Dating Suicide: Insecurities and Self-Deprecation

Confidence is sexy.

It’s no secret. Nobody is wandering about claiming that they prefer a mate who is timid and unsure. Male or female, it doesn’t matter. The key to being desirable is acting, dressing, believing you’re desirable. Ask anyone! Go on, I’ll wait … See? With that in mind, why does it seem that everyone’s go-to move when meeting a potential dating partner is to be self deprecating?

DepressionDon’t misunderstand me, it’s not my intention to rail on these broken individuals. I can’t, because I do it too. Or rather, I have in the past.

Leading with the Bad is Always Bad

I get it. There are reasons to do it, but even they are bad. Sure, nobody wants to sound like a braggart or a jerk, and yes, confidence can sometimes come off as braggadocio. I’m certainly not going to argue that it’s a good idea to approach a date as an opportunity to list your accomplishments. What is this, a job interview?

Well, now that you mention it … yeah, kinda. So like a job interview, you don’t want to bog the other person down with a laundry list of all the little things about you that make you awesome. It might be better to drop one or two of the biggies into the conversation and see how things progress.

Another reason is that some people are just so caught up in the belief that there is something wrong with them, they can’t believe the other person doesn’t already see it. At that point, acknowledging its presence seems like the only polite thing to do. Then it can be cataloged and put aside so the conversation can go in other directions. But, listen up people because this is important, it’s not true. Unless you trot it out on display, it’s not readily apparent!

Projecting Confidence Will Always Yield the Best Result

Notice I didn’t say the desired result. I said the best result. If you are rejected because you have self-esteem, it’s better to avoid that person anyway. If you are embraced for it, that was the point! I’m not advocating that you need to hide your flaws from your potential mate. In fact, I think that kind of behavior is why divorce is so Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


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How to Reach the Impossible Goal

There is no such thing as a clean slate.

My personal interactions began from consciousness, and each of them influences my decision making, the way I view myself, and even how I choose to interact, or not, with others on a daily basis. To think that I can wipe all of that away and begin anew is a “consummation devoutly to be wished.” But I don’t think it’s realistic.

No Cure for My Disease

I’ve been cogitating on this for some time. It’s why I haven’t posted for a while. I wanted to write all this down, but I was struggling to find the best way to do it. I’m still not sure I’ve landed on that, so if I choose to revisit this again in the future, you’ll understand why.

A lot of things have swirled together recently to put this in my brain: my previous post and the expounding of meaning I added later, graduation, attempting the dating game once again, and finding myself faced with my past in unexpected ways. All of these disparate pieces point toward the future, and leave me with the question:  how do I embrace what’s coming while still haunted by spectres of my past?

How do I keep from getting bogged down?

“Just Keep Swimming …”

The conclusion that I’ve come to is that though my past informs me, I cannot allow it to control me. (Mind-blowingly original I know.) I have to live for today. I cannot look too far back or too far ahead. Like a man crossing a suspension bridge, I have to keep my eyes on the immediate goal. If the far side is too much to take in from here, I need to find a closer point and walk toward it. When I reach it, find the next point and move forward. Only through that methodical process will I finally reach the end.

Great. Sounds like a plan. And yet I somehow feel that this is one of those, “easier said than done” type situations. See, I have a couple of concurrent immediate goals. Whose life is a straight line? Not mine, that’s for sure. The two biggies I’m looking at right now involve needing to get everything together so I can apply to a doctoral program and revising my book so that it’s ready to shop around the publishing community. These are both daunting and scary things. Not the tasks themselves, but their potential results.

Control Only What You Can Control

And here I am at another well-worn phrase. Don’t think about the results. Concentrate only on the task at hand. And yet my past slips doubt past the sentries of my mind. Will I be accepted into the program I desire? Will my book get picked up? I have failed before. I’ve failed a lot. Who hasn’t? What I struggle to remember is the past does not necessarily have to reflect the future. Ultimately, the outcome of these pursuits is out of my control. I Read the rest of this entry »


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Message From the Music II

A conclusion you can easily draw from the fact that I’ve had two in ten blog posts with the same title is that I listen to a lot of music. You wouldn’t be wrong. You could also say that I listen for meaning in lyrics to help explain my life. That’s also true. I’m a proponent of the belief that the definition I seek, even if it escapes my ability to define it, is present in a song, book, movie, or other medium. It’s up to me to find it, recognize it, and apply it.

Well, here’s another defining message. I feel like Ray LaMontagne is describing my life from beginning to now. It’s a testament to the universality of the human experience and the hallmark of a talented artist that someone I’ve never met could write something that embodies me so completely. I strive to emulate this achievement in my own writing. Helping someone else to find themselves in the same way that I’ve been able to find myself is the ultimate goal.

In fact, I would venture to say that it is the point of art, if art can be said to have a point. There is that whole, “art for art’s sake” argument, but even those who espouse that belief have to concede that the essence of what makes something art is the ability to spark something in the soul. If not of everyone, then of someone other than the artist. If what you create does not benefit others in some way, even if it’s only a moment of reflection, then what value does it have?

Anyway, I digress. Here is the song, I hope you find some value in it as well. Due to popular demand, I’ve added a breakdown of the lyrics and how they apply to my life below the video. The lyrics are in bold and my words are standard font. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Personal Revelations


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Starting a Relationship: The Ongoing Saga of Modern Dating

In my last post, I bemoaned the fact that I had no idea how to navigate the social media situation. I also discussed the infamous call/text dilemma. I haven’t worked through the social media bit yet, beyond what I said before, but I think I found an elegant solution to the call/text issue.

Well, I kinda dodged it.

No, I know what you’re thinking, but circumstances were unusual and so required a creative approach. You see, she’s on vacation. Initially, I felt that this complicated the whole communication issue. Am I supposed to contact her while she’s out of town? I like her and don’t want to give the impression that I’m uninterested, but I don’t want her to feel I’m stalking her while she’s gone either. What to do, what to do …

Then inspiration struck! Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Life Events



Keep it Separated

So I’ve been on a date.

That statement seemed worthy of standing on its own merits considering the amount of time that has passed since I could last type it without a sense of irony. (Holly, I’m looking at you.) The “scene” has changed quite a bit from when I first dipped my toe back in the mid-nineties. Smart phones and social media are new and added dangers which I now find myself attempting to successfully navigate.

Do I text or call? Is texting too impersonal? Is calling too passe?

Do I add her as a Facebook friend or not? Is that too invasive too early? If I don’t, will she think I’m trying to hide something?

These are the questions that plague me. Who knew dating would cause me to get in touch with my neurotic self? Ultimately, I suppose the answer to all those question is to do a) what feels natural and b) whatever I want. Should they be used as a measuring stick for compatibility? I like to call, she likes to text. Sorry, you’re out. I want to get close quickly, she prefers to keep her distance. Pull the cord. Or maybe they are just, as anything Read the rest of this entry »



Learning How to Open My Heart (Again)

Divorce is never pretty, and although mine was VERY tame compared to many, it wasn’t something I wanted. Regardless of the ease of the legal proceedings, each step of the process felt like an integral piece of ME was being ripped off and thrown away. I was left facing down the memory of eight lost years, added to the five from my first marriage, and all I could do was stand there feeling helpless.

At first, I felt desperate to find someone or something to fill this huge void that had now opened up in my heart. It sounds crazy I know, I’d just stepped out of an eight year marriage and was already looking for the next mistake? But the pain was unbearable. It was disconcerting to have evidence that another person could take up so much space, and the only salve for this gaping wound was more of what caused it in the first place. Or so I thought. But I was a hot mess, and every woman in a ten mile radius could tell.

Like all wounds, it began to heal and repair over time. Also as happens with deep wounds, the healed portion was scarred and tougher than it had been before. I don’t mean tougher in the sense that it was able to withstand more abuse, quite the contrary. I think it would have ripped open at the slightest breath of a touch. I mean tougher in the sense that it was no longer able to easily accept anything remotely resembling love to pass through. Think of it in terms of permeability. A young and innocent heart is extremely permeable, meaning that people and love can flow into and out of it with equal ease. The introduction of experience and heartbreak into the equation results in a hardening. Things aren’t so free-flowing.

That largely happened, for me at least, because I began to be suspect of my ability to choose a mate. I began to ask myself, “If I am attracted to someone, does that mean she is the wrong person?” “Is the issue internal or external?” As with all such questions, the answer is both. I had my own issues to work through, and I was Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Personal Revelations



Facebook Ramblings

I have been guilty of treating Facebook like my own personal blog. I know, shocking right? Finally, I chose to pursue an actual blog, like so, and save my long-winded posts for this site. But you know, I put some decent stuff on Facebook, and I’d like to re-publish the best of those posts here:

Defense of a Humanities Degree

I learned some time ago that the real value of a humanities degree lies in the tutoring of the mind. It teaches the ability to think, to question, and to reason creatively. Not to say that it’s big on logical rigor, because it’s not.

Think more Captain Kirk than Spock. One has creative, out of the box thinking while the other is much more rigid. Both are valuable, and often the hardest problems cannot be solved without both. Such is a humanities degree in the world of technology.

The problem as I see it is that more and more, critics and professors try to quantify literature in an attempt to somehow “legitimize” it against the hard sciences. The beauty of literature is that it cannot be easily quantified. Any attempt to do so is inherently flawed, in that the value or “meaning” of the content is not static. It changes Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Stimulus Reactions


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Racism, Paula Deen, and Growing Up in the South

This whole Paula Deen thing has seen a lot of press, and I’m sure nobody needs my input on the issue. However, I find that I can think things through more easily when I take the time to write about them. That’s probably because I have to think about what I’m typing as I’m typing it, I have to find justification for those thoughts when expressing them to you, and it’s a slower process than simply speaking. I have the opportunity to “think twice” before it hits the page. So know that this is more for me than you, but feel free to read it if you like! With that said, here goes …

If people who have used the “N word” only once in their entire lives are fated to be racists forever, and if something someone said thirty years ago is grounds for persecution today, we are all in a lot of trouble. I would like to think there is a statute of limitations on offensive things I’ve said, and I promise you that I’ve said and done a lot of offensive things. The person I am today is not the person I was even three years ago, much less ten or twenty or thirty.

If this lone incident is the cause of all this social outrage … Well, it’s all a bit ridiculous wouldn’t you say?

That having been said and having grown up in the south, I find it hard to believe that Paula Deen isn’t lying through her teeth. I know the house I grew up in, what was considered acceptable and what wasn’t, and the things I did as a child before I was old enough to know better. Hearing the word tossed around growing up, certainly when I used it, it wasn’t a conscious hate, it was more of a label used to distinguish us vs them.

I didn’t know why there was an us. Or a them, for that matter. Only that they were different and therefore required a label. Still, for my younger self, it evoked a sense of doing something I shouldn’t. Like cussing when Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Current Events


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A Sigh of Relief

And DONE! Comps are over (I passed, by the way), and my last official act as a Masters student at Arkansas State University is complete. All I have now is walking across a stage to the cheers and accolades of friends and classmates to receive my diploma.

I owe a lot to ASU and the opportunities I had there. I don’t know that I would ever have finished my book had IASU Red Wolves not been allowed to use it as my thesis, thereby giving me a full semester to do nothing but write. I learned a lot about writing in general, and specifically that my pre-writing quirks weren’t all that unusual after all. (Thanks Professor Moore.) I learned that I could carry 15 hours in one semester as a grad student and still finish with a 4.0.

The most important lessons I learned during my second successful stint in school were self taught, but no less valuable for all that. First, I discovered that I can do whatever I want in life; I just have to imagine it. If I can think of it and believe in it, I can do it.

I learned that the only limitations are the ones I set for myself, and that’s why they’re so hard to overcome. Self-imposed obstacles can’t be avoided because I know myself too well to allow it. Once I’ve decided I can’t do Read the rest of this entry »



A Message From the Music

I was driving to work today and listening to Death Cab For Cutie on my mp3 player. Most of the trip I’m zoned out, thinking about the book I’m writing and how difficult the journey has been to get to this point. Not the writing mind you, (writing has never been what I’d call “difficult.” It’s one of the reasons I knew I was destined to do it. When someone is doing what she was made to do, it’s not “difficult,” it’s enjoyable.) but the belief I needed in myself to actually sit down and do it, to think I’d be successful.

When I say successful, I don’t mean “sell a million copies and become a NY Times Bestselling author,” though I would be fine with that, but instead, I mean creating something that I can be proud of and say, “That’s mine. I did that.” For the longest time, I couldn’t get past my own criticism. I didn’t believe I could produce something that “I” would like.

You Can Play These Songs With ChordsIt was as I was contemplating this that “Amputations” began playing. For those who don’t know, this song is framed by a speech. Part is at the beginning of the song, and the rest is at the end. The speech, more than the song, sums up how I feel about the journey I had to take, and the process I went through to get where I am today. I thought I’d share that with you.

“If we seem nutty to you, and if we seem like an oddball to you, just remember one thing: the mighty oak tree was once a nut like me.

“And I pray to God that one day, He will grant me the power to reach out, and hold my hand over you and give you instant belief. ‘Cause you don’t have instant belief. You’ve been hooked, you’ve been crooked, you’ve been lied to so many times, that you’re suspicious-minded. And when the right thing comes along, you don’t believe in it.

“When I’m coming in knocking on the front door, you’re out the back door looking for four-leaf 

clovers. And when you find it, you think somebody planted it there to fool you. ‘What’s the angle?’ You look for an excuse.

“In this modern day and age, we have instant coffee, instant tea — instant disbelief. That’s the reason we will never become anything. It is because we will never believe in ourselves. We will always listen to the mass majority. If everybody’s making fun of you and criticizing you, then you know you’re on the right track. ‘Cause most people ain’t got it.”                                                        

                                   – Glenn W. Turner

Now, if you look this dude up, you’ll find that he was a shyster and a thief, rooking people out of their money. I don’t let that bother me. One thing you learn studying literature is that the author’s intent is irrelevant to the interpretation of the work. Once something is created and let out into the world, it’s no longer owned by the creator. It becomes a living thing all its own. People who read it, watch it, see it will formulate their own

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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Personal Revelations


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