Tag Archives: relationship

Am I too Late?

I have been a wanderer, a traveler, an explorer, an escapist most of my life. Nothing of mine collected dust. I always seemed to have a Plan B, an escape route. If it got too complicated or messy or boring I’d take off one way or the other.

Though it probably sounds harsh, if I’m honest, I was still feeling this through both of my marriages. I wasn’t ready to settle down, to lay roots into the earth. Wandering was always in competition with this idea of what I should be doing at my age. So, I’d find myself with the trappings of a settled down lifestyle while inside I was fighting it, distancing myself and fantasizing my way out of it. Talk about the definition of one foot in and one foot out.

Looking back it is easy to see why I was so miserable for so much of my life. I was by no means living in harmony with my soul’s urge. I felt one way and tried to fit in another. Terribly painful way to exist. There are years of my life that I don’t even remember because of this dissonance. 

I didn’t form meaningful relationships with people because I didn’t see myself sticking around anyway. If I’m honest I didn’t really take my marriages as seriously as I could have either. To be frank, I didn’t have the first clue of what a marriage really was anyway.

So much of my life was spent like an out of body experience where some other force felt like it guided me along. I gave up control of that “traditional life stuff” in exchange for holding on to my fantasies of the life I wished for. Somehow I never thought I was allowed to have the life I actually wanted so I settled in a different way. I clung to my fantasies to make the reality I thought I was obligated to live, bearable.

After my second husband left, I spent several years watching my life tear apart at the seams.  After 33 years of living this double life, I couldn’t hold it together anymore. It was one if the most painful and lonely times of my life. I had to get a grip, make a new plan Stan, drop off the key Lee, and set myself free. How the hell do I do that?

I spent a year living overseas in Ecuador. I traveled just about the whole continent, I learned a new language, I got a job, I rescued working girls off the streets and offered them an education, I danced salsa almost every night, I learned that Latin lovers are not all good despite the reputation, I climbed volcanos, zip lined through the jungle, ate guinea pig, fell in love, lost love, lost weight, gained friends, and came home eventually to an empty house in the USA faced with the reality I could no longer escape. It was time to start over.

There was still so much distance between me and the stuff of my life. My house, my car, my things…all just stuff…meaningless. I had no real friends, no one I could count on. I was so used to keeping that distance and I could do most everything on my own anyway, so why bother?

I stayed this way for awhile. Had lots of disposable lovers.  For awhile sex was the only place I felt anything at all. When guys started to get personal or clingy, I’d drop them.  They never slept over. I didn’t want to wake up and see them. I struggled to keep the roof of a house I wasn’t sure I wanted over my head. I was committed to nothing.

Fast forward to now (5 yrs. later) and I find myself wanting to lay roots. Wanting to commit. Wanting love. Loving my house. Wanting a life partner. Understanding what that means. Wanting close friendships. Feeling so deeply that sometimes it scares me. Terrified that I’m waaaaay out of my depths most of the time with my understanding of this lifestyle. Freaked out that I can’t hack it. Afraid I’ll screw it up.  Thinking how behind I am. How much remedial training I need. How lonely I can feel now that I care to have people close to me. Resisting the urge to flee when I’m scared. I keep at it. I stick around. I want to find out if I could stay at a job long enough to collect a pension. I want to know I’ll be ok 6 months from now. I want stability and safety for a change.  I want to trust myself that I can do all this. I wonder if at nearly 40 I’ve arrived too late to the party.

I still want to explore this wonderful world around me and learn from it. I just want to have a place that I am happy to call home now too.

This is one of the most frightening adventures I’ve ever embarked upon. I am in pursuit of my own brand of happiness. The stakes are so high because the outcome matters so much. It’s finally personal.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

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All the Things Money Can’t Buy

I was chatting with some friends last night over dinner and catching them up on my life. As these conversations often do, we found ourselves talking about relationships.

What do You Want?
A friend turned to me and said, if you could summarize what you want from a relationship in one sentence what would you say? This was an interesting challenge. After a few minutes I said, “I want to be with a man for all the things that money can’t buy”.

Apparently, this was a profound statement because everyone stopped eating, stared off for a moment and returned with – “Wow. Yeah. Me too. Well said.”

Can’t Buy Me Love
While this is not to say I want to be with someone without 2 nickels to rub together,  I also can’t be bought. There is NO replacement for:

  Intimacy
  Empathy
  Consideration
  Bonding
  Respect
  Tenderness
  Authenticity
  Hugs at the right moment
  Compassion
  Good conversation
  Really listening
  Making quality time
  Being held
  Divulging deep dark secrets without fear
  Safety
  Consistency
  Acceptance of who and what you are
  Great character
  Kindness to strangers
  Humility
  Great sense of humor used at the right time

Too many times I experience individuals so desperately trying to keep a relationship that they give stuff, their bodies, favors in hopes that they will be loved in return. These are gestures of fear and desperation. You cannot make love from this space.  If there was one word thst could summarize all the others above it would be to connect to someone. This makes loves because you are actually thinking of and feeling for the other person.

Enough about Me, Tell Me about You
I like to think of love like being open and ever curious. If you don’t feel this or have anxiety or fear then you are not in a good space to find, to make or to maintain love.  When you stop thinking about me, me, me and how I get my needs met, you can open up to another person and get to know them. Funny thing is that with most people they want to reciprocate. So, you have a better chance of getting what you want by showing another person the same curiosity you would like first.

It really struck me to finally have a simple set of words to frame what I’m looking for in a relationship. It goes a step further though I think. As we say in science,  like attracts like. If I am the qualities on that list, I will attract that kind of person into my life. Those we are with are a reflection of how we see ourselves afterall. In other words be the person you’re looking for.

 

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Exploring Plant-based Diet

I’ve always been an animal lover. I was the kid who brought home every injured or stray animal I found in the woods behind my house. I’d try my best to fix their broken wing so they could fly, dress their wounds, nurse them if they were abandoned by their mothers. I wanted to be a veterinarian for a long time until I learned I’d have to put animals to sleep.

I wouldn’t consider my family to be raging meat eaters. In many ways we had the Mediterranean diet with my mother’s family being from Lebanon. We did like meat and had it with dinner almost every night. My family also hunted and fished so we shared the successes with each other to help feed each family.

However, I do really like grilling and if you asked me what my favorite food is, I’d tell you a bacon cheeseburger with the works. So, imagine my surprise when I found myself so impacted by a film that I started eating an almost 100% plant based diet and I’m feeling better than ever.

If you’ve not had the opportunity I’d recommend you watch the movie “Forks over Knives”.  In this movie researchers explore the possibility that people changing their diets from animal-based to plant-based can help eliminate or control diseases like cancer and diabetes.

What struck me was witnessing how the animals were not just poorly treated or kept in way too close quarters, they were flat out tourtured. All just so I could have meat on my plate. Something broke in me and I couldn’t do it anymore. I was focused on finding alternatives. Nowhere more than in the USA are we lucky to have the options we do. 

Many people think that having a plant-based diet is more expensive than animal-based, but I put this to the test and found for $50 I could pick up enough food for over 1 week (see pic below).

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I found that making 48 oz of green smoothies each day allowed me to get a huge portion of veggies and fruits in that I’d never have the time to eat. For example, one smoothie might include, – kale, swiss chard, carrots, bananas, mango, orange, and aloe pulp. Typically, I like to make them in the evening so that often I drink 32 oz for dinner and then put a 16 oz one in the fridge for breakfast. This works better for me because then I’m not rushing around in the morning trying to peel and chop.

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Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!

It is way easier than I thought to eat plant based. I thought I’d be starving. I’m not. One of the other things I do is minimize processed food because let’s face it, potato chips can be considered plant-based technically. I use fresh ingredients whenever possible so I control what I add to my body and make sure I’m not substituting one bad thing for another.

For meals I eat balanced ingredients. For example, yesterday I made a salad with avocado (healthy fat), black beans (protein), cucumbers (veggies), and tossed it with a little olive oil, pinch of salt and vinegar. It was very filling. Sometimes the hardest part of change is convincing yourself that a different way wil work. You think you’ll be hungry but you’re surprised to find that when meals are plant-based and balanced you can feel satisfied without that heavy disgusting feeling.

I’ve noticed some great effects as a result of not participating in animal torture / eating mostly plant-based. I’ve lost weight, my eyes and teeth are whiter and brighter and my nails are longer and stronger. My wrinkles have softened around my eyes and mouth, I have more energy, I am calmer, colors and sounds are more vibrant, I am more compassionate because I’m living in accordance with my values and feel more connected to animals like I used to, I’ve cut my sleeping meds in half, I get outside everyday for workout of some kind.

Get this! My ob/gyn doctor told me that he cannot feel any tumors in my uterus anymore (they’ve disappeared!!!) and it is as if I never had a surgery years ago to remove a 5lb fibroid because everything feels perfectly normal! This is just mind blowing to me. I’ve had problems here for as long as I can remember. It was so bad that I needed surgery to remove that gigantic tumor. Now I start eating plant-based and the new ones have disappeared and everything feels normal – as if you’d have never thought there was ever a problem!?!

I am really becoming a believer in this way of eating for more reasons than one. I have to say I’m not being too hard on myself though and trying to do everything all at once. I still eat eggs and cheese occasionally. I eat Morningstar Grillers as a substitute for my cheeseburger. I’ve left go of the bacon, but I still add a piece of cheese and load it up with bbq sauce, and horseradish mayonnaise.  This, surprisingly,  does the trick for the beefy cheeseburger craving.  I also imagine I will still eat fish / seafood for quite awhile until I could get to a place where I could give that up.

I think the key is adding more plants to your meals and substituting where possible. If it is too drastic and there is not enough support, it will be hard to stick with it. I wanted to add that for those of us who want to do something good for ourselves,  environment, animals, but need to make a big change in habits and increase knowledge before doing so. One step at a time. Think of where you can add the good stuff and subtract out the not so good.

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Most importantly,  be good to yourself. Treat yourself with love.  Eat what makes you feel strong and creative and balanced and helathy. This is a whole new way to see food as love. You’ll probably be surprised to find that as you do right for yourself, you’re helping others as a by-product of your choices.

Now that feels good 🙂

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

50 First Dates

Online dating aka 50 first dates. That’s how it feels. Date after date saying the same things and trying to feel excited about it. But what you really want inside is to find someone with whom you can move beyond the 1st date spiel.

I get it, dating when you’re close to or over 40 has it’s challenges. I put real effort into it and currently date about 3 different men a week. I really want my forever guy. I don’t date men who are not looking for a serious relationship or who are looking for hook-ups. You have to keep away from the time wasters and the people with whom you have nothing important in common.

Still I feel tired, to be honest. Coffee dates, lunch dates, dinner dates, museum dates. After while, it all swirls together. It is as if I’m looking for something long term in a casual way. Who can remember their names even after awhile. It reminds me of rummaging through a sale bin looking for that one item that stands out.

These are the moments when I especially wish my ex-boyfriend would have stuck together and worked things out. Sometimes, I picture these scenarios where he is experiencing the same online dating B.S. and it compells him to pick up the phone and say, I don’t know what I was thinking when I broke up with you, it sucks out here and nothing going on between us is worse than this scene. Let’s work this out.  Sound good? That’s when I sigh and say, thank god. I thought you’d never come to your senses. And they lived happily ever after. The End.

…and I’m awake.

So if and until that fantasy is brought into reality, it looks like I’ll be treading water in the sea of love looking for the right fish to swim by my side. 

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉