Time Taken

Hyattis. It’s what my writing took for what has now seemed to be like an insurmountable amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have continued to journal. I couldn’t imagine not being able to purge all these thoughts and experiences on to paper. I’d burst. The break I took was more from sharing.

So much has gone on that I just couldn’t keep up so I didn’t. At a moment’s notice, I began feeling that my cup was running low and when that happens, I am of no use to anyone, not even to myself. Thoughts of life and what was going on in the world around me began to jumble up. One day, moment, second I would be feeling one way. The next day, moment, second I was feeling the complete opposite. I felt myself begin to get carried away with the crowd. That’s when I recognized that changes had to be made.

The thing with change is that although, yes, change does not happen overnight, once the ball gets rolling, it gets rolling rather quickly. Once you begin to address the thought of, “a change should be made”, it isn’t long before the nagging sensation begins to follow you. Those little words will dance around your mind creating a new dynamic between you and life. You will slowly start to pick up on small instances of unease in stitutions that before you wouldn’t have even thought twice about.

Change is what began speaking to me a few months back. I noticed a few aspects of my life that I wanted to make better. There were habits that needed breaking and plans to be laid out, and so that’s what I did. Without making it seem like a rigid gameplan, and, as to not shock my system, I began making small changes in how I went on with my days here in there.

I started off with breaking the habit of watching the news every morning while I had my coffee. It’s funny because growing up I always hated the news. It was something I found depressing, stuffy, and at times comedically dark and dramatic. As I got older I wanted to become more informed on what was going on around me me, and now being an adult it just seemed like the adult thing to do. Now I realize the havoc believing in what the media is telling us is creating within our society. No thank you. So I turned off the news and instead began my mornings with a quick chapter from that book that “I never have time to read”. During the warmer months I would sit outside taking in those very few moments of my day. Currently, I give myself an extra moment in bed under my covers manifesting the day ahead of me while other times I take advantage and journal a bit extra.

Yoga soon incorporated itself into my life. A new friend that I made over the summer extended an invite to attend the studio she practiced in. I had just begun a new mantra of saying “yes” to things more and so I accepted the invitation. From the moment I took my 1st class I was hooked. I found what my body and soul needed and I now go to practice about 3 to 4 times a week. I’m at the point in my practice that if I don’t go… The guilt eats me alive.

Anyone that works out or has some sort of active lifestyle will tell you that once you begin to move and actively workout your body, you’ll soon begin to actively care about what you put into it. If you would have told me 6 months ago that I’d be making the nutritional choices that I’m making today, I would have looked at you as if you’d gone mad. In all actuality I was never one to go off the deep end when eating but I also didn’t restrain myself much either. I am a fiend for anything sweet. Pizza and pasta are my favorite dinners. No, I won’t turn away fruit or salad but I usually turn to those out of guilt. With yoga, as my body grew stronger and became more active I instinctively turned to healthier foods. It wasn’t long before I actually felt the difference that living actively and eating healthy we’re leading me to feel.

As of recent I have decided to take a month off of drinking. Apparently “dry January” is actually a thing but this isn’t some sort of fad or trend train that I’m hopping on to. It’s been an idea that’s been floating around my mind for quite some time now. So why now? Well, I’m going to answer honestly when I say that it’s not something that I am strong enough to do on my own. I’ve got a couple of other people in my immediate circle there are also going for it. To have their support and the knowledge that I am not having to struggle alone is great. Out of all the new changes to come about in my life, this one has been by far the most challenging. I have come to realize how often I’d make an excuse to have a drink. I was drinking on a day-to-day basis. There were multiple instances that I’d even have a drink because everyone else was drinking, not because I wanted to. Or maybe I’d find myself having a drink because the clock ticked that it was just about that time.

Without making it feel like a chore I took control of my life. I took some time and with that time change came with it. If I had to state what my end goal is, it would obviously be to ultimately feel better. Yet the end goal isn’t what I’m focusing on. What I am fixated on is the Now, the Process, the immediate obstacle I’m trying to overcome right now. How do I make today great? By making conscious choices to feel happy and live healthy in the right now. The world of change has opened up a whole new feeling of freedom and it’s brought me back here. It’s brought me back to that feeling of wanting to share again . My cup is full and I once again am ready to share what’s in it.

Eventually Works For Me

After my last disaster of a relationship (realistically its been the last two but who’s really counting?) I decided to go on a hiatus from the dating scene. It wasn’t more than a few weeks into my celibacy that my close friends were adamant that I get myself out there again. Never being the type to rebound date it took  me months to really even contemplate going out one on one with a guy.  Five months later I woke up one  morning thinking to myself that maybe I was now ready to go out and at least mingle with the opposite sex. As I went out with friends I began actually looking at the strangers around me, wondering “what if”? Not many peaked my interest. Those that did were either already locked down, lived long distance (not doing that again), played for the other team, or after a moment’s conversation just wasn’t meant for me.

On a random night, while my amazing roommate and I were having a glass (or two) of wine by the pool deck, he decided to try to bring up the whole “dating app” scene to me. He already knew that I was never a true fan of making up a profile to try to “find love”. He always poked fun at the way that I was set on finding the man of my dreams organically. This night however he decided to give the topic of conversation another try and this time I was more open to listening. He listed cons but his pros outweighed them. In his eyes it was the most obvious answer to what he called my dilemma. As far as I knew I was in no dilemma. Being single was good for me. It was only random periods of time in which I really craved having someone again. But like any other craving, as quickly as the wave would come, it would then again go. His advice wasn’t one I took seriously until there came a moment of sheer boredom.

On this particular night I had been extremely bored. I wasn’t in the mood to write or read ( I know! Can you imagine?) nor was I in the mood to binge watch Netflix or anything else that I had been using to combat time. I decided to open up a dating app and see what actually resulted from it. To be quite honest, coming up with the profile was to me the fun part. Answering profile questions, setting up a summary of yourself, pictures, ect.. that was all fun to me. The moment I hit the button to actually activate my profile was exactly the moment the anxiety crept in. Within just a couple hours I had 663 potential “matches”, a list of people who liked my profile and wanted to chat. About 400 of those people messaged, most messages being one liners like, “Hey mami..” or “Hi there beautiful. Wanna chat?” There were quite a few creepy messages, explicit and very to the point in what it was they were desperately searching for. I decided that instead of me sifting through all the crap, I would just scroll through and I would message the ones  I was mostly interested in.

I was active on the app for about 2 days total. I personally messaged two guys and have since then gone on two dates with one of them. The other has been really trying to convince me to “allow” him to take me out but I haven’t been motivated to do much more than a little messaging here and there. Both great guys, yet neither have me feeling comfortable enough to join the “official” dating scene again the reason having nothing to do with them, and all to do with me.

Its been weeks now since I have discontinued my profile and I have officially stopped looking for a special someone to meet. Instead what I’ve done has been much soul searching and trying to understand exactly where I am at this point in my life and what I really want for myself.

My findings are honest and real.

Simply put, I am at a point in my life in which I want to be completely and utterly selfish. I enjoy spending time with myself focusing on the things I want to do and the things that make me happy.

I want to think that due to all the newness in my life these last few months (real single-hood, new home, new job, new friends, ect..) I have come into a new self. A revamped and upgraded version of me. I got rid of all that was weighing me down and it has only been just recently that I have found balance in this new life I lead. Changes as small as choosing who to keep within my inner circle or as big as taking a better job but with a slight pay cut affect who we are, how we live our lives, and what priorities we set in life. For the past few years I have sacrificed a lot of the things I’ve wanted to pursue or do because I place the importance of others and what they might think or say above my own needs. I relocated to a new city solely  for a significant other (do not recommend it), I have quit jobs due to other’s disapproval of it, I haven’t taken travel opportunities due to a boyfriend at the time not “liking” the idea of them not being able to come along. Since being single, really single, there has been no one to answer to or keep in mind. If I have money to take me out, I do it. I choose where I go, who I invite (if any one at all), I decide how long I stay out for. If I decide to stay in whether due to wanting or needing to, I decide how I spend my time. There is no me feeling guilty because maybe I chose to go into my room to read a book. When I get ready to leave the house, I get ready for myself. I don’t get anxious about where I’m going, who I’m going to meet, what I should wear, will I say something stupid and embarrass myself (I mean it’ll happen, but I don’t care if it does.)? I don’t have to worry about meeting a guy’s group of friends and then their family (Will they like me? What if they don’t?) My days and nights are carefree and genuinely happy. I daydream of places I want to travel to and not of those places I’m compromising to see. I am not living out anyone else’s dreams, just my own.

I thought I was ready to hit the dating scene but now that I have dipped my toe in the water testing it, I know that I’m not. I have friends that tell me that maybe I’m overthinking it. “Just let them wine and dine you for fun… a free drink and some dinner never hurt anyone” but to me I don’t see the point. To find new friends is great and I’m always open to it, but to date for the hell of it, simply for a free meal and drinks? To me, that’s not only a waste of time but also asking for bad karma. To me that’s leading people on, taking advantage of their sincere interest in me in hopes for a future together. Instead I rather tend to go on dates only on the rare occasions in which I have money. That way I feel no guilt or any obligation. Being Miss. Independent I never want to leave myself at the mercy of others. I like to be able to contribute for half the check or at the very least, the tip. Yes, most times a man won’t take a penny in the name of good ol’ fashion chivalry but this lady also understands the meaning of hard earned cash and will be damned if she uses a man for a  meal ticket.

There was promise with the one I went out with from the dating app, but my current financial situation hindered me a bit. One of the very first things he mentioned to me while on our first date was how he highly believed in financial equality within a relationship. Right now, what I can afford to do between paychecks is very minimal so for me that was just another sign as to why I should not be dating at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, he was quite the (handsome) gentleman and would always offer to pay for any date we planned for but if I’m not comfortable being able to hangout with someone due to personal financial reasons, then the simple fact that I feel uncomfortable is enough to deter me from moving things forward as an item. To be totally honest, this is probably residual trauma from the last relationship I was in where monetary issues ruled every important aspect of our lives from the very beginning. It left one hell of a sour taste in my mouth and therefore I always swore to myself that I would never allow money to play a major part in any of my relationships again.

The idea of dating to me signifies much more than a meal and a means to kill time. I’d like to eventually find that person to share and build with. We can make memories and be support for one another through our future stages of life. I look to add to their life and they add to mine. A solid friendship that’ll endure the test of time. A friendship in which we both can be comfortable in being ourselves and where we don’t impose unrealistic expectations upon one another. The compromises we would make would be out of genuine care and not because you feel as though you “have” to. I’d like to find that one who will make me smile and laugh much more than cry and stress out. One who I could do the same for as easily as it is to breath. I believe that in life, if you do not settle for anything less than what you hope to have, you will find exactly what you’re looking for. I believe that eventually it will happen and “eventually” works for me. Until then, I will continue to live my single-hood happily and in peace.