LIVING UNSCRIPTED: The Choices We Make

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How about, Shaz, next time you go to work, the mall, or a labyrinth, you glide, slide, and twirl a bit? Wink, smile, and wave? Dip, bend, and high-five? Strut, saunter, and beam?

Just a bit?

Teeny, tiny? Or, you could just walk, Shaz. – The Universe

“Choices, choices, we all make choices” was my ex’s ex’s battle cry whenever he headed off in a different direction, leaving her behind, behind.  He wasn’t chasing skirts; he was fishing for striped bass or joining a couple of buddies on the tennis court but he was flying without his co-pilot and she wanted more time in the cockpit (no pun intended).  They were likely unconscious decisions on his part; the man was simply doing what the man wanted to do. But that included having fun without her and she didn’t like it.  Who would?

When it was my turn up at bat, I thought I could handle his buddies and his buddy weekends but eventually his lack of investment in our marriage broke me down –and broke us.  I had a full-time career too but spent every waking hour outside the office inside the home, co-parenting our children mostly with our Nanny, having fun too –and stopped missing him.  It happens.

But now they’re all gone and I’ve got at least one more decade left in me to fashion any way I want to –and that’s really the point.  No parent to answer to, no hubby to tend to, no kiddies to take care of –and no historical role models to fancy myself after… I’m in the process of scripting the unscripted, scratching my head in my love/partner relationship(s) and making it up as I go merrily along…keeping it as honest and authentic as I possibly can and hoping that’s enough.  But that’s all about me and a conscious decision I’ve made to control what I can –and go with the flow with the rest of it, trusting the Universe that what doesn’t kill me, helps me understand me, better.

Because I can’t control how others are processing the daily/weekly/monthly challenges that crop up in the course of doing what they want to do –and/or how they deal.  And I don’t want to spend even a New York minute second-guessing what the other guy is thinking or why he’s doing whatever it is he’s doing.  I can ask him; or I can wait until his thoughts become actions and I see where we’re at.

Easy for me to say; I’ve had the benefit of a long-distance perspective and time away from the front lines of midlife dating.  But my pals have been in the thick of it and are suddenly dealing with different critical self-esteem issues caused by various doses of rejection from incoming dialogue, especially from their current love obsessions:

Pailey is going to a Reiki Healer trying to exorcize CEO from whatever chakras are attached to her body-mind now that he’s moved back to LA and bought a new apartment with the old girlfriend . . .

As she gets closer to Vegas‘ promised move to New York, Emma’s imagination is on creative overdrive, coming up with way too many reasons (that would never occur to him) why it will never happen…

And Karen’s world turned upside down when The Ambassador asked me if I could bring a friend along for an evening of dinner and theater when his business partner was over from London (she jumped in at the opportunity to gussy up for a night out with a couple of uber-successful seniors).

They swallowed the love potion, invested in these relationships, played the “pleasing your man” game and are coming up empty handed.  What do we really want?

Pathetically, really, we do more wishin’ & hopin’ thinkin’ & prayin’ in the relationships we’re in, than sitting ourselves down for a reality chat and getting on with it.  Because the truth is, we are really used to being who we are, living the lives we’re living –and don’t really need a full-time anyone anymore.  We made it this far; the final stretch is a blank palate and we can paint that picture any color we want.  We just need to say it out loud –and let the chips fall where they may.

Harry Truman said more than something about a chicken and a pot — he also said There is nothing new in the world . . . just what you haven’t been enlightened about — and the man had good mid-western common sense.   The reality of CEO buying a bungalow built for two –without her, was the final shocker that opened Pailey’s eyes to where his heart was . . . The fact that Vegas is finally committing to co-habitating with Emma is forcing her to deal with years of repressed anger and frustration that’s causing her agita . . . And Karen’s night out on the town with a guy who was clearly attracted to her (and with whom she could theoretically hit the heights and see the sights) took the rose-colored glasses off her relationship with Tool Man.

Bond, James, flew in for a long weekend after two short weeks of declaring our relationship “non-exclusive.” I’d had a few evenings with The Ambassador and he just wasn’t doing it for me . . . I’d moved in to the small studio I’m renting temporarily and Bond, James, let drop that he’d been thinking about finding a place together, i.e., sharing my rent.

Wow.

It never occurred to me that he would do that, but, of course, it’s an interesting choice.  He wouldn’t actually uproot from Tampa, but he would spend more time in NYC.  Hmmm.

And so it was, as we were rolling over for a morning snuggle part-way through his visit, I had an epiphany:

We can make our relationship anything we want it to be.  Here, there or anywhere… once a week, once a month or “same time next year” — Why not?  He knows what he has with me and knows what he doesn’t want to lose.  Vegas knows too well what he didn’t have with the other women he committed to; Tool Man doesn’t want to lose that special something — that je ne sais quoi — he’s got with Karen either –but all of these relationships have got to be “bespoke” = custom-fit to the size and shape of what we want for ourselves at this stage in our lives.  Being true to our own selves.  Yes, making choices — and accepting how others love us rather than expecting them to love us the way we think they should.

So phooey to the painful parts, the agony and torture of working on yourself and stepping back out there –the real enlightenment is realizing you are you’re own best friend and okay, so when no one else is looking, dancing in the dark all by yourself is a hoot.  In-between dates that is.

NOTE TO SELF: “Alone” is not alone.

 

About Shaz

I’m 59 and never expected to be divorced and, having raised a big family in the city I grew up in, to be still living there now completely on my own. My parents are gone and my grown children have opted for smaller towns. My father passed away this past February and my children suggested I take off and make a world tour of all my friends overseas…In piecing that together in my mind, I imagined taking a boat across, as I did the first time I went to Europe with my grandmother, as a teenager – and in that vision, I imagined taking those first five days and writing. Writing about where I’d been, writing about what I want, writing about the crossing over from my past to my future.

In reestablishing myself as a single woman, I’ve made new connections with some fabulous women and realized I’m not the only one going through this; there are other women out there who are also on a journey to becoming whole again. I hope my personal adventure will help us all find humor in the aging process –and confidence in following our hearts.

  • http://www.globallaservision.com/ San Diego LASIK

    Wow! What a beautiful post you have here. It’s really reaching deep into my soul especially when you said that though we have a final stretch of blank palate, we can paint it however we want because “we made it this far” and that we don’t need anyone “full-time” anymore. I know I have lots of friends who have been and are heartbroken and I would want to share this with them. :D

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