This whole “rebuilding my life” process isn’t going as smoothly as I hoped it might.
Partially I blame grief, but when you grieve as long and as deep as I have it’s easy to blame grief for everything. Grief is like just getting out of the shower on a cold morning when the heat hasn’t kicked on yet, and someone throws a towel over your head. You’re wet and cold. You can’t see anything because there’s a fucking towel over your head, and your only thought is that you want to get warm and dry as soon as possible. You can’t see past that relief, but figure everything will be great once you can warm up and get the damn towel off your head.
Okay that was a really stupid analogy, but let’s just say I thought everything would be okay once the worst of my grief was over (because let’s be real – grief is never really over).
When things were terrible, a lot of people told me that “good things were coming” and I was “due” some good luck. So much so, that I began to believe it.
False. Believe nothing once you get the towel off your head. All you should believe is that there’s a decent chance you might step in some dog vomit on the way to the dresser before you even manage to get your underwear on.
Something that has taken me an overwhelmingly long time to understand is that the world doesn’t owe you anything. Just because something bad happened to you, doesn’t mean something good is necessarily going to happen to you next. There is no balance. It’s all random. I grieved this realization almost as much as I grieved Tim.
But this is starting to sound like a depressing post, and I don’t mean it to be. I’m not depressed. Instead, I think a lot about things in the past that I didn’t understand.
Back before he got depressed and relapsed, the biggest thing Tim and I argued about were the dishes. The dishes were “his” job, and he hated doing them. He would put them off and I would try to cook with dirty pots everywhere, which frustrated me to the point that I became a “cleaning martyr” (his words… fairly accurate) and then we would argue. In the heat of that, Tim would often stop.
“You know… I’m not a bad husband,” he said as he angrily scrubbed.
“I never said you were,” I replied.
“I wish you had dated more people before me, so you had a better comparison.”
“I wish you would do the dishes more often.”
I think about those conversations a lot. Mostly how he was right, and I took for granted a lot of what made Tim so great to me. He always respected me, and treated me like he did. When we first started going out, he made it clear he was interested. He wasn’t afraid of commitment. There were no games or endless games of text tag. Sure, some of that is because texting wasn’t the entity it is now back in 2006, but mostly we wanted to see each other – so we did.
Before I started dating again, I genuinely thought that’s how things worked. If you met someone you liked, and they liked you too – you spent time together to see what might happen.
HA. HA HA HA HA HA!
I could write a lot of things in this post, but I’m not for a variety of reasons. Instead, I’m going to give you a list of things in my life that have been so much easier than dating.
Getting lead changes on Simon.
Writing a book about the darkest, most vulnerable moments of my life.
Selling a house and buying another one within 90 days.
Setting up an a deceased’s estate with no will or financial information.
Getting accepted into multiple fully funded graduate school programs.
Remembering all of my jumper courses and not going off course once in an entire weekend.
Catching a ride on the Tardis and traveling forever through time and space.
Okay, so I haven’t accomplished that last line item, but I do think it would be easier. Until then, I’ll be toiling around here per normal doing the best I can trekking around in the knee deep mud that is life. Sometimes I have a towel over my head, but mostly not these days. I have a lot of things I’m sitting on that I can’t wait to write about and share with y’all, but I’ve got to stay mum for a while longer.
18 thoughts on “Elastic Heart”
Boys are stupid! No if, ands, or buts about it. I can’t even. Like why. They’re the worst.
But luckily we have wine. And ponies. Cuz I’d rather be dumped by a horse than by a man!
As a recently single and dating again sort I can nod in commiseration at the dating thing. It’s rough out there y’all. Pass the wine my way as well. I’ll have a glass before I go work out some frustrations at the gym.
I have so many terrible dating stories, so I feel your pain. Maybe some day you can turn those adventures into a book of short stories. 😉
I once had a guy text me three weeks after our one and only date to expressly tell me he hadn’t thought about me enough to warrant a second date. Yeh, thanks for the honesty man, but I was happier not hearing that gem.
I read a quote once about randomness and it basically boiled down to the fact that the whole point of randomness means that good and bad things are not evenly distributed. A coin landing heads up once doesn’t affect the likelihood of it landing tails on the next flip and one bad thing does not mean your chances of another are diminished.
On that inspiring note, I do like to think that acknowledging that makes the rough patches feel less like the universe is out to get you.
Also, the idea of dating again terrifies me, so kudos to you for slogging through it. If nothing else, it gives you more stories to tell, and what are we really other than the stories we get to tell? No one wants to hear about a boringly perfect life where everything went right.
I envy nobody in the dating pool. Even when my husband is being a total butt, I might start to fantasize about being single…then I remember dating and all that emotion and drama and heart ache, and I’m all “I’m good…let’s make up!”
Your post is brilliant and touches on a lot of chords for me. I hope you’re hanging in there and doing well. 🙂
The vomit thing. So true.
There is a reason that there are endless books, movies and TV Shows whose central themes are how spectacularly bad dating is. Yup it really is that frustrating, confusing, depressing, hopeful, exciting and disappointing. Your experience sounds about right. Congratulations – you’re normal.
The only thing I can say is, Don’t Settle. Don’t ever settle. With the right one, it will be that easy again.
That list is gold. Pure gold!
The world doesn’t owe you anything…there is no balance. So true and so hard to wrap your head around. The dating thing sounds hard. Be picky.
Ugh dating sucks, kissed many frogs before meeting my hubby. Technology is not the dating gals friend in my opinion.
I don’t know if I could date again. I just don’t enjoy people. I hope you do you and someone fits into your life seamlessly.
My husband often tells me not to think I’m due something good when I’m going thru s***. It does set you up for disappointment. But I don’t know what to do with that. All my strife, hard work, failure potentially not paying off? It drive me further down the depression hole.
Ugh yeah its really frustrating when people say you are due some luck or owed something from life, life is random, life is happenstance. Nothing happens for a reason things just happen.
Sometimes things do happen for a reason, good or bad, but it doesn’t ever mean the world owes us anything. I am lucky in the respect that my new man has a long list of positive qualities and is a very good man. Pretty much all the things my ex was absolutely not. I don’t miss dating. Thankfully it was a rather smooth and easy transition. You’ll get there when the time is right. All in due time. But the waiting and wading thru mud part sucks
I sometimes plead with the universe – ‘I just want a win! Can’t I have one thing go right!!’ The universe doesn’t listen!
As for dating, my rules are:
1 – be completely honest about what you want (with both yourself & the other person)
2 – have ZERO expectations
3 – take NOTHING personally
4 – always have a trusted friend proof read your texts
Once I figured those out I started to have fun…
I’ve actually given up on dating. I’m not saying you should. But your post has validated my choice!
Dating is pretty dang awful, for sure, but also makes for some good stories (later) – in retrospect it was all worth it / cringeworthy?
Dating is hard. I guess I’m more old school at heart so I was getting frustrated and feeling like I needed to lower my expectations if I ever wanted to have a boyfriend. Luckily I didn’t and I ended up finding the guy who thinks the same way I do. I’m a college girl who doesn’t participate in hook up culture. So weird and so much drama.
Thanks for putting yourself out there. I’ll be back to read more. You have a talent for writing. Remember everything always works out and don’t forget to enjoy the journey in growth. xx