For the record: I do not believe that women who can't find good mates necessarily want to be single, or are too picky, or are otherwise sabotaging themselves in the search for love.
I don't believe that people who can't get a book published in today's marketing climate are secretly afraid of success.
I don't believe that the 10 percent of our population who is unemployed wants to be so.
I don't believe poor people are poor because it is a reflection of their inner poverty or an "out-picturing" of their negative thoughts.
I don't believe that people who have cancer or MS or AIDS or any other terrible disease are full of toxic emotions that made them ill or in any way want to be sick. (I think most of us are full of emotions, some of which are indubitably toxic. Some of us were lucky enough to be breast-fed and/or to have inherited strong constitutions. Others drew the short straw in the genetic lottery, and/or had environmental factors that affected them.)
I have friends and acquaintances who are wonderful people who believe we can control our reality by how we think, by diligently "doing our inner work," by going to therapists or life coaches and uncovering all our issues. But that theory--seductive as it may be with its promise of mind over matter control-- doesn't jive with my experience.
I was single for years and years and I wanted to be mated. It's damn hard for a woman over thirty-five to find an available worthy loving man. I had to work hard for fourteen years--and I did: personals ads, going dancing, getting "out there", all the usual and unusual stuff-- before I found Christopher. Even then, I believe there was a strong element of luck involved. For which I am deeply humbly grateful.
I think it's damn hard to get a book published or a play produced. (Even though I have done both, and again, it was a phenomenal amount of hard work plus that luck thing.)
I think it's hard to have a family, especially when you are an alternative kind of person, not employed in a job with health benefits, not married young, to your high school sweetheart, not living within easy reach of supportive family. Not impossible, but difficult. Some people surmount the difficulties, others, for whatever reasons, try like hell and still find themselves unable to. This truth sucks. It hurts. I hate it. Yet I prefer an unpalatable truth to a big nice plate of delicious steaming bullshit.
I don't know why some people have an easier time finding the things that will make them happy in this life. (I say this counting myself lucky and happy and very very grateful.) I wish everyone had what they most needed, and the time to enjoy it.
We humans can create meaning out of dirt. We can find beauty and lessons in deprivation and hardship; we can grow from (almost) anything. But that doesn't mean that we caused or wished for or even needed those difficult circumstances for our growth. I have grown tremendously in three years of deep unconditional love. It's been a lot more fun growing in this way than it was growing alone or dating men who were unavailable.
This is a minority opinion in the Bay Area, but it's my truth and I'm sticking to it. I say, Keep wanting whatever it is you truly want and keep working and trying all the real-world external things you can do to get it. It's worth making a fool of yourself, combing through personals ads, going on blind dates, enduring folk dancing or Sierra Club hikes, or whatever it is you have to put up with to find love. It's worth braving disappointment, rejection and heartache along the way, if that's the cost of the ticket.
Some of the things I once thought I wanted were not the real deal. When I was young and a voracious People magazine reader--all right, I still read it--I wanted very badly to be famous. But I've come to understand that fame is a difficult thing to manage at best and a monster that eats your life at worst. So I'm glad I didn't get that. Semi-obscurity is actually much more workable for a poet.
Love on the other hand has been everything it was cracked up to be and more. It has changed me more profoundly than years of therapy, church or synagogue attendance, or any of the worthy activities I undertook to touch that ache in the center of my soul. Yoga does the same thing for other people; or shamanic journeys, or service work, or even writing. And some people are better off on their own, single. I know that. You don't have to be married to be happy. Hell, for women the statistics say the exact opposite.
But for me, the personal, intimate, one-on-one, domestic, sexual, romantic, stubborn, sometimes frustrating and challenging human love I share with Christopher is what I needed to bring me home to the heart of life. Knowing what I know now, I would go through everything I had to go through again to find him, to make this. I would do it in a heartbeat.