So, I never thought I’d be single this long. Seriously. Attracting people is not something I’ve ever found difficult, and I know full well that if I wanted to, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone who wanted to be with me. And I wasn’t single from age 14 to age 33 (well, maybe for a few months at 18, kind of), going from one long-term serious relationship to the next. You can see I’m a “couple” kind of girl.
But life does enjoy it’s curveballs, and so for the first time, when I was 33, the person I wanted to be with, who had very strong feelings for me as well, in the end just didn’t want to be with me. At the time, it was the biggest rejection I’d ever had (and little did I know it was just preparation!). Which was good for me. Instead of jumping to the next relationship, I had to leave my marriage all by myself, and stand on my own for the first time in a very long time. I had never had a checking account or a lease with just my name on it. But there were all these hours to fill by myself now, when my soon-to-be ex-husband had my children, and what can I possibly do to fill them? This process is called, as the therapists say, getting some “me time.” Basically, I wanted to think of myself as an awesome person, so anything that sounded awesome, that’s what I wanted to do. Which meant I ended up spending a lot of time doing things that gave me a lot of joy just in the doing, regardless of whether anyone else was there.
So, fast forward about four years. Despite dating and meeting people and even falling in love two more times, I’m still single. Still know it’s both the easiest thing in the world to find someone who wants to spend time with me, and the hardest thing in the world to find someone who I want to spend time with. Still dealing with two more rejections and their respective aftermaths, because I’ve had the lovely learning experiences of falling in love with two men who have no ability to be with me, for their own very good and valid reasons…namely, not even coming close to feeling about me as I do about them (I said it’s easy to find “someone,” just not the person I might actually want – life’s just funny like that).
And now I’m in Jerusalem flying solo, a place I never thought I would go to by myself. Never. I grew up thinking that my mother would take me, as she always said she would. But that never materialized, despite numerous other trips. My ex-huband wasn’t Jewish and hated traveling, so there was no way I’d get here when I was in that relationship, all 15 years of it. I thought after I rekindled my connection to Judaism about three years ago that I’d go with some kind of temple group or on a trip with my children. But I had no financial ability to do so, for various reasons. I thought it would be the best place to go on my honeymoon with a future second, definitely Jewish, husband. But that, of course, just wasn’t meant to be, either.
Now that I’m here, though, I can see why it happened this way. There was no other way this could be as it is, and it is perfect being here by myself. I simply could not have accomplished the spiritual growth that I have, in my own way, if anyone else were here with me. If I had someone else here, I would have become insular, looking to them to keep me company. Instead, I’ve had to talk to the people around me, and I’ve found companions every day that I’ve learned something from, either about the culture or our religion or even just about myself.
And let’s not forget, I still would have had that kernel of fear in my head, knowing that I wasn’t capable of making this journey on my own. Like all fears, it’s vanished without a trace, becomes laughable, once faced head on. What on earth was I scared of, anyways? Flying solo doesn’t mean flying blind – it just means that you learn to trust in yourself.