Today I was reminded of something that happened to me in 9th grade. My parents added a second phone line in our house the year before (this was before I had a cell phone) because my mother couldn’t share her phone time with a teenage girl. Since I had my own phone line in my room, I spent a lot of time talking. Always with my besties but also tons of time talking to cute boys…as any 9th grade girl would do. There was one particular boy that I had a mega crush on. We talked on the phone a lot, late into the night and into the early morning. There was bunches of giggles and flirting. I didn’t know if he like mor not and I didn’t tell him that I liked him. He started talking about a girl that he really, really liked. How she was beautiful, so nice, and really funny. He would say he didn’t know if he had the nerve to tell her and that he was afraid he would lose her, as a friend, if she didn’t like him back. This went on for a few days in a row. He wouldn’t tell me who but I thought he was talking about me. I hoped he was. I asked him again to tell me who it was and he told me to guess. I tried to avoid this but he wouldn’t tell me and I wanted to know. I thought it was too scary to guess myself, especially first, so I said one of my best friends names. To my surprise he said it was her and my little 9th grade heart broke. Then I put it back together and fixed them up. That was the kind of friend I chose to be even if it hurt. After some time passed, I let it go. He still seemed to be flirting with me all of the time but I decided that my perception was all wrong. I thought I didn’t understand how to tell if someone was really interested in me. I think I’ve questioned myself ever since. I even found out years later that it had been me that he liked but he had been too afraid to tell me and when I asked if it was my friend he just said yes because he didn’t think he could ever tell me. He didn’t think I’d try to get them together but he just kept going along with it. Of course they only dated briefly so it wasn’t long lasting. He still remained my friend.
Now as I try to navigate through life single again I feel things coming from men that I instinctively feel I understand but then maybe I don’t. Maybe it’s nothing. I feel a pull towards me, always approaching, smiling, full contact…attention. It seems sincere. Real. Honest. There’s tension, like when two people are physically attracted to one another. There’s a pull like there’s an interest but maybe I’m misreading. I feel like as people we know when there’s electricity between you and another. We’re all sexual beings. We’re made to do it, want it, need it, but is this what the pull is? Is there more? I don’t know anymore. Maybe I never did.
Navigating around being single again in this life is nerve racking and exciting all wrapped up together. There is such hope that I will find all that I want and need and be all that someone else wants and needs. Isn’t that what it is all about. Could it be that simple? Or do I just want to float out there and connect with many people, never settling, never committing….just going through the motions. Never alone but never attached. I’ve never wanted that before, but marriage is really hard. You can try as hard as you’d like by yourself but if your husband isn’t giving the same, then it doesn’t matter how hard you try. Without the kids as a reason to fight, I’m afraid I wouldn’t. I don’t have any space left for that. I wouldn’t fight for something that wasn’t working. Not for a second. Not ever again. Life’s too short.
As that random memory from 9th grade popped up today I think I was reminded of how much I don’t know. Maybe what I feel and see isn’t anything or maybe it is. I’ll only know if something happens and I should never assume it is something I think or hope it is. I certainly should allow myself to believe anything is specifically about me unless I am told that it is. I can’t get my emotions wrapped up feeling/thinking one thing and then find out my mind was playing tricks on me. Or better yet it wasn’t but it just isn’t going to be known now. Maybe later when it doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe never. There are so many possibilities.
If you smile at me, compliment me or even flirt with me, I’m going to take it at face value…nothing more unless there comes a day when some person tells me differently. Until then…just riding out the moments as they are. Present. Eyes open.