My Own Christmas Carol

My favorite gift ever was a Barbie house my dad gave to my sister and I when I was in 3rd grade. Living in a single parent household, money was a scarcity. My dad worked in a warehouse clocking overtime hours each week. So when my sister and I saw this gigantic house beside the Christmas tree the excitement was palpable.

This Barbie house wasn’t made from Mattel or even a Barbie knock off from Odd Lots. Instead it was homemade from cardboard boxes. My dad had taped the boxes together and had covered the inside of with contact sheets, construction paper and carpet samples. It was complete with Styrofoam sink and bathtub. He even reinforced the bottom to allow for a large carport for our pink Barbie convertible. Each room and detail was carefully planned and built from a man that had never had a Barbie in his whole life. It was the epitome of love in craft.

I have strived now as a mama to give my child a Barbie house moment. I’m beyond blessed with mine and my kid’s needs and wants so creating these moments have been tougher. However this spirit of my past carries me each Christmas to show even more love and be more thoughtful.

Last Monday was my sister’s birthday! We had planned to go out to eat and celebrate. It turned out to be an exhausting day for our families, so the energy to fight with dinner crowds and children was not going to happen. After SEVERAL detours and rerouting plans (that I won’t bore you with) we all ended up in Target. Me in a very relaxed outfit perfect for holding babies and getting shopping snuggles in. After holding little hands and picking our “perfect pajamas” we went to go check out.

Standing in line chatting with my niece, I hear my sister cheerfully say “Oh look it’s Jack!”

Then without even time to think or process I look up and there he is… Right in front of me. It was truly as if time had stopped. My jaw dropped and I had enough thought to raise my hand in a half hi motion. He was walking by very quickly and talking on the phone in his “lecture tone” he reserves for work or rarely a family member. I’ve heard it before.

He seemed just as shocked to see me as I was him. He looked at me, did half a smile and was gone. I stood there for a while and then looked at my sister and we laughed. I would love to say that I knew immediately I was over him or even still in love with him…I was just confused.

I am still processing everything that happened that night and how I was not supposed to be there at all. Yet there I was and there he was. Fate had stepped in and I was staring face to face at the ghost of my present.

I came across an article from Oprah.com titled “Have you Created your Magic List Yet?” It is about writing down 100 qualities and or attributes of your dream man. I have been really reflecting on my past relationships and what specific qualities I would choose. Of course you have the ones that are obvious (loyal, communication, family guy) but that may get you to 20.

I was at an after work happy hour talking with my coworkers / friends and after some lively conversation I wrote down the below on my Note:

I know this one seems simple and yet oddly specific. I thought of this during the conversation as we were specifically discussing Christmas shopping. I think if a man loves Christmas sweaters he may be a little over enthusiastic for me. But if he doesn’t love it but will go along with it because he wants to make me happy… That is the perfect dynamic!

This is the only one I’ve written down. However, my plan is to finish this list by the first of the year then continue to modify it throughout 2018. I don’t really believe this is a magic list. I do believe in the aligning and figuring out what I want and then making decisions to attract that person. By focusing on that goal I am helping to determine the spirit of my future…husband that is 😍

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I’m back…

Okay so I officially went on my first date since Jack*. Yay! I’m so proud of myself for getting out there! I wish I could say things went off with a bang, but unfortunately, the BANG happened before I even arrived…

So in the weeks leading up to the date I have been casually swiping. Not a regular practice like before… more when I’m bored. However, lately, I’ve matched and messaged with a few really cute guys.

I had a date planned on Friday night with one of these guys. I actually talked to this guy briefly the few weeks before I started officially dating Jack. Back then, he asked me directly “Am I ready for a relationship?” (In general not with him as we had not met.) I told him all about Jack and that he was the one I wanted a relationship with, so this guy backed off. (Hey I knew what I wanted!)

This was one of the first guys to message me when I got back on the dating sites this round. Unfortunately, I had to cancel our date as my kid was sick on Thursday and most of Friday. We are supposed to reschedule. *fingers crossed*

I also had a date scheduled for Saturday night with another guy. This night my daughter was feeling much better so I was in.

This guy I matched on Bumble and his name is Dale*. He is a good looking single dad that lived close by. He was consistent at messaging and remembered things we texted from one day to another. Seems pretty easy but most guys don’t read the previous conversations or choose not to.

I dropped my daughter off, got all dolled up, and did a Facebook live. Most of my readers are my friends and family on Facebook and have been on this journey with me. I needed some support before I left so I reached out.

Rewatching my video I can’t help but laugh! I made good points but man you can tell I was BEYOND nervous! I actually said nervous 20 times. I quoted my favorite quote from my current favorite author as it has become my mantra..

I finished my video filled with love and support and leave for my date. Still nervous and digging through the butterflies for courage.

I leave early since the roads are really icy. I can feel my car sliding and my orange slip and slide light keeps coming on. Then I slowly approach a hill in my neighborhood.

A few seconds after cresting the hill my tires give out and my orange light is blaring in my face.

I start to pick up speed as I put my foot off and on my break.

I honk my horn repeatedly as there is a cross street and two cars heading my way. I slid through the street and pass the stopped cars.

My car hits a smallish ditch and a small wooden pole. It’s very loud and the neighbors run out of their houses.

I get out of the car and apologize repeatedly. I’m fighting the urge not to cry and can’t think clearly. Then a really good looking man comes out his truck and makes sure I’m okay. I tell him I am and then he begins jokingly teasing me about not wearing my coat. “It’s 28 degrees” he says.

I can tell he is actually concerned about me but my adrenaline is so high I can’t feel the cold. I also don’t remember I have my at winter coat on the passenger seat.

Then an older man from one of the houses helps me get out of the front yard. As he’s telling me directions the cute guy slowly walks away and gets into his truck and drives away. Ugh I am horrible at in person flirting! Plus I wasn’t feeling at my best… Obviously.

I slowly drive the way of the restaurant. Not because I want to still go on the date but it’s the only way to go home and not go up the dreaded hill. I had no idea what to do at that point. I’ve never had an accident where I had to handle the logistics. My brother in law and sister were busy and couldn’t be interrupted so I felt really alone and just a little adulting dumb.

I kept driving and called my date to cancel. I told him I had no idea what to do and that I would need to figure it out. We talked for a minute and I agreed to continue on with the date.My car that night..

I show up to the restaurant right on time. (I told you I left early) Dale is waiting at the hostess station and I can see his back. He turns around and smiles. He is really good looking and his pictures didn’t do him justice. I’m excited!

We then sit down and begin to talk. He’s friendly, can talk about the Browns (major points) and we have a lot in common. However, there were points in the conversation when I realized that he just isn’t the one for me.

A small example was when “No Scrubs” came on the radio in the restaurant. The waiter began to sing and I did too. I didn’t go full out karaoke style but was having fun with it inclusive of a little shoulder shake.

I said “look he knows the words too” at the waiter.

Dale said “yeah everyone does” Then makes this whatever face.

A little about me, I love to sing and dance and really don’t care if someone is watching. If it’s a fun atmosphere then I’ll have go for it. A funeral? Not so much. So it’s a major turnoff when someone legitimately makes a mean face. A small eye roll I enjoy and singing along? 😍😍😍

There were a few other things that came up where I was like yeah no thanks. He will be a great guy for someone else but not me. I paid for myself and we left. Since then, we have had a few texts and I wished him the best of luck!

So what do I do now? Answer: Search everywhere for a hottie in a blue truck… Just kidding!

I’m going to continue to get myself out there. While I did mention Jack a few times on the date it is getting easier and easier not to think about him.

I wanted to leave you with a text that my friend sent me after the accident… I literally laughed out loud when I read it. It sums up this round of dating perfectly!

I’m looking forward to sharing more adventures soon!

It’s not about being funny…

I was in a really confusing time where I needed to move on from Jack but was not ready to date. I chatted about how lost I was with my coworkers / friends. I hadn’t been single and not actively looking to date before. I went directly from divorce to farmersonly in one day.

Dating myself was weird.

I really loved yoga but was looking for something else to grow. My buddy recommend I take a class… At first he said a singing class …

I reminded him of my “Celine style” chops and he quickly course corrected by saying “What about Improv?”

(I think some of his speed in reply was in fear that I may break out into My Heart Will Go On with dance moves and hand motions – obviously.)

Within minutes I found the location of a local class, times and a plan to sign up when I got home. I am by far the funniest person I know (to myself not by other people’s laughter rates), I can think on my feet and while I sometimes get nervous I can push through talking in front of people. It was perfect!

Walking into the door the butterflies in my stomach were mating and my hands are sweaty. It was not nearly as confident as I hoped.

I signed in with the owner (a guy from high school) and sat down front and center ready to bust out butterflies.

After only one class I took away the below lessons. Just note this is my blog, so these are definitely my interpretion of the lessons as I learned I don’t listen well… so feel free to sign up for some classes to learn your own lessonsπŸ˜‰

A key to improv is managing anxiety under pressure – Wow this was huge! I hadn’t even thought of this! I’m supposed to be focused on being funny and yet within minutes.. WHAM!

Anxiety is an issue I have documented here and struggle with a lot. Putting myself in a situation with lights aiming at me, on a stage with judging eyes and having to think quick on my feet… Yea hoping to be a skill I learn.

You have to REALLY listen to people– I’m sorry what did you say?! I am one of the worst listeners. I have literally walked away from someone as they were talking. If I have a to do list… I always forget to add thoughtful listening to it. I do care…I swear.

In improv I have to actively listen. It’s not an option to multi-think. I have no idea what the next person will say and don’t want to be the asshole that ruined a scene by thinking ahead. It will make everyone in the audience lose their vibe and be distracted..awkwardly.

Normally I live for that stuff…Thats where I laugh the hardest. A stand up comedian that bombs?!? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

So yeah I know the judging faces…

I’m normally one of them.

Your goal is to make the other person look good- This is something I actually try to focus on in life. I try to purposely call out others accomplishments and work.

However in improv, If I become the person trying to outdo everyone its not a scene-its stand up, in a very weird setting, with props.

I learned this lesson loud and clear in my last class. Our assignment was on stage to come up with crazy laws as if one of us were the president. Then the other had to be the Sean Spicer and clean up what was said to make it make sense.

I was able to think pretty quickly as the clean up person. However, when it was my time to make the laws… Ugh..

In a panic I went to what I know… Dating.

“There should be a law where everyone that swipes right on every picture should lose a hand.”

Well the class is composed of a lot of different demographics, many of which I don’t know have online dated or more specifically “Tindered”…

It was now on my poor partner to save the law. On something I don’t think he knew about. As was promised I looked like the jerk.

My other laws? Just as lame and specific… I mean do you think the rest of the room knew who Yo Gotti is..

Crickets…

Improv pushes you to stay in the moment.. Actually in the moment. Not thinking about the past, what will happen in the future but what is happening now.

This is something I strive to achieve in yoga and yet get closer to accomplishing in improv.

This is my greatest struggle and lesson I need to learn right now in my life. I don’t know how many nights I’ve laid awake with what ifs. Early mornings I wake up with worries of what will be. My heart isn’t in board with this break from dating so I have to combat it at the most inconvenient times. Now I am learning a skill of focusing on now.

I had no idea when I signed up for this class it wouldn’t be about laughs, but an actual serious (while fun) skills based life lesson. It’s exactly what I need.

Only 6 more weeks to master that it really is not about being funny…. While being absolutely hilarious!