We're different, IndieMoms. And so, of course, we're a mystery to some people. There are certain questions that people always seem to want to ask about our single life, so I say let's just let them in on it, shall we?
This is for anyone in your life who wonders what it's like to be you...
Ask me if it's fun to date, because somewhere deep down, you wonder what it would be like if you were back out there...what it's like to have sex with someone new...what you might fetch on the open market. And I'll tell you that most of the time it is fun. Like when you find yourself at 1a.m. making out with a summer fling on a New York City sidewalk in the pouring rain. Or when you wake up to a text from a guy you had a fantastic first date with the night before that says, "Good morning, beautiful. Hope you slept well." Yeah, that makes the 6:45a.m. scorched oatmeal/where's my backpack/no-you-can't-wear-an-off-the-shoulder-shirt-because-you're-in-second-grade slog a lot more tolerable.
And then sometimes, it isn't. Like when the guy you've been dating for six months suddenly tells you that he's "confused," and you have no idea what that means. You're a grown woman, and a kick-ass IndieMom at that--you have waaay too much going on to let something like this get to you. And yet it does, and it's made all that much harder because now you have to face the 6:45 slog with a sick feeling in your gut. And, of course, at no point can you let on to IndieBabe that that's not exactly an "allergy pill" you're taking to calm the whirring dating crazies in your head.
Ask me if I knew that my marriage was a mistake before I walked down the aisle. I know why you're asking; you need to know if this can happen to you. No, I don't think my marriage was a mistake. It was seven years of success...until it wasn't. Did I sense that maybe we weren't meant for the long run? Okay, maybe, a little (and I think he did, too). But he was lovely and I thought it was nerves that would be quelled by the security of stainless steel silverware and a warm body next to mine every night. I think a lot of brides float down the aisle in that pretty poufy dress with a corseted stomach filled with butterflies. It takes a while to know if they were actually butterflies or your instincts throwing karate kicks against your lower ribs to get your attention.
It's ok to ask me if I get lonely. Yes, course I do. National holidays without IndieBabe can seriously suck. Cut to midnight, New Years Eve 2008: I'm sitting alone on the side of the community pool at my parents' condo in Boca staring at a "No Diving" sign featuring a stick figure doing exactly that, his neck dramatically and I'm guessing fatally kinked. At that moment I could relate to the poor guy.
But I also get the elation of freedom and adventures yet to be had. Your life is just the mirror opposite of mine. You have security and consistency; I have breathing room and the ability to make my life into anything I want it to be. I've been on the flip side of the looking glass, and I know that it's not any better to feel like you don't have a second to yourself and or to wonder the proverbial "Is this all there is?" It's taken me a lot of time and many rounds of "their life looks so perfect" holiday cards to get that neither side is better or worse--they're just different.
Ask me if I'm happy, because ultimately, that's what you really want to know--especially if you're asking me because you're trying to sort out your own question of whether to stay or go. And while I would never, ever advocate for divorce, my answer is absolutely, unequivocally: yes.
In fact, I'll even venture this: I've never been happier in my life. Crazy, I know, but it's true. I have my girl, I have my sense of self, and I have the wide open possibility of a fabulous new life yet to be created.
Oh, and btw...sex with someone new? Yeah, it's as good as you think it is.