As I was sitting in the coffee shop listening to my very first boyfriend discuss his fabulous life of arguing with diplomats and screwing interns, I realized something: I am boring. And not in a charming, amusing kind of way. More in the sad, pathetic kind of way. I am boring, and I am trying so hard to figure out when I became so utterly uninteresting.
It wasn't when I became a mother. I look back, and maybe I wasn't making the wisest choicest or leading the best life, but I was living. I was loving and losing and flying and shattering. I had interests; I read books. And man, did I write. I used to be able to write so easily about everything, so eloquently.
I have not read an entire book this year. I didn't even make it through Fifty Shades of Grey.
I have not been to a concert in over two years.
And my writing has become so forced....because I think am boring.
I want to lead a more interesting life. I want more than preschool Halloween parties and outings to Chuck E. Cheese. I am a mother, but it is so hard to admit that I want so much more out of life. Am I even allowed to say that? Am I allowed to say that while I love being a mom, most days it isn't enough for me?
Well, I am saying it.
I want adventure.
I want romance.
I want comedy.
I want a life that resembles my personality, full of passion, love, hilarity, and awkwardness.
For Christmas, I got Season 1 of HBO's show Girls. Watching it made me feel...uncomfortable. Because these ladies are my age; this is my generation. And yet, I feel like such an old lady. I'm not thirty-five years old. I am young. I am supposed to be out there living my life and experiencing things. I need to be discovering who exactly I am going to be. Despite how adult I feel most days, I know that I am not there quite yet. And I am not ready to be.
When we add in the fact that I am the mother to a four year old, it all becomes confusing. Where are the lines drawn? How do I learn to discover myself outside of that role? This is something that I have continually struggled with, and now, I believe it has come to the point where I need to figure it out. Otherwise, my life is going to pass me by and I am going to miss out on what are supposed to be the best years.
So, I decided to sit down and figure out what the crucial things are that I need to work on in order to have the life I desire. And this is what I came up with:
Find satisfying friendships
This is something that I have known I should do for a long time, but I just haven't really felt like putting any effort into it. If I am being honest, I really only have one friend. (When I am defining "friend", I mean somebody whom I do things with and laugh with and enjoy to be around.) I don't really know how a person is supposed to have fun or adventure in their life by themselves. Everybody needs friends. And I am making it a priority of mine to find some really good ones.
This also means walking away from friendships that just aren't satisfying my needs. (Wow, that sounded sexual...) But this might be even more important than finding friendships. Currently, my one "friendship" does not give me what I want nor need. It is a constant compromise that often leaves me feeling unfulfilled and rather...lousy. What I want in a friend is somebody to experience life with. I want to have fun and laugh and go to dinner just because. I want to be friends with somebody who actually enjoys my company, my personality, and wants to be around me frequently. And when I am feeling unsatisfied in a friendship after expressing this to the individual, I need to learn to walk away.
Something that I have realized lately is I can count on one hand the number of actual dates that I have been on. In my life. This excludes going on dates with a person whom I am already in a relationship with. So basically, the awkward-putting-yourself-out-there-making-small-talk date. I assume that nobody particularly enjoys these, because the very few I have been on were not great experiences. A majority of these were blind dates with guys I met off the internet (don't judge me!) and none of them led to a second date.
I am not really sure how I expect to find the man of my dreams while I'm sitting at home in my leggings and over-sized "Keep Calm and Kill Zombies" t-shirt. It's illogical to think that Prince Charming is just going to knock on my door one day and sweep me off my feet. But apparently, this has been my mindset for quite some time. That ends now. I need to start putting myself out there and finding out what "dating" has to offer. I highly doubt it will be all rainbows and cupcakes, but I am guessing the odds of finding a man are significantly higher when you actually, you know, go on dates.
I need to stop being so afraid to put myself out there again. There is always the chance of getting hurt, and I am close acquaintances with heartbreak. But that does not mean that I should give up. I cannot let the douche bags of my past decide my future. I am not my scars nor my fears nor my failures. And I refuse to let that dictate my love life for a second longer.
So, I will be getting back out into the big, bad dating world. I will probably have countless embarrassing horror stories to tell you all but that won't stop me from enjoying every second of it.
Discover my interests
You know that part of a date when somebody asks you what you are interested in? Yeah, I hate that part. This might sound absurd, but for the most part, I basically feel I don't have time for interests. There are things that I enjoy doing, but how often am I actually doing them? Basically never. So when I get asked this question, I feel really awkward...and boring.
A large majority of my time goes into being a mother and a student. This is the bulk of who I am. But I know that somewhere, there is still Emily, the girl who enjoys concerts, reading, and blogging her little heart out. I know that that girl is still inside me. (Though, she is most likely dying a very slow and painful death from boredom.) I want to find her, and I want to discover what she likes to do. What her interests are, beyond motherhood and education. It is like I often forget that on top of everything else, I am just a twenty-two year old girl looking for my place in the world.
Go Outside My Comfort Zone
In high school, I thrived on awkward situations and making myself go outside my comfort zone. I was terrified of public speaking, so I emphasized pushing myself to do it anyways. I ended up doing tons of public speaking during my high school career, including a part in the school musical and doing speech competitions. By forcing myself outside of what I found comfortable, I was able to grow tremendously and become a better person.
Lately, I have been too scared to deviate from the norm. For various reasons, but mostly I have been scared of what people will think. If you know me, then you know that this is not how I usually am...but after putting on 100 lbs since high school (wow, did I really just say that out loud?) I find myself worrying more and more what people opinions are of me. It is silly, I know. But most of the time I lack the self-confidence and conviction to say "screw them all" and do whatever I want.
When it comes to going out to places, no matter how badly I want to go or how fun it may be, it always turns out the same way. I get dressed, I do my make-up, and I look in the mirror, disappointed. I am not comfortable in my own skin, despite my constant efforts to cover it up. So instead of forcing myself to go out, I don't. I stay in, and I feel like a mess. This happened when one of my very good friends was getting married. This happens more times than I would even like to admit.
But now that I am trying to make a significant change in my life, I know that this needs to stop. It doesn't make me happy to isolate myself in fear of being judged. In fact, this usually just makes matters worse. I need to, once again, push myself outside of where I feel comfortable and embrace the discomfort that follows. It is the only way to learn and grown as a person. It is the only way that real change will ever come.