My teen years were plagued by intense crushes that had me crying into the night, struggling for breath if my crush walked into the room or appeared on TV. Endless hours spent day dreaming of what our lives would be like. Ultimately, he would adore me and we would live happily ever after.
Crush number 1… standard 8. I was pint sized, still flat chested but witty and extrovert. Ed had already broken his voice, had the shadow of a moustache and bulging mini-triceps. Quite the dish. I loved from afar, usually collapsing if he so much as looked at me. Well he fell for someone else and at the end of the year school dance I, misty eyed, let go of my crush as he danced with his new girlfriend. Optimistic I forged forward knowing without a shadow of doubt that love would triumph and my moment would come.
This attitude kept me going for years. Enter first love. He was older and wiser presumably (I was 20, he was 22). I fell for him completely and within no time dreams of our life together took over. Oh the joy of young love; long walks, holding hands, lunch at Wimpy’s and hanging out at Carni when budget would allow. All that mattered was being together. He was going to be a keeper. In the end he cheated on me with a friend and through endless tears and replays of Boyz to Men’s “End of the road’, I began to learn the art of self preservation as I fought to remain dignified and not compromise. Monogamy or the highway mate.
My perception of love began to change. Fast forward to 6 more boyfriends and a marriage ending in divorce and what I knew for sure was falling in love was a joke. A big fat joke. No more tears of joy, only of frustration. Every approach by a man treated with suspicion and down right hostility. In less than 20 years I had gone from optimistic to “please your joking right?”
In the 6 years of my separation, I really had a chance to take stock. After all the ranting and abusing I finally got that what I really needed to do was re-invent my relationship with myself first. I felt battered and terribly disappointed; unattractive and simply not good enough. I needed to remember who I really was. I wanted to have the biggest and best love affair of all with myself.
I started by introducing the kids to me. The real me, not the sugar coated mum but me; the good, bad and downright ugly. I shed the friends I had outgrown. I re-discovered my creative side and made more time for me. I learnt how to empower others with the word NO and put my needs at the top of the pile for a change. And I tried everything that I could without breaking the law; dancing and hanging out all night, blind dates, holidays alone, reading in bed for hours on lazy mornings, exploring other religious beliefs and spirituality. I filled me up piece by piece.
The woman I am today is a hungry one. Hungry for knowledge, experiences, love, wonder. One who has fallen madly in love with me; amazed by what I have accomplished and what I have endured. Grace is such a gift. I am inspired by the love and dedication of family and friends and learning daily the treasure of giving back. I feel calmer and more content as life simply unfolds. I love to love.
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Each life is a personal journey no matter how public it may all seem at times! I'm still figuring it out and here I share my journey ...and what I'm discovering along the way.