You can read my last post to learn about some of the frustrations that can come along with dating for five consecutive years… From that post, you’ll probably realize that I recently experienced (another) dating disappointment.
It sucks. It will be Ok, but right now it sucks. And since I’m in a sucky head space about romantic love right now, I have to remember to take care of myself. I have to remember to do things that feed my soul and build me back up.
I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of doing that over the past few days. Saturday morning I ran the Art Dash 5k hosted by the Hillsborough County Arts Council. Friday night I was feeling pretty low, and I was thinking about sleeping in and skipping the race. But I woke up and went to Al Lopez Park at 7:35 a.m. It was cloudy, and I thought it was going to rain. Instead it turned into a beautiful morning for a run. I also ended up seeing a couple of friends there. The race felt really rough for me, and I wasn’t happy with my time and the fact that I walked part of the way. At the same time I was glad that I did wake up and did something healthy for myself. I definitely felt better after the race.
Later that evening I joined a friend’s birthday celebration, and this morning I went to brunch with a friend. During both of those outings, I enjoyed getting out and interacting with people I care about. It was nice to get my mind off of things when we were catching up on each others’ lives, but it was also nice vent about my dating woes to my friends.
None of them are able to fix my situation for me, but it helped to hear that many of them have had their own tough dating times. I learned that some of them are currently having similar dating troubles. I certainly wish that dating was easy for everyone, but since it’s not I’m glad that my friends and I could share our stories. I don’t feel as alone in my plight after talking with them, and I hope they don’t either. That’s what daring greatly and living daringly is all about: being vulnerable and sharing.
Historically I’ve been terrible about reaching out when I’m in a low spot. I would become a hermit. I would quit exercising regularly, and I would start eating poorly. I am getting better at reaching out when I’m in those low spots. I’m getting better at taking care of myself during those times.
The only way we can be there for others is if we are healthy. The flight attendants remind us of this lesson every time we fly: “Put your own oxygen mask on before you assist others.”
This dating disappointment is just a small valley in the cycles of life. I’ll get through it. But it will be a little easier if I let my friends support me, and if I do healthy things for myself. In those times when I’m low, I need to do the things that are analogous to me putting on my oxygen mask. Then when my friends need me, I can be there for them too. And that is a nice thought, indeed.