Dumped In Darkness

Downtown New York

Downtown New York (Photo credit: sreevishnu)

I was dumped. I was sad. I wallowed. I ate. I felt the disappointment.

I got up. I ate. I drank lots of coffee. I got dressed. I kept moving.

And I kept moving not because I’m some sort of saint-in-life, but because my survival depended on it.

The last I “spoke” to you I was falling in love with New York. I had questions about whether I could be vulnerable and questions about how far and how deep it could go. I was hopeful, I was glowing and I was very excited.

After a few weeks of that tingling feeling of living the New York life, almost overnight some bitch stormed in and whipped up her accomplices in a frenzy of jealous rage as if to say, “if I can’t have him no-one will”.

And that, as they say was that.

Pure darkness followed. Cut-off and cut-out, with no explanations.

All I can say is that these things happen in relationships and happen in life. Sometimes things fail, sometimes we fail and sometimes we don’t know why.

Storms come and they go. Sometimes big, sometimes small.

Storm Approaching Paradise - Coral Island, Phu...

Storm Approaching Paradise – Coral Island, Phuket, Thailand (Photo credit: Captain Kimo)

I wish I could assure you that by living a certain way or in a certain place would guarantee a life free of struggles and free of storms. I wish I could assure you that these storms would pass you by unscathed and untouched by heartbreak and destruction. And I wish I could assure you that when you do get knocked down it’s easy to get straight back up.

All I can assure you of is that life is all about getting back up. It doesn’t really matter how or when, but it does matter that you do.

When I woke up every morning ready to complain about the electricity or the bucket bath I remembered that there are those who go everyday without this ‘luxury’. I remembered that there were those who lost their lives, lost their home and lost their dreams in this storm.

New York also reminded me that with the loss or frustration or heartbreak that these storms bring, they also bring hope. The spirit of people, of communities, and of those who choose a profession that puts them in the front line of danger in order to protect and serve, restores faith.

And it was those people who choose everyday to protect and serve that got straight back up. And on the weight of their backs we all got back up.

It’s in these storms of life that we realise that as fragile as we are as humans, we are also resilient. And in being resilient we realise the depth of our inner strength. And in realising the depth of our inner strength we realise our capacity to love.

And it is in realising my capacity to love that I have come full circle. I got dumped, I felt the full gambit of emotions but I came back to a place of love. New York remains in my heart.

It’s given me a new sense of freedom, a new sense of hope and a new sense of attitude.

With these feelings I’ve come back home to South Africa to celebrate another year of my life, to embrace the love of my family over Christmas, to usher in a new year and move on.

I’m still groping in the dark with regards to my future, something a lot of people don’t understand, but that’s ok, because I know, whatever may come, I’ll always get straight back up. And I know you will too.

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A Single shot of Truth

I initially wrote a tell-all straight-up-truth post about being single, dating and sex. When I mentioned it to my friend yesterday she gave me a look so horrifying, I thought I’d better sleep on it. Luckily for those whose hearts might have been beating a little faster by now, her look of sheer horror made me decide to spare the trauma it might have caused to some ego’s. It was not a kiss-and-tell, just some general truths women never tell men.

Anyway it was all linked to me watching “Think Like A Man” which I thought was a load of crap, and happening upon this article talking about the new Mr Right: Mr Right Always and not Mr Right Now. Some of the things about Mr Right Always:

  •  supports your career and ambitions
  •  is proud when you achieve professionally
  • doesn’t expect to be waited on but does expect to be helped
  • enjoys doing things for you just as you do for him
  • knows who your friends are and makes an effort with them
  • doesn’t feel competitive with you. Your wins are his too.

I sent this to a few of my single friends and they all wrote back wanting to know if such men still exist? Honestly, I don’t know. Do they? No, it’s not a rhetorical question, I’m asking, do they?

I’ve been single for so long I feel like I need to join a support group.

Hi, my name is Lisa and I’m single. My last boyfriend was 3 years ago.

Say hello to Lisa everyone.

Sometimes I find the topic of singledom amongst women to be like that of ‘giving birth’. Ask a woman what its like to have a child and she’ll tell you all the glowing details leaving out the most important parts, the truth. I’m sure it’s a wonderful experience but what I really want to know is how painful it is, how messy it is, how draining it is, how hard it is?

It’s the same for being single. Everyone will tell you how happy they are, how it doesn’t bother them, how they are not looking. No-one really wants to talk about the fact that it can get lonely. That it can be hard.  That it’s not always fun. That the real truth is that we all secretly want to be in a relationship.

When you’re newly single it can be a bit scary at first, you think can I really do this? Can I survive on my own? Then you start hanging out with friends, going to dinners, parties, lunch dates, shopping, you’re giddy with all this freedom and free time. Being single is the best thing ever. You gain some confidence, you feel amazing and then you decide to start meeting people, putting yourself out there.  And this is where it can start to get a little hairy. (You can read about my “dating” experiences in Korea here.)

Personally I’ve found dating to be complicated, confusing, and hard work. I don’t understand what happened to honesty, just telling the truth and being transparent about what you want and who you are. I don’t want to figure it out, read between the lines or play the game. Because when you not sure what the rules are or how it’s played you’ll find yourself in dangerously painful territory.

There are all sorts of things I never imagined having to negotiate when I first became single. To give you a bit of background, 3 years ago I came out of a 5 year relationship that for the most part was good, but it left me feeling broken and empty. I got lost in the relationship, lost my sense of self, lost my way, forgot my essence. After that, I took the time I needed to re-discover and heal myself before I even thought about meeting someone else.

And let me just say after my foray into the world of dating, that it’s hard enough just trying to meet wholesome people, but now you also have to deal with the notions of “friends with benefits”, “it’s complicated” (are we just friends going for coffee, are we just hanging out and having some fun, are we mutually exclusive, are we just friends having sex, oh no wait, that’s friends with benefits), “casual dating”, and being a “cougar”. I’ve been having a lot of that lately. I’m 35 and just this week I had a 20-year-old wanting to go out with me. Ummm….yeah, just the idea was a stretch for my imagination. I’m no Samantha.

I’ve reached a plateau with regards to this dating thing. After the initial period of being on a high it becomes a bit tiresome. For me anyway. I also think it’s a bit harder to do when you’re comfortable and happy with yourself and you know what you want. When I was younger and stupider it all seemed a lot easier.

I don’t know where this plateau will lead, a climb up the mountain or a descent into a valley, and I think I like it that way. I haven’t given up, just let it go. The only advice I could give anyone in the same situation is to spend this time concentrating on you. Its part of the human condition to want to feel and know that you are loved. The most important thing I’ve learnt is not to try to force it, let it beckon you.

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Kahlil Gibran.