Years ago when book learning was my thing, it was explained to me that we live our lives in stages of 7 years. Though I hadn't though about this for a long time it just popped back into my brain yeaterday and really made me think. Upon some examination here's what I found:
0-7: sucking up everything like a sponge and learning to be a complete little individual
8-14: expanding my horizons, starting to ask the big questions and asserting my independence
15-21: paying the consequences for said independence, 1st marriage & starting my own family
22-28: realized I love the kids but not the dad. singlehood, university, married 2nd potential mr right
29-35: working for a living, changing goals, new career with benefits, trying to work shit out
36-42: back to school, teenagers, kids done, financial goals accomplished, ended 2nd marriage, turned 40, convocated university, realized I'd lost me along the way. workin' on that.
43-49: (I will be 50 this october)made a decision at 43, after after successfully navigating the 1st relationship to end with both my dignity & wallet intact, to step away from the intimate and spend my energy building friendships that would last a lifetime instead. Practicing personal compassion by giving myself room to breathe, make some future plans and find the inside self that has been missing.So I shut down the "lookin for a man" vibe for a long time - 6 years, invested myself in some really great friends and have been LIVING life for me.
A year ago I took my 1st real vacation ever with the attitude that it was a gonna be a party. It was and I certainly got my groove back. All the little pieces of me that had fallen by the wayside, the ones that I had given away by choice - or had been taken, and especially the tiny most important bits that I had tucked away inside and forgotten how to find came back to me all in one fell swoop. I changed, apparently overnight, even my friends commented upon it. I was reconnected to the great planet as I hadn't been since my teens. My internal 8 year was once again alive and well. And all those womanly bits - not the mother ones, the other ones were knocking down the door. So I allowed for some temporary indulgence and found that the extremism I experienced in younger years wasn't so much any more.
I had developed and distance between the heart and the physical - who'd of thought? Now don't get me wrong - I am totally a touchy feely physically grounded sorta woman but it usually came with some serious sentimental attachments. I had divested myself of that connection, a true relief and found myself capable of maintaining both my true friendships and an ongoing physical relationship without losing my head, heart, or sense of direction.
So now I had what I wanted - right? We'll go with that. I was happy and successful for the most part, and thankful, truly, about where I was in my life. I was making plans and watching them come to fruition before my eyes. My children were growing into better places for themselves, retirement plans began to grow, career choices were slowly becoming more available, I had a large group of friends that always keep me busy and laughing albeit with the odd touch of drama here and there, I have lots of options.
And then I took my 2nd vacation of my life. Back to the island, where the moment I stepped outside of the airport I was assaulted by a physically dizzying and heartfelt sense of HOME. Like when I went to my grama millie's when I was young, and as still happens every time I step into the farmhouse on the homestead in Swan. It is a visceral smackdown that tells you "you are where you are supposed to be" felt from the roots of your hair to the tips of your toes. And it was exactly the same as it had been the year before. I could feel my heart settle into the land, my whole body connect to everywhere else all at once, spidey senses tingling and synapses firing like AK47s. My nirvana.
The trip this year was about the framily I had made on the last visit, sharing cooking secrets with Anette, authentic jamaican cooking for fancy baking, eating together on Sundays, singing and dancing and enjoying time spent with people who walk into your heart and fill it up, long conversations about beliefs and politics, really learning about each other's cultures. Time spent simply lazing in the sun and relaxing without any other particular goal in mind except to enjoy each other's company.
And then my friends interfered with my plans.
After Doc & Brent had already been chatting about me to one of Doc's friends, and after Anette had been talking said friend up to me, she physically pushed me out the house laughing all the way, to go and talk to him because he was interested in meeting me. He had apparently seen me in and out visiting and wanted to know who that woman was. I tried to explain that wasn't the purpose of my holiday, that I was quite happy with my independence, I wasn't looking for a good time or any entanglements, but no - all of my arguments fell on completely deaf ears and she simply grinned at me, Doc and Brent laughing all the way, "it's just a conversation".
Intuition? An understanding of parts of myself that I have been studiously ignoring? Perhaps the fear that maybe what I really wanted was that which I refused to look for. I had long ago decided that if it showed up on my doorstep fine, but I was NOT putting myself out there, and NOT going to be the one to make any kind of first move in that general direction ever again.
Too late now.
We both looked each other directly in the eyes through the barbed wire bean growing fence that divided his yard and Doc's, started to talk at the same time, and laughed like silly children with our hands touching in the cookie jar. It was a long conversation.
Both of us direct, bare bones, this is who I am and I am comfortable with exactly who I am. History is, unless it impacts the now. Why aren't either of us attached, because neither of us willing to settle and we know what we want: truth, love, passion, intelligence, laughter, music, creativity and drive. A discering combination and almost impossible to find. Fifteen minutes in we were making ground rules for something that didn't yet exist. In fact, at the same time, "I don't share" was out our mouths. Silence. He suggested we go out and talk & asked for my number, I handed him my phone with "yes but you will have to call me, I'm old school", he laughed and said he would. And the conversation continued for about an hour and then Anette was calling me for supper and Brenda & Kory arrived, and I had no idea what I had just gotten myself into.
3 hours later Kory and Brenda headed back to town, my phone rang as the car pulled out of the yard, did I want to go to a little place in Good Hope? Nope, not going to a strange township with a man I don't know in a foreign country even if he is a long time friend of the framily. But I wanted to. He called back 15 minutes later, suggested another place closer and explained that he had already arranged for Doc to go with us as a chaperone so I would feel safe. Damn.
I had just hung up when Doc walked in laughing from driving the kids home, and he laughed even harder when he looked at my expression. Fluttery like a school girl, that hasn't happened for decades, and could not keep the grin off my face. Apparently when you stop looking the universe provides.
A nice little place with a pool table so we had something to do while we danced the little dance, Doc grinning from his stool. The touches that aren't, but are so much more at the same time, the easy sway of a hip in passing that made him lose his shot, a breath on my neck that made my heart stop and I missed mine. After 3 games neither one of us could play anymore so we took our drinks out to the steps and just talked into the evening, completely forgetting that Doc was even there until he plopped himself down, took a look at us and asked if I was ok. "Completely," so he told Ivan in all seriousness that he was responsible for me and I am family. Ivan promised to get me home and Doc left us to the night.
I think we sat on the steps for another hour or so intensely questioning each other like preparing for a jeopardy tournament, and every time someone went in or out of the pub his arm would snake around my shoulders until it just stayed there. "Let's go somewhere else", and we were off to a friend's music yard with an outdoor bar and speakers as tall as I am. He introduced me to some of his friends, and some lovely old gentlemen who were all just characters and atrociously flattering ;) He spun a couple of tunes while i listened and then we danced in the grass until a few slow ones came round when we just swayed, me leaning back on him, his arms wrapped around me breathing in my hair like it always had been, and all my alarm systems stonecold silent. Effortlessly in tune, singing to me all the while but changing the words, sparks almost visible at every point we connected.
And then I had him drive me home.
You know that hollywood kiss that melts knees and oh so many other wild and wonderful places, where he holds you just right and everything fits the way it's supposed to with no awkwardness nd your breath is gone and you totally lose yourself in it till you have to come up for air. Yeah, that's the one.
And I said goodnight baby. Call me.
And he did ...