Dear Next Girlfriend,
First, I want to apologize for not staying in touch. This is such a busy time of year with family gatherings, work parties, get-togethers with friends and the cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, gift-exchanging that comes with the holiday season. Last night, I was out on a Saturday night for the first time in a long time to the Madison Area LGBT Women’s Social Meetup Group Holiday Potluck. Yes, it’s the season for holiday potlucks. The one last night was a good one for many reasons: lots of women I didn’t know (refreshing for a change), good food, and a lively White Elephant gift exchange.
Earlier in the day I hosted a monthly coffee and conversation date with two dear friends. I am especially grateful as a single woman to have intimate friendships. The PAL group, an acronym of the first initial of each of our names, feeds my spirit in ways difficult to put into words, but easily fills my heart.
I’ve been fortunate throughout my life to sit in circles with women who are able to access and share their authentic selves, be vulnerable and discuss their dreams, fears, doubts, and desires. I learn as much about myself as I do about them as I listen to their stories. These are the gifts that hold the greatest meaning and value.
This morning I was reminiscing about holidays and people from the past, some who are no longer in this world, yet dwell in my memories and still exist in my stories. I always reread my journals during the holidays to remember where I’ve been and to help guide me where I’m going.
Life is a journey and the people who share it with us make the adventure more memorable and worthwhile. The milestones we experience together become our shared history and lived experience. Looking back today, I acknowledge with gratitude the precious time I’ve spent with family, friends, colleagues at work and in collaboration, mentors, teachers, companions, partners and lovers. I’m grateful. I’m lucky. Life is good.
As I wax sentimental, I return to the moment, to the here and now, and the who, what, why, where and when. “Where are you next girlfriend and when do we get to meet?” I want you to know that I like my single life; for the most part I’m content and feel wholly complete, yet there’s room in my day (and my bed) for a special someone.
Another New Year’s Eve approaches, for some it’s one of a small number of date nights to be reserved and shared with a romantic partner. I’ve become practiced at going out solo or enlisting friends to stir things up a little, like the year my friends Maureen, Wendy and I went out to dinner on Valentine’s Day as a trio, and tried to order off a menu with sweetheart specials for two. We became dinner theater!
I have two invitations so far to New Year’s Eve parties, both open houses, I can pop into both. Hopefully, I’ll meet some new women, get to know someone better and perhaps rekindle a lapsed friendship. I plan on bringing in the New Year grateful for what I have and not focus on what’s missing. My glass will be half full for the toast at midnight and both eyes will be open, looking for you next girlfriend!
Note: This is Episode 3 of the series, Conversations with My Next Girlfriend, imaginary conversations with the new girlfriend I haven’t met yet, replacing the one-sided talks that I was having with my ex in my head. For Episode 1 and 2 click on the link below: