Have you ever seen the movie, “Runaway Bride” with Julia Roberts? While I can’t relate to her running at the altar, I can relate to the fact that she didn’t know who she was and kept modeling her behavior after whichever man she was with at the time.
There is a scene in the movie when her tormenter (the next guy) says she doesn’t even know how she likes her eggs because she just orders whatever her guy orders. I may have known exactly how I liked my eggs, but I didn’t have a clear understanding of who I was or more importantly what I wanted.
At 40, I was divorced and in a relationship with a saddle maker. So of course, I was a saddle maker too. He happened to be half Native American, and I jumped in headlong learning everything I could about my native heritage.
When that relationship ended, each time I was with someone new, I would fall into liking whatever he liked. I was interested in his interests. From dancing to wine, hiking, biking, tennis, art and whatever else the man I was with was into, I was in 100% with him.
Not to say I wasn’t interested in all of those things, I was. It’s just that I took a much bigger interest if it was what the guy I was dating was in to. In the movie, Julia likes eggs; she just doesn’t know how she likes her eggs.
Metaphorically, I had no idea how I liked my eggs.
Like Julia’s character, after dating several guys it became clear that I needed to figure out who I was and what I wanted. But unlike in the movie, I didn’t leave them all at the altar.
I ended up getting married twice during my 40’s and neither time to a person who wanted me to be me, or who loved me for who I am. I can’t fault them, however, as I had some work to do to figure out who I was first.
As each year ticked by in my 40’s I became more and more confused about my direction. Life just kept throwing crap at me to test my resolve and each time I was left stunned and confused.
I went from saddle maker to salesperson to spa manager and then finally to real estate agent. Just as I was soaring and thought I had it figured out, the housing market collapsed and sent me crashing down with it.
At 49 I was broke, remarried and starting over. I was so happy when we moved to Napa where I found a new career as a caretaker of a private estate. I celebrated my 50th birthday there and everything was back on the upswing.
Until it wasn’t….
What I learned: I had come a long way, only to find I didn’t know where I was.