This is not the life I envisioned for myself. This is not where I thought I would be at thirty-seven. This is not who I imagined I would be.
When I was a kid I would spend an exuberant amount of time daydreaming about my adult life (young and dumb). I dreamed up: kids, a husband, a house . . . an entire life (silly musing). But what’s strange and eerily unfair is that none of those dreams have become my present reality—not even remotely (hard slap in the face). There are no kids (blessing and a curse). There is no husband—not even a committed boyfriend (perhaps the result of my sharp tongue). The house was foreclosed on in 2008 (bad money management). Some of you are probably tired of hearing about my still being single after all these years (it’s okay to be honest). Heck. I’m tired of talking about it (really, I am). I’d much rather write about something else, but for some strange and demented reason I am stuck on stupid—in more ways than one (pray for me). This is my reality and it is far from the dreams of my youth.
Here is my problem—here is why I am stuck on stupid. I have always been one of those girls who would rather be in a committed relationship, but most of my life I’ve found myself settling for the “table scraps” extended to me from any man who showed me a modicum of attention (daddy issues). I think it’s time that I stopped believing in fairy tales (my name is not Snow White, Cinderella, or Belle). There is no such thing as a prince charming—at least not for this girl (do they even make those in the African-American variety?). I think it’s time that I realized that my life isn’t going to turn out the way I dreamed it up as a child. Perhaps I am destined to be one of those women who never gets married and never has children (I will not turn into an old cat lady). Maybe God and the universe have been sending me smoke signals all these years and I’ve been too dense to see them and to accept the reality of my present, my future (I’m thick headed).
When love has evaded you and disappointed you as much as it has for me, your hope begins to diminish and your light begins to fade (if you had any to start out with). I’m getting to a point in my life where I have accepted that this is as good as it gets (damn!). I have accepted that I am the perpetual cheerleader for my married friends and family members (I think I still have an old uniform from high school). It will be my responsibility to remind them to cherish the love and their companions. As for me, I’m going to have to continue to do for myself because it doesn’t look like any knight in shinning, or dull armor, is coming to rescue me from the castle tower (damn to being independent). This is my life: intelligent, attractive, educated, gainfully employed, funny, hard working, sarcastic, dedicated . . . and single. You may have thought that those first eight adjectives would give a sista a chance—but nope, not this girl (somebody has to end up with the short stick—and I’m short so that seems to make sense).
Disillusioned. Adjective. The Merriam-Webster dictionary denotes the following about the word disillusioned (it sounds so dramatic). Having lost faith or trust in something; disappointed that something is not as good, valuable, true, etc., as it had seemed. Love has been a series of disappointing moments (my bad—years). I have discovered that it— a relationship, a commitment, love—is less good than I believed it to be in my childhood. A man finds me attractive, he pursues me for a time, he loses interest in me, and then he finds another muse or object of attraction (no lie, it’s happened several times over). The process is repeated and the disillusionment persists and grows.
Disenchanted. Adjective. No longer happy or satisfied with something (according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary). I am no longer satisfied with my present reality—hoping for a blissful future. Being repeatedly dismissed no longer makes me happy (it makes me slightly bitter, but dark chocolate is slightly bitter and I love it! Does that make me a metaphoric piece of dark chocolate?).
I suppose (actually I guarantee) that I am disillusioned and disenchanted. Disillusioned with love and disenchanted with my reality. My solution to moving beyond the disillusionment and disenchantment is to live without expectations—for a blissful future filled with the never-ending love of one man (unrelated to me) and kids (besides the ones I teach). I know it’s a dismal way to live, but it’s safe and hurts less. At this point in my life I need as little collateral damage as possible (my tender heart has been through hell—literally and figuratively). No more making plans, no more hoping for a future that will never be (daydreams are for little girls and I haven’t been one of those in a few decades).
This is about living in the moment of each day. This is about finding satisfaction in being—just as I am. This is my life!