Monday, December 28, 2009

Up in the Air

Last night I got to spend some quality time with a long time friend. The conversation was dominated by our relationships. As two African American women we were discussing how we have very few examples around us of healthy, loving, committed relationships. I was telling her about how when I see a happy couple arm in arm in the street or watch happy couples on television that I stop and do this thing where I ask myself  "Do I want that"? Do I want a life partner that is completely integrated into my life?  Sometimes my knee jerk response is yes and sometimes its no. Crazily enough she was saying that she does the same thing. We talked about how seeing our mother's experiences growing up have made us more independent minded when it comes to relationships.

So after dinner we went to see George Clooney's new movie Up In the Air. Without giving away too much of the plot it is about a man who essentially lives in airports and in the air. He doesn't have any emotional attachments to anyone..he doesn't even bother to minimally decorate his one bedroom apartment. So, after the heart to heart with my friend and after watching the movie it brought me back to something I've pondered many times before. Are we as a humans slowly evolving away from marriage and committed relationships? And if so what are we evolving towards? In the movie you do sense that Clooney's character was beginning to realize that there were flaws in the isolated life that he had created for himself. But you also got the sense that he was too far gone to change and that his life would probably continue on the same path.

 My good friend and I ended our heart to heart about relationships on the note that no matter what our relationship statuses, who we love, or where life takes us, we want to strive to live lives that are focused on being true to our selves, feeding our spirits, and chasing beauty.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Induced Introspection

I'm always extremely introspective at the end of the year. There's Christmas, my birthday and New Years all within a week of each other. I.. like most people have always taken this time of year to take stock of my life. What have I done this year..where do I want to go next year. This year I have had even more time for reflection thanks to the little blizzard we had this past weekend. There's something about the earth being blanketed with white snow that has a stilling and calm affect. Its amazing for introspection.

Lately I have been drawn to a lot of dating blogs. Initially I think I told myself that I was reading them because I found them entertaining. But several months later and more problems with my son's father..the honest part of me does think I should move on and date other people. But.. I'm not ready for that yet. So.. if I were to date now I would probably attract someone else who isn't really ready to commit. I'll just be repeating my cycle.Because of right-at-your-fingertips accessibility to online dating I have always drowned my dating woes in online dating profiles, IM-ing, and a flurry of emails with strangers. All that noise enabled me to not have to deal with my stuff or have to think about what I should really be looking for. Eventhough  deep down I truly wanted a partner to build with.. I would tell myself that I was just looking for someone to have fun with. I guess my thinking was that if I don't say what I really want.. than if I don't get it I won't be hurt or dissapointed when it doesn't happen. But..guess what.. I still got hurt and I never gave myself the chance of going after what I really wanted.

What I really need to do is focus on myself. I have been in a relationship for the last ten years. No breaks. I truly need to take some time to look feed my soul. In the past I've been afraid to do this. I guess I was afraid of being alone or of feeling the rejection of a relationship ending. But at this juncture I can continue doing what I have been doing..or I can dig into my deeper self and really figure out what I need and what my next step should be.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Search for Peace...

I feel like I have spent so much time and mental energy contemplating the state of my relationships for the last ten years!

The entire time I was with my ex-husband I would sit and think and torture myself about what would happen in the future and what our time line should be for getting married and having kids. After having these long drawn out mental sessions with myself I would then bombard my ex with questions about where we were and where we were going. And then I carried the same neurosis into my next relationship with my son's father. I believe that I subconsciously chose partners who would never be on the same page as me commitment wise. That way I could constantly feed my relationship angst. Through the help of therapy I have learned that the reason I've done that is because I am attempting to recreate my emotionally starved relationship with my own father. And now 10 years later at the age of 31 I'm exhausted.

I'm tired of thinking about it.. comparing myself and relationship to others.. I just want to be...

But I don't even know if that is possible for me. I don't know how not to obsess about something! However this is the perfect time of year to really think about why I do things and what purpose it serves and to search for more peace!

Friday, July 31, 2009

My very own Mr. Big

When I watch episodes of Sex and the City I can't help but feel like I can relate to Carrie. I love her crazy curly hair and quirky fashions. I love how she loves her friends like they are her sisters. I love the fact that she's so neurotic and spends all her money on shoes. But in a more deep way I can relate to how she walked away from Aiden and marriage and continued her on and off again relationship with Mr. Big. Eventhough he was so emotionally unavailable to her for whatever reason she always held a special place for him in her heart. So do we really choose who we love? And by loving certain people does it change who we become? If Carrie and Aiden had met when they were much younger. Would Carrie have freaked out about getting married or would getting married have seemed perfectly natural because she would not have been carrying around 'Mr. Big emotional baggage'.

Sometimes I think the same thing about myself. That I am the product of my relationship experiences. Not long after my son was born I did start dating other people. Things between me and my son's father were very strained and it wasn't working for me at that point. I did meet someone who I clicked with and we began to spend alot of time together. The new guy was at my house all the time and began hinting at living together. He had been married before and had done the step dad thing and was ready to do it again. You would think I would have been excited about this turn of events. Hadn't I begged and pleaded with my son's father to spend more time with me? So why wouldn't I be head over heals about someone who wanted to be with me all the time? I guess by this point I was so used to having my place to myself most of the time that I didn't want someone around all the time. It just didn't feel right to me. I wasn't even willing to let this new guy call me his girlfriend. Even when I was dating after my divorce (around the same time I met my son's father) I noticed that guys that gave off the stable-let's-get-married vibe bored me. So is there something wrong with me or have I been conditioned by my experiences to prefer my independence?

I don't know what kept Carrie holding out for Mr.Big.. but for me I know that my son's father does make progress. To me it might seem like small things that he does or things that he should naturally do if he loved me. But I have learned that for him they are big things. And that he does things that make him uncomfortable because he loves me and our son. I do believe that people can only change but so much. Its like they are rooted in one place and they can only bend their limbs but so far. But I do know that when I look back to six months ago there is definite progress on his part. I was talking with one of my oldest friends about my relationship and she said "We have to choose to love people where they are". That really spoke to me. I know that I can either choose to love my son's father where he is or I can move on to someone else who is already where I want them to be.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcome to my world

When I first met my partner in crime niether of us was looking for anything serious. I was just coming out of a six year relationship that ended with a nine month marriage. From the first time we talked on the phone there was instant chemistry. It was probably the best first phone conversation I had ever had. He was hilarious and intelligent but with a little edge. The conversation flowed smoothly. This boy made me throw my head back with laughter. I couldn't wait to meet him.

Our first date did not disapoint.. there were sparks everywhere. And although my gut told me that I was going to get my heart broken I couldn't leave him alone. For the first few months we agreed to see other people in an effort to keep things casual. We had a long running joke about how were FWB's which quickly became BFFWB's. Despite our efforts to see other people and keep things casual whithin six months the L-word was being bounced around. And three months after that I was preggers with our son!

I'm not going to lie and say that everything was great and that we went from FWB's to a cute instant family whithin a year. It wasn't. Things were very tense between us the entire time I was pregnant. But when our beautiful son made his way into the world things slowly began to change. Our son has made us better people. And in turn made our relationship much stronger.

However despite the fact that I relish in the time that the three of us spend together...I do sometimes wish that we had a more traditional set up. Granted I don't necesarily want a ring since I've already been down that road. But we do not even live together. For the most part this arrangement works for me. I like having control of the remote and not cooking dinner every night. But sometimes I just want him around more. And there is our son. Sometimes I worry that he will be negatively affected by his parents not living together even if we do have a happy loving relationship. Believe me I have spent alot of time reflecting on our unorthodox set up. But I keep coming back to the fact that there is so much more good than bad in our relationship. And the truth is that since life is a journey and a progression I may not always feel that this is the most healthy arrangement.

As I move through life and try to make sense of my own history of relationships and those of others around me I would like to explore alternative family arrangements. I would like for this to be a space for others to think, question and explore how we can build healthy happy matter what they may look like.