Saturday, October 22, 2005

Growing Pains

High school is hard. Being a senior in high school is very painful.

My son just competed in his last high school cross country meet. He didn’t make state, but it wasn’t because he didn’t give it his all. He came so close! He ran the perfect race!

I am so glad I found the place, he needed me. It was the end of a really difficult week for him, and some of his teammates had said some things to him that he took pretty hard. I think that, because of his autism, he really misunderstood what was really being said, but he did manage to work most of it out before the race.

And what a race! He paced himself in the beginning, finding his feet. Then, when he felt the time was right, he pressed forward. He started passing all the rabbits, all the kids who gave everything they had to the first mile. When he got closer to the end he went all out, “chasing [the opponents] like a psychopath”. Everyone was so impressed. I had never been more proud of him. In my eyes, he is the champion.

All the seniors running that day were especially emotional. Senior year is full of lasts! Adolescents have a way of ignoring the fact that high school isn’t an end, but a huge beginning. A rite of passage! It has been so hard watching both my kids go through it. I wouldn’t want to do it again for the world.
Of course, the pain doesn’t stop with high school graduation. My life is full of growing pains. I have had some really great heartbreaks because of my confusion over what love is really all about. I hope I have learned that love has to begin with me. I have to have a really good grasp of who I am. I have to have some idea of what I want from life, and how I intend to get it. I have to know myself well before I try to add others to my life. I have to hold on to what makes me unique.

I have been so quick to envision myself fitting into the lives of the men I have liked. I have molded myself into the woman I think they want. In the process, I have turned myself into some shallow and meaningless whore, who was absolutely not what anyone ever wanted. I have abandoned myself time and again. I have broken my own heart. I have made myself valueless. I gave up my own worth. Only I can break that chain.

I have to remember that love is unconditional, all accepting, all encompassing. When I send love out, it always comes back, and if it doesn’t it wasn’t real. I must never stop asking the questions.

Do you see yourself fitting into my life or do you see me fitting into yours? Do you see yourself climbing up rock faces, jumping off bridges and out of airplanes? Do you envision yourself hiking through the wilderness all summer? Are you looking forward to a bike trek down the Oregon coast? Do you dream of exploring ancient lands, and ruins, visiting the history of the world? Can you spend an entire Saturday cuddling on the couch, reading, watching movies, discussing philosophy? If you can’t see yourself doing those things, then you don’t love me. You might love the idea of finding someone who will fit into your life, doing the things you love. And I can do that! I am open to experiencing all the things you are, but not at the expense of me. I won’t lose me in the process, I can’t. I owe it to myself to have my life, and, if you love me, you will be open to sharing it with me. If we are to be, we will bring all the things we are, fit them together, and build a whole new life together. That’s what love is. That’s what I want.

Wow, it really did just occur to me. The men who have dumped me weren’t dumping me because there was something wrong with me. They just weren’t seeing how I could fit into there lives and vice versa. That’s all it ever is really about. There isn’t anything wrong with who I am, there isn‘t anything wrong with who anyone else is! Gosh, it seems so simple now. The guys I have dumped didn’t have any real flaws. They were all wonderful in who and what they were. I just couldn’t see how we could fit into each others lives. Some of them were like me, willing to abandon themselves in an attempt to be what they thought I wanted, and I wanted someone who was strong enough to be who he was, with me. After all, I want a partner, not a puppy! And, I am not a puppy! Oh my! I am 41 years old and just now figuring this out. It feels so freeing! I guess all those growing pains have lead to discovery! Isn’t life great!?!

Well, finger is feeling better now, obviously. I’m getting off the computer now so I can go an make my life happen!


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