When my marriage fell apart in 2009… no, correct that… (my marriage fell apart long before 2009)… when my ex and I split-up in 2009, I spent the following two years in therapy. I spent that time in recovery from my marriage, healing my wounded spirit, and finding myself. It was also during those first two years post-marriage that I planted my feet firmly in my career. Something I had not been able to do “in” the marriage because my ex thwarted my every effort.
Once I had found myself again, both on a personal level and professionally, I could begin to think about the next chapter in my life and what type of person I might want to share it with. I created a mental list of sorts, of the qualities and characteristics that would make the perfect fit for me. One of the things that draws me toward Geoff, is that he meets most of the criteria.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have an actual “check list” and there is no litmus test a man must pass to earn my affection. It’s just that I have such a bad habit of picking Mr. Wrong that I want to make sure next time is the last time, and that I finally find Mr. Oh-So-Right!
What attracts me the most, to Geoff, is his somewhat gypsy, free-spirited lifestyle. Like me, he chose a career that is not all that mainstream, and he took a leap of faith, moving halfway across the country to make his career happen. Without knowing it, Geoff has restored in me, a sense of adventure. I gave it up years ago to lead a life that other people wanted for me. Not the one I wanted for myself. I can see myself with someone like Geoff, getting that life back. Not a do-over. I know we don’t get do-overs. But a chance to live life to the fullest. To my fullest. And to experience all of those things I have longed for my entire life. I thought I had to BE a certain type of someone in order to earn the approval of others. That meant giving up certain things, like enjoying life, and having fun. I’ve come to realize, I can be myself and still grow personally and professionally. The two can mix. I don’t have to choose one over the other.
Geoff’s endearing kindness is another favorable quality. One that I am all-to-eager to embrace. Though I am often hesitant to accept it without reservation. My problem. Not his. A side-effect of being traumatized in my last relationship.
Geoff and I share a professional interest. And if there were an actual “check list” that would earn a big check mark in the YES column. I know for him this current gig is just a means to an end, but I appreciate that he thinks what we do “matters.”
Though I’m still learning a lot, and there is still a lot to know, from what I have gleaned so far, Geoff and I both grew up in, what I would call, very traditional, MidWestern American homes. I know, he says I’m from the south, but that’s just a matter of geography. My values were groomed in MidWestern tradition and further cultivated here on the West Coast. A merry blend.
The goal here is not to find someone who is perfect. Even I know, in all my delusions, such a person does not exist. The goal is to find someone who shares just the right amount of values and traditions, but is different enough to keep life interesting. The yin to my yang.
– J. Ela