I will return to the whole women, marriage and divorce topic soon but today I woke up thinking about...you guessed it Lane.
Not because of why you might think...
I dreamt about him last night. Similar dream to one that I usually have when I dream about him. We run into each other and we feel the way we always had and then his girlfriend breaks up with him and then he is mad at me. I can then see him as who he really is rather than the person I wished he would be...I am relieved and sad at the same time.
I dreamt about him because I spent the evening with his daughter. She reached out and wanted to come over. Of course, I said yes. I love that kid as my own daughter. I am so happy that I am still in her life despite the fact that Lane and I have been over for years.
It was so good to catch up on her life. What she is doing, where she is going. It was sad to hear about her first heartbreak. To see her ability to shield and hide and see the pain anyway. I was struck at how much I missed with my own adolescence. Never having that great first love experience. My adolescence kind of more surviving a deep dive into the deep end without a life jacket or a swimming lesson. To say my childhood was fucked up is nothing compared to my adolescence.
It felt so good to be at dinner with her and my daughter. So hoping that my daughter grows into a young woman like her. Driven, proud, self assured. Lucky to have these two beautiful girls in my life, relieved that I am so blessed to have such great kids even though one of them is not really mine. She feels like mine. I love her like mine.
I woke up this morning and just laid in bed. Thoughts of Lane and me and our relationship swirling in my head. Not the morbid, “when will he come back?” or the “wow, his loss” thoughts. More of what I usually think about now when I think about him...”I can’t believe that I ever thought he was THE ONE.” So little really indicating staying power. So many times he proved to not be a worthy partner. So many times he let me down and so many times I cosigned his disappointment and morphed it into what I was calling a loving relationship!
I was happy that Lane got what he wanted in a relationship. It was so good to see that I was never, ever that woman. Freed at last from my idea that I could ever be what he wanted. Freer still from the idea that I could ever want that again.
I am happy for him. Happy that he found someone to be with and love the way that he wanted to. I no longer hold him in accusation for walking away and from what we had. I can see that he was never really all in and I was delusional in what I believed was going on. What pains me still is how much I thought what he gave me was enough...how much I loved despite how little I got in return.
As I lie in bed this morning, reviewing the past, I felt relieved to be lying there alone. Not having to accommodate a partner. I thought that both Lane and I appeared to get what we wanted...he a woman dedicated to him and me the ability to be alone and be happy.
I am still grateful for all the lessons I got to learn because I loved him. I am incredibly grateful that his daughter still loves me and wants me in her life. I am so grateful for the power that is in the relationship between my daughter, her and I. While it has taken me a long time to get here, I have finally arrived at the place where I can acknowledge my growth and see how despite the love I will always feel for him, I have outgrown him. I can see now that perhaps I had always been a poor fit for him and him for me.
As the universe does, something else happened that made me so grateful to be who I am. I got asked out by this 22 year guy. I am not joking. He seriously wanted to go out with me. My ego was on cloud nine. Bolstered at just the right time to survive a dream that previously would have sent me reeling.
The best part of being asked out by a 22 year old, was knowing for sure and absolutely that I could not do that. That I am not the kind of woman that dates someone almost 30 years her junior. (No judgment for those who do - it is just not who I am). Sure of who I am and what I am capable of with no delusions about myself controlling my life anymore.
I called him, instead of texting. I told him how flattered I was that he would take the risk to ask me out. How much I appreciated the attention. I told him my truth: that I can no longer take for myself when I can see that my taking would inhibit the growth of someone else. This young man deserves the love and attention from someone at a similar time in life. Someone to share all the joy and hardship that lies ahead. Not someone who is on the other side of all of that. We had a really nice talk and I think I communicated to him how very honored I was while also setting down a clear boundary that being anything other than a friend is not possible for me.
I will fully own that I might have reached a different conclusion once upon a time. I would have soaked in the attention and confused what I needed with who I was. I would have allowed my stupid ego to let me behave in a manner that flew in direct conflict with who I was. Today, I know exactly who I am. No lines blurred or fuzzy. It felt so good to own that woman and not allow her to be marginalized by her own poor choices. No longer her ego's bitch.
The cherry on the top of the day was coming home to flowers on my front porch from an age appropriate man who is pretty fucking spectacular. There was a time when I would have missed this man. I would have completely passed him by because I was too busy allowing myself to be distracted by my love for men long gone or men wholly inappropriate for me.
As I went to sleep, I was grateful for all of the men in my life. All the teachers. All the lessons learned and still coming. I am so grateful that I have no idea what I am doing. I am grateful to own the place within myself and protect that precious place from the threat of ego machinations that have only brought heartache and sadness to my life. I went to bed happy with who I was and the fact that this woman who I have struggled for so long to find and be, was valued by others. My daughter, Lane’s daughter, the 22 year old, Lane from the past, the man thoughtful enough to send flowers...but mostly I was happy that I valued me. This feeling of worth I had about myself the one ingredient always missing from my life before. I fell asleep feeling right sized in myself about myself. I felt like these other people in my life saw and valued that too.
As I drifted off, I felt whole, complete and happy to be alive...which made every single thing that I have walked toward and through worth it.