Recently I hiked Mount Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont (up to The Chin) by myself. There were more people than I anticipated when I did this hike on a Sunday, but I was alone for most of the time when I was on the trail. Which allowed me to hug so many trees, haha. On my way back down I usually take my time. Mostly because I don’t want to fall, but I also don’t want to leave nature. I had a couple of people pass me, a group and one guy. I let them pass me because I didn’t desire to go fast. When I got to the end the guy was still hanging out towards the bottom. I was a little bewildered, but I signed out at the post where we signed in. At this point, I still had about a mile to get to the parking lot. He had stopped by an area that was open and you could hear the stream rushing down. Which he asked me if I knew of any places to go swimming around the area. We then got to talking on our way back to the parking lot, and he seemed like a nice guy. We ended up going separate ways once I got to my car, I didn’t even catch his name and I sat in my car and thought of how nice that interaction was.

On my way out, I saw him sitting on the back of his car and decided to stop to ask him what his name was, since he offered me surfing lessons where he was from in case I was ever visiting. We ended up exchanging numbers and he ended up texting me if I wanted to grab food, but I didn’t get his text until I was home. I followed up with if he was still in the area I would be back in town in a few days. At which he said that he was going to still be in the area.

It happened to be down pouring and most of the day was predicted to be raining. We met at a vegan restaurant, and truthfully I’m not a big fan of going out to eat now (because of my lifestyle that I choose). I mostly would rather eat a ton of fruit or make all of my own food because I know how it’s prepared and it tastes infinitely better. I ended up getting a smoothie, which was good and I could still follow my guidelines of how I eat. He wasn’t vegan but said he is open to that lifestyle and had tried it for a month. The rest of the day was just an adventure, and I loved it. I love going with the flow and I usually say yes to doing just about anything (well, not everything here, I’m not that outgoing).

Chips (part of the no-foods) and Guac (my kryptonite). &&& one of my favorite numbers

We did a few different activities throughout the day. When I go on dates, I like to ask so many questions and find out who they are as a person, if I would even be interested in them. He seemed to be a genuine guy who loved to be outside. My favorite thing we did was walk along a trail to a lookout point barefoot. I really love being barefoot but my feet are delicate and I don’t walk barefoot enough to handle the little stones that were on part of the trail. But I really enjoyed walking barefoot along a trail to a lookout point to a view of the mountains and the lake. The sun was peaking through but it was mostly cloudy and rainy. We just stood and looked at the view for a while. We did end up going out to a restaurant later (that wasn’t completely vegan) but I ended up getting some vegan options, which I know for myself weren’t the best, but I gave myself compassion in the moment because I wanted to try to connect with him. As soon as I eat foods that aren’t healing for me, I start to feel low, and my energy changes. Which happened on this date. I just desired to go home and felt I left the date in a weird spot. I did tell him “…to be continued…” but I get the feeling I probably won’t hear back from him again. And it’s okay, I’m just really proud of myself for going on a date, with a guy I randomly met hiking.

I didn’t feel nervous on this date, mostly because I go into things with no expectations, until he wanted to kiss me. (I hadn’t kissed anyone in 2.5 years at this point, I was working on healing myself and isolated myself from the dating world for a while.)

With dating, I have never been into the “hook-up” culture. I always felt that in order for me to fit in with people I’ve been friends with, I felt I have to ‘pretend’ that I was one of them, so I could feel like I was apart of the crowd. I remembered feeling left out for years for not having a boyfriend or not hooking up with any guy. Most of my friends were talking about it all the time and would ask me questions about dating and sometimes would make me feel weird that I wasn’t doing what they were doing. And for years I became ashamed of myself for not being like everyone else and for not being what I would see in TV shows, magazines, and movies. Now, I am proud of myself for being me, because I am pretty amazing if you get to know me.

I don’t enjoy hooking up with someone on the first date, or even kissing someone on the first date. (Unless, I feel I have a deep connection with them, I may go for a kiss). I really value my energy and my space, and for me to share it intimately with a person, I’d like know if we share some of the same values in life. I enjoy getting to know someone personally over having sex with them first. It may sound like I’m a ‘prude’ (I’ve definitely been told that before) because I’m not like everyone else in our culture, but there’s a lot that can happen when you share each others space. You share energies, bacteria and bodily fluids, and if you have worked hard to heal yourself, it’s hard to let someone in who isn’t on your level.

For me now, trying to date someone who isn’t a vegan, is a little bit tricky. One because they don’t eat like me and are surprised that I’ve eaten 20 bananas in a day. (People think I’m overdosing on potassium). Two because, I start to get into my head about when I would kiss someone who isn’t at my vibe. I’ve worked hard to heal myself, and when you kiss someone who has a different bacterial make-up than you (especially if they hook up with other people regularly) you can pick up strains that you have worked hard to clear out of your system. Three, not only that, you pick up their energy and you give your energy to them. There was nothing wrong with the guy I went on a date with, he was kind and sweet and cute and cheesy and just enjoyed sitting in silence with me looking at the lake when it was raining. Honestly, probably one of my favorite dates that I’ve ever been on. Because it was a date that mostly aligned with what I enjoy doing in life. But when he tried kissing me, I definitely got in my head and got nervous. It’s not that I didn’t desire to kiss him, I ended up getting in my head. At the end, I didn’t end up kissing him. I felt he respected my decision, even though I didn’t tell him why.

He did tell me that he was nervous, but I didn’t feel that he was nervous at any point. He also told me that I am intimidating, but I don’t feel that I am. (Maybe I am and I just don’t know). I may be closed off to somethings at first, but you gotta get to know me. He may not have been the guy for me, but I am working on putting myself out there and trying to meet other people. Dating may be different for me now, but I feel that this date helped me understand myself a bit better. (The WFF helped me understand myself more than I realized from the Singles Night Activity). I know myself more than I ever have. I may not fit in with our culture, or with what is deemed ‘normal’ for dating in this society, but I respect myself and my body.

Yes, I truly do hug trees

I had a really great date of getting soaked in the rain, putting our feet in the lake, trail walking barefoot & holding hands, sitting in silence watching a rain storm. I enjoyed every second of it.

Much Love,

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