Friday, January 12, 2007

2006: I’ve come a long way, baby

As I mentioned, I get quite philosophical in the new year, enjoying navel-gazing and contemplating the year gone. I hope you’ll indulge me while I reflect on the year just gone...

I actually feel great about 2006 – because I started off in a not-so-good place and I totally turned things around, just by putting myself out there and doing some new and different things.

At the start of the year, everything in my life felt totally blah. Friends would ask me what was new, how things were, and I could not muster up an ounce of enthusiasm. There was no one thing I could pinpoint as going really well for me. It’s not that things were so terrible – they were just nothing. Blah.

I’d written a list of things I wanted to do in 06 and speed dating and online dating were both on it as a way to kickstart my non-existent love life. It took an ex-boyfriend to actually get me to do something about it. He sent me a real rub-your-nose-in-it email (a full two weeks after I’d called him and left a happy birthday message) about how he was going snowboarding in Japan for a couple of weeks with the guys, and then later on he was spending a month travelling to Mexico and Las Vegas and Tahiti with his new girlfriend, and to have a good birthday myself and take care now. Subtext: My life is great, you suck, now fuck off and don’t talk to me ever again. (I’m quite good at reading into unspoken layers of meaning…)

I was so upset. One, because I thought we’d gotten to a point where we were friends and it hurt that he would shut me out. And two, because it reminded me that I could not be further away from what I wanted in life. He had it all going on – at the height of his career, earning great money, obviously happy in a relationship and about to go on some cool travels. Me: nothing exciting on the career front, the travel front, the man front or any other front you could care to name. I had a big cry and signed up for speed dating that minute!

So really I should thank him for inspiring me to act, ‘cause that started a whole course of events...

The highlights (and lowlights) of 2006:

  • Speed dating, online dating, blind dating. Any kind of dating, I did it. I’ve met more men this year than probably the whole last decade of my life. Seriously.

  • I was designated as ‘elite - special and rare, the crème de la crème of singledom - because at least 7 out of 10 men put a tick next to my name on their scorecards at the speed dating event I went to. Okay, it didn’t count for much in the end – the one guy I’d hoped to see again was one of the ones who said no to me (to me! Doesn’t he know I’m elite!). But it was a nice ego-boost nonetheless.

  • I discovered blogging! I spent a lot of time procrastinating at work this year and in the process I got to know people like Jason Kottke and Jason Mulgrew (very different chaps that they are) through their blogs. I got incredibly personal glimpses into lives a million miles removed from mine, like polyamorous, self-proclaimed pervert Madeline, or the almost-40-year-old virgin. And also I discovered approximately a zillion other women in my shoes – fabulous, but somehow still single. And so I jumped on the blogging bandwagon (with a few stops and starts, admittedly), and I love it. PS, note to self: would you just shut up about your goddamn libido already!

  • I have to mention though, like JT, I did bring sexy back this year. I don’t want to harp on (see note to self above), but it was an important shift for me. It introduced some badly needed fun and excitement into my life and ended the dry spell of a thousand years. So thanks Matt – damn decent of you!

  • Alas Matt, while one of the highlights of 2006, was also a definite lowlight too. He was good for fun and excitement, but not for love and commitment, which is really what I'm looking for. Of course, I know him well enough now to know that we’re a terrible, terrible match and that was never on the cards for us. But at the time I was tired and really wanting to tag out of the online dating game and have a boyfriend for a change. That Matt couldn’t have been less interested in being my boyfriend and all that implies was disappointing and hard to not take personally. Much wallowing in self-pity ensued, usually accompanied by a hot bath and The Fray (02:21 - I’m losing you and it’s effortless…). I still can’t listen to that CD now without wanting to reach for the razor blades! (By the way, I should mention that Matt and I have actually somehow ended up with a nice friendship out of all of this, so no regrets. All part of the learning process…)

  • In the wake of post-Matt disappointment I took up a new, super-cool hobby – knitting! At first I was all like “I’m so Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy, shunning all men, taking a vow of celibacy and knitting a sweater instead”. And it was a good way to fill in the time while I took a much-needed break from being online and meeting unsuitable man after unsuitable man. But actually, I discovered knitting is fun. It’s meditative and relaxing. And you end up with something at the end of it! Knitting dates with my good friend Mindy were a blast – we’d drink wine, crack open a box of Swiss chocolates and gossip and knit while Cast-On (the pre-eminent knitting podcast, for those of you not in the know) played in the background. Good times...

  • I’m also proud to say that my tales of online dating inspired my knitting mentor so much she ended up on-line herself and is now happily in a relationship with a lovely guy. Yup, that’s all due to me… And I’m not the teensiest part bitter that she went online for all of five minutes and struck the jackpot, not at all…

  • And finally, what would a wrap-up of 2006 be without mention of my serendipitous, effortlessly ideal New Year's Eve with Finlay? Talk about ending on a high note. It's a fitting illustration of the progress I've made this year, that I could go from ringing in 2006 on my parent's couch in front of the TV to welcoming 2007 with a great guy at a fun party on Waiheke Island. Yay me!

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the way 2006 went. Even though on the surface I look like I’m pretty much in the same place as at the start of the year, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m genuinely happy and content with things just as they are. Life is good, even if I am still single for the time being. I can’t wait to see what 2007 brings because it can only be bigger and better as far as I’m concerned.

Bring it on!


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