Thursday, October 20, 2011

Be Still My Heart... Or, A Perfect Fit

I've recently been having some health issues.  The biggest problem is the tight feeling in my chest and the inability to breathe.  At one point, I thought I was having a heart attack.  As I was lying in the emergency room being prepped to have an EKG, all I could think of was my poor heart not working anymore.  As the nurse was attaching wires, I felt my chest contracting and I could barely breathe.  

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
The EKG slowly printed out a pattern of my heart beats.  It looked normal, and the nurse said there wasn't anything that "jumped out" at him.  He said my heart was working just fine, but I still couldn't breathe.  I couldn't get rid of the tight feeling in my chest.  I still felt like my heart was beating a hundred miles a minute and I was scared.  I felt like I was being suffocated. 

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.


  1. Wow, beautifully written! You make my heart hurt reading it, though!!

  2. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to catch up! Who knew full-time work and school would take so much of my free time :)

    Happy anniversary! I like to think of it more of an anniversary of finding yourself, not so much of figuring out what you want in someone else. I think that goes with the territory but I think more then anything you are finding out what you want out of life to be happy. And IF an awesome dude comes into your life that fits with you and your life and vice versa great. But you will be happy because you are finding things to fulfill yourself and I think in the end that is what matters.

    I think life is so much of what you make of it and you are making yours great. That is all you can do. Hopefully the rest will fall into place. That is what I keep telling myself anyways :) Keep that beautiful chin up and keep on breathing!