So, this one may be a little preachy (which, to be honest, the last several / all of the other posts may be as well), although now I can possibly attribute the preachy-ness to me now being ordained. Plus, it kind of runs in the blood... two ways... I'm related to a preacher and it's kind of a Southern thing (thang if you would prefer me to say it with a twang).
Preface in the unlikely event I ever decide to tell any family I have a blog and allow them to read it: I'm not ungrateful for anything, or even resentful, spiteful, or even angry. I'm just stating observations I remember and now have the cognitive ability to analyze what happened and put it in perspective.
Anyway, this is going to be about relationships. And no one reading this will be asking: "Relationships? Haven't you already talked about those?" And the answer is: Yes... I think. I'm not sure, probably. But I haven't talked about THIS part of a relationship. I think...
But, like I have mentioned before, I don't date. It's not that I don't want to date. Or even that I can't date. Sure, I may be a little afraid for reasons I've stated in more recent blog posts. But another reason is that I'm not completely happy with myself. Mentally or physically. Physically, I would like to lose around 20 pounds. Not that I don't think I'm attractive from time to time in the mirror. It just helps if all I can see in the mirror is the shoulders up. But mentally, I would like to be sound and self-sufficient in my own happiness before I bring another person into the mix.
Me being me, I have a weird memory. I may not remember what I ate yesterday, or even 5 minutes ago. But I can (and do) remember the most mundane, useless information that I read / heard 5 years ago at random times, for no apparent reason. I'm sure there is a reason, and I could find it if I psycho-analyzed myself, but it's more fun to psycho-analyze perfect strangers and then tell them why they did what they did or what they're thinking of doing.
Getting back on topic, growing up, I remember my mother dating. And not dating. And how she was at polar opposites during these times. Most of the time changing her behavior as the relationship is dwindling down into the levels of catastrophic failure. While she was dating, everything was fine. Of course, there may be arguments, but at the end of the day, she was still a happy person. She would play with me and my brother, spend time with us and her boyfriend, and all around be a great mom. But, when the relationship was ending, or outright over, she was a different person.
For a while, after the separation (North Carolina law states that before divorce proceedings can begin, the married couple has to be legally separated for a minimum of one year), my mother didn't date anyone. I still saw my father on occasion, went to spend weekends with his parents maybe every other weekend. But when we were with her, she always had a headache. She didn't seem to take an interest in what me or my brother did (not to say we were not watched, but it was if being at a daycare, your actions are only monitored). Not very encouraging, things like that. This may have been attributed to grieving for the ending of her marriage, which is understandable. And it is not like we were not loved. I'm sure we were, and she had family she could lean on that would drop what they were doing to watch us if she had to go do something. But it feels now as if she were distant towards us.
As we grew older, and her divorce was finalized, she started dating again. Always long term relationships, spanning years. We had no revolving door of men coming in and leaving our house. And, like I have mentioned, during the relationships, she was mother of the year. But as soon as the relationship was over, the switch was flipped. Any little thing would set her off. I remember once getting in the car, and me or my brother had forgot our wallets, a 2 minute delay, to be sure. We were small, and just felt important to have a wallet to carry around. She became angry; immediately yelling, moving the car from reverse to drive, and slamming down on the accelerator, forcing our bodies to the back of the seats.
I could give a few more stories, but I think anyone reading this far gets the gist of what I'm trying to say. I don't want to be dependent on anyone else for my happiness; if anything, I want someone to enhance my own happiness. Someone that I would enjoy spending my life with, and if something were to happen to the relationship - yes, I would grieve. But I could hopefully bounce back in time and return to my old self. Maybe I'm not saying it right, it sounds kind of stupid typing it out like that. But, I do know that I do not want how I feel to be tied to my relationship status, and that be the only thing defining my mood spectrum.
So, if anyone reading this takes anything away from this post, let it be this: Find what makes you happy, and then think of building a relationship. Sure, a relationship can do fine pinning your happiness on another person, and I'm sure many relationships have lasted with this setup, but in the event that it doesn't (and it's basically a 50/50 chance that it will last, statistically), you would at least have something to fall back on. Remember what makes you happy.