Blessed may feel like an unusual word for someone who doesn’t have much of a relationship with God. I get that. I also understand if you read this and wonder why I’m feeling so blessed these days even though I work seven days a week, can’t pay my bills, have a roommate even though I’m well into my 40’s, am single (duh), and will be without health insurance come spring. Scratching your head a bit, aren’t you?
I hate the whole cup half-full metaphor, but my world really is a lot easier to accept with an alternative perspective. I left a career that was drowning me daily. I LOVE my friends and family. I live in Denver—unless you do too, that may not be an obvious one. Bennett is my very necessary and loving companion. And . . . .
For some reason none of us will ever really understand—you are reading this. NOW. And you may even come back again or search through older blog posts. I haven’t made a cent from my writing—EVER—but I’m still writing eighteen months after I left a salaried job so that I could write. I still love typing out crazy stories on my not-so-super-reliable computer, and I laugh a lot more at my antics than I cry. Bonus.
I’ve been single now for over two and one half years. I had a brief almost-boyfriend this summer, but for the most part I’ve continued to spin my wheels with the hope that I find the kind of love that lasts AND excites me daily AND scares me daily AND is really, really comfortable AND helps me grow into the kind of woman I know I’m capable of being. Adele “comforts” me by saying that my sky high standards will keep me single longer but happier in the long run. We have long discussions about what we hope to gain by being in a relationship seeing that we are pretty damn happy as single women.
When there’s nothing to lose the stakes are pretty low. Being a miserable single person means that the alternative is bound to be better. When Option “A” sucks—all sorts of men can fit the bill. What happens when being single brings all sorts of joy and contentment? Well, there are fewer and fewer men who can jump in and improve the situation.While I’m definitely okay with being single, I would also like to find someone. Again, this cannot be just anyone, either. I am looking for someone whose life will improve by having me in it on a regular basis and who will not clip my own, very singular wings. It’s a tall order. Luckily for me I have lots and lots of great role models.
Role Model Couple #1: I was friends with the male half of the couple first. He seemed to be rebounding from a bad summer faux-romance when he met her. Happily, that was not the case—it was the real deal this time. He told me how he loved giggling with her, how present he was in her company, and how happy he was that he was the man taking her back to the east coast to be closer to her family. I miss them both.
Role Model Couple #2: They met by sharing a ride up to the ski slopes. Half way back down the mountain, he was smitten. Why wouldn’t he be? His future wife was (and is) cosmopolitan, beautiful, and lively enough to keep him on his toes. Their banter reminds me of two very drunken sailors at times—but that’s part of how they keep it real.
Role Model Couple #3: This couple met in college and became friends long before he professed his love for her—and she was only nineteen the night of the booze cruise in Iowa City. His playboy antics ended that day—as she knew they would—and they have enjoyed their time together as a Colorado family with two terrific girls ever since.
Role Model Couple #4: They met at a conference when they were both married to the wrong people. The stars were bright, the time was right, and they found the strength to finally accept that their earlier commitments were a mistake. This could have turned into a romance that shriveled up and died—but instead it thrived. Their family has grown and their bond strengthens as the years go on. It may have started nontraditionally but this couple is the epitome of love.
Role Model Couple #5: Sometimes you just know. That’s how he and she felt when they went out on a double date in Germany where he was stationed and she was working. They found love far from home, married almost instantly, and have been a united front ever since even though they come from two very different cultures. They now make their home in the desert while their son is off exploring new lands.
Role Model Couple #6: Blended families sometimes make for the greatest bonds. This couple met at a singles dance and quickly brought her son and his two daughters together to form a new family. Their bickering can be legendary, but there is no doubt how much love there is between these two. How long has it been now? Almost thirty years? Thank you for welcoming me into your family as well.
Role Model Couple #7: Rarely do couples stay together these days through thick and thin. From their high school class, in fact, this couple is the only one still together. He is a bit of an introvert unless you get him talking about things he’s really interested in. She is as extroverted as I am. I guess that’s where I get it. I don’t always understand the love between my parents and how they stay together, but I do know that she is always very happy to receive his phone calls—you can hear it in her voice. And my dad gets up early to pick a rose from his garden so my mom can enjoy the fragrance and beauty with her morning cup of coffee. There are probably endless examples of private, intimate reasons why they work so well together—and I’m glad I’m not privy to that knowledge.
It’s the little things. The favorite things. The shared moments that no one else will ever understand are what keep couples thriving. I look forward to the day when I can share myself with someone who nurtures the best in me, accepts the worst in me, shares the inner workings of his soul, and loves me simply because he cannot do anything else.
Until then I will keep being thankful for all of the blessings in my life.