Monday, September 29, 2014

Lesbians, Friends, Family and Partyboobs

I'm sure by now, you all think I've abandoned you.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I have been busy with life and the few times I felt like I had something to contribute in written form, I was not near a computer.  

I shall now catch you up on what I've been doing since graduation:

Girlfriend

Things with Kelly have been rolling forward very nicely.  We've had some of those great talks that move barriers out of the way so that you can make tracks toward common goals.  It's a good feeling when you know you are moving in the same direction as the person that you love and that the barriers that had been in front of you are now behind you.  We also realized collectively how much it sucks how your past can sometimes try to ruin your present so that you don't have a future.  When your past calls, don't answer.  It has nothing new to say, anyway. 

We are moving ahead with our collective goals!

One of our goals as a couple was for us to watch "Game of Thrones" and "Dexter" and we have really been rocking those out.  Let me tell you, nothing is more satisfying than binge-watching an entire series about a serial killer that you absolutely love while having your butt rubbed by a hot blonde girl in your bed.  Nothing...

Family

My dad!  We just celebrated the ass-kicking of his brain tumor.  Over a year ago, they gave him 3 months to live.  He is at 13 months now and still doing amazing.  My mom takes great care of him and he is doing so well.  I expected nothing less from a man who never ceases to amaze me.  Here we all are (Lindsey, me, my mom and my dad - and I want to make a disclaimer that the light is hitting his head so he looks bald but his hair is there and beautiful!)  Go, Dad! I am so proud of you!!!

Social Life & The Lesbians


Yes, I am still working my SEO and need to work the word "lesbians" into my blog fairly regularly.  But it's cool - most of the pics here are of lesbians so no deception is at hand.

I've been able to actually go places now that I am not in school or doing homework every waking moment.  It is so nice to feel like I have a real social life now. I actually forgot what it was like to have "free time" where you can go places and do things with people that you actually want to spend time with.
 
This adorable pic is my beautiful girl, Kelly, and my very hilarious daughter, Lindsey. (She wants you all to know that she is NOT a lesbian.) (But I've decided I'm going to love her and accept her, anyway)

We spent one particular Saturday morning at the DragonCon parade watching a lot of very strange and entertaining people march on downtown Atlanta.

We then hopped on this train where Kelly wanted to pose with Lindsey who could find no place to hide when my camera came out.

We rode on over to a small enclave of Atlanta - Decatur.  It is the lesbian capital of America.  Some people (namely redneck men) like to pronounce it "Dick-hater" as a way to stereotype lesbians. Isn't that hilarious?

Every Labor Day weekend, Decatur has a book festival.  Lindsey and I hit it hard each year.  This year, Kelly came along and enjoyed the ambiance, the wild train ride there and of course, laying on a blanket in the grass on Decatur Square.  Here we are:



It was a lot of fun!  And look at her boobs...  (As if you weren't!)

Kelly & I have also had a few opportunities to go out and socialize:

We went out with a lot of our friends to a local club and just had the best time visiting with everyone.  

Clubs are not normally my favorite thing to do but when they are filled with a lot of friends and it's only once in a while, I don't mid at all.  It was also nice to introduce Kelly to my friends that she hasn't had a chance to meet yet.

One of my pals that went with us is a fantastic kid I met in one of my classes at Southern Poly.  His name is Sean and he is such good company.  Here we are together:

Handsome stud.
(And Sean is cute, too!)

Then, we have our other pals that I've had a few chances to connect (and in some cases, re-connect, with):

This is me with two of my amigas, Kari and Mandy.  For a while, Kari was lost.  I allowed someone to come between us and I didn't act like a very good friend to her.  When we reconnected recently, she was kind enough to accept my apology and I am overjoyed to have her back in my life.  The smiles don't get more real...




I don't think I've ever introduced you to one of my bestest besties, Arlene.  I literally never, ever, ever get tired of talking to her!  She is so wise. Here are a few of us together:


and....


 

Could this girl be any cuter?  I don't think so...


A ladies night out complete with a nerdy guy in the background photo-bombing us by throwing horns.  Since I am a heavy metal aficionado, I left him in the pic with me, Lisa and Kari.


Kelly & I also had the opportunity to go see a show by the daughter of our friend, Kimber.  Here is Kelly, Kimber & I enjoying cocktails:

 The newspaper that I work for was having a big shindig and I got to hang with some of my favorite peeps.  This is Lisa and she is one of the most chill, laid back and down-to-earth people I know.  Love her to pieces!

More from the party.  Left to Right: Maeve, Lisa, Lisa (I wanted to type "Cult Jam" there but I digress), Mandy, Arlene, Kelly, Me and a new girl whose name I forgot.  Sorry, blonde girl.  (You were very nice, though...)

Nobody told me that Regina and Mandy were comparing tongues.  It's a good thing, too, because I would win this contest HANDS DOWN!  Here are theirs...
 and here is mine:
 Winning!

Life is always made better by the fun-loving and happy people that you surround yourself with.  I am glad to have them in my life. Speaking of great people, here is one more with my beautiful girl, Kelly:
I don't know why my cheeks look like I have the mumps here but it's such a good picture of Kelly that I felt criminal not sharing it.  Is she not a stunner?  

And yes, Lindsey is still sending me texts that make me laugh:

Okay, thanks for playing catch-up with me!  On the horizon for the next month:
  1.  Garage Sale to end all garage sales
  2.  Atlanta's Gay Pride (including Aquarium Party, dinner with friends, PRIDE parade, a fancy-schmancy hotel and taking Kelly to her first gay pride event EVER!)
  3. A visit from my son for his birthday!  He's going to be 23 - HOLY SHIT!
  4. Job interviews!!  All of the applications have started to pay off and I have finally started to get some interviews lined up.  Cross your fingers and toes for me to get the right job at the right place!
  5. Winter-proofing my house.  I have to keep my dyke skills sharp!
Until next time.... 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mission Accomplished

Thought I dropped off the face of the planet, did you?

No.  I was simply digging deep and trying to finish strong at the end of this collegiate marathon.


I wrote my thesis and finished my last 2 classes this summer and on August 2nd, I walked up to get my BS in English & Professional Communications. 

Magna Cum Laude.

With High Honors.

Not only did I get my degree, but I had Joan Jett with me.  See?

 
Better than getting my degree was having my friends and family there to support me and celebrate with me.  

When I remember coming out of the closet and being afraid to leave my life and start being my authentic self, my parents were my biggest supporters.  They have always encouraged me in everything that I have done.

When my heart was broken, my parents literally grieved with me.  They felt the loss.  They also had to listen to endless, tearful stories of a lot of the drama that was unfolding around me.  But they kept me on my path.

Around this time last year, my dad got sick with a brain tumor.  It was the worst diagnosis and it was a year of difficulty like I've never had in my life.  But again, my parents have been my biggest source of inspiration.

They work together and my dad is still going strong.  He is kicking the ass of this tumor as we all expected him to and my mom is solidly by his side, taking care of his every need.  They are facing this with the same sense of loyalty and love that they have demonstrated to each other for their more than 36 years together.

In fact, I have always held their marriage in the highest regard.  It was always something that I wanted for myself.  I have longed for such a connection with someone that it would just get stronger and stronger and I would feel completely safe.  

In my mind, this was an attainable thing.  But the older I get, the more I realize that what they have is the rarest thing in the world.  (And the most beautiful).  It's likely not for me, but I still feel so lucky to have been a witness to their love story.

Here I am with my precious mom, Gail.  She is fantastic, amazing and one of my best friends.  I love her more every year and I feel so lucky to have her in my life. 

When my ceremony was over and I got to walk down onto the floor to see my people, I saw my proud father look over at me smiling.  I had to swallow and re-swallow the biggest lump in my throat as I bent over to feel his embrace.  

This was not just my victory.  It was his, too.  He worked very hard to be there for me like he always is for everything.  My son captured the moment, although the feelings could not be recorded.  If photos could say what was in my heart, this computer screen would not be big enough to hold it.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

It Starts With A 'D', Aunt Mama


Tonight, I was talking to my 13 year old niece, Mackenzie.

She was bringing me up to date on how she is spending her summer, the pool that she frequents and the many delights of Chinese take out.  

Then, she suddenly remembered that she was doing a thing tomorrow...

Mackenzie: "Guess where I'm going tomorrow?"

Me: "Ummmm, to an ashram to take a systematic course in ancient techniques of yoga and kriya?"

Mackenzie, "No.  It starts with a 'D', Aunt Mama.  It has to do with teeth."

Me: "A dungeon?  You're going to a dungeon to get your teeth knocked out by a professional torturer?"

Mackenzie: "No, Aunt Mama!  I'm going to the dentist... sheesh!"


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Moms Are Sexy




This morning, Kelly & I were spending quality coffee time together before I went to my classes.  I hated to leave her but it was time to go.  

I kissed her goodbye and headed towards to door.  As I got down the hallway, I got to hear her inner mom come out when she called after me, "Have a great day at school, Honey.  Make good choices..."


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Decorating With Kelly

Kelly and I have been talking quite a bit about the future which inevitably leads her to talk about living together and one of her favorite subjects: DECORATING!

Honestly, I couldn't care less about decorating.  The very word gives me the shingles.
  • I think about wasting money buying things that may or may not look good together when I get them home.  
  • I think about how I will likely get sick of looking at the new stuff or somehow ruining it ("This is why we can't have nice things!").  
  • I think about how I have never in my life purchased curtains - or should I say "dust collection devices"? 
I think about how much I hate an object sitting on a clean, flat surface and cluttering it up and how bad I feel when I go to someone's house who has an ENTIRE CURIO CABINET full of chotchkies just sitting there looking useless and irritating me.
I judge these people for wasting their money on useless crap that sits there having it's rent paid for while it does nothing to earn its keep.  (Much like a teenager)

Now, however, love has brought me to the place where I am talking about decorating our future home with someone who is passionate about it. 

Not just talking about it, but she started a joint, private Pinterest page for us to share decorating ideas that we love with each other.  

Okay, 99% of the pins are hers but sometimes, I pin a modern looking chair to demonstrate my engagement.
 
You see, our tastes are slightly different.  

My design aesthetic is clean lines, light, modern wood, skulls and red, black and grey color pallets.  

Hers is traditional, heavily patterned, curvy shapes and full of pillows.  

(Note: I have actually written about my decorative pillow hatred in the past.) 

But credit must be given where credit is due.  

This sexy femme of mine has actually found a meeting of the minds and sent me some pieces that she thinks will be a good compromise for both of us.  Take a look:

Exhibit A: A Traditional Chair



She got me to concede that a curvy, traditional chair might be cool to have as long as it had a SWEET skull on it!  I had no idea they made these.  And not just this one, but also these:





Exhibit B: Decorative Pillows

 
Oh, damn, she's good!  

I literally feel resentful when I go to someone's house who has a lot of decorative pillows in my way.  Its almost as if they don't really want for me to be comfortable sitting on their couch where I have to compete with 30 other pillows for some space.  But Kelly used my skull love and combined it with my favorite color red to get me to agree on these.  

Well played, my love.  Well played....


Exhibit C: Combining modern with traditional, curves with clean lines


This is a dining room that she pinned.  See the cleverness of her mind, here?  She again sneaks in the exact chairs that I would normally hate due to their traditional look.  But because they have cool silver/gray colors and are paired with modern, red flooring, a modern table and modern fixtures, I am again lured approvingly into her world of decor.

This sweet girl is more than a pretty face, a great rack and fantastic sense of humor.  She is also one of the smartest, most intuitive people that I know.  I am starting to picture the wonderful home that we could live and love in together one day.  

Things are about to get interesting here...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting Stoned


I had a great getaway this past weekend with Kelly and she got to attend her first Joan Jett concert.  (pics to come later)

Yesterday morning, I was getting ready for class and looking at her laying in bed wearing my t-shirt and looking so damn cute.  I said, "I had a great time with you this weekend, Kelly."

She smiled and replied, "I know!  Do you realize that we did things that we could get stoned to death for in other countries?" 

I so love her unique outlook on things...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Breakthrough


Since I paid a boatload of cash in student fees this semester, I decided to take advantage of seeing my school therapist, Tanya.  If you remember, I started seeing her last year to help me deal with my grief when my dad got sick as well as the end of my marriage.

I stopped seeing her near the second half of last semester because I was super-busy and because I was moving forward in a positive direction.  I was in a happier place and she had given me some excellent coping skills to use when I felt like I would be consumed by the thought of letting Dad go.

But a few weeks ago, I started to notice that I still had a few unresolved issues that were causing me to look at my relationship with my girlfriend through the dirty lens of my last one.  

Although she is nothing like my ex, I was drawing parallels and pushing her away.  I tried to list the reasons in my mind why she would not be "the one" that I would end up with. 

When she confronted me with this and told me she felt that I was broken by my last relationship, I took it to heart because she is not the first girl that I have dated since my relationship with my ex ended who has said that I pushed them away.  


I don't want to go around dating, making connections with people, then rejecting them when there is nothing wrong with them.  I do not want to hurt anyone and I know that I have.  It hurts me to think about it.  

And how lame does it sound to say, "It's not you, it's me"?  Ugh! 

I had to examined myself and my motives so I returned to Tanya to ask for her help.

As she directed me to consider why I was still so angry at my ex (thus holding her hostage in my mind), I had one of those light bulb moments in life where something just crystallizes in your mind and you actually reach a true understanding that you know will help you be a better person from now on.

I feel slightly embarrassed to admit that although I have always heard the advice "Never sacrifice your own happiness for someone else's", it had a different meaning to me.  


I would hear that and think, "Why wouldn't you?  Isn't that what love is? Sacrifice?"  

Well, I am here to say that HELL NO, it is NOT what love is.

My ex never asked me to do all of those things for her, or to give up what I wanted to do to accommodate her wishes.  I did them willingly because I loved her and wanted her to feel special and know that there was nothing I would not do for her.  

But I realize now that:
  1. It didn't do anything positive for the relationship
  2. I gave up my own happiness for hers - and she still wasn't happy
  3. It artificially propped up a relationship that should have ended long before
  4. When I was in that deep and had that much time, energy and money invested, I kept trying to make it work long after we were both unhappy.  
It just felt wrong to walk away from all of that work, everything that I had invested.  

I imagine it is how people who followed their dream to open a business and they put their life savings and all of their time and love into the business.  It takes off and has an exciting beginning but then tapers off.  Month after month, they see a decline.  At some point, they have to give up and let it go.  It must hurt so badly to admit failure and walk away from something that they loved so much.

I can clearly see now that it was my own damn doings, not hers.  It was my choice to put myself in this position and open myself up to this damage.  It was me who decided to give trust when trustworthiness was already in question.  

I was trading these things for hope.  

I had hoped to build an amazing life with her.  I had hoped to grow old with her and enjoy our grand kids together and travel the world with her.  I had hoped to die together, holding hands in a nursing home in our sleep.

When my sacrifices didn't pay out the trade-off that I was expecting, I felt bitter and angry towards her.

I am happy to report that I let that shit go last week.  


And when I did, I started seeing my girlfriend in a totally new way.  

I am not afraid that she will bring the same problems into the relationship with my ex that I was never able to solve.  I am not afraid that she will become unhappy and want to go. Then return. Then go. Then return...

I know I still have some work to do but what a huge thing for me to realize.  I know that as long as I keep my own needs and my own happiness a priority, I will never feel like I am too invested in something that I can't just walk away if it no longer makes us both happy. 

If my happiness makes her unhappy, she is free to leave and I am fine with her going.  


If my pursuit of my happiness makes her feel jealous or insecure, I will not change to accommodate her problems.  I will reassure her of my love, but then she will have to deal with it.  After all, it isn't my problem to handle. 

This has been so incredibly freeing for me... I can't even begin to express how glad I was to have had that conversation with Tanya and for her forcing me to look at the issue and stop feeling angry at my ex for something that I did to myself.


I happily let it go, divorced myself from that marriage and am ready to move forward with my life with new ideas about what type of relationship I want in the future. 

And my girlfriend?  She is totally on board.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Thanks for the Siesta, Bitchachos!


Phew - that was a much needed siesta, Bitchachos!

I had a wonderful learning experience in my Publishing for New Media class (remember, I was getting graded to blog?)  I learned all about SEO keywords and analytics.  It was fun (and creepy) to see where my visitors were coming from, how long they were staying and what they were looking at.  

I got to make a cool spreadsheet breaking it all down into the most minute components, such as IP addresses and networks that visitors were logged into.  (Some of you log in from work - your bosses would not approve!)

Still, you fine bitches got me an A in my class and my readership went up exponentially.  

Although I wanted to take the summer off from blogging so I could finish my last few classes and write my thesis (and work on campus), my science class/lab is much easier than I expected and the thesis is humming along.  Since I have more time than I anticipiated and you all did so well for me with your visits, I didn't want to make you wait until August to hear from me again.  

So tomorrow morning, you get a brand new post and it's going to be good so get your big girl panties on and be ready to read.

-Shannon

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Adios, Bitchachos


I've decided that as fun as this blog was, and as useful as it was to me to sort through the things going on in my life, and to ruminate out loud about the things that I ponder, I'm going to shut it down for a while and focus on finishing my last semester and writing my thesis.

I may or may not be back but you can always use the contact form to send a message.

Wishing you all well....



-Shannon

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Walking Alone

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Do you ever contemplate the sadness of walking life alone?  
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Although you may have friends and family that can walk with you for a while, you realize that they have their own friends and family and you know it's not possible for them to walk with you the entire journey?
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Even though you could make it alone, sharing the joyful moments of your journey with someone you really love is the happiness that a good life is made of.  
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It reminds me of that scene in "Jerry Maguire" where he had his big night but he couldn't enjoy it because his wife wasn't with him.  He's telling her (in front of a room full of women) that he realizes that his happiness is now contingent upon having her presence to share it with.  
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(Wasn't that sweet?)
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Not only do you suffer walking alone by having nobody to share your basic life joys with, but you also know that when you suffer a heart-break (and you WILL), there is nobody with you to comfort you.  
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When you feel no hand rubbing your back and have no body to just be physically present, be certain that your sadness becomes multiplied. 
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Walking alone is hard and with each passing year, I have greater tenderness in my heart for those who must do it.  It will never be my desire to walk alone but sometimes, it's not up to us.  For those who must do it who don't want to, my heart goes out to you. 
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Love and light.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Years of Love Have Been Forgot...



I don't know why I have never seen this quote until recently when I stumbled across it on Pinterest

I'm one of those people that sees something or has a conversation with someone and it stays with me and I find myself thinking about it so much that in order to find out what I really believe, I know that I must write about it.

This quote was one such inspiration.

Think about the profoundness of it:


The years that people spend loving each other, serving one another, praying for each other, having a physical connection, putting their interests ahead of your own, building a life together and taking steps to ensure their closeness, keeping your word and building trust - it's all what people who love each other do.  

And yet, in a single moment of anger, it can go up in flames like the striking of a match.

Every step you took together, every sacrifice you made, every thing that you gave up, every friend that got put on a back-burner - it can all go away because of selfish anger.

Take care that your emotions do not rule your tongue.  Anger only lasts for a moment, but the consequences of the decisions you make while you are angry can last for a lifetime.  

Don't allow your selfish need to give full vent to your anger in a way that destroys trust and love.  You can do it in small increments over a period of time or you can do it with one, angry utterance of "I hate you and I wish you were dead" - but they both lead to the same thing: 

loss. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Taking a Break Before the Home Stretch


This past weekend was the start of a much-needed break before my summer (and final semester) of college begins. 

I spent Friday mowing my lawn and my dad's lawn, running errands and enjoying the warm weather. 

On Saturday, I slept late for the first time in a long time.  I met a friend that I have known since 4th grade for sushi and we caught up on much (but not all) of what was going on in our lives.

When my girlfriend came over, we went to dinner and then met two of my friends from school at a club where we had a few drinks and some wonderful conversation.  In fact, it was one of those nights where we didn't get to bed until 4am.

We slept a few hours and got back up to meet two more friends for brunch - trying to catch up on their lives and letting them meet the new person in mine. 

I even had my ex-husband over today to help me trouble shoot a problem with a new ceiling fan he installed for me.  When it was a simple matter of resetting the remote control, we both looked at each other and burst out laughing and I thought, "This is good." 

Only 6 years ago, when I came out of the closet, he wished me dead.  Now, we hug each other and help each other and we laugh at each other. He met my girlfriend a few weeks ago and then again today, they were chatting like pals.

These are the types of things that recharge me during a semester break. 

Yes, I hustle to get the house back in order and clean. I usually have a garage sale to raise money for my tuition and  catch up on all of the small issues that need to be taken care of.  But the most important of all:

I try to reconnect with the people that I love but don't often get to see when I'm taking classes and working 5 days a week.

The people in my life, the dearly beloved friends and family that I have deep connections with - they recharge me in a way that I cannot describe. 

The main thing that my father's illness has taught me is to love the people in your life and do not take them for granted.  I really want to make time for them.

For the next two weeks, I will be doing more visiting, reconnecting, building, resting, recharging and especially loving. 

Oh, and Florida beach condo, here I come...

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Big, Gay Wedding

All you need is love

This past Saturday night, I was honored to be a witness to a beautiful exchange of vows between two men who are in love.

Jeff and David, the groom and groom, stood in front of their family & friends and recited their vows to each other.  

They pledged to come into the marriage without expectation of what the other could bring to them or do for them.  Instead, they pledged to love the other enough to strive to meet the needs of their partner.

It was also mentioned that Jeff and David had to have their legal wedding in California a few months ago so it would get legal recognition in the United States and so David would qualify as a military spouse to receive those benefits.  

As I thought about the trouble and expense that these men had to go through - to travel to marry away from their family and friends, and then come home and do it again for everyone else - it just made me mad that we still have to deal with this shit.


A lesbian relates


At the party, we watched an amazing video tribute to Jeff and David. We heard their families and friends give toasts to the grooms. Jeff's best friend was especially inspiring and I related to what he said.

He said that 2 years ago, he and Jeff were out having cocktails and reeling from recent break-ups. 

(I could relate)

He said that Jeff told him that he doubted that he was ever going to be in another relationship again - that maybe he just wasn't cut out for it.

(I could relate)

He said that Jeff talked about having a date planned for the following week and having no expectations that it would turn into anything.

(I could relate)

When they spoke again, Jeff was surprised and cautiously optimistic about how well the date went.

(I could relate!)

After dating a few months, Jeff knew that he loved David and that he was a "hot tamale" -
(Well, David is handsome, but I'm not in love with him.)

Still, I have recently come to know that feeling of "Can this be happening to me?  I was not going to do this again.  Can I be falling in love with someone after the ass-whipping that my heart just took?"

So yes - I could relate.  

Happily.

Meanwhile, the guy in the floral print jacket below here is Max.  He is in this post because:
  1. He is ROCKING that floral print jacket.  You can't see it but he also has the cutest blue shorts on.  In addition to this jacket, he has fashion BALLS to show up looking like this.
  2. He is so sweet and I have loved getting to know him over the past year.
  3. He and Kelly really hit it off.  Here she is helping to clear his chakras. These two are all about energy and their exchange left me smiling from ear to ear. 

Gay marriage is coming

 
It was beautiful, inspiring and so very special for me to share in Jeff and David's big night.  I was truly honored to be a part of it.

I am hopeful that, as a lesbian, I will some day be able to stand in front of my family & friends and marry the woman that I love and be recognized as equal to every other married couple in Georgia.

I am putting it out there in the universe that I want to have a legally recognized marriage in my home state, Georgia, where last week, several couples filed lawsuits to challenge the constitutionality of Georgia's ban on same-sex marriage.

So far, in every state that has challenged such laws, they have all been overturned and ruled as "unconstitutional."

Could another big, gay wedding be on the horizon?  Whether it's Max, me or someone else, it's happening. 

The Gay Marriage Train is coming, everyone.  Choo-Choo. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pinterest is My Happy Place

I have been LOVING my Social Media Integration class this semester and have become very familiar with a variety of social media platforms, especially as they relate to businesses.

My favorite, by far, has become Pinterest.  (Mostly, because... no pointless socializing!) 

As a highly organized person, having a place to sort and store things for future reference is very appealing to me.  

I also love interacting with my friends there.  We send each other pins to make each other laugh or share tips and recipes.  I have a lesbian board, an INTJ board, a hot girls with tattoos board and a lot of other cool stuff.

I even have a board with just my girl so we can share private pins and messages with each other. 

If you pin, I invite you to follow me or send me a favorite pin of yours with a message that you came from my blog.  I would love to hear from you!

Click the button below:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Obstacles: Turning Away the Uncomitted


I saw this on my Pinterest feed a few days ago and it made me think about obstacles in relationships.  

I think that obstacles can serve two purposes in a relationship:

  1. To spur growth between the people in the relationship - as they overcome obstacles, they grow closer, build trust and have a strengthened bond.
  2. To weed out the uncommitted. 

Spurring Growth

 

When I was married to a man, our first few years together were difficult.  Not in a relationship sense, but financially.  

We struggled to pay bills and had to get very creative.  I learned how to cook, we began composting, he took our trash with him to his office dumpster, we had rabbit ears that got us 3 TV channels and I went through my entire pregnancy in Georgia without air conditioning because the repair to our AC unit was too expensive.

These obstacles could have torn us apart and we could have blamed each other for not earning more money or spending wisely, but we faced our challenges together as a team and did some fantastic problem solving.  

It felt like each time we solved a problem together, we began to develop a deep and abiding trust.  He kept his promises to me and I grew to know him as a man of his word.  I knew that he always had my best interest at heart as much as he knew I had his.

We were together for 23 years - until I came out as a lesbian and needed to take my own journey without him.  


Today, we are friends and will always have fond memories of the life that we built together.  We are our children's parents and will always have a friendship that has survived the trauma that coming out later in life can bring. 


Weeding Out the Uncommitted


Unlike my ex-husband, who was willing to be solidly on my team and committed to the core, you may find yourself with a "partner" who is anything but a partner.  

My ex-husband rarely made me feel like he wasn't on my side.  In fact, the times where he solidly took my side are the times I remember that I loved him the most.

An uncommitted person will act like they are on an opposing team when you must face an obstacle.  You hope they will be your ally - a person to go to that will help and offer advice and support.  

But, no.

An uncommitted person will rarely tackle a problem with you.  They avoid being involved and leave it to you to solve.  You may be attacked and blamed and the conflict may then be used as an excuse to alert you to your other failings as a human being.  

(If you don't know what it's like to be kicked while you're down, these types of partners will gladly teach you.)

If you have a partner who uses obstacles to show you where you are weak, blames you for the obstacle, refuses to acknowledge the obstacle (especially if it comes from their sphere) and/or gets tired of "dealing" with it, please know that I am so sorry for you. 

These people are "relationship lazy" - they love it when everything is going well, but they don't want to be a part of the work that it takes to maintain a good one.  

Like everything else, things that are not maintained usually start to fall apart.  When they do, these people walk out looking for greener pastures (new partners).  

Take Away:


Let these people go.

Do not fight to keep them in your life.  They will always want to flee in order to avoid doing the work of maintaining a relationship.  The blame game is the only one that they know how to play. 


Instead, look for the people who wouldn't even consider using obstacles as a time to vent or tell you what about you angers them, kicking you when you are down.  

You want someone who can communicate in a mature way, without feeling the need to blame or name-call; someone who can set aside their emotions for a moment in order to look for solutions that build relationship trust in the process.

If you are lucky enough to find someone like that, don't YOU be the dumb-ass that is too lazy to maintain it.  You hold on to and care for that person like they are the best thing that ever happened to you.  Because, more than likely, they are.