When the ex-bf and I were having our disagreement, I realized how much I have grown confident in myself and less dependent on wanting or needing a man. Here he was dating (or trying to date someone that I highly disapprove of) and R was in Moscow meeting a gal that he had met on the dating site. A year ago, I would have wondered why I wasn’t enough for either of them but instead, I thought that neither of them were making wise moves. I do not want either of them to be taken advantage of or hurt. Going overseas to meet a partner has risks that you don’t have dating someone here already. I know there are a lot of people that marry someone to come to this country. I used to see it a lot when I was in the Philippines. I hope that if R, ends up with this gal, that she is not one of those women. Ex-bf…..I think he has stopped the actions he was doing. I hope he has. There was potential of a woman really scamming him for money.

There you have it, the two men that have meant the most to me in the past few years, both moving on and seeing other women and I was upset, not because they didn’t choose me but because I was worried about their hearts and happiness. I can let them both move on to another woman. I just hope that no matter what, we can remain friends. They both have been so important to me and my family. I trust them both with my life. You cannot say that about many people.

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So many of my male friends are shocked by the #metoo stories and how many women they know with stories. Somany of them are asking what they can or should do, this is a good read regarding this.

 

#MeToo testimonies are flooding our social media feeds. For men, realizing complicity can be uncomfortable. On seeing this discomfort as a challenge.

Source: For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies — Courtney Martin | On Being

I’ll never forget April 20th, 1999.

Source: Thoughts on Vegas, and Why Men Keep Doing This – Be Yourself

This is a real good read on what is going on with men in our society. I highly recommend The Mankind Project to help our men.

As I walk the streets everyday, I have lots of things go through my mind. I don’t know why yesterday my reflection seemed to be how much I’ve grown. On Facebook, you can see your “on this day” in the past. I tend to look at these daily. Some are good, some are bad, many make me really see how far that I have come.  As I’m looking at these from four years ago, right after my divorce, I was struggling to eat, get out of bed, to go to work. I had done most of my crying before the divorce was final but I was terrified of being on my own.  I had grown so dependent on the ex because he thought he did everything better than me. I had quit trying to do things because it was easier to let him do things than to be criticized for doing things wrong. My self-confidence was in the toilet.  I never thought I could get a decent job because I gave up my career when I got married.  I never went back to college. I was a full-time at home mom for a long time. I loved being home with my kids.  I love the relationship I have with them now, probably due to that but I will always regret giving up my career.

Here I am four years later, I am feeling happier and  more self confident than I’ve ever felt in my life. I think when I first started dating that I was looking for somebody to take care of me. I no longer want nor need that. I’ve had men tell me that I was too strong and independent for them. Who would have thought that would be an issue for me four years ago. I don’t want a man that can’t handle my independence, that can’t handle my strength, that wants to be the man and take care of everything. I will never give up my independence again.  Now I’ve met a new man, the ice cream man, and he seems to really like my strength. I told him about other men saying I was too strong and independent. He said that he doesn’t see that. He likes it.

I have been spending a bit of time with ex-bf/bff  lately. It has been so nice to have time with him alone. I have missed talking to him so much. I have mentioned that he and his girlfriend broke up the beginning of July and he also lost his dog the same week. I was worried about him for a bit but he seems to be doing well now. He has been going to some personal growth retreats and he is really working on getting over his baggage. I sure hope that someday he can truly find happiness with himself so he can find it with somebody else. I will always love him but, unfortunately, I cannot go back to him, even if he asked. We did fool around on my birthday. It was nice to be back in his arms and kiss him again. It would  have been easy to open my heart back to him but I refuse to. As I have said before, I believe that love is a choice. I won’t give my heart back to him at this point and I have told him that. I choose not to love him like that again unless he is ready to let me in. Even then, it would not be a given. I would have to really think about it. He would have to earn me back.  I love how honest we are with each other. I love that I can tell him these things and he tells me that he still worries about hurting me when he is with someone else.

Last weekend, we went on a hike to a natural hot springs. Yes, we soaked naked. It was so nice sitting next in the hot springs with the cold river flowing by.  We have talked so much about our growth since we split up. I know the things he has done and he asked me what I have done. He also thinks that some of what I say is just words because I still occasionally say that I want a man. I have explained to him that those times are actually few anymore. I like my space. I love my freedom. So many times, I hear couples on the street and think to myself how glad I am not to be in a relationship. Even as few as a few months ago, I would sometimes get sad when I saw a couple holding hands walking down the street. Now, I really feel nothing. Not anger and pity, like I felt right after my divorce. I was such a cynic and was sure that they were all making a mistake in trusting and loving. I also, not longer feel sad because I am alone. I feel happy for them and hope it lasts. I do sometimes wonder if I will ever find that BUT it is truly not a concern anymore.

So, what have I done to grow? I have been thinking about that since he asked. One is that I spend so much time alone that I can think. Most of my workday, I spend thinking about my life and reflecting. I also blog here. This is so good for me. Not only is it journaling but I get feedback and see my feelings are normal and others feel the same way. I read LOTS of books and blogs. I am exercising not just at work but weight lifting again. I have loved that since I was a teen and haven’t done for years. I love how it makes me feel mentally and physically.  I am also spending more time with friends and reconnecting with people. My birthday helped with that. When you are content with your life and yourself, a partner becomes less important.

One of the things that I thought about the other day is WHY am  I so content alone right now? Of course, there is the standard, I can do what I want, when I want, without anyone having any say or worrying about being criticized for my choices and feelings as I did for years. My big AHA moment came the other day though. I had been dwelling on this for days and it just popped into my head. For the first time in my life, I am taking care of ME only. I am 50 years old and don’t need to take care of anyone but me and my puppies. Of course, I am still here for my kids but I am my priority for the first time. It is such a free feeling. I can go hike with my ex-bf, get naked and sit in a hot spring. I can go have beer with a friend. I can sit on my couch naked and blog. I can go to bed at 7 or at midnight. I can have ice cream for breakfast or dinner, if I choose. I am fifty years old and feel better physically and mentally than I did at 35. I am healthier. I am fit. I am sexy. I am beautiful and strong. I am independent. I am not lonely at all. I plan to continue growing and getting better with age. We all should.

2007 was one of the toughest of my life. I turned out to be numb for much of the year. 2006 ended on a high note and I woke to a phone call from my mother real early. That was not a usual occurrence for me. She called to let me know that one of my favorite players on the Denver Broncos had been murdered in downtown Denver the night before. If I had known that was just the beginning, I don’t know how I would have reacted. As it was, I was heart-broken. Darrent Williams was a great cornerback but he also had a passion for the game that was exhilarating. He always had a great smile and I couldn’t help but smile when I saw him. He was young and had potential for being a great in the league. I loved watching him play or be interviewed. A few years later, my children gave me a collectors photo of him for my Broncos room. He will always be remembered by me.

If there was any year in my life that I would remove if I could, it would be 2007. Williams was just the beginning. I had so many deaths to deal with that year. Co-workers, friends, kids friends parents, family members, friends kids, kids friends, my dog.  Deaths were unexpected and some were expected. There was old age, cancer, car accidents, brain aneurysm, and stroke. I spent most the year in mourning and scared about what was next. I spent most of the year worrying about my kids and how they would handle all the death in their lives. I spiraled into a deep depression that I truly believe was the beginning of the end of my marriage. 2008 started with the first time my ex told me that he didn’t want to be married anymore. I understand. I cried almost very day the year prior. I just thought that once I got better, we would get better. I do think he got depressed too but would never get help. He spiraled into anger and withdrew from everyone and everything.

It took me a while to dig out and a lot of work. I will probably blog about many of these people that died in 2007 this year. That year changed me. In the long run, it was for the better. It has made me stronger though I am pretty cynical when people get sick now. I hate the way it affected my children. It was the beginning of a lot of deaths for them. They have all been affected so much at such young ages. They all had a classmate missing at graduation. Our little town has had a child missing at graduation almost every year for the past 8 years. I think only one year was the exception. I am not going to focus on the negative but I do need to talk about this. Death is such a difficult subject that we all try to avoid BUT it is something we all have to deal with. Our time is so short on this planet and we need to appreciate every day and everything we have. The song by Five For Fighting in 100 Years always hits me hard.