Archive | June, 2013

On Sacrifices and Why I’m not Making Any Anymore

28 Jun

sacrifice

My friend B thinks I’m going through my twenties, only I’m doing it in my thirties, which might very well be. I started dating BD when I was 19. Back then, following my mother’s example (though it’s more than a little superficial to blame it on her) I honestly believed that being in a loving relationship meant making sacrifices. Not little ones. Not agreeing to see a movie you don’t really care for, or allowing the toilet seat to stay up without making a scene. I believed that you couldn’t get everything you wanted or needed in any relationship, and so, you had to decide what was less important to you and find someone who gave you all the rest. (There was even a time when I thought that this wisdom was something some of my single girlfriends hadn’t figured out yet and that this was why they didn’t have a boyfriend.)

In theory, this sounds reasonable. I know in my heart that Mr. Right exists only in my heart, that I will never meet a man who is so compatible with me that he knows how to meet my every need without being told what to do, and still be unpredictable at times and sweep me off my feet. But, and this is a big but, I don’t think I should be making any sacrifices anymore. Adjustments – yes, sacrifices – no.

Very possibly the word sacrifices means more to me than it does to anyone else, I suppose it’s common to say that a mother makes sacrifices for her children for example. I want to redefine the word here, so you can understand what it means to me and why it raises such a strong emotional reaction in me. A sacrifice to me means doing something that strongly contradicts who you are, doing it despite feeling a strong objection to it, despite knowing that it will make you unhappy, and doing it because you believe it will benefit someone else, whose needs are more important than yours.

One might say that my career isn’t developing as quickly as it could have, or that I’m not making as much money as I could have if I didn’t have a child. But that’s not a sacrifice, that’s a choice. I would much rather spend time with my son in the afternoon than make more money or advance in my career. Had I decided to be a stay at home mom and not work at all, that would have been a sacrifice, because I love my job, and I love that I have somewhere to go where I can be valued as a professional. It would have been wrong for me to stay at home all day with my son, because it would have been a sacrifice, and he could not have benefited of it.

When I was in a relationship with BD, who had to move abroad for work and I left my job, my family and friends and moved with him, it was my choice, it was not a sacrifice. I was excited about my new adventure. I was ready for a change. But when things got bad there, when I was homesick and depressed and did not get out of bed some days, and felt like my life was worthless, and got a job I didn’t like just to get out of the house, that was a sacrifice. And it was a mistake to make it, I should have left BD there and come home.

This is just one example, our relationship was in fact full of sacrifices on my part. Sacrifices which lead, eventually to the death – yes, death – of several important “Me”s. I can’t blame BD for it, because he didn’t know. I wasn’t clear in stating the things that I wanted. Because I believed they were less important than the things that he wanted. Because I believed that making sacrifices made me a better person.

Now that we are apart, the dead “Me”s have begun their resurrection and they are hungry and thirsty and know no boundaries and they are raising havoc. It’s so exhausting that I had to sleep for 11 hours last night and I still feel tired.

My ‘What Is’

15 Jun

bed

I opened my eyes this morning and saw that head on the pillow beside me, naked of those gorgeous red curls which have been chopped off mercilessly when we were apart. Sleeping with heavy eyelids, long auburn eyelashes resting on the top of his cheeks, and those enormous pouty lips slightly parted. It wasn’t a dream. He did come over last night, I did open the door to him in those sexy yet nonchalant pajamas. He did look at me for several long seconds and then pull me into a crushing, overwhelming embrace.

Life, I am slowly beginning to realize, is life. I know that seems trivial. One of the pre-Socratic philosophers, Parmenides, claimed that we can only speak and think of what is “for being is, but nothing is not.” This is my life, this is my what is. I am 32 years old, mother to an incredible one year old treasure, soon-to-be-divorced. I have a close friend, a beautiful, witty, unbelievably caring and giving person who’s putting on a hell of a fight with the big C and learning to allow people to be there for her, as she’s always been there for them.

This is my life. I have a steady job and a less than mediocre income. I have an accountant who flirts with me shamelessly every time we meet. I have a strong backbone and support system of friends and family who will always be there for me in times of trouble. I have great tits, even after breastfeeding, and my body will never be as tight as it used to be before childbirth, or as tight as it… has never been, frankly. But I’m learning to love it as is, to embrace its curves and lushness.

This is my life. I was in love once with a boy, so badly that I lost myself. I wrote a blog post about him and tagged it “rape” and then erased that word, but then edited it and tagged it again. And now I have an ex who wants to get back together, to whom I’m saying a strong, confident “NO”, which has been a long time coming, and a lover whom I’ve chosen to welcome back into my life, who pleasures me in ways I never realized were possible, to whom I’m choosing, for now, to say “YES”.

I don’t know what I want or where I want to go next, but I’m excited to find out.

This is my life. This is my what is. And I love it, even when I hate it. I love its twists and turns, I cherish its gifts, I embrace its painful lessons. I want to feel and experience everything it has to offer me, for as long as it’s offering.

Free

14 Jun

birds on branch

It was Baby’s first birthday the other week, and a cause for celebration and delight. Yep. We made it through our first year as mom and son, and not only made it, we rocked. My gorgeous boy is starting to walk now. He has four teeth. He’s eating solids like a pro. He talks the sweetist gibberish you’ve ever heard. He calls me ‘maaaa’. He expresses affection by hugging me, pulling at my clothes and licking my face.

We make a great team, him and I. Who said families can’t have just two people in them? He does have a dad, and they’ve fallen into a routine of visitations that pleases me and gives me some time off, which completely transforms my week. But our core family for now is just us. And we’re doing splendidly.

We have excellent communication. Yes, I do realize he’s one. But he expresses himself beautifully using the limited tools at his disposal, and I manage to understand him most of the time. He’s patient, and “explains” himself again if I misinterpret his mumbles, squeals and growls. He knows that no matter what I will always listen to him, and be there for him, and he seems to have almost no fear of anything, which I find remarkable. I try to be a role model to him. I try to always tell him the truth about everything, even though sometimes it’s a version of the truth, tailored especially for him. I still have to figure out what I’m goiong to tell him about his dad and I when he’s old enough to ask.

Well, a little over a year has passed since my beautiful boy was born, and that makes it about 9 months since the separation. My desicion has finally been made, and this time I feel very confident. I told BD that I didn’t want to continue therapy. I told him I wanted a divorce. Not an easy conversation, as he was very persistant and asked me to reconsider again and again, just as before. Only this time I was equipped with new knowledge, a realization that it doesn’t matter if BD accepts, agrees or even understands my point of view. I realize now that I’ve been having such a hard time cutting loose from him, because for some reason I thought I needed him to understand why, to agree with me. The realization that I don’t need that has finally set me free.

Happy. In command. Empowered. Capable. Strong. Optimistic. Excited. Good things are coming and my arms are wide open to welcome them into my life. What a beautiful day, I told Baby this morning  on the way to daycare. The sky is clear, the birds are chirping, there are so many beautiful things for us to see, we just have to open your eyes and look.

Uncorking

7 Jun

cork

 

When this cork was in its bottle, there was harmony, security and hope in their union. It fit the bottle perfectly, so that not one drop could find its way out. It contained the promise a fine wine, that had been bottled in August 2000, and had slowly aged to perfection. POP was the sound of the uncorking, the seal breaking. Glu-glu-gluk was the sound of a fine wine being poured into a glass, breathing in the oxigen and fullfilling its potential. Delicous.

The bottle is open now and the wine is oxidized and ready to be consumed. The cork is growing by the second, expanding so that only with great force could someone put it back into its bottle, and even then, it would never fit perfectly. The harmony of togetherness has been shattered and the bottle and cork will now have to find new promises, new potentials to fulfull, new lives.