Every Christmas, my mom gives me an astrology reading for the New Year.
I’m not sure how much I buy into it, but I really love hearing what she has to say about the different ways the universe affects my everyday life, the choices I make, the opportunities I have and the influences around me. I don’t know if it feels accurate because she’s my mother (and knows me probably better than anyone) or if just hearing that you’ll be successful makes you conclude it’s destined, but more often than not, she is spot on and my year is usually right on track from her predictions.
As she went through all of the things that could very well happen this year – more freelancing, prosperity at work, stronger friendships, more travel – I nodded along and smiled. But when she got to the big black hole in my chart (okay, not really, but what feels like a bottomless pit of frustration) – she started to go over the signs of love orbiting my solar system. I listened intently and perhaps grinned a few times, but I also finished my generous glass of red wine and let out a hefty sigh.
“Why don’t you believe that love can happen in the same way that you believe in all of your abilities as a writer and as a city person in New York?” She asked, never one to allow me to get away with anything. “Linds, you have to change the way you’re talking to yourself in your head: you can’t keep saying that everything works in your life except for love or it’ll keep being true. “
“But I don’t believe it will actually happen,” I said. “Everyone tells you that it just happens one day when you’re least expecting it, when you’re not looking, blah, blah, blah. But it seems way too impossible to be true. In fact, nothing seems harder to me.”
“It’s not love that you don’t believe in because you live your life by it, honey. Just look at your blog and how you notice love around us all the time,” she countered. Why don’t you believe in love for yourself?”
“Because I don’t believe I’m good enough to find that kind of love, mom,” I said, swallowing hard and looking up to keep the embarrassing tears from falling on my last night in North Carolina before returning to the city. “I’m not pretty enough or thin enough or perfect enough to attract what I really want. They aren’t interested in a relationship with me. I’m just not good enough.”
She quickly hugged me and reassured me of all the wonderful things about me (like my parents and any of my best friends would naturally do), and though I brushed it off and continued the rest of my visit with laughter and ease, as I sat at the Atlanta airport, awaiting my flight and sneaking Lucy treats into her bag, I thought about all the things I say to myself on a daily basis:
Ugh, Linds. You need to lose weight, you look gross.
OMG is that a zit next to your mouth? On your chin?
Maybe you should dye your hair. Or can you afford those porcelain veneers? Don’t smile with your teeth in photos.
Oh he wasn’t checking you out. He was checking out that thin model-like girl behind you. Move on, he’s not interested.
Frankly, some of the things I say in my head I won’t even put on this post because I think they’re way too mean and I would never (ever!) say to anyone, even someone I didn’t particularly care for. And not to toot my horn – as my grandmother would say – but I do have a lot of things going for me, and I’m really proud of the hard work, determination, courage and hope I’ve put into nearly everything I’ve done, including this blog. In fact, there has never been one moment – even when I was writing for a business magazine and hating it – that I doubted my ability as a writer.
So why is it that when it comes to snagging a specimen of the male species, do I think I’m so inadequate? Why do I feel like I’m a failure at love and a bright, shining star at nearly everything else? Why – even four years of writing about dating and learning to really value myself as a rockin’ individual – do I still constantly and consistently put myself down?
Why do I feel not good enough?
I’m no expert in finding love (obviously) but I’m going to try something new in 2015 (along with a lot of other little things, but more on that later) – I’m going to think about love the way I think about my career. I’m going to be hopeful and confident, brave and open to all opportunities that come my way. Instead of worrying if it’ll ever work out, instead of rolling my eyes when my friends reassure me that I’ll have a love I can’t even imagine yet, and instead of nearly bursting into tears when my mom says something about my 7th house of something in some planet of happily ever after, I’m going to say this:
I do believe in love. I see love everywhere. I believe that the man meant for me will find his way to me. I am more than enough to be the love of someone’s life. I. Am. Enough.
It might not change a damn thing about my dating experiences and it might not result in meeting a special guy in 2015. It might not do anything at all to change my life. But I’m pretty sure that I’ll be even happier than I already am if I stop being so mean to myself. And if I remind myself – instead of being cruel – that I am not only enough…
…I’m amazing. And you, my dear loves, are too. So start saying it. And more importantly, start believing it,
I too have been having similar thoughts about the importance of self-love for greater happiness. It really helps me to hear how you’re planning to put yourself up instead of down. I wish you the best! Happy New Year!
Interesting take here. My good friend has been single 5 years. The thing i find most amazing about her is that she doesn’t usually fret that much openly about it yet she will be turning 29 in February. At times it makes me feel ashamed even, being single only a year and many times worrying aloud if i’ll ever meet someone. I once asked her to hook me up and then felt very stupid about it later. Last year, i tried hooking her up with a cousin of mine of the same age who nearly messed her up so i have never hooked her up again cuz i don’t want her getting hurt when it’s all my fault. I think she constantly encourages herself no wonder she doesn’t keep talking about how single she is. Mind you, she gave me that confession while i was in my rambling moment of how i never seem to meet someone nice to date.
You have a great body Linds. Never compare. If you lived in Africa, guys would be drooling over you because really skinny isn’t that appealing in my part of the world. Men love some curves, some booty and some boobs. As long as you know your ideal weight and watch it, you shouldn’t mind about how you look. That same friend always tells me, mwenye atakupenda, atakupenda vile uko (the one who will love you, will love you just as you are. That’s Swahili language). I equally say that you will just know in your heart when you finally meet that person. You will have this very content feeling and you won’t be wondering whether this man loves you or not or if he’s taking you for a ride. Who knows, perhaps 2015 will indeed be your year, so mum is indeed right. All the best hun.
http://www.meetup.com . Find some additional COED activities to do, in which rapid evaluation of total strangers, especially men, is not the primary object. Get to know people a little at a time. Men included. Become Lindsay who is chatty and single.
Through two volleyball meetups, I would say I have a couple new friendships growing, plus about 60 more people I at least talk to a little on occasion. From archery group practices twice a week , two dozen more. And when I go to the archery range on my own somewhat randomly, I nearly always seem to meet another person or two. By the way, both of those are about 90% male participation, so a much better way for women to meet guys than the other way around. EVERY mildly attractive woman at archery is noticed, and finds herself either a center of attention, or a boyfriend very quickly. But one can be sport focused, or social, or both.
Few older women involved with either, so I am not meeting the “right” person yet. But each one of them might be a connection, who might eventually mention me to someone interested in a “guy like me”. Meanwhile, I enjoy what I am doing.
Ballroom dancing is a possibility. But it is also part “meat market”. But you can meet many more people, though not be talking so much. Especially not too soon. But typically more women than men.
When one makes friends in non-threatening, non-evaluative ways, looks, and minor flaws become invisible as focus is on being NICE to people, and doing the activity intended. Focus is away from people’s histories and compatibility.
One woman at archery and I seem to be getting to be good friends, as we have a lot in common to chat about. But she is a married Mom late 30’s, and happily so. Because of common interests, not simply, or not at all, about being a man and a woman, we are friends. Because of those interests. I am older, and have expertise to share. I am encouraging. She might know a single older woman from her other activities who she introduces me to. Or not. One of the other almost 100 new people I have met the last two years might meet or know someone who is a great match. I have a bigger network than I used to.
Your network of friends is probably too tight. Tinder is a false front for making friends or a real date, since it is all about first impressions. Shallow people. For someone wanting to meet the “perfect” beauty, you might fall short of qualifying. For someone getting to know you little by little, and you them the same way, someone may recognize you as unique, amazing, intelligent, more than sexy enough, more than pretty enough, and someone they would want to wake up with, and share tears and laughter and a million moments. And PERFECT looks won’t matter. You will matter.
A great message that we all need to remind ourselves that we are enough and just fine the way God created us!
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