Perfect weekend

What would the perfect weekend holiday look like? A perfect 72 hours. Who would you spend it with? What would you do?

Just imagining something perfect like that feels… hard. I’m so used to pain and heartache and difficulty. I can’t remember when I had a whole 3 hours in a row that felt like that, let alone 72. All I can really imagine is little glimpses of things.

I don’t have anyone special anymore that I can rely on to be with. And that feels like a really important component, but at this point, I’m so weary that I wouldn’t mind spending it alone.

But like I said, just glimpses. Most of the fantasy just involves sleep. Having just enough money that I don’t have to worry about it. Not being around a lot of people; but just one. Falling asleep on someone’s lap while she plays with my hair. Not worrying about food. Good music. Losing track of time. Feeling rested. Drifting in and out of being present, and not stressing about it. Having no physical pain. Having my mind feel clear. Breezes. Swaying hammocks. Water in the background.

That’s what really feels like ideal. And it feels so simple, so easily attainable, and yet so far away at the same time.

So. What am I going to do about it? I’m saving up. I know that. including airfare and an Airbnb, I can send a week it St. Lucia for $1,500. So, my goal is to raise that by August.

How would you be on a nudist beach?

I’ve never been to a nudist beach, but I have gone to a beach where there was nobody else around and been naked. It was freeing and peaceful.

Does anyone have your interest at the moment?

I think I’m going to stay away from dating for a little while.

I clearly have much to learn. And even more to unlearn.

Although I’m conscious of the damage I’ve endured and some of the warps on the reality that I make as a result, that doesn’t mean I’ve got them all figured out. I have a long way to go.

Things still affect me and trigger me in ways I’d like to have more control over. For myself and for those close to me. What’s been the hardest thing is trying to figure out which things are best healed by leaving them alone, and which are best healed by experiencing things new.

What’s been equally challenging is my own desire for companionship, and for that naked & raw feeling of emptiness to feel the warmth of someone near. That ache is an old one, and one I’m weary of feeling. But I know it’s draw can be raucously codependent and slowly pernicious.

Love is incredibly healing… Being able to give and receive it breathes life into me. It’s a salve on my burns & allows them to gently heal. It quite literally gives me solace when everything else in my life is excruciatingly hard. Even small bits leave me gasping for more.

My thirst for closeness is ravenous, and it scares me. Equally torrential is my desire to give, which I know can be inundating. All the while, there’s anger and bitterness for lost time and squandered love. A maelstrom of desires and affections and passions.

In the center of these is a hurt soul who just wants to be healed and to love. Who’s weary of being in pain and tired of the yawning solitude.

I know that I need to work on myself until I do it automatically. To get better at loving me until it’s second nature.

It’s… not automatic. It’s not second nature. I have to be reminded, even to do basic things for myself. That’s why the workout thread exists. My first instinct is to care for others, not love myself. That’s why I use the #Me hashtag exists on Twitter. They exist because I’m bad at it.

What makes it complicated is that I know unless I learn about dating and love and the basics of casual attention, I’ll be stunted in my growth. I’m less experienced in so many areas that I feel like a land mine to be around. That makes things so hard.

Though love from others injects me with an energy that helps me heal faster and helps me exercise my love for giving affection, it also can hurt people who I know I’m not perfect or ready for. That’s… really hard. And painful.

The reality is that I need to give to myself more. And recognize that I deserve it. I’m never going to be able to fully appreciate someone’s love for me if I can’t love myself.

It’s completely unfair to tarnish someone else’s gift just because I’m not taking the time to work on myself. So. I’ll focus on being single for a while.

Do you feel that there’s been an uptick in women flirting with you on now that you are no longer with your wife? And how does that make you feel?

Honestly?

On the one hand, it’s been daunting. It’s a lot. I’m definitely not used to all the attention and overtures. Some of them have been quiet notes of appreciation, some of them have been deep overtures of passionate attraction.

They’re all sweet. They’re all overwhelming to a degree.

I don’t know what rock I was living under before this point, but I was either oblivious to the attraction before, too lacking in self-assuredness, or just plain blind to my own positive qualities and wallowing in self-deprecation.

Either way; it’s felt like a dam has burst, and getting swept away in the affection while I am simultaneously learning to build my own appreciation for myself has been a wild ride.

The challenge has been to maintain the self-actualization supports I’ve been building, and not letting the attention be the only thing that keeps me afloat.

That was admittedly a problem for me while I was in my marriage; my entire self-worth and self-image were wrapped up in another person. And as soon as their view of me faltered or shifted in any way, I crashed and burned. Hard. Because I wasn’t supporting myself at all.

On the other hand; it feels wonderful. The glow of having people give you attention is like a salve on a burn after feeling neglected for so long. I’m taking great care to not become drunk on that feeling; it’s very easy to.

It’s important to me that attraction goes beyond the superficial. Attention on a selfie is nice, but do you want to build with me? Do you care about me as a person? Do you stick around with me when I’m having a rough day? Does my wildness scare you off? Does my vulnerability?

It’s interesting to see the flavors of attention I get. I’m someone who likes to give my whole self, sometimes recklessly, and it’s also teaching me how to be a little more measured, and how to protect myself.

I’ll likely never stop giving my whole self; I’ll just be careful.

Have you ever thought about changing your career? If so, what would you want to do?

If I knew I could support myself with it, I’d love to write more music.

I no longer judge or criticize myself. I am free to love who I am. I forgive myself.

This is unbearably hard to live up to.

I constantly shoulder the responsibility for virtually everything around me, whether its mine to take or not. This sometimes means fabricating things to be responsible for, or beating myself up for things that weren’t even my fault to begin with. Fighting this habit has been really really hard because sometimes I feel like I’m not taking responsibility for stuff when I finally release the weight of what I had burdened myself with.

Fortunately I have a couple of friends who help me forgive myself and to not take on more than is actually mine, but it still hasn’t become second nature.

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