It’s hard to believe that two years ago right before Valentine’s Day I sat down at my desk and crafted my introduction to “Leona’s Love Quest.” My purpose for doing so was to snap myself back into action after a far too extended break from dating. I thought sharing my experience would hold me accountable for making progress and that I might inspire others to join me. Ultimately, I hoped I would find the love of my life. Instead, I sit at my desk today to write my last official entry.
I can’t deny that my quest for love has been a failure, but not entirely. It did keep me motivated and accountable and I hope that I’ve inspired at least a few readers, but I feel as if my entries have become increasingly depressing and pathetic, so I’ve determined that the written portion of my quest should come to an end. I made this decision after attending Matthew Hussey’s seminar this weekend when he brought the Get the Guy tour to Philadelphia. I’ve honestly never seen anyone so optimistic, so charismatic and so confident in his abilities in my entire life. I felt as if every woman in the room was mesmerized by his words as he kept us laughing, thinking, moving and grooving. Yes, there’s some serious booty-shaking cardio involved in his seminars, so if you are planning to go, bring a bottle of water, a high-protein snack and wear comfortable shoes! What struck me the most about this session weren’t the tips and strategies for finding and keeping love, but his personal journey towards finding his own self-worth on a core level. Coincidentally, only moments before his seminar last year in Philadelphia he was given the news that the TV show, Ready for Love that he thought would change his life forever was cancelled after a mere three episodes. He said earlier in his career an event like that would have crippled him, but in recent years he had discovered a way to feel invincible. Like Tony Stark at the end of Iron Man 3 who knew that even without his suit, his mansion and everything else that his enemy destroyed, he was still and would always be. . . IRONMAN!!!
I know this is where I fell short in my quest. No matter what advice I read that rang true, no matter what logically seemed like sound decisions to make, I would always fail to act when my insecurities were put to the test. I failed this summer when I allowed that younger guy to reject me time and again. I failed again a few weeks ago by fabricating a reconciliation with an ex who clearly wasn’t the least bit interested. I would fail again tomorrow if I met someone desirable who showed just enough interest to get my hopes up, but not enough interest to really do anything about it. One way or another, I always find myself auditioning for the role of worthy girlfriend in some guy’s stupid, low-budget B movie. In most ways I would consider myself a fairly confident person with high self-esteem, but I can’t deny that when it comes to romantic relationships, my self-worth has been considerably damaged. There are only so many romantic disappointments a person can endure before you start question your own value at your core. A lot of books and people talk about loving yourself before you love someone else, but I can’t find any that give practical steps to take to do so. It has to be a lot more involved than simple affirmations or taking a bubble bath and treating yourself to a slice of tiramisu. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many enormously talented, loved and successful people that still somehow never feel worthy. I can’t even imagine what demons poor Phillip Seymour Hoffman must have been struggling with.
So my next plan is to attend one of Matthew Hussey’s Lifestyle Retreats. I’m hoping his program will give me the tools I need to fix my self-worth at its core. I don’t know how I’ll be able to finance it, but I fully intend to apply to go to his retreat in San Diego this August and if, God willing, my application is accepted, you best believe I am going to go.
I don’t expect my problems will all be solved in five days and I certainly don’t assume that Hussey has all the answers. Clearly, no one will ever be able to adequately explain why some women with personal issues much worse mine can find love and live happy without the aid of self-help books, seminars or lifestyle retreats. Nevertheless, I refuse to believe that all I have to look forward to is a lifetime of loneliness and financial struggle. I’d much rather invest my money in 5 days with a self-made, successful entrepreneur who rose from humble beginnings than years with some self-important, out-of-touch therapist with an Ivy League degree. I’m just saying. Hussey has accomplished more by the age of 26 than I have in the last 26 years of my life.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who has been following my journey and for your insightful, supportive, and candid commentary. I consider myself lucky to be part of the Beyond Black and White community and I will continue to be part of the discussion. For now, I’m going to work on getting comfortable with the two words Matthew wrote in my book when I asked for his autograph: “Never settle.”