I think it might be time to sit back and take a deep breath. Or eighty.
After The Husband and I had our own personal disaster date, and it finally became clear that he wanted me to get on with my life, that's exactly what I decided to do.
I bought a bed. I bought opera tickets for a date I don't even have yet. I went out with friends. I went on an upside-down roller coaster for the first time ever. And, last night, I went to dinner. With a boy.
Brian is an old friend. We worked together briefly years ago and clicked immediately. It was incredible how much we had in common. After he quit, we lost contact. I heard from him once in a blue moon. I heard he had gotten married and, shortly after, divorced.
Had The Husband and I not found ourselves in this shituation, I doubt I would have ever contacted him. But we did and suddenly I had a whole new perspective. Like the fact that I've built my entire life around one man and I have been the worst friend ever.
I’ve let friendships crumble around me. The only ones I've ever maintained are those with people I work with and only because there's no getting away from them.
So, out of the blue, I sent Brian a text message. Something along the lines of, "So, I think we should get together and catch up. Would that be weird?"
I mean, it had been three years since we last heard from each other. Maybe he was still married. Maybe he was remarried. Had kids. Moved out of state. Who the hell knows.
But then his reply: "Stephanie, it's good to hear from you. No, I don't think it's weird. What time works best for you?"
So, we made plans for dinner.
And then, Monday, I went on the upside-down roller coaster. I was determined. Resolved. Not nervous at all. Well, not until I got strapped in. Then I had a serious case of butterflies and I hope I don't throw up.
The verdict: shockingly meh. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. I'd go on it again. But I wouldn't run for it. I'd rather go on Peter Pan, to be completely honest.
Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for the depression that crept back in on me after it was over.
I couldn't help it. I kept thinking about how this was such a momentous occasion in my life. MY FIRST UPSIDE-DOWN ROLLER COASTER. EVER. I had confronted the beast. I had conquered. I was victorious. And my husband wasn't there for any of it.
After that, I didn't want to see Brian. Suddenly it was too much, too soon. Everything was going way too fast. An upside-down coaster and a date dinner with a boy all in the same week?
I wanted to cancel our plans. I almost did. I came this close.
I'm glad I didn't.
It was just like old times. It was like someone had rudely interrupted our conversation and we were getting right back to where we left off. We talked for four hours.
It still blows me away that there's someone on this earth that could share so many of the same views, opinions, and... everything (or so it seems) as me. Every other sentence had one of us exclaiming, "I know!"
It was great.
I can't explain the disappointment I felt when he told me he was in a relationship. I'm definitely not interested in getting involved right now. Could there have been a spark? Maybe. But I wasn't looking for one or even hoping for one. It's just that he's such a strong person, so steady and stable, and so... trustworthy. And right now? That's hot.
A friend e-mailed me recently and said “I hope you are hanging in there. (I know better than to hope you are doing well.)” But the fact is… I’m doing surprisingly well. I’m even happy a lot of the time. Sure, I struggle. I struggle with the thought that, deep down, I know exactly what I want, but I’m just too afraid to admit it. I struggle with the fear of making the wrong decisions.
But aside from that, there is happiness and I am grateful. But, still, it might be a bit too much too soon. I think I need some alone time. I want to lie on the beach. Take a walk with my camera. Go… somewhere. And do something that isn’t surprising or exciting or overwhelming.
I just want to relax and chill.
All by myself.