Flipping the Coin

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I’ve been working through a particular ambivalence. It’s about remarrying.

A large part of me has no desire whatsoever to remarry. My life is busy with my kids and work, and I am enjoying my new freedom. I don’t miss the emotional investment into another adult and their lives. I don’t miss putting a husband as a priority over myself and my own desires or whims. I don’t miss sharing a home with a man. I love having my space feel like my own and being able to do as I please without having to clear it with anyone.

But what I do sometimes miss is companionship and intimacy. I know that’s normal, considering I’ve been attached to a male significant other all of my adult life. I miss making out, I miss hanging out and watching movies in bed with a bag of candies, I miss joking around in walmart and holding hands in the car. Stuff like that.

But do I miss it enough to want to marry again? Honestly I don’t. And that’s what I’m having a hard time with, is that in Islam it’s only one or the other. It’s only marriage = companionship and closeness with a male, or singledom = none of the above. I don’t like having only the two choices. It’s not like I’m going to go ‘break code’ and get a boyfriend, or a FWB. That was never my way even before becoming Muslim. Even then, I dated with the intent of finding a suitable husband, or moving toward marriage. But now….I’ve had marriage- 15 years total of it. And I’m a bit full of it’s taste.

Sometimes I wish I could marry someone who would be willing to live in his own separate house and have his own separate life, allowing me to retain my current level of freedom. Someone who would get together with me on evenings and weekends to be ‘husbandly’. Maybe even someone who would be satisfied with a long distance relationship. Unfortunately, the only muslim men I’m aware of who would entertain such an arrangement would be someone looking for a second wife. Having been in polygamy already I know that’s not what I want, either.

I suppose things wouldn’t seem so bad if I was surrounded by family and friends and spending a lot of my free time with them. But the reality is that I’m not. My friends and family all live thousands of miles away. The only way it could be remotely like that is if/when I move back to California. So that is making me think perhaps I need to do that. Meaning sooner than I originally planned. I find the idea exhilerating, but it rubs against my sensibility. I have a house that hasn’t built up much equity here. I have a stable job. Jed is just starting high school and developing his college goals.

The rational side of me says I should stay the next 6 years until Eden graduates high school, and in that time pay off my debt and build equity in the house so I can walk away with more cash in hand. Then I would be leaving with only the two younger kids. Jabiyr would be starting high school by that time, and Shukurah would be ready for kindergarten. It’s nice timing, and a solid plan.

But on the other hand, I’m reminded that I’ve spent the past 20 years living pretty much vicariously. I’ve made my life about whatever was going on with my ex husband(s), and never really lived my own life. I made a lot of choices that were not necessarily what I wanted, but what I thought was needed. I am almost 40, and I feel like I’m tired of waiting for my own life and dreams to begin. I have my own direction and path I want to choose, but the sacrifice would be a degree of stability.

It’s the same old dilemma, I guess. Do I choose something reliable and safe, like I’ve always tried to do? Or do I finally blaze my own path? Marry or stay single? Stay in Atlanta or go to Cali? Movement or stagnation? Selfish or unselfish? Is that even the right question?

I feel pulled by the invigorating lure of changing the game and taking some risks. But I’m also grounded by my sense of obligation to my kids and overall responsible nature. But maybe a decision I’m thinking about making much sooner will help me clarify my inclinations…

…I had been planning to go to California for a trip next week. I haven’t been able to get a good flight on plane tickets. I have always been able to find tickets under $300, but they’ve not come below $400 for those dates. In fact, they’ve been averaging $500-600. This is way beyond what I can afford, since I was going to be bringing one of the kids with me (originally it was going to be Jedidiah, but due to some recent significant changes in circumstances I decided to bring Jabiyr instead). I still need money for the rental car, food, gas, and other expenditures.

I have a sum of money right now, and I am actually thinking about driving out there instead. Take a long road trip, visit with family for a few days, then come home. My new nanny and her son would accompany me. It would be quite an adventure! One I desperately need right now. I am intoxicated with the thrill of the idea.

Yet, my conscience reminds me of all the other ways that sum of money could be better spent if I just forfeit the trip altogether. It tries to sweeten the deal with suggestions to take the kids to White Water or even to a nearby beach town for a weekend. But it’s not enough to satisfy that passionate recklessness in me.

So what will I do? Right now I’m still undecided. I don’t know what will push me in one direction or the other. I don’t even know what I would need to know to make a choice. I desperately need a vacation and break from everything that I’ve been dealing with here since my last trip out there. I need an adventure, a memory to savor in my old age, a story to pass down to my grandkids.

But I also need to be wise. But what happens when the wise choice- the very thing I decided a while ago to guide myself with- is not the most satisfying? 

 

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