Do you ever find it interesting when several significant things occur in your life that have great meaning but you have no words to make sense of them? When one thing after another impacts a certain aspect of your life and you simply don’t know why it’s all happening the way it is? I find myself in this rather peculiar predicament this weekend.
A first date. An awkward encounter. Silence that is deafening and maddening. Desire but a greater need for patience. Friendship but newness that is raw. Being single amongst the married. Any one of these things happening in the course of a day is enough to make the psychologically sound take pause and reflect, but all of these occurring in the course of 36 hours is like declaring psychological warfare on oneself!
I find it hard to consider any one component in a singular way as so many things are interconnected. It’s hard to make heads or tails of anything right now. I know what happened and I know how I reacted to it in the moment but I don’t know if it was the right thing or the wrong, if it was good or bad, if it was devastating or redeeming.
The one thing I can talk about in some coherent way is about being single amongst the married. I went to a wine tasting event this weekend with a dear friend. Her coworker hosted the event at her home and was very inviting. Her home is well decorated and clean, very orderly yet homey. She was delightful. I quickly realized though that the women I was sharing my time with were all happily married women. I was the only single mother in the room. I don’t know much about other single moms and how they handle their friendships with married people but I don’t usually have issue. This weekend however I found myself more socially awkward and feeling as though I was making inappropriate comments. I don’t know if it was because I am in a bit of a drought or if my humor is changing or if I am just not interested in being fake and acting like someone I am not. I don’t know. But weird silences and a change of conversation followed my comments. sigh… Who knows. I like to think I am socially mature and able to discern what is appropriate and what isn’t. Maybe I have work to do in this area. Regardless, I feel weird. I feel like I’m the only one who likes sex and can talk about it without reserve but I haven’t had sex in almost three years and these women have sex on a regular basis. Is it because I’m single that I’m not supposed to discuss sex? I’m so confused by this. Anyway…I will survive. And I will continue being me while remaining single for the foreseeable future.
Since I’m speaking of singledom, I believe this might be a great segue to the first date I had yesterday. So, I met this fella at the gym the other night after a grueling day of teaching, grading, planning, and then open house. It was sometime after 9pm when I went to finally work out and this gentleman made a joke about my peeking at the display on the elliptical machine. (Side note: I have to put mind over matter and not look at the display on cardio machines so I cover them with a towel while I exercise.) Once I finished working out and after a lengthy conversation, he asked for my number. He’s nearly 50. He has a daughter and is recently divorced after being married for more than 20 years. He’s an Air Force veteran and we have similar personalities. It’s all good stuff. Here’s the catch. I’m so not ready for dating anyone. I know I can’t say no, and I can’t wait until I’m ready because if I keep putting off meeting new people I will be 65 years old and single still. And here’s another catch. I’m madly, deeply in love with someone else. And I shouldn’t be. Let me cry for just a minute…
Have you ever loved someone so much it didn’t make any sense? Have you ever wanted to love them for so long and so deeply that nothing else in the world mattered as much as loving them? It doesn’t make any sense at all. In fact, it makes such little sense that I find myself vacillating between hysterical bouts of sadness and glorious dreams of lifelong love that endures all. Uncanny. I want to let him go so that he can be free to live a full happy life and yet I want to hold him so close to me and keep him because I have such hope for how wonderful our life would be together. Our life would be phenomenal. A love that would be the thing of love songs and movies. A love that classic romance novels are cast after. Earth shattering, mountain top singing, glorious love. And my hope for that with this wonderful man is what keeps me from letting him go. I equate my letting him go with losing my hope for an amazing love. I might just be broken forever if I lose that. Which brings me back to my date… as nice as this guy is, he isn’t ready for dating so soon after a serious divorce, he deserves to date someone who is truly available to him when he finds himself ready to do so, and I am not ready to let go of my love. The hard truth is that I may be forced to let go instead of doing so by choice which will definitely be harder. Can you see the stupendous conundrum?!
sigh. breathe. cry. feel. sigh.
I know that somewhere in the universe this all makes sense. I know the gods are giggling at my missteps and reveling in my discontent. In the end, all that matters is that I loved, I lived, I tried, I gave freely, and wished good upon all of God’s creatures. In the meantime, I will handle as many issues as I can with grace and dignity no matter how saddening they may be. My life cannot be a tragedy.
At the end of the day, being an adult is hard. Life isn’t simple but it’s beautiful. Change is uncomfortable but necessary. Love is magical but complicated. And I wouldn’t change any of it one bit.
The Repressed Peach