Good evening! This is one of those nights in which I find myself dreaming of my head hitting my pillow, and yet I have written nothing here…why did I commit to this 365 day challenge? Who am I challenging, exactly?

Myself.

Oh, Right. It makes total sense that I’d do this to myself during an incredibly stressful and exhausting time in my life.

Idiot.

{Seriously, I have been loving sharing this journal with you. I’m just tired and loopy tonight…bear with me if you dare.}

So, it’s approaching 10pm. I remember when that was what time my friends and I would hit the town. Right now I can’t think of anything less appealing than hitting the town! It’s funny how our priorities and interests change and evolve with age, isn’t it? Which leads me to my (hopefully coherent) thoughts for tonight…

As a middle aged woman (my friends get mad when I say that, but guess what, you guys – 88 years would be a damn good run.  We’re lucky if we are only middle aged right now).

Ahem…as a middle aged, single, divorced woman…

Holy cow, can you almost hear the violin playing the sad music in the background?

Let’s start this again…lately I have been thinking a lot about relationships and the freedom I have to look at them differently now as an independent, confident, self sufficient single mother of two.

Here’s what I mean –

When I was in my early twenties I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have children. I just remember feeling really lost. I didn’t know who I was nor who I wanted to be.

At some point I decided that nothing appealled to me more than having children and staying at home to raise them…like my mother had done. Perhaps this seemed like the safe thing to do (but that’s a psychoanalysis for another time).

After that, dating became stressful….kind of like musical chairs, but instead of chairs being taken away one by one, it was the eligible men being removed from the game.  I saw my friends getting married and I didn’t want to be the one left without a “chair” when the music stopped.

The problem was I fixated a lot more on landing in a chair than on enriching my life in other ways. I thought little about cultivating my own interests. I was certain that my life was going to revolve around my children, and around my husband (who was going to take care of us entirely, of course) and life would be good.

(Cue the feminist lynch mob…)

Feel free to judge if you must. It’s the truth. That’s all I wanted.

Ultimately I did find love, and marriage, and my two beautiful children came into this world.

I was a wife, and a mother – being either one of which is a beautiful thing – but I had no idea who I was outside of those labels. Which becomes a problem when a label no longer fits.

I found myself there, with the husband and the beautiful children just like I wanted – and guess what – I still didn’t know who I was nor who I wanted to be as an individual.  It’s safe to say, neither did he.

Somehow, when my marriage unravelled, I found strength, self confidence and skills I never knew I had.

I built a new life.

So, the beauty of where I sit now, is…

(See what I did there…where I sit now? Remember the musical chairs? Stay with me…it’s late).

Ahem, the beauty of where I sit now, is that I am not looking for someone with whom to build a life. I’m just looking for someone with whom to share in the very good life which I have built for myself.

I’ll tell you what, it feels amazingly good to want, but not to need.

I’ve written it before and I mean it entirely when I say I loved my (ex)husband (and in a different way, I always will). I have no regrets about the relationship we had. We were happy for many years, and we made beautiful children. Our children are so loved.

Looking back, though, at how I entered that marriage, and what I expected to find there within it, I’ll say this…

I hope when my daughters feel ready to seek out partners in life, that they do so already feeling complete on their own. I hope that they will look not for someone who will create a life for them, but for someone who will enhance the lives they have created for themselves.

Perhaps I’ll show them what that looks like, someday, with the right person.

No matter what, I hope I’ve shown them if the music suddenly stops, they don’t need to scramble to find a chair…

It’s best to stand on their own two feet, anyway.

One Comment on “Day 110/365 Musical Chairs

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