Last week I met a man I found intriguing online and subsequently felt a lot of chemistry with in person. It was probably one of the longest first dates I've had, and there seemed to be mutual interest, but... it hasn't progressed to date two. With my new mindset at work, I am chalking it up to "he's just not that into you," and letting it go after having made one attempt to schedule a get together. The rub could be anything (and of course he doesn't know me well enough for me to take it personally) but of course I can't help but wonder what happened.
There were a bunch of differences, but nothing insurmountable, and my mind did wander to think that he could have even thought I'd find some things to be troublesome when they didn't matter to me. (And yes, I know I am putting more thought/weight on this than he likely did. Just indulge me.) One was the difference in our backgrounds. He's pretty much had working-class jobs all his life while I've done the corporate thing. Maybe he thought that would cause problems in the long run -- different expectations, different lifestyles, who knows.
I'll admit that stuff like that used to mean something to me, but not so much now. He's smart, funny, interesting -- his job title means nothing to me. Rather, I was impressed that he does something that matters to people and contributes to society being able to function in an orderly way. In fact, his work sounds pretty cool.
Anyway, this got me thinking: for the past year, I haven't had a title. Except for Being Me. In a part of the world where so many people put so much importance on others' professions, I have none. Well, yeah, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I tell people I'm a writer or a communications strategist when I have to own up to a job. And of course I have the volunteer stuff. But bottom line, I've spent the last year being me. Really being me.
It feels pretty good, actually. The closer I get to the Authentic Me, the happier I am when all's accounted for. Crap stuff comes, and I can be at peace with the way I handle it, because I know myself and what works for me. I'm reminded of the closing words of Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise: "I know myself, but that is all."
I may not be completely there, but I'm always getting closer, and that's just fine.