Category Archives: Change and Growth

I’ve met someone

At this very moment, I am FULL of happiness! His name is Michael and we met on Tinder.

From our conversations on Tinder, I was not impressed. He came off as arrogant and pretentious. As a result, I was not particularly excited to meet him in person. But I had agreed to meet and he was consistent in his communications with me, which I did not hate.

Between the time we started talking and the time we met in person, I had decided that he would be my last 1st date and if the date didn’t go well, it would no skin off my back. At the time, I had 4 weeks left in London and thought that if I had to spend them without the company of a man, then…so be it. I was honestly worn out by all the dates. Having the same fucking conversation over and over again and having it all amount to a big bag of nothingness.

So. Michael, an attorney and self-described “culture vulture”, was all like I like the theatre and the arts and Van Gogh is my favorite artist and blah blah blah so I suggested we see the exhibit that Dee had recommended at the Hayward Gallery. In my head, I had literally played out a scenario…OK several scenarios…where he said something obnoxious or assholish and I ended the date abruptly and left. This is the attitude with which I prepared for this date. Not great, tbh.

Admittedly, when the day of the date rolled around, I lightened up on the attitude, did my hair and makeup full tilt, and dressed to impressed. Also, I was running late and decided to take an Uber. I mention this because had I not cared one iota, I would have gotten the tube and been like 25 minutes late.

So, I get to the gallery and there he is. Shorter than I expected and dressed in a suit. No tie, but a suit none the less. Before we could get inside, he makes clear that “this was not for you”. Oh thank god cause it’s fucking Saturday afternoon and this would have been the most ridiculous attire choice. He’d had a work function before meeting up with me.

He gives me the awkward 2-cheek kiss and we go in. The exhibit was…interesting. Don’t think either one of us was really blown away but it’s art, so we appreciate and keep it moving. As we walked around we both loosened up a bit and the conversation turned from stilted and to a little less stilted.

By the time we leave the gallery, we are more comfortable with each other but I’m not feeling any excitement or anything like that. It’s going fine and I can deal with fine for a few hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

There was a food market by the gallery and we walked around for a short while and I got something to eat. Now folks, I cannot tell you what happened, but somehow, I ended up pouring my life story out to Michael as I sat eating my tacos. Like all deep into what I learned in therapy, talking about my 12 year old self, my father and all other kinds of shit. Like comfortably talking to this fucking stranger who a day ago I was sure would be an obnoxious asshole whose date I would cut short by walking out.

When I was done eating and giving this man way more insight into me than he asked for or needed, he asked how I felt about extending our time together by taking a walk. It’s, as mentioned before, a beautiful day so I say, sure! This was a good decision.

We start walking and before I know it, we are fully comfortable and having a pretty good time. About an hour in, he reaches out and takes my hand and lo and behold, we are strolling hand-in-hand along the Thames! WHAT??? lol. What is this and where did it come from?? Who are you and what have you done with Karen??

Folks, Karen is right there enjoying her time with this short, balding, white guy who she finds interesting, mature, funny and appealing. He runs marathons and climbs mountains. He is the head of a law firm. He is intelligent, well-read and knowledgeable about all kinds of things.

A walk along the Thames turns into a walk in St. James’s Park and a walk in St. James’s Park turns into a walk in Green Park and before we know it, we’ve spent almost 6 hours together.

Duck in St.James Park

A pretty duck from our walk in St. James’s Park

Finally though, we have to part. He has to go back to the city (about an hour outside of London) where he lives. He was only in London for the week because a trial he’s involved in was being held in a London court.

I had plans to visit Dana in Bristol on Monday and Bath on Tuesday so we initially decided that we would try to see each other again on Tuesday when we were both back in London.

By this time, we’re kinda sad to have to part and we’re both looking forward to a 2nd date. He walks me to the tube and we hug and kiss on the lips. And then again. And again. There’s something here. We like each other and this feels good. I’m at this point, beaming because this was supposed to be a crap date and instead I am filled with excitement about seeing him again.

On his way back home he messaged me to say he enjoyed our date but also since he knows Bath is a beautiful place, he doesn’t want me to cut my day short on Tuesday just to come back to London to see him. So, he says, you take your time in Bath, I’ll stay in London overnight Tuesday and we can see each other on Wednesday.

On top of everything else that I find impressive about him, he is also a thoughtful person and if you know me, you know I am a sucker for a thoughtful man. There seem to be so few of them out there.

I might be smitten. 🙂

 

 

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Feeling good

So. I’ve been in London for a few weeks now and I am fucking happy! Like not stressed, not lonely, not anxious, just feeling damn good.

I knew this was what I needed and in many ways I think I’m lucky because I was able to recognize that I was not happy, recognize what would make me happy, and employ the means at my disposal to make it happen to a successful degree. I think that makes me very fortunate.

I’m no longer seeing the German mentioned in my last post. On our third date his selfish ways became a bit too clear. Stark even. In our interactions, he wasn’t thoughtful or generous or even a little caring. I don’t need that. Yes, it was designed to be a short-term thing but even so, there needs to be some sort of…behaving like a decent person who thinks of others.

I was kinda bummed that I had to end it. But I did.

Since then, I’ve gone on too many dates to count. One Friday, I had THREE dates! Lol. One of them was with a guy originally from St. Martin. He’d spent years in Holland and spoke Dutch fluently. Now you know I likes me a global man but on our 2nd date, he was unapologetically late AND this nigga’s opinion on Robert fucking Kelly boiled down to I’m waiting to hear both sides and will only have an opinion when he has his day in court. VO-MIT! I might like a multilingual man but I ain’t fucking with no R Kelly apologist. GTFOH with that both sides shit.

Which brings me to Ireland. Peeps, I went to Ireland for 4 days and fell in love. With the country and with a man I met on a bus.

Before I left for the trip, I determined that I was going to see as much of the country as I could fit into 4 days. To that end, I spent a day in Belfast (fascinating!) and a day in Galway (beautiful!). My Airbnb was in Dublin.

On the bus back from Galway to Dublin, a man sat next to me and immediately offered me some of his potato chips. Normally, I would say no thanks but I was so caught off-guard by the immediate sit and offer that I said yes, thanks! lol. From there, a conversation started and every single thing I learned about this man made me want him for a husband. Like, a husband husband.

First off, he’s a fucking engineer. Are you kidding me??? About 90% of the men I’ve dated are engineers. He lives just outside of Galway on a sheep and timber farm that he owns. He has traveled the world and has lived in countless places. He once dated a girl from Dominica, has the bluest eyes, and made me laugh several times. Fucking perfect 😭😭.

We talked for most of the 2.5 hour trip and the whole time, I was praying, PRAYING that this man would ask me for my number before I got off the bus.

He did not. And I’m gonna be haunted by that encounter for a looong time.

I didn’t ask for his contact info because I believe that if he wanted to keep in touch, he would have asked for mine. Alas.

As I settled back in London, haunted by the stranger that got away, I fired up the ole dating apps and hit the ground running. Immediately connected with Thomas on OKC. We had a really pleasant chat and I am quite intrigued by him. We’ve set up a date for tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to it.

I hope when I report back that there are good things to say about Thomas. Keep your fingers crossed for me, dear readers.

Cheers!

 

And on the 11th day…

…she blogged.

Folks, ya girl has been in London for *checks watch* 11 days and counting!

It’s been lovely and freeing and I’m pretty sure that what I’m feeling can be described as…happy. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure…actually, that’s not true. I DO know what happy feels like. And yeah, I think I may be happy.

I said in my last post that I’d be proactive in looking for love here. Well “love” may have been too ambitious. But, I HAVE been proactive about finding “I enjoy spending time in your company”. That’s almost like love, right? Love adjacent, perhaps?

I joined Tinder while at Dulles airport and started using it within hours of landing at Heathrow. I’m here for 9 weeks, I ain’t got time to waste.

Brixton front window view

Almost immediately, I started chatting with a German fella. For our 1st meet-up, he took me on a walk and talk along the Thames and that was nice. Two days later, he invited me over to his place for dinner. That was also nice and with the added spice of some serious making out. It was quite enjoyable.

The German left for a trip 2 days later and won’t be back until tomorrow. We have tentative plans to get together then. I’m looking forward to seeing him again. I feel like it’d be nice if he were my companion while here. But that hasn’t stopped me from engaging with lots of other folks.

It has only been 11 days but already I feel like permanently returning to DC is just not something I want to do. What May and beyond holds, I don’t know, but I do know that I don’t want to live in America anymore.

London is a cultural smorgasbord. No one is from here and everyone’s 1st question is where are you from? I’m not mad at it. Though for such a cultural hub you’d think the food would be better. smh.

Brixton back window view

The one friend I have in London has been in DC for the entire time I’ve been here. Wait. Have I mentioned that I am living with 3 roommates (2 guys 1 girl) in Brixton? I feel like if you know me that’s a pretty big deal and warrants discussion. But, nothing to discuss really. Everybody’s normal, friendly, quiet and keeps to themselves. Brixton is essentially Flatbush. It’s almost like that time in 2012 when I packed up and moved to Brooklyn for 3 months and lived in the Flatbush area. Ha I just realized that.

I’ve landed two clients so far. For one person, I’m writing web content and for the other, editing his PhD dissertation. A bit slow going but I feel like having 2 paying clients at this early stage is not bad.

What else? I haven’t had a meal that I thoroughly enjoyed since I’ve been here and these fuckers don’t use ice! WHAT IS THAT??

Anyway, this feels like I’m rambling on. I plan to visit Ireland within the next few days so I’ll come back and post an update then.

Cheers!

PS: The two photos are from the front and back windows of my room. Yes, my back window looks onto a park. Fuckin delightful.

The 20th can’t come soon enough

Life has been quite stressful recently. QUITE STRESSFUL INDEED.

About 2 weeks ago, I discovered that the foundation of my house has significant issues—shifting, multiple cracks, leaking, etc.—and the cost to repair is in the neighborhood of $30,000. Five days after discovering these significant issues, a pipe burst in the basement, so now there is also water damage and the likelihood of mold. QUITE STRESSFUL INDEED.

All of this happened while I was stressing about being gone from DC for a year or two. Not necessarily stressing about being gone but about what that actually means: quitting a full-time job, no steady paycheck coming in, having to build a freelance business and find clients, no health care, using up my savings, being an absent landlord, being far away from my comforts, etc.

Then when the house issues presented themselves, I had to watch my dream of extended travel go up in smoke. While coming to grips with that, the pipe burst causing water damage in walls, carpet and floors.

As I write this, I don’t actually know how I’m still functioning. I would like nothing more than to just shut down and shut off. Just live out the rest of my life in catatonic state. That’s not cool, is it? Well, it’s how I feel.

The modified plan is to leave DC on February 20th and head to London. If it’s one thing that has not wavered throughout all of this house and life drama is my determination to get the fuck out of here. But instead of being gone for an extended period, I will return to DC in May for my nephew’s graduation and stay until I figure out how to fix the house. Hopefully, that will only be a few months and I can resume travel before the end of 2019.

I have listed the main floor of the house on Airbnb and JW has agreed to manage the property while I am away. 

Looking ahead, I hope to use this blog as a record of my upcoming journey. I will likely spend more time traveling throughout Europe than initially planned but to be honest, as bummed as I am about cutting my travels short, I can muster some excitement for 2.5 months in Europe. I hope to visit Spain, Ireland and Germany. I plan to make lots of connections, keep my eyes open for career/work opportunities and really truly be proactive about finding love.   

So yeah, I’m sad about lots of things not going right at the moment but, I can recognize that there are still things that are working out and ultimately I have to roll with the punches and make lemonade out of the fucking sour ass lemons that the universe is throwing at me.

Till next time…

Destination and Date

Here we are. Almost a year since the last post and coincidentally…with a sort of update to the last post.

When I was last here in January 2018, I was determined to find work, on a ship of all places, because ya girl was just so desperate to get out of here. Nowhere in that last post did it mention the fact that I get seasick and can’t swim. I obviously didn’t care about those details. I just wanted to pack it in and say sayonara to DC.

11 months and 2 days later…I have a plan, destination and a date of travel. I’m leaving DC and heading to London on February 20th, 2019.

There it is.

For years, I have yearned to live someplace outside of the US. And now I’m finally making it happen. “It” being a 2-year expedition with London as the only sure destination. Maybe Amsterdam or Costa Rica after that. Spain, perhaps?

I’m going on a personal sabbatical, if you will.

There’s obviously a lot to catch you up on, dear reader who does not exist. And hopefully, with such big plans looming, I will be back here writing to get you up to speed on it all.

For now, I’ll sign off by saying that I am truly excited about something for the first time in years. I want so badly to hold on to this feeling and ride it into the sunset.

Goodnight, dear reader who will someday exist.

Get me ON this ship!

Last night I braved the frigid temps and went to a small dinner party. I’m happy I did. Not only because I need to sustain a certain level of social interaction, but because I got an idea for a life change that I want to explore.

One of my friends once worked as an entertainer on a cruise ship. And as we talked last night about dream jobs, hobbies, life, and careers, I discovered that there may be a way that I could turn my love of travel into a way of life. What if I did sales or marketing for a cruise ship that sails the Caribbean?

Think about it…I could: see my family weekly or monthly, get out from under this hum drum life that I have led and continue to lead in DC, travel extensively, lower my living expenses to almost nothing, rent my house, quit the non-profit fundraising game, and meet lots of new people from all over the world. Those are HUGE pros. And what some people would consider a con—having to live and work on a ship—I consider another pro.

I am interested in shaking up my life, in injecting some kind of excitement and joy, in feeling like I’m living instead of just surviving. I’m not saying, nor would I ever, that I have a bad life. I am doing relatively well. I own a home, I have a job that allows me a certain level of comfort, and my friends and family are healthy. This doesn’t mean though that there isn’t more, because there is, and I want to find it. I want to live it. Experience it. There HAS to be more. Right?

My friend has promised to reach out to contacts that she still has in the cruise industry and TJ (former and sometimes current lover) has offered to put me in contact with someone he knows who does recruiting for cruise ships.

Everything about this excites me. The possibility of living outside of the US at this particular time is incredible, as I desperately want the opportunity to get away from this racist shithole of a country.

So I promise myself to do this. To explore this possibility and do all that I can to make it happen. Because sometimes, shit actually turns out the way you want it to. Will this be one of those times?

I guess we’ll see. 🙂

I just did something!

Yikes. I just bought a domain name, site security, and an email address for a business I plan to start. I’m nervous as fuck, excited, and scared. I also have a 30-day window to get a refund. I ain’t no fool.what-have-i-done

This feels…dear god, there are too many emotions right now! I want to be successful. I don’t want to fail. I want to make money. What I don’t know, is if I want to “make a name for myself”. Can you start a business without actually making a name for yourself? How would I get clients? Someone told me that I’m going to have to create a “public persona” and I almost melted in horror. Me? PUBLIC persona? The thought or relinquishing ANY part of my (held in a vice-grip) privacy gives me the upsets.

But, I’ve got work to do. A business to build. So I’m gonna end here and maybe come back later after I drown the bitch in my head who’s trying to tell me I shouldn’t do this.

Fuck you, bitch.

Woosaahing this muthafucker

Ten days shy of two years. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. I promise you, it’s not been from lack of trying. I could not remember the fucking password to log in to the site. HOURS, I’ve spent trying to recover the log in info and literally 3 minutes ago, my stupid brain said: try this one. And that fucker worked!

Have you ever been mad at something that turned out well because of how long it took and how much effort went into it when the answer was incredibly simple and right in front of your face? Just me? OK.password-reset

But, I go forward with the bullshit knowledge that everything happens for a reason. (I HATE that saying). Who knows what I would have written had I re-gained access last year, earlier this year, or one of the other million times I’ve tried. *sigh* Probably something mad poetic and influential that would have skyrocketed my writing career. Right.

So here we are now, and I have nothing to write about. Figures.

I could mention that as I sit here anger (at my job and other shit) courses through my body. I’m channeling it though. Turning the anger into motivation. Woosaahing this muthafucker and channeling the shit out of it.

It’s good to be back. Stay with me…

Outside Looking In

As I sit outside
Outside the shadows
Outside the angst
I realize the sun and the moon
The cloud and the stars
They are there for me
Waiting, waiting
Patiently. I am not patient
The sky
The sun
The moon
The stars
The clouds
They are patient.
They wait for me.
For me to look up
They call me
I don’t hear
I can’t hear
With the rush of the river of tears
In my ears
I can’t hear
But they stop
And then I hear
I hear all that has been calling
A name that I don’t hear often
My own
A name I wish to hear more often
My own
I saw the clouds today
The wave of clouds. The clouds for me
Waiting. I’m finally hearing
Hearing my name. For the first time
And I’m listening. And hearing.
And it is a sound that I enjoy.

Good feeling. Feeling good.

I kissed Greg goodbye yesterday. He’s gone. I’ll miss him.

But it’s only for 9 days and he’ll be back. He’s gone to Boston for work and PA for a family event. I will try my best not to let his absence consume me. I won’t text him constantly to tell him that I miss him or that I’m thinking of him. I will function as the human being I was before he strolled into my life a mere 7 weeks ago.

This week isn’t really going to be busy work wise, so I have to try to fill my time up. I need to keep mentally and physically busy. It’s only 9 days and they’ll fly by.  At the very least, they will go no slower than the previous 9 days or any other 9 days in the history of humanity. It would be nice if I had some big news to share when he returned. Like…I looked into my career move and was able to make THIS much progress.  Maybe that’s what I’ll spend my week doing. He loves to talk career with me. He fashions himself a great listener, thinker and adviser.  I always feel this need to impress him with work related things. Actually, I always feel the need to impress him, period. He can be a bit intimidating. I kinda like it though. It turns me on. He’s tall and strong and broad-shouldered and incredibly intelligent and I’m immensely attracted to all of that. I wonder sometimes if I’m loking for a father figure. That dominant authority. I like when men take charge. You want the reins? Be my guest. I’ve been in charge of everything for so long, I’m ready and willing to let someone smart, funny and good-natured take the controls. Independence schmindependence.

Last week, our schedules didn’t allow us to get together during the week. We saw each other last Sunday and then had to wait till Friday to see each other again. It was a looong week. By Friday, we were both horny and in desperate need of sex. On top of that, we knew that we would be going without for 9 days. We went out to watch the Michigan game and by the time we got back to his place it was in the door, in the bedroom, clothes off and fuck! Lol. No delays. We fucked like 2 people who knew there wouldn’t be sex again for days and days. He went longer than he usually does. He fucked harder than he usually and he was more bad ass than he usually is. Between rounds 1 and 2 we talked about sex, jerking off, fantasies and porn. Found out that skinny, white girls masturbating is what gets him off. So tame. I told him that gay porn does it for me. He basically wished me luck with that…you gone be watching that by yourself sista.

…He texted me! Yeay! I was wondering if/when I’d hear from him and if I’d have to be the one to reach out to him. But I didn’t have to. It’s the little things.

His birthday is coming up and today I reserved us a one-night stay at a BEAUTIFUL resort about an hour away. It’s not actually a resort. It’s one of those country side places with a pool, tennis courts, stables, walking trails, gardens, bike paths, etc. The photos are gorgeous. I want to celebrate his birthday but I don’t want to be too extravagant since by the time it rolls around we would only have been dating for two and a half months. I figure a two-day, one-night get-away all paid for, plus a picnic, maybe some tennis, maybe a long walk, all that good shit, will be just the perfect celebration. I may throw in a monogrammed shirt as a little extra. Maybe some cufflinks.

I met with a friend for lunch on Friday and she gave me an idea for my next career move. It has planted a seed, and even if I don’t go in the direction that she proposed, I have at least started to think about my next move and the time frame that I’m working with.

I feel like I’m in such a good place right now. I’m working, Greg is in my life, I’m going to see my family in a month and my finances are relatively stable. I’m not stressing about anything at the moment and it feels so damn good. There are of course, little niggling things that I have to work on but for the most part, I really feel good.

Here’s to that good feeling.

Cheers!

vt