Sunday, June 10, 2012

Exciting Moments of Clarity and Calm

I’m walking with a close friend and discussing, or perseverating about my observations and thoughts regarding my potential for dating or getting a date.  I’m scratching my head and wondering, and suddenly I laugh out loud.  She’s trying very hard to remain neutral, to not encourage, to not reach across and smack me down.  That’s my fine-tuned perception anyway.  When I start laughing out loud, this takes her by surprise.  She has listened and watched and endured my process in dealing with the demise of a marriage that should have ended ions earlier.  Throughout, she listened and tolerated and supported when she long past moved into the preference for the old smack down approach, and hard.  She has watched me tangle myself into a great big knot, and gently guided my attempts to become disentangled and smooth myself out several times over, and remained true.  Exhausted and annoyed, but true.  The sudden laughter is throwing her off.

The laughter comes in a moment of clarity.  I have been having several of these lately.  Moments of clarity and calm.  I was expressing my baffled sense of not being able to gauge whether there was any potential for a certain someone. I suddenly realized why I can’t “see” or feel the validity of a vibe or the potential for any possibility for dating at this moment in time.  I can’t see or feel anything because I am living large right dab on top of it all.  I have been working this party, but hard.  There isn’t enough room to “see” or feel anything with the exception of my own buzzing, whirring, overcharged currents.  This seems to be an extension of my need for control.  Not to control but to have a sense of control in my life.  It turns out it's my misguided attempt at control that needs to be controlled.

I get excited.  Really excited, still.  Like a puppy, excited.  A child on Christmas Eve, or her birthday excited.  I like this feeling a great deal, but only so much.  It can become out of control and all over the place fast.  I don’t like this feeling at all.  Me, out of control, is not a good thing and so, just as quickly I attempt to gain control.  These attempts at gaining control are not so effective either, at least not in a way that ends well.  The ending part works, but not well.

Initially I seem to pounce on a glimmer of attraction like a puppy that has caught a fly under its paw.  It’s there, trapped, but now what?  So occasionally I trap a bugger and then suffocate it and wonder why it’s not playing, or breathing.  Is it breathing?  It’s certainly not playing with me any longer.  I can put out a great deal of energy that is not entirely understood or inviting in a variety of settings and situations.  I have a lot of energy. This energy can be at times attractive, like getting close to a flame or electric current but simultaneously reads as “danger” because it’s hard to determine the source of so much excitement or the expected output.  I then move into the perpetual hedgehog that can’t be hugged, modus operandi.  I bristle up my spikey exterior and hrrumph at the knowledge that no one is coming close.

I next move into containment mode and attempt to not give out any response because I am absolutely certain I will not succeed in the particular encounter.  But a hedgehog in a silk shirt isn’t able to contain much. I’m not sure what’s better, the hedgehog or the puppy?  I seem to be whirring and buzzing and stirring and trying to play possum,  imagining that I am holding it together all cool and calmly.  Of course then I fret and wonder, “What if that was too cool and stand-offish?”  What if it was too buzzy and stirry?  No wonder I can’t maintain over 5 minutes of calm.  Before long I am tangling myself up into a big old knot that smells like desperation.  Now there's an odor that attracts misery without company.  Except it’s not desperation, its self-directed exasperation.  Calm.  Where’s my calm?  I know that I need more moments of calm to allow clarity to work it’s way through. Has anyone seen my calm!!!!?? Anyone???

On my walk, I suddenly realized I was utilizing both strategies full board.  I am over the top excited about this someone (picture me as the puppy with a fly).   I am also fully aware that I won’t be able to catch this fly, or trap it under my big, clumsy paw.  So I attempt containment and control, which at least will inevitably lead to a countdown of explosive passion inspired, yet uninviting frustration of oozing, bursting chaos.  This way at least there gets to be an end point to this duality of being as I attempt to express my out of control sense of excitement and interest.  It would be easier to grow man-sized clumsy paws and I’m certain, equally attractive. I also realized I couldn't sense anything from the source of my excitement, well, because I couldn't see beyond my own crazed fear of all this newly presented excitement.

Meanwhile, another friend attempts to offer help.  He notices that I am all abuzz and happy.  He is happy for me.  He is encouraging and full of well wishes.  I explain that I am not so good in this arena but I am trying to just experience the “happy” and not worry about the inevitable or at least for now, unknown outcome.  This is somewhat true.  It does feel good to experience these feelings regardless of where I undoubtedly and ultimately attempt to force them.  He kaboshes the thought and attempts to express that I should have no worries here.  I continue to explain, my typical approach; my excitement unbound and my need to gain control of myself.   He doesn’t see this side of me.  Lucky for him, and lucky for me as well, to have some sense of control and a place to be myself.  I sum it up this way,  “Y’know the stories you hear about someone dragging someone home and having their way with them?” I explain that although I don’t condone this type of behavior, I can almost understand it.   If it weren’t so frowned upon, I might attempt it.  I will need a club and I might need help dragging someone up to my attic lair, uh, studio.   If I could avoid the initial phase of uncertainty and unbound excitement and move into the dreamy “Morning, Lover….” phase, I might be golden, or at least calmer and stand a chance. I imagine getting a club, momentarily…. It's bad, I know.

I’m making progress.  Some.  I am getting closer to quiet and occasionally, stillness.  OK, maybe I am getting closer to experiencing stillness and quiet for a prolonged time interval of, say, more than 5 minutes.  I did experience a near nirvana feat of 50 minutes a few weeks ago when I was waiting for glue stripper to work it’s magic in between 17 other chores.  That might have been more about exhaustion than relaxing or sunbathing but I was in a rested state and I was relaxed nonetheless.  I’m going to claim it as a relaxed, quiet state of more than 5 minutes.  The fact that I was alone and isolated in a faraway land helped a great deal.  There were few external distractions.  My internal distractions, attentions, reflections and reactions are more often the culprits of my constant buzz and murmur, but I was calm.   (Note to self: isolation and minimalist environmental stimuli helps support a quiet state of relaxed.)

I think it might be coming together, but I’m not going to overthink what happened recently.   Not me, no way.   I went to an art class.  I haven’t gone in some time.  Parental duties, which are first and foremost, in spite of my seemingly teen-age obsession with dating, have limited my schedule for self-directed activities.  I was greeted warmly and happily, I responded in kind.  My energy and attention was focused on my work.  I was calm.  I was happy to be there.  Contained and calm and energized in the moment, me: relaxed.  After some banter and gentle conversation I was asked to meet up afterwards for a drink, casual and calm carry over of conversation.  Not  a "date" but an opportunity to calmly converse.   No club needed, yet....

Maybe calm looks good on me.

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