Good Enough

As any of you that have read this blog since the beginning (THANK YOU!) know, my divorce was rough.

You know the marriage was rougher.

Ward and June Cleaver we weren’t, that’s for damn sure.

Who cleans house in high heels and pearls??

Who cleans house in high heels and pearls??

I wasn’t spectacular to him. I’ll take responsibility for my share of blame in the collapse of our marriage. To be sure, he wasn’t spectacular to me. The only honest thing he did before he left with that other woman (I’m working hard at reining in my Bitter Bitch) was to admit that he had spent 16 years emotionally and mentally abusing me.

Yes, he admitted it. Shocking, no?

And, here we are, over two years since the separation and almost two years from the divorce and I’m still dealing with that crap.

hand tiedHow frustrating is that? I know that I can’t expect to be over it immediately. I know that I will feel the effects for years. But I have made so much progress in coming back to life that it is so defeating sometimes to know that I am still trying to untie myself from his definition of who I was.

It is so very hard to recover your self-esteem, your sense of self, when you spent 16 years with the person that you pledged to love and who pledged to love you, trying to do the best you could and it was never enough.

You were never smart enough.

You were never skinny enough.

You were never pretty enough.not good enough

You were never sexy enough.

You were never a good enough mother.

You were never a good enough housekeeper.

You were never…..

Nothing I ever did was good enough for him.

When the man that you have married tells you that you are subpar at every level on a daily basis, you don’t just get over that in a snap.

So, here we are, two years later, and I’ve met this guy. He’s pretty terrific. OK, he’s more than pretty terrific, but we’re not going to go into massive details. Let’s just say that he’s very sexy, very smart, extremely witty, a talented storyteller and so much more *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.

He’ll tell me that I’m beautiful and sexy and smart. He does so with regularity and ease. You can tell that he means it, that he’s not lying to just get into my pants. I can tell he means it. Truly means these things that he says.

And I want to believe him. I do. I want to see what he sees. I want to feel that I’m beautiful, sexy and smart.

Sometimes, when we talk or when I’m with him, I feel it. I feel like I’m all of those things and more. I feel like Superwoman having a man as great as him think those things about me.

But, when our conversation is done, or I go home, or even sometimes when we are chatting, I wonder what it is that he sees.

I know he can’t be seeing the same woman I see. That woman isn’t smart, nor sexy, nor beautiful. She doesn’t have anything to offer to a great man like him. Why does he still talk to me?

For 16 years I was told that I wasn’t beautiful, sexy or smart. For 16 years I was told that I wasn’t enough. So, how can I be enough for this man who has everything in the world to offer a woman?

And therein, my friends, lies the issue.

I have to stop wondering what I should do to “be enough” for a man in my life and just be me. Be myself in all things.

Good enoughI have to stop trying to be anything for anyone and just be the person that I am.

I have to just be me.

I have to be that woman whose eyebrows are never plucked quite right, whose roots constantly need touching up, whose house is never clean enough, who feeds too many stray cats because she’s a sucker for them. I have to be that dorky lady who laughs too loudly at lousy puns, who thinks science jokes, Doctor Who and Cosmos are pretty awesome. I have to embrace my almost bottomless pit of trivia about nothing that anyone in the world cares about. I have to appreciate my love of all things J.D. Robb, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, and J.K. Rowling. I have to be political and care about what is going on in the world. I have to be all of those things.

Because all of those things make up the person I want to be.

If somewhere along the way I happen to be lucky enough to find someone who is willing to accept me with all of my quirks and my dorkiness and my lame jokes and my obscure passions, and also finds me sexy and beautiful and smart, then that will make me a pretty lucky lady.

It doesn’t mean that I will not ever have periods of self-doubt. Bouncing back from a bad relationship isn’t easy and it takes time.

But I have to stop wondering what he sees in me, why he likes to spend time with me, what the attraction is. Instead of questioning it, I need to just accept it.

It doesn’t matter why. It doesn’t matter what.

All that matters is: He does.

That’s good enough for me.

It’s All New….A New Life, A New Me, A New Blog

When I started this blog in August of 2011 (really? that long ago?), I had no idea what the future held for me. My marriage of 16 years had fallen apart and I was so scared of what I was facing.

Here it is, almost 3 years later (damn!), and almost 2 years since my divorce was final, and I feel like I’m getting to know me better.

I feel like I spent the 16 years that I was married to him defining myself by what he wanted me to be. I was to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect partner.

Except, I was never good enough for him.

But, here’s what I came to realize.

No one is perfect.

And that’s not what love is about, anyway.

I have a friend that is in a situation that is not great on any level. And the woman that he loves is giving him grief over it, blaming him for the results that have come about because of her choices. What I told him is what everyone should realize about love:

Love is about accepting a person for who they are at the moment. You don’t make them feel bad about choices that they madelove in the past. You don’t hold them accountable for your choices. When you say you love someone, you accept all of them: past mistakes, faults, failings.

So, what I’ve come to realize is that he never loved me. Not in the way that he should have. And, honestly, I probably didn’t love him in the way that I should have.

And for awhile after I moved into my new place, I felt guilty about the fact that I had failed at my marriage. I felt like it was all my fault that things hadn’t worked out.

But then I realized that it takes two to make a relationship work. It definitely takes two to make a marriage work.

So, I decided to forgive myself for the fact that my marriage collapsed. Sure, I could have done things differently. But he could have, too. We both could have been more supportive of the other, could have given each other more understanding and room to grow, have grown with each other.

But we didn’t.

And here I am, single and happy.

And there he is, engaged and (by all accounts) happy.

When I moved out, one of the things that I promised myself is that I wouldn’t go jumping into a relationship. I didn’t want

"You had me at hello."  *Barf*

“You had me at hello.” *Barf*

to be that woman that had to have a man to complete her. My life is not Jerry Maguire. I’m not Renee Zellweiger and some Tom Cruise wanna be is not going to come along and make my life amazing.

And I didn’t need that. I didn’t need a man telling me how to define myself. What I needed was time to figure out how I like my eggs.

I needed a chance to figure out who I was, what I wanted.

I needed to figure out how to be comfortable with myself before I allowed someone else into my life. I needed to learn tohappiness be happy with myself before I could open the door to someone else.

And, although I’m happy, I’m not in a place where I want to open the door to someone else. Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

I like being single. I like the fun it affords me. I like not being tied to any one person. I like not having to answer for my actions or decisions. I like all of that.

Because my marriage was not a partnership. It was me being held accountable every day for every word, every move, every decision. It was him holding me up as some kind of failure in his eyes because I didn’t behave in the way that he felt I should. It wasn’t marriage. It was prison.

free birdAnd now I’m free.

I get to spread my wings and do things that he wouldn’t have approved of. Things that will give me joy and experience. Things that make my heart happy and smiles come to my face.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all a bed of roses. Sometimes it’s hard being the only one around to make decisions. To not have anyone that you can fall back on to hold you up when you need it. Sometimes it truly sucks.

But those moments are so outweighed by the joy that being single brings me.

Before he left me, the ex told me that his greatest fear was being alone.

How sad is that?

I am my own best friend. Maybe that sounds weird or sad, but it honestly isn’t. I love me. I love who I am.

Granted, I have areas I could work on. We all do.

But, for the most part, I’m really happy to enjoy my own company. I’m comfortable taking myself out to dinner with a good book. I’m happy to stay at home and enjoy the wonders of internet movie streaming.

And, let’s be honest, no one laughs as hard at my jokes as I do. I mean, really, I’m hilarious!

So, the woman that started this blog is no longer here. I left her behind, like I did all of my undesirable baggage. I have moved on without her (and him).

never forgetBut I will never forget. I will never forget who I was when I was married, right after the separation, the divorce. I will never forget that I was that woman: scared, unsure, not ready to face the real world.

I will never forget that I was that woman and that I never want to be that woman again.

So, here we are. Starting a new journey together. I’m glad you’re along for the ride. I know I’m excited to be here, too!

The challenges of being single in today’s weird world of dating is going to be a fun road to travel together. The harrowing adventures of truly being a single mom are another path that we’ll travel down. And let’s not forget the fun that we’ll have together talking about all sorts of things from books to movies to life.

I’m so happy to have you along. The journey would have been taken even if you hadn’t been here, but road trips are just that much more awesome with a friend.

So, we’ll start with a song. Something that embodies the strength that I’ve found within myself. A girl “anthem” if you will. Because, I think, sometimes women forget that they are strong. Our strength comes from the inside and often doesn’t show itself until you really, truly need it.

Let’s start this journey with a little BeyoncĂ©. Just because she’s fun. And strong. And because I like the song 🙂

See y’all in a bit…..