Thursday, September 22, 2011

Smothered Hash Browns, Yes Please! Smothered Relationship, No Thank You!

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the Waffle House restaurant, but it's quite popular down South and in parts of the Eastern Coast.  It's a cheap and dirty equivalent of IHOP, yet in my experience, it tastes much better after a late night out bar-hopping than it actually does for sober breakfast purposes.  Anyhow, they have an option there to serve their hashbrowns "covered and smothered" where they basically throw everything on there except the kitchen sink.  Quite tasty at 2am when the buzz is wearing off and you're about 47 minutes away from passing straight out.  However, I like my hasbrowns this way, but definitely NOT my relationships...

When one goes from the busy dating pool, to marriage at 27, and then back to the dating pool at age 32, it's a bit confusing to say the least.  I've found that the real challenge now that I've plunged off the high-dive back into the pool is finding the balance between maintaining my personal life (i.e. work, school, friendships, day-to-day grind, etc.) with a healthy relationship.  Seems easy enough in theory, right?  I mean, in my early twenties, I managed to hold down TWO jobs, full-time college courses, mild partying, friends, AND a boyfriend quite effortlessly.  Allbeit, I can guarantee I didn't sleep much, if hardly at all, and to what degree those "relationships" were healthy and stable is highly questionable.  So, I guess this post is more to seek advice than anything else because after consulting a few of my IRL female friends on this topic, I still feel bewildered by it all.

I've been dating someone now for the past four months.  I was set up with him by my mom who works at the same company he does.  Mind you, I was VERY apprehensive about dating at the time she set me up but I trusted that my mom (of all people) wouldn't steer me wrong with some loser, so I went with it.  Well, guess what?  He's everything she said he was and more!  Great, huh?  Now you're thinking "so what's there to complain about?". 

Well, truth be told, as the title suggests, I feel a bit 'smothered' here lately.  It's not that his intentions aren't good because trust me, they are!  However, I've always been a very independent person and my philosophy on dating is that you can have a healthy relationship without constant bombardment of personal space.  In fact, I'm the type that would rather see my SO maybe 1-2 times per week and talk on the phone maybe 2-3 times per week - anything more than that and it's a bit overwhelming in my book.  Sounds reasonable, right?  I'm by no means a needy person whatsoever and expect the same trait in my SO.  However, he calls me at least once a day, sometimes twice a day.  And, he would like to see me every day if he had it his way.  I don't know if it's just me, or if this is a bit excessive?  I feel a lot of pressure to keep up with this sort of "schedule" but sometimes I feel like it's just my own personal struggle.  It's not that he's checking up on me or acting posessive or whatnot, he's just quite honestly thinking of me and so picks up the phone to call and say "hi" - simple as that.  I enjoy the excitement of relationships and he completely adores me and complements me every day but quite honestly, I'm not used to that!  I'm a firm believer in the notion that a new relationship does not have to consume your every moment and transform the person that you are.  I'm a realist and quite frankly, I've watched too many friends fall into the "I have a new boyfriend and now I'm dropping everything for him" routine - blech!  I don't know how they allow that to happen as just that thought alone makes me suffocate a little on the inside.  I mean, come on.  Day-to-day life still exists, I still work, have obligations, school, friendships to maintain, etc. so I don't feel the need to make a dating relationship the root of my essence.  Know what I mean?  I think the problem here is that he enjoys making me the center of his entire universe while I'm, quite simply, just not like that.  And now that I've typed out the previous sentence, I'm really not even sure if you can even call it a "problem" to begin with.

Now that you're thoroughly confused and this post has turned into a novel, I just basically am torn with where I stand.  Are my 'smothered' feelings validated?  I know I need to sit down with him and let him know how I feel but I've played it over in my head and am beginning to realize that there's no easy or graceful way of saying "ok, buddy, I need some space, let's slow down..oh, and don't call me so much" without sounding like an unappreciative B*.  Or is there a way?  I honestly never dreamed I'd be sitting here blogging about a relationship where I'm actually complaining about getting doted on too much - typically in the past I've had relationships where I'm teetering on the last rung of the ladder so it was always a non-issue.  Now, I'm at the top of his priorities and yet, I'm feeling strangely overwhelmed.  Is this legit?  Don't get me wrong, I fully and completely appreciate his attentiveness and loyalty, believe me, I do!  I went too many years feeling like an afterthought so I'm thrilled to be at the forefront of someone's concerns.  However, I'm just a bit rusty with dating and well, having trouble figuring it all out again.  Advice?

Uncovered Hashbrown

Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo Shoot Faves

So, here's some of the photos from the shoot with Amy a couple of weeks ago.  I uploaded most of them to my Facebook but I'll put a few here that I didn't share there.  I don't want to sound self-absorbed or conceited or whatnot but, I'm so, so, so glad I had this done!  This past year has been an emotional train wreck for me and despite the stress-induced weight loss, I've had a lot of trouble finding ME again and I seem to have lacked the ability to feel good about myself which is VERY unlike me.  So, please understand I don't go around "posing" in front of cameras on the regular, but my expressions and emotions captured in these photographs are very true and real and genuine.  And that...I'll cherish forever.  Enjoy!

I can't emphasize enough just how much fun I had at this shoot.  Not only did I get some great photos but my photographer Amy, is truly one of the sweetest people I've ever met!  She made me feel so comfortable and warm and, well, like ME again!  So, a million thank-you's to her and her husband Mike for watching baby Jackson for 45 minutes while we went off galivanting into the "woods" to capture these photographs.  Memories made, indeed, and I hope to remain great friends with her!!

Until next time, bloggers...


Monday, September 12, 2011

House Hunting & Other New Adventures

Ok, so the title of this entry may be somewhat misleading but it's fun to dream, right?  Actually, I said earlier this year that one of my next goals is to buy a house or condo and that's still very much on my radar.  How soon it will happen, is probably a little farther off the radar than I would hope.  Ever watch Suze Orman?  She's that financial analyst/guru and does a great job on her TV show of picking people's financial situation apart and telling them "no" when they want to buy something that's just not 1) smart 2) feasible and/or 3) realistic.  *Sigh*.  Well, Suze would pick me apart for my desire to own a home without the lump sum to put down or the 8 month "emergency fund" you need in case something goes awry.  However, I digress.  How can you NOT dream when the housing market is at an all time low?  I mean, houses in the area I'm looking at easily went for $350k+ a few years ago.  And now...listings for those same houses at $200k or less!  Talk about crazy exciting!  We'll see what I conjure up over the next 6 months or so...

In other related news, my mom has enlightened me on a business opportunity that is worthy of further investigation.  Through a contact of hers at work, she learned a little about running, owning and operating a private Courier service.  Since her company (and so many other companies out there now) are downsizing, hiring less, cross-training employees to other positions, "leaning" out their resources and people etc., many businesses have turned to external Courier services as a means for transporting their documents, equipment, people and more.  It's a simple premise, really.  You drive said items from one location to another, from client to recipient's destination.  The start-up for this is nearly nothing.  Literally, all that is needed is a reliable vehicle, a cellular phone and access to a computer/printer.  Needless, to say, the room for profit and the next-to-nothing start-up cost is very appealing.  I've purchased some resources that give further instruction on how to start-up a Courier service and where to go from there.  With school still looming (for another couple of months, anyway) and work, I may put this on a short hold but after that, I really plan to go full steam with it.  It's exciting to me and well, doesn't everyone want to be their own boss?  I sure do!

That's about it for my latest news.  Of course, I'll come back and revisit these two main topics on the agenda in a few months and see where I'm at with each of them.  As one of the world's worst procrastinators, you, my readers must cattle prod me and see me through!  

As mentioned in my previous blog entry, I had a photo shoot with Southern California's greatest, most talented photographer and friend, Amy.  Meeting her, her husband Mike and sweet baby boy Jackson was the highlight of these past 6 months or so.  I'm so thrilled I got the chance to meet up with her and take some amazing photographs that I'll treasure forever.  I'll post a glimpse of those when I receive the CD so stay tuned!