More Ponderings on Love as if You Haven’t Had Enough

So, here I am. Silent since May. It’s the middle of August. How, oh time, have you slipped away so fast? Where to, oh voice, have you gallivanted away?

I have no idea how this post will turn out, so I hope that you will bear with me while I exercise my near atrophied writing muscles. I hope it’s quite like a bike and that I haven’t forgotten how.

So, I’m titling this post and it’s obviously another ranting on love. Love, love, more love. Whenever will I stop?

I am hesitant to admit here that I have embarked on the absurd, yet marvelous, journey of online dating. While I originally scoffed at the virtual meat market– the inorganic nature of reading someone’s profile, of judging their selfies—I have actually found the atmosphere to be quite pleasant, if not refreshing. Not only can I present myself in a way that promotes my best forward foot, or at minimum my best angle, but I am able to ask myself what it is I really want in a person, or in a relationship, casual or otherwise without the distracting bar scene. I actually find that I can be more intentional and on board with my goals.

I’ve only been on a few dates– each different, one promising—and have noticed that I am keeping a watchful eye on the sincerity of the connection and also on the flutterings of my heart. I am not callous. Not as desensitized as I thought I was. Nor am I fearful of intimacy (okay, I’m a little fearful), a phobia I believed that I had developed. But, I am slow. At least, I think that I am slow. I am doubtful that I will get swept away. I am older now. More practical. If nothing else, I am more in touch with what I don’t want. In this more intentional environment, I can ask myself if this is a person I would eventually introduce to my son or just a person with which to have fun. I am tired of just fun. I want fun plus.

But then there is the whole scary business of a boyfriend, of monogamy, of being swallowed up whole and losing myself. Why, when I think of commitment, do I suddenly think of being eaten alive and forfeiting my identity? I would say that obviously has something to do with my history, of course. And, because of the fact that I have seen—in my own life and in the lives of others—love go all sorts of awry. I’ve seen the flames of love start out so colorful, so beautiful, only to turn into a destructive wild fire. Ugh. How tremendously frightening!

But, I must rely on my own intuition, my own ability to keep things paced and real without throwing up a barbed wire fence and booing love away. I can, I believe, do this thing.

And, as I crawl out of the trenches of grief (alright, “Landslide” did me in the other day), I am also reminded of my true priorities. Sometimes, I lose terrible touch with the experiences and outcomes that I really want and end up just flitting my time away with lesser endeavors. I haven’t been writing all summer for example. While I am exercising more, I forget to plan for that Zumba class or I trade in that hike for a pint of beer. At times, I think I am just ridiculous. But, I know I am not alone in this knowing what is good for you but not buckling down pattern.

Maybe, just maybe, when I do finally settle into something more fulfilling, more meaningful, as I stop ogling every single man I meet, I will also settle into a pattern of focusing on my more independent goals. I might, for example, complete that application for my MFA or hike my thighs off. But, when I talk like this, when I talk like settling is good for me, I am conscious not to talk of a savior, or the belief that a relationship will change me. I am just so often focused on checking out butts that I forget about my real aspirations. Talk about identity theft!

I do want to back up and say that I understand that my focused, goal-driven self must emerge from inside me and not from the affections of another. But, support, teamwork, and deeper connection are starting to sound more appealing, more palatable, more fun.

Still, as I am always doing with this love talk, I am getting so far ahead of myself that I must appear crazy. Love has not yet presented itself to me. In the meantime, I must write and Zumba, read and teach, love my friends and family, and try to stop drooling over biceps. I must work on my best self, not just for me and for those currently around me, but for those that will enter my life and bring more meaning to it.

Cheers love! Cheers!

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