I could barely sleep. I kept having weird dreams that kept me up. I watched the latest episode of Girls at 4:00 a.m. I tried writing, I tried doing work, I tried to accomplish something knowing I wasn't going to fall back asleep.
I just stared at my computer screen in anticipation. I was completely dysfunctional. Debating back and forth if I should tell him I don't drink or wait until we meet. I battled myself all day about it. I asked friends and got conflicting answers.
What to do?
My friend helped me realize that I was probably more self-conscious about it than anything and that it's really not a big deal. If someone can't date me because I don't drink then they are not the right fit for me. Nonetheless, I continued to panic.
Somehow 12 hours passed and it was 4:00 p.m. I ordered mozzarella sticks, my go-to comfort food that makes me feel sick the second I'm done eating. I turned my phone on airplane mode and meditated for 20 minutes.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I can do this.
What's the worst case scenario? He sucks? We don't have chemistry? It just doesn't work? So what! I can handle this. I can do this.
I took a walk down the block to get some fresh air. A girl on the street stared me up and down like I was a crazy person. I had my wacky black and white patterned leggings, an oversized hoodie and sunglasses on, no makeup, hair a mess and my big winter jacket with earplugs in while California Sunrise by Dirty Gold played. My happy song. Always makes me happy song.
I came home, showered, got dressed in jeggings that felt a little too tight coming out of the dryer, a shirt that I recently purchased and felt really good in. I zipped up my black boots that just came back from the shoemaker so they didn't have snow stains on them any longer. I put on makeup and blow-dried my hair. I stared at myself in the mirror taking long deep breaths and telling myself everything was going to be OK.
I took the train and walked over to the bar. I took (yet another) deep breath and reminded myself that everything was going to be okay.
Everything was going to be OK.
The bar was empty. He was one of three people there. We hugged. The bartender asked if I wanted anything and I said I was fine with water. I mentioned to the guy that I don't drink and he didn't really have much of a response. We talked travel, work, family, living situations and a lot of music. We walked over to the show at Rough Trade about 90 minutes later and he didn't realize that there were two opening acts, meaning we were going to be there for a few hours.
He bought our tickets. I bought a seltzer and then realized I wanted to check my coat. He questioned how expensive it was so I offered to take our coats while he watched my drink. (I realized the next day that was stupid and I should never leave a stranger with my drink.) The music was fine, but just fine. Definitely nothing I'll listen to again. A bit too jam bandy for my liking. The crowd was the epitome of Williamsburg hipsters. In between sets we got deep into talking about Arcade Fire and Wilco, two of our favorite bands.
We had a totally fine time but most importantly I am extremely proud of myself. I feel like I knocked down a wall that I had up for my entire life. It's really exciting and I'm thrilled I took the plunge.
I can do this.
I can meet new people. I can try things out. I can explore and figure out what's important to me and what my non-negotiables are. I was truly authentic. Didn't try to be more or less than anything but me. Didn't try to impress him or be someone I wasn't. I felt really confident in being me.
I've been so afraid to put myself out there, to be rejected, to not be loved, to be ashamed of who I am and what I look like and stand for and it's time to jump over the fence and meet someone!
I want this.
I want to be adored. I want to be loved and embraced for every bit of me, quirks and flaws included, no, especially. I want someone to appreciate me and value me. I'm excited for this new journey that I'm on.
I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this.