I’m supposed to be reading about JFK’s “New Frontier” right now. It’s not that the history of social welfare in America isn’t captivating (well, no, really it is pretty boring), but I’m just getting back into my creative flow and the furthest thing from my mind is how the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Blechk. I know I have to get this work done for class tomorrow, but as I glance across the tables in this coffee shop, I can’t help feeling distracted by a bedazzled headband and the duo of women surrounding its wearer.
The flash of advertisements on “Our Time”, an internet dating site for singles over 50, captures my attention at their table. These three women, huddled like the girls from Sex and the City at a Midtown bar, flit around the screen.
Amidst the flurry of “Ooh!” and “I like that”, I am utterly lost in intrigue. I hope that they can’t feel me eavesdropping. As they update their profiles (“Alright, what else do we even have to put in here?”) and research their potential candidates (“Is that him?! He looks really nice”), I can’t quite tell who the investor even is. They all seem equally committed to finding love across the net.
In my mind I keep seeing the movie “Grumpier Old Men”, and I wonder if what I’m witnessing here is a similar scenario, twenty something years later, technology updated. I picture Walter Matthau, looking for love after being widowed. How would he find love in this computer age, when beautiful single women are not conveniently opening up Italian restaurants in the neighborhood? Would he be contented to live alone, or would he pine for companionship and create a profile for himself? Maybe he would have his son do it- he seemed to have a greater penchant for the written word.
Nonetheless, from its inception there has always been something so stigmatized about on-line dating. Many view it as an exclusive place, reserved for trolls and mama’s boys who can’t speak to the opposite sex in real life. It’s branded as a place of loss, last resort, desperation.
But as I see these women, with their fashionably age-appropriate hairstyles, their loose-fitting slacks hugging the curves they’ve earned from babies and years of tasting happiness, I don’t see a lack. I don’t see desperation. I see vibrancy, self-assurance, hope.
They are truly enjoying themselves on this Sunday afternoon, bantering back and forth about how Match.com is too pricy and invasive, and which profile pictures would be best to put up to get them the man they want.
As I watch these women, I am reminded that I’ve been feeling a bit more like myself lately. I’ve been getting back to focusing on what I actually want, instead of dwelling on what I think I should have at this point in my life. It’s been a rough couple of months, the worst I’ve experienced in a long time, but I’m emerging stronger. I see these women; their persistence, their lust for moving on, and I remind myself that there is always a solution.
I definitely don’t have all the things I want right now, but what I am developing through some daily meditation and creativity exercises (Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” has been a godsend) is a deeper understanding that this is all a journey, and that each day I am graced with countless blessings to be thankful for. Moreover, I find myself spending less time worrying about the fact that I don’t actually know exactly what I want, and more time putting vibes out into the universe to attract what I know will make me happy.* I’m the most proud of myself for not giving up and throwing in the towel when issues in and out of my control wrestle their way back into my fearful thoughts. By putting myself out there on the metaphorical dating site which is daily life, I meet myself, for what seems like the first time, over and over again. And you know what, I like me.**
*I got some really interesting visualization exercises from a life coach I spoke with at a share fair a few weeks ago. I’ll post the information, eventually.
**If you haven’t seen this Poetri video- DO YOURSELF A FAVOR.