Guest Blogger – Granuaile: A Passage from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book: True Love

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

At this point in my life, I’m not a particularly religious person, but I found this passage to be very relaxing and an all too needed reminder to be aware of my self and be at peace in the present.

“Without mindfulness, we live like the dead. And every time mindfulness is born, we are born again into the country of Buddha, on Buddha’s earth, into the Kingdom of God. In Psalms, we read the following: ‘Thou are my son; today have I begotten thee.’ This is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, you come to life again every moment. Mindfulness is the practice that consists in bringing the body and mind back to the present moment, and every time we practice that, we come to life again.

If we take a look around us, we see people who are living like dead people. Albert Camus says that there are thousands of people moving about around us carrying their own corpses. Thanks to the practice of mindfulness, we come to life again immediately. Being alive is being in the present moment, in the here and now, and that is possible through mindful breathing. In Buddhist meditation, we practice resurrection every moment: ‘Breathe, you are alive.’ The Holy Spirit is present with your mindful breath: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ We must not lose ourselves either in the past or in the future; and the only moment in which we can touch life is the present moment.”

Thoughtfully yours,
Granuaile

Guest Blogger – Granuaile: Enough

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

I’ve now been on a few dates with this new guy… He’s fun, he dances, he texts when I think he should, he plays soccer, and he seems genuinely interested in me, but yet I keep trying to find ways to mark him off the list so I don’t have to mess with the get to know you part any more. I have no reason not to give it a try. And that’s when I realized all this change that has happened in my life the past few months has made it really hard for me to be patient and just be. I am constantly looking to the next thing and the adrenalin rush of the new. Not just with men, but with my life.

So when will I feel like it’s enough? To be able to stop constantly moving. I’m not really an adrenalin junkie in the skydiving, rollercoaster type of way. I’m actually kind of a scardy-cat when it comes to hanging off mountains or even jumping out of swings. But I do crave the new. The nerves and excitement of traveling to new places. Starting your life over. Trying to see if you can make it. I moved across the ocean just 5 months ago and I’m already starting to think about where I’ll move next and then what will I do after that and after that.

I know I’ll probably never be a homebody and I hope to keep traveling well into my 80’s, but when will I feel like my home is enough? Not settling for something less than my best or giving in to a “normal” life. But instead feeling peaceful about where I am and what I’m doing.

The restless,

Granuaile

Guest Blogger – Granuaile: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

Tina TurnerMaybe Tina Turner had it right. She definitely had it right with that fab 80’s hair do.

I know it’s such a cliché and horribly broad question, but how do you know when you’ve found true love? What is the feeling inside? How can you be sure this is it? Is love just a second hand emotion? I’ve thought that I’ve found it before, but I was clearly wrong, so how is it that I, being a smart, well educated, and driven individual, ready to shower my partner with love, can’t seem to figure it out? I see people who know after just 6 months. And it’s not just crazies trying to nab a guy before they leave university. Some of these seem like the real deal. And then there are the tenure daters who wait forever to declare the love.

Do you think you “fall” in love with little control over how it goes, or is being in love a choice you make after getting to know someone? You decide (I’m assuming with some romantic input), yes, I love this person, I can see my life with them and I will be in love with them?

Ever since I watched the movie “Paris, je t’aime,” the segment entitled “Bastille” has always stuck with me. It’s about a man who is getting ready to leave his wife, but before he can tell her this, she tells him she has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Out of obligation, he reluctantly stays with her, but as he cares for her and helps her, he falls madly back in love and stays by her side until she passes away. By acting in love, can you eventually be in love? Surely there is more to it than that.

I hope the full on devotion and compassion type of love is not just a fairy tale. It seems the more people I talk to, and the more relationships I observe, the less I believe in that type of love. Yes of course, I realize that relationships take compromise and sacrifice and you’re not going to be happy with each other every second of every day. I would hate that anyway. I like a good argument – keeps your brain function up. But I look at couples like my parents, or old family friends and I see that a lot of times the passion is no longer there. It’s just a mutual agreement to live together, use each other as a tax deduction, and love the same child. I’m sure at one time they too thought they would be in love forever. But are they?

The inquisitive,
Granuaile

Guest Blogger – Granuaile: Getting Over the Nice Guy

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

So I had an accidental make-out last weekend. Which led to me spending the night at his house. No sex this time around, but there’s still something pretty intimate about waking up next to someone the next morning. Especially when I know good and well that I’m not over my last long-term relationship. The jury is still out on how things will go with Mr. Accidental, but it got me thinking about how we so often try to mask our emotional pain and shit we’re dealing with by just piling more shit on top of it. And how I still feel like I’m just biding time for my ex to “figure it out.” Obviously, I’m past the point of sitting at home crying every night, but I have it in the back of my mind that these interactions with other men or the new places I go and thing I do each day are just temporary until he finally comes running back into my arms, telling me how wrong he was. And that’s just not fair. I should be totally embracing my new adventures and not holding back. Plus, I should give the new people I meet the respect of being totally present and not hung up on the past.

And that takes me to the point of getting over the “nice guy.” How do you do it?
It’s easy to hate an abuser, an asshole, or a misogynist prick. But when they’re nice, caring guys that still manage to hurt you so deeply. That’s when I feel at a loss. And think, “God damn! Even the ‘good ones’ are bad! Now what are we left with!?”

As is so often the case for us women folk, we make excuses for them. Sure he’s nice and he knew me so so well and took care of me when I was sick and knew how to make me laugh, and cooked my favorite meals, but that only takes you so far. My best girl friends can do those things too. He used to talk about how he would love to sell everything and go out on a motorcycle and make a movie. Just let it consume him. The open road, meeting new people, all of it. At first I thought, How cool! I’m dating such an adventurist! But as time went on, I thought, why the hell can’t you show ME that kind of passion? Why after two years can you really not sacrifice any of your lazy, no-responsibility comforts for me? After two years, why can’t you even say you’re in love with me?

But bottom line is, he’s not going to do what I want him to do. It doesn’t matter how kind he is or how well I thought we worked together. He’s not going to all of a sudden, at 30 years of age, become a person who takes initiative, who leads the relationship forward, who puts in just as much love and time and effort as I do. Who makes me feel like I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

I wanted him to do all of these things and I gave him endless chances and it’s just NOT GONNA HAPPEN. He’s not that guy. At least, not in this relationship at this time. When a man says “I love you but I’m not sure I’m in love with you,” he’s telling the truth, and the truth is “run far away from this relationship”. We deserve more than that from our men.

So I’m slowly but surely trying to free my heart. It’s mine, I want it back, and more importantly, when I finally find someone I’m ready to give it to again, I want to give them the whole thing and not just the leftovers.

Crying out for freedom!
Granuaile

Guest Blogger – Granuaile

(This post is part of an awesome series of awesome 25swf guest bloggers- read about them here!)

Greetings from the other side of the ocean! I’m a guest blogger recently relocated to Europe, where I too am trying to swim through the vast sea of singles. Although they may have cuter accents over here, I’m finding that men are still men, women are still women, and the joys and pains of dating follow you EVERYWHERE!

I chose the name Granuaile (pronounced graw + nya+ wail ) because she’s described as “one of the most remarkable women in Irish history” and honestly, who doesn’t love to feel remarkable? “Granuaile was a renowned sea captain who led a band of 200 sea-raiders from the coast of Galway in the sixteenth century. Twice widowed, twice imprisoned, fighting her enemies both Irish and English for her rights, condemned for piracy, and finally pardoned in London by Queen Elizabeth herself.”

I’m sure I wont be raiding the seas any time soon, but I definitely hope to bring out more of her spunk and grace in my own life as I try to figure out what all this love business is really about.