What is Romance?

Maybe everything we think we know is wrong.

Maybe romance isn’t flowers and poetry. Maybe it isn’t surprises or grand gestures. It isn’t candlelit dinners, expensive jewelry, island getaways, or public proclamations. Maybe, just maybe, romance is laughter. Or nicknames. Or 10 minute visits before work, 3am texts from work, telling his family about you and wanting to know your last name. Maybe it’s him calling you the minute he heads home in the morning or wishing you happy birthday nearly a dozen times. Maybe it’s funny stories of the past or exchanging nothing but emoji conversations.

Maybe the beginning of a relationship doesn’t need to be so serious. Maybe we don’t have to have those deep conversations. We don’t have to question what is happening or how long it may last. We don’t have to compare notes about where we’ve been or where we are going. Maybe we don’t have to feel nauseating butterflies or fear meeting their family. We don’t have to worry about what we order for dinner or how we look first thing in the morning.

Maybe in order to build a future you have to be present. You have to be open to what is unfolding in front of you instead of trying to make the relationship hit every check point on your list. Imagine letting go and having fun, being surprised by each revelation; piecing together and building a foundation based on who you are now, not who you think you want to be, and certainly not who you think you want the other person to be.

Can a love like that be possible?

In the past I thought I had to have certain things figured out right off the bat. I thought those serious conversations were a must. I worried about the time we’d have together and would either of us be flexible or understanding enough when it came to restrictions. I would dwell on deal breakers, stubborn and unwilling to make exceptions. I was nervous about how we’d get along with each other’s families and friends. And what if he had no passions?!

As I age and gain more experiences, I feel as though I’m beginning to see relationships in a completely different light. They aren’t linear and don’t follow a pattern. They don’t follow your expectations either, no matter how low key they may be. Relationships aren’t like the movies or books or like other people portray online. And the best ones are often so unlike anything you could imagine. When we let go and let them take on a life of their own organically and without prejudice, we could very well create the deepest love we have ever known.


I never wanted to be set up with someone again. It hasn’t ever worked in my favor. And I was just barely open to the idea of even meeting someone or pursuing anything. I’d convinced myself that I was perfectly fine with my narrative of being single and being ok with that for the rest of my days. I would tell everyone ‘sure it’d be nice to meet someone and share experienced with them but…’ I’d repeated these ideas to myself so much and for so long that I actually believed them to be true!

Of course until I met him.

We aren’t anywhere yet other than at the start, so very fresh and new. Though already everything I thought I knew about the type of relationship I wanted has been completely dismantled. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s history. Maybe it’s a little bit of magic.

Whether this is or isn’t something beyond what it is now, I can already tell I am going to be forever grateful for the door that has been opened. For the widening of my eyes. For the tender touch upon my heart.

Can I Have A Minute?

After feeling fairly emotionless for a while, shedding no tears, forcing on smiles, and lacking inspiration, it’s finally all hitting me.

Every song a reminder of a time. Every step a little harder to take. Eyes like a kinked up hose. I can feel it, something, festering. Bubbling underneath the surface. Pushing up against the walls. Begging to get out.

If I let myself, I can feel myself missing. If I let myself, the hurt and disappointment starts seeping in through the cracks. If I let myself, I’ll get lost again.

I don’t want to feel the pain. I don’t want to feel the disappointment. I don’t want to feel the failure of years past. I want to face forward into this moment. I want to focus on what’s good. I want to sever the ties of resistance. I want to take it easy on myself. Be gentle. Mothering. Compassionate.

I want to give of myself. I want to be the difference. I want to stop wondering, stop wandering. I want to give up the ghosts. Take back the broken pieces of my heart. Mean every word I say.

Fall, the most transformational time of the year.

Caffeinated Confessional #1

Our household was unfortunately struck down by a really nasty virus over the weekend. My birthday weekend of all times. What a lovely gift to be given. A test of health.

We survived.

But something more happened to me. And it may seem silly to some people to think something as simple and common as a winter virus could throw me into such a tale spin but it’s happened.

Not being able to eat much for days, the pain of even trying, the nagging calls for satiation, they were so familiar. So longed for. Comforting.

Something I’ve tried to swear up and down about is never going back to my eating disorder. I’ve thrown out every cliche reason you could think of. I’ve talked an incredibly good game.

I never believed myself.

So when the numbers slowly start to tick in the opposite direction and the silent thrill zaps deep into your bones, it’s not easily ignored.

It’s been four years, entering the fifth, since I defiantly made the decision. Thousands of days, even more hours. Tripping and falling and getting back up yet never quite regaining the same steam.

Then these easy entrance ways open up, and the aroma of that sweet poison washes over me like a cloud. And I’m trapped between two doors. Going back to what is comfortable, disastrous, alluring and exciting. Or staying in this cycle of will I or won’t I, am I or aren’t I, can I or can’t I.

And my body starts to shake, expelling any good sense I’ve got left trapped inside of me. It hovers over me as though I’m in danger of taking my last breath. Choose wisely.

I feel:

I tempted fate.

I tested myself. I tasted that sweet sweet hunger, and its calls were deafening.

I’d be lying if I said I never prayed to fall back on it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the anguish, the tremors, the incessant pangs. No, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it, if I didn’t call on it, if I didn’t kneel down and grovel for just a touch of it.

As far away as I may run, it’s still right behind me. As much lightness as I keep near to me, its darkness is never far.

I hear it whisper in the winds. I hear it under every footstep. I feel it coursing through my veins the longer I go without.

And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it.

I feel as though I’m faced with an impossible decision. Sheepishly cower backward into the arms of my deranged former self. Or stand in who I am in this moment. Unsure. Vulnerable. Missing and incomplete yet forward facing.

To anyone who’s never been strangled by their own mind the decision would seem clear. Cut and dry. But when something promised to love you so, never to leave your side, never to abandon you the way anything or anyone else ever has, it feels weighty.

I’m looking over my shoulder longingly. I want to cry out. I want to keep it locked safe inside of me.

It’s always been mine. Mine to keep.

I’m not sure what to do with all of this.

Intellectually, sure, the ‘right’ decision would be to root deeper into recovery. Allow this to teach a lesson about self love, distance and depth, forgiveness, resistance.

No one ever said people who’ve suffered eating disorders always think rationally.

This certainly won’t make sense to most people but it makes perfect sense to me.


The Creativity Permission Slip.

The last section of the Creativity Workshop (I skipped over blogging about the two prior since they were short and involved charts) is about giving yourself a Creativity Permission Slip. That is, allowing yourself to be true to what kind of creator you want to be and why you want to pursue this work.

I’ve started to have more ideas about creating and somehow getting my story out there. While I have never been much into reading fiction and even less so into creating it, I have found myself brainstorming little storylines. Nothing solid yet, tossed around the idea of somehow loosely incorporating my life or how I had dreamed my life would be. I have had another book idea tucked inside my head for some time now and I have been trying to piece things together for it though not as actively as I would like.

I have always enjoyed non-fiction books as I love learning. But then I love the depth of a good poem and the way I can take flight in a really good (to me) novel. And from a young age I always knew I wanted to write in some capacity but I never quite found my niche. I always felt like a fraud, like I wasn’t good enough no matter how much praise I’d gotten, as though what I had to say about anything wouldn’t matter to anybody. I cut myself off before ever really giving myself a chance. Hell, even with blogging I have struggled to maintain consistency because I wasn’t always sure what I wanted to say would be received well by anybody. I never thought anyone would care. I’ve tried and stopped a million times in a million ways but something has always brought me back to the blank space.

So to create my own Creativity Permission Slip:

Who Am I?
I am a writer. I am honest. I am a caregiver, big hearted. I am a dreamer, a kid at heart. I love big. I am a part time runner. I am a hard worker. I am an independent, an individual, a creator, creative.

What kind of creator do I want to be?
I want to create connection. I want to use my words, my ideas, my fantasies to bridge the gap between others and a sense of belonging. I don’t want to create something grandiose. I want to create something that is meaningful, at least to myself. Something of a release. Sometimes I think I would like to create something so unlike me so I can break out of the comfort of my box.

Why do I want to pursue this work?
Connection. Both to others and to myself. I feel like somewhere deep inside there is a story to tell, whether my own or one I have dreamed up. I don’t think I was meant to wither away in the 9-5 rat race. I know there is more in this life for me but I have to be the one to *create* it.

What creative project will I give myself permission to do? How will I share it with the world?
I don’t know which idea will flourish first but I do know I want to write a book of some sort. I am going to focus more energy on brainstorming and time management and bringing into my life more of what brings me to life. And I will trust that the process will unfold as it should. Then someday I will be able to share it with the world in some capacity, whether a published book or an e-book. It doesn’t have to be great. It doesn’t even have to be good by other people’s standards. It just has to be authentic. It has to mean something to me.

And I really am going to try to blog here more. I always want to but I am just not sure what to say. I have been an avid blog reader for so many years and although I know they all had to start somewhere, just as I am, I feel like I am so out of my league. Story of my life!

But I’ve got a lot to say and I think it’s about time I start letting it out.

Hobbies, Jobs, Career, Vocation.

Section two of the Creativity Workshop is Structure Your Life for Creative Living, and while short I think it is going to have a big impact on opening my mind. This lesson is centered around distinguishing between these four categories:

  1. Hobbies – What you do purely for pleasure. Hobbies are for fun!
  2. Jobs – The must have, how you pay your bills. Understanding jobs don’t have to fulfill you. They are not your whole life but they are necessary for living.
  3. Career – A job with passion. Not a must have! If you don’t love your career you shouldn’t have one.
  4. Vocation – This is the voice of the Universe, a Divine invitation, a fire you keep going. It is something no one can give to you and no one can take it away from you.

I’ll admit I have jumbled up all four of these in search of something grand, a way in which to blend together everything I felt pulled toward. Only now I am learning they don’t have to overlap. They are not mutually exclusive. And they can exist and be pursued on an individual basis.

Elizabeth Gilbert has a great FB post on this (here).

Creative Notebook Prompt #2: Sorting through these elements in my life.

What activities do I currently participate in on a daily basis?
I work. I take care of the kids. I interact with friends. I listen to music and podcasts. I write. Most days I do some form of exercise. I cook. I play Words With Friends. I read when I can.

Now label each activity accordingly:

Listening to music and podcasts. Playing Words With Friends. Cooking. Caring for the kids and nurturing friendships are necessities but will fall under this category for the sake of labeling them. Writing. Exercising. Reading.

My job is my job. It is definitely not a career. Just a means to generate an income and pay the bills.


Writing. It doesn’t make me any money (yet?) but it is something I have always felt called to do. As a creative outlet, a stress reliever, as something I always loved and needed in my life.

Reflecting on these categories:

Can any of the hobbies be moved toward the career category? What will it take? What are the risks and rewards involved?
The only hobby that could become a career is exercising since I am a certified personal trainer and health coach. I fell in love with coaching during my schooling but allowed my fears and insecurities to hold me back. I vowed to get back to it but so far have continued making excuses. It would take time and a whole lot of effort to relearn and get reacquainted with that path. My time for some things would diminish and sacrifices would have to be made. I would also have to overcome my fear of failure. Worth it? Of course.

Is it necessary to keep my day job, are there ways I could carve out adequate time to pursue my creative hobbies on the side? What trade offs might that require?
I need a steady income so quitting my job is not an option, and right now picking up another second job isn’t either. I can make more time for my hobbies outside of work by prioritizing my time and attention. I can also make better use of my breaks at work in order to write or research creative projects. I have to say Yes to myself more instead of giving into what other people want from me or my time.

What is my vocation? What do I need to keep making time for in my life even if no one will ever pay me for it or I will never earn recognition?
Easily writing in a more creative form. Getting back into writing poetry and ditching the notion that it has to be formatted a certain way in order to ‘qualify’ as poetry. I need to uncensor myself, get out what I am feeling, write from my core instead of wasting my time just getting words onto a blank canvas. Also, sharing it more. Stop fearing what other people may think. Stop caring if no one even reads it. Just put it out there into the Universe in an effort to get it out of me. If it happens to connect to someone else, all the better. But that shouldn’t even concern me.


I got out more with that one than I had actually anticipated. Let’s see where it leads me…

Creativity Workshop.

I’m not typically one to pay attention to Facebook ads but when this one came across my timeline at 6:00 am I knew it was some sort of sign.

I’ve felt as though I’ve been lacking in creativity for a while. I have trouble finding inspiration these days yet my drive to create something – anything! – is overwhelming. So seeing a Creativity Workshop presented by Elizabeth Gilbert was like a flashing neon sign from the Universe. I need this and I love her. I bought in.

My hope in taking this course is to find inspiration in everyday life. I want to be able to tap into how the outside world makes me feel and bring it to life from within.

Section one, which I am completing now, is called ‘Uncover Your Creative Life.’ In it is a lesson in finding joy and finding what makes you feel alive. Liz says it doesn’t have to make sense and it doesn’t have to advance you. It simply needs to make you feel ‘purposeful,’ ‘joyful,’ and ‘effervescent.’

Creativity Notebook Prompt #1 is doing a Curiosity Cat Scan and writing on any of the given questions that spark an interest for 20 minutes. It is encouraged that we share our ideas if comfortable enough, and while I’m not fully comfortable with this I am trying to live beyond my fears so here goes…

What was the last thing you really wondered about?
Honestly, my purpose in life. Why am I not living a bigger life? Ever since I was a kid I had big dreams. I never wanted for materialistic possessions. I wanted grand experiences. Yes, even as a child I felt I was destined for greatness, to succeed, to see the world, to make something of myself. I knew I wanted a life I didn’t know beyond my current circumstances, and I knew I had to work hard at it. As an adult I miss that wonder. I miss dreaming big and believing it could all come true. And I have far too often wondered how I can get back some of that curiosity and thirst for life.

What are you doing when you feel most beautiful?
Laughing, being authentic, stepping outside of what I think I should be and being exactly who I am, not having a care in the world, taking care of myself.

What would you do for a living if you were not afraid of anything?
I would write. I would just write about anything and everything that interested me. I wouldn’t hold back because in that moment I don’t have all the knowledge or experience. I would go get it, and then I would creative something from it. Also, it has been a dream of mine to own a little coffee shop. With more of a lounge feel. Where people could come and enjoy one another, sit in silence and creative something of their own, where they could feel like they belong.

What did you love to do most of all when you were 8 years old?
Even as a child I loved to write. About anything. Poetry. I had a recycling club because I wanted to save the world. I never cared what anyone thought about me. I knew there was good to do in the world and it was my job to do it. So I thought up ways. I was in the Young Astronauts club in school. I loved books and Barbies and my dolls. I wasn’t bothered if my clothes didn’t particularly match, and I had the best darn pair of bright teal Keds that I’d gotten in New Hampshire.

–>>Part 2: What themes do I see? What is exciting to me? What do I want to use this course to start pursuing or start creating?

The common theme throughout all of these answers is basically living fearlessly and authentically, not attempting to fit into a mold, and doing something as big as I can imagine. These are all things I think about frequently. How do I live more with that childlike mentality about creating a colorful life and not feel stuck in the 9-5 rat race.

I want to use this course to create ideas. To find better ways of self expression. Written word has always been my preferred method but I’d like to think outside of that box. To allow ideas to flow through my veins and out of my fingertips in any way that feels fitting.


Anyone interested in this program, I got it from Udemy – Click here

Also, I highly recommend reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

“I wish I could have loved you like a fairytale,” I thought as I drove over the Delaware. “I wish I could have loved you the way I dreamt I would when I was 16.” The thought lingered through every song, every word, every mile. And then you wanted nothing more. You wanted nothing more of me and the broken fantasy. So many years of waiting and emotional torture. So many nights spent awake wondering what you were doing and what if, what if, what if. Now it all fell off my bags like dust into the wind. The words you spoke, the words that brought my tears nearer to you, everything I wanted to hear for 15 years.. I glued them to the walls of my shattered dreams, hoping to mend what little heart I have left. If I couldn’t make it work with you, the man I stitched into the farthest and deepest corners of my dreams, then how could I possibly expect it to work with anyone else? And now, now we are — what we never were — a distant memory. I’m forgotten. You’re bitter.

Everybody leaves.

After all the years and through all the seasons,
I trusted in you.

Through stormy weather and broken hearts,
Midnight conversations and miles,
Laughter from the driver’s seat,
You made promises.

Now your words are broken,
Friendships shattered,
Lost in the deafening radio silence.

Conversations We Will Never Have.

I have been thinking about him lately. I shouldn’t be. Thoughts of him should never cross my mind after he so easily discarded me. But they have swooped on in. He crossed my mind from time to time in the past, but there was just something.

And in my mind I wanted to will him to reach out to me. I wanted him to want to see me on some level. Even out of sheer curiosity. Not that I think he has the guts to. I think he knows I am far too good for him. I am worth far more than he is capable of giving. He doesn’t deserve me, my time, my attention. And yet I have sat thinking of him. Started etching out conversations we will never have.

I’ve thought of all the things I would want to say. The faces I would want to make to show my disinterest. I would tell him I am not even sure why I agreed to meet because he does not deserve a shred of my time or an ounce of my sympathy. I would tell him I know I shouldn’t be there but there I would sit, insisting I shouldn’t be there but curiosity has gotten the best of me.

Deep down I needed an answer. I needed to know why history had to repeat itself and I couldn’t be the one to break the cycle. A near slip of the tongue to confess your love for me while crossing state lines. We were a damn good pair. Knew how to handle the other, give space when needed and tough love when the whip needed to be cracked.

The last time you saw me you told me things were over with her. Kissed me entirely too passionately for what we weren’t. Asked me home. I knew better.

I couldn’t curl up to the warmth of your skin, get tangled in the mess of blankets and breath. I couldn’t pretend to be asleep beside you knowing my heart would be left shattered at the foot of the bed. I told you so. I can’t, I said. I must go.

We parted ways.

And then I came to need you, went in search of you to make everything all right for me if only for one single moment, and you were nowhere to be found. Distracted. The next time you saw me we were strangers under fluorescent lights. You acted as though I was part of the distant past, and in that moment I knew your mask had changed. You were no longer who I had tied my emotions to. No longer lingering kisses in the dark.

You became the man I knew you would be. The one I told silently in bed one night would turn out to hurt me. I should have known in your absence of reassurance that my suspicions were right. I should have walked away. But you were far too much of a train wreck and I was in need of fixing you.

Now all this time has passed, and I know I shouldn’t be thinking about you but I am. In those places I visit, those memories I recall, that cup of coffee I bought. You’re everywhere.