Surprises over Settling

“God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies…”

(Eat, Pray, Love)

  They say when God closes a door, he opens a window.  But what happens if you spend your time sitting at the wrong window?

Once the book finally slammed shut on my relationship with my psychologically disturbed ex-N, I figured, like any normal person, the next logical step was in finding Mr. Right.  But I was wrong—very wrong.  As the old saying goes, “We make plans and God laughs at them.”  The picturesque plans I romanticized in my head never came to fruition and I was becoming tired and frustrated.

Despite meeting amazing men and experiencing flattering offerings of dates, I know in my heart that I have not yet met ‘the one.’ And while I could easily jump into a relationship with Mr. Right Now, I respectfully refuse.  As my friends all shake their head in disbelief of choosing to be alone rather than acting as the other half in a pretty little couple, I am content with my decision.  Finding love, as I am beginning to realize, is not supposed to be easy and I am in no rush to settle for anything less than I deserve and desire for myself.  I don’t believe love can be lazy and I don’t know if I believe that love can be sitting across the desk from you at work—it’s all too easy to me.  In the words of fictional columnist Carrie Bradshaw, “Some people are settling down, some are settling, and some refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” 

But while I’ve been waiting at the wishing window of love, some interesting things have happened that make me question the purpose of this transition period of my life.  Completely detached from the toxicity of my past, I have begun to experience exciting educational and career recognitions that would never have taken place had I been consumed with my ex-N’s system of abuse.  It has been one of the most amazing periods of my professional life and I am so thankful for the many opportunities that continue to come my way. 

The first time I had my work published was exhilarating to say the least—and the pouring in of support, awards and recognition that followed was truly a gift.  An encounter this week, however, may have topped anything I could have wished for, as I had the opportunity to cover an event for an incredible, Emmy award-winning journalist.  After the event, a book signing was scheduled and as I patiently waited in line to interview her, I became very nervous.  What if she wouldn’t want to speak with a student?  Imagine my surprise when she pulled me aside to talk about my work for the school and offered to have her publisher Fed-Ex me materials for my story.  I now keep in contact with her through email and have the privilege to have my story featured on her Web site. 

Life has a funny way of surprising and challenging you.  I truly believe that God only brings you what He feels is right for you in the moment.  While it has been hard in learning to be alone, I believe that everyone must experience being independent and learn the beauty of loving themselves and treasuring their own personal talent without the shadow of another looming above.  Maybe this is my time to become the person I always knew was in me, and maybe with my professional dreams will come love—who knows?  I feel that to settle for less than you want with a person who can only give you less than you deserve is a recipe for disaster and wasted time in your life.  If I only knew what was waiting for me beyond the relationship with my ex, I would have ended it before it began.  As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”

Losing myself and my larger-than-life dreams and goals for love is no longer an option.  While things are not certain in life, I am completely confident that my personal and professional development was stagnating in the gloomy narcissistic shadow that was my ex.  I agree with Gilbert when she wrote that “it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

 My personal life may not be perfect, but I am thrilled to be on a professional track of accomplishment and success and I think I am finally sitting at the right window.  I am excited at life’s yet-to-come surprises and while the butterflies of new love are always amazing, I am anxiously awaiting the butterflies of reaching my own milestones.

Another amazing surprise...

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