Bad Dates, Lonely Nights and The Art of Tending Your Crops

The storm may have calmed, but your carry it forth in your spirit. One night, in a tussle of heightened emotions thanks to an IUD insertion, I found myself blackout drunk in my own apartment. A few scotches too many and I landed face first on the floor (I still have the scar as proof). CassElle’s lovely boyfriend hauled me off to bed as I bawled.

“No one will ever love me. I am worthless.” I can piece together only glimpses of lucidness.

Tolstoy said all was fair in love and war. I don’t think I was quite ready for that reality. Every time I dipped my toe into the dating pool, my foot was promptly scalded.

I have a nasty habit of entering into “situationships.” One or two dates later, upon finding a semblance of common ground with another person, I’m thrown into the whirlwind of physicality. Hormones are a fast acting, mind numbing drug that negates all reason. Suddenly, I’m paying for our stay-in dinners and he’s knocking on my door for a hot meal, a hot girl and a place to sleep off the day. Loneliness is a bad driver, and when dating takes the passenger seat that car is destined to crash.

Eventually I wake up and lock my doors. In a storm of frustration I’ll call the arrangement off, block his number and regain my sense of self – because in a raging situationship, self is usually lost. Shake of the dust and move forward is my motto, because in the foxhole of dating that’s all you can do.

Yet, no amount of angry girl pop songs, chocolate and declarations of independence can negate loneliness. And eventually, it becomes the driver again, stepping on the gas where one should be taking it slow. My question has become not how do I find “the one,” but rather how do I keep from giving loneliness the keys to my car? ‘Cause damn, my insurance rates are sky rocketing these days.

I have a rich history in farming. My grandparents were farmers and to this day, much of my father’s side of the family makes a living off the land. Whether it is growing flowers in a greenhouse, or tomatoes in field, there’s a careful art to growing things.

I feel like life is a little like a garden at times, with each segment of crops needing a different type of care for the best outcome. And to best take care of the field, the farmers must also take care of themselves. With regards to dating, I feel like I have been planting seeds and then promptly taking a rake to the soil before they even take root. Dating and farming is as much about stepping back and letting things take hold, as it is about tending to the plants.

So where does this leave me – the farmer in need of a field to tend? Well, I don’t just have one crop in my fields. Friendships, family, and career – all of these take up a part of my garden, and all of them require tending. While one plot takes root, I can be tending to another part of the garden, which is blossoming.

Let me throw another saying out there, “idle hands are the devil’s handiwork.” Indeed. Idle hands can leave a person with too much room to i.e. prematurely water the crops. Loneliness, in a sense, is the equivalent of idle hands (I realize this can be sexually misconstrued but let’s stay mature here). And it often propels the devil’s handiwork in the world of dating. There’s a lot of over-watering and needless tending that actually gets in the way of something healthy growing. It seems that by times, the feeling of “empty space” convinces a person to plant the wrong crop for the region in the first place. Because why not? Something there is better than nothing there, right? My question is: why waste the energy and time, when usually there are other places that need attention?

A farmer has to work the entire field, all their crops, in order to them to have a good harvest. Then, at the end of the day, they go inside, have a beer, a good meal and 8 hours of sleep. Its about more than just one segment of the garden.

I suppose this could all be summed up to balance. Yet another article, spinning another metaphor on the importance of striking a harmony between the different areas in one’s life. However, I would also like to say this: take notice of the things you have been ignoring. I don’t know about others, but I know that when I focus so intently on one thing, I tend to ignore other aspects of my existence. In the weeks I spent lamenting loneliness, I could have been calling up a friend I haven’t seen in awhile and arranging a coffee – or expanding my network and seeing some of my work pals outside the office.

There’s a big ol’ empty space in my field. There’s no going around that fact. I plant seeds, enrich the soil, water occasionally- but while I wait for something to sprout, do I sit and watch the plant-less ground, getting bored and frustrated? Or do I go pick some zucchini and weed the beans?


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