Thursday, November 1, 2012


If you had asked me at 16 what my life would look like at 26, I would have rattled off some apple pie like vision involving a dashing husband, a couple of kids and a golden retriever named Sandy. I feel quite certain that the iconic ‘picket fence’ reference would have also made it into the mix. While my life at said age of 26 currently involves none of those things, I do, however, have a dashing boyfriend, a couple of plants and a pomeranian named Cooper...but still no fence of any kind. 

Am I thoroughly disappointed that my life has not panned out as I envisioned? As who envisioned? Not me. Not really. At 16, I simply regurgitated what seemed like an appropriate response to such a question. I wasn’t really aware of my options.  A typical ten-year post high school timeline unfolds as follows: college, job, marriage, honeymoon phase, babies. I don’t even know why I bothered to cite such a redundancy since I know full well that you all know exactly what I mean. This is what I knew of the future. This is what I was led to expect

Now, for some, this timeline is perfect. You may be reading this right now while wiping the pureed peas from the corner of your precious baby’s mouth and thinking “my life has unfolded exactly the way I wanted it to.” In this case, congratulations, you are one hell of a multi-tasker. Reading and feeding a baby at the same time.

For others of us, marriage and children and a house and two cars may be on the back burner. In my case, they’re not on the stove at all...haven’t even put them in a pot yet...don’t know if I have a pot...the right size pot, I mean...does anyone have a good recipe?...let’s just order take out. 

I answered the phone in the grocery store the other day, and my friend says to me: “Katie Fisher is pregnant and if I have to go to another baby shower I’ll shoot myself, Tiffany. I can’t take it.”
“Don’t want to have to buy another gift? I hate shopping too, but baby shoes are so cute! Just go for the shoes. It will be a shopping pleasure.”
“No, I’m sick and tired of everyone moving forward with their lives except me.”
“Are you trying to tell me that you want a baby right now? Because the last time I checked you had badass career goals, an active social life and a list of travel destinations a country mile long. But if you want a baby, by all means, abandon all forms of contraception because I’d love an excuse to go to Chuck E. Cheese on the reg.” 
"Momentary lapse of judgement. I'm back to reality now."

What my darling friend is displaying are signs of  Measurement Disease. We all suffer from it from time to time. We assume that we should be in a certain place in life at a certain age. 

We use adult milestones to track our progress in life like a fucking grade school progress report. But the reality is, you don’t get four gold stars for getting married under the age of thirty. You do however, get four gold stars if you marry someone who brings out the best in you and nurtures your personal growth and supports you in all you do regardless of your age. You also get four gold stars for recognizing that marriage is not a priority for you after all. Hell, you get as many gold stars as you want. They can also be silver...or green...or fucking dinosaurs for all I care...and I do mean that can track your progress in life with stickers of dinosaurs engaged in sexual intercourse, because you create your own reality. No one is signing your report card. I’m wrapping this metaphor up as we speak, which is difficult because it is so funny to me. 

So how do I know when my life is progressing nicely if there is no standard to follow? What’s good and what’s bad? Good is good because it’s not this, which is bad...unless...

You decide what your values are and what makes you happy. This is all that matters. But you have to....absolutely have to...oh yes, you must... please understand that it is imperative that you be completely and totally honest with yourself. Oh please, please, pleeeasee just be gut-wrenchingly and brutally honest with yourself.

Sound scary? It is! I promise you that. It’s scary as fuck to be honest about what you truly want in life because then you can’t ignore it; you have to do something about it. No more living undercover. 

I have a dear friend. An oh so dear friend. Have you been thankful for your dear friends today? Take a moment to be thankful for your dearest dear friends. But this dear friend of mine is going through something special. She’s been living as someone else for the last few years. She came into this world with big dreams, which is perfect, because they match her big personality. But for the sake of being realistic, she buried them deep down inside herself. In fact, she hid them so well that even she couldn’t find them anymore. 

So many of us do this. Day after day, we live a lie. 

Now my friend has uncovered her own secret. She has now realized that she is in the wrong profession and ultimately the wrong life. Is she elated? You might think that discovering who you are and where you want to go would be like discovering buried treasure! Fucking solid gold! 

But no. No, she is quite terrified. Because once you discover these secret desires, you are faced with the daunting task of fulfilling them. And then there’s the sadness. You’re so sad that you lost sight of yourself in the first place. 

Julia Cameron puts it perfectly in her book (or course rather) The Complete Artist’s Way: 

“We begin to excavate our buried dreams. This is a tricky process. Some of our dreams are very volatile, and the mere act of brushing them off sends an enormous surge of energy bolting through our denial system. Such grief! Such loss! Such pain!....We mourn the self we abandoned. We greet this self as we might greet a lover at the end of a long costly war.” With our pants down. Disregard that last statement. (pg 22)

She goes on to discuss how the dream recovery process leads us to mourn the “nice” self we’ve made do with. The safe self. The self our parents want us to be. The self that will always have a job, even if it’s a job we despise. The self who dreams of the weekend on Monday afternoon. The self that is empty and unfulfilled. The self that is too afraid to demand more from life. The self that pleads:
“you don’t have the talent! the intelligence! or the looks for this!”
“you don’t have a degree in this field!” 
 “everyone will think you’re crazy!” 
“you’re too old to start something new!”

But here’s the deal: you can start anywhere, anytime. This ain’t Jumanji. You don’t have to play through this career or this marriage or this (insert unfulfilling life situation) all the while hoping you make it out alive. You can say, “I quit this game. I don’t care for these aggressive monkeys.” The freedom is yours to start over whenever you want. You just have to be badass enough, which I trust you are.

Part of the transition is recognizing that the sadness and fear that Cameron describes are a normal part of rediscovering your real and true dreams. If you can push through these emotions, there are many rewards 
waiting for you on the other side. 

She writes:
“Our tears prepare the ground for our future growth. Without this creative moistening, we may remain barren. We must allow the bolt of pain to strike us. Remember, this is useful pain; lightening illuminates.” And AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” plays in the background...(pg 22)

“But everyone my age is married! Shouldn’t I be too? I don’t want to die alone”
If everyone else was jumping off a bridge would you do it too? And die alone? You’re in your 20s. But hey, if you want to live in a forced intimate relationship and sleep next to someone you married out of fear, then by all means, let’s ring those wedding bells. 

“My parents will be disappointed if ditch law school to become a writer.”
Your parents will be even more disappointed if you become a shitty lawyer with a drinking problem, which is what you’ll probably be if your passions are elsewhere. Now try and argue with that. 

“I make good money at my job and I’m afraid that I’ll go broke pursuing my passions.”
Two words: Ebenezer Scrooge. Jk, that’s valid. Don’t be irresponsible and throw caution to the wind (financially speaking); just define your values and remember that income is never static. Walt Disney went bankrupt before going on to create his SUPERFUN empire. You may have some tough times, but doing what you love will make up for the year you ate cereal for dinner every night. 

One of the most tragic things to me is a person who does not follow their dreams off the beaten pathway of life. There is no appropriate age or place to start living your life the way you honestly want to. You may wish that you’d done this sooner. Regret for the past is a foolish reason not to take advantage of the future. There is no turning back...going forward is all we have. 

The moral of this story is where can I buy stickers of dinosaurs having sex?

Now, go live your dreams or someone else will. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Just a Date

So here’s the deal. I’ve got a new boyfriend. I haven’t written a blog in a while because I’ve been in Smitten Kitten Land. It’s like Disney Land except the rides are better. How did this happen? Suddenly. Unlike me, you say? That’s right. 

And now I can honestly say that I look at dating as more of an experience rather than a means to an end. I’m not saying that I don’t want a long-lasting connection; I’m open to it if one comes my way.” This is how I ended the post before last, and this is exactly what I said to my co-worker just before my phone alerted me that I had received a very important text message. Well, it simply alerted me that I had a message; currently the iPhone is not equipped with the technology to differentiate between average texts and ones that could potentially alter the course of your life. I’ve heard the iPhone 6 will boast this feature along with the ability to impregnate you, regardless of your gender. 

How did I meet him? Funny you should ask. We met in 9th grade, which was about 12 years ago.

Picture this: The year 2000. It’s the first day of school at Franklin County High School and Coach so and so’s 9th grade class begins the usual ritual of “tell us your name and 2 interesting things about yourself.” I stand up and say “My name is Tiffany and I like my dog and easy-mac.” Kyle laughs pretty loudly and I look in his direction. And so it begins...

No one else thought that was funny...

junior prom
Once, I got completely hammered at a high school baseball game and Kyle swooped in like a guardian angel and made sure that I didn’t get arrested. If it weren’t for him, I’m pretty sure I would be under the jail by now...#SadButTrue...He helped me walk from the stands and drove me me to the local Wilco truck stop to bide some time while attempting to to reach the friend that I was supposed to spend the night with. He later came into the women’s restroom, where I had passed out in a bathroom stall, and physically removed me from the floor. On our way back to the car, he held my hair back while I vomited on the sidewalk, and ushered attendees of the recently finished baseball game past me saying “nothing to see here folks, move along.” 

I regret to inform you that there are other instances very similar to this one, but I feel that citing just one of them makes the point that a) this man has seen me at my very, very worst and b) I can count on him to be there no matter what.

One day, in tenth grade, the bell rang for class to begin and he wasn’t there. Staring at his empty desk I thought, “great, now this day is completely ruined. I don’t even want to be here if he’s not here....GASP...oh my God...I like him so much...” This was a surprise for me. 

He, on the other hand, always knew. He’s a lot more decisive then me. For the next 12 years, I would deal with interpersonal conflict over the matter while he, like the Taurus that he is, would remain steadfast in his decision that I am the girl for him. 

We had our first kiss at my parents’ house back in 2003. When I walked him to his truck that night we hugged for so long and I felt something that I had never felt before, and hadn’t since, until recently when we reconnected. It felt a lot like I’d swallowed a rainbow. Or what I imagine swallowing a rainbow would feel like...

In the years that would follow, more drama ensued between us than a Grey’s Anatomy and The Notebook sandwich. He did some things I didn’t understand. I did some things that weren’t nice. The timing wasn’t right and the universe said no, not now. We stopped speaking in 2006. 

Our communication picked up again when I signed up for a YouTube account. The website generated a list of people I knew from my email address book that had YouTube channels. He was on it. I never thought I would be so enthralled by video game commentary, but it was his voice, so I hung on every word...phrases like “You round the corner, one kill away, and make him eat thirty bullets” never sounded so sweet. 

For the next two years, we kept in touch, but never got together. So, up until about a month ago, I had not seen him in six years. 

I was very hesitant to say yes. You see, he and I are very different...he’s conservative, I’m liberal. He likes nice things, I like nice charities. I have a collection of teapots, he has a collection of guns. 

But more so, I was hesitant because I was afraid. Afraid of hurting him again. Afraid of being hurt. When you have a 12 year long history with someone, you have a lot to lose. See, when he wasn’t in my life in any capacity I wanted him there. I missed him. Being in touch with him as friends was better than nothing and I would lose all contact if this was a complete disaster. 

Luckily, I got called out. He says to me, “I’m not afraid of getting hurt. I’ve been there, and I got through it. I’m afraid of never giving this a fair chance and seeing how great it can be.” 

Hmmm...scratches chin in contemplation...very well then...we shall go on a date...

“Christ, it’s just a date, Tiffany. I’m not asking you to marry me or anything.”

We had a date...then two...then I texted my girlfriends that we are in a relationship and we are in love, and they said that that was too overwhelming of a text message to receive first thing in the morning. Yeah, that shit was on facebook faster than you can say ‘like’. 

At this point you may be thinking, so you’ve known each other for many years, but what’s the deal? Why so fast? It’s about quality, not quantity, right?

Right. And I can tell you some of the things: 

For starters, he’s hilarious. In a “I just spewed my drink everywhere!” kind of way. No, I have literally spewed my drink all over the place. Do you know how many times I’ve said, “Oh my God, that’s so funny that I almost spewed my drink everywhere!” He actually makes me spew it. Everywhere. 

He delivered this giant bear to my office

Additionally, see above paragraph about guardian angel of booze hound Tiffany. The man is there for me. I never doubt that. 

We have a fair amount of things in common, but there’s a lot that we don’t. But I have come to believe that people are entirely too concerned with ‘things in common.’ 

“You’re into mountain biking AND Mad Men too??!” 

What happens when his knees give out and Mad Men completes its final season? I mean, besides crying in a Gin and Tonic because no more Don Draper...which is what I’ll be doing...

Now, it is important to date someone who is not your total and complete opposite and someone who you can enjoy some mutual interests with. But I’m simply arguing that far too much emphasis is placed on commonalities. Are you really falling in love with the person, or just the things that you share with them? Do you love them because you love them, or because you think that you should love them? 

I love Kyle because I love him. Not because of what he’s into. Not because of what he does for a living. Not because he does or says nice things. Not because he loves me. Not because I need him to love me. But because I just love him. There is an essence to every person, and that’s what you should love when you love anyone.  

But to do so requires that you toss out your fear. What are you afraid of? Getting hurt? You’re going to. It’s a part of life. So, it shouldn’t be extra super worth it when you do experience pain? When we choose to partner with someone who ‘makes sense’ but fails to ignite a passion within us, we cheat ourselves out of something that we all inherently long for...a love that is bigger than ourselves. 

Our fear builds up walls in a frantic effort to protect us, but when it’s all done, we look around and see that we have simply isolated ourselves. Just as the iPhone can’t differentiate between good and bad texts, the wall can’t differentiate between good and bad people or experiences, and hence, it keeps it all out. Opening yourself to love means opening yourself to hurt, which is OK because we’re all tough enough to take it. And now that I have sufficiently ran this point into the ground I will move on...

I found myself in a position in which I said to my calculating self, “What are you calculating for? This decision has already been made for you, the universe put this in motion long ago.” 

I decided to be with Kyle not because my calculations have led me to believe that there is a great chance of ours being a successful relationship, but because I know that my desire to be with him outweighs my fear of having it all blow up in my face. I firmly believe that conflict, fighting and break-ups, while very exhausting and gut-wrenching, are not as soul-starving as the stagnant feeling of isolation. We should never put ourselves in position where we limit what we can feel. 

Agonizing over decisions in our love lives is beyond fruitless. Say no to over-analyzing and yes to diving into love head first. Get crazy with it. Open your heart. Let go. There are too many mediocre things in life--love should not be one of them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Not the End of The World

Preface: Take a shot every time you read any form of the word ‘bite’ and you will be wasted by the end of this blog.

One episode of Walking Dead was all it took to get me hooked; I’m crazy for zombies. Or crazy for killing zombies...either way, when Kathryn asked me if I wanted to join a Zombie Pub crawl last Saturday afternoon, I said yes, yes, and more yes. 

We missed out on the professional zombie make-up because I had to work earlier that day, so we applied our own apocalipstick and die liner. PUNS IN YO FACE. 

Things started out really well. You’d be surprised by how a common love of eminent doom and blood thirsty, flesh-eaters will bring a group together. We bonded with Mr. and Mrs. Clown Zombie, Rainbow Bright Zombie, Bob Ross Zombie and pretty much every zombie in sight. 

Things took a turn for the worse when a guy actually bit the shit out of my arm. You read that correctly. I said a guy bit me. A little too caught up in his role, you speculate...this guy wasn’t even dressed as a zombie, he was just meeting up with some folks who were. Myself and Kathryn were chatting with him and his group when I said something he found to be funny. He threw his head back in laughter, and when he came forward, he leaned in and locked down on my bicep. 

So. Fucking. Weird. 

Now, I know I should have punched him in the face, but when someone bites you...hard...out of are so caught off guard/freaked out, you don’t know what to do. Deer in the headlights. I immediately retreated to the restroom where a girl, alarmed by my distressed expression, asked me what happened; when I told her, she grabbed my arm and put it in the sink and started rubbing soap and water on me while yelling “You have got to point that crazy guy out to me, I need to steer clear of him!”

It didn’t break the skin, but there was a bruise immediately. Not to mention bite marks. Everyone that saw it was appalled. It looked terrible. And it hurt. It felt exactly like I had gotten a shot in the arm. It was sore and throbbing for hours afterwards. 

Needless to say, this affected my mood significantly. However, I’d been looking forward to this Zombie Crawl and didn’t want crazy biter-dude to ruin mine and my friends’ day. I knew that if I tried to carry on as if everything was fine, my emotions would eventually come back to *bite* me in the ass. I felt like I had been violated. Someone that I didn’t know had inflicted pain upon me, without cause and without warning. It obviously wasn’t the worse thing that could happen, but nonetheless, it left me feeling very uneasy and emotional. 

I decided to temporarily remove myself from the group. Time to alone to release negative energy and form a game plan for handling your emotions often proves invaluable when dealing with conflict in group settings. It can mean the difference in a night that ends with sweat streaming down your face while dancing and smiling and a night that ends with mascara streaming down your face while yelling at the cab driver because he refuses to take you through the McDonald’s drive-thru. 

My friends were notified that I would be regrouping on a park bench in front of the bar; it’s a good idea to let your everyone know that you will not be chilling in a back alley somewhere, unless of course you are, in which case you should have someone else make all of your decisions. Someone else who understands basic safety precautions. 

After a phone call or two, and some time relaxing outside, I headed back into Dark Horse Tavern which was almost completely empty now that the massive herd of zombies had moved on to greener bar stools. Keep that it is now about 4:30 in the afternoon, so the broad daylight was beating down on all this drama. I posted up next to a man in his late 50s; while the bar tender poured my vodka tonic, he poured out his life story. He recounted the details of his recent divorce, which somehow segued into his desire to always do the right thing but not always knowing what the right thing is. I encouraged him to the best of my ability and commended him on his strength and desire to do good. We both felt better after our conversation. 

The universe always knows where you need to be...sometimes it just takes a bite in the arm to get you there. 

At about 5:30, I rejoined the group and proceeded to have an excellent evening. Here I am, dressed as a zombie and Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on Walking Dead, showed up at Diesel! No, he did not have his crossbow handy. We chit-chatted in the bathroom line. He asked me my name. We shook hands. It was awesome. 

Thank goodness I removed myself from the group. Not only did I enjoy a night of dancing I met a star from one of my favorite TV shows, AND I had the pleasure of sharing encouragement and support with someone who needed it. The universe nailed it once again!

P.S. I still can’t believe a guy bit me. 

Special thanks to:

Raoul Duke zombie (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Case of the Matthews

Picture this: empty red wine bottles, chocolate wrappers, balled up tissues, and “It’s Called a Break-Up Because It’s Broken” on the nightstand. This was my bedroom about 2 years ago. It was kinda worse than this video there for a minute. P.S. I laughed like it was my first time seeing this when I uploaded it. 

Well, it looks like we’re taking a turn for really personal town. Buckle up buttercups! 
This wasn’t my first break-up, but it was my first break-up that made me want to jump off a cliff. It led me to say things like “I just don’t know if I’ll ever be happy again”  which my dear friend Kathryn hastily mocked in an Eeyore voice. We laugh about it now. 
If you’ve ever experienced this type of split you know how gut-wrenching it can be.
Why was this particular parting so dreadful, you ask? He was hilarious. I’m talking knee-slappin, spew your morning coffee, ‘please stop, my stomach hurts!’ kind of funny. We laughed until we cried. And we traveled. We traveled all the time. Our first kiss was in the Broad River. He had just rescued me when my kayak tipped over...I had to thank him for his gallant effort somehow. He told me he loved me for the first time on the top of a mountain in the Puerto Rican rain forest. That was 5 months in. 

We were the kind of couple that made everyone gag. By the end, I was gagging too.
 We hardly ever argued. Sounds dreamy, right? Think again. If a couple doesn’t have conflict, then a couple doesn’t communicate. If a couple doesn’t communicate, a couple doesn’t grow. I ended up feeling like he was selfish, but I’ve since realized that he was in a place in life where he had nothing more to give. I broke up with him on a Monday, and haven’t spoken to him since. 
A month or so later, I went on a date with someone new and cried the whole way home. I actually had a nice time, which seemed to make matters worse for some reason. 
The next guy I dated was fit for a straight jacket. I locked myself out of the house when he and I went to lunch one afternoon, so I used the spare key hidden outside to let us back in. Yes, I realize now that I should have changed its hiding spot, but I didn’t know he was crazy enough to use it to enter my home while I was away on a camping trip and leave me a bouquet of flowers the size of China. I know now.
Needless to say that around this time, I was in Cynic-Town, USA--population me. The issue wasn’t the absence of the perfect man, but it was the presence of an unyielding fear that every relationship would eventually disappoint me. No, this wasn’t simply loneliness; I was suffering from a looming sense of let down. The defeat of ending a relationship with someone who I had previously decided was perfect for me was worse than the heartache I felt about no longer having him in my life. And I was afraid that I would continue to live in that feeling. I was afraid that what I was looking for was unattainable (that seems so ridiculous now, but it didn’t at the time). Sidebar: Fear often snowballs, so it’s important to nip that shit in the bud the minute it shows up. 

You see, Matt and I were really good friends, but our relationship was about as deep as a kiddie pool. I was spiritually and emotionally starved while we were together, and I was craving a connection with more substance.
Now, I can tell you right now that I did not expect to meet someone who was capable of satiating such a desire when some girlfriends and I hit up the bars in Athens, Georgia last year. I was chatting with some guys there once before and when they asked me how old I was I replied, “Older than you for sure.” They persisted, and I answered “25.”
“Wow, I hope my girlfriend is as hot as you when she’s your age!” was their response.

Jammin' out to Man in the Mirror in Athens

However, the town is not entirely composed of children, and if you’ve frequented  the home of UGA (I can hear ‘Dawgs’ fans barking in the background) you know that all in all, it’s a fine place.

Matthew was wearing cowboy boots and his hair in a pony tail that night. We talked for a while, and I gave him my number even though he was living in Oxford, Mississippi where he was finishing up his Ph.D in history. That’s about 5 hours from where I live in Atlanta. Why, you ask? Excellent question! My answer is I’m not sure. That is, I’m not sure why I did at the time...too much whiskey, I guess...but I know now that it was because we had a genuine connection, which I’m sure my sub-conscience picked up on when my conscience was pre-occupied with bar tabs and taxi rides. 
I was actually surprised when he asked me to lunch, since I knew he would be headed back to Mississippi soon. I said yes, mostly out of curiosity. 
That lunch date may have been the only 14 hour lunch I’ve ever had. We stayed up until 4am discussing the role of technology in society, how he teaches his ‘New South’ and ‘African American History’ classes and how important it is to name your car (his jeep is Blue Baller and my focus is The Silver Bullet). 

Now, lunch (and dinner and a midnight snack) was one thing, but accepting an invitation to visit him in Mississippi was another. I knew how utterly impractical that would be since I had no intention of embarking on the treacherous journey of a long-distance relationship, so why waste the time? Or more importantly, the emotion? But, Clarksdale, Mississippi, which is considered to be the ‘birthplace of the blues’, had been on my list of desirable destinations for quite some time, and I was dying to go. 
I met him in Oxford, and we drove about an hour and half to Clarksdale where we  checked into the ‘The Shack-Up Inn.’ Now, before you go making all kinds of assumptions about this establishment, allow me to clarify. You literally stay in a shack. The grounds are comprised of a bunch of sharecropper homes and an old cotton mill. The description on the website reads, in large print font, “The Ritz, we ain’t” and goes on to say, “drunken frat boys stay away.”

“Whether you're looking for an overnight stay on your way to Memphis or Chicago or New Orleans or you need to stay longer to conduct historic blues business, and or monkey business, the Shack Up Inn will add a new dimension to your stay in the Delta. As you sit in the rocker on the porch, tipping a cold one while the sun sinks slowly to the horizon, you just might hear Pinetop Perkins radiatin' the 88's over at his shack. Perhaps, if you close your eyes, even Muddy or Robert or Charlie might stop to strum a few chords in the night.”
Fucking awesome. 

We spent that evening basking in live blues music at Morgan Freeman’s bar ‘Ground Zero’ and spent most of the night relaxing on the screened-in porch drinking beer and sharing stories, feelings and ideas. 
The next day, we headed back to Oxford where we toured William Faulkner’s home and poked around Ole Miss. Matthew gave the same tour he gives his students; he walks with the whole class around campus and discusses the monuments and how the nuances of each one symbolically represents some historical issue. I was in nerd heaven. 

Later, we packed a cooler full of beer, hopped in the Blue Baller and headed out to Lake Sardis to watch the sunset. It was glorious. 

Myself at Lake Sardis
In fact, the whole weekend was glorious, and we lived happily ever after...separately.  Which is GREAT. Here’s why: life is about experiences. Life is not about finding a means to an end. 
Matthew is an awesome guy. There is no doubt that we had, and still do have a  connection. Neither of us did anything wrong; we’re simply not right enough for each other to warrant a long-term relationship. BUT, he served a divine purpose in my life. He allowed me to see that men could embody exceptional emotional depth, sensitivity, compassion, and openness while maintaining their masculinity. It may sound ridiculous, but I had convinced myself these aforementioned traits would have to be accompanied by a vagina. 
The experience of being with him for that short time also allowed me to see that beautiful relationships come in all shapes and sizes. A short-lived romance can be just as meaningful as a lifelong one. It’s all about what you experience and learn from it. 
I almost didn’t visit because I knew that we probably wouldn’t date long-term. But I know now that it is important to refrain from compartmentalizing how people should function in your life. We often think that if a relationship isn’t going to last a lifetime it isn’t worth our attention. And while I understand that many people consider marriage as a goal, we you shouldn’t miss out on life in it’s pursuit (I’m not one of them, for the record). When a person walks into our lives, we may not understand their purpose in being there right away, but I can guarantee that they serve one. Much of my learning to open up my heart again and releasing the fear of disappointment was due to knowing Matthew. And now I can honestly say that I look at dating as more of an experience rather than a means to an end. I’m not saying that I don’t want a long-lasting connection; I’m open to it if one comes my way. I’m also not saying that I will date anyone and everyone. I’m just saying that, using my gut feelings as my guide, I’ve learned to enjoy a genuine connection of any kind regardless of it’s length, practicality, or purpose in my life, and this has proved very rewarding. 
Matthew and I had lunch the last week, and I’m pleased to know he feels the same way. 
Special thanks to:
Athens, GA

This book