Week 4: I Won't Win A Grammy Award, But I Can Write A Love Song Like Taylor Swift

There is no doubt that I have a horrible singing voice.  It’s so bad that I don’t even sing when I’m alone.  When we were in our Griswold-green station wagon on a family vacation while in junior high, I was lip syncing to the New Kids on the Block with my walkman and my brother complained, “Moooommmmm, make her stop making that noise.”  And so my dream of becoming a recording artist officially died.

But in Seth Godin’s “Indispensable”, he says an artist is someone who does “emotional work”.  That you are in it because you have set your mind to doing work that matters.  You put your heart and soul into it without knowing how it will all turn out.  You aren’t expected to be perfect, but you are expected to put it out there.  Just ship it.

Greg Behrendt’s advice in “He’s Just Not That Into You” is that “maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy, maybe it’s you on our own picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future.  That through all the pain and embarrassment, you never game up hope.”

So this week’s challenge is to start doing emotional dating work.  For the last few years, I’ve been lining up first dates and knocking them out like they are transactions, and keeping the emotion out of the situation.  I always expect instant chemistry when I meet someone, and if it’s not there, I often move on to the next guy.

Or, I meet a guy who puts it out there way too quickly and then I take off running because he’s sending schmoopey texts all the time.  Really.  I’ve broken up with guys because they like me too much too quickly.  So maybe it’s my fault for not putting a little more emotion into the equation?

Starting this week, I will take an emotional look at these past relationships where the guys are still chipping away to convince me that we should get married.  I call this Shawshanking, inspired by Tim Robbins in “Shawshank Redemption”.  Hmmm.  Perhaps I could be a little more sensitive?

Also this week, I will be more emotionally invested in my first dates.  Because I’ve gotten used to approaching strangers and accepting rejection, things just bounce off of me without much thought.  When I was getting off the plane on Friday night, I was surprised when the pilot standing there thanking us was completely gorgeous.  I had never seen a pilot this good looking, so I was completely unprepared when I saw him.  I just nodded my head and walked off the plane.  All the way to baggage claim, I was kicking myself for not having something witty to say to him.

Then, as I walked up to the elevator to the parking deck, he was standing there by himself.  He said hello as we walked into the elevator where I then said, “You are by far the hottest pilot I’ve ever seen.  And I travel a lot.”  He laughed and thanked me for the compliment and then proceeded to talk about the weather.  When I told my friends about the encounter, they thought I was crazy to have the nerve to say something like that.  They then decided that I have become numb to emotion.  They said, “you need to be more like Taylor Swift.”

Happy or sad, Taylor has a song for every one of her love stories.  She puts them out there for all to hear.  She goes all in on these relationships and then tells everyone about them regardless of who they end.  She is a true artist doing emotional work.  She doesn’t care what people think, and she has the Grammy trophies to prove it.  So this is the week I start being an artist.  I will be emotional.  And if he’s just not that into me, maybe I’ll even cry?

When do you start getting emotional?  Do you get smothered easily or do you love the “Happy Monday!” texts from a guy you barely know?

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