Opening and closing a heart

I’d closed up my heart, or so I thought, to the idea of relationships. In the past, I let my imagination get ahead of reality and overestimated the benefits of a particular relationship. In plain English, I settled. I so wanted companionship that I went to great lengths to make a relationship work. I look back on those times, wishing I could reach out to the person I was and say, “You don’t have to do this. You need to take care of you, not someone else who does not have the means, maturity, or inclination to reciprocate.”

Recently, I opened my heart, but what seemed like a potential relationship was just another version of those in my past…ones where I exhausted myself in a self-damaging way. So I didn’t go there. At least this time, I saw the warning signs early and chose a different road.

I’m writing about this to say that even if the purpose of this blog is to be “at peace as a single LDS parent,” that’s not because I know how to do that all the time.  Some days I feel like I’ve got it…other days I feel scraped up. I know we’re supposed to have faith in the Lord’s timing…and since I lose my cool over silly things and am very tired at the end of a day, perhaps I’m not ready for a relationship anyway. Even so, I’m human and feel a pang of longing at times.

You might say, “You have control over this situation. You can make dating a priority and get out more.” But the solution to negative dating experiences is not more of them in the same negative environments. The solution is to focus my attention and limited resources on things that don’t feel like a terrible risk when I have so little heart to gamble. 

That’s how I feel now. Maybe that will change.

Starting today

I am a single parent. The purpose of this blog is to help people enjoy parenting alone. I used to think I needed a partner to have a “complete” family. But after several relationships, where I tried too hard to make things work, I decided to find my own happiness, prioritize my child’s well-being over dating, and pursue a life’s work that was challenging and meaningful. 

I moved to a new community and entered law school. Leaving a stable job to do so, I questioned whether the move was foolish and if I was chasing an unrealistic goal. But now I see that God was guiding me to a better place, for both me and my child. God knows what we need. If we’re seeking his will, he’ll tug us back sometimes; at other times, he’ll whisper for us to go for it. I took a while to work through my fears and doubts.

I’m gearing up for my second year in law school. I’m not going to give you tips on how to do well. Frankly, I wouldn’t know what to tell you. This blog is about compromises–the costs and blessings of being okay with “adequate” in many things so I can be the kind of parent that my kid needs and the kind of person I want to be.