As a kid I remember clearly thinking that if I wasn't married by the time I was 21, I would be an "Old Maid." Well. I am long past that marker, and have not married.
It hasn't been from a lack of desire, or a lack of trying on my part. There were times in my life I was actively doing the things you were supposed to be doing in "The Game."
I did unorthodox things, and I took chances in the name of love, and still found myself often on the outside, looking in.
There would be those who would be quick to say I made poor choices, or that I was unconsciously sabotaging myself, or that I just did not know how to effectively "deal" with men.
That perspective has been maddening over the years. Like so many other pieces of my life, maybe things could have been handled differently, but the idea that there was/has been an underlying "wrong" hasn't quite fit for me.
What if my life in many regards was never meant to be "typical?" What if things have been exactly how they've been for a reason?
I think about the love I thought I felt for the guy I moved to another state to be with and now wonder if I mistook co-depency for love. Although I do figure at least part of what I labelled as love was love, as at the time I really did think I cared deeply about him.
What I felt for him, though, as great as I sometimes thought it was, has paled in comparison to what I have felt for others over time. Each time I have opened myself up to someone new, and really allowed myself to risk what might follow, I have found such incredible experiences.
There have been times I have been terrified, as the time before hurt so much when it ended. It took everything I had to go "there." But each time I did, I listened to my heart. It said to take the leap, and - at least at first - I was so glad that I did. Maybe THIS was the time it would work. Maybe THIS was the time and person I had been waiting for, and the reason no one had worked out previously.
As good as each time was, the next time the fear was even greater - and so was the ultimate "pay off." There were times I felt like the most fortunate person, ever. It would feel like everything just made sense, and I would find myself grateful for all of the stuff that came before, including all of the disappointment and pain.
The thing now, though, is that cancer is in the picture. I do not know how to even begin to pursue anything with anyone with that piece in place. I now get scared I may wind up leaving this place called life never really having the incredible relationship I truly have felt I could have.
I have so much to offer a relationship. Many still think there is something wrong with me. There has to be. I am the common denominator.
Maybe there is just something really right with me. Maybe I have been meant to enter the lives of those I have touched, and share myself with them as I have, and it is something I could never have done, had I "just" found one. Maybe I also found myself and found love in a way I never could have, either, by having the journey happen the way it has.
I heard someone say yesterday that we will all get what we want - just not necessarily in this lifetime. But we will, he insists, get it. Marianne Williamson, I believe, says something to the effect that the soul never has a desire it can't fulfill.
I have had a hard time with what she has said, having seen how many of my soul's desires have seemingly gone unanswered, and at this point never will be. I never, however, considered the idea that my soul transcends who I am here and now in this lifetime, and that what doesn't happen in this body with this ego could happen in another time and another place.
We all want a great number of things in this body and with our current ego. Many think this is our only shot, and much of what I am saying is just nonsense.
I can see how it makes us that much more desperate - and adds urgency in our life - to make things happen in a certain way, with certain people in particular.
If we didn't look at our lives as the whole book, but only as a chapter of a book, we might view everything through a much different lens.
How do we know which is "right?" Despite what anyone says, there really is no way to know anything for certain. We just have levels of belief that appear more certain than others.
What I do know is that the only thing I seem to be able to do is to make up stuff that I believe about my life. I can make what has happened into something bad and sad, or I can tell myself how what might have seemed to be bad and sad laid the foundation for something quite incredible.
I can make myself miserable thinking that I somehow can't get things right, that I am sabotaging myself, that I can't figure things out no matter how hard I try, or I can do what I can to embrace what is, and love everything about it, and me.
My circumstances won't be any different, but in allowing myself to be ok with things as they are, maybe I give myself an incredible gift that would be even better than trying so hard to insert myself into a life that it seems I was not meant to have.
I feel some sadness when I say that. I think we have been trained so well to see life a certain way, and when it doesn't conform, it is inferior, bad, wrong...
Funny thing? I felt the sadness, but now it already feels like it has shifted. Maybe that sadness belonged more to the idea of what others think life should be than to my soul's idea of the journey it intended to take.
I felt very strongly like I needed to write this post, and I think I can see why now. It is a way for me to explore ideas, and release things that need to be released.
I have known for a while that is what I do here, there are just some times it is much more clear than others. This is one of them.
I am feeling a bit more peaceful. And now I think I am going to go take a shower, and then make some sourdough bread. And then...who knows?
I do also feel a bit on edge, too. Like I am on the edge of something, but more like "chomping at the bit" than anything "bad." I think there are times I shift, but do not exactly know to where, or what it all means.
Dealing with chemo can be a very bi-polar experience. One day I don't care about anything, and death couldn't feel closer, or more welcome, and then another day I couldn't feel more alive and desirous to do things. Having the motivation and energy to do them is a bit of a different story...but all I can do is give it my best shot.
It is all any of us can do, really. And sometimes the best may not look anything like what we think it "should." To which I (can now) say, "oh, well."
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