So in this time of reflection about my choices, my relationships, and how I want my life to be, I always appreciate a few words of advice. My girlfriends have teamed up to express their opinions, and I welcome them with open arms and mind. Because if I can't hear it from the people I love the most, then probably my year of being "OK" is not going so great yet.
I find it so amazing that the women in my life are the strongest, most well-adjusted people I know. They have sound wisdom, perspectives I never imagined, and always say the right thing, even if they think they are hurting my feelings. I suspect, given the longevity of life the women in my gene pool seem to possess, I will be enjoying Florida from my motorized scooter in a bedazzled jumpsuit, shoplifting Werther's and bottles of Jack Daniels with the ladies on my speed dial in about 50 years. And I will have the most amazing blue hair on the planet, second only to my dear Mamaw Thompson, who remains forever in my memory as the possessor of THE most amazing blue hair on the planet. Until then, I will be sure to get bedazzled something or others for my grandmas because they are also founts of advice and buckets of encouragement that I never cease to take comfort in.
In Bridget Jones meets Jane Austen meets Virgo fashion, I've been ruminating and writing out my thoughts on one subject that seems to unite all of the women I know....or at least a common theme among us over the last year......
The end of a marriage is hard. The end of your first relationship after the end of a marriage is nearly as bad. There's a lot of blame. A lot of anger. A lot of sadness for yet another failure.
While it is definitely ego-boosting , in the wake of temper tantrums and hair-shirt wearing, to be asked out on dates by sailors...or climbing bums...or both...and to say yes to the cutest and most interesting "JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!", it is also important to retain perspective. To maybe not go crazy and move in together because "OMG, He called!" I think this is called "playing the field." It may also be called "rebounding."
I've never been very good at dating. Or field related sports. Or basketball.
But something I am trying learn: to move past the past.
We all make mistakes. Party fouls. Booboos. We all hurt someone in ways we didn't realize. Or hold on to the pain someone else caused, projecting that on the next person who shows us any kindness.
I have not been a purveyor of strong, healthy, well-adjusted relationships with men. I could probably dive deep into my psyche about why this is the case, but I think I should probably save that for my therapist. Or my girlfriends. Who are actually one in the same.
The point is that I don't always want that to be the case. I am trying to give some thought about the things that are deal breakers (not showing up, hitting, overt Conservatism), tolerable until fixable (selfishness, excessive use of ketchup), and brownie point earners (calling me first every time, making me dinner, rolling on the floor with Ellie, bringing me coffee).
After a couple of really complicated years, after being told "No one will ever love you like I do," after a lot of nights in a fetal position wondering if I'm crazy...
I just want something better the next time.
And this time, I am going to ask for it.
Read this article. Just click on the title.
Yashar Ali: A Message to Women from a Man: You are not "Crazy"
Thank you Lizzie and Amy for the good article.