Mistakes were meant to be made…otherwise, how else would we learn what NOT to do??

The man of my dreams slipped me his number and what do I do, call him and hang up after he answers. My roommate and I were dying laughing, should we answer, not answer, change our number, what do we do??? He called right back which meant there was no time to come up with an excuse. So I picked up and told him my roommate had tripped over the phone and ripped it out of the wall. He must have believed me because 3 hours later, we were on our first date. The very next morning, I phoned ‘M.B’ in California and told him it was over for good!

This new guy was more my age, had a devilish smile, beautiful lips and eyes that looked right through my soul. It was obvious from the beginning that he was trouble and my heart was going to pay for this, but he was addicting. Even worse, this one knew exactly how to make me fall in love with him. He also made it very clear that he was single and not looking to commit, so as long as I understood ‘the rules’, we could see each other. It’s like he knew I was weak and preyed on my vulnerabilities, he truly was slime, but I loved him. I think our ‘relationship’ would be best described by the words in that that famous song, ‘I’m not in love’ by 10CC. I fell easily when I was young, love was my worst enemy and my greatest weakness.

‘G’ had me wrapped around his finger, he knew it and would only call when there were no other girls available. Cell phones were still quite new, expensive and really hard to get. Back then all you had was a caller ID box on your home phone. Most days I just waited for the phone to ring and would constantly pick up the receiver listening for a dial tone to make sure it worked. When he did call, I would come running, it was pathetic.

To make matters worse, ‘G’ lived about 5 minutes down the road, 5 minutes, do you know what that meant??? It meant that it was much more convenient for me to stalk him…..and I did, a lot!!! You might be asking yourself, how does one stalk??? Well I’ll tell you how, very carefully that’s how. His house was on the corner of the street, which made it perfect for drive by stalking, in my roommates car of course. One time, I noticed a new car out front, so I parked down the street, creeped up to his window, plastered my ear up against it and listened for about 30 minutes. I could hear everything! He had a girl in his room and they were having a great time, it killed me. The dumbest part was, he wasn’t mine, so what could I possibly gain from doing this?? What I did next was quite embarrassing, so not proud, but since I’m writing about my life, here it goes.

The night before I had been sleeping in that same room where this new girl was now and in my mind, there was no way she was going to take him from me. Madness took a hold of me, I had to break it up! With my hands shaking wildly and my heart beating through my chest, I knocked on the door!! His roommate answered and while he was annoyingly asking me what I wanted, I could hear it, the sound of sex coming from his bedroom. There I stood at the front door, paralyzed, like a fool, listening. Any self respecting person would have walked away and never returned, but not me, I stayed and just pretended like I could handle it. His roommate looked over towards the bedroom, looked at me and said, ‘well, you know ‘G’. Then the craziness began, I insisted that my ID had fallen out of my pocket in his room the night before and I needed it to go out that night. He refused to interrupt him, closed the door and turned out the lights.

What I did next was unforgivable. With my head hung low, I walked down the sidewalk towards her car and kicked the door as hard as I could. Why do women do that?? We find out our man is cheating and instead of leaving him, we try to beat up or make life miserable for the women. She had nothing to do with this, he was the jerk, not her.

The next morning he called and you can bet I didn’t jump to answer that day. He knew that big dent was from me and answering meant I had to own it and most likely, be dumped. His calls went unanswered for about a week before he tracked me down at my favorite bar. To my surprise, I was forgiven but warned that if there was anymore craziness, he would be done with me. For the next 8 months I was extra careful with my stalking, even managed to turn him down a few times for dates. But inside I was dying with anxiety, counting the minutes until we would hang out again.

My friends could see the effect he was having on me and decided to stage an intervention. I was insecure and this obviously lead to my insanity.

I would imagine its quite difficult for those of you who’ve never been jealous to comprehend my behavior. Maybe I can help you understand a bit. Imagine you are at an all you can eat buffet, you’re favorite one in town. You’ve had multiple plates of food and are so full that you have to unbutton your pants for comfort, but you go back for more anyway. You know it’s wrong, you tell yourself to stop eating, but the obsession is just too strong. Jealousy is the same, I knew I was being crazy, but I just couldn’t stop!

The intervention was a success, we all knew it was time to end it, but how? Simple, it was time to move again. Working for At&t had many benefits, but the best being their job database. All I had to do was find a new position in another city, apply and then off I go. Within days of filling out the application, I received a phone call from our new department in Tampa, they needed me in 2 weeks and I accepted!!

There was no way to describe the relief I felt, it was like a million pounds had just been lifted from my shoulders. Deep down I knew I wasn’t strong enough to just leave him, so commiting to this job was the answer and I couldn’t wait to tell him.

At first he didn’t believe me and rightfully so. During our courtship I conjured up lie after lie hoping to make him fall for me. Once I pretended to be pregnant long enough to get his attention again and then claimed I had a miscarriage. But this time it was real and the look on his face when he saw the packed boxes was priceless. And then he did the unimaginable, he asked me to be in a committed relationship!! With pride and confidence, I told him to take a hike! Tampa was my new obsession now and I couldn’t wait to start the next chapter of my life and oh what a chapter it was…

Here I go again….from one bad decision to the next!

“I just wanted to remind everyone that I have no idea what I am doing, I’m not a writer, but I think everyone should document your life because one day, you may forget it. Thanks so much for reading!” #themidlifetravelerblog

I believe I was drowning my sorrows in a cocktail when the phone rang. It had been 8 months since our last encounter and there it was, his name shining brightly on the caller ID. My roommate shook her head as I jumped up and down with excitement before answering the phone. My ‘older man’ (M.B) was coming to town in a few weeks and wanted to know if I was single. “M.B” knew that if I had a boyfriend, we wouldn’t see each other, but today was his lucky day and for me, a life saver. It had been 2 months since I caught my boyfriend with someone else and I really needed some attention. Even though it was wrong to see him, I was young and stupid and he was the perfect man to bring me out of my funk.

First step, get fit! My body was at an all time low which didn’t help with my depression, so my roommate and I went on a mission to lose 10 pounds in 10 days. It was simple, just eat lots of diet pills and stay away from 3 am bar hot dogs and fast food. Our poor bodies, we put them through so much. This wasn’t the first or the last time I thought I could look like a super model in light speed without a proper diet or exercise. In high school I weighed 105 pounds, but didn’t drink alcohol and ate home cooked food. In college, Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and unlimited food credits in the cafeteria helped me to put on 35 pounds. At 5’5”, this wasn’t good and I’m guessing was a big reason I was always tired in class and slept a lot.

So began the process of starving myself and spending hours on the treadmill in my apartment’s fitness center. After a week the scale read 133, 7 pounds disappeared in 7 days…..whoo hoo, it was Friday so time to celebrate! Orlando’s fashion sense was pretty casual which was great because my closet was full of gym clothes, t-shirts, anything I could find with camouflage on it and lots of bad choices. Luckily “M.B” liked buying me sexy outfits and my friend was amazing with hair and makeup, so I was feeling HOT that night. For the first time in awhile, it felt good to be me and my confidence was at an all time high.

Weekend nights were always the same, drinks at our apartment, a strong roadie for the car ride, another shot once we parked and always the same bars. By this time, we knew which bartenders poured the strongest drinks and which Dj’s played the best music. As usual, I was on display portraying my best mating dance when the next ‘bad decision’ of my life took the bait.

He was hot, I mean HOT, the hottest guy I’d ever seen and he wanted me! We never said a word, for hours our bodies just moved in perfect harmony on that dance floor. When the lights came on, he placed his hand under my chin, lifted my head, gave me a kiss, tucked a piece of paper in my bra and said, ‘call me’. There I stood, jaw dropped, knees buckled and absolutely in love!

The next morning was chaos, I talked to everyone I knew trying to find out how long to wait before calling?? 3 days, a week, that very minute??? This guy wore expensive clothes, smelled good and definitely did well for himself. Being eager was a turn off but if I waited too long, he might forget who I was. “M.B” would be here in a week and since I already had something to look forward to; the decision was made to contact him after my other man left town.

That lasted all of about 40 minutes. I picked up the phone and started to dial, my roommate grabbed the handle from me and hung it up. This happened several times as she tried to talk some sense into me. But the butterflies in my tummy were out of control, I was a mess, waiting a week would be torture, so I poured a drink and made the call…

When “G” answered, everything froze, the clever lines and cute things I had practiced to say all morning just disappeared from memory, so I hung up! I can’t believe I hung up. Of course he had caller ID and of course he called me right back…

It was Cinderella’s fault I was so unhappy in my 20’s….

This was now the second time I decided to move across state lines for a boy. And this was the second time it failed. One day after moving to Orlando, I caught him at the beach with another women! Between my broken heart, paying double rent, student loans, credit card bills and endless bar tabs, I was a mess. If it wasn’t for the $1 menu at McDonald’s and the cheap hot dog vendors at 3 am, I would have starved. I was extremely unhealthy, drank too much and was out of control. The sad part was that compared to where I had just moved from, life was pretty good. Here I am, living in Orlando, newly single with a steady job and a fantastic apartment, but none of that mattered. I was 23, broke, alone and desperate to be in love.❤

Dating was like playing the lottery, the odds of winning were 1 in a million, but I kept playing anyway. 

Unfortunately my mom was always working, so there wasn’t much time to teach me about boys. But she did mention one thing that stuck with me, mom said, ‘Carrie, don’t ever feel that you have to get married or have children’. I don’t remember if I ever asked why and to be honest, it probably went in one ear and out the other, but looking back on it now, she was absolutely right.

I was obsessed with finding love and it’s all Cinderella’s fault. Her and all those silly fairy tale books we read as kids.

I thought happiness meant you had to have a man. On girls night out, it was hard to enjoy myself because all I ever wanted to do was find a man, get married and have his babies!!!!

I think if I had a daughter, she would be reading books on how to be her own boss, make money and travel the world. The ones that say to wait around for a Prince are sweet, but there needs to be variety.

Plus they painted a picture that seemed so easy to achieve. Society and family pressure didn’t help either. Up until the last few years, it was strange if you weren’t married by 25 and by 30, you were almost considered too old to marry. 

When I was young, it seemed instead of traveling the world, discovering themselves or dating a bit to see what kind of person was right for them, adults did as they were told. They married young, bought a house, had children and got a job. That was my plan too, but the keeper of my destiny had a different plan. 

And then, out of the blue, he called, my ‘older man, the one I swore off because he was already taken. The man who taught me about fine wines, girly clothes and elegant dinners. I knew it was wrong to talk to him, but when all you see are dark clouds and broken dreams, you do things you normally wouldn’t do, so I answered the phone…

 

It was 1995, I was in love, had a great job and then everything changed…

Now that I had a good job, Augusta was starting to grow on me.  I soon met a local boy named Tony who captured my heart. When I told my ‘Sugar Daddy’ in California that it was over, he wished me well, chuckled and said,’I’ll see you soon’. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but it was about to become very clear.

Knowing that there was no other way out of small town Georgia, Tony joined the Navy and was stationed in Orlando. I was going on 9 months with AT&T when they informed us of the layoffs. Luckily for me, there was an office in Orlando looking to hire a File Room Clerk for $400 a week…I was elated! Not only was it my ticket out of Augusta, but it was a way for Tony and I to be together.

The week before my big move, the famous ‘Masters’ golf tournament was taking place and one of the local bars needed a beer tub girl. The city was flooded with people from all over and in 3 days time, I made $2000 cash. In my 25 years, I had never seen that much money, and it was all mine. Everything was working out perfectly, except for 2 tiny issues, my DUI and my lease.

A month before accepting the job in Orlando, I had moved into a nicer place and signed a year lease with a girlfriend of mine. Now If you know me, you know that I am loyal, and when I give my word, I will do whatever it takes to keep it. So I promised I would pay my half until she found a replacement. Basically between the rent in Orlando and the rent in Georgia, half my pay was already spent. Not having any money was normal for me though and like always, I would figure it out, but the DUI and weekly mandatory visits with my probation officer…..well that was another story???

My 1988 Chevy Cavalier was packed, Travis the beagle was chillen in the front seat and I was on my way. The 3 bedroom apartment was already furnished and my new roommates were eagerly waiting my arrival. At the time, cell phones were fairly new, expensive and impossible to get. Tony would have to call my home phone from a payphone in order to talk and it had been a week or so since I’d heard from him. I was getting suspicious, but remember, I was also the crazy, psycho, jealous girl, so I was always suspicious.

Once I settled in, it was time begin the hunt. My boyfriend had no way of getting a hold of me so I went to the Navy base to track him down. It wasn’t easy getting past the guard gate, but with a few flips of the hair, some fake giggles and a lot of flirting…..I was in! After interrogating several of his Navy buddies, they informed me that he was at a super popular beach bar with some friends. I was feeling quite proud of my investigation that day and with a big smile and happy heart, I was off to surprise the man I loved, the man who swore to me that we would be together forever…