Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What Gives?

From time to time, I will be publishing thoughts on my life. As a single mom trying to figure out what is in store for me relationship-wise, I've found putting my experiences on paper helps me work through them. So, go ahead, enjoy, judge, whatever makes you happy.

I try not to get discouraged over my life, especially when I have so much more than so many people. I am healthy, I have two absolutely beautiful children who are happy, healthy, well-adjusted and love me very much. I have a job I like, which pays pretty well and affords me so much flexibility and enables me to travel. I have very little debt. I have a few very good friends who I know love me for who I am, not what I can do for them. Which isn’t much, except be a friend the best way I know how- listen a lot, help when I can, and make them laugh as often as possible.

I can’t regret the choices I’ve made; some have been good, some have been not so good. (Yes, a major understatement.) But, overall, I think I have made the right choices for my children. And myself, to a point. I feel good, and I think I look pretty good for my advancing age. I can take care of myself and my kids, I own my own home, I get along with my ex-husband, and, most of all, my kids are well-behaved, secure, independent, and know they are loved. My family relationships aren’t perfect, but there is a peace in knowing you can only control so much, and I feel that peace.

But, especially as my kids get older, I have to wonder if I am purposely making choices that preclude a relationship. I know I have additional complications; my oldest son is a full-on teenager, and my youngest son has Down Syndrome. I know that isn’t an easy thing for anyone to digest. And, I live in a very small town. But, I also know that, because of my complications, I work twice as hard as most people on my relationships. Dealing with another person’s kids, disability or not, is never an easy task. Quite honestly, not one I’ve ever relished taking on for myself. What a hypocrite, huh?

I can be annoyingly independent at times, I know that. (I would say ‘fiercely independent’, but Tyra(nt) Banks has completely ruined the word ‘fierce’ for me. Now, it just means average-looking girls trying to out-Zoolander each other.) In turn, I think it makes me attracted to the confirmed-but-don’t-know-it-yet bachelor type. You know that guy- they say they want to be married, but they really like being single. And I, of course, seem to get along with them like a house on fire. So, what gives? Even though I'm not afraid of commitment, I know I’m a little (okay, a lot) afraid of marriage. I have one failed marriage under my belt, and don’t savor the thought of another one. But, on the other hand, you won’t find a more faithful, loving, generous girlfriend than me. I have references, trust. I just don’t necessarily want someone up in my kool-aid 24/7. So while I think I’m just looking for a kindred spririt, is it really self-sabatoge? Am I subconciously trying to stay single? Will I ever meet that kindred spirit that I’m looking for that does want a commitment?

I tend to look at the outward things in my life as reasons why I’m still single. Is it where I live? Definitely most of the problem. The dating pool is a desert. Is it what I do for a living? Probably part of the problem. I work around men all the time, but refuse to date in the industry for fear of looking like a slut. Is it my children? Maybe. Is it fair that, even though I have a lot going for me, through no fault of my own my number came up in the DNA lottery? No. Would I change my son at all? Absolutely not. He is my angel- he keeps us going.

So, again, the answer is…it must be me. Something inside, outside, I don’t know. But I guess if I really want things to change, I better find out. Why do I continue making these choices? They aren’t bad guys, just guys completely unable to commit. So, why am I attracted to them? Why are they attracted to me? I guess that’s the million dollar question. And, I might just give that amount to find the answer.