In Virginia lives a mirror

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I’ve passed this sign and ones like it I forget how many times. I was finally aware that it was coming up in time to stop and take a picture of it today. I expect to see some friends while I’m here, have already seen two, in fact, with two more slated for tomorrow.

I have been writing this blog post in my head since I passed that sign. Nine hours later I am finally at my keyboard, I am exhausted, and I am crying, and I don’t want to write this post, but I’m doing the five hundred words a day challenge and I need to get this out, so I am going to write this post and you are going to read it or not, and there we go. But I need to tell you up front that even though I am going to tell you about a man, this story is not about him. This story is about me. And also, sometimes I just really wish I could be “normal.”

So, last year about this time, I met a man who lives in Virginia. It was an amazing adventure. I hate to say was. Was implies a thing that lives only in the past, and I really hope that’s not the case. But it will be or not be whatever it will be or not be. Anyway. Man, amazing adventure. We are so alike, or were so alike in our outlooks and interests that it was…he was, I was, we were like a chimera, like mirrors. I thought that I had met someone who would be a lifelong partner. I’m almost certain I have written about this part before. Search “mountain” if you want to read it, because having remembered that I have covered this material, I am moving this narrative forward.

There is a thing that I cherish about That Man™. He is never afraid to ask me the questions that make me think. Or rather, make me face what I have been thinking but do not want to look at. During what would turn out to be the last comfortable visit we had as dating partners, I spent the night crying on the sofa, and kissing Cinderella goodbye. Earlier that evening we were discussing our future plans, and I heard myself say to him. I opened my mouth and. What I said was “if I come here before 2015, I will be more dependent on you than I am comfortable being.” And we nodded and agreed with our mutual decision and we thought we were very wise.

And later that night, after we went to bed, I just started crying. No noise, just the tears tracking down my face, and what was happening there was me realizing that if I was not willing to give up my independence for him, this man I got along with so well, with whom I was so well matched, this man with whom I formed a chimera, I was never going to be able to give it up. It took me months to realize that’s what had happened. He asked me the next morning, when he woke up and I wasn’t in the room what was wrong. And I said, “I don’t know. I think in pictures but there aren’t any pictures. I can’t see what’s wrong, there’s nothing there.” And then I cried some more.

And that’s the painful part of that. There is a wonderful part as well. I learned then that I am a woman who is still quite capable of loving fiercely, freely, and fully. I learned that I consider boyfriend/girlfriend, even husband/wife to be temporary titles and that I consider friend to be a permanent one. Maybe that’s why I don’t claim many friendships. I have a lot of acquaintances. I have very few people that I would go to the mat for, and to me that’s what friend means. It means I am there. Like a rock. Whether it is convenient for me or not. Maybe I mean by friend what most people mean by boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. I’m not sure.

What I am sure of is that there are several people that I am willing to share my time with, willing to share my self (space intentional) with, and none that I am willing to share my life with. And sometimes that just makes me sad. Like when I sit here late at night, writing the words and crying, and wondering why I can’t just want whatever everyone else seems to want.

I like being single. I really, really do. And I am happy. I’m just bothered that I like single so much I’m not willing to give it up. I’m well on my way to being a crazy old lady who spends her days talking to herself, petting cats, and knitting socks.