How did we get here? Not here as in geography, but here as in actually giving a damn about dating, marriage, companionship, or just enjoying being single without the need to mingle? I don’t know about you, but my dating/relationship life in my younger days was ridiculous. Seemingly brainwashed by a “biological clock meets, need to belong to someone, meets need to put up with some really dumb stuff.” kind of thing.
I look back on some of my choices and am puzzled, but I can also look back on some dates and pat my twenty-something self on the back for doing some things right. It wasn’t all madness, but I do have quite a few stories tucked into the old memory bed that may or may not become blog posts.
Looking into the mirror of young me, if he was cute, tall, funny, and talented in a way that I was not, he usually was put in my “I want him as my boyfriend” sights. After a few relationships that were as enjoyable as falling down a flight of stairs, I started to revise my internal love list. Somehow, “must not be allergic to cats” found its place at the top.
Over the years, I have had to revise my list. Mainly due to life experiences, and finally maturing into a woman who, at forty-something, is more interested in peace than fireworks. In my younger days, it was more about finding someone who would complete me. It was more about being inundated by the media barrage, even though I thought it didn’t affect me. It was more about being someone’s someone special, and standing by my man no matter what was thrown my way, including punches.
However, something happened within me that needed to happen. You could call it “growing up”, but I like to call it the moment I was finally introduced to myself. In my high school days, I went through the ups and downs of love in the teenage realm, but always held tightly to who I was as a person. However, when I was on the verge of the ending of my marriage, I looked in the mirror and asked myself one question:
Who am I?
I drew a big ol’ blank, and felt the anxiety well up within me. Had I seriously spent so much time investing in others’ dreams, goals, schedules and deadlines, that I completely lost myself? I didn’t even need to answer that question–the panic was enough. So in the midst of an insane upheaval in all facets of my life, I decided to shut people out–not everyone, but the ones who I felt were too much of a drain on my sanity.
I am not where I want to be completely, but I am where I need to be. And my love list is short. It is written to myself. Intentional isolation may mean that I am the one having to deal with the spiders, but I found out during the storms that if I wasn’t going to get wet, I had to hold the umbrella over myself. I may get back into the dating world, but I am in no rush. It’s been a hell of a run thus far, and even through the madness, I have learned many things. Most importantly I have learned that peace is number one on my love list–peace for my home, my work, my child, and myself.
Finally, if I am to share any of my upcoming years with a special someone, peace must be the medium he works in. Peace, compassion, and definitely rescuing me from the occasional spider.
Photo Credit: Cocoparisienne/Pixabay