Tuesday, April 28, 2015

losing my single status

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Well kids, it's finally happened. This longtime single girl is single no more. Yes, I have a boyfriend! Are you still breathing? Did you fall over in your chair? Take a step back and just breathe. Everything is ok. You have not been transported to Tomorrowland or any other land where dreams come true. This is real life.

Two months ago I had a different job and was just mildly testing the waters on Match.com. I'd messaged a few guys and a few had reached out to me, but I hadn't found anyone I was particularly interested in. Then one day I received a sweet, well-written message from a cute, LDS guy from the Tri-Cities that made me laugh out loud and smile in a special way.

Over the course of a week or so we sent a few emails back and forth and started getting to know each other. I could tell that this guy was truly interested in me and honestly, the whole thing really freaked me out. It was such a foreign feeling. I was excited but also scared and unsure how to act. 

A few days after we initially started talking I started my new job and used that as an excuse to not reply to his latest message for a couple of days. I wasn't sure how to move forward or if I even wanted to keep emailing. Do I really like this guy or is it just nice to be wanted? What does dating even look like anymore? Can I really do it? Am I capable of letting someone really know me again? All of these questions, along with so many more, bounced around in my head. I was definitely having what they describe in the scriptures as a "stupor of thought". Then, he sent me a short message saying he hoped my first week at my new job was going well. It was time to make a decision--jump in or walk away.

I've struggled with my spirituality over the last few years, especially this past year or so. In my darker times I let simple sources of strength like prayer and scripture reading fall to the wayside. When faced with my aforementioned stupor of thought, I decided to do something I hadn't done in a long time--say a real, heartfelt prayer. It was a short, simple prayer asking for direction and guidance, but it was the first time I humbled myself enough to submit my will to Heavenly Father's. I was blessed with a distinct answer that I should continue my correspondence with Mr. Tri-Cities. I jumped in and haven't looked back.

Next week it will be a year since my personal essay, Accepting the Single Status When Everyone Else is a Couple, was published on The Everygirl. I am in complete awe at how quickly one's life can change. Everything they say about finding love when you least expect it is true. I always thought it was a load of crap, but now thanks to Mr. Tri-Cities, I've joined the believers. And I've got to say, it's a pretty amazing place to be.

I've found that light at the end of the tunnel that I've been searching for. Like I predicted, it's certainly a different hue than I ever imagined, but it's brighter and more brilliant than anything I could have ever hoped. The kind of happiness I am experiencing right now is unlike anything I've ever encountered.

The smallest step really can lead to great things. I believe that with all of my heart.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

learning to define yourself

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Taking risks allows you to define yourself. You learn your likes, dislikes, interests, beliefs, and opinions. By being vulnerable with someone, you not only get to know them on a deeper level, you come to better know yourself. It's empowering to be able to answer questions about what makes you who you are and why you've made the decisions you have in this life. 

One of my favorite songs by the duo Elenowen is called 'Losing the Lonely'. There's a verse that says: "Long shot, we went against the odds in a game you'll never win, if you never go all in..."

I think the ability to "go all in" develops as you mature and can mean different things at different times in your life. Sometimes it means having the courage to try out for a sports team or sing a solo in front of a crowd. Other times it means changing your entire career or choosing to walk away from a dysfunctional relationship.

Going all in requires you to be brave. Being brave means discovering what you need to do and doing it despite your fears. The path we forge ultimately influences our character and the lives of those we touch.

Life is both uncomfortable and exhilarating. That's why we're here. To learn and grow. To develop meaningful relationships. To remember who we really are and to whom we belong.