Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Quotable

About 10 years ago, I found myself out in the real world repeating certain habits in my life, and particularly in my relationships, that I’d cultivated as far back as high school. I was living in the muck of the stories I told myself.

“I’m not girlfriend material.”

“I’m not looking for anything exclusive either.”

“It’s cool you stood me up. No biggie. I know how it is when stuff comes up.”

Those stories came from little bits of broken heart left over by my high school and college boyfriends. After college, when I moved to NY, I went on dates with a few guys and each time, they put their crap right on the table. “I’m not looking for anything serious” which loosely translates into I’m not going to be your boyfriend but I will gladly be your bed buddy and be here for every ounce of attention and affection you want to shower on me. The first few times, I bowed out but eventually, I scooped their crap up off of the table and took it with me to a delusional little place called “He’ll change his mind-ville.”

When law school ended, I moved into the city, ready to live my Sex and the City life. I dated a couple of guys (neither made it past one date) and I realized I was attracting the same types. I was interested but inevitably it would lead to the “nothing serious” talk. Frustrated, I started to wonder what about me said “Fun times here. No need for commitment!”

I concluded it wasn’t me. It was them. I was opening the door too wide and letting in guys who had no business getting past the velvet rope. You know the quote, “You teach people how to treat you?” Well, I taught each of them they didn’t have to treat me with the respect I deserved. I was the fun girl. All the fun of a girlfriend with no commitment at the end of the day. It had to stop.

SO, I closed the door to my life and decided to date myself for a year. In that time, I focused on my own growth and worked on believing in myself rather than looking to others for validation. In the process, I discovered that I was holding on to certain things from my past—as far back as my childhood—and telling myself I didn’t deserve a real relationship (or love) because of those things. In my year of being single, I discovered it was TOTAL bull. I just needed to love me first. So I did…and it changed everything.

When I heard today’s quotable (shout out to Oprah's Lifeclass), it reminded me of this time in my life and how holding on to my history might have cost me a large portion of the happiness I have today. The work to get rid of the bad baggage continues but let’s just say my luggage set is pretty light these days. Totally worth the single year. 

* Today's photo is one I took of the sunset in the side window of the car as we were driving home one night last weekend. It's grainy but I like the shot. It's a metaphor for seeing only the beauty in what's behind you and leaving everything else forgotten in the darkness. Too deep for a Monday? Sorry! That's me. Sometimes you're going to get a spotlight on a cool new water bottle and cocktail recipe and sometimes, you're going to get a page out of my diary. 

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