I had a “date” with my girlfriend yesterday. Sadly, I was a little skeptical and worried. In all actuality, I wasn’t really looking forward to it, and I know the feeling was mutual as we both shared concerns. I ended up picking one of the two dates available that allowed less time together. Shame on me, but let me explain. This is not meant to point any finger, but bring attention to how easily life takes us onto different paths.
We’ve seen each other only a few times since I got to Germany, although we live close to each other. Being here for an extended lengths of time, you would think we would manage to spend a lot of time together, but it was as if we lived on different planets. We had nothing in common anymore, and there was little to agree on these days. It felt weird, considering we had been lifelong friends, but also lifelong friends that lived the majority of life apart from each other. How good did we really know each other during the occasional two week visit, every other year or so, sometimes much longer. And here too it became obvious, how surface interaction allowed us to know each other, while we truly didn’t know anything about each other anymore. Life had moved on, and life took us into different directions it seemed. There simply was too little, and not enough quality interaction.
Angie (my girlfriend) is a smart, very…very busy, successful woman, aggressive and rational. Everything is about common sense, with simple solutions and answers, but it wasn’t really the right time for me, and I was in need of other qualities, such as compassion and empathy. Feelings and emotions ruled the scene for me, something Angie couldn’t follow. Not because she was incapable of having feelings like this, but because she was an outsider looking in, unable to put herself into my shoes. In her eyes my situation required logical answers and she couldn’t follow what my hang up was. Fact was, that I wasn’t ready for it. There was so much to mend in my relationship with Mom, so much in need of fixing, so many opportunities that reached beyond the logical realm. She often drilled me with questions I had no answer to, and in response my frustration grew as I frantically tried to answer, not wanting to feel like an idiot. It became very stressful, and meeting would leave me exhausted and vulnerable. Of course was I searching for the same answers as well, but always ended up in the same vicious cycle. I knew that the path wasn’t ready to reveal itself, the time wasn’t right, but try to explain that to a fact driven, proof oriented person. It was always the same struggle, and despite of knowing that she meant well and was trying to help, there was a lack of understanding. I know she got frustrated with me, unable to grasp my indecisiveness or what I was considering, the decisions were as plain as day for her. It resulted in long breaks away from each other, and I think we were both ok with it. Angie continued to live her busy life running from deadline to deadline on five hours of sleep per night, everything was normal as it should be, like I wasn’t in Germany. For me, I was relieved not to be lectured or squeezed in amongst other activities and other friends that were basically strangers to me. It felt awkward and we know already how much I like to engage in small talk. It seemed like such a waste of time to me. Finally, I told her that I would love to have one on one time with her, her undivided attention and to call me when she could manage. It was the best thing I could do and honesty always wins, even if it’s hard or takes courage to pursue.
So yesterday was the day, and Angie wanted me to decide on what we would do. A bit of a challenge for various reasons, but I managed to come up with an idea close to Mom where she would pick me up from. I had spent much time in the public this year and close by was a hedge labyrinth, a miniature golf with a Biergarten, and a giant bench I never got to sit on, but always wanted to. I took a chance and suggested a date with Nature, a place to become still. We walked the little distance to the bench and took our seat. It was already getting towards the end of the day, and shortly later we watched the sunset through two giant picture frames in front of the bench, framing the last light. We both loved it and felt at peace. It was relaxing enough that I started talking to Angie without feeling forced or pressured. To my surprise I blurted out what seemed like an idea about the future, of what was to come next. We talked for awhile, and Angie followed up by saying “Well, that sounds like something, like the start of plan, much better and it seems like you know what needs to be done next”. Indeed it felt like it, and a huge wave of relief rushed over me. Not that miraculously all my problems would be solved overnight, but because the vision had returned. I no longer felt alone and helpless in the matter, having to wait and bide my time. Enough developments had contributed, and the fog was finally lifting. The road once more became visible and I greeted it like and old friend. I saw all the obstacles still ahead of me, and yet I felt so much lighter. A huge weight had been lifted from me, at least for the time being in case the feeling wasn’t to last. There was plenty left to do, and nothing would be smooth, but the path appeared, clear as day and for the first time in a long while. Timing was once more working with me, giving me opportunities meant for me to grab.
We never played miniature golf that night, but sat in the Biergarten enjoying a drink for awhile longer. The conversation had shifted and this time it was Angie’s turn to confide and share some of her struggles. I no longer felt lectured, like the helpless, little, lost girl, and Angie gave me back the chance to share my perspective and offer advice. She allowed me to help her and a partnership was restored. It was a simple evening, yet it had a big impact, and it couldn’t have turned out any better. I truly look forward to our next time when we can make each other the priority again, away from outside distractions. Further, Angie is connected to someone who might be able to help with the RA. Nothing will happen immediately, but how wonderful is that? Just the opportunity alone is nothing short of another miracle.
Have you ever noticed that things always have a way to work out? They always do and all we have to do is believe and stay positive.