Over two months since my last post, encapsulating work emergencies, new friends, a possible new relationship, and many moments of challenging myself to heal.
As I posted in a reply to a comment someone left me today, I realized that as of today it has been 9 months. Three quarters of a year, and each moment more fulfilling than the last. Most days I wake up contented, my days are filled with happy moments and an easy resilience that I though impossible 9 months and a day ago. There are the occasional nightmares, dredged up by triggers, or by slowly re-engaging people where before I had placed barriers.
And believe me, I can appreciate the irony of meeting someone not long after my ‘single and not looking’ post. It’s been interesting, being courted by someone who shares many of my own interests, who spent about eight weeks maneuvering that fine line of consistent interest, friendship, and yet not being pushy.
I’ve told him I enjoy his company, and I’d like to get to know him better, but that I also don’t know what I’m looking for. That I’m not looking to rush into anything, and that I value my friends and activities and plan on maintaining those things. I’ve been frank, and honest about where I am at and my level of commitment. More intimate life details and struggles can be filled in later, when he’s had a chance to demonstrate he is trustworthy of that level of confidence. But he grasps the basics, and seems to think being patient, so long as we communicate well, will allow our relationship to grow.
Confession time? I like him. Despite assessing things far too much, asking him a few tough questions here and there, setting boundaries, he’s been respectful. Yet, he’s also been sweet. And there is a tenderness I didn’t expect to encounter, and that I don’t know can be faked to that degree.
Yet history has shunted my thoughts along certain pathways, and the last week I find myself readying for… something. More specifically, For the other shoe to drop.
Because it always did.
I am realizing I went through this with my friends, too, after leaving. With my family. With my job. Every relationship, whether familial or friendly, in the past nine months has had to move past an underlying, cynical suspicion. I have to fight, almost daily, to make sure I am speaking my mind, being genuine, striving to be my authentic self. It’s not comfortable, pushing myself beyond the boundaries of an inherent people pleaser.
My struggle is wondering if all of the above means I am not ready for any kind of romantic relationship.
In the end, all I can do is what seems right for me. Which is to be true to myself. Use this relationship to practice healthy boundaries. To be kind, and honest, and work on my communication and affirm to myself that my desires and emotions and feelings matter. I’ve been very up front about this, and have to trust that either he will slip up and reveal that he isn’t a safe person, or that time will prove my gut perception of people isn’t entirely skewed.
In the end, the only thing I know for certain is that I’ve found myself, and so long as I don’t compromise my self-care, my healing, or my current relationships, this can only be a growing experience. Who knows if it will last, but right now I am just going to enjoy the present. If the other shoe drops, I won’t have compromised myself, so my hope is to acknowledge that cynical realist of my inner thoughts, but not dwell too heavily there.