Happy Easter! And updates...

This is going to be a bit all over the place.  I haven't posted in a while and want to give updates on a few things.

I finished my Leadership program!  Yay!!! Six months did seem to go by quickly.  Such a blessing to go right into that program from my breakup with S.  I made some major shifts in awareness of patterns in my life and am working on changing those patterns, including not abandoning myself and staying aware of my needs when I'm working and in social situations.  And not "crashing into unconsciousness" when get home and overeating.  I'm exchanging career counseling for health coaching with one of my cohorts in the program, K (he's so sweet and very attractive - and young and engaged with a baby on the way :), which is exactly what I need and such great serendipity.

Also, I had my first Social Change Theatre Troupe meeting yesterday!  There were four of us and we did several theatre activities together and THREE of us led them!  This is so amazing to me because I've always longed to be part of a group in which others could lead, and it didn't always fall to me as it has in the past.  Woohoo!  The downside is that two of these folks are limited in their time commitment... but they still want to be involved and I'm going to continue reaching out to others and plan on meeting monthly to start with.

In other good news, I will have lots of work this summer!  Part of me wishes I could just take the summer off (I do have a couple trips planned), but I need to keep the money coming in and am grateful that we can actually work more hours than normal in the summer.  Maybe this will allow me to actually build a more solid reserve.  My financial aid is clamoring to begin payments, but I'm hoping I can defer a bit longer and will find out about that tomorrow.  I didn't get called in for an interview with one of the jobs I applied for - I didn't really expect it since I applied last minute and I know a lot of people were going for the job.  I'm still waiting to hear about the full-time job at the college where I work now but the situation is similar with lots of more experienced folks also having applied.  A co-worker told me of a few more open positions yesterday so I plan to check them out.

On a related note, I find it really interesting that most people I've talked to say that the most important thing in single parenting is having flexibility and TIME, not money.  Did I already talk about that here?  Not that I'm pursuing that track right now, but thinking of the future... And also, flexibility and time is just a general indicator of happiness.  I'd like to continue to build my career counseling clients (I have two right now) and continue my activism work.  That said, part of me is a bit torn about starting a full-time counseling gig... but I'm ready for a greater abundance of cash flow and life choices and am open to how that might happen.  Do any of you have advice based on your own experiences?

As far as I know, I will still need to move in July... my theatre friends who were here yesterday mentioned a place opening up in their building so I am going to follow up on that.  It would be so wonderful to live near close friends, and I have other friends in that neighborhood, as well.

Happy Easter to Everyone!!!  Hope you get some treats today.  I'm going dancing and then was invited last minute to a friend's house for dinner.  There will be a few little kiddos there, so that will be fun.  No hot dates lately, but an attractive Latino man expressed interest in me yesterday online. :)


My Discernment is Unreliable

I saw my counselor today; the same one S and I were seeing when we were together.  It felt great to share some residual feelings I had from when S and I were stuck and fighting, as well as the final rounds of processing we did and insights we had.

Two of the main ones that I don't think I shared here were that:  One,  I agreed with S that, yes, I do have an edge around being sympathetic when my partner is whining or being pitiful (ok those are totally judgmental words showing my lack of sympathy. ha).  I want to grow in this area and be "softer" and more responsive and loving when my partner is feeling small. Two, at a certain point a few months before we broke up, he GAVE up and, when we were fighting, he wasn't coming from a place of love and trying to reconnect. He was just fighting, and this felt so painful and crazy-making.

I'm well over the relationship and moved on, but it was good to share these insights with someone who knows us both and is compassionate.

Looking ahead, we talked about some initial guidelines to follow as I am dating and getting closer to someone, to help me discern if they are available and capable of the type of relationship and intimacy I want.  She mentioned that feeling "familiar" is different than feeling "comfortable," and that we can feel a person or situation is familiar when it resembles a situation from childhood, even if that situation carried anxiety or insecurity.  Concrete guidelines I might use to reflect on a new dating relationship might include asking the following questions:
  • Can I be myself?  Do I feel comfortable expressing the different parts of who I am?
  • Does he want me to "shine"?  Is he excited about, and supportive of, my success and development?
  • Does the relationship feel mutual? Is he meeting me in the middle or showing willingness to try?  Is he willing to work with me to meet my needs within the relationship, as well as his own?
  • When we "fight" or when he is expressing unhappiness with me or something I did, is there a sense that underneath it all he cares about/loves me and wants to get through the difficulty and return to feeling close?
It feels good to have initial guidelines I can use to back up my own decision-making process, which to be honest, I don't completely trust.  I am afraid of ending up in a painful and loveless relationship for any length of time again.  I don't think I ever could, with the consciousness I have now about how that happened with S - including my coping mechanism of shutting down emotionally, which I think contributed to our being stuck as long as we were.  I still feel some fear and shakiness around it, however, and so appreciate having some concrete "checks and balances."