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!