Confidence is a funny thing…. I have more than my share of it. I have taken great risks in various parts of my life, some have failed miserably whereas others panned out to a ‘t’ yet, when it comes to other people…. I am not going to say that my ‘confidence’ is lacking; however, caring for another person leaves you vulnerable. I first learned this after the birth of my son…up until that point, I was fearless, I did not truly notice any worries whatsoever and rarely if ever, did the thoughts, feelings, actions of another truly hit my core…. Yet, after his very first few breaths and to this day, IF there’s something weighing on my son, it’s also weighing on me.
I’ve always been tough as nails when it comes to adversity or down time; however, I’ve persevered and typically come up not necessarily on top but relatively unscathed… yet, if my son told me that Johnny hit him or Susie made him feel sad… this tough woman was immediately struck first with sadness, then perhaps anger etc. Never in my life could the feelings of another trigger something so automatic within me. You’ve heard me mention a time or two the words of my Father; “If that’s how you choose to feel….” and yes, I believe those wholeheartedly; however, when you care/love for another… there is not necessarily a true, definitive, concrete ‘choice’ in how you feel when they are sad, hurt etc. I know some may argue this point and it could be a great debate; however, help me to answer this question:
Do we choose who we care about?
I am not sure if the answer is yes. I know that there are people I care for without any thought of whether I would like to or not. The people who immediately come to mind are all members of my family… my friends and yes, Mr. Cute too! Am I ‘choosing’ to care about them OR is it merely that I respect who they are, enjoy being around them and have a genuine care/concern for their overall happiness and being. I am not quite sure that’s an actual choice or merely the way things are. Here’s another question:
Can we choose who we do not care about?
I understand that it is easier to not approve of someone’s choices or actions; however, we are not necessarily rejecting the person full-swoop, but a particular choice or action. I have many friendships with people where I would not do half the things that they are doing; however, that does not make any of their choices wrong on the surface, they are merely, not choices I would make. Most of the people who I know are wonderful at their base. They have their own thoughts, ideals and ideas and live productive, respectable lives. If someone close to me is making poor choices, I will be there as a friend; however, I am not going to force my views/values on them. I will say that if their choices/actions have negative impact on my life that I may distance myself, yet, in truth I have no right to dictate to another… I simply don’t.
I have a lot of self-love, self-confidence and genuine belief in the way I am living; however, I will be the first to admit that when someone I care for is hurting, upset or sad, it does have an impact. I am not taking their pain, yet, I can feel it. This is the same when they are happy… I am happy for them. I will not say that I ‘share’ in their happiness as that would be taking something that may not necessarily be mine to take; however, I can be happy that they are experiencing joy! Whenever a family or friend is happy, I am too; however, to say that they ‘make’ me happy would be incorrect. Their happiness is in addition to what I already possess.
Here’s where I am with this post…. I’ve recently met someone who has found a place within my thoughts… I am not obsessed (was maybe on the road to it); however, I do think of him often with a big smile. We are very new into whatever this is to be; however, just being near him ‘makes’ me happy or perhaps I should causes a feeling of happiness. Now, in saying that.. I will clarify that he is not the sole source of my happiness as there are many facets to it; however, by enjoying his presence…. in truth… the statement he makes me happy has some truth. Now, if we were to remove Mr. Cute from the equation.. yes, I would still be happy; however, his special spot would be void and that would cause me to feel blue in that particular area.
When my son was around 5 years old and in Kindergarten he would come home with tales of super funny things; however, he would also have those stories where someone did or said something that hurt his feelings, which inevitably hurt mine. I did not necessarily run to his defense every time as he needed to learn through trial and error how to deal with his own stuff, yet, I was never far away in love, voice or eye from him. I am sure my son had done things that had hurt the feelings of others, but, I am wise enough to know that in soul, he is kind, pure and angelic and therefore, if and when he had done wrong – he would need to admit it. I raised my son to not look at the whole world as a terrible place.. I also taught him to take responsibility for what he has done and to not let the words/actions of others influence him much on what he decides. Sounds like perfect world stuff, right? Well, the world is imperfect and just like me, so is my son. I am not so concerned with mistakes made as I am with how one handles themselves after the error. If we never take chances, we will never grow. Life is about learning, making mistakes… taking chances on a constant wheel of self-improvement, discovery and open-mindedness. The moment we stop learning should be the moment that we’ve stopped breathing, anything sooner would be a waste.
It’s no secret that my heart has taken a beating; however, I’ve learned some invaluable things through the pain. I’ve also met some incredible people who have helped me through the not-so-good times and have celebrated the better-than-average moments. I take full responsibility for my part in the relationships that I have had that did not work out and I responsibly let-go of the things that were out of my control. Still, the pain of losing something that was once close stays with me to a degree. I’ve never been one to intentionally place the experiences of one on another; however, I believe that there are certain things that we cannot ignore. I was taught at a very early age about touching the top of a stove.. you just did not do it, unless, you knew that it was not hot. Now, that little lesson should be carried through to any stove, not, just the one at Grandma’s house. Yet, unlike a person, a stove is an object. When it comes to people there’s a whole different level of how you can look or should look at things. Each person is an individual…irrespective of any similarities i.e. Twins, they are in essence their own being. In dating there are always a lot of ‘stereotypes’, ‘types’ and/or labels; however, in truth, despite similarities, each person is their own and as much as we would like to label this or that person…. we really need to keep them separate. This has been hard for me in past because so many that I would meet had same or similar traits… I suppose there were certain things that just struck me about them that caused me to ‘group’ them together, yet, let’s not forget that the ONLY common denominator to these people…..is yours truly. Now, here’s an especially interesting thing to note… I am the central connector to these gentleman… no one else – me!
Whenever I read about women and their dating toils there are a myriad of complaints; however, it is rare that I hear about their part and/or their role in it all. Now, I am not seeking to bash anyone and trust me, I am not looking at anyone else as much as I am myself…. I’ve seen a pattern lately and although it is not intentional.. a pattern only surfaces when you are open to truly looking at something for what it is versus what you want it to be.
You must first truly see what something is… before it can ever have the chance of becoming what you desire it to be!
There’s no secret that I feel and love deep. It’s also no surprise that I am a very passionate person…. but, I’ve come to the realization through conversations with friends that there is a pattern… and my only concern is that I’ve never liked the results this pattern has created…. How do I change this? This is not about changing for another, but, improving a behavior that appears to be detrimental to me and perhaps preventing me from achieving the goal that I seek.
I started this post out talking about how others can impact you. How I first learned this through the birth/life of my son and although I am the only one that can control my attitude & perception, there are those that I care for that do have an impact on me. Now with this all being said….I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 3 elements I need to truly look at it, in order to achieve what I want; a loving, committed, always growing love with one man. I am not quite sure I’ve ever written this; however, for those that know me… they’ve noticed a change recently that I am now open to the idea and more importantly am willing to get out there without the net that at one point I would always keep close to me.
Where have I erred?
I tend to let the excitement of someone new fill my head/heart sooner than healthy. It is not one element that causes this, but, a myriad of little things that I find admirable, attractive and/or appealing. I believe in chemistry and mutual attraction; however, at 41 years of age I know that it is deeper than looks alone. I love meeting new people and I value who each person is; however, if a particular suitor possesses a lot of the traits that I admire… I tend to get childlike excitement where I am more impulsive than mature. To a degree this is how it should be, yet, I am not sure my degree is appropriate. As a passionate person I believe that this behavior alone needs some tending to, a little pruning, trimming… modification.
Out of Sight Constitutes Out of Mind….. this has been a truly difficult one for me. In previous relationships out of sight, meant over. I’ve definitely packed this thought up many-a-time with someone new and as much as I try to keep from giving it power or juice, there are hints of it now and then. I am not saying that I am powerless to this feeling; however, when it happened in past, it had such an impact that the thought does cross my mind… although quickly dispelled, I know it is still there.
With the above still present, even at small levels.. it brings me to my third error and that is time spent together. I feel that in many ways the best years of my life are yet to come; however, at 41, never-married I will be honest.. I do feel frenzied to a degree and that is a powerless feeling. My excitement, coupled with the whole out of sight thing causes me to want to stretch and even strain the time spent with someone. This is definitely not good. I know that too much of anything is simply that; TOO MUCH, yet, I am not a good separator when it comes to time with another. I have always been about timing, doing the right thing at the right time.. but, when it comes to time with someone I am interested in… I am not necessarily the best scorekeeper. I know that absence makes the heart grow fonder; however, I’ve never really put it to use in my life. Why? Fear. Fear of losing that person… yet, as I write this, I have come to the realization that constant presence with that person could be the whole reason for their ‘loss’ and in essence my loss of them.
I am not crazy or padded-wall eligible; however, I do have a few things that I’ve come to realize…. I can feel as deep as I want; however, I need to keep those feelings in my pen as that level or degree of intensity could frighten another…
There is a time to share, but, there is also a time to savor.
These are small little distinctions that I should truly internalize in my interactions with others. I must also remember that if absence truly makes the heart grow fonder than constant interaction may make the heart wander. It’s crazy to try to have the silver screen love… and although there can be elements of a silver screen love… my involvement with one is not scripted, it is natural and needs to unfold on its own terms. The romantic in me wants all of those elements a proposal at the Zoo (Rocky II); the man waiting by the truck (Hope Floats) and the other moments in which I’ve watched over the years; however, rather than seeking what is scripted, I should be placing more focus on my own romantic moments. I should also note that despite the loving moments that I’ve watched…. it’s pertinent to note that the movie took months, if not years to make and with the exception of a select few, most movies last about 1 hour and 50 minutes… I definitely want a longer relationship than that. I need to keep my eyes on my paper.. The last and final thing that I need to do is modify my understanding of time and that irrespective of how magical the meeting of someone new may be…. we still have responsibilities that have NOTHING to do with the other person. One dinner despite how much fun it was cannot impact how we run the rest of our life… we still have our own stuff. This is probably the biggest thing that I need to think about and really understand. Yes, I have heard the stories where Man meets Woman and they never spend another moment apart; however, that is definitely not typical and I would be foolish to say that I would not have a skeptical brow raised. Yet, despite that statement… I have truly tried to keep the connection relatively more constant than it should be… and there are a few critical words here, I have truly tried… this alone is indicative that I have had to ‘try’ to do something versus letting it be mutual or free of its own. Ah, another point to ponder. I am sure there could be more elements; however, I am a big proponent on 3.. and I think these 3 items are more than enough in which to look at….
3 For Me….
Despite how wonderful someone may appear and/or be…. you cannot truly like who they are until you’ve been able to truly get to know more about them. This is never done in a day over a few emails, texts or calls and in truth… it is never-ending, provided that the person continues to share who they are just as you do with them. Enjoying the excitement that there’s potential is OK; however, anything more is baseless at this moment.
It’s impossible to be missed, if you’re always underfoot.
One of the reasons you were attractive to the person was because of the other elements of your life that are still present, despite their introduction. Keeping those things going only increases attraction.
These are all pertinent…. I have always learned at my pace… marched to my drum and although I realize that friends & family have advised on all or some of the above… they also know that I am only able to hear, when I am willing to listen.
This 3 For Me path will not only make me a better person, it may also be the very first time in which I will be a better partner. Everything happens for a reason and there are some that come into our life, not, necessarily to make it better by staying… but, by being the catalyst in which we needed to spring forward.
Even something as gentle as a leaf, makes an impression…..