adulthood · adventure · chance · courage · crush · doubt · fear · passion · risk · romance

The Whatifs

Last month, I contacted my psychic to ask about this upcoming trip to visit the Boston Cupcake (as he shall henceforth be known).
I can get an emailed reading from her, and despite your and
my own doubts, I get pretty accurate and insightful results from her, via email
or by phone. I mean, I’ve met her and
all – but this isn’t about her. It’s about him. And me.
I’d panicked a little after we’d confirmed that I was going
to fly out, over the continent, to spend 4 days in his bed, arms, town, space.
As Shel Silverstein elegantly put it:
Last night, while I lay thinking
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night
And sang their same old Whatif
Whatif it’s awkward?
Whatif I can’t sleep?
Whatif I don’t come?
Whatif we ruin our friendship?
Whatif it’s good, but that’s the end of it?
Whatif it sucks in person, and we never text-flirt
Whatif we do like each other?
Whatif we fall in love?
Whatif I’m too bruised to fall in love?
Whatif I have to move?
Whatif I move and it doesn’t work out?
Whatif we get married and have kids, and everything works out amazingly?
Whatif we get married and have kids, and struggle for money?
Whatif I have to leave the Bay Area?
Whatif I can’t afford to leave the Bay Area?
Whatif there’s no women’s spiritual community?
Whatif I never see my friends here again?
Whatif I hate the winter there?
Whatif he doesn’t like the way I laugh?
Whatif I don’t like the way he chews?
Whatif …
What if.

Va voy.

So, a few days before the deadline to purchase my flight, I
emailed my psychic to try to divine some answers. What are the implications of this
trip? Is this a good match? Is this a good thing, even if it’s not a match? What Is Going To Happen To Me???
Well, here’s what happened: She got sick, and emailed me
that she’d have to postpone my reading until the following week. Or, she could
just PayPal me back the funds and cancel the reading.
So, I thought about it. What was I really trying to get from
her and her answers, anyway? Assurance, Confirmation, Certainty.
Ah, yes. Certainty. If you can tell me with certainty that the
risk I’m about to take has the outcome that I want, then I’ll take it. If you
cannot tell me with certainty that it will be alright, then I am terrified to
risk it.
So, I went to her blog, to re-acquaint myself with her, to
see if I could divine my own answer, since I knew I was trying to get something
that no one else could really offer me. That life can never offer me.
And her most recent post was basically, if I remember
correctly, about taking chances. About putting your best effort forward, and
letting go; about allowing ourselves to try, and to know that whatever the
outcome, we’re cosmically safe.
Arghh…. Right. I am
safe, loved, assured, no matter what any outcome; but it is my responsibility
to try.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
So, I emailed her back, and told her her blog helped me
realize that it was up to me to take this risk, to try without certainty to
allow adventure, intimacy, attraction, vulnerability into my life. That I would
take the refund from her, and go on this trip, and let all these unknowable
chips fall where they may.
Because, it all flows from what I was just saying yesterday,
about throwing my hat in the ring at work, professionally putting myself out
there, just for the esteem of it, not
knowing if it’ll “go my way,” but getting the benefits of trying anyway.
It’s all about what I’d quoted earlier this week, “You gotta
get in it, cuz it’s a day-by-day gig.”
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
I won’t know til I try. I won’t have certainty even when I am in it. None of us do, even with cohabitation, a ring, children, none of us know if this will “work out,” or if we’ll end up signing divorce papers, bankruptcy papers, restraining orders.

But, what I know for
certain is that I really am looking forward to this trip, to spending this time
with someone I admire, fancy, and enjoy. I really am so very happy that I am
taking a risk, stepping into the wide unknown, opening my arms and falling into
his, come what may. 

dating · health · joy · passion · sex · uncertainty

Craving Cupcakes




For reasons unknown by me, I came home the other night and
while in my closet, took down the book He’s Just Not That Into You. It sits in a pile of books I own that I’ve taken to
the bookstore to sell back to them, but they’re not having it – it shares space
with the
Twilight saga – and for
further reasons unknown, I haven’t just put these books out on the street or
donated them yet, and so they’ve stayed for several years.
Taking down Not That Into You, I read the chapter titles that at the time I bought the book I
imagined I would sneer at and laugh at in obviousness, but that on reading, in
fact, offered a swift kick upside my besotted brain. For example: He’s just not
that into you if he’s not asking you out; he’s just not that into you if he has
a girlfriend/is married; and my personal eye-opener at the time: he’s just not
that into you if he only wants to see you when he’s drunk.
But what struck me the other night as I perused the chapter titles was
the one added on after the first printing, the one entitled: Life after
He’s Just Not That Into You.
I flipped there, and the female co-author writes about the
typical stages she’d seen in herself and in those who’d taken the book’s
message to heart.
First, there’s empowerment: YES! I Get It! I see that these
mixed messages are just smoke-screens, I’ve stopped waiting by the phone, I’ve
stopped accepting “Let’s hang out” as an acceptable “date.” My life is awesome!
Then there’s loneliness: Great, he’s out of my phone and out
of my life, what do I do now?
Quickly followed by temptation: Okay, so if I know that he’s just putting up a smoke-screen, and I get
that this isn’t a relationship – then I’m in full knowledge participation, and
it’s okay, right? Then I can’t really get my feelings hurt, right, because I
know that this is not what either of us really wants, right? Besides, the door
isn’t breaking down with guys asking me out on real dates, and I’m lonely,
horny, and just give me a BREAK already!
I called this yesterday, over lunch with a friend, the
cupcake moment.
We all know this temptation. I’ll set it up for you:
It’s someone’s birthday at the office. They’ve brought in a
dozen of the most delicious looking cupcakes from the 4 dollar a cupcake place
with the clever name. Everyone stands around this offering and awkwardly sings
Happy Birthday to the person of honor, and you feel a little proud, and a
little separate as you gouge the cupcakes out of their container and hand them
to your coworkers, expressing that, No thank you, you’re not having one.
You know how you feel after you’ve eaten one, you know they’re not actually as good as they look, and it’s
not worth the calories or kicking off the sugar addiction. You’ve had SO MANY
afternoons where you’ve had half a cupcake, only to return for the other half,
another whole, and maybe, another half or two.
You know that to put one bite of this thing into your mouth
is to set off a series of woeful and painful head moments of debate,
self-derision, and self-pity.
So you’ve been so good. It’s been weeks, or maybe months
since you’ve let yourself fall into the pattern. And sometimes, it’s so easy to
say No thanks, and be on with your day. The cupcakes don’t whisper at you. The
longing doesn’t bite at your throat.
And then you find yourself in the moments when you say, I have been so good – and what the hell good is it doing
me, anyway? What kind of a martyr, saint, ascetic am I, anyway? What am I
proving and to whom?, the thoughts run. …
What kind of martyr or saint am I?
What kind of pleasure-avoiding, overthinking, “principled”-living dullness am I?
So, you stand at the cupcake moment. You’ve seen the outcome
of this moment on both sides, and you don’t know which path you’ll go down. You
stand equally torn toward “health” and “pleasure.” And you haven’t enough
experience yet to know that sometimes health and pleasure are available in the
same situation. And remember, it’s been SUCH A LONG TIME since you’ve had that
kind of pleasure, anyway. That kind of solace.
The final phase of “Life after He’s Just Not That Into You”
is Balance.
The book says, “Life, love, dating—it’s all a process. There
will be highs and lows, disappointments and temptations, and it all might take
a while. If you are just so lonely that you simply have to get into a less than
ideal situation, for God’s sake, get out of it before the guy makes you cry or
mope in bed all day… No matter how long you end up being without a
relationship, you will always be worth it.”
I stand at a cupcake moment right now. “Sometimes I think
‘health’ and ‘reason’ are the great enemies of ‘passion’ and ‘love,’” he wrote
me. And I think he’s right. However, though I don’t have much experience with
them being aligned, I do believe they can be.
Will our heroine submit to the temptation and luster to sink
into the arms of comfort and human affection? Will she turn away from the
alluring embrace and continue to march the lonely path toward an imagined ideal
of a less complicated entanglement?
Tune in to find out!