Redefining My Ideal Life

I’ve always pictured myself with a beautiful man about my age with a body that proved he worked hard to keep it up. This ideal man would be such a charmer that everyone I knew who met him would compliment me on what a catch I managed to reel in. I imagined him without children. He’d want so very much for me to carry his and we would raise and rear them together. I pictured that ours would be the traditional family unit. We’d live in a beautiful house that had a sizeable front yard and a backyard big enough to keep a swing set and monkey bars and anything else our children would want added to their playground. That was my ideal life.

It was in the summer of 2016 when I started to realize that that may not have been the life meant for me (“My Inner Battle” 7.22.16). In retrospect, I believe now that I was in desperate denial when I started my search for a husband (“The Husband Project” 3.30.16)– rushing the process just so that I could have something I felt I deserved. But what I didn’t take into consideration was the idea that my ideal life was not going to be some modern day fairytale. I now know that marrying someone quickly just to start a family would not necessarily equal happiness. I’m glad I let go of my husband search and continued my search for love. But again, I think I was short sighted— still only looking for that “perfect” man. What I met were men who didn’t really want to settle down or have more kids, and one who didn’t even live in this state. I tried telling myself that maybe they would change their minds or come to see how perfect I could be as a mate. Deep down, however, I knew that again, I was trying to create a fantasy out of reality.

Then, suddenly my gentleman was presented to me in a most unexpected way (“An Unexpected Interest” 7.8.17). Yes, there were feelings of doubt and uncertainty but I wanted to trust the situation. You’ll recall that a major concern of mine was his age. And he didn’t come in the physical package I’d always envisioned but that didn’t matter because I found him attractive anyway. That was important to me.

He told me from the beginning he didn’t want kids yet I told him from the beginning that I did. Why are we still together then? Well, we’ve kept the lines of communication open with conversations about what we were willing or not willing to settle for. We’ve come to respect each other for that.

Right now I’m pursuing my wish to have a child and he has made the decision to stand by me in full support.

When I first started this blog, I questioned why I was not yet married to the love of my life, living in a beautiful house with our beautiful children. That was my ideal life. Now I understand and accept that perhaps I wasn’t meant to live that life.

My ideal life has become getting to know myself through my search for love. It’s become recognizing when a good thing has come into my world. My ideal life is understanding that I can most certainly have everything that I’d ever wanted when it comes to having my own family. Yet I now realize that that ideal life may come in a different package and through unconventional ways…and I am so ready to accept that.

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A New Adventure

The past few weeks have indeed been challenging with several factors as the cause. The amount of stress I’ve been dealing with has certainly been exacerbated by my lack of sleep. Juggling my time between my teacher-related duties and my gentleman, I haven’t had much time to really think about anything else but my desire to have a child.

Yes, I am still seeing him who has since made it clear to me that to have a child would make him greatly uncomfortable. A quiet sadness filled the air when he finally told me and upon his gentle coaxing, I refused to share my thoughts with him. It was too painful. I have grown fond of him- in fact, the word love enters my mind when I think of him. To know that he does not wish to take this journey with me— although he’s shown me in other ways his deep affection for me— is heartbreaking.

His decision has nothing to do with whether or not I will stay with him. He seems to have no intention of letting me go. And I decided that I want him to stay in my life in the role he currently occupies. But I also later told him that with or without him, I am pursuing my wish to have a child. He figured as much, he admitted.

I have to say that my initial hope was to go through this process in a much less expensive way. Previously, thoughts of IVF and fertility treatments and hormone therapy were issues I had not even considered. They are now things I will have to start looking into. Thus, my journey begins down a route I had not expected. I have to follow my desire, allowing myself to explore what can possibly be a new adventure in pursuit of my dream.

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Thoughts running through my mind. Chaotic thoughts that prevent me from taking the next logical step. He admitted that he is unsure; that his path is not clear right now. He is not saying no; he is not saying yes. Yet, he realizes that “it’s either have this child with Cathy or lose her.” Thoughts of having a child is not something he entertained at this age so he’s feeling very cautious- he doesn’t want to make any mistakes.

I’m not angry- because there is no solution in anger. There is no peace in anger. What I am is disappointed. Disappointed in a man I thought would be there for me. There is also understanding. I understand his position. I must respect his thoughts and his feelings, for they have never changed. It is rare that a man will change his life’s blueprint for a woman, no matter how much he cares for her. But there is no anger.

Am I too understanding? Well, I have to understand that this is something he is not 100% on board with. I don’t want to bring a child into this world with the knowledge that she wasn’t 100% wanted to begin with. I want this child of mine to know unconditional love from anyone she is in contact with in her early years. Let her own experiences as a growing being teach her what she does and does not like in this world. But entering the world should be a pleasant and loving experience for her so I don’t want her in an atmosphere of uncertainty. I am certain I want to bring her forth into the world. My partner must be too. If not, then God will give me the strength and the perseverance to do this on my own.

I am not angry. But I am starting to know peace and with that, I shall form my own solutions.

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A Frank Discussion

We were coming to the end of our dinner one evening when my gentleman mentioned that he wanted us to have a frank and adult discussion about where our relationship was going. He’d been in relationships before where he and his significant others never talked about the direction of their relationship and he didn’t want to make the same mistake with me.

He expressed that he was starting to have tender feelings toward me. Sometimes, he confessed, he felt that he was the only one between us that felt such ‘tenderness’. In other words, he felt that I was guarded and that I was not letting him in. I have to admit: his saying that did not make me feel good. I was, in fact, guarding my heart, attempting to protect my feelings against a possible negative response from finally confronting him about my wish to have a child. So right then and there, I made the decision to tell him my “secret”, the only thing I found myself previously unable to talk to him about before.

Upon mentioning to him my wish to have a child and to be with someone who wants that with me, he maintained his position about why he did not want children. At his age, he wanted to enjoy his life with travel and his music, among other things. I listened. Who was I to judge him? He felt like that part of his life (having children) had passed him by. I certainly didn’t want to pressure him but I had to let him know how much I had always wanted this for myself.

We were both emotional as we lifted ourselves from the dinner table and sat together on his couch. Knowing what this revelation meant for us, we held each other in an embrace, not wishing to- and almost unable to let go.

I told him that for a woman to stay in a relationship that she knows won’t provide her with what she wants is pointless and an unfortunate waste of her time. I needed to find someone who wanted the same thing. He held me tighter saying, “We don’t have to make a decision now, do we?” And I felt the same way. I realized then that I didn’t want to end things with him. At all. But I had to think realistically. Could I stay with him and not have my baby? I would grow to resent him. What if he were to change his mind for me (which I certainly didn’t expect)? Would he grow to resent me?

Now, faced with the threat of terminating our relationship, I suddenly realized how much this man actually meant to me. I realized then why this was one of the most important relationships I’d ever been in. He is the first man that I’ve ever felt so comfortable with in ALL areas of my life. I literally could talk to him about anything and feel no judgement from him- just an understanding followed by an intelligent conversation, mixed in with some humor that always left me feeling good about myself, about him, and about us as a couple. How could I let that go to find someone who may or may not exist for me in the near future?

That night, he drove me home, expressing that he was glad we had our conversation and that it made him feel closer to me. I felt a deeper connection to him as well. But what good was it going to do for us if the very conversation that brought us closer was the one that proved we should be apart?

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My Former Interests

A few weeks ago, a guy I used to see on occasion texted me to say hello. It took me a few days to respond because I knew what him reaching out to me meant. When I did respond, he proceeded to tell me he moved to Harlem from Queens and suggested I visit him. It wasn’t very hard for me to tell him I was seeing someone because I was literally no longer attracted to him. However, telling a former interest that I was not available felt so good. I reveled in it.

Fast forward to two weeks ago and another former interest contacted me to catch up over drinks. He, I was still attracted to. I made plans to meet him for drinks and I thoroughly looked forward to seeing him again. I had met him- “Jim”- through the website years before meeting “Jose”. I was so into Jim but I never allowed myself to think of him as more than just someone to have fun with. I called him my French boy because one, he came here from France to continue his studies and two, because he is 13 years my junior. He was a beautiful young man whose toned body reflected the fact that he was a professional soccer player in his country of origin. Jim had long brown hair, olive skin, striking blue eyes, and a strong French accent I could listen to all day despite my difficulty in understanding him half the time. He contacted me just before the holidays and I decided to meet up with him.

Yes, I did think about my loyalty to Jose. But I also thought about Jose’s loyalty to his girls and the fact that I had not seen him because of them. No negative thoughts there- just a fact.

I met up with Jim, my French boy, in a bar in Manhattan. We talked, flirted with each other, joked around, and took a nice walk out in the cold winter evening arm in arm. It was nice dating again. Needless to say, nothing happened between us; it turned out to be nothing more than an innocent encounter between two old friends. The next day, he flirt-texted me and I have to say that I flirted back. I must admit that it felt good to be the object of someone else’s attention. It’s been some time since I’ve felt that.

Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past that have kept me from keeping a significant other. However I haven’t exactly felt like I was important to Jose lately and I found someone who was giving me a little bit of attention so I grabbed that bait. Communication is key- I know this. I actually had a conversation with Jose a few days ago and was assured of his feelings for me. I shared with him my feelings about where I stood in his life. While he said he couldn’t promise me anything at the moment because his situation would not allow it, he did tell me how much he enjoys being with me. And it reminded me of the thought process I had acquired when I first met him. My goal was to fully enjoy all that my single life would provide for me. That included Jose. So I took a deep breath, and allowed the idea of just enjoying myself come over me once again. Never mind the former interests. As long as I felt right about Jose and kept the lines of communication open, I was good.

And just like that, I felt okay again.

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