A few weeks ago, I ran into a friend of mine. This friend had asked me out a few times this past summer, and while I definitely thought about dating him, I ultimately decided that we weren’t a good match, thought I do think he’s incredibly awesome. It all worked out for the best, I believe, because he wound up dating someone else, someone who probably completes him better than I.
Anyway, this friend of mine, when I saw him a few weeks ago, asked me if I was dating anyone.
“No,” I said.
After a pause, he said, “You know, I would have kept pursuing you, but [the girl he’s dating right now] was just easier.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing.
“I mean,” he continued, “You’re tough. You’ve got your shit together, and to be honest, you’re super intimidating.”
To which I said, kind of fumbling for words, “What do you mean I’m intimidating?”
“Well, you know, “he said, “You work hard, you keep everything together, and you’ve got two kids. Damn. That’s tough.”
This comment sent me into a confused state of mind, and fortunately, I had a therapy appointment later that day, which is where we discussed this conversation.
I know this man didn’t mean any harm by what he said, but the thing is, I NEVER see myself as having my shit together. I see myself as kind of a mess–a woman with two kids by two different dads who can’t seem to make it work with a man in my life. I never EVER thought, really, of the good things that make me who I am. I mean, sure, I can technically list off the things I do in my life, but whenever I’d add them all up, they–in my mind–equaled a total loser, unworthy (that’s my therapist’s word for how I’ve been looking at myself) of any good in my life.
But my therapist and I broke down what I really am, and since that meeting, I’ve been feeling really good about myself (good ego moments, according to my therapist). I mean, it’s true, I do have my shit together: I’m a really, really good mom; I’m fun (O.K. not as fun as I used to be, but still); I have a great career that I worked really hard to accomplish; I don’t have nay credit card debt; I live within my means; I’m educated; I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol; I’m constantly working on improving who I am; I care immensely about others; and hey, I have good taste in music.
I mean, I’m a pretty good catch (and I totally hope this does not come off as egotistical).
So I’m thankful that I ran into this friend and he said what he did and I had a deep conversation with my therapist, and then had a small epiphany about who I am and what makes me a good person, and best of all, it’s having a lasting impression on my psyche (as in I’m feeling so much better about who I am. Much more worthy.)
So I’ve been feeling pretty good until today, when my therapist announced during our session that I am really, really ready to start dating again, and for homework he wants me TO ASK OUT A MAN!!!????!!!!!
I instantly recoiled and said no. First, I’ve never asked out a man before. Second, I would never ask out a man. Third, I don’t even know any men I’m interested in. Fourth, and not to be repetitive because this is really important, I have never asked out a man.
“That’s the point,” he said, “You must figure out what you want and go after it. Go after someone who is worthy of you.”
“Ummm,” I replied in a panic, “you do realize where we live?”
He laughed and continued to insist.
By then i was on the verge of begging: “Give me another assignment. I’ll get a PhD. Or how about I volunteer for the rest of my life? I can go to church more often?”
“Isn’t it funny that you’d rather get a PhD then just ask a man out?” he countered. “Maybe church would be a good place to find a man.”
Kill me now. This seems impossible.
I’ve got two weeks.
Damn my newfound self-confidence.