Being the ‘One’
I am going to focus not on finding the ‘One’, but being the ‘One’. I am going to follow the love that comes my way with an open heart and kindness for however long it lasts.
So, this will be my second summer as a divorced woman. As the fog burns off from the June gloom and the sun shines high in the sky and warms my body I feel excited. I realize that last summer I was still in the midst of healing from my divorce. I remember going on dates and coming home and crying as I got ready for bed. Really for no particular reason, probably a mixture of sadness about the past, confusion and stress relief. Last summer I was looking for validation that I was still attractive and date-able. My self-esteem had been destroyed from constant rejection, and I honestly didn’t know how men perceived me.
I was fragile, too trusting and too eager to make something work out. But looking back, I am proud of myself for putting myself out there anyway. Yes, I spent a lot of time writing in my journal about my most recent crush, or my complete lack of interest in someone who liked me. Also mixed in among writing about my dates were large letters of anger at my Ex-husband for doing this to me. Dating again and putting myself out there to new people was so hard, and I couldn’t understand how he had done it so easily while we were still together. It made me realize how little he had really cared about me towards the end. And I also blamed him for putting me in this position of having to grow and learn. I longed for my little cocoon of hiding myself in our marriage.
Last summer was also stressful with the pandemic. So, the isolation of being in lockdown, mixed with trying to navigate online dating and recovering from the break up of my marriage was a lot. It is interesting how sometimes you only see your strength in retrospect. Everyone was telling me how brave I was last year for leaving my marriage and starting a new life, but I didn’t really feel brave. But now looking back, I see my courage. Yes, I did some silly things last summer; I had crushes on men that were completely wrong for me, I sent photos of myself in lingerie to complete strangers, and I kissed good looking men just because I felt like it. But, I regret nothing. I was finding my way, and exploring my new found freedom.
This summer I don’t feel sad anymore, or angry. I feel more grounded and confident. I know I will make more mistakes, but that is ok. I am not going to judge myself, or blame myself for putting myself out there and sometimes it being a fail. The fact that after all I have been through that I still believe in love and connection is an amazing thing in itself. And I do. I still believe that love is possible just as it is. It doesn’t mean I have to get married again, and it doesn’t mean it has to last forever. Love can come and go in a year, a month a week. But it is there. It doesn’t have to be that I meet someone and he is the ‘one’ for the rest of my life. I have already done that, I have experienced the commitment of being with one person and working hard at being with them through difficult times. I don’t need to do that again. Love can mean something different. Love can be found in more than one person.
The most important thing that I have learned this past year is that love can be found inside of me. I can be there for myself regardless of what anyone else is doing. I can listen to my body, and I can be kind to myself. I can put myself out there, but I can also be there for myself when I fall. I can stay home on a Saturday night with my pup, put on a face mask, watch ‘Housewives of Orange County’ reruns and have a nice healthy dinner. I can practice self-care and recharge myself without explaining myself to anyone.
The constants in my life are my daughter, yoga, my finance job and this blog. I feel that these constants are pulling me through my pain and into a more healthy life. A life where I am not looking for validation, and where I can show love rather than looking to find it all the time. A life that I can take in the compliments and good vibes that come my way without feeling that I have to give something in return. A life that I can really feel and take in my love for myself, and the love that others give to me.
For most of my life, I have been the observer. The person who tries to read others and do what they want me to do so they will accept me. I thought this behavior was a good thing. It seemed to work in keeping people in my life, keeping my job, and keeping my depression at bay. But it was exhausting. It took a complete breakdown for me to change. Believe me, I didn’t want to change but my body made me change. It laid on the couch in exhaustion and said ‘no more’. It wouldn’t let me get up until I promised that I would start to make changes. So, I started to look at how my behavior was hurting me, rather than helping me. I was so focussed on what others wanted and how they perceived me that I had no idea what I wanted. Slowly I started the journey to get to know myself again.
So, as summer approaches I am going to focus on how far that I have come. I am going to enjoy dating, meeting new people and exploring in the post-Covid world. I am going to focus not on finding the ‘one’, but being the ‘one’. I am going to follow the love that comes my way with an open heart and kindness for however long it lasts.