Something Personal

This post has been in my drafts for weeks now, and it’s…well, it fully reflects my feelings and instincts on this topic.  So here you go.  🙂

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As you may have found out, or deduced from my vague blogging, Mike and I broke up.  Of course my first inclination was to go back and delete anything where I mention him.  But, it happened.  We went out.  And now, we broke up.

However, I point I mentioned awhile ago comes up again.  “My husband,” the one who God has for me, is out there somewhere.  And he, just like everyone else on the planet, is free to read my blog.  So I won’t tell the story here.  In fact, I am saving this draft tonight and I’m not publishing it until I’m sure.  And, truth be told, there might be some things about Mike that I go back and delete.  I want to be sensitive to Mike, to “my husband,” to anyone else I might date in between.

But I do process things out loud, a lot of the time.  Some days, “out loud” means on my blog.  You know that by now.  So I probably will write about what I think.

The picture above is from a song in High School Musical 3 called “Can I Have This Dance.”  I saw HSM3 in the theater with Mike, and watching “Can I Have This Dance,” even in that very moment, I knew the relationship portrayed in the music was not like the relationship I was sitting in.  (Portrayed in the music, not the movie.  I thought it was a great movie, very entertaining, but the relationship in the movie is two high school seniors going off to college.)  But the music, and the lyrics…oh my goodness.  Chills and tears, really.  The chorus:

It’s like catching lightning the chances of finding someone like you
It’s one in a million, the chances of feeling the way we do
And with every step together, we just keep on getting better
So can I have this dance (can I have this dance)
Can I have this dance

I had to go back in time a few months to dig up this memory, and I had to find the lyrics to this song to remember why I felt that way.  And now that I have, and I’ve been listening to that song for a couple of days, my point is this:  As life experience accumulates, my standards are going up.  In a way, this surprises me a little.  I thought my standards were going down because I was discovering the reality of relationships.  There has been an element of “disilluionment” in my life in the last 6 or 7 years, and I’ve been having these notions that life sucks, relationships suck, marriages suck, and that’s just the price you pay for being on this planet.  You might get a few moments of wonderful here and there, but mostly, it’s a burden.  A burden to be alive, and a burden to be in a relationship.  But you just do it, because we’re human beings and this is what we do.  Birds build nests, people endure sucky relationships.  It’s just what is.

But despite that growing cynicism, or pessimism, or whatever you would call it…I still wanted one of those sucky relationships!  🙂

In that moment in the movie theater, I had a fleeting thought:  Am I supposed to spend the rest of my life watching movies and reading books and listening to songs about these great relationships, even though they don’t exist?  Is the universe just going to rub it in my face for the rest of my life that I don’t ever get to have what I have always wanted?  And this while I’m sitting next to a man with whom I am having a (seemingly) happy relationship!

Well, as that relationship ended, I realized that all the disillusionment in the world won’t change the fact that I do want a magical relationship!  I want to feel like “it’s like catching lightning, the chances of finding someone like you.”  Well, like him.  You understand.  🙂  A certain amount of disillusionment was necessary, just for the process of growing up.  For example, “happily ever after.”  As a 7-year-old girl watching Cinderella, we didn’t even think beyond the end of the movie.  “They lived happily ever after,” what more did we need to know?  🙂  Had we thought about it, we probably would have thought that all the days of their lives would be magical and perfect, like the wedding day at the end of the movie.  As I put a few not-so-great relationships behind me, it was so easy to fall into the cynical mantra: There is no “happily ever after.”  But at this moment, now, I think we 7-year-olds were wrong about “happily ever after,” but it does exist.  It’s not, “happily every moment.”  It’s not, “easily ever after.”  But most importantly, it’s not happily ever after without lifting a finger!  Whether a relationship is happy and wonderful and fulfilling in the long term depends on the work of the two people in it.  “Happily ever after” is a purpose, a passion, a lifelong project, and forever a process.  It is not fairy tale magic, but it is definitely not a lie.

In this moment, far beyond the age of 7, I am grounded in reality, trust me.  But the reality is, obviously I don’t know.  I don’t know what my forever relationship will feel like.  I don’t know how I will recognize it.  I do know…I’m done settling.  If it’s not like that, if it’s not magical and blissful and wonderful, then I don’t want it.  If the guy doesn’t want it as much as I do, then I don’t want it.  If to be in a relationship would mean spending the rest of my life watching other real and fictitious relationships with envy, then I don’t want it!  I fully intend to be happy, and I’ll do it in a relationship, or I’ll do it alone, but I won’t have it any other way.

As always, I’m anticipating your comments even as I write this!  🙂  I can hear them now.  “Girly, you don’t know what you’re talking about!  I hope your honeymoon is as magical as all that, because nothing else after that will be!”  Or however you might put that.  Here’s the thing…I am sorry if you are in a place where you don’t see a possibility for happiness in your relationships.  And I pray you do find your way back to “happily ever after.”  But I want no part of the bitterness.  Bitterness finds me way too easily!  It is a slippery slope down to the dark and muddy valley, so I’m staying in the sunshine!  🙂

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