A short list of my desires

You are forgiven if you thought this post was about sex. Yes, I did put in a submission for “Never Have I Ever” but that’s not what this is all about.

Since last Wednesday night and the issues with Johnny Id, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want. Any time I have a life hiccup – especially a big one with someone I love – it gives me a pause. This is a big pause. The way I figure out how to move forward is to figure out what I actually want. From there, I can see how my relationship lines up with those things.

So here goes. Right now, these are the things I desire:

A Desire for Clarity

I made so many compromises in the last 15 years and I need some time to step back and know what’s right FOR ME. What kind of parent do I want to be for my son? What are my retirement goals? Do I want to buy a $30 or $100 toaster? What kinds of activities do I want to do? What really makes me happy?

Until I have clarity on these things, I’m susceptible to subsuming my desires and hopes to those of another.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in compromise when I am in a relationship. But I need to know where I want to compromise, and where I don’t. Where it’s healthy for me, and where it’s potentially damaging.

I’ve figured out more about the kind of person I want as a partner. But who do I want to be?

The problem with this is that when something feels like a compromise, I have a very hard time knowing if it’s the right one to make right now. I will likely err on the side of not compromising, just to be safe. And that is probably hard for anyone in a relationship with me to deal with.

A Desire for Simplicity

I am a new single parent of a 6 year-old who is sad and angry that his father has moved away. I have a big job that requires me to travel. I’m still just one year out of a 15 year-long relationship. I’ve experienced some physical changes that will take a while to even themselves out.

All that to say, I don’t have a lot of time or energy for anything I feel is not core to my existence. My time is so precious now I’m forced to choose…and my son takes up most of that time.

I don’t have time for a herb garden on my balcony. Just basil. I don’t have time for pets, so I’m not getting any. I don’t have time to read all the magazines I receive, so I’m cancelling them. I’m purging shoes, accessories, and extra junk in my house. I don’t have time for drama or games.

The problem with this is that I will sideline anyone that causes me grief or makes my life more difficult. I feel like my reserves of emotional energy are close to depleted…so I just can’t handle it right now. So I tune out as it’s one of the few coping mechanisms I have.

A Desire for Freedom

One of the great things about being single is that (within reason) I am able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Stay in my yoga pants and slippers and watch 5 hours of television with a big bowl of popcorn? Sure. Fuck anyone I feel like on my couch? Sure. Plan a dream trip for my son without having to fight about itinerary and hotel choices? Sure!

I really loved that aspect of the last year. Freedom. It’s a beautiful thing for me, not scary. I don’t mind being alone…although it’s not what I want long-term.

Here’s the thing. My freedom has been significantly restricted with my ex leaving – I can’t plan nights out with girlfriends, masturbate for hours on a Saturday morning, or take my Mom to a spa on a whim. I can’t even plan vacation time now the way I used to – with or without my son.

I love the David Byrne / Talking Heads version of “Don’t Fence Me In”…those are good words for me right now. It’s about finally taking flight and finding myself, and not accepting limitations of any sort.

The problem with freedom is it’s hard to know when to rein it in. When will my demand for freedom blind me to the benefits of a little restriction? While I want to be unafraid of travelling alone, have my financial independence, and be bold and fearless, I want a partner in my life.

A Desire for Truth 

If you read my post on my ex-husband breaking up with me, it’s probably not a shocker that I need truth in my life and relationships. I am finding my voice, rediscovering my desires and dreams, and am no longer afraid. I am engaged in some serious self reflection and awareness.

It’s funny…when I was dating online I should probably have listed “not being self-aware” as a big turn-off. I think it’s a precondition for being able to move forward. And if you don’t want to move forward and grow as a person, you aren’t the right person for me. So I really like it when those around me are self-aware as well.

I am learning to speak the truth in my own life, so I’m not keen on evasion, obfuscation, or any other forms of deceit – other than people telling me no, I don’t look *that* fat in those pants.

There’s really no problem with truth. I suppose how you deliver the truth can be a problem, if it hurts another unnecessarily or if you are cruel. The bigger issue for me is what I experienced with Will (my ex-husband)…that he wouldn’t tell me the truth.

I need to make sure that not only am I in a relationship where the truth can be spoken, it’s also critical that I feel like I can continue to be honest with my partner. That I can be open with my fears and feelings and not fear judgment, or anger.

Staring and re-reading that list, it does help. It makes me realise just saying “I’m in a selfish period” isn’t really the whole truth. But I also need to really think about the down side of these desires. Do I risk alienating someone because of my reluctance to compromise? Do I risk walking away from something amazing because of my need for freedom?

I wish the answers were easy and the path clear. Advice welcome.

41 thoughts on “A short list of my desires

    • Thanks for that! I had a bunch of fancy appliances in my marriage, courtesy of a wedding registry. It occurred to me when outfitting my new place that I probably didn’t need the $200 toaster, for all that it gets used. I settled on $30 and it has suited me just fine so far. But I do have a darn fancy stand mixer 😉

  1. This all sounds really sensible to me. Good to realize when you’re in a period of self-care, and also to keep gauging when you’re more ready to relax boundaries. And I think you’re right that self-awareness is one of the big keys to healthy relationship. Best wishes!

  2. There is no path and nobody has answers for questions that are different and personal to everyone.
    Reading your list I think you need a person (or more, even it could be just a friend) that truly understands you (to get you time and mind to get clarity, simplicity and freedom) and loves you (to give you the truth), and, and this is harder to find, a person enough mature to not be selfish and to think also in your goals and happiness. We, men generally don’t mature, just get older children, I believe.
    A smile and good luck for you, Ann. Hope that you find the answers you are looking for.

    • I like how you pulled that together – what it means I need. That person sounds really amazing – Johnny Id fits the bill…we just have to get through some other stuff and see where we come out the other side.

      Maturity is definitely hard to find some days 🙂

  3. I admit that when I saw the title of this post, I thought it was going to be about sex. So thank you for forgiving me right off the bat, in the first sentence! I think this is a well-thought-out list of desires. You mention that you’re still wondering who you want to be. I wonder if you’re further along in that process than you realize. From this post and your other posts — such as learning lessons from dealing with your ex-husband — I think you have a sharp clarity of thinking. You write about what’s important to you. And that gives a view into what kind of person you are.

  4. Here is one to add that might help see a different angle.
    Desire a solid base from which your son can grow anyone who is not willing to cooperate on that well…
    This might sound silly But I think it helps growing yourself as you at this moment is the base.
    Just my two cents worth of thoughts. And unfortunately if only it was so simple right..
    Big hugger

    • It’s a good point you make…I need a strong foundation in order to be able to build anything up from there! And definitely to be strong for my son as well, and model the right behavior. That is very important to me as well.

  5. I think it’s a good idea to have in your head what you want. I’d go for the $100 toaster, I’ve learned not to buy cheap stuff, always ends up costing more ’cause it breaks.

    • I couldn’t agree more. About knowing what I want, and not cheaping out on some stuff. For me, I know there is a line between good quality and luxury…sometimes quality is enough. My ex bought a $600 blender. So that strikes me as a bit excessive.

  6. Ann, there are rarely easy answers or clear paths as we muddle through our lives. There are only what’s right for you. And it sounds like you have been really reflect ting in what is right for right now. That does not mean that it won’t change in the future near or far, but that you know yourself will help you figure those things out as they come along. Good luck girl…

  7. Good luck sorting that out! It’s easy to do needs vs wants in a hardware design, but for your life? Not so cut & dry.

    Even so, for you & your son – I’d opt for the $30 toaster and use the leftover to buy 3 or 4 bottles of really nice wine. Wine helps the decision making process, doesn’t it?

    • Yeah, the toaster stuff seems a bit more straightforward yet look at all the opinions!!

      Wine helps with EVERYTHING. Well, except weight loss, perhaps. But yes…I couldn’t agree more. Thank you 🙂

  8. When the need for freedom outweighs the something amazing, then the freedom IS the something amazing. Trust your gut. And if you can, try not to play the “what if” game in your head. Hugs.

  9. Oh dollface.

    Is there a right answer? No, I’m no fount of any answers by a long stretch.

    Think of me as that cherub peeing mid-dance in a fountain instead…


    We all have selfish times, actually I’m currently going through one myself. Although I dare say there’s more to mine than meets the eye, but I haven’t pinpointed it yet so I haven’t written anything yet. But it’s coming.

    Only you know where you’re at and what you need and can handle and want at this point in time.

    You can’t compromise when you’re not feeling like it’s compromise but it is feeling like you’re giving up on a part of yourself that you aren’t ready to part with yet. Compromise is when you are ready to. And if that’s not now then that’s ok too.

    Relationships are such hard work – and that’s when you’re actually ready and open to one.

    I think you need time lovely. Time for you to re-ground, re-group and re-center. So many big big changes in your life that you are coping with right now.

    Ultimately none of us want to be alone, but sometimes we need to be until we’re ready to share who and where we are in our lives.

    • Sharn honey…what a thoughtful comment. I think you are right on all fronts.

      Especially when we have the wisdom to know our triggers and habits…things that are comfortable are not necessarily good for us – like subsuming desires to another, all the time. It’s so easy to fall back on our patterns but I think the only way to really move forward is to break the ones that lead to future damage. It’s not easy.

      Thanks xo

  10. It all depends on how much you like toast…if you really like it, get the $30 toaster…it leaves you more money to buy bread…

What do you think?