I spent many years as a stay at home mom. My days were spent chasing babies, cleaning up messes and doing yard work. The yard work made me happy. I love fresh dirt under my nails and working up a sweat in pulling stubborn weeds. It was often done in bare feet or running shoes. Mainly bare feet. When I went back to work in January, I decided I wanted to wear heels, but it was hard on my calves and I had to work through some seriously solid comfort zone fears. I wasn't used to walking or standing in heels. I used to be. I could spend a night dancing in heels at one time. I still miss my black Esprit Mary Jane pumps with a chunky heel. It was a long time ago. Pushing Past My Comfort Zones To Reclaim Ownership of my self-imposed value system came with rewards, but the first few days it mainly came with serious calf cramps. I was talking to my regional manager about my shoe issues, and she said she never wants to lose her confidence in heels. The word, "confidence" immediately shifted my perspective. It shifted everything. That was when I really saw that confidence is something you decide you are going to accept as part of your identity. When I was walking without confidence, I had this fear that my ankles would twist and I would teeter and fall. When I realised it was about confidence, I started walking as if I knew I wouldn't fall because my confidence made the decision that I wouldn't. The change in my stride made my calf pain go away. I wasn't walking like I would fall and my muscles didn't have to compensate for my insecurities.
I'm building my confidence in my dating profile. Funny story: I set up my preferences based on my type, and someone I know ended up in the search that pops up when I open the app. He's not my dating option, but he pops up, and I remember his smile and the real life person I know. For some reason, the views and likes and messages I've gotten since yesterday are all compared to him and they all fall short. I'm chatting when I'm I get an email or chat window, but they're already rejected based on the person I know in real life. It's sad. On the other hand, it was a moment of joy to realise that I'm no longer comparing everyone to my ex.
The app and website are boosting my confidence. I don't have to go out and turn down polite interest, I can do it from my phone in my pj's while getting laundry done. And there's something that feels good knowing that in 24 hours, I've had over 150 men click through my profile. The numbers may be average or sub par, but it's far more than I was getting while out and about. Some of them might have read my verbose ramblings and checked out the profile I've plastered with several vapid examples of vanity. I like reading, "nice smile, " and that I'm a "striking eyed beautiful woman," even if the smiles he can screenshot are all he'll ever see.
Right now my confidence is looking for balance. The person I was the last time I was dating was intimidating and aggressive. She was also a bit of a slut. I'm at peace with that. It isn't who I am now. I'm trying to dial it back a lot and this in between gray area is foreign and frightening. Besides, I still feel that I am having a great lot of Fun Dating Myself and I feel I am pretty phenomenal.
There's something to be said about online dating. I like real life interactions where I don't really pay attention to cars, status, or even looks until a man has said something that makes me want to learn more about him. In real life, I can feel the guilt when I start to become materialistic, but online it's expected and I'm eased into it without the real life person in front of me to remind me there is a person with genuine feelings before me. The online version has made me look at these men in a different way, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Realistically, I look at profile pictures and the first thought I have is, would I be willing to see this man naked and be attracted to what I see? It happens in person within the first two minutes, but I can usually get past that. Getting past my vanity and physical attraction is how many of my long term relationships were born. Online, he won't get a chance to make an impression. I usually like conversations about interests and likes but online they become a blur. I'm missing the expressions and cadence in a voice that makes me obsess like I did when I wrote That’s cute, and Getting Back on that Flirtation Bike.
Everyone's profile duplicates each other after a while. The profiles in my searches all have readers and outdoorsy types. They like children and animals and water. They want someone fit and attractive and happy. And they all make insane amounts of money. The woman they are searching for needs to be driven and make him a first priority. So many of men want to show women a great time, snuggle and travel the world. I'm just hoping to find someone that's already survived their midlife crisis, but I won't add that to my profile. They like motorcycles and fast cars, and I can't help but remember I'm not dent proof and will lose in a car fight and become a victim to their need for speed.
I find lots of really driven men that have worked so hard on a career that they missed the part about starting a family, or stayed in a relationship for longer than it was working. I was in a marriage that I thought was working. I get it. I was putting our kids before my career and now I'm starting over, but on my terms. I'm not the financial powerhouse I plan to be one day. That confidence will grow once I start a career path that I'm designing, and not one that I'm trying to fit into, and once I find work I can be passionate about.
I can't help but see the lack of confidence on these profiles. It's not always obvious, but it is often shy and insecure in the last line of an open invitation. It's in the pictures of places they've been and their pets, children and cars, instead of a bright and wide smile. It's hiding behind sunglasses as if they can't imagine anyone getting lost in their eyes. It's in their disdain for a sales pitch they know is a sales pitch that they aren't fully confident of. I'm just as guilty, talking about the places I like to go and feeling like I may be padding a resume while I do it. At the same time, I'm not advertising my blog and a full visual of what makes me who I am.
I am being honest though. That is huge for me. I'm not lying in my profile or in private messages. I have no reason to because I'm not ashamed of who I am or what my life looks like right now. I'm not even lying about my lack of gainful employment. Go, me.