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Category Archives: One-year dating challenge

The year I turned into a monk and all things in between. Follow my journey.

The Truth About The One Year No Dating Challenge; Unveiled

The Truth About The One Year No Dating Challenge; Unveiled

I’m back. I wasn’t gone anywhere in particular besides hiding behind a veil. I had pledged accountability but I decided to take the easier route. Silence. Silence slits like a knife because it’s implication is loud(ironic) and clear. Silence speaks right to the soul as words form themselves from the pulses of night. Silence is the weapon of choice when words cannot save you. But silence is also the bounty of the cowardice.

I did not finish the one-year challenge. (I like to rip the bandage right off) I got to month 9 and my hormones got the better of me. More accurately, I let them get the better of me. Hormones do not posses the ability to hold a gun to your resolve and yet they did. I helped set the gun in place. I rushed and I fell in supposed love and the vow to myself was broken. Just like that. Was I disappointed? Yes? But I lied to myself that it was worth it. It’s the folly of humanity. We fail ourselves more than we would care to admit and we blame fate for our misfortunes.

The very premise of the one year challenge is to get to a place where we are absolutely comfortable with ourselves that we are ready to allow someone else into our lives. But what if your inner self scares you? What if the silence, the questions, the fears, the tears all frighten you to avoidance? What if your past taunts you and you don’t want to relive the horror? What if your mind needs the release but you are afraid of what will be left if it does? Is there enough of you left after all the junk is gone? Is there an exit left or are all exists tightly sealed out of a habit of building walls?

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Scaling up walls you have created for years is no easy task. Nor is finding the courage to tear it down and let your heart bleed it’s way to wellness. But if we do not do it or learn from our past, we are bound to be stuck in the same hamster wheel and run in circles forever. Once we refuse to pause, reflect and learn from situations, they are bound to repeat themselves. Worst of all, when we rely on ourselves to change us we er. It’s like trying to shine windows with a floor rug. Bishop T.D Jakes said that how can you possibly give yourself to someone if you do not even know what you are giving? How also can you pick a helper suitable for you if you do not know yourself enough to realize what is suitable or not?

11 months later with a heartbreak to boot, I am back to square one. I shall not lie and say that I shall start the challenge again but what I am determined to do is to find the lesson in the mess. The lesson I had missed in the first place that led me back to square one. I thought that I had found what I was looking for but sometimes a wish list is just that. A wish. We may be delusional in what we think we need in life. I know I shall have a spectacular life and for this reason I wish to find a partner in crime. I shall not settle on my idea of ideal but I shall pray that God will reveal to me the full potential of the girl he packed in this small frame. Have you ever felt a sense of predestination that scares you? A sense of destiny that overwhelms you? I do, and I frankly hope that my life turns out just as awesome as it is in the dreams that wake me up in the middle of the night.

To all those who are doing the challenge, keep at it. Don’t let your desires get the better of you. You are stronger than you think. Plus, friends are your gift from God. Cultivate friendships that are true. Treasure those who care for you and grow a support system that will hold you up when you are feeling down. When you stray and your friends still come to your aid, hold on to them. Such friends are rare. Everybody is consumed by their own problems that they forget to reach out to others. Better yet, be a great friend. Because life is not about about what you have but whom you have. You may fall and it’s alright. Cry and do what you must, then rise back up again. Because everyday is a chance to start again. To start a new journey.

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One Year No Dating Challenge: Month 4 and 5

One Year No Dating Challenge: Month 4 and 5

Well, its been a loud silence regarding my one year no dating challenge. Many people keep asking if im still at it and i have finally decided to write.

First, I am still at it. Admittedly, the past two months have been the hardest. Not only in terms of no dating but also in other aspects of my life. But before I go further, I would just like to let it be known that I thank myself for the day i decided to dedicate the year to improving myself. It opens your eyes to faults and weaknesses that you didn’t even realize you had, as well as opening your eyes to amazing talents that you didn’t realize were staring at you.

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Month 4 was an interesting blend of self discovery and intense temptation. Have you ever committed yourself to refrain from something and all of a sudden everyone around you wants to invite you to do exactly that? That was my 4th month. From old flings coming back full swing to taunt my newly acquired self control, to old crushes reappearing to confuse my emotions. I’m only human so it took every ounce of willpower i could muster to carry on with my 1 year voluntary pilgrimage. A few slip ups here and there but if I could move on, lets not dwell on that. As the month ended I realised that i never really knew them( the past men in my life). I was content with having someone to fill the gap that i didn’t bother to really know people. I missed out on the best side of them.

One of the things that has developed subconsciously during this challenge has been the ability to have meaningful conversations and to really connect with people. It was a skill I didn’t realize I lacked or  needed. I’m amazed at my newly acquired ease at conversing with people. Previously quite socially awkward, I sort of found my voice.  Sometimes we go through life unaware that we are listening to a voice that is not ours. We try to fashion our persona from a voice we think is “appropriate”. Never quite comfortable with the sound of our own voices. I’m not sure how many people can relate to this but if you do, then you can understand my elation at finally being comfortable with my own voice. Finally comfortable with my own opinions, with my own persona, with my own way of thinking, with my quirky personality. It is a continuous work in progress but i am well in and moving forward.

An interesting thing happens once you start really talking to people. They introduce you to an aspect of yourself that you did not realize you portrayed. Few realize that the way we see ourselves is hardly how others see us. You may be oblivious to the natural charm that you exude and send conflicting messages to an onlooker when you start doubting yourself and showcasing “closed” body language. I always thought i was an introvert, shy and socially awkward. What i have discovered in the past few months was that my supposed introverted shy persona was my romanticized description of my insecurities. Ever heard of an ambivert? That’s my personality. I have never felt so at home with a label as i did when i stumbled upon ambivert. An ambivert possesses both extrovert and introvert tendencies. Comfy and happy in social circles but also relishes alone time. Totally me.

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Month 5 was a defining moment career wise and mentality wise. I hit my lowest low and gathered myself from the floor from scratch. It is a month I never want to re-live in my life. Ever! But oh boy did i learn. First i had it laid to me in plain daylight that although im talented, i cannot achieve anything substantial if i work in an autopilot robotic manner. I appreciated that talk. Having the truth laid bare is not a privilege i or anyone should take lightly. Sometimes we walk through life with our heads stuck too far up our asses to realize the folly of our ways. That was me and after i had sense slapped into my system from life and a boss who decided to talk to me because he didn’t want to see such potential go to waste, I knew something had to give. Something had to change drastically. You never really know that you have a sense of entitlement until you do. It’s just that simple.

This post has turned out to be a little too long but those two months have been such an eye opener that i couldnt help it. One more thing happened. I had my heart broken. How does a person who is not dating get their heart broken? Simple. My hopes were dashed. Ever had that person you thought was prince charming disappoint you so heavily that its’ no longer sad but funny? Yea. That happened. Im glad it did. I was sort off making myself perfect so that i could have him after the year is over. Don’t look at me like that. We all do silly things in the name of love. I know better now. This girl is growing up fast.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in One-year dating challenge

 

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The One Year No-Dating Challenge: Month 2 and 3 review

I was sitting at the back of a police land rover and the thought of writing occurred to me. It has been ages before I sat to write for me and it was about time. At the end of one of the longest days ever, I was spent and begging to get home. Therefore my unexpected ‘lift’ from the authorities bolstered me back to reality and out of the bubble I like to travel in.

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I did not write the review for the 2nd month of the one year no dating challenge simply because of my horrid habit of ceaseless postponement. I always had some work to do and kept postponing it to later. I would probably postpone my whole life if I could too. I tend to over think situations and never get to actually do them. The other reason was that I had buried my head deep into a sea of work that I hardly had any time to do my own grooming. The tragedy is that I was not really as busy as I acted but I worked in a haphazard manner that made me move around in a constant rush and I scurried everywhere I went. I was the embodiment of the so called busy-but-not-productive type of life. I can see that now in retrospect but at the time I was sure I was doing things correctly.

Once you engulf your life in work, you will notice something. All of your friends will suddenly see to drift away from you and you will increasingly feel alone and isolated, it may not be true but I sure felt it. I don’t know about you. Next, your whole life begins to revolve around work and you lose the ability to have a normal conversation as you are always busy rushing to nowhere. That is truly a sad existence and if that sounds like your life, the time for change needs to start now.

Over the past weekend, I was a volunteer at a musical festival organized by a certain cancer foundation. It was absolutely fun and I had the chance to meet awesome local celebrities who challenged me to be better and to set on my success story in motion sooner than later. There were artists with academic credentials up to the level of PHDs but they had followed their passions and dreams, which in turn brought them unprecedented fame. If someone can handle a full time corporate job and a side job as a Dj, who I’m I not to balance my daily tasks and deliver them on time? Listening to them was and both enlightening and humbling in one breathe.

I chose to write today, on one of the days where I feel like cow poop, because I cannot help but be blunt when faced with my own mortality and the truth about the condition of my life. This was when I realized that God had led me to the one year challenge for more than the main reason of growing into the type of woman my ideal man would want. God also wanted me to come to the point of spiritual brokenness to realize that he is all I need. That the condition of the heart determines the health of your whole being. That everyone needs some love and being a lone ranger is only cool in movies. As I sit on my bed and type this, a song plays in my head: “Jesus you’re all I need.” I love that song and I can’t help the tears from rolling down my cheeks. It’s the moment I realize a lot of things about my life. The absence of the pure warm hug, the close confidant I can run and cry with and the blatant absence of a clear plan for progress of my own life. You can get so caught up in life’s activities that you forget about yourself and what is really important.

After a long absence, I finally showed up at a certain group meeting I used to attend every Monday evening. When I was asked how I finally managed to show up, I said I did not have anything to do. But I lied. I was lonely, tired and felt down. I just wanted a friend and to see familiar faces. Did it work? Maybe. But it was sure nice to see my sister. At least I was sure someone there was happy to see me. I wish I could tell her that but I am not good at expressing my emotions so I write it down and hope that the wind blows it to her.

I do not wish to depress you but to merely share one of my lowest moments in the hope that someone will identify with it. Incidentally, in these two months that I have been surrounded by the most people, I have felt the loneliest. Your own insecurities can be your own worst enemy and your own mind has the ability to conjure horrific situation that will torment your soul with imaginary tragedies. I think I have learnt the importance of conscious thought and intentional action. Life will truly happen to you if you sit back and let the waves rock you. Emotions should never be a stumbling block but a catalyst for whatever you need to change.

Let yourself feel, let yourself cry, let yourself laugh and let yourself live.

 

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How An Amazing Relationship Really Feels Like.

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Jarrid Wison, a pastor, husband, author and preacher had an interesting article that got me thinking.Before I spew my thoughts, have a read of what he posted;
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On Jarrid’s blog post titled, “I’m Dating Someone Even Thought I’m Married,” he writes:

“I have a confession to make. I’m dating someone even though I’m married.

She’s an incredible girl. She’s beautiful, smart, cunning, strong, and has an immensely strong faith in God. I love to take her out to dinner, movies, local shows, and always tell her how beautiful she is. I can’t remember the last time I was mad at her for longer than five minutes, and her smile always seems to brighten up my day no matter the circumstances.

Sometimes she will visit me at work unannounced, make me an incredible lunch, or even surprise me with something she personally baked. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be dating someone even though I am married. I encourage you to try it and see what it can do for your life.

Oh! Did I mention the woman I am dating is my wife? What did you expect?

Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean your dating life should end.

I need to continue to date my wife even after I marry her. Pursuing my wife shouldn’t stop just because we both said, “I do.” Way too many times do I see relationships stop growing because people stop taking the initiative to pursue one another.

Dating is a time where you get to learn about someone in a special and unique way. Why would you want that to ever stop? It shouldn’t. Those butterflies you got on the first date shouldn’t stop just because the years have passed. Wake up each day and pursue your spouse as if you are still on your first few dates. You will see a drastic change for the better in your relationship.

When it comes to any relationship, communication and the action of constant pursuit is key. Nobody wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to pursue them whole-heartedly.

I encourage you to date your spouse, pursue them whole-heartedly, and understand that dating shouldn’t end just because you said, “I do.”

– Jarrid Wilson”
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Simply touching. I have fallen in love with that couple. I read that post and I instantly knew the description of what I have always been looking for. I knew I always wanted my relationships and future marriage to be more than the usual drudgery or a consequence of obligation, but I never knew how to describe it for I didn’t have a template to read from. Now I do. I want exactly what Jarrid and wife have. That is what we call working at a relationship. People fight all the time over sharing of household chores, when they can’t remember the last time your partners smile made your heart skip a beat. People heckle over who will change the baby’s diapers when they can’t remember the last time they had some time alone to talk and enjoy their company.

If people have to fight, they should fight for love. The only true magic in this world is that which lights up your heart and makes this life worth living. Life can be a tedious bore when it becomes a series of repetitive events. When the magic fades out of it, then reason ceases to exist. Mindless ritual pales in comparison to heartfelt devotion. Even the Lord himself detests it.

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When it was said that two shall become one, I know it was not only in reference to their physical beings. If you fuse in emotion, in mind, in will and in direction, there will be no dull day. Each step will be in unison and each curve ball thrown will be handled together. That is true union. No ponnies and fairytales but companionship, loyalty and love. Pure unadulterated love. When all these things are in place, the other factors will automatically fall into place. Sex life, chores, in-laws, work and finances will no longer seem as daunting as before. It’s a spiral that begins with the correct foundation. Once the momentum is set, there is little that can stop them.

Such relationships do exist and they can exist. Blame the over commercialization of ‘dramatic’ relationships which are in essence bad relationships that treat companionship as a necessary stage of life like puberty. Puberty is inevitable but relationships are choices. Your’s will only be as good as you choose to make it. I choose to make mine divine.

 
 

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The One Year No-Dating Challenge- Month one review.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 
 

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