Maybe you…

Projects…..I’ve been happily buried in them since my hiatus from my seasonal job commenced mid-April. I did, however, take a week to vacation in Key Largo with my mother at the end of the month. A wonderful and meaningful time spent…..although, I do believe we were driving each other a bit crazy the last day or so. Between her constant worry about everything (but primarily that I would be eaten by an alligator) and my own need for time to myself, some irritability was par the course.

But now I’m back…..and projects are taking a front seat. So many planned for this year. Helping my kids and mother with their houses is at the forefront, followed by a few personal projects and goals. And then there’s my daughter’s wedding and all of the events involving and leading up to that. Let’s just say that I’m keeping busy with a schedule and lists, which is good……but it hasn’t given me much time to write and further my memoir project. I’m looking to resolve that, mind you… soon as possible. Hence, my effort to take a few minutes now to write about my last couple of months and stolen moments of introspection (there were a few.) I did have ideas now and again for particular posts to compose, but then the moments passed and I can’t remember even a third of what I wanted to write about.

However, one thing I do want to touch on is the more recent and unexpected death of an old classmate that hit me rather hard. We just never know, sometimes, how much someone has touched us or how much we may mean to others. Yet, when someone shares their soul in any capacity, it’s almost impossible not to be affected. Such was the case with my old school friend. I had a crush on him years ago, in middle school. I can still see him flying around the skating rink on the weekends and smiling from a front row seat during a duet I performed at contest. Such a nice guy. In recent months, he had been going through a divorce…..had commented on numerous social media posts of mine. A few private messages too….and I think it’s safe to say that he liked me. But, well…..I may not have been alone in that and I think most know where my heart has been in past months, let alone that it’s not my thing to involve myself in divorce situations. Nevertheless, I appreciated his faith and openness in regards to love. So many hardened people out there….but he wasn’t one of them. I suppose, when it came down to it, I connected with him on a level that I wasn’t even aware of….and now the world is less bright without him in it. I really wish he had been able to find and experience what it was he was looking for before leaving this world….

But that’s the impermanence of life. Not only do our moments and experiences come and go throughout the duration of our lives…..but life, itself, comes and goes. And it can’t be controlled any more than the wind, clouds, or anything else. Sometimes, things just happen. The unexpected…..happens. Perhaps if we take better care of ourselves and play it safe, we can live longer…..but perhaps not. Put forth effort. Take action. Just don’t forget to surrender to the comings and goings…..including your own.

With all of that said, the topic of resistance has been on my mind lately…’s resistance to love and those who may offer it. My own resistance deserves some consideration too, if I am to psycho-analyze the issue. How often have I resisted? Or perhaps I should question when have I not resisted? Isn’t some part of me always resisting?

Maybe it isn’t love that we resist at all…..but certain situations and what those might mean for us. Love isn’t a chain, but how often do we interpret it that way? And how often are we scared off by that association? A man says he loves me and I run and avoid for fear of somehow being tied down to him…..and maybe I’m not opposed to being tied down to someone, but not him. And why is that? Why do we think we should ever be tied down at all?

It’s a process, but instead of associating love with restriction, I’m trying to associate it more with freedom. Yes, like many people, I would like to be in a monogamous and committed relationship with one person. However, it has never been my desire to restrict anyone…..especially a person I love. How could I? When I really love someone, I care about his life and who he is as an individual……every bit as much as I care about my own life, dreams, goals, fulfillment, etc. There’s no room for insecurity, jealousy, or anything else of the like. And the fact is, people aren’t static. We grow. We change. Who we are in one moment may not be who we are in the next. So why have all of the expectation of “forever”?

What a peculiar concept……forever. Even just the idea of spending the rest of one’s life with someone. Sure, when I’m 80, the rest of my life might not be that long. But what about at age 20? How does a 20 year old even know anything? She doesn’t. She marries…..all starry-eyed and maybe wanting a house and kids. And then the kids grow up and she’s not the same. Maybe the man isn’t the same, either. Or maybe one or both are the same and one or both want and need a change……need to regain a love of life again. And let’s face it. Life (individually speaking) is short and we have to expect that a good handful of us aren’t willing to just let it slip away without our own active part in what it all looks like for us.

So yeah, having the expectation of a long-lasting relationship seems dangerously unhealthy to me at this point. Yes, I believe it’s possible in my own life……but I would prefer to not expect it at all. I would prefer to just love without expectation of all of that. I would prefer to just choose a person today…..then tomorrow…..with each new day a new choice. To wake up in the morning beside the person I love and think, ‘yes….I want to be here.’ And wouldn’t it be great to be chosen this way, too? Some things are eternal. I do believe that. But, to me, eternal means that I may not be with you today…..but I could be with you tomorrow. Eternal is big-picture thinking. It exists beyond the moment. To love someone eternally means to cut the chains of expectation and appreciate what is in the here and now. To love someone eternally is to say that I am okay with whatever you choose to do today….whoever you choose to be with……because I care about your life and understand that you have to live it and experience it for yourself.

So, this is where I am right now. Loving unconditionally, but also not cheating myself out of anything. And funny enough, this has led me to fewer experiences in some ways….at least more recently. No lengthy road trips….not one date for months until a couple of weeks ago when I ventured out to meet someone new. But no matter what I do with it, my own freedom to choose is important…..just as important as accepting the freedom of anyone else. We all have this freedom. To understand this is to understand that love given freely by anyone is a gift. What anyone does with the gift is up to him or her. He or she can accept, reciprocate…..or squander. Maybe the giver keeps giving. Maybe not.

Assuming that the love I give myself is just as valid, what am I doing with my gift? I suppose I’ve been sharing it with my kids and family in the form of said projects. But, I’m feeling too that it might be time for a break or a change. It might be time to stop resisting so much from others and see what experiences await me. Of what have I been afraid? That I’ll end up with a life I don’t want or with someone I’m less than passionate about? Or is it that I don’t want to be hurt…..again? Crazy how I can think that I’ve gotten to a place beyond fear and then….BAM… comes out here in my writing.

So, it’s possible that I’m afraid of all of that. And maybe I’m also afraid that I’ll stop loving someone I haven’t seen or spoken to since August……or that it will be unfair to anyone else who may enter my life at this time. But that’s where freedom and choice come in to play, I suspect. I can exercise my freedom and I can choose something today…..and that’s all there is until I make another choice tomorrow. And anyone else is free to do the same……choose or not choose me today……and choose or not choose again tomorrow.

Funny… much of our learning revolves around the acceptance of rejection. And yet, so little attention is given to our acceptance of being chosen……as if we believe the other person can’t possibly know what choice he/she is making or getting him/her self into. Because, while we all say we want to be loved and accepted for who we really are, we aren’t necessarily the best at accepting it when it happens.

At least in my case, with everything I’ve been writing and making public, it’s kind of known. THIS is what someone (maybe you) is getting himself into. And that being said, I’m going to assume that whatever choice someone ( maybe you) might make, it’s an informed one. In fact, it’s likely that I set it up that way…..have been working on all of this for a very long time. Self-acceptance……being and loving myself…..all for the purpose of being able to offer the same love and acceptance to someone else.

Maybe you….

3 thoughts on “Maybe you…

  1. So sorry to hear about your friend. There’s a lot in this post to engage with, yet that one cuts the deepest, I think. Coming to terms with not merely the fact of impermanence, but its radical unpredictability…Do we ever fully manage that? I wonder. I feel too young to have outlived as many friends and acquaintances as I have — former students, even. Maybe the most we can aspire to is gracefulness in our grief. Maybe with practice we can cultivate that. It’s one of the things I’ve most appreciated about my Zen practice, for sure.


    1. I once said that for all of the “things” we can’t take with us when we die, there is one thing we can….and that is possibility. The friend I write about had remained quite faithful in the desolution of his marriage that someone new would come into his life who would love him and his children. Now that possibility is gone ….having left with him. It’s heart-breaking…..the hope we can maintain….and have it not matter one bit.


      1. Your post also reminded me of this bit of dialogue from the final episode of The Expanse…

        “I hope I did the right thing.”

        “You did. You followed your conscience in the hope that others would follow theirs. You didn’t do it for a reward or a pat on the head. The universe never tells us if we did right or wrong. It’s more important to try to help people than to know that you did. More important that someone else’s life gets better than for you to feel good about yourself. You never know the effect you might have on someone, not really. Maybe one cool thing you said haunts them forever. Maybe one moment of kindness gives them comfort or courage. Maybe you said the one thing they needed to hear. It doesn’t matter if you ever know. You just have to try.”

        Liked by 1 person

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