In this past year I have learned a lot. I have learned a lot about myself and what all I am capable of. However, I learned the most about dating in the 21st Century, and BOY was it a different ball game than I had remembered! We’ve faced several variations of the dating ritual. Some come with arranged marriages for the sake of the family and social standing. Black and white tv taught us that married couples slept in twin beds and children just seemed to magically appear…ha! The days of Doris Day taught us that you could be beautiful, funny, innocent and a total hot mess and Prince Charming would fall in love with us despite the grief that got them there to begin with. Disney showed us that no matter the evil family members or the curses we were forced to face, Prince Charming would come to the rescue even if he knew us or not. Teen romantic comedies gave the awkward misfits hope of being the princess in the end. Glittering vampires showed us the strength of love, and whips and chains led to the most realistic love story that stayed a piece of fiction.
You’re told that you’re beautiful and can accomplish anything because everyone loves you as we grow up from little girls into young women. Then you go to high school and find out….um, not so much. In the beginning there were flowers, door opening, and whooing around every corner. Now your phone is spammed with naked pictures, you see if you’re compatible in bed before you think of starting a relationship, and the internet and apps are the number one decider in your fate. You now take personality tests that people can lie on and you still get stuck with a psychopath. You answer questions to see who matches you best based on common answers. You swipe right or left based on looks promoting the adult version of high school. Awesome. Cause THAT went so well the first time…. Sadly there’s even more out there and yet you’re still doing all the chasing and no one comes to you out of free will or without an agenda up front. In fact, there’s as many ways to get connected as there are people telling you that you should get out there and then some! Sure the anonymousness of the World Wide Web gives us a little more security then having to walk up to a random stranger old school style. But how was modern technology going to make getting through what once again feels like adult high school easier?...
I wanted to be married once, with little ones running around, and living happily ever after. Then life and reality took control and all three were wiped from the slate forever. So what now? Was this all I had to look forward to? Being stuck in the adult version of high school?! PLEASE say it isn’t SO! Then I realized something. No matter how hard I tried I will always be a people pleaser. It’s in bedded in my very being, which is why I have unsuccessfully been able to keep myself without sacrificing in order to make someone else happy. So let’s look at this giant adult playground with some perspective….
Sometimes when we’re ingrained with such old habits, whether good or bad, evolution comes along to force you to change your ways or sink in the ever growing quicksand. Maybe it’s time to play by new rules and end up on top no matter what. Maybe it’s time I stop running around pleasing everyone but myself. Maybe it’s time to stop chasing a dream that wasn’t meant to be mine in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with spoiling children even if you can’t have them yourself. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your current freedom where you learn to love yourself first making you able to have the fairy tale story that’s so amazing people can’t put it into words. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy life without playing the statistic game of match making. And maybe it’s dating in the 21st century that forced this hopeless romantic to do what she should have done a long time ago. You can swipe right or left. You can take all the quizzes you want in order to find your best match. Or you can step out of your comfort zone and simply live for yourself for a bit. Which are you willing to try?...
One of the most awaking experiences to be had on the trip was doing yoga on various platforms in the middle of the Belize jungle and on the coast.
Step One: Close your eyes, relax, clear your mind, and look for inner peace….Alright. I can do this. Eyes are closed, listening to the water around me, and starting to feel some calm and relaxation….Oh, you know what? I really need to make sure I have everyone videotaped before I go. Do I have enough pictures and film to catch all of this awesomeness? I wonder if everyone’s pictures and videos will fit on my computer. It should. There’s really nothing on it. Technically I have some extra SD cards if needed. OH! I so have to take pictures of flowers for Nana. She’ll have my hide if I don’t! Did I get gifts for everyone? Is someone missing? Ugh. I like school but it has been a really nice break. I don’t understand why that one teacher seems to hate me. I’m impressed that I’ve gotten to eat so much here without it being too spicy for me. Maybe I should…
“Time’s UP!” says Sue.
WHAT?! SERIOUSLY?! Okay. Meditation….not my strong suite.
Step Two: Let your body lead the way to find it’s inner Zen…..I look over at Stretchy Suzanne. Does this woman have no bones in her body? She’s lucky she’s super amazingly nice or I would be forced to hate her right now. Hhhhmmm…
Body: Oh HELL NO!
Me: Come on, we can do it!
Body: Are you trying to kill me before we’re 40?
Me: We should at least try.
Body: We will both pay later if you do.
Super Sue to the rescue with an alternative as usual. See, yoga’s not bad at all. You just have to know your limits and gradually break them.
Step Three: Use equipment to assist you further…If I don’t hog tie myself with this dang strap it will be a freaking miracle! And blocks are my friend. (The towels try to escape with the wind, but we’re too quick for them.) Although it would be entertaining to watch Brad jump in the water to retrieve a block fleeing for its life, we will have to save that for another day.
Step Four: Try to relax and not pray if time can go any faster…. “OMG! Will this NEVER END!” Just like anything, yoga is a personal journey. Try not to get discouraged like I catch myself doing. Take a deep breath and enjoy your surroundings. You will get there, Grasshopper. I promise.
Step Five: Bringing it to a close….Eyes closed, deep breathing, letting your body scream “ABOUT TIME!” as it relaxes because you know you are done. My mind still wonders, but less. I’m proud of myself because I am one step closer to becoming Zen. We’ve experienced all kinds of yoga here in Belize. Who knew? I have to say the partner yoga was the most entertaining. Well, minus massaging a complete stranger amongst nothing but couples, but poor Brad was a good sport. And when I looked around and everyone was kissing their loved ones, I just couldn’t help but be ornery. “I’m not kissing you” I told Brad, as we burst into laughter over that awkward moment.
Yes, yoga is a personal journey. If you rush it, you won’t enjoy its full benefits. If you move forward slowly and gently rather than forcing it, a whole new world of relaxation and flexibility awaits. It’s hard, I know. I still struggle with my inner self. Finding the right instructor is the key. They know the perfect balance between a gentle nudge and acceptance of your limits. Walk your journey together. And as an added bonus, meditation can be considered the perfect adult version of childhood naptime! It’s all about perspective….
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!