Tag Archives: serenity

No. I’m Not Over it…But I’m Going Out Anyway

Although the prevailing thought seems to be a long healing process post-breakup, I think something can be said for putting yourself out there as soon as you are finished with your first big cry.

image

Here’s the thing, at first I would have been in no shape to date anyone after my ex and I broke up. This is mostly because I was bottling it up so tight to avoid feeling. Sure I put up my old dating profile, but was I dating anyone? No. It wasn’t until I broke through my “feelings barrier” that I could move on. Funny enough it was all started because he left a little drawing of a heart in the cap of a new bottle of coffee creamer. When I opened it, I lost it. The flood gates were opened and I spent days getting it all out.

I also took some time to think about what I could have done differently. I will apply those lessons to the next guy.

Meanwhile, back to dating. I’ve gone out on a couple of dates and it is so striking how different it is when you stop trying to “lock something down” with someone. I know in my heart I am so ready to settle down and build a future with a special man. However, I have to chill when I’m on the dates. I get to know who they are and we have fun no matter what. Meanwhile, I can evaluate in the background whether they would suit me as a life partner. If they’re not a fit, nothing was lost and I got to meet someone new.

I am amused with all the different types of guys out there though. For example, last night I went out with someone who I deeply enjoyed conversing with. He was well read, intelligent, funny, curious about me. He really showed some good character traits, like noticing when a disabled woman was trying to exit the building. He jumped right up and asked her if she needed help. It was just as though I could be in my “natural state” with him. I even found myself taking off my shoes and curling up in the chair at the Starbucks after dinner.

Today I enjoyed an afternoon date with someone who piqued my adventurous side by inviting me to an Indiana Jones exhibit (one of my childhood role models who inspried my travel lust). It was really cool to see fact v fiction. This guy was also funny and creative. However, he kept looking at his cellphone during the exhibit, thought that a paragraph description of a display was soooo much to read that it would put him to sleep, and had no interest deeper than the movie memorabilia.  Then we got to the Nazca lines part of the exhibit and he was so into it because it had something to do with aliens. Ummmm…what now? Did you say that you think aliens created the Nazca lines? His response – yes either them or God. I’m sorry…wtf? So science is not an option then? The Nazca people, not an option? Long story short there were alot of dealbreakers here in a row.

The point is that when you aprroach dating as a curiosity towards someone it is different than judging them. You can just say…ok this is how we differ. Then, you have a choice – can you live with the difference or not?  No need to ruin a date. Just leave knowing there won’t be a second one and if he calls to ask you out again, just be woman enough to excuse yourself politely.  Say something like, “I really enjoyed our date (if you did) and I want to thank you again. I just don’t think we mesh on the important stuff so I’m gonna have to decline and wish you the best.” Done. Simple. Grown-up.

What I notice about dating soon after a breakup is that what I want & don’t want is really very clear in my mind. So, for me it makes dating a more intentional process of weeding out because I am focused. At the same time, my approach is open towards getting to know another person as is instead of simply just checking boxes on my list. Who knows? You could just meet some really great guys that you can call friends. At least this way, you make the most out of your own time and energy.

Do I still love my ex? Am I completely over him? Do I have monents where I wish he’d call and make things right? Yes. No. And Yes.

But he doesn’t feel the same way so I have two options – I can wait for a call that may never come or I can continue looking for someone who does love me as much as I love him and who can’t imagine his future without me.

image

So here’s to healing this broken heart while continuing to walk one step at a time.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Paralyzing Fear

I landed at my destination, proceeded to pick up my checked luggage and make my way to my hotel.  I was happy to have gotten away in pursuit of something I love – the study of language and culture!  While I imagined the possibilites for transforming my life, I was frequently reminded that the torment I held in me back home came along for a free ride too. Only my location had changed.

I was at a point  where I was desperately searching for an anchor in my life. Seeking my purpose.  The point of my own existence.  I felt like I was failing in all parts of my life.  And my pride got in the way of admitting it wasn’t working.

I didn’t know how to make my marriage work, my consulting business was slowing down, and I felt like I was having a hard time holding it all together.

I imagined that if I pursued something I loved while continuing to accept the challenges, everything would magically transform and be all better.

My life became more about accepting and managing my lot as if there were no other choice.  I adjusted myself to make an exception here and then there to my personal comfort zone.  I compromised to make this and that work. Eventually, I was kept busy remembering to perform all the new little rituals I’d adopted.

I believed that if I made enough room for everybody else’s needs, eventually mine would be considered.  Someday, I told myself, we’ll all arrive at some egalitarian utopia of euphoric bliss.  I just have to stay alert and organized and keep things moving.

But I couldn’t keep it up and I was starting to show signs of wear and tear from the stress of it all.

I couldn’t get pregnant for all the trying, but managed to grow a 5 lb. tumor in my uterus that had to be surgically removed.  I had developed chronic migranes.  I couldn’t sleep.  I was gaining weight.  I was crying sporadically for unknown reasons.  I’d have outbursts of anger and resentment.  I stopped wanting to see people, because they always “needed” something from me.

Three weeks into my trip my husband came to visit me for a vacation.  3 days into his stay, he left a “Dear Jane” letter on the bed while I was in class and returned to the USA without so much as seeing my face.

A Paralyzing Fear

And that’s when the earth began to crack and shimmy and shake beneath my feet.  I watched it break apart all around my feet until all that was left was a tiny patch of land at the edge of cliff.   All the muscles of my body tensed up and the last breath I would take, left my chest.  I watched the massive area of land descend in slow motion into the darkness below me.

I looked around and saw there was only sky, birds, sunlight, and the little patch of land beneath my feet.  I could not see what lie below me. I could not walk away in any direction.

So many questions passed through my mind.  What the hell happened? What am I going to do now?  How could I leave this spot? Why is this happening?

Day after day passed while I stood and watched the sun come up and disappear . I stood where I was and waited for a sign. The wind whipped against my body while I worked to keep my balance on my little patch of earth.  

Mother nature went on about her life and walked by me through the four seasons.  And still I waited for the path to return from the abyss so that I could leave.

One day decided to try sitting down.  I had stood for so long that I wasn’t used to sitting anymore and my legs felt uncomfortable trying to get into position.

As I rested on my little spot, I reached my hands below the surface of my seat and noticed that the earth was firm and had ridges in it like little handles.  For a moment I pondered whether I could climb down the stalk.

I quickly dismissed the thought, because I reasoned that I have no idea what lies below.  What if it is much worse than this?

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

So I stayed and tried to manage all my affairs while fixed in the same position.  It was uncomfortable, but once again, I worked hard at accepting where I was at.  And once again, I convinced myself that I had no other choice but to do so.

The years went on as I watched the birds come and go.  The sun rise and set. The seasons cycle.  Often I’d reach below me and grasp onto one of the handles.  I’d fantasize about the possibilities of what could be out there.

I remembered when I was an explorer of this world.  Not a spectator.  I remembered when I was afraid, but did it anyway.  I remembered when I was courageous.

These memories and fantasies sustained me in position for a long time.  I convinced myself that at least I had traveled in the past like I had always wanted to.  At least I had been fearless at one time.

As time went on I’d learned to manage, though the clarity of my past adventures began to fade and the urge to leave bubbled to the surface more often creating a different kind of discomfort.

I couldn’t sit still.  The dissonance between my current reality and my curiosity to explore undiscovered possibilities, sharpened into a weapon that stabbed at my mind relentlessly.

serenity prayer

I realized that I did have a choice after all.  Only two, but at least a choice.

1) I could either continue to live what I’ve come to know or 2) take a risk and climb down to see what lies below the stalk.

Both choices require courage.  The first would require the courage to live without passion in favor of perceived stability.  The second, the courage to trust myself and embrace the unknown and the uncertain.

I want to find the courage in myself to climb.  But I am still sitting here only playing with the earth’s handles while being poked at to make a decision.

And so the journey continues as a third choice comes to light.  The choice of making no choice. It sure is painful to sit on a fence for too long…

Have you found the courage to get off the fence or are you sitting there with me?

– With love from aneternaltraveler 😉