Testing the waters

22 Jun

I don’t know what is wrong with me, but for the past week or so I’ve lacked the energy and motivation that has been pretty much consistent over the past few months. Don’t get me wrong– despite this, I’ve still been going to the gym, running, biking, doing everything I usually do (and putting in a solid effort), it’s just that at some point while I’m doing it, I feel like I’m submitting myself to some kind of torture, and after I’m done I feel completely exhausted.

I’d like to think that this is partially the weather’s fault, because it’s been super gloomy and rainy for what feels like 2 months but is probably more like 2 weeks— and I don’t do well without sunshine. What I don’t want to think is that I’m just tired. While in general I believe you should listen to your body when you feel like you need a rest, I find that I never practice this belief in my own life. The stubborn side of me comes out and I just tell myself to stop being such a baby, have a protein shake and deal with it. Don’t I need to push myself to the point of exhaustion? Doesn’t my body need to know what that feels like? Doesn’t exhaustion just mean that I’m working really hard, and isn’t that a good thing?

I know (because I’ve been told by Lola and Callie, who are often smarter about me than I am) that now that I’ve come this far, I need to concentrate more on finding balance and learning to allow myself to rest when I find that I haven’t allowed myself to do something fun/relaxing in a while and I need an extra coffee–with a shot of espresso– to feel like a functional human being.

I think by “balance”, Lola means that she wants me to retract my no-dating policy, which, at her insistence, I kind of did a couple of weeks ago (I refused to call it a date, and it was quickly dubbed a “friend outing”). While it didn’t exactly work out smashingly in the end, I learned a lot of important lessons that really surprised me.

To be honest, if it wasn’t for Lola’s convincing, I wouldn’t have gone out with him. Besides the fact that I didn’t think he was my type (whatever my “type” is), I wasn’t sure I wanted to be dating again- even just one measly date. And I would have been passing up a really great date with a super nice guy without even realizing it. That’s lesson 1. Lesson 2: it’s not all or nothing. You can test the waters, dip your toes in rather than diving in headfirst. This might sound obvious, but I guess I felt like coming out of my dating coma meant that I was going to be totally thrown wide awake into the dating stratosphere. But that’s simply not true. A date can just be a date, if you let it be (or in this case, a friend outing). Lesson 3 is one I already knew but hadn’t been given in return for quite some time: honesty is key. I was really honest with him upfront about my hesitance towards dating due to my laser-like focus on myself. Not only was he okay with that, but he respected it and still wanted to go out with me. And I totally commend him for this because I think my situation is hard to explain to someone, at least without them thinking I was two steps away from crazy and might be walking a fine line now. And he was quite honest with me upfront about where he was in his life. It was so refreshing. Complete honesty right from the get go is rare in the dating realm, at least in my experience (and I do happen to have some of the most bizarre dating stories out there, so maybe my personal experience is just unlucky). But the transparency in this situation– before we even went out– made for a totally relaxed, completely enjoyable evening that overall started to renew my faith in the entire concept of dating.

Overall, I realized I am much more optimistic about dating in general, and—here’s the key— a hundred times more okay with the fact that I’m single than I was six months ago. And–how bizarre is this?– I have found myself suddenly thankful that I didn’t get into a relationship back then. I needed to figure myself out first, not find someone to save me.

And I realized that I don’t always have all the answers- even when it comes to myself. Sometimes I need to listen to the people around me. Sometimes I need to be more open. And sometimes I just need to take a chance.

2 Responses to “Testing the waters”

  1. teacherwoman June 23, 2009 at 1:58 am #

    Balance is important!

  2. Rosie June 23, 2009 at 4:14 am #

    Dating can be so hard… but balance between yourself and your interactions with others is important. I’m glad you had a pretty good time on your ‘friend outing’.

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