It’s been more than a year since I got the phone call from the doctor’s office. “We’re sorry, but it is Cancer- we need you to come back in for more tests.” Great. Just what I needed in the midst of a failing marriage and money problems and increasing frustration with my life. The C-word. It hit me like a wrecking ball. And that wrecking ball swung and knocked down all the support I thought I had in my life. Eventually, I told everyone I was fine. Just a blip on the radar, no big deal. I was NOT fine.
About six months later, I was sitting on my couch falling in love with Pinterest when I started seeing a lot of motivational quotes about how working out empowered people to take control of their health and their lives and gave them a healthy outlet for their depression and anxiety. So I started running. And then I accidentally signed up for a marathon. (That’s a story for another day.) And as anyone who knows me will tell you, I spent the next seven or eight months of my life on a crazy personal journey where running was an outlet during my separation and some really dark times in my life. Eventually I used it as an outlet to express my love for the people around me by dedicating each mile to someone I loved or someone who inspired me. In the end, that’s the only thing that kept my legs moving: “Uncle Alfred, Grandma, Beth, Dad, Nana, Nathan, Jeremy, Jason, Heather, Cameron, Ellianna, Rod, Ashley, PTK, The Kerrs, Kevin, Scott, Jacob, Papa Jim, Mama, Russ, Jonathan… Uncle Alfred, Grandma, Beth, Dad…” And so it went for the last two miles. But I did it!!!
So about a month before my marathon, I had the hardest day of my life so far. I knew the marathon experience was coming to a close, and still had a lot of crazy hard things in my life to deal with. I started grasping for some kind of personal growth to throw myself into, something to keep busy, something to make me reach a goal and stand on my own two feet, something to empower me the way the marathon did. My counselor also told me around the same time that I needed to swear off relationships for a year. He looked me right in the eye and practically begged me to consider it. With only two exceptions, that’s something I could certainly choose to do. No new relationships of a romantic nature for a year, got it. But now what? Sit around for a year wishing I had someone to hold me at night and tell me everything was going to be ok? No, that won’t work.
And so, this project was born. 52 weeks without dating. 52 projects/bucket list items to keep myself busy. And here we are. So here’s how it works:
1) I’m not accepting any new dates at this time. Sorry, but if we go watch a movie or eat dinner together it’s as FRIENDS. You are NOT the exception to the rule. There are only two exceptions to the rule: my soon-to-be-ex-husband, and this one other guy who is currently unavailable. He knows who he is, you don’t have to wonder if it’s you. It’s not. You are completely, solidly, totally in the friendzone. Don’t like it? There’s the door.
2) I am, however, wide open for developing new friendships. Men, women, old, young, single, taken, it really doesn’t matter! I’m an extrovert and a very affectionate person, so the more people I have in my life to share it all with, the better! I’m focusing more on female relationships, because I have been lacking on these in my life. And you should all know, I have a bottle of wine, a whole box of nail polish, and a wide variety of face masks on standby for girl time any time you want to come over and dish, or gush, or just have a friend around for a while. I know what it’s like to be bitterly lonely, and my friends should always know they don’t have to feel that way. You can come over to my messy, cozy apartment any time and not be alone for a while. I’m that kind of friend. For reals.
3) These 52 things are subject to change, as my goals in life change. This is a list of things I would like to accomplish from my current perspective, and on nights when I get lonely or bored or sad or downright depressed, I have this list to go to and say “Hey, brain- let’s not wallow. Let’s work on this goal so we can check it off our list.” Maybe I won’t finish them all, maybe I will. It’s not about punishing myself if I don’t manage to do it all. It’s about taking this time to somehow improve my life through personal development. Deal with it.
I’ll post as I finish goals, and I may post about the ones I’m currently working on. I might even publish the whole list. We’ll see how it goes. The main thing is to document why I’m starting this blog, which incidentally is one of my goals. 🙂
Start a blog (completed 3/22/2015)