So, something must have been in the water last week. That or the universe was working overtime to make sure I got the message. Either way, I heard the message loud and clear and that message said “Focus on yourself.” Simple in concept, yes. But it’s not concept alone that causes inaction, is it? For me, it’s really understanding what that means so that I can go for it.
Y’all…I have no idea what this means. I don’t know what this looks like. Does this mean budgeting and studying? Does this mean being selfish? Does this mean not supporting others? What does focus on yourself mean? And how do I connect my subconscious mind with that agenda? Because if I’m being realistic, I can pretend to “focus on myself” all day long and internally feel unsatisfied or anxious.
In response to this conundrum, I attempted to think back to a time where I felt like I was focusing on myself. That year, I cleaned up my diet, almost had a 4.0 semester (my only ever, ruined by Chemistry *shakes fist*), worked out every day, wrote regularly, got my first job in tech and lost 63lbs. I even dated a couple guys. I was the most confident I’d ever been and the next year, I met my first love.
During this period, I didn’t really hang with friends. I never went out. I literally put my head down and focused on my goal. Once I had gotten that settled, I slooooooooooooowwwwwwwly started getting back out into the world. You know the usual. Reminding everyone I’m still alive and in town and I’m ready to be social again.
So, you may be asking why I can’t just tap into that energy and do that. Well, here’s the issue. At the time, I was coming down off of being fired right before Christmas from a job I gave everything to. This job was my first ever toxic job. And I had let grades suffer and let my personal life come in second place, all so that I could get fired behind some bullshit reasoning. When I came back to Houston, I was pissed. Of course at my old coworkers and my old managers, but most of all, I was pissed at myself. I was angry with myself for allowing those people to put me in the position I was in. I asked myself why I thought I deserved to be treated like that. My answer to that question fueled a lifestyle change that was super beneficial.
But I’m a lot older now. Circumstances aren’t the same and the motivation isn’t either. In fact, the reason for me “focusing on myself” is not actually my choice. Not entirely, anyway. So, now that I find myself here, I’m not sure what to do and it doesn’t really feel as satisfying.
Why do I say it isn’t my choice? I don’t know how this is going to sound, but it’s my truth and I stand by that completely. I was dumped…and was surprised about it. In fact, our pre-marital counselor predicted that I’d be the one to call it, but I wasn’t. To say it caught me off guard is an understatement. My reaction to that was to throw myself into my work, and I did that. But for some reason, I find myself, in this moment, wanting to explore love again and unable to. An what do you tell a person that’s wanting to find love again? To focus on themselves. At least, that’s what the universe has been yelling at me all year.
Do you know what happens when you force yourself to do something just because? It looks crazy for a while. You’re basically just shooting arrows in the dark, trying to catch a target you can’t see. That’s me right now. “Focusing on myself” so that I can find love. But that isn’t how it works, lol. There is a disconnect here that isn’t lost on me. The whole point of focusing on yourself is so that you can forget about the thing that you can’t control and focus on the thing you CAN control. But this doesn’t solve my issue, which is this weird and annoying craving to be in romantic partnership.
But…because I lack other options right now (I mean, have you SEEN the dating market? Tuh-rash!), I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to focus on myself. I just need more of a vision of what that looks like in this stage of my life. And so far…I have nothing lol. Well, that isn’t true. I have a challenge I have been sitting on that my health coach gave me almost two weeks ago. She told me to 1) write down the perfect partner and relationship for me and 2) write down what I want to do.
Both of these things have proven super challenging for me, if I can be honest. I’ve written my “wants” when it comes to a partner before and it isn’t that I was wrong, per se. Moreso, it was that I was one dimensional. In my last relationship, I learned that I’m a layered and complex individual with equally complex and layered needs. Some of those needs I don’t even know about, yet. I’m feeling a lot of pressure, which may be telling, in and of itself. Maybe the pressure I feel when it comes to defining the person and relationship I want is a blocker for me when it comes to dating….
In terms of what I want to do, I’m struggling with writing my list because…last year I did a LOT. Ask me how many of them I planned out…I’ll answer: NONE. Zero. Everything just came to me. So, how the hell am I expected to figure out what I want to do when there’s probably a million and one things I haven’t even thought of to do??? Again…pressure.
So…at this point, I know where to start when it comes to focusing on myself. My amazing health coach helped me out with that. But it isn’t as simple as I’d have hoped. It’s complicated, it’s scary, it’s anxiety-producing. But…for a lifetime of happiness, there’s no time like the present to figure it out.