I have moments when I feel I am making pretty good strides with moving forward with my life. I've made some really good friends, my bad days are few and far between and I'm trying new things I never would have tried before, like kayaking. (Kayaking was kind of a "f*** you" move, I admit. I'd always wanted to try it and James was always sure if I did I'd drown. Well, I did it and I'm still alive, so there. Although I do have to admit, it can't be a coincidence that even the guide was amazed by how calm the water was and how perfect it was for beginners). Most of the time these days I can find myself thinking "Life is good."
During these strong times, I think "Hey, I can do this. I'm in a good place. I'd like to date now." And then it happens. I get a reminder of what I had that makes me feel I'm not supposed to date-that while it wasn't done in a church (well, garden patio) in front of our family and closest friends who joined us for our destination wedding in Folsom, California (no, not at the prison), I vowed to love James for as long as we both shall live. And I still live.
After swearing it off again, which we all knew wouldn't last, I ventured back into the world of online dating, or not dating in my case. This time I decided to experiment with free vs paid. (Results, or rather non-results, still pending. I have until 10/4 on the paid site). I was contacted by a guy on OK Cupid and we e-mailed back and forth for a bit. I have to admit it really wasn't much of a conversation-one sentence answers from him each time which made it hard for me to know how to proceed with the conversation. So when he wanted to take it to the "next level" and talk on the phone, I was hesitant. I just wasn't feeling it but I had vowed that I'd really give it a chance this time and not freak out and close my account the minute someone expressed interest. This was also during a time when I was super busy and I just didn't want to make time to squeeze in a conversation with a stranger. But I was trying to talk myself into it because, as several people pointed out, maybe he was better on the phone than online.
And then I got the e-mail from Trip Advisor congratulating me for my review "helping" five people. My first thought was "Huh? What review?" I had no clue what in the world they were talking about! So I pulled up my account on Trip Advisor, which I forgot I even had and found the only review I have ever written: the experience of buying my engagement ring at Diamonds International in Cozumel, written in January of 2007.
Ok Cupid Guy did not get my number. I told him that when I signed up, I had more time but now found myself really busy and I didn't think it would be fair to say "Here's my number. I'm free to talk a week from Tuesday." And that was the end of that. This was in July.
Fast forward to last week. I was getting ready to go see a movie with a guy friend. I met him almost a year ago, ran into him again about 6 months ago, and then again a few times in July and August at various events which led to us starting to hang out on our own. While I've definitely felt stronger connections with other guys I've met since James died, I kept feeling like there could possibly be something simmering underneath all the mixed signals. (Inner Heather says that's because there is. Given that he's currently blatantly ignoring me, I think Inner Heather either got hit in the head or is smoking crack). And then the phone rang. It was my mother-in-law. This was the second time she'd called within a couple of days and since I didn't call her back the first time, I figured I really should answer it. So I did.
She was calling to tell me she has an abdominal aortic aneurism. It's considered to be fast growing and there's a couple of options but both boil down to surgery to remove it. Because if it bursts she probably won't survive. However, even her doctor said if anyone were to survive this, it would be her. She's pretty much a medical marvel at this point. But that's not entirely why she was calling. She was calling to tell me these things are typically genetic and occur more frequently in men than in women so that may have been a factor in what caused James to die.
I'm not really sure what vibe I put out at the movie, but given the above mentioned silent treatment that has followed it, I'm gonna guess it wasn't "Come to Heather."
I don't feel guilty for wanting to fall in love again like I did before. I want to share my life with someone. I feel I deserve a second chance. But every time I try to move towards that, I feel like I'm being told "NO!" That that is not the path my life is supposed to take. That I had my shot at love, and it was great, but now it's game over. It's just going to be me from here on out. Me, trying to hold on to a love I shared with a man who is no longer here to reciprocate. Or now that I think about it, maybe it's that I'm being told I'm just not yet on the right path. It sure would be nice if I could be put on the right path. While I'm still young enough to enjoy it.