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Dating, Dreamchasing: When Working on Yourself is an Excuse
A Love Jones,  Sheryl's Pearls Blog

Dating & Dream Chasing: Are You Working on Yourself or Making Excuses?

During a recent G-chat conversation, one of my friends dropped a few pearls of her own. I figured I’d be a doll and let you listen in.

The subject was love and she asked what was up with me in the man department. I had nothing worthwhile to share. Sometime during our exchange, I typed these words: “I need to work on me.”

Wrong answer.

“Work on you?” she challenged. “I feel like that’s a cop out. Errrrybody working on themselves.” She followed this with the obligatory lol, cushioning the blow that the hard truth always deals.

I laughed right along with her, but I’m (usually) smart enough to know when someone’s trying to tell me about myself. “What? Really?”

“Yes,” she said. “When will anyone stop working on themselves? There’s always progress that we want to make. But unless it’s extreme, folks will always work on themselves – even after the relationship. But don’t magnify your issues because your future boo might laugh in the face of your issues. God will make it so. Don’t sweat it, the right person will understand.”

While I believe that there are legitimate times when we need to work on ourselves, I have to acknowledge that I’ve had plenty of time to do so. At some point, maybe self-improvement becomes an excuse. Maybe you can take it too far and assume you need to become a perfect version of yourself before you find love.

Additionally, perhaps there are some parts of you that can’t be developed without the help of another person. You can shoot free throws in an empty gym all day every day, but eventually your teammates have to join you on the court for a scrimmage if you’re ever going to win games. And yes, many games are won at the free throw line, but usually, you won’t even make it to the line if you don’t at first take a shot.

I knew my friend was on to something that I didn’t want to confront yet, so I tucked her words away for future reference.

I had to pull them out this week as I considered my latest writing project. If you asked me how it was going, I’d say, “I’m working on it.”

This is a true statement; I’m writing, organizing, editing, etc. However, it has become clear to me that I could “work on it” forever. I’m always getting new ideas that I would like to include, so I’ve wondered at what point I will draw the line and simply work with what I have. I also can tell how my writing style has evolved since I began, so I’m second guessing some of the older stuff. But I’ve heard many a writer say you’re never really finished, you just stop writing and hope for the best.

Touché, writers. Touché, G-chat friend. I guess I don’t have to be perfect in order to be ready.

On New Year’s Eve, an awesome preacher friend gave a sermon entitled “I’m Ready.” In essence, she said that God has used all of our gifts and previous experiences to prepare us for where we are right now. When you have been prepped and processed by Him for the next big thing in your life, regardless what you may think of your qualifications, you’re ready. I heard her as December 2012 turned into January 2013, but it may not have completely sunk in until this lovely March day.

Would I like to hand a reader a perfect book? Of course. Do I wish I could have every single area of my life in perfect order before I fall in love? Absolutely. But neither is possible.

God is the only perfect being. When you can accept that, whether it comes to your love life or the dreams you’re chasing, you’ll finally be on your way to declaring, “I’m ready.”

SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area. A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.