2012 was a turbulent year. It started with my college best friend getting engaged. Yes, I was insanely happy that my soul sister found what she was looking for in a spouse. But that and the collection of seven other weddings that I was attending over the next twelve months were starting to get to me. I was 29, hopelessly single with a string of dysfunctional casual relationships, and trapped in a job that was not challenging me. I felt like Bridget Jones – except I did not have a hunky version of Hugh Grant or Colin Firth in the picture.
I had never been one to judge myself against others – but I found myself questioning who I was and what I wanted. I didn’t need marriage – but I was starting to believe that happiness and real companionship were unattainable. I wanted more.
For a few months, I cried daily. I tried retail therapy, nights on the town with my girlfriends, marathon dating on eharmony and OKCupid and midnight food fests to distract myself. When I confided in my (married) older sisters – they gave me seemingly canned advice, “be open”. I laughed at them and pushed their words away.
Then I found out that a man that I once dated and still harbored some strong feelings was marrying someone else. I did not cry because of or over him – I cried because the fantasy that I constructed in my head of some planned future was shattered. And that’s when I really hit rock bottom.
But hitting rock bottom also made me find my truest self. My mother once told me that the only person you have to answer to is yourself. I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw.
So the next month, I quit my job, started working out regularly (I wanted to train for half marathons, but kept postponing because of excuses) and spent two months in Europe. I literally took off. I needed to reset.
It worked. I turned 30 with a renewed sense of purpose and happiness. I did not love myself fully before. Like many women, I put up with female friendships and male relationships that were not good for me. It took time for me to recognize and change the negative patterns in my life.
Life is not always fair. The plans we construct in our youth or even in our twenties do not pan out. I’ve learned – through both my chaotic professional life at start-ups and in love – that you have to be open (yes, I hate that phrase but I am using it) to what comes your way.
And enter Amy Andersen….I met Amy during one of her VIP searches in 2011 and she has set me up over the past two years with various clients. Several of the connections were very good – some were lacking chemistry – but I gave all of them a shot.
In late 2012, I met my current boyfriend at one of her Linx events and he has changed my life. I had been toying with a business opportunity for some time – he was a major force behind me pursuing it with full force. My boyfriend has taught me so much about friendship, healthy relationships and what I am capable of. (He is also a year and a half younger than I am – so do not discount the younger man!) We are intellectual peers. Though we are enjoying the connection, we have our share of dating pains and candidly I do not know what the future holds for us. But I am sure that this relationship serves a purpose for me – to teach me respect, self-worth and that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
This has been the most challenging and rewarding year of my life. I took a risk, changed the direction of my life and started to love myself.
So have faith and good luck on your journey! (And thank you Amy, for being a part of mine:-)