The more things change, the more they stay the same

It’s been almost 18 years since I was single and a part of the dating scene. But having dipped my toe back into the sea recently, I am reminded the more things change, the more they stay the same.
When I was younger I didn’t date a whole lot per se. I had a lot of friends who were guys and in college for the most part was “one of the guys” as most of my friends I hung out with were guys. My more intimate experience with men ranges from 4 serious relationships (one of which was a 13 yr marriage with 2 children) mixed in with 5 shorter flings, so to speak. Not a whole lot for a 44 yr old. Since my divorce, without dating I’ve somehow managed to have sex at once a year, except this year I doubled that. Sadly a much better average than during the last 8 years of my marriage. Thank god for friends with benefits – a relationship which for me definitely has its place. Meeting new people is more of a challenge and takes a lot more energy.
What’s changed – Today people have their choice of online dating, 10-minute dating etc…all very different than the methods of the 80’s and 90’s. What’s the same is how people act when they first meet and get to know each other initially which at times can be pretty stupid. What’s changed is the amount of baggage you bring to a relationship at 44 vs. 18-25. What’s the same is the exhilarating feeling it is to have someone show an interest in you despite the baggage.
I struggle with the idea of wanting to find a more permanent companion and rationalize reasons to not look right now. I think about my teenage children who within the next 5 years will be off to college and then I will be completely alone. With that thought in mind, I take the time out to appreciate the moments I have with my kids and try to be more receptive to idea of meeting someone new. After all who wouldn’t want to find someone to be able to share their heart, their love, and their world. I have to remind myself to simply put one foot in front of the other as I re-enter the mystical sea which is said to have plenty of fish in.
I remember the first time I saw the ocean, the waters were so rough and went as far as the eye could see. Growing up amongst the giant skyscapers of NYC with weekends in the country surrounded by NE’s canopy of trees, the sight of the endless horizon view the sea offered was amazing to me. I thought it was magical. The thought of going in frightening. Now as I stare out at the open waters once again before me, the same scared feelings arise from within. But I’m going to try to take a deep breath and try to take one cautious step at a time.

Dennis Hopper kicked off my Mid-Life Crisis – Part 1

As a single 46 year old woman with two teenage children I find that in the last year – give or take -I have been going through a mid-life crisis. Just the words “mid-life” are harsh enough having ‘crisis’ follow seems appropriate though. How can it be that I got to the middle of my life so fast?! And what do I have to show for it?!

It seems like it was not so long ago I was a young mother in her early thirties chasing after toddlers. Not long before that I was dancing at clubs and concerts on a regular basis enjoying myself with my friends night after night. And if I close my eyes I can still clearly see the lake that I spent my summers at and the clay courts that I spent countless numbers of hours playing tennis.

But alas, I am 46 years old so if this is truly mid-life I should live, if I’m lucky enough, until I am 92 years old. That would be in keeping with the women on the maternal side of my family. My Nana, god rest her soul, was just about to turn 93 when she passed away. I believe she would have lived longer too, had she not fallen out of her bed and sustained a spiral fracture to her femur – it was the infection that got her in the end. I miss my Nana – she was my best friend.
So now I’m at 46 and in the last year a very restless feeling overcame me as far as my career was concerned. For the last 11 years I have been working as an equity research analyst for a very small family run hedge fund. But when I went to college I had made a very conscious decision not to work on Wall Street since that’s what my family did and I had no interest in it. Funny how life has a way of throwing you curve balls and you land up on paths you thought you didn’t want to be on. Its been a good path for over a decade but one day when I was listening to Bloomberg TV like I did every day Monday through Friday 8a-3pm, a commercial came on that asked “what’s your dream?” “What’s Your Dream?” Dennis Hopper would say over and over again, day after day until one day I started to hear him as if he was speaking to me. “Christine – hello, I’m talking to you – What’s Your Dream?” Sounds like a simple enough question, but when I thought about it for a second – I came up blank.
It hit me like a ton of bricks – I didn’t have a dream and when I sat there and tried to formulate one on the spot – nothing. Nada. Nil. Not one thought came to mind.I was dumbfound – how could I not have a dream?