I’m stuck with a blog called DATERGURL. I  haven’t written in a while because that moniker feels like a century ago. I no longer have a dating profile. Not even one. That might be inadvertently untrue because when I was in-it-to-win-it I signed up for a few obscure sites with niches like Advanced Spirituality or People With Too Many Dogs Who Still Would Like a Date, Dammit – and I have no idea how to find these sites or remove myself. So I am probably forever out there locked-in as a perky lost soul looking for love. Sigh.

I am also not dating anyone. And I’m not on a break from dating; I’m just not doing it.

Marc and I ended things because it turns out we were in different places. Turns out, and this surprised me, that I couldn’t do a big all-encompassing relationship with a loving and dedicated man who wanted to be by my side any chance he could. Marc was all that and more, and I couldn’t do it. I felt like a jackass but one thing about dating, especially when you are super effin old, is that you can’t judge any of it, especially not your sweet, well-meaning self. It damn well is what it damn well is. The baggage is enormous, with steam trunks and storage units and even when you stuff it into handsome little purses – it’s gonna fight to get out.

My baggage has been sort of primal. I’m a human woman, and the baggage I have lugged around has been the need to partner up with a man.  It has felt at times like a bright and exciting motivator, because well…men! I just love them. But it has also felt like some kind of curse or straight jacket or heavy chain that I have wanted to shake off more than fifty billion times.

I have literally gone to bed praying “dear Lord, let me wake up whole without all this desire to swoon and make out and cook someone dinner” Sometimes it kinda worked – for a week or three I would be very happy without a man so much as glancing my way. But then I’d get caught up in a fit of full-on female ennui and feel as though if a man didn’t mentally undress me in the next ten minutes, I might die of lonesome.

By the time Marc and I ended things, I was suffering from a paralyzing need to do my own thing. Owen went to college when I started seeing Marc, and the reality of having all the kids out of the house was, well, real. The empty nester drama gave way to “what the hell do I want to do, anyway…” And it turned out that whatever I needed to do could not be done in constant parallel with someone attentively at my side.

The first thing I needed to do was to stay in bed for a good long time. And I couldn’t be with someone and be alone in bed, which was what I needed. So initially, the freedom to come home and get straight into bed alone – it was like a huge weight had been lifted. Sure, I felt like a bit of a loser. But, ah, the total lack of anything that I had to do….it was like a big fluffy pillow, because literally, it was. I had a relationship with my bed for a couple of months.

And that’s when the magic started to happen. I started to have ideas. I started to have the kind of ideas that are more than just interesting thoughts. I had the kind of ideas that I felt to my core. Like years ago when I woke up wanting to be a doctor. I literally woke up one day with that incredible idea and it stuck. I went to bed a flailing college student with a part-time job as a shampoo girl and woke up ready for med school. Bam!

It turns out that in order to receive these life-changing epiphanies, you gotta gotta be free to receive them. You need some bandwidth.

I saw a video about orphans from Colombia who were hosted by American families over the summer and who sometimes found their family. Light bulb! I might want to do that! I went to the Nutcracker and realized that I wanted to be a ballerina in the worst way. And I wanted to write a book.

All of these shazam ideas came to me right before the New Year so-  hello to the yeah -I decided to implement them. Never mind that I was a 165-pound (yeah I gained a few) 55-year old single woman with a busy medical practice. I decided to pursue ballet and writing and fostering kids. I decided to pursue anything that felt right. Singing, knitting…anything.

Once you decide to be what you want to be, every day is a fun adventure. And you can get out of bed because there’s stuff you want to do!

Right now I am in ballet two days a week. I’ll tell you more about that later but I am actually a ballerina and it began with my first open adult class. I may be in Intro to Ballet I for a year doing only the most basic barre and floor work, but I am every much a ballerina as those beautiful dancers in the Nutcracker. We are all working on our port de bras and feet. Even if when I jump I look like a bullfrog on a bender and they look like ethereal fairies. All in good time.

I’m learning Spanish as fast as I possibly can because there are Colombian orphans I might want to talk to somewhere in my future. Plus, Spanish-speaking people are my favorite. And, tacos.

Because I am now a ballerina, I am eating really well. You could make your New Year’s resolution all about losing thirty pounds and good for you – but I just decided to be a ballerina and when you have to fit into your tutu, you skip the burger and go all-in for salmon and sweet potatoes. And I don’t need a resolution to exercise because my back and core are always engaged, not just in class. Ballerinas do not slump.

And, I have started my book. It’s about learning to dance as an adult with a memoir woven in. It doesn’t matter if anyone ever reads it, because I am a writer and that is an end all unto itself.

I am also walking the dogs (lots of hiking because ballerinas don’t typically run), playing my fiddle and banjo and I cut my hair. I’ve played around with false eyelashes (ballerina) and I moisturize daily. I’m living a life here!

I think about dating and men a little bit, but not with any longing. This is too good. My time is my own. Menopause has passed and honestly that takes care of a lot. I am happier getting used to my older self -as is- without the burden of hair extensions, sucking in my belly and the need to ooze desirability. I am ok not being desired. My rapidly aging skin is strange because I have always looked so young and now it’s like someone popped a balloon in many places. It is tempting to want to camouflage that. But letting it all hang out is kinda cool too. Of course, I am vain vain vain. But my beauty is coming from different places right now. It’s more about pronouncing a word in Spanish just right.

So I’m probably not a Datergurl anymore. Or maybe I am. I am still doing what a girl does when her heart is restless. There are probably more men to kiss in my future. But I’m trying to rise up from a grande plie minding my core, thank you very much, and that takes some focus.  Any man would have to aim his lips just right to even connect, and he’d have to take a backseat to quite a lot.

I’m a little bit open to men, but it isn’t even in my top five set of wishes for myself at the moment. I am occasionally a tiny bit lonely but it passes in a flash because there is so much to do.  Not to go all Oprah, but I am living my best life, and it’s not to snag my soul mate. My soul-mate is probably too busy to date me anyway. We’re both just doing what we need to be doing and it doesn’t involve another person or a cache of admirers at the moment.77_year_old_ballet_dancer

Pirouettes and besos,

Maria