An Opportunity to Do Something Different

School started back this past weekend and my class so far is easier than I’d expected, thank God. Right now we’re learning how to work with clients, so it’s starting to feel more real and therefore scary. Also, I heard that almost no one passes their certification exam on the first try, including two girls I knew from my first semester who seemed smart and studious. In a way that makes me feel better, in case I don’t pass the first time.

Steven emailed me again, this time to apologize for the time he went with me to visit my family and how he’d cut the visit short with a mood swing. He didn’t like my dad and he didn’t want to spend the day with him and my sister and her family, which I’d wanted to do since I didn’t get to see them often. I appreciate his apology, but can’t help but wonder if he really thinks that’s all he has to apologize for. How about leaving me right after my mom died? I haven’t replied to him yet because I’m not sure if I want to just say thanks and move on, or if it’s necessary to bring that up. Probably not, but I asked my sponsor anyway. We’ll see what she says.

In the meantime it’s been hard not to reconsider being Mark’s friend with benefits. At 41, I’m in my prime so it’s like telling a teenage boy he can have sex with a beautiful girl for fun, or holding a raw piece of meat out to a dog and saying you can have this with no strings attached. It wasn’t just sex, but it was incredible sex, with experiences I hadn’t felt before, that a lot of women don’t get to experience. I haven’t cried over the break-up, I think because I’m realizing I wasn’t that into him, I just wanted to be. I still want to be, tbh.

There’s this part of me that believes you really just end up settling with someone, especially after dating so much that you’re just beaten down, and you realize that the best thing you can hope for is someone who’s not an asshole. It reminds me of a conversation on the “Hang the DJ” episode of “Black Mirror:”

What I want is someone who’s a good friend and who I’m attracted to, and he was those two things. I wouldn’t call Mark my best friend, like how I felt about Steven at the time (even though he was borderline emotionally abusive), or my actual best friend, but he was fun and easy to talk to.

I met this girl in my class who’s getting married to a guy she’s known since middle school. It’s just like my sister. She’s known this guy since middle school, and they went to high school together, but they didn’t start dating until after college, and now they’re getting married. In other words, he’s a nice guy and she knows he’s a nice guy because she’s known him since he was a child.

Sometimes I wonder if I did something really bad in a previous life.

Which means I’m not being grateful.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~Brother David Steindl-Rast

It would be better to meet someone after I graduate and have a stable career. Right now I get to focus on me, school, studying, spirituality, finding myself. Spending time with my friends. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I don’t have to worry about what someone else wants for dinner, or how messy my room is. And having a boyfriend or a husband isn’t going to solve my problems. I already know that from experience.

So really I need to just put these guys out of my mind and focus on me. Right now I have an opportunity to do something different than what I’ve done in the past, and what a blessing that is. I have an opportunity to choose a different path.

Here’s another beautiful song by Sia, “Bird Set Free.”

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