So maybe it sounds silly but I had decided that love was just something I needed to put on hold or maybe even just forego. I had tried making a relationship work and it failed. The timing was off. I was grieving and not even understanding what grief and depression meant and I didn't have enough to give to this person who needed a lot from me. My son had a front row seat to that failure and has been very protective of me ever since. Mix in a demanding job, family and friends and a relationship was just more than I could handle.
I don't regret the time I spent alone. It may have been the first time in my entire life that I spent time deeply connecting with myself and exploring who I was at mid-life after having two children, burying one, getting divorced, trying to hold down a big job and support a five year old boy while working hard not to fall apart. I needed that time to figure out who I was NOW. What I discovered is that there is a beauty to being alone. It forces you to dive deep into your thoughts and face your past. It enables you to accept who you are and then to focus on what your future should look like.
In December I found myself alone for Christmas. My son was with his dad and I just didn't feel like going to visit family. What I really wanted to do was travel which is a passion of mine. I settled on Budapest. It was cheaper than Paris and the universe just seemed to be pointing me in that direction. I even tried to recruit some friends to join me but I ended up vacationing solo. My first vacation alone and I loved every single minute of it. I toured like a crazy person. I was up at 8 am and going late into the night. In 3 days I walked 30 miles and saw most everything there was to see, enjoyed a Christmas Eve Vivaldi concert in a church, went to see Le Boheme on Christmas Night and attended services at St. Stephens Basilica. It was an amazing experience. I returned completely content with being alone and fairly resigned to staying single for the foreseeable future, maybe forever.
Oh but that's the beauty of life, isn't it? You plan and God laughs. In my case, that's exactly what I think happened. Someone I have known and admired platonically for some time had, unbeknownst to me, been going through a really challenging fall with a marriage that was falling apart and not by his choice. With a broken heart and an uncertain future, he was doing his best to navigate his new normal. We ran into each other and without knowing each other's situations, mentioned having lunch or dinner in January to catch up in the new year. Soon we started texting and talking and emailing. Then we had that dinner. Then another. And another. Then a weekend visit. And now we have quite a few more visits planned and it's fair to say we are really fond of each other. Oh, and my son? He's met him, is a big fan and has given me a bright green light to date this amazing man who is kind, intelligent, funny, witty, strong, steadfast, sweet and gentlemanly.
If you had told me at Christmas that I'd have a very special Valentine, I would never have believed it. But here I am, feeling like a teenager again in so many ways and yet feeling strongly that after 48 years on this earth, I may have found the best person in the world and it sure feels like God smiled on us.