People who think living in the country is quiet have never lived through an Oklahoma summer in the country. On top of the crickets, frogs, coyotes, and birds, this year we also have an abundance of cicadas.
I was sitting on the front steps tonight thinking maybe the noise would drown out the noise in my head, but it only seemed to make my head louder.
As you know, moving here was/is supposed to be my fresh start. I’m not even sure still what that means for me. What I do know is I’m sad. I’m more alone than ever even living with someone on the other end of this house.
I should be enjoying this time in my life with the person I’ll retire with. Somehow I fall for women who expect me to always be available to them, make changes to accommodate their lives, give up parts of me to fit into their worlds, and take all the risks.
What I really want to know is who is going to do that for me? More importantly; what’s wrong with me exactly as I am? I’m not hideous. I’m kind of cute even to my prejudiced eye. I’m loving. I’m giving. I’m romantic. I’m unique. I have a style that is all my own. I have a great sense of humor. I’m pretty smart. I have a decent job now, which is pretty new. I’m a little broken and bruised, but still functional. I’m affectionate. I’m passionate in the bedroom as well as in life. I stand behind my beliefs 100% until I learn differently. I love learning. I love art. I love stories about survival through the worst of times. I’m empathetic. I get excited about books, music, movies, plays, museums, and new experiences even if they sometimes scare me.
I may not be wealthy or have the right credit score or a fancy degree on my wall, but life has taught me a lot and I place value on people and relationships more than money.
Where is the person who loves all of the mess and beauty that is me? Why am I the only one who can look past what divides us to see what can unite us?
Where is my partner to sit on the steps and hear the noise of an Oklahoma summer night and make it feel like peace? Where is my quiet, soft place to land at the end of the day?
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There are numerous women in my life that fill numerous roles and I’ve had a carefully crafted organization system in place for years that keeps each in their zone.
They have started to move about the cabin freely without me turning off the seat belt sign, and to be completely honest, I’m not liking it.
I’m a big fan of clear cut lines and rules. This wasn’t always the case, but over the last decade or so it’s become helpful for dealing with my anxieties and insecurities. I like to know what to expect and from whom I can expect it.
In my attempt to “take control” of the direction my life is going in, I somehow overturned all the boxes, lost the labels, and shook up the etch a sketch road map.
I am excited about the future and the possibilities, but at the same time I’m feeling unmoored. My love life is completely up in the air. There is a big “we’ll see” over my relationship status. My “flirtationship” has been on the fritz like a wonky radio signal I lose just about the time I make out the lyrics of my favorite song. My female friends have morphed into my family, and the few I’m leaving behind in Ohio feel like an impending death in that family. Ohio is “only” 1000 miles from Oklahoma, but when you live on a strict budget that may as well be on the moon. My soon-to-be roommate has been my friend for almost 30 years and we couldn’t be more opposite on 99% of our opinions and I fear our new arrangement will cause issues there. (I’m mouthy and opinionated on a good day.) The women that have been friends I flirt with from a safe distance will no longer be at a distance and that worries me a lot because I’m all flirt and no intention with all of them so I have to pull on my big girl panties and draw some clearer lines there. I’m going to be moving closer to certain people I’ve been able to easily put in my rear-view mirror because of the distance. I want to keep them there, but I’m not terribly adept at being the asshole when I should be. For the first time in 11 years I’ll be able to rebuild a relationship with a young woman that, though born to another mother, was my daughter from the moment she took her first breath. After falling out with her biological mother she was kept from me as a child, but now as an adult I’m not sure where I fit into her life and that is an unpaved road that leaves me feeling like I need a GPS and a seeing eye dog.
It’s all so messy. It’s a lot of unknowns. It’s a lot of insecurities. It’s a lot of building, rebuilding, reevaluating, reconstructing, and self-reflection. I say I’m patient, but in truth I’m not when it comes to myself. I want all the answers and I want them now.
The thing they forget to mention to kids who are in a hurry to grow up is at no time in your adult life do you get the key to the library that holds the book that has all the answers. You don’t even get the cliff notes. Adulting is more like a self-guided study on theoretical physics just after having grasped 6th grade science and math.
Also; Packing sucks and if you can pay someone to do it for you I highly recommend it. Unfortunately I’m flying solo on that as well.
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My life has been change after change after change; some chosen, some I fell into, others forced onto me. The upcoming changes in my life are a combination of all 3. I’ve been waiting to see where my partner was going to take her next steps and holding off making any choices until then. Unfortunately, as 50 creeps up on me, I’m feeling the pressure to find my next step faster than she is making decisions.
After seeing my daughter marry a man she loves and seeing so many of my friends finding the person they want to grow old with I knew it was time for me to decide for myself what comes next. The most important thing to me was to end my self-imposed isolation. Step one: find someone to share a home with; friend or lover didn’t matter, but I’ve fortunately found a friend of 3 decades to share a home with while I sort out the remainder.
I’m okay being single, more okay than I thought I’d be. I have visions of walking with my chihuahua strapped to my chest (Don’t judge. She’s old.) and my friend’s dog on a leash and exploring the back roads in Oklahoma. I’ll be a short drive from my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ll be not far from my little girl until she decides where she would like to settle for good. I’ll be near my best friend. I’ll have my own space and no one imposing on me what they think I should be doing with my life. For the first time in over 20 years I’ll be free to be me without anyone I have to try to keep happy, no one I have to give up part of me to please.
That sounds crazy for someone my age, but honestly my “when I grow up” dream was always to be a wife and mother. My goal now is to figure out how to combine that dream with being my authentic self. After so long my “authentic self” is somewhat of a mystery. There are clues, bits and pieces that feel real. I get to spend the next little while sorting through what is me, what is the me I became to please others; to keep them happy, what parts fit the 50 year old me that is ready to settle into what I hope will be my happily ever after.
Also I have 30 years of dating under my belt that will have hopefully taught me something about choosing better, demanding better for myself, not settling for living half a life. I want that for myself and for my partner. I want to live a life, single or not, that is full of passion, learning, experiences, art, and comfort. I want to learn new things and try new things. I’d like a partner that wants the same. I want to dance and sing (badly unfortunately) and learn to be playful and relaxed. I want to love someone who comes home happy to see me and truly shares themselves with me. I want someone who doesn’t make me feel I can’t share everything with them. I want realness and openness and honesty, with myself first and then, hopefully, with the partner I’ll share my life with.
Where I end up in life doesn’t really matter to me as much as who I end up being. I want to be a light in the life of those who love me. I want to be authentic in everything I do and support others in doing the same. There’s a lot of work ahead to get to where I want to end up, but I have some amazing people in my life that support and love me through change after change. I see the kind of person I want to be and the kind of person I want to share my life with in these amazing women I know and love. To know they exist makes the unknown journey ahead of me less frightening.
Stay tuned to see what I discover in the months and years ahead. Hopefully that will include some great writing as well.
In Love and Light and Laughter,
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