I divorced when my daughters were 8 and 12. I knew I wouldn’t be single long. That was 15 years ago.
What the hell happened?
I had been trapped in a 20-year marriage that had nothing to do with me. Don’t ask how that happened, it just did. Over the course of two decades I had completely lost touch with myself. I escaped unhappy, empty and with no idea about what brought me joy.
Being single, that quickly changed. I dated men who loved to hike and spend time in the wilderness. I planted a garden. I had great sex. I built a pool in my backyard as owner/contractor. I threw parties. My kids threw parties. We turned the garage into an arts and crafts room.
I was having fun, lots of it. More fun than I’d had in ages.
The kids grew older. I dated more men. I hiked, fished, kayaked, snow shoed, camped, and traveled. I had a couple of serious relationships, but nothing that stuck for good.
The kids grew up and left the nest.
A True Taste of Independence
One day upon returning from a trip to Lake Tahoe, I realized that no one lived in my house any more except me. Even the cat was gone. In the span of 5 minutes I decided to shut down my place and move to the tiny rental I had in Tahoe. Why not? I worked for myself out of my home, there was nothing stopping me, and no one to discuss it with. It was up to me, and I was all for it!
Off I went to a new adventure in Lake Tahoe.
I’ve been at the Lake for a year and a half now and life is good. I’m still single and still busy. It would be nice to find a relationship, get married again, and live happily ever after.
Then I spend the afternoon with a girlfriend and she remarks about the story she’ll have to tell her husband about the money she spent shopping, and the wailing sirens go off in my head.
Justify my spending to someone I say to myself? “No f*cking way!”
Let me amend the previous statement: It would be nice to find a relationship, get married again, live happily ever after, AS LONG AS HE NEVER TOLD ME WHAT TO DO.
And therein lies the issue. I haven’t had to ‘check’ with anyone, ‘explain’ to anyone, ask for ‘approval’ from anyone, get an ‘OK’ from anyone, or heard ‘NO’ from anyone regarding my plans for 15 years.
How the hell am I going to start now?
A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to spend two months in Florence. So, I’m spending February and March in Florence. No discussion. Do you realize what a hassle that would have been trying to convince someone to drop everything and travel to Florence for two months? What a pain in the neck. Not to mention missing two months in Florence.
Here’s my dilemma: There’s a diminishing level of return when you weigh a relationship to complete and total freedom. The longer I’m single, the more amazing the man would have to be for me to give up the life of choices I have. Unfortunately, as the men get older, the attraction factor does not necessarily increase. Do you see where I’m going here?
Have I unwittingly, through my very independence, thrown myself out of the marriage game? Have I created an alternate lifestyle by simply not wanting to give up the opportunity for adventure? Or am I just incredibly self-centered and unable to consider the needs of another person?
At this point in time, all I can say is I’m not sure. But I am going to deeply ponder this issue as I sip my cappuccino and gaze upon the green and pink marble of the Duomo.
Kimberly Montgomery is the creator of the Choices Notebook and blogger atFiftyJewels.com, where she encourages people to use their powers for good. Hop on over there to grab your FREE copy of the Choices Notebook Mini Kit.