This year I turned fifty. I’m one of those secretive people who worry about keeping personal information private because there’s always someone out there ready to exploit that information, but today I’m getting over my fear and just saying it, I’m fifty.
I was thinking earlier about all of my friends that I’ve known throughout the years and because of Facebook, I’m able to see where life has taken them. Some of the women that I entered the military with at such a young age had retired with high ranks and have proven themselves to be fit soldiers and great leaders. So interesting though, all of my girlfriends from those days have become the most successful in all aspects of life.
Life, Live, Love Lesson number one comes from one of those girls who is now a phenomenal, wise and happy woman.
I remember when I first saw her I was sent from my unit to her unit to go overseas to war. She had a boyfriend. I’ve always been one of those astute individuals, checking out the world, studying people, figuring out who they are and why. All of my friends were from the south and a few from the Midwest. With each interaction I was learning how different they were from me back then. I knew they married earlier and they took relationships serious much earlier than I did as well. I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to be as far as a fashion model, which I gave up on to join the military, or a lawyer, a sports announcer whatever. But this couple, when I first saw them together they made me frown, confused and intrigued by the way they interacted with such ease, respect, and comfort. They were quite serious for such young people I thought. But I had other young friends who were in serious relationships or on their second marriage, or almost at the end of their first. Like, like this guy who used to chase me around the base, who was in his twenties and getting divorced. I was like dude, ugh, get away from me, that sh** scares me! He ended up marrying my best friend then. She was a year younger than me! Sigh… Just a mess. Anyway, these two though, this couple who inspired my awe, were way different than the others. They were like family, but the passion and attraction were there too. They would laugh at each other’s jokes, which showed they knew each other on an intimate level. You know those guys who liked to throw sly looks at other women behind their girlfriends’ or wive’s backs? He wasn’t that guy. He would look at her with stars in his eyes, hanging on to her every word or reaction–she was quite expressive in a wise, subtle way. And she wasn’t that girl who believed her value was in her V either, although she was very pretty. I was that girl though, simply because I had no idea I was supposed to want what they had in a relationship. And like many of us, sex became my validation. This couple went to war together, bombs going off above their heads, violently shaking the ground beneath their feet. People hyperventilating thinking they’re gonna die. They went through that together. I always knew they were the real deal but gosh nearly thirty years later when we became Facebook friends and I saw that they were married and had two daughters, beautiful gorgeous smart daughters, I was just amazed and happy and I clapped. LOL! I really did. They were the embodiment of true love and what I try to capture in all the love stories I write.
They had at eighteen or nineteen what I learned lasting and happy relationships consisted of in my forties. So, life, live and love lesson number one is real, happy relationships can never exist unless two people truly LIKE and respect each other as human beings. When you like a human being you respect them. You see them deeply, you begin to crave them intimately. You know why you chose that person over that one and that one and that one. And believe me, many men will tell you that most vagina feels the same once they’re inside. We’re the ones who believe our vaginas are special, not them. And that person, who is in equal parts your lover and friend can never be replaced. I have another friend who served with us and she was involved with a guy for our entire time overseas. He was a consummate cheater, flirtatious and I used to ask her all the time, “Why are you with him?” LOL! I mean, as beautiful, unique, kind and funny as she was, he was the lucky one! Yet, he didn’t behave like it. When I visited her a few years later, she had married someone else. Again she was like nineteen or twenty, I was twenty-one, and I was like, real girl, married???? LOL! But I saw her and her new husband interact and their relationship was very much similar to the friend I spent the first part of this post talking about. They really liked each other and again almost 30 years later, they’re still married and all the evidence points to the fact that they’re happy. I also want to say that both of these women, I tell you, have barely aged. I kid you not. Nor have their husbands. Life hasn’t brought stress to their faces. Being unhappy and in a stressful relationship with someone who is not a friend for years and years and years WILL age you. I mean, do you watch the Housewives shows–talk about shoving square pegs into round holes. No matter how much they inject, stretch and cut, they look worn out. And if you get close enough to the TV you’ll see how the filters can’t smooth out all the puffiness and stress lines on all angles and in all shots. All of my friends that I’ve known since I was younger who are not in relationships that are similar to these two women, I guarantee you they’re wearing it on their faces.
So, the moral of this life lesson is, happiness is the true fountain of youth. Unhappiness, stress, and abusing our bodies and minds, can even age the best genes.
As a romance author, I have to force myself to read other writers’ books. I have to tell you, many of them are hard to get through. Right now I’m trying to barrel through one where the hero keeps referring to the heroine has a nasty slut and hussy while having sex with her. She’s twenty-one. He’s thirty-six and it’s clear that his desire for her has to do with her age and vagina. And listen, this book, these books are written by women! If you do the research on who is the average romance reader, then you’ll realize there is a cultural crisis here. In this book I’m reading, the friend of the main character says to the heroine something to the effect of, “You can’t fall for him because he won’t want you when your twenty-year-old pussy is forty. And since he’s a doctor, he’ll be looking at twenty-year-old pussy.” Never taking into account that his penis is aging too! And is actually fifteen years older than hers! Again, a woman wrote that crap. Sigh…
Listen, to become happy may take some work for some of us. We may have to seek therapy to learn who we are beneath the bitterness and unhappiness, and how to make peace with ourselves. We’ll have to take some ownership. If I’m miserable, then it’s no one’s fault but my own. We’ll have to learn to listen to our significant others with an open mind and heart, not always trying to pick out insults and criticisms and so forth. We may have to ask him to do more of what makes us happy and ask him what more can I do to make you happy. One of my friends with a lasting, happy marriage never had children. Forcing the script more than likely will not bring happiness. I see that on Houswives shows all the time. I don’t have many friends in my life who do that, but the one or two, who do have are already divorced.
Happiness doesn’t come without understanding how to get there. It’s sacrifice, humility and the ability to take some ownership. But once you step on the road of real-life happily ever after (it does exist), it will be the most restful path you’ll ever walk, and the easiest life you’ll ever live. Hence, the lack of stress making its presence known on our faces.
That’s all for today 😊