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    Posted May 21, 2014 by
    LucyConnor
    Location
    Athens, Georgia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The written word: Your personal essays

    More from LucyConnor

    Broken Down and Built Back Better than Before

     

    By Lucy Connor

     

    Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I do not see life and learning as a series of hardships strung together with a little joy in-between. On the contrary, I see life as shining and screaming with joy, with moments of heartbreak stuck in…to keep us appreciative of the innate goodness of life.

     

    To be clear about this, I am not an ooey-gooey, fake laugh, smile till you make everyone else’s face hurt kind of girl. I actually probably scowl more than smile and spend far too much time complaining about things I have no control over. Most would probably not call me optimistic even. The truth is, however, that I am happy…truly happy.

     

    When barriers appear in my life, I grumble a lot, and then I set about finding a way to make them disappear. I rarely spend a ton of time lamenting a lost love and truthfully have only had a few experiences in my life that would qualify as awful. The years leading to my divorce were, admittedly, pretty bad. That being said, I spent a lot of time writing, talking, reading about and exploring all of the reasons my marriage was failing. I was working it out as it was happening and when it finally caved, there was little sadness, but for the loss of a dream.

     

    In the single life I have encountered a different kind of “break-down”. This situation is akin to how I felt as an awkward teenager. I have had my confidence broken down in more ways than I care to count. I used to think I was confident, smart, independent, talented, hard-working and kind AND that all those attributes counted for something with members of the opposite sex. I learned quickly after entering the dating arena that those qualities did not matter to most of the men I met. What mattered were a young age and a model face and body…neither of which I have. I went from a woman full of self-confidence and hope for finding my forever, to one who truly believed that there was no forever in my future.

     

    Undaunted and frankly, unbelieving in this new found discovery, I kept going further and further into the murky waters of middle aged dating. I have found many friends, but no one that fits. I have been rejected countless times, have had a few relationships that were built on sandy ground to say the least, and one or two brief encounters with people who I was interested in on a deeper level, but for one reason or another did not have the same interest in me. With each new failure, came more questioning of myself and my self-worth as a potential partner.

     

    Somewhere, somehow I have been able to make peace with this “break-down”. I am of the belief that true love does not hurt. True love should be the most beautiful, comforting, uplifting and safe place in the world. True love cannot happen between two people if both people are not happy with themselves individually. In my head, I knew all of this, but until now never believed it. I can say with relative certainty at this point, that I am good with being single for the rest of my life. I have conquered the “break-down” of being single again and have found happiness within myself. If my forever should ever find his way into my life, I am ready. I am happy and better than ever before, because I have found a true love for and peace within myself.

     

    If he does not show up, I know that I can still be single, happy and full of life and passion. I can date for fun, without expectation and neediness, and never allow the dating scene to break me down again.

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