If I’d had a time machine twenty years ago and had jumped forward to see what was happening at this point in my life, I would not have recognized myself. I may look like the same person but I am most decidedly not.
This is all just weird.
The semester is just around the corner, so yesterday and today meant quality time with my computer. There’s nothing particularly strange about that; what’s odd is the recognition that I’m a professional adult. I know what I’m doing (even if I don’t always do it well) and others know it, too, and that is becoming increasingly evident. In just the last week, I’ve gotten two requests to review tenure and promotion materials for assistant professors, one request to write a letter for a tenure packet, one query from a potential grad student who’d like to work with me and multiple emails from higher-ups in my departments asking me for information or input. All of that isn’t necessarily strange; people need things and they’re asking me for it. The strange part is that I’m taking it in stride; I don’t feel under-qualified, just over-utilized. What is that all about?
I started running this week. Yes, you read that correctly. Running. Not away from something but on a treadmill. Me Because life is weird. I came back from Home State and something clicked in my head: I think I can do this. So I downloaded a couch-to-5K app and started a few days ago. I’m not going to say that I’ll succeed, and it’s okay if I don’t. The point is that I’m trying to do it and I’m actually hopeful that it will stick. There is definitely a feeling of accomplishment when I get through a session – granted, only 3 of them so far – and even that is a huge step. Me, exercising, because I almost like it? What is this?
I got on the scale today: 143 pounds; I can’t even remember the last time I saw that number. I didn’t finish my dinner at the restaurant tonight because it was too much darn food, so I have half a plate of food in my fridge right now. I can look in the mirror now and appreciate what I see; it’s not perfect, by any means, but I look pretty damn good for my age. My closet has clothes that not only look nice but make me feel good when I put them on; I wore one of my new dresses with a pair of flats tonight and I felt fabulous. Where did this confidence come from?
And the dating? Holy crap. I don’t even know what the hell is going on at this point. Follow this: I had coffee with a New Guy 1 Friday afternoon; coffee with NG2 on Sunday and drinks later that evening with NG1; dinner with NG3 last night and talked to Elsewhere and NG1 on the phone; dinner with The Gentleman tonight; drinks tomorrow with NG4 and meeting up with The Gentleman later in the evening; dinner with NG1 on Thursday. I have plans with Elsewhere next weekend and I’m making plans with NG5 for some time in the next week. This is ridiculous!
I’m not really complaining, of course; I find it all highly entertaining. It’s amazing how perspective changes when you aren’t invested in finding the one right guy! Why didn’t I know this twenty years ago? I could have saved myself a hell of a lot of grief. And the dating stories are providing some great fodder for my FB feed. There was Junior, who talked incessantly about himself; IT Guy, who cancelled at the last minute Friday and hasn’t contacted me since; the guy yesterday who launched into a politically conservative diatribe as soon as I sat down.
I shouldn’t just share the awfulness, though, because I’m meeting some nice guys.
The Gentleman is very deserving of his name (well…in public anyway: hee hee). I had wondered if he was distancing himself; no, just very busy and rather overwhelmed by it all (note to self: men cannot multitask). He picked me up tonight (in a convertible, no less!), opened my car door, and took me to dinner; we talked without pause the entire time; he brought me home and we relaxed on the sofa for a bit until he left (a little later than he intended).
Elsewhere is great; it’s a shame he is, indeed, elsewhere because we really enjoy our conversations – we both made the comment last night that it’s just fun to talk to each other. We have plans to get together next weekend and we talked about getting tickets to a future event. So, whether we’re seeing each other regularly or not, we enjoy each other’s company enough to plan future meetings.
NG1 – now known as World Traveler – is a very interesting person. As his name suggests, he has traveled extensively for his job; he’s knowledgable about movies, music, books, politics, history; he asks questions and genuinely wants to hear the answers. Conversation is amazingly easy, actually. He’s a bit older but, perhaps more importantly, his children are grown and he’s long divorced; that just makes certain things easier. I’m curious to see how our date on Thursday goes; he certainly seems quite interested.
The Professor is the person I’m very interested in meeting at the moment. Our conversations so far have been quite fun; we have quite a few things in common (such as going to grad school at the same institution); and he’s obviously in the same profession, just a different university. He may not live up to the hype, of course, but if he does, look out.
So, this is dating. How strange! Men are actually interested in me, at least at the moment. Where the hell were they over the last nine years? I can’t help but wonder if the fact that I’m not interested in anything serious is playing a role in all this. I don’t want a husband; I want companionship without any expectation of a future. Because – all kidding aside – I can’t imagine any man is going to be able to breach the walls around my heart. Interestingly enough, it’s easier to be the outgoing, flirty, funny girl across the table when part of you is dead to it all.