Taking myself out to find love

I got married young. One-semester-into-college young to be exact. With the intelligence provided by hindsight, I now realize, it was too young. For back then, I didn’t even know who I was. And some 25+ years later, I am just starting to figure that out.

When I was a young girl, I went from trying to please my parents straight into the demands of pleasing a spouse. Most days I did my best. Other days, I could have done better. However, in general, my goals were to make everyone else happy. I tried not to argue too much. I complied with everyone’s requests as much as possible. I worked. I smiled. I submitted. Eventually, I became so numb that I was just going through the motions of life. I was not an active participant in my relationships as a daughter or wife. I was just there.

Of course, at the time, I didn’t know I was a walking, emotionally void zombie. (I mean, do zombies ever really know they are zombies?) I didn’t have the time to consider my feelings in between having and raising two kids, working full-time in retail, completing my bachelors degree and maintaining the motions of happiness. Or, if I am being brutally honest, the times that I started to acknowledge and voice my opinions, I was shut down by myself or others. In those few moments of failed protest, I gave up. I rolled over. I quit. I wasn’t just quitting on my relationship, which is sad on its own level, I was quitting on myself.

As time went on, my zombie life naturally killed all chances of survival. I became cold, depressed, and divorced. Sure, there are multiple factors that lead to the demise in relationships. I did not create them all. However, I can own the ones I did.

The one that I realize the most now is: I didn’t know how to love myself. I had no confidence, no joy, no desires. I didn’t like who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t even know who I was. I was just a lifeless shell of a moderately successful, functioning adult. But, I was miserable inside.

It is only now, years after a divorce and a few bad dating experiences, that I have found me. By taking the time to stand up for myself and try new things, I have discovered passion, joy and hope. Through taking risks, I have found security. And by throwing out my training wheels, I found stability.

How did I do this? I started to date myself. I got dressed up and went out for sushi. I took myself to they symphony or a movie. I tried bucket list items. I created a blog so I could write again. I expanded my photography skills. Sometimes I discovered something new that I liked. Other times, not so much.

Either way, I was out. I got to decide what I liked and what I didn’t. And through this all, I discovered that I wasn’t so bad. Heck, I was even lovable.

When I started looking at myself as worthy of love, I found it. And all it took was some good sushi along the way. Now that, is a good date.

~~~~~~~~~~

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Food.

 

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11 thoughts on “Taking myself out to find love

  1. A very approach. Congratulations. 🙂
    (One of the best time-management tools I got from a seminar: Make appointments with yourself, during your working days. Otherwise YOUR time is preempted by others: clients, suppliers, people under and above you. I started making appointments with myself at least 2-3 times a week. To get MY stuff done. Worked wonders) So congrats again on your approach. Brilliant.
    Have a lovely week-end.
    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve hit such an important point, Michelle. If you don’t like yourself (and consider self-care a priority, in the right way), you won’t be able to relate as you should with others. So glad you made it, although of course we all have to keep working.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it finally dawned on me that if I could not love and respect myself, how could I expect others to? I wish some of my friends and family learn this valuable lesson themselves. However, it is only a path we can travel alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Abstraction (Hope in a Photographic Puzzle*) | Lens and Pens by Sally

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