What Are You Settling For?

Settling. I see people around me doing it all the time. Settling in relationships, settling in jobs, settling in circumstances within their control. But I can’t do that. I refuse to waste even small moments of my life settling for something that’s not making me happy. I‘ve done it before, and it’s a big time waster. Time is money, and time can’t ever be replaced. But some people can.

I have witnessed so many of my friends and exes and others around me settling with the first person that comes along. Been there, done that, and it never works. At least not for me anyway. Well, maybe not the first person, but for someone because I’m tired of being alone. (Then in the end, realizing I’m better off alone.)

I’ve seen people stay in relationships “for the kids” or for whatever reason they happen to use, and most of the time, these people are really fucking miserable. When I see a couple that seems to be happy, then see either of them out alone happier without the other, that’s a problem. If men flirt with me when they’re not with their significant others, it makes me glad I’m not settled into some bullshit that someone else has. No thank you!! (And the men that do this are despicable!)

And then there are those settling into jobs for whatever reason. Yes, we all have to pay bills, but at this point in my life I want to do something I actually like, not something I have to do to get by. I’ve done all of this miserable shit before; I just can’t do it anymore. Yes, sometimes we work jobs specifically just for our shitty American health care. I’ve done all of that – and I’m over every bit of it, especially when the job itself literally made me ill. Lesson learned.

Life is too short to wake up in the morning dreading what you have to do each day… and this is why I live minimally. I refuse to be a slave to material things. (I wanted to live minimally when I was married, but it’s not what he wanted.) I live in a 500-square-foot garage apartment, and I drive a 15-year-old car. I no longer use credit cards. I barter things, such as salon services. I attempt to eat as healthy as I possibly as I can, which is a challenge if I want to buy organic foods. If I do go out, I try to organize it with ladies-day specials so I’m not paying full price… or sometimes my friends decide to pick up the tab (or on the very rare occasion I actually go out on a date), which is super cool. (However, I’ll probably be dead before student loans will ever be paid off.)

With that being said, people really get on my fucking nerves constantly asking what I’m doing for work, as if it defines who I am or as if it’s any of their business. For now, I’m just making it being self-employed doing product reviews and miscellaneous projects, picking up random things along the way to get by. I’ve explained it over and over again. These same people don’t understand that just because I don’t always physically have to be somewhere at certain times (traditional job), that I don’t work at all (as if money appears out of the sky – I wish!) – and actually tell other people that! It’s fucking annoying. But that’s because these people have settled. Settled into shitty jobs with shitty pay. Been there, done that, and it cost me my health. Not worth it for one minute!

I will work a job until it no longer serves ME, not the other way around. I refuse to be a slave to a corporation. I refuse to continue doing work that doesn’t make me happy in some way. And I refuse to sit in traffic for hours on end to a job I hate and wear clothes that aren’t comfortable to sit at a desk to do work that I despise. It’s no way to live life when you realize it could end at anytime without warning.

Working Thru PTSD and Being Emotionally Unavailable

Sometimes things happen that will forever change a person’s life. Forever change who that person is. Some things have forever changed me, and even though I pretend to be strong, these things have weakened me in many ways. Just when I started working through the PTSD, something else came along and set me right back. In the past month, I have felt pretty good for only one day – both physically and mentally. That’s not enough for me.

I’ve been doing a lot of introspection over the past few months, going thru my old writings, and realizing that I have completely lost myself. I don’t even write the same. I stopped working out. Nothing interests me at all. I lost who I am, I lost my enthusiasm for life, my motivation to do anything I used to enjoy, my spark. Why? Because I spent too much time focused on giving myself to those that didn’t value me. And now I feel I have nothing left to give to anyone else except myself.

What the fuck was I thinking giving my time and energy to those unworthy assholes??! I suppose it’s because it’s the way I was conditioned since childhood, as many women are. It’s really hard to break a pattern that’s been going on for over 40 years, especially without guidance or cheerleaders. I feel as if I’m constantly searching for something that works, for people that believe in me. I guess no one else will if I don’t believe in myself, but how do you even begin to believe in yourself? 

This struggle has to stop. Over the past few months I realize that I have spent too much time and energy on relationships that were doomed from the beginning instead of focusing my energy on things that would build me up and make me happy. I honestly have no desire to date; I can only be friends with a man, and if he can’t be just friends, then he can go fuck himself. I just want to write, create things, be one with nature, and heal. For now, I am the one that’s emotionally unavailable. And I am okay with that.

A lot of this has to do with so many of the fucktards I’ve dated and keep running into in this small town. How did I not notice what pieces of shit these men are? I only chose to find the good things in people instead of seeing head on the narcissistic, selfish assholes that cared absolutely nothing about me. Even men that I didn’t date – those I trusted as friends – men that did things to me that will forever change who I am and the way I feel about men in general. I believe it’s probably even changed my DNA. No wonder I feel like shit all the time. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t met or dated ANY of the men I’ve written about. Not one of them has added anything positive to my life (probably why it’s easy to write about them). Even OC – the one that I loved and hurt me the most.

I’ve run into OC a couple of times in the past few months. He literally hid behind his hat in one instance (I pretended I didn’t see him), and in another, he literally ran out of the place when he saw me. Seriously… what a fucking coward! It’s been two whole years, and he’s still acting this way? WTF?

About a month ago, a mutual acquaintance (more on that later) mentioned to me that OC “has commitment issues”. Instantly, those words helped me to gain clarity – I realized at that exact moment I’m not the only one OC has done this to, and all of this time I had been blaming myself, thinking I’m the one that did something wrong. And to think that there are women in this town that have also probably been burned by him really angers me. How dare he think it’s okay to use women, feign a friendship, and throw them away! What a fucking piece of shit! Instead of feeling hurt from him now, I feel anger and disgust. (Also pissed off at myself for being a fool.) I don’t normally feel hatred towards people, but now I have this hatred towards him for wasting my time and lying to me and using me and hurting me without a single apology. I was blinded by his charm and his pretending to like me, because I wasn’t used to men being nice to me. How fucking pathetic am I?

On the note of men being nice to me – that’s how I ended up married. I had a horrible dating streak in my 20s and early 30s. I was a single mom, and at the time, being a single mom wasn’t a huge thing like it is now. No one wanted to date me, no one wanted to date anyone with kids – or they wanted their own kids, and I was done having them. I was rarely taken out on “real dates” and treated like a woman. All I met were losers or men that were too old for me to date. I honestly didn’t even know what dating was supposed to be about, because my life at that time were mainly friends with benefits and hookups. I didn’t know what it was like to have a real boyfriend. I also didn’t meet anyone that I wanted in my life longterm, because when you’re a single mom, the guy has to be the entire package.

So when I met my now ex-husband, he was super sweet to me and took me out on real dates, called me when he said he would, and all of those good things that women should get out of a man she’s dating. Plus, he accepted my child. I wasn’t used to be treated well at all, which is why I stuck with him and married him. We had some things in common, but not enough to keep the marriage alive. We grew apart. I realize now I was settling for someone just because he was nice to me, and I didn’t think anyone else could or would love me. How fucked up is that? I don’t want to fall into that trap again.

Recently, an acquaintance introduced me to a man that I’m now very good friends with. It’s a new friendship, so the trust is still building. To set the record straight, I’ve already told him that I’m emotionally, financially, and sexually unavailable – and he’s okay with that. It’s nice to find someone that can be a friend without expecting anything in return, like the men in my experience have.

I always feel like I owe him something when he helps me move furniture or takes me out to eat – because there has always been a price to pay when men “help”. But he says he doesn’t expect anything in return, and I sit and wonder how long this attitude will last.

My friend treats me very well, but he does remind me a lot of my ex-husband (the good parts), and I realize we don’t have that much in common. And this is what gets me – friends saying that if he treats me well, I should date him. But I don’t see it that way, since I have been there/done that, got bored and moved on. I know exactly what I want, but I have to keep reminding myself that just because this person treats me well doesn’t mean I should be in a relationship with him. Besides, I am emotionally unavailable. I just need to find other people that know how to treat other people well.

Spring Cleaning My Mind

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a lot more lately, but I’ve had some issues to deal with before I have allowed myself to actually sit. I started redecorating my place after my landlord did some improvements to my bathroom, so for two or three weeks I was painting and cleaning and getting rid of what no longer serves me. For instance, some prints of Key West that were given to me while I was married that I have outgrown, two bags of clothing that either didn’t fit me or I wonder why the hell I bought it in the first place, things I’d saved as “art supplies” but never used, and even my living room rug that I had while I was married. I just want things that are mine to begin with, not a reminder of the past that I had with someone else. Plus, I’m preparing for surgery next week and want my home in order so I have nothing to worry about. I enjoy living minimally with only the quality things that I need and things that keep me occupied.

Another thing I’ve done is take a risk to focus more on freelance work and other projects rather than slaving for someone else, especially since the wages in my area are horrible and barely worth getting out of bed. Besides, the amount of appointments and surgery/recovery time I have would not sit well with any employer. I may have less income coming in, but I’m happier, less stressed, and flexibility is important to me. Plus, my health is my number one priority at the moment, of which most employers seem to be so flippant.

With that previous statement in mind, I recently met a woman that had worked for a large corporation for many years and was let go without any warning, and it changed her entire life. She is now self-employed and less stressed, yet also lower in income. It’s a double-edged sword, but happiness is more important. We discussed how so many employers no longer truly care about their employees; employees are replaceable and unappreciated. It reminded me of the last company I worked for that didn’t even give its employees a Christmas/holiday party, not even a “thank you” at the end of the year. That was a tell-tale sign for me to run from the place, and I did two months later. Why on earth would I get up in the morning to make someone else rich that could care less if I was hit by a bus?

With all of this going on, I have noticed an internal change in myself as well. While I painted for days, I listened to a lot of podcasts and got into a zen mode. I didn’t feel like being around other people. I wasn’t thinking about the actual work I was doing; I was just being, which is a huge step for me, because I have a tendency to think and overthink all too often. Although at times my mind did wander, and I did do a lot of thinking about the things going on in my life… and the people that have affected me in all sorts of ways.

I was invited out a few times by friends in town and another one going away, so it was a nice change to have some girl time. (Since most of my friends are boyfriended up, it’s rare to have girl time anymore.) While I realize I don’t exactly fit in to any group, I have a variety of friends of all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds. There are some people that, once they get boyfriended up, stop being friends until they have an issue. Or my one friend, that when we do finally get together, ends up constantly on her phone with the boyfriend texting and calling nonstop. It’s the most annoying fucking thing in the world, not to mention rude. I also realize that I’m the one initiating getting together with some friends almost 100% of the time. So I stopped doing it. And I haven’t heard a word from any of them. I often feel like people only contact me when they need something or when they’re bored and no one else is around. No one wants to feel this way.

I have distanced myself from dating again. While I’m open to meet new people, the whole “dating” and trying to find “the one” thing seems to be useless. Men are either too preoccupied pursuing multiple women or “work too much” or have small children or otherwise emotionally unavailable. Either be in it or GTFO, because I value my time, and people who waste it are the epitome of ass. And then there’s the other side of the spectrum – after one date they think they’re going to marry me. It’s not happening. None of it.

And while I’m sitting here typing this, I’m watching a millipede crawl across the floor. I am a big person on signs from the Universe… and the symbolism of the millipede, according to Ted Andrews:

“Damp environments are symbolic of creative, psychic, and emotional areas. For those to whom the millipede is a messenger, it’s important to find an environment supportive to their creative and psychic sensibilities, necessary for their health and well-being. Centipedes and millipedes often remind us to be careful of what we say and how we say it. They alert us to new psychic environments and connections and to new and previously unrecognized psychic relationships. They also appear to alert us to any possible pitfalls within those relationships. Theirs is the energy of quiet protection in psychic exploration.” (Ted Andrews Animal-Wise.)

Seems to be quite fitting.

Living as a Single INFP-T Idealist

I had probably taken this test back in college, but long before everything was available on the internet. After recently taking the Myers-Briggs personality test, I realized why I have always felt alone, always felt like I was on the wrong planet or born to the wrong generation, or just plain never fit in anywhere. The more I read about the INFP-T personality type (“the mediator), the more I’m beginning to understand myself. I wish I had done this years ago!

From what I’ve read, the INFP personality is a rarity, fitting only about 4-5% of the population. Every single characteristic of an INFP-T fits me spot on. Here I was all of these years thinking something was wrong with me, because I never fit in, people always told me they could never understand me, and because of that – I never understood myself and always felt as if something was wrong with me. So now here I am in my mid-40s finally figuring it out.

It seems that most INFP personality types are lonely, mainly because we prefer to be alone or have difficulty being around chaotic environments or people, prefer to communicate in metaphors, and take things personally. I’m not the type of person that’s far left or far right, and I like things diplomatically balanced right in the center. We like to spend quality time with a few people that mean a lot to us. This explains why I have never fit into groups, no matter how hard I’ve tried. I mean, I can get along with anyone or find common ground with anyone somewhere along the line; I tend to be a listener, and more than enough people have unleashed all of their problems to me; but I have also been told more than enough times that I am difficult to get to know. After reading all of the strengths and weaknesses of the INFP personality, I identify with all of them 100%. I am ruled by my emotions and feelings for the most part, which is probably why my entire life has seemed so scattered.

After taking the Myers-Briggs test, I found the Keirsey personality test that also fits along the same lines. There are four types of Idealists (15% of the population), and INFP personality type is one of them. I happen to fall into the Idealist-Healer category. Again, this type fit me quite well, especially as a nurturer and dreamer.

Taking all of this into consideration, I can see why I have had such difficulty in relationships and opening up to people. It all makes total sense now. I suppose this is another reason I’m single; I find the good in everyone, even though they may not be good for me, and I often don’t break off relationships (whether it be friendship, romantic, or work related) when I should. I care more than I should, and like many INFP types, I tend romanticize a partner for what I think they are or could be rather than what they really are.

I already knew all of this about myself, but these tests just help explain things better for my understanding. Now that I’ve discovered all of this, I realize I need more personality types that fit my own. Further research suggests that I the best matches for INFP types are ENFJ or ESFJ. If it were only that easy to find that without going around asking people to take the test! Maybe the next time I write a dating profile it will read “INFP seeking ENFJ or ESFJ” and see what happens.

Gaslight Guy is a Fake

It was recently confirmed that I was right about the guy that I thought had been gaslighting me a while back. Being a small town, I’ve run into him a few times with friends, and we’re cordial, but we never hang out as friends ourselves. Now I have a new friend that used to be his friend. I’ll just call her Megan.

Megan was very close with Gaslight guy, not in a dating sense, but as in very good friends. Eventually, Gaslight’s true colors came out, and he began treating Megan like shit. Without going into too much detail on her end, I related my experience with Gaslight. Sure enough, I was correct the whole time. What he says and what he does are two different things. How he puts himself out there on social media and dating sites is in direct contrast to who he is at home. Not a surprise, however.

While we were still chatting, I had called Gaslight out on his constant “liking” of scantily clad Barbie doll type of women on social media. For a man in his 40s, it seemed excessive, and it also made it seem like he was constantly on his phone. I had thought to myself, if that’s what he likes, I can’t live up to that. He denied it. He denied everything I had called him out on. However, Megan confirmed that’s exactly what she’d witnessed firsthand. In person.

Another thing I had noticed on Gaslight’s dating and social media accounts, he claimed to like doing certain activities that he in fact doesn’t do at all. Prior to all of this, I had suggested things for us to do, but he always had some excuse. (Maybe I just wasn’t too Barbie enough for him.) But Megan confirmed he does NONE of those things, that he’s actually quite boring and besides going to work, spends most of his time on his phone (liking women on social media, I presume). That was kind of surprising to me, because except for the gaslighting, I didn’t expect him to be a complete fake.

I guess part of the gaslighting from my childhood is still ingrained in me – that I was always imagining things that were actually right there in my face, because I still sometimes find myself doubting what I think. Whatever the case, I’m glad to know that I was right about Gaslight guy. That I’m not crazy. That my intuition and feelings and my observations are spot on, no matter what these assholes try to say.

Giving Second Chances Makes Me a Fool

I’m not usually one to give second chances, because most of the time, someone pisses me off so much I want nothing to do with them. I saw Toe Ring on Bumble again a couple of weeks ago and swiped right for the hell of it. We matched. He said he would like to try again and asked me out for lunch. I thought that sounded fine.

Lunch was great, but it ended up being a day drinking fest, which is something I hadn’t done in a long time. We ended up having dinner also, hopping around town to different restaurants and a brewery. By the time we got to the brewery, my memory was foggy, but Toe Ring decided to use the bathroom and it seemed to take him a while to come back. He was talking to (flirting with?) some other women playing a game. Then he proceeded to attempt to make out with me at the bar, which is a huge no-no for me. My bartender friend said he was a drunk hot mess, and he told me to run. All I remembered the next morning was that we had a really fun time.

A week later, I was meeting my friend for a cocktail and appetizer. Toe Ring was nearby, and I invited him to say hello. Plus, I thought it would give me an opportunity to get a friend’s perspective. He showed up pretty tipsy. Here we go again, I thought. He offered to buy a round of drinks and then sat there talking to my friend the entire time. I had to leave to go to a family event, which he already knew, but invited me out for sushi. I said I would, but I have to do this thing that I already told you about. So what did he do? After letting me pay my own tab, he asked my friend out instead. She was coming with me, so that wasn’t going to happen. I thought that was a shitty thing to do.

My friend and I both agreed it was rude of him. But Toe Ring thought he was being nice. I said you think asking my friend out on a sushi date in front of me is being nice? Because it’s pretty disrespectful. Not to mention you let me pay my own tab. He reminded me that he paid the tab the weekend before. Well, if you’re going to ask me out on a date, be prepared to pay the damn tab! 

Later that night he was texting me some drunk gibberish that wasn’t making sense. Basically he wanted me to come over, but clearly he was wasted. The following day I went off on him about his rudeness of asking my friend out. That’s when he said he was just trying to be nice. Then he said I should have just showed up to his house, which is something I don’t do anyway. So I reminded him how he cannot properly communicate, and he “liked” my comment. I told him that it’s obvious he’s not that into me. He never said anything about that and I have barely heard from him since.

I don’t know why I gave Toe Ring a second chance. I don’t know what it is I like about him, because clearly he doesn’t like me very much. My next therapy session is next week….

Stuck in My Head – March Brain Dump

Lately I feel as if I’ve been stuck in my head, wanting to be alone, not really feeling sociable. I have a lot of things going on, a lot on my mind. Just started another new job that I’m unsure about already, been dealing with medical issues that I’m also unsure what the outcome will be. I’ve been finding myself not wanting to listen to noise or music or anything but silence or the wind or the birds or something natural. Nothing manmade, because I’m finding it more and more annoying to the point it’s causing confusion.

I’m not exactly liking where the world is heading. I’m big into nature and natural things, but it’s obvious greed is taking over and ruining some of the real luxuries of life – things that money cannot possibly buy. It’s depressing to watch.

I’ve lost interest in dating again. Besides it being so time-consuming getting to know someone that I can’t even be friends with, it’s so fucking exhausting. I just don’t have the energy to put into someone that I don’t have that much interest in – or put energy into someone that turns out to be an asshole. It takes away from my spirit, from my work, from my sleep habits… I just can’t do it anymore.

I’m also tired again. I was doing fine with getting my shit together right up until I met Toe Ring, then my sleep habits that I was finally getting under control went to shit again. Should I also mention I had great control of my drinking habits as well until he came along? I realize now I often let the wrong people into my life that aren’t the best influences, that don’t bring out the best in me, that don’t contribute to me feeling good about things. I know I’ve done this in the past, and I don’t want to repeat it. Only people that lift my spirit, not drown it.

I guess for now being alone is probably what’s best for me. I’m content with writing and doing my multiple other jobs and spending Friday nights home alone with my cat watching Dirty John or Temptation Island. It’s more entertaining and rewarding than dealing with someone that I shouldn’t be with and that drains my energy to the point of wanting to be alone again.