I’m the eternal optimist. I tried 3 times to get it right. All I got right was that happiness is more important than success, prestige, or money.
The first time I married because my very first boyfriend waited for me while I ran off to become a missionary nun—stop laughing, read my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On . Yes, I felt guilty. When I returned a year later, I married him—I do remember a fight in the parking lot where I threw my engagement ring across the pavement. That was probably a big clue that I chose to ignore.
Six months later, we were having one of our frequent arguments. He tried to smother me with a pillow. I was 20 years old. I left with my suitcase the next day. Divorced at 21.
My second brilliant choice was a man 15 years older than me, suave, handsome, a traveler, sophisticated…and a gambler, and a control freak. Yes. I didn’t throw that diamond ring anywhere—he stole it and pawned it presumably because he needed the money to gamble. I left him several times, but he kept finding me. He got me fired from a job, evicted from an apartment, actually broke into my apartment telling the landlord I was a drug addict and not answering my phone! I’ve never even smoked a joint although my friends tell me I don’t know what I’m missing.
I left him in the middle of the night, with a suitcase, and my Old English Sheepdog. I definitely loved the dog more than the man. He’d threatened to kill the dog if I left him.I had to leave the city and the province to hide from him. My mother called me one day a few years later and said I better divorce the guy. He’d just been arrested for bank fraud and probably forged my name somewhere along the way.
The third one lasted a long time. He’s the father of my children and we are still friends. But one night at the end of a very unhappy relationship where we kept trying to make it work, I fell in love. I packed a suitcase and got on an airplane and moved to a new country. I’d like to say I lived happily ever after. But that’s not the way life is. That journey called life/living/ is filled with ups and downs. Some of us get lucky and find Mr. Right and others only ever find Mr. Right Now.
And then, when you think that part of your life might be passing you by, someone comes into your life, a totally inappropriate relationship, not from a different city, or a different province, or a different country but a totally different continent and reminds you that life is short. We have to take our happiness where we can find it.
The moral of my story is I still believe in LOVE.