20 First Dates - Part Four

It's been a while since I've written a post in the 20 First Dates Series. I've had a lot to digest since my last post about closure - not only when it comes to relationships or lack of relationships, but also just in life, and I will admit it has affected my ability to be free with what I want to share and write. However, I recently had a friend go through a bad breakup, after dating someone for the past year, and preceding the breakup, a very difficult, drawn out divorce. We spoke at length about lessons we all must learn before we are ready to fully find closure, to find peace within, and/or to find "the one", if that person even exists. One of the first lessons, one that she is finally facing, is

Learning to Be Alone.

When you’re used to being in a relationship, the hardest thing to adjust to – in separation or divorce – can be the silence. If you have children and have been the primary caretaker, it’s the moments alone, when your children are with your former partner. Those moments are scary, but they are also refreshing and freeing. Those are the moments in which you find yourself again and get to do things because you want to, not because you have to take care of someone else. And that is why the moments are scary. If you’ve been known as a wife and a mother for any length of time, if you’ve been known because your lifestyle affords you the ability to do nice things for yourself and for other people, and all of a sudden you can’t, it is very difficult to adjust to a new normal. It can be difficult to hold yourself accountable for your own thoughts and actions as an actual human being outside of all of these external factors.

I would hypothesize that is why we sometimes stay in relationships past the expiration date. It is easier to stay in your current identity than to have to

re-discover who you really are.

Last summer was the first time I was away from my mini for any length of time. It was extremely difficult. I can still feel the pain in my gut and my heart as I left her at sleep away camp, knowing that her father would pick her up and I wouldn't see her for several weeks. At first, I reverted back, in some ways, to enjoying some of the things I enjoyed when I first met my ex. After all, when we met, I was a 23 year old club promoter in Hollywood and worked for the seminal alt rock magazine Ray Gun.