My son and I laugh a lot. He brings me tissues when I cry. He helps me whip new marinades for pork that refuses to cook correctly and he always waits patiently without complaining. Recently I’ve been comparing a lack of positive personality traits in ex-boyfriends to those my son does have. It has verified that the happiness I seek isn’t in a lover like my unstable mother manipulated me into believing. My happiness can be anywhere. And sometimes I can find it shining brilliantly in my son’s laughter.
There’s an ex who contacts me every few weeks under the guise of friendly chit chat. He’s fooling himself and he’s constantly showing me what a loser he really is. And that’s a difficult thing for me to say. Generally I try to see the good in everyone I know personally. But he’s still emotionally cheating on his unfaithful wife and trying to fill the emotional void with me. No. Sorry. I’m not interested. Go away. Leave me alone. You haven’t convinced me of anything other than your own denial.
In the last year I’ve become accutely aware of an increasingly large number of people who don’t want to improve themselves in order to improve their relationship potential. (Not talking about physique, I’m talking about mental stability and maturity.) With an influx of media messages that insist being yourself is okay – no matter who or what you are – its no wonder that folks have used this as an excuse to not make themselves better people when there actually is a need to improve. Because of that, they have no problem shacking up with, or reuniting with losers because there’s no expectation of improvement from either party. With the new millennia and the tsunami of life goals pushed upon the population, it’s no wonder personal improvement has taken a nose-dive.
In a landslide domino affect, the pool of quality romantic candidates has nearly evaporated and good people are now constantly rejected by losers because theyre esstenially too good for them, and the losers dont want to put in a prolonged effort to improve themselves.
So essentially being out of someones league is now a bad thing.
The pool of quality people is shrinking because of this new “If you can’t beat them, join them” theory. This has caused countless stable people to suddenly question their romantic decisions. One man, Jake, had broken up with his boyfriend because of adultary. “I don’t know,” Jake said miserably to me at lunch one day, “Should I give him another chance?” Uhg. How can I answer that?? When you’ve found yourself starving, suddenly scraps look pretty good.
Another friend of mine just asked me to evaluate his dating profile. “I’d venture to guess the vast majority of ladies looking at your profile on this dating site aren’t interested in an intelligent guy,” I guessed.
Where does that leave all of us? You – reading this – where did you meet your significant other? And before you met them did you begin questioning the possibility that there was really someone out there for you?
Some time ago I was on the phone with the last guy I dated – pissed – because he was returning to his problematic ex-wife. “You’re basically telling me that you don’t want a loyal person and you don’t want to be happy…” I seethed. Correct. After the litany of things he professed his ex-wife did, he was still going back. He said it was for the children. Yet if your spouse was that abusive, you should leave them for the children.
Then it hit me like a tennis racket to the face: Some people would rather be with a loser so that they themselves don’t have to live up to a better standard. I did it myself with my ex-husband: I figured he wouldn’t cheat on me because he was a mess mentally as well as physically — no one else would want him. Less work on my part. I was already overwhelmed with life. Yet, I was wrong. I watched him destroy our family, my extended family, his family, his son, and lie in court — only to win in the end.
This has all left me feeling like I’m in a sink hole while the rest of the dating population runs around having fun cheating on each other, lying and causing general misery. 99% of me now believes that the last few decades of my life spent desperately trying to improve myself was a horrible waste of time.
I was recently interviewed for a breakup site — quite exciting! And of course they asked me what this past year has done for me. Without question I can say that it’s made me realize my worth more than anything else ever has.
I no longer spend time bending myself to get someone to like me. My mother raised me to believe that I was worthless without a husband, and while I didn’t completely buy into her twisted 1950’s logic, I was still left with a lingering need to feel fulfilled. The last year has shown me that the men I’ve dated in the past didn’t have the capability to fulfill me, that only by being adventurous in doing what I want will I feel fulfilled.
I may not want to remain single my entire life — and I may struggle to figure out if my choices are based on my desires or what I think others may want — but you can be damn certain I’ll never stop questioning the truth behind my decisions in the effort to put myself first.
LOL I can’t… I can’t actually take that headline seriously. It’s not like I have any options anyway. Anyone who I’ve been interested in isn’t interested, and anyone who’s interested in me – I’m not interested in.
Let me put it another way: Toxic guys aren’t what I want. And healthy guys are scared of me or taken. And quite frankly – I’m tired of making efforts.
Thankfully the last year has drastically altered by priorities. I spent the day enjoy the great outdoors with a small troop of 7-year-olds on a soccer field and it was fun.
I can’t believe a year flew by.
I stepped into Empanada Mama on 9th Street and was immediately struck by the sensation of what it would be like if I lead a different life. As if I was a traveler on a moving sidewalk who was miraculously able to see through a sliver-sized crack in the passing wall to the scene beyond.
The image it presented was an entire alternate life where I was single, childless and living in the depths of New York City. The scents and sounds were deep and rich, and I felt at-home, but I didn’t have my son. And because of it there was a certain lack of life and love as well.
Would this have been my life had I had different parents? Taken different routes and made other choices?
The music vibrated overhead as a crisp breeze blew over patrons from the exposed vents above. And I couldn’t help but think a year ago I was having lunch with someone that I was ready to champion without knowing more than a few months.
I’m in such a different place now. And it may not be what the sliver in the crack presented, but I know it’s down a better path than the one I was originally headed.
I was in a photo studio in Melville, New York, helping a photographer shoot gift baskets for an up coming magazine spread. The morning of 9/11/2001 went from a simple shocking blip in history to a moment that left an imprint of shock on the nation. From a warehouse studio, we watched helplessly as the Twin Towers failed to recover. It was like watching prince charming fall during duel with the evil dragon. We all watched in hair-raising alarm as our brains refused to accept what had happened. No… This can’t be happening…
As the closest thing to death in my life, it felt like the world was unraveling and chaos reigned. Fear swept over New York like a thundering black mist. Post traumatic shock lingered on the faces of residents as we went about our lives for weeks until we finally asked ourselves if it was suitable to start living again. Would it be okay to smile again? Laugh?
September 11, 2001 may be the most monumental event in our history, yet sadly, the outline of this scenario happens to us constantly on a much, much smaller, individual scale. Shocking events, post trauma, lingering shock, sadness, grief, acceptance and hopefully healing. This week alone – even before 9/11 status posts – I read countless grief-stricken goodbyes to friends, loved ones and even pets on Facebook. Afterwhich I couldn’t help but wonder, How do we move on from this?
We just do. We take the pieces and the memories, pick ourselves up and just start living again. Eventually we allow a laugh, a smile.
In life we need to allow ourselves to grieve. No matter what the situation. But we need to also get to a point where we can say, “I have a life to live. I’m going to honor the memories and keep moving on.”
The moon will rise
The sun will set
But I won’t forget
Tell a loved-one how you feel today. Cherish what you have. And learn to live again.
I’ve been wallowing in “Where am I going with my life?” lately. And it’s not even “What do I want to do?” as much as “What do I want to do next?” I’ve got a mental laundry list of things I’d like to do in life, but no idea where to start.
A few weeks ago I received the typical emails from my son’s school pertaining to his soccer league. I’ve been an athlete most of my life — mainly softball MVP — but also squeezed in a few years of high school soccer. So when the email arrived asking for volunteer parents, I asked my son what he thought about me coaching. He loved it.
“I’ve never coached soccer before,” I explained to him, “Too bad you’re not on the baseball team.” He didn’t care. He was thrilled at potentially having his mom as the coach. So with a bit of anxiety due to a lack of time as well as a relatively dusty soccer memory, I joined.
A few weeks and one coachs’ meeting later I’m knee deep in emails, rosters, snack lists and practice schedules. I’m desperately searching for simplified rules for this league in order to brush-up on terminology and plays. And yet all the while reminding myself that these kids are 7- and 8-year-olds. They’ll hardly be able to nail a corner kick, let-alone know why they have to do it.
I’ve got a steno pad of notes, to-do’s, drill ideas, practice break-downs and notes. I’m having visions of thrilling them all with fun scenarios of bee hives as I explain to them that everyone clustering in a group during play isn’t a good idea — that they should spread out and pass the ball.
Chills. This is fun. This is fun to me. This is fun — not dressing up for a guy I’ve only met online, who has no idea who I am because he only liked my photos and didn’t even bother to read my dating profile but still wants to get together and spend time with me even though he has no idea who I am. This is fun to me — soccer is fun.
This is the epitome of refocusing. After the last few years of severe heartache, I’m getting excited that I may have found a new passion, and it’s not one where I have to hope the guy is mentally stable enough to keep a good thing while he has it. It’s got nothing to do with men — and I love it.
But Im still missing something. I still haven’t made an actual list of goals for my own life. The thought of doing it seems so ridiculous and awkward. Apparently that’s what we’re supposed to do, though. But like I said, it’s not that I don’t know what I want to do — it’s what do I want to do first? … hmm… Looks like it’s going to be coaching.