Since sharing that I was trying to find myself, I decided to get a little more in tune with myself. I decided to treat myself like the guy who has been granted that fourth date.
The first date is awkward, the second a little less so. But you still aren’t sure about this person. On date three you start to get a good feel for whether you will be compatible, and by the fourth, you’ve relaxed a bit. On date four you start paying attention to things you were too nervous to pay attention to on previous dates. Personally, if you can get past date four, you might be a keeper or a good friend – but still a keeper of sorts.
In order to become more in tune, I decided to pick one area to really pay attention to in my life. I stopped using social media as much as I normally do to make time for myself. I am so active on social media that a friend sent me a message saying, “You’ve not posted for 7 hours, are you ok?” In the time I took for me, I baked cookies, watched Netflix, watched a ton of webinars, wrote, listened to both podcasts and music, and noted what made me feel good.
On a particularly painful day, I took pain meds (which I rarely take) to attend a seminar on growing your online influence. What did I learn on date four? I learned that I love learning and I love teaching. Of all the things I did, the podcasts, webinars, and the seminar I propped myself up for made me feel as if I was bringing and gaining value.
As I began courting myself, I realized the value of the knowledge that I possess. More importantly, I realize the joy I get from both learning and teaching. Going to this most recent seminar taught me that this is something I want to do long-term. Plus, it is something that I can do from home. Although working from home is something I’ve done for over a year now, my passion for online ventures began in 2008 when I started a fashion blog.
When I look back, I realize that I may not have given online ventures my all because I am just unsure of who I am. I didn’t want to fully commit to something that was going to be fleeting. But the more time I spend getting to know the new me, I realize that this is not “new” at all. An ex of mine used to say that if I was interested in something, I could wake up and know very little about it, but become an expert about it by the evening. So learning has always been a love, and once you learn something you simply must share it – otherwise, what good is that knowledge?
Although I have found new things in my life, I have found my anchor and it is teaching. It makes me laugh to realize that moving to the other side of the world has taught me that teaching is something that I am good at and that I enjoy it. (Especially since many have said to me in the past that I would make a great teacher.) I would tease and say, “All I can teach people is how to get away from me.”
I have learned how valuable what I know is by networking. I started a business brunch here and it was fun, but I stopped after my last hospital stay. I’m realizing the joy I find in sharing, and this has motivated me to start hosting those brunches again. I am still figuring out a lot in my life, but I am optimistic that things will present themselves in due time. I needed something to feel like I was useful. Now I am learning that I will find love in a new career. I had a great time helping people find new homes. Now I will find my joy in helping people grow new businesses. I’m excited about my future despite lupus.
I am looking forward to date number five. I’ll keep you posted, but I have a feeling this one’s a keeper.
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.