I have been the relationship girl since, well basically all my life. I always had a boyfriend in high school and during the college years. Then I went from living in my parent’s home to my first marriage. There was a lapse of a few years between marriage one ending and the second one beginning. I even spent a year, consciously not dating. After #2 was over, there were only a few months before I met #3. See what I mean…relationship girl. What would happen if the relationship girl decided to give up the title and try something new? But what?
In forty-four years, I never lived alone. Granted the kids are here three days a week, but I am on my own more now than I have been in my entire life. I’ll admit to being lonely and feeling lost for the first several months during this new chapter of my life. I felt disconnected from my children in a way that is so hard to explain. Even when they were here with me, I was still mourning the fact they weren’t here five days a week. I couldn’t see that the quality of my time with them was just as valuable at the quantity. This paradigm shift was in my mind unsurmountable. I was not the full-time hands-on mom I had always been, and I had no relationship to focus on either. Maybe it’s time to explore being independent?
independent: (adj.): not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself
I like definitions, so I looked up independent. Maybe I’m closer to being independent than I thought. Looking around my living room and my home in general and I see that it reflects my tastes. That is a move in the right direction. No one influenced my choices here except my mom, whom I asked for her opinion on my sofa. It’s funny to think back to even the most basic decisions made over the last twenty years. I valued everyone else’s opinions more that I ever did my own. Why did I do that? Did I not trust myself? Was I such a pleaser, that I looked for approval in every choice? I don’t know the answer. Just being aware of it makes me think about the bigger picture.
Did you know I started back to college in December? Dear friends, even though I was having trouble with depression, I kept the promise to myself to further my education. See, the decision was made back in June, during the time I had finally separated from #3 and before my house burned. I remember how excited I was to share the news with my family during our vacation to Washington. For several years, I’d been considering returning to school to pursue the BSN (Bachelors Science in Nursing) degree. There was always a reason not to go back: the kids are too small, where will the money to pay for it come from, we are blending our family. The list went on and on and I could have easily said because of the house, this isn’t the right time. But, I asked myself this question, “If not now, then when?” There is no perfect time or situation in life. Now was my answer.
The byline of this blog is… living life after the farm and on my own terms. I think I’m starting to do that.
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the last six months.
- Being alone doesn’t equate to being lonely. My company is better than fine. It’s ok, even normal to like spending meaningful time alone.
- It is ok not to be in a relationship with someone. I’m finding out who I am, not who he wants me to be. I was rather good at morphing into who I thought ‘he’ needed me to be. Now I’m focusing on who I want me to be.
- Looking to social media for constant approval is a poor substitute for self-acceptance. I enjoy my FB time and my Instagram feed, but they are just for fun.
This last thought I want to share is something that has been on my mind for the last several weeks. Friends, I have shared so much of myself and my personal struggles over the last several months with you. Life had become something overwhelming and unrecognizable, and it was too much to process alone. That was why I turned to writing. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for the comments and well wishes. You all helped me through a very difficult chapter in my life. As a result of it, I’m stronger. I’m grounded and a point of personal change. Not sure exactly where this will take me and the blog, but rest assured it is good.
daisies, coffee, and chocolates,