Dirt in a Glass: The Beginning of a Meaningful Love Story

In my last post about not moving to Salida, I left out a fairly critical thing—quite intentionally. I chose not to mention that a couple weeks before I hit the snag with my loan, I’d met a woman.

She’s breathtakingly gorgeous, vibrant, smart, hilarious, athletic, sweet, and playful (among 80 other things I could say about her). Basically, she’s dreamy. And we’re courting—like, legit old-school courting. She’s masterful at it…and I’m smitten. At this point we’ve been dating for about 6 weeks and I’m just now to the point of ALMOST being able to concentrate on a task for 30 seconds without thinking about her and swooning.

swoon

When I was in the throes of making the to-Salida-or-not-to-Salida choice, she was insistent that I NOT be influenced by her sudden presence in my life. As far as she was concerned, it was all good either way and I should make the best choice for me. While I can’t quantify how successful I was at honoring her wish, I did my best—and that’s why I didn’t mention her in my previous post.

Another reason I didn’t mention her was because, while I’m not generally superstitious, somewhere in my brain there’s a gem of a thought that says, “Don’t write about her!! If you do, it’ll all be over!”

Looking at this in the light of day, I recognize it to be a totally ridiculous thought. And as a thought chaser, I’m intrigued. Where does this come from?

First of all, there’s the obvious: If I pour my heart out about her and then it all goes to hell, I’ll feel like an ass and there will forever be a commemoration of my adoration of her on my blog. Meh, I can live with that. There are worse things than being smitten with a phenomenal woman (such as, for example, being smitten with an a-hole woman, which has also happened).

Beyond the fear of making an ass of myself (a fear which I’m happy to report is falling more and more by the wayside as I near the big 4-0), I realize that it’s simply more vulnerable to write in the present tense because I.don’t.know.the.ending. How can I wrap meaning around circumstance to form cute little giftable bundles of story if I have no idea what’s going to happen?! It’s much easier to look back on situations and read into the signs and circumstances whatever meaning I can glean/craft in hindsight. (I think I was unduly influenced by shows like The Wonder Years and Doogie Howser, M.D.)

For example, if I HAD moved to Salida, the signs would have meant that I was called there—and that would have been true and made for a great story. If things had worked out with the woman I was dating in Salida, it would have been so much fun to tell everyone about the time when we were first dating and both had a katydid (an insect that looks like a green leaf) on our front doors on the same day (and neither of us had seen a katydid in years until that day)! Of course that would have meant that we were meant to be!

sign

I’m mocking myself and the joy I find in making meaning of things to underscore the point of discomfort I’ve achieved by realizing that nothing necessarily means anything. My current woman (I’ll call her Goddess) and I have the START of a beautiful love story—which is SUCH a fun place to be: with the flirting, the verbal banter, the playfulness, the competence of Goddess to return ANYTHING I volley into her court. And with all that, there’s the simultaneous awareness that all I can do to give this the best shot at success—whatever that will come to be—is to be present.

I am being called to be present. I am being called not to make anything mean anything.

The check returning my earnest money on the house in Salida was written with my last name as the combination of mine and Goddess’s. As it turns out, our last names are only one letter off from each other’s. The check writer obviously wasn’t sure which was correct, so she wrote the check to accommodate both our last names. The one letter of divergence was written as a W (mine) overwritten with an R. Or perhaps it was an R overwritten with a W. It was both hers and mine—almost as if to have invented a new letter altogether. And do I want to make that mean all kinds of things about our future together? Hells YES! Will doing that be helpful? Hells NO! Doing that will project me both into the future and into romantic delusion—neither of which is ideal.

I am being called to be present. I am being called not to make anything mean anything. I am being called to sit in the discomfort that being in romantic relationship can create and to allow it and to be aware of it and to use it as a chance to release that which no longer serves me.

Being single is easy. I’ve mastered being single. I’ve mastered doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want. Though I’ve grown a lot in my singlehood—which those friends know who witnessed me in the years just after my nine-plus-year relationship ended six years ago—it’s now time for new growth.

I attended a training this weekend in which one of the leaders likened being in relationship to water filling a glass that has dirt at the bottom of it. As the water pours in, the dirt is disturbed and starts to churn and rise up in the glass. If enough water is poured into the glass, the water will eventually run clear—but first the dirt needs to churn and rise.

I’m in the thick of the rising, churning dirt storm. And it’s okay.

Dirty water

Every insecurity I have is being churned up. And it’s okay.

If I can see myself through to clear water, with the help of lots of love from all around pouring into the glass, I will be that much more present and that much clearer to share all of me. And then, regardless of what happens in the plot line of this love story, love will have won. And I’ll be right there to assign it all meaning…from the future…in hindsight.

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What Do You Mean, “You Think You Had a Date Last Night?”—The Confusion Continues

Okay, so it wasn’t last night, it was last week. (If you aren’t familiar with my previous post from September, 2013, about not knowing if I was on a date, please click HERE.) I’d met her a few weeks earlier at a fundraiser. She friended me on Facebook after the event and I soon realized from reading her posts that we had a lot in common: a love of reading, writing, nerdiness, and creativity.

When I first met her I got the idea she was likely bi. She was a smart woman at a political fundraiser for an out LGBT local politician; it doesn’t take a huge leap to assume she’s either a strong ally (in which case she wouldn’t take offense at a confused lesbian asking her out) or she’s bi at the least. I gave this not much further thought until I started receiving clear intuitive promptings that I should ask her out. So…one night I messaged her on Facebook to ask if she wanted to hang out, you know, so I could pick her brain about writing. Safe, true, keeping it neutral. Going in slowly, checking out the terrain…

She responded in the affirmative and what started out as coffee plans soon became sushi plans. From the time arrangements were made, the air felt a little tingly and I had that “Ooh, I have a date!” feeling. But then I thought, “Erin, you better check yourself. What if she’s not even into women? Don’t get too excited.” So I hopped on over to Facebook to check her “About” information—sometimes this is a great place to learn how someone identifies sexually—and my heart sunk when I saw the words “Interested in men.” Doh! So I immediately texted the couple of friends who knew about the “date” to let them know I’d misreported about having a date. Not a date. Definitely not a date.

So, night of the not-date, I pulled up outside her apartment building and texted her that I’d arrived. She shot back, “Okay, be down in just a few!” 30 MINUTES (and one “Where are you?” text) later she finally came down. While sitting in my freezing cold car waiting for her (learning my lines for The Vagina Monologues because what else is a girl to do?) I’d realized, “Maybe this is a date! If she’s being total girly right now and getting all dolled up and changing her outfit five times…maybe this isn’t just two strangers getting together to talk about writing.” And sure enough, when she got into my car I could see that she looked beautiful and I was mesmerized by the amazing scent that washed over me.

To top it off, somehow within two minutes of being in my car she slipped into the conversation that she’s interested in dating women. I wish I had a memory and could recall just how that happened. She then explained that her Facebook setting is “interested in men” because that’s all her family needs to know at this point. Aha! Mystery solved. Date on!

Dinner went swimmingly as we jabbered and jabbered and laughed and ate and outlasted a large party that arrived well after us. On the way back to her apartment she said in the cutest way imaginable, “So, ummm, my gaydar totally sucks, I just don’t really have it. How do you, umm, identify?” I thought, “Holy shit! Date foul! How did I not convey my position?! How did I not say one thing during dinner that would have put her at ease about the issue of MY sexuality?!” Sometimes my life too closely resembles episodes of Seinfeld!

The evening ended nicely at her place—can’t go wrong with red wine and talking and laughing. I reinstituted the Seinfeld shenanigans the next morning, however, when upon awakening I texted my friend Michelle to let her know that, in fact, it HAD been a date. I typed, “So…last night was definitely a date.” It was only as I pushed Send that I realized I’d just sent it TO MY DATE and not to Michelle. Always nice to be awakened by a flood of sheer panic! What can I do but find myself infinitely amusing?

If this continues to go well, in whatever capacity, we’ll undoubtedly soon be laughing about the time she didn’t know if I was and I didn’t know if she was. And, as compared to the 2013 instance in which I still didn’t know by the end of the date whether it was a date, I’m gonna’ call this progress.

The Best Dating Advice I’ve EVER Received

I was at a party one night regaling a couple of friends with stories about my ridiculous attempts at dating when one of them shared a little piece of wisdom that I think should be shouted from the rooftops:

Whatever someone tells you about themselves—BELIEVE THEM!! They will tell you everything you need to know on the first date, and likely within the first 5 minutes. People say their truth. BELIEVE THEM!!

This came up in the conversation because of a story I was sharing about a pretty effed-up evening I had with a very drunk and emotionally confused Girl #4 in which I might have referred to her as being “crazy.” And then I realized, “Wait! She did tell me she was crazy.” Colleen jumped right in with, “She told you she was crazy? And you didn’t believe her? Girl, BELIEVE what people tell you about themselves! They will tell you their truth!”

So then I thought back to Girls 1–3 and remembered that Girl #3 spoke IMMEDIATE truth (that I actually recognized in the moment as truth). She said something like, “Yeah, I’m super busy so if someone doesn’t catch my attention, I’m just not going to make time for them. …Oops, I probably shouldn’t have said that.” And I was thinking, “No, it’s perfect. I’d rather hear the truth.”

So it’s interesting that in the case of Crazy I wasn’t willing to hear it, but in the case of Busy I was. And with Girl #6 (the most recent), the truth I heard over and over was a variation on, “I’m an asshole.” And in this case I was half willing to believe it and half wanting to poo-poo it. (Haha! Poo-poo the asshole comment!) I don’t believe she’s an asshole…and what I believe is of no importance. What matters is what she believes, and she believes she’s an asshole. So, she’s an asshole. Her unconscious creates evidence for her over and over again that she’s an asshole–because those are the instructions she’s giving her unconscious mind. Same for Girl #4 with the crazy. Is she actually crazy? No, not any more than anyone else. But because that’s her truth for herself…well, she is.

So I guess the warning cuts both ways:

1) Believe what people tell you, even if their pheromones are speaking louder than their words and you don’t WANT to believe it.

2) Be aware of what you say about yourself because you are unconsciously going to make it true over and over again.

If you’re not sure what you say about yourself, let me take you out sometime on a date and I’ll let you know what I hear.