I’ve been living what my friends and I’ve been referring to as the “Samantha Jones” life for quite some time now. It all started with dating. Deciding to date while consciously knowing I did not want to be in a relationship meant dating for the sake of going on dates. I was always honest about my intentions not to be in a committed relationship. However it didn’t always end up like I expected. Here’s what I learned.
1. If you know who you are, that’s enough. I spent the first half of my Summer of Sam worrying about what others felt about my new lifestyle. I wondered how men received a woman who was so obviously not looking for anything serious. Would they think I was lying? Some did. Some thought for sure I secretly wanted monogamy (and with them) and were prepared to try and woo me into a relationship.
But that truly was not my objective and in the end it meant that I moved on from them. I did not need to have a conversation about it, I was clear. I also didn’t need to second guess myself or wonder if they were right and I had some subconscious need to be partnered. No! Why would someone else I just me know me better than me?
2. Judgment is best left for figure skating. I was such a prude in college and high school. Any woman who was “sleeping around” with multiple men was gross in my mind and didn’t value herself. Only…the only thing gross is how harshly I was judging other women! The first time I slept with someone I had no desire to be in a relationship with I didn’t feel disgusting or shame or guilt. I
actually felt empowered. It is my body and I have a say in what I do with it. I did not feel any less pure or worthy. Nor did I feel I owed anything to anyone, not more sex and not an explanation. It dawned on me that I’d previously judged those women because they were exhibiting a type of freedom I did not yet possess. I was insecure and self-conscious about my body then, and I did not understand that waiting until you’re a certain weight or size for ANYTHING is asinine and denying yourself so much joy. I made myself take a step back and apologize for ever judging those women. And for judging myself as unworthy.
3. Confidence is key. When I walk into a room I do so with the thought that I am beautiful, interesting, and everyone should want to talk to me. It may sound crazy but if you were to ask my friends, they’d tell you that I literally cannot go anywhere without picking up new friends.
If I sit down at a bar, a man is talking to me. If I go to the bathroom a woman is chatting me up. If I’m dancing there’s a new group around me waiting to belt out the rap lyrics with me. People want to feel good and positive energy feels good! So if you consciously emit positive energy, be prepared for a following. I am pretty sure I got #3 from my mom. She attracts people in the same way. There’s no funnier thing than watching the girl in the club in the tight dress and six inch heels lose the attention of the hot guy to the girl who’s in jeans and a tank top. When you’re comfortable you’re confident and when you’re confident people want to be around you. Period.
4. Treat yourself with TLC. This means health wise too. Dating kissing and if you choose, sex means regular (candid) chats with your PCP or GYN. And remember #1! Don’t feel ashamed to tell your doctor you’ve slept with multiple partners, if you have, just remember to be safe and talk through your best options with them.
I also never felt bad about a mani/pedi day. “Honey, I’m fabulous!” I would say to myself in my Sam voice. I work hard, and if I want someone to spoil me that someone has to first be Me! Sam was never looking for someone to take care of her and neither was I. There’s a certain pride in being able to go to Nordstrom and not have to use that “I hope my husband doesn’t see this bill” line. I pay my own bills and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Being single never stopped a ‘treat yo self’ day.
5. Fuck rules. I wore fun outfits, daring with color and mixing patterns. Crop tops or short shorts, why not? My two piece bikini? Done. Why was I going to allow what other people say is appropriate matter sooooo much if I didn’t feel similarly?
Women over this age shouldn’t wear this… Women if a certain size shouldn’t wear that… To HELL with it. I am capable of making my own choices as to how I want to present myself to the world. I don’t need Vogue or my Instagram followers to validate that what I’m wearing is “good” or fashionable. I can make those choices for myself.
All in all, my summer of Sam has been amazing. I’ve grown and I’ve settled even more deeply into myself. I’ve learned to follow my own North Star and believe in myself FIRST before I can expect anyone else to. Ultimately though, I’m far less brash. Much more muted and am ready for quiet nights with wine and reading. It was nice to indulge this side of myself for a while and should the moment ever arise I will call on Sam again. But for now, I’m calling the season and shifting my focus which calls for another type of energy. Never, however, will the lessons be lost.