Unfinished Business

Hello, Ladies and Gents.

Thank you all for stopping by to read my post. I have a lot to say so as I type this, I’m trying to organize my thoughts, which (if you know me) you know is no easy feat for me. Additionally, before I even sat down to write this post, I first had to sit down with my feelings…for weeks.

Let’s start way back at the beginning. I began blogging circa five years ago (give or take) and I’ve definitely said a lot of stuff about a lot of things. I even put blogging to rest more than once and ya’ll were great each time I decided to start back up again.

When I started blogging, I loved it so much. Ideas would run through my head constantly about what I wanted to talk about. And then I started gaining followers and people who refer to themselves as “fans” and that was so surreal to me. I felt like I was connecting in a way with so many people from all over the world and it gave me a sense of purpose especially since I was deemed “unfit for work” due to my Epilepsy not too long before I began blogging. I let you all into my life and shared personal stories with you and it was always my goal to get ya’ll to think a bit more or a bit differently about certain topics and just life in general. I’ve been deeply touched by how many comments I get on here that read like emails and I’ve become friendly with many of you on different social media platforms. When I started blogging, I loved it so much.

Not long after I started blogging, I felt this need to finish writing a novel I had started months before. I felt that I had to do this because it was on my bucket list AND I felt that I owed it to my younger self to write the coming out story that was not there for me when I needed it the most. I wanted to give that to at least ONE other person in this world. I thought if I could touch just ONE life and making coming out a little bit less lonely and/or hard for ONE person than I did what I set out to do. And that is how Taking the Lead was born. That story flowed so naturally for me. And when it was all over, it was well received and I thought for sure that was it and I was totally okay with that. But then I got another idea for a character randomly one day in the supermarket. I was going to name her Taylor and vicariously live through her to see what it might feel like to live a life of one-night stands. And so Something in Return was born. Before I was even finished writing Something in Return, I got an idea on a flight to Florida (I was going to someone’s wedding) about how we’re all connected and that there’s a reason for all of those connections and I wrote down some notes that would eventually become With a Purpose. Shortly after my third book, I started thinking about how much biphopia is in the lesbian community and about how NOT okay I was about that. I wanted to raise some awareness. The idea and characters came immediately and that became Never the Same.

But here’s what you may not know because it took years for me to admit it to myself: I was incredibly unhappy in my personal life for books 2-4. I was able to take the life I wanted it and make it real in my head and live it out vicariously through characters. I got to relive certain experiences and I got live out experiences I had never had. I would just sit down and write. I looked forward to it so much so that I got easily irritated if I couldn’t write on a day I had planned to. I had built up a “fan” base and even more blog followers and even made some friends and it’s because of one of my books that I fell in love with someone. And once I fell in love, I felt a sense of peace inside as if all the happily ever afters I had written about were finally mine to live out. I tried to write, really I did. But I couldn’t. There was no part of me that wanted to escape my reality. There was no part of me that wanted to live through anyone else. I wanted to be me in my life living my life just the way that it was. And it was awesome even though it was trying at times (but that’s life). It was so worth it.

But not all good things are meant to last. And as a way to heal from love lost, I wrote another story. It was the only way I could think of to get closure. And that’s how Wait for It came to life.

Sometime in the following year, I came up with another idea to push boundaries…again and I started my sixth story, Of All the Girls.

Then I fell in love again and I felt motivated to finish what little I had left to tell of that story and just enjoyed my life as it was again. Then something very terrible happened and it became crystal clear to me that I was nowhere near a happily ever after in the situation I was in. The thing was I didn’t know how to actually leave the situation so rather than actually leaving, I starting writing. Every day, I sat down and created a new reality and lived (once again) through characters and Not My Type just poured out of me. Like all of my books, it has its flaws but it’s my most successful book to date.

In the fall of 2018, I had a blip of an idea for another story. I saw someone post something on Facebook and immediately got a character idea. I wrote down some notes, scratched them up and wrote them again. And again. And again. And finally by December, I felt like I had a foundation and I started writing…but it didn’t last long. I kept feeling creatively blocked and I wasn’t sure why because I was mostly feeling really good about my life.

OHHH. Right. Maybe that’s why.

So for weeks, I’ve been struggling internally. I told my readers I was working on an eighth book because I was. I have thousands of words written but I’m exhausted. I don’t get excited to sit down and write. I don’t want to be in this story…I want to be in the story that is my life right now.

I kept asking myself once the idea of writing began to give my anxiety: “is it worth it?” And I kept feeling very unsure because the people-pleaser in me doesn’t want to let my readers down. The part of me that wants people in my life to feel proud of me didn’t want to get that taken away. Would I still get to call myself a writer if I stopped writing? What would that make me? Writing has always given me a sense of purpose so then what would my purpose be if I wasn’t writing. When people say, “What do you do?” then what would I say??? And lastly, there was this part of me that wanted to prove to myself that I could write a story after my last relationship.

But here is the thing, folks. After much sitting and thinking and lots of anxiety, I realized that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. If I were going to prove anything to anyone- I already did. Every time I broke, I got back up. I rebuilt my life. I opened my heart again and again to love and connections and THAT is proving who I am to myself.

I’m passionate about writing (generally speaking) and the words have always naturally poured out of me. Writing never felt like a chore- it felt like a need. I got so much pleasure from writing. I think that is how art should be created- through passion; out of passion…not out of obligation. This is not writer’s block. I repeat: this is NOT writer’s block. I know what my writer’s block feels like and this is a different feeling; a different entity.

I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in my creative life. But I’d be lying to myself and all of you if I said that that particular part of my life still felt true to me because it doesn’t…at least not now. And I’d rather not write at all than write something that feels inauthentic. I won’t do it and I won’t subject readers to that.

When my life fell apart in 2018 and for 11 and a half months, just kept continuing to fall apart, I used ALL of my energy to just try to keep my head above water. And slowly, I rebuilt my life from the most broken it’s ever been and more importantly, I rebuilt myself from the most broken I’ve ever been. I am so much stronger now from that terrible year (aside from getting my fur babies). I know myself in ways I didn’t before. I stand up for myself in ways I never knew how to do before. It might not seem like it but I actually DO give less fucks. I took my life back and I reclaimed myself.

My last birthday wasn’t what I had hoped for but overall, my life is pretty good all things considered. And I want to be present for all of it. I write to ya’ll all of the time encouraging you all to be the main characters in your own story as well as the authors. I encourage you to end chapters when they need to end and to begin new chapters with blind hope when it’s time. I have to do that too.

As a writer, I know when I’m done telling a story because I’ve wrapped everything up and I have nothing left in my heart to say about that particular story or the characters in it. I have a sense of finality that feels very calming and exciting at the same time.

With the project I started that was to be my eighth book, I don’t feel excitement. I don’t feel inspired. I definitely don’t feel like I want to escape anything or live vicariously through others. I don’t feel the passion. If this were a relationship, I would end it.

And you know what? It IS a relationship. And I feel that it’s time for me to step back and let it go. I’m not going to erase it but I’m not going to work on it. I’m going to do something I’ve never done before because it gives me so much anxiety: I’m going to leave something unfinished and I’m going to tell myself that this doesn’t make me a failure. Maybe some business is okay to leave unfinished.

My last relationship taught me SO many lessons but until now I didn’t realize that one of them was that sometimes, things don’t get to finish…at least not in the sense that everything gets wrapped up neatly and there’s a happy ending. Sometimes we don’t get closure. Sometimes stories stop abruptly and we don’t know why. And like many of us in relationships and/or situations we’re in, we try to keep the story going because we’re not quitters, right??? Of course not! So we stay in situations and relationships that aren’t the best for us because we don’t know how to walk away from an unfinished story with peace in our hearts without feeling guilty or like failures, etc etc.

I reached out to an artist friend before writing this post and I asked her, “Will I still be able to call myself a writer if I don’t finish this story?” And she said, “Yes, you are still a writer.”

In my heart, I have always been a writer. I’ve been creatively writing since I was about eleven years old. Short stories, poetry, novels, blog posts, etc. I love writing and I want to keep having a love of writing but what that means for me right now is letting go of it.

I’m in a place in my life right now where writing (including blogging) reminds me of a previous, extremely unhappy version of myself. That version of myself helped me grow and become the version of myself that I am now so she’s a part of me but she’s not me anymore.

If and when I feel moved to write again, I will. But I have to be true to myself. I owe this to myself and I owe it all of you as well. I have to leave this story unfinished and be okay with that.  I’m going to figure out how to convince myself that this doesn’t make me a failure or a disappointment…it simply makes me a person who trusts themselves enough to know the difference between passionate storytelling and forced storytelling and I never ever want to do the latter.

To my readers, I apologize for prematurely announcing my project because there’s a strong chance it won’t ever see the light of day. But I’m not sorry for stopping myself from delivering ya’ll a story that was forced.

I tell you all that I go by some rules and one of them is: if there is a story in your heart, you should tell it.

THIS right here in this moment and in this post is me telling you my story. The story of how many stories I’ve written and how many characters I’ve brought to life and all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. This is the story of how I put all of my broken pieces back together to create something more beautiful than any fiction story I could ever tell: my real life.

Perhaps someday, I’ll be back at it. No one knows, right?

But it’s truly time for me to end this chapter of my life…this blog included. I will always have so much to say but I want to start doing that on a more personal level. Ya’ll are welcome to follow me on social media and please know that from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate ALL of your support and encouragement and all the follows and fans and the comments. I hope that what I’ve already created keeps touching people and that at least something I’ve written in a blog after all of these years has resonated with someone. I actually know that it has and I’m so grateful for that.

When I started blogging, I loved it so much. When I started writing romance novels, I loved it so much from the very first book up to the very last word in the seventh book. But that was what feels like a lifetime ago.

This isn’t supposed to be a sad goodbye. I’m actually a little proud of myself for being able to trust myself and to trust that something just doesn’t feel entirely right about writing at this point in my life.

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.

So thank you for being such a huge part of this adventure with me. You will never know how thankful I am for all of you. And I wish you all nothing but happily ever afters.

I’m going to live out some of my real life story…and I hope you all do the same.

Thank you for reading.

Peace,

Michele

 

 

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Sit With Me

Hey Ya’ll! Thanks for stopping by.

So I’ve made it through my birth month. To be perfectly honest, my birthday wasn’t the best birthday ever and disappointing as it was, I dealt with and I refuse to let it set the tone for my new year as a thirty-eight year old woman.

Additionally, we’ve all made it through January, which always feels like a very long month. And now here I am in the early days of February with a whole ton of feels.

Why?

Because I’m closing in on the one year anniversary  of when my life completely fell apart. Both February 14th and the 24th were life-altering days for me in 2018.

It’s strange. Facebook reminded me of what I posted on this day for the past several years. On this day last year, I finished the first draft of my book, Not My Type. And two years ago on this date, I moved in with someone who I never thought wouldn’t be in my life, but things don’t always work out the way we plan, right?

These Facebook memories made me stop for a second. I remembered how proud I was to finish that first draft and I remembered how happy I was on that moving day two years ago. I remember everything about that day.

And in this second that I stopped for to just remember and sit with all the feelings that washed over me, I deleted all but one of my dating apps even if it’s just for a few days. Let me make this clear: I’m ready to be with a person. My heart has been open for quite some time now, I’ve just not had much luck on those apps so far. It’s also not that I’m giving up. I’m definitely not. I like meeting people and having fun and hoping that eventually, I’ll click with someone special in that special way but I’m not rushing anything. I just need to step back for a few and do some extra self-care.

So on Valentine’s Day last year, I realized for sure that my life was not what I thought it was and that all of my intuitive notions that I had been ignoring were actually right on point in the worst way. Then on the 24th, I made the difficult decision to close that chapter of my life because ultimately, it was a mess and I didn’t even know anymore how to even begin to try to piece it back together.

I’m okay at writing love stories and happily ever afters. I’ve yet to find mine but I’ve lived love stories in pieces. And they were some of the best pieces of my life I have. I came across this quote this morning:

“…maybe sometimes it’s riskier not to take a risk. Sometimes all you’re guaranteeing is that things will stay the same.”
― Danny Wallace

And I think it’s a really good way for me to explain to anyone why I made the choices I made for the two people I’ve loved the most in my life thus far…both in being with them and having to say goodbye to them….and I don’t regret loving these people for a second even if it means that a part of me will always be a part of them. I’m okay with that.

I think sometimes when we hear a certain song or smell a certain smell or come across an old picture, it’s important to pause and just remember. I think it’s okay if we cry or smile or both. It’s okay to feel whatever it is that we feel. I think what’s most important is that we give ourselves permission to feel. Sometimes when people hurt us or we have hurt people or for whatever reason a memory of a person or a time brings up a feeling, we immediately get frustrated with ourselves for letting part of our past upset us in the present but we’re only human. And memories are powerful. Sometimes we can remember something so clearly it’s as if it’s right there in front of us but it’s not. And sometimes when that happens and we’re faced with the reality that it’s only a memory, it’s painful and sometimes it’s sad.

I try hard to practice sitting with my feelings. Whether I have a case of the feels because of a memory or because of what is actually having in my present life. Feelings are sometimes uncomfortable. Thing about all the types of feelings we experience as humans. A crap ton of them are unpleasant and it’s totally human to NOT want to feel them or to even try to avoid them: sadness, pain, grief, regret, anger, loneliness, anxiety, stress.

But just because we don’t want to feel them, it doesn’t mean that avoiding them is the healthiest thing either. I can only speak for myself but when I try to avoid these bad feels and carry on as if they’re not there, eventually they come back to bite me in the ass and I have a legit breakdown and become a hot mess. IF, however, I recognize a bad feeling and decide to sit with it and try to figure out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling and just accept it and trust that it will pass, I’m better for it. This sometimes means spending an hour or a day crying or grieving or remembering or putting those feelings/that feeling into a project or just being completely quiet. The key here is to accept that we feel a certain way instead of running from it or trying to suppress it because in the long run, those aren’t super helpful coping skills. I would know. You’re just gonna have to trust me on that.

And sometimes it’s in these moments when we’re sitting with our feelings that we want someone to sit with us.

When I’m hurting and I want to share that with someone, I don’t always want them to try to make it better. And I definitely don’t want unsolicited advice. Sometimes I just need to know that someone is there; sitting with me while I sit with all that I’m sitting with.

The more I thought about this- how comforting it can be to know that someone is sitting with me and how sometimes that might be the only thing someone needs from me; is just sit with them, I began to think about relationships in general and dating and dating apps and that’s what happens with my mind sometimes: it snowballs.

I match up with people sometimes on these apps and get to chat with them for a bit (if I’m lucky) and often, I get to find out that they aren’t sure what they want from a person and/or that they’re not actually even ready to date. That’s fair. I’ve learned people join these apps for all kinds of reasons: for a hookup, a friends with benefits, a unicorn (someone who’s willing to participate in a threesome), to just see what the app is all about (curiosity), for friends, for a relationship, for a rebound, and that list goes on.  I have found out the hard way that the best thing for me to do on these apps is 1. know what I want and (possibly more importantly) what I don’t want and 2. Let people know that I’m in a place in my life where I can meet them wherever they’re at…I can sit with them.

As mentioned above, I’m not wanting to rush into anything that doesn’t come organically and I’m also not going to turn my back on a potential good time and/or friend so I can actually be a lot of things to a lot of people and it’s kind of a cool feeling. It took me a year to get here but after lots of sitting with my own feelings and learning and growing along the way, I’m able to sit with other people’s feelings as well.

But again, I learned this the way I learn most things: the hard way. Back in the summer, I matched with someone who is so cool and I got way too excited and kind of scared her away when what she really needed was someone to just sit with her and go with the flow. At that time, I was still (unknowingly) traumatized by all the losses I had suffered all in one moment and I was SO scared to lose again; to lose a chance with her that I inadvertently blew my chance anyway.  I still shake my head at myself for that sometimes even though it’s been months. Le sigh.

So here I am today looking at the month of February and remembering what last February was like. I’m sitting with those feelings of loss and reminding myself that I let go a year ago and I just have to keep letting go but also accept that a part of me might always hurt. Unfortunately in life, we don’t always get closure and it’s unsettling and it makes completely letting go THAT much harder but it’s just one more thing we have to learn to sit with and accept.

You- if you’re out there reading this, I still remember everything and I’m not mad. I was never mad. I was just heartbroken. I think of you often and am always wishing the best for you. I do miss you at times and I will always carry you in my heart. A part of me will always love you and I’m really grateful that our worlds collided. I’m a better person because of you and everything you taught me whether it was during the best of our time together or the worst of it. But of all the feels I feel when I think of you, the strongest one is still a good one; it’s still love. I just want you to know that. I hope you’re well.

A lot of what I touched on in this blog- sitting with feelings, sitting with people, sitting with ourselves, speaking to someone who may or may not be reading/listening, I needed to revisit because sometimes when I write it out loud, it’s a stronger reminder that I’m going to be okay. This moment will pass and eventually, I’ll be back on those apps so so ready to be my best self for me and for someone else. And all of you…whatever you’re going through, wherever you are, you’re going to be okay too. It might not feel that way but you will be. Just sit with it, accept it and you’ll know when it’s time to stand back up. And when you do, you’ll be better for it.

In my current work in progress, I’m trying to touch upon a lot of themes more than ever- that we can’t run from what we don’t want and we can’t run from what we want either. We do that as humans too: we run from the things and the people we want the most for (basically) the same reasons we run from the things and people we don’t want: fear. Fear of all the feelings, good and/or bad…even just the idea of the feels and we’re hotfooting it in the other direction. It’s cool…it’s human. Just remember that you can’t run forever and sometimes, it’s okay to be still and just let it all unfold because it will always unfold the way it’s supposed to. Trust the process, ya’ll. Trust the process. Just be there for it. Be present.

Maybe next time I blog, I’ll share with you some more info on my eighth project. I recently suffered a creative block but it’s slowly going away. That said, I’m not as far along as I thought I would be but I’m still doing it. I have a story to tell.

Happy February.

Thanks for reading.

Peace,

Michele

 

 

Types, Labels, and Types of Labels

Hey Everyone!

So it’s January 24th 2019 and that means that my birthday is only a few days away!! Woot! Now I’m not super excited about the way thirty-eight sounds, BUT I’m going to embrace the hell out of this new year/new age because I’ve somehow managed to make it this and I think I deserve it. Granted, I’m biased but whatever.

Part of this journey for me included (what feels like) my never-ending search to find women to date or even just have A date with (you know what I mean), but it’s rough out there.

And since I started talking/writing more openly about the adventures (or lack thereof) in my romantic life, people have started to ask me some questions.  A lot of questions actually. So I’ve spent some time recently chatting with people about types, labels and my type. Here goes. Let’s dive in.

Recently, I came across a profile that included a chart and on that chart was a range of “types” where “high femme” was on one end of the spectrum and “stone butch” was on the other. The owner of this profile asked that people only message her if they fell somewhere very specific on this spectrum. This chart p*ssed me off so hard so I did what anyone would do: I posted it to Facebook to see what other people would say. I did NOT, however, mention that I found this chart in combination with this woman’s request very irritating because I wanted people to look at it objectively. It was really interesting. Some of my Facebook friends just thought it was funny and a large portion of them were trying to figure out where they fell on the spectrum. Only a very small amount of people thought something wasn’t quite cool with this chart and only ONE person was irritated with this chart in the same way I was and for the same reasons. See,  it’s totally fine (and normal) to have a type. What I don’t think is okay is asking people to label themselves to see if their label of themselves matches up with how you would label them to determine if they are someone you’d want to talk to??????????????????

Furthermore, this chart ticked me off especially in the context it was being used in because I hate labels. For the better half of my life, people label me. They see the short hair and lack of “girly” clothing and automatically label me as butch. Let me say this real loud so that the people in the back can hear me: I’M NOT BUTCH!!!!!!!!

There is nothing wrong with being butch. I just don’t identify as one. In fact, the people who REALLY know me think that I’m actually very very far from being butch. What exactly IS being butch? Well, see, that’s the problem with labels…none of them are entirely accurate and I really think that each individual has the right to label (or not label) themselves rather than us doing it for each other/to each other…because we could be wrong.

I hate labeling myself. If I HAD to pick a type, I’m not even sure which one I’d pick. I’m just me. Additionally, I think that these labels go beyond physical appearance. I think they include attitude and how a person carries themselves, how they behave, etc, etc. It’s way more complicated than dresses versus pants or short hair versus long hair.

So can we all just try to do a huge favor to one another? Can we please stop labeling each other and/or asking people to label themselves? That would be great. Thanks.

Next up: sexuality.

It’s time, ladies and gents. I’m real tired of the fact that so many women who do NOT identify as a lesbian feel extremely nervous to tell me that they are bisexual or pansexual or something else that is not “full-on” gay. And the saddest part of this is that their fear IS founded. There is a huge amount of biphobia and it’s rampant in the lesbian community. Let me make this super clear in case you never read my book, Never the Same, or anything else I’ve written: I LOVE women. I don’t care if they identify as bisexual or pansexual or heteroflexible or whatever the other terms are. If they are a woman and they are into me and I’m into them: what’s the problem? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So for those of you who still have some questions, let me make this real easy for you: bisexuality is a real thing. If you identify as a lesbian and you disagree with this and/or are “skeptical” of dating women who identify as anything other than “lesbian” than you should probably check yourself. Again, totally okay to have preferences but literally no reason to hate on other people or make other people feel invisible…okay? Okay.

Next up: my type.

People keep asking me what my type is. For a long time I refused to admit to myself that I have a type but I actually do. So what’s my type? I tend to be attracted to women who are more feminine than I am but not “high femme.” I’m a sucker for a woman who can rock both a dress and sweatpants. A woman who can one day put on makeup and do her hair all fancy and the next day, wear a hat or a messy bun and no makeup at all- THAT is attractive to me. Women in their pajamas with messy hair and glasses are totally my weakness. I’ve also been told that I have a mom fetish. I’m not exactly sure if I agree with this but I DO tend to be attracted to moms. Why? There is something really sexy to me about a mom who is a good mom. Not just any mom but the kind of mom who puts her children above everything else: including me. When I swipe right on moms or date them, I expect to NOT be number one or two on these moms’ priority list. I’m anticipating that they put their children first and then themselves and then if I’m lucky- me. I can totally deal with coming in third if children are involved. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides good moms are usually naturally nurturing, which is hot AND they have that super human mom strength: hot. They also know how to get shit done, which also a huge appeal. And their bodies have literally done one of the greatest things ever: given birth. How cool is that? I think that’s amazing. So yeah, I guess moms do it for me.

Moving on, I’ve also been called a ‘cougar.’ Now for those of you who don’t know what this means, it means that I like younger women. I would love to argue, but there is some truth to that. Now to be completely honest, it would be ideal if I found someone around my own age to date because you can’t beat the fact that you both grew up around the same time and understand each other’s cultural references and such. That sh*t is priceless. Unfortunately, I have found that a lot of women my age look at the fact that I don’t have a lot of money and can’t drive and are immediately turned off. They assume I can’t be their equal and/or that I will have nothing to contribute to a relationship. They also don’t ever give me a chance to find out that I actually have a lot to contribute, but that’s their loss, right? However, younger women tend to be a lot more open-minded about this. Why? I have no idea but they are and that’s cool to me.

Lastly, a lot of people ask me what physical parts of a woman I like best and when I ask them to elaborate, they ask me things like “do you like big boobs?” or “do you like big butts” or something like that. Me: rolls eyes.

Truth be told, I’m not a body parts person. I’m drawn to eyes and smiles and voices and laughs and smells. Yes, it’s THAT simple. A woman who is just herself and comfortable in her own skin is crazy attractive to me.

So I hope that this post answers a lot of the questions I’ve recently been bombarded with since I started being more open about being on dating apps and sites. And it’s cool…if you have questions, you can totally ask and if I feel like answering, I will.

Here’s the thing though, I’m days away from 38 if I don’t find a person soon, I’m seriously going to consider going on petfinder to get more cats and just call it a day.

This is Michele signing out from my last blog post as a 37 year old woman. And I just might have something already lined up to share with ya’ll for when I’m older and wiser…in a few days…when I’m 38.

Dear 37, peace out.

Thanks for reading!

Peace,

Michele

Wait! I Wrote This For You

Hello! Welcome to my ramble.

So today is January 6th, 2019 and this is my first blog post of 2019. I’m six days deep into my birth month…yes, that’s still a thing for me. I have super mixed feelings about turning thirty-eight. Maybe it’s societal expectations, maybe it’s my own thing but I really thought I would’ve been married about…oh, let’s see…ten years AGO. But that never happened and I’d like to think that that’s for a reason. But it’s not like I can rewind my life and even if I could, there are very few things I would change. So, here I am…about to be thirty-eight and I couldn’t be MORE single if I tried, buuut I do have a family of fur babies and they’re the best.

Being thirty-seven was a shit show for me because 2018 was a shit show for me. But I’m a better person for it. Seriously. Even since mid-December, I’ve been working really hard to focus on where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going and what I want.

To better understand what I’m going to refer to Michele: version 3.8, we have to go back a bit to November…more specifically, the day I got my first tattoos. Yes, plural. I got my first three tattoos ever in one shot.

I have a fairly high pain tolerance so I wasn’t scared and it’s been on my bucket list to get at least one tattoo for quite sometime now and I was gifted the opportunity and financial means to do this and so I did.

The experience of getting inked was extremely emotional for me and it was one of those pivotal moments in my life. I went alone so the experience was mine and mine alone; shared only with the tattoo artist. None of my tattoos were influenced by anyone but me. They are not tied to a relationship or a person; nothing. They are symbolic of my life and my experiences and the things that have helped me along my journey.

As you all know, I have struggled with my body since I was about sixteen years old. And even though I’m closing in on seven years in recovery from an eating disorder, that doesn’t mean I’ve mastered loving my body and accepting it 100 percent- that’s a fight I choose to fight every day. But after I got my tattoos, I finally had something I liked to see when I looked in the mirror: the art on my body. It is, of course, a life goal to appreciate the art that IS my body but I’m not there year yet. Additionally, this experience of getting tattoos was empowering because this body I have now that has designs on it…well, no one has ever hurt this body. Including me. My tattoos (to me) are like a literal and figurative representation of a rebirth; a brand new beginning, permanent reminders of my life story so far and why I have to keep going. And these are all of the reasons why my tattoos mean so much to me.

Moving on. Ever since I moved into a place where I feel more safe and more at home, I’ve been continuing to rebuild myself and my life. I’ve been continuing to challenge my eating disorder voice. I’ve been continuing to practice different types of self-care. You might not think this because I’m on social media so much and don’t work a “real job” but I’m one of those people that has trouble relaxing. I can sit down and give my full attention to a show or a movie or a book, but I need to feel productive every day in some way. I clean a lot, my laundry is always done, the dishes are always done, the litter box is always clean, I pay the bills, I keep up with life stuff like a boss and I’m constantly making “to-do” lists and actually doing the things on the list. I’ve always been the person who gets shit done so job or no job, I’m still like that, which makes it real real hard for me to sit still and do nothing all day. I maybe have been able to do this three or four times in the last four years. But yesterday, I felt awful and guess what I did? Nothing. I took a shower and put my sweatpants on and had a movie marathon. It was super uncomfortable at first; that feeling that I wasn’t accomplishing anything but then I realized that I actually WAS accomplishing something: I was taking care of myself. My body needed to rest and I was resting. Also, I can totally see why people do this and/or want to do this regularly. This is growth for me.

My point is, thirty-seven was super hard and I started it with such high hopes and it just kept getting worse. I can’t remember the last time I wanted to give up so much. But I didn’t. I stayed the course and I’m so glad that I did.

So this blog post is about you. You stole from me and lied to me and crushed my heart with your words and your actions. Your behavior crushed my spirit and encouraged me to build walls and become less trustful and more cynical. I cried for you. I cried because of you. But you don’t get anymore of my tears. Make no mistake- I loved you and I forgive you, but I won’t forget a thing. And this is the last time I write something for you.

And this blog is about you. And you. And you. You left me there, waiting. I waited for days, for hours, for months. I thought you saw something in me that others didn’t: me. But you never arrived. And something in me still waited; still hoped; still wanted you to prove me wrong, but you didn’t. You still never came. And I wrote to you and you and you and this is the last time I write something for you.

And this blog is for you. You said I couldn’t care for another living thing. You said I’d be terrible at it. You said I wasn’t ready. You said I was too selfish. And here I am. I’m one of the best fucking cat moms I know to two of the greatest cats ever. You underestimated me. And I don’t need to explain myself to you anymore. And I certainly don’t need to write anything more to you.

Oh right. And this blog post is for all of you who never gave me a chance. It’s totally your loss. I see that now. Yeah, I’m not writing for ya’ll anymore either.

And this blog is for you, and you and you and all of you who stood beside me. You stood beside me literally holding my hand and you stood beside me from halfway across the world. You stood beside me in different time zones. You stood beside me for a year, for a phone call, for the length of a movie, for the length of a song, for the length of one of my books. And I will try my best to keep writing for you so long as I have ideas.

And this blog is about you and you and you and all of you who have been hurt and live with a voice inside of your head and your heart that whispers, “you are not good enough,” or “you don’t deserve good things” or “you will fail” or “you will disappoint” and so on and so on. Stop. Listening. To. Those. Voices. Just stop. Stand with me in this space and just be uncomfortable but don’t run. Don’t run because I could love you and you could love me back. Don’t run because we could be great friends. Don’t run because we could be there for each other. Don’t run because I’m a good person and so are you and we deserve to have good people in our lives. But it’s a battle you have to fight just like I fight. Be a warrior; be the warrior I know that you are. Pick up the fucking pen and be the author of your own story. You don’t think you deserve a happy ending? Me either so you know what I did? I wrote my own. More than seven times and I keep revising it but I’m writing it even when you can’t read it- I’m working on it. So try writing your happy ending and watch what kind of magic happens. Accept love and friendship and watch how amazing people gravitate towards you. I will try to keep writing for you and for me and for us.

This blog is about a new year. It’s for all of you who, like me, are starting over. It’s not going to be easy, but usually the things that are worth it don’t come easily.

This blog is about me letting go of a year on the calendar and a year of my life so that I can make room for and embrace fully all that lies ahead as well as what’s right in front of me right now in this very moment.

Maybe this will be the year I fall in love (if know anyone you want to set me up with, be in touch!). Maybe this will be the year I finally eat a cheeseburger. Maybe this will be the year I meet Jennifer Garner. Maybe this will be the year I finally get a hairstyle that feels completely like me. Maybe this is the year some awesome girl somewhere will confess her crush on me and we’ll make mixed CDs for each other. Maybe this will be the year I make more friends. Maybe this will be the year we meet in person. Maybe this will be the year I learn the Dirty Dancing dance (volunteers, message me). Maybe this will be the year I learn how to relax more. I don’t know what this year has in store for me but I’m interested in finding out. And I really hope it’s far better than last year.

What I do know is that this blog is also about me telling you that I’m working on an eighth book so one thing this year already has going for it is another love story.

You’re welcome 😉

But guess what? I really didn’t think I had another story in me. I never thought I’d write again, but with a new year came a new idea and a renewed (or, cautiously renewing) sense of love.

Thank you to all of you who encouraged me to never put my (hypothetical) pen away…even when I had nothing to type on. You are all amazing.

Happy 2019 (officially).

Thanks for reading.

Peace,

Michele

 

 

 

 

That’s a Wrap

Hey, Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by. It’s December 29th, 2018 and the new year is fast approaching. I wanted to write one last blog post for this year. I know that most of my 2018 posts were either bittersweet or just filled with heartache. I appreciate all of you who have weathered this storm with me. 2018 has certainly been one of THE most difficult years I’ve lived through to date. I’m not sure how I got through it but I certainly didn’t do it alone and I’m real glad it’s coming to a close. That said, it hasn’t all been bad. Let’s take a look…

May I present to you…

“2018: A Summarization”

January 2018: Aside from my birthday, I began 2018 with a mostly skeptical note. But I embraced the age of 37 with two adorable cats (shout out to Morgan and Keagan) and a person I wish the best for. I learned how to create boundaries in relationships. I learned that my intuition is on point more times than not and that I really I needed to start trusting it (a work in progress).

February 2018: I learned that (as patient and forgiving as I am), everyone has a breaking point. I learned what is was like to let go of a life I built along with letting go of a family I was a part of. I felt my world come undone in every way and felt the fear and devastation and grief that comes with the loss and the knowing that I had to start from scratch. I also learned that there is a kindness in people that sometimes comes out when you least expect it but need it most. Even people who hardly know you.

March 2018: I released my 8th lesbian fiction novel, which I’m still not sure how I wrote when I wrote it, but it was my most well-received book thus far. I’m so so grateful to my readers, new and old, and to the people who helped me get Not My Type out to the public. I cried a lot. My eating disorder voice was really really loud and I had to work hard every day to drown it out. I thought about giving up. A lot. And I spent the majority of my days searching for a potential new home obsessively.

April 2018: Still obsessively apartment hunting while also on the lookout for a kitten (or 10) so that I could build a family of my own ON my own. I was also trying to make new friends. Some of these interactions were fleeting, some of them turned out to be false friendships, and some people became true friends/solid acquaintances.

May 2018: Saw some hope on the apartment hunt, got a new bike (Drusilla), and was super thankful for the oncoming warmer weather.

June 2018: Met some more people, some of whom are still in my life but most of them have disappeared. Literally. I accepted that saying that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. At least I thought I had. I went to Michigan to see visit a friend, who I didn’t know at the time, would become the closest to a best friend I’ve had since 2015. Sam, if you’re reading this, I love you and I’m grateful to have you in my life. I also moved into my new home, a studio…a really sketchy studio. Only I didn’t know how sketchy it was at the time. I was going to be living alone with Epilepsy for the first time. I was scared and proud and excited all at once. This was the new life I had worked so hard for since February.

July 2018: Got my family on July 3rd…two kittens, Emma and Finley, who immediately became the loves of my life and in so many ways, my heroes. July was actually okay. I was learning the ropes of what it was to live alone without being able to drive and without a second income helping me out. I thought that eventually, it would get easier. I thought wrong. I also was reminded that I invest way too quickly in people who don’t deserve my investment.

August 2018: Falkor (my most favorite laptop of all my laptops) took a fall and never recovered. I began a search for a new laptop that (I did not know at the time) literally wouldn’t end until December….that’s a long time. My search was stressful and (again) obsessive. My world began to revolve around the buying, trying, and (mostly) returning of laptops along with a few stolen packages and refunds I had to fight for. And as an added bonus, there were all those hours spent on the phone with customer service. I had ONE thing happen this month that gave me a glimmer of hope, but that’s all it ended up being: a glimmer. I was reminded again about the fact that I invest in people far too often and too soon than I should.

September 2018: Still laptop searching. And due to how sketchy I was finding my studio to be along with how scary I was learning it was to live alone while having an increase in seizures, I had to try to figure out what my next step was going to be. Worst case is that I live out my year lease. Best case was a miracle. I hoped for the latter but prepped myself for the former.

October 2018: Started off on a really positive note though I still didn’t have a laptop. I had two glimmers of more positive things, but once again, they were just glimmers. I thought I had an idea for a book but without a laptop, I felt artistically paralyzed. I did enjoy watching my routine Halloween-ish movies. Hooray for portable DVD players! I also found out that there was a chance I could leave my studio by January 2019, possibly sooner if a miracle happened. And again, I hoped for the best but prepared for January. Overall, I was thankful that I didn’t have to spend an entire year in that terrible place.

November 2018: A miracle happened. I found out that by December, I could leave my studio. The only sad part of leaving that sh*t hole was that I had a lot of good memories of watching Emma and Finley grow and learn there. I cried a lot in November. I lost someone I thought was a real friend. I started to lose faith in people in general. I realized I had to lower my expectations in people. This does not mean that I will ever settle for the people I allow in my life, but I knew I could no longer emotionally afford to expect a lot of people because I was just setting myself up for disappointment. I thought about something an ex-girlfriend once told me: that if you don’t expect a lot and then a lot happens, it’s a pleasant surprise but if you expect a lot, you usually don’t get a lot and end up frustrated and disappointed. At the time I thought she was extremely cynical but now I think that’s extremely wise advise. As a typically hopeless romantic and optimist, this new reality was hard to swallow but I knew that in order to survive with less emotional pain than necessary, I had to accept this and begin to learn how to put it into practice. I also experienced one of the best things of the entire year in November (after my cats, of course): I got inked. That probably needs a blog post of its own but yeah, that happened. One more thing I get to cross off my bucket list.

December 2018: I found a laptop to replace Falkor. Finally. I said goodbye to that stupid studio, but also with an odd kind of gratitude for the lessons I learned in the months that I lived there about myself and other people. I was also grateful for all of the experiences I shared there with Emma and Finley. I tried really hard to leave all the people and bad memories that needed letting go of behind in that apartment and on December 14th, I moved out. I also (by some kind of miracle) found a roommate last minute. She seems pretty chill. I feel good about it. For the past two weeks, the cats have been acclimating to our new home (after about 12 hours of initially hiding under the loveseat). We shared our first Christmas together as a family and their first Christmas ever. There’s a chance I started writing again but we shall see. I deleted all but one of my dating app accounts…maybe I’ll try again next year…so like next week. Ha! I’ll feel it out.

Honestly, it’s heartbreaking to constantly be reminded of how many people you CAN’T rely on especially when you thought you could. It’s heartbreaking to lose people whether it’s by choice or necessity or just completely out of your hands. It’s heartbreaking to be reminded over and over again that a promise (to most people) are just words strung together and that actually, very few people know how to follow through…and that so few people believe you when you say that you WILL follow through because you know you will. It’s sad to see how hard it is for people to connect, to communicate, to form bonds, to love, to trust. It’s sad to read the news; to hear about the state of the world and the country. It’s hard. Life is hard. But I’ll quote this line from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as many times as I feel necessary: “Be Brave. Live.”

But all the sad stuff aside, let us remember all the real connections we DO make that end up being awesome. Let us remember all the people in this world who are fighting a good fight whether it’s for their own sobriety and/or well-being or on a much larger scale like the Kitten Lady who saves all the kittens or all the people who are on the front lines fighting for human rights…or that one person who checks in on you when you need it the most, not even knowing that they’re saving you from yourself. Let us remember all the funny movies, the amazing music, all forms of art, the great movies and books and shows, the adorable animal pictures all over the internet, the people we love who DO show up, the small precious things in life, the belly laughs, the hugs, the rainbows, and the fact that when push comes to shove, (for the most part), most of us step up and do the right thing. Deep down, most of us are good. And even though I have less hope than I once did, I’m not hopeless. There is always hope even if it’s a little. If you need help seeing it, please ask for help.

This moment: I’m SO f*cking ready for a new year, which we all know (for me) is on my birthday, but for this particular year, it’s going to be both January 1st AND my birthday. I just really need the sense of a new beginning. I’m already in that state of mind so it will be cool to have it be official on a calendar. I’m ready to practice more trusting my intuition. I’m ready to practice investing in people who show me that they deserve to be invested in. I’m ready to continue practicing being my best self and regularly checking in with myself to see what that means to me and what is required to make that happen. I’m ready to continue to be the best cat mom I can be. I’m ready to be a great roommate. I’m ready to build a life in this new apartment I’m in; my new home. I’m ready to continue to fight against my eating disorder’s voice. I’m ready to continue to embrace life despite my limitations. I’m ready to continue practicing gratitude. I’m ready to try my best to tap into my creative self. I’m ready to meet new people and hopefully make new connections that are special. I’m ready to make new memories. Good memories. I’m ready to keep building on the connections I already have made in my life. I’m ready to have high expectations for myself and only myself and to not settle for anything less than I think I deserve. I’m ready to try harder to let go of my past…not just 2018, but all of it. Not in a way that I’ll forget it because I could never do that nor would I want to and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it, BUT….all that bad stuff (the bad energy, the toxic people, the sad memories, the fact that I will never get closure from some experiences and/or people), I need to let that shit go. It’s too heavy for me to keep carrying around and I don’t want it holding me back from better things. I might have more walls now and lower expectations and bit less hope, but I’m still hopeful and I’m not completely cynical and I’ll fight to stay that way, and therefore, I’m still here with an open heart, ready to give and receive love in all the ways WHEN it feels instincually right. I’ve already donated so many physical belongings to make room in my life for new ones that carry new meaning and new purpose and I’m ready to do that emotionally as well. 2018, I’m letting you go. 2019, I’m ready for you. Bring it.

Happy New Year, Folks. I wish all of you lots of good energy, love, happiness and peace in your lives.

Thanks for reading.

Peace,

Michele

Season 37, Chapter 12

Hey, Everyone.

Thanks for reading this.

As you all know, it’s now December, 2018. This means that next year (literally) is next month and as you also (should) know, January is also my birth month and yes, that’s a thing. And furthermore, ya’ll know that I consider my birthday to be my official new year. So this is it: I am in the final chapter of both 2018 and of being 37.

Gosh. This year was something else. I’m not sure exactly where to begin. I suppose the beginning. I turned 37 on a skeptical note. There was a lot going on in my personal life at the time and I wanted to be optimistic about the new year; about being 37, but I had many reasons not to be and very shortly after my new year started, everything in my life fell apart.

I spent from the end of February until….well, present time, trying to rebuild my life. I learned more than I ever really wanted to know about people and just how careless they can be with the hearts and minds of others. I learned to create boundaries. I learned that I can actually survive after losing what feels like everything. I learned that promises are just words until someone shows you otherwise. I learned to no longer expect people to treat me with the same respect I would treat them with. I grew a little harder even though I’m still sensitive AF. I became a bit more cynical even though I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. And I don’t trust as easily anymore. A lot of you might think these are all great and maybe to an extent, they are. BUT, feeling how I feel now as opposed to two years ago or so makes me feel unsettled. I don’t want to be cynical but I have every reason to be. I hate that. I hate that more than any of you will ever know.

After lots of grieving the loss of my sense of self, my home, my first two furbabies (shout out to Keagan and Morgan), and the life I had built for myself, I struggled for months to find a new home. I had goals: new home, new furbabies, new life.

With the support and encouragement of so many of you, I manage to find a new place to live and with the help of a few of you, I did find two adorable kittens, who have become my family and I felt that I was on my way to rebuilding.

But only after living where I am now for less than 5 weeks, things started to spiral in a downward very quickly. My seizures increased. I realized that (despite my previous enthusiasm and can-do attitude), carrying a bike up and down four flights of stairs multiple times a week and biking in all kinds of weather is actually NOT something I’m cut out for. It’s not that I don’t love Dru (my bike), it’s simply not something I like doing. AT ALL. In fact when my alarm goes off the first thought I have is “UGH.” And no one wants to live that way. The silver lining is that I also get to wake up to my kittens laying near or on me. That buffers my blahs a bit more. Seriously, I’d be lost without these kittens. Emma and Finley save me on a regular basis. I also figured out that walking to the grocery store for one week’s worth of food means having to go there twice because there is no way I could possibly manage to bring all that stuff home in one trip. I learned (again) that people who live under the same roof as you will steal right from you (RIP countless missing packages). I learned that sometimes a rent price is “reasonable” because what you are paying for is exactly what you get (hello, leaks and drains that don’t drain and fly infestations and doors that don’t close and utility bills you were told you weren’t going to get). I learned that because I can’t drive due to having epilepsy, it’s a LOT harder to live alone than I could have ever imagined. It’s zero funsies to have a seizure, wake up in blood and confusion and not even know how to use your phone and by the time you think you can figure out how to use a phone, you pass out…again. I learned that with my fixed income, Ubers and Lyfts add up REAL fast but that also there are some things that are really hard to buy and bring home via public transportation since there is still quite a bit of walking to be done. And if you think for one second that all of this added to my cynicism, you’d be 100 percent correct!

And as an added bonus, while all of this is going on, I am/was trying my best to get out there and meet people and date. But no. People don’t care. People treat other people as though we’re all disposable and can be (literally and figuratively-hello, ghosting) erased from one another’s lives. Ya’ll, seriously, if you click with someone and decide to go on a date with them and then decide you don’t want to go on that date, just text them so that they’re not waiting on your sorry ass. And if you’re messaging with them regularly and then change your mind, just send a courtesy text like, “thanks but no thanks” rather than falling off the face of the earth with NO explanation at all. In the words of Ariana Grande, “Thank u, next.”

For real…what is wrong with people? Are people THAT rude?! I never wanted to believe that they are but they are. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m so far from perfect it’s not even funny, but I don’t play head games and I don’t lead people on. That’s just mean.

Then there was the death of Falkor in August which meant (for me) MONTHS of searching for a replacement. It literally took up as much time as working full-time and I can say this with confidence because I remember what it was like to work full-time…all those hours, all those days, but it had to be done.

And I lost a few people along the way who I thought were actually my friends and that sucked too.

However, in spite of the sh*tshow written above (kittens aside), there were some good things.

I learned in my 37th (or, as some would say 38th) year of life, that self-care comes in so many more shapes than I once thought. I made myself challenge ED’s voice more than ever and I had no one with me to reassure me that I would be okay- I learned to reassure myself. I learned not to invest in people until they show me that they deserve my time and effort. I am slowly learning to protect my emotional energy. I am learning that (for me) self-care means (sometimes) buying that new shirt on clearance because I’m sick of seeing myself in the same 3 shirts for the past 2 years. Literally. I learned that self-care for me isn’t praying to the universe or at all; it’s simply listening to music as I walk in the early morning hours as the new day is beginning. I learned to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst. I learned that sometimes letting go and starting over is not just an emotional/mental process but a literal one as well. Yesterday, I donated a lot of bags of clothes and boxes of items that someone else could use much more than me and I don’t want the memories I’ve attached to those items. Hopefully, some day soon, I’ll be able to get replacements but right now I’m still better off without.

Living alone with epilepsy is not an easy thing but I tried it and I will always have that. I will always be able to say I tried. And during this time, as sucky as it was, spending all of this time alone gave me a chance to think (and over-think) basically everything and anything. I got a chance to tune in to myself more whether by choice or because an event or person pushed me to do so. I’m constantly learning what I want and what I don’t want for myself. I’m constantly learning what I will and will not put up with when it comes to other people.

But I will say this, when I turned 37, I told myself that this was going to be the year I got my first tattoo (and I did. In fact, I got 3 all at once) with the help of a generous person. And when I lost the place I called home back in February, I told myself I would find an apartment and adopt a new family and I did. I definitely have shown myself that (for the most part) when I set my mind to something, I get sh*t done.

Next week, I will be moving. I was gifted the opportunity to live somewhere with a roommate in a place where I will feel safer and won’t have to carry my bike up four flights of stairs and MAYBE even get to save a bit of money after a few months of rebuilding yet again. Maybe this will be the place I can call home. I’m excited that I will be living in a new environment for both the actual new year and my personal new year.

In summary, 2018 and age 37 can essentially kiss my ass. I’m so grateful for my kittens and my bike and my tattoos and a few new people who have come into my life and the unexpected success of my last book, Not My Type, but otherwise, I have zero good things to say. I have more bad/mediocre memories about this year than good ones and I don’t want that for myself. I want better for myself.

I’m not excited to turn 38…I just don’t like how that sounds. But I am excited to close this chapter and end this season. I’m ready to start over…again. I’m interested about what 38 and 2019 have in store for me. I will hope for the best, but…

You know.

Anyways, to all the people who stood by me this year and helped me out, thank you all so much. I have so much gratitude for you all. Truly.

And even though this year was far from the best, I learned a lot and that’s worth a lot. Maybe a lot of my new knowledge will help me through next year.

I wish you all a (soon-to-be) new year.

Thank you for reading.

Much peace.

Sincerely,

Michele