in a recent post, i talked about growing old alone. i was asked in the comments if i had any answers yet. i started to reply in the comments, but realized it was turning into a new post.
i don't have answers yet. i still have a deep desire to be married, to be a wife and a mom. i'm trying to figure out what my life could be if those things never happen--how to take my life off 'pause'--to live fully if it never does. in this process, i've realized i've made some choices. one of those has been to not settle for less in a relationship than i think is right for me. i've seen people i know take really flawed dating relationships and turn them into miserable marriages that have ended in painful divorces. my own parents divorced when i was a senior in high school. it was horrible. i decided then that i'd already been through the only divorce i was ever going to go through. i've stuck to that including calling off an engagement. i've thought for a really long time that even though i know i made the right choice in ending the engagement and not settling, i was choosing to be alone, to be somehow isolated. i'm very slowly and tenatively realizing that i'm not choosing to be alone, i'm choosing to be by myself. being alone has a negative connotation in our society--it implies loneliness, isolation--a lack of relationships and not necessarily by choice. being by myself implies choice and it feels more like it has to do with needing space more than lack of relationship. i truly don't lack for relationships--i know i have family and friends who love and cherish me.
so for the forseeable future, i'm by myself. i really hope that i do meet a man that i will love and respect enough to choose to love him everyday for the rest of my life. until then, i'll hang with my friends and fam and try to make sure that the 'play' button is pressed instead of 'pause'.