Alone. Not lonely.

My mother and I were recently talking about my dating status. I’m happily single following a 13-year relationship. I am enjoying my freedom. Not that I was in a jail, but I was committed to a relationship and his wants and needs. I had often put those ahead of my own.

So, when my mother said, “You could find someone to just do things with. Not to date, but to just go and have fun.” To which I said, “I do. I have friends. I have great friends. I don’t need a man to go and have fun.”

Damn you, “Jerry Maguire”

It could be a generational thing. It could be a cultural thing. But, women should not believe men complete them.

I grew up in a small town in Texas. Girls we were supposed to go to high school, fall in love with that “sweetheart” and get married. If we didn’t get married right out of high school, we were expected to go to college for our Mrs. degree. If we weren’t married by 23, there must be something wrong with us.

I believed that. So, I married the wrong person because I thought it was my duty to be married. Within two years, that collapsed.

I chased marriage into my 30’s; until my former manpanion explained that marriage doesn’t equal love and happiness. You determine that. Just you. You can’t put that pressure on someone else.

I get a do-over

I am almost 40. I have no children. I have no pets (RIP Tex). I have no “mans.” I have a freedom I haven’t ever felt, because I’m not searching for something unattainable.

I have a great job. I have incredible friends (including the former manpanion). I’m not taking it for granted. I get a mulligan. And, I’m the happiest I’ve been in my life.

Some people look at divorce as a sad thing. While, it’s okay to be sad that a particular portion of your life is over, it does not have to define you. Be sad and mourn the death of the relationship. But, don’t be so sad it consumes you. Don’t isolate yourself and become lonely.

I am alone. I am NOT lonely. That is a choice.

We are all special

When the former manpanion and I broke up, through tears I said, “I don’t know who I am without you.” Looking back at that statement, it makes me sad for that woman.

No matter who you’re with, in a romantic relationship, friendship or family, you should always know who you are. You have millions of qualities that are all your own. To not know what those are is a travesty.

I’m enjoying finding out who I am again. Have I put my foot in my mouth? Yes. Have I made bad decisions because I didn’t think before I acted? You bet. Have I cried at inopportune times? Most definitely. Have I found new ways to look at the world? Yes. All are necessary to find out who you really are.

I’m enjoying the exploration. And I like who I am.

Every day is a new beginning.