CRAVE next month

My CRAVE photo shoot is getting closer. It’s been on my mind a lot recently and I’ve been saving items for my ideas on Amazon. My wish list is an eclectic mix of sexy clothing, lingerie, TV show box sets and massage related items. Everything in balance, right?

I have been thinking a lot this year about who I am and how I see myself. Seems like the real me got lost somewhere along the way amongst the mom/wife duties and expectations of the past. The steamy, sexy vixen I fancy myself to be, in my head, got lost and hidden. I’m in the CRAVE Facebook group, which consists of people who have done a photo shoot already and those who have them coming up. It’s the best, most supportive group of women. The ones who have done their photo shoots already share their stories and tell of what prompted them to take the leap.

Most recently was a story from a gal who said she struggled to love herself and see herself as beautiful. I could really relate to what she was saying and feeling. I have caught myself (when planning my outfits) thinking, “I’m not going to look amazing. I’m going to look exactly as I expect I do….fat, old, strong and manly and not sexy at all. This shoot is just going to prove me right about how I see myself.” To say I have a few insecurities about my body is an understatement. I’m the most critical person of myself, in any room. I want to see myself as the tough but soft, sexy siren because that’s who I feel I truly am on the inside. I despise being called “cute” and I get annoyed when men think I’m nothing but wholesome, sweet innocence.  It’s nice when they stick around after the truth comes out, but that hasn’t been the case recently. So goes dating life.

I want to be proven wrong which this photo shoot. I can’t erase the images that were taken of me by a different photographer back in March of last year. I was trying to be brave and overcome my body issues then and I hated nearly every photo. I even did topless photos, just to prove I could. In every picture, I felt like I looked fat, unintelligent and not even remotely sexy. I also hated being told to smile….or “smirk”.  I wanted to shout, “Focus on my eyes, please! Not my naturally awkward and derpy smile!” I want these negative thoughts I have about myself to evaporate when I see my CRAVE pictures. I know that’s a tall order for a photo shoot but I need a different perspective. I need to have a different image of myself. Different than the one I see in the mirror, because I think the mirror lies. Or maybe my mind lies. Not sure which.

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2019, half past

Being an adult is tough. No one ever mentioned all the pitfalls to me when I was a kid, wishing I could just be and adult already. Little did I know, I had it pretty good. A roof was over my head, food on the table, my cat was also taken care of. No real worries except my thoughts and dreams. Let’s face it, childhood wasn’t all rosy and wonderful. My depression started when I was quite young and that’s continued into adulthood, making things challenging along the way. But still, I was taken care of and my physical needs were met.

Fast forward to now, and it all feels a bit iffy and pretty damn scary. I left my marriage a little over a year ago. I’m still not “officially” divorced but we’ve been separated since May 2018. I’ve moved to a different town and am currently living with my dad. It’s been going well and I’ve been working through the challenges that naturally come along in life. I’ve honestly have never lived 100% on my own before. Ever. It’s one of those things which makes me feel like I’m just not quite a “grown up” despite being in my 40’s. I’ve always had someone to rely on. Someone to help me out financially when I needed it. I’ve always had some form of support, near or far, when I’ve needed it.

Things in my world are going to change again in a few months, I don’t know when exactly. My dad is moving across the country. He’s met someone and he plans on starting yet another new chapter in his life. I’m very happy for him. I’m also quite scared for me. This new town where I live is tough to get a good job. Granted, I don’t want to go back to doing anything I’ve actually have done in the past. I’ve looked at healthcare jobs and the thought of returning to that field in the capacity in which I left turns my stomach in knots. I can’t go back. I simply can’t. I’d be happy working wherever I felt needed, as long as I could pay my bills. Hell, I’d shovel muck from horse stalls if it meant I could live simpler, comfortably and moderately stress free.

I don’t typically pray. I feel like I don’t deserve divine intervention given that I’m such a heathen. Anytime someone mentions praying about difficult things, it reminds me of how helpless I felt as a kid when my mom hung all her hopes on the divine. It felt like a waste of energy and false hope, orchestrated by a long lineage of fear. I’ve often felt humanities’s plan and path is already mapped out for us, we’re just unaware of the direction. I feel in life, many people wander and feel very lost.  There is a plan, there has to be. I can’t accept we’re just puppets in this grand show called life, put here for some deity’s entertainment. I feel our souls have lessons to learn, we’re just not privy to any of the levels we must achieve. We must have a purpose. There has to be more than simply surviving or wandering through in the dark, feeling around for obstacles and hoping like hell we don’t fall into a pit.

I genuinely don’t know why I’m here most of the time. I struggle with feeling useful and needed. I feel like I have more to do but I have no idea what it is. No one has given me the play book or shown me the cheat codes for this game. I am trying my best to have genuine interactions with people and meaningful conversations in hopes that is part of my purpose. I’m trying to live from my heart with a hope that it will get me further than living closed off has. My future remains very uncertain and scary. My heart feels heavy today as there is a lot weighing on my mind.

I have and still am applying for jobs. I am currently employed but I have a strong desire to work somewhere else better suited. I filled out an application for a low income apartment complex today. They have a waiting list of about 2 years. That’s typical in this area. I am putting out feelers in other areas for work in hopes something positive happens. Meanwhile, my phlebotomy class will be starting in August. I am trying to make myself as employable as possible by picking up new skills which aren’t massage related. My body is at it’s limit as far as massages per week. I started into massage later in life than some and I can’t work the hours others do. I’m doing my best to listen to my body and intuition, in all things, and chart my course from there.

 

 

Jack Daniels made me write it.

Drinking again, which seems to be ongoing

Numbing the ache in my heart and the longing

Thinking of you more often than I should

Wondering if possibly, we could?

I saw into your mind, I read of your longing

Your wish to feel loved and a need for belonging

Your soul is intriguing, with both darkness and light

I tried to push you from my mind, but it’s a fight

You, with your beautiful eyes, dark hair and your smile

I’d gladly lay in your arms for a while

Do you even think about me?

Is it irrational to wish this could be?

I long for your touch with all of my might

And I’d risk it all, wanting more than just a night

Just Friends, Again

“Let’s just be friends” says another
That makes #4 this year
I’m not even mad anymore
I’m just tired.

What they thought they’d seen
Wasn’t fully me
Just a one side
A simple misconception

Take the time
Look deeper
Past the surface
Beyond the silliness

Darkness and light
Pain behind a smile
Joy mixed with sadness
Many sides to one soul

CRAVE

In August, I have a photo shoot planned. I booked it back in March. I’ve met the photographer and she is wonderful. I am hella nervous anytime I think about it. Why? What I’m having done is called “intimate portraiture” or boudoir photography. It’s the CRAVE experience from R2 Studios, located in Flagstaff, AZ. They’re a great group of women and I honestly am excited about the experience. Now, this experience can be tailored to whatever the client wants and if getting pictures in your skivvies is not what you want, you don’t have to. I still don’t know what I am going to wear or who I want to be for this shoot. I was thinking about clothes and kicking around ideas the other day. I’m getting a new tattoo (something I do when I’m sad) and I’m thinking of ways to show that off as well as the older ones I have. I honestly don’t know if I’ll do many in my undies but I definitely want to find a cropped black leather biker jacket and probably some tall boots. Their style consultant will call me next month and we’ll discuss ideas so maybe I’ll have a better vision at that point. I’ve been hesitant to tell people I have this shoot coming up. My reasons behind booking it are pretty personal and the last thing I want is to hear ridicule or be classed as that pathetic, middle aged woman who needs to feel young again. My reasons are a bit more deeply seeded that just needing to feel young again. I need to feel “worth” something again because I haven’t felt valued in a long time. I want to have a day where it’s all about me and people actually care, and not just because they’re being polite or it’s their job and they’re being paid to care.

I booked this as a way to bet me out of my self-hate cycle. I’ve been struggling with liking myself physically and mentally. I’ have never felt like one of the “pretty girls” and I certainly have never been one of the cool kids. I’m a little awkward sometimes and I get very excited around cool people. That feeling may not always be reciprocated though and then I feel very embarrassed for reaching out in the first place. I feel like I can be a massive annoyance to everyone around me much of the time, especially when I’m in a funk and need to talk. When I’m not doing well mentally, this feeling of being an absolute bother is magnified by about 50%. From this bad place, I often feel like I need to apologize for just being myself. Like, it’s not OK to be me, “why am I here?” and maybe I should just go away…. When new people follow me on social media, I feel like I need to add this disclaimer to my account: “I post lots of random nonsense from my life but mostly pictures of my dog. You’ve been warned”. But seriously though, what’s wrong with loads of dog pictures?? He’s freaking awesome and quite a handsome boy!

Other steps towards getting out of the self-hate cycle have included doing nice things for myself. I got my hair cut last week. This week I’m getting my eyebrows tinted this Thursday (so it looks like I actually have some!) and next month, I’m getting my hair colored professionally. I would do a facial but I have a difficult time when people touch my face and I hate using products on my face. I hardly use any makeup and I struggle to put on sunscreen because it feels very yucky for the first 2 minutes. In my interview with the photographer, the first thing I told her was, “I kinda suck at being a girl”, and that statement still rings true! I’m trying to make little steps towards doing taking care of myself better, for the long haul.

On a side note, I’ve been able to go 3 days without washing my hair. I’ve tried to do this in the past and have failed, due to my hypersensitivity to filth, smells, and sensations. However, with a bit of guidance from my stylist, I managed to do it. I’m on day 4 and my hair doesn’t feel disgusting, much to my surprise. I think I’ve turned a corner and I’m pretty happy about that. As a kid, I hated having sticky hands. I hated having my hair touched or played with (which my mom would do during church, “because it’s so soft!”. It drove me nuts.). I realize these little victories may seem pretty insignificant or ridiculous to someone who doesn’t understand or have the same tenancies.

Better hair care, skin care, increasing exercise, having a better diet and actually getting massages are the things I’m striving to do for myself. If I don’t take care of myself and treat myself with disregard, others will follow suit. My physical health, mental health and overall well-being starts with me.

The Therapeutic Relationship

The relationship a massage therapist has with clients is a peculiar one. I was discussing this with a friend the other day. I was telling her I was missing a few of my regular clients. Folks who’d schedule with me every two weeks or every week, without fail, had dropped off my schedule. If you’ve ever been my client and you’ve shared a bit about your life with me, I care about ya. Simple as that. If you drop off my schedule, I hope you’re feeling good in your body and I hope if you’re not getting bodywork from me, you’re getting it from somewhere.

In school, we were taught to maintain our client’s privacy. So for example, if we see them out in the store, I can smile but we are told to keep the fact that this is a client on the low down. I reminds me of a doctor/patient relationship or psychotherapist/client relationship in that we know things about you but we can’t act like we do. I know my client’s life stresses and where they hold tension. I learn about their traumatic injuries. I see their scars. I can sense the unseen scars too. I hear about their hobbies. I hear about their travels and learn about their families…. I know where they have tattoos! Sometimes I am told the history of those tattoos too. It’s a very intimate, platonic, unique and wonderful relationship.

Where I work, the clients aren’t “my” clients. They belong to the chain spa, meaning if I want to contact a client to see how they’re doing, I am not allowed. So, if you suddenly drop off my schedule, I will thinking about you. I’ll be hoping that stressful work situation you told me about resolves in a positive way. I’ll be hoping your new business venture is a success and I’ll be wondering if you every got your back piece done. I’ll wonder and hope your world is full of joy and happiness. You are not a paycheck to me. You are a magnificent, unique person. I truly appreciate each client who puts their trust in me.

Breakups suck

So, I got dumped yesterday. I knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when. How did I know? Because it was never supposed to be a “relationship”. It was supposed to be just a booty call. That is how Tinder usually works after all, isn’t it? However, I don’t quite know how to separate my emotional side from the physical act so, I became the booty call that wouldn’t go away. I got attached, I cared deeply, I even nearly said the “L” word on many occasions (and meant it). I cared. He cared. However, timing, life and out-of-my-control circumstance were not in my favor. And so, with sadness, I was finally told that he wanted us to be “just friends”.

These things happen and it’s OK. I did learn some valuable lessons and they are as follows:

1. Everyone needs empathy and understanding because you never know what burdens another is carrying.
2. Believe what you are told up front (about the willingness to commit), it was the truth.
3. I cannot love someone into being with me, they have to make that leap for themselves.
4. Despite my sadness, I would not trade the memories and experiences for anything.
5. Always say what you feel in your heart (or write it in a letter), even if it’s difficult and even if you think it won’t be well received.
6. Be kind.

I told my oldest (adult) son that I’d been dumped. His response was, “Do we need to break some kneecaps?”! While I don’t condone violence, this made me feel quite loved and cared for in an odd sort of way! I don’t wish ill or misfortune upon the man who dumped me either. I actually sent him a letter, which should arrive in a few days, stating the opposite. I have no idea if it will be well received but I couldn’t let what was in my heart go unsaid. I’m funny like that.