A few years ago I used to go to a gym near my place.
During a no-job period, finding myself with little to do, too much time in my hands and needing something to pick me up during a rather not so cheerful time, I started going to the gym twice a day. Sometimes even three times.
I would go there in the morning, after breakfast, then back home for lunch, then again to the gym in the afternoon, and sometimes, when I as really bored or upset, I made an evening visit.
The gym was on the second floor of a mall, a couple blocks from my building. To access it I had to go through a gate, turn left and climb the stairs to the second floor.
At the foot of the stairs there was a tiny shop that apparently sold a bit of everything. On the widow you could see a camouflage suit, a dog house, some furniture, and, among other illogical combinations, there was a wedding dress. Honestly, a rather ugly one.
I went to that gym for almost a year and I saw that shop on my way in and my way out. I never paid attention.
But one day I was at the gym, going sadly and unwillingly through my routine, thinking about my disappointing life and the dead-end relationship I felt trapped in.
I reflected about my then-boyfriend and how useless he was in my life. For years I had waited for him to grow up but our relationship was an endless chasing-my-tail game, where we just kept getting nowhere.
He didn’t care about family, job, financial security, or anything that involved commitment or responsibility.
I thought he would mature eventually, but time passed and nothing changed. Considering he was almost fifty, this was truly discouraging.
Looking up from the screen where I had been following my heart rate and caloric count and through the sweat that dripped from my forehead I wiped a tear.
A vision hit me: I wanted an adult life and an adult relationship. I wanted to have someone to lean on, to count on, buy a house,have stability. I realized this plan required a major change. If I wanted an adult plan I needed a mature partner.
On my way out of the gym, I climbed down the stairs and, for the first time ever, stopped and looked at the wedding dress in the window.
It was the realization that I wanted to have one of my own ~someday.
That was the day I knew it was time to call quits and move on.