Tag Archives: marriage

As for me…

This month, it will be four years that I’ve been the only adult in my home. That’s the longest I’ve ever been ‘head of household’. Ever. Right now, as I’m interviewing for jobs, there is on consistent theme going on in my conversations. I am Robin. I am the sidekick. I am not Batman. I may be at home, but I don’t want to be full-time, all the time, day-in and day-out Batman. I just don’t have it in me to be the happy boss lady. My mom was the boss. I was the minion. And maybe I wasn’t okay with that until she passed away, until I HAD to be Batman and was forced out of my sidekick flip-flops and into my superhero boots. Still, that has been my epiphany. Some people are born leaders, and admittedly, I always thought I was one of those. Maybe in a way, I still think I am – on an emotional intelligence level but NOT on a business level. 

I am the girl who will give everything away if it’s up to her, and no one is telling her to do otherwise. I am the girl who understands people’s hardships a little too well, and will cave in to their sob stories. And guess what? I don’t want to change a thing. I could’ve become hardened by now. By the grace of God, I haven’t. Have I grown wiser? Yes. At least I hope so. Have I stopped caring so much what others think? Yes. That sort of ended with the passing of my mom. So what’s a girl with sidekick talent and no live-in superhero to do? 

Wait for it.

That’s all. Don’t dive in. Don’t rush things. Just wait until his time is right. Can I get an Amen?!

After two divorces, the absolute LAST thing I want in my life is a husband who is NOT ready to be married, or be committed, or say ‘forever’. Robin is Batman’s sidekick because he respects his superhero and his superhero is respectable and committed as well. Robin didn’t just start following Batman around one day in hope’s that maybe…just maybe he would be accepted. There’s is a mutual friendship, and a mutual commitment. That’s how it should be. That’s how a marriage should be as well.

I don’t know, but I’m pretty certain that Robin could handle his household just fine without Batman. He could pay bills, do laundry, handle the kids’ fighting, keep the yard tidy, shop for the groceries, get the mail – he could do all of that perfectly fine without Batman. Batman could do all of that without Robin. 

But no man (or woman) was created to be ‘a rock’ as Simon and Garfunkel would say. We were made for each other, in our own time, when we’re both ready. Because while both Batman and Robin are perfectly fine alone, together they save the world.

We will also save the world, in our own little way. Until then, we have daydreams and roadtrips. We have weekends and long talks. We have time to savor. Time together, until we have all the time we are given  and we are ready to fly as one. 

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Changes

Changes. Nothing moves forward without them. No one gets uncomfortable without them. Everything stays the same without them. We are human. We are not equipped to stay the same, but we’re also ill-equipped when it comes to instigating our own changes.

A new pair of shoes has to be ‘worked in’ before they can ever become anything close to resembling those favorite comfortable shoes. When we move, we are faced with working out a whole new routine; the best route to the grocery store, how to avoid school zones, the nearest gas station, the nearest church, new neighbors, new schools, new teachers, new postman.

It feels like starting over. WE are now the strangers, the freshman, the low man on the totem pole. When we change careers, the same thing happens again. We are now the one in training instead of being the trainer. We have to follow others until we work ourselves into a new routine. We, who once lead, now are shadows, learning our way but leaning on everyone around us. There is a sense of vulnerability, of humility, that kicks in & takes over our thinking.

But while some change is forced on us by loved ones or circumstances (i.e. getting laid off, divorced, a death in the family), lots of change is pre-meditated and intended, even initiated by the changer. Those changes are fun. We don’t tend to change careers unless we are unhappy, and we don’t tend to ask for a divorce if we are content and happy with our current spouse. If we liked where we were, we wouldn’t choose to leave.

For many of us, those conditions have to decline to the level of deplorable before we even flinch. Why? Because change takes more energy than we have to muster when we’re so miserable where we are. One of my favorite things about being human and having free will? Having the opportunity and the freedom to wait for the right time to make changes.

You hear people say that there is really ‘no right time’ for anything, be it getting married, having babies, changing careers, deciding to live a healthier lifestyle, whatever. I disagree. The right time is exactly at that moment of your day, your week, your month, in the middle of the night, where it hits you and you know that you truly are FED up with that area of your life. In THAT moment it really doesn’t matter that you don’t have enough savings yet, or that you may hurt someone else’s feelings in the process. When it’s time, you will know, and in that moment, you will relish in the freedom of free will and know that, because it’s time, everything will work out in the end. And whether you end up where you want or not, you can at least say that you did your part. You took the path with your full heart. There can be no regrets.

Common chameleon

If you’re an only child, you may have had a relationship or two in your life where you felt a little more like a chameleon and a little less like yourself. Don’t get me wrong, this can happen whether you’re an only or not, I’m sure. But I think it may just be commonplace amongst singletons. There’s a reason for this….

There is endless chatter, rumors, and misconceptions that an only child is self-absorbed, narcissistic, even bossy. I’ve spent a great deal of my life practicing the opposite approach, maybe even in an effort to deflect such evil stereotypes. I’ve been expending so much energy into¬† that other direction in fact, that some of my biggest flaws include (but are in no way limited to) being under-assertive, passive, and self-sacrificial.

Having been married and divorced twice and also having just ended a difficult relationship has shown me – finally – the err of my ways. I recently told a close friend that I felt like some kind of a universal soul mate because guys tend to see me as the ‘marrying type’, and believe that I must be their magical one. I don’t say this out of vanity, rather I say it out of sheer embarrassment. See, I think that different people bring out different sides of me…to a fault.

While we all feel comforted by relating to one another, I find that everything about me shifts in the direction of ‘him’. So much so that I end up feeling like an over-worked piece of play dough, that after so long of being molded, played with & left out in the cold, finally dries out and breaks. There is absolutely nothing wrong with compromise in a relationship. Just as there is nothing wrong with some sacrificing. But there is a fine line between sacrificing some of one’s self and sacrificing all in an attempt to ‘be loved’ or ‘be accepted’, or even ‘be adored’.

I fully believe that two souls can be inexplicably drawn toward one another, even when there’s very little compatibility, and that those two people can still have a loving relationship as long as one of them caves in. Ultimately, though, that’s not going to work. The caver feels trapped in an image that she herself created, and the powerful leader in the relationship is left feeling confused because he was leading the dance the whole time and she never stepped on his toes. Not once. Everything was perfectly synced! What changed?

What changed is that this ‘strong-willed’ only child became not only a follower, but a martyr as well.¬† What good is an only if they become a nobody because they’re only self is acting like somebody else?

So my own challenge for this time of solo-spiritual-growth is to become strong enough to let my self-awareness shine; to speak up for what I want; to have a voice in what I do; and to be a full-out ‘only’ – not the vicious meany that everyone expects from a singleton – but a watered down version that also derives happiness from giving to others from a place of strength…. not desperation.

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