Saturday, May 27, 2017

Falling in Love and Lists

To start, I would like to say that this blog is no longer going to be focused on the physical aspect of my health. I will, undoubtedly get into my physical health at some point in my blogging, but for reasons I will explain later, this blog is now going to explore different aspects of my health as a whole. Emotional, mental, spiritual, financial (yikes!), social all of these aspects I will touch on and elaborate on. I can still promise honesty, humor, and rawness (at times I am sure you will still think - TMI) I still promise my foul mouth and anecdotal memories. I just want to take the focus off of my weight. Can I say that again?!? I. WANT TO TAKE THE FOCUS OFF OF MY WEIGHT.

Okay, so a lot has happened in the past 4 years of my life (while I took a break from blogging). I have had several new experiences, traveled to various new domestic locations, experienced loss and joy. But perhaps the biggest news in my adult life, I am in love for the first time. A fun, exciting, feels like home type of love. Falling in love has been the most ridiculous, fun, scary and confusing thing I have ever done.

In March of 2014 I was pretty busy on the internet dating scene. Beings that I was in a fresh new body had a new lease on life - I was ready to have some fun! Initially I thought that I was interested in dating! Like going to dinner, seeing movies, going to ball games. All these are things that my peers had been doing since they were 16 or 17 years old, but I had not yet experienced them. Here's the thing though - I HAD experienced them. I had experienced them with friends. I had experienced them with family. I had conditioned myself into thinking that I was missing out because I didn't have a boyfriend. If I had only known then. So, back to what I was saying, I THOUGHT I was interested in dating. But the more I experienced online dating and men of an appropriate dating age - the more I realized that it wasn't them that I was after. It was attention!! It was approval!!! It was a "good morning beautiful" from a total stranger? I know it doesn't sound right, but anyone of you that suffers from low self esteem knows what feeling I am talking about. After meeting several different guys and developing what are still what I consider great friendships, I met Ray. Lord, have mercy! THAT SMILE. Initially, I dismissed Ray as being too cute or too much of a ladies' man - but as he pursued me I thought to myself "Okay? Let's try this! Let's have dinner and hang out, at the very least, maybe he will become another great friend!" In April of 2014 I invited Ray to have dinner with myself and a couple of my friends. I was going to cook my famous Baked Spaghetti (like I always do when trying to impress). Ray showed up with his million dollar smile and two bottles of wine and the rest is history. We caught like wild fire.

We were INSTANT friends. Both of us had convinced ourselves that we didn't want serious relationships but that we really enjoyed being around each other so we were just going to do our best at communicating our feelings and see how that went. It was fun, but it was rough too. Like anybody that involves too many people in their business, the more people there are involved - the more opinions are shared. And not all of them are welcomed OR encouraging. I will be the first to say that in 2014 - my friends and my family were my "other half". If that makes sense to anyone, they were who I called when I made a big decision or when I got a promotion or when my car broke down or if I simply needed someone to go to the movies with me. So it is 100% my fault that so many different opinions and advice were given.

Cut forward to May of 2017 and here we are. We have traveled to Panama City, Cincinatti, French Lick, Nashville, New Orleans, Huntsville, Boonville, Buzzard Rock. We have tried new foods like Alligator, Ek Mek, Veal, and Haricot Vers. This year it is an effort, but we have been able to maintain our Weekly Date Night Routine. Whether it is Grilling Steaks and listening to jazz music on our deck, going to Lowe's for new flowers and herbs for our garden, or attending a Paint and Sip Painting class. So ... that leads me to the second point I was wanting to make.

I am addicted to lists. It started when I was much younger. I would spend hours practicing my penmanship in both cursive and print. I would go through the alphabet for various topics and try to think of words to associate with each (ie Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Concord Grapes, etc; Girls Names: Alivia, Beverly, Caroline, etc) Literally hours of my childhood and teenage years were spent on such lists. This past time/hobby of mine, while making me an incredible Scattergories player, never proved to be much of an asset to my adult years - or at least it hasn't so far. I do, however, get the occasional text from one of my girlfriends saying "Help me! AK has a show and tell tomorrow and the letter is Y. I am stuck!" However,lately I have combined this weird quirky hobby of mine to use with something that else that I am addicted to - PEOPLE. Date Night, Girls Night, Dinner Dates, Coffee Dates, etc.and have come up with several (52 to be exact) fun, new date night ideas!! I want to REITERATE that this does not have to be "dating your spouse" only. As my first 30 years have proven - Mother/Daughter Date, Dad/Daughter Date, Girlfriend Dates, Group Dates - they ALL count. They are ALL experiences to be had, all experiences to be enjoyed. So my first blog series is going to be on Dating Ideas!!

Hope you guys enjoy! It has been way too long. XOXO