My heart has been broken and bruised and battered more times than I care to count. It's been stitched and glued and duct-taped together and it still functions. Blood still flows in and out of it. Most of the time it beats, at others, it races - and sometimes it feels like it has stopped and won't ever start again. My heart resides within my chest, regardless of how many times I've given it away.
The nurse had a southern drawl and as he attached wires to my chest, he called me darlin' and sweetheart and sugar. I'm not sure if that's just how he speaks or if he felt it necessary to say those things because he was getting further with me than most guys have lately (the wires obviously have to be attached to my chest). I chuckled at this thought and once the machine was turned on, it rattled a little and shook and he told me to stay still. I barely breathed.
Over the last few weeks, I've thought a lot about the choices I've made in men. While I am very content on my own, I still think about what I want in a partner. During my late teens and 20's, I found myself in relationships based solely on mutual attraction - and at times, I found myself hooking up (or even in a relationship with someone) just because there was some sort of interest.
When I reached my thirties, I tried putting more thought into the person I wanted to be with. At first I wanted someone who is smart and capable of intelligent conversation. I found him, and after we broke up, I decided he had to be smart but also funny and friendly. The next one after that had to have a great taste in movies and music. The one after him had to adore me completely and fall head over heels in love with me. Needless to say, none of those prototypes have worked because I never really thought about who he should be as a whole person; I've only chased ideas and created sketches of the kind of person I want to be with.
|Early morning, Cordova, NM|
As if reading my mind, or maybe I was reading hers, my friend M. recently wrote in her blog*:
"I wondered if and how and when I would find someone. Not just anyone, but someone honest and kind, wise and compassionate, someone solid, funny and maybe tall."M. didn't write out a 40 point Peter Baca list and it got me thinking - what do I really want in a person? What is truly important in my potential mate? Let's not forget that Peter Baca was created as a wall for me to hide behind- a fantasy I ran to when I was heartbroken. He is perfect because he is my creation but let's be real - do I really want to be with someone who dabbles in French cuisine? I don't care for foods such as foie gras (goose liver) and does it really matter whether or not he likes the ballet (I've never even been, except for my niece's recital when she was 4 years old)? While there are characteristics that are important to me (secure, considerate), he is the culmination of un-realistic expectations.
It wasn't a heart attack...
I realize that what I've never explicitly said (or even believed) is that I want someone who fits with me - I want my person. Someone who understands me and accepts me for who I am, quirks and all. Someone who is appreciates beauty and life and has taken the time to truly know himself and is ready to give and receive love. Someone who loves my family and friends and they love him as well. Someone who truly cares about the world around him and while it would be awesome if he has a great taste in music, movies, art, and poetry, I want someone who is genuine. I want someone who is real from day one. Most importantly, I will be the someone who fits with him. I can't ask him to give anything that I'm not willing to give.
I still don't know what is wrong with me, but my heart works. When I breathe slowly, my lungs fill up and exhale completely. If I take one breath at a time, I can breathe. My heart works, I can breathe. I am alive and for the first time, aware of how happy I can be.
I'll wait for him. We will fit each other; the rest is just details.
Next time: Love Letters
*If you haven't already clicked on the link to Michelle's blog, then I highly suggest you do so. She is a wonderful writer, mentor and friend.