Zimbabwe to Chicago

Cynics, look away. No need to read this post. Perhaps some of my other, more jaded posts will suit you. But this one—no. You will scoff. And I’m in no mood for scoffers.

Don’t tell me he is not out there. You can tell me he is in Zimbabwe saving babies, or in Fiji finding himself, or sipping coffee in a Paris sidewalk café as he reads his version of the New York Times Sunday edition. But don’t tell me he is not out there.

Because he is.

This feminist warrior princess is about to lay it all out there. To quote my very first Chicago Tribune piece, 20-some years ago, “Strong doesn’t mean hard. And soft is OK in safe places.”

Amen, sister. Not bad for the untested wisdom of a twenty-something. If my own blog is not a safe place, I’m not sure what is.

Let’s be clear. For many decades, I have been the friend who says: “Live your life. Don’t look for a man. Just do your thing. Be happy. Be interesting. It’ll happen. Or not. And that’s ok.”

I believe it. I am rarely dismissive but I find it hard not to be with women who make finding a man their goal. Is he a meal ticket? Validation that they are “enough”—pretty enough, smart enough, fit enough? They can’t go to a single party or event without scanning the crowd for men without (or with) dates. They search for something they cannot seem to provide themselves—and do not seem to realize that solving that conundrum is the solution they should seek, not a man who will eventually tire of having to fill a never-ending void.

And yet. Oh, and yet. Life with an equal partner, an evolved partner, is a little slice of Heaven. I know I can be alone but I prefer to share my life with a fellow seeker.

A couple of wise friends who have found wonderful men over the past couple of years made a list. A list of traits they wanted in the right man. Each came to this task from different directions but both knew they were supposed to be exceedingly specific. And, oddly enough, both seem to have met what they asked for, almost to a T.

I find tasks like this one tedious. After all, if God is omniscient, why do I need to be so specific? If I am known inside and out, why do I need to specify not just the burger but the various condiments that accompany it?

In my recent reading of Paul Selig’s books, the point made is that we co-create with God. That we agree to come here and the wiser we become, the more we co-create with God what we intended when we entered this life.

The specificity, I’m sure, is a good exercise in getting really clear on what we wanted. Because we seem to forget our initial intent when our soul enters human form.

I am making my own list. Partly to keep myself from making stupid mistakes and accepting substandard substitutions like the man with whom I just dallied. Waiting is hard. But to fill my wait with less than the right fellow travelers is a waste of time. Precious time in which I could be writing, raising good men, finally learning how to julienne properly.

While the entire list is not for sharing, a few key bits sit below. Perhaps they will inspire you to make your own list, should you find yourself wondering about what the open arms that await you look like.

Hi there, God. I have been resisting writing this for oh so long but in Your usual fashion, You bring me to a halt. I get it. He can’t find me until I put out a clear signal. I’m waving the white flag, God. You win yet again. Which usually means I also win in the end.

Bring me a laugher, please. A belly laugh that matches mine. Someone who will laugh with me until we cry, naked in bed or dressed for black-tie dinners. I want the joy to be shared. Help him not to take himself too seriously and in doing so, do incredibly serious things for this world.

He speaks the truth. Even when it hurts. Even when it’s scary. Even when he is not sure what the truth is–he speaks from his soul. He knows we don’t have time for lies, or games, or half-truths. They are not worth the hours they take to unravel. And the hours we have here continue to tick away.

He put his inner adolescent to bed years ago and has no interest in waking that silly sleeping giant. He is well traveled enough to know that there will always be someone prettier or smarter or funnier than I am, but there will never be a more beautiful woman for him as a complete package. He will love me when I am coiffed and sleek but love me even more when I awake with Medusa-like hair and soft creases around my eyes. Because his love is for the entirety of me, not just the bits the world applauds.

He is so masculine that gentleness does not scare him. He is gentle and kind in that sexy way only real men can be. Dogs, children and little old ladies are drawn to him like bees to the first summer flowers. And I happily share him with all of the above.

He is not just intelligent, but also wise. We will talk world issues over the Sunday New York Times, yes. But when I am losing yet another light of my life—a friend, a family member—he will know when to speak and what to say. And when just to hold my hand.

I am not always who I hope to be, God. I am a work in progress each and every day. But I am showing up in my life, for myself and those I love. Adding one more to the mix just seems natural. If he is gazing at Victoria Falls at this very moment, let him be wondering where I am. And let the wondering cease before our love becomes a story for the AARP magazine: “True love blossoms at 95.” Just using that sense of humor I’ve asked for in him, God. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. 

The rest of my list is for me alone, friends. And for those of you sure adding one more to the mix is in the cards for you, I hope I’ve inspired you to make your own list. The temptation is to brush it off because it feels silly. Trust me, I know. The thought of running into a casual acquaintance who has read this in the grocery store makes me cringe. And yet, we write and share not for our casual acquaintances. We do so, instead, for ourselves and the fellow travelers out there in the ether who need to hear it and be supported in their own journeys.

As I look ahead to a week full of deadlines, continuing my slow and painful trek on Whole 30, and the myriad things that fill any normal week, I leave the logistics to God. Zimbabwe to Chicago? Not for me to worry about.

I just need to focus on getting dinner on the table tonight. The rest is taken care of—this I know. Or at least I get a little closer to knowing it every day.





30 Comments Add yours

  1. OK, I’ve done it. Not on my island weekend, but after a dinner conversation with friends (a couple) last night, where one of them told me that she had written her “perfect partner” list – and it became a reality. And over the weekend, I talked to another single (divorced) woman – somewhat younger than me – who said that she would not do online dating, and hoped to meet a new man “organically”. So I have headed my list: My Organic Man. Let’s see what happens…for both of us! 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I love this! We’re getting conversations going on two continents:). Your friend’s story is not unusual. I do know a couple of women who have done the same–and the Universe responded to their list with flying colors. I know we can’t dictate the timing, but in the meantime, I’m organizing and purging things to make life lighter. So I can go out and enjoy my bucket list:). I want to already be having a ball when he arrives on the scene. Will be happy to hear your progress!

      1. Oh interesting…the purging of things. I have in recent weeks also had that urge – cleaned out my wardrobe, my bookshelves, my kitchen cupboards. The local charity shops love me! Decided there was just too much “stuff” around me. And I’m definitely having a ball (even if much of it is work-related). We’ll be ready, alright! x

  2. marlene frankel says:

    Positive energy. Fun thoughts. Some luck. It will happen.

    1. candidkay says:

      I did my yoga today so my prana should be positive:). Fun thoughts abound. Now for the luck or Divine Providence . . .

  3. You’re way of writing is so entertaining! And I love this list! I made a list too, years ago, and I found him in a small corner of a hostel in London (a place I wasn’t even “meant” to be – or was I??). Me, a girl from Sweden – he, a guy from Australia. What were the odds? I can only say that I’m sure the universe was working for us!
    You’ll see, your guy will show up too!

    1. candidkay says:

      I love the absolute kismet of that meeting! So many friends have met their love when not where they were “supposed” to be. Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by my blog!

  4. Well Kristine, your both looking at the same moon, so you ‘know’ he isn’t a Martian or something, so that brings him in a little closer. There’s only about 9 billion others to sort through now 🙂
    But do I dare tell you what he really is? His looks, his ability to think or laugh, or even if he spends too much time admiring himself in the mirror?
    No, I don’t know any of those, but this I do know…he will be exactly what your heart is putting out there…no, not the blonde, six feet 4 hunk of man etc, etc…but he WILL be the exact thing that brings you closer to yourself, for with great love he will guide you to find you, discover what is really in your heart so that you CAN begin a completely new relationship every day. Find a happiness within that always seemed a dream, and even a peace and contentment like no other.
    So my friend, beware what you put out there 🙂 It may be a rough ride, but I swear to you, in the end it will show you a beauty that I cannot describe, for ‘unconditional’ is a whole world all of its own 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Again with the wisdom:). You’re right–the great love and learning is the most important part. But nice teeth and hands would be good too:). Only human!

      1. Yes, you do have to enjoy the journey too, us humans need to be tickled occasionally 😀
        I’ll see if I can put in a good word upstairs…um, was that blue or brown eyed you were after? 😀

  5. OK…you got me. I also know this is what we are “supposed” to do – and I’m also a bit cynical about it, but maybe it’s worth a shot. If nothing else, it helps clarify in our own mind what we want, and what we won’t accept (anything less). I’ve got some alone time coming up this weekend, on an island where there will be dolphins and (hopefully) whales. Maybe that’s the place to sit and write my ideal man into reality. It (the island) is work, of course, but there’s nothing like a bit of peace and quiet away from the home fires to do some real reflection. Thanks for the push!

    1. candidkay says:

      I think that’s the perfect setting! I wish I could join you, glass of bubbly in hand:).

      1. Oh me too! I’ll raise my glass to you and me and “perfect” partners!

  6. What ashame you are so far from me! I sometimes think I would drop by, give you a hug , and remind you of all the qualities you have, that make this world a beautiful and better place! Truly believe this in you and focus on this in you and like you say.. The rest is taken care of. BTW that is quite the list.. Is he Superman? 💚💚

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you haven’t seen the half of it :-). The list, that is. I’m banking on the fact that the universe channels abundance:).

      1. Good for you! Bring it on 💜💜

  7. Judy says:

    Grateful to be a fellow traveler with you. Thanks for the inspiration and the laugh, including from the other commenters. 😀

    1. candidkay says:

      My commenters are the best:). And I’m not at all biased.

  8. Yaasss. Waiting is hard, but those who expect, receive!! ❤️ I am a firm believer.

    1. candidkay says:

      Just have to keep that energy up!

  9. leggypeggy says:

    Great list. Now think positive.

    1. candidkay says:

      That part is easy. That’s how I’m wired:).

  10. Well done. I heard of a woman who described the guy she wanted and posted it on her fridge. She got him!

    1. candidkay says:

      I bet that made for an interesting dinner party conversation! Her dinner guests were probably all out hunting for her :-).

  11. George says:

    Lol…I won’t scoff even though I’m a man, though if you’re writing to God, well, that takes the request to a whole different level of curiosity and assumptions. This will probably sound strange but I’ve said many times that if I were a woman is probably end up with another woman. I don’t think most men understand how to relate/respond/communicate to women on the kind of emotional level they deserve. (Present responder excluded, of course..:))
    But that’s just me. Generally speaking, men are just to difficult and self absorbed.
    But I’m not scoffing or being cynical..:)

    1. candidkay says:

      Man, George! Pun intended:). You belong at my next book club. Lol. They’d pay to hear you speak!

      1. George says:

        Lol…the book discussion might be lively.

  12. suemclaren24 says:

    As usual, spot on. Although the Universe sometimes needs for us to spell the difference between peas and peace, a linguistic quirk which inspires humour. Well done.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Yes, world peas really won’t do us much good:). Especially for us pea haters.

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