This was one of those eye opening experiences that I would never change and always be grateful for. What started as an intrigue for me turned into a "can I really get him if I try?", to giving me hope that I could truly like someone other than a lost love, to a lot of....anger and disappointment until I saw the truth as opposed to what he wanted me to see. Once you open yourself to seeing what is really there in front of you, disappointments fade away. You can walk into a situation with full awareness and mindfully walk through each moment, learning what is offered.
I have heard before, if you could change one thing in your past what would it be? I hate that question. In a way it's almost an insult, the person standing there being asked that is the way they are because of their past. If something is "wrong" with them and a change in the past is needed to heal a wound or smooth over a bump in their soul...why can't they be simply accepted as who they are at that moment and moving forward we are all always growing and smoothing over those rough edges? I know that this is a stretch of the imagination for the perception of a simple question...and not the intention of pretty much the entire world when they ask it, but it's something I have thought about a bit.
Allen is no different. If I had never pursued his attentions at the whiskey bar, the conversation of "if I was 30 years younger or you were older, you wouldn't be able to get rid of me." would never have happened, we wouldn't have spent the next two months talking daily, I never would have been introduced to some incredible shows (or David Copperfield), and while it would have saved me the pain of how it feels to have someone be ashamed of you, I wouldn't have learned how to be stronger on my own and even more proud of who I am. Leaving a bar under the pretense of leaving, only to double back and meet in a hotel room (and then to have a friend acknowledge with a cheeky good morning the next day) could be considered to be stupid after all of this, but there were no pretenses and just honesty up front now.
Strange to think that broken men and hurtful relationships can teach you to be a better communicator, but there are unique lessons to be learned in everything. And after being with an egotistical power-player with some serious insecurities, it teaches you the value of yourself.
Hope sucks & life isn't fair, so take some risksWhy is it that the majority of the time it is the man that initiates the relationship? Culturally more and more women take the lead and ask the guy out first, and a relationship is a mutual conversation of course...but why is it that women are the ones that tend to be braver with their honesty about how they feel and men are the ones that make bold moves or seem to decide if a couple is exclusive? One of the things that I have learned over the years is to take a risk, take a chance and be honest to yourself. You deserve that much, and so much more, the least you can do is truthfully and respectfully be true to yourself.
It's the scariest thing to tell someone how you feel. Walking up to a stranger in a bar and saying "I think you're beautiful, can I buy you a drink?" can be just as terrifying as "I love you"; in many cases the latter is enough to freeze you in your tracks before you open your mouth. Especially if it is to someone that you are close with, have known for awhile, and you're scared of ruining a friendship or of losing them. I won't give much advice in this book but one piece I will say is this: I'll never say don't be afraid to say I love you. Fear is natural. But don't let hesitation win, take that terrifying plunge and tell them. Even if it's your best friend and she's married and you know she is straight. Even if it's your best friend that you haven't seen in years, how can you know? Sometimes you just do.
I'm not saying tell someone you've gone out with twice that you love them...that sort of impetuous quick love can sometimes be a rush of feelings that are hard to discern lust from love. True love comes when you know yourself, when you love yourself and if you have a good relationship with someone, simply telling them "I love you" shouldn't break that. Because saying "I love you" is simple. They say that love is complicated, but it really isn't. It's a warm feeling of inclusion, of soothing each other's rough edges, of blissful happiness that even in the roughest of times you know they are there for you as much as you will always be there for them.
Back to people...I'm torn between introducing Vince or V to the story officially (and by story of course I mean this wonderful collage of anecdotes of my life and bits of philosophical wisdoms that I've accrued), or of touching on another friend that has impacted my life.
Natalie is one of those friends that comes into your life a bit like a hurricane but before you know it you're in the eye and it's calm and life makes sense. She's someone that has seen me at my worst and never left. From conversations that lasted hours into the night and closed down restaurants around us, to phone calls while we're stuck in traffic just because we needed to rage and bitch on the phone, to listening to the drama in each others' lives and empathizing when needed, and also threatening the life and limb of those that wounded us when required, we've been through a lot in just a few short years.
Initially (and this may be a surprise to her to learn) I wanted nothing to do with her and almost despised her a bit, because even though I no longer loved my ex, I certainly didn't want to see her flaunting herself on him. Luckily I got over that quickly and we bonded over...well honestly this is another first good conversation I don't recall. Perhaps she remembers how we became friends and I'll get a phone call after this reminding me of that! Nonetheless we became pretty quick friends and she is one of few people that I am comfortable with being hugged by. So much so that I believe my boss was taken aback one morning after a long hug was exchanged (with the reason being simply that she wanted to hug me).
While we might not have the same taste in music (head banging just isn't my style!) and different taste in men (sorry, Ryan Gosling & others who shall remain nameless ;-) ), its our differences that have created a strong bond of friendship and I adore her advice and words of encouragement. Whenever I need someone to tell me that I'm being ridiculous, or that I need to move on...I can count on her to tell me not just what I need to hear, but sometimes what I want to hear as well. Because there's nothing wrong in life with sometimes saying what is desired and not just needed.