I’m Not Kidding…Really.

To say people were aghast with disbelief when I said, “I was not going to be dating anymore” would be an understatement.

Virtually no one thought I’d actually go through with it, because according to them,“I get more phone numbers than anyone they know.” They joked, they chided, they laughed at my next career in the nunnery (as if I would wear those outfits) and how high the odds were that I was going to be a celibate Liz Lemon. Yet even after weeks of silencing the laughter with statements like, “This is who I am now,” my merry band of jokesters (aka my friends) switched tactics. They began to think that maybe I was hurt and needed reassuring words about how smart, beautiful and talented I am. Because isn’t that what we do in times like this? We raise people up in hopes that we’ll convince them to change their mind? Which is exactly what they did. In fact, their display of confidence and conviction about me “meeting someone who will sweep me off my feet” was so emphatic that I began to wonder if this is what it was like on Mt. Sinai when Moses received the Ten Commandments. So much flair! So must gusto! So much trying as each and every one of them attempted to say those same words in different ways. Even my high-powered boss weighed in by telling me to stop being ridiculous and get back in the pool, but only after he started one with everyone in the office placing bets on when I was going to meet someone that was going to change my current mindset. (In case you’re wondering, bets ranged from 3 months to 18, with my boss betting that at I’d find Prince Charming within 12).

It was touching, really, and I might have believed them if I haven’t heard all those generic, run of the mill statements 1000 times before. Yet as much as I wanted to yell, cry, and slap their hyena-like grins off their cupid-like faces, I knew I couldn’t. I knew I couldn’t blame them, for saying and feeling they way they did…Because haven’t we all?

The Place We’ve All Been

“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.”-Unknown

It was a revelation that only comes when something bad happens.

That heavy, dejected sadness that resides in our chest, sleeps in our soul and makes our heart its’ home.

We’re unprotected… alone….angry… overwhelmed with constant thoughts of  “What did I do wrong?” Why was I misled? Why did this happen to me? Again?

And it doesn’t end there. This is only the beginning of many sleepless nights full of that loveless feeling that tosses our dreams and grieves for the the ghost of “What could have been?”

And then we wake, feeling exhausted and distracted. Yet somehow we force ourselves to deal with the ordinary,the working, talking, doing – all while holding an umbrella to shield us from the cloud of disbelief. That disbelief that we don’t talk about, because we can’t bare to see that sad, pitied look that only comes after saying, “I’m not good. My heart is broken.”

It was a day after a night, much like the one that I just described, where I looked in the mirror and said, “I do not want to feel like this again.” I didn’t say anything. I just let my words hang in the air for a second, letting them breathe, marinate and become more familiar. And then I tried a variation. I said, “I WILL NOT feel this way again.” And for the first time in awhile, I felt relief.

We’ve all done it. We’ve all walked away. We’ve all torched our faithfulness, joined the army of quitters and marched to the rhythm of “I give up.” We’ve quit jobs, fired friends and left relationships with nothing but cries of “At least I tried” lying in our wake. But what happens when we walk away from something that even the most cynical people believe in? What happens when we walk away from the possibility of love and make peace with the fact that instead of finding our soulmate, we find the will to give up?