Monday, February 20, 2012

Lust for Love -- And the Like

I wondered how long it would take. How long before the questions about marriage from my family would start. In fact, I'm rather shocked it took this long. When I was 21, I was certain and scared I'd found who I would be with forever. Then the years move forward, life changes you and the couple grows apart. At 25, you find the strength to do what you should have done at 23: And you're single again.

While in the relationship, a large - and growing - part of my problem was the fact that I had never had that chance to be single. After barely any single time between 17 and 20, I met The Ex: the big one; the one I refer to as "the divorce". I was 20 when we met. Shortly after we began dating, he went to Egypt to work for a summer and that entire time I was waiting for him, I was obsessed with living vicariously through watching Sex and the City. Even before things started to fall apart, the stories of Carrie and her friends - the stories I thought I'd never have - began to haunt me. I never got to be single; what stories will I tell my kids, I thought. When the relationship ended, I was excited to finally dip my toes in the pool of Singleworld: This mythical land of dating and heartbreak and stories and idiots and intrigue and and oh the excitement! I knew I'd fall on my face. I knew I'd come face-to-face with idiots and heartache. I knew that. But that's exactly what I wanted. And I ran with it. Well, first I ran face first into a wall my swatter.

Note: I have a tendency to create my own catch phrases or personal references, if you will. Here are a few:
  • Swatter: That random hook-up after you break up with a (serious) boy/girlfriend you need in order to move on from the past relationship. They are not a type that you were ever go for were you seeking a serious relationship and are likely below your standards.
  • PB/J: To PB/J something is to play it out until it's no longer appealing. Often I do this with music: If I like a song a lot, I will play it on repeat until I can't stand to listen to it anymore. (Two weeks later it's on the radio.) After a few of months, I can bring it back into rotation. I also tend to do this with food; hence the phrase. See also: People, movies, tv shows. 
  • Dino Arm: You know when you're spooning and you're the little spoon and that arm that's underneath you is just awkward and all you can really move is your hand - or at the most, your arm up to your elbow? That's a dino arm. Why? Because of this. And then I found this too.

Anyway, the swat: I find the swatter period to last about 3 to 6 months, then we all tend to return to normal. I spent about seven months in Singleworld, gathering stories (peruse blog for some). Then a weird thing happened, after those seven months, I started swatting the first said swatter on the regular and fast-forward 18 months and that turned into this and he eventually became the Pink Elephant.  Ridiculous, yet good, stories, but it is time to stop the journalism? Or am I just getting started? I wonder, because despite my desire for the stories, I'm a monogamist at heart.

Since The Ex, I haven't found  anybody who I felt that I could be with - like really be with - at least until recently. I think that's what I was afraid of with the Halloween Guy. When he started acting strange (so I started acting strange), it reminded me of how I felt with the Pink Elephant. It reminded me of all the time I wasted there; all the opportunities maybe I missed. How I wasn't happy; I wasn't myself. And I don't have time for that anymore, because more than anything, I want children. I want a family. And next year I'll be 30. I don't have time to waste. I mean, I'm not in a hurry (at 35 I'll start to worry); I just don't have the time (or energy) to waste. Or maybe I'm just too smart for that now.

I don't know if I'm quite done being selfish and free. What I do know is that despite the heart ache, I  realize all the lessons that come with it: And that being alone is better than being unhappy with someone and settling. My family seems to worry that I'm 28 and still single, but I have met the most amazing people in the world because of my lust for love - and the like. 

What prompted this entry was a post where George Clooney said: 

I have been infinitely more alone in a bad relationship; there's nothing more isolating. I have been in places in my life where that has existed.

So, am I engaged, grandma? No. No I'm not. Does that mean I'm lonely? No. No it does not. It just means he hasn't found me yet. The loneliest I've ever been was to be with someone with whom I no longer belonged. The fighting; the bickering; the anxiety is awful: I'd rather be alone than part of that, but it doesn't mean we never belonged together, just that our time meant together had ended. That happens and it's normal, I have come to find. Each broken heart is a time for self-reflection. Every man I've loved and loved me back will always have a place in my heart. A heart that makes room for new people every day; room that's needed because all the heartbreaks and bruises have paved the way for friendships and love I never knew I wanted until I got the stories I never thought I'd have. 

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