Selena Gomez had the iconic tune “A Year Without Rain”. What? You don’t remember that one? Anyway, I’m celebrating a year anniversary myself. I haven’t been on a date in a year. One whole year. No dates. I told my friend about this milestone and she said, “Oh come on! That’s not possible.” Oh, contraire mon ami. It is way true. I took this selfie before my last date.
And thanks to the magic of Instagram and Timehop, I realized that pre-date selfie was taken approximately one year ago. I spent the majority of my twenties in relationships so I’ve officially been single for the longest period of my adult life and this is longest I’ve gone without going on a single date. And I can honestly say I’m much better for it. I’ve learned so much over the past year.
Signature Style – The overall takeaway from this time alone has been growing into being comfortable with myself, alone. I’ve spent years trying to dress, look and act how I assume people think I should. When it came to style, I’ve finally realized that I gravitate towards a classic, monochromatic, clean aesthetic and that this style is totally okay. I kept trying to progress past shopping exclusively at the Gap and Urban Outfitters. Over the past six months, I’ve accepted that I’ve probably been shopping at the same stores since I was 18 for a reason. This takeaway may seem unimportant but the understanding and acknowledgement of your signature style helps a person figure out what looks best on them and boosts their confidence. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Giving Back – I volunteered multiple times at an urban garden over the summer and started tutoring this past fall. I’m currently looking for more opportunities to volunteer. Because frankly I’d rather spend my Wednesday nights convincing a 10 year old to do math than dealing with an online dating site.
Unpredictability is the new black – I’m turning 33 in two months. If you had told my high school self that I would be 33 unmarried without kids practicing law in Chicago, I would have called you a liar. I had no idea that my life would look this way in my early 30s. I have no idea if or when I’ll get married. I have no idea if or when I’ll have children. I have no idea if I’ll stay in Chicago or if I’ll eventually move home. (I do have one final city of my American bucket list. New York City, I’m staring at your expensive self.) And I’m totally okay with the uncertainty. It’s full of possibilities. I never imagined that my 33rd year would be so unsettled and that’s actually exciting.
No Mo’ FOMO – When I was younger, I had a major case of Fear Of Missing Out (otherwise known as FOMO). I went out all the time because I didn’t want to miss the best party of the year. Even now I can be convinced to go to a bar, dinner or an event because “You just never know what will happen…” That constant sense of FOMO has completely dissipated from my romantic life. I haven’t been on a date in over a year and I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed my soul mate.
Lady Party – Over the past year I’ve dedicated myself to the most important relationships in my life: my relationship with myself (vomit, right? But I’m serious here), my family and my friendships. I reconnected with people and realized just how lucky I am to have such amazing women from all chapters of my life. The California Chapter. The DC Chapter. The Indiana Chapter. The elementary school chapter. The Public School Chapter. The Private School Chapter. The Junior League Chapter. The rowing team chapter. The USC Chapter. The Indiana University Chapter. During my three decades, I’ve been everywhere and I’ve met some amazing ladies along the way. I’ve been so busy making new memories with my friends that I didn’t notice that I hadn’t had a date in a year until I did the math over the weekend.
I’m glad I haven’t had a date in over a year. I hadn’t been single in 10 years (that sentence made me feel very old) and this time away from courtship, dating and relationships has been refreshing. But that being said, I definitely don’t want to go another year without a date. After watching a 50-something woman at the grocery store on Christmas Eve rack up a $300 bill on cat food, I’ve vowed to stay hopeful and throw myself back in the dating pool. After all, I’ve got a Pinterest board full of wedding ideas and I’ve got to use them on someone (Should that be my new pick up line?)