Learning who I am without someone was one stage. Learning who I am with someone is a new stage.
I spent the year after my split from my husband of 18 years learning a lot about who I am without him. I sat in his shadow for 2 decades. I was the wife, the mom, the support staff. He was the bread-winner. I rarely did anything in life that he didn’t approve of. It was too much work to stand up for my desires. It was just easier to fade into the background. That translates to: I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t know what I liked. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t know what I wanted in a career and I definitely didn’t know what I wanted in a partner. I couldn’t even imagine having a partner. You can look back over my writing and see that I was scared of even the thought of a relationship. I built in every excuse for someone not to have to stick around. Looking back, I was scared.
The good news is, I knew I didn’t know. I knew I didn’t know anything. I was figuring it out as I went. I knew enough to know that. The men I attracted reflected where ever I was in that journey. I was wishy-washy for a good chunk of that year. My dates were also wishy-washy. A kink acquaintance (who later became friend), when asked what she felt from my energy, she responded something like, “It isn’t a feeling. I hear music. I hear the theme to Mission Impossible.” I totally got it. I felt like the theme to Mission Impossible, not from an “I’m up to a scheme” but from an “I am all over the place” feeling.
Then the feeling stopped. My friend didn’t hear “Mission Impossible” anymore. I didn’t feel like “Mission Impossible” anymore. It was mid April when I admitted I wanted a relationship. I wanted stable. I think that was because I finally felt stable. …And the universe delivered.
I’m in a stable relationship and I find myself confronting fears and baggage. I guess that’s the stage I’m ready for.
Here are my latest truths:
I think life is about the learning experiences. I never want to stop evolving. I always want to be exploring myself. I never want to have it all figured out. I like the stages.