Why I’m giving up online dating

In case you haven’t noticed around here, I’m turning 30 in half a week. And– I’m single.

30 used to scare me for so many reasons, but the main one is that I thought I’d have my shit together by now. And I always, always thought I’d be married with kids by now. After a LOT of introspection, I know why I’m still single. And I’ve honestly embraced it for a long time. It’s not actually all that bad!

But still, I figured I should do something about it. It really is one thing in my life I’d like to change, so I decided to make that change happen. I’ve tried them all– OKCupid, Tinder, Bumble, Match, something about coffee and bagels… I’ve had varied success with all of them, success in this sense meaning I got a few dates out of each.

I’ve met great people, had interesting dates, been stood up, and bailed out on dates I just wasn’t sure about.

The thing is– online dating feels like shopping for a pair of shoes. Too tall, don’t like those buckles, where would I wear those? I can swipe and swipe, all in the comfort of my sweatpants on my couch. It lets me feel like I’m putting effort into making a change– all without actually making an effort. It’s my placebo. Or, like… a really calorie-heavy salad that I tell myself “is still healthy.” It’s not. At least, not for me. Not right now.

So I’m saying goodbye to online dating, at least for a while. I’ve honestly always hoped I’d meet a guy In Real Life. Is that even still a thing? Maybe if I push myself outside my comfort zone a little, or at least switch up my routines a bit more. Anyways, this is a new thing I’m going to try– not doing something because I should. Living life on my own terms.

That’s what growing up and getting older is all about, after all– right?

 

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Thirty for Thirty: Part 3

Okay, here’s the last 10 on my list!

 21.  Go camping This is a goal for personal growth, because confession: I hate camping. I haven’t done it since middle school. So I want to try, at least one night. Someone send bug spray and an air mattress!

 22.  Do a cross stitch And we’re back to the art theme! Also a trying something new theme. I have a hoop, I have thread, I have a needle. I just want to do one, ya know?

23.  Eat at an Iron Chef’s restaurant This I’ve done once before, at an amazing Argentine place in Chicago (Rural Society, now closed). I don’t even know how to find these, anyone have a suggestion?

 24.  Find a volunteer project I’m volunteering to help with a local track meet this spring. I’d like to find some more things like this to do, maybe with local kids.

 25.  Go to a state I’ve never been to And we’ve returned to travel– maybe I can do a combo platter with this and the mountains and/or ocean. I’ve got a few places that meet the requirements

26.  Put up a Little Free Library I always think these are so cool! My plan is either in the neighborhood I live in or the one I work in. I’d rather do the neighborhood I work in, because it’s a little more low-income and resource-poor, but I’m afraid once I left, it wouldn’t be maintained. The one in my home neighborhood, I could at least keep an eye on. Stay tuned.

27.  Eat 30 pieces of cake and document them! This is a recent discovery– I. LOVE. CAKE. It’s my new go-to as a comfort food. So I’ll be eating 30 pieces of cake (NOT in one sitting) and taking pictures. Again, stay tuned. And probably follow my instagram, that’s likely where they’ll be posted.

 28.  Ride for a Reason This is a charity bike ride I was challenged to do; my sister and her hubby did it last year. Plus, exercise. I hear it’s good for you.

29.  Find a set of sheets I love This is a tricky one. I’m particular, because I LOVE prints on sheets, especially floral prints. Which seem to be either very hard to find or very expensive. I don’t mind expensive, but at some of these prices, shouldn’t they wash themselves?!

30.  Try on every hat I see (within reason). The goal of this is to find out once and for all– am I a hat person? This may also be documented on instagram. Within reason.

 

So there you have it– the 30 things I’d like to do from May 28, 2018-May 27, 2019. It should be a fun year full of pushing myself and trying new (or retrying old) things! I’ll keep things updated as I go along. I know you’re dying to know.

Thirty for Thirty: Part 2

I just want to say that I didn’t rearrange these 30 things after I first wrote them, so they’re in no particular order. But I supposed the first 10 things are what immediately popped into my head, and these next ten are things I had to think about for a bit.

 11.  Only buy clothes secondhand This one I’ve done before, I usually buy from ThredUp which I love and have gotten some GREAT deals on!

 12.  Lion tattoo I have an artist in mind, but she’s booked out pretty far and hasn’t replied to my submission yet. So… this one might be postponed until she can get me in (I’m not going to link to her because I’m not trying to put her on blast or anything). But I guess even if it’s 2019, I’ll still be 30 for a while. So this might still fall into the year.

 13.  Compost This one I’ve also done before, but in an apartment was hard. I had a plastic box under my kitchen sink with holes poked in the top! It worked, because things naturally decompose, but it always stayed so soggy. But now I have a yard! I can have a whole pile, with air to keep it dry! Hooray!

 14.  See the ocean I’m not sure where. So this will take some doing, or planning, or maybe just a spur of the moment thing. Anyways, it’s an attempt to temporarily vacate the Midwest 

 15.  See some mountains Again, the Midwest doesn’t have one of these. What I’m really saying is take a trip somewhere— which is something I haven’t done for a minute!

 16.  Read 30 books This started at 12, then moved up to 15, and then I decided to stick with the 30 theme. I’m a quick reader, so this is totally doable. I think.

17. Explore more with bodywork This one I need to amend a bit, only because I’m back with massage therapy again, and my state license didn’t expire as quickly as I thought– yay! So I’m picking back up with this on Saturdays until I’m out of my office job. (Again, not linking this one, but if you live in the Indy area and need a massage, feel free to privately message me)

 18.  Use every page in sketchbook This is my goal to art more. I know that creativity breeds creativity, so this is just another avenue, hopefully to drive my writing a bit more, too…

19.  Create outline for a novel …which I hope will lead me to THIS. I’ve always wanted to write, especially a novel. I have half-ideas, but I’m hoping to actually sit down and flesh them out a bit. Just to get a complete idea out there.

20.  Buy a piece of art I love I already have several of these. But who doesn’t need more art in their lives?! I know I have plenty of wall space just begging to be zhushed.

Thirty for Thirty: Part 1

I’m turning 30 on Memorial Day. My thirtieth is a National Holiday—you’re welcome, take the day off!

I’ve got a fun day/ weekend planned with friends, and plans for a whole new decade! I’m not great at maintaining resolutions or anything, but man, do I love a check off list. So I made one! For my 30th year, I present to you my Thirty for Thirty bucket list, Part One
(10 at a time seemed like a more manageable bite).

 

  1. Run 3 5ks 
    I already have one in mind– Wine at the Line, which I’ve done the past 3 years. So that leaves 2 more for me to find. If you’ve got a local suggestion, let me know!
  2. Save $1000
    It’s only $83.33 a week. Doable, right? I just need to build up my emergency fund, which is what I mean with this one. Tips on how to stop impulse spending are welcome.
  3. Learn 12 new recipes
    That’s one a month. Something beyond my limited kitchen skills. I’d like to shy away from sweets, too, because I am a pretty good baker, I just need more time in the cooking department. Also, see the above goal of saving money. This saves  you money, riiiiight?
  4. Support local more
    I’m not sure how to quantify this, so just a general feeling? Buy at a local store or eat at a local restaurant instead of ordering online or eating at a chain. Bam.
  5. Find best probiotic for me
    I use this one right now, and it works pretty well. I also love kombucha. Maybe some combination of these? Are you supposed to rotate? Or stick with one and love it forever? Maybe I’ll do more research. Maybe I’ll write a post…
  6. Start a blog
    Done! So this one will transform more into maintaining and creating regular content. Basically, keep it up!
  7. Repaint the porch
    This is an around-the-house-to-do, but I figured those belonged on this list, too. I have a house now! Time to home maintain Grey Cottage like an adult-figure.
  8. Create a garden
    I tried a garden once, in my apartment complex. My 10×10 plot was overrun with thistles, but I did get one beautiful tomato out of the whole thing. I guess the goal here would be exceed one tomato in output.
  9. Start a Bullet Journal
    Also done! I’ll definitely be posting about this, it is my new favorite thing/my brain in physical form (or the thoughts in physical form… I don’t know). Anyways. I love it and it’s the best and everyone should bullet journal I just want everyone to be happy and journal forever. Maintain this and write some posts here about it, that’s what this is all about.
  10. Workshop with Joy the Baker
    Oh hi, I’m OBSESSED with Joy the Baker. I’m determined to make her my best friend, but I have to meet her first!
    Okay, so all general creepiness aside, I’ve wanted to go to New Orleans forever, and I truly dig Joy the Baker, so why not two birds with one stone? My preferences are her workshops on brunch or pies, and NOT during the summer. I am a delicate flower in the heat. I wilt. I die. I probably suck at pies.

Failure (in which we cut our losses)

Last week, we talked about how much failure sucks and then we talked about a few good steps in trying again. These are really great lessons to learn–

Except, when it’s time to call it quits. I think I’m calling this final tier Tier Four Failure, Not Giving Up. This one is hard. This one we don’t joke about. Because this one takes getting serious and knowing that it’s time to move on from a goal.

basketballpractice
via Kate Austin Photography

Maybe it’s not the right time. Maybe it’s not the right thing. Maybe it’s not the right why. You’ve invested a lot—the whole blood, sweat, tears scenario. But you can’t let that stop you. Just because you spent the money, the energy, the emotion, the time—that won’t always make something happen.

It’s a tricky thing, knowing when enough is enough and knowing when to stop pushing. But if you practice the sort of honesty we practiced last week, and really listen—you’ll know when it’s time. Or, unfortunately, something else might make that decision for you. In that case, I’m sorry. I know it sucks.

Take the time you need to grieve, reflect on what lessons you’ve learned and can take with you, and, when you’re ready, let’s pick up and carry on.

This is not the end of all things, just this thing. So, back up to the top. Congratulations, you’ve tried something. And you’ve failed. But also, you’ve succeeded.

A Monday update

I meant to have a whole post up today, but things change– especially this: I’m an Auntie! My only sister had her first baby, a little girl, at 4:45am on Friday morning. Everyone is fine, and we’re so so excited for this new little addition. I want her to stay tiny forever but I also cannot WAIT for all the adventures.

I’m not adding any pictures, because her parents are pretty private. Plus, who wants their picture splashed all over the internet before you’re even a few days old? Geez.

Anyways. So excited. So tired. So snotty (what?! Oh yeah. Picked up a virus at the hospital. Awesome.)

Failure (in which we try, try again)

Well. You failed. That thing you tried doing, it didn’t work. You didn’t get the job, your business didn’t succeed, you broke up, the souffle fell. Whatever. You failed. Congratulations, you’re a human person.

I know it feels rough to fail. But there are a few things to keep in mind. First, don’t take it personally. Second, failing does not make you a failure. Your identity is not wrapped up in this thing that failed. Sure, you had something to do with it, but this thing, this FAILURE, really is only a Tier One Failure, entry level stuff. There’s a reason it’s called a “rough draft”—it isn’t pretty. But now you’ve gotten that out of the way!

Worse would be giving up, not trying again. That’s a Tier Two Failure. To continue growing as a person, avoid this. Have you ever watched a kid learning to walk? They fall, and they fall, and just when you think they’ve gotten the hang of it, they fall again. They cry, they laugh, they don’t give up. So don’t give up. Try, try again.

But here’s the thing, you have to do it a bit differently next time. Your Tier Three Failure is refusing to learn. This is the big part of the thing—it’s time to do some work. So. Let’s learn from our mistakes; it’s time to reflect.

I’m going to recommend writing these questions (and their answers) down. But that’s the sort of person I am. So grab a notebook (bullet journal, the back of an envelope, a Starbucks napkin, whatever). Ready?

What went wrong?

What went right?

What is the goal? (OR- what result am I looking for?)

Why is that the goal?

I’ll give you a hint, the WHY will be the hardest to answer. Dig deep. Search. Be honest. Because the why is what drives the what. It may speak to why things went the way they did on the first go-around. It may speak to other decisions, attitudes, and actions in your life. Answer “Why?” and you’re well on the way to making a better second try!   

Armed with our Pro-and-Cons-List-on-Steroids, we can adapt our plan and strategize with a fresh perspective. Take a look at what went wrong and what went right answers. What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of? What other changes need to be implemented? It’s a strategy session—fake left, go right (or some other sports-related reference…)  What were the weakness of the first draft? Where can you build on your strengths? Where do we go from here?

And then we repeat the process. Like that toddling tot, we keep on trying. Because we see other people doing it, we know it can be done. We know it’s attainable. We just have to keep putting in the work.