April 5, 2016

I Lost Myself for a Minute: Dating after Divorce.

dating, holding handsI forgot who I was for a minute. I got lost in the excitement of new love and even let myself get carried away with the promise of lasting love.

I was wrapped up in your embrace—arms and legs tangled beautifully like two trees growing together, planted into the Earth but reaching for the sky. I got lost in your eyes looking longingly into mine, both of us searching for promises.

It is not easy being single, but it’s even more difficult when you’re older and suddenly single. I can just barely remember dating. I have to look long and hard—way past my ex-husband and the heartbreak. And when I look back, I’m seeing dating through the eyes of a young girl.

That young girl is long gone amid three children, jobs, failed friendships, and years of a lonely marriage. It has taken me two years to recover and there is no rediscovery—only discovery. I needed to find a 40-something year old woman with a dead career and three older children.

What does she look like? What does she stand for? Who is she?

I found a woman so strong that she could do anything and everything. Get a new job? Check. Buy a house? Check. Build a garage with a rental? Check. Go to graduate school? Check. Continue being a loving mother? Check. Look in the mirror every day and love the woman looking back? Check.

I set my intentions and I went for it. Full of gusto and more flair than a 20-year-old: strong, beautiful, vivacious.

And then I found you.

I thought I had found everything I was looking for in a soul mate. I knew there would be hiccups but I was unwilling to bend on what I thought I deserved. But with all my heart I thought I deserved you.

Our romance was a whirlwind. Much like the tornado in the Wizard of Oz, with the occasional glimpse of my outside life and the values I had established. But that tornado carried with it a promise of Oz: a future with my amazing man.

I could picture myself coming home every day to him. I saw myself rubbing his shoulders after a long day or him holding me tight. I even saw—gulp–me changing my last name to his.

In his arms I could be soft. I could allow myself to be vulnerable in my love and in my fear. Our embrace was where the world stopped: it was “we two.”’

Then it wasn’t.

So many of us get caught up in the things we long for that we miss what’s right in front of us and, more importantly, what’s in the mirror. For my ex-husband, it was the search of more and more money. For my best friend, it was her independence after her divorce. For another friend, it was the loving husband waiting at home after a long day as a school teacher. And yet another, it’s her young children at home while she chases away the boredom of being a stay-at-home mom.

Have you forgotten who you are? Have you forgotten what you’re about? 

Stop for a minute. Remember who you are and who you want to become. Decide your own fate if you don’t know.

I forgot who I was for a minute. I deserve a man who is going to man up and come and get me. He’s going to see my value and he will want to earn that. I will inspire him to be a better man, and he will inspire me. I will never forget my worth again.

I forgot, just for a minute.

I forgot that I’m a goddamn goddess.


Author: Amy Weitzel

Editor: Sara Kärpänen

Photo: Daryn Bartlett / Unsplash &  Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

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