Is it ever possible to move forward in life, by going backwards.
But it can be pretty tempting.
A letter to my High School boyfriend, 15 years later.
Both single, both damaged.
I loved chatting with you the other day. It made me feel alive and all weak at the knees. That Goofy grin, foot pop, touchdown dance kinda feeling, that I haven't felt in a very, very long time.
And god it would be oh-so-easy to rekindle that flame from long ago.
But since then I’ve been feeling really Meh. At first I just attributed that to boredom - knowing what I wanted to be doing, but being unable to do it. I put it down to the fact that you are on the other side of the planet, with no plans to come home, and limited internet access, so there’s no chance of actually being able to see you in person, to actually re-stoke that fire. I’m stuck with just the fantasy in my head.
But I know there’s more to it than that.
Can you ever truly move forward by moving backwards?
Would reconnecting with you ever allow me to truly heal?
Maybe if it was just a fling, just to remind me that there are guys out there that I can trust, and to get me back in the game, but the last guy I intended to have a fling with I married. So I don’t exactly trust my ability to do flings!
I know i’d fall for you, or at least for the fantasy of you and the fantasy of us.
And that fantasy has a lot of culturally conditioned sway; reconnected high school sweethearts, literally sailing off into the sunset. It’s romance novel turned chick-flic gold.
Fate/soul-mates/true love - i’ve spent my whole adult life actively trying to de-program that Disney-fulled brainwashing from my brain, yet with one kiss I know I would totally swallow the propaganda hook, line and sinker.
The romance novel version of our past. (does anyone actually do this in real life?)
And that scares me.
But not quite as much as the thought of starting completely new.
With someone I have no idea if I can trust, with someone who could let me down and screw me over, with someone who could be all charm and no substance, with someone who might turn into a completely different person 9 years later. My track record isn’t exactly inspiring.
Add in a couple of years of hanging out in parenting, feminist and anti-porn circles online, and well…………..I don’t have high hopes.
Between the blatant misogony, the checked out partner syndrome and the erections are king culture, I certainly haven’t seen much evidence to suggest that my fears are unfounded. And whilst Meg and Mel might think Tinder would be a confidence boost, I think it would just completely erode any shred of hope that there are guys worth risking the potential of getting hurt for. My threshold for dealing with asshats is already on the verge of catastrophic explosion just from Facebook and everyday life. I do not need to add Tinder or clubbing to that mix.
Honestly though, even any sort of dating - actively going out meeting new men or actively putting myself in a situation where meeting new men is the goal, it scares the shit out of me.
Can’t I just open my studio and maybe one of my kids will have a cute single dad, or uncle. Or one of the parents will have a friend, and I can just meet them at a open day or community event and just have that natural progression?! Can’t that be my dating service????? Do I really have to go out actively looking? Because I would honestly rather stay single. It’s not just that I’m old enough to still cary the stigma around internet dating, it’s that whole time and energy that you have to put in to weeding out the crap, the putting yourself out there as a piece of meat, to be judged on how you look rather than who you are, and the fact that my social circle is pretty much entirely online, because I can’t even find friends who have the same values as me these days, let alone men.
And then that voice in my head says, but is that also just taking the easy way out? Avoiding risk because it might be painful, even though it might have massive payoffs.
And so i’m stuck.
I feel like staying single is taking the easy way out. Waiting and hoping I meet someone in a natural encounter is taking the easy way out. Calling you is taking the easy way out. That none of those options promote growth. The kind of growth that might be necessary to truly get over my worthiness issues and be transformed.
Everything I’ve been reading about business, everything I’ve ever read about personal growth, they all say the hard route is hard because it has the best payoff. It’s scary because you have to actively leap off the cliff instead of just waiting until the cliff crumbles underneath you. That it’s better to jump in and try something, knowing that change will come as a result, than to desperately try to hold off change until the universe forces your hand - because that’s guaranteed not to be pretty.
But all I can think is, “why the hell would I take that horribly steep up the seemingly never ending potentially treacherous mountain with no guarantee of an awesome view when I could stay just here with three possibilities that are far more my style.” But maybe I’m still recovering from Queenstown Hill…….
The top of Queenstown Hill - The view at the bottom was actually better.
Hi I'm Nicole