A man I know said that someone told him, "Once you meet the right woman, you'll know it."
Ridiculous, I thought to myself. And I think most people would agree, it is.
The man I know made the observation that although one may very well meet the "right" person, if you are not ready or open to accept someone into your life, you would not necessarily be able to recognize them as being The One.
The idea that upon meeting, one could know they've just encountered their "soul mate," or their destiny, is what movies are made of. It's Romeo and Juliet material and has little to do with what makes two people work together in the real world.
If you meet someone and your knees go weak, that's lust or chemistry or infatuation, and thank God for those things because it's the stuff that spices up life and can light fires in you that have long been extinguished. Butterflies, breathlessness, imagining that someone has answered your prayers, hallelujah for all of it, but don't be surprised if it comes to a screeching halt just when you thought the party was getting started.
I call my relationship with David the one that allowed me to be my ugliest self; to go from child to mother, weather aches and endure the pain it takes to evolve, examine old beliefs and grieve the loss of loved ones. David, among being so many other things, was the relationship I needed to be nurtured and accepted while stumbling my way through the flowery fields and muddy trenches that make up the map of one's life.
The next relationship I had was with a man who served as my own personal Greek God, Eros. He came equipped with a quiver of arrows and shot one straight through my heart, waking me from a long and deep sleep. Up went the red flag and thus began the first step of my revised life plan.
Whatever relationships I have now and in the future, I believe will serve in ways that allow me to finally grow up. Because although I am a 44-year-old woman, a mother, a home-owner and a professional, the truth is, I am in many ways a late bloomer; in many ways I am still a child. The woman I am knows better than to believe she can meet a man and in an instant know that he's The One, but the girl in me has an overpowering resistance to let go of the fantasy part of love and romance.
I was talking to a man I'm dating, I don't remember just what it was he said, but I made it clear that I wanted to change the subject. He picked up on my dissatisfaction right away and teasingly said, Oh no, Katie can't talk about that, that's not sexy!
Only weeks later did I remember that moment, and was struck by his implication and how right he was. I don't want to talk to the man I'm making love with about mortgage rates or the broken hinge on my bathroom door. I don't want to have plans canceled because there was confusion about dates, I don't want to stop being told that I am beautiful or that what I'm wearing looks nice, I don't accept that it rains on a night when I spent an hour blow drying my mane.
Can't have real life, it's just not sexy.
I know that real dreams don't come true in fairytales and movies; I keep telling myself that, keep projecting it on this blog. But we all know the secret about people who say the same thing over and over again: they are the ones who need most to believe it.
True love comes from being open with your heart, not from flirting. True connection comes from seeing the person who stands before you, not from wondering what he perceives when you stand before him. The "right" person is the one who recognizes and understands in a profound way that he could search a lifetime and never find another you. The"right" person is the one who wants you, opens to you, is ready for you.
Everyday, as if being pushed to graduate from girl to woman, I am tested. Some days I pass, others I fail, and some days I pass and fail in the same moment. I tell myself I am open, that I am ready to love, yet I leave little room to discuss unpleasantries, or accept that the beauty and perfection I project will have bumps in the road, an ingrown nail, a sneeze and a cough and a bad hair day.
I can feel my disappointment when I find myself discussing politics with a man, when all I want to be with him is a kitten. I want to cuddle and purr and be responded to for my beauty, warmth and charm, but is that because I simply want a vacation from the very real life I've been living the past 44-years? Is what I want a break from conflict and car inspections, from feeling more like the captain of a ship and less like the ethereal woman I wish myself to be? But if I can only purr with a man, if I can only seek pleasure in watching his eyes watching me, if all I long for is to be a goddess to his god and spend my days basking in his masculine presence, then how open am I to really sharing myself and connecting with someone? When will I truly say goodbye to Romeo and let go of Juliet? After all, the only reason those two existed in perfect love was because they died before they got real with each other. Imagine what would have become of Mr. and Mrs. Montague had they lived to endure parenthood, financial hardship, infidelity and illness.
True love doesn't come when a light is turned on; it comes when the brightness of that light dims and you can still find your way.
I am a child, I am a woman, I am a dreamer and a late bloomer. But the seasons are changing, and I will blossom.