Tag Archives: relationships

An Important Discovery

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As with most bloggers, we get caught up in realms of reality and sort of forget to keep posting crap. I’m no different. Life got in the way. As a means of review:

  • I’ve changed jobs. Although it pained me (and pains me still), I chose to leave the museum behind as our vision and ideas for the growth of the museum no longer seemed to converge. (I think that’s the nice way of saying they went full retard. Never go full retard, man.) However it has afforded me a position at an embroidery company in customer training development, marketing and writing.
  • I’ve picked up a contract position as the production director for the local AHL hockey team, the Oklahoma City Barons.
  • I continue to write for Distinctly Oklahoma and am considered expanding my freelance services to other publications.
  • I fell in love.

Funny how that last one is just four words but is perhaps the biggest change in my life.

It’s true though. I have fallen in love and in doing so learned how to love all the more. Of course I always loved my daughter, even before she was born, and heaven knows I’ve been in love with words since I was four and I memorized One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish. After a series of sick, unhealthy, draining relationships (including my marriage) had taken their toll on my head and heart I had resigned myself to the life I had and found comfort and contentment in the realization. I really was satisfied with where I was and with the limits that perpetual singleness (both in coupling and parenting) tends to place on one’s life. My heart didn’t need to love anymore. And I was nominally sure it couldn’t be loved back. I was truly content.

Then came a moment of weakness. I knew I didn’t need love, but any woman needs a bit of attention now and again. I wanted to go on a few dates, have a bit of fun and then wander back into my working solitude. I revived an old account on an online dating site. (Ironically the one that I met CS Jameson so many years ago.) A few updates to the profile and a handful of new quiz questions later, I was presented with a fine selection of individuals desperately seeking either companionship, genuine love, a quick fuck, a soul mate, or just a bit of positive attention. Whatever their reason, I just wanted a bit of attention. I started messaging potential matches left and right.

When I came across one profile in particular, I’ll admit that while his profile piqued my attention for its wit, he wasn’t necessarily a man I would have ordinarily have messaged. His style and pictures and likes weren’t typically on my radar. A year prior to that I would have nodded and clicked on, not because he was awful but because he simply wasn’t “my type.” But I remember thinking “Well, thus far your ‘type’ has really sucked. Seriously, they were all awful for you and to you. So maybe you picked the wrong ‘type’.” My conscience winning out the argument, I messaged user profile GreaseMunkey, closed my laptop and went to bed.

I remember as I drifted to sleep a building hope that this scruffy, bearded GreaseMunkey dude messaged me back. Of all the messages I had sent out, I really didn’t want to endure that silent, undefined rejection of not receiving a message from him. I didn’t know why but I really wanted to hear from him. I wanted to know more. He did respond. And off we went.

Six months have elapsed now, a record relationship for me. Well of the healthy variety anyway. I was with my ex for longer but looking back it had begun to fall apart long before it ever really got started. Of course there’s hope in all things. After all, without that I wouldn’t have Abigail. I wouldn’t have started down the long, hard path of self discovery (Though I wish it hadn’t taken 27 years to get there…)

I’ve learned that though I am not wise I do have moments of clarity. In order to love, you have to allow yourself to be loved. That’s harder than it sounds. I have a tendency toward developing complexes about insignificant things. I’m bull-headed and argumentative and controlling in any given circumstance. Those things don’t make me unlovable. They make me…well, me. And it turns out me is quite lovable. As Bryan and  my relationship grows and our families are woven into the mix, I find that it isn’t just one man who can love me as I am. His family has taken to me like no other. And mine to him. He bolsters my confidence and makes me feel beautiful, talented, strong and independent. I knew I was all those things and said so, but I had never felt quite so grounded in the ideas until Bryan saw those traits in me as well. I had worked hard to discover who I am and what I like and why I believe what I believe in prior to meeting this man who would slip into my soul and fix himself a home in my heart without ever really trying.

Mostly without the up and downs and rejections and failures of my past, I wouldn’t fully appreciate what Bryan and I are managing through the challenges of offset work schedules, lives fully developed independent of one another and general demands of being adults. I still have much to learn and many more mistakes to make. But there is less fear of it all now. It may be that I’ve grown. It may be that Bryan supports and loves me in such a way that I feel a confidence in the process. It may be all of it and it doesn’t really matter.

Until three years ago, when I screwed up the courage to walk out on a man who resented me , I had no idea who I was. Thus I thought to be loved I had to become what was wanted or what I perceived was needed. I’d spent my life wearing the masks handed to me by others. I still wear masks, at work and in public, but now they are of my own creation. And with Bryan I can safely leave them all aside. He loves that I find joy in stupid things like sharpies and sparkly dangles and amassing a mental database of useless facts.

In him I see a strength and determination I’ve never seen before. In anyone. He honestly wants to better himself, not just for his family but because he needs it for himself. He is grounded and stable and cheerful and compassionate. Unafraid of judgement, he holds nothing of himself back. He dances like an idiot and has fun doing it. He creates as his heart directs and seeks nothing more than the satisfaction of creating it. He doesn’t need constant approval though I earnestly seek to bolster him as much as he bolsters me. I still wear masks but he gave his up years ago. I envy him that ability. He asks questions and honestly seeks to learn. He has flaws and admits to them openly and unabashedly. Altogether he understands how to be himself, thus leaving his heart open to being loved. And I do love him.

My blog is titled See Jenn Live on purpose. While I can’t promise I won’t make more sappy, soggy, lovey posts, I can say I’ll keep them to a minimum. I’m living for the first time in my life. I’m learning and loving and listening and making an attempt at translating all that into writing. It’s working so far I suppose. I’ve found the difference between content and happy. I’m happy. I’ve been told so by my close friends and family even if I didn’t know it myself.

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When History Teaches Us The Wrong Lesson

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Ok, not so much us as me. Its already been said that I’m a fan of history. I study it, I research as a hobby, and I generally enjoy what it has to offer. We stand to learn a lot from history. But what happens when history turns out to be a poor tutor? What happens when history’s lessons don’t apply?

In college I was fortunate enough to study under a very peculiar woman named Dr. Hooper. Dr. Hooper wore earrings that didn’t match, spoke only at maximum volume, lorded over the hardest class I’ve ever had to take, and was convinced that everyone should know all details concerning her wiry little rat dogs, Persephone and Hades. She was also just a touch cynical. She often regaled her students with stories regarding her relationship with her husband, the demise of said relationship, and her subsequent divorce. Stemming from this story of misery and woe, she publicly damned all manner of romantic relationship. We history majors quickly learned that if a dating couple took her class together, it was best to sit far apart. Her cynicism spread past affairs of the heart, even bleeding into her  subject of choice, and in the grossest of ironic turns, her one true love, history.

I mentioned that Dr. Hooper “lorded over” the hardest class I’ve ever had to take. It was Historiography and was not for the faint of heart. I say “lorded over” because a class that covered the breadth and span of historiography for college juniors could not simply be “taught.” On our first day, Dr. Hooper informed us that in her twenty plus years of tenure, teaching Historiography most of that time, she had only ever awarded one A. That same student proceeded to have a nervous breakdown shortly thereafter. So no pressure.

Among the required reading for Dr. Hooper’s Historiography was a book called Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. It was a small, simple read in comparison to most college texts. Add to that an inherent and witty cynicism that obviously attracted my professor to it, it turned out to be a welcome break from the dry, lifeless texts typically assigned the lowly college student. It was also particularly eye-opening for it actually contained a list and counter-argument for some of the most commonly mis-taught thematic lessons in history. These were things that I had been taught, events and reasons for the greater part of my version of the historical timeline. Now in one book, for one class, I had to undo a large amount of erroneous memorization.

The book didn’t attempt to claim that Columbus did not sail the ocean blue in 1492, but rather contended that the reasons often taught for this poetic journey weren’t often covered correctly. The Declaration of Independence really was signed in 1776, but not exactly to the whoops and hollers of approval. A good part of the country, the greater part perhaps, wanted no part of it. For most, this is inconsequential. For a history major, it was huge. History was supposed to be the infallible, but it taught me the wrong lesson.

Over time I learned that history is quite fallible, its facts and course changing with each new discovery. But at the time, it was quite jarring. It seems God has seen fit to remind me of this. This time not in regards to academics, but another of Dr. Hooper’s topics, relationships.

History has thus far shown me the ugly side of relationships, at least the kind with men. I know about cheating and betrayal and distrust. I’m intimately familiar with being let down and climbing out of holes, sometimes those that I dug and sometimes those that someone else dug for me. Its normal to have to pick through the lies designed to earn trust to glean a bit of useful information.That has become the foundation for me. You start with those and work upwards to overcome. That’s how it works.

But what if history has taught me the wrong lesson? What if it is possible to start out differently? It may be time for a new lesson. Maybe.

**And for the record, I got a B in Dr. Hooper’s Historiography. I worked my happy little butt off for it, too.

Fine Line

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There is a fine line between many things in life.

Persistence and Obstinacy
Patience and Indolence
Enthusiastic and Irritating
Detail-Oriented and OCD
Assiduous and Nazi

The trouble is that so many people find themselves walking those damn near invisible lines. The project starts off well enough and then slowly, painfully, people start tipping over those lines.  The hard-worker suddenly morphs into Hitler re-incarnate and the patient easy going one on the team is napping in the corner.  Is that drool?  Gross.  By the time the project is completed there will be gnashing of teeth, a few more holes in the dry wall and you are considering a career change.  All because of hard-to-see, easily crossed, dangerous lines that criss-cross our personalities.

So today I’ve decided to attack these lines with Sharpie Markers because I’m tired of walking those lines, tripping over my own two feet, and landing on the wrong side. And I’m more tired of others around me tipping over to the dark side of human nature.  Perhaps if these lines were slightly more visible then we’d have an easier time of it.

So as you walk through life, keep an eye out for Sharpie stripes.  If, however, those stripes are across a person’s face, that doesn’t mean I found an easily crossed line across their cranium, it just means they spoke to me at the wrong time of the month.

Never anger a red-head holding a Sharpie.
Damn, found a new line.
Hormonal and Homicidal.