Why does it take us so long sometimes to realize that we’ve lost ourselves in a relationship? An old boyfriend of mine would say that this issue is unique to women and he finds it all quite mysterious. I am not sure if that’s true, but I have certainly been the “poster child” of the disappearing act for most of my life.
This past summer, I ended a really sweet relationship with a man I cared deeply about. As usual, when I need to escape from my gerbil-driven brain, I go to the movies. Film seems to act like a big eraser, giving me an hour and twenty-seven minutes of pure, blissful fantasy. Without thinking, I selected three “chick flicks” where relationships ended and women went through “hell week”getting over men, only to finally realize that the way to survive and move on was to focus on themselves and what gave their lives meaning and purpose. For all three, this came in the form of creativity in their work lives. One woman wrote a fabulous, feisty play about her time with the boyfriend. Another started a dress design business she had always wanted, and the third traveled to Africa to work with children who were HIV positive…different ways of finding themselves but every choice a path of purpose for them, not for someone else. I am just grateful that I finally got it…so simple it would seem.
The way to happiness both in and outside a relationship always lies in remembering your own life, going for your own dreams, holding your partner’s hand, merging in love while remaining a whole, intact, exciting, passionate woman who also holds her own hand on the journey.