Phase 5?Category: General   Feb 24th 2015  06:51PM   0

One of my favorite moments* in this year's otherwise boring Academy Awards, was Julianne Moore's speech when she thanked her husband for giving her "a home." It moved me, the way she said it, so intense and heartfelt. Like she truly grasps how lucky she is for her marriage and her husband's love.

I just read an interview (conversation style) of Sigourney Weaver by Jamie Lee Curtis. Both women have been married many years and are big on family and commitment. Sigourney calls marriage incredibly nurturing for women with careers, "like a fire under you that never goes out and helps you go out in the world to do your damndest." I love the idea of being a team, having someone to support and encourage me and someone to support and encourage back. One of my clients said as much about his wife recently, how he wouldn't have the great career he has without having married her (and vice versa). Stories like that stick with me, more so all the time.

A few days ago I stumbled on what amounts to a love letter from my past. Something the love of my life wrote me I'd forgotten all about. It's decades old but I still miss him and teared up every time I read it. It's been so long since I've been in love, I'd almost forgotten what it feels like. Sometimes something brings the memory back, and it's so bittersweet. Wondrous and excruciating at the same time. I don't want to forget but it hurts to remember. 

Around the time I turned 40, overnight I suddenly loved kids. Like a switch was flipped. I was too old to have any, by then, and I didn't necessarily want to, but everywhere I saw them—grocery stores, restaurants, airports, the park—I couldn't help talking to or playing with them. Sometimes I think my DNA is having fun with me. Flipping switches at random times (I had my tubes tied in 2003, after all), or maybe I'm right on schedule ... I've lived such a weird life, it's hard to know anymore.

Lately, and surely due to my age and desire to feel settled and secure, I can't help noticing good relationships. I see couples in love and become transfixed. One of my favorite companions just emailed to tell me she's retired. "I met my soul mate," she said and I was so happy for her a tiny, excited "yelp" came out of me (alone at home, lol). My ex was my soul mate (one of them, anyway). He gets married a lot but seems unhappy to me. We had a few good years, probably the happiest of my life, but I was young, half his age actually. He needed me to be more grounded and mature. He needed a strong, loving companion who also pursued her passions. He needed the woman I became 20 years later (15 years too late). 

I had another boyfriend more recently, in 2007. Great guy, sexy as hell and one of the best things to ever happen to me. Last night I dreamed we were having sex, which was big fun but also comforting in that it felt good to be in his arms. I woke up smiling—literally smiling! Then I laughed at myself. I'm a professional companion and the closest thing I've had to real intimacy in 4 years is dreaming about an ex. I'm like a sober bartender or a deaf musician. I can give but am unable to receive.

I've had 4 dates in the past 5 years (in my personal life). All 4 men are fabulous gents but I was only really "into" one of them and for many reasons we'd never work as a couple. We had one great date in 2011 and that's as far as it will go. Another of the 4 I quite liked, but he's married now and probably going to jail if the SEC gets their way (so ... yeah, I may've dodged a bullet there, lol). The other 2 were fun, but there was no love potential, no romantic chemistry. I miss that deeper, thrilling connection, the kind that makes life worth living (in my opinion). I need it and won't waste my time on a guy otherwise. At 47, unless I feel real romantic sparks, I need to be paid for my time. The thing is, in my 30s, I sparked about once a year with someone. In my 40s, only once so far (well, maybe twice but since the other gent lives out of state, has a girlfriend, and never laid a hand on me, he doesn't count). This doesn't bode well, I fear ... not for someone who's tired of being single, anyway. (That's a bit misleading, really, since "single" implies some level of dating activity. I was single in my 30s; in my 40s I'm just alone.)

I don't think either status (single versus married) is better or the "preferred" way to be, but I've had enough of one and am ready for the other. I'll be 50 in a few years. I don't want to spend the 2nd half of my life alone. I don't think I can. I'm a strong woman but I actually think that would break me in half.

I just spent 18 months working on a passion project that may, or may not, ever see the light of day or pay one cent for my troubles. It's good. I know it is and I've been told by experts in the field, it's really good. Before that, I poured my heart into similar (shorter) projects that were highly praised yet paid nothing. That's just the nature of my art, at least in this economy. I've loved being a companion so much and hope to continue indefinitely, but I also feel stagnant, as if I've yet to step into my "real life." To do the work I was put on earth to do, the work that fulfills me like nothing else, and it's not companionship. It's something else entirely. So, what I'm looking at, basically, is entering my "settled" years completely and utterly unsettled. I have two great needs, one to find my soul mate and forge a romantic bond and long-term commitment, and the other to launch an entirely new career. This, for a woman who's had 4 dates in 5 years, living in a time of near economic collapse when launching new careers is a fool's game, at best. 

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

*The other was the song from Selma and the host, Neil Patrick Harris parading around in his underwear. (I only teared up for one of those things, though, I swear.)

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