When I was married, I thought that being a wife and mom was it for me. That was my life. There was no sense of adventure. No dream to work for, because the American dream was already mine. I had a lovely home, a beautiful family, and an adorable rescue dog. My old laptop has about 2000 pictures from that era of my life, and they are all kids and dogs. That was my life, and I feel guilty for admitting that it was killing me. But I was hungry for something more than just repeating the life of my parents. I had terrible cravings, but I wasn’t sure what for.
When I got divorced, my life got washed away. I moved into a shitty old house. I had to rehome my beloved rescue dog. Not one landlord in my county would let me keep a 140 pound French mastiff. But something magical happened, when my life was stripped down to the bare bones. I had the realization that I could build my life in any way that I wanted. My life was a blank canvas, washed clean. I had found a new sense of freedom that hadn’t been experienced since the day I got my drivers license. I found adventure in my life again.
My first weekend out as a single mom, I ended up stoned out of my mind in a soybean field, surrounded by friends that I hadn’t seen in years. I will never forget the feeling I felt when I looked up at the warm July sky that night. I could see so much space. I could feel so much space. It was the first moment of absolute contentment that I had felt in a long while.
And my life became an adventure.
My kidless weekends were intimidating at first. I didn’t know what to do with myself, the quiet, the freedom. Then I began to embrace my me-time. I started to date myself. I would take day long road trips by myself. I would go to restaurants by myself. One time I even went to the movies by myself. And I reconnected with friends. I danced. I had a crazy night in Detroit, where my best friend and I crashed three bachelor parties, triple kissed a stranger, and ate fried alligator that we didn’t pay for. I went to concerts. I had sex with a twenty-something guy in a Walmart parking lot. I made out with a hot doctor on the hood of his sports car. These are all things that my married self would have never dreamed possible. These are all the things that helped to revive the old me, that wild girl who died when I had to be someone for somebody else. These adventures saved me.
But eventually, I had convinced myself that I needed to share my life with someone. And we all know how that went. But what’s important is that I realized that the old feelings of hopelessness came back to me when I was living with my ex boyfriend. That smothering feeling like I’m heading into the last chapter of my book because the adventures have all been had and it’s got to end soon. And that quiet whisper in the back of my mind starts getting louder and louder. ‘This is not how your story ends!’ She screams from my soul. And then I walk away. And with every step, I feel myself come back to life.
I love the idea of sharing my life with another person. But I don’t like the reality of it. I am madly in love with not knowing where my life will be tomorrow, or next year, or in ten years. It’s the curiosity that keeps me entertained. And my shrink thinks that is okay, for now. So I guess I will too.