Almost four months, to be exact.
A lot of you have asked me where I’ve been. Why I haven’t been writing. Why I haven’t been posting on social media as much.
The truth is…I needed a little sabbatical. A short season away from the written word. Away from being “The Single Woman.” Away from pithy, 140-character soundbites.
I needed to just be Mandy for a little bit. Actually, I needed to figure out who Mandy was first and then learn to just be her for a little bit. Be OKAY with just being her for a little bit.
I’ve felt a little lost for much of the past year. Well, if I’m being REALLY honest, I’ve felt a little lost for about two and a half years now. For those of you who have read my book Beautiful Uncertainty, you know that two and a half years ago, a guy I had loved for more than seven years broke my heart in a great, big, gigantic way. Everything I’ve been through since that day can all be traced back to that moment. The struggles. The sadness. The seasons of anxiety and uncertainty and depression. It all started there, sitting across the couch from someone who brought my worst fears about myself to life in just a few short sentences:
I don’t love you. I don’t want to be with you. And by the way…I’m no longer even attracted to you.
Ouch. Talk about a triple whammy.
After that, I took a complete dating hiatus for two years.
And as many of you know, I re-entered the dating scene back in September using the dating app Bumble.
And my life changed again. In so many great, big, gigantic ways.
I opened my heart for the first time in two years. Went out on dates for the first time in two years. I made new friends, had new adventures, put myself out there again, stepped completely outside my comfort zone, found the courage to take chances on myself and on love and on other people…
Because of Bumble, whether directly or indirectly, I have at least five to six new friends in my life I would have never known otherwise. One of whom is my neighbor who I briefly dated. I received an apology from my long-suffering ex I never thought I would get. I have an idea for a new book. I’ve been through an entire life transformation that I plan to tell you all about in the coming weeks. And though it hasn’t always been pretty at times, I’ve started to figure out, perhaps for the first time in 38 years, who I really am.
And you know what? I kinda like her.
As with all things, sometimes you need a little break from online dating…so while I took a short hiatus from Bumble over the holidays, I decided a few weeks ago it was time to get back on and continue my journey. I am well-aware that this journey may not end with me finding love.
But that’s okay. Because it’s helping me find MYSELF…and that is perhaps the greatest gift of all.
So here we go again, guys. I’m bravely re-entering the world of online dating and once again bringing you guys along with me for the ride. I know a lot of you signed up for Bumble a few months ago when I first joined and I’ve so loved hearing your stories. A few of you have even found your “person” on there and that has brought me so much joy knowing that I played a very small part in your love story. In fact, if you’re on Bumble and have a story to share, I’d love it if you left it in the comments below.
I can’t wait to tell you more about where I’ve been. I can’t wait to see where I’m going. I’m open to whoever and whatever comes along.
It’s time for a new chapter in the story of Mandy.
Let’s do this.