What do you want when you are FULL?

By, Vanessa Torres

Last week I had coffee with an exceptional woman who is building a business in this shaky economy. But she believes so wholeheartedly in her mission that she is completely un-discouraged by news reports that imply certain failure. She knows she is on to something good, and that with the right plans and preparation, she will certainly be successful. I believer her 100%.

Julie’s website is called Heels Connect and it’s a great resource for professional women looking to take their careers to the next level. Of course, when we met, the conversation quickly went from professional to personal and we couldn’t help but dish a little bit on striking a balance between being female entrepreneurs and single women. Needless to say we shared a few laughs about how our goals on both sides can seem ridiculously out of reach sometimes!

She recently wrote a blog post that veered away from her usual career-minded topics, about finding true love in life only after she felt completely satsfied with the life she currently had. She called it, “Who Do You Want When You’re Full?” and likened finding a satisfying relationship to an excellent meal she had recently enjoyed with friends.

“When I’m starving, everything looks delicious. I’m ready to eat anything to satisfy my hunger. But I often regret what I ate when I’m full afterwards. I wish I hadn’t stuffed myself. The halibut, on the other hand, still tasted great even though I wasn’t hungry. I still wanted it and enjoyed it immensely. And I had no regrets afterwards; I want the same in a man. No, I don’t want him to taste like halibut…” Read more

She asked to me to respond with my thoughts on the matter, and naturally, I obliged:

Julie, you bring up an excellent point.

When you sat down to that meal, you were already satisfied. You didn’t arrive at the restaurant starving, diving into the bread basket, stuffing your face and counting the minutes until your meal arrived. You were enjoying good company and waiting patiently for what the waiter had described as a surely delicious meal. When the food arrived, you wholeheartedly enjoyed every last bite.

Often, when we are feeling lonely or frustrated with our lives, our judgment becomes clouded and we “eat” unconsciously. If we’ve been hurt by a guy, we run out and look for his exact opposite. If we haven’t dated in awhile, we jump on the first guy who offers to buy us a latte. Bad idea. Likewise, with the economy in a state of flux, many of us are forced to take jobs we don’t feel passionate about – or stay in jobs that make us miserable. Like your latte date, these may not be the best options, but we go ahead and pounce anyway.

It’s no coincidence that dating and career coaches repeatedly tell us the same thing : never underestimate your worth. Because doing so will cause you to make decisions from a desperate place, and that almost never works out for the best.

I have a good friend who works freelance in an industry that regularly requires her to weigh critical issues like quality of life vs. money. Prestige vs. passion. And sometimes she goes one way, and sometimes the other. But, she asks herself the same question before accepting each gig: Is this job the professional equivalent of the first guy who asked me to prom? Would I rather just shore up my date now and know that I’m going, or do I feel like waiting and seeing if I can do better?

So what’s the lesson here? Sometimes, we have to take a situation that’s less than ideal and make the best of it. That shows flexibility on your part. A willingness to try new things and go with the flow. HOWEVER, a temporary situation doesn’t have to define you – if it doesn’t feel right, you are free to change it just as soon as you get the chance.

The bigger lesson? If you do your best to make important decisions when you don’t feel pressured, the outcome will almost always reflect who you really are, not the starving girl pawing at the bread basket.

And now I’m off to ponder dessert…

In 2007 Vanessa Torres experienced her “aha!” moment while going through the aftermath of a broken engagement.   Not being able to find a place where women could get support from peers – and professionals – she decided to create one.   Her website, www.ThatHappenedtoMe.com launched in October of 2008 with the support of a team of experts prepared to give women what they want and need – comforting!  One of the main goals of the site is to encourage women to open up about this painful experience and share their stories in an effort to lessen the feelings of shame, rejection, isolation and depression that are so prevalent during a breakup.  It’s also a place to share tips, coping strategies, and even a joke or two.
Now a full-fledged single lady, Vanessa puts all her effort into being as fabulous as can be.  Los Angeles has a lot to offer and she is very busy taking advantage of it all.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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