What Happened While My Computer Was Broken Part 1

For once the space between posts was not because of my neglect or lack of material. My computer died and I recently got another. It was quite terrible timing because much was happening and I wanted so badly to write. But maybe it was God, removing distractions so that I would lean into Him even more.

These months have been a bit crazy. I went from having no life to so much happening I’ve barely been able to keep up. Hard, wonderful, painful, exhilarating, devastating, deeply moving, deeply uncomfortable, and yet so so good. It’s been a bit of everything all at once. I won’t go into it all, but I will tell you that creatively I’m trying new things and loving it. I’m writing, I’m collaborating, I’m branching out. I went dancing last night! I’ve got social things on my calendar and am being invited to hang out with new people. I feel alive!

Now: Got to catch you up on the fellas because, hello, this blog is about my singleness.


What Happened with GQ


I went on two dates with GQ. The first was very short (we had lunch on our lunchbreaks), very nervous, and very polite. At the end he walked me to my car and as I turned to get in I said, “Ok see you later,” out of habit…which would not have been a big deal except that my brain freaked out and I started backpedaling like an awkward dork.

“…Or not! I mean…uh!” My panic spread to him like an epidemic.

“I mean…I enjoyed talking to you…” he said, looking stricken.

“No obligation or anything, Ok bye!” I got in my car and squeezed shut my eyes. When he’d walked away enough I put my forehead on my steering wheel and groaned, “What the hell, Ace!” I was certain I wasn’t going to hear from him after that.

But I did. He asked for another date.

The second one was a lot of fun and he kept the date going. Like, we had lunch and did some outdoorsy things, finally got past our polite nervousness, and then on the way back he asked me if I wanted dinner. And after that he asked if I wanted ice cream. By ice cream we were FINALLY comfortable enough to be a little flirty. He drove me to my car and I expressed that I had a great day and said, “be in touch.” To which he said nothing. So I left and then I never heard from him. It was really strange. A bit disappointing, too. But at least the date was nice.

But guys…he was a freaking INFP. OF FREAKING COURSE! I can’t escape them, even when someone else picks them out for me. What the heck. So at the end of it all I am perfectly okay with it not working out. The friend who set us up said she didn’t think he was ready for a relationship after his last one. That was the last date I’ve been on and it was in October.

 


What Happened with Brynjolf


 

An excerpt from my diary at some point near the end of November:

Brynjolf – ugh…what a scam artist idiot genius. Good looks were probably the worst thing that ever happened to him. But damn, if he isn’t hot. Damn if I’m not tempted to look at him and seek his attention. He’s still willing to give it. I think he definitely has goals of making me a conquest at least in my wanting him. Freaking mesmerizing like a snake about to strike. But goooooosh if we wouldn’t be pretty together. It’s so shallow, I know. Keep repeating: He’s a f***boy, he’s a f***boy, he’s a f***boy. He’s not doing this because he wants to pursue who you are and connect with you for real. He’s doing it for his ego and the challenge. Effing poopface. And he interrupts and controls everything. Yeah, Ace…more of those thoughts! He interrupted Christy and then KEPT GOING AFTER EVERYONE CALLED HIM OUT! So, not only did he not notice she was talking, he then continued to make his point even after realizing he’d interrupted her, and this was despite everyone calling him out on it! WHO DOES THAT!?

About three weeks after I wrote this the following happened:

In class Teacher calls me up first and then calls Brynjolf and when I turn around to look at him I’m not prepared for how good he looks. He is so attractive and I get super flustered. In the exercise I should have just say what is going on but I can hardly function. Afterwards he apologizes for making me uncomfortable and I interrupt and say, “No. I was being a chicken. You’re attractive and it threw me and I didn’t do good work. Obviously.”

“Oh,” he says, taken aback.

“What, like you don’t know,” I say, incredulous.

“I don’t really think of myself that way,” he replies.

I still don’t quite believe that. All his flexing Gaston-esque behavior would prove the contrary. But that day it was acknowledged that I am attracted to him. Grrrrr. Also that day we planned to have class on Christmas Eve because enough of us said we’d be able to attend.

Then, the next night, I saw him work with Al in Meisner. What Al brought could only be dealt with honestly. Brynjolf was real. And kind. And fighting for him. Al’s pain had me in tears. We were all feeling it. Brynjolf was in tears, too. It was one of those classes that was very intense and kind of a bonding experience. After class Brynjolf and I didn’t say anything but just hugged.

Later that week I hung out with a group of friends from class. I played a song for them I’d just written and Brynjolf and Gypsy both exclaimed, “WHAT!?” when I’d finished because they’d never heard my voice. Later, Gypsy invited herself and some others and I to go with him to take his dog for a walk. He was quiet that night, maybe had something going on. I did check in with him when Gypsy was gone from the room, since she’d kind of steamrolled him into bringing us along. I think he appreciated that.

Cut to the following Monday, Christmas Eve:

I’m the first to arrive. Yes, I’d made an effort to look good that day and the effort was successful. My teacher starts listing the people who could no longer make it. We start talking about what we’ll do if no one else shows. And then Brynjolf walks in. I am simultaneously terrified and excited. What, oh, what will this class be like. Just me, him, and Teacher.

First, Brynjolf unfolds a chair for me, which I confuse by thinking he is going to sit in it, then realize he’s being gentlemanly and appreciate it. After the confusion we sit and I’m calm and collected at first. He comments something about my appearance and an expression I make and I consider if it was true.

(I’ll show you how the exercise goes with these two lines)

He says, “I don’t like that I’m making you get in your head.”

I say, “You don’t like that you’re making me get in my head.”

He says, “I don’t like that I’m making you get in your head.”

I say, “You don’t like that you’re making me get in my head.”

Then I say, “If I’m in my head that’s on me, not you.”

He repeats, “If you’re in your head that’s on you, not me.”

I repeat, “If I’m in my head that’s on me, not you.”

He repeats, “If you’re in your head that’s on you, not me.”

(from here on out assume we repeat every line at least twice unless I say otherwise)

He gestures back and forth between us, indicating our proximity, “I don’t like you feeling uncomfortable because of me.”

I repeat, “You don’t like me feeling uncomfortable because of you.” We both know we’re talking about me being uncomfortable with my attraction to him.

We repeat again and I say, “Come on, you have to at least find it flattering.”

He doesn’t repeat but says strongly and with gravity, “No.”

“No,” I repeat and then he adds to it, “No, I don’t. Screw flattery. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable.” We repeat and he is intense about it in a way that makes me believe him. He sees me accept what he’s said.

I say, “I’m having to throw some things out.” (Meaning ideas about him that were not from what I was getting in that moment). At this he looks visibly relieved, like that is all he’s wanted for months and months. Like he’s been holding his breath and just waiting for me to let go of this filter through which I always saw him.

Teacher has us do a different exercise and my emotions get stirred up and then after that he has us work again off each other. Brynjolf gives me this look and shakes his head.

“Why are you shaking your head,” I ask.

“You’re just so,” he hesitates then awkwardly adds, “Calm.”

Teacher interjects, “Tell him, ‘You said calm but what were you going to say,” so I say that. Brynjolf immediately blushes and gets flustered when he repeats. He laughs this laugh that…augh it is just the most genuine and adorably sexy laugh.

“I loved that laugh,” I say, no holds barred. We repeat and then I say, coy and confident, “But anyway I’m just so…?” Again he gets all bashful, for once he’s feeling how I feel!

“You’re just so…You look really good.”

“Oh, do go on,” I joke, brushing my hair off my shoulders in mock smugness. We both laugh and our laughter breaks the tension. I quickly find myself getting shy again because he’s giving me some looks. Usually when he’s giving those looks he’s doing it with his fake hot guy persona and it’s just annoying and stupid, like Flynn Ryder’s “smolder”. But he is being the new, more genuine version of himself and giving me this look that makes me so nervous. Remember, the exercise we do is repetition with the aim of saying what is true to you in that moment. In that moment it is right that we acknowledge that I’m flustered.

“You’re getting shy again,” he says and I cover my face and then retreat into the hood of my coat.

“Aaand, now your gonna hide.”

“Now I’m gonna hide! Yes! I’m bashful!”

“You’re bashful,” he repeats and then stands up and moves away.

“No, don’t leave. Dang it, I… I didn’t want you to…” I fumble out.

“I want to know what’s behind this,” he says.

“Behind my fear,” I say, knowing he’s referring to how nervous and scared I get with flirty or romantic or sexually charged stuff.

“Behind your fear.” He sits back down, “I think it’s bigger than just me.”

I repeat, nodding my head.

Then I say, “I hold that part of myself very closely. I don’t fall or give very easily.”

“It’s important to you.”

“Yes, it’s important to me.”

Then, him sitting across from me, but the chair pulled close, he looks in my eyes and solemnly says, “I wish you would let me in.”

I repeat, thinking, Is that not what I’m doing right now!?

“I don’t know what you want,” I say, meaning what is he asking of me that I’m not already giving? He repeats and then I change and ask more directly, “What do you want?”

“What do I want,” his repetition makes it clear he’s asking himself.

He shakes his head and then says, “I don’t want anything but you. Just you. Just as you are.”

Ok, NOT what I was expecting at all. It took me a second to take that in.

“Woah,” I said, closing my eyes and trying to let it sink in.

“Woah,” he repeats after a pause. Eventually I look at him again as we repeat. Suddenly everything from this moment forward is really emotionally charged.

He says, “I feel like you are really seeing me for the first time.”

“I’m sorry you didn’t feel like that until now,” I say sincerely and after we repeat I say, “But also you are so open.”

He leans forward and puts his hands on the outsides of my knees and I put mine on his wrists. We sit in the moment until it ends, then he sits back and rests his mouth and chin on his clasped hands, elbows on knees. It is a pose that is similar but not exact to what he used to do as a defense mechanism when he first started the class. But everything about him is different now.

I gesture to his posture, “Woah, that just took me back to the very beginning.”

He comprehends what I mean and is super effected by it, eyes welling up.

“That really got you,” I say, concerned. I indicate I want to know what’s going on, “Good? bad?”

“It made me feel all sorts of things!”

“What’s the bad,” I ask. He can’t repeat and I stand and do my best to hug him as he stays seated.

I sit back down and he looks at me and says, “It’s just been a journey.” I repeat, nodding, agreeing.

“For you and for me.” I smile.

Teacher stops us there. Afterwards the three of us talk about our Christmas plans. Brynjolf and I are pleasant but also understand that what happens in the exercise is left there. It’s like a bubble where you work with what pulls you, so anything goes except physical harm, and then you leave it there. Contained. Occasionally stuff happens where you might feel the need to follow up with the person afterward…if things got ugly and you want to clear the air. Or sometimes if something was really touching you might want to thank that person. But, if, for example, two people were flirty or even kissed in the exercise, it wouldn’t be right for either to assume something was going to happen between them outside the exercise. It’s a weird thing, really, because you cannot help but be affected. The goal is to be truthful, and you can really see the best and worst of people so you can’t help but be affected by what you see or experience.

So it would be foolish of me to think that Brynjolf had feelings for me just because of what happened, but likewise I couldn’t help but be affected by it and feel closer to him than I had prior.

That Meisner exercise, on Christmas Eve 2018, was like a beautiful little snow globe. Contained, but lovely to witness and stir up the memory. Just being seen and knowing he also felt seen, the gift of his openness and vulnerability, and the ability to let myself be open in return, was beautiful. And the fact that he was affected by my beauty, that he blushed, well…that was nice, too. My heart was full. I went home and wrote a song on my piano that sounded the way I felt.

Now…I won’t lie (confessions and all that), I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I knew that I needed to, that he’s not what I’m looking for. That he’s done absolutely nothing in real life to warrant it except annoyingly demand my attention and possess a body and voice I find unfortunately and painfully attractive. But he started to be on my mind a lot after that. I thought he was an idiot for putting on those fake personas all the time because the real him is pretty dang likable. Now the problem was I witnessed the real him that I’ve always known was under there and liked what I saw.

The next week, New Years Eve, our class was only me, Brynjolf, and two other guys. Brynjolf and I were a little flirty in the exercise. Afterwards the four of us decided to go to a park where we walked and talked. Brynjolf invited us to a New Years party that night at our friend’s house. Then Brynjolf, Al, and I went to food and he and I talked about our families and other more personal things while Al listened silently in true Al fashion.  It was nice to get to know Brynjolf more personally. He’s not stupid and he doesn’t lack substance. He just isn’t good at being real. More on this later.

He drives us back to the house where our class meets…the house where Shanks lives…and see none other than Shanks in the driveway. I have this odd moment where Brynjolf and Shanks are talking and I realize that I’ve never experienced two men who are taking up space in my brain being in the same place at the same time. Having a conversation. And I’m not considering Brynjolf as an option, but…I mean we’ve had some interactions and I’m attracted to him so he’s in there.

I ask Shanks if he’s going to the party and he says he’s not sure because he was invited to two things. I urge him to do both and he’s a bit noncommittal about it. It is established that people are dressing up.

I go home, get dressed in my beautiful new dress and do my hair and makeup. I look quite good if I may say so myself. Some dude at the gas station confirms this. He compliments my dress and my shoes and my hair. It’s a rare occasion where he is respectful in his compliments and not catcalling. So that gives me a little pre-party boost which is useful to an introvert. Also, I was sick the whole week prior and had spent so much time alone my introvert battery was completely charged and I’m feeling social.

On my way to the party, though, I do start to freak out a little. I have no idea if everyone would be midnight kissing each other at this party or what, and, as you guys know, I’ve never kissed anyone except my best friend when I was 9 which doesn’t count. I’m not sure what might happen. Brynjolf is going to be there and for all I know he might go for it once we’d all shouted our “Happy New Year!”s. And I am of two minds.

Moving has opened up my life in so many good ways. I’m trying new things, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and trying not to play it so safe as I did. This does not mean I’m suddenly reckless or unwise. It just means I’m getting off the bench and playing in the actual game of life. And in regard to relationships I have started to question whether certain ideas I’ve stuck to are motivated by wisdom or fear. When I’m on my deathbed will I be happy that, when granted the opportunity to kiss Brynjolf at midnight on New Years Eve, I did? Or will I wish I hadn’t?

Part of me crying, “Yes! Life is short! Seize the day! Live your life and experience it! Stop being afraid and just do!” and the other part, the idealistic dreamer in me fighting back, “You want better than a kiss from that guy at New Years. You want a kiss that means something. You want it all. And it will be worth waiting for.”

“Not if I’m dead first, wishing I’d taken more opportunities to experience life.”

“It’s not who you are. It’s not true to you. You are just feeling vulnerable right now because things have been so hard lately.”

“But it is there. Maybe it is true to me and I’m just scared.”

I call my cousin on the way. She gives me some great advice that is totally a no-brainer but helps me immensely.

“Just pray. God knows your heart and He knows what you need. And either way don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll be fine.”

So I do.

See, I’ve always thought that Brynjolf paid me attention as an ego boost. Like, because I didn’t want him it he took on the challenge for his own amusement and pride. And yes, I saw signs of him being intrigued by me, maybe even attracted, but not enough for him to act on it outside of class and actually spend time or try to get to know me much. But the past two weeks made me open to the idea that he could actually have feelings of some sort for me, or in his own way he did actually care about me to some extent. But I also knew that he’s pretty freaking good at manipulation and if he’s viewing me as a challenge, maybe he just knows that being genuine is the only thing that works on me so he started doing it more. Showing me what I wanted to see. And while they may be genuine parts of him, they’re only the parts he thinks I’ll like.

So in my car, I pray that God would make it clear. I pray that if Brynjolf really was a player that I would see it and not waste any more time thinking about this guy because it’s not good for me.

When I arrive I see that Shanks decided to come. He says I look really good, which is super nice considering our awkward history, and then we get shy and he goes and joins a group of people while I speak with some of my friends. He takes his leave not long after that and I tell him I’m sorry I didn’t get to speak with him more but I’m glad he decided to come.

Quite a few people really like me at this party! I have a pretty good time and it makes me think back to when I was a kid and made a friend wherever I went. Brynjolf shows up a while later and doesn’t pay me special attention. That is, until a bit later.

I’m in the study with a couple I just met and she and I are chatting and talking about being creative. I tell them about the novel I’ve written but haven’t published and not long after Brynjolf makes his way in. He sits back against the bookshelf ladder in this modely pose and he’s wearing these stupid fake glasses that I hate because why wear glasses that aren’t real? Especially when you have beautiful eyes? Stupid.

He does some song and dance introducing himself to my new friends where he gives her a fake name and I just shake my head and roll my eyes. They joke and she says, “Ace was just telling me she’s written a book. Did you know that?”

“I didn’t but I’m not surprised. Nothing would surprise me with this girl. She’s super talented.” He meets my eyes with one of those self-assured looks.

What is your game, sir?  I think while taking it in and then utter a modest thank you.

Someone else joins and the conversations are split. Brynjolf and I don’t talk much. I do notice that he’s talking to this girl I don’t know. Then, when the countdown happens we all go outside. I’m on the porch with another guy with whom I’ve been making friends and Brynjolf appears nearby. I’m slightly worried, unsure what’s about to happen.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!” They immediately set off fireworks and everyone claps and cheers for the fireworks and no one is kissing! I internally wipe my brow. I turn and say happy new year to people around me and I reach and hug Brynjolf. For a brief moment I pull back and he looks at me, and I know he’s waiting to see if I’M going to kiss HIM. Nope. Won’t be me making the moves, buddy.

A few minutes later when everyone has dispersed into the house again I have a moment of sadness that I’m with none of my closest friends. I walk to take a second by myself and unknowingly pass Brynjolf who is again talking to that girl.

“Hey, you ok?” He asks, loudly.

“Uh…yeah,” I say, not really wanting to have a pity party in front of him and a stranger.

“You just looked a little sad,” he says, still at full volume and still over with her. Did he expect me to spill my feelings? Was he wanting to know if I was sad that he was talking to her and not to me?

“I’m okay,” I lie. I go to an empty room to gather my thoughts and rally.

Looking back I wonder what would have happened if I’d said, “Yeah, I’m a little sad.” But you only live once and you can’t go back so I’ll only ever know that he and the girl disappeared not long after that. That I heard from a different part of the house someone laugh and yell, “Ooo! Someone is having sexy-times in there!” That I didn’t see them again that night. The party was beginning to devolve into capital P Partying and I knew it was my cue to go. I got home around 2:00am or so, feeling a bit better that my suspicions of Brynjolf were confirmed and I could truly put him out of my mind. IF he was truly interested in me it wasn’t enough for him to not go hook up with a sure thing. And that is a big IF. I really do think he likes playing the game of having the ladies come to him. He likes the challenge. It feeds his ego. I do think he actually likes me as a person. I think he has some affection for me. But in regard to the flirting…nope. To him I think I’m an ego-boost, amusement or a conquest. So that night I got home, thanking God for helping me be clear on what kind of guy he really is. And then I get a text from him.

Him: Did you make it home safe

Me: Yeah. You?

Him: Not yet

Wow. I was a bit miffed. He and I don’t text, by the way. Like…dude…you’re going to be hooking up with some girl and then act all concerned about me!? And then essentially brag that you are still out doing God-knows-what. Mmmmhmmm, yeah I see what you’re doing. See, because you want me to pay attention to you but you don’t actually want to have a conversation. You want to butt-in on my conversations but only to be heard and never to listen. You want to point out my sadness but it’s to make yourself look good or you’d have come over instead of yelling it across the room in front of a stranger. You compliment me, trying to prove you see me, but only so that I’ll come to you. Never the other way around.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the cue for the theme-song:

Nooooo Onnnne shoots like Gaston
Makes those beauts like Gaston
Then goes tromping around wearing boots like Gaston
I use antlers in all of my decorating…

So, at last I was able to put him away in my mind. He’s not after me for real so I let it go. NOT that I could act on it even if he was because he’s not what I’m looking for (namely a man who actually loves God and who is not an egotistical player), but attraction is a thing, and the possibility of him having real feelings made that thing more of a thing. If you know what I mean. And now that I know he has no real feelings I can put that thing to rest.

The past couple times I’ve seen him I’ve realized that we can be fond of each other and just live in that state of fondness. I’m ok with that. The biggest thing that has helped that I keep having to go back to is to see him with God’s eyes. He needs the love of God and that love isn’t out to use him as he has always been used and has used other people. I don’t want to use him. I want him to see God’s love through me and that means I have to work to not objectify him or see what I can get out of him. I keep asking God for that perspective. It’s honestly hard to maintain.

 

PS. This was the most piecemeal writing process for a post. I wrote this over some weeks on varying computers. Since the last paragraph I’ve seen Brynjolf a few times and can say he’s no longer in my head. I am fond of him but don’t give two craps about what he thinks of me so we can actually be friends in the casual use of the term. I’ve really seen him change under the influence of love and acceptance and I hope he continues to find healing. He needs Jesus for that, I’d appreciate prayers for him and for me and the other Christians in his life.

PPS. I missed you guys.

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Nicknames

In my blog you might run across quite a number of monikers I’ve invented for people. I’ve decided to compile a useful list for you and I to reference so that I’m not having to re-describe people.

Old Friends

  • Reader – was my best friend from childhood through college. Our friendship was always a bit contentious and competitive, and we reached a point where I confronted at last all the ways we were unhealthy and we made peace but then both went our separate ways. I haven’t communicated with her in years but it is for the best. Married to Gamer.
  • Charmer – Friend since 8th grade. Have never known her to be single (much to my frustration because I think it would do her a world of good) and is fun-loving and kinda crazy. Super extraverted, she charms everyone she meets and knows how to flirt. I often envied her abilities growing up. Still see her occasionally.
  • Lara – College roommate who turned out to be a crappy friend and is married to George (The Unrequited Love Saga holds the details).

Current, Regular Friends

  • Dreamer – Another friend from 8th grade. Our friendship was similar to Anne and Diana’s in Anne of Green Gables. We were huge nerds with our heads in the clouds, pretending to be in Lord of the Rings, etc. My oldest and dearest friend to this day. We tend to have ups and downs but we always choose to stick it out and work through it, which makes our friendship strong and precious, even if we are at each others throats at times. She pushes me in ways I need to be pushed and I appreciate her insight and her care. She and her husband, Irishman, hosted the small group that caused a lot of growth in me and gave me opportunities to meet new people. Through her I also was introduced to the acting class I’m currently taking. I moved to the city to be part of the community to which she introduced me.
  • Irishman – Dreamer’s husband and a good guy.
  • Bushbaby – The closest friend of this past, long season, of my life. One of my besties. Roommates for years, ministry partners for years. Caring, giving, fun, and really good at loving people and accepting them fully. Sometimes overindulgent, she’s the person you go to for comfort and encouragement. A safe space.
  • Logicat – Friend since college, we roomed together for a time. This very thinky lady gets in her head quite a bit. Beautiful, fun, strong, morally black and white and a little vain, Logicat and I are still friends even though she moved far away.
  • K-pop – My current roommate, loves K-pop, actress, INFJ, blessedly devoted to the Lord and focusing on her personal growth. Quiet but feisty. Answer to prayer. Gives motivational speeches with great feeling.

Les Dudes of the Past

  • Gamer – Met him at camp the summer before my freshman year of college. We had feelings for each other my freshman year until I realized I wasn’t attracted to him but we became close again our junior year when he and Reader and I were inseparable. They surprised me when she told me they were dating and then I was the third wheel for a long time. They got married and then when she and I parted I lost him, too, which really stunk. I still miss him. He was, and still is, one of my favorite people and a friend I really loved.
  • George – The unrequited love from college. The biggest and most painful crush I ever had. I had feelings for him, he had feelings for Lara. They are married now.
  • Puzzles – Went on a handful of dates during my short stint online dating. INFP who had no clue how to take initiative. Nice guy but we were a snooze fest together.
  • Smiley – Last guy of the failed online dating experiment. We went on 6 dates total and when I ended it he blew up at me and then an hour later texted me that he loved me. Noooooooooooooooooo. Staaaahhhppppp. Emotionally immature and not a good personality fit.
  • Male Ace – Ok so this one was the last guy I sort of dated. It wasn’t enough of a big deal for me to even write a post about it at the time. We spent time together to see if there might be something more than friendship but also we just wanted to get to know each other because we had a lot in common. It was such a good experience because Male Ace had his crap together so much more than the other bad experiences I had up to that point. Turned out we were the same personality type and we were waaaaaayyy too similar in a not good way. We didn’t compliment. We were redundant. Neither of us knew how to take us closer or if we should or if we even wanted to so in the end we mutually agreed there was nothing more than friendship and we were both okay and happy with that decision. It was cool getting to know someone so similar to me. It was also identity-crisis-inducing. But he’s an excellent guy and I hope to hang out with him again at some point soon.

Les Dudes of the Present

  • Shanks – Met through Dreamer a few years ago. She suggested him as an option. He snubbed me when we first met and I really didn’t like him for a long while. I now think he’s beautifully attractive, kind, an introverted thinker, talented, driven, and a man of character who loves people and God. Though some of his people skills are still lacking…at least where I’m concerned.
  • Falk – Met the same time I met Shanks. One of the most confident, warm, fun, and natural born leaders I’ve ever met. Had a crush on him for a while before realizing we wouldn’t be well-suited. The Lord used a conversation with Falk to confirm my move to the city. He’s a great dude. So handsome too!
  • Brynjolf – Non-Christian in my acting class who is determined to have my attention probably because his “charms” don’t work on me. I won’t lie, if he would be himself instead of putting on an act I’d be a little tempted on a mere physical level because he’s hot. Like…gorgeous pale golden eyes, and a really nice look. But he knows it. And I’m a being with higher thought-processes and some self-control.
  • Knight – Non-Christian in my acting class who has a gorgeous smile and a personality that can make a person melt. I fall in love with him over and over, but only in the context of the acting class. In real life he’s not what I’m looking for, but dang if he loved Jesus…I’d marry the crap outa that guy and have lots of his babies.
  • Drake – Christian guy from acting class. INFP who has started making some music with me. Physically so… flipping… fine!  I would have been head over heels two years ago, but, having grown, I want someone who compliments my strengths and weaknesses instead of sharing them. He’s a sexy, muscly, lumberjack who is actually made of rainbows, puppies, and unicorns on the inside. Basically my INFP idealistic daydreaming is even worse in him and we’d never do ANYTHING with our lives.
  • GQ – Met at an art show through a mutual friend who wanted to set us up. He’s either reserved or very hesitant and nervous so far, and I can’t read him. Comes off as cool..both in his edgy style and his demeanor. Very put-together and cares about his style. First impressions are that he’s a grown ass man who has his crap together. Had a short lunch where he definitely treated me well and we have plans for another date.

Potent Potential

When moving to a new place with people you don’t know super well, every attractive man is a potential future husband.

It’s like Schrodinger’s cat. I don’t know if this guy loves Jesus, has character, intelligence, anything in common with me, understands how to treat women, or is even single. But while in the midst of all these new possibilities he has the potential to be all these things.

Which means that even though I know that time will reveal the reasons for vetoing them as a romantic possibility, before I discover those reasons I’m in this exciting place where I feel like the Bachelorette or something.

Key differences between me and the Bachelorette:

  1. No camera’s or script or payment
  2. We are all realistic looking human beings…well…I am a realistic looking human being. Some of these men are rather exceptional looking in my opinion.
  3. No amazing, all-expenses-paid dates
  4. Reality not Reality TV
  5. These men are not vying for my favor (only Brynjolf has actually acted interested, but in what exactly is still a mystery).

Ok so I did say I feel like the bachelorette, not that I am in a similar situation. I feel like this:

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When really I’m just this:

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MY POINT is, right now I’m in this lovely phase of having multiple guys to consider and it’s just so nice after years in the desert. I’m in the pool! The possible dating pool! And the water is fine. I know this won’t last so I’m enjoying it while I can. And heck, even if none of them look my way at least I can interact with some.

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I am going with a friend to an event this Saturday where she’s introducing me to someone. So set-ups are happening! I’ll try to update after I meet him!

There is another guy I have to nickname. Drake was in the very first acting class I ever attended and I immediately was taken aback by how FLIPPING GORGEOUS he was. When Dreamer asked me if I noticed anyone I was like, “Well, duh. Drake of course is so hot.”

“Drake!? Seriously!?” She was obviously confused and startled that I thought so.

“Wait…you mean you don’t think he’s beautiful?”

“No…I mean, he’s ok I guess but…really?”

I couldn’t believe she didn’t think so, she couldn’t believe I did. It was bizarre. He’s tall, fit, and handsome. He’s got the hot lumberjack look, for which I am a sucker. Kind eyes. SWOON.

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She said she didn’t think he was driven enough for me. Too passive. I think I’ve mentioned that I do trust her intuition from learned experience. Not that she’s an infallible source of knowledge but I do put a lot of store in her input because she knows me and she’s good at knowing what people need. So I let it go, and saw for myself a little of what she meant. He does seem like a more passive person, which has been an issue with all the guys I’ve dated and I’m sick of it. So I let it go and haven’t crushed. Through class I did get the sense that he is VERY kind and caring and a genuine person.

One of the first times I got to hang out with class people outside of class I was getting ready to leave. He and I had never spoken at that point and he was headed to his car and called out to me, “Hey! I’m glad you came tonight and I’m really glad you are in our class!” It was just so nice, especially since I definitely felt like the new kid who didn’t quite belong there, and he was just really warm and sweet. It meant a lot.

Since I moved he’s been posting videos of himself singing and I reached out to to see if he wanted make some music together and he agreed. I had such a good time! We were on the same page with what we wanted to do. It sounded beautiful. Our voices go well together and so do our styles. And in the midst of collaborating he saw my DVD’s and we spent at least 20 minutes nerding out together. We like so much of the same stuff!

Because, it turns out, he’s an INFP, too, ding dang it!

I’m not that disappointed because I’d love for us to be friends and can see us being good friends. Plus, Dreamer isn’t wrong that he might be too passive. I’ve dated two INFP’s and flirted with another and the problem is that we are just too dang passive and no one takes the lead in the relationship so it never progresses. But the initial draw is there because we have so much in common. Too much, it turns out, to be good partners…at least in my experience so far which is not everything.

I’m not going to veto someone based on their myers-briggs type, don’t worry. But it does add some perspective that he and I probably are not going to be a thing. There is one vast difference, though, to him and the other INFP’s I dated. I’m actually attracted to him. With Puzzles and the other guy I thought I’d give it a shot and see if attraction grew. I already know that I am definitely attracted to Drake. And he has such a presence of safety. Like…I could be in a terrifying situation and him just showing up would help immensely. He’s steadying like that. And he could really go after someone he wanted if he felt strongly enough. We INFP’s hold back until we feel that it is right to give all. And then I think we truly give all of ourselves. So maybe it could happen if it was right.

Again…no one has asked me for a date so really it’s silly I’m spending this much time thinking about it. But it has been on my mind and if anything were to happen I’d love to be able to look back.

One last thing.

Today I (almost literally) ran into someone I’ve mentioned on this blog before and he took me by surprise. This guy, like no other, gets me all out of sorts. I don’t know what to do with it because I rarely have strong emotions towards people, and hardly ever are they instant. I have a large neutral zone. But this guy has always caused a strong reaction in me (can’t tell if its hate or love or both but it IS SOMETHING!) and it just throws me! I nicknamed him Shanks when I wrote about him in the three posts: here, here, and here back in March-June of 2016. There have been tiny developments since I last mentioned him so long ago, but nothing concrete.

New Season, New Home, and some Male Attention!?

Hello my fellow horny Christians! Or lonely single Christians! Or Christian who’s friend just told you that they struggle with masturbating and you want to read up to know how to encourage them. Or curious non-Christians. Or perverts looking to get off and somehow ended up here and are very confused. Whoever you are: Welcome. I’m glad you are here and I send hugs from my new home Ambiguous City.

After months of praying, prepping, finding a roommate, searching, searching, crying because finding an affordable and SAFE place to live seemed impossible, SEARCHING more, and finally finding a place…. I am officially living in the city! My new roommate is a godsend and this location is close to everything but just away from the hubbub for both of us introverts to not be overwhelmed.

Today I finally was able to go to a coffee shop and work on my book, just like I envisioned, and I took a walk around the town center, got a Library card (the Library is beautiful!), and got to hang out with my cousin who lives near me and with whom I’m excited to grow closer. My roommate and I do yoga (which I love by the way), I’ve already lost weight by changing my diet and being more active, and I’ve taken another part time job cleaning houses. I’m still commuting to my church job, but eventually I will phase out of that, too. Not sure what my next career will be yet, but I’m content to have a few gig jobs for a while to keep my schedule freer.

After missing about a month due to moving insanity, I resumed my acting class last week.  Ok so I have to admit that two posts ago I wrote a poem about how you can, in seconds,  build an entire world of possibilities in your mind just from one brief moment with someone. You long to experience certain moments or conversations with someone, share certain words and have specific feelings in those moments, and in one instant the person before you fills in the blank of those desired moments and you can see it all.

Well, the poem was inspired by this guy in acting class…the first time I saw him work I thought, Holy crap, I’m in love with him! Who is that! And then I had to remind myself that I wasn’t actually in love with him, but seeing a man be vulnerable and open the way class requires is SUUUPER rare in real life, and insanely attractive when it reveals a caring heart.

This guy, hmmm I guess I’ll call him Knight because he reminds me of medieval castles, Scottish warriors, and cozy studies filled with books and smelling of leather. He has gorgeous green eyes. I’m SUCH a sucker for green eyes. He’s certainly got em! He also has dimples. He’s a little skinny, his ears kind of stick out, and he doesn’t shave his beard to the correct line (see below), but when he smiles at you it’s heart-stopping.

(Let me interject a grooming PSA here. Beard lines. So many bad beard lines!

Staaahp! Instead trim to this neckline! To the crease right above your adam’s apple and no higher!

You’re welcome.)

ANYWAYS

Aside from Dreamer, Knight is the most advanced person in our class, which means he’s so good at reading people, is comfortable with himself and with being honest that he’s confident and doesn’t bullcrap, and he is skilled at putting words to what is happening. Which means when you are paired with him it’s super intimidating because it’s like he can see right through you and isn’t afraid to say exactly what he sees. The fact that I find him attractive most of the time makes it even worse since I’m so shy with guys. Last fall in one of the first few classes I took he intimidated me so I asked him to sit beside me and the girl in the exercise with us was crushed because she thought it was me wanting him close and not her.

“No no! I’m comfortable with you. Him being directly across from me was too much.”

She still didn’t get it. “He scares the crap out of me, you don’t. I’m comfortable with you.”

She still didn’t get it.

“It’s because he’s a man!” I finally said, exasperated.

Then he was really upset.

“I hate that I scare you!”

Feeling so frustrated that they were taking everything the wrong way, I laid my hand on his wrist, “I’m not physically-threatened-scared,” then I said with meaning, “I care what you think.”

The light went on and he finally got it, then he kindly acknowledged, “That was very brave of you to say.”

I was so upset and embarrassed, like I had to out my own feelings and insecurities because I was hurting both of them in their confusion. Before then I would never have expressed that willingly. But I was supposed to operate in what was true and not bullcrap, and right then the truest thing was that I’d rather sacrifice my pride and comfort than allow them to be hurt by me. But it felt a little like taking a bullet for them at the time. And then after that Knight was a little flirty but it made me angry like he was taking advantage of my vulnerability just for his ego. I saw a childishness in him, and then I found out he probably doesn’t have the same values. So for a while I haven’t cared. Still thought he was super attractive from time to time, but not real life relationship material. But then last week in class he was just…once again overwhelmingly breath-taking. I wasn’t even doing the exercise! Just watching him work and just be himself, he was…beautiful. Inside and out. Magnetic and personally kind to people. I think everyone in the room was a little taken with him! So dreamy.

I haven’t been paired with him in a long time, and now I’m far more willing to say what I’m feeling, so I’ll let you know how that goes. Especially if I’m overtaken with heart palpitations which is highly likely.

So that’s one guy I get to interact with regularly now. I still don’t think he’s what I’m looking for in real life but interacting with him really is good practice for me. Hopefully I can learn not to be so shy and intimidated by guys I admire and I won’t resort to weather-talk.

Another worth mentioning I’ll call Brynjolf after a character from Skyrim who appears shady but has a good heart and has your back. I hope this ends up being the case with the Brynjolf from my acting class. The jury is very much still out in regards to this guy and here’s why.

He started the class a few months after I did. Everyone puts up walls that have to be torn down in the course of doing the work. It’s natural and normal to be insecure and to have some defense mechanisms. But eventually there comes a point where you stop the bull and lean into the honesty and the vulnerability. You find that, while uncomfortable, it brings freedom and power to know that you can survive the awkward or hurtful and putting your true self out there, warts and all, is not the end of the world. And what’s more, you gain being truly seen by someone and are often able to receive the gift of them giving a crap.

Brynjolf is a self-protector more than most. He started out by trying to be untouchable (he still does this sometimes) and would basically sit in a challenging posture and basically be stoic the entire time. He was super defensive and not open. One time I got frustrated and told him to stop with the wall. He loosened up and we went back and forth for a bit and then he got scared of the realness between us and put the wall back up. It was so sad and frustrating to see. Instead of getting pissed I was moved to compassion for him in that moment and teared up.

“I’m sorry for whatever happened to you that made you feel like this is necessary.” Then he teared up. Our instructor pointed out that it is better to let people in than to keep the walls up. Brynjolf explained that he’s not used to people being genuine. After that he stopped the statue thing more quickly each time he did the exercise.

But at this point he shifted to a new tactic. If he couldn’t get away with the stoic statue thing then he’d keep control by sexily smoldering his way to the “more powerful position.” And this is where I got the impression that this guy is used to dumb women fawning over him and him getting his way per his good looks. He’s not used to genuine people who have standards. He would do this thing with his eyes where it was like he was trying to look cute and he would start to do that with everyone when he felt out of control in the exercise. Well, it didn’t work on me and a couple other people in the class and he got called out for it plenty of times.

Meanwhile he’s realizing that sexy smolder-guy is getting NOWHERE with me and changes his tactic YET AGAIN so that he acts like he’s genuine and I relax a little and then he starts being flirty. UGH!!!! It’s so manipulative!

Now we are at defense tactic number 3 or 4! For the love, dude! Just be real already! By now he’s been taking the class for months and still treats it like a power-struggle game. He’s preventing himself from learning and growing as an actor and he’s muddying the work with ego.

When not doing the exercise he was awkward and a bit standoffish. Did not strike me as a super outgoing person. During the move I missed quite a few weeks. But one of the weeks I was able to go my new roommate was able to go with me. He and I were paired and he seemed surprisingly open and relaxed. She said that he was far more comfortable with me than anyone else in the class. And before class he and I chatted and he seemed genuinely happy to see me. He complimented my shirt. I thought Hmmm, you’re trying to butter me up so you can manipulate me if we are paired. I know that sounds very paranoid but you should see this guy in action. I wouldn’t put it past him.

Missed about 3 weeks of class while moving and then went back two weeks ago. He sat next to me and complimented my shoes. Mmmmhmmm, I thought, There he goes again. Then he does the exercise with Knight and is just the biggest jerk! And he got away with it which was infuriating to me because Knight can usually catch the bull crap and call it out. Brynjolf comes and sits back down next to me and I’m annoyed with him for being a jerk, my opinion of him has lowered. I’m sitting back in my chair with my legs crossed and my arms crossed, and he is sitting forward with his elbows on his knees. Then, for who knows what reason, he turns his head and blatantly scans UP ME and then gives me a freaking UPNOD!!! With eyebrows!

I did this:

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So then last week (the week I fell in fake love with Knight again) I didn’t sit near Brynjolf, and we weren’t paired together for the exercise at all. But theres this younger girl who has a whopping and obvious crush on him who was flirting with him during the exercise. You are supposed to have all your attention on the people you are working with. The rest of us watch in the audience. Well, as she’s awkwardly flirting with him, his eyes keep freaking darting to me. In the audience. Like, he’s conscious of what I’m thinking of the exchange.

I went outside right after class to make a phone call. As I’m trying to contact the person he comes out, closely followed by Lil’ Crushy McGee, closely followed by the rest of our class. As soon as he steps out the door he starts rambling about this cat that is near me…and I mean rambling. Right then my friend calls and I answer, walking back into the house through the people. As soon as I say hello Brynjolf cuts off his rambling and I realize he was talking specifically to me. Not to ‘Lil Crushy or the rest of the people there.

I make my phone call and go back outside. Only two people are still there: Brynjolf, walking in circles and half paying attention to ‘Lil Crushy who is desperately trying to have a conversation with him. I walk past them and say, “Have a good week, guys!”

“Uh, nice talking to you!” Brynjolf sarcasts (not a word but should be) dramatically, portraying great offense. Ok, so he’s waiting for me, then?

“Hello, how are you, how was your week?” I say placatingly, like jeez.

“No no! You have somewhere to be.”

“I’m not in a rush, Brynjolf. I can talk for a minute,” I say calmly and kindly. His entire demeanor changes. Suddenly this guy is way more animated and outgoing than I’ve ever seen him. I ask him what he has going on. (At some point in this Lil’ Crushy left) He tells me he has auditions and just got booked for this role as a viking chieftain.

“You know, so it’s all like, ‘I fight with the power of Odin!'” in this crazy macho voice complete with muscle-flexing like this

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Me:

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I don’t know what to do right now!

Then he proceeds to ask me questions about myself and is very attentive and enthusiastic and we have a pretty good conversation for like 10 minutes. Then we part and I’m just shook. He obviously has some interest considering he stayed behind to talk to me and his body language was eager. Plus the weird looking at me during the exercise and the random awkward flirting.

So yesterday I had class and again we weren’t paired, but the only open seat was next to him again because I was late. At one point he let out this giant sigh through his nose and I turned to look at him and he gave me a nice smile. Not weird. Just nice and genuine.

Then when we were taking a break he complimented Knight’s pants and then said, “I couldn’t wear those probably because my thighs have more… GIRTH.” and gestures toward his leg but also way too close to his crotch to be 1) using that word and 2) emphasizing it with hand gestures. I had to turn my face away to hide my shock/laughter. So awkward, dude! STAHP!

After class I asked people if they wanted to go grab a bite and he was all for it. He then proceeded to once again be obnoxiously outgoing. Tons of talking. No Listening. Like a teenage boy showing off. And based on his eye contact it seemed to be for my sake. I can feel the Jim Halpert expressions constantly on my face. I don’t know what to do with this. I’m NOT used to this sort of attention and definitely not from someone as physically attractive as this guy. But I’m also embarrassed for him because he’s being so weird!

And I don’t trust him. For all I know this is just another game to him. He likes the challenge because I don’t fall for his usual crap and it’s all ego driven.

Maybe he just wants to get in my pants.

Maybe he is actually attracted to me and really does appreciate who I am as a person.

I don’t know. I also don’t know what to do but wait it out and see, I guess. Not judging him prematurely but also not letting my loins or desire to desired do the driving. Because he is pretty so it would be tempting. So I’m praying that I see him with God’s eyes and view him as a person first, regardless of how he is viewing me.

So, like I said, jury is still out. He’s ridiculous, awkward, and has some issues for sure. I have no idea what he believes and get the sense that he has some stuff in his past he’s trying to hide, make up-for, or outrun.

But, boy is it a nice ego-boost! Puts a little pep in my step and hope in my heart that this move really is bringing opportunities and opening doors for life to happen.

 

Thanks for reading my long post!

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Cha-Cha-Changes!

Guys!!! I’m finally moving on to a new season!!!!

In the past couple of months the Lord has finally released me from this long 8-year season and has called me to move to the city.

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(No, I’m not moving to Dubai but just look at that gorgeous fantasy/sci-fi insanity! Ima pretend that that’s where I’m going on my new hovercraft with my AI bestie and robot dog.)

I’ve been restless since the fall of 2016 and have been praying and searching for over a year. I kept thinking God would reveal the next job direction for me so I was surprised when instead he gave me a place! I’m not really sure when because I have no other details yet, but probably sometime this year.

I’m both excited and terrified. It feels like freedom but also a crazy trust exercise. The Lord keeps reminding me to take one day at a time. Very Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

In November I started to take an acting class in the city with Dreamer (she’s actually an professional actor) because I felt very stuck and she recommended I try it to challenge myself. The class is this exercise for actors that can very much resemble therapy in certain ways. It pushes you to be truthful, present, and vulnerable. I have benefitted from getting out of my comfort zone, seeking connection with people and being willing to be vulnerable with them in a safe space to do so. It has helped me use my intuition to really see what is going on with others. It is also helping me identify and process my own thoughts and feelings which is usually a challenge for me.

There are men in this class.

 

Single. Attractive. Men.

 

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Granted, they’re not all Christians nor are they all my age, but they are fantastic practice for interacting with attractive single guys. Practice that I desperately need after living in my small town for 8-years and having hardly any prospects.

I’m not a shy person usually. I can have great conversations in which I’m animated and funny and warm and engaging and knowledgable. I can talk this way to a guy I’m not attracted to as the day is long. But as soon as I start talking to one I find appealing every thought flees and I politely start grasping for topics and say stupid things about the weather. THE WEATHER, guys! This happened at New Years and I’m not kidding.

So PRACTICE is fantastic. Also, the acting class requires me to keep eye contact with some very sexy men for a long time and I’m terrible at doing that in real life so its good!

It’s been so nice to interact with them, in many ways I feel like a boy-crazy teen again. I don’t hate it!!! But also I have to force myself to calm down a little.

Me:

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Me to me:

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Me:

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Me to me:

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Me:

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Me to me:

please

Current Mood: Poetry?

I haven’t written poetry since high school, so be warned. I have no idea if this is good or not but whatever. Tonight I found myself swept away by my powerful imagination yet again and HAD to write what I did about such experiences. Here is the song that I had on repeat while writing this, if you want the full experience 🙂

Some Other Place

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Where I’ve Been

Five years. It’s been five years of writing this blog (and ghosting in true INFP fashion in-between). Sorry for the extremely long ghosting session this time and if I’ve worried you. I’m alive. I haven’t forsaken my faith in Jesus. I haven’t randomly boned someone and quit writing out of defeat.

And it’s crazy how not much has changed in my circumstances and yet much has changed in my heart.

First, I want to say, God is good. His mercy and His grace are complete and wonderful…and undeserved yet so lovingly given.

I’m 30. I’m single. I’m a virgin. I’ve never been kissed. I’ve never been in love or even in a serious relationship. I’ve never had a boyfriend.

2016 was a crazy year of growth for me. Going to the small group for the first half of the year was amazing and such a good experience. I learned so much, met people who challenged me, and was creatively inspired. The small group stopped in the middle of the summer, and though I was sad and missed it, I knew God had His reasons for it ending.

Work kept me busy all fall, and I asked for some time off. I was granted a 7-week sabbatical which I took in March and April. I rested, traveled, and it was soooo good. I began to learn more about my personality-type and it has been eye-opening to say the least. I know that Meyers-Briggs is not the Be-All-End-All but it has definitely helped some things fall into place for me.

I went on one single date with an acquaintance of a friend but nothing came of it. Dating is even more obscure and confusing than ever, and the experience dredged up some old insecurities and frustrations, but I survived.

One of my close friends has been divorced. The first of my group to do so. Her experience kind of reinforces the side of my brain that appreciates my singleness. I know God loves me and His love is perfect, even if it isn’t always easy, and so I can trust Him. But trusting another person that way when it’s guaranteed that they will hurt me because they are human… Good gosh my fairytale ideas of romance and marriage are laughable as the years go by and humanity, my own included, takes a big dump on that sort of foolishness.  I think God has continued my singleness to keep my little idealistic self from being completely destroyed by disappointment. Real love isn’t appealing the way romanticized love is. It’s the humility of the mundane. It’s hearing someone tell the same story a million times. It’s accepting that people don’t change in ways we wish and do change in ways we don’t. And sometimes it’s getting your heart ripped out and your identity being stripped from you because everything you thought was true suddenly wasn’t because that other person chose not to keep their vows. Once again I’m learning lessons by proxy, from people braver and more impulsive than me.

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted and I can tell you most of the reason why: I’m still horny. I still masturbate. But I’m in a new place with it and I have been figuring it out and I also don’t want to cause anyone to stumble. This is the main reason I haven’t written. So let me explain where I’m at with this as carefully as I can.

One of my married friends mentioned that she had trouble in her sex-life with allowing herself to be vulnerable with her sexuality. She was struggling with being embarrassed and inhibited in certain ways, and asked me if I was still staunchly against masturbating.

“Now that I’m married, I can’t say that masturbating is the worst thing for you. I just wonder if it might help you more comfortable with yourself and so it might be easier for you when you get married than it’s been for me. But don’t take that as from the Lord. If you still have that conviction then please keep it.”

Basically she was wondering if she’d shamed herself into an unhealthy view of her sexuality, making her own pleasure a place of insecurity and embarrassment.

I did think about this.

At this point in my life I’ve finally realized that my sin no longer separates me from God. It does have consequences and it does have an effect, but it does not have separation. By this I mean that because of Jesus, in the very moment you screw up, God is there. It is forgiven. No distance exists. No working yourself back into His good graces. His good graces are already on you full force in that moment. His good graces being His love, His kindness, His fondness of you, His acceptance of you, His approval of you. He doesn’t even have a disappointed face on when you turn back to Him.

Sin and pride produce shame because we know when we screw up. And that shame tells us that we have to wait a couple weeks until God cools off from His latest disappointment in us before we can hear from Him again. Shame tells us that as our latest screw up fades from our memory it will do the same with God. Shame tells us that if we are extra good we can make up for our mistake and slowly take down the giant wall of sin we put up. Brick by brick we can take it down until we can once again be in His presence.

But shame is a lie when Jesus is involved. Shame is the tool used by the enemy to keep us from realizing that God is right there, waiting for your relationship to continue. There’s no barrier in-between. Jesus paid the price so the veil could tear and nothing comes in-between anymore. No working back. No tearing down. It’s already been done.

Masturbation is not the problem. Masturbation can be a symptom, however, of a deeper problem.

It is something I’ve turned to in place of God. It was a habit I relied on as an excuse to distance myself from Him because I couldn’t live up to what I thought I should be.

Pride. I wanted to be perfect. I knew I needed God, and I was a sinner, but pride made me want to need Him less. It’s that damn independent thing inside us that demands our own way, when we were created to be dependent on Him.

Somehow, it’s just easier to be a lustful failure who rages against the sinful desires that plague her than to allow myself to be accepted just as I am. I want to change and be rid of these shortcomings, but it isn’t to please God, not really. It’s to please myself.

These truths started to sink in. Grace permeated yet another layer of my heart. And with it came the realization that my masturbation habit was no longer an excuse. God was right there. EVEN WHEN IT WAS HAPPENING. And I could resume the conversation with Him at any point and in any moment and not have to work back into relationship at all.

If you’ve read some of my oldest posts maybe you remember my processing at the time.

But then I think, “If it isn’t wrong then why am I so hesitant to ask God if it is? If it isn’t wrong then why does it happen when I’m not close to God? Why do I feel farther away from Him when I’m doing it?”

I think masturbation becomes wrong and damaging when:

  1. It is interrupting and controlling your life. If you can’t function without it. If you can’t abstain from it. If it is a habit and it controls you vs you controlling yourself.
  2. If it is lustful. Lust is fantasizing about someone. Which of course leads to…
  3. If it supports the consumption of porn. Porn is harmful and damaging on so many levels. Porn is the embodiment and food of lust. Porn hurts not just individuals and their sex-lives, but society as a whole.
  4. If it is replacing intimacy in a marriage instead of supporting it. And last but not at all least…
  5. If you are convicted by the Holy Spirit that you are turning to the act instead of God to meet your emotional needs.

I no longer hold myself to a standard of living masturbation-free because I no longer believe the act is itself sinful. But I do know that having the freedom to do it holds very specific parameters for me because it can become sinful. I also know that I cross the line at times, that I still turn to it instead of God. But instead of being this huge road-block it’s an indicator. It’s a symptom of something deeper going on. When this happens I need to ask myself: Why am I turning to this lately? What am I feeling that I need to take to God?

Let’s stop making masturbation the issue and get to the heart of the issue. If you are struggling, please believe that grace has you covered and be brave enough to start asking yourself the question why?

And then go boldly to the Lord with the question and the answer. Easier said than done, I know. But until you accept that Jesus has given you His righteousness so that you can go freely before God, shame will continue to plague you and drive you to anything other than relationship with Him. But shame is a lie. There is no more guilt and no more shame. So live in that freedom! Stop trying to make yourself a more palatable version of yourself! Because that person is a mirage. The only truth about you and me that matters is that Jesus saved us and we are new and His. We will never stop needing Him to be that savior. Praise God, He will never stop being that savior for us!

This confession was a long time coming because I hate inconsistency in people and this is definitely a change from my previous writings. And I don’t want someone who has been experiencing freedom differently to stumble. And I haven’t known for certain that I’m right. But it’s where I am. And if that changes, then ok. That’s covered by the grace of God, too.

One last thought as to why it’s taken me so long to post again: honestly I’m just kind of over this subject. I’ve been content and focused on other areas in my life for once and writing would simply be more of the same story: I’m single, ya’ll. Same old thing, ya know? The fact that there’s nothing to report is in itself a bit painful. In this season, if I’m not having to write about it, I’m not thinking about it. So I might not write as much.

If any major happenings take place in my love-life, there will probably be lots of posts about it because I will be freaking out and need to process. So I’ll tell you what I told my mom: If anything happens, I promise I will let you know.

Because I love you for caring enough to read and comment. Thank you for that.