This week I heard my inner dialogue about dating again go like this:
‘My mom gave up years ago. So can I!’
What. The. Fudge?!?!
‘Now that I think about it, my dad gave up long before my mom did, so I have two strong examples to support this.’
You all know that my mom is my hero, or you know now. I love her as much as I love my child. When people ask me where home is, I answer, “Wherever my mom is.”
My mom thinks in a way that provokes deeper conversation, prods one into looking for more meaning. She has led me on a spiritual journey with her adventures in Buddhism and a few other isms. She doesn’t lack a partner. She is a force on her own!
Both of my parents have strong, political convictions which they passed onto me. And they have both lived unpartnered for many years, with different perspectives on it.
When my dad and I reconnected last September, I remember him encouraging me to remarry. He said he regretted not remarrying when he endured cancer and its treatment a couple years ago.
‘Oh Dad,’ I thought. ‘You do not know me AT ALL.’ I understand his perspective. I took his words and filed them for later reference. As we’ve talked over the last six months, I think he’s gotten a better idea of my life.
I’m exhausted. All the time. Working full-time takes up most of my time, and parenting on my own takes up most of my energy, plus I’m up before the crack of dawn working out every day, and reading or playing during my spare moments. I’m considering a geographical change and with that comes the constant job search, school-reviewing, neighborhood-researching, clutter-clearing, etc.
Dating at this time of my life is not a priority. I dated someone for a few months this past fall, it did not work out, and I don’t miss the time and energy it took to maintain the relationship. I like my space!!! I cherish the very small windows of alone time that I get, and I cherish the time I have with my son while he’s still young and wants to spend time with me.
Am I thinking too black-and-white by saying that my parents gave up on dating and that I can too? Maybe. We’ll see what the future holds. I’m not eager to jump back in that pool, nor do I feel like I lack a partner. Like my mom, I’m a force on my own and don’t need a relationship to feel okay in life.
I find that pretty empowering.
The words I said to myself while training and running half marathons apply to everything in life: I am enough. I am strong. I can do this.
Don’t worry; I’m not trying to do everything on my own. It takes a village to raise a child. I have help. I lean on my mom and a couple of other helpful people in my life. What I have going on works for me, for my family, and that’s what matters.