This is my 38th blog post and I have been writing for nine months. I gave an update on the strike in January and again in March (which is when I ended the strike). Without meaning to, I give an update on the "Strike" every three months or so. I don't plan it that way, it just happens.
I've thought about things that "just happen" a lot lately. I've said before that I don't believe in coincidences, and everything happens for a reason. There is even a reason why things seem to "just happen," although in the moment, it's hard to know why.
There is something to be said for taking time off from dating and letting myself get over a broken heart. I have a good friend who is just beginning her process of healing from a break-up and I don't envy her in the least. Getting over a broken heart is one of the most isolating feelings in the world. The kind of hurt that heart-break induces feels like it will never go away; like breathing will never feel normal again; like the heart will never heal.
The heart is an interesting muscle. It's fragile and resilient. Easily damaged and repairable. The heart is literally life. I'm not sure how it was designated as the organ associated with love. I've read that the origins are in ancient mythology and even the Bible. Perhaps because the heart is associated with life, and our lives revolve around love. My heart-broken friend is convinced she is a failure at love, and therefore a failure at life. I remember feeling that way, and as soon as I began reminding her of all the other wonderful things in her life, I realized that it's taken heartbreak, a strike and the last nine months for me to realize that the relationship part of me it's just one little sliver of who I am.
The last nine months have been interesting to say the least. At times, the changes I've gone through are clear and apparent and at other times, the changes are subtle and only noticeable when something big happens. As you know, I was a serial dater because it was easier than dealing with the pain of failed relationships. Hooking up helped me forget my loneliness for a few hours. At the beginning of the strike, it was really hard to deal with the pain, especially because I no longer had my fall-back plan. I didn't think I was going to make it. I noticed how much I have changed when I didn't even have the slightest urge to hook up, especially when the opportunity presented itself. My friend Sh pointed out that nine months is significant because that's typically how long gestation lasts -meaning it takes nine months to grow a baby. I guess, in a way, I had to grow and be re-born. You, dear readers, have been kind enough to go on this journey with me.
I ended the Strike a few months ago but didn't technically, ahem, cross the picket line. I wrote a few weeks back that I didn't want to have a fling when I was out in the Bay Area, and that was definitely true, but it's funny how sometimes things just happen. After I wrote that piece, I spent some time here in Albuquerque with someone I met a while back. When we met it was bad timing, but things have changed and suddenly we were both available. One thing led to another and, well, you know. When we hung out, I wasn't feeling lonely or rejected, and I certainly didn't need a distraction from heartbreak. There was nothing contrived or planned about the evening - it just happened. I was glad that it did, and while I don't need to go into elaborate details, I will say this - it was worth the wait.
One of the best lessons during the strike was understanding that I own my body and I own my sexuality. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING wrong with having sex, but having sex as a distraction is what was problematic for me. Having sex out of sheer desire is fulfilling and amazing. I don't necessarily want a relationship with this person, but the moment we had together was a great moment.
My friend who is heart-broken has decided she wants to go on strike. I told her about how hard it was for me at first, how I felt at times that I was diving into the depths of hell. Feeling the pain and not having anything to cover it up was the worst part about the strike. The miraculous thing about the strike, however, is when you begin to heal and you actually notice it. When your heart doesn't hurt but instead fills up, we're reminded of all the good that is out there in the world. When we realize that we're sifting through crazy to get to our person, then it makes the strike worth it.
I've been sifting through crazy for a long time now, but things are looking up. While there isn't enough to write an entire blog, I will tell you that last week I met someone who is, thus far, pretty great. He sort of just popped up out of nowhere and we instantly connected. I didn't plan on meeting him; these things just happen.
Next time: Mama's Boys