Beginnings. Endings. Closing doors and openings. Stepping into the moment I find a new moment inside, beyond the moment, opening up, expanding this moment into the next.
A weekend invitation. To spend time with a friend at a mountain hide-away. We’ve known each other three years. We first met when I was writing a business plan for a company he was involved with. He was married. I was not interested in men, regardless of their marital status. He’s since divorced. Over the past year we’ve grabbed a quick lunch. A coffee here. A glass of wine there. I’ve never thought of him as someone to date, simply a friend to share experiences with.
But, a couple of weeks ago, my perceptions shifted. “I’ve got a friends cabin for the weekend,” he said on Wednesday. “Would you care to join me?”
There were no strings attached. No expectations. Two adults spending a weekend as friends.
And we did. Spend the weekend as friends. But in the midst of the laughter, the conversations, the sharing of our stories that were deeper than what we’d shared in the past, something shifted. Somewhere between the playing cards, cooking dinner, long tranquil walks along the lake shore and zooming across its surface in a power boat, the wind whipping my hair from my face, the laughter catching on the updraft, soaring up and around and above me, a moment opened up and possibility tumbled into the gap between us. Possibility of something more, of something deeper greeted us with its exciting, and its sometimes terrifying, ability to connect two people through something of greater substance than a lunch grabbed here. A coffee. A glass of wine there.
In my experience, I have attached myself to two types of men. Those who are emotionally unavailable — I spend my time beating against their doors, hammering for entry knowing it will never come. In my insistence they let me in, I remain comfortable in my knowledge that I will never have to step beyond the confines of my carefully constructed wall masking my fear of being vulnerable. The other type of man is the emotional vacuum — like the sociopath. Caught in the backdraft of his heat, the air between us is sucked out as our bodies become fused in a parasitic relationship that leaves me breathless, and afraid. And lost.
I don’t do relationship like I used to. But then, I haven’t really done relationship since getting my life back 4+ years ago when the sociopath was arrested. Somewhere in the journey from then to this moment, I have shifted my perspective. Created a whole different view of who I am and how I am. Turned the corner on my fear of me and embraced me in my truth — this is my one and only life. And I am all that I am meant to be when I stand at centre stage of my own life and spread my wings. The choice is mine.
I still know fear. Still feel it. Taste it at the back of my thoughts in the after-bite of anticipation that someone has entered my space. Someone else is touching me beyond the everyday touch of civility and friendship. That I could open my feelings up to someone else and be vulnerable.
Not a happy place vulnerability. Scary. Shifting sands. Lost-in-time walking through fear to that place where courage awaits with open arms to expose my senses to fear, to joy, to the exhilaration of stepping out of my comfort zone into a place I’ve never been before.
This is new turf for me. A new terrain. A place where I have held myself away from. Protected myself from. In this space, I risk becoming blinded by fear, carefully tapping my cane, searching the ground before me for potholes, loopholes, any type of hole that might suck me into believing someone could be who they are and in their truth find me enchanting, appealing, exciting, interesting.
Since the sociopath was arrested 4+ years ago, I have dated two men, both within the past year. One had possibility — but timing was definitely off and as time together opened the door to time future, our directions changed and we went separate ways without fearing hurting the other. The second, I knew from the get-go the possibility would not open up to the vista of more simply because red flags started falling at our first hello and lasted through our two dates and one dog walk.
This time. This time I feel the difference. I feel the pull. The lure of possibility there’s something out there, someone in there, in here, around the corner, inside the moment opening up to something beyond more.
To be whole, to be safe without fear of drowning, to be free, I must ground myself in this moment, this place where I am okay with me. With my life. With who I am. I must stand in this moment, right now, open to what is, confident that I am who I am, regardless of the passion of the wind swirling around me. Regardless of who he is and who I think I could be with him. I must be me inside, outside, within me. And leave space for him to be who he is, inside, outside, within him.
It was a lovely weekend. As I fell asleep the night I returned to the city, however, tiny tears prickled the back of my eyes. I felt anxiety rising and thoughts of what if…? What if he’s not real. What if it’s all a lie. What if he’s just like the sociopath….? The what if’s of time past. Of fear and terror and knowing I was dying through living my life in the web of someone else’s untruths.
That was then. This is now.
Regardless of who comes in, or out, of my life today, my truth is, I am a fearless woman living her life completely, being all that she is meant to be. I am me. Exactly as I am. A bundle of nerves. Of cells united. Of cells dividing into beauty, courage, passion, fear, anticipation, determination, trepidation and a host of other feelings that pull me from my centre — if I let them. My responsibility is to be true to me. To stand centered in my values, beliefs, morals, dreams.
The choice is mine.
In this moment right now, I choose to surrender and fall into love with me, all of me, warts and all so that I can be free of the expectation that someone else’s life entering mine will make my dreams come true. My dreams are mine to create. To set free. To share. In my surrender, I open myself up to the possibility that relationship is not what I thought it was, or what is was when I experienced it in the arms of a sociopath, but rather, what it becomes when two people step freely into the arms of possibility, confident in their ability to be whole, exactly the way they are. Knowing the possibility of more is an exciting journey of a relationship unfolding in time.
No one else has the secret to my happiness. To my dreams. To my life.
The choice is mine.
For today, I choose to be vulnerable to this moment where I am fearfully and fearlessly stepping into waters I’ve never swum in before.
In making the choice to experience this time the way it is, and not the way my memory pulls me, I make the choice to free myself from the past so that I can choose life.