It’s been a downer of a day. I had intermittent headaches and I didn’t sleep well last night. I also really hate that Daylight Savings Time is over. I’ve never really paid attention to when it got dark, mainly because I worked for a long time (7 years) in windowless rooms, and thanks to 10-12 hour workdays, never left the office before it got dark anyway. But now that I’m unemployed, I watched it get dark this week just after 5pm – yay for the 4:53pm sunset in Los Angeles – and it bummed me out. Is this a symptom of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Just what I need – another disorder. Add it to the list!
I went to Slimmons tonight and took Richard’s class – which is always good to lift my spirits. His energy is infectious and he’s screaming and singing the whole time. It’s a great workout, too – tonight he incorporated 300 leg lifts (whew!) throughout the class, and the last 100 or so nearly wiped me out. But I made it. (For a more detailed breakdown of what Richard Simmons’ classes are like, click here.)
After getting home, I ended up on my couch, watching tonight’s episode of Glee. Generally speaking, my feelings for the show fluctuate – sometimes I think it’s pretty entertaining, and sometimes it’s over-the-top and ridiculous. Tonight’s was neither of those – it hovered somewhere between being touching and being annoying. Or perhaps it just hit a little too close to home.
The scene that most held my attention was the one between Coach Beiste (the school’s new female football coach) and Mr. Schuester (the glee club director), where Beiste admits how alone she feels:
Mr. Schuester: “You gotta put yourself out there. Try online dating…”
Coach Beiste: “I’ve never been kissed, Will. It’s the simpliest thing. A kiss. It’s the doorway to everything else, you know? Promise, hope, a future with someone. What’s that say about me? I’m 40, and I haven’t even taken those baby steps yet.”
Mr. Shuester: “What that says to me is that you are a beautiful, amazing woman who’s heart is just too big for most men to stand.”
Coach Beiste: “You really thing I’m pretty, Will?”
Mr. Schuester: “Inside and out.” He kisses her. There’s a close-up of their lips. “And now you’ve been kissed.”
I can relate to Coach Beiste. I’m nine years younger, and while I have been kissed, I haven’t been in a serious relationship, or anything that lasted longer than a few dates. I’ve had similar thoughts to Beiste’s, that range in tone from optimistic (“I guess I’m just a late bloomer!” or “It’ll happen when I’m not looking for it”) to self-loathing (“it’s pretty pathetic how inexperienced I am”). Oh yes – I’ve thought it all and more. It’s hard not to sometimes, now that I’ve left my twenties behind me, and I’ve watched friends find love, get married, have kids… while the only toothbrush on the counter in my place is mine.
This isn’t an engraved invitation to a pity party I’m throwing for myself. I know I have lots of wonderful qualities and tons to offer, and I feel lucky and thankful that I’m able to both put love out into the world and receive it in my life. But on days like today, when I’m already feeling a little blue, watching scenes like the one I transcribed above almost made me feel nauseous, especially since I think Schuester’s reaction is so irksome, and Beiste’s feelings are probably too complex to be turned around or tidied up in 30 seconds. But that’s TV. I get it. TV shows can’t be all things to all people. It’s commendable they raised the issues in the first place – it got me thinking, didn’t it?
One of the things it got me thinking about is my level of readiness to be in a relationship, and how ready I’ve been in the past. There have been long periods in my life where, in retrospect, I know I wasn’t in a good place to be dating anyone, and long periods where I was. There have also been times when I’ve been more pro-active in dipping my toes in the dating pool (or jumping all the way in), and times where I’ve thought ‘screw it.’ Right now, at this moment, I haven’t been dipping my toes anywhere. Instead, I’m really enjoying taking care of myself. I’ve spent a lifetime not caring for my health the way I should, and now I am, and this process has done wonders for my self-esteem and confidence. Sure, I have my blah days, like today, but they pass – they always do. At the end of the day, I only have myself to look at when I face the mirror, and over the past 10 months, I’ve liked more and more what I see.
To quote Coach Beiste, “What’s that say about me?” It says that I know I’m ready. I’m ready for whatever is coming my way, whether it’s finding a new job, or meeting a great guy. There are so many variables in the world that I have no control of, but this year, I’ve finally taken control of the most important thing of all: Me.
Keep it up, David!