It’s been a lovely day. I woke up to children snuggling in bed with me. We spent the morning laughing and chasing each other around the house, took a few silly selfies and just spent time genuinely enjoying each others company. My daughter made breakfast and even brought me coffee. I’m lucky to have such amazing lights filling my life.
This afternoon, I was sitting on my front porch enjoying some sunshine and writing in my journal when my retired neighbor walked over. He’s a hoot. In his mid eighties and he tells some of the coolest stories about the history from around here. Every time I see him, I’m struck by what a cool, definitely eccentric old dude he is. He’s a hoarder, and his yard definitely reflects it… but the more I get to know him, the more I see past what others likely judge him for, into the character of the man he is deep down. Today, he thanked me… and my family… for being a good neighbor. For my kindness and conversation and laughter at his jokes. I asked him questions… some related to the conversation, and others that I had simply been mulling over in my journal. I shared with him that since moving in here, this is the first time I’ve ever lived on my own. The challenges and the joys of it. He lives alone, and was kind enough to share his thoughts on relationships and life and what it’s like to live it as a loner. He shared a story of the one who got away… it was sweet and sad.
The longer I am single, the more I realize that it’s fine with me if I remain that way. Who knows… maybe I’ve had my happiness in regards to love/sexual relationships… maybe we are presented with opportunities to find our matches… and the direction or paths that we choose determine whether we’ll have those opportunities again or just be alone.
Love is a complicated bitch. It really is. And so often has so many layers to it. Looking back, I’d say I’ve been “full on” in Love – with complete and utter devotion, commitment and loyalty 3 times in my life. Two of those relationships absolutely gutted me. And since then… I’ve tasted the beginnings of what could have grown to that level only a couple of times.
One was simply not ready for me… in so many ways. But this post is not about him.
Let me tell you a story… this was a few years ago.
Five months ‘fresh’ from ending a rebound relationship, after ending a very long marriage and I decided to dip my toe into the world of online dating. I’d been dreaming of finding “Mr. Right” since I was a girl. And suddenly – he messaged me. This man was everything I’d ever told myself I’d wanted. We met, and went out on a few amazing dates. I felt adored. Wanted. Everything I’d ever wanted to feel. I felt safe, which for me, is a rare feeling. He told me he loved me. And although I felt it too, I paused. It was moving too fast. I hadn’t even really come up for air from the last relationship I was in. And then I panicked. And this is where the story goes wrong… because not only did I break up with him, but I jumped into something else. Something that was wrong to begin with. It gutted him, and became one of the few things in my life that I’ve regretted.
The friends who met him all adored him… and here’s the kicker… they STILL bring him up. It’s a whole new ballgame when your friends recognize that you screwed up and call you out on it, even years later.
I regretted it because in no way could I go back and redo or try again with this man. As much as I wished I could. I let him down and broke his trust when I walked away. And there is no amount of apology or explanation that could ever take that away. He deserved so much better than that. What I didn’t know then, was that I wasn’t in a place to even recognize that I was on a downward spiral. He broke every relationship pattern and mold I’d ever had and because it was foreign and uncomfortable for me to feel the beginnings of a “healthy” relationship, I panicked.
The thing is… this has been a defining moment in my life… So many life lessons packed into one lost opportunity. I suppose that everyone goes through it… at some point in all of our lives … we have to experience “the one who got away”. I suppose this is my story of mine.
Much love to you all Neverland. I’ll ramble again soon.