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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Open Close Open

Sometimes the very thing that opens you up completely closes you back up . . . and then starts to open you back up again.

I recently posted about how I met the most amazing man I have ever met in my life. How he restored my faith in men and opened me back up to the idea of dating after three prior horrific dating experiences. This man took my standards to an even higher level, a level that I'm not sure anyone else will ever meet or exceed.

I should probably say that this guy broke my heart as well. Not intentionally, but unintentionally, if that makes it any better. I cried, then dealt with the situation as maturely as humanly possible. We are still friends and plan to meet up next week for lunch or coffee.

So what had originally opened me totally closed me off. Shit happens, people break your heart and let you down. Is that really an excuse to close yourself off? I think not . . . but I didn't realize it until I had dinner with a good friend last night.

We were sitting there catching up and I was talking about how I doubt I'd ever get married. My good friend is one of the sweetest people in the world. He just says to me, "Amy, you're gonna find someone, trust me."

I started to tell him about Nate and how I didn't think that there was anyone in the world as good as him and that my standards were almost at an unattainable high. He continued to say that there was someone out there for me. Someone that would treat me better. That it may not seem like it now, but there will be someone, and it will happen when I least expect it.

Well, that's what happened with Nate. He came into my life at a time when I wasn't wanting to date anyone or let anyone new in. When I least expected it.

Not that I'm expecting it now. Let's be honest, I am completely happy and content being single. I'm pretty much just too selfish and career oriented to think about another human being in my life. That sounds totally terrible. What I mean is that I am too busy and don't really want to think about having all the responsibility that comes with being in a relationship. Yeah, that sounds a little less bitchy.

So, it was a bit ironic that even though Nate had opened me up to the idea that nice guys still existed, and then he closed me off to that idea, for some reason, it all just got opened back up again. He ultimately did the opposite of what he originally did. But then I realized that it was just stupid for me to close myself back off again. Even if I don't want a relationship, how many amazing people am I missing out on because I'm too closed off to give them a chance. A chance to tell me their story, a chance to create a life that is shared, even if it's a friendship.

Honestly,  I was just scared to let myself fall for someone again like I did Nate. I usually don't fall for someone very easily, but with him, I did. And I am scared that I'll never meet anyone as chivalrous as he is. But closing off doesn't help that fear, it actually makes it worse.

So why not just open up and see what flows in and out of my heart?

Monday, May 21, 2012

You Only Have ONE Life

For whatever reason, I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately. I'm not sure if it's that I just went to an amazing yoga conference or that I've had some eye opening experiences, but it's been a very reflective time. 

I had an epiphany the other day when a friend of mine said, "I wish I had your life!" My initial response was, "No, no you don't." Then I took a second to think about it. I do have a pretty awesome life. I don't have a 9-5 job, which totally doesn't suit me at all. Instead, I have a job where the things I say could make people's day, or at least make them think and I have the ability to maybe make a difference, and to hand people their own asses on a yoga mat. This job doesn't even feel like work because it's really all play. Just when I think that I don't want to go to work, I start teaching, and I'm so grateful to be there. Outside of work, I have the greatest and most amazing friends and family in the world. A person couldn't ask for anything more than I have. 

So here's to YOU! This is a BIG THANK YOU for being such an important part of my life. And here's why:

Mom - You are my inspiration! You have such a kind and compassionate heart, always thinking of others before yourself. And you are at least twice my age and in better shape than me! I hope I have that kind of energy when I get to your age. 

Blake - The love of my life. Teaching me to live in the moment, forgive quickly, love much, and be happy. 

Nina, Amber, Trina, Julia, Yuliya - For always being there and helping me get through it all. The good, bad, and in between. (Julia - also the best person to have a glade of red wine with!)

Hamid - Hehehe, thanks for showing me how to really live, I mean really live life. To it's fullest potential, each and every moment, let loose and enjoy life. There is never a boring time when you're around!

Kelli - The best yoga teacher ever, seriously! Thanks for teaching me to be fearless and to not take life so seriously.

Jonny - For teaching me that vulnerability can be a good thing, a strength, not a weakness.

Jane - Always kind words, empowering words to inspire and help me make it through the tough times. 

Mike - Hahahahaha, the best person to have any type of conversation with, whether it's sex, the downright nerdy stuff, or nutrition. :-)

Juliana - For showing me that I am too smart to fail, no matter where I am at. 

Grant - For teaching me that a broken heart can be a blessing in disguise. That sometimes, you can transform anger and bitterness into compassion. That forgiveness is the ultimate gift to let go of someone and set yourself free. 

Umpai - Best big sister ever, constantly pushing me to be a better version of who I already am. 

Leslie - Best uncle ever to Blake. Also - best person to cook with (yummy yogurt!). And the guy I always go to about the latest Apple news.

Martyn - Thank you for teaching me that the ability to forgive is essential to human existence.

Chet - For always being there and being honest, all the time. 

Nate - For showing me that being different is beautiful. For teaching me that I deserve nothing less than the best. 

And to all my wonderful and amazing students (Melissa, Gavi, Ophra, Natasha) - thank you for constantly teaching me about life and inspiring me through your practice. 


Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Honest Confession

I spent a year as your backup, your second choice, the girl that you settled for because you couldn't have the one you really wanted. And the entire time all I thought, "I'm not good enough." But it all reality, it was just that you were simply not good enough for me. 

I am so so sorry that she broke your heart, especially since you spend 8 months with me while really just chasing after her. I'm sure that you had 8 wonderful months with her and it was everything that you ever dreamed of, so I am truly sorry that you got your heart broken this time. 

But here's my confession: while I have an incredibly compassionate heart and feel for your heartbreak, it's really sickening to watch you continue to chase after something that clearly doesn't want you. You're chasing her like a lost little puppy dog, like I used to chase you. Is she really worth it? If you can answer that question honestly without any bias and the answer is "yes", then continue chasing. But if there's the slight chance that there's someone else out there who might love you more and appreciate you more and won't make you chase and won't get bored with you after 8 months, then it's time to let go of her and see what else is out there. I shouldn't be passing judgment, so we will call this an "observation". And as someone who is your friend, this is what I see. 

Now don't get me wrong, yes I fell in love with you (looking back now, it was really some type of fucked up kind of falling in love with you) and I'm definitely NOT saying that I'm the better version of her, because I'm not. I'm not any better or any worse than she is. Actually, if you ever did decide to come running back to me, I could never be with you. Not after her. Yeah, you might treat me well, but you would never really treat me as well as I deserve to be treated. And when I met you, I had no standards, no offense. Thanks to a very special someone, my standards are now higher than ever, and to be blunt, you just don't meet those standards. But I think that there is someone out there who will love you more, treat you better, and want to be with you more, and who will actually deserve you. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sometimes All You Need is One . . .

And you were the one I needed. 

Just when you think you've lost all faith and completely given up, someone comes along to not only restore your faith and hope, but sweeps you off your feet and teaches you something you didn't know about life . . . and love.

You probably don't know it, but you were my miracle, my angel. You proved to me that there are still great guys out there. The ones that are chivalrous, the good ones. 

It's been a rough year and a half. Taking a brutal beating to the heart, two grandparents passing away, health issues, best friends' moving all over the country. Meeting all the wrong guys while searching for the needle in the haystack. Yeah, it's been rough. 

And then I met YOU. Just when I wasn't looking for anything and wasn't expecting a thing. You randomly showed up to my class, complimented me to no end week after week, and yet I was so resistant to you at first. Then after three months of me seeing you once a week to hand you your ass on a yoga mat, you asked me to hang out. 

Our first hang out was interesting. It was the first time I had drank alcohol in a while and so I got really drunk. Getting food, watching a movie, and staying at your house because I was too drunk to drive home and even though you had to wake up early. You didn't even try anything but a kiss good night. You had my attention right there, but I wasn't willing to like you yet. 

Took you for a surprise one time, which will stay between you and I, but let's just say you can cross that adventure off your bucket list. :-)

Then we just continued on like we had never went out. Saw you once a week, we would walk to my car together, yup, just like nothing happened.

One night, I was with my friends crossing the street to go to a bar. You yelled my name and came up to give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I asked where you were headed and you didn't know yet. We somehow ended up at the same bar and we had our first dance. It was epic, every time I hear that song now, I think of you and how much fun we had. That night was funny. We fought each other the entire time. At one point, you thought you were going to have to defend me against a second-round NFL draft pick. It was really cute how you responded and I'm sorry if my "I don't need you to protect me against him, or against anyone else for that matter" may have emasculated you a bit or made you feel small. I was not intending to, sometimes I'm just too independent for my own good. But it really was adorable that you were willing to stick up for me just in case. ;-)

So you tricked me, you invited me out to dinner with you and your friends and when I showed up, I found out that we were going to your fraternity's date party. You knew that if you would have told me it was a date party, that I would have said no. But here's the thing: I'm glad you tricked me. I had the time of my life that night. I don't remember a night where I had that much fun. And that look you kept giving me, the look I kept asking about, the look that you kept saying that you were just so happy, the look gave me such a rush. That night was probably one of the best nights of my life. 

Then you left after graduation. To go home before starting work in Chicago. I got to see you the night before you left. It was a short encounter. You had been hanging out with your friends and it was an emotional time, but I was walking to my car and you were headed back towards home. We were outside my car and just talking about how sad it was. You told me that we had so much fun together and I totally agree. You couldn't even look at me in the eye without tearing up, and I was definitely tearing up too. I gave you a hug and you said, "I love you."

From the beginning, we both established that we weren't looking for a relationship, but way to throw a girl off by saying that before you left. I don't know if you said it because you were emotional, because you meant it in a friend way, or if you seriously meant it. Problem is, I didn't realize what you said until I was driving away. I wish I would have. I would have shifted my car back into park when you looked at me through my window, gotten out of my car, walked up to you, and kissed you. And not just any kiss, but the kind of kiss that stops time, that's slow, passionate, and worth every single moment. I replay this scenario back in my head every single day. And I wonder what it would have been like. 

So I have a confession to make. And I'm putting it on here because I haven't exactly figured out what I'm going to say or how I will actually tell you, but I do know that you don't have Facebook so you probably won't see this. :-P

Come September, you and I will be living in the same city. We will both be in a city where it's so much fun to be young and single. And I know where you're coming from, you're young, just graduated from college, starting your real job, and living in an amazing city. I don't even know that I want to be in a relationship when I'm moving there either, but I do know that if I'm going to be in a relationship with someone, it's gonna be you. Or someone even better than you. 

Because, in all honesty, you raised my standards for men. I went from having high standards, to having no standards at one point, to now having the highest standards ever. You showed me what I deserve, and that nothing less will do. Everyone comes into your life for a reason, and you came to teach me so much about life . . . and love. I'm not in love with you, I have a huge wall built up against that, but you do mean a lot to me. Guys like you don't come around very often and guys like you never happen to girls like me. I honestly feel bad for the next guy that dates me because he has to measure up to you.

I'm really lucky to have met you, to have gotten to spend what little time we did together, to always have a reminder of what I deserve. And I am excited to continue to develop a relationship with you in a new and fun city, whether that relationship is intimate, or just friends. No matter what happens, I always want to be your friend, because you are that amazing of a person. 

Yeah, it's been a rough year, but I found the light at the end of the tunnel. So be inspired by your own trials and tribulations. Find inspiration and heart through how you rose above. Had all these things not happened, I would not have found my passion, the light within myself, and my new life path . . . and I certainly would not have met the most amazing man I know. 

A Lesson on Compassion

I recently ran into my ex, if you could call him that, at a club in Ann Arbor. It was a bit strange as this is not the type of club he would usually attend, and from what I have heard, he really didn’t go out that much anymore because his girlfriend isn’t twenty-one yet and he didn’t want to leave her. I had seen a girl with him at the club, and I feared that it was his girlfriend. Soon to find out, it was his roommate, NOT his girlfriend. Well, that made the  situation a little less awkward.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him, and a long time since I felt any remote pain or feeling about it. I had decided that even though he broke my heart worse than it’s ever been broken before, I was happy that his was finally with the girl of his dreams. But this night was altogether weird. I went up and talked to him and was genuinely happy for him. We talked about his new job and how things were going, everything seemed as if it was going really well for him.
We went to dance and it was even more flirtatious than it had ever been when we were “together”. I was very confused by this because I decided long ago that we weren’t meant for each other, and that he wasn’t the type of guy I wanted to be with. And I know how he feels about his girlfriend -- head over heels in love with her and would never do anything to hurt her. 
I came home and checked facebook. I was looking at a post on my page when I noticed that his profile picture was no longer of him and the girlfriend. So I clicked on his profile. It no longer showed pictures of him and her as the profile photo or the cover photo. Scanning his profile, they were no longer in a relationship. Okay, check her profile . . . same thing, no profile picture, no relationship status. Well, that explains the flirtatious behavior. 
Anyways, him and I got together to just hang out the other night. I wanted to ask, not out of vindication, but to make sure he was okay. I didn’t go the usual direct route that I would normally take, but eventually got him to tell me that she broke up with him. I asked if he was ok and he said he was “fine”. Putting up a tough front is always his specialty. Always acting like everything is okay and not really showing any emotion. He spoke a little about what had led to the break up and my heart literally broke for him.
Now this is the guy that was in love with my friend the entire time we were “together”, then ended up dating her, and rather than either of them telling me, I found out via facebook. So why the hell would I feel bad for this guy?!
I was angry for a long time, bitter, downright pissed off. Then I decided that I was upset because he chose her and he used me as a second choice the whole time. One day, it just hit me: I could choose to be happy for him, to forgive. So I did. 
And after thinking about this all a little bit more, and why I would still care after all this time, I had a moment of clarity, of peace, serenity even. I somehow turned what I felt as pain, bitterness, heartbreak, and anger to a place of compassion, an open heart, an opportunity to care. It was this sense of transformation and renewal. Rather than be angry or feel vindicated that someone broke his heart like he broke mine, I was sad for him. I worry about how he is doing, despite the words that he is “fine”.
I can’t even begin to explain why it is that I continue to care. But I can explain that having an open heart and being compassionate, even to those who have hurt you so badly before, leads you to a better place. Leads you to a moment of clarity. Peace. Serenity. 
Yeah, he broke my heart and I was burned badly, but there was a lesson learned. This guy taught me how to let loose and live life, and I can’t thank him enough for that. Every person you meet is there to serve a purpose, big or small. And even if you get burned by that person, there’s always a place in your heart to hold for them. You never know when they might need it. 
Inspiring soul, kind mind, compassionate heart . . .