I’ve spent a lot of time rah-rahing about how my life isn’t as bad as people think it is, and I stand by that. But as I was driving to meet my friend L for dinner a few weeks ago (a half hour late) as she prepared for her wedding, I realized that I’m not being entirely honest. So it’s time for an apology – of sorts.
I think my life is awesome. I have an amazing group of friends, a wonderfully supportive family, the cutest, sassiest damn daughter anyone can claim, a good relationship with my ex, a challenging (though occasionally stressful!) job, and I live exactly where I want to live. So yeah, I think my constant posts about how things aren’t as shitty as people keep thinking they should be are warranted. But a buddy of mine from my last job – John P – said to me once that despite all my protestations, he could tell it wasn’t all roses and light. Which is a funny thing because it’s not like we were super close, and it always sort of surprised me that he said that.
But you know what? He’s right. This weekend, L and her fiance got married (and it’s about time, P.S.). The wedding was gorgeous and wonderful and everything you would want it to be. I got to see some very good friends from high school that I had lost touch with over the years, and I met a lot of new awesome people too.
Now, I assume by now you realize that I’m an oversharer. I write a blog for christ’s sake. So by the time the weekend was over, 75% of the attendees knew I was divorced with a kid and a gay ex-husband. And I had a couple of friends who would tell others how much they admire the way I’ve handled my “situation” because I seemed to do so with such grace and calm. And I felt kind of like a fraud.
I admit that I don’t take compliments super well. I never know what to say. But this was more than that. And when I flash back to that drive to dinner a few weeks ago before the wedding, I realize why. As well as I think I’m taking this (and look, I’m the first to pat myself on the back about it), it isn’t easy. It’s not easy to figure out how to be a single parent on the days I have K. It’s not easy trying to remember to do all the chores, bills and errands that used to be shared. And to do it in the midst of starting a new job and trying to be a good mother and friend, well, I think I’ve stretched myself a little thin.
However, my apology is NOT for not doing a better job at all those things. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that of myself, nor do I think it’s realistic for anyone else to expect it of me (to be clear, I don’t think anyone does). Instead, my apology is for not acknowledging it sooner. For trying to be Wonder Woman despite not having superpowers. And by not being upfront – either to myself or to others – about my limitations, I’m giving everyone the short end of the stick. More than that – I’m not taking enough time for me.
This weekend, I did some of that. In the midst of doing bridesmaidy-type things, I also took some time (because J had K for the weekend) to just enjoy myself. Hang out with friends. Catch up on old times. Drink a few cocktails. And not worry about anyone else. And it was awesome. I missed my kid, but I needed this weekend hanging out with friends and not worrying about whether her needs were being taken care of. I didn’t do a lick of work, and I didn’t feel guilty.
So I’m going to make sure I do it again. I hereby pledge to take the time and give myself permission to be a little selfish once in a while. Not all the time. Not even most of the time. But enough to keep my sanity and remain on an even keel. And I’m counting on all of you to keep me honest. Who’s with me?