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Lancelot Vs. Kyle Barker the Results Show

It’s been an interesting, eye-opening weekend.

In my last post, I waxed on about how Kyle Barker had this strange power over me. I alluded to his love of weed before, but after speaking with him and having drinks with him and hearing him wax on about how his recent trip to Jamaica was awesome because of the amount of weed he purchased and consumed and how he engaged in reckless drunken, and high behavior…

My bubble was burst.

I sat thinking, “What the hell? You are a grown man. You were on one of the most beautiful islands on the planet and weed was the only thing you can rave about? Not the scenery, not the food, or the music or even the beautiful people?”

Now fast forward to the next day, where a simple text between me and Lancelot turned into me spending the entire day at his lovely home. Sitting outside on his deck making drinks and talking about everything. Businesses, home buying, family, “the racism of low expectations,” so much. I cooked dinner. When the sun got in my face, he pitched a tent.

Looking at his well-manicured yard, he talked about the weeping willow which seemed to be the centerpiece.

I went nuts because, in one of my dreams from last week, when I was traipsing around the South, there were weeping willows a plenty. I love those trees. I told him about that dream. He smiled and said, “Well, I guess you are supposed to be right here right now.”

I kept staring at that tree. I told him he should rent his yard out to old church ladies so they could hold teas there, it was just that beautiful. I stretched out and let the cool breeze hit me. I saw birds with vibrant colors. I joked that even the air smelled different in his neighborhood than mine. And we probably live barely five miles apart.

I told him about how I used to marvel at trees down South. The real skinny ones that lined highway 95 or 85. You could tell they were old, but somehow they were ridiculously tall, but never snapped or bent. I used to think giants like the ones from Jack and the Beanstalk had to live up there.

“Strong roots,” Lancelot said.

“Yeah.”

He chuckled when I could see the colors on the wings of the birds and how excited I was to see them.

“This is what beautiful days should be like,” I said.

He said my amazement reminded him of when got lasik eye surgery and how it seemed like the entire world became this insanely vibrant place, with so many new secrets revealed, the smallest details of life normally missed, unfolding, now undeniable.

We talked all day and all night.

He loved the food and we ate until we were full.

We mixed drinks and I joked that usually I use the cheap stuff, when he offered up the good stuff. And boy there is a difference between the cheap stuff and the good stuff.

I was gone.

I paid for it dearly all day Sunday. But we still had a great time.

Day fell into night and at some point, he grabbed me and kissed me passionately. My head was spinning from everything I drank and from the moment.

I found myself nervous and quietly saying, “Please don’t kiss me like that if you don’t mean it.”

And I gave in.

Kyle Barker couldn’t be half the man Lancelot is on his best day.

Case closed.

Lancelot is the man who will tuck you in.

Kyle Barker will fuck you.

Lancelot is the man who will make you breakfast.

Kyle Barker will be long gone by then.

Lancelot will make you tea and bring you water and an aspirin.

Again, Kyle Barker will be gone and smoking.

Lancelot is the man who will reach for you in the middle of the night and hold you closer.

Kyle Barker will be gone and smoking.

Lancelot is the man who has a ten year plan and has long term visions he is certain of.

Kyle Barker has a great job, but he’s not game changing anyone’s life or providing folks with opportunities to empower themselves.

Lancelot is the man who won’t sell you a dream, he makes them come true and they are better than you originally imagined.

Kyle Barker is a means to an end guy. He does what he wants and what works for him at the moment.

Lancelot knows how to share. He gives freely. He is open, he is honest.

Kyle Barker is vague but that’s probably because he’s high.

Lancelot challenges you to be better.

Kyle Barker doesn’t care if you are better or worse as long as you aren’t wearing any panties.

I want to be better. I want to be more serious about my dreams and goals. He amazes me. I am inspired.

I respect him deeply.

And he’s a great kisser.

This is a no-brainer.

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I Overanalyze Overanalyzing, That’s Me Though

I’m feeling myself today.

I think it’s this green jacket I’m wearing with jeans and wedges that make my bootie sit high and proud. The sun is shining and I think I’m awesome. I feel confident as a mug for some reason.

On my way to work today, I’d been listening to Amel Larrieux, which I mentioned in the previous blog post. She gives you good, soothing, thinking music.

One thing that was totally on my mind that made me laugh is Lancelot says I process things too much, or namely I need to not process the “bullshit” as he calls it.

I thought about it.

I originally took Lancelot’s words too much to heart thinking I should stop processing everything. Thinking back, and thinking clearly, and stopping myself from thinking he was criticizing me and being self-conscious and ridiculous. I think see that he specifically meant bullshit.

I had to laugh at the literal interpretation that I made up on my own.

He was right. I did process some bullshit, and it came from him, which makes it ironic.

I process for a living, I process for fun while writing this blog. I process for my friends and help them with their problems.

Processing and analyzing, taking facts and information and helping bring context to it all, THAT’S WHAT I FUCKING DO. Pardon my French. But that’s how I feel. I had to say it with such emphasis, because that’s how it came to me today, and that’s when I started laughing.

It was like me realizing my eyes were brown. Like, yeah silly. Your eyes are brown and you overanalyze everything. Ha! Silly girl. Accept it. He’ll accept it too, because that’s you.

This is me. Processing is my talent.

I do it well. I was trained to do it so I could write and communicate and inform people and give them something they can use. If asking why is processing, yes. I process. If taking things apart from different angles is processing, yes, I process. If replaying conversations and moments is processing, yes, I process.

When you are down or confused or mad at someone, I will gladly process your stuff for you. I process for hire and I process pro bono.

I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I shouldn’t stifle it. It’s so silly.

I am so absurd and silly.

Then I remembered him saying that he always thinks of the best case scenario and the worst case scenario and that’s how he bases all of his decisions.

That’s processing. That’s totally processing. When I decided to consider him a hypocrite, I stopped myself short.

He said not to process the bullshit…

That’s right. Good advice.

However his definition of bullshit and mine may intersect, or they may be completely different. But it’s my choice.

It’s always my choice.

But I can still be me. I can still do what I do. To fight my urge to be analytical, is to fight the essence of who I am. It’s to cut off my inspiration. I might as well stop this blog if I cease to process. And I’m not going to do that.

I’m so silly.

I guess we’re both right.

I’d Like to Submit A New Sport to the Olympic Committee: Hoop Jumping In A Relationship

Over the last several hours, I’ve been thinking. A lot. Which is something we all know I do.

Then, I process it here on this blog, before I make rash, bad decisions.

I went out for an impromptu dinner with Lancelot last night, and we had a great time. It was actually a nice, family owned restaurant, not far from my house in the most unassuming (i.e. vacant) shopping center. Food was good, service was good.

After getting some advice from a friend the previous night, I was determined to turn up my aggressiveness to show Lancelot he was all clear for take off and that I am indeed interested. My friend warned me that even though during our first go round I was honest about my situation and where my head was at, he did put himself out there and no matter how nicely I thought I did it, I still rejected him and rejection hurts.

So I threw some obvious pitches out there and he didn’t swat em down, but he didn’t give his usual, cheeky, flirty responses. He was super reserved. So, I said that there would have been a time he would have said something slick and now, nothing. He told me I was fishing.

So basically Lancelot told me exactly what my friend said. And what I got from his speech was that he is being cautious about me and feels like I came out of nowhere saying that I’ve changed.

I’m going to be honest. I don’t like when people question me, or my honesty or my loyalty because that makes me feel like they don’t know me.

And I feel like he doesn’t. Quick text messages and meeting up for a few hours once a week, does not give you a real picture into who someone is, if you are trying to get to know them, busy schedules or not.

He emphasized that he doesn’t like being lied to and he hates liars. He would rather be told the truth and disappointed and given time to get over it than lied to.

I told him that my paramount desire in someone is to feel so comfortable with that person, to be able to say anything on my mind or share a fear so seemingly silly or ridiculous, that person won’t judge and won’t go anywhere. I want to never be afraid that the person I love won’t accept what I say or think that I have to stifle my feelings or my dreams or ideas or suggestions. I never want to fear negative reactions or disapproval.

And maybe that’s as much on me as the other person. Maybe it’s about my confidence level. There are very few people in the world I feel I can be like this with and I have to have it with the person I enter into a relationship with. This level of trust takes time, it doesn’t happen quickly. And as much as I like this person, that level doesn’t happen quickly.

I told him that wasn’t really on my list before, but I realize above all that’s what I want the most in someone now.

While I understand where he’s coming from, I really do; it still bothers me.

What bothers me more is I didn’t like who I was when he was into me, and now that I feel like I’m better and genuine and trying, it seems like I have to work harder. There is a part of me screaming, why did you like that person so much??? I’m better now! Look, see??? Like this version!

I’m also bothered because I feel like this is the most I’ve put myself out there for what I’d like to see go the distance. I’ve been very half-ass with the men I’ve managed to date over the last year or so. I can be real about that.

And it scares me.

It scares me a lot.

The potential for me being hurt is ridiculously high and I’m tired of having to pick myself up and recover. I really am.

I feel like I have way more to lose than him this time around.

But you have to take the chance, right? The greater the risk, the greater the reward. So here I am.

So I’ve been asking myself the question, am I willing to jump through the hoops to earn this person’s trust? Is this person worth the hoop-jumping?

I know the answer is yes.

The next question is who determines the length of time for the hoop-jumping? Him? Or Me?

And when does the hoop-jumping fade into just doing something because you care about the person?

Or am I incorrect in calling it hoop-jumping, because if you care about someone, it’s not?

Whether you are just starting out in a relationship or been in it for a while, hoop-jumping is a part of the deal. The term hoop-jumping sounds negative and like a chore. You are giving and you hope that person will give as much when you need it the most. You hope you can have this symbiotic relationship, in which there is give and take and your collective survival is based on mutual giving to the opposite person.

Have I not really worked at relationships before? Did I usually rest on someone being in pursuit of me? In my last relationship, I gave until I could not any longer. It drained me completely. I think that’s why it’s taken me two years to even gather enough strength to get to this point where I want to offer my time and myself to someone. But I’m still fragile and nervous and I want to feel reassurance too. I need it.

I honestly feel like I’m in the position to get played, hard. That I could really put myself out there and he be like, nah. Forget it.

My grandfather was the pastor of our church. He often had a saying, that if you loved someone, you have to “prove it, prove it, prove it.”

Talking about it wasn’t going to be enough. You had to have a track record of love in action.

So, what have I really done besides talk, take him out to a show and cook a meal? And it’s really only been a month.

He says that he is simple. He says that he is honest and does not want history to repeat itself.

I told him I understood his concerns and that was fair.

We are supposed to watch a movie and chill tomorrow. We shall see how this goes. Two nights in one week…

 

Patience: Putting My Money Where My Poem Is…

I went all out.

I got up early to go grocery shopping. I cleaned up around the house. Did my hair.

I made a mean pot roast (I redeemed myself after the “Not Roast” incident of 2003.). I made a shrimp mango flatbread. I made homemade sangria.

I washed my cloth napkins. Dried them, and placed lovely napkin rings around them.

Fresh flowers adorned my table in a vase.

I looked good. I wore a strappy long flowing turquoise dress that hugged my shape. I was barefoot. No jewelry. Just lip gloss.

Lancelot came to my house probably at 7:25, dinner was scheduled for 7:30. He was armed with a bottle of red wine.

We had great conversation, things were flowing along nicely.

He had seconds. He refilled my glass and would help me fix my plate, much to my disagreement. I would protest that he is my guest and I wanted to fix his plate. He shushed me.

It was a lovely evening and I didn’t want it to end. He helped me clear the table and said that he had to go home.

It was 10 p.m.

I was crushed. I wanted him to stay longer and relax. He said he could not.

He was back to business. He had meetings the next day and business proposals to draw up.

I had a sad pouty face and mentioned that I only saw him once a week, and hoped he’d carved out more time for me, but it is what it is.

He did say he wanted us to do this again, and that next time he’d cook and host.

The funny thing is, when he left, I found myself getting in a funk.

Normally, if I’d made such a meal, worn such a dress I’d have to kick a man out of my house and fight him off of me.

Lancelot graciously took his hug and a kiss on the cheek and departed.

I asked a few of my advisors what to make of the situation. Most said that this is my opportunity to decide if pursuing a relationship with someone so busy is going to make me happy. Will I be satisfied in the future with having to take a back seat.

Some argue he’s working super hard now, so he can chill later. Some argue, with more success, he may have even less time and once again, can I deal?

It was a difficult pill to swallow. Here it is, I’m enjoying the company of and highly respecting someone for their drive and ability to make things happen, but at the same time feeling a bit selfish for wanting more of this person’s time.

One of my friends said, “Well you complained the last time that he was too pushy and too fresh. He’s following your instructions.”

“To the letter, it seems,” I replied.

Maybe that’s an excellent thing. Maybe he respects me and likes me that much, just like I don’t want to make a misstep, he doesn’t want to either.

I do think this is a good opportunity for me to see if that’s the type of role I want to play in a relationship and if it will be enough.

One of my friends said that he may be testing me to see if I act simple when he says he has to take care of business and I have to take a back seat. My reactions to him handling business, may play a role in his interest in me steadily increasing.

During dinner, he told me about how friends and family became his investors and how blessed he was that people believed in him so much. He did not have to take out loans from a bank to start. He talked about how excited he was to be able to write modest checks to his investors and how he would be on track to continue growing.

I could tell that it’s not just his ambition that is motivating him, but he clearly does not want to let all of those people he cares about down. He takes it seriously.

I felt he wasn’t even saying that to brag. I feel that he feels that way deeply and I was further attracted and moved.

So, I asked him. “You seem to have a very clear vision of what you want professionally. But what makes you happy? What makes you happy in your soul?”

He said he just loves being a homebody and hanging out at home with his loved ones, sharing meals and good times. He said he doesn’t need a whole lot, he enjoys traveling, but he’s very simple. He said that even when he becomes wealthy, he’d want to stay in his current home, unless he had kids, and would then want a bigger place. He’d drive the same cars and live the same life.

One of my friends asked me if he was dating anyone other than me. To be honest, I don’t know.

He did mention that he was getting some pressure from his mother to give her grandbabies, and that even his grandmother and aunt have unsuccessfully tried to hook him up or lure him into surprise blind dates.

It seems his approach to love is that if it happens, it will happen and he must have some kind of attraction. The ladies handpicked by his family were nice, but they just weren’t it.

This situation is also another lesson for me in patience. While I think I am patient, I’m not. I do want what I want when I want it and sometimes that hasn’t served me well.

Slowing down this time around, may be exactly what I need. It makes me think of a poem I wrote and shared on this blog a long time ago.

Impromptu Poetry

The next time I fall in love, I don’t want to fall madly.

I’ll gladly

trade in the googly-eyed, flying blind, day-dreaming kind

for the steady, unconditional, responsible, loyal,

here today, still here tomorrow and the day after and after–

happily ever and beyond,

ever-lingering in every doorway, picture frame, under the rug and in between the couch cushions, all over this house;

in the eyes, hearts and DNA of our children and the generations that follow,

kind of love.

Come to our home for Thanksgiving and when he cuts that turkey, our guests will even taste our love in the juices that flavor it.

Because like our love, that bird was cooked painstakingly– not too fast and not too slow at the right temperature. Standing watch, we will tend to this love with unfaltering care–

no detail too small.

I don’t want the fantasy, I don’t want the fairy tale anymore, and surprisingly I’m not sad about that.

I rejoice now, because maturity has allowed me to see,

What we imagine love to be has never been rooted in reality.

Us girls dream of our prince, of that first magical kiss.

Not his dirty drawers on our floor, not yet another note on the fridge door, that says, “Baby I’ll be home late. Don’t wait…

up for me tonight.”

Brotha I don’t want to annoy ya, but I’ve got this paranoia, that one day,

you’ll up and walk away.

Kiss my forehead, smile and stroke my hair out of my face.  You don’t even have to say the words, you’ll just simply stay.

Just stay. I’m not perfect.

Just stay. Neither are you.

Just stay, the closest we’ll get to perfection is what we have between us two.

Just stay. Fine, I suck today, but asshole, you suck too.

Stay. No one else can make me laugh the way you do.

Stay. I like the way you kiss me there, and there and especially where,

the sun don’t shine–

except that time

we were on that private beach…

Stay because I know you want to. Stay because I know you want me to want you to.

Stay because there’s nothing else you’d rather do.

Stay because being the dude who stays with me, is just who

you

were meant to be.

Be with me

Because you just couldn’t know how to be anything else, with anyone else.

I don’t want the fairytale.

It’s perfectly fine we fight.

But after the jabs and tough words are thrown,

we’ll use those same lips

to kiss

good night.

On Seeing Myself and Other Revelations

So many things are going on in my heart and mind right now, it’s kind of nuts.

I’m inspired by how kick-ass Lancelot is, and I’m inspired by the book I’ve been talking to you folks about, “Calling in the One.”

There is a section in the book that talks about being a better you and basically having things going for yourself so it’s a lot easier for someone who has their stuff together can enter your life and you can both go do great things together.

The book, and Lancelot’s passion and risk-taking abilities speak to something I’ve known about myself all along but have kind of suppressed the last couple of years, because I’ve been in survival mode.

I do enjoy doing things that I feel are meaningful and that will help others and will allow me to be creative.

Somewhere along the way, I got lost in the sauce. And even with a new management position now, for which I am grateful, I have gotten further and further away from my passion as a writer and a reporter. I no longer professionally identify as such.

I still consider myself a journalist and editor, but I work in the digital space, with online content, primarily. I enjoy supporting my team, teaching them things and watching them grow. But, I can only take them so far, because in this world, I’ve only gotten so far myself and have been struggling with what to do next with this company way long ago.

Something tugged on my heart to go to volunteermatch.com yesterday. And there are times I have these moments. I feel inspired, I want to give back, but I search the site and either the times are bad or locations for the things I’m interested in.

I did something different with my search and put in writer as the keyword. There were few choices that popped up, but one did and it was awesome. It was for a writing coach to help low income kids prepare their college applications and scholarship essays.

I was all over it. I applied yesterday, got correspondence from the organization right away, and as of this morning, I passed the background check. I will be participating in an intense four-day program at a local university, working with a group of 4 to 6 kids, getting them ready.

Then I realized the personal mission I wrote down like three weeks ago. Connecting people to opportunities!! Yes, I am already embarking on that journey! I felt and still feel so good.

Yes, I will be taking two vacation days to do this, but I really want to. It’s important to me.

“Calling in the One” made me think about the connection to feeling good about myself, working on my purpose outside of potential romantic relationships.

I want Lancelot to be proud of me. I want to be his equal. I’ll never know how to do the crazy information technology stuff he does, but I know how to write my ass off. I know how to sit down and talk to people, ask them questions and have them share with me and feel safe. I know how to encourage people and cheer them on and remind them of the greatness they have inside them.

I want to do more of those things.

I find so much joy in talking to my mentee. I decided today to not just talk to her about her goals, but talk about the process of creativity and inspiration. So I shared with her my favorite books that spoke to me and or changed my life forever. Then I asked her to tell me what her favorite books are music are. We could take a short break from prepping our proposal to the local newspaper for an internship for a moment.

I look forward to her response.

It’s becoming clearer to me that I want to transition into working with young people and helping them gain access to opportunities. I don’t think I want to be a teacher, but I want to help them discover their talents and build a plan to help them utilize it and find a way to make a living out of it.

Seems like a lofty goal and I guess it does sound like a teacher or a guidance counselor. But I don’t want to be bogged down in the administrative nightmare of working in public schools. And I don’t want suckie pay. But, if I end up happily, ever after with Lancelot, maybe I’d have a little breathing room to do something without thinking about my rent all of the time…Can’t bank on that, but I’m just saying…

So what’s out there for someone like me? How can I blend my talents as a professional communicator with helping young people and get paid and not starve?

What masters degree could I get? What organization could I build or start?

Even with the tee shirt business, where the grand vision also included a women’s lifestyle website with articles and eventually empowerment conferences… I’ve been more motivated.

Trying to build the website on my own, I’m realizing has been holding me back and making me nuts. Just to get going, I may just buckle down and pay money for a simple site and finally get started. Just because the website I was building was free, it’s costing me more time and frustration. Sometimes you just have to jump out there.

Lancelot has shown me that, and so has “Calling in the One.” The book is gangsta. So I’m working on me. The better version of me. The version that seems to be gravitating toward working with young people and helping them reach their dreams.

One of the organizers from the event I spoke at a few weeks ago sent me some photos. Most of them were taken unaware, and seriously aside from me being dissappointed with my weight, I looked really happy. I looked comfortable doing what I was doing.

I saw myself.

I really saw the heart of who I am, in a photograph of me holding a microphone, sitting in a circle of young women, sharing with them.

It moved me.

One of my close friends saw it and said, “Just look at how those girls are looking at you.”

That was cool, if it was a look of interest and admiration, but I was more interested and fixated on what was radiating out of me. It was natural and it was the best of myself.

I had the same feeling looking at that picture, as I did in a photo of me from years ago, when I stood outside of the White House, arms folded, rocking a fabulous suit, with press credentials around my neck.

I feel my life shifting into something I’ve never expected and I embrace that. I’m happy to find myself being filled with purpose again.

Lancelot Meets My Mom (Sort of)

I had brunch with Lancelot on Sunday, and once again.

I enjoyed myself. I laughed a lot and did some very mild flirting. I reminded him that it seemed every time I gave him an inch, he would take ten miles.

He replied, and “If I keep walking every inch you give me, I’ll eventually get to where I want to be.”

Darn him. That was actually kind of smooth.

This time around, I’m noticing somethings. Lancelot has really nice eyes.

And I told him that. He seemed pleased.

I also noticed about myself, that I try to look in his eyes when we are talking, but sometimes I look away.

That’s a tell-tale textbook sign, I’m starting to really dig someone. When it’s hard for me to look at you and concentrate on what you are saying and I have to keep looking away, I’m feeling you. It’s almost like I’m being shy, which is silly. But I feel exposed and if I look in your eyes too long, you’ll catch me slippin.

I’ve always considered it to be your inner light shining way too bright for me and I don’t want you to notice that I see it and am having a reaction to it.

As usual we talked about a lot of stuff. Including religion, which is a topic I can’t stand discussing with people. I think religion is a personal thing, and you can only do your journey as you see fit. So for me to impress upon people how I live and worship and commune with God is absurd. Our spiritual being is as wonderfully individual as we are and I’m quite thankful that my God sees me and bases his mercy and grace on me, not on the curve, but as specific to me and my needs and desires and faults and talents.

What struck me the most about our conversation is, we discussed my mother.

He didn’t sit back in his chair in disbelief.

He did not judge.

He did not pity me.

And he had an opinion, of course. He wasn’t politely/nervously quiet about it as most people are.

He asked me some very real questions about it. And the one question that beat me over the head was, “Have you ever just asked her, what’s wrong, Mom? What happened? Can you explain to me how you feel?”

My gut reaction was that he was nuts.

So the more we talked, I did tell him, I felt I didn’t know my mother’s full story. That I don’t think anyone did.

He said, “Well have you tried it? For real?”

And I stumbled a bit saying I’ve tried to ask her, but she was just impossible and would go off into her rants about the government watching her or ramble on about something else. I would loose patience and quit. But I realized, I never just simply asked the question in that kind of way.

So I shut up. And I asked, “Where is my damn drink?”

Honestly, between trying to diagnose her myself, and being angry and dealing with all of my feelings about it, and everyone trying to deal with it and her and all of that stuff, I’m not sure if someone quietly and calmly just asked her point blank.

I thought of the possibility that there is a difference in the way my mother and father saw religion, and that she went along with his version of it to make him happy, and to present a unified family. However she wasn’t getting the same thing out of it, spiritually. The restrictive lifestyle was counter to her free spirit. The kind of people who made up that world, who were not like her and didn’t think like her, who didn’t question the necessity of certain behaviors and ways of dress to please God and seemed to just be okay with it, but secretly resenting it themselves… how the isolation may have even started there.

I identified with my mother and how as a woman, I wrestle with my very real love for God, and what I was told as a child was the proper and only way to live for Him and how those things inhibit my faith to this day.

One time she ceremoniously stood up in the middle of service and cussed everyone out. I was mortified.

Lancelot said, “Folks may have dismissed her as crazy, but I bet you she read everyone’s ass like a book.” I had to laugh at this.

“Yes, she used language that was not considered right, in the house of God, but I bet you, in that moment, your mother told the truth, and she was finally free.”

I was gobsmacked, yet again by his assessment.

Lancelot surmised that there may be more to my mom’s checking out than meets the eye. That she is still my mom and still has an instinct to protect and that even in her seemingly frantic and uncooperative ways, she still wants to protect me in her state.

He also brought to light that even in my mother’s rants, there is a truth, and there is her truth. He said, people don’t want to take the time to really talk to someone who folks label “crazy” because it is difficult and frustrating, but he was very encouraging and with a conviction seeming as sure as he was of his own name he said, “She’s still there, she’s still there.”

I was dumbstruck.

He didn’t linger, and when I didn’t want to talk about it anymore, we didn’t.

He approached the conversation with a confidence and sensitivity that I’m not used to. And while there were moments when I felt a little uncomfortable and silly, for not trying something so simple, and human and decent with my mother, who deserved that at a minimum, he simply smiled at me.

This discussion was brought on by me talking about how I wasn’t sure how to deal with my feelings toward a book called, “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.” I shared with him aloud of my dislike for the book was because either it really did suck, or my own experiences with my own mother biased me and raised familiar, uncomfortable feelings. I do think Ayana Mathis is a great, new writer and she tells a story vividly, and managed to jump from person to person, in their thoughts and gave them very individual thoughts and ideas and reasons for reacting or doing the things they did. So maybe I am biased.

This story is around a woman who is basically a cold mother to her children, who wasn’t necessarily a nurturing, touchy-feely type, because she was well aware that this is not a touchy-feely world. She simply wanted her children to survive. And because of that, they were all lacking and had equally tragic and suckie lives themselves. The ending crushed my heart, because she was going to inflict her perception of love onto yet another generation, with her granddaughter. There were no rays of hope anywhere to be found in that book. And while life has a number of dismal parts in it, I needed someone, somewhere, to have found some peace. But maybe that’s a harsh truth. We will wrangle with this lofty ideal of absolute peace and happiness, but not truly achieve it until we are transformed after death. Peace and happiness is a carrot and something to aspire to, that will keep us alive each day with purpose and will us to treasure the fleeting moments in which we do find it.

The only thing that I can surmise is because each section reflected each child during just one part of their life– but usually the most difficult and traumatic– that maybe it was just a piece of their lives and that they did manage to figure it out and heal themselves.

Lancelot managed to blow me away yet again and bring ease to a difficult conversation that I feel like I always have to build myself up for when I share it with people and then brace myself for the response.

He discussed it with me as if it were the weather, or work, or our dreams and goals. He added humor, but was never disrespectful, nor did he minimize the seriousness or the sensitivity of it. I was impressed and left breathless.

“I’d like to meet your mom, if you let me have the opportunity one day. From the way you’ve described her, she’s a tough lady. She’s a truthful lady.”

I think I’d actually like him to meet her someday too.

Lancelot Asked the Question, And He’s Still Fresh

April Fools is already over.

He didn’t ask me that question. C’mon now people.

But after randomly asking me to dinner via text whilst I was in the dentist chair, I met him at a restaurant not far away and we talked for hours. I spent most of it laughing, which was awesome.

But at one point, he grew serious and asked the question I knew he was going to ask me. I was surprised he didn’t ask it at the first dinner.

“So why after all of this time, did you finally reach out?”

I told him the truth. I told him about the night he slept on the floor beside the couch and how I cried on the way home after.

I told him I was a mess when we met and that it was the real me at the time, but not the best version of myself and how after time passed and thinking and all of that, I wanted him to know the better me. I told him that action and other things he said to me which may have been totally partially game, still managed to stick out in my mind. And even if it was game, I think it came from an honest place.

In turn, he said back then he wanted to be in a serious relationship with me. He was pushy, but he understood where I was. He said he missed me and missed hanging out. To which I asked him, how could he, with me being so messy and so all over the place?

So he told me that even messy he felt I was a great person. He said I must have thought he was a good person and saw good in him to want to reach out again even though he is pushy and a self-proclaimed asshole and horribly, brutally honest, with no filter.

He said he’s still going to flirt, he’s still going to try to sneak kisses. He said that he is a guy. A “cruddy,” guy. But he did say he respects me and always wants me to feel safe around him and that he knows that no means no. He is cool with us being friends, then he raised the power fist.

But then with a devilish grin, he said, “Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get lucky.”

And there it was.

And then I said, “There he is! I knew he was still lingering. I knew he’d come out! You’ve been holding back! We made it to the second dinner, and he came back!”

“You have no idea,” he said rolling his eyes into the back of his head. “Oh the things I could say.”

So I looked at him and said, “See, it looks like we are both making progress. I’m trying to lighten up. And you are turning down the nasty. Go us.”

“You? Uptight? Nooooo!”

“Forget you, I’m putting on my coat.”

We talked about all sorts of things, including his childhood job as a beaver trapper. You heard this correctly. I can’t even type it or say it again with out laughing.

At the end of the night, he reminded me of his progress in not being fresh with me.

“See, I talked about trapping beavers and refrained from making it sexual.”

“I really thought you were going to go there, but you stayed focused. I’m proud of you. Good night.”

“Good night.”

Real or Romanticized? Dinner With Lancelot Is On

Lancelot has returned from his vacation.

From his text last night, I have reason to believe he hit me up just shortly after landing to book a dinner date this week.

We set up the day, and honestly, I’m a bit nervous and/or anxious.

I’m actually looking forward to it.

I take this nervous/anxious reaction as a sign that this time, I actually care what he thinks of me, and the outcome of this entire situation.

Honestly, from our history, I have more to prove than from the first go round.

This time, I’ve challenged myself to be more open. This time, I’m much clearer on who I am, my faults and generally what I want in my life.

Basically, I want to show this person the happier, lighter, less messy me.

The version he truly deserved to wine and dine and treat so nicely.

I’m nervous because the truth of who he’s always seemed to be exposed to me what I was not and couldn’t be when we first tried to start dating.

I knew I didn’t deserve such a great person, at that time. And as I told him, I would have tanked the whole thing if we went at the speed he wanted to go.

There was a part of me that felt like even though I talked this talk about wanting an intelligent man, who was financially stable, who traveled and had it together and was grounded and family oriented and had faith.

I met one during one of the most difficult times in my life and I just couldn’t handle it.

I was used to being the most accomplished in my relationships.

I was used to having to expose the man I’m dating to art and wine and food. I secretly took pleasure in making my men better. It’s quite arrogant.

His confidence in himself, his ability to be so secure in it and not needing me to tell him about a book, or give him professional advice left me without a makeover project.

The script was flipped and I was left scrambling and wondering if I was good enough.

That was the root of my problem.

So, I used the superficial excuses of his weight, and him being too pushy, because that’s all I could use instead of saying the problem was me. He still was pushy.

The real problem was the left over hurt I had from my last relationship, my insecurities and my fears of handing over my true self, this time with a few more scars and sharing it with someone. Then, sharing it with someone who wasn’t running from it or making excuses, but encouraging me to face it and find some beauty in it anyway. Huh? It didn’t compute.

This was not how I normally did relationships or how men did relationships with me. I was always fixing someone and grooming them, whether they liked it or not, because I thought it was in their best interest. Most of them complied because my argument was compelling enough, and they saw for themselves improvements in their lives. But the more they improved, the more I demanded, because I knew they could do better. And for some, they didn’t think I’d ever be satisfied.

Maybe they were right.

Much more than anything, I want to pick Lancelot’s brain. I’m curious about his interest in me and what’s behind it, particularly during times when I was far from my best.

You expect established people in your life to accept you as you are during tough times. When new ones seem to do it naturally, it is scary and strange. We should be skeptical of new people. They should prove themselves. But we shouldn’t be so rigid, we deny ourselves the potential for something new and something beyond the familiar. We intellectualize love. I intellectualize love, trying my hardest to make it fit neatly, and make sense.

To some degree, I do believe love should not be as complicated as we make it. It is a feeling first, and then something that has to grow, evolve and be nurtured and tailored to and upgraded as time goes on. It is an unending work, that lives on in our children and friends and family we leave behind, if we did it correctly.

So here I am.

Humble, vulnerable. Aware of my value.

The awareness of my value allowed me to end ridiculous relationships with ridiculous people.

Now I’m hoping that same awareness will allow me to detect the right relationships and the right people who have an interest in enhancing my life.

I need this dinner to find out if these conclusions I’ve come to over all of this time are true.  I want to know that I didn’t romanticize him over time especially after dealing with men who didn’t come close.

It’s just a dinner…right?

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