I’ve been pondering this “being single” thing for quite some time. I’ve not been very good at it. For the last twenty years I’ve gone from one man to the next in the form of two marriages and three boyfriends and a few FWBs. I don’t like being alone. I feel safer when I am in relationship. I know how to be in relationship. “Relating” is one of my biggest strengths. I am not perfect at it of course, I’m always learning more about me, how I function, what my patterns are…but I learn best IN a relationship.
At least that’s what I thought, but have I ever really had the chance to do otherwise until this time in my life?
Coming out of the tunnel of the first year after the death of my mom and I’m thinking about it all again.
Thinking about how I am no one’s daughter. No one’s wife. No one’s girlfriend. Mothering is not an active part of my day anymore now that my brilliant daughter is living in Seattle with her dad, happily attending high school there. For a while I was taking on the problems of my housemate (unbeknownst to him) – granted he is going through a tremendously stressful time – and doing things I thought would make his life easier because he is my best friend. But he is a man, living with me, and I fell into the habit of acting like we were partners. Turns out, it was kind of stressing him out. Huh. Go figure.
So I am learning to stop doing for others the way I have been.
When I stop doing for others in my close proximity I feel….mean. Selfish. Uncaring.
I like doing things for others and helping their lives be easier.
But do I do it because I like it or is there some underlying belief going on? Is it because I think they need me to? Is it because I need to be needed? I’m not talking about parenting, or care for my ailing mother. Yes, they needed me. I am talking about in a relationship, giving so much of myself that I feel resentful and lost.
And yet when I don’t extend myself to The Other, I feel….resentful and lost.
This video is brilliant. I watched it a year ago, and it was reintroduced to me not too long ago. I think I might need to watch it daily:
And after I do I think about how odd it is to think about me first. What do I want to do? How do I want to spend my time?
And now, living for just me, I get to find out. And as my good friend said the other day, “We get to find out what you’re capable of on your own!”