A few weeks ago I went on my first Tinder date. Trust me, this was a big deal for me. I have never properly dated and I can't say I have much experience being single. Most of the relationships I have been in have started off as good friends. And in saying that, I have spent so long being 'the girlfriend' that I only now feel like I am getting to know myself. And in doing this I have decided to put myself out there in situations that I may not be comfortable with. In fact before I went on this first date I was having major panic attacks and came very close to bailing, but I am very happy I didn't.
The date was really lovely, we just had a chill dinner and drinks. I barely remember actually eating, we couldn't stop chatting. For our second date he taught me how to surf. This was another learning experience for me. Not only because of the surfing, but being able to be comfortable enough in my own skin to go out in no makeup. I will admit I am a very self conscious person and that's something that I am working really hard on fixing.
I took the plunge and I went on this second date completely naked face. He was wonderful and I am so happy I didn't bail. He took me surfing and I may have wiped out pretty hard but it was such a fun experience. The waves got a little intense and I was a little shaken up so I spent the rest of the day reading. But I am so proud of myself for taking the plunge.
At this point I was a majorly washed up mermaid. My face was covered in snot and there was sand in everywhere it shouldn't be. I was laying on my towel feeling like a beached whale, trying to compose myself when I turn and see him taking photos of me. To be called beautiful in that state just completely washed away all my uneasy feelings about how I looked. Letting go of those negative feelings left so much more room for true happiness.
I may not be a world class surfer after that lesson, but on that day I learnt a lot about being happy as you are and that the more space you waste in your mind with self conscious feelings results in less space for happiness.