L.A. Times Festival of Books

I’m so looking forward to this weekend at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Chris and I plan to go to a panel Dave Eggars is on (that’s Chris’ favorite writer). Eggars has written several books, including, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Simon & Schuster, 2000).

I’m hoping to see some friends there and might go to Sunday’s events too, since my favorite writer Jennifer Weiner is going to be there. Weiner writes chick-lit, one of my favorite genres. Her books Good in Bed and In Her Shoes are my favorites.

What are your favorite books and writers?

Have you joined My Cult Life Talk? We’re a community of people focused on recovering from cults and educating others about them.

The One Who Got Away

Following yesterday’s “near breakup” Chris and I are still together.

But we still have the same questions:

Will it work out?

Will we be in the same place as we are now two years from now?

Will we ever be on the same page (re: marriage/kids)?

I’ve always dated younger men and I’ve always had these same questions. Five (or so) years ago, I met Matt. He was nearly everything I’d ever wanted in a boyfriend and we had a great relationship. But months down the road, our age difference and the geographical distance between us took it’s toll. He got distant emotionally and when I pressed him he said, “It’s not love. It’s everything else. I love you but it’s just not working.”

Sometimes love isn’t enough. Sometimes you need all the other pieces to the puzzle–living close together, like personalities, similar ages or stages in life, similar goals or priorities.

It’s the worst feeling in the world to break up with someone you love amiably, having no hard feelings.

Matt and I broke up in 2005 and a few months later he flew back to see me and asked me to come back to him.

It was too late.

I was already dating someone new. Ruben. Ruben turned out to be a terrible boyfriend (nice enough, but unintelligent and always trying to change me). I should’ve gone with Matt. He took me to dinner and we talked and he told me sorry. He didn’t want to lose me.

I was stubborn. I wanted it all. I wanted perfection. I wanted to move to Spokane, Washington months earlier and since Matt had acted uninterested, I stubbornly said no. I let him walk away. I’d given up on “us”.

Two years later, I tried to get Matt back. He refused. He’d had too many broken hearts and didn’t trust women. I tried and tried and tried for months. He finally stopped emailing me back.

It’s happened to me before…twice before. I lost Jason when I was 17. I broke up with him in order to prepare for Master’s Commission and their “no dating” rule. I was stupid for breaking up with Jason, but I was zealous and dumb. I thought in order to love Jesus more, I had to be single like Master’s Commission taught me.

Jason never forgave me and went on to be happily married. He and his wife just welcomed their first daughter.

It took me over ten years to get over Jason. I’ll always love him. He was the one who got away. My first true love. The one I still believe I should’ve married, instead of letting go.

Have you joined My Cult Life Talk? We’re a community of people focused on recovering from cults and educating others about them.

Do Age Differences Matter?

I met Chris about two years ago in college. I was actually dating someone else at the time, and Chris became one of my good friends following my breakup.

I started developing feelings for Chris and we started dating in June. In about a month, we’ll have been dating a year. We never fight, rarely argue and I couldn’t be dating someone more perfect for me.

Some of you who know me well or follow me on Facebook or Twitter know that yesterday was a rough day. Chris and I almost broke up.

We didn’t fight and we weren’t arguing. Actually, neither of us wanted to break up. We just felt like we have a really complicated future (if any) together.

I’m 30. I want to buy a house, get a dog and another cat and finish up my book. After it’s published (*if it gets published*), I want to start a family. Yes, I have a very specific timeline but it’s flexible. I do have to consider this though: my doctor says I should have kids before 38 years old. She says that having them younger is actually better if we’re considering the health of women’s eggs. I’m not ready to have a kid yet. In fact, some days I don’t want to really have a child. I like to sleep. I can’t really afford one yet. I don’t want to be a chauffeur or a housekeeper and I like my alone time.

Most of all, I’ll have to put a stop to all my weekend trips to Europe.

Just kidding. I don’t have those.

Chris is 23. He’s in a band about dinosaurs called Dinophilia and he’s an excellent writer and editor. He loves good wine and good beer. We have a lot in common and we get along great.

But, we’re significantly far apart in age. No matter how much “age doesn’t matter” it really does, especially in our relationship. We’re not Demi and Ashton. For one, Demi already had kids when she was with Ashton. Maybe that would help Chris and I.  Maybe I should run off and get knocked up.

So, what do you think? Do you think age differences really matter? Do you think two people can work through their age differences and find a middle ground, a compromise without giving up who they are and what’s best for them?

I’d love to hear your point of view and advice.

Have you joined My Cult Life Talk? We’re a community of people focused on recovering from cults and educating others about them.

My Own Reality TV Show

I want my own reality tv show. It could happen, right? Afterall, my dad is starring in one. It’s being filmed this summer. I can’t even disclose that, probably (confidentiality agreements and stuff–pretend I didn’t say anything to you. Shhh!).

If I had my own reality tv show, I’d probably be a hit and really rich.

So if you know any producers, give ’em a call. 🙂

Boy Problems

Ever have one of those days when everything makes you cry?

No?

Yeah, me neither.

Actually, I’m lying. I have those days at least once a month, sometimes more. It really depends. I can always depend on a good “Cry Day” if two factors happen around the same time. First, I have to be having boy troubles. Second, I have to have forgotten to pick up my prescription refill for my anti-anxiety medicine (which is an SSRI and must be taken at the same time everyday, or at least everyday, to prevent Cry Days.)

Why can’t everything just be perfect in life? I mean, my life is pretty damn good. I live in Paradise. The weather is always between 60 and 70 degrees. Seagulls always fly overhead, and I have a nice coastal breeze outside my house. I like my job. I like my hobbies. I have great family and friends. And then it happens…

The inevitable.

Boy problems.

I’m thirty years old, unmarried and without children. I really don’t need to be having boy problems.

I do, though. I always do.

What are your plans Easter Sunday?

It’s Okay Not to “Know”

There are some people you’ll meet in life that just KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God, gods. They’ll convince you that they have hard evidence and proof and “experiences” to show you that there is a god.

But, really, it can’t be proved and we all know it. If there is a heaven or hell (I don’t believe there is one. I think it’s a fear tactic), wouldn’t we likely not have proof of that until we die?

Oh, yeah, except that the “bible” is the word of god breathed from his mouth?

Not likely. Most documents are drafted, edited, and rewritten; sometimes using many contributors.

Anyway, I’m getting off track.

The point of this blog post is this: it’s OKAY to not know everything about what you believe in or don’t believe in.

Say you just left a cult, like I did about five years ago. You’re probably going through a wide variety of emotions and probably rethinking virtually everything that happened there and how those people you were in the cult with treat you now.

If you’re rethinking things, that’s a good sign. It’s healthy. It means, you’re learning from your past experiences and turning it into wisdom, in my opinion.

It may take years for you to come to terms with what you do and don’t believe in. You might be more lenient and understanding toward others. You might miss the community of church, but abhor the judgmentalism that exists there.

So what if you end up an atheist at the end of your “I-don’t-know” phase? So what?! Atheists aren’t bad and they’re not baby killers. They’re “god less” but not godless.

So what if you end up Buddhist? Hmm…you may just end up to be far more moral and caring than some of us are. Not to mention more zen. 🙂

So what if you still end up going to charismatic churches? No big deal. I’m sure some of your views have changed and you’re not going to be duped or suckered anymore. Smile! 🙂 That’s good news.

What if you just don’t know and don’t care? I personally think that’s a great place to be.

Belief and spirituality (or the lack of) aren’t about labels, in my opinion. Just be who you are and surround yourself with positive people. From there…enjoy life free from worry and oppressive dogma.

 

Las Vegas, Part 1

image

Not too long ago, my family and I went to Las Vegas, NV for a weekend trip. Having been a reverend for several years, I was taught that Las Vegas was bad–it was “Sin City.” I hadn’t ever gambled until I was 25 years old. This trip was a lot more fun since I could gamble and drink and do all the “sinful” things I never did before.

Life AFTER the cult is AMAZING!!

image

Here’s a picture of the “statue of Liberty” at the New York, New York Casino.

image

We stayed at Caesar’s Palace in a pretty awesome suite, which I clearly didn’t pay for. 🙂 Here’s the dining room which had a view of the Strip. Below is our custom coffee maker.

 

 

image

Our suite had a his and her bathroom–yep, side-by-side separate bathrooms. Here’s one of them.

image

Below are some of the not so great pictures I took of the Strip at night from the view of our living room/dining room area. More pictures to follow of the rest of the trip.

 

 

image

image

image

image