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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An Apprehensive Decision

Yes, I’ve continued to see the man on several occasions during the following weeks, despite my being apprehensive. We’ve delighted in walks together and impromptu decisions to go to the movies. We’ve enjoyed meals together from nice restaurants to even savoring a slice of pizza from an amazing neighborhood hole-in-the-wall. We went shopping for bathing suits together before we laughed at ourselves for being unable to find his car in the mall parking garage. After 20 minutes of searching (and before exiting the garage), we celebrated its discovery in a very hot make-out session. We’ve enjoyed the sweltering sun and cool breeze at three different Long Island beaches. Discussions about our families, our creative works, and our past relationships have allowed us to get to know each other better. We laugh together, telling silly jokes and making fun of others when the situations beg for it. This gentleman seems to enjoy my company as much as I enjoy his.

And all the while, the one thing that consistently remains on my mind is the fact that this man is 61 years old. As we walk hand in hand, I imagine what we must look like together. He mentioned once that walking with me made him look good. He also supposedly detected men of his age looking at him curiously, as if to question how he ended up with a woman who looked like me. I, on the other hand, avoid eye contact with anyone else but him. Something inside of me is still bothered by his age. Believe me, I take no pleasure in this.

Everything we experience together is fun and light and filled with positive energy. But I keep clouding it with thoughts of him being too old for me. I keep having to remind myself that this is nothing new. Although it is generally the case that men are usually older than their female counterparts in a relationship, it is not as common to see much older men with much younger women. However, I am reminded of the fact that Catherine Zeta-Jones, Calista Flockhart, and Celine Dion are just a few of many women who married men significantly older than they are. I’m not trying to say that I will marry this man but if these women are so comfortable with their choices, what makes me so apprehensive to enjoy my decision of being with an older man?

What is my problem? I’ve never had to question whether he really likes me or not because he has made it clear. In early June, he booked tickets to go to Paris and later expressed his desire for me to join him there. Since then, he’s invited me to his family reunion later on this month. Isn’t that a big deal? His family, ladies and gentlemen, which include all of his sisters and his twin brother. When was the last time a man wanted me to meet people who were significant in his life? He has even invited me to an old friend’s upcoming barbecue. The man does not seem to want to hide me but rather, proudly embrace me as his current companion. That’s one of the biggest compliments I can think of. And here I am, letting my perception of what age means and what people may think prevent me from truly basking in the attention that this man is giving me. I seem to be foolishly letting that prevent me from having the great experiences that I can possibly share with him.

And then, there is the other thing that we have not yet even confronted . . .

 

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My Healing Continues, Part 2

In my last post, I recounted with you one of the ways I unexpectedly found healing from the way I felt rejected by “Jose” last month. Upon a friend’s suggestion and my sister’s helpful nudge, I sent a text message to Jose last Tuesday, just basically wishing him the best. 

Hello ——

I truly hope you are doing well. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate the time we spent together and I thank you for our “little adventures”. I so respect your love and attention to your girls and they are so lucky for the wonderful memories you are creating with them. Good luck with everything. Take care. 

The reason why this was such a good idea for me was because the instant I started writing it, I started to feel better about myself and my feelings toward this man. I had thought I wasn’t angry- only hurt.  However, there was definitely some anger in my soul, perhaps not necessarily originally from him. The anger originated from my constant feelings of rejection, the “poor me” syndrome, and the question of why no one has ever loved me enough to want to stay with me. I put all of that to rest when I hit send because it no longer mattered. Why concern myself with things that were and things that weren’t? They were in the past! Right now, I felt like it was smart of me to send the text because it made me feel like I let my anger go. And it was such a liberating feeling! 

Minutes shy of an hour, Jose responded with this:

Thank you for your kind words even though we both know I don’t deserve it. I know the way I ended things was cruel but at the time I thought it was best to make a clean break. Knowing your beautiful heart you would be willing to be patient with me and my limited time and I just wouldn’t be fair to you. Even more so now since I’ve been promoted to Supervisor even my tank [?] my daughters has become a little more difficult. I know these words are insignificant but I really never wanted to hurt you. Be safe and may God continue to bless you.

Yes, I was emotional when I first read this and, truth be told, I did hold back some tears. But I was grateful for his honesty and now at least I knew that he didn’t toss me on the wayside like I’d once thought. I had built a number of negative scenarios in my head about why he rejected me and now I could let those scenarios go- along with the anger. 

I have to say, though, that when I read the text a second time, I felt a little annoyed. I didn’t deserve “a clean break”. Rather, I felt I deserved an explanation, given the nature of our relationship. But upon further examination of the text, I understood that what he was saying was that he realized, in retrospect, that the “clean break” did not warrant “my kind words” because he felt he did not “deserve” those “kind words”. It wasn’t an apology, but then again, I wasn’t looking for one. I did feel satisfied with his response and that’s what was important. 

Moving on, I’ve already thought of things I’d do and say differently were I to pursue another relationship with someone else. It just goes to show that every experience is a learning experience.

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My Healing Continues, Part 1

In the post “My Bitter Lesson” (1.27.17) it was apparently clear how hurt I was by the sudden “disappearance” of “Jose”, the Puerto Rican I was dating from October to January. And in my last post (“Working on Myself”, 2.20.17), I listed a few steps I promised myself I’d make in an attempt to start healing from this sudden loss. I did take a step forward this week that was not mentioned in my previous post.

It had been suggested to me that if I’m truly not angry with Jose, then I should send him a friendly text that states how much I enjoyed my time with him and to wish him the best. Now when I was first approached with this idea, I quickly dismissed it. The man wanted to be left alone so that’s exactly what I was going to do. However, when the woman who had first suggested I do this mentioned it again last week, I started to consider it.

I asked my sister’s advice and she thought it was a great idea, calling it a “classy” move. It would show that although I deserved a proper good-bye from Jose, I held no ill feelings toward him and what happened and I was above being petty about it. Well, I grappled with the idea for a few days, thinking about exactly what I’d write to him. The more I thought about it, the more I thought this was a perfect action to take as part of my healing process. It would help me move past the feelings of rejection I’d felt when Jose ended all communication with me. So I did it.

Tuesday afternoon, this is what I wrote him:

Hello —-

I truly hope you are doing well. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate the time we spent together and I thank you for our “little adventures”. I so respect your love and attention to your girls and they are so lucky for the wonderful memories you are creating with them. Good luck with everything. Take care.

As I wrote it, a feeling of liberation swept over me and I was actually excited about the outcome. It felt right. I pressed the send button and my heart pounded. It was done. I smiled. I felt relieved. I felt like I’d just done something very important for me. I placed my cell phone on the table and allowed my work to consume my thoughts.

Just under one hour later, Jose wrote me back…

(To be continued)

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What I Must Do for Me

As it turns out, “Jose” and I haven’t seen each other since the last week of December. Of course things were hectic due to the holidays. However, since the holidays, we’ve spent weeks away from each other because of his responsibilities and the distance between our residences. And in that time, I’ve had a chance to once again contemplate my life, my wants, my dreams, and my future.

When I first met Jose, I truly felt it was fate pushing us together. He entered my life at a time when I had finally completely accepted where I was. I was in a good place in my mind and in my life and felt he showed up when he did for a reason.

Yet, in the past few weeks (almost a month now) we haven’t seen each other at all and it feels like he’s okay with that. While I’ve expressed to him how much I miss him and wish to see him, he hasn’t done the same. He’s thanked me for my patience and expressed his appreciation- all without proposing a time or day in which we can see each other again. He told me I could visit him at his home in Pennsylvania and when I proposed a weekend in which to do so, he explained why it was not a good time for me to come. He told me I could call and text him at any time but when I do call him, he never answers his phone, nor does he text me as often as he used to.

I believe I’ve been more than patient- all the while hiding from him the fact that I no longer feel desired at all by him. He has a lot going on in his life right now- his kids, dealing with an ex-wife he’s not fond of, being promoted at work- and here I am not wishing to rock the boat. However, I must be true to myself and my happiness first. Right now, I’m not happy and I can no longer ignore myself in this so-called relationship. I’ve walked on eggshells when it comes to his time because he’s a father who is very involved in his children’s lives. I respect his fatherhood and wouldn’t want to do anything that suggests otherwise. However, I’m very much the last thing he considers important in his life. No, I don’t believe I’m being selfish in wanting to see him at least once a week and wanting him to desire to see me. If he’s not showing interest, then why am I putting myself through such discontent? I must look out for me. And if breaking the connection with this man means finally looking out for myself then so be it. I don’t deny that it will be hard. But it’s something I must do for me.

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