I Need an Eat, Pray, Love Moment

This was going to start out as a funny blog about dating; but truthfully, I am tired of writing about that right now.  Why?  Well, so far match.com and my own “mojo” aren’t working so well.  Lately, I’ve only encountered pathetic men who aren’t putting their best selves out there.  One man I met online had the looks and the right information on his profile.  “I’m looking for my best friend,” he writes.  “Someone to share all of life’s exciting moments. . .”  When we talked on the phone, he propositioned me for sex.  And not in a smooth manner neither.  From his apparent drunken or stoned state, he said to me, “Where do you go to meet men?  Let’s say you’re dating like 5 or 6 at a time, like, one young gal I’m talking to meets them at a place around the corner from her apartment.  If she doesn’t like them, she can leave, but if she does. . .well . . .well. . .uh. . .bada-bing, bada-boom, ya know?”  And even though he didn’t get to finish his conversation with me, he had the nerve to send out mass text messages at random times to me and a few of his other lady loves with words like, “Good morning to you,” and “Happy Valentine’s Day to you.”  I never responded and debated blocking his number, but I tried the upfront tactic instead by texting him:  “Please don’t text or call.  I’m not interested.”  Immediately he texted back, “Oops.  I thought I deleted you. . .I am not interested either.”

So, where is this blog going, you ask?  I’m not sure.  I just know I need to be shaken out of my self-doubt and worry about the future.  I’ve lost faith in myself to a certain degree, and in return that’s causing me to lose faith in the whole belief of “Everything happens for a reason.”  In the book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, she goes through a series of life changes that lead her to Italy, India, and Indonesia -each place and the people she encounters teaching her lessons and showing her all the different ways we love one another and ourselves.  All of this travel, and insight and life-changing events occur in the course of one year.  Yet, if you’ve ever read the book (or watched the movie starring Julia Roberts) you may forget that Elizabeth retells the moment of being in great despair over whether to get a divorce or not.  One night, she falls to her knees late at night and begins crying on the bathroom floor.  She was waiting for a “sign” from the universe on what she should do so the specific changes she thought she wanted would automatically fall into her lap and she could be happy.  She retells the moment when she heard a voice, possibly her higher self, telling her to get up, go to bed, and stop thinking about things.  It was a gentle nudge that got her back into bed.  Nothing in her life changed over night.  I sometimes forget that part of the book when I demand a change from all of my daily stresses, anxieties, and over-analysis of my personal situation I’m currently in:  being 36 and single.

I know what you’re thinking:  get over yourself.  I would like to, trust me.  I know I have a beautiful house, good job, supportive friends and family, nice clothes, cool pets, and the list goes on and on.  Yet, I can’t help seeing myself as a failure in one aspect of my life:  the dating world.  All my life, from preteen to adulthood, I’ve wanted a boyfriend.  And every time I got one, I didn’t like being “tied down” to him.  And, then there was the period in my late 20s and early 30s where I simply chose to shut myself off completely or date only douchebags who broke up with me via email or the silent treatment.  Let’s not even go down the road of dissecting and analyzing broken relationships.  It’s not worth it.  I’ve moved on.  What I haven’t moved on from is how to please others who want something so badly for me because I want it twice as much.  This dating world I’ve entered into has turned into a personal competition and pressure-cooker on my biological clock.  Once I got back into the dating zone, I thought it would be all fun and games.  But, it hasn’t.  It’s been me falling back into my old cycle of fear and anxiety on what I am lacking in my life.  My “What if. . .?” and “If only. . .” and “Maybe if I. . .” internal chatterbox phrases have been in high gear every time I step outside of my house to go somewhere and now echo in my brain even when I logon to the computer dating site.

Friends have told me to move away from the area because there just doesn’t seem to be the right kind of man for me here.  One always asks me, “How are you still single?” Another friend said she walked into a cafe by herself the other night and thought about how I must feel all the time.  Others have brainstormed an idea that I should use this blog to help raise money for an expensive dating service in the area that pairs you up on a lunch date with well-to-do men.  Only 1 or 2 others have commiserated with me over the trials and tribulations of their dating lives as well.  While all of this advice and venting has either made me laugh, ruffled my feathers off, or made me want to sink farther into despair and hopelessness, I rally and crack jokes and look at everything with a skewed perspective.  I know that they all have good intentions.  They hate seeing their friend stuck in this repetitive state of angst and annoyance.  They’re trying to solve my problem, cheer me on, and empathize.  I in turn, keep holding out hope that maybe in a few weeks, months, or early this summer I’ll find “the one” and then all of us will celebrate and be happy and my life can move on.  These are all my pressures, by the way.  No one has ever told me this.  It’s just what I’ve internalized through the course of living my particular life and dealing with being single in a society that emphasizes coupling as being the way to a satisfying, happy life.  (Think about how excited we were to watch Britain’s “Royal Wedding” even though Prince William & Princess Kate have been living together privately for years, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

Thoreau once wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”  We get ourselves into  negative thought patterns or habits; and like a broken record, our thoughts just keep spinning around and around in our brains creating deeper grooves of desperation and limitations in our lives.  Sometimes these thought patterns lead to addictions.  Mine are perpetual worry and coffee.  We’ve been comfortably uncomfortable with not changing these patterns for so long they become as familiar to us as our favorite sweatshirt or blanket.  They’re ripped and torn and don’t work so well, but the thought of giving them up is too difficult to do.  Side note:  I actually put away my ripped, threadbare college sweatshirt a few days ago and got a little panicky that I did the wrong thing – even though it is up on the top shelf in my closet.  Trying to physically and mentally break old habits is rough on the old heartstrings. I hope my “woobie” isn’t too lonely without me.

Honestly, I can’t carry this mental burden of searching for and finding my “perfect match” any longer.  It’s too heavy and it’s holding me back from living.  What I’m struggling with is how to let go of those addictive, negative thoughts that pressure me to feel like I have to live my life a certain way in order to find my happiness.  I guess acknowledging the fact that I need to let go of this worry and revive my faith and trust in the universe and myself is a start.  Oh, and the fact that I put good ol’ “woobie” on a shelf as a gentle reminder that turning “a-ha” moments into a life-changing story has got to be as good of a start as any, right?

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14 thoughts on “I Need an Eat, Pray, Love Moment”

  1. I have walked in your shoes a million miles. I did the match thing for a while both in St. Louis and up here in Kankakee. What I will say for that experience is it did hone my dating skills by being able to see the red flags much quicker. So I am thankful for that. I also understand hearing, I can’t believe you are still single…that doesn’t mean there is ANYTHING wrong with us, it just means we didn’t settle. You and I both could have been married by now but we probably wouldn’t be happy or we would’ve been divorced by now. My mom always told me, “in God’s time and in God’s way.” It is so hard to be patient especially when the world is making judgements like, “how sad, she is still single.” Continue living your life in the amazing way you are. We are not sad and we do live fulfilling lives with good jobs, hobbies we enjoy, places of our own, and fabulous friends & families that enrich our lives.

    Though I am in a relationship now it is not perfect. He is 1100 miles away and I still attend friends’ weddings and holidays minus him instead of having the +1. Keep your chin up. I found mine when I definitely wasn’t looking ~ on a vacation with a friend in Cozumel. Skype is a beautiful invention!

  2. First, you must find contentment with yourself. The self-doubts will eat you alive. You are one talented, classy woman, and everyone in your life knows it and believes it. Now is your time to believe it. Don’t live your life by the judgements of others. You gave so much of your life to others that you must reclaim it for yourself. It doesn’t matter where you live, if the contentment and confidence isn’t internalized by you, it is all for naught. Believe in yourself . . . . . . . believe that each and every day is a gift from God with new things to learn and love. I too have self-doubts. I look in the mirror and sometimes loathe what I see, but I keep on keeping on. I’m so very proud to have you as a niece. You’ve got a soul that is much like mine. Sometimes we are too deep for our own good. Get out . . . . live life . . . . . savor each day . . . . . be you . . . . . it will all come together.

    1. All true. I feel the same way, and I hope that this blog came across as those sentiments. I’m a big “Thoreau” girl. I like how he talks about following your own path and tuning out the pressures and worries of the world to go seek that path and find its greatest potential. My desire right now is just to accept my life as it is and dig deep and follow my own heart to see where life takes me. It’s just hard to start down that path when you’ve been making yourself walk down the same mental track for awhile. All is right with me. No pity nor worry. I’m glad something in this blog resonated with you. I love you so very much. Thanks for your kind words and advice. And your love. Always your love. 🙂

  3. 🙂 I just closed down match.com before bed. I am here with you…lately I am completely gunning the gas pedal waiting for life to start…and simultaneously remembering (trying) that my life is so beautiful.
    I could have toughed out a couple of relationships…just to have them…but they wouldn’t have been right.
    I think the key is to be sad when sad… And to take the time to really enjoy the life u have. To truly be happy when happy…not putting in (this could be perfect IF). It is all perfect. Just be brave enough to say so and believe it. And trust that life will unfold.
    That’s where I am trying to be today…

    1. Yes! Trust that life will unfold is right. That’s what I want to work on and experience more right now than the pressure I’m putting on myself. Your words hit the mark for me. Thanks for reading and for sharing your comment. It means a lot.

  4. Megan,
    To say that what you have written doesn`t bother, because it does. But as a mom I sit by & watch, listen, pray, & smile. When Dad & I are with you we see the men “oogle” at you. Not just a few times, but many times! The cliches don`t help you, but it`s all we have to give you @ this time. NEVER for one moment doubt the fact that you will find your soulmate! You will! I will leave you with this famous quote of Ben`s: “Wait, wait! Let me compose myself!” My love for you is unconditional. : ) Mom

    1. No worries mom. I love how you’re so concerned for me. That makes me feel even more loved and cared for. I don’t know about the oogling, but I’ll take your word for it. I think in regards to a handsome good man I will need to be taken by surprise. Otherwise, I might just miss that oogling. 🙂 No pity, please. Just sit back and know this girl is working things out and putting this story out there so others who are feeling the lack of something or someone in their lives that causes more unhappiness than the not having the something or someone is more normal than we would like to admit. But, as grandma used to say, “This too shall pass.” 🙂 Love you a whole hell of a lot.

  5. So if you ask the men on match.com, they would tell you it’s a numbers game. You have to wade through a bunch of weirdos, creeps, and boozers to get to your prince. So don’t despair he is out there waiting for you somewhere when you are mentally ready.

    What struck me about your post is that you need an eat, pray, love, moment. As I was feeling the exact same way. Turns out I feel this exact same way most every year at this time. I feel the rub of expecting more from my life than it can give or maybe more than I have earned. I find myself ungrateful and full of emotions that I don’t know how to deal with. And what I have come to realize is that we put these expectations on ourselves. And I ask myself why are they so hard to undo? And most of society is in the same boat. They may not show it. But there are plenty out there. So, at this time, I am going to be grateful, content with life, and continue to set goals for my future.

    And if you need a partner to eat, pray, and find love with you in all those exotic places…call me.

    Really take a look at the pressures you are putting on yourself. Ask yourself, are they valid? And maybe challenge society. For example, if you are feeling pressure to have a baby…adopt one. No one ever said you have to do it in order. OR…Maybe when you let go of the pressure, whatever it is, will present itself.

    I know life is a whole lot harder than I thought it would be…and there is no manual. I think you are fantastic and it’s been far too long since I have seen you!

    1. Julie, Thanks for the kind words and the advice. I am trying to take a look at all those pressures. You’re right, a lot of them are not valid. This last blog entry is a bit of a challenge to my old belief system and how it’s not working for me. I hope to get out of this rut I mentally put myself in. Thanks too for sharing your story on what you went through. That means a lot to me. I feel even more connected to you. Let’s tell Chad, Randy & the rest that we should have an ISU/Eham reunion this summer. I think it would be fun! 🙂

  6. I struggled with myself for years, Megan. Dave always told me ‘you are a fat, ugly bitch’. Boy, that did a number on me. for six lonely years I struggled. Men came and went andnever had that AHA moment. Then , when I wasn’t looking, Bill came into my life. He loves me even though I now am fat and ugly and probably still a bitch.I love you very much and hope you find a man as good as Bill.

    1. Awww. Aunt Laur. I’m so sorry. I never knew you went through that terrible mental/emotional abuse. I love you too, and yes, I hope I find as good of a man as Bill.

  7. Megan, although I really don’t know you that well, by opening your soul with your beautiful writing, I feel I really understand you. What strikes me is the, “what are we supposed to learn” quality of your experiences. Wonderful things can come from pain. Great artists produce great works from difficult experiences. Adele’s break-up album has touched so many. Elizabeth Gilbert’s struggles brought forth a book that influenced you. I see the intimate thoughts you are able to share so eloquently, and see a very talented writer. So my wish for you is peace from the “repetitive state of angst and annoyance” (oh my gosh, you are a craftsman of language!) but, if the outcome is your beautiful writing, the learning experince may be worth it… at least for your readers.

    1. Wow. Kendra, thank you. That is a huge compliment. I’m so glad you took from this my original intention: to share a painful thought/experience, and learn from it. I feel all who read and reacted to this (either in a positive or not-so positive manner) felt some semblance of truth resonate inside themselves. Yoga has taught me so much, and a lot of it is about how to gain insight into my nature and how I can relate it to others. We’re all connected, for sure. So, what I’m feeling someone else is feeling or has felt in some way, shape or form sometime in their life (or past life? Ha!). And, I’m very humbled by your additional compliment of being a talented writer and craftsman of language. As an English teacher that is an enormous ego boost. I can only wish to be half as crafty with my words as the great pasts masters I read and teach. And, lastly, thanks for the kind gift of peace you’re sending my way. I gladly will take it and use it wisely. ❤ 🙂

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