Relationships in your 40’s+…Your broken parts and theirs and do they fit together? If there was dating x-ray vision, we’d walk up to someone and see their broken heart and layers upon layers of baggage surrounding them. We’d see someone who had their dreams crushed by divorce, death, break-ups, job loss - we’d see a broken person who was trying to hold it all together despite some deep scars. Instead we date and are met with negative attitudes, anger, distrust, dishonesty and so many other defensive feelings hidden in the baggage. Dating in our 40’s plus is walking into a landmine and yet still having a glimmer of hope.
One month from today (June 4th) I will leave my 40’s behind and move into what I’m coining my ‘effing 50’s. Now, just because I’m claiming my 50’s as my decade doesn’t mean I’m going into them baggage free. My bags and scars may be covered in designer logos, but they are still deeply there. What I hope is that I am more aware of what I’m toting along, unlike the survival mode I’ve been in during my 40s. Let me also be honest and tell you that I really thought by ‘this age’ that I would have my shit together. I thought I would be done with heartbreak and messy break-ups. I thought I would have this love thing figured out and be settled down in significant other bliss. Originally I thought I’d be going on 25 years of marriage, but that wasn’t meant to be. I thought I would be done with tears over relationships and pain. I thought wrong.
I have nuggets of random wisdom, so here is one - there is no final destination when it comes to love and growth. We are energy beings and constantly in motion. In order to keep pursuing living our authentic lives and truth, we have to keep peeling back the layers. In those layers is sometimes deep pain and regret. In my layers I found deep pain from past abuses and betrayal. I started peeling back the layers only to find a bruised heart and shattered trust in men. I realized that the body weight I had kept on for decades was a defensive padding meant to keep me safe. When the weight started coming off, the feelings and fear started bubbling to the surface like hot lava. The feelings and fear were so intense and raw it was like lava coming down a mountain. I knew it could destroy everything in it’s path if I let it. I also knew it was my reckoning.
At present I am trying to navigate a love that I broke apart in my journey towards healing. It took cracking my life wide open to realize what I felt for this person and as I write this I realize it may be too late, although I hope that is not the case. You can’t always put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Or maybe Humpty Dumpty becomes stronger put back together? I also know that had I not cracked myself wide open, I never could have gone the distance in that or any relationship. I had a wall around my heart and vulnerability that made the Great Wall of China look like popsicle sticks. I thought in my 40’s that I had dismantled this wall - I had not. I just threw blankets over it and pretended that it wasn’t there. Yay me and denial. It’s amazing what numbing out can do to your true reality. So, here is my truth - I will enter my 50’s with no blanket covering the wall and with me actively dismantling it. It’s a big frickin’ wall too- it may take a while, but I’m working on it.
My mom said to me last Fall after my break-up that I could end up alone. I used to be terrified of that thought; today I wouldn’t chose it, but it could also be my reality. I hurt someone I love and I hope they still choose me. I also know I can't control this person or choice. I’ve been through a lot in my life. Someone with x-ray vision would run like the wind if they saw all of my baggage. I don’t have it all figured out and and I definitely feel like healing may be part of my life long journey. As for me and so many of my fellow travelers, our scars run deep and not everyone will want to help us carry this load of baggage. Not everyone will understand that we are truly doing the best we know how to do.
So here I am on the precipice of 50 and still stumbling through the dark when it comes to love and how to navigate it. I also know that the path to living our authentic and true life is not always linear. For me, that path is a super steep and rocky cliff covered in hot lava and rattlesnakes. Trying to explain it to someone else isn’t easy and very few will want to walk this path with me. It’s not safe and there are no guarantees that we won’t wipe out. In fact, if history is an indicator of the future - we will wipe out….. it’s the getting back up that’s the real measure of life.