It’s been awhile. A lot has happened and nothing has happened. Tonight, I need to download the, “a lot” because it matters and it hit on some deep-seated issues that I have always wrestled with. . .
Since my divorce, I have been on many dates. Mostly, first and second dates. A couple have lasted a month or two. None of them have been important enough for me to even talk about. Mostly, just someone to pass time with. Nothing serious. I am not easy to match. I have a child who will always come first and too many say that is fine, but do not really mean that. I have politics that do not align with the region. This is troublesome because this plays a huge role in who I am and is important to me. I am not religious. In the Deep South, this is tantamount to being an alien. I am incredibly busy. Like, I do not have time to be doing this and breathing, but I am staying up and pushing others things back to do both. Well, I finally met someone that I hit on all areas with. Like, I was excited about this one. I really thought that I might be done for awhile, and he seemed to feel the same way. Then, he stopped treating me with the respect and the care that he had previously. At this point, I had to decide my worth.
I have always had issues with this. It is one of those things that kids who grow up having to earn their parents love struggle with, and I am no different. I seem bulletproof and impenetrable to most and I am most of the time, but that is because I do not let people in. But once I let people in, I am a giver. I give and give and give until I am depleted; much like The Giving Tree. It happens to me in friendships and relationships. It happens until I am resentful and walk away or the other person uses me all up and walks away (this is what typically happens).
While this is happening, I am fighting off my other mini-traumas. At work, I am feeling frustrated and less than respected. This dissertation (that I should be working on) is kicking my butt and I have NEVER struggled for a second in a single class in all of my academic career, so this is really bothering me. And it is really about me just putting in time that I do not have. I am having some health issues that concern me because they remind me too closely of the complaints my mom had prior to her becoming almost completely immobile, yet the doctors are baffled and my pain is real. Money is an ever-present struggle, especially with a child excelling in an expensive sport and a deadbeat ex who does not help. And one of the groups that I run has been having issues with a member trying to undermine us and get our chapter revoked.
So, I am in the middle of this relationship and I am really thinking that this may be it when he suddenly starts taking me for granted. Now, I would LIKE to be in a relationship, but I do not NEED a relationship and I have been clear about this. I am fine on my own, and I even kinda like it, so this is not a necessary situation for me. And now I have to stand in my truth. Am I going to tolerate this, or am I going to say something? In the past, I would have let it roll a little. I maybe would have gotten an attitude or gotten quiet, but I would not have said that this was not okay. I would not have stood up for myself. I am more likely to stand up for others.
But this is it. Have I learned what I am worth? Am I going to stand up for me this time and say, I deserve better? Have I decided that I am better than whatever scraps people are willing to give me? Have I finally found my way to being a strong woman for ME?
As I am pondering this post in my head, my friend shared this article on strong women. It rang so true. Not only does this describe the woman I want to be, but it finally described the woman that I was. I did stand up and say, this is not all right. I expect better. I deserve better. And while I hoped that it would slap him into reality and he would treat me like the queen I am, he did not. So when I came back to the topic two days later, I knew what had to be done. I kept saying to myself, “I already lived in too many shitty relationships because I did not follow through. Do I want it again?” My answer is NO. Hell No. So while I wish he knew all the wonder he is missing out on, that’s his loss.
I put on my Pink/Meghan Trainor/Lady Gaga playlist and own my shit. I have an amazing kid, but I do not need or want anyone to step into that role – I got that. I have my shit together, for the most part. I have my own car and my own home. I am a bad ass. I am a great fucking catch. If you cannot see that, that sucks for you; not me. I am fucking hilarious. I have a killer playlist that I sing at the top of my lungs. I love life. I am happy with my life and my child and my work and my friends and my groups and my volunteering. My life is full. And it feels so good to not just say that, but to KNOW it. I stand in my truth: I am a badass, strong woman.