without realizing or planning it…i have planted little, ticking, time bombs all around me…both online and in real life. no, i am not talking about literal bombs that destroy physically. i am talking about figurative bombs that trigger emotionally.

this morning, i was texting with j**s and i received a facebook notification. it told me that i had a memory from two years ago. normally, i don’t click and look, but for some reason i did today. i clicked and found a photo that i had taken two years ago today.


i am guessing most people would not have given it a second thought, but me, i can’t stop thinking about it. these little bombs come in the form of photos, texts, emails, music, quotes, symbols, numbers, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, surroundings, and activities.

they trigger me emotionally and take me right back to that place, person, or thing. i remember exactly where i was and what i was thinking, feeling, and doing. i remember every little detail of every little thing. once i am triggered, i have a hard time turning it all off.

i had traveled to gillette, wyoming for a second, third, and fourth date. i got this room at a nice hotel for $45 on priceline. i remember calling and letting my date know that i had arrived. then i scurried madly around my room trying to get ready.

this whole thing was brand new to me…driving at all…(since I really didn’t do too much of that when i was with my ex) being out and about independently (since i had been with my ex for almost 10 years)…and dating…it had been at least 10 years since i had dated anyone.

at the time, i was much heavier. i was weak and in pretty poor health. i couldn’t walk even 1/10 of a mile without stopping and everytime i went up a flight of stairs…i was left doubled over, while huffing and puffing. my date, a nurse was terrified for me.

no one had expected anything of me in years and apparently, i expected nothing from myself as well. the previous 8 years or so…i lived with my ex and self soothed with food, while blowing up like a blimp, getting more and more unhealthy…waiting to die.

by the time my date arrived, i was exhausted, sweating profusely, and breathless. i was quite the prize!! thinking back, i don’t even know how i got this woman to go out with me in the first place or why after seeing me on the first date, she invited me for more.

there was a knock on my door. my stomach flip-flopped and my heart felt like it may explode. i opened the door and in bounded an exuberant, firey soul…she embraced me with a big hug and kissed me on the cheek. she was excited to see me. i was shocked.

she was wearing a poncho and jeans with some kind of lace-up moccasins. when we hugged, i smelled patchouli and something spicy. an obvious beauty with long brown hair and smoldering brown eyes. i stood there on sensory overload, absorbing her energy.

she came to take me back to her place. i wasn’t wearing shoes but had socks on. i had two pairs of slip-on vans on the floor, but i was a little shaky. she asked me which pair i wanted i went back and forth a few times. she picked up the black pair and slid them on my feet.

she drove us over to her place where her son was waiting. we got there and sat down to watch a “hunger games” movie. i don’t remember which one because i fell asleep within minutes and snored the whole time. i woke up when fingers ran through my hair.

she took me back to my hotel and we sat comfortably on the couch. her legs were over my lap and i rubbed her ankle, while she showed me the video of her best friend’s wedding. (***and oh my god…in this very moment…2024 of 03.11.2018…i have just come to a realization.***) i remember doing exactly what i had done on our first date, what i had done on the phone once that i regret, and what i did at our brunch together. i kept telling her something like, “you know, you can go now. you do not have to stay here on my account.” fuck…i am a douchebag and an asshole!! and now, i absolutely don’t know why, but she kissed me with her lips that tasted like coconut chapstick. i did not deserve that.

and with that brand new revelation, this ticking, time bomb has exploded, and left my mind working overtime and my heart with a new hole in it…



our second journey, part ten…gig harbor, wa…

brunch was over and my friend was gone and that was that. i reached into my pocket and felt something familiar. it was the art project that i so happily created for her the valentine’s day before last…so 2016.

the paper was very soft and delicate. the project was tie dyed hearts of different sizes and colors made from coffee filters. it was a throw back or homage to our texting valentine’s day “date.” we imagined the date and “talked” about it.

it all started because she was talking about how times used to be. she waxed nostalgic about handmade paper valentines and kids having boxes to receive them in. she had me imagine finding a very particular valentine.

it was a handmade paper heart…decorated with yarn and ribbon and sparkly glitter. i “opened” it and it said, “will you be my valentine?” it had three words with three boxes inside. the words were yes, no, or maybe so.

i imagined the card and how special and honored i would feel to have received it. i was instructed to check the appropriate box and give it back to her. i thought about it for a moment and then wholeheartedly checked “yes.”

so anyway, three of the nine hearts that i made had words on them “yes,” “no,” and “maybe so.” all of them traveled with me from montana to nevada to gig harbor…across the country to niagara falls (the site of jim and pam’s wedding).

i felt those hearts that were carefully folded up in my pocket. i brought them with me to give to her. i made them for her and thought that she should have them. not as anything other than a purely platonic gift.

however, i held back…something stopped me. i didn’t know what it was at the time or even for months later. a few days ago it occurred to me that those hearts are now a part of me. i didn’t give them away because they’re mine.

they are mine. i have carried them with me. they are a part of me. this journey has changed me profoundly. they belong to me and i will choose “yes” everytime now. i choose myself…my own lovely, kind, remarkable heart.

more tomorrow…


…when i think about waiting my mind always goes to my childhood reference…sam’s butcher shop on, the brady bunch television show

of course, it was that way in real life, too…but, i think that i’ve spent a lot of time at sam’s marvelling at the 1970’s-wholesomeness of it all. it makes me be okay with waiting. it gives me patience. it reinforces my gratitude. it makes me feel safe. it gives me hope that when it is finally my turn, that there will be something really fucking wonderful…for me.

you see everyone at sam’s is pleasant and friendly. sam tells stories and chats everybody up. everybody is waiting, but they’re quite happy and content…because they all know that sam has exactly what they need and he’s procured and saved it, just for them.

so, just like everybody in line ahead of me and behind me…i’m waiting. today, i’m waiting for answers. yesterday, i was waiting for a check. tomorrow, i’m going to wake up at six am needing to use the bathroom and sure, as shit…i’ll be waiting for the bathroom, too.

when i wait in sam’s line, i matter…people notice me and treat me with kindness and respect. i can and will wait for all that i want and all that i want to accomplish, but i choose to wait at sam’s.

i know that when sam greets me with his smiling face and gregarious spirit, he’ll nod and flash me a knowing wink, and say, “i’ve waited a long time for you!! i’ll be right back.” he’ll go to his office and open the door…and beckon me back, once and for all to explore.

i think a lot…

i think a lot about the things that i’ve done.

things that i didn’t think about at all.

things that i thought way too much about.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve chosen to believe.

giving lies, doubt, and malignancies room to grow in my mind.

giving truth, confidence, and compassion a skeptical eye and quick dismissal.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve ruined. 

things that i screwed myself out of.

things that cannot be replaced.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve changed.

things that have improved my health and strength. 

things that have improved my path to healing and wholeness.

i think a lot about the things that i’ve got planned for the future.

things that i am looking forward and ahead to.

things like endless possibilities, unlimited hope, and seagulls on the seashore.

nine (three-threes)…