I left my phone charger in California. And after one day with no interruptions and no friends to run my emotions by … I realized how nice it is to be disconnected. So I didn’t buy a new one. Now it’s been five days of phone free bliss and a lot of time to reflect. In one of my many quiet moments I had an epiphany – I am scared to death of falling in love again.
I have done it before, been completely swept away. At the time it seemed clear. He was the one. We could make it work. Til death do us part. But something had severely clouded my judgment and by the time I realized my mistake – it was too late – we were married.
Now my ex-husband is a walking, talking example of how blinded I can be by love. So, I don’t trust myself. There it is. Simple as that. And it doesn’t help that every Monday I get to see that shining example pull up into my driveway to take our son for 36 hours.
But what if my fear of falling for the wrong guy keeps me from falling for the right guy? When love does show up will I be brave enough to let myself fall? I hope so, for Benjamin’s sake. I would hate for the kid to miss out on having brothers and sisters or a full-time dad because “Mommy has baggage.”
So here’s my baggage dumping plan, effective immediately (because this shit has got to go):
Step 1: Identify Baggage
My ex-husband broke my heart. What if it happens again? Benjamin would be hurt and so would I … I’m protecting myself and Benjamin from my own silly heart that (in the past) has always fallen for the wrong guy. And what about the financial fall out? Divorce sucks. I also fear losing my freedom again to marriage (i.e. prison). Yeah, I know – that’s why they call it baggage. I have issues.
Step 2: Identify Effects of Baggage
I have fallen in love since becoming a single mother, with Kris … in the end neither one of us could take the big plunge into a deeper love. I kept him at a safe distance from my heart, didn’t grow too attached for fear of a painful break … and it worked. When we split it was painless. But we both lost something that had the potentional to be something. Two relationship phobes equals no relationship. But I learned from that experience. I also learned that I can fall in love and keep my head on my shoulders at the same time. So that’s the good news!
Step 3: Eliminate Baggage (the hard part)
I’m taking baby steps. I am. But … it could be a while. And I need to give myself that time. In the meantime I’m looking at each of my experiences with men with open eyes. Striping it down, recognizing when I’m pushing them away and when I’m just listening to obvious red flags. I have also realized that falling in love as a single mother will be different. (That was a huge step). That’s all I’ve got … clearly still working on this part. If you have any advice – please, by all means … help a single mama out.
What’s your baggage? Do you think my baggage is manageable? Any of this sound familiar?
[Photo: San Francisco beach]