Fork in the Road
Love and Pain
I’m not proud to admit this, but prior to my last relationship, I loved very freely. I desperately sought affirmation and attention from others (particularly males) because I lacked the confidence to look within myself for it. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was the ugliest person in the building. When I was out in public, I feared that I was being judged and people were talking about me. Sometimes people were ACTUALLY talking about me.
My lack of self-worth and incredible immaturity resulted in magnetizing towards ‘ugly’ personalities, narcissists, alcoholics, party animals, unmotivated people, and men not willing to commit. The more of them I dated or associated with, the more I began to spiral. I was so ashamed of the choices I made and it was not unusual for me to cry most days in disgust towards the woman I was becoming. And because of my poor self-esteem, I was a chronic clinger. I dated this wonderful man when I was 21 and destroyed it because of my horrible self-loathing and clingy nature. A man that was incredibly wonderful and patient with me, one day lost patience and realized that our journeys were no longer aligning so walked away. My journey got worse before it got better, but that’s another story.
The Fork in the Road
There comes a point where one hits a fork in the road: Does the behavior continue and the next generation is influenced or does the behavior stop and long journey to recovery begin? I can tell you that there’s something about being a single parent and being thrown down into tons of responsibility that causes some impacting change. I still recall that night that light switched on. After I went on my last (very disappointing) coffee date 3 years ago, I remember getting home and starting to prepare dinner. Tayla was with her dad and I had this moment where I was looking at a photo of her and I on the wall. There was this part of me that desperately wanted to model to her what being a strong, happy and independent woman looked like. I desperately wanted her to grow up knowing that she could do so much on her own without the validation of someone. I was already making massive changes in my life, but I knew it was time to address myself further. I had so many dreams: buying a house, going overseas, writing a book, building up my blog, working up the ladder, so many things. Some of these things I thought I could only do when I met someone. I used to say that I would move out of my last house once I got married and I wanted to go overseas with a man in tow to ‘protect us’ – man I have changed hahaha!
Just Keep Living Despite the Stigma
From there, my mantra became: keep living, growing and model to Tayla what a strong, happy and independent woman looks like. I have done so much more in three years that I could EVER imagine! I took Tayla to Tasmania in 2014, Japan in 2015, bought a house in 2016, the profile of my blog is slowly building, adopted a puppy and kitten, amongst other things. Has it been easy? Definitely not! I really hate putting it like this (and I don’t care what backlash I get), being a single mother through choice is sadly still a stigma. Society still isn’t completely sold on the concept that single mothers are very capable of doing incredible things without validation or a male to hold their hand. As soon as ‘single’ is ticked on an application form and your child is with you, suddenly people have sympathy for you. Or people assume that you’re dating a million different men or that you’re going to steal someone’s husband/boyfriend. When a single mum wants to be ‘independent’, ‘achieve goals’ or ‘conquer the world’, they are seen as ‘feminists’ or ‘man haters’. Anyway, I think I have made my point…. Back to the blog.
Evolving Views on Dating
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t been on a date in three years. For anyone that knew me over a decade ago, that’s a massive deal for me. It’s a massive evolution on my part to gain the confidence and strength to look past the single mother stigmas as well as my own self-worth to pursue dreams and model to Tayla what strong and happy woman looks like. The more I evolve in my personal life, the more my list adapts. I have become more specific in what I want, because I want him to complement the life I am creating for Tayla and myself.
Although I don’t NEED a man as such (my life is great), at some point I would love to meet someone again and get married. I think the difference between now and a decade ago is I am a little smarter with my choices. I’m not fussy, I’m realistic. I want my daughter’s male figures to be as strong as the female figures in her life. I don’t want a boy who hides, but a man who is bold enough to take charge. I don’t want a clinger who keeps checking up on me, rather gives me the space to continue to grow and trusts I am faithful. I don’t want a pessimist, but a man who is confident about a positive future. I want someone who shares similar interests so we can encourage each other to get better. I don’t want a boy who plays games, but a man who is willing to step up be a part of an instant family. I don’t want a boy who doesn’t believe in anything, but rather a man who chooses to believe and surrender to something out there bigger than him and his ego.
Allow me to state yet again, I love my life and I am happy with what I have. The longer I am single, the more confident I am in what I want and the willingness to wait for it. Despite society trying to conform us to the belief that he doesn’t exist, I choose not to listen. I choose to believe he’s out there and will one-day become a part of the awesome journey that is mine and Tayla’s. I am thankful for the journey so far and look to an amazing future ahead with or without someone special to share it with.