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Newly Divorced Introvert Follows Her Heart for a Change

Baby yellow sunshine warms our backs as blue grass music tickles the airwaves at Minnehaha Park. We move through the festival crowd in dot to dot fashion, culminating at the ice cream counter. You’ve been dreaming of salted carmel ice cream for days so you order right away as I search for something fruitier and brighter. We exchange glances when the apathetic ice cream girl informs me that the two flavors I am considering are not available despite the signs for them on the case.  I end up choosing salted carmel as well, but there is only enough for the tiniest of cones. I’m OK with that but you share yours with me anyway.

We walk along the river and you show me where you used to play as a kid.  How the landscape and stairwells have changed over the years. We sit at a picnic table and people watch for an hour.  You tell me vivid stories of your childhood. I listen and share how yours compares with mine. I notice how your hair curls around your ear and touches the pale vulnerable part of your neck.  

I just want you to be happy.  I want to show you your amazingness.

I am aware that I am keeping you from your work, but you’re in no hurry to leave so I relax and luxuriate in your company. When it’s finally time to depart we head up the shallow and plentiful stairs to the upper level.  Towards the top you take my hand and say, Let’s do double time!  I hear it as double stairs and start skipping steps.  You in contrast are moving your feet as fast as possible touching every step. Oh well! We make it to the top despite the miscommunication and move slightly out of breath towards the car. I’m so happy you are holding my hand. I think my heart is going to burst.

Follow Your Head or Your Heart?

In the last few years I have made a conscious decision to follow my gut and/or my heart. My head has been demoted and doesn’t like it.  It sends me angry mail and reminds me that it still works in the building. I acknowledge Head’s logic but relish how much more pleasant the environment is now that intuition and love are running the place.

One of the biggest changes is in my love life.

I’m going to share a secret with you. I’ve never truly had my heart broken.  I’ve always been the leaver, the heart breaker.  This sounds cold, I know.  The truth is: 1. I have not had that many serious relationships 2. No one who could convince me to lose control, ever chose me.  3. I confused security for being in love. It’s easier to walk away from security.

A marriage counselor once asked my ex-husband and me if we chose each other based on mate selection or because we were in love. I’m not 100% sure but um… my ex was an excellent mate. I assure you I did love (and felt in love with) my ex-husband at one time but by the end of our marriage I cared deeply for him (still do) but had my heart set on the freedom that I desperately needed to grow.

I know many women who have no interest in dating post divorce.  I’m not sure if they simply want to focus on their children; they are afraid they’ll be hurt again or they are truly content by themselves. I am slightly surprised at the great interest I have in dating. I thought I was going to go all introvert writer recluse for a year or so.  But no, I am excited about a new relationship. I have a desire to experience deep intimacy.

It helps that I have good men in my orbit.  They give me hope and cause to dream. And occasionally take me for salted carmel ice cream.

Ironically, I’ve never felt/been so independent. I have my own passionate pursuits, support system, self-awareness and rich inner world (yay! for this introvert trait). It’s almost like I have more to offer now so I want to take my bad self out and share.;). Give to someone else in the best, most loving way but also know I can land softly in my own self-created and self-sufficient world if need be.

Strength and Vulnerability

Now what? Now I am open to falling, to losing control. I feel like I am wearing a newborn heart on the outside of my body but also have super hero powers. I’m open and  assailable but stronger at the same time. I believe I can survive being hurt (I could be totally wrong).

Not about security this time. It’s more about physical chemistry and the kind of connection that makes you gasp. I almost feel guilty because love is no longer governed by practicality. I know how to carefully care for myself and my children but can also include passion in the mix. My heart and my body can do some serious making out in the basement with only occasional interruptions from my head saying, Hey what are you doing down there? None of that under my roof! 

I am free to love someone like me rather than someone who helps me. I don’t need someone. I want someone. Perhaps an introvert this time?

I have a better understanding of what true love is for me. I know what I desire and am not afraid to go for it. I will risk getting my heart broken.

Do you follow your head or your heart? Why? Have you had your heart broken? How did it change you?

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  1. rinataur February 22, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

    I literally,not two minutes ago, just opened four browser tabs from a Google search of “newly divorced not sure where to move”. [That’s me; that’s where I am.] Your site was browser tab #4, but something called me to jump here to this post.

    I very much admire where you are (as of the writing of this post). I’m still at that point where I feel stuck with all the “stuff” (emotionally and materialistically) that the ex left me with, even though I’m the one who wanted the divorce. I’m very self-aware, though I’ve always maintained a humbleness and perhaps question myself too much. I’m just at a point where I’m not sure where I’m supposed to go. There are huge adult tasks that have to be handled (that the ex decided he doesn’t have to deal with or help with) before I can really move on. Aside from knowing I’m still a bit delayed, I just have no idea how to reinvent myself, or create that new life for myself and my kids that I’ve dreamed about for so long. I do know that the three of us deserve some kind of awesome life, even though I don’t have a clue what that’s supposed to look like. Meanwhile, I feel distracted (somewhat distraught, or maybe saddened) by the idea of not being wanted, by anyone. I don’t want to ever “need” anyone in my life again, but I know that I want to want someone and have that reciprocated.

    Your post has been timely and inspiring. I haven’t had a chance to check out your full blog. I just wanted to apparently share my brief story with a stranger who seems to understand some of the same battles. So, thank you!

    • Brenda Knowles February 26, 2014 at 7:57 am - Reply

      Hello! I’m so sorry for my late response. I read your comment days ago and then got lost in my daily whirlwind. I want to tell you that all you have to do is breathe and keep putting one foot in front of the other. For now.:) Your heart and eyes are wide open. You will see things differently and more vividly. The right next move will become apparent. Love your kids. Love yourself. Heal through friendships, writing, creating, loving/helping others, trying new things. As long as you are open to possibilities (which it sounds like you are) they will arrive.

      You will carefully and selectively find someone to want who will want you. You will undoubtedly have a few relationships that will teach you vital lessons. They may not be keepers but you will learn. Here is a website that I have found helpful Shelly has some excellent advice about being a healthy complex woman open to love.

      Peace and strength to you. This is your time of incredible growth. Pay attention.:)

      • rinataur February 26, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

        Thank you for your reply! I’ve subscribed to Shelly’s site as well. Thank you again 🙂

  2. Zen Greenway September 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    You go, girl! My head and heart seem to have learned to cooperate to help me get the things I want. For me, it’s a question of which to listen to and when. Before I met the human who could make me happiest (besides me!), I pursued love and passion without regard for emotional consequences. I wore my broken hearts like a charm bracelet. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Eat that ice cream! (Mmmm, salted caramel.)

    • brennagee September 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      In reality I’m following my heart first and then making sure everything is copacetic with my head.;)
      I love the broken hearts charm bracelet image! I enjoy your passion! Thanks for reading and commenting. I definitely intend to indulge in more ice cream.:)

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