Monthly Archives: September 2009

Dating My Ex: A Do Over

I’m dating an ex. My friends, who listened to me cry about him for months, have all been rightfully skeptical. All the things that are wrong with our relationship: he dreams of owning a farm, while I want to move to the city and travel; he’s happy just spending time with me every night, while I thrive on interacting with a lot of different friends; he thinks its his role as a partner to suggest changes to my lifestyle, while I chafe at any inkling of challenge to my independence. Worst of all, we spent months not talking about any of these differences.

Normally I know better than to be in a relationship without good communication. But we had a good reason: a language barrier. It was getting better day by day, but I couldn’t find ways to communicate the nuances of difficult conversations. I finally got frustrated enough that I told him we might need to breakup, and he checked himself out of the conversation and wouldn’t communicate at all.

Three months later, we started running into each other regularly. Encounters were friendly, but I refused to make any effort beyond that. I just kept saying, “You need to call me if you want anything more than this.” After a couple of weeks of this, he finally did. And we finally talked about all these differences that made our relationship really challenging. And our mutual feelings that despite all these differences, there was still love and attraction that drew us together. We decided that being “friends” (with benefits) was a better label for us, because as soon as we made it anything more serious we both got trapped back into expectations of each that were never going to work.

In reality, it’s like we are getting a “do over” with this relationship. Now, when the same old situations flare up, I get to actually communicate about it this time. I’m not so worried that it’s going to end the relationship, because it’s already over. I know exactly where not communicating leads, and I know that’s an avenue I don’t want to head down again. So we talk, I get to say the things that were always in my head, but never got out of my mouth. It heals the prior pain and suffering, and gives me good practice for communicating in the next relationship.

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In hope that more blogs leads to more blogging …

I’ve been reluctant to start this blog. I have another blog project I’m nurturing, one that’s more professional, more serious, more career-connected than this one will be. I was worried that starting another blog was just an effort to self-sabotage, to drain my energy and attention away from my other blog.

Yet I’ve found myself stifled in writing for the other blog. I will get a burst of inspiration to write about something, and then am disappointed when it’s more closely tied to being off trajectory than nonprofit work. I then feel demoralized that I am not writing more for my nonprofit blog. I wonder what’s wrong with me, whether I really have the commitment or drive or interesting things to say to maintain this nonprofit blog.

This morning I finally decided to give myself a break. It’s hard to promote creativity in one venue while I am stifling my creativity in another venue. Thus, this blog finally gets launched. In it, I am creating a space for more personal writings, with the intention that supporting creativity breeds more creativity.

Eliminate stress = Eliminate overweight?

I received several compliments last night for “looking great” – i.e. losing a bit of weight. Most folks wanted to attribute it to my bike training, and were surprised when I said I’d only been on my bike once in the last 5 months. I told folks that I attributed my weight loss to my no stress lifestyle. After quitting my job as Director of Sexual Assault Services Organization, I didn’t find myself needing to eat quite so often in response to stress and exhaustion.

This morning I wondered if the answer was that simple. Do I need to maintain a low-stress lifestyle forever to maintain a health relationship with food? Am I constitutionally incapable of handling stress in any other way but eating?

On reflection, I’d revise my assessment from last night: “My low stress lifestyle right now is giving me space to learn other ways to cope with stress. Even as I add some stress back into my life, I’m able to continue to use other ways to cope besides overeating when I’m not hungry.”