I’m at an interesting place in my life. A place of dissatisfaction, curiosity, boredom, frustration, possibility, confusion, excitement, resignation…a lot of strands of experience are coalescing into my present moment.
It started with an unavailable man. Most of my stories start with unavailable men.
I had been annoyed that I hadn’t been able to find someone, for some time, that appealed enough to the version of me I am inhabiting to generate some sort of romantic interest. I was pleased I wasn’t interested in any of the people past versions might be interested in, and I was pleased that I was attracted, in theory, to qualities that aligned with my values and goals. The sticking point was where the fuck is such a person? Am I being completely unrealistic as a mechanism of avoidance?
I had a series of dates with totally fine men, never able to manufacture anything beyond a very short-lived, surface level thrill, despite the fact that we were having excellent, authentic, challenging conversations exactly the likes of which I’d been craving. I persevered a couple of times, hoping perhaps my nervous system had simply changed the way it operated, and a spark would come later. But no, my feelings were entirely platonic.
So then, in some sort of quiet desperation, I just started looking around – where is my desire? Who, regardless of how distant, appears, at least, to embody what I’m looking for enough for me to fantasise in their direction. I was looking for reassurance that what I sought was potentially, at least, real. And there were only half-answers to the question.
I was a few steps away from conceding that this was dysfunction requiring manual intervention. About to accept a date with a man who I already knew fell short.
Then, while I wasn’t looking, someone who ignited the interest I feared had atrophied was brought to my attention.
It’s probably still dysfunction. I in fact came across him years ago and basically had the thought ‘shit, he kind of seems like the ideal man, that’s a shame for me’, then proceeded to ignore him for the entire interim. Because he literally isn’t available to me – I can know him only as an onlooker.
But there’s function to it, too.
As much as I would like to be the person who gets the happy romantic ending, even momentarily, I don’t think my life’s about that. Every significant romantic experience I’ve ever encountered has turned out, in fact, to be teaching me something else. I’ve never gotten what I wanted; always what I needed. And that journey of growth is actually what I’ve been missing – I’ve been seeking a mirror to inform my progress. Through the wonders of modern technology this mirror appears closer than it truly is, and I can leverage that. The clarity is impressive, even if it is illusory.
And the lesson I am facing, at what I would consider an intermediate level, is that I am the only one who has the power, the responsibility, the opportunity to live up to my own standards. I can either do it, or not.
And, so, I have been questioning everything. Who am I to be? And what will that mean for me?
I love it; I hate it; I need it.