It’s 2020. Have you wrapped your mind around that yet? Because…I sure haven’t.
This past decade gave birth to a lot of things. The “Selfie.” Gangnam style. Dating Apps. The Ice Bucket Challenge. Harambe. FaceTune. Planking. Athleisure. Super hero movie franchises.
Good or bad, the twenty-teens left its mark, and will not be forgotten.
But moving forward into this next decade, there are definitely a few things that I want to leave behind in the past, where they belong.
And I’m not talking about fashion trends or viral internet content.
1) Ditching Men Who Make Me Feel Small/Dating GAMES
The current dating scene is dismal at best. Thanks to dating apps, relationships — and consequently, people — have become entirely disposable. Replaceable. Upgradeable. And as a result, men — and yes, women, too — have become all too skilled at playing games.
I’ve gotta be honest — I’m attracted to the bad boy. OK – well maybe not bad boy, but the number of times I’ve turned down guys who send me flowers and sweet phone calls, and are textbook chivalrous — only to hold out hope for the guy who barely gives me the time of day — it’s embarrassing.
I’m done with waiting for men who don’t make me a priority. I know what I want. I know what I’m looking for. I know what I deserve. And gosh darn it, if a grown man is still acting like a child, I want nothing to do with him.
2) The Appologetic/Appeasement Mindset
I was with my besties the other night, and we were crafting a dating app response – (a fun pastime) – and it started with “Sorry…” And I realized — I do this all the time. I’m living from a place of apology — “I’m sorry to bug you,” “Sorry to ask for this favor,” “I’m sorry, can I just…” I need to stop apologizing and own who I am, and not feel bad for advocating for myself or voicing my needs.
And on that note — my people pleasing tendencies have got. to. go. No more bending over backwards, or putting my own health/needs/happiness aside, in order to appease someone else or win their approval. It’s exhausting and frankly, unhealthy.
3) Expecting Perfection (The Photoshop/Pinterest Phenomenon)
And not only for myself, but — for others too.
I was chatting with my girlfriends over brunch the other weekend, and we were bellyaching about our dating prospects. And the conversation turned to what we’re looking for in our “perfect” man — aka: the “dealbreakers,” the “nonnegotiables.” Our “list.” You know, your typical girl talk.
Well, halfway through the convo, it dawned on me — this is part of the problem. No one is perfect. Absolutely no man is going to check the box on all of our desired traits and attributes. And the more we expect that, the more disappointed we’ll be.
And for that matter — neither are we!! We are all deeply flawed human beings. The key is to find someone who you love and care enough for to accept their flaws — and they, yours — and grow in love, despite them.
4) Self Inflicted Timeline Pressure/Over-Critical Self Assessment
This goes hand in hand with number 3, but I think there’s so much pressure we place on ourselves to live up to certain expectations — either from society’s standard, or our own.
Life does not pan out perfectly as you dreamed when you were 10 years old.
God has His own, perfect timeline for our lives, and is unfolding our path exactly as — and when — it should be. We’ve got to release our clenched fists, and let Him do His thing.
5) Guilt or Shame from my Past
This is it, folks. This is the decade where I’m going to put all the negative emotions about my past to rest. Are there things I’m not so proud of? Absolutely. Putting my loved ones — and myself — through the horrors of anorexia is something that I have carried heavily in my heart.
They have forgiven me. God has forgiven me. It’s my turn to forgive myself.
I am not that broken girl anymore. God has restored me fully, and placed a new spirit in me. The more headspace I give to lamenting over the guilt from the manipulative, destructive, dark days in the eating disorder, the less fully I can embrace the new creation I am today.
I’m leaving these things in the past. And bringing with me empathy. Patience. Compassion. Fun. Determination. Big dreams and goals. And realistic outlooks on life, self, and others.
What about you? What do you want to leave behind in the twenty-teens?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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