When we start out in life we're unstoppable. Everything is a challenge we can win. We stomp in mud puddles without caring if anyone thinks we're dirty. We raise our hands in class and don't care if anyone thinks we're nerdy. We wear what we want because it makes us feel cool regardless of whether or not other people think the color is wrong. We just do. We're bad ass. The world is ahead of us, and it is our oyster (shooter with cocktail sauce and extra horseradish).
|Me in 91 with my chin up and dangling earrings all defiant and proud next to my super cute younger sister.|
They say there is someone out there for everyone. They say that no man is an island. They say that when you meet "the one" you will know. What they don't say is who "they" are, how long it will take, how long before you're under water, or whether or not the other person will know as well.
Such is life, right? It's a balance of knowns and unknowns. Life is what makes you wish you'd paid a little more attention in algebra class so you could solve for x without tearing your hair out. Getting older adds more unknown variables making life a giant, advanced, cumbersome, algebraic equation.
I've talked before about relationship math. When I wrote the original piece I was not long into my 30's, still using a MySpace account, and willing to throw myself into a loving relationship with absolutely no concern for my own well-being. The only thing I wouldn't have sold at that point was my children's happiness. Oh those were the days. You can't tell by the picture, but I was open, sweet, kind, and loving.
|Maybe I was bitchy because I didn't drink and shared my 1 brrm apt with 2 kids?|
That's me at 30. Aww wasn't I unimpressed and completely angsty? There were probably signs of aging in my skin, but you can't see them because I was fat. Ah, life. If only I'd known what was in store. Denver was so expensive as a single mom/college student that I couldn't imagine the shit storm that was coming.
Ten years later I cannot seem to bring myself to look at things the same way. My hair isn't as bleached and my eyes have a few more lines around them, but I still make that unimpressed face. I'm still sweet, kind, and loving and... I want to say open. I just don't know. I'm not 100% that woman anymore. My eyebrows, without any specific training I might add, have grown into the questioning sort. I look at life differently. What is important will always be important, but my other priorities have changed. It has caused me to question what I expected from life and the future.
Perhaps this is where I was meant to be. It has made me a stronger woman; the sort that can take care of her children and herself without begging a man or kowtowing (kau tau... learn your origins, people) to a man to meet her needs.
|Blurry, yes. But I sweat my ass off for a solid hour to earn the calories for this wine, dammit. I deserve to be blurry!|
This is me on Valentine's Day 2014. After severing some connections, and falling back into my emotionally self-sufficient mode, I had resigned myself to a standard single person's Valentine's Day. There would be no chocolates or wines I didn't buy for myself, and the fact that I wasn't getting flowers at work was completely alright. I made it through the day as a single without shedding a tear or feeling a single pang of envy towards anyone who was going home to a partner or going out with someone special.
There have been changes in lifestyle, skin care, and I feel like I've finally settled into my face. Oh... I also have a glass of wine on occasion when I've exercised enough to earn it. Life isn't completely sad. Everything in my life is being maintained at an acceptable level. Nothing is at shit-storm level like it was 6 years ago. I have finally reached equilibrium. Now I'm just waiting for someone to come along and throw me off balance.