I am present. I am in this moment. I am seeing what is presenting itself to me.
This mantra was born out of a lesson that I just experienced. I don’t always write about my lessons when they are raw and in the moment because… well… sometimes I like to let them simmer. See them play out. Mull over them and learn a little bit more. But this lesson centers around something that has become the saying of my 2019 – which is “be present”.
As a woman (and maybe even as a human / this might apply to men too but I have only had a female experience) we often want to create a story about someone before we really know them. Or we might really know them and still want to create a story about them. Ariana Grande wrote this incredible song call “In My Head”. If you haven’t heard it yet, go listen immediately. It’s all about creating a version of person in our minds. We fall in love with that person and make excuses for that person. See the greatness and potential in them. Often, we see all these things that might not necessarily be there or ever be actualized. We romance people for the future but that is so the opposite of what it means to be in the present and really see the person who is right in front of you.
As someone who seeks to be present and see what is in front of me, I have to share that I’m not always perfect and sometimes fall into that old pattern. Recently, I saw this come up in a dating experience. I’ve shared before that I have been out and about dating different people. Seeing what’s going on in the dating world. As an aside, I’m not impressed. I haven’t found anyone worth my time yet. But I have had a lot of really interesting and lesson providing experiences (and blog providing content!).
The most recent encounter in the dating world was with a guy my friends have dubbed as “Diamond Nick”. We had this super brief but intense connection and experience. He was so brief that he wouldn’t normally merit mention in the blog or the book but the lesson is worth the share because of how it made me feel.
How do I describe this guy to you? On digital paper, he looked like the exact type of guy I wanted. He is an entrepreneur and works for himself. Check. Has major wanderlust like me and has traveled all over. Check Check. He’s handsome, smart, super quirky but with energy to which I was drawn. We met at the end of one of my stinks in Arizona. I actually did not want to go out with him when I met him, which makes laugh standing where I am now. I saw his profile on Hinge and thought, “hmm he looks cute”. But then I thought of all these random thoughts that made me shy away from connecting with him. “Maybe he’s too skinny for me” or “I don’t know if he’s my type”. Bla bla bla.
Those thoughts were really just a projection of the fact that I didn’t want to be on a dating app at all and had nothing to do with him. I was on Hinge only because I felt like I “should” be doing it. Don’t do anything because you feel like you “should”. Prior to this, I had never gone out with someone from a dating app. I used the apps as a way to window shop for men. I would look, think about it, and then ultimately not connect or go out with anyone.
Diamond Nick’s profile popped up as a option, I looked at it and “X”ed him out. Even though I “X”ed him, he was able to comment on one of my photos and told me I had a beautiful smile. At the moment that I saw his comment on my photo, I was having a moment of my own. I had just had this experience where another guy I had been seeing turned out to not be the person I thought he was. So when I saw Diamond Nick’s comment, I thought “Fuck it” and decided to hang out with him.
The first night I hung out with Diamond Nick, I went over to his apartment. As a girl who is new to online dating and as a girl who loves crime tv, I had a fleeting thought that he might be a serial killer. Listen, don’t judge me. I’ve watched too much Law and Order. And if you’ve never thought that before a first date with a stranger, I suggest you educate yourself on the Craiglist killer and other men in that genre stat. But being the researcher I am, I did a deep dive into the internet to learn everything there was to learn about him before I went over there. I felt like I had to because I wanted to feel like I was safe and also get a sense of who he was before I met him. There wasn’t very much information to find. I saw his Instagram. Great, I thought, he’s an actual real human being. But his social media presence was very limited. Then, my searched brought me to a whole video series that he created and was featured in that gave me a sense of who he was and that he was a real human being.
When I first saw him, I thought he was super handsome and his energy was calming. We had good conversation, hung out, pretended to watch a movie for like five minutes, made out and hooked up. And it was in the chemistry of that sexual experience that I felt a connection to him. Not just the oxytocin-post-sexual experience. It was that there was this yummy, exciting, sexual connection. But I remember leaving that night, going home, and still being unsure if there was any more connection than just the sexual. We hung out the next day before I left and, again, there was great chemistry. He was so comfortable to be around. With hindsight, when I think back to those two dates objectively, I see that I asked him a lot of questions and learned a good amount about him. I am a great interrogator and cross examiner. I am skilled at asking questions and getting to the heart of the issue. My friends joke that I can talk to a wall. I also shared information about myself with him. But I don’t remember him really asking me very much about me. He didn’t seem to be curious about me. I didn’t fault him for that at the time. Some guys aren’t great at the initial conversations. Maybe he was shy?
Then I went home to Philadelphia and we communicated a little but nothing overwhelming. I was definitely intrigued by him but knew little to nothing about him. And I wanted to know more about him. I wanted to call him and ask him about his day and learn about him and his life. I also wanted him to call me and be curious about me. But I never communicated that to him and I didn’t start the communication train with him. I didn’t do that because I wanted him to take initiative and connect with me. I wanted him to be thinking about me and be curious about me. But why would I expect that when he wasn’t overly curious about me when we were in real life together? I wanted him to be someone he wasn’t. But over the four weeks, I filled in the little information I knew about him with things I assumed about him and started to think, “Maybe he is someone I could date?”
I came back to Phoenix and spent a little bit of time with him. And a few things were apparent. We still had chemistry and amazing energy between us. We still had great conversations. There was still a sexual connection. But something was a little different. He was different. He would make plans and cancel at the last minute. And I started to think he was flighty or unreliable. Then I started to wonder if he had a girlfriend and was seeing me on the side. What I learned pretty quickly after being back was that he met someone else while I was away and wanted to pursue that experience and see where it went. He was pretty open and candid with me about everything. The initial gut reaction was disappointment. Which led me to ask the question, Why am I disappointed about something not working out with someone who I barely know?
And the answer became very clear to me. I was disappointed on one level because of the energetic connection. Chemistry and connection isn’t something you have with all people. In fact, I would argue that you don’t have it with most people you meet. But the disappointment also stemmed from the fact that in my mind, I created a narrative. I would come back to Arizona, I’d spend time with this guy, we’d go hiking, go on adventures, make out, eat great meals, have great convos and connect and get to know each other more. Where did that narrative come from? It came from me creating an expectation and a story that didn’t actually exist. I told you before – this is someone who wasn’t excited to get to know me. Or at least excited enough to get to know me to put forward an initiative to get to know me, even when I was gone for a few weeks. My disappointment did not stem from his actions – he didn’t do anything wrong. My disappointment came from an expectation I created.
I am present. I am in this moment. And I am seeing exactly what is in front of me.
In this scenario I just described, I wasn’t present. I wasn’t in the moment. And I was choosing not to see what was directly in front of me.
People are constantly showing us exactly who they are at every moment, through their actions. When someone wants you, when they want your attention, when they want to be with you, when they want to connect with you, they do it. In order to see who someone is, it requires us to look at them with eyes wide open. And so with these eyes, I will approach other relationships.
I also want to say this as an aside. Rejection from another person has nothing to do with you as a woman. So often, we as women will internalize rejection. Whether it’s rejection in business or rejection in a relationship, the autopilot response for a lot of women is to look at ourselves and think “What did I do wrong?” “Am I not pretty enough” or “Am I not good enough in some way?”. When someone rejects you, it is not about you. This rejection was not about me. It was about someone meeting someone else who they have a greater connection with. That’s it. I know my worth. I know my value. I know what I offer to the world. I still feel really good about my ass. Live in a spirit of gratitude and abundance, ladies. There are other people out there who you will vibe with and vibe with even better then one particular person. Don’t focus on the rejection. Focus on the lesson. Give massive thanks for it. And bless and release that person.
You are powerful beyond belief.
You are worthy of everything.
And I send you all massive love and light as you read this today!