Thursday, June 22, 2017

Strength In (AGE) Numbers

Social media is a strange and wonderful thing. It can also be cruel and unusual punishment. It is certainly a lot of different things to different people. But one thing is certain for almost all of us--we are drawn to it like moths to a flame.

We enjoy social media. We go on there, often. We wake up, yawn, stretch, open one eye, and reach for the phone to check our notifications. Good thing--cuz the whole world might have blown up since the last time we were on there!

I had a recent encounter with someone from my past who had found me on social media. I didn't remember a whole lot about him. We shared some school memories, but I honestly could barely remember who he was. I remembered that, by the end of highschool, he had made some pretty poor choices that had landed him in a lot of trouble. I'm not passing judgment--I made my fair share of poor choices at that time. They just landed me in a different kind of trouble.

As conversation progressed with this "Facebook Friend", he quickly took things in a different direction. He told me he had a crush on me. I told him that I had a boyfriend. He told me that wouldn't last for long if he had anything to do with it. I didn't really know this guy from Adam, but he seemed to have it all figured out, and had us surfing off into the Cali sunset together already.

I've struggled with this concept with numerous men in the 8 years I've been divorced/single. Guys get in touch with me. Conversation starts up--friendly from my end, as per usual, but I don't get that vibe on the other end from most of them. It's something I like to call the simplistic rationale of "You're single, and I'm single, and we're older, and both single, so that must mean this is destiny." Either that, or the blatant, "We should just sleep together."

Back to my story of surfing off into the sunset (his idea--not mine). So, this guy was going nowhere fast with me, and ended up getting frustrated, and instigating fairly heated conversations with me on a couple of occasions. He had barbed comments to leave on my Facebook posts. Apparently I wasn't giving him the undivided attention he needed, or that he had deemed himself worthy of as my middle-aged knight in shining armour. Not that he was a terrible person. He was nice enough, I guess. At least he was when he wanted to be. I never said much in response, but I did end up direct messaging him at one point, and telling him how disappointed I was in him--right before I blocked him. One of his final sentences to me was, "You just go on ahead in your perfect little world that revolves around you, and live happily ever after." Not sure what I had said to deserve that one, but the only response I had to myself in my head was, "Sounds good to me!"

I'm keenly aware that the world does not revolve around me. I don't think I would be impressed if it did. It would be rather boring. However, the older I get, the more I look at my life and reflect on the things that I  have learned. The conclusion that I have come back to time and time again is that I'm too intelligent to repeat the past, and I'm too excited about the future to live in the past.

This is why I chose the meme that I did to represent this blog. I'm not at a point in my life where I am going to apologize for being a strong, smart, focused, determined woman. I've learned how to fight through my battles, and come out better for them on the other side. I've learned how to back away from situations that aren't worth my time, effort, or energy. I have good self-esteem, and I won't apologize for it. I know what sadness, pain, struggle, and misery feel like in this life. I also know that there is a bright spot in every part of all of those experiences, and that there is purpose and beauty in the struggle that we often can't see until we overcome the situation and are able to reflect.

I recently had another encounter with a man from my past. It was someone that I fell head-over-heels for as a teenager. I allowed this man to take a virtual wrecking ball to my life when he broke up with me back in the day. Because of it, I created huge obstacles and struggles that I would have to battle through for the rest of my life. There were years of picking up pieces, and building my life into something that was not only structurally sound again, but it became a mission to build and create something that was a personal empire of sorts. Something well-rounded, and independent that would be nearly indestructible in the future.

Anyway, he came back into my life via social media. I was more vulnerable than usual at the time because I had just gone through a breakup. We spoke on various occasions. Conversation was good. I could picture him as a friend, but the, "You're single, and I'm single, and we're older, and both single, so that must mean this is destiny." thing reared its ugly head again. But I realized something--I have not only overcome my past. I have blown by and burst out of it at supersonic speed. And I'm not going back or letting anyone drag me backwards.

When I would talk to this guy, his past would always come up. He was super talented in many areas, but the nagging voices from his past would underlie many of the conversations we had, and it became  a tiring turn-off. Whether it was ego, or body image, I just couldn't help but think, "The last thing I have time to do is glue somebody else's pieces together!!! I'm a busy girl--I can't take on more projects! I only have enough glue left to get my kids through highschool, and through their issues in their 20s!!!" 

But because I didn't want what he wanted out of the "friendship" he wanted nothing more to do with me. He walked out of my life as swiftly as he had reentered it on social media. Par for the course, I suppose. I wouldn't have expected anything different from him, really. However, it did trigger a few moments of reflection... 

I looked back on the absolute destruction I had once allowed him to cause, and how hard I had fought to overcome it. I saw firsthand that some behaviors don't ever really change--and that is OK, long as they don't drag me down and keep me stagnant and miserable with them. Oh, and I actually did a victory dance in my head--I'm no longer taking applicantions for human wrecking balls at this point in my life. My fortress is well protected these days.

My friend sent me this meme a while back. I find it very true for my life. As a matter of fact, and as I have said many times, "I would rather stay single forever than to settle for less than what I know I need/want/desire for my life." However, there is still hope for me, friends (because I know a lot of you do care, and I appreciate you for it)!!! As a matter of fact, I have big plans for my future!!! Most of which mainly involve not knowing where my future will take me!!! BUT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE JOURNEY!!! 

(: CHEERS :)