For days, a week even, I’ve been not so patiently waiting for the urge to write. It’s a very unsettled feeling- I need a release…but in order to let it go, I need to be inspired by something. I am like a maple tree waiting to be tapped. I am so full of thoughts and ideas and stories, but unless there’s something to encourage the sap to flow from my soul to the page, I get stuck. My dear friend in Australia and I were chatting the other night about this very thing. She asked me how my writing was going and I told her the truth, “I can’t force it. I just get frustrated. I have to strike when I get inspired, then it just flows”. To this, my keen, dear, wonderful friend replied, “You’re a true artist then.”
Feeling unsettled has become normal lately as I am in an oddly resigned stage of singledom. I want to be next to a man who isn’t here, and I’m feeling his absence deeply. In the meantime, I’ve pushed myself to get involved in numerous things, and I am so grateful for the distractions. Anything to pass the time until he arrives back in Miami for season. He is a jet setter, guided by the urge to come and go as he pleases, the rhyme and reasons of which I have rarely understood or been privy to.
I teased him once, reminding him that when 90% of people talk of seasons, they are usually referring to the weather. I get momentarly submerged with a wave of anxiety when I think that he will be here. Here… a mere mile away from me, any time now. I have to calm and center myself, telling my heart that everything happens exactly as it should; that all I can do is love him, and hope that he loves me back. Whatever we are meant to be, we will be.
I am grateful there has been so much going on in my life. I had the honor of planning a wedding, and after months of strategic organization, the event went off beautifully. The couple got married at a little church who describes itself like this, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” Post ceremony, the smiling throng of guests celebrated with cheers and applause. It was a full blown parade escorted by a band to the reception a few blocks down the way. Groomsmen carried a “Just Married” banner, ribbons and bells were passed out to the guests to wave overhead, and the glowing bride and groom led the way, hand in hand.
They had bought out a restaurant for the evening. They were fans of the Chef, the decor, and the ambiance of the place. It fit them perfectly. Even though the venue had never done anything like this before, the genuine effort made by the incredible staff blew me away. Everything was just so. The food was the focal point, huge spreads of charcuterie, cheeses, oysters, and veggies adorned the restaurant as delicious decor. More food was served than anyone thought was humanly possible to eat. The flowers were perfect, arranged in house by an incredibly talented staff member. The photos in decorative frames had been replaces with their own quirky engagement pics. The bathrooms were decorated with toilet paper tossed around like a high school prank, the TP itself adorned with stick figure bride and grooms.
After the parade transitioned into cocktail hour, I watched the evening festivities unfold- adhering to my minute by minute schedule I kept folded into itself in my pocket, confident and fully present in my wedding planner role. Looking around at all the details, the people, what blew me away was the incredible energy ricocheting around the place. I was deeply honored to plan someone’s wedding, and I took the responsibility very seriously. Everything had gone perfectly, and I was glowing with accomplishment and genuine affection for the friends and family surrounding me. Wedding traditions were guiding the evening, and after everyone had feasted and had a proper cocktail in their hands, it was time to toss the garter and bouquet.
My ex loved to toss things to me, just to see me over dramatically flinch and flail- completely incapable of catching anything, ever. I do not catch, as a general rule. I drop everything as if someone had literally tossed me a hot potato. Yet somehow, when the bride tossed the bouquet, it arced through the air and hit my hands like a magnet. I stood there stunned, stupidly smiling, the next one to be married.
The night had slowed to a simmer, everyone toasty from bourbon and full from midnight snacks, the last few to stay were the last ones who wanted to call it a night. We had another mini parade straight to our collective favorite bar. Almost immediately, a tall, handsome man approached me- the single girl, holding the bouquet. My fancy for hopeless romantics and the air of wedding bliss thick amongst us, I let myself get swept into a new possibility just for a min. After all, it would make a great story.
He asked me what I was doing next Wednesday and I sat, trying to figure out whether I should begin to explain how wholly unavailable I was. He took off his expensive, fancy watch, and without me answering his question, said to me, “Let’s get married Wednesday,” as he slipped the watch around my wrist explaining, “This is until I can get you a ring.” My jaw dropped, then I burst out laughing. “Charming,” I teased him, shaking my head. “You don’t know the first thing about me.”
I knew immediately, this wasn’t the man for me. This guy didn’t stand a chance. I had been with someone whose goal was to make me feel special and appreciated. His intentions were genuine, not just to get me into bed, which I firmly believed due to overwhelming evidence. Our last visit, we had stayed true to his decision to be celibate. And he had flown me to Spain. SPAIN. It was the first time in a long time I was with someone who’s only purpose was to make me feel special, and he did. It was enlightening, empowering. In a world where it seems every guy’s goal is getting laid, I am so grateful to have been enlightened to the fact that there is so much more than that. I will not settle.
About a week later, I woke up, inexplicably at just past 6 AM in the morning. I lay still, silent, trying to figure out what had roused me. In my first waking moments I succumbed, thick with sleep, to the reality that once I am awake, falling back asleep is incredibly elusive for me. I rolled over, sinking into that thought and my phone buzzed. My heart leapt as I looked at it.
It was him.
“These are my kind of Sunday fundays.” He responded to the pic I had sent to him of the rack of lamb I had seared off and finished with Moroccan mustard. I love sending him food pics, even though his responses are as rare as the perfectly cooked lamb I had devoured the night before. (Forever a Chef, I had cooked lamb as an appetizer for my friends before eating delivered Chinese food.) He is still in Spain, and although we still keep similar sleeping hours, his side of the planet’s clock is out of sync with mine by 6 hours. And yet… I wake up moments before he texts me- still inexplicably connected to this man. I feel him.
I responded with something I hadn’t been coy enough to say in awhile, sleepy and brave and needy I typed, “Baaaaaaabbbbbyyyy”. He quickly asked if he had woken me up and I told him that I had awoken moments before, for no reason at all. Both of us realizing we were curled up in bed, in our own corners of paradise far far away, I reminded him,
Encouraged by a rare receptiveness from him, and still too sleepy to over analyze and complicate things, I sent him a pic of my fortune cookie from the night before. The phrase so accurately described the root of my conflict within myself. I know he wants to move on, be single, doesn’t want a relationship, but no matter what he says I can’t stop the feeling in my heart that we aren’t finished. What he says is one thing, what he does speaks volumes. Even though he said that we weren’t going to work out, he kept me in his life, and by his side in at least three different countries this year. We went to Paris 3 times in 6 months. We briefly rekindled for that week in Ibiza where he granted one of my lifelong dreams of swimming in the Med, taking me for my first dip off the back of a boat, his hand in mine, the two of us sinking into the sea together. “You deserve this,” he’d said to me.
We haven’t been a couple since June, but I feel like I’m still his. Despite being painfully aware of how vulnerable this makes me, I feel it. I love him, but I have set that feeling free, and it brings me peace. I know that people who want to be in my life, will be in my life. I have spent way too much energy analyzing and pining and wallowing. My poor overworked head says, “This is over.” My heart simply smiles and says, “It’s not.”
The night before had been a nice reprieve. Surrounded by friends, enjoying the company and a night in, I had smiled and mentally high fived the universe when I crumbled the cookie in my hand and pulled out the slip of paper.
My fortune read,