Why do some of us settle?
I find a lot of people do this. And it often comes down to the fear of being alone. When people settle that is.
I, for one, am not willing to settle for just anything. Because I think I'm pretty damn special. Actually I think I'm fucking awesome.
However, I am also so afraid of letting anyone into my private little world, that I'm not sure if I will ever be able to allow anyone to get close to me.
Fear ruins everything. And I'm not sure which is the lesser of the two evils when it comes to what we decide to "settle" for.
There are a few people I know, that have come out of relationships in the past 7 months (how long it's been for me), that have started dating again. And this is great. Brilliant.
But I know for myself, I want to spend some time getting to know who I am. And that's not going to happen if I become part of another half again.
And I find I am getting what I need for now, from my friends, and from my family.
I go to dinner all the time with my girlfriends. They remind me when I've forgotten, that I'm beautiful, both inside, and out. They come over and kill spiders for me. We drink lots and lots of wine together. They let me cry on the phone to them. Although this has lessened significantly. I don't cry that much anymore.
My father, and my neighbour graciously take care of my garden, and take my rubbish bins out. They do little odd jobs around the house for me.
My friends give me the most excellent cuddles I could ask for.
But what about romantic love?
Sometimes I have to wonder if I am too broken to ever be able to love again.
I spent a lot of time in bed yesterday. Not because I was depressed or anything like that. But because I had a monumental hangover.
I had my good friends hen's night the evening before. The rainy weather as well as my hangover was the most excellent combination of an excuse to remain in bed.
At 2pm, I was messaging my friend. I told her that I was planning on getting out of bed soon.
"What for?" came her response.
"Yeah. What for." I thought to myself.
It was just me. I had no children to get up to. No partner. No plans for the day.
And that made me think even more. A 35 year old woman. And it's just me...
At around 3pm I dragged my weary body out of bed, into the shower, and off to the supermarket.
And at 4pm, I hopped back into bed until 5.30pm.
I got up, watched some TV, cooked some dinner, and then I took myself back to bed at 9pm.
As I lay in bed, I messaged my friend again.
"I feel lonely today. I feel like I'll turn into one of those women. You know the ones. Those single women."
"Aww. You will have those days. Everyone does. Even those who have someone. It passes."
But does it pass? That fear?
It's taken a long time to learn to love myself. Your self-esteem, and your ego take quite a battering when you end a relationship.
Particularly a marriage.
You are judged by almost everyone, as a "divorced woman". You are feared and pitied all at once. I guess the most important thing this has taught me, is that I do not give a fuck what anyone else thinks of me. I did what was right for me, and that's all that matters.
Now, I had to ask myself - am I happy?
Yes. Yes, I am. Mostly.
Am I a nicer person to be around?
Am I more fun?
I'm always super fun.
But, am I more wary?
I am very aware that I do something. I push people away. Because I am so afraid of getting hurt, I go about subconsciously, and sometimes consciously, sabotaging things before they can even begin.
Sometimes in life, we don't feel worthy of certain things. So we settle for things that we wouldn't necessarily accept if we weren't so afraid.
This can be from settling with a romantic interest who doesn't treat us right.
That comes from the fear of being alone.
Or this can come from settling for solitude.
Fear of opening our hearts.
One of my friends had this discussion with me last week. She was worried that she had made a mistake with someone. That her loneliness had made her desperate.
And I guess thats why it's so important to allow yourself to heal from a broken heart. And to never settle.
If you're not complete within yourself, you're never going to find what you're looking for.
Don't ever hinge your self-worth, self-love, or self-esteem on the validation from someone else.
Sure, we all require validation (in fact, President Obama turned around to Oprah after an interview he did with her and asked "was I ok?"), but does it need to come from a less than ideal romantic partner?
There is a quote from the philosopher Rumi that I love, and one that has been particularly profound for me since I embarked upon my spiritual journey years ago.
"You wander from room to room hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck."
Sometimes we search to find ourselves in others. The missing pieces of the puzzle. That "diamond necklace". When we already possess it to begin with.
I give out the best advice to my friends when it comes to matters of the heart. But taking the same advice myself? Not so much.
However, I do know this - if I do ever miraculously find that I will not allow fear to dictate my decisions, and that I'm ready giving up being single, I want someone who is strong enough to take me on.
I've no time for bullshit. And I'm definitely not about to settle.
I am not going to sugarcoat the fact that I'm an incredibly difficult woman. I'm a little gypsy. And I'm downright maddening.
And I want someone to challenge me to become that better person.
One that is complete within themselves.
That is aware of the diamond necklace around their neck, and that is totally blinded and completely mesmerised by the one around mine.