I’m a 39 year old woman. I’ve never been married. I don’t have kids. I teach social studies at a small, private, religious high school. I feel like the whole world is watching — and judging — as my 40th birthday quickly approaches and my life doesn’t line up with all of the expectations that come along with being a grown up… or so I was conditioned to think?
I’ve dated everyone in this town. I’ve had a thousand boyfriends. I’ve dated younger men, older men, men with ex-wives, men with children, and men that are unattached and immature (like me?). I’ve also dated women. I’ve been in relationships that have lasted two months, six months, a couple years, and I’ve been in relationships that have lasted 48 hours. I think I’ve been in love a few times. I’ve definitely been left devastated and heartbroken a few times. I’ve also stayed in abusive relationships and made a variety of questionable choices because I’m afraid of being alone and have a deep seated fear of abandonment.
I’ve been seeing the best therapist in the whole world for about two years, now. She is the most consistently loving and accepting person I think I’ve ever had in my whole life. It fills me with emotion and my eyes well up with tears just thinking about how much I appreciate her.
Right now, I am transitioning from one romantic (and abusive) relationship to a new relationship with somebody else I’ve known for awhile. Starting a new relationship without giving myself the “proper” time to grieve the last one is a thing I tend to do.
But I think this one has some real potential.
This new person is so lovely. He makes me laugh. He makes my heart swell. He’s clever and witty and sweet and kind and silly and goofy. And he’s sexy. He’s not perfect and he doesn’t seem to need to convince anybody that he is. This is so refreshing to me. I feel this overwhelming sense of hope and gratitude for the first time in a long time. I also feel an overwhelming sense of fear that this might be another idealized and fleeting romance and that it will come to an end much sooner than I would like. Am I being naive and unrealistic? Or am I being authentic and vulnerable and taking a courageous risk?
Also, this person is/was the high-school-sweetheart-first-love of one of my dearest, oldest, best friends. If and when I decide to tell her about this relationship, she won’t like it. It will likely change the nature of our friendship in way that is sad and painful.
And it won’t be the first time I hook up with somebody that is ‘off limits’, so to speak. So it’s bringing up some shame for me.
But hey, I am the local floozy after all. Why not just embrace it, really go for it and live up to the expectations that I’ve created for myself? Right?
I don’t know. What do you think? Is anybody even reading this?