I Love Myself, Know Myself and Have Hobbies
So, can you please stop inferring that I’m not okay?
I’m not sure when divorced or otherwise uncoupled people became the least actualized people on the planet. There’s an idea going around that we have a lot of personal growth to do.
Numerous well-intended people have given me the age-old advice that instead of trying to date and find a partner, I should spend my time learning to love myself, discovering myself and finding new and interesting hobbies.
I appreciate that these folks care about me and want to see me happy. I am happy.
Just because my marriage didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean that I’m a completely lost human being. It just means that I’m single and that, instead of a human being, I sleep next to seven throw pillows and a Chihuahua.
When I got married, I relinquished my maiden name but I didn’t stop growing as a person. Actually, my divorce is indicative of having grown as a person over the years. My divorce is not a trigger for self-exploration, it’s a result of it.
Ending my marriage was a decision that came at the end a period of digging deep and understanding myself and my needs. I learned how to communicate and set expectations. I mustered up the strength to keep fighting for something but knew my limits and had the wisdom to know when to stop.
Divorced people don’t necessarily need to find ourselves. We just get a little lonely sometimes. We have no problem being alone but we miss holding someone’s hand. This does mean there’s something wrong with us.
What a lot of our friends may not realize is a big part of the remaining work for divorced people is learning how to enter into relationships again. As I’ve been dating, I’ve figured out standards and learned how to create boundaries. I’ve honed in on what I can’t live with and what I can’t live without in a partner. We learn this by trial and error.
Regardless of whether I need to or not, I’m already doing the work people suggest I do. It’s just that this work does not magically manifest a partner. That’s not why I do it.
I love myself to almost unreasonable levels. No, really. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. It’s pure self-care and self-acceptance.
Someone told me today that my vulnerability surprised them. They saw me as strong, in control and self-assured. Sure. All of that is true. But I still have weaknesses. I have things I’m working on. Recognizing my imperfections is part of loving myself as I am. That love is the encouragement to keep going.
I’m also 45 years old. It’s not like the last 20 years have been an out of body experience. I’ve been there for the whole thing. Hell, I had a front-row seat and starred in the production at the same time.
Discovery and exploration are pretty standard operating procedure. I’m currently writing this in an airport terminal, awaiting a red-eye flight to Miami where I’ll pick up my rental car and drive to Key West for a week-long music festival.
What I can’t make sense of is the hobby comment. It really makes me wonder what my coupled-up friends who suggest I get hobbies think I do with my time?
I like to think they have an overly romantic view of me sitting on a chaise by my front window, staring outside with my chin resting on my hand waiting for a gentleman to come calling. I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.
The reality is that I have loads of hobbies and have been known to take up strange things for the mere entertainment of it. Like the Argentine Tango and violin lessons, neither one of which I am particularly good at. Left to my own devices, things get a little odd. It’s fine.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a companion in life. We single people are doing just fine. We want you to see this and give us a little credit. And the phone number of the good looking guy that just moved in down the street from you. That would be great.