Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Challenge

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Yesterday I posted Selfish Single. Then I ran some errands and went for a long ride with Arthur. I didn’t really know where I was going – in fact, at one point I ended up on a road with loose gravel (not fun to handle a motorcycle like mine on gravel) and I almost got lost. I just rode.

I don’t think I will ever outgrow that feeling of intense freedom I find while driving a motorcycle.

As I rode, I pondered. I often think best on my bike. My thoughts turned from freedom to bondage to pointless rules to things I fear to the differences between rebels and freedom-seekers to Free-Spirited Singleness. When I arrived home, I wrote that post and scheduled it to publish today.

When I checked WordPress to see if it posted successfully today, I saw a new comment on Selfish Single. To spare anyone the effort of going all the way back to that post to see the comment I am referring to, allow me to share:

Less thinking, more doing! :-p The more you sit and ponder over whether or not to do something, the more you are missing out on the pure joy of exploring the unknown. Sure, things can go wrong and you can be hurt, but you work through that stuff and it develops you as a person.

What is there to lose? Do you want to look back and say that you took chances when there were chances available or look back and say, wow, I kind of didn’t do much.

So my challenge for you is to go out and explore, go on dates with men, you don’t have to get serious, just go for a date. If it works, then it works, if it doesn’t, then on to the next one. :-)

Matt

I’m still somewhat speechless to be honest. I think I’ve said the word “WOW” outloud at least 90 times now… I hear very similar advice from my best friend, my brother, and a few others I know well. But to hear this from someone across the world who knows me only through this blog…. WOW.

So, Matt, I can’t deny the truth in your words. I know at least four of my friends have specific guys in mind to set me up with right now. I’m being rather hypocritical to say that I love freedom and that I seek it out when I simultaneously put bars up all around myself to keep men away. I guess what I’m saying is… I accept your challenge. We’ll see how I do.

BTW – as long as I’m bringing his comment into my post, I may as well advertise for him. His blog is pretty fabulous. Check it out:

http://throughtheeyesofarider.wordpress.com/

 

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Free-Spirited Singleness

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I’m not a rebellious person. But I am a free spirit. Others often get the two mixed up.

I didn’t like to go to school. It’s natural to neglect that which you do not like… School was often neglected. My teachers told me if I did not show up to school, I would never show up to work and I would never hold down a real job. They mistook me for a rebel. A rebel does not show up because she is told to show up. A rebel is looking for someone or something to defy. A free spirit, on the other hand, is looking for a choice. A free spirit does not show up because she did not feel like showing up. A rebel can’t hold down a job because she cannot fight the compulsion to go against that which she is told. A free spirit can hold down a job, because she realizes choices have consequences, and those consequences help her decide how to make those choices she values so much.

I often skipped school to prove that I had a choice. I did not have to be there – although I was always told that I did. I went when I so desired. Many of my teachers viewed me as a rebel – acting out. In all reality, I was exercizing my love for freedom by escaping the prison I envisioned school to be.

I will always be a freedom-lover. It shows up in every aspect of my life. 90% I would choose to wear my seatbelt. No matter what. It’s a natural instinct to reach for the strap and stretch it across my body. But I resent the fact that wearing a seatbelt is forced upon me. If I don’t feel like wearing my seatbelt, I choose to flip off the government by hopping on my motorcycle instead. I equally resent that in New York it is mandatory to wear a helmet on a motorcycle. If I lived in another state, a state where riding without a helmet is legal, I would still choose to wear a helmet. Why? Because I appreciate my face. But I hate that I don’t have a choice where I live. I hate that my freedom is limited.

My free spirit, by nature, runs from boundaries. I felt as if my teeth were being pulled when a man asked me to commit to work for his company for at least a year during an interview. It took me at least three minutes to agree that I could commit for a year. I’m now approaching my fifth year with that same company. When I signed a year-long lease for my apartment, I nearly panicked. What if I want to move? What if I have the opportunity to live in another country before my lease is up? I sucked it up and signed the lease. My year has passed. Two months after my lease ended, my landlord and landlady brought before me a new lease. I told them that as long as I had a choice, I’d rather not sign a new one. I assured them I had no plans to move (because I don’t), but as long as I have access to that freedom – why give it up?

It’s this love for freedom that leads to my hesitation toward commitment. Hesitation? Okay, fear of commitment. Fear? Fine, terror.

I see a cage. It’s not that I do not want to get married. I want a choice. As long as I am single, I have a choice. If ever I get married, I will give up that freedom. It’s not that marriage is bad. It’s not that marriage should be compared to bondage. But it’s a commitment that eliminates the freedom I so enjoy. I imagine if I ever enter that covenant, it will be similar to my job or my lease. Despite my concerns, it will last and I will appreciate it until the end. But for my lease and for my job I promised a year. In marriage I will promise a lifetime. Anyone else feel intimidated by that?

Selfish Single

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I’ve expressed previously that sometimes the reason I remain single is purely due to selfishness. I don’t really know that I want to deal with all the stuff that comes with marriage and family. I don’t really want to give up the independence I have. I can travel on a whim. I can leave dirty dishes in my sink for three days straight.  I don’t have to share my kitty, my food, my apartment, my motorcycle… anything really… with anybody! And I enjoy that.

But I’ve also expressed previously that sometimes I get lonely. I was thinking about selfishness recently and I had a flashback from previous years. Allow me to share:

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill (and came down with all the bananas)

Here’s the thing… I’m at the point where I am wondering if I am doing something wrong. As a general rule I am content. But am I content for the wrong reasons?

I have to make some decisions. Should I give a relationship a shot? Is it really worth it?

 

Love at First Sight

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I’ll never forget the moment we met. He held his chin high and puffed out his chest. He gazed steadily into my eyes. He looked confident. And yet I could tell he yearned for me. He looked so dignified. So refined. Even behind bars. His eyes beckoned me. This was our very first encounter. Already I was in love.

I pointed directly toward him and I begged my sister, “Let’s take him out first!”

My sister, Chrissy, was drawn toward a different cat – a calico cat sharing a cage with some others closer to where we were standing. The one I fell in love with was isolated. She gave in and we asked the worker at the SPCA to pull him out of his cage first so that we could hold him.

Oreo worked his charm like magic. He rubbed against us and he purred. He cuddled affectionately. In all reality, he practically threw himself at us. After a few minutes soaking up all the attention he gave us, I turned to my sister and said, “Okay. We can look at the other one now.”

Chrissy’s brow furrowed slightly and she decided we wouldn’t. She was the one paying for this new family pet, and she did not want to come home with five cats instead of one like we originally planned. Fearful that she wouldn’t be able to choose between the two, we skipped out on the visit with her first choice and brought Oreo home to meet his new family.

I had prayed for my ideal cat. God answered my prayers directly when he gave me Oreo.

When my sister moved out of my parents’ house, she left Oreo with us. Everyone knew he was my cat. When I moved out of my parents’ house, he came with me. Nobody could deny that he was not just the family cat – he was my baby, my love.

I cannot argue with the concept of love at first sight. I experienced it myself. However, many insinuate that “love at first sight” is the story in and of itself. Most people believe that when a story starts with love at first sight, it will always end with happily ever after. This is where I disagree.

I’ve had plenty of opportunity to stop loving my Oreo. Although he is usually very gentle – he has been known to bite me. Although I am not a morning person and I refuse to feed him until quarter to 7 each morning, he does not hesitate to waken me at quarter to 5 hoping for breakfast. And although he is not a huge talker, he will nag continuously when I am exhausted and he is hungry. Let me tell you: it is hard to love him when he has been meowing in my face for a solid hour from 5 to 6am. Although I love it when he cuddles, I do not appreciate when he jumps onto my bed and attempts to sit on my face. If I were to focus on these aspects of our relationship, I could very easily fall out of love. Love may be initiated with a single spark, but it takes some work to keep that flame burning.

He’s had just as many, if not more opportunities to stop loving me. How about when I lock him in my spare room so I can continue to sleep and forget about him so that he doesn’t get fed his breakfast until after 9am? How about last week when I kicked him in the head with my motorcycle boot? How many husbands would be eager to forgive their wives for a stunt like that? (In my defense it was a TOTAL accident! He was rubbing up against my legs when I wasn’t expecting it and I started to fall over. I kicked him while I was trying to regain my balance.) How about when we moved into my apartment and he got fleas? It took me more than a month to get rid of them! Through all of that, despite our lack of ability to verbally communicate, Oreo kept on loving me. He still crawls into bed with me each night. He still climbs into my lap after I’ve been away.

Love at first sight is just a beginning. Love that lasts is a series of continuous choices – despite the pains and heartaches every relationship encounters.