Fears and Uncertainty.

I recently learned that a friend of mine who was engaged is no longer engaged. She realized that beyond not being excited or into planning a wedding, she wasn’t into being married. And thus she broke up with her fiance. This news has caused me to go into a bit of a funk, reevaluating and reassessing what I want in life.

My friend and her now ex- were relaxed about the idea of marriage, they were focused on just enjoying life together and being in a relationship. Time moves forward, years start to slip by, they eventually became engaged, well, because that’s what he wanted. My friend put the condition on it that she would never be a stereotypical, traditional stay-at-home, bake-cookies, host play-dates type of wife (sorry, I know this might offend some). Her boyfriend/fiance calmed her fears saying if she would transformed into that, he’d have to divorce her because that’s not who she was. I smiled at that. It seemed like they understood each other.

Six or seven months later, they’re no longer together. At all. What changed? How come it changed? Did it actually ever change – was it subconsciousness surfacing months later?

I’ve been recently reading articles on marriage on The Good Women Project. These articles talked about the challenges of marriage. They talked about the little good things. They made me have faith in my ability to love someone enough to marry them and work together to build a joint and unified life.

Then my friend becomes un-engaged and I find myself questioning whether or not I want to be married, whether or not I want to be in a relationship. I know that I miss / desire / long for companionship and the peace that comes with being in a stable relationship. I’m in an open relationship; I have what I’m looking for, sometimes, well, only occasionally. I recall the joy of living and breathing alongside someone you love. But then I look at my life and I look at how un-engaged I am in dating, in actively seeking out and meeting and building up relationships with people and I wonder if this is a subconscious manifestation of my un-desire for a permanent relationship. I wonder if my involvement with an non-committal guy is because I don’t want comittment myself. Am I afraid of it? Or am I afraid of getting hurt? Or am I afraid of actually being happy? Of finding someone who loves me the way I love him? Am I afraid that because I made the wrong choice before, that I’ll make the wrong choice again?

How is it that I can be so afraid of what I think I want most?

To take my mind off these thoughts I finished catching up on Gossip Girl this evening. The final lines between Blair and Chuck expressed what I’ve been desperately trying to ignore (yes, I acknowledge the ridiculous irony and sheer absurdness of this, but sometimes we hear what we need to hear through the medium we are receptive to at that moment).

Blair: People don’t write sonnets about being compatible, or novels about shared life goals and stimulating conversations. The great loves are the crazy ones.

Chuck: There’s a difference between a great love and the right love. I left the Empire State Building last year after two minutes when you didn’t show. Louis waited all night. This is your chance at happiness. You think you shouldn’t want it ’cause you haven’t had it, and it scares you. 

I love the crazy, intense passion. The last minute meetings, the spontaneous adventures. I love the drama. It’s kind of what I’ve always had. When I’ve dated guys who are looking for the “stable” relationship, I freak out. It’s too much attention. I like it on my terms; let’s have a relationship on the days I want a relationship.

But I know it’s not what will bring me happiness in the end. I know it. I know that I know. But I ignore it. I often look at all the storybook marriages I see; those couples who met, courted, got married, have a happy little house with a couple of kids. I look at it and feel it is so far from what I want. And maybe that exact situation is so far from what I want; I don’t need my love and relationship to materialize in the same way as someone else’s. But I do want someone. I do want a relationship. I want to be with someone who is passionately in love with me. Someone who can’t live with out me. I want the Right Love to come out of the Great Love.

I’m not saying that the relationship I’m in is wrong, or that I shouldn’t be in it. Just like every relationship that I’m in, I know it is essential for helping me along my journey in life. It is teaching me many things about myself. It has helped get me from point A to point B in many areas of my life. I’m not saying it’s over, I’m just realizing I’m very, very afraid of letting myself find (or accept) lasting happiness.

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Packing.

I’m currently working on packing up my childhood bedroom. I’m surprised at how much of the stuff in here is actually mine. I moved out in 2002, back in 2003 for the last year of school, then out again in 2004 for grad school. I was unofficially back in 2008 (using it as a home base when I was working in town instead of living in a hotel or corporate apartment, my company liked the fact they were saving loads in expenses too), dumped all my stuff off in 2009 on my way to Africa, then officially back here in the beginning of 2010. The stuff I’d been carting around the country since 2002 has been in boxes in the basement for the last two years. For some reason I thought that most of the stuff in my room belonged to other members of the family. I was wrong. It’s mine. I’ve been working on purging for the last year, but there is still a lot of stuff. Granted, when looking at how I’ve labelled all the boxes, most of them are full of books. I guess I can’t complain too much; I love books. I was excited about moving into the city and officially getting a library card (I’ve been living outside city limits for the last while, thus my taxes, or rather my parents taxes go to the county, not the city, thereby prohibiting us from qualifying for a library card without a huge fee (although probably substantially less than what we spend on book purchases, but that is another story altogether). I’ve discovered so many books I want to read or re-read. Guess no library card is necessary for now, except for free movies and music. 🙂

I struggled for a long time about condo versus townhouse versus house versus staying indefinitely at my parents’. Obviously, since I’m packing, I elected for moving out. It’s tough to explain, but I just need to. Ignoring the fact that I’m almost 30, am longing for the freedom I once had when living on the other side of the country, and the possibility of having friends over for dinner, there really is no legitimate reason I need to move out. I have a wonderful, loving family that I get a long with. I have a bedroom that is bigger than most apartments in New York or Paris, and live on a beautiful acreage. But there is just something telling me it is what I need to do to move along in my life’s journey. I still feel a little guilty. I feel this move is so selfish. I’m not moving far, only 15 minutes away, but I feel like I’m walking out on my family. Like I’ve decided living with them is not good enough for me anymore. But it is. I just need something a little different right now.

And I guess I should get back to packing …

To write.

When I was in elementary school I dreamed of being a writer. I spent weekends in writing workshops and summers in writing camps. I’ve written 19 volumes of personal journals. I am sure there are many, many treasures buried in them.

One day in 2007, I don’t quite remember when, I came home from work to have my love of writing, my desire to write, entirely squished. Squished like that spider that dared to run across my arm. It was likely a bad week, anger and resentment filling our home. My ex-husband read my journal while I was at work. It’s not that anything in there was too entirely sacred, but it was very personal. It was the tool I was using to deal with the struggles we were having in our marriage while trying to keep the hysterical crying to a minimum. My first thoughts were, ‘great, now you know all the emotions I have struggles sharing with you verbally. let’s talk’. His reaction: ‘you are selfish, all you talk about are your emotions and how they relate to the world. your thoughts, your fears. it’s all about you.’

He didn’t get the reason why I wrote this.

Ever since then I’ve struggled. I managed to keep a journal while I was living in Africa. When you’re far away from friends and family, a piece of paper can become your very best friend.

Now that I’m in Canada, I struggle again. I write from time to time in my journal but not with the voracity I once did. I’m trying to write through this blog, but I struggle with that as well.

There are so many things on my “to write about list”. And yet I keep writing about how I need to write.

I wonder what is really holding me back.

Vulnerability? Am I afraid to share all my thoughts, thinking that I might once again be accused of being too selfish?

Love.

To love again is a very beautiful thing. I remember thinking that never again could I love again. But with this new love, I feel like I didn’t understand love before. This is effortless. Just thinking of you fills me with an incomprehensible warmth and joy. Sometimes I get nervous. Sometimes I feel anxious and wonder where you are and what you’re doing. But then I remember you’re not him (the him of the past). Your heart is large, sometimes too large. When I do cry, it is because I am filled with awe and gratefulness of who you are, that you are in my life, that I met you. The tears represent blessings and joy, not pain and sorrows. Such a welcome relief. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am grateful for the gift of this time we have together. (secretly wishing we’ll have it for eternity).

Moving Forward.

Today on my facebook wall a comment appeared that really upset me. The lady, the mother of a few girls I grew up with in Young Women’s, was upset about Marie Osmond being included in the recently published book Women of Character: Profiles of 100 Prominent LDS Women. She stated she was offended because Marie Osmond clearly didn’t understand the sanctity of marriage. She purported that by including her profile, we were not teaching the Young Women appropriate values.

I don’t know a lot about Marie Osmond, but this facebook post was really eating away at my mind. I was able to find an excerpt of the article online (thank you, Google).

What I learned was that Marie has been divorced twice, and married three times. Is this what offend the facebook lady? Really. Having gone through a sour marriage and a divorce, I know that it is not something to aspire too. I also know that marriage can be absolutely wonderful. I have fond memories of those, well, couple of months.

But I don’t really know that this is what the article was getting at. The article highlighted Marie as a woman, a mother, a regular person, who has had ups and downs. Big ups and Big downs. And yet she moves forward and gets on with life.

Marie was quoted as saying: “There are scars, however, and you just need to work through them and get on with life and learn to trust again.” This is what we need to be teaching the Young Women. This is a lesson that everyone needs to learn.

I remember all those lessons that talked about working to bring peace and harmony into marriages, about being a good wife, and about the importance of being a mother. None of those lessons talked about the fact that sometimes things don’t work out. I don’t ever remember hearing that everything isn’t up to us. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much love, effort, patience and tolerance you throw into the marriage soup, it just won’t work out. It is something that both people need to be completely invested in. Sometimes divorce is essential. It is necessary to move on, to continue to progressing and to reach your true potential.

“Some see themselves or their loved ones as the victims of divorce. Others see themselves as its beneficiaries. Some see divorce as evidence of failure. Others consider it an essential escape hatch from marriage.” – Dallin H. Oaks

If you’re in a relationship that can’t bring you the peace and positivity needed to be whole, you should not be in that relationship. You can’t look at someone and say they don’t understand the sanctity of marriage just because they’ve had a few marriages who don’t last. In fact, I’d almost be willing to put money on the fact that they’re probably the ones who truly understand what a marriage should be because they’ve come to realize what it shouldn’t be. I’d also like to add that I firmly believes that what defines a good and successful marriage is very specific to the people who are involved in that marriage. So please, don’t tell me that Marie Osmond doesn’t understand the sanctity of marriage.

From what wikipedia tells me, it looks like Marie has a had a lot of challenges and curve balls thrown at her. We all do. But what Marie has done is to keep moving forward. She’s been open and honest about the struggles she’s had, to a much larger audience than any of us would ever need to be open to. She’s shared. She’s expressed. She’s taken the steps necessary to overcome. She’s continually growing her relationships and seeking out the relationships that a best for her at that time in her life.

These are the lessons we need to be teaching. Move forward. Learn to trust again.

Believe me, it’s tough. Being happily married, then miserably married, then miserably divorced, then happily divorced was a tough journey. It’s still tough. I’m still learning how to love and to trust again, but it is great. It is really, really, really great to love again. Had I stayed in that miserably married stage, believing that as a woman I could fix everything, I would be, well, I would still be miserable.

And yes, if you were wondering, I deleted that lady as a facebook friend.

Sunshine.

There is something magical about the first couple of days that are full of blue skies and sunshine. I love having my bedroom window open and a breeze blowing in. I love having the sun on my face. I love feeling the warmth all around me. It makes everything in life seem just a little bit better.