June is story telling month on TGM.
Divorced, half-orphaned, white, female seeking love with reckless abandon. Skin color, age, size, zip code completely open. In fact, openness might be the only requirement. You must be open to adventure, passion, hearts-lit-afire conversation, and also to the beautiful mundanity of the everyday. Be open to greeting any challenge as a wild adventure, but with carefully measured frivolity.
I can already tell when you’re lying. I don’t even know you yet, but I can look into you and sense any bullshit you might be shoving my way in order to mask your vulnerability. So don’t bother. You will be wasting both of our time.
Six years ago I gained an extra distaste for wasting time. My mom died and my world turned inside out. Don’t be afraid of this. Please also don’t feed me empty platitudes. If you haven’t suffered a big grief I won’t think less of you, but you can just say, “Wow, that must have been excruciating.” Yep, it was.
For a good long time it hurt to breathe. It was almost like there was something sharp deep in my lungs reminding me that a piece of my heart was missing. I desperately wanted to let go of that reminder, but there it was every time I took a deep breath. So I just kept my breaths shallow.
I remember thinking that all the minutiae I found terribly important before she died were suddenly ridiculously meaningless. Life was too short to find matching socks, so I went without them altogether. I remember some of the things people said with the intention of comfort that made me want to scream. And I remember those who really understood and how they barely had to say anything at all.
The six years between there and here have brought marriage, divorce, finding a path, losing it again, and then realizing the path was there the whole time. I just had to light my own heart on fire to see the way. I tried on so many hats that I lost faith in my ability to accurately see how they looked in the mirror. I read dozens of self help books, solicited the advice of a life coach, a therapist, and an overly opinionated brother. I desperately wanted someone to tell me it would all be okay and then fix everything. They couldn’t, and that’s when I realized I had to go forward on my own.
Perhaps unexpectedly, but totally predictably, I found a peace within myself that knew it would be okay all along-- a hidden eddy in a raging river. It was not a moment of great discovery or conquest. It was a slow glance downward as I began to lift off, realizing that I was a fierce and raging phoenix.
Still, I may at times ask you to tell me that everything will be okay. Know that I can skillfully manage my hurt, but I also need to know that you are willing to go through the muck with me.
And I don’t ever want to have to question that. Ever.
In return I will be unapologetically myself. I will grow and hatch dreams that will constantly push the realm of possibility. I will offer you gigantic love that could bowl an average mortal over. This love will most likely involve needlessly elaborate picnics, oversized bonfires, aimless bicycle rides, quiet morning coffees, and loud summer thunderstorms.
And you? You must give and receive love with equal sincerity and depth. You must be compassionate and engaged and enraged at the injustices all around us. You must speak a love language fluently, one in which I can hopefully at least converse. I am fluent in the languages of delicious food and the beauty of nature. Both of these possess the power to swallow me, open my eyes, and humble me to my knees in a most wonderful way. And you most definitely will too, when I meet you.
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