We met atÂ a function that called for business casual conversation.Â He worked the room like a professional, making small talk and thoughtful introductions to colleagues.Â It was clear to me this wasnâ€™t his first networking event.
His hazel eyes were intense and deep, but I canâ€™t say I was attracted to him at first glance. In fact, my first vibe was one of mistrust and deceit.Â It wasnâ€™t until he emailed me several weeks later that I was able to get a better read.Â His energy, via email, was softer, kinder and inquisitive. He had read my work on-line and was curious which rivers I had fly-fished, a hobby he also enjoyed. I responded to his inquiry with an intrigue of my own and thus began a journey of discovery.
Hundreds of emails and several months later, we met for lunch. We talked about the industry, but other motivations took over and the conversation became more personal.Â No longer did I see a man motivated by greed and power; but instead saw him for his soul. Â He was a global thinker with big energy and I admired his perspectives on people, politics and process.Â His life experiences vastly differed from my own, but he listened with intent when I spoke of my truth and history.Â He loved good stories and reveled in the drama that was my specialty.
We found reasons to contact each other on a regular basis and our friendship and connection deepened.Â We met for coffee, shared stories of our adventures, stole moments throughout our day and spoke of the desire for more time alone. Â I lost track of time and space when we were together and basked in the first and last communication of each day. I found myself magnetized to a man who didnâ€™t make sense to my mind, but seemed to make sense to my heart.
Our relationship had several factors working against us including what we valued, the trajectory of our careers, and our significant age difference. But because my heart was experiencing bliss, my mind dismissed my doubt. I broke my own relationship rules and made excuses to friends for reasons he said he was unavailable to meet. Â What he called code names, I called flirtatious fun. When he didnâ€™t respond to messages I sent while he was traveling, I chalked it up to him seeking adventure.
When I wasnâ€™t a priority when he returned, I refused to believe it had anything to do with me.Â Sadly, I ignored the glaring red flags.
It wasnâ€™t one big thing, but a compilation of several small things that led me to face the reality that where I was headed wasnâ€™t a shared path. It took tremendous courage to ask the questions I knew the answers to, but with resolve and support from friends, I found the strength to speak my truth and seek his.
I canâ€™t explain why the obvious was surprising to me, but I found his truth difficult to reconcile with my own. Perhaps I was hoping he would see how his words had not aligned with his previous actions and intentions.Â Or maybe in my fantasy world, I was hoping to be swept away by his sudden awareness of our potential possibility.
That didnâ€™t happen and over the course of the following weeks, I found myself feeling used and misled. I went to a dark place of hatred and regret and wallowed in the self-pity of stupidity for many moons.
I took time to vent, then took the time to heal. Â As a storyteller and believer in all things mystical, I wanted to believe in Disneyâ€™s depiction of the â€œonce upon a time tales.â€ I now believe that true love is much more than fictional fantasy.Â Love is what motivates the heart; logic is what motivates the mind. Relationships are a balance of both and call for an â€œandâ€ to be successful. Dismissing one for the other is operating from a place of â€œorâ€ that will eventually self-correct.
Balance is the natural consequence of time and nature, and if we wait long enough, anything can realize its potential. It wasnâ€™t until a new relationship entered my world when I recognized my role in the former.
Odd as it may sound, through the heartbreak of otherâ€™s participation in my path, I transformed my relationship with self.Â Iâ€™ve learned to follow my heart, but also trust my head. Iâ€™ve learned to stop expecting others to live up to their potential and instead accept them as they are and hope they see their own potential. Â Iâ€™ve learned not to make somebody a priority when they only make me an option.
Iâ€™ve learned that transformation and powerful perspectives are not typically found through the everyday mundane. It’s inside of fear or love where the greatest possibilities exist.Â These experiences give us strength, enrich our lives, and gain us access to wisdom only found in sadness and grief.
I wish I could say that life is meant to be joyful, but the truth is, I have no idea what is meant to be. I only have the power to recognize what is, and that is enough.Â Inside of â€œwhat isâ€ exists the power to create the potential of what will be.