I’m OK; You’re OK   2 comments

Here’s something I’ve noticed since being divorced not that long ago. When people ask how you’re doing – unless they are your therapist or those you consider family – they don’t really want to know.

Now, before anyone gets offended by this statement, let me explain.

Yes, people’s hearts are in the right place. They do want to know how you’re doing; they just want to hear you are doing well. That – despite the challenges you are encountering in your new life or the grief you feel over the loss of your old life – you are moving on. Finding new things to enjoy, meeting new people, rejoining (or in my case joining for the first time) the dating scene, because who knows where the next love of your life will be found, right?

Right. So people keep telling me.

So far I have met some very nice people through the local meetup groups I have joined and have rekindled some friendships that had fallen by the wayside due to various circumstances. I have tried speed dating – which was an interesting but exhausting evening (the guy I was matched with turned out to be severely allergic to cats. Oh, well.) – and three different online dating sites, albeit none of them successfully.

Side note: I know almost everyone has a story of a friend who met the love of their lives through an online dating site, but from the few dates I’ve been on, and despite what the advertisements say, I firmly believe they are the exception, not the rule. There may be more on this in a future blog post. If you are one of the lucky ones who did meet your sweetie this way, congratulations. I don’t think the sites feel real, but this is just my opinion.

I am pretty sure people are going to tell me I didn’t give the online sites enough time, but I also discovered something else in my brief dating foray: Being the primary parent of a young teenager doesn’t give you a lot of time to find new hobbies or meet potential mates.

In a few years when my son is older (read: isn’t interested in spending all his time on  evenings and weekends with his mother), I may try again. We’ll have to see. For right now, one evening a week and every other weekend – unless I have to work or my family needs me – makes scheduling anything difficult.

What people don’t want to hear is that you are just “okay.” Which, unless I am giving the rote response of ‘fine’, is generally my answer when people ask how I am. I can’t tell you how many times I have given this response only to be immediately questioned, “Just okay?”

Yes. Just okay. I can’t answer ‘good’, because I’m not good. I am occasionally overwhelmed, often lonely, and generally freaked out about my future, both emotionally and financially. These are issues that will need to be cleared up before I can say I am good. At least one of them. Any one. I’m not picky. And the short-term prognosis for this happening? Let me check my magic eight ball.

Reply hazy. Try again.

Hmmmm.

Will I be good again someday? I don’t know. There are days when I feel I will. That everything is going to work out for my future, and I am going to be just fine. The sun will shine, the birds will sing… You get the picture.

Someday.

But if I’m going to be completely honest with myself – and that’s the point of writing about your deepest innermost thoughts and posting them on the Internet, right? – most days I don’t believe it. I feel like there is just too much stacked against me, that there are too many other single women out there with more to offer than I have, that starting to plan now for that future alone would be a really good idea. Is this really the case? I don’t know. I’m too close to the situation to be unbiased about it, but many days it’s exactly how I feel.

Honestly, what I’m really looking forward to is the day I can read chick lit again without rolling my eyes. Or just reading it at all. As much as I love Jane Austen and the teen dystopian fantasies I’ve been gorging on, sometimes you need some empty calories in your reading diet, and right now I can’t bring myself even to pick up a book where two modern day people (and their snarky best friends) go through a series of awkward adventures before realizing they are made for one another. (I realize there is a dichotomy inherent in my being able to read Austen, but not chick lit; I’m just not sure what it means. If anyone out there has any theories, I would love to hear them.)

Oh, and watching romantic comedies. Right now, my movie choices are limited to anything based on a comic book – which fortunately there are a lot of right now; thanks, Marvel! – or period pieces or movies based on the teen dystopian novels I’ve been reading. (The books are always better.) Not that there is anything wrong with any of these genres, they just don’t lend themselves to lighthearted giggling. And I could really use some of that.

On the plus side of things, my house is neater and cleaner than it’s been in years, in the summer my yard is neatly maintained (thanks, lawn service!), and my driveway is plowed in the winter as the neighbors took pity on me and taught my son how to run the snowblower. I have friends who care for me, a job I still enjoy most of the time, two affectionate – if noisy – cats, a lovely blue betta fish, and an absolutely wonderful boy who I am raising with the proper amount of irreverent humor. As long as I can focus on these things, and not on what is missing in my life, I think I’ll end up on the right path.

But it’s going to take time before I can say I’m good. So, if you ask me how I am, be prepared for the honest answer. I’m okay. And, yes, just okay. Check back in with me in a few months. We’ll see what the answer is then.

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Posted June 25, 2014 by wordsaremylife in random thoughts

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2 responses to “I’m OK; You’re OK

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  1. potentially, because Jane Austen is written in language that separates the time from our time, subject maybe the same as modern chic-lit but so obviously fiction and therefor harder to put oneself in ‘her’ place.

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