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What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open. - Muriel Rukseyer
I am becoming friends with a woman from work. We are working on a few different projects together and we are becoming fast friends as we were born only 15 days apart, work with a lot of dudes, and have a smart wit and a lot of drive. We talk about our work aspirations and a bit about our lives. I've mentioned a bit of my super shitty dating history. This morning she sent over this: markmanson.net/love - "Love is Not Enough"

The article is about how love isn't just about attraction, it's also about being realistic about the traits of the person who you believe you want to be your partner. A few of the nuggets:

Three harsh truths about love

  1. Love does not equal compatibility.
    Love is an emotional process; compatibility is a logical process. And the two don’t bleed into one another very well.

  2. 2. Love does not solve your relationship problems.
  3. Love is not always worth sacrificing yourself.

Nothing too groundbreaking, yet it makes me wonder if love is worthwhile at all? If i's compatibility that we're really seeking out, can that just be a friendship? Indeed, the next thing in the article talks about the friendship test - would you tolerate the bad behavior of your partner if it were your best friend? Of course here's the variables of who your best friends are and how you are in their world. But love shouldn't be a 'get-out-of-jail-free' pass to behave poorly. I definitely can see that I stuck with things far longer than I should have because of what they represented. With friends, we tend to think there will be others who can fill that void. We drift apart without too much angst.

I think back of dating K and HR and wonder, what was I thinking? Well - there were a few things in play and none of them were fair to that other person, I think. One was - wow, this person likes me? It helped my self-esteem to feel attractive regardless of who they were. Another was trying not to be so judgmental - they surely had value as people and I wanted to see and experience that. And I got some of that, but to do it in the context of a romantic relationship was really a waste of time. And who knows - how much was like it was with P, where I felt like I knew it wouldn't pan out and so it was "safe", I was prepared to let it fail. it was dating but without the true belief it would go anywhere. was in like that with S? I'm not sure. I think we could have gone somewhere. What would have changed it? Probably just our natural approach to getting up and doing things? Not sure - others weather that. Or her wanting to do those things together.. and just how full I want my life to be? I just think there was a lot - values to some extent. Who knows, I can get bored of most things so perhaps I just realized I wasnt getting much new out of the relationship. That sounds bad and perhaps that's on me to be more easy-going about.

Yet with love there is this weird fear that we will never ever find anything so special again. And we do, don't we? It may take a period of time but the scars fade and we meet someone new who better fits who we are at that point. And it's all fine.

At least, I feel that way. And more and more I'm not truly even looking. I like not compromising.
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I've been remembering who I was.. or who I was becoming. I used to meditate and seek to find solace in being part of something greater than myself. It feels familiar, yet at the same time I feel odd for having lost? misplaced? that part of myself for so many years.

At the same time, rather than feel some regret over years of wandering, I feel as though to some extent, the groundwork has been laid. It's not as though I'm starting something from scratch now. I came across some quotes from years ago and it's like seeing myself again for the first time in a long time. A part of myself I'd forgotten was there. And I feel a peace and homecoming.

But I think it is different, because of where I am in my life and career. I'm darned happy and successful! This isn't a means to reconcile myself with sorrow and suffering. I am simply looking for a union with something greater. Something into which I can devote my energy. It's not an escape, it's a vessel in which I can pour my energy.

It kinda feels like home
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...Something I'm working on... Just letting things go. Not obsessing over things out of my hands, trying to bend them one way or another through sheer mind power.

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Current Location: US, Arizona, Phoenix, Maricopa, E Wood St, 4798

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Yesterday we talked about whether different meant wrong. There are so many parts of my life I am satisfied with, yet I still drive with my head partially cocked to the side, listening for the murmurs from behind me. Those whispers of disapproval, or worse, pity. Instead, the voices are surprisingly loud: "I don't know how you do it all!" "You look great!" I hear the accolades, certainly, and I appreciate them even as I brush them off- "Well, I don't brag about how messy my house is". Secretly: {I don't brag about how alone I am on holidays}.

Except.. I'm not. It's time for me to stare straight ahead and fess up. I'm NOT alone, or if I am, it's because of my choosing. I have plenty of friends, and lots of options. I have had some amazing memorable times that I wouldn't want to trade for anything.

I don't even think it was being alone I dreaded, it was the perception of others. I was stepping outside the lines, not behaving as society tells us. I felt bad for feeling differently. {differently, or different? The lines are blurry}

Well, I guess I was just some crazy happy rebel. But I tried to hide my own happiness in a shroud in guilt and an obligation to conform.

As I told a friend the other day, I've realized that I guess I don't really want children that much. Everything else in life I've wanted, I put a plan in place and made it happen. Move to foreign country - check. Get a graduate degree (or two?!?) - check. Find a job in Colorado - check. Run multiple marathons, setting some pretty good times along the way - check, check, check. I figured out what I wanted to do, and I did it. So if I haven't even really started on this path, I guess that lets me know where it stands for me. And that's ok.

Many of the women I've dated have told me they're different around me - that they see themselves differently or explore different aspects of themselves when I'm around. At one point when P and I were first getting to know each other, I had a strong deep-seated sense that perhaps that is the role I'm meant to play on this earth. I come into people's lives at a given time, shake things up, and leave once they have changed. As it is, I cherish these deep connections, but they're intense and I sometimes feel they really are not sustainable. A roaring fire is impressive, offers warmth - and can destroy lives.

We know the safe, standard path we're all supposed to follow in life. Find someone to love, settle down, pop out some kids, that's how the world goes round. I suppose that's never really been the path I wanted to take. There is so much I still want to experience, so much I think I can do in this world.


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I'm a leo, so even as I write that I wonder if that's my ego writing. Except I don't know that it is. I don't want to be impactful for accolades (although certainly those are nice), I want to do the right thing because I've been blessed with energy and talent and a sense of what's right. Sometimes I think of Amber asking "so if you don't believe in Heaven, why be good?" I do the right thing because it's the right thing, not because I expect it'll pay off for me down the road.

I used to be so afraid of pain I would hold people far away, or I would lash out at them so they wouldn't see my wounds. But that recoil and anxiety wasn't a pleasant state in and of itself. Now I feel ok with being open and I'm not rigid with fear of the unknown and that for which I'm unprepared. I'll do the best I can, and who cares if someone would have done things differently? That's their story. This is mine. The only question, I suppose, is if I even care to tell it.
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I start to draw the directions. A left here, a right there. Go a little ways, then the route will twist and turn for a mile or two. The directions come from deep within, without my having to think through them. I can traverse this land on autopilot; the route is well worn and familiar. It'll get you there, this is the path I take.

Yet even as I caution you about the rough terrain with its windy roads, I can't help but suspect there's got to be something more direct. I first forged this path over a decade ago, and both the road and its navigator have changed.

But this is the path I took... I got me here. . I feel a kinship with this path and find solace in its familiarity. I trust the trail I forged, and find some pride as its discoverer. But if I once blazed this trail, why do I shun the exploration of alternative routes? Such a search does not mean my initial path is wrong. It brought me where I needed to go, as best as I could at the time. But this is no longer that time.

With every footstep, I feel myself moving toward the end of the journey. Yet it is now, with my destination in sight that I feel the freedom - and curiosity - to explore other routes, without discounting those I've come to know and trust. Is it I because I am confident I can't stray too far, or because I have come to realize that adventure is paramount to arrival?


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I’m an endurance athlete. Mile after mile, footfall after footfall. Step, step, step. Breath, breath, breath. Methodical, rhythmic. Running is my meditation, a way for my body to be at one with the world. Millions of miles wear a groove of mental and muscle memory – there is no need to think. I am forward momentum.

So how can this foundation of footfalls so easily crumble? Is it one harsh misstep? Or a small sinuous imperfection of form that slowly spreads over time? However it is, the automatic action of putting one foot in front of the other is suddenly not. More jarring than The Wall in a marathon, one cannot even attempt to hobble to the finish. This IS the finish, at least for now. How quickly injury can overwhelm us, despite – or perhaps because of – our base training. We prepare to move forward, not to be held back. We don’t learn how not to run.

Is that why injury can creep up? The cadence of our steps is rapid and relentless. Not enough to catch more than a glimmer of any nearly imperceptible imperfection. We focus on the steps and breaths, not the space between.. Until the gaps widens and we’re forced to slow our breath, slow our steps, slow our body from the natural rhythm it’s come to adopt as its own. Only then can we see the foundation we’ve built is not as stable as we’d thought. One would expect that the sheer volume of effort would serve as a guarantee, but we have only learned how to place one foot ahead of the other. We have not learned how to prevent those gaps from widening. We have not learned how not to run.
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I'm gentler when I write. Is this some mutation of that biological maternal sense? It comes from me, so I feel tenderly towards it. Of course, with a baby we have to feel motherly- that which has been created is vulnerable and dependent. Can the same be said about my words?

Perhaps. The words have been gone for so long. They disappeared without a trace. And now that they've returned I want to cherish them. I tiptoe around my own feelings, wanting to coddle them to encourage them to further emerge. Is it indulgent? I'm not sure. It feels different to write without knowing if anyone will see the words. (Of course, I still write in a public forum so I'm obviously not trying to keep things private). But there is something that brings me great peace to bring these words into the world, outside the darkness of my grey matter.

I don't beat myself up over my words or what I learn about myself through their writing. It simply is. Perhaps it has to be- otherwise the words would stay hidden, lurking in shadows and weighing me down.

Once upon a time, Id say I felt compelled to tear the words from my corps, to rid myself of the clanging discordant noise. This is different. I certainly feel peace after writing, but not because I am free of some foreign object. It is like giving of myself, not ridding myself of something bad. I am happy and content to share. Not in an egotistical way, but I am for once cheered to play in this game of life as an active participant.

Lately the ole Wayne Dyer quote "how may I serve" has floated to the top of my thoughts. I'm not quite at a place to develop what that means, but it is simmering.

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Current Location: US, Colorado, Boulder, Moorhead Ave, 2701

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Resolution: be happy when the crazies lose interest

OR: don't rewrite the story with a happy ending (and middle, and beginning)

It's tragic, really. Things end, thank goodness, yet I feel a pang of sadness to feel they've moved on. I am always the one holding the strings, and I should be thankful when they drop their end. Game over, no more struggle.

Rather, no sooner has the external tussle subsided than I start editing. Details are glossed over, blemishes airbrushed. I tidy up the details, make the antagonist (not me, never me!) more lovable.


Why? Why feel a sense of loss when the text messages slow, then stop. We weren't friends before, why would I expect us to be friends now? Especially since I know you differently than others do? Our relationship has been erased, but with a broad brush that's extended beyond the borders of what we had prior. There is negative space from where we are now less than acquaintances - you share less with me now than you did before we became close.

Except - ha - it turns out that when you share things with custom groups on facebook, and mutual friends comment on them, I can still see them. Funny thing, that facebook.

There are three stories to write. Action, and reaction, and opposite reaction. I suppose Action is yours to write, although heaven knows I could try. Reaction is for me to be hurt. To sink into that void of "less than friends", to feel like I am somehow inferior and did something wrong. This is a story I've written many times. Gosh, sequels are really quite boring, aren't they? Opposite reaction is novel. Perhaps a mystery. Why hide pictures of you and him from me? Why do you not want me to see you with a smiling face? Part of me wants to keep letting this story play out, to see how you depict things to me. Of course, the other part doesn't want to be engaged with this ridiculous indulgent piece of drivel.

There's another option, of course. To stop the damned writing. Stop inventing. It is what it is (oooh even if you're not going to stop writing, please stop the cliches!). This story isn't worth the effort, other than to say "thank goodness this chapter is over - time to move on".
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I know why I like to write.

I've always said I prefer non-fiction, but what is that? How many stories are 'adaptations' or based on real events, without our ever knowing how those events played out; the character motivation or emotion?

When you write, you make the world. No one can tell you it's wrong. I am the puppeteer, controlling it all. There is no question about ulterior motives as there is only one chosen perspective.

As I enter 2013, I want to write, but I don't want to craft stories. I don't want to feel that compulsion to fill in the blanks on the page. Don't want to need that critic (internal or external) worrying about authenticity and consistency.

To need that critic? Wow, how's that for someone who has always craved external validation and approval? Even in my own internal processing, I have established internal external critics, watching and judging my actions.
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"A man is more a man through the things he keeps to himself than through those he says"

But in my case, I need to write to figure out what I think. The question is the audience. I write for myself, but also for you. For why do we think, if not to set us apart and concurrently seek union with others?

I have things I want to say, but I'm not even sure it's to know what answer they'll illicit. I want to say them because words are like water. They flow easily but over the course of time will wear canyons in the landscape. You can't grasp water as it flows, so too with the meaning of the words that need to flow forth. But either they wash over your ears, or they swirl ceaselessly inside my head. One day my head will be filled with gorges - well-worn rivers of thought - unless I loose the dam. Damn thoughts that swirl, with little rafts of emotions tossed about.

What if my words are in that bottle I throw out to sea? Someone may one day retrieve them, and cherish the treasure they've stumbled upon. And I will be free.
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