Editor’s note: I thought there’d be another entry before this one, but I’ve changed my mind. This is the final piece in a series. To start from the beginning, read here. This is meant to be cathartic and perhaps it has been. How helpful it’s been remains to be seen.
New editor’s note: For anyone who’s been reading these, I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long! Between work, life, struggling with severe writer’s block and what not…I just haven’t been around…shameful I know. I’m hoping to get back to my ways of being on here regularly. I hope this last entry really wraps this whole process up and let’s me move on to other things. I will have to start it over with a slightly different approach since it’s been so long. I hope it all still fits together. Thank you all for your patience!
I’ve recounted my dating experiences what feels like hundreds of times and it never gets easier. When I started this project, at the time the sadness that comes with it seemed to have intensified. It wasn’t only the frustration of repeated failure but it was the feeling like I’m the failure.
There wasn’t a way in which I hadn’t failed – whether it was my physical appearance, my decision making, maybe it was my personality or lack thereof. Even now, so many months, even a year, after I started this project, I keep thinking that every single time it’s because I’m not enough…not tall enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, not (fill in the blank) enough. Whatever it was, it was different for every guy…somehow I always just wasn’t enough.
The funny thing about finishing this project so long after I started it, about a year and a half really, is I think writing that all out, forcing myself to really look at those situations, those guys and what was in my head all those times, has opened my eyes to some things. I’ve concluded that it’s not so much a low self-esteem as much as it is that I continue to be extremely highly self-critical of myself, and hence the whole “I’m not enough” business. That may seem like splitting hairs but to me it’s not. I keep thinking that if I really hated myself as much as I portray now and again, I would have been in much worse situations or even now be in a truly heinous relationship that could include various abuses…and I’m not. I haven’t really let myself fall so far to think that I deserve that type of treatment and I’m thankful ever so much for whatever gifts God has given me to be resilient enough to keep on truckin’, as they say. I’m thankful that I’m the independent woman that I am and, am virtually, incapable of giving up my independent thought and ways.
This, of course, creates the new issue that perhaps I’ve been single SO long that I don’t know how not to be single. I don’t know that I would even know how to be in a good relationship or know when a good one is presenting itself to me. I do know that trust is difficult for me…whether that’s trusting him, or even myself. I know I don’t want to fall too hard, too fast anymore and so I’m guarded but I also know that nothing can happen if I’m not willing to take risks. I’ve been telling myself for a long time, even during all those hard times, that what I need to do is just focus on making me happy, the rest will follow.
I’m 36 now and will be 37 in August and I’ve all but given up on the idea of marriage and kids. Technically marriage is possible at any age but kids are not. The hard part of it is feeling like I can’t get over how some people can become parents but I can’t. I will say that while it still hurts some and it still bothers me, I think maybe, just maybe, I’m finally coming to terms with things. I keep trying to focus instead on the things that WILL make me happy instead of what I hope will. At the end of “He’s Just Not that Into You,” a movie that I love and absolutely believe is talking about me (ha!) there’s a line: “And maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy, maybe… it’s you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future.” Maybe that’s me…could be at least. Who knows.
Hell, right at this very moment I have to focus on work related issues. The winds have quite literally been blowing hard on and off for a good six months, or so it feels like. I believe that it’s the winds of change and it’s just time for some changes. What those will be, I’m not real sure yet. Time will tell.
Thank you again all for taking the time to read this. I know it’s been a long time coming and I’m sorry for having been absent for so long! I really do love WordPress and the community with it so I plan to be around a lot more often. 🙂