change · creativity · dating · growth · self-love · self-support · truth

Look! SHINY!!

I downloaded the book yesterday, It’s Just a F***ing Date, by the same people who wrote He’s Just
Not That Into You
and It’s Called
A Break-up Cuz It’s Broken
One of the first things the introduction says is, you’re
obviously stuck in something you don’t like doing, or you wouldn’t have picked
up this book.
I love their books. I first picked up Not that into you when I was living in South Korea. It was a lark,
there weren’t that many books in the English-speaking section of the bookstore,
and I thought it would be more funny than anything to see the stupidity of
these women who didn’t get that these guys just weren’t into them; that these
women needed a book to spell it out for them in order to stop knocking on the
closed, booty-calling door.
And yet. Of course, I got to see that I was one of those
huddled women justifying all kinds of behavior (theirs and mine) in the hopes
of romance. 3 a.m. text = he’s just not that into you. Not able to hang out
sober = he’s just not that into you. Has a girlfriend? Sweetie, come on, where has your self-respect gone?
When I broke up with my last serious boyfriend in 2011, I
was wrecked. Walk into the house and stand inside the front door empty for several minutes wrecked. It felt like every day I was hit by a Mac
truck. And yes, I was the one who ended
it. But that didn’t mean that there wasn’t love there, that I didn’t care about
him, about us, it’s just, we weren’t meant to be an us.
My brilliant friend Katie once told me the following: The
thing about grief is that something is broken, but you’re not, and you’ve got
to keep going.
I had no idea how. So I picked up Cuz It’s Broken. It gave some practical advice, funny anecdotes, and
a great dose of compassion. And in time, it healed.
I love their books. So, having read an excerpt from their new It’s Just a F***ing Date book
a few weeks ago, prior to this new dating thing, I thought to look at it again yesterday, considering that my manic phone checking was probably not what the
gods of serenity have in mind.
And here’s some interesting intel I’ve gathered. One of
their questions is, When was the best period in your life, and What was going on
that made it great? My answer was surprising and heartening: the best period of
my life is happening now, the last few months of my life. What’s happening in
it? Playing in a band, signing up for acting classes, going on auditions,
planning a trip to the sea shore with my cousins, buying a new (to me) car,
upgrading my wardrobe, going on a meditation retreat, eating well, seeing live
entertainment, working the steps.
Also, I was using the Gratitude Journal app on my phone that
dinged twice daily to remind me to pause & write something in.
When did this change, it asks? When I was asked on a date by someone
I’m interested in. That’s when.
Suddenly, my center of focus has veered sharply toward
someone else, what they think of me, if I’m approved, if my life activities are
good enough, if my success is enough, if I’m prudent but sexy enough.
In short, what changed is that all the things that attracted
someone to me in the first place, all the things that were bringing me joy, and
self-esteem, and hope, have been tossed in favor of what you think of me.
This is a terrible
recipe for self-love!!
This is not the first time that my eyes have wandered off my
own music chart onto someone else’s in the orchestra of life and dating. I’d
explained to someone once that if life were an orchestra, the most important
thing is that we stay on our own page, with our own notes, listening to
what’s happening around us, but focusing actively on what’s in front of and important
to us. It would be a disaster if the oboe began to play the notes of the viola.
But, that’s what has happened for me before; I get worried, I get crazed.
Not attractive to me. Or to you.

So, what can I actively do to get back to that place, the
book asks next? Well, for starters, I can type some things into my daily
gratitude app. I can choose two photos from my portfolio to send to this
modeling agency that may be a dead-end, but I was stopped on the street for. I
can go back on Theater Bay Area and find another casting call, and I can find
another monologue and start on that.
There are PLENTY of things that I can do to get back to that
place, because in that place I was simply doing what fed me, was important
to me, was fun, and enlivening.
And one of the changes can be to remember, it’s just a
f*cking date
and was never meant as the end
goal – the whole “meet you on the way to meeting me” DOESN’T WORK if I stop
trying to actively meet myself, you know.
It’s time for me to allow the mass rush of thinking about
this, the boy, etc., recede into just one part of the array of my life. I have so
much else I was doing that created now as the greatest period in my life—and, really, it is. 

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