Jewish Journal

With risk comes reward

by Ilana Angel

August 20, 2009 | 12:47 pm

Why is it that when someone asks me for my advice I can see their issue clearly and tell them what my opinion is and how I recommend they handle the situation but when it comes to myself I am unable to decide anything? 

I always have an opinion.  I can sit back and keep it to myself but if the invitation is made for me to share it, look out because I’m going to share.  I can be supportive, sympathetic, comic relief, counselor, friend, mother, cop, lawyer, devil’s advocate or mediator.  Whatever you need me to be I can be.  Even if you think you need one thing but really need another, I can give you what you want and still give you what you need.  I am able to do this for everyone but myself.

I’m a very confident and strong woman.  By strong I mean I am a survivor and independent.  That said, I’m also vulnerable and a little gun shy in terms of a relationship.  I don’t trust myself fully in terms of my decision making capabilities and I’m not good at walking away from relationships.  My problem is that as long as I can remember a time in the relationship when it was good, I will try to make it work, even if I know deep down that it won’t.  It takes a lot for me to walk away.  That may mean that I’m stupid and naive.  It could also mean that I am romantic and hopeful and having gone through a divorce already, just want to ensure that I give it 100%.  It’s hard to tell and impossible to know.

I have my fourth date with “Richard” tomorrow.  Fourth date!  It’s been a long time since that happened.  He is really lovely.  He is funny and smart and cultured and really, really, really mellow.  He sees through my bravado and is supportive.  While he is certainly cautious in terms of his own feelings, he works very hard to allow me to have my insecurities and roll with it.  I truly think that regardless of what happens in terms of a romance between us, we will be friends.  That is a great feeling to have and at the same time is a bad thing because in my mind it gets me off the hook if I want to bolt because I can justify that it’s ok because we’ll be friends.

I love how he loves his children.  He has one child who is quite young.  When my son goes off to college, and by college I mean medical school, his youngest will just be starting middle school.  As I begin the next phase of my life he will be beginning the stage I’m in right now.  Is it silly for me to think about this stuff?  I should be focused on the fact that I enjoy his company.  Am I sabotaging myself?  One hopes that when a relationship ends you learn from it and move on.  I think that is only the case when you end the relationship yourself.  If you walk away from someone you are in control and bouncing back is easy and generally quick.  When you are the one who is left, it’s debilitating and recovery is slow and painful.  Will I allow my fear to get in the way of embracing a future that could be bright?

I have friends who think I’m a little too honest with my blog in terms of opening myself up to complete strangers.  I suppose it’s true on a certain level but if you look at the big picture, I’m struggling.  I’m struggling to find my voice and my way.  I’m struggling to recover from a broken heart and bruised ego.  I’m struggling to find peace and joy and happiness in the romantic area of my life.  I’m struggling to embrace the fact that I am middle aged and still have a lot to share with a man and that it’s okay to be more than just a mother.  To share it all here does not bother me.  There is strength in numbers and I while I can’t see you, I feel you out there and I suck up your support.  There is no reward without risk and so in putting myself out there, I have discovered that I am not alone and so the reward has been worth the risk.

I am certain I will find my way.  I am keenly aware of what my issues are and will tackle them head on.  I believe in love.  I believe in myself.  I believe that there is a knight in shining armor who can fix what is broken. I believe that he may already be in my life.  I believe that I can learn how to use my past to build a better future if I simply keep the faith.


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