never married, over forty, a little bitter

firm strands

As young girls, it seems we are programmed to be excited about our wedding day. Then we go to college and watch our girlfriends get engaged and married in apocalyptic proportions. Soon they start having kids like the survival of the population depends on their specific uterus. Then down the road some of the marriages devastatingly fall apart and you become a shoulder to cry on because you are still unmarried and know what it’s like to be alone.

All of these are very meaningful happenings in the lives of those we love and care about, but we are rarely prepared for the emotions that flood our hearts when we realize their lives are moving forward and ours seem to be standing still.

The thing which took me a very long time to realize is that being alone does not translate to standing still. Pursuing a successful career, traveling, and fixing up my home while being unmarried does not mean my life is stagnant, but rather, means I am chasing dreams that do not include a man yet.

In her book A Gift From The Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh reminds us, “Actually, these are among the most important times in one’s life – when one is alone. The artist knows he must be alone to create; the writer, to work out his thoughts; the musician, to compose; the saint, to pray. But women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves: that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships.”

all about eve

I heard some hearsay that I’m not going to put much stock in but that raises the possibility that a confidante may have betrayed me and that I will be blackballed, albeit for a very minor reason, from ever getting back into my former organization. If true, my safety net has just disappeared, and I’ll only be able to give the private sector a few months before looking for jobs elsewhere.

I may just be on a temporary dip, but I do know that if a job search drags on it will certainly take its toll on any warm, fuzzy feelings I have about this place.

Another thing is weighing on me. After turning down jobs in L.A., moving across country, paying to get a tenant out, repainting and refurbishing the condo, traipsing all over town for weeks to buy furniture, and in general raiding my bank account, I know my roommate would like nothing more, now that his own promotion is secure, for me to move out so that he can have the place to himself. I just don’t think I can live with him anymore, knowing that. A very levelheaded friend has recommended I wait a few days for my emotions to settle before deciding what to do and, if necessary, asking him to move out. She’s right, but the writing is on the wall.

It’s an ugly time. I’m thankful I have three or four friends here who are checking in on me and offering support, but other than that my enthusiasm for being here is, temporarily at least, lost.