Dating, Emotional processing, Finding My Sparkle, Surviving Separation, Working Mom

There is always a reason.

You never know why you meet someone. You never know how long they will be in your life. What I do know is that God has a reason for everything, so each person, good or bad, was put in your life for a reason. Was it to learn a lesson? Teach you something? Brighten your day? Help you through a struggle?

Think back on those that have come and gone from your life? They all had a reason for being there. You just have to figure it out. After my legal separation, I decided that, maybe, I wanted to get back out there, but I wasn’t sure. What does dating at 45 look like? Who would want to date a 45 year old who’s body has endured child birth, marriage struggles, and a moderate obsession with food? Was I dateable? Were there nice guys left?

So, out I went with some friends and low and behold, there was the cutest blue-eyed gentleman. Way out of league, or so I thought, but cute just the same. Before you know it, I was chatting away with him. We laughed, we chatted, we kissed. And you know what, we continued to do so for the next month and a half. It was easy and fun and light. There was no obligation, there was no looking for a serious relationship, there was no expectations. It was exactly what I needed.

You see, as sweet as he was and as kind as he was, his life was a mess. Messy divorce, messy custody issues, messy court battle for properties and businesses and homes. Just messy. Not anything I wanted to touch with a 10 foot pole but he was fun and funny and our banter was light and easy. He made me realize that, maybe, just maybe, I was dateable. That maybe, I deserved more than I gave myself credit for. He gave me a confidence that I had lost along the way in my crumbling marriage. He made me want to be better and do better. He made me realize that I was better.

We talked, I mean, really talked, about divorce and custody and my Dad. We talked about my dad a lot. We shared our struggles and our heartache. He read my blog. We laughed and we drank wine till all hours of the night. We hit on hard subjects and somewhere along the way, we became friends. It was just what I needed. He was just what I needed and I know, I was just what he needed.

His life was messy, so very messy and he needed a ear and a friend and I was that. There were nights I didn’t want to end because the conversation was so great. A few of those nights, I laughed more than I have in years. It added a little sparkle just where I needed it most. I shared the ins and outs of my marriage. Why I stay when my husband went into rehab and why I left when I did. We talked about trust and therapy and God. In our short time together, I shared more about my innermost self with him than I have with anyone in a really long time. And it felt good.

Why? You ask. Why did I share? Because it was easy. He was in not position to jump into a relationship and I didn’t want a relationship with someone that was in the midst of a mess. I was also not ready for anything more than easy. I am still working on me, so I let down my guard because he was in no position to judge me. He was messy. And I felt no need to judge him. I just enjoyed our time and knew that at some point, it would come to an end. And I was okay with that.

And it did. After a lot of heartache and fighting and court dates, he decided that he needed to try to save his family. He needed to jump in feet first and try to make it work. He needed to do that with a clear head and an honest heart. And I would not allow him to do that. We formed a great bond over the messy in our lives. I was sad to say goodbye but so incredibly happy that he really was they good guy that I thought he was. In the midst of his mess, he saw something that said, I have to try to save my family and so that is what he is doing. He is leaving me behind for a chance to get his family back together. I admire him for that.

Speaking from experience, it is hard to forgive. It is hard to let go. It is hard to go back to what was, when what is seems so terrible. I admire his courage to try. He is better than I. I gave up because I could try anymore. I just needed out.

So, this handsome blue-eyed stranger only joined my life for a brief while but there was a reason. He helped me heal. He helped me regain a piece of myself that was missing. He helped me sparkle. He gave me confidence. He made me realize that I truly do live a beautifully blessed, messy life. And for that, I am thankful. And for him, I am thankful.

I hope and pray that he finds that happy marriage and family that he is trying to save. I hope he lives a beautifully blessed life with his wife and kids. I hope he figures it out because I couldn’t. I may never know what happens with him but I know I will pray for him and them. I know, I may never see or talk to him again but I know that for a brief moment in time, we were meant to be together. We served a purpose. There was a reason. And there was a lot of laughter. We were what we needed.

So, to you, my blue-eyed friend, if you are reading this, thank you for sharing your messy with me. I hope that you find your happy. I know that the reason you came into my life was to show me that I already have mine. I am happy with me and my beautifully blessed, messy life and that is good enough. Thank you for the friendship when I needed it most. I wish you all the best, you deserve it.

As I move forward with dating, what I know, now, is I am dateable. I deserve to be picky. I will not settle. I will not let the little stuff go. I will not ignore the red flags and I will not hold back. I will be, unapologetically, me. I am worthy and I deserve someone who sees that. I will not hide my feeling. I will not try to be something I’m not. I will find someone who excepts me for who I am, flaws and all. I will be happy alone or with someone but I will choose happy. I will find the bright spots on the dark days. I will remember, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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