When were the best days of your life?
Recently, I have been thinking about the happiest days of my life. I haven’t had a miserable life, and I certainly have lots to be grateful for, but it occurred to me that the happiest days of my life were relatively short lived. I remember in high school, our English teacher telling us, “These are the best days of your life.” When he said that, I immediately thought that if that were the case, then I certainly didn’t have much to look forward to. High school was lonely and miserable for me. University was even worse. I was especially lonely, then.
The happiest days of my life were when I was in my early to mid-thirties, newly divorced and entering a new phase of my life. Just me and my three little children; no extended family nearby and in a position where I had to make a whole new set of friends. I realize now that it was the only time I ever lived my life entirely on my own terms. I didn’t feel obligated to do what was expected of me. I set my own expectations, which were high enough on their own. I called all my own shots and nobody had to be convinced to join me on any of my adventures. My kids came along, because that’s what kids do, and every day I spent with them was filled with unconditional and reciprocal love. Just me and my three.
So here I go again, twenty years later, almost to the day, about to embark on a new adventure, living life on my own terms, sans husband, sans small children. I’m 53. It’s a different stage of life. I feel excited and empowered but a little bit nervous.
I seem to marry men who don’t actually like who I am. Initially, they are drawn to my strength and then they resent it and spend the rest of their lives trying to weaken me. Every comment on my personality, every passive aggressive action and every outwardly aggressive action are all attempts to take a swipe at the armour. The dents and scratches make them feel stronger, I suppose.
But, here’s the thing. I like who I am. In fact, I really like who I am. I know exactly who I am and what my limitations are, and I still really like who I am. The truth is, I am a damn good woman. So off I go to try some new things, resolving to continue to be the best I can be, and from here on in, I will live life on my own terms.
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