Many of you have been asking about Mia.
While we all patiently wait for another blog post from her, I thought I’d fill in the blanks and give you all an update.
Mia, one and a half years after splitting with her ex, has completely gained her footing as a single mom. She’s finding time for herself, learning how to co-parent, and date – all while maintaining her incredibly demanding career.
The dating is proving to be the trickiest part of the equation as she navigates all of her prospects. After seven or so years of being with her ex she is dating again and like most of us, has jumped right in using the same measurements for the quality of a match that she did her early childless 20′s.
The growing pains of re-defining your list as a single mom aren’t easy, there will be heart break on your end or for the men who happen across your path before you’ve finished sorting out that mess in your head. Mia has been no exception to that rule.
On a recent Benjamin-free Saturday night, not quite ready to turn in after a night out with John Bear, I walked over to Mia’s house. Living on the same block has its perks and stumbling over for a late night chat is one of them. I found Mia and a few of her friends out on the front porch.
We were soon talking about the men in our lives, ruffles and all.
The wine had done its trick and we were sharing, learning, relishing – without defense – in each other’s advice. These raw open, un-chartered conversations are often, in my opinion, the most beneficial and productive for clearing the head of emotional stress and also the most entertaining.
When it was Mia’s turn we discussed her latest dating escapades. The losers, the winners and those who fell by the wayside and onto the black list.
“I feel like it’s time,” she said, “Like I am going to meet him soon.”
“Definitely, I sense that too,” added her best friend Shawna. By him she meant her soul mate, her guy, the guy, the man of her dreams, the dude.
“But, to find him, you have to stop spending time with the wrong men,” I had been hammering this point home with Mia for months and this time, hoped she would start listening.
“You have to bury your ex first. Burn some old letters or something.” Shawna said.
The timing couldn’t have been better. We were all there, waiting for something and anticipating the climax that would break through the noisy stillness of our Saturday night.
“Do it. Do it,” we chimed until Mia dashed upstairs, whizzing past a fitting scene created by her daughter hours earlier before bedtime
to emerge minutes later with a box of letters and some photo albums. Bursting with memories of what was and dreams of what could have been, she held them delicately in her hands.
The pictures came first. Photos of she and her ex, long before the cheating, the lies and the split that had left her broken, hopeless for so many months. But now, here she was, beaming with happiness at the potential her life as a single mom had to offer, namely in the way of dating and finding her dream man.
“I can’t burn any of this stuff. I want Sydney to have it. But, I know what I can burn. This!” She pulled out a piece of notebook paper covered on front and back with a list.
“What on it?” I asked.
“This is the list I made after I found out, right before he left. The list is everything I want from a man, the things he didn’t do or have. I wrote it to remind myself, so I wouldn’t forget.”
“Yes!” exclaimed Shawna, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever seen her so excited, “If you burn the list it will send it out into the universe, and then it will come true. Then you’ll find him.”
“What’s on your list?” I asked.
Mia read it out loud. Line item by line item. Wish upon wish.
Her list, was semi-impossible to fill, as Lori Gottlieb would agree, but Mia and Shawna would hear nothing of that. They wanted everything on the list. Which included, among other things, a man who is stable and financially secure but who also loves travel and adventure. I pointed out the obvious contradictions and they shushed me again.
I finally concede and agreed that burning the list was a symbolic act that would help Mia move into another phase as a single mom dating.
She is letting go of her past self, the hurt and confused woman who wrote the list is leaving and making way for someone ready to date with meaning.
Here’s to burning your list!
And to surrendering to the change that you are destined to experience because without change life would just be an incredibly boring wading pool.
If you missed it, catch up on Mia’s story.