October always has been one of my favorite months, for fall is my most favorite season, and I feel like fall goes full throttle in the tenth month of the calendar year. The leaves burst into colorful hues, there is a distinguished chill in the air, and the darkness of night begins to encroach on the light of day. Summer is a distant memory, and winter looms in the distance. It is like a seasonal purgatory.
Four years ago, October took on a new significance for me. This month now serves as the anniversary of the end of my eighteen year marriage. It is not necessarily a time to be mourned, though, as I may have lost a spouse, but we remain the best of friends to one another and even better parents to our two extraordinary daughters. It marks my return to the single status and all that this encompasses, and it has been an interesting return to a world I never thought I would revisit. Yet, here I am.
I have gotten rather used to living alone and even have learned to enjoy my solitude when my daughters are with their dad. I have mastered tasks previously handled by my ex-husband, such as mowing the grass, unclogging toilets, cleaning out the French drain to save the garage from being flooded, and assembling and using the new leaf blower. When my daughters are gone, I can go days without ever venturing outside of the confines of my home, and I am okay with that. Really, I am. As much as I have learned to accept my single status, a conversation this morning and an event this evening conjured up both memories and wishes that have left me in an emotional limbo that rivals the purgatory of fall and that have my tears falling like the dead leaves being shed by the trees.
This morning, I was enjoying another pleasant chat with my friends’ father, and during the course of our conversation, he posed an interesting question, “What do you miss the most of being in a relationship?” As I felt a wave of sadness wash over me, I could only manage the benign response of “companionship”, but the thoughts and feelings it stirred up were anything but benign.
Then, this evening, I attended a party attended by some of the parents of children from my daughters’ elementary school, and it was the first time I have been invited to such an event since being divorced. I often go places unaccompanied, so, that didn’t bother me, especially since I knew most of the other guests. However, it marked the first time that I did not respond with “plus one” when responding to an invitation, and I realized that I now am a “plus none”.
These feelings have nothing to do with missing my ex-husband, as he said when he high-fived me when we received the court papers making our divorce official, “We had a good run.” We did indeed, and neither one of us wants to go back from whence we came. Since our marriage ended, I have dipped my toes in the dating waters and even allowed myself to love someone who didn’t love me back, so, it has not been four years of complete solitude, despite feeling inordinately lonely, at times. It has been a period of mixed emotions and experiences that has left me feeling reflective at this moment.
My mind goes back to this morning’s question about what I miss most about being in a relationship, and the answers come easily from a vulnerable place that is raw with emotion. I thought of sharing those responses here, then I thought better of it, because those answers are reserved for the guy who is brave enough to ask me that question himself and then willing to stick around to listen with his ears and, most importantly, his heart. That’s the guy who will be my plus one and so much more.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story