By Kenneth Stepp
We live in a time when things happen so fast. Love, hate, death, and life. A lot can happen in a day. It’s almost 6:00 AM and a lot happened in the last 12 hours. Mostly, another dream died. Perhaps I should learn not to put any faith in dreams. But we all do. Or at least most of us do. We all dream about a day when life changes in our favor. Maybe that’s just a dream too.
12 Hours ago, I saw a future. It really was the first time since becoming single almost 8 years ago. The future looked great. A partner, a new town, a new family to be a part of. Then, the crash and burn. I think a few of us go from one crash to another. That’s never been my experience but I can understand why so many people have walls around their heart now.
Many of my friends know that when something happens in my life that makes me feel something, I write about it. I’m compelled, it’s therapy, it helps me sort things out, and in a few cases, it helps some of my readers know they aren’t alone in the struggle to make sense of the singles journey.
For the last little while I have been working on a relationship. At first it was behind the scenes then a little over a week ago it became a full on commitment. This morning, it’s a smoldering crash site with two confused people wandering around it. Today is different, it’s a solemn morning. No one died in the crash. Only the dream didn’t make it.
I’ve known friends who go from dream to dream hoping one of them sticks. Since this is my first real death of a dream, I wonder if this is how they feel afterwards? I study everything. I’m studying this and even studying myself in this situation. I’m ok and I will be ok, so will she. What kills me is that this is a common experience in singledom. It just wasn’t to me.
Being single has not been an easy journey for me. I try hard then I take time away from it. That seems to be my pattern. My goal has always been to no longer be single. I partner well. I’m a protector, I have a caretaker’s heart, and I am attentive to the needs of others. But here at the crash site there are no needs to help with and no longer anyone to protect.
Bouncing back. How do others do that? There was a loss, there was hurt, there was confusion. Will I build walls now? I honestly don’t know what happens next. I do know a few things though. This is because I have given them much thought. She and I will be alright, we will both move on, and we will learn from this.
How do you handle a breakup? I’ve had them in the past, just not with what seemed like a solid future. For one moment that future looked like it was supposed to look. It’s like trying to hug a cloud. It’s beautiful and is in front of you. But when you reach for it, it’s not there.
I have to process everything and I will process this until I understand it. In the meantime there is life to live, things to do, and a weekend to plan. Good luck out there my friends. Be careful who you allow to see your heart. It’s more fragile than you think.