I thought I started my life over at 40.
I left my husband.
I went back to school.
I had sex with a few people.
I made my own rules.
I worked on raising my son the way I saw fit.
I made friends.
And then it began unraveling.
Nothing made sense.
I gave too many people too much of myself and got nothing in return.
I did nothing with my degree.
I realized not all of the sex was very fulfilling.
I stuck to my rules, even though they were slowly killing me and my sense of self-worth.
I felt like I was failing at raising my son.
I lost friends.
I realized I’d just spent almost 5 years making the same mistakes over again, with different people. And it really has been the same mistakes. Allowing other people to dictate when I get to be happy and under what circumstances. What’s supposed to be a give and take is only that as long as the other person got to call all of the shots. It’s tiring and a terrible place to be. It’s been this way as long as I remember. And I’m done with it.
I turn 45 in February. I want to start over. REALLY over. I want to finally live life on my terms, not on the terms of others.
I will have friendships of quality, the number of them will remain low so I can give everything I can to them. They will return my warmth and kindness on a regular basis, not just when they’re lonely. These will be people who value honesty over feel-good because often, the truth hurts. This are people who will make me feel like I matter and I’m valuable, every chance they get, and I’ll return that sentiment whole-heartedly.
I will have sex if/when I want. It will not be a bargaining tool.
I will never apologize for loving someone, or not loving them, as the case may be.
I will be more genuine.
I will be more responsible.
I will be a better mother, a better friend, a better person.
But this doesn’t mean I’ll revert back to doormat status I’ve somehow managed to allow for the past 25 years, or more. The choices I make will be mine. They will be based on what is going to make me happy. If that’s giving to someone in need, I’ll do that. If that’s being selfish and keeping everything to myself sometimes, I’ll do that. Because I’ll be 45 and starting over. I will not worry about anything in the past, knowing that it’s in the past for a reason. The past is full of mistakes and life lessons, dotted with happiness that’s been quickly overshadowed by the worst in others. It’s a hard place and I no longer wish to be there.