I've been single for a little over six years. I was, I guess, a serial monogamous since adolescence. It seemed no matter how a break-up went, within months I was un-single again. I didn't have a lot of relationships, but several long term. I always seemed to start living the man's life, in terms of hobbies and friends. I so wanted to spend time with him that I would become involved in whatever he was interested in. I've been a fan or observer of everything from motor-cross and wrestling to Star Trek and RC cars.
This is the first time in my life I've been single for any length of time and it's really grown on me. I've taken the time to learn more about myself and what I like to do. I've learned about my needs when it comes to relationships of all kinds. I've remembered how much I love to be alone. I've developed and cultivated lasting and meaningful friendships. I've learned a lot more about the world, both the outer and the inner. I've found some semblance of contentment within. I would love to say that I love myself fully every moment and that I'm always the best Witch I can be, happy and smiling and helpful but that's not true. What is true is that I've found a kinder baseline. I've found a space within where I know that I'm ok, where I remember that I love myself. I've found a much closer relationship with Deity and the love I feel flowing through that helps sustain and fuel me in difficult times.
I've also spent a lot of time considering the type of partner I would like. I've slowly cultivated a clear picture of what a healthy relationship will look like. I've asked myself a lot of tough questions about the things I've done in past relationships that have caused me to lose myself. I've become comfortable on my own, shedding that quiet feeling that I was somehow less valid without a man. I've also thought about what would be important to establish for myself before becoming involved again. This is where it gets sticky.
I see the perfectionist I try to deny when I look at my expectations. I feel the need to shed all bad habits, a few pounds, and have all the things that feel unorganized organized. I tell myself I should be practicing Yoga and meditation more regularly, exercising too. I should have a better system with my house so that I don't get behind in cleaning, laundry, dishes etc... Sometimes I even think I should have a better job. If you haven't already guessed, I'm trying to call myself on my own shit.
Yes, it's important to feel like your life is in order when entering a relationship. However, exactly how "together" can a single working mom's life feel? I may be amazing some days but I'm not Superwoman. And I see myself making very slow progress in some of these areas. When I ask myself why that is, I realize it has a lot to do with lack of time and energy.
I'm beginning to fear that I'm making excuses to stay single. The only reason I am even entertaining these thoughts today is that I've recently had a welling up of feeling for that not-yet-met guy out there and I realize that I really miss having an other. I wonder if it might be a little easier to manage my life if there was someone else I could count on to help me through it. I have wonderful, supportive friends but there is something so unique in the support that comes from a partner. There is something about being held by a loved one that is so deeply healing.
Then some bully related to my inner perfectionist tells me that this is weakness. It's weak to expect a man to come along and "rescue" me or make it all better. There is something to that. I don't want to be dependent. I do, however, want to slowly build a strong co-creative partnership. The question seems to be: Am I ready yet?
While driving home from work today, pondering whether or not to even write this post, I was listening to CBC Radio 2 (love!) and they played "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young.
"I want to live,
I want to give
I've been a miner
for a heart of gold.
It's these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old..."
Neil Young was not yet thirty when he wrote this song. It made me think about how, in the search for 'the one', we can start to feel old. Sometimes I feel worn thin. I guess it's just a good expression of loneliness, something I've denied even to myself.
As I read the first lines, "I want to live, I want to give", it woke me up to the fact that it's not just what I miss having that makes me miss someone I haven't met yet, it's those things I so yearn to share. I want to nurture and teach and learn and laugh. I crave balance. I look forward to creating something I've not yet experienced with someone who is like-minded.
I apologize for the circular rambling nature of this post but my mind (air) tends to be much more organized than my heart (water). If you have any thoughts, please feel free to stick a hand out to catch this revolving door.