I considered myself to be a tough cookie. I rarely cry, or give away too much emotion. I thought this was something to be envied. Boy was I wrong!
I built up an immense shield of protection, that allowed me to feel safe and secure. But, perhaps my defenses were more for me to hide behind.
At nearly 38, I have not experienced much in the form of relationships. I had some, throughout the years; but none long-lasting, or credible. I have never experienced “love”, the type you are meant to get from some serious, relationships. But, I never questioned it. I assumed that it was one of my many quirks.
Like many millions of women out there, I had had my share of “bad” boyfriends or “bad” relationships. But, I used two specific ones, to future define me. I used those bad relationships to build up a wall, to keep people out. The trouble with this, was that I had lost the ability to get myself out of it. I had convinced myself, that it was for my own benefit. But the bubble worked too well, and it kept me locked in!
By now, I had two dependents to consider; which made me dig deeper foundations for my, impenetrable bubble. The risk was too great. Love was not enough of a prize. Did it even exist?
So, as the years went passed; I convinced myself, that I chose to remain single, which at the time, I fully believed. Friends would try to set me up on dates, or tell me that I should meet someone, but their words fell on deaf ears.
My feet had dug in. I was adamant that I did not need a man in my life. Afterall, my past decisions had been poor ones, and they were messy and tragic. This, was to be my foundation. Those two bad relationships, had anchored me into an impenetrable bubble of detachment and solitude.
I enjoyed the single years, I kept myself busy with work and being a mum. I never wavered, if anything, I begun to accept and understand that the universe did not plan for me to settle down with someone. This, I accepted, without hesitation.
I became the only singleton within my groups of friends. But, I still enjoyed an occasional “girl’s night”. But, I seemed to have adopted a distaste for weddings and parties, or pretty much any social event that required an invitation with the dreaded “+1” on it.
No matter the friend, no matter the occasion; I deliberately avoided it. Usually I had genuine excuses, but some I could have found ways around, but didn’t.
And still, I put it down to one of my quirks. Many people loathed social events, so i never considered it to be anything more.
As the years flew bye, I had lost all thought for my self-made bubble. I began to look for substitutes within books. Reading series after series, allowing the writer’s worlds to envelope me up into, fictional realms of fantasy.
These, provided me with the escape that I needed. I found myself, on a very, rare occasion; pondering on my options. These moments were few and far between, but they pushed at my defenses, enough that I felt I had to reinforce them. I locked them up, and secured my base.
I was single, it was a choice I made. And this is what I would tell myself, over and over. I had memorized it, like a script.
My reign of “lack of heart” lasted many years. Until I became an author.
I created my own world, within a fictional book. One that gave me an escape from reality. I toyed and played around with the book for years before I finally published it. I used it to avoid my feelings, to avoid the voice in my head that knew I was clouding over my emotions.
A few cracks begun to show in my armour, but this only made me more determined. I would openly say that I enjoyed my freedom of being single. I didn’t have anyone to answer too. I wasn’t being suffocated in a mundane relationship. I would belittle the very idea of being part of a couple.
But lately, in the here and now; the cracks are turning into the size of huge fissures!
The once rare appearances from my melancholy emotions, were becoming more frequent. My usual escape of writing, was opening up my protection barriers. I began to wish that the world’s within books, were real, not fantasy.
The reality of reality was seeping in, and I didn’t have enough plasters to patch it up!
I started to question my choices. Had I avoided relationships because I truly believed that they would only bring me more misery, or because I knew, that it wasn’t going to happen for me?
I had a moment of profound weakness. I allowed myself to ponder on the “what if?”. This was a huge mistake! The fissures burst open, and the flood-gates were wide. I had convinced myself for many, many years, that i was fine; that i was in full control of my mind and the path i had chosen. But, the realty of it, was that I had stopped myself from finding out. I claimed to be tough and brave, yet I refused to take a leap of faith.
I did not think I was worthy enough, to have someone. I had convinced myself that I was better off alone. I had responsibilities as a single parent, and I used that to hide behind. I have gotten used to being single and independent.
But, at 37 1/2, I truly believe, that it’s too late for me. I accepted my decision a long time ago, but it has only fully sunk in now.
This is something that I need to learn to accept. Perhaps I need to establish my protective bubble that had once kept me from caring, from feeling.
Emotions cause us to be wreckless. But they are also what makes us human. I made a freak decision, based on prior ecperiences and it almost cost me my humanity.
I recently read an online interview with Keanu Reeves in Esquire. He states that at 52, he won’t be a dad and he won’t settle down. I actually found his reply quite sad. I was saddened and frustrated that he had waited and waited until he felt that he was no longer in a position to give himself the chance to find love, and to be loved.
Perhaps it was hypocritical of me, I too have left my chances of finding someone to settle down with, too late. But, he is in a better position to be found. He can have his ever-after, he just needs to realise that he is worthy of it! It’s not so easy for the rest of us. Eyes all over the world see him, I am a ghost. A whisp.
I had convinced myself for over 12 years, that I chose this. But in actual fact, I hadn’t. I am not enough, not enough for someone to choose. So, I can’t fix it. I can’t pretend to be something I’m not. And it stings, to know that I am going to be lonely. Bringing in the Hogmany bells in on my own. There’s no fun in New Years anymore, not when you know that it’s just another year to ponder my loneliness. Admitting it, is painful.
Perhaps he too, shut himself off from the world like I did. Whatever his reasons, I believe that he doesn’t see what I do. I see an accomplished man, one with a personality that is private and mysterious. He only shows the world what we need to see. The real Keanu is reserved for family and friends, and this is fine. I’m sure we all do this.
But I would urge him to open himself up to the possibility of finding someone. Not to be like me. Don’t create a barrier that even you can’t break.
I will keep going through my endless cycles of acceptance and denial. From reality to fantasy. I hide in the shadows, I store the pieces of me that even I don’t want to see, deep with the he dark abyss of shadows.
It’s okay to be single. And I guess it’s okay to admit when I’m lonely, but it doesn’t help; and it doesn’t make it any easier. I’m 2 1/2 years away from the big 4 0. And I’m sure, I will have to endure many unfortunate moments of maddening regrets. But, I have accepted my forever single status, the problem is, that my humanity always rears its ugly head, and makes me wish I had made another choice when I had the chance years ago.
I can still be single and happy, can’t I??