"Update" NYC

Spring Cleaning

It’s been over a month since my last entry and since that last entry I’ve done some personal “spring cleaning.” What I mean by that phrase is that, like anyone else out there, we tend to get busy. We get busy with work, family, friends and our love lives. We get so busy at times that we forget to focus on the main person that matters the most…ourselves. It’s been one of the main reasons why I haven’t written because I got “busy” with other things that I forgot to focus on myself. And it wasn’t until this past month that I’ve been gone from writing that not only have I refocused my priorities but did some “spring cleaning” with some of the situations and people that weren’t working out in my life.

Let’s start with the Ex-Cop that I’ve been hanging out with since this past August. In my last entry, I was already teetering on whether or not I should continue to date him. Mainly because he was much older than I and had experienced certain things in life that I have yet to reach. While that reason was a major factor in my thought process there was another factor that came to play. It happened after a night of drinking with him and when we went back to my place. So, that night, we came back to my place and as we became intimate I discovered what the “curse of the Irish” meant. I thought it was one of those old wives tales (and I’m sure that it is). However, in this instance with this specific Irish man that I was with…the legend was accurate. I had never seen anything that small and so I did my best to be polite, act like I was too drunk and went to sleep. A few days later, we met to talk and I told him that I just don’t see a romantic future for us (I never mentioned anything about his “curse”). He understood and this conversation happened in mid-September. Since then, he has asked to see me for drinks, as a friend, but my schedule just hasn’t allowed but I see no reason in the future why we couldn’t. However, having that conversation led me to want to begin the process of cleaning house with whatever and whoever was not serving a real purpose in my life.

Next up was a former co-worker of mine. During our time of working together, he had always been boarding on the flirtatious side. In fact, back when Mr. D. was in my life, they didn’t get a long at all. My coworker and I had remained friends outside of the office. He and I had shared many experiences together. I’ve met his family, he has cuddled with me and he was there many times when Mr. D. wasn’t. He and I were certainly more than friends but I never pushed for it and always wanted to have him as a friend rather than anything else.

It was only a week after I let the Ex-Cop go, that I was meeting my former coworker for drinks at the bar, Industry. Over drinks, we were updating each other on our current jobs, family and our dating lives. It was right around the time of his third whiskey drink that I could tell he was starting to get drunk. I was starting to tell him what had happened with the Ex-Cop when he stopped me and said, “Just so you know…you and I are never going to have sex. Just want you to know that.” I looked at him with disgust and anger because while that topic was nowhere near what we were talking about at that time. I was also never the one that pursued him. He was the one that would send me videos of him playing guitar shirtless or wanting me to come to his apartment in Queens. As soon as those words left his mouth, I responded back with, “I think I should go home now.” He knew he had gone too far and that I was pissed. Some might say that I overreacted but given our history together and all those years of him playing with those hidden messages…I had hit my limit with men that play games. He asked to walk me home and I told him that I didn’t need anyone walking me home. That was the last time I saw him. Since then there has been no communication on my part. He has sent several text messages but little did he know that “spring cleaning” was well into play.

Which leads me to my latest dating adventure. Around the same time that I was hanging out with the Ex-Cop, I also got reacquainted with someone that I dated back in January of this year. He is a nice guy, tall, has a good job, lives a mere four blocks away from my apartment and when we are together we have a nice connection. We have been on several dates and each one tends to fall into the same pattern of one of us picking a restaurant, followed by going back to his place to make out and me going home (never staying the night). Now, the kisses are fantastic and yet every time I suggested that we go to the next level; he would shy away from the idea. In the beginning I thought to myself, “Am I slut?” which even I laughed at that question for, if anything…I’m a prude. Finally, after the sixth date, I asked him if there was something wrong. I should know by now that if you ask the question that you should be prepared for the answer.

I guess the first thing that was told to me was that he was still “technically” married to his husband. I also learned that the husband lives in Atlanta with their dogs but they are no longer together but haven’t gotten divorced yet for tax reasons. I guess we all stay married for different reasons. The second item on the confession list was that he asked me if I was a “chaser.” I didn’t understand what that meant nor had I heard that expression. I asked him to explain what he meant and he said, “Are you attracted to chubby men?” I told him that I hadn’t really thought about it but in regards to physical appearance the one thing that I, personally, am attracted to is height (this guy is 6’3). I asked him why he would ask me if I was attracted to chubby men because he was not chubby at all. Turns out…he was more than just “chubby” but he was recently obese. He confessed to me that he was almost going to die due to how much he weighed and went ahead with gastric bypass surgery late last year. Since he had gotten that surgery, his husband no longer found him attracted because the husband was a “chaser” and therefore the relationship faltered due to the fact that this guy altered his appearance.

By now, most people would’ve grabbed their bags and exited but I stayed and listened. I stayed and listened for it turned out he really needed someone to tell this all to. After the confession of his marital status, after the confession of having the surgery there was still one item on the list that puzzled me. Why didn’t he want to be intimate with me? Once again, I had no trouble asking that question and the result was that while he had the surgery, he hadn’t taken care of the excess skin from that surgery. He is self-conscious about being naked. The minute he told me that, I told him that I was the same way about my body. Maybe not to his degree of reasoning but I told him that everyone at times feels that way about themselves. I asked him if the thought about having the surgery for taking care of the skin and he did tell me that he is speaking with doctors about it. He asked if I was turned off or had any further questions for him and I told him that I think I asked enough questions and now I wanted to take some time to think about it.

This particular discussion happened in September. Since that discussion, he and I have been on several dates and he even scheduled his surgery for late December of this year. Have we been intimate? No. Am I wanting to? I would only want to do something that personal when both parties are ready. I can wait and it turns out that I will have a to wait a bit longer for he left for Australia for the entire month of November for work this past Friday. I told him that we can see where our lives are at when he returns but I also plan on being open to any possibility. He respected what I said and hoped that I will wait.

Turns out that once you get started on “spring cleaning” that it can be hard to stop. Sort of like once you start organizing your closet…it feels good to see the finished product. While the calendar month might say it’s November it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t begin your own personal “spring cleaning” and focus on the most important person…yourself.

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Giving it a Chance

When we were children our parents often tried to get us to do things that we didn’t like. We refused to eat our vegetables and didn’t want to go to bed at a certain time. We didn’t know at the time but what they were doing for us was for the better. They knew that vegetables were needed to make us stronger and getting rest was beneficial for school the next day. Yet, as kids, we didn’t know that. All we knew was that we weren’t getting our way and refused to giving things a chance. Now, as adults, we have free reign to do whatever we want-whenever we want and there are still moments in our lives where we simply must give things a chance that just might benefit us in the long run.

The last time I wrote, I was still on the fence with what to do with the guy I had been on several dates with…The Ex-Cop. Each date had been wonderful, polite, romantic even. Yet, there was “something” that was blocking me from allowing myself to want to move forward. I knew that I should give him a chance because he is a good guy, has manners, is a family man and would treat me that way I deserve to be treated. After our last date, I wanted to force myself to think about what exactly it is that is stopping me from allowing this man into my life.

My reasons weren’t because of attraction because I am attracted but it was bigger than that. It was because he got to live a life that I had hoped would one day happen for me. He was married and he has children. Seeing that we are seventeen years apart in age, I wasn’t sure he would even want to discuss children and seeing that he’s only been out of the closet since this past December, I also knew he had a lot of life to live. So, after our last date on Labor Day, I needed some time to myself to think about what I wanted and not be afraid to have a discussion with him the next time we saw each other.

Two Saturday’s ago, my friend who had appendicitis was recovering and asked me to come over to keep him company. Part of that recovery was showing me the city via the water taxi. We took a water taxi on the east side and road it to the Dumbo area in Brooklyn. There we saw how beautiful Brooklyn Heights has always been. It was such a great day and I could tell that my friend really needed to be out and about for his recovery. Afterwards, we went back to his place, talked and I had to leave early because the next day I was going back to a different part of Brooklyn, Park Slope, to meet another friend of mines newborn baby girl.
While I was in Park Slope visiting the baby another friend of mine met us in a park with her nineteen-month-old son whom I adore. While I was there, the Ex-Cop was texting me and asking me if I was having a nice time with all the kids. We had already planned our next date which was for the next day. I told him that I was looking forward to our date and he replied quickly with, “Is it Monday yet?”

I woke up the next day after spending time with the kids feeling like I was coming down with a cold. I know those playgrounds are just one big petri dish but I stocked up on medicine for I knew I couldn’t cancel on my date because the next evening he was leaving for Ireland for a football game with his friends.
For our date, we met for a few drinks before heading to dinner. I told him right off the bat that I was coming down with a cold and he understood. Over dinner he could tell that something was on my mind and so he asked if there was anything wrong. There it was…my time to ask him the question that most would say is far too early to ask but I knew that if I didn’t; I could run the risk of spinning both of our wheels. So, I said, “I know you have children that you love very much and I know that you’ve noticed that I spend a lot of time around children. That being said, I do want children one day. I know that you’ve had them already, you’re older and so I’m wondering if you can see yourself one day having more children?”

I was waiting for him to say that he was shocked at the question or possibly tell me that the question was inappropriate given that we haven’t even slept together yet but instead he told me, “I have noticed you like children which is one of the things I like about you. I love getting to know you and spend time with you and I’d like to see where things go. So, I could see myself having more children one day.” He was drinking beer at dinner and I was having tea but it was there that I thought I might need to give things a chance if I could just allow myself to. He walked me home and gave each other a hug since I didn’t want to get him sick before his trip. Since then, he has text me from Ireland and I hope to see him this week when returns.

This past Friday, I was out with my friend dancing at the bar, Industry. It was one of those nights where we both needed to let our hair down after the first full work-week since Labor Day. We were doing shots and dancing. While on the dancefloor, I noticed a tall guy that looked very familiar to me. Turns out, he was a guy I went on a few dates with back in January. I went over to him and tapped him on the shoulder and he recognized me instantly. I could tell he was drunk which was odd because from what I remembered back on our dates…he didn’t drink. I wanted to get back to my friend so as I was turning to go back to the dancefloor, he asked me if he could take me out again. He said, that back in January he felt like I wasn’t interested in him so he never contacted me again, which was odd because that’s exactly how I felt about him. We hugged and he said he would contact me the next day to set up a time to meet for dinner.

Yesterday, bright and early, I got a text message from the guy on Friday night asking me if we were still on for that evening. I told him that we are confirmed and that I was looking forward to catching up. It’s funny that he and I live only five blocks away from each other and yet I’ve never seen him around. He wanted to go to Arriba Arriba for some dinner and margaritas. He was waiting for me when I arrived and we got a table outside. We hadn’t seen each other in nine months and so we had to get reacquainted. Over dinner, I re-learned that he works as an accountant, is from the Midwest, has two dogs in Atlanta with his ex-husband and confessed that he really liked me on our dates but wasn’t sure how to pursue me. After dinner, he paid because he said he was appreciative that I accepted another date with him and because that is what gentleman do. I thanked him and said that since the evening was still young that if he wanted to grab a drink across the street that it was my treat. He agreed and once inside, I promptly ordered two whiskey drinks (I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to go from tequila to whiskey).

As we were seated at the bar, I noticed in the corner of the bar was a guy I had dated a few years ago. That relationship didn’t end well so I wasn’t sure how or if things were going to get uncomfortable. My current date noticed that my focus had shifted and I confessed to him what was happening and he said, “Well, let’s kiss and make him jealous.” I took a big swig of whiskey and we began to make out at the bar and it turns out this date of mine is an excellent kisser. When I finally decided to come up for air, I noticed that my ex-boyfriend had left. It wasn’t a mature act by any means but damn…that kissing was just what I needed. My date and I finished our drinks and that led to the famous question that he asked me, which was, “Want to come back to my place?” No response was needed because I had taken him by the hand and started walking. We got to his place and no words were needed, I didn’t even do my usual routine of excusing myself to the restroom to look inside the medicine cabinet. I didn’t care because all I wanted was to make-out like I was in high school, which was exactly what we did for an hour. I stumbled to find my socks and as I was putting my shoes back on, he asked me out again and I told him that I would let him know once I knew my schedule. As I was walking home, I was glad that I gave him another chance because regardless of the outcome…I was having fun.

This morning, I’ve confirmed that my next date is this upcoming Sunday and I have no idea what to expect. I also am not sure when the Ex-Cop returns from Ireland and what that future holds there either. What I do know is that I’m giving it all a chance and if something turns out for the better than that is great and if not…well…at least I tried.

Taking a chance on someone is a risk but taking a chance on yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself. There will be times that the chance we take doesn’t always turn out in our favor but if you never take a chance than nothing will ever happen. I encourage you all this week to take a chance on yourself!

Baggage Claim

As we get older and each year passes, more often than not, we will accumulate what some will call “baggage”. This so-called “baggage” is otherwise known as our past and present. This “baggage” is what we carry around for our entire adult lives. It consists of losses, gains, love, hate and everything in between. There will be people we come across that has more “baggage” than others and it’s our responsibility to figure out if this person’s “baggage” is something that we can handle or comfortable with bringing into our lives. When it comes to “baggage” …what do we claim and what do we check-in at the front door?

Two weekends ago, I did something I never thought I would do in a million years. My good friend and I rented a car and drove from New York to a land called…Ohio. We were attending a wedding for mutual friends of ours and we had no idea what to expect. I drove most of the way and on that drive, I got to know my friend even more. We laughed and talked the entire nine hours it took and shared some of our own “baggage”. We both discovered that while Ohio has lots of beautiful farm land; it is not for us but the wedding was one of the most beautiful weddings I had ever attended. On the drive, back to New York, I realized that in a couple of days it would’ve been my birthday. I was having a hard time processing this birthday since I was doing the cataloging of my life and what I’ve accomplished and things that I haven’t. It is a pressure that I’ve put on myself and part of that pressure was associated with my own baggage. Was I letting my own baggage stop me from achieving some of my personal goals in life? The answer to that question is…most likely. I just wasn’t sure how to fix it.

Last Tuesday, the day of my birthday, I was flooded with cards, text messages, phone calls from all over and while it made me feel rather special I just felt that there was something missing. The day of my birthday was also cold and rainy which is unusual for New York this time of year. I managed to get myself in such a funk that I turned down every invitation that day and instead took myself home and spent it alone. Right before I went to bed that night, I told myself that I needed to check my own baggage at the door and it was time to move forward.

The days following my birthday I told myself that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and that is exactly what I did. I celebrated a good friend of mines birthday at the Standard Grill and the next day had drinks with another friend and by the time Friday rolled around; I had a group of friends meet me in the West Village for drinks and our usual social antics.

This past Saturday, I woke up feeling good and excited. I managed to take my favorite spin class, followed by an afternoon of beauty and then it was time to get ready for my date. My date was with the retired cop that I had met a few weeks ago, at the bar, RISE. He was someone that also came with more baggage than I was used to. He was older than me, had an ex-wife, three children and has only been out as a gay man since this past December. So, with all of his baggage plus mine; we certainly had a lot to discuss over dinner and drinks. We met for drinks first and that was followed by dinner at this new Italian restaurant that he picked for us.

His moves towards me were something I haven’t experienced in a very long time. Every time we would leave a place, he would let me go first, open the door, kiss me hand over dinner and pay compliments. He is also someone that listens to every single detail of what I’m saying and I pay him the same respect. It sounds odd that this behavior should be common and not come as a surprise but as dating these days is based on swiping left or right; it’s refreshing to sit across from someone that is an adult. During dinner, as we were going into further details about our lives, the entire setting was romantic. The food was delicious, the cocktails were amazing and we had two lit candles set out our table. As my date tried to reach for my hand (a gesture that I was unfamiliar with) I was startled and pulled my hand back and as I did, I knocked over one of the candles and hot wax went all over the table. Unfortunately, some of the hot wax went onto a patron’s shoe at the next table. They weren’t upset at all but laughed at my clumsiness and all was well with our table and the shoe. After dinner (which he paid for in honor of my belated birthday) we went to Atlas Social Club for a few beers and while I was there, I ran into people from the wedding in Ohio. My date said, “Everywhere we go, you seem to run into someone you know.” The particular night, I did happen to run into someone in each of the places we were going to but I think it put him at ease knowing how social I am.

After the drinks, it was cold and rainy so we walked up Ninth Avenue to my apartment where I asked him if he wanted to come up and dry off. I knew that he had to be at his parents’ house early the next morning for some Irish football game was playing and they were watching it together. He came up and we hung out for an hour before he needed to leave. It felt nice with him there and before he left, we agreed to have another date on Labor Day. This date would also include him bringing an overnight bag for I invited him to stay the night. I wasn’t sure what I was doing but sometimes in life; it’s alright not knowing what the next moment will bring.

I woke up on Sunday feeling lazy, so I had my coffee and read a book before I needed to get ready for my friends’ baby shower in Brooklyn. It wasn’t your typical baby shower since it was filled with booze and playing the game, Cards Against Humanity. It was still a beautiful shower and I can’t wait to meet my friend’s daughter!

Yesterday, my friends and I were originally going to go to Long Beach but none of us could get our act together so we all had a picnic at the pier and we were out there for hours before I needed to leave them to get ready for my date. I got home, quickly got ready and as soon as I finished getting ready, my doorbell rang. I opened the door and my date was all dressed and ready to go. He dropped his bag off, gave me a kiss and a hug and we went to a bar where I introduced him to the Cosmopolitan drink. We had three drinks at the bar before going to a Mexican restaurant where we would get margaritas.

Over dinner, we went into further detail about our lives and as we were sharing, I was starting to realize that my baggage was heavier than his. Here was this man that had gone through all these life changing events and there was a part of me that was jealous that he got to experience the marriage, the kids, etc. However, he got to experience these things because he is older and made those specific choices. He has no regrets and it was refreshing to hear that. After dinner, which I paid for this time, we walked back to my place and got ready for bed. I already knew that I didn’t want to do anything too intimate because over dinner he took my hand and said, “I could see myself falling for you.” All I could muster up in response was a smile. I still have no idea about the future with him and if we were to be intimate that would complicate things for both of us and I couldn’t do that to someone. Instead, we got ready for bed, cuddled and talked till we fell asleep.

This morning as his alarm went off on his phone, he got ready for work and I tried to fall back asleep but I couldn’t. My mind was going in a million places and I guess that is common when you let someone sleep over for the first time. I won’t be seeing him for a week due to his travels and my schedule but at this point I can say that I’m looking forward to the next date. I’m open to getting to know this person.

So, that is where we are at. I’m a week into my life as a thirty-nine-year-old and still learning, processing and adding items into my bag or “baggage”. Our “baggage” is something that will be ours to own till the end. How we present it to the world is entirely up to us. What we chose to share and what we chose to keep private but regardless of how you handle your “baggage” the most important thing is to be proud of it, own it and claim it.

What’s My Age Again?

“It’s not how you look, it’s how you feel!”, “Age before beauty.”, “With age comes wisdom.” I think it’s safe that for those getting older that we’ve heard or read these quotes time and time again. These quotes exist because it’s to help those who are struggling with their ages. Or in some cases, it’s to tell the world to fuck off because you have walked the walk and no longer care what society says about getting older.

I haven’t written in several weeks not because I didn’t have anything to write about but rather because I’ve been allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of feeling blue due to my birthday that is looming. I was doing, what most do and that is cataloging all of things in my life that hasn’t happened or that I haven’t achieved all before I turn forty next year. Usually, I love my birthday but this year, I’ve been having a rather hard time processing it all. However, last week a certain event occurred that had me feeling a little bit better about my situation.

Last week started off like any other week for most…having a case of the Monday blues. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I certainly didn’t want to go to work. When I arrived to work, it seems like everyone had the same sentiment that I did. Every coworker was in a bad mood and I just chalked it up to the fact that Mercury Retrograde had just begun and that it was going to be a bumpy ride for the next couple of weeks. I finished work that day and skipped the gym and went straight home and locked the door. I wasn’t sure how the rest of the week was going to turn out but I wasn’t liking the way it had started.

The next day already appeared to be getting better because I was having dinner at DOMODOMO, this delicious sushi place on West Houston with a friend of mine that I don’t get to see very often. After a great conversation, delish food and a bottle of wine, I was starting to feel like myself again. Especially since my friend could relate to the feelings I was having about my birthday. We parted ways and I wanted to feel like a kid again, so when I got off the subway at my stop, I spotted a Mr. Softy Ice Cream truck and properly ordered a vanilla ice cream cone and walked back to my apartment with glee.

By the time, Thursday rolled around, I was in excellent spirits. Work had gotten better, the weather was amazing and after the gym that day, I was filled with so much energy that I decided to go to my local bar around the corner from my apartment, RISE and have myself a drink. As I was standing at the bar, I did notice a handsome older man doing the “look back and back again” toward me. I smiled at him and he smiled back and once he did that I knew I had to be the one to introduce myself because he appeared on the shy side. Before I did that, I needed a shot of confidence otherwise known as tequila. I thought he wasn’t looking when I did the shot but turns out he did because when I said hello he said, “What was that shot for?” I was busted but I was honest with him and told him that I needed it in order to talk to him.

The first thing I noticed about him was his piercing blue eyes and his thick Bronx accent. He introduced himself and said that I was very cute. I thanked him but also said that the word “cute” is for describing puppies, babies and people under the age of twenty-five. He laughed and assumed I was in my twenties. When I told him my age he said that I looked good and when I asked him his age, I was a little bit taken aback. He said, “Well, I just turned fifty-six.” I did my best to not show a reaction because I assumed he was in his late forties and my mother is only a year older than he is. Granted, my mother was very young when she had me but I was still taken aback by his response and I was also a little bummed with myself for judging someone so quickly just because of the age difference.

As we continued to talk, I discovered several things about him that I was both fascinated by and a few things that I need to watch out for. He is a retired cop, he has been divorced from his wife for almost two years. He has three children and one of his children literally lives two buildings down from my apartment. He told me that he helped her move in recently and that his daughter and I have the same building management. He thanked me for being so comfortable with his story and did confess that he is still new to this lifestyle. As soon as he told me that, I knew that this man needed to go out and explore what it’s like living the life as a gay man. The positive side to all of this is that his children know and accept him.

The evening continued on and before I knew it, it was almost eleven and I needed to work the next day. He walked me outside and asked to see me again and I told him that I would like that. That is when we started talking about our crazy schedules and I told him that I can do this past Sunday evening and he said he’d let me know the next day. Before we parted ways, he said, “What do you find sexy in a man?” I told him that I find manners incredibly sexy, someone tall and a guy that can pull off a baseball cap. He smiled and I walked to my apartment. As I got inside and began to wash my face, I realized that it was exactly eight months to the day since Mr. D. and I had any form of communication and while I admit to missing him from time to time, I was certainly over the heartache.
When I woke up on Friday, the city was extremely humid and it was rather unpleasant to be out and about. I got out of work early, went to my spin class and I got ready to go over to my friend’s apartment on the east side to have a nice relaxing air conditioned evening. On my way to my friend’s apartment, I got a text message from the guy I met on Thursday evening saying that he’d like to see me Sunday evening for dinner. I told him that it would be very nice to see him and look forward to Sunday. I spent the rest of the evening catching up with friends and having a nice time.

Saturday, I woke up slightly hungover but I needed to push through and so I went for a run to sweat out the alcohol and the rest of the day was spent cleaning the apartment before I needed to get ready for something that I wasn’t sure I should even be doing. My ex-boyfriend that I used to live with, contacted me a few weeks ago, asking me if he could cook for me in honor of my birthday. At the time that he asked me, I was feeling rather vulnerable and I agreed. He lives in Astoria and he had sent me a text later in the day saying the trains were not running and that I would need to take an Uber. I responded back with, “This is what happens when people live on the countryside.” When I arrived, he was already preparing this meal he had planned. He was making clams, vegetables and tenderloin pork. In all the years that I’ve known him, he has never once cooked so I was impressed by all his efforts. He has an enormous patio and we sat outside, drank and talked but no matter all that he was doing, I didn’t look at him the same way. I was no longer that person and I was proud of myself for not letting myself get caught up in the moment. As the evening wore on, he got drunk and I held my own and it was as if I had been sent back ten years ago when we were living together. I took care of him and I was left alone to figure things out. It was late by the time dinner and drinks were done, so I did end up staying the night but I literally slept in the clothes that I arrived in. Yesterday morning, bright and early, I was heading back to my apartment and telling myself that might be the last time I ever see him again. There was a part of me that was proud of myself for growing up and starting to act my age.
When I got home yesterday morning, the first thing I did was wash my face, brush my teeth and shake off the previous evening. I took another spin class, came home and get ready to meet my friend for brunch at El Centro. We sat outside and it was perfect weather for margaritas and catching up. After brunch, we jumped in a cab and headed to the Christopher Street pier to layout in the sun. We only lasted for about thirty or forty minutes before we went to the Rusty Knot for a few more drinks before I had to excuse myself to head back home so I could get ready for my date.

I arrived at the bar at seven-thirty and he was already waiting for me. He looked just as handsome and he was very happy to see me. He asked if I wanted to sit down and we sat at a table and updated each other on our weekends. Part of me knew just by the look on his face that he was having a good time but the other side of me also knew that he really wants to see all that his new life has to offer. He deserves that because from the way he talks about his children, his respect for everyone around him…he is a good guy. He talked with great passion about how he grew up, his amazing childhood and the pride he has about being Irish. I was captivated by his words and his charm. He constantly paid me compliments and while there were men all around us, he stayed focused on me. When we finished our drinks, it was time for us to head to dinner. When we got up from our chairs, he reached in his backside and pulled out a baseball cap and put it on, smiled and said, “I remember you saying you like guys in baseball caps.” His baseball cap said something about being Irish with a shamrock on it. It was adorable and when started walking down Ninth Avenue he grabbed my hand and said, “Do you mind if I do this? It feels so good to be able to hold a man’s hand.” Normally on a first date, I don’t feel so comfortable doing this but with his smile, eyes and that baseball cap; I’d be a monster to tell him no. So, I grabbed his hand and it felt rather natural…for both of us.

We got to the restaurant, ordered a drink and waited for our table. As we were waiting for our table, he was so attentive, funny and made fun of me for not owning any pots or pans. When the hostess at the restaurant told me that our table was ready, he got up first and then I got up but when I looked up at him; he hugged me and kissed my forehead and then we walked to our table. As we sat down he said, “I have to say that I like your face but it was also nice looking at your backside too.” Just goes to show you no matter your age…boys will be boys. The dinner conversation was a pleasant surprise and I found myself not concerned about the time at all until I looked at his watch and discovered that it was past ten-thirty. We both had to work early this morning so we asked for the check. When the bill arrived, he said, “I am paying for this. I don’t want to hear a word from you.” I thanked him and told him that I would get next time if he wanted there to be a next time. He said that there certainly will be a next time.

As we left the restaurant, he kissed me and I thanked him for a wonderful evening. He grabbed my hand once again and he walked me to my apartment building (seeing that his daughter only lives two buildings down, he’s very familiar with my street). We kissed passionately for a little bit in front of my door before I told him to drive home safely. I got inside my apartment and fell asleep so quickly. I woke up this morning and saw that he had sent me a text last night telling me he got home safely, that he had a nice time and was going to bed with a smile on his face.

I woke up this morning feeling good and wanting to see him again. This meeting certainly happened when I wasn’t expecting anything and I know it was only one date but damn…it was a good date. Which, as we all know, is rare.
Age can mean many things to many people. We can let our age define us or we can let our age be just a number. The late, Coco Chanel said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” With those words, all I can say is that I hope you all let your beauty shine.

Say What You Need To Say

I never thought I’d be a person that would hear a John Mayer song and it be spot on with where I am in my life. Yesterday, I was riding on the Q train heading toward Soho when my iPod (yes, I still use an iPod) randomly played the song called, Say. My initial question to myself was, “When did I download this song?” and then I told myself to listen to the lyrics. And with that, so begins this week’s entry…

Two weeks ago, I found myself reconnected with a former boyfriend. Mr. B. and we had spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon reminiscing of the past, discussing our present lives and the future. By the end of that date, I thought to myself that I might have a summer romance on my hands. We had agreed to see each other this past Saturday to spend more time together and I was very much looking forward to it.

Last week, started off like so many with having the Monday work-blues and powering through it. About halfway through the work week, I decided to take this past Friday off because I had an inkling that it would be in my best interest to do so given my Thursday night plans.

On Thursday, while at work, I got a text message from Mr. B. saying that he officially resigned from his architecture firm and that he graciously accepted his new position in Washington D.C. He then said that he had several apartments that he had in mind to look at and wanted my opinion. When he told me that, I was suddenly blasted back to a few months ago with Mr. D. where I found myself roaming the streets of Boston helping him find his apartment. Granted, these men are polar opposites but the overall theme was rather similar. I responded back with wishing him the best of luck, that I’d be happy to give my opinion on his apartment selections and that on Saturday I would make sure that we had a fantastic time in the city.

After work that day, I met up with a couple of friends of mine down by the Bowery, for we were going to be seeing, Beth Ditto, in concert that night. When we sat down, we quickly ordered a bottle of rose and when the waiter offered us appetizers we all declined. After we finished the first bottle, we thought it would be a good idea to get another with no appetizers. We left that bar and walked over to the venue and when we got there, we had no idea that other friends of ours would be at the show. Before I knew it, a shot of tequila and a beer was placed in front of me. We all enjoyed the show immensely and after the show one of my friends had to leave because she had work the next day but my other friend and I decided it would be a good idea to mosey over to the Standard Hotel in the East Village. Along the route to the hotel, we found an abandoned piano where I began to play in my drunken state along with showing off my ballet moves. I couldn’t tell you what time it was nor where I was at but the pictures and videos that I got the next day proved that I had a good time. Once we got to the hotel bar, we knew the bartender and proceeded to get more shots, more beers, and drunker. Suffice to say, I was nervous by not knowing how I got home but thankfully I got home safely with all my belongings intact.

The next day, as you can imagine, I woke up with a pretty bad hangover but I pushed through. I ran errands, I even took a spin class to sweat out the toxins I had put in my body the night before. That evening, I was to attend a picnic but due to the nasty weather, it was canceled. I forced myself to go to bed early that night so that I could be rested and ready for Mr. B. the next day.
When I asked Mr. B. what he wanted to do earlier in the week for our date, he didn’t really have any plans so I asked him if he wanted to see a movie and afterward we can enjoy the weather and walk around the city. He loved that idea but also asked if I would stay the night with him. He lives way uptown, right before the Bronx begins and while I wasn’t sure about what “staying the night” meant, I agreed to it because I wanted to experience this summer romance of mine.

I met Mr. B. at the AMC theater on 42nd Street to see, Wonder Woman (my sixth time seeing it and his first). When we got to the theater, he told me he hadn’t seen a movie in a theater since we dated, which was five years ago. After the movie, I had purposely already packed an overnight bag so we didn’t need to go back to my place since we were heading downtown. I decided to take him to my friend’s restaurant that he manages, The Spotted Pig, since I knew I could get us a table and it would be nice to be downtown and somewhat close to the water, should we want to see the sunset.

We arrived at the restaurant and was greeted by my friend. We were also greeted with delicious drinks and snacks. As the afternoon wore on, my friend and his partner invited Mr. B. and me over to their apartment to their rooftop to watch the sunset. One Uber ride later, all four of us are on the rooftop, drinking rose and catching up. Somewhere around nine at night, it was time for us to catch a Metro North train at Grand Central to head uptown toward his apartment. Along the train ride, I was starving and so we ordered a pizza that we’d have to pick-up along the way.

When we arrived at his apartment, he had a stunning view of the Hudson River. We sat, ate our pizza, talked, listened to jazz and watched the boats pass by in the dark night sky. It was nice but there was something missing…my desire to be with him in any intimate way. I knew he wasn’t the type of guy to force himself on me to get his way and I had the opportunity to say what I needed to say. What I needed to say was that I shouldn’t be with you sexually because I feel that it would mean more to him than to me. He had already confessed earlier that day that even though he is moving in a few weeks that he is confused about his feelings for me. It was clear that we were not on the same page. He was hoping for more and I was thinking it was a summer romance that had an expiration date associated with it.

So, when we went to bed that night, I used the excuse of being tired and he cuddled me. The next morning when we woke up, he was looking at me in a way that told me he was having feelings for me again. I had already agreed to go with him to his favorite brunch place and so, at 9:30 in the morning on a Sunday I found myself on somewhat of a hike to this place called, The Indian Road Café. It was a cute spot and over brunch, we danced around the topic of our future. I told him that once he got settled that I would come and visit him because more than a boyfriend he would need a friend out there. He is moving for all the right reasons and I couldn’t be happier for him. I was presented, yet again, with an opportunity to say what I needed to say but I didn’t. Not because I was afraid of what I needed to say but because I didn’t want to hurt him. Especially since I knew we both had a nice time together but the reality is that he is moving and once he is there he should focus solely on his new chapter and not an old one.

After brunch, he walked me to the subway stop on 215th Street and we hugged for a long time. Later, he sent a text message thanking me for showing him such a good time. I told him that I would see him one more time before he moves and I meant that.

It’s never easy to say certain things when it comes to matters of the heart. Whether what needs to be said is a good outcome or not. Mainly because what is being said isn’t just affecting you but another person. When we take into consideration how our words and actions can change the other person more than you are concerned about your own well-being. That is when you know that you care more about the other person than you do for yourself. It’s our own way of showing compassion.

I leave this entry with a lyric from the song, Say, because it was this particular lyric that got me thinking about my words in the first place:

“Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open”

Come Again?

Over the course of this life, we will come across several people that will serve as significant reasons that they were brought into our lives. Some reasons will be to further your career while others to learn the lessons of love. Most of the time, we meet this specific person for that moment in time and set them free. But what happens when they come back? Do we let them back in our lives or do we leave them in the past?

I haven’t written in weeks not because I didn’t have anything to say but rather the opposite. There was too much to say and too much going on. I was stressed with work, working late nights and not being fulfilled with it. Not to mention the bigger issue was the need to find a replacement for a new roommate in my apartment. Between fielding the weirdos that were responding to my Craigslist advertisement or finding the time to show the room while I was working long hours; I was beginning to become unhinged. Finally, about a week ago, I met a very nice man who decided to take the place and I’m very happy to report that it’s going smoothly with the transition.

Once I was able to put the roommate search to rest, I was able to focus on seeing my friends that I hadn’t been able to see due to all that was going on. Two Sunday’s ago, a couple of close friends and I managed to pull ourselves together, meet at the Long Island Rail Road and take the train to Long Beach for some much-needed beach time. We arrived at the beach by 11 a.m. and stayed for several hours. I thought I applied enough sunscreen on my body but by the time we were leaving to head back to the city around 4 p.m. I had burned my back, my face and my legs. I got home that evening and applied a great deal of aloe on my body and knew the next morning would be a painful shower.

My fourth of July was probably the tamest ones I’ve had since I moved to New York. Mainly, because of the fact that it was on a Tuesday and I had to work the next day. My very close friend and I decided to keep it low key and went to the rooftop of the Ink Hotel on 48th Street and had pink drinks while we watched the sunset. Afterward, we went to dinner and I was in bed before the fireworks even went off.

Last Thursday, I was at work and received a text from my ex-boyfriend, Mr. B. He was the ex-boyfriend that I dated for a few months several years ago. I ended the relationship and his rebuttal at the time was to send all the things I had ever bought him to my office on my birthday. He is known among my friends and I as…the Birthday Bomb. His text message to me was asking me if I was free that evening for a happy hour but I wasn’t but suggested we meet this past Sunday if his schedule allowed; which it did.

By the time this past Friday rolled around, I had already worked over 70 hours and I was exhausted, so I did something I don’t ever do; I stayed in that night and was in bed by 10. The next morning, I woke up and accomplished so much before it was 10 a.m. I had cleaned the apartment, did laundry and took a spin class. Later that afternoon, I went to Brooklyn to see a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in years. He wanted to see me because he had something to share with me in person. I was curious to hear what he needed to tell me and when I got off at the Dekalb Avenue stop in Brooklyn; I quickly realized what he wanted to tell me. This is a man that has a highly demanding engineering job and leaves him little time for a social life. I barely recognized my friend because he had gained so much weight.

After we hugged, he suggested we go get some wine. We walked to a cute wine bar and I let my friend do all the talking. He said that over the past year or so that he was working late nights, eating bad food and going to sleep and not exercising. The weight piled on quickly, he got depressed about it and felt like there was nothing he could do. I continued to listen and when he was done, I told him that I would help him in any way I could. I could get him a discount with a trainer at my gym, we could try and work out together. However, this is a man that has a ton of money and so he told me that in September he is moving to Paris, hiring a highly acclaimed personal trainer to live with him and will be gone for a couple of months till the weight is off. I told him that I was very proud of him for taking control of his life, most people call on Jenny Craig and buy a ten-class yoga pass but moving to Paris is another option if your wallet allows. After the wine, he asked me if I wanted to meet his younger brother and girlfriend. I figured since I was already in Brooklyn, I might as well. So…we walked to Brooklyn Heights to this restaurant called, Friend of a Farmer.

As we all sat at the table, I realized that I had never met any of my friend’s family members before. Now, the younger brother was much younger (22 years old) and his girlfriend was the same age. It was cute to see “young love” and hear all about the adventures they had planned for themselves. After dinner, we went back to my friend’s apartment and that is where things got odd for me. All four of us were sitting around, drinking wine when the younger brother pulled me aside and told me that my friend has confessed to him that he has feelings for me. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point but when my friend returned, I told him that I needed to get back to the city (it was already past 10). He walked me down to his lobby and asked if I was alright; I lied and said I was fine. Which in hindsight, I didn’t lie because I was alright. My friend had never actually confessed his feelings and I had just met his brother for the first time so I wasn’t sure if someone was lying or the truth just hadn’t come out yet. Either way, I was happy to return home safely to my apartment and for the second night in a row, I was in bed by a descent hour.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the city. No humidity, not a cloud in the sky and I was finding myself looking forward to seeing Mr. B. I hadn’t seen him since May when we reconnected after not seeing or speaking to each other for years. Our plan was to start off at the bar, Rise, which is around the corner from where I live and go from there. We sat at a table and before I even had my first sip, he said that he had news he wanted to share with me. His news was that he got a job offer in Washington D.C. at an architecture firm and would be moving in the next four to six weeks. I was very happy for him since I knew he wanted to move back there to be closer to his parents (his dad is ill) and he wanted a change of pace from the New York City life. We clinked our glasses and had a few more drinks there before I suggested we go outside and get some fresh air.

We walked down Ninth Avenue before stopping in for some dinner. Over dinner (and a couple of margaritas) things began to take a turn on the meeting and for the better. The turn it took was that it went from us updating each other on our lives to an actual date. It turned romantic. We held hands, we were both smiling and everything felt safe and familiar again. It was so strange to be having these feelings again for I hadn’t really had them ever since Mr. D. left over six months ago to Boston.

After dinner, the sun was beginning to set and I suggested we go toward the West Side Highway/Hudson River to watch the sunset.

Along the walk from the restaurant to the river, I was starting to feel rather tipsy but thought it was a good idea to pop into a bar for a beer. We ordered our beers and stood outside and sipped slowly. As we were standing outside, we looked at each other and before I knew it, I became a rather tacky person by making out with someone on a sidewalk in broad daylight. We didn’t finish our beers because the sun was starting to fade and so we rushed over to the river and sat on the grass and we both were laughing at how comfortable this experience had been.

When the sun was out of our sights, we began to lay down in the grass and make out. I am not one to do these kinds of acts nor is Mr. B. but there we were acting like young kids with no responsibilities. We must’ve been there for hours because when he asked what time it was, it was past ten. I walked him to Time Square where he had to continue onto Grand Central Station to catch a Metro North train back to Inwood. Before we left, we agreed to see each other as much as possible till he leaves.

As I walked home, I realized what had just happened. Mr. B. is back in my life again, for only four to six weeks and while I’m probably too old for this but I think I might have a summer romance on hands. Mr. B. came into my life at the right time. He’s met my friends already, he understands my ways and we both know that this is temporary fun.

I certainly don’t know what is going to happen now that I’ve let someone back in my life but for the first time in a very long time…I’m excited to see where it goes.

Lost and Found

I believe it’s safe to say that every single person in this world experiences that feeling of not certain of where you are in your life. This feeling tends to range anywhere from your love life to your career. It’s a feeling that can be frustrating and depressing. The unfortunate part is that no matter how much of a support system you may have the only person that can help you…is you. So, how do we go from being lost to found?

For the entire month of May, I ended up living with a roommate in my apartment that had little respect for me, my belongings and my home. Normally, I would’ve had zero qualms of asking a person to leave my home after that sort of behavior but seeing that I had managed to get myself into a sticky financial situation that required me to have a roommate; I felt that I had no choice but to keep him. Those that live-in New York City or have ever had to live with someone other than your partner or a family member can certainly relate to this frustration. It also leads to the feeling of being helpless which no one likes to be. I felt like there was nothing to do except to wait out the month before I informed the current roommate that our living situation wasn’t working out. However, it was the past four weeks like I needed to get through that was my challenge.

Fortunately, for me, I managed to keep myself rather busy in May that included things like spending time with friends, a wedding ceremony, attending an event with Sarah Jessica Parker and let’s not forget getting the privilege to see the movie, Wonder Woman, ahead of the world. The unfortunate part for me, was that by the time the month of May was coming to an end, I forget to tell my roommate that he wasn’t going to be staying with me once the month was over with. I felt guilty for not giving him two weeks-notice, therefore, it was looking as if I would be spending yet another month with him. I did my best to not let it get to me but it was starting to depress me more than I led on to those close to me.

I decided that at this point there was nothing else I could do and I was going to suck it up for the next four weeks and give him proper notice to move out. So, when I came back from my friends, Feather’s, country house on Memorial Weekend; I decided to try and have a positive week ahead. I already knew that my week entailed meeting a friend of mine for drinks last Wednesday and this past Saturday going to see, Wonder Woman, again with some of my friends. I was looking forward to experiencing that with my friends because it was all I could talk about for weeks. I even bought little tiaras and bracelets for us all to wear as a cute surprise and I was even going to dress up in costume. I had bought all the tickets weeks in advance because going to a movie in New York is such a production.

Last Wednesday, I was going to be having drinks with my friend. A couple of years ago we had dated and when we dated it was nice but at the time he was very dedicated to his job that left him very little time for a relationship. Then one night while we were dating, he was to come over to my apartment after he was done with work and he never showed up. He also never contacted me again. You might be asking, why on earth would I be seeing him after he treated me that way. I knew the reason why he left and it wasn’t work it was because of how he was starting to feel about me and he got scared. Not an excuse, I do know that but I know that I have certainly done that to someone in my youngers years. It was my way of saying that karma came and bit us both in the ass so let’s start with a clean slate…as friends.

So, back in March, when I started my new job, I was also redecorating my apartment and I ended up going into the store, CB2, which is near my office. As I was shopping, I heard my name and turned to see my ex from a couple of years ago, standing near the register. Turns out, he was a manager at the store. We made small talk for a little bit, I left the store and returned to the office. Moments later, I got a text from him saying how good it was to see me and how nice I looked. A few weeks later, he asked me for drinks and even said I could use his discount (I said yes to both). Over those drinks as we were catching up, he informed me that he has a daughter now that he shares with his friend in Virginia. I was happy for him and as he was showing me pictures of his daughter on his phone, I could tell that his daughter helped him find his way in life. While he can’t see her every day, he is certainly present in her life.

So, this past Wednesday, when I agreed to meet him for drinks, it had been a month or so since I last saw him. He kept organizing drinks and at the last minute would cancel due to work or one excuse over another. It didn’t bother me that he was constantly needing to cancel our plans because I knew that he had a lot on his plate and I know that I’m not the easiest person to schedule something with either. So, I knew he meant business when on last Wednesday he said that he wasn’t canceling and even was going to pick the place where we’d be having wine.

After work, I met him at a wine bar in Midtown and unfortunately, the place he picked out was filled with tourist and not my cup of tea. I suggested we go somewhere a little less crowded so that we could actually have a conversation. We stumbled on a wine bar on Ninth Avenue and ordered a bottle rose since it was a warm day in the city.

He began telling me about a Broadway show that he had just seen before meeting me and by our second glass of wine, he invited me over to his apartment this upcoming Sunday to watch the Tony’s. Now, I’m not a big Broadway/theatre person at all but I got the sense that he was nervous about asking me which I wasn’t sure why he was so nervous; I said yes to him but he couldn’t get mad at me if I asked “who is who” during the award show.

By our third glass, he told me that he wants to hit the “restart” button with regards to us. I asked him to explain what exactly he meant by “restart.” He told me that the reason he had been canceling all those times in the past weeks was because he was nervous about me. He apologized for how he just left a couple of years ago and asked me if I was open to “restarting” things with him. I told him that I was completely thrown off guard and that I was under the assumption that we were meeting as friends and that I needed some time to think about all of this. While it was flattering to be thought of that way, I wasn’t prepared at all for this sort of discussion. I told him that I’d still attend his Tony Award party and that seemed to put him at ease. Then he asked if he could kiss me. As he asked me this question our waiter passed by asking us if we’d like another glass and he said yes and the waiter told me that I should kiss him. We kissed and it was nice but I was still in my head swirling with all that he confessed. After our last glass, we hugged goodbye and he asked for one more kiss and I gave him my cheek. I got home and wasn’t sure what all had transpired and my feeling of being “lost” continued on.

The next day was the first of June and so I sent a friendly reminder to my roommate that rent was due and he could leave a check or Venmo me at his earliest convenience. Hours and hours later, I get a text message back from him that informed me that he moved out, moved to Buffalo and that he’s sorry to leave me in the dark. He thanked me for everything I had done and wished things were different but that the city wasn’t working for him. I wrote back, “best of luck.” Now, I needed to find a roommate and fast. I put out an ad on Craigslist, contacted my friends and it was back to the drawing board.

I couldn’t wait for Friday because our office was closing early which meant that I could shop for Saturday’s movie experience and there was only one store I could get what I was needing and it was in Queens. I got on the subway, went to the store and since I knew my friend lives in Queens, I decided to pay him a visit after my shopping experience. On my walk to my friend’s apartment, I heard my name being called out which sounded like it was coming from across the street I was on. I looked around and there was different ex-boyfriend except this ex was someone I used to live with. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears and I walked over to him for he was in a bar that had its windows open which was why he yelled my name. We hugged, made small talk but thankfully I had the excuse of needing to get to my friend’s apartment so I left him after only a few minutes of awkward small talk. I spent the rest of my Friday at my friend’s apartment drinking whiskey, listening to records and feeling…lost.

On Saturday, I woke up so giddy because I just couldn’t wait to see the movie with my friends. I went to spin class in the morning then more shopping for odds and ends and got home to begin getting ready but before I started getting ready a few friends of mine contacted me a few hours before the movie saying they couldn’t make it. I became a little depressed, I knew it was silly to feel that way over a movie because I knew they wanted to be with me but forget other obligations they had. I put too much pressure on myself to make the experience a “wonder”ful one but I decided to leave my party favors behind, not get dressed up in costume and see the movie with my friends that were able to attend. In the end, I had a fun time seeing the movie again, my friends loved the movie and they were so thankful that I organized it all. Afterwards, we went to my friend’s apartment that lived close by and we ended up drinking for hours and talking about anything and everything. I had to leave at a descent time because I had candidates coming over to see the apartment the next day.

Yesterday, I woke up, did laundry, hit the gym and came home to see the first person of the day with hopes that one of these folks would make for a descent roommate. The first person to show up was so kind, thoughtful and we ended up talking for an hour before I even realized we hadn’t gone over the details about the apartment. After we went through the details, I just knew this was someone that I could live with and he felt the same. He said he wanted the room and gave me the money right then and there. I gave him a set of keys and he moves in a few weeks. The ironic part was that he has the same name as Mr. D. (I swear I cannot make these things up). However, overlooking the name alone, I got such a warm and positive vibe and hopefully I will not be experiencing any worse roommates for a long time. I spent the rest of the day doing something I love doing…reading. I finished my book and started to feel somewhat at peace.

As this week begins, I am determined to put that feeling of thinking I am “lost” and will work on how I can be “found.” It’s up to me and no one else and anyone else out there feeling this way…you will find yourself; we always do.

Appreciation

In a time where our world moves so rapidly that most days we have our morning coffee to-go rather than sipping it slowly as they do in the Folders commercials. It’s hard to find the time to slow down, smell the roses and appreciate the things we already have since most of us are programmed to keep moving. Our world is now measured by how many “likes” you get on a post or how many followers you have on your Instagram account. While there isn’t anything we can do to go back to a simpler time, we still have the capability of showing appreciation for not only the materials things we possess but also for the intangible.

Last week, I met with an ex-boyfriend that I dated five years ago and while time had moved us on and we both were on different paths with him moving to Washington D.C. and me staying here. I appreciated that mature discussion we had over cheap beers. He was very honest with me, what he liked and didn’t like about dating me. It’s rare these days that two adults can sit down, have a discussion without anyone getting upset and learn from the past. In some cases, with a reunion, you’re also able to apologize for hurting someone. So, after that meeting last week with my ex; as we walked to the same subway station; we agreed to see each other again.

Given how my life had been going recently, I was feeling rather sorry for myself and I needed to snap myself out of my funk before I would bring everyone around me down as well. I had dinner with a friend at, Galli, last Wednesday where we both could update each other and while some topics had the potential of bringing us down (health issues, bad roommates, bad dates, etc.) by the end of the meal, I think we both helped each other. I went to bed that night feeling grateful, loved and filled with excitement for the next morning was going to be epic for me or shall I say “wonder”ful.

I took last Thursday off because one of my dearest friends set me up with one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. You see, ever since I was five years old, I had a major obsession with the, Wonder Woman, character. Now that the actual movie is coming out in a few weeks, my friend, invited me to a private screening on Thursday morning somewhere in Midtown. I picked him up bright and early at 9:30 and there we walked to a building off Sixth Avenue. I hadn’t been this excited for a movie since Sex and the City and so when we got into the theatre with only me, my friend (who had to leave to go back to the office fifteen minutes into the movie) and a few journalists…I couldn’t believe the experience I was privileged to have. The movie was amazing and afterwards I realized that I had the entire day all to myself. I took advantage of feeling like I had the city to myself while everyone else was at a stuffy office. I walked from Time Square all the way down to the Village and back again. Took myself out to lunch with just me, a book and a glass of rose. As I sat with my book, my rose and the city; I looked at my calendar and discovered that it had been five months since I had any communication with Mr. D.

I know he is someone that I should no longer be thinking about and I’m in a completely different mindset now but I was proud of myself that after all these months; that I didn’t have a moment of weakness and contacted him. I was having such a perfect day and just knowing how far I’ve come over the past couple of months; proved to me that I was on the road to feeling completely happy.

The next day, I was back to work but I had a pep in my step and it had to deal with the warmer weather, the fact that I got to see that movie and because I was in a state of appreciation for the things in my life. After work, I walked along the Westside Highway and met up with my ex to Chelsea Piers where I suggested we go bowling. I should’ve known better that it being a Friday on a nice weather day that it would be crowded and it was. We had a drink at the bar as we hoped that a bowling lane would become available and it didn’t. So, we decided to take a walk from Chelsea Piers to 42nd Street and try again at bowling at another alley. When we arrived there the entire bowling alley was closed due to a boxing fight that night. I decided that it wasn’t in the cards for us to bowl that night and took him to a dive bar where we could cool off with a beer.

As we sat there, we began to talk some more and flirt and it was an innocent flirtation. It felt nice to flirt with someone rather than it be about sex. I wasn’t interested in him that way any longer, our time had passed and it was about wishing someone well on their next adventure which he is very excited about. After the beer, we both realized that we were feeling tipsy and I suggested we grab some dinner. We had dinner and afterwards he walked me to my corner where we hugged, had a quick kiss and I went to bed at a descent hour for a Friday night.

The next day, I woke up and knew that I had so many events in one day that I wasn’t sure how I was going to swing it all. My first mission was spin class with a friend and after class, we parted ways because I didn’t have very much time to get ready. Met my friend at 4:30 at The Monster where we were waiting for another friend to arrive before we walked to Bleecker Street to attend a house warming party. I didn’t know the host of the party but the minute I walked in, someone ran up to me quickly because about a year ago, I had a one night stand with someone and ever since then, he’s been trying to get back in touch with me and I keep declining. The first thing he said to me was, “I guess it takes us bumping into a party for you to get back to me.” My two friends that I was with, looked at me and I gave them a look that said, “I will fill you in later.” All three of us quickly grabbed glasses of champagne and proceed to watch this party as the guests all knew each other and I stood against the wall watching as the whispers slowly began to go around the room that I was “the guy” that one of the guests had a one night stand with. Thankfully, we were only there for an hour before my friend and I needed to go to Brooklyn to attend a wedding reception.

In the cab, I told my friend about the one night stand and we both were already feeling the champagne run through our veins because we were giggling at everything as we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge. Once we got to Brooklyn, we took our time finding our way to the wedding reception which was being held at our friend’s gorgeous apartment. We arrived and the party was in full swing and it was decorated so elegantly, the bride and groom looked happy and we stayed long enough for some food, drink and the speeches. Afterwards, my friend and I had to excuse ourselves and go back to the city for a different friend’s birthday party in Chelsea. When we got back into the city, we stopped at yet another friend’s apartment to pick up some more friends of ours before heading to, Rebar, where the party was being held.

We got to the bar and the birthday boy was already there and that is where we began to drink more and everyone showed up and it was great to have us all in one area which is so hard to do these days. I was doing my best to pace myself because I didn’t want to be too drunk for the next day I had another event that I was excited for. Next thing I know, shots are provided, everyone raises their shots and that is when I noticed the entire party switched from being tipsy to drunk…including myself. I decided that before another drink passes my lips that it was in my best interest to say goodbye which is exactly what I did.

Yesterday morning, I woke up and I thought I was going to be in bad shape but I wasn’t considering all that I had done the night before. I started the day off right with some much-needed coffee followed by a run. I showered and walked from my apartment down to Milk Studios in Chelsea for I was lucky enough to attend a question and answer session with non-other than, Sarah Jessica Parker and New York Magazine. As I sat there paying close attention to the discussion, I couldn’t get over the week I had just had the privilege of having. Who else gets to say that they saw a movie before the entire world does, to spend quality time with an ex and have amazing friends to spend an insane Saturday with. Once the session was over with, I had the rest of the day to myself and I walked around the city with such appreciation. I looked at the city slightly different as I walked back to my neighborhood. By the time I got home, I was exhausted but in a good way. Exhausted from having such a wonderful time.
As a new week begins and like most, are getting excited for Memorial Weekend; I couldn’t help but think of all the many, many things that I’m appreciative for and that includes the readers. Take some time this week to show appreciation for something or someone in your life!

The Effect

My last date was three weeks ago and it wasn’t very good. The date started at 6 p.m. and was over at 6:52 p.m. I spent 52 minutes of my time with a man that showed up in seersucker jacket, glasses that were not clean and the dirtiest finger nails I had ever seen. I also spent 52 minutes with a man that only talked about sci-fi movies and pork. Two of my least favorite subjects. I sat there, smiled politely and nodded as if I knew about the movies he was talking about or the many ways you can cook/ eat pork. As we said goodbye that began the start of a slight depression.

I hadn’t written in weeks because I couldn’t figure out what to write or if there was anything to write about. Over the weeks of not writing, I had to find a new roommate (which he is a total disaster) and patiently wait for the Mercury Retrograde to end which I felt had a huge impact on how my life was going. Of course, over these past several weeks of not writing, I have had some fabulous moments with friends that included BBQ’s, celebrating the Kentucky Derby and being our normal crazy selves. Even with all the good times I was having there was something missing and I couldn’t figure it out, until last evening.

I dated this man five years ago. Five summers ago, to be exact. I even wrote about him in this very blog. We dated for several months and had a good time together and in the end, I broke it off with him because despite of the fun times we were having, we also had nothing in common. I believed that with nothing in common, our future didn’t look that bright. This was also the man that when I broke up with him, on my birthday, he sent a package to my attention and in that package, was everything I ever bought him. My friends coined the term, “birthday bomb” after that incident.

A year ago, I messaged him via Facebook messenger when Facebook suggested we become friends. Seeing how bad I am with technology, posting statuses, taking pictures and still using an iPod. I thought he never got the message and he was still mad at me for ending things years ago. Turns out that I was wrong.

This past weekend, my ex-boyfriend messaged me saying that he never saw the Facebook message and wanted to see if I wanted to get together for a drink to catch-up. I thought that after several years of no communication that there was no reason why we couldn’t catch-up with each other to see where our lives have taken us.

When we dated, he was a man that was wanting to be an architect, introverted and I thought I could help him break out of his shell, see the city through my world, meet my friends and he would teach me how to slow down and enjoy life rather than being in a state of constant chaos. That’s why I was surprised when he chose the bar, Nowhere, to meet yesterday after work. Maybe over time he had changed and I was going to be surprised by his evolution and there was only one way to find out…

I arrived on time and he was already waiting for me seated at the bar. He looked pretty much the same except he had more facial hair, which I commented on. He told me he remembered how I would suggest to him about growing a beard when we dated. I told myself that it was a Monday, that your meeting your ex-boyfriend for the first time in five years and to stick with beer and not go crazy. We ordered our beers and began to update each other on our lives.

One of the first things he told me was that he saw me last summer walking down the street with a suitcase looking like I was in a hurry. I asked him why he didn’t stop me to say hello but he said I looked like I didn’t want to be bothered so he chose not to reach out. After that confession, he informed me that he’s still working at the same architecture firm back when we were dating. But he did tell me that he’s been promoted and received his architecture certification.

He went on to say that after I broke up with him that he took his heartbreak and anger toward me and put it to studying for his certification and 13 months later after hard work and studying…he became an architect. I learned that by me breaking-up with him the effect on him was to not sit around and be sad but to make one of his dreams become a reality. I told him I was proud of him and that he must be happy at the firm. He told me how funny the timing was because he had literally just sent his resume to an architecture firm in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

We continued with our cheap beer and we even did a shot of whiskey and as the evening progressed that is when the true confessions started to come out. I learned that I broke his heart when I ended things, that he hadn’t dated much since me and that I had a huge effect on his life. I let him go on with his confessions before I told him that back then I went with my gut instincts of believing that our lack of not having anything in common would hinder us from becoming a successful couple. I also pointed out that even though I may have ended things that I couldn’t forget how he sent me the “birthday bomb”. The look on his face when I reminded him about that incident told me that he had completely forgotten what he had done to me. He said, he did that to me because he was angry that I broke his heart and that it was slightly immature at the time. He had a few more confessions to make before we were finally in the clear.

He confessed to me that when I returned a tank top he had left at my apartment when we broke up that he walked away from me and threw it in the trash can because he said it smelled like me and didn’t want to have anything around him that reminded him of me. His last confession was something that I knew might’ve been an issue for him back when we were dating and that was our lack of one-on-one time.
When we were dating during the summer, I wanted him to be a part of my life and a major part of my life is my friends. As we sat at the bar, he remembered every single one of their names and the nicknames I have for them. He asked about them all and how they are doing currently. As we reminisced about all the moments we had during our time together, I was realizing that all our dates included me, him and my friends. It was rare that we ever had a date that involved just the two of us. He said that while he loved getting to know my friends that he felt like he was dating me and twenty other people. Granted, he said my friends are like no other people that he’s met and they are sweet, kind and generous but that he wanted to spend more time getting to know me. It was a problem that I know I have at times where I want my friends to be a part of my relationship as much as I am a part of theirs. It’s hard to cancel plans with friends to tell them that you want to spend time with your boyfriend because my friends have the answer to that, “just bring him along.” However, now that I am older and only somewhat wiser, I know that if/when I date again that I must make time for my relationship in order for it to ever work.

As it was getting later and we both needed to get home, I was delighted that we got together to catch-up, have a few laughs but to learn just how much of an affect a person can have on another. I had no clue how I helped push him to better his career (he did say I was bossy) or how I opened his eyes to the see a different world of living in New York. As we walked from the bar to the Union Square subway station, we decided that while he is here still living in the city before potentially moving to Washington D. C. that we should hang out a bit more. We hugged and kissed goodbye and I went to bed last night feeling better about life.

People will come and go in our lifetimes. It can take years to finally figure out why that person came in and out of your life. However, we all must be aware of how we treat others because you never know the effect that you will.

Third Time is NOT a Charm

They say that after a couple of failed attempts to make something successful that by the third time it’s sure to have a positive outcome. As we all know by now, that’s not always the case especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Which had me thinking…why do we keep going back for more?

I am certainly someone that has gone back more times than I should’ve, especially when it comes to romance. So, with that in mind, it should come as no surprise as to what happened to me last week when I thought I was being a good friend to an ex that led to a moment I wasn’t expecting.

After finishing up my fourth week at my new job, I was starting to get confident with what I was doing, learning the employee’s names and understanding the work that I was assigned to do. With my new job falling into place, I was also spending a lot of time and money on updating my apartment. Luckily for me, I have connections. Those connections are otherwise known as, Feathers and his husband. A couple of weeks ago, I had them both come over to tell me what I needed to buy at Home Depot to achieve the look and feel that I wanted for my apartment. I wrote everything down and took myself to a store that I know nothing about. Thankfully, while I was at the store, a very nice employee helped me through my entire list and laughed at how clueless I was. I bought my first ever hammer, nails and even a screw driver set. I had never owned any of those things before and always relied on my super in my building to change a light bulb.

While all the new job and apartment stuff was going on, I had been texting sporadically with my ex-boyfriend whom I used to live with ten years ago. I had written about him back in February of this year when he had contacted me out of the blue on New Year’s Day. I hadn’t seen him in all those years and back in February we had agreed to see each other. It was our second attempt to try and see if there was still any chemistry between us and for me; there wasn’t any spark left. I got the feeling that he wanted to try and see where things were going but at the same time I didn’t want to assume anything.

After our meeting, back in February, I hadn’t seen him since. There was the occasional text here and there, usually him contacting me first but it was either work related or him asking how my day was. I did know that he would be turning 40 last week and so I offered to take him to dinner to celebrate. He had confessed earlier that he didn’t have anything planned and didn’t like celebrating his birthday so I insisted that we at least have dinner to acknowledge the big event. He agreed and we settled on meeting last Wednesday the day of his actual birthday.

The day before our dinner, I had sent over some restaurant recommendations and we settled on, Mole, over on Jane Street. He asked me if we could meet on the earlier side since the Rangers were playing that night and he lives in Astoria. Since it was his special day, I agreed to his request and made a reservation for 6 p.m. (a time that I never eat dinner).

He was already waiting for me at the bar in the restaurant last when I arrived. He told me that he had already had a few drinks with coworkers before meeting me and I didn’t think anything of it. He settled his bill at the bar and we sat down at a table. The city was having nice weather that afternoon and while I wanted to sit outside, he wanted to sit inside and so we did. Once we sat down, I realized why he wanted to sit inside and it was because that is where the television was going to be playing the game.

I made him switch seats with me so he wouldn’t be able to get distracted with the game. If I was taking time out of my life to take him to dinner as a friend than I deserve his full attention. We ordered our margaritas and I told myself before I even arrived that I was only having two drinks. Over dinner, we talked about work, how life feels at 40 and our friends and family. He also invited me to attend a birthday party that his friends were throwing for him the following evening. Thankfully, I already had plans and I knew who was going to be at the party. There were friends of his that know Mr. D. by association and I just knew that it was not in my best interest to attend so I declined his invitation.

As the birthday dinner progressed, I stuck to my two-drink minimum and my ex-boyfriend continued without me. The restaurant was starting to get full and a couple was seated next to us. We had finished our meal and the waiter had cleared our table. Now it was just me, my ex-boyfriend, my water and his last margarita. He wasn’t drunk but I would say he was tipsy and as I discovered his mental state, he said to me, “Your left hand looks naked.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that and so I replied to him, “What do you mean? I never wear anything on my left hand.” He said, “Give me your hand.” I gave him my hand and still wasn’t sure what was happening next. I did notice that the couple that was sitting next to us stopped and began to pay attention to us.

My ex-boyfriend, whom I hadn’t really seen in ten years nor communicated with was now holding my left hand and said, “I think we should get married. I still have feelings for you, I have money and we could make this work.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not because this was a man that wanted to meet earlier in the evening so he can rush home to watch a hockey game and now he’s proposing marriage? Maybe in his mind he was thinking that us seeing each other for a third time would be the charm that would land him my hand in marriage.

I pulled my hand out of his and did my very best to tell him no without getting him upset. The couple sitting next to us went back to their conversation but you could tell that they were dying for us to leave so that they could talk about what they had just witnessed. I was dying to leave and forget this entire evening ever happened and it was right about that time that the waiter brought over the bill. Even though the evening didn’t follow through as I had imagined, I paid the entire bill because I was the one who invited him out for his birthday dinner and I was also the one that turned down his marriage proposal. So, there you have it, I had ended things with this man for yet another time and I was also out $150 bucks of my single person income.

As if things, couldn’t get any more awkward between us, he wanted to take the subway to 42nd Street together where he would transfer to continue to Astoria where he lives. We sat on the subway in silence and when we got to 42nd Street, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and said goodbye. By the time I put my key into my door, I got a text message from him. It said that he looks forward to our future together and hopes that I will change my mind. I didn’t have the energy to tell him that there is no future and so I just wrote back, “Have a good night.”

I haven’t heard from him since but I know I will…they always come back. I do know that if/when he does come back I will tell him that there is no future and that being friends isn’t probably the best for us either.

The next day, after my disastrous evening, I had Feathers and his husband over to my apartment so they could paint it for me. I offered to help paint but was shot down after they saw how bad of a job I had previously done. As they began painting, I told them about my evening and they were in shock and said that this kind of stuff only happens to me. I laughed it off and decided that there was nothing else left for me to do about the situation.

Ever since the beginning of this year, I’ve worked rather hard on moving forward. In every sense of the meaning because already this year I’ve said goodbye to Mr. D., I found a new job and now I was updating my apartment. I was grateful to have such amazing friends that want to help make my home look good and create a place that I want to return to.

In the end of this past week, I knew I did the right thing with all that was thrown at me. Maybe the third time wasn’t a charm for my ex and I but that doesn’t mean that something wonderful isn’t around the corner to experience.

Where to Begin

It’s been over a month since I last wrote. I wasn’t writing because I didn’t have anything to write about but it was because there’s been so much going on in my life that I didn’t have time to put my thoughts into my writing. It had me thinking that with my life being so chaotic that will there ever have enough time to write again or will anyone care? What made me want to write again was because a reader clear across the world (China to be exact) asked me what was going on with my life. This is a person that I’ve never met before but apparently waits for my next chapter to discuss with his friends about my life in New York. So, for that reader…this one is for you.

Where to begin? I think I will begin with the biggest news that has happened to me and that is; I got a new job. The job did not fall into my lap but rather it came to me with the help of a former coworker. There were so many reasons for me wanting and needing to leave my old job. Upper management wasn’t treating me properly and even though Mr. D. had left and moved to Boston, I could still feel at times like he was still present which I didn’t care for. It was time to move on and once I put my mind to looking for a new job; it was only a matter of two weeks before I got the offer, a promotion and a nice increase in salary. After I told upper management that I was resigning and officially put in my two weeks’ notice; that was the last time they spoke to me. For the following two weeks after my announcement, they acted like I never worked there. The worse part was on my last day of work when I asked human resources about a time for my exit interview and they no idea that it was even my last day. My bosses dropped the ball and they never said goodbye or thanked me for being there for three years. There was no question about it; I had made the right decision to leave the agency and it was certainly time for a new beginning.

With a new job under my belt, I decided to continue this new path of new beginnings. I only took a couple of days off between my old job and starting my new one. On one of those days, I decided to go shopping for new furniture. In the twenty years that I’ve lived here, I never had the opportunity to buy brand new furniture that would be mine and mine alone. It felt liberating as I was shopping for couches, end tables and lamps. In a city like New York, where it can be treated as one big adult playground without any real responsibilities. It’s only until you decide to try and be an adult where you see the city from a different perspective. I felt good about the choices I was making and more importantly they were my choices and no one else.

Two weekends ago, I went to Boston to visit my best friend, her husband and their baby. It would be my first Boston trip without Mr. D. and after all the trips with him over the years, I had a good grip on how to navigate the city. On my bus ride to Boston, it was surreal knowing he was there, knowing he was up in his penthouse apartment that I picked out and how I wouldn’t be seeing him at all. And older version of myself would’ve most likely contacted him, seen him and started things back up again with hopes of change. However, my fingers didn’t even want to look up his contact information. Instead, I read my book and got excited to see my friend whom I hadn’t seen in months. The visit was short and sweet but we managed to cram in a lot of baby time and once the baby was with her parents, we bar hopped which was also fun. I came back full of life and ready to tackle my new job and anything else that life had in store for me.

This past week/weekend, everything was starting to fall into place. I was learning people’s names at my new job, my couch and end table were getting delivered (and put together since I can’t be trusted with a hammer) and I also began chatting with a new guy that I met on Tinder. He was the oldest man I had chatted with (51 years old) and my main reason for entertaining the correspondence was because his sense of humor was fantastic via text. He would send me “dad jokes” and was persistent on meeting me in person but I had so much going on that I wasn’t free for awhile. However, I did let him know that this past Sunday I could potentially move something around and meet for a coffee. He lives in my neighborhood, so I knew of a bunch of places to choose from should he want to meet on Sunday.

After having a semi-late night with my friend on Friday, I told myself that I must have a productive day on Saturday. So, I got up early and took myself to a store that I have only been to once and it was torture for me…Trader Joes. There is one on the Upper West Side, so I figured that would be one where everyone is more civilized and not so chaotic like the other ones in the city. I got to the store at 10 a.m. and began placing things in my shopping cart and as I was shopping I got a craving for spaghetti. I figured that is something I can make and not burn the apartment down. I wasn’t paying attention as I got to the aisle where the marinara sauce was and I don’t know how this next part happened but I grabbed a jar and it slipped from my hand and shattered! An employee there said to me, “Don’t move, I will be back with a mop.” I stood there for a few minutes as customers walked by and gave me their side-eyes and one kid even laughed and pointed. The very nice employee cleaned up the mess and offered me a wet paper towel to wipe off the sauce from my shoes and legs. I put my groceries back, left the grocery store and realized that there are certain stores where I just don’t belong.

Yesterday, I woke up and one of the first messages I received was from the guy whom I had been chatting with for about a week or so. He was asking me if I’d like to go to brunch with him. I was hesitant to agree to a brunch on a first-time meeting and he was also the first person I’d ever met from Tinder (an app that I wasn’t sure how to navigate). However, we had been chatting for over a week, he was in his early 50’s and who the hell am I to judge? So, I told him that I could do a brunch but that I wouldn’t be drinking and he agreed for us to meet. He picked a little place on Tenth Avenue not too far from my apartment and when I arrived; he was already waiting for me at a table.

He stood up as I got closer to the table, gave me a hug and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee for me. Everything was going along rather smoothly for a first meeting. He was making jokes, telling me about how he moved here from Cincinnati about a year ago and still getting used to the “city” ways. This man had an apartment in a nice building, good job, well-spoken and as we began to talk about travel that was when things took a turn. We were well into an hour of the brunch when he told me how much he loves going to different beaches. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love summer and beaches, so I was excited to hear about his enthusiasm for beaches as well.

“Would you like to see some pictures of some of the beaches that I’ve been to?” He asked with a big grin on his face. He motioned for me to move my chair so that I’d be sitting side by side to him. As he opened his phone and began showing me pictures of sunsets, white sand and clear oceans, the pictures began to take a turn. Next thing I know there were pictures of him completely naked on beaches, naked on rocks and naked under waterfalls. I looked at him and said, “Those pictures aren’t really necessary.” He then asked, “After brunch do you want to go back to my place and get nude? I love being nude.” I declined the offer and he got upset with me because he mentioned how in the past when he’s shown his nude pictures to dates that they tend to go back to his place. I just told him that I’m not one those other guys. I moved my chair back to the other side of the table and motioned for the waitress to send over the check. I wasn’t sure if he was pissed or embarrassed or both but he paid for the entire meal and I went home.

As this week begins, I can’t help but be grateful for where I am now. New job, new furniture, great friends, family, readers and the city even with it’s nudist.

Past, Present and Future

There is a quote by the American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson that reads, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” I enjoy that quote because often times we tend to blame our past and what has happened to us previously to justify the things we say and do in our present. Which got me thinking…how much does our past shape our present and future?

For me, my past was quickly becoming my present and it all started on New Year’s Day. Like most people around the world, on that specific day, I was moving rather slow because of New Year’s Eve and spending it with my friends. As I was sitting on my couch being lazy, I got a text message from a number I didn’t have programmed in my phone. It was a message wishing me a Happy New Year. When I responded to the message and told the person that I wasn’t sure who it was, the message I got back was from an ex-boyfriend that I not only dated but lived with almost ten years ago. I wrote about it in my last entry and how I went to his apartment a couple of weeks ago and ended up spending the night with him.

Ever since that evening, he has been texting every single day. It wasn’t aggressive texting but the occasional text message asking how my day was, etc. I didn’t think too much about the messages because they were always friendly and never romantic. Then, about a week and a half ago, he sent me a message right as I was getting ready for bed. He asked me if I wanted to spend Superbowl Sunday with him and even meet some of his friends. My friends and I hadn’t made solid plans for that Sunday and I figured that I’d be going to my ex’s apartment, meet his friends and go home. So, I agreed to go over to his place. He then responded with, “Great. Make sure to make some of your homemade guacamole.” The one thing I can make without burning the apartment down.

The next day at work, I got news that they were changing a lot of what I’d be working on and I wasn’t too thrilled with that announcement. It angered me because they were giving me more responsibility for the same pay. So, I decided to take some days off and I specifically asked to take the Monday after the Superbowl because I figured I was going to want to let my hair down and shake off some work aggression. It was also that same day that I ended up getting a call from another advertising agency telling me that they’ve been trying to get in touch with me but wasn’t sure how to reach me but someone in the industry gave them my information. Now I have an extensive interview next week and this is a position that will get me more money and a promotion. Things were starting to finally fall into place for me.

Last Friday, I told my friends that in an effort to try and keep my apartment for one more month to myself without a roommate that I’m going on a strict budget. Budget is a word that leaves a bad taste in my mouth and frankly, I’m not very good at saving so when I told my friends of my news and they were very supportive. That being said, that evening, I met up with a friend of mine first at a bar that does a cheap happy hour. So, we had our two drinks and another friend of mine sent a text message asking me to come down to a friend of ours apartment for a group of people were coming together. Got in a cab and headed down to Chelsea and next thing I knew a bunch of my friends and I are drinking prosecco, laughing and having a great time. I told myself that I wanted to be home by midnight because I know the later at night it gets the chances of me having a productive next day is rather slim. As I was sitting amongst my friends, I got a text message from my ex and he was telling me how excited he was for Sunday and then asked me if he could see me the next evening as well. I wasn’t really sure what to say or if it was even a good idea to be revisiting anything with me ex. I told my friend whom had met him all those years prior and he told me, “You are going to do whatever you want to do. I’m not sure it’s a good idea but do what you have to do.” I told my ex that I would see him the next evening. He said that he’d make plans for us and keep me posted. Another glass of prosecco later and next thing I know; I’m being dragged to a bar with my friends past 3 a.m. When I got home, I knew that I was going to regret staying out so late.

Saturday morning, I woke up and wasn’t feeling my best even though I knew I had so much to do. I challenged myself that not only was I going to make homemade guacamole but I was going to try and make these cookies from scratch based on a recipe that my sister sent me. I went to the grocery store, bought all these ingredients and came home and began to prepare to bake. I even had to buy mixing bowls, measuring cups, etc. because if I was going to do this, I was going to do it properly (not to mention that I don’t own any of these baking items). I was excited and I was following the instructions to the letter but somehow, the cookies didn’t bake properly and some got burned and after several attempts at getting the cookies right; I folded the towel and gave up. My cookies were a huge fail and while I was trying to bake, my ex had sent me a message asking if I could be ready, bag packed and outside my door by seven in the evening. I told him that I hadn’t made the guacamole yet and that things weren’t going as planned with my day but he said he would change that all around and to be ready by seven.

I wasn’t sure how to process all that my ex was saying for he was being sweet, romantic and putting in effort. Ten years ago, when we dated all he cared about was sports, chicken wings and drinking. I told him that I would bring the ingredients for the guacamole and I would make it at his place later on. I threw away my disastrous cookies and decided to go for a run at my gym before I needed to get ready for whatever my evening was going to present itself with. After my run, I was a sweaty mess and as I was exiting my gym there stood my very first boyfriend I ever had when I first moved to New York. I was eighteen years old at the time and he was thirty-three. Back then, my parents weren’t too thrilled with the age difference but I think they were still upset that I left the house at eighteen that anything else I did after that wasn’t going to thrill them anyhow. I dated him for three years until I turned twenty-one and once I left him I only saw him one more time in the city many years later. It would be my luck that I would be seeing him just as I was leaving my gym not exactly looking my best. He recognized me instantly and came over to say hi. Right next to him was his husband and I had heard that he had gotten married and this was my first time meeting the husband. I didn’t know what to say so I let my ex-boyfriend do all the talking. He told me they live in the same area of Brooklyn that we used to live in all those years ago and he still works in the banking industry. He then said how I don’t look all that different from when I was in my twenties. I thanked him (even though I assume he was just trying to be polite) and I shook both of their hands and left. I couldn’t believe what my day was presenting to me. Two ex-boyfriends that I lived with in my past now presenting themselves all in the same day? This was too crazy even for New York standards.

With seeing both exes in one day, I got to thinking on my walk back to my apartment from the gym, if I was actually moving toward my future or stuck living in my past? I didn’t have much time to go down the path of thinking in the past because my ex-boyfriend was going to be picking me up in an hour. I quickly packed a bag, got ready very fast and as I was putting the groceries for the guacamole into a bag, I realized I bought a bad batch of cilantro and so I needed to run to the grocery store before he was going to be at my doorstep. I had only two minutes to spare but everything fell into place and he arrived in front of my building at seven.

He was very proud of his new car because it was just that…brand new. It had all the bells and whistles but he knows none of that stuff impresses me even though he was trying to show me all what the car could do. When I asked him where we were going he said, New Jersey. New Jersey? I asked him what the hell was in New Jersey and he said he was craving some restaurant called, Bonefish. I had never heard of it but apparently it was descent seafood and now I was on my way to New Jersey with my ingredients to make guacamole sitting in the back seat of his new car.

On the drive to the restaurant he told me that he made reservations. To some, making reservations isn’t a big deal but my ex never once made us dinner reservations or did anything all that romantic, so when he told me that, he looked at me and said, “This is the 2.0 version of me.” I smiled, listened to his stereo that was blasting The Lumineers and decided to just relax, stop processing and see how this “2.0” version differs from the original that I knew ten years ago.

The dinner was lovely including the conversation. He said, “Don’t you worry about anything tonight. Order whatever you want. This is on me!” I was taken aback by it all and I was slowly beginning to see him in a different light. After dinner, we drove back to his apartment in Astoria and once we got inside his place, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted anything to happen, everything was happening a little too fast for me and I needed to slow things down before I was going to repeat my past. We sat on the couch, watched some television before I suggested we go to bed to sleep only. He agreed and said he was tired anyhow because it was already two in the morning.

Sunday, he got up before I did and I needed some more time in bed to myself. I knew that I was already locked into spending the game with him, meeting his friends that he talked so much about and that I was off from work the next day. That was all I knew and for the time being, that was all I wanted to know. I got out of bed and he had already gone outside and bought fresh bagels and even made us coffee and once again, he was surprising me by all that he was doing. I’m not totally naïve to understand the reasons why he was doing all these things was partly because he is wanting us to get back together again, to prove to me that he’s changed and above all else, to make up for the past.

We had a few hours before his guest were to arrive and so I needed to get cracking on making my guacamole (which turned out amazing thankfully) and while I was doing that, he was watching the Rangers game. It felt a little like we were playing “house.” It was just like it had been in the past with him on the couch watching a game and me in the kitchen trying to be domestic. However, in the past when we lived together, I didn’t know I was too young and wasn’t ready to be living that life nor was he. We went too fast and as quickly as we moved in together, we moved out just as quick. I didn’t want history to repeat itself but it had been ten years and people do change, so should I embrace this “2.0” version or let it go yet again? It was a question that I couldn’t allow myself at that time to think about but knew that I was going to need to address it sooner rather than later.

His friends began to arrive one by one and they all were really lovely people. I enjoyed meeting each and every single one of them. They were also very friendly toward me as well. I noticed that I wasn’t really getting drunk, which I was alright with but I did notice that my ex was drinking heavily. I kept telling myself that this is his special night, he’s around his friends and me and he even took the next day off as well therefore he can do whatever he wants. After the game, most of his friends left because they all had to work the next day. There was one couple that stayed behind, a man and wife. The husband was paying a lot of attention toward me throughout the evening but I didn’t think anything of it because this was my first time meeting these people. It was now just the four of us, my ex was getting very drunk and it was the kind of drunk that always made me very nervous back when we were dating. He would get aggressive and say and do very stupid things.

All four of us were sitting on the couch and the husband was sitting next to me and at one point he said to me, “You are really beautiful. I’m not gay but I just wanted to say that.” I knew my ex very well and I knew that he wasn’t going to like hearing what his friend just said to me. True to form, he got upset and started saying mean things to his friend. Right then and there, I saw that my ex hadn’t changed at all. There was no “2.0” version but rather this version was simply ten years older and hadn’t gotten any wiser. I didn’t acknowledge what the husband had said to me and began talking with his wife while my ex and the husband were getting defensive with one another. I knew exactly how to act around my ex when he got aggressive and if I ignore him than he would calm down which is what he did. His friends left quickly after that extremely awkward moment thankfully the guys resolved whatever they were discussing. Once they were gone, it was late and I just wanted to go to bed. My ex had a different idea and wanted to have sex but after I saw that he hadn’t changed at all, the idea of him even touching me left me wanting to never see him again. I acted like I was exhausted and wanted to pass out which once he hit his pillow, he quickly passed out.

Yesterday morning, I got up around nine in the morning, splashed cold water on my face and gathered my belongings. Just like our past together, he woke up the next morning not remembering anything, asking me what he had said and done the night prior and I simply couldn’t get out of there quickly enough. He was surprised when I was leaving so fast because he said he wanted to spend the day together but I told him I had too many errands to run and needed to get going. It was my perfect opportunity to tell him that I wasn’t coming back, that it isn’t a good idea to start anything back up again and that I’ve moved on but after ten years and two visits, I no longer wanted to be a part of his life.

I can only speak for myself when I say that there are times when I wonder if I’m moving forward or do I just keep reliving the same life over and over again. I know that I’d certainly probably move a lot quicker to my future if I stopped entertaining my past but regardless of where you are in your life, if you don’t deal with your past, it will come back and present itself to you so that you actually can move forward once and for all.

Each path we take in life is based on our past, present and our future. Some paths we take may lead to a bad place and other times our paths change our entire way that we see ourselves. This leads me to yet another quote by, Ralph Waldo Emersion and he writes…

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

If I Could Turn Back Time

There will moments in our lives where we will utter questions like, “Should I take the job?” “Should I move to another city?” “When should I start my diet?” and “What will happen if I stay in my relationship?” Some people call them the, “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’s” but I like to think of them as, “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

The New Year was already off to a rather bumpy start for me and as each day has gone on since January 1st, it wasn’t looking any brighter. My roommate was a month behind on rent and three months behind with utilities and I was covering all the expenses while he was looking for a job which in turn was hurting my bank account. I wasn’t sure what to do with the situation but every couple of days, I would ask my roommate how his job search was going and what his plans were for paying me back. Last week, he finally snapped and told me to stop asking him about his situation. After he snapped back at me; I finally decided that it was time for him to go and that I needed to seriously think about what I wanted to do next with my apartment. Do I keep my apartment that I’ve lived in for the past nine years or do I let it go and find a place of my very own? Given the timing and everything else that was going on with my life, the idea of trying to find a new apartment in two weeks was simply too much for me to tackle. So, in turn, I paid rent for February and will have my apartment to myself for a full month before I decide what my next plan of action will be.

Work has also been really terrible for me ever since I returned back from the holidays. Working fourteen hour days with no end in sight, which I know I’m not the only one that is plagued with the question of, “Do I start looking for a new job?” I will say, that the only good thing going on with my current job at the moment is the fact that Mr. D. is no longer here. For the past two weeks since he’s been gone, there has been a tremendous weight lifted from my shoulders without having to worry if he’s going to walk by my desk or try and find an excuse to talk to me at the office. There is my silver lining when it comes to this dead end job.

I would be lying to myself if I said that nothing was going right with my life at this time because it really isn’t. However, I’m doing my best every single day to get things back on track. They say that most people are looking for a great home, that fabulous career and of course…that perfect mate. It’s rare that everyone has it all but what happens when you really don’t have any of those things going for you? It really can send a person down a scary path but with each passing day and week; all I can do is keeping trying until all the stars align back up again.

So, work and my home life have been complete and utter shit and regarding my love life; I haven’t been ready to deal with it due to Mr. D. finally leaving once and for all. However, on New Year’s Day as I was leaving my apartment to go meet friends for brunch, I received a text message from a number that I didn’t recognize. All it said was, “Happy New Year!” I replied back with, “I’m sorry; I’m not sure who this is.” Two seconds later, I get a message back saying that it was my ex-boyfriend from ten years ago!! An ex-boyfriend that I used to live with, an ex-boyfriend that I loved so much and more importantly; an ex-boyfriend that broke my heart. We exchanged a few more messages and they were mainly messages where he informed me of where he was living at the moment and it was his last message that left me perplexed. He asked me if I wanted to come and see his new apartment. I didn’t answer right away because I really needed to think this one through. It was ten years ago and people do change. I had to laugh because back in May of last year when Mr. D. let me go to California all by myself (the trip that he was supposed to go on with me and instead went to a wedding with his ex-girlfriend) that my ex-boyfriend was at the same exact wedding that Mr. D. was at. Small world and at times I can only think that “this stuff only happens to me.” Over brunch, I talked to my friend about it and asked her what she thinks and she suggested I see him just to check things out because if I didn’t, I would ask myself a million questions. So, I told my ex-boyfriend when I was free and that I’d like to come and see his new apartment.

So, this past Friday was the evening that I would be going to see my ex-boyfriend after ten years of not seeing or speaking to each other. Of course, the entire day was a big mess for me. Work was insane and I could barely keep up not to mention that my roommate was harassing me via text messages because he wasn’t sure how he was going to pay me back the money and he was coming across rather aggressive and I finally told him that I would speak with him face to face once I got home from work before needing to get ready to see my ex.

The conversation with my roommate went better than I expected because I told him that he needed to be out by this Saturday, he gets no security deposit back and once he understood that I had hit my limit, he went quietly to his room. Finally it was time for me to get ready because I was already an hour late to meet my ex.

I hadn’t been to this part of Queens in at least six years but I was told by my ex to text him once I arrived at the Queensborough stop on the N train that was bound for Astoria. It was an area that I wasn’t familiar with at all but he told me that he would pick me up at the Astoria Boulevard stop and would be waiting for me where you purchase Metro cards. I arrived at the stop where he told me to get off and two minutes later, I was standing in front of him and it was only awkward for a second and then he said, “Come here and give me a hug.” We hugged and as we pulled away he said to me, “I remember you always smell so good. Now come on and let me show you the country.” He knows I always refer to anything outside of Manhattan as “the country.” He only lives a block away from the subway and so I didn’t get to see much of Astoria but all I could think about was, “Where the hell was I and what exactly was I doing with him?”

We got to his building and he showed me his new truck that he purchased and showed me around his building. I could tell that he was trying to impress me but he knows that those kinds of things never did impress me. I don’t care about vehicles or the latest gadgets but he knew I did care about how clean he kept his apartment and whether or not he was eating healthy (his diet in the past consisted of buffalo wings and beer).

When we got inside his apartment, it smelled good which I thought was very odd for him because he could care less about candles. The first thing he said to me was, “Look, I bought candles just for your visit.” It was sweet, we hugged again and with that one hug, I suddenly felt all those old fond memories of him again. We continued the tour and before we actually sat down to catch-up, I asked for a drink, not because I was nervous or anxious but because of the rough week I had. He made our drinks and we sat down on his brand new couch. Everything in his new apartment was brand new from the television to his coasters, I could tell that he was really proud of himself and I congratulated him on all his success. Time had been good to him as far as his career and finances had gone.

During our first and second drink we covered the topics of our friends, family and careers. His life from a social aspect had remained pretty much the same, some friends had gotten married and had children and he became a first time uncle. By the time our third drink had presented itself, it was there that we decided to cover the subject of our love lives.

He asked me if I had been on any dates in the past ten years or had been serious about someone. I actually laughed at the question because I figured we both had been on dates in the past decade and so I told him that I had dated and been in relationships since we ended. When it was his turn to answer the question, he said, “I haven’t been on one single date since you left me. I’m happy with my life for the most part but I didn’t want to date anyone else. I’ve hooked up with random people but there was never anyone like you and so I’ve left things the way they are.”

We both agreed that we were too young when we moved in together but that we did have a strong love for each other and that since we’ve been apart there really hasn’t been any person that could match with what we had. I only thought about it for a brief second that what if we could turn back time and would we even have pushed through our rough patch in the past and ended up still being together. I knew the answer and the answer would still be no. We wouldn’t be together because we both had a lot of growing up to do. In many regards, he was still the same exact person that I loved and that was also a bad thing because the red flags that were there in the past are still there. So, I knew that this first “meeting” that we were having was also probably going to be our last.

I was now four drinks in and I told myself that I needed to eat something or else I was running the risk of getting sloppy, so I asked him to order us a pizza. While we waited for the pizza to be delivered he said that he wanted to show me something. We walked over to his bedroom and he opened his closet and what was inside was something I wasn’t prepared for at all. Inside his closet was everything we had ever bought together while we lived together. There was a blender, framed art, a very expensive blanket and when I asked him why he kept all of this stuff for ten years he said, “Because I just couldn’t part with this stuff. Those were very happy times for me and I figured that maybe one day that everything would work itself out again.” I didn’t say anything just stared at all of those memories and remembered all the good and bad times. He gave me a look that I knew what was going to happen next…he kissed me.

When we pulled away, I don’t know if it was a combination of the drinks, him, me or the fact that everything felt familiar and wonderful but I wanted more. We kissed until the pizza arrived and as we ate our dinner, we began to laugh at how comfortable everything felt. It was getting late now and I wasn’t sure if I was going to go home after dinner or more importantly; did I even want to go home.

Turns out that I didn’t even have to think for myself because he said, “I hope you stay the night because I have no intentions of letting you go tonight.” He left me in his living room and went to his bedroom and when he came out, he brought me a pair of his boxers and a t-shirt to wear and said, “Go change and come to bed.” Inside his bathroom, I splashed cold water on my face, changed my clothes and went into his bedroom where he was already waiting for me in bed. I fell asleep in his arms just like I always had done all those years ago.

We woke up the next morning bright and early for he had to drive upstate to a friend’s house and I wanted to leave as quickly as possible to avoid any awkwardness. He offered to make me coffee but I declined, got dressed and he hugged me one more time before I left and said how nice it was to see me and if I ever wanted to see the “country” again to give him a call. It was the perfect way to part and I was grateful that he was there for me to make me feel a lot of positive things. There was no point in dwelling on the past because it was ten years ago and I knew I wasn’t the same person any longer. I surprised myself when I didn’t want to turn back time and think of all the wonderful times to make me think that we had a future together. He served his purpose and that was to make me feel like someone wanted to be with me.

We will always reflect, look back and ponder that “what ifs” in our lives and we usually tend to do this when our lives are turned upside down. It’s when our lives are good, when everything falls into place that we never tend to look back at our past. We can never turn back time, nor should we want to, we should all do our best to stay in the present and look forward to our futures.

Release Me

It’s that time of year again where everyone is given a clean slate, to say goodbye to the previous year and hello to a new one. That time of year where everyone is filled with hopes, dreams and desires and the potential to make it all come true. However, the release process of letting go of the previous year isn’t always as easy as one might think. Which got me thinking…are we ever releasing the previous year to embrace the new one?

I had taken several weeks off from writing due to my last interaction with Mr. D., the holidays and the overall desire to release 2016 altogether. After visiting my family in Seattle and coming back to New York to celebrate New Year’s; it felt so good to be back in the city that I love. However, I was instantly greeted by my roommate’s news and he informed me that rent would be late, not to mention he was already two months behind on the utilities. It was news that I wasn’t prepared for nor was it news that I was financially capable of covering. My heart goes out to my roommate because his mom has cancer and he was visiting with her. I wasn’t sure how to handle the entire situation but it has put me in a huge financial crisis that I hope will get resolved sooner rather than later.

Toward the end of the holiday break, I decided that it might be time to dust off the dating apps and see what is out there. If I was going to move on from Mr. D. there was no time like the present, so I logged on and instantly found myself having communication with several people. On New Year’s Day, I agreed to meet one guy at this restaurant near my apartment called, Bar Bacon. A restaurant that serves only food and drinks that is bacon infused. It wasn’t exactly my kind of place but I agreed to go nonetheless. I arrived a few minutes late but I was surprised that my date actually looked better than his pictures. We sat at a table and he only ordered water and brussel sprouts and instantly went into detail on his life and how he’s at a certain point in his life where he doesn’t care about anything or anyone and would rather just be at home watching television. It wasn’t exactly how I wanted to be greeted on my first date in a rather long time but I was polite and listened as he went on about his life. I wasn’t exactly having a terrible time but I wasn’t smiling either and by the end of the evening, he suggested we go see a movie the next day. I accepted his offer thinking that maybe it was just “first date” jitters that had my date all over the place.

The next day, the weather in the city was a mix of snow and sleet but we still managed to meet on the corner of where I live and walk uptown to the movie theatre. I decided that since the previous night he had paid for our evening that I would pay for the movie tickets. It was crowded at the movie theatre and we had time to kill before the movie started and so we went to Starbucks for coffee. Over coffee, he decided to tell me that he is still technically “married”. There it was…the moment in the date where the other person decides to drop their baggage off on your door and you are left with deciding if you want to deal with it or not. That news came earlier than I expected but still I decided that I wasn’t in any position to judge without first hearing all the details. I listened as he went on to tell me that his husband lives in Atlanta and he resides here and that they are only staying married for the insurance. While it wasn’t necessarily a big issue as to why he was still married, I did decide that it wasn’t something that I wanted to deal with. I have just suffered through enough emotional drama with Mr. D. that I wasn’t ready to deal with another person’s just yet. So, we went to the movie, he tried to hold my hand but I acted like I had to itch my nose. After the movie, he walked me to my corner, we hugged goodbye and I never heard from him again. So far, we weren’t exactly off to a great start in the dating department or the roommate department for 2017.

It was time for me to deal with my work situation now and last Tuesday was my first day back in the office after being gone for over a week. It was also time for me to deal with Mr. D. as it was his last week in the office and I already knew that his last day would be the next day. I just wasn’t sure to what extent he would be exiting. Would the agency have a party for his departure? How would I react to his leaving and would he even say anything to me? We hadn’t spoken any words or had any form of communication since the next day after the wedding fiasco over two weeks ago, where I told him that we were over once and for all. Everyone involved in my life and this saga said that he’d be back but I was and still very angry with him that I no longer want any part of this man in my life. On top of my odd first date, the roommate situation, I found out that my job was having major changes and it was affecting everyone involved, it was as if I was still living in 2016.

I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling a sense of uneasiness. That uneasiness came from me not knowing how I was going to react to Mr. D. leaving once and for all. As soon as I walked into the office that morning, there was a breakfast gathering in Mr. D.’s honor. I didn’t attend even though I was invited and just told a coworker that I had too much work to do to be able to attend. Throughout the entire day, Mr. D. came by my desk several times, just looking at me and not saying a word. It was his last go-around by my desk that he asked a work related question to me and normally I would answer; instead I put my headphones on and looked at my computer screen acting as if I didn’t hear him. He walked away like a lost puppy dog but I didn’t care. I know why he would think that I would break down and given in because I have done that in the past but there was no way that I was going to do that this time. I was releasing him from my life and while I was heartbroken on the inside; I displayed an emotion of anger and disgust. It was getting toward the end of the work day and Mr. D. was still running around the office and knowing him so well; I knew that he was going to swing by my desk again to see if I was there. So, I snuck out of the office early without anyone noticing and left without saying goodbye to Mr. D.

A few people asked me if that was really how I wanted to end things with Mr. D. and my point for leaving without a proper goodbye. That maybe I would be wishing him well in Boston but he simply doesn’t deserve any kind of kindness. The fact that you could do the things that he has done to me over the past two and a half years and expect me to let everything go and be supportive is something that I simply can’t and won’t do.  I gave him everything that I had; including my heart and what I got back was someone that is still confused, lost and disrespectful to me. It took me longer than anticipated to get to this emotional and mental state but it felt good to finally be able to release him. He will be back; he always will but how I handle his return is up to me. Time will tell but now that we have actual distance between us; I feel like I am ready to move on.

The next couple of days at the office were strange because I was so used to him being in the office even when weren’t speaking to each other. I walked around our office as if nothing had happened and a few coworkers came up to me and asked how I was doing but I acted like I had no idea what they were talking about. Even some friends of mine asked me how I was holding up, I told them I was doing ok or that I was happy given the circumstances but when I was home, I was crying. It was hard to hold in the tears or emotions while working but as long as no one knew what I was going through than I was fine with dealing with the letting go process all on my own.

By the time last Friday rolled around, I was ready to go home and hide under the covers. I was also in the scariest financial position I had been a part of in a very long time. With me having to cover rent and utilizes for my roommate till he figures things out (which he promised would be at the end of this week), work being very disorganized and the end of Mr. D.; I wasn’t in any position to be around friends. On my walk home from the office that evening, I thought of how I should spend what little money I had left to my name. I took my ten dollars and walked into my local bar, Rise, for a glass of wine.

The place was somewhat crowded and I was standing with my glass of wine waiting for a seat to become available. I was ignoring everyone around me, I didn’t want to be talked to but just to sit, breathe and have my glass of wine that tasted better than I ever could remember. Finally, a seat was becoming available and as I was making my way to the seat, someone else was trying to steal it from me. Next thing I knew, some guy was telling the other patron that the seat was already taken by me. This stranger pulled the chair out for me and I sat down. I turned around and thanked him for helping me grab the only seat in the bar and he nodded and said it wasn’t a problem. I turned around and faced the bar while this stranger was behind me.

I felt a tap on my shoulder a minute later and it was the stranger that got me my seat. He said, “Please don’t think of this as a pick-up line but do you come here often?” I began laughing and said he needed to ask a different question if he was going to try and start up a conversation with me. He said that it was actually his first time in the bar and was asking because judging how the bartenders were attentive toward me that he assumed that I was a regular. It was there that I noticed that this stranger was kind of cute and thus began a conversation that lasted for a few hours. Given my lack of money and me sipping on my wine slowly to make it last longer, I discovered that this stranger was paying attention only to me and not paying attention to other guys that were surrounding us. I can tell that this stranger was also tipsy but offered to buy me a few more glasses of wine. I didn’t eat that much earlier in the day so the wine was hitting me fast but I didn’t care; I was having fun.

Four glasses of wine later, I was feeling good and he was feeling even better than I was. It was only 9:30 in the evening but we agreed to end the evening because he had to get up early the next morning for work. I asked him what subway train he needed to take home and it was near my apartment; so I offered to walk him to the subway station. In front of the subway station, he leaned in and kissed me and before I knew it; I was making out with this stranger in the middle of Columbus Circle. He even picked me up and swung me around and I was smiling the entire time. He asked for my number and said he would message me when he got home.

To my surprise, this stranger did message me when he got home and said that his sweater smelled like my fragrance and that he found that to be hot. It was a pleasant surprise to the end of a rather shitty week. As of today, we have our first official date tomorrow and I’m actually looking forward to it.

As we start this new week, I’m finally starting to have those feelings that most feel at the beginning of a new year. Filled with hope, passion and desire and as Meryl Streep said last night so eloquently at the Golden Globes, “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”

I Hate You, I Love You

Our emotions can force us to go from zero to sixty at a moments notice. One minute we are full of love and in the next second, we can go from love to hate. All it takes is one phone call, one conversation, one text message or one look and your entire world can either be uplifted or can come tumbling down.

It was exactly seventy one days ago when Mr. D. and I were sitting at a restaurant having dinner where he was, yet again, apologizing for the way he handled our California trip back in May. He begged and pleaded to have me back in his life and like every single time in the past, I allowed him back in. Also, during that dinner, I had mentioned that I had a wedding to attend and he asked if he could go with me. Mainly because he knew the people that were attending the wedding and said it would be fun. I had a plus one to this wedding and he would be my date.

In those seventy one days, Mr. D.  and I had gotten closer than we ever had. There were some rather intense conversations and raw emotions that were shown from the both of us. I had managed to convince him to go seek therapy and he’s been going once a week and I also managed to help him find his new apartment in Boston.

Ever since he told me that our Boston office approached him for a job opportunity there, I’ve been mentally and emotionally preparing myself for our goodbye. I told myself that all I wanted was one last night to have a wonderful time together and then I would say goodbye forever. I figured that once he moves to Boston, he will start a new chapter and I will be able to do so as well. So, the evening that I wanted for us to have as our “last night” would be the wedding. I figured we would be surrounded by friends, food, dancing and love and what better way to have an ending to what has been the most temperamental relationship I’ve ever experienced than with this wedding.

Three weeks prior to the wedding, Mr. D. and I were at a bookstore and he purchased a book on how to heal your life through art. On the cover was a painting by a German romantic artist named, Caspar David Friedrich. The painting is entitled, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. After seeing that painting and realizing how similar this painting is to Mr. D’s life about a lost man, I thought it would make a great Christmas gift if I had a printed piece of the painting framed for his new apartment in Boston. I did some research and found the piece and had it framed and it arrived two weeks ago and my plan was to give it to him after the wedding. I knew he would love it and I couldn’t wait to see the expression on his face when he opened it.

It was last Wednesday morning and I sat down at my computer when I saw an email from Mr. D. and the subject line of the email read: “Hooky?” When I read the body of the email, he was asking me if I wanted to leave a couple hours early from work to play hooky and maybe go see a movie. I asked my coworker to cover my work and I told Mr. D. that playing hooky sounded like a lot of fun. To which he replied, “It will be decadent to have the movie theatre all to ourselves.” All day at work I was so in love with the idea that there is someone out there that knows my love of going to the movies and now he has planned a fun afternoon in the city.

We left work around three in the afternoon and headed over to the Kips Bay movie theatre where we would be seeing the movie, Manchester by the Sea. He bought the movie tickets and I got our usual snacks of his popcorn, my peanut M&M’s and the diet coke that we always share. At one point during the movie, he even fed me my candy; it was moments like that where I really did love this man. He is certainly flawed but we all are. After the movie, he had to go back to the office and I had errands to run. On the walk back to the office, I told him my game plan for the wedding that was taking place this past Saturday. I told him that I’d stop by his apartment first with my clothes and his gift; we would get ready, head back into the city for the wedding to then come back to his place to unwrap the gift and the next morning I would go home. He agreed and was on board with my plan. When I got home that night, I sent him a message that expressed how much fun I had playing hooky and how it was moments like that where it would be hard not to miss him when he moves.

A few days later on Friday, I had a holiday party at a friend’s apartment and I promised myself that I needed to leave by midnight for I didn’t want to be too hungover for the wedding the next day. Suffice to say, I didn’t get home until almost four in the morning! I knew I was going to hate myself the next day but it was nice to be around my amazing friends.

Saturday, the day of the wedding, I was on pins and needles for most of the day because there was something inside me that was telling me that Mr. D. could cancel or do something horrific to turn my plans into a total nightmare. To my surprise, he sent a text all excited about the wedding and when I’d be coming over. I told him I plan on being at his apartment by four thirty in order for us to quickly get ready and to be at the wedding venue by five thirty.

The weather outside was gross because the night prior had snowed, so the white snow was now black, the streets had puddles wherever you went and I had to not only carry my suit that I was going to wear for the wedding but also this huge painting. I got a cab and naturally, traffic was insane and I was running a little bit behind. When I finally arrived at Mr. D.’s apartment he was already half-dressed for the wedding which meant I really needed to get myself into gear in order to make good timing for the wedding.

He was so curious about the big box that I had brought. He wanted to open his gift right then and there and I told him that we’d open the gift after the wedding but he kept on insisting on opening it right then and there. I gave in and he opened the box and he was beyond touched by the gift. He gave me a couple of hugs and said it was one of the most thoughtful gifts he had ever received.

Now we were really going to be late for the wedding, so we got dressed, grabbed a cab and somehow, someway we managed to arrive with fifteen minutes to spare. The first person I saw when I got inside the venue was my best friend and her husband. I just knew that this evening was going to go just like I had imagined it. Mr. D. was already fitting in nicely with all of my friends that has met before including some new friends. The ceremony was lovely; the venue was gorgeous and after the couple said their “I Do’s” it was onto the cocktails and appetizers. During that time, I was talking with friends and looked over to see Mr. D. talking with the husbands and it was really such a wonderful feeling to see everyone getting along. I couldn’t ask for anything more from the evening. Every single thing was falling into place.

After the dinner, it was onto the dancing and our friend even got to DJ for us all. Half way through the dancing, Mr. D. pulled me aside and said, “Hey, I’m going to get going now.” I was tipsy at this point, so I thought he was joking with me. There was no way that he would leave me at this wedding, there was no way he was going to disappear after my friends had been so welcoming to him not to mention the food and drinks he was enjoying. When I asked him if he was being serious and he said that he was, I asked him to stop outside for some air.

Out on the street, I asked him point blank, “Are you leaving me and this wedding to go be with someone else?” To which he said, looking down at the ground, “Yes I am.” My loving feelings for this man went from love to hate in a matter of seconds. I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry with him, even after all the other stunts he has pulled on me in the past. I said, “You knew about this wedding for months, I asked you days ago if you could give me just this one night and you said that you would.” He tried to explain to me that even though we act like we are dating that we are in fact not. That was it, I was shaking with anger that I told him to leave immediately, to go inside and say goodbye to my friends and get the fuck out of my face. I, foolishly, remembered that I left my bag at his apartment thinking that I’d be back after the wedding. He said, “I can stay for another hour if you want.” There was no way that I even wanted him to stay another minute much less another hour, I didn’t want any favors or pity from this man. What I wanted was for him to leave me, my friends and my life forever.

He went inside while I stayed outside trying to compose myself because I knew that in a matter of minutes, I was going to have to back inside the wedding and explain to all of my friends what had just happened. He came back outside and tried to hug me goodbye but I told him to not come close to me. He walked away and I went back inside.

Once I was back inside, I, unfortunately was a mess. I excused myself a few times to go to the restroom in order to cry and I had the best support there because I just wasn’t sure how to present myself at this wedding. Many drinks later, I found myself with my best friend at a karaoke bar where I drunkenly left my phone and had no idea what time I actually got home.

Yesterday morning I woke up and the first thought to myself was, “Did this really happen to me?” After two and a half years, after all the shit that this man has put me through and after all the endings and making up that this was going to be the way that he is going to leave my life. I had to wait till the karaoke bar opened at three in the afternoon in order to get my phone. I got my phone thankfully and of course there was a slew of messages from Mr. D. asking me if was alright, asking me what time I would be by his place to pick up my bag and more importantly, asking me if I’ve calmed down because he misses his “dear friend and wants him back.” My anger had not changed in the slightest and I told him that I would be at his apartment by three thirty.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to act, what I was going to say or do once I got there. I knocked on his door and when he opened it he had the nerve to ask me how the rest of the evening was and how much fun he had at the wedding. I looked at him as if he had three heads and I came to realize just how off balance this man actually is. I put all my belongings in my bag and he said, “Wait. Where are you going? Stay.” I looked at him with the angriest of eyes and said, “I hate you. We are done and you are to never contact me again.” He was starting to talk again when I slammed his door as hard as I could and walked away.

I will never speak to this man again and come January fourth which will be his last day in this office…I will never have to see this man again. Over the past two plus years, this man has given me love and given me grief. Every single act that he has done to me; I was never filled with hatred toward him but rather sadness, disbelief but never hatred. I now, FINALLY, have feelings of hatred toward him and I’m perfectly fine with that. I didn’t shed one single tear and probably will never again.

I apologized to myself last night because I allowed this man to be in my life for way too long. I gave him every single part of my heart not to mention helping him out with trying to be a better person. I think the part that hurts the most is that there was never an apology for leading me on, never an “I’m sorry” for acting like someone that loves you to only be capable of doing some rather despicable things to someone you supposedly “love”.

For those that have supported me and those that haven’t, I thank you for sticking by me and for allowing me to go on this journey no matter how many red flags everyone warned me about. I’m not sure I will write for the rest of the year given all that has happened and all that I need to process, so I do hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season ahead. Here is to a hopeful 2017.

Breathe

It all began three Sunday’s ago. I received a text message at 9 a.m. from Mr. D. asking me to meet him at his apartment at noon. I was hesitant to agree to meeting him because I was dreading telling him all that I had planned to say. I had been rehearsing it over and over in my head for weeks. And as we all know, whenever we try to say to someone that we’ve been rehearsing, it never goes out according to plan.

I got off the subway and began the quick walk to his apartment. When I arrived at his building he was already standing outside waiting for me. He looked like he had just been to war. His hair was a mess and his eyes were blood shot. He didn’t say a word but hugged me for a long time. When he pulled away he began telling me, how much he loves me, how he respects me and never wants to disappointment me and that he doesn’t know what to do. He had talked to me like this many times before but there was something about this time that didn’t allow me to look into his eyes because I knew that once I did I would begin to cry. I was looking down at the sidewalk and cars passing by and he continued on with his speech. When he was done, he said, “Will you please look at me?” When I did, all I said to him was, “I’m cold.” We went inside his apartment and for the first time, instead of him sitting next to me like he always has in the past, he sat on his bed and I sat in his chair.

He looked at me, took a deep breath and said, “Do you still love me the way I think you do?” I was very honest with him and told him that I was still in love with him and how could I not be when everything that we’ve gone through has been like a relationship minus the sexual act. We fight, we make-up, we travel, we communicate and we do all the things that couples do, including supporting each other. He didn’t say a word for a few minutes and just sat there. He said, “I guess I shouldn’t have asked that question just now because I bought us tickets to see a movie that is starting in fifteen minutes.” We grabbed our coats and once the movie started, he would whisper things into my ears and acted like we were dating and all I could say was, “This is why I think we are in a relationship because we act like this.”

After the movie, we went back to his place and that is where everything I had been rehearsing for weeks finally came out. You see, for the past month or so, I’ve kept it under wraps from most people in my life that he was offered a position in our Boston office. It would require him to move from the city and it would also require him leaving my life once and for all. He and I had been discussing it for weeks. I have even gotten him to start seeing my therapist because there are things that I simply can’t help him with.

After telling him how I feel and him confirming to me that he feels the same way, I said, “This is going to be hard for me to say and hard for you to hear but I want you to move to Boston.” He looked surprised and asked me why I’m telling him that and I said, “Because I want to move on. I need to move on and I cannot go another year with what I fear is going to be like the previous two years.” He said, “I don’t understand why we can’t be friends?” It’s a simple response to a difficult question and that is, “Because we are not just friends and we never were and never will be.” We sat in silence and the silence was so loud that I asked him to turn his television on so we can just breathe for awhile. After a couple more hours of back and forth, I said that I should be going. I didn’t want him to walk me to the subway like he always does. He said, “I want to walk you because I want to make sure you are safe.” We walked to the subway with having solved his next chapter in life and me being left with figuring out what to do with mine. I couldn’t breathe for the rest of the evening but I knew that for the both us that we are doing the right thing.

Over Thanksgiving break, I was in Arizona visiting family for the first time in twenty years and he was visiting his dad in Seattle. We messaged every single day and he sent me pictures of him as a baby, showed me what his dad looks like and shared images of the house he grew up in. It was yet another layer of how much he wants to share with me and yet we are heading toward one of our biggest obstacles yet.

When I returned back to New York, something in me had shifted. I continued to ask myself why I hadn’t cried or showed any sort of emotion over the fact that Mr. D. is going to be leaving permanently. Was I over him? Was I finally able to accept this ending or will it hit me when I least expect it?

Last Thursday, I was at work and Mr. D. was at another office working on a presentation when I got a text message from him. He was asking me if I’d be willing to meet him at my favorite bookstore at 7:15 because he wanted me to take him to therapy and to talk before his session. I met him at the bookstore, bought a book and he suggested we grab some tea across the street. Once again, he appeared to have a look of stress written all over his face. I told him that he now needs to get behind his choice regarding Boston. I told him that he doesn’t have much time to find a new place given all that is happening with work and other obligations. He looked at me and said, “Do you want to go to Boston this weekend with me?” Interestingly enough, my best friend that lives there, it was her sisters’ wedding and I was already invited to the reception but I had originally turned it down because I wasn’t sure what was going on with our situation. Mr. D. said he would get us a hotel and that we would leave the next day. He then said, “I really could use your help with finding a place and we can make it a fun weekend.” I nodded and I walked him to his therapy session.

On Friday, I left my apartment with a packed bag and head full of uncertainty. I got to work and for some strange reason, Mr. D. was rather excited about the weekend. We left on the 5:30 bus that was heading to Boston and for the next four and a half hours, we would be forced to talk about the elephant in the room. In the beginning of the bus ride, I could tell that his mind was all over the place and he kept looking at his phone and texting. I asked, “Who the hell are you texting and why is it making you so uneasy.” I knew exactly who was texting him but I wanted him to say it because I at least deserve that much. He said, “You know who it is.” It was his ex-girlfriend texting him and was rather upset with him because yet again, he was pissing her off.

The bus was silent except for Mr. D. and I speaking and so that meant the entire bus heard our conversation. It wasn’t a pleasant conversation either because I told him that this weekend was hard enough as it is and if he doesn’t put an end to the texting that I’m turning right around and going back to the city. Enough was enough and I don’t want to see that phone again with her name appearing on the screen. He didn’t look at me and instead he looked out the window. I wasn’t sure why he wasn’t looking at me and I said, “Will you look at me?” He turned to me and his face was covered in tears. His tears were out of anger because he said he feels like all he does is apologize to everyone that he upsets including me. I told him that the way to solve this problem is to make sure that your words match your actions. He’s done it to me a million times and clearly he does this to other people in his life. You can’t tell me what I want to hear and then turn around and act the opposite. He cried a few more minutes before I knew I had to take control and change the subject. I told him that we need to focus on setting up appointments with apartment buildings and figure out our game plan. I also asked him to tell me where we are staying but he said it’s a surprise. The rest of the ride was spent being productive and trying to make the most of our delicate situation.

We got to Boston around 9:30 and when we got into the cab all he told the driver was the cross streets of where the hotel was located. In the cab ride, I kept hounding him to tell me the name of the hotel and he wouldn’t. Finally, we arrived on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and on the corner was a gorgeous hotel. It is the, Eliot Hotel. We walked in and as we were checking in, the hotel staff informed us that they are upgrading us to their suite! Mr. D. just looked at me and said, “We always have the best of luck!” We got into the suite and it was gorgeous and I began to fill my bag with the hotel toiletries.

Even though it was semi-late in the evening, Mr. D. suggested we take a walk around the area to see the holiday lights. We walked around, went to a wine bar and began to get really excited about the next day. We went back to the hotel, ordered a pizza, watched a movie and talked till 2:30 a.m.

Saturday morning, we got up bright and early for our first appointment to see an apartment was 9:30. The first apartment we looked at was a disappointment, the second one I actually liked but he wasn’t in love with. After the second apartment we looked at, I could tell that Mr. D. was getting frustrated but I calmed him down and he suggested we walk through this beautiful park. Along the walk, he put his arm around me and says, “I love you. Thank you.” I didn’t respond but just let the sun hit my face and smiled back at him.

We arrived at our next appointment and the minute he and I walked into the building, the staff somehow fell in love with both of us. They assumed we were a couple and we didn’t correct them. We spent 45 minutes with the leasing agent and as we were debating on the five apartments that was shown to us, the leasing agent said in my direction, “I have one more apartment to show you if you want to take a look…it’s on the top floor.” I knew what he meant, he meant the penthouse. I looked at Mr. D. who didn’t really want to look for fear that it will be out of his budget but I put on puppy dog eyes and said, “We are here. We might as well take a look.” He smiled, agreed and before I know it, we were hitting the elevator button that read, “PH”.

We both walked inside the apartment and instantly I knew that this was the one. I did my best to hide my excitement for this beautiful apartment but there was no stopping me. I loved it and I wanted Mr. D. to take it. As painful as I knew that I would not be the one living with him; I also knew that he deserves to have a home that he gets excited to go to. We shook everyone’s hand as we left, the leasing agent, the doorman, the gym attendant and everyone kept asking if “we” were going to take the apartment. Mr. D. said to everyone, “It’s looking like this building will be our new home, we now just need to pick which one.” When we exited the building, we both smiled and said at the same time, “This is the one!”

He took me to the Lenox Hotel lobby where I had wine and hot tea for him. Over our drinks, we discussed all the options for which apartment he wanted to go with. The table next to us interrupted us and said, “You guys are such a cute couple and I think you should get this sweet guy the penthouse. He deserves it.” They were referring to me because I kept begging Mr. D. to take the penthouse. Mr. D. laughed and also didn’t correct them over their assumption of us being a couple.

We had several hours to go before the wedding reception so we ended up going to his friend’s apartment where they offered us a place to stay for the night. We had their place to ourselves and in the drive to the apartment his phone rang and he didn’t pick it up but I noticed it was one of his admirers calling him. When we got inside and got situated, he said he was going outside to make a phone call and to also pick up some wine for his friends as a thank you for letting us stay the night. My attitude changed quickly because I knew exactly who he was going to call. I said, “I need you to leave for awhile and you make that phone call but before you do; I want you to take a look around and see who exactly is here with you. Not her but me. I am the one here. You are the one that asked me to be here and not her. Why am I the one here and not her?” I felt my tears start to build and he told me he wouldn’t make the phone call if I didn’t want him to. I told him he is going to do it anyway, so he might as well do it now. As soon as he left, I began to cry the hardest I had cried in a very long time. He wasn’t even gone three minutes before he was back inside and he didn’t even take his coat off but hugged me as I cried inside his coat. He held me for a long time and when he let go, it really hit me how hard it is that this man is no longer going to be in my life. Once again, it was hard to breathe.

Back in another car and we were heading to the wedding reception. As we got out of the car, he asked if he could have a cigarette before we were to go inside. He reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out his cigarettes and a piece of paper fell out of his coat pocket and landed face down on the sidewalk. He said, “Pick it up.” I wasn’t going to pick it up at first because he was fully capable of picking it up himself. Then he said to me again, “Go ahead and pick it up.” I picked up the piece of paper and flipped it over and on the other side was a picture of us from April of this year when we he took me to the Boston Aquarium. I stood there with our picture in my hand and just looked at him. He smiled and told me that he had been carrying it around since April. I didn’t know what to say. There were no words and I handed him back the picture and he put it back inside his coat pocket.

We got inside and everyone was excited to see us both at the reception. We laughed, we danced and for a couple of hours, I was able to put everything aside and breathe. Another night with us going to bed at 2:30 a.m. and we were so exhausted but before we went to bed all he could say was, “Thank you.”

Yesterday we woke up and we agreed to take a 3:30 bus back to the city. Since we got up early, we decided to see the apartments that we narrowed it down to (penthouse was off the list) one more time before we were to meet his friends that let us stay at their apartment for brunch. Once again, when we got to the building, the entire staff was excited to see us back and one of them even gave me a hug and begged me to move into the building.

Mr. D. spoke to the leasing agent and said, “Please show us the apartment that I spoke to you about this morning.” I had no idea that he even called the leasing agent and it must’ve been when I was in the shower. We got inside the elevator and the button that was hit was, “PH” for the penthouse. I got inside the apartment and Mr. D. looked at me and said, “I applied for this place!!” I was in shock because he kept telling me how he was against it and that it just didn’t seem right to be a single person living in such a big space but he said it just feels like his home.

His friends met us at a local bar called, Sevens, there we talked about the apartment and his friend looked at me and said, “You must be sad. I know you are going to miss him and I know he is going to miss you.” I just smiled and agreed with what he told me. On the bus back to the city, I saw Boston getting smaller and smaller and I began to cry. He held my leg and said it’s going to be ok. I’m not sure at this moment how it’s going to be ok but I know with time and distance that in the end, it will be ok and that it will all be over.

Over the past three days, I had to make sure that I took the time to “breathe.” Not literally but metaphorically. It was important because of the emotional roller coaster that I’ve been on. A roller coaster that is coming to an end finally and I only have three weeks left with him before he is gone forever.

Enough is Never Enough

When it comes to our goals, careers and relationships there comes a point in time when things just don’t seem to ever go our way. We contemplate with the idea of “giving up” and accepting our losses and moving on. However, when we are passionate about something in our lives, the question remains…When is enough…enough?

Like so many, the start of last week had everyone glued to all forms of media. Everywhere you looked, our world had one thing on their minds and that was who we were going to elect to be our next President of the United States. It was all anyone could talk about, think about and be concerned about. And by Tuesday evening, we all were aware of the outcome.

Wednesday morning, I woke up with the feeling of mourning. It was a feeling that I’m not too familiar with and therefore was left with the uncertainty of how to go about my day. I did my best to keep my feelings and opinions to myself because there were so many people out there already expressing themselves. I was in contact with my parents separately and in my household my parents were divided on how they felt about our next President.

When I got home that evening, my dad called me and was rather angry with me. He felt that I had put ideas into my mother’s head and it was causing a great deal of friction between the two of them. An hour later on the phone with him, I convinced him that she is entitled to her opinion just as he with his opinions and that there simply is not a great deal left for either one of them to do. Enough was enough and that they loved each other and they should focus on that rather than their political beliefs.

That evening, after the phone call with my dad, I tried to curl up with a book. However, not only could I not shake the phone call with my dad, the noise outside my apartment kept me from calming down. I only live a few avenues away from the Trump building on Fifth Avenue. I could hear helicopters flying above my apartment building and the chants from the protestors on the street. It became very clear that the world certainly hadn’t had enough with its current state of affairs. They were mad, disappointed, shocked and scared.

On Thursday, I woke up and before I even started my day I had to make sure that my parents were going to be alright. I sent them a rather lengthy email pointing out their reasons that they are even together, their evolution as a couple and what their future can hold. Thankfully, the email was well received by both of my parents and I hope it only brought them closer and not further apart.

Later on that day, Mr. D. and I were messaging about something also rather important. After two and a half years of knowing exactly what he needed, I had finally convinced him to go see a therapist. The past two weeks, he had opened up and shared certain things that were even out of my jurisdiction and I didn’t feel comfortable with giving him my opinions because it needs to come from a professional. Knowing that he’d never take the time to do the research on his own to find a therapist that fits his needs; I took it upon myself to offer him my therapist.

I spoke with my therapist and the professional woman that she is; she told me that she cannot reveal to me what he says in his sessions and vice versa. I explained to her that the reason he is going is not to benefit me but rather to lead someone who is lost to hopefully find peace.

Toward the end of the work day, Mr. D. asked me if I can take him to my therapist since he has no idea where it is or what she even looks like. Naturally, I agreed to only take him to introduce each other and I would leave and no wait till his session was over with. As we stood outside the office he said, “I feel like I’m being dropped off at school.” To which I said, “You act like a kid sometimes, so I can understand why you feel this way.” He smiled and said, “Ok. Let’s go.” We got inside the building and he said that the building looked very familiar to him because years ago, he came here for couple’s therapy. I just smiled and said, “Look how well that turned out. Now you are back in this building and it’s certainly a different scenario.” I introduced Mr. D. to my therapist, wished them both good luck and went home.

An hour or so later, I got a text message from Mr. D. telling me that he made a real connection with her and that he is going to go back. A few more hours later, my therapist sent me a text message and thanked me for the referral. I felt like I did my good deed for the week because I brought two people together that can hopefully better a persons’ life.

On Friday, everyone in the office was exhausted and I knew it was all because of the election and everyone still feeling a sense of confusion. I also knew that it was the day that Mr. D. would be telling me whether or not he was going to make the move to our Boston office. At the end of the day, he informed me that both agencies were giving him the run-around and that his heart is leaning toward staying in New York. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it because I know that the mass opinion from everyone is to move on already. Enough was enough. I told him that as long as he is behind his decision than it’s the right one.

That evening, I met up with former coworkers to celebrate their new apartment in Little Italy. I lost total track of time and when I did realize what time it was, the clock read, 1:45 a.m. I excused myself, left everyone still in full swing and got myself home because I was completely exhausted.

I was looking forward to Saturday evening because several friends of mine and I were going bowling. We all decided that after the week we all had that a game of bowling and competition was what we needed. We met at Port Authority and only managed to play one game because they were booked for the rest of the night with other bowlers. Afterwards, we tried Lucky Strike only to realize that they had a long wait for a lane for us to bowl. After accepting that bowling wasn’t in the cards, we went to the bar, Rise, where we met up with more friends. I could only stay for a few more drinks and needed to call it an early night because I had plans the next day to spend time with my friend and her baby.

Yesterday, I woke up with the feeling of excitement. I ran some errands before jumping on the subway to the Park Slope area in Brooklyn. I met up with my girlfriend and her baby son who is a year and a half. We had brunch and caught up with each other. It was literally the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. After the visit and giving my friend some much needed “mommy relief” I went back to the city and took a much needed catnap. When I woke up, I refreshed myself and jumped back on the subway to head to Brooklyn but instead of going back to Park Slope, I would be going to Williamsburg. I was seeing Mr. D. again that evening.

I brought over a bunch of romantic comedy DVD’s, candy and he was providing the popcorn and drinks. Before we got to the movie, he explained to me all that happened with the therapist visit and with how he was feeling about his Boston situation. After our update, we decided to watch the movie, Friends with Benefits, and had such a good time. When I looked at the clock on his DVR, it said that it was a little past 11 p.m. I grabbed my coat and put my shoes on because I knew this week was going to be rather busy with work and it was getting late. Like he always does, he also put his shoes and coat on and walked me to the subway. We laughed the entire way to the subway and when I got home he sent me a message saying he had a delightful time as always.

As our country is about to go through some rather dramatic changes and people continue to fight for their beliefs, it made me think of this amazing line from another romantic comedy starring my favorite actress, Julia Roberts, in the movie, The Mexican. She is asked the question about her relationship with Brad Pitt on when enough is enough. I leave you with what is said…

Samantha: I have to ask you a question. It’s a good one so think about it. If two people love each other, but they just can’t seem to get it together, when do you get to that point of enough is enough?

Jerry: Never.

Inside Out

For most of us out there, we let our emotions steer our choices in life while others use a more logical approach to life. It’s always challenging to find a balance between your emotions and your logic when making important decisions for yourself. Whether you are a logical person or someone that thinks with their heart the common thing we have with these decisions is our ability to have any kind of emotions that come from the inside out.

On Monday of last week, I was at my desk working when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize but I knew that it was coming from a local New York area code. I answered it and it was an agency claiming that I owed them a certain amount of money from a credit card I opened last year. Instantly, I knew that it was related to my identity theft case from last year and I began to tell them what had happened to me. I wasn’t expecting the response from the other person on the phone when they told me that they aren’t concerned about my identity theft but that they want their money and they will be coming to my apartment or my place of employment the next day between the hours of 3-5 p.m. to serve me papers and that I better be obtaining proper identification when they arrive. My emotions ran from anger to terrified because I was exhausted with fighting this battle with trying to regain my identity back. I told them that they can come for me whenever they’d like and the reason I was comfortable with saying that was because they had no idea where I worked and are under the assumption that I live in Brooklyn since that is where my identity was stolen.

Unfortunately, with that phone call came another message that I wasn’t anticipating on receiving. My family contacted me and said that my grandmother, whom I’m very close with, suffered a minor heart attack and was in the hospital. Once again, my emotions got the best of me and it went from sadness to nervousness because in my mind there is a small piece of me that feels my grandmother still has a long journey ahead of her. By the time that Monday had ended, I was beyond the point of exhaustion.

The following day, the guy from D.C. that I had been on a few dates with asked me to go to the movies with him later on that evening. I figured after everything that I had been through on Monday; a movie was the perfect distraction from my reality. Throughout the work day, I admit that I was on edge because I was nervous that at any point the people that threatened to serve me papers was going to appear either at my job or my apartment. I decided to tell my office building to not let anyone in the building if they asked for me and thankfully they agreed to my request.  Before I left, I was telling a coworker of mine about my identity theft situation and she suggested that I Google the local phone number that called me, I had no idea you could Google a phone number and when I did, it turns out that the number was associated with fraud. I reported the incident to the police and it is now being investigated.

After I left work that day, I went to the gym before I needed to meet the guy from D.C. for our movie date. When I got out of the gym, I noticed I had a text message from Mr. D. and I read the message and he was telling me that he heard from my coworker about what happened with my identity theft and he said that if anything else like that happens to please contact him and he would help any way he can. I responded back and thanked him for his message and also mentioned that my grandmother was sick. I was surprised at his response for he said that he would offer to pay for a plane ticket for me to visit my grandmother in Arizona. I declined the offer but his generous offer was something I wasn’t anticipating. We messaged back and forth for awhile and when I asked him how he was doing, he wrote back that he wasn’t doing so well and was having really negative thoughts. Mr. D. normally does not share that kind of information about himself and I could tell he was severely depressed. I suggested that we meet later on in the week to talk and he said that would be perfect. It was now time for me to rush out of my apartment and meet my movie date in Time Square. As I walked to the movie theatre I realized that I was rather drained from all the events that happened in the past 24 hours. Also, on my walk, I told myself that I would not be spending the night with D.C. guy because I was simply too emotionally drained and probably wouldn’t be the best company to be around. As we sat there watching the movie, Madea’s Halloween movie, I let everything go for two hours and it was nice.

By the time Thursday rolled around, I was feeling much better about everything because no one showed up to serve me papers and I never heard from the fraud people again. The guy from D.C. messaged me during the day to see how I was doing and suggested I come by his apartment that evening to watch a movie and stay the night. It was pouring down rain that night and it was the perfect evening to stay inside and keep out of the nasty weather. As we sat on his couch watching a movie, something inside me said this might be the night that we take things to the next level. I wasn’t sure if he was in that same mindset but I figured it was worth a try. After the movie, we got ready for bed and I knew that it was now or never to try this with him.

I did my very best to connect with the D. C. guy but suffice to say, it was in the top five of worse experiences in the bedroom. There was no chemistry whatsoever from my part, I worked double-time to make it happen but let’s just say he came up very small and when we kissed it was like kissing my own hand. I did end up staying the night (mainly because it was still pouring rain outside) and when I woke up the next morning, I told myself that I needed to end things with D. C. guy.

It was going to be the first Friday in eleven weeks where I didn’t have plans and I was rather excited about it. I wanted to recharge my batteries and focus on the weekend ahead but I got a text message from a friend asking me to come with him to happy hour at this bar called, Posh, a bar that none of us had been to in years. I told them that I would only stay for a few and that I would go home afterwards. When I got to the bar, I had to pee really badly but someone was already in there. I knocked on the door a few times because this person was in there longer than five minutes. When the door opened, I was surprised to see D.C. standing in the bathroom doorway. What were the odds of bumping into him at a bar I hadn’t been to in years? I had to laugh at the situation and we said a polite hello to each other and he was with his friends on one side of the bar, while I stayed on the other side with mine. As he was leaving, he told me to have a good weekend and left. As soon as he left, my friends told me that they really didn’t see me with him anyhow. I stuck to my limit and had my few beers and went home where I was in bed by 10:30 on a Friday night.

The next day was spent running a ton of errands and followed by going to my friends’ apartment for some catching-up before heading to his favorite bar, The Eagle. I made sure I got myself home at a descent hour because I was trying my best to save money where I can.

Yesterday, I woke up and started off with a lazy Sunday and Mr. D. sent me a text message asking to meet at 5 that afternoon so we can catch-up. A couple of hours later, I got another text message from him and he said, “Let’s meet at the Strand at 5 p.m.” I had no idea he even knew about this store (which is one of my favorite stores in the city) and when I asked him why he suggested this place; his response was, “Because I know you love books!”

I decided that since it was 75 degrees in October that I would walk from my apartment to Union Square, the walk was going great until about ten minutes before I arrived at the bookstore when a huge thunderstorm swooped in and drenched everyone. Mr. D. arrived right on time, drenched from the rain and we began to look at books, he showed me books he used to read as a kid and I convinced him to buy them and when we walked out, he said, “I can’t believe I just spent 50 dollars on books.”

We ended up at some sports bar where I drank wine and he stuck with his iced tea. Over our conversation, we covered our jobs, our friends and family and finally I turned the conversation to the reason why we were meeting in the first place…his mental state. I could tell that his emotions from the inside changed and was now showing up on his face. I told him that I was there to listen and whatever he tells me will be with no judgement. He spoke for a good half hour about the thoughts he’s been having and I sat there and didn’t say a word. When he was done, I told him that I think he really should go to therapy. He agreed which is a big step for him because he doesn’t like to spend money on anything and regardless of the outcome; this man needs help that I can’t provide him.

We met at 5 o’clock yesterday and before I knew it, hours had passed by and we both decided to call it an evening. When the bill came, I suggested we split it and as we were signing our checks, he said, “Leave a five dollar tip.” I said, “How did you know I was going to ask that?” and he said, “Because you ALWAYS ask what tip to leave. This way, I just beat you to the punch.” I loved that he knows my odd ways and I know his and while I know our future together is slim to none, it was nice that I had someone for a few hours that made me happy, made me smile, made my emotions feel…well…fantastic. I got home and told him that I got home safely and thanked him for the relaxing afternoon. He responded back with, “Thank you! You really are a gem.”

Our emotions play such a big part of how we interact with ourselves and with the world. You can tell when someone is happy or angry just by the look on their faces. Everything that we hold inside eventually comes out for the entire world to witness and all of that is driven by our emotions. Some people have better control of their emotions than others but however you roll the dice…our emotions always come from the inside out.

Fantasy Island

Living in the real world each and every single day can be a rather exhausting thing to do. That is why there are such things as movies, television programs, music, vacations and all mediums of entertainment to take us away our reality. And when we are taken away for that period of time we forget about our bills, mortgages and jobs, our reality shuts down and we are at peace with the world. Then our fantasy ends and we are thrown back into our day to day lives. What happens when we try to fit our fantasy life into our reality?

For the past two years, I’ve fantasized what my life would be like if Mr. D. ever came to terms with who he actually is. Would we be happy? Would I be happy and would I finally get my happily ever after? Its questions like that that most would classify as living in a “fantasy” world. Because the reality is that when it comes to relationships it’s never like what we see in the movies.  I’ve tried for a very long time to bring my fantasy world into my reality and in most cases the situation ends up blowing up in my face.

Last Sunday, I had a date with someone that I had met in Washington D.C. over a year and a half ago. It was a nice date and a date that was filled with conversation, a slight touch and a kiss at my door. Was I shaken to my core the way I see it in the movies? No. Was I glad to be going on a date after all my Mr. D . drama? Absolutely. I knew going in that this date was a stepping stone for me to begin the healing process of finally moving on from Mr. D., which was why I agreed to a second date later on in the week with this new guy.

He was polar opposite compared to Mr. D. (which is a very good thing). He didn’t work in my industry (he’s a lawyer), he was one of the tallest guys I’ve ever gone on a date with (6’4) and had excellent communication skills (unlike Mr. D.). Last Tuesday morning, I woke up not feeling my greatest. I knew I was coming down with a head cold. So, I piled on all my meds because I wanted to feel better for Wednesday, which was the night of my date.

On Wednesday, I got a text message from the new guy saying he was looking forward to having me over. Our date was going to consist of him cooking me dinner and us watching the final presidential debate. I tried to convince myself that I was feeling better all throughout the day, drinking green tea with honey, taking Vitamin C and taking medicine which I don’t really like to take. After work, instead of going to the gym, I went home to try and take a little nap before going over to his apartment where he was making a homemade meal for us.

I woke up from my nap, showered and before I left I thought it would be a good idea to take some cold medicine just so I could feel better. I arrived at his apartment which he is renting till the end of November and which is also a five minute walk from my apartment. When I walked in, there was a beautiful display of brie cheese, apples, walnuts, crackers and a bottle of wine waiting. We sat down and proceeded to eat, drink and catch-up. He could tell that I was sick but in my fantasy world, I convinced myself that I was feeling amazing. Before dinner was even ready, we had polished off one bottle of red wine. Another bottle of red wine was opened and we had a delicious meal of salad with homemade dressing along with homemade marinara sauce, spaghetti and grilled chicken. I couldn’t believe the amount of effort he put into the meal and I was truly grateful. When we stood up from the kitchen table, I felt myself feeling a little woozy, I chalked it up to having too much red wine but I had forgotten that I took two cold medicine pills before I left my apartment. We sat on the couch and got comfortable to watch the debate. Sitting on the couch was the last thing I remembered from the evening.

The next morning, I woke up to an alarm noise that I had never heard of before. When I jumped up out of bed, I screamed because I had no idea where I was. I looked over to my right and there my date was trying to turn off his alarm on his phone. I asked what happened and why I was just in my t-shirt and underwear. He said that the minute we sat down on the couch, I began to say words that didn’t make sense and that I fell asleep on his stomach. He said, I began to fall into a deep sleep but kept repeating the sentence, “Make sure to set the alarm for seven.” While I was asleep, he watched the debate and after it was over, he said I was in no condition to get home, so he picked me up and took me to his bed where he undressed me and tucked me in. He assured me we didn’t do anything sexual and I knew he was telling the truth. I apologized and he laughed and said not to worry and he walked me to his door and asked to see me on Sunday.

As I walked home, the brisk morning air made me feel better and while I didn’t wake up with a hangover, my body knew that it had taken too much medicine. It wasn’t my most romantic date but it certainly wasn’t my worse and I felt more embarrassed than anything. I got ready for work and when I got to my desk, I sent him a text message apologizing again for me passing out. He reassured me that it wasn’t a big deal and he actually had fun even though the only thing I did was eat and pass out on him.

After I felt better about my actions from the night before, I began to focus on work. As my reality world would have it, I was in a meeting with Mr. D. that day and when the meeting was over with, Mr. D. took that opportunity to say to me, “Just so you know, I’m still looking for a keychain for you. I want to find the perfect one because you deserve it and I love nothing more than to see you smile.” My fantasy world wanted me to jump across the table and hug him and thank him for thinking of me like that and it’s those kinds of words that I love to hear. My reality world knew that he is not really looking for a keychain, he just knows that I love all things that are romantic and saying those words to me will keep him in my radar and more than anything it’s a manipulative tactic that he’s been using on me for the past two years.

This past weekend, I went to Feathers’ country house in Pennsylvania and it was just what I needed. We ate, drank, played games and got rest. When I got back home yesterday afternoon, I had only one hour to get ready and meet this new guy for our date. Our date was going to consist of me taking him to one of my favorite wine bar, Lela Bar, which on Sunday’s has a live band that plays jazz. I picked this wine bar because earlier in the week he had expressed his love of jazz and the other reason was because a year ago, Mr. D. and I had gone to this wine bar together and had an amazing experience.

I was running a few minutes late and when I got out of my building; my date was waiting for me. I wasn’t sure if it was the fact that I was running late and a tad frazzled that I wasn’t as excited to see him or was I getting inside my own head at how I was going to this wine bar where I had such a wonderful experience with Mr. D. I decided to push my fantasies aside and focus on my reality. My date and I got on the subway and headed to the West Village. Thankfully, when we arrived at the wine bar, it wasn’t that crowded and we got two seats in the back.

On the date, I found it very hard to have a conversation with him. I felt bad for comparing him to Mr. D. but I was guilty of doing so. I looked around at the bar and all the other couples around us were having conversations, laughing and touching. I was working overtime on trying to find out more about my date. He told me, “You can ask me anything, it’s just that I’m not that good with starting the conversation.” Not exactly the most romantic words you want to hear but I did my best with what I was given. We ordered wine and snacks and listened to the band. After the wine, after the snacks and after the band was done with their set, we decided to head back to his place.

When we got inside his apartment, he went straight for the couch and wanted to cuddle while he watched a movie. As he watched the movie, I did my best to make a move and the best I got was kisses on my forehead and lips but nothing beyond that. He simply wanted to cuddle and when the movie was over with, he said he wanted me to stay the night and I agreed because that was the boldest move he made all evening. When we got into bed, he turned the light off, cuddled me and that was it. I wasn’t sure what was missing but I decided to just focus on the cuddling part and reminded him to set the alarm for seven.

The alarm this morning went off at exactly seven and I bounced up immediately to splash some water on my face and he was a gentleman in the fact that he walked me to his door, hugged me and said he would message me later on today.

We all get caught up in our fantasies, whatever they might be. It’s perfectly ok to dream, to be optimistic and to want something greater in life what is the harder part is trying to fit these dreams and hopes into our reality.

When One Door Closes

It’s been said time and time again that when one door closes that another one will open. However, they never say what is to happen after that new door opens. We are to assume that because the first door was unsuccessful that the new door will be filled with all the success in the world and that we finally get what had been working so hard for. I can’t help but think about all of these “doors” and do we ever get what we wish for after the first door closes?

Last Monday started off like any other work week filled with meetings, deadlines and just trying to stay afloat without sinking. It was the next day that I was excited about; it was my twentieth anniversary of moving to New York. After work that day, I went to the gym, came home and took myself out for a glass of wine. Just me and the city and as I sat there I thought about all the doors that had opened for me from the minute I landed at JFK airport twenty years ago. I was a teenager with big dreams and a ton of luggage. Many years later, I still have those big dreams and while my luggage is now more a metaphor rather than a reality, I am grateful for every experience and every wonderful person that has come along my way over the years. Many doors were closed on me but there are still so many to open and look at what is on the other side of them.

On Wednesday morning, I was locking my apartment door when my keys fell to the ground and my favorite keychain of a palm tree broke. It was a silly keychain but I liked it a lot and when I got to work that morning, I ran into Mr. D. and told him about it. He smiled and said, “I have to go to California in a few hours for work and I will find you one. I know how much you love palm trees.” I told him that it wasn’t necessary but that it was a nice thought. I went back to my work and a few hours later, Mr. D. sent me a slew of text messages from the airport because he was delayed. The messages were sweet and while they are words I like to read; I couldn’t but think of how he’s said time and time again all of these words to me and it’s rare that I see the action to match.

After work that evening, I met a good girlfriend of mine for drinks and over those drinks she listened to my latest Mr. D. drama and in the end she really said what last week’s blog was all about and that, “it is what it is.” There are a ton of things I can do to change the situation but the biggest one is to leave this place of employment and never see him again. Until then, I will just need to do my best to move on. When I got home that night, I washed my face, tucked myself into bed and when I woke up the next morning there was a text from Mr. D. that was sent 1 a.m. my time and it was him saying he’s doing his best to find a keychain for me along with a picture of a palm tree from his hotel. I didn’t respond. Not because I didn’t want to but I wanted to see if his actions were going to match his words.

The next evening, I was able to meet with two amazing friends of mine that I never get to see but only a couple of months a year. We met in the East Village at, Bar Veloce, and over a bottle of wine we updated each other on our lives and it was amazing to see them grow and continue to be amazing people. After we said our goodbyes, I came home and was greeted by more text messages from Mr. D. including him saying he was looking forward to attending a concert with me on that upcoming Friday. He had been more attentive in this past week than he had been in a long time. I wasn’t sure if he was coming around or maybe it was the California beach air but I was excited about seeing a concert with him.

On Friday, I knew he had flown in late the previous night from California and therefore I didn’t see him at the office till mid-afternoon. Finally, around 2:30, he sends me an email saying that he can’t attend the concert because he doesn’t have a lot of energy in him and to please don’t be mad at him and my only response to him was, “I figured as much.” I knew that he was going to pull another one of his “I want to go but can’t commit and therefore I’m going to leave you hanging until the last minute and beg for your forgiveness.” He didn’t care for my response to him and pleaded with me not to upset and said “I love you” yet again. I didn’t respond and to this moment, I haven’t responded. The back and forth with him has always been exhausting but the fact that he thinks he can throw the “love” word around and expect me to live off the crumbs that he throws my way is the most insulting thing he can do. I’d rather him just be a jerk that he tends to be and leave the “love” word out of the conversation.

I sent a mass text to my friends and thankfully a few of them said they were in for the concert and that they’d see me later on that evening. We did a little pre-game at this bar called, Sidebar, and there was a drunken rich man that bought us several rounds of Patron shots and by the time we left to the concert venue, we were feeling rather good.

The band is called, We Are City of the Sun, and they were playing at Irving Plaza. My friends and I were well into the concert and after about an hour of watching the band, a mutual friend of ours saw us in the audience and came down to say hi since he was in the VIP section. Our friend asked us if we wanted to go upstairs with him to the VIP section. Naturally, we all said yes and proceeded to watch the concert from a much better view. Before I knew it, our friend was asking us if we all wanted to meet the band after the show. Naturally, we all said yes and after the concert we met the band members, told them what a great job they did and all proceeded to go to the Standard Hotel in the East Village for a nightcap. As we were at the bar drinking wine, I realized that when Mr. D. shut the door on going to the concert with me that he left another door to be opened and I had a much better experience with my friends and meeting the band!

I woke up on Saturday morning not tired or hungover but on the happier side of things. I must’ve still been on a high from having so much fun the previous night and I knew I had fun plans ahead of me that evening. I met my friend at his apartment for some much needed catching up before heading down to Chelsea for our first stop of the evening. We stopped at, Black Door, for a birthday party where we literally only stayed for one drink. Next stop was Barracuda where the crowd was insanely attractive so stayed for several drinks there before heading back to Hell’s Kitchen where we hit two more bars. Given all the travel and whatnot that evening, I still managed to call it an early night and didn’t feel in any drunken state.

Yesterday, I was running errands in my neighborhood when I noticed a man that looked awfully familiar to me. When he got closer in my sight, I realized it was a man that I went on a date with a year and a half ago when I was in Washington D. C. with friends of mine over Memorial Day weekend. He told me that he’s staying in the city for a month checking out the work situation because he’s a lawyer and thinking of switching firms. We did the polite banter and finally he asked me if he could take me to dinner or drinks sometime and I wasn’t sure what came over me but I said, “You can see me later on this evening if you’re schedule allows.” He smiled and said, “Sure. I still have your number in my phone.” I walked away and suddenly I was getting excited about a date. Something I hadn’t done in months.

I didn’t have much time to rush down to the East Village to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, to see a friend of mine do her comedy act before I needed to get back uptown in order to meet my date for dinner. My date was waiting for me by the time I got to the restaurant and thankfully we got a table right away. As we sat down and order our margaritas, I decided to dive right in and get to know this person all over again. As I began asking my millions of questions, he smiled and said, “Now I really remember you. You are the guy that talks a lot.” I laughed because he is right…I do talk a lot and I ask a lot of questions.

Over dinner I learned that he is still single, rented an apartment for a month near me and was having a nice time in the city so far. He apologized for being on the shy side and throughout the dinner confirmed that he was having a good time. After dinner, we went to a bar across the street for one more drink and I didn’t want to have a late night so when I said that I should get back home, he offered to walk me to my door. During the walk, he asked if he could see me again this week and I agreed. When we arrived in front of my building he gave me a big hug and we kissed for a few minutes before I went upstairs to my apartment. I went to bed that night feeling lighter than I had in a while.

Like anything in this life, we don’t know what the future holds; it’s as unpredictable as the weather. What we do know is that if we don’t take any chances than nothing will ever happen to us.

Alexander Graham Bell, the man who is credited for creating the telephone had an amazing quote and it’s what I leave you with this week:

““When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

It Is What It Is

The saying, “It Is What It Is”, is defined as a way to accept a person or a situation for what it is without any validation. It’s something that we can’t necessarily explain or want to explore, in short, its fancy way of saying, “I don’t care.”

Since my last entry a little over a month ago, I’ve traveled to Colorado to see family, had a birthday, spent time with friends, said goodbye to summer and began welcoming the fall season into the city. While there haven’t been any new dates since my last entry, I turned my focus on two rather important things. Those things being that I’ve been working intensely on my book with my editor and trying to find a new job. The finding of a new job, as we all know, isn’t exactly an easy task. I’m grateful for the job I have now and enjoy the people for the most part but at the end of the day, the main reason I should leave is because of Mr. D.

Try as I may, just when I think I’m strong and doing well, Mr. D. magically appears, whether that is physically or metaphorically. Over the past two plus years, I’ve been called a fool, gotten into intense arguments and even received a slap in face ala Cher in Moonstruck from friends and readers while trying to defend my relationship with Mr. D. It’s now gotten to the point where I’ve just come to the conclusion of, “It Is What It Is,” until I’m able to not physically see this man every single day of my life.

Over this past month, I’ve been working with two headhunters in order to find a new job that I can put some passion behind. About two weeks ago, I thought I was on the right path to finding that perfect job. It was for a job working for a major fashion corporation and I had two phone interviews and a face to face and by the time I left that office building, I felt fairly certain that I got the job. I was pre-meditating on how I would tell my current employer and most of all, how I would break the news to Mr. D.

After a week of following up and communicating with my head hunter, I was informed that I didn’t get the job because I was too expensive. I guess it’s better than hearing that I was under qualified. I was rather depressed about not getting the job and felt like I was stalled once again but, “It Is What It Is.”

It has been four weeks ago now when our office had yet another fundraiser, I was unable to attend due to a deadline that I had to meet at the office but the next day our entire agency was greeted with a gift basket and writing pen for having such an amazing turnout for the fundraiser. An hour into the office being open, I get an email from Mr. D. out of the blue and the subject was entitled, “Pen?”

His email was asking me if I left that pen on his desk and that it was so sweet of me to do. I responded back with letting him know that it wasn’t me that left that pen for him and that all employees received the same exact pen. He told me that he was having a bad work day and I told him that I hope his day gets better. Thinking that would be the end of the conversation, his next response to me was, “I love you.” It was three words that had a very big impact on me. Yes, it can be looked at as him manipulating me or being cruel because he knows I have feelings for him but I know him and I know he doesn’t function like that. I didn’t respond and instead I hit the delete button and did my best not to think of those words for the rest of the day.

The weeks following after Mr. D.’s confession to me I became very busy from a social perspective, so busy that it was hard for him and I find a time to have dinner. A dinner that he asked me to shortly after he said he loved me. I admit that there was still resentment toward him after what happened between us back in May with regards to our trip to California. Even though he apologized via text message and email, it is more powerful when you are able to say it to someone’s face. So, the communication between Mr. D. and I began again. Not how it used to be where every single day there was some sort of interaction but the occasional text or the water cooler conversation at the office. It wasn’t until the last week of September that my time was up and he wanted to get something on the calendar for dinner. I told him that I wasn’t going to be free until this past Thursday and he said he would make himself available. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel and if I was going to have any emotion toward him for that matter but I contacted my best friend in Boston, who has met Mr. D. several times and I confessed everything to her. I asked her, “Are you disappointed in me?” Not because I wanted her to say something positive and say something like, “I’m always on your side” but I just wanted her to be honest. She told me, “It is what it is and you do what you have to do.”

I took her words and knew that the reality really is just that and there is no real explanation at this point. I was damn near positive that nothing has changed for Mr. D. since last May and nothing probably ever will as far as him processing his feelings for me but there I was, last Thursday, ready to hear all that he had to say. That evening after work, I finished my work before him and told him I would be at a bar across the street from our office waiting for him. He messaged me a few minutes later asking me to meet him at a different bar in our area for we needed to show face at this agency event. I didn’t want to go to the event because I didn’t want the office talking about us however; I knew that he was right in that we needed to be present there because the event itself was a big deal. I get to the event and immediately began drinking wine for I was nervous about the entire evening and how it was all going to play out.

He finally shows up and he makes a beeline right for me and puts his arm on my back. I quickly move myself and continue the conversation that I was having with another coworker. We didn’t stay long at the event and we left heading toward downtown. After walking for about fifteen minutes, we agree on the bbq place, Hill Country. There was a line of people ahead of us and we didn’t have any reservations. I could tell that he wasn’t in the mood to wait so I said that I’d see what I can do and try and convince the hostess for a table for two. I went up to the hostess and the first thing she said to me was, “Sweetie, you smell amazing. You have a reservation?” I said, “Turns out that I don’t have a reservation but it would be really amazing if you could get me and my friend a table for two.” She had me lean in closer and said she could get in trouble for this but to move quickly and someone would sit us down. I got us the table and as we sat down, Mr. D. said he’s impressed that I can charm a lot of people with just being who I am.

I opted not to drink for the rest of the evening and get to the reason why we were even having dinner in the first place. I told him that before we can even order dinner, I needed to know, in detail, what happened with California. He took a big sip of water and began to apologize again for doing what he did to me. He said that he was never with his ex-girlfriend and to this day they aren’t an item but he said he really wanted to be in Disneyland with his “life partner” and that is where I stopped him. I said that I’m not sure what he means by referring to me as his, “life partner” and he wasn’t sure how to explain himself either but that he expressed profusely at how much he regrets how he handled the entire situation.

The topic changed from “life partners” to me telling him that I was very close to leaving the agency and I confessed to him that I am still ready to leave and if I do leave, he and I will most likely never see each other again. He wasn’t sure how to process all of that and he said that our Boston office has approached him to move back to Boston and he wanted my opinions on it. We spoke about his potential move back to Boston but in the end, I know he’s going to end up staying in New York…at least for now.

After dinner, which he paid for, we began walking toward the subway and that is when he asked if I wanted to come over since it was still early. I nodded and we rode the subway to Brooklyn. He showed me the new things he bought for his apartment while I did my best to be impressed with his new purchases; I was trying to find evidence of another person being there…I found none. We sat on the couch and he became rather playful and started tickling me. I stopped him because something about it felt like I wasn’t ready for all of this to be happening yet again. I told him that it was getting late and that I needed to get home. He said he wanted me to get home safely and called me a car to which he wanted to pay for. As we were standing outside of his apartment waiting for the car to arrive, he hugged me and while he was hugging me he thanked me for allowing him to do his best to explain himself and said how amazing I am and how he is fascinated at how even strangers respond so positive toward me. I didn’t say anything expect I did thank him for dinner. The entire drive back to the city, I was filled with mixed emotions. One great evening doesn’t make up for anything that has happened in the past and I doubt he will ever work on his confused feeling towards me. I got the apology that I needed to move forward.

The next day at the office, he thanked me again for hanging out and said he had a lot of fun. I didn’t hear from him much over the weekend, expect on Saturday evening when he knew I was attending a wedding reception and asked me if I was having fun.

Tomorrow, October 11th, 2016, marks a very big day for me. That day is the day I moved to New York City twenty years ago. In those twenty years, I’ve been lucky enough to see and do so many amazing things and have such unique people in my life to share it all with. Throughout every curveball that life has thrown my direction the one thing that has been constant was my love for this city. Like any relationship, we have had our ups and downs but both us have put in a lot of effort in order to make it work. I could go on and on the many reasons I still love it here after all of these years but instead I guess all that is left to say is…”It Is What It Is.”

Cruel to be Kind

It’s been said that there will be times in our lives where we have to do or say something to a loved one that is for their best interest no matter how hurtful or painful it might be to hear or do. Most often, it is referred to as, “tough love.” And with this so called, “tough love” there will be incredibly awkward moments, frustrations and at times heartbreak. Which got me thinking…is it really better to be cruel in order to be kind?

It’s been another couple of weeks since I’ve last written the blog and naturally with that, life has had some interesting events in store for me. Three weeks ago, our agency had a company bowling event in Times Square. I was actually having a rather good time and thankfully I had managed to keep my distance from Mr. D. I was actually bowling rather well and holding the highest score when I wasn’t paying attention, Mr. D. had managed to find his way and stood right next to me while I was bowling. He congratulated me on my score and wanted to continue a conversation. I thanked him and decided to move to a different team to bowl. It was cruel and a smidge rude but I was drinking, having a good time with my coworkers and I didn’t want the agency talking about our interaction.  After the bowling commenced, our agency ended up going to some disgusting bar called, Latitude, and it was there that another straight co-worker began talking to me. That didn’t sit very well with Mr. D. and next thing I know, I was sandwiched between Mr. D. and this other drunken co-worker who was confessing to me rather loudly that he likes my ass and tends to watch while I walk away in the office hallways. This particular co-worker than grabbed my ass in front of everyone and once he did that, I grabbed my bag and left the party and took my ass home.

The following Tuesday, our agency was having a fundraiser for a co-worker that passed away tragically a few months ago. All the money that we were raising was going to his son that he left behind. Given how upsetting the reason for us all coming together was, there was still a happiness that filled the bar that evening. I wasn’t too keen on the location of where we were having this fundraiser because it was the bar that Mr. D. and I would frequent back when he drank and back when things were good between us. However, I knew this wasn’t about me but about my co-worker, so I managed to smile and do my best to enjoy the fundraiser. I wasn’t there but an hour before Mr. D. showed up and he managed to stay on the other side of the bar.

As a plate of chicken wings (which he knows I don’t eat) came by from a waiter, he rushed over and said, “I know you just love those.” I just smiled and tried to be kind because we were in front of co-workers. He then went onto say, “Why don’t we go downstairs and say hi to our favorite bartender for old time sake.” I knew he asked me this question in front of other co-workers in order to avoid me making a scene and so I said that I would go but only for five minutes. We got downstairs and of course, our bartender recognized us and we caught up with her for a few minutes before she needed to tend to the other patrons. When she walked away, it was just Mr. D. and I and he said, “So, what did you think of that photo I sent you a few weeks ago from Boston? I knew you’d never respond but it made me think of you.” I, once again, found myself just wanting to be kind rather than telling him that him sending photos like that from our past actually hurts me rather than makes me feel better. I told him that it was nice and we than sat in silence before he asked how my summer was going. I told him that I was having a great summer and he confessed to me that his beach house that he took me to last year sold and that his summer wasn’t actually going so well. He also went onto say that the last weekend he ever spent in that house was with me and that it was a great weekend for him. I just smiled and said, “I really need to get back upstairs to the event.” He said, “I’m not going back upstairs and I’m going to go home but it was really nice talking with you.” I smiled, grabbed my bag and went back to the fundraiser. Inside, my feelings were thrown off but outside I smiled and sometimes in life that is what we need to do.

The next morning when I got to work, I spoke with my boss and asked to be removed from any accounts that he works on and asked to be moved to a different account. It was also in that moment that when my supervisor agreed to move me to a different account that I also contacted my head hunter and said I’m ready to see what else is out there. Things are never going to change between Mr. D. and I. And I will never be able to move forward from him, if I’m constantly running into him at the office and company events. I asked my best friend if she thought I was giving him too much power that I would actually leave my work because of him. She asked me, “Do you love your job?” to which I answered, “It’s alright. I don’t love it but it’s not bad.” She then said, “Well, if you don’t love your job than you leaving isn’t giving him power; it’s about you finding a job that you actually love.” I knew I had made the right choice by contacting my head hunter and beginning the process of finding something new.

Since that last agency event which was two weeks ago, Mr. D. and I have managed to not have very much interaction with each other and things have been manageable from a work perspective. However, in addition to work, I also needed to work on my dating life. I had been chatting with this guy from a dating app and after weeks of correspondence and trying to figure out a day and time to meet, we came to the agreement to meet for our first date this past Saturday.

The previous night before my date, I had a rather long night that consisted of meeting friends at Le Bain at the Standard Hotel, followed by a pit stop at a friend’s apartment which led to us all ending the night at The Eagle. I didn’t get home till 3:30 a.m. and therefore I was rather tired on Saturday but I knew that after weeks of communication that I needed to get my act together for my date. My date suggested that we meet at this Mexican restaurant called, Hell’s Kitchen, which is close to my apartment. We met at 7:30 and when I first saw him, I wasn’t instantly attracted to him physically but he also wasn’t unattractive either. I could tell right away that he was nervous but I did my best to calm him down as we sat down for drinks.

After our first drink, he suggested we order some appetizers and possibly another round of margaritas. I was having a descent time getting to know him and then things took a turn that I did not see coming. I asked him, “So, tell me a little bit about your family. Where are you from and do you have siblings?” I think this is a rather standard first date question, at least for me, and my date decided to open up to me because as he said, “You seem like a nice guy and I feel like I could tell you anything.”

My date proceeded to tell me that his parents were swingers and that his dad fell in love with the other woman that he was swinging with. His parents divorced due to that event and he is not close with his siblings. It was there that I tried to shift the conversation away from family and talk about work.  It was another bad topic; he works as an admin at a hedge fund in midtown. He got the job because he moved to the city with his ex-boyfriend and shortly after he got to the city, they broke up and so a friend got him the job. He told me that the boyfriend and him used to get into intense fights and it was there that I told him that we should stick to lighter topics.

He excused himself and went to the restroom, while he was in the restroom, I sent a text message to a friend that lives nearby and said we need to meet for drinks because this date is ending very soon. When my date came back, he said, I should tell you that I’m on Adderall at the moment. I told him that if it helps you throughout your day than you should listen to the doctors’ orders. This poor guy just wouldn’t let up with confessing everything to me including how he hooks up with his roommate from time to time. Finally he asked me, “How do you think this date is going?” It was there that I discovered why at times, it is better to be cruel in order to be kind.

I decided to change this from a date to a little bit of therapy and provide him with tips. I told him that over sharing the way he did is probably not the best for a first date and that there are other ways to let your date know the many things that you’ve endured but telling a date that you hook-up with your roommate, that your parents are divorced due to infidelity or that you are currently on drugs is for sure a no-no. I told him that this date isn’t going to lead to a second date but that if you ever need help or guidance on how to conduct yourself on a first date than don’t hesitate to contact me. I knew the poor guy didn’t have many friends nor did he have someone in his life to help him. We settled the bill and we hugged goodbye. I quickly ran over to the bar, Ninth Avenue Saloon, to meet with some friends to laugh at my dating experience. It was at this bar, that we ran into other friends of ours and I met a rather nice guy that led to me thinking that we were flirting with each other. I messaged him yesterday and have yet to hear anything but after that heinous date, it was nice to know that I still had it.

Yesterday, was one of those fantastic “me” days where I did exactly what I wanted. I shopped, read a book and even took myself to a movie and it was the perfect way to end a rather insane past couple of weeks. As I began to get settled in for the night with a good book and my night creams applied to my face, I heard my phone vibrate. When I looked at my phone, it was Mr. D. I hadn’t seen his name appear in my phone since he sent me that photo a month ago. When I saw the message, it was another photo. This time the photo was of a beach and palm trees. I knew he was in California due to work. He also knows how much I love palm trees and the ocean. It was late, I was vulnerable and I wrote back. I just thanked him for sending over the photo and that it looked nice wherever he was at. He said, “This photo is all for you!” I didn’t respond and shut my phone off for the night.

I don’t know where things are going to go. I do know that he can’t come back into my life and that I’m doing all I can to move forward, to make better things happen and that I need to get better at being cruel at times to others even though it might be hurtful at the moment. Those hurtful moments, I hope, will only lead to happiness.

There is a sentence in William Shakespeare’s, Hamlet, that says…

I must be cruel, only to be kind: Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.”

Where Have You Been?

It’s been a little over two months since my last entry; the longest I’ve ever gone without writing for the blog. Before we go into all that has transpired over the past couple of months; I would like to thank all the readers out there for their constant emails. Whether you were asking if I was alright or if the blog was being canceled all together and I hope I’ve done my best with responding back to all of you out there. I’m very grateful and appreciative for your concerns and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t know how lucky I am for the readers.

The last time I wrote was after my return from California in which Mr. D. never showed up and I was left three thousand miles to figure out what I was going to do next and thankfully I had friends and family to lean on while I was there.  Since my return from California, I can report that I haven’t communicated with Mr. D. whatsoever.

I do see him five days a week and for that first month after my return, it was hard for him and for me. I was so angry with him that I wanted to throw a heavy stapler in his direction. I know that nothing good ever comes from being angry and so I simply acted as if I wasn’t upset even though every time I saw him whether that was in the hallway, him walking by my desk or even in the bathroom; my heart was broken. By the time the second month of no communication with him, I was doing better with not feeling as if I wanted to cry or yell.

And over that time, there were so many moments that I missed with him. Like attending his best friend’s wedding in Boston or even his birthday (which I was invited by coworkers but I declined). While this time apart from him has been hard, I’ve managed to keep myself rather busy.

While I’ve been away from the blog, several things have occurred…I managed to get a third degree burn on my ankle when trying to help a friend cook (thank you burn unit of Beth Israel for its healed nicely). Aside from that I’ve also managed to see Beyonce in concert, rode roller coasters with friends in Hershey Park, which roller coasters are not for me and met my best friend’s new born baby in Boston (ironically enough that weekend I was visiting, Mr. D. was attending his best friend’s wedding). There was the celebration of PRIDE and of course my usual of visits to Feather’s country house and beach times in Long Island. However, the most important thing that I’ve done in my absence from the blog was I finished editing my first draft of my book. It’s taken over two years to write and took several weeks to edit but the first draft is done and my next step is to find a publisher and once that is done than I will feel like I’ve actually accomplished something with my life.

Seeing that this blog is about my dating life and its adventures that come with dating, I can say that I’ve been on two dates in the past two months. The first month after Mr. D. and I stopped all communication, I was in no mindset to get back out there. However, with much encouragement from my friends, I decided to get back out there. They set-up a Tinder account for me (that app is not for me) and I’ve dusted off the OkCupid account not to mention I’m always out and about in the city. So, there you have it, I was putting myself back out there and I wasn’t sure what exactly was out there after spending so much time and energy waiting for Mr. D. to get his act together.

It was the Friday of Fourth of July weekend and my friends and I decided to do a little happy hour at the bar, Rise, near my apartment. We were all having a good time, me with my pink drinks and my friends with their beers. One of my friends decided to go to the restroom and that left me with my other friend but I did notice a handsome older gentleman looking in my direction. After a few glances back and forth between each other, he finally introduced himself. He introduced himself as, “J.T.” to which I responded with, “What does J.T. stand for?” and he said that doesn’t like to give out that kind of information. I laughed in his face because I thought that was a rather silly response from someone his age.  We began to talk in between me trying to pay attention to my friends and we had exchanged phone numbers along the way. He excused himself and went outside because he said he had to take a call that was coming in. Two seconds later, I felt my phone vibrate and when I looked at it, it was a photo of him, not a nude photo but just of his face. I responded back with, “Handsome” and two seconds later, I get another message from him and this time it was a picture of his penis. From the bar, I could see him standing outside on his phone. I didn’t respond to the photo of his penis because I thought it was tacky that he sent me that in the first place. He came back inside and apologized for being so crude and I brushed it off and continued to talk with him and my friends. He and his friends left the bar and he said he would call me to ask me out on a proper date. I wasn’t sure if I believed him or not but I felt like I was officially back in the dating game.

The next morning, I woke up and there was a message from him asking me out for that night. I haven’t been on a brand new date with guy on a Saturday night in a very long time. I figured that since it was a holiday weekend and I’d be seeing my friends all weekend long that I should give this date a chance. I agreed and he suggested we meet at Rise bar again at 7:30 and from there we can go to dinner.

7:30 and he was waiting for me at the bar when I arrived. We ordered our drinks and sat in the corner so that no one could bother us. It was there that we started talking about all our normal first date topics. Topics like, jobs, where both of us are from, family, friends, etc. After our second drink, he took a turn and while he was asking me normal questions, he began to whisper to me all sorts of dirty things he wanted to do me sexually.  When he first did the whisper thing to me, I asked him to repeat himself and he acted as if he didn’t say anything. I told myself that maybe I’m hearing things and didn’t ask him to repeat himself.

It was time for dinner now and we went to try a new Mexican restaurant just down Ninth Avenue. As we walked the few blocks to the restaurant, I felt myself smiling because it was nice being on a date with a handsome man that was paying attention to me and I told myself to just go with the flow and see where the evening takes me. We got to the restaurant and we were seated in the outside patio where I was placed under the air conditioner. Being the princess that I am, I was too cold and my date asked management to move us and I thought that was what a true gentleman would do.

Drinks were ordered and when the waitress brought them to our table, my date asked the waitress if she would take our picture because it was our first date. I looked at him like he had three heads. First date and we are taking pictures? I wasn’t sure if he was being romantic or was on the bus to crazy town. I agreed to the picture and smiled as I held up my giant margarita that came in a pineapple.

During dinner and drinks, we continued our date and our polite conversation. However, I noticed that my date was beginning his whispering of sexual things to me. He would ask me things like, “How long did you dance for?” And then would whisper something like, “I really want to take you back to my apartment and see you naked.” I asked him point blank if he had some sort of sexual tourettes because he kept this going on for the entire night. Finally, dinner was done, we settled the bill and as we left the restaurant, he grabbed me and kissed me on the busy avenue. He then told me I was really cute and smelled amazing and that he is in the mood for dessert. He suggested we grab some cookies from this bodega and grab a cab back to his place. Maybe it was the margaritas, maybe it was the fact that this man was paying attention to me or maybe I wanted to see how far his sexual turrets was going to go but whatever the reason was…I agreed to go.

We get to his apartment and it looked like a frat house there was empty beer cans, clothes everywhere and I couldn’t imagine what the bathroom was going to look like but I really had to pee. The bathroom was so gross but I didn’t care, I really had to go. When I got out of the bathroom he was already on the couch with a huge bong in front of him. He asked me if I smoked weed and I said no because there was certainly no way I was going to do anything with a guy I just met. We sat on the couch and began making out, I needed a distraction because I was worried about how dirty everything was around me. We came up for air and that is when he took a hit from his bong and when he came around to kiss me, he blew the smoke in my mouth. I began to cough up a storm and asked him for water, thankfully, he had a brand new bottle of water in his fridge for I wouldn’t take water from any of his glasses. I told him not to do that again and we began to make out again and then the smoke he blew in my mouth hit me. I began to laugh and not feel sexy and I could barely keep my head up. I got really sleepy and my legs began to feel like rubber. He suggested we go to his bedroom where we could lay down. I agreed even though I didn’t feel right with sleeping at his place. When he got me to bed, he told me he has to be up early because he is going with this group to a nude beach in my fuzzy state of mind, I knew this guy wasn’t going anywhere in life because I found out that he’s unemployed and only cares about his weed and guys. I told him that we are not having sex and he didn’t like the response and got up and put a towel between us on the bed. He said I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to walk home or take a cab and I ended up falling asleep while he was still doing his sexual tourettes to me.

Around 3 a.m. I noticed he got up and when I looked down the hall, there J.T. was in his glory. I watched him as he was naked walking around his living room, eating cookies, smoking weed and carrying around his laptop that was playing porn. Where the hell was I? Why is this my first date after being in hiding for so long and I noticed that I still wasn’t feeling like myself, so all I did was tell him that it was late and that I was going back to bed. He didn’t care and so I fell back asleep until 7 a.m. when I woke up and grabbed my shoes and snuck out the apartment and did the walk of shame.

On my walk home, I realized that the dating world hadn’t changed much and it didn’t look like they were going to change anytime soon.  I knew I had a date that upcoming Wednesday with a guy that I’ve known for years. We went on a few dates two years ago and then his job transferred him to Los Angeles and now he was coming back to the city for good. He suggested we meet at this cute place called, Kilo, which is also right by my apartment. He sent me a text message earlier on the day or our date to wear shorts because he really likes my legs. I responded back with, “I will see what I can do.”

I was running late and showed up a few minutes late and he was waiting for me. I hadn’t seen him in the two years that he’s been on the west coast and when I arrived, he looked like a totally different person. He had gained a lot of weight, went somewhat bald and was wearing an American Eagle polo at the age of 35. He had just gotten a major promotion and a fat raise from his company and just bought an apartment on the Upper West Side, this guy was making things happen for himself. As I sat there, he didn’t ask me one question about myself and so I sat and listened to him go on about his work, his apartment and everything else that revolved around him. He did all the ordering including the rose wine that we were drinking. Finally he began to complain about New York and how he hated the heat during the summer, the prices, etc. I couldn’t take it anymore and I just said, “Than why did you come back? Was it just for the money?” He said that the money was the only reason he came back. The date lasted a total of fifty minutes and when the bill came, he looked at me and said, “You got this?” I suggested we go half but he said he forget his cards at the office. Now I was stuck with a bill that was close to two hundred dollars and I was sitting across from a sweaty, fat, balding man that was still wearing clothes geared toward college students. I paid and left him there and decided that maybe getting back out into the dating scene isn’t exactly the right time for me. Since that date, there was been no others and there is nothing on the horizon. I’m alright with that because if there are still the dates that consist of guys like this than I’m perfectly content with waiting patiently until something worthy comes along.

This past Friday, my friends and I managed to get out of work early and head to Grand Bank, which is a boat along the Hudson River where you can have drinks with a bunch of preppy people. We had one beer and aside from the motion sickness from the boat that we were feeling, it wasn’t our scene. We decided to go to the bar, The Monster, for a few beers and as we were leaving the bar, I felt my phone vibrate. I pulled my phone out and there it was, a name I hadn’t seen appear on my phone in over two months, Mr. D.

I opened the message and there was no text only a picture. A picture of a street we used to walk down in Boston. A street where we joked with each other that we would live some day and where I’d get my very own washer and dryer and a street that he knows I love and a street he knew I’d have a reaction to. My friends instantly knew that something was wrong by my face. I told them the truth and they wanted to take my phone right away and block his number for good. They asked me why I still have his number and why I just won’t block his number once and for all. I didn’t really have answer because it was such a shock to see his name appear in my phone. I put my phone away and spent the rest of the evening with my friends. I still haven’t responded to Mr. D.’s message and I won’t. I’m not sure what he was trying to do with sending that picture and while I care about what is trying to do; I know that I can’t let myself get involved for the millionth time only to get nothing in return but heartache.

As you can see, there is never a dull moment, how can there be when you live in the greatest city in the world? I promise not to be gone for that long of time again but sometimes we need to take a break, collect our thoughts, recalibrate and get back out into the world and that is where I’ve been.

Straight Talk

Normally in these posts, I try to let the readers into something I’ve learned, discovered and maybe even have repeated in my life. It’s been weeks since I have written and the reason for that is because so much has happened that these “life lessons” I try to share along with my dating life has changed. So, for this week, there is no lessons, no discoveries and while I have repeated some mistakes this will be all about giving it to you straight.

Since my last entry, I left you all with my trip to Boston with Mr. D. with everything running smoothly and it continued to run on that straight and narrow path even once we returned to our reality. Our reality was that we were both working on this major pitch that would take place in Southern California. Over the course of those weeks, we worked long hours and then it dawned on me that since he will be in Southern California that we should make a long weekend out of it before the actual pitch was to take place. I brought the idea up to Mr. D. and he instantly got excited and told me that this was a fantastic idea. As soon as he was on board with my plan, I had a friend of mine who is good at finding deals, begin to search flights and car rentals for me. She not only found a cheap flight but a cheap rental car as well. Since we were on such an excellent path of finding deals, I contacted my family and friends out in California; they also got excited at the idea of me coming out west and opened up their homes to Mr. D. and me. Finally, there was one more element of surprise for this trip…Mr. D. and I would be going to Disneyland!!! Anyone that knows me knows how much I love princesses and Disney related things. I had a very close friend of mine score us two free tickets to Disneyland. The minute I saw the tickets enter my inbox, I told Mr. D. about it and his response was, “This is fucking awesome!” It was settled. The plans were as such: I would be leaving this past Thursday and leaving the following Tuesday while Mr. D. would be flying in on Friday and leaving on Tuesday as well with the team after the pitch.

Several days prior to my flight, there was so many text messages and emails that went back and forth between Mr. D. and I and the level of excitement of this trip for both of us continued to grow. It would be our first trip out west, it would be his first time meeting some of my family and even meeting some friends of mine. I couldn’t believe how smoothly everything was falling into place, this kind of stuff never happens for me. There is always something that goes wrong and as each day was getting closer to us leaving, we were growing closer due to us working so closely together and not to mention the overall anticipation of a trip in sunny California.

Then on last Tuesday after work, I sent him a text message saying that tomorrow was my last day in the office and to get ready for our trip out west was fully confirmed. He responded an hour later that read, “We may have a problem.” I instantly responded with, “What’s the problem?” He didn’t reply back the rest of the evening. Ironically enough, I was having dinner with the friend of mine that night that managed to score us the two tickets to Disneyland. I wasn’t sure what the “problem” was. I was hoping that Mr. D. would’ve been straight with me. Tell me what the problem is and maybe we could fix it together. I went to bed that night and was worried that something terrible was going to happen with our trip.

The next morning at work, I was speaking with another coworker that was coordinating the team’s travels for the pitch. She said, “Everyone is confirmed and ready to go except for Mr. D. He told me that he might need to change his flight due to a wedding this weekend.” I did my best not to have a reaction because it was bad enough that people in the office already suspect that something is going on between us. I walked away and told myself to not overreact because I know that Mr. D. would never do something like this to me given how hard I worked to make this trip happen. As I was walking away from my coworker, I bumped into Mr. D. and he had a look of panic on his face and said, “I owe you an explanation and I’m going to make this right. Let’s chat outside in an hour.”

An hour goes by and we are outside on the sidewalk of our office and I started off with, “I shouldn’t be hearing about some wedding from a coworker…what is going on?” He said, “I got my dates mixed up and I promised a friend that I would be their date to a wedding on Saturday. I want to go to California and be with you. I’m going to make this right, I just need to find a replacement date for her and we will be set.” I went into detail with him of all the planning, the money I spent and even how my friends and family have opened up their homes to us so we don’t have to stay in hotels. By the time we got back into the elevator heading back to our office, he looked at me and said, “I promise I’m going to make this right.” The rest of the day, we worked very hard on the pitch and it was my last day in the office for I was flying out the next day. I didn’t hear from him that night and I chalked it up to be that, “no news is good news.”

I got up bright and early the next morning and made my way to Newark Airport to catch a 7:30 a.m. flight. The entire trip from New York to San Diego went off without a hitch. When I landed in San Diego, I picked up my little rental car, a bright red Toyota Yaris and sent a picture to Mr. D. to show him our little car for the trip. I put my seatbelt on and I was off and driving with me heading to my aunt and uncles’ home. Barely ten minutes into my drive, I got a text message from Mr. D. it was telling me that he is deeply sorry that he will NOT be coming on this trip, that he made a commitment to the wedding and that he wishes he was with me.

The real insulting part was that he said he sent me $250 dollars to offset any expenses for the trip. I pulled my little red car over so quickly and was shaking. It took me a few minutes to process that I just got dissed three thousand miles away. As the cars zoomed by me, I pulled out my phone and told him that I didn’t want his fucking money and that I couldn’t believe that he did this to me and that we are officially done with our relationship. My body wouldn’t let me cry because my anger and adrenaline were outweighing my sadness. Here I was, clear across the country that would’ve been an amazing trip with someone that I loved. I was going to be going to the “happiest place on earth” and now I had just ended something with someone rather important to me. He responded back quickly begging me to please take the money and that again, he’d rather be with me but he simply sucks at planning. I didn’t respond and got myself back on the road and continued to my relatives home.

When I pulled into their home, I called my sister to tell her what had just happened because she wanted to know if I arrived safely. As I was telling her about my situation, she told me that our grandmother that we hadn’t spoken to in well over twenty years died. I couldn’t help but laugh inside because it wasn’t that I was emotionally attached to this grandmother, it was the simple fact that when something goes wrong with me, it goes majorly wrong. I told my sister to feel no guilt about this grandmother passing and that I needed to go and face the music with my family.

I walked into their home and on their kitchen island was snacks and drinks…all of which Mr. D. liked because she asked ahead of time of what he likes to eat and drink. One of my aunts’ first questions was, “Where is Mr. D.?” I sat down and told her the entire story of what had happened along with our entire history together. My uncle instantly wanted his address to go and kick his ass but I told him that wasn’t necessary and that I just needed to wrap my head around the fact that I’m sitting in San Diego and solo. That evening, we had dinner and I went to bed early.

When I woke up the next morning, I wrote Mr. D. an email telling him that when I woke up, I thought that this was all a bad dream and that none of this really happened to me. That there was no way that he would ever do this to me. No possible way that he left me on the other side of the country to deal with the humiliation in front of my family and friends. That this person that he is going to this wedding with must really have a hold on him because he gave up an entire mini-vacation for one day at a wedding where he doesn’t even know who is actually getting married. In my closing of this email, I told him that we are done, no more friendship, no more flirting, no more trips and that I highly doubt that this person whom you are going to this wedding with has done as much as I had done for him over the past two years.

I had told my friends in Los Angeles of what had happened and it turns out that not only my friends that live in Los Angeles told me to come and see them but I had two friends of mine from New York actually staying in Los Angeles as well. It was there that I decided to get in my little red car and drive the two hours to see them. I told my family that I’d be back on Sunday and they understood given my situation.

Along the drive to L.A., I noticed that Mr. D. had responded to my email. I chose not to pull over on the highway and read it, even though my emotions wanted me to. Something told me to keep on driving and deal with the email once I arrived safely.

My friends from New York were staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel and were checking out later on that afternoon. I drove into the hotel, gave my car to the valet and saw my friends. They told me that we were going to the pool at the hotel and to relax. As they were packing up their suitcases, I took that time to read the email from Mr. D. The email started off with, “Dearest…” and it went on for four long paragraphs that contained sentences like, “I lay awake at night thinking of how I hurt you” or “I know I should treat you better than you deserve, it’s all I know how to do” and it continued on and on and it was the last paragraph of the email that broke my spirit. It said that he loved me and that he is confused as to where to put me in his life. He closed with knowing that there was no possible way that we could ever reconcile our relationship and that knowing this he will always have a heavy heart and that he will miss me.

I never responded to the email, there was nothing left to say, we had said everything we needed to say. It was over. I didn’t’ cry. I told my friends that we were over and they were impressed at my pride and at how I was handling the situation. We gathered our belongings, checked out of the hotel and lounged at the pool where we saw Mary J. Blige and Adam Levine. After getting some sunshine on our skin, we drove to our friends’ house and dropped our bags off. I had to, once again, tell them the story of what had happened to me and it was there that I knew I was lucky to have these people in my life and that I wasn’t alone. We went out to dinner that night at, Taste, and afterwards we went to West Hollywood where we went to several bars. It was good to see people, to meet new people and to be distracted from my reality back in New York. As soon as we got back to their house, I went straight to bed. I think I was emotionally exhausted.

The next day on Saturday, which would’ve been the day that Mr. D. and I were to go to Disneyland, I knew there was no way that I could go. I couldn’t fathom the idea of me roaming around the grounds of the park with families and couples and me with my thoughts. Thankfully, my friends had a back-up plan for us and that we would be attending a pool party hosted by a woman whose husband had several MTV awards and Grammy’s throughout the home. I met some lovely new people that instantly wanted to befriend me and at periods where my mind wondered, they brought be back down and told me to have fun, which I did end up having a lot of.

On Sunday morning, I offered to drive my friends from New York to the airport and then I would make my way back down to San Diego to spend more time with my family. The drive back to San Diego felt longer than I had remembered. I wasn’t sure if it was because I knew the trip was coming to an end or that I had too much time on my hands on the drive to think. I finally arrived at my family’s house and no one was home at the time and so I grabbed my book, sat in the sun and read until they arrived.

This past Monday, was my last day in California and I decided to make the most of my time. I drove to the beach, sat at the ocean and did my best to meditate but there was too much distraction going through my head. I sat there and finally decided to shop a little while I waited for my cousin and her boyfriend to arrive at the restaurant where we’d be having lunch. As I was waiting for them to arrive, I began to look through Facebook and began scrolling when I saw a photo. That photo was of two friends of mine that attended a wedding; in that photo sandwiched between my two friends was Mr. D.’s ex-girlfriend. The same ex-girlfriend that two years ago, I helped him end things with and it was the same ex-girlfriend that Mr. D. told me so much about (and not in a good way). The same ex-girlfriend that Mr. D.’s entire friends deemed as horrible. I was angry, yet again, because he never gave it to me straight as to whom he was going with to the wedding. Now, I had to find out via social media. It was a huge slap in my face and with that slap on my face; I decided to be straight with Mr. D. I told him that thanks to social media that I found out who exactly he went to the wedding with. He replied with saying that he’s sorry again and that I’m important in his life. I told him to please leave me alone once and for all and that he needs to stick with his choices.

I sat in the San Diego airport reading a book and waiting for them to begin the boarding process and out of nowhere it hit me. My eyes began to fill with tears; tears that I couldn’t hide from the public, tears there were flowing out faster than I could even wipe up with my tissue. I rushed to the bathroom to splash cold water on my face to try and calm myself before I boarded onto a six hour flight. I finally contained myself and sat in my seat and tried to force myself to take a nap. Somewhere over the Midwest, the sky was dark, the plane was silent and it occurred to me that both Mr. D. and I are both in the sky flying back to New York. I smiled because there was nothing else I could do as it was funny at how we were both in the sky, different planes going to different airports…so close yet never making the full connection.

So, there you have it and here is the “straight talk” of it all. I fell in love with someone. Someone very conflicted with his life, someone that I know loves me back, someone that I thought I could fix but couldn’t. I didn’t fail in trying but I did fail in letting someone get so close to me that I knew had a huge potential to break my heart (which he did). I’ll be fine, I don’t regret meeting him, I don’t regret allowing him into my life and I don’t regret thinking that one day we’d end up together. Love makes everyone do things that they normally wouldn’t do and that is a beautiful thing because that means people are trying to love, people are trying to get close and people still believe.

Building a Mystery

In one form or another, we all have lived a dual life. This means, we present to the world what we want them to see perhaps, some might call that dual life a façade. Then, there is the life that we live behind closed doors; the life where we keep our dark secrets to ourselves, where we do and say things that we don’t want the world to see or even know that we do. It can be rather exhausting living this dual life but when you are done building the mystery and becoming true to yourself that is when the real life that we create can actually begin.

I didn’t write last week because there was a lot of work going on and I didn’t have a single moment to myself. Two Sundays ago, I ended up going to Brooklyn to see Mr. D. again. He was taking me to a comedy show and also introducing me to one of his friends. The evening was rather fun, the comedy was great and his friend was really nice. After the comedy show, Mr. D. and I talked about our upcoming trip to Boston. He was leaving the next day from our office and would be there till Wednesday. I was going to be arriving in Boston on Thursday and wasn’t sure exactly when we would be coming back. The original plan was for me to arrive on Thursday and see my best friend and her husband that Friday for dinner. I needed to see my best friend because she is due to have her baby at any minute and was having minor contractions earlier last week. I wanted to be there for support in case she needed me and it was also an excuse to be with Mr. D. and have a mini-get-away from the intense work week that we both were having.

Last Wednesday evening, the day before I was leaving for Boston; I met up with a very good friend of mine at, Rise Bar. There we talked about his current relationship status and how excited I was to be going to Boston. Mr. D. was texting me all that evening about work and how excited he was for the upcoming weekend. So, my gut instincts were telling me that this was going to be rather memorable weekend.

I woke up on Thursday morning bright and early for there was still so much to do before I was to be on the Bolt Bus at noon that would be taking me to Boston. I still hadn’t packed nor had I even booked a hotel room for that night. I quickly hurried through everything and managed to make the noon bus. Once I was on the bus, I realized that something was missing…my brand new coat!!! As the bus started to pull away, I ran up to the driver and made them stop so I could run back and get my coat that someone kindly hung up on a fence. Once I got back on the bus and into my seat, the bus started to clap and we were on our way. 3 ½ hours later, I arrived in Boston. On the bus ride, I managed to find a hotel that Mr. D. had been talking about for a long time. That evening, we would be staying at the Liberty Hotel; a hotel that is famous for it being a former prison and is now a luxury hotel. I checked in and sent Mr. D. a message that I had arrived. Within minutes he sent a message back that he was in a cab and on his way.

When he arrived at the room, I could tell that he was exhausted. I gave him a few minutes to decompress before we were to set out and do some sight-seeing. After he changed out of his work clothes, we grabbed our coats and we began to walk around the area of, Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is the area that I would actually live in and told Mr. D. about it. He is also in love with the area, so as we walked around the area, he proceeded to tell me every single little bit of history from when buildings were built to lamp posts. We left that area and began to walk around the shops and when he saw the Boston Public Library, he knew my love of books and said we should go in. We walked around the gorgeous library and we realized that we were starting to lose track of time and needed to migrate our way back to the hotel. We had a quick bite to eat and were back at the hotel getting ready.

After an hour or so of getting ready, we went downstairs quickly to have a drink (I should say that I had a drink while he had a diet coke). We jumped on the T train (their version of the subway) and went to an area that I can’t remember but that is where we were going to go dancing at a club called, Middlesex. Once we were there, we ran into some old friends of his from when he used to live there and they were very welcoming toward me. We all danced for several hours and things close early in Boston, so before I knew it, it was time to leave. We got back to the hotel, got ready for bed and in bed we talked for another hour before both passing out.

Next morning, we both woke up feeling refreshed and energized. He went to the gym and I began to pack up our stuff for we needed to go to another hotel because I couldn’t afford the luxury hotel our entire stay. So, while he was at the gym, he came back and had gotten us coffees as well. While, he was in the shower, I was ironing our clothes for the day and thinking how nice this all was. He in the shower singing and me ironing while watching the Price is Right. We gathered our luggage, said goodbye to your nice room and left our luggage with the concierge while we went off to enjoy the day. I was rather excited because I love aquariums and that was where one of our first stops was going to be. He first took me to the area called, North End, which is their version of our Little Italy. We had an amazing Italian lunch and afterwards we walked to the Boston Aquarium.

At the aquarium, we had our pictures taken, walked around for hours and had a really amazing time. It actually felt like we were on a mini-vacation and we both loved every single minute of it. After the aquarium, we walked around the city for hours and along the way, I was surprised at how willing he was to pay for things, to make me laugh and provide me with many tidbits of the city that he took such pride in. Once we were done with the tour of the city, we went back to get our bags and got in a cab to take us to our next hotel, The Boston Park Plaza. We had stayed at this hotel over a year ago when we last visited together but it was under renovations then so it was nice to see what they have done with the place. When we got to our room, I noticed immediately that the bed wasn’t made and the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned. We called downstairs and while they were cleaning the room, we went down to the lobby to chat about our plans for the evening.

When our room was finally clean, he went to the gym and I decided to take that time to put on a facial mask, watch some television and relax. I thought I had all the time in the world to relax before needing to get ready for dinner with my best friend, her husband and Mr. D.’s best friend was also joining us. Turns out, I didn’t have any time at all because when Mr. D. walked in from the gym and saw that I wasn’t ready, he said, “I thought you were getting ready this whole time. We have fifteen minutes to get ready before my friend is picking us up.” I quickly got ready and in record time and we both were downstairs where his friend kindly picked us up in his car and drove us to dinner.

Dinner was in a town called, Brookline and it’s where my best friend and her husband live. As we all sat around the dinner table, it really warmed my heart to see everyone talking, laughing and getting along. Everyone at the table had met last year when Mr. D. and I had visited before, so there was no real reason for anyone to feel out of place. After dinner, Mr. D.’s best friend needed to go home to see his fiancé and so me, Mr. D., my best friend and her husband all went across the street for ice cream before we all retreated back to their house to watch a movie and relax. After the movie, it was well after midnight and it was time for Mr. D. and me to head back to our second hotel for this trip. We arrived back at our hotel and once again lay in bed and talked about the day until we both fell asleep.

It was Saturday, our last full day on this trip and the plan was to get ready, leave our luggage at the concierge and find another hotel room for that evening. After we settled on our next hotel, we jumped onto the T train and headed toward the Harvard area where we were, once again, meeting Mr. D.’s best friend. This time, the purpose of us meeting him was that he was going to be taking us to the country side to show us where he will be getting married in a few months. He wanted to show Mr. D. and I where this was all taking place and what Mr. D.’s role entails as best man for the wedding. The country side was gorgeous and during the visit, Mr. D.’s best friend asked if I was attending the wedding with Mr. D. I wasn’t sure how to answer since I wasn’t properly invited and wasn’t sure what the situation is. I kind of laughed it off and went on about the country side property. After the viewing, we drove to a town called, Concord, where we visited the Inn where all the wedding guests would be staying. All in all, it was a lovely afternoon so far.

When we got back into the city, we all attended an event for a restaurant opening that Mr. D’s best friends’ fiancé was hosting. Free food, free booze and free pinball games. There was a pinball contest and we all entered and it turns out…I won and had the highest score in the entire restaurant!!! We all had a good laugh because I don’t play pinball and I even surprised myself at my skills. After the event, we all said our goodbyes and they once again asked if I was attending their wedding. I, once again, laughed it off because it’s really not my place to force an invite upon Mr. D.

Mr. D. and I arrived at our third and last hotel of the trip located in the Cambridge area. We didn’t have any time to relax because he wanted to go dancing at this gay bar. I was surprised he wanted to go after the long day but instead, I showered and got dressed and he did the same.

Got in a cab and we were off to the House of Blues. Once inside, we danced for hours and hours. I couldn’t tell if Mr. D. was fully comfortable dancing among the shirtless men and he did make a few comments about the go-go boys that were dancing on top of the speakers. What I could tell that there was no mystery between him and me. Whatever it is that is going on between is certainly more than a friendship and not quite a full blown relationship. Mainly because what we are missing is the sex factor. Everything else is there. Trust. Humor. Attraction. Manners. Intimacy.  I’ve received a ton of advice from all over the world including my therapist about what this all means and what to do next. What I do know is that there is something special here and of course this can’t go on forever without something shifting. My only hope is that it whatever this shift that is happening next only brings us closer and not further apart.

Yesterday, we both woke up and like it had been the past couple of days; he ran out to get us coffee and brought it back. We got ready, checked out of our third hotel and headed back to the train station. He got us two tickets on the Acela train and as we boarded we both were still rather on a high from our fun in Boston. As the train began to take off, I thanked him for such a wonderful trip and he said, “It was my pleasure.” He played video games while I read my book, we took a short nap and he asked me several times about the subject of the book I was reading. When we finally made it back to the city, we walked around for a few more minutes before finally saying our goodbye. We hugged for a long time and then parted ways. When I got back into my apartment, I was still rather happy and grateful that I got to experience that all with Mr. D. Several hours later, I sent him a picture of us at the aquarium and he replied with, “Well aren’t we handsome!”

We all have our fantasy life, the life that we fantasize about and then we have the life that is our reality. That reality life is usually a little less glamorous and a little less easy going. Yet, if we take what we know, sprinkle it with happiness, gratitude and appreciation; we just might be on the path to building the mystery life into a reality.

Thought Into Action

We live in a country where we are given the privilege to have as many options as possible. We can have our meals be small, medium or large. We can fly in first class, business or coach and yet with all these choices readily at our fingertips; we can find ourselves still struggling to make a choice. Are all these options that we have access to helping us or can we put our thoughts into action?

I took a few weeks off from writing because I was at a point in my life where I had too many thoughts and I needed to put them into action. I had only shared with a few people that I had taken an interview at another agency because I wasn’t sure if I was ready to leave my current job. The other agency reached out to me and I took it as a sign from the universe that maybe it was time for me to leave but at the same time, I’m actually content with where I’m at. I had my first interview two weeks ago and as soon as I left the interview; they called and asked me for a second interview. When I went in for the second interview and was walking through the office, I realized that I knew several people there. It was comforting to know that if I took a new job that I wouldn’t be the new kid in town. After the second interview, the next morning I woke up to see an email from the other agency offering me the job, which of course, also meant that I would be making more money.

When I went to work that morning, I decided that I needed to take the advice of a friend of mine that I told about what was going on with my job. He told me about happiness and that if I am happy where I’m at that, the money where I would go to next wouldn’t make a difference. I knew he was right; I was never a money chaser and always believed that being happy where I’m at was far better than being rich. I decided not to tell anyone at my office because I still wasn’t sure what my actions would be and there was no sense in getting everyone excited. After work that day, I decided to tell Mr. D. about what was going on because he had just gone through this same experience with our agency a few months ago when he was debating on whether or not to leave. As soon as I sent the text, two minutes later he was calling me. He told me about his strategy and how he handled the counter offer with the other agency and how our current agency handles this type of situation. The conversation put me at ease for I now knew I had a game plan for the next morning with my boss. My thoughts were starting to come into action.

The next morning I told my boss of the news of another agency wanting me to work for them. I was impressed with how quickly he asked me if I could give him a few days to figure something out that would keep me from not leaving. My original thought was that he was going to tell me, “best of luck,” but instead he was determined to make sure that I wasn’t going to leave. For the next couple of days I was a nervous wreck with whether or not I was going to be staying, if I was making the right choice and if I was playing the game properly. By the time Friday had rolled around, my nerves were shot and my current office still hadn’t made an official offer for me to stay. I played a huge risk and listened to my gut instinct. I told the other agency that I was declining their offer and was putting all of my faith in my current job that they were going to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse. When the work day ended that Friday, my boss told me that unfortunately, they still hadn’t been able to make me the offer but that it’s still being worked on. He thanked me for being patient and said that he understands how frustrating this is but given how fast things were happening that he hoped to have a decision for me by that following Monday. So there I was…I declined the other agency that was offering me more money and I was left with a “maybe” about my current job. Mr. D. asked me to meet him after work for like an hour to catch-up so that I can give him a rundown of everything that was happening with my job. It was nice that he was so involved and had a genuine concern about my situation and he told me with confidence that I would get exactly what I was asking for and not to worry.

The next day, was the Saturday before Easter and I was rather excited because I was going to see one of my best friends whom is very pregnant and having her baby shower that afternoon in New Jersey. I was getting a ride from some friends of mine that just had a baby and that live in Brooklyn. I was in charge of the directions and they were in charge of driving. As we got in the car and I gave them the address of the baby shower the little GPS thing said that it was going to take us two hours to get to New Jersey. In my mind, I thought New Jersey was just across the river and we would be there in thirty minutes. Turns out, this town is actually only ten minutes away from downtown Philadelphia!!! There was nothing we could do except drive and apologize for our tardiness.

The baby shower was beautiful despite us arriving almost two hours after it started. It was a wonderful thing to see my friend in such a state of happiness and she was grateful that we all made it out there to celebrate the arrival of the baby.

When I arrived to work last Monday, I was once again, greeted with the waiting game. All day long my boss was telling me that upper management was in meetings about me, my work, etc. all to determine whether or not things would work out in my favor. Mr. D. continued to tell me to calm down and that it would all work out. I wasn’t sure if I could take his words to heart because all I could think about was that this was a huge mistake and I missed out on an opportunity. Finally at exactly 4:54 p.m. my boss pulled me aside and said that they are going to match what the other agency offered me and they also gave me a two hundred dollar expense to take myself out to dinner to celebrate me staying with the agency. When I got back to my desk there was an email from the CEO of the agency congratulating me and thanking me for being so patient as they figured out how they were going to keep me and all the hard work that I do. It was at that moment that not only did I feel relieved but that I knew how powerful the concept of putting thought into action can be.

On Tuesday, I woke up and checked my email and to my delight, the manuscript for my book that I’ve been working on for over two years had finally been selected to have an editor to review. Ever since the beginning of this year, all I could think about was whether or not this book would ever get published or if it was worth anyone ever reading. I also thought that this editor would take awhile for her to read. Three days later, she provided me with my edited manuscript and said that this book is really a good read. Now, I just need to find a publisher and we will be off and running.

This past weekend, was spent with my friends that I’ve known for many years. I was grateful to see all of them, to have dinner with them and to have those times where you know exactly how grateful you are to have the many wonderful things that can happen to a person and yes, for those wondering, Mr. D. and I communicated all weekend long.

Naturally, when things go well in our lives, we love our lives, we give thanks to the universe and all those that support us and when things are not so great in our lives…we blame the world. What it really boils down to is that when we put our thoughts into action, from career to even love, the possibilities are endless. Here is hoping that everyone out there this week puts their own thoughts into action and that beautiful things come their way.

According to Plan

Go to college and create your career. Fall in love and get married. Get married and have babies. Have babies and start saving for college. Sound familiar? That is because all these plans have been told to us right from the beginning and that once you accomplish these acts you will be considered to have a successful life. Yet, more often than not these days, the plans we create or try to live by don’t go according to plan.

According to my plan, I was to move to New York, become a successful dancer, make a ton of friends and fall in love. So far, I’ve only managed to accomplish moving to New York and making a ton of friends. Doesn’t mean the rest won’t ever happen but we all need to be realistic from time to time.

Right at the beginning of last week, my entire week had all been planned out. I had something going on almost every single night and the end of the week something rather big was going to happen. I was going to meet Mr. D.’s mom! She was going to be arriving into the city on Wednesday afternoon and leaving on Saturday. Since it was a short visit, Mr. D. suggested that maybe Friday after work or that evening would be a nice time to meet his mother. It would mark the first time that I’ve ever met anyone’s parents before where I had a romantic connection with. I’ve met my friends’ parents before but this situation was brand new to me. So, for the entire week, I was a ball of nerves. What was I going to say? What was I going to do? How was I going to act? And what was I going to wear?

On Tuesday evening, I met up with a friend on the Upper West Side for dinner at, Thai Market. Over dinner, I updated him on my plans on how I was going to handle my next steps with Mr. D. While he humored me, I knew that he thinks I’m crazy. My plan was to meet the mother, hopefully she would like me and then once she told her son how great I was, another layer would be removed from Mr. D.’s way of thinking about our relationship. I left our dinner feeling rather confident about my plan of action.

The next day while I at work, I was offered the chance to work on a new business pitch. I immediately jumped at the opportunity for not all employees are asked at our agency to participate. As soon as I accepted, I got an email on who would be on the team for this pitch. Turns out that Mr. D. is also on this pitch and we would be working together once again. The universe sure has one hell of a sense of humor. After work that day, I was set to see a movie with another coworker of mine but I ended up working later than I thought and so he suggested we just meet at a bar that is located right by our office.

I arrived at the bar and my coworker was already there waiting for me. We began updating each other on work, the office gossip and finally he brought up the topic of Mr. D.  It seems like everyone not only has an opinion on what my plans should be for him but also that everyone in the office has taken notice as to how he interacts with me. My coworker said that I hide it much better than Mr. D. does. After a few beers, we both decided that we needed to get home. That evening, I went home and sent Mr. D. a text message asking if his mom arrived alright and he told me that she had and that he was having a nice time with her.

It was Thursday already and the week was flying by rather quickly, mainly because work had been so hectic and my social calendar was jam packed. However, everything for the week was going according to plan. My work life was starting to look good, interaction with Mr. D. was at an all-time high and I was spending time with friends I don’t get to see that often. After work on Thursday, I met up with Feathers, his husband and my girlfriend in Chelsea. We were having dinner at, Flight 151, and after dinner we were going to head up to Time Square to see the Broadway show, The Color Purple.  It turns out that, that same evening I would be seeing a Broadway show that Mr. D. was taking his mom to see, Beautiful, on Broadway. The show was amazing, all of us laughed and cried and it was truly one of my better experiences on Broadway. After the show, we all hugged goodbye and they wished me luck on meeting Mr. D.’s mom. I got home, took a shower and got into bed and right before I was drifting off to sleep, I got a text from Mr. D. telling me that his mom had a wonderful experience and that it was great watching her enjoy herself so much at the show. I thought it was rather nice that he thought of me to text about his experience with his mother. Everything was going according to plan.

Finally, the day had arrived, the day I would be meeting his mom. Mr. D. is notorious for being one of the worse planners. He can’t plan anything and is very last minute and doesn’t think about all that goes into bringing people together. So, all day during work I was a ball of nerves, I even wore khaki pants (something I never do) just in case the plan was to meet her after work and I didn’t have time to go home and change into something preppy. Mr. D. left the office around 3 p.m. that day to take his mom to a museum and he wasn’t sure what the plans were going to be after that. He told me that he would keep me posted for a right time for me to drop by. Then at around 6:30, I get a text from him and it said, “Not sure my dear. Might be a low key night for mom.” I knew what that meant by knowing how Mr. D. communicates and that meant that she is tired and that this meeting is not going to happen. At first, I was disappointed but then I stopped being selfish and thought about his mom. She is 70 years old, she hasn’t been to the city since the 1970’s and she was up late the night before with the Broadway show and she really wanted to spend time with her son. Not to mention that Mr. D. and I still don’t know what the hell we are doing and why get this innocent woman involved in our mess. I just told him, “Ok.” I thought that would be the last I would hear from him that night but it turns out my plans were now no longer going according to plan.

He sent me a text later on that night after he took his mom back to her hotel, which ironically enough, she was staying at a hotel only a few blocks away from my apartment. His text asked me where I was and I told him that I was at home. He said that he was nearby and asked to see me. I told him to come over. It was marking the first time that he was going to be in my apartment. I was nervous, excited and thought that since my roommate was gone that finally something was going to happen between us. He arrives, I give him the five second tour of my tiny apartment and we sit on the couch. He tells me that his mom was exhausted after the museum and dinner. He also apologized a few times for the meeting not happening and I told him that it was fine. He said that he needed to be back in my area the next morning to help his mom checkout of her hotel, take her to brunch and then to Penn Station where she would get on the bus to head back home. He said, “Let’s go outside and take a walk before I have to head home.” Once again, so much for my plan. As we walked down Ninth Avenue, he realized just how gay my neighborhood was and even laughed at how much activity was going on in just a few blocks into our walk. When we got to the corner of 49th and Ninth Avenue, I told him that his subway was just two more avenues heading east. Since he always walks me to the subway when we hangout, I decided to return the favor. Along the walk, he said, “Hey…my buddies and I are planning on hanging out tomorrow. You should come and meet some of the others that you haven’t met already.” I knew I had plans with another friend that evening but figured I could double book and make it all happen. So, I graciously accepted his invitation and hugged him goodbye. I told him to let me know he got home alright. Right before I was to fall asleep I got a message from that said, “All is good kiddo. See you soon!”

I woke up Saturday feeling alive by the time 10 a.m. rolled around; I had already cleaned the apartment and did my laundry.  I had plans to meet my friend at 11:30 a.m. on his corner to walk over the Village in order to help him buy some rather personal items for a party that was coming up. We had a great time shopping for him and afterwards he said to me, “You know, I should be telling you to stay away from him and I don’t want to see you get hurt but he does seem to make you happy.” I thank him for his words, walked him back to his apartment and kept walking all the way home.

Later on that day, I was taking a much needed nap when I got a text message from Mr. D. saying that he is still working on his friends, trying to figure out the game plan and that he would keep me posted. I then sent a message to my friend that I was meeting that night about the change in plans. He was really generous with me and said for me to go and we would catch-up later on. Several back and forth messages with Mr. D. later and finally he said for me to come over to his place and we would go from there. I grabbed the gift bag I had gotten for him. The gift bag was to celebrate his six months of being sober. I was so proud of him and all that he had accomplished with that intense journey and in the bag was a card, a diet coke and peanut M&M’s (our favorite stuff we eat when we go to the movies). When I arrived at his apartment and gave him his bag, he gave me a big hug and thanked me for everything. Then I asked where we are meeting the boys and he said, “Those losers bailed on me and so it’s just you and I tonight. Let’s get you good and drunk.” Once again, my plans were not going accordingly.

We got our jackets and headed out into Brooklyn. We finally found a bar that he and I had been to a few times last year. As we sat at the bar, he with his diet coke and me with my beer and a shot of Jack Daniels, we began talking about our upcoming trip to Boston. We were figuring out dates and where we were going to stay. It was fun and I was getting excited about our plans. After a few drinks we walked over to another bar. Once again, we were sitting at the bar and laughing and having a wonderful time. Finally, he brought up the topic of dating. He said, “Dating is difficult.” It was either the booze or my lack of patience but I looked at him and said, “Dating is difficult for you because you are not dating me.” He shifted himself on his seat, smiled and then laughed and said, “I am straight.” I thought for sure that his response was going to either make my temper flare or I was going to get emotional and instead I already had my response locked and loaded. It was as if I had this response prepared this entire time of us hanging out. I shifted myself to look him straight in the eye and said, “I’ve never asked you for anything but would you please go see a therapist if I gave you a name and number for one because you really need it.” He didn’t seem to off put by me suggesting that and he said that he would and that he thinks he could benefit from it. He then said, “You aren’t drunk enough. Let’s go to another bar and fix that.” So, we walked to the bar and we began talking about other things other than the pink elephant in the room. At the last bar, we both were getting tired. I was drunk and he was sober but caffeinated by all the diet cokes he had consumed in the last several hours.

After we settled the bill at the last bar and we were walking, I realized I needed to use the restroom. He said that I should go back to his apartment. Once again, I thought this plan would be for me to use the restroom at his place, he would see how drunk I was and let me sleep over at his place and I would leave the next day. I use his restroom and when I get out of his bathroom he is standing there with his coat still on and suggested that he walk me to the subway to make sure I got home alright. That was it. I had no more plans left in me. I told him that it wasn’t necessary for him to walk me and he insisted. When I finally got home after a longer than normal commute there was a text from him asking me if I got home ok, I told him yes and that was it.

Yesterday I didn’t hear from him and I didn’t reach out to him either. I didn’t reach out because I’m not sure what’s left to say or what’s left to do. Part of me knows that this needs to come to an end and part of me knows that even if he gets the therapy that he needs that doesn’t mean it’s going to work out between us. I do know I have given everything I possibly can and at times, so has he. We have now reached the point where there is nowhere else to go. I know this and I know that he knows this but he would never address it the way that I have to.

I don’t know my next plan just yet; I do know that life never goes accordingly. I know that life can be pretty random and that we must be prepared at what is thrown at us.  Planning for our future is a smart thing to do but I guess we just all must learn that life rarely goes according to plan.

Get Happy!

It’s always far easier to dwell on the negative, to complain about what we don’t have and not look around to appreciate the things that we already have. We get so focused on ourselves and often times not pay attention to the people around us. We live in a time where narcissism is at an all-time high. Where “likes” on your Facebook or Instagram accounts quantifies your validation on this earth. Rather than staying true to the course of treating your neighbor as you, yourself, would want to be treated, I couldn’t help but wonder why it’s so hard to get happy?

Last week, I found myself starting off the week with actually being in a state of happiness. The many reasons being was that the week was filled with nothing but exciting social things for me to look forward to. I was going to be spending time with friends, going away for the weekend and ending it with hanging out with Mr. D. I knew exactly all that I needed to be grateful for.

It all started off with seeing a girlfriend of mine for some wine in Chelsea at the wine bar, Bar Veloce. We ordered a bottle and immediately began updating each other on our jobs and of course the status of our relationships. While she was in a more committed, official and understood relationship; what I had to bring to the table was a little bit more complicated. She had actually met Mr. D. last year briefly but a lot has changed since then for everyone. It was so good to see my friend whom I hadn’t seen in over a year, even though she lives in Brooklyn, be so happy with her life and the current state that it’s in. After we said goodbye, I got a cab for her and I took the subway home and knew that this week was going to be an amazing one.

The next day, I was at work and in a meeting when I got an instant message from Mr. D. saying that he forget his client was coming in the office today and that he wasn’t properly dressed for it. He asked me if I had time during lunch to quickly help him pick out some clothes. Seeing how he doesn’t like to spend a lot of money on his attire, I figured the best place to take him would be Banana Republic. So, we quickly rushed over to the store and I began picking out a dress shirt and pair of slacks for him. Once we picked a few options, he went in the dressing room to try the clothes on and I waited outside. It was at that moment that I looked in the mirror and was smiling. At first I didn’t know why I was smiling but I discovered that it was because I was happy that Mr. D. not only asked for my help with the clothes but really valued my opinion. He came out and asked what I thought and he liked the clothes that I had picked out for him. We went to the register to pay for the clothes and when the bill came up, he looked at me and said he’s never paid that much for clothes. I thought it wasn’t that expensive but he is a man of simple taste and afterwards he thanked me a few times for helping him out.

After work that day, I met up with Feathers, his husband and a girlfriend of mine for a quick dinner before heading to Broadway. As a gift to Feathers for his 50th birthday a few weeks ago, I got him tickets with the help of another friend, to see the show, Aladdin. It was rather fun for us to see a show that reminded us of our childhood and after the show we all parted ways.

On Thursday, work was super stressful and I was craving a drink. One of my friends just happened to contact me during the day and asked if we could do happy hour. I instantly accepted and we went to our usual spot, Rise Bar. While at the bar, we were having our drinks when I got a random text message from Mr. D. He asked me where I lived. I wasn’t sure why he was asking but I’ve told him a million times my cross streets. He was being vague and said, “Well, your apartment must be nice for I still haven’t seen it.” I casually joked with him and told him that he’s more than welcome to come by anytime. He said, “Awww…that’s very sweet of you.” I’m not sure when that time will come when he will be over at my apartment but I’m thinking that it’s in the very near future. After a few drinks with my friend, we hugged goodbye and I knew that things were really starting to fall into place and I couldn’t be happier.

Next morning, I woke up and it was a snowy wintery mix and it made me nervous because a lot of my friends would be traveling that afternoon and I wanted everyone to be safe. Thankfully by noon, the weather had cleared up and we were on our way to the weekend.

The weekend was going to consist of about 20 of us going to small town in Pennsylvania called, New Hope. We had rented out lodges and the reason for this trip was to celebrate our friends 40th birthday. I had taken a bus with a friend of mine and we tried to sleep for most of the way there since we knew that it was going to be a crazy first night there. True to form, my friend and I were the last to arrive and the party was already started. We checked into our room, changed and went to the lodge’s bar properly named, The Cub Room. The birthday boy was so delighted to see most of his friends all come together for the weekend. We ended up staying up super late and I knew that the next day we all were going to wake up feeling rather hungover.

On Saturday, despite us all being hungover, we managed to pull it together and went to brunch. After brunch, I volunteered to watch my friend’s two and a half year old son while the others walked around town and did antique shopping. It was actually rather easy to watch the kid and take our time while the others were shopping. Finally toward the end of the afternoon, we all got together and had a few drinks before needing to head back to the hotel in order to get ready and go back into town for the birthday dinner. The dinner was amazing and we were there for a couple of hours. It was non-stop drinking and eating and then we all retreated back to our rooms, changed clothes again and went across the street to the dance club, The Raven, where we danced and I was so exhausted that I retreated back to the room and was passed out by 2:30 a.m.

The next morning, we all checked-out of our rooms, had brunch and during brunch it was decided that since I wasn’t drinking and the least hungover that I would drive my friends car back to the city/Brooklyn where she lives. Before we started the drive back, I confirmed with Mr. D. that our plans were still on for that evening when I got back to the city. The plan was to figure out something cheap and relaxing to do since he knew I was going to be coming back in a pretty bad state from all the weekend festivities. The drive back took a little over two hours and most of my friends slept the entire way. So, it actually was rather nice to just have me, the road, my friends silently sleeping and my thoughts.

When I arrived in Brooklyn, I dropped myself off at Mr. D.’s apartment building with my luggage from the weekend and I rang his buzzer. He let me in and I dropped my stuff off and we decided to get some beverages and walk around the area. He took me to one of his local coffee shops where I got a hot chocolate and he got a coffee. Like most of our adventures together, he paid and I just found that very kind of him. We talked about our weekends, work and what the week ahead looked like for us. He showed me this antique store and as we were walking, I realized that one of my friends actually owns a bakery in his neighborhood. So, we found the address and walked over to the, Sweethaus bakery. I was showing him the bakery and all the delicious goodies when I saw the owner’s husband whom I’ve known for many years was working. I introduced Mr. D. and the husband hooked us up with some more coffee and treats and I just let them do all the talking while I watched with happiness, Mr. D. interacting with a friend of mine. After we left the bakery, we started to walk back to his apartment because I was exhausted and needed to go home and get rest. We confirmed our plans for this Friday and once again, he was kind enough to walk me all the way back to the subway station. We hugged goodbye and I thanked him for the walk and the hot chocolate and in return he thanked me for introducing me to one of my friends.

Being happy, staying happy and getting happy are not as easy as one would think. It requires patience, surrounding yourself with the right people to enrich your life and making sure that what you do in this life that you not only appreciate all that you have now but that you will be able to recognize that happiness when it finally comes your way. So, what are you waiting for? Come on and get happy!

Diamond in the Rough

Every single one of us experiences some sort of insecurity. Whether it’s our looks, our jobs, where we live or even who we date. And often times, we project our own insecurities onto others in order for ourselves to feel better about a situation that isn’t anyone’s responsibility except our own. It’s our job to take what makes us feel insecure and turn that into something beautiful, unique and rare…just like a diamond.

As we see February come to a close, I can’t help but be grateful for the current state of where things are. The city didn’t suffer a massive winter and we only managed to get by with experiencing only one blizzard which is a rarity for the east coast. What I’m also grateful for is how well this year has been so far, granted, we are only finishing up the second month but if the rest of the year is going to have this tone to it than I’m ready for whatever lies ahead.

Two Sunday’s ago, I attended another comedy show with Mr. D. and once again, found myself having a wonderful time with his company. Having a wonderful time with him isn’t something out of the ordinary but I do know that it’s rare for me to have such a connection with someone like this. There are times where I feel insecure with the way I look and my lack of education but he never makes me feel that way…it’s my own way of thinking. He has never once said anything negative about what I feel insecure about, in fact, he does the opposite. He praises me at how I’ve done something with my life from moving to the city at 18 years of age with only a high school education and how everything I have or done is because I did it and no one else. He gives me compliments and while that is a huge help; I know it’s me that needs to work on gaining more confidence.

The week started off with work being really hectic and I was worried that the entire week would keep at a rapid pace. By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was in desperate need for a drink. So, I sent a text message to my friend who lives in the area, and he kindly met me at Rise Bar for a few drinks, we updated each other on our lives and while he isn’t too excited that Mr. D. is back in my life again, I know that all he wants for me is to be happy and I can say that right now…I am happy. We all want more out of life and we will continue to strive for that but I am rather content at the moment. We hugged goodbye after a few drinks and I went home to get some rest for I had an early meeting the next day.

It amazed me at how quickly Thursday had presented itself but there it was. I managed to get through my early morning meeting without much fanfare and proceeded to work when half-way through the day I got a message from Mr. D. asking me how my day was going and if I had any evening plans. It turned out that I didn’t have any plans that evening except for the gym. He asked me if I was interested in joining him at the Harvard Club that evening to take a water color painting class. The minute I read his message, I instantly got nervous. I got nervous because my own insecurity of my lack of education and I literally felt like a diamond in the rough. He asked me if I was wearing jeans that day because the club has a no jeans policy. It turns out that I was wearing jeans that day at the office and so he said I could go home and change because the Harvard Club is on 44th Street near my apartment. Before I agreed to attend the class, I asked him if they will ask about my education and what exactly I should wear since I don’t have any blazers with gold emblems on them. He laughed and assured me that they will not be asking about my educational background and will not care what I wear as long as it’s not jeans. He also said we are attending a water coloring class not some financial advisory board meeting.

So, I left work a little early, went to the gym to work off some of my anxiety and then went home to get ready. I didn’t know what to wear and so I pulled out a nice cardigan, button down shirt and black pants. I figured I can at least look like I’m going to a private school or something along those lines. We met in front of the Harvard Club building at 6:45 p.m. and the class was starting at 7. He showed me around a little bit but said he’d give me the full tour after the class. As we walked to the class, I was so nervous and he could tell. I was afraid to be myself around all these well educated people and I tried to listen to other people’s conversations and I just felt like it might be too advanced so I just paid more attention to the architecture of this beautiful building.

It was time for the class and we sat at a table while an instructor gave us tips on how to water color. Our assignment was to paint something that deals with the winter and nature elements. I was too nervous during class and wasn’t really paying attention so as everyone was painting, I began to look around at everyone’s paintings and everyone seemed to be painting things like pine trees, mountains, pine cones and I was painting a beach that had the ocean, sunset and palm trees. Half way through the class, the teacher said that we will all be presenting our pictures to the class. I took my cardigan off because I was now sweating bullets because I was going to have the one painting that didn’t look like everyone else’s.

The course was winding down and it was time to present our pictures. When it was my time, Mr. D. just smiled and said that it’s all going to be fine and not to worry. Easier said than done and the teacher saw my painting and politely said that she liked my use of vibrant colors and that while it wasn’t exactly what she was asking for she appreciated my style and my uniqueness; a diamond in the rough indeed.

After class was done, Mr. D. took the time to show me around the building. I was floored by the architecture and the history as we went floor by floor of the building. Before we parted ways, I thanked him for taking someone like me to a place like that. He wasn’t sure why I was thanking him when it was him that should be thanking me for attending and making it fun.

I woke up the next morning on Friday feeling confident about myself and I looked at my painting and smiled at how even though I went off the course; I managed to feel proud of what I did. Work went by quickly and I was eagerly looking forward to the weekend for several reasons. One of them being that I would be taking Mr. D. to drag queen bingo on Saturday and the other was that I was going to force myself to not get drunk or waste days with being hungover. I was going to be productive.

Toward the end of the work day on Friday, my friend sent me a text message asking if we could do happy hour and I instantly responded with: YES! Once again, I found myself at Rise Bar, with me and my two friends. We talked about vacations, dates and the weekend ahead. Naturally, the topic of Mr. D. came up but I know they don’t want to know about what is going on unless it goes to the next level or if he disappears from my life all together. I respect their wishes and there are plenty of other things to talk about besides boys. After a few drinks, we all had dinner at Vinyl and after dinner I went home since I had to be up early the next morning to go to Brooklyn to get my taxes done. I was going home on a Friday night before midnight and I wasn’t even drunk. My plan for a productive weekend was in full effect.

The next morning I was up the earliest I had been in a long time. I did my laundry, cleaned the apartment and then jumped on the subway to go to Brooklyn to pick-up my taxes from a guy that I have been going to for many years now. On the train ride back to the city, I got a text message from Mr. D. asking the time and location for bingo. I gave it to him and he said he was excited. Once I got back into the city, I did some much needed shopping and went home to take a quick nap. When I woke up, I got a message from Mr. D. saying that he does have a birthday party after bingo and so I suggested we can reschedule if it’s too much for him to come into the city for bingo to then go back to Brooklyn where his birthday was going to be. He said that he respects my time and realizes how valuable it is and that he’s looking forward to bingo. He really has changed since becoming sober. The old Mr. D. would’ve canceled at the last minute or done something to piss me off.

We arrived at bingo and were seated with two women from Canada. As the game started, we were all excited to win the cheesy prizes that were being handed out. The first half of the game, no one from our table won anything or even came close and yet we were still having a wonderful time. In between games, Mr. D. and I chatted, laughed and I knew that I was having a great time and Mr. D. told me a few times throughout the evening that he was having a blast!

Then it was time for the final game of bingo and this was for the grand prize of $125.00!!! The room was quite because everyone wanted that money and everyone no longer focused on their cocktails but their bingo cards in front of them. I wasn’t even paying attention to see how Mr. D. was doing with his board. Then out of the blue he yelled: BINGO!!! He ran up on stage and I followed behind to take pictures of him accepting the cash. Our table was so happy that he won; they even assumed that we were a couple and he didn’t flinch at their suspicion. When he came back to our table, I gave him a big hug and the bingo game was over with. As we were standing outside laughing at how he won the jackpot, he looked at me and said, “I always seem to have the best luck when I’m with you.” It was the perfect way to end the evening. We hugged goodbye and he went to his birthday party and I thought of going out for a few drinks but opted to just go home and end the night on a high note.

Yesterday was a unique day for the city and it being February because the temperature was going to reach almost 60 degrees. I decided to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and walk endlessly around the city before needing to settle in to watch the Oscars. A few nice text messages were exchanged between Mr. D. and me yesterday and when he asked when we could hang out again, I told him not till this Sunday due to so many social obligations this week and weekend. He said that was very far away but he will manage.

While there will be many moments in our lives where we feel like diamonds in the rough, that is when we take those negative moments and thoughts and turn them into something beautiful, unique and rare…just like a diamond.

Possibly Maybe

They say in life that there are no guarantees and that nothing lasts forever. Yet, in this life there is also an endless amount of possibilities to which we are to try and do our best to achieve. So, there you have it, an even paradox split. We have one side telling us that nothing is promised in this life and at the same time we are to live our lives to the fullest. Possibly maybe we are just living our lives the way the universe is telling us. How we know this? We don’t.  The best we can do is smile and see where the wind takes us next…

Two weekends ago I spent it at Feather’s country house and while it was relaxing, it was hard for me to focus on not spilling the beans on his surprise 50th birthday that we were having for him on Tuesday. We did everything that weekend to keep busy in order to avoid a conversation about his birthday. Somehow and someway we all managed to keep the secret from him. We all knew that it was going to be a surprise for him that he couldn’t comprehend.

I came back from the country on Sunday otherwise known as Valentine’s Day. I had plans to see Mr. D. that evening but he sent me a message saying that he got food poisoning and that if we could postpone until the next day, which we had off from work due to President’s Day. I was fine with that change of plans and instead contacted a friend of mine where we had drinks at the bar, Rise, and I was home by a descent hour.

Sunday I woke up and was feeling excited to see Mr. D. and also a little worried that our plans might get canceled due to nasty weather that we were having.  However, I got a message from him confirming that he was feeling better and that he was up for seeing a movie for the nasty weather was perfect for keeping out of the cold. I met him in Williamsburg around 5 p.m. and I got the tickets and he got the snacks. To my shock, he actually wanted to see a romantic comedy with me. During the movie, we smiled at each other and picked at each other’s snacks. After the movie was over with, he walked me to the subway station. On the walk to the subway, he said, “Next time, we really have to hang out in your area. And again, I’ve never been to your apartment.” Then to my surprise, he asked me what I was doing on Wednesday and if I wanted to hang out. To which I said that I was free. We hugged goodbye and when I got home and warmed up; I sent him a text thanking him for seeing the movie with me. To which he replied, “Glad you got home safely. I like seeing romantic comedies with you. It’s fun!”

The next night was the surprise birthday party for Feathers. We had rented out an art gallery in the West Village. The plan was to have all the guests arrive ahead of time and me, Feather’s husband and our other friend pick Feather’s up at his apartment and see an art gallery show before heading to dinner. He had bought the entire plan and so, we picked him up at his apartment as planned and then got a cab heading to the space. I walked ahead of him and up the stairs to the gallery and we all turned around and yelled, “SURPRISE!” He started to shake and then proceeded to cry endlessly and those tears came in and out throughout the entire evening. He was shocked, surprised and above all else…grateful. He was worried that no one really cared about him and that his birthday was going to come and go. The night was perfect and it was such a great experience to see my friend so happy and emotional.

On Wednesday, work was really busy but somehow I managed to leave at 5 p.m. and Mr. D. had originally suggested that we talk a nice walk heading uptown and then arrive at a coffee shop to chat. We started to walk and as we were walking, we were discussing what we were going to wear on Friday, for it was our office’s annual winter gala. He told me about his suit and when I asked him about what shoes and belt he was going to wear, he said he hadn’t thought about that.  I suggested that since we have the time that we just head to Union Square and do a little shopping for him. It was fun shopping and picking things out for him. He got two pair of shoes and a belt. After the shopping, he suggested dinner and we went to Spice for some delicious Thai food. During dinner, we talked about music, our travel plans and everything just seemed to fall into place. I can’t put into words what is different but something does feel different this time around. When the bill arrived, he grabbed the check and said, “No. This one is on me.” I thanked him and we talked a bit more outside before heading for home.

Friday, the night of our office winter gala and the event was being held at Chelsea Piers. It was gorgeous and the free food and booze were flowing. I didn’t eat much and instead to opt for drinking and dancing. It was a fun night had by all. After the gala there was an after party held at, Gaslight, and there everyone was really feeling the festivities and I realized that I needed to take myself home. Mr. D. left before I did and as he was leaving he asked if we could hang out this Sunday. I think I agreed but it was a little fuzzy as to what my exact response was. When I got home he made sure I got home safely and then I passed out.

I woke up on Saturday not feeling my best but knew that I had several hours to get my act together before needing to meet friends for dinner and drinks that night. The reason for the dinner was because we were celebrating another friend of mine’s birthday. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull through for the evening but after my first margarita I was feeling back to normal again. After dinner, we went to the bar, DBL, which was followed by ending up at the birthday boys favorite bar, The Eagle. Somewhere a little after 2 a.m. I said my goodbyes and took my ass home.

Yesterday, once again waking up a little groggy, I forced myself to the gym, did my laundry and got a text from Mr. D. saying, “What do you wanna do?” I gave him some suggestions and he suggested that we try to do another comedy show for he wanted me to have a better experience than the last time when we went a few weeks ago. I arrived at his apartment at 8 p.m. and there we chatted about the party, our weekends and he showed me that he wears a shirt I got him last year to the gym. It was time to leave for the comedy show and thankfully it’s in walking distance from his apartment. As we were walking there he suggested we get a snack before the show. He, once again, paid for the snacks and now it was time for the comedy show to begin. We watched the show for about an hour and it was getting late. He, once again, walked me to the subway station. He said that he promises the next time we hang out will be in my area. We hugged goodbye and when I got down in the subway station, I realized that not only did I not have enough money on my metro card but that the metro card kiosk was down. I didn’t know what to do and thankfully a nice guy saw my distress and he let me use his metro card and I got home all in one piece. When I got home I sent a thank you message and told Mr. D. about my episode on the subway. He responded with that next time he will make sure I physically get through the subway turnstiles. It was a nice way to end the weekend and with all the possibly maybe scenarios.

I have no idea where this time around with Mr. D. will go. As we all know there are no promises, guarantees or even glimpses into the future. What I do know is that for now I’m happy with the slow process of getting reacquainted and possibly maybe this time around just might work itself out.

 

You’ve Got Mail

Texts, emails, instant messaging, Facetime, Skype and the list goes on and on as ways that we currently communicate with one another. It used to be that you would rush home to see if your answering machine was blinking a red light to let you know that someone left a message for you. Now, with the many forms of communication that we have access to; I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s helping us express ourselves or making us lazy?

Two Sundays ago, I was back in familiar grounds by spending time with Mr. D. He had taken me to a comedy show near his apartment and the way that he was back in my life wasn’t from a text or an email but rather an actual face to face conversation held in our office elevator. It was like a scene in a movie where I was already in the elevator and as the doors were closing…he appeared. Or rather in this case, the doors were closing on him and he put his arm through to re-open the doors but I like to see the glass as half-full.

After a fun time of reconnecting that evening, the next day he had ask me to send him an email regarding his summer house and to which he replied with, “Last Sunday was fun. Wanna do it again?” Two little sentences that I wasn’t sure had a bigger meaning. I was hesitant to say yes right away given that it was the Superbowl Sunday he was wanting to hangout and I was certain he would’ve had plans already with his friends. I waited a couple of hours for it to all sink in and I responded with, “Sounds good.” Two little words from me that had potential for a bigger meaning.

The rest of the week was spent with us both working feverishly at the office and then on Wednesday, I got a text from him telling me that he had just left a drawing class. A drawing class? Who was this man? In the time that I had known him, a drawing class would be the last thing that I imagined he would be doing with his free time. I told him that he was surprising me with this activity and all he could say was, “I’m still the same silly guy you know.” It was a relief that even through his sobriety that he is still remaining the same person that would do little things to make me laugh. I decided to leave the conversation as is and went to bed.

On Friday, we, once again bumped into each other on the street near our office and that is where he asked me if we could change our plans to meet on Saturday rather than Sunday. I didn’t really have any solid plans on Saturday that I couldn’t shift and I told him that it was fine.  I didn’t see him for the rest of the day and after work; I went home to get ready for happy hour near my apartment.

I met some friends at, Rise Bar, near my apartment and some other friends of mine joined us whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. We toasted their news of engagement and house hunting and after a few drinks; decided that we should go bowling. We all bowled and while I was bowling, I got a text from Mr. D. saying that he really dislikes a coworker of ours for she destroyed his work on a pitch that is happening at the end of this week. From this message, I gathered that he was planting the seed that he would either cancel our plans all together or that they would be altered someway. With all the forms of communication, it’s amazing at how we still can either predict what is going to happen next or end up lost in the dark. After bowling, in which I came in second place, we stopped off at the bar, DBL, for one beer and then onto our last stop of, Ninth Avenue Saloon. There we found seats in the back and proceeded to drink ourselves into a very drunken state. It was there that I decided to tell my friends that I was going to be seeing Mr. D. at some point that weekend. It was also there that my friend (the same friend from the previous weekend who gave me the big speech) gave me my second big speech of what exactly my intentions are with Mr. D. It was drunken talk and not a lot got resolved with the exception of that this is something that I have to do. As we stumbled out of the bar, we said our goodbyes and I got my friend a cab and sent him downtown to meet another set of friends. I walked several blocks home hoping the cold city air would sober me.

The next day I woke up moving rather slow and I had no one to blame but myself. I did laundry and attempted a quick two mile run at the gym but quickly rushed home to shower before meeting my friend for lunch in Chelsea. Over lunch, we updated each other on our lives and it was nice to finally be able to do that face to face rather than emails or this here blog. After lunch, I got home to force myself to take a nap and during my nap, I woke up to a text from Mr. D. and he has definitely learned from my quick temper how to handle things. He had messaged me earlier in the day to tell me that due to the coworker that destroyed his work the previous day, that he is working over the weekend and when he and I can actually meet will determine when he gets done. So, his message to me started with, “Hi there…now don’t get mad but…” He had to move our meeting till Sunday due to work and he was going to be at the office rather late on Saturday. I found it funny that after all this time he knows how much I don’t like it when plans shift. I gave him some words of encouragement and told him that I would be seeing him the next day. At least our communication has improved. He thanked me for understanding and after that; I forced myself to get ready.

That night, I met up with the same friends from the night before. We were all exhausted from our bar hopping and bowling from the previous night yet we went back to, Ninth Avenue Saloon, sat at the bar for two beers and I took my tired ass home.

I woke up yesterday still feeling exhausted but at least I was no longer hungover. I had several errands to run, so I showered, got dressed and did some shopping down in Union Square. While shopping, I began messaging with Mr. D. and he said I can swing by his apartment around 3:30 or 4 that afternoon since I needed to be in Brooklyn to go to my friend’s apartment to watch the game.

Knowing how hard he had been working all weekend long, I decided to stop off at the bodega on his corner and get him a Diet Coke and Peanut M&M’s.  When I arrived he was just getting out of the shower and opened the door and I could instantly tell that he was happy to see me. We hugged and he was happy that I had brought over some snacks for us. As we sat and had our snacks, we talked about our weekends and he didn’t have the television on and I asked him to turn the television on for I needed noise. As he was flipping through the channels, the movie, You’ve Got Mail, was on. He looked at me and said, “I bet this is something you like.” He was right. We sat there and watched the movie. The entire time we looked at each other and either smiled or laughed and during commercial breaks, we would talk or he would do things to make me laugh. I felt like he was extra flirtatious, maybe it was me being there or maybe it was the banter between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, either way…I was happy.

After the movie was over with, I needed to now get back to the city since the plans had shifted from watching the game in Brooklyn to back in the city. He was getting his coat and shoes on as I was getting ready to leave his apartment and I told him that I knew where the subway was and he said, “No…I will walk you.” During our walk, he mentioned how I never invite him over to my apartment or even in my neighborhood. He was right because I’ve never offered up my apartment or to even hang out in my area the entire time we’ve known each other. I’m not sure the real reason behind it but I told him that next time, we can certainly hang out in my area. At one point during our walk to the subway, he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and said, “This feels wrong. We are walking on the wrong side of each other.” I have this very odd thing where I prefer if people walk on my left side and I couldn’t believe that he remembered that. After we switched sides, he said, “There…that feels better.” When we got to the subway station, we hugged and he thanked me for coming over even though it was brief.

I arrived at my friend’s apartment just in time for kick-off and we had snacks, ordered Chinese food and when I was asked what I did with my day; I told them all where I had been prior. My friends had a few questions for me but all in all, I think the news went over without much fanfare. An hour into the game I got a text message from Mr. D. He was asking if I was having a good time with my friends. I told him that I was having a nice time and asked how he was doing. He said he was doing great and his last message to me was, “This afternoon was terrific!” And he was right, the afternoon was terrific. After the game, I went home and realized that with all our forms of communication that what it really boils down to is our delivery in our message. What point do you want to make, the tone and how you want to be represented. It’s unfortunate that we no longer use these three little words to express communication in the digital age but something about saying it takes us back to a simpler time and those words are…”You’ve Got Mail.”

Treading Lightly

It’s been a month since I last written a single word for the blog and in many ways I needed to take a break because my world was getting rather intense. From work to surviving the holidays and then once the New Year began, I went back and forth with whether or not I wanted to continue with the blog. Turns out that I’ve decided to tread lightly with easing back into writing and continuing with this journey.

When I last left the blog, I was probably in one my darkest moments that I had been in a very long time. Thankfully, I had the support of my friends, family and the readers to push me through the darkness to somehow ending up on a lighter note. What I learned from that period in my life was that even when we think we are alone…there is someone out there to listen, to support and to love. As I tread lightly back into the world of writing and what the year ahead holds for me; I admit that I’m more excited to see what life has in store.

As January began there was still part of last year that was lingering and I wasn’t sure how to handle it. That lingering part was otherwise known as my office crush which I will now be referring to as, Mr. D. We hadn’t spoken a word to each other since September of last year which is hard to do when you work with someone that you see on a daily basis. He has never given up on trying to reach my attention at work whether it was him looking at me while I was in a meeting or even waving hello to me as I walked past his desk.  I ignored all of his advances and while I knew it was the right thing for me to do in order to move on…I was hurting inside because I wanted to talk to him, to find out how he was doing and to have our good times back again.

After the holidays when we all came back to business as usual, our relationship at the office continued the way it had been for the past four months. Then this past Wednesday at the office, I was going downstairs to grab my second cup of coffee and as the elevator doors were closing, the doors opened and there stood Mr. D. It was awkward as the floors went down and he asked what I was doing and when I told him that I was getting coffee, he asked me if he could join me and I said yes. We were walking and I realized that I left my coat upstairs and he offered me his to wear. We talked for about ten minutes and suddenly the awkwardness was gone. It felt like it had always been and when we got back upstairs he told me that it was really nice talking with me. I chose not to tell anyone about our “coffee break” because I feared what the reaction would be.

The next day, I was walking down our office hallway when I ran into Mr. D. again and we once again started talking and he was having a bad day at the office and he once again said that it was calming for him that we were talking. We had an office event that evening for a coworker and we both confirmed that we would see each other that evening. After we both walked away, I decided that it’s probably best not to talk to him at the office event for fear of the water cooler gossip.

When I arrived at the event that evening, I quickly surveyed the room and Mr. D. was nowhere to be found. I felt a huge relief because I was actually able to enjoy myself and not have to worry about having to converse with him. Then as I was walking to the bathroom, I felt someone grab my arm and it was him. He smiled and I just waved back, went to the bathroom and ignored him for the event. I did have a coworker come up to me and ask me why I was no longer talking with Mr. D. I didn’t even know this person knew who he was and this person continued to say how he thought we were so cute together. I lied and acted like I didn’t know what he was talking about. I’m not sure I convinced him of me not knowing what he was talking about but either way; I quickly left after that conversation and the event.

On Friday, I had a meeting at 4 p.m. that afternoon. This meeting was to have my tea leaves read by this amazing woman on the Upper West Side. I had gone to her in July of last year and she blew my mind away. Since then, I’ve sent four of my friends there and each one had the same experience as mine. She was accurate with her readings and everything that happened actually did happen to them. I had booked my appointment in the beginning of January since she is rather had to get an appointment with. I was nervous and also looking forward to the reading because I know you have to take the reading with a grain of salt but at the same time when you are looking for hope and guidance it can also be resourceful. I left work early and arrived at her apartment at exactly 4 p.m.

I sat down, drank my tea, took out my notebook and pen and took a deep breath before she began. I won’t go into the full details of my hour long session but what I can say is that she was accurate again with what was going on currently in my life, my thoughts that I have been feeling and even what was going on with my family. There was one point during the reading that I actually cried because she was so on target with what she was telling me. In the session, she spent a half hour on Mr. D. and she knew things about him, about us and even about the things that we have done with each other. It was at one point when she told me that she knew that we had recently started talking again and that one of our conversations took place in a hallway that I really began to get freaked out. She gave me her opinions on how to handle Mr. D. and what I should do next. I left the session feeling emotionally drained and when I got home I decided to contact Mr. D.

Within two minutes of me sending my text message to him; he responded and even wanted to meet that night. I told him that I had plans but we could do something on Sunday if he was available. I wanted to keep this very casual and with little to no pressure for I knew that the real pressure was about to come. He responded back with that he will think of something for us to do and will reach out later on.

Later that night, I was meeting a good friend of mine for some wine in my neighborhood. As we began to update each other on what was going on with our lives, I decided to tell him about my tea leaf reading and about me reaching out to Mr. D. and I appreciated him for listening and the only advice he had for me was to be very cautious. After the wine, we parted ways and I met a friend of mine at, Rise Bar, and there I danced for about thirty minutes and then went home.

The next day, I woke up with no regrets. I didn’t regret contacting Mr. D., I didn’t regret not fully finishing my book just yet because this time around I felt as if things were going to fall into place. My plans for that day was to see a movie with two of my friends and then onto some light bar hopping. I went to pick up my friend at his apartment and in the back of my mind, I knew I was going to have to tell him about me seeing Mr. D. the next day but I decided to wait until both of my friends were present because I didn’t want to repeat the story twice because I knew that I was going to be in for the lecture of my life.

We arrived at the movies but my friend that was responsible for the tickets was having train troubles and we ended up missing the movie. As we sat in the theatre reception area, drinking our sodas and eating popcorn, I knew that I had to tell them now rather than later when the alcohol would be in our bodies. As I began to tell the story about the tea leaf reading and what I had done; that is when I got the lecture that I was anticipating. My friend didn’t mince words at all, in fact he was extremely upset, angry and disappointed in me. He has every single right to feel the way he does about my seeing Mr. D. I didn’t have a case to argue and I listened to him list out every single detail as to why it’s wrong for me to be seeing Mr. D. again. He saw me at my lowest moments last year and for me to think that this time is going to be any different than last year is nothing short of being foolish.

We left the movie theatre and the lecture continued on as we made our way to the Gym Bar. I wasn’t sure if the entire evening was going to be ruined or if he was going to let it go and let me do my thing. We sat at the bar and there was still tension in the air but things began to calm down as the distraction of beer, men and televisions distracted us from the elephant in the room. I received a few more choice words from my friend as we left the bar and I wasn’t going to argue with someone that loves and cares about me so much. I knew that he was going to be the one to have the strongest reaction and it’s because in our friendship we have already endured so much together and stuck by each other through it all and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for him and his dedication.

After we were able to get passed the news, we left Gym Bar and went to The Monster where we proceeded to do tequila shots and drink beers. It was there that we ran into a guy I went on several dates with last year. He was the date that suffered from severe A.D.D. he was there with a friend of his and together we all kind of got to know each other and of course…continued to drink. Once we were done with the Monster, my other friend wanted to meet some of his friends at The Eagle. It was toward the end of the evening and I was rather exhausted but I agreed to go with him to the bar for one drink. To my surprise, that was exactly what I did. I had one beer and grabbed a cab home.

The next morning, I woke up surprisingly not hungover. I think my body didn’t allow me to be hungover because I was a ball of nerves knowing that I was going to be seeing Mr. D. after months of no communication.

I heard from him around 1:30 in the afternoon and he asked me if I minded going to Brooklyn where he lives for he wanted to see a comedy show. My original plan was to see him, catch-up and tread lightly with our situation but instead it was going to be a night filled with hardly any time to talk and laughter. The comedy show wasn’t starting till 9 p.m. so he suggested I pick him up at his apartment at 8:30 and we could go from there.

By the time I got off the L train at his stop, I was a ball of nerves. I had my friend’s words from the night before running back and forth through my head, I had my heart beating fast and even my own thoughts of what the hell was I doing. Thoughts of, “Am I going to get hurt again?” “Will this time really be different?” and “Why do I do this to myself?”

When I arrived at his building, he was already waiting outside for me. The first thing he said was, “Where is your bag? You usually always have a bag.” I wasn’t sure if he was asking because he was assuming I was going to stay the night or making small conversation. He said the show didn’t start for several minutes and we can go inside and have some green tea. Now I was back in his apartment, the same apartment I swore I would never go back inside and drinking green tea as we updated each other. He asked me if I was seeing anyone and I told him that I wasn’t and when I asked him the same question he responded back with the same answer. We talked about our lives and finally it was time to go to the comedy show.

He paid for the tickets and even the drinks. He is still sober and I stuck with two beers. During the show he was attentive and we both had a good time. After the show, he said he would walk me to the subway station. I told him that it wasn’t necessary but he insisted and instead of walking to the subway that was only two blocks away we walked to another subway station that was a longer distance away so we could talk.

During our walk, he asked me why I contacted him again. I mentioned the tea leaf reading and he said how grateful he was that I reached out. He said he was afraid that we would only talk at the office and how much he missed me. He also said that he loved me and when he said that, I ignored those words, as usual and just stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. I said, “Can you at least, for once, admit that our relationship is different and complicated and that I’m not making this up in my mind.” He smiled and said, “Yes. Of course I can admit that.” We arrived at the subway station and then he asked if we could walk around the block to talk a bit more. So, we walked around the block and there he thanked me again for allowing me back in his life. I told him that I’m not sure how much more he will be involved but that I had a wonderful time and thanked him for the show and I also mentioned how my friends are anti us hanging out. He shrugged and said even though he understands; he still thought my friends were rather nice to him. He hugged me for a long time and watched me as I walked down into the subway. The entire ride home I was replaying all the good and bad scenarios in my head. I was doing my best to just focus on the time we just had and kept repeating to myself to “tread lightly.”

This morning, we saw each other and he said he had a nice time and we both told each other how busy we were with work. I’m fully prepared to get an ear full from everyone that reads this and everyone that hears about our reunion.

Treading lightly on any situation is never easy especially in a city like New York where everything moves at such a rapid pace. What I know is that I had a good time, I laughed, I smiled and I’m going to do my best to tread lightly.

Deeper and Deeper

 

Where to begin? It’s been the longest I’ve been away from the blog and there were moments while I was away that I missed writing and moments where I could see myself shutting the blog down all together. There have been over 170 entries since this blog was created and in that time there have been some of the worse dates I’ve ever experienced and then there was also a complicated love that came out of it. As I debated on whether or not I should shut down the blog; I dug deeper and deeper into my belief system and I realized that I must continue writing and continue to search for that great love.

Ever since my last entry back in early November, I was getting emails from around the world from readers asking me if I was alright, what was going to happen next and if I was going to cancel the blog all together. Every single time I received a correspondence, I didn’t know how to answer because that was how lost I was in my life. I began to suffer from severe depression and I was doing my best to hide it from the world. Over the course of several weeks, there were days where I didn’t shower or eat. One of the hardest parts for me as I went through my depression was trying to hide it from those close to me. To not let them see how much I was suffering. I disguised it at work which was the most exhausting part for I was doing my best to avoid my office crush, with whom I haven’t spoken to in over two months and no one in my office knew just how bad off I actually was because I was acting my ass off. Then when the work day was over with, I would go home and crawl into bed and hide from my friends and the city that I love.

I knew exactly where my depression was stemming from and it simply has been a rather rough year. Between the roller coaster relationship with my office crush, losing a friend unexpectedly, a job that I’m not passionate about and then dealing with a major case of identity theft that is still continuing to haunt me. Throughout all the trials and tribulations, I’ve never once cried and I’ve never released any emotions but instead whenever I was out socially; I would appear that my life was in order. I would smile, tell jokes and be the person that everyone has known since the beginning and finally it became very exhausting being this certain person that was internally suffering.

I’ve only told a few friends close to me about my depression and my thoughts on how I was handling it but knowing how serious depression can affect the person suffering but those around them, I decided to write about it. What had me so concerned was knowing how many people I have in my life that do love me and yet with all this love; still feeling alone. It was my first time experiencing that emotion and I didn’t know how to process it. Each day for the past couple of months, my darkness continued to get deeper and deeper and about five weeks ago, I met a close friend of mine who had just returned from an extensive trip overseas and as I was explaining to him what I was going through; he began to tear up and told me that I’m not allowed to leave him. I’ve always known how much my friends care for me but seeing my friend react that way made me want to try a little harder and to not give up completely for there might be some fight in me left.

My heart still hasn’t fully been able to let go of my office crush but as each day and now month continues to go by; it seems to be getting easier. Naturally, there will be good days and bad days and he hasn’t stopped once with trying to get my attention at the office. Anywhere from a smile as we are passing by each other or to a wave but I ignore all his advances which isn’t easy to do at all for my heart wants to smile back but my head refuses to let him back in. I realize that in the next year, I will most likely need to find a new job in order to not deal with him on a daily basis for it’s not doing either one of us any good. While some might think that it’s giving him power; it’s more about me trying to move forward with my life and discover happiness again.

For many months now, everyone has had an opinion on my love life and the main opinion was that I needed to get back out there and date again. I was reluctant to put myself back out there again, given my mental state but I decided to go against my better judgment and I let a former co-worker set me up on a date. The guy she was setting me up with was a friend of her friends; so technically, she has never met this man before. The correspondence between me and this man had been going on for over two weeks, mainly our exchange was via text and he appeared to be both witty and had manners, which is really important to me.

From our text message exchange (yes, he sent pictures and was alright looking), I learned that he was an older man, in his early 50’s and has been in the city since 1982. I also learned that he works down on Wall Street, working in finance and that he lives in the West Village. After the two weeks of text messaging and determining when I could even find the time to meet him, I finally agreed to meet him last Tuesday.

He selected a wine bar on Greenwich Avenue called, Gottino, and I was rather pleased because this was a date where a man had actually selected a place rather than the famous line of, “I don’t care where we meet. You pick a place.” I arrived at 6:45 on the dot, just like he requested and I was there before he was. He was only a couple of minutes late and when he arrived, there was already two strikes against him:

  1. He was much shorter than he told me. He said he was 5’11 and he was shorter than I was.
  2. There was something wrong with his left eye…it didn’t move.

Both of his strikes were focused on his looks and I instantly felt guilty about that, so I took a deep breath and told myself to get to know the person even if I wasn’t physically attracted to him. I offered my hand out to him to shake and introduced myself but his first sentence to me was, “You don’t want to shake my hand for I’m all sweaty. Actually, I’m sweaty all over.” Granted, we’ve been having unusual weather for this time of year but wasn’t sure why he was sweating so much.

Based on how hyper he was acting, I wasn’t sure if this man had drank a ton of coffee before arriving or did some sort of drugs. Once again, I told myself that maybe he was nervous and to try and help him calm down. He asked me what kind of wine I liked and before I could respond he said, “Actually, we are going to order a bottle of white wine. Not too sweet but just let me do the ordering.” In my head, I already wanted to have one glass and leave as fast as I could but I allowed him to order the bottle.

As he we took our first sip of wine, he began to tell me all about himself. He told me about his college years, how he moved to New York, his travel plans and then he dropped the first bomb of the evening by saying that he’s in an open relationship. He said he didn’t tell me over text because he was afraid at how I was going to react. However, his open relationship only allows him to sleep with other men but not to get too emotionally involved because the partner (whom he doesn’t live with) suffers from severe depression and is on medication that doesn’t allow his partner to perform sexual acts. I grabbed the bottle of wine and poured myself a second glass for I hadn’t even spoken barely two sentences because this man was speaking a mile a minute.

He asked me if I had a problem with him and I just being physical with each other, to which I said, “Well, we will never be getting physical with each other, so there really aren’t any issues here.” He laughed and said for me to keep drinking and I might change my mind. It was now time for this man to drop his second bomb of the evening and that was to tell me that his dad is still alive and lives in a retirement center down in Florida. His dad is the retirement center’s main man and by that, I mean that his dad tells his son about his sexual experiences down in the retirement home. I said, “You’re dad still is having sex?” That is when my date dropped his third bomb  to which he said that he goes down to Mexico once a year to get his supply of “V” for both him and his father. I didn’t know what “V” stood for and now I do…Viagra. I asked if my date needed to use Viagra and he said, “I don’t’ need it all the time but every now and I again, I need it.” I shook my head and that is when he said, “But trust me, you aren’t too far down the road from needing this yourself.” I told him that there was nothing wrong with my body and that I won’t need “V” anytime in the near future. This man was out of his mind and now he was being rather rude.

Finally, we finished  and got the bill and I was relieved to be leaving this heinous date that was making me more and more depressed as each minute went by. Then the date said, “Let’s have one more glass and then I will tell you my plans.” I told him that I didn’t want another glass and that I was leaving. We settled the bill and as we were putting on our coats outside of the wine bar, I said, “Have a good night.” I turned to walk toward Seventh Avenue to try and catch a cab when he began to walk with me and grabbed my butt and I told him to stop it. In a very confident manner he said, “Here’s the plan, we are going to go back to my place and fool around and then we will order in food for which I will pay for.” I told him that we aren’t doing any of those plans and began to walk away, he grabbed my butt again and that is when I grabbed his wrist and told him to never touch me again. I was now officially pissed off and no longer in the mood for his attitude. He looked shocked but said, “Hey, I don’t think you are in any position to be acting like a prude. I could get a younger guy over at my place in an hour.” I told him, “I’m sure you could and only if you paid for it.” Thankfully, a cab arrived just as I said that to him and I got in the cab and went home. I called my friend in the cab ride home and she apologized profusely and vowed never to interfere with my dating life again.

Over the past six days, I attended twelve parties and I had fun at all of them because I was surrounded by such amazing people but naturally, I’m exhausted. I was doing ok with keeping busy and not focusing on my depression and things were actually starting to get better which I was grateful for. Then, last Friday, as the work day was starting to come to an end, my office crush came by my desk in front of my other coworkers, grabbed my arm and said, “I just want to tell you, Merry Christmas and to be safe.” I didn’t say a word and he walked away. I didn’t know how to process it; it was a nice gesture and hearing that come from him after months of not hearing anything from him, it made me feel all sorts of emotions. Two hours later, I sent him a text message and thanked him for his kind words to which he said, “I meant every word. Have a wonderful holiday.” I didn’t respond back and there really is nothing left to say. The rest of the weekend was spent attending parties with my friends and as I prepare myself to travel back west to see family; I couldn’t help but be grateful. I know in a million ways that I’m fortunate for my experiences not just in this past year but in my entire life.

I’m blessed to have people that not only believe in me but that want me to continue to fight and I will do my best. Thank you for the readers out there that care so much and for my friends and family without any of you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Where is that exactly? I can’t answer that but with each day we will try to get better.

As we all know, this time of year especially can be hard on people that suffer from depression and if you can, do your best to reach out, to show your support and your love; for it goes a lot farther than you think, in fact, it goes deeper and deeper into that persons soul.

The Big Picture

“This too shall pass…”, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…”, “God only gives us what we can handle…” and of course, “Everything happens for a reason.” We have all used these adages when it came time to help a loved one that was going through tough times. However, it’s a little trickier when we need to use these adages on ourselves. When we are in the storm it’s hard at times to see which direction the wind is going to take us. In fact, it’s all these adages that lead us to, what most refer to as…The Big Picture.

My Big Picture started over eight months ago when I allowed an office crush to turn into more than just a crush. I allowed myself to fall in love with him and I allowed him to fall in love with me. And over several months, somehow I endured all the ups and downs. I wasn’t proud of some of the things I allowed my office crush to get away with but I was too far into the storm to see that there would be light at the end of this tunnel.  However, if we are speaking in, “Big Picture” terms than most can say that I brought this on myself. There is certainly truth to that last statement which brings us to the latest installment of this roller coaster.

I took last week off to write UpDateNYC due to some interesting news that I received from my office crush. Two Monday’s ago, we still weren’t on speaking terms, in fact it was one of our longest times not communicating with each other. Like our entire relationship, I was wondering how he was going to find a way to sneak back into my life and two Monday’s ago…I got my answer.

The work day was just about to end that Monday when I got a message from him and it read, “I resigned today, just thought you’d like to know.” I wrote back, “Ok. Congrats.” I didn’t bother to ask him when his last day was and while I thought that my initial reaction was going to be sad because I wouldn’t see him on a daily basis; instead my emotions were of relief. Relief that I could finally say goodbye to this man once and for all. And relief to know that I could come to work without a feeling of slight anxiety. Naturally, there were still so many things to say before he would be out of my life forever and so we agreed to meet for coffee the following Thursday. In my mind, that Thursday over coffee would be the final send-off or “closure” if you will, to this melodramatic situation.

I didn’t hear from my office crush for the rest of that week or the weekend. He still knew that communication between us was rather strained. He did his usual antics of trying to smile at me at the office or say hi as I walked by but I ignored each pass. I was staying focused on the fact that I was finally getting closure and that this chapter of my life was finally coming to an end, I could actually see the Big Picture.

Last Monday and I was starting to feel little anxious about what I actually wanted to say to my office crush. How did I want to end things and how was I going to feel once it was all said and done. All week long he was doing his best to get my attention and I continued with not acknowledging. It was hard as it always has been to ignore someone that I care about. However, I was sticking to my guns and not backing down.

On Wednesday, I was about to head into a conference room where I was going to have a phone interview for a new opportunity, when I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was him. He looked at me and said, “Hey…it looks like I might not be leaving after all. They have counter offered and I’m on the fence of what I should do. However, please don’t tell anyone.” He winked and walked away.

When I got back to my desk there was a message from him that said, “I know I didn’t tell you to not tell anyone but someone came up to me and said they heard the news. You are the only person I told.” I apologized for gossiping and then I realized that the person I told his news to also messaged me and said, “Hey, I think I fucked up.” I asked the person that I told to swing by my desk to find out what exactly he told my office crush. He basically told my office crush that he heard he was leaving and was wishing him well in his next adventure. I smoothed things over with my coworker and my office crush and then I told my office crush that if he’s staying than there is no need for us to meet for coffee. He responded back with, “Oh yes there is.” I agreed and still with all my intentions of saying goodbye to him once and for all. At one point during all this back and forth, I had to laugh at the fact that I can’t seem to shake this guy off. He simply will not leave my life however, I knew in my heart and my mind that I was over our situation.

The next day I woke up and I was surprisingly in a descent mood given the fact that I knew things were coming to an end. I convinced myself that if I was already in a descent mood that I must be ready for this to come to an end. I had a rather busy day at the office and I didn’t hear from him at all throughout the entire day. I found it odd that he didn’t confirm a time or place for us to meet after work and so around 4 o’clock, I messaged him. He said that he went home sick and that if we can have our coffee date the following day. It was there that I became annoyed at his lack of respect for me and my time. If he went home sick than have the courtesy to tell me and I shouldn’t be the one having to reach out to him when it was his idea to have coffee in the first place.

Over text message, we went back and forth with him thinking that us meeting for coffee was us getting back on track. I informed him that the reason I agreed to coffee was that I assumed his last day in the office was Friday and that we would be saying goodbye to each other forever. Per usual, he didn’t take to that news so kindly and said that he still considers me someone that he wants in his life and it was there that I told him I no longer want to be a part of his life. I also told him that he has enough friends, family and apparently woman to choose from and that he doesn’t need me in his life. I wished him well with his family, friends and work and told him that I do NOT wish him well with his dating life. All of which he responded with, “Thanks. I appreciate that.” He finally asked if this was really goodbye and I told him, “Yes. I’m afraid so.” His final words to me were, “Man, you are one tough cookie.” I shut the computer off and accepted that there was never going to be a coffee meeting between us to say goodbye properly and that this was going to be the best thing to closure that I was going to get. There was and is nothing more to say to each other. What I’m left with now is that I need to learn to get over him and move on while working in the same office until my work situation changes.

The rest of the weekend was left with the usual Halloween antics and spending time with friends. There wasn’t even enough time to process all that has transpired between my office crush and I. I do know and feel that it’s finally over and I’m alright with that. Did I really think that this was going to turn out in my favor? If I’m being honest than the answer is no and not because I don’t’ deserve to be happy but there was simply too many obstacles for us both to hurdle over in order for us both to be happy. I still love him and still wish nothing but the best for him and that’s all we can do in situations like this. Wish them well and do our best to move forward.

Turns out that seeing the Big Picture isn’t always as easy as one might think. It takes allowing yourself to make mistakes, to have patience and understand that all the chaos will in fact, turn out for the best and most importantly; it takes knowing that one day you will discover the reasons why you did the things you did with the hopes that love will concur all.

When It Rains, It Pours

With all our theories, hypothesis, propositions and the plethora of self-help books that is available to us. We still can’t seem to answer the age old question of, “When does life get better?” We can’t figure out that when one bad thing happens in our lives that several other misfortunes must occur. It will forever be a mystery to us all, so maybe we should all embrace that in life, when it rains, it pours.

Last Monday, it didn’t start off in my normal fashion. Instead of being the first one in the office, I was lying in my bed and not going to work. I didn’t want to leave my apartment and face my reality. That reality being that I just canceled all my plans with my office crush that previous Saturday when he decided to tell me via text that he was going on a date with a woman. I was still in the midst of processing all that had happened over the past eight months between us and how it was officially over. My office crush was still left in the dark because my last message to him was me telling him I would explain everything later on. And as that Monday had presented itself, I decided to hide from him, my job and my reality and not deal with it. I wasn’t ready yet and frankly, I was too sad to even put my words together to let him know that I was ending everything between us. I spent the entire day inside my apartment, barely responding to the messages I was receiving and naturally, I didn’t hear from my office crush.

On Tuesday, I knew I couldn’t take another day off from work nor did I want my office crush to have such a hold over how I conducted myself at work. So, I got up, pulled myself together and arrived at the office. After going through all of my work emails from the day before, I decided to log onto Facebook. The first thing I noticed when I logged on was several postings of an old friend and former colleague with messages relating to him that he had suddenly passed away. Seeing that it’s the internet, I wasn’t sure if it was real or not so I contacted a few other friends that we had in common and they confirmed to me that he had indeed passed away in a very dramatic way. I sat there stunned and I didn’t want to react in front of other coworkers so I took myself to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized how terrible I had looked. With no real appetite and not getting an proper rest; I told myself that I needed to pull myself together and focus on work because there was nothing else I could do at this point for my friend or for my office crush.

I was barely into the work day, when I noticed my cell phone ringing and I decided to answer the call. When I answered the call it was from a collection agency asking me to confirm who I was. When I confirmed who I was, they asked me to then confirm my current employer’s address and when I did they informed me that they will be arriving at my place of employment the next business day to serve me papers for a credit card company is suing me for not making any payments. It was there that I realized that once again, my identity theft was not over. It was back to haunt me and just when I thought I was getting my financial life back together after last year’s painful struggle with the identity theft, this person was back again. I told them everything about the identity theft and that kept them from arriving at my place of employment. My life was certainly raining down on me. I thought for sure that I was going to have a nervous breakdown and to top it all off, my client was in the office that day and I had to make sure that I was presentable in every aspect of the day. I was in and out of meetings with my client; I was dealing with not running into my office crush, processing the loss of a friend and now my identity theft. I was starting to get really nervous for my mental state and yet no one in the office knew what I was going through. I just kept on smiling and pushing forward.

After work that day, I knew myself well enough to not run to a bar and drink the pain away for that would cause more damage. I went to the gym instead and stayed there for three hours. When I got home, I pulled my phone out and there was a message from my office crush. It had been three full days since we last communicated and all he asked was “Are you okay?” I knew he was asking me this question because I still hadn’t told him why I canceled all our plans or why I was angry with him. I didn’t respond to his text message and I put my phone away for the rest of the night. What I needed to do was cry or scream or do any sort of release from all that I was going through but my mind and body wouldn’t allow me to do so. Instead, I felt like I needed to keep strong for myself and the others around me.

The next day, I barely had the energy to make it to work but I knew I had to be there for meetings along with the fact that I had plans after work with someone that I dated earlier this year but we remained friends. It was funny timing that we reconnected but I knew I couldn’t stay another night in my apartment feeling the way I was feeling.

We met that evening at a cute wine bar down in the West Village and we started updating each other on our lives. He was telling me about his great new job, all the traveling he had done this year and how he’s starting to look for an apartment to buy. As I was doing my best to smile, listen and celebrate all his success; I couldn’t help but think if this man sitting across from me only knew what I had been through in the past 48 hours, he would be in shock. Instead, whenever he asked me a question about my life; I told him how great and fabulous everything was.

After the wine bar, we went to this lesbian bar called, The Cubbyhole. It was an interesting choice of venue for us to go to but while we were there, we ran into a woman that we actually both knew but in different capacities. After we finished our only beer there, we decided to go to a gay bar called, Rockbar. It was there that I think we both were feeling kind of buzzed and up to this point, I had been avoiding alcohol due to my depression. The bar was so crazy because it was “Goth” night and there were all these performers on stage in Goth attire and it was simply not my scene. We left that place and went to one more bar and there my friend said, “Every single time I hang out with you, something crazy always happens. This stuff only happens when I’m with you.” He was referring to how each place we went to that night something “odd” was occurring. We had a good laugh and we hugged goodbye and I hailed a cab to take me back to my apartment. While it was a nice distraction to hang out with someone and not deal with all my problems; I knew they would all be there the next day for me to face.

Thursday morning and I still wasn’t feeling like myself. I knew it had only been a few days since everything had fallen apart but I guess I was being optimistic to think that everything was going to somehow change and everything was going to be right with the world again. It turns out that I was wrong. Once again, not only was my life raining but it was pouring.

I logged onto my computer and began writing when I got an instant message from my office crush that said, “Are you ever going to tell me what is going on? Or are we just going to remain in radio silence?” I didn’t respond right away because my coffee hadn’t even started to run through my veins and he was clearly in attack mode. He continued for a few more minutes with him telling me how he can’t get over how I’m behaving. How I’m not a good friend because of the silent treatment I had given him. The last point he made to me was how there are something’s that he can’t help but that he was very honest with me right from the beginning. He was referring to how he claimed to be straight and that he told me this right from the beginning. I walked away from my computer for a second and when I returned I said, “I will respond to you today.” He responded back with some more bitter responses but he finally left me alone.

My time was up and I needed to address him once and for all. I decided to email him at his personal email address and began to write my email to him otherwise known as the “goodbye letter”. I didn’t apologize for my disappearing act. I told him how I felt right from the beginning. I told him that not only did I love him but that I was deeply saddened that it’s ended. I told him that what upsets me the most is that he still wasn’t addressing or taking responsibility for his actions or his words. How he can sit there and reverse this situation by telling me I’m not a good friend when he knew good and well how I felt about him. I went on to say that the only reason why I had any of these feelings toward him was not because I made this up in my mind but because he led me on to believe these things by his actions and his words. I closed it up with wishing him, his family and friends well. I hit send and wasn’t sure if/when he would ever respond and an hour later I got an instant message from him that said three words:

“Thanks for that.”

I wasn’t shocked by his reaction at all. He is the king of avoidance and why would he ever take responsibility in this messy situation.

After work, a coworker forced me to go across the street for a beer and to chat for he knew there was something wrong with me. One beer led to two but as soon as I ordered my second beer, my office crush showed up with three other coworkers. This man isn’t even drinking anymore and nor does he even know these coworkers that I was with. How did he end up showing up at this particular bar? We made eye contact and the look was gave each other was the look of sadness. I threw a ten dollar bill on the table and I ran out the door. That was that. I was done and I hope that I never hear from my office crush again. After all that we had been through and you want your last words to me to be, “Thanks for that.” It broke my heart in a way that I wasn’t anticipating. Was I disappointed in how this ended? Of course and I knew that this situation would only go two ways and with my luck…I just knew that this would never work out in my favor. The question than remains, “Than why did I even entertain getting to know this man?” and the answer is simple: Because when you connect with someone…which is rare. You fight for it.

I didn’t go to work on Friday and instead, I ran as many errands as I possibly could before meeting my friend, Feathers and his husband in Chelsea to drive out to their country house in Pennsylvania. I didn’t even pack my normal clothes that I usually do, instead I packed two pair of sweats and that was going all that I was going to wear for the entire time I was there. We arrived at their country house and the first thing I did was run upstairs to my room, changed into my sweats and came back downstairs and we did everything we could to keep my mind busy. Thankfully, they kept me busy throughout the weekend with baking, cleaning and taking a walk around their property. I also somehow managed to get some proper rest. We left the country house yesterday and when I got back to the city; I felt like my batteries were slightly recharged. I’m still not fully myself and it will take time. I have to understand and take some responsibility in the fact that I now have to see my office crush every single day and do my best to avoid running into him and at the same time learn to get over him. I said goodbye to my friend that had passed away over the weekend while I was out in the country and when I had some private time to myself and in regards to my identity theft; I’ve decided it’s time to get a lawyer involved.

So, there you have it. When it rains, it pours. I guess the best we can do when life begins to pour down on us, is to make sure that we protect ourselves, knowing that the rain will eventually stop and when it does; it’s our jobs to clean up the mess.

The Missing Piece

In 1976, there was a book published by poet, Shel Silverstein. The book is entitled, The Missing Piece. It’s a children’s fable that helps children learn the lesson of finding your “missing piece” or knowing that you will be alright if we never find our “missing piece.”

It started eight months ago at a company holiday party and ever since that day, it’s been one hell of a roller coaster of emotions, fights, laughter, tears, travel and even love. There were many times over the course of our indescribable relationship where I knew I should walk away and end it in a way that he knows it’s over once and for all. However, like all relationships, it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Considering the fact that when we were not together, I had to see him at the office on a daily basis. However, what was easy was when things were good between us. The emails, the lunches, the long talks and the endless laughter together made up for what was “missing” in our relationship.

What was and is “missing” in our relationship is honesty. We were honest with each other in what we shared with one another. We were honest with what made us scared in life, what made us happy and what ideas we had for the future. But there was one thing he wasn’t honest with and that is him being honest with himself. His own honesty with himself is what is blocking him from ever being truly happy and as we know…if you aren’t happy with yourself, how can you make someone else happy?

Last week, started off like any other week. Working long hours, trying to make time to see friends and of course hanging out with my office crush. It was a week like all the weeks we’ve had over the past several months. Things between us were great, in fact with his new-found sobriety, we had never been closer. There didn’t seem to be anything “missing” and in fact, my heart was telling me that he was in the right mental state to take things to the next level.

After work on Thursday, I ended up in Brooklyn to check-out a florist that I heard was amazing for a co-workers wedding that I’m helping plan. After the florist, my friend had to leave back to New Jersey where she lives and I was now in my old neighborhood of Carroll Gardens where I lived with my first boyfriend back in 1996. Of course, the area looks completely different from when it did 19 years ago but since it was still early in the evening, I took myself to a coffee shop and took in the area. While I was at the coffee shop, it occurred to me that my office crushes best friend lives in the area. The same best friend that hosted the game night I went to a few weeks ago. I sent him a friendly text saying that I was in the area. He told me to stop over for he was watching his son while his wife was traveling. I bought a bottle of wine and walked over to his apartment and along the way sent a text message to my office crush letting him know in case he wanted to stop by. He had been under the weather all week-long so he didn’t want to stop by and get the baby sick.

I arrived at his friends’ apartment and I anticipated only being there for an hour but an hour turned into three. At first, our conversation was about friends, the game night we had, politics and even sports. However, after his third glass of wine, he finally asked, “Ok. This is non of my business but have you guys had sex yet?” He continued with saying that he thought that the weekend my office crush and I went to the beach house last month that that was going to be the weekend that solidified everything. I told him that we hadn’t had sex but wasn’t sure if it would ever happen and even expressed my frustration with my office crush.

To my surprise, his friend became very loose-lipped about what my office crush has said about me to him and his friends. I didn’t interrupt the friend because I wanted to hear everything. What I learned is that my office crush has told all his heterosexual male friends that he and I cuddle all the time, that I make him laugh, that he has an amazing time with me and isn’t sure what is going on. I wasn’t sure if my office crush had ever talked about me to his friends but apparently they knew everything. The friend continued with him telling me that he thinks my office crush is rather confused and needs to figure it out. The conversation ended with the friend telling me that he thinks we are great together and that he is rooting for us to make it. I thanked him for letting me visit and I left feeling good that maybe there is a chance this might actually work. That after months of the ups and downs that we both might get a happily ever after.

The next day at the office, my office crush stopped by and said, “I think it’s so great that you hung out with my friend. I love when things like that happen.” We continued the rest of the day with him helping me figure out my 401K plan and him telling me that he’s looking forward to our Boston trip that we had planned for this upcoming weekend. We also had plans for another football Sunday followed by a movie. Things were certainly looking up for us both. I actually felt like I was about to find my “missing piece.”

On Saturday, I woke up feeling refreshed because the night before it was raining in the city and I forced myself to stay inside, not spend money and prepare to have a nice brunch with my friends. The brunch was to say goodbye to a sweet friend of ours who is moving to Seattle this month. Before the brunch, I had sent a text message to my office crush asking how his day was and if we were still on for Sunday football. I didn’t hear from him for a while, so I assumed he was at the gym or running errands.

Over the brunch, everything was going well. We were eating, drinking and laughing and then I got a text message from my office crush. It said that he was pissed because he had to go into the office that day, that we were still on for Sunday, to tell my friends hello for him and then there was another little hidden message he threw in there. He told me that he was going on a date that night. I had to re-read the message for I wasn’t sure if the Bellini’s I was drinking was playing tricks on me. I responded with asking him if we could cancel our plans for Sunday. I didn’t want to see him again knowing that he was going on a date with a woman. He responded back with “What? What just happened?” That message instantly pissed me off because he knew exactly what just happened. How else did he think I was going to react to this message? Yes. He is a single “straight” man who can do whatever he wishes however, he knew what he was doing and he knew what reaction he was going to get from me. He continued to message me asking me what was going on and I just told him I’m at brunch and I would message him tomorrow. His last message to me was, “God damn it!”

It took me another half hour at brunch before I decided to come clean and tell my friends what had just happened. We wrapped up the bill and went over to ABC Kitchen for a drink. It was there that I could feel the tears well up in my eyes but thankfully I had my friends and we all decided to just turn the evening into an apartment party. We got in a cab and headed over to my friends apartment where I stayed till almost 5 a.m. talking, laughing and doing anything to not think about the fact that my office crush was on a date with someone else.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling more depressed than I had been in a really long time. I went from my bed to my couch and I laid there for hours and as the hours passed, I thought of when I can muster up the strength to take a shower. I finally did, I walked around the block and barely had the energy to do that. I came back, got back into my pajamas and laid back down on my couch and I cried. Once the tears subsided, I got a text message from my old roommate/friend and he said he was stopping by in ten minutes. He knew about what had happened and when I opened the door, he was holding a beautiful arrangement of flowers. It certainly made me smile, appreciate all that I had and helped me realize I made the right choice.

My office crush turned into an office crash but I knew this was the possibility right from the beginning. While he and I both need to take responsibility for our actions; it doesn’t make the pain feel any lighter. There were many times throughout the course of our relationship where I thought he might just be my “missing piece” for we’ve certainly spent a lot of time together, shared things in common and made each other smile. I was also more intimate with him than I had ever been with another man in years. I don’t regret ever meeting him, for allowing him in my life and even sharing what I’ve shared with him. That is the risk anyone takes when there is a possibility of trying to find our “missing piece.”

We are all lost in our own ways and that is why we are all out there finding a “missing piece” in our lives. Whether that is career, family or even love. We are all out there trying to find something or someone that will complete the puzzle. What we all need to know is that it’s perfectly acceptable to know that we may never find that “missing piece” but that what we have now isn’t so bad either.

Chill Out

Retreats, meditation, prayers and even cleanses are all designed to benefit us. This benefit is to tell our minds, souls and bodies that every once in awhile that we all need to chill out. We need to recalibrate our ways of thinking, believing and how we treat others because we live in such a toxic world. There are times that we are so busy in our lives that we forget the little things in life that used to provide such joy in our lives. However, in a world where life can pass us by when will we ever find the time to just chill out?

Last week was a rather stressful work week for me. I was working 12-16 hour days and that was just this past Monday and Tuesday. Our entire team was over worked and we had only just begun the work week, which left us all with zero time to chill out let alone get enough proper rest to do a good job for an upcoming convention.

So, when I woke up on Wednesday, I was over exhausted that my mind decided to go into places that I really didn’t want it to go. Naturally, my mind went to thinking that my office crush was off on dates, ignoring me, etc. etc. All of it was complete and utter non-sense but it led to a bad work day. However, that evening after work, we were having a gathering at the bar, The Archive, for one of my editors. It was a small group but I was there for an hour before my office crush walked in. I didn’t see him at first but then I felt a tap on my shoulder and he said hi. I asked him what he did the night before (in my head he was on a date with some hot model) and when he said that all he did was go to the gym and read, all my fears washed away. When he asked me what I was doing on Thursday night, I told him that I was going to the ballet. All he asked was, “Really? Are you going on a date with someone?” I told him no and that I was going with a friend, which was the truth. He left shortly after he asked me that question and I left an hour later. I went to bed that night with a very chilled state of mind.

On Thursday, I suffered from another intense work day but I told my entire team that I was leaving on time because I needed to rush home and get ready for the ballet. It was my first time ever attending a ballet at the New York City Ballet in Lincoln Center, I felt like Cher in Moonstruck. My friend works for the company and was able to score us excellent seats. I sat in the theatre and looked around at all the well-dressed people that have probably attended a million shows but I didn’t let my insecurities about feeling like an outsider get in the way of me having a wonderful experience. I took in the entire show and even got a little emotional at how beautiful the dancing was. After the show, I went home and was once again allowing myself to enjoy a chilled mental state of mind.

Friday, and the entire city was pouring down with rain. It was cold, gross and overall miserable but for some reason the entire work day was busy yet rather fun. The fun part of the day was that my office crush was in an excellent mood. Throughout the entire work day he kept sending me links to nice houses in the Massachusetts area that he wanted my opinion on. He would say things like, “I know you want a nice bathroom and a washer and dryer. What about his place?” And that kind of talk went on for the entire day. It was fun to play “make believe” when it came to things like that. Than toward the end of the day he asked me to come by his desk. When I did, he got up and said, “Follow me.” I followed him to the other side of the office where he introduced me to our Human Resources department. He told the department that I needed to fix my 401K. My office crush has been on me for weeks to figure out my 401K because I don’t even know if I have one or what I’m contributing to it. Everyone got a good laugh at my expense for being so bad with my finances but it was just another thing that made me think that my office crush has my best interest at heart. Before I left the office that day, we said goodbye and confirmed our plans for this past Sunday.

It was so nice on Saturday to have the apartment to myself. I had one roommate move out last week and my new roommate doesn’t move in till this Wednesday. So, I did something that completely chills me out and that is clean. I cleaned the apartment for over two hours and it felt amazing. Afterwards, I ran a few errands before I needed to get ready for a birthday party that night. I met up with a few friends at, Barrage, before we all picked up another friend of ours before heading to the party that was conveniently located in the area that I live in. No cabs. No subway. No Uber. All I had to do was walk from the party to my apartment. The party was nice and pleasant but after a few drinks, my friends and I went to the bar, Ninth Avenue Saloon, where we had a few more drinks before we all said goodbye around 3 a.m.

Yesterday, I woke up only slightly tired and so I grabbed my coffee, the paper and had a nice chill morning before I was to meet up with my office crush. He asked me to meet him in Union Square around 1:30 because he was buying a new phone. He got his new phone and asked me to meet him at his favorite bar, Professor Thom’s. I was already in the area doing some shopping so I walked over there. He is going on his third week of sobriety and I couldn’t be more proud of him. We got a table and began updating each other on our previous night. He told me that he also attended a birthday party and that it was with some of the same friends of his that I met at his game night two Saturday’s ago. He told me that all his friends asked about me. They asked where I was and how I was doing. It was nice to hear that they remembered me and even asked about me.

After watching some football and lunch, he suggested that we take a walk and enjoy the amazing fall day that the city was having. I agreed and along the walk, I told him that we should walk on Fifth Avenue and maybe grab some new clothes for him because I was tired of seeing him where the same damn khaki pants at the office. He laughed and said, “I’m surprised you didn’t say something earlier.” We were in the store and I helped him pick out a pair of pants and two new shirts. After the shopping, he said, “When are you ever going to let me see your apartment?” I told him that when it’s ready after the new roommate moves in than I will let him see my apartment. After all these months, he hasn’t even come close the area that I live in and I think it’s time. It was still such a nice day, that he said he would walk with me uptown for a little bit. It was totally out of his way to go back to Brooklyn but instead we walked from Union Square all the way to the Hell’s Kitchen area. The entire walk, we laughed and shared stories from our childhood. When we reached 57th Street, it was there that he hugged me and got on the subway going back to his apartment in Brooklyn. A few hours later, I sent him a text thanking him for a nice day and he responded back with, “Today was awesome!” The rest of the evening, I relished in magazines, hot chocolate and a facial mask.

Today, he made sure to let me see his new pants and new shirt that he was wearing. All I could tell him was that he looked handsome. He smiled and thanked me. It was the perfect way to start the week.

I can freely admit that I’m neurotic and can over analyze anything or anyone that comes my way. But what I learned is that sometimes when we just chill the fuck out that wonderful things can happen.

Only Time Will Tell

Our lives are run by all sorts of timetables and those timetables can give us all a significant amount of stress and that stress that can vary from when a person is supposed to have that career that provides them with financial security to when we are to get married and start procreating. Time allows us to be organized, to respect other people’s time and to provide us with a gauge on how we are to live our lives. Time seems rather restricting but what happens when we let go of time and let things happen on its own?

As last week started, I knew that time wasn’t going to be on my side with regards to work. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day. I was working ten to twelve hour days and I was becoming significantly exhausted. I barely had any personal time but at times that is what comes with the territory in the fast paced world of advertising.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I had already clocked almost forty hours, I was exhausted but there was a going away party for a very nice coworker of mine and I had to attend even though I really wanted to go home and sleep. The going away party was being held at a bar called, Rattle N Hum. I had actually never been to this bar but when I walked in, most of everyone was there already. My goal was to stay for only two drinks, say goodbye and take my tired ass home. Naturally, the moment that I’m finishing up with my second drink, my office crush taps me on my shoulder and lets me know that he arrived. We talked for a bit but I was trying my best to talk with other co-workers that I don’t get to chat with that often. Next thing I know, my two drinks rule turned into four and I was feeling buzzed. Time was certainly not on my side that evening because when I was standing outside talking with my office crush, I realized it was past eleven. He has been sober for the past two weeks and I’ve been so proud of him and so he was rather kind to me that after we said goodbye to everyone; he walked me to my subway station even though it’s not near his.

On Thursday, our agency was having a “team bonding” outside of the agency and it was based on your work load if you could attend or not. Of course, I had too much work on my plate and couldn’t attend. I was alright with this because with most of the agency gone, I was allowed to do my work without interruptions. I worked rather late that night and I got a text message from my office crush asking how work was treating me. I responded with how tired and frustrated I was and he sent a message that said, “You’re a source of sunlight in other people’s lives! Hope that helps.” It certainly made me smile and it certainly made the rest of the work night go by a lot smoother. When I got that message two things ran by my mind and that is…that this message came from him being in a sober state of mind and the other being that he has really come around with how he expresses himself since we first started hanging out.

I was relieved when I woke up on Friday morning because I knew that it was going to be a peaceful day at the office. Or so I thought. When I got there, more than half of the agency decided to not come in due to the Pope being in the city. Therefore, it would be harder to communicate with my coworkers with them sitting on their couches and me at my desk. I was putting out fire drills left and right and wasn’t in the best of moods. I was walking down the office hallway when I ran into my office crush and he said, “Don’t look so mad, tomorrow we will have fun.” He was referring to plans of him and I hanging out on Saturday afternoon, we hadn’t made any set plans but we just knew that we would be together. I smiled to acknowledge his kind gesture and continued walking.

After work, we still hadn’t figured out what we were doing the next day but he said he would keep me posted. I went to the gym after work to blow off some steam then showered and got ready to meet my old roommate and his boyfriend for some wine at Ardesia. We only had a few glasses before we went to their amazing rooftop and chatted a few minutes more before I decided to call it a night and get some much needed rest.

The next morning I slept in and woke up feeling revitalized. I was ready to do the gym, laundry and get ready for whatever our plans were going to be. I got a text message from him around 9:30 in the morning asking me if I wanted to join him for a game night at his buddies’ friends’ apartment in Brooklyn. He said I can pick him up at his apartment around five and we could go from there. I wasn’t sure what games were going to be played. I feared that it would be poker for the game of the night since it was going to be all straight guys and me. I decided that my best bet would be to bring some games of my own just in case I didn’t understand the rules of poker and we could play something that we all could enjoy.

I was a half hour late arriving at his apartment. When I got off the subway there was a text message from him that said, “You’re always late. Are you coming?” I knocked on his door and he was ready to go. I had to drop my bag off, get reorganized and then we could go. I could tell that he was “hangry” for he said that he was hungry three times in the five minutes after my arrival. I could also tell that my tardiness wasn’t something that he cared for. I asked if he could give me two minutes and he sighed but in a joking way.

When we walked outside of his apartment he said, “We always have an adventure. Let’s try this Hawaiian restaurant before we head over to my friend’s apartment.”  I agreed not knowing exactly what I was going to be eating. We sat down and began updating each other on our days and we both stuck to the no drinking thing. He ordered first and I stuck with something on the healthier side and I told him that I brought the games, Apples to Apples and Uno. He laughed and said he wasn’t sure if the guys would be into playing those games but he appreciated the sentiment of me bringing them. We took out the game Uno and began playing at the restaurant and we couldn’t stop laughing because I continued to lose each round. Finally, the food arrived just in time for me to lose another game of Uno. He described the food that I was eating, I had never had SPAM before but it tasted like ham. When I asked him exactly what SPAM was, he didn’t want to tell me, so I let it slide. When his entrée arrived there was a little orchid on his plate and he put it on mine saying, “I thought you’d like this. I know how you like orchids.” I smiled and continued eating this interesting cuisine. When the bill came, I went to reach for my wallet and he said, “No way. I’m getting this for I’m dragging you to game night and you brought games.” He paid and I thanked him profusely.

As we walked outside, he said that wanted to have another adventure. I wasn’t sure what he meant but I did know that “time” played an important factor. He said that he wanted to walk from Williamsburg to the Carroll Gardens area in Brooklyn where the game night was going to be. I didn’t know exactly how long that was going to take us but he said it was such a nice evening that it could be really fun to walk through the different parts of Brooklyn together. He called the host of game night to tell him what we were doing and his friend laughed at him and when I asked why he was laughing it was due to the fact that according to the map, it was going to take us over an hour to walk to Carroll Gardens. He asked if I was up for the adventure and I was.

During our walk we talked and laughed at how we’ve had some crazy adventures, we talked about our families, friends and even our upcoming trip to Boston. Time flew by so quickly and that included a bathroom break and me running into a store to buy something. As we started to walk through the Brooklyn Heights area that would lead us to Carroll Gardens I told him that I used to live in this area from 1996-1999. He told me that it’s insane that I was living in the city at that time for he was still in the Seattle area and wasn’t even thinking of New York at that time. I went on to tell him that I used to live in this area with my first boyfriend and that he actually still lives in the area. Then he said, in the most nonchalant way, “If we run into your ex, I have no problems pretending to be your fiancé.” I laughed and said, “You sure you know what you are getting into?” All he did was smile and said, “I would do that for you.” We continued our walk and finally arrived at our destination.

He knocked on his friends’ apartment door and when it opened his friend’s wife answered the door. She greeted my office crush with a hug first and as I began to hold out my hand for a hand shake and introduce myself, she pushed my hand out of the way and gave me a hug. She said, “I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you that I feel like I know you. Give me a hug.” We hugged and I met their two year old son and the wife was having her own girls’ night out and so we chatted for a few minutes about what she was going to wear and she kept complimenting me on how nice I smelled. The wife left for her night out and there I was left with my office crush and three other friends of his that I was meeting for my first time.

We began to make drinks and settle in for game night. We tried to play poker but after a couple of hands, I just couldn’t grasp the concept and so we played, Cards Against Humanity. During that game, the guys all started talking about Star Wars and there I confessed that I had never seen the movie. You would’ve sworn that I said something so offensive because they reacted like I was from another planet far, far away. They immediately put the movie on in the background while we continued to play games. After awhile, I suggested we try and play Uno, not exactly the most masculine game but for some reason, the guys were taking a major liking to me. They were laughing with me and at me. I was relieved to discover that they liked me because at one point I asked my office crush what the verdict was and he told me that I was a hit! We ended the night around 12:30 and we got a car back to his apartment. It was there that I stayed the night and we both fell asleep so quickly.

Saturday morning and we did our usual routine when we wake up in the morning. It consists of him reading me articles from his phone and me reading a book that I carry around and us laughing at the things we are reading about. Finally, around noon, I decided to head back to the city and get ready to meet my friends that were watching football.

All in all it was a perfect weekend and time was on my side. For months now people have asked me so much about what I’m getting out of this relationship. What’s the point and purpose of it all and will we ever have sex. All valid questions and questions that have my best interest at heart and what I do know is that time has really helped this relationship evolve. I was dealing with a coworker that had a girlfriend at the time that we met and over the course of several long months of us knowing each other we’ve seen the girlfriend disappear, we’ve had intense fights, we’ve made up, traveled together and have grown rather close. Maybe it is all about time, patience and understanding for I’m still trying to figure this out myself. What I do know is that time, as restricting as it can be can also provide a certain level of happiness.

Patience is a Virtue

“Patience is a Virtue” is a proverbial phrase that is said to date back all the way to the fifth century. I find this incredibly mind blowing that for all this time, we are still figuring out how to be patient with ourselves, with others and with the way of the world. In a city like New York where having patience isn’t exactly embraced, it got me thinking about “patience”. Does having patience work to our advantage or are we just kidding ourselves thinking that if we have all this “patience” it will, in return, give us all that we want?

After coming down from an amazing weekend with my office crush that had us on a private beach that provided us with not only a spectacular view of the ocean but also brought us closer in this pseudo-relationship that we have; I was expecting this past week to start off with the usual running of patience with work, etc. However, it began with nothing but pure entertainment all around.

On Monday, after work, my office crush and I, along with a few other co-workers went to see a fellow co-workers comedy show and it was really fun. It was nice to be laughing not drinking and just enjoying what was being presented. After the show, I stood outside of the comedy club with other co-workers for a few minutes talking about the show but my office crush said he was leaving. At first he looked at me as if I was to follow him to the subway but I remained with my coworkers and chatted for a few more minutes before I said goodbye. It was such a nice night in the city that I decided to walk home rather than take the subway.

The next day, was business as usual and after work, I ended up meeting a friend of mine and his boyfriend at Arriba Arriba for dinner and drinks. Of course, the topic of my office crush came up and while I didn’t receive a lecture about what I’m doing with him they asked several questions that I feel I have all the answers for but like most people that know me and read this blog, their patience are running out with this situation. Naturally, my friends have my best interest at heart and are afraid of me getting hurt in the end however, as crazy as this is and I’ve never been in this situation before; I feel like I have a grip on it. I know the risks and I’m willing to accept them. After dinner, we said goodbye and I went to bed that night like a kid on Christmas Eve for the next night was going to be a special night for me.

I woke up on Wednesday morning just wishing that the day would go by so quickly. In fact, I was running out of patience with my work day because I wanted to rush home, go to the gym, shower and head to Madison Square Garden for I would be attending my first of three Madonna concerts that week. Thankfully, all my patience paid off because I got out of work on time and rushed to get everything accomplished and I sat in my seat at Madison Square Garden along with thousands of fans waiting for the show to start. The show started and time was no longer an issue and after two hours of an amazing concert, I met up with some friends of mine at the bar, Barracuda, for literally one beer and I went home to get proper rest for I had another amazing experience on the next night to look forward to.

I woke up on Thursday morning feeling just as excited as I was on Wednesday. I knew that I would be seeing the exact same show but it didn’t matter. This time was special for me because I would be seeing it with some friends of mine that have only seen Madonna once before and I was hoping they would appreciate the show just as much as I had. After work, we all met up at Dallas BBQ for dinner and walked over to Madison Square Garden together. We sat rather close to each other and once the show started there was so much energy that I could tell my friends that sat a few rows ahead of me was having an amazing experience. After the show, my friends and I and even a few others all met up at, XES Bar, for a few drinks and of course to talk about the show. We all stayed for several drinks before we all retired home. I was looking forward to going to bed because after the past two nights of excitement I was exhausted but also because I knew I could sleep in late the next morning because I took the day off from work!

As someone that never takes days off from work, never calls out sick or even comes in late, it always feel like I’m playing hooky from work when I have a scheduled day off. I almost feel guilty but this day, I didn’t let any of those feelings get in my way from having a productive day. I worked out, did laundry and even got a haircut. I was messaging with my office crush all day to determine what our plans for the evening would be. He was doing an amazing job with not drinking and so he was hesitant to do something for he feared that we wouldn’t have any fun, which was pure nonsense. He told me that he could be free around 5:30 and that I should meet him at this shoe store for he needed help picking out a pair of shoes. I met him at the shoe store and we began shopping and after observing the selection, we found a pair that we both liked and he immediately put them on.

After the shoe shopping, it was such a nice night out that we decided to walk downtown. Along the way, he asked if I wanted to have dinner with him. I was in agreement to get dinner with him and so we finally stumbled upon, Hill Country, for some barbeque and iced tea. During the dinner, we talked and laughed non-stop. We think our waiter even thought we were an item because after dinner and our plates were cleared, he brought over a tray of desserts to select from. My office crush and I settled on this amazing banana pudding and when the pudding came to our table, he brought two spoons, smiled and said, “Enjoy boys.” And boy, did we enjoy that dessert. When the bill came, we both laughed at how cheap the bill was because we didn’t have any cocktails. What we also noticed was that the waiter didn’t put our dessert on the bill. We paid and walked away quickly before anyone realized.

Once we got outside, we walked and talked for about a half hour more and wondered around the Union Square area. I could tell that the evening was winding down for him and so I walked him to the subway, we hugged goodbye and then I pulled my phone out. I noticed that a few of my friends were asking where I was and if I wanted to meet for a drink. Seeing that it was still rather early in the evening, I agreed to meet them for a few drinks in my neighborhood.

I met my friends at, Boxers, and there we had a few drinks on the rooftop before heading over to a newish bar called, DBL. At DBL, we continued with our drinks and then went to yet another bar called, Ninth Avenue Saloon. Friends were beginning to drop off one by one and then it was just me and a good friend of mine where we went to, Barrage, for one more beer to catch each other up properly since we hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks. We said goodbye at a descent hour because we all knew we needed our rest for Saturday was going to be a big day for all of us.

Keeping my patience down for the entire week was paying off substantially. I was able to have the perfect balance of work, friends and even time with my office crush. It was a perfect week and I was grateful for each day. So, by the time Saturday had arrived, I didn’t think the day or the week for that matter, could get any better. I ran some errands before heading to my friends’ apartment for a pre-party that he was hosting before we all walked over to the Barclay Center to see my final Madonna concert.

After the concert, which was amazing again, we all walked back to my friends’ apartment and had the post-party and that was a party that lasted till about 5 a.m. I hadn’t stayed up that late in awhile and I already knew that I was going to pay for it the next day or shall I say that morning. When I finally woke up yesterday morning, I was in a lot of pain but the pain was worth it for I had such an amazing experience seeing the show with all of my friends. During the day yesterday, my office crush and I messaged each other about Sunday football and eventually, I had to force myself to take a nap in order to get myself in a better state.

Since we can’t predict the future, I guess it’s best to think about how patience can actually help us get through some difficult times as well as times when we want things to move quickly. Patience can be one of the worse torture devices out there but every once in a blue moon when we give in, let patience do its thing, we might actually get what we’ve been wanting all along.

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, was an English poet and novelist from the 1800’s. A man that is famous for such quotes as, “pursuit of the almighty dollar,” “the pen is mightier than the sword” and his most famous, “It was a dark and stormy night.” I found that he also contributed his talents to the subject of “patience” and that is what I will close with for this week:

“Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.”

Great Expectations

In our journey we like to call, “life”, we will create certain expectations that we hold upon ourselves and others. These certain expectations can lead to disappointment and if we are very lucky an expectation can lead us to happiness. Naturally, once our expectations are met, we will want more. We will “expect” the hard efforts that we put in will in return give us all that we’ve been “expecting.” However, at what point do we tell ourselves to stop “expecting” these great things in life to happen to us and accept what we are given?

I haven’t written the blog in three weeks mainly due to all that was going on in my life. Three weeks ago, my friends and I spent a long weekend in Fire Island, the weekend after that was my birthday weekend and this past weekend was a weekend that not only exceeded my expectations but made me accept all that I have been given in life this far.

After I returned back from Fire Island three weeks ago, I was not only physically exhausted but I was anticipating a very low key birthday weekend. I was turning a year that wasn’t very monumental and I had just spent several days with my very close friends that I felt like we had already exhausted my birthday celebrations. However, being the amazing people that they are, two Saturday’s ago, they threw me and my friend a birthday party on top of his rooftop that has an amazing view of the city. It was a great evening and while I expected to get home at a descent hour, that evening I didn’t get home till almost five a.m.

My office crush was all prepared to attend my birthday celebrations that weekend but unfortunately, his father got sick and he booked an emergency flight back to Seattle to spend the weekend with his father. Little did I know what was about to happen when I arrived at the office the following Monday. We ran into each other in the hallway at the office when he told me about his weekend with his father and I told him about my birthday celebrations. I could tell he wanted to tell me something else but all he could say was, “I don’t think your birthday is over yet.” I wasn’t sure what he meant but I continued on with my day. As the day progressed, I thought I might get flowers or a package was going to be delivered, that was the only thing I was expecting. Instead, I get called into an unscheduled meeting that afternoon and when I walked in there were all my coworkers that put together a birthday party for me. They decorated the entire conference room in pink (my favorite color). Pink cups, plates, forks and spoons. I walked in completely surprised and my office crush put a pink tiara on my head. I looked around and there were posters put up of all my favorite celebrities and I was completely touched. They sang to me and I noticed that people even baked for me and someone even bought me a cake from Magnolia Bakery.

What I also noticed was that there was six bottles of champagne. The six bottles I recognized weren’t exactly cheap and I asked someone who actually brought these because this seemed to me that it was out of budget for an office party. I was told that my office crush bought all six bottles and didn’t ask for any money in return. As the party began to slow down, it was just him and I for a few moments and I took that time to thank him for the bottles and for even attending. He went on to tell me that this party had been planned for weeks and he was involved every step of the way. He went on to also tell me that he had planned to take me to a Broadway show but wasn’t sure if I would like it. After we all cleaned up the conference room, he and I decided to go to Chelsea to our old familiar bar, The Tippler. As we sat at the bar with our favorite bartender we began to talk like we always do and I took that time to apologize for not attending his birthday back in July. We only stayed for two drinks and over those drinks we began to plan our weekend at his beach house in Long Island. The weekend we agreed upon would be this past weekend for the beach house would be empty and more relaxing.

After that night, for the following two weeks I “expected” him to cancel our beach trip. Even on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend, he and I went for lunch and during that lunch, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop…and it never did. When we came back to the office last Tuesday after the holiday weekend, I was, once again, expecting him to tell me that he had just been to the beach house with his friends and didn’t see the need to go back the following weekend. Instead, he told me how excited he was for the weekend ahead. I was relieved to a certain extent but also felt my negative side out-weighing my positive way of thinking. Last Thursday, we had met after work to finalize our list of things that we needed to get for the weekend and we hugged goodbye. We agreed that I would pick him up at the office the next morning around 11 because I had taken the day off.

I woke up on Friday morning more excited than I had anticipated. I got up, went to the gym came home, showered, finished up packing and I was doing my last minute packing, I got a text from him that said, “Ready when you are. I’m done with work!” I told him that I still needed another thirty to forty minutes and he was fine with that. I arrived at our office and told him to meet me downstairs, he arrived five minutes later and we were off. We still had another hour or so to kill before our train was leaving out of Penn Station so we took that time to run errands. We first picked up booze and as we were standing in line to pay, the cashier said to my office crush, “You two are going on your honeymoon or something?” We just laughed and didn’t correct the cashier. The next stop was his favorite fast food place, Taco Bell. He ordered a bunch of food and I stuck with two little tacos. After the booze, after the fast food our last stop was to Kmart. We needed a travel speaker for our music and that store was the only place I could think of that would have it. We found the speaker and we were all set with what we needed. As he was paying for the speaker, the cashier really made some rather funny suggestions. She said, “Oh this speaker lights up, I bet you two will have fun in the bedroom with this.” I couldn’t stop laughing and then my office crush also was laughing so hard. She apologized for being presumptuous and continued to say that she assumed since we were traveling together and looked like we got along so well. We took our purchase and left while still laughing.

We caught the 1:14 train on the Long Island Railroad with our stop being Riverhead. My office crush told me that it would a little over two hours to get to the house. I was fine with that, over the trip he said, “I’ve never really traveled with anyone as much as I have with you. It’s always an adventure.” I agreed with him and each time we have traveled together, it not only exceeded my expectations but it was always an adventure. We both opened our books and began reading on the train and then he tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Isn’t it funny how everywhere we go, people assume we are a couple?” I told him, “It is funny but it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable?” All he could say with a grin was, “Nah.” And we went back to reading.

After almost two hours of riding on the train, we arrive to our stop on the train. The usual plan is to go from the train to a waiting taxi cab to then drive to the beach house. However, seeing that we always have adventures when we travel, this was no exception. My office crush wanted to pick up a few more things from the deli at the train station and as we were there, I dropped a can of soda and it exploded and went all over the place. The entire store was laughing at us and we began laughing so hard that I was crying. We get into a taxi that agreed to wait for us while we were shopping. In the taxi, usually the driver takes them directly to the house, however, this trip the driver decided to pick-up three other people along the way and was taking us all over town. Finally, we told the driver to stop picking-up other customers and take us directly to the beach house. All my office crush could say from the passenger seat was, “Something always happens when we hang out together.”

We turned onto this dirt road and drove for about a half mile and finally we arrived to this bluff that over looked the ocean. He showed me around the property before showing me what the true vision was. We got into our tiny little cottage that had a kitchen table, two mattresses, one nightstand and one bathroom. It was definitely a beach house that had been lived in. The other house that was on the property belonged to this man and wife, an older couple, that rented out the smaller house for the summer to make extra money.

My office crush and I walked over to the bigger house where he introduced me and then asked me to follow him to the outside. When we got outside, there was a little patch of grass that had a few chairs and a hammock that over looked the ocean. We were on this amazing bluff and down below was the beach. He could tell that I was itching to go down to the beach and so we changed our clothes and walked down to the ocean. What I realized after a few seconds was that there was no one on the beach. When I asked him why it was that we were the only ones on the beach, he said, “Because it’s private and it’s going to be just the two of us.” I smiled widely and we began walking along the beach, collecting seashells for me to bring back to the city and finally after an hour and a half of walking the beach, we decided to head back to the house.

We arrived back at the house at around 7 and we toasted to our trip. A couple of hours later we were invited by the older couple for dinner at their house. It was a nice gesture and a good thing since both of us forgot to buy groceries for the weekend. Over dinner, the husband looked at my office crush and said, “You’ve been coming out here for five years, bringing all different girlfriends and I find it funny that your very first private weekend and you bring a queen.” We all laughed so loudly and uncontrollably and even my office crush couldn’t do anything but laugh at the scenario. I helped the wife clean-up dinner once we were done while my office crush and the husband shared stories over glasses of scotch. Once we were done cleaning, the couple wanted to get some rest and we went back to our little house.

At our house, we turned up the music and began dancing around like teenagers and he finally just stopped and said, “I love everything there is about you.” After he said that, he gave me a big hug and kiss on my forehead. It was one of the nicest things I have had someone say to me in a really long time and while all my friends had expectations of us having sex, I was happy that someone outside of my friends and family would say that to me. I quickly did my best to change the mood and I grabbed a couple of beers from the fridge, grabbed him by the hand and we took a walk back to the bluff. At the bluff, we both were buzzed and I thought it would be a great idea for us both to get in the hammock. I got in first and then he did and there we swung in the hammock for about an hour. We laughed, we talked and then there were moments where it was silence and the only thing we heard was the ocean. After our hammock ride, we went back to the house and got ready for bed. There was only two single mattresses and so we put them somewhat together and right before we said goodnight to each other…he grabbed my hand and held it for most of the night.

The next morning we woke up and started our day. He realized that he was out of cigarettes and the only way to get back into town was to borrow the couple’s car. He went over to their house and asked about borrowing the car and they said yes. The only hitch was my office crush doesn’t have a driver’s license and I do. The couple already had taken a liking to me and asked me how my driving skills were. I told them that they weren’t too bad as long as I didn’t have to reverse or parallel park. We got in the car with me in the driver’s seat and my office crush in the passenger telling me which way to go in this small town. We were having so much fun driving around town, running errands and even stopping at a drive through for fast food. We came back to the house and while we were going to walk the beach one more time, we decided instead to grab our books and sit in rocking chairs watching the ocean. We did that for a few hours before retiring back to our house to play cards and listening to music. As the evening came around, we decided to skip dinner and just talk about everything we could think of. Then the rain came and it didn’t stop for the rest of the night. We, once again, danced around the house and confessed our love for each other. We fell asleep the exact same way we did the night before with him holding my hand.

Yesterday morning and we began to clean-up the house in preparation to head back to the city. We both told each other what a wonderful weekend we had. He heard my phone vibrating alot and he asked what all my friends were asking and finally I said, “They are asking if we have had sex yet.” He just smiled and said, “Tell them I’m a bad lay.” Again, we laughed and got ready to leave. The husband of the couple was kind enough to drive us back to the train station. Along the ride, I sat in the back and kept to myself before the husband said to me, “I had better see you next season. Something tells me that I will be seeing you next season and it will be amazing.” I thanked him for his hospitality and the ride to the station.

My office crush and I got on the train and both started reading our books and when we arrived at Penn Station, I thought we were going to go our separate ways and see each other today at work. Instead, he wanted to get something to eat before he went back to his apartment in Brooklyn. He told me to finish my book that I was almost done reading because he wanted to know how it ended. He sat there and ate, Taco Bell, once again, while I read my book as fast as I could. By the time he finished his meal, I still wasn’t done with my book. We hugged goodbye and I walked home while he took the subway.

I got home and I was exhausted but in the best possible way. I showered, unpacked and finished my book. After only two hours of saying goodbye, I noticed my phone ringing and my office crush was calling me. This was rather unexpected. I assumed that I accidentally packed something or he forgot something back at the beach house. I was wrong. He was calling to ask me how my book ended and also wanted to make sure I got home alright. We chatted for about ten minutes and then said goodbye.

The question that I was asked a few times before I left for this trip was, “What are you expecting to get out of this?” It isn’t an unfair question to ask. In fact, it’s a rather smart question to ask and a question that I’m still not sure how to answer. I can say that at times my expectations of this rather unique relationship have exceeded and there are times when I’m completely disappointed. That can also be said of all sorts of relationships not just this particular one. I guess that’s the thing about great expectations…when they are great they are amazing and when they are disappointing it can be heart wrenching.

The Consequences of Falling

The consequences that we receive from the universe are in direct proportion of a result or action that we set into motion. We planted the seed and it’s our responsibility to watch it grow, to monitor its progression and once we receive these results; it’s up to us to determine how they will live. There is no one to blame but ourselves for the outcome whether that outcome benefits us or not. Now that we know these universal laws…how heavy can the consequences be when you are actually falling for someone?

My week started off wonderfully. In fact, I was still on a high from that prior Sunday when I reconnected with my office crush. We had picked up right where we had left off about a month ago and something seemed different this time. I couldn’t put my finger on what had changed or where it was going to go but for the first time since I met him; I was calm. Maybe it was a result of me trying to let the things that I can’t control go or maybe the universe was allowing me to be calm after planting the seeds so many months ago. Regardless of the “why” I was calm; I was finally allowing myself to accept these emotions.

On Tuesday, my original plans for that evening was to meet with my office crush to see a movie but due to work for the both of us, we needed to reschedule. Thankfully, my friend that I had Wednesday plans with was able to accommodate me and I met up with him instead that evening. After work, I went to the gym, showered and went down to the Financial District to visit my friend. We hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks and it was really nice to catch-up. Over a couple of bottles of wine, we sat outside at this adorable wine bar and enjoyed the summer breeze and the stimulating conversation. As he walked me to my subway station, I couldn’t help but let in the terrible thought that most New Yorkers dread and that is, “summer is winding down.” It was the perfect summer evening and I appreciated my friend that allowed me to talk his ear off.

The next day at the office, I was working when my supervisor asked me to swing by her desk for she had a question for me. I was dreading the question. I was dreading that she was going to tell me that I was being let go or that the vacation days I requested was going to be denied. Instead, she asked me if I was able to take on another account. I couldn’t say no because I wanted to be a team player but what I should’ve asked was the specific account I would be taking on. When I already said yes to the account, I then asked who I’d be working with. As you can predict, the new team I will be working on is with my office crush. The universe certainly had a sense of humor when it came to this work situation. As soon as I said yes to working on the account; I was quickly introduced to the team. When it came time to be introduced to my office crush, we just smiled and I had such a feeling that everyone around us knew that we spent time together outside of the office.

Later on that day, my office crush and I laughed at the situation and the question of whether or not we’d be able to see a movie that evening came up. I told him that I could still do see the movie but work might get in the way for both of us. We agreed that we’d keep each other updated as the work day progressed. The movie was scheduled to play at 7:40 that evening and we ended up meeting at a bar around 6:45. I was certain that he was going to say that we will never make the movie and we should just sit at the bar and get drunk but I was pleasantly surprised when he turned to me and said, “Let’s see the movie. Let’s do something wholesome.” How could I argue with that? We quickly walked over to Time Square at 42nd Street and along the brisk walk he was saying to me, “We don’t need to see the previews.” To which I responded with, “Hurry your ass up. It’s all about the previews.” When we arrived at the movie theater, I got the tickets while he was getting the snacks. He already knew my favorite candy that I like to get when I go to the movies (peanut M&M’s). We got our seats just in time as the previews were beginning. Everything was falling into place. We were sitting there, whispering to each other about the previews and also sharing our snacks. I was so content that I was barley paying attention to the talking teddy bear on the screen (we saw Ted 2). After the movie, we talked a little bit outside and he mentioned a going away party for someone the next day that he said I should attend. I had plans already for that evening but during the movie, my plans had gotten canceled which left me free for the next evening. I told him that I would attend, we hugged goodbye and it was there that I discovered that the consequences that was happening to me after all these months of laughing and fighting with my office crush was that I was falling for him.

On Thursday, it marked the first day that my office crush and I would be working together as a team. Luckily, for the most part, I don’t have direct contact with him. I have been working my ass off to keep work separate from my emotions. I think I’ve done an alright job with that and I will continue to work on that. Work ended at a descent hour for us both and we both headed over to the local bar that was hosting the going away party. It was a rather sparse going away party for this coworker whom I had no idea even existed but thankfully I knew a few people there and I began to have a few drinks with them. I was only there for a couple of hours because I had a busy day at work the next day. However, something happened that evening that I wasn’t prepared for at all.

My office crush was telling me that he was going to meet up with his other group of guy friends at his favorite bar, Professor Thom’s, to watch a game. I told him that he should go because I was leaving soon anyhow. As he was saying goodbye to everyone, he came up to me and gave me a hug and while he was hugging me he said, “I love you.” Then the part that I wasn’t at all prepared for happened. I said, “I love you too.” He took one step back away from me and said, “Wow. That is the first time you’ve ever said that to me.” It was kind of hard to have a moment while coworkers were surrounding us and so I reverted back to my old-self and said, “You should go and enjoy your game.” He left and I sat there somewhat stunned by the words that came out of my mouth. I hadn’t said “I love you” to another man in almost ten years. I finished my drink and took myself home. I was certain that I was going to analyze the entire episode that had just occurred but for some reason, I didn’t need to. I was happy and confident in my actions.

The next morning, I grabbed my bag that was packed for the weekend. This past weekend had me going to see my best girlfriend in Boston. There was a little talk of my office crush going with me but due to work, it didn’t allow. During the work day, I asked him if he could send me specific directions on how to use the subway system in Boston because it’s slightly confusing and I get lost all the time. He emailed me directions and I thought that was going to be the last I would hear from him until I returned on Sunday. I even left without saying goodbye to him. I feared that if we over communicated that everything that had happened over the past 48 hours would somehow be taken away.

I was an hour into my commute on the bus headed toward Boston when I noticed that my phone was ringing. Shocked that anyone still speaks on the phone, I looked at my phones’ screen and saw that it was my office crush. I picked up the phone and it was him asking me if I had made it on the bus alright and to let him know that I got to Boston safely. I told him that I wished he was on this trip and he agreed with me. I didn’t know what else to say to him and so I told him to focus on work and that I’d see him on Monday at the office. I was on cloud nine. Not only had we done the movie, said some rather important words toward each other but now he was checking in on me. If things had stopped there, I would be very happy with all the consequences that were falling into place.

I arrived at my girlfriends’ house at 7 and by 7:15, we were already sitting on her couch with a bottle of rose wine and talking non-stop. As I sat there telling her everything that had happened, she blurted out, “He should totally come here. Get him over here immediately.” I sent him a text message saying he should try and catch the earliest bus the next morning. It was there that sparked a lot of text messages between us. Things that included “I miss you” and “I wish I was there.”  He never made it to the trip because of timing and work and in the end it was for the best for me. I wanted and needed this time with my friend without any crazy distractions.

The rest of the weekend was great. We even saw the legendary guitarist, Dick Dale; perform at a club in downtown Boston. My office crush asked me to send him pictures of the places that I was visiting without him and I did. I even bought him a t-shirt from the restaurant that he first took me too when we went to Boston back in March.

When I left Boston yesterday, I was sad to see my friend go but she already planned out the next trip for me to come back in a month and this time she wants me to bring my office crush along for the ride. We shall see if that happens and only time can predict that one.

Everything that we do starts out with us planting a seed. When we apply for a job, we are planting the seed in hopes that we get hired. When we meet someone that we like, we put out an energy that lets the other person know that we are interested and when we pray, wish or meditate on the things that we hope will come true, we are setting into motion the future consequences that we will receive. Here is hoping that everyone receives the wonderful things that the universe can provide us.

Every Little Step

Metaphorically speaking, the steps we take in our lives are what will guide us to our goals. These goals can range anywhere from our careers to holy matrimony. And with these steps that we take, they can lead us down a path that is unforeseen and other times; it can leads us right where we need to be.

I chose not to write last week because there was a step in mine and my family’s lives that was somewhat unforeseen. We lost a family friend that was very important in our lives. She was my mother’s best friend for the past 32 years and it was and still is hard for us all to process. She was an amazing woman and will forever be loved and remembered.

Last Monday, my week started off with me receiving a text message from a girlfriend of mine that I’ve known well over ten years. She was panicking over the idea that the man she has been seeing wanted her to take the next step. That step being the step of being called his, “girlfriend”. After work, I met her for a few beers where I helped her realize that the title of “girlfriend” isn’t such a bad thing after all. It can actually be a great thing if you trust the person that wants to actually have you in their lives. It was a positive discussion and it made me feel so happy to see my friend beaming because she was moving to her next step in her life.

By Wednesday, the week was shaping up nicely. I had dates lined up for the week, parties to attend to over the weekend and everything seemed to be falling into place. However, before the dates, before the parties, I was having dinner that Wednesday evening with a good friend of mine at El Centro. Over margaritas and Mexican food, we updated each other on our lives. During our dinner, he told me all about his next steps that he was working on with his relationship. It seemed to me that everywhere around me, people were trying their best to take next steps to improve their lives, make them better or at the very least…give these steps a proper chance. I hugged my friend goodbye and on my walk home, I began to think that maybe these dates coming up might lead me into my next step.

At the office on Thursday, I was walking down the hallway and I was passing my office crush. As we passed each other, he whispered something to me but I couldn’t make out exactly what he said to me. I didn’t bother to turn around and ask what he said. It did make me think that it had been a little over three weeks since we had spoken a word to each other. It’s been rather hard and challenging to move forward when almost every single day, I’m forced to see him. Later on that day, I was, once again walking down the hallway when he finally said hi to me and asked me about my upcoming trip to Boston to see my girlfriend. I simply told him the weekend that I was going and kept on walking. It was hard to speak to him because of my feelings but also because our trip to Boston back in March, meant so much to both of us.

That night, I was going on a date with a guy I had gone on a few dates late last year. The reason why things tapered off last year were due to his job relocated him to Germany for a few months and now he was back in New York. He sent me a text message in the afternoon suggesting that we meet at 9:30 at a bar near my area of where I live. We both arrived at the same time and the first bar was rather loud and crowded, so we moved to the bar, Barrage. When we sat down at the bar, the first thing he said to me after not seeing each other for many months was, “I’m not drinking tonight.” There wasn’t even a “hello” or any real greeting. He ordered a diet coke and I ordered myself vodka with cranberry juice. If his first greeting toward me was any indication of how the night was going to go than I was going to need some booze to wash it down.

As the night progressed, I already knew that this date wasn’t going to last for more than two drinks. True to form, over the course of his two diet cokes and my two vodka’s; he managed to ramble on and on about his fitness regime. He asked me two questions of how my work was going and if I still lived in the area. Those were the only two questions he asked me the entire night. After our drinks, he suggested we take a walk since it was such a nice night.  As we walked a few blocks and he continued with his fitness talk, my mind began to wonder and I quickly knew that this was not the date that was going to take me to my next step. In fact, the only place that this date was stepping to was to my apartment without him. We walked to the corner of my apartment and then his last words to me were, “I think I’m going to go home and hire my usual massage therapist. I like this guy because he gives me a happy ending at the end of the massage. I had a great time tonight…we should hang out again.” It was there that I said, “I don’t think we will be hanging out again but enjoy your massage.” I walked to my apartment building and actually laughed out loud at how ridiculous the past hour and a half had been.

By the time Friday had rolled around, I was more than ready for the weekend to commence. I left work early, ran errands, did the gym and even laundry all in preparation for my second date of the week. This date was also with a guy that I had already been on several dates with. In fact, it was just a week or so that we had last seen each other. On our last date, he confessed to me that he suffers from A.D.D. and I told him on that date that I had no concerns about that. So, we agreed to another date this past Friday evening. We actually met at the same bar as Thursday’s date, Barrage.

The date started off as it normally has in the past. We update each other and after three drinks, he finally loosens up and I get to see the real person, which isn’t a bad thing but I just hate that it takes several drinks for him to get comfortable with me. Over the course of a few hours, we are having a pretty decent time and I’m waiting for him to make the slightest move but he doesn’t. In fact, I suggested that we actually call it a night because it was getting late and I could tell that he was going to have a hard time getting home.

Just like our last date, as I walked him toward his subway station, he had to take breaks because it was hard for him to focus. So, what should’ve been a five minute walk to the subway was turning into almost a half hour. He would ask if we could stop, he would drop his bag on the sidewalk and just rest on a building. Finally, we reached his subway stop and I made sure that he got on the proper train. It was apparent that I was not taking the next step with this date either.

Saturday was another gorgeous day in the city and I took full advantage of it with shopping, the gym and when I got out of the gym there was a text message from my office crush. It was a nice message and he also mentioned a place that I should try and visit when I go to Boston. This text message started a pleasant banter between the two of us with his last message to me saying, “Can I see you tomorrow?” I hesitated on my response and then I replied with, “Yes.” With one text message, he was back and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do or what we were going to say to each other. I decided to not think about it and I also decided not to tell anyone because this was my step that I actually wanted to take.

That evening, I went to my friends’ apartment where he was hosting a birthday party for his mother that was visiting from Arizona. There we sipped on champagne, ate authentic Mexican food and danced in his living room. After a few hours there, a friend of mine asked me to come and see him down in Chelsea at the bar, Barracuda. I brought a good friend of mine with me from the birthday party and there we had a beer at the bar. During that time at Barracuda, my friend that asked me to come and see him wanted me to go dancing with him at this club. I wasn’t dressed for a club nor did I have the energy to go but somehow; I was convinced to go and next thing I knew, I was dancing till 3 a.m.

Yesterday, I woke up and I was tired and I just transferred myself from my bed to my couch. I know I needed to get motivated because I had no idea what time my office crush was going to want to meet. There was also a chance that he could cancel but around 1 o’clock, he sent a message asking me what I was doing. After a few messages, he finally suggested we meet at one of his favorite bars in the East Village, Professor Thom’s. He loves this bar because it’s dedicated to all things that are Boston.

We met at 6:15 and there we began talking and after almost a month of not speaking, we picked up right where we left off. We talked about work, our families, I even told him about my tea leaf reading that I had a few weeks ago. At one point during the evening he said, “Does this mean you will no longer ignore me at the office?” I wasn’t sure of my answer but I knew that I certainly don’t like ignoring him at the office. I shrugged my answer and moved onto a different topic. The bartender liked us so much because all we were doing was laughing and making fun of each other that he gave us a free round on the house.

My office crush confessed to me that he went to Boston a few weeks ago for work and while he was there, he went to a few places that he showed me when we went back in March and it wasn’t the same for him. I could tell that he was really sad to hear about my upcoming trip to Boston and he even said that if I asked him to go with me that he would. Of course, I want him there and I know it would be so much fun but I just wasn’t sure if it would be such a good idea. After we settled our bill at the bar, he said he wanted to walk around the city for a bit.

As we walked from the East Village toward the west side, he mentioned something about seeing a movie. The movie times didn’t work out and so he said, “Well, can I take you to the movies this week?” I only have one free night this week and so I told him that I would like go to the movies. As we continued to walk to the west side, I realized that we were walking away from his subway station where he needed to catch his train to go home. When I mentioned it to him, he didn’t seem to care and said, “It’s alright Sunshine, I will walk you to your subway.” We hugged goodbye and on the subway ride, I realized that I was smiling again. I hadn’t really smiled in a few weeks and there I was smiling again because of the step I took.

The steps we take in life might not always be the best ones for us. There are times when the steps we take will lead to heartbreak and disappointment. Then there are the steps that lead us to happiness and fulfillment. Each of our steps matter whether they are little ones or big ones that is why it’s so important to have your loved ones by your side to make the steps we take a little bit easier.

A Grain of Salt

There will always be a point in our lives when things become too heavy for us to digest (figuratively speaking). Our minds and our souls will be incapable of comprehending what is happening to us. We do our best to search for the meaning behind each event that happens in our lives and more often than not, we become lost. We look for any glimmer of hope for the light at the end of the tunnel. Then we come face to face with our truth and wish that it was easier for us to digest. If only when life gets too tough for us to handle that we have the capability of taking it with a grain of salt.

Last Sunday, I had my second date with the guy that had me over to his place the previous Sunday for rose wine on his terrace. This time, we met at, Tipsy Parson, for brunch. I was rather impressed because he not only asked me out but he picked the location and made an actual reservation. When I arrived, he was already waiting for me and on that particular day; it was one of the hottest days of the summer so far. He said he arrived a little early so he could cool his body off rather than showing up a sweaty mess.

We sat down and began updating each other on our work week and telling each other childhood stories. I was having an alright time and I was doing my best to make him laugh and while I was attracted to him and he is a smart man, I just didn’t find myself laughing at all. I smiled when the stories called for it and asked questions to get to know him better but I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. I knew that something was missing because we met 1 p.m. for brunch and I was on the subway back home by 2:30. He is traveling this week for pleasure and therefore I knew I wouldn’t be hearing from him. It was a nice distraction from my office crush but in the end; I was hoping for more. I’d certainly entertain the notion of seeing him again and seeing how things develop but it’s also nice to get some practice on dating since I feel like I’ve been out of the game for awhile.

As the work week began last week, I was going on my second week after ending things with my office crush. I was still processing how hurtful the entire episode was and continuing to tell myself that I was doing the right thing for myself and for him. Toward the end of the work day, I got a message from my good girlfriend in Boston. She told me that she had just finished a tea leaf reading by this rather famous tea leaf reader in the city that is hard to book an appointment with. She was completely moved by what the woman knew about her, her life and the people surrounding her. She was only able to get a twenty minute reading versus the regular full hour. However, my friend told me that what this woman discovered about her in only twenty minutes scared the hell out of her and that I should try and book an appointment right away. I got the contact information and wasted no time with trying to book an appointment for myself. I called the tea leaf reader and she was booked for the entire week. I gave her my phone number and told her that if she had any cancelations to please contact me.

After work that day, our agency was hosting a happy hour that was only going for a couple of hours. During the happy hour, I did my very best to avoid my office crush and I could actually feel his eyes on me and that is when a coworker that I was speaking to said to me, “Someone is trying to get your attention.” I looked over and noticed that it was my office crush and once I discovered that it was him, I looked the other way and ignored him. Another hour goes by and people are starting to leave the bar and I could tell that one of the people leaving was my office crush. I was, once again, was in the middle of a conversation with a different coworker when he tried to grab my arm to tell me that he was leaving. I, once again, ignored his words and acted as if I didn’t see him. As painful as it was for me to ignore him, I knew that if I paid any attention to him, that he would act like we never ended things two weeks prior.

By the time Wednesday had rolled around, I felt like I was in the clear from him. I didn’t receive any text messages, instant messages at work or emails. I was free and I was beginning to feel good about moving forward. During the work day, my cell phone rang and I didn’t recognize the number but something told me to answer it and I was glad that I did. It was the tea leaf reader telling me that she had an opening the next day but only from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. I wasn’t sure I could get out of work that early but told her to book it and I would figure out what to do regarding work later. I was excited and nervous at the same time for this reading.

Later on that evening, after the gym, I went over to my friend’s apartment for dinner and catching up. I hadn’t seen these friends of mine in a few weeks and I knew that the topics that we had to cover weren’t going to be easy for me to say or for them to hear. It was a sweet visit and by the end, I think we all were mentally exhausted. As I was gathering my belongings before I left, I grabbed my phone and noticed a text message from my office crush. It was a message that left me missing him more than I already was and a message that left me wanting him out of my life because I can’t take the mixed messages any longer. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it and I chose not to respond to it. I simply went to bed and did my best to take that message with the tiniest grain of salt.

The next day, I was at my desk when I looked at my calendar and realized that I had a date with a different guy right after my tea leaf reading. I decided to keep my date and not move it because this was a guy that I had already been on three dates with this year but with his extensive travel schedule we manage to only see each other every couple of months. I asked him to meet me at one of my favorite wine bars, Ardesia, around 6:30 and he was alright with that time.

Finally, it was time for my tea leaf reading. I arrived at her brownstone on the Upper West Side and I noticed that I was nervous. I told myself to not get too excited because I might not have the same experience that my friend had. I also told myself to take this reading with a grain of salt because even though this woman could be right about certain things that it doesn’t mean it’s my truth.

When she opened the door, she greeted me with a hug. I was still rather nervous and gave her a non-affectionate hug in return. She told me to have a seat at her table where there was a pen and notepad for me to take notes. She was in her kitchen preparing the tea for me to drink. She came back with the tea and told me to take my time and drink it slowly. I opted to not take my time and drink it fast. I figured we only had an hour to talk about my life and I wasn’t about to waste the time by sitting drinking tea as if I was on some English countryside.

She then sat down across from me and took my cup and flipped the empty cup over to see my leaves that she would be reading. When she looked at my cup, the first thing she said was, “Whoa! You have a lot going on. This actually gives me a headache and I wonder how you are handling things.” I smiled and provided her with no real answer since I was paying her to tell me these things. She only asked me two questions and that was what my full name was and my date of birth.

She sat there quietly just for a few seconds before she went into my reading. We were two minutes into the reading before I was so frightened by how accurate she was that I asked her if we could pause for a moment. After that moment, I told her to please continue and as she did she told me things that only I knew. She knew things about certain family members and even about my current job. After she was done with my family and my career, she then went into my office crush. She even knew his last name without me telling her anything. As she began to tell me things about him, I began to cry. Not because of him but because she was 100% right about every single detail. When she was done, she gave me certain tools, list of therapists and even books to read about how to handle the future. It was money well spent and when I left her brownstone, I was so mentally and physically drained that my legs were weak.

I looked at my phone and realized I only had ten minutes before I was to meet my date at the wine bar. I sent him a text message and told him that I was running late with work. He responded with, “It’s ok. I’m having a really bad day and we will need to talk about it.” That is not what I was expecting to read and so I knew that I needed to switch gears and put my intense reading aside and focus on my date.

When I arrived at the wine bar, he was already there and seated at the bar. I took one sip of my rose wine and asked him what his bad day was all about. He told me that his job told him that day that his position would be eliminated by the end of September. So, for the next two hours, I sat there and told him how things were going to be fine, how I would help him get in touch with head hunters and how our struggles make us stronger. It was an exhausting date and finally I had to tell him that we needed to change topics because we had collectively came up with a game plan for him. I could tell he was starting to finally calm down and that is when he began drinking heavily. I opted to keep a steady pace and not try and keep up with him. We were starting to have a good time but it was also getting late.

When I told him that it was getting late and that we should get the check, I noticed his entire mood shifted. He looked like he was having a hard time concentrating and not in the way when someone is intoxicated. I asked him if he was feeling alright when he said, “I have something to tell you.” Those are words no one ever wants to hear on a date. When I asked him what it was that he had to tell me, he responded with, “I was just diagnosed with severe A.D.D. and they have me on this medicine.” Well, he just now tells me this after we had been drinking and I was pretty sure that you shouldn’t drink while on the medicine that had prescribed for him. He could barely speak and when the check came, he was having a hard time concentrating on signing the bill. He couldn’t even hold his credit card and it dropped on the ground and he couldn’t bend down to get it. I gave him his credit card and helped him focus on signing the check.

I knew that I couldn’t send this man off into the streets, so I told him that I would walk him to the subway to make sure he got on the correct train. As we were walking the three avenues it would take to get him to his subway, I realized that he couldn’t walk and talk at the same time. I held his hand as we walked in silence until we reached the subway station. When we arrived at the station, he thanked me for everything and said that he was embarrassed by his behavior. I assured him that there was nothing to thank me for and certainly nothing to be embarrassed by. I even walked him all the way down to train to physically see that he got on the right train. He sent me a text message when he got to his apartment and once I knew that he was ok. I was able to fall asleep.

The next day was Friday and I was looking forward to leaving the city for a few days. I was going to my friend, Feather’s country house for the weekend. I was going to be getting away from work, my office crush and all my troubles that were haunting me for the past two weeks. I only worked till 1 p.m. and as I was leaving the office and pressed the elevator button to take me down to the street level, wouldn’t you know…my office crush was going to be taking the same elevator as me. We rode the six floors down in silence until he asked me where I was going. I told him, “Out of town.” He looked crushed but I knew that if I gave more information about my weekend that it would lead to wishful thinking on both of our parts. As my luck would have it, when I was trying to get out of my building, my luggage was too heavy for me to get out the door and he said, “Will you please let me help you?” He helped me and I said thank you and walked away and made sure that I didn’t look back at him.

After three hours on the road, we arrived at Feather’s house and had a peaceful weekend that was filled with food, laughs and rest. We even attended the concert at Woodstock where Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performed. It was a weekend that was much needed and was grateful that I had friends by my side the entire journey.

They say that the origin of taking things with a “grain of salt” comes from the notion that food is more easily swallowed if taken with a small amount of salt. I guess the same can be said about our lives, about our truths, about our present and even about our future. When life becomes too heavy and too tough to handle, I guess the best thing that we can do is take each moment with that grain of salt.

The X-Factor

In algebra (a subject that I was most terrible at), the “X” is the letter that represents any number in that math problem. In other words, this “X” is substituting a number so that the “X” can work in many different ways. Our job in this math problem is to solve what the “X” represents…the great unknown. So many times in life, we come across certain problems that we can’t seem to figure out and it’s our responsibility to determine the “X” in our problems. I couldn’t help but wonder that once we determine what the “X” represents…what happens next?

I hadn’t spoken to my office crush since two Thursday’s ago (July 2nd). The reason being (aside from the obvious) is that we got into one of our typical arguments. Where he flirts and manipulates me and then I get pissed off because he’s not treating me the way I deserve. We had gone the entire Fourth of July without any communication and when we came back into the office last week; he certainly got the message.

It all started last Monday, the day before his birthday, where he sent me a text message asking me if I’d like to go to a nice restaurant for lunch on Tuesday for his actual birthday. I didn’t have any meetings during the lunch hour on Tuesday but I responded with telling him that I was too busy with work. Then he suggested that I meet him out for drinks that night to celebrate his birthday. I actually had plans with a friend for dinner and therefore I declined again. He didn’t like any of my responses since they were short and sweet.

He asked me several times if I was mad at time and I deflected. I wasn’t ready yet to tell him that things are over between us and that I’m ending the relationship. I knew I had to tell him but I hadn’t formed my words just yet.

Later on that afternoon, he sent me yet another text asking me to rethink about meeting for drinks that evening because he was going to our old hangout, The Tippler. I had to mention to him again that I had plans that evening for dinner with a friend and he should just focus on his birthday drinks with his friends and to leave me alone. I thought I was in the clear but then he sent another message saying that he hopes I don’t stay mad at him for too long and that after my dinner if I could please come and meet him. I didn’t respond nor did I respond for the rest of the evening.

I had dinner that night with a friend who is moving to Los Angeles and it was a much needed catching-up session. After the dinner, I got home, took a shower and went straight to bed. I was mentally exhausted from all of the back and forth that occurred with my office crush that day. When I woke up the next morning on Tuesday, there was a text message that was sent at 1 a.m. from my office crush saying, “I miss you.” I never responded.

I got to work on Tuesday and it was a rather busy day and I didn’t notice that my office crush never even made it to the office that day. He apparently had a rough night of drinking and couldn’t make it into the office that day. Once I realized that he didn’t make it into the office, I began to form the words in my head on how I was going to break the news to him that our friendship is over with. I was, finally, coming to discover my “X” factor in this insane situation.

All of Wednesday and all of Thursday, my office crush kept sending me messages about wanting us to meet in order for us to talk. I was too busy with work and I was also dreading the inevitable and how hard it would be for the both us. It is the right thing to do but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t going to be easy to say or to hear.

Finally, this last Friday, our office was to close at 1p.m. but I had too much work to leave at that hour. However, my office crush, gave one last attempt to get me to come clean. He sent a message that said, “I’m going out on a limb here but can we go to lunch and talk?” My number was up and I needed to face the music. I told him that I wasn’t going to be free till around 3 p.m. to leave the office and he said he’d wait for me at a restaurant around the corner from our office.

I finished up work and began my walk over to where he was waiting for me. When I sat down next to him, he could tell by my mood that this wasn’t going to be a fun conversation. Before I went into my speech, I needed to hear some happy news and so I asked him how his birthday was, how work was going and how his family was doing. I also noticed that he had his beach bag with him and I assumed he was going to be catching a train to his beach house for the weekend. When I asked him what train he was taking after our lunch, he said, “I’m not going today. I’m going tomorrow morning and I hope that you can come with me.” I took a big sip of my wine and said, “No. I can’t and now we need to talk.”

It was my moment of truth and so I told him the exact truth. I told him how I ended up falling in love with him. How I understand that if he wants to claim that he is 100% a heterosexual man that he must respect my wishes for wanting to end our relationship. I told him that his mixed messages are manipulative and not normal behavior for a straight man. As the words continued to fall out of my mouth, his face became long and saddened. When I was finally done all he could say was, “I still don’t understand why we can’t just be friends.” To which I responded with, “That’s the problem. You DO understand why we can’t be friends but you are choosing not to accept it.” We sat in silence for what felt like an hour.

He finally broke the silence with a request from me. He asked me that if I didn’t have any plans that evening, if we could hang out just one more time for old time sake. Everyone around the world that reads this will shake their head at me and rightfully so. However, I also wanted to spend a little bit more time with him before it was all over with and so I agreed. We went back to his apartment in Brooklyn. We joked about how insane the past six or so months have been between us. We even watched the movie, The Break-Up, on television.

After awhile, he received a text message from other coworkers of ours that were in his neighborhood and so we went to meet up with them at a nearby bar. After a few beers, we realized how late it was getting and so we went back to his apartment to grab my bag. Once we were inside his apartment, I knew what his words were going to be to me. He asked me to stay the night…and I did. The only difference this time as we got ready for bed there was no cuddling. He got the message and that message was that this was the last time that I’d ever be in his apartment, in his bed and would be communicating with him. We both smiled at each other and went to sleep.

Saturday morning and as the sun began to shine through his windows, I woke up. He was still asleep and so I grabbed my clothes and put them on. When I was fully dressed, I woke him up and told him that I was leaving. He was still half-asleep and he said that he’d speak with me on Monday to which I said, “No, actually, you won’t.” I walked away from his bed with him still lying there and shut his front door behind me.

I got on the subway back to the city and felt so relieved and so confident in my choice. I was finally behind my choice and I knew I had done the right thing for myself. I was free but I was sad. I guess that is the price you pay at times for your strength and ability to move forward.

When I got home, I was exhausted but decided to push myself to go to a rooftop pool that is around the corner from my apartment. I wasn’t ready to tell any of my friends about what I had done and so I kept quiet for the day. I got to the pool with my magazines and towel. I dropped all of my stuff at the chaise lounge and jumped in the pool. As the sun was beating on my face and the water was cool enough to give my body a shock; I felt cleansed.

As I was drying myself off; I decided that the best way to get over a man is to find another one. Actually, a good friend of mine earlier that week had suggested that what I needed to do was go on a date with an actual gay man. Not a date that would imply that I was looking for love but a date to keep my engine from rusting. So, I grabbed my phone and dusted off my dating apps and logged back-on into the cyber dating world.

Within one hour, I was messaging with a handsome guy that I felt was slightly out of my league. However, we were just chatting and there was certainly no harm in that. The chat went wonderfully because it wasn’t about sex or trying to get sex. It was rather mature and light hearted. We both shared a love of rose wine, beaches and the city. As I realized that in between reading my magazines, repeatedly dipping into the hotel pool to cool off; that we had been texting for over two hours. Finally, it was time for me to head back home to begin getting ready for my evening out with my friends. When I told him that I needed to sign off from texting; he asked me out for the next day.

He suggested that we meet at his apartment in Chelsea because he has a terrace that overlooks the city and has a few bottles of rose that we could drink over snacks that he would make. I actually liked the idea even though meeting someone for the first time at their apartment is usually a no-no for me. I agreed to meet the next afternoon and he said that he was looking forward to meeting me.

That night, I met my friends in Brooklyn to go dancing at Output and I thought it was going to be a relatively early evening and instead we ended up dancing till after 3 a.m. It was nice being around my friends, the music and the city without having to worry about any man drama. I got home that night and barely had the energy to brush my teeth before I passed out.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling rather excited and nervous. I hadn’t been on a date with someone that didn’t involve my office crush in over three months. I had almost forgotten what it was like to get ready for a date, to get excited about a date and to look forward to a date. However, there I was contemplating on what to wear, what questions I was going to ask my date and more importantly…were we even going to like each other. Before I left my apartment, I did a once over on what I was wearing and even sent a friend a text message of the address of where I was going to be; just in case this man turned out to be a psycho killer.

I was to arrive at 4 p.m. at his apartment but somehow I managed to arrive fifteen minutes late. I did inform him ahead of time that I was running a few minutes behind and he didn’t seem to mind. When I arrived, it appeared to me that he was happy to see me or at least wasn’t offended by my looks.

He tried to hug me but I offered him a handshake and then he welcomed me in. We made small talk and I brought over a bottle of rose and he began to open the bottle that I had brought over. As he was opening the bottle, I noticed he created an amazing platter of snacks for us and so I offered to carry some stuff out onto the terrace.

We sat out on his terrace and before I knew it, one hour turned into four hours! We literally sat there and talked about almost every single subject for four hours straight. I was mentally and physically attracted to him. We have a few friends in common and he had excellent manners. When I realized that it was already 8 p.m., I told him that I needed to be meeting my friend in a half-hour and needed to get going.

He said that he’d like to see me again and hopefully we can manage scheduling a second date this week. Before I was leaving his apartment, he grabbed me and kissed me and he kissed me again and I can happily say…he’s a good kisser.

I got onto Ninth Avenue and began walking to my friend’s apartment. On my walk, I got a text from him saying how nice it was to have met me and how excellent of a kisser I was. All in all…it was an amazing first date.

By the time I got to my friend’s apartment, I was exhausted from my weekend but I needed to be with my friend. I got back home a little bit after 11 p.m. and was still wide awake even though I was so exhausted from my insane weekend. I finally went to bed around 1 a.m.

While I’ve finally figured out what my “X” factor was with my office crush and while it didn’t turn out quite as I was hoping…I do know that we can no longer torture each other. I wish him only wonderful things and know in my heart that he wants the same for me.

I guess that’s how life goes as we try to constantly figure out life’s many “X” factors. There will be times when we figure out our own problems quick and easy and other times you will need to keep coming back to the problem before you actually solve it once and for all.

Easier to Say-Harder to Do

They say that for every action that there is a reaction. Every single thing that we say or do sets the wheels into motion of how our lives will turn out. What they failed to say is how hard it will be when everywhere you go people from all around are giving advice on how you should live your life. This advice usually comes from a place of love and concern and while the advice will continue to pour in, I can’t help but think how much easier it is to say and how much harder it is to do.

Last week started off with a big change for my work environment. Our offices were moving from the Chelsea Market over to Midtown East. It would be a huge adjustment from commuting to figuring out where to eat for lunch. I woke up that morning feeling a little “off”. I wasn’t sure if I had the flu or just flu-like symptoms. I decided to not call out sick and push forward with going to work. The first day in the new office and I didn’t want to miss out on any of the festivities.

As the work day progressed everyone was reacting to the new space like it was the first day of school. I was still laying low with doing work and not pushing myself too hard because I still felt like I was coming down with something. Finally, around noon, I felt it coming. I was going to throw-up. I rushed over to the bathroom and proceeded to get sick. As I was throwing-up; I was also crying at the same time (I can’t help but throw-up and cry at the same time) someone on the other side of the bathroom stall asked if I was ok. In my crying voice, I said that I was fine even though I had no idea who this person was on the other side of the door.

When I returned to my desk, a coworker had gotten me crackers and ginger ale. It was a sweet gesture and I sat at my desk for the rest of the day eating crackers and trying not to get sick again.

After work, our offices were hosting a, “welcome to the neighborhood” party at the bar, Galway Hooker. I was chatting with other coworkers when, of course, my office crush found me and we began chatting about our new office, etc. After about an hour of talking, I realized that I was going to get sick again at the bar. I rushed to the bathroom and got sick again. When I came back, my office crush had ordered me water and I finally had to accept the fact that I must have a stomach bug and he walked me to the street and I got a cab home.

The next day, I woke up feeling great and it must’ve been something I had eaten. During the work day, my office crush sent me a message asking me to lunch. We walked over to this amazing Korean restaurant and had lunch. It was really nice just talking and I felt more relaxed than I had ever been. We weren’t arguing, we weren’t pushing each other’s buttons and for the first time in a long time; we were just communicating on a mature level.

At the end of the work day, I went over to my friends’, Feather’s apartment where I had dinner in his backyard with him and his husband. Over dinner, they naturally asked about my status with my office crush. As I sat there, they both began to give me their opinions on how I should handle the situation. Both opinions were extremely opposite of each other and after going round and round with it, I finally had to tell them what I honestly thought. That thought being that neither one of them have any idea what it’s like to be out in the dating world anymore. They both have been together for over a decade now and things have changed dramatically. It was hard for them to understand that while I value their opinions, it’s much easier to tell someone what to do rather than simply be supportive of whatever the outcome might be. That outcome being me getting hurt or me ending up happy.

As the evening proceeded to wind down, I could tell that Feathers wasn’t ready for the night to end. We said goodbye to his husband and we both went over to the bar, Stonewall, where we ended up meeting five young ladies from Ireland that were visiting New York. We chatted with them for a couple of hours before I realized it was almost 2 a.m. on a Tuesday night and I haven’t had one of those late nights on a school night in a very long time. I hugged Feathers goodbye and ended up taking the Irish girls on the subway so that they could get back to their hostels where they were staying in Harlem.

On Wednesday, the week was already shaping up to be a rather nice one, minus the throwing up at work episode; everything was falling into place. Work was going amazing and I was getting along with my office crush and there was no drama insight.

Later on that day, my office crush and I had plans to hangout after work. We weren’t sure what to do but we both wanted to hangout. As always, we ended up having a few drinks at a local bar near our new office. We chatted about our usual topics and during that time we laughed about everything and anything and I was having so much fun. We only stayed for a couple of hours before we both needed to go home for we both didn’t want to suffer from a hangover the next day. It was my third day in a row hanging out with him and it was third day in a row that I was finding myself falling for him even more than I already had. Letting him go was something that I know is not going to be easy thing for me to do. Even though I know it’s the right thing for my heart.

The thing that is always easy for me to do is be with my friends which is exactly what I did on Thursday. Before I was meeting my friend at this new bar called, Wolftones, I ran into my office crush outside the office. He had plans with his friends and I had plans with mine but he suggested we go for one drink before we had to go our separate ways. He ended up paying the bill and I thanked him profusely before parting our ways.

I met up with my girlfriend at this new bar that she wanted to test out. As we sat at this Irish pub, we noticed that the bar owner kept coming over and talking to me. I should mention that this man is well over 60 years old and has the thickest Irish accent I had ever heard. So, it was really hard for me to comprehend what he was asking me. Finally, it was very clear what he was wanting from me when he handed me his business card with his cell phone number on it. He asked me if he could take me out to dinner and I had to politely decline. After that, we settled the bill and I walked my friend to Penn Station where she needed to take her train home.

Friday marked the beginning of the major Pride weekend in the city. As I was leaving work, my office crush, once again found me outside our office. He suggested we go have lunch before we left for our weekends. We had lunch and at the end, he offered to pay again. It was nice gesture and it was the perfect way to start the weekend. After we said our goodbyes, I went home to begin getting ready for the evening.

That evening, I went over to my friend’s apartment in Williamsburg where he was hosting a pre-game party at his place before we all went dancing at, Output. We got to the club at around 11:30 and there was a line wrapped around the block. Never one to ever stand in line, we managed to get up to the middle of the line and quickly got in and began dancing. We ended up dancing until 4:30 a.m. and I hadn’t been out that late in a very long time. It was great seeing everyone and having a million different conversations but once I got home at 5 a.m. I knew that my Saturday was going to be shot.

Saturday and my entire cast of friends that went out the previous night was not leaving their apartments. Everyone was dead to the world and it was a true sign that we all had a good evening.

During that evening, my office crush was sending me photos of the wedding that he was at and sending fun messages. After awhile, I told him to have fun with his evening so I could focus on my recovery.

Yesterday was Pride and the city was alive. I met up with my friends to watch a little bit of the parade before we hopped all over the city before finally ending around 10:30. It was really amazing seeing everyone celebrate for all different reasons but the main reason being love.

It’s very easy to be able to tell someone or even yourself what to do next in this life. What’s a little harder is making sure that the things we say and do comes from a place of love.

Love Thy Self

They say that in order to truly be able to love someone else that you must first be able to love yourself. Yet, with all of us running around with bounds of self-doubt, insecurities and the tiny little voices in our heads that create such loud noises. I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s possible to ever really be able to love thy self.

As last week started, I was still not speaking with my office crush. I was still managing to not see him around the office and if I did; I made sure to either walk the other way or act like I didn’t even see him. I admit that it was getting rather exhausting for me trying to avoid someone, especially someone that I care for. I was acting my ass off and pretending that I was fine. That I was ok with the choice that I made to extract him from my life. But the reality was and is, he is someone very special to me and I know that he is wrong for me and that there is nothing else I can do to fix the situation.

By the time Thursday had rolled around, I had gone almost a full week without any interaction with him. I was starting to feel a little bit of the weight lifting from my shoulders and I noticed that even my personality was starting to shift from being anxious to a sense of calmness.

My plan that Thursday evening was to meet up with an ex-boyfriend of mine that is soon to be leaving to San Francisco with his current boyfriend. We wanted to talk, reminisce and wish each other well before he left and with the potential of never seeing each other again once he moved.

During the work day, I managed to once again, avoid my office crush and I was doing great with my plan until somewhere around the late afternoon, I walked past him and he tried to get my attention. I finally turned around and asked him what he wanted. He said, “I know your friends are coming into town this Saturday from Boston and I want to see them but I have a birthday party that night as well.” I told him to just attend his birthday party and that I would tell them that he said hello. He said that he really wants to see them and to please send him the details about the party on Saturday. I shook my head and began to walk away when he said, “Hey. One more thing that I want to tell you and that is that I miss you.” I walked away and didn’t respond to his last comment to me.

Work had ended around six that day and I wasn’t set to meet my ex-boyfriend till 6:30, so I had a half-hour to kill and I decided to go down to my local bar, The Tippler, for one drink before meeting my ex-boyfriend. As I went downstairs, I was relieved to see that my office crush wasn’t there. I ordered my usual drink and sat down and proceeded to try and shake the day away.

I was barely three sips into my drink when I heard someone yelling at the top of their lungs…it was my office crush and he was extremely drunk. In fact, it was the most drunk I had ever seen him. He said, “I knew you were here because I could smell you.” I turned around and he was standing right behind me. I noticed that there were other coworkers in the bar and I quickly began to become embarrassed by what my office crush was yelling at me. He continued yelling at the bar to everyone, “This guy broke my heart. He took away our relationship and didn’t even explain to me why.” I told him to calm down and to please stop yelling. However, we all know that it is never easy to argue with someone when they are that intoxicated. I tried to drink my drink as fast as I could without him getting even more upset. I told him to go home and we would discuss things the next day. He was not happy with that at all. So, I looked at the bartender that usually serves the both of us and said, “He’s done. Can you please cash him out and cut him off.” The bartender shook his head and proceeded to cash my office crush out. As the bartender was doing that, I used that as my escape to get out of the bar without my office crush noticing. I was in the restroom of the bar and when I walked out, there my office crush was standing there and waiting for me.

We stood in front of the bathroom and he continued to yell at me about how cruel I’ve been and how he misses me and loves me so much. I told him to please go home and sleep it off. I tried to pass him since he was blocking me from leaving the bar but he kept saying how when I leave that he is going to follow me wherever I was going. I finally got past him and proceeded to walk on the street. He followed me for one block and continuing to say how he doesn’t understand why I’ve cut him out of my life. I just stopped him and pleaded with him to please go home, to drink some water, eat something and pass the hell out. He finally agreed and asked if he could hug me. I agreed to the hug and in our embrace he said, “I love you so much and miss you.” I didn’t say anything but I undid our embrace and proceeded to walk away. As I was walking away, I could hear him yelling at me again at how I broke his heart. I never looked back.

I met my friend on the corner of 16th and Ninth Avenue and I was still shaken up by all of the yelling and all the words that were exchanged.  My ex-boyfriend and I walked the High Line and then decided to have dinner. Over dinner, we talked about our past, our present and what our future holds for our lives. His life seems far more impressive than mine but I was happy that he was happy with his next chapter. He said he wanted to walk all the way down to Battery Park. So, after dinner, we walked and talked till we got to Battery Park and we sat down on a bench and watched fireworks. In the back of my mind, I was still concerned if my office crush had made it home safely. Also, in the back of my head, I realized just how much my office crush doesn’t love himself. He is tortured with the demons in his head and uses alcohol to escape his reality. Of course, most of us do use all kinds of substances to avoid our reality but I worry that his constant behavior will ruin more than just our relationship but also his job and his other friendships. It broke my heart and there was nothing that I could to fix him. It is something he needs to do for himself.

The next day, I was sure that my office crush would either come in late to the office or not show up at all for I was certain he was going to be suffering from a major hangover. He did show up late to work and we didn’t speak at all to each other that day. What bothered me the most was that he didn’t even think to apologize to me for embarrassing me, for yelling at me and for calling me names in front of coworkers. Instead, around 3 p.m. I saw him leave with another coworker for the day, which left me to feel at ease and finish the rest of my work day without having to worry about him.

After work, I was so exhausted from the past twenty four hours that I went home and took a quick nap. When I woke up, I showered and met up with a friend of mine for a few drinks. I didn’t want a late night because of the party I was attending on Saturday. I was in bed by midnight and I had no idea what the next day was going to bring. Would I see my office crush? Would he cancel? Or how we would interact with each other if he did show up to my friends’ party?

The party on Saturday was for a friend of ours that is moving back to London. The plan was to all meet in the afternoon at Prospect Park for a picnic, followed by playing games at this bar in Brooklyn called, Royal Palms.

On my way to the park, I received a text from my office crush asking for details on the party. I sent him the details and he said that he would meet at the Royal Palms and from there he would go to his birthday party that he had later on that night. I told him that was fine and that I’d see him later.

The picnic was a huge success and a lot of people showed up for our friend. After the picnic, we all cleaned up and went to the Royal Palms to play shuffle board and of course, drink. When I arrived at the bar, my office crush was already there waiting. He quickly gave me a hug and was very affectionate toward me. I went along with it because this evening was not going to be about drama, no arguments, no emotional outburst and it was solely about our friend who was leaving for London.

We all were getting along just fine and at one point, we went outside and that is when he wanted to talk. I told him that I didn’t want to talk about anything but just to have fun. He agreed but kept on repeating over and over again how he misses and loves me.

Several hours later, he was drunk but not obnoxious drunk and said he was going to go to his birthday party that was being held at some bar on the Lower East Side. He asked me to go with him and I said that I wasn’t going to leave my friends. He got in a car and a few minutes later I received another “I love you” text. The evening proceeded and around 1 a.m. I got a text saying that he is home and that he wanted me to be with him. I told him, “No. I’m going home and already in a car heading to my apartment.” That was the last I heard from him that night.

Yesterday, he sent a text thanking me for letting him see my friends and how amazing they all were. I didn’t respond. I spent the rest of the day with a friend having beers at the Ninth Avenue Saloon and trying not to think about what the week ahead is going to be like.

Loving ourselves can be a lot harder than loving someone else, especially when we are our own worse critics. We can fix other people, only ourselves. I guess the best we can do is start each day with gratitude, treat others with kindness and more importantly treat ourselves with nothing but love.

Is It Over Yet?

Saying goodbye to someone can be one of the hardest things a person can do in their lifetime. These so-called “goodbyes” can leave a person feeling drained, miserable and lost. Which got me thinking about the many times in our lives that we will have to say goodbye to someone…is it ever really over?

As last week began, I had started my grieving process of my goodbye to my office crush. It was day one after I had told him via text message that I think it is best if we just remain coworkers rather than the friendship that we had developed over the past three months. When I said goodbye to him, I instantly knew that he was not only taken aback but he was blindsided by my actions. I know that in the end it was something that needed to be done for everyone involved. However, that didn’t make the “goodbye” any less painful. As much as he was dazed and confused my by sudden disappearance; I was left with the heartbreak that I knew was bound to happen the minute I met him.

By the time Wednesday came, I was in a deep depression but I managed to hide it from everyone at the office and even hid it from some of my friends. That evening, after the gym, I was heading down to the Financial District to visit a friend of mine who was having me over for pizza and wine. On the subway ride down to my friends’ apartment; I felt the tears begin to form but I held them back. I didn’t want to be a crazy person crying on the A train nor did I want to give any tears to my office crush. I mentally gave myself a slap across the face and snapped myself back into reality. It was nice seeing my friend and also nice to get some confirmation that what I was doing with my office crush was, in fact, the right thing to do. I left my friends’ apartment later than I thought and more drunk than I thought; which I knew the morning was going to be a rough one.

I was dreading Thursday morning, not because of the wine hangover that I was anticipating but because I was hosting a going-away party that evening after work for one of my editors. The catch to this party was that everyone in the office was invited including my office crush. I was hoping all day that he wouldn’t show up due to work or him having a date (presumably with a woman) but when I was speaking with my editor later on that day; she told me that my office crush was going to attend.

The work day was done and my editor and I walked over to the bar, The Brass Monkey, where her going-away party was being held. It was a great turn-out for her and she was the belle of the ball with everyone wishing her well and saying goodbye to her as she was setting off to her next chapter.

About an hour into the party, I could feel my office crushes’ presence. It was an eerie feeling knowing that he was there but that we weren’t going to speak with each other. He remained on one side of the bar and I stayed on the other. I needed to use the restroom at one point and in order to get to the restroom, I needed to pass by him and as I walked passed him, I heard him say to me, “Hey.” But I kept on walking and acted like I didn’t hear him. Luckily, once I was done using the restroom, he was in a different part of the bar.

More time had passed and I was back talking with my editor and she told me that my office crush was just starring at us. I laughed it off and then she said that he was making his way toward us. I excused myself and made up a lie saying I wanted to talk with another coworker. I also wanted him to be able to have a proper goodbye with her since they also were close.

We were about three hours into the party now, everyone was feeling the booze run through their veins; including myself. I did see from the corner of my eye that my office crush was putting on his coat and leaving for the evening. I had no idea where he was going but I was relieved to know that he was leaving so I wouldn’t have to worry about an awkward run-in with him.

Turns out, I would have no such luck with avoiding an awkward run-in with him. My back was toward him and I felt a tap on my shoulder and as I turned around, he said to me in a rather annoying tone, “Can I speak with you for just five seconds?” I told nodded my head and said, “We can speak but this isn’t about us tonight. This is about saying goodbye to our coworker.” He said that he understood and didn’t want to make a scene but he said that he had some things to tell me. I nodded again and then he took a deep breath and told me, “I am trying to respect your wishes of us never speaking again but I do have to say that I’m confused by all of this. However, I also want you to know that if you ever change your mind and want me back in your life; that I will be there for you. I also miss you very much and I will always love you.” I didn’t know what to say other than, “Thank you for saying that but I think you should go now.” He turned around and left the bar.

I did my best after he left to shake off the words that he said to me but it was a lot harder than I thought. I smiled and chatted with coworkers for one more drink before I excused myself and took a cab home. On my cab ride home, I sent a text to my office crush making sure that he got home safely because he was boarder line drunk when he left the Brass Monkey. I got a text a half hour later that read, “I’m safe. I will love you forever.” I told him to please stop saying those words to me for it isn’t easy for me either to be saying goodbye to him. He responded with saying how confused he is by all of this and then told me that he is leaving for Boston the next day for the weekend. I told him to have a safe trip and that was the last I have heard from him. I wasn’t sure why he was going to Boston and naturally I was curious as to why he was going back to the city that we went to a few months ago but it was no longer any of my business. I went to bed that night with a rather heavy heart and to this day; the heart is still heavy. I miss him but I had to let it go.

On Friday, it was time to say goodbye to another friend of mine. He was offered a six month stint in Singapore through his work and so this weekend was his big send off before he returns back to New York. That evening I picked him up and we headed over to the first bar, Pieces. Everyone showed up for him and after a few drinks there we migrated our way over to, the Monster, followed by ,Julius, before ending the night at, The Eagle. When I looked at my phone not only had I still not heard from my office crush but it was also almost 3 a.m. I snuck out without saying goodbye to anyone and grabbed the first cab I could find.

The next morning, I was anticipating to wake up with another hangover but instead I woke up tired. I drank coconut water, iced coffee and took a long shower to try and revive myself for I knew that the day ahead was going to be a long one.

Jumped on the subway and headed over to Brooklyn to my friends’ house where she was hosting our version of, Cut Throat Kitchen. My only responsibility is watching after her 2 ½ year old son and doing the many dishes that would pile up as a result of the amazing food that was being prepared. There was about ten of us there and the food and the prosecco continued to flow from 2 p.m. till 2 a.m. I shared a cab back to the city with my friend that is leaving and on the ride home we took a fun drunken trip down memory lane before we hugged goodbye and I wished him well. It dawned on me as I was washing my face that night that this week has been all about saying goodbye and I didn’t enjoy that feeling one bit.

Yesterday, all I wanted to do was be alone and enjoy the amazing weather we were having but I had a rooftop birthday party to attend. Luckily, the birthday party was only a few blocks away from my apartment. I made conscious choice to not drink a lot and give my liver a much needed break. So, when I arrived, I sipped slowly on my drink and stayed for a few hours before leaving sometime around six and properly took myself home and detached myself from the world till I fell asleep reading.

Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do. No matter what the circumstances are, whether they are wishing someone well or the ending of something special. I guess the best thing that we can do is say goodbye, wish them well and know that maybe our goodbyes are truly never over.

All For The Best

We will constantly run into moments in our lives when we have to say goodbye to certain people. Where we have to wish them well and hope that their lives will continue to grow, that their lives will be filled with nothing but happiness and know that when you say goodbye that it’s…All For The Best.

Last week was insanely busy with work and that left very little time for my office crush and I to communicate. We weren’t fighting or anything of the sort but we both were so busy that we did the occasional text message or friendly hello in the office. However, we did agree that this past weekend we would hang out.

It was Friday and we were greeted with amazing weather in the city. We were also greeted with being able to leave early at the office with work permitting. I was invited by another coworker, who, oddly enough lived a few minutes away from my office crushes apartment in Williamsburg, to a rooftop party that she was having.

After work on Friday, I went to have lunch at Dos Caminos in the Meat Packing District while I waited for my office crush to finish his work and from there we would go shopping for shoes for him and then we would meet everyone at the rooftop party. He came and picked me up at the restaurant and from there we went to pick him up some shoes that I knew would look great on him.

We get to his apartment, drop off my bag and I change into clothes that better fit a rooftop party. When we arrive, some of the other coworkers were already pretty tipsy. My office crush and I quickly caught up to speed with everyone else and from there we had a really fun time. We drank, we danced and as the party continued on, we all managed to get pretty drunk. My office crush proceeded to get more drunk than I and kept getting more physical with me. Mainly, while the other coworkers were not paying attention, there was a butt grab and of course constantly hugging me and telling me sweet nothings. Finally, as the party was winding down and people were leaving; some of the stragglers wanted to go to another bar. I didn’t think my office crush was in any position to be going into a bar and so we said goodbye and got a cab back to his apartment.

In the cab ride home, we held hands and there he told me, “Please don’t ever leave me. I won’t ever let you go.” I didn’t respond for I didn’t want to participate in the drunk talk that generally happens with him. When we got back to his apartment, we stayed up listening to music and talking about the potential trip to his beach house that he had asked me to go to this upcoming weekend. We finally went to bed and like all the other sleepovers, he held me for most of the night.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and in bed; we read news articles to each other before finally getting ready to head back into the city. He had to work at the office for a couple of hours and I was meeting friends of mine at 5:30 in Chelsea. The ironic thing was that I was meeting my friends literally across the street from our office.

He asked me if he could join me and my friends later on after he was done with work. I was rather excited about this because it would be a chance for him to meet more of my friends and of course, I could get their opinion on him. I dropped him off at work and I continued home where I could take a nap and change into a new outfit.

At 5:30, my friends and I were all meeting at this place called, Torro. We got a big table and the rose wine was being poured by the bottle. I was getting nervous each time my office crush sent me a text message giving me an update on his arrival. Finally, he sent a text message around 6 saying that he was on his way.

He arrived and I could tell instantly that he had been drinking the entire time that he was at work. His eyes had a glossy look to them and he had a hard time focusing on what my friends were asking him, etc. I was already slightly embarrassed, especially when he put his arm around me at one point and whispered in my ear, “I love you.” Being the amazing people that they are, my friends didn’t question him about who or what he is. Rather, they just respected the situation and kept the conversation with him very light.

After his second beer, my office crush leans into my ear and says, “I think I’m going to be leaving after this.” I asked him why he was leaving and he took a big sigh and said, “Because I’m meeting an ex-hook-up of mine and I really need to have sex.” I was stunned. I was stunned and I was also embarrassed. He asked me if we could go outside and talk. I agreed and of course all my friends looked at me knowing that something was happening. I told them that I would be back in a few minutes.

As we stood outside in silence along the West Side Highway watching all the cars speed by. He finally said, “Ok. Let me have it.” I told him that there was nothing for him to have. All I said was, “Please leave now.” He was shocked and asked me if I was serious about him leaving that instant. I told him that I was and told him how he embarrassed me by showing up drunk and now I have to go back upstairs to the restaurant and explain to my friends why he was leaving. He wasn’t moving and I could feel the lump in my throat begin to swell and I said, “I need you to leave now. Please.” He threw his arms up in the air and began to walk away and as he was crossing the street he turned around to look at me and I mouthed the word, “Go.” He turned around and continued to walk away.

I went back inside and naturally everyone was asking if I was alright. I explained to them what we had discussed and I’m so blessed to have such amazing people to be by my side without any judgment. We left the restaurant and proceeded to go to a friends’ apartment that was close by. Once we arrived at his apartment, we listened to music, talked and I did everything I could to not think about him. This actually worked because I never heard from him for the rest of the evening nor did I bother to reach out.

Yesterday, I woke up and felt numb. Numb because I was hungover. Numb because I finally began to process everything that had happened between my office crush and I. I also told myself that I was done with him. Not only did he embarrass me but the future didn’t look bright at all for us.

Around 11 a.m. yesterday I receive a text message from him and all it said was, “How was the rest of your night?” It was very clear to me that he wasn’t going to apologize for his behavior nor does he get that his mixed messages that he constantly sends to me will ever have any consequences. I told him that I really hated doing this via text message but that I also don’t want to see him again. I told him that I was ending our friendship and if we can just keep it to being coworkers and since we don’t actually work in the same department that it will be easy for us to avoid each other.

He didn’t think I was serious at first and then I confirmed that I was serious. He said that he shouldn’t be punished because he’s straight and that I shouldn’t take our friendship away. That angered me even more because the man is in such denial and can’t comprehend that what he and I have experienced and gone through over the past three months isn’t exactly your typical relationship between a gay man and a straight man. Finally, I told him to please leave me alone and I wished him all the best.

I didn’t hear from him for the rest of the day and for the rest of the day, I lay across my couch and didn’t move. I felt like my body weighed a ton and that I physically couldn’t move my body until I moved it from the couch to my bed.

My heart is broken but I also knew deep down that this day was going to present itself. I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen. I wasn’t sure how I would handle it. I just knew that in the end I was going to be the one with the broken heart. I was going to be the one that will cry.  I was going to be the one to hear the words come out of people’s mouths, “I told you so.”

It’s over. It’s done. I was grateful for the past three months because I connected with someone, I laughed, I smiled but I can’t help him find his way. All I could was say goodbye to him and knowing that what I did for him, for me and for us was…

All For The Best.

Crossroads

In this life that we live, we will come across many crossroads and these crossroads tend to determine where our next chapter will take us. Chapters like, whether or not you should get married or should you take a job offer. The crossroads are endless, as they should be because without these crossroads, obstacles, challenges or whatever you want to call them; then we aren’t really living. We must face our crossroads and be prepared for whatever happens next.

I knew that at any moment my time with my office crush would hit a crossroad. How could it not? We’ve been hanging out since the end of February and in those months there have been happy hours, an amazing trip to Boston, a lot of laughs, the meeting of each other’s friends and countless sleepovers. With the amount of time that we’ve hung out together and the amount of confessing that we’ve both shared with each other. The question that has been on everyone’s mind is: When will they finally hook-up? It was a crossroad that I have thought about. I’d be a fool to think that he might’ve thought about it from time to time. However, it was also a crossroad that I wasn’t sure I was ready to make or to be a part of. Mainly because of fear. Fear of losing his friendship. Fear of making our relationship incredibly awkward and then having to see him every single day at the office. And my biggest fear and that is…suffering a broken heart.

For the past three months, I have been given advice from around the world. Advice that I should just make a move or walk-away before anyone gets hurt. The advice is endless and most of it all makes perfect sense. However, like all relationships, no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors; except for those two people. I can honestly say, that for the past three months, I haven’t smiled as much by hanging out with someone, I haven’t laughed as hard as I have and the flip coin is that I haven’t been this confused about someone…ever.

Last Wednesday night, I was at home when I got a text message from my office crush telling me to bring my gym clothes for he wanted to work out together after work on Thursday at his gym that is in his apartment. It was an odd request but I told him that I would come prepared. I also needed to pack an additional bag because I was going to Washington, D.C. with a few friends over the Memorial Day weekend.

That Thursday morning, I was on the subway with two huge bags of clothes, products and shoes for I had no idea what my night or my weekend was going to consist of.

After work that Thursday, I met my office crush down at our bar, The Tippler, for one drink before we decided to go back to his apartment in Brooklyn, to potentially do this work out that he suggested. On the subway to his apartment, he had a change of heart and suggested that we just hang out and have a fun night. Since I had already worked out that morning before work, I was perfectly ok with forgoing the evening work out session.

When we arrived at his apartment, it was a mess. So, we put on some music, popped open some beers and began cleaning and laughing the entire time. After that, he wanted to try on the clothes he had asked me to shop for him a few weeks ago. So, we had a mini-fashion show and he liked everything that I got him.

After the cleaning, after the fashion show; he suggested we take a walk since it was still early and go to a bar that he wanted to introduce me to. It was a hidden bar called, Larry Lawrence. It was a gorgeous bar that has dark wood all around, a wide selection of beers and an outside area you can sit and enjoy your beverages. We had a few drinks there and after those few drinks, he suggested we go back to his apartment to relax.

When we got back to his apartment, he began talking and confessing how much he doesn’t want to be a disappoint to his family, how he wishes he was gay because if he was than we would be together. Yes. It was slightly drunk talk on his behalf but I just sat there and listened. I let him talk; let him say what he felt he needed to say. I felt like any disagreement or challenge I would give him; would lead to him going back into hiding. This lasted for awhile until I finally felt like we were going around in circles and hitting a crossroad. That crossroad being that I’m dealing with a man that is confused about more than just sexuality but his purpose in this world. I decided that that night wasn’t going to be the night of anything else other than listening to my friend, laughing with my friend and supporting my friend.

After we closed the topic that evening, he said he wanted to share something with me that he’s never shared with anyone before. He grabbed a cd (yes, he still listens to cd’s) and played for me the first ever opera that means so much to him. We sat there and listened to this beautiful opera and we hugged and had a rather special moment. It meant something to me as well more than any sexual act.

I decided that it was getting late, we both had work the next day and I didn’t want to be hungover on a bus ride to D.C. We got ready for bed and once we were both lying there…he spooned me and didn’t let go for most of the night.

The next day and our office had officially started our summer Friday’s which meant that if work permitted, you could leave at 1 p.m. I had a bus that leaving out of Port Authority at 1 p.m. so I left the office at noon and said goodbye to him and wished him a great weekend at his beach house in Long Island.

I met my friends in line at the bus station and we took off at 1 p.m. on the dot. The entire bus ride my friends’ and I talked and laughed and it made the four and a half hour bus ride go rather quickly. We arrived at the hotel, freshened up and decided to take a walk around the area.

That evening, I met a guy that was also staying at our hotel and he asked me if he and I could potentially hangout on Saturday night. It felt odd ditching my friends but they were perfectly alright with me going off to have a little adventure. So, I wasn’t even in D.C. for twenty four hours and I had a date and I thought New York moved fast.

On Saturday, we woke up late but managed to do some sight-seeing. After the sight-seeing, one friend decided to do some shopping while my other friend and I decided to hit up a bar for some afternoon cocktails. Finally, it was time for us to begin getting ready for the evening. We hit the town and visited a few bars before ending up at this place called, Town. It was a dance club and we were there till after 2 a.m. Earlier that evening, my so-called “date” said he was too drunk to meet and asked if we could push our “date” to the next evening. He promised he would take me out to dinner and show me the town. I agreed and continued to focus on my friends, D.C. and potentially meeting new locals.

Sunday, we all woke up and no one was hungover. We got ready as fast as we could and walked around the city in the Dupont Circle area. My “date” was texting constantly about how excited he was to meet me, to see me, to be with me and to have a fun filled evening. I would be meeting him at 7:30 in our hotel.

When 7:30 came, I knocked on his hotel room and was greeted with a quick kiss hello and him telling me that we had a half hour to get to the restaurant for he made reservations for us at 8 p.m. A man that actually makes reservations? I was impressed. We walked, held hands and talked along the walk to the restaurant. He selected his favorite Mexican restaurant and as we sat down, he suggested we order a pitcher of margaritas. How could I resist? I agreed and when the pitcher arrived and he poured our drinks, he said, “I don’t really like tequila.” Than why the hell did you order margaritas? I just kept on drinking and as I began to ask my typical date questions, I began to see why he was a single man living in Florida. He lacked some serious people skills. All he would do when I asked a question was answer and raise both of his eyebrows in a flirtatious manner.

Then the food arrived and he took six bites (Yes. I counted). He took six bites and said, “I’m full.” Well, I kept right on eating, drinking and asking questions to pass the time. I asked him if he ate something before our date and he said that he had. So far, this was turning into a typical date that I have in New York. After dinner, which he paid for, we walked back to his hotel room. He suggested that we go back to his room, order a movie and just have some fun for he had a flight the next morning at 6 a.m.

We arrived at his room, began to make out and everything was falling into place and then he stopped. It was around midnight now and as we were lying on his bed almost naked; he said, “Do you mind if we stop and just cuddle? I’m nervous about having to get up early for my flight.” I didn’t know what to say or do. My friends were at a club that was far from the hotel, I was all prepared to let my hair down with a guy that I met in our hotel and now all he wants to do is cuddle? I agreed to cuddle and as I was lying there; I began to realize that I couldn’t do it. I wanted his arm off of me immediately and I wanted to get back to my room as quickly as possible. I jumped up, grabbed my clothes and told him that I was leaving. I told him to not even get up out of bed and that I couldn’t sleep. He was stunned but I didn’t care. I went to my room, turned on the T.V. and laughed at the fact that even when I’m trying to be sexy in a different city that even that turns out to be a disaster.

Yesterday, we woke up late and had very little time to get ready in order to catch our bus back to the city. We updated each other on our evenings and we all were exhausted from the weekend that we ended up taking naps throughout the bus ride back.

Did I hear from my office crush over the weekend? Yes. He sent me photos of sunsets from his beach house. When I got back to the city, I went home, unpacked and got myself ready for the work week ahead.

Turn left. Turn right. Move forward. Go backwards. Stand still. All directions that we must face in life when we hit our crossroads and only we are responsible for making those moves. Do we stand still and let the world move around us? Do we move forward, saying goodbye to the what-ifs? Or do we do our best to focus on the present day? So many options that at times we can’t even make a single decision. I guess the best thing that we can do is embrace our choices, deal with the consequences and hope that we pick the right direction to move in.