Meet Me Smiles

The original purpose of this blog was to chronicle and share what happens after August 2011, my graduation date from Western Seminary.  I had been working a very full-time job for four and a half years while also attending school part time and teaching part time; a combination that left little time for other options and opportunities.  I wanted to be intentional about doing something with my new-found time and thought the semi-anonymous accountability of the internet would benefit this next chapter.  Plus I have this dream of one day being published on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, so the writing practice could not hurt.

The adventures so far have primarily revolved around running, an unexpected hobby / obsession I picked up a few years ago, but mixed in have been the random (first and probably last massage) and the painful (loss of Nana, possible re-emergence of Potential Dad).

This time I’m writing about one of the scariest things I’ve ever done: signing up for an on-line dating website.

Last Saturday, I signed up for Plenty of Fish; a free online dating website recommended by a friend.  I had spent most of that day grading papers and still wrestling with thoughts about my father’s message from the week before.  It was out of that mix of grading and emotional exhaustion that I thought, why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks not (usually the voice in my head just says why not, but I was feeling a bit beat up so it was a bit more liberal in its language).  The whole process took me about an hour and probably would have been much faster if I didn’t keep pausing with my finger hovering over the delete key.  I know several happy, normal couples who met through the internet so I have no doubt about its possibility, but as I’ve shared before, I have no idea how to talk to a guy I like so what in the world was I attempting to do here?  Invite more awkward situations into my life?  So I typed quickly, before self-doubt could take over, and tried to be authentically me, with mentions of running, church, the Muppets, and paradox (because I am a true WPC Knight).  After hitting that final submit key, I went back to grading a few more papers and then headed home for a movie and hopefully early bed.

Skip to a few hours later as I’m chilling on the couch and enjoying an episode of Suits from Netflix.  I decided to pull up my email, in hopes of a message from Potential Dad or my Enrollment Counselor, or just a random friend (because that’s what email is for).  Instead I find four new messages from Plenty of Fish and six guys who clicked that they liked my photo.  Oh my gosh…male type people liked my photo.  Members of the opposite gender who don’t know me sent a message with the possibility of relationship.  I didn’t go online that night because the exact words and the people who wrote didn’t matter.  What mattered was that I have never had this giddy feeling before.  I floated through the rest of the evening and into a 10K the next morning, randomly smiling from time to time at the thought of the guys who clicked they wanted to “Meet Me.”  Even now, a week later and after discovering those fist guys were absolutely NOT GONNA HAPPEN candidates, I can smile at that experience, at that moment of possibility.  And now, a week later and with a few more religion papers graded, I can connect that feeling of hope with the reality of God’s love for me, of my family’s (even the crazy ones) care, and of friends who read through my strange adventures.  How amazing it is to be loved by real people today and to have the smiling hope of tomorrow’s Meet Me possibilities.

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