Opportunities

There is a huge theme in the dating world:  Meeting the elusive “One” that you’re meant to spend your life with.  Here is the truth I believe in: Everyone gets a shot, a chance, an opportunity to be with anyone they meet. DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES AT THIS PAGE! Hear me out:

Recently a letter went around Facebook from “Your Future Mate”. If you haven’t read it, here is the link:    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5195511 The letter states why “The One” hasn’t found you yet and sites examples like: They are with the wrong one now; they are still hanging on to what they “think” they want; they are not ready for you yet.

That last one might be my more favorite one. It’s also part of my point. Everyday we meet people. We are set up on dates, we swipe right on Tinder (or maybe it’s left or a double tap? I’ve never used it) or search Facebook and other web pages for a connection. We go on dates and make up excuses as to why it “didn’t work:” “They were great but not what I am looking for.” “Too busy” or “just out of a relationship” and or “Not ready for a relationship.”

Well guess what? If we are not our best selves at the time, if we are not “ready” to be vulnerable and let someone into our world. The connection is missed, at least for now. Maybe even for good.  Sometimes, these connections revisit you later in life. Like my most recent “revisit.”

When I was a freshman in college, I was in lust with a junior. He was the Resident Advisor of my friend’s floor in our dorm, and I just had to have him. I would find any reason to go to my friend’s floor during “visiting hours.” I about died when he showed up at my dorm one night. He had to like me back, right? One night around 2am, I walked past the offices below the dorms. There he was. My crush.  Working on a paper. He saw me, got up and met me at the door to chat. I stood there willing with my mind, talking with my eyes, hoping against hope that he would invite me into that office. I know I am aware that had he invited me in, we just would have had sex and we most likely would not have dated. However, in my 18-year-old mind, sex at that moment would be amazing. We liked each other, but we were in a place where we could be caught (Christian school…so definitely not something looked highly upon). Also happened to be the office of the Resident Director (his boss) and the person who makes RA’s enforce the no sex policy (obviously, that made it more enticing).

Instead, none of that happened. No invite, no kissing, no passionate on-top-of-a-desk in an office of the very person who could have kicked us out of school sex. Life went on, semesters passed, and he married another girl.

Then, last week thanks to the wonders of the internet, he found me. Added me as a friend and then called me. Yes, it was lovely to catch up, reminisce. But, when he eluded to us hanging out, hooking up etc…I sat there and knew in my gut the answer was no. In my heart the answer was: No, too bad we didn’t do it 10 years ago. My head’s answer was: he missed his chance.  Back then, he totally could have had me. But, the opportunity passed us (well mostly him).

So, what does my trip down memory lane mean for you? Simple, really. In order for you to be with your true counter-part three things need to happen: you need to know who you are, what you want, and why you need it. Who you are.  What you want.  Why you need it.  When you do, when the opportunity presents itself 1) you will recognize it 2) you will be your best, loved and respected self.  And that amazing person who is right for you will be excited to be part of your life.  If you don’t know these three things, the opportunity will occur anyway, but you will not be ready.  You may miss this chance to be with someone who is equal to your BEST self.

Stop wondering where the “good” ones are.  Instead, start LOVING yourself.  Figure out who you are.  Make yourself the best version of you that you can be. Stop second-guessing yourself and FIND yourself instead.  Currently you might feel like you are missing opportunities.  You probably are because you are not being you.  If you are yourself, these won’t seem like missed opportunities because you’ll know how to field them. When you know who you are, and are your best self, you could meet your partner in crime tomorrow.  It could be something as simple as loving yourself today and going for a latte leads to meeting the right person.

What would that be like to attract exactly what you want and deserve?  Guess what, it’s not a unicorn. “The One” exists but you have to be ready to strike when the iron is hot—which means making sure you’re in the best place to receive it.  We here at Live ClareLesley are going to continually repeat this until you are so tired of hearing it that you’re putting it in to practice: live your life and be the best version of yourself instead of actively seeking out another person to complete you.  “The One” will be a complimentary entity of you, not complete you (sorry, Jerry Maguire).  So, are you ready?

LL

 

Making the Bed and Other Daily Habits That Matter

I’m a Gemini, for better or for worse. I don’t religiously believe in astrology, but there are some irrefutable traits that I have that are totally and completely “Gemini:” I’m fun, out going, happy, creative. But I’m also fickle and I don’t always finish things—I can’t begin to tell you how many projects I have laying around waiting to be finished.

It is really frustrating to me that I don’t finish things. It’s even more frustrating that I seem to not be able to keep healthy habits going. I regularly berate myself for not doing some sort of physical fitness. However, I do have two daily habits: coffee every morning—and an hour of quiet time to myself, when possible; making my bed—every day, without fail. This sounds like something that is just a daily task, without a moral. But its not. I didn’t start making my bed daily until about 8 years ago when I was in my late 20s. I’d love to tell you that there was some lovely dramatic story to this, but there really isn’t. As a kid, my parents encouraged a clean room, but it didn’t always happen, and wasn’t enforced. As a teenager, I just didn’t care if my bed was made or not. In college, I was convinced I could only sleep well if I configured my blankets and pillows in a certain way. This configuration was not to be disturbed, so I NEVER made my bed. After college, I moved into an apartment, got a grown up job while still pursuing my dream on the side. I dated, and had men over. I still didn’t make my bed. It just didn’t matter.

Then one day, it just did. I read something that said if you’re stressed out in your life, you need to organize your living space. To try to channel this, I think I did everything BUT make my bed. I cleaned out my closet, organizing my shoes and putting all items by type, season, and color. I went through my drawers, and organized and refolded everything. I cleaned and organized all surfaces, my desk, my nightstand, the top of my dresser. This overhaul took a few days, and I still didn’t think about making my bed—I think I pulled up the sheets to make a flat surface for organizing, but I didn’t actually make it. Now, in my terms, “making the bed” is straightening sheets and blankets and any flat to be straight and pulled to the edges, sometimes tucked. Pillows are fluffed a bit and sat straightened. Any extraneous blankets are folded neatly at the end of the bed. I have a queen bed. This activity generally takes me no more than five minutes. I rarely do it right when waking up, its usually after I’ve been awake for a bit.

The first week I started to make my bed daily, something interesting started to happen: I was happier. Not from making the bed, but instead from randomly entering my room and seeing that my sleeping space was just waiting for me. And the opposite is very true as well: if I don’t make my bed and I walk back into my room, I’m grumpy and frustrated until I make my bed. Its so bizarre. I’ve also figured out that if I leave things on my bed, taking up its space, I am frustrated when I come back and see the mess on it. I’ve also learned that if I need to remember things, I write myself a note and leave it on my pillow—those things ALWAYS get done. And, if I need to take anything with me for the day, I put it on my bed, I never fail to remember those things.

I wish I had better daily habits. I wish I got up and did yoga, Pilates, stretching, meditation, vocal warm-ups, eating healthily, writing, even brushing my hair, regularly without fail (yeah, sometimes I walk out of the house and haven’t brushed my hair… I’ll confess that. It happens. After having super short hair for over 10 years, I forget to deal with long hair some days. But I digress…) Instead, I have my coffee and bed making. Both make me happy. Both make my day go more smoothly, and thereby make me a better person.

The point I’m trying to make here is that daily habits you have should make you healthier in some way. The gym isn’t a healthy habit, if you find you can’t live without being there for at least three hours daily and aren’t getting paid for it. The coffee intake isn’t the healthiest choice, but the time I spend with those cups (and ultimately myself) is. Taking five minutes to make my bed isn’t a lot of time, but ensures happiness. Yes, I do other things for health and wellness, but nothing else is a daily priority. Truly, I’m ok with it. So, yes, I’m a Gemini. Yes, I’m a creative. Yes, I’m a coffee drinker. Yes, I’m a bed maker. I often bemuse that I don’t have better consistency, but I’m consistent for the things that matter to me; when I need to be consistent with something, I am. What makes you happy, and how can you make it into a habit? Do you have good daily habits? Are they as good for you as you think they are?

-Clare

Don’t Want It Now

I don’t know what I want. Well actually, I know what I want, I just don’t want it now. Yep! This week I realized after clearing out all the pots on the stove, any leftovers from the fridge that I’m done with duty dating. But, I’m so not into dating! Yes, I’m saying it out loud. Why? Because I don’t think we admit to ourselves that we know what we want we just don’t want it now. I’ve decided that it’s completely ok. A-Ok to know what you want but not want it now. This doesn’t make myself or you wishy-washy. In fact, I think it puts us back in control. And right now, I don’t want to be in a relationship, I just want to be single.
There are so many pressures when you are single to be in a relationship. Who are you dating? Do you think they’re the one? Are you ready for that? What are you looking for? If you want a family you should start getting serious! Well, guess what?! Today I’m dating no one, tomorrow is a new day and the day after who knows if they’re THE ONE! They’re the one for right NOW. That’s perfect enough for today.

But, back to my point. I have dated my archetypes—all those men that I think I wanted to be in a relationship, or at least try out (check back for a different blog post on archetypes!). I have enjoyed myself entirely. I know my dealmakers, breakers, and am comfortable re-working them. I know what makes me swoon, laugh, get annoyed, feel supported, free, and get rocked. I just don’t want any of it right now. I want to do my thing. Enjoy myself. Live my life my way, by my rules. Not have to check in, share my time, or worry about another person’s feelings. I love having all the “me” time I want!

I discovered this when I had a suitor turned friend over for a great make out sesh. We have both been through the long, deep relationships. We are both barely a year out of our own past relationships. He said he just doesn’t know what he wants. With this conversation, I realized, I do. I know EXACTLY what I want. Lucky me! Even luckier I’m so comfortable not wanting it right now.

If you’re wondering if something is up with you, perhaps you’re in the same boat. Perhaps you too know what you want but just don’t want it now. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is if you let yourself think there is something wrong with you. Asking yourself questions: am I depressed? Did I make the wrong decision? Should I go on another date? Nope! If you’re not into it, you’re just not into it. Enjoy that! Rock that! When your friend asks about your dating life, you should proudly say “not anyone for now and it’s perfect enough for today.”

If more of us start announcing with pride our Single Status then think of how much better the our conversations will be. We can actually talk about other things going on in our lives with our friends instead of whom we are not doing.

LL

Breaking Up Was RIGHT To Do

Did I do the right thing in breaking up? Should I have…? What if I was wrong? Maybe I should go back?  Stop!

Do these questions sound familiar? If they don’t, hat’s off to you for never having questioned your actions towards ending a relationship that had run its course (although that might be something worth examining). But, for the rest of us out there we have on probably hundreds of occasions wondered. Questioned. Worried. Moaned groaned, and dare I say it, groveled back to the one that we so courageously walked away from recently.

Today while teaching a client, she mentioned that she was worried about her son. The past few days he has been wondering if he made the right decision by breaking up with his long-term girlfriend. The girlfriend wanted to get married and start a family and the son isn’t interested in starting a family, at least not right now.

Having been there myself, I know he did the right thing. Why drag out the inevitable? Why waste either person’s time if you’re not right for each other, or simply want different, large life goals. You can absolutely love someone and leave him or her. I’m not saying it’s easy! Lord knows, that is a tough situation especially if you still love the person, despite wanting completely different things out of life. Nevertheless, if your goals don’t line up with those of a partner, it’s best to go your separate ways.

So back to “it’s not easy”…any break up is difficult on some level. Even when you know it’s the right decision, it’s very rarely a pleasant experience. Even if it is better than a trip to the spa, you still have to recover after the break up—telling friends, readjusting plans, getting your stuff back, sometimes even finding a new place to live. In the first few days and weeks of my most recent breakup, I had made plans with so many friends, I didn’t have a free moment in my calendar. Because I kept busy in my newly made free time, I couldn’t believe I ever had time for a relationship. Sadly, this new singledom bliss doesn’t stick. After a few weeks go by and you fall into your “new life” the slide starts to happen. You will find yourself having all this “free” time. You may even start the duty dating. Time to think, relax, analyze, and at some point feel lonely.

In a relationship, good or bad you know the gist of your weekend. On Thursday afternoon you’re not likely looking at a empty weekend on your calendar. Even if there are no set plans you know you’re spending time with someone. When you’re single its not as solid– as I write this on a Thursday afternoon I can tell you I’m looking at a very open Friday night. Saturday night I booked a ladies craft night (probably wine and girl talk, but thank goodness I got invited to something). My Sunday I managed early on in my singleness to find a way to work from brunch to lunch so I wouldn’t be alone all day.

It’s those Sundays that’ll get you! Those days set aside for relaxing—but you don’t relax when your mind spirals back to the past. When you’re single, if you don’t have a ton of single friends, you’ll quickly realize Sunday is the couple/family day. It’s these “lonely” days that turn that monkey mind on. Those questions. Did I do the right thing? Maybe I should call/text them? Ask for forgiveness? Give it another go…

As a survivor of this stage in the singleness game I will say this: You will survive, you will get through. You will make a new Sunday routine. You’ll start to see the happiness in this alone time. You broke up with or were broken up with for multiple reasons, most of which were logical and good. The truth is no one, not me, Clare, your friends or family can answer those questions in your head. Only you can. You already know the answers.

This is where I will get honest and blunt with you. Feeling lonely is not the reason to contact an ex to try to fix things. This too shall pass. Here are a few of my tricks to get you through:

  • Plan out your weekend before Friday
  • Buy tickets to events and schedule classes: fill up your schedule!
  • Go to the farmers market and buy food to make yourself a great meal
  • Read that book you keep putting off reading at a cozy cafe
  • Catch up on your DVR and love hanging out in your underwear!

Those questions will plague you only if you let them. However, I’ll say it again loneliness is not the reason to question, doubt or run backwards. You are where you are. It’s not easy but nothing worthwhile is and without change there’s no growth. I’m free Sunday night! What do you want for dinner?

–LL