Miss Indepedent

Inevitably, at least once a week, I’m asked if I’m dating anyone. When I say no, the follow up is always “but why?”

People are floored when I tell them I am truly not interested in dating right now. This was solidified the other night during this standard conversation. The person asking turned, sighed, and said “you are so independent.”

Independence has always been something I pride myself on. As I’ve gotten older, it’s become ferocious. I don’t mind going places alone or even going out to lunch by myself. I enjoy my own company.

I also hate the question “when are you going to have kids?” I don’t know. I don’t know if I even want children. Shocking, I know. But I am a person all on my own; I am not a shell that is waiting to create babies to give my life purpose.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in relationships that I thought would end in marriage. I’ve dated men who I very much wanted to make children with. However, I was never the type who planned her children’s names and wedding colors before getting my driver’s license. I was much more focused on getting into a career I adored. 

I have had a turbulent year, but I am truly the happiest I have ever been. I am about to buy a house by myself. I’m back in school. I love my job. I have great friends and family. I enjoy life on a daily basis.

When did independence become so rare that people either admire or abhor it? 

 Why do people act like I’m supposed to wait for someone to complete me?

An Open Letter (or Blog Post) to My Future Boyfriend/Husband/Cats

I wish I knew who you were now, ’cause this whole dating thing is a real son of a bitch.

Anywho, you are one brave soul. Do you have any idea what you just got yourself into?! If there is time (aka no ring/we don’t have children/you don’t rely on me for nourishment and shelter (more for the cat who’s reading this)), RUN. I’m serious. You just opened and jumped into a can of crazy with no swimmies. Are you nuts?

I’m totally kidding.

As I’m sure you know by now, I am really good at deflecting my feelings with sarcasm and humor. I am sorry. I’m sure there have been multiple times you’ve wanted to either strangle me or tell me to be serious for a fucking second. I hope you chose the latter. It’s just my defense mechanism, and at some point, I will decide that you are worthy of the sometime serious me, and will drop the act. I promise. Just be patient with me. I just have a hard time letting people in. Usually, when that happens, I get taken advantage of and lied to. But I know I’ve started picking better, so I know you won’t do that to me. Right?

Have I told you yet about my relationship history? My track record isn’t that great. Unfortunately, I can trace that back to the 17 year old me, when I was in a real domestic violence relationship. Yup, you heard that right. Strong willed, loud mouth me is a survivor of domestic violence. The type where someone you love (and believe loves you) tells you every day how awful, fat, slutty, stupid, worthless, and unlovable you are. It really wears on a girl. Luckily, I got out before he killed me (which my mama was 100% sure he was going to do), but it took a while for me to shake it off. I guess that’s why I work so well with offenders and victims in domestic violence cases at work; I’ve been there.

How does it feel to be with someone who works in law enforcement? Being a probation officer is hard work, and I’m sorry if I bring it home sometimes. I appreciate the fact that you don’t mind being with a woman who can whip ass and take care of herself if need be, and give me the space to do so. But thanks also for allowing me to be a soft woman when I want to be.

Thank you for giving me the space to be independent. Thanks for understanding that my mom is my best friend, and that will never change. Thanks for fueling my addiction for Michael’s and all things pumpkin spice. Thanks for laughing at my not-so-funny jokes and for not being embarrassed that I say “fuck” a whole lot more than I should.

But mostly, thanks for loving the good, bad, happy, weird, fucked up parts of me. The woman who used to think she was unloveable.

All my love,

Erin (your girlfriend/wife/cat mommy)