Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Courage to Begin Again

“And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
― Meister Eckhart

If you've read this blog at all, you must know how passionate I am about the reality that we get this ONE chance.  We get this ONE life. That's all we have. 

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
                                   -Eminem, Lose Yourself

When I got married a long time ago, I was young.  I was 24, fresh out of college and completely unprepared for any kind of real life.  I hadn't even thought at all about what I wanted from myself and my own life, let alone any idea about what a marriage was supposed to look and feel like.  My idea of marriage came from the twisted dysfunction I had seen growing up merged with the romantic comedies that I consumed ravenously, starry-eyed and rapt over the perfectly-worded confessions of the male lead's heart.

I was broken when I married so long ago.  I didn't even know how broken I was until I tried to blend my life with someone else.  I don't think that poor guy knew what he was in for.  I was a Good Time Girl.  I liked my drinks.  I liked my fun.  And I liked to run away from anything and everything that looked like it might be hard.  I steeped myself in my own pain.  And when I got sad?  I got really sad.  And I got all wrapped up in my own crap.  Then I wasn't so much fun.

The truth is this:  I was young.  I was selfish.  And I had no idea what it meant to be a partner.

Fast forward a decade plus a few years and I found myself divorced.  Still sad.  Still broken.  And I decided to go on a journey to figure out what was wrong with me.  And I did the hard work to fix it.  It sucked.  It was painful.  I was whiny and almost impossible to deal with and I made some poor decisions along the way.   Fortunately, I have some very patient friends who spent many long hours listening to me whine and cry (hey, thanks again for all that!).  I figured out how to be happy.  

I found love.  Again.  But different.  I was different.  I AM different.  A lot less young.  And a lot less selfish.  And I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to be a partner.  And I now know what I need in a partner.  It all sounds like Very Real Adult Grown-Up Stuff.

The Boyfriend became The FiancĂ© during our trip to Italy! What?
We're not perfect, This Guy and I.  We are complete opposites in almost every sense of the word right down to our Myers Briggs personality types.  I am ENFP.  He is...not.  We have to really hash some things out from time to time.  The hashing can be hard...and it can be painful.  And it makes me want to run away sometimes (old patterns die hard...really hard). But, slowly, I become less afraid of the hashing because I know, in the end, our understanding makes us stronger.  We have decided to begin again. Together.  That's a pretty scary undertaking for two scarred-up people.

It takes a lot of strength, humor and bravery to start over by blending two families into one.   But he has strong hands.  And a good heart.  And I have a big smile.  And we both have the ability to laugh at ourselves (mostly at me), a lot of faith, a ton of love, and a much better understanding of how to make this thing called marriage work.  

We'll do the work.  And we'll begin again.  Two as one.  Deep breath.

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