I had finally come to the fine point of singleness. The tipping point of aloneness. The fulcrum of solitude. I can jest about it now. I must pull in humor from the air around me. Because as she came down and sat next to me, my happy place was rendered a jumble of meaningless platitudes. Before I knew it I wanted to spend time with her. Before, just minutes before she came and sat down I felt so peaceful. The searching or looking or seeking or wondering about any single woman (who wasn’t a client), had vanished. I was in a large crowd of hundreds of people. I do not think that there was a single other single man just sitting there by himself. I was surrounded by families. Chattering children who knew no thoughts or worried about their parents not being together forever. Normally that setting generates deep longing and sadness for me. And love. I love seeing whole families. But it has rarely been without looking at the sky and feeling “why can’t that have been the path for me…and for my children?” It has rarely been without the thought of “how can it be that I am sitting here alone? Me? An intensely family oriented-partner oriented guy…and I sit here alone?”
But on this day, I noted the absence of those thoughts and feelings. I felt really wonderful. I really felt “if it never changes, I am really going to make it…I am going to be totally fine alone and my kids will be okay…it is all okay now, I made it through to the other side of this.” Then she sat next to me. 5 is my lucky number. If you would believe it…she had a 5 tatooed on her fricking foot. Well, it was a 2 and a 3 side by side. In numerology and in my mind, that is a 5. What are the chances of meeting a woman who wants to get to know me who has my lucky number tattooed on her foot? 100% apparently.
The name? The same letter sound and vibration name that nearly every woman I have been involved with has had.
So there she was talking to me, and I was talking to her and I could see other people noticing the dynamic between us and I thought “why are they looking at us like that? What is it they are seeing that is making them smile.” Just like my sudden awakening, it happened before I knew it happened.
We don’t get to choose who we fall in love with. The timing doesn’t care about our timing. But what we can do is choose who we will stay with. For me, I have been given so many opportunities to see what happens to me when I extend myself in relationships in ways that are unkind to myself. I don’t share everything here on this blog. So I will keep it simple. This short relationship gave me the curse of hope. And hope for a partner was something that had disappeared from my radar. It also gave me a lovely reminder of what it can be like to have a partner who is healthy, who loves themselves and who is brilliantly honest. All traits I highly value. For reasons I won’t go into “we” are not seeing one another any longer. I had to go. I had to choose what to do when the way was not clear between us. There were things that did not fit. In the past I would have stayed. In the past I would have stayed and struggled to try to change things, or try and change her…so that I would not have to be alone when things inevitably didn’t work out. This time, for the first time, I just loved this wonderful person and assigned myself the role of not trying to change anyone. And if no one was changing anyone, and since some things were not workable for me to remain…the only way for me to have my integrity was to go. No fighting or struggling required. Just compassionately leave. It requires the willingness to be alone again with hands open. It is strange though how timing works. One can presume that if life introduces us to someone who we don’t want to be without, that it means we are not meant to be without them. More and more I think that this connection is only present to make us work really hard at doing our best, at being our best. I think that life makes the connection so visceral…that this is what it takes to make us dig the deepest. At least in my life though, it has not yet meant a lifetime partnership. At 41 it is late for that anyway. I feel that when we do not argue with life, when the timing is right for meeting the other but not for the partnership we are clamoring for, it is really really hard to bear. Speaking for myself, as a single man at 41, it felt impossible to come so close to something I had given up on…only to realize that the timing for it being an open space for partnership was actually not there. All the longing that seemed to have subsided came back with a fury. Sometimes it is so unbearable it is to be hilarious. I find myself laughing at the juxtaposition of loneliness and partnership in my life. And then in the next turn crushed under the weight of it, unable to accept the reality of another day alone. Sometimes I feel like a pinned butterfly in a display case. Or a bird forced to walk.
Today I went to my favorite place. I went there to supposedly do yoga. But I didn’t. I took a blanket. I laid on the grass. I just let the Earth hold me. Because no matter what the reasons for my life’s unfolding are, this is the way it has unfolded. Without exception, my life has been my life and no one else’s. And I just love that so god damn much. I watched some birds, two birds. They kept swooping sharply, chasing one another at impossible angles. High and low they went. Never catching up. I marveled at the low clouds. I sunk my nose into the grass and napped. I have no idea what is next. I never do. But I am always glad that I am me, through and through. I am always glad to be here. Since the awakening that is the part that never changes. I am always glad to be me, no matter what I am experiencing and regardless of whether I am with someone, or not.