Days 42 & 43 – I wrote nothing last night because I stared at the blank page for 15 minutes and gave up. No words came. Not much sleep came. It was a strange night.
Today was all about cupid, over-priced roses and a huge opportunity to be discontent. We put expectations about our own worth in the hands of other people and measure the words and actions of people in our lives based on our own interior yardsticks. Frankly, it’s a mess. It’s a mess in which I have participated. I have had dating and romance, marriage and divorce, sex and sexlessness, and a secret affair. Through it all only one relationship has been continuous–the relationship with the woman in my mirror. I have seen the woman who tried to fit into a mold created by someone else. I have seen someone who was chaste and reckless. Today I see the woman there who is autonomous–not alone or lonely–someone consciously choosing to acknowledge her foibles and her strengths. I am not good in a relationship with boundaries and definitions written in stone. Lindsey Buckingham wrote, If I could, maybe I’d give you my world. How can I, when you won’t take it from me? You can go your own way. Call it another lonely day. I am not the woman Lindsey wanted. I don’t want someone to hand me their world. I want to make my own way, live my own adventure, own my failures and victories. When I remove the discontent that someone else’s standards create, it’s not a lonely day. I choose my life and how I live it every day. And there is love there. Dog love. Friend love. Old lover reminiscence love. Smile from a stranger on the street love. The axiom says you must learn to love yourself before someone else can love you. Is that the goal? Learning to accept your own body, soul, warts, and wonders all for the sake of pairing up? I accept myself. Not every day is a self-love fest but there is peace and grace, laughter, music and kindness. There is dancing in the kitchen. There is bold grey in my hair. And I am content with this. It’s true that I didn’t receive a dozen roses today. But I have grown a sturdy cactus that continues to bloom–prickly and remarkable all at once.