Enter Spring

Seedlings, which I nurture with joy and expectation. A relationship? Harder to do.

Today I went to the second half of my seed-sowing class, where I learned all about “pricking out” seedlings and replanting them in a larger pot, where they will get stronger and larger until the final threat of frost is behind us and I can put them into my garden.

Yes, spring will finally make its appearance, after a long, and really cold winter.

Enter spring.

I’m a bit in an “enter spring” state of mind myself, not just from all the good energy from running (although, sadly, right now I’m injured and not getting my daily juice). I have stumbled, nay, bumbled, into a relationship.

Gah, I hate even saying it out loud. And, in fact, I’ve been intentionally keeping it a secret. I’m struggling to understand the psychology at play behind it all. But in the end, I think it’s pretty basic: I don’t actually want to be in a relationship. I’m afraid. I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to grow expectations. I don’t want to drift out of this fun part — the delight of falling into someone, discovering him bit by bit, being so pleased with our many matches and entertained by our differences — and hit the heavy shoals of reality.

Isn’t that telling? That I assume the “reality” part will be hard and disappointing, filled with regret and pain? I feel so totally naked and vulnerable, I can’t bear it.

We keep affirming to each other that we are merely “following the vibe” (which is a very, very good vibe), and that that completely makes sense. We keep affirming that the fact that we do not live in the same town, or even the same state, makes this connection so good for where we are in our lives right now (he, coming out of a divorce; me, coming out of a tornado of unfun instability and change; both of us with children we want to devote the lion’s share of our attention to).

And yet…

I have never before felt like I was wounded. That was my choice, my coping device, my legacy of dealing with the anger, grief and instability in my childhood home. I became a warrior, and locked up all the fear and sadness I would otherwise have felt—I put it far away (inside me, of course), somewhere that it couldn’t touch me, and then I could do the all-consuming work of surviving.

But now I live and feel it all, the terrible truth that we can and do hurt those we love the most, with no ill intent. And so putting myself back in a place where I can be disappointed, or disappoint; where I can wound, and be wounded feels terrible, terrible, terrible.

Even though I’m attracted to him like a moth to light, enjoying the play and the intimacy, the reveals and the laughter, and the ways in which he is strong and brave, vulnerable and open…

But I don’t want anyone to know… I don’t want me to know. I don’t want to know that I am once again in a place where I can be so terribly hurt.

But the old way I used to trick myself into not quite being present is gone. And now I have nowhere to hide.

He says he can accept my wounds, and understand my conflicts, that he is of course totally prepared to accept my mere humanity. 

But the question remains: Am I?

About stacy

I am a writer, author, mother, former magazine editor (last at Redbook), optimist, and, above all, a searcher. I'm still searching for whom I'm really meant to be, after a series of very jarring losses: a divorce and house disaster that led to a book (Falling Apart In One Piece); a week after the book came out, my parents suddenly fell gravely ill, I resigned from my job (and, apparently, my career), my son went into crisis, my parents then rapidly died four weeks apart, and my boyfriend (who had moved in with me and my son just weeks before the book came out) began the painful journey of realizing we couldn't make our relationship work (that story unfolded on this blog). Since then I've been trying to figure out what's next. Or, in other words, how to fill in the blanks.
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3 Responses to Enter Spring

  1. alexandra says:

    Our self preservation is so strong.

    I have known people that have none at all, they throw themselves into every relationship as if there is no other possible outcome but happily ever after. Even after 50,000 tales that don’t end that way, they still hand over their hearts.

    What makes some protect, and others live as if their heart is something that grows on trees.

    Is it trust? Is it hope? Do we think too much? Do we not forget enough? I don’t know, Stacy, but I understand everything you say here.

    I wish you days of loving just what you have right now… sometimes, that is more than enough.

    xo

  2. MaryAnn says:

    To preserve and be preserved. I feel you Stacy.

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