Confidence, Dating

Next Time Around

What was so hard about ending my last relationship was that my intuition knew it was time to leave before my body understood why. So I had this long period of waffling on whether the decision was right, changing my mind, reaching out to him. I think it was really painful for both of us.

Recently I feel a lot clearer about it.

And one of the things that’s really helped is running across qualities that I get to have in my next relationship.




Men with these qualities pop into my day and I’m drawn to them like a thirsty fittonia glimpsing water for the first time in years.

Oh, this too can be for me.

And it can. It feels so good.


My Little Love Slut Self

I have a story that I’m easy to cancel on. Easy to forget. Easy to pass over. That you “always” cancel on me. That the excuses are real but somehow the manifestation is born of not caring about me.

This, of course, is ridiculous.

Well, only as ridiculous as a feeling can be. It isn’t fact. It isn’t even reasonable. Especially considering how awesome I am.

It isn’t fact. I get to work on remembering that in the moment.

And I get to be gentle with myself when I forget. Because scared, hurt me is important and deserving of love too.

Bodies, Feelings, Intimacy

Sometimes It’s Just So So Good

I met a man and had a touch that exists without frame, without reference points, without time before or time after.

The day I arrived I saw him and couldn’t stop noticing him. The way he walked and smiled, hugged people, smiled. Those teeth like perfect pearls, making me smile for absolutely no reason. Like a painting that tickles you every time you see it. Why? Who knows. But I’d rather have the feeling even if I can’t explain it than not have it at all.

It became apparent that he had been seeing me the way I was seeing him. Wanting to speak, wanting to touch, Wanting to uncover the mystery; why can’t I stop noticing you?

Walking alone under an open and unjudgemental sky I told him,

I want to touch you with curiosity. Just run my hands on your skin without shame or fear and see what I find.

That sounds amazing. I’d love to connect with you that way.

After years of thinking the same thought in relationships and situations where it’d not come true my brain was flooded with anticipation. What would it be like to get what I’ve always thought I wanted. Really though.

I tossed and turned imagining luxuriating in the temperature of his chest, grazing my fingertips along his lips, those lips that smile like he’s about to tell me a secret. By the time the time came I was high on my fantasies, vibrating, embarrassed to have passed a whole day with this elevated awareness of self, of color, texture, grinning stupidly about someone I don’t even know.

Reality was different of course. Curiosity means listening, responding not to what you had imagined but to what actually presents itself. What I found more intoxicating than the skin I’d wanted to caress was the muscle beneath it and the intention it held. Like a lionness stalking her prey, he put his hands on my arms and moved me through space, enjoying the way we walked like waltzers, hands full of information, structure, satisfaction.

Enjoying each others willingness to lead and be led, see and be seen.

Before I learned about the mechanics of sex this is what I thought it would feel like in my chest, the tightness and release in my throat, the tingling all over and inside my head, the freedom. He ran his hands down the sides of my torso like a builder looking for warp to address, stopping to notice muscles, ran his hand to the space just below my belly button and collapsed his weight into me, enjoying the roundness and warmth of the intimate no man’s land right above my underwear band. Not sexual, just private, pleasurable in it’s own rarely-noticed right.

Tell me some thinking or feeling words.

This is such a wonderful destination. Just itself.

He held my arms out to my sides floating in space,

Keep them there.

And I did, in the chilly night air, luxuriating in his palms scampering from fingertip, across the soft insides of my elbow, glancing off the lump of my shoulder, skateboarding across my collar bones, and out the other side and back again, breathing and watching his face gleam with joy at my skin.

Not long after that I put my shirt back on and we rejoined the world.

Heading back towards other people with all their eyeballs and opinions I remembered who I was, who he was. This was not the new couple, triumphant, announcing themselves, inviting the tribe to rejoice at their starting a journey as a pair. Just two people who shared a moment in the woods returning, ever so slightly changed, to their own lives. The idea of having to back away before being noticed, to not be seen as some romantic leech clanged around inside my chest.

I’m important to this person! I swear it, you should have seen how he worshiped the shape of my neck just a moment ago!

The knot rising in my throat at the inevitable “she’s not with me” implicit in the return to society. This person is allowed to be important to me, but not in a way I can ever adequately describe, and that makes it feel un-respectable.

The shame trapped me under it like a waterfall, the flow locking me in. Then I got what I’ve always wanted. In a room full of people, an unselfconscious arm around me.

Thank you for not making me feel like something to be ashamed of.

You aren’t something to be ashamed of.



Laughing at Thunder

In Judaism you don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until as late as possible. Don’t brag, don’t count on chickens before they hatch. A flood isn’t out of the question, Nothing is guaranteed in this life.

Don’t smile too loudly. The heavens might hear you and smite you down.

Maybe other people or peoples have that too. That superstitious streak. That abandonment. That cope.

So what do you do when that cope becomes a curse? How do you break yourself of the habit when something comes along so wonderful that it’s cruel to hide it from the world?

Can you adopt a totally different unified theory of everything? Switch from blaming Fates and Bad Air to preaching Germ theory.

I imagine instead of a straight jacket it would be like a light sundress. Casually, tossing over my shoulder “I’m in love with the most beautiful man in the world and I don’t care who knows it.”

Because it feels amazing to say true things. And I am.

Confidence, Feelings

Making Gold

This weeks sermon comes to you from having your own personal crisis in the most seemingly hostile of environments. And living. And learning that you can do that and not only be fine, but better than you were before. Absorbing rejection and living anyway, to realize that you can make it through anything. You can experience your worst fears and get confirmation on your cruelest thoughts about yourself and still wake up the next morning.

And if you are lucky then you get to the next morning and look around at the people who were there with you and you get to be grateful for them and love them harder than before. It may have been your worst day but it still wasn’t the worst day you could have had. Because you didn’t have to do it alone. And the people who supported you are not always the ones you expect. Maybe you have a family you never knew about before. People who help you climb by picking your feet up and placing them where they need to go. And people who listen and give zero advice, just hear and reflect back.

These are the things you learn from having the worst day imaginable in the most hostile environment imaginable.

That you are the strongest you imaginable.

Dating, Feelings, Intimacy, Love

O Brave New World

Dude, did you know that men are like, nice? Like really nice. Like hug you while you cry, rub your back, not look even the slightest bit embarrassed that you’re doing this in public. – Nice.

Like looking deep into your soul and saying “You are not something to be ashamed of.” – Nice.

Like “What are you thinking when you stop your hand right above the band of my bikini?” “Just how nice your belly feels against my hand.” – Nice.

My face is so leaky because the inside of my brain is just a photo reel of all this niceness now.

How could I ever have not known this?

I must have known this?

When did I know this?

And why does it feel like such surprising news?

I love men. Some of my best friends are men. Some of my favorite people in the world are men.

So why didn’t I trust them to be this? Or to be this with me?

And how did it come to be that now I do?

No matter. Now that I’ve seen this beautiful new world I’m never going back.

Even if this person disappears, I know what how it feels to kiss someone who thinks I’m fireworks. I’m kissing people who make me feel like a beautiful burning star. That’s mine now.


A Family Is A Soft Place To Land

One of the best perks of being a newly minted adult is getting to start experiencing your family members as people in their own rights. Becoming friends with my family members is amazing.

In the last year I’ve heard about decades worth of suicide attempts, kidnappings, and near death experiences. It’s like a 10-season telenovela that I conveniently slept through and now I’m catching it in syndication.

Learning about the rest of my family (dead or alive) is amazing and provides such incredible context for the dynamics that I know now.

And given all that,

I remember that when I was looking at colleges I really wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t too close. There was a big, wonderful university right near me and as far as I could see I had a 50/50 chance of getting in if I applied. I hemmed and I hawed for months about whether I wanted to apply.

If I applied and I didn’t get in then it would be a huge hit to my ego.

If I applied and I did get in then I would have to break my own and my family’s hearts by saying out loud that I wanted to go far enough away not to feel guilted into staying at home.

In my memory I struggled with this decision silently for months. I was embarrassed by how selfish the need was. I was needed at home. And I would choose my freedom over the needs of my family.

Last week I got dinner with my aunt and uncle, the tellers of such fantastic tales. My aunt casually mentioned my struggle to choose to get away. Apparently I had solicited her opinion during that time. Apparently I had told her all those concerns and how conflicted I felt. I became a contributing member of our family lore. And she remembered. Because I was important.

It sounds so silly but it felt so good, so validating to be reminded that I mattered, because I was a part of something. And always will be.


Grateful To Be Part Of The Team

Every thanksgiving I scroll through my feeds alternately yawning and misting as only a true New Yorker could. You’re so grateful for the friends that got you through this year. You’re wishing for world peace. You’re so thrilled to be with your biological family or grateful to have found your logical ones. 

And I’m happy for you but it can start to feel a bit cliche.

This year, for the first time in a while I have something new to be thankful for. Something that is truly, surprising. Instead of becoming grateful for something that I’ve had for a while I’m became, on this day, something new to be grateful for. 

I’m a valued, adult, decision-making member of my family. 

Duh, right? No. 

I’m no longer a kid who doesn’t need to know about the hardships and abuse that are the backdrop behind confusing actions. 

I’m now a person who’s opinion is requested and respected. Who can hold court, translate English to English, and mediate large scale arguments. 

It sounds small but it feels huge to me. 

To have a family that values the ideas of all its members and works together as a team would have been enough to be grateful for. And to be invited to sit at the grown-ups table and help perpetuate that inclusiveness, well it’s an even better present than the great socks I got.


How Selfish Am I?

But really, scale of 1 to 10.

People tell me that I jump too quickly. About the people I date.

I usually know pretty quickly if you’re someone I want to see again or not. I can be convinced to give more chances of course, but it’s rare that I’m wrong about the quality that concerned me. And then it’s that quality that tears us asunder. I can convince myself to keep seeing you in the hopes that the things I like start to outweigh that thing, but I can also jump ship because I know that the thing that I need will indeed be a thing I need.

So don’t tell me that I’m doing it wrong. I’m doing it exactly right for me. And I’m saving us both the heartache of letting you think I’m going to fall for you.

People say that relationships are made up of compromises. They are. And it’s your job as your own keeper to be on the lookout for the other person asking you to give up one thing too many, the thing that would make you cease to be you. That last straw. And call Mercy on it. Throw the cargo overboard and jump and pray that you float. Cause that ship isn’t for you anymore, so you might as well get out now.

Sometimes it’s easier than others.

So I’m not selfish, I just know what I’m capable of. Every new person I drag over the brambles of my heart teaches me something new about what I can and can’t accept.

I’m not selfish, I’m stronger.