1st Date Of Many (I Hope)

Not many know how far I’ve came, or where I was at in my journey a few months ago. No one really knows how I’m coping with feeling better, except me and my immediate family (it’s phuquing scary!), and no one knows (not even me) how I will handle life outside the wire (I feel like stepping back into the dating scene is like being outside the safety of singlehood). I feel that I’ve been very lucky in the type of people I interacted with initally. There were a few very nice people I talked to, went hiking with a couple, spoke on the phone with others, but there wasn’t anything there. Mostly things like, “You’re not what I’m looking for” (not uncommon), “Keep in touch” (polite thought, rarely polite result), and “I see ghosts.. So many ghosts” (We’ve all ghosted, I try not to, but I’ve done it on accident, or because I “assumed” they weren’t interested anyhow). Accepting rejection has been a big work in progress. A few months ago, I would have been devastated by the third or fourth rejection, this time around, there are no expectations placed on or with anyone I interact with. I try to be honest to them about who I am, and let life handle the rest.

About the time I thought I would shut the apps back down, retreat back into the safety of my journey and seclusion, a dialogue began to take shape with someone in earnest. It had been a really long time since I laughed out loud to someone’s banter, antics, relative responses to some of my nonsensical vocabulary, and a wit that caught me off guard in the best of all the ways. Finding a woman that is attractive is easy. Finding one that is kind, compassionate, and thoughtful happens once in a great while. Finding a woman that starts off with showing you a monster bandage on her leg because she tripped in a hole in a parking lot while in Hawaii, then her bother thought she was going to get a flesh eating bacteria from the ocean so he over bandaged, and she self identified as a clutz, with more laugh inducing examples, is rare, wonderful, and refreshing.

The dialogue I found myself participating in felt different. I was genuinely laughing, smiling at the thought of the way something was worded, or the reaction to something I said. There was no heaviness around my shoulders to bring the smiles for both of us. They were being handed to me as much I was handing them to her. I respect when someone can make me smile or laugh deeply because I understand that sometimes, to bring someone a smile, or make them truly laugh, you have to expose some of yourself in the process. Maybe word it so it sounds more kind than it is, but sometimes, you scratch open an old wound because it can be funny now, even if it still hurts.

We went to the theater, watched a musical (I haven’t been to a musical in years), and hung out next to my car on the side of the road watching the moon wiggle through the trees, and the stars spin over head. I took a few pictures while the moon came up, and we watched the stars, listened to cows a few fields away, some barking dogs, we talked, and enjoyed the feeling of mama mosquitoes leaving life affirming itchy spots about our bodies in the dark. I took enough pictures for this post, then we jumped back in the car and I finished driving her home. It was a very nice date, comfortable people aren’t that common it seems, and that night, was a very comfortable night.

Night photography is my favorite, but I am getting my ass handed to me on finding the correct focus. The stars in most of these are blurry because our dang planet won’t hold still (the stars move quite a bit in 30 seconds). The tree’s are blurry because a light breeze was moving the leaves, and the moon is blurry because “Who The Hell Knows!”. I’m writing this a few days after the fact, and I’m going on a hike tonight after work (Re-doing 22nd street since AllTrails had a hiccup half way through it last week –1st half / 2nd half-). I need to go on a hike to keep myself away from any spiraling thoughts that might be lurking around my dusty mind (jagged, unrealistic, hurtful thoughts are always tickling my mind, but I’ve been able to keep them at a distance with hiking, photography, mediation, and therapy). There’s a park bench about the half way mark of this hike, and I intend on spending quite some time sitting up there tonight. I need that solitude more than ever, to have a talk with myself, reconcile my feelings, check on my emotional state, and do some soul searching on what I want, vs how much I’m willing to risk. What I hope for, is not reality, and it may never be, so I need to sit with myself tonight, and think. Some thoughts are worth risking into reality, some will never happen, and you’ll only end up hurting yourself by thinking them, but once in a while, thoughts can give you direction, spread the risk out in-front of you, and maybe, sometimes, you can prepare yourself for the risk to self, in case the thoughts fail you entirely. None of this is bad, it is just a tool I can use to check in with myself, recenter, and touch my sore spots to make sure they’re still healing.