Now that summer is here and school is over, life is calm and easy and fun and fulfilling, which means I have packed my days full of socializing with friends, dating the wonderful men in my life, hanging out with my crazy army of monkeys, and working my second job. Add to this getting used to the new parenting agreement and working towards establishing my independence, and you have a recipe for great change, worthwhile challenges, and some (very manageable) stress.
I’m fortunate enough to work somewhere with supportive people. After my “breakdown” a month ago, I actively decided to take it a little easier. Give myself time to process and heal and make myself a priority. I told one of my supervisors this last week, and she just said she was glad I am taking care of myself and not to stress about anything. Having a job I love extends past what I do to having amazing, supportive, and caring coworkers.
A few days ago, I had a flood of social gatherings during the day. I had back-to-back-to-back-to-back dates, although only one was with a man I am dating. First I met a friend from when I lived abroad, and had a lovely coffee date with her. We caught up and giggled and reconnected. Then I headed off to L’s house for what was supposed to be a very quick visit that ended up being closer to 2 hours and involved my clothes not staying on. The last couple weeks, I’ve been actively limiting my time with L, because he’s not attached to anyone else, and I’ve been playing it safe to prevent us from moving too fast, because it’s pretty damn easy to fall into relationship escalation when there aren’t other people to prioritize in the form of other relationships and children. So, I’m working on establishing a norm that works for us. Then, of course, I had a bad day at my second job and ended up spontaneously asking if he wanted to go out for dinner the next day and had another date the next day. Maybe I’m fooling myself? But I digress.
The third date, which corresponded with dinner time, was with a girl who was my best friend in grade 10. That’s right, I’m still friends with someone I’ve known for 25 years. What’s unique about this friendship is that still, years later, even when we don’t see each other for a couple years, we just pick up where we left off. I last saw her 2 years ago. My youngest was still in his larval stages and we met for lunch and chatted for a couple hours. It was when I was adjusting to my PPD meds and I wasn’t at my best. So, a few things have changed. I filled her in on the happenings with F and then decided to go all out and tell her about polyamory. Of course, a friend of 25 years who has known me so long, doesn’t judge. She just accepts, asks tons of questions, and asks if she can email me with more questions in a couple weeks. We laughed and reconnected and the whole meal was full of acceptance and love. I got an email from her yesterday saying that she wanted to reiterate that she loves me no matter what. She’s good people.
My final coffee was with a friend I went to grad school with and we had our normal in depth, intellectual, theoretical, and kind of ridiculous conversation. It was also awesome. I haven’t seen him for a couple years, so it was pretty great to catch up. Then in the end, I headed to my parents’ house, where I have been sleeping when F is parenting, and chatted with my mom and my aunt and headed to bed. It was great. A day full of love and connection.
One of the things that keeps coming up, even in the people who know I’m poly, is the statement: “One day you’ll find *the one*.” This gives me pause, because there is no “one” for me. But many “ones”. It feels odd to me to be unapologetically positive about a tubal ligation next week, but it’s such an element of choosing to live my life on my own terms and do what makes me happy. I love my kids, but I sure know I don’t want any more of them. The “one” and the “no more kids” decision fit into the same general decision of making my life the life I want to live, choosing actively what is best for me, for my kids, and for the people I love, including the men in my life. I guess I just have to explain to every monogamous person I know that “the one” doesn’t exist for me, and that truth is wrapped up, intricately, in my happiness.