I Danced, Because I had Nothing Left To Lose

I left the house ready for a wedding.  Dress was on, hair was curled, and makeup was dark.  I felt as confident as I was going to get for that evening, threw a smile on my face, and headed to a downtown Portland ballroom that overlooked the city.

I returned from the wedding exhausted.  My hair lost most of its curl, my eye makeup had begun to creep downward, and my feet ached from a night of dancing.  I hopped in the shower and let the hot water wash over me as I scrubbed the eyeliner and mascara off my eyes and wiped the sweat off my body.  I took a little longer than needed, absorbing the hot steam into my pores, relaxing my already sore muscles, and thinking about the events of the evening.

It was a beautiful wedding.  Not just the venue, which was gorgeous, but the entire event was amazing.  It was one of those weddings in which you could really feel the love and energy into the room.  The bride was beyond stunning, and the groom, quite handsome in his suit, looked as if he would float away from happiness.  She walked down the aisle to Coldplay’s “Til Kingdom Come,” more radiant that I have ever seen her.  The look on his face as he saw his future wife walk towards him and their new life together was priceless.  I feel so lucky to have shared in their day.

I did my best to focus on the event unfolding in front of me, an event I have been looking forward to since their engagement.  It was hard to focus, though.  I wish my former love didn’t creep into my thoughts so often.  In my defense, it is incredibly difficult to focus on someone else’s nuptials without thinking about your own trials and tribulations in love.  I was one of the very few single guests, surrounded by sea of couples, young and old.  Much to my chagrin, the DJ peppered a few slow songs throughout the evening, one of which was Adele’s cover of “Make You Feel My Love.”   I watched as the aforementioned couples made their way to the dance floor, hand in hand, and celebrated their own love.   To say it was bittersweet would be an understatement.

I hate to admit how sad I felt at moments, my chest heavy with longing and regret, wishing he was there with me.  I also had to put on my game face around all of the babies.  It’s a special kind of difficult to see couples with babies at a wedding after the events of the past few months.  Naturally it made me think of all the things I was looking forward to, until that last week of December when I first lost the baby and then lost the fella.  I tried to brush those thoughts away immediately and just enjoy the evening and the new friends I was making.   All things considered, I think I did a pretty good job.

And then I danced.  I danced my heart out, as if the world was my stage and this was my grand debut.  I danced till my heart pounded, my breath was short, and sweat had to be wiped from my brow.  I danced and I laughed and I let myself feel truly happy for the first time in months.  As we said goodbye, the bride told me I was one of the photographer’s favorite guests to shoot because I had a huge smile on my face at all times.  The bride’s smother came up to me and told me how great I looked on the dance floor.

I went all out up on that stage, because I had nothing to lose.

As I sit here typing this, the energy is leaving my body and the wind is howling outside my bedroom window.   I must close my eyes soon, but first I need to put pen to paper and purge these ruminations from my mind. I thought about happiness as I drove home.   As much as I felt envy for the bride and groom on this day, I realized it wasn’t just their wedding, but their happiness that I long for, and I won’t reach that kind of happiness with a partner until I find it on my own. I am a prideful person.  It is one of my greatest faults.  It is time to put pride aside and become the best version of myself that I can be.  I have work to do.  I have things to fix.  I have demons to slay.   I have actions for which I need to atone.

Just as important, I need to dance more.  I need to laugh daily.  I need to find my own joy, because no one will bring it to me.  I need to discover new things and meet new people.  I need to stop allowing the past to interfere with the present.

My first order of business I have already accomplished, which was a solo trip out of town.  It was something I have always wanted to do, and finally just went for it.  I will definitely be planning another trip soon.  The second order of business was not bringing a date to this wedding.  Although I had options, I did not want to bring someone just for the sake of having a date.  More importantly, I wanted to prove that I could enjoy myself at a wedding as a single guest.  I could find happiness alone.  And I succeeded.

Tonight was a small step in the right direction, but it still a step forward.  I can do this.  I have to do this.  I don’t want life to pass me by.  I don’t want the chance for love to pass me by, either.   I am truly doing the best I can, and while there are still many struggles ahead of me, I saw a ray of hope in myself tonight.  A small glimmer that said, “you’re going to be okay.”  And that is something that I will try to hold on to.

Until next time ~B

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Someday.

Someday…

…Other people’s pregnancy announcements will no longer sting.

…I will be able to see a pregnant woman and not feel jealous.

…I will be able to look at babies and not feel an ache in my chest. 

…Passing by the baby section at any store will not make me feel bitter.

…I will feel peace again. 

…I will meet someone new.

…That person will actually, legitimately, genuinely fall in love with me. 

…That person will ask me to marry him. 

…That person and I will get married.

…I will be pregnant again.

…I will hold a baby in my arms.  

…I will have a family.

Someday.

 

The M Word, Part II

I’m here to talk a little more about the M Word.  The M Word that is miscarriage.

I don’t let myself think about it too often.  Usually just once a week in therapy, where I cry and admit out loud how sad I am, and how much I wanted this baby.  Someone told me that it was just a fetus, but to me, to me it was a baby.  A child I imagined holding in my arms, bathing, experiencing the first laugh, first crawl, first steps…

Yes, it was a baby.  If it was a girl, we were going to call her Sophia.

I recently deleted the list of baby names I had saved on my phone.  My mother returned the baby purchases she had made the day before I miscarried.  I deleted the pictures that the father had generated on what the baby would look like.  What our baby might have looked like.

I need to get over the idea of our baby.  We are not having a baby, and we won’t ever be having a baby.

One thing I have not deleted is my baby board I made on Pinterest.  It is a private board that only I can see.  It sits next to the wedding board that also only I can see.  I feel like those two boards just mock me.  As if I am just another 30-something cliche, mapping out my future on the internet, a future that gets farther and farther away from materializing.  A 31-year-old singleton who quotes Sex and the City, shops for men on the internet, and plans for a future that may never exist.

I saw the father last night, the first time since our relationship dissolved two weeks prior.  “How did we get here?” I asked.  Then I laughed a little.  “Well, I know how we got here.  But really… how did we get here?” 

Seeing him was good.  I tested the waters, bringing up the possibility of starting over, going on a date.  He declined.  He doesn’t think we are compatible.  I accept his decision.   There is a certain sense of situational irony in this scenario.  Two weeks ago he said he was serious about going on a date and starting over.  In an emotional huff, I rejected that idea, rejected him, and gave up on the relationship.  After some soul searching, I realize he was right, our relationship was broken, and moving forward in a kind of going-back-to-the-basics style would have been good.  I don’t known if we would have ended up together, but I thought it was worth another shot.  I still do.  Although I am disappointed, it will help the piece I am working on right now, which is chemistry versus compatibility in a relationship.  I’m still fleshing it out in my mind, but I will start working on it this afternoon.

It is hard to not only accept the loss of the child, but also accept the loss of that particular future I was building.  In a way, the miscarriage allows each of us to move forward and find a suitable partner to possibly build a family with, whatever and with whomever that looks like.  When I was pregnant, our relationship became extremely stressful, and I know I did not behave in the best manner.  I freaked out and took everything out on him.  I was really scared.  I pushed him away, he pushed me away, then we would pull back together, and just when we got to a point where things leveled out, I lost the baby.  It’s like a big cosmic joke.  The universe giving us the giant finger.  Mother Nature, the original honey badger, who truly does not give a shit.

Last night he said, “I felt like that was a snapshot on what our life was going to be like.”  I told him I disagreed.  I firmly believe that things would have been entirely different had our circumstances been different.  We weren’t ready to be parents together.  Not after four months.  We were still in the fun dating stage, and that was taken away from us.  Then everything got serious and scary.  I don’t think it’s fair to say that is how we would have been in the future.  If this had happened a couple of years down the road, married, or even not married, that relationship foundation would already have been built.  We both wanted to be a parents someday, but we wanted it when we were emotionally and financially prepared for it.  People said to me repeatedly, “Is there ever really a perfect time to have a baby?”  Perhaps the answer is no, but there are certainly better times to have a baby than others.

He would have been a great dad.  You can’t say that about every guy.  And I know someday he will get the chance to be that “kick-ass husband and father” he talked about when we first met.  He is always so worried about everything, but I know he is going to be okay.  I believe in him, even when he doesn’t believe in himself.

As for me?  Sigh.  Preparing to start over once again is a very depressing and scary thought, but I know in time I will be okay.  I have to believe that there is a family in my future.  The loss of this baby and this family will be with me forever, but it won’t feel so acute forever.  There will be moments where I think I’m doomed to be old and crazy and yell at the pigeons in the park, but I am going to hold out hope that my future will different.

New life plan:  I’ll continue to work on myself, work through these losses, and hopefully find someone that I can grow old with.  I know there is someone out there that I can grow old with.

Until next time ~B