What A Difference A Year Makes…

Friday was one of those days where I was forced to take a step back and laugh at myself. I mean, aside from the fact that I was doggedly hunting the internets for a recipe for Tuna Casserole. Army Boy informed me last week that it’s his favorite. How can I say no to that? So, the Kitchen Ninja is scouring for a recipe that sounds “just like Mom’s” without being yicky and gross (re: Cream of Mushroom soup) or too random (sweating onions and garlic on the stove beforehand? Too much work. I’m looking for the Dump and Stir type.).

Me from a Year Ago was running around in my brain this morning, going “HEY!!! LISTEN TO ME!”

(and “TUNA CASSEROLE? ARE YOU KIDDING?!)

(Me from a Year Ago freakin’ loves Caps Lock.)

As I draw closer to the one year anniversary of the day that I gave in to online dating, I look at my life and am completely dumbfounded by how much it’s changed.

I can still clearly remember the feeling of being single for almost two years. It was liberating, to be sure. I was secure in the knowledge that I could do it, that being single was not a fate worse than death and that I was truly happy in my own company. Acknowledging that fact was empowering, but I could also recognize that I was getting lonely. I was lucky to have had that time to truly know myself and what I required in a partner, and felt that I was finally complete enough to be in a healthy relationship.

My approach to dating during that time had been “eh. If it happens, it happens.” And that really truly worked for me. As the months passed, I briefly thought about how quickly time was passing, and hadn’t the faintest clue how or if I would meet that special someone. It probably wouldn’t be in my small town, where everyone was already married to their college or high school sweetheart. And probably not at work where – that’s just not the best idea. How was I going to meet someone in Singers, where everyone was married or gay?

My prospects, they were slightly less than favorable.

Let’s put it this way: The town that produced Jon and Kate and the 8? I live THERE.

I finally decided to woman up and ventured into the turbulent seas of online dating.

If I could go back and have a conversation with Me from a Year Ago, I would hug her and tell her to enjoy it, because something amazing was coming her way.

She? She would laugh her ass off at me. No Really.

If someone told YOU, that in less than a year you’d have kicked enough financial ass to be living in your own home? Skip the apartment, just get a house. You’d think that Future You was a little batty.

If someone was able to tell you that you’d go from being the Iron Chef of Easy Mac, to a Pretty Decent Cook, Akshully, you’d laugh and go back to reading your latest bodice ripper.

Furthermore, if a Future You was able to tell you that you’d get back in touch with The Boy that you had an epic crush on in middle school…who you hadn’t spoken to for 13 years? And that he was married but getting a divorce… and that you two, for all intents and purposes, where scheduled to live happily ever after? PS- You should probably stop the online dating because that? Is a waste of time!

I would have assumed that Future Me was the result of some sort of flashback from the brief phase of experimentation with marijuana FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES (Hi Mom!) in my past… and laughed about it.

I look at my life some days with disbelief, because I can’t fathom how far I’ve come in less than a year. I didn’t have any clue that I was standing on the threshold of the biggest year of my life, and am actually glad for that fact. I can’t imagine the sense of impatience I would have felt waiting for THE DAY in July when Army Boy would get back in touch.

I’d love to sit down with Me from a Year Ago and council her to hang in there- when it’s right, it’s going to be better than you imagined. I’d take away her phone and tell her to ignore texts from Lawyer Boy (the story of which I don’t think I’ve covered here…). Her instincts, that were warning her that he was too young and not interested in something serious? Totally dead on. As she would find out within a week or two.

Those instincts would also guide her right in the cases of Teacher Boy and Armstrong Guy, and that she should be proud that she finally GETS IT. She’s come so far from the days that thinking that dating arrogant jerks was a good idea. They are not a challenge, and they don’t want to be fixed. They’re just arrogant jerks. They will probably cheat on you.

Mostly, I would THANK her. For having the patience to hang in there, not settle, and recognize that things weren’t right with Jazz Guy. For being so damn optimistic and realizing what was really important was to really enjoy her own company, which she did like a pro. Taking the time to nurture her mind and body was a great idea, though she probably could have saved even more money. Those peeptoes really weren’t the best idea, and you will never wear them, dawl.

Since that meeting isn’t really possible, I’ll just give her a mental pat on the back. Despite still having questions about where to go with a career, gaining a little relationship “fluff” that I’m totally dealing with and having recently been diagnosed with migraines, I’m doing ok. I’m doing MORE than ok. I just need to stay away from the Cadbury Eggs. Because the 30-day Shred is sitting on my tv, and I WILL USE IT.

Or I’ll just take the time, leave the dishes in the sink and go for a walk with Army Boy. Because that’s a much better idea anyway.

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3 thoughts on “What A Difference A Year Makes…

  1. No good way to make Tuna Casserole, just going to have to suck it up and do it. 🙂

    Walking with Army Boy way better idea for losing Cadbury fluff than that horrible shred it video. No good ever came from Cadbury!!

    I always spend a couple of particular times of the year wondering what I would tell my younger self if we could meet. I am a little relieved to hear I’m not the only one. 🙂

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