Relationships Change and Nothing in Life is Permanent

Relationships change as people evolve and experiences are thrust upon us.  This cannot be denied and though it is not always the warm and fuzzy thought sought after by so many, it is the truth.  Someone, though wise and compassionate he is not, bestowed upon me some very sage advice once upon time.  He told me, “Nothing in life is permanent.”  I find myself often repeating it  over and over again. Though I’m not always as accepting or understanding of this simple yet profound statement, I cannot deny the truth it holds.  So, as nothing is truly permanent, relationships change and are not permanent. This change can become a roller coaster, it can be the growth of something strong or beautiful, and at other times it can be confusing and disheartening.  The most intriguing aspect of this idea is that while nothing is permanent and relationships change, they are all a choice.  We choose whether or not we have particular relationships in our lives, we choose the deepness of the relationships in our lives, and we choose whether or not to nurture a relationship.

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How do we go about choosing the individuals with which we will share nothing, share merely minuscule moments, or share all of who we are?  Could this be an operation of instinct and gut feeling, something perhaps that we are chemically driven to do with one individual as opposed to another?  Or is this something that is shaped by our experiences of trust, mistrust, loyalty, and fallacy of friendships?  As much as I want to say that I operate through wisdom of choice, I find myself leaning more toward the idea that I am drawn to trust or not trust particular individuals by gut and instinct.  Is my judgement and instinct always correct?  Of course I’m sometimes wrong, but I’m more often correct.  Perhaps the more important question I should be asking myself is how often I listen to those instincts.  I have to wonder what the theories of others are when it comes to this  very topic of relationships and change.  I particularly find myself curious when it comes to the theories of those with whom I share my life.

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What makes a friendship tick and what exactly allows for there to be chemistry of trust and companionship in a friendship?  There are some people that can be instant friends and others that take time to build a closeness.  Are particular individuals in possession of a personality that acts as a magnet to others like themselves or a particular other kind of personality?  Why does friendship grow more easily between some than it does between others?  I have found this in my own life, where friendship slowly crawls along without my understanding of its stunted growth while I also experience friendships that blossom quickly with roots shooting deep into the ground forming a fantastic foundation.

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I find myself mulling over the questions of why I have certain relationships in my life, why some relationships are not the way I wish that they were, and why  relationships are sometimes so much easier for me with some people than with others.  I don’t quite have the answers, except that relationships change and that nothing in life is permanent.  What this will mean for my relationships with friends and family can only be told over time as things inevitably change.

 

Why are you single?

When was the last time you seriously asked yourself why you are single?  Have you ever?  Sadly, I know that it took me a long time for myself to examine that naked truth.

The reason you’re single might be something simple, but chances are it could be complex.  Not only is it important for you to come to terms with this, you may need to do a little self-work to get yourself to a point that you are comfortable with your reason why.  Make sure that you yourself are someone you would want to date in order to put yourself in a position to attract what you want.  In other words, grow yourself into the possible current version of yourself and you will attract what you not only want, but what you need.

When dating this is an essential question to have answered not only about yourself, but about the person in whom you’re interested.  Do they know why they’re single?  There is a reason, there is always a reason.  Before joining up with another soul to connect and build something, you need to have spent a good deal of time self-reflecting and getting to know yourself.  That is what putting your best foot forward truly means, that is what it means to put two wholes together and set them up for their best chance at success.

That means that not only do you need to answer this question for yourself, but you need to understand why your significant other was single before attaching themselves to you.  It is important to ask yourself if you’re truly comfortable with that reason.  So, if you haven’t already been asking yourself and those you meet in the wild world of dating there is no better time than the present to start.  Why are you single?

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Middle School Kids ROCK!

I am so incredibly fortunate to be a middle school teacher.  I cannot help but laugh when people make comments about how hard and difficult they believe middle school aged kiddos to be.  Middle school is so incredibly interesting.  I often tell people it’s the perfect age because kids still believe that I know stuff but they also get my sarcasm.  Truth be told, it’s incredible to witness them evolve into their own individual and independent people.

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Today, I am receiving such a compliment from a couple of former students and their peers.  Under the direction of one of my colleagues, these eighth graders have been working on a #20Time project.  These kids chose to organize a pep assembly around a fundraiser for CURED nfp.  The CURED foundation raises money that they donate to research in developing a cure for eosinophilic diseases.  Why chose this charity?  My son has Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

Wow.  Let that sink in for a minute.

How often do you hear society accusing teens of being selfish or self-centered?  Kids who are self-centered do not do things like this.

As teachers, we invest into our children, our students, in countless ways.  Never do we expect personal investment back in them.  When it happens, it moves you.  I am moved.  My heart has been so touched by the incredible generosity and investment I have received from these students.

I am not a highly awarded or recognized educator, by any means.  I’ve never been selected as Staff Member of the Month or nominated for any type of prestigious award or recognition.  I’m not selected for special roles or responsibilities by students or administration.  None of those things could ever mean more than what is happening this afternoon.  None of them.

Thank you.  Thank you to the students that have poured their hard work into doing something like this for my son and I.  The future is bright and humanity has so much hope.  I know this because I see the students that are going forward in life to make a difference and they’re starting today.

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The Fucking Weight Had to Wait

People make assumptions, judgements, I totally get it

Can’t even say I’m completely innocent

Why doesn’t she do something about her fucking weight?

Well, it just had to fucking wait

I couldn’t with too much to survive and to protect I felt the need to hide

I know, I see myself, I see the weight I carry

Hate looking in the mirror and putting anything on this body

You would probably call my reasons why a list of excuses

That’s fine

I call them the map of my endurances

People don’t always look past the LB’s to see the good deeds

The person inside has been so clearly disguised

Hidden behind dense layers of myself

A wall built without anyone seeing fat as that

So many men able to only see how I must weigh

Failing to notice me and my actual way

Swiping left and not so often right

Canceled first dates and second guesses leaving only ghosts behind

Missed chances for romance that I will fail to offer again

This extra cheeky smile and extra cheeky behind just might have been extra much for them to keep in mind

Each fat cell and ounce of cellulite are more than they appear

Holding tales of worries and woes

They’ve house tears and fears

These thunder thighs and this bubble butt have hidden secrets your heart couldn’t bear to hold

When the pain was just too much to carry around inside of me, I started to stretch my skin

Storing the pain and struggle padded around the rolls and curves

As the sizes grew, some of the hurt managed to minimize

Thus the cycle maximized on the food it was fed thriving in the suffocation of the reality

Finding myself now finally able to look to slim down the weight and ending this long wait

It shall be hard to forget those that turned to go the other way

Those that came close despite of what I might weigh

And most of all those that came close because of my true way

So here’s to seeing you soon,

well, eventually, on the thin side

Well, maybe, more like the less fat side

No more waiting on this fucking weight

It’s time

Three Simple Things to Help a Man Sweep His Woman Off Her Feet

I find myself thinking, all too often, of the wealth of knowledge the female sex has yet to share with the males of the world. Men, it has never been an easier time for you to sweep a woman off her feet. Yet, all too often, I don’t see it happening around me, as it should. Why not!?! Wake up, men. A simple online search will return troves of men giving women dating advice and women giving women dating advice. Men, I’m here for you, let me sprinkle some wisdom upon you.

Are things new but you really like this new lady in your life? Perhaps you’ve only got a few dates under your belt and you’re still trying to win her over. Gentleman, I’ve managed to come up with a list of three fool proof ways to make your relationship better with your lady. Perhaps this can help get you started on a better path toward love.

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1. Explain: It is true, we speculate, fantasize, and over analyze many things. Admittedly it is counterproductive and we are our own worst enemies. This makes things simple for you. Give the why. That’s it, truly. Without us having to ask, explain what makes you say or do that. The world of drama will melt away and your lady will begin to feel more secure in what you say and do.

2. Compliment: Now, I don’t just mean any shallow compliment. A lady enjoys a specific compliment. The best way to flatter a woman with a compliment is to make it a two-fold compliment. For example you could say “Your smile is so mesmerizing, how it captures the appreciation you have for the little things. That’s what makes me enjoy spending time with you.” Do you see what I did there? I complimented something physical that represented something about her character. That wasn’t the most important part. The last line is what really sold the compliment. “That’s what makes me enjoy spending time with you.” Right there, that is where you hook her. It makes her want more of you, your attentions, and compliments. Now she sees you as someone who notices her, is attracted to her AND enjoys her company. The most attracting quality a man can have in that moment of compliment is sincerity and wanting to see her more. Now she is more relaxed and knows you plan to see her again.

3. Details: A woman wants to feel like you notice and take to heart the details she shares with you. Notice things. And remember them. Your compliments and gestures of compassion of concern will be that much more meaningful when their driven by the details and things you’ve noticed. The details tell more than the obvious things. Compliments feel more genuine when they’re specific. Messaging a woman for the first time online? Ditch the simple and generic messages. Trust me, she can tell you’ve copied and pasted it. This is your first impression, impress her with a mention of or reference to details from her photos or profile. Noticing the details will only lead to a more personalized relationship where your desired woman feels she has your attention and affection.

I truly feel that the implementation of these simple things will take your further with any woman you’re trying to get to know. Good luck in life and love. Let me know if you like what I’ve shared and are interested in hearing more.

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Confessions of a Once Upon a Time Thin Girl

NOTICE – For this post, so that it may seem as authentic as possible, I have tossed aside all editing, revising, and yes…grammatical laws or reason (see, I just did it there).  Let my typed words be as close to my voice as possible…a rant perhaps, but never droning on.

Original Post:  March 2017

So, though it may not be remembered by many, I was thin…once upon a time.  It’s funny, because for me there are moments when that girl is so far away and others when she couldn’t be screaming louder.  Truth be told, she’s inside of me and these are my confessions that speak to her existence:

Sometimes when I plan an outfit out in my head, I see it on my thin self.

At night, when I dream I don’t see myself as I actually am, I see myself as my thin self.

Even when I day dream of my future, I’m thin and not as I actually am…er…not thin.

I can remember and pin point the exact moment in my life when I stopped caring about my appearance and wanted to be unattractive.  I was successful.  I’ve been battling my weight ever since.  I’ve done it to myself.

I’m not really battling my weight, I’m battling myself.  I’m actually quite intelligent and fully aware that I’m my own worst enemy.

I don’t make so called excuses because you have to realize that what seems like easy excuses to you are actually hefty hurdles for me.

Ever hear of the snowball effect, yeah, well, that’s basically what has happened inside of my body.

I have to remind myself, sometimes by the day, sometimes by the hour, sometimes by the minute, that I am beautiful, sexy, and attractive.  I am beautiful.  I am sexy.  I am attractive.

Confidence is a continuous work in progress and some days my confidence doesn’t show up.  On those days sometimes I just push through what life has in store.  On those days sometimes I grab my confidence and pull it, push it, kicking and screaming as it may be, and make it go through my day with me.

I teach middle school and if you didn’t already know it, middle-schoolers can be the harshest of critics, and yet, my students don’t see me as, dare I say it…FAT.  They see me, they laugh with me, some tell me they think I’m pretty (and yes, that is without invitation but who knows they could just be trying to suck up, lol), and genuinely like me.

Even though I know it’s wrong in my brain, part of my body believes that my weight is why I am single, and so then maybe it really is why.  In my world of dating it is often feast or famine.  Famine when I’ve been feasting and feast when I’ve been in a famine.

Intellectually, I know, I really do.  I’m a smart person.  Somehow though, my logic and reason does not connect with my heart, does not drive my mindset.

I have used food to heal myself, though no healing properties it has offered.  Wait, no, that is a lie.  It makes me feel good in the moment…figurative and literally fills a void, haha.

Inside I feel me, I feel thin, and the journey to make my outward self  appear that way is an ever ongoing war and sometimes I have to question if I really want to be fighting it.

Update:  May 2017  *This post was previously password protected but lately I’ve been thinking…ah, what the heck, what is there to lose (pun intended, see I’m hilariously corny…hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have made that a food reference, you know, because of stereotypes, whatever)*

Sometimes I just grow so very tired of trying to be thin and trying to convince myself of my beauty.  My gosh, I ‘m actually pretty fucking amazing.  So that the hell is my problem?  Why don’t I wake up and see it?I have so many things going for me and yet, I allow myself to get caught up on this one crazy stupid thing, weight…thickness…curves…fatdom.

Maybe I’m just not giving society or the human race enough credit.  I mean, do I truly believe that people are so superficial that they won’t see my actual worth?  In my core of cores, do I really believe that my weight is what hinders me being part of a couple?  Truth be told, do I really think that the lbs on my butt, stomach, arms, hips, chin, ankles, arms, hands, fingers, toes…ok…and thighs have stood in the way of my success somewhere, somehow?  Gosh, I so want to say no.  If I’m being honest, the answer is actually…(ugh)…yes.  I don’t want to believe it, because I see the whole picture of myself, because I have loved ones that see the whole picture of me.  Yet, the more I look around and the more experiences that life gives me, society is screaming YES in my face.

Online dating has been my seemingly only go-to.  Friends claim that they know no one worth setting me up with and as a teacher meeting people through work isn’t quite realistic.  My free time is spent volunteering with a rescue (not an activity many men are drawn to), I attend the theatre (a bit of the senior crowd, but I have an old soul), and spend the rest of my time with friends and family.  So. I do the things I love and the chances are quite low to bump into a handsome fella.  That means (barf) I am stuck with online dating, dating apps, and well…there you have it.  I have dabbled in online dating for YEARS.  I did it before I was married and after I was married.  Confession time – I’ve been dabbling in online dating for somewhere between nine and ten years now.  Wow.  Can’t decide if that makes me a pro or just sad.  I mean, I’ve tried almost every site and app out there…paid for many…paid for many at a time…ugh, don’t get me started.

Most women in the world of online dating seek out their most attractive photos to advertise themselves (because isn’t that what we are really doing, advertising ourselves?, um, yes).  I seek out a balance.  I want photos that look like the everyday me and photos that look like me on my amazing days and photos that make me look like well…turds.  I don’t want any surprises and I don’t want to invest my time in anyone that is going to be “surprised” or feeling “catfished” upon meeting me.  I have, at times, almost obsessed over making sure that my photo representation online is 1000% accurate.  Trust me, I’ve asked a ton of honest people for their honest opinions, honestly.

The issue with the way I see things is that I will look at others (um, hello, big mistake right there, wake up me!) and compare myself to them.  Don’t we all do that though, we do, and if you say you don’t, well…you’re probably just a big fat liar.  Anywho… (whistles and looks away, or in my case attempts to whistle).  I look at people who are also single mothers (ex-husband chooses to be out of the picture so ZERO drama over here), college educated (I have my Masters), successful (I have my own career and own my own home), and easily or quickly found someone with which they are (or appear to be) very happy.  So what the heck is my problem?  The difference I see between them and I is only ONE thing…or maybe several things that adhere to the body and show up on the scale.  Weight.  Pounds.  Fatness.  They are thin (not necessarily “prettier”, but thin or thinner, we could call that thin-ish).  It’s in my head…got to be in my head, right?  I mean…well, right?

Oh, and yes, I have friends shove photos in my face of happy couples with a fat woman and an attractive man.  That’s nice, but not really helping ME.  Did she meet him BEFORE she got fat?  Did he get to know her as a friend first and then the attraction built from there?  C’mon, help me out with some productive information, not success stories.

A guy I dated years ago but have remained in touch with here and there (aka he calls me to boost him up or listen when he is single and though we rarely see each other in person I engage in the conversation because conversations with adults is nice…and I can brush up on my texting/other social media aping flirting) once told me something.  He probably doesn’t know it, but it has stuck with me.  Could he be right?  I ask myself this all of the time.  The comment came when we were discussing our various holdups, mine being body image issues and feeling dismissed by so many men purely on the size of my booty.   He said to me, “Melissa, you know, you could have ANY guy you wanted.”  Me?  Really?  Hmmm…

Update:  Also May 2017, because people are curious beings…

I promise you, the visuals attached are representative of the reality.  The oldest headshot is from April 2017 and the most recent body shot is with the black top and black/white skirt.  Have at it…

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Live Life in 3D and Choose 4F Every Single Day in Every Single Way

A very recent sharing of what was in our hearts and on our minds with a close friend has me reflecting about the beautiful impact our friendship has had on me and this is sort of where my thoughts led…

As strong as I enjoy telling myself I am, there are plenty of weaknesses inside of me, too.  Sometimes it is difficult to remain optimistic and happy.  These two things are choices that I have to make again and again each and every day.  I cannot help but feel as though certain things or people can make choosing optimism and happiness a little bit easier.  So while duplication of this recipe may not entirely be your recipe for happiness, it sort of is mine.

  1.  Faith:  Believe in God and trust in His plan.  Know in your heart that prayer is powerful and utilize it regularly.  Having faith means trusting in God, truly trusting.  If you let it, your faith will give you all that you need to move forward.

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  2. Family:  Never underestimate the bonds and love of family.  Surround yourself with family.  Cherish and nurture those relationships because they are treasures and no matter the amount of time you have together, it will never feel like enough.

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  3. Friendship:  Choose friends that are true, trustworthy, and that inspire you to be a better person.  Enjoying someone’s company is not good enough; a good friend is one who travels alongside you on the path to becoming the best person you can possibly be.  Your friends should be your cheerleaders, role models, and safety nets.

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  4. Forward:  Pay it FORWARD.  No matter how much or how little you possess in terms of material goods, finances, or time, you always have something you can give.  Remember, embracing the idea of being a member of a community means helping one another out.  Do something to help make the world a better and brighter place.  And in order to embrace this idea fully you need to believe that one person can make a difference; you can make a difference.

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Many people know I have three Chinese symbols tattooed on my lower back.  No, it does not say “Faith, Hope, and Love”.  I put a lot of thought into that tattoo. I see a tattoo as a scar, and I wanted to scar myself from the battles I had fought with the lessons I had learned from them.

My tattoo says: “Dedication, Determination, and Desire”.  That is my motto for life.  I believe that if I have dedication to my cause, the determination to achieve my goals, and the desire or passion for my cause, I can accomplish anything.  These three things build the strongest foundation for any goal achievement or aspiration one might possess.

A former friend of mine once coined the phrase, “living life in 3D” from my life motto.  I kind of like the sound of that, makes perfect sense on many levels.  If you truly want to embrace life and live it to its fullest, experience and live life in 3D.

These things are choices that must be made constantly, embracing the 4Fs that lead to choices of optimism and happiness and living life in 3D.  We must remind ourselves of who we are and who we wish to be in all that we are and do.  Self-reflection through these concepts, these ideas, they will make you grow.  Do you want to grow?  If you do, what are you waiting for?

Start now, live life in 3D and choose 4F every single day in every single way.