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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

This is five months worth of lessons summed up into one blog: let's go! This is a tale of me taking a swim through the dating pool. For context, I'm twenty-eight going on twenty-nine, and have been single since high school. Dating has always been a foreign language to me and I never tried to understand it, not until this year, at least. Coming into this year I decided to try something new. After all of this growth and development I felt more secure in myself and felt prepared to see what's out there. I know myself well enough to know what I like, what I don't like, dealbreakers, etc. The next step was learning to enforce all of that in real time, and that's exactly what I had to do. I will be honest, I tend to entertain (I use this term loosely) people when I'm bored or looking for distraction, and it's not that I'm dishonest about it, in fact.. I might be a little too honest. What I have learned about boredom and distractions is that it doesn't attract in anything or anyone that is truly for me. In my experience it has always lead to a headache. This year was that headache. I don't have the best track record of people that I've been interested in, mostly due to parental issues, not loving myself enough, and being "comfortable" in uncomfortable situations. You have to know better to do better. No shame to my past self for those decisions because they helped me grow. I was able to hold myself accountable without feeling guilt or shame, and that truly contributed to my evolution.

Anyway, you're probably waiting for me to get to this years experiences, so let me get to that. This year really showed me exactly what I do not want. The type of behaviors and actions that don't mesh with me is what was presented to me. This year really felt like a

T E S T. Testing to see if I've truly learned from my past and if I was willing to put my money where my mouth is. Was I ready to practice what I preach? Honestly, matters of the heart is an area where I usually stumble, so I went into this a bit apprehensive. I was worried at first, but ended up completely shocking myself; what I would usually do, I didn't, and instead of feeling stuck, I dug a new pathway. I tuned into my heart and I chose myself. What did I realize when I tuned into self? I realized that I am not willing to settle or disrupt my peace. Being single for over ten years really hasn't been lonely, because I've spent it getting to know myself and that has been fun. I feel like I've been discovering rare and uncharted lands. I wholeheartedly agree with my seventeen year old self when I said, "I want to get to know myself before I try to get to know someone else. I can't even explain who I am to myself, so how can I expect to explain it to someone else?" Wise words, little lady. In my own personal opinion, I wasn't meant to date or be in relationships early on. I had a lot learning, unlearning, and maturing to do. This year showed me that I have matured and I am ready for whatever the future may hold. From here on out I'm just going with the flow. "I don't chase, I attract."

Lessons that I've learned this time around:

Give yourself time and allow yourself to be human. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to trip and sometimes fall. It is ok. Learn from those mistakes and falls. Turn dirt into gold.

Holding grudges can really poison the mind and body. If you can, let go, not for them, but for you.

They're not all the same.

Someone can be great. They can be caring, attentive, and check off the boxes on your mental checklist, but that does not mean they are right for you.

"Everything that glitters is not gold."

Get to know people and enforce your boundaries from the start.

Love bombing is a real.

Learn yourself; who you are, what you like, what you don't. All of it. Learn to read yourself like a book.

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