Thursday, September 27, 2012

Self-confidence

If you have not been able to tell from my recent posts, I have been thinking a lot about how much I have grown and how far I have come. One thing that has been the greatest help in that has been my self-confidence.

I have never been the most self-confident person. When I was younger, I was incredibly, painfully shy. I was also teased a lot in school. It was hard to make new friends, and I was (and truth be told I still am to an extent) socially awkward.

In college, I made friends with this girl who seemed incredibly self-confident, got a lot of attention from guys and girls, and had a lot of friends. I saw that and wished I was like that. So I did the only thing that made sense to me: I started emulating her. At first, I faked my self-confidence. I put myself into situations that were new and a little uncomfortable. Over time, it became natural to me. I spoke up more, became more outgoing, said hi to strangers and had long conversations with them. Then, I realized I was no longer faking the self-confidence. I truly had become confident in who I was. Even now I look back on who I was in high school, and who I was in college and the difference is like night and day.

However, my dislike of my appearance was one issue that had not changed for me. I never truly loved how I looked. I always found things that I felt were ugly and if someone complimented me saying I was pretty or sexy then they must have been doing it only to cheer me up. Yes, I was bad at receiving compliments. While I was pregnant with Rit, it only got worse. I got the stretch marks late in the pregnancy, I was worried I would never lose the baby weight, and some comments were made by ExH that made me feel unattractive. By the time we separated, I lost so much of my self-confidence that I wasn’t sure if I could build it back up again. Little by little I tried. Several months later, a friend made a comment that broke it down again. It scared me how easily it was done. I felt defeated. However, another friend changed all of that.

It was at the Castleteers party I wrote about earlier this year. We were talking about our insecurities and, in my alcohol induced honesty and oversharing, I told him about the comments that had been made to me in the months beforehand. He did not say much about it then as a friend joined us and we changed the topic of conversation. Later on as everyone went to bed, we took the opportunity to continue our earlier conversation. He said to me, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are unattractive again. You are absolutely gorgeous.” And right then, things switched for me. I no longer detest what I see in the mirror. Sure, there are things I want to change, but I no longer see myself as ugly; I see beauty. I love my curves now and want to show them off. When I discussed this with my college friend (same one I mentioned earlier in this entry), she pointed out something I did not think of; he did not say I was pretty or sexy, he said I was gorgeous and being that he has a girlfriend, it had a different connotation to it than any of the other descriptions he could have used. I have used those words as the foundation to re-build my self-confidence. Now, I feel that it is stronger than it ever was.

Sometimes, you just need a helping hand, or phrase, to start the confidence building.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dating Fears

It has been over a year since ExH moved out. It has been a crazy year, a lot of ups and downs.

I have been back in the dating scene for a little over a month now. I have been on a whole 3 dates, with 2 different guys. Some of my fears have resurfaced as a result though. And that is not fun.

Dating as a single mom isn’t easy. My time is restricted because I am on Rit’s schedule, and he goes to bed at 8. I went on one date on a night I had Rit after he went to bed and Spartan watched him for me. I do not want to make a habit out of that though. Right now my date nights are Thursday through Saturday. It can be limiting at times I admit. I also worry that I may be judged for being a single mom. Luckily the stigma attached to it has become less so, especially since the number of single moms has gone up. It's not that single mom's are teenage mothers or anything like that. We just get to a point where we say "No more" and do what we feel is best for ourselves and our children.

My other fear is in regards to my bipolar disorder. I am so scared that it will scare people away. Before I became pregnant, before I was able to get my bipolar disorder under control, I had several friends tell me that they could not handle the fact that I was bipolar or the mood swings that came along with it and ended our friendship. Then, one of the reasons ExH said he wanted a divorce was that he could not handle my bipolar disorder either. With these two things, it is no surprise that it is something for me to worry about. I understand it is hard to be around someone who has this disorder and I do not blame people for choosing to do what is best for them, though it doesn't hurt any less. I have a few friends who have seen me go through a manic attack and still want to be my friend. Some have seen me deal with deep depression, and they are still around. Yet, this remains one of my biggest fears.

Will I find someone who will love Rit and will be able to handle being with someone who is bipolar? I know it is too early into my returning to the dating scene to worry about this, but I am a worrier and it is always in the back of my mind. Perhaps this time of year is what prompted it to move to the forefront.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Truth Behind the Mask


I say a lot that I am happy being single, that I am enjoying being single, etc. While that is true, it is not the entire truth. I do enjoy being single, but at the same time, I miss having a companion to snuggle up with at night, to comfort me when I have had a bad day, to hug me when I am feeling down.

For example, this last weekend, I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival and decided it would be my day to celebrate one year since ExH moved out; one year since I started this new life. I bought myself a rickshaw ride around the festival grounds. 

I really enjoyed having the rickshaw to myself. It was the first time I ever did. However, I also realized that I miss having someone with me.

I ran into some friends of mine who are currently dating. The guy is actually the first mate of my pirate crew at the renaissance festival. I hung out with them for the rest of the faire day. It is very obvious how much they love each other. Walking around with them and seeing how they interacted made me realize just how much I missed the affection of someone else.

I tell people that I am happy being single, that I am enjoying life single, doing my own thing. Yet, deep down, I am not as happy and okay with being single as I want people to believe. I don’t want to be single, but I am single so I try to make the best of it. I refuse to settle for just anyone. That leads to bad decisions and bad relationships. I deserve better than that.


I used to think that if I was happy single, I wouldn’t need anyone else. In short, I was right. I am happy single, but I don’t need someone else. Want on the other hand, is a completely different thing.

I continue to hope that someday I will meet someone who will be the right person for me and my son.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Renaissance Faire again

This past weekend was opening weekend for the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Of course, I attended. My other brother M and I carpooled up to save money on gas and parking.

It was a very hot and humid day. I still dressed up and wore my corset. Why? Because I always feel good in it. There is something about wearing a corset that gives me added confidence.

M and I wandered around, saying hi to our friends and picking up the things we wanted. I bought my usual souvenirs – a shot glass mug, a medallion, a plush dragon for Rit and one for me, and the limited edition steel rose that a vendor creates special for the year. I set aside for these items months ago, knowing I would be getting them. There are several additional items I want to get as well, so this year will be a lesson in willpower.

There is something about being back at the renfaire that is very calming to me - a day without technology, a day with friends, a day outside, a vacation from reality. Renfaire is my stress relief.

I was planning to go Monday as well with Rit, but there were thunderstorms forecast so I made the decision to stay home. I will take Rit later in the season since so many people want to see him and haven’t seen him since he was 2 months old at last year’s renfaire.


Some of my family and friends wonder why I am so into the renfaire, because they don’t see what the big deal is. All they see are people dressing up in costumes and talking funny. I ask them why they are in theater or music or any other activity. Because I enjoy it and it makes me happy. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of people who don’t understand the community are ones who do not dress up in the garb or attempt to join the community. We are a very welcoming group, but you have to show us you understand our passion and have the same desire to be a part of the group. You do that by dressing up in garb and attending the faire regularly, meaning several times a season. For example, if someone comes to your runners club saying they want to join, who would you take more seriously: the person in jeans and a polo shirt or the person in running shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes? It’s the same idea.
This group has helped me through some tough times. No matter what community you are a part of, embrace it. It is a part of who you are.