I'm sure this is a psychological term I've heard somewhere... In fact it is - I just looked it up, and here it is. I am the Master of Avoidance.
I'm gonna lay it all right out here, as honest and open as can be. It's been a while since I've done this, and I think I know why that is, too (that's another post)... This may get long, so if you're gonna read it, find a snack, a drink, and have a seat.
Forgive me if I repeat myself at all here because I generally don't read posts that I've written in the past, and this may be a bit scattered.
When I started writing on this blog, it was just for me, never thinking in a million years people would be reading this, but I'm going to try to write this post as if it's for my eyes only so I can just get out what I want to say without editing my thoughts and feelings.
Moving four times in five years, starting (and stopping) two businesses, volunteering, and several relationships all in between. That's not even counting all the every day, 24 hours a day stuff with the kids, their activities, counseling them, cooking, cleaning, painting, rearranging, planning, field trips, school projects and functions, dance, baseball, friends, fun, you name it. Do you think I've been avoiding some stuff? I'm exhausted.
I had also been doing this online dating thing on and off for several years (I really hate to admit that, but it's true). It has a place - a very good place - in modern society when it's difficult to meet people as a single parent. That's another whole post in itself, but I've decided that after all this time, it's just not working for me. Maybe I'll revisit that option down the line again, but it's going to be a long while.
I met Matt at a wedding. How perfect was that? And by some crazy fluke, we hadn't met before that. Our paths had probably crossed at least a few times since my mother worked at the store that Matt used to frequent. She knew him before I did. I believe that if we hadn't met at the wedding, we would have eventually met somewhere else - most likely at that store.
There is something to be said about fate... Taking fate into my own hands has allowed me to meet some really great people, but not "the one." (I believe people come into and out of our lives for a reason.) Am I even really ready for "the one?" I'd like to think after five and a half years, I would be, but I've moved for hopefully the last time for a very, very long time. My kids and I need stability without even the mere hint of the idea of moving again during their school years. Just the thought of it makes me want to run in the opposite direction now.
The thought occurred to me recently that perhaps it's possible I've been sabotaging relationships... I'd like to think I'm just very selective (always have been), but maybe even more now; to the point that I barely let a relationship get off the ground before finding some reason to believe that we just wouldn't be compatible. Being selective worked very well for me in the past, but dating since being widowed, and adding children to the mix - well, it's a whole different ball game. I really believe I am open to love, but it's going to take time to get to know the person well enough to really "know." It makes it even more tricky to date when you don't want your children to meet any potential mate until you feel secure and confident in the relationship. It's even trickier when your children are so starved for a father figure, that they will cling to any man that comes within 30 feet of them. Kids are resilient, thank God, but they don't need to have a carrot dangled in front of them only to be taken away again and again. Which is how I've been feeling, now that I think about it...
My original point of this post was avoidance - the online dating thing, all these projects and moving - has really served it's purpose for avoiding the feelings of loneliness. I'm pretty sure I've got the whole stupid "acceptance" thing down, now it's the loneliness thing I need to work on. This one is gonna be tricky... I'd like to get back to the way I used to be before Matt when I had long periods of time between boyfriends when I didn't feel the "need" to be with someone. I'm beginning to question myself now - have I been searching too vigilantly to fill a void? To avoid the pain of loneliness? To really find "the one?" Whatever my motive, I need a break. Well, that's what one part of me says. The other part of me says, "Why put yourself through that? Why waste time? Just have fun!"
And then the logical, philosophical and faithful sides of me respond, "If it's meant to be, it will happen. Take your time... Time is on your side. Good things come to those who wait."
Ironically, Matt used to always say to me, "Good things come to those who wait."
Patience is not a virtue of mine, but it looks like I don't have much of a choice. This is the painful part I've been avoiding.
I feel like I've got a lot of nerve even considering the possibility of being lucky enough to have another significant love in my life when most people don't ever get to experience in a lifetime what Matt and I had in ten years. Especially when I'm even blessed with incredible kids, a beautiful home, wonderful friends... I have a lot of nerve. But then on the other hand, I think, "Well, why the hell not??? There can be more than one compatible person out there for me - I can have my cake and eat it, too!" That is the part of me that will always hold out hope that I can find that someday, and embrace it, and not screw it up by being too picky, because fate and God won't let me.
Until then, I need to learn to be ok without it.