I just got married

ImageI 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,

A

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20 comments

  1. EJ

    Yes! Thank you for writing so honestly! I know this “oh wait this is the rest of my life, now what?” moment. For me it happened after a marriage, when I emerged out of a cloud of emotion into the clarity of “my life is NOW, not if and when this or that, just now”. It also might be called turning 30. There is no energy to waste in shame, or the judgement of “failure” or “not fulfilling potential,” A, just go forth, strong with everything you have lived this far. I’ll be over here doing the same.

  2. Lauren S.

    You are always refreshingly honest, and always give me reason to reflect. I honestly think we all have a “thing”(s) we look back on and judge ourselves about having “wasted SO much time and energy on”… boys, pleasing everyone and not ourselves, appearances… and as much as it leads to a would’ve could’ve should’ve spiral, it has undoubtedly brought us to be where and who we are now. That said, I have never met anyone who loves as completely or as hard as you do, so you must’ve done something right 😉 Oh, and by the way, I am always impressed by the dreams you dream up and then DO. Creative minds are never at rest…and you are certainly not a slouch.

  3. Lena

    Lovely Angela! Keep writing and chasing that dream. I love that being married helps you get dressed! Haha! It makes so much sense…what a great way to sum up how our energy gets splattered with worrying about attracting a mate.

    • A

      I’d say it was wasted energy BUT I really like the fella I snagged. 🙂 You wouldn’t believe the dressing thing. I literally put things together that never occurred to me before and without trying. It cracked me up for the first 2 weeks! haha.

  4. Lena

    P.s.

    I think you should be “Angela.” 🙂

  5. It’s funny, our heads were in very different places in our 20s, but “now that we’re in our 30s” we’re so on the same wavelength. I think this is going to be a really fun space here. You’re refreshing and genuine and easy to connect to. Your ability to jump into new things helps give me courage. You’re doing a great job at picking pants ;0) and “oh man,” that career will be whatever you want it to be. You got it, girl. xo

  6. Writing is essential….Thank you for sharing and reminding me how important it is to write. Even if it is just to leave a few words to remember us by after we are long gone.

    Btw I Love you my baby sister. You are an amazing woman and I am proud to be your sister.

  7. Just as lovely and poignant as I remember

  8. girlychristina

    Hi, I absolutely loved reading this post by you. Thank you so much for linking my post to yours! Getting married is such a new experience, lasting way longer than just the wedding and dress,etc. It’s something that you can’t explain until it happens to you, and I’m so happy that I had other married ladies around my age to confide in. Congrats on getting married!!

    Christina

  9. Somewhere in between. I think you’ve made an excellent start to hit that goal. I, on the other hand, am the extreme you describe: 50 (not 45) with a successful law practice (boring), never married, mother to three black cats, own my own home (condo), and have traveled extensively (but not enough). And I do not have a romantic life. I would have preferred somewhere in between. Which is why I remain UNconfirmed Bachelorette. Congrats on your nuptials.

    • My FAVORITE client has a very similar story to your own, minus the cats. 2 years ago when I met her she bought a great big house and I as her interior designer, decorated it and made it a home while she worked hard. She was rarely home, I mean RARELY. She was lonely, tired and yet quite fulfilled in her work. She’s 46 and within the past year fell deeply in love. I believe him to be her true soul mate, he is 49. I’m now planning her wedding. I know all sorts of girls getting married in their 20s and divorced in their 30’s. I believe late love may be the best love. Have hope and keep your heart tender. Your love life is not over until you say it is and the fact that you titled your blog UNconfirmed means that you still have hope. I believe hope (not love) is all we need to keep our heart’s alive. Sidenote, my brother met his wife and love of life at 43, my father married my mother at 44. I highly recommend the books at the bottom of this blog post. 🙂 https://lesstalkingmorewriting.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/afraid-of-forever/

  10. Ms. UNconfirmed, your tears of hope made.my.day. Seriously. I hope 2014 is the year you put yourself out there and venture into the world of dating with a pursuit of “late love”. Cheers to you and these exchanges of hope between strangers.

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