Taking a journey as emotional and life altering as looking for love, combined with making ones efforts so very public, and topping things off with a deadline, I knew I was looking for trouble.
But instead, I found courage, I found friendship, and I found acceptance. I shared what was on my heart hoping that it would resonate with a few. But as it turns out, there were many—thousands all across the globe.
You supported me throughout this year. I never would have made it 365 days without your encouragement and prayers. I humbly thank you. I recognize there were some who wanted me to fail, who had predicted I would be unsuccessful come year's end. But I suspect that even the naysayers secretly had hope. We all long for love - and happy endings are too rare in the real world.
I've done my best this year, as best as I knew how. But I'm sure I made many mistakes along the way. Thank you for not judging me. I also learned more than I bargained for, from how to treat others, and when to trust myself, to finding peace in the midst of hurt. I also learned to laugh a lot (especially at myself), and discovered ways to create adventures, so that I could hurdle burnout and the mundane. These life lessons, and others too numerous to mention, I pray have made me and will continue to make me a better person.
This year I worked hard, and didn't mind there was some struggle involved. As someone once said, you can't get the prize without a fight. So I imagine you can't get a ring if you're not prepared to do a little battle. But my battle, which I feel with all my heart is a very worthy one, is obviously not over.
I'm getting calls from family and friends, who are watching me very closely in these last days, wanting to know if I'm okay. What comes to mind is the quote Adlai Stevenson shared during his concession speech. It was from Abraham Lincoln who described his emotions after losing his first election, "he felt like a little boy who had stubbed his toe in the dark. He said that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh."
I am obviously disappointed, but I'm too stubborn to quit. As I stated a year ago, I personally won't pursue love in 2010. It will be a nice break. But I won't take a break from the journey of love. I'll continue to look for ways to make finding love possible for more people. It's not simply something that's wanted, it's something we need. But unfortunately it's become too hard to find, too difficult to hold onto. It's not as it should be.
These 52 weeks will go down in my personal history books as one of the best years ever! I am so grateful for this experience. Online social networking will never replace in-person relationships, but it can and does create them, enhance them, and can even sustain them. Harnessing the power of the internet to find my husband was so much more than using the internet to find my husband. I connected in ways I never imagined possible.
Now that 2009 is behind us, as are my "52 Weeks 2 Find Him," I end as I started, full of hope and determination. God has blessed me so richly this year. There's no reason to despair as long as he continues to strengthen me with both. May God bless us all in 2010!
It's been a great journey! Thanks for going along for the ride. Although there's no "him," I know love will find a way! Enjoy the video.
"Have you ever met someone who spent their entire life working toward something that never happened? Maybe it was something admirable like civil rights or maybe it was an unseemly goal like revenge. At the end of their life they were pitied for wasting so much of their time - and all for nothing.
But do the good (or bad) deeds that are done really die with that person? For the guy who was trying to make a positive change, what if he actually made things a bit easier for the person that came after him? What if that poor soul's story encouraged others? What if his efforts were all a part of a plan after all and we didn't see the results because the story didn't end with him?
Perhaps there are times when you don't make peace with your circumstances - when you continue to try until the desire or calling leaves you, or you expire. Maybe the efforts are a part of a legacy or a bigger plan. My thoughts go to some of the advances we all benefit from like starting a family through IVF, or through adoption or new marriage laws. Someone worked tirelessly on these efforts - even the unsung heroes who never actually saw the advances. Heck, maybe even online dating and speed dating started because people really felt like they were not supposed to be at peace with how things were. Maybe their peace came from knowing they tried until the very end.
I know it sounds a little crazy, but I'd love to think that down the line my efforts have helped or will help someone else find their "him".
"Why do you work so hard to find love?" I've had people ask me this over and over again. One particular email arrived after coming home from another singles' event where I seemed invisible to the men who attended. On this night, I began to wonder the same thing myself.
I was one of those students in high school who never really had to work hard to get good grades. I actually don't remember taking books and work home. I had one study period and that apparently was enough for me to get "A"s and "B"s in school. One of my best friends at the time wasn’t so fortunate. She studied and studied and barely got by with "C"s and was thrilled when a "B" came her way. On days I wanted to go to the mall or hang out at a friends', I would urge her to come, but she often replied that she had to study. It seemed silly to me to put so much effort into school after hours when she already spent most of her day in the classroom. What a waste of time, especially when the end result was a C average.
But now I realize that just because things were easy for me I shouldn't have looked down on her because she had to work hard for the same things. I can't explain why I was so fortunate. Nor do I understand why hours and hours of studying for World History got her a C+, when 20 minutes before the test produced an A- for me. My friend may have been disappointed with her grade, but I think she was proud of her effort. I guess some people view hard work as desperation or painful, but actually it can feel good, give you a sense of purpose and build character. It challenges you to go beyond what you're currently able to do.
I have over a decade of experience of doing nothing to find a husband. From the time I was 22 years old through the age of 36, I didn't spend any effort on finding love. I lived a very full life. I had lots of friends, was social and active in my community, and even volunteered on a regular basis. I had a great job, yet didn't spend any more or less hours at work than any of the other people my age in NYC. But in those 14 years, I had only 2 dates. I'm just as happy and fulfilled with my life now as I was then. And my desire for marriage at that time was no less than or greater than my desire now. But this version of me feels good.
What has changed is my desire to see faith in action. There is a wise saying that goes, "faith without works is dead." There's something so awesome to know that God takes action when I make an effort. When I volunteer to bring in can goods for the hungry, God takes my effort and feeds others. When I respond to online suitors, I'm believing God will also use these efforts. I know I can't force God's hand. I also know that no matter how hard I work at some things, I may never see the desired end result. But I do know that faith works together with my works. Why do I work hard? Because I have faith! I'm doing what I believe to be my part and believing for the rest!
I was re-reading yesterday's blog (because writing it wasn't painful enough). Anyway, I was thinking about the guys I've dated. I lost track a while ago, but there has been more than 30. If they were all bloggers, I shutter to think about the things they'd write about me.
How many guys left our date thinking it was—how did I describe it yesterday—awesome!? I can still see their smiles, see them saying goodbye, I can hear them telling me how much fun they had and then I would agree. It was too awkward not to. I can hear them asking me if I'd like to see them again. I always hated that moment because I knew I would lie. I didn't want to have to tell them to their face that, "no. I'd rather not see you again." So, yes, I would lie. I did feel some comfort that at least I went home and emailed them the truth. It was a coward's way out, but I justified that it was better than ignoring their phone calls and emails.
In case you haven't figured this out, I didn't do everything perfect over these last 52 weeks. I made some mistakes and didn't always follow the Golden Rule. I turned down guys that I probably should have given more of a chance and accepted dates from guys I should have declined. After a lousy day at work, it's amazing how many men got the "no thanks" email. After a lonely night, it's incredible how many men I responded to online. They say, timing is everything!
So here I am 30 dates later - a little wiser (hopefully), and more considerate. Still no "him" but trying to make the most of it all.
:: Next >>