I just got married. He’s great, really great but this isn’t about him. It’s about me (you think I’m kidding?). I’m 30. I dated for 15 years, fifteen years. It’s crazy to think that I’ve done anything for 15 years. I remember being 15 years. Ah well, get over it already. Actually, I really LOVE getting older. More about that later…
What I’ve realized over the past few weeks is this, I was using a large percentage of my emotional and mental energy to date. To my friends, this probably isn’t all that shocking and if I really think about it, it isn’t shocking to me either.
My first real boyfriend lasted 9 years, ages 15-24. I’ll sum up that decade as a beautiful part of my memory and an integral part of who I am, there was a fork in our road and looking back our paths were meant to divide. One thing I’m proud of is we were able to grow as individuals during that time and not as two people who started talking alike, looking alike and doing all the same things. The thing that crushed me most was… we had invested so much time, energy and love into US and it failed. We failed at love. I failed at love. Being good at love was part of my identity, part of my own understanding of what I was good at and what I wasn’t. Turned out, I was only okay at love but in reality I didn’t have all the answers, 4 years into dating, I realized I had even fewer.
When it ended, I was 24 and had never dated. I never wanted to. I was genuinely never curious about it. People said ridiculous things to me like “how do you know you like oranges better than apples if you haven’t tried apples?” I would come back with “I don’t need to sample every fruit in the world to know how much I like blueberries.” I stand by this.
However, I sampled. I dated what I considered to be “everyone” for 4 years. Here’s the thing about that analogy I was given. There are a zillion different types of fruit in the world, really common, typical fruits, exotic crazy hard to pronounce, enticing fruits… no two fruits are the same.
If you give into the hmm… I wonder what that fruit tastes like in the dating world, you have endless options or at least you think you do. I started thinking…I wanted a rare exotic fruit but I wanted it to be local and taste like freshly picked strawberries tasted when I was five, in 1988. I got picky, pickier. This was heavier than my “what I want in a guy list” back in middle school.
I took dating pretty seriously and someday I will tell my future daughter that I took it too seriously. I wanted to find someone that I wouldn’t get sick of, someone I wouldn’t want to divorce. I’m horrible at dating, because I love, I don’t care much for the chase, or flirting. I love or I don’t and as we learned previously, I’m not all that good at love either. I poured myself into dating. It was a puzzle to me that became more advanced the more emotionally complex a man seemed. I myself was consistently vulnerable, without a concealing layer. I thought I needed to keep my heart and my dreams entirely open so I could “connect”, so I could expose all of me, truthfully. The trouble with this is you have no layer of protection from pain. Even the heart itself is protected by your ribcage. When it came to emotional boundaries, I was an idiot. An authentic idiot but an idiot nevertheless.
Throughout my 20’s I had these two polar opposite scenarios in my head. The first being a girl that falls in love in her early twenties, gets married right out of college, has kids immediately and focuses whatever energy she has left on establishing a career. The second being a woman of 45 that owns her own house, has traveled the world and is wildly successful in her career, however, she doesn’t have time for a romantic life and missed the boat on having kids. I wanted to be somewhere in between that.
Anyway, here I am now, married and realizing just how much emotional/mental energy I was devoting to all of that! Keep in mind that was the sum up.
I’m now 7 weeks into married life and all I can think of is my career. I need to reinvest. I’m shocked that I haven’t done more and genuinely disappointed in myself for not fulfilling my potential. To be fair, my best idea involves a website and I am no developer, so I just have to wait for that to be ready but in the meanwhile there is plenty for me to reinvest in.
I’m feeling really creative lately, even in the wardrobe department. It’s like I got my brain back and can now pick out my pants. I told one of my best friends that marriage makes me dress better. Weird.but.true. That was my first realization the second is this, I must make my career #1 starting now. I want kids, as many as I can handle. I think about it a lot but for now… I want to figure how to fully follow my career dreams so they will know it’s possible.
Thanks for bothering to read all that. Or at least scroll down this far.
I used to write a lot when I was younger. I missed that part of me. So that is why I started this. I like the concept of a journal with a message feed. If you read, say hi. Criticize me, whatever. Give me a reason to keep this public.
Love to you,
- Get Married, Young Man: Dating to Marry (catholicgentleman.net)
- No Holds Barred (improvisedlife.wordpress.com)
- Courting to Marry: The Beauty of NOT Dating. (thecrazycattoolady.wordpress.com)
- 26-Minute Memoir (unconfirmedbachelorette.com)
- Reply Post to “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23″ Article (unengagedundergrad.wordpress.com)
- New Identity (lifebeinggirly.com)
- A Student Of Mines Just Got Married: My Take On The Situation + ONE-itis (kennyspuathoughts.com)
- Marrying your best friend (lillycladgoth.wordpress.com)
- “I Earned It”: Should A Woman Keep Her Married Last Name After a Divorce? (madamenoire.com)
- How to Handle One-sided Love. (lovedynamix.wordpress.com)