I used to be so angry. I used to be so angry when things didn’t work out with a guy. And things didn’t work out with guys a lot.
During the year of The Love Project I met a cool guy, David, with whom I went on a few dates. He used to cancel on our dates a lot due to work commitments and I resented that. I resented it so much that I became hysterical (and not in the ’haha’ way), obnoxious, annoying and everything in between, not missing an opportunity to tell him I wasn’t happy about it. Until one day when I stopped hearing back from him. He went completely radio silence on me, despite a few desperate attempts, from threats to jokes, to reconnect.
He never responded.
But why was I expecting a reply? I had to learn how to deal with situations that upset me without looking for closure, without knocking at people’s doors and asking for my feelings back. I had to learn how to let whatever was going on inside wash over me without getting attached to my own emotions, to fully accept that rejection wasn’t an affront directed at me and that every failed romance was just another lesson I was meant to learn. I was the main character of my own play and I got to decide where that plot twist was leading to. Or in the words of Amy Purdy, the world famous snowboarder and motivational speaker who lost both her legs due to illness at the age of 19, ‘If I was the author of my life’s book, what would I want to happen next?’
A good story relies on great characters. And if I wanted to change my story, my character also had to change. What if I could decide what kind of person I wanted to be? What if I really had that kind of power? What would I do with it?
Puffy eyed, I sat down on the bed in my small room, where everything I owned in this world fitted in like in a giant Jenga game, and picked up a piece of paper, on which, as if in a trance, I started to sketch the portrait of the woman I wanted to be:
‘I want to be confident and comfortable in my own skin, I want to feel strong and self-assured, I want to be able to stand up for myself, I want to be self-sufficient and whole, I don’t want to be the woman who needs a man anymore, I want to be the woman who a man needs!’
I highlighted the important things in red pen and pinned the paper with blutac on my on-the-verge-of-falling-apart cheap Ikea wardrobe. Then I took another piece of paper and thought about what kind of man I wanted the above version of me to attract. And then I wrote this down.
‘I want to be with a man who respects me, who admires and supports my growth as a person. I want to be with a man who sees and brings out the best in me, a man who is kind, and gentle, and reliable, a man whose dreams are aligned with mine. I want to be with a man who loves me just as I am.’
I pinned that next to the other piece of paper which held the future version of myself and stared at the words for a little while until the letters became fuzzy and lost their literal meaning, until it was firmly written in my bones, in my skin, in my heart, and my guts, and my lungs and my eyes. Until I felt stronger. Until I felt calmer. Until I felt better.
Those two pieces of paper gingerly hanging on my wardrobe door had become my ‘brand bible’. But by themselves they weren’t enough. I also needed to get down and dirty, I needed to come up with a strategy and tactics, I needed to turn that abstract portrait into something tangible and use it to craft my communication campaign.But that’s another story.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling with your own anger and your own dating frustrations, I lovingly urge to do the same. Take a piece of paper and write your LOVE OBJECTIVES. Then stick them somewhere you can always see, for example as you brush your teeth in the morning or as you carefully apply make-up in front of the mirror. Before you know it, those magical words will become reality.
More about it in my upcoming book The Love Project. In the meantime, join the #LoveProject Challenge and start your own #LoveProject now!
And please do share your experience. I’d love to hear from you! 😉