Do you have a daughter? If so I beg of you to continue reading.
I've been thinking about this post for some time now after a dear friend [36yrs] of mine called me a couple of weekends ago, very upset after her weekend meet up with the "college boyfriend" didn't go as well as she had hoped. She swore to me up and down that she had no expectations of the meeting, that it would just be good to see him. I knew her well enough to know that there was something else there. This was the boy she considered her fall back, the "just in case", the "if I'm not married at 40 I'll have a baby with you" sort of guy. He wasn't really in that same mode. And she was crushed.
When she and I got off the phone I thought really hard about her and the pain in her voice and I knew what she was feeling in that moment. I have had many a moments like that. The day doesn't turn out the way you want, he doesn't like you in that same way. At nearly 40 and having been in a nearly 4 year relationship with my sweetheart, it seems as if those days were just seconds ago. They are crushing and painful when there is no hope. No one to think about or to obsess about, no dates to plan, no view for the future. Even with my guy there were many [MANY] days of conversations in my head about his return to medical school and how it would effect my life, when will we get married? When will he be ready to have a baby? All of these thoughts of getting my life to this thing I thought I needed to have no matter what was really in front of me. I found myself AGAIN trying to stick a square peg into a round hole. Let's just say that I did that once and it's now a divorce - it was a bad, bad choice.
I'm not going to kid you, there were a lot of tears, a lot of questions of whether I could do it, wait for him to do this thing that he wanted to do. And in the process of having a major life meltdown and questioning everything, I somehow began to have the life that I wanted to have - whether he was with me or not. Whether he married me or not, whether I had a baby or not. And when I did that, switched gears [somehow] it freed up all this energy that I had been wasting on something out of my control. I could appreciate that he made me happy, happier than I have ever been.
So this is what I told my friend, in one of the "amazing" cards that I sent her days later after I had thought about it. You are amazing now, without a man and without a baby and you need to build the life you want right now, so that when they show up it will all be set. Take a class, plan a trip, do something for yourself right now.
Somehow as women we have been taught that our lives don't begin until these things happen, but life happens and sometimes it doesn't go as you thought it would. Maybe one or the both of us won't have children, then what? Are we to sit and mope the rest of our days? Or instead be excited about new things lies ahead, the possibility of travel, buying the home that we always dreamed of, renting a fancy car ----because we CAN.
So today I beg you, if you have a daughter small enough to be playing dress up and all that stuff. You don't have to ditch Cinderella but tell her sometimes Prince Charming shows up when he's 45 after he's had his own life crisis. Please tell her that she is enough without the man and the kid, that she should throw her own damn party with a fancy dress. That she should first be the woman/person she wants to be and the rest of it will show up when she's lived her life to the fullest. Because in the end the thing that is the most beautiful about a woman is her confidence and strength and you can't get that by waiting by the phone for ol' tighty whities to call.