The best date that didn’t end with a goodbye kiss
I have been going on a lot of dates lately!
But not with men!
Or anyone else!
I’ve been taking myself on dates and it’s been the most amazing experience. Even as I write this, I find myself emotional because I’m finding a part of myself that I had lost long ago.
Let me start from the beginning.
For most of my adult life, I’ve felt so stifled when it comes to anything creative because I had to grow up at a very young age. Learning to be a responsible adult at the tender age of ten didn’t allow much time for imaginary friends or creating forts in the house where I could pretend that I was living in a castle. Due to this, as an adult, I always felt that I lacked any creative skills whatsoever. It wasn’t until the last couple of years where I started to see that I was very creative – I just needed to tap into this side of myself. I had to give myself permission to have fun, explore and not always be ‘responsible’.
I recently started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron as a way to tap into my creative side and it’s been, well, pretty remarkable! Cameron’s book isn’t one that you just read, it’s chock-full of invitations that you MUST do in order to move through barriers and obstacles that keep a person from recovering their creative self. One of the invitations is to take yourself on a weekly creative date…ALONE!
You can’t drag your friend or significant other along on the dates!
The creative dates are to be done alone. solo. unaccompanied. companionless. Insert complete cringe here!
Here were my initial concerns:
What if I’m bored while on this ‘date’? Oh God, what does that say about me as a person if I bore myself?
Will I feel lonely?
What will people think if they know I’m on a date, alone!? GASP!
Will I actually ‘get anything from this? (As an entrepreneur, I am always analyzing the ROI in any given area.) #nofun
THEN, I started to make excuses as to why I shouldn’t take myself on any dates. The very familiar record player in my head went like so:
I shouldn’t spend the money
I don’t have the time.
Taking myself on a date won’t be productive at all.
I spend a lot of time alone already. I know what it’s like to date myself. I don’t need to take myself on a date
This is stupid!
Blah! I exhausted myself with the negative self-talk until I finally gave in! I wanted to experience something different; I wanted to learn more about ‘this side of myself’ and who I am in my creative side.
And so, the dating commenced!
My first ‘real’ date outside of my home? Let me tell you about it!
I stopped at Starbucks and ordered my favourite drink- a decaf almond milk honey flat white (just in case you’re visiting me and want to bring me one. wink-wink). Once I had that hot little drink in hand I drove myself out to a garden center near my home. I know, it sounds a bit weird that I’d visit a garden center in the Winter, but they have an indoor store that carries the most divine and beautiful pieces of home decor and artwork! When I stepped out of my vehicle, I breathed in the fresh air and took in the beautiful surroundings of the countryside. I opened my ears to the birds chirping, the soft sound of music coming from inside the store and I felt the soft breeze of cool air brush across my face.
Immediately, I felt calm and grounded.
I proceeded to walk into the tiny shop of the garden center where I spent over an hour just walking around, looking at everything while sipping my favourite hot beverage. I had no timeline. I wasn’t in a rush. I had given myself permission to take it slow just as I would at the beginning stage of any new relationship.
It was THE best date that I had ever been on. While on my date, I almost started crying because it had been so long since I had felt connected with myself and spent time doing something that I love. My life had been about responsibility for so long and I had lost sight of joy, fun and play.
I’ve scheduled more date nights exploring the travel section of a book store, again with that hot little drink in hand. I’ve lit candles, sat in my favourite chair at home and spent time with my sketch pad. With soft music playing in the background, I’ve allowed myself to write a list of creative things I’d like to change in my home. I went to a movie… by myself… and loved it!
I’ve had a few times where I slacked on the date night with myself due to my busy schedule … and I can tell because it leaves me feeling overwhelmed, tired and a bit cranky. Not connecting with myself comes at a cost and I don’t like it. I also realize that I can’t be my best Self to anyone if I am not filling my own cup.
So, why am I sharing this with you?
With Valentines Day fast approaching – the day where we celebrate our love for others, I don’t want you to forget about YOU! You matter too! Maybe you don’t have a significant person to share Valentines Day with, or maybe you’re in a relationship but don’t want to celebrate that love (because that happens), regardless of your relationship status I would urge you to start dating yourself. Get to know YOU and reconnect with that beautiful beating heart of yours. Because, we are always in relationship…. with the world, family, friends and most importantly ourselves. I wonder what the world would be like if we all took ourselves on a date-night each week to reconnect with the most important part of our Selves.
Have you ever taken yourself on a date? If so, I would love to hear what you did and how it felt? If you haven’t, can you plan a date night in the near future?
I would love to know what your experience is with your own date nights (with yourself!). Comment below and let me know!