Been lots of stuff floating around in my head these last few days.
A friend recently asked me, "So Ms. Delight, now that you are divorced, what are you going to to do with the rest of your life?"
My reply, "Uh, I have no clue."
But, I do have an inkling.
Two years ago, I told a special someone, that in my heart of hearts I knew I couldn't really make any plans for a future loving relationship until I had lived on my own for awhile. Until I had created a life for myself. I've come to realize, I still believe it. Don't get me wrong, I think there is room for both, creating my life, and loving, but I also know, it's gonna take me awhile to get there.
I'm still coming to grips with the fact that it's all over. I am divorced. But, life does go on, and, I'm starting a new journey. Still lots of fears going on inside me, but, mostly, these fears have to do with me failing to create goals, and then living them.
Funny how something small, seemingly inane, can sometimes get our minds to focus.
That something arrived in my email inbox a few days ago, something I've received innumerable times in the past, but this time... a few of the items got me to thinkin' and askin' myself questions, (yeah, yeah, I know, I'm always asking myself questions, but, now, I'm trying harder to stay focused on finding the answers).
It's been said many many times, "timing is everything". 'Tis true.
Paula Redmon Satran wrote the following in 1997.
By 30, you should have:
- One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
- A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
- Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
- A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
- A youth you’re content to move beyond.
- A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
- The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
- An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
- A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
- One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
- A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
- Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
- The belief that you deserve it.
- A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
- A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.
- How to fall in love without losing yourself.
- How you feel about having kids.
- How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
- When to try harder and when to walk away.
- How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
- The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
- How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
- How to take control of your own birthday.
- That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
- That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
- What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
- That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.
- Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
- Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
- Why they say life begins at 30. (gonna change this one to 49 ~grin~)
Even though this ending of my marriage still has me feeling very sad, there is also another part of me that is feeling little tendrils of excitement. I have choices to make. Choices I would never have had the opportunity to fully embrace just five years ago. Choices I wouldn't even be considering if my marriage had not failed.
There are a couple of different ways I can approach this major turning point in my life.
I can view myself as a failure. I can bemoan the fact my marriage failed, I can take a look at my life and monetary balance sheet and see lots of lack. I can look at my kids, and say, I failed as a mother, because, they're not "out there achieving" in the way I think they should be. I can look at myself, and say, I failed, because, I didn't achieve all I think I should have. I can look at everything that's happened in a negative way.
I can tell myself I have these new opportunities, these choices, because, my marriage is over. Yeah I failed, but I also tried, we both tried, we failed, it just didn't work. I learned from that. I'm still learning from that, (I hope I'm learning better ways to love, slowly, but hopefully I will get there).
I have choices, because, my children are grown now (even if they don't act like it), but, I gave them my best, and it's their turn now to make their own decisions.
I have career choices, because, I was a stay at home mom, and used those years volunteering in a wide variety of arenas, (I just achieved in a different way than the plans of my youth). I have career choices, because, I have ten years of career (field) experience behind me now.
So...yeah, OH YEAH, I have decisions to make. Some major, some minor, and, frankly, even though I have no idea what I will be doing next month, let alone next year, when I allow myself to, there are moments when those little tendrils of excitement have me smiling.
*Blogger note: The Belgium job was gone from the job listing the day after I posted that entry, so I didn't go for it. I'm still pondering moving in a different direction career-wise, but, with the divorce final now, I keep thinking more and more about building a house and creating my very own tiny nature preserve here on my little 12 acre oasis (thinking about the future of my aging parents plays into that decision as well). Decisions, decisions. This day, I'm kinda leanin' toward building the house, and then deciding on my career future. As to the rest, it's still one breath, one moment at time.
**I also bought a goat...you should too!