Day 11 - Leaning In
Updated: Oct 28, 2019
To recap, still super happy being single. 99.99% of my moments are free of thoughts of relationshiping, dating, sexing, sexting and the like. The .001% is like a mugger in central park...I never see it coming.
Recently, I had dinner with one of my best college friends and his family. We had dinner at their amazing house and I got to meet his son for the first time. We live 3.5 hours apart and I had not found time in my life to see the kid in 4 years! It had been awhile since I was thrown into that kind of domestication. Most of my friends have older kids and so I don't spend a lot of couples in the toddler crisis - where food, potty training and bedtime routines reign supreme. The evening was lovely and mostly I was glad that I had outgrown the marriage/young children thing. I really enjoyed it from my distant view. There was little I found attractive about it. I had really been there and done that and was happy to have moved on.
That was until the very end of the night when the little guy was in bed and we were leaving. John and his wife walked us out to our car. They stood there next to one another in the driveway seeing us off, when Doris leaned into him as we backed out of the driveway. She stayed there with her head on his chest as our headlights lit them up. I was captured by the image. The thought ran through my mind..."that would be so nice to have someone to lean on like that." And it would. I am not going to lie. It would be nice to have someone to lean against. It would be good to have someone to lean into. And for a moment I was overcome with sadness because I don’t know that is in the cards for me. I sat with that thought as we drove back to our hotel.
As I laid in bed alone, I thought about perhaps I could lean in in a different way. I could lean into the idea that I have no idea what is going to happen in my life. I could lean into the pain that the image caused me. I could lean into the the loss that I felt in not having that in my life. I could lean into the idea that perhaps I never will again. So I did. I embraced the idea that I may only have me to lean on (well me and several other key people that make my crazy life possible - thanks mom, Maria and my girls). But really didn't try to shield myself from the possibility that I may never be part of a couple or have some one to lean on. When the pain of that thought subsided a new thought emerged...perhaps I am not capable of really leaning in to another. Perhaps the fact that I am alone at almost 50 is precisely because of my inability to lean in. Perhaps, my incessant need to be ok and handle everything independently will forever bar me from leaning into someone else. I took a breath and leaned into that more. I decided it was ok. I decided that I was fine with that outcome so long as I continued to work on myself and the parts of me that I like to hide from others. If I did the work and got the same result that was ok. Most importantly, I had to do the inner work on what prevents me from leaning into others regardless of the end result. Suddenly I was freed from the action/result dynamic. One did not dictate the other. I was free to just lean in...no matter the end result. And in that I leaned into feeling peaceful exactly where I was and to who I was. And that, my friends felt affirming and good and grand.