Friday, September 30, 2011
Contemplating the Dark Side/SOS Sent and Responded To
Better today. I was in trouble for sure and a bunch of people reached out with helpful and loving advice or just to say they were thinking of me and worried too. It is amazing to be able to shoot up an SOS and have people rush to help when you need it. I hope you have that in your life.
He knew I was in trouble and called and gave me the most solid of all advice. His brand of advice usually resonates with me - I guess because he understand human nature being a psychologist but he also holds himself and others to a high standard of behavior. And there is also the first generation Irish thing that seems to ground him more solidly to the earth and gives him a very simple, practical lens for viewing the world. Anyway, his advice is what I followed and really it wasn't rocket science but I couldn't get there by myself - I was too mired in desperate, doom and gloom, black and white thinking. She was asked to leave the house because she has not lived up to her commitments but she goes with my love and support as best I can offer. She and I feel positive about this step, she respecting that I have a bottom line and that I hold her to high standards and expect good things from her, me not quite as worried that she will just act out from desperation, thinking she has been abandoned. She KNOWS I adore her and love her - that has to fill her up in a good way, right? Fingers crossed for that kid.
And talking with him again after a long stretch - good. We are both in a better place. Nothing changes but I feel like I can exhale a bit. I feel less lonely knowing he is there when I am in trouble like yesterday. He loves me and misses me - that came through when we talked. Hard, but good....I'm glad for him in the world.
So, Arthur, he wasn't reticent after all, just shy. And the orange car? - he stopped by my office Wednesday and as Karen predicted it was a bright orange Porche. What is Sarah to think? I am amused and flattered he likes me and we are a perfect match on paper, loving all the same things. But he is so fancy! Perfect creases, black patent shoes, some kind of fancy trenchcoat, worried about getting dog hair on his perfect clothes and of course the car. I am SO not fancy with my shabby chic house, two or three pairs of shoes, clothes that fill up one small rack in my closet, costume jewelry. And I like that about me! Sarah=Simple. I am not a material girl despite my penchant for fancy serving platters and dishes. Not for me Rolex watches, fancy cars, name brand clothes, dining regularly at the best restaurants, status symbols of any kind. All I need in this world is my health, a cozy home, my kids to be OK, my friends to be OK, songs to sing, things to write, books to read, a kitchen in which to cook and a good man to pamper. And yet...I will give him a chance. Maybe he is deeper than I'm giving him credit for...maybe he is NOT all about the trappings. He deserves a chance and I need to move on.
So what I'm thinking about today as I ponder the difference between Patrick and Arthur is, "What is really important?" What is my bottom line?....what is the minimum I need to be happy? I could get swept off my feet by a fancy man who takes me here and there in his fancy car and dazzles me with his affluence and status. I could be lured to the dark side...become a glitterati. And then there is Patrick who lives simply and frugally, who says, "I don't need much for myself" - lives ascetically. Where is Sarah on that scale...where does Sarah want to be on that scale? I'm going to give this thought. My gut says simple is a surer route to happiness, that over consumption is a symptom of feeling empty inside and trying to fill a void with things. Having said that, I won't live like a monk and deny myself the pleasure of filling my world with beauty (fresh flowers, raspberries out of season, dry wood for the fire and a pair of pretty earrings now and then).
My challenge today is to stay the course. Yesterday was upheaving. I also need to be mature and not precipitous in considering this new relationship. I don't want to toy with someone's feelings and allow engagement if I'm just trying to dull my pain. I also don't want my next relationship to be doomed from the start like the last one, so I need to think about whether I can support this person's needs and be supported by him before there is intimacy. If the answer is no, then I won't linger.
Your challenge could be thinking of your support system. You probably don't write a blog where you can fire off an SOS like I did yesterday, but I hope you have groomed some good friends who you've let REALLY know you, warts and all - the kind of friends you can go to when you are a total mess and who love you and prop you up. If you don't have that kind of support system, maybe some thought as to a) is it something you want and need and b) if so, how can you get there. Tip: Having friends who love you dearly means letting your underbelly show and being vulnerable. People will admire your strengths, but it's your vulnerabilities they fall in love with*
*A quote from my English-Living-In-Germany friend. Picture is of a friend of mine who must have contemplated some very deep things as he peered into a chasm and beheld the beauty of his world.