Being single after roughly 20 years of being in a marriage/relationship, and really for the first time in my adult life has been a crazy learning experience and wild adventure. I have learned and am learning so freaking much about myself and what I want that I’m finally in a place where I feel like I can talk about some of it.
When I first became single it was devastating. Even though I think it’s natural for anyone who gets into a relationship super young to wonder, you can’t really know what it’s going to be like until you’re there. You don’t even realize that your identity is completely wrapped up in another person until they aren’t there anymore.
That initial shock was one of the most painful experiences ever. That was the first time I realized how much I had lost myself, not just in a man, but also in being a mom.
Once I got over the initial shock and pain, I decided it was time to take on some new ideas. I wish I had saved the list, but I actually made and completed a bucket list of things to do on my mission to becoming an independent single woman. They were simple things like getting better at driving directions, which I used to rely on my husband for, all the way to more complicated things, like being okay with being alone and learning how to make myself happy in all the ways.
Eventually I was ready to try on dating. I was still drinking when I first entered that world and those experiences were less than stellar. I tried and grew to hate dating apps for all of the wasted time and crap to weed through. When I first got sober, I stepped back from it all for a while and then back in again. It has all been kind of like that – up & down, back & forth, messy & scary, vulnerable & uncertain. I’ve met some people and made a couple of light attempts. I’ve had a couple of fun and nice experiences, and have been stood up and let down a couple of times.
Some things still show up to disappoint me, like a lack of value for integrity and communication. And some things still show up to give me hope, like the sweetness of chivalry and honesty, even when it’s hard to hear.
I’m in an interesting place with all today. I have most recently been more disappointed than pleased, and this brings me to a place of peace with being single. It’s so much less complicated, especially when you have such a dynamic family and are so focused on your goals. It’s also a lot safer on the heart and emotions!
Sometimes I worry this will get too comfortable and I’ll be single forever. Then again, what’s wrong with that?! Ok you got me, that’s not what I really want..
But at the same time, I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come and increasingly more clear on what I’m creating for my future and what I ultimately want in love. I’m thankful for the men who remind me of what I don’t want, as well as the gentlemen who remain to give me hope.
We all want love and connection. This is the ultimate heart and art of living…
But how much time do we waste focusing on what we think we’re missing while there is so much love to embrace right where we are.
And how much of our selves do we diminish and sacrifice for people who haven’t earned this very special place in our lives.
When will we stop letting fear run the show, stop settling for less than we deserve and stop blocking all that we truly desire.
The last time my heart was broken a couple of years ago, I got a tattoo that says “Always Love.” This is the promise I have made to myself – to never give up on, and always come back to love.
I have come a long way… Because today I choose to see all the ways that love surrounds me, and trust that all of the ways I desire are on their way in their own perfect time.