let your mind run away from you.  All of a sudden thoughts raced through my brain and the emotions shortly after.  I was so sad.  I wondered what it would have been like to be there with him or what our friends would have said about us in their toasts.  I felt such an enormous loss.  The loss of a future that I longed for with all my heart.  But it was not my wedding, I was not there with him and I might never see or speak to this person again.  Finality punched me in the face for what I hope is the last time.

It has been a little over five months since William left Austin and almost a month since he left the country.  It is amazing how long this process takes.  Given how he chose to end our relationship and how he has acted since, I would have thought and hoped that I would be over it by now but I still feel like I have a way to go in the healing process.  And I hate it! Those around the situation maintain that I should be so angry with him and in fact hate him for what he did and therefore should feel nothing but relief at the fact that he is gone, perhaps forever.  Yet, no matter how may times I hear what a douchebag he was or how I deserve so much better or the favorite quote, “You really dodged a bullet”, I am still left picking up the pieces of a shattered person.  One of the reasons that all of my friend’s advice is somewhat obsolete is that I loved him.  I really loved him and that is not ever going to change.  It is not in me to hate him.  How do you hate someone who you chose to live with for over three years?  I can not do it.  I may hate his actions and I may be infuriated by the things that he has said and his astounding level of apathy but I will always love him.  A flaw that I can not seem to transform.

I am plagued by the same thoughts that I believe most people who have been dumped are plagued by.  What was so wrong with me?  What did I do to deserve this?  And perhaps the most damaging, why was I not good enough?  As I try to rebuild myself, I try to find a way to view things from a more objective perspective.  I try to take responsibility for any actions that I took that I am less than proud of and take personal inventory of how I could better handle those situations in the future.  I also try to ascertain what issues are not mine and were products of his own flaws.  I try not to let his issues affect me anymore and solely deal with my own behaviour but it is difficult to differentiate sometimes.  The pain persists and I question whether it will ever really be gone.  In the meantime I am doing everything that I can to get over this situation and at the very least handle it with some grace and class.

That is why break ups suck.  They cause you to question everything and sometimes they destroy any self-confidence or sense of yourself and require a total overhaul.  I can certainly say that I am not the same person I was five months ago, physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically.  I hope that in the end I will have forged a better me.  I have always been told that diamonds are forged under extreme pressure and I hope that the saying will translate in my life.  I hope that all these broken pieces that I am reclaiming and carefully reconstructing will be stronger and more adept.  So while going to the wedding last night was difficult and there were times when I thought I could not handle it, I am glad that I went.  It was another chance for me to test my new resolve and a chance for me to learn more about myself and to be proud of who I am becoming.

My advice to anyone going through a difficult break up would be to always behave in a way that is true to yourself.  Take the high road when possible, even though it is tedious.  Always act of compassion and love.  Speak your truth.  And be gentle with yourself.  Because though the pain can seem unbearable and hope is often a distant memory, you can overcome and you will!  It has been five months for me and I am not there yet but I am much farther along than I was two months ago and that is something.

Namaste 😉

The Healing Power of Music

For many years, I have enjoyed singing and music.  If you were to peruse through my Ipod your first thought would most likely be Wtf, who is this chick?  I have a vast array of live techno sets from Ibiza, Club Space in Miami and the now long forgotten Love Parade in Germany.  But hidden amidst the electronica you would find Erykah Badu, NIN, Etta James, Janis Joplin, the Deftones, Jay-Z, The Smiths, A Perfect Circle and many more.  I suppose my musical tastes say a lot about who I am as a person.  I am girlie, soulful, tough, vulnerable, intense, complicated, sexy and an endless well of emotional depth.  My friends usually know exactly what mood I am in by what I am listening to.  I see the expression on their faces when they come in to my house and I am jamming to Hole or riding in the car when I put on Fiona Apple.  Its one of those days is it?  I run to Dj Tiesto and when I was still fighting for a living, the boxing gym could usually overhear 36 Mafia or Pit Bull.  That is what I love most about music, no matter what mood I am in or what I am going through in life it seems someone knows exactly what I am feeling and they have put it into words.

Several months ago, I decided that I wanted to be one of those people.  I want to write down everything inside me and have it emerge gloriously out of my mouth.  I want to share my happiness and my pain.  I want to be able to sing a note and have it touch someone else the way that I have been touched by so many artists.  So I decided to seek out a voice coach, against my better judgement.  You see, all my life I have been an athlete.  I was an elite level gymnast until high school, I played volleyball, I boxed professionally and as of last year I am a five time National Champion Equestrian.  I have so much confidence in my physical abilities but when it comes to music and other arts I have hidden in the corner.  Maybe it is because I feel so much more vulnerable singing, letting people read my poetry and even writing this blog.  I suppose that I have always been afraid that I would not be as good at things of this nature as I am doing anything that requires athleticism.  For once in my life though, my passion for music and my need to purge all that lies beneath is so great that I have thrown caution to the wind and dug in.

My voice coach is the most amazing woman and I always leave feeling like I am a better person for going.  She has taught me that perfection is not only unattainable but unnecessary.  She has also taught me that I am my own worst enemy and my worst critic, not to mention that because of her I can hit notes I never thought imaginable.  The thing about singing in front of someone is that in that moment of total vulnerability you are you, at your most raw.  There is no hiding, no pretense and thankfully for me, no judgment.  I am merely told, do it this way or try this and see if it is easier and sounds better.  I relish the freedom that I feel there.  It is as if when I am there, I can feel myself growing.  More importantly, I can feel myself healing.  My voice lessons have also lead me to start a band with the help of a dear and extremely talented friend. We began working on our first track last week and it has been revolutionary.

Last night my friend and I started the production on our track as many of the lyrics had already originated from recent journal entries.  We sat and played piano and guitar and hemmed and hawed over what the base line would be and what we should do with the melody in the second stanza and so forth.  As I struggled to create, I stopped for a moment and thought how lovely it was that in that moment all the suffering that I had been feeling had dissipated. This struck me as particularly odd because the entire song was about my recent break up.  So why was I not as upset anymore?  I believe that the therapy in this process for me was that while they were my words and my experiences, I was forced to contemplate it in a more analytical way when I transitioned the emotion to music.  I felt more removed and more connected at the same time.  It was such a beautiful development.   For hours, my attention was solely on the music.  My mind was not bogged down with the events of the day or the ghosts of my past, just the music.  I finally understood why so many people enjoy this process.  It is a healing process.  It is creation from destruction.  It is a light in the darkest corner of my soul.  It is that which fills the void in my heart that has been so pervasive.  It reminds me to be appreciative.

I am so thankful to have found this new talent and to be supported by all of my friends in this endeavor.  I am so thankful to be working towards a better understanding of myself and to end an era of unhealthy self-judgement.  I am thankful for all the musical interludes to my pain.  Lastly, I am even thankful for the disaster that brought me here.  If I had not been completely broken down, I never would have had the courage to embark on this journey.  So whether I end up on a stage in front of hundreds, recording in a famous studio or singing for my animals in my living room, I am thankful that someone stripped all of my armor away and left me in such a lowly place that all I could do was be myself and try to heal.

 

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
– Buddha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3biZkA-TNvs

Penn State Sports Scandal

I realize that this is a departure from the other content of my blog but William is actually from Pennsylvania and a good portion of his family went to Penn State, therefore it is still within somewhat of the same context.  Having known people from the aforementioned state quite intimately, I am not altogether surprised that this kind of thing was allowed to go on the way that it did.  I know that may seem a touch harsh and judgemental, perhaps even stereotypical but I am merely making the statement based on the ten to fifteen people who I have met from there.  They do seem to go about life in a slightly different way than we do down here, I live in Texas.  I was born and raised in Austin, Texas and have lived here the majority of my life.

Texas is a HUGE football state, hell our High School games are televised.  Some would say that in Texas, we live for football. If you are from Austin, you bleed orange.  If you are from College Station, maroon.  In Fort Worth, its purple.  Our colleges start recruiting athletes when they are in middle school.  The University of Texas is a football machine.  Myself, I do not agree with the level that we have exalted this sport or any for that matter but if you live here, it is ubiquitous.  As much as I disagree with athletes getting away with reprehensible behaviour, solely because they are athletes, I can honestly say I do not think that child molestation would have gone unchecked down here.  Yes, we have had athletes that were caught with pot or partied too hard and were cited with public intoxication and again, I do not condone their behaviour and they should all be punished just like anyone else charged with the same. But, I still can not shake the feeling that if someone were to walk into one of our locker rooms and witness a child being sodomized that a full on ass-whooping would have followed shortly after.  Maybe it is my Texas pride and maybe I am naive for saying that anyone from Texas would do that so maybe I should just say, I would have stopped that on the spot!  Is it possible that because I used to be a professional boxer that I would feel more comfortable forcibly removing someone from that scenario? Yes.  Is it even more likely that the pure ire that would have erupted in me from seeing something that heinous would launch me into action?  Definitely!

Suffice it to say that I am appalled.  I am appalled that someone witnessed such an atrocity and walked away.  Sure, he went and told his superiors but that child was still being raped.  He (the graduate assistant) should have called attention to himself at the very least so that the child would have some sort of reprieve.  He should  have taken that poor soul out of harm’s way and done whatever he could for that boy.  Instead, he walked away and merely told someone else.  This apparent lack of personal responsibility continued right up the chain of command,  every link solely doing the least amount necessary.  As if I was not appalled enough about this whole story, I read earlier this morning that students held a pep-rally for Joe Paterno last night.  What exactly are they supporting?  The fact that their precious, dignified and ethical Coach allowed many more innocent children to become victims of a vicious predator?  Or is it that they have allowed themselves to become so brain washed by the idealism of their alma mater that even when presented with the facts, they still can not seem to have an intellectual and humane reaction?  To these students, I say shame on you! So what he called his superiors? Reality check, he was legally obligated to do that.  These were you own people!  The graduate assistant, the Head Coach, the predator, the people covering the whole thing up and lastly the victims, themselves.  These people are from your state and in your school.  You should be appalled too!  You should want justice for these poor boys and nothing else!  No pep-rallies, no support for anyone that could have stopped this at any time and did nothing.

When I think of all the pain, emotional and physical that these kids had to endure, it makes me nauseous.  Children expect adults to protect them and they should.  It is all of our jobs to make sure that our children are safe.  And when I say “our children ” I mean all the children everywhere, not just mine or my friend’s or neighbor’s.  As adults we have an obligation to all the children in our communities.  The pain that is caused by sexual assault is scarring.  It lasts far beyond the actual attack and has much more far-reaching consequences.  The boys that were allowed to be assaulted will be dealing with the repercussions of those actions for the rest of their lives.  Many of them will most likely have severe trust issues, sexual intimacy issues and I am sure a lot of anger.  These are emotions and issues that they never should have been exposed to and someone could have saved them from it all.  What would these school supporters say to these victims?  Our Coach told his superiors?  He did want he was supposed to do?  Sorry you were raped too but…….. I have worked with people who have survived sexual assault when there was not anything that someone could have done to end it and they are scarred for life.  Imagine finding out that you were assaulted by someone who was a known predator and was allowed to continue preying on the innocent.  The level of betrayal is unspeakable.

My heart goes out to all the victims.  I hope that they are getting all the help and support that THEY need.  And I would like to see this as a wake up call for all of us.  If you see something like this going on, STOP IT.  Pick up your cell phone and call the police, immediately.  If you feel comfortable, make your presence known and perhaps the sheer shock will cause the perpetrator to cease.  Whatever you do, make sure it is not just what you are legally obligated to do.  Make sure that it is what you are morally, compassionately and humanly obligated to do.  We need to protect each other and take care of each other always.  That is the most important thing.  Not football, not alma maters, not athletic figures, those are all inconsequential and they should start being treated as such.

I apology for the rant but this really struck a chord with me.  I am sick that people lack personal responsibility or that we allow and even condone unacceptable behaviour on any level because someone is our friend, or our brother, or our prized coach.  Unacceptable behaviour is just that, unacceptable.  If you truly love people you should hold them to a higher standard, we should all hold ourselves to a higher level of moral standard.  We should stop the cycle of excuses.  When I was training at my first boxing gym, there were all sorts of motivational posters on the wall and my favorite read:

“When you are good at making excuses, it is hard to excel at anything else.”

How do I not know you?

Over the past five months I have learned some devastating things about people and relationships, the first being that you can live with someone for many years and still not know them.  This has been obvious on a micro and macro level for me.  Someone I once loved very deeply betrayed me in ways that are still unimaginable although factual.  I mean it happened, it occurred and still I have trouble believing it some days.  My main question is how does this happen?  How can people wear so many masks all the time? And how did I miss all this?

Many of my friends think that I am one of the smartest and most intuitive people that they know but I am not sure of any of that anymore.  I constantly question how I did not see this person for that they really are and when I ask my confidantes this very question they respond that they did not realize it either.  They tell me that this person fooled them too.  Fooled? Interesting choice of a word.  I knew of this person’s shortcomings.  He was selfish, immature and emotionally unstable.  I knew THIS but we all have flaws, myself included.  I chose to continue the relationship despite these flaws because I believed that inherently he was a compassionate, sensitive and ultimately loving person.  I also believed that he was honest, almost too honest and blunt at times.  So how was I so unaware of all the manipulations?  It is amazing what all you encounter after a break up.  Secret blogs, secret plans and all the lies that this person told.  I understand that on some level we all manipulate but it seems that all of his were totally premeditated.  He lied to groups of people that he knew would never communicate and he also went out of his way to discredit certain people so that even on the off-chance that these people did interact the truth would still remain hidden.  Given that I know all of this now, why do I still feel like I should have realized this earlier?  And how can two people’s perceptions of reality differ so greatly?

I was made aware of the fact that apparently he has started writing his own blog.  In of itself not a huge deal but this blog was going on when we were together.  Why lie about it? Why keep it a secret? Maybe because in all of his multitude of entries, I was only mentioned twice.  Maybe because I was not nearly as important to him as he was to me and he knew that.  He knew that I would question this and so he hid it from me.  Yes, I am mentioned as his beautiful and talented girlfriend but that’s it.  Even in an entry about Valentine’s Day, I am surprisingly absent.  We were living together and sharing a life and the reader would never know any of this.  Now, all he writes about is how glorious his new life in Korea is and again, no mention of how he got there or any of the events that lead up to this point.  To make matters worse, many other entries depict him as a person that believes in karma and the greater good and a need for people to expand their consciousness and to do good deeds. Really?  That is very interesting considering all of the horrific things that he did and continues to do and deny.  But it is his mask.  His public mask.  It is the him that he wants YOU to see.  You would never know that beneath that mask of compassion, worldliness and sensitivity belies Dorian Grey.  For at first glance, William is attractive, charming, intelligent, articulate and funny.  He entices you with his wit and knowledge of geography and current events.  He can talk about virtually any subject and be engaging.  He can make you laugh and feel sexy and desired.  But, behind it all, he is as selfish and narcissistic as they come.  He will make you think that all the compliments are for you when really they are to get you to like him.  He will make you think that you are so loved and important to him but really you are merely part of the mask of the day.  I was his relationship mask, his responsible, mature adult mask.  And now that mask has outlived its usefulness.  That mask was thrown out with the trash.

The new mask is much more fascinating.  He relishes his new mask.  The Hunter Thompson mask, all about the experience of things and people.  Sadly that is all.  You are an experience to him, something that he will write about in his journal or blog, or not?….. He takes little pieces of all those around and keeps them like trinkets and incorporates them into his persona.  You are not a real person to him.  You have no real feelings that need to be considered.  You are nothing to him other than entertainment.  So how did he “fool” everyone? Why do I keep hearing, “I never saw this coming.”?  Or, “I knew he was not telling me the whole story but I had NO idea it was this bad.”  Are we all stupid?  Were we all so taken with the mask that we never looked behind the curtain?  How did I not know him?

I have struggled for months to understand how this all happened and yet there is no lightbulb moment.  There is no light in this situation at all.  It is a constant darkness that follows me everywhere.  It is a constant reminder that perhaps we never REALLY know anyone.  One of my best friends says that you never really know someone until a crisis occurs.  That it is in the moments of a sympathetic nervous system response that you find out what someone is really made of.    Simple but true.  Flight vs. Fight.  My fate was sealed a long time ago, I am a fighter.  I do not run from confrontations, I do not run from my responsibilities and I do not run from pain, however, excruciating.

I choose not to wear a mask.  Sure I wear make up and I have a fake tan.  I even do my nails.  But all those that know me, KNOW me.  I am beautiful and flawed.  I have a gigantic heart that can love unconditionally but that can also bleed oceans when its broken.  I have a redheaded temper that can rattle walls and scare even the strongest of men.  I am opinionated and sometimes judgemental but I will always tell you the truth.  My intelligence can lead to the most enlightened conclusion or it can imprison me in obsessiveness.  I have compassion for all living creatures and try to lead an aware existence but I have my off track days and moments like everyone else.  For all my many talents and gifts, I struggle with insecurity and a low self-esteem.  I have cut, starved and otherwise injured myself on many occasions because of this.  But this is ME.  And everyone close to me knows this.  I am not afraid to admit my shortcomings and I am even less afraid to confront them.  I want to be better.  I want to be more aware.  I want to be the me that I know I can.  I want to forgive and love.  I want to overcome this time period not with bitterness but with liberation.  So at least I can say this, You do know me…….I  know me and I am glad that I could never hurt someone so deeply.  I could never leave someone with so many unanswered questions and just go about my life business as usual.

Take off your masks and show yourself.  There is nothing to fear. Let people know you and love you as you are.  Anything that you are ashamed of, you can fix it.  The power is within all of us to become better humans. Now is especially the time to live  in our truths and come from our hearts.  I hope for him the same.