Hi friends, I am writing to you from Philadelphia. I’ve decided to run away and live here now. JUST KIDDING. I am here for a conference and I am excited to be spending the day here exploring— and by that I mean sitting at this one coffee shop, not buying anything, and using their internet for the day. And what a day it is-not too hot, not too cold, partly cloudy with a chance of fun.
I’ve been getting many inquiries and desires for the deets of my dating life. I know the deets you are all looking for and honestly the name of my show would be sexless and the city. I must’ve shaken the magic eight ball and received ‘outlook not good’ because the people that I have met are, well, underwhelming, to say the least. There was one guy I dated for a hot second, but it was just that—a second. And the rest were nice enough, but not my cup of tea. *I would like to note that I feel very lucky that I have not met anyone that is cruel*
What I am finding is that there seems to be a lack of passion in the world. I am not just talking about romantic passion, but passion for life. When I ask people why they do what they do, most don’t have a real answer. Often responded with ‘I make good money’ or ‘what else would I do’? I’m fairly certain they don’t even enjoy their work. And these aren’t the people that are making money to get by. I get those people. I’ve been that person. We gotta do what we gotta do. These are people that have spent years of their lives in school, pursuing something that they aren’t even sure of. Then when I ask what they do outside of work I tend to get the generic ‘hang out with friends, work out, *cough* do you even lift bro?’ It’s like someone is playing a joke on me. I mean if it is a joke, that’s pretty good. But like, Ashton, you can come out now.
Really though, in this frame I feel lucky- and not just because I don’t call people bro. In my undergraduate studies I changed my major several times. I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, work in media, learn spanish, teach spanish, teach math, go into politics … and more. Often the response I get to this is of shock and confusion. Personally, I am more shocked and awed that this isn’t the standard. I often get down on myself about being indecisive. At times it makes me feel like I have this burdensome weakness. “Just pick a cereal, Sarah, it’s not that hard”. Sure, Reese’s Puffs vs Cinnamon Toast Crunch doesn’t seem that important, but to me it’s a couple weeks of breakfast. What do I want to wake up to every morning? Will it bring me joy. My mornings are my favorite part of the day. This decision is crucial. And you know, I typically go with the choice that I hadn’t even been considering, i.e oatmeal. Might bring this up to my therapist later, idk.
These dates with people that seem ‘just okay’ with their lives have been a friendly reminder to me; I am indecisive because I care about myself. This is not a weakness, this is a strength. When I meet people that just do things because that’s what they are supposed to do and they don’t question that, alarm bells ring in my head. Every choice we make should mean something to us. For this reason, I am taking a new approach with my dating life. Previously, I was going on dates just to go on dates. It didn’t matter the person, I just needed to get used to dating again. Both my quest and therapy have helped me get over that fear. Now, I have a new goal. I want to meet people with intention. I want to be surrounded by thoughts I haven’t had yet and feelings I didn’t know I could feel. I want to leap back out of my comfort zone, not into a fearful zone, but of excitement. I want passion in all aspects of my life.
Jumping back into dating with intention means that there has to be a critical look at my past relationships. Looking back, my most recent relationship began without intention. One minute we were friends and the next minute we were more than that. Then the next minute we weren’t either of those things. Then we were again. Then we weren’t. Then my friends started calling us Rachel and Ross. Not really, but they could’ve. My emotions followed suit—Happy, mad, sad, happy, sad. Yet, I never assessed those feelings. I took them at face value. I thought I was sad because I was letting go of something I shouldn’t; I thought I was mad because I wish I didn’t know what I knew; I thought I was happy because there was still a chance of us being together. Now I know I was all those things because I was supposed to be, because break-ups are hard. But there was that emotional stigma again, telling me that sadness/madness are bad and all I should want is happy. I just kept reaching for happy, not understanding that all my emotions were trying to tell me something. Up and down, up and down my feelings went. I got so seasick I had to jump ship and landed all the way in New York.
But see, leaving Alaska was done with intention. That was a decision that I mulled over and feared of making the wrong choice. As I sit here thinking back to how hard that choice was for me, I am wondering why I have never put the same energy into picking the right partner. My indecisiveness does not translate to my relationships. I often find myself dating people simply because they want to date me. I don’t think about why I want to be with that person or what makes me passionate about building a life with them in it.
What is it about finding a partner that I don’t think it warrants the same attention? If there is anything I should be indecisive about, it is finding a person that I let into my life in more intimate ways than any other person. With pillow talk, I pass out deep secrets like candies. I am consumed with the vulnerability displayed by nakedness. For me and the things I have been through, I tend to let my guard down as a way to protect myself. If I say yes, if I tell them my secrets, even if I don’t necessarily want to, then I am safe. They can’t hold anything against me. I think this is why I have been so hesitant to give my attention to this. Because it means I have to take myself off of autopilot and really check myself every step of the way. These connections, though, deserve more of my attention, more of my indecisiveness, more of me caring about myself. I want to find people that have passion and that make me feel safe to let my guard down, not as a way to protect myself, but because I feel safe to do so.
I, with the help of a dear friend, have come up with a plan to do just that. I am going to start meeting people with more intention. First off, I am going to start talking to people in public. [I know… it’s so un-millennial of me. Talking to strangers just out in public like some kind of wild animal.] Secondly, I am going to be observant and reach out to those that seem to have a spark in them. Thirdly, I am going to try new things. Join groups, lean new skills, leap into new passions! This process is not just for romantic relationships, but for connection with all humans.
Isn’t that all any of us are really looking for anyways— Connection.
It’s radiant – the black and the white
The good and the bad
The sharp contrast.
I, however, am gray.
It’s subtle- black and white
No good, no bad
The blurry mixture.