Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Only been? Already been?

I think it’s pretty clear that since my divorce I’ve been struggling, to greater or lesser degrees, to figure out what the heck “love” is. I talk my friends’ ears off about it; I read advice columns; I listen to Dan Savage; and I blog (a lot), and I feel further away than ever. I feel as though the more I learn, the less I know.

I am starting to think that trusting myself has got to be part of the equation. It was so easy back in the day when I thought that “love” was either/or. When I was looking for my “one true love” it was a lot less complicated. I didn’t have to reevaluate anything; once I was in “love,” I just ~was~. Nothing could dissuade me, because I had found my “one and only.”

Ah, the innocence of youth. Ha.

 Now that I more fully understand human relationships, with their ups and downs, and compromises, and gives and takes it’s so much more complicated. It’s more magical in some ways, too, though, because now when I’m with someone it’s a conscious choice. It isn’t some mystical hand of fate pushing me to be with this ~one~ “special” person – it’s me, myself, and I’s experience and wisdom ~choosing~ to spend my time and energy with another soul. It’s sort of more complicated and more simple at the same time. It’s sort of more wondrous and more banal in the same instant. Ah, more gray area.

Something that caused me to write this post today was that I was reading an advice column. A woman wrote and asked when it was okay to say, “I love you.” She wondered whether the woman is “allowed” to say it first and why her boyfriend hadn’t said it yet. She’s been with her boyfriend for five months. And one commenter said, “It’s only been five months.”

only five months

My ex and I were engaged after about three weeks of knowing each other (it was after three ~days~ of us being a “couple”). I think my marriage was an unparalled success, even though it ended. Sometimes you “know” almost instantly and sometimes it takes a while. When I was younger and life seemed to stretch forever I was much more likely to throw caution to the wind. Falling in love within a few weeks didn’t seem “quick” or “rushed” or “forced,” it felt perfectly natural. Now that I’m knocking loudly on the door of turning 40, everything seems so much more serious; every glance, every decision, every pronouncement has so many more consequences than it once did. And I’d be a big fat liar if I didn’t admit that my desire to have a family has made me consider the “big picture” much more than I ever thought was appropriate when choosing a partner in the long-distant past.

Way back when, “love” was all that mattered; if I “loved” someone, everything else would work itself out. It had to, right? That’s how “love” works, isn’t it? “Love conquers all” and all that.

Egad, I believed everything Disney and all such fairytale peddlers tried to sell me.


And so now that it “matters” more I feel paralyzed. The answers to questions that before flowed so easily are now inscrutable puzzles.

One thing I’m certain of is that there are no “time limits;” there is no schedule to how fast or slow love should or does flow. It happens when it happens. Or not. So for some people “five months” would be much too quick to even consider being in “love,” while for others, if they weren’t in “love” after five months they would consider it a sure sign that the relationship had no potential. We’re all different, and so is the way we love and fall in love.

As I grapple with this whole concept, I am gradually becoming more comfortable with the unknowns and uncertainties of the process. It is scary to know that at anytime whatever you have can vanish, but it’s also empowering to know that I have control over my own decisions. Of course, the corollary is realizing that I have no control over anyone else’s decisons. Damn two sides to every coin. :-p

Probably the scariest (and most amazing) part of everything is that I control my own choices. I have a hand in making my dreams come true. At the end of the day, what I choose is my own. I can seek advice, but I must seize the day and move forward as I think is best. I must trust myself, which is something I’ve been working on a lot lately in many areas.

I must trust myself.

“only five months”

“already five months”

Who cares how long it’s been? (I’m not even exactly sure how long I’ve been seeing my current boyfriend – a couple months, I guess. Maybe three?) It’s right when it’s right, and nothing so simple as ~time~ has any say in the matter.

You know when you know.

Ya know?



  Anonymous-T-Girl wrote @

You dropped the ‘L’ bomb on him, didn’t ya?

  pickypenelope wrote @

I didn’t – not yet.

I’m really still discerning what it means to me and what I feel for him and whether it rises to “love” or not. I’ve been so impulsive in the past, and I’m trying to be a little bit more deliberative. It was very helpful for me to remind myself that time limits have nothing to do with it, though. I’ll feel it when I feel it (or not).

But I read this post to him.


  Zoë Suzanna wrote @

“I must trust myself”

Yes, trust your heart…not your head….your deep feelings, not your thoughts….

Nice post…thank you.


  Aria Blue wrote @

  pickypenelope wrote @


Thanks, it’s very apt.

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