When I was 27, I dated a fantastic man. He’s engaged now, and I had to remind myself that at the time, I wasn’t ready.
When I was 30, I dated a fantastic man. He’s dating again now, and I have to remind myself that at the time, I wasn’t ready.
Yet all this time, I’ve never thought of myself as someone who wasn’t ready for dating, or a serious relationship.* I mean, clearly. The whole 50/50 trip wasn’t even intending to prove that right. It was done under the paradigm of my being ready being right.
So what if all this time, I’ve been wrong?
Answering that question has consumed me over the past few months. I’ve read Codependent No More twice. I’ve been attending counseling. I’m halfway through The Power of Now. And I spend a lot of time in thought — and sometimes in conversation — analyzing my thought process and trying to detach myself from my emotions and overactive thinking, and (trying to) face truths I don’t like for one reason or another.
Which is scary shit, when you consider that I have, for 31 years, believed that I am my ability to think expansively, and that I am my ability to feel expansively. Because what if I am not those things? What if I am not my pain, my empathy, my past, my hope for the future?**
Then what am I?
I worry if I strip that all away, there won’t be anything left.
Of course, the opposite could be true, too. I could strip that all away, and maybe there’s something dazzling in the darkness. They don’t say in tenebris, lux without a reason. So why is it so scary to imagine the lightness in being?
*The concept of “not being ready” sounds, on paper or on screen, ridiculous — like a cop out, or a half-hearted excuse meant to save another person some form of grief or dent self confidence.
**All this, interestingly, ties back into the conversation with our Ohio homestays.