My Stretch Year

November is my birthday month, and as I come close to turning another year older, I feel like it’s a good time to reflect on the past year.

Have you ever had a period of time in your life where you tried different things that just didn’t work out? I have and as I look back on 2017, it feels like the whole year has been that way and it’s been a real struggle for me.

Earlier this year, I was feeling extremely anxious with the thought that something needed to change in my life but I wasn’t sure what that was – was it my personal life or my job or something else? So, after 2 ½ years of being divorced, I decided to join the online dating journey, even though I had many reservations about it. I also decided to see if it meant making a change with my job. Around the same time this anxiety started, a couple of jobs in the communications field opened up in the local area and friends at those companies reached out to me. If you know me well, you know I’m a type A personality and like to be in control of things. But, I decided to try something new and take an alternative approach; I was just going to see what happened in both scenarios and live by the mantra, “Whatever is meant to be, will be.”

On the job front, I went through multiple rounds of interviews for two different jobs, but at the end of the day, neither one of the jobs panned out. Although it was somewhat disappointing, I reminded myself that maybe they weren’t the right fit for me. Honestly, I love my job and the people I work with; if I got an offer for a new job, it would have to be a great one and closer to home for me to even consider leaving my current role.

On the dating side, I joined a few different dating sites and it was definitely interesting. I was married for almost 18 years and I met my ex-husband when I was a junior in high school, so I didn’t date at all growing up and obviously, the dating world has changed a lot since that time. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into and I was extremely nervous. I may have to cover this in another post, but at a high level, I came across guys who told me all these sweet nothings from the minute we started chatting and one man who told me he loved me after a week. I also came across a few guys who were trying to scam me for money and one amazing man whose wife left him but later decided to come back and try to reconcile; he did what any loyal husband would do and exactly what I would expect him to do – he went back with his family and is trying to work things out with his wife. Needless to say, after the last guy I talked to for over a month ended up trying to scam me for money, I decided that I needed a break from the emotional toll and blow to my self-esteem that online dating was taking on me and quit all the dating sites.

When I look back over this year, I can’t say it’s been a bad year because it hasn’t really, but I can say it’s been a challenging year. I feel like many of the things I have tried haven’t really worked out, but I have to give myself credit for the fact that after each disappointment, I kept going and tried again and remained hopeful that something would work out in the end.

So, instead of looking at the year in a negative light, I’m calling this past year my “stretch year”. I may not have materially accomplished a lot over the year, but I have done a lot of growing. Every experience we have teaches us a lesson in life and I have to keep remembering that.

In the midst of all of these lessons, I still managed to get my Zumba certification, start a blog, complete a large extra project at work on top of my day job and keep my kids thriving (for the most part). So, all is not lost. The job search helped me to use my interview skills again and network with some new people and the online dating journey gave me some great stories to tell and I did meet one great guy out of it, even if he may be unavailable. At least I have a better idea of what I want and don’t want and during all of it, I am very aware that I put my whole self out there and didn’t try to play any games or be something I’m not.

So, at the end of the day, I guess you can still call that progress, right?


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