Now that I spoil myself lavishly, I understand how small of an effort that is for me. I know how it feels to treat myself this way and I want to do it for those I love. When I get less than my small but constant expressions of love, and I’m willing to give so much more, I can see where I’m wasting my efforts.Read More
Earlier this week I was walking to Subway with a co-worker. This is the same man that earlier this month asked, "Have you always been an alpha female?" We got to the restaurant and I opened the door, gesturing for him to go ahead of me. It's what my Dad did for me, so it was natural for me to do it for someone else. But then, he refused. He refused to allow me to hold the door open for him in a gesture that was (unintentionally) emasculating to him. I don't do things like this on purpose. It's who I am, and it's who I have become. It feels empowered, but it also has a really uncomfortable feeling. It feels like equality in a way that scares many men away from me. It feels like men are afraid of a misstep in saying or doing something that would offend me. This fear irritates me more than a benign and accidental sexist comment would. About a month ago, I had four men in a row ask me to bend them over and own them with a strap on. (Online dating adventures.) The idea has never excited me. It's not sexy to me. It's not about domination. It's just not my jam to jam . . . Anyway. One of those men . . . the beautiful one with blue eyes asked me what I like about submissive men. I realized I don't, and he was the last to approach me in that way.
I want to be girly, but it's something I get to learn to get used to. I get to decide what that will look like to me. The man that has my attention right now has been stretching my comfort zone in this way lately. He's pretty amazing and his approach to my independence doesn't make me feel defiant. He is more patient than most and his nudges don't feel like pressure but more like he's taking the lead in our dance. Can I follow his lead? It's not a question of do I want him to lead. I do. That's been decided.
A big part of me wants a dominant man that is intelligent and not controlling. As I experience leadership through him, submission isn't a dirty word or uncomfortable feeling. It would feel like sliding into a warm bath. It would feel like I could trust him and his decisions because I know he would hold and value my insight. His love would be freedom rather than burden. He would be able to enroll me in the idea that my life would be better if I keep him in it. He would be someone I would want to meet my kids and my family.
This really special man is in a different time zone for work right now, and the other night he woke up early to chat before I fell asleep but he had plans to go back to sleep because he was only getting up early to wish me a good night. (Yes, he's that sweet.) He was surprised that I was out alone so late at night. It was just after 10, and he insisted on staying up until he knew I made it home safely. I've had my big sister and my Dad express concerns for my many solo explorations, but I brush them off because they tend to wake up my inner teenager that says she can stay up all night just to prove something. But here he was, only staying up to make sure I made it in okay. He didn't demand I go home, but only let me know he would wait to make sure I was okay. The craziness is I wanted to be home so he didn't worry. There's something in the way he makes me feel that today I was content to stay home and do housework and catch up on paperwork and filing at home. I didn't feel driven to go and do and be, though there will be a hiking trip tomorrow morning.
Naturally, you'd want to draw conclusions to my marriage. I would expect that with the nature of this blog, but It's not worth comparing. It's a different situation. I started sneaking out of the house at midnight with Kid1 because I couldn't sleep. I would go to a CVS or Walgreens in North Hollywood and read greeting cards until I had giggled or cried silently enough to feel sleepy. My ex was bothered at first. I needed the space and the release. Two years ago I was taking the train to work and home, with a dangerously unreliable car. I would call or text on my way home and he wasn't as concerned for my safety as I was. I would go to night classes with a stun gun my Dad gave me and return home with him asleep. Not worrying about me became our normal, so having someone worry about me again is new, and it's uncomfortable, but I want to get used to it because it also feels special.
It's not fairy tale territory. I remember seeing my sister's normal looked like her husband would take her car and fill up the gas tank or get her car washed. He helped around the house and he became the parent that was available and supported her through medical school. He was and is the perfect person for my sister and their marriage still inspires me to hope and dream for a romance that will inspire really great words that borrow from my reality, rather than help me escape from it.
I'm still trying to figure out where my femininity lies.
Is it in allowing someone else to open a door for me? Once at work, I held open the door for a man entering the building when I did because I didn't notice the other half of the double door he was already holding for me. I'm in the habit of opening doors rather than allowing them to be held open for me. I think I had a date or two that started the night opening the car door for me, but then I got back into the habit of opening my own door. Yes, some men will make it a point to go to the passenger's side just to hold a door open even though their key fob unlocks it and makes getting in pretty easy.
Is it accepting and not chafing at the idea that someone would worry about me being a woman alone at night? I live alone half the time and I'm used to coming home alone. I'm used to going out to eat alone in restaurants. The only thing keeping me from late night beach trips lately is the cold. It's ordinarily my normal, but to accept someone else would worry about me more than I worry about me is to step into the protection of someone else's concern. It's accepting his comfort is more important than my freedom and independence but that also comes from the confidence he fosters in me.
Who I am is the person that doesn't see a problem as an obstacle but a puzzle I get to solve. I can handle fixing things by calling a repairman. I can swap out an electrical outlet or other small repairs around the house. I actually love being able to work with a power drill, though I have a healthy fear/respect for circular saws and I'm a badass with a hammer. I don't get to fret, hang in there, or hold up. I handle what comes my way because there is no one else that is captain of my ship. But what would making space for someone else's leadership look like?
My sexuality is more dominant and powerful than it has ever been but I like it this way. If anything, I feel femininity is embracing sexual power. It's not about controlling others with sex, but feeling like I'm aware of what feels good to me and I'm not afraid of what it feels or looks like. It's about knowing what men fantasize about and acknowledging there's nothing wrong with having my fantasies, independent of what their interpretation of me should be.
A friend of mine likes to suggest I should be a shoes or a purse kind of woman. I'm really not. I like nice things, but I rarely will go out of my way for purses or shoes. I like jewelry, but rarely shop for myself. I hate clothes shopping. I like to shop, just not for clothes or accessories. My last manicure ended up in polish that peeled off of my nails because housework happened and soapy water lifted the polish off like thick stickers. I didn't get mad because I enjoyed the massage. I'm not sure I'm ready to step into the materialistic domain of femininity.
The rest is something I get to figure out slowly. Deliberately. Intentionally. And stretching gracefully. It doesn't feel natural, but it is a gender I was born into. It's not normal because I have to learn a new way to be. Earthquakes are both natural and normal, but that doesn't make them welcome or insignificant. Are earthquakes feminine too? I can imagine that.
I walk like a Mom. I've been told more than once that I walk like a model but I've never modeled. It's about getting to where I need to be. This has been a thing for others for a while, and I've written about taking a step before. I've mommed. It's a simple gait . . . I remember months ago when I was first starting to wear high heels after years of being barefoot or in flats. I had to decide I had the confidence and once I did, my muscles no longer had to make up for my insecurities. I had to decide that I was confident enough to walk the way I do.
It's a mom walk. I can teach you. One foot in front of the other, hips sway in the imbalance of it. Usually I walk quickly, but slowing down means I often lead with my hips a little more. I smile and make eye contact. I'm friendly. I strike hard with my heel, certain of my footing. If you need further instruction, you're over thinking it. It's not something you mechanically do. It's an extension of the empowerment I embody.
It helps to have a mirror session. Look at yourself in a mirror. Really look at yourself. Make up or clean face. At your current weight which is perfect once you decide it is. Look hard. Look brazenly. Decide that you are beautiful and strong and powerful. Then step back and start walking. As you walk, remember that your veins carry the life force forged in the DNA of warriors before you. No one's family has survived as an accident. My birthright means I have the blood of women that have fought and lived, not as survivors of their situation, but as women who learned to thrive because of them. In spite of them.
Dating sometimes makes me feel like my dates believe they are owed something in exchange for taking me out and paying for a meal. I often feel like I need to explain that affection is not an obligation because I agreed to coffee. I know that my time is a gift. If I had a going rate, most couldn't afford my smile.
My smile was always a thing to hide behind when I was younger. For years my smile was gone. I recently had a random text and that text put a smile on my face that let me know I wasn't smiling just before it, and that is rare lately. That moment was me in the middle of a gnarly purchase order and a disorganized project I had to sort through. That man sent that text and I felt a huge difference. I don't expect any more of his texts, but I have my walk. This walk boosts my confidence and my smile tends to cheer others up too.
The cost of my smile means being so confined and crushed emotionally that there was a shell filled with broken pieces. It costs the insomnia I lived through and crying myself to sleep many nights. It costs choosing being alone over being in the wrong relationship. It costs figuring out life instead of indulging in a midlife crisis and finding empowerment through that. It means begging for a feeling I couldn't name and finding indescribable joy in knowing that I don't have to be who I was. The cost of my smile was to be so solidly held as valuable to only one man in a shallow existence and being rejected so hard that the only deliverance was to discover true self love.
My smile is a promise to a new life and more joy than I thought I had a right to. It's the hint to the secret of the wonder I feel when I stand in the sun or smell a fresh orange with its peel intact and living in each moment as if every single breath matters. It's knowing that my smile can brighten someone else's day and the odds of hearing it's a beautiful smile are fairly good. It's not knowing my worth, but understanding I am worthy.
I walk and I smile and a lot of days, this walk down the block on a busy street are all I need to fill my cup and recharge.
Enrollment is typically a word used to describe your commitment to take classes that will end in an accomplishment. This is why we enroll our kids in kindergarten and later we get to watch them enroll themselves in their first college class. What I want to offer is more than selling an idea to you. It's about getting you to embody a lifestyle, and that's the cream filled treat I'm after right now. I want to enroll you in living epically. I did another Facebook Live video. My goal is to post one a week. It allows me to get comfortable with seeing myself on camera. The video cut out because of a weak signal, but I stuck with it. [facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/yessica.maher/videos/10209199150269611/" /] I see my blog as free therapy for me, and I've been asked if I see the value I give others. I don't always. Sometimes, I get encouragement from people that follow along with my shenanigans and their ability to make a deeper connection that resonates with their experience helps me feel like I am helping, but it's not my goal to be a self-help guru.
I don't read a lot of self help books, and I rarely get lost in movies or television anymore. I spent so long escaping my reality into someone else's imagination that I now choose to face my life head on. There's no escaping into fiction. There's no checking out in a vicarious adrenaline rush or a romance that will warp my ideas of deep and meaningful love. I face my life and when I recognize a shortfall, I get to take notice and make changes.
I mean sure, I read inspirational bits in small doses (and mainly from Pinterest lately). Yes, I took the Basic and Advanced leadership courses. What I get from it all is what I take and internalize. It's not enough to ask how to live a meaningful life, if I can't internalize that system of values. Otherwise, I'd remain on the eternal search for the next person who can tell me what to do. To live epicly when you weren't before means you get to do what you have never done before. It can be hard, but nothing magical happens when you're still in your comfort zone.
It helps to be as introspective as I am. I look at every detail and analyze meaning in everything. I want to know what the general thought is and then see how it applies to me uniquely. It's who I am, but I look for it in others. If I have a conversation with a man that can take new information, blend it with what he already knows, and come up with a new perspective or ideal, rather than spitting out the old, separate from the new, he has my attention in all the right ways. Intelligence it hot.
It's not enough to tell people that the life I get to live is amazing. It's not enough to say anyone can join me, or you should follow in my footsteps. I know what it means to live authentically in who I choose to be. I know how amazing it feels. What I want for those I love is for them to know and understand that they have the potential to live as they want to. They can do what I do because it's a choice that is their possibility. The hardest part isn't when you set out on your journey. It's that moment when you decide to take control of who you are and what that looks like.
For me, this road has been solitary. I have a hard time accepting dates I don't want. Why spend my time in a way that doesn't excite me? I have many people say they want to join me, but it's beyond their comfort and I often end up alone. I invited my family to join me on Sunday and they all chose to stay closer to home because it was a rainy day in Los Angeles. I went out with an umbrella, but didn't see any rain at all because serendipity is on my side. (That post is coming soon.) I have a great friend give me the "SWSWSWSW" I've been living by.
I'm not waiting for anything, and that is my authenticity. You get to decide what yours is. How epic is that? I can't sell you on how I choose to live, but I can enroll you in the idea that it's always shifting and growing in ways I can control. I can show you that I'm always learning with each day, experience and connection. You get to do that as well.
I went to Abalone Cove because it was on my list and my sister that hosted Thanksgiving lives close enough that not going would have been a wasted opportunity. The views were beautiful, and the trail down the bluffs to the ocean was easy. I sang to the music on my favorite playlist. I danced alone on the beach. I picked up rocks and sat on boulders to watch the waves crash. I stood in gratitude for the life I get to live and the opportunities to feel freedom that land in my lap.
After the hike up, I went across the street to the Wayfarer's Chapel. It was a beautiful building with amazing acoustics and beautiful gardens. I was so glad I took the time to explore. You should totally be exploring. [facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/yessica.maher/videos/10209160517703821/" /]
I made stops afterward on my way to my sister's house. The Wayfarer's Chapel is beautiful and Hopkins Wilderness Park was closed for Thanksgiving so I walked through Redondo Beach Pier. I found ways to recharge and find that inner joy so when I was at my sister's house, I was happy to pitch in and be present. I was dancing and singing while completely sober because that was what I chose for the day. It was a really amazing feeling and it carried me to sleep. I mean, I got home and my neighbor's celebration was still in full swing, but I was happy to hear the happiness from his party and it didn't stop me from falling asleep. I slept through all of the late night texts and messages.
Part of my walk on the beach was the hunt for rocks. My favorite rocks are unique in color, often rounded by water or weathered in some way so they are smooth and not crumbling and if I'm really lucky, I find a rock that has a hole weathered through it. I've had two before and I've given them both to people that matter to me.
The first was given to a friend of mine that helped me work through the major traumas of my marriage and life. We met in that second leadership class. It's about taking leadership of your life and part of that is facing whatever you've been running from. He was a safe place to yell and cry and scream. I left it all in that room when it comes to my ex and my parents. We exchanged our vulnerabilities and he showed me areas that were broken and helped me heal them. Time doesn't heal everything. You need to release it, and let it all come up and out of you. It was just in September and I cried so hard that I was shocked by the sound coming out of me. I had given him a rock I once found with twin holes, side by side, being weathered in. They were dips and not fully formed. I was thinking of a gift to give him and holding that rock and I realized it was us. Just as I rescued it from being weathered, together, I was being rescued from the hole inside of me and with his help, I found hope again. It was after working through things with him that I started seeing dates as a possibility for a deeper connection. Before that, I wasn't at all emotionally available.
The second was the first rock I've ever found that had a hole through it. I was unique and beautiful and I loved it enough that for a while I drove around with both in the console in my car. I would hold them through traffic and they made me happy. I gave this second rock to a person that is gender fluid. I think of her as a her, because I identify with her as more female, but when she shifts into more of a male, he is so hot (and way too young). I offered the rock as a unique gift for a unique person.
Now I have new rocks that will ride shotgun with me.
My favorite take home is this last rock. It has holes through it from sand and water washing it. I also has a tiny shell inside of it. I imagine the shell was much smaller when it first landed in the rock. As the creature grew, so did its shell. The rock was protection. The rock offered a safe place where the animal was protected from prey. It was able to grow and eat in safety until one day it was too big. It was too big for the life it was meant to lead, so it left and created a new shell and probably didn't need the same protection because it was bigger and stronger than it was.
This could be a metaphor for the life I've had as a wife, but it's so much bigger than that. We grow as people when we're protected, and eventually the situation that protects us becomes a prison instead. It's the blurred line between supportive love and enabling co-dependency.
I love the life I get to live. I love feeling independent and free. I feel so much peace in knowing that I'm not the only one responsible for my kids and that when they're gone, I have the freedom to figure out what I want my life to look like and who I want to be. Without the safety of that rock, I would have never known what it was to not be able to be who I am and stand where I do. I occupy the spaces that matter to me. And it feels really good to look at this rock and know I'm no longer that person that was confined by my protections.
I watched a beautiful friend blossom in a few short months, and this transformation is one that inspires me. We met at the first leadership class I took in July. I had just started a new job. I was still going stir crazy with way too much down time at work to make me happy. I’m still getting on my feet as a single mom and near 40-year-old starting on a new career. This young woman was a petite powerhouse. I mean, she looked solid and muscular. She was beautiful. And she was nervous about the company we were in. The class I took was a privilege. I'm fully aware of the gift I was afforded. At the time I was stll skeptical about the class. The way things fell into place put us in a room with actors, lawyers, doctors, business owners, nurses, news anchors . . . It was a mosh pit of success. I was an odd one out, but that is who I embrace on most days. She was lost. We were standing outside of the room on the way in from a break and she told me she didn’t know if she belonged there, she was only a scientist. Seriously.
I remember thinking how amazing it was that she was a scientist. I dropped my geology major because it was too hard for me to do it well. Literature was easy for me. I was frustrated that with my education in Los Angeles, I couldn’t get a better job because of my lack of paid experience and she was feeling unimportant because she was a scientist. I got past my shock and told her that she was a badass. I gave her a minor glimpse of the amazing I saw in her. Fast forward to last night when I showed up for her graduation from the third leadership class, and she embodied all I saw in her when I first met her. She was no longer ashamed to be "just a scientist," but has already set things in motion for medical school. She is fierce and the transformation in her life is encouragement. Being able to see her grow the way she has in such a short time, and for me to be inspired by that is her feedback.
On my lunch today, I shared a Facebook live stream because I choose to get comfortable with speaking in front of a camera. I used to be such a ham and lately I'm more like chicken. [facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/yessica.maher/videos/10209140257437327/" /]
I’m a mom that would have given every single breath, vision and dream for my family, at a radical personal cost because this is what I thought motherhood meant.
My parents always did what was necessary. They worked, they were present. To this day, I've never seen either of my parents drunk or high. They embody sacrifice and putting their children first. The last almost 16 years has taught me that being a sacrifice to my family doesn't serve any of us. I believe I would do what I can to be the mom and example I need to be for my kids, but that means learning to balance self care with caring for them so I can continue to care for them.
Just this weekend, my son wanted beef jerky. I had passed on that bag for myself just the week prior. It looked good, but I was being frugal and decided I didn’t need it. Kid2 asked and before he could finish his sentence I had already approved. I debated and denied myself, but offered it freely to my child. I’m not doing anyone any favors by showing my family I don’t matter. I’ve done it long enough. I have been getting a sitter to show up for me, so I could show up for friends lately, and soon I’ll be getting a sitter to show up for me, so I can show up for me. I'm working on fighting for every choice like I matter because I do.
I get to make space for my own joys and pleasures along what I do when my kids are with me and when they are away. I don’t need to be a martyr. I can make sure my kids have what they need and celebrate with friends because that’s the point of a sitter. I don’t need my time to become secondary to the idea that my time is only valuable in the context of a date night with their Dad. Grocery shopping or a Target run used to be my ideal space for “me time” because I had no idea there was more to life than being a mom and a wife. My enjoyment of my life is just as important as theirs is. It’s a valuable gift that they would see that I am not secondary or sacrificial to my family. I don't need to stay home with the kids and make space for someone else's dreams and hobbies. Happy wife, happy life takes on new meaning when I’m in charge of my own happiness.
I am in the process of a divorce from a marriage that has lasted 42% of my life.
I get to decide what being single means. I get to figure out what I like to do and go do it. This usually looks like hiking and museums with some really great food thrown in and watching live performances in Santa Monica. This looks like those incredible hugs from that really hot guy with washboard abs that managed to convince me my curves and softness are sexy and that I’m beautiful. Or it’s coffee with that one man who never skipped leg day from Uruguay that said my name in a way I can’t copy. He made me laugh and that was enough. It's late night texting that means I don't go to bed until 4 in the morning with the bald man with soft crinkles for laugh lines and a deep, penetrating voice that tickles unexposed fantasies, and that's okay because when I wake up at 6:30, he's still the one on my mind. It means spending the night out alone because dating myself never disappoints me.
I get to learn how to budget my finances. I get to prioritize purchases that I value. I can buy a game for my kids, or budget and plan for school pictures or jewelry if it sounds like something I would like. I don’t need permission or to worry about picking a fight. There is no more fighting or my passive aggression.
I get to decide how I want to raise my kids when we’re in my home. I get to let them test their boundaries without feeling like I’m coddling and overbearing because someone else thinks I need to be. I get to teach them to cook and test their independence in doing so when they're ready.
I’m starting a career from spending most of my adult life as a stay at home mom.
I love my job, but I get to take my time figuring out what my career should look like, and being picky about my next job. This morning that meant I turned an hour long interview into 8 minutes, because I knew they couldn’t offer the work environment I thrive in. I had no reason to waste another second of my time impressing them when they can't offer what I want. In dating, it's text messages that look like this:
"As beautiful as you are, it feels unfair to test out the fact that I know it won't work. We want different things and as much as I might enjoy your company in the short term, you aren't the one for me. I hope you find who you're looking for."
I get to figure out what brings value to my work and what solidifies my work ethic. I can say yes. I can say no. I'm in a position to ask for what I want and there's nothing forcing me to stay in the present aside from the fact that it's what I have been doing. I'm not happy with a portion of something, so I'm not happy with the whole and I don't need to sit and complain because I get to change things.
This means you get to reinvent myself.
If you find the people you surround yourself drain rather than energize you, it's time to create space for yourself. You don't have to apologize for taking care of yourself.
If you don't like how superficial your connections are, you get to reach out in vulnerability and accept support and encouragement with genuine connection.
If you don't like your job, look for a new one.
If you don't like what your bank account looks like, see where you can improve things. Is your bank offering cash back or an annual percentage yield? Are you pinching every penny? What are you prioritizing and is that serving you or costing you more?
If you don't like what you look like, change it. Get a haircut. Start exercising slowly enough that it isn't a struggle to increase what you started with. Change your diet.
You are in control of your life. If it doesn't look the way you want it to, the only one that can change it is you. You are your only road block and your only motivation and the idea that you keep doing the same things because it works is a fallacy because if you are unhappy, it's not working.
If you feel fear, doubt, or stress, you should know you created it. It's in your head, can't be measured or removed by anyone other than you, and it only hurts you when you allow it to manifest physically in your body.
Live the life you want by choosing better. Even if it's one small step in the right direction each day, it's better than sitting in pain, complaining that you aren't living epicly.
I was chatting with a co-worker about my latest life transition and he asked if I've always been an Alpha Female. It caught me off guard. I've never heard of it, and never thought about what it means. I mean, sure, I know what an Alpha Male is because those boys try to put their penis on everything. Rarely you might find a man that knows he doesn't need to show the world what he is. It's expressed in all he is. (Melting over here in the idea of how hot that is.) In chewing the idea later, I asked another friend and he immediately agreed. I show up to him as an Alpha Female. He also pointed out that I need an Alpha Male. As I was driving to the ocean, I thought about it and he was right. The man I was talking to last week was definitely an Alpha. He was strong and confident, and not intimidated by me. I pushed my blog toward him and it didn't scare him. He wasn't afraid of my boldness, and even said he liked the fact that I'm ballsy. In the end, I decided he wasn't the one for me but he was the first man to really matter in my recent dating history and he's an Alpha Male. He showed up as unafraid of my intensity. . . my confidence. . . my brazen approach to living epicly. . . and at the core of my identity, being an Alpha Female.
I got home and decided to look it up because the concept is still fairly nebulous and the definition and of course this gospel comes from Urban Dictionary.
An Alpha Female is a "dominant female in a group. She dates as many males as she wants, is strong and confident, and a hard worker as well as often busy. She is usually sarcastic because she's powerful and playful. Alpha Females are intelligent, intellectual problem solvers; and though being an alpha female is more of a state of mind than a physicality, an alpha understands that dressing up or sexy increases her power in society, so she does it. Alpha Females are often terribly misunderstood by Beta and lesser males, as evident by the other posts about Alpha Females, and when this happens, she's called a bitch, a cunt, or a whore ... Alpha Females prefer passion over romance, although if it's romance coming from an Alpha Male, a hootttttt one, that's another story..."
Oh my dear Lord, someone has been watching me from inside my head!
Do I feel dominant?
No. I don't feel like I need to be powerful over anyone as long as I feel it coiling as strength within me. I get a lot of compliments on my walk. It was one I started faking as an adolescent. I learned to walk to the beat of a song, with my arms swinging in opposition from a diva dance teacher in high school. I saw how it could hold attention and I lost it in my marriage. Years later I was getting ready for a new job and none of my clothes fit anymore because the divorce diet changed my body so much. A relative invited me to her home to raid her closet. We had only met a few times. She saw me slouch in my seat, my depression a weight on my shoulders and holding my body in defeated repose. She told me that I needed to stand tall. She told me my legacy was from the bloodline of strong women and it runs through every woman in my family. I represent the women in my family and I needed to walk like I own the pride I was born into. I take one step at a time, one foot right in front of the other. I feel the off balance sway of my hips with my shoulders back and my head held high. I look people in the eye and smile at them because it's free and an expression of my gift to love the life I get to live. It's often referred to as a model walk, but it's just a mom walk. I can teach you, but it's not something to learn. The walk is an outer expression of my identity. If you have to learn it, you're already over thinking it.
Dating . . .
Yes, I'm dating. No, no one is special. I often joke that I can't get a date, but really, I'm content in being picky. My time alone is a sacred space and for me to invite someone into it means I see something special enough to spark my interest. I'm always on the lookout for the man that can turn that spark into an ember. I will give him space to make decisions about where we go and what time he wants to see me and I'm often disappointed. I usually direct him to my blog and give a nudge to see if he runs away. He usually does, so dating myself is enough to make me happy for now. When I find my Alpha Male . . . When he's worthy of being someone I wouldn't mind following, we'll be a force of strength that no one can reconcile. The men I've been dating have all been nice, but not what I would consider an Alpha. The one I was talking to was the first to elicit an emotional response from me that I didn't invite or encourage. It was primal and so sexy.
Hard working and usually busy.
I don't half ass anything. If I'm willing to commit, it's going to be a full on adventure for me. Busy means I'm not sitting at home and wondering if anyone is thinking of me. I'm thinking of me. If I mention where I'm going, it's an invitation, because most things are kept quiet until I'm done. If you don't have the initiative to speak your interest or just join me, that was an opportunity you passed up. You are allowing your life to filter around and through you and that is not who I am anymore and I don't have the patience to hold hands through what you can decide you want on your own. Does this make me a hard ass? Absolutely. I'm okay with that.
I'm still finding that voice. I can be gentle and kind. It's my default demeanor. On the other hand, if you show me you don't respect me or want me to be less so you can appear to be more, I have no problem showing you where I've placed you, even if that means you don't deserve the effort of my response. I sometimes enjoy dismissing people. Have you seen my Instagram?
Intelligent, Intellectual Problem Solvers
I'm entirely sapiosexual. I love smart men and I love being able to figure out a problem or puzzle. It drives me. And I've said it before, but I might be part zombie.
Dressing up or Sexy
I'm no longer weatherproof. I value sweaters and layers of clothes and I no longer pretend I don't feel how cold it is for an outfit. That doesn't mean I can't dress up. I know how to put on a full face of makeup. I know how to get my hair to behave. I know how to accentuate my breasts or reveal my legs. You can take me to a fancy dinner. At the end of the day, I'd be happy in jeans, a t-shirt and bare feet. My sensuality isn't tied to my clothes though and I will wear what feels good because sexy is a state of mind and I always embody it. There was a Facebook live and a blog post.
[facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/yessica.maher/videos/10209086007161104/" /]
All the time, but it's not my job or desire to make anyone else feel better about the choices I make. It's not my responsibility to coddle anyone through the consequences of their choices either.
Alpha. I accept this.
A friend has created a business around supporting women in finding their sexy. Sexy Soul Matrix is her baby, but I got a special invite to her birthday party (friendship perks). In full accordance with who she is, it’s a 50 Shades of Gray themed party. We won’t look at the level of kink that has caused so many fantasies to expand with each book sold. Really, not everyone is meant for that exploration, but it became a doorway for exploration that many imagined as exit only or access denied before E.L. James made it look seductive. We won’t have to pretend that Anastasia finds her voice in the ways Christian silences her. We won’t discuss how her love (independent of his purging and cleansing his mommy issues) could heal him. It won’t matter that not just any man could seduce her in the way he did with his stuff. Sexual, extravagant gifts that made his stalking her seem like authority rather than control. Realistically, his initial distance would push anyone away. I don’t know about you, but anyone pushing me away is going to make me question how much I want to keep trying. At least at first. Once my attention has been grabbed, I can be forgiving. His extravagant need to spoil her may have offended her in some ways, but she was still seduced by freedom of the life he provided. And yes, this was a saga I’ve read a few times. I’ll leave that thought right there. I get to notice it. You get to laugh.
The point is finding sexy. I was on the fence last night about going to this party. I’m committed. I'm a person of my word. My friend wants me to show up. I don’t have my boys. I get to show up. I get to decide she is valuable enough for me to show up with a younger crowd and bring my sexy. I admit I was having commitment issues, and in a move for accountability, I chose to go live on Facebook before I could chicken out. And if you check it out, yes, I’m still nervous going live and being in front of a camera, alone, parked in my car. So not cut out for acting.
As a young woman, sexy was about how much flesh I could show off. It was about being so hot I could make a muscle car look good. (Never mind the fact that they didn’t need my ass prints on them or that it probably had the same effect as putting a spoiler on a 1969 Chevy Nova- don't and no.) It was about being so weatherproof, it could be cold enough for goosebumps, but it didn’t matter because my legs looked good naked, and my cleavage was something to be envied and the boobs needed to be the visible pillows of sensuality they were. (And then breastfeeding happened.) I expect to be at this party with people that see sexy the way I used to, because youth is amazing in that way, and I don’t have that youth thing anymore. I like my old.
In 2000 I was in a car accident. It wasn’t life threatening. I did something dumb. After a night of drinking, I was a passenger in my friend’s car, and we went to Tommy’s for a double cheeseburger, no onions, extra chili and nacho cheese Doritos, a little paper tray with little peppers and Hawaiian Punch because sugar was friendly then. (My only order since I was a kid.) We got in an accident leaving the parking lot. The airbag left abrasions all over my face, and I had a gnarly concussion that made bright light painful for a few weeks. I got out the car in my Pure Playaz black mini skirt, covered in Tommy’s Chili. It was embarrassing. At the time, I was working as a t.v. extra and getting work based on being cute. I was often referred to as “cute.” I was proud of my lifeguard swim suit competition on the X Show. I loved what I did for work until looking in the mirror was hard to do. I didn’t feel cute anymore. This happened just after I met my ex, and looks became a non-issue. We got along better when I wasn’t noticed by other people.
This year there was a shift. A man just a touch older than me and going through a divorce made it a point to introduce himself to me a few times. I was feeling pretty with a gold and black dress on and my hair done in romantic old Hollywood waves at our office party. He was a person that made it a point to talk to me, and he made me feel special that night. There was something that shifted in his attention. In the days and following weeks, I ran into him a few times and he constantly had me feel like I was a bowl of cherry chip ice cream on his cheat day. In January I started walking like I wanted to be seen because I loved the way it felt when he saw me. I started blogging here at the end of February and you could read all about him if you care to. He ended up being my first crush since I met the man I married. Perks of being a faithful wife include being able to fall in love like it's the first time because it's been so long and I forgot the good and bad and the WTF?
Fast forward to now and what does sexy mean?
For me, sexiness begins within. It’s not about an inner being of light and beauty that is radiantly sexual, although it can be. It’s not about the clothes I wear or how something might wear me, although it can be. It’s not about the happy parts of me, and it’s not about the dark parts, but a combination of it all because I am not a dissected rabbit. I’m a complete and whole being. Even though there are parts of me that are broken and healing, I am still a complete being, with broken bits held together by all that makes me who I am. I love me in my beauty and in my pain, and in the ugly that looks like rain. Even the rain brings new life each spring.
I don’t necessarily mean book smart. I mean a person that can take what they’ve learned or experienced, add it to new information and come up with a new direction or perspective. I mean a person I can have a conversation with and their words shift my beliefs enough to see something bigger than I imagined on my own. Intelligence is sexy, but I might be part zombie.
I could look sexy in a pair of jeans and bare feet. It’s about an attitude and determination to feel sensual, and embrace the side of me that is sexual. It’s in my walk. It’s in my smile. It means when I’m complimented by a man, I’m not shying away or deflecting what he sees. It also means I don’t need to be told I’m sexy. It means I know it, independent of what others might think or believe they have ownership of. It means I can see a sexy woman that I’m not attracted to, appreciate and compliment her beauty, and not feel threatened. Yeah, it’s my brand of normal.
In men, I’m starting with the body because . . . Um, yum? But it’s not enough. Ever. I just got a private call from someone I blocked after I decided beauty wasn’t enough. Don’t do this. It was awkward. I owned up to my immaturity and apologized for ghosting him, but that wasn’t going to change my mind. Yes, a man that loves his body as much as he expects me to is always a win. It’s still never enough. It doesn’t have to be about abs and pectorals. Glutes are great, and a man that doesn’t skip leg day . . . It’s not just that. I’m not picky about hair. I like man buns and hair that I can run fingers through, but I also have a thing for bald heads. I love salt and peppered hair and laugh lines. I love the dip on a lower back, and various other dips and curves on a man’s body. I love a mature man's body. I love natural hair and I just don’t get manscaping but I can go with it. And I love the smell of a man’s body. But at the end of the day, it’s not enough.
I’m not a fan of being ignored. Not many can do it and get away with it. I’m amused every time though. If you aren’t sure you’re into me, I’m definitely better off answering that question for us.
Connection is major. If I can meet a man and our vibe seems to match, I will want to share my words. If he can read my blog and not freak out, then I want to know if he can handle the unhappy parts that come with me. If we can connect, and we both want to see more of each other . . . Getting him out of my blood might take a while. Yes, a great man can be an infection. At least he'll leave a mark.
There’s something so sexy about an engaged father, spending time with his kids, or a man that’s great with kids in general. It’s an opportunity to watch leadership and gentleness. It can awaken a dormant libido. So freaking hot. Yeah, my dumb is showing on this one. ‘Nuff said.
So, what to wear to this party? It might be jeans and a t-shirt. It might be a corset, hooker heels and pleather hot shorts. It might be a matching bra and panty set, but that's not really likely. It might be something small with a trench coat over it. I like that idea. Either way, I get to show up and I know my sexy will be before and behind me, because it's already within me.
It's Tuesday and my last night with the boys until Monday night. I was going back and forth about what to do when I picked them up but finalized my decision when I picked them up and they grilled me about an absentee ballot I cast a weekend or two ago. I can't control an outcome, but I can decide on my reaction and interpretation. I decided we were eating out and away from news. This choice looked like traffic after a long day at work. Kid1 didn't want to go at first, but loved the food so much he wanted to keep the bag we brought our leftovers in so he could tell his friends to try it out. Kid2 was mellow and happy because he's the adventurous one that loves new tastes. He'll eat fresh water eel and experiment with sushi. Our next adventure for him is Indian food because he tasted curry in a dip and loved it. Kid3 was so full of energy from his day and he wanted to excitedly tell me about every moment of it. He was loud and exuberant. He made sure I caught and could repeat details. After the ups and stresses of a full shift, the internet being down for a bit at work, sorting out documents by hand and the highs of random texts that made me smile all day, I was exhausted, but I gave him 110% of what I had for him, digging deep so he didn't feel my deficits. We got our food and Kid1 and Kid2 were in a silent slurping heaven, with muttered gratitude between bites. Kid3 was immediately nauseous with the smells of Japanese food that doesn't look like sushi. We all ate a bit faster so he could get home and later complain he's starving.
When my only job was to raise a family as mom, I did all of the cooking at home from scratch. I seared and simmered over the stove, running to the laundry room to swap loads of clothes or bang through a sink of dishes, breaking my nails that weren't bitten down to the quick. Help looked like the times we ate out. We piled into the car and headed to a restaurant I usually didn't like so we could sit quietly, lost in the places our devices allowed us to escape to. Single parenthood means we've made some life style changes and family meals in restaurants took a major hit.
Tonight we went to a restaurant that a friend of mine manages. He was off, but I wanted to check out what his Kingdom looked like. He is the boss in way that would be so hot to me if he wasn't gay and therefore not into me. (How into me a man is has a lot to do with my attraction.) I love that we have the same taste in men and plenty to talk about when we share eye candy moments. He has dark hair and beautiful eyes with the most alluring lilt to his voice. He's beautiful. He gives the greatest hugs and one day he'll make some man really happy. And maybe I'm a bit biased towards a man that has fed me more than once.
As we were sitting I watched my boys interact. I watched their excitement. I honored a wish to not take pictures of them. They were discussing politics with phrases they borrowed, but concepts they tied together themselves. Kid3 believed we could get Kid1 to vote illegally just to contribute their beliefs. It was a moment where I sat in awe of the growing they've done over the last year. I am so proud of my boys. I made them with my body!
At that moment . . . at the peak of my happy momma feelings I got a text from a man I had forgotten about. I don't think I was ever fully into him. I would have blocked him a lot sooner if I wasn't so amused by his texts. I directed him to this blog and told him to call me if I didn't scare him away. He never did call me.
The laughs keep coming from this one and I did finally block him. I'm usually nicer to men in general but there is nothing about him I would want to protect and I'm not always nice.
I wouldn't call myself a male hater. I love men. I love the way they look and smell. I love their strength. I love the way they think in the direct lines of logic. I love the way they see things the way I can't. Ultimately I would love to find a man who I believe in and would be willing to submit to. It wouldn't be out of fear but out of respect. He wanted to be the Alpha Male, but he was far from my ideal and he didn't get it in the texts I ignored or the kindness I offered in scaring him away with my authenticity here. I knew it would make him walk. He's not the droid (or man) I'm looking for. I never entertained the idea of him meeting my boys and I was never interested in giving up my alone time for him.
My laughter died down and my boys asked what was funny. I didn't explain that he suggested I might want to call him after insulting me when I wasn't making any effort to be on his radar to begin with. Instead I told them there was a silly boy that thought their mom was dumb or that he meant enough to hurt my feelings. He just didn't have that power.
I realized that we were in a perfect space as a family. As mom, I'm raising men to be proud of. (Still working on those times when Kid3 rage quits.) Apart, I'm sure their Dad is doing better than he ever did as my spouse and I can relax in the knowledge that we're doing right by them. I don't have to worry about them when I don't have custody.
As far as dating, setting that bar really high and raising it with each solid man that I meet, whether or not he's the one for me, is the right choice. I was having a moment in the last few days, wondering if maybe the bar is too high. I got my answer yesterday, and no, it's not too high. I could probably even raise it to match the man that's been making me smile like a blushing idiot all day. (I don't intimidate him.) Deciding on what I want and knowing when I'm not looking at it feels powerful. I don't feel powerful in a dominant aggressive way, but in the way where I get to control my life, unmoved by insignificance. I don't have to believe someone else's value of me because I know who I'm showing up as to myself and to the only boys that really matter to me - the ones that are part of me and grew strong right under my heart.
I think about who I was a handful of years ago. This boy might have hurt my feelings back then. I've never met him in person and we never had much to discuss through text. He read enough of my blog to feel threatened enough to do more than just fade away. It broke whatever false kindness he thought was enough for me to offer something he wasn't even worthy enough to look at. Call it ego. I know my worth. Once upon a time, I might have valued his opinion with only a glimpse of my personality through my words, and it might have mattered more than my desires for my life. That's insane to me now. I like that it's so crazy because this life I get to lead is that important to me.