One of the things I like about a new year is the hope it brings. The possibility of living life a new way, the promise of finer days and merry ways. Thus, January is probably the month that my mind is stuck in the clouds creating visions of the future, pouring my dreams to the wind and holding on to hope and anticipation that it is only a matter of time before they come true.
First, I’d like to apologize to the internet fraternity and that friend who put pressure on me to write (you know yourself :)). I had promised to update you all on the progress of my one year no dating challenge every fifth day of the month and I am clearly late. I can come up with quite a handful of appropriate excuses but I’m not doing those this year. At least the good news is that I have one month and 6 days down. There are plenty more to go so let’s not count lest I get depressed.
Frankly, it’s been an emotional roller-coaster so far. I have felt a plethora of emotions I never knew I could. I have faced the past head on and it’s harder than I thought it would be. You know how it is said that you have to face the past before you can enjoy the present and anticipate the future? I agree fully. But the part they forgot to mention was the fact that facing the past will unearth dirt and ashes that you’d buried and it will hurt.
I’ve been repeatedly asked exactly how I planned to spend the year now that I have intentionally denied myself the company of the opposite gender. Weirdly enough, I actually don’t know. That fact bothered me for a while and I tried to form a plan. None of what I came up with made sense or it just seemed like it would make my life into a drudgery and horrid bore. I then read a quote that said that sometimes, those people who have it all figured out all the way to the next ten years are usually the ones who have no idea what they really want. I do believe in planning but I also believe in leaving enough wiggle room to absorb life’s unpredictability and take advantage of new unforeseen opportunities. So my plan is to grow myself in all aspects beside in dating. In my artistic side, work, emotions and relationship with God, friends and family.
Thus in the bid to grow myself emotionally, I chose to reflect and look back at all the past relationships. In real sense, the choice to reflect was not voluntary but it was brought about by people from my past just popping up from nowhere. One thing I’ve always loved about my sister is her ability to tell you exactly what is in her mind without hesitation. I have always been the exact opposite. You may drive a knife right through my heart and if I could take it silently and walk away, I would. I might write an angry blog post one day about it but the most I will do is severe contact and give you silent treatment. Not the best of ways to deal with stuff but I turned out okay didn’t I? Okay. Let me stop justifying something I’m trying to change.
So, while exes kept popping up, I had to increasingly open doors to memories. Some painful and hurtful, others thrilling and exciting. The more I talked things over with them, the more I realized, things are not always what they seem. I had this one guy I loathed because he treated me like a trophy and only wanted to strut me around at his convenience. After a heart to heart, he was almost in tears. He didn’t know how much he had hurt me. The worst part about my tendencies is that coupled with the fact that I won’t mention when I’ve been hurt, I also do a good job of hiding my true emotions. I might smile with you today and tomorrow I absolutely ignore your calls.
While some exes elicited pain from the past, other set forth a longing I didn’t even know I still had. I don’t know if it is just me but there is always that relationship that you wished would have worked out. That ex who you always think was the one that got away. In my case, he was the same one that split my heart into two and made me turn cold for two years afraid of getting hurt again. It was bittersweet reconnecting. I remembered exactly why I was enchanted by him but at the back of my mind I writhed from the memory of how we ended. It happened years ago but I still felt like I was re-living it. However, talking candidly brings a new perspective in everything. Most of all it brings understanding. Understanding someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with them but it brings cohesion. Knowing where they are coming from brings incredible insight.
In addition to everything, I’ve had an unprecedented hard time with cravings that I’m not sure I should talk about here. Maybe I’m shy maybe I’m not. But ‘say it like it is’ is my new way to communicate so I shall be candid for those of you who won’t. Being accustomed to having someone by your side can shield you from the fact that it scares you silly to be alone. Even when I was single, I still had someone to cuddle with. Sort of a cheat boyfriend who isn’t exactly official but isn’t really just a friend. The perilous in-between has its thrills but when one party wants more, things get complicated. Since I started this challenge, staying away from those cheat things is the hardest bit. I’m still working my way around it and when I figure out a way to completely eliminate the tendency to want to cheat, I will let you know. Until then, I will deal with it, so help me God. Everyone struggles with that (or so I think) so if you’ve figured it out, let me know too.
I expected to be able to list down things I have learnt each month but it’s harder than I thought. With every moment I learn things about myself and about other people. Thus with that knowledge I evolve to take advantage of my strengths and circumvent my weaknesses. I do not have a set of lessons I can jot down, but I am morphing into a better version of me. It seems that with his journey of the one year no-dating challenge, I will be documenting my metamorphosis. Success will be measured by the difference in perspective between the girl on December 5th 2013 and on December 5th 2014. Allowing yourself to feel is the only way you can move from the grey of life and start enjoying the colours of the rainbow.