As I said to you on our third official date, “When I look at you it is as if, I am looking in the mirror.” Yes, G, you were my mirror image. You were the black to my white. While the foundation was similar, it was reversed. We were not opposites; we merely acted out our hurts very differently.
In retrospect, I am unsure if you still are my mirror. I am certainly not who I used to be. I do not know if I am who I once thought I was. Currently, I am exactly the same as I was when we met. Still, I am totally different.
Then, I thought I was the only imperfect human being. I was convinced I was the only insecure person on the face of the Earth. Surely, no one was more messed-up than I. I was very open about my insecurities, the feelings I had about myself. That has not changed. Though friends, family, and familiars, even a professional said that I was in error, I was very strong; I thought I knew better. I was aware of what was within.
In the years of our early acquaintance, people often said I was an extremely solid and sturdy person. I spoke and do continue to speak my mind and am strong enough to change it after much research and reflection. I relish discussion. I enjoy cultivating differences in opinions, cultures, and customs. I seek knowledge in every avenue. I delight in experiencing the energy of all. I was this way with you, except when it came to . . .
Others considered me strong for they knew what I had endured, and was going through. However, they understood that for me it was not a matter of endurance. What kept me going was and is my love of learning and life. For me all that had been was an opportunity and I was and am, forever pursuing joyfully.
Though others thought me robust, I felt anything but. As I grew to know you, or tried to, I felt even weaker. You were so very stalwart, and statuesque. You exuded success, spoke well, and you excelled in your every endeavor. Your physical appearance was that of Adonis or Michelangelo’s David. The posture, the pose was unforgettable.
G, you are or were, so self-assured, confident, and “right.” Your profound correctness was demonstrated not only in your politics; it was also as you wrote on my notepad oh so long ago; “Right and correct are synonymous.” You seemed to be precisely perfect, always. I later learned the optimal word in that last sentence is “seemed.” I discovered that all are insecure and the strong share. Thank you Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, Erich Fromm, the genius behind The Art of Loving, and many other social scientists. The gratitude I wish to express to those teachers I encounter everywhere is without words.
Others observed you were distant, aloof, arrogant, and not forthcoming. I recounted details of our interactions and people were appalled. That you were willing to have your female “best friend” “sleep” over at night, while telling me how important I was, to say the least, was fascinating. Your pursuit of me, coupled with your expectation that I needed to chase you, was confusing. That you stated a desire to work with me in building the deepest of relationships, well, what more can I say.
Actually, I could say much more. I could share stories of our encounters or discuss the manner in which you spoke to me. I could reflect on your chosen demeanor and how those that did not know you well felt in your presence. I was acutely aware of all of this though still supported what I thought to be your excellence.
For me, I let all this be, because, as I so often express, “This relationship was so bad, I did not know I was in a relationship!” I did not think I had reason to react; you and I were not “together,” at least not in a manner that I had ever experienced. Our association was nothing like any I had in the past or since. I will never willingly be involved in such chaos again. I had no idea that circumstances such as this could exist. It was not until meeting you, dear G, that I realized I had the best of relationships in my life. Encountering you taught me of what I had heard other women speak of.
All of my life, I have been very defending of men. My history showed me that men are far more loving, nurturing, and sensitive. Studies I have read affirm the same; men are bundles of love. Then there was "you.” I believe that your own heightened sensitivity leads you to engage in such behaviors. However, I digress.
G-man, you may recall on our first formal date you asked if I, when upset did I prefer to communicate my thoughts and feelings in a letter. When there is a difficulty in a relationship, do I seek solace on paper? I had never thought about it. I had not reflected on my usual practice or preference for communicating in times of trouble. I knew that in my intimate relationships, those that included a physical intertwining, [okay, sex,] this had not been the case. However, in that moment, perhaps, I wanted to agree with you. I did, after all, recall writing to my Dad when we had a misunderstanding. Therefore, I replied, “Yes.”
I laugh now, for even with my Dad, writing of my pain was a rare occurrence. We spoke. Nevertheless, G, when with you, face-to-face communication was scary. Even when I did not think there was a problem between us, I experienced your wrath. You may recall that you were the first to scream at me. Until you, I had forgotten my tenth birthday, the one time I was yelled at in childhood. In my family, loud voices were not the norm. When people were upset they were silent. However, with you, I never knew what to expect. I did learn quickly that it was likely to be confrontational and far from the calm, I crave.
Therefore, when wanting to discuss something important with you I wrote. I shared my pain through text. I learned to be careful with my words, for they would evoke a reaction. I wrote for hours and hours on end. I continued communicating with you in this manner for days, weeks, months, and even years. It was not that we were involved for all that time. Nevertheless, even after those eight intense months, we did see each other regularly at the pool, and at “the” restaurant. You brought your women friends to where you knew I was, and I wanted to be cordial. That was a challenge, it seemed there was always an undercurrent between us. I knew I needed to work through this, for my own safety, sanity, and growth. I recognized almost immediately that this travel was not a superficial journey, for me.
Whatever it was about you, our connection, or all the emotions your presence brought to the surface, I was convinced, this was a life lesson and I needed to learn from it before I could evolve. Few if any understood this; they typically said the conventional wisdom, “Move on,” “Get over it!” However these are concepts I do not believe in. I think as Albert Einstein stated, “In the middle of every crisis is an opportunity.” I seized it, day after day.
I was learning, growing, and becoming wiser. It was wonderful, for me. I will share more on that later. For now, I want to speak of why, on this 2006 anniversary, you are more on my mind than usual. You may remember, not too long ago, I called from the University. I had reached a conclusion and I wanted to thank you for helping me reach it. I recognized that though I pursued another profession, it was not my passion. It made sense that it would be, for I do love learning and education. Yet, it was not. What brought me greater, if not the greatest pleasure, was and still is, writing.
After our experience, I reflected on my past, examined my realities, and thought of when I was most happy. Even in my chosen profession, I felt most serene when I was composing. Inscribing a curriculum, a theory, a plan, or a proposal gave me more joy than all else. It is odd for I love human interaction. The excitement I feel when people exchange ideas is extremely captivating. However, it differs.
When I put pen to paper, compose a communication, type a treatise, I feel one with the universe. When I then share my theories and receive a response, wow! The energy generated is like no other for me. This may be why, as I student, I re-worked so many papers, even after I had achieved the highest grade. Of course, I only did this when the professor was open to the idea and understood my motivation. Nonetheless, I did it. I thank you Everett E. Murdock.
Well, now, only days ago, it finally happened. One of the papers I submitted for wide publication was accepted. My beliefs, as written by me, will be available for all interested parties to read. Though this accomplishment is not the pinnacle and I expect to realize much more, this is my first step. That it occurred only days before our anniversary seems timely to me. It seems cosmic and apropos. Considering that I submitted the piece many months earlier, it seems to me that this event was meant to occur now.
G, though I have told you many times and I suspect you have no understanding of what I am referring to, I thank you for changing my life and for helping me to find me.