Previously in Part Three of How I Found Love…
After hitting a low point, things in Charleston were beginning to look up. I loved my new city, I had a great job, and quickly developed a fantastic group of friends. I dated someone for the first time that was respectful and actually wanted to be with me, and my new found confidence allowed me to dodge a bullet from another guy.
If you missed the full Part Three of my love story, read it HERE. If you missed Part Two, read it HERE. If you missed Part One, read it HERE.
Here is Part Four, aka, When Obama Calls…
After almost two years in Charleston, even though I LOVED my friends, the city I lived in, and the life I built, I knew I needed a change. My job was great, except there was no room growth. And when it came to single Jewish guys, the pickings were slim.
I was itching to leave, but I had no idea where to start looking and didn’t have many connections with people in the cities I was interest in living in. This was still not so long after the crash, so the economy wasn’t stellar. I was feeling stuck.
Then one day, I had the worst migraine EVER. So I closed the door to my office and turned the light off, and laid down on the floor to take a nap.
And when I woke up, I had a missed called from Wilmington, North Carolina.
I didn’t know a soul from Wilmington, so I was very intrigued, and they had left a message. I had been a superstar volunteer at the local Planned Parenthood, and apparently, this had gotten my name on a potential hire list for the Obama campaign.
Within a week, I had a job offer to move up the road to Wilmington, NC to work for Obama. The job was beyond exciting to me, but I knew personally, it came with some setbacks.
Wilmington was even smaller than Charleston, had less Jews, and my life would be the campaign, so I knew dating wasn’t going to happen.
But it was a way out of my job. And I thought my connections with the campaign could land me a job in Washington, D.C. or New York, which is where I wanted to be. By day two on my new job, I learned just how grueling life on the campaign was.
My day started around 9am (even earlier as the election approached), and didn’t end until at least 9pm or later, 7 days a week. The only time I got off was Sunday morning.
What I haven’t mentioned yet in this series is that for most of my adult life, I was always trying to lose weight. (To be clear, I was never actually overweight.) But I obsessed with counting calories on MyFitnessPal and working out every day.
A part of me believed that all my dating problems could be solved if I lost just five pounds.
But being on the campaign was the first time in my life that I wasn’t really dieting. There wasn’t time for that.
I didn’t sleep much, exercise was a luxury, and I ate what I could. (Fast food, whatever the volunteers brought us (usually pizza and cookies), or spaghetti.)
I lived and breathed the campaign.
I used to crave what it’d be like to sit on the couch and watch a movie with nothing to do but relax. Or what it’d be like to go to a happy hour at 5pm rather than have to phone bank every night from 5-9pm.
And then November 6th came, and just like that, it was over.
For months, I had fantasies about the day after the election. I’d finally have nothing to do. I could sleep, I could relax, I could just do nothing.
I’d never been so exhausted or sleep deprived in my life. Despite that, I thought when the campaign was over, I just needed to veg out for a week, and then I could find a job and get back into my routine with food and exercise.
I was back to my mom’s house in Asheville by mid-November, and I was still tired. I had no energy for anything.
I thought everything would go back to how it was before the campaign, but that involved counting calories, being scared of food, and exercising all the time.
And I no longer had the energy for that.
I had had some friends from Charleston who were vegan, and they posted all the food they were eating. I remember laying on the couch in my mom’s house stalking the crap out of what they were eating.
The food looked amazing, but what was really so intriguing to me was their relationship to the food they were eating. Yes, they loved the taste of it, but they were glowing and energized from the food. Food for them wasn’t something to be feared or counted.
How they felt about food was how I wanted to feel. So I decided I wasn’t going to “diet” anymore, and instead I’d be a vegan. And that’s exactly what I did.
The end of dieting had been the one missing piece since my healing year with my therapist. Body image and believing I just needed to lose five more pounds was something I never really resolved until I was literally too tired to diet anymore.
Eating food I loved, and making it was full sensory experience was an incredibly profound way for me to practice self-love. I wasn’t battling the calorie counter or my body anymore.
Food finally felt nourishing. It served me in a way it never had before. It was a very welcome change, but it was also weird.
Then, what I had hoped would happen for years finally happened: I got a job offer in Washington, D.C. So I packed my bags, got an apartment, and started my job with one goal in mind: find a nice Jewish boy.
And that’s exactly what I did. But not without a major setback first. More on that next week in my fifth installment of how I found love!