About a week ago I was freaking out because my Fitbit was reporting that my period was like 5 days late. Crazy thoughts go through one’s mind in times like that. I found myself thinking about what it would be like to start over. Another bundle of joy, diapers, Halloween costume creations, and 18 more years before THAT bouncing baby would be where my Z is now – trying to decide what colleges to apply for.
I have no doubt it would be a better parenting experience because now I have a true partner in life. I would be a stay at home mom and I’ve learned so much that I feel I would do a much better job. Still, the idea really threw me. Just before I got to the point of running to Walgreens to get a pee-stick (pregnancy test), I realized that last month my period started when I was in Barcelona and I forgot to record it in my Fitbit. Sure enough when I corrected that it adjusted my calendar and told me I was going to get my period in like 5 days. I was suddenly washed in relief. That’s very telling. I’m 45 and can’t be birthing no babies now.
That was about a week ago and sure enough I have not started yet. My cycle is naturally just a few days longer than the average of 28 days. I always expect to start a few days after Fitbit says I should. The programming isn’t smart enough to learn from past months, so it always needs tweaking. Stupid technology!
All of this just to get to the point where I come clean about the seriousness of my PMS. Some months are worse than others and I never know what kind of thoughts will surface. In the last 6 months, with all the big changes in my life I’ve often been pulled down by an undertow of doubt.
“What the hell am I doing?” Is an oft ast question during these days. How can I possibly be giving up my independence and putting my kids through this life drama, all for a relationship. I’m not my Mother. That’s the kinda shit she did and I vowed never to be like her. I grew up with divorced parents who were dating, moving, getting married, divorced, and moving again. They were absorbed in all their adulting and I was invisible. I was the quiet one, not social or a troublemaker or overly emotional like my siblings. I demanded zero attention and so that’s what I got. I digress.
When I got divorced my kids were still young. I found my way out of that situation because I was backed in a corner and had flipped into survival mode. When you can’t breathe, you do what you have to. At least that’s what I told myself anyway. Once I was free I made an internal promise to myself to not put my children what I went through, and to always place their interests first.
I suppose that’s why I had issues with any relationships I found myself in. I dated a little bit but my mind was terrified of anything that may have a “future” attached. My heart fell easy my mind was always backing away going “nope, not doing that”. I seemed to always fall in with guys that were “safe”.
Vis was safe because he claimed I “was not the one for him”, still, we dated until he found someone else and broke my heart. Yeah, he broke my heart first by chasing a girl who was bat-shit crazy and I befriended her just to try and stay conected. Probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. (BTW… 👋🏻 Hi.. I hope all is well!).
Josh was a person I turned to both during my separation and divorce with Brian and my break-up with Matt. He was safe because I “wasn’t his type” and “not his destiny”. That was Joshua – Always so dramatic. I would say we also dated but he would probably deny that. He never really broke my heart, but instead just angered me past the point of no return with his approach to life. I was ok just being friends but he always felt the need to remind me about Najah or a girl at our Gym named Emily that he called “Code Red” or some other girl he met on OK Cupid, always someone else on the side. Eventually I just threw my hands up and said “whatever dude”. I knew I deserved better than a life with a person like that.
There were a few others I had brief spins with but I tell you the second I saw a certain look in their eyes, I began to panic. It’s fucked up to say the more they were “interested” in me the faster I bolted. It may just be that I had good sense of what I was looking for and knew what they just weren’t it.
If I’m honest with myself, it’s probably one of the reasons that Matt was perfect and also why things didn’t work out with him. He was into me but not in any hurry to plan for the future. I claimed he was the one that was “commitment phobic” (which he is), but I was too. We were committed enough to let 5 years pass and never make plans for “the future”. We never moved in together and in the end we were so paralyzed we could not even talk about “us”.
Somewhere along the way I grew to want more and to start planning and he just never caught up. I told myself it was better that way, break ties and just cruise through the last years of my kids living at home and then “maybe” look for something more after that. That way I would for sure honor that promise I made to myself about putting my kids first. It was for the best.
Except the Universe had other plans. Enter Jim stage right. On March 3rd 2018 my world changed. Things happened really fast, and it was surprising how open I was to all that rapid-fire change. It was everything I had previously been against, yet, I found myself saying “yes” to everything and having lots of serious conversations about the future. Was I just ready? Was I just so confident about him being the one for me? He is an amazing person and perhaps I was afraid of putting the brakes on for fear that that would make him pull away.
It has been really great and I didn’t want to screw things up. My friend Sam told me not to worry if it goes fast, just “go with it” she said. And that’s what I’ve done. Now it’s like a year later and we live in his house and talk about the future all the time (except for that wedding planning thing). It’s only a few days a month that I feel red flags and my mind wanders to places that are filled with doubt. Stupid PMS. I think about living in this grand house and all the stuff in it and how that’s not me. I think about how I’ve abandoned my career and now sometimes feel “trapped”, like I can’t leave without permission. It’s quite mad actually, since I now have the freedom to truly dive into school and my writing free from worry about all the financial things.
It’s not just the house and all the stuff (though that is the biggest part). There are other troubling thoughts swimming in my brain. Last night I could simply not quiet my mind about the house thing and in my heightened state of feeling swallowed by the situation I wrote a really bad poem about our respective houses and the experience of trying to fit all my things into his house. It’s a truly terrible poem, but I had to get what I was thinking out somehow – set the words free on paper and smooth my mind. Yeah, that happened, and I sort of felt better afterward. Then I descended to the living room from the room that is my office, which incidentally houses my old office furniture and bedroom furniture and all the plants I had in the room above my garage. We watched an episode of “The Handmaids Tale” and then went to bed.
No flow yet this morning (because I know you wanted to know that) and I’m back refereeing this internal struggle about my life, liberty, and pursuit of that “ever elusive” happiness.
I don’t care what people say.
The Struggle is Real,