It’s a strange thing, this life. With its ups and downs, and twists and turns, the highs, the lows and everything and all of it in between. Threads running in a zillion directions, knotted and twisted, and tangled. And in all of that chaos, this life, still, is but one big, beautiful mess.

There are times when I just sit and literally shake my head. What am I doing? Where am I heading? What does any of this even mean? And as of late, my laughter is accompanying the headshake. The chaos. The big, beautiful mess that is this life.

Let’s just talk about dating for a second here. I’ve started to get back into that game, and dating, wow. Dating in 2018 is, well, totally burnt. Please excuse my high-school lingo, but that’s the word that fits here.

It’s not just heading out for a beer, or meeting in real-time, real life anymore. There’s snapchat, tinder, imessaging, facebook, online dating sites. There’s seriously an endless supply of potential, possibility and complete and total disappointment and….well, best of all, learning.

Man, I have learned so much about myself and, moreover, about life in the last six months. I’ve learned that somethings are just not meant to work out. And man, my sister has been really pulling her weight in this sister-sister relationship

                                                                          Sister Conversations..

J: “Don’t get upset over a guy you never knew existed three days ago.”
M: “Oh yea, I know. I love you, man.”

M: “What if he’s not into me?”
J: “Are you into everyone you meet?”
M: “Duly noted.”

Sidenote: Turned out, we just weren’t into each other…but we still had some fun, and chatted and he helped me hang some pictures in my new apartment so…

When you’re dating, you also realize how important it is to have solid friends. Friends who give you advice after the let down, friends who laugh their faces off with you as you sit and question or replay the latest crazy thing you did or said or buzzed texted.

The point is, your friends remind you of your worth and how important you are. Friends can take a step-back and at least try to be objective. And friends don’t let you settle for less than you deserve.

                                                                          #friendshipgoals

M: “Maybe it’s cause he doesn’t think I’m goodlookin’?”
A: “You’re a solid 9, and your personality is a 20. Forget him.”

M: “Meh, maybe I’ll hang with this dude tonight.”
A: “Nah.”
M: “yah, I think I’ll just stay in and chill.”

M: “So, I didn’t go on that tinder date. I went to the gym instead.”
J: “Ohhhhhhh good!

M: “I think I really like him.”
MA: “Awe, good!”

Three days later…

M: “Nevermind, I don’t”
MA: “Yah, I was just going to let you ride that one out for a few days.”

                                                And then there’s introspection and reflection…

I ended my engagement because I wanted to take some time in my life to figure out who I was and what it was that I wanted. I don’t know if that’s cliche or sounds like total BS but hey. Regardless, I never anticipated this is where I would be. If you had asked me at 17 where I thought I’d be by 28, I would have said married with children. And that’s where I was headed…until I wasn’t. And then came the panic. Who am I? Who am I as a person? As an individual? What do I really want? I could feel the tectonic plates shifting. And there I was trying to hold it together.

I wish I could say that I just woke up one day and realized all of this suddenly, but the truth is I didn’t just one day come to the conclusion that I needed to do this life on my own for a bit. It was more to the tune of the thoughts coming, little by little, eating away at me. I would have doubts, but then I’d push them away, contributing the same to my own complete lack of decisiveness. I suffer from both generalized anxiety disorder and periodic bouts of depression as you all know. And so, I thought my mental health issues were co-conspiring to ruin what was a perfectly, fine life.

To be honest, I was happy. Things were good. And yet, I still had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that was telling me that I still had some soul searching left to do. And I needed to do it alone. I couldn’t commit my life to someone else until I spent some time on my own.

 And then there’s dating…

Sure, maybe, I’m late to the show? All my closest friends were single, while I maintained a relationship in my early twenties. Maybe, I should have taken this time earlier in my life? Time to date and explore, and figure it out. Maybe, I’m just a late bloomer in general? I don’t know the answer. All I know is if I put all the what if’s and maybes to the side, I’m still here. I’m still left with the same conclusion. I need to work on me. And I’m still, at this moment, exactly where I feel like I need to be right now.

It feels like a selfish thing to do, to take time out of your life, during a pivotal time in your life (I was planning my wedding) to focus entirely on oneself. But don’t I deserve that? Don’t I deserve to find out who I am as an individual? What would I do if given the freedom to decide where and when and what and who I’d like to do today? Or tomorrow? Or next month? What does it feel like to be alone, and to be single? To have the choice to pick a movie only I want to watch. What does it feel like to be lonely, and how can I turn that loneliness into solitude? Into the ability to lean upon myself? To learn how to be alone? I haven’t been single in my entire adult life.

                                        Status: Single and not looking for a relationship? 

And so, through all these dates, what I’ve learned is that what I really want is to be fully aware of the fullness of my own presence, and of who I am. And I need quiet time to somehow sort this all out.

I know I need to be a complete one, before I can be a two. I need to be able to live on my own and love myself before I can commit to spending the rest of my life with another. I owe that to myself. I owe that to whoever it is that I do spend the rest of my life with. And if I never find that person, then I need to know that that’s okay, too. I have to live with myself for the rest of it, and I want to embrace the beauty in that. I want to marry myself first, and be committed to making decisions that deliberately make me happy.

So, where does that leave dating? Well, dating is, for the most part, a load of fun. I enjoy talking to different people and learning about them and in turn learning about myself. A bucket-list item for 2018 was to remain single and have the most fun eva! So, we’ll see where that goes, and take it slow…

I’m still trying to decide if I’m hitting up Cali in March/April or if I’ll take a trip somewhere else. Apparently California isn’t that hot, and after the -30 degrees and the thousands of feet of snow we have, I am feeling kind of desperate for that sweet, sweet sun on my skin!

And guys, I’m seriously back this time…

Much Love,

M

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