Little girls love reading fairy tales. They love the ending where the prince whisks the princess away and they live happily ever after. The End.
Growing up, I was not one of those girls. I didn’t believe in them. My analytical brain would break them down, point out the flaws, and chalk them up to ridiculousness. My mom tells me I never cared for them; even before I was reading. I don’t really remember because I was reading chapter books by kindergarten. Reading has always been something I loved to do, just not fairy tales. I remember reading a huge book of stories my mom had from when she was a child. I loved it. It was filled with great stories about children, animals, etc. I could accept talking animals but not fairy tales. It probably explains all my issues today!
Science is something else I am comfortable with. Science made sense. “If this, then that” mentality works for me. It helped me for so many years in the optical industry. I could hear a problem and work through it to find a solution for the patient. It was one of the reasons I was great at optics. I believe my love for science and my dislike for fairy tales is the reason I never jumped on the “sci-fi” bandwagon.
As an adult, I still shied away from believing in “Happy Ever After.” I learned through years of hurt, disappointments, and relationship failures I was better off helping others than thinking I would find happiness. I accepted the path. I’m ok with it. I’m happy with who I am. This is not a “woe is me” blog. The ironic thing is, I am GREAT at helping others with relationships. I always point out to my friends and acquaintances who come to me, “you know I suck at my own relationships, are you sure you want to ask me?” They still ask, I still answer, and, I’m almost always right. I hate when it’s bad news I’m delivering to them because I WANT to be wrong, but I know I’m not. I remember one time, I discussed the direction a friend’s relationship was going to take almost step by step. She thought I was crazy. I broke it down to days…”within 2-3 days, he’s going to do this or say that”…and I was correct every step I said,+/- a day or two. Those odds are great when it’s good news and a happy relationship, not so good when I’m delivering bad news.
Please understand, I WANT my friends and family to have happy, healthy relationships. Just because I know it’s not meant for me doesn’t mean I don’t want it for others. I love solving problems, I love making others happy. I will spend two hours on the internet scouring website after website looking for the perfect gift for someone I care about. I do it, not so they acknowledge how great the gift is, but because I would be so appreciative if someone did it for me. To let someone know you cared enough to spend time THINKING about them, knowing enough about them, and then finding something they might not have even realized existed, is the best feeling. I may come across to some as cold-hearted, one close friend even refers to me as “The Cold Hearted Assassin” but I honestly love making people laugh, smile, or just happy. It makes me happy.
In my twenties, I was recovering from a difficult divorce which left me with huge trust issues. The day I signed my divorce papers I learned so many things about my ex-husband; I didn’t even know who he was. I could not believe I shared a home and a life with a man I didn’t even know. He had repeatedly lied to me and I was clueless. Was I really so naïve? I learned to just date. Honestly, dating for me was almost like alcohol to an alcoholic. It was always “one more” and I didn’t care. I was on a path filled with hurt but I wasn’t willing to venture off the path because every time I did, it was met with someone else lying to me.
I started working at Sam’s Club in 2001 and switched focuses. I was obsessed with moving up the company ladder. I didn’t give up dating but it did slow down. I even met someone I liked. Thought there was a possibility of a real future. I accepted a promotion which, sadly, would take me away from my family, but I accepted because he was going to move with me, except he didn’t. It was one excuse after another, but bottom line, I didn’t care about the excuses, I just knew I was alone in a city I knew no one, and it was rough. My Happily Ever After thwarted again.
I knew I wasn’t going to make the same mistakes though. I wasn’t going to have a flavor of the week. I was too busy, for one, and I wanted a more meaningful, deeper connection. Sadly, I learned, Kansas City is NOT the city to be single in. The number of men I met who would lie to your face, put you at the bottom of their priorities, or would just want to sleep with you but not date was astounding! Don’t get me wrong, I’d have relationships here and there, but they always ended, usually badly.
I started to see a pattern. Patterns are good for me. My analytical brain loves to break down patterns, determine where the hiccup was, and try to establish a new pattern. Some of the patterns became funny to me. For example, there were a couple of guys who lingered and I don’t know why. I didn’t leave the door open, I would say we were through, but it was almost like they had a sensor and whenever I had met someone and thought, hey, this might work, I would get a text or call from them. I would honestly just chuckle about it. They NEVER seemed to understand, even when I would tell them I’m dating someone and I’m happy. They would disappear and resurface months later. One in particular, I could almost use a text from him as a confirmation I had met someone new. Maybe he secretly has my phone tapped. Who knows? It is funny to me.
I say all this because I understand patterns. I would meet men who were unavailable and have some of the best friendships with them. Perhaps it was because they were unavailable, I let my walls down and let them get to know the real me. The hard part is, sometimes they would fall for me. They loved my personality, they loved my passion for life. I began to believe I was cursed. Men I couldn’t have loved me, but I couldn’t find a man I could love.
I gave up. I accepted the fact I was here to help. I was here to love, but only as someone who loves others, not to be in love. I was here to write about my pain, my problems, so others would know it isn’t always Happily Ever After and its ok! You can STILL be HAPPY. Don’t let a relationship status define your happiness.
The irony of this whole blog is the timing. I started this weeks ago after discussing with a friend my happiness and happy ever after philosophies. But I just couldn’t finish it. I got as far as the first two paragraphs and would stop and rewrite.
Then I did something I never do. I prayed. As a Christian, I believe in God, or a higher spirit, I just don’t really believe in organized religion. When I pray, I don’t ask for anything for myself unless it’s wisdom or guidance. I may pray for the right words for someone. I just don’t pray for things to make myself happy. This time I did. I figured, it can’t hurt. Within two days, I met someone. I felt drawn to him, to help him. Conversations escalated quickly and I knew I could help him but I was disappointed. Here was someone falling for me but I wasn’t falling for him. Ok God, message heard loud and clear. I’m only here to help. To fix problems. I was disappointed but it was ok.
God has a sense of humor, I honestly believe He does. I think he toys with those of us he knows can handle it just to break up the drudgery of dealing with those who always need Him. The Bible says we are created in the likeness of Him, well look at brother / sister dynamics. Look at close cousins. The teasing / picking on each other has to come from somewhere.
God loves to mess with me, I’m convinced. A couple of days after meeting the one I felt needed help, I met the most amazing man. He was the type you say, dang, I’d marry him tomorrow if he asked me, knowing deep down, he wouldn’t, because stuff like that only happens in fairy tales and Hallmark movies. My point is, it crossed my mind. I laughed it off. Silly girl thoughts.
Only I couldn’t ignore it like I had before. I couldn’t just blow it off. I am careful about emotions. I don’t like them, except happiness. I don’t trust love because I bomb at love. I hate being hurt because it makes me feel weak and a little sad because I end up running when I’m hurt. I hate being sad because no one ever wants to be sad. So happiness is the only emotion I try to allow myself.
Back to patterns and God’s sense of humor. I have really liked a lot of people, but to say I have loved a lot? No. I don’t like love. I don’t trust it. Anytime I think it could be a possibility, I reassess it or, in almost every case, the minute I EVEN think it, or mention it to someone, within 48 hours, something happens and it explodes. Trust me, it’s not me sabotaging it, sometimes I don’t even do or say anything to the person and something happens. I just chalk it up to God getting the person out of my life for me.
With everything I have shared, it may come as a surprise to you, and to me, when something happened just recently, something so sweet and touching, my heart melted and did a flip-flop. Wait, what? No. Feelings don’t happen that fast for me. Ugh! I wasn’t ready for it.
I know, this is where you are saying, Aww …yay! Happily Ever After DID happen for her!
I was processing everything and made a phone call to someone who knows me all too well. My exact words to her were, “I don’t do love” to which she laughed at me then listened to my story. After I finished, I said, it doesn’t matter now, because it will explode within 48 hours because I acknowledged feelings. She made me assure her I wouldn’t sabotage anything and just see what happened. I promised her. I knew it wouldn’t matter. I am not meant for relationship happiness. I have accepted it long ago, the only difference this time is I wasn’t looking for it. I had pretty much given up, so I hadn’t prepared myself.
So what happened you wonder? Sadly, the 48 hours passed. The explosion occurred. It’s ok. Does it make me sad? Yes, a little, because it affects one of my deepest desires. Does it hurt? Yes, of course. I think the worst part is my ability to feel the shift in the other person’s feelings. It has always been something I have been gifted with, but when it’s directed at me, it is more painful.
At the end of the day, I will survive. I will do what I always do. I will strive to be the best person I can be. I will strive to do the best job I can do. I will continue to write and share my life, my feelings, and my journey.
I will love.