It’s been a long way for me to rebirth. Since my last post about Happiness, how to measure it when you’re under lots of stress, personal changes and master the art of balance within emptiness, I’m now feeling free to write again.
Since mid-September up to now I’ve been experiencing major changes in my whole path. Today I feel fulfilment and grace. And this wasn’t easy at all, many obstacles throughout the way, moments I thought I was going to burst into tears and just wanted to leave it all behind. Anyway, life has made me stronger than what I thought I was capable of. And now, not only I feel free to write, I’m also happy to do it.
After a long-term relationship that was already broken for longer than 2 years, I finally took the decision to move forward. To run into the emptiness of not knowing how it was going to be, being a single mom living abroad without family or resources, trusting the process of growing up and accepting life as it comes.
In this sense, I know there’s much still to come, and indeed time can heal all our wounds, but it is up to us how we master resilience when all we want is to step back.
When a relationship ends, no matter how big is the gap between what you had together with that person and what now makes you fall apart, life turns into a different light. And that light doesn’t show up as brighter as you would wish, it takes time and patience until you finally understand how important all the little steps towards change were.
It took time and lots of emotions to came up to where I now am. There were moments I felt trapped within my own thoughts, feeling that the changes I needed to readjust my life were far away from reach. Being a single mom isn’t any easy, and towards change you also need to adjust your own point of view. We’re not our jobs, our clothes or our circumstances. But when we are going through difficult times its normal to attach to what we think defines us.
Rebirthing is a natural process of growing up, developing our own human nature, finding out what is that lights our passion and what darks our sorrows.
Mastering this balance is an art, and there’s no art you can buy and have ‘kant en klaar’ (hand finished) within the time term you would wish to have. All arts require time, patience, practice and most of all, compassion.
By compassion I mean compassion for oneself. To clearly understand that every failure and every success is part of the growing process, to develop the necessary skills to understand, accept, let go and go forward with the flow.
For the last month I’ve been going into the major change of not only accepting that my relationship was already past long time ago but also to realize that I was now alone. Moving out from the house you thought would be the one you were going to end your old days together with your family, leaving all the sad and happy moments behind. And it wasn’t just about me; my children were also caught in all this drama.
When I finally understood this I was already living on my own. While still under the pressure and dealing with the consequents of choosing a completely different and unknown path, life itself was evolving towards the future. All I was trying to do was to leave it all behind, wanted to close the chapter as soon as possible and forget it all. But I couldn’t. I felt the rush of resolving problems at the moment, trying to give myself a boost of confidence I thought I needed so much.
A couple of weeks ago the revelation was clear. During all this time I was trying to unfold my emotions and thoughts, I was just rushing to the next sensation just to avoid the pain growing inside of me.
I had the house I so much wanted to start all over again; I finally came up with the resources I needed; my friends and family helped me all along the way with their love, friendship and support.
But when it came to fulfilment and grace, I was feeling alone and empty. Which was the missing link? Which desires weren’t fulfilled? Why was I still so angry?
During a night out party with friends the music got stuck between my heart and my mind. There was this song that made the impression I needed it to understand it all. She was singing live and it was beautiful.
I felt in within seconds that all the love I had now had an abstract shape, and from that moment and on I knew I had to give my pain a place. I felt my heart full with warmth and sadness. I almost started crying but the music brought me back to where I was. People were dancing and having fun and I was standing alone among the crowd with a broken heart.
Days later I was able to put all these emotions and feelings into words. I realize that what had happened was the only way I could see facts for what they are instead of trying to avoid them. There was something stopping me from healing the wounds and that was just only the space I had created myself to leave behind all the pain and disappointment I was experiencing already for a long time. I just couldn’t refrain it or didn’t want to confront it. Because it was painful, it made me think I was a failure and most of all, I realized that the love I once thought was forever was now gone. For good.
It’s kind of sad, but at the same time, it can be such a relief to give your pain its proper place All the negativity of the situation was suddenly released, I could feel it so strong that I almost felt empty and weak.
From that emptiness I was now able to build again. Build a new future together with my kids. Entering the void was what I needed to understand myself as a human being. I was now ready for more.
Among my (girl) friends, many of them were experiencing similar personal situations. Some of them immediately took the first chance to date and meet new people. I’ve been toying with this idea for some time, but couldn’t dare to go there, again. After a long-term relationship I was feeling kind of an outcast, older (and maybe wiser too), not having a clue where to start with. I always thought that if there was a person out there for me, it would have been clearly a miracle or a sort of magic going to unfold to show us both we were made for each other. So, Tinder it was.
Reality is that nowadays that’s easy said but not so simply done. The fact that if you don’t have a regular job, regular friends to go out with or a regular day life where you can come across with different people, then chances are that you have to find alternative ways to let new people enter in your life. That is what happened too many of my (girl) friends. Not that they are all doing the same, but it drew my attention that at least 3 of my friends were dating online, and they were very enthusiast about it. It’s also that as a fulttime single mother it’s kind of difficult to meet proper guys so long you don’t go out your normal environment.
So, let’s say I got myself convinced by the idea of meeting that special someone by dating online. I wasn’t still sure I was the right material for dating at that moment, ignoring the rules for dating (there are always rules nobody says nothing about until you make your first mistake, believe me) since I didn’t have to do that for longer than 13 years. I felt really uneasy about the whole thing, but I decided to give it a try. My friend helped me out to decide which pictures were appropriated for the mission and what was I supposed to tell about me in order to catch the attention of that special someone out there in online space.
It’s been a matter of two weeks looking into hundreds of profiles, sweeping left for Nope, sweeping right for Like. At the beginning I felt like a little girl in a candy shop, so much variety, so much to choose. So many men exposing their needs and desires, where was I all this time? (For an extended version of how to Tinder, stay tuned).
Anyway, I still didn’t date anybody. I have been chatting and exchanging some messages but I’m still learning my way into this relationship’s world where you get exposed and people expose themselves. It’s a sort of Facebook, like a supermarket of people. It’s kind of scary too. And sometimes it can be great for your self-esteem, it gives you a boost to realize that half or more than the men population is there ready to date with you. Or not. So long you both like each other, then you get a ‘match’ and it is then up to you or the other to break the ice and start to chat. I must say that when it came to the chat option it was kind of a big disappointment. Almost all the matches didn’t start any conversation, the ones that did make the try, stopped after two or three sentences without reply. And at least a couple of them just plainly said they wanted sex. Not that I don’t want, but come on, you can’t seduce me by sending me a picture of your dick. Next one.
As for me, I think it’s ok to experiment new things, especially when it comes to meeting new people. I’m a social person and I’m interested in people because I know everybody have their own story, and as a writer I just love stories. And people as well.
It has never been a problem for me to talk to strangers or to start a conversation while on a bus or on the streets. But when it comes to meeting potential dates, I feel blank.
And you know what? I realized I’m not the only one. I talked to other people with much more experience in online dating and many were suffering from the same sort of emptiness. When it comes to contact, it’s not clear for me what is it exactly what people are looking for. Popping questions such as ‘what are you looking for’ as it’s clear that if you even suggest the word ‘commitment with each other’ you are automatically ‘unmatched’. I sensed a lot of fear. Fear for commitment, but also fear to show yourself as you really are. Men who didn’t show their faces or just surrounded themselves with other buddies.. Kind of weird the whole thing.
While I was trying to figure out where was I missing the link I could realize that among the male world this Tinder app was not being the success they were expecting. Or it was that people were just looking for casual sex that could be the reason they don’t want to show much about themselves. On the other hand, I had some nice and interesting chats where in any moment the word ‘sex’ was brought to the conversation. It was weird, but ok. At least I had the interaction I was missing. But it wasn’t different from talking to any other guy I could meet in any other place. I did someresearch among my friends users and online, and this and this (really funny stuff i must say) is what I found out. Also take a look to this well-put-guide from one of my favourites women magazines, Marie Claire, no non-sense and good information.
One thing important I forget to say is that dating in Dutch-land is not the same as in other cultures. Apparently the Dutch male it’s being known as a lazy and boring one who prefers to be hunted instead of hunting himself. This has to do with the female Dutch of course. For women from macho cultures, such as me, we’re used to the opposite. So, to meet ends, let’s say there’s still a long way to go.
We will see. Long life to the virtuality of connections!
*In the mood for love is the title of a French-Chinese film directed by Wong-Kar Wai. A really beautiful and intimate story.