Lately I have been meditating on my future, what I want to be doing in five years when my daughter is old enough to be out in the world on her own. Where do I want to be? What do I want to be doing? Who do I want to be doing it with.
What I See
I was in an Irish pub and on the TV screen were images of Ireland. My mind began to wonder and here’s what I saw.
I was walking down the streets, taking in the history, the culture, the stories around me. I was in a small cottage over looking a lake and I was writing. Writing novels and content for client’s marketing campaigns. I was strolling along a trail watching the waves below me crash onto the beach.
In all these images I was alone and I was content.
I was doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, without having to consider what someone else wanted. I had no demands placed on me by children, men, or parents. For that time I lived as I wanted. Without guilt. Without shame. Doing what made me happy, writing.
There was no one to judge me. To tell me I can’t. To push me down. To make me feel bad about my decisions in life. I was alone and I was content and successful.
What I see
Today, I am sitting in Starbucks watching the people around me. Enjoying their lives as they pass by. A woman I know in passing met her boyfriend before coming in. Both of their faces lit up at the sight of each other and they were happy. They kissed, hugged and came in for their morning dose of caffeine.
Inside I could feel the loneliness cringe with jealousy. That deep desire I still have to be loved by a man for who I am. A man who accepts everything about me and loves me anyway. A man who at his touch I feel joy.
What I think
They say that your happiness cannot be found in another person. That you have to be happy with yourself before you’re worthy of love. That you have to love yourself first before a man will elevate you to the status of relationship material.
Then I think about it more. Do I want someone who will only love me once I’m healed? Once I’m whole? Once the pain of loneliness and the need to be loved is gone from my heart?
Not really. If a man can’t love me when I need him to, I don’t want one when I don’t need his love.
Sounds kind of callous? Maybe. Bitter? Yes. I have struggled through a lot of crap on my own. I have become stronger and started to demand better for myself on my own. I have become stronger because of me not because of a man. I did it alone.
Now that I am stronger, now that I demand better from men, there is not one single middle aged man who deserves me. I am just that amazing and they are that screwed up.
Well no, that’s not completely true.
What I feel
I was destroyed by men and how they treated me. Saw me. Their words. Their actions. Their empty promises. Especially the one man who was supposed to love me for the rest of my life. I felt unworthy of love because he told me I was.
Since leaving him, I’ve tried to find a man who would see me, love me. I found worse. I found men who only saw me as good for one thing and only took from me, never giving to me. I attracted selfish men because I was so broken and so giving without demanding anything in return. I kicked them all to the curb and moved on.
I stepped back from men and started working on myself.
I’ve given all I have to myself. To becoming stronger. To changing my life for the better. I have nothing to give another person. I can’t see myself with a man because I do not believe in them. I do not trust them. This realization pains me and I am trying hard not to break down in sobs.
What I see.
I see myself in Paris. Sitting outside a cafe. Drinking Lattes and writing.
I see myself as a successful novelist.
I see myself as a successful content marketing business owner.
I see myself with those who believed in my journey, my ability, my talents, and supported me, helped me get to where I want to be in life. Those who filled me with belief in myself, who did not doubt me, shame me, or put me down. Those who filled my tank by giving and not demanding or controlling me.
I see myself alone and content.
Purpose of this Blog
This blog is a look at the characters in a new series about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. This novel takes from real life, stories women have shared, stories men have shared, books I have read, movies I have watched. It takes all the information and merges it, mixes, it, embellishes it. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel.
I welcome any 40 Something stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point for the characters as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened.
Email me today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]
And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.
Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?
For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com