Inside My Heart

If you could sense the emotions inside my heart you’d find confusion, fear, a sense of being overwhelmed, and a strong sense of peace.

If you could see what I imagine inside my heart you’d see the walls I’ve built for protection slowing coming down.

I know I’m not an easy person to get to know. I’m know I keep so much to myself. I understand that I need to learn to be vulnerable in order to truly let you know me.

I’m trying. Every day I take another step that will bring me closer to you.

I thank you for your patience. I thank you for your love and caring. I thank you for showing me who you are so that I can feel comfortable showing you who I am.

If you could feel what I feel inside my heart when I’m with you, you’d feel supported, loved, protected, safe, and extraordinarily happy.




Like a rummage sale?

Online dating is like a rummage sale.

Ironically it was a guy I had met online who shared this perspective with me. And I have to admit that I agree. You sort through all of the “stuff” other people don’t want/didn’t way/still might want to see if you find anything you like. You may pick something up, look at it, even hold onto it for a while as you continue to search through the piles of cast-offs. Maybe you find something that lights up your eyes when you see it, but then hold it up to you and it’s just not quite right. Occasionally you may even take it home and hang on to it for a while even though you know it’s not exactly what you had been looking for, then discard it when you find something better. If you are extrememly lucky, you might find that one unique thing that you’ve been dreaming about for a long while and as soon as it’s in your hands, you are done rummaging.

In this crazy, disposable world we live in it’s so easy just to get something that fits your needs even if it doesn’t have the exact specifications that we had envisioned. That child’s tea set might come with everything except the creamer pitcher, but how often will your daughter imagine cream with her tea parties? That end table is a just the right color for your office, but it’s about 1″ too short. Maybe that “vintage” sweater you picked up at the church sale last week fits great, but you aren’t crazy about that hue of green despite all of the comments about how perfect it is on you. How often do we focus on the minor details and quickly make them into the major problems rather than thinking about what long-term impact these “deficiencies” may or may not cause? Are we too quick to make a decision, possibly ruling out something that might actually be ideal for us?

When we toss our items into the donation bin is it because we’ve grown tired of wearing that piece of clothing or using that particular bathroom rug? Is it because you bought it and it never quite fit into your life’s schematic? When we walk along the tables at the rummage sale we may turn our nose up at that odd combination of colors, but right behind us is someone who is looking for just that accessory to finish up their room. Just because something doesn’t work for us doesn’t mean it’s not ideal for someone else. And conversely – just because something didn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for us. It takes time and patience when you are sorting through everything to find what you are looking for, you may not find it at the first few tables.

Each of us is made of a million different attributes – some genetic and some selected – that make each of us and our tastes unique. I find myself passing judgement on some of the men who post their profiles online and I know judgement is passed on me. We all wonder why previous relationships failed; why that person has been single so long; if that person is telling us the truth. We can run CarFax reports on used cars, but there is no way to find out a person’s history accurately unless they share it. We’re all rummaging through the information we’re given and have to decide whether or not to trust the source.

I find myself reading these profiles and wondering if any of it is true. At a rummage sale you might hear:  “This vase was found in George Washington’s house. We believe it was given to him by visiting clergy.” And how did you reach this conclusion? Or is it just a really creative backstory?

Dating sites bring more of these kind of questionable statements:

“It was a mutual divorce and I’m so much happier now.” Then why do you cringe every time your marriage is mentioned.

“My ex is crazy. She made up stories and the restraining order was the result of a misunderstanding.” Ummmmm…. Yikes.

“No, I haven’t had sex since my last relationship a year ago.” Riiiiiiiiight. Is that why all you talk about is sex?

“Nope. Never cheated not even once, she had no reason to be jealous of my high school friend, we just like to talk daily.” Alrighty.

“My ex and I get along well. It’s what’s best for the kids.” Then why did she move them out of state away from you for no solid reason?

What is the truth? Only our gut and BS meters can give us any clue unless we take the leap and bring that discarded human being into our life for a while, have long conversations and choose to have faith in what we are hearing. Don’t people have to do that with us, too? We all have history, holes in our stories, less than proud moments, perhaps a skeleton or two and definitely residual feelings and life lessons we are still learning. Are we too quick to make a decision because of one loose thread, a small scratch or what we determine is too much wear and tear? Sometimes our gut feeling is the best one to follow and if it feels good, let it flow. Don’t look for the issues, look for the benefits. None of us are perfect and much like everything at a rummage sale, we all have our own smudges even if you can’t see them right away. So why not pick up that vintage shirt and wear it proudly because, despite that little tear, it fits perfectly.



50 Words Only – Two Hearts


Windswept beach

Glance exchanged

Brief introductions


Hearts forever connected


Photograph taken

One slow dance

Hesitant conversation


Long letters exchanged

Promises made


A joyous reunion


Perfect vista shared

Moonlit dancing

Delicate kisses


Lack of communication

Final letter sent


Years go by


An Internet search

Emails Exchanged


Two hearts intertwined for eternity


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

50 Words Writing Challenge





She felt the anxiety the closer she got to his door. They hadn’t known each other long and she hesitated to meet him at his condo, but something felt safe and okay.

She reached out and rang the doorbell, feeling her heart beating hard in her chest.

As if he had been waiting by the door, he opened it, smiling at her.

“Hi. Come on in,” he said in his warm, reassuring voice.

He stepped back as she entered and helped her take her coat off.

As she bent down to take off her shoes, he walked over to the coat rack and hung her coat neatly. Then he stood there just watching her with a small grin on his handsome face.

She stood up and looked at him, smiling, wondering if he would kiss her then.

She hesitated, as he smiled back, but didn’t move, then she turned and walked toward the stairs up to his living room. Slowly she stepped up to the second step and feeling him close behind her, she stopped and turned.

Looking directly into her eyes, he reached up and gently cupped her cheek, winding his fingers in her hair. He leaned in slowly continuing to read her eyes. She felt her own eyes close and his lips touch hers gently. She heard herself let out a whimper and was instantly embarrassed, but his hand held her close to him as she felt his other arm wrap around her back, pulling her against his warm body. She caressed his arms and moved her fingers into his hair as they stood there breathing in each other, kissing gently but with an obvious need for one another…

When they finally stopped kissing, they leaned back looking at one another. Smiles on their faces and in their eyes.

He slowly released his arms from around her and trailing his hand down her arm, he gently held her hand, spun her slowly on the stop and they walked up together.

Set out on the table before her was a beautiful warm dinner lit by candlelight waiting for them both.

They took their seats and ate slowly, pausing often during their conversation to breathe and reassess the urgency they both felt. When dinner was done, she helped him clear the table, then per his urging went to sit on the couch while he finished cleaning up. She turned on the TV to an old black & white movie and curled up on the soft leather.

Just a few moments later, he slowly walked in and sat down next to her, uncurling her legs and stretching them out across his thighs. He rested his hands lightly on the legs of her jeans.

They sat like that for a while. Just being in each other’s company.

She slowly shifted so that she was lying with her back on the couch, her legs still resting between his thighs and his hands. She gazed at him, memorizing his profile. He slowly glanced over at her and met her eyes as his hands automatically caressed her legs. He slid his legs up onto the couch and laid down slowly beside her, his back to the couch. She shifted to give him room and rolled onto her side facing him. One of his hands propped up his head as he looked into her eyes, his eyes smiling at her. His other hand gently moved up the side of her thigh, across her hip and under her shirt, caressing her back. He leaned down and kissed her gently. As he felt her desire for him in her kisses, he pulled her closer and kissed her more deeply. His hand exploring her back, her side. He unhooked her bra and moved his hand slowly to cup her breast, kissing her deeply. She let a soft moan escape from her throat and shifted herself to mold her body into his. He rubbed her nipple gently with his fingers and felt her body moving slowly against his.

She broke away from his kiss for a moment to catch her breath. His hand still caressing her breast. She pulled his hand away and wrapped her arms tightly around him for a moment, then backed off the couch. She stood up before him with a shy smile on her face, then reached down and pulled her shirt off over her head.

He sat up, watching her as she removed her bra. She put her hands on his shoulders and sat on his lap straddling him, but keeping her hips close to his knees. He ran his hands slowly up her thighs and around her back, pulling her against him. Her eyes were all he could see as he felt her arms wrap around his back and her hips slowly moving against him. He suddenly pulled her head to his and kissed her passionately as she again let sounds escape from her throat. His hands caressed her back and moved to cup her breasts as they kissed. She pressed her hips hard against him, feeling him through their jeans.

Seeing clearly

I gave you my heart.
You left me bruised and in pain.
You knew you no longer wanted me.
But I continued to give you all of me.
You used me one last time and walked away.
I was left wondering what I did wrong.

I know now that your actions spoke loudly
about how you feel about yourself.
You wanted to treat another person with cruelty.
I didn’t realize at the time that I was the wrong person for you.
I know it now.

You ensured that my world was encompassed by you.
Constant phone calls. Unending text messages.
My free time was all about you.
Just the way you wanted it.
Yet, you used your time without me to build something else.
And went to her as quickly as you left my bed.

You left my heart shattered and my body black and blue.
My ego was too ashamed to admit what I had allowed to happen.

The physical bruises have healed.
The emotional ones still linger, but are better every day.

I will never forget, although I’m learning to forgive.
Above all I’m learning to forgive myself for trusting someone who
I knew from the start was unkind and self-centered in his actions.
I had been blinded by affection and attention.
My eyes see clearly now.

And for that I am eternally thankful.




Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes. Then she met him.

She had planned out her life down to the hour. She had achieved each of her goals. She had never made room for anyone so that she could stay on her track. The men she had dated were either on a similar track and had let her do her own thing. Or they just rode her coattails until one of them tired of it.

A quick stop at a convenience store on her way to a meeting brought them together.

Needing to pick up a drink and some breath mints, she stopped a block away from work. He was there in line behind her. When she dropped her keys on the floor, he picked them up and their eyes met. They both caught their breath, then smiled. She could barely choke out a quiet, “Thank you.” She turned quickly, shaking inside, and nearly ran out to her car. Trying to calm this unfamiliar reaction, she sat quickly in the driver’s seat. As he left the store, their eyes met again. She quickly flipped down the visor and pretended to check her makeup just to avert her eyes. She took a deep breath, composed herself, then backed her car out of the lot narrowly missing a collision with a delivery truck.

Moments later when she reached her office building, she was back in complete control and pushing the thoughts of him from her mind.

As she walked to the conference room, she began review the goals for the meeting. She placed herself at the head of the table, as always, pulled her laptop and the paperwork out of her briefcase, then closed her eyes and ran through the agenda in her head.

As the team began entering the room, she quickly opened her eyes. She stood to greet her colleagues and clients as they filed past her. Last to join the group was her boss who was deep in conversation with someone she couldn’t see. Then, he entered the room – the man from store. Her boss turned to introduce them and fortunately missed the glance they exchanged.

Throughout her presentation, she found herself stumbling over her words and struggling to keep her train of thought. She was never at a loss for words. She always controlled her every reaction – it was critical to her success. Yet, she could feel his eyes locked on her and couldn’t focus.

After the meeting, she tried to busy herself gathering her papers, but she couldn’t avoid him. He waited patiently until they were alone in the room, then slowly walked over. He shook her hand and requested her business card, meeting her eyes with a smile.

Countless business calls and emails later, she agreed to meet him for dinner. She felt her walls cracking around her and confusion filled her thoughts.

The evening of their dinner, she was unsure of how to handle herself. He had made all of the plans for dinner, all she had to do was show up . She hated giving up control, but something about him made her feel comfortable trusting in him.

Pulling up to the restaurant, she noticed the home next door painted a bright yellow over the stucco. Flowers filled the yard and a white picket fence framed the walkway. She got out of her car and stood, staring, longer than she’d realized, sensing a change within herself. The perfect condo she owned, the controlled life she lived was missing something. She felt a desire to be colorful, to break out of this precisely planned existence. Closing her eyes, she let herself feel the sun caressing her face. She breathed in deeply and felt herself smile as the faint scent of wildflowers filled her lungs.

She felt a hand at the small of her back and turned slowly, yet quickly meeting his eyes. Her heart jumped and the smile in her soul made her face glow. She knew she could achieve anything, including a vibrant life and white picket fence, by his side.


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Written as a submission for‘s Speakeasy #151 challenge.

Photo by Czintos Ödön.

If you like what you’ve read, please vote for me and 2 more favorites at the Speakeasy on Thursday.


Hold on loosely, but don’t let go

I’m facing a really interesting situation – for me anyway. And I’m learning a new lesson (yet again).

Typically breakups are breakups. End of story. Perhaps in time a friendship can develop, but that’s not often the case.

I met a truly wonderful guy who is fighting some demons, but is determined to win the fight. Polite, chivalrous, intelligent, fun, great conversationalist. He meets all of the items on my “wish list.” Except for the demons part – but there is a positive side to that in regard to being aware of himself and wanting to improve. Oh, but he’s married to his job. Sigh

I’m sure most people would just say – eh, let go, move on. Yet… there’s something about him that is just compelling me to wonder if “our chapter” in life is open-ended.

Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment in holding on to situations that are dead ends, but I am getting better at that. I think Paulie D from “Jersey Shore” would call me a “Stage 5 Clinger” at times. Again – I’m getting better.  🙂

I tend to look for the best in people and see potential where I should just accept others for who they are. Is it a positive outlook in regard to how I see others? Or is it lack of self-worth that I will settle for things that just aren’t quite right? Maybe both? Is it a control issue? Is it loyalty gone extreme?

I see similar tendencies in friends and associates, so I know I’m not alone. And it’s so much easier to find the issues in relationships that I’m not a part of. Easier to be objective, to offer advice that you truly believe in. One thing that I’ve been preaching, but have found so hard to put into practice is holding on loosely. When I give myself, I give all of me. Unapologetically all in and I really don’t want to change it. I dream of the day I find a man who can overcome his own insecurities and offer me the same, so I stay true to myself. However, I know that can be overwhelming. I’m not the girl who calls every hour or needs to be with her guy 24/7 – I need my space. But, I want to know I’m on his mind.

I’m learning to live a more casual way of life – particularly after I learned the hard way last fall that if you cling too tightly everything will explode from the pressure. I think that this new kind of friendship with the guy I had met is teaching me this lesson – hold on loosely to give each other freedom to be who we want to be… without letting go.

Hold on loosely, but don’t let go…



I’m haunted by thoughts of you
They appear at the oddest of times
A random word from a friend
A commercial on TV
While sitting at my desk at work.
I can’t seem to shake these memories
No matter what I try.
I know there is no hope for a future
But thoughts continue to haunt me.
They appear out of the blue and send a chill
into my heart.
The bittersweet reflections of you in my life
are too much.
I wonder if I still have something to learn
From our moments together.
There must be a reason that you still enter my mind.
It’s not typical
or even okay.
So much time has passed
and there is still such a strong connection.
I pray that the lesson becomes clear
So I can end this chapter of my life.
I no longer want to be haunted
by your memory.

3 Words – 12/11 – The End


She’s seen the decline in affection during the past few weeks, but nothing prepared her for this.
Her eyes followed him as he picked up his bag and headed to the door.
Without even look back at her, he turned the doorknob, opened the door and walked out.
Not a glance, a word nor a touch marked the end.
Tears streamed down her face and she felt her breath catch in her throat as she slid down the wall that had been supporting her.


(Write incorporating 3 words – decline, eyes, follow)

3 Words – 11/27 – Taking a Risk

When we meet someone new
Our heart, our soul, our gut
Tells us if we should risk
Moving forward with them.
The biggest hurdle we
find is coordinating
our heart and our mind.
Some people have a touch
so special it prompts us
to continue despite
a feeling that something
doesn’t fit in with where
our own path is heading.
At times it’s worth the risk
to follow the other’s path
To learn lessons we must
endure – while knowing in
our core that the connection
will end painfully.
The challenge is protecting
our delicate ego
while tasting the sweet fruit
the person offers us.
Living for the moment,
with no worry about
a future together.
Knowing when the future
comes we’ll be left only
with the lingering sting
of the bittersweet times
spent following a path
not meant for permanence.



(Write incorporating 3 words – risks, that, tell)