I can’t tell you how THRILLED I am to have found your TEDx talk, and your website. You have given me so much hope. I, too, was in a long-term relationship where marriage was just out of reach. I left him four years ago (at age 42) thinking I would find a better relationship quickly and move on. But I have not found the right guy, and have barely dated, actually. I live in NYC and thought it should be easy with so many people around… but it’s not. I’m beautiful, I’m fit, I have a great job, I have lots of friends. I’ve been trying so hard to find the romantic relationship – going online, hanging out in bars, attending networking events and parties, allowing friends to set me up. For the past four years I’ve been utterly OBSESSED with finding a relationship from the minute my eyes open in the morning until the time I close them at night. I’ve wept buckets of tears, I’ve begged and pleaded with God, and I’ve gone to therapy. But it feels like the universe is wanting me to be single.
So a couple weeks ago I decided that enough is enough. I can’t control it, and I need to stop trying. My goal for 2018 is to love the hell out of myself, LET GO of the desire for a relationship, quit seeking and striving and obsessing, embrace whatever opportunities I have to make my life great, and just be myself. I’ve been looking online for support or resources to help me with this “letting go” business, but nothing has come close to filling the need until I found you. That sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I can’t wait to listen to your podcasts and read all your blogs, and get your newsletters. I’m a big Jill fan!
Thank you, and Happy New Year!
All About Me in 2018
Dear All About Me:
YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your note – and the fact that you have reached such a wonderfully self-affirming, non-sabotaging, brilliant, I-love-me-most solution to your problem. In doing so, you have made my week and trust me when I tell you, that’s saying a lot since I’ve been laid up on the sofa with a ridiculous cold and cough that will not quit. (If only Hector had been as committed as this cough…oy!)
Here’s why I am so delighted by your revelation: Because it is right on! When I left Hector and moved back to New Hope, I was prepared to be single forever. Seriously! I was not looking for pity or someone to tell me, “No way, Jill, of course you’ll find someone!” I was not only authentically prepared for any outcome when it came to love, but I was also OKAY with whatever happened. No joke. No bullshit. I really, truly was.
You see, All About Me, I decided—after spending almost one-third of my life watching everybody else have what I didn’t, feeling like my life was over, and that hope and possibility were concepts available only to other people—that there were many ways to have a happy life. That my life didn’t have to be one of convention. I didn’t have to do what everybody else did. And while it would have been nice to have had a companion, it just didn’t happen for me like that. It would also have been nice to have had an overactive metabolism and a trust fund and calves that fit easily into knee-high boots. But I didn’t get any of those things either.
Rather than lamenting over them forever (because of course, I did lament them for a bit, I am only human), I embraced every freaking second of being on my own. I stopped worrying about whether I had a man, would have a man, was supposed to have a man. Whatevs. Instead, I focused on yours truly. It was glorious. I did whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. No compromise. No noise. Nobody else’s beeswax.
I made friends in my new location. I bought cool, weird stuff that I LIKED. I put my pie hutch in my bedroom and my bed in the den and pieced together a living freelance writing and working part-time at a small boutique so I could meet people and enjoy a nice discount on my addiction (clothes). I went to bars to people watch and eat chicken wings. I joined a few online dating sites, approaching the experience as research for a story, since I’m a journalist by trade (some of which I actually will share in my forthcoming book). It was a great device for taking the pressure off, allowing me to meet and appreciate my dates’ “quirks” even if they weren’t right for me, without taking any of them—or dating—too seriously.
Because, back then, it was not the time to be serious or somber or have anxiety about results. It was a time of reclamation and rebirth, which meant leaving everything else including sadness and expectations (especially other people’s) in the rear view. That was MY time to explore. I had NO idea what would happen if, and, or when. But instead of viewing that uncertainty as an albatross, I let it be my grand adventure. And THAT, All About Me, is when I met my guy.
Yep, when I least expected him, or looked for him, or worried about where he was. Soooo cliché, I know. But hey, clichés are there for a reason.
The interesting thing is that if I had met my now wonderful husband in any one of my life’s moments of fear, desperation, worry, and angst, there’s no way I would have seen him for all he was. Or been ready for what he had to offer. I was not fully baked for him…yet. And he wasn’t for me either.
You see, we don’t always know the wisdom of the universe, until we do. It’s only when we can see that wisdom and possibility that we can truly LET GO. Let life come to us on the right terms so we can have the love and life we want—and deserve.
With all of that said, my advice to you this: Cry no more, All About Me. Your life sounds amazing! I love the way you describe it.
- Let go of tears and embrace your own good sense. Read the description you wrote about your life–I’m beautiful, I’m fit, I have a great job, I have lots of friends—over and over and over until your eyes are tired and you’re so sick of reading it, you need nausea medication for balance. Then, when the room stops spinning, pick right back up again. Write what you wrote to me on strips of paper and tape them all over your house—in the bathroom, the kitchen cabinet where you keep your coffee mugs, on top of the television. Sing it out loud while you get dressed in the morning or when you take a shower. Write a freaking song!
- Let go of focusing on other people, especially the search to find a partner. I know you know this, but I have to say it anyway; after all, I am my repetitive mother’s daughter. As importantly, keep this in mind: HEALTHY GUYS who have healthy love (YOU WANT THIS) to offer can smell desperation coming a mile away, much as you think you’re hiding it. And, there’s nothing less attractive to a HEALTHY GUY than a needy woman and more attractive TO A HEALTHY GUY than an independent woman who TRULY loves herself and her life—with or without him. This never changes – even when you’re married. So loosen the reins and see what comes your way. I’m about as subtle as an anaconda. I know.
- One last thing: Those of us strong and fabulous women who have much to offer need a strong and special guy. Your guy is out there, I believe this. But be forewarned: He’s going to be harder to find. (Case in point: I once told a guy I was dating that I’d just won an award for a story I wrote and he turned every shade of white and never called me again.) Until then, embrace and enjoy your own shine. If it’s meant to be–which will be totally up to you and your choices in the end (Hector told me that when I was leaving and it made me scratch my head and wonder if he was smoking something funny, but you know what, he was RIGHT)–you’ll find him!
Rooting for you!
Fans & Followers
Watch Jill’s TEDxWilmington Talk: The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go
Learn more about Jill Sherer Murray: www.letgoforit.com
Jill Sherer Murray is an award-winning writer and speaker who studies creativity, relationships and self-growth. She is also the founder of Let Go For It®, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping individuals let go for a better life. Jill’s TEDx talk as well as her advice column, Big Wild Love: Let Go For It® were created in service to her loyal and growing fan base, who seek support in the act and the art of letting go for the love they desire and deserve. Follow Jill @letgoforit on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.