Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do again vs. Do over

Second chances.

We all need them from time to time, and for different reasons. Something no one has talked about yet is the idea of rebuilding yourself after divorce or widowhood and building a whole new relationship out of the ashes. Won't be me either. I'm smart enough to keep my mouth shut when I know absolutely nothing about a topic.

I've been in the same relationship since the summer I was twenty-one. I can't even begin to imagine the horrors of finding myself in the dating market again at my age and size. Frankly I wasn't very good at it the first time. But I have tremendous respect for those who can, and do, pick themselves up after heartbreak and move on with their lives. It takes a lot of guts o open yourself up to that kind of hurt again.

Those of us who write romance in any of its forms spend a lot of time talking and thinking about the HEA--happily ever after. I even have it in the tag line on my email signature and my website. Of course we know that in real life the HEA isn't so perfect. It's not always happy and as humans are mortal creatures, it isn't really forever. Too often life is about compromises and about making the best of bad situations.

By bad situations, I don't mean relationships with one's spouse by the way. Are there arguments, sulks, and flat-out battles? Sure. Again--humans. Family, job pressures, financial woes, illness...they all take their tolls on us and on any relationship. But I know that when outside forces converge on us, he'll have my back in a heartbeat. And in the paraphrased words of John Travolta... (yeah, I actually read this in an interview once, and it increased my respect for the man immensely) Everytime you're ready to walk out just stop and think...Do I really want to go back to dating again? Would it really be better to have to start all over? And every time, I turn around and stay. And that is one very good way to take a second chance.

Now in some situations, that's not going to work. Some relationships simply aren't better than starting over. In that case, you really have to do what you have to do. For me? A second chance is every morning I wake up beside someone so tuned into me that even if we went to sleep mad at each other, we wake up curled in each others' arms.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, I agree with John Travolta and YOU. Diving into the dating scene sounds like a nightmare to me. Hmm...bet James could write something really great about that. He's good with nightmares. LOL

    I honestly admire people who are tough enough to reach out for the second time and grab that chance. Don't know if I could do it.

    Excellent post!

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  2. Starting over? *Shudder* The older I get, the less I would want to do that.

    Great post, Cindy!

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  3. Oh, yeah... the idea of starting over scares the hell out of me. Great post!

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  4. There are so many ways to start over, to get a second, third, or even fourth chance. I was only thinking about the romantic second chance at the beginning of the week, but there are so many types.

    In my case, I got a second chance at my day job. I was promoted to manager of my department years ago. Then I was demoted. How demoralizing. I stayed only because I found nothing that payed better and eventually I fell into a routine. Then eventually I gave up being ambivalent and started caring about the job again. Then, to my huge surprise, I was promoted again to manager. I never expected that in a million years. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy. I figured I'd have to move, start all over, and take a chance somewhere else to move up.

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  5. Congrats, Ashley!
    Looking forward to your take on this on Saturday.

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  6. Excellent blog, Cindy. I missed this when I checked yesterday. HEAs are possible, but they require work.

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  7. Great post Cindy! Yes indeed, every new start draws greatly upon your strength. but i guess, that people do that, since that is the difference between living & existing!

    The HEA are a myth. The Grimms & The Andersons are to be blamed for that! they condition the mind of humans since childhood to believe in HEA!
    This makes it harder for them to accept reality later in their lives.

    You can give second chances, but I would not recommend a third or a fourth! Only a second chance is enough to tell you if the person or an act concerned is really a change for the better or not.

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