I’m always “on”! 24/7, I’m go, go, go! Recently my coworkers were assigning drinks to people’s personalities because of Beyoncé’s new single, “Lemonade”. You know what was assigned to me? Red Bull. Apparently my busy and high energy personality isn’t just in my head. It’s good to operate on all 10 cylinders in certain situations but, I’m starting to realize the importance of hitting the pause button from time to time–no matter how uncomfortable.
I have hundreds of reason why I don’t slow down. It’s unnerving even thinking about sitting with myself in silence, let alone with anyone else. It isn’t something I’ve done for years (maybe like 6, but who’s counting). I first realized that my pause button was missing when I entered the wonderful world of dating for the very first time in years. I’m good at the online dating nonsense because it’s just like sales. Essentially you put up a storefront with your profile, spark interest, and then sell the goods. Easy! And I’m guessing that most people are able to handle everything after that point as well. Me? Well, I guess I’m a little different. It’s odd because I didn’t realize how horrible I was at actually connecting with people until I started to connect with someone recently. It’s not like the saying, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” It’s more like you don’t know what you had until you lose it and then start to get it again. Or… You don’t know what you got until it’s gone and then you get it back one day. Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve slowed down and truly tried to connect with another person. I forgot it was even a thing. I forgot how rewarding it can be. I forgot how necessary it is to my life and to being a human.
I almost don’t want to push on with this entry because I’m hurt by what I just typed. It’s almost like my life stopped years ago. I began to be okay with not feeling. I was okay with empty relationships. I demanded little from myself and from those around me. And as much as I’d like to point fingers to people or situations, I am fully in charge of what I let into my life. While I don’t assume responsibility in how people ultimately treated me, I do assume responsibility for allowing it. I wasn’t connecting and I felt that the whole time. But yet I allowed it. I took myself off the hook and allowed life to roll on while I took the backseat approach. *drops mic
So, now that I’m dating again I find myself having to deliver on the goods in my storefront. I have to slow down, hit the pause button, and truly connect. To experience shared enthusiasm, slow and deliberate touches, genuine conversation, a heightened sense of curiosity, locked glances, and warm smiles is something I haven’t had in such a long time. “Red Bull” dated “Starbuck’s Espresso” and then “Monster Energy Drink” back to back. There were no pause buttons. There were distractions (lots of distractions) and nice words without action. (This is so hard to comb through.)
It feels great to have someone to lock horns with in the most peaceful way. It’s forcing me to be human. It’s forcing me to look inward and draw out the girl I know I am. I feel alive again. I feel like I’m trying again. I’m growing as a person again. It’s bringing back really awesome memories of how I used to be. It just feels really really good. So despite how uncomfortable it is, I feel extremely grateful that I’m being pushed into that corner. I’ll never go back.