I was angry as I drove the 90 miles home. In my mind it took all of ten minutes to get there. It was late, nearly midnight. I began unloading my car and carrying my bags up the stairs to my apartment. It feels cold and empty inside. I turned on the light in the kitchen, and put my suitcase on my own bed. I unpacked my laptop on the desk. That’s when Goose texted again.
“Are you alright?”
Oh that burned me! I haven’t been alright for weeks. Because he didn’t follow through. I trusted him to keep his word. He betrayed himself and he betrayed me. NO I’M NOT ALRIGHT! I called Michele to unload this massive storm inside of me.
When I have a client come into my office with what seems to be a confusing situation, its my job to help them clarify. To help them see. Because its Iowa and people here are so familiar with corn fields I use this analogy to help them open their eyes. It begins like this… If you are standing in the middle of a corn field with the stalks of corn towering over your head, can you tell me how many rows of corn there are? The answer of course is no. The stalks are much too tall and the leaves on the stalks are full and wave in the breezes. So it’s impossible to see anything but green. My job, I tell them, is to take them to the side of the road. From here they can see each individual row of corn. This is where I hope Michele can lead me. Out of the field and onto the side of the road where she has been standing all along. She has been able to see this train wreck coming. She could see the flashing lights and the danger barrier coming down in front of her. But she also knew that I couldn’t see any of this. I had to learn it the hard way. But that’s what friends do. They love each other enough to stand back and let the lesson be learned. Then they come with open arms and a scoop shovel to pick you up off the ground. Thank you Michele.
She listened with love and then she said… “You need to let him know you’re alright. It’s not fair to let him wonder if you’re hurt. It’s not fair to let him worry needlessly.” Darn it, I hate it when she’s right. But I didn’t want to make any sort of contact at all. I thought for a while and then I texted back.
“I’m fine, I just don’t have anything I want to say.”
Then Michele took my hand and lead me slowly through the dark, damp corn field to the side of the road. I hadn’t wanted to see. I didn’t want him not to be ready. But what I saw from the side of the road is that I’m not ready. I wanted to find a better version of the life I’d had. There were some parts of that life I loved. However, life needed me to move forward. Goose was pulling me right back into what I’d left behind. Life has a completely different plan for me. I just have to be willing to pick up my feet and go.
It’s very hard leaving everything you know. Even when it’s not good. It’s what you know. There is a measure of safety in what we know. Even when we think we’ve moved on.. we are drawn to its familiarity. I had no idea who Goose was when I saw his profile on the dating site. There wasn’t even a picture of him. But Life knew. Life knew that I needed to do some more letting go of what was. Life had to remind me so that I could choose which way I should go. I was drawn to the familiar. Goose’s name is the same as my ex’s. His wife had worked the very same job I worked when I met my ex. Her coffee mug was the same as my coffee mug. Goose lived in the same style house on an acreage as what my ex and I had lived in on the farm. Even their personalities were similar. From all of the options on the dating site.. he and I came across each other. We felt something enough to proceed past a Meet & Greet. What Goose and I felt was the familiarity of the past. It provided a moment of comfort while we were still both lost in the letting go of what had been our lives.
From the side of the road I can see all of these things. I know that my road leads in a new direction. And I’m willing to pick up my feet and go.