Not For Sale: Taking Myself Off The Market, Part II (REVISED)

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After falling off the wagon a couple of times (once because I thought I was genuinely about to fall in love and once because, well, I’m a blithering idiot), I am back to square one, realizing how important it is to remove myself from the dating scene while I still have my self-respect and dignity, as well as what’s left of my mental health and sanity.

I wrote the original entry about this subject on May 23, 2018. Shortly thereafter, I sold out and went out with a girl I had originally started talking to in early April. There were a few red flags (distance between us, roughly 45 minutes, being a good example) but I found her to be beautiful, intelligent and worth the extra work considering the situation.

We went out on June 2, remained in touch daily and went out again on June 23. I was falling hard. But then, beginning on July 6, she decided to start ghosting me. We never had a disagreement or even a cross word. I kept going back in my mind trying to figure out what I had done wrong, but could not figure it out, unless I was just expecting too much and she didn’t want to deal with it. Some of my friends have other ideas, like I was maybe a “practice” date. There are also theories that maybe she has a man stashed away or has her eyes on one. Some have even speculated that maybe she’s not attracted to men. Who knows.

Ultimately, I never will. And I came to terms with that, finally. But whatever feelings I had for her have died a quick death, and I blocked her on Facebook and from being able to call or text me. An explanation, even a dishonest one (i.e. “I’m allergic to you” or “our signs aren’t compatible”) would have sufficed, rather than just ghosting me.

I was then asked out last week by a woman who lives even further away (roughly an hour) who had asked me out in February and I declined. I wasn’t really attracted to her but at first she seemed to have a fun personality. Until I got to know her better. She has a rotten personality and an ego to match. Without even having met outside of Facebook and text messaging, she announced that she didn’t like my beard and that I needed to shave it. She said she doesn’t like baseball (which is my only obsession in life) and that she would “rather poke (her) eyes out with a fork” than watch baseball. She also announced that if I was ever “lucky enough” to share her bed that I better get used to listening to white noise to go to sleep.

Wow.

Talk about a cunt. She may be the most selfish woman I have ever met, and that’s saying something. On top of not being overly attractive at all, this ego of hers was beyond anything I had ever seen. When you’re in the process of seeing if you’re compatible with someone, saying “this is how it is, get used to it” is probably not the best strategy. Had I used any common sense, the fact that I had already declined her advances once should have struck a chord with me.

Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and we never went out. That would have been a disaster of epic proportions. I hate to say it, but I give more slack on things like that to a woman who maybe has the looks to carry it off. A beautiful woman can be egotistical and get away with it. A woman who is on the opposite end of that spectrum really can’t. At all.

Which brings me back to why I made the decision to take myself off the market in the first place back in May. Dating just doesn’t work for me right now, and these two situations have made that even more clear than it was before. I know there’s no one out there for me, at least in this area, and in a way I’m thankful for that because this whole county is a hellhole that I can’t imagine meeting anyone in that I could spend the rest of my life with.

These last two were from neighboring counties, and I thought maybe I had beaten the system that way. No, they’re just as bad. While the first one was far more attractive than anyone you’ll ever meet in my area, she was still a flake of ultimate dimension. The second one was pretty much on par for what you would expect to find around here.

Too many women overvalue themselves in the marketplace. If your description of yourself includes the fact that you don’t have enough money to support yourself or you don’t like to cook or your favorite pastime is drinking yourself into a stupor, that’s not increasing your value as a potential mate. It’s making you look stupid more than anything.

Yet, there are meth-heads, drunks and legitimate whores around here who are holding out for something they’re never going to find, a decent man who would be happy to have them in their life. In my case, I have yet to find one I would even consider.

So, I am back where I started. I’ve decided I need one year to get my life back in order and kind of lick my wounds and recover from the shock and disappointment of the past seven months, as well as the seven years of abject misery I dealt with before that.

As I told a close friend of mine last night, the happiest times I can remember in my life all had one thing in common: I was single and wasn’t trying to change it.

My plan now is to take myself completely off the dating market until August 1, 2019. One year and a week, basically. Do I expect to just jump into a relationship on August 1 of next year? Of course not, but I’m not even going to consider doing so until then. I have enlisted a number of friends to do whatever it takes to keep me from falling off the wagon again. Humiliate me on Facebook with wall posts. Spray paint my Jeep. Shoot me in the leg. Anything.

I just can’t spend the rest of whatever I have left in life chasing shadows and settling for less than I want. I don’t drink (to excess, anyway), I don’t use drugs, I work, I own my own vehicle and house, I have a good income and savings, I can go buy anything I want at any time. I really have no need for a woman, as a woman won’t complete me. I am complete as it is. I will say that a woman can enhance me and my life, but she isn’t a necessity.

So why shouldn’t I enjoy myself, and if it stretches into a period longer than a year, then so be it. The same thing happened to me in 1996, I became single after a long-term relationship ended in June and decided to take the rest of 1996 off from dating. That lasted until July of 2005. I am not the least bit afraid of being alone or not being in a relationship.

You see, I came to realize a long time ago that I am at my happiest when I am single. I had such an amazing life in the late 1990s and early 2000s and sure enough, within a month of entering the relationship scene again in 2005, I was utterly miserable. And every woman I have dated since has made me miserable. Some more than others and some for ungodly periods of time.

I do want and need to address the elephant in the room. I have been asked repeatedly “but what if some cute, little, available girl comes into your life before August 1, 2019?” Well, quite simply, this: If she is, in fact, my “soulmate,” then she’ll still be around when my self-imposed exile is up. There is nothing to be accomplished for me in chasing shadows and wondering if this girl is “The One” or even considering going out with a woman who I already know is not “The One.”

Life isn’t that complicated. If you don’t feel anything for someone, if there’s no attraction there or there’s no feeling of desire to see someone, she’s not “it.”

I had to have that beaten into me between 2010 and 2017 and it seems that maybe the lesson still hasn’t taken hold. If I can stay with someone until December 2017 that I have hated with a bloody passion since at least 2013 and likely before that, I clearly have no sense.

It’s clear that I need to be taken away from the general public for a long stretch and learn how to function as a normal human being again without making an arse of myself constantly. Thus, my decision to enter my self-imposed exile, that I think I will truly enjoy. I recently upgraded my cigar humidor and bought a beautiful selection of premium sticks that I will enjoy sitting outside smoking and listening to the White Sox games on the radio and no one will even have to poke their eyes out.

In closing, I hope the two women mentioned within this post get exactly what they deserve in life and reap what they are sowing. As for myself, I hope I have as good a time for the next nine years as I had the last time I went into exile. Be they alone or with my “soulmate,” wherever she may be. I figure if she’s out there, she’ll find me in due time. And it won’t be until at least August of 2019.

Thank you for visiting and reading…

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Am I The Luckiest Man Alive? Or Is Providence Looking Out For Me?

Over the course of my life I have come to realize I am either the luckiest man who ever lived or Providence is, in fact, looking out for me.

Everything I have wanted in life, I have gotten. Every bad situation I have wanted out of, I have gotten out of. Everything I have thought I wanted but would have turned out to be bad for me, I have managed to stay away from or get away from before it was too late.

I keep thinking no one could be as lucky as I am.

For some reason, I have a bad habit of undervaluing myself.  There have been girls that I really wanted to go out with, to get to know, and in each instance, luck or Providence has shown me the error of that decision, by giving me the chance or by rescuing me before I got that far.  Some of those choices I made could have been disastrous.

Either the girl met someone else and I was left out, or cooler heads prevailed and I didn’t pursue things. The amusing angle on that has been the luck the girls have with the new boyfriend’s they passed on me for. It’s a 100% failure rate and almost every time it doesn’t last a week.

But, since I do not accept being “plan B,” they can consider it to be a double failure, because not only does that relationship not work out, but they’ve blown it with me, as well.

So, I have learned to just trust in fate because it’s track record is flawless and considering the amount of trouble or bad luck I could have had at this point in my life (I’m 40), I’m about as lucky as I could possibly be.

Life isn’t good, life is great.  It’s fun getting up every day and seeing not only what life has in store for me, but what is going on around me.  I feel almost indestructible, maybe not in a physical way, but definitely in an emotional way.

It’s a good feeling to know that someone, somewhere is looking out for me and keeping me from the pitfalls that appear to be catching everyone else.

I never believed in karma or people getting “paid back” for their sins until this year.  Now I have seen it for myself, and its enjoyable to watch.

Peace, and God bless.

Your Time On Earth Is Finite… Your Happiness Doesn’t Need To Be

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“Every man is put on earth condemned to die, time and method of execution unknown.” – Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone episode, “The Escape Clause”

It would seem that the concept of having limited time to do everything we want to do in life would make people want to pursue their dreams and wants and desires. But for some reason, from my own experience as well as from my observations of others, most of us are content to just sit around and let life pass us by. If we’re lucky enough to have good fortune, we don’t grab onto it and get all we can, we simply accept that we had a run of good luck and let it go. Then we go back to complaining and doing nothing to try to make our lives what we want it to be. We just go on “living.”

The fact that so many of us have spent time unhappy and did nothing to fix the situation or improve it or get out of it distresses me greatly, and I have been as guilty as anyone in this respect. When I add up the years I wasted, either being miserable or just not being completely happy, it starts to eat up a large chunk of my life.

This is completely unacceptable.

The fact is, as simple as it may sound, there is no need to be unhappy or miserable. I have been happier in the past three months than I was in the past decade. Once I got my head screwed on straight and realized how miserable I had been, I was able to look at my life a lot more objectively than I had before and size things up for myself.

Sometimes we legitimately don’t realize we are miserable.  My hair was falling out, I was 80 pounds overweight, I had developed ulcers and migraine headaches and I couldn’t sleep at night. I think I may have been suffering from a type of Stockholm Syndrome, feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor. So I tried to make myself feel like I was just an idiot if I felt unhappy at all.  I just kept going on, day by day, trying to act “normal.”

Well, I didn’t just feel unhappy, words could never accurately describe how miserable I truly was. And once I was honest with myself, I had to start asking the hard questions; why would anyone allow themselves to be miserable and unhappy? What does that accomplish for anybody? When you have dreams and wants and aspirations, what is to be accomplished by just sitting on them?  Who wants to live that way?

Here I stand today, free of all of the misery I was dealing with on a daily basis and I am able to pursue the opportunities I want, that I have wanted for years but was rarely able to verbalize until now.  I am finally able to be myself again.

I am free to pursue the enjoyments of life that are mine to enjoy. I can go where I want, when I want, without having to answer to anyone on this planet. That is a good feeling after years of what amounted to a combination of imprisonment, brainwashing and slavery. I have earned all that is before me.  And I will take advantage of it.

Your time on earth is finite, you don’t have 5,000 years to fix your problems and find your happiness. You don’t have 10,000 years or even 200 years. You have 80 years or less to make your life everything you want it to be. The first 20 of those years are spent growing up. So now you’re down to 60 years. Since I’m 40 that means I have blown over half of my available time, assuming I live to 80. And out of those 40, I was in some level of misery for roughly 1/4 years. Again, that is totally unacceptable.

So, if you’re reading this, please, for the love of God, if you are in some situation that you are unhappy with, do something to change it! There is no excuse on heaven or in earth to not be happy and do everything you can to reach all of your dreams and aspirations.

I know that sometimes it feels hopeless. I know that sometimes we just don’t have the willpower or the mental strength to extricate ourselves from a situation we find ourselves in. I’ve been there. But the feeling of getting away from the unhappiness, and the subsequent improvement in life, both physically and mentally (and even emotionally) is well worth any short-term unhappiness you may suffer from.

I hope this will help someone that needs it, that needs a kick in the pants to either start living, or get out of a bad situation to start attempting to live. Life is too short to waste. There is so much happiness to be had and its there for the taking. Just have the courage to go get it. Or give it your best shot. Sometimes even if you fall short, you at least gave it a try and sometimes the journey is as rewarding as the destination.

In closing, let me try to make you understand that while its never to late to start, the longer you wait, the shorter your happiness will be, and there’s no excuse for that. I would love to have the wasted years of my life back but it doesn’t work that way, so I have to be happy with the 20 or 30 I have ahead of me. And I am, I plan on making the most of them and doing everything I have always wanted to do. It’s just a matter of getting started, and the first step is not only the hardest, but the longest. But you can do it if you set your mind to it and disregard all that’s held you back.

Peace, and God bless.

Misery and Depression… And The Long Road Back To Happiness

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com
About six months ago, I sat in this very chair and was reading an article about the effects of depression on your body.  As I read, I began to realize exactly where I was in life; in the clutches of crippling depression.  Insomnia, heart problems, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, a weakened immune system…  It was like reading a list of the problems I was facing on a daily basis.  The worst part was, I didn’t realize I was miserable.

I had been programmed by those around me to think that I couldn’t be happier, because it would reflect poorly on them if society knew how unhappy I was.

The mind can be tricked, but the body, not so much.  You can be in a horrific car accident and break every bone, and while you can tell yourself that you’re not in pain or that everything is fine, that body cast will paint a much different picture.

There I was, for years on end, absolutely miserable.  Hating everyone I dealt with, just wanting to be alone, crying myself to sleep at night, my hair was falling out, I was 80 pounds overweight, I developed ulcers and, within the past year, even started to get migraine headaches.  But I kept telling myself I had to be happy.

But inside I knew I was miserable.  You can’t be around people on a daily basis that you hate with every fiber of your being and somehow be “happy.”  You can’t throw your life away and expect anything good to come back to you.  Ever.  It just doesn’t work that way.  If you want good in your life, you have to put it there yourself.

Luckily, circumstance decreed otherwise and those people have been eliminated from my life forever, and in less than three months my whole world is changing.  I have lost 17 pounds, I haven’t had a single migraine headache since early December, I can actually sleep at night and wake refreshed in the morning, my blood pressure is dropping, my ulcers are finally straightening up, my hair stopped falling out and I don’t feel the overwhelming, non-stop feelings of misery, doom and depression that I felt for seven years.  Just by the elimination of people I hated from my life.

From the time I was 15 I always said I would never live to see 40.  It was just a premonition, nothing concrete ever happened to give me that foresight.  But now I realize there was some truth to it.  At the age of 40 years and six months, I actually started to live.  The old me is dead.  The “me” that hated to get up in the morning because my bed was the only place I felt “happy,” that couldn’t function due to headaches so bad I became disoriented, that laid in bed awake every night for four or five hours before a small amount of sleep would overtake me and then I could have nightmares about the unhappiness in my life.  That “me” didn’t make it far past 40.

So, to anyone who reads this, I’m pleading with you, don’t lie to yourself.  Life is too short and precious to be spent being miserable.  Don’t throw your life away.  If there’s anything in your life that is making you miserable and unhappy, get rid of it.  It’s not worth it, no matter what it is.  There is so much happiness to be had in the world today, don’t let anything, and especially anyone, ruin it for you.  You’re worth more than that.  I lost seven years of my life to crippling depression and I’ll never get those seven years back.  But, if I live as long as my grandfather did, I could have 52 years ahead of me to enjoy life and actually be happy.  I plan on taking advantage of them.

Don’t let society, or anyone’s manipulations, make you unhappy.  Don’t allow yourself to be used and abused and taken advantage of just so someone else can be happy.  It isn’t worth it on any level.  Your life is your own.  To live as you want.

I want to say that I thank God for the life I was given, I thank my friends and family for seeing me through it and I thank providence for getting me out of the misery I was in for all those years.  Many a night I laid in bed and begged the Lord to end my life before the sun would rise again.  Now the sun has truly risen.  I wouldn’t trade my life right now for anything or anyone, and I am happier than I have been in probably 15 years.  And a whole lot healthier.  With a lot more support and love than I have ever had.  How many times lately I have said “today was a really good day.”  Those were so few and far between in the previous seven years I could have counted them on one hand and had fingers left over.  Life is what you make it.  And this is mine.

In closing, you are given one earthly life.  What you do with it is up to you.  If you want to get into a situation where every day feels like it would be better if it were your last, then you need to wake up and understand that there’s more to life than that.  There are wonderful people and places and things to enjoy.  Hobbies and food and drink and movies and shows…  Why allow anyone, or anything, to make you unhappy?  Let it go.  Take a deep breath, and walk out into the world.  And enjoy it.

Peace.

I Have So Much To Be Thankful For

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Being thankful is a powerful emotion.  And an underutilized one, as well.

Like most people, I tend to only take stock of my life and realize what I’m thankful for after something significant has happened.  And that is the wrong strategy to take in life.

In my own case, I seem to only realize that I have a lot to be thankful for when I feel like my life is being destroyed.  Maybe that’s the eternal optimist inside of me realizing that things aren’t always as bad as they seem.  Or maybe its the Lord bringing it out in me.

In late 2012 and into early 2013 I was able to start looking at all the aspects of my life that were positives.  I had the support of great friends and I felt like I had a great future ahead of me.  I was planning a move to Illinois and had already taken some steps to get that move into motion.  I had a phone interview for a very good job and had already bought my airline tickets to fly out a couple of weeks later for an in-person meeting.  I figured while I was out there, I could start looking for living quarters and start putting down roots.  I was so excited for a new beginning because I was in complete control.

Or so I thought.  Instead of taking that opportunity and running with it, I made a mistake of ultimate dimension.  That mistake cost me my move and cost me a lot of my friends.  It cost me my dignity and my self-respect.  And a lot of wasted time and money.

But fate was able to extricate me from that mistake, in the most unpleasant and painful way possible, but it was worth it in the end to be able to be able to escape such misery.

And now, I can stop, and take a look around me and realize that I am, in fact, the luckiest man on the face of the earth.  And now, I have the chance to make the most of my life.

First, I am thankful for my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I had an amazing experience with the Holy Spirit in 2013, and I wish I had held onto that a lot more than I did in the years that followed, but when you’re involved with people who are evil, it makes it difficult regardless of how strong your faith is.  I can say, now without question, my faith is unbreakable.  I will carry it with me for the rest of my earthly life.

Second, I am thankful for my family and my friends.  I don’t deserve the friends that I have.  They are the greatest anyone could ever hope for.  I have turned my back on them, denied them, ignored them and eliminated them from my life, though against my own will, I still allowed it to happen.  And while I was disconnected from them, I leaned on my family.  My mom and dad are both elderly but they are always there for me when I need them.  As for my friends, nearly all of them have returned to me and for that I will be forever grateful.  They will never again suffer the indignities they suffered before.

Third, I am thankful for my freedom.  It’s amazing how people can change you, and not in good ways.  For instance, if you are in a relationship or marriage, your significant other should want you to be the best person you can be and remain true to yourself.  I am thankful that I am free to be me.  I can do what I want, when I want, where I want and how I want without any interference from anyone.  I’m not in a situation where I am expected to make anyone else happy, and I am especially happy to be away from people who only wanted what they could get out of me.  Being single is a truly blessed feeling.

Fourth, I am thankful for all that I have.  My material possessions.  Money in the bank.  A nice home.  A dependable vehicle.  They may not matter in the grand scheme of things, but I am very happy to have them.  They are things that make me happy and that I enjoy.

Finally, I am happy just to be alive.  For 25 years I told everyone I would never see 40.  I don’t know why I felt that way, it was just an overwhelming feeling I had.  Kind of like a premonition.  In many ways, it may have held me back, because I never wanted to really commit to anything because I didn’t figure I would be around to see anything through.  I realize now that was the wrong attitude to take and hopefully I realize now that I have another 40 or 50 years to accomplish everything I have ever wanted to accomplish.

This March I’ll be taking in Spring Training baseball in Arizona for the first time, in person.  That’s a dream I have had for years that until now, had no chance of being realized.  And if my month-long experience is a good one, I am planning to make a full-time move to the desert southwest.  There I can make a real fresh start, from the ground up.  And that opportunity comes along very rarely in life, and I will take advantage of it.

I have so much to be thankful for.  And I am most thankful for the second chance I have been given to do things the right way.  I am not shackled by my mistakes any longer, I am not tied to empty words or stupid promises.  I am free and I have everything I could want in my life.  And to anyone who feels like they are at rock bottom and they have nothing to be thankful for, just think about this.  Instead of focusing on the things that are making you miserable, step back and think about all the blessings you have in your life.  I know that can be a significant challenge, but if you can do it, believe me, its worth doing it.

Life is not bad, life is good.  But you have to eliminate the negativity, whether it be people or possessions or addictions or whatever is causing you strife.  Sometimes those things are removed independently of any action, and I was lucky in that respect.  I was saved from my miseries without really having to fight them.  But if you do have to fight them, fight with all that you have.  Don’t back down.  Don’t go back into the same patterns and deal with the same people.  Life is worth living and it is worth protecting.  At all costs.

In closing, let me say that if you just ask God to help you, you can absolutely depend on the fact that He will.  It may not happen overnight.  But I can say, without hesitation, that God has delivered me from every bad situation I have ever found myself in, and if you just trust in His plan and realize that everything will work out in the end, the road you are traveling will be a lot less difficult.  Be thankful for what you have and give all that you can to make sure you utilize the power of being thankful every day, not just when you are at rock bottom.  Be thankful for your blessings every day of your life.

Peace.