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Dating Yourself and Solo Long-Term Projects
by Arynetta Floyzelle
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March 5, 2019

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8 Minute Read

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Dating Yourself and Solo Long-Term Projects

How a solo long-term project helped BlackLove.com Senior Editor Arynetta Floyzelle get to know herself, provided a career breakthrough, and landed her in a foreign country.

Courtesy of Arynetta Floyzelle

In this commitment to dating myself, I have won some and I have lost some. And, honestly, it has been a little more difficult than I originally thought. The main difficulty, and most exciting learning experience, has been the push and pull of what once worked for me, in terms of providing fulfillment as well as entertainment, and what does now. And, a big hint, in the past, I never really needed to be as fulfilled as I was entertained.

This has led me to some unconventional approaches to finding fulfillment, and as it happens, searching for a newbie, reminded me of an oldie but goodie:

The Long-Term Solo Project

If you really want to learn a bit about yourself, what you are made of, and feel an extreme amount of success and accomplishment, I would recommend that you embark on a long-term solo project. This can be physical – like running a half or full marathon or competing in a fitness competition. The time spent pushing the body beyond your perceived physical limits is an eye-opening master’s program in self love – with the body transformation serving as a bonus.  

Courtesy of Nappy.co

You could go on a long trip by yourself, or move to a foreign country, as I did when I got my master’s in London. Pursuing the goal of obtaining a Master’s in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media, while learning the ends and outs of a new culture, was also an education in learning about myself – how open-minded was I? How willing was I to love myself in situations where I had no idea what I was doing? Did I enjoy my own company? What was important to me? These were all questions, and many others, that I was forced to ask myself while living abroad. But, unbeknownst to me, something happened nearly a decade earlier that put me on the road to London. I embarked on my first Solo Long-Term Project: I decided to purchase a fixer-upper condo and to renovate.

The first creative project that I ever entered into on my own was to renovate my first condominium. I was 25 and fueled by Starbucks, audiobooks (great backdrops for menial physical activity and long drives), and dreams of HGTV glory.  

There was only one problem: I had no idea what I was doing.  

There was only one problem: I had no idea what I was doing.

It took twice as long and cost twice as much as I thought it would, and much of the time I was living without flooring or countertops. Literally, I was sleeping on a blow-up mattress on top of concrete subflooring. Ultimately, boy was it fun! To bring an idea I had to full fruition was so rewarding. But, on the way to “ultimately”, I often found myself in tears about how low I was on the learning curve.

About halfway through, I was crying to a friend about yet another mistake that I had made (it had something to do with toilets, plumbing, and flooding the super sweet and understanding neighbor below me). My friend said, “Sounds like the Money Pit.” “The what?” I asked. “The Money Pit. You know, the 80s Tom Hanks and Shelley Long movie about that couple who decides to renovate an old house and all hell breaks loose.”  

I immediately went to Blockbusters and rented the DVD – and proceeded to laugh my ass off for the next two hours. I was living in a modern-day Money Pit. But then, the most interesting thing happened, I sat at my computer and begin to write about my personal experience renovating.  

Up until then, I had wanted to be a writer. I journaled fairly regularly. I had even had fits of starts and stops on ideas I had, both fictional and non-fictional. But this time, I was inspired enough to see the project through.

But this time, I was inspired enough to see the project through.

I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no idea how to format a script, I just printed one out and copied the formatting to the best of my ability. The most important thing to me was that I get the story out. I wanted this story to be told.

Courtesy of Pexels.com

That became my first script, Shaky Foundations, and that script got me into my first screenwriting fellowship, in many ways launched my writing career, and provided the groundwork for my move to London many moons later.    

Because of that script, the education from that first fellowship program, and subsequent writing projects – when I wanted to live in London (a move inspired by instinct and heart, more than a desire to get my education there), I was able to also indulge in my passion for writing by getting accepted to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Master’s program.  

Long-term creative projects, especially those with deadlines, force you to choose yourself.  In times where you may want to veg out in front of the television, or have drinks with the girls, or tend to someone else’s needs, you are forced to choose between that or finishing the project that your inner guidance led you to. You are forced to prioritize you.

You are forced to prioritize you.

These projects are also a lesson in perseverance and stick-to-itiveness. I had no idea how to renovate a house or write a script, I had to learn as I went, and stay dedicated to the ending in mind. But, once I got there, wow was it rewarding.

So now, as I date myself, I look to the past to enhance my future. What will today’s long term solo project be? I haven’t decided yet. But whatever it is, if the past gives any clues, it will be fun, challenging, educational, and rewarding beyond my current ability to imagine.  

And that sounds like an awesome date.    

Click Below for Additional Articles in HOW TO DATE YOURSELF:

How to Date Yourself

The 3 Simple (but Necessary) Rules to Dating Yourself

How to Date Yourself: 4 Beginner’s Rules to Vacationing Alone

The 1 Essential Rule to Dating Yourself

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