Sunday, January 18, 2015

Throwing in the Tinder Towel

Where have all the cowboys gone?

5 reasons why I am throwing in the Tinder towel for good. 

And not just Tinder, all of them - Hinge, JDate, eHarmony, Match, they all gotta go. 

Here's why:

1) My prince, if he's out there, will come to me on a white horse. 

I have no intention of suiting up in steel armor and scaling castle walls to win the heart of my sleeping prince. 

I own a well-read copy of The Rules. Some poo poo it, but I think there's a lot of wisdom in the book. It's not a long list of ways for women to play games or to trick men into liking them. Quite the opposite. The book teaches women how to create enough space for a man and a woman to get to know each other in a savory way despite our endless options for immediate-gratification-dating. It encourages women to love and value themselves and to not waste their time chasing, impressing, or trying to save a man from doing the hard work of being vulnerable and chivalrous. 

The authors took it up a notch when writing The Rules for Online Dating  which celebrates online dating. Where I stand now, I don't. I think online dating itself breaks one of the most fundamental rules - allow the man to pursue you.

The simple act of creating a dating profile says to the world "I am looking for my Prince. I am putting myself out there. I am trying." 

No. I am not trying. Not any more.

Me, I am asleep in a high tower. I don't envy my prince. I am sure there are dragons to slay, walls to scale and motes to cross. But I trust he'll figure out. And until then, I'll enjoy my beauty rest. 

2) Speaking of beauty...You Can't Judge a Date by It's Picture.

I don't need to list the myriad ways that men and women take liberties with their profiles to make themselves more appealing in the online marketplace. Anyone who's ever dated online has had a least one experience of meeting a date for the first time and being like "what the fuck?!". Mine was with a man who claimed to be 35 and who was...50!!! His hot pictures were from like 1989. "Dude, I was 9 back then, Bro.This date is done."

I don't really blame anyone for stretching the truth. In fact, sometimes I worried that my profile pictures actually look nothing like me in the flesh. My eyes are deep set. My face is a bit crooked. My weight fluctuates a few pounds on any given month. My teeth must be yellower then my spiffed up Instagram filter would lead on to. 

This is all just to say, I want to be in 3D when I meet someone. Right there, in real time, we can decide if we are hot or not.

3) When Supply is , Attention-Span is .

I've read a few profiles that said something to the effect "Ladies, I know you think you are a snowflake and should be adored for your every move, but that's not what I am all about."

Let's get clear. We're all snowflakes. 

A real man acknowledges that all individuals - men and women alike - are unique and have value. A real man looks for reasons to adore. A real man looks for ways to be all about that. 

But again, who can blame a man (or woman) for thinking that a woman is a dime a dozen? Online we are. If I don't IM in a timely matter or follow sexual ques immediately, there are a million other women on the site who might. AND they probably have a better bikini body than I do! Who am I to expect a man's sustained attention online? 

Attention is one of our most precious commodities as human beings. Paying attention is a powerful display of the ability to love. It is an act of love. If a man is too distracted by all the glittery profiles to focus in on one special being, he loses the opportunity to practice the art of attention. A man not practiced in this art will never be a good lover. 

So then I ask myself, why would I draw from a pool of men who are distracted by a million other bikinis? 

Nah, I'll just kick it, thanks.

4) Selfies Make Me Sad. 

5) I Don't Really Need Any More Screen Time. 
Updates, message, alerts. My phone is blowing up. My inbox is full of "See who's checking you out, Heather" emails. I need to create an auto filter. Gmail, please move all of these eHarmony emails into "probably won't work out anyway."

Oh man. That's pretty pessimistic. If I put that sh** on my profile, I'd be single forever!

But it is true that there are lots of alerts and lots of administrative tasks associated with dating. At the end of my workday, the last thing I want to do is spend some more time in front of my computer replying to potential lovers. The more time after work I spend "swiping right or left" the less time I have out in the real world enjoying the real things I enjoy with the people I love.

I'll be the first to admit it, it's fun to "keep playing the game" and numbing my brain with simple decision-making exercises (to the left for "No Way" to the right for "Hottie"). So much easier than making more complex decisions in my life. But I do think it comes at a cost. My soul kind of hurts after the game. And unlike other games (like Cards Against Humanity for instance!) that are played with other people, there is no laughter involved. No shared moments. No "Remember when you ______ when we were playing Cards Against Humanity? That was hilarious!"

At the end of the day, it's just not satisfying. Not joyous. A satisfied, joyous lover makes a better lover than a lover who is bored, just wasting time.

I'd like to be a good lover. So, for now - and probably forever - this chick is going offline.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

What Do You Fancy In 2015?

Every New Year I create a collage of things I hope to bring into the New Year. 

This is the spirit of what I'd like to bring in to 2015.

Let's have a closer look shall we?     


TOP LEFT...People and Places!

Parents, Besties, Cosmo Jones & Fam, Camping. I want to spend more time with the people I love. I want to do more lovely things with these lovely people I love. 

TOP RIGHT...Career! 

I want to blog a lot more this year. Also on the dream list - I want to start my own podcast and I want to interview people I find fascinating. Here I've included pictures of my podcasting heros: Ira Glass (This American Life), James Altucher (The James Altucher Show), Roman Mars (Radiotopia) and Krista Tippet (On Being) for inspiration. Maybe one day I'll interview them too!

BOTTOM LEFT...Looooove!
 Let's just say, I've done more than my fair share of online dating. 

BOTTOM RIGHT...Sexiness!

Who's afraid of a little more sexy? Not me!  


I want to continue to keep up the yoga practice, to sleep well and to eat like a champion. Maybe my 2019 New Year's Collage will have a picture of me standing on one hand!

And now, it's your turn, what elements would you include in your New Year's collage?!?!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My 20's in 20/20

I feel like I'm twenty again.

Only now I don't recover as quickly from hangovers (or french fries). 

It's the first day of the New Year and while I do my best not to buy into the anxiety of new year resolutions and the limited window of NYE opportunity, I can't help but feel I should have at least figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life before the ball dropped last night.

That sensation - the gnawing feeling that I should know what I want to do with my life - was the hallmark feeling of my 20's. I resolved every year to get my act together and to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I tried college (multiple times) and failed. I tried Army life (Lieutenant Prospect Pollock is still M.I.A). I spent a year as a stay-at-home girlfriend. I tried my hand at being a famous singer. 

The only thing I knew for sure in my 20's was that I didn't want an office job. I assumed the only way someone like me (a person with no degree and no real work experience) could avoid an office job long term was to be a waitress. And so I waitressed, and waitressed and waitressed. While my peers were graduating, getting promotions, and buying boats, I was... that's right...still waitressing. 

Finally well into my 30's, I decided it was time to throw in the proverbial towel and get a "real job".

And a real job I got (see how here).

At first I was hired to organize their stock room. 3 months later, I was hired full time with a 3-part title: Executive Assistant, Office Manager, and Project Manager.

When I read the New Hire Organization Announcement, I ran to the bathroom to cry.  They must have made a mistake. There was no way this College-Dropout-Forever-Waitressing-F*ck up could be lucky enough to be trusted with so much responsibility. I felt like a liability.

I spent my first year and a half at the company trying to prove I was worth keeping. I was the first to get to the office and the last to leave. I spent my weekends in fear, feeling that I didn't accomplish enough during the work-week. To fix the anxiety, I started to work weekends too. When that wasn't enough, I worked in the shower, when I was with friends, and while I worked out. I was absolutely consumed and my brain was crowded with a to-do list so long that I couldn't see straight.

I bet you can guess what happened. 

That's right...burnout. 

I ended up quitting my job and going on tour for a month as a Merch Girl  (see more here). The travel and time away proved to be enough to replenish my creative resources and I was able to go back to the company - this time as an Independent Contractor. I also started to take on side projects and consulting for other companies. 

I've been working in this capacity as an Independent Contractor for over a year. I report to 3 different bosses at 3 different companies. I do an assortment of things and on any given day I can be a Recruiter, an HR Developer, a Project Manager, an Accountant, a Productivity Specialist, a Supply Chain Project Manager. 

I am grateful. In my life after waitressing, I have been thrown into the deep end and given opportunities to do things I was totally unqualified to do. I have virtually earned an MBA through all I have learned. I no longer feel like a loser because I didn't finish college. I now know the value I can bring to a company and I have a much better sense of what my strengths are and where my talents really lie. As a 34 year old woman, I finally know I am not a liability. 

AND YET, I want more.

Now, I want mastery in a subject and industry of my choosing

The people I admire the most have dedicated themselves to one thing and have become masters of their respective subjects. I find them to be the most generous givers of all because they share their expertise in a highly concentrated form. My heroes - Krista Tippet (Master of spacious conversations), Jean Vanier (Master of compassion), Marva Collins (Master Teacher), James Altucher (Master of ideation), Wendell Berry (Master poet) have all worked in their respective fields for decades.

And this brings me back my 20's where I had to ask the questions: What do I want to be when I grow up? What field do I want explore? What industry do I want to enter? I'm right back there.

I don't have the answer today. Only some clues. But I guess I needed to remind myself on this New Year's Day: I may be back in the questions of my twenties, but at least now (with the great support I have in my life) I can look at these questions with 20/20 vision. The 34 year old me has mentors, extremely wise friends and family members, and the light of experience to help see me through.

I resolve to keep experimenting, to keep searching, and to keep asking for help.

Happy New Year's all!