365 Days of Different

I just cut the cord on two years of on again off again romance with someone I can confidently say is the love of my life — to date. There’s no easy way to turn our compendium of a courtship into a long story short, but suffice it to say I walked away from a situation that we both knew wasn’t working. And although I didn’t shut the door completely, it’s not looking like it’s going to reopen right away either. To put it another way, I did delete his number from my phone, although I kept it written down on good old-fashioned paper.

In contemporary courtship terms, that last sentence probably said it all. But, of course, nothing can completely convey all the thoughts and emotions that go into making — and dealing with — the decision to cut communication with someone who is so central to your life. It’s the kind of thing that seems so simple in theory, until you wake up the next day and start to realize that there are countless little ways in which the absence of that person from your life affects you. Especially today, when odds are you and the person you’re dating are digitally connected almost 24/7, it’s easy to feel like losing them is more than just about losing a lover, it’s about losing that constant conversational companion, that communication, that connection.

All of a sudden, your phone is silent, and you’re alone. That’s when everything becomes an exercise in reevaluation. Now normally, I would try to stave this stage off by simply wallowing in so much misery that eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. I would literally binge on the blues, until I was so sick of it, there was nothing left to do but get up and go back to my life. Between being sad and being better, there wasn’t much room for reflection. But this time, the fourth or fifth time this particular passionate affair was put out to pasture, I decided to do things differently.

So I sat down, and I started to think. What can I do that will force me to learn from this experience and grow enough to maybe manage not to have to do it again? After all, you’d think I would have learned after time two or three. Clearly, my wallowing technique wasn’t working as a means of making sure I didn’t repeat my mistakes. It was time to try something different. And that’s when it hit me. Trying something different. It’s not something I usually do. As a rule, there are few things I dislike more than being in a situation where I’m not in control. And nothing wrests the control right out of your hands quite like a strange, new situation. So, obviously, I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid all things awkward and unfamiliar.

But, of course, as any regular viewer of romantic comedies knows, the heroine can never move past her propensity for failed flings until she forces herself to confront her demons and – surprisingly enough – try something new. Take the movie “Julie & Julia,” which I just saw. Julie Powell felt like her life lacked purpose. So she gave herself a challenge — spend one year cooking your way through Julia Child’s cookbook, blog about it and see what happens. It worked. They made a movie about her after all.

By now, you can probably guess where this is going. I too have decided to give myself a challenge. And I too am planning to blog about it. Do I think they’ll make a movie about me? Probably not. But I do think that this exercise will force me to face some of my fears, and find out some new things about myself, the life I want to live, and the love I want in it. After all, what better time is there to do something like this than now? I’m single in Hollywood in my twenties. It’s not exactly Sex & The City (Carrie’s shoes alone probably wouldn’t fit in my apartment), but it is that time in my life. Why not force myself to do something different with it? So here it is.

The challenge: do something different every day for the next 365 days — the countdown starts on August 10, 2009 and ends on August 10, 2010, at which point I will be a year older and hopefully, at least a few exciting experiences wiser.

The rules: The ‘something different’ can be as major as making myself try the Trapeze School at the Santa Monica Pier or as minor as finding a new food to try or a weird new website to hit. No matter what, it must be something I’ve never done before. I’ll document the whole thing in full at http://www.ranker.com/list/365-days-of-different/mollie, and I’ll also put excerpts of my experiences up here, and at http://www.speedladating.blogspot.com and http://www.girlsintech.net.

I’ll definitely take suggestions about strange new things to try. So long as they don’t leave any permanent marks or put my clumsy ass into serious physical danger, I’m down to try it. Or at least, I’m going to force myself to be. That’s the whole point after all, isn’t it?

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