Pulling Back the Curtain


I've been spending the last couple years trimming the frayed edges. I've had to mend a few holes and there's still parts of this beautiful tapestry that is me, that are thin, worn out, and barely there. I'm working on mending that. I've been doing so much work on this that it depletes me sometimes. I've embraced meditation, visualization, and internal work even more than I ever have and have seen parts of me that frankly have surprised and scared me. There's a shit ton of layers I've discovered, pulled back, and examined every little thread of. There's also a shit ton of layers that still sit in a fog below all of that, barely reachable, edges illuminated just enough so I know they are there, and then, just like that, they vaporize. Who knows if those will ever rise above the fog again.

It's a strange thing to be back in the pool of dating. Especially now. With all the years that have gone by. I'm not even quite sure I'm ready for this yet. In fact, I KNOW I'm not ready for this yet. At least not for the long term. But I can't shake the need for good ol' face to face conversation and basic human contact which it seems is a rarity for me these days. So I log in with half enthusiasm just to look for a human to have a drink with and if I'm lucky maybe some inspiring conversation, and I won't deny, maybe some human touch.

It seems that I've gotten pretty good at compartmentalizing the rare contacts I do receive. There's the love and bond I have with my boys. The outings and adventures to visit people I know. The chit chat at the gym. The sparse texts volleyed back and forth between friends, the brief, fleeting conversational grazing in the dating apps, none of it an adequate substitute for true intimate, eye to eye, REAL conversation. It's the one thing I miss about being in a relationship.

But one of the layers I've had to confront and examine with nano diligence is my ability to connect with people. Most would probably label me an extrovert, possibly an emotionally intelligent, articulate one, but in the depths of this truth, I am learning that it's all a cover for something that isn't actually there. I got skilz. I'm a master magician. At least I'm good at something.

I've also learned that this thing I do, this boundary and separation I create, it's more like a curtain than a wall. I hide behind it but will peek under it from time to time just to see what's happening. When I first discovered this curtain I was fascinated by it and partially relieved to know that I can be fluid and have discernment regarding when to pull it to the side and who to do that for.

But I rarely touch my curtain. In fact, few people have seen what's on the other side in person (unless, ironically, you're reading this or you've heard this raw podcast interview and chances are you probably don't know me in person ) The saddest thing I've discovered about my curtain is that even more rarely do I pull it away to see who's standing in front of me. I regret that.

So my curtain doesn't just block people from seeing me, it keeps me from truly seeing other people.

No wonder my go to visualization almost daily is of my fire, under the stars, where not only am I greeted by people with genuine sincerity and gratitude for "seeing" me, but I am deeply grateful to see, talk, and connect with them. Ok. I'll admit, it's a party and my extroverted ass is center. There's music, connection, and a sense of belonging around the fire. It's a tribe. I truly know these people. This is MY tribe. Something I don't have externally in my life right now so I create it with my imagination. Every single day. Just to feel that connection. I posted this visualization here but took it off my blog out of shame and embarrassment. I'm not entirely sure why I felt that, but I'm ok with sharing it now. Funny how time reshapes our feelings about things.

People fascinate me. In fact, my most favorite thing to do is to talk to people and learn about them. But here's the thing: There's a fear, or at the very least a hesitancy, to pull back my curtain to expose a part of myself in person and to someone who truly wants to know me and consequently I never get to know the person I'm pulling my curtain back for, which is the thing that I most enjoy.

So I'm thinking maybe I just burn this curtain altogether in this fabricated bonfire I've created in my imagination. I'm pretty sure it will help me get to know you, the stranger in front of me. The only thing is unless you burn yours too, I'm only left here standing alone, naked, cold, and dripping in vulnerability. And there's still a curtain in front of me. But now, it's yours.

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Comments

  1. Wow! What a blast from the past. I saw the Zaps Threads post on FB a few minutes ago and then the video you posted. I took me a minute, but all that minimalist running stuff all came back to me. Lots of water under the bridge!

    I too went through a divorce recently and had to jump back into the dating cesspool while trying to be a single parent. Man, did that all feel weird. Just going out and seeking human connection was such a challenge, especially when my previous M.O. was long, solitary runs. Thankfully, I eventually met somebody great who has made my life better than it was and better than I thought it could be.

    It's tough, but just try to be the best you and that fog will hopefully lift. It's great that you are analyzing yourself and finding out who you really are. That is never a bad thing. Pithy advice, I know. Through the worst of it, I kept telling myself there would be a light at the end of the tunnel, and I was right. Dark days still come and go, but they are much less frequent and don't seem quite as bad.

    Good luck to you, and I look forward to more posts!

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    Replies
    1. Haha! I was so surprised to see your comment Aaron! Thank you for such beautiful life advice! I'm so grateful for the few connections (even the ones resting in the nether of the internet) that have bloomed during my long journey here on earth. And I'm most especially grateful for those rekindled connections while my life is in recovery mode. Sounds like life is treating you well!

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