My Dream Companion
“This is the life I wanted with myself.” — Shaunta Grimes, Medium writer
A single little preposition in that sentence shifted my whole world: “with.”
Most of the time, I used “for,” not “with.”
What’s the difference? In my mind, if I’m doing or wanting something for someone, I think of that someone as “the other,” outside myself. Wanting something for myself is akin to “I want this for you.” It feels one step removed from me.
However, if I want to experience something with myself, I’m right there, present, in an in-your-face kind of way.
Is it asking too much to be in love?
At 50-plus, living alone, I’ve often felt my life hadn’t started yet because I hadn’t found “the one.” Even though I’ve been a feminist from the gate and very self-sufficient, I was successfully indoctrinated by society (and Barbie & Ken). I believed my life wouldn’t really begin until I found the right man.
I tried to make my belief come true. I mean, I really tried. But it wasn’t exactly my strongest skill set. My attempts resulted in a nightmare marriage and disappointing long-term relationships. I suffered through all of them until they mercifully died.
My picker’s broken
Watching me choose the wrong people to fall in love with every time, a good friend once told me:
“Your picker’s broken.”
It’s true. I make terrible decisions choosing partners. Therapists and mentors who knew I wanted to be in love confounded and confused me. Why did they refuse to accept the merits of my goal? Didn’t I deserve a good relationship?
Instead, they wanted me to change my focus and urged me to love myself. They would say:
“Get into yourself. Enjoy yourself, spend time by yourself, and appreciate yourself for who you are.”
They said I was entertaining, smart, and magnetic. Why wouldn’t I enjoy time alone, given everything they saw in me?
But what I saw in me was failure, all because I still hadn’t found him.
Had my dream companion been there all along?
Today, I read something that put that concept in a completely different light. For the first time, I read of someone being “WITH” herself.
Wanting a life with myself implies that I am my partner, perhaps my best possible partner — not some elusive man. “With” gives me a completely new perspective on how I can live my life.
What an epiphany! Has something inside me been waiting for me to wake up all these years?
I don’t have to be alone. Because I’m not alone. I’ve got someone to be with anytime I choose. She is fun and intelligent and, best of all, understands, appreciates, and enjoys doing the things I like to do.
Isn’t that refreshing!
The grand prize
I am the key to the lock I’ve been trying to open all my life. I can be the companion I’ve been seeking. I’m going to make a point to spend quality time with my new companion every day.
Not as a punishment, not as a consolation prize, but as the grand prize.
Shaunta Grimes wrote that first sentence in her post on Medium: https://medium.com/60-months-to-ironman/the-anatomy-of-a-really-good-day-30a6ceb56721.
Sharon Turnoy currently contributes to The Startup, The Writing Cooperative, Invisible Illness, History, and The Brave Writer. She is a freelance writer, speaker, speaker coach, ghostwriter, and positioning adviser for individuals, business owners, and executives. She is also a lifelong champion for social justice and creative expression. You can reach her here or at https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonturnoy.
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