I spent the majority of the day today working in my over grown yard pulling weeds. Most people don’t like pulling weeds. I however, happen to enjoy it. It’s a mundane task that allows me to just be. And in my beingness I allow my mind to wander to whatever or wherever it chooses. Sometimes I just sing to myself, other times I reflect on life events or dream of the future. Today was a mix of all three. I heard my neighbor come outside and speak to his dog. When I heard his voice, his name popped into my head. Jesse, that was his name, I thought to myself and fell headlong into a memory.
When I was 11 maybe 12, I was a competitive ice skater. I spent most of my time on the ice. I loved it. It was a freedom I can’t explain. The closest feeling I can liken it to would be the first time I rode my bike alone or drove a car. You know the feeling, the wind in your hair, totally free and on your own, without a care in the world. One particular day I was gliding along when I caught site of a boy watching me. He stayed all afternoon, hunched over the side of the rail. I knew he was watching me because he would follow along to which ever end of the ice I was on. During a long session where I repeatedly practiced figure eights, he stood rail side intently watching my every move. When I finished and left the ice he approached me and struck up an awkward conversation. He asked me to join him for a soda in the snack bar and I agreed. He seemed cool, well as cool as a 13- year- old boy could be to a 12-year-old girl. We talked about skating, school and whatever kids talk about. I can hardly remember now. At one point he sat very close to me on a bench overlooking the rink. I was beginning to feel a bit uneasy when with no warning he suddenly kissed me with a very quick, quite abrupt, and straight on the lips kiss. Then he ran away. I was shocked, struck dumb. I could hardly think and quickly wiped away his kiss from my lips. My first thought was THAT WAS MY FIRST KISS!! My second was, that was my first kiss :( It was not how I had imagined it would be. Not at all what I had envisioned, as young girls do, of their first Kiss. Most importantly it wasn’t wanted. I felt robbed. I was angry that no matter how I tried to forget it, forever more my first kiss had happened in a way that would leave me with a feeling of sorrow and remorse. In my mind I resolved to never accept that Jesse had been my first kiss, specially since it was no more than a peck. Flash forward…
As the years past I eventually had the unfirst kiss I thought I had missed out on. All the conditions were right. A warm night with a boy I had a huge crush on, in the backseat of his oh so cool camero, listening to Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas. I still smile and feel a little pang in my heart when I hear that song. Sadly it only lasted the summer, but what a great summer it was. Until he decide he liked my best friend better than me and I caught them in the backseat of said camero doing a lot more than kissing. I quickly crossed his kiss off my first kiss list as well.
Still in search of the perfect unfirst kiss, I had many relationships over the years that followed. I have fallen in and out of love and after the last, a seven-year stint of virtual madness, I guess I gave up. I had resolved myself to just love my life as best I could and build a meaningful relationship with myself. This was something I had never attempted before. With the wisdom of age, I finally realized what was missing was not the perfect kiss or the perfect mate. I know now what was missing lay deep inside me, not in someone else, or someplace else. I had moved to different places, sought new beginnings time and time again. I had stepped into relationships with men with “issues”, or so I thought. I also thought I was the right person to fix their problems, whether it was addictions, lack of self-esteem or self-worth. I thought I could fix all of it, whatever it was. I know now it was my way of not fixing what was broken in me and not focusing on my own issues. My daughter described me once in a school paper she wrote as a Band-Aid, explaining that I was always “patching everybody up, fixing problems, holding everything together and making things all better, like a Band-Aid”. I cried when I read her words. Not because it made me sad but, because it resonated with me. I was completely exhausted with all of the fixing. Yet it was years after her paper that I stopped the habitual care taking of everyone but myself.
I was cruising along just fine, enjoying my family and friends, loving the life I had created, when I met the first man I had had any interest in a very long time. We had met briefly one night at a live music venue and I was captivated by his smile. I hoped I might one day run into him again but didn’t think much more about it when one day, while on Facebook, his face popped up as “people you may know”. I couldn’t believe it. I had met a few nice men but no one I felt like getting to know better, certainly not for more than anything but a buddy. I conjured up the courage one evening to ask him to a drink or coffee. When he responded favorably, I was thrilled. My elation was quickly followed by fear, followed by self-defeating thoughts when a friend jokingly made the statement that he was “out of my league”. My self-esteem plummeted; old self doubts filled my entire being. My mind was racing with thoughts like he is way too good for me, he could have anyone he wants, I’m a nobody, why would he be interested in me, what were you thinking fool… It wasn’t pretty. Forgetting everything I had been working on, I had set into motion a negative spiral. Needless to say, nothing ever came of my invitation and we have yet to speak of it, though we remain Facebook friends and I see his beautiful smile from time to time when he post something.
Back to the basics I went, for some alone time, introspection and lots of diving deep into my own fears. I came out the other side a little stronger and ready to try again. And along came… the cowboy.
It had been almost a year. I decided I was ready to test the waters again in the dating world when I met the cowboy. He was the last man in the world I thought I would ever be interested in and it took me a week to actually decide if I even wanted to talk to him. I had seen his picture on a dating site and repeatedly passed him over but for some reason I kept going back to it and then he sent me a message. We began chatting and before I knew it we were online most nights for hours. He was friendly, funny and seemed very sweet. After several weeks we met in person, him coming for a holiday weekend to visit from out-of-town. We spent the entire weekend getting to know each other, talking until the early morning hours about, well, everything. I was quite taken with him. Though he was not what I would normally have been attracted to in appearance, he became more and more appealing with each conversation. After a few months of online chatting and visits to his home town I admit, I was falling for the man. He seemed mentally healthy, smart, and we shared a lot in common. The more I knew about him the more I wanted to know. He explained he wanted to take things slow and not jump into anything too fast. “Just let things happen naturally,” he said. He told me he felt I was one of those special people you don’t meet every day and he wanted to show me the respect I deserved. He made me feel special and as if in time we would grow into a “We”. As my fondness grew, so did his distance. At last finding out he had met someone else and within a month he was engaged to her. That hurt and I guess still does to a degree. Was I jealous? Yes. Did I want what she had? Maybe a part of me did. Was I more into this guy than he was me? Obviously. Did I think getting engaged and then married in 3 months was completely stupid? Yes I did! And again, I questioned my own good sense. How could I pick someone to fall for that would be that immature? Inner voice screamed, everyone is a reflection shinning back at you! Boy, I had more work to do.
It took a while to get to this point and I am far from finished. I believe this will be an ongoing process that will last a lifetime but I’m still here, learning and growing. I know we create our own reality. I know I encounter the things that happen in my life because of what I am vibrating/sending out to the world. I believe I am fine tuning and with each step I come closer to finding the things and people who make my life so rich. So for now I am in complete gratitude for the wonderful people who I share my time with. I am truly blessed by genuinely lovely people. I value each and every one of them. If they are my reflection, then I am doing all right. What I’ve learned is the Universe gives you exactly what you believe to be true, the good and the bad and the cowboys.
As for the weeds…into every garden a few weeds must grow. It’s up to me to keep my garden in order and to find the beauty and purpose in all of it. I know after all this time, I need not search any longer for my perfect unfirst kiss, or the perfect mate or even a new locale. That wouldn’t change my life, only change the view. And from where I sit, the view is pretty darn good, weeds and all…