Sometimes I just cannot psyche myself up.
I’m a self-motivated person. I like to say that I’m on fire, or that I’ve caught fire, or that I’m catching fire, but the reality is a little tamer than that. I’m at very least I’m energetic, even when it comes to more mundane tasks, and I try to bring enthusiasm to everything that I do. I wasn’t always this way, in fact for a while there I was kind of sleepy and at times disinterested. I wasn’t active or engaged. I had moments of excitement and inspiration, as if I was peaking behind the curtain and witnessing the person I wanted to be in life. After this glimpse, the curtain would close, and I’d come back down to earth wondering if it was all just an illusion, not sure how or if I’d ever fully become that person.
Coming down from that high and being myself again was miserable. Not only was I still reeling from loss, but I also didn’t love who I was. I could get excited to go for a four-mile run in the rain, but when I was unemployed, I couldn’t make myself sit down and fill out job applications. Every now and again I’d come across a job that seemed really interesting, but after not hearing back from so many of these companies, my energy level would be in a downward trajectory until I had to push away from the table and come back to the search at a later date. I was even worse when it came to calling companies, and I had to ask about my candidacy and try to make a good impression. I didn’t want to make that call, and my unemployment spoke for itself. I was not wowing anyone.
I took the GRE once, and didn’t love my score. As I studied and prepared for my second attempt, I knew that I was struggling. Ever since leaving undergrad, my test-taking ability had fallen off, and something about standardized tests never seemed to jibe with me. After one particular set of questions, I came across a passage in my prep book that said something to the effect of, “You have to treat it like a game. You have to find a way to have fun with it, or you’ll never do well.” Thankfully, I got into grad school without taking the GRE’s, and my plan of re-taking the GRE was quickly scrapped. I’m not sure I would have been able to buy into the book’s philosophy and do well on the test anyways.
Certain items and quotes stick with me for whatever reason. They resonate with me and in my brain they subtly shape the way I view the world. I’m sure that at this point I’ve forgotten everything I learned from that prep book, but I still remember that little piece of advice, as its value and applications are endless. It’s a way to approach life, to approach everything that you do. Find a way to make an activity fun, to derive some enjoyment from it, and the results will speak for themselves.
I sat there discussing dating life with my roommate, as I have so many times over the year-and-a-half we’ve lived together. I’ve been entertaining the dating world a lot more over the past few months, and I told him that I wasn’t out on dating, even though I hadn’t been on many lately, it was just that I didn’t want to go out with someone unless I was excited about them. I know that you don’t always know where things will go, or maybe you never do, but I have other things going on that I’m excited about, and I’m careful with how I budget my time. I love the mindset that I’m in, and I only want to get out there and date if I’m really pumped about the person I’m dating. That’s the only way I’ll be my best self.
You can’t look at dating as a chore, akin to dusting a table or mopping the kitchen. If you walk into it with a negative mindset, you’ll only look for things that reinforce the way you’re feeling. Maybe you’ll tell yourself that you’re hoping to be surprised and refreshed, but are you really letting yourself be open to that possibility? Maybe you are, but maybe you’re also looking for a good story to tell later on.
An open mind is the best way to approach anything. With no preconceived notions, you can experience the event or thing in its entirety, without seeing it through your own filter. I’m trying to let go of so many of the filters that I have, and even though the dating world hasn’t been my favorite place as of late, I know that if I’m ever going to give it a serious shot, I’m going to have to lose this negativity and at times animosity I feel towards it. I’m going to have to let the negative stories I’ve heard fade away, and just live in each moment, in each date, and put my best self forward.
You may be aware, painfully aware, of how things have gone in the past, and the hardest thing to do in life (or one of the hardest) is to get out of our own way, to check our baggage at the door. Most of us have been on subpar dates. Most of us have been through a rough breakup, or have lived in that uncomfortable place where you like someone but they don’t feel the same thing for you. It’s agony, that unrequited love, but when you move forward and try to let someone else in, you have to knock down the walls, and take in that person for who they are, without seeing it through the lens of your past dating experiences.
You could tell me that I need to practice what I preach, and you’re right. I need to take my own advice, which I rarely do. Although my relationship experience is minimal, I know how it’s supposed to work. I know about the potential for happiness you can find when you share a life with a person you love. I need to get out of my own way, to start anew, and to bring a fresh enthusiasm to a task that I haven’t looked upon favorably if I’m ever going to get what I want. All I need is a change in mindset. Thanks for reading.
2 thoughts on “For Fun”
My friend, maybe you already have the right mind-set! Perhaps you are simply over-analyzing the dating world. 😊 Unsolicited, yet for your consideration, what’s genuinely foundational to growing into a meaningful relationship is an abundance of self-love. Get your mind around that, embrace you, and how you present to others will then shine forth as the authentic Adam. Please don’t be too hard on yourself.
LikeLiked by 1 person
My friend, it’s too easy to be hard on myself, and I do it so often. I will do my best to follow your advice. I hope that all is well with you. I apologize for falling off in our communications.
LikeLiked by 1 person