I was visiting my bloggy friends Rachel, Jim and David in San Francisco.
Soldier and I were no more, though he'd surprised me with a phone call from Baghdad on my birthday.
As I talked more about where things were with Soldier at that time, Gentleman Jack stopped me.
"Its weird. When I hear you talk about (Soldier), I can't relate to your emotions because... it doesn't even sound like you at all!"
I find myself, when talking about my previous relationship, sounding so disdainful. I don't like that feeling. I'm trying to look at it and figure it out.
I suppose, as QT Mama pointed out in her comment the other day, that I put a lot of pressure on myself. I do aim to figure out me, my life, my motivations, my reasons, my modus operandi, if you will.
This morning, when I recalled GJ's statement, it occurred to me:
I don't like who I was with Soldier in my life.
I can't say that I didn't love him or that he didn't love me. I believe all of that was true. I can't say that I don't still love him and I'm quite positive that he still loves me.
However, trying to be together, especially after he came home from war, was like water and oil. We just didn't mix.
Others have made the same observations about me and Soldier - especially after seeing me now with my Gentleman in my life.
I know that in my marriage, I was the driver. I asked him out. I made the plans. I made the decisions. He didn't even ask me to marry him until one of our mutual friends asked him, "Why haven't you married her yet?!" I was the one who decided on the separation and divorce as well.
I was so sick of driving. I was so tired. Soldier, however, was the most driven man I have ever met. He made all of the decisions all the way down to when, how and how often we would communicate. I liked letting someone else take the wheel for once in my life. What I didn't realize, until later, was that I felt as if my drive was gone.
I was only driven to do as he pleased.
I lost myself in that. Everyone that knows me saw that, saw my struggle. I nearly lost my job because I didn't know how to function without him!
I guess that is somewhat normal - to be attracted to the very opposite of the relationship you just left (i.e. my marriage). Perhaps that is when you learn if you prefer the opposite or maybe need to find a healthy middle ground.
I love who I am with my Gentleman. I see so much more balance. He allows me to be *me* - and yes, even if he's uncomfortable about some things, he's changing his own thoughts to learn to accept me. I'm doing the same as well. We're both opening up to things we'd never considered before.
He lets me shine.
Which is exactly what I was asking for and predicting that I needed. I'm not sure I could ask for anything more.
Besides, he's pretty darn shiny too.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
~ Marianne Williamson (this is the third time I've posted this quote on this blog)
"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."
~ Carrie Bradshaw