I recently celebrated my birthday with my three grown children. As we sat eating sushi and laughing, it hit me again that I have everything I could possibly want: a family, my health, a job I love, and devoted friends. Nothing is missing from my life.
Not. One. Single. Thing.
I’ve been divorced for almost seven years, and while I’ve dated and had one long-term relationship since then, I haven’t met ‘The One’ yet. And that’s okay because between the tears and the healing and balancing my new life these past seven years, I’ve found ‘Me’ and I really like her.
I would not have believed how lovely solitude can be
My kids aren’t around as much as they used to be, and I spend much time alone. It scared me when my ex-husband and I first separated, and if someone had told me how wonderful the solitude and peace that comes with quiet nights alone can be, I wouldn’t have believed them.
During my first days of being single, I worried about so many things: If I’d be able to pay my bills, if I’d be able to save money if I’d be able to handle taking care of the house and parenting on my own, if I’d ever find love again. There was no one to vent my worries and concerns to; I didn’t have a partner living with me that I could lean on. There was no one to help me figure out what to do if a pipe burst or the furnace stopped or if money was tight.
I had to figure a lot of things out on my own
I had to figure all of these things out on my own. I had to ask for help. I had to be vulnerable. In doing that, as hard as some days were, I realized how competent I am. I became confident in my own abilities and discovered that, yes, I could handle any obstacles that came my way.
I fell into a routine and love how I spend my days now. I spend them how I want to, doing the things that matter to me without explaining myself to anyone. I started to value myself in a way I never had before, and it became clear that no one in the world could complete me because I am already whole.
I have stopped wondering why I am single
I no longer wonder why I am the only one of my friends who is single or think there is something wrong with me. I know when and if I meet the right man, they will fit into my life and enhance it. But right now, I’m unwilling to sacrifice my peace and solitude just to have a partner. I’d rather be alone.
I wasn’t always like this. For decades, I thought the only way to be happy was to find your One True Love, the person you couldn’t live without. It’s just not true anymore, at least not for me.
I do ‘me’ without having to explain myself to anyone
I cherish the fact I can have my bed and my bathroom to myself. If I want to go to bed at seven or midnight or fall asleep with the Hallmark channel humming in the background, I don’t worry about disturbing anyone. I spend money the way I want to without consulting another person.
I have my dream career and can focus as much time and energy on work, my kids, and my friends. Finding a man is not my top priority. It’s not even in my top ten list of priorities.
I no longer feel like the clock is ticking and time is running out, and that I need to put myself out there before it’s too late. There’s no rush, and I certainly will not take time away from the things that set my soul on fire, like writing, baking, and taking day trips with my kids, to date.
I still believe in loving partnerships, I just don’t need one to be happy
I believe in love and partnership. I love my friends’ relationships and hope to find something special and meaningful with someone one day, but I’m in no rush. I also know that ‘He’ may not be out there. And that’s okay because I can do this. I am doing this.
Women are groomed to believe that their lives must follow a certain timeline and that it is the formula for happiness. Society tells us that getting the guy is the best happy ending. I used to believe that with my entire being.
But that was the old me.
Don’t get me wrong; I still love sappy romance novels and rom-coms where two people fall in love and get their happy ending. Watching and reading those stories will always be my favorite way to unwind.
But as a forty-eight-year-old woman, I now know that happy endings are different for everyone. Mine might include a man. Or it might not.
And no matter how my life plays out, I’m okay because I’m really enjoying this time in my life and how I live right now.
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