Dreams At 23; Reality At 33… Life Happens

IMG_0001I remember being 23 and feeling like I had all the answers. I was a year away from being a Civil Engineer, smiled a lot, thought I knew exactly what I wanted. 33 seemed like a lifetime away but when I saw 33 I saw a wife, a couple children, a career, stability. I was a “good guy,” you know the type. Never in any trouble, parents liked me, always did what was right. I was happy but it’s hard to explain what happiness feels like when it was a mirage. I figment of my imagination.

I hate math, I hate numbers so why was I going to be an engineer? I hate test, I’ve never tested well but I picked a career where in order to succeed you have to take and study for countless test. It made no sense but it felt right.

Sitting at my desk at 4:30am, the house quiet, not hearing or feeling any sounds other than my fingers hitting my keyboard those 23 year old ambitions feel like a lifetime ago. Instead of building homes or bridges I build people, I use words to tell stories that I hope make someone smile, cry, laugh, get aroused, want to fight. I’m not sure I know what happy is anymore or where to find it but I know this path is where I’m supposed to be.

Nothing is happening how I planned it and that scares the hell out of me. I’m the guy that washes dishes and makes up my bed before I go to work in the morning. I pause television shows before dramatic scenes to prepare myself like I know the characters on the screen. I read novels and send personalized emails to the authors thanking them for giving the world their art.

There’s a chance I’ll never have a Christmas tree in my home again. There’s a chance my children will never know what it is to sit on the front porch with their hands over their eyes while I plug in the Christmas lights for the first time. Something I did with my grandmother since I was old enough to remember. This time of year when the leaves start to change and the weather gets cooler I feel so far removed from who I was at 23. It’s a good thing and it’s a terrifying thing.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve come home from work and walked into a house with food cooking and that smell making me miss home. There’s so many days I just sit in my driveway and wonder if this is where I’m supposed to be. No one knows my innermost thoughts. People would rather group chat or text or be on social media than sit on the back of a truck drinking a beer or whiskey and talking about life. I hold my secrets and fears close to my heart because that’s the world we live in.

Questioning if I’m any better than the people that choose the love and attention of strangers on social networks just because I choose wordpress or novels. I fear for my sanity, for my health, for my happiness.

Just some random thoughts from a guy that can’t sleep and is craving a breakfast that doesn’t consist of leftover food from last night. I’ll sip this drink and go make that happen. Thanks for reading if you are.

Change Can Be Scary but It’s Necessary: Especially in Relationships

You all deserve love.

You all deserve love.

Change Can Be Scary but It’s Necessary: Especially in Relationships

There are all types of change. Some change is good and some is bad but in most cases change is always necessary. You either change and adapt or you stay the same, nothing is more damaging in life than not making progress. Even regression is more relevant in life than not making any progress at all.

We’ve all come to believe that relationships have to be two people who are intimately acquainted whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. We’ve even given relationships new names in order to justify the seriousness of them. Situationships, Friends With Benefits, Hook-Ups, etc. Don’t let any of these new age names fool you; when you’re talking to someone on any level you have a relationship with that person. Of course there are levels but it’s a relationship none the less. Either you grow and build on it or you don’t, there’s no in-between.

Why can change be scary? Mainly because comfort is a beautiful thing. When you start to feel safe and warm and know what to expect day after day or meeting after meeting you don’t feel such disappointment anymore.

It’s why so many people go to jobs they hate or stay in relationships that drive them to cheat or be miserable. That comfort. “I know he isn’t shit but I’d rather be around someone that I know isn’t shit but has some redeeming qualities then to get with a man that makes me believe he’s about something and lets me down.”

Change is often terrifying because you’re going into the unknown and there’s always two roads. The first road may lead to everything your heart desires and the second road may be failure. However do you want to know what’s worse than failure or success? Regret. That feeling of not knowing what might have happened had you just made that change. Taken that chance.

When I write and speak about relationships I’m not limiting myself to man and woman, that’s too simplistic. I’m speaking on relationships that affect who we are. Our jobs, relationships with friends that don’t help us grow.

Change matters in life, don’t be afraid of it.

Putting A Voice to Divorce

Putting A Voice to Divorce

We live in a cynical society. Nothing shocks us anymore, no matter how violent or heartless or heinous. We view divorce in almost the same way, are we even shocked or surprised anymore when we hear about it. Not really, it’s almost as though we expect it. No matter what statistic or website you use the number is 50%. 50% of couples that get married will get a divorce. That’s 1 out of 2.

No matter how often it happens or how expected it is, it’s still people’s lives. You don’t fall out of love overnight, you don’t stop being happy because you walked down the aisle. Sure people get married for the wrong reasons but it’s more to it than that right? It has to be.

This article is my conversation with a woman that was divorced after only a couple years of marriage. She was incredibly honest and open with me. I write about love and dating and lust but I rarely write about what happens when that love and lust start to fade away. Here is her story.

Together for five years she knew he had flaws but on their 5th anniversary when he got down on one knee none of those flaws mattered. “I knew he was everything I wanted within the first year we were together. There was just something about him as a man that let me know he would be my everything and everything I ever wanted. For her the marriage was never about the marriage but about the man and the love, everything else was incidental.

Whether it’s a marriage or business venture there will always be blame placed. In the mature situations both parties will usually acknowledge they played just as big of a role as their mate. Often times the role can be something as simple as ignoring the signs in front of you.

“At the end of the day I do blame myself for some of it because he cheated on me before we got married but I had it in the back of my head that he asked me to marry him so obviously he’s trying to change because he knew how much marriage meant to me.”

“Looking back I see God has given me so many signs letting me know that; that was not the man he had for me but me being silly and crazy in love I ignored it all because I knew the man he could be, but he wasn’t ready to be that man just yet. The majority of the reason we are divorced is his fault.”

“He still blames me, he tells everyone he divorced me because we argued too much and that I had too many people in our business, which isn’t true. We divorced because he conceived a child with his sister in law (his brother’s wife’s 22 year old sister at the time) during the time we were having complications trying to conceive.”

“I found out about her and the child after he divorced me, he puts all the blame on me so he can justify what he did. I had to continue to tell myself that it wasn’t my fault but I should have let go long before I said “I DO.”

We think of abuse as physical and even emotional or mental abuse we have this image of a man screaming and yelling while the woman is crying on the bed. Emotional abuse is more sudden than that. It breaks you down over time and it erodes not just the individual but the marriage.

“The memories that I go back to are the ones when I found out about other women, the times where he called me fat, ugly and other names I can’t really repeat. There were so many good things about him but he was a very insecure man and always degraded me and made me feel like I was the ugliest woman in the world. I use to blame myself for him cheating on me.”

The lifeline of a lot of marriages is love, support, faith and trust and once you start to lose those you lose the intimacy. Sex can cover a lot of flaws, good sex can make you feel like you’re healing from an argument when the truth is you’re just masking the causes of the arguments.

“There was a point where I did stop having sex with him because I knew he was sleeping with other women and I was more concerned about my safety then his sexual needs. Before all that I did a damned good job of making sure his sexual needs were met. Let’s just say he was and is a man that will never be completely satisfied.”

It can be hard going through marriage or relationship problems. A part of you wants to vent, to get opinions, to ask people around you for help. Another part of you tells yourself, “This is between my husband and I and no one else should be involved in our marriage.” No one should have to go through the pain of ending vows alone but who can you trust?

“No one really knew about what I was going through except a few friends, my cousin and his wife. They were there from the time everything hit the fan. No one knew why he started acting the way he did towards me, he told them all he didn’t want to be married to me anymore because we argued too much.”

“When I looked at him I couldn’t even recognize the man he was anymore. At that point I knew something wasn’t right. I just couldn’t figure it out. Once we got divorced it was in everyone’s head that I was the reason for the divorce. My family in Seattle didn’t know about my divorce until after the divorce was final. They were upset about it but they were mainly upset because I was here in Houston by myself going through everything alone and no one knew. About a month after that, that is when I found out about the baby, once I told my family and friends the real reason behind the divorce they were livid.”

Even after all that, after the emotional abuse, the cheating, and the lies. You can’t help who you love. You can’t help but feeling like you’ve taken a covenant with God and by giving up on your marriage you’re breaking a promise to God. It’s not as easy as just saying, “This isn’t working so I quit.” It’s never that easy even when it feels like it should be.

“There was never a point where I said I couldn’t do this because I was not going to give up on my husband. I knew he was going through something and I needed to be there for him. Even when he told me to stop calling and texting him (mind you we were still living in the same house when he told me this). Even when he stopped coming home at night, would not talk to me, called the police on me and lied and said I broke it to our house just so he can get me out of there.”

“He called me out my name, talked to me crazy. Lied to me and told me our home was being foreclosed but he ended up renting it out after he moved my stuff out knowing I had nowhere to go. I still prayed for him every night, sent him encouraging text messages, told him I was there for him and we can face any obstacles that come our way. At one point he told me he was cheating on me and I told him I already knew.”

“My biggest fear was that someone else would end up pregnant. I asked him was someone pregnant and he told me yes, I don’t know what in me told him that everything will be ok; we’ll get through this, we just have to find a way to deal with it. The love I had for him made me want to stick by his side and ride this out. That same day he told me he lied because he wanted to see my reaction and all along that lie he told me was the real truth. Even after all that I fought for my marriage up until the day I signed the divorce papers. I didn’t want to sign them but I only did it because I saw that’s what he really wanted.

Once the papers are signed and you realize life has to move on, it’s going to move on with or without you reality sets in. A reality that can be scary if it’s not what you wanted in the first place. You have to start from scratch knowing that no matter how good things may seem you can’t control what’s coming.

“In a way I started dating but I have not committed to any relationship. The reason why is because I am seriously scared to give my all to someone again after going through everything I went through. I’ve had numerous guys ask me to be with them, propose to me but I know before I can give anyone 100% of me I have to give myself 100% of me first. It does feel different because I miss the married life, I’ve never been the type to talk to a bunch of different guys. I’ve always been a relationship person. At times I get to a point where I don’t want to talk to anyone because it’s just overwhelming. They want so much of my time that I can’t and don’t want to give them because of the fear I have of falling for them.”

That’s the voice behind divorce. Not having a party or celebrating her freedom but simply healing after happily ever after turned out not to be so happy after all. Millions of Americans and people all over the world have to pick up their lives and start over. She’s just one of them.

Separation Burns

Separation Burns

Some People Work Things Out and Some Just Don’t Know When to Change

Some People Work Things Out and Some Just Don’t Know When to Change
“You should never change for a person, make the change for yourself.” I’m not sure whose words these are but they aren’t true even though I hear people saying them all the time. Part of growing up is changing but more than that it’s changing for the right reason and often times that reason is another person.

Top Five Reasons to Give Up

1. There’s always someone else, I have options. I can replace her in a heartbeat!
2. She wasn’t special anyway. Her ears were too big, her breasts were saggy without a bra. She waited too long to offer me a drink when I walked in the door.
3. I’m too young to settle down, I have plenty of time.
4. Love shouldn’t be this hard, love comes easy.
5. I’m tired, I need a break.

None of those reasons make much sense when you compare them to what you’re losing. Just because we have options doesn’t mean we have to take advantage of those options. Not every woman is replaceable, you may find someone that is as attractive as her, that’s more sexual than her. You could find a woman that does more for you financially or mentally. If you look hard enough you may even find someone that is just a better person that her. The problem is can you find someone that put it all together like she did? Chemistry doesn’t come in the form of one or two traits that look good on paper. Chemistry comes when the sum of the parts come together in this perfect harmony.

Every woman is two women, you have the “date” her and the “comfortable” her. The date her is the one that’s on point. The push up bra has them sitting right, the nails and hair and conversation just works. Those first couple dates you see her at her absolute best. Then there’s the comfortable her, the her that’s still beautiful but there’s no makeup, maybe they aren’t sitting so perfectly when the bra comes off. There will be days where she needs her hair fixed and her attitude is just horrible. These are the days you should love her the most because I promise you she isn’t showing too many people this side of her.

Guys are running around here at 45 talking about, “I’m too young to settle down.” I’m going to need you all to chill, when the right person comes alone there’s no such things as “too young.” Don’t get me wrong, do I think you should get married before you have lived a little, dated a little, gotten a feel for what you want. Of course I don’t but I do think part of settling down means we get past this Peter Pan mentally. If you’re single, enjoy it! Live it up and have fun! What you shouldn’t do though is walk away from the best thing that ever happened to you because you just want to have fun.

The same people that say, “It’s not working if you love it,” are the same people that love to say, “When you really love someone you don’t have to try.” I don’t care how much I love writing, when I’m sleepy at 3am and I have deadlines and worn eyes and have cancelled two dates this week, that’s work. The same goes for love, if you show me a person that has a perfect relationship; I’ll show you a person that’s in denial. Relationships take more work than most of us single people realize, I think what happens is when you’re far removed you remember the good or bad stuff. What you don’t remember is most relationships take place in the grey.

Giving up means one thing, you quit on someone. Once you need a break or quit there’s no bouncing back. It’ll always be broken now.

Life is simple. You either work it out or you keep living in ways that are self destructive that just won’t make you happy. You can’t work things out if you aren’t willing to change the bad stuff about you.

Her future ring.

Her future ring.