Yesterday, I was thinking about the leaves falling and how beautiful it was here in Pennsylvania about a week ago, with the gorgeously bright yellows and reds that look like they were painted on leaves with super pigmented acrylic paints. In the midst of my wonderment, I was taken aback by the sheer SPEED in which this year has gone by. We were just having conversations on how the year 2010 would be pronounced: 20-10, 2000 and 10, 2-0-10; then I chronologically aged one year closer to thirty and now HOLY SHIT its November. It seems that the older I get, the faster I, and the world, ages.
With age, besides wrinkles, I do seem to be gaining some odd sort of clarity and understanding about me – who I am, what I want to do and with whom – and I’m finally figuring out how to actually embrace these things. November has started out pretty good for me so far: I’ve finally gotten my NEW new couch, work has been busy ergo I have been productive, I’ve been having a lot of good times with great friends and I’ve even started doing some stuff for ME. I’ve gone out more in the last 4 weeks than I have in 4 months and while I do find it tiring in its own way, I’m ENJOYING myself. I’ve started dating again, in the lightest sense of the word possible mind you, and I’m analyzing these men more for what they will give ME, as opposed to what I can give them and I gotta say that I’m actually finding an eerie sense of fulfillment in being single, flirting and enjoying my femininity. And while I won’t go as far as to say I don’t have my moments of loneliness, I definitely have more happiness than not.
I think that one of the deepest reasons behind my past relationships not working out is because I never saw men as being able to contribute to my well-being – I tended to only see them as companions, as an assurance that I didn’t have to die alone and as a vessel that should have given me the love and fulfillment that I needed. Most often, as soon as I started realizing I was emotionally supporting myself and them, things started deteriorating. I became exhausted giving myself to them and getting nothing in return that I started to become resentful of them, and of myself and why I could never find the “right” person. I became disheartened and desperate for that love that I thought had to come from an outside source. I jumped from relationship to relationship to avoid being alone; to avoid myself.
Now, I’m learning that I should be looking for a man who compliments my personality, and has the same wants and future aspirations that I do, a man who doesn’t NEED anything from me other than the love that we share. In my recent past, I think I was simply was looking for that title of “girlfriend” as I saw that as a commitment to me and my future, despite the fact that it was nothing ever of the sort. This is not to say that I never loved any of my ex’s – I did, some more ferociously than others – but I know now that love isn’t enough to make a successful, lasting relationship. The time I’ve spent on my own, thinking about me, since my break up has allowed me to see this and has ignited a non-desperate fire in me, wanting to find someone who falls madly in love with me just because of who I am, not because of anything I can give them. I’ve chased men in the past – acted suave and witty and alluring. I’ve even pretended to have interest in activities that I really did not care for, just to try to win their attraction, and I fell out of love with activities I used to not be able to live without. I understand now, why that never found me a man who I could connect with – if he was looking to me to be something I’m not, then it’s no wonder he never turned out to be what I wanted, either.
So now that all of that depressing shit is out-of-the-way for today, please remember this, if nothing else, about what I’m learning from my life lessons: Cheers to November, cheers to Fall and all the fantastic colors that it brings with it, cheers to setting the clocks back an hour this weekend, and getting an extra hour out of the day. Cheers to life and actually LIVING it, to happiness and not giving up until you find it and to love – real, true, heart numbing, stomach flipping, speech impairing love; cheers to having enough self-awareness to see that YOU are the problem, not everyone else, and then doing something about it. And most of all, cheers to my therapist, my friends, my family and even my ex’s – without all of you, I would not be who I am today. And I’m becoming rather fond of this person.