Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dialing down the static

We've all got static in our lives.  Sometimes it looks like unloading the dishwasher, sometimes it looks like the office commute, sometimes it looks like social obligations.  In any case, we can get stuck in it: crackling noise that doesn't accomplish much except obscuring the more interesting and beautiful sounds around it.

I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but I'm working hard at making sure that whenever I notice the static getting louder, I immediately seek out ways to turn it off.

Right now, that means turning my attention away from men, sex, dating, partner-seeking, online dating, flirtations, and such.  Flirtations are a blast - they get my adrenaline going, and it is just so much fun to hear my phone make a little sound that informs me that a sassy text just came in - especially if those texts have the right amount of sweetness and the right amount of spice.  (Not cloyingly sweet, but not too hot, either.  Too sweet makes me choke, and too spicy makes me turn and run.)  

Australia (such a good name for him, better than Darren) became instantly smitten with me.  He let me know that I was hot, and interesting, and classy, and sexy, and attractive, and smart, and ladylike.  He was wowed by my strength, and by my independence (he said, "As soon as I saw you coming down the trail, I knew I wanted to know you.  I don't see many women traveling solo out here, so I knew instantly that you had something interesting about you."), buy the twinkle in my eyes.  He liked my confidence and my sass, and we talked about books and travel and love and romance and breakups, skipping from the deep stuff to the most shallow with ease.

Tell me you wouldn't be flattered, and I won't believe you.  I was flattered.  I was also in a power position: I know for an absolute fact that I'm not interested in dating a guy who leads an adventure lifestyle - it's fascinating, but let's face it, I'm not in a position to go to climbing season in Peru for five weeks every year, because even if money were no object I've got a house, a dog, a job, and, oh yes, a beautiful daughter who is my world.  I'm not into long distance relationships, either: I have about four nights off from Katherine per month, on average, and I need to have solo time, friend time, project time, AND dating time.  I have good self knowledge, and I am firm about what I do not want.

Flattered, interested, attracted - yes.  Great chemistry.  But it wasn't going to happen, and I knew that before he did.

Here's what I wanted to do: I wanted to sleep with him.  I wanted to curl up in his very sexy embrace and listen to his accent and see what his hiker's beard felt like against my....face.  I wanted to let him bring me coffee in bed in the morning.  I wanted to read each other poetry - probably Neruda, maybe Rumi.  I wanted him to play me songs on his guitar while I wrapped myself in a blanket and leaned back and listened and softly sang along.  Luke pried the lid off Pandora's box, and now I know what I am (once again) capable of, and let's face it, we could skip the guitar and go straight to the other and that would have been very, very interesting to me.

Sounds really, really good to me.  Just typing it here I get a little tug - if I texted him that I'd changed my mind, he'd come to me.

But I have, instead, told him that I'm no good for him, and that he needs to move on.  I've told him point blank that he is not partner material for me, and that we have a flirtation, nothing more, and that while he's a marvelous guy, it's never going anywhere.  I told him that I did not want to hurt him, so I wanted him to go live his life, and I ended things.  It was the kind thing to do: lopsided relationships hurt, and I think he confused my zest for being alive with a zest for him.  (Plus, what is it about guys?  I flirted but I never even kissed him, and somehow this has him salivating for me, as seems to be the way of it.  Forbidden fruit really IS more interesting, I see.  Maybe there is something about that story of Eve and the apple after all.)

I'm rambling.  I'm, ahem, a little caught up in my own tale, but let me get to the point:

Australia is static in my life.  Beautiful static, but a distraction from what I really need to do, and loud enough that his noise could easily drown out the other, more important stuff.

Like working on my career, which one way or the other is ready for another shift (more on that later).

Like the volunteer work I just picked up.

Like being the best mom in the world.

Like getting ready for another week long vacation - this time, camping.

Like writing (some very interesting projects going on the side).

I am aflame right now - filled with energy, focused on filling my life with the best of myself, of sucking the marrow from life.  It would be so easy to fall into the static, to find myself a filler relationship that was playful and fun, that made me feel cared for, that flattered me, that was with someone interesting and attractive.  But I won't fall for it.

I've got bigger ideas for myself.  I won't settle.

Goodbye, Australia.  You'll never know how close I came to making some fireworks with you - I knew I only had to say yes, and you'd show up at my door, and I was so tempted I can't even tell you.  But more than I want that, I want to have the life I'm creating.

Turning down the static, turning up the music of my life.  I'm ready to dance.

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