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The Dalema

Finding The Woman I'm Meant To Be

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Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”

– Maya Angelou –

Purposefully misspelled, I created ‘The Dalema’ from letters in my name. It’s a safe place for me to breathe. A place to unload the built-up and untold opinions, emotions, situations and short stories – the baggage I’ve been carrying around with me every day of my life.

I started writing when I was seven. I was on a plane for the first time, traveling from New York to Oregon with my grandma to visit my uncle. She gave me the gift of paper and my uncle gave me the gift of poetry. Together they gave me the gift of writing.

Escaping my body through the pen in my hand and camouflaging themselves as ink on stationary, I realized words had become my tears, my laughter – my screams. Only then did I realize I could start to understand my emotions if I wrote them down. Every day since, my life story has been accumulating on paper.

I’ve learned I’m a hopelessly romantic cynic, a realistic dreamer – a millennial with an old soul. I’m an outgoing introvert who’s insecurely confident. I’m a woman trying to be better than the girl I was meant to be.

Writing is the only way I know to lift the weight of the world off of my chest so I can breathe. The Dalema is my life. The Dalema is my story, untold. Follow along as I get through it – one post at a time.

  • The Dalema
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Subconscious State of Mind

Sleep is all I’ve got
to help get over you
I close my eyes and wander off
the pain wanders too

My dreams drift to a place
where your memory doesn’t exist
Where I can’t feel your skin on mine
I can’t taste your kiss

Where I can’t hear you saying
I don’t give you butterflies
And I don’t see you craving her
as I stare into your eyes

A place where I don’t question
why it’s not me that you want
Where the moments most dear to me
aren’t the ones that you forgot

There’s only one place left to go
for a heart that’s bruised like mine
It’s when I fade into a deep sleep
a subconscious state of my mind

When I wake I’ll be reminded
that I can’t be what you need
So goodnight, sleep tight –
love me just for tonight
if only in my dreams.

  • The Dalema. February 17, 2015.

Reasons I Don’t Deserve to Date

Dating, my least favorite word in the history of words ever, of all time. I hate it more than ‘moist’, ‘crusty’, ‘crevice’, ‘splurge’ and ‘gooey’. No need to question the gulps of hatorade I’m chugging in order to choke down the feelings I have on dating – I’ve earned my right to hate. After seven years of all kinds of dating: online dating, blind dates, casual dating, bar-scene-dating, the ‘my friend has a friend whose cousin is single and nice’ dating, the ‘he’s not my type but I’ll give it a try’ dating, etc. – the list is never ending. I’ve realized after all these years, it really wasn’t them – it was me.

I don’t deserve to date. Here’s why:

1. I’m Honest.
If you ask me a question, I’ll give you an answer – an honest answer. I won’t lie – I won’t toy with you or answer pretending to be the chick I think you might want me to be, and I definitely won’t sugar coat it. I will be straight up, to the point and answer with nothing but the truth. I don’t care if you ask me how I like my eggs, what my biggest fear is or where the craziest place I’ve had sex was (omg don’t act so shocked – seven years of dating, of course I’m going to have at least one crazy story).

Honesty has no place in dating today. You’ve got to play the game; if he asks you out, tell him you’re busy (even when you’re completely, not even watching Netflix, available). If she texts you first – wait an hour to respond. Oh and don’t forget – be super vague and short with your response. Appear uninterested unless she’s uninterested, then you need to get her interested again to be able to show her how uninterested in her you are! (Yes, that’s a play off of the classic ‘Wedding Crashers’ scene). Apparently, it’s all about the chase – and honesty doesn’t need chasing. Honesty needs understanding and attention; two things that do not fit, and aren’t freely given, in today’s standards of dating.

2. I’m Loyal.
If I make plans with you or say I’m available on a specific day, I’ll keep those plans and/or that date available for you. If we talk about ‘getting together sometime’ or ‘meeting up’, you bet your sweet ass I’m going to actually assume we are meeting up. And wait – hold on to your seat for this one – if I’m ‘dating’ you, I’m actually only DATING you.

That’s right everyone – I’m loyal! I don’t have the time, energy or desire to try and ‘play the field’. It’s an extremely rare occurrence for me to find someone I’m actually interested in. So when I do find someone that piques my interest, someone who is worth taking the time to get to know and ‘date’, I like to focus on that one person and actually be honest with them about who I am and what I’m interested in. Honesty – please see #1, second paragraph.

3. I’m Genuine
Here’s a crazy thought (that might actually make sense if you fully read through points #1 & #2), I mean what I say, I say what I mean and I freaking care. Do I care too much sometimes for people who don’t deserve it? Absolutely. Us genuine people tend to do that. But here’s also a remarkable thought – being genuine means you care about the well being of another person. You want the best for that person. You want to help that person become the best version of themselves. You care about that person. Being genuine is a bitch.

When dating today, being genuine is misconstrued as being ‘too into’ someone. Being genuine might be taken as ‘clingy’ or ‘being a hopeless romantic with unrealistic standards’. When they’re having a bad day, you want to comfort them and want to understand what’s going wrong; you actually CARE when you ask. If they’re hungry or having an urge to do something fun – like, I don’t know, maybe get outside, enjoy the weather – you might genuinely care enough to pack a picnic basket and take them on a hiking adventure in the park. Whoa, hopeless romantic?!? NOPE – just a normal person who genuinely cares. And guess who doesn’t have time for that? Any form of dating in 2016.

4. I’m Old Fashioned
Now, now – I know what you’re thinking, “How can you be old fashioned if you’re talking about ‘craziest places you’ve had sex’ in point #1?” I’m not talking old fashioned like he picks me up at my parents house and I make him help my mom churn butter before dinner while my dad loads his shotgun and sharpens the shovel. I’m talking about old fashioned as in he picks me up at my house, knocks on the door (fuck the horn honk or the ‘here’ text message), and asks me if I’m ready to go to dinner. Then, another crazy thought, we sit through an entire meal (not apps and drinks) and just talk. We talk about who we are, what we like (not sexually), and then – HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS AGAIN FOLKS – he takes me home and doesn’t try to get inside my place (or my pants).

Old fashioned doesn’t work when dating today. Most ‘getting to know one another’ conversations aren’t conversations at all. Someone’s snapping the other person and tagging them in funny memes on Instagram, while the other person is meticulously continuing their left-swipe-affair with Tinder. All the while, these two people are just wasting their time and finding absolutely nothing out about one another. Sure, he’s most likely sent her a dick pic in the first days’ text exchange (why by the way, why?!?! Please sweet baby cheeses, can we please stop this disgusting habit?!), but personally, I’d like to know the color of your eyes and maybe your middle name before I know how many inches long you are at a completely-not-shown-to-scale picture of you at your ‘happiest’.

5. I’m Selfish & Confident(ish)
Here’s the big one, my ‘ah-ha!’ factor to why I do not deserve to date. I’m selfish and (most of the time) confident-ish. I’ll explain the aforementioned ‘ish’ in a moment. I’m selfish, so selfish, that I’ll want you to myself. I will want to be the reason you look down at your phone and smile. I’ll want to be someone you look forward to spending time with. I’ll, SO SELFISHLY, want to be the only person you’re dating because then I’ll know (and have no reason to overthink or second guess) we are both putting equal amounts of effort into this all-too-difficult-for-no-reason-dating-thing we are doing. Why? Because we are both so ridiculous that we will actually want to genuinely, loyally and honestly get to know one another. I’m so selfish that I’ll want to put some of my daily focus into making you happy – I’ll want to be the reason your bad days are better. I’ll selfishly want to share all the good things and bad things that might have happened in my day with you, too. And, selfishly, I’ll want to call you mine because you’re amazing, smart, cute and funny; and here I am – all of that and more – and I’ll actually want YOU to call ME yours, too!

I’m selfish & confident-ish. I say ‘ish’ because, after seven years of torture – I mean dating, I’ve finally realized what I do and do not deserve. I can honestly, with the upmost confidence, say I do NOT deserve to date!! I don’t deserve to have to lie to someone and trick them into dating me. I don’t deserve to have to pretend to be busy or pretend to be seeing other people only to try and make you jealous and chase after me to win my affection. I don’t deserve to go on dates, spend my precious time getting to know you – and allow you to get to know me – if you have no intentions of being loyal. I do not deserve to allow you to sleep with me and have all the benefits of a relationship when we are just ‘dating’.

I don’t deserve to date because I’m old fashioned and, to me, dating someone means you are trying with them – with only them – to see if the two of you could be compatible; two people who might actually laugh together, create memories together, sleep together and – eventually – fully commit to a relationship because things are going so well! Oh, what’s that? A friendship developed, too?!? THAT’S INSANE! Why the hell would you want to be in a relationship with someone that makes you smile, understands you, brings out the best in you and is one of your friends?!? Of course you should just keep ‘dating’ so they have the opportunity AND availability to potentially meet someone else.

I’m honest, genuine, loyal, old fashioned and – above all else – I’m selfish. And because of these things, I just don’t deserve to date.

– Danyle L. M. (9/8/2016)

Leap Of Faith

The moments before the jump, you stand still for a second admiring the view, taking in all the beauty surrounding you – wondering how many people will ever or have ever looked at what you’re looking at the way you’re looking at it now.

Slowly, you start inching your way closer to the edge – and then you look down. Whoa! It’s way higher than you thought it would be. Are you going to get hurt? Are you sure you should do this? Once you fling your body over the edge, there’s no turning back – even if you want to. You pause and start to second guess your decision. You’re so close to jumping, are you really going to give up now?!

You’re palms are sweating and your heart is racing – you swallow hard with hesitation and you can feel the tug of your body trying to turn around. You’ve come so close, you’ve worked too hard! You exhale – the words ‘ah fuck it’ sneak from your lips and, before you know it, your heart takes over. It begins pumping adrenaline through your veins as you take in a deep breath, hold it and throw yourself over the edge.

All the emotions; admiration, peace, apprehension and hesitation, uncertainty, fear, joy, anxiety, doubt, excitement, pride, thrill, happiness, giddy exhilaration – those are what you feel during the most crucial, defining and influential moments of your life. I felt those emotions signing the lease to my new apartment, in a new-ish city. I felt those emotions when I accepted a new job offer and sent in my letter of resignation after nine years with a company – and that’s what I’ve felt anytime I’ve met someone who had the potential to break my heart.

I can honestly say after you throw yourself over the edge, after you take in that deep breath and hold it as you fall, you can’t help but exhale in relief. During the laughter, smiles and with the warmth tickling your skin from the adrenaline rush – entranced within the overwhelmingly amazing happiness you find yourself spiraling through – you won’t be able to hold your breath.

The fear literally gets knocked out of you as the pride swells in your chest – making it physically impossible for your heart to feel regret or your mind to have any doubts. Once you hit the water, the cool sensation rushing across your skin becomes so intoxicatingly addicting you’ll swim as fast as you can just to climb back up the hill and do it all, all over again. This time without fear, without hesitation, without doubt – with complete confidence.

Those moments, the most crucial, defining, challenging, emotion-filled and influential moments – they’re addicting.

Know yourself enough to understand when it’s worth the climb, trust your intuition enough to listen when the jump is too steep and be confident enough in yourself to know once you plunge into the water, you’re just going to want to jump in all over again!

  • The Dalema. August 9, 2016

Right Now

Right now I’m not looking, I’m not hoping – I’m just living. One day at a time, one feeling at a time. If I think I want to do something, I’ll do it. If I don’t, I won’t.

No regrets, no over thinking, no self-judgment. I’m going to allow my life to happen and I’m going to control it. My chances are my choices and things will happen because I’ll want them to. But I won’t be broken – not again. I won’t care for someone until they work for it and earn it. I’m not just going to give my care away anymore.

-Danyle L. M. (2016)

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