|I felt quite heroic after ziplining through the rainforest canopy in Belize.|
Above all, be the heroine of your own life, not the victim!
My nineteen-year marriage ended in 2001. My boys are all but grown, busy with school and activities and friends and lives that have nothing to do with me. Boyfriends – so many boyfriends – have come and gone, proving themselves to be anything but heroic. And what do I have left?
I have choices.
I can cry into my pillow about the wasted years, the empty nest, the love lost. Or I can take a deep breath, straighten my shoulders, hold my head high, and seek out new opportunities.
I have family and friends who care about me.
And sometimes they include me in their holiday celebrations, dinner parties, and nights out at which I might be the only single person in a roomful of many. Sometimes it is hard to go solo, but it beats the heck out of staying home alone. Bonus: I usually meet someone interesting whom I probably wouldn’t have even noticed if I had been part of a couple.
I have myself.
I am teaching piano lessons. I am spending time with my boys. I am writing. I am blogging. I am beading. I am cooking and baking and sewing. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things I love and accomplish all I want to accomplish. But I can stay up all night and sleep all morning if I want to. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission and I am not accountable to anyone except myself. I can take chances and no one tries to talk me out of it. Granted, when I fall flat on my face, there is no one there to grab my hand and pull me up. Usually, though, when I stumble I manage to stay on my feet. Whew.
* * *
This afternoon, one of my piano students asked me my favorite color; I told her it’s a tie between purple and pink. My piano studio walls are purple, and I shared that my bedspread is pink. She giggled and said, “I feel sorry for your poor husband who has to sleep under a pink bedspread.” When I explained that I don’t have a husband, she seemed confused and a little bit upset. She is just a little girl; I guess she missed the memo. But I assured her that I am okay.
There was a time when I yearned for a man to take care of me, but I have stopped waiting for my knight in shining armor to arrive. He might never show up, but I will be just fine; it turns out I don’t need rescuing. Maybe someday I will meet a man who will support me in my numerous endeavors, who won’t demand that I become some sort of appendage of his when we are together, who will encourage me to take risks and love me when I fail, maybe even love me even more because I tried. A man who won’t care if I dye my hair purple and paint my entire house pink.
That’s my definition of a hero.