No Ex-Gentlemen Friends

This is a weird thing to type out. But the other night, I couldn’t fall asleep and identified a fog in my space by means of the artwork hanging over my bed.

It’s a masterpiece of #2 pencil and one of my most cherished posessions, drawn for me by a man who once loved me dearly. In that moment, a voice demanded that I move it from above me now. Frightened, I jumped onto the bed, felt up the wall to where the wire met the hook, and gently lifted the heavy frame. I slid to the floor and laid it to the side. Back in bed, I quickly fell to sleep.

The following morning, I rid my room of mementos: A photograph of a vibrant red flower a lover said reminded him of me. A statue from my ten-year boyfriend called “Devotion.” Lyrics of music written for or cursing my name. Poetry. Letters. Sketches. Photos. They all went into a box, and the box into the back of the closet. I’d held them not because I’d been holding onto the past, or keeping candles lit. I have friendly relationships with many of my exes — and their wives! — and the rest I don’t speak to and wish well. I don’t want a single one of them back in my life or bed or heart. I treasure the time we loved each other as I do the other chapters of my very full, lucky life.

So why the removal?

I don’t know! But there was that voice in the middle of the night. And if this Year has given me anything, it’s that trusting inner voice back. I have no reason to doubt it.

Later that following day, I went back onto an online dating site. Messages came flooding in — a result of the return, not my prowess or anything. One gentleman’s stood out, messaging back and forth ensued, and by the time I went to sleep we had a lunch date planned. Flutters of excitement. Possibility.

Back in bed that night… panic again.

My life right now is lush and vibrant and… complicated. My place in the world is in flux. My body is an enigma. My work is in transition. Would I be “enough” for someone the way I am right now?

And then I laughed.

Because all of life is lush and vibrant and complicated! We just don’t always see or want to accept that reality. There’s often no “right time” to start something. And no reason to assume that the things in flux or enigmatic and therefore interesting and challenging and fascinating for one person might not be those same things for another.

Some juju cleared from my space these last few days. With no expectations other than to meet another fascinating human tomorrow, this Year has me excited to soon fill it.

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