Moving out of the darkness into the light

Depression cripples you… it’s like this dark secret you hide deep within, but it’s always there in the shadows lurking and pulling you back with a few whispers… “You’re worthless… you’ll never amount to anything… come back inside this shell with me… no one cares for you out there…you’re all alone!”

It always appears like a fog creeping in overnight and there is a crow making noise reminding you that you belong with them in the darkness… far from the light. The emptiness inside your soul, bones, mind and heart creates pools of tears at the drop of a hat to slide down your face…without notice, you’re pulled back into the abyss of familiarity that you once climbed far away from.

Yes…. I have a history of depression or just being sad…anxiety. Maybe it’s because we moved around so much in my childhood and I was always forced to reinvent myself, new friends, new life, and all during my high school years.

I remember my earliest memories in my early teens and my wanting to get lost in a sea of sleep. I just couldn’t get myself out of the feeling of melancholy and sadness that would overcome me like shackles…I carried the weight with me for years. Who knew then, that this would be a lifelong battle with periods of desperation and times that were so low, it’s miraculous that you made it out alive.

Well, my old nemesis that is Depression has shown its ugly head again over the past few years.

When things were not going well in my life, financial issues, when my apartment caught fire, or the ceiling caved in and I had to move quickly, or the time that I lost my love, or I was in so much pain that I ended up needing surgery on my spine…the other time I lost my love, plus the struggle of recovery to the time that I lost my job with no severance and lost my insurance 60 days post surgery. I’ve lost so much over the past few years…my house, jobs, pets, loves and have literally had to abandon things and walk away just enough to survive the flames called my life without getting burned up myself.

My challenges with depression have been a lifelong struggle. They go in waves, but lately and especially this year, it’s been severe with every hurdle, every path that I take is a journey on survival.

This was also why I went dark over the past few years and stopped writing… hiding the words and avoiding the voice inside me begging to come out.

There was a time that I wished that I would be able to fall asleep and wake up with all of this washed away. Then there are other times that would hold onto this like a long lost friend.

Lately, everything is better when it’s time to go to bed…I hate waking up and struggling with my plans for the day, reading my emails, applying for jobs, scheduling interviews, then seeing my bank account and knowing my best bet is to stay in bed.

My wish is to regain myself in 2018, get back to my core being, better health, heal my body, listen more, help more, be kinder, better, go to yoga more, date more, explore more, Love more and travel more. Let go of the things that are not serving me well and be more of a minimalist in some ways. Life isn’t about things…it about the moments.

Every day is a struggle, people are fighting silent battles all around you and in the end, try to be kind and be grateful for the people in your life that are there to help.

When you’re at you are feeling close to rock bottom, you’ll find out who your true support system is. These are The keepers… friends and family. Without them right now, I would be lost. I’m at my most vulnerable and am grateful every day that they haven’t given up on me yet.

I am so thankful that I have my family and friends in my life. With the holiday season upon us, they’re bringing in the light to my life right now.

Xx

New Life, New Land, New Love & New Beginnings… Happy New Year

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It’s been awhile… 2014 was a year of loss, pain, hard work, struggles, battles, there were a lot of tears and times that I was tested beyond my own beliefs.

I endured a difficult year, starting with a new job, struggling with difficult people, had my heart broken into several pieces, mourning the loss of a dog, a cat, family and friends, there was an injury, surgery, a new job, an old job, another new job offer, then another job offer to stay with the promise of many treasures should I build the castle as deemed.

My struggles were mine, they were both internal and external, yet I held myself to be true to who I was, kept my strength and proved that I was beyond being defeated by them. I traveled to Europe, across the states, made new friends, lost some friends, fell out of contact with some, and built a new plateau of which I needed to rise to.

In helping friends, I gained a cat and found a new love in something so innocent. #sparecat

I lost love, mended my heart, received redemption, a sweet goodbye, validation and walked away with pride. I met old loves from my past as new friends, and I went on many, many first dates and with each one getting worse and more comical, I never let it kill my belief or sense of wonder that there was someone out there.

I spent time with my family and friends and was lucky enough to hug them all.

In the end of the year, I look back and realized that I made several new friend’s last year, most of them have proven to be the best parts of 2014 and renewed my faith in people & new connections in this life.

With all of the lessons of 2014, I have no regrets. I’m ready for a new year… new beginning and I am on a new track…. Over time, I will catch up on the stories of 2014 and the new adventures to be had in 2015.

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Thank you for the follow and the support…

xx

When did LinkedIn become an online dating site?!?!

Online dating typically leads to a great story or three, so when I ask the question, “When did LinkedIn become an online dating site?” I’m being sincere.

In my professional life, I tend to work on LinkedIn quite frequently as a networking tool; however, lately, I have been receiving email’s from men that send what seems to be legitimate invitations to “connect” and once we do, they email me seriously odd emails about my photo that I have posted. Which is odd because it’s not a sexually explicit photograph and it’s actually a selfie that I took of myself last year, if you want to be specific of its origin.

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Anyways….over the past year, I have received several email’s that I’ve shared among my friends and coworkers as humor. Men…you should know that if you send something this ridiculous, it will be shared…that is just human nature.

Recently, I’ve ended my current consulting engagement and have received no less than 3-4 emails in the past 3 weeks from random men asking me about my marital status, telling me that I’m attractive, or… I love this one, “you have the most beautiful eyes, face & lips.” Really?!

Well, as I was sitting there last night, drinking a cup of tea and following up on my email, I accepted a few invitations for connections on LinkedIn, not thinking anything odd about them, until later I read the following email from Scott:

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Date: December 2, 2013

Hello beautiful, staring at your lovely eyes for the past five minutes has been one of the most wonderful encounters i have had in quite a while, you make me think of the world like it is not gonna be a nice place to live in for the next 50 years without you in my life, your smile is like one of my best memories,i know this might sound hilarious but believe me its the truth i think you are the kind of woman i would want to wake up to see her beautiful face for the rest of my life, pardon me my name is scott

Ummm…. Well, let’s see Scott, first of all, “I sincerely thank you for the creepy email on Linked In and I do apologize that your next 50 years will be without me in your life. However, unfortunately,  I have met enough crazy people recently.”

Best wishes –

H

The photo of Scott was quite interesting as well, and it offered up some good banter between myself and some friends.

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No, I didn’t send this email; however, this morning, I got an email notification that my Match.com account (that I did not even know was still active) was automatically renewed. After an exhausting phone call, they wouldn’t refund my money (F-ck!). Therefore, I may be forced to try online dating again soon enough, if I don’t find love, well…maybe I’ll find a good story or three. With this being the case, maybe I am ready to try the whole online dating strategy once again in search of love…what is the worst thing that could happen?!?

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The irony is that since I wrote this story, I’ve received no less than 4 more..these are to become the sequels.

Unrequited love…the cruelest version of love there is.

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Unrequited love

Web definitions

Unrequited love or one-sided love is love that is not openly reciprocated or understood as such. The beloved may or may not be aware of the admirer’s deep and strong romantic affections. The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines unrequited as “not reciprocated or returned in kind. …

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrequited_love

I’ve been the victim of this feeling and honestly can recall during these times in my life that they were some of the worst holidays that I’ve ever had, not to mention years.

Shakespeare said that, “Journeys end in lovers meeting”…. I have yet to experience this, but he also said, “Love is blind.” This, I have known all too well.

Love is something that we all are in search of throughout this journey in life; it’s something we are always wanting. We seek out love within our family’s, our friends, and our pet’s, in our work, through our experiences and such. Life is not such, but you see, I’ve willingly given myself in love to some men and it’s only to have been unrequited… In looking back, these were the worst Christmas’s, birthdays, and holidays and years at times, as I was always trying to see the value in the moments that were met with these lover’s that I had. You see, I was lying to myself about what the situation truly was and I imagined that what they had told me in our times together, were not only that of value, but of honestly and truth.  They did not love me back and in all honesty, looking back. I don’t know if I truly loved them either. I was in love with the idea of being in love. I spent many New Year’s Eve’s alone for years, only to bring in the New Year with a constant drink in hand and a cruel hangover in an empty bed.

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This is definitely a new holiday season and when I wonder what is missing, it’s not that I live thousands of miles from my family, but it’s that I’m not a victim of unrequited love at present, not even a love interest… I don’t have love in my heart right now for anyone,  but I’m completely open to finding love again, but only if it’s the passionate, fall in love, butterflies in my stomach, hand holding, kissing and walking around with a grin ear to ear kind of love. Wish me luck and follow me on my journey.

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Dating….What you allow will continue…

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The initial date started as him being late, come to think of it, he was always late in meeting me… I was always waiting for him, and this should have been a sign. I know that I mention signs on occasion, but seriously….listen to your intuition, it’s usually right. So, we meet at a pub for a few beer’s, he with his Guinness and myself with a Smithwick’s, and I’m fresh off of being lied, cheated and in hopes of finding love in the city of NYC.

I am waiting there for him, text him with the details on where I’m seated, and I’ve already ordered a drink and have some while waiting for his arrival. In the time of waiting, I’m people watching and whoosh… a man comes in to my left and introduces himself to me… he’s in a blue suit, looks a little older or more mature, but is handsome in his mannerisms and personality in a cute boyish way and is seated a distance from me, but the way that he looks at me is sweet. He’s very happy and says that I look amazing, fantastic and much better than I do in my photos. He’s caught off guard and immediately, he shows me his work pass, id badge and tells me his surname. (Does this man know that was on my initial list to find out? Or is this Kismet/coincidence, or what?). We enjoy a few drinks, then, he excuses himself to call his daughter and returns to ask to sit on the bench beside me. It’s a sweet gesture, he’s taller than me by a bit and seems more boyish as the evening goes on… the British accent is adorable, but he’s been departed from his homeland since college and no longer refers to that as his home, he explains.

We end up going to a another location, share some food, more drinks and he managed to place his hand on my leg… at which time, I ask, “Do you think that it’s appropriate to have your hand on my leg when it’s our first date and we’ve just met?” He in turn laugh’s and makes a joke and removes his hand, but does anything to touch me playfully the entire evening. Since it was a work night, I ended it after feeling too tipsy and before rushing into a taxi, we kiss… he’s minty and I ask if he’s brushed his teeth between the restroom and street… he laughs and kisses me again.

It was a good date, but I was still unsure. On my way to work in the morning on Metro North, I receive multiple texts, emails and a LinkedIn invitation…which gave me full access to everything about this man… where he went to school, worked, real name and etc. Umm, did he know that I would be looking for this eventually, after that last experience? Maybe he was psychic. I was still hesitant, but after telling my coworkers about him…they urged me to see him again, stating that he seemed like a genuine guy and a good catch. We ended up texting a few times over the weekend, at one point, he replied sharply and I didn’t take it well. I had determined to write him off, but then on Sunday…he texted me after Pilates wanting to know if I’d like to meet for a coffee or walk or both, as his flight is now later in the evening and would like to see me.

I agreed. We met on the corner of W 23rd/6th, grabbed coffee and walked the Highline and talked. We walked the entire length down to the Meatpacking area, and then back to Chelsea and little did I know back to his apartment… where we had a beer on his rooftop and talked overlooking the river and the city. This was when I can remember looking at him and thinking, “I want to spend time with this man… Uh oh!?”

Our date was amazing, we grabbed another bite to eat, beer, sat in a pub talking before walking back to his high-rise and placing me in a taxi, where he kissed me, then returned 3 times to kiss me before heading to his apartment to catch his car service to the airport. He texted me that he had a great time… I was giddy with excitement… Had I just met a real guy, capable of a relationship? Visions of dates and kissing dancing through my head…

We continued to text, he sent me emails as well… flirting and were pretty cute. He started telling me that he missed me…

Over the next few weeks, he traveled quite a bit, and I had a friend in town, he was back/forth traveling to see his daughter and we were never able to see one another. Without seeing each other, things get funny, especially at the beginning of something. I didn’t know if I was expected to remain committed to him, but did. I removed my online dating profile, but he didn’t. He told me to keep it active, as he was “confident” and it did not bother him. Then, Hurricane Sandy came and went, distance between email’s grew, and then…replies to email’s went silent…

Well, he finally came back around Thanksgiving, but told me that he was “thinking” and not sure about everything and he’s gotten alarmed about an email that I sent to him seeming insecure about where things stood. I got a text from him on Thanksgiving, invited him over, and he said I’d hear from him later…and never got a reply. It was over, I’d come to the conclusion.

He then, sent me a text/email and told me that things were not over, he had just required some time to think about everything and was heading to see his daughter for the weekend and would be in touch Sunday. Sunday about 5pm, I received a text telling me that, “Apparently, my online dating profile was still active, so GOOD LUCK, Dear!” WTH! WTF? It was active because he has told me to keep it active, I haven’t seen this man in almost 2 months, this is insane. Were we committed?

At this point, I should’ve been committed to therapy and stopped dating all men until I was in a better place. I concluded that dating was over. Removed my online dating profile, picked up, flew to Florida for a girls weekend of laughter, tears and so much drinking…of course, I told my friends about this bastard that I’d met and what had happened, and they did what all normal friends would do, tell me to move on, he’s missing out, not worth it and it’s ridiculous how he had just cut off communication… maybe he had someone else and the travel wasn’t real. Well, at the least, it was just a few kisses, hand holding, but why all of the email’s and text’s? Odd.

The ironic thing is that Saturday night, I received a text from him asking me, “What are you doing?”. I replied that I was in Florida and he told me to have a good weekend and safe trip. WTF?

We exchanged the occasional text, email and over Christmas, “Merry Christmas!” The new year brought in new hope and he’d emailed me a few times flirting, but no actions…by February, we had decided that we will try this again. We saw one another more frequently, flirted, emailed as he traveled and texted. By my birthday in March, he sat with me at a bar telling me, “I more than like you and I can see myself proposing to you sooner than later.”, He asked to meet my parents, asked me to go on a long weekend with him, and I was grinning ear to ear in Lalaland, then he told me that he was going on a trip and would return in a week or so and would be in touch.

HIS EMAIL:

When he finally returned and sends me an email saying, “Safe yes, but the Organization I work for is moving me to Geneva and then Mali for a year. They apparently packed and moved my apartment contents to Organization’s storage yesterday:( –

I hope that they didn’t find anything dodgy!!! Lol

I will be leaving NYC officially on April 12th (night flight). Until then I will be in a company apartment in Tudor city. When I have seen how ‘glamorous’ it is then I may invite you over!

How is your week?”

 ME: 

Ummm…. WTF!?!

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…at the time, I was too far in that I fell for it. I never heard from him again, but to receive an email that he was settling things and would be in touch when timing was better.

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A month later, I am still hurt, and decide that things just don’t add up…I was going through some personal health issues, so my clarity wasn’t the best and I decided to write down a list, go with my gut instincts that I had been ignoring for so long and low and behold, I found his profile posted on the same dating site that I had met him on, but with a new user name.

Of course,  being the pissed off one, I sat on it, stewed and sent him an email letting him know that I’d seen this, and confronted him of what a shit move this was. Coward. He said he was only home 5 days/month and didn’t know what he was doing… blah, blah… I was hurt, I was defensive and not very nice in my replies, but wished him well.

About a month later, I calmed down… and saw him again. Mistake. Now, this was just fucking dumb girl, hurting and missing someone. He came over, told me that he’d missed me, apologized, and we kept in touch, half in always, and then half out…. Saw him again… conversations were fine, but there were signs the entire time that he was lying to me the entire time. I truly believe this man was also married with a family elsewhere, or a wife, girlfriend elsewhere…eventually, after strong communications and my telling him to not come back into my life again unless he was sincere as I couldn’t do this anymore…. He came back again emailing me in September, then…. Disappeared for good this time, even removed me from his social media and with no explanation. My intuition tells me that someone found out about me somehow, he was committed to someone else and only having fun with me, or trying to steal time with me…. I will never know. This man lied to me so many times and had I not been in a tough place health wise, stress wise and had the clarity to see him for what he was, I wouldn’t have allowed him to keep playing hokey pokey with my heart. Remember… “What you allow….is What will continue.”

He’s walked away from my life and was not a blessing, but a huge lesson. I told him once before….

It’s like the saying… “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” The truth is, he didn’t give a damn about me and I never should have put so much belief in everything that he said.

Whatever Karma that he taught me for something that I did, it’s been dealt with. I just wish that he never would have come back into my life again to only have shredded every sense of faith that I had in finding someone.

You know, people don’t always remember the words that people say, but they will always remember the way that you made them feel and he made me feel lower than low more times than not.

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That what does not kill us makes us stronger…You’re a lesson or a blessing, blah, blah, blah… bullshit. You get my point. On the bright side, he didn’t stifle my growth… I did learn a lot from him and will never allow anyone to come into my life again and just start spewing madness like this. Unless their actions match their words, I will not concede to them. I love that I was able to trust again, I did adore him, when we were together, we got along so well, the way he looked at me was so sweet and his smile matched, but in the end, his actions never matched his words. I don’t blame him for everything, but I think that moving forward when looking for love, you need to go all in, but bring your brain with you and be careful who you trust and who you give your heart to. People should earn this right to be so valuable in your life…it shouldn’t just be given freely. I wish him the best in life, but have said my peace with it. He broke not only my heart, but my spirit. I did love him though and still do.

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One Day, someone will walk into your life…

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After the drama of being lied to by, “The Namechanger”, you can imagine my view on dating again, especially via online methods were skewed completely, as I had just managed to have one of those awful experiences where it becomes urban legend and you only hear in bar’s over too many drinks at a Happy Hour with your girlfriends…dating nightmares, men to be suspicious of and dating drama…haha.. all of them were me, in a nutshell. I was for a brief moment, calm…processing it, then I was indifferent, then I managed to get truly upset and started second guessing my own actions to have not noticed that I was being lied to in multiple areas.

Moving forward, we must change the rules:

  1. More than one photo is a must
  2. Proof of a real name on an email (yes, this too can be faked).
  3. Proof on where they work, live and etc. (Do some research on LinkedIn and etc.)
  4. Meet friends; ask more about their background, lifestyles and etc.

I continued to be “open” to online dating, and so walks in “The Good Guy”… He was such a good guy, that he still makes me laugh and smile when I think of him, but it was not good timing on my part, nor was I ready to date quite yet and even though I would want us to work out because I did enjoy his company, we just weren’t compatible.

He was one of those people who doesn’t own a TV and is very proud of the fact that he hasn’t watched a sitcom or owned a TV in over most of his life. I have a DVR and watch and record more series than he’s heard of, I keep my TV on all of the time, and even when working…I cannot live without watching my TV. I should tell you that I not only have a TV, I have a SMART TV with 3D, Internet and subscribe to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Amazon & Netflix and actively watch all of them.

He’s always in a triathlon, he is divorced, and he’s into outdoors to the extent that I’m not, but it all sounds amazingly exciting. I do Pilates, yoga and am not a runner. I surf on the sofa.

We had a few great dates and ultimately, after I returned from a trip to Cabo, he met me after running a triathlon, then plying in a tennis tournament, to walk The Met Museum with me, then drinks, and dinner. At the time, I was trying to battle a virus that I’d returned with from Cabo, which was making me extremely sick. Because he lived so far away, I did allow him to sleep over, but it was just sleep (seriously). Then, he woke me up at 6am, then at 7:30am wanting to go take a brisk walk along the river, find some coffee, croissants and etc. Mind you, I am not a morning person. So, this was not sealing the deal here. I need someone to coax me out of bed, fill me with coffee and then, send me on my way.

I wished on some level that I could be the girl who would be able to compliment him for who he was and yet, I knew I couldn’t. So it faded away and all ended with no more contact. I think that we’re still connected on some social media outlet, I did see him once while walking through Grand Central and he was speaking with someone else and didn’t see me, which was strange enough…who runs into anyone in Grand Central at rush hour?

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With this, I had kept my online dating profile up, but was about to take it down when I received an odd email that morning on my way to work on the Metro North train and read it… It read, “I wanted to reach out to you once again, as I never received any reply from my first email and there was no photo posted of me, as I need to be discreet with my job. However, I have a few up now and would like to meet you and learn more about you…. Cheers,”

Hmm… He was handsome, british (hmm..love the accent), my age..(hopefully, this was true), his online profile name had the word, “HONEST” in it (could this be a sign?), and so I replied something like, “Many apologies, I was about to remove my online profile when I saw this. However, I do not recall seeing an email from you before, but if there was not a photo attached, generally, I will erase it… Sorry? Heather”

He initiated a dialogue back and forth for the next week it seemed via chatting and email’s learning about one another and flirting innocently, maybe two weeks until he sent me one on a Saturday asking if I would like to meet him or available for a drink that week, preferably on Wednesday evening. I decided to accept, but had thought nothing much about it. As I’d resolved myself to no more piss poor dating scenario’s, all would be me as a guy going in as a drinking buddy…laughs and a good time, but not thinking about it being something romantic, as that would likely just break my heart again, or possibly just kill what hope that I had left inside me. At this point in my life, I had become a vulnerable, emotional woman and had found myself for the first time in my life wanting to find a partner.

In walks in, “The Diplomat…

Let the Dating games begin…In the game, “Pin the tail on the Donkey.. Who is the Ass?”

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After a grueling few months of work, no dating, a 10 day holiday with my mother… I decided to put myself back out there on the market… not the job market, the dating market…

Do you remember playing, “Pin the tail on the Donkey” as a kid?  Online dating is kind of like that, but imagine a blend of Craigslist.com, Amazon.com & EBay.com without the review’s and it is a crapshoot on the photos.

My online dating rules  of mine have always been:

  1. They MUST have more than one photo. No excuses.
  2. Body shot photos are an automatic disqualification
  3. They must be local, must text, speak with and meet in a timely manner in a public place.
  4. People looking for pen pals or wanting to immediately send you dirty photos are automatically deleted/blocked.

So, I managed to post my profile, and the process begins… I get contacted by a guy who lives in NY, is within a few years of my age, yet younger, has 3 photos posted and seems cute. One of the photos is of his body clothed with a dog. We exchange emails, chat, text, and we even speak on the phone before he asked me out on a Friday night to meet. His name is Rob.

So, I end up meeting Rob at a local bar on my street, when I walk there.. I’m nervous because I hope that I will recognize him upon sight. Wishing for the best, I was walking up and I see a cute blonde guy smoking out front and he sees me, but doesn’t say anything…(damn). I keep walking into the long, dark bar and out of nowhere a guy that I never would’ve recognized as the guy in the photo. He greets me with a huge hug and “Hello Heather! ”Can I get you a drink?” Umm…WTF? Who is the guy in front of me?!

I’m still stifled and sitting there taking it all in, ask for a beer and staring at him trying to find a resemblance to the photo’s in the online dating ad. It’s not that he’s unattractive, but he’s not the same guy..Or the photos are old or something. He’s about 6ft tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, fit, and funny…he is telling me jokes and we start people watching because there is Karaoke at the bar where we meet and people are drunk, dancing everywhere, and it’s something of a show to watch. Hilarious…I finally let my guard down, but trying to figure out if I can leave.. There is no way out without getting by him. I cannot even go to the restroom and escape.. Ugh. I’m going with the attitude that, “I’m going to make the most of it!”….. “GO ALL IN or GO HOME!” and I couldn’t go home.. So, the adventure begins with Rob.

The evening ended up going really well, we actually ended up having a great time, he managed to talk his way back to my apartment and after much wine and conversation… slept over…ummm, yeah.. That too.

I woke up to having a man cuddling with me, kissing on me and asking me to lunch. I took his hand, kissed him back, and accepted his lunch invitation.

Let the games begin… In the game, “Pin the tail on the Donkey.. Who is the Ass?”

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