Learning To Love Whatever Side of the Grass You’re On

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We have all heard the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side” like a zillion times. Here’s the thing, I’ve been divorced now going on almost 12 years, and I’ve been standing alone…all alone… on my side of the grass.  In truth, at the beginning, I secretly wanted to punch those women who were standing on the greener side of the grass right in their married faces. Those lucky bitches…I would think to myself.  Usually followed by a… Do they even know how lucky they are? Okay, who am I kidding; it was probably followed by a… where’s a margarita machine when you really need one? But by lucky, I meant, they didn’t have to venture out into the regions of hell, mistakenly referred to as dating.  If you are single, from this planet and over 35, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Let’s just say that after-divorce dating needs to come with a warning label; something along the lines of…Caution: scraping the bottom of the man barrel can be hazardous to your health…your self-esteem…your children’s well-being…your sanity… and your overall confidence.  Because going through a divorce isn’t traumatic enough, we somehow feel the need to subject ourselves to even more torture.  So to me, married women standing on the greener grass were lucky and I was envious.  There, I said it…happy?

And yes, before you say anything, I know I used to be one of those women.  But honestly, my first marriage didn’t count, not in my mind anyways.  Probably not in my ex’s mind either.  He was never truly a husband to me.  So, in reality, I was always alone… standing on my side of the brown, crunchy, and dead grass.  Come to think of it, my ex isn’t even a true husband to his current wife; but, not my monkeys…not my circus.  Thank God for small miracles right?  There were times I thought that I would never be part of a duo again; destined to be walking my journey alone.  After being in a sexless and loveless marriage for 13 years, I missed the intimacy. I missed having the physical contact.  And for the record…getting punched or kicked by your toddler as they are throwing a tantrum when you won’t let them eat two day old candy off the floor does not count (not to be confused with my bottle of wine can’t be empty already tantrum).

Slowly, as my post-divorce years went by, I grew to treasure my lonely side of the grass.  I healed; from the inside out. I learned to forgive myself; I learned how to love myself again. Now, I am not saying it was easy; I managed to find plenty of opportunities for growth (that’s the nice way of saying I screwed up a lot). And I dated plenty of wrong guys… seriously wrong… like WTF was I thinking wrong.  But, it made me a better person.  It even made me a better mom.  I was a whole piece again, all on my own, no man needed.  I now enjoyed sleeping in the middle of my bed… every-single-night.  I wasn’t woken up by snoring… although there were a few times I awoke to the sound of my girls and their friends laughing hysterically… at me snoring.  I didn’t wake up freezing cold to find all the covers wrapped cozily around another body.  And the best part, I had the whole walk in closet to myself!  Me and my shoes were in heaven.  I felt like the lucky one, single but lucky, on that wonderful greener grass side. Had I been wrong all those years being envious of the married women out there?

Now four plus years into a healthy relationship, I find myself recently engaged to the love of my life.  I am the happiest I have ever been. Happier than I ever thought possible. Well, except for that one time I went to Macy’s in NYC… did you know they have a bar…in the store? Even better, they have one entire floor that sells just shoes!  Talk about pure bliss… alcohol and shopping… did I just hear angels sing?  Then there are times when I wake up to find that the love of my life has practically taken up the whole bed and I have like 2 inches of sleeping space. Seriously, 2 inches… he claims it’s because he wants to be close to me while we sleep, but I’m not totally buying it.  Or the times when I look over at his night stand and see it totally unorganized and filled with man stuff.  Not at all like my side which is perfectly neat and girlie.  I should tell you that being alone for long periods in your life; you get kinda anal about things like that.  And I wonder what it would be like to have the whole bed to myself again, or wonder if I screwed up my whole loving being by myself sometimes.  But, as I feel him wrap his arms around me and kiss me tenderly on my forehead, I realize that I am right where I belong. More importantly, I realize that true happiness isn’t being on the greener side, but learning to love whatever side of the grass you may one day find yourself.

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