It’s so funny that this boy-crazy girl ended up alone. I spent all my life growing up dreaming hopeless romantic dreams and molding myself into the kind of person I thought would be perfect for someone else. My mistake was thinking all men who paid me any attention would be doing the same. My mom always used to tell me I attracted the wrong type, and it took me years to understand what she meant.
When I started getting tired of the abuse and living in fear of angering my now ex, or worse, my kids angering him and getting a taste of his wrath, I rediscovered myself and found some new things to cling to and give me a sense of “muchness” and enjoyment of life, since my marriage was making me wish I was dead. I found steampunk and pirates, and remembered that I used to love music, writing, and art. I involved the kids in all of this and probably drove them crazy most of the time, but we had a lot of fun in an otherwise dark existence.
After I left, it still took me a while to learn how to be happy on my own. I’m a lone pirate (I still love pirates and steampunk, obviously), and I imagine myself still being alone when the kids are gone–except maybe having a dog for companionship and protection.
I’m not seeking a co-captain of my ship, but I’m not ruling it out either. I still consider my best traits to be the ones I developed when I was trying to be the ideal person for someone else: love, loyalty, passion, kindness, compassion, empathy, humor. Only now, he has to be worthy of all that and to have the same traits himself.
In realizing I’m a pretty damn awesome solo pirate captain of my own ship, with a fiercely loyal and amazing crew, I think I’ve finally learned that the best way to be ready to let someone else into your life is to not only be okay with–but to love the idea of–being alone and being the kind of person you always wanted to be. For yourself.