A new year. Time for reflection. What do I want? What do I want to get rid of?
I drop two bags of unwanted items at Good Will. I wish it were as easy to discard bad habits and people. Just drive down the alley to the GW back door and plop, plop. Yes, I would like a receipt, proof against my taxing times.
My annual setting of goals in January evolved into guidelines a few years ago, and now, ideas. Free flowing, organic. I like to see them in my mind and on paper, but feel them more like helping hands, not ruling hands, subject to change with no recrimination.
I feel more hopeful than I have in two or three years.
Wait! Why does Mr. M keep popping into my head? We had only a few “friendship” dates and then he moved away. It was not a romance, but romance hovered as a possibility. To meet an interesting, attractive, available man is surprising and fun, especially after a certain age and after so many years alone.
I felt sad when Mr. M told me he was moving. (M is for last name and exotic place of birth.) Then even sadder when he didn’t answer emails. Gone already! Why not even some small acknowledgement? There was something there and I was calmed by his kind manner. Why just disappear? Perhaps he is not as kind or evolved as he appears. Perhaps he didn’t like me.
I decided to let it go and be thankful for the partial re-awakening. But here he is, reappearing and crowding into my Happy New Year thoughts. Oh yes, I remember, it is his birthday! One of the last things he told me – January 1.
I run the scenario by a few friends. Reactions span the gamut from cynic to romantic.
“I would never date a man from that country!”
“Sounds like he was using you.” (I helped him with work connections.)
“Most men are jerks.”
“You’ve been ghosted.”
“Have you emailed him more than once?”
“What did you say in your emails?”
“It’s not that far to drive.”
“Maybe he is worth the drive.”
“I wouldn’t give up if I were you.”
I’m somewhere in between these two extremes. Somehow, perhaps because my parents had a good marriage, I’ve held onto optimism and a sense of romance, while also letting go of naivete and unrealistic expectations. Most important, I’ve learned to honor my feelings, even if they are not returned.
My feelings tell me Mr. M was a good man, as far as I could tell in such a short time. Not great, because of the ghosting quality. And not close enough! I used to drive long distances to see men, joining other freeway bag ladies, as a friend called us. No more! I’d rather hang out with a man who lives nearby in this funky beach town and who likes to stroll by the ocean and the bay.
So, even though I feel a little sad on Happy New Year’s Day, that something I wanted didn’t materialize, I’m also grateful my hopeful ideas continue to flow.