By Kenneth Stepp
Mature Dating makes it sound like I believe myself to be mature. All I know is I’m no spring chicken, I’m five years out of a long term marriage, and maturity isn’t what I am really known for. Plus, I’m a guy, most of us never grow up. I just need to clarify that.
Wrapping my mind around what I have exposed my heart to over the past five years has been difficult. Taking an inventory of the damage is a part of this journey I have been thrown into. Trying to manage my emotions, feelings, and thoughts is a phenomenal feat that is very new to me. Injecting logic into an already confusing pile of wreckage seems to be impossible on good days. On bad ones, I don’t even try.
Every journey has a beginning. Contrary to what most believe, many have no ending. Especially in matters of the heart. In my life, I have watched people lose the love they believed would be theirs forever. Soon, then the journey to find it again begins. Not only does every journey look different. But the same person’s journey changes constantly. One does not expect this when beginning their journey. But it is a certainty. Mistakes will be made, you will be deceived, lied to, and simply miss where the people you meet are coming from altogether.
Now, about endings. I have known too many that loved and lost, maybe most of us have or will. I’ve had friends that never did find the love they desperately searched for. Good people, loving people, with so much to offer. I’ve watched them settle for temporary instead of holding out for what they really want. Seeing them with someone and still being open to finding someone else is ugly. I’m not judging them. I judge no one. I moralize nothing. They do things in order to endure a life that years ago they enjoyed. It’s hard to watch. Even harder to live through.
I have been on both sides of this scenario. I didn’t mean to be, didn’t want to be, but have found myself there. Neither one is comforting at all, both are painful. For this reason, many decide to simply get off the roller coaster and watch others ride. Sometimes it’s just a break, for others, it’s a lifestyle. Doing what they can to survive. To live with as much joy and as little pain as possible is the goal. We all see different paths to accomplish this. Again… Never judge.
As for this moment, my heart is busy, it is hopeful, it is ready. Or at least I think it is most days. Then there are those days when I hyper-focus on the past. The past can be a horrible place to visit. Especially if you are trying to replicate a life you once had. Then I realize that the life I once had wasn’t real. It was as real as a mannequin in the store window. From a distant it looked great. But inside it was hollow. A cheap version of something beautiful.
Getting up, smiling, and being hopeful is kind of my personality. Going to bed the same way isn’t something I pull off most of the time though. The day wears on me, I get a little tired, my guard drops and boom. There it is. A painful memory or thought I thought I had beaten long ago. I really do not believe it’s a guy thing. I believe it’s a human thing. A trait those lucky sociopaths never have to deal with.
For now, I sit writing about love and politics, as if I understand them better than anyone else. Let me announce right now. The more I study each one. The more I realize I don’t know. If only I could go back to the good old days when I knew nothing but thought I understood everything. It was a great life then. I need an “Unknow” pill. Hey, I’d try it if they made it. They say there is a pill for everything. I’m putting in my request right now. Keep your logical mind engaged people. The emotional one is one good feeling to five bad feelings ratio feelings. Remember that.