Over the past few months I’ve reconnected with a friend from college, Christina. Morgan-our mutual friend that I have written about on here a lot-informed me that Christina had moved back home to New York after separating from her husband. We hadn’t spoken in at least six or seven years, but we have become very good friends ever since. My new job was because she was leaving it.
Christina and I talked about everything. She’s seeing someone who is a single father, so I give her insight into what she had signed up for. She has listened through the frustratingly entertaining and ongoing drama that is my love life. We’ve had similar experiences in dreams of forever with someone and being wary of ultimately trying again.
Christina expresses her thoughts in the form of poetry via Instagram. I have reposted a few of them on my page because I thought they were pretty damn good. Last night she wrote the one at the top. Because I’m “that guy,” I teased her a little bit because I knew what she was really talking about.
I read the poem a few times. I thought about my own fears in relationships. For a very long time I stayed on the shallow end. I messed around with and dated people who were in relationships. I was committed to not being committed. We could have our fun and go on our merry ways. It was never about sex. I was playing a little more advanced game: Why have p***y for a short amount of time when you could have a piece of someone’s mind and heart forever? Yeah, there’s levels to this shit… But that was me protecting myself from giving someone the oppurtunity to hurt me. Also, even if I had feelings I couldn’t take them seriously because they already had someone for that. Not only was I wading in the shallow end, I mastered it.
Sometimes you’re swimming around in the shallow end and you realize you’ve actually hit the deep end. You position yourself upright and realize the floor isn’t under you anymore. You look around and see that not only are you in the deep end, you’re much closer to that end of the pool. It’s much more freeing being on this side and the liberation is exciting. This is what happened with the five years I spent with Timile.
You can’t wade in the deep end. Swimming for long periods of time requires endurance. That is the second fear: getting weak. That first time water gets in one’s nose the fear of drowning returns. So what? Risk means failure and extenuating circumstances you didn’t account for are bound to come up. But you’ve worked your way up to doing this; so you can handle-or swim through-it.
I can’t swim. I remember being five years old and while visiting Antigua my family was at the beach. The water got in my nose and ever since I’ve been deathly afraid of water. I’ve been to the beach maybe four times in the last twenty years and I almost never get in the water. There’s a part of me that always remembers that moment of being consumed by the waves and it has crippled me. I say this to say that too often one’s fear can be their setback. I don’t want to be that way anymore.
Since Timile passed away I’ve fallen in love again once. There was a part of Mr that was afraid to try again. My previous experience may have made me into the man I am today, but I still have fears. I’m a cynic who told Timile when we first started dating that i knew I was going to lose her one day. However, in the present I’m not afraid to try again. My past wasn’t a hindrance and I am not afraid to fail. Hell, I fail with said person like every other day. Nonetheless, I’ll try again like it didn’t happen.
I still would and do things that would be me protecting myself. We all do this. It’s human nature. I don’t know what this go-round has in store for me. The difference is that I didn’t wade testing the waters slowly. Well, that’s hard to say. Maybe I did at first. What happened was that I remembered how great it was being on the other end. So I dove in to prove the water in spite of its unpredictability is just fine.