Keepin' it Real: Making November my October

October is traditionally my FAVORITE month of the year.  I love everything about it…the cooler temps, the changing leaves, the switch to sweaters and boots, fall festivals, apple cider, etc. etc. etc. 

I look forward to October all year and generally October is my best month.  Good things usually happen to me in October.

But this October…the month we just wrapped up…was not a good month.  In fact, it knocked me on my ass and I’m only now coming up for air.

But, that’s life.  

We have to deal with these downward swings. We have to feel the sting and come out fighting. It does pass, it does get better, and we move on.

I’ve decided November is going to be my October this year.  

I thank the universe for the challenges it put on my doorstep, but I’m not giving in and letting go of the best month of my year.  I’m just going to push it to November!

In October, I stepped away from pretty much everything.  I didn’t blog, I wasn’t active in my Facebook group (which makes me feel awful!  those ladies are the best!), I didn’t spend time with my friends, and I felt crappy - physically and emotionally - pretty much the entire time.  Being in that state is very unusual for me and not at all common.

But, I knew I had to ride the wave.  I showed up in my life each day and just kept trying to face the hard stuff.  I didn't turn away, I didn't try to numb it.  I journaled, I cried, and peeled back the layers on what was coming up for me with each challenge. 

Now that I'm over that hump...I feel renewed and blessed to have so much more insight into myself.  I also feel stronger and more resolute to keep chasing the hard stuff.  

What I want more than anything in my life is on the other side of the hard stuff, so I just have to wade through the trenches from time to time. 

There were a few bright moments…a trip home to Atlanta to visit my family and friends (although it was 85 degrees which is NOT my idea of good October weather!) and I had a conversation with a friend that was a long time in the making and I’d dreamed of having for years.

So what was bad about October?  Before I dive into that, let me acknowledge that in the grand scheme of things, none of this is all that bad.  I’m grateful that I didn’t have to deal with any health issues, money issues, or the loss of a family member or friend.

It all started with my tooth.  Have you ever had a bad toothache?  I haven’t…I see I’ve been fortunate until now.  I didn’t realize a tooth could inflict so much turmoil!  If you are a dentist…god bless're an angel from above!

To cut to the end of that story, I ended up needing a root canal.  I’ve had a root canal before (in fact, this one was my third!) so I’m no stranger to this particular dental nightmare.  But, my previous experiences weren’t that bad.  I actually didn’t think they were much worse than having a filling, except for being a lot more expensive! 

But this one, however, has been a completely different story.  I spent the first 3 weeks of October on my couch in pain.  I couldn’t sleep many of those nights because laying down made it worse.  I was on heavy duty ibuprofen which only lessened the pain, but it didn’t make it completely go away.

The visits to the dentist were hell.  Normally, or at least in my past experiences, they clean out the tooth in one visit.  My dentist decided to spread this particular "fun" activity over two 2-hour appointments.  I’m not one that is moved to tears often, but I was almost in tears during both of these visits and afterwards, my tooth and jaw throbbed for days.

I never realized a single tooth could knock so much out of you, but yep…it knocked me on my ass for the better part of October.  Fortunately, I’m not in any more pain, but I do have two more visits to endure (but supposedly the worst is behind me).

Other than that, my life coach challenged me to get back into the dating world.  She suggested I approach it playfully and challenge myself to 10 first dates (not necessarily ALL in one month!).  That doesn’t sound so bad, right?  In fact, to some, that may actually sound like fun!

For me…that was a HUGE undertaking!  Full disclosure…I love my singlehood, I don’t crave a boyfriend, and I find dating to be awkward and not overly fun.  Relationships I like…in fact, I LOVE relationships.  I do want to find my life partner and I miss the companionship of a partner, but dating…meh, not so much.  But, I could see her point.  I needed to just go on dates to get more accustomed to being on dates.

So…challenge accepted!

I joined Match at the beginning of October and let’s just say, online dating is quite the interesting experience.  I haven’t actually been on any dates yet, but I’m doing my part on Match.  It’s bringing up a lot for me…my old demons and inner critic voices are having a field day!  Layer that on top of the tooth pain and October was just hard.  Full stop.

So, here we are…the beginning of November.  The calendar has now flipped, my tooth is not hurting, and I’m ready to take charge of my November and make it my October.  I have 4 weeks ahead of me to make it my own and challenge myself to do more than what I normally do.  

No more playing it safe.  It’s time to see what I’m really made of.

Are you with me?