I was recently asked a question about why I am single. I think it was literally “why don’t you have a boyfriend?!” As soon as it was asked I had chills. It was truly a question that made me think….for a while. And I didn’t realize how active I had been in making sure I didn’t have a boyfriend until this was asked.
The past four years I have been so guarded, nobody has stood a chance. The walls were built tall and strong. The one time I tried to let someone in, they started to burn down all I had built and I decided never again.
I’ve dated a few people since my divorce because everyone encouraged me to, and it seemed like I should. It never worked out, and it was entirely my fault. I didn’t actually want to be in a relationship. As soon as someone would start to “like” me, I would push them away. Like clockwork. I told myself repeatedly that I don’t do commitment. I told myself I don’t need anyone. Guys would tell me I was intimidating because I can do everything on my own. I did everything to sabotage it, without even realizing I was doing it. And then, it was over. In my mind at that time, it was the perfect outcome.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that while it is true, I don’t NEED anyone, I do WANT someone in my life.
I started to write blogs (partially) because I didn’t have that “person” to just talk to. I wanted to write down my feelings that I didn’t want to talk about….and share them with strangers?! (Ha!) Sure, I have my girlfriends and tell them a lot. I would truly be lost without my workout partner, my work besties, and my crew across the country. But there’s nothing like sharing with a significant other how you feel about things. I always hear my friends say things like “let me talk to (insert husband name)” or “(husband name) is celebrating some event today!” I didn’t realize I wanted that person, unless I was around someone who had it.
So now I am left in this peculiar situation. I am not ready to let go of that self sufficient girl who can do everything on her own. But I am opening myself to the idea that maybe I can do more on a team. I am learning that I can keep myself and what I have fought to become, while still allowing someone else in.
I’m still afraid to let someone in and have the ability to possibly hurt me. The best way to protect yourself from heartache or disappointment is to avoid feelings and relationships. But I’m learning to accept that people can care about me without ultimately hurting me. I am learning that it is okay to take leaps of faith. My friend Annie has talked to me about leaps of faith in my life a couple times. Two times that stand out: Once when I was going through my divorce, and once this week. Both times about very different situations, but I love those words and the advice that came with them. Life really is too short to wait for something to happen all the time.
I still worry that I will be seen as damaged goods because of what I have been through. I have a hard time trusting people. Not even just men, but anyone who comes into my life. People have to prove to me that they are trust worthy, but once you have done that, I am loyal as hell. I am learning that it is okay to trust people. That when things are built correctly, slowly, and organically, relationships of all types mean more and can be trusted.
This applies to friendships too. One of my best friends is someone I have only really known for 2 years. We didn’t really have a lot of reason to know each other before that, even though we worked together. But then circumstances gave us common ground and we realized that we could help each other. We workout together all the time. We talk about our hardships and joke about how we will both be single forever. It wasn’t something that was created under pressure, and even though we butt heads or I accidentally hurt her feelings sometime, she is someone I know would help me with anything I need. After all, I throw some pretty crazy ideas at her (whole 30, run all these races, elementary school movie night) and she has yet to tell me no…. and now that I am thinking about that it feels like I should finally say yes to going to Justin Timberlake with her…. (I’ll check on that Ang. Not committing yet! 😂)
My life is pretty great as it stands, but I’ve realized recently that maybe one of those missing puzzle pieces that I’ve talked about does stand a chance at fitting. My life isn’t planned by me, I’m just part of this journey that the universe has created for me, and lately it’s been a pretty great adventure.
❤ MS Andrea Jackson