On Friday night, I met up with five girlfriends at a swanky restaurant/bar. I dressed up in my new favorite boyfriend jeans and sexy top. I dug out my fun strappy silver sandals that I rarely wear and donned my YSL lip gloss. As we shared sushi roles, indulged in lemon martinis, and caught up on our (very interesting) lives, I thought, “This is so Sex in the City.” It was fun and I realized that I hadn’t done this sort of thing in forever. A few hours later, a nice guy that I’ve been dating a bit joined us. We listened to a live band, danced, and even sang along with the musicians until almost one in the morning. Me dance? Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve gone dancing? Oh my gosh!
It dawned on me the next morning that in my quest to be the perfect mom, girlfriend, daughter and myeloma warrior, I had become (gasp) so incredibly boring. Dull. Stagnant. Predictable. Yuck.
Since leaving my husband in the wake of my cancer diagnosis, my entire focus was fighting my disease, getting a divorce, and taking care of my two young daughters. Once the divorce was done and I was in remission, my entire focus then shifted to my boyfriend (and making sure his needs were met), my daughters, and healing my body and soul. Yoga, power walks, meditation, nutrition, massages and traveling. That was my world. And those things are great and necessary. They are still my priority.
But what about fun?
Since I decided to end it with my boyfriend of nearly two years, I’ve (re)discovered a whole new world, and I rather like it. It’s a world of possibility. Potential. New relationships. And, yes, fun.
I have many awesome girlfriends and I’ve started fostering those relationships. I absolutely love the time I spend with these women. I need them as much as they need me. We are an incredible support system to each other and I feel blessed to have them in my life. Several of us are divorced, one is in the midst of a hideous divorce, and one is in the process of deciding if she should stay or leave her husband. We go to lunch, sometimes hang out at my friend Katherine’s house drinking iced tea, or go shopping. These friendships are benefitting my daughters, as they’ve made friends with these women’s children. I now have this amazing community of support. I only started developing this network in the past month, the same time I called it quits with my boyfriend. Why didn’t I do it before? Because I didn’t have the time to focus on it. What a shame. I won’t make that mistake again!
Putting out new vibes?
Yesterday I was walking into Walmart. At the entrance, a handsome man with a flat screen TV in his cart stopped me. “Can I ask you a question?” he asked. “Are you married?”
“No,” I said.
“You are beautiful and I know this is awkward, but I’d love to take you out,” he said. We ended up talking for almost 30 minutes. We exchanged phone numbers and we’re going out this week. That has not happened to me before but it was incredibly flattering. Which makes me wonder if I am putting out new vibes now that I’m single. I wasn’t dressed differently and I certainly wasn’t acting any different than usual, but there you have it. If I was still with my boyfriend, I would have blown him off. I like being able to say “yes” because, well, I simply feel like it.
After being in a relationship for so long, I love the fact that it’s over. Every day is now my own. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for anything. I feel free and I like it. One day I’ll find a guy that makes me swoon and I’ll be happy to give up my freedom for “us” but I’m going to take my time and be incredibly picky in the interim. And in the meantime, I’ll leave no stone unturned.
Yesterday, I “met” a guy through Facebook. I frequently comment in a private Facebook community and one of the members friended me. Turns out, he looks quite handsome in photos and literally lives just a few streets away from me. We’re going to dinner tomorrow night.
A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of hers and in a few hours, I’m meeting him for lunch. He’s a fascinating man who is training for an intense run in a few months. He’s been to some fascinating parts of the world and he’s had some incredible adventures that I can’t wait to hear about.
I also got on an internet dating site for one month. It expired several days ago but from that site, I’ve met a couple really nice guys that I like.
I am not sleeping around but I can stay as busy (or not) as I want to be.
In the pursuit of fun
After I make sure that my children’s needs are met, I love developing new friendships and getting out and about in my community. For almost two years, a friend of mine invited me to Margarita Thursdays. I never went because I had a boyfriend and he took up all my free time. But with him gone, I get to go. My time is my own and I don’t have to answer to anyone. I love it. Not only am I going to Margarita Thursdays, I am going to go back to that swanky restaurant/bar more often with my girlfriends. I forgot that I love live bands and dancing.
Focusing on new priorities
I now have more time to pursue projects for which I’m passionate about. I am getting ready to film a cooking demo for cancer patients with no immune system. I am working with some of my girlfriends to launch an online radio program for those of us in the dating trenches in Utah. As soon as my daughters get back in school, I have a list of hiking trails that I haven’t explored yet. I have some in-depth articles I am working on, which I will shop to different publications. I have time to finally get to the things on that have languished on my Bucket List for far too long.
My time, my way
This afternoon, I’m gathering up my daughters and meeting up with my friend, Katherine, and her children. We’re going to the top of Sundance ski resort and hiking. Afterwards, we’re going to barbeque dinner in the canyon. Fun! On Saturday, my youngest daughter and I went to Park City with my college roommate and her son. We went down the alpine slide and rode the coaster. Afterwards, we went shopping and got some lunch. It was a perfect day. Had I been with my boyfriend, he surely would have gone with us and I was just “different” when I was with him. I am more carefree these days and my personality and communication style reflects that. My daughters have both said that I’m more fun these days. Wow, I had no idea what a dull mom I had become. Sad.
Breakups can be heartbreaking, but not always. The end of one relationship can open up a whole new world. It’s a time to develop new routines, find new relationships, and leave us opened to new possibilities. I have no idea where or when I’ll find a new love but I’m loving the now. I love the possibilities, the freedom, and the promise of something different.