2017: No Dating

Monday, January 16, 2017

San Francisco: Original BFF.

Being a 20 something can be confusing and eventually you learn what "advice" to take and what doesn't apply to you.

One of those subjects is dating.

With barely any dating experience up until late college, I was a late bloomer. I was definitely a chase your goals, not boys type of girl. 

Once I was done with graduate school, I started focusing on my love life.

Mainly because I fell into the illusion that many of us do after school:
Marriage is the natural next step.
As a woman, my eggs are expiring, so best get someone before I'm too old.
I am in a more stable part of life to have a consistent person.

I ended up dating....a lot, and ended up in a serious relationship, mini relationships, and handfuls of dates that all led up to this point today - single.

And I've had my fair share of funny dating stories (more to share), positive relationships, and ones that I learned a great deal from and hope to never repeat.

So, as I turn 28 this year. An age where most women have gotten married and are having kids or this is the age that we all have said, "we hope we have our first child by 28"....I'm actually claiming it as a year of no dating.

I was serious about my 2017 theme and investing into what I already have in life and from my calculations, that also means no boyfriend.

I am giving permission to re-group. Focus on my connections currently and to ignore this idea that I'm getting older so I better hurry and find someone.

I don't have this ache or feel this void like I did for so much of my 20's - feeling like I am missing out. If anything I've accepted this year that ideally I'd love to get married and have kids, but if that doesn't happen, I know I will do enough in life to make sure I am happy and fulfilled in other ways.

This isn't a pity post. There isn't anything sad about my life. Being single is a choice. Just like being married is a choice.

So, instead I also have decided to root for healthy relationships. For myself, for my friends, for my family.

Healthy, great, and immeasurably positive relationships.

I also may have picked up a new hobby where I awkwardly leave a ring emoji under my friends instagram pictures because I am hinting I want them to get engaged.

But no pressure friends - Since I won't focus on my love life, I have all the time in the world to focus on yours ;)

And on a real note, I feel good giving myself some space to not feel obligated to put myself out there when that's all I've done since the Fall of 2013.

So, cheers to a year of rooting for healthy relationships, and I am also planning to post the funny dating stories along the way from this year to relive some of my most horridly embarrassing, but very memorable moments.

2017 Sharpening and Strengthening

Black Hills: In my field, I have learned which time frames are meant for solitude. January is one of them as I take the year to prepare to lead a team through some of the most challenging, but rewarding phases of life. I love the Black Hills Forest, providing both solitude and inspiration to fuel the year.

2017 – Sharpening and strengthening what I already have in my life; A year of local and grounded-ness.

What a 180 degree turn compared to 2016, which was an external year on steroids, with a giant spotlight, filled with visible changes and the work being done could have been seen from the Arctic circle.

When I was in South Dakota over Christmas, I was looking at my To Experience List and it has narrowed down to half. Wild to look at a physical list where my handwriting hadn’t changed much since I was 20 years old and half of my so called bucket-list was crossed off. 

And after numerous lifestyle changes such as becoming a minimalist (doing more with less), purging most of what I own, funding experiences - not things; all of which derive from this value of we always want more, but more doesn't make us happier. 

Within that though, I didn't realize that craving experiences can become just as toxic as collecting things, and some times becoming so obsessed with a lifestyle, takes away from the reason you started making life changes in the first place.

So, as I restore balance this year,  I decided 2017 is going to be an internal year 

Most of the changes I make this year have less to do with actual change and it has more to do with focusing on cleanup work. It has to do with investing and loving the work, connections, purpose, money, projects, and life giving matters that already exist in my life. No new lifestyle habits. No crossing off bucket-list items. None of it.

Yes, you read that right.

I am not making new friends...

I am not bringing on anymore new projects...

No job searching...

No new sources of income...

I am even going as far as to not date this year, which is a future post.

And every year since 2010, I have followed through on every single one of my yearly themes. No matter how challenging or how exhausting or how anything...and they're not always pretty, and I'm starting to accept 2017 may be similar.

I started writing down my themes to remember to believe in God's love and plan, and to trust my gut.

When I re-read my 2015 post it encouraged me to remember we are getting what we need for what is to happen later.

And as I gear up for 2017, I am grateful for what I have, because what I have really IS enough.

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