Lots of time people say that happiness is a choice. I thought about that two days ago while peeling garlic and crying – note, garlic. I was just sad. Wondering what it was I was missing that didn’t seem receptive to the eye brightening impact that statement was supposed to bring me. A few hours after that, I had the best day ever.

Let me start over.

As with my second to last post, my first ever trip to Europe was not what I had imagined it to be. So a week after returning and lots of pondering and tears, I made a deal with myself and with this man I don’t even know if I will ever see again (that’s mostly said for dramatic effect – I’m sure this whole voodoo self granted happiness wouldn’t work as well if I wasn’t at least half sure). Anyhow, I made the challenge to teach myself positive thinking for 30 days. That’s what I told him anyway. His only job/input in this is just to be excited to hear from me. Excitement from him x3 of course, in order to equal mine. Fair deal. Words and trust were exchanged.

What positive thinking meant was not just the decision to simply up and stop crying and stop selling myself short. Those were and are my worse self and it won’t take just the miraculous month to solve them. Instead, I devote these 30 (now 28) days to give this man my unconditional respect. Even writing that seems to have the weird effect of sounding wrong in my very feminine mind, hard wired as we females are to give unconditional love and affection, statistics has been defacing all I feel natural for in relationships. Fact is, the book I first selected to prove my own words – citing: “…people are worth it…and someone will believe that I am…and I will do everything I can to make this person feel special.” in said video confession, wasn’t just a self-image improvement book. I chose a relationship, ahem marriage book – and now this may either be taken to be over achieving or just insane based on the short amount of time I have known this man – but let’s be positive shall we. And the absolute positive fact I have gained in this book so far is between these two sentences, lies the secret explaining the difference in men and women (again, spoken for exaggeration, but quite close I tell you)

  1. “I love you but I don’t respect you.”
  2. ” I respect you but I don’t love you.”

You tell me to which abject horror you can imagine it is to hear these words from a woman’s versus a man’s eardrums. It’s been 2 days and I feel the first 100 pages of this book has provided me enough mental tools to feel empowered enough to sustain a suspended disbelief of all my otherwise very real doubts and insecurities. I tell myself this each time a loose bad thought comes about, “but what about how you felt/feel about this? Aren’t you worried/scared that you aren’t good/fun/interesting/important enough?” – the list could go on – and rather than denying my fears, I tell myself all I need to do is fulfill my promise to give this man my unconditional respect in his natural comfort-ability, his decisions, his way for affection etc for the next 28 days. The rest of those doubts, I will deal with at the end of this. Already, we have communicated a lot better.

I draw back on some silly battles we picked when I was in Vienna and looking at it through my newly acquired and still being adjusted, men’s lenses you could say, it is quite laughable how completely misunderstood people can be.

The last day I was there before the flight, we were up at 4am in order to catch my insanely early flight. He went into the kitchen on auto-pilot to make his morning espresso. Already I had anticipated in my mind that he would forget to use the espresso cup I had bought him yesterday as a gift. This is my first fault, as a woman, to anticipate, and thus actively look for forgetfulness and faultiness. He, of course, returns with his regular glass espresso, to which I glance at and quietly mutter, “You don’t like my cup.”

“Oh no, of course I do. I just forgot. It’s not in my daily routine yet.” He laughs a bit  and goes about to find it. “Now where did I put it.”

“In your bag when I gave it to you last night.”

“Right.”

And right there, such a simple exchange could have been made to be excitable; fact is that he had ended up using my cup when I asked. Silly a deal as it was. It made me feel valued/special that he would use it, and though he forgot on pure accident, my pouty reaction to it only further proved to him in his mind that we are forever speaking on different wavelengths, to which he may feel he will never be able to satisfy my need for assurance or attention.

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Just like that, I feel assured of everything.

All of this I thought about and laughed aloud at while reading this book. Feeling increasing light-heartedness in only beginning to see why we do the things we do. I can see the pit fall of guilt however that may capture me for a short while. Regrets for making someone feel so hopeless, left feeling criticized for their life and innate self. Most of all forgetting to express my admiration and respect for him – the very feedback that translates better than all my puppy love notes – for his hard working attitude, for his kindness (even if I am learning to spot them in the ways he expresses himself), for his patience (mostly with me, not in the least with public transit, ha!), and for many other attributes that I had and still feel in his presence. I let insensible doubts and fears alongside my personal want for security shadow that, and I am sorry. Sorry as I am, I dedicate these next 28 days to you. Certainly, assuring a gal of her special status proves to be quite shamefully shallow. Namingly, he remembered to use my cup.