Speed Dating and New Normals


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Speed dating- one of the things I never imagined myself doing- and yet, this weekend, I found myself sitting at a table with 30 other girls, meeting a new boy every two minutes. As awkward as it was, I had a blast.

One of my good friends is in the Jewish organization here at school and they organized a cross-campus speed dating event in honor of Valentine’s Day. For those of you that know me, this is something I would normally have giggled at, thought “that sounds fun,” and forgotten about. I certainly wouldn’t have actually done it. Not this time, though. This time, I told myself I was going to go, and I stuck to it. I didn’t find my future husband but I did meet some really nice people and broke through my shell a little bit more.

This event was just for “funsies.” It was a bunch of college kids who gathered in a big room, ate cookies, and got to know each other. For once, I wasn’t nervous about what these new faces would think about me; I wasn’t afraid to just be me. I was confident in who I was.

I keep surprising myself with the things I do. I’ve made up my mind not to hold back anymore, and so far I’ve done a good job (at least I think I have).

I think sometimes we tend to get caught in grooves. Then, those grooves become ditches and they just keep getting deeper until we get too comfortable with the way things are. That’s when we find ourselves in trouble. That’s when we lose sight of who we are. Every once in a while, I think it’s ok to redefine ourselves. I don’t mean becoming a completely different person, but doing something we “normally” wouldn’t, just to see how it goes.

I don’t know if it’s the same with everyone, but at least with my mom, she became very self-conscious after her breast surgery. There were always the worries about her scars, what people thought about her new hair, and just how people would look at her, knowing she had cancer. She had her meltdowns, but then she decided she was going to rock it. She was tired of being upset and insecure. So she made a decision that this was the “New Mommy,” and she learned how to love herself again.

The closest I can come to relating is through growing up- being a girl, being a teenager, trying to find my place in the world. I know it doesn’t come close to what my mom went through, but I saw that, if she could overcome her insecurities from something as life-altering as cancer, then I certainly could overcome any problems I was dealing with, like bad hair days. After all, that’s what ponytails are for.

Things happen in life that cause us to change. That’s what life is about. It’s all of the “new normals” that we have to adjust to that make it beautiful. Up until this point I always thought that new normals just came to us. Now, I’ve realized that we can make our own new normals when we are ready to, and they can be pretty exciting. But we have to give ourselves a chance. We have to make up our minds and stick to it.