When things hit their sudden and unceremonious breaking point with Lover Boy in early September, I took the opportunity to step back and evaluate a few things. It was a challenging time to do some soul searching but I also felt so empty, inexplicably, and I realized very quickly that the emptiness had very little to do with the break up. From that rift came one solid statement: no more dating/new connections for the rest of the year. This is not to say that January 1st I will re-activate dating apps or start looking to meet someone. It means that I can simply put dating out of my mind for a few months and do other things, allowing myself some mental and emotional time and space until at least the new year.
So what am I doing with all this time and energy? In short: lots!
Focusing on Freelancing
Keeping my social and dating life quiet has meant that I have made some great headway with my writing and freelance opportunities. I now have a couple regular clients and while freelancing isn’t paying my bills, it’s a humble and slowly steadying income stream that feels good and continues to grow.
I’m Back in Therapy
I have found a great therapist who seems a good fit for me and we are tackling some of the older, deeper, darker traumas from my younger life and contextualizing how that pain imparts itself upon present-day behaviour. Understanding where I need healing is empowering, especially with the support to see how that trauma has stitched itself into my personality and how I see myself and others and how to work through the stigma of my diagnoses.
Keeping the Home Fires Burning
Engaging purposefully and intimately with The Evergreens has been lovely. We have never felt robbed of time together but mindfully using time I might have spent on others with them, together or as individuals, has been a nice treat and created a new standard of balancing my time and energy. I have also recommitted myself, as the only one who works from home, to paying more attention to our domestic space, cooking more, and making our home life sweeter.
Self Assessment and Evaluation
I don’t want to date right now, and I’m not at all sure when I’ll be in the right headspace to re-consider it. I know this because I’m checking in with myself and thinking about what I’d do differently if I began to date again and why. Dating because I can isn’t enough for me and if and when I dip my toe back into the dating pool I want to know what I want, what my boundaries are and how to get what I need while not giving myself away. It’s a balancing act, to be sure, and I’m not yet ready to step onto the tightrope just yet.
Learning to Actually Love My Body
Maybe it was a few positive Dr. appointments that did it, maybe it was losing some weight and seeing how resilient and mutable my body is, maybe it’s just been a matter of not feeling like I’m under a microscope in the dating world, but something major has shifted. Whatever perfect storm this is that has me loving my pudgy, pale perfection has been such a blessing. My eating is less disordered, I’m not as dismissive and frustrated with my body, and it also seems so much less important now. Like, it’s never been the whole me, there’s always been more to offer than just my body but now I’m believing that on a whole new level.
I’m proud of myself for taking a break. I’m proud of myself for changing my perspective and finding better balance through support and self care. I’m proud that I could rise from the ashes, yet again, but this time with purpose. Ups and downs are real. Depression and anxiety don’t just evaporate when you put your focus elsewhere, and they will lie to you and tell you that you can’t change, don’t deserve to grow and that you’d fail if you tried. Don’t listen. For me, that breakup in September was a wake up call: I needed to get off that rollercoaster and give that time back to myself. Will I date again? Sure! Will I take the same approach as I have in the past? Nope! The difference is that when I do finally get around to dating again, I’ll know more about myself, what I need and what I can offer. Until then, I’ll just keep learning.