I am officially ¼ or 25% of my way through this year. Let’s do a general check-in!
My feelings thus far are still really positive. Overall, I would say I have avoided more disastrous relationships than I have missed had I been dating during this time. Not dating has also given me the mental freedom to perform better at my job and focus on my other creative pursuits (like writing this blog). Not having sex has been a trickier time; during periods of high stress, I miss having the option of a “stress-relief” session with a close friend or acquaintance – or what the rest of the world would call a “booty call”. Although, the whole point of this year is to move away from these random encounters and focus on finding something with depth and staying power. (Note: in no way am I knocking, judging or discouraging “friends with benefits” or similar type situations – they have given me great pleasure in the past and I’m not saying I won’t experience them ever again, but for me for now, they are not right.)
It has been an action packed few months though. Most recently, I met a wonderful guy at a wedding a few weeks ago. WHAT?! You met a guy! NO DATING! … Relax – A. not dating him. B. It ended before it started. It was quite the fairy tale story, so I will call this guy, Prince Charming.
I was large and in charge the day I met Prince Charming. On the wedding day of one of my closest friends, I had to give a major presentation at work that I couldn’t reschedule. Fortunately, the ceremony was later in the day and I was able to make it in the nick of time. I had an amazing night and was feeling really great about my exceptional time management. I know I mention this a lot in these posts, but really, I came from hard-times and have finally reached a place in my life where all the pieces of the puzzle I’ve been trying to build are beginning to come together in a beautiful mosaic, so I was feeling particularly good for managing to fulfill all my work obligations and still be there for those people that I love a lot (I have frequently had to miss special events because of work).
One girlfriend consumed a little too much too fast and so I helped her to the washroom. While doing our business, she made the suggestion that we crash the wedding in the venue next door.
SIDE NOTE: Now, I haven’t really talked much about the various people that live inside my head (okay, not the crazy way that people usually mean). All people have various sides to their personality; my therapist and I have personified these facets of my inner-self and use the vocabulary “the people in my head” to describe the particular behavioural traits that can stem from specific aspects of the self. AKA – It is easier to say “The Bastard had a bad week this week, I got really smashed and made inappropriate phone calls” instead of “The long neglected part of me that longs for attention, even negative attention, drove me to drink and then I was compelled by this self-destructive aspect of my personality to contact people when it would have been wiser not to” – see, saying “The Bastard” encompasses the essence of that part of me without having to go into the detailed explanation.
The regular cast of characters that is “living” up there are: my Responsible Self (who the others usually roll their eyes at and groan about when she’s in charge - kind of like a mom), My Knight (who is new and I’m still discovering), My Dad (who recently took up residence – he moved in shortly after Daddy Issues), but primarily, there are my 2 little girls, The Little Girl (who is the innocent part of me that day dreams and plucks the petals from flowers when there is a new boy in the picture) and The Bastard (who is the rebellious neglected part of me that cries for attention from any source). Keeping The Bastard in check is sometimes difficult, but I’ve been learning. In times of high emotional turmoil, The Bastard tends to act out in various ways, like speeding, or binge drinking or any number of self-destructive things. At the time of the wedding, The Bastard was under strict supervision after a speeding incident that could have turned out much worse (don’t worry, no one was at risk of being hurt – just got my first speeding ticket). So, when the suggestion of crashing a wedding was proposed, the rest of the voices in my head agreed that The Bastard had been on her best behaviour and deserved a little form of rebellion (yes, all my life decisions are made by the committee of voices in my head… okay, it may sound a little crazy, but I swear, it really isn’t – it is more like checking in with all aspects of your personality to see if it would be destructive to any area). Back to the story…
I agreed to crash the wedding and we finished our business, fixed our hair, reapplied lipstick and strutted over to the other wedding. It was quite fun. We danced a bit and then stopped at the bar to get a drink. This is where I met Prince Charming. We had a laugh and a bit of a dance and then my friend began to wander away, so I followed and disappeared back to my original wedding. As the night wound down, I thought about my Prince and decided it was only polite to go say goodbye. (For those interested in the fairy tale facts, it was midnight – that’s when the bar closed at the wedding I was properly attending.) Cautiously (as my friend had tried a return to the other wedding earlier, got caught and was banished, so security was on high alert for trespassers), I snuck into the other venue. I did a quick scan of the room and to my dismay could not find Prince Charming anywhere. Forlorn, I headed back to the door with hopes dashed. But then (like all good fairy tales), I saw him standing by the door talking to a woman and her husband. I scooted around behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned and instantly recognized me.
The rest of the night was a little bit of a whirlwind. He had been looking for me throughout the night and was blown away that I had returned to say goodbye. No one at his wedding knew who I was and he had figured out that I didn’t properly belong there (which he found extra attractive). He called me Cinderella. Prince ended up coming back to my place and yes, I did kiss him… I know, I know – AGAINST THE RULES!!! Okay, but I did tell him about this year and he put up the biggest fight I’ve ever seen to be able to kiss a girl. He did everything, including getting another man to agree to make-out with him in order to prove that he was a really great kisser. For this, I call loophole. Any straight male who wants to kiss me so bad he will kiss another male (with tongue), kind of deserves it. Okay, not in all cases, but he was also super sweet, really cute and okay with the fact that kissing was a far as it was going to go (and I really wanted to kiss him back – hey, I’m only human!). And like any good Prince, he didn’t try anything further. He even slept in my house when he was deathly allergic to cats, just because he wanted to hold me as we slept – I mean, COME ON! The guy deserved a little kissing.
As has been my experience with all fairy tales of which I’ve been a part, it comes to an end. After a few messages exchanged and friending each other on Facebook, my Prince disappeared. Who knows why?! What I’m pleased to report from this experience, Girl Brain didn’t freak out. VICTORY!!! There was no panic about what I might have done wrong to make him lose interest. No drunken messages (really glad those are stopping!). No heartache or tears. Just tacit resignation that he wasn’t the Prince I’m looking for (“This is not the Prince you’re looking for” – said the Obi Wan voice in my head). I think this experience has made settling into month 3 much easier. I’m really starting to put value in myself.
Of course, I went back and re-read the conversations we had but nothing I said was out of character and if something in there dissuaded him from contact, then he is not really the guy I want to continue having contact with. Again, win for this experiment. It is also much easier to distance yourself and walk away from a situation like this when you haven’t seen each other naked or in the throes of carnal relations.
In other news, the Ex, after 3 years of chasing, has finally given up and is dating someone new. And all the world rejoiced. It is coming at a perfect time. As I’m learning to mourn the loss of my father, I’m tossing in mourning the loss of that relationship as well. Since I haven’t done songs in a while, the song that has been sticking out for me in regard to the Ex is, I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston. In particular, the following lyric (aka the verses of the song):
If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I'll go but I know
I'll think of you every step of the way
Bittersweet memories –
That is all I'm taking with me.
Please don't cry:
We both know I'm not what you, you need
I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of
And I wish you joy and happiness
But above all this I wish you love
For the most part, I feel like this is all I have left to say about that relationship. We were not what each other needed and I do hope for the best for him. And it is true, I will always love him. You can’t just stop after over a decade of caring for someone. We simply don’t want the same things in life and that’s okay too. If anything from this new departure, I feel freedom. I feel released. No matter what happened over the past three years, I have not felt comfortable moving on with my life knowing that he was still holding on. Now that he is with someone else, I can breathe again. All chains are broken.
I have been feeling anger lately and much to my Ex’s misfortune, for years I’ve been attributing that anger towards him, but now, now I try to, but it doesn’t work like it once did. The reason is that this anger I feel now is not towards him, I am free of that; it is towards the universe as a whole (according to my therapist – and she is yet to be wrong, so…). It is anger at the lot I’ve drawn. It is anger at the years squandered due to the lack of understanding I now possess. It is anger at the uncertainty of the future and permanence of the past. It is anger at the helplessness of our existence in this life. Real quality existential anger. But anger, like most things, is easier to face when you know where it is coming from. So, this is the route this journey is heading down. We move from mourning to anger… I’m starting to think this might be 12-step program of sorts…
Anyhoo, I look ahead with hope in my heart. As I continue this process, those voices that I described in my head are becoming more and more a singular voice as I move towards becoming a whole being. It is a very surreal experience - facing your demons and living to tell the tale. There are times of desperate loneliness, but with each obstacles that is surmounted, a new piece of me is freed and I am becoming more visible. I can finally see and others can see me.
For the next while, I am focusing on connecting with people more often. Actually looking people in the eyes when I talk to them. Also, until November 30, I’m not listening to my headphones while out and making an extra effort to smile at people when they walk past. Human connection is the goal of the next month.