A Return To Love
By Traci Hines
Here we are again. It is February, the month of love. To some this is the ultimate month of celebration, to others, this is the month of missing out. Loss. This year I find myself single. The day after Christmas the stores were lined floor to ceiling with red and pink hearts. Thanks for the reminder… it’s single awareness day. I could feel myself go down that old familiar path of feeling left out… again… on such an important day. Consumerism or not, we all want to feel worthy of a day of declaration of our loveliness… with chocolate, flowers, and love.
This year is different. I have now become aware of the difference between feeling “lonely” and “alone”. Lonely, feels… well lonely. It feels sad; it feels needy, worried and weak. Being alone feels strong, happy or at least happier, capable, by oneself as if by choice. Last year I was lonely, even in a relationship. This year, I am single and alone, but happy, confident, knowing that I am enough in this moment. I know this is a change for me because I can be happy for all of those couples and their Valentine swag. I also know that a big love is coming to me in the right time. And I don’t have to wait for a man to walk in to feel loved.
What changed? Besides my relationship status, residence, and job? I started to value myself. I started to take care of myself the way I wanted to be taken care of. As my daughter said last year, “date your own damn sexy self”. I decided that is exactly what I would do.
Here’s what dating you looks like…
I immediately bought myself flowers. I love flowers and would rarely buy them, and usually when I did, it was for someone else. I decided that it was time to bring some beauty into my life one bouquet at a time. And so I did. I started to notice that I was buying flowers for myself and others… add some beauty to their lives. I am not sure why I can justify buying a cup of coffee everyday and yet flowers seem like such a splurge. I took the plunge, coffee and flowers. Such a rebel. I highly recommend buying flowers for yourself weekly. Start the trend.
OK, flowers… check. Now onto going out. So next I decided that since I love San Francisco I wanted to go right away. I didn’t necessarily want to go by myself. So I made it a meetup. I took eight lovely ladies from Sacramento and met up with another 8 ladies in San Francisco. We went on an urban hike. We walked over the Golden Gate Bridge, walked to Sausalito and then took the Ferry back. We had an amazing lunch, great conversation, great pictures and lots of connections that have lasted. Can you have a more beautiful backdrop than San Francisco? And, bonus, we had the most perfect weather. I felt love, which was the goal. I felt connected, and like I had been on an amazing day date, and bonus an idea to for a date to take my new love.
OK, flowers… check… day adventure… check. Now it is time for nightlife. I decided that since my San Francisco meet up was so successful, I would create another meet up and go out at night. No more waiting. We went happy hour crawling… midtown style. We had a great time on the grid, making our way to different spots ordering happy hour food. I was able to dress up, get the full makeup going, the high heels, and the nighttime lipstick. We laughed and had so much fun playing musical bars. We ended up at a nightclub and danced for three hours straight. I went home, happy, content, and dare I say, not lonely, even if alone.
All good so far… now for that more intimate experience. I went to NYC to spend time with two of my daughters. One night I was feeling a little restless and feeling that “I am alone” creeping in. I asked my oldest to go outside with me to look at the snow. It had been snowing earlier, and since snow isn’t common in Sacramento, she indulged me and we went outside… dare I say it was two in the morning. What was a quick peek at snow turned into a Winter Wonderland experience. We walked and talked for hours in the snow. It was beautiful and magical snow, you know, the one that lightly falls from the sky. The sky was lit up from the reflection and everything was being covered gently in the most amazing white blanket. We soaked up the magic. Talked about our dreams and fears. We talked about the future, the past, and how good life was. In that moment I had the truest connection with my daughter. It was a moment I will never forget. I am not lonely. I’m loving and loved. Life is good. Life is for me.
So, if you find yourself going back and forth from feeling alone to feeling lonely, whether in a relationship or single… please… Date your own damn sexy self. Get the love moving back in your life, create it, dream it and share it… because you can. Return to love – your love. Life is good. Life is for you.