Growing Pains

I’m living in a new city, not far from home but far enough to miss home. I don’t get back to Miami as often as I’d like to but I try to get down there every few months. Living in Tampa hasn’t been what I thought it would be and while I recognize the potential and the vibrancy here, nothing compares to home. Tampa is today what Miami was 15-20 years ago and as much as I want to be a part of its growth, I feel defeated before I can even make a stamp on this city.

Meeting new people here is just as challenging as it was in Miami. The only advantage is that there’s a bigger population of people my age than I found back home. The disadvantage is that most people my age are either married or religious and while I don’t hold neither of those things against anyone, I simply can’t relate.

I’ve met a couple of women here… middle-aged single moms but something seems off in our connection. I crave deep, intellectual conversations that inspire creativity and social movement and while these ladies are beautiful and intelligent in their own right, getting through to them, getting them to open up about their insecurities isn’t easy. Ultimately, connections only happen when we share our struggles and fears, and find strength in that comradery.

I want to inspire deep conversations, difficult conversations about personal topics and self-doubt, parenting, dating, and self-image. I live in a society where women my age dread the aging process- I dread it too but I can’t prevent it so I’m trying to age as gracefully as I can. Still, my medical issues cause additional obstacles, add a layer of uncertainty and that’s especially difficult when trying to date. That’s something that most other women don’t face, they have no idea what that feels like and so I feel alone in my own personal struggle.

I’m trying to dig myself into my work, my writing and my own personal growth. I have to because I’ve come to the very painful realization that my daughter’s father will never help me with her expenses. He couldn’t even handle the simple task of securing summer camp. THAT is another struggle that I wish I could share with other women going through the same thing. A tool is more useful than this man and that in itself is my greatest motivation to provide my daughter with the best childhood I can give her while she’s still a child.

I suppose most women would join support groups for breast cancer or single moms or menopause, for that matter, but I’m not that kind of woman. I want more. I want life-long friendships. I want a sisterhood. I want to share my deepest, darkest secrets and not be judged for them. All in due time, I guess. The only thing is that as I age, I’m running out of that commodity and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that we never get more time.

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