I had decided to stop dating.
I got to a point where I was happy to just be alone. I was enjoying my own company and was perfectly content to stop looking for someone to “complete” me. I felt pretty completed on my own, and that I didn’t need someone else to make me happy. I finally felt comfortable spending a weekend alone when my kids were at their dad’s. I didn’t need to fill that time with anything, whether it was having friends over or going on dates. It felt nice to sit at home and read a book or watch a movie and knit.
So I made myself a very ambitious goal: to watch/re-watch all of the Marvel movies in order. In true Bri fashion, I did my research. I researched the order of release, and also the order the Internet deemed correct for watching. I made myself a list, and I searched Netflix to find which ones were available there. The first three were not available on Netflix, so I tried to find them elsewhere.
I posted on a Facebook group asking fellow mommies if they had any of the three movies that I could borrow for a weekend. I said, “I’m looking for things to fill my nights now that I’ve completely given up on the idea of ever dating ever again ever. EVER.” One mom replied, “If you change your mind I have a really really great ex-brother-in-law.” We started talking and she made this guy sound pretty fantastic, so I thought what the hell. I wasn’t expecting anything but I figured it would make a good story if nothing else.
So I sent the guy a message saying, “So I posted on a mommies group looking for a couple movies to borrow, and instead I got offered you.” And yeah. Somehow it clicked.
Now I find myself in a relationship with the most amazing person. Someone who treats me the way that I want my daughters to be treated by their future partners. Someone who will laugh with me, and cry with me, and sit in silence with me. Someone I can’t help but open up to. I have these walls but I’m finding that I don’t want them anymore; not around him. I want to let him all the way in.
After our first date, I sent him the link to my blog. He said he was curious and I figured, I have nothing to hide. This is who I am, and this will tell you way more about myself than I will ever vocalize. Here’s the link. Read it, and then let me know if you still want to talk to me. Maybe this was another form of self-sabotage, because I fully expected him to never speak to me again.
But instead, he would ask me questions about the blog posts. He would tell me how they made him feel, or that he wanted to give me a hug. He read the entire thing and he wanted to give me a hug. I’m not ashamed of who I am. I’m not ashamed of what I’ve done, or the choices I’ve made. I know some of my choices have not been fabulous, but they’ve shaped me in some way or another. But I still wrote him off completely as soon as I sent him the link. In my mind, that was it. Fucked it up again. Classic Bri.
It didn’t work like that. I am with someone who knows more about me than most people, in such a short period of time. He likes me for who I am. It feels incredible to feel confident in my own skin around him; like I don’t have to hide or pretend to be someone that I’m not.
At this point in my life, I feel that who I am isn’t going to change much. I’ve come this far in life. My views and opinions may change as I learn more about a subject or through the experiences I have, but overall I feel like I’m pretty done. I am who I am. I feel the same about a partner: there’s no such thing as a “fixer upper.” It’s not my place to change someone else or fix them. I want a relationship where I can feel perfectly happy being who I am in the company of someone who feels perfectly happy being who they are.
And right now, that’s what I’m feeling. I am blissfully happy. I have people I barely know commenting on how happy I seem. I feel lighter. I feel calmer. I feel like me. Like the real me. Like the me that was lost for so long, buried under the labels of “Jeff’s daughter,” “Ashley’s sister,” “Ryan’s wife,” “Isabel/Abby’s mom.”
I wasn’t ready before. I needed to let go of everything else, of the me I felt I had to be. I’m so happy that I found you when I did, because I wasn’t ready before. I’m ready now. I’m ready and I am so wonderfully happy.
I am ready – I am ready – I am ready – I am fine