This morning I was searching my dear friend Marta’s bookcase for a book that would inspire, motivate and support me. My finger brushed against title after title anticipating the next book would be it. A familiar title came into view. As I pulled it from the shelf, a thought hit me: I read to feel understood. I feel accepted and normal with a paperback in my hand. I become engaged in finding out who I am underlining line after line. I am home.
This is why I read.
Sure I read for knowledge. That goes without saying. This thought was different. I read because out in the world at times I do not know how to be myself. I do not know if I should admit that I would rather go somewhere else, be with someone else or do something else. Reading the small print brings me back to myself. Reminds me of how it feels to feel alive inside my own skin. Reminds me of my own thoughts, desires, passions.
I read because in a world where I fight to know who I am and what I want those letters on a page give me solace, courage, fortitude. The feeling I have while scanning words on a page is the same feeling I want when I am with a man: accepted, understood, content.
Which brings me to my date. If you have been following me for any length of time you know it is with boys that I can forget who I really am. Intimate relationships are where I must be vigilant moment by moment to stay true. It is not easy.
We were chatting, or I should say, he was chatting and I was listening. As I was sipping my soup and eating my sandwich I found myself painfully silent. This is not good. Painfully silent means I am not speaking up. It means I don’t like something and am praying it blows over and I can get back to pretending everything is okay. Just like I did when I was growing up. Pretend I am okay, this is okay, that we are okay.
Then it hit me hard. By his actions and his words he was advertising that he did not want an equal. He wanted someone to cater to him, to love him above all else, to let him know he’s the man. He wasn’t ready for me, what I had to offer. No wonder I had grown silent. And then it hit me again, I was asking the wrong question.
It wasn’t about him being ready for me, what he wanted, but do I want to be with a man who is not showing up as my equal. The answer is no. I was sad. Sad I had to let this seemingly wonderful man go. Then I reminded myself, yes, he may be wonderful to the world but he isn’t my Mr. Wonderful. Not yet anyway.
I grab a book and wait for the tide of self-acceptance to wash over me.