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.
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.