Dating, Life, Love

The Men I’ve Loved Pt 3 ~ Polyamory

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After my divorce I dated a few men but not seriously. Most of them only lasted a couple weeks to a couple months and in retrospect I dated a handful of scrubs. I was a mother of two in my mid 20’s and didn’t know who I was, what I wanted or what I was worth. I struggled with self love after being pegged as the awful woman who broke up my own family. I struggled with time management having to co-parent part time and work full time. I struggled to stay afloat with my mid level bank job and paying bills on my own. I found solace in the new friendships that I was creating and I was trying to learn who I wanted to spend my time with. I had a couple female best friends to help me find my path. One was our nanny when my youngest was a baby and I had to go back to work. I got to keep her in the divorce. She ended up somewhat moving in with me, or rather spending all her time at my house because she didn’t want to live with her mother. She would be there when I left for work and then when I came home. We would hang out & have cocktails after work and dance to Britney Baby! She was close to my kids and it was nice to have companionship during my transition. Another one of my girls was an amazing vocalist, guitarist and cook who lived with me for about 6 months. Finally, my life long best friend who has always been my biggest moral support. 

Burning Man is a huge music & art festival in the Nevada desert that happens each year at the end of Summer. During the off season the city of Black Rock is desolate but for that one week it transforms into the 3rd largest city in Nevada. Roughly 70-80k people attend this event and they must collectively construct it from scratch. There are thousands of art structures, sound camps and other camps that offer attractions like yoga, naked yoga, healing, showers, food, workshops and so much more. Anything you want to do can be found in their Who, What, When, Where Guide (WWWW).  Each participant has to bring everything they need to survive for the week in the desert. People come from all over the world and it truly is one of the most incredible experiences on earth. My lifelong best friend started inviting me to “Burner” events that happened throughout the year in our local community. Within months I began hosting my own potlucks in the community and ended up building a theme camp my very first year at Burning Man in 2011. Soon after I was hosting my own parties and later was nominated to be on the Board for Denver Decompression 2012 which is the annual post Burning Man event that brings the community together after the dust settles. One of my fellow board members was a man who was in a sound crew by the name of Whomp Truck. This man would later become the subject of this story line. 

Whomp Truck was a mobile sound crew that would pop up in hidden places all over Denver and host Renegade parties. I had been to a couple of their events and thought they were super cool so being able to work with one of them on this event was a dream come true. After throwing that successful event I was approached by their founder who asked me to join the crew. I started going to their weekly meetings and was the only woman there. It was primarily a crew of male DJ’s & tech guys but they said they wanted someone who could help organize the crew and my background in finance & management was ideal. It took me about 3 months to feel comfortable in the group at which point I jumped right in and started contributing much of my free time & energy to the success of the crew. I asked to welcome in a couple of my Burning Man camp members who I thought were assets and we merged forces. I started welcoming more women into the group and we were nicknamed “Whompettes”. A lot of these women were girlfriends of the DJ’s who never got involved before but if there is one thing I do well, it’s bring people together and organize skill sets. We grew from 6-8 to about 20 members within my first year, all of which had something amazing to bring to the table. We were rocking hard and riding high for a couple years hosting community events, warehouse parties and sound camps at our regional burn. We even started planning our own festival which was going to require a lot of start-up capital and a lot of hard work but we were inspired to do this. We worked hard and played harder. Unfortunately when you are so close to people on such an intimate level, there can be cross over in the relationship sector. There were people who would break up and then couple up with another person in the group. There were people who casually slept together and since we were all young & beautiful we occasionally had fun with each other. Nothing was super serious and we were just enjoying the ride. 

There was always one guy in the group who I was interested in more seriously, however. He was the first man I worked with during Denver Decompression and he was the one I saw as someone I could actually date. We hooked up a few times over the years but he was never serious about me, or anyone for that matter. He wasn’t in an emotional place for a relationship so we just remained friends with occasional benefits. After about 3 years of working together & occasional hook ups, I flat out told him I cared about him and we were young so I wouldn’t mind if he saw other people but I wanted something more. At that time a lot of our friends were exploring polyamory and I was curious about it. Monogamy didn’t work for my husband and I wondered if it was reasonable for people to only be with one person for life. Unfortunately when I confessed this, he freaked out a bit and told me he didn’t have those feelings for me and never would. He broke my heart that day and despite having to work with him I cut my friendship off with him. I hardly would look at him during our meetings and wouldn’t hug him when I left. It took 3 months of the “cold shoulder” for him to pull me aside and tell me he was sorry, he was wrong and he just got nervous. This man had just spent the last year struggling with Cancer, going through chemo and having to come to terms with the possibility of dying at such a young age. He was in recovery but he feared that he wouldn’t be around long enough to start a relationship with me. He then said that he did want something more serious and was ready to do this with me. This all seemed too good to be true and I was cautious so I suggested we start slow and maybe try polyamory. I knew him closely for years and I knew that he loved the ladies so I didn’t want to expect too much from him, other than honesty and companionship. We then embarked on an open relationship and the one agreement we had established was that we would always communicate and never lie to each other. 

Things were light & fun in the beginning. We were spending more time together and getting to know each other more intimately. I didn’t date any other guys because I hadn’t met anyone that I was interested in but he went on a couple dates with other girls, none of which he slept with but he was always honest with me about where he was. Then one day he sat me down and said we needed to talk. He said he met a girl that he really liked and wanted to pursue her. I said alright, this is what we agreed on and I wasn’t going to stop him. I said I wanted to meet her so we could all be friends and be on the same page. Once we established that we were all on board and willing to try polyamory, and once everyone cleared STD testing, we moved forward. The day after he slept with her he came to me and said he didn’t know if he wanted to do this.. He claimed the sex was bad and that he wanted to just be with me. I told him absolutely not. He doesn’t get to sleep with a woman and then just dump her. As tempting as it was to just claim him as my own, I wouldn’t allow this. He had said this was what he wanted so he needed to give it more time in my opinion. In retrospect I regret saying that as what followed was a very difficult time in my life, however I also know after years of processing this that I am grateful how things ended up.

Within just a few weeks she was making demands that I felt were unreasonable. She said that since she still lived at home with her parents and I had my own house, that his bed should be their intimate space while my bed should be his & my intimate space. I had major problems with this considering that I had known him for years and she just met him, she was not about to kick me out of his bed now. But I caved and I let it happen and that was my first mistake. From there, things just got worse… She confessed that she was Bi-polar 2 and for this reason she needed more attention than me. We tried to agree on how to divide up our time together but she would pull him away during our designated time together whenever she had a “breakdown” and needed him. She started making agreements with him behind closed doors that didn’t involve me and he began directly breaking agreements that we had already made. He would tell me one thing and then go back to her and change his feelings. Then come back to me with her various demands. I felt like this woman was controlling my life and I hated every second of it. He told me he loved me and then a week later told her he loved her. As much as I wanted him to honor his feelings, this made his confession of love for me feel shallow and seem like it was too little, too late. He bought us both jewelry for Christmas which she proudly broadcasted on social media and this made his gift to me seem generic. She and I tried to spend time together but it was difficult as we both seemed to want to be the alpha. I tried bringing literature into things and suggested we all read a book on Polyamory together. We never made it through the book and things just got more difficult.

Earlier that year I had uprooted my career in the financial industry to pursue my passion in event production. I only worked odd jobs & bartending for 9 months while I tried to find the perfect job which caused me to go into quite a bit of debt. I had finally gotten firm footing when my landlord notified me that after living in my house for 4 years I would need to move as he was selling. I had a short time to find a new place and the housing market in Denver had skyrocketed so finding another 3 bedroom house for $1000 per month was highly unlikely. When I told my boyfriend he said we should find a house together. I asked him how she would feel about this and he said it’s his decision and would talk to her. Then came back to me a week later and said we all needed to discuss this and she had some concerns. Suddenly I found myself promising that she could also move in with us and that we were all going to look for a place together. Since his lease wasn’t up for a couple months we decided I would temporarily move my things into storage at our warehouse where we kept all our sound equipment. Then I would live in a friend’s attic while my kids would stay with my co-parent until his lease was up. I put my whole life on pause for this man. 

At that time he & I were also neck deep in planning our first festival together for Whomp Truck. We were spending most of our time together working on the project and the other half of our time trying to make things work with her. I felt like it was all work and no play. When the festival was shut down by law enforcement, which is an entirely different story for another day, all shit hit the fan. We lost $30,000 of the money we had saved up for this event because we still had to pay out all our artists and were unable to get back deposits for infrastructure, porto potties, ice and the like. There was a lot of tension leading up to this event and I had expressed to the group how risky it was to proceed, but to no avail, we pushed forward despite the many hang ups and we lost everything, including our reputation. The group was heartbroken and people started to blame each other. Later that month my boyfriend, my metamour (my lover’s other lover in poly terms) and another couple from the crew went on a planned vacation to Shambala, a festival in Canada. I was left back home to pick up the pieces of the failed festival and also try and find a place for us to live. When he came back 2 weeks later everything was different. When he left he told me that I was his “Primary” which was something that was a huge point of contention between all of us as we read the book together. Supposedly, there is a primary relationship and a secondary relationship in the poly realm and he could never decide which one of us was his primary. I always hated the terms but this was something she said was a concern of hers if he & I both moved in together, she would default to the secondary. I could understand that as I never liked the idea of being “second” either so I never asked him to pick me, despite the fact we were both board members in our crew and making real life & business decisions together, I never wanted to make her feel lesser. He was my primary and that’s all I knew. When he came back however he sat me down and said that she was now his primary. He said things have developed between them so quickly and that our relationship was tumultuous. He said that I would still be his girlfriend but that this needed to be established. I felt utterly betrayed by him. After years of friendship and working together, he treated me in ways that I would never allow him to treat another woman and I couldn’t help but feel like she was manipulating him to make these decisions. I knew that minute that there was no way I would accept this and no way that I would move in together under these terms. I felt like he led me down a path, made promises and then abandoned me when I needed him the most. It took me one week to finally come to terms with the fact that I had to not only break up with him but also I had to break up with my sound crew. I had invested so much of my money, time & energy into others with nothing to show for it. Things were falling apart on all aspects and I needed to extract myself so I could figure out MY life & needs for once. I was living in an attic waiting on a man who would only disappoint me and the crew was fragmenting. I helped the crew settle their expenses but made it clear that I would no longer be a part of things. I left my career, lost my love & the person who was supposed to be my best friend, my tribe, my home and the creative project that I was passionate about all in one year. I was left broken and homeless.

It took me years to fully process how much this experience hurt me. I have not spoken to this ex-boyfriend since I left the crew. He ended up marrying the other woman and I believe they are still together. It’s hard for me to say I am “happy for them” but I will say that I am extremely happy for myself having gotten out of that situation. In retrospect I wanted to be with him so much that I sacrificed my needs. I learned so much from going through that and trying to see if polyamory worked for me. I can now say with confidence that I am wired monogamous. Energy is sacred and I like to share mine with one person and the energy exchange must be equal. I also can not allow any woman (or man) to control my life. I think all relationships require compromise but I’ve found that it’s hard enough to negotiate terms with one partner, let alone many. I also know that when I have sex with someone I become bonded to them and don’t need to look further. I want to feel safe in a relationship and not have to wonder if they are looking elsewhere. I don’t judge anyone who chooses polyamory and I understand from what I learned that some people are wired that way and there is nothing wrong with it. Many species have multiple partners and a healthy sex life should be a personal journey. It took hands on experience for me to know what I was looking for romantically and this was a part of my journey.

Love, Uncategorized

The Men I’ve Loved ~ Part 2 ~ First comes Love, Then comes Baby…

When I was 16 years old I got a job at Casa Bonita, the largest restaurant in the world (on land). Tourists came from all different parts of the nation to visit this place to see it’s 30 foot indoor waterfall, divers, entertainment, caves, magic shows, arcades and sopapillas. The food is less than desirable but the environment makes up the difference. My neighbor worked there and referred me so I filled out an application and was told to stay in the office wait room for the manager. Shortly after, a man came in with more energy than I could keep up with and asked me a few questions then hired me on the spot. They serve hundreds to thousands of people every day and especially during their peak season so they are always looking for staff leading into the summer. I had no idea that the man who just hired me would end up becoming my future husband and the father of my children. I started as a specialty staff member who took orders, carried trays and sold tokens then quickly moved into a specialty supervisor position. Probably on account of my awesome sales-lady-ship and being able to make record token sales. I was not eligible to serve or become a manager due to being under 18 but I didn’t mind. I loved the fast paced environment and the staff who were all friends with each other and hung out after work and on weekends. I remember the first time I was invited to hang out with my boss and his friends. A bunch of us went to a park at night to hang out.  While driving in the car some of the girls were gossiping and I learned that many of them had a crush on our boss but one girl in particular just started dating him seriously. He was 20 years old when we met and I was 16 so it wasn’t abnormal for him to be hanging out with all of the staff as we were all generally in the same age group. We became friends both inside and out of work and were strictly platonic. I casually dated some of his friends but nothing serious and he continued to date the other girl who moved in with him. About a year and a half after working with him and building a friendship he did something that I never expected. He pulled me into one of the back offices and while we were alone he grabbed my hand placing it on his heart which was beating very quickly and said “This is what you do to me”. I was confused… and intrigued… and don’t even know what I said. I knew very well he was in a relationship and I don’t recall even having a crush on him at the time but I loved and respected him. Nothing happened that day and he left me just thinking about his words. He asked me to take a drive to the mountains with him the next week and that was the day we began our secret love affair. I am not proud of this fact and as you will learn in the upcoming paragraphs, it is never wise to trust someone who is willing to cheat on another person to be with you. 

All shame aside, I fell deeply in love with this man to the point of being selfishly shortsighted. The thing that made me fall in love with him was the love letters he would write me describing how he felt about me and how he missed me all the time. I would write him letters of the same magnitude describing my deep adoration and love for him, wishing that we could be together. This was back in the day when computers were not commonplace so we communicated by hand on paper. His letters were lengthy, poetic and so romantic that they even made my friends melt when reading them years later. I suppose it makes sense this was the thing that made me fall in love with him since literature and writing is so important to me and one of my top love languages is words of affirmation. I still have those letters to this day. 

He would wake up early once a week to drive his girlfriend to school then come pick me up so we could spend the morning together. The most ignorant part about this situation was that this woman also worked with us so our secret was blatantly under everyone’s noses. One day about six months into things, he pulled me aside and told me he had to break things off with me. He informed me that he had kept one of my letters and left it in his pocket and his girlfriend found it while doing laundry. It was only a matter of time before everyone was gossiping about our affair and we were fully exposed. Within a couple days upper management pulled me aside and fired me with no explanation, but I knew that the reason was that there was too much drama in the workplace and I was the easiest one to cut loose. I called him right away and told him they had just fired me which was a surprise to him. He met me outside and we sat in his car while he held me as I cried. After parting ways he stopped calling me and I fell into a depression. I moved back in with my mother who didn’t ask me to pay rent while I couldn’t find the motivation to seek other work. I played video games and smoked weed all day and night until I could pass out. I cried more times than I can count and still I tried reaching out to him every so often to see how he was doing. That time was a big blur to me but I remember showing up to his house one day crying and his girlfriend answered the door. Surprisingly she actually let me see him and I just cried and told him I missed him…. But he turned me away. I don’t know what I expected from him at the time, I just needed to see him and tell him I loved him still. In retrospect it’s quite embarrassing to reflect on how desperate I was but I absolutely adored this man and if there is one thing I’ve learned about myself it’s that I am passionate and when I want something my will and determination won’t allow me to easily give up. About 6 months later I heard that he and his girlfriend broke up. A couple months after that I called him to check in and he asked if he could see me. It wasn’t long before we were spending every night together and he pronounced me his new girlfriend. I remember when he introduced me as his girlfriend at a party and I was both shocked and elated since he didn’t talk to me about this, he just announced it. I told him if he ever cheated on me that I need him to be honest because I never want to go through that again. I told him I loved him unconditionally and we were young so if we make mistakes we can work through it but we should never deceive each other. 

I am not proud of any of this but these are the facts and it’s important that I be candid when I explain our love story because I have spent decades protecting him and realizing that it only hurts me and that I need to release this from my conscience in order to heal and grow. So… here it goes…. I was not on birth control and we were not being safe during our entire love affair and the start of our relationship. I wish that I could say I was smarter but sadly I didn’t grow up in a good home and honestly I was so ignorant when it came to sex. I didn’t have a mother to set a good example for me nor a father to discipline me or guard me from boys. What I learned about sex came from TV, movies and gossiping with friends. There was also Sex Ed in the 7th grade but we only spent about 2 days going over the reproductive system and then all of us kids embarrassingly went home not having any desire to talk to our parents about what we learned. Needless to say, I got pregnant unexpectedly when I was 19 years old. I was sitting in my bathroom when the test turned positive and I started crying. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant but I also wasn’t doing much to prevent it. I allowed myself 5 minutes to break down and then I looked in the mirror and told myself “This is your life now”. I knew I didn’t have the heart to have an abortion and I knew this baby was my baby. The night I decided to tell him that I was pregnant we were driving home from a friend’s house and at the same time we both said we had to tell each other something. I decided to let him go first and he informed me that he accidentally slept with one of our friends. He said he remembered me telling him to always be honest and that I wouldn’t be mad as long as he was honest… True to my word I didn’t get mad. Then he said, “What did you have to tell me?” I said, “I’m pregnant.” 

He wanted to go to planned parenthood and get a real test to prove the diagnosis. When the verdict was up and the facts were beyond a reasonable doubt, we went to sit in his car in the parking lot and he told me that I had to get an abortion. I told him I would not do that. My mother told me once that she aborted what would have been my only full blood little brother or sister and she thought about it every day… that idea haunted me and I wasn’t willing to kill my baby and have that regret hanging over me. He slammed his fists on the steering wheel and yelled, saying this wasn’t going to work and I couldn’t trap him. He told me I had to abort the baby because he wouldn’t stick around to help. So I told him fine. I would do it on my own. He could be in the baby’s life if he wanted to but I wasn’t trying to “trap” him. This was my body, my choice and I was strong enough to do this alone. And so, we broke up. 

I cried less during that break up because I knew that I had more important things to think about. I was focused on the new life I was going to create with my baby. Growing up without a father I knew that I wanted to allow this man to be in my child’s life as much as he wanted. I would never keep my child from their father because the pain of not having a dad was too much to bear and it would be his choice to abandon this child, not mine. Three months later I invited him to the ultrasound for the first trimester. He decided he would join so I went to pick him up and when I walked into his room he was sleeping next to another girl. I decided to wait outside for him to come out. During the ultrasound the doctor asked a series of questions and then lifted my shirt to put the goo on my belly and used the ice cold device to find the baby. Forgive my lack of proper terms, I am not a doctor. As we waited to hear the heartbeat I anxiously looked at his face from across the room. The moment we heard the beating there was an instant change in his eyes. Something clicked and suddenly it became real. After the appointment he took me to Brueggers Bagel shop and asked me to marry him. It was not romantic but rather, he said; “My parents would be really disappointed in me if I got a girl pregnant and didn’t marry her. Also, I have insurance and you don’t”. I asked if I would get a ring and he said yes… so I thought about it for a minute. That wasn’t exactly how I envisioned being proposed to… and I wasn’t exactly intending on getting married at that age… but I did love him and thought I could marry him some day… So I said “ok”. A couple months later we were wed in my mothers backyard. I didn’t plan a thing and the “friend” he “accidentally” slept with took the lead and organized all the moving parts. She didn’t ask me what I wanted but planned a Hawaiian themed outdoor event with a pig roast and flowing booze. I was the only one who was sober that day and I got a hand-me-down gold wedding band from his mother. 

Then we settled into married life. I moved in with him, we had our first born and we named him after his father. Only 4 months after giving birth I was ready to go back to work.  I never saw myself as a stay at home mother. I wanted my own money and had been working since I was 12 years old so having a man support me was a foreign concept to me. I worked at a couple restaurants and bars until I decided I wanted to get a real job with benefits and try and build a career so I began working at a bank. He always said he wanted a big family and lots of kids but I told him not until we were more stable and he quit smoking cigarettes. Once our son was 3 years old and he quit smoking (in front of me anyway) I decided that it was then or never as I didn’t want to have kids so far apart that they wouldn’t have things in common and I remembered that I loved growing up with a sister. Our second child was far more intentional. I knew right away it would be another boy and already had his name picked out. He was born with colic and since I had 12 weeks leave from work I woke up 3-4 times a night to take care of him. He cried several times throughout the day & night for the first 6 months. When I went back to work full time, I was the only one who woke up with our son at night. I was so exhausted during this time but I never knew how to ask for help. I felt responsible for juggling motherhood, full time work, dinner, cleaning, laundry and even ironing my husband’s clothes every day before he went to work. I was an excellent wife, mother and employee but after work, feeding the kids and putting them to sleep I found myself alone sitting on the couch, watching ‘Desperate Housewives’ and drinking wine. My husband still worked at the restaurant so he wouldn’t get home until late at night and worked over the weekends, but I had to work Monday through Friday early in the mornings so I would be in bed by the time he was home. The only family time we had together was 2 nights during the week and Sunday mornings before he went to work. We didn’t plan date nights and we didn’t have much money to do fun things outside of the home. Somewhere along the line I realized I was not happy. Maybe it was due to the lack of attention I was getting from him. Maybe it was the lack of help and utter exhaustion. Partly there was a friend at work that I had a crush on but I never cheated on my husband. This guy just gave me a spark that I hadn’t felt in years and it got me wondering if I would ever feel that again from my husband. Maybe it’s because we got married too young and grew apart. We rarely fought but maybe that was a part of the problem. I was too passive and didn’t know how to ask for what I wanted. I didn’t even know what I wanted or who I was. Maybe it was my fault for not speaking up sooner, but then again, he never asked. We both just settled. 

I wrote him a Dear John letter and slept on it for a week. Every time I would reread it, it would solidify my feelings, or lack thereof. I knew that I had to come clean. I knew that I needed to break free. I was suffocating and something in my heart was tugging at me and I didn’t want to live that life anymore. I needed to learn who I was in this world. I knew there was more to life, more to me! Our newest born was only 8 months old and I had just told my husband I was leaving him and there was nothing he could do to change my mind. He told me that I just had postpartum depression and it would go away. That only made me feel misunderstood, judged and like he was downplaying my feelings and making me out to be “unstable”. He told me that he didn’t care what I did as long as I didn’t leave him. To me, that felt desperate as I saw him clinging on to a relationship that was so far dead that he would even allow me to sleep with other men. He asked if there was another man and I said no, I never cheated on him, but then later confessed that yes, there was a man at work I had interest in although I didn’t pursue him. He then told me that he had feelings for another woman at work a year prior and they talked about having an affair and he almost pursued her but later the feelings went away and that my feelings for this other guy would go away too… That confession only made me more certain that I didn’t want to be with him anymore. He told me he would keep the house and I said fine, take whatever you want. He yelled and threatened to take my kids away and that was the only time in my life that I lost my temper and actually hit him, although it was only on the arm in an act of desperation to get him to let go of my son who he was holding in the other arm, trying to actively walk away with. I ended up moving out a few months later against his will and against the wishes of his parents, family and friends. They all told me I was a horrible person and said I was making a huge mistake breaking up the family. They all sided with him and I realized that none of our friends were my friends, they were loyal to him and I was just the estranged wife. 

It took almost a year for the divorce to be processed and eventually he stopped fighting it. He did get a lawyer which was a huge waste of money in my opinion because I was completely amicable and had no desire to argue. The only thing I cared about was equal custody and decision making power for the children. I let him keep the house, his car, the dishes, the entertainment center, the Christmas decorations and basically everything else material in the home. I kept the bedroom furniture and my car only because they were financed in my name and I was actively paying for them. We didn’t have any savings or investments but because I made more money than him (on paper) I was told that I had to pay him child support. I didn’t care about any of this. I knew it was going to be challenging to be a single mother and pay rent all on my own. I knew what I was getting into but I needed to do it. I couldn’t breathe in the dynamic anymore and had to take flight. We tried to work it out once or twice after the divorce but it always ended the same. I would go to him at some weak point and he would pull me back in, later for me to discover that he was pursuing other women. Then I would remember how unhappy I was and how this is our pattern. He would always deny his infidelity, but there were signs throughout our relationship that I lied to myself about. There was even a time after our first born when I got a call from my Doctor after an annual pap smear saying that I had chlamydia. Knowing I was faithful, I was bewildered and asked him if he had an affair. He said no and I let it go, knowing all along that he was lying. The real icing on the cake came several years after our divorce when I was driving in the car with my children and my son asked me “You heard about Xander right?” I said, “No, who is Xander?” My son informed me that they had a brother and I thought oh my, he got another woman pregnant and he has another baby…. So I asked how old he was and my oldest said “6 months younger than me”. Turns out the woman who organized my wedding was sleeping with my husband behind my back and got pregnant. I always wondered where she went because she stopped coming around shortly after the wedding. She ended up marrying another guy and having 3 additional kids but when they got a divorce and the man was told he’d have to pay child support he said he would only pay for 3 of them but not Xander because Xander wasn’t his. That is when my husband’s name came up. As horrified as I was to be told this story by my children, I felt relief more than anything. FINALLY, I got the truth. I felt validated for leaving him and was just grateful that I wasn’t still married when this information came out. I looked at my oldest son and just said “You know what that means, right?” and he bowed his head as if he were ashamed and said “Yes”. I never spoke to my kids about this afterwards because I never wanted to be like my mother and bad mouth their father. I wanted them to have their own relationship independent from what our marriage was like. My youngest never remembered us being married and used to ask me why. I could never find the right answer and just said things don’t always work out. He would tell me he wished we were together and I would say, “I know honey. I am sorry but we are not.” It didn’t matter why we weren’t together because they were still our kids who we loved no matter what. I don’t want my kids to think poorly of their father but I won’t deny that I was glad when they found out the truth on their own. 

It took a couple years after our divorce to get on good enough terms and to actually be able to talk as friends. We used to spend the occasional holiday together when the boys were young and we didn’t want to be separated from them, however that became unnecessary as they got older. We see each other at school events and always put the boys first and our feelings second. We have been separated for 13 years now and the boys are almost fully grown.  I consider him a life long friend and will always wish the best for him but looking at the people we’ve become and how we communicate, it’s very clear that we weren’t compatible for the long term. I didn’t know who I was when we met and I conformed to his whims when we were married. It took me a while to wake up and realize I didn’t know who I was but knew that I wasn’t being myself in that relationship. I know we were meant to be together so that our beautiful boys could be incarnated and that is the best thing that could come from our union. He taught me a lot about relationships and I’ve learned that I have to speak up about what bothers me, what I want and need from a partner and what I am willing to put up with. I do not regret having children and getting married so young because it made me grow up quickly. Being responsible for other people gave me the motivation to pursue a better career and strive for bigger goals. It was hard but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Fortunately we are usually on the same page about decisions, although our parenting styles are very different. He is their buddy who lets them do whatever they want and they have fun, while I am a bit more structured and have certain rules and expectations but usually can afford to buy them what is needed, not just what they want. It all works out and our boys are truly spectacular! We have one of the best co-parenting relationships of anyone we know and many people admire our situation. We are flexible with scheduling when we need to be. We are always in communication and on the same team so our kids know they can’t get away with something at one house that won’t also carry to the other. Our mutual connections still ask me why I divorced him, “He seems like such a good guy and dad”, they say… Only a few people knew the intimate details (until now) and I never felt like it was appropriate to explain. I would just say that he is a good guy and a good dad… but not so much the best partner.

Life, Love, Uncategorized

The Men I’ve Loved – Pt 1 – Daddy

Listen on Spotify:–Pt–1–Daddy-e14mmit

I can count the men I have loved in my lifetime on one hand. There have been men who have passed through my life that I have dated or teetered on the side of dating but never truly crossed over. Men who were my friends (with benefits) and men who I saw potential in but they could never commit or timing wasn’t right so we never took flight. I don’t count those men, even though I may have felt some form of love for them, I didn’t give them my heart. I have also felt puppy love in my younger years and in retrospect they were just boys and I was just a girl with a crush. What I am talking about here is passionate love. The kind where you think about them every day, where you make changes to your life to include them and where you are completely vulnerable. This type of love forever changes you. It sculpts you into the person you choose to become. I say the word “choose” intentionally because this type of love can make or break your spirit but you get to make the decision which way to go. I believe that people come into your life at a certain time to teach you something and heartbreak can tear a person down or it can be used as building blocks to create the future you desire. I will be the first to admit that after heartbreak I will allow myself to fall apart. At least for a moment in order to process the pain. I have never been one to quickly jump back on the horse, or into the proverbial sea. I know a lot of people who bounce from one relationship to the next and that has never been me. I know people who use distractions to avoid processing the pain. My one weakness has been to use alcohol to numb the pain but oftentimes that just makes the tears flow faster. This can be good or bad depending on how long I let it go on but I also feel like every man has a certain amount of tears I am willing to give him and once I run out, it’s time to pick myself up and grow. At which point I make a deal with myself that no man will ever have the power to destroy me and I choose to become something greater. Every broken heart has resulted in me bettering myself in some profound way. Therefore I am grateful for the experience and I use it as fuel to achieve my next big goal. I know the energy needs to be put somewhere so it might as well be productive. At the end of every relationship after a few weeks (or months) of reflection and solitude I will have a huge spike in my self growth. Followed by an average of 3-5 years before I get into another relationship. I like to think this is because my true partner is also working on himself and we both need to grow into ourselves before we are ready for each other. 

The first man I ever loved was my father. He was a kind and gentle soul. Him and my mother met when they were in their early 20’s through one of those mail in dating programs. He was in the National Guard and my mother was a single parent with my sister being about 2 years old. I haven’t spoken a great deal with either of them about their love story as they are not together anymore and my mother never had nice things to say about my father so getting her perspective would have been difficult to bear. When I was on a short road trip with my dad a few years back I took time to ask him a few questions about her and he told me that she was the first woman he ever fell in love with. I asked him what made him fall in love and he just said he remembers the moment he saw her he thought she was so beautiful and it was all history from there. My mother was indeed a beautiful woman and did a bit of modeling in her day. She was also a lot of fun to be around…until she was not. My mother had a drinking problem but more than the drinking she was emotionally unstable and the drinking brought out the worst. This blog isn’t about her however so I’ll save those details for another time. 

My father loved my mother and dealt with her as long as he could. They were together for the first 5 years of my life and he even adopted my big sister. I don’t know a lot of the details and honestly don’t remember a lot from that period of my life… other than a food fight between them and a repressed memory that just came up a couple years ago where my father had kicked in a window and had to get stitches on his inner thigh. I wonder often if I repressed memories to protect my psyche. I have very few memories of being a young child and most of them revolve around the horses my mother and grandmother owned because I loved them dearly. I also remember glimpses of being in foster care and group homes during their divorce. I am not sure why my sister and I had to be in foster care at all during that time but I can imagine the state determined that neither of them were fit to care for us while they went through the motions. Between the age of 5-7 years old I went to about 12 different schools and bounced between homes. I remember never having a chance to make any friends and the one time I did make a friend they seemed to pull me from that school the next day and move me somewhere else. For this reason I tend to be very quiet in new settings where I don’t know anyone, which is not like me. I am usually the life of the party and have a great social presence when I am comfortable but when I am the “new girl” I tend to observe everyone and everything and won’t speak up until I know my place in a room. The worst part was when they separated me from my sister and we went to different homes. I felt truly alone and had no one to protect me. I had to learn how to protect myself but mostly I just kept to myself and avoided the other kids. My father ended up getting custody of both my sister and me after their divorce proceedings. I am not sure why the courts decided this considering the system typically favors the mothers and since my sister wasn’t even his biological daughter.. But I assume there was a reason and knowing my mothers instability it could have been a number of things. We lived with my father and his new girlfriend for about 6 months and I loved that time with him. He worked a lot but I was happy to be back home with my sister and family. He would take us to do fun things like fishing, boating, riding go carts around his shop and going to arcades. One day we were supposed to visit my mother but my dad was asleep and wouldn’t wake up to take us. So my sister, being older than me, decided we would take the bus to see my mother. My sister was 11 and I was 8 and somehow she was able to navigate us safely on public transport to my mothers apartment. When we arrived my father called to ask her if she knew where we were and my mother blatantly lied in front of me and said she didn’t know and criticized him for losing us. She made a whole scene about it to punish him. I thought in my little brain how hurtful that was and for the first time I saw how vindictive my mother was. We never went back to live with my father after that. I am sure my father tried to stay in our lives at some capacity but my mother wouldn’t allow it. I didn’t see my father again for years and I remember thinking of him every single day. I still remember the pain I felt wondering if I would ever see him again. Then one day I was playing outside and I saw a man walking up the middle of the street who looked like my uncle. I was confused but as he got closer I realized it was my dad and I ran as fast as I could, jumping into his arms. All the pain was gone and I had my father back! My mother welcomed him inside for a cup of coffee and as my sister and I were catching up with him my mother excused herself. A short while later the police arrived at the door and arrested my father. I know my dad got into trouble and must have had some warrants but that was a low blow from my mother. To have my father arrested in front of me knowing how much I missed him was horrendous. She never seemed to care about how her vendetta against him impacted us. I cried a lot that day and then didn’t see my father again for another several years. 

When I was 19 and newly pregnant I was living back at my mothers home. I had ran away from her when things got really bad and lived in a group home from age 16-17 then moved in with my aunt from 17-18 but once I was over the age of 18 I tried once again to mend the relationship with my mother so I moved back in with her on the terms that I was now an adult and she could no longer control me. One day she yelled down to the basement for me to come upstairs, my father was on TV, she said. Sure enough there was my dad on the news being busted for a meth lab. My mother had a smile on her face as if to say “See I told you that your dad was a bad guy”… but I was smiling because now I knew where he was and how to reconnect with him. I went to visit him in jail right away and told him that he was having a grandchild. I wrote him letters for the 4 years that he was in jail. I didn’t care what he did, I just wanted my dad in my life.

My dad had a rough go at life. He is the second oldest of 6 total siblings. When he was only 19 he joined the military and while on duty he got a phone call that his father shot and killed his mother. My dad hopped on the first plane home and by the time he landed he got word that his father then killed himself. I can only imagine what that trauma does to a person. After my mother he fell into drugs and got himself into trouble. He was married to a woman who was also involved in the meth lab and when they both got out of jail, they stayed clean and moved to Alaska together. I think sometimes it takes rock bottom for people to get their lives back on track. A few years ago she killed herself and he found her body in the house that they built together. My dad doesn’t talk about this stuff much, probably because it’s hard, but I know he is a strong man to have been through so much and still be kind and positive about life. My father now has a good job painting boats, a new wife and is a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. He has settled down and stays out of trouble. The only thing he ever does now is drink the occasional beer. It’s ironic that after all the efforts my mother put into keeping me away from my father, I have a stronger bond with him today than with her. He may have not been good for her but he as always kind to me. He was a good man. He wasn’t abusive … He just wasn’t there. On the flip side, my mother was both emotionally, physically and mentally abusive. I haven’t spoken to her in 12 years and plan to keep it that way.

My father is not old but as a life long painter he has been exposed to a lot of chemicals and is beyond his life expectancy for his profession. I want to spend as much time with him as possible while I have the opportunity. I took my kiddos to visit my dad in Alaska last year and we had a blast fishing like old times, seeing the glaciers and spending family time on the beach! We are going on a road trip next month to see my sister and her kids. Growing up without my father has made some lasting impacts on my life and relationships. I still struggle with abandonment issues. I love deeply and when I feel like someone is leaving me it brings me back to that helpless little girl who felt alone and unprotected in foster care. It’s hard to trust men to protect and care for me. I often feel like I have to take care of myself because no one else will. I have recognized my areas for growth however and have been making strides to reprogram my brain, like allowing a man to treat me to dinner, open my door or letting go of my need to be in control. I’m learning to be vulnerable and accept gestures of love, while not feeling obligated to give anything in exchange. It’s taken a lot of books on childhood trauma to overcome my circumstances but I am grateful for how I was raised as it has ultimately made me a stronger woman.

Dating, Love

The 4 Pillars of a Quality Relationship

Listen on Spotify:

What are the most important things to look for when selecting a potential partner? I have done a lot of reading on relationships and although I am no expert, I do think that I have learned a lot from experts and understand a bit of psychology. I am currently single and taking an intellectual approach to selecting the right person while also trying to remember that love is never supposed to be a business transaction. Relationships are transactional as there is always a give & take but they also need to be approached with emotion and tenderness. We all want to find someone who can meet us where we are at and where the energy exchange is equal. In the past I have given too much to men and have been taken advantage of or treated poorly. Now I am wise enough to know that how a man treats you in the beginning is how he will always treat you and there is no purpose trying to make something work with anyone who doesn’t meet your basic needs. Through trial and error, and a great deal of self reflection, I have found the most important pillars to building a solid relationship are: 

Compatibility, Chemistry, Connection & Communication 

To be compatible with someone means you are in similar places in life, want similar things and are going the same direction. This to me is the first barrier to get past and if this doesn’t line up there really is no point in moving forward. It takes time to really grasp whether your long term vision aligns with someone. However there are a few basic things to look for to determine whether their life is similar to yours. Do they work days, weekends or nights and does that align with your schedule? What do they do for fun and how do they spend their free time? Do they drink, smoke or have certain habits that don’t align with you? Do they have a job that can afford them the same luxuries that are important to you? Compatibility is more about day to day life habits rather than your favorite movie, band or ice cream flavor. That is all surface stuff and you have to get a little deeper.

Chemistry is all about how you feel when you are with someone. Do you feel like you are being yourself or putting up a front? Does the conversation flow easily or does it feel forced? Can you be alone together without distractions and still enjoy each other’s company? Are you agreeable and do things to appease them at the expense of yourself or are you able to speak up about your wants and needs? Does it feel good when they touch you, kiss you and are near you? For me, I need to have a spark with someone when they touch me. It has to feel natural and exhilarating. I have also noticed the way a man smells is important to me. I want him to smell good and have good hygiene, however I also want to know and love his natural pheromones. Too much cologne is not attractive to me and if they have bad breath or body odor then they’re not getting anywhere near me sexually. I actually broke up with a very nice man in the past because I didn’t like the way he smelled. I don’t feel bad about this because in the animal kingdom where they don’t use body sprays and perfumes the way they determine a mate is based on smell. This is how you know if you are a genetic match. People who overuse perfumes to cover their natural smell are often misleading their potential mates. 

Connection is the HARDEST thing to find in a potential partner. I have only felt it twice. I felt a spark with all of the men I seriously dated but in retrospect the connection was never real. It was either puppy love, infatuation, admiration or lust. When things got hard they ran away or I shut down. I’ve never been able to get over the 8 month marker and still stay with a man because as the honeymoon phase ended and reality came into play I discovered things that didn’t fully match up between us. The only person in my life that I made a lasting connection with was my ex-husband. We were friends for over a year before we got together so there was already a level of love and respect for him. However once we came together we were bonded. It was rocky in the beginning and we even broke up for a while, then broke up again, but I always knew in my heart that we were meant to be together. I knew that we had that rare connection and that is something you can not make or break. It just *IS*. No matter how much time or space is between you there is always a familiarity when you come back together as if there was never distance. It sometimes happens in friendships too. My best friend of 23 years is a shining example of what I mean by “connection”. We have known each other for so long but sometimes we come together and sometimes we drift apart. We have always been linked spiritually and I consider her my star sister. We met in middle school and became instant best friends. We hung out every day and over the summers. Then in high school we had a mutual friend who put a wedge between us and we didn’t talk and actively disliked each other for about a year. Then one day we just re-connected and became instant best friends again. We couldn’t even remember what exactly happened to make us stop talking(?) Since then we’ve gone through different phases of life but somehow the Universe just kept crossing our paths. She got pregnant within 6 months of me so our kids have known each other their whole lives. Her parents love me so they’ve always invited me to their family celebrations. Since I didn’t have a solid family life growing up they became my family. The craziest part of our alignment is that her older sister met my uncle on a dating website and now they are now married… so we actually ARE family, by law. As for my co-parent, I still have a connection with him because it can never be destroyed but it has transformed into something different. We still have a great deal of respect for each other. We say I love you but not romantically. He has just always been there for me and we both know you can never stop loving someone when it’s unconditional. I believe in my heart that we were meant to find each other at a young age to help us grow up and become adults. We both had Jehovah’s Witnesses as parents and we both dropped out of high school to work. We were forced to grow up fast and we needed each other at that time of our lives. Our children were also meant to be brought into this world and that is the best thing to come from our union. Just because we grew apart does not mean that we still aren’t friends who care about each other. I didn’t know myself when we were married and it took me a long time to learn who I was and what I wanted in a partner. Now that I know what I want I understand that “connection” is the pillar that is the most important in partner selection, while also being the most difficult to find. 

While connection is the most rare, communication is key to maintaining the connection because there can and will be breakdowns that need to be navigated through to insure the relationship stays intact. The best relationships and friendships need to be fostered and nurtured and laying a foundation is important. I like to communicate with my partner almost daily to check in and let them know I am thinking of them. I appreciate when the exchange is equal so that I am not the only one initiating conversation and to know they are thinking of me. I don’t need to text all day long, rather I like to have an ongoing dialogue. I like to stay close to the people I care about and usually like to see someone I am dating once a week. However my life is busy and assuming they will have life obligations, time doesn’t always permit a weekly visit. In which case I think an occasional phone call to hear their voice is important to stay connected.  I have never tried a long distance relationship and wonder how that works but I feel once you have laid the foundation and know your place in a relationship then I’m more interested in quality time than quantity. When in a partnership time should flow freely and we should just ride the wave. I need a level of freedom to feel comfortable and want a person who also values their freedom and independence. I also need someone who is emotionally intelligent and can verbalize their feelings. It’s sometimes easier for me to write out my feelings to organize my thoughts and the person I am meant to be with will know how to accept my deep, raw and unfiltered emotions without getting scared or offended by them. I need a safe space to express myself and be accepted at my most vulnerable. I also need my man to be willing to work through our disagreements and understand that disagreements are normal but disrespect is not. 

Conclusion… I have not found all 4 pillars in one person but I’m hopeful. Even when I was married we were missing the communication aspect and a lot of that was due to being so young. It takes time to learn how to express yourself and hear other people. It takes courage to be honest & vulnerable. Many times people avoid tough conversations out of fear that they won’t be accepted or that they’ll lose their love. Many people settle for comfort because they don’t want to be alone. Unfortunately when you settle, you are dismissing the possibility of finding the *right* partner, for you. I’m not looking for perfection but I have settled before not understanding what builds a solid relationship and this time I know what I’m looking for and I will keep myself open until he finds me.

Dating, Love

Adventures in Dating Pt.4 – FRUSTRATION

Listen on Spotify:–FRUSTRATION-e12kagl

Well I am about over this whole “dating” thing. However I made a goal and I am going to stick to it. My goal was 21 dates in 2021 and let me tell you, they have mostly been lackluster! I have met one person I have a connection with and that needs more time to develop. In the last couple weeks I went on 3 more in person dates.. One was a young guy who I seemed to communicate well with online, however when we met I didn’t feel anything. He was nice, decent looking and easy to talk to but with all the pleasantries we exchanged over a glass of kombucha we never found that connection. Sure we both like nature and camping but those things are so basic in Colorado. I decided to ask him where he sees himself in 5 years just to learn if there is any compatibility. He said he didn’t know and hadn’t thought about it so I pried a little more… “What is one thing you want to do before you die that will leave you feeling fulfilled?” He said he wanted a family and to have kids. I asked how many and he said 2-3 which made me realize we are definitely not compatible. I am a 37 year old mother and my kiddos are teenagers now. While I am still young enough to have another (and this is something I have considered quite a bit lately) I also know that I want a little time to travel & experience more before I sign that contract again. I need time to meet my person and for us to decide together what we want in life before making any decisions. Part of me has always wanted a girl and I’ve known her name since I was young. I even had a dream about her recently. Her name is Elizabeth but I would call her “Libby” for short. I don’t want to fully close that door, however I don’t see myself having more than one, if at all. It really comes down to the partner I choose and what serves our purpose. Part of me has also considered adoption since there are so many parentless children in this world. At any rate I don’t disclose that I have children online because this is more of an “in person” conversation. I am not exactly trying to attract men who have young children because that would mean it’s unlikely we are in the same place. I want someone who is a little more free and wants to explore the world with me. Oftentimes that is hard to do with young children, though not impossible. I am also not trying to deter men and a lot of times men think that if you are a single mother that you are looking for a man to take the father role, which is the farthest from what I want. My children have a father and no man will ever take his place. My boys are old enough to be their friend, not their responsibility. 

The other man I met up with was 11 years older than me which is not a deal breaker however we didn’t have a lot in common. He asked me to “Sunday on Santa Fe” which is right up my cultural alley and in my physical neighborhood. We perused the art & antique shops followed by grabbing sushi. He seemed a little nervous but polite. Not exactly my flavor of man but sometimes personality makes someone more attractive. Once we had some sake we both opened up a little more and talked about our past relationships and how we got to where we are today. His story was tragic as his wife of 20 years got caught cheating with his neighbor who was also his best friend just a year prior. Within one week his wife moved in with this man, who was also married and who also divorced his wife after getting caught. Their children were old enough to witness all of that and his wife was unapologetic. Now he is still friends with the neighbor’s wife while his ex is off playing house with the other man and the kids. When someone shares something that raw with you there is almost an instant bond. I had a lot of empathy for him and can definitely relate to being cheated on and left for another. When that happened to me I took a few years to reflect before dating again. I usually need time to grow and learn before I get back on the horse. I can’t imagine this being an easy transition after being married for 20 years and personally think people need time to heal…however not everyone is like me. We had the time and nowhere to be so we went to play games at the arcade 1Up in Denver and had a couple more drinks. It was a fun day but one big turn off was that he didn’t offer to buy me lunch or drinks so I spent a lot of money! Something about chivalry is attractive to me. I never expect a man to pay my way however I enjoy when they offer. For one thing I find that it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. I even teach my boys this when we go out for ice cream. Always ask a girl what she wants while you’re in line and then order for her. It shows confidence and care. Then pay for it. It shows chivalry. I want to know if you think my time is worth your investment. After games, he drove me home and went for a kiss. Although I was not really attracted to him I allowed it. Mostly in the name of “research” and trying to learn how or when *connection* happens but also because I felt a little bad for the guy. Sheesh what a card he got dealt! He was a decent kisser but there was absolutely no spark so I excused myself and said goodnight. He texted me immediately and said he had a good time and asked when he could see me again. I told him I needed to check my calendar and would get back… but after a whole week of not thinking about him he followed up. Then I realized if he hadn’t crossed my mind at all for the whole week then clearly there is no chemistry. I feel like when you like someone you think about them all the time, especially in the beginning. Part of me thought about meeting up again since he’s a nice guy and all…. But then I realized it felt obligatory and maybe a little out of pity. I don’t see this developing and don’t think spending more time together would change that. It might just make the conversation more awkward in person. So I decided to be honest and endure the minor discomfort in the moment in order to spare myself the discomfort of spending more time with this person and then having to let him down. I responded to his inquiry by saying “I don’t know how to say this and don’t want to be hurtful but I need to be honest; I don’t feel a romantic connection with you.” I told him I was looking for something specific and didn’t think he was that. Then I asked if he felt the connection with me or if he just thinks I’m cute and fun so he’s going with it? He said his feelings weren’t hurt and appreciated the honesty. Then he acknowledged that he agreed, we aren’t what each other are looking for and he just thought we could have fun in the meantime. I told him that if I wasn’t so clear about what I wanted maybe I’d have “fun” with people but the problem with knowing what you want is that anything less is not enjoyable. We ended things as friends and wished each other luck on our separate journeys. 

The 3rd man I met up with was from a dating site called Luxy. I had a friend recommend it because it was for rich (or) sexy people and she thought I deserved to be in that box. It’s an interesting app because you have to pass criteria to be accepted. It’s a dating site where 45% of the users are millionaires who actually send in their tax documents to be verified. You have to put your best foot forward and add quality pictures. Which is nice to peruse through because I find a lot of normal dating apps have shitty pictures and people have no clue how to take a selfie. It’s also cool because you can look at the other women on the app and see your competition, for lack of a better term. One thing I notice is that women like to use a lot of filters and it’s really hard to tell what they would look like in real life or without makeup. I wonder; is this what men want?… A plastic doll or arm candy? It also only allows for a short description of who you are and what you’re looking for, along with surface things like height, career, income and location. You really don’t get a lot of substance swiping through profiles and it’s a little pretentious for me but again, I am putting my best foot forward so I’m giving it a shot. A lot of these men & women are rich and travel a lot which is cool but many of them live out of state or out of the country. I wonder what is the point in trying to connect with someone so far away? I do want to travel but I’m not that rich (yet)! I have chatted with a handful of local users but a lot of these rich men aren’t that attractive and I realize no amount of money will make me sleep with someone that I am not attracted to. I do want a man who is financially stable but I am not looking for a sugar daddy. Only looking for someone who can keep up with me and not weigh me down. After chatting online over the week I suggested we grab a bite or drink. We went to grab margaritas on the patio of a local mexican restaurant. We both walked up from opposite directions and waved from afar as our timing was perfect. He was dressed casually as he just came from work and I found him to be good looking but not pretentious. The conversation flowed very easily and we had a lot in common. He is my age so we are both elder millennials who remember what it was like without the internet. We also both worked in the financial industry and then got turned off by it. He has a couple properties around Colorado and left corporate America to be an entrepreneur and now owns his consulting firm. Then we started discussing the current affairs of the world as this is a very important topic for me. I feel like Covid split our country into two parts and I wanted to know what side of the aisle he fell on. I carefully mentioned that I haven’t practiced silks for the last year due to the mask mandates and not being able to do that. He said he didn’t work well with masks either and that he thought we should have never shut down the economy. Then we started speaking the same language. Once dinner was over he readily grabbed the bill and paid. Then he offered to drive me home since I walked. His car was nice and clean which matters to me for whatever reason. I feel like the type of car a man drives shows me whether he is financially sound and the cleanliness shows me if he is messy. We hugged in the car but neither of us went for a kiss and I thought that was nice. I really enjoyed our conversation and he is good looking but there isn’t an emotional bond yet so that seemed inappropriate. He also mentioned that he just got out of a year long relationship so he is newly single. I think it would be wise to take things slow. Once I was home I wondered if he thought I was attractive or if I was in the friend box. Then he texted me and said he was glad we met and said he was around over the weekend if I wanted to hang out. So we have another date on Sunday and I look forward to getting to know him more. 

I had a few drinks with my neighbor last night who I have been meaning to get to know. He is 27 years my senior & married so this is strictly platonic. He’s always really nice to my Airbnb guests and says hi to me every day so I decided that we needed to get to know each other. He comes from a rough childhood like me so we can relate to one another. He and his wife are also artists and enjoy poetry and literature.  I mentioned that I had a blog and he asked what it was about. I told him current events, love, life, relationships… Basically I write about my thoughts and feelings. That is how I processed things as a kid and built up a habit of writing in order to put the emotions I was feeling somewhere. Sometimes my brain gets so full of thoughts and if I don’t write them out, it will fester inside of me and clog up my vibration. I told him my current topic is adventures in dating and that it can be frustrating. For example, there is one guy I am chatting with online who seemed to be of substance and asked a lot of great questions. He said that I caught his attention and despite never meeting me, he thought about me daily. I thought that was sweet but also a little odd. I don’t like building expectations in my mind about someone and need to feel the energy exchange. He said he really wanted to meet me so we made plans. But then he asked me how many other dates I had this week and I said “Do you really want to know about my dating life?” He said yes, that’s how he can tell if I am open and vulnerable or just a serial dater. Against my better judgement I was honest and said that I normally don’t date and kind of hate it but this year I felt the urge to put myself out there so I made a goal to go on 21 dates in 2021. Then.. he…got…weird. He was a little passive aggressive and said that I sounded like a serial dater and to contact him when I was ready for something real. I clarified that I *am* looking for something real, however I am a goal driven person and I knew that this was going to be a ratio thing. I knew it would be frustrating and if I had one bad date it would deter me from wanting to try again, hence the reason behind setting a goal. I also said the only way to really know if you have a connection is by meeting in real life. Rarely do I have that connection with someone and typically we hug goodbye and go our separate ways. He asked if there was anyone I have connected with so far and I said yes there is one man I am seeing here & there. Then he got really offended and said he wouldn’t be ok with me seeing other people if we were sleeping together and I informed him that A) Just because I am dating does NOT mean I am going to sleep with them. And B) How do you know that I would even want to sleep with you? It was pretty presumptuous for him to think this and a red flag that he got possessive when we literally haven’t even met yet. I told him I wouldn’t know if we had chemistry until we met and then if we do, the foundation must be laid before I would stop all other dating. I think it’s wise to approach a new relationship slowly and also think it’s healthy to take my time to see what is out there so I am not settling for the first man I like. When I mentioned this to my neighbor, he too assumed I was sleeping with a bunch of dudes and after a few drinks I felt really annoyed by men. Why do they think that just because a single woman is exercising her freedom of choice and dating that she is a whore? My neighbor didn’t explicitly say this but he assumed that I was “sleeping with a bunch of losers” which made me feel really misunderstood and judged. One tequila later I told him the conversation was over and he left. Today I am just annoyed by men and frustrated with the process. I truly feel that there are good men out there, don’t get me wrong. I just think the majority of them in the dating scene are basic. They are driven by their liibto and rarely take the time to get clear on what they want in a partner. They don’t think far enough ahead to determine what they seek in a romantic relationship. They are not doing the work. While I’m looking for the needle in the haystack. The man who I choose will understand the importance of this work and have his own list of traits he needs in a mate. And as if by fate, I will meet most of those traits. Not all of them because no one is perfect but I better be damn close to perfect (for him)! I trust the Universe is conspiring for this.


Adventures in Dating Pt. 3 ~ Making a Connection

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I met a man on OkCupid. He reached out to me to comment about something I posted on my profile in regards to choosing not to get the C19 Jab. I mentioned how being healthy in other non conventional ways was important to me and that I believed in using plants as medicine instead of pharmaceuticals. Turns out he is a Doctor in functional medicine, which I believe to be real health care. I’ve always said we live in a “sick care” system and that our way of thinking about health is backwards. Doctors prescribe drugs to mask the symptoms but rarely get to the root of the problem in order to solve it. This man is the guy you go see when you’ve tried everything that your doctor prescribed to you and it’s still not working. He will reverse engineer the diagnosis to get to the root cause.  I remember thinking how refreshing that was and wanted to learn more about him.  When I met him I instantly thought he was SO handsome and then he just walked right up and hugged me tight like we were old friends. I remember feeling how strong he was and liking how he just went for it. Not in an aggressive way but in a “Come here, you!” kind of way. He had a great smile and presence about him. We went for drinks and it was a bit loud in the bar but we covered some good topics from our jobs to family life, history and relationships. He asked a lot of great questions and seemed genuinely interested in me. There was smoke getting into the bar and I don’t do well with smoke so when I gagged he noticed it right away and seemed concerned with how I felt. He was very intuitive to my comfort. We decided to leave after our drink and check out another place. We drove in his nice manly car with a big hemi. I say that like I know a lot about cars (which I really don’t) but I remember feeling safe in the car and asking him about it so he gushed about his “Donkey” as he calls it. He is from Canada and has a deep voice with a cute Canadian accent don’tcha know 😉 

We continued our conversation at the next location and I mentioned to him that I hadn’t been sleeping well for the last 6 weeks. I had been waking up about every 90 minutes with racing thoughts and wasn’t able to get into deep sleep which was affecting my daily life. He asked me what happened 6 weeks ago? I thought about that and said I didn’t know, nothing I don’t think. Towards the end of the night I mentioned this new property in Black Hawk that I have been managing for my clients and he asked me if it was stressful. I said yes, that there is a lot more on my plate but I wanted that opportunity so I hired an assistant who has been helping me with the Airbnb so I could give my attention to the new property. He then asked how long ago I got the property and I replied “about 6 weeks”…. At which point we both realized that was the sleep stressor. I was really impressed with his inquisitive yet non abrasive questions and felt stimulated by the conversation. We had one woman look at us from across the room and wave, then she came over and said hi. Confused by this I asked if I knew her and she said “Aren’t you the couple that came to my shop yesterday?” I told her no, I just met this man and she said “Oh, well you look good together”. I got fresh ramen to-go and as we walked out there was a homeless man who asked if I could spare some change. I told him I didn’t have money but had fresh food if he wanted half. He was so excited and told me thank you then turned to my date and said “You have a beautiful wife, sir”. Those two occurrences don’t mean anything but I thought it was interesting to hear that we seemed suitable at a glance by 2 separate people that night. 

He drove me home and we said goodbye with a hug in the car. Then he kissed my cheek and I turned to respond and there was a sudden *Spark* as we locked lips. We embraced each other tightly and ended up making out in his car as if we were teenagers and our parents were home. I didn’t want to invite him in so we got lost in the car for a while and then finally came up for air and parted ways for the evening. I was so twitter pated that I left my wallet in his car but that just meant I got to see him again sooner. He texted me right away and didn’t hold back his feelings. Normally I would get scared if a man was into me too quickly but this one didn’t scare me. The energy between us felt natural and somewhat familiar. That night I fell into deep sleep for the first time in 6 weeks and actually started lucid dreaming. Whenever I become lucid I go flying because it feels free and I love seeing the world! Then I fell out of it and went back into deep sleep. Somewhere close to morning I spoke out loud “Spirit Guide, tell me what to do about my love life”… Then I felt this strong presence enter my room. It was a woman and she grabbed my forearms and held me so tight that it felt real. I felt awake but paralyzed and couldn’t open my eyes. I was somewhat frozen between sleep & wake. She then whispered “Just be yourself”… followed by some other words of wisdom that I have since lost to the subconscious. Then she tucked me into bed, patted me on the butt and walked away. At which point my eyes burst open and I realized I was alone in my room but it felt so real like there was just a person with me. I haven’t had an experience like that since doing Ayahuasca a couple years ago. 

I have been seeing this man for a little shy of 2 months now and whenever we are together things flow easily. I got a little nervous a couple weeks ago because I have slowed down my “hunt” for dates since meeting him. I made a goal to go on 21 dates this year to see what’s out there, however I found myself not putting in the work anymore. I realize that when I really like someone I put blinders on and become quite monogamous. My brain tells me it’s too soon to know if he’s right for me and that I need to stick to my goal, even if it ends up being merely for research and to acquire more content for my blog. Truth is I haven’t met a man like this in my whole life. I have met men that I fell for quickly or who sparked my attention but never one who was also stable, mature and emotionally intelligent. I’ve always felt like the “normal” ones are boring and they don’t entertain me enough so in the past I’ve gone for the “bad boy”. Unfortunately that has led me through some toxic interactions with men and after my traumatic relationship 5 years ago, I knew that I had to change something inside of me that made me attract & be attracted to the wrong men. I learned in order to get the love you want, you must first learn to love yourself. I learned how to set boundaries and speak up when something bothers me. I learned about the male & female brain and how we are wired differently but how we crave each other. I listened to countless books on psychology and relationship styles. I have been so hurt in the past that I knew I had a lot to learn if I was ever to find a man of substance who I was actually compatible with and who was good for me. I also needed time to become the person worthy of this type of man. Again, it’s too early to tell if he is that man but he sure does meet a lot of the things on my “list’ (See Adventures in Dating Pt2 – Getting Clear about what you want)

I listened to a podcast a couple weeks ago that discussed the 3 most important things you need to ask someone before you fall for them. You have to ask them in this order because if the answers to questions #1 & #2 don’t line up then question #3 is irrelevant. 

  1. Where are you going? – You need to know if they are on the same path as you and where they plan to be in the future. If they plan to leave the country or state and you don’t then there is a clear fork in the road ahead. After all, you wouldn’t get into an Uber if it was going downtown when you wanted to go to the mountains, would you? 
  2. What do you see? – You want to know what their vision is for their life. Do they want to be alone, be in a partnership, have kids, live on a farm, live in the city? Some of these things are negotiable but ultimately this answer will show whether you are aligned in your long term vision. If 1 & 2 can fit into your world then you ask the most important question…
  3. How do you feel about me? 

Last week I was hanging out with this man and he took me into his arms and said “I love how you are just yourself. How you don’t pretend to be someone else”…. My mind went right back to the visit I had from my spirit guide the first night I met this man. I didn’t say anything in response, I just embraced him and kissed him passionately. Later in the evening we were snuggling and he asked me “So where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. It was like he read my mind about the very questions I was wanting to ask him. I told him I wanted to be financially free and not have to worry about money. I wanted my job to be as remote as possible so I could travel and go try new things. I told him I wanted to develop my blog & podcast and have some place to put my aerial rig wherever I ended up. Then I got stuck on my words because the thing I wanted more than anything was hard to say out loud. I was worried it would scare him so I hesitated. He told me not to hold back so I said “ I want to build a life with someone”. Then I asked him where he saw himself. His vision was similar to mine in the sense that he has a podcast and is working on making his practice remote plus he wants to write a book.. But he also said he wanted to have more access to his parents who live in Canada. He said he is waiting on his papers to go through to know if he can even stay in America and that he needs to know by October in order to know how to move forward with his practice. Even though this man is upfront about his feelings and he makes me feel seen and appreciated, I chose not to ask him question #3 yet because I was not clear on where he is going or what it means to “have more access” to his parents. I’d assume being in Canada but there is so much in the air with his practice being in Colorado and him not knowing if he’ll be allowed to continue working here. I felt like I needed more clarity on the direction he is going before I can ask how he feels about me. 

A few days ago he gave me more insight. I texted him to ask how his week was and he said he was catching up but had a lot to reflect on. He said his mother told him she wants him to be closer to home. His parents aren’t getting any younger and he’s been away most of his life…. So he said he’s been reflecting on how to make that possible and what his long term location will be. I felt the breath taken right out of my lungs. I didn’t know what to say but all of the sudden my monkey brain went crazy telling me I am not worthy, he doesn’t want me, I will never find a good man who will love me… and all of the horrible things my mother programmed into my head as a child. I started crying and continued to shed tears throughout the night. I felt silly because I barely met this man and didn’t understand how I was having such a strong reaction. It was compulsive and I felt like whenever I would think about being in his arms my breath would escape me and I would shed another tear. Upon reflection I realize that I still carry a fear of abandonment due to my father leaving me at such a young age. I fear getting close to someone and loving them to later be left without any choice in the matter. I remember thinking about my dad every single day for years and years, wishing he would come back. I felt deflated and unsure what to do. The connection with this man is strong and I see a lot of potential with him but I am scared. This all transpired over text so I don’t know exactly where it leaves us. I want to see him in person & discuss this but I am afraid to ask. I told myself I would never chase a man again and that if he wants to see me he will make an effort. I also don’t want to run away because that too is a part of my “daddy issues”. In the past, if I think someone is going to leave me I do the leaving first to spare myself the uncertainty. But I am trying so hard to break my habits and choose a different path for myself. I want to apply everything I learned over the last few years and grow. I don’t want to live in fear anymore. My heart is telling me to spend as much time with this man as possible while I can but my head is telling me it will just break my heart. My head usually loses when it comes to matters of the heart and I have gotten myself into trouble for this but every time I have gotten hurt I have learned something and am ultimately grateful that I followed my heart. I also know that the Universe will keep teaching the same lessons until you learn them and I wonder what I am supposed to learn here. 

Whatever happens, I need to focus on what I do want, not what I am afraid of because the Universe will give you both what you want and don’t want depending on which you focus on. I want to approach this with a balance of both head & heart cohesiveness. He said whatever he does it will likely be a slow transition and I wonder if there is a way for my life to work into that plan or if he’d even make room for me in his plans. We haven’t been seeing each other for long but the connection is stronger than anything I’ve felt in decades and I feel like it would be a disservice to both of us to just let it go too quickly. I never considered Canada as a destination for my life but I also intentionally left my vision open because I knew whenever I was ready to take a leap and try something new it would present itself and I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself into one place. I am getting to a point where I want to get away from the city and be some place that is more calm where I can focus on my creativity. Where I can work remotely and then spend the rest of my days writing, practicing aerial and learning music production. Being in Denver has been difficult to make time to be consistent with that because I get pulled in so many directions and there is always an event someone wants me to participate in. My kids are getting older and I know they won’t need me as much in a couple years but for now they do need me and I would never leave them. I have a lot to think about and even if this man isn’t “the one” this experience has made me think deeply about how to position myself better to take flight as that is one of my deepest desires. I don’t know how this is going to play out but I suppose that will be for another blog. For now I have to hold in my heart that what is meant to be, will be and you can’t miss something that was never meant for you. I trust the Universe & Spirit Guides are looking over me.

Dating, Life, Uncategorized

Living with Trauma

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Trigger Warning: For anyone who has been abused verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually please be advised. 

I have struggled with repressed trauma my whole life but hadn’t become conscious of it until a few years ago. Last year in particular it became very present because of the mask mandates which made me have negative reactions. It took me a long time to figure out why when I put on a mask I got anxiety, shortness of breath and a loss of motor skills. When I tried to express this to people a lot of times I was told that I am selfish and just making it up. “Just shut up and put on the mask” they’d say.. “For other peoples health & safety” they claim. There was no compassion for me so I struggled to express myself and understand the root of the problem. After sitting with this for months and realizing that I am not alone, it finally made sense. My mother was an alcoholic with what I can only describe as (undiagnosed) borderline personality disorder. She would never admit she has a problem so seeking a diagnosis or help was never an option. All I knew was that growing up was very confusing. She would be really fun and happy but after a few beers she would get angry, then cry, then yell and sometimes she’d get physically abusive. I never understood how she could flip her script on the drop of a dime. She would tell me things had happened that never happened or say I did something that I never did, which always left me questioning my reality. She believed herself so much that it made me wonder if *I* was crazy? I became hyper observant due to this because I wanted to know the difference between what was real and what was imaginary. One time in particular she had me pinned down and wouldn’t let me leave. While I was under her she called the police to “turn me in” and while on the phone with dispatch she screamed “OUCH SHE’S BITING ME, SHE’S BITING ME!”… In my head I thought what in the hell is she saying that for? I am literally pinned underneath her and can’t get away! When the police arrived they split us up in order to get each story. They asked me why I bit her and I said I didn’t. Then they informed me she had bite marks on her inner arm, close to her armpit. I was shocked to realize she went to the lengths of biting herself in order to try and send me to juvenile hall. I told the cops I didn’t do that, she bit herself and they should test the dental marks to prove it. But they must not have believed her because ultimately they left and I was not arrested.

My mother would lock me in my room about once every week and berate me for hours while I’d sit on the floor trying not to let her words seep into my subconscious. She would tell me how awful of a daughter and person I was. That no man would ever love me and I would always be alone. That I wouldn’t amount to anything. I knew that if I spoke up and responded to her verbal abuse or defended myself it would start the clock back over so I had to sit there and endure her venomous words until she tired herself out. I’m not sure where I went during these hour long episodes but I think part of me repressed the memories in order to survive. All I could do was breathe and imagine that I was somewhere else just to stay sane. This trauma has manifested in a couple ways and has affected my life & relationships. Whenever I feel trapped, whether it’s in a relationship or a confined space or at a job or when I’m unable to speak, I feel like I can’t breath. I get claustrophobic and need to get away. I need a level of freedom to feel safe. I can’t even look at pictures of people in caves because it gives me instant anxiety. With masks I can handle them for a short while because I have to in order to go into a grocery store but after 20 minutes I start to panic and can’t think straight. I will bump into things and lose my whereabouts. I think the shortness of breath is partly psychosomatic and it intensifies the longer I wear them. It also changes my personality as I become angry and upset at my surroundings. Fortunately I work for myself and rarely need to endure them but I have a lot of compassion for anyone who is forced to wear them for long periods of time. I haven’t spoken to my mother in over a decade now. Mainly because I needed to break the cycle and not allow my children to grow up in that toxic environment. It’s unfortunate but necessary for my health. 

My last relationship was about 5 years ago in which I met a man who I fell in love with very quickly. Within the span of one week I was seeing him almost daily and within a month he already asked me to move in with him and asked me to marry him several times. Every time I told him “no” but I did end up getting talked into moving in with him. My living situation wasn’t the best and he had a bigger house with a basement so he sold me on the idea of giving more space to my kids and providing them a better home life. My lease was up so it made sense.. We could split rent and that would save us both money. Against my better judgement I jumped into that relationship with no floaties and before I realized it I was drowning. This man was lots of fun and openly expressed his love for me but after about one month the “honeymoon” phase wore off and his true colors began to show. He was an ex-military Army Ranger diagnosed with 100% PTSD and a 10% traumatic brain injury. Adding alcohol alongside his diagnosis made him turn into an entirely different person. We would be having a great time and out of nowhere he would become verbally abusive. He was very jealous of my past life and he’d stalk my Facebook profile while I was at work then send me screenshots of pictures of me with men and ask who they were, if I slept with them and why I would leave these pictures up? He would later berate me for hours on end and tell me I was a dirty whore, a slut, a hooker and tell me that my life is an embarrassment. He’d tell me that it’s coming from a place of love and that it hurts him to know I slept with other people and that I’m still friends with them. He even got to the point of harassing my ex boyfriends online and making a very public scene by tagging me and a list of partners I previously had been with then threatening to murder them. It was an out of body experience in which case I found myself hovering over my body thinking how did I get here? How do I get out? I genuinely thought I would have to die in order to be free. He wouldn’t allow me to leave unless I calmed him down and told him everything he wanted to hear. Unless I committed more to him. I ended up deleting my Facebook and discontinuing a lot of friendships just to appease him. After all of that he just progressed and got worse over time to the point of breaking my possessions and even becoming physically abusive. All of this transpired in the span of 6 months in which case I couldn’t even see my kids because I was afraid of them witnessing an episode. It was summer time and my kids liked to stay at their dads where they are closer to neighborhood friends so they didn’t notice too much, however when I started going a week without seeing them they knew there was a major problem. I could only see them if I took them out and then dropped them back off. My co-parent was the rock for our family at that time and it took me months to finally admit what was happening to me. I will save the details of this story for another blog but let’s just say it was as if I chose a partner who reminded me of my mother. He was great, until he snapped. In my head I kept thinking he was going to kill me but I knew that I needed to keep my mouth shut & pretend to be in love with him while I found my escape route. I finally broke free when he took a trip to Burning Man and I didn’t have to speak to him for a few weeks. I got my own place and blocked him from every platform so he couldn’t pull me back in. My life was in shambles and I knew that I had major healing to do. He was my ultimate rock bottom. 

Fast forward to this week. I spent years figuring out what happened to me, both in my childhood and my last relationship, reading books, processing my emotions and learning how to love myself. This year I finally feel like I am ready to start dating again. I have been on 8 dates out of my goal of 21 in 2021. Most of them are lackluster and I am very picky so I usually know after the first date if there is potential. There was one man I have been casually seeing for a couple months but he hasn’t put much effort into texting or talking to me between dates. We hung out a couple weekends in a row followed by him only texting me late at night asking what I was doing and if I wanted to hang out. I was always busy or about to go to bed so it took a month for him to realize he had to ask me on a real date in order to see me. We went to dinner and drinks which he paid for followed by going to his house for a movie after. I told him I needed to be home by 10pm to work on music for my gig this weekend. After the movie ended he asked me if I wanted to continue the conversation in his room. I told him “no” and that I need to get home soon. He said he wanted to snuggle for a while first and again I told him “no”. When pressed, I further explained that I didn’t really like that he only texts me late at night and I am not interested in being his potential booty call. I said I was being intentional about dating and looking for something more than just physical. Then I mentioned that he wasn’t the only person I was seeing and I am not trying to be promiscuous. Then he said “Wow, you just want to sleep with a bunch of dudes”… and I responded “Umm… that’s not at all what I said, I said the exact opposite”. He then said “Well you don’t have to sleep with me, lets just go lay down for a bit”. For the 3rd time I said “No. I don’t want to put myself in a situation that could lead somewhere” and he said “Too bad that you’re just the kind of girl who can’t control herself”. I started shaking and instantly got up, grabbed my things and left telling him only that he triggered me and I had to go. I went to my car and started crying but not your standard cry, it was a full blown emotional meltdown including sobbing while hyperventilating. All the trauma from my mother and my ex who both verbally abused me and said awful things like what was just said to me, was right in my face again. It felt like I was back in my room being yelled at and told I wouldn’t amount to anything. I was reliving the abuse as if it was currently happening. After 10 minutes I accidentally honked the horn as my head fell into the steering wheel which snapped me back into reality so I drove home, still sobbing the whole way and struggling to breath. I got home and laid on the floor in the fetal position for another 20 minutes crying until I could finally catch the words to tell myself that I was safe now. I held myself and repeated out loud “You’re ok, you’re ok.. You’re home, you’re safe. You don’t ever have to go back there.. I’ll take care of you, you’re safe”. Even writing this brings the tears back to my eyes. 

I finally got up and tried to reach out to a friend. I just needed a warm & familiar voice to calm me down. It was late but my dear friend answered and she just held space for me while I cried and vented to her. She would take very intentional deep breaths which truly helped center me. When I woke up the next day I realized that I had my first panic attack and began to replay what happened in my mind. I realized that the trauma is still very real regardless of how much work I have done to move past it. It is something that I will have to live with my entire life and need to learn ways to cope. I also realized that what happened with my mother carried over to my choice of partner. There is a book I listened to after that relationship ended called ‘Getting the Love you Want’ that resonated with me. It talks about how we choose partners who remind us of our primary caregivers, both the good & the bad aspects. We do this unconsciously in order to fill the void of not getting the love we always wanted but never received. We think these people who remind us of our caregiver will fill the void. The only way to overcome this is by intentionally learning about our shadows and choosing something different. I came to understand that my traumatic relationship was the Universe offering me the idea of “love” from someone who might be able to fill that void. I also realized that this new man I was dating had many of the same attributes as the last and that the Universe will keep putting you in situations until you learn the lesson.

I am actually grateful that this happened and that I saw the pattern so quickly. I was able to get myself out of a bad situation the moment it happened and no longer need to fill some imaginary void with more toxic relationships. I have learned my lesson and I will never let someone treat me that way again. I have filled my own cup and don’t need a person to make me whole because I am my savior. People treat you how you treat yourself and you only get what you’re willing to put up with. Needless to say I will never speak to that man again and I don’t feel bad for leaving with no explanation. He tried to reach out but I have not responded and don’t plan to. The funniest part is that after I left he seemed so clueless that he actually sent me a text asking if I could Venmo him my portion of dinner. The dinner that he ordered and said was too much for him and wanted to share. I laughed out loud! I thought about sending him a bill for my awesome company as my time is valuable and he wasted it… Or sending him a dollar and telling him to buy himself a clue… but I figured that there is no point in speaking to deaf ears and this would make a really good blog post as it is.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you have struggled or are struggling with an abusive relationship please feel free to reach out. I have been there. You are NOT alone. There are resources that can help.

❤ Malia

Entrepreneurship, Writing

The Law Of Attraction ~ Real or Nonsense?

I have an old friend that I would have deep conversations with about “manifesting” and he told me he didn’t believe in that. He couldn’t comprehend how positive thinking, wishing and hoping could actually make things “magically” happen. I have in turn spent a lot of time pondering this question. Part of why I wanted to become a writer and put my feelings on display to the whole world was because at the end of my life I wanted to prove that manifestation is real and there is a science to it. I knew the only way to do this would be to have records of history. Things that I wrote down that over time have come to fruition. I knew nobody would believe me if I told them the story in retrospect so I needed timelines to show evidence. I wanted to take the “magic” out of it and focus on the *steps* that I took which led me to the end result I was seeking. I have a few instances of my process working in ways that almost seem too good to be true but that have given me more faith in the Universe. After all “When you want something all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

~ Paulo Coelho. 

I have been journaling since I was 12 years old. It started as a tool to help me cope with a tumultuous home life. I needed a way to process my thoughts and feelings but I didn’t have a lot of close friends. We moved around a lot and I never had a chance to make a best friend until I was in middle school and my mother found a more stable home life for us. I feel like being able to articulate your thoughts and feelings helps you learn more about yourself and what you truly want. Whenever I feel stuck with a problem that is looping through my mind that I can’t figure out how to solve or maybe something is stressing me out or I am frustrated and I don’t know why, I will make a point to sit down and write about it. Somewhere along the way the answers will come to me. It’s almost as if my thoughts just needed to flow freely and be acknowledged before they could move on. Sometimes just getting the feelings outside instead of bottled up releases the pressure. Over time I made a habit of setting goals for myself. At the beginning of each year I would review my journal & calendar from the last year to see what I learned and accomplished. Then I write down what I will accomplish in the upcoming year. Not like a resolution because I feel those never last but rather the things I will do that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based (S.M.A.R.T.)… I can thank my Wells Fargo days for this little trick 😉

An example of a SMART goal is:

Specific – I am going to live a more healthy lifestyle that will lead me to lose unnecessary body fat.

Measurable – I will write down my daily progress on what I eat each day, focusing on macros and also what type of exercise I did & the duration. I will exercise a minimum of 4 days per week for at least 60 minutes. 

Attainable – I will cut beer, bread, processed foods and added sugars from of my diet and replace with more healthy fats, proteins and fresh produce. (Except on cheat days which I’ll allow myself to indulge once per week).

Relevant – This will help me feel lighter and have more energy so that I can focus on training in Aerial Silks. 

Time Bound – I’m not a huge fan of counting calories or hopping on a scale so let’s just say I will feel sexy in a swimsuit by June 15th (Swimsuit season)!!

Sometimes my goals are less put together but will say something like; “This year, I will develop a relationship with Threyda (Art Collective) and seek partnership opportunities with other local artists to help build my ArtBnB and expand my knowledge in the Denver Art Scene”. Another one of my goals for 2021 was to put myself out there in search of my partner. If I said something too simple like “I want to find a partner” then I am doing myself the great disservice of not being clear with myself or the Universe on what kind of person this lucky man will be. So I had to make it a SMART goal by saying: I will go on 21 new dates with different men in 2021 and not limit myself to dating only one person at a time. I will write down a list of what my partner is like and use language as if he already exists. I will allow myself to casually date as many people at one time as I feel drawn to so that I am opening myself up to unlimited possibilities and so that I take my time choosing the right person who fits best in my life & meets my needs. I will embody the things I am seeking in a partner so that I become a magnet for like minded individuals. 

About 10 years ago I was walking down the Santa Fe Art walk for “First Friday”. On the first Friday of each month all the local art galleries, boutiques, food trucks and artists would come out to the Santa Fe Arts District and display their work for passers by. One particular day I was drawn to a vibration. I could feel the bass pulling me closer and as I walked up I noticed a Box Truck with the back door lifted and a DJ inside, encased by a bunch of speakers that acted as the stage. That night was the first time I heard Tipper and felt so at one with sound. I remember later writing in my journal that I wanted to work with that crew. They went by the name of “Whomp Truck” and they were friends with some of my friends in the Burner community but I didn’t know any of them personally. I started attending their events and trying to get closer to them. I began hosting my own community potlucks every Wednesday because I enjoyed hosting. Later that year I was nominated to be on the board of an annual community event alongside 4 others, one of which was a crew member of Whomp Truck. After working with him and pulling off a major event, I was approached by the leader of the crew who told me he was really impressed with me and wanted to know if I’d be interested in attending some of their group meetings.

I ended up spending nearly 4 years in the crew and helped organize hundreds of events with them. They taught me so much about the industry and had I not walked up to their truck one fateful day and had I not decided they were people I wanted to get close to I don’t think I would be the person and event producer that I am today. When I revisited my journal at the end of that year I was shocked at how clear I was on my desire to work with them, specifically. I saw something special in them and their concept and knew that whatever they were doing was something I wanted to be a part of. 

The most profound experience I have had (so far) with the Law of Attraction, was when I decided to quit working at the bank in order to seek my “dream job”. I didn’t have the luxury of going to college and dropped out of high school when I was 16 in order to work and live on my own. After having my first child at 20 and going back into the service industry, I realized that I needed something more stable that had better hours, advancement opportunities & benefits. I started as a teller when I was 22 years old and then became a service manager overseeing the tellers. Later I became a banker and then a bank manager who oversees all the employees in the branch. The higher I climbed the ladder, the more corruption I noticed in the financial industry. We had high sales goals and were encouraged to persuade customers into buying our varying products & services. When I was a banker & teller it was easy to reach my goals because I truly listened to my customers and was able to refer them to the right products.

However when I became a bank manager I was trained to push for sales at all costs, despite what was right for the customer. I was trained how to manipulate customers into thinking they needed that extra checking account or credit card. I was taught how to play off people’s emotions in order to convince them it was a product they needed. Worst of all my District Manager expected me to train my employees these tactics without them realizing. If you’re curious, check out the Netflix Documentary series called ‘Dirty Money’ and watch season 2 episode 1: The Wagon Wheel – which was precisely what I went through at that company.

That experience made me feel dirty and ethically bankrupt. I ended up taking a side step to become a loan & credit expert so that I could only manage myself and not have to lead others. The last 2 years of my life at the bank were excruciating. Every morning I would wake up groggy and look into the mirror thinking “What would happen if I just didn’t go in today?”… But being the responsible person I was, I rarely called in and thus would force myself out the door. By the time I made it to work for our morning meeting I was already counting the minutes until the day ended. I would sit there and daydream about what else I could be doing if I weren’t stuck there. I would dream about doing yoga, having time to meet friends for lunch, sit in the sun listening to music… or whatever else sounded enjoyable. Then I would watch the next hour pass by and think, “Well there is another $26 in my pocket, I guess that’s good”. I couldn’t imagine how I would make that much money anywhere else as a high school drop out. I knew that in 2 more years I would get tenure which gave me more paid time off days and more benefits. Every year they would give me a slight increase just enough to keep me complacent. If I stayed there until retirement I would live a comfortable life and could provide for my kids… So every day became Groundhogs day and I would have the same internal struggle. Every morning I woke up when it was dark and spent an hour each way getting to & from work during rush hour. I spent $15 per day just to park my car downtown. By the end of my workday and stressful drive home the sun was already gone and I didn’t have the energy to work out or do something creative so I would grab a beer and sit on the couch to watch mindless shows until I passed out. Then I’d rinse & repeat the next day. I looked forward to my weekends when I would get to hang out with my family or my crew and work on projects together. The weekends flew by so fast and by Monday morning I was more exhausted than I was at the end of my work week. I wished and hoped for something to change but I was too afraid to change it myself. Then I went into training to become a licensed banker in which case I was removed from the branch and sent to a basement under fluorescent lights with no windows. My only job was to study every day for 4 weeks to prepare for my Series 6 & 63 exam. Once I passed the exam I would be able to sell investment products to clients. The weekend before I began studying I watched a film called “The Wolf of Wall Street” and it gave me a sinking feeling in my gut.. Was that the direction I was heading? Was I going to become a greedy hustler whose life revolved around dirty money and swindling sales? I brushed this aside and walked forward anyhow. After the first week of studying alone in the basement I realized nobody was checking on me. Nobody seemed to care what I was doing, what time I showed up or how long I was there… So one day I decided to go study at a cafe for lunch and finish out the day there. The next day I decided to spare myself the drive to work and just study from home. Over the course of the few weeks I was spending more time outdoors studying, meeting up with friends for my lunch break and feeling like I could finally breathe! I was dreading going back to the branch but felt confident that I would pass the test as I would study all 12 chapters from start to finish each day and then take the pop quiz at the end. I was consistently passing so when I went to take the actual exam (and failed) I was mortified! What they didn’t tell me was that the exam was broken into 2 parts; Product Knowledge (chapters 1-11) and the State Law exam (chapter 12). The state law exam only consisted of 20 questions but I only got 12/20 correct which was not a passing score… Even though I destroyed the other test, it didn’t matter because the state law exam stood alone. I realized that by the end of each study day I would taper off and lose my attention span. The state law chapter was super boring but I figured I was doing so well on the rest that I didn’t need to sweat it. After learning that I failed the exam I called my District Manager and he told me it wasn’t a huge deal, that I would come back to the branch tomorrow and work until the next study opportunity came up in a few months… I froze.. I didn’t know what to do but after feeling the freedom of being away from that environment I couldn’t fathom going back. I finally broke silence and said “I’m not coming in tomorrow…. I am going to take this weekend to think”. He said “Ok” and that he’d see me on Monday. Immediately after getting off the phone with him I called HR and asked them what was the longest leave of absence I was allowed to take without losing my job? They said 3 months and so I did the math to determine how much time I could afford to take. I had some PTO stored up and I had a little money in my savings account, plus I had some credit cards & line of credit. Next I thought about my overhead and bills that needed to be paid each month to stay afloat and which bills I could reduce somehow. By Monday I decided I was taking the full 3 months to get clear about what my next steps would be.

During this time I moved all of my banking clothes into another closet and only allowed myself to be surrounded by clothes that made me feel like *myself*. I dyed my hair pink, then red, then blue, then purple. I knew the bank would never allow this so I took full advantage while I could. I invested more time into my projects with the sound crew and even helped throw a festival with them out of state. When I would search for jobs I would select only jobs that were in the entertainment or events industry, many of which I was not qualified for but I knew that if you aim for the stars then you’ll probably land on the moon. As my 3 months leave was quickly approaching and I hadn’t found any work that was promising I decided that I didn’t have the heart to go back. I officially dissolved my 8 year long career in the financial industry the summer of 2014. I ended up racking up all my credit cards and going $21k in debt, but not before burning my bridge fully with the bank so that I was forced to find my way without a safety net. I knew that if the option to return was there, I would not push myself to my potential. I Knew that if I was going to uproot my well paying career it better be worth it! About 9 months of (FUN)employment later I began to worry. I consulted a friend and asked him what he thought I should do? He asked me what my dream job looks like… How many hours do I want to work, do I want to work with people or alone, what kinds of things do I enjoy and could be good at? I described to him that I didn’t want to work more than 30 hours a week and wanted to do something that allows me freedom to be myself and dress how I wanted and keep my colored hair. I was good at taking care of people and things, I was organized and I had a strong resume in finance, hospitality, events & management. He said that what I need to do is get on Craigslist every morning and fill out the categories for “job seekers” then sit there and click refresh every 5 minutes. I thought that was a weird waste of time at first but I trusted him so I followed his advice. One day I was casually sitting at my computer and hit refresh and then it popped up: 

 “Seeking gay friendly personal assisstant to work 20 hours a week doing the following…” and then the Ad listed a series of mundane household tasks such as cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, errands, caring for plants & puppies… and at the very the bottom of that list it said “Organize 4-5 grand scale parties per year”. BINGO! I knew this was the job I wanted immediately and sent an email right away explaining that I was super gay friendly as I had gotten a part time bartending job at Tracks (an LGBTQ club). I sent them my resume in which I moved all of my career history to the end pages and used the front page to display all the community events and projects I was involved with over the years. I knew that I wanted to attract a job that appreciated my creative skill sets rather than another corporate soul sucking job. The first time I met my clients they looked oddly familiar like I knew them already. We had a casual interview and they asked me if I was going to be ok with their lifestyle? I told them I had been to Burning Man 4 times and there is nothing that is going to suprise or offend me,,, then *I* asked *them* if they would be ok with my blue hair? I knew that I didn’t want to work for anyone who forced me to be someone that I’m not. They laughed and said absolutely, not a problem. 2 weeks later they called and offered me a job at $15 per hour. I was in the mountains and unable to reply to their offer for a couple days so on Monday they followed up and said that I was at the top of their list but they hadn’t heard from me and didn’t know if I wanted the job but that they’d wait for me a couple more days. I told them I was interested but wanted $17.50 to start with a guarantee of $20 per hour after 3 months of getting to know me and my work ethic. I knew that in order to be taken seriously I needed to give myself value. If you don’t add value to yourself then you can’t expect anyone else to. I also think making them wait for a couple days for a response to their offer made me seem more desirable and not desperate. 

The most common misconception about “manifesting” is that people think they can just sit on their couch and pray that they’ll get that dream job, find that dream partner, lose the extra weight or become rich & famous… but they aren’t willing to do the work. Then they say manifesting doesn’t work and isn’t real simply because they aren’t willing to take responsibility for their own actions nor embrace their failures. Many times they won’t even try from fear of failure. They would rather blame external forces or other people for their problems and they say “life just isn’t fair” or “I can’t catch a break”. Oftentimes we become paralyzed in our daily life and seduced by consistency. We would rather endure comfortable suffering than face the possibility of the unknown. When in actuality the only way to attract something to you is by embodying the lifestyle or dream before it even happens. Fake it till you make it 😉 I know that one day I will write my own music and while I am playing on stage in front of a large audience I will play my best track then do an Aerial Silks performance that knocks the socks off of the crowd and then I will gracefully come down, take a bow and get back on the decks to finish the show! But I know that if I eat junk food all day and don’t put in the work to take the steps towards this, it will be nothing more than a fantasy.

I have worked for this family for over 6 years now and couldn’t be more happy with my decision to uproot my career. I knew that doing that was going to be a challenge but I believed in myself and I knew that I was being pulled in another direction. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I knew that I had to take steps towards it to show the Universe I was serious. Today I own my business in property management and work as an independent contractor which allows me to expense a lot of my bills and pay less in taxes than I did as a salaried employee.  I get to pick my own hours and avoid driving during traffic, plus I work remotely half of the time. I work half the hours and make twice the pay as when I left the bank. The extra free time I have has allowed me to pursue my creative goals and develop my production company on the side. I wake up with the sun most days and ease into the morning with some meditation, tea and a little work out. I currently manage a private home, a weekend retreat, and 2 AirBnB’s alongside my new studio space. My clients treat me better than any employer ever has and they genuinely care about me and my family. The other day Facebook showed me a memory that I had written back in 2015 after I just started working for them and barely establishing my role in their life:

You don’t have to take the same extreme leap that I did… after all I’ve been told many times that I’ve gone mad but as Alice pointed out; All the best people are 😉 Whatever you want in life can be achieved with time and dedication. When you fail, and you will, you have to get back up and try again. So what is it that you want to attract into your life? Visualize this and write it down in great detail. Then write down what SMART goals you can set to get you on the right path. There is a funny thing that happens when you start connecting with the quantum realm; it starts responding. We live in a world of infinite possibilities and when we embrace that and change our routines and our mindset we line ourselves up to receive the unimaginable. Every time we reach a goal, it gives us courage & confidence in ourselves to keep going. Always remember your “why”. Why do you want to stay focused, what’s in it for you? Hopefully your why is more about self improvement rather than superficial outcomes because the flip side of the Law of Attraction is that we also attract what we don’t want as much as what we do so being clear on your intentions and remaining true to self is important. 

If you don’t know where to start, think of the most successful and inspiring person you know (dead or alive) and learn about them. Learn about where they came from and how they came to be the person worthy of your respect. I guarantee they have gone through hell and back. I guarantee they failed more times than they succeeded.

We have to remember that Michael Jordan missed more shots than any other basketball player and THAT is what made him successful. I could go on and on about all the times that I lost or failed. Usually it was because I wasn’t ready and had more to learn from the failure than gain from the win. Other times it was something that wasn’t meant to be and learning to let go was the lesson. When something isn’t working, change it. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. But when you truly want something no failure will stop you from persisting anyhow. When I wrote a 14 page proposal for an Airbnb investment opportunity I was told no twice over the span of 2 years but the third time must be the charm because now I have manifested that too.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

~ Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

spirituality, Writing

Believing in the “Woo-Woo”

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I had an amazing weekend which left me inspired and aching to write about it! I was entertaining a girlfriend of mine from out of town for her Birthday. She is one of my dear friends of 10 years who has always been such a great confidant, listener and even my “psychologist”. I rarely get to connect with her in real life but every time I do we pick things back up as if there was no time between us. Those are my favorite kinds of friendships. I wanted to treat her like the Queen that she is so I planned a lovely weekend at one of my Airbnb’s so it felt more like a “retreat” for both of us. I planned for us to get mani/pedis, check out a couple restaurants & bars that we’ve never been to alongside getting sound healing’s. On Friday night we decided to keep things mellow and cooked dinner and had some adult beverages. She noticed that I had a shelf in my ArtBnB full of mystical things like Tarot cards, astrology, fortune telling chopsticks and Archangel Michael cards. I don’t put much weight into that but I know a lot of artist/spiritual types love this kind of stuff so I have collected it over the years and put it in my rental space for guests to enjoy. Staying at my own Airbnb as a “guest” was really interesting and helped me think of all the things I could do to make my guests more comfortable and enjoy their stay. After all, hospitality is my middle name 😉 

She was specifically drawn to the Archangel Michael cards so I decided to humor the idea. We read the instructions and cleared the deck of previous energy. You have to then shuffle the deck until you feel or sense a stopping point. If any cards jump out of the deck you set them aside as they are a part of the reading but not the main card. Then you ask Archangel Michael a question you want to get answered. I thought deeply to ask about something of substance that I have been pondering for a while. Then it came to me… When I sat in Ceremony a little over a year ago, I had a very specific download. Spirit came to me and told me I was a Queen in my past life and that I will rise again in this lifetime. She told me I was a great Queen who was kind to my people. Spirit embraced me in what felt like a bubble of love and told me I have done such a good job and now is my time to take up space. I am not religious but I am highly spiritual and there have been a few times in my life that I’ve had wild experiences, “coincidences” or visions that altered my reality. That experience floored me and had an enduring impact on my life. However I did not understand what it meant when Spirit told me I would “rise again”. My question then for Archangel Michael was “Archangel Michael, how do I Rise? What do I need to do?”… Then I shuffled the deck and 2 cards jumped out. I set them aside and shuffled some more until I felt an urge to “stop now”. I pulled the top card from the deck and turned it over and it said “Write about your thoughts and feelings”. My jaw dropped as I have always been in love with writing and since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted to write a book one day when I’m old and there is a great story to tell. However I have been afraid of many things; How people will judge me, will anyone will even read it or whether I want to expose all of my shadows to the world and be raw & vulnerable or how it will affect the people around me who are a part of my story. I do my best to never use names however any clever person could probably put the pieces together if they really wanted to. I wonder how my openness can leave me exposed or impact my family. Then I turned over the other 2 cards that jumped out of the deck which read: “Shield Yourself” and “Your home is protected by Angels”. Woah! My eyes shot open and it was as if the answer to my long thought about questions were just dropped right in my lap. 

Woo Woo!

I told my friend about this and both of our readings were very much aligning to the question we asked. She asked me at some point why I want to write and display it to the world? Wouldn’t it just be easier to just write in my private journal and keep my life to myself? She prefaced this question with no judgement but only curiosity and said she just wants to understand what drives me to want this. It’s not the first time someone has asked me this question so I have taken a lot of time to get clear about my “why”. The answer as best as I can put it is that something inside of me has always told me to. Writing has always been cathartic for me. I started journaling when I was 12 and life at home got really hard. I needed a way to process my thoughts and emotions to get the feelings out so they don’t fester and become toxic energy. I also know that I have a voice that could help people. Rarely do I open up and tell the stories of my past in great detail but when I do, oftentimes to this particular friend and a few other best friends, it flows out of me and they just say “Wow! How the hell did you end up like you did and not fall into the darkness?’. People often tell me on Facebook that my writings make them feel less alone and make them feel inspired to be themselves and not hide in fear anymore. I am told I have a gift for writing and that it could be used for good. To be totally honest I have tried re-reading my journal entries from my adolescence and it was really embarrassing. The emotions are there however I was bad at spelling & grammar alongside not being able to fully express things the way I mean them. Since the age of computers I have begun typing which is far easier to correct a typo or misspelling and doesn’t cramp up my fingers as much! I also found a huge shift in my writing when I started letting other people read it. Something about the pressure of being judged or misunderstood made me get really good at articulating myself. When I only write to myself in my journal it seems to come across as rabble. Not only does making my thoughts and feelings public help me fine tune my skills but also it helps others find their voice. I feel like I could help people believe that it IS possible to overcome your circumstances. If I can do it, so can anyone! It was a process and one that I’ve been hyper self aware of because I knew the life I was born into was not the life I wanted to create for myself. As a child I didn’t care for Superhero’s but rather admired real life humans like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln and those who fought for the betterment of humanity regardless of how hard it was or how it hurt them. They took on the world’s suffering as their responsibility and fought for what they knew was right even if it made them uncomfortable, hated or even got them beaten, jailed or killed. I thought when I was only 6 years old “If they can do it, why can’t I?” 

As much as I love to write I have been slacking. Making excuses about not being ready or being in fear. I have been putting it off or slowly stumbling my way through it with no consistency or discipline. I know that I can’t live my whole life based on what some card reading or astrology book tells me because I believe in free will, however I also believe that the trick to manifesting your destiny is to believe in something, be clear about what you want and take the steps towards it. Whether you call this “woo-woo”, pseudoscience or complete nonsense, I believe sometimes we need something to push us to that next level. I have been listening to my intuition for decades and the only time it fails me is when I listen to the fear and not the love.

Archangel Micael, Thank you for helping me tap into my God Given creativity and wisdom so I clearly express myself and glean insight, blessing and healing.

Archangel Michael, I ask you to protect me, my vehicle and my home with your powerful shield. Surround us in your purple light which allows only pure love to penetrate. Please stay with me day and night and keep my loved ones safe from specific people or situations that might want to hurt me.

Archangel Michael, thank you for watching over my home and it’s inhabitants. I ask that you post guardian angels at each window and door ensuring it’s security. Thank you for guarding my finances so that I can easily afford my rent, mortgage & taxes.

Dating, Life, Love

Adventures in Dating Pt. 2 ~ Getting Clear about what you Want

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I’m new to the dating scene. Typically I would live my life and if a person of interest crossed my path, I would “throw caution to the wind” so to speak. I would go with the flow, ride it out and see how the chips fell. After a handful of unsuccessful and short lived connections, alongside one traumatic relationship, I realized if I truly wanted to find someone of substance, how unrealistic of an approach that was. After my traumatic relationship a few years ago I listened to a Book called “Getting the Love you Want” which really resonated with me. It was written by Harville Henreix Ph.D. and he explores how our childhood plays a role in who we are drawn to in relationships. How we seem to be drawn to people that remind us of our primary caregivers and for those of us who didn’t have positive childhoods this can hinder our ability to select people that are good for us. We tend to seek out someone who reminds us of our parents because it both makes us feel comfort while simultaneously seeking the love we always wanted but never received. 

My mother was beautiful, wild & fun (yet) crazy and volatile. We used to sing and dance while playing dress up as she made me feel magical and told me I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to… Until things got dark for her and she would become verbally abusive and hurtful. My father was gentle, kind and the light of my life. He loved me dearly but left at the age of 8. As a result, I have been drawn to men who are either wildly fun (but often imbalanced) or avoidant/unavailable. I have a mix of codependency alongside abandonment issues. The “normal” ones always seemed so boring to me and I unknowingly craved excitement in order to fill the void of not getting the stable care that I needed as a child. The difference between me and most people however was that I recognized I had a blockage and my desire to overcome my circumstances was far greater than my need for immediate gratification. I have worked extremely hard to understand my traumas along with learning how to overcome them. At this point my self love teeters on the border of narcissism. I say that jokingly but my best friend makes fun of me for it. I think because I didn’t get the love I needed, I had to manufacture it myself and over time I learned how much of a badass biotch I am and how I can’t rely on any man (or person) to give me that love. It resides inside of me and I have to own it! The love I have for my avatar is so strong that now I am ready to share it and I seek a worthy receiver. 

I casually dated a male model a while back and learned that what they say about models might be true… super hot but there isn’t much going on upstairs… he was super sweet but after a few fun months I ended things with no explanation. He later confronted me to ask why I broke things off. He said that it felt like a business transaction and that maybe he wasn’t putting in as much so I cut him off as if he were a business decision. I realized that he was 100% correct and as insensitive as I may have been to his feelings, it wasn’t working for that very reason. I wasn’t willing to be the investor anymore. I wasn’t willing to put all my time & energy into someone or something that wasn’t bringing me a return on my investment. At this point, I am not willing to start something that doesn’t make sense long term. I am not willing to humor deal breakers in hopes the person will “change”. They never do. I am not interested in fixing anyone as I’ve tried that repeatedly only to be left feeling used and drained. No, no.. I am embracing my power and I realize ALL relationships are transactional, whether you recognize this or not. Some people want companionship at all costs and are willing to forfeit their dignity to avoid being alone. Some people want sex, some people want arm candy to make themselves look or feel better, some people want safety or security… NONE of these wants are wrong as every person deserves to be true to themselves and their needs. However being clear with yourself and those you date is imperative for a long lasting and balanced partnership. 

What I want is far deeper. I want true connection. A best friend and a lover. Someone who I can confide in and who will push me to my limits while catching me when I fall. I realize that I am a Queen and I need to own this, like mama taught me. I want my love to find me beautiful, fun & exciting (while) being able to handle my crazy, as we all have it. To be fair, I am pretty reasonable but trauma is trauma and I’ll be the first to admit on occasion it creeps up and I revert back to patterns that are hard to break. For example; if I think someone is going to leave me, I leave first to spare myself the uncertainty. I need my man to give me a minute to catch my breath, realize how ridiculous that is and then be my rock and pull me back in. Again, it’s rare and embarrassing when this happens but I need a strong man to hold space for me when I can’t hold space for myself. After all, as Marilyn so eloquently put it “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. 

Getting clear about what you want is a process but something worth embarking on. Here are a couple lists to start with that you can adjust over time as you grow to know and love yourself:

Write down ALL the things you desire in your partner. Start the sentence with “My partner *IS*… Avoid saying I want him/her to “be”. Don’t use future tense but rather write your list as if they are already here. Example; 

My Partner IS

~Kind to my kids (and all kids). He wants to get to know them and be their friend. 

My partner IS

~Thoughtful: Thinks deeply about things & contemplates life.


~Mindful: Present in his life and considers his impact on others.

~Well articulated: Knows how to speak, write, communicate and express himself.

~Emotionally intelligent: Listens to his heart, knows himself, what he wants and has empathy for others.

~Supportive: Encourages me to pursue my goals & pushes me to be my best self while being able to catch me when I fall. 

~Healthy: Cares about what he puts in & on his body. He likes to workout frequently, be fit and be active – he’ll even try the things I enjoy like yoga or acro yoga and even be silly with my hula hoop once and a while. *Whilst* not being too obsessed with always being healthy…just most of the time… everything in moderation including moderation.  

~Open Minded: We don’t always agree or see things the same but we allow each other the space to explore ideas and ask questions without feeling judged. 

~Fond of travel & exploring new places

~Financially stable: Has the means to do that ^ He has his own career that he enjoys that offers him a lifestyle that we can share weight equally without stress. 

~Attractive: He has good hygiene but knows how to be a man and not be afraid of pheromones. He has some sense of fashion and knows the difference between dressing up, down, business casual and costumery.. He is conscious of fashion but doesn’t really care what other people think of his appearance. 

~Unapologetically himself: He doesn’t let society, social norms or pressure change him. 

~Funny, fun loving and overall a great time to be around! He likes to let loose sometimes and be a free spirit. He loves to laugh and joke around, be silly and spontaneous. He makes trips to the grocery store worth writing home about ❤ 

~Well equipped – if you know what I’m sayin’…. But to be clear, my man has a very nice girthy penis. Not too long, not too short, but just right. 

~Sensual: He is great in bed, an amazing kisser and appreciates the power of touch and giving extra attention to my body.

~Affectionate: Not afraid of public displays of affection & showing me he loves my body.





~In love with ME. Not his made up version of me, not the surface me, not just my body and not what I have to offer but he is genuinely and passionately in love with ALL of me. 

Next, write down what YOU have to offer. Don’t be shy! We all have our strengths and we need to own them! Here are some things I have to offer to the lucky man who catches my heart:

~I am optimistic and cheerful and have the ability to brighten a room and lift people’s spirits. 

~I have a great sense of humor and make people laugh with spontaneous jokes and just being silly or pointing out how silly we are as humans. I can break the ice easily and make people smile.  

~I am patient and kind. I am stoic in times of trouble. I am the voice of reason in difficult or emotional situations and can usually find middle ground or help bring calm & peace to the situation. 

~I am understanding and forgiving.

~I am a good cook & homemaker who enjoys taking care of the people I love.

~I can hold an intellectual conversation and discuss worldly & deep topics.

~I am creative and can transform anything into a work of art. 

~I am well articulated and can hold my own within a variety of dynamics.

~I am smart, hard working and capable of anything I put my mind to. 

~I am hawt with a cute butt and womanly curves, soft skin and nice hair that will make any man melt. 

~Also, I am charming 😉 

So what is it that YOU want and have to offer?

Dating, Life, Love

Adventures in Dating Part 1: Laying the Foundation

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I have been mostly single since my divorce in 2010, minus a couple short lived exceptions. I never wanted to introduce my children to a bunch of men when they were young and then have it not work out so I kept most of my (almost non existent) dating life separate from my family life. My last relationship was 4 years ago and it scared me away from trying again due to the volatility of that situation. After only 6 months of dating that man, I had to take a huge step back to evaluate what happened to me and why I attracted that type of person. I listened to several audiobooks about psychology, love and how our past traumas and childhood plays a big role in the type of person you are attracted to. I learned about attachment styles, the male brain (&) the female brain among many other personal development topics. I came to understand that relationship as my rock bottom and I knew that if I was going to find the right person worth committing to and ever put myself in another vulnerable situation then I needed to do the work and make sure I was prepared. After many years of growth and discovering who I really am at my core and what I want out of a partner, I finally feel the urge & confidence to seek him. This year I’ve felt compelled to cast my net as far & wide to see what fish are out there. The saying goes that “what you seek is seeking you” and I feel a tugging in my heart. I plan to go on many dates and assume I will need to kiss a lot of frogs to find my King. Yes, I said “King” and not “Prince” because I know that I am not a Princess and what I need is a strong man to meet me in my Queendom. 

I decided to put more effort into online dating and have built up 3 profiles on different dating sites to see which one works best for me and also because I know that in order to find my man I need to take steps towards him. Maybe I’ll meet him in real life but at least this is my signal to the Universe that I am open. I set up a profile on Meet Mindful as it seems to be more geared towards people who want to live mindfully, health conscious and spiritual lives. However I’ve not had much luck interacting with people on that platform. Possibly because these people are also trying to be present in their lives and thus don’t spend a lot of time in the virtual world. It’s also hard to tell whether we have the same views on important topics that could be deal breakers. The site allows you to program your match preferences for things like height, age, religion, diet, education and a few other categories however there is no way of telling whether you’d agree or disagree on fundamental issues.

I also set up an account on OK Cupid. The site allows you to answer many questions on a variety of topics like political views, current events, likes and dislikes along with allowing you to rate the importance of that topic. You are matched based on how many things you agree on and whether those things are more or less important to you in a relationship. I made sure to answer a LOT of questions to really be clear about who I am and what is important to me. You also have the ability to select criteria like age, heigh & location similar to Meet Mindful. To avoid wasting time reading a bunch of dead end profiles, I have worked out a process for scrubbing potential matches; First I will only humor men who are a 90% match or above. If they pass the initial “cute/hot/attractive” test based on their profile pictures, then I will go one step further and click on the match percentile link to review the things we *disagree* on to make sure there aren’t any firm deal breakers. One thing I often run into that is a deal breaker for me is someone who is sold on the mask/lockdown/vaccine approach to Covid. Not to diminish the pandemic but I am very clear that I want a person who values building their immune system & personal responsibility over pharmaceutical drugs and government mandates. I also shy away from men who don’t like children or animals because I don’t know how any reasonable person doesn’t like them! If I get the impression that they are immature or full time partiers that will also deter me. I have spent enough time in the party scene to know that is NOT the person I am looking for. Finally, I can’t handle the “Woke” culture so anyone who is overly liberal and convinced that America is a racist, awful country is not workable as I love my country and am honored to be here. I have come to realize that despite being socially liberal (classic liberal) I am fiscally conservative and I believe in God, Spirituality and the individual over the Government, tribalism and bureaucratic science. I am NOT a Communist nor Socialist but I do care about volunteering, sustainability and locally managed social programs that help our communities. I certainly don’t fall into any political box and I am seeking someone who is a bit more open to alternative ideas. 

The last dating site that I created a profile on is eHarmony. They seem to focus more attention on the compatibility levels between people and use psychology to get to the root of what builds a successful and long term relationship. They ask questions more aligned to how you are within a partnership, your love languages, personality traits, attachment & relationship styles. What I gather from this site is that it’s good for people who are seeking a long term & committed relationship or marriage and family building. The only downside is that you have to put a lot of skin in the game. In order to even see a potential matches profile & pictures you have to be a paid member and it’s rather expensive. For example, Meet Mindful was $50 for 3 months of membership. OK Cupid was $30 for the first month and $60 every month after (or you can do an annual subscription that has some savings). eHarmony is more based on the length of commitment as it requires a minimum of 6 months at $42 per month (or $250 for 6 months and $350 for a year). For now I decided to start with the cheaper short term commitment sites to see how I like them and will consider eHarmony later. 

OK Cupid seems to be working for me the most. I’ve only been on the site for 2 weeks but so far have made a handful of connections and have had 3 in person meet ups. The first man I met is a 96% match and we get along great! He is a lot of fun to be around and we seem to agree on so many things and the conversation flows very well. I wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him at first but mostly because he asked me to meet him at a local dive bar and the setting was not exactly my cup of tea. During dinner we got to know each other more and found a lot of commonalities so he became more attractive to me. We have hung out twice now and both times were a blast! He met my friends and fits in well with them which is important to me. The only possible Red Flag is that he’s slightly younger than me and I tend to be mature for my age. I am looking for a man who is very emotionally intelligent and is fully established in his life. This isn’t a deal breaker and so far I enjoy his company enough to see how things play out. He also lied on his profile about being a smoker and that has always been a hard “no” for me, although I have dated men who vape and smoke on occasion. It’s not something I will be able to tolerate long term as it makes me sick to be around. When I asked him why he lied he said because A) He is trying to quit and wants to be around good influences who don’t smoke and B) Most women won’t even give him the time of day if he admits this. I do understand addiction is hard and to be fair, I didn’t disclose the fact that I have children. Not to “hide” that part of myself but I also don’t know that I want to attract other parents with young children. I am not closed off to the idea and I actually adore children… It’s more that I have taken care of people my whole life and I am at a point where as my responsibilities with my kids lessen and they get older, I have a strong desire to travel and be free for a little while. I’m not exactly looking to build another family or raise more kids..However I’m not opposed and always saw myself having a girl, even if she wasn’t mine. I feel like this is something to reveal in person with some added context. I also don’t want any man to think I need a father figure as my kids already have a dad. I want my man to be kind to my kids and get to know them while not trying to be their father figure. 

My second date was with a guy who upon meeting clearly lied about his height… and not just a little, a whole 4 inches! We met in a park to play with his dog and he proceeded to tell me all the things wrong with him and said multiple times that he is boring and his life is basically all about his dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs but if the only thing you do everyday is walk your dog and then go home to your apartment I can tell you right now that I would suffocate in that dynamic. He also smelled potent like he wasn’t even trying to impress me and had gone on a hike with his dog earlier that day. There was zero attraction or chemistry so I kindly told him I was cold and he walked me to my car. Word to those meeting a date for the first time; maybe try to tell your date the interesting things about yourself first and not bore them(?). Also if there is no time to shower, try deodorant!

The 3rd date was interesting because I found myself thinking about the date I had the night before with the 1st guy and how much fun we’ve had the last 2 dates… I wondered if this 3rd guy would be as much of a bore as the 2nd and was almost dreading the meet up. Upon first sight all I thought (and said) was “Ohh, you’re handsome!”. He was dressed casual with a button up top and jeans but smelled nice and had a warm smile. He hugged me and I could feel he was very strong. He also came to pick me up and got out of the car to come to my door which I liked. He has a nice (and clean) car. He paid for my drinks without even allowing me to try and he was quite the gentleman. For the record chivalry is NOT dead! The conversation started slow at first but as we got more comfortable I realized he is very thoughtful and deep. He asks a lot of great questions and wants to know who I am at my core. We talked about our past relationships, careers, childhoods and more. I felt that he was much more mature than my younger date and has established his life & career to a point that I feel he could add balance & stability to my life. He basically hits everything on my list and the physical connection is equally as strong as the mental one, if not more so. The only possible Red Flag is whether he will understand my artist lifestyle as he is in functional medicine and seems to be very healthy. I like to be 95% on point with my goals, career and healthy lifestyle however every couple weeks or so I like to let loose, stay up late and party! I wonder if he will fit into that dynamic or if he’ll be the partner that stays home while I go out. He seems to be open to new things and asked me a lot about Burning Man along with letting me take him to a local college bar and gay bar just to try something new… So I feel good about it and truthfully have had a smile on my face since our date. At this time I know that I can’t settle too fast and need to continue to meet more people and let things develop naturally. I will say however that he is not shy to tell me how much he likes me and it’s refreshing to meet a man I can connect with on multiple levels, who is not afraid of expressing feelings and who is actually available. I’ve heard there are a few other dating sites worth looking into, which I will. I am in no hurry and nothing good ever came easy 😉 For now I am single and just enjoying my freedom!


How Audiobooks changed my Life

Podcast Episode 4:

I fell into a slump this year. Before Covid I worked very hard to structure my life in a way that I enjoyed every part of my day. I spent years building routines that made me love my life… but the lockdowns took that all away. Or at least that is the excuse I used. A couple weeks ago I woke up and said this is shit. What the hell am I doing with my life and why am I letting this get the best of me? I realized I needed to get back to the drawing board and recreate new routines. After all “People don’t rise to the occasion, they sink to the level of their training” – Archilochus

I wasn’t much of a reader growing up. I found it boring and considered myself to have a reading “disorder” of sorts. If I tried to sit down and read, I would fall asleep within 20 minutes. Or it would be hard to stay engaged and I’d end up re-reading the same paragraph over and over because I couldn’t focus long enough to retain the information. However I work with my hands all day and happen to have a lot of listening time. What I have noticed about myself is that I need to be both mentally and physically stimulated or I get bored and antsy. When I was learning to DJ I would spend my days scouting music by listening to Spotify or other artist mixes on Soundcloud and then I would Shazam a track when I liked it. Later I would re-listen and if I found it worthy of playing, I would buy the track and make my own mixes. Being able to record and re-listen during the day helped me develop my taste and skills. However when I discovered audiobooks, I became equally as obsessed. 

It actually happened slowly at first. I was dating a man who was emotionally challenging. He drained me of my energy and I didn’t have much headspace to entertain new information. I was overwhelmed. But this man did introduce me to audio format and for that I am grateful. The first audiobook I downloaded was called the 30 Day Sobriety Solution. You see this man had his traumas and when we drank together it would cause massive fights between us. I loved him and wanted to do whatever I could to fix our problems but I knew one of his biggest triggers was alcohol. Things got really bad and I told him I needed him to get sober and that I would do the same. We committed to the 30 Days of Sobriety and to listen to the book together. Sadly, I learned the hard way that he didn’t take things as seriously as I did and after 28 days we broke up. It was messy and painful and not something I will get into at this time but I suffice to say that was my rock bottom. My life was a mess and I was lost. I was depressed and had gained more weight than I like to admit. I moved out of his house and into my own space to get away from him but needed a minute to breath. So I let myself fall apart for a moment. I let myself drink for 2 weeks as I tried to collect my thoughts and figure out how to proceed. After 2 weeks of being a total mess something snapped and I decided that I was NOT going to let this man destroy me. I decided that I was going to take this experience and use it as fuel to better myself. 

I started seeking answers.. I wanted to understand what happened to me. I started with books on psychology and “self help”. I wanted to understand why I attracted someone like him and how I let things get so bad. I knew there were other people out there who have gone through the same thing and I was desperate to get out of it. I took all the time I spent on music and transferred it into education. After healing my heart I realized that there was so much more I wanted to learn and there are so many people who have written books about the things I want to learn. I wanted to learn how to eat better, I wanted to learn how to build my business & how to structure my days for success. I wanted to learn about my psychology and human psychology in general. I wanted to be inspired and learn how other people have become successful so I listened to biographies of successful people and how they did it. I digested a month’s worth of listening time in under 2 years and it transformed every aspect of my life.

I spent the last 8 months making excuses for myself and blaming Covid, my Governor, the system and blah blah blah… It finally occurred to me that I was the one standing in my own way and that in order to be the person I want to be, I need to take responsibility.  I decided to re-listen to the books that had an impact on my life to refresh my memory. Since my kiddos aren’t in school right now I have been letting myself sleep in and that is the first thing I decided to change. I am re-listening to a book called The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs’. This book helped me become a morning person in the past and I wanted to do that again. I am so much happier and productive when I have a morning routine. There are other Miracle Mornings for various lifestyles but they all have the same basic principals. Whether you’re a parent, a business owner or a couple there are things you can do to set yourself up for a good day. Being only halfway through this book I am rediscovering what I love about mornings. Having time to be silent before the craziness of the world and taking time to meditate makes a huge difference. Basic hygiene and taking my supplements and making my tea preps me for the energy I need throughout the day to be at optimal performance. Getting a short jog in before work and having time with my kiddos before I leave jump starts my day! Implementing a morning ritual or routine makes a world of difference throughout the entire day. 

Here are a handful of other books I have listened to and how they made an impact on me: 

The 4 Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferris is one of the main books I can attribute for helping me be more efficient. Learning tricks like how to “batch” my work so I spend less time on emails, paying bills and running errands. Learning how tweak little parts of my day here and there and add more time by cutting out the bulls**. Tim has a way of putting things into perspective and it has a lasting effect. He also taught me how important it is to track your progress. Take notes on what is working and why. Ask yourself thought provoking questions. Write down your daily plans, diet, exercises and journal the ideas you have. Being able to critically asses your thoughts can build habits that stick.

Tim Ferris

‘Own the Day Own your Life” by Aubrey Marcus is another book that helped me structure my day. The idea is once you get a routine in place that sets you up for success, then you don’t have to focus on how to reach your goals, you just need to focus on one day at a time. If you can win the day, you have won your life. Things become habitual after a while and you no longer have to think about it. 

‘A Man’s Search for Meaning’ was one of the most inspiring reads that I think about often. It was written by a psychologist & neurologist named Viktor Frankle chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. 

‘The Third Door’ was also an inspirational read and quite the adventure! Written by an 18 year old college Student named Alex Banayan who was supposed to study for a test but instead decided to go on the “Price is Right” gameshow in hopes that he could win enough money to support his desire to write a book (this book). Not knowing anything about the game show, he figured out a way to break through the barrier and actually ended up winning a sailboat! He then sold the boat and used the money to find a way to meet with successful people starting small but ending up interviewing people like Lady Gaga, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Larry King, Jessica Alba, Pitbull, Tim Ferriss, Quincy Jones, and many more. Along his adventures and interviewing these very successful people he realized; “Life, business & success… it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in. There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where ninety-nine percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in. The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always… the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, climb over the dumpster, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen—there’s always a way in.” – Alex Banayan

I had always wanted to try Ayahuasca based on the profound things I heard from those who have tried it but was nervous based on the stories I had heard of bad experiences and purging so I downloaded a couple books that prepared me for my journey with plant medicine.  ‘The Tibetan Book of the Dead’ (Also known as the Bardo Thodol). This Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, in the bardo, the interval between death and the next rebirth. The text also includes chapters on the signs of death and rituals to undertake when death is closing in or has taken place. ‘DMT the Spirit Molecule’ includes a book by Rick Strassman and a documentary for your watching pleasure. Human consciousness is one of the grand mysteries of our time. How do you know that you are “you”? DMT: The Conscious Molecule goes a step further and asks, ‘is the universe conscious?’.  Finally, ‘The Psychedelic Experience’ is a book about using psychedelic drugs that was coauthored by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert. The original text started as early as 1962. All three authors had taken part in research investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin and mescaline in addition to the ability of these substances to sometimes induce religious and mystical states of consciousness. I highly recommend these 3 reads for anyone interested in taking a psychedelic journey. I truly believe that plant medicine can change this world however not everyone is mentally or physically prepared for the toll it takes on your body and your psyche. I personally had the most amazing, profound experience because I took the time to learn what to expect and I respected the medicine by following my deita.

A couple years ago I took my car into the shop because it was stalling. The mechanic told me my engine was bad and that I needed to replace it. He quoted me $6000 and told me I had no other choice. I agreed to the work and halfway thought he called me to inform me that my turbo was also bad and that I needed to get that fixed for another $3000. After all the work was complete and I paid the bill I was shocked to have my car stall on me the next day. I took it to a different mechanic who discovered the issue was a fuse (a mere $400 fix) and that I never needed to replace my engine or turbo. So I downloaded a book called Getting to “Yes” and I crammed it over the weekend. On Monday I reached out to the mechanic who misdiagnosed my car and by applying what I learned in the book I was able to get him to reimburse me the labor costs in full! Knowing what I know now has made me much better at negotiating and getting what I want. I have applied this to asking for a raise and asking for what I want from a friend or partner. If there is anything you want to learn, there is probably a book about it. In the age of information remaining ignorant is a *choice*.


Finally, I want to mention a couple books that I find to be relevant in today’s current climate. ‘The Lucifer Effect’ was written in 2007 including professor Philip Zimbardo’s first detailed, written account of the events surrounding the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment — a prison simulation study which had to be discontinued after only six days due to several distressing outcomes and mental breaks of the participants. Understanding How Good People Turn Evil is a fundamental part of understanding human nature and what *most* people do when faced with novel power. Most recently I listened to‘1984’ after hearing so many people make references to the book. If you haven’t read this book now is a fitting time due to the level of censorship we are seeing from “big brother”. A dystopian social science fiction novel way ahead of it’s time  – Written in 1949 – I feel that it’s a warning to us all to beware of the “powers that be” and if we do not uphold our basic rights like freedom of speech and freedom of the press we could end up giving all our power away to a controlling and tyrannical system. If you have read it but not in a while I would highly recommend a refresher.


Life of a Qooala Beer

There are a lot of things that I would like to write about. My life has been anything but ordinary or dull. My childhood, for one, is an area I struggle opening up about because it’s not anything most people want to hear nor believe. In my heart I know that when I finally do make words it will help others, however it will take some time to build up the courage to share with the world as it hits so close to home. For now, let me start out with a question that a lot of people ask me: What do I actually “do”? I never know what to say and my response changes depending on who I am talking to. What do I love to do? I am an event producer and performer. I enjoy DJing, I am studying in Aerial Silks and most recently started taking electronic music production lessons. My passion lies in orchestrating grand scale events. My most notable and memorable event was a 4 day music and arts “festival” in a 3 story mansion on the edge of Lookout mountain. Although the concept was my brain child, this was a highly collaborative event that I could not have done without the support of my community.


I specialize in boutique events, however I originally started hosting small potlucks and volunteering for music festivals & events about 7 years ago. I was 28 when I finally realized my passion and since then have done everything I can to learn about the entertainment industry. Most recently I took my vision of offering luxurious spaces for artists and staff of Envision to Costa Rica for my first international “Staycation”.

Costa Rica Promo Video – Videographer Credit Justin Michael – Global Travel Video

I don’t make money as an artist and often times give my time and talent away for free, or rather for the love ❤ However I recently landed a side job working for Menage Life as the Production Manager for a monthly Lifestyle party in a local 6 acre Manor.


Still, that is only a side job and I need a “grown up job” to actually pay the bills. During the week days I take care of a wonderful couple and their beautiful home. I do the shopping, make sure the house is adequately stocked, care for the puppies, meet with contractors and ultimately insure the property is a well oiled machine. My “office” is an incredible 8k square foot home with retractable windows, a pool, hot tub and various gadgets and appliances that are much smarter than me. I also host their annual Pride Pool party alongside holiday parties and occasional benefits. It often doesn’t feel like a job but rather that I am taking care of my family. In addition I take on large projects and lead teams of people in such things as estate sales, moving, packing and sorting peoples’ lives.

BankerHow did I land such an amazing job, you ask? The answer is #craigslist. I didn’t know someone, nor did I get “lucky” however I did take a leap of faith and uprooted my career in the financial industry.

Before I found this line of work, I worked at a bank for 8 years. It was a stable job that taught me a lot about customer service, how to talk to people, how to sell and how to run a multimillion dollar business. It provided me and my family benefits and gave me an opportunity to grow as a young adult. I am a high school drop out, you see and before I got a job at the bank I didn’t even have my GED. I had a young son and knew that I needed to get a real job if I was to make something of myself. The bank was fun for a few years because I was really good at it and moved up the ladder quickly. However once I became a store manager things began to shift. I started seeing the truth about the financial industry and how one sided it was. Working for a money hungry, life sucking and fiscally selfish company began to drain my soul. But they kept giving me little increases in pay & benefits, keeping me just comfortable enough to be complacent. I spent my last 2 years in mental agony. I remember waking up every morning being so physically exhausted and looking in the mirror thinking “what if I just don’t go in?”. Then I would drive to work, spend an hour in rush hour traffic (not to mention the hour drive home, also in rush hour traffic), pay $18 to park my car downtown and then spend the first hour of work in a fluorescent lit room talking about how many credit cards we sold the day before and what we were going to do to sell more today. When the bank doors opened I would watch the clock slowly tick and daydream about what I would be doing if I wasn’t there.. “Yoga, music, art, play outside in the sun, spend time with my kids… SO many things in life to enjoy that I have no time for…” But then another hour would pass and I would think, “Welp, there is another $26 in my pocket so I guess I’ll stay.”

I tried to walk out once. I was so aggravated with something so trivial that I can’t even remember anymore, and I just walked right out without telling anyone, went to the bar next door and ordered a beer. Then I calmed down and came to my senses. I was a mother and head of the household, I couldn’t just quit my job. So I went back and continued to suffer. It wasn’t until I began studying for my Series 7 to become a Licensed Banker that the Universe stepped in. Well, the Universe and my total lack of giving a F***. It was a 5 week program and they allowed me to study from a dark basement in the cash register building, outside of my branch. After a week of driving downtown I realized nobody was checking up on me and I could access the study site from home so I decided to start staying at home each day. I would study, as was expected of me but by the end of the day I would get the chapter 12 which was the State Law section and I would pass over it with glazed eyes and a short attention span. When I went to take the test, I passed!! The first 11 chapters anyway but what they didn’t tell me was that the State Law exam was it’s own separate test consisting of only 20 questions, 40% of which I got wrong. So ultimately, I failed. I called my District Manager to inform him and he said that I would have to return to the branch the next day and continue my normal tasks as I waited a few months for the next testing opportunity. My heart sank and I went silent. After a long pause I said “I am not coming in tomorrow”.. He agreed that I could take the weekend off to think and come back on Monday. Over the weekend I thought long and hard about what would happen if I didn’t go back, how would I survive? What would I do? I don’t have an education and maybe only a few hundred dollars in savings. I mean, I have a 401k but I don’t want to dig into that…. But the dread I felt just thinking of going back was too much to bare. On Monday I called Human Resources and asked them what the longest leave of absence was, which was 3 months. I took it and figured that in 3 months if I was broke and lost, I would be able to go back. After 3 months of “fun-employment”, I still couldn’t bring myself to go back so I officially resigned.

CrewI spent the summer working on projects with my Sound Crew and helping their events and at festivals. I somehow knew that it would all be ok and that I had to believe in myself and the Universe. I felt that in order to attract the job that I wanted I would need to present myself to the world in a way that was aligning. So I dyed my hair bright colors, which was never allowed a the bank, and I moved all of my bank attire out of my closet and only left costumes and clothes that made me feel like me in my room. I ordered business cards with my event background and altered my resume so the front page included my event experience, community service and artistic accomplishments and the next pages were my corporate banking and service industry experience. My mission statement was (and still is): To invest in work that I am both passionate about and is worthy of my time and talent. One that bridges the gap between my artistic goals and unique skill set. 

I didn’t work for 9 months and went $22k in debt. I drained my savings and maxed out all my credit cards. I had to get a roommate to help pay rent and applied for Medicaid and food stamps. It was the first time since childhood that I fell to that level of poverty. I worked a few side gigs and even got a bartending job temporarily.. But there was very little I could find that was worth my time. I didn’t want another corporate job and I was not interested in falling back into the service industry. I knew that if I was going to uproot my well paying job in the financial industry that it better be worth it. So I was patient and picky. I logged onto Craigslist every day and hit refresh, refresh, refresh…. Until one day I logged on and saw “Seeking gay friendly personal assistant to do A. B. and C… (Basic household tasks that I was more than capable of)… and at the very bottom it said D. Organize and host 4-5 grand parties per year.

BINGO. That was the sentence that got me.

BlueWhen I met my clients I had blue hair. We sat and talked casually for about an hour. They asked me if I was comfortable with their lifestyle and I said “Are you comfortable with my hair?”. It was a match made in heaven! Five years have passed and I am proud to say that I have almost paid off my debt, I make more money than I did at the bank, I work half as long (and choose my own hours, avoiding rush hour like the plague) and as an independent contractor I am able to deduct a lot of income, thus paying less in taxes. The BEST part is that with this extra time not spent in traffic and the energy I have saved not working 50 hours a week, I am able to have a real life.

I still discipline myself to wake up early so I can make it to the gym before work but I enjoy what I do now and have the energy to do other things after work and on the weekends. I have the freedom and mental capacity to listen to podcasts, audiobooks or music while I work and continue expanding my knowledge and business. I make enough money to pay my bills and pursue my passions. I get off work in time to pick up my kids from school and cook them nice dinners.

I am not saying all of this to brag but rather to give you hope and tell you that it IS possible to live a life that you love and make money to thrive. I tell you this because I know so many people who work at a dead end job living paycheck to paycheck, chasing the “American Dream” and getting nowhere. Working for people you don’t like doing things that don’t interest you. And I call bullshit. I will tell you getting to where I am was not easy. I had very little growing up and got my first job picking weeds and cleaning houses when I was 12. I have been working for nearly 2/3rds of my life and have never been ok with settling or being average. I always wanted to be the best at what I did so I worked harder and longer than most of my peers. I don’t expect everyone to be as much of a workaholic as me but I *do* believe that we all deserve to create a lifestyle that nourishes our soul. It’s not easy and I still struggle. I am not totally free from debt and sometimes wonder if I am actually getting anywhere. I have sacrificed a lot and taken many chances in my life & career. It is not easy, but it *is* worth it. I am a true believer in the Universe and that if you believe in it, and in yourself, and you take the steps to show that you are serious, the Universe will respond. The pathway will clear.

“Faith is taking the first step without seeing the stairwell.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Steve Job