Sunday, May 31, 2015

I Want It All

I started this post 2 months ago, but it felt disingenuous to not post it now.  Keep that in mind when you read the tenses here.

I want it all.  Or nothing.  This isn't a new theme in my life, since I was a young girl I was an "all in" kind of person.  I want to jump out of airplanes.  I want to passionately love God and my children and what I do for a living.  I want to run through fire or electricity or long distances when I'm too old to possibly do something for the first time.  Screw that, I'm never going to be too old to live passionately in the direction of my choosing.  You may remember about 6 months ago I decided I was quitting dating.  I had given up on love or at least I had given up on intentionally trying to find it.  As with most things for me this is a journey and I have reached a place of tenuous peace now.  I don't feel like I have any more answers.  I don't necessarily have more hope but I have learned a few more things.  I cannot live dispassionately in that direction of my life.  It is far better for me not to have romance than it is to tolerate mediocrity.  

I have not been in a relationship, prior to now, where I didn't often go to bed at night wondering how the other person felt about me.  I have shed tears, I have been nauseous, I have lost sleep, all while still in a relationship.  I decided that it was a terrible way to live my life.  I was convinced that I had a good life.  I enjoy my children, I enjoy writing, I enjoy my gym time and school.   There is absolutely no need to give space to something that kept me up at night worrying.  Doubt is a cancer, it will eat away all of the happiness from your life.  It will steal things it has no business owning.

After all, how can I live passionately in all of the other directions of my life and partner with someone who didn't live passionately in the direction of me?  Of course that would make me worry, of course that would keep me up at night, of course I would be confused.  Because that person did not live from the same center as I did.  And that was not something I could understand.  I simply don't get people who are lazy in love or any aspect of life that they profess to care about.  People who just expect the other person to know how they feel about them, what the hell is that?  I don't do that with my friends, my children, or my family.  I don't live from a laissez faire perspective.  I don't understand those who do.  Some people will object saying things like: that's just the way men are.  Men tell you once and expect you to just know it.  But no, I have enough male friends to know they also know what it's like to go to bed filled with doubts about where they stand with their partners.  I just couldn't do it anymore.  

So I quit.  I have dated very minimally since last September.  My online dating profiles have either been inactive or ignored almost categorically.  If I found my interest piqued I didn't let it consume me in the hunt/hope that I would finally find the one.  I let things happen and when I did decide to give someone a date I found myself relatively calm (read here: completely detached) about what the outcome would be.  No free falling, no feeling like I was constantly hanging on the edge of a cliff, hoping, wondering, praying that love would finally find me.  Mostly because I didn't believe I would find it but also because I don't believe you can actively create a romantic relationship in your life.  There's nothing you can do to make that happen.  

A friend and I had a conversation not long ago; he believes in the Law of Attraction.  He was wondering if I believed that you could set goals in the romance area of your life.  "After all", he said, "we set goals for our physical life, for our careers or schooling or parenting, why can't we set goals romantically?"  Which led to a discussion about free will.  I hold the position that even if we meet someone that we could be happy with forever (that word still gives me heart palpitations), that we love and care for and who loves us back, they are a free person with their own motivations.  They could choose for a variety of reasons (usually not fully known to us) to not embrace that love/us and move on.  

I believed, two months ago when I wrote this and still now even though my life has dramatically changed in this area, that there was nothing I could do to create this for myself.  I didn't necessarily want God to get all up and involved in my love life, frankly, that thought freaked me out.  But I also didn't believe rapid-fire dating was going to lead me to love, nor was intentionally going out and meeting new people with my friends or even church hopping as some have suggested to me (******eye roll******).  I believed all that would aid me in the area of romance was a spiritual openness: open hands and heart toward future possibilities without the need to be in charge of those possibilities.  That meant putting down the checklists, ignoring my preconceived ideas about who would be right for me and what he would look like and then, perhaps the most important part: getting on with living my life!  I told myself: just live life Shannon, do your thing and if he wants to show up and God (yes I let God in this far) wants him to show up he will.  But certainly don't stress about it.  That's just another thing to keep you up at night.  

I was trying to choose to believe love would find me.  Mostly while busying myself with school, kids and training.  But the ache for it, that had stilled and it was replaced with faith, a faith that I was not in charge.  And that was a huge relief.

I knew that I didn't have to settle anymore.  No, I knew more than that, I knew settling would be detrimental to my life happiness.  I was okay with my life solo.  I had a good one.  Of course it would be enriched by the presence of another person.  But only if that person got me, valued me, lived as passionately in the direction of me as I did in life and toward them.  I finally knew that it was okay to want the whole thing, butterflies and rainbows, electricity and the silent knowing.  I knew it was okay to abhor small talk and to insist on being able to flirt with that person, because it was okay to need what I needed in love and in life.  Because a person who can't banter, will bore me.  Why did I think it wasn't okay to own that? 
I wasn't sure I would find someone who would get me on a soul level.  I wasn't sure my out of the box theology would find itself being understood by another soul, but I wasn't going to allow someone in my heart who I had to section off parts of me from to protect from criticism.  I had done that before and it sucked.  I refuse to do it again.  I am enough, just as I am.  I don't want to be tamed.  I will not be silenced.  What's the point of editing myself?  

I want to be known like this, fears and all.

Maybe when I wrote this two months ago I didn't believe this would happen for me.  I'm quite sure I didn't.  Maybe when I wrote this, cynical Shannon was still in full effect.  Maybe if I'm transparent and honest I still believe love will leave, fade or disappear.  I perhaps still feel unworthy of happiness.  But I know that settling is never worth it.  Being known completely is always worth it.  And I could never have created what I am experiencing now.  


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