Things of which I was certain prior to embarking on this dating adventure:
Absolutely no pets. I swiped left (or whatever direction meant No Thank You) on so many lesbians with dogs. Do you have any idea how limiting is was to be dog unfriendly? Lesbians and dogs are like macaroni and cheese or peanut butter and jelly. And then I fell for a woman with a dog.
I was also certain that children under 25 were a definite No. If they’re launched by 25, chances are they won’t boomerang back to the basement. But like with the dogs, I wasn’t really up for the maintenance–the walking, the feeding, the cleaning up after. The responsibility. Been there. Done that. But then I fell for someone who had a kid (sort of).
And then there was the whole coffee thing. I declared to anyone who inquired that I had two very good reasons for not wanting to be in a relationship: “I am 100% not interested in learning how to make someone else’s coffee.“ At this time. (Sorry, can’t tell you the other reason on a public blog).
The only certainty is change, Dear Ones.
It’s something of a mantra for me. Change and choice. If we can’t or are unwilling to change or if we forget that it is okay to make a change, we risk missing out on so much.
If we constantly brace for change, fear it, work to avoid it, all of our energy goes into staying the same. We can’t learn or grow. Our windows of tolerance for new experiences shrink rather than expand.
How do we learn that we have to stick with a choice? Who taught us that we can’t try a new direction if our current course isn’t working for us?
Like many of our ineffective adult behaviors, this one also likely began in childhood. Can you hear it Dear Reader? Can you hear your parents telling you “you signed up to play the tuba, sweetie. You have to give it a chance”? “You can’t stay home sick today, the team is depending on you. Suck it up and show up.” “You said you’d go to the dance with Johnny. You can’t back out now.”
We learn in childhood to distrust our own guts and go along to get along. Sometimes disagreeing can be dangerous. So we learn to put our own feelings aside to make others more comfortable. And, once we recognize that we do it, we can in fact make a choice to change.
We have such power in choice, when we slow down to recognize that we can choose our responses or our paths. I could have bailed upon learning about the dog or the kid or the kid’s sister. Turns out I chose to check it out, to turn toward those things instead of away. I loved the dog (and I know he loved me), and the kids were pretty great too.
I learned to make her coffee. In fact, I still have a bag of medium roast in the freezer.
Me? I like it dark. Of that, I am certain.