Back in Palo Alto and I had an hour train ride into San Francisco this morning so I figured I’d spend my time doing some writing, instead of scrolling, for 60 minutes.
Recently, after an almost 2 year hiatus, I stepped back into the digital dating world. This time though, I’m doing it differently.
New York Nicole (circa 2010 - 2017) was a tactfully skilled dating artist. Not just digital dating. Dating. I met people at bars, at the gym, in coffee shops, on the subway, inside the caverns of my phone on apps and DMs, you name it. I went on hundreds of dates, with interesting people nonetheless, but it was a numbers game. It was also an evaluation game. Does (insert name) meet my standards and is this worth pursuing? The answer; repeatedly, frustratingly, and heartbreakingly - was no.
The problem? I was asking the wrong question. It was an outwardly focused external mission instead of an inward one. It was an easy out. A distraction from standing in front of the mirror just a few moments longer after the eyeliner is applied and the mascara is double coated, and asking myself; ‘Are you worth pursuing?’ ‘Are you doing the work?’ The answer to that question, was more painful than the no I kept passing out to others.
So after enough nights quickly rushing out the door only to come home late, drunk and defeated, I rinsed the makeup from my face and finally caught a glimmer of the truth.
I wasn’t available. To others, or myself.
I wish I could say I stopped dating at that point. I tried to. I swore off all the right swipes and the late nights but as soon as I did so, the right ones showed up. Not right like forever kind of right but right for me to do the work I was attempting to do.
That process is much longer than this train ride (and will always be a WIP) but included everything from facing my traumas, triggers, and insecurities to sitting down, repeatedly, and getting really clear on who I am and who I’m striving to be. After honestly answering those questions, the right questions, I feel confident enough to step back into dating mindfully and morally. Open and ready for the kind of love we’re all searching for, and able to let it to stay when it comes along.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.