Life has given me many wonderful gifts. Aside from my kids, one of the best ones has been a second chance.
That makes it sound like I had a near-death experience, but it wasn’t nearly that dramatic.
I just got to cast off the chains that 45 years of self-imposed guilt and shame and fear had placed on me. Those chains were pretty heavy and casting them off felt pretty good.
Back in February 2014, as my phoenix began rising from the ashes, I wrote a blog post about regenerating.
I noted: “My slate has been wiped clean. The world is my oyster and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t slurp it down (with a squeeze of lemon).”
Fast forward to October 2014 – I met DD and things got a little crazy.
During our very first conversation – on RSVP – I wrote: “I’m a Piscean who hates water.”
To which he replied: “Meaning you prefer wine? Don’t like to swim? Don’t like to bathe? You English?”
I explained: “I hate drinking the stuff. Can’t swim. Therefore scared of boats. Learning to like the surf in small doses, love a hot bath though.”
I’m now a Pisces who loves water and constantly plots new ways to be on or in or near it.
A few days after that first electronic conversation with DD, we spent an hour together in a pub. It was nice, but fairly unremarkable. However, something totally unexpected happened soon after – we disappeared into a whirlpool of dopamine as we texted and emailed back and forth while he was on a business trip in the United States.
At one point I wrote: “I miss you VERY VERY VERY MUCH. It’s a totally ridiculous thing to say about someone you’ve only met for one hour. How can you miss someone you’ve only met for one hour? But I do.”
Just before DD flew back, I wrote him an email that announced:
I am the craziest sane person you will ever meet. Or the sanest crazy person you will ever meet. One of the two.
This will … Do. Your. Head. In.
I have baggage. I am damaged.
I am not damaged in a way that will mean I torture you with unpleasant behaviour. Women who do that SHIT ME UP THE WALL.
But I have been through a tough 5-10 years.
I am coming out of the woods, but I’m not quite in the clearing yet.
I may not be ready for any of this.
I am messy. Very messy. I am infuriating. Very infuriating.
I do hugs like a robot.
I look back at those words and see more proof of my regeneration. Well, I am still infuriatingly messy, but I no longer do hugs like a robot; I adore splashing in the surf; and I WAS ready for it all.
(I may also still be the craziest sane person he will ever meet. But I think I’m out of the woods.)
Actually, it wasn’t really a regeneration in the end, it was a stripping back of the layers and finally starting to put all that messy baggage stuff in the wash.
It took a very long time to feel more comfortable being me, but I’m so glad I’m starting to get there.
Song of the day: Fall Out Boy “Light ’em up”