I went to a family party this weekend, filled with relatives I had not seen in quite awhile. The old me wasn’t the most sociable person.
Hard to imagine these days, but it’s true.
My lack of self-confidence made me feel awkward around people, especially relatives that I feared would judge me for the absence of accomplishments in my life and my many missteps over the years.
After my separation from my son’s father I isolated myself even further. At the time I thought becoming a single mother meant I was a failure – that my inability to give my son the two-parent household I so strongly felt he deserved would leave both of us miserable for the rest of our lives.
Of course now I know that’s just not true.
This weekend reminded me of that.
When we got to the party, I went around the room saying hellos and giving out hugs. As I did, I was overwhelmed by my family’s positive response to seeing me.
“You look amazing!” most said, in one form or another.
“You’re glowing,” some added.
When they asked what I’d been doing to look so great, I could only think of one reason.
“I’m just really happy,” I said as I smiled.
“Are you seeing someone?” one of them asked.
“Nope.” I replied. “There’s no man in my life.”
“I’m just happy,” I repeated.
Why am I so freaking happy right now, you ask?
Because I finally feel like I’m over the hump.
In April it will have been four years since my ex and I split.
Four years of soul searching.
Four years of finding myself, losing myself and finding myself again.
Four years of learning how to be the best single mom I can be.
During most of those years I had this irrational fear that I was destined to be alone, forever.
Every time I found happiness that fear slowly chipped away at it.
I put up a good fight, but each time I felt like I’d concurred it something would happen in my life that would cause me to slide backwards – reminding me that my fear of ending up alone was still controlling my life.
Some say that in order to let go of the past you must be willing to let love in again and not shy away from it out of fear – but the thought of opening my heart to someone again terrified me.
Still, I knew it was the one thing I had yet to try.
So when the opportunity presented itself, I closed my eyes and took his hand.
I fell in love – and it was the healthiest kind of love I’d experienced in a really long time.
Its leaving broke my heart – but not like any of my past loves.
It didn’t leave me bitter.
It didn’t leave me completely shattered.
It left me with a peace and a knowing that I won’t be alone forever.
That irrational fear of spending the rest of my days without a partner is gone.
With a little help from one amazing dude, I kicked that fear’s ass.
And that’s why I’m now happily living in the moment - knowing without a doubt, that someday when I least expect it, the kind of love I want will finally find me.
Because I’m over the hump.