How can your career be going so well and your love life be going so horribly?
That’s a question I ask myself virtually every day when I wake up.
I think about the people in my life who seem to have it all. Partners they cherish, careers that take a big second to that, and lives that are full and lush.
It’s been five years or so since my divorce and since then my love life has been a roller coaster, cluster fuck, tornado of skirmish-filled chaos. Trying to make the best of a totally dishonest whirlwind tour of everything to avoid. Apparently, I’m Ray Charles when it comes to red flags.
Today my love life is not unlike a funeral home. Quiet and lifeless.
I live in a city where couples are everywhere. They’re holding hands, kissing, and dining together. Were it not for the company of the absolutely stunning and endlessly-giving women (and a couple of guys) in my life (and an 8 pound bundle of furry unconditional love called Mocha), I think I would have seriously jumped into the East River by now.
But my friends call and check on me. They take my teary calls and invite me to dinners and brunches and glasses of wine. They advise me as well as any award-winning self-help guru. They are my rocks to lean on and without them and work, I know I’d be a lot worse off. I hope I give them as much as they give to me. I’m sure I don’t.
I’ve been out on a few dates. Met some men through online dating sites. Argh. I never thought I’d be going through this. The last time I dated I was in my 20s and let me tell you it was so much easier then. You just met people. Men were everywhere. Now they’re hiding behind screens, all you have is a few old pics and a few lines about their lives, and boom you’re at a bar hoping it doesn’t last too long because all you really want to do is go home and do the grown-up version of “Netflix and chill,” which is eating in bed and actually watching a movie on Netflix.
I’m trying to stay hopeful. Look to a future when I meet someone who will love me for all my flaws and insecurities and still think I’m cute as I get old and sick. And I’ll love him and think he’s wonderful and be excited to share my latest accomplishment or disappointment with him. I’ll have an emergency contact person. Isn’t that what everyone wants?
I soldier on. I’ll be biking along the Hudson River today trying really hard to enjoy just being healthy and appreciating the people who I love and love me.
After all, I do have the most wonderful kid in the world — my greatest accomplishment to date, and all the love I have for him would overflow a million half-empty glasses.
And then there’s work tomorrow.
Happy Independence Day — I’m learning to love mine.