As I posted in the previous post, my private life has been a doozy lately. The last 7 months have been the hardest (in this department) in my adult life thus far. From confusing feelings about one person who unintentionally pulled me away from God and all that I know is good and true to dealing with new revelations about my vocation that have caused me to step outside my comfort zone, there hasn't been a dull moment for me.
If I told you that the last time I had a serious boyfriend was when I was 17, would you believe me? It's true. I've gone on dates since but nothing serious. I didn't have the time... nor was I in a good place for a while. My late teens and 20s were a busy time for me on all levels. I had to help take care of Dad (who was initially diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after I turned 17). I reverted to the Faith when I was 21. I had to finish my first undergraduate degree while juggling Dad's cancer and my anxiety problems. My father passed away and then I spent a year emotionally numb. I went through a slew of health problems and had to learn how to deal with the severe anxiety and panic attacks that once assailed me. I had to figure out my vocation. I had to learn how to take better care of myself (after neglecting to do so... which resulted in some of my health problems; which, thankfully, have now been taken care of). Just recently, I figured out my career/(small v) vocation and it's now systems go on that as well.
After I went through a sort-of identity crisis that lasted nearly a year (and only just ended in recent weeks), I saw that I've gotten clarity on all areas of my life... especially my (big v) vocation. I've already talked about that in the previous post but what I didn't mention is that once I felt more secure about what my vocation is, I also knew that I had to take a break because I've grown up a lot (spiritually and emotionally) since I last dated someone... and I need to figure out what works and what no longer does.
I'm not starting there though. I'm not going to see what areas I have to focus on when it comes to relationships. No, I'm going to strip that down further and go down to the true source of love -- God. I need to be in a place where I can be okay -- whatever my state in life is -- with only God's love. I wish I could say that I'm there right now but that would be a lie. I still crave that love from another person and I know that I can't jump into that without further cultivating my love for God.
I'm currently too lazy to go back and link all the older posts (I'm writing this on 3 hours of sleep... way early in the morning) but I know I've previously written about the fact that I know that only God's love can fully fulfill me and that gigantic void in my life. I stand by that. I know that is the truth... but my heart has to catch up to my brain in this instance. I'm not relying on feelings to tell me when that moment comes; I will know that I'm ready when I'm able to not be so easily swayed away from God and the Truth.
The recent young man in my life showed me that I'm not ready for a relationship anytime soon because my spiritual life isn't strong enough. My still-anemic spiritual life is just now catching up my physical (I was physically anemic for a couple of years as well) wellness. That's why I'm taking a dating break... and it hasn't been easy because I've had more guys show interest recently. No, this isn't me going "ooh, look, I've still got it; guys still like me..." It's more me saying "the timing is both terrible... and wonderful." Terrible because some have been promising but wonderful because it's been a sort of test for me in which I've had to stop and remind myself that I'm not ready quite yet.
So, what are my plans during this dating break?
- Going to daily Mass.
- Going to adoration more frequently (recent Notting Hill inspired tweet, anyone?).
- Taking up Bible study at home since I can't physically attend the meetings at local parishes. Thanks for all the recommendations on Twitter, y'all!
- Reading more books (finishing St. Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life and starting St. Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection).
- Limiting my time on social media... and the internet in general because the negativity out there is harshing my mellow.
- Focusing on a big test (that will last only a couple of months, God willing) that will further my small-v vocation.
- Continuing to improve my self-care so that I don't get physically sick again.
I'm not going to kick all men away during this time... but I'm also going to make it clear that I'm not in a place in which I can offer more than friendship. (side note: having no current crushes or interests really helps my ability to "friendzone" all males, lol.) God may surprise me and bring a great guy into my life between now and whenever I will be ready to begin dating again, but right now my focus is on my relationship with Him and on my own interior life.
I cannot build a relationship (or a family) on a faulty foundation. My future fella and I deserve better than that. I cannot possibly help lead anyone to Heaven in my current state. I'm still having trouble getting to Mass as often as I'd like which is the first thing that needs to be worked on.
Do any of my fellow single folks (women AND men) feel like perhaps they also need to work on your relationship with God? Better question: do some of you know that you need to take a dating break to work on your relationship with God but are reluctant to do so because you don't like being alone? You don't have to tell me, but be honest with yourself. If so, please know that I'll be praying for you. We're all in the same boat, y'all!
Anyway, these are my thoughts on the whole thing. I'm not sure how coherent they will be because, as I said earlier, I'm barely functioning on 3 hours of sleep. I have a theory as to why I've had insomnia the past 2 days but I won't be sure until I do something about it. And, actually, I think I'm finally ready to attempt a nap so I'll stop here.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Avoid fighting on social media, get thee to the confessional, attend Mass, and stay holy, my friends. :)
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D