Tag Archives: Relationships

Searching For Happiness Where You Lost it

My friend, Sarah, from Greater at 40, is awesome on so many levels. I met her in Los Angeles several years ago, and she made me feel fashionable and confident during my first interview on the Today Show back in the day. She’s fierce, fashionable and determined to make some healthy changes in her life, and i love following her journey.

As I was looking through her Instagram I found a quote that really struck a chord with me, so I made my own little graphic to share on my own IG account. Check it out:

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It seems like such an obvious statement, but I can’t count the times I’ve found myself looking for temporary and/or long term satisfaction in people or things that could never offer that. Stop searching for happiness in the same place you lost it. 

In my mind I hear stop eating doughnuts at midnight because you want to replace whatever you’re feeling at the moment with fleeting satisfaction. (I did that.)  Or stop giving your love to the selfish, egotistical man whose actions continually prove you mean nothing to him. (I did that.)

I’m thankful to be in healthier place now, but I do have to constantly remind myself that food won’t make me happy (at least for more than a few minutes.) It’s a struggle for me, but I feel like I’m on the brink of a breakthrough.

I have definitely found fulfillment in real and powerful ways thanks to Jesus, a job I love, a healthy relationship and a circle of loving, trusted friends and family.

I’m pretty happy for the most part, but I’m going to think back to this quote every time I’m looking for a temporary fix. I should probably make it the screensaver on my phone. (I’m just being honest her.)

I’m thankful for Sarah and her journey, and I’m grateful the right words when I need to hear them.

 

Where Did You Meet Your Mate?

Several of my friends have fallen in love with people they met online. Actually, I’ve done it before too. I think that finding love is wonderful regardless of how you meet, but I’m not interested in meeting anyone online now. I’m just not.

My friend, who knows me well, was surprised by my desire to stay single instead of “putting myself out there.” There are a lot of reasons for my preferences in this area, but the biggest one is that I just don’t want to.

I always envisioned meeting someone in my favorite coffee shop and falling for him, and I spent most of last year with a man who simply wasn’t right for me. I’m not saying I’ll meet the future Mr. Kenlie at a coffee shop either; I’m just saying that I don’t want to worry about it right now.

My desire is to be with someone who will complement the life that I already love, but I’d rather stay single than go out looking for him. I don’t want to be emotionally or physically attached to someone who’s not good for me, and I don’t want to waste all of my energy wishing, hoping or even praying about it.

Seriously, God knows my heart. He knows I’d like to meet someone tall, brilliant and fiercely loyal who will look adorable in our selfies, so before Christmas I decided to stop bugging Him about it. Instead I’m trying to help others, find my purpose and enjoy everything that’s already in front of me.

Is it weird that I’m so closed off to meeting someone online? I haven’t always felt this way; it’s just what I’m feeling now, at least in this season of my life.

Did you meet your spouse/significant other online? Did you ever go through a period in which you didn’t want to go that route? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this whether you’ve dated online or not.

Love and Loss, Or Something Like That

I’ve been pretty quiet about the fact that I’ve been seeing someone. I met him at the beginning of the year, and I allowed our relationship to grow offline for several reasons – the most significant being that it’s easier to develop something when others aren’t constantly inserting their opinions.

He’s handsome, easy to talk to and loves (our) Starbucks as much as I do. He’s older than I am, even-keeled and patient. He told me that he loved me before I was willing to say it, but I’m in love with him too. He has made significant efforts to show me, and I’ve never felt so emotionally and physically connected to someone at the same time.

He has spent the last several months making me feel special and beautiful. When he looks at me his face lights up and his serious demeanor is immediately overcome by an easy smile every single time he lays eyes on me. He loves my voice too (even when I sing gut-wrenching love songs about heartbreak after an argument, which only happened once, for the record. ha) I adore the way he says my name and his drive to succeed in everything he does…and his perfect hair.

He has helped me let go of some major insecurities that I’ve been clinging to since I left New York. He has been a healthy influence on me physically, and his patience and empathetic attitude helped me rebuild some of the self-esteem that I lost.

It has been clear to me that he desires me since the first time he said it, and my feelings for him have been equally strong. I crave him in every sense. I never tire of kissing him, but I can talk to him for hours too.

He’s dreamy and affectionate, and as I type a tear is streaming down my face because I broke it off with him a couple of nights ago. It wasn’t an impulse decision. I thought about it overnight before I did it, but I miss him. The hardest part for me right now is that I felt like I was finally in love with someone who loved me back and still don’t get to have that.

I realize that I’m not a helpless victim in this situation; I’m the one who ended it. I didn’t end it to play a game with him. I ended it because he (unintentionally) crushed my feelings Tuesday. I did it because it was the right thing to do, but I’m struggling tonight because it seems to have been so easy for him to let go.

He was in a lot of (physical) pain the night I told him that it wasn’t going to work out, and I thought it might be easier because he wouldn’t be focusing on me. I’m guessing that he’s better by now, but he hasn’t called. I didn’t see him at our coffee shop today either because I was there earlier than usual for a private tasting (which was awesome.) I don’t even know if he went there at all.

Ending a relationship can be confusing, at least for me. When we last spoke he said that he was hurt, and he also said he would respect my decision. Now he’s doing that, and I feel rejected. The man, who is emotionally stable, respectful and habitual is doing exactly what I asked him to do while I am wishing he’d do the opposite.

I realize how ridiculously girly and immature it sounds, but it’s true. I want to think that he misses me and that he won’t accept it so easily, but I also realize that he was not happy with my thoughts when I shared them. (Okay, he was pissed…partly because of my feelings, but largely because he had already had such a crummy day before I dropped that on him.)

I realize that doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it’s still right. I just wish he was right for me, and I wish he’d show up at my door to prove it before hugging me and kissing my eye lids as he often did.

Tonight as I sit in bed writing about my feelings I can’t shake thoughts of him – the way it feels when he wraps his arms around me, the way he breathes when he’s falling asleep, the way he sounds so incredibly upbeat when he calls to say good morning on the way to work during the 7 o’clock hour, the way he takes charge while making me feel safe and adored…I miss him.

It’s hard to realize that my phone won’t ring in the morning, but I’m going to focus on all of the reasons I have to be happy and thankful. (There are many.) I don’t know what the future holds, but I’d like to trust that something good is on the horizon.

I’m Not Ready…Yet

After my last post I read through what I wrote and reflected on it, and one thing became clear: I’m not ready for the kind of relationship that I want. I felt ready at one point, but a lot has changed. I’ve changed.

When I take an honest look at my life, I’m not satisfied with everything. I have moments of joy – like when a friend I’ve been talking about with God for months calls me and says, “I’m totally lost. It’s been a long time since I’ve put God first in my life, but I’m ready. Can we talk?,” or when I spend minutes or hours in worship feeling the outpouring of God’s presence. 

I enjoy spending time with my family, and my nieces never fail to bring a smile to my face. I’m happy when I’m relaxing with friends in my rooftop pool or when I’m spending an evening with friends at a small group or having coffee, etc.

I experience a lot of enjoyment, but right now I’m struggling to find satisfaction. I’ve tried finding satisfaction without asking God for it on several occasions, and I’ve done it a lot lately. Doing it my way feels good too…until I realize that I’m still craving more. (This applies to food, attention, intimacy, etc.)      

Lately it’s been hard to admit that I’m struggling because I feel condemned for it. I’m not perfect; I’m not pretending to be. I suck at having patience, and I know that God wants to work in me. I’m just not sure what His plan is.

I know He loves me. I know He’s with me, and I know He’ll never leave me. I’m just not sure what im doing. I’ve let Him down so many times, and I’m still not getting it right. I’m just not sure what He wants from me right now.

Someone wise told me that God isn’t going to give me someone to love just because I’m lonely. He’s going to wait until I’m ready, which means He’s preparing me…which means I have to wait. (I’m not good at waiting because I don’t want to!)

I do know that God is smarter than I am. I know His ways are always better. I can look back and see how incredibly faithful He has been, which reminds me that I have absolutely no reason to doubt Him. 

My sincere prayer right now is that God will change my heart and line up my will with His. I want to desire more of Him and less of the other things that have led (or could lead) me into sin. I want Him to show me what He wants from me, then I need Him to give me the strength to do it. I’m weak, and in my weakness I want Him to mold me into someone who is living a fulfilled life. I want to serve His purpose, and I want Him to fill in all of the gaps.

I want Him to eliminate the distractions that are keeping me from moving forward, and I need Him to heal the hurt and anger that I feel toward people who have let me down. I want and need a lot from God. It’s a good thing He’s all-knowing and all-powerful, isn’t it?

I may not be ready for some of the things I want, but I know God’s working in me. I wouldn’t be feeling any of this if He wasn’t. That’s oddly comforting to me, and today, that’s enough. 

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They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint. 

Isaiah 40:31
         

I Don’t Have Kids, And I’m Not Sure If I Want To

Last week I shared my reasons for not having kids with SHAPE Magazine. It’s not something that I talk about often, but it’s a relevant topic for women my age.

Shape Magazine

People often tell me that I’d make a great mother, which is a huge compliment. I absolutely adore my nieces, and I can’t imagine life without them. My church is filled with bouncy, happy kids who run to me in droves to hug me. They even call me ‘Olaf’ because I remind them of the sweet snowman who loves warm hugs. It makes me so happy!

I always dreaded the idea of having kids, even when I lived with a man that I thought I would marry in my late 20’s. He wanted them; I didn’t. It was a small source of contention, but we had plenty of other reasons to break it off.

Last year when I had serious feelings (like I want to marry him, and I’ll spend the rest of my life living in a mini mcmansion in the suburbs if it means I can be with him kind of feelings) I realized that I might want to be a mother. He has three amazing kids, and being close to all of them them helped me understand what it would be like to be responsible for another person.That man was the first person (and the only one so far) who ever made me think that the 9 month process that women go through might be something that I’d want to do.

I’m not going to marry him and live happily ever after in the suburbs, which is okay since I’m more comfortable in my urban, high-rise environment. It was painful to come to that realization, but he showed me that it was possible to feel that way about a person and having a potential family.

When a writer from SHAPE asked me about my thoughts on having children, it wasn’t easy to offer my opinion.

Women are supposed to want to have kids. Many of them grow up playing with baby dolls, dreaming of the perfect wedding dress, etc. I didn’t think about that much as a kid. In high school I assumed that I’d go to college, then get married around 22. Most people around me at the time did just that, but I traveled, moved to the coolest city in the nation, made friends, found love, lost it, went back to school, etc.

People who have kids tell me how much it changed them, how awesome it is, etc. They explain that they once felt the way that I do, that having kids makes you less selfish…I believe that’s true, but I’ve seen situations in which kids are not a parent’s top priority. It’s sad, and it’s irresponsible.

It’s also important to note my size. I know several women my size who have kids, and I definitely have more energy than many people that I know (larger and smaller than I am.) I’d be at a higher risk than a person of average size too. I’m not saying that it’s not possible; I’m just saying that there’s risk involved.

It sounds so harsh to say that I don’t want to have kids, but that’s not exactly true anyway. The truth is that I just don’t know, and I think you need to be fully committed to it before adding another human to this overpopulated planet.

I don’t have a supportive husband, and raising a child isn’t something that I want to do alone. I don’t even have a dog right now because I’m not home enough to care for one properly. How am I supposed to be responsible for a tiny human life?

 

 

 

I Stopped Dating, But…

I have spent the last 30 days focusing on things that enrich my life because going on unsatisfying dates was no longer cutting it.  In lieu of dating I spent time cultivating friendships, enjoying time with my family and getting closer to GOD.  I do all of those things regularly already, but taking the dating out of the equation for a little while helped eliminate distractions.  My official ban is coming to a close, and it has given me the opportunity to focus on everything that I do have.

As I reflect on the last 30 days it’s easy to see how much love exists in my life, and I’m so thankful for it.  My life is completely and utterly different than it was only a few years ago, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to say that and mean it!  After a long, tumultuous road that was paved with heartache, repentance and healing, I’m happy…genuinely happy.  I’d like to be in a relationship, and I think it’s okay to want that.  I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to admit it.

I wrote an open letter to my future husband almost two years ago. (You can read it here.)  I still want him to possess some of the those qualities that are important to me.  I also need him to have a relationship with GOD because I have never experienced the kind of peace and freedom that I have since I began getting closer to Him.  Of course, I still want my significant other to keep me safe from the occasional spider, open doors and pump gas even though I am perfectly capable of doing those things.

Nothing earth shattering happened as a result of my dating ban, but I am glad I did it.  It served its purpose, though I did find myself discovering possible feelings for one particular man who kind of seems like an unlikely match for me.  I like him...a lot, and though I will continue swooning quietly in his presence, I’ll also continue to focus on everything that already makes my life good too.

I don’t have any hot dates planned for now, and I’m okay with that.  I want something real and lasting so I’m focusing on everything that I do have.   I am blessed with so much more than I could have imagined, and I don’t want another relationship in which GOD isn’t at the center. (Who am I? Wow!)   I believe in my heart that there’s probably a man who will complement the life that I love, and I still can’t wait to kiss him good night.

 

 

 

 

Dating, Err, Not

I’m the girl who always has a boyfriend. Correction, I used to be the girl who always had a boyfriend. And the list of guys from former relationships is (mostly) good. With exception of one or two, I’ve always dated guys who were good marriage material though I’ve never married. And in some ways, I think dating guys that society deemed “a good catch” proved that I was a good catch in spite of the 200+ pounds of excess weight that I carried on my body.

Now, after losing about 130 pounds and counting, I find myself completely dateless with no particular prospects. I’ve only been on one date since December! One date! The guy was tall and handsome and nice, but he couldn’t name the vice president of the United States, and he thought I was weird for being surprised by that.

I’d love to tell you that it’s a liberating feeling – being alone, moving across the country (next month) though the truth is that it’s lonely. And it has forced me to recognize how much I’ve based my self-worth on being in relationships in the past.

Last year, after a serious breakup, I dated several guys in close succession. And while I thought that it was a good idea, I realized later that I was putting way too much pressure on myself to find love. Now, six months and one date later, I’m fighting off this feeling that maybe I’ve lost my chances. Maybe love will never find me. Or maybe (hopefully) it will…..?

I have come a long way on my weight-loss journey, but I have a long way to go. And I am starting to realize that this self-induced pressure to find my soul mate while I’m still heavier than average is understandable – yet silly. Maybe I won’t meet Mr. Right until I’m less than 150 pounds. Or maybe I’ll meet him tomorrow. Maybe I’ve met him, and I don’t know it yet.  Or maybe I’ll meet him when I settle into my new home on the other coast. (That seems logical, doesn’t it?)

Maybe the man who loves me will never know me as an overweight person. I’ve believe, for a long time, that he should, but  my Curvy Nerd friend made an excellent point earlier this week when she said “at this point, I have to do it for me and hope that whomever I meet will understand my past.”  Maybe the same will be true for me.  I’ve separated my self-worth and my my (lack of) dating life so I guess we’ll find out in time.

This journey is definitely about me.  And what’s most important right now, for me, is to recognize my value regardless. I know that I have faults, but I’m also starting to believe that I’m loveable. And I would guess that I have to know that – and really believe it – before I can find true love with someone else.  At least, that’s what the smart people say. 😉

So I’ll continue down my road to self-love, forgiveness and acceptance and hope that somewhere along the way the right person will join me.  Until then, I’ll continue to look forward to the future while appreciating the present.