I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I know, I know. That is a bad habit.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, waiting for the other shoe to drop means waiting for the seemingly inevitable to happen. The expression has come to be used when people are waiting for something awful to happen. As in—good things are happening but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Yeah. Mea culpa.
I’ve always been a fairly positive person.
Then I watched my mother die, rather unexpectedly.
Watched my father do the same, less than 18 months later.
Saw my marriage crumble and a man I thought I knew inside and out turn into someone I knew not at all.
Sorted through a Pandora’s box of financial woes and other fun bits because of the latter.
If I’m fair with myself, I think it is probably a reasonable reaction to wait for the other shoe to drop.
I mean, look at the trail of shoes left behind over the past several years. It’s a doozy.
And yet, this anticipation does not protect me. It is purely a defense mechanism.
You will understand this tactic if you have ever been floored by something awful happening. Rocking your world.
I remember one such thing, a discovery that literally brought me to my knees in my bathroom a few years ago, crying so hard that my sobs were silent. And then keening.
I was blindsided.
No worse feeling.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop, not allowing yourself to fully experience the happiness you feel in the moment, is one way to try to protect yourself from being sucker punched by life ever again.
It does not work, mind you. As a tactic, it stinks. Not only do you deprive yourself of the happiness of the moment, you become a cynic. Behind every silver lining a dark cloud.
But it feels as if you can soften the blow by anticipating it.
I do not want to say much about loving and being loved again because that relationship is just for me right now. I share a lot in this blog but some bits have to be just for me.
I can tell you this—I have stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. Almost.
It is a hard habit to give up. When someone you trusted with your life disappoints you, it is hard to ever trust that freely again. I recall Sandra Bullock’s Golden Globe acceptance speech in 2010, thanking her husband for having her back. And soon thereafter finding out, along with the rest of the world, that he had been cheating on her.
I see that she is dating again. Quite happily, it seems, just one man.
And every time he does what he says he is going to do, understands when it seems he might not, loves when someone else might run, supports and helps just because that is the way he is wired, I am heartened.
It seems part of the regeneration process is to learn to stop waiting for either shoe to drop.
I think, and fervently hope I am right, that there are no shoes in my current relationship.
I am hoping we both remain happily barefoot.
I mean, do you think Cinderella kept those glass slippers on?
Not a chance.
Which is why she and Prince Charming lived happily ever after.