The other day, my friends and I stumbled into an impromptu discussion about things of a generally lustful nature. I'll spare you the details of that somewhat sordid discussion, but one of the highlights of that conversation was the partial-phrase, "I might be magic." After the laughter and hi-jinks faded, I found myself thinking about that conversation and how just that phrase linked to another conversation I had with a friend over a late dinner at Magnolia.
Much has been made, as I find myself in the waning years of my thirties, of my "settling down." I don't put nearly as much pressure on myself compared to the pressures placed on me by others. Make no mistake about it, I love love. I love the very concept of it. And when it's firing on all cylinders and two people make a sincere, deep investment in each other, I am in awe. It's MAGIC. And I want that for myself. I also, however, have an abundance of stubborn defiance coupled with an absurd (and probably unwise) streak of patience when it comes to accepting anything other than MAGIC.
Too often, in my family life, and in the lives of others around me, I've seen people get to a point in their lives where they are completely exasperated. For some people that happens in about three months...for others it may take as many as 20 years. But they reach this point where they look around with general fatigue and utter, "I guess this is as good as it gets." And they jump into the next thing, committed to making it work despite some already glaring warning signs that perhaps this isn't the ship to jump on.
And then, as is inevitable, the strains of living start putting weight on already weakened supports. That's when the real work begins. That's when you find out how deep your love goes. When you love someone even though in that moment, you don't "like" them. Because every day ain't a rainbow.
I guess in my "senior years" I've come to learn a lot about myself. My flaws. My strengths. The things I can make concessions on, as well as the things I cannot. I know what my happiness looks like, and I try to create a life and environment that brings me more happiness than grief. As I consider sharing that space...I study people. I get to know them, but not in the ways they are trying to show me, but what's inside. Not what they say. What they don't say. Not the overt, but the quiet that lives in all of us. The good, the bad and the ugly. And when it feels right/familiar in a deeply intuitive way, I make myself available so that they can get to know me.
But I am cautious. Always cautious. My peace of mind, and a serene, love filled living space are extremely precious to me. In fact...they are sometimes all that can stabilize me in an otherwise topsey-turvy world. Before I let someone into that space, I look within and ask if it's right. Not perfect. But right. And if it doesn't feel right, I feel no inclination to make that round peg fit in the square hole. I don't feel the crushing weight of old age closing in on me telling me I will die alone in a pool of my own isolation. I don't feel the need to "make do." I enjoy myself enough that I don't require company to feel okay.
I have had a taste of big love. BIG love. And I am willing to sacrifice everything for that. Children. A white picket fence and the "farcical hetero American dream" (called hetero cuz you know, my gay brothers and sisters don't get to legally experience this joy, we'll get into that bullshit later). Everything I've learned in studying people and myself has taught me that if you cannot feel secure, free, content, and at peace in your own home with the person who shares that space with you -- happiness and that "hetero American dream" is nothing but an illusion. It becomes a fiction that you work to manifest for others, when you don't truly feel it for yourself. I'm not a commitment phobe...but I tell you what, I'm deathly afraid of living that illusion.
If I am going to have happiness in this life via relationship? It will be right. Not for my parents, not for my friends, not for the people who think they have a vested interest in what my life "looks like." It will be right for me. Why? Because settling has never been my nature. I want big love that fits all my imperfections. I believe I can have that, because I know that's when I give the very best of me. No matter how long it takes, I know that it's available to me.
Cuz I might be magic.