Every day seemed to be filled with new opportunities. The dating sites were busy. It seemed as if the flood gates of men had been opened. I’ve NEVER had options like this. Before, one man would come into my life. We’d get to know each other and we’d find ways to compromise our way into each other’s lives. Kind of like fitting pie crust into a pie pan that’s too small. The crust slides right into the pan, but there is a lot of extra crust that is cut away and discarded. I had always found connecting points with people. But I hadn’t realized that I was overlooking other important aspects of who I am as a person. Now, it was as if I could ‘try them on’ to see which one fit best into my life. Options. For the first time in my life, I was using logic instead of emotion in choosing who I’d like to welcome into my world.
The Binder certainly played a big role in this logic thing. I was taking notes. I was looking at positive and negative qualities according to my experiences with these men. I also made note of how I felt, both when I was with someone and also how I felt after the time spent was over. I was beginning to see where I’d made some errors in previous relationships in my life. I didn’t like what I was seeing either. So no wonder I’d gotten myself into relationships that just weren’t fulfilling.
That’s when it hit me. I had given my life away. I had molded myself to fit into the life of the man who indicated that they wanted me to be a part of their life. I was horrified. I had done this to myself! I had spent all of my adult life trying to be ‘enough’ for some man to choose me. I’d been chosen, but they had chosen me because of how much of myself I’d be willing to set aside. When all along, I was already enough just the way I was. In fact, some self-esteem flew in the window at that moment and hit me square in the face. I was more than just enough. I’m exceptional!
I kept thinking about these things as I was driving to meet Lucky for lunch. We met in a town half way between where we each live. Lucky greeted me with a beaming smile and a hug. He was very happy to be seeing me again. All through lunch Lucky showered me with compliments. At first it was nice to hear that he liked my smile or that I was such a warm person. But like most showers, eventually the hot water runs out and ready or not, you’ve got to get out. I wanted to learn more about this person sitting at Perkins with me. I began asking questions about his life.. what were the things he deemed as successes in his life. Lucky had several children and they all seemed to be doing very well out there in the world. He shared about each child’s current life. He was very proud of them. But it seemed as if he was qualifying himself through his children’s successes. As if he wasn’t enough all on his own merit. Funny how life shows you what it does sometimes. I was seeing my own behavior through Lucky. It felt uncomfortable.
After lunch we decided to take advantage of the warm October afternoon and headed to a nearby park. The park had been ravaged earlier this past spring by a flood. The water had been very powerful and had eaten away the banks of the river, including cement barrier walls. There were areas that were marked off with bright yellow ‘caution’ tapes. As we meandered hand-in-hand through the leaf laden paths, Lucky shared the other things he’d experienced while he was raising his children. There had been some very dramatic circumstances and situations that Lucky had managed through. But I sensed a deep sadness. I gave his hand a squeeze.
You never know how a person will perceive your words or actions. I was feeling and indicating compassion for all that Lucky had been through. Lucky perceived that squeeze of his hand to mean something more. Lucky pointed to a bench near the river. He said he needed to rest a bit. As we sat and listened to the water rushing by and the leaves falling around us, Lucky began talking about the future. And how he’d like to have me in it. Lucky was in a different place than I was. He had been divorced for a few years and I was still going through my divorce. And this was only our second in person meeting. I thanked him for the nice afternoon, but reminded him that I had to work at 4:00. It was time for me to drive back. Lucky was holding my hand very tightly. I could feel his emotion in the air around me. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye. It all felt very intense and somehow out-of-place. I was glad to be going to work. I felt a heaviness as I drove away.
Thank goodness for my satellite radio. Music has a positive influence on me. I really needed a positive influence. Coach called too. And within a minute or two I was smiling once again. Coach is such an upbeat fella. He likes to be a little bit flirty when we talk. I have to admit flirting is fun. In fact, I was getting pretty good at this witty banter we had going back and forth. By the time I reached work, I was feeling my sunny self once again. I could hardly wait for our date on Sunday evening.