Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Two sides to every story.
I've written before about "living in the tension." One of my current tensions is between independence and loneliness. On one hand, I honestly don't know how a man could make me happier than I already am. I have never known this level of contentment and peace. I feel like a different person from who I was before my divorce – or, more accurately, the whole, healthy, alive version of that person. I can bloom without interference, and a whole world of possibilities is open to me. I have freedom, comfort, semi-attainable goals, lots of activities, wonderful friends and family, and many other blessings. I don't let aloneness hold me back from doing things, and I don't have to worry that someone else isn't enjoying them. When I'm in this mindset and think about being in a relationship, I mostly think of being tired. Of anxiety and weariness and lots and lots of sacrifice. I don't regret my marriage, but it exhausted me in every conceivable way. Now that I've felt the sun on my face, I cannot go back to that dark cave. Why would I even want to take one step toward it? "Don’t mess with the happy" has become my personal variation on "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Why should I mess with the happy? Everything is great. Why should I give it all up?
On the other hand, the great things in life are less great without someone to walk alongside and share them. All the freedom in the world doesn't matter much when you don't want to go on the big adventures alone. All the friends in the world can't fill the hole of a spouse or even a boyfriend. That kind of relationship stands alone, as it's meant to. I have no automatic companion. I have no designated person to hash big and small things out with, or to share random thoughts with (and I do a lot of thinking and hashing, which is why I run my mouth in blogs, on Twitter, in e-mails to friends, and in frequent calls to my sister, who should qualify for sainthood pretty soon). I have no one to hug me when I just plain need a hug. I also don't have a designated person to give to, to invest in, to learn about and share with*. I believe I have a lot to give someone. Despite all that I've been through, I believe in love and in marriage and that it can be good.** I don't believe I am meant to be alone, but that doesn't guarantee I won't be. All I can do is "wait on God," which is a good growing experience, but sad and difficult sometimes.
Lately I've bounced between these extremes a lot. I know I won't always feel this way, but I also know it's not going to go away completely. It's another one of those struggles that I have to learn to live in.
* = Writing this made me think of Joey writing his speech for Monica and Chandler's wedding. It never fails to crack me up. "How about receiving?" "YES!"
** = "Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." - Erica Jong