Woman Like Me

My best friend moved to Edmonton a few months ago and it is, without a hint of hyperbole, the absolute fucking best.

She’s getting the hang of our business, our team is dope af, and WE GET TO GO TO THE IKEA! I’m moving next month and it’s been nice to have someone here who’s super excited to organize and decorate my new house (also, WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE MY NEW HOUSE IT IS THE MOST AMAZING PLACE EVER), have Thursday coffee with, and talk in the same time zone. I am so proud of this woman for taking huge risks and having it pay off, and I get to watch her do it all from across the hall! There is literally none downside, unless you count when she decides to be my wingman.

See, I haven’t been on a date since early June, when I went out with Mr. I work for the Government, I’m super important, so I’m always late and super arrogant. Barf. I almost made a date with the guy who pretended to be a customer to get my business card and then charmed me until he told me to go on break and hook up with him in the bathroom of Sherwood Park Mall. Know your audience bro. The rest is boring Bumble dudes who annoy me and my longstanding crush on the super hot security guard at my work (not the one that told me I looked pretty & my 11yo told him “Dude, I am right here!” The other good looking one hahaha). But, I made a joke that I was bored at work and too bad the security guards weren’t doing their routine visits. She points out;

  • He’s not wearing a ring
  • She works shifts I’m not there and can do recon
  • She knows my number, my work cell number, all of my social media handles (which are here, here, and here), where I live, and my work schedule

And she’s not above playing wingman. After all, it’s time I got out there & I could always talk to him myself…

…but why?

You have to TALK to men now?! Ugh!

I’m not good with dating. Or talking to attractive men. I become all weird and awkward and it’s super awful for everyone, especially me, who pretty much wants to crawl into the floor and die.

Besides, no security guards wear wedding rings for work purposes, and super attractive security guards generally have girlfriends, you know, with the being attractive, funny, and have a good job and such. That’s generally what women look for, along with “don’t be a raging fucking asshole.” I am a potato who doesn’t know how to talk to men. I mean, I make attempts, but it’s all “so…do you like…stuff?”

The thing is, my BFF is right. Maybe I should be more open to communicating with men. The pieces of my life have been falling into place all year. I’m finally successful at my job & I’ve held my position for a year. I bought a car. I’m moving to a house that I’m proud to live in. I’ve built a strong support system and have established strong friendships in YEG. I’m focusing on ways to improve my physical and emotional health and both are working. My work performance is improving every day. I’ve been happier than I’ve been in a long time because of the changes to my living situation and more time at the gym. Maybe now that everything else seems to be falling into place, I’m finally ready to consider dating more seriously than “three dates and you mildly annoy me so I don’t want to date you anymore.” That’s how it works. You get the rest of your life figured out, and then you meet someone & it works and you’re happy…

…or you just become the cat lady!

But, apparently, you need to actually talk to men, and interact with them, and like, pay attention to them and stuff, which is apparently where I’ve been going wrong. I’m always so focused on making life better for myself and the girls that I don’t really do that. I live in a bubble where I parent, go to work, and go to the gym, and no one meets their soulmate at work or the gym (or in Sherwood park in a mall. Trust me. Just no). So, I guess I’ll need to start doing that…

…mostly because I don’t really have a choice, as my own personal wingman will force me into the dating world kicking and screaming, but it’s for my own good hahaha.

Party For One

Remember when I refused to drive and hated driving and was never gonna drive? Remember when I bought Wanda Maximoff and was terrified to drive? Yeah. I was dumb af.

While I’m still a new driver and am still getting comfortable driving, I can’t even get over how much driving improves one’s life. I get to the gym more often. I get to and from work faster. I have so much more freedom. Last night, the littles and I went WEM for ice cream just because we could. Oh, and also to pick up my trophy;

My company has a contest each month where the top store wins this neat trophy. This month, my team & I won the neat trophy! Quelle excite! I know it’s stupid to you, but to us, it’s validation that our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Everyone wants to feel valued at work, especially because I work long hours to support the famjam. I want to feel like my employer recognizes my hard work. The trophy shows not only that they do, but they appreciate that my team & I work hard. So, I’m gonna be a big child who’s super pumped about winning this for the next little bit. I got to drive out to WEM to get this bitch, so my team & I can properly display it. I got more time on the Henday. Which brings me to my original point; driving kicks ass (although my 11yo tells me I have the most cordial road rage on Earth when people don’t signal. Seriously. Just. Fucking. Use. Your. Signals).

But driving full time has made me a more confident human. Also, I’m stupid proud of my car. Wanda is going for her first oil change this month, because I follow the service schedule to the letter. I also don’t let my gas fall below half a tank because I am a crazy person. I try to be cautious because I’ve spent a lot of money maintaining my car. That’s the point; car ownership is a major responsibility. I know people who never take their cars in for oil changes or servicing and then wonder why their cars break. My car is an investment in my career, personal life, and credit rating. Because of that, I’m always afraid of making a mistake when I drive. Which brings me to my latest driving related conundrum;

Am I brave enough to go on a road trip?

My 11yo super adores WWE Superstar Becky Lynch. She once waited in the snow all day to meet Becky Lynch so Becky could sign her replica women’s titles. When Becky didn’t appear, she wrote a strongly worded email to WWE, explaining why promising her Becky Lynch and not delivering Becky Lynch is wrong. WWE is coming to Calgary, and on the card is none other than the SD Live Women’s Champion; Becky Lynch.

She’s pleaded with me for tickets, but that’s three hours away. In winter! What if i hit black ice and we all die?! What if we get in a car accident and we all die?! What if Becky Lynch isn’t even there and we get stuck watching a bunch of people that absolutely suck! Everyone says Calgary is terrifying to drive through. WHAT IF I GET LOST AND WE ALL DIE?! I’m okay driving through snow, but that’s a long drive through snow, because I live in Alberta and it’s always fucking snowing. So, I’m trying to decide, am I brave enough to do a three hour drive to take the girls somewhere that would make them happy (especially since our girls weekend went bust due to scheduling conflicts)? I work a lot over the holidays, so it’d be nice to plan a weekend with them. But. But. DRIVING ON A HIGHWAY SOUNDS SCARY.

So, I guess I have to face another driving fear. I mean, driving on the highway is just like driving on the Henday (which is a freeway), but for a really long time, right? And I can Uber to the arena once I get there, and Apple Maps will help me out. But more importantly, the kids will be so happy to have more time with me during the longest time of the year. My big goal after my long July was to prioritize time with the family. I always made sure time was quality, but also to help make memories that they’ll cherish forever. Maybe a road trip to see St. Becky Lynch is just that.

Or we’ll end up in a ditch and I’ll kill us all, excuse me. I need to go breathe in a bag.

Used to Be

My life seems to run on two speeds; nothing is happening or everything is happening all at once. There will never be an in between.

But hey, I guess that’s okay, as long as I know what I’m doing…

…spoiler alert, I do not. But I’m slowly getting there and that’s the key.

Work takes up a lot of my time, but that’s okay, because I’m mastering work life balance. I’m learning how to leave when my shift is over to go home or to the gym most days. I’m learning it’s okay to take my days off and use them for personal time with the fam jam. I can be boss lady, but also take time to be MHC too. I’m also training my new neighbour, who happens to be my best friend y’all! So, I can focus on one workplace and not two. Plus, she’s killing it right now and once she’s fully trained, is gonna rock this business! So, I’m prioritizing myself sometimes, and that’s okay.

I’m learning that it’s okay to make yourself a priority, something I often forget. I always feel like I have to be “on.” I have to be the best mom, the best partner, the best friend, the best employee, the best boss lady, and I need to constantly give and give and give and give. But then, I’m like the Giving Tree. There’s nothing left, but you still need to give. You can’t give everything and then wonder why you’re drained. It’s okay to take time for yourself and replenish so you can give to the people that rely on you. I’ve been forgetting that for so long, trying to please everyone, that I’ve been an empty, drained, vessel, and that’s impacted my work, my home life, my interpersonal relationships. I need to remember that it’s okay to sometimes put me first and it doesn’t make me a bad mom or partner or employee or boss lady. It makes me human.

So, I’ve been making the gym a priority at least once a week. I’ve been taking my Sundays for the kids (except this Sunday, when I’ll be working at a trade show. Check my IG for details). I’ve been taking time at home to declutter my basement and do housework and keep my space the way I want it. Speaking of space, I’ve been putting out feelers for new spaces to call home when my lease is up next spring. I keep talking about finding another home (within YEG guys, I’m not planning another cross country trek. This is permanent), but I never take the time to do it. So, I’ve been looking at a few rentals close to my work or near the high school I’ve chosen for my seventh grader to attend when the time comes. Perhaps a new space that I feel more comfortable in is what the doctor ordered. I loved my London house, and I’ve never felt the same about this one. Perhaps I need to find a place I loved as much. I didn’t like London, just my house. I love Edmonton, but not my house. I need to stop being lazy and find “my” Edmonton house. By acknowledging I have my own needs and choosing to address them, I can continue working to be the happiest, healthiest MHC I can be.

I think sometimes women are taught that if we put ourselves first, then we are selfish and not thinking about our kids/mates/job. But if you don’t make yourself a priority and focus on making yourself happy, no one else is going to. Not your mate. Not your parents. Not your kids. Not your job. It’s a one person job. You can’t give if you’ve given everything away. Sometimes, you’ve gotta love yourself and put your needs first, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s selfish. You deserve a fulfilling, happy life too.

Vega

This morning, I did the normal day off routine; get kids off to school, take a nap, leisurely skim Twitter (if you’re not following me on Twitter, feel free to click HERE. Mostly fitness, bad WWE takes, and rambling about current events), then empty stomach cardio because winter has finally gone back to Hell where it belongs. Anywho, this morning, one of the trending topics was from a man giving real life “love advice.” It was obviously so great and not at all terrible. Here, let me show you & you can see for yourself.

Great, right?

This is always so irksome to me, because it’s always so one sided. It’s always about how women should learn men’s interests and hobbies, and let them teach us how to do stuff, because men aren’t happy unless they are exerting their intellect over stupid, stupid women, right?

Barf. Barf. Barf.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sharing in your partner’s interests. But this guy perpetuates the idea that women only like sports and video games to attract men. They obviously wouldn’t do it because they like it! Also, it’s one sided. It’s always about how women should learn about their man’s interests and learn to love them, but never the other way around. I have never once read where a man is told to learn about his lady’s interests, or pick up a fashion magazine and learn all about how to pair a skirt with a cute pair of heels.

I’m sure a lot of women can relate to the idea that we must always be interested in what our partners like, but our interests are considered secondary. I remember reading the Sword of Truth series, but I don’t recall my ex husband ever picking up Gatsby, or any of my favourite books. I tried Grand Theft Auto and Halo, but they never played Zelda past the Great Deku Tree in Ocarina of Time. Throughout my life, I have sat through hours of baseball games, listened to Drake albums, and watched One Tree Hill because I wanted to take an interest in my man’s hobbies and interests. But never once have I gotten an offer to play Street Fighter, read a book I recommended, come to a Crossfit class, or watch Wrestlemania (of course, even if they did offer to play Street Fighter, they’d get mad if I won). Some of it wasn’t all bad; I developed my love of the Lord of the Rings after my ex husband asked me to go to all of the movies with him (I later read the books and loved them). While there are lots of great guys out there who really care about their partners and take an interest in their hobbies and interests, the general consensus is always it’s up to women to sacrifice, change, support, adapt. We must giggle and twirl our hair and ask men to teach us how to understand sports, while they never need to learn anything about our interests or hobbies or what we do to make us happy.

Relationships are supposed to work both ways, but you rarely see men encouraged to read Pride & Prejudice, or listen to their girl’s favourite band, or watch Mean Girls and learn the entire dialogue. It’s always up to us to embrace their hobbies and assimilate into their world. But I think it’s just as important that a guy should want to get to know his mate’s interest. I don’t expect you to love it, but I do expect any potential mates to at least take an interest in some of my hobbies. Ask how my class went at the gym; maybe even check out a class with me & try Crossfit. Attempt some yoga with me. Stream some Taylor Swift and Breaking Benjamin on Apple Music. Ask me about the articles I’m working on or my day at work. But I refuse to be in a relationship with someone who expects me to take an interest in their life and take no interest in mine. Relationships are about compromise. If you don’t, then you’ll end up like John Cena, who refused to budge on anything and lost his fiancée (or it’s all a ploy for Total Bellas).

So, don’t expect a woman to pretend to give a shit about your fantasy football league if you’re not going to watch the Bachelor. Women like to feel respected and valued just as much as men do. In fact, you’ll likely find that the more invested you are in what she enjoys, she’ll probably show more interest in yours. Then you’ll actually be merging your lives, instead of asking her to stroke your ego.

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Shake it Out

Guess what guys? I’m gonna do a thing!

My gym decided we should build a team to run a 10k together. I am not a good runner, despite running for four years. I am slow and awkward. But, my attempt to join the Festivus Games was such a flop, and I’ve been looking for a new goal to work towards. This seemed as good as anything, so I’ve set a goal in Runkeeper and we are gonna do the damn thing…

…I am going to die. Please help me.

I joke, but I’m actually really excited. Before I made the big move, my daughter, some friends & I did a 5k mud run and we had a blast! Training was fun and we felt so empowered afterwards. We were strong. We kicked ass! But more importantly, it was fun to be a part of something. We went out there together and accomplished something together. We’ll have those memories forever.

Humans have a deeply rooted desire to belong. It’s why peer pressure is a real problem. It’s why people stay with toxic friends or mates. We want to be part of something, be included. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something special and magical, which is why we get inspired by people who are creating their something to be part of. My girls & I watched the first ever women’s Royal Rumble, and it didn’t matter who won, we were inspired that these women were part of something special. They were making history together, they elevated each other. Deep down, that’s what we all want; to be part of something meaningful.

I think that’s why I like Crossfit & my gym community so much. You are part of something. Yes, you’re focused on your personal best, but you’re also part of a community of people who are elevating each other to do their very best…or enter a 10k run for funsies. But you celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. You cheer each other on. You are part of something meaningful. We all want to belong to something. The lesson is to find a place of belonging that is positive and encouraging, not one that sucks the life out of you.

I was excited at the idea of being part of something. Part of a team that’s doing a cool thing. And let’s be real, aside from encountering some asshole geese or a shin splint, is there really a negative downside to participating in a 10K run? You get a tshirt, you get to feel accomplished, and it’ll help me get those legs ready to rock a dress for my friend Brie’s wedding later in the summer! Not to mention, I bought all of that Birdiebee gear, including the cute shorts. I think I found a place where I can wear them for the first time! When you’re surrounded by positive people, you’re inspired to do positive things and set positive goals. The trick is to do your best to be positive yourself and be the change you wish to see in the world. My girls are watching me, so I need to show them what healthy, active and happy is. I think it’s working, as my oldest has embraced athletics through cheer and now Crossfit (she’s skipping the run. Waking up early isn’t her thing).

So, I’m going to train. I’m going to work hard. I may crawl to the end, or die after I cross the finish line, but I’ll finish, and I’ll be part of something positive and healthy, which I hope will inspire the girls to seek out a positive and healthy way to satisfy their desire to belong.

Day 30: Five Good Things

It’s the last day of this challenge!

While nothing overly earth shattering has happened to me over 30 days, great things happen every day! So, here are five of the most awesome things that happened this month.

1. My transfer was approved, all official-like. I signed all the papers, paid the deposit on my house & it’s all mine! I’m outta here Windsor! Peace out!

2. I’ve lost a total of 20lbs in 8 weeks! Quelle success!

3. Ronan Farrow favourited my tweet, which means he knows I’m alive. That’s step one towards our wedding in the Hamptons & us becoming a journalist power couple.

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For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Farrow, he’s a journalist who served as the Special Adviser for Humanitarian and NGO Affairs in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Obama Administration. He recently got his own show on MSNBC thanks to his background & being a smart ass on Twitter. He also loves Zelda. If there was ever a human being designed for me, there it is. Also, he looks like this:

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I may dislike matrimony, but my wedding to Ronan Farrow, which exists entirely in my imagination (and I then get a job @ the New Yorker) is quite lovely…& will feature Taylor Swift.

4. I made a friend. It was awful.

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Okay, so Grumpy is actually the Overlord’s friend, a gift for her seventh birthday, which was minion themed. We’ve been calling her Grumpy Cat for a year because she glared in our Easter photos last year & someone said that’s what she looked like. She even placed third in a Grumpy Cat lookalike contest (she was robbed). But I like to think Grumpy enjoys my company too, probably not. He’s Grumpy for a reason.

5. I finally made an appointment to make my hair a colour & not just 19 shades of whatever.

Sure, they’re not exciting things, but it’s fun & life is meant to be fun. So, I like to focus on the positive & fun things that make me & the people I love smile. I feel like that’s where I fit in this world; journalist & mom who makes people smile.

I hope this made you smile.

Best I Ever Had

AKA a series of photos detailing my year.

As I’m getting ready for my move, my plans & my amazeballs 2014, I wanted to showcase the awesomeness that was 2013 in a series of awesome photos.

So, in 2013, this happened…

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Finally! My Divorce is final!
Finally! My Divorce is final!
So, I decided to celebrate. By torching my wedding dress.
So, I decided to celebrate. By torching my wedding dress.

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Lifehouse concert...best show of the year.
Lifehouse concert…best show of the year.
Ke$ha was better than I thought
Ke$ha was better than I thought
My friend is leading a campaign against the Adventures of Tintin. She's doing fairly well I think
My friend is leading a campaign against the Adventures of Tintin. She’s doing fairly well I think

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WWE wrasslin with the littles. I needed to be decked out too, so while they're in their AJ Lee digs...I chose CM Punk.
WWE wrasslin with the littles. I needed to be decked out too, so while they’re in their AJ Lee digs…I chose CM Punk.

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Let the house hunting begin! On this empty train
Let the house hunting begin! On this empty train
Lionel Ritchie rocked!
Lionel Ritchie rocked!

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I changed my hair colour for the first time in 10 years. I felt this warranted a mention. I'm not just that vain to put a random selfie in there...or am I?
I changed my hair colour for the first time in 10 years. I felt this warranted a mention. I’m not just that vain to put a random selfie in there…or am I?
The Angriest Tween's first concert: The Wanted
The Angriest Tween’s first concert: The Wanted
Since the Texan is too far away to celebrate with, we have to stick with Bitstrips where she hurls food @ me in front of the President
Since the Texan is too far away to celebrate with, we have to stick with Bitstrips where she hurls food @ me in front of the President

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Have a great holiday everyone & I hope your year was full of awesome moments too.

Bless the Broken Road

Thanks y’all for your awesome feedback to my open letter to my future soulmate, making it my most successful blog post ever! I appreciated the emails & texts from people mentioning it was cute…oh, & that dude on Twitter who DM’ed me a proposal? It was a letter, not an application, but hey, thanks!

Anywho, since the rest of my life revolves around deciding where to move (London, Cambridge & Guelph are the top options) while listening to the peanut gallery explain why I should stay here, despite my previous statement that there is nothing that could keep me in Windsor (aside from “winning @ life” hahaha), and scrambling to get Christmas together for the littles while working retail sucks the fun out of the holiday for me, I figure I’ll keep going on this subject, as the move & the peanut gallery & the choices have too many facets for me to adequately express right now. I’d rather write something lighthearted. & silly. I’m not looking for a partner; they’re going to find me & it’s going to be amazeballs. Hell, maybe you read this blog (unlikely) & you’re wondering “am I this crazy girl’s soulmate? Because sure she’s pretty, but she’s a bit loony & scatterbrained.” Well, it’s possible, I guess. So, I’ve compiled a list of things that seem to exist in all of the men I date (& the things I want) & created this handy dandy guide to determining if you are MH’s soulmate!

***Disclaimer: Handy Dandy guide is for entertainment purposes only***

1. You’ve read my writing. Oh, you didn’t just read this, you read ALL OF IT. I’m not kidding. You’ve read both of my blogs, you’ve read every published byline, you actively make plans to read my future work. You love my work, you think it’s awesome. My words connect with you, resonate with you, make you think. You ask me about my work. You understand that these words are not just random ideas that I come up with; they’re my heart & soul & source of pride. My soulmate will read my work one day & tell me that something I wrote helped him understand me better, himself better or brought us closer.

2. You love my girls. Duh. But you understand them. You know their interests. You know which one is afraid of the blow dryer. You know which one loves the Saints. You know which one cries @ the same scene of Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone. You know which one is going to take over the word & which one hates stripes. You know them as well as you know me. You know how important it is to me to be Supermom & you’ll understand. You’ll want to be a part of their lives & you will eventually, but I need to know that you get that they come with the deal, their dad is emotionally abusive to them & they’ll come to see you as a father figure too. That will mean something to you & soon you’ll be bragging about their cuteness, report cards et al just like I do.

3. You’re probably f***ed in the head. When I say someone is screwed up, I generally don’t mean it to be as insulting as it sounds. It means that you likely have a past, a tonne of baggage, trust issues, self sabotage issues, commitment issues, etc. I have them all too. I try to be empathetic to everyone, because I’ve been written off so many times because sometimes I’m a dark, melancholy person. This is why the people I love get infinite chances; no one should feel written off by someone that they trust. Not to mention anyone can love someone “normal.” I’m not normal. I’m scarred & fragile. It takes a special man to love me, so I want to love your scarred & fragile right back.

4. You’re stubborn. I sure am! Once my mind is made up, there’s no turning back. I need someone just as set in those convictions. A passion for Canadian and American politics would help.

5. You’ll talk to me. Tell me I’m being a douche, or crazy, or to shut up. I may cry. Oh well. My soulmate knows that I’m an annoying brat & loves me. He knows we’ll fight & he’ll piss me off but we’ll get through it with communication. He also knows that I won’t start the conversation after a fight or my feelings have been hurt because stubborn. He’ll need to suck it up & talk to me.

6. Music. You’ll like everything. Even crap I hate. I’ll make fun of it. But music is a huge part of my life. All of my blog post titles are song titles of what I’m listening to (today: Rascal Flatts). I spent years training to become a singer. My daughters are talented musicians. I need you to love music & sing along with the radio, even if you’re tone deaf. I used to joke that I would marry the man that could make me stop talking when he sang (because nothing stops me from talking) & could play the piano & in high school, said my dream proposal would be someone who played & sang me a song while it was snowing outside (I watched a lot of Full House. Uncle Jesse…swoon). Maybe someone will give Gavin DeGraw my number.

7. You’ll like sports. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t give a crap & I’ll roll my eyes when you talk, but I like guys who like sports & drink beer and go out with the guys & eat red meat & do guy things.

8. You’ll get that love takes work. You’ll get that sometimes I’ll hate your face. You’ll get that sometimes you’ll hate mine. You’ll get that times get hard. But you’ll try because I know I will. I fought for 8 years to make a marriage work while covered in bruises. Imagine how hard I’ll work to make it work if it’s healthy.

9. You won’t like geese. Okay, maybe you will. But I’m not feeding them.

10. You’ll be prone to random but awesome romantic gestures. Show up @ my door @ 1am because you just needed to see me. Buy me movie tickets just because. Send me a cute text saying you miss me. I expect these rarely, but it’d be nice.

11. You’ll “get” me. You’ll understand how I think. You’ll get that I don’t mean to be crazy. You’ll even find the crazy a little endearing. You’ll know that I mean well when I generally make a mess of everything & you’ll try to understand. You’ll let me fix my own mess & support me from the sidelines, because you know how important it is for me to do it on my own.

If this sounds like you, this either means;

a) you have a huge ego.
b) you are potentially my soulmate.
c) you’re going to give Gavin DeGraw my number.

Please let it be C!

Either way, I know what I want & deserve & this is the type of man I want & when the time is right, this is who I’ll end up with. I need to be finicky, as I have daughters who deserve the best possible stepfather & I think I’ve been hurt enough thank you very much. I think looking for love only impedes the process. Real love is that person in your mind that you can’t stop thinking about, etc. & it’s organic & unavoidable & it’ll happen. Not likely until after I get my butt out of Windsor into a new house & settled. & established & maybe with a shiny new byline. But it’ll happen…& now I know what I’m looking for.