Sunday, May 11, 2014

Not yet...

A few times a week, in the evening, my friends and I gather, to eat, dinner or dessert, and there's this guy I've noticed for months now.  Each time he walks in my line of sight, I elbow whoever is sitting next to me, and quietly ask, 'isn't he cute?'  The next time I see him, I elbow her again and affirm, yes, he really IS cute.' I'll smile, once in a while, if our eyes happen to meet, and then, I'll get lost, again, in conversation.

Romance, from a distance.

The other day, while laughing with my friends, Mr. Romance, from a Distance, walked over to my table, and made small talk with both my friend and me.  He then turned to me, "So, do you know where to get a good margarita?"

I was taken off guard.

In last few months, male companionship has been the farthest thing from my mind.  Full of regret, the stagger, back to myself, has been taxing. Healing has been a full-time job.                  

In all of my hurrying and hiding, while on the lam, from myself, I, indeed, became lost.  Unwilling to surrender the boyfriend, the addiction, and the old beliefs, I caused a lot of emotional violence, to myself.  The lostness was debilitating and the loneliness was dehumanizing.  

 I was wounded, and in animalistic desperation, I scurried away and sought safe ground.  Finally, discovering a safe den, I remained still, rested, and licked my wounds.  In solitude, I began healing from the trauma, I caused myself.  It took some time, but slowly, I came out of hiding.  My eyes began to adjust to the light of love that remained there, waiting for me.  The actions and voices of others coaxed me, with words, like, "We believe in you." The undying ember of hope, gradually grew, as I lurched out of the darkness.

Fast forward to last week, the dinner table, I'm sober, eating dessert, laughing with friends, three weeks into an apartment search, and half way through a grant writing internship, Mr. Romance, from a distance, enters stage left:

"So, do you know where to get a good margarita?"

"A good margarita?", I ask.  Without waiting for a response, I continue "I don't drink, but I could point you to a killer cup of coffee."

"Oh, okay, coffee sounds great!"

I went on to learn that he just moved to San Diego, from LA. and earlier that day, he had nailed an interview to become a kayak instructor; he was still waiting for a callback.  He suggested, 'I go out on the water with him.'   Oblivious to his overtures, I told him, 'my fingers were crossed for him, to get the call', and with a polite smile, and a, 'see ya later', I closed the conversation.

Walking to the elevator, my girlfriend sidled up to me, bearing a wide grin and a raised eyebrow.
Looking at her, I respond, "What?"
"Don't you see, he's interested in you?"
"What?...No....I'm a mess.  I look like shit."
"Liz, he was trying you ask you out.  Hellooo,...going 'out on the water; a cup of coffee?'  He wants to get to know you!"

For months, I've noticed this guy; seeing him a couple of times a week, always paying attention to his presence in the room.  But it was a fantasy.  A flirtation that only existed in my head.  'He smiles at everybody', I told myself.  Then he initiates a conversation and I dismiss him, as 'just being nice.'  Then, after a while, I became suspicious.  Suspicious of any character that may possibly be attracted to me.

The buzz of old beliefs swarm in my brain:

I'm a mess.
I look like shit.
Who could  be attracted to me?

Later that night, replaying the incident to a girlfriend, exasperated, she snapped, "Just go out with him.  It's not like you're on the rebound now."

"On the rebound now."

I interpret that comment to suggest, in her mind, the statue of limitations, regarding breakup grief, have expired, and I should - finally - be over my ex.  Yes, I'm fully aware that it's been nine months since I've seen him, AND our 'relationship'  should have ended a year before that, but to this day, I still cannot eat Lay's Limon potato chips, without resurrecting his memory and tearing up.

And it's those moments that remind me I have a long way to go.  Although each, and every, estimable act I commit these days continues to contribute to my shattered self-esteem, self-compassion is also in order.

I felt judged, by my friend, and it was at that moment I  internally reassured myself, "it's okay to still 'not be ready', yet.  Just because someone else has an easier time moving on, doesn't mean I am somehow defective.  I have always loved deeply, and I'm taking this time, for myself, to heal, and it's OKAY to wait, until the time is right, FOR ME."

The next night, my friends and I gather, for dinner, at the same spot, to eat meatloaf, and there he is again, Mr, Romance, from a distance.  After a few minutes, he makes eye contact, smiles and approaches me, at my table; in a Scottish accent, he jokes, "Ye can't have any ice-cream (my usual dessert) if ye don't eat yer meat! How can ye have any ice cream if ye don't eat yer meat!"  And would you not believe, I LOVE Pink Floyd.

I giggled and waited until he walked away.  Then I pushed my plate of food, to the center of the table, got up from my seat, and left.

Overwhelmed, by the tremendous amount of pressure of friendly banter, I'm reminded again, I am not ready to date. I mean look, it isn't like this interaction, with Mr. Romance, from a distance, was going to lead to marriage, two kids and a mini-van in the garage, but...just the idea of first date jitters stresses me out.

Instead of a whimsical time of getting to know one another, a date seems like a daunting chore.  The thought, alone, of - FINALLY -shaving my legs, putting on makeup, and having to suck in my stomach all night, had me running from the dinner table.

Opportunities, not of this world, have opened up for me, in the last five months.  The relationships I am focused on building are, with God, myself, my son and my friends.  Meditation, writing, crying, eating, laughing, praying and playing sustain me these days.  I'm focused on building and balancing self-compassion, self-sufficiency, and community, and today, with all my heart, I trust dating will come - eventually.


  1. Terrific .......really enjoyed the message and meanings presented so beautifully. What a lovely story........what fabulous expressions of hope.......thanks.......sincerely !

    1. Anthony,

      It makes my day that you enjoyed reading my post. Thanks for the uplifting words. It means a lot. - liz :)

  2. I love ur story all the details keep writing this blogs, i look forward for the next one thank u for sharing it with us!

  3. I love it, haha. Romance from a Distance:) You know what I say, when you're in love with self, self is going to demand the Best. Keep moving forward babygirl:)