Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Date, Heat Rash, and Insomnia

It's 6 am, I think I slept for an hour and a half, and now I'm wide awake and my mind is thinking too much. Ah, the wonders of steroid pills. Luckily this time around I'm on them for a heat rash that decided to creep up my neck, but even on day two they are taking a toll on my system, and my insomnia is out of control.

Or maybe something has to do with having a stupid, shit eating grin on my face for the past two nights.

I went on a date. Well, two dates now, same person. They were... nice. Not to make it sound like the dates were bad in any way, because they weren't. In fact, they were super fun, amazingly fun really, and instantly involved him hanging out with my friends, which could be a good or bad thing depending on what they think of him. Quite honestly, I needed that litmus test, because it seems all of them were aware of what an unhealthy relationship I was in. So, you know, I guess if anyone can weather through that, it may be worth even going on a third date!

It's just different. He is someone I met at an art event, no prior history or friendship. Someone fresh and new. He doesn't know me, my baggage, what I was, what I did, and there isn't any prior notion of who I am and what I'm expected to be. It's refreshing and liberating. I can be *me*.

And while there isn't any notion of a Facebook status change in my relationship, I've pretty much made up my mind to see this person again, once my schedule eases up a bit. And more than likely again after that.

And so, in my giddiness and stupid girlishness, and my insomnia, it started creeping in. The baggage I feared that would inevitably be held over from my last relationship. Or I guess, what I mean to say is, my fear of that baggage. Wondering when it will start to affect my mindset, because let's be honest, you don't go through something like that and expect to have any shred of trust in the next person you meet.

It did come up tonight, the inevitable references to past relationships. I was hoping to hold it off, but I felt honesty is my best policy. And I came out and said, "Listen, I was in a very emotionally abusive relationship before this. Honestly, I probably shouldn't even be dating now, because it's only been a hand full of months since I kicked him completely out of my life. But here I am, I enjoy your company, and I don't want to stop a potentially good thing because of my issues. But I thought you should know so you can make the decision going forward."

He took it well. He took it beyond well. I mean, I often do say things to scare away guys, to see just how much they can take before they think, oh no, this one is damaged goods, let's walk away now. But this was different, I didn't want to scare him off, I wanted him to understand that when it comes to certain things, it's going to take time with me. And a lot of it.

And truthfully, I don't even know if I want a relationship out of this. Not just because of the ex, but I'm at a point in my life where a lot of things are being built up, put into place, and I am focusing 100% on me and my career. But, at the same time, I really don't want to piss away something else that could possibly be good for me.

I've learned something very important, something I think I always knew but never really practiced. I don't need to be with anyone. I'm actually very happy with myself and on my own. Other guys may have tried to tell me otherwise, say how I cannot cope with being alone, but the truth is I think they didn't want to admit to themselves that I really didn't need them. So they crafted environments that made me reliable on them, in one way or another, and couldn't take it when I felt suffocated and lashed out.

When I first moved to Atlanta, I did cling to my ex. I was alone in a new city with no real friends. It wasn't just that he was my boyfriend, but he was one of my best friends. I don't think he ever understood that. I was afraid. I was alone. And I wanted a friend.

All that is different now, coming on nearly 2 years of living here and I have amazing friends. Some of them I had even in the beginning, but I just didn't realize it and clung to the familiar.

So even with my insomnia, which usually brings the worse of thoughts to my head, I can't seem to find them. I think about how there should be things holding me back, other than the, "I want to take my time with this one, get to know him and keep the fun, exploring and learning about one another phase going as long as I can." Because, as I'm learning, that's a pretty fun place to be in.

Cheers to moving forward!

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