Preparing for the Next Steps

Definition of Self-Awareness: conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.


While I waited for my period to come, which seemed to take forever, I decided I needed some zen back in my life. Due to my hectic travel schedule, I had not had a regular or steady workout routine in a while, so I knew this was long overdue. The summers in Chicago can be busy and full of activities and the winters here, well they can be tough to get out of hibernation mode.


A few of friends went to a yoga studio and few Class Pass gyms not far from my house and I decided to join for the next month. My goal was to go to yoga once a day for the next 4 weeks or until my period came, whichever happened first.


I use to love yoga and go to class regularly, but now I was out of practice since traveling more for my job, a stressful season of selling my old condo and purchasing a new apartment, then nearly remodeling everything in my new space, to moving, and other life style changes. Snap out of it, I told myself, its like riding a bike you never really forget. I was barely through my first week of classes when I realized either how out of shape I was or how out of yoga practice I had gotten and probably a little of both. The one thing yoga seemed to do the best was calm my thought and bring a connection back to my mind and body. It was exactly what I needed.


I was also looking for something to fill a recent void. A guy who I really liked and had met earlier that year, had started the early stages of dating. We were friends that occasionally talked and then something changed this summer when it became more. I was hopeful about having a possible future with him. I had spent all summer dreaming about our partnership and what that could bring. He was handsome, had a great job he was good at, was beyond interesting, and most importantly he kept me intrigued. He was supportive of the idea of my plans to freeze my eggs. We talked about everything with no subjects off limits. Wow, I thought, could I have met my match?


I began to ask myself, do I really still need to go through with egg freezing? Is putting myself through this emotional roller coaster worth it? No, I’m doing this for my future-self, I had to remind myself about how this was not for today, but for later down the road. Luckily, I had this reality check a few weeks earlier because I feel like once I start to count on someone, get excited about a new relationship, or tell family/friends about someone I’m dating is the pivotal moment that is the relationship hits trouble. This feeling was no exception because one day out of the blue, he faded into the darkness. No warning, no reason, no trace, just silence and crickets. I didn’t really understand. I immediately told myself, it is okay this is not about you, but what did it all mean, I couldn’t help and think I was the source of the problem. Why is my “picker” always off?


My hormones were all over the map. I had not been off continuous birth control in over 8 years or more. Stop thinking about it, as I reflected back to the ghost of a guy I thought I once knew. I had to remind myself, this is something he is choosing and you don’t need to know why. I’m sure he has his reasons. I couldn’t get my mind off the topic. I wrestled with the idea should I email him, text him, or reach out via social media. How do you go from talking to someone every day and making plans to just nothing? Relax you only had a few months invested into the relationship. Why are you surprised, I told myself. I knew I had to just let this one go and see what happens next. I desperately did not want this to be like so many other fleeting relationships from the past. I was ready for something different, the real deal.


Dating is a tricky subject. What really is dating these days? Does anyone ever get to really know each other anymore? There are so many different levels and types of relationships it is like any old rules just don’t seem to apply. As a strong, independent woman I often make excuses for guys like this. I feel like I should have to apologize for my boldness. I am so ready to meet my true life-partner, the man that will be by my side, cheering me on, supporting me, giving me whole-hearted advice, and be all in my best friend no matter what situation. Where was he? Three weeks had gone by and then I got a message from him…


Being alone doesn’t mean you are not wanted. It actually means the opposite. It means that you are so confident in your own skill sets and desires that you are not going to just accept anyone to be a part of your life. You are waiting for someone special. People don’t know how to be alone these days I don’t think. It takes a very confident person to be alone. I believe in the long run, it is better to be alone than to be in the wrong relationship or one that isn’t going anywhere.


The wisdom to realize those warning signs and have the strength to move on is not simple. It is similar to having a strong core in your body when working out. “Pull in your belly button,” the yoga instructors will say during class, “strength your spine, asanas, chavasina, work on that core strength.” Yoga means different things to different people at different times. Dating is no different. It takes practice, discipline, mindfulness, and self-awareness. I was reminded of a Friedrich Nietzsche quote, “All things are subject to interpretation, whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power, not a truth.” Dating is purely that interpretation between two people can be tricky and can change at any given time. Riding that wave and being adaptable I think is the only way to gracefully navigate the course of love. Take it day by day.


As the weeks went on, each day was a little harder than the day before to prepared myself as I devote an hour to yoga. Excuses seemed to line my mind before I could even realize I was thinking them; I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m hungry, I’m sleepy. Isn’t it funny how our mind plays tricks on us when we are doing our self some good for a change? I never hear these objections when I am out having drinks at the bar or indulging in a large meal. They say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, popularized in the 1960s by Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon. However, I think it takes much longer than 21 days to form a permanent habit. My guess would be on average 31+ days or longer. I was determined to make this my new habit.


How about you? Have you ever wanted to make a positive change in your life and start something new? Tell us about it. What did you start or stop doing to make an impact on your life for the better? What key things helped you find the motivation or discipline to stay committed to those choices?