"How was your summer?" A not-so-close friend asked me recently over text. I responded "it was chill and relaxing." Except autocorrect wrote "realizing" instead of relaxing. It was as if my iOS read my mind.
This summer, to be blunt, was shit. The weather was brilliant. I don't remember a summer in NYC being so un-humid, and the skies being so blue and the air smelling, well, like air, rather than garbage. Outside was beautiful nearly everyday.
Inside (me) was not so fabulous.
In the spring after less-than-pleasant date 99 I switched off my Tinder account and stopped dating. I finished two amazing improv classes, joined a new improv team, went to dance parties and felt truly happy without dating.
Then unexpectedly I met someone at a party, and, to be blunt, fell in love. This shocked me to my core. I didn't believe in butterflies anymore, and thought that anyone who falls that quickly for someone they barely know is mental. The best part of it all? The feeling was mutual. We had a romance.
Not long after, I unexpectedly broke my toe bumping into my stupid coffee table. My doctor forced me to wear a giant moon boot that made me walk off balance and forbade me to exercise. And no, having a giant cast-like thing on your leg does not mean people will give you their seat on the subway.
People around me wanted to me write about him. He was my 100, they said, and wouldn't that be a great ending to this blog? Absolutely. But I didn't want to count him as my 100. I wanted him to be my love, my partner. I wanted him to be my one. I stopped this project. I focused on this new and exciting thing in real life.
As quickly as these romances bloom, just as quickly they rot. Intensity like that can't last. The relationship must enter a new phase, the one where you trust each other fully to show your true self to the other person, the one that allows your love to grow deeper. Sadly we couldn't get there and it felt horrible. My heart broke.
I could say more but there is no point. I will say that I learned much about myself and the men I choose to date. There's a pattern and it isn't good. I was "realizing."
To lick my wounds and break that pattern this summer, I stopped dating (and against my will exercising). I hobbled out every night with old friends and new, I traveled to nearby states to swim in the ocean, in lakes, to play with babies and dogs, and eat vegetables freshly picked from a farm. I read a ton of books. I performed every Saturday night at my theater and pushed myself to go harder and bigger. I cried a lot.
By the end of August, my toe healed. I got back on the spin bike and pushed myself until the verge of puking. I ran across the Williamsburg bridge and pushed myself to feel more like myself. My heart healed too.
I am ready to go on date 100 and to see what lies on the other side of summer, on the other side of all of this.