It took me months to come to terms with it. I'd given myself at least 2 years to heal from the trauma of my marriage and how it ended. And yet, it happened before my divorce was even final. I found myself attracted to someone. It took me 6 months of mulling it around in my head to sort out whether or not it was real. I even made an appointment with a therapist, specifically for the purpose of saying it out loud to someone so that I could suss out if I was crazy. And out of that appointment it was determined that I should probably muster up the courage to say something to that person.
But I had somehow created a story in my head that putting myself out there again was this monumental thing and I had to make sure that I'd only do it in a situation that I knew was safe and that I was sure would work out because after everything that I'd gone through, I was sure that rejection would be the straw that broke my very tired back. I thought of the potential devastation that awaited if the feelings weren't returned. And then thought of the risk involved if they actually were. So I stuffed it down and resigned myself to silence again.
But after another 3 months, my curiosity got the better of me, and it became more uncomfortable not to know. More uncomfortable to let a possibility pass.
So I did it. I put myself out there. I told the person I was attracted to that I was attracted to them.
And do you know what?
They did NOT share those feelings for me.
This is not the moral of my story... fyi. It, actually, turned out to be a really good thing. Wanna know why?
Firstly, I caught feelings y'all! That, in and of itself is a pretty major feat for someone who's modus operandi is to shut down in the face of pain, and who's trust was betrayed on literally every level possible after 20 years. I had pretty much resigned myself to spending the rest of my life with cats. Lots and lots of cats... So, catching feels for a human was a win in my book for sure... because I'm allergic to cats.
Secondly, the rejection came in the most kind and gentle of ways. Super grateful for that.
And, thirdly, I wasn't crushed! Disappointed, yes. But, only temporarily, and those feelings were dwarfed by the feelings of empowerment and strength that I felt. It was a risk, and though it didn't pay off in the way that I'd hoped, it paid off in so many other ways; probably most markedly in my learning that I can take rejection pretty well now and knowing that I don't need to wait for something to feel certain to step into it. It was such a breath of fresh air to try something, fail and not beat myself up about it. To just walk on feeling pretty damn good for taking a swing at the ball (terrible analogy).
So why am I sharing this? Because it's hard... especially being that my ex is cyber stalking my business pages and so now he'll know that my first swing was a miss. Of course now EVERYONE knows that my first swing was a miss. But you know what? Everyone also knows that I'm still swingin'. (again... terrible analogy).
And one day, I'm going to make a hit. A solid hit... out of the bloody park. And I'll make that hit BECAUSE of all of those misses. Because I swung at all of the balls (jeezus Trish) Because those swings are what will give me the strength and the focus to hit that ball right when it finally makes contact. And all those misses... including this one... are going to make that home run that much sweeter... (note to self... baseball analogies are sexual af)
Why do I share such personal stuff? Because vulnerability IS strength. Vulnerability is being open enough to let genius and creativity and innovation in. And we inspire others to their greatness by being brave enough to go after our own, even if we look like fools along the way...