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<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>



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#DatingDetox: Day 8 (breakdown or breakthrough? & new tattoo) 

I keep writing and rewriting the first sentence to this post. I'm so unexpectedly overcome with emotion I'm not even sure where to start with everything. 

Speak your truth ... even if your voice shakes ... (er hands shake as you type)

Alrite. I'm not a martyr so I'm just going to keep this shit real. (more money in the curse jar) 

So, a week ago now? Yeah, I was in Vegas for CES. And right before I left I had a SUPPPEEERRRRRR awesome date with this guy. Like crazy awesome. I couldn't remember a time I could be so frank with someone and speak so intelligently on so many things without feeling "judged." 

I also analyze everyone and everything on a date. This guy in particular though, very very very deeply analyzed me back. It caught me off guard at first, especially when he used OKCupid blog questions against me.

He was definitely a next level dude, and I was so freaked out by how attractive and smart he was in general I was a total, total mess. To find someone you can converse with on that level is EXTREMELY difficult, you add in the fact that he is hands down the most attractive man I have ever dated and it freaked me out. 

I'm used to one adding value to the other, but not OUT THE GATE having two such rare qualities was out of this world. 

Our date ended very late that evening (no, not for that reason) and I just couldn't stop smiling. It was as if for this brief moment all of the pain, all of the heartache over having my work impede my dating made sense. We had met initially in a professional capacity so he seemed to jive with what I did for a living (and genuinely seemed to respect it). This is great, I thought. I can't wait to see him again. 

The second that thought hit me, I also started to freak out. 

I barely even knew the guy, but our conversation alone sent these SURRGGEESSSSS through my body. I'm going to lose the power dynamic in this courtship, I thought. 

Must be calm like the grasshopper. Be calm like the grasshopper, I thought. Maintain position of power. 

(Women btw, always have the position of power over men particularly in online dating. All we have to do is exist online and you WILL get a message from a guy somewhere. The constant stream of shiny things help keep dudes on their toes.)

I then put it all out of my mind and went to Vegas for CES. 

While I was there I stayed in this SUPPPERRR fancy pants penthouse suite courtesty of this startup I am advising.

I sent him pictures of the place (before I even posted about it in social media) and he couldn't believe it. 

You're not real, he texted back. 

I am for-real, I texted playing up the pronunciation of my last name Friel. (Free-ul) 

Then a few more days go by, and I went to the brothel. 

I thought the girls were great, don't get me wrong, but that entire experience shook me deeply. To have the madam say that I was just like her girls but with corporate sponsors instead of sugar daddies really affected me. 

That wasn't my intention, I thought. I just wanted to speak the truth and facilitate my existence through the sponsorships just to stay afloat. 

I then got in the limo back to the penthouse, and I almost lost it. My friend was next to me, and I didn't want to burst out crying in front of him since I was genuinely grateful for the experience ... I was just so emotionally confused. 

What am I doing to the quality of "relationships," I thought. 

From a business perspective, I get what I do works ... and damn well ... but I also talk so much about dating and it's selling out these people and these relationships. 

What am I DOING I thought?!

I wanted to be truthful, but the exposure makes me like a prostitute. I go through these motions for a purpose other than the experience. (Much like how those women use sex.) 

I then sent the dude a picture of me with the girls at the brothel and then a text saying something along the lines of the experience was fascinating but it did nothing for me. 

I didn't want to go into the dramatics of everything, and all of the lessons I had learned, but I wanted to at least share that in case he scoped out my social media and saw what I was up to that day. 

You're at a brothel!? He texted back. 

I then sent him a few texts back explaining that my friend did their webwork, etc. but it all fell on deaf ears. 

He didn't text back. 

Thinking, alrite, people are busy we all have our own shit going on I just stayed quiet until I came back from Vegas. 

That Friday, in the car on the way back, I wrote out the entire post and again had to hold back the tears. 

Click publish felt like such a relief. It dawned on me though that I was entering into a new stage in my life. I could feel it. 

I then spent that Friday night with good friends and we all watched the movie The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. 

The movie in general, hit extremely extremely close to home. (Suicide attempts, sexual abuse, constantly being made fun of growing up and living life as an outsider) 

By the end of the movie I was balling like a baby. Fortunately, having friends there made it all easier. They acted as this reminder not of where I came from but of this "thing" that I no longer was. 

It's a new chapter. 

Saturday morning came around, and before I went to the gym I texted the duderino to see if he wanted to grab drinks. I had talked so much about my week, I had wanted to hear about his. (I wasn't going to mention how earth shattering that experience at the brothel was for me unless he brought it up.) 

Before I even hit "send" on the text, I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that something wasn't right. 

I can't describe it but I KNEW at this point he wasn't going to hang out again. 

I hit send anyway, and after my spin class checked my phone. 

No text back. 

In my endorphin based haze I started laughing. 

Here was this guy that KNEW what I did for a living, (again we were involved first professionally) and even HE has a problem with my lifestyle. 

It's not like I get my rocks off in dealing with these things, I am just INSANELY curious and by saying yes to everything it has lead me down this super gnarly rabbit hole. I never EVER get what I think I am going to from a given scenario, the only thing I know to do is just say yes! 

I then went back home, dropping my gym bag off on my bed and collapsing. 

WHAT.AM.I.DOING. I thought. 

All of this feels like a double edge sword. The same thing that brought me to life, and gave me this ... fire ... and passion for EXISTING always comes between me and getting closer to a guy. 

Not just this guy, ANY guy!!! 

I then spent all afternoon sobbing. Not for this dude since I genuinely barely knew him, but for the last three years of heartbreak, bad dates, and way too many close calls. 

This IS a new chapter in my life, I thought. I need to change and do something about that. 

The only thing at this point that I had yet to document dating wise was NOT dating. 

I need a detox, I thought. I need to focus on things I am good at (which is clearly not dating), and learn to love from self out. 

I then looked in the mirror and saw a super sloppy looking individual. 

Albeit, to my credit, I had just come back from the gym, but the former Connecticut princess that modeled and wouldn't DARE to be seen outside of the house in open toed shoes without a pedicure stared back at me.

Get yourself together, then figure the rest out. Everything starts from within, I thought. You HAVE to take care of yourself first. 

I then wrote out my declaration and for the first time, since starting this website, had this EXTREME sense of purpose and power. 

I have a list of next doable actions, I thought. Like with everything else I have no idea what it is going to get me, but I'm excited that for the first time in a LONG time I know where I am going. 

I then stared at the list of things I had to do in the next 30 days: 

a) maintain manicure

b) maintain eyebrows

c) bikini wax (never done that one before) 

d) go shoe shopping for myself and pay for my own shoes (I currently only own corporate sponsored shoes or domme shoes that my slaves bought me. I need to buy a pair for myself.) 

e) girly slumber party 

f) buy myself a new outfit for the purpose of impressing myself 

g) buy a piece of art that inspires me

h) take a pottery class 

i) cook dinner for friends

j) visit the lacma 

k) host a chick flick marathon

l) go shopping with girlfriends and try on super girly clothing. The frillier the better. 

m) take a bubble bath

n) visit a spa and pay for visit myself

o) purchase perfume 

p) get a new tattoo (all big life changes require a tattoo) 

q) meet someone that inspires me 

r) make a new girlfriend 

The tattoo stared out at me the most. I grew up saying to my parents the two things I would never do in life was 1) go skydiving and 2) get a tattoo. 

Yep, totally did both of those (and the skydive was corporate sponsored). 

I got my first tattoo (love on my right wrist) after my first suicide attempt. I genuinely had no idea at the time that there was a WHOLLLEEE movement of people writing "love" on their wrist after surviving a suicide attempt, to me it just seemed like a beautiful and permanent commitment to myself and promise that I would never do it again. 

Yeah, that didn't go over so well. 

I still had my nervous breakdown at 22, and it wasn't until almost three years later that I finally managed to get my shiznat together and start this website. 

One of the things that had always spoken to me in life was Buddhism. If I am going to go down this rabbit hole, I thought and start this "website" (what does that even mean?!) I am only going to implement Buddhist principles into it. I don't AT ALL care if others follow suit, but to me this is important and the only thing I had CLUNG onto in starting this new life. 

I need another tattoo, I thought. It's time. This is a new chapter. 

I then tattooed the enso on my left wrist. I even went back to the same place (Tattoo Mania on Sunset) and livestreamed the entire process. 

The owner, Rocco, happened to be there that day and he thought I was NUTS!!! 

Who is this girl walking in talking to her phone claiming there are people talking back to her? 

I then spent EASILY an hour talking to him about the future of social media and even offered up some advice on things he could do in his shop. 

You should start a live webshow or some sort of web series, I said. I'd LOVE to see all the whacky people that come in here and try to get tattoos. This is Hollywood and you're open until 3am!!! 

He laughed saying it was a good idea, but left it all at that. (This was in 2009 mind you.) 

I then got the enso on my left wrist and called it a night. 

<tangent> The enso symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void. It is everything and nothing all in one. I viewed everything as a "void" at that place in time and I genuinely wanted more than ANNYYYTHIINNNGGG to just figure out what EVERYTHING MEANT!!! Clearly I was doing life (and death) wrong with so many failed suicide attempts and a nervous breakdown. If I just do the exact opposite of the way I was thinking and lived EVERY DAY like it was my last, what would happen? The enso became my symbol for just that. </tangent>

Every post, every tweet, every scared moment of life wondering if I was TRULY going to survive that year of couch surfing with only $10 to my name - I stared down at the enso.

You don't have to see the whole path, Buddhism teaches you, but you just need to keep taking each step. It is only until you have taken that step that the next one will ever appear. 
I have lived that mentality every day for the last three years. 

It wasn't until the end of last year though that I decided to start grounding myself financially. 

I was unsure what was going on with our scripted TV show, and didn't want to "bank" on anything other than myself. 

I didn't know what my next step was but knew if I turned to social media, there had to be SOMEONE in my network that could help me out. 

I then saw something in my news feed by this dude that I knew was a super fancy pants Hollywood manager. 

I sent him an email on Facebook asking for a moment of his time. I'm in an interesting position, and I'm unsure what my next move is. 

I then told him my story, and after a couple of minutes he requested a meeting. 

Sweet, I thought. 

I then told him that I was in the process of seeking an investor, and told him all of my ideas. 

Stop seeking the investor, he said. You have show ideas here that we can sell. Are you okay right now financially? 

Yeah, I said. I make enough in corporate sponsorships to pay rent and put food on my table. That's a HUGE improvement from previous years. 

He laughed and told me to just stick it out. He was going to take charge from here, and I shouldn't seek an investor unless it was something directly related to a show (and even then he just told me to put it all on hold)

I put it all out of my mind.

A few more weeks go by, and I happen to be at this party in Hollywood. I randomly chatted up this duderino who come to find out is a member of one of the wealthiest families in the country (and I believe actually even the world). He liked my brazen nature, and liked my ideas. 

How do I invest in you, he said to me one day? I want to give you money so my daughter can work for you. You have a vision. 

I stared back at him almost speechless. I stopped looking for an investor, I thought. The SECOND I stopped looking and focused instead on abundance and allowing everything to fall into place it just HAPPENED!!! 

I then connected the investor with my manager and now all of that is happening. 

I'm going to be fine financially from now on, I kept telling myself over and over in my morning meditation. I am never going to have to worry about money again, I kept repeating. I am just going to manifest one job after another and EVERYTHING is going to fuel Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover. I will only accept things that propel the brand - it can NEVER take away, I would chant over and over. 

The only thing I have ever known to be true in life is that if I believe in something SO THROUGH AND THROUGH and with a very pure heart and very pure intentions, I can make it happen. Social media facilitates everything, I thought.  

The last few months now have been bit by bit one more piece of awesome unfolding at a time. 

Everything has become easier for me as more people are becoming involved with helping this vision grow and I have become calmer and a bit more reserved. 

I've told my family and friends for months now that I felt I was in this new chapter. I couldn't explain it, but in dealing with the shaman for over a year now, and unleashing all of these life experiences I was finally ready to break free. I was going to stop holding myself back and allow even more to manifest. I was no longer going to be afraid of my own power. 

I then thought about the concept of a feather. It was slightly symbolic because of twitter and my skills at being able to survive off of it, but also it's free nature. 

A feather has no rhyme or reason, it just exists in this state of tranquility and beauty. It goes wherever the day takes it, and thinks nothing of it. 

I thought back to the shaman. He's told me over and over that I had to get better at just "letting things go." I especially do it in relationships. (Like Romeo for 8 years.) Having been ostracized so much in my youth the second I get someone I never want to let them go. It's this crazy irrational fear of never having it again. 

I need to be more like the feather, I thought this past week. 

I googled some of the meanings of feathers from a symbolic and religious perspective and were greeted on one page with these words: 


  • Fresh start
  • Bravery
  • Freedom 


Yes, yes, and more yes, I thought. That is what I need in my life right now. I need to focus on myself and give Jen Friel a chance to exist outside of social media and outside of this website. I can't just preach intimacy, I need to live it. 

This tattoo is the beginning of my attempt. I have no idea what that means outside of I'm REALLY freaking serious about this, and I'm EXTREMELY committed to this next chapter. No "magical" guy is just going to come along and sweep me off my feet. Like energy is always. always. always. attracting. 

What am I doing for myself? How am I presenting myself? To attract the kind of love I want I have to become this beacon of it strictly for myself. 

I need to love something, I thought. 

I then thought about getting a dog yet laughed at my traveling schedule. Dude, I'm somewhere new almost every week, I can't get a cat let alone a friggen dog. 

A plant then popped into my head. 

A plant. YES!!! That I can do!!!!! 

SO, tomorrow, to further my commitment I am going to go to Trader Joes or Whole Foods (anywhere really) and pick up a plant and call it "my love." I am going to nurture it and send positive vibes and loving energy to it every day.

I am going to make DAMN sure I am no longer emotionally unavailable by providing myself with a tangible representation of love. The love that grows in my heart, and the love that I have for myself and maybe if someone's lucky enough, for them too. 

This is my commitment. It is a commitment not only for these next 30 days, but from this point forth, to be focused more on self. And not just in a mechanical manifestation way solely for business, but for me, the girl that is now a woman but still has problems with acceptance. 

I am scared, but I will choose to only float like the feather. 



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