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How To Be Alone

18 Aug

Saw this video floating around on the internets.

I love it.

For most of my life, I have required, no I have commanded, that I am with people at all times. I was never comfortable being alone. I was the child that would sneak out of the house to go play with my friends at six years old (Carter has repeated this very thing recently) and to be alone was akin to death in my world.

Being a divorced woman and single mother, I was forced to be alone for a time.  It was hard. I hated almost every minute of it. But guess what? It was healing.

Years later, I find myself willingly, longingly even, looking for these quiet moments of peace. I look forward to every moment spent alone; whether it be reading a book in the park or driving home from work in the car.

I finally have embraced me. I no longer look for validation in that of others company or companionship. And when people do show up in my life, I invite them in knowing that if I was fearful of being alone, they may have never showed up anyway.

Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.

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It’s Not You. It’s Me.

1 Aug

As I have recently re-immersed myself into the dating world, I’ve found that things are a bit different this time around.

 

Allow me to impart a brief account of my romantic history. Get excited.

1997 – 2001
I dated/”went out with” who I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted and where I wanted. Of course, during this time I had my first boyfriend (Rod) and my first kiss (Spencer) and finally, I rejoiced in my relationship with my first love; my highschool sweetheart (Randy) who I remained with until half-way through my senior year.

2001 – 2003
I did quite a bit of dating during this time (to make up for lost time… maybe??) and I relished in all the attention I was getting from boys men. I dated Aaron on and off over the course of 1 1/2 years and I adored his “squeaky-clean”, modest, yet hilarious personality. I dated Chris who I enjoyed cuddling and watching movies with. I dated Dustin, Jared and Dylan who were all in their mid 20’s (this must be where my infatuation with older men began) when I was barely 18 years old. I grappled with the idea of possibly “being in love” with my childhood best friend and neighbor Kendall, who was preparing to serve a mission for our church. I dated Doug who I enjoyed summer activities with like swimming and hiking. I met several men at my place of employment – Crossroads Plaza , a shopping center located in downtown Salt Lake City. Some I went on dates with; others I did not.

August 2003
I met Patrick at work. He worked at the phone store at Crossroads Plaza and I worked in the shopping center management office. We crossed each other’s path and BAM! Instant connection (seriously, this was as close to a “love-at-first-sight” as I think humanly possible). I kept my distance at first since I had a handful of other men I was enjoying the company of. Patrick persisted for a few weeks before I finally agreed to go out with him. What can I say? I’m easily persuaded.

June 2004
Patrick became my husband.

Now if you are still reading (what would ever possess me to write about my dating history, I do not know), congratulations! Fast forward to post divorce.

2008 – Current
I flirted with Brennan who shortly thereafter became engaged to a lovely lady. I went on a really creative date with Nick who I never saw again. I gave Jared my number who never called. I gave “googly eyes” to Matt who didn’t get the picture (I still do give him googly eyes, in fact). I dated Dave. We could never get past the “friends that kiss” thing. I dated Jay for 2+ years; neither of us could quite commit. I dated a handful of other guys (Andrew, Jonathon, Adam, Corey and Clint), where there was just no profound connection.

Finally, I dated Chris, who I was completely smitten with. He was 37 years old and the 10+ year gap didn’t bother me one bit. He was attractive, intelligent, creative and cultured. When we were together, he would gaze into my eyes. After our 4th date, I never heard from him again (This one stung a bit – not gonna lie. It was the last thread that propelled me right into my current dating hiatus).

You see any stark differences here? Why such a torrential rain of romantic failures? Is this pay-back for my seemingly blissful (at least on my end!) romances of my vivacious youth? Is this just nature balancing things out?

Is this just preparing me for my everlasting beloved? The man of my dreams?

I really, really, reeeeeaaallly hope so.

*Names have NOT been changed to expose the guilty.