Im sick. OK, I am man sick. I have a cold. But, In my defense, this cold is the kind of cold that, if used maliciously, could deplete armies (if they were men), decimate populations, and be a general nuisance for millions of drippy noses everywhere.
When I am sick, I become very nostalgic. I run through the events of my past and consider my path. I think it is like life flashing before my eyes, but in slow motion. I get the opportunity to see how things have changed and the threads of existence that have played such a factor in weaving through my life.
This cold, being a decimator and depletor, has me considering advice I have gotten. I think that, in general, advice is meant to be helpful. At a minimum, it is to help avoid negative consequences. However, no matter what decision we make, there will always be a negative consequence. If I decide to now jump off a cliff, I miss out on that feeling of free falling, which if Tom Petty is accurate, sounds delightful. I have gotten some pretty bad and some pretty good advice in my life. I cannot think of any advice that didn’t have negative ramifications, however.
After my divorce, I dated as often as I could. Dating is a liberal term in this circumstance. I was a bit of a whore. A troll, if you will. The advice I originally got was to go out and experience life. Unfortunately, it was advice I gave myself. There were benefits, obviously. The drawback is that there was no real relationship involved. There was no emotions. I had left a love free marriage to experience even worse. I was left depressed. OK, after a year or so, I was a tad bummed. However, I wasn’t fulfilled. I felt lonely. I wanted someone to complete me, a soul partner. I wanted a reason to live.
The advice I got was to date myself for a year. My first response was that at least I knew Id put out. (It had been a long year). He went on to explain that the unhealthy thing we do is to look to be completed by another person. ?He said that isn’t a partnership, it is parasitic. He described it as me inviting a tape worm into my limbic system. Naegleria Fowleri is an amoeba that lives in hot springs, it worms it way into the nose and eats brain material, like a mono cellular zombie. I think that is a more apt analogy, but I didn’t say so at the time. He described that until I knew what I was like, what I liked, I had little to share. I had little value to someone else. Basically, my tape worm girlfriend, would decide what I absorbed from life. Or the prehistoric zombie would decide which thoughts I could keep, Either way, I was no longer in charge of my direction. If I dated myself, and honored the differences and changes in myself, I could be in a partnership later.
Well, that sounded just lovely. I get to spend a year just hanging out with myself and trying to figure out who I am. And, I had to be alone. I have no idea how I could ever be left alone. The noise of silence is deafening. I watched allot of TV just to keep things quiet at first. I had just gotten a house and decided I was going to paint it. I spent hours trying to decide what colors I liked. My house, in Colorado, looked a little like a tourist spot in the Caribbean. There were some funky colors. I loved it. The agent who sold it, didn’t agree. His advice was to paint it back before I sold it. My second house went through the same changes, twice. My third house did not get painted. My current house has seen three different colors in two years. They are much more neutral that the Caribbean whore house. I am now decorating on a theme instead of individual things I like. I called it eclectic, but it was really just narrow visioned.
That advice was good advice. I have a better understanding of who I am and how I change. I can see the history I have been through and how it affects me in moments. I can see the pain that causes avoidance, I can see the joy that causes longing. I can be alone without being lonely. I can even be alone without the radio and TV on. I enjoy being alone for the most part. Now, there is the rub. The negative consequence. I have avoidant-dependent tendencies. I want to alone and with someone at the same time. Someone told me once its a Taurus thing, but I don’t know much about that. My fear is that I am always going to be alone or never be alone. What if this self dating experiment resulted in a long term monogamous relationship? What if I can only be with me perpetually? Wont I get tired of my stories? Wont I bore myself? What if I know everything there is to know about me, and it is lacking? What if I withhold from myself, or lie about stuff to me? What if I squeeze the toothpaste wrong or put the toilet paper on backwards? (I have dated a woman who turns my toilet paper around each time she was over.) What if I am not enough? What if I am no longer capable of being whole? What if no one wants to be in a mutual partnership?
Sure, everyone I have ever dated says that is what they want. I say everyone, but that’s not true, one wanted my money, and one wanted sex. I might be the only guy I know who was jilted because I wouldn’t put out. Most, say they want a true relationship. They want to be whole, and encourage each others wholeness. And then, the expectations get started. If you were into me, this is how that would look. I have explained that is how that would look if they were dating themselves, but to no avail. People talk about being free and together. Not in the “open relationship” kinda garbage, but truly encouraging each other to grow whether that means together or apart. It sounds great, but impractical and seemingly improbable. I have no idea how anyone does that all the time. I have my doubts that anyone really does. However, it would be nice to be in a relationship that was the target. When I was dating myself, I allowed for growth and change. I let myself be wrong and right. I let myself learn. I let myself struggle and succeed. I was nice to myself. I learned to encourage rather than discourage. I learned to be real rather than dogmatic. I generally, learned to like my journey more than who I was at the moment. The empowerment of wanting to be with someone for how they grow and experience life was tremendous. Thats what I want. Does it exist?