I put on my mask to go inside the cafe and immediately feel pairs of eyes watching me. I let their stares sweep over me and I decide to sit outside instead. The weather is not yet too cold, and the multi coloured cushions on wooden stools look much cosier.
A man approaches me and I know him to be part owner of the family run business. He explains to me the different burgers they have and I choose the one with the truffle option. Would you like a side of fries with that? Oh yes. Yes please.
I’m not a huge fan of fries but his warm suggestion made me want to say yes more than no. Besides, today is less about wanting or not wanting fries, and more about getting to know my date.
I feel myself automatically reaching for my phone, out of habit. And I set it face down. After all, I need to settle down a little before the food comes. I let my eyes wander around and notice how many loving details fill the decor of the place. There are photos of the owners with guests on their window sills, ornaments from around the world, that they have brought home with them from past holidays. I make a mental note never to be afraid of mixing business with personal expression in future, if ever I start something.
As my eyes glance around, I spot her. Her appearance surprises me at first, because she’s Asian. And even though I’m Asian, I don’t constantly look at myself all the time. All around me are Caucasians. That’s probably why people tend to stare sometimes.
I look at her and she looks back at me. Her hair is up in a knot and as I put my hand up to touch my hair, her actions mirror mine. I smile and she smiles back at me.
Today, my date is me. And I’ve brought myself out on a nice date to get to know me. In a casual, non-pressurising manner. This girl and I have had alot of beef with each other lately, but we’ve also had to go through quite a bit over the last year. And today is a chill, relaxing day to be together.
I ask my date, how are you? Just as i would with any other date. And I let my thoughts run free……..
What do you enjoy doing recently?
What do you fear?
What are you proud of?
Who in your life matters to you?
What makes you happy?
I speak frankly with myself. Without judgment, without pressure. And I talk to myself as I would with a stranger. With the same amount of kindess. I give myself the same benefit of the doubt. Even when it clearly shows I don’t yet have my life all sorted.
As usual, I start to fidget about a little. And I get distracted. I start to write, and realized my writing wasn’t genuine and just a way to distract myself from actually being with myself. So I stop.
Keep it simple Jane…..
So I start eating, and I just simply enjoyed every bite. Every bite was to savour whatever was in my mouth. I didn’t rush through the meal, I tasted every component of my truffle beef sandwich.
All the while, I’m talking to myself. In my mind. Just letting thoughts flow. Being present in time. I finish my meal and order a tea. That tea was finished and I asked for a refill of hot water.
Before I knew it, I had spent 90 minutes with my date. And it was awesome.
It was the first time I had set a conscious decision to date myself. And I loved it. We often put ourselves in such demanding situations and we expect the most of ourselves. We critic ourselves the harshest and also give little patience to listening to our inner voices.
I’ve gone 28 years not realizing fully the beauty in me. I’m always quick to regret things I’ve done in my life and I’m extremely fast to question myself on why I made certain mistakes. I berate myself constantly for not doing things better or treating people in better ways.
But I don’t stop and admire myself enough. Even if I have before, accepted compliments from other people, I haven’t actually been comfortable giving compliments to myself. I might come across confident, and maybe I am. But I want to start celebrating parts of me more. I want to actually believe…. That I’m enough
I want to assure myself, that self love doesn’t mean rejecting love from others. But it means only accepting love that is deserving of mine. Self love….is so important because I’m sick of giving my heart to the wrong people. I’m sick of opening up, only to have to pick my heart off the ground again, because someone else isn’t ready to receive it.
I want to stop this negative pattern of falling for the wrong people. And I want to identify trauma triggers. So my old wounds don’t find comfort in fresh pain again.
I’m dedicating my love to myself first, and deciding to walk away when I have to…..because this girl… That I now see. Deserves more. And she’s enough for me.