Hiatus Clarity

This was a post I started a few weeks back and forgot about.  This is the kind of clarity that hiatus brought me.  Which served me well in Vegas.  (Well for now…we’ll see how it turns out…more on that later).  For now, this shift in mentality was primarily the result of hiatus.  ————————————————————————————————————————————————-

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Every once in a while, I have a moment where things really click in my head–completely out of no where.  We all have these ‘a-ha!’ moments.  Just for me, the setting is never what I picture.  It’s never in the yoga studio, the calm of a morning shower, or mind-clearing run.  Instead, it’s night’s like last night: a random Thursday where I found myself merrily enjoy a glass of Cabernet with a (platonic) guy friend, watching zombie movies.

I’m leaning on his shoulder, the two of of us sprawled out on his uber comfy sectional. I felt light and full of energy as I laughed over some sarcastic comment he made to counter my original criticism of the movie.  Then, as he got up to refill our wine, I had a moment, where I realized I felt more content and genuinely happy than I had in a long time in the company of any other man.  For a moment I took pause.  Could this long-time platonic friend be…more?!  Was he the one all along?  Had I been ignoring the signs for years?

My reverie was abruptly interrupted by his return to the room.  Then I had one of those movie moments where the person is talking but you aren’t really listening as much as studying them (queue sappy playing over the conversation and laughter as my inner monologue continues).

Nah.  Definitely not it.

My loins didn’t twitch.  My heart didn’t race.  I didn’t feel giddy.  It was pure friendship, through and through.  With a sigh and sip of wine, I went back to our otherwise uneventful, yet super enjoyable, night.

Later that night though, as I climbed into bed (yes, alone-just in case you wondered), I thought more about this.  I still had the residual feelings of contentment.  And that’s when I realized:  *This* was part of what I needed.  *This* was what I have been missing.  The easy and light, excited, exuberant feeling.  Every guy I had been out with–and even, er, “been” with lacked this.  Regrettably, even the most recent ex-boyfriend.

This is not to say that this platonic friend and I should be a couple. Our personalities are great as friends-we’re both witty, caring, kind people who enjoy hanging out.  But what we want in relationships and major deal breakers (religion, politics, hobbies etc) are very different.  And this is all fine.  But I realized that this  comfortable, easy, feeling should be a new per-requisite.  This may seem strange as it sounds, pretty obvious, but I suppose I needed to feel that in order to to realize it, since I’m not sure I have felt that way since adolescence.  That’s right.  I haven’t had the excited, butterflies, content and happy feeling with the opposite sex since I met my first love at 17.  Perhaps it’s time.

With all that said, I understand that some of that ease comes from years of knowing someone.  However, even with platonic relationships (of either gender), sometimes you meet someone and you just click.  You know you could be great friends and feel close and comfortable, right off the bat.

I guess what I am trying to say, (to myself), is that I need to keep my mind (and my heart) open, and trust my instincts.  As someone who has always been obsessed with lists and logic, I need to push that aside.  I’m not a dumb girl. I don’t need to keep a tally of reasons why a guy and I will, or will not, work.  I hear certain words (Catholic, conservative, guns, the word Axe for ‘ask’ or dropping ‘g’s off the end of a word) and I know immediately we can never be anything serious. Beyond that, you never know.

Perhaps it’s time I ditch the checklist and shift the focus to my instincts.  After all, I’ve never been good at following them (instincts, that is) and look where that has gotten me…

On Repeat

New fave artist, new fave song.  Current theme.  Completely necessary.

 

Say what you feel
Love who you love
‘Cause you just get
So many trips ’round the sun
Yeah, you only
Only live once

Tonight, I Have a Party

Tonight I will be going to a party.  Since it’s a birthday, it happens annually…obviously.  But there is something substantially different about this party: it was this birthday party last year that changed the course of my life.  It was at this party that I had my first, first, kiss in over 7 years. 

I had been having the pesky, overwhelming feelings of marital doubts and the itch to get away, but this night was what sealed the deal.  It was the proverbial beginning of the end, as the things I felt in that kiss were things I hadn’t felt…well…in 7 years.  It confirmed my worst fears: that there was nothing in my marriage to resurrect, fix or recreate since, in fact, I never was *actually*  in love or even attracted to my husband. 

Therefore, it’s more than ironic that I just found this today in the back of my journal…written shortly thereafter the event….

Surely Stranger Things Have Happened

Surely stranger things have happened
Than the sudden change in tide

The burning
The yearning
For lips that are not mine

For the fresh innocence to mix with the rush of something illicit that leaves the stomach churning
Yet
Overtaken with butterflies, memories in time

Surely stranger things have happened
Than the hearts that race, the fingers that lace
Unexpectedly; Hesitantly

Never to be spoken of
Acknowledged
But all together unforgettable
Undeniable

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I Don’t Wear Black Anymore

I’m sitting cross-legged in my office chair, in my tiny cubicle.  From here, I can see out the windows that line one side of the office, and it is undeniably a dreadfully, dreary Thursday.  There is no sunshine; the sky is a canvas of smoke and ash.  The leaves have yet to come in on the trees, so their naked branches are dancing in the wind and the raindrops race each other down the window pane.  Looking down, I realize that the brightest thing in sight are my turquoise pants.

Later, I am sifting through my Facebook photos, looking for a new picture to illuminate my Desktop- something I like to change once a week to keep up my morale.  As I scroll down, from most recent to older, I see a major transition in the amount of colorful clothing I am wearing.  My pictures from the last six to eight months show me clad in bright blues or greens to highlight my eyes, and purples (my favorite color of all).   There are even some hot pinks, patterns and vibrant accessories.

This observation may seem banal to the layperson, but to me, it’s interesting.  My ex-husband was a graphic designer and ergo very hip to color and design.  While he wasn’t as adept to women’s fashions, over the years it was not uncommon for him to complain that I wore too much black.  He often remarked how everything in my closet looked the same-solid black, brown or white.  Anytime I brought home a new piece of plain black clothing, he would roll his eyes and say something like “Oh good.  Another black cardigan.  You don’t have anything like that.” Sarcasm was his strong suit.

My defense (although in retrospect it was silly that I had to defend my clothing choices to my husband), was that black was always safe.  Black always was in style, always looked good, always easy to accessorize…should I ever decided to accessorize beyond my silver Tiffany studs.  So, I generally ignored him and continued on with my plain Jane clothing, claiming that I was going for an Audrey Hepburn vibe.

So it’s infinitely interesting to me, that I have been gone from my home, and my husband, for two months short of a year and around the same time, my clothing became more vibrant.   Analyzing this (since what else is there exactly to do on a gloomy Thursday such as this?) I could think of a million reasons for this change.  My tastes could be changing as I am growing up.  Summer  has just past, where brighter colors are more prominent, and losing 30, rapid, pounds from the stress of divorce left me in need of new summer clothes.  Some of my coworkers took me shopping (since they claimed I was dressing too old for my age and that was unacceptable with my new single status).  Perhaps this was entirely their influence.

However, what if the reason, was my sudden shift in mentality?  The emotional transition of freeing myself; letting myself go.  Many of my friends, especially those who have known me for a long time, have commented on how much more energy and zest they see in me these days, despite the less than ideal situations divorce can bring.  Even with all the pain and confusion and change, I’ve heard that I smile more, laugh harder and, in general, have become a more vibrant person.  And honestly, I would tend to agree. I am much happier now that I’ve broken out of the mold that I thought my life should be.  In fact, I’ve gotten rid of that-and any- notion of molds all together.

In a marriage ceremony I attended this year, a Native American story was told where an old woman said to her partner, “I like me best when I am with you.”  This really struck me because I did not like the person I was in my marriage.  I was incredibly uptight, depressed, and difficult, especially those last six months as I struggled to put the painful pieces together of what I was feeling about my marriage and why.   This is why part of me wishes that D* could see this-see how much I’ve changed and how much better off we are without each other. See how much I have let go and learned to love life, irregardless of my sometimes less than ideal circumstances.

I guess, the overarching point is that I wish he could see that this divorce has changed me the way a life-threatening illness can change people; giving them a new lease on life. And this is not because I want to show off or twist the proverbial knife, but because I desperately want him to understand why I had to leave.  I want him to see that, with him, I was not myself; I was not the best me I could be, and I was not living life the way it was meant to be lived.  Instead, I was playing it as safe as my all-black closet.  Hiding the imperfections instead of fixing or embracing them. Always coloring in the lines and following the rules.  Being sure not to misstep and disappoint even if that meant being ordinary and never changing. Blending myself into the shadows and accepting life was meant to be as plain, bleak and emotionless as the color black itself.

Today, I see the sunshine even on the cloudiest of days.  Today, I am me.

Today, I don’t wear black.