I had this interesting plan formulating until I realized that I might just be mistaken for an escort. But then again, why did I think anyone would want a 39 year old—middle-aged woman with excess skin hanging over her knees–who has given vaginal birth to two children–as an escort? Why? Well, I’d want to date me. I live in this head and body of mine and I sometimes still find myself lonely for just time with me. Do you ever get lonesome for your (Self)? (And I don’t mean physically—this time.)
My plan was to get all fancied up and take myself to dinner with a good book. I wanted to be able to say, “I got my red dress on tonight. Done my hair up real big beauty queen style.” Like Lana Del Rey from the song, “Summertime Sadness,” but I didn’t. I thought I would go to my favorite French restaurant, Babettes, here in Atlanta, for a table of one Valentine’s Day dinner. You know for a torturous daggering like tongue–kiss from the broken heart’s club. I wanted to blog all about my adventure– as a single woman out on what my ex husband has referred to as, “Easy pickings day.” I wonder what it’s called for Lesbians? “Pickiest day?” or maybe, “Earnest pickings day, or worse, I won’t say it, I bet you can guess what I’m thinking, “Easy ______ day.
In any event, I decided to stay home, (and not because I really thought I’d be propositioned, or because I thought I’d be easy or earnest) but because I just wanted to be alone for a quiet, romantic evening with my thoughts. Sometimes I like to roll around under the covers with all sorts of unhealthy thinking—like how angry I am or I plunge—over my head–into the depths of my pain, and other times I’m more rational, or even emotionally detached. But this night I was trying to remain emotionally involved, yet positive; living in the spirit of the light–love and gratitude.
Could I do both? It was going to be a challenge, but who wants a promiscuous date after all? “Not I,” says why.
I treated myself well. I went to my favorite yoga class first to set the tone for the night. There I prayed, stretched, moved, opened, balanced, and flew until sweat traced the outline of my breasts. Afterwards I went home and took a–stress relief-scented–Epsom salt bath by candlelight. I drank sparkling wine and ate chocolate chips while bathing. All the lights were out, mood-music played.
I stretched out long in the tub admiring the body that has carried me so far in my 39 years, for the strength and grace it represents. I reviewed my life and all the events that had transpired. I saw my girlhood self, and the awkward phase of being a pre-teen. I recalled the pre-children tummy of my twenties without the excess skin. I remembered the mounding roundness of my stomach at nine-months pregnant.The torpedo shape of my nipples when I nursed my babies. I couldn’t believe what my body had been through. And it was still beautiful.
I thought about how grateful I am for my pale curves and imperfections, my scares and freckles. But what I focused on most had nothing to do with my body. I felt a true sense of contentment breathing in my own thoughts. I love the way I think, my quick mind, my curious nature. I feel blessed to be the constant recipient of the entire goings on inside this active information processor. (I bet you’re glad I have myself too—grin.) And my heart, I get that too. It wants so much to connect, it means well. I alone know this more than anyone.
There is something else I’m proud of too, the way I parent. My children are such communicative little creatures, and I take the credit for this gift they received. Their dad gave them plenty of great things too, but the way they express themselves came from me. I’ve always been honest with them about life, and with who I am as a person, my limitations and my abilities. They have watched me fail, fuck-up, act in ways that I don’t admire–like screaming at them, losing my patience often, and being selfish, however when I know I’m wrong I tell them. And that’s what counts the most, for me, and for us.
This is what I did. I thought about my life and my purpose: daughter, granddaughter, friend, lover, wife, mother, partner, writer, basically uniting myself as one with others.
I was so pleased with myself, and all the self-love talk. What a fantastic date I had planned. As I relaxed in the water I thought about an email someone sent me in response to one of my blog posts. It said, “Your experience with abandonment has made you a better person because you’re aware of the pain, where it comes from and how much different you are than your mom. Look, you are an amazing human being. You have a soul that can’t be replicated. You are full of love. I felt that from the first time I met you. You need someone to smother you with love, to lay next to you and hold you and promise that they will forever be there holding you. Supply you with the love you never had. You need someone to lavish you with love, plant kisses on your forehead when you don’t think you need them.” Stop! I couldn’t even finish reading; it just hurt too much. Why? I didn’t feel like it was true, like I didn’t have the right to accept what was being said as real, as something I should have. And this knowing of sorts made me feel even worse. It felt awful to think of myself as unworthy of those words.
I still haven’t been able to finish reading what was written. My inner-knowing-spirit couldn’t take the ego-centered-self-loathing. I know before I can expect anyone to love me that way I have to be able to give it to myself first. I have to believe that I am worthy of that type of love. In order to receive it I must give it-internally. Or else I wont be able to recognize it when it’s happening. I’ve heard it said from a lot of people in my life who love me that “I’m unwilling to see the love they’re giving me.” My life-long friend has said this, my step-mom, my ex-husband, and my ex-partner. I am not the problem here– I am loveable, clearly–however it’s my thinking that’s the enemy. And this is why it was so vital that I spend this night alone just trying to cherish myself. (You can think I’m crazy all you want but this shit—self-talk, love, etc–works.)
If my mind tells me that I’m not lovable well then I’m not. How can I receive love if I can’t feel it? I have to show myself what it feels like to be loved. Only I can know in my mind how I love, which means that I too can know what the receiving end of my love feels like. Are you following me? I feed myself the chocolate and swallow it. If someone else tube- feeds me I never know what it’s like to experience tasting it, the textures, the flavors. I only know what it’s like to be full on sugar and butter, thereby I’m missing what it’s really like to eat chocolate.
And I want to feel love and eat chocolate. (At the same time wouldn’t be bad either.)
So this is why I’m dating my (Self). This is why I’m my own personal Valentine. I could’ve had a date with someone else, I had my chance with a few really, but I chose to spend the time alone, (and not to even put myself in the position to meet anyone else because I wanted to be a party of one).
After my bath I ate a forced and uneventful, healthy dinner of poultry and greens so that I could indulge on dessert. A kind, admiring friend left a rose, a card, 2 chocolate cupcakes, and candy for my kids at my door. She’s smart. I was going to purchase those things for myself to enjoy. She’s been paying attention to me it seems.
I continued listening to music, my glass of bubbles emptied, belly filled, and sugar buzzed strong. I heard this line, “Help, I have done it again. I have been here many times before. Hurt myself again today. And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame. Be my friend. Hold me. Wrap me up. Unfold me I am small and needy. Warm me up and breathe me ” from the song, “Breathe Me” by Sia.
Sitting alone in my kitchen I reached my arms around my shoulders and held myself. I wrapped myself up in as much love as I could send to my own heart. I cried for everything I had lost by not knowing how to receive the love I had been given. I vowed to continue working on myself, to treat my heart like my own private escort of love and goodwill.
I am finding myself again. I’m seeing that I’m somebody I would want to date, and love. I’m not the sweetest, prettiest, smartest, funniest, or the most soulful, or charming girl in all land, but I’m me, and I’m special (Isn’t that right? Insert audible sigh and a double-eye-roll.)
I can’t take myself too seriously. However, I’m so much that I do get lonely for my own company,and that’s enough for me.
Thank you for being a witness to my unfolding.
P.S. Here’s the link the song I referenced above. If you’ve never heard, I recommend you give it listen.