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.
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.