So, about that “Me-Time”…
Yep, these are gratuitous pics of me sunbathing, high above my beloved Chicagoland. Yep, that’s the Sears—screw Willis—Tower on one side, and Navy Pier on the other. And yep, re-upping my tan is the most productive thing I did today, outside of hitting the gym and writing this post…
#SorryNotSorry. Today was friggin’ great—for no particular reason whatsoever, except that it was all mine, to do with as I wished. Happy Humpday, indeed!
But believe it or not, all this luxurious free time is highlighting a very vital issue for me, as I’ve felt myself slipping back into some disturbing patterns these past few weeks. Attention must be paid.
As reluctant as I’ve been to consider my “Tinderizing” an actual search for love, I admittedly have allowed it to occupy time and space that might be better spent doing exactly that. After all, it’s left me little time for anything else except work, (not enough) sleep, and writing these posts (which is more for my therapeutic benefit than yours. Again, #SorryNotSorry).
But as I lay blissfully baking today, a stack of September issues on one side and sunscreen on the other, it was easily apparent what I’d been missing most this past month: Me. Goofy, irreverent, style-obsessed, politically vocal, occasionally abrasive, unabashedly vain, voraciously reading, sometimes lazy, beautiful, belligerent and badass Me.
Damn, I love that chick. Seriously, I’ve missed hanging with her.
That’s been the beauty of the past few years: in the absence of anyone I could consider a partner, I became my own…and frankly, I set the bar pretty damned high. Think about it: I’m always onboard to do what I want to do; I treat myself the way I would want to be treated; I keep myself in the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed; I trust myself implicitly (that one took some work); and I’m well-versed in what turns me on (TMI…but it’s true).
Note: This isn’t a “what do I need a man for?” rant. It’s more like, “What do I want a man for?” I mean…I don’t need that pair of over-the-knee Sam Edelman boots I just ordered, either—but I sure did want them. And I will very likely enjoy them. And maybe, just maybe, I could even love them…
No, this is about space. The space I have, the space I create, and the space I am willing to give. And, it’s about what—and who—is worthy of that precious space.
Now, before I continue, let me make one thing clear: I do not worship at the altar of “Busy.” That s**t is not sexy to me, nor does it make someone—especially someone I’m dating—seem more interesting. At best, it makes him sound like a bad time manager; at worst, a complete douche.
I say this because I don’t know anyone who’s NOT busy. We’re adults; it comes with the territory. Touting your “busy-ness” is tantamount to name-dropping: You’re not the only one who knows important people; you’re just the only one who insists upon talking about it incessantly.
Plus, what I know, as a woman who’s been traveling the world, juggling both a modeling and music career for almost two decades now, is that we make time for what is important to us. I may not always be where I want to be (like the first time Obama was elected, and I was on a shoot in St. Maarten—true story), but it sure as hell has never been for lack of trying. And if where I want to be is with you, I’ll never let you forget it. It’s really not that complicated.
But the funny thing about being a decades-long freelancer is this: It took me a long time to figure out that I need to take vacations—and even longer to figure out how to take them. I still struggle with it. In spite of the demands of agents and clients and unpredictable cash flow, I have to respect myself enough to create that space for myself, and make it sacred.
I now believe the same may be true of relationships. With many of my more questionable habits coming uncomfortably into focus at present, I see that I’ve had a tendency to hand over too much space in my relationships. I meet someone, we connect, and before long, I find myself fitting into his schedule, rather than respecting my own. Despite the fact that I’m generally the one most likely to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice, or be forced to cancel anticipated plans in order to pay my bills, I’ve often forced myself to “get in where I fit in” the life of the man I’m dating.
You know, because he’s “busy.”
Or…maybe he’s just not that into me. And you know what? As it turns out, I’m okay with that. Grateful for it, even. Less time spinning my wheels, and more time to recline on this rooftop, or write a song (or this post), or strategize the next move in my hustle, rather than focusing primarily on his. Hell, I can simply use this extra time to figure out how—and who—I am today. Because how can I miss you…if I never go away?
See, this is what they don’t tell you: “Me time” is the first thing to go when you’re testing the waters as a Tinderoni. Instead of focusing on yourself, you’re focused on the next presentation of yourself. And frankly, It’s not that exciting to line up future dates like showgirls when I just want more time to spend with my favorite person: Me.
More time—and distance—also makes me appreciate it more when a man (in this case, “The Bro”) is making a concerted effort to fit into MY schedule. I can’t help but smile when he texts “let me know what works for you,” instead of offering a brief rundown of his available timeslots…you know, the ones when he’s not “busy”.
In fact, the extra time and space makes me wonder if The Bro might be growing on me, after all. At least, from a distance.