This post is not related to COVID. We are surrounded by it. It has touched every single one of our lives in every way, so let’s leave Mr. Rona out of this once.
Not only can I breathe, but I can think so clearly now. I’m not sure how this happened but it took place over the past two years. The apprehensive feelings I’ve had my whole life disappeared. I stopped second guessing my ability to function independently and create my own happiness.
Why is it that we believe that we need others to go through every single motion in life? Sometimes, yes to a degree but when it comes down to it, eating alone, going to a movie alone, or taking a trip alone is not only exciting but empowering.
I can’t believe this but I remember the first time I went to the movies by myself. I was in my late 20’s(whoa 29 to be exact) and it was in Elmsford or Pleasantville NY but when I Googled Pleasantville, an artsy theater came up so things must have changed over time I’m thinking it may have been Elmsford. My kids weren’t even born yet! The movie was, The Perfect Storm with George Clooney. My ex was a cop at the time and he worked crazy hours so I had to take it upon myself to do this one on my own.
This is going to sound so silly but I want you to see how I felt when I did this. It might sound like something so trivial to you, but to me and others this is huge. Going to a movie alone?? Now the thing is, I usually can’t remember anything. I have a HORRIBLE memory or at least I thought I did until recently and things started coming back to me. So, here I am sitting in the movie theater parking lot staring at the entrance, watching couples go in, boyfriend and girlfriend, girlfriends, husband and wives and here I sit thinking, “people are going to think I’m a complete loser going into a movie theater by myself.” Am I completely and utterly ridiculous for thinking this? No, because it is engrained in our brains that this is the norm, like brushing our teeth. I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous. What are people going to think about me? Are they going to stare? Am I going to trip and the carpet or the stairs? Should I get popcorn? What if I have to go to the bathroom? Oh, forget about me thinking, “is someone going to attack me when I leave the movie theater or hiding under my car?” Nah, that was the furthest thing from my mind. Screw the serial killer. I was more worried about what people were thinking about me being alone. But, I did it. It was invigorating and empowering. BUT, for some reason I didn’t make a habit of it until did I reached my late 40’s. It was strange. I kind of crawled back up into my whole of insecurity land and lost that gumption to do it again. I owe it to the relationships I was in after my divorce. People and events can make you feel like you cannot survive and be happy alone. Even when I was single and enjoying it, people told me, “you are eventually going to want to grow old with someone or you need a partner, a companion to do things with.” Um, non actually I don’t.
Why do we feel that we need a partner to make us happy, to survive, to make us feel complete? I truly feel that for some of us that it’s just the cycle we were born into and what we are conditioned to believe is normal. We don’t know any better and anything else out of the norm is scary for us. That’s okay, but what happens one day when there isn’t that significant other to do things with? Whether it’s death, unfaithfulness, abuse, or even that you two are not compatible anymore, etc., then what? Are you going to crawl under a rock and die?
My thought is, I don’t want to be with someone just for the sake of needing to for whatever reason. I or you have to want to be with someone who you don’t need anything from and that includes happiness.
When you are in a relationship that gives you one iota or inclination of doubt about the two of you or your self preservation, re-think it. I’m not saying make any haste decisions but really dig down deep and think about what it is that gives you that nudge of doubt, sadness, or unhappiness that you’re feeling.
You have the ability to change that and it is possible to be in a relationship and make yourself happy first. Take care of you and all that isn’t right in your being and fix it.
This post may sound like I am single but I’m not. I am in a relationship that gives me control of my own happiness. He is part of the puzzle that made this happen for now (it took me a lifetime to find him). If things change, then I will take it as it comes. We don’t live together, he has his own kids, I have mine. A lot of our likes aren’t the same but that’s okay too, we both full-fill something in one another that gives us balance and to us that’s all that matters.
You can find that balance also but it requires figuring out exactly what is it that you want out of life for yourself and nobody else. It might take some time like it did for me but if you don’t start processing the thoughts about what it is that really makes you happy, then things will never change.