Living Single Part 2: Seeking Solace in Solitude

Living Single is a 4-part series outlining my encounters and revelations as a newly-single, aspiring Renaissance Nerd.  If you missed the first post, check it out by clicking here.

Single Living is a dark, scary place.

For extroverts, solitude can be terrifying.  We are a needy bunch, often relying on the company and approval of others for personal fulfillment (ask me how I know).  Alternatively, introverts may savor alone-time, but fail to utilize the opportunity for reflection and self-improvement, often finding themselves squandering months or years of their lives in a lateral pattern.

A common intersection between both personality types is our collective struggle to take advantage of isolation as an opportunity for reflection and enhancement. The path to loving oneself requires utilization of this valuable time to identify personal flaws, set life goals, and address general areas of personal development that are essential to being comfortable in your own skin.  Six months ago:

I hated being alone.  

I hated being newly single in my early 30’s.

Most of my closest friends were chugging along on Breeder Boulevard (Breeder: my pejorative term for those choosing to live the “normal” life and settling down, getting married, and procreating), and I no longer had the luxury of leaning on others to fill every free moment of my time. I had reached a fork in my road, and was faced with the decision to simply skim along life’s waters, or to carve an entirely new path, exploiting my free time to focus on cultivating my inner Renaissance Nerd.  

Below are five essential principles that I have discovered during my “alone-time”:

  1. Work Your Ass Off

My apologies Tim Ferriss, but the 4-Hour Workweek just isn’t for me (quite yet…).  Working your ass off provides a plethora of benefits to goal-oriented singles. Focusing on your work not only fills time in your day, but has the added benefit of career enhancement, sense of accomplishment, and MAKING MONEY, which is an essential factor to a successful life.  The key to managing this goal is that you work hard while maintaining a healthy work/life balance during your journey.  Additionally, making money is KEY, but keep it in perspective and don’t let the Green own you…. Remember that whole thing about stuffing a camel through the eye of a needle? (that was a Bible reference heathens…)

  1. Stop Being a Fatso
sp

Typical Wal~Mart

Holy f*ck.  Body Shaming Alert. Someone call the PC Police.

Listen – I’m a big dude.  

I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life.  If you are able to live a happy life with a spare tire around your midsection, more power to you.  However, if most of us are honest with ourselves, losing weight must be among our highest priorities in seeking positive physical and mental health.  We are a culture of fatsos, sheltered by social media warriors and political correctness.  Hit the brakes, remove the Twinkie from your gullet, and start working on a plan to address the elephant in the room. Being in shape feels good, looks good, and is more attractive to the opposite sex.  Oh, and as a bonus, you will actually live longer!

  1. Dump The Drinks

Here’s a factoid:  alcohol (in volume) is a DEPRESSANT… as in, it DEPRESSES you.  

Sure, it feels good to drink away your sorrows, opens up your vibrant personality, etc… But overall, it is unhealthy and contains all kinds of calories that you do not need right now while focusing on your physical and mental health.  

Looking for a compromise?  

Contain your drinking to once per week, typically Friday or Saturday night.  Try it out.  You can do it.  I’m willing to bet that after a few months, you will thank me for the pointer.  Freeing yourself from booze is rewarding, and will help you to focus on accomplishing your goals on a much more rapid trajectory.  I promise.

  1. Stop Giving a Shit What People Think

This concept is more challenging for some than others.  For me, this step (more like “leap”) was huge factor in my personal growth.  Just. Be. You.  

To aid with this exercise, pick up a copy of “Code of the Extraordinary Mind” by Vishen Lakhiani.  In this New York Times Bestseller, the author discusses “Brules” (Bullshit Rules) of life, and how to free oneself from falling into a pattern of complacency and conforming to the norm.  

There is only one “you”, and nobody knows “you” better than YOU.  Stop being a vanilla pile of mush.

Just. Be. You. 

  1. Stop Playing in the Dark

6 months in to this exercise and I have learned to love and cherish “alone-time”.

There will be lows.  There will be highs.

But… Stay the course, you’ve got this!

Work on a strategy that utilizes your moments of solitude for reflection and personal advancement, and implement the strategy to improve your life.  You do not (I repeat DO NOT) need anyone else in your life to “complete you”.  Only when you are capable of total fulfillment on your own should you consider bringing someone else into your crazy life. Chill out on dating and focus on you.

fun

F*ck.  Yes.

Our time here is short.  Stop playing (with yourself) in the dark.  There is a giant world around you waiting to be conquered.  Soak up some books.  Listen to music which inspires you.  Step out of your comfort zone and try new and exciting things. Live out the life of a “Renaissance” man/woman.  

Continuously set new goals and chase them CONSTANTLY.

Once you find the light, others will find you…

When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light

Next in our 4 part series of Living Single – Getting Your Shit Straight.  

Stay tuned!

 

Cheers,

Rick

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Living Single Part I – Swiping for Love In All The Wrong Places

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

-Whitney Houston – Songstress/ Former Cocaine User

*Did I really just start my first blog post ever by citing a Whitney Houston song? Ugh.  Whatever.  Michael Masser and Linda Creed wrote it… You get the point… Thanks Wikipedia….


Living Single?  Me too. 

This year commenced with my personal life rapidly spiraling out of control.  After 5 years of marriage, my relationship was crumbling, divorce was impending, and I found myself trying understand how I had reached this point while simultaneously attempting to grasp the idiosyncrasies of single life in a very different world.

Dating? Terrifying. Tinder, Match, POF, Bumble, OKCupid, eHarmony, DateACougar…..

What. The. Hell.

Having found myself unexpectedly single in my early 30’s, I was clueless to this new world of web-based dating services that my single friends were raving about.  Dating sites have taken over the web.  According to Pew Research, use of online dating sites or mobile apps by young adults has TRIPLED since 2013.

So why “swipe” to find love?

Simple – I didn’t love myself.  Actually, I didn’t really even like myself… and there are many of you living every day in the same state of mind.  Whether you are a seasoned, professional dater, or have found yourself newly single like yours truly, our culture has gravitated towards a mind frame that relies on EVERYTHING/EVERYONE but ourselves for happiness and contentment.  In this 4-part series, I will be discussing the methods that I have used to find personal prosperity, and how I plan on using these newly unlocked achievements to re-enter the dating scene with a whole new perspective.

Put down the mobile device, and step AWAY from Tinder….

Step 1: Delete the dating apps.  Seriously.  Hold your finger on the app until it wobbles, and then push the “x” button.  I know that window shopping and empty flings are fun, and that acquiring “matches” are great for the ego, but we have work to do, and dating apps are taking up precious time that we will need to focus on energizing our own mind and soul.  Don’t worry, they will still be in the app store when you are ready.

Step 2: Seeking Solace in Solitude.  Learn to live happy completely alone.  Find time for personal reflection, identifying personal flaws, focusing on health/fitness, setting new goals, and stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things.

Step 3: Getting Your Shit Straight: Time to man-up and become an adult. When we reach this step, we will work on organizing and implementing the goals that we have set during our “alone time” to establish accountability. Some of these measures will include mapping out our goals, making a budget, keeping a schedule/calendar, and working on our career.  Organization and success result in happiness (and chicks dig dudes that have their shit together).

Step 4: Showtime! Once life is in order and we have discovered a new control and cognizance of ourselves, it’s finally time to test the waters and reemerge into the dating scene.  *Please note, this very important step can pop up unexpectedly and time is of the essence, so it’s time to get to work!

I am living out this 4-step plan as I scribble out this first post (lurking somewhere between getting my shit straight and showtime….).  I can happily report so far that I have reached an almost euphoric state of happiness for the first time in 32 years. Stop relationship-hopping and searching for happiness and love in all the wrong places, because

Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all.

Cheers.

Sources:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/29/5-facts-about-online-dating/