Ramblings on… Ick… Love.

I’m so frustrated and disillusioned with men and dating and love in general.  I don’t think that I’m looking for anything that rare or unusual.  I see people with it all the time… And sometimes I want to shake them and ask… What did you do right?!  TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!

Sometimes I get mad about the fact that I spent almost 13 years investing myself in a relationship that crashed and burned so spectacularly that even the most innocent bystanders ended up singed.  I get mad at the girl I used to be, the choices that I made, the mouse that I became.  I get mad that, at 31, I’m trying to figure out dating and love and having all these experiences that I should have had in my twenties.

I get mad that I don’t have any idea what I’m doing.

I get mad that I’m not completely satisfied being on my own.

I get mad that I’m mad.

 

It seems whiny to me that I’m upset by this.  That I’m frustrated by my seeming inability to get it right.  After all: I’ve barely been single.  What do I have to complain about?

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Maybe it’s disillusionment.  I did everything that I was “supposed” to do.  I don’t think that I asked for too much.  And it was a disaster.

I know that there are lessons in all this and I’ve spent the last couple of years trying hard to learn them.  I know that I am a stronger, more independent woman than I was.  I like myself for the first time.

I don’t need a man.  I own my home, I have a career.  I pay my bills and have enough money leftover for dinners out or craft supplies, or whatever my current priority is.  I’m busy to the point that I have to schedule blocks of not-doing-anything time.

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And, if we’re being completely honest, I always have men in my life.  Companionship is never a problem and I enjoy this piece of dating.  Getting to know someone, the excitement of a first kiss, these are all good things.  (And if I want sex?… I can have good sex.)

The thing is, the sad thing is… This isn’t enough for me.  If I was on the other side of my life, if I’d had the (good) marriage and the babies, this would be enough.  It would be great.

But I haven’t had those things.  I haven’t lived the life that I want.  I’ve been gently accused in the past of only wanting the “white picket fence” because that is what society taught me I should want… Well… Fuck that.  I want it.

And maybe I’ll never get it.  That doesn’t mean that I will stop trying.

It seems to me that, for the men I’ve known so far: I`ve easy to want.  Just not enough to want to keep.  Eventually someone will want me… And will want to keep me.

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I should probably mention here that my heart is currently wrapped in so much protection it would take an expert to find it.  Let alone make it beat.  My big, soft, heart-on-my-sleeve has hidden itself away and I don`t know how to find it.

My point here?  I’m single.  I’m not entirely happy with that status.  I’m not entirely sure that I want to change it.  I’m not entirely sure how to change it.  I’m not entirely sure that I should change it.

I have no idea what I’m doing.  Someone get me a map!

Mother Dearest…

I remember once, when I was 12, and too many hormones were filling my body, and I felt friendless and odd and left out, my Mom picked me up at school at the start of lunch and took me to McDonalds.  I remember that this brief reprieve from a world that felt so overwhelming felt like it lasted for hours.  I remember wishing that we could do this every single day.  I remember feeling grown up and loved having my lunch break out with my Mom.  I remember that we talked about how I was feeling at school and what it was like for me.  I remember feeling so hopeful after that lunch.

My Mom, and so many of the other Moms in my life, is such an incredible woman.  These women balance family and friends and careers.  They look after everyone else and often overlook themselves.  They are beautiful and motivating and they inspire me every single day.

As I watch so many of my friends take that plunge into motherhood I watch their grace with amazement.  I watch how they shift into this new role and I am awed by their capacity for love and care.

My Mom has always been in my corner.  Even when she didn’t love my decisions, even when my propensity for a messy home and too few vegetables drove her crazy, she was there.

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If I am ever lucky enough to join her in motherhood I hope that I am as graceful, as loving, as kind and as fun.  I learned so much about how to be a woman, how to be a person, from my Mom.

Thanks aren’t really enough but: Thanks.  Love you.

Does This Person?…

I was watching Hector and the Search For Happiness the other day with my Mom.  There is a great scene (in a movie full of great scenes) where Hector is on a plane ride to a country in Africa.  He is sitting beside a friendly woman who is cradling her baby, a boat of calm in the sea of chaos that is this plane ride.  She asks if he is married and, when he says no, she asks, rather incredulously: “why not?”.  She goes on to say…

You know there is really only one question: Does this person bring you predominantly a) up or b) down?

(See below to watch this scene)…

I ran for a pen and paper to jot this moment down.

Because that’s it.

There isn’t some magic person, hidden in the mist, about to step out and change our lives.  Or, rather, there is.  But we choose who they are and when they are and why they are.  We choose what we can and cannot live without.  We choose what we can and cannot live with.  And then we choose.

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Hopefully we select someone who is a friend.  Someone who will run us a bath after a long day, cooks us dinner when we’re tired, brings home a $3 bouquet of tulips, makes us laugh as we drift off to sleep.  These  are the little pieces of the puzzle that make up everyday and they are the pieces that we should be focused on.

Life isn’t fancy.  It’s about the simple things, the little moments.  If we make these little moments count… We are golden.

We are a generation of choice.  I have 160+ matches on Tinder at the moment and about 30 messages that I haven’t even opened.  It’s like being in a bar, full of available men, all the time.

I’ve been married.  I know that there are wrong choices.  That we can’t, and shouldn’t, always choose to make it work.

But get out of the bar.  Give out your number once or twice.  Try them on.

People are good.  And fascinating.  And some will fit, while others won’t.  Some might have habits (aka dressing like The Fonz) that really are a deal breaker for you.  Some might always miss the basket when they take off their socks at night (and this is probably okay).

And if you are okay with a person, if you think they are a good choice, that doesn’t mean that they will think the same of you.  Keep going.

Love is a choice.

Keep trying for it.