Beginnings, Middles, Ends…
For my entire adult life until like April of this year, I was ashamed of my sparse dating experience. I felt my shame was evident to everyone else, despite my never telling anyone in person. I felt safe in the anonymous false comfort of Reddit and other message boards. Now, I think: Fuck it. It is what it is. I’ve come to terms with it. I can’t change the past, and I’m not starting from zero. I do have experience and knowledge about relationships and dating. The few times I have been in the dating pool, I’ve learned each time. In the past year, I’ve grown so much; it’s like I got a college degree in that stuff.
But ultimately, a degree is an ending and a starting point. The whole point of learning anything is to use that information in the world. Though I’ve changed for the better, I’m still afraid. Afraid of rejection. I’m worried I’m not enough. Last month, I paid for a month of Tinder and Bumble and did not have much luck. I’ve gotten a handful of matches, but only one conversation went somewhere with a natural person. Fucking catfish.
Which, was when I told her that I had met someone (the catfish before I figured it out) and wished her luck. I got a fantastic response back, which was heartwarming. I’m not sure I want to reconnect yet… My heart needs to rest.
I feel my dating profile might need improvement. Therefore, I have room to improve as a person and man. Thanks to stuff easing up, I can go out and do activities in person with vaccinated people. Online dating is ruthless with men because we outnumber women by a ratio of 2-3 to 1… So you need to stand out to get noticed. Finally, I can have fun and get pictures by living life for the sake of it.
I have a day left on Tinder premium and it feels like all the women are blending into the same person… Highly active who lives outdoors outside of work, drinks, doesn’t want a hookup while having multiple pictures with cleavage or lingerie , has a blank profile, lists their instagram, their dog is their baby (To be clear, I like dogs. but the obsession and pictures they choose with their dogs is unsettling.). The worst is when they match after I like them then never respond.
Technically I’m in the middle of my dating journey, and that’s enough. I assumed I would have this stuff figured out by now at 35…
Everyone starts somewhere. I’m in the process of figuring it out.
I feel I’ve entered a transition period in my life. As of last week, I’m fully vaccinated, have been at my job for a month, and thriving, and things are starting to open up again. While the CDC lifted the mask mandate for vaccinated people, I will continue to wear a mask until 80% of the US population is vaccinated. This year has taught me that you can’t trust people to do the right thing in America. The pandemic isn’t over, folks. Be safe for the children waiting to be vaccinated and those who are medically vulnerable. Please, Get the covid 19 vaccine, folks.
It feels strange emerging into the post-pandemic world as a privileged vaccinated person. I do want to see friends again, but still paranoid about getting covid-19 from other people. Even if we’re both vaccinated. While I’m treated for the virus, I haven’t recovered from the side effects of PTSD from the pandemic. I can thank my past recovery from PTSD for this. Without that, I’m not in the dark and can work through each stage of grief.
I’ve had trouble writing posts for the blog as I’ve adjusted to my job. Thankfully, it has a consistent schedule, I am good at the work, I know what to expect every day, and I like my coworkers, but it takes time to adjust to new routines. Sorry for the missed posts and random post times. Things should get back on track soon. It’s been a big adjustment from being unemployed and having time to write to working full-time again.
I’ve been thinking of trying something different with the blog. On the about me page, I said that I wanted to write fiction, publish a novel and a screenplay, and recipes. So far, posts have been heavy on my life, and I need to write about something different. Those things were put aside in 2020 because I needed to work through the difficult things in my life. In this new stable period of life, it feels like the right time to work on those again, which seems to be a theme in life right now.
I had my final therapy appointment this week, meeting my therapist for the first time, for the last time, in person. All therapy appointments for the past year plus have been over zoom. On my desktop screen for a good part of the pandemic 2020, then on zoom through my cellphone screen. Fourteen months have been working together during the pandemic over the internet.
We met at a park after work. It was warm and sunny, and many people were on the lake side Green Lake path. It was the first time I’d walked along that park, and it was lovely. Most people were still wearing masks, and it felt like I was baring cleavage by not wearing a mask, despite being vaccinated. Having an outside therapy appointment was a little weird, but okay for a final meeting. It reviewed our time together, how far I’ve come, and where we are going. It was nice to hug her as we met and left to go our ways. I said “Thank You” one last time. I’ll forever be grateful to her. Thanks to her, I was able to trust therapists. I was able to experience for myself that therapy does work. I was not terrified that she would leave out of the blue. Unlike doctors or any other specialists, you can’t change them often. You need to trust that your therapist will be with you working on your issues for an extended period—usually, several months for each thing after you’ve built trust.
I slowly realize that our time working together is over. All this happened at a good time. It felt like a natural transition. We were in a spot where I was figuring out what to work on next in therapy.
I am in a great place in life because I chose to continue. And I gave therapy one more try… Despite being let down or heartbroken in my quest to get it. I’m not used to feeling proud of myself. I still feel weird expressing myself and who I am. I have things to work on and will work on for the rest of my life, as everyone does.
I may have been unemployed and looking for employment, but my actual job last year was as a person in therapy, showing up and doing the work. I didn’t waste the precious time I had last year.
It was a bittersweet end. Once again, I’m without a therapist. I’m so grateful that I had her help during this time. I hit rock bottom last year, and the pandemic worsened my recovery. I’m here today, better than I’ve been in years because of therapy. That said, I have quite a bit to work on myself.
This sucks because I feel isolated again. As an introvert, I am comfortable being by myself and doing things. But I do need a connection with others. I don’t feel like there is anyone I can talk to staff about emotionally. Because of the pandemic, it feels like all my friends are online. I’m limited in what I can share with my family. Not everyone is safe to share emotional or personal things with. Or it’s a spectrum, and maybe the things that bother them are things they don’t have the professional training to help with. I kind of trust myself and working on this. It takes me a long time to trust people. By default, I don’t trust people.
It comes to me that writing this is ironic because I’m being vulnerable as I write this.
I’m in insurance limbo again. While I’ll have health insurance with my job, I don’t know what the plan covers. I’ll likely have to pay for meds and appointments with the plan, because it’s a private plan. Worse than WA Applecare. Then I have to find a therapist who offers appointments after or before work, then, a therapist I click with. 🙄 Man I hate American healthcare.
Maybe not the final therapy appointment with my (previous 🙁) therapist, but this is an ending.
Betty the chicken died in the night on May 9th. She was 6 years old.
I wrote on Facebook:
Looks like Betty the chicken doesn’t have much longer. I had to pick her up from the run outside the coop, and place her inside for the night. The younger chickens were perched inside ready to sleep. Poor old girl couldn’t make it. I think she knows, too, from the look in her eyes.
I said goodbye that night. I told her she was a good chicken and I liked living with her.
Betty would hang out with us outside whenever my mother or I sat outside on the deck. Or the chickens would follow me inside as I took out the trash and recycling. Chickens are excellent companions. Rest in peace, Betty.
Mom buried her in the dirt in the coop area. She asked if I wanted to be there, but I declined. I had my time with her the previous night.
I’m looking forward to getting a haircut and makeover. My hair and beard are out of control 😅. It’ll feel good to get a professional cut.
I wonder if I over share with these posts… Or the right amount to find people to connect with?
My healing journey from now moves from the mental space to the physical space.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and journey. I hope you continue to make progress.
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Thanks for reading! I appreciate it!
Now that was a really nice, honest post. There is nothing wrong with being “vulnerable” in your writing if it helps you feel better. 🙂
Also, our friends can sometimes act as great therapists for life. 😇
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Thanks Mia Winhertt! Blogging about vulnerability can feel isolating at times, so it’s nice to see that you connect with it! I guess I should ask my current friends if they’d be open to talking about that stuff. 🙂
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Sure! And otherwise, you always have the WordPress community to stand by you! 🙂
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