That was one long month. I almost want to end the post there. That seems like a pretty good summary!
I don't even mean that in a bad way. Yes, breaking bad habits is a difficult process, but the amount of time and energy that was free in breaking them made the days stretch on forever. By focusing on me, there was no limit to the amount that I could accomplish.
ManFreeJan means something different for everyone. For one friend, it meant finishing her homework before texting the guy she was dating. For another, it was trying to figure out why she was so emotionally detached from the guys she was dating.
This wasn't an anti-men month. This was a put yourself first month. It isn't until you force yourself to address your relationship with relationships that you can really understand how it affects your daily life. It's like giving up smoking. You don't realize how much you were controlled by the cravings until you have to face them. And, honestly, if you want to start dating better guys, you've got to take control and step up your own game first.
As it so happens, I had a little life hiccup during January, but the fact that I knew I couldn't go running into the arms of a man, the fact that I couldn't depend on him to dig me out, that I couldn't ask him to fix it, that I couldn't lean on him to keep me from falling was the most liberating thing. I realized that I could dig myself out, that I could walk forward unaided, that I could stand alone, that I had all the power to do it.
I'd always known that, but I'd never been forced to take it seriously.
It's terrifying not to rely on my crutch, but fantastic not to need one.
Hardest Thing To Give Up: The "I'm bored" text. Everyone has that one person that you send a check-in text to when you're a little bored. They're usually a minor flirtation that you're not too serious about. In January, every time I felt myself wanting to send one of those texts, I revisited my to-dos list instead.
Most Ironic Development: Towards the end of the month, I tried to break ManFreeJan. I mean, I really, REALLY tried. Turns out that if you show yourself some serious respect and put yourself first, guys will too. Frustrating at the time, but I'm pretty happy about it now.
The Whoopsies: With less than a week left, I went on an entirely accidental date. I met him at a party over the holidays. Since the party involved an open bar, my memory is a liiiiiittle hazy of the evening. While I waited at Cesar's for him to arrive, I met eyes with a ridiculously attractive man crossing the street. He smiled at me, came into the restaurant and over to my table. He took one look at my extreme shock and said, "You don't remember me, do you?" NOPE! I thought I had been waiting for a short, skinny, blond major league baseball scout that I wanted to set my friend up with...not a tall, muscular, black man. I did remember meeting him...I just didn't think he'd call. Long story short: Two pitchers of margarita later, I went on an awesome accidental date.
I'm Walking Into February With: My very first column appearing in the RedEye, a super clean apartment (got to do something to distract your attention), a serious career game plan, unshakeable confidence in what I can accomplish if I really try for it, solid discernment in how I spend my time and with who, the most positive outlook I've had in years
It was good for me, was it good for you?