Skating Around Love

Since I started this blog, nearly a month and a half ago, I’ve made a lot of progress. I have learned how to not only recognize but to alter negative habits into good ones. I’ve learned how to realistically and lovingly talk to myself, and more so, accept myself for who I am –even the messy parts.

I’ve also become a lot stronger and my word choice when talking to myself (promise I’m not crazy), has become more encouraging than self-defeating. Instead of being jealous of couples, I’ve learned to be happy for them and to smile at the sight of love. Instead of thinking with a never-ever attitude, I’ve started to use a more one-day-at-a-time mentality.

But, like any good addict who is a teensy-bit obsessed, I have vices that come up. Even when you think you’re doing a good job of swaying your feelings and thoughts to be healthier –something pops up and throws you off of your pretty little recovering high horse.

For me, all it took was seeing the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center yesterday.

Since I had a meeting near the Rock yesterday, my friend Mr. Unavailable and I met for a quick lunch. As I was waiting for him to come down from his office, I turned around and out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the skaters.

Now, for those of you who may not know me personally (although if you read this blog, you know a lot) – I’ve always been in love with New York. And for me, everything right, beautiful, and worthy in this world is on this tiny, but boisterous island. Sights in New York bring me more joy than any man ever has come close to bringing.

Because of this 15-year-city-crush, I’ve developed quite a few romantic notions about what my love life would be like once I moved here. So far, all of them have been proven dramatically wrong, but of course, I’m learning to keep my hopes and my head held high.

But no amount of self-encouraging and doting could compare to the weight in my heart and the lump in my throat when I saw Rockefeller Center. In an instant, all of these ideas I’ve built up in my head about the skating rink came flooding back:

Skating (or rather attempting to) with an attractive man with our cheeks rosy from the cold, the movement, and the flirty anticipation. Starting to stumble and being caught by him as we laugh at how ridiculous we both look. And that moment when he reaches out for my hand and we have that look, the look that says “this could be something.”

And with those thoughts, other things about the winter season and the city started coming to mind: It’s going to start snowing soon and when I see that first snowfall, I’ll want to be kissed. I’ll want to experience it with someone…right? And who will be there? Probably no one.

Christmas isn’t far away and I always feel extra lonely when it’s the holiday season and everyone is getting special/personalized gifts from their loves and I get the same zip-up hoodie from my grandma that I’ve unwrapped for years. And the dreaded dinner where everyone is in pairs and I sit alone, the awkward one without any cute story to tell, cheek to kiss, or secret glance to share.

And just look at those skaters….that was supposed to be me this year. Wasn’t 2010 supposed to be the year I got everything I ever wanted?

In the midst of this, Mr. Unavailable came up, stood next to me and asked, “Whacha lookin’ at?” Of course, I smiled and replied, “Just always dreamt of it and here it is.” With enough struggles of his own, I didn’t include the rest of my ridiculousness as he (as a Queens native) showed me around the area to get a good look, and in quiet reflection, I dreamt about everything I have had planned for this silly little rink.

After our lunch and my meeting, I thought about how much I freaked out in that moment looking at Rockefeller and wondered why it bothered me so much to see something I’ve loved and looked forward to seeing in person for a decade. I mean, I even have a Christmas decoration that’s of skaters at Rockefeller Center! Frankly, the more I thought about it, the more I became really disappointed in myself and extremely frustrated.

Why does it bother me? Why does it matter? Why is it, that even after all this work, I just can’t let go? Why does seeing such a beautiful site irk me so badly? Why does it literally make my heart race and cause tears to well up in my eyesseconds before I meet an attractive man (yeah, he’s unavailable, but he’s still cute)?

Does the fact that it gets to me, mean I’m not actually progressing, but just skating around my issues? Skating around my desire for love, pretending it doesn’t exist? Am I really approaching this as I should and need to? Am I doing something wrong…or am I just human?

So having these romantic notions –good or bad? I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, but I hate that it hurts to think about them, especially with all the work I’m putting into not hurting. Am I always going to have these notions? Of course. But I don’t want them to be painful or disruptive to my day, my confidence, or my life. Will I stop wanting these things? Probably not, but I hope I can accept not having them.

I think maybe it’s time to take myself out on another datefar away from those skaters. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I see the Christmas tree all lit up. Although, Mr. Unavailable did mention an ‘in’ he had….we’ll see.

Click here for photo credit.

The Start of Happily Ever After

Saturday was the most perfect New York morning.

I woke up after a night of intriguing dreams, pulled back my curtains, and watched the trees outside my window dance in the wind. I think it’s ironic that the apartment I found in the city gives me a tiny reminder of where I came from with my window facing the “backyards” of the buildings around me.

I crawled out of bed, put on my mini-robe, and checked the slew of social media sites that keep my occupied: Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and of course this blog. I woke up to find two encouraging Facebook messages, one from an old friend and then another a new one. Of course, that’s a wonderful way to start any day – to know you’re helping other people, and something that’s dear to you is special to someone else. It is one of my favorite things about being a writer.

As an avid gym rat, I got dressed and stretched while listening to my iTunes  – casually dancing along if I so felt inclined. On the way to the gym, I caught up with one of my best friends, N (who tells me if there are errors in this blog, so thank her!) and then ran three miles.

Walking back to my apartment, iced coffee in hand, the chilly Fall air blowing against me – I realized something so sincere and so true and so pure that I could feel it to my core:

I’m happy.

Maybe that sounds ridiculous or like something that every person has, but not me. I’ve been going, going, going my entire life towards something. In high school, I just wanted to turn 16 so I could drive. Once I was 16, I just wanted to graduate from high school and turn 18. Once I got to college, I just wanted to be involved. Once I was involved, I wanted to be in charge. Once I was in charge, I wanted to apply to be in the real-world and get to New York. And then once I got a taste of New York, I just wanted to go back.

But now, I’m here. I have a full life: a career (not a job), a group of new friends (and lots of old), an apartment that’s in the city, and I’m healthy and feel so young. I feel like I’m just beginning, I’m starting to bloom, I’m starting to radiate, I’m starting to realize this beauty inside of myself…and it just feels so good. So, so, so good.

I didn’t think I could reach that easy, peaceful feeling inside of me. I didn’t think I could get to the point where I’m content and satisfied, even without a man. Without even a prospect. And it is not that I’m “happy” about being single, but rather, I’m not defined by that term anymore. Yes, I’m single (minus my wonderful gay hubby) – but that’s not who I am. And I’m not defined by my career either, but by myself.

This happiness doesn’t stem from a great article that was published or from a man who kissed me in the middle of a sushi bar or from losing five pounds. I can’t even put into words where it comes from or how I got here, but it feels so right.

It feels like love.

I think I’m starting to sincerely love myself. I really think I’m in the start of the “honeymoon” stage of falling in love. I find myself blushing as I’m writing this and tears are starting to build up in my eyes because I’m so thankful. I’m so proud. Like any love relationship, it takes time and it takes patience and practice and an understanding, but I finally got to a starting point.

To celebrate, I think I’ll take myself out to brunch tomorrow. Hey, I may even buy some tulips and take a cab instead of the train.

And so the journey…continues. My happily ever after has officially begun.