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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Recognizing One's Own Character Arc


Who have I become?  When I really step back and think about it, contemplate it all and take it in, I have to admit: I often don't recognize myself, and I can't help but marvel at my own "character arc."
Two years ago, I started to question what I wanted for my life.  I had, at last, admitted to myself and to my partner that I was no longer happy in our relationship and that ending our marriage may be the only way for me to find what I SO longed for.  I wanted love.  I wanted romance.  I wanted wild, unadulterated passion.  I wanted it all.  (I can be such a greedy fucker!)
It didn't come easily: the letting go.  I had a comfortable life with someone that I loved, trusted and came to understand was one of my absolute best friends in the world, but it wasn't a happy marriage.  So I left: hesitantly, reluctantly, mournfully and then, eventually, confidently.  It was hard (as the unknown always is) but I knew deep down that I would be ok.  More than that - I knew that I would be happy and that I would find the love that I knew I craved.  I was heading out on a quest to find a once-in-a-lifetime love.
So I strapped on my snorkel and jumped head first into the deep murky waters of dating.  And you all have graciously come along for a voyeuristic and vicarious thrill ride.  (Bless your sick and twisted little hearts!)  During that time, I've met some unusual characters, some fantastic creatures, some heart-breakers and some amazing friends.  It's been a wild fucking journey, no?  And trust me when I tell you: you don't know the hell or the half of it.
I've been propositioned by a hot-as-hell 18 year old college student online (tempting though she was, I'm a good girl and politely declined).  I was brazenly solicited for a threesome not once, but twice. (I declined them both, of course.  What kind of girl do you think I am?).  I've been groped, kissed and hit on… by random gay men in a bar (mostly innocent, but really? gay men?).  I've been stood up, dressed down, dumped, humiliated, humbled, cheated on and used in the most unbelievably sexy ways.  It's been good, it's been bad, it's been erotic, it's been uncomfortable, it's been hot, it's been frigid, it's been confusing and it's been enlightening.  I've scratched my head, searched my heart, listened to my gut and ignored my third eye.  There have been so many lessons to take in.
What I've found is that I've become gun-shy and fiercely guarded.  I've learned that when it comes to my heart and my love, "deal-breakers" exist only in theory.  And at this moment, while taking a breather and stitching up my wounded insides, I find myself trying to know and understand the woman I've become: more vulnerable and afraid than I've ever felt in my life, more compassionate and less judgmental of those around me suffering from their own broken hearts and dysfunctional relationships, less trusting and confident of potential lovers than when I began, but also less willing to wave off red flags, ignore alarm bells and brush off ye olde Spidey senses. 
Above all, I'm constantly amazed and surprised by my own uncontrollable emotions, thoughts, triggers and memories; I'm just not the same stoic, insensitive and impervious creature I had once been.  I'm beginning to think that I suffer from some form of romantic PTSD; it never leaves me and it's the very thing that makes me wonder: who am I?  what else is lurking around the corner?  is there someone out there who can hold onto and care for this heart?  and what the fuck happened to the confident, if not blindly optimistic, romantic reconnoiterer I once was?
Which is sort of a long-winded way of informing you all: I'm still on a dating hiatus and too busy working through my bullshit in therapy to devote any useful energy to dating.  Self improvement is a long and unpredictable journey.  So I'm sorry folks, I have no new material for you to feast on.  Thank jebus for our little Nugget, eh?

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