All The Beautiful Things I Tend

I wanted passion and excitement this summer. Carefree, sensual enjoyment of the heat and the full, lush green, and the feeling of wet sand between my toes.

I wanted campfire hair in the morning. Bug bites in scandalous places. Freckles on my shoulders like constellations waiting to be mapped by someone’s mouth.

I wanted the opposite of last summer, and so, I got all of that. I’m grateful. I have no regrets. But I’m also embarrassed to be writing this post.

The last time we spoke, I was heading into fall with a burgeoning relationship to nurture, alongside all of the other beautiful things I tend. However, the wires were crossed. We put a label on something that cannot be defined, and I still don’t truly understand why or how that happened. This is perhaps a record for my shortest span of time in a relationship.

In many ways, the words we exchanged were matching up, but as I look at it all from over here, I can see that the truth was in action and intention. To me, it felt like the kind of polarity and parallel I’ve always wanted. Someone with a deep sense of purpose, driven to give and work hard and create a life of their own imagining. It was and is all of that, but we don’t want the same things. I want to build something with someone.

Always be clear on someone else’s intention before deciding how to invest.

What I want isn’t possible in this connection. I always knew this, but I started to believe that things had shifted. The irony, of course, is that this connection made me realize I want something I can sink my teeth into. Chemistry is a confusing thing, though I still maintain this isn’t just chemistry.

I can’t be sorry for wanting to build a partnership. I suppose I shouldn’t be embarrassed about that either. If you’ve been reading here for a while, heck, if you’ve spent an hour talking to me, you won’t be surprised that I want to fall in love and be loved.

We are great at communicating. He is so steady, and although so many of the things he said were hard for me to hear, he knows himself and his capacity and was transparent. Transparency, yet contradiction. It’s no wonder I get confused.

I know myself and my depth. I also know how hard I’ve worked to write a new story about me in love. So I peeled off the label, and I’m collecting my threads. I don’t want to spend any more time trying to imagine how this can work. It will either make sense, or it won’t and I’ve done all that I can to be clear and open.

I weave parts of myself into the dynamic I create with other people. Now I wonder if it’s possible to explore intimacy and keep every thread of me for myself?

I don’t know that this is over, but I’ve taken several steps back. I’m also adding reciprocity to my list of personal values. I hope that some space will bring clarity. I think we both need to feel what it’s like without our connection.

Here are the lessons, and they are always the same lessons. At least I can say I’m getting faster at learning them:

Be slow and careful as you observe what is unfolding. Don’t write the story, witness the moment. Ask vulnerable questions to try and understand what the other person is thinking and feeling. Watch how their action supports their words. Look for reciprocity. Trust your intuition. Know that when you worry more than you feel content and at peace, you’re back in the old story. Stay out of the old story and be aligned at the moment. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I can take all the love I wanted to give and pour it back into so many worthwhile places where it will flourish and heal and thrive. I’m never worried about that part of the process. My well runs deep and so many facets of my life seem to feed the source. My heart is renewable energy and the beauty I cultivate is everlasting.