I have been giving a lot of thought to relationships lately. All kinds. Taking serious stock of the ones I'm in. Looking at biggie topics like mutuality, acceptance, generosity, kindness, empathy, willingness (and ability) to communicate, consistency, awareness, sensitivity, lovingkindness, forgiveness, vulnerability, proactivity, humor, dependability, truth-telling, transparency, spaciousness, compassion, compatibility...
Something has been stirring in me for months, or a year even, maybe more, a desire to clean the proverbial house. To shed what isn't working and invite in more of what does. There is a particular relationship which has been especially difficult for me to let go of - someone I have loved quite earnestly for several years - but which I've been preparing myself for departure from for quite some time. These past two weeks, I have felt myself come much closer to that exit door, and I'm really proud of myself for this clarity, this certainty.
I'd done just about everything I can to make it work - contorted myself to fit into the small space provided, sacrificed my own comfort and well-being, forgiven deep woundings, and stayed so flexible to the point of breaking. But worst of all, I have overlooked my own needs and hopes to remain in something less than because I have been unwilling to give up the comforts - even if it's the occasional, minimal kind - that having company has given me. And trust me, it's not that I believe that I don't "deserve" better. But we don't get to pick who we fall for, and this particular love has jostled me good.
It has been alarming and painful and sad - I know - for my close friends and family to watch as I've continuously made a choice to stay with someone who cannot truly meet me halfway. And believe me, it's been alarming and painful and sad for me to have stayed so loyal to a relationship that has long been untenable. I don't know what it is in me that has remained so steadfast - a combination of love, stubornness, and a stern belief that something would change given enough time and attention - but I understand more fully now the sacrifice that will be required to stay, and I cannot afford to keep making it.
It's strange to say all of this here, of course, but I've been saying it to myself for so long it feels good to put it down where I can see it a little better. Because I want something beautiful and big and bold. I want a gargantuan, continuously unfolding love. I want the best kind of company, where there's mutual adoration and sweetness and ease and an exquisite sense of having all the time in the world. I want stretch and invitation and adventure and deep, deep fun. I want to feel like I'm the most important person in the world to someone else. Unconditionally. Unequivocally. Unreservedly. Unquestionably.
Last weekend, I drove an hour-and-a-half north of the San Francisco to Cloverdale's municipal airport, where for hours I watched skydivers descend from 10,000 feet up. Most of the people I watched were those who were trying it for the first time, and they were tethered to a tandem guide who was responsible for bringing them down safely.
I loved witnessing that moment when they touched the ground. Every single one of them was elated beyond belief, gushing about how amazing the experience was, and the view, and how it was totally not like they thought it would be, and they couldn't believe how not scary it was, not really, and they would do it again in a heartbeat. And the guide behind them, despite having jumped thousands of times before, seemed so filled up, too, happy to deliver an experience of such joy and thrill to someone else.The bond between them as they landed was palpable. A kind of pact for life, something that would forever connect them.
I wasn't quite ready to sign up for a turn myself, but there was a split second before the tandem guide unhooked his charge, a tiny moment of such bigness where I could visualize everything I've hoped for, everything I want and everything I'm capable of giving when it comes to love, and I knew, I knew that it was time to let go.
And so here I am, on that verge. Making my way toward that door, my fingers on the latch, feeling the air start to whistle in.