Think about it. No one can really do that for you. There comes a day when no matter how deeply you may be hurting, you make a conscious choice to grow from your pain and to sow the pieces of your broken heart back together into a beautiful pattern that you will wear proudly. You have to be ready to do that though. I'm not going to lie, there is more pain, awareness, and loneliness during that transition period. The bright side is that you do, and you will get through it.
Life has been throwing me a series of unexpected surprises lately. Some beautiful, and some startling.
A funny thing happened to me this weekend. I was out to lunch with a man that I deeply respect, care for, love to be with and admire. We were having a great time with our usual fun conversations. He makes me laugh so much.
Suddenly, in walks the man who broke my heart to pieces at one time- the man I dated a couple of years after my divorce. It was a very random and chance meeting.
I always wondered what it would be like to run into the one person who destroyed my heart and almost my faith in love, and in myself... Strange because we had no children and nothing tying us together. All we lived was a facade of a relationship. A shell with a deep void.
I'm happy to say that I felt nothing. I wasn't sad, I wasn't hurt and I didn't even feel angry. Actually, I wasn't prepared for what I felt. I felt, sympathy.
There was a time when I thought the sun rose and set on this man. I realized in that moment that it was me who made him out to be the person who I thought he was. In reality, and perhaps unfair to him, I projected what I wanted to see onto him.
In that moment when I saw these two men side by side- the man I used to be with once, that I made out to be so great, paled in comparison to the man who sat across me.
He was never really who thought him to be or who I thought I loved. I created the the image of what I wanted and needed. It fails because a person can only be who they really are.
In contrast, the man who sat across me that day, is everything that I admire and hold high. Caring, protective, loving & courageous. He is all of those things independently, not because I want to see it but because this is who he is. Almost like a complement, another side of me, that I am getting to see in a new light. I don't know how or when the story will unfold, but I do know that in that moment, I thanked God for not having given up on love.
However, the man to my right, who broke my heart so recklessly, I cannot say the same for.
What I saw was a scared, incomplete shell of man. A coward. I felt sympathy. Not just for the people who he had wronged, but for him too. In that moment, I thanked God for sparing me from that life.
It's never too late for a happy ending. I want- love, loyalty, respect, family and a partnership. That heartache taught me that no matter how much I may like a person, to not get involved with them if they are not on the same page. You can't change a person.
I learned that I want a nice guy, who makes me laugh, cares for my heart and loves to be with family. I want a friend first, like my parents were.
The day that becomes possible, believe me, I won't let it go.
I've been longing for the things that bring me comfort lately, and you know that means cooking. I've been gravitating toward the more traditional foods in my culture. The time put in always helps me to reflect on where I have been and where I am choosing to go.
Earlier this week, I was out with my daughter and her step brother and sister. I've told you previously that her father and I co-parent well, and I love and appreciate him like family. Over time, the same goes for his soon to be wife, who is a lovely and kind woman that deeply cares for him. It's so good to see him happy. It's comforting to see him with the right person. It gives me hope.
Also over time, I've come to have a lot of affection for their children and enjoy the time when the kids and I all spend time together. This week we went on a Sushi excursion and my daughter's brother asks me why when I go out to eat I choose the strangest places... Indian, Sushi, Vietnamese. It was cute. I made it into a game and told him that it's like taking a mini-vacation. You get to experience a new culture, flavors and music for just a little while. It was a really fun time.
This made me reflect on why my feelings are pulling toward my own culture so much when I'm home cooking. I'm missing the deepest part of me and who I am. And cooking, brings it all back to me like magic... whether it's from all over the world, or from my home town, it's how I'm watching my own story unfold.
Life has been showering me with unexpected surprises lately, only confirming why sometimes God doesn't answer my prayers. His endings are always so much better than mine.