Things I learn from spending time with my ex

I spent time talking to my ex today.

My ex and I have a past. For years I tried to get him to change. For years I tried to convince him that I was right. I tried to tell him that he should be more of an adult, that he should hang out with different friends, that he should stay out of trouble. I tried to convince him to stop smoking, to stop drinking, to go to bed early and wake up on time for work.

He didn’t listen to any of it. He brushed me aside. We fought about it constantly. He thought I was trying to make him be someone he wasn’t. But I could see the person he was capable of being, and it was a person I wanted to be with.

But things ended.

I never got to see him be that person. He wasn’t that person in the end. He was wrong for me and I was wrong for him. We wanted different things and it ended in a violent outburst that was not only unexpected, but something the person I thought he was would have never done.

I’ve got a new guy and my future is not with my ex, but my past is. My current guy doesn’t think that. He’s jealous and worried when I spend time with my ex. But my ex was my friend first. He IS my friend. So why can’t I have both my ex (who is my friend) and my new guy?

My new guy has ambition. He has a great job, he owns his own business. He wants all the things that I want out of life. He thinks about our future. He makes plans. He makes promises and keeps them. He’s amazing. I love him.

It’ll take time.

Time and trust.

Someday soon I hope he can understand that it’s not about the relationship we had, but the friendship we once had. It’s not about what I wanted to be with him because that’s dead and gone. My ex is becoming someone else, and I hope that takes him down beautiful paths. I’m moving on, and I’m thrilled to see what that brings me. I’m excited for plans, promises, and a future.

I’m moving forward with my new guy, and life is beautiful.


Choose your words with love

As I preach over and over and over again, the world does not have enough love in it anymore. People don’t truly care for one another. There’s too much entitlement, instant gratification and apathy. People just don’t give two shits about others unless it directly benefits them.

Case in point: businesses which “go green” for the marketing value. People who perform random acts of kindness only to publicize it on social media…those are supposed to benefit the person receiving the act of kindness, not the person doing it. By publishing it, it’s selfish. (Yes, I’ve listed what I do for random acts of kindness before. That wasn’t to gain publicity, it was to give others ideas. There’s a difference.) People who donate to a charity to have their name on a plaque. Puke.

There are certain words which no longer belong in modern society, and tonight someone used one with me. The end result was a rather large argument in which the person actually thought I may disown them. Yes, it was that bad. I take this seriously.

It was “The N Word”.

There are very few words in the world which I have issues with, but racial slurs are the absolute worst words a person can use. When someone uses a racial slur, it’s not “just a word”. It’s insulting, disgusting and rude. This word is not separate from the hundreds of years of oppressing people based on their race by use of this word to mean that they were less of a person. It’s not just a word rappers use in reference to their friends regardless of the spelling. It’s a degrading insult which I will not stand for. It’s disgusting.

There’s others.

Retarded. Retarded is a word I wish would just disappear. It’s almost worse than a racial slur in that it insults people who are mentally challenged. Really?! I’ve known many people with lower cognitive function and the people I know are beautiful, wonderful, intelligent and kind people. They know facts you never knew you needed to know, but they just told you just now. They are some of the most loving people I have ever met. They do not deserve to be insulted by your ignorant words. People are not retarded. People can have cognitive problems, downs syndrome, or a disability, but they are not retarded.

“That’s gay” is another phrase I will not stand for. By using someone’s sexuality in place of the word “dumb” or “stupid” (which are also words I very rarely say because they are also cruel) it’s insulting to every person of that sexuality. You’re saying that gay is synonymous for stupid. If that isn’t what you mean, then don’t say it! There was a recent media focus on this phrase, and I think it has finally been eliminated for the most part.

I’d love to see a world in which people are respected, loved and treated as equals. We’re all members of the human race. Who gives a fuck what factors divide us?! We have skin, it doesn’t matter what color. We have thoughts, it doesn’t matter how many. We have feelings, it doesn’t mater what kind, they are acceptable. No person on this planet is more deserving than another. Not everyone gets what they want nor do they always get it in the timing they want.

I’m all for celebrating diversity, but in the belief that we’re all special and unique. No one is the same as anyone else. This isn’t to emphasize matters which divide us, but to splendor in the fact that although we are all human, we are all individuals and should be treated as such and not by some blanket policy or practice.

It’s time we set aside these thoughts and think more clearly about where our planet is going. We need to stop dividing this planet based on national origin, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any other factors. Let’s band together and spread more love. Let’s take care of those less fortunate who need help. Let’s give aid to those who need it whether that’s financial, physical, mental or emotional not because they “earned” it but because it’s the right thing to do. Let’s be kind and generous to one another not because of religious doctrine, but because it’s what decent human beings would do.

Let’s spread more love in this world and think about our words. Let’s eliminate hateful words with no purpose but to wound others and cause division. So I challenge you, if you’re using any of these words, stop. There’s so much hate already in this world, please don’t perpetuate it further.

“Mumbo Jumbo” Healing Works For Me

So I went today for a Shamanic healing. What is Shamanic healing you may ask? It’s a alternative therapy which is thousands of years old intended to heal the wounds of the soul, remove ties from negative energies and sever soul contracts.

Basically to some people it’s mumbo jumbo.

But I read about it and I decided it would be helpful given my traumatic past, given all the hurts I’ve endured in my life. What could it hurt?! So I went, I was skeptical, but I did believe that this was something I needed. I need my soul to be healed. I need closure from those who have hurt me. I need a deep and meaningful spiritual healing of my soul. Ever since my breakup in September I’ve not felt like myself. I’ve felt somehow altered, but unable to determine why or how to fix things.

So I went.

The experience was incredible. It was very hard mental work for as much physical activity as it was (I basically just sat and later lay there). It was incredibly emotional for me. It brought up feelings I thought were too far buried to reach. It drug them all out into the light, and once I could see them, I could deal with them. I cried. Oh my god did I cry so hard. I lay on the table sobbing as I reached deep into my soul and cut the ties I had to my ex. I love my ex. He’s an amazing person, and he deserves all the wonderful things in the world, but he and I are not meant to be. I needed to cut that cord, and I did.

It was a strange experience to describe to someone who has never felt their soul so deeply. I’ve never been that deep into my subconscious. I actually felt like I had moved out of my body and my soul was still connected to my body, but was in a completely different place. I could still feel my body, but I couldn’t move it. It was just a body, no beautiful spirit within it at that moment.

And in that moment where I was so far from my body, I saw it, a glimmer of white light, my soul. My tender, vulnerable and raw soul. It was connected to Matt. He was connected to me by a silver cord. Together we were dragging each other down under the water of all the emotions we had once felt together and I knew what I had to do.

I wasn’t prepared for how much it would hurt. I wasn’t prepared for the wound I would feel open when I cut that connection. I wasn’t prepared for the fear that came. But I let myself feel it. As I lay there I felt the hurt, the fear and the pain wash over me. I felt that fire of emotion consume that connection and burn it all away. I felt the tears rushing down my face as I watched the wound heal up. I poured my healing light on that wound and watched as it faded away. And even the very second I did it, I knew what I was doing was a good thing. I knew it was what was best for me. And as much as it hurt, as much as I was scared, I did not hesitate.

In some part of my mind I wondered if he felt anything as I did it. I wondered if he felt a nudge of the pain I felt as I cut that connection. In my mind he felt his burden lift too. As I watched myself cut the ties that bound us together I felt him sigh a sigh of relief too.

Afterwards I said intentions to have a healthy life and to keep moving forward. I said aloud what my heart wants so badly. I have never meant words so deeply as those words. I finally understood what I want in this life and I have conviction that I will achieve it.

As we finished, the practitioner asked how I was feeling, and I didn’t feel any different. I felt emotionally drained. I felt like I’d just experienced a loss, but the same as I had when I arrived this morning. Then I stood up to leave and I realized that I felt like I weighed about 50 pounds lighter.

For so long I had been carrying this burden on my shoulders. I had been trying to hold Matt together when I was falling apart myself. All of a sudden that weight was lifted and I was free. The pure joy which came over me next far exceeded anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.

I just felt more “me” than ever before.

I describe it in this way: I was a candle with a glass hurricane, but the hurricane was all covered with soot and ash. It was blackened and dark. The hurricane was there to protect the flame from going out, but the light also was affected. The light was very dim. The room was dark and no one could see. After I felt like that hurricane had been removed. I was exposed, but I was so much brighter. I lit up the entire room with a beautiful golden flame. Finally everyone in the room could see my light. Finally I was exactly who I am, no more and no less, no occlusion. No darkness could touch the light I was providing.

I continued to feel this way for the rest of the day. When I got home there was a letter from Matt. Before this would have sent me into tears. Before this healing it would have triggered a trauma, the wound would be reopened and I would have hurt. I read the letter, it made me laugh instead. Did I miss Matt? Of course I did. But the emotional ties which had previously been there were gone. I missed him but the hurt wasn’t deep like it had previously been. I got a little choked up at the fact that he used our nickname for me, but all in all I considered my reaction about 120% better than the last time.

I know that this healing will be a process for me. I know that just because I feel this way now doesn’t mean the hurt is completely gone. I know that part of me will always love Matt, but that it’s in a friendship. I know that the work I’ve done on my soul today isn’t going to make my life completely changed, but it has completely changed me. It’s completely changed the way that I look at the world.

A Little bit of Happy

It’s been brought to my attention that lately my blog has been reflective, but doesn’t accurately describe the happiness which is currently in my life. For that reason, I would like to share with you a little bit of happy.

I’m so blessed to have in my life a man who makes me so happy. Last night my best friend and I were sitting around talking, and I could not get him out of my head! Now I’ve known this girl since I was 4 years old, and she hears close to everything about the people I date, my work, everything. She’s one my my best friends and she knows me so well. But she has never heard me talk about anyone the way I talk about this guy.

The best part about the guy I’m seeing is all the small things. He doesn’t buy me flowers or take me on expensive dates, but when he spends time with me I feel like the luckiest girl alive. I’ve never wanted any of those things anyway. All I’ve ever wanted is someone who let me know just how awesome he thinks I am and how lucky he is to have me around. This guy did it last weekend in 5 words:

“Thank you for being mine”

How can 5 words make me so happy?! I’ve dated lots of guys, and they all had one problem. They were all fatally flawed and doomed to fail. But this guy has me feeling like I’m living a romantic comedy movie. I feel like this may finally be my happy ending and the credits may roll at any moment instead of a star-crossed lover waiting for the end of the relationship. I’m totally twitterpated and it’s thrilling and oh-so-scary all at the same time.

The biggest reason I feel this way is that I’m always my complete and unadulterated self with him. Never have I pretended to like something which I truly don’t. Never have I had to make excuses or little white lies about how I feel about something. Everything I say to him comes with complete acceptance. Every strange thing I do is just how I am, who I am and what I’ve experienced that makes me uniquely me. I don’t have to wear a mask, I can just be 100% Jodi (which can be scary to others, I know that) and he enjoys every minute of it.

This weekend I went to spend some time with him. We had dinner and then went to see a movie. It was no big deal. It wasn’t tickets to the opera or five star dining. It was great food and a movie that I wasn’t all that into, but I got to sit in a dark theater for 3 hours holding his hand and being next to him. When I was cold during the movie, he gave me his coat so I could stay warm. He let me hold his arm as we walked down the street on the way to his apartment from the movie. Nothing that was a big deal to most people, but to me it was the most precious gift to be able to spend time with him because with him everything means so much more.

Just being close to him is a big deal because I know he has other things he could be doing. He has hobbies and friends. He works a lot. He has a lot of responsibilities at work, and I can understand that sometimes it’s hard to pull himself away from things he needs to get done at work, but he does it for me. He makes time to see me even though we live a good distance apart.

And in the back of my head there’s starting to exist this thought I’m not quite sure about committing to yet. That pesky thought that I may be falling for this guy, a feeling that has really snuck up on me. What if I’m falling in love with this man? Does he feel the same way? There’s always that awkward moment when you worry that you like someone more than they like you, but I don’t feel that way. I know that he likes me exactly as much as I like him, and it’s so comforting and so reassuring to know that I am someone so special to this guy. I love it. I’m so thrilled that I am important to him. To him, I’m a huge deal and he’s just as honored to spend time with me.

So I’ve been keeping it to myself what I’ve been feeling because I’m so scared that if I utter those words out loud it will scare him away. I’m scared that if I say it, it’ll all fade away. But last night talking with my friend it all came out, and she instantly said “I knew it! You really like this guy! You’re falling for him!” and I was ok with it. It wasn’t something I didn’t already know in my own head, it was just the fact of how I felt. And now it’s public on my blog… which is even more scary because what if he reads it!? (Oh god!) But I really don’t care because I think he already knows.

He showed me where he works. Not just “this is the office building I work in”, but he gave me a full tour like a proud papa would show off a new baby. He showed me his office, and the full building, and he was proud to do it and it made him happy to share it. I was just impressed. And not just because he has so much more responsibilities than what I do (we work in the same field), but that he allowed me to see what he does when I know his job is such a huge part of his life. And he wanted to share it with me, which is a big deal!

But I’m waiting to see where this life takes me and to see what happens next, and I can’t wait. I’m anxiously awaiting our next date as the days pass. With the holidays I know I will have to be extra patient, but I’ll gladly wait as long as it takes to see him again. I hope he feels the same way about me. I hope he’s just as smitten as I am. I hope he pictures our future together. I hope he is curious to see where our path will lead together. I’m not talking marriage and I’m not talking having children, but just this life and what experiences we’ll have together. I’m so excited to see what happens next, it’s like reading a book and wanting to turn the pages extra fast so I can get onto the next page as fast as possible!

And I hope he is falling in love with me because that would just make me so happy.

Sometimes I forget to sit back and really appreciate all the happiness I have in my life, but this is definitely one bit of happiness I’m so thrilled to share with all of my friends. I have my moments where I’m sad, and where I think the world isn’t fair, but then I have moments like this which make all the suffering in my life thus far seem so far away and so worth it for what has brought me to this exact moment with this amazing guy because if I hadn’t experienced all those things, I wouldn’t have been right where I needed to be for all of these pieces to come together and for this to be my little bit of happy. Maybe it will turn into a lifetime of happy. I’m not sure yet, but I’m enjoying it for now.

Moving on… literally

It’s day 14 after my big breakup and things are slowly getting back to ok. My ex and I are now able to talk without me bursting into tears. I’m able to eat and function normally for the most part. We’re able to see one another without awkwardness too much. Tomorrow I’m moving into a new apartment.

Now I’ve lived in this apartment for 2 years, 8 months and 26 days. That’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere since before I left home. This apartment was the first apartment which was MINE and mine alone. I learned how to be single in this apartment. It was my rock for the past few years.

I’ve loved here. I’ve cried here. I’ve heard good news, great news and bad news. I’ve been angry here and I’ve yelled here. I’ve cried tears of joy. I’ve made new friends and lost old ones here. I’ve made love here. I’ve fought here. I’ve studied my ass off the night before an exam here. I’ve graduated here. I’ve created beautiful works of art here. I’ve lost dreams here. I’ve made dreams here. I’ve made dreams come true here. I’ve aged here from my youthful twenties to my wisdom-filled thirties. I’ve made mistakes here and I’ve accomplished goals.

A lot has happened in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days and there’s no good way to sum up everything other than I’ve made memories here. This apartment has been the one stable thing in my life despite all the ups and downs I’ve had in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days; and now I’m moving out tomorrow.

I’m terrified.

I’m moving to a new town where new neighbors live. I’m moving farther away from my friends, my family and my support system. I’m moving to a town where the only person I really give two shakes about is now my ex, and we’re no longer together. This move is suddenly terrifying.

Up to this point I’ve been excited. As I boxed things up I anticipated leaving this place with joy, excitement, happiness. I lovingly packed my things in paper and in boxes and I thought about my new apartment and all the memories I’d make there, but now I don’t want to leave the memories I already have.

I’m terrified to be alone…really alone. I’m scared to move away because I’m worried that my bipolar will make me sick… again, like the last time I lived away from my support system. I’m scared that I won’t like the landlord there. I’m scared that I’ll lose my job in that town and be stuck commuting to a job in a different town again; wasting my time, energy and money on the drive every damn day.

This feeling came over me as I was driving home from work today. I realized that it was the last time I’d drive “home” to this town, at least for a while. Next time I drove “home” it would be to my new apartment in my new town. I’m realizing that the reason I took the job I have now was to be closer to him, to be with him, to rationalize moving closer to him and eventually moving in with him; and now I want to be farther away from him, but I can’t run away. Even “home” will only be a few blocks away from him starting tomorrow and it breaks my heart that I’ll be so close and yet unable to have him.

And so here I sit surrounded by my life packed in boxes. All my memories packed up in neat little cubes waiting to move to a new place. Waiting to be unpacked in their new place in my new apartment.

And I’m terrified.

But sometimes you need to pack up your life, your doodads and your clothes and your knickknacks and move on…literally. Sometimes you need that push in order to do something great. So that’s what I plan to do; do something great in this next chapter of my life.

It’s been 2 years, 8 months and 26 days… it’s time to move on.

The Deer in my Path

So I’m on day 8 post-breakup and things are still about the same. I still hate most everything and everyone, especially people who have good news or have moved on with their lives. So many people I know are coming out with big news of weddings and babies, and I’m so happy for them… but so sad for myself.

In other news, every morning I’ve been seeing a deer. I’m not sure if it’s the same deer, but it’s in the same spot every day rain or shine. Now I’m all for symbolism, so I looked it up, and here’s what it said about the symbolism of deer:

“A deer is often a sign not to be too hard on yourself. Still the voice of the self critic and treat yourself with gentleness and understanding, be yourself and continue along your path. Seek out your inner treasures and use them generously to help those around you. Trust that kindness and graciousness will be well received.

We are also reminded that we cannot push towards change in others, rather we gently nudge them in the right direction with love and understanding. Lead by doing and showing the way.

Deer is a messenger of serenity, can see between shadows and hear what isn’t being said. Deer teach us to maintain our innocence and gentleness so we can share our open-heartedness with others.”

Now this says a lot to me. First, I’m being INCREDIBLY hard on myself relating to this breakup. I’m blaming myself for a lot of things which I’m not fully responsible for.

Second, I’d love for anything for my ex to change for the better. He’s an amazing person and I’d love nothing more than for him to be the man I see in him and live up to what he’s capable of, but I can’t force this. He has to make that choice for himself, and that’s a difficult reality for me to deal with. I’m trying as hard as I can to nudge him in the right direction, but we’ll see what happens.

Last I’d love a little more serenity. Right now I’m incredibly stressed out…


Serenity now

I know that with time I will feel that peace, but I’m being a little impatient, ok? My heart is a big open wound and I’d like to have it heal just a little already.

For now every time I see my deer, I will think about being one minute closer to healed, one step closer to change, one tiny bit easier on myself and one nudge away from something amazing.

How Stereotypes Affect us All

I recently had to travel out of town for work. I went to Houston. Now I’ve never been to Texas before, and I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but this just wasn’t it! I had an image in my brain about Texas. (Mostly based on movies I’d seen involving Texas)

1. Cowboy hats and boots
2. Ranches
3. Dry dirt, tumbleweeds, perhaps cactus… this one I knew was pretty outrageous, but that’s what I pictured!
4. Horses
5. Accents!!! Where’s the “ya’ll” and “fixin to”?!
6. I shouted in the airport “The stars at night are big and bright…” and no one answered “Deep in the heart of Texas” like in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. (Ok, so maybe this one wasn’t my actual idea of what Texas is like.)

So needless to say my visit to Houston was a little disappointing when I learned that not everyone has a hat and boots, there are SO MANY TREES and so much green grass. I saw no cactus either. But there were palm trees, which surprised me. None of the employees in the Houston office were ranchers or rode a horse, at least not to work. Very few people had a southern drawl, and in this I was very disappointed because I love how accents sound!

Now to a point I’m being facetious, and I’m aware that there are many stereotypes about Iowa as well, but my idea of Texas was clearly all wrong! Like that commercial for pasta sauce I got to thinking “What else have I got wrong about the world?!” Clearly my stereotypes were holding me back. I can’t describe my surprise at what I found in Texas. It was immense.

So many stereotypes exist in this world and they are forged from different sources. My stereotypes for Texas were based on mostly TV and movie examples. But how many times do we base our opinion on a person based on their clothing, haircut, what things they carry (purse, backpack, briefcase, etc), their car or lack there of, or other outward aspect that we use to define them?! I know I’m guilty of it. How much different would the world be if we accepted more people and didn’t judge and walk away?

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I’m a firm believer in wearing and doing what makes you happy and not worrying about what others think about you based on those choices. And I live by that motto. I’m sure there are people who see me and LITERALLY RUN AWAY because not every clothing choice I make looks “normal”. There are plenty of clothes I own which my friends say “Only YOU would own a dress like that”… I’m not always sure how I should take that one because I’m not sure if they mean I look great but they don’t have the guts to were anything so bold or because I look borderline crazy in it… But needles to say, I look unique most of the time. (Plus I have CRAAAAZY curly hair that I sometimes “let free” and it’s quite big.)

None of this makes me less of a good person. None of this makes me less kind. None of my outward appearance makes me any less of a good employee or friend. I’m still brilliant and funny and (I think) pretty damn amazing. Nothing anyone could say about me would stop me from expressing myself. That’s not to say it couldn’t hurt my feelings, but I’m pretty confident about my outward weird.


So the next time you encounter someone, don’t judge them by their outward appearance, but talk to them. Get to know them. Learn about them. And accept them. See what happens and how it changes your life.