I learned something about myself this weekend.
Allow me to set the stage.
Saturday night. Out with friends. Well, correction…I was out with the guys. Because all my female friends decided that Netflix was more appealing than a gorgeous, open air rooftop bar in NYC.
#NoJudgement…To each his own.
But there maaaay have been some potential love interests in the group…perhaps I’ve blogged about them before…a lady never tells.
JK…I always doo000 🙂
Anyways. I’m going to say something and I don’t want to give you the wrong idea.
I am not a lush. But, that being said, I do drink alcohol socially. I know my limit…which is very minuscule. So I do not imbibe in more than 2 vodka/sodas. Because…well…dignity.
But that night, I had 2 drinks. No more. No less.
And allow me to just interject…there’s a reason that they call alcohol a truth serum. Especially for me. Over the course of the night, I perhaps confessed my love for George W. Bush. My secrets to preventing wardrobe malfunctions. And my irrational fear of seaweed.
But I digress.
Eventually, the topic of conversation drifted…to Bumble.
Yes…the online dating app.
Which, as you know…I have recently joined….and matched with several of the gentlemen I was with that evening…it’s a running joke.
But the conversation quickly turned to why I’m not dating anyone. We had been talking about some of the guys’ horrendous online dating stories and the tables then turned to why I am still single.
And perhaps I was feeling uncomfortable being the center of attention with all these eligible bachelors, or perhaps it was my liquor talking, but I involuntarily blurted out, “Oh I’ve got a lot of baggage!”
I mean, seriously Caralyn?
Holy camoley. Way to be smooth, there, sister!
And I mean, the guys were chuckling about it and laughing it off as kind of a “ok sureee” kind of response, but falling asleep that night, that moment kept playing over and over again in my head.
Does that ever happen to you? A moment or an interaction just nags at the lining of your stomach. Makes your throat tense up?
Well that was me. Not sleeping, and freaking out about making a total and complete nincompoop out of myself.
But the following morning, sitting in church and – I hate to say it – zoning out during the homily, I found my mind again replaying that conversation.
And it dawned on me. Is that really what I think of myself? That I’m just a walking mess of undesirable issues?
And sitting there in the pew, I took a good, long, introspective look at myself.
And spoiler alert…my findings were not pretty.
I’ve always said that eating disorders are never about the actual weight. That the weight loss is merely a symptom of an internal battle. A manifestation of something bigger.
Something that you have come to believe about yourself that is false. A Lie.
And to truly heal, you have to identify “The Lie” and replace it with the Truth.
And it’s different for everyone.
For me, “The Lie” was that I was a burden.
Fast forward to NYC on a Sunday in 2016, all those years later, I realized something: Is my single-ness simply another manifestation of “The Lie” that crippled me so long ago?
Am I afraid to burden a potential boyfriend with my baggage?
Aye yi yi. The plot thickens.
I told you at the beginning of the month that I was actually going to go out on a date with a guy this month, and here it is, September 26, and I have yet to do that.
So, I’m sorry.
Coming to this realization this morning, it has awakened in me a new perspective.
And here it is:
I need to redefine my “baggage.”
I need to shift my thinking. Because what I consider baggage…i.e.having overcome anorexia, still battling self-worth issues, being a virgin, having to eat a specific way to keep my Ulcerative Colitis in remission — those things that I see as “baggage” in my eyes, are actually things that make me who I am. They have shaped me.
And dare I say it, someone is going to think that’s beautiful.
I just have to let someone in. Allow someone to see that. Unpack my baggage, if you will.
Because, I know that we all have quote-unquote “baggage” in our lives. And thinking about all of the people in my life…it’s their “baggage” that truly makes me love them all the more.
It gives them depth. Gives them beauty. It makes me appreciate who they are and how they got that way.
These things that are not-so-lovely about my past – they don’t make me a burden. They make me real. Honest. And perhaps, beautiful.
So who knows…the month isn’t over yet. And thanks to my guy friends who took over my Bumble profile on Saturday night, I have about 25 new matches to sort through….
Hope your Saturday wasn’t quite as mortifying as mine 🙂
See ya Thursday.
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