An Open Office, and Dating Profiles

On Tuesday, happy meant prioritizing my peace of mind first and foremost while at work. In an open office environment, headphones proved to be a godsend throughout the day. With jazz in my ears, my workday became more about me, making distractions less imposing, and the calming effect of music made pacing my work throughout the day easier, preventing burnout.

On Wednesday, I gave Tinder a chance to satisfy my curiosity and boredom. In the end, it was a great way to remind myself of why I’m currently single. You might be thinking, “Duh, it’s Tinder,” but I know more than one example of introductions through that app that have worked out long-term. Every now and then I’m hopelessly optimistic.

On Thursday, I deleted Tinder. Mind you, 24 hours was more than plenty of time to realize that the ROI of this dating profile was minimal.

By Friday, I’d been on Match.com for a little over a month. No stranger to online dating, I shook it up this time, allowing a close friend to play matchmaker for me. I hardly ever got to see matches, let alone message them. This was a fun experiment at first, my friend married to her high school sweetheart, she was eager to see what it was like for me to be single. Over the span of the month, she had been insulted more than a few times, I was accused through her by total strangers of being incapable of good judgment if my friend had to manage the profile for me, and she had mostly been genuinely creeped out. After discussion, I cancelled my membership, about $70 in the hole, and viewed from the screens of over 200 men (I wish Match hadn’t given me a tally).

At least I can say I tried. The best part of the experiment is that now my friend, with kids of her own, is no longer so keen to pressure me into dating and settling down. In fact, her final words to me on the subject were immensely apologetic, and dripping with warranted pity. Needless to say, the benefit of the whole thing is that I no longer will be nagged about potentially being too picky, or not looking hard enough. In fact, marriage has yet to be brought up since.

I’ve been accused of being too cynical in this department, but it’s a truth I feel is best to accept: If I’m meant to be married and have my own children as my contribution to the world, I will, and if I’m meant to embrace what I do in life for the benefit of the world as my contribution, rather than kids of my own, it will be of no lesser value than if my contribution were embodied in children. I’ll leave it up to fate.

I’m noticing a pattern. I often find happiness in acceptance.

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Day 6: Coming Home to My Body

After the last couple days of feeling helpless to the whims of the Universe, I was ready to take back some control. I needed to feel empowered in some small, easily accessible, instantly gratifying way. I needed to ground myself, and get back in touch with my body: the most tangible present moment.

After two months of haphazardly maintaining an fitness routine, I finally started up again with a 35 minute workout incorporating weights and basic calisthenics. I turned up my acoustic pop tunes, and began with dead lifts, moving down a list of exercises for a full-body shake down. Literally. By the end I was shaking. And it felt so good. The late afternoon made no difference to my sleepy muscles, weakened from two months of neglect, who started to peak out from their hiding places, and yawn broadly with a quivering stretch. It’s a new day, Katrina. It’s time to take yourself back.

After my final rep, I limply dropped onto my yoga mat. When I’m at my most exhausted, it’s time to meditate. For assistance, I usually simply search “meditation music,” and get some recordings of chants, and light bells, and a deep sounding wind instrument combination that I’m told is Tibetan in some way. Today, I felt like something different. So I tried some American Indian meditation music, which I found aesthetically beautiful, but didn’t calm me, or help me relinquish my mind to let it wander. It occurred to me, I should try some meditation music from a culture I relate to on a personal level, not just an intellectually artistic one.

I’m half Greek, raised by a Greek “off the boat,” who grew up on an island, and emigrated here as a student. My mom was born in the USA, and is northern European, with little connection to any of the cultures she embodies, except for her love of folk music, based in Celtic traditions, which I’ve definitely inherited. In spite of being essentially raised Greek, I feel a kinship with my under-expressed ancestry in music, even deciding to learn the banjo at a considerably late age for learning music.

In knowing this, I realized that meditation, though famously Eastern Indian, is a concept that also transcends cultures. The concept is to free the mind, and then gain better control of it. It’s an exercise in self-awareness, self-acceptance, and a greater understanding of the world. From what I can tell, most of the spiritual traditions I’ve learned at least a smattering about, incorporate these ideals to an extent.

For the first time, it occurred to me to search for Celtic meditation music. The familiar bittersweet birdsong of the tin whistle, in tandem with cascading waterfall harps, and light drums soothed my skull. I laid in Savasana, a Sanskrit term also known as ‘corpse’ pose, my palms up, focusing on sinking into the floor, grounding myself. I felt my mind empty of its contents, like it was being poured gently from a basin into a stream.

I started to cry, a single tear rolling down my right cheek.

And I let myself cry, gently, a release of the last week. I intellectually had made sense of the events. But, neglecting to empty myself emotionally meant the pressure had surpassed the limits. The levee had to break.

As I breathed deeply, and small tears rolled down my face. I thought of his name, perhaps naively hoping I’d be able to see him, or hear him in my mind’s eye, and find out how he was doing. I couldn’t impose too much via text, unsure of how much he’d even want to talk to me anymore, but I needed reassurance he was indeed at home, like everyone hoped. Finally, I relinquished control, and went back to finding that open-minded peace.

Shortly thereafter, I rose from Savasana to join the living, and checked my phone. The alert glowed in the darkness of my room– a message from him. One I’d been hoping to receive for the last several hours, with reassurance. Maybe he heard me call him, or maybe just coincidence, either way I sat with my legs crossed and surrendered heavy tears onto the floor. Relief, acceptance, gratitude, and grief. I let it all go.

I arose feeling less confused, more at home in myself, and at peace. My mind needed to unify with my body in order to feel more bravely me. The mantra I see is often the trite Instagram triptych, “Mind, Body, & Soul,” but in spite of its overuse and tendency to underwhelm, today it made complete sense. We can’t have one without the others. As physical existence is comprised of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire, so too are we incomplete without all of our elements. I’ll spend my life trying to unite them, the gains in the trying itself. I’ve come to terms with the truth that there is no one-size-fits-all “right way,” there’s only the individual’s “right way” to find the balance. Whether yoga in a brightly lit class, or taking a walk in nature, we all need to find unity within ourselves, to find the solidarity we have with the rest of humanity. Then forgiveness becomes easier, and hurts become easier to overcome. Love is the invaluable remainder.

This song makes more & more sense every time I’m drawn to it.

“Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons.

“How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show

Lend me your hand and we’ll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I’ll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free
Har har, har har, har har, har har

Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show
Har har, har har, har har, har har

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
And where you invest your love, you invest your life

Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
For you were made to meet your maker
Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
For you were made to meet your maker
You were made to meet your maker”

Written by Benjamin Walter David Lovett, Edward James Milton Dwane, Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group
Source: https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tw7jb6m5w6dgkdw25hqxvjkio5y?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics