A few months ago I met a guy online. We chatted online a few times. We exchanged phone numbers and talked on the phone a few times. We met in person and it went fairly well. We talked a few more times and met again. Without getting into gory and unnecessary details, he certainly left me with the impression that he very interested. And 2 days later I got an email saying that he, in fact, did not think we were a good match. Which was very hard. Felt very abrupt and it hurt. In case it needs saying he was not trying to be a jerk. His email was as kind and respecting as it could be considering the purpose. But it hurt.
A few weeks later I went to a picnic. When I mentioned to someone that I had been seeing a guy and it had ended another friend piped up and said "Can I go beat him up?" I was surprised. It made me smile. I didn't expect that. Of course, I told the friend "If you can find him, go ahead." And went on to discuss where he might find the guy.
When I first met the guy I would post occasionally on Facebook that I was talking to a guy or that he seemed to have promise and I posted when we were meeting. But, not where cause I didn't want my friends to show up and scare the poor boy off! ;) A lot of people posted encouragements and hopes for things to go well. To be honest I was a bit surprised at how many people commented to wish me well. I didn't expect people to wish me ill, but I was constantly surprised by which people would take those few extra seconds to post words of encouragement and not just hit like. I was also surprised by which of the people would post. Again, not that I believed they wished me ill, but they were, well they are people I haven't had any other contact with in 5 and 10 years or more. I didn't expect that.
Last week I heard a story, which would take much too long to type out, but comes down to an acquaintance , M, of mine threatening to take down a guy I know, J, if the guy didn't treat his girlfriend right. I ran into J and the girlfriend and was telling her about my guy situation earlier this year so we could laugh about sending M out to knock some sense into my guy. Well, J stops me at one point and says, "Wait, what happened?" Because the full answer is much too complicated and the situation wasn't truly conducive I took a moment to figure out how to phrase what happened and answered "He didn't want to date me." Which I thought was pretty innocuous as far as potential answers go. Well, J, apparently, didn't agree. J is one of the single sweetest guys I know. He is an absolute teddy bear. But when I told him that this guy didn't want to date me, his face went hard and his eyes narrowed and he seriously looked like he might consider driving out to knock some sense into the guy himself, forget about taking M. I didn't expect that.
These things, and a few others, made me realize just how special I am to people. They made me realize how protective my friends are of me. They made me realize I don't think nearly as highly of myself as most of my friends do.
A couple weeks ago the guy emailed me out of the blue. In part because I've read too many romance novels where the heroine refuses to give the guy the time of day without making him grovel and all the while he just wants to explain what happened and why he was a moron and can he please make it up to her for the rest of his life, I gave him the opportunity to take me out to lunch. Again, much too long a story to bother telling, but suffice it to say I got the answers I was looking for. I was correct on some of my suspicions. I was wrong on others. I'm still single. We've chatted a few times on instant messenger and I'm realizing that we are not a good match at all. I'm ok with that. I'm still very very tired of being single. I'm very very tired of carrying in groceries by myself. I'm tired of worrying about bills myself. I'm tired of going home alone to an empty apartment. But I would rather continue this life I have than force a relationship that won't have my best interests at heart. I didn't expect to recover quite as quickly as I have.
Today starts Chatting at the Sky's 31 days challenge to post every day for the month of October. I seriously considered joining. My focus right now is on fiction and November is NaNoWriMo. NaNo did a 2 month set of challenges called Camp NaNo in July and August. I successfully completed July and that completion fried my brain for August. I already have my idea for this years NaNo story, so I am not committing to writing daily for the 31 days of October. Plus, I don't know if I can string together coherent thoughts about the same topic for 31 days. That's a lot of days and ways of looking at one thing. I commented that I didn't know if i could complete the full 31 days. I mentioned that the only topic i could think of was grief. I thought about what the other side of grief is and decided it is hope. I can get stuck in grief and despair or I can turn my mind and heart and focus on hope. But 31 days is a lot of thinking about hope.
Then, as I was writing this, right in that paragraph above, this song by Addison Road came on:
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
It occurs to me that maybe God has 31 things to say to me about hope. Originally I decided not to join, but I'm reconsidering that. I'm going to post today and see if I manage to get something up tomorrow. If I decide to go for it, you'll see a daily post from me. If life comes crashing in, you won't. Either way, I didn't expect to realize how many people want such very good things for me. I didn't expect to be challenged to write about hope for 31 days. But then, I didn't expect God to find me almost 15 years ago either. But he did, and he's never let me go.