And So It Is-Day 90!!!!

You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, something not everyone knows how to love.

Warsan Shire

 

90 days ago I committed to taking time to heal and to figure out who I am. Truthfully, I have had an amazing experience rediscovering myself. I realized, what I thought I wanted, I really don’t. The person I thought I was, I’m not.

When I first started this journey I was trying to clear my head and not focus so much on the dysfunctional relationships around me and what I was getting or not getting from them. I also took a step back and looked at the good relationships I have with those who are closest to me. As a result, I have stopped chasing friendships and relationships that were one sided or painful and I have started to make better connections with the people that I cherish. Over much of my life I have put too many expectations on those that surround me and that has caused me to be both frustrated and heartbroken. This made me remember a question I had once heard. Not sure from where, but it really stuck – “Is it harder to be the one counting on someone or to be the one being counted on?” I have been both.

As a parent, I am grateful that my kids can count on me. It hasn’t always been easy but I will gladly take it on every day. As they have gotten older, my role is changing and as much as it scares me to let them go and make their own decisions, I know that doing so is making our relationships stronger. Of course mistakes have been made and there are consequences we all have to live with, but that’s part of life and I’ve learned my best and hardest lessons from screwing things up. This past week I have had an enormous amount of things go wrong and I did all I could to remain positive, to be strong and to not get overwhelmed. Unfortunately, there came a point where it became too much, but I was humbled as all my children surrounded me with love, prayer and support, which allowed me to be calm as I was able to count on each one of them.

In my past relationships I tried to rely on men who I now realize, are still trying to figure themselves out and who are impatient with the process of laying a solid foundation for their future. For a majority of my life I tried my best to believe a man who said all the right things one day, then acted completely contrary to those words the next. Never knowing what person I would be dealing with, I withdrew and began to become a woman I didn’t recognize. Our relationship was strenuous from the beginning; I always blamed myself for his actions and ended up muting my personality to hopefully cause him to behave differently. This never worked, but fear and insecurity kept me doubting myself and I kept trying to fix an irreparable relationship. Why did I do this to myself? How could I continue to think things would be different the 2nd, 3rd or 10th time? Every time the latest promise was broken, he inevitably would return with a tearful vow to never behave in the same manner. My heart wanted to believe him but in my head there was turmoil. I prayed, I trusted, I waited, and then got hurt all over again. It took me almost 17 years to have the courage to leave.

Eventually I began to date and made the decision to try to be me. After some time, I met someone who became my best friend and we started a relationship. We had a great connection and I was able to be myself. He never made any promises about a future together but I had never been with anyone who accepted me for who I am: a mess of emotions, tenacity, curiosity, insecurities and feistiness. My life, my chaos and my love seemed to be too much for him and when that ended painfully and with me still in the early stages of healing, a friend from my past came back into my life. Like a volcano, he erupted strong feelings of love and devotion. He told me he would move anywhere I wanted and said he would always take care of me. Processing all he was saying was difficult; my heart was still broken but here was a man I trust, who has known me since I was in grade school, telling me everything I had always wanted to hear someone not only say to me, but mean. However, this was ridiculous. Although I had known him my whole life, he didn’t know anything about me. We agreed to slow down, remain friends and get to know each other, and for about 4 days, we did. After that he slowly vanished. Are you kidding me???? I never asked for him to tell me anything. I never wanted him to tell me anything. Yea, another ending that still confuses me.

I could take all this personally, I usually do. I could cry uncontrollably, call all my friends and overanalyze, withdraw from everyone, stay in bed for days or become bitter and angry. But I’m not and for the first time in my life, I won’t. I’m learning that I am attracted to men who have a lot of potential but due to fear of commitment, loss of independence and their own insecurities, the relationship never works. Of course there are other factors but overall, it’s not just because of me. The hard part is, I truly want to count on someone when I don’t have any strength to face the day and I want him to know, he can count on me when life gets intense for him.

Sitting poolside one day, I voiced my frustration to a friend. I asked her- Where is the guy who is stable, yet spontaneous, disciplined, not dull, but also fun to be around? Where is the man who can be loyal and committed, yet independent and not clingy? Where is the man who loves God and is real in his relationship with Him? Where is the man who is strong enough to handle the fact that I have five wonderful but also protective and at times stressful kids? Where is the man I can wear my five-inch heels with? After my tirade, my friend lovingly yet firmly told me, I was looking for me. Maybe I am. But aren’t we all? Those of us that are single anyway. I’m okay with looking for the male version of Judy. I like me. But, as I continue to heal from all my heart has been through, I am not going to look or wait for anyone. Yes, I have high expectations but I am also willing to give a whole hell of a lot. I always have. Compromise is fine, but I will not settle. No one should.

A friend challenged me to commit 30 more days to gain added clarity but after thinking about it, I don’t feel like that is necessary. I am enjoying my life right now, getting to know who I really am and spending time with my incredible kids, my precious grandson and wonderful friends. For now, I will continue as I have been, moving forward with my dreams and goals and trusting that God will be with me in all my decisions.

So as I end these 90 days, I now realize it hasn’t been about finding the right man, but about spending the time to get to know myself and liking my own company, which I can honestly say I do. And after all I have been through in my personal life, I am not scared to have a relationship one day nor have I become bitter towards one. I’m just not in a rush. And I am also aware that I take a big risk each time I let someone close, but I don’t want to be any other way, because that is who I am and I will one day get it right.

 

She’s mad but she’s magic, there’s no lie in her fire. Charles Bukowski

 

With Love,

JRR

 

 

 

 

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  • Elisa
    Reply

    It’s been awesome following your journey. You are so special. It’s good that you know that! You are loved.

    Lisa

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