Do you have a boyfriend?

I am really sorry if you’re tired of hearing me pontificate on the subject of dating.  (Actually, I’m not sorry, but I’m trying to be polite, because I like you.) However, I  can’t get off my freaking soapbox yet, until I have driven this point well into the ground. With an ax.  Picture me right now, with an ax, swinging it up and down into the ground ferociously until I am so tired that I cannot speak about this topic anymore for awhile.  That’s what’s happening right now.  And my ax is humongous and metal and I love it.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” one of my former sixth grade students asked me the other day, while volunteering in my room.

“No, I don’t,” I said.

“Do you want a boyfriend?” she then asked.

“Now THAT is a million dollar question,” I said, laughing.

I told her that I am happy with my life as it presently stands. My life is chocked full of love from some pretty special people–my daughter, my family, friends, coworkers, students, and neighbors.

“It’s always better to be alone than with someone who isn’t the right fit,” I explained.

She nodded knowingly, and said, “That’s what my mom says.”

We changed the subject without me really answering the question.  Because asking me right now if I want a boyfriend is like asking me if I want to sell all my belongings and move into a yurt in rural Asia.  Would I do that?  If the right  conditions occurred to do so, then yes.  There are things about yurt living that I like.  There are things about rural Asia that I really like.  However, my life is pretty damn good right now.  So I wouldn’t change anything, unless the conditions naturally lined up for that to happen.

People say, “You know, there is no perfect person. You seem awfully picky.” 

And to that, I say, “You can call me picky ALL YOU WANT.  Pick away at me.  Pick, pick, pick. Pick at me with an ice pick. Because I have an ax.” I see myself as being specific in my desires.  I don’t want a perfect person.  I want a person who is a NATURAL fit to my specific desires. If something doesn’t grow ORGANICALLY, I don’t want to entertain it for another second. 

Forget dating.  (I really wanted to say a different word in place of forget, but my parents read this, so…)

I don’t want to “date,” in the sense of modern dating.  Modern dating is a somewhat forced/unnatural/awkward way of getting to know someone.  

But here’s the thing…do you know how WEIRD it is that these words are coming out of my mouth?  I wasn’t always this way.  I have become this way.  I used to pour energy into making ri.dic.u.lous. relationships work (both romantic and friendships).  I used to pour energy into being someone I didn’t want to be–someone who always said and did the right thing or the thing that people expected me to do. 

But that started to shift in me in a MAJOR way when I became TIRED.

I went to my doctor and told her that I was extremely tired. I had brain fog. I was having a hard time getting stuff done.

And after running a million tests on my body, she came back to me and said, “The main thing you need to work on is CHILLING THE HECK OUT.”

I was STRESSING my body out.  I had gained ten pounds.  I was lethargic.  I was not eating food I wanted to eat. My cortisol levels were up. I felt constant stress in most areas of my life. I had become accustomed, in fact, to feeling stress, which was very confusing to my body. I was not moving my body how I wanted to move it through exercise.  Quite simply, I was not living out my purpose in life because I was too freaking stressed, energy depleted, and TIRED.

 I was tired, because I was giving too much precious ENERGY to people and things who were ENERGY SUCKERS. 

Upon this realization, I became protective of my time.  I love being with my daughter.  I love teaching my students.  I love being productive in my home.  I love eating healthy food.  I love exercising. I love reading good books. I love spending time with close friends.  I LOVE WRITING THESE WORDS TO YOU.  But I could not do it, if I didn’t use my time wisely.

I want to have energy.  I want vitality.  I want to be a warrior who gets up everyday and conquers and savors life.

You cannot be a warrior who conquers and savors life, if other people want pieces of you-people who aren’t a natural fit for you. 

So the solution, I’ve realized, is to be unapologetically myself. That means if I’m around someone who tells me a joke and I don’t think it’s funny, I won’t fake laugh. It means if someone asks me to do something for him that feels weird/annoying/odd/inappropriate to me in even the slightest way, I resist the urge to second guess those feelings and won’t do it just to be nice. The cool thing about being this way is that many “new” relationships (friendships and dating) fall apart rather quickly…because I am no longer doing/saying things just to be polite. I am letting things happen naturally.

A few months ago (before I had my health related epiphany), I had another epiphany.  I was telling a friend some of the qualities I  wanted in a potential mate:  someone grounded, ambitious, emotionally strong, focused, passionate about helping others, goal oriented, intelligent, and purpose-driven.

My friend said to me, “Okay.  Well…do you think you possess the qualities you are looking for?  Are you grounded?  Ambitious? Emotionally strong? Passionate about helping others? Focused? Goal oriented? (My friend left out intelligent, well, because he assumed I was intelligent–silly him) Purpose driven?”

And I had to pause. “Ummmmm, not as much as I would like to be.” 

I suddenly realized that my ONLY job in life was to be THAT person I was describing. And I made it my primary purpose to become THAT warrior. I am not there yet, but I am getting closer. 

And as I’m growing into this person, I’ve found out I actually really LIKE this person.  I’ve become so focused on evolving into her, that I know how important she is in this world. I have a purpose on this planet that is quite BIG in fact, and I believe you do, too.

 I have FREAKING energy again-energy to keep up with this lovely. ❤️ 

 
Happy Thanksgiving eve eve. 

 

 

Being Alone 

I’m getting better and better at being alone. 

You see, I have this thing called an ego. My ego tells me that being by myself isn’t socially acceptable and that whatever my life is on the outside is all that it is. 

Thankfully, I’ve started listening more to my soul and my spirit–and less to my ego. 

I went through phases on and off during the last year where I had a few minor setbacks. I started getting impatient with being alone–especially during my “off” weekends when Aliana goes with her dad. I would fill up my weekends with trying to be out and about as much as possible–out with friends or on dates with men–instead of just giving myself time to be still and alone.

The thing is, being alone does not come easily for me. I am an extrovert–an ENFP on the Myers Briggs. I enjoy being around people. I thrive on connection and connecting with others. I have always believed that I (along with most humans) am wired to desire a committed, long term relationship. 

And so it is not in the nature of my ego to say what I am about to say; however, what I am about to say is something very important I have learned through some rather painful experiences. And that is this: I may be alone for the rest of my life and that is okay. I may never find a yin to my yang. I may never find my true love, my other half, my soulmate–or whatever term you want to use. 

And that is one hundred percent okay with me.

Because my life will not be measured on whether or not I have a partner or husband. It will be measured on the life that I have lived–the mother I am to my child, the teacher I am to my students, and the citizen I am of my community. 

I was put on this earth to make a difference–that is my truth. And I think that is yours, too. So that is the only thing I must do. I must do good, practice abundance, and bring life and connectivity to others. 

If along the way of my journey, I find a partner who understands my truth and can compliment my journey–then that could be an added bonus. But it is not promised, nor is it necessary for me to have that in order to have joy. 

I know the sadness that comes from choosing the wrong partner. It can rip at your heart. For that reason, I have learned to choose being alone over being in a relationship that isn’t a good fit.

I listened to a sermon online once from a pastor named Toure Roberts. In his message, he stated, “A soul mate is a person that God has chosen for you to complete each others’ purpose. Soul mates compliment one another’s goals, dreams, and most important–their purpose.”

So if I find any sort of “soulmate”–it will have to be that person that compliments my truth and my purpose here on earth. It will be someone who I have no doubt walked into my life for a reason. And although I am sure there would be love between us–there must be much more than love to sustain the relationship. There must be that aforementioned sense of purpose, founded in integrity, respect, and wholeheartedness.

All of these things I just told you are lessons it has taken me 38 years to learn. 38, long, freaking years. Years of an unhappy marriage and years of dating men who weren’t right for me. I spent time orchestrating relationships which got me nowhere. (I mean, I spent so much time orchestrating, that I’m surprised I wasn’t carrying around a baton and conducting the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.) I  have experienced bouts of sadness or anxiousness in order to learn these truths.  I learned them by walking through the pain.

I have the following quote saved in the notes of my IPhone. I think it came from one of the books in the “Boundaries” series by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend: 
“To be happy enough to pick the kind of relationship you desire, you must be happy enough without one. You must sustain being alone and get over that fear, in order to get the right relationship. Otherwise, you are just attracting the wrong people.”

And I’m so glad I got over that stinking fear, because there is so much peace on the other side.  

One of my heroes, author Elizabeth Gilbert, nails all of those words I just pontificated about in six perfect sentences: